So, these days I can’t seem to catch my breath ... but since I have a few minutes, I’ll tackle a small subject and bring things up to date.
First of all, yes, I will be posting the other three tables in the Abilities series, for Dexterity, Constitution and Charisma. I haven’t had a chance to finish them completely, and that’s why they aren’t posted. I expected to have the time, but that evaporated, and things don’t look to get better right away. But I’d like to get them out of the way and therefore off my mind, so hopefully next week.
I have some maps for the ongoing mass combat from my players, which I’ve also meant to post. I may or may not be running my offline campaign tomorrow, which will probably mean additional maps that I’ll publish. I assume some of you out there are wondering.
I still haven’t written a Civ IV article about the Calendar, but I have been thinking about it. I want to tackle that soon, as well.
As far as a short subject goes for right now, I’d like to pose the question, do hormones have a place in D&D?
A principle conflict in literature is ‘man against nature’ ... which I believe is the principle conflict to be found in D&D. Nature is the world that characters must fight through and must, to be successful, defend against. Crushing nature, smashing down its forces and living in spite of the many ways in which the natural world can kill a character is, it seems to me, the whole point.
The DM can pose some Man vs. Man conflicts, but these have their limitations in that the DM is not limited in the sense that the player is limited. Player vs. Player conflicts are still Man vs. Man, but are generally detrimental to the overall pace of the game. As regards Man vs. Himself, the game itself provides little fodder ... except that, of course, every player acts within this conflict continuously, as we are all human.
Where it comes to Man vs. Nature, then, how far does it go? Obviously, it goes as far as monsters, natural disasters, weather, diseases – and in my case birth defects – but what of hormonal ‘urges’? Are players unquestionably immune to a tendency to get angry, aroused, hungry, anxiety-ridden ... are these necessarily off-limits to the DM as regards the game? Should they be off-limits? Should players, in the fashion of wooden characters from bad movies in the 1930s, be utterly unaffected by a bare breast, or the death of a friend – simply because that player chooses not to role play at that particular place and time?
Or should players be required, after a fashion, to behave in a particular manner – when the King of the kingdom dies, for instance, as virtually every person would be affected; or if a pet developed a disease? How would it be ‘forced’ upon a player that they must, at that moment, mourn, rather than simply buckle up and say, “oh well, another dead dog, so what?” Could it be forced? Is the idea simply ridiculous?
I’m always rather moved when a player portrays real sorrow for a loss, or a legitimate response due to an ‘overwhelming feeling’ they possess ... as either suggests the character is not made of wood, or straw. Is there a way to give the tin man a heart? Is it beyond the game?
I put it to you.