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Author Topic: [WFRP 4] Narrative Mechanics?  (Read 2928 times)

Herr Arnulfe

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[WFRP 4] Narrative Mechanics?
« on: December 16, 2017, 09:10:17 AM »
Do you see any potential for narrative-type mechanics in WFRP? Cubicle 7 has said they're basing WFRP 4e on the 1e/2e rulesets i.e. a traditional percentile system. Recently the release date was moved back 6 months to implement new rules ideas, but no system details have been mentioned yet. With D&D5e having added peripheral roleplay mechanics, and The One Ring having "semi-narrative" travel rules, I wonder if something similar might make its way into WFRP 4e? What kinds of "storygamey" rules might be appropriate for grim and gritty fantasy?

Last year, several fan-writers were discussing possibilities for a "storygame-themed" issue of a WFRP fanzine, but we didn't progress much beyond the initial stages before C7 announced their WFRP licence. Ideas ranged from collaborative setting creation sub-systems, to systems for player-introduced NPCs or locations. It seems like narrative mechanics should be fairly easy to bolt onto a traditional system optionally and case-by-case. I believe some groups were even using WFRP 3e's symbol dice as "story-dice" for which the players were allowed to narrate the various symbol outcomes themselves.
 

BedrockBrendan

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[WFRP 4] Narrative Mechanics?
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2017, 11:23:21 AM »
Since this seems to be about story game play, I am putting this in the Other Games forum.

Herr Arnulfe

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[WFRP 4] Narrative Mechanics?
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2017, 01:03:59 PM »
Fair enough, I don't expect 4e will be a storygame in the Forge sense of the term, but it seems many trad RPGs have storygame elements these days.
 

Voros

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[WFRP 4] Narrative Mechanics?
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2017, 05:05:03 PM »
I don't find TOR very storygamey, the journey and downtime rules don't seem that radical to me.

Herr Arnulfe

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[WFRP 4] Narrative Mechanics?
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2017, 12:33:50 AM »
Quote from: Voros;1014587
I don't find TOR very storygamey, the journey and downtime rules don't seem that radical to me.

Agreed, I've only played TOR twice, but in my experience it's a traditional RPG. The journey rules put some task narration in the players' hands, and Hope is just a roleplay mechanic like Inspiration in D&D5e. I haven't tried the downtime rules.

Meanwhile, WFRP seems somewhat proto-storygamey at its roots IMO. The career system requires players to collaborate on character backgrounds & narratives, XP is awarded for story objectives, and Fate Points often trigger some kind of deus ex machina. After 30 years of playing WFRP I can see potential benefits for collaborative background-generation mechanics to explain e.g. why a Noble is adventuring with a Rat Catcher. Downtime mechanics would also be useful, but possibly a can of worms considering the variety of possible occupations. WFRP PCs tend to wander off on solo adventures during their downtime.
 

BedrockBrendan

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[WFRP 4] Narrative Mechanics?
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2017, 01:57:41 PM »
Quote from: Herr Arnulfe;1014162
Fair enough, I don't expect 4e will be a storygame in the Forge sense of the term, but it seems many trad RPGs have storygame elements these days.

The thread appears to be about narrative mechanics and 'storygamey rules' being used in non-story games, so that goes into the Other Games subforum. It isn't about 4E or 5E being other games topics (those normally go in the regular RPG forum). But since we are talking about story gaming traditional RPGs, it goes here.

Spinachcat

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[WFRP 4] Narrative Mechanics?
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2017, 03:04:36 PM »
What narrative mechanics are in D&D 5e?

Herr Arnulfe

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[WFRP 4] Narrative Mechanics?
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2017, 03:18:19 PM »
Quote from: BedrockBrendan;1014787
The thread appears to be about narrative mechanics and 'storygamey rules' being used in non-story games, so that goes into the Other Games subforum. It isn't about 4E or 5E being other games topics (those normally go in the regular RPG forum). But since we are talking about story gaming traditional RPGs, it goes here.

That's fine, I'm sure people who care about this topic will notice the thread eventually. :) We probably won't develop fan-systems for narrative WFRP until we see what 4e is doing first, and that's still months away.
 

Herr Arnulfe

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[WFRP 4] Narrative Mechanics?
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2017, 03:26:04 PM »
Quote from: Spinachcat;1014796
What narrative mechanics are in D&D 5e?
Inspiration would count IMO, because if the player writes background on their character sheet the GM is supposed to add it to the gameworld.
 

Voros

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[WFRP 4] Narrative Mechanics?
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2017, 04:38:45 AM »
As has been pointed out before many 'storygame' mechanics appear in older 'trad' games like Toon, Ghostbusters, James Bond, etc. Hardly surprising as narrative games and storygames didn't come out of nowhere but are inspired by previous game designs.

Ulairi

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[WFRP 4] Narrative Mechanics?
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2017, 10:07:38 AM »
Quote from: Herr Arnulfe;1014803
Inspiration would count IMO, because if the player writes background on their character sheet the GM is supposed to add it to the gameworld.

Yeah...that's the dumbest thing I've ever heard.

Herr Arnulfe

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[WFRP 4] Narrative Mechanics?
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2017, 10:24:37 AM »
Quote from: Ulairi;1015000
Yeah...that's the dumbest thing I've ever heard.

How is it dumb? If the GM hasn't added setting elements that link to a players Ideals, Bonds and Flaws then they can't gain any Inspiration. Are you proposing that GMs write the players' Ideals, Bonds and Flaws for them?
 

CRKrueger

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[WFRP 4] Narrative Mechanics?
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2017, 01:30:43 PM »
Quote from: Herr Arnulfe;1015006
How is it dumb? If the GM hasn't added setting elements that link to a players Ideals, Bonds and Flaws then they can't gain any Inspiration. Are you proposing that GMs write the players' Ideals, Bonds and Flaws for them?

S'ok Arnulfe, people here have a habit of denying or being plain blind to narrative mechanics or story game influence as such, especially in otherwise traditional games (and will deny using traditional to mean 'without OOC narrative mechanics' as well).  It's a peculiarity that other sites where such things are discussed honestly don't share. :D
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

CRKrueger

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[WFRP 4] Narrative Mechanics?
« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2017, 01:35:33 PM »
Frankly, I think a good old-fashioned, non-OSR RPG without any narrative mechanics or extreme tactical combat is just what the doctor ordered.  The field is light these days, especially with big name or budget titles.
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

Herr Arnulfe

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[WFRP 4] Narrative Mechanics?
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2017, 02:51:29 PM »
Quote from: CRKrueger;1015037
S'ok Arnulfe, people here have a habit of denying or being plain blind to narrative mechanics or story game influence as such, especially in otherwise traditional games (and will deny using traditional to mean 'without OOC narrative mechanics' as well).  It's a peculiarity that other sites where such things are discussed honestly don't share. :D
Is that why there's a mod policy of quarantining narrative RPG threads? I haven't been around the forums much recently so I might've missed some related flamewars. I thought the anti-Swine movement was old news.

Quote from: CRKrueger;1015037
Frankly, I think a good old-fashioned, non-OSR RPG without any narrative mechanics or extreme tactical combat is just what the doctor ordered. The field is light these days, especially with big name or budget titles.
How do you handle diverse party compositions in WFRP? In some of my games the players have embraced the narrative challenge - in others they've needed help. WFRP 3e used Party Cards but I believe that's the only solution that's ever been offered.