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Author Topic: Incentivizing Roleplaying Behavior: A Bad Idea (Mark Brantingham)  (Read 10422 times)

CRKrueger

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Incentivizing Roleplaying Behavior: A Bad Idea (Mark Brantingham)
« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2016, 09:03:42 PM »
Quote from: S'mon;933057
"XP for gold" or "XP for killing monsters" or "XP for overcoming challenges" is not "fixing social issues at the table through mechanics" or "behavior engineering" by "useless shitbag". That's really dumb. XP as a reward mechanism works great IME and I see no reason to change it.

You start with "agreed premise", OOC thinking that "this game is going to be about..." Aka, some form of genre awareness, and the best strawman you can come up to support your needed incentivization is the famed "basket weaver" player who never existed in the first place and who if they did exist, you are going to try and control their behavior through genre-appropriate awards.    

No thank you.  

I roleplay in worlds, not genres.  My "dungeon-crawling thief" might feel like helping a small frontier town get back on it's feet by helping rebuild defenses, or my "weathered ranger" may end up getting involved in a city adventure.
Even the the "cutting edge" storygamers for all their talk of narrative, plot, and drama are fucking obsessed with the god damned rules they use. - Estar

Yes, Sean Connery's thumb does indeed do megadamage. - Spinachcat

Isuldur is a badass because he stopped Sauron with a broken sword, but Iluvatar is the badass because he stopped Sauron with a hobbit. -Malleus Arianorum

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BedrockBrendan

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Incentivizing Roleplaying Behavior: A Bad Idea (Mark Brantingham)
« Reply #16 on: December 01, 2016, 09:19:52 PM »
Quote from: CRKrueger;933413

A time one though, seems to have the least OOC incentive, and arguably the least amount of handwavium to rationalize, which always seems to be a good idea.


I think XP linked to passage of time is good. The only problem I have found with it, is time isn't the only consideration. If you have two people learning guitar and one practices five hours a day, while the other plays Nintendo for four hours and practices for one hour, all other things being equal, I'd expect the first person to get better at playing, at a faster rate. Right now, my method for dealing with that is to use time, also have some baseline "did you do anything" requirements (so you can basically always get 1 XP if you just showed up, then maybe 2 if you showed up and did something relevant to what characters are developing skills for, 3 if you really do a lot in that respect). I have specific things laid down, but in terms of brand principles, that is what I am really after.

Still, XP isn't something I spend a whole lot of time fretting over, since it comes up between sessions rather than during play (so even methods that don't make too much sense, don't interfere with the game itself).

blackstone

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Incentivizing Roleplaying Behavior: A Bad Idea (Mark Brantingham)
« Reply #17 on: December 14, 2016, 12:30:49 PM »
I read through the entire OP and I 100% disagree with the premise.

First off, don't tell me rewarding XP is wrong. F*ck you and your time-based approach. It's still providing an incentive.

Secondly, how I reward XP is entirely my choice. If I feel like rewarding XP for gold, monsters defeated, AND certain player actions that's entirely up to me. And for me it WORKS. F@ck you again.

Thirdly, there is no right or wrong way of rewarding XP. As long as your consistent with how is done, there's no problem.. F#ck you for a 3rd time.

Lastly: and saying role-playing your character is reward enough? that's about the lamest cop-out I've read. If role-playing is the ONLY reward, then what's the f%cking point of playing? Sit around and tell stories? You might as well be acting in a sh!tty community theater production.  Double f*ck you on the last.

These types of articles (and I've seen this sort of drivel before) are about the lamest form of condescending, arrogant bullsh!t I've ever read. In fact, the only thing you "proved" is how arrogant you are. You're not some sort of f#cking savior or wise sage proclaiming from the ivory tower "Listen to me, my people! You're doing it all wrong! My way is the RIGHT WAY!" F#ck that shit. Who the f#ck are you to say how we're doing XP is wrong? I said it once, and I'll say it again: there is no right or wrong way. As long as you're consistent is what matters. I underlined, bolded, and italicized that for you so you can easily read it. That goes for rewarding XP, using psionics, what form of f#cking bard you are playing, etc.

If you want to reward XP by using a time-based system, FINE. Go ahead. I've got no problem with that. But to come here and say with a lot of hubris and assumptions that you're way of rewarding XP is the RIGHT way? F#ck off.

I'm sorry everyone. But when I see "my way is the right way" sort of articles/posts on RPGs, I'm compelled to throw the "bullshit flag" and award penalties. What can I say: IT'S AN INCENTIVE.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2016, 12:38:28 PM by blackstone »

AsenRG

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Incentivizing Roleplaying Behavior: A Bad Idea (Mark Brantingham)
« Reply #18 on: December 14, 2016, 01:51:39 PM »
And then there was a lot of fucking;).
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blackstone

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Incentivizing Roleplaying Behavior: A Bad Idea (Mark Brantingham)
« Reply #19 on: December 14, 2016, 02:06:23 PM »
Quote from: AsenRG;935063
And then there was a lot of fucking;).

:p hell yeah!

CRKrueger

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Incentivizing Roleplaying Behavior: A Bad Idea (Mark Brantingham)
« Reply #20 on: December 14, 2016, 04:50:02 PM »
Triggered much?  Purple refugee I take it?
Even the the "cutting edge" storygamers for all their talk of narrative, plot, and drama are fucking obsessed with the god damned rules they use. - Estar

Yes, Sean Connery's thumb does indeed do megadamage. - Spinachcat

Isuldur is a badass because he stopped Sauron with a broken sword, but Iluvatar is the badass because he stopped Sauron with a hobbit. -Malleus Arianorum

"Tangency Edition" D&D would have no classes or races, but 17 genders to choose from. -TristramEvans

ZWEIHÄNDER

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Incentivizing Roleplaying Behavior: A Bad Idea (Mark Brantingham)
« Reply #21 on: December 15, 2016, 12:00:19 PM »
In brief, GMs should reward the behavior they want to see at the gaming table.

If they want a game where PCs kill monsters, give XP for that. If they want a game where PCs rob and plunder, give XP for that. If they want a game where people solve social intrigues, give XP for that. If they want a game where PCs further the goals of an patron, guild or affiliation, give XP for that.

Giving 'blanket' XP simply for showing up is ridiculous. XP is a reward, not an expectation.
No thanks.

CRKrueger

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Incentivizing Roleplaying Behavior: A Bad Idea (Mark Brantingham)
« Reply #22 on: December 15, 2016, 03:04:50 PM »
Quote from: ZWEIHÄNDER;935209
In brief, GMs should reward the behavior they want to see at the gaming table.

If they want a game where PCs kill monsters, give XP for that. If they want a game where PCs rob and plunder, give XP for that. If they want a game where people solve social intrigues, give XP for that. If they want a game where PCs further the goals of an patron, guild or affiliation, give XP for that.

Giving 'blanket' XP simply for showing up is ridiculous. XP is a reward, not an expectation.

No, XP is simply the process by which CHARACTERS get better at whatever they decide to do.  Players shouldn't be involved. Saying "This game is about X, therefore you get experience for X and not for Y, even though your character should be getting better at Y but I just don't want you to do it", is idiotic Forge-think, player behavioral engineering.  Fuck off with that OOC self-aware bullshit.

Characters do things, they get better at things...natural expectation and just how things work.
Even the the "cutting edge" storygamers for all their talk of narrative, plot, and drama are fucking obsessed with the god damned rules they use. - Estar

Yes, Sean Connery's thumb does indeed do megadamage. - Spinachcat

Isuldur is a badass because he stopped Sauron with a broken sword, but Iluvatar is the badass because he stopped Sauron with a hobbit. -Malleus Arianorum

"Tangency Edition" D&D would have no classes or races, but 17 genders to choose from. -TristramEvans

blackstone

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Incentivizing Roleplaying Behavior: A Bad Idea (Mark Brantingham)
« Reply #23 on: December 15, 2016, 03:05:32 PM »
I read the OP over again,  and I have to add one thing: the "time-based" system gives NO INCENTIVE FOR PLAYERS TO DO ANYTHING.

I could show up, plop my ass down with a 6 pack of my favorite brew, eat something, BS with the others in the group, AND NOT CONTRIBUTE ONE IOTA TO THE GAME AND STILL GET XP.

I could just...sit there.

Where's the incentive to actually role-play your character? If I only have to show up, f*ck it.

Plus, you forget there are some people who play these games but don't like to act out and "role-play". They sling dice, kill things, take their sh*t, and GET XP for it.

So someone who slings dice, kill things, takes their sh*t, and GET XP for it would get the same XP as someone who role-played their PC to the best of their ability, and someone who just sat there and took up space at the table? So no matter who did what, all that mattered is the time spent playing. Am I right?

WTF is this, "Communism: the Role-Playing Game"?

CRKrueger

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Incentivizing Roleplaying Behavior: A Bad Idea (Mark Brantingham)
« Reply #24 on: December 15, 2016, 05:18:21 PM »
Quote from: blackstone;935263
I read the OP over again,  and I have to add one thing: the "time-based" system gives NO INCENTIVE FOR PLAYERS TO DO ANYTHING.
Umm...you know the whole "Roleplaying should be it's own reward" thesis?  That's what that means.

Quote from: blackstone;935263
I could show up, plop my ass down with a 6 pack of my favorite brew, eat something, BS with the others in the group, AND NOT CONTRIBUTE ONE IOTA TO THE GAME AND STILL GET XP.
No, because the rest of the group would say "Blackstone, why are you being such a useless shitbagger?  If you want to act like a dumb fucker, go do it at your own goddamn house.", you know, the reply you give whenever a player is deliberately being a useless piece of shit.

Quote from: blackstone;935263
Where's the incentive to actually role-play your character?
The fun experience of roleplaying your character without OOC concerns.

Quote from: blackstone;935263
Plus, you forget there are some people who play these games but don't like to act out and "role-play". They sling dice, kill things, take their sh*t, and GET XP for it.
It kind of goes without saying, that if you don't actually roleplay, then the whole "roleplaying it it's own reward thing" won't work for you.  You need to keep score somehow, so do so.

Quote from: blackstone;935263
So someone who slings dice, kill things, takes their sh*t, and GET XP for it would get the same XP as someone who role-played their PC to the best of their ability, and someone who just sat there and took up space at the table? So no matter who did what, all that mattered is the time spent playing. Am I right?
Dice Slinger would get the same XP as the Roleplayer, yes.  Useless space-taker will get nothing, because he's not playing the game.  Don't be that stupid.

Quote from: blackstone;935263
WTF is this, "Communism: the Role-Playing Game"?
Someone who needs to keep score as if you're playing Monopoly or Gauntlet or World of Warcraft isn't really the target audience.  As far as tying this to politics weren't you one who said you couldn't determine political leaning by examing gaming methods?  Don't be that stupid.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2016, 05:20:33 PM by CRKrueger »
Even the the "cutting edge" storygamers for all their talk of narrative, plot, and drama are fucking obsessed with the god damned rules they use. - Estar

Yes, Sean Connery's thumb does indeed do megadamage. - Spinachcat

Isuldur is a badass because he stopped Sauron with a broken sword, but Iluvatar is the badass because he stopped Sauron with a hobbit. -Malleus Arianorum

"Tangency Edition" D&D would have no classes or races, but 17 genders to choose from. -TristramEvans

blackstone

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Incentivizing Roleplaying Behavior: A Bad Idea (Mark Brantingham)
« Reply #25 on: December 15, 2016, 07:31:41 PM »
Quote from: CRKrueger;935282
Umm...you know the whole "Roleplaying should be it's own reward" thesis?  That's what that means.

No, because the rest of the group would say "Blackstone, why are you being such a useless shitbagger?  If you want to act like a dumb fucker, go do it at your own goddamn house.", you know, the reply you give whenever a player is deliberately being a useless piece of shit.

The fun experience of roleplaying your character without OOC concerns.

It kind of goes without saying, that if you don't actually roleplay, then the whole "roleplaying it it's own reward thing" won't work for you.  You need to keep score somehow, so do so.

Dice Slinger would get the same XP as the Roleplayer, yes.  Useless space-taker will get nothing, because he's not playing the game.  Don't be that stupid.

Someone who needs to keep score as if you're playing Monopoly or Gauntlet or World of Warcraft isn't really the target audience.  As far as tying this to politics weren't you one who said you couldn't determine political leaning by examing gaming methods?  Don't be that stupid.


This is so fucking laughable. I already said I didn't agree with the OP. It was one of the first things I wrote. What i don't ultimately agree with is the how the OP comes off as being arrogant by saying that we're doing it all wrong, he has proof we're doing all wrong, and we should abandon what we've done for years. Again I say "fuck you". There's no proof, just opinion. that's it. Furthermore I personally think it's a fucked up way of doing XP, but if that's the way you want to do it in your game, it's entirely up to you. See the big difference?  I'm not telling anyone no matter how whacked it may be how to play. It's up to you. The OP OTOH pretty much comes right out and says how we do XP is wrong.  Guess what? there's no right or wrong way. I might think your way is stupid, buy hey, it's not up for me to tell you how to run things.

In short:  Nobody should tell anyone that the way they play RPGs is wrong. Not you. Not me. Nobody. And if they do? Well...

As far as the politics. If you can't tell that sarcasm, then that's on you.

blackstone

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Incentivizing Roleplaying Behavior: A Bad Idea (Mark Brantingham)
« Reply #26 on: December 15, 2016, 07:48:48 PM »
Quote from: CRKrueger;935262
No, XP is simply the process by which CHARACTERS get better at whatever they decide to do.  Players shouldn't be involved. Saying "This game is about X, therefore you get experience for X and not for Y, even though your character should be getting better at Y but I just don't want you to do it", is idiotic Forge-think, player behavioral engineering.  Fuck off with that OOC self-aware bullshit.

Characters do things, they get better at things...natural expectation and just how things work.


Rewarding XP for killing monsters like a fighter is "idiotic Forge-think"? So is giving XP to rob and plunder like a thief using his skills. What about a MU researching magic to make a unique spell? No XP for that either? Or a cleric converting an evil village to his god? No XP for that too?

HOLY FUCK! We were doing Forge stuff DECADES before The Forge existed!:eek:

Really.

If you think all of those examples are "Forge think", then you've been gaming in a bubble.

And to be on the record: I HATED the Forge just as much as anyone. Political correctness and SJW shit has no place in RPGs IMO. I think we can agree on that.

CRKrueger

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Incentivizing Roleplaying Behavior: A Bad Idea (Mark Brantingham)
« Reply #27 on: December 15, 2016, 09:58:05 PM »
If you read what I was responding to, it will give more context to my reply.  I'll break it down...

Quote from: ZWEIHÄNDER;935209
In brief, GMs should reward the behavior they want to see at the gaming table.
So the GM steers the players to do what the GM wants them to do by rewarding XP for the "right" things.  This is classic Forgethink, and manifests in their games as the idea that games are "about something" and that players should "address the premise" of the game and the story-based mechanics that give concrete benefits to players for roleplaying their character (ie. training those knuckle-dragging gamists to stop rollplaying and be proper storytellers by giving them mechanical benefits when they do so).

This the same kind of horseshit as "D&D is all about combat", or "all about the DungeonCrawl" or "all about resource tracking" or "all about X".  Any roleplaying game is much, much broader than some jackass Designer's or GM's "premise".

Gary did not do "XP for Gold and killing" because the game was to be solely about DungeonCrawling, kicking in doors, killing things and taking their stuff.  We know this because he spent a quarter of the damn DMG talking about other types of campaigns.  

It was an abstract approximation, nothing more.  Not defining a Trope, not setting a playstyle in stone, an abstract approximation.  As adventurers adventure, they get better at adventuring.  That's it.  That's all.  It's an abstraction, however, therefore gaining XP by killing things could make you better at Climbing.

Quote from: ZWEIHÄNDER;935209
If they want a game where PCs kill monsters, give XP for that. If they want a game where PCs rob and plunder, give XP for that. If they want a game where people solve social intrigues, give XP for that. If they want a game where PCs further the goals of an patron, guild or affiliation, give XP for that.

Giving 'blanket' XP simply for showing up is ridiculous. XP is a reward, not an expectation.
Now here he is reinforcing what I said above, for this point of view, the game is "about something" and if I want a D&D game about Diplomacy more than combat, I should give out Diplomacy XP awards and deemphasize Combat XP awards.  If I do so, I am treating players like dogs chasing the right kind of treat.  Chase the rabbit, get a treat, chase the cat, get a shock.  

In this view of XP, experience is not the natural progression of sentient beings becoming better at something, no, XP is a GM-issued reward to the Player for "behaving correctly".  I think if you weren't fired up, and saw Zweihander's post by itself, you might toss a couple "Fuck Yous" thataway, because you don't strike me as someone who plays to "behave correctly" and please the GM by undertaking the behavior he wants you to like a good little boy.

Quote from: blackstone;935308
Rewarding XP for killing monsters like a fighter is "idiotic Forge-think"?
If I decide that in this game you are supposed to kill monsters, so I give you XP as a fighter for killing monsters, but I don't give you XP for killing humans, then yes, that is idiotic Forge-Think.
Quote from: blackstone;935308
So is giving XP to rob and plunder like a thief using his skills.
If I give your thief XP for stealing from the Evil Temple but do not give him XP for stealing from the Good King (thus rewarding the behavior I want to see) then yes, that is "Idiotic ForgeThink".

D&D, as I mentioned above, awarded XP in an abstracted way, but it could lead to OOC decisionmaking, such as if I encounter Goblins I can...
  • Deal with them Diplomatically and get the "Defeat" award, but not the "Treasure" award.
  • Kill them and take their stuff thus getting both "Defeat" and "Treasure" awards.
  • Deal with them for the "Defeat" award, then sneak back and steal their stuff, getting the "Treasure" award without risking combat, but with a lower likelihood of success.
If I'm close to a level and will need both awards to advance a level, then things the character has no way of knowing enter the player's decision-making process.  We had a whole nother thread about this specific issue.

If I get XP for adventuring, period (ie. based on time playing) then none of those choices is incentivized by the game.  Doing any of the three, as well as a 4th option...
  • Use my Thief abilities to scout the entire lair undetected, making note of all the goblins and all their treasure and then selling the intel to the local lord or using it to leverage my membership in a good adventuring party.
..are now all equally valid.  Freedom.  The universe is no longer declaring that "adventuring" must be done in the sub-hierarchy of literary tropes III.F.1 through III.H.7.

It's not some kind of "reward for showing up" it's just an abstracted way of saying "As adventurers adventure, they get better at adventuring."  Where have I heard that before...oh yeah, D&D. :D

Basically all the OP's system is doing is abstracting XP in a different way with an eye towards removing OOC concerns.  That's it.  That's all.

Now, the tone was theatrical and aggressive, but this is a site created and run by essentially, a theatrical, aggressive persona.

theRPGsite, of all places, is fucking tone-policing now?


To all the people bitching about the OP's attitude, your guy's Kung-Fu is getting fucking weak. :D  I'd use the "Go back to the Enworld/Forge/RPG.net" sign emoticons separated with rotfl, but we don't have those anymore. :(


BTW, the Avatar's not fair.  Even the Hulk can only get so mad at Han Solo.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2016, 10:29:52 PM by CRKrueger »
Even the the "cutting edge" storygamers for all their talk of narrative, plot, and drama are fucking obsessed with the god damned rules they use. - Estar

Yes, Sean Connery's thumb does indeed do megadamage. - Spinachcat

Isuldur is a badass because he stopped Sauron with a broken sword, but Iluvatar is the badass because he stopped Sauron with a hobbit. -Malleus Arianorum

"Tangency Edition" D&D would have no classes or races, but 17 genders to choose from. -TristramEvans

AsenRG

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Incentivizing Roleplaying Behavior: A Bad Idea (Mark Brantingham)
« Reply #28 on: December 16, 2016, 06:01:00 AM »
Quote from: CRKrueger;935325

So the GM steers the players to do what the GM wants them to do by rewarding XP for the "right" things.  This is classic Forgethink, and manifests in their games as the idea that games are "about something" and that players should "address the premise" of the game

This the same kind of horseshit as "D&D is all about combat", or "all about the DungeonCrawl" or "all about resource tracking" or "all about X".  Any roleplaying game is much, much broader than some jackass Designer's or GM's "premise".

Now here he is reinforcing what I said above, for this point of view, the game is "about something" and if I want a D&D game about Diplomacy more than combat, I should give out Diplomacy XP awards and deemphasize Combat XP awards.

One of my lowest moments as a gamer has been being chased from a B/X D&D game because I wanted my Wizard (Str 3, Int 13, backstory as being a Sinbad-like trader, except with magic) to get into trading.
That happened after we'd found so much gold we could probably buy a city. We're talking about nearly  six-digit numbers for each PC.
He said D&D is about dungeon crawling and hex crawling.
So, was it an example of Forge think as well (possibly inversed to teach a filthy simulationist how to Game The Dungeon:D)?

Also, I agree with ZWEIHÄNDER about one thing at least.  XP should not be an expectation, but something to earn, and it should be possible to play without advancing, or with minimum advancement, if you suck.

However, I'd like to point out that the moment we accept the "player skill" mantra, the idea of XP being for the player starts making a certain amount of sense.
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blackstone

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Incentivizing Roleplaying Behavior: A Bad Idea (Mark Brantingham)
« Reply #29 on: December 16, 2016, 07:25:15 AM »
CRKrueger: You made many valid points on giving out XP. I completely agree that when it comes to thief and fighter examples: XP shouldn't be given out for what could be termed "negative" results. I don't think any good DM would do that. The one thing I don't agree with is the goblin example: all of the results are positive, so I don't really see the problem. In fact, I see it as giving the PCs more freedom to choose. that's what I want to present to the PCs and not forcing them into situations where they have no options.

Ultimately I look at it this way: PCs have many shared experiences, but each PC does have experiences not necessarily shared by the group. So when it comes to XP, I divvy it out accordingly. Group XP is given out for monsters/encounters defeated and for some goals that have been reached. Possibly monetary treasure too. Individual PC XP is rewarded for class specific accomplishments (crits for fighters, disarming traps for thieves, bringing a PC back to life for a cleric, researching a unique spell for MUs, just to cite a few examples). That's how I always done it and I had no problems at all. Nor do I see it as "Wrong" and I will never be convinced otherwise.

To give a real world analogy: we all have jobs. A bunch of people go to the same office/workplace and get the end goal done, whatever that may be. That, IMO, is the "shared" experience portion. But when it comes down to our individual jobs, each of us got to the shared goal a different way. Where I work, the mechanical engineer designing a new MRI unit is having a different experience than say the guy in accounts payable. Yes, their end goal is to both make money for the company, but how each of them got there is entirely different. That's their "individual" experience.

So is rewarding XP the way I do it right or wrong? No, but it's what my group and I are comfortable doing, we're used to it, and I'm not going to change something if it isn't "broken".

I do see your point of view, I just don't agree with it. We can just agree to disagree then.