"Lifestyle" Games

Brother_NerdBrother_Nerd Posts: 50Member

Man, do I know how a game can turn into a lifestyle. CCGs are kinda obvious, but the type that really gets me is Tabletop RPGs. Save for DnD 4e, every TTRPG I've tried so far has been this consuming for me. Basic math is something I'm somewhat fond of doing all the time, and then I absolutely love making and playing a character. Getting into the head of a person that I made up, seeing the world from a perspective that I normally don't. From a DnD perspective, I'm very Lawful Good; order is usually the best way to exemplify good, but on occassion, a shake-up is necessary to root out corruption and the degradation of morality.

And I just did one of the very things that makes a game a lifestyle: I used it as a base for describing something.

As for making a game this way on purpose, unless you're making a CCG or a TTRPG, good luck, as you're probably going need all of the everything you can get.


  • taps1992taps1992 Posts: 163Member
    I don't think I've actually played a proper DnD game, but the fact that its scale of lawful-chaotic and good-evil can be used as some sort of personality test beyond the game makes it a great example about how it becomes a lifestyle game. (I'm Chaotic Neutral by the way, a total diametric opposite with the lawful ones as I'd be willing to dole out my own brand of justice through dirty means, especially if I'm forced into such a situation) 

    Speaking of which, Riot does seem to take the whole lifestyle game thing to the extreme. Its hiring process requires that the employee is a player and "lives, eats, and breathes" League of Legends. Not sure if that's the healthiest thing to do if any company lacks a diversity of opinion and lifestyle. 
  • galdon Posts: 259Member
    Own brand of justice sounds like chaotic good. Chaotic neutral would, as i understand it at least, be more live and let live with a tendency to resist rules and their enforcement.
  • lightlight Posts: 290Member
    RE: Overwatch teaches leadership skills.

    People trying to assume dictatorial control is the reason I don't play Overwatch in competitive mode.

    Anyone who's been playing Overwatch since around when it came out: notice any correlations in competitive Overwatch player behavior and US presidents?
    Drake Bell!
    Darklurker - Ana - Davey Wreden - Niles - Catwoman - Thwomp - Zazu
  • taps1992taps1992 Posts: 163Member
    @galdon - my main problem with being labelled as chaotic good though is the fact that I'm really fickle with what I define as justice, and ultimately it does not always resonate with the "greater good" ie: doling out justice to somebody who's been a douche to me just because, and it doesn't add or subtract to the overall goodness of society. If I just so happen to pick up on some target I feel like hunting down and it brings about good to others without me realising it...well good on them. 
    @light - were you playing solo or with friends? I've had experience with a passive aggressive comp player before because the rest of my team (and myself) were filthy casuals lol. He kinda just went like "tsk" over the mic but didn't give any other directions. Probably just thinking he's stuck with stupid noobs. I also haven't been in comp mode for quite a while.
  • vlademir1vlademir1 Posts: 428Member
    @galdon There are a number of different ways to take each alignment and they're all valid. 

    If you go back to the AD&D 1E DMG (I'm specifically going to be quoting from page 23 in the version with this cover which is the version I own a copy of) you will find the Law vs Chaos axis defined as:
    The opposition here is between organized groups and individuals.  That is, law dictates that order and organization is necessary and desirable, while chaos holds to the opposite view.  Law generally supports the group as more important than the individual, while chaos promotes the individual over the group.

    Meanwhile the same page defines the Good vs Evil axis thus:

    Basically stated, the tenets of good are [creature] rights.... Each creature is entitles to life, relative freedom, and the prospect of happiness.  Cruelty and suffering are undesirable.  Evil, on the other hand, does not concern itself with rights or happiness; purpose is the determinant.

    If we take these as accepted wisdom, I personally prefer to as an old GM (been running campaigns for around 25 years off and on and playing longer), then we now need to ask, "what is justice?"  The IEP has a whole article on the idea in western philosophical thought here.  The core view across all these views is, from my perspective, established with the OED definition in the second sentence of that article "do[ing] what is morally right".  If we accept alignment as defining the moral compass of the individual character in some limited manner then dispensing one's "own brand of justice" is effectively a defining trait of all alignments. 

    As a GM I always asked my players to define for me which of the two axes they held as having higher importance.  I did so because, using LG here as the most common example in practice, there is a very important difference between putting higher significance on rights over a well ordered society, holding the importance of social order as more important than the rights within that society and holding both to be equally important in terms of a character's actions.  For example, someone who is LG and leans harder toward L than toward G would be willing to accept some degree of rights disparity between societal groupings (such as class, gender or race as examples) so long as it helped preserve a well ordered society.   Meanwhile someone who is LG and leans harder on G than L would be more interested in removing those inequalities even if it weakened social order to an extent.

    Of course these interpretations aren't so well maintained from AD&D 2E onward so there is quite some variance.

    I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds. Look upon my works and despair!

    Truth is never lying right there on the surface for everyone to quickly find, it requires dedication, the right tools and time.
  • lightlight Posts: 290Member
    @vlademir1 well I'm more confused about the axis than ever. I've considered myself Chaotic Neutral, but I value groups above the individual implying I should be lawful. Yet I idealize duplicity and volatility and everything generally rajasic, which is why I chose chaotic. Even within those groups I feel like the less stasis, the better. Given that, lots of internal structure is fine as long as it's dynamic somehow.

    So for example, I had hella fun playing Lane the manservant in The Importance of Being Earnest. And it doesn't bug me that there needs to be inequality when it comes to these kinds of roles. What we were doing, and how the characters related to each other changed a little bit every night of rehearsals.

    Getting back to the Overwatch example, I think it's a power thing I have issues with. People I've heard trying to lead a team don't want to collaborate, they give orders and expect people to fulfill them. @taps1992 mostly when I've seen it I'm watching my roommate play solo cause I stay away from that mode. Like I'm sure you can accomplish a lot under that kind of dictatorial regime, but it pains me so much as to see it happen.

    And okay, the director for the show I was in gave us plenty of notes. But 1) I signed up for it, 2) the director was very nice and receptive about the way she gave instructions, 3) each of us were exercising our creativity and making our own contributions (within an increasingly constrained framework).

    So yeah Overwatch "leaders" suck, they have no charisma, their will to power is physically painful, and everyone deciding to cooperate in the last ten seconds of a match makes for a nice interest curve.
    Drake Bell!
    Darklurker - Ana - Davey Wreden - Niles - Catwoman - Thwomp - Zazu
  • Brother_NerdBrother_Nerd Posts: 50Member
    For me, D&D-wise, I came in at AD&D 2E. I gotta say, @vlademir1, you have a few years on me, and I started playing as soon as I could do the math... as a natural at basic math. I can still do THAC0 in my head, and explain it.

    And this is easily the first time I've been introduced to a description of the alignment system that was so drastically different from what I'm used to. Good grascious how I have heard about how the alignment system is "up for interpretation" but then you read it from the AD&D 2E PHB that's sitting in my room, the 3.0 & 3.5 PHBs[have the 3.5 in the same container as the AD&D 2E], the Pathfinder Core Rulebook [deteriorating in a corner], Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale, Neverwinter Nights. All of these have effectively the same things to say about each alignment, the only genuine differences being the way that the author chose to word it. Even 4 & 5E aren't nearly as distant as people want to claim. In each of these cases, I've been easily capable of breaking it down as:

    Lawful: Prefering ordering, inward and outward.
    Chaotic: Prefering the lack thereof. Important note: This says nothing about the character's preferences on the good-evil axis. Easy for most people to trip over, wheher they are inherently Chaotic or Lawful.

    Good: Being concerned with the well-being of others.
    Evil: The lack thereof. Important note: This does not necessarily mean that the character cares about the self. Does not mean they don't, either.

    Really, I think the desire for alignments to be "up for debate" is so that someone can rationalize that their character "isn't evil, [s]he's just misunderstood!" ...I'm sorry, you just had your character laughing all the way to the bar about having killed that beggar {for, in your own words, "no other reason than you [felt] like killing someone," I might add}. Not only is the character evil, YOU need to see a psych. Yes, I have had people be this fucked up about what they wanted to "role play" and expect 0 consequences, including not being allowed to be at least Neutral on the good-evil axis.

    I became a very, very strict DM in very short order.
  • ChazChaz Posts: 385Administrator
    The problem with D&D is that they actually form some kind of game mechanic. There's always been the conundrum of having the paladin let the goblin go. The goblin is mechanically straight up evil, and the paladin knows this because they can detect evil, but killing them is straight up murder. (In fact the morals that surround fantasy game worlds are usually questionable, at best. When have you ever heard of looting corpses or grave robbing as being a good thing?) No matter the outcome you can argue the paladin loses their powers and that's kinda shitty.

    Anyway I see the law/chaos axis as being one of internal rigidity/flexibility, would a lawful good character steal from a thief? Slander a politician? No. Even in a lawless society they know the act is wrong. Jedi don't kill prisoners. A chaotic good character wouldn't have such hangups, they know the acts are wrong but if they would help people they'd break their own internal code.

    No matter the game I play I'm always pretty rogue-ish, it's just my own personality coming through. I joke around, annoy my friends, and run headfirst into things without really considering the consequences, but when the chips are down I end up being more lawful good or even lawful neutral than anything, I tend to be very strict with my moral code and am absolutely opposed to "the means justify the ends" ideology. I guess this makes me a classical liberal. :p

    The character that has most gotten away from me is in our current sci-fi game. Unlike some of the other protagonists he's been very loud about doing the right thing (or what he considers the right thing, the campaign is very morally ambiguous) but in a character defining moment he's the only player character to have straight up murdered someone who was at the time helpless, that ain't good. Now I gotta think about how he reconciles that act, and I think that will most of all determine his internal alignment.
  • vlademir1vlademir1 Posts: 428Member
    @light Don't worry about feeling confused by it, AD&D 2E represents a significant departure¹ from the foregoing history of the game and made much of that history irrelevant.  I don't want to get into all the various messy stuff that happened between Arneson, Gygax, the Blumes and Lorraine Williams surrounding TSR and D&D/AD&D nor the moral panic that came up because of the Egbert incident (among others) during that same time frame² but those events are a big part of what led to AD&D 2E and why it diverged so vastly from 1E.

    @Brother_Nerd ;; OK, the following, which is my history with D&D kinda went way long... sorry about that.  I kinda don't want to cut it though because its the most I've written in ages and was kinda cathartic to put out there, even if no one reads it.
    I started playing at 8.  In fact I can give you the exact date because it was the Friday after Mother's Day (which Google tells me was May 8 that year).  So on May 13, 1988 I rolled my first character and played in my first game.  This was at my friend's house where I was spending the night and was originally supposed to have happened two months earlier.  It didn't happen then because my mom kinda bought into that moral panic and put her foot down when she learned our planned activities.  It took a little over a month of my friend's dad, who started in the hobby with the original Basic D&D box set in '77 while in college and who was to be DMing the game for the two of us, to convince her it was perfectly safe.  We played under essentially these circumstances once or twice a month for around two years before they moved. 
    At this point another friend, who had joined that game a few months after it started, decided he was up to the task of GMing.  That game ran, as I recall, 9 or so sessions over eight months before finally totally falling apart (he couldn't deal well with his rules lawyer best friend's disruptions).  I didn't get to play again for over a year, then in '91 I started 6th grade and with that moved on to middle school where I made new friends several of whom were into the RPG hobby (our lunch there was a free period and a group of us bonded over playing chess and discussing shared genre fiction interests, among other things).
    This was when I started GMing.  Over the next few years I hosted³ and largely ran a weekly game  with a rotating cast⁴ including myriad different players, four GMs besides myself and at least eight different campaigns of various lengths.  My first house rule, introduced the first night of my first game and eternal to all my games, was essentially that anyone attempting to rules lawyer during play would get docked experience regardless of who they were or why and continuing to push it would just compound the penalty.  I personally just ran heavily house ruled 1E⁵ rather than anything else and we only diverted from D&D maybe two times I think.
    Once we started hitting high school scheduling got messy between school work, jobs, extra curriculars, SOs, et al and we semi-disolved as a group only getting together a few times a year.  Then college started and we didn't really see each other at all for years.  I played in a few games (mostly systems other than D&D that were new to me like HERO and GURPS, which led me in turn to other non-D&D systems that suit me better) in college but didn't GM any.  From there I've gone through a lot personally which I don't really care to discuss in a public forum and only intermittently played in and run games (near exclusively not D&D) before switching from RPGs to board games a few years back which are easier to organize a group for and keep it together⁶.
    Really, I think the desire for alignments to be "up for debate" is so that someone can rationalize that their character "isn't evil, [s]he's just misunderstood!" ...I'm sorry, you just had your character laughing all the way to the bar about having killed that beggar {for, in your own words, "no other reason than you [felt] like killing someone," I might add}. Not only is the character evil, YOU need to see a psych. Yes, I have had people be this fucked up about what they wanted to "role play" and expect 0 consequences, including not being allowed to be at least Neutral on the good-evil axis.

    What you're describing is something I would classify as rules lawyering (specifically trying to justify one's IC actions though OCC justification) see above for my personal rule on that.  Killing someone out of hand, sans thought, is a CE act and will move your alignment and will draw attention from city/town authorities toward you and toward your adventuring group.  If your character keeps acting like that and the group insists on protecting you from repercussions everyone's alignment will drift toward CE, clerics will lose the ability to call on their gods unless they shift back in line with said gods or change gods (either requires at least one level advancement and possibly a quest of some flavor), paladins will lose their abilities and never regain them and the PCs will all become persona non grata in most settled places with a bounty offered on them and NPC adventurers coming looking for them to collect that bounty. 
    I have had to use essentially this explanation on a LG group who thought it was ok to attempt genocide on orc villages including their elderly, infirm and children who couldn't defend themselves. 

    @Chaz This is a big factor in why anymore I'm personally more fond of stuff like the spiritual attributes in The Riddle of Steel/Blade of the Iron Throne, the instincts and beliefs in The Burning Wheel or even the aspects in Fate for handling the kinds of stuff alignment represents in D&D. 

    1: In many ways it's at least as significant of one as D&D 4E was from AD&D 2E through D&D 3.5E and was at the time at least as contentious.
    2:  Both because that stuff tends to lead to flame wars I do not want and because it was, outside the tail end of the moral panic, over before my time so I have to go off what can be gleaned from the public record and hearsay to understand any of it.
    3:  Ok, technically hosted.  We did a snack potluck thing where everyone provided a bit of the refreshments.
    4:  Group size varied from me GMing for three players to, I think, seven or eight of us sitting around my family's living room.  I'm pretty sure around twenty different people spent time at my house playing besides myself during that period.  This is, by the by, the period when the game that my username comes from happened.
    5: I was never satisfied with 2E, though I took the most interesting/useful bits from it as house rules, and 3E came just a bit too late for this group though I continued to add stuff to those house rules from 3E, 3.5E, and the SRD/OGL stuff as I introduced later groups to the world my rules were created to facilitate.
    6: As an adult sessions only seem to work out three or four times a year for RPGs because everyone has too many other things going on so getting everyone in the same place on the same day without interruption is a monumental feat.  With board games, as long as three of us show it's all gravy.

    I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds. Look upon my works and despair!

    Truth is never lying right there on the surface for everyone to quickly find, it requires dedication, the right tools and time.
  • galdon Posts: 259Member
    edited May 25
    I think a paladin losing their powers over a moral conundrum only happens when the DM is trying to make the paladin lose their power. The abscense of a clearly correct moral answer is part of the context of the decision. As we know dieties are wiser than mortals, it can be assumed that good aligned dieties would acceot either outcome for a moral conundrum that is beyond the paladin's training as long as the paladin acts in the way they believe to be right.

    Also, beyond paladins, people are fallible. I hate the DM argument of "you can't do that, its against your alignment". Anyone can act uncharacteristically at times. A lawful good character shouldn't suffer alignment change because their character lashed out at someone or refused mercy to a particularly nasty villain. Alignment change should really only happen when you develop a habit of following another alignments behavior.
    Post edited by galdon on
  • Brother_NerdBrother_Nerd Posts: 50Member
    @vlademir1 Definitely read that, and appreciate that you wrote it. Yeah, I started the same age you did, but it looks like you were a few months into 5th grade when I was born. I admit that I took a very different approach: I'm hard and fast on rules. If you don't want to play D&D, then why did you tell me to make a D&D character? If you wanted to play something else, just say so, and I'll make a character for that system.

    I also don't like diverging from the rules for 2 other reasons; First, because I've both heard of and encountered people attempting to houserule and royally fucking up the game. Like, no one was even enjoying the game anymore, they were just pushing through to give the guy a chance to GM and inform him later of EXACTLY why no one wanted to let him run anything. Second, because it feels like a breach of trust. If you cannot lay before me every single rule you intend to adjust by character creation's completion, then I don't want that rule adjusted without very, very, very good reason. I wouldn't do it to you, and I will walk out on another GM if they prove to be bad enough about last-minute adjustments.

    Paladin immunity to fear ignored AND a boss with % DR in D&D? I think not.

    @galdon I very much agree, most of the time. The example I gave above, they shifted immediately, but that was more to warn them that their actions had consequences... and then the local vigilantie showed up and the party, recognizing that I don't do player shields, quickly went "Not with us!" and let the NPC wipe the floor with him. Mind you, they were supposed to meet with this individual anyway, to get local info, so it was even a potential, if temporary, ally in that chapter.
  • ChazChaz Posts: 385Administrator
    D&D is bad. :P
  • DaikunDaikun Posts: 169Member
    edited June 5
    @Chaz It's a far-out game. Swords, poison, spells, battles, maiming... killing!
    Post edited by Daikun on
  • ChazChaz Posts: 385Administrator
    It's still bad.
  • Brother_NerdBrother_Nerd Posts: 50Member
    To say that all of D&D is outright bad feels like a bit of a stretch to me. It has its place: Power Fantasy. You're supposed to go from slightly-above-average-Joe gradually up to fighting world-breaking monstrosities, and of the versions that I've played, it executes on this [Yes, even 4e, which was mostly trash, had this covered]. Sure, there are other tabletop RPGs out there, but sometimes you just want a little less inrigue and a lot more epic fights of legendary heroes that you know the backstory of, because you were there, you wrote it with your DM and fellow players.
  • UntaxableUntaxable Posts: 244Member
    D&D isn't bad it's lawful evil.
    Post will probably be edited by Untaxable soon
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