CHAT DUMP (and Quotes)

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Re: CHAT DUMP (and Quotes)

Postby Mongrel » Thu Jul 23, 2020 2:32 pm

Büge wrote:Image

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Re: CHAT DUMP (and Quotes)

Postby Mongrel » Thu Jul 23, 2020 3:12 pm

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Re: CHAT DUMP (and Quotes)

Postby Mongrel » Thu Jul 23, 2020 3:27 pm

Starr: "Barr is providing a free second S with every purchase of the first."
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Re: CHAT DUMP (and Quotes)

Postby Mongrel » Thu Aug 27, 2020 2:48 pm

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God bless the Irish.
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Re: CHAT DUMP (and Quotes)

Postby Thad » Thu Aug 27, 2020 3:11 pm

...multiplication sum?

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Re: CHAT DUMP (and Quotes)

Postby Friday » Thu Aug 27, 2020 3:41 pm

There's a concept I realized through, believe it or not, playing DnD.

Specifically, DMing a campaign in my late teens and early twenties.

I had four players, and each of them was a different class and brought something to the table in a fight.

One was a tank/healer, the other a dual wielding dps (Ranger) who was good against soft targets, another a two handed weapon user who was good against armored targets, and the other was a Mage with AoE and crowd control.

The problem arose when the ranger got an ability that allowed him to do better damage against heavier targets. All the sudden the two handed guy was upset and complaining. I had given him an ability, too, that allowed him to do more cleaving stuff so he'd be better in a fight against multiple enemies, but it was still inferior to the mage AoE of course.

What I had done, without knowing it, was take away his "niche" or more specifically, his thing that he was best at.

Before the upgrades to the party, no matter how overall useful he was in a fight, at least he was secure that if an armored target came along, he'd be able to shine. When I made the Ranger the single target specialist, I took that away. He no longer had a thing he could have in his mind that made him useful and "better."

Of course, in practice what I had done was simply divide the melees into single target specialist and a cleaver who wasn't as good vs single targets. But because the Mage was already better at AoE (though still inferior at single target dps) the guy in question with the two hander was suddenly no longer the best at something in the party. And this upset him, because people are willing to accept they're inferior in some ways or even in almost all ways as long as they have something they are undisputedly best at. He was now better at AoE than the Ranger, and better at single target than the Mage, but couldn't beat them at either of their specialties.

I believe this is why people go in for conspiracy theories. It gives them something that they can feel smarter than others about. They may be shit at school, have a terrible job, or marriage, or life, but at least they know that Tom Hanks is a cannibal and everyone else is being fooled.

Humans really need this. If they're convinced they're actually just inferior to someone else (especially society at large) it really depresses them. They develop a complex about it, even. So they turn to Qanon or "Inside Job" shit and it makes them feel special again, worthwhile again. They know something we don't. They have the scales lifted from their eyes and can then stand on their little hill of superiority in their own mind again.

Of course, this is stupid. The Cleaver wasn't useless, he was actually probably overall the most useful dps in the party because he could adapt well and be effective in any type of combat. But that didn't matter to him one bit.

It might sound weird to learn this kind of thing from doing tabletop RPGs or to link it to conspiracy theory shit, but I'm convinced I'm right and that it's a fundamental human psychological thing. People don't like being average, even if average is useful. They want to be special.
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Re: CHAT DUMP (and Quotes)

Postby Thad » Thu Aug 27, 2020 4:33 pm

There's also, as many folks have noted, this need to feel like there's some measure of order and control in a chaotic universe, because even Satanism and child sacrifice are less terrifying than the thought that everything is random and nothing means anything.

John Oliver did an episode on conspiracy theories in general and QAnon in particular the other week and one of the things he pointed out is proportionality bias: there are a million conspiracy theories about the Kennedy assassination but almost none about the assassination attempt on Reagan. If someone tries to kill the president but fails, people can accept that he was just a lone nut; if someone tries to kill the president and succeeds, it's an event of such earth-shattering magnitude that people seek an explanation that's as significant as the event.

Charles Stross has a series of novels called The Laundry Files that mash up Lovecraftian supernatural horror with Fleming-style spycraft, based on the observation that both genres are fundamentally based on the premise that somebody out there understands what's really going on. There's a comfort to the idea that it all makes sense somehow, and that someone, somewhere understands it, even if it's someone malevolent.

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Re: CHAT DUMP (and Quotes)

Postby Friday » Thu Aug 27, 2020 5:34 pm

there are a million conspiracy theories about the Kennedy assassination but almost none about the assassination attempt on Reagan. If someone tries to kill the president but fails, people can accept that he was just a lone nut; if someone tries to kill the president and succeeds, it's an event of such earth-shattering magnitude that people seek an explanation that's as significant as the event.


This is a really good observation and I will use it in the future, thanks.
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Re: CHAT DUMP (and Quotes)

Postby mharr » Thu Aug 27, 2020 5:43 pm

Fascinating stuff - I'm guessing you can't get most people into stoicism fast enough to be useful, so the best lifeline we can throw to our friends is seeing what they're great at even when they can't, and ideally to genuinely need help in their domain.

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Re: CHAT DUMP (and Quotes)

Postby Thad » Thu Aug 27, 2020 6:27 pm

Here's the entire segment, BTW:


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Re: CHAT DUMP (and Quotes)

Postby Büge » Fri Aug 28, 2020 8:47 pm

Friday wrote:I had four players, and each of them was a different class and brought something to the table in a fight.

One was a tank/healer, the other a dual wielding dps (Ranger) who was good against soft targets, another a two handed weapon user who was good against armored targets, and the other was a Mage with AoE and crowd control.

The problem arose when the ranger got an ability that allowed him to do better damage against heavier targets. All the sudden the two handed guy was upset and complaining. I had given him an ability, too, that allowed him to do more cleaving stuff so he'd be better in a fight against multiple enemies, but it was still inferior to the mage AoE of course.

What I had done, without knowing it, was take away his "niche" or more specifically, his thing that he was best at.

Before the upgrades to the party, no matter how overall useful he was in a fight, at least he was secure that if an armored target came along, he'd be able to shine. When I made the Ranger the single target specialist, I took that away. He no longer had a thing he could have in his mind that made him useful and "better."

Of course, in practice what I had done was simply divide the melees into single target specialist and a cleaver who wasn't as good vs single targets. But because the Mage was already better at AoE (though still inferior at single target dps) the guy in question with the two hander was suddenly no longer the best at something in the party. And this upset him, because people are willing to accept they're inferior in some ways or even in almost all ways as long as they have something they are undisputedly best at. He was now better at AoE than the Ranger, and better at single target than the Mage, but couldn't beat them at either of their specialties.


This happened to me a few years ago when my friends and I started a D&D campaign. We had a Barbarian, a Rogue, a Cleric, and myself, a Sorcerer. We did dice rolls instead of point-buy, which was a problem, because I ended up with the worst array of rolls out of all of us, and I barely edged the Rogue out of Charisma. I figured it was fine, at first, because I still had my magic. This became a problem when the Rogue took the Arcane Trickster archetype. Suddenly I was no longer the only magical expert in the group. I had lost what made me "special" in the game, and that really felt demoralizing and frustrating.

I sympathize with your Ranger player. Were you ever able to find a solution?
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Re: CHAT DUMP (and Quotes)

Postby Friday » Sat Aug 29, 2020 4:03 am

Yeah, the solution was simple. I just made the Cleaver also have super burst damage cooldowns, so that his specialty became dealing a ton of damage very quickly, even if over time he'd get out dps'd by the others. Burst damage being super useful for taking down low HP targets, of course, but not so great against tanky, high HP enemies.

This seemed to satisfy him, especially because he was the type to like knowing he could 1v1 anyone in the party. Even if that didn't actually matter or ever occur.

And yeah it sucks to not feel like you have a good niche. If a character is a 3/1 and another is a 1/3 and you're a 2/2, overall the usefulness is balanced, but you're constantly feeling like you're under performing somebody.
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Re: CHAT DUMP (and Quotes)

Postby Mongrel » Sat Aug 29, 2020 4:08 am

I must be weird. I like to be the guy who knows a little of everything. In fact in that MTG example, a 2/2 BEAR is generally going to be more useful in more situations than a 1/3 or a 3/1.
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Re: CHAT DUMP (and Quotes)

Postby Friday » Sat Aug 29, 2020 4:23 am

Some people are actually content that their "thing" is that they're the jack. Being useful in every situation is actually "special" in a way, even if you're never the most useful. But that isn't appealing to everyone. Early Dnd Bards were like that, in that they were basically a worse fighter, a worse rogue, and a worse mage. But they were always doing -something-, even if that something is just playing a song to make everyone else better.

Later of course they became the legendary sluts they are today, just seducing every goddamn thing they meet.
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Re: CHAT DUMP (and Quotes)

Postby Büge » Sat Aug 29, 2020 3:05 pm

Friday wrote:Some people are actually content that their "thing" is that they're the jack. Being useful in every situation is actually "special" in a way, even if you're never the most useful. But that isn't appealing to everyone. Early Dnd Bards were like that, in that they were basically a worse fighter, a worse rogue, and a worse mage. But they were always doing -something-, even if that something is just playing a song to make everyone else better.


But why did they require a better array of stats than a Paladin???
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Re: CHAT DUMP (and Quotes)

Postby Blossom » Sat Aug 29, 2020 3:36 pm

Because nobody expects a Paladin to fuck like a champion.
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Re: CHAT DUMP (and Quotes)

Postby nosimpleway » Sat Aug 29, 2020 7:21 pm

Friday wrote:Some people are actually content that their "thing" is that they're the jack

It me!

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Re: CHAT DUMP (and Quotes)

Postby Brentai » Sat Aug 29, 2020 8:21 pm

I think my only niche in multiplayer is "guy who accidentally hits the grenade button on a stealth mission".
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Re: CHAT DUMP (and Quotes)

Postby Mongrel » Sat Aug 29, 2020 8:35 pm

nosimpleway wrote:
Friday wrote:Some people are actually content that their "thing" is that they're the jack

It me!

She didn't mean the kind you use to crank up a car van.
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Re: CHAT DUMP (and Quotes)

Postby Caithness » Sun Aug 30, 2020 8:19 pm

22:32 < Kishi> Listen, there are only so many ways to draw scientists.
22:32 < Brentai> Look children only know two scientists all right
22:32 < Kistulot> Santa
22:32 < Brentai> Albert Einstein and Santa Claus
22:32 < Kistulot> or Einstein

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