[dragonraid] Re: [DragonRaid] Re: Centaurs? (getting long)

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From: David Cole <artanis@...>
Date: Tue, 22 May 2001 15:56:38 -0600
Well, first off, Joe, I want to thank you for a very well thought out and loving
response.  I like to have powerful, thought provoking (as you yourself said)
discussion that is not angry or unwholesome.  I thank you for your kindness in
reponses.  Now, onto my own responses (and this will probably be the last of them,
as you will see :-))

Joe Revesz wrote:

> Okay, this may have been a poor explaination as to why the centaur should not
> be a PC, or even a "good" guy, but at least we got another adventure idea out
> of it.

Certainly not poor, in my opinion.  It is well based and takes reality into the
equation.  And therefore, I feel no need to argue my point; I've had my say, and you
have presented your position very well :-)

> > > >Absolutely, but it could be a good exercise in roleplaying,
> > > >trustbuilding, and
> > > >building patience.  The way I see it, horses can get around quite well
> > > >in the
> > > >real world.  Now, granted, in the real world, horses won't be delving
> > > >into
> > > >dungeons or sneaking into castles.  However, a horse would do just
> > > >fine as
> > > >long as there were no ropes (and the only instance in which there
> > > >SHOULD be a
> > > >rope, in my opinion, is in a dungeon, or MAYBE, as I said before, if
> > > >the
> > > >centaur doesn't watch where it's going out in the open and falls into
> > > >a pit a
> > > >la the game Dungeon Master.)
> > > In my personal opinon, his is a needless contortion in order to include a
> > > specific type of PC.
> > Are you referring to my analogy to a free horse, or to the rope deal in
> > general? :-)
> Eliminating the need for ropes, ladders, etc.  That is not realistic.

I was merely thinking of the rope in the first raid.... it seemed rather unrealistic
the way THAT was set up.  And I forgot about the others in the other raids, but they
are well placed.  But that's that.

> > > >Also, this is the only real problem I
> > > >can see
> > > >with a centaur character.  And if worst comes to worst, there can be a
> > > >new
> > > >WordRune created that creates some way for a centaur to use a rope, or
> > > >creates
> > > >a similar item that the centaur can use.
> So then we would need WordRunes to help gnomes swim, dwarves to stand daylight,
> and elves not to be blown away in a stiff wind.

Granted, but I think that this may support my point of allowing a centaur to be a PC
if they are made into a good race.  Water should be present in most outdoor raids,
in my opinion; a gnome would have to find some way to surmount this difficulty.  If
there was no wordrune for this, oh well; that comes with the racial package.  That
applies to centaurs as well; if they can't climb ropes, oh well, that comes with the
racial package.  As I've said, "IF worst comes to worst.... allow them to use a

> There is already a CLS WR or two.
> LRs are only called to kill goblins and orcs.  Their real mission is to take
> the message of the OverLord to the Once Born.  Killing is an unfortunate part
> of the job when it can not be avoided.

Yes, I know, my point was simply that EdenAgain has, in some ways, looser.... I
don't know what to say, I don't think "morals" is right at all.... perhaps
"callings" than we do.  Killing certain things is allowed-- I was simply to present
the point that maybe one of the less hard and fast callings can also be applied to a
half-animal form like a centaur.  Like I say, it's just a thought; I no longer feel
the need to "argue" (although I don't think that argue describes what we're doing
here) the point.

> And today, I may not be called to kill anyone, but if I am called to jury duty,
> or to witness an execution, or to defend my family, I intend to fulfill my
> obligation.  This may involve "killing".

Very true, and a very good point.

> The point where we differ is that I think I have scriptural backing as to why I
> do not want them included, and you seem to want them just because it would be
> fun.

Ok... I was simply not seeing the scriptural backing, or perhaps have been seeing it
the same way I see "Thou shalt not murder" in the DR world-- less applicable because
of the very world that it takes place in (i.e. where killing some things is allowed
due to their nature, and others not, again due to their nature.)  This relates to
the above paragraph or two.

> But if you had one, I would certainly listen.  There is little enough
> discussion about that on this list.

Thank you for your open ears, it's refreshing for a change (don't ask, just been
having a long couple of months in general :-))

> And I think that you mean "centaurs" and not unicorns".

Yup, you're right :-)

> > > >I just wonder what makes it so that
> > > >the
> > > >centaur MUST be the Blind Scientist (except perhaps to show the
> > > >fallacy of
> > > >evolution when it is so obvious something like a half horse/half man
> > > >could NOT
> > > >evolve, and yet those very beings believe that they did...)
> No, its just because that was the way Andy first wrote them up.  I changed them
> a bit, though.

Yeah, I understand.

> > > Because it was the first one that it was stuck to and it seemed to fit.
> > > And, from my discussions with Dick and some of the other AFC members, it
> > > seemed like the idea of players having non-human characters was not a
> > > good one.
> > Granted.  That makes sense, and I had no idea of the amount of work you seem
> > to have put into this.  Forgive me that; sometimes I take things a little too
> > much for granted.
> Again, it is not the amount of work.  It is the possible teaching that we would
> be passing along.
> I do not think that I am paranoid, but the original DR got slammed by people
> because there were rainbows and unicorns in the artwork.  Do I think that that
> will happen again?  Probably not.  But why do we want to include possible
> targets (like the centaur PC) in the DR2ED?  Will we please everybody however
> we do it?  No.

Very true.

> > > >> Is the DR system going to suffer because players can not have a
> > > >centaur
> > > >> for a character?
> > > >No.... but some PLAYERS might certainly be disappointed, and doubly so
> > > >because
> > > >the centaurs aren't even GOOD, but MUST be evil.  Don't get me wrong,
> > > >I'd take
> > > >an elf over a centaur any day.  But I think there are those who would
> > > >love to
> > > >see centaurs as good, even if not playable.
> I do not see this as a significant number of people.  I have played in games
> (not DR) where conventional things were turned on their heads, no problem.

Maybe it's not a great amount... perhaps I simply think that the more we can attract
with little things like this, the greater the possible teaching.  But you have made
very good points earlier, which I do not wish to dispute.  Consider this a kind of
rehash of the whole discussion :-)

> Let's distinguish "players" from "gamers".  Players are everyone who plays the
> game for whatever reason.  Gamers are that smaller group that tend to diminish
> the discipleship aspects of the system to increase the fun.
> I am not here to please gamers.  We have players to teach.  We are providing a
> tool for AMs to use to entertain and teach their players.  If the AM want to
> please gamers, that is up to him.
> And, since we can't judge each others' hearts, I won't call you a gamer if you
> don't assume that I could care less about making DR a better system overall so
> that AMs can attract, teach, and win gamers to the Lord.

I'm sorry, it was simply the implications of the "fun vs. discipleship" invocation
when I did not feel that you had quite made your point about why they were exclusive
in reference to using centaurs as good creatures.  Perhaps exclusive isn't the right
word; I see where you are coming from now through this last e-mail, I see your
arguments clearly, and I can see how you feel that using centaurs could be
detrimental to what the system COULD be.  I just didn't see it before, and that is
why I started the rant-- I didn't feel that the "discipleship vs. fun" position
deserved to be invoked here.  Now I see the basis for its invocation.

> > LRs go through a lot of hardships, but even so, the game is fun because
> > the players can overcome them.  However, when we get too analytical, or even
> > try to stuff too much Scripture into a session (and I assume that's why there
> > are "fun breaks" in the modules), or invoke this argument in an area where it
> > does not seem to really be germaine, we forget that we won't HAVE players if
> > they're not happy with the game (and I repeat, I am NOT saying that they'll
> > stop playing just because centaurs are DCs, but I'm addressing the issue of
> > enjoyment/teaching as a whole.)  Maybe I'm a renegade player, but recall that
> > I'm not going to be 16 until next summer (i.e. I've been pretty much the
> > perfect age group), and that I was playing a year ago and the adventures are
> > fresh in my mind; I've been there, I've done that, I've played a LightRaider
> > with the other kids at my church; the players WILL NOT, I REPEAT, WILL NOT,
> > return unless they find the game enjoyable (and often, the game's simply not
> > to  their liking, but this is not always the case.)  If they do return, they
> > won't pay attention.
> Understood.  That is why the system was made in the first place, to provide an
> enjoyable way to learn scriptural truths, but the emphasis is discipleship, not
> fun.  It was not intended to be a 50/50 split.  It takes a committment on the
> part of the players to want to learn scripture rather than just want to have
> fun.  The fun is an attraction, a hook if you will, it should not be what keeps
> the players in the game.  Other RPGs, sure, fun and fellowship.  DR takes those
> and uses them as a vehicle for teaching.

Very true, very true.  No doubt about that in my mind.

> > Bear in mind that this rant is taking a whole different
> > slant; I'm not railing against the injustices of centaurs as DCs, but the
> > rather unfortuate attitude that I see that, on the whole, people seem to act
> > like fun and teaching are mutually exclusive.
> Well, you are seeing things wrong.  Maybe when you see the entire product you
> will understand that we are not cutting out the fun.  Indeed, we have added all
> kinds of material to help increase the fun, but we will not lose sight of the
> real goal, teaching scriptural truths.

I know, and I thank you once again for your dedication to the project.  Again, in
reference to my earlier statement, I simply did not see the basis for invoking the
"discipleship/fun argument" with the centaurs.  I see it better now, and agree to
some degree, though not fully.

> > We can please the players AND
> > teach them.  Heck, if we MISS pleasing them, they won't return, or, if they
> > do, won't learn anything-- they'll be too busy cooing over the puppies in the
> > house and drinking soda in the kitchen.
> That partially relies on the AM, not just the game system.

Of course, there are many things that contribute to this factor.  I was simply
utilizing this one possible situation (of a boring system) and illustrated the
typical response to that, without really bringing in any of the other problems, such
as the AM, that may result in the same reaction.

> > If we don't teach them, then WHY even
> > run the game?  Then we miss the very thing that sets the game apart from other
> > systems, and it's pointless to play.  It's a delicate balance.  One more time,
> > I'm not dealing with the centaur issue here, but the fun/enjoyment issue.  If
> > an individual AM wants to change something, that's fine; I just don't like the
> > invocation of the "enjoyment vs. teaching issue" when it bears little or no
> > relevance to the actual content being discussed.
> In this specific case, just adding to add to the fun could be detrimental to
> the implied teaching that it brings along.

Exactly, and now I see where you are coming from.  Like I said, this should probably
be my last e-mail on the subject; I feel like I've said what I needed to say.

> Thanks for the thought provoking discussion,

And thank you all for listening :-) and especially thanks to you, Joe, for taking
time to read this and respond in a rather lengthy fashion.  (What can I say?  I'm
pretty long winded, and I repeat stuff) :-)

May Christ be with you all,
David Cole