Friday, August 24, 2012

The Internet Amazes Me

Ok, here is a quick post about how awesome the internet is.

Universities are putting videos, audio, and written materials from their courses online for free. It is staggering the amount of information that is publicly available. You can dabble in essentially any subject you want and pick up a pretty damn good introduction to that subject.

For example, you could listen to lectures on early modern German history. Or maybe brush up on your early modern English history. The reference material available can inform your game world in so many ways.

Why are you still buying splatbooks?


  1. Because if you are interested, you have likely already studied that.

    And if you haven't, if someone has compressed it into gameable form, and done it well. Then that is a far more efficient and game reaady form to accesss it in.

    But thank you, Good Will hunting.

  2. Are you serious? Do you think good splat books really exist?

    Ok, sure, maybe one out there is good. But they are written to bilk D&D nerds out of their money. Plus, "compressed it into gameable form" means in the form of the latest game system, which may or may not be your game system. Or your gaming style.

    Save your money, expand your learning, and design a better game/world.

  3. Why are you still buying splatbooks?

    Because books are both deep and broad? Because they are an indexable ready reference that I can customise to my needs while a video presentation flattens a subject into the lowest common denominator and the least amount of time?

    Remember (the) Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television. They apply to TV delivered over the internet, even TED Talks, just as much as they do to cable news-flavoured progamming.

  4. Do you understand that I am linking to university courses where the lectures were recorded for presentation? These links include syllabi, course materials, text (where open domain), worked and unworked assignments. I wouldn't link you to the History channel, or TED, or other Wikipedia quality shit.

    Oh, and splat books are Wikipedia quality shit at best. Do you think WOTC/Hasbro/whoever the fuck they are spend time doing rigorous research as compared to, oh say, professors and historians?

    Of course you don't understand, you need to justify the shit you throw your money after.

  5. So in order to sit at your table you need to be well-vesed in historical accuracy and willing to deal with an elitist troll. Hmmm... Doesn't sound like my cup of tea. I'll take a game filled with "Wikipedia quality shit" with fun people any day!

  6. No one has to play for splatbooks anymore, they just download them.

    Like I said, many gamers have already studied history at uni, myself included. Do you know what- I wouldn't be bothered to put in hours to carefully research the minutiae of a new era I wanted to game in just for an rpg. No one gives that much of a toss.

    You know what level of detail is really all you need to run a bitchin' historicalish campaign- TED talks, high school, wikipedia level shit.

  7. Will there ever come a point where you have denigrated others sufficiently to salve your own self loathing?

  8. @blake

    So somehow stealing splat books improves their quality? Speaking of quality, if you want shit, then fine, enjoy. Other people have higher standards and that is what I strive for here. If I was content with Wikipedia, this entire blog would just be a big link to it.

    The whole premise of the blog is to embrace the work and details to make something better. You won't get a warm reception trying to argue sacrificing quality for expediency.


    I take that to mean you have realized how stupid your comment was and now have nothing else to offer. Thanks for stopping by.

    @Philo (I guess you deleted your own comment?)

    Funny that you call me a troll when you are the one trolling in my comments section...

    To all 3:

    I don't care what you think is fun or who you think is nice. You are the ones who have taken the time to find my blog, presumably take offense, and comment. If you want to discuss design or history or any other relevant topic, feel free to continue.

  9. It's too bad there are not free online courses to teach one how to treat others with respect.

  10. I would estimate that out of all the rpg stuff I bought i maybe read half of it and used no more than 5% now a days the excuse is that the books only are meant to provide inspiration. So if you can't get inspiration from non gaming source's, what are you doing gaming in the first place (I am starting to sound like George Carlin)

    Anon, there is such a course, but ant clicked on the wrong one. In stead of taking how to win friends and influence people,he took how to make enemies and alienate people ;)

  11. Yea, 19-1 shit to inspiration sounds about right. I can recommend one good one, Grain to Gold, which I mentioned in my references section.

    It isn't about friends or enemies. Anon comes here and drops a reference about how TV is a shitty medium without provided an explicit argument. I can only take 2 assumptions from this, 1) he thinks I am linking to commercially produced TV programs or 2) that universities and academia are no better than commercially produced TV. I chose to respond towards 1).

    Then again, if he is the same anon who last commented on the post about why lamp oil isn't a D&D grenade, it makes sense. He dropped a Wikipedia link about early thermal weapons without making any real argument either. I responded that he only provided a link to a list of weapons that were also impractical or impossible for a D&D adventurer, to which he responds similarly to how he did here.

    Sigh. Funny how posts on an attrition system, or a Bard concept, or a way to adjudicate charges and mounted combat are all pretty barren of comments.

    In the end, this whole posts turned out better than if I planned it... The internet truly amazes me...

  12. For the record, I did not take a history major when I went to college, believe it or not majority of the DnD player base is not a history major. Therefore looking at those videos has a high chance of inspiring someone, and if it doesn't, well you know, you could learn something that DOESN'T have to do with DnD.

    As for this, "It's too bad there are not free online courses to teach one how to treat others with respect." Yeah, I recommend looking because more than one person on this thread could use it, and I'm not thinking about the author.

    As for myself, I didn't view the videos, but I've seen the sort before. If I had the time I would be all over it. Perhaps if I were still taking mass transit to work every day. Is there inspiration in there? I guarantee it. From understanding how to convey large amounts of technical information to players, to actual historical content, that material is a guaranteed source of at least something.

    This is a post sharing something. This is a blog about sharing many things. Take it, leave it, or improve it, but for the love of god if you aren't taking or improving you don't have to type.