Thursday, 18 December 2008

POW! Oh, is that your nose bleeding?

I will return to Mass Combat soon enough. For now, while life seems to be less intrusive, I want to comment on the latest Fear the Boot podcast:

If Chad "I-am-an-elitist-story-teller-with-no-use-for-rules" Wattler ever reached across the table to take down my gamemaster screen, I would punch him in the face.

FTB #128 was worth half an episode. The GameDAR segment was mildly interesting. But the Dan Repperger and Chad Wattler mock-filled beat down of Chris Hussey on the use of gamemaster (GM) screens allowed a peek behind the an elitist curtain.

Chris Hussey won a Pyrrhic victory from Dan after having grossly over-thought his position on the usefulness of GM screens. Chris Hussey wandered and repeated arguments in different words, and forgot the only reason a GM screen is useful: quick reference.

Dan, especially Chad, took such a position that, listening, I felt they sounded like the true fools, and worse still, like elitist asses. Seeming to forget that games need rules, and RPGs have lots of rules, there is a real world use. Since Dan proves with every episode that he does not have a photographic memory, he shouldn't be so dismissive. Since Chad doesn't need rules, well, he is Chad. "Chads" do things differently.

I wonder if Dan has ever thought about how many times he turns to a rule or splat book for adjudicating a rule—looking it up on a laptop counts!—or refer to a monster stat? I bet he doesn't know, but I bet his players do. The GM screen is there to keep the game running smoothly. Sure atmosphere and drawing a line between player and GM are important, but not as important as having the summary for grappling right in front of you (as I had in my most recent WFRP session) on the GM screen!

I will likely never play with either Dan, Chad or Chris. Fear the Con is too far away for me, and they probably wouldn't play WFRP because of its Game Workshop origins. I'm left with this corner of the web to voice my opinion. It was this episode of FTB though that highlighted why the Brilliant Gameologist's named FTB #6 in their 7 Things We Hate About the Gameosphere. Dan and Chad actually sounded as if they haven't played a game in the last decade. Sure, that's not the case, but damn, don't try prove it by taking a position, through implication, that GM screens are the crutches of poor GMs.

Posted by caffeinated at 4:16 AM in d10
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