0244: "Tabletop Roleplaying"

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0244: "Tabletop Roleplaying"

Postby Pathway » Wed Apr 04, 2007 4:03 am UTC

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Alt-text: "I may have also tossed one of a pair of teleportation rings into the ocean, with interesting results."

I'm not clear on what the alt-text describes. Is it a hoop through which you step to teleport?

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Postby apricity » Wed Apr 04, 2007 4:08 am UTC

I don't even play D&D but I loved this comic anyway. It reminded me of this, but backwards.
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Postby Akula » Wed Apr 04, 2007 4:37 am UTC

lanicita wrote:I don't even play D&D but I loved this comic anyway. It reminded me of this, but backwards.


Hahahaha, that's fuckin great.

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Postby Iluvatar » Wed Apr 04, 2007 4:39 am UTC

Oh man, it's worth it that I'm up past midnight for a CS3 lab just to read that comic. Rofl, I say. Rofl indeed.
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Postby Akira » Wed Apr 04, 2007 4:41 am UTC

I have no idea what teleportation rings are supposed to do... but that brings forth the mental image of someone tossing one end of the teleport ring into the ocean, and then draining the entire ocean because the other ring is on land, and the water jsut keeps coming through...

...okay, maybe not drain the ocean, but it'd make one helluva mess.

</mostly off topic>
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Postby shidobu » Wed Apr 04, 2007 4:41 am UTC

you know I'd kind of like to see/participate in, say, a 5 deep recursive D&D game.

If you could find a way to quickly identify which level of recursion you're acting in, it could lead to some VERY interesting gameplay.

Especially if each layer was playing by a different ruleset :twisted:

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Postby scwizard » Wed Apr 04, 2007 4:58 am UTC

Wow, am I the only one who completely gets the alt text joke?
By interesting results he must mean his DM got really annoyed at him. I know I would.
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Postby TonyD » Wed Apr 04, 2007 5:01 am UTC

scwizard wrote:Wow, am I the only one who completely gets the alt text joke?
By interesting results he must mean his DM got really annoyed at him. I know I would.

I still don't think I fully get it. Care to explain for those of us who aren't D&D nerds?

I figured it was just talking about draining the ocean.

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Postby scwizard » Wed Apr 04, 2007 5:03 am UTC

Draining the ocean. Ya that's pretty much it. Stuff goes in one side and magically comes out the other.
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Postby Iluvatar » Wed Apr 04, 2007 5:04 am UTC

If you could find a way to quickly identify which level of recursion you're acting in, it could lead to some VERY interesting gameplay.


Perhaps some sort of naming convention? For example, by using the second letter in the name of the character acting:

Real life Matt's rec-1 character is named Baalaron, who's rec-2 character is Abubula, whose rec 3 character is Ocanoid, who's rec 4 character is Idendius.

(I'm not a D&D'er, sadly, so this may or may not be infeasible).

Alternately, use the length of the character's name, perhaps.

Or, altertnately again, make the fictional worlds so ridiculously different that it's easy to tell the recursion level by context. John's medieval character's character exists in post-apocalyptic world, and his character is a fairy in a a besieged gumdrop-fantasy land. That fairy has a character in a technocratic future world. Etceteras.[/quote]
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Postby Vaniver » Wed Apr 04, 2007 5:11 am UTC

D&D characters playing D20 Modern playing Mage playing Werewolf playing GURPS?

And the games are periodically interrupted by attacks, so the 'players' have to defend themselves, then resume playing their games.

It ends in tragedy when the real players are unable to defeat the hit men who you hired to break into your house.
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Postby shidobu » Wed Apr 04, 2007 5:14 am UTC

Iluvatar wrote:Perhaps some sort of naming convention? For example, by using the second letter in the name of the character acting:

Real life Matt's rec-1 character is named Baalaron, who's rec-2 character is Abubula, whose rec 3 character is Ocanoid, who's rec 4 character is Idendius.


I was thinking something along these lines, but if the worlds are sufficiently different, naming conventions should be different enough to self-identify, I would think.

i.e. Player Matt has a character named Aenwyn who has a character named Bebop; Player Aaron has a corresponding character named Brevik who has a character named Rocksteady
Last edited by shidobu on Wed Apr 04, 2007 5:14 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Akira » Wed Apr 04, 2007 5:14 am UTC

...*headdesk* Dude. "recursing" wasn't clicking in my head. I get it now. Or as much as I can, in my not-as-geeky glory. XD
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Postby Relsqui » Wed Apr 04, 2007 5:15 am UTC

Vaniver wrote:It ends in tragedy when the real players are unable to defeat the hit men who you hired to break into your house.


Hahahaha.

Keep in mind, guys, that your twice-recursed characters need to be playing their characters IN CHARACTER. They can't just do what the unrecursed (real) player wants them to do; they have to do what the player's character's character thinks they should do. Which itself is determined by the original character.

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Postby Akira » Wed Apr 04, 2007 5:23 am UTC

Relsqui wrote:Keep in mind, guys, that your twice-recursed characters need to be playing their characters IN CHARACTER. They can't just do what the unrecursed (real) player wants them to do; they have to do what the player's character's character thinks they should do. Which itself is determined by the original character.


...I'm surprisingly good at determining what a charachter would do, while in character...

*ponders* Maybe I should try this thirty times recursed tabletop roleplaying.
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Postby Your.Master » Wed Apr 04, 2007 5:24 am UTC

They could just also address a different player as though they were the DM with explanations of what their character did. Seems to me the arrangement has one less player at each level of recursion, unless for some reason the DM or one of the players gets to play multiple characters. Although come to think of it, there's no reason the DM at some level couldn't be at least one NPC at a lower level who is either DM or PC at a still lower level, and even attempt to arrange things to drill through levels of abstraction and alter the course of events very deeply.

When I say "lower" here I mean "penetrating through more layers of recursion", which I guess in a sense is a higher level of abstraction.

Okay, that is getting quite unwieldy. But so far all of the conventions seem to place certain restrictions on the structure of deeper.

Oooh, ooh, I know, we could put packet headers on and treat these as layers in a communications protocol! In other words, the obvious solution, eg.:

My character says his character says her character says its character says that said character is searching for traps.

It's a pain, but it's also completely extensible.

-----

That said, I've never actually played D&D, just picked up on the lingo and ideas (aided in no small part to video games). So I'm not really looking forward to 5-level recursive play sessions anytime soon.

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Postby Akira » Wed Apr 04, 2007 5:25 am UTC

Your.Master wrote:That said, I've never actually played D&D, just picked up on the lingo and ideas (aided in no small part to video games). So I'm not really looking forward to 5-level recursive play sessions anytime soon.


...I think it'd be a blast. As long as I'm not playing with hardcore people who find my ever anime fangirlish squeal a detriment and insult to thier noble game.

...>_> then agian, maybe I should apss on leanring D&D...
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Postby Belial » Wed Apr 04, 2007 5:36 am UTC

I have no idea what teleportation rings are supposed to do... but that brings forth the mental image of someone tossing one end of the teleport ring into the ocean, and then draining the entire ocean because the other ring is on land, and the water jsut keeps coming through...


That's pretty much what they do. This conversation was spawned by a conversation Randy and I had at a Ruby Tuesday's one night, about horrible, physics-breaking things you could do with a pair of ring-gates, which are a magic item from D&D.

This was because we'd just watched the trailer for the game "portals"

Essentially, anything that goes in one side of one ring (they're about two feet wide) comes out the other end of the other ring. Velocity and everything else is preserved.

Our two most horrible uses for these:

1) Weld a plate of adamantine over one ring, with a 1-inch aperture in the center. Teleport the other ring to the bottom of the ocean.

We calculated the water-pressure that would be behind the resulting 1-inch stream, and decided it would probably be adequate to destroy a low-orbit satellite if aimed upward, or lightly water the moon.

Needless to say, it would tear a hole through any enemy in your path.

2) Alright, this one is a little more complicated. First, you need to seal the rings in a metal tube. Arrange one ring at the top of the tube, the other at the bottom.

The rings need to be arranged so that anything that falls through the top of the bottom gate comes out of the bottom of the top gate. So an object dropped through the bottom gate will just keep falling within this tube forever.

Now drop a rock in, and suction out all the air from the tube.

Let it accelerate (at 9.8 m/s²) for 20 years.

Disintegrate the bottom ring.

The rock, now travelling within a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the speed of light, exits the bottom of the now-opened tube, and punches through the ground, compressing all the matter ahead of it as it travels until, at some point near the middle of the planet, it sets off a fusion reaction and destroys the world.

Congratulations, you just spent a couple hundred thousand gold to destroy your world.

Hooray for D&D.
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Postby Arturion » Wed Apr 04, 2007 5:46 am UTC

Belial wrote:
I have no idea what teleportation rings are supposed to do... but that brings forth the mental image of someone tossing one end of the teleport ring into the ocean, and then draining the entire ocean because the other ring is on land, and the water jsut keeps coming through...


That's pretty much what they do. This conversation was spawned by a conversation Randy and I had at a Ruby Tuesday's one night, about horrible, physics-breaking things you could do with a pair of ring-gates, which are a magic item from D&D.

This was because we'd just watched the trailer for the game "portals"

Essentially, anything that goes in one side of one ring (they're about two feet wide) comes out the other end of the other ring. Velocity and everything else is preserved.

Our two most horrible uses for these:

1) Weld a plate of adamantine over one ring, with a 1-inch aperture in the center. Teleport the other ring to the bottom of the ocean.

We calculated the water-pressure that would be behind the resulting 1-inch stream, and decided it would probably be adequate to destroy a low-orbit satellite if aimed upward, or lightly water the moon.

Needless to say, it would tear a hole through any enemy in your path.

2) Alright, this one is a little more complicated. First, you need to seal the rings in a metal tube. Arrange one ring at the top of the tube, the other at the bottom.

The rings need to be arranged so that anything that falls through the top of the bottom gate comes out of the bottom of the top gate. So an object dropped through the bottom gate will just keep falling within this tube forever.

Now drop a rock in, and suction out all the air from the tube.

Let it accelerate (at 9.8 m/s²) for 20 years.

Disintegrate the bottom ring.

The rock, now travelling within a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the speed of light, exits the bottom of the now-opened tube, and punches through the ground, compressing all the matter ahead of it as it travels until, at some point near the middle of the planet, it sets off a fusion reaction and destroys the world.

Congratulations, you just spent a couple hundred thousand gold to destroy your world.

Hooray for D&D.


I see you just fixed the ², but you missed that the game is called "Portal", singular. :wink:

Seriously, though, I so want a pair of these to mess around with. Reminds me of the Farnsworth Paradox.

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Postby Belial » Wed Apr 04, 2007 5:48 am UTC

I see you just fixed the ², but you missed that the game is called "Portal", singular.


Is it?

Bah.

And yeah, I meant to go back and insert the ² with the symbol map before I posted, but I forgot.
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Postby Nentuaby » Wed Apr 04, 2007 5:49 am UTC

Things would start to get very interesting around that tube long before you disintegrated the bottom ring. As the pebble neared the speed of light, its mass would increase greatly, with amusing gravitic consequences.

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Postby warriorness » Wed Apr 04, 2007 5:52 am UTC

1) Find a body of water (a swimming pool will be plenty)
2) Hold one ring above the pool, and put the other directly below it at the bottom of the pool.
3) Put a waterwheel under the top ring.

Infinite energy!
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Postby Arturion » Wed Apr 04, 2007 5:55 am UTC

Hmmm... I was just thinking about the tube idea - wouldn't tilting the tube be a problem, especially at high speeds? I mean, if you tilt the tube after the rock has left the bottom of the top ring, it would go through the bottom ring at an angle, which would mean it would come out of the top ring at an angle...

Dangit, now my brain automatically tries to figure out whether the amount of deflection would keep increasing or not. It's late and I've confused myself. Great. :roll:

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Postby Belial » Wed Apr 04, 2007 5:57 am UTC

Things would start to get very interesting around that tube long before you disintegrated the bottom ring. As the pebble neared the speed of light, its mass would increase greatly, with amusing gravitic consequences.


Hmm. I wonder how that would fuck with the rock's acceleration....if it gets to the point where it's generating enough mass that the planet's gravity no longer affects it, it might not accelerate any further.

At that point, though, you'd probably have yanked the planet out of orbit, so either way
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Postby Belial » Wed Apr 04, 2007 5:58 am UTC

Hmmm... I was just thinking about the tube idea - wouldn't tilting the tube be a problem, especially at high speeds? I mean, if you tilt the tube after the rock has left the bottom of the top ring, it would go through the bottom ring at an angle, which would mean it would come out of the top ring at an angle...


It's already pointed down. Why would you need to tilt it?
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Postby warriorness » Wed Apr 04, 2007 6:09 am UTC

Belial wrote:
Things would start to get very interesting around that tube long before you disintegrated the bottom ring. As the pebble neared the speed of light, its mass would increase greatly, with amusing gravitic consequences.


Hmm. I wonder how that would fuck with the rock's acceleration....if it gets to the point where it's generating enough mass that the planet's gravity no longer affects it, it might not accelerate any further.

At that point, though, you'd probably have yanked the planet out of orbit, so either way


F_g = Gmm/(r^2). The force will keep increasing; eventually it'll just be like two planets very close to each other... then a planet and a sun, a planet and a white dwarf, etc etc. There would have to be some sort of crazy construct to hold the tube itself in place, as the earth would start moving towards the rock (and therefore towards the tube).
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Postby Gelsamel » Wed Apr 04, 2007 6:16 am UTC

Terminal Velocity.
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Postby Belial » Wed Apr 04, 2007 6:25 am UTC

Terminal Velocity.


Is a result of air resistance cancelling out gravitic acceleration.

Belial wrote:Now drop a rock in, and suction out all the air from the tube.
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Postby cmacis » Wed Apr 04, 2007 6:56 am UTC

I don't get the D&D jokes, we had a teacher in middle school who was going to set up and teach this club it, but he didn't. However I've spotted something in this rock in the tube that needs thinking about.

Conservation of energy (and hence, mass by Einstein) must occur in this system. The energy source for this experiment is the Earth (or whatever planet you happen to be on). If the rock is gaining mass through relativistic velocity then the mass has to be coming from somewhere. If it's being formed from the high energy of the rock and the Earth is the source of this energy then wouldn't the rock be stealing mass from the Earth? Best factor that into your equations since the mass of the Earth won't be constant.

Or I could be wrong here, the physics side is not my strong point.
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Postby ArchangelShrike » Wed Apr 04, 2007 6:58 am UTC

I originally thought of throwing a player's character through the non-ocean ring, and then disintegrating the non-ocean ring with the other ring in some suitable place, such as the Marianas Trench. But I guess I'm wrong.

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Postby TonyD » Wed Apr 04, 2007 7:10 am UTC

cmacis wrote:Conservation of energy (and hence, mass by Einstein) must occur in this system.

What about the water-wheel example? This is magic, remember. No one said it's possible to do while obeying the laws of physics.

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Postby Belial » Wed Apr 04, 2007 7:16 am UTC

Yeah. Introducing a magical item (especially something as incredibly magical as a pair of ring-teleporters) does tend to ruin physics.
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Postby plams » Wed Apr 04, 2007 7:24 am UTC

Regarding recursion... I assume the rings are of equal size and that it's possible to shrink stuff in D&D. What would happen if you shrunk one ring and put it through the other? It would need to appear, smaller, through itself.. but it's still on its way through the other ring. My guess is that either the ring will disappear, or.. the whole universe is destroyed.

Also, provided that the rings do not react to inside presure, one would probably have a nice way of converting matter to energy; just "sandwich" something between the teleportating ends of the rings, and suddenly the matter has to find a way of existing in very little space.

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Postby warriorness » Wed Apr 04, 2007 7:51 am UTC

plams wrote:Also, provided that the rings do not react to inside presure, one would probably have a nice way of converting matter to energy; just "sandwich" something between the teleportating ends of the rings, and suddenly the matter has to find a way of existing in very little space.


Well, one end of the object would teleport through and hit the other end, yes? So it's just like trying to squish some object between two other identical objects. And if it's rigid, then it won't go. You won't be able to push the teleport rings together any farther than the edges of the object.
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Postby mikekearn » Wed Apr 04, 2007 7:52 am UTC

I've often thought about the consequences of having matter teleporting devices. Every scenario ends in either utter obliteration of everything in a very wide radius, or the utter obliteration of everything in an even wider radius.

Sure, you could get free energy, but you had the ability to create or obtain very powerful magical devices to begin with, so who cares about free energy?

Personally, I like the idea of ejecting one into orbit and leaving the other open on Earth, to slowly spread the entirety of Earth's atmosphere across the reaches of space as the space-ring flies through the universe. Bonus points if you hit a star and bring the destructive power of a sun through the connection to this little mudball!
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Postby Pathway » Wed Apr 04, 2007 7:52 am UTC

This is similar to parts of http://qntm.org/ed and http://qntm.org/destroy, both of which I liked.

Belial wrote:
Things would start to get very interesting around that tube long before you disintegrated the bottom ring. As the pebble neared the speed of light, its mass would increase greatly, with amusing gravitic consequences.


Hmm. I wonder how that would fuck with the rock's acceleration....if it gets to the point where it's generating enough mass that the planet's gravity no longer affects it, it might not accelerate any further.

At that point, though, you'd probably have yanked the planet out of orbit, so either way


All you'd need to do then would be to use electromagnetic fields. edit: oh yeah , you'd have to give it a charge first. but that's doable.

Actually, to simplify it, you could just use a single charged particle, probably a proton, and just pump a lot of juice into the machine. Presto, a linear accelerator of infinite length!

cmacis wrote:
Conservation of energy (and hence, mass by Einstein) must occur in this system. The energy source for this experiment is the Earth (or whatever planet you happen to be on). If the rock is gaining mass through relativistic velocity then the mass has to be coming from somewhere. If it's being formed from the high energy of the rock and the Earth is the source of this energy then wouldn't the rock be stealing mass from the Earth? Best factor that into your equations since the mass of the Earth won't be constant.

Or I could be wrong here, the physics side is not my strong point.


Shows that something strange is going on here: the rock gains energy from going to the top, but the gravitational potential energy it gains exists solely as a function of its position. Hence instantaneously and effortlessly changing an object's position is tantamount to instantaneously and effortlessly changing its total energy. Either this scenario causes us to modify conservation of energy, or conservation of energy causes us to modify this scenario. Maybe it takes energy to keep the teleportation rings running? Or maybe what really happens with energy is something much weirder, but still self-consistent.

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Postby Solt » Wed Apr 04, 2007 8:55 am UTC

cmacis wrote:Conservation of energy (and hence, mass by Einstein) must occur in this system. The energy source for this experiment is the Earth (or whatever planet you happen to be on). If the rock is gaining mass through relativistic velocity then the mass has to be coming from somewhere. If it's being formed from the high energy of the rock and the Earth is the source of this energy then wouldn't the rock be stealing mass from the Earth? Best factor that into your equations since the mass of the Earth won't be constant.

Or I could be wrong here


Yes, you are wrong. Any and all energy is coming from the teleportation device itself, not from the earth. The teleporter has to expend energy to move the payload between the rings and in this particular case, part of that energy is the work done against gravity.

That also means no free energy. It's free for the user, but it has to be extracted from whatever alternate dimensional plane the rings are drawing their power. And they're probably consuming a lot more energy than you'll ever be able to get out of it because the rings also have to expend energy making the object disappear, move incredibly fast, then reappear. Any gravitational potential energy gained in the movement stage is what you can get out of it, nothing more.

edit: actually, now that I think about it... say the rings work by moving the object to an alternate dimension with no mass or energy in it, moving it to the new location, then phasing it back into our dimension, which is what I imagine they would do... well, you wouldn't be working against any forces when you move it (except inertial mass, of course) but you're gaining energy based on gravitational acceleration- so that means you really would be getting free energy from the earth. It would be appearing out of nowhere. Just... like that. poof.

I don't like impossible scenarios, they make my head hurt.


plams wrote:Also, provided that the rings do not react to inside presure, one would probably have a nice way of converting matter to energy; just "sandwich" something between the teleportating ends of the rings, and suddenly the matter has to find a way of existing in very little space.


Actually, I think Belial's setup would result in matter-> energy conversion. Instead of having a mass moving very close to the speed of light, you would just convert the whole thing into energy. I'm sure there are a shitload of caveats and special requirements, but I think if you get the mass moving fast enough, you can destabilize it to the point where it just blows apart into pure energy. Or I could be talking out my ass. That seems like the only logical conclusion if nothing can move at or faster than the speed of light- anything that gets close enough just turns into light.



And regarding the comic: I'd totally do that. I think the GM I played with back then would go along with it, too. Maybe. As long as he got to be GM in the recursive worlds too.
Last edited by Solt on Wed Apr 04, 2007 9:09 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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evilbeanfiend
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Postby evilbeanfiend » Wed Apr 04, 2007 9:02 am UTC

whether it is matter or energy (it both anyways really) it would still pack a hefty hole in your planet

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Postby mojojojo » Wed Apr 04, 2007 9:04 am UTC

This comic made me think of the movie eXistenz (yes, I think that's actually how it's spelled), in which the characters are actually immersed in a role playing game in which they recurse. I think it ended up being like 3 or 4 levels or recursion, which made for a really confusing (albeit good) movie.

Also, the movie The 13th floor, althought that wasn't about role playing as much as eXistenz.

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Postby SoapyHobo » Wed Apr 04, 2007 9:30 am UTC

Solt wrote:As long as he got to be GM in the recursive worlds too.


He couldn't be GM in the recursive worlds as he doesn't have a character in the first world to play in the second, etc.
Jack Saladin wrote:Goddamn that's an awesome ****, Soapy. Once they get around to making artificial **** and I replace my crappy original ones, I'm gonna make mine look like that.


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