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Triple Advantage
Triple Advantage

Season 3, Episode 25 · 1 year ago

Ep. 49 - Tough Conversations

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

On this week's episode of Triple Advantage, we take a look at the missing elements from Tasha's character creation, finish up encounter creation in the DMG, and speak on the importance of music in your campaigns.

On this week's episode of triple advantage, we take a look at the missing elements from TASHA's character creation, finish up in counter creation in the DMG and speak on the importance of music in your campaigns. As always, follow us on social media to see what we have in store for you. Enjoy the show. How's it going? Members of the society? Back at it with another echoes of the outlets. This one was actually brought to me by brain. You passed around this article, so I think it's the only right that maybe you introduce a segment. Sure. So. There is a recent opinion piece that was published by dice breaker, written by one Curin for Travetti, and the article is titled Vampire the Masquerade shows the right way to confront in RPG's problematic past. So essentially what this article goes into, and it's in light of recent developments from both wizards of the coasts and other ttrpg manufacturers, where, specifically wishes of the coast, I can think of during some periods of last year where they were a high moments of protest and the spotlight being on the black lives matter movement and various other issues coming about general the race and equalities being surfaced. Yes, to all the guy. I mean there were place there, but yeah, being brought very, very presently into yeah, that's a lot of us. Yeah, so a lot of a lot of companies pledged that they would do better, and especially with TTRPG's companies, there's the inherent difficulty with writing race because especially when you get into when people start to write for Goblins and for ORCs and the such in in d d specifically, there's the conception of writing certain races as evil and that can have a very dangerous precedent to paint one entire race as evil, and I think that we can see in the actual world applications why that's probably a bad thing to have represented in fiction. But a lot of company said we're going to do better, we're going to undo this, we're gonna find a way around this, and a lot of people found wizards of the coast response lacking. So, as we all know, we've talked at length question mark about Tasha's on this podcast. We've talked a bit about Tasha's on this podcast. We've definitely talked about we've definitely talked about and, specific to this conversation, we've definitely talked about the alignment chart and we've definitely talked about the racial bonuses that you get from characters. We've passed podcast episodes. We've discussed some of our thoughts regarding that and, just so the audience is aware, this episode is more so regarding now that we have seen a wizards of the coast publish a book attempting to fix it, we're now seeing the continuing effects of these changes that are sort of perpetuating through all these TTRPG's. Yes, so, although we've discussed this loosely, I think that now we're getting into more specific case scenarios for each of these companies and game types. So for wizards specifically, with the publication of Tasha's, what wizards essentially did was do away with the idea that races have certain inherent bonuses to them. So do away with the idea that works are stupid but super strong and are also evil and they encourage there's not really a rule set for it. There's just kind of a large section in Tasha's that says that, you know, don't feel pressured into using the given racial stats that we've given you and just like if you it's like optional rules. Like optional rules is like play it how you want to play it. Don't feel behold into the rules that we've set out, which is okay, but at the same time, as this article points out, that's kind of rule zero for any TTRPG and that's kind of where we make our money as a podcast to a certain extent. Like we sell modules that enhance game experience because they go above and beyond and it allows you to play things that you don't necessarily well, like when we when we sell additional subclasses, in additional classes, in additional items and stuff. It's basically like us saying, like, Oh, you didn't really like the options necessarily that wizard had for you, so here's an alternative for you to consider, which is it? I think it's a great thing, but it doesn't really solve the issue.

It's a best a band. So this article goes on to talk about how vampire the masquerade does it, and vampire the masquerade had a pretty problematic pass so they're on there on V five right now. So fit the addition, just like just like D India's. I can't I'm looking quickly through the article. I can't remember when first edition vampire the masquerade came out. I'm feeling like it was the s but for those that are unfamiliar with vampire the masquerade, it's a ttrpg where you play as vampires and vampires are divided into several very specific clans. In each of those clans gives some kind of a boon, gives some kind of a background, it gives you some kind of a raison d'etra. But a lot of these classes, a lot of these clans in the original version of this had some very, very problematic root especially a lot of the the more evil clans were very problematic in the way that they were presented. There was a lot of implication that the the the kind of chaotic evil clan. The raphnos was very much modeled after Gypsy and Roma Cultures and played up specifically towards the stereotypes of being super untrustworthy and constantly being suspected of crimes and had this big nomadic culture. There were a lot of like, very one to one parallels between these cultures as well. The followers of set were a specific clan that was included that very, very kind of devious like cultists and drug dealers with a compulsion to corrupt the innocent, and it tied it specifically towards like Egyptian and North African. If you were if you were from those regions, you were probably part of this. So very much tying one very specific evil clan to a very specific race. And how they undid that is they basically boiled it down to okay, what do? Why would people choose this clan? What do people find super, super cool about playing as this clan? And they'd still down the essence and we're able to build it back up with so that it retains their kind of uniqueness and retains a lot of the same features that they had originally, but with a lot less of the negative stereotypes and a lot less of the one to one comparisons with very real world races. Right. So the change the lore they change is, in some cases they altered the the Rapnos, for example, so that they were still very tricksy and they were still very a little bit untrustworthy, but instead of like specifically, instead of all these one to one comparisons at being part of a like a Gypsy or a Roma Culture, it was very much changed to almost like a tricksterra God motif. So something like Loki, something that's very like culturally universal and not specific to one culture. With the cult of set, I'm scrolling through, I do. I'm kind of scrolling through this pretty rapidly. But with the cult the yeah, the followers of set got a rework into what's now called the ministry, and the idea is that they've gone from like these very one dimensional like Oh, we're all about the corruption of the innocent, and very specifically from North Africa or Egypt. They very much first of all shed the affiliation with one specific part of the geographical world and they've built it up so that it's not just a corruption of the innocent. It is, but it's not so it's not just like this, this is dark tempter that's waiting in the corners for your kids kind of thing. And they, like cult leaders, are still very much a present, but they've also got like pyramid scheme influencers, gang leaders like. They've extant. They've expanded the definition of like corruption out to a lot of more modern day presents that doesn't just rely on the shock factor of like this dark, very stereotypically, very exactly what you think it is, villain and made up more applicable and wide reaching so that it doesn't have those same implications. This is where I think this becomes a difficult topic for me in particular to discuss, and not saying that it's not something that I'm uncomfortable talking about, but it is something that I don't necessarily have much experience with my own table, talking specifically with regards to how, like my experiences with the ind and as a DM, I've never really seen these issues come to frision because I guess as players we've really sort of come into the already existing environment...

...of the TT RPG space right we came in playing, and I guess maybe to our unknowing cells, when we started playing, like we didn't know that these were sort of deep rooted issues with the game. The fantasy world per se and the and are the real world, the real life and issues of people actually like relate to an effect. And that says and I think this is why, being perfect, like truly honestly, like I I'm partially uncomfortable even like, approaching these topics in an open forum, just because I don't actually have much experience with it, like most players at my table, like when we started playing the game, like people would say, Hey, I want to create this, this and this type of character. And for the most part, you guys have seen that in my campaign's I already kind of like a low broken mechanics anyways, and changes that don't aren't part of the rule sets and we kind of just go along with it. So then this is where I kind of have like this is kind of where this is difficult for me, because, on the one hand, I want to grow this Royal City Society Community and make sure that we do it in the best way possible, and this is why we need to talk about these things on on the podcasts and between ourselves when we're sending up games, when we're stting up our community. But those are just my two cents, my little prefaces. I might not come out this with the most knowledgeable background, but I do I do see. I think Matt Mercer highlighted this before, like, for example, with regards to like ORCs and Lord of the Rings, why do they all have like cockney accents? Why do why are all the laddern knows like white, you know, and how do these things and how do we sort of take these things and these changes and, you know, account for them? In our home games. So, like, I personally haven't seen anything like this, but have you, guys, and how? How are you trying to mitigate it or manage it within our own games? Because I think that that's like I think maybe we should start looking at this from the root of where our experience has sort of are. You know, yeah, I've definitely seen at least hints of that. I've got it. I've got a player in my campaign whose whole, his whole Shick is just he's racist towards ORCS, like just blatantly racist towards ORCs and he plays it up for laughs and I'm a little ashamed to say that I haven't done anything about that. That campaign's coming to an end, so that's not going to be an issue for long. But it'sn't come up very much. But it's tough to be able to say that we're an inclusive society and include people that like sit down and they'll play characters that play up racist angles just for laughs. That's not I guess it's so just gold comes down to, like what you want at your table, right, like, even in the fantasy realm, you don't want racist, racism to be part of it. Yeah, right, absolutely. There's a couple. That's that's the reason why I think session Zeros are so important, that you can set down, you can sit down, you can set out those hard boundaries about what you don't want, and that's actually thinking back. That's not actually something I had in that session zero. So that's at least partly my fault for not talking about that. But we've had it, not necessarily racism, but we've had it in a campaign the Jordan I both play and where the character was aggressively again played up for laughs, but was aggressively misogynistic, like incredibly derogatory towards women and pretty much everything that he did. And we were talking like we kind of had a we kind of had to sit down afterwards with our with our DM, who's a WHO's a great guy, and he was like, was anybody uncomfortable by that? Because he's like, he's like, I'm the DM and I'm playing these female characters and I'm mildly uncomfortable. And he's again, they're like, we have cut quite a few of us that are playing female characters in the game. So he's like, is this going to be a problem? Is Anybody have an issue with this, because I will shut this down right now if it's an issue, which is odd an awesome way to approach it on his part, but like it's to just assume that, like it's okay because it's not at our table, which, yes, we've got a pretty good group of friends going in our circle, but we're starting to expand this, we're starting to grow this so that we have people from our community that are joining into our games and joining into the society. So I think at this point, like this is inevitably something that we're going to come facetoface with, so it's something that we should actually have a discussion on. I completely agree. I completely agree. I think that, like, especially when we're trying to grow this into the public, right, the public space, not not just our private homes. It is something that we will ultimately come across. Hopefully, yeah, right, but like, ultimately there might be one person that thinks it's totally okay because they found the real city society. Wow, DD,...

...phenomenal. I can play with other people, but you know, it just so happens that in their home games they do completely misogynistic things and play up things that other groups might not find fun right, right, or acceptable realistically. So it's it, but it's hard because I think, like for the way that I look at this, it is from a game design perspective, right, if we if we go back down to the the limitations of your racial choices in dd and what might like the bonuses and like whatever intelligence charisma, you look at that at face value and it doesn't really speak too much to the larger issue that it sort of perpetuates. Right, because in that same table that someone came by that has completely misogynistic players right, like to their eye, they're just encouraging that maybe outside of the table, right. You can't say that people can't distinguish between play and the real world, right, and if you're making it okay and play, you're making it okay in the real world as well. So, yeah, fiction effects reality as much as reality effects fiction. The things we see represented are ultimately going to affect our right view. So the fact that this is allowed to continue in certain tables means that it's in to some capacity. You're giving the okay for this to happen period, I guess, in from another perspective. It's just difficult for me to approach to because on the one hand, I also see this as just a game, right, and I think this is where, like, at least personally, I'm like having I have the difficulty because I've never seen it at my own table and I've never really fact, like, when somebody comes and says, like I want to be a super intelligent ORC I go whatever, man, go for it. That's not a big issue to me, right, but I don't, like, I don't, I don't. I'm having I'm having trouble sort of equating that into the society, and I think that this is why maybe we we like we definitely need to talk about this, especially with other people. I know that, but I'm having such a hard time about even approaching this. I don't even know how to begin to like write out the game scenario for this. This is that? Like, do you guys understand what I'm saying? Yeah, I don't understand. How. Yeah, yeah, the article was a little bit unclear to as to like how it or what it was exactly that they were expecting out of wizards of the coast. I mean so wizards, you know in Tasha's ended up saying, okay, yes, this is how you can do things. You can essentially remove any mechanical bonuses that they would normally get from this race and implement it into a different race. And you can, you know, have these mishmashes of different things, which is totally fine based on you know, you can played up every you want, heritage or just powers given to your whatever, or you know how it is, like your character. You're building your character. It's a bit of customization. But I wasn't sure what else it was that they were suggesting needed to be done exactly. Like what is it that you know that this guy saying? You know, wizards of the coast did this not as well as they should have. Well, the issue here is that they didn't really say anything. Wizards of the ghost. They have all these preexisting rules in fit edition that say that, like, ORCs are inherently evil, that's say that half forks are a race that you can play. Yeah, and you know, you can totally go and do that, and if you look around you can. I'm sure you can easily find a full ORC race that's available as like an alternate type of thing you can play. It's just not part of the normal, but this players at this stuff. This is the point they're saying that this stuff does already exist within homebrew and they're not actually doing anything to take steps towards altering the issues that are present in their source material. They have all these things previously written in their edition books that say ORCs are inherently evil, goblins are inherently evil, etc. Etc. Etc. Drawer inherently evil, and they didn't really do anything to change that. They just kind of went oh, yeah, feel free to disregard that if you want. Versus something like they draw the parallels between vampire the mass grade that went through ended a full and total dis redistillation of the concepts and re introduction of the concepts in a new light that are just, in the way that they've been written, significantly less problematic than they used to be. Yeah, I agree with Jordan, though, like in that article I kind of just says essentially, was it the coast is still having is issues with the racial issue, the racial problem in...

...dnd, than they really haven't addressed it right. And I guess the article itself and I guess as a as a DM, it also it kind of conflates the two things. With regards to like, what is your creative freedoms within the game and what are the real world affects of it? And I one of the thought that I was just having right now is why are we waiting for wizards of the coast to release something like that? Right, we've been discussing how in our home games, right, like as starter DM's maybe, like there are things that definitely we've all gone like we've had sessions and jokes and whatnot that we all sort of moved past, right we? If we, I can't say that in high school I didn't make jokes that I would definitely not be proud of today. Right, like these things happen, but I don't do that anymore. So in the same sense that you're saying, right, brain, like your campaign is coming to an end and you're hoping that your next campaign is better. But then, why are we waiting for wizards of the coast to come out with the de facto way to approach these issues when, from what I've been hearing, at least with us talking, is that we're already trying to figure out the best ways to like approach these things, right, like having hard limits, like what you said with your DM right, like, if this is making stuff uncomfortable for their players. You come to a stop, right. But those aren't things that they're going to write in books. Those are things that wizards of the coast is going to say. If your players are being misogynistic at the table, stop them right, because that's not what they're writing about. And I think this is where this issue kind of gets into this. That weird, whether it's play, whether it's reality, and how you approach it as a DM. I don't know why. I think society was the the the the whole dd genre and ttrpg genre has gotten so popular that these are issues that we need to discuss. But why are we waiting for big players like wizards of the coast to come out with the true advocacy when we we know what's right? Right, like we know what is what's a like the right way to approach things. You know, don't have elements of racism in your game. If your players are doing that, is that okay with everybody at the table? Are they being really like racist and overtly sexual or misogynistic to a point where other people are like they're triggering other people and it's becoming like unfun thing or like, you know, like how that that that gating is really strange to me and I don't understand why we're all just sort of waiting around for like wizards to come up with like the we fix the problem. Guys, look at vampire the masquerade. They're doing a great like do it like that, right, because that doesn't address the issue of like how the fantasy perpetuates into the real world, and that doesn't that doesn't really speak to us. So why we're talking about those racial issues in the game mechanics sense in the first place? Right? I think it really comes down at the DM table and really like wizards should release a book on how to maybe run, maybe how they run their Public Adventures League Games, right, there has to be a way that they're doing that. Yeah, why not release that? Because, well, think about it like this, though. If you were to look at the first version of vampire the masquerade, let's assume that they didn't do these fixes. Let's assume that you wanted to play this game, but you start flipping through and you start seeing all these over the racist or tied to racist things in this book. Would you pick up that book and play? It is DD overtly racist. It has issues, it has problems and these problems aren't necessarily being addressed. Here's a okay, here's here. I guess, like this is where we're we're DM's of two years of experience falling into this hobby that has had decades of these issues being perpetuated through it's hot. It's hard now, especially like I'll put it out, but like it's hard to say like right, like Tolkien did, established that works were evil, quote on quote, and now we're trying to break away from works being evil because we're saying or it's being evil and, you know, like them being perpetuated by a certain race in the real world. That's where those those problems are, right and now we're seeing the like the the downstream of just accepting that ORCS are evil and every bit of fiction and fantasy. So we're fixing that out a table by removing racial limitations. But I don't know how if that speaks true, because like somebody could be an ORC that does whatever but still be super racist in game at the table. That doesn't fix that right and I and I'm I guess I don't know. I'm having difficulty sort of finding that line in between. Maybe we need to talk like I don't know...

...where that where that connection is lying, and that's quite literally, because I don't have enough experienced in this subject to discuss that. And we're I know that we need to build out the framework because we're going out into public games, but I think that that framework that we're building out doesn't really speak to the mechanics of the game itself, more so how we handle the table as DM's exactly it comes down to the people who are playing the DM and the players themselves. Like, ultimately, I'm not going to allow players on my table to make overtly racist statements and make other players at the table feel uncomfortable. But that has nothing to do, and in my mind at least, that doesn't really factor in too much with what the mechanics of the Games are. But a lot of what we're seeing online, a lot of the publications are like how these game mechanics affect real world racism. I don't see that connection too deeply personally. Yeah, but I do understand that there are issues that we need to sort of hash out with regards to the Games, because I as a I as a DM. Right it's like me saying, like I'm not racist, so therefore, I don't see racism in the world right like I, as a DM, have allowed players to have three attacks on their barbarian at Level One. Why not have allowed stat changes just because they kind of work better? Why not? Why are we waiting for? Why are we waiting for wizards to let us know that that's okay if the real world issues are not even related to the game? Like, well, they are. Sorry, they were related to the game, but I just maybe I'm maybe I'm saying something completely wrong here. I don't know. Someone let me know. I'm just I'm I don't know. It's a mix of both trying to address these issues. It's a mix of trying to kind of to be honest, kind of scared of saying the wrong thing online on a public forum, and then, on the other hand, I really like I want to do the best for my players, but I don't know that focusing on game mechanics is the core issue. But maybe I'm wrong, so I don't know. Pots someone take the MIC please. I think that somewhere there are kids who want to play dd that have seen that these views are inherent in the system and have not picked up the book because of that and I don't think that what we do at our personal table, in our group of seven or whatever is going to make those kids want to play because they don't know. They're not sitting here listening to triple advantage podcast. Go and Oh that change my mind. I don't know. I mean I guess we're people watching right. I don't know, hold on, hold on, wait, like when I picked up the players handbook, I don't remember, you know, reading through and being like, Oh, this is very overtly racist, you know, clearly there's issues here. I mean maybe there was. I'm not really, I guess a hundred percent sure, but it's not like I went and said, Oh, you know, like there's clearly, you know, sexual things here, or there's clearly, you know, really bad viewpoints that are being portrayed here. I don't know, like it looked like mechanical things to me, based on, you know, the race that you chose, in the class that you chose, and that's part of customization of your character and you're making a character in your head. I don't know that that was just me. I don't know what specific parts it is that I guess the people are trying to change. Exactly about dungeons and dragons, and I guess like on that note, right, like, yeah, people aren't listening to our podcast and taking ethical lessons from it, but people are definitely watching critical role and people are definitely watching dimension twenty and to that end I think those shows are doing a phenomenal example of showing how inclusive TTRPG spaces can be. HMM. So I guess another question for me is like these longstanding issues of racism, like maybe Tolkien was a huge racist, right, I don't know, fuck, but are like wherever the producers were for Lord of the Rings, like they're a reason why you pick certain accents for certain characters or whatever. Right, how maybe easier, and there's definitely there's definitely reasons why. I don't think that easy. I don't think that just because it was. I don't think it. I don't think just because it was easier is the right is is is there. It makes it okay. I'm just saying we don't know reasons. Yeah, I mean there's I'm not. I'm not.

I don't want to get too much into that space base. But what I'm saying is like right now we're approaching the hobby and we're seeing our inspiration from the hobby, come from the things that are making the hobby popular again. The reasons were having these discussions are because DND has become such a popular hobby once again. So are those, I think. On the one hand, there are like critical role dimension on you're doing a phenomenal job of making this the most inclusive game possible and I think that we should take that as much of possible within our games to make it inclusive as well. But I just I guess I'm failing to see how the game mechanics versus the real world stigmas and stereotypes that those portray are having. And again that's because I don't have that extensive experience. I have, like, aside from like social issues at your table, where somebody says something that actually offends somebody at the table, I just don't know that like focusing on how a masquerade has done it better and fix like so like to your example, Bratin, I guess like if I picked up masquerade and it said specifically that like these cultures have like evil vampires, and yeah, you're right, I wouldn't. It would make me feel uneasy right, it would make me feel like, okay, clearly the writers have a stick against some race or some Group of people. Right, I don't know, it's it's definitely a definitely approaching this topic in a very timid fashion, which is not not my most comfortable area, to be honest. So I don't know, like I'm mostly just rambling on. So I'm going to wait till somebody takes the MIC again before I don't know, what are your thoughts, brain? What are your thoughts with regards like the the article at hand, in this case? Right, we're still talking about how game mechanics aren't being changed to properly address issues. Right, how? How? What are how should we do it? I mean, I'm not saying that you have a right like that. You have the answers now, but, like, what are some of your thoughts with regards to that? Like how would you change races and DD maybe what tip? Let's let's say this, like what tips would we give to wizards of the coast to make it work better? I guess like I would say, like why do we care about racial bonus is in the first place? And alignment chart is a piece of shit, and would nobody ever cares about it in the first place? So why are they there? Yeah, like we can all agree on that, except Jordan, as has taken that thing and given it and said, yeah, you can just ignore that now anyway. So Wizards has said that. But the aligned or yea for the alignment chart, and if you've read Tasha's it talks about races as well and has essentially said your racial bonuses can be whatever you want them to be. But so so think about this, though, with something like vampire the masquerade, they directly addressed the fact that their content was alienating people, that their content was making people feel uneasy and that they've felt that they could not play it because they didn't condone what was being said. So in her said, you know, people have said the same thing about dd now what dnd did versus what vampire the masquerade did? Empire the MASQUERAD did. Said, yes, what we did, this stuff that we wrote in our that whoever wrote in our first edition was not okay, we're going to change that, we're going to take that, we're going to switch it entirely. Wizards didn't really do that. Wizards just kind of said, okay, well, just forget about what we said in the past. It's fine, just do whatever you want them. Vampire the mask ray sat down and had a long and hard look at what they had. Took what seems to be a pretty significant amount of time to distill down everything that was fascinating about those problematic south class about those problematic, I can't think of what they're called, factions, and rebuilt them from not nearly the ground up, that using those most interesting things in a way that is significantly less problematic. Wizards just kind of went okay, yeah, just do whatever the whatever the hell you want, which is are out of carriole. We're doing just just out of curiosity. What setting is vampires the masquerade in? Like what era? It's approximately real day, real real time. Okay, so vampires would have a lot more crossover that way automatically in terms of moral stigma and that sort of thing. More Dungeons and dragons is set in a fantasy realm,...

...number one, which means, you know, it's a little bit different than ours. Magic is real, that sort of thing. Number two, most of the fantasy realms are set in a not so modern era, so most people are walking or, you know, using carts and that kind of thing, which means that in terms of setting, you're going to look at areas and there's going to be a lot of the same types of people in the same areas just because that's where they grew up and they're not going to move very far because it's hard to move very far and there's not a lot of reason for different people to move to different areas. So that means that whatever is taught in each of those different specific areas is more than likely what they value. So for a lot of the ORC tribes, for in this instance, let's say they're a lot of ORC tribes are, in this case more on the violent, I guess, side. So they choose their you know, leaders based on you know, route, force and that kind of thing. That's not saying you have to have your world that way, but that is how most of the culture, I guess, is is taken. And I don't think that saying that someone is violent means that they're automatically evil. I you know, like I don't understand how we're like transferring over these moral stigmas. Essentially, I'm trying to make the connection, but I'm just seeing a lot of broken pieces along the way. The crux that I don't think you're getting is that you're sitting here going, okay, well, this is the way that the game is played. People are saying this should not be the way that the game is played. People are saying that, yeah, because everybody's assuming that. Nobody is coming together, everybody's being segregated in these worlds. Everybody it's it has to be of the moral period of the Medieval Times. It doesn't have to be like that, but that's the way that the game has written, that's the way the name is written. So people are saying that they want to see a change in that, in the way that the game is written, in the way that the game is being presented, so that this kind of stuff doesn't happen, so that you're not seeing these issues they're in. So they want another campaign setting that's a little bit more inclusive, such as looks kyled. That's that's kind of what it sounds like to me, to be honest, because like to Redo that right, like you would have to Redo the lore of the swords coast, for example. That that's because I got what people are saying, though. This is what people are saying. They're saying that vampire the masquerade took the time to go back and do that in wizards. Just isn't willing to see. Yeah, I guess I get what. I get what you're saying, right, but like, I understand that. I understand that and I would say that I would hope that wizards and the future releases and future settings that they released they address these problems. But you can't. I mean you could, I guess you could change the books that are already sent out. I we'd have to wait to see what wizards releases next. Then right, because Tasha's was very specific about character creation. So would they need to even dive into a huge anthropological lare in rework then, when they are just saying no, these are just the racial changes that you can make in game to allow for those anthropological changes and whatever geographical background in history of the next setting that they develop, then yes, right. But the other thing is that people are pissed off because that's the route that they took, because they touted for months and months and months that this was going to be the big shift, this was going to be them going back and making changes, and that's what they came out with. They didn't do anything substantial, they didn't do anything groundbreaking, they just kind of said, just do whatever. You don't like what we do, do something else. I think that's I think that's a little unfair, though, because in the sense that it is like it, these are things that will like to expect somebody to do. Groundbreaking change the the first book that they release after they saying that they're addressing these changes doesn't feel terribly fair, especially when there's decades of both being that have already been published. Right. So I think in the one sense that like what I just said right, like they have laid the groundwork to allow for that within the game mechanics. They've they've made the change is required to the character mechanics themselves, in the character traits themselves, to allow for creation of worlds that is more inclusive and more fluid, in whatever creative way that they think right.

ORCS aren't locked into negative intelligence bonuses anymore. Like the big tell all will be if wizards keeps releasing books with ORC tribes that are dumb, see, you know, and violent. They release the book that changes how you can build ORCS. Right, and this this is kind of where it's like, kind of odd to me, because on the one hand they're making the changes to allow for this and it seems unfair that people would be getting mad that they didn't change their entire Lore in one book. Yes, but I think, I think those one would have been a lot more lenient if they hadn't like, forgive my language, those, if they hadn't like jerked themselves off all over social media about how this was going to be the big shift, about how this was going, and I mean made that shift and it just wasn't and they're kind of still passed themselves on the back for doing this. That's yeah, I agree, and that's something that we like. That's some kind of Shitty that's been in place with like almost any corporation is that any time there is big and big social interest in any movement, corporations just go well, Shit, how can we fucking brand this into a brand new book right, like we're making character changes. Yeah, don't worry, we'll will appease, like we're we're doing good at right like, yeah, I get that. I it's the definitely. Maybe, maybe that's the issue. Absolutely, maybe wizard should not have touted this as the revolutionary change, but I don't I don't know that they specifically did do that. I definitely think that the market, if I think a lot of their mark. I think I've been doing that. I think the marketing was definitely like yeah, like we're gonna tackle these race issues and creative issues. It did definitely feel like they were trying to tackle some like global race problem with Tasha's. I do get that. I did get that vibe a little bit with the marketing. So I do see that. Yeah, I don't think. I don't think anybody's expecting wizards of the coast to solve racism. I don't think that's the issue. I think that the issue is if you're saying that you're going to be making these changes, you should be putting your money where your mouth is, not just giving half measures and then going, Yep, we did it. I don't know, I think. I think that they've set the groundwork for future, like if they go back on Tasha's and keep creating characters that aren't diverse and creative, like if we don't get a book coming up of an evil band of a laddern elves that you know what you know what I mean. Like if they if they don't completely pivot in the way that they've been creating these characters in the future. That's very indicative of a non willingness to change, in a nonwillingness to address and yeah, literally that to they just love lips of this. If it's, if it's, time will tell. Like, if this is the groundwork for something big in the future, maybe that'll be good thing. If it's not, we have this podcast to reflect on and go, Yep, hey see, yeah, we'll keep at it. We might, we might come back to this. Shurt it. You heard it here. Probably triple advantage. Taking Wizards at the Coast Attach Watch out goes is TASHA's on their own. TASHA's on its own. I think was was heavily marketed with regards to addressing something like these. They would they weren't very specific with the issues that they were addressing. I think it's one of the one of the problems rights. Like on the one hand, people thought that, yeah, maybe wizards of the coast is addressing deep rooted racial issues in fantasy themes. On the other hand, I'm like, they're kind of just I see, as I see it, as them just focusing on like the character. We're going to rework the first section of the players handbook and that's kind of what Tasha's seems to be. It's just like the first the first like creating a character in your background. Let's see, you know, let's talk about that again, right, and we'll just have to wait. We'll just have to wait. I mean, like, I don't think that on that book they should have redone every single racial background and Lore, and I think even looking at it right, like, I don't. I guess. I guess we'd have to go through it case by case. There's way too many races to do that on this particular episode and this segment is already quite yeah, five minutes into the segment. So part one of triple vantage episode, whatever we're on. We're going to wrap this up soon just so we can have a little bit more time for everybody else. But I I think it will be more indicative to see what wizards releases next. And it's a different time. I mean you have DD. Used to be an isolated activity, right, groups of unorganized collectives playing the game on their own...

...a largely not talking to one another. Now you have an online network of fans for critical rule dimension, twenty other wonderful shows that I can't come up that that I can't remember. Just now, if you have them lesson off and you're getting a collective of people going back to wizard saying we don't like the way that you're approaching this, and if they don't respond to that, right, I mean it's like it's like a their game designer, right, like if if the world of warcraft population doesn't like a patch, blizzard is going to try to address that, and if wizards doesn't want to play on that same space, then you're going to have issues and we're going to be hearing about those for a long time. I think there's enough people that would find another game that they better fix. Yeah, all right, ask them to think. Yes, well, look, this fun like DND is, but a framework. Yeah, right, like I'm I really running V and my home game? Probably not. I'm all a little based, one bad weekend away from making the jump to call look with the loose. So give me a recent anyways, I think Jordan are maybe let's send let's change topics for a little bit. All right, that sounds like a good idea. Carlos, I think that we will jump into the Dungeon Masters Guide. Guys, we have been reading through it. We are almost to part or chapter four. Guys. So that's exciting. We're have random encounters to go over this week and then I will hand it over to Braden. After that. We're on page eighty five. All right, so random count and counters. As characters explore a wilderness area or a dungeon complex, they are bound to encounter the unexpected. Random encounters are way to deliver the unexpected. They are usually presented in the form of a table. When I random encounter occurs, you roll a die and consultitate the table to determine what the party encounters. Some players in DM's view random encounters in an adventure as time wasters. Yet A welldesigned random encounters can serve a variety of useful purposes. So the variety that they've got here is it can create urgency. So adventures don't tend to dawdle if the threat of a random encounters hanging over their heads, wanting to avoid wandering monsters, creates the strong incentive to look for a safe place to rest. It also establishes atmosphere. So the appearance of thematically linked creatures as random encounters can help create a consistent tone and atmosphere for an adventure. So, for example, the encounter table filled with bats, raiths, giant spiders and zombies creates a sense of horror and tells the adventures to prepare for battle with even more powerful creatures of the night. Drain. It also drains characters resources. So random encounters can drain the parties hit points and spell slots, so that leaves them feeling a little bit underpowered and vulnerable when they come up against the actual encounter that you have planned. It can provide assistance, so some random encounters can benefit the characters instead of hindering or harming them. It also adds interest, so some random care encounters can reveal details about your world. They can foreshadow danger or provide hints that will help the adventures prepare for the encounters to come. And then, finally, it reinforces campaign themes. So random encounters can remind the players of major themes of the campaign. For example, if your campaign features an ongoing war between two nations, you might design random counter tables to enforce the ever present nature of the conflict and friendly territory. Your tables might include be draggled troops returning from battle, refugees fleeing from an invading force, heavily guarded caravans full of weapons and Loan Messengers on horseback riding for the front lines, while characters are in hostile territory. The tables might include battle fields littered with the recently slain armies of evil humanoids on the March and impoverished gibbets holding the bodies of deserters who tried to flee the conflict. So random encounters are an interesting thing. I think it does consume time, so I like I personally try to avoid the random encounters that involve combat. Yeah, as unless, like, the players are in need of a combat thing, that I might just throw something in there just to say, hey, combat is a part of this, you know, adventure as well. Or you know, you can, you can do that now, get that out of your system kind of thing and then we can move on...

...with the story. But it does have some interesting ideas about creating urgency. Like it does make sense that like some players, you know, might start to just be like yeah, well, we can, you know, kind of just wander that way or do whatever and it's not going to have any type of consequence, so that that's good. I do also like the idea of having like interesting MPC's and having random, like beamed events that can happen just to keep the the setting clear in people's minds. Sets the atmosphere and gets them really invested. Yeah, any of them step like any of those ideas, I guess, stick out to you guys. I'm right there with you on the combat encounters. To me, every time there's like a like a multi day in like a pre written module and it's like you're on the road for ten days role every day on a d twenty to see where if you get an encounter, it just it just feels like filler. It just feels like like there's a couple that are often cool, and I'm right there with you, like I'll generally pre pick a couple of the noncombat ones to be like, okay, you'll encountered these, because these actually contribute something to the story. The combat ones always feel like you're like it just it just makes me feel like they think the players are super add it's a Oh yeah, like you've you're going squirrely without combat for like a session. Here have some random combat out of nowhere. Right. So, yeah, it I do prefase a long time to sorry, sorry, say again places. It kind of plays along the lines of like last week with the adventuring day, where they were like, Hey, during the adventuring day, you're probably going to have like three encounters, and he even point and you know, you the combat encounters that you have along the way. Are you know, going to have this? I'm like what, three encounters a day? Goodness, that's insane. You know it kind of it would slow down the game so much, I think for sure. And if listeners are wondering what those beeps were in the background, that is Carlos telling me that he's in the bathroom. But yeah, I I agree. Like it just this is this is where I have the problem with like how long some campaigns take, because right now, like I'm running my word of the Dragon Queen and there's been a couple of times where it's like yeah, if we like throw in on these random encounters when you're on the road to somewhere, I was like, or I could skip the random encounters and you just end up where the players want to end up, incident like constantly being accosted by everything on the road, because that's not what they want to do. In my mind. I don't know, like and I find that that's where a lot of my players yet as well, like they don't want to constantly be accosted by everything between point and point B. They want to get to point B so they can get the job over with and see the cool things that are at point by. The only time I might consider that doing something like that is if they were like, Hey, we're going to try and infiltrate this, you know, hostile territory, and if you're in hostile territory, then maybe I might be like, okay, well, there's a chance that a group of guards or something like that will come upon you. Yeah, you know, something along those lines, and and maybe then I would implement a random chance encounter to that kind of thing. But I don't like but there's a good chance that I would just preplan it. Yeah, that's like, you know what, like random. That just seems like your your chance versus their luck, essentially, like them rolling stuff to see if they can avoid it versus these guards rolling perception to see if they can notice it. That's not even that's not like out of nowhere like a lot of random encounter seemed like that's very premeditating and there's a there's there's a reason that that's there's not just like you're rolling down the forest and two giants or standing there demanding tap. What? Why? This is nothing to do with the dragons that were trying to fight. Why are their giants now in the middle of the road just because, like you're board? Yep, there needs to be some I mean need to be I could be a pretty cool encounter, you know, two giants, you know, at a bridge that are, you know, taken tolls or something like that. You know, just to kind of like throw the characters for it could random, it could be. That would be I could but it also strikes me as something that, like, if it was that cool and that important, it would have been in the story. It wouldn't just be a listing on a table. I think it also has to do with whether you're in a pregenerated campaign or a home I never homere stuff. You can whatever you want. The pregenerated stuff it's like, oh, well, they expect this random encounter to occur. I never throw in random encounters in my home brew. There's always a very methodical reason for an encounter, even if it seems kind of random. It reminds me in the homebrew that you play. In Jordan, there was a period where you guys you encountered some elementals,...

...some water elementals, and then like two days later you departed for a town that was having some trouble with some earth elementals, and you guys were do you did some background knowledge, and it was like are these things common in the region? It's like no, well, can they've just kind of randomly appear? Not Really, they have to be summoned. That's interesting. And then your guns that are just kind of like pointed a map and we're letters like we're going there now. That that that entire that entire plot thrope was abandoned. And then he said to me like two sessions later, like so, so the elementals were just like random encounters. I was like no, you just left. You walked away from a very pre planned encounter, which is fine. We did something else that was cool, but like it wasn't random. There was a purpose. Is never found out. I never even Earth elementals. I saw the water one. Oh Yeah, you might have not gone for that session. I think you left. That was the session that you left during. Yeah, yeah, they fought Earth elementals. Yeah, he's done and went to Vegas. All right, what's next? And it's all right. Yeah. So it has a couple of ideas here also for triggering, triggering the random encounters. So you might do some random encounters when the players are getting off track and slowing down the game, or you might do it when the characters stop for short or long rest. You might do it when characters are undertaking a long uneventful journey or the characters draw attention to themselves when they should be keeping a little profile. So I the long uneventful journey. I have done that in my campaign where it's like okay, this is going to be like, you know, eight, nine day trip oversea, so there's going to be an encounter here. I didn't really put a lot of thought into like whether there's some sort of underlying plot behind it, so much as like, oh, this would be a cool encounter for the characters to have and it makes the boat trip seem a little bit more important than just, you know, Oh, we have now teleported to said other place. You know. So I do. I did do that. Yeah, for sure, but that was a point. I didn't take a random encounter table again. So it's it is like a random encounter because it's not like it has anything to do with the story. Yeah, but it isn't a random encounter, as in, like it's not a full random thing. So for sure. Yeah, all right. So then they've got a section here on checking for random encounters. so you decide when a random encounter happens or you can roll so you can consider checking for random encounters once every hour, once every Fort Eight, I is, or once during the day and one straight along rest, whatever makes the most sense. And then they say if the result basically roll a D twenty four, the result is eight hundred and eighteen or higher than the random encounter occurs. Ye, yeah, yeah, I mean done the role. I always do their pre plan and generally if it yeah, I do a preplane, it's because like this session or two before that was entirely URP focused and I don't want to just Lee, yeah, with a third exactly level session. Like, yeah, I like the random encounters for ideas for encounters. I will not implement them in my homebrew game as truly random. I don't think I will. At least I'll try not to. I mean I've been testing it out a little bit being like okay, maybe I'll like roll, but then I'll roll and I'll be like I don't like that encounter, so I'm going to roll again. Yeah, but that one I rule, yes, one exactly, so that I end up getting to the point where I'm just like yeah, no, I like this one, so I'm just going to go with that. Yes, a way to do it. Yeah, not necessarily too much of a fan of like random, random encounters, to be honest, because I was reading this surger, read this book on Procedural Game Design, and one of the topics that I've been trying to implement the most is like an always forward approach with regards to storytelling. So if my encounter, I'll be a seemingly random, does not impact the story and does not progress it further in one way or another, it's not making its way into my game. Right. Yeah, that's a get way to put it. Yeah, so sorry for everyone out there that loves the play with random encounters. You know you're raw that, like you would have. Yeah, we just we just don't use them because we can find better ways. I do love those and counter tables, though, like they have some really cool ideas. So all right, so let's continue on here. I'm just going to quickly finish this up and then I will hit it over to you, Braden. So I basically goes on to say here's how you can create rent random accounter tables. Basically assemble the different encounters at there are based on your setting or theme or whatever it is that you've got going on. So if you're in the woods, you know try and find some like beasts and some elks and you know,...

...maybe maybe something interesting or different, like a fairy dragon or something like that, Pi Season sprites and dryads, whatever seems to fit into your setting there and then you just then they go on to say you set up some probabilities. So they did a really interesting one. So so for the random encounter table here, I thought this was interesting. So it can be created in a number of ways, ranging from a simple role, so one d six for one of six possible encounters, to complicated, you know rolls of percentile I. So modify for the time of day and the crossing index and the modified number with the dungeon level etc. So the sample and counter that they give, though, is presented is in a way that it gives a range of the numbers two through to twenty and it's generated using a one day twelve plus a one dy eight. So the idea here is that two's and s are extremely difficult to get because you have to roll specific numbers, but the numbers in the middle are have a higher probability. So because you know to make the number ten, for instance, you can roll six and a four on your two different dice and or you can roll five and a five or seven and three, etc. So they have like if you want, you know certain problem certain instances to come up more often, you put those in the middle and then you have two dies. So I thought those cool, but yeah, again I probably just choose being counter at anyway that's going to ignore all of it. Yeah, it's a very cool idea and I like that there was thought put into that, but I'm never going to use that in my life. So and then it talks a little bit about having what challenge rating you're going to do for that kind of thing. So a single monster with a challenge rating equal to or lower than the parties level is what you'd want to do if you're going to do a single monster. And then otherwise you use the XP stuff that they talked about earlier. It basically to create a challenge that's suitable for the party that you have. All right, and that's really all there is for that section. Guys, it is we're moving on to chapter four next time, which is creating non player characters. So it's going to be exciting. But Braden, take her away. All right, it's not time for talk of the town, the segment where we ask you, the society, a question and then we discuss your answers to that question, that we discuss our answer to that question. We just kind of discussed the question on this segment right now. That's happened and let's go in. Our question this week has escaped me momentarily. It's been a lot of our question this week is how important is music or soundscapes in general you when you're playing in an encounter or designing an encounter? So if you have the same answer for a player in a DM dance, that's awesome. If you have different, I'm interested. Okay. So I as a DM, for sure I want to have the right music accompaniment for the different areas and I've been working towards that. I've been creating my own like playlist and stuff like that, just based on the Arctic theme that's going on in my campaign. It takes some time. I think, like you can try and look these kind of things up. I use D D if I, but I just found that sometimes the randomness of the like types of genres that it can be in there ends up like messing with the whole atmosphere and I can just kind of ruin a moment. So I prof I'm working my way into creating like my own separate like genres based on the mood that I'm feeling for any particular encounter and that kind of thing, and trying to have a bit more control over what might come up. So I think it's pretty important that way. As a player like I love hearing the music, especially during like battle sequences and things like that. It definitely puts you in the mood for that kind of thing. You don't want to hear, you know, some really slow music and you know that isn't very uplifting or anything like that when you're in the middle of like a high intensity boss fight. So yeah, I say it's probably the same. I think it would be great if I could somehow get the players to do it for me. So that me, as the DM doesn't that I don't have to worry about it too much, but I also don't want to give away spoilers and things like that. So yeah, I'll stick with it. For no DM. You asked me to put in three hours of battle music. Yeah, exactly. What do you think? Yeah, I'm a big SIMP for soundscapes and creating an ambuence with sound. I think, especially with regards to the digitallyness of our DM or of...

...our DMING and the DD game no ou days, it's quite literally one of the only ways that you can pipe ambiads into people's ears and I love it. There's a some great playlists. Will share some of the links out to those on our twitter after this episode is posted. But yeah, Jordan, I don't know what you're talking about. There's some gray playlists online on spotify that I found that capture moods quite perfectly, and I think one of the things you got to worry about is finding the right bought on discord specifically that won't just like type in random sounds. I think that brain is definitely had that issue pop up in the past. So I know I'm just a control freak. So you know I enjoy well I mean like, yeah, yeah, it depends on it depends on the playlist obviously, but there's definitely some really good ones that don't have any of those issues that you're talking about. At least, I've definitely found some that are quite good and I would go back to most every day. Yeah, to be honest, I'm sure there are some really great ones out there. I've just been working towards making my own because I yeah, like I said, I'm a control freak. I like having things a certain way and if it doesn't fit exactly into that like pattern, then I am like, oh well, you just kind of ruined the whole thing for me. Now I have to like search through and like hit next and, you know, try and find the right one. Is just done all. I'm just going to do it myself. Yeah, that's fair. Now, I love using I love using soundscapes, and so I'm not. I never I've never gone like full producer mode with it, though, like I've never really liked design a full encounters soundtrack per se. Yes, that would be pretty cool, though, like, yeah, it's like a Disney movie directing at that point. Never quite done that, but I've definitely definitely been known to use a lot of audio in my dd main problem with for that would be like creating an encounter that you know has a certain time frame, because once you hit you know you've gone through all your music for that. It can encounter that you prepared. Now it's going to start looping or stop all together. So it's really hard to like guess on you know how long the players are going to be at a particular encounter. You're right, and finding music that can loop well with itself is so key, and that's why I really got a shadowed door car in this segment. The music that Braden Mills makes for triple advantage, or cough, for triple advantage for dor car, but for the Royal City Society is definitely one of those great bits that kind of fits in and can be endlessly looped to itself. The beats that you've made quite good for that, Britton, so they doesn't you definitely got to find those that that type of music if you're going for like specifically timed events and whatnot. I'm also going to share out dirt are because that's how I get paid. Tim these guys don't pay me. But yeah, I I'm inclined to agree. I I know people and I'll get to that in a second because they have commented on this most, but I know people that literally like pick specific songs for specific encounters and have them locked and loaded ready to go or that encounter. I'm I'm much more of a mood person and to also continue to stroke my own ego. I have, if you go to our page and you follow the door guard link on spotify, there are three separate playlists that I have made under Dreger, and those three playlists are general, background ambient music, dark ambient music and combat music, and that is very much not all encompassing. There's no way three playlists could do the job of fifty, but I find that they generally work for most situations. I played the background general one for any kind of in town communications, any kind of casual interactions, any kind of travel. I played the darker one or any kind of subterranean adventures or any kind of thing where it's looking kind of doom and gloomy, for any kind of tense situation, and then I play combat for combat and occasionally the spots fills in diggy diggie hole by wind rows and I lose my mind mid game because it's so nothing like breaking the tention. It makes me so mad. It's a good song. I support dwarven metal, but it's not okay. But let's take a look at what the society had to say about this. Looking over at our twitter, at awesome DDA par one. I'm sorry if I don't understand. You're using him. Music is absolutely important. It would be like watching TV with the sound turned off. That's interesting. Agree like that. Yeah, at Jim drew five hundred and forty seven. I've rarely worried about them,...

...though some find it important. Fair enough, we get at ghost most cast. When I'm just planning or designing, I really like to have musical inspiration, but during actual gameplay we found to be mostly annoying. Okay, so use for inspiration, but not during the actual game. Fair enough. Interesting. And then we got at CFT RPG. Weighing in with music is just like maps, minis and other props can always enhance the experience. You don't have to have it all the time, but you can use it to set a tone, like in a tavern or doing a really intense combat versus every combat. Yeah, absolutely it is. It is very much one of those things that's not required by the game, but it helps supplemented. It's a background thing, right, like you got to have it, can it can be there, but if it becomes, you know, distracting, then it's going to take away from the game to yeah, so I it could go both ways. So you gotta that's why you got to choose carefully, I guess. For sure. Then over on our discord we've got community user Matt, who is the DM that I had mentioned previously who I'm it's a long post. I'll try and pair a phrase where account. He hasn't tried using soundscapes yet, but he loves finding music that matches the setting or tone of whatever he's trying to convey and it's been a core part of his game since he's began. He's been an online DM since day one, so that's actually very rarely run sessions in person. It's almost always been online. So fortunately, through discord it's easy enough to play music for everyone through a Bot. It doesn't stream or record either, so doesn't have to worry about copyright. He can just pick whatever. Shout out to that. We all do that. I think most of his music's from video game soundtracks. been a lot of elder scrolls, hollow night, dark is Duncheon in silent. He'll, recently, it picks, typically spend some time writing and designing and encounter, while listening to various pieces of music to see which create the feel closest to what he's intended. I like that. I like that he actually like that's that's very much like like I just kind of put on a playlist of stuff that vaguely fits the tone. He actually actively seeks out what will fit the tone exactly, which is impressive. He tends to okay, now, speaking from a player perspective, it tends to prefer some music design implemented when he's playing. He finds it easier to stay in character and stay immersed with a suitable soundtrack in the background. It's not essential, but he does feel that good music design can really elevate everyone at the table's experience while which I think is a good way to sum up what we've been talking about. You. Yeah, sound soundscapes are actually pretty interesting. I've been playing around with like that kind of thing, to just having like random sounds in the background, like a crackling fire or, you know, like a wind. You know, in a mountain pass kind of thing is really interesting and can add a lot and I wouldn't really call that music, but it is like that is what soundscapes are, right, I've noticed, Carlorm I just want to be that in our tomb of an eyelid. Yeah, and that's been really I really like that. Yeah. Yeah, so music, I feel, is like for those like real and more intense moments, I guess, and then the soundscapes are like this is the background. Yeah, so all right. Well, that's going to do it for us today at triple advantage. If you want to way in, keep an eye on our social media for when we post our next question and to stay up to date with our ongoing events. That is at Royal City Society on Instagram at Royal City social on twitter. The links to work community discord are on both of those. Listen to due regard because it's good music and it pays me and aside from that, keep it locked for another episode of triple advantage on Monday. We'll see you next time.

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