Indie game storeFree gamesFun gamesHorror games
Game developmentAssetsComics
Deleted post

okay. people are allowed to also like telling stories with their friends though and would like to have more tools to do that? 

Deleted post

"I am trying to not be rude, but damn do I hate this style of 'dnd needs rules and guidelines on explicitly constructing stories and narrative.'" sure sounds like 'it is hard not to be rude to you for suggesting that people should have more tools to tell engaging stories with eachother' to me

Deleted post

Dungeons & Dragons is a perfect example. The narrative of that game is colonisation. You kill people. You take their stuff. Once you have more stuff, you can kill more people. You can then take their stuff. Once you have more stuff, you can kill more people. You can then take their stuff. And so on, and so on, until players want to start a new campaign. The power scaling taps out around the point the average campaign stops. (Hence why we hit 20th Level under WotC and silly stuff like 50th Level under TSR.

In the fiction of the game, the people you kill are backward savages. If you don't kill them now, then they will eventually come and kill you. So in the fiction, your character is not some wanton murderer. They are noble. The fact that this was the cultural justification for real life colonialist genocides and atrocities is not a coincidence. You couldn't possibly tackle colonisation as a theme in storytelling without engaging with the ugliness of it.

Unfortunately, this is a game that doesn't tackle colonisation for critique. The colonisers in the game are heroes because the creators of the game believed the real life colonisers to be heroes. Gary Gygax agreed that the hobby suffered from male domination, but he handwaved the issue with biological essentialist rhetoric, saying that women don't play D&D because their brains are lesser developed and unable to keep up with the complexity of the game, not because men create unsafe and hostile environments for women. When one of the early creators had biological essentialist views, is it any surprise that the game features race science as a basic mechanic? Orcs get a penalty to Intelligence. Elves get a bonus. It's literally called "Racial Traits".

Gygax is long gone. Now we have Mike Mearls. A man who is widely known for having carried out surveillance for a serial rapist. Wizards of the Coast could easily release a 6e that doesn't heavily feature race science. Just you watch. They won't do it. Because it still aligns with their political values.

They want the games to be more diverse and inclusive. So the rulebooks and supplements have more artwork and illustrations depicting black adventurers, right next to the lore and text dumping racist slurs uncritically on the fantasy setting. Gygax and Mearls both want marginalised and oppressed communities to come to D&D despite hostility, instead of wanting to actively create a safer community. These values then are reflected in the game design.

Sandy Pug Games, you're right. What I was talking about was implicit narrative tools. What you were talking about was explicit narrative tools. But I didn't raise the issue out of mere pedantry. Here in this very thread, we can see a full polemic being carried out on a dichotomy that doesn't exist. 'D&D without narrative' versus 'D&D with narrative'. Trad gamers versus story gamers.

It's true that D&D lacks explicit narrative tools. But adding them would not look like adding a chapter to the rulebook teaching players how to recreate Critical Roll or Adventure Zone. It wouldn't be a new chapter at all. It would be a simple and straightforward honesty with the theme of colonisation. Just change 'adventurer' to 'coloniser', and that's it. You've done it. That's D&D with explicit narrative tools.