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C08P04 – Mortal Arrogance

C08P04 – Mortal Arrogance published on 17 Comments on C08P04 – Mortal Arrogance

Zhiro would know, after all.

Recently Scott Kurtz (PVP & Table Titans, Kris Straub (Chainsaw Suit & Brood Hollow), Molly Lewis, Stepto and Greg Bilsland sat down with Greg Bilsland of Dungeons & Dragons R&D department to playtest an adventure called “Mines of Madness”. They recorded the entire thing and are releasing the night’s shenanigans in podcast installments. And they are hilarious.

Mines of Madness Part 1
Mines of Madness Part 2
Mines of Madness Part 3

Not only are they funny, but they’ve also rekindled the Role Playing embers in my heart. I realized how much I miss sitting at the table, dice in hand and friends on either side as we launch into adventures of the mind. The companionship, the laughter, the held breath as the dice are cast, the cries of commiseration or victory at the results. I’ve been so busy lately that it’s become one of many things I just “don’t have time for,” but listening to these podcasts made me realize that no matter how busy I am, role-playing is something I NEED to make time for. So this morning I dusted off my 7th Sea source books, got out my Game Master binder, and started weaving my wicked webs. I won’t be starting any adventures right away, but I’m making a plan to have an adventure by mid-to-late June. There are swashes to be buckled, and I shall not leave them undone!

What do you make time for, and what makes it worth it?


Children visit this site. Moderate your language accordingly.

I love me some of that roleplay DnD.
My friends and I have a hilarious adventurous Pirate themed one going.

There is always time for DnD.

I’ve never been able to get into DnD as much as some other systems, but I’ve found that no matter the source material, the experiences shared around the gaming table seem to be common. I’ve been very fortunate with roleplaying GMs and companions! Also – may the wind be in your sails, ye scurvy dog!

I have to say RPG’s are one of the things I could never get into – even as creative as my mind is. I tried it…many times…and I just couldn’t immerse myself far enough to get into the play.

Oh..Mizha…you’re still here…makes me wonder if it is truly him speaking or if he’s channeling a certain dream eater…

It might be the system – I tried several different ones before I found one that clicked – or the game master. Still, what I’ve found is I enjoy the company more than the stories.

And you bring up an excellent question…but I can say that Zhiro does hold his god in high regard, even if others look down on a “Timu god” like Dream Eater.

I like the use of light in the first two panels particularly. You have Kali standing in the dark side of the room and the light is behind the chief, who’s blocking most of it out. And don’t stand up, Zhiro, you might hurt yourself! *concerned fangirl whinge*

I really like roleplaying but the one problem I tend to have is that my style of story and other peoples’ doesn’t tend to mesh well. I don’t usually say anything but kinda suffer mild frustration because of it. My last RP had a really friendly group but the characters I just found to be so bizarre… like a tree turned magical staff turned transsexual griffin turned lizard man while still being a tree bizarre. I just can’t adapt to some of the zanier things, I think.

That said, it’s a great way to have fun and helps you learn new approaches to characterisation – and in my case the drawbacks of my own style. So’s all good!

Sometimes a miss-match between player and companions can be hard to deal with in roleplaying settings. It sounds like you’ve made it into a great opportunity to learn tho! I’ve been very fortunate that most of the GMs I’ve had are very story and consequences focused. I know that we’ve had some people that want “mad-cap, wacky action!” that have left our group very frustrated with all the talking and thinking and acting required to play. Too bad you can’t hop over to our games! I have a feeling you’d fit in. 🙂

I would love to roleplay again. I harbor a secret hope that this will be possible when my girls are a little older and I have more free time, although that might be a delusional hope. Right now I make time for Friday night online gaming with a group of 3 of my friends who have moved all over the country; it’s our way of keeping the friendship going even though we rarely see one another in person. So even though I’m exhausted and it cuts into my writing time, it’s worth it.

Fingers crossed that your girls have similar enough interests to get hooked on gaming with their ol’ man! I’ve heard of lots of parents using roleplaying games as a way to bond with their kinds. It may not be that delusional a hope! As for friends, that’s the other reason I want to make time for a game. We’ve drifted from a lot of friends and I know this would be a great way to reconnect.

Hooo. This is not going to go well.

I have a very structured life–work, class, specific times for homework and writing. However, I am willing to throw all that out the window to do something fun with a friend, especially since most of my college friends are graduating and departing to other climes. I can always make up what I miss in school, and my finances are comfortable. Once my friends are gone, I probably won’t ever live near them again.

That’s one thing that I felt was oddly cruel about college. It brings people of similar interests together, unites them under similar circumstances, and then scatters them to the winds. I did not truly understand how easy it was to form friendships in college, or how difficult it would be to make friends once I was outside of it. Cherish that time!

More than anything else, I make time for my games. I generally run in 2 games every semester at college, and I’ve run one every semester since the spring of my Freshmen year with 2 exceptions (gotta let other people try).

Beyond that, I have little that I will fight to make time for.

I only recently started running the games – whole different world on the other side of the table!! What do you like the most about running them, rather than just being a player?

I know the plot. I can see the reasons, I can drop the clues and I can direct the players without them ever realizing how I’m doing so.

Furthermore, I love the thrill of controlling the game, juggling all the complications I throw in for the hell of it and mostly I enjoy it when the PCs say they had a great time.

It can get tiring, frustrating, even downright aggravating, but every time I take a break, I find myself missing the game.

These pages are really moving me. I know your experience with your family and the pressure they put on you to serve them at the expense of your own needs and well being and I had always had similar values impressed on me. As a kid, it’s easy to take a utilitarian view and say that it’s selfish to put your needs over an entire group, but it’s not usually that simple. Sometimes you have to acknowledge when the group is selfish to need you. I don’t think I’ve seen a lot of stories where someone ultimately chose to continue to be unhappy and serve others as opposed to either becoming independent (how selfish!) or learning to be oh so happy helping the others, when the choice came down to serving herself vs. the group. But in reality there are so many instances when you could make the group better but it’s at the expense of yourself, and it stays that way, and you are never allowed to be good to yourself because you’re too responsible or important to be a person. My initial reaction to this page was ‘Kali you can’t just dump all these people, that’s a little off….’ but as soon as she got called a ‘gift’ and was obviously not being seen as a person, I decided it was about time she left these people to look out for themselves.

Striking out on one’s own is a common motif in coming of age stories. You can’t determine your own identity when it is defined by the culture that created you. A supportive, healthy culture will respond to this severing with grace – “I love you, trust you, and believe in you. I know this is important to you, and give you my blessing to go, even if it will cause me hardship.” An unhealthy, repressive culture will respond to attempts to leave negatively, using manipulation, aggression, and guilt to force the person to stay. This prevents growth, and ultimately will either destroy the person that wishes to leave, or the relationship with the culture. Either way, it’s a loss for both. A healthy culture will allow people to leave and grow, so that when the person returns it is by choice, and the sacrifices made are done so willingly. There’s lots of examples of supportive cultures, and even more where the culture is simply wiped out (thus avoiding all those messy choices and debates), but there aren’t a lot of tales about cultures that repress. Which is what I know the most about on a personal level, so that’s what I’m the most interested in exploring. Personal needs and cultural needs are a balancing act I have yet to fully figure out. I hope that by telling this tale, I may get closer to understanding the balance in my own life.

I used to think that one should always put the needs of their community before their own — but that was because I grew up in communities that actively cared for the needs of their members. Why would anyone abandon a group that’s only trying to help them? As I got older and started working with people of more varied backgrounds, I began to realize just how rare such an environment can be.

The message of this chapter — this entire story, even — is something many people really need to hear. A group is only worth sacrificing for if it returns the favor. The alternative is meaningless self-destruction.

You highlight on one of the key aspects that I think a lot of people overlook: The mutual exchange and support that must exist for a community to be in a healthy relationship with its members. It’s a part of the social contract that often is ignored in stories. Self-sacrifice is treated as noble regardless of the reason, or for whom. However, most of my observations and experiences with self-sacrifice have been destructive to both the individual and the whole. We applaud the White Knight, but rarely look at the uneven burden that places on the rescuer, and the restrictions and damage it causes to the person being saved. When burdens are borne unequally to prevent growth on both sides, everyone suffers.

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