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Grogah
2006-12-19, 12:28 PM
This is really brilliant art. I'm not sure if it is the intention of the authors or not, but personally I see Erfworld, so far, as a masterful bit of art designed to frame and show case the "new mythology".

Growing up in the pre-internet era, my friends and I got our mythology and legends from a novel source, books and the library. As such we had a classical understanding of fantasy ala Tolkien, Greek Myth, etc. Today's youth, however are getting their mythology from final fantasy and the internet, and they're getting (IMHO) a very lame version.

I grew up in an era where RPGs meant telling a story, but as 3/3.5 and MMORPG's have shown, today's youth are in an era where RPGs are about combo buttons and acronymns.

An attack action back in the "good old days": "I shove the bar stools out of my way, leaping at the orc, bringing my sword down towards his chest before he can attack."

An attack action today: "I perform a leap attack, charge, and power attack for +5, with a BAB of +8, using Sneak Attack since this dude is flat footed"

MMORPGs are the same, people aren't roleplaying, they're chatting about their bonuses and stats.

What Erfworld is doing is showing us what the natural mythology of such a culture is. It isn't daring warriors, frightening dragons, or pulse pounding combat. It's an obscure discussion of "turns", "moves", combined with instant messanger, bizarre acronyms, and far too casual speech.

It's brilliant too. This comic is hilarious because it shows all of the obvious issues with telling a real story in the absurdity of modern mythology. I'm not sure if Erfworld is commentary, or just plain fun, but either way I love it.

*Raises a glass*, Keep up the good work guys.

jami
2006-12-19, 01:05 PM
Wow! I've never had such a wonderful response to my work.

*bows*

Thank you so much.

WampaX
2006-12-19, 01:09 PM
Quoted from other thread

I mean, I just realized that even the art style choice (why the lines are so thick and the backgrounds so detailed) is VG based. Thick-lined sprites moving around in a pre-rendered world. Brilliant.

Nerd-o-rama
2006-12-19, 01:11 PM
I resent your rambling, inaccurate "back in my day" speech about 3.0/3.5, but agree with your general points. And your "back in my day" speech about MMOs.

Grogah
2006-12-19, 05:28 PM
I resent your rambling, inaccurate "back in my day" speech about 3.0/3.5, but agree with your general points. And your "back in my day" speech about MMOs.

You can resent it and believe it is inaccurate all you want, but the point is valid. In "the good old days" not everything was codified into the rules which was a good thing, it led to more vivid discriptions. When everything is codified, players must announce what rules combo they are using so the DM can properly adjudicate, turning things into something more resembling a MMORPG than a classic pencil and paper RPG.

darkninjaoflight
2006-12-19, 06:45 PM
I must also say I enjoy the art immensely. I'm a huge fan of Viewtiful Joe and its art, and this reminds me of it (as would other cel shaded-type vg art like Windwaker). It's actually inspired some of my recent caricatures lately.


For the "good old days" argument...why did you even mention it? It's almost unrelated to the issue. I know you made a point with it...but still

In any case, there's no real set way to determine how most people play their games nowadays. It's just how you picture the "old days" combined with what you're exposed to, which can be a small part of the whole (like how some people have a hard time finding players and think rpgs are dying, while others have way too many players and think it is booming).

In tabletop rpgs nowadays, there is a much larger audience of people playing, (and new, inexperienced people at that) so can you really compare "back in the old days" to "modern days"? I've heard that both eras had their issues with numbers and stats over roleplaying (I know my brother and Dad used to play older D&D editions...and I'm quite positive that all they cared about was hack and slash and new equipment). A lack of set rules doesn't really get people to roleplay though, it at the very least just forces people to make up rules.

MMORPGs were never really meant for roleplaying though, some people play them that way though.


In any case, my points are 1)Erfworld is beau-ti-ful and 2) rules don't really have much to do with roleplaying...or art, but the games (and the Erfworld comics) are still awesome, right?

Grogah
2006-12-19, 07:42 PM
The point is that in modern renditions of fantasy worlds, it tends to be about the rules, the jargon, etc. Erfworld does a marvalous job showing us what such a mythology actually would look like.

Reinforcements
2006-12-19, 09:31 PM
I too enjoy Erfworld, and I agree that it does a good job (so far) of peeking over the 4th wall of CRPGs, but I strongly disagree with the bitter nostalgia. Video game RPGs were never really about role-playing, and 3rd Edition D&D is no less about role-playing than earlier editions. I would argue, in fact, that it is much easier to develop a wider range of characters in 3.5 than in any earlier edition. If you think differently I think you need to take off the rose-colored goggles.

Nerd-o-rama
2006-12-19, 11:04 PM
Meh. This argument's been done too many times. You're not changing my mind, and I doubt you'll change yours unless you sit down and play a game of 3.5 D&D, instead of just skimming the Rules Lawyer Banter Gaming forum on this site. I mean, to use your most egregious example, there's nothing that stops you from roleplaying and describing your actions. It's just some extra effort on top of clarifying your actions to the DM (which in previous editions consisted of "Move" and "Attack" making roleplaying more necessary and declaration of actions more simple, to be sure.)

Grogah
2006-12-19, 11:32 PM
I would argue, in fact, that it is much easier to develop a wider range of characters in 3.5 than in any earlier edition.

This is predicated on the false assumption that a character is simply a collection of stats. Yes, in 3/3.5 it is much easier to stat out an exact character. Experience has led me to the conclusion that the fewer the rules dictate a character, the more they can become truly developed. Character development isn't a set of feats, but role-playing combined with consistancy on the part of the player, and goals he wishes to accomplish.

I would challenge you to play a few games using SHERPA, a system I break out on occasion to get my players role-playing instead of roll-playing.

http://www.panix.com/~sos/rpg/sherpa.html


You're not changing my mind, and I doubt you'll change yours unless you sit down and play a game of 3.5 D&D, instead of just skimming the Rules Lawyer Banter Gaming forum on this site.

I've actually played quite a bit 3.5, unfortunately, which has led to my hatred of the abyssmal system that is D20. 2ndEd was no perfect system, but it was far better than the munchkin's dream that is 3.5

But I doubt I will change your mind.


It's just some extra effort on top of clarifying your actions to the DM (which in previous editions consisted of "Move" and "Attack" making roleplaying more necessary and declaration of actions more simple, to be sure.)

Which is part of my point. My experience has shown that since clarifying your actions in the needlessly complex rules of 3/3.5 is necessary, many players dropthe role-playing. Role-playing was much more necessary in previous editions, which was a good thing. Under 3/3.5, even the best role-players begin to lag under the tediousness of combat and drop the role-playing aspect so they can just get the frickin' thing over with.

A better system is one which rewards players with unspecified bonuses for good descriptions, not for mashing the correct combo buttons of "Leap Attack", "Power Attack", and "Charge" at the same time.

Erfworld is quite astute at showing what fantasy RPG's and games have become. It is more a discussion of rules semantics and it kills the role-playing.

Nerd-o-rama
2006-12-20, 02:55 AM
I guess the problem is that more lazy roleplayers play 3.5, since it can still be fun with phoned-in roleplaying, as opposed to AD&D, which took a lot more creative effort to make interesting. For me, the added complexity doesn't bog things down, it simply means there's less "wingin' it" by players and DMs. Maybe I'm just lucky and hang out with good RP'ers, though.

TheLamentation
2006-12-20, 03:44 AM
Experience has led me to the conclusion that the fewer the rules dictate a character, the more they can become truly developed. Character development isn't a set of feats, but role-playing combined with consistancy on the part of the player, and goals he wishes to accomplish.You assume that when one adds numbers, one removes heart. I think this assumption silly at best. The only way numeric character creation detracts from character personality creation is if the players have limited time.
What 3rd edition has done is turned D&D into more of a 'game'- there are better rules, and the players have more control. DMs often have to fight for Rule 0 (although they don't have to fight all that hard). Does that mean the storytelling is any different? Not really. The DM has a few more restrictions, but I pity anyone playing under a DM who can't get across the story he wants without breaking rules left and right.

There are some players who use "ok, I'm a barbarian taking a few levels in fighter then going into Frenzied Berserker" as their personality. But, really, is that any different from the 'good old days'? I don't even remember there being a rage mechanic in second edition- I'll bet that helped roleplaying someone who goes ape**** insane in combat.


Role-playing was much more necessary in previous editions, which was a good thing. Under 3/3.5, even the best role-players begin to lag under the tediousness of combat and drop the role-playing aspect so they can just get the frickin' thing over with.Tediousness of combat? Perhaps. But, I would say that if you are ranking how much roleplaying goes on in a game by whether the DM says "the orc takes 5 damage" or "you cut the orc's arm, scoring a deep gash from which blood spurts mightily" rather than the personalities of the characters and the NPCs and the depth of the plot, you're looking at the wrong thing.


A better system is one which rewards players with unspecified bonuses for good descriptions, not for mashing the correct combo buttons of "Leap Attack", "Power Attack", and "Charge" at the same time.If that's all you think 3.5 is, then certainly. But... that's not all it is.

You seem to be associating the rules system with the amount of roleplaying rather than the players with the amount of roleplaying. That's a mistake. People who want to speak eloquently will do so, and DMs who have a good plot will run it regardless of the edition. Just because the rules are primarily focused on combat doesn't mean the game is primarily focused on combat.


Erfworld is quite astute at showing what fantasy RPG's and games have become. It is more a discussion of rules semantics and it kills the role-playing.It may be what some have become. But hardly all, and it's hardly caused entirely by 3rd edition.

Gygaxphobia
2006-12-20, 08:43 AM
I don't see how adding rules detracts from role-playing.
There were plenty of games I played in 20 years ago where we were like, "well what do the rules say about this situation?" and they simply didn't cover it.
Rules just give a common basis for understanding the game world. It doesn't stop you referring to your sword as "+5 vorpal", that's upto the culture of gaming in your group.

I do think that many people who come to MMO without playing P&P games do lack an understanding of roleplaying however, but thats because they are just playing advanced Space Invaders and that's upto them.

WampaX
2006-12-20, 09:31 AM
Voice of the Wampinator: This is not the place to debate system mechanics for D&D. Take that over to Gaming.

Alchemistmerlin
2006-12-20, 10:16 PM
"When I was your aaaaage!"

Grandpa! You dropped your dentures! :smalltongue: