Inverted Points of View

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Ken
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Inverted Points of View

Post by Ken » Sun Sep 24, 2017 1:16 am

There is a problem that a friend of mine, Neil (if you've seen my Character thread), and I have when playing role-playing games; particularly fantasy games. It seems to be a completely inverted point of view.

When GMing, Neil will toss in Fantasy Creatures in the most inconsequential, banal ways. e.g. You're walking down the road, through the forest, and suddenly, you see a (die roll) group of 9 pegasi, standing around eating.

I believe he does it in an attempt to make the banal seem special (it wasn't JUST a walk in the woods, it was a walk in the woods where you saw pegasi). But my reaction is, invariably, that it makes the special seem banal (what's so special about a pegasus, if you can see a bunch of them while you're just walking in the woods?)

It's turned me off of multiple Fantasy settings, and it's just happened again recently, and though he and I've talked about it, we've never found a way to keep it from happening.
After his success co-authoring a murder mystery w/James Patterson, Marvel is now talking to Bill Clinton about doing some comics writing: a revival of Steve Gerber's swamp monster hero. They expect Bill Clinton's 'Man-Thing' will be very popular.

Jabroniville
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Re: Inverted Points of View

Post by Jabroniville » Mon Sep 25, 2017 6:27 am

Heh- that's pretty weird. It seems to flow into your natural "Neil likes weird shit" thing. I can actually see his mental process here, as he wants to make things more interesting... but you're right- he's going about it in this strange way that just makes it too... by the numbers. It's not really a big "random encounter" when they're just sitting around.

A possible solution would be to include things like this as part of the natural area of each region- like he'd roll "Pegasi" and instead of them just being in a field, it meant they'd be part of that region's heraldry, their army/air force, etc. So these Pegasi are like the Royal Pegasi of the stables or what-have-you. Roll up stuff like THAT instead of just doing it every time you walk in the woods.

MissRo
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Re: Inverted Points of View

Post by MissRo » Mon Sep 25, 2017 2:24 pm

It really depends on the setting, I think. Horses are banal to most people, because most of us have seen one. If you go to certain places, you'll see them standing around in groups. In a fantasy world, pegasi might be the same. To people who lived in that world they would be banal.

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Ken
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Re: Inverted Points of View

Post by Ken » Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:07 pm

Well, supposedly, these were wild pegasi, i.e. undomesticated pegasi. Which means, I a) found it odd they picked a spot so close to a human road, and b) didn't pretty much take off when we approached. These were acting like a domesticated herd that had broken free.

I'm also of the belief that wild pegasi would favour the fruits and leaves of tall trees so they could avoid competition and/or being a target of the majority of terrestrial animals. Yes, they'd still have birds, bats, rocs, hippogriffs, etc. to contend with, but its not like they'd avoid those on the ground.

And, yes, it is possible to have fantastic creatures to be so plentiful and common, that rather than being fantastic, they're just animals. But, personal taste aside, that means there should not be an expectation of people to Oo and Aa over them, and to include them as a "random encounter" when they're just standing around is dumb.

Apparently, I have since found out, Neil had actually rolled that it was to have been 4 manticores. To which I said, "if they were manticore, would you have just had them standing around? No. They would attacked unless the Ranger made her evade encounter check."

I don't object to Pegasi. I object to Pegasi being reduced to Plastic Pink Flamingos.
After his success co-authoring a murder mystery w/James Patterson, Marvel is now talking to Bill Clinton about doing some comics writing: a revival of Steve Gerber's swamp monster hero. They expect Bill Clinton's 'Man-Thing' will be very popular.

MissRo
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Re: Inverted Points of View

Post by MissRo » Mon Sep 25, 2017 10:13 pm

Yeah, I get what you're saying. If your friend was expecting the PCs to be amazed by the pegasi, that's really not a great way to present them. It normalizes them, which is really the opposite of what he was trying to achieve.

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