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I has a nemesis!

Yes, dear readers, it was inevitable that, sooner or later, the mischief and mockery of a certain Monkey King would come to the attentions of some Crunch Overlord. That day has come, and my nemesis is none other than the Chatty DM. He is a master of Crunchy Magic, he disparages Flavor and Fluff and Setting and All That is Good and True!

Clearly, he must die.

Fortunately, he has fallen prey to the weakness of many a villain; he's revealed his hand too early, sending his minions on the attack in an earlier comment thread.

I need trickery and capers to defeat his unyielding, mechanical minions. I need ninjas, pirates, and plot twists to outwit the Chatty DM — more scenery, more marvels, more gaming elements unconstrained by Petty Rules! Victory Will Be Mine! I am enjoying this Far Too Much!!1!

Oh, and after all that disparagement of Fluff, he admits to liking Planescape. I sense a plot twist where the Crunch Overlord finally repents and Sees the Light. Either that, or I imbezulate him with my Electro-Cannons.


( 9 sutras — Your wisdom )
Oct. 12th, 2007 04:17 am (UTC)
Everyone likes Planescape. Or at least they should, if they know what's good for them.
Oct. 12th, 2007 12:52 pm (UTC)
The fun part is, he wants to be a fluff DM. He just can't find it. I really do think it starts best (for me) when you go from inspiration to description to rules. The other way, not so good.
Oct. 12th, 2007 01:37 pm (UTC)
That's just it!
If you'll allow me to step out of character for a minute, that's just it. The Crunch is what has made me rediscover D&D and stick to it.

While I'll start an adventure with a fluff hook, I get swamped with crunchy bits (traps, Action zones, Mook stats, Big Bad stats) quite early in my design stage. When the Dramatis Persona is sufficiently fleshed out, I write the scenes and I add the last crunchy bits (obstacle DCs, loot, Search and Knowledge Checks)

However, the fluff parts is what makes most of my players go 'whoa' all the time. Since my 1st job as a DM is to have as many Whoa moments I can get, a healthy balance of Fluff (for them) and Crunch (for me and my crunchy minority of players)is where I need to be.

The TV tropes Wiki, the new Pathfinder and old 2nd Ed Planescape were great eye openers. I'm working my way there....

But having a duel of wits with the Uber Fluff Magister is fun. I'd just need to drag Mearls on my side somehow... :) (And my friends, quite treacherously, have pointed out the irony that a duel of wits is a de-facto fluff thing)

There you have it, handicapped from the start and backstabbed my his own minions! That's a challenge I can't walk away from.

Now where did I put the stats of that Chaos-Shaped Wereboar Ogre Crusader again?
Oct. 12th, 2007 02:26 pm (UTC)
Re: That's just it!
What you need is a theme. Hm. Too busy at work to blog about this now, but I will soon. Themes help you sort out your fluff and make it into crunch, as well as inspire more and more of it.
Oct. 12th, 2007 07:49 pm (UTC)
To me kobolds
I have found the way to exploits the goodness of Toril to make a proud kobold into a godlike being!

Come to me kobolds of the multiverse! Come to me those who were angered at the Fluff master's dismissal of your pride and rightful place in this confrontation. I'll make you more powerful than you could ever dream of!

Mwa Ha Ha!
Oct. 12th, 2007 11:19 pm (UTC)
Re: To me kobolds
Gah! He found Pun-Pun!

Dear minions, do not be tempted. The Crunch Overlord can make you powerful, but if you are infinite in your Crunch, you are.... boring. Any game creature that can do everything is dull.

And kobolds are never dull, are they?

(chorus: "NO SIR!")
Oct. 13th, 2007 10:12 pm (UTC)
Just so you don't grow too confident
Dear Nemesis, while I'm working on my next offensive, I though I'd send you a little CR-inadequate Challenge your way:

A Thirty-Headed Tarrasque!!!!

Fluff your way out of that one 'dear friend'!

Mwa Ha Ha Ha!!!!!
Oct. 14th, 2007 04:11 pm (UTC)
Re: Just so you don't grow too confident
Yeah, that thing has a lot of heads. Hmmmm. Electo-cannons aren't enough, how sad.

I guess the easy answer is just to send a crawling head army after it (since they *EAT HEADS*), but maybe that's too simple.

The complicated way to get out in story terms is to mention the 30-Headed Tarrasques' *one weakness*. Could be the way those heads always argue among themselves, leaving other creatures alone. Could be moving to a different rules set entirely, say one with spine-mounted disintegrator cannons (Traveller) or anything with atomics.

The great thing about story/fluff is that the rules can be ignored to bend the flavor to your will. For instance, it's really unfortunate the way that all 30-Headed Tarrasques turn against their owners when hit with atomic weapons. Just the way that the Frankenstein monster became enraged by fire...
Oct. 15th, 2007 01:20 am (UTC)
Re: Just so you don't grow too confident
Ah dear Mr. Baur, spoken like a true master of the intangible! While all you say is very true on the face of the words themselves, I must point to a most fatal flaw in your arguments!

While flavor can be used to flaunt the very nature of the laws of crunchiness, therein lies a conundrum for Fluff.... You need to use it in such a way that it will marry itself to the existing crunch or you risk breaking several ties with one's suspension of disbelief...

There are exceptions, and the Rule of Cool seems to be one of them. Pray tell, do help me explore the other ones but I doubt you'll move this shriveled Overlord's heart...

Thread carefully dear Mr. Baur, for while Kobolds might be swayed by the soft music of originality and character development and while multi-headed menace may be confounded in attacking their progenitor... the non-mechanical reasons for doing so must overcome the inertia and often too-important weight that are the rules that support one's reality.

Until me meet again!

(Thanks for playing along Wolfgang, this is fun... I'll compile the number of crazy rules abuses I found into a 'things not to be done with the rules' post in the following days)
( 9 sutras — Your wisdom )

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