6 May 2010

Doing It For The Fans

 Long time, no blog, for reasons already expounded.

A mail from Matt today prompted me to reconsider the logic of the statement that content producers in various media love to gushingly proclaim: "We're doing this for the fans!"

Matt's mail addressed a perceived problem with the No Dice Core Book that people didn't like the introduction in length or content and it was putting people off the system. Maybe, maybe not. In my experience people are really good at making excuses for not doing this or that. We call people sheep because they resist and reject and reject and resist before, in some cases, running hell for leather towards some mediocre artefact because everyone else is doing it.

Digression! For example the number of moany twunts I've seen complaining that "Cards are not all that different from dice". Here's a simple experiment that proves the utter arsetwattery of such moans:

1) Sit on a sofa holding a D6.
2) Without leaning forward, to the side, employing the aid of any flat surface such as a table or the cover of your favourite "My Little Munchkin" Annual roll the dice to produce a satisfactory result.
3) Notice this is, at least, inconvenient.
4) Repeat the process, except this time hold a shuffled pack of cards in the hand of your choice. Draw rather than roll.
5) Now repeat with dice, but time how long it takes to roll the dice and read off the result.
6) Now repeat with cards and time how long it takes to make and read a draw.
7) Multiply the amount of time from 5 by 50. You will probably end up with an amount of time somewhere in the region of 20 minutes.
8) Multiply the amount of time from 6 by 50. You will probably end up with an amount of time somewhere in the region of 5 minutes.
9) Note how much time you save using a pack of cards.
10) Stop pretending that dice are the convenient randomiser of choice STFU and go away.

It certainly doesn't help that for everything on the good side of mediocre up there is 1000x as much stuff that slides off the grotesque hunchback of the distribution curve and leaves quality produce, or the stuff with potential, drowning in a sump of crap.

People have very strong filters for novelty, it's only necessity that pushes them beyond that. If I was a keen role player of the old school I would be put off No Dice because of its novelty. It's only because I find most role playing system books utterly unreadable, mired in pointless and restrictive micromangement details, filled with equations and charts that make most current role playing "statistics and probability for fun". People I role play with read the systems in order to hack them into something that requires far less effort. Those people are the kinds of people who will decide quite quickly that they've bought enough core books and they're going to do their own thing.

Many of these guys run the one system they could be bothered to finish reading through in pared down form, or just stick to homebrew, or homebrew something LIKE some system they skim read once but a hell of a lot lighter.

But I didn't get involved in No Dice to reach the other people, the people who play by the book, the people who are put off by the mere concept of reappraising their hobby. I believe that we wrote it for newbies and those who love role play as a form of narrative entertainment somehow sullied by arbitrary numeric systems that impede the development of plot.

We wrote No Dice for our friends. All the people who "get" No Dice are fans of it. All the people who just feel slightly nauseous reading the Introduction to the Core Book are not. So of course I'm "doing it for the fans". Who in their right mind would do it for the non-fans? Try and please a bunch of people who really couldn't care less if you died in a ditch? Who would do that?

So I guess like every other content producer and the rest of the gang I am obviously doing No Dice for the fans. Those people who want to whinge that they would love it more if we just changed the length and content of the introduction to sound like every other Role Playing System ever written can shove it up their anuses. If that is they can fit "it" up there with all the polyhedral dice, pencils, double sided character sheets, hex maps and rule expansions they've retained up there already.

Tortured anal retentive joke over I will mention that one of the projects for 2011 is the Core Book Redux. I've reread the Core Book and I can see a hell of a lot that's just plain wrong with it. However, I did not miss the absence of page after page after page of number crunch combat system.

(More To Follow.)

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