2008-06-04 : I am culled

Ryan Stoughton is undertaking an undertaking: a new "I go through it all and report on the worthwhile" review blog called The Cull. I admire it as an undertaking and I hope he sticks with it - but I'm fully aware that I'm part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Particularly, I'm honored to be one of his first subjects: antiquated anyway part 1. I don't know how many parts he intends to chop antiquated anyway into, but so far he's covered only December '04. He says that three of the threads from then are worth reading.

If anything from the threads he's picked out strikes you as interesting, please say so! I'd love to revisit, maybe revise and update. Somebody kick us off?

1. On 2008-06-04, Marshall B said:

Those Ars Magica APs rocked my face off and gave me loads of cool ideas for my game-idea-in-development American Wizards.

And seeing the Lumpley Principle boiled down to "How should I contribute to the game?" and "How should I treat my fellow players' contributions?" was a really neat, slap-my-forehead moment.  And validating, because that's, like, the only thing that the rules for Super Action Now! do.


2. On 2008-06-04, Moreno R. said:


1) what is the difference between "antiquated Anyway" and the rest?
2) What happened to the missing entries?

Interesting bits...well, #137 talk about some problems that now, after almost 4 years, are even worse. The forum posts at the Forge are almost doubled, still no reference text (even if a pdf copy of Emily's article in the Solmukohta book would be a good start), and reading not only but even story-games I get the impression that forge theory is even less known today (and a lot more misunderstood and ridiculed). The entire body of work at the forge is now casually dismissed as something "everybody know is bunk" by people who never read a word of it.

I live too far from the "scene" to be able to say if the "forge diaspora" was a failure or not. But reading the articles at the time, it's clear that it did fall very, very short of even the more cautious expectations. I read forum posts at the forge from 2005-2006 that talk about new blogs where the theory would be more reachable, with links, but these blogs now no longer exists, the articles disappeared forever. It's easier to find what people wrote in 2002 than what people wrote in 2006.


3. On 2008-06-04, Ben Lehman said:


No reference text? I wrote the reference text that I was egging Vincent to write there. It's incomplete and floundered because no one really gave support for it.



4. On 2008-06-04, Moreno R. said:


You mean your "Introduction to Forge Theory" blog posts?


5. On 2008-06-04, Vincent said:

1) The blog software. In early '05 I realized that my current homegrown blog software was losing older posts and their comment threads, so I switched to new. I didn't convert the existing blog, I called it "antiquated" and slapped it up in html.

2) Lost before I realized it!

I actually have posts, oh, 70-136 somewhere, but just the posts, none of the comments. I haven't bothered to put them online.

As far as the scene and the theory and the diaspora: I'm not particularly concerned with what happened vs what might have happened. We did what we did, and here we are. No use holding out hope for a better past, you know?

I will say that if I were to make a new unknown public identity and go to RPGnet or even theRPGsite and post the real deal Forge stuff, without using Forge jargon, just expressing the ideas, nobody would get bent out of shape over them. They've become overwhelmingly widely-held and accepted. I see it all the time where someone ridicules some wholly nonsensical idea about roleplaying, attributes it to the Forge, and then goes on to say sensible bog-standard Big Model things in their next paragraph.

This doesn't bug me. It may bug some of us old Forgies, I dunno. Me, if I care at all, I'm happy the ideas are out their doing their job, even if my name gets attached to straw men instead.


6. On 2008-06-05, misuba said:

Is skiffy.html lost? (Please say no!)


7. On 2008-06-05, Vincent said:

Good call, Mike. I've restored it: skiffy game.


8. On 2008-06-05, Matt Wilson said:

Skiffy! HAHAHAHA good thing you didn't compete with my game.


9. On 2008-06-05, Z-Dog said:

Vincent, I agree with your assertion that a lot of this stuff is already out there, if not in name. I think the biggest contribution has been to produce great, playable games that have shaken up what we thought was possible and impossible. There's so many options out there. I imagine a starting game designer is just overwhelmed by the number of choices.


10. On 2008-06-08, Ryan Stoughton said:

Hey Vincent, I'm really saying "just look at the first posts and what I quoted here" not "read each thread in entirety."  In part 2 (the AP motherlode) I'm doing the same, but I'm trying to be clearer about that.

The Cull


11. On 2008-06-09, Meguey said:

Fixed link: The Cull
This is pretty cool, by the way.


12. On 2008-06-09, Z-Dog said:

very cool

finding the relevant stuff on Sons of Kryos was is great. I especially enjoyed the comment, "If you fudge dice rolls, your system is failing you!" and the discussion on char death that followed.


13. On 2008-06-10, Judd said:

I still get e-mail from time to time about saying that about fudging.

People somehow hear, "If you fudge dice rolls, your system is failing you!" and their brain processes it until they are convinced they have heard the words as, "If you fudge dice rolls, you eat babies, pray to Hitler and the Devil and hate yourself."


14. On 2008-06-10, Z-Dog said:



It's a simple as saying: when the dice roll, something interesting happens, every time. Or, (maybe), if you really, really don't want this, don't want to accept this: give up and don't roll.

And: there's a part II of the Cull up now.


15. On 2008-06-11, Judd said:

So many e-mails over the years since I said that.  That one sentence has probably gotten Kryos more e-mails than any one particular single thing we've said.  And I can understand why, it is a technique that lots and lots of GM's use.  I know I did.


16. On 2008-06-11, Z-Dog said:

Judd, I'm inscribing that quote above our gaming hall.


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