"Works hard to develop and codify every possible aspect of the world prior to the game. Example The Tao of D&D who wrote a book about how much hard work should go into preparation."
Wrong. Completely wrong.
Inevitably, when someone describes what I'm doing with my wiki, they oversimplify to the point of error. I am not working hard to develop and codify every possible aspect of my game world. That would be a very stupid thing to do. Had I a thousand years to do nothing but add to my wiki, from awaking to sleeping, I would not be able to codify "every" aspect of even a small part of my game world. I don't remotely imagine doing any such thing.
I am codifying aspects of play that are like to give rise to argument or boredom. That is all.
People argue about how combat works and why it works. So I'm codifying that. People argue how abilities and skills work. So I'm codifying that. People argue about where monsters come from or what they're capable of doing. People are vague and frustrated when they don't know where they are or what they can do once they're located there. People view the world as a gray sludge if every town is the same. People get bored if the character they're running is exactly like their former three characters. So where these issues arise, as part of game play, I am codifying in order to heighten and strengthen the game experience, while ridding the moment-to-moment play of as much conflict as is possible with the few decades I have left.
Ruprecht also gives this definition, for a "Chaos DM":
"Appears to do minimal work prior to the game preferring seat of the pants play at the table. Example D&D With Pornstars who wrote more than one module based on tables and things to do at the table to keep things moving."
I guess it's okay to continue to use a liar, a braggart, an apparent abuser and user of women and an internet troll as an example of "chaos." I can't let that ride. But ...
As far as I'm concerned, I do "minimal work" when I am DMing. It is just that I hold myself to a higher standard than the kind of ass-crack product that other so-called lazy self-justifying sluff-merchants consider "minimal."
95% of my game play in any given session is fully and completely by the seat of my pants. I don't know what any of my NPCs are going to say, because I don't know what questions the players are going to ask. I don't know what the monsters are going to do when a fight breaks out, because I don't know where the players are going to stand or how they're going to approach. Just as the players have to play by the seat of their pants because they have no idea what's happening next, I have to play by the seat of my pants because I don't know where the players are going to go or what they're going to decide to do.
Since I play a completely open, non-structured form of play, in any given moment I don't know if a group of players in a town are going to gear up and head for the hills, attack a small crew on the dockside and steal a boat, hammer on the door of an apothecary and ask for information about some concept they heard from some other game that I've never considered, or what. It stuns me that other DMs don't get this. I don't know what the players will do next. How can I know? I can't read minds, they're not pre-sharing information with me and most of the time, a plan gets presented to me five minutes after the player has concocted it.
Does that mean, because I'm a "Law DM," which is a total bullshit term, that I can tell the players, "Oops, I never thought you would do that, let's adjourn for the night and I'll have something ready for you next week"?
NO, it does not. It means I've got to dig in and have about twenty logical and rational answers to their rapid-fire questions RIGHT NOW, no waiting, not if I want to keep my game going, and whatever people think, the time I've spent making rules for nutritious food just isn't going to help. There are too many things that can happen at a game table for anyone to account for them all ahead of time, and that is always the way it is going to be, no matter how many decades I spend writing rules.
And still, people who want to oversimplify DMing, just don't GET that. And I don't know why.
Or perhaps it is because guys like Venger, a self-declared "Chaos DM," immediately rush to some tiny-brained pre-moduled piece of shit no matter what the players say or do or ask or want information for. I think that's it, personally, and the reason I think so is because I have played as well as DMed, and I got very, very tired of asking questions that didn't get me answers, or information that wasn't forthcoming, or actions that I tried to take that were stymied by a great fat module that got stuck in my face by a DM who was playing by "the seat of the pants."
|Any idiot can run a game world this complicated by the|
seat of their pants.
Yeah, because "seat of the pants" really means, "I haven't got something, so play this that I've got."
But take the time to create a substantive world, one that gives endless inspiration to the PLAYERS, so that they can make up their minds what to do from hundreds of potential choices, that I'm prepared to run no matter what, and right now, off the top of my head, because I live and breathe my world ever gawddamned day like it's a real place, rather than as a monopoly game that I put on the shelf for a week while I do some other fuck thing that has nothing to do with the game because "I don't prepare, I run by the seat of my pants," then clearly I'm the stiff, crusty, inflexible person who dimly thinks it's possible to make a rule about every detail in a world as big as the Actual Earth.
Excuse me if I call bullshit on this one.
Because bullshit is what it is. Vengers site chews a bunch of shit about what kind of DMs there are, quoting Jeff Reints' old crappy post on the subject and other base theories.
Well I'll tell you what sorts of DMs there are.
And everyone else.