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aramis June 16th, 2014 08:49 PM

23 Jun 2014: "T5 Not A Game" Stops
Claims that "T5 is Not A Game" or that "T5 is unplayable" will no longer be allowed.

Most of the last 15 infractions have been linked to T5 bashing. It stops.

After 23 Jun 2014, it becomes a zero-tolerance no-warnings 3 point infraction.

I dislike having to be this heavy handed, but after the recent flare-ups, and the amount of stress it's creating for me, it ends. (And note: I'm not a t5 fan.)

Reasonable critiques, complaints about specific sections, and other constructive criticisms are, as always, allowed.

Note also - a 3 point infraction suspends one's moot privs, results in 30 days of moderated posting, and automatically issues a 3 day suspension. The points will expire in 30 days on this offense.

This isn't a new rule, but it is a new level of infraction within Rule 6.

Likewise, Personal Attacks on Marc Miller will be a zero-tolerance 1 point offense. with the same effective date. Points from this offense will expire in 1 year.

We have had very few infractions lately - but almost all of them have been either personal attacks or T5 related. Which means it's time to step up and make it clear.

atpollard June 17th, 2014 12:39 AM

I'd like to share a few personal thoughts ...

I am far more a fan of Classic Traveller than T5.
It has nothing to do with the "quality of T5" and everything to do with a personal preference for the 2d6 core mechanic over the T4/T5 variable die mechanic.
This is not a secret, and I am not alone in my preferences here at COTI.

Where I stand on T5 is ...
... vehemently in favor of the rights of T5 players (the people that I know who actually play the game) to gather and talk and praise their game without all of the bashing that T5 and Marc seem to be drawing.
Does the T5 book have some organizational issues? Yes.
Is a 700 page book intimidating? Sure.
Could it benefit from some examples? You bet it could.

... but none of this means that it isn't a game.
In point of fact, the existence of people who play and enjoy T5, actually DISPROVES, beyond any trace of doubt, that there is a game within the T5 rule book. Claims to the contrary are false opinions. To ask people to stop making hurtful claims that have been empirically proven false, hardly seems like an unreasonable request.

Mongoose Traveller was subject to some pretty excessive criticism when it debuted on COTI.
I hated the trolling and baiting and basic mean spiritedness that I saw.
It was hurtful. It was divisive. It harmed the COTI community.
I was not in a position to do anything about it then.
I am now.

I don't know if the announced penalties are too heavy handed or not.
What I do know is that the hateful criticisms of Marc and T5, and the negative barrages that seem to shout down every T5 topic have gotten old ... really old.
I have no doubt in my mind that Mongoose would never tolerate a verbal group of MgT critics posting on every Traveller topic on the Mongoose board about how terrible MgT is and how Matt is some sort of liar, thief and idiot.
COTI deserves to have its members granted the same courtesy of a 'harassment free zone' for the discussion of T5.

This is not a ban on all criticism of T5, but this will probably dampen some legitimate critical discussion.
That is unfortunate.

However, for good or bad:
Classic Traveller is a game.
MegaTraveller is a game.
Traveller The New Era is a game.
Marc Miller's Traveller (T4) is a game.
GURPS Traveller is a game.
T20 is a game.
Mongoose Traveller is a game.
... and T5 really is a game.

One thing that helps me to keep things in perspective is to imagine how I would feel if that was my favorite version of Traveller was being constantly attacked with disruptive criticism and slanderous accusations.
This board belongs to FFE and Marc.
It only seems appropriate that the players of T5 should be welcome to share and enjoy their game on this site.

So, I completely agree that the forbidden activities are indeed 'actions detrimental to the community' and need to stop.
If this is what is needed to stop the unhealthy Marc/T5 bashing, then so be it.

Those are my thoughts on the subject.

Supplement Four June 17th, 2014 03:03 AM


Originally Posted by atpollard (Post 480978)
I don't know if the announced penalties are too heavy handed or not.


This is not a ban on all criticism of T5, but this will probably dampen some legitimate critical discussion.
That is unfortunate.

It is downright wrong. Heavy handed? It's ridiculous. Never, on any board where I participate regularly, have I seen a mod act like this and be supported for it.

It's saying, "Only speak the way we want you to speak about this topic."

It makes me embarrassed to be a CotI member.

It is censorship, plain and simple.

It disgusts me, and it makes me angry that any of the other mods, and Marc, himself, would allow it.

This is supposed to be a place to speak our minds. Yet this ruling just enforces CotI's net-reputation of being a place where only certain people are wanted--those that agree with the mod's opinions.

On the matter of T5 being a game: If I make a very simple roleplaying where every task is decided by a simple 2D6 roll, and every task succeeds on a roll of 7+, is that a real roleplaying game? There's not stats or modifiers. When something undecided comes up, either the player or GM rolls 2D6 and allows the PC to succeed every time the result is that a roleplaying game? No skills. No other mechanics at all. Just a simple 2D6 for 7+ roll.

Is it a roleplaying game?

What if it catches on with my group and a couple of others--then a handful of people are gaming this way, using my simple system.

Does that make it a roleplaying game?

Just because people are finding ways to play with it?

I can see arguments on both sides. And, I'm not sure that just because T5 has people playing the game ultimately means that the broken mess that T5 is a complete game (especially when I know that the games being played are heavily house ruled so that the broken parts of T5 are "fixed"). Just like I'm not sure if my 2D6 for 7+ simple system qualifies as a roleplaying game, even if people start using it. What I do know is that I've been important sections of T5 with a fine toothed comb, and the game is very broken in a lot of places. I understand why some insist that it's not a game but more a collection of a Ref's thoughts for a game.

This is akin to saying that CT has no task system. I've said, in the past, that CT has an "unstructred" task system, because, in the game, tasks are certainly thrown--the tasks that the Ref makes up on the spot. Other's say that CT has no task system because what is done in CT isn't the same as a unified, structured task system seen in every other Traveller edition.

My point here is not to say T5 is a game or is not a game. I'm not positing or defending either notion about T5. I am drawing question to the reference that T5 is a roleplaying only because people are playing it.

Back on point: Aramis, in the ruling above, has gone way too far, and that he, himself, should be reprimanded for it. He's fed up with the T5 bashing? Fine. Stop being a moderator. Putting up with that stuff is part of the job.

It is, as I said at the top of this post, just plain WRONG to do what he is doing.

I can't believe that the majority of the CotI members will just sit back and accept this.

I'll say this, right now, for all the board and every mod to hear. I DO NOT ACCEPT AND WILL NOT TOLERATE WHAT ARAMIS HAS STATED ABOVE. Because what he is doing is against everything I believe in.

taustin June 17th, 2014 03:30 AM


Originally Posted by Supplement Four (Post 480988)
Never, on any board where I participate regularly, have I seen a mod act like this and be supported for it.

Apparently, you have never been to, where I have seen someone banned for refusing to say something that would get them banned - and acknowledged by the mod doing it as such. Not that it matters here.

I believe you are interpreting this in a way that is different than it was intended. I also believe that your interpretation is going to be far more common that aramis would like, because it does imply that criticism won't be allowed (even though it says it will be).

Whether or not T5 is "a game" is an opinion, and all opinions are equally valid, and equally useless. Either you agree with the other guy, and there's nothing to discuss, or you don't, and the end result is disruptive to the forum (which is what aramis wants to stop.

Personal attacks on Marc are, of course, pointless unless one's goal is trolling, which belongs on your forum, not someone else's. What constitutes a personal attack is debatable, but the only vote that counts is the one from the guy who pays the bills. Censorship? Hardly. You don't own the forum, and you don't get to set the rules. And any reasonable definition of censorship has it as government action, not someone enforcing rules within their own property.

As to statements on whether or not the game is playable, versus legitimate discussions of specific topics, good luck on walking that tightrope. Because whether or not it is playable is a far more objective statement, defensible with references to the rules. There are structural problems and serious conflicts within the rules as published, well documented. The latest update to the errata is a year ago. And despite repeated requests for more updates, not only are there not any more updates (for reasons that are perfectly good), there is no word on where there will be even though we're told Marc is back on the job. That adds up to some pretty extreme frustration from people who want to like T5, who want it to succeed both artistically and commercially.

I do understand why aramis is tired of hearing about it. When you hear the same thing, day after day after day, the same thing endlessly, and all of it negative, it gets pretty annoying.

IMO, though, the answer is not arbitrary (and they are, as all such rules must be) rules about suspending accounts, but to answer the questions that have been asked so many times. And it's become very clear that those answers will not be forthcoming, so the day has arrived when a lot of people who a week ago were hard core fans are going to be questioning why they bother, at least with the forum.

I suspect that this might be looked back on in the future as the day the death spiral began. Not because T5 has problems in the rules, not even because it went so long without errata updates, but because this is the day that people realize that if there's something (or many somethings) that you can't resolve on your own, there's no help in the official forum. Mind you, I don't believe that's true, but it doesn't matter if it's true or not if people believe it's true. And the tone of this announcement is very easy to misread in a very negative way.

IMO, this isn't doing Marc any favors.

Supplement Four June 17th, 2014 03:40 AM


Originally Posted by taustin (Post 480990)
Apparently, you have never been to,...

Just to be clear, no I've never posted or read But, I have been on several other forums over the years, and right now, I check and participate on six of them, including this one, on a daily basis.


You don't own the forum, and you don't get to set the rules.
No. You're right. If a person agrees to be part of a community, then he agrees to play by that community's rules.

But, the person must also ask himself if the rules he's asked to play by are acceptable to himself. What Aramis is saying above is not acceptable to me, and I'm willing to leave the forum over it. I'd rather not be a part of this community than accept that kind of censorship.

Aramis needs to step down from being a moderator. This forum needs someone more reasonable in the role. His "big stick" methods are what's tiring to me. You can only beat the populace with a stick for so long before there is a revolt.

Cryton June 17th, 2014 04:52 AM

Supplement Four, I am going to suggest you read this post, and then the entire thread its in before you post anything.


aramis June 17th, 2014 04:58 AM


Originally Posted by Supplement Four (Post 480988)
It is downright wrong. Heavy handed? It's ridiculous. Never, on any board where I participate regularly, have I seen a mod act like this and be supported for it.

Were you not around when COTI enforced similar about Mongoose? (I seem to recall you were around. After all, it was in 2009, and you joined in 2002.)

Hunter invites Mongoose bashers to go elsewhere
Hunter bans system bashing

As had Hunter, I didn't act soon enough.
However, S4, I'll give the same conditions as Hunter - You want to bash a given Traveller system? Go elsewhere. It's been a violation of the board rules to system bash since 30 November 2008.

In service, I remain,

--- Aramis
Lead administrator of COTI

Spinward Scout June 17th, 2014 07:46 AM


Originally Posted by Supplement Four (Post 480988)
This is supposed to be a place to speak our minds.

This is supposed to be a place to have fun. Last I checked, pissing and moaning about something you can't change isn't fun. For you or anyone else.

What this whole criticism about T5 is, is basically an EDITION WAR, usually without a specified or implied favorite opposing edition. T5 suxxors and all that. T5 isn't as good as CT or MT or whatever. I know Edition Wars are banned on other forums and on the Traveller Facebook page.

If you don't like T5, push on and do something more fun with your life.


Originally Posted by Supplement Four (Post 480988)
Yet this ruling just enforces CotI's net-reputation...

Obviously you've been to other places to talk about Traveller in order to find CotI's "net reputation". If those other places are more fun for you...

The way I see it, you can either piss and moan or you can have fun.

Your choice.

Don was nice enough to let everyone speak their mind for a while. And he got to see what was negatively being said. Now that's (partly) over.

Stop beating a dead horse.

rancke June 17th, 2014 08:18 AM


Originally Posted by Spinward Scout (Post 481001)
Stop beating a dead horse.

Is it really dead? I understand from Don that I've managed to change at least one small bit of T5. Is that over and done with? T5 is locked in its current form from now on and forever?

I can understand highlighting and coming down hard on existing infractions if they seem to be proliferating. I can understand dire warnings about subjects that appear to encourage infractions. But to create new infractions and impose blanket bans on subjects seems to me to be punishing the innocent with the guilty. It's collective punishment for individual offenses.

If people get tired of reading about a subject, there's a very simple remedy: stop reading about that subject. If they get tired of reading one person's opinions, stop reading that person's posts.


pendragonman June 17th, 2014 09:10 AM


The poor deceased equine in question is the ceaseless "T5 isn't my favorite edition of Trav so it sucks" or "T5 is not my house rules so it sucks" or "Marc is a ####### for making T5" that several members have decided to vent their spleen over. In fact a few of them have previously had to be warned by the mods to knock it off and have not. Hence Aramis' move.

In my mind, he held off waaay, waaay too long.

It is not the necessary constructive critical discussion of parts of T5 that need repair.

And S4, the part of the US constitution that guarantees free speech does not protect you from the consequences of that speech. It just guarantees that you have the right to say what you like.

The consequences of continuing to bash T5 as is your want, is that you will be forced to go away from here. If you really are active on six different boards like you say, you can easily go bash T5 elsewhere. And that is exactly what you are being told by two different mods.

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