Story Gamers Love D&D -- help me brainstorm an image

I want some punchy graphic to express this, so I can link to it when I feel the urge to fight hostility between these two perceived camps.

What should it look like?
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Comments

  • That's a pretty idea. Sort of a symbolic visual declaration of a position, that could potentially act as a shorthand as it becomes familiar to people over time.

    imageThe visual language of the rpg subculture wars is pretty basic, though - I can't think of a particularly strong emblem for "story games", for example. I don't think that the SG forum emblem, that "happy city" thing, would get very far, for example - too obscure.

    Still, that's one starting point: take that image, add a dragon, and instead of "Story Games Community" write in "Story Gamers Love D&D" in the same font. Would work for people who recognize the original image.
  • Our dear @JDCorley did a whole (fairly rigorous) analysis on attitudes towards the OSR at Story Games. Maybe he'll have some bright ideas?

    Who's this directed towards? I mean, if it's meant as a shorthand for people who think Story Games is some kind of bastion of un-D&D things, it could be as simple as a compilation screenshot of all the various D&D threads, but I have a feeling that's not what you're after.
  • edited February 2017
    It's for anyone who thinks that Story Gamers and some other sort of gamers (e.g. OSR) are enemies, and aligns themselves with either camp. My intent is for it to be humorous shorthand for "actually we are all one big happy family".
  • Hmmm! Do you have an idea of what kind of visual/design constraints you'd like to involve? Can it be large? Small? Colour? Black and white? Have multiple parts? Etc.
  • It's not exactly where you're going, but in my mind I always picture a gaming table covered with famous D&D iconography surrounded by Steven King, Wil Wheaton, Uncle Gary, Stephen Colbert, Vin Diesel, and various other authors & actors who have said or inferred that they play(ed). How much more unified can you make the two mindsets than professional story-tellers enjoying the game?
  • The first thing which comes to mind is some kind of multi-genre, cartoony mashup. Kind of like the various GURPS book covers. I'm not sure how useful that would be here. Going for the fictional conceits instead of the actual play/playing might be an easier route to take.

    I think the issue is that it's pretty hard to present a concept like "story gamer" in visual terms. We have some stereotypes regarding what a D&D player looks like (usually not terribly flattering stereotypes!), but I can't think of any image which is universally associated with a vague term like "story games".

    All that's coming to mind is a bunch of sad index cards... with handwritten D&D info on them, like dungeon tiles or monster stats.

    At the other end of spectrum, we have the *people* playing, in the real world.

    Perhaps simply a picture of someone playing with a variety of gaming paraphernalia would do the trick? Show someone with a copy of "Best Friends" or some other totally not-D&D-like game, and a battlemat with some miniatures. Make them look really enthusiastic!
  • I'm joking, obviously, but only because the idea of trying to visually portray that someone is a "story gamer" instead of the other kind seems so intractably silly.

    image
  • Hehe! Nice one.
  • My approach is to ignore any categorical lines people have drawn and simply consider all techniques to be in the same toolbox. No distinct word has emerged for this design philosophy, but it can be seen in DayTrippers (to name just one example offhand), and in my upcoming project UbiquiCity (which I will post about separately). I guess you could call it "Hybrid RPG Design"? Over on G+, Ralph Lovegrove started a small community for what he calls "Liminal" roleplaying. It's super-tiny and slow-moving, as you might expect. But here it is: https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/105145569330776309360

  • All that's coming to mind is a bunch of sad index cards... with handwritten D&D info on them, like dungeon tiles or monster stats.
    That was my thought too: image

  • @scopperil I can't see your image!
  • oh crikey, it wasn't really good enough to post once, so twice feels like I'm repeating a terrible joke for the whole class to hear. But still: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1jr9DNYTCeOXtMoLlbZN5RALQ5aNZ09WhhA may work?

    I am interested to see that my 25-years-since memory has entirely reversed the eyeline from the red box, but remembered that the claws came out of the border.
  • Ha ha ha! Nice.
  • ha! I like it, too.
  • @AsIf I'm happy to place all the RPG tools in the same box and reject the useless or polarizing categorical lines. Ignoring those lines, though? I'd rather have a witty retort -- hopefully a not-too-confrontational way of disputing the premise, especially any premise of antagonism.
  • edited February 2017
    imagetake that image, add a dragon, and instead of "Story Games Community" write in "Story Gamers Love D&D" in the same font. Would work for people who recognize the original image.





    I doubt I'll often feel the need to show it to someone who would immediately recognize that image. I do think some sort of harmony of contrasting styles could be nice, though.

    image
  • Not bad at all! (Only makes sense to someone who's familiar with the Story Games picture, though...)
  • If so, then it doesn't work.

    I was hoping the obvious splice might say something about two different worlds meeting, and the happy rendering makes that look harmonious. But if it just reads as a complete non-sequitur to the title, then I'd prefer something else.

    Any ideas on good splices?
  • It could be sufficient, with the text explaining the picture.

    We'd need to ask someone from your "target demographic"!
  • If so, then it doesn't work.

    I was hoping the obvious splice might say something about two different worlds meeting, and the happy rendering makes that look harmonious. But if it just reads as a complete non-sequitur to the title, then I'd prefer something else.

    Any ideas on good splices?
    What would be an iconic representation of a Story Gamer to an average RPG player? The D&D side seems pretty easy, but how to represent a story gamer seems hard. Maybe some players sitting around with some index cards and tolkens? With hipster mustaches...JK...I don't know haha :) But really I think that is the question we need to answer.
  • I think some see storygaming as including some over-serious play. And some close-to-home play? So maybe pair the dragon with an illustration of some regular people in melodramatic poses?
  • @Bedrockbrendan, would love to get your take!
  • A somewhat satirical take:

    A picture of a person with a shelf or desk full of "indie" titles, with a D&D book peeking out from their backpack. Or the same, with the person reading a D&D manual in the dark, after everyone has left?

    A person looking at a computer screen which says "Indie RPG Award 2017!" with a pile of D&D books on their desk?

    A person with a copy of My Life with Master with an old-school D&D character sheet stuck between the pages?
  • How a bout a tabletop covered with D&D stuff and dirty hippy games, with text saying
    " I'm in an open, polyamorous relationship with my hobby"
  • @Bedrockbrendan, would love to get your take!
    After a whole thread where D&D was basically labeled one of the the greatest evils something can possibly be, I don't really know what to say on the subject. I know there are plenty of people who are enthusiastic about D&D here. But a graphic like on that theme is like the 700 Club suddenly selling a d20 "That's how I roll" T-Shit after they aired this:


  • Brendan,

    In defense of the other thread, did you miss the part where many of the participants mentioned that they very much like D&D, and run an ongoing game?

    I'd like to think this forum is mature enough to discuss, say, the implications of racism present in "racial alignment" while still enjoying a game like D&D. I don't see a contradiction there - but, then again, perhaps I'm just an oddball for refusing to buy into the whole "tribal war" going on between different camps. I don't think there's any wrong - or even anything terribly weird - about having a nuanced position on a piece of work (or a game) which is decades old in a shifting and evolving political climate.
  • . . . a graphic like on that theme is like the 700 Club suddenly selling a d20 "That's how I roll" T-Shit after they aired this: [Satanic paranoia video]
    Despite finding clever ways to relate D&D to fascism as an intellectual exercise, Eero is a pretty devoted OSR GM. That one thread did get nutty IMO, but if you look over the participants' histories on this forum, a lot of it's about nailing old-school D&D play, and not in some bogus "Let's make this a Forge game!" way. Despite any given rant to the contrary, my statement that Story Gamers Love D&D is absolutely true in my experience. I mean, not every story gamer loves D&D, and the ones who do love some edition don't all love the same edition... but there is abundant D&D love here. There was a poll here about favorite games, and if you totaled up the various D&D editions, they blew anything else away.

    I am being lazy and hoping you'll take my word for it, but I can dig up links if you'd like.

    If you feel that the message I'm hoping to illustrate would be better phrased some other way, though, I'm happy to hear your thoughts on that. Or even a complete alternative -- I'd be curious what you might say/show to simmer down someone here who thinks everyone at RPGsite is evil, or someone there who thinks this place is evil.
  • Indeed.

    I think that someone who *assumes* Story Games is hostile to D&D from the get-go might be tempted to ignore people saying "I love D&D, actually..." as a sort of back-pedaling, like someone try to cover up their racism by telling us they have "a Black friend".

    So, from that perspective, perhaps it's easy to overlook those statements. Confirmation bias kicks in for everyone at some point.

    However, I have played D&D with many of these people, and engaged in many discussions, and I know it's very genuine. It's not hard for any doubter to read the discussions him- or herself.

    Some other examples:

    Eero, who wrote about fascism and D&D in that thread, runs at least one regular D&D game (which he references in that thread), and of his most recent couple dozen threads on this forum, 10 are about D&D.

    JDCorley, who is a known 'dissident' here (ha!), assembled a couple of posts on this forum and the OSR, which are pretty interesting (but not surprising):

    Part One

    Part Two
  • I have already said what I have to say on that thread, so I don't want to repeat myself in this one, but I don't think folks here realize how unusual some of those claims and arguments sound to people away from this forum. And I do find the two things pretty discordant.
  • edited February 2017
    In that case, what does it have to do with "loving D&D"?

    Clearly, those people (and myself included) play and enjoy D&D. Are you saying that's not true, or somehow misleading? Are you suggesting that we (hypothetical majority subset of story gamers) all playing D&D ironically somehow, without enjoying it, and then lying about it online?

    After all, that was the topic of this thread - "let's make a drawing to represent Story Gamers Enjoying D&D". You were the one who brought fascism into it.

    I'd much rather hear your reactions to the various proposals! (Or, better yet, another proposal!)

    ---

    EDIT: I think I came off as a little more combative there than I intended. My apologies. I appreciate your contributions to this thread (and others) - I just don't want to see this thread derailed. And now I feel like I'm being the culprit rather than helping (hence this note).

    So: please take my questions about story gamers and "loving D&D" as rhetorical.

    What I really would like to hear, instead, is your opinion on the images, and any suggestions you have on making this whole concept work. Thanks!
  • edited February 2017
    . . . I don't think folks here realize how unusual some of those claims and arguments sound to people away from this forum. And I do find the two things pretty discordant.
    I hear ya. Some of those claims and arguments sound pretty unusual to some of us here too!

    One or two guys loving D&D while comparing it to fascism can seem discordant, sure. I'd like to ignore them for now.

    When I say "Story Gamers Love D&D" I'm just talking about folks who like Basic/Expert and Fate and Primetime Adventures. Or AD&D2 and Vampire and Apocalypse World. Or 4E and Sorcerer and Dogs in the Vineyard. I feel like most people who love story games loved D&D first, and still do... and most D&D players who take an interest in story games wind up loving them too. That's what I'm looking to illustrate in pictures.

    I can take my own best stab at that right now, but I feel like you're more familiar than I am with some of the folks I'd be trying to reach, so that's why I'm asking about your take.
  • edited February 2017
    Another idea:

    A friend of mine is such a hardened D&D-head that he can't play any game without rolling "3d6 in order" for any character he makes, no matter what the game is.

    We played The Shadow of Yesterday, and the first thing he did was roll stats for his character.

    Could this be made into a picture, somehow? A person with a parody of a "story game" character sheet in front of them... but they're folding back one corner and secretly rolling their Strength, Dexterity, etc, on the back?

    "No game is complete without rolling your stats."

    --Story Gamers Love D&D
  • Heh! That's kinda funny. I don't like how it makes the two activities seem opposed though, like to do one you've gotta do it in secret while pretending to do the other. I'd rather have some emo game about feelings with fantasy minis on a hexmap if we're gonna juxtapose props.

    Or maybe emo is more a Vampire thing... honestly, I don't know what the stereotype of a "story game" looks like in terms of the fictional stuff.
  • Yeah, that's exactly the problem with this effort.

    I think the issue is that it's pretty hard to present a concept like "story gamer" in visual terms. We have some stereotypes regarding what a D&D player looks like (usually not terribly flattering stereotypes!), but I can't think of any image which is universally associated with a vague term like "story games".
    As for the "roll 3d6 in order", what if the whole group is doing it, proudly? Not just one guy in secret. They're celebrating it, in other words, not hiding it. Maybe they've all got character sheets out, but they've written "Str:16, Dex: 9..." and so on in big red marker on top of them?

  • What about something like:

    Warning: D&D can lead to Story Gaming

    ?

  • A D&D gamer would probably consider that offensive - it implies that D&D is a less evolved form of game.
  • edited February 2017
    A D&D gamer would probably consider that offensive - it implies that D&D is a less evolved form of game.
    Oh...
  • edited February 2017
    If SGers evolved from D&Ders, How Come D&Ders still exist?!?

    [j/k]
  • edited February 2017
    Nice :D
  • edited February 2017
    image
    Very cool!
  • edited February 2017
    image
    This is very cool ...but doesn't the Fiasco being crossed out make it "competitive"... what if there just wasn't a Fiasco icon? ... I think people would still pick up that it was Fiasco by the art ... I don't know, it's really cool regardless :)
  • edited February 2017
    .
  • That's badass, @WarriorMonk!

    Re: messaging, I think I'd like it better without the "Fiasco" title being present at all. Many people who know Fiasco will still get it, people who don't know Fiasco wouldn't get it either way, and everyone can see how it's a different aesthetic take on D&D than what they're used to. It's almost like saying, "Hey, D&D actually is and has always been a sort of story game. If you want to focus on those elements of it, you can, and people do." Which is true!
  • I still kind of like my idea of showing an obvious "story game" (whether a real one or a made-up one) with a D&D character sheet sticking out of it.

    But here's another idea:

    Does anyone else remember HSBC's "different points of view" advertising campaign?

    image

    I think something cool could be done in this vein.

    Maybe two RPG characters side-by-side? One looks like a badass warrior (an Orc, perhaps?); the other is an emotional teenager, in black lipstick.

    One says, "Breaks skulls", the other "Breaks hearts". Then the captions are reversed.

    Finally, at the bottom there is a piece of text which says, "Story gamers love D&D."
  • edited February 2017
    -Image removed by request-
  • I love it, Paulo!

    @Jason_Morningstar, any objection to me or other folks occasionally linking to this image when the time seems right?
  • Who says there needs to be just one image for this? Some more ideas I like:
    I still kind of like my idea of showing an obvious "story game" (whether a real one or a made-up one) with a D&D character sheet sticking out of it.
    That is nicely succinct. Based on WarriorMonk's work, I'm thinking Fiasco might be the ideal indie game.
    Maybe two RPG characters side-by-side? One looks like a badass warrior (an Orc, perhaps?); the other is an emotional teenager, in black lipstick.

    One says, "Breaks skulls", the other "Breaks hearts". Then the captions are reversed.

    Finally, at the bottom there is a piece of text which says, "Story gamers love D&D."
    I definitely like the concept. Not sure if we need the defaults; might be sufficient to just go with the counter-intuitive labels. I'd have to see it.

    If anyone has the time/energy to hunt down that teenager and that orc, I'd be happy to add the text and assemble the image.
  • image
    I imagine there are times I might want to use this too. :)
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