Aysle Backer Archetypes

Fuzzy
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Re: Aysle Backer Archetypes

Postby Fuzzy » Tue Jan 21, 2020 12:58 pm

One question on Ancient Apportation... language is:

"He may cast any apportation spell he meets the skill prerequisite for, but suffers the Shock effects of a failure even on a success if the spell isn't known"

Does this include apportation spells that are on a different Cosm list?

utsukushi
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Re: Aysle Backer Archetypes

Postby utsukushi » Tue Jan 21, 2020 6:35 pm

Fuzzy wrote:Does this include apportation spells that are on a different Cosm list?

That seems super.. if you'll forgive the term.. fuzzy to me. The general rule is that everyone only has access to their own Cosm list, so I'd generally assume not - but it also says, as you say, "any", and Ancient Apportation is presented as something very deep that breaks the usual rules (for example, actually needing to learn spells). All of which is just to echo the question, really. It's a good question.

I do respect the backers for putting in support for the game, and I love all the concepts, and I do hope the designers are open to feedback at this stage...

First I have to say thank you - what you said was really nice to read. Totally made my day. I do want to admit that I'm not really expecting the devs to be making changes. They rarely do and that's OK - I get that they need to draw that line because there honestly is no pleasing everyone and if they listen to us too much, nothing will ever get done. So mostly I just wanted to talk about it a bit, and partly I guess I do hope Deanna can bounce the note up and hopefully it will be thought about more carefully for future Backer Archetypes. Though of course, I do harbor some hope of getting my own oneday, probably for Orrorsh, and I might not want them paying attention then. Hmm... :lol:


Otherwise - wow, I did not expect my little parenthetical to take over like that, though in hindsight I certainly should have. And it is a topic worth thinking about and talking about, so, Flood, thank you for highlighting it! It's something I often feel kind of drops out of much of the community's view, and I get that the people who aren't affected by it are getting tired of hearing about it, but frankly it's still a problem that still needs work, so I appreciate when it's given this chance to be put back in everyone's heads for a cycle or two. So... *rolling up sleeves*

Here Comes The Flood wrote:Heck, the original Living Land actually had a World Law that was basicially '...and then all your clothes fall off'

And for what it's worth, that bothered me at the time, and remains one of the reasons the Living Land is my least favorite Cosm. I don't really like the Orgies-For-Possibilities card, either, though I get where it's coming from and yes, it's easy to take out. I'm just not sure that all needed to be officially brought back. I feel like it is actually easier to play that way if you want to without it being expressly set out in the rules than it is to take it out once it has been. I feel like its presence means that if I don't want that in a game, say because I'm at a convention and not that comfortable with the people at the table, I have to speak up and specifically ask for that, and then instead of playing a fun game we instead end up debating whether or not this is still a problem or has ever been a problem or what the heck my problem is.

The only thing I care about is if it makes sense.

Truly? Might I ask, then, why you're not complaining that they're all so perfectly shaved? Those girls glisten. That doesn't seem realistically primitive to me. They should all look a lot more like that Primitive Warrior, especially on the legs and armpits. Not going to lie - it's not the way I'd go, but hey, if we want it to make sense...

Gargoyle wrote:I'm less inclined to feel like women are being exploited if guys are being given similar treatment...and...uh, I like to look at guys too.

I always hate disagreeing with you, but I'm afraid I have to here. It's not the same. Or at least...
TorgHacker wrote:We do! I can't remember where he is, but there's a primitive human male who just has a loincloth.

That's not the same. The Primitive Warrior is closely balanced with The Chosen Human - they're both nearly naked, indeed, but they both look powerful. I love The Chosen Human! She looks ready to totally rip your throat out if you tell her she'd be prettier if she smiled more. The Jungle Blessed has that LOL Omigawd look, like she's just waiting for some guy to come help her test her Grappling rules. And more to the point, her whole concept, including her special Perk, is focused on running around naked. That's not true for any of the others. And I've just been in too many AD&D games with nudist monks - always female, always played by men, and always super creepy. And that's just from a character type that doesn't specifically need armor, without the system pushing it with phrases like, "..even the clothes off your back," and "No, I'm not cold," and her whole description, and the fact that her whole concept is "whee, look at me! Tee-hee!"

For me, the problem really isn't so much with the art, except her face. It's more than a little unrealistically hourglassy, but her musculature is gorgeous and except for the mid-torso her proportions are excellent. And as long as we're oversharing a bit, I do like looking at women, and she's pretty hot, and yes, sometimes that can be a bit confusing.

The problems are, 1) This kind of thing doesn't need to be balanced. This kind of thing is unnecessary. Again, the Chosen Human rocks. Leena is fine. The Femme Fatale... looks a little stupid, and that Archetype name doesn't actually describe her ("The Reformed(ish) Minion" would have fit better - nothing about her speaks to the Femme Fatale concept, so all it's really doing is bringing up the negative stereotypes for no particular reason), but she's OK. It's totally possible to do even outright sexy art without being insulting. And 2) It's not balanced by having overmuscled nearly naked men. That's still a male fantasy. I'm not entirely sure what could balance it, in the absence of decades of culture across every genre presenting men purely as objects: prizes to be won, nameless victims to set the tone, props to make the women really shine... maybe occasionally let in for a supporting role with a few lines of dialogue, preferably along the lines of, "Oooh, it was so womanly the way you won that battle! I've just been waiting here on the sideline to heal your wounds, as is right and proper."

Later we can let them play archers. And a decade or so after that, sure, we can talk about how all anyone should care about is if it makes sense, and about how it's completely fair to have the man, as usual, wearing nothing but an apron with his feather duster, as long as there's also a picture of a woman in a bikini running a dragon through with her holy broadsword.

Savioronedge wrote:Fair warning, Kuildeous, (and Utsukushi) if JT goes down right now, I want to make an awakened Woad Warrior (Aysle: Transformed) although, that is subject to change.

Ooh, maybe they can be connected to my Quantum Magician!

Gargoyle wrote:I think your intentions are good here, but you need to give female gamers (and feminists of any gender) more credit. If they judge you personally by one picture in a published game that shows a single character out of dozens wearing something skimpy yet appropriate for the setting, it says way more about them than you.

I don't think it's a matter of judging him personally; it's a matter of having to judge quickly what table of strangers you want to sit down with. I'm going to pick the less creepy looking one every time. And maybe I will miss out on some amazing games and even people that way, but given that I'm not trapped in a Groundhog Day scenario and therefor don't have time to sit with everyone at a con and learn their life story, it's what I have to work with. But yes, I would absolutely agree and emphasize again that it has to do with a lot more than just skimpy-clothing-artwork. I also agree with Kuildeous that the problem with her artwork has nothing to do with the skimpy clothing - her portrait on the character sheet is just as bad, because the problem with her art is all in her face. ..OK, 85% in her face.

Kuildeous wrote:I am eagerly waiting for the final LL archetypes so I can print out the stalenger and sloth.

But the sloth is naked!!! :lol: Seriously, the Sloth goes back to my original purpose for this thread - it doesn't work mechanically. It's Large, so everyone gets +2 to hit it, but its special power is a special effect that gives everyone around it (or, for no particular reason, anyone further away aiming at it specifically) a -2. So it's slightly detrimental to its allies, but otherwise it's like... I don't know... a blind superhero whose only power is being able to see, maybe?

It's adorable, though, and that goes a long way. (Not as cute as the Elven Monk With Metabackstory, mind you, but pretty cute.)

Savioronedge wrote:The persons we must not offend are the well meaning 'parents' who only want to protect their children and are all too capable of developing Tunnel Vision, ignoring everything else once they see something they perceive as a threat to their children's future.

I'm not honestly sure I should reply to this piece, because it felt very personal and I'm touched that you shared it with us, honestly. And yet I disagree on multiple levels. I'm sorry that you and your mom have that disconnect - it's a shame she feels that way. My mom never "got" gaming, but has never expressed a wish that she could have taken it away from me.

But... well, whatever group you're talking about, that's still basically saying we need to protect our most prudish, and that's not what even I'm saying. The problem isn't artistic, it's cultural, and in that sense I'm afraid it's absolutely the feminists you need to beware of. Or be respectful of, preferably, because we're actually not here to just ruin everything forever. I can absolutely see that if --- oh, let's leave Kuildeous out of this and just say Someone wants to run a game to introduce kids-and-teens to Torg Eternity, then yes, they should probably cull the lists a little with that in mind, and not just for salaciousness, depending on who their potential audience is and how well they know them. Otherwise, though, like... what? We can't shape our hobby for the comfort of the people who specifically don't understand it.
Last edited by utsukushi on Wed Jan 22, 2020 1:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

Savioronedge
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Re: Aysle Backer Archetypes

Postby Savioronedge » Tue Jan 21, 2020 11:56 pm

utsukushi wrote:{very well written post}


Elf Mage wrote:No, no! You point yourfingers this way and … yes, I know it’sbasically the same result, but the explosion looks much better using mymethod.


I fear we are arguing degrees of importance, perhaps priority of target, while in agreement on what is important...at least in general.

As perhaps should have been done in my oft sited conversation with Nikosia, maybe we should remove our discussion from the group that their quest might continue... until someone wants more input from our perspective?

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Re: Aysle Backer Archetypes

Postby GeniusCodeMonkey » Wed Jan 22, 2020 2:28 am

I like the archetypes. As someone said, this is a cultural problem as, being English and a feminist (I was brought up with 4 older sisters), I don't see anything wrong with Leena. It follows the living land troupe and ... it's a game!!! If people can't tell the difference between real life and a game then they have a more serious problem.

If a woman has made a choice to play Leena, then its her choice, she has plenty of other options and doesn't have to play her as a scantily clad amazon. If a man plays Leena, maybe it opens his eyes to gender identity a bit. Either way, it's the players choice how they play the character.
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Gargoyle
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Re: Aysle Backer Archetypes

Postby Gargoyle » Wed Jan 22, 2020 7:35 am

utsukushi wrote:
Gargoyle wrote:I'm less inclined to feel like women are being exploited if guys are being given similar treatment...and...uh, I like to look at guys too.

I always hate disagreeing with you, but I'm afraid I have to here. It's not the same. Or at least...


Art is subjective and so are tastes in what is sexist or exploitative. I don't fault you have having a different take on it, and your points are valid.
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Kuildeous
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Re: Aysle Backer Archetypes

Postby Kuildeous » Wed Jan 22, 2020 8:07 am

GeniusCodeMonkey wrote:If a woman has made a choice to play Leena, then its her choice, she has plenty of other options and doesn't have to play her as a scantily clad amazon. If a man plays Leena, maybe it opens his eyes to gender identity a bit. Either way, it's the players choice how they play the character.


Just to be clear, the problem was never with Leena. I did get some feedback on my soul-searching that Leena looks like she’s inspired by the Conan tropes, which can have their own problems, but she didn’t get slammed that hard. Her pose and clothing look pretty good, though as I think on that loin cloth, I realize that there’s really not anything connecting the bottom pieces, is there? But whatever.

The question I had was the Jungle Blessed with her strategically placed leaves and innocent expression. One of my friends, bless his heart, tried to find a positive spin and asked if maybe she was picking meat out of her teeth. No one was buying that.

When 14 of the gamer women (and 9 men)I polled said that they would pass on sitting at a table with that sort of character, that tells me that while she may be a fun character, I shouldn’t lead with her. Also re-evaluating some of the Nile archetypes too. I’ll stick with the smattering of characters from realms that don’t yet have a sourcebook and choose some of the cool illustrations from the realms that do. I’ve been too ambitious lately in trying to offer all the archetypes anyway. I’ll just have a “vault” instead.
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Here Comes The Flood
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Re: Aysle Backer Archetypes

Postby Here Comes The Flood » Wed Jan 22, 2020 12:21 pm

utsukushi wrote:Truly? Might I ask, then, why you're not complaining that they're all so perfectly shaved? Those girls glisten. That doesn't seem realistically primitive to me. They should all look a lot more like that Primitive Warrior, especially on the legs and armpits. Not going to lie - it's not the way I'd go, but hey, if we want it to make sense...


(not trying to have a beef with you, utukushi, I think you're one of the best posters on here)

My point was that it makes sense in genre.

Tarzan shouldn't have access to chest-wax in the jungle... but he does, somehow, and that's how the genre plays.

Pulp Adventure Fantasy isn't meant to be realistic, but it should obey its own internal rules. This is what World Laws are for, right, to uphold the expected tropes of a genre?

Again, I'm not sure why Tarzan's immaculately waxed chest is fine but Jane isn't.

Also, the LL archetype you're talking about, the 'Jungle Blessed' was made by a backer called 'Jessica Frost', so in the absence of evidence to the contrary, let's assume she's female. So at least one female Torg player wanted a fun jungle gal wearing leaves. Where's her agency?

And if Leena's the problem, are you going to take out her Destiny cards and the GM's screen? How far does the censorship go? Do Ulisses censor this character at their demos? It's interesting since as in the Day One adventure, she has by far the most interesting plotline (she's the only one who actually transforms, from weary single mom to Badass Jungle Gal, and the presence of her offspring is espeically notable if he dies and then she gets a jungle cat and names it after him...)

Leena's prominent on the GM screen -assuming that's not censored, what do you say to a female gamer who turns up and says, 'oh, female Tarzan looks badass, can I play her?'

Let me be clear - you can run things at your demo or table however you want, that's the power of RPGs.

But as someone old enough to remember the D&D controversies about demons and devils (removing them didn't affect anything, and 5E, with its demons and devils intact, is the most popular casual RPG ever) it doesn't sit well with me. A bunch of men judging female images and deciding whether they are suitably conservative enough to censor or not, seems the exact opposite of 'progressive'.

To each their own, I'd be a hypocrite if I didn't believe that, but I strongly believe there's no reason to feel ashamed or self-censor these images. They are perfectly in keeping with the genre of Primitive Pulp Adventure.
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Re: Aysle Backer Archetypes

Postby utsukushi » Wed Jan 22, 2020 1:01 pm

Here Comes The Flood wrote:(not trying to have a beef with you, utukushi, I think you're one of the best posters on here)

Thank you, and likewise! I think it is, as Gargoyle just showed beautifully, totally possible to see things differently without having any beef. Heck, we could go totally vegan. ;)

My point was that it makes sense in genre.

That's fair. OK, I'll accept their perfectly shaved everything as somehow "making sense".

Also, the LL archetype you're talking about, the 'Jungle Blessed' was made by a backer called 'Jessica Frost', so in the absence of evidence to the contrary, let's assume she's female. So at least one female Torg player wanted a fun jungle gal wearing leaves. Where's her agency?

I'm not sure how my disliking the concept is attacking her agency? That's... possibly a more serious allegation than you meant it to be, so I'll try not to take it too strongly. I mean, if she's on the forum, we're discussing it openly and she's welcome to chime in, or not, and either way, I would say that indeed, her position is presumably right there in the character she created.

And... OK, sure, let's assume at least one woman is totally cool with everything about her, even the art. At least one isn't. Where's that going? I don't think I get your point here. Women aren't any more monolithic than men are, or any other grouping of more than one person.

And I'm afraid the rest of your post is hard for me to respond to simply because it doesn't seem to relate to anything I (or Kuildeous, if I may drag him into this) has said. Nobody has had any problem with Leena. It's honestly starting to feel difficult to talk about the Jungle Blessed when the answer that keeps coming back is, "What's wrong with Leena?" Nothing. She's fine. No one has said otherwise, like, at all, so I'm not sure why she keeps coming up.

And the problem with the Jungle Blessed isn't that she's wearing vines. I know it's easy to assume that the issue here is with (near) nudity, because it's related, but that's really not where it is.

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Kuildeous
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Re: Aysle Backer Archetypes

Postby Kuildeous » Wed Jan 22, 2020 1:10 pm

Here Comes The Flood wrote:And if Leena's the problem


Which isn’t. This has been stated many times. I don’t know why people keep propping Leena up as the argument. It’s getting tiring watching you people valiantly smite these strawmen. People are deliberately ignoring the issue and throwing out whataboutisms.

Solution’s simple. I just won’t show off the Jungle Blessed at a demo so that I don’t accidentally send the wrong message and turn people away from Torg. Jessica’s concept can be fun; I’m just not going to use it for a first impression. Just like when I ran Unknown Armies, I didn’t lead off with the pornomancer—an interesting and tragic life choice but easily misconstrued by outsiders who don’t know the lore.
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Re: Aysle Backer Archetypes

Postby pkitty » Wed Jan 22, 2020 1:43 pm

Personally I do feel like this discussion would make much more sense in the Setting forum, as it isn't a Rules thing. And I worry about the (necessary IMO) feedback on the Backer Archetype Perks getting lost in the shuffle.
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