What do you want of Gamegrene?


Gamegrene.com launched back in August 2000 with the release of D&D 3rd Edition. In 2004, it became "Gamegrene 2.0" alongside the releases of the new GURPS, Paranoia, and World of Darkness. With D&D 4th Edition coming in a scant 29 days, you might think I'm trying my damnedest to do something to commemorate the event. And that I am, in between changing my newest daughter, working far too much, and maintaining my achievement whore status.

Ideally, what I'm hoping for is a change to a new server (which will cause a short interruption in service), an upgrade of the backend software, and a new theme more inline with disobey.com. With the update of the backend software, they'll be a lot more chance for me to add "features" - stuff I'm currently thinking of involves improving the forums (a more forum-like display, private messaging, etc.), stronger Play by Post capabilities (a built-in dice roller that accepts the standard #d# notation), and better email notifications.

Got some stuff on your own wishlist? Spit it below.

Well, I can't say I've ever been dissatisfied with Gamegrene. It'd be nice if there was a more organized way to have back and forth discussions. The "reply" feature is great, but several of the more recent conversations have become so indented that they're hard to read.

Other than that, I can't think of much. I've been sampling Gamegrene's goodness for a little over two years now, and it will definitely be weird to come to a site that looks completely different.

The current plan, at least, is to remove, entirely, the threading capability. Messages would just be sorted as they were posted. To compensate for the lack of threading (which, exactly, suffers from a few readability issues), there'd be a [quote] module added to more clearly indicate what you're replying to. As for what the site will look like, drop me a mail at morbus@disobey.com if you're interested, and I'll show you what we have in-progress.

There's also a generic plan to make all commenting look like what you'd expect on a phpBB board - poster information on the left (with an avatar), and the actual comment on the right. I fought against it for a long time, but I think it's a better way of displaying some of the new bits of information I'm looking into.

Why would anyone want to celebrate the expelling of 4 ed, a turd loaf upon the entire history of the game of D&D!

Your comment is perhaps more...

Never mind. You'll see.

I've always loved Gamegrene for the interesting and different approach to gaming and all the systems. It's like a small rebellion site, willing to tell the mainstream games they suck (though whether they do or not is, of course, debatable and debated here). As long as that feel stays with gamegrene, it's all good. I do like your ideas, Morbus. Just make sure you keep the recent posts thing - that's very, very convenient. Other than that, I can't think of much. Gamegrene is already awesome as is.

Good luck!

Wow, talk about a cheap shot. First, nobody has seen the game in it's entirety yet, so there's no way to tell how good or bad the game will be. Secondly, if you want to share your thoughts on this subject, there are plenty of other forums on Gamegrene that are discussing this very thing.

I totally respect your right to think whatever you damn well please about any subject, but if you want to share those thoughts, please do so in an intelligent fashion, using concrete points and reasoning to support your ideas instead of juvenile name-calling. One of the many reasons that I love the Gamegrene community is that we can all have an intelligent discussion about our hobby, that we all respect each others' opinions, even when we may disagree with them. Please, please don't ruin my site with incendiary comments and disrespectful attitudes.

I can honestly only remember one flame war ever breaking out on Gamegrene, and it was the most respectful, intelligent flame war I've ever seen. Even so, the bulk of it was deleted by our administrators, and while those involved haven't changed each others' minds, they have reconciled their differences.

I hope I'm not coming across as an elitest jerk, because that is most definitely not my intention. I think I can speak for all of us Gamegreners when I say that we're completely happy to have you here, Gazgurk, and completely willing to discuss at length the merits and flaws of 4E, or any other topic under the roleplaying sun, so long as you treat us with the same sort of respect that is given to you. We'd rather have you here discussing things with us then gone entirely, but we'd also like to avoid unnecessarily insulting behavior. Gamegrene is a special little haven in the wilds of the internet, and I, for one, would like it to stay that way.

No worries - "recent posts" is staying ;)

For what it's worth, the timing of 4E and the Gamegrene upgrade is purely poetic - it's not meant to infer any mark of quality on 4E (though, as I've stated elsewhere, I'm looking forward to it, sure). Major Gamegrene upgrades have always corresponded with major game releases, as iterated in the first paragraph. That's the reasoning for the mention of 4E. One could remark many times over (and, oh, we have, we have), that Wizards releases, whether crap or not, do keep tabletop RPGs in the public eye and that's been no different here.

With that said, your remark, and aeon's followup, yes, does bring a certain amount of jolly to my face.


First of all, is it possible to keep the green theme? perhaps as an option? Even my fiancee knows Gamegrene as "that green site".

Second, will it be possible to to branch out a new thread from an offshoot of an existing topic? that may help separate offshoot (and some times off-topic) discussions better now that the indenting will be gone.

Other than that, maybe tell us who's been an active member longest...

The green theme isn't going anywhere. Every green you see will remain part of the new theme (and, if you want a preview, certainly email me at morbus@disobey.com). As for branching a thread into a new topic - no, that's not possible by the "built-in" code, but it's certainly something that could be done if there's enough to warrant it. Even with the current code base, that could happen with a few skill rolls vs. Database Manipulation.

As for "member longest", that's relatively easy - click on a username and look at the "Member for". That won't necessarily tell you /activity/ -- but the intended forum retweaking will include the "Posts" count (similar to other forum software), so you could infer something there too (though, honestly, I never felt that counts were all the useful - "quality over quantity", etc.)

Actually, sorry, "Member for" won't be an adequate indicator. I forgot that, in 2004, I changed backend software (from Movable Type to Drupal, which Gamegrene will remain), so it wouldn't have any "Member for" data earlier than that. It'd be possible to calculate it based on comments or postings though - those were brought over into the new software (obviously).

Their getting rid of bards, and gnomes and I'M the insulting one.

And they've released and online version of the players handbook
so my opinion aren't just based on the fact that my 3.5e library will become obsolete.

I see your point, but the sad thing is, this isn't a tabletop RPG, it's a Laptop RPG.

Not to mention their offing of BARBARIANS and SORCERERS(I do not lie),
two of the most awesome and fun classes to play ever.

It should perhaps be noted that neither of those classes were traditionally core classes. Barbarians came in with Unearthed Arcana, and Sorcerers were new to 3rd Edition. I have no problems with them getting back to basics and then rolling in expansion classes later.

I have problems with other elements of 4th Edition, of course. But that's neither here nor there.

As far as I know, no online version of the Player's Handbook is currently available. There are a) photos of a few pages from the PHB, b) player recreations of the PHB based on playtests, and c) the D&D Miniatures rulebook (itself a much smaller subset of the 4E combat system) and d) numerous previews from the core books up until the launch, but nothing so far as "released and [sic] online version of the [PHB]".

I think there's little doubt that most if not all games are moving to computer platforms, at least versions of them. Such as the computer games of Risk and Monopoly. There'll always be versions of the originals to play on table-top, but this allows internet play and challenging (if you can really call it that) yourself against the computer. This is hardly a bad thing - it's just a necessary change. I, for one, will spend most of my Risk games sitting around a table, and I suspect the great majority of people will do that, because it's more convenient and for the particular feel of the tabletop. I think roleplaying games will be the same way. It's an intelligent business decision, and I think a good one, to make computer program that'll let you play the game long distance. That way, if I so please, I have a convenient, easy way to play with my friends all the way across the U.S. The basic platform of the game remains the same (like Monopoly!) in that it's meant to be done tabletop. Wizards is simply here responding to the needs of it's customers who, due to the troubles inherent in life when gaming groups split, want to continue playing with the group they've been playing with four years. While we all prefer the tabletop setting, they've created a system that allows long distance playing. Yes, some players will move primarily to the computer system due to it's convenience or whatever. But the game is by no means designed to only work on the computer. If it comes to that level, you have every right to call it that and complain about it, and I'll join you. But it hasn't come to that as of this edition.

With aeon's comment well-noted, I step in here. I've always loved the Sorcerer, and I like the Barbarian as well. I've little doubt that such famous classes will come up in future supplements. Here they are getting back to basics and covering their bases in light of the change to "party roles." I also believe the Bard will return as well.

The gnome is screwed. However, you'll be able to play a gnome if your heart so desires.

You have to remember that the core books are not the be all end all. What you're looking for will probably come around. Personally, though my heart is pained by the loss of the Sorcerer, I'm looking forward to some of the things I've heard about in 4th. What I don't like, I can change. Heck, I can even take 3.5 and add in some 4th ed elements and call it 3.75 (the vision of the future!) and run that. I don't see anything bad coming out of this; 3.5 was stagnating with a never-ending run of small books that left much to be desired. Some of these books were very good, but many were not. It was time for change.

I agree with Master Zip's wise statements and suggestions. lol

Anyway, I really like the idea of a branching thread from one discussion. I'd also like it if we could rename forums, like my Low Fantasy forum that actually became Stone Age Low Fantasy thingy, just to keep things clear and to help people know what they're stepping into. And it'd be great if I could just kick another dude off gamegrene cause I don't like them...

Yeah, now that's all I can think about right now. Everything it's got now I love. So, just keep that all up. Anything that encourages creativity and a new way of looking at things. Anything for the gamer who's sick of the typical.

Very wise, T. The good thing about the sorcerer is the fact that in
almost every fantasy setting magic is an inborn talent that can be honed with practice, this is what the sorcerer imbodies. Making magic
a thing that anyone can acomplish with a bit of study(wizard) effectively takes the wonder and mystique out of the arcane arts.

It's true that their we're a lot of stagnant books, but if you want some to troll eBay in a month or two, I'd suggest the following

Players Handbook 2 (A must, lots of stuff for every class)
The Complete Series (Only adventurer, arcane, warrior, divine, and psion if your in on the whole psionics thing. The rest are kind of specialized)
Unearthed Arcana (If you buy one D&D supplement make it this one,
tons of class and race variants and it lets you customize the game to
your liking, with the material here you could make your very own edition!)
Monster Manual 3 (Cool new races)

On this fun site called RPtools they have this tool called MapTool,
it's the same thing, and it's 100% free. If you like to play some
e-D&D I'D totally recommend it.

I agree; those are great books. I'd also suggest Heroes of Horror and Heroes of Battle if you have an interest in either style. Really good stuff.

Making magic a thing that anyone can acomplish with a bit of study(wizard) effectively takes the wonder and mystique out of the arcane arts.

Not to be too meta-gamey, but isn't letting a player take a level or two of sorcerer just the same?

"Making magic a thing that anyone can acomplish with a bit of study(wizard) effectively takes the wonder and mystique out of the arcane arts."

See, I tend to disagree here. I've always felt that magic feels the most "magical" when it requires years of study to learn to control it, and decades to master. Don't get me wrong, sorcerers are freaking awesome, but I've always felt that they should be the exception rather than the norm. Sorcerers are born, not made, which is why their coolness is inversely related with their population. The more sorcerers there are in any given setting, the less cool each of them becomes individually.

Maybe it's just the "American Dream" sentiment in me, but I like the idea that anybody with above-average intelligence can learn how to tap into arcane power, so long as they dedicate their life to learning it. Part of why sorcerers become so unique and different is because 99% of the population has to spend decades learning how to do what they just figured out intuitively. It's like that college roomate who never studies, but still gets better grades than you.

Not exactly their entire life, more like the time it takes to kill
13 monsters.

And I'm a bit of a tradionalist when it comes to magic, I think it should be both a inborn talent and an art honed by years of practice like in Earthsea (a totally awesome book, I recommend it to anyone with the slightest taste in fantasy.) or even Harry Potter. I don't
think it's realistic or fair to give any average joe schmoe the opportunity to cast fantastic spells with a little bit of practice.
One the other hand it's pretty much equally dumb to make a small percent of the population instantly powerful from birth without any training. So I think the sorcerer best embodies this staple of folklore and fiction. Also I think the Sorcerer is much more fun and
easy to play in gaming terms because it does not have to switch and
take time away from gameplay to review it's spells and make everybody
wait. it just picks the best from the start and uses them. Of course
using the spell points varient from Unearthed bypasses the whole
Annoying "Spell Slots", My friend who plays a cleric loves it too.
It's simplicity yet versatility is very appealing to both experienced and new players, thats why I always use it.

No, you have to have a draconic (or whatever your campaign) bloodline
taken only at first level.

By the way, D&D 4ed ,which you profess to hate, should limit the cases you disapprove of, where someone can just dabble with magic for a level or two, as the multiclassing system is completely different now.

Can you make it so that we can post picture easily?
Just a suggestion.

This site is really good as it is, the people are nice and smart,
theres a lot of intersting topics and discussions, all in all this sites great, thanks.

I'm not a hugh fan of multiclassing, in any edition. It makes the game
a great deal more confusing for DMs and players alike, all the different class features and abilities jumbling around . I prefer have a lot of classes to choose from. Example: If a player wants to
play a skilled character with arcane ability who can hold his own in combat, It would be a big pain in the neck to have a
Rogue/Wizard/Fighter, and you would have to wait for three levels to get the character you want. whereas it would be simple to take 3 levels of Bard(something they don't let you do in 4e)

Like, a user avatar (yes, planned)? Or any old picture?
"Any old picture" wasn't in the plans, but yes, it's possible.
I'm willing to be convinced that this should be implemented.

Like let's say you want to write about some minitures, it would
be really neat if you could put photos of it in your article or thread.

I agree. Pics can do a lot for what you're trying to say. I don't care much for avatars (they look ridiculous), but being able to put pics in articles and even forums would be cool.

I don't care much for avatars (they look ridiculous)

Actually, my gherkin avatar would go quite nicely with the green colour scheme....

Well, then, one just for you, gherkin. But nobody else! lol

Is there any way we could have a search mechanic for the larger threads, like if I wanna say what Cocytus said on a big discussion that I found previously, I could just look at his comments or something. That'd be nice.

Yeah. I agree, Avatars look kind of dumb.

It would also be cool if we could make our own polls.

Maybe as a forum kind of poll, not as the main poll you see on the side. Cause then polls could go crazy. But as a part of the forum thing, I think that'd be cool, too.

Yeah, exactly what I meant.

If possible, I'd like fixed the situation that occurs occasionally (including today for me) that old articles or forum subjects appear as new (with the red asterisk) or having all new comments (an old post appears to have 43 new comments out of 43 comments).

Isn't that a cookie timestamp issue (at a guess?)

I suspect that we're seeing old subjects get bumped up the list because they're receiving spam. Would that be right, Morbus?

Perhaps spam that has been removed since the bump?

That does not explain why a topic would appear as a NEW topic, or why the "new comment" count goes crazy.

Actually, no ;)

In this particular case, I was deleting some forums - namely, "Gaming Classifieds" and "Embedding Games in Drupal". However, Gilgamesh had posted some decent items about his Epic Fantasy system and, to retain those, I edited them and moved them to a new forum. The act of moving them caused them to be flagged as "updated", which is why they're showing up in the recent posts.

As for the "13 new" stuff, that's actually stored, per user, in the backend. The only real reason you should be seeing "46 new" on an old post is because you've never visited that old post, logged in, in the past. The count isn't indicating how many new comments were just received, but how many comments you haven't seen. And they'd all be new if you've never visited the article before.

Unsure whether this has already been discussed, but on a multi-page thread it's often hard to locate the new comments, particularly when they are replying to posts somewhere in the middle of the thread. I would hope that the next iteration of Gamegrene fixes this.

yes, maybe have a "next new post" button.

Won't be an issue in the forthcoming version because, as stated above, threading won't exist anymore. The "new" link will take you to the first unread comment, and you'd just keep scrolling down from there.

I've got a counter-example to your statement.
Just now when I logged in (and as often happens, it logs me out whenever I click on "Recent Posts"), I saw the Getting out of Character Ruts as having all (9) new comments. Hover, not only did I read that thread, I've also posted on it. So what's your new explanation? :)

"it logs me out whenever i click on 'Recent Posts'" - this is most likely explained by you going to "gamegrene.com" instead of "www.gamegrene.com". The session cookies are considered different and, thus, you don't get "logged out", but you get transfered to a new domain (according to your browser's logic) where you're not logged in. This won't happen in come next week - I'll be forcing all non-www requests to go to www.gamegrene.com instead. But, come the new upgrade, all users will have to relogin as I'm deleting all your sessions. Hoohah ;)

As for the 9 new comments. Erm. /me rolls. Ah, yes. Bug in the software. Will be fixed next week too. Along with anything else you could ever think to report. Ahem. /me coughs. (Seriously, I don't have an immediate explanation, but would heartily encourage you to see if the bug resurfaces in the new upgrade).

Nothing like a bit of housekeeping :)

BTW, the "logging out" when clicking Recent Posts is repetitive, meaning that once I log in, click RP, get bounced back to lot-logged-in, login again, press RP, back to not-logged-in and so on and so on. This makes me doubt it's the WWW issue.

I haven't tested this, but it might happen when logging in from home and then work, or vice versa.

Yeah, that sounds like a bug I've heard about before in this creaking version of the software (which is now four years old). I'd pay attention to stuff like that come the upgrade; I'm not gonna even worry about it right now in this current version.

Sure, no problem.

I'm becoming familiar with these issues through playing with my WordPress site...

I think I get what Gazgurk means with pictures. Or at least I know what I want from them.
I'd like to see illustration/art/photos that complement the ideas and contextualize them on articles and main site areas.
On forums, I wouldn't like to see any picture, but if I had to, I'd rather these not be avatars or signatures.