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Author Topic: Best PWNage of "story games" ever  (Read 4042 times)

walkerp

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« Reply #135 on: February 26, 2008, 04:11:10 pm »
Yes, I think I got caught up in that broad definition trap in my last post.
"The difference between being fascinated with RPGs and being fascinated with the RPG industry is akin to the difference between being fascinated with sex and being fascinated with masturbation. Not that there's anything wrong with jerking off, but don't fool yourself into thinking you're getting laid." —Aos

-E.

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« Reply #136 on: February 26, 2008, 05:46:48 pm »
Quote from: Narmical
So we agree on the three examples that i gave and what is playing DnD as written and what is a rules Variant.
Is this correct?


I'm... not sure... your examples about tearing off the cover of the book seemed a bit dramatic for me to figure out.

Quote from: Narmical

That is true, but the mechanics of combat and the way they relate to the other mechanics in the game. Like primarily discussed way of advancing your character is through combat. Encourages combat in actual play. Its not required but encouraged.

Its like in Settlers of Catan. You can trade resources. You could chose to or chose not to. But the other mechanics of the game (the number of resources and the difficulty in being able to produces them all)encourage you to trade and in turn bargain.


Certainly -- but one huge mistake that I think a lot of analysis makes is assuming that the only rewards in games are in the form of points of some kind.

Certainly -- for me, and for many others, -- the most important rewards come from enjoying the fictional world generated... enjoying the experience of playing one's character... enjoying the in-character dialog, etc.

In many cases the reward systems provided by things like XP or in-game currency are the least interesting and effective in encouraging gamer behavior.

Quote from: Narmical

Its not simply a choice at that point. If you get a group of DnD players together to play a gave where they "wanted good roleplay and dialog". An agreement to be in the game is an agreement to play in that manner. This agreement then becomes a mechanic of the game.

In the idea of mechanics put forth by MDA is more broad than just what people usually consider "game rules". Do you consider setting a game rule? MDA considers it a Mechanic.


An agreement becomes a mechanic? Really?

If I'm playing Halo with my buddies and we agree to use code-names instead of real names, is that a 'mechanic'?

Are they no longer playing Halo?

No -- of course not. Your definition of what constitutes a mechanic is, I think, strange and overly-restrictive. And not part of the MDA model. Player decisions and choices can't violate the game rules (without changing the game), but so long as they make choices that the game allows, they're playing in the game... even when those choices are different from the ones you make.

I mean, I keep asking this:

If I choose to value roleplaying and dialog -- if everyone at the table makes that choice -- am I violating a D&D rule?

I'm not (right? You haven't really addressed this question, so I'm trying to be very explicit here).

I'm not ignoring a rule. I'm not ammending a rule. I'm not doing *anything* except playing straight-up D&D...

So why on earth would anyone look at that play and think I was changing the game?

Cheers,
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David R

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« Reply #137 on: February 26, 2008, 05:51:31 pm »
Quote from: Balbinus
I'm surprised people are bothering to respond to such a tired retread of arguments that went out of circulation literally years ago.


I'm just surprised that Narmical thinks that D&D is popular (sells great) just because it's a system that is so houseruled. Because gentlemen , this is what it's fans have been doing for years. And if he really thinks that nearly every campaign out there is a varient, it just demonstartes a lack of understanding about what gamers really do or a lack of understanding about game systems, which I suppose is why theory talk comes so easily for him....even though as you say, this is all so yesterday.....

(I'm not normally so rude, but this chap pisses me off for some reason)

Regards,
David R

jeff37923

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« Reply #138 on: February 26, 2008, 11:28:00 pm »
Quote from: walkerp
Every time I wanted to play a non-canon type of player (like a pacifist cleric or a retired fighter who wanted to become an herbologist), I ran into rigid rules that limited my capacity to play the character I wanted.  Either stupid levels or combat dominance made it very frustrating to me, and this was with a great GM and a good group.  


How did the rules limit you from playing those non-canon roles? A pacifist cleric may have feats chosen to enhance his social skills and rhetoric, possibly encouraging you to multiclass as a bard to get a Ghandi or Martin Luther King type of character. A retired fighter wanting to be a herbologist sounds like he'd multiclass as a druid or expert to get the herbology skills. All of which is allowed by the 3.0 and 3.5 rules.

The only part which may become sticky is gaining experience. To cover where the PC may fall through the gaps by just doing his chosen profession (in essence making skill checks on a regular basis), I'd steal a section from the Traveller20 rukles on experience which gives you XP values for doing a job. Its definitely mundane, but that seems to be what you were aiming for with the characters.

walkerp

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« Reply #139 on: February 26, 2008, 11:37:00 pm »
Quote from: jeff37923
How did the rules limit you from playing those non-canon roles? A pacifist cleric may have feats chosen to enhance his social skills and rhetoric, possibly encouraging you to multiclass as a bard to get a Ghandi or Martin Luther King type of character.

Where this guy became really unfun was in combat.  Now I know that's kind of an answer begging for a quick retort, but I envisioned him participating in combat, just not actually attacking anyone.  We had a fight between two ships and I wanted to do a bunch of things like throw off the gangplank.  It was all handwaved, leaving me feeling like my actions had no impact on the battle (which they didn't mechanically).


Quote from: jeff37923

A retired fighter wanting to be a herbologist sounds like he'd multiclass as a druid or expert to get the herbology skills. All of which is allowed by the 3.0 and 3.5 rules.


I didn't want any of the extra stuff.  I didn't want any druid magic, didn't want an animal companion.  I just wanted to live in a treehouse and study the flora around me (and of course get caught up in troubles).
"The difference between being fascinated with RPGs and being fascinated with the RPG industry is akin to the difference between being fascinated with sex and being fascinated with masturbation. Not that there's anything wrong with jerking off, but don't fool yourself into thinking you're getting laid." —Aos

J Arcane

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« Reply #140 on: February 27, 2008, 12:12:56 am »
Quote from: jeff37923
How did the rules limit you from playing those non-canon roles? A pacifist cleric may have feats chosen to enhance his social skills and rhetoric, possibly encouraging you to multiclass as a bard to get a Ghandi or Martin Luther King type of character. A retired fighter wanting to be a herbologist sounds like he'd multiclass as a druid or expert to get the herbology skills. All of which is allowed by the 3.0 and 3.5 rules.

The only part which may become sticky is gaining experience. To cover where the PC may fall through the gaps by just doing his chosen profession (in essence making skill checks on a regular basis), I'd steal a section from the Traveller20 rukles on experience which gives you XP values for doing a job. Its definitely mundane, but that seems to be what you were aiming for with the characters.
You don't have to murder everyone involved in a challenge to get XP for it.  You only have to get past it, one way or another. The 3e rules are deliberately vague on the how, so as to allow all flexibility of approach.
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jeff37923

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« Reply #141 on: February 27, 2008, 12:25:34 am »
Quote from: walkerp
Where this guy became really unfun was in combat.  Now I know that's kind of an answer begging for a quick retort, but I envisioned him participating in combat, just not actually attacking anyone.  We had a fight between two ships and I wanted to do a bunch of things like throw off the gangplank.  It was all handwaved, leaving me feeling like my actions had no impact on the battle (which they didn't mechanically).


It sounds like a functional character in a party, even effective (removing the gangplank between ships slows down or even prevents reinforcements from entering combat). Pardon the armchair psychology because I don't have all the details, but it sounds like the difficulty you had in playing this character under 3.x was in your own perception of events.

Quote from: walkerp

I didn't want any of the extra stuff.  I didn't want any druid magic, didn't want an animal companion.  I just wanted to live in a treehouse and study the flora around me (and of course get caught up in troubles).


A Fighter who retires and then multiclasses to Expert, no extras in the package. Sounds playable to me.

(Of course, I can see this guy becomming a parody of the Crocodile Hunter, except with plants.

"Crikey, mate! That Shambling Mound sure is pissed off that I transplanted its saplings to better soil! That's the problem with plants sometimes, they don't know what's best for their young! Whoops! Here it comes again!" )

jeff37923

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« Reply #142 on: February 27, 2008, 12:28:19 am »
Quote from: J Arcane
You don't have to murder everyone involved in a challenge to get XP for it.  You only have to get past it, one way or another. The 3e rules are deliberately vague on the how, so as to allow all flexibility of approach.


I know this, it is one of the best parts of 3.x to me. The experience rules from Traveller20 I was referring to are when there is no challenge to overcome besides making your skill check against Craft, Profession, or Perform.

Melan

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« Reply #143 on: February 27, 2008, 01:53:26 am »
Quote from: Narmical
Argue this with those "some game theorists" not me. I never asserted that any game was dysfunctional.

You indeed didn't. However, you did come out with the Forgie "Dungeons and Dragons is designed to be a game of hack n' slash rollplaying", and argued for its incoherence - whether you used that particular term or not.

Quote
If you take a second look at the MDA paper you will see that Mechanics is greater than the formal rules.

With this understanding of mechanics in an RPG, setting is mechanics, Social Contract contains mechanics. They are just as much mechanics as the "formal rules" and the house rules.

With my understanding of "dogs", I can say with the utmost confidence that they, in fact, do meow. In other words, your definitions are worthless, as they have nothing to do with what "mechanics" mean in roleplaying games.
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Consonant Dude

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« Reply #144 on: February 27, 2008, 03:30:14 am »
Quote from: jeff37923
Cleric's Bluff skill check vs the succubus Sense Motive skill check to fool her into getting close enough. An oppossed grapple check with a +4 bonus for the cleric since the move was unexpected and he had beaten her Sense Motive with his Bluff. Reduced the base damage of the holy water from 2d4 to 1d4 because the cleric couldn't hold that much in his mouth, but made the result double damage since it would be internal. And I gave the cleric and party a surprise round afterwards against the succubus since it was a genius move by the player.


Really cool, Jeff! :)

Consonant Dude

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« Reply #145 on: February 27, 2008, 03:43:54 am »
Quote from: walkerp
I didn't want any of the extra stuff.  I didn't want any druid magic, didn't want an animal companion.  I just wanted to live in a treehouse and study the flora around me (and of course get caught up in troubles).


The Expert class would totally do that. As well, there are guidelines in the DMG to modify classes (I think they mention an example of a Ranger who wants a Paladin Mount and swaps it for other abilities). A DM might have allowed you to customize-build a class out of the Druid and Expert, dropping whatever you don't like.

As your DM, I would have offered two other options:

1-We create a prestige class together that we both find fun enough for you and relevant enough to the game.

2-Failing that, I suggest that we move this character concept to another game system and you keep the D&D characters more... err... archetypical, for lack of a better word.

Honestly, I think D&D *can* do that stuff, but it's not always very good at it. It's possible it just doesn't handle things the way you want it too. The concern is not just to customize a class for you (that's the wasy part) but how the system will support it while adventuring.

As you said in another post, if you don't feel you are rewarded for your actions in a given game, the system may be failing you.

walkerp

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« Reply #146 on: February 27, 2008, 09:16:35 am »
Quote from: Consonant Dude


Honestly, I think D&D *can* do that stuff, but it's not always very good at it. It's possible it just doesn't handle things the way you want it too. The concern is not just to customize a class for you (that's the wasy part) but how the system will support it while adventuring.

As you said in another post, if you don't feel you are rewarded for your actions in a given game, the system may be failing you.


That's correct.  It was a great campaign and I moved my fighter from level 4 to 14, as well as through a very interesting character and career arc.  When it came time to continue to develop that in the way that made the most sense in game (get out of politics and get into the forest that he had always loved), the system no longer supported it in a way that I found satisfying.  We could ( and did) keep going, but I never felt 100% satisfied.

So in that sense, for me, system did matter.  Had I played the same campaign with a system that worked for me but the GM was an ass, it would have been a worse game.  So in that sense, people matter.
"The difference between being fascinated with RPGs and being fascinated with the RPG industry is akin to the difference between being fascinated with sex and being fascinated with masturbation. Not that there's anything wrong with jerking off, but don't fool yourself into thinking you're getting laid." —Aos

Spike

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« Reply #147 on: February 27, 2008, 06:37:59 pm »
No offense (a totally useless phrase that always seems to make things worse, but oh well...) Walker,

But from what you described I would hate to game with you, on either side of the screen.

As a fellow player I'd find your constant cock blocking (no, we want to KILL those motherfucking pirates, what the fuck, we pull away it's back to cannonballs and grapeshot to the face... and that just sucks) or whining about retiring extremely irritating (just fucking retire that character to the woods than, man... fuck a duck... we got a dragon to kill and you are bitchign about your peonies)

As a GM I'd have to sit you down and have one of those uncomfortable talks...

... "I just don't think its working out between us, Walker. I mean.. I want you to have fun, to grow as a character, but I feel we're growing apart. The other players are all for booting you from the group. They are trying to adventure, you know... I thought maybe we could work this out... but I just don't feel like you are trying to get along with everyone, you just aren't putting any effort into this relationship. I think we should game with other people."


then you'll scream at me, break some dishes but in the end we'd have to go our seperate ways.
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walkerp

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« Reply #148 on: February 27, 2008, 10:42:12 pm »
You read me wrong.  I'd have to go into all the details of the campaigns to give it all context, and I can see how those two examples may have seemed like me trying to be special or different, but I generally play with the group and I like to kick ass.  The retired fighter was because he had already kicked so much ass he needed to get away from it all, but the idea was that there would be other problems (and there were).  The other PCs were all super high level and into their own thing as well (the mage was the head of Mageholm, the mage's guild, the dwarf fighter ran a bar and was the mayor) and we got together when the shit hit the fan.

The pacifist cleric was because I was so bored with 3.5 combat and that guy had a lot to do given the setting (pirates on an ocean of sand; each ship needed a priest to run it).  The removing the gangplank was just to prevent more of them from coming over while we took care of the too many that were already on our ship.  And he wasn't actually a pacifist, now that I remember.  He just couldn't fight.

Just to prove to you how badass I am, in the last session I played (the Monday before last), my real estate agent beat a guy to death with a baseball bat and then staked him out on the front lawn with tent spikes outside his suburban home then set him and the whole house on fire.

Unknown Armies.  The guy was from the New Inquisition.  The other players were all in favour (though we're fucked now, but they threatened my family, there was nothing else I could do).

I use the badass phrase above in a tongue-in-cheek tone.
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« Reply #149 on: March 04, 2008, 03:42:11 pm »
Am I the only one getting a good laugh at how Narmical was trying to wrangle the argument into a jargon heavy discussion of this "MDA Framework", over and over, and yet everyone was (and continues to) aptly ignoring it, sidestepping the jargon and focusing on the actual point at hand?  It's a testament to the sterility and emptiness of the discussions in the "story" games fora seems accustomed to.  Here, he's rather like watching a fish out of water, flapping around, desperately gasping for air.