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Author Topic: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist  (Read 3289 times)

AsenRG

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How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
« Reply #75 on: March 15, 2016, 07:23:21 PM »
Quote from: Itachi;885070
I agree with the sentiment about Fate. We gave it a fair shot but it's never sang for us. (and I talk that as an enthusiast of the "new wave")

AsenRG, what Fate game do you think is the best representative of the engine, and that could show it's strengths more clearly ?

Personally? I am partial to the "firefighters" game, Tianxia and Jadepunk.
Of course, this probably says more about my own biases - I'm a KS backer of both Tianxia and Jadepunk;).
But really, you should just take the Tri-Fold Fate, and run a one-shot in a setting you know well.
I've also heard good words for Bulldogs and Diaspora (the latter, I can confirm, works fine). But I really think Fate shines in pulp games, like Spirit of the Century.
Just pick whichever of the above appeals most genre-wise, and give it a try:).

Quote from: JesterRaiin;885076
I couldn't tell. FATE Core features one of worst, dullest corebooks I've the displeasure to read, and to this day I'm not  what it was about. :confused:

IIRC, it was about a list of skills, a resource economy, a way to use opposed rolls, a damage system, and four actions that you can take with any skill (or almost any skill, because some skills can't do some of those actions).
Everything else is examples and clarifications, IMO.

Quote
I think it's actually the problem of all those critically acclaimed New Wave games in general - if there's a skilled veteran player/GM who might teach you about ropes, then it's all fine and dandy, yay, hooray, we new wave now. But if you attempt to learn the game on your own, it's a disaster, total confusion and wtf every other page.

Given OD&D's Thief Skills and how "hide in shadows" was misinterpreted, I'd say it's a problem of games in general:p.

Quote
I remember that back in old times, we had truckload of PCs/NPCs for Call of Cthulhu, each possessing at least a few non-canon abilities like "singing old Russian songs while completely drunk: 4%". They cost nothing, they gave no tactical advantage, they added helluva flavor to otherwise boring characters.

We used this in FATE-based games too, our GM allowed extra Aspect-like... what's the English word for that... Quirks (?) that acted only as plot device and couldn't lead to any serious trouble. For example, mine was "Beer hipster", and it allowed my character to either become recognized as true beer-connoisseur, but also my GM used it against me a few times, and it led to some NPCs perceive my character as pompous fuck.

That's actually a fine way of using the system;).

Quote
Funny thing is that I'm guilty of both, IRL. ;)

So, what is the best Czech beer:D?

Quote from: Bren;885124
Me neither. Don't sweat it.

Some games just get this response, and there it is. But it never hurts to give them a couple tries:D!
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JesterRaiin

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« Reply #76 on: March 16, 2016, 05:43:30 AM »
Quote from: AsenRG;885332
IIRC, it was about a list of skills, a resource economy, a way to use opposed rolls, a damage system, and four actions that you can take with any skill (or almost any skill, because some skills can't do some of those actions).
Everything else is examples and clarifications, IMO.


In my example it's about the style. Constant "just make sure you're on same page", "we'll talk about it later", total lack of any emotions, lack of explanations for why something is there (like, the part of chargen process, where players might meet first, and then meet again - it's not that I don't embrace the idea, but I don't understand why it's any important, and I think it could use some "here's what we, at Evil Hat think about it" treatment).

Quote from: AsenRG;885332

Given OD&D's Thief Skills and how "hide in shadows" was misinterpreted, I'd say it's a problem of games in general:p.

Hmmmmmmm... Hm, hm, hm... :hmm:

There's some truth to that.

Still, while rough on edges, typical RPGs are pretty straightforward, I think. You usually understand how the session is supposed to look like, what's its structure, who does what and such. In case of FATE/*.World games? IMMV, but I keep hearing that people don't get it, even if they spend some time studying the corebook.

...I usually suggest throwing it out of the window and reading/playing some FATE derivative. :)

Quote from: AsenRG;885332

That's actually a fine way of using the system;).


Hooray us. ;)

Quote from: AsenRG;885332

So, what is the best Czech beer:D?


Primator Double 24, FTW. :cool:
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Itachi

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« Reply #77 on: March 16, 2016, 10:35:03 AM »
Quote from: JesterRaiin
Still, while rough on edges, typical RPGs are pretty straightforward, I think. You usually understand how the session is supposed to look like, what's its structure, who does what and such. In case of FATE/*.World games? IMMV, but I keep hearing that people don't get it, even if they spend some time studying the corebook.

Hmmm, I think you may be over-generalizing here. I think there are straightforward games on both sides, as there are confusing/ambiguous ones on both sides too.

PbtA*, Cortex+, Shadowrun and D&D (whatever the edition) are pretty straightforward on how they are supposed to be played. On the other hand, games like Fate, Continuum, Gurps Transhuman Space, Unknown Armies, and Vampire the Masquerade (authors said “Personal Horror”, players heard “Supers by Night”), are pretty fuzzy about how they are supposed to be played.

*About PbtA, I hear people who don’t get it are those more rooted in traditional style gaming which approaches it with the “glass half-full”. I, for one, never had any problem grokking it. IN fact, I find it’s suggested play structure one of the most clear I’ve seen.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2016, 11:04:16 AM by Itachi »

AsenRG

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« Reply #78 on: March 16, 2016, 01:29:20 PM »
Quote from: JesterRaiin;885379
In my example it's about the style. Constant "just make sure you're on same page", "we'll talk about it later", total lack of any emotions, lack of explanations for why something is there (like, the part of chargen process, where players might meet first, and then meet again - it's not that I don't embrace the idea, but I don't understand why it's any important, and I think it could use some "here's what we, at Evil Hat think about it" treatment).

Well, it's a matter of taste. I don't get why you would want emotion in a rules text...:)

Quote from: AsenRG;885332

Given OD&D's Thief Skills and how "hide in shadows" was misinterpreted, I'd say it's a problem of games in general:p.


Quote
Hmmmmmmm... Hm, hm, hm... :hmm:

There's some truth to that.

Still, while rough on edges, typical RPGs are pretty straightforward, I think. You usually understand how the session is supposed to look like, what's its structure, who does what and such.
In case of FATE/*.World games? IMMV, but I keep hearing that people don't get it, even if they spend some time studying the corebook.

That's a big assumption, I find.
If I give a newbie a traditional game (that's not Atomic Highway or TBZ...though I'm not sure how traditional TBZ is considered around here), I'm pretty sure the newbie wouldn't have the faintest idea how RPGs are played. Remember, we're talking a complete newbie.
If I give him (or her) the Apocalypse World book, I'm pretty sure I'd have someone who wants to play it. Well, assuming someone who wouldn't be turned off by the genre - but even those people would understand how to play an RPG from it. And their conclusions would be close enough that I could seamlessly correct them for a traditional game.

Quote
...I usually suggest throwing it out of the window and reading/playing some FATE derivative. :)

Derivatives are often better in the case of Fate. I usually suggest Tianxia, not the least because the lifepath generator does away with the need for the group generation (which I find tedious).

But, once again, I'm personally of the opinion that almost all games, except those where procedural exactitude is part of the goal (i.e. GURPS and the likes) have way too many rules. "These are the system's core principles. These are examples of how they're applied. That's the list of skills. If you have doubts, ask the Referee. Referee, it's not a bad thing to call for a group vote if you have doubts, as most new Referees do! Now for the setting..."

As an example, Talislanta's OMNI engine should be explained in 5 pages or less! Note, Talislanta is not not the worst offender, by far! I'm using it as an example because I've managed to explain it to a freeform player without going over 500 words...so I can count on personal experience.
Why some people find hundreds of pages to be necessary is something entirely foreign to me. Have they never heard the phrase "cutting off the excess fat";)?
Or is it that it's no longer politically correct to say so:D?

Quote
Primator Double 24, FTW. :cool:

Cool. I'll double-check with some Czech friends next time I open my Facebook (which isn't even a monthly event with me).
And due to Amazon, I can probably order it:p!

Quote from: Itachi;885420
Hmmm, I think you may be over-generalizing here. I think there are straightforward games on both sides, as there are confusing/ambiguous ones on both sides too.

PbtA*, Cortex+, Shadowrun and D&D (whatever the edition) are pretty straightforward on how they are supposed to be played. On the other hand, games like Fate, Continuum, Gurps Transhuman Space, Unknown Armies, and Vampire the Masquerade (authors said “Personal Horror”, players heard “Supers by Night”), are pretty fuzzy about how they are supposed to be played.

*About PbtA, I hear people who don’t get it are those more rooted in traditional style gaming which approaches it with the “glass half-full”. I, for one, never had any problem grokking it. IN fact, I find it’s suggested play structure one of the most clear I’ve seen.

I can only state that my experience confirms this;).
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JesterRaiin

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« Reply #79 on: March 17, 2016, 05:16:32 AM »
Quote from: Itachi;885420
Hmmm, I think you may be over-generalizing here. I think there are straightforward games on both sides, as there are confusing/ambiguous ones on both sides too.


Guilty as charged. :)

It's true: there are plenty of "typical" RPGs where it's hard to say what to do next. I think my assumption comes from the fact that I've never in my life see a group playing *.World/FATE games as their first RPGs - therefore the problem might stem not from the fact that people don't know how to play these games, but that they treat them as "yet another RPG" and allow for "old" thinking and experience to guide them.

Which doesn't work. FATE/*.World games require to effectively un-learn ways of traditional gaming, I think.

Does it make any sense? ;)

Quote from: AsenRG;885444
Well, it's a matter of taste. I don't get why you would want emotion in a rules text...:)


I like the corebook to be a bit similar to a story. I don't want to simply read another "cold", "souless" tutorial - I want it to be an adventure even before I'll actually play it. Therefore I dislike those core/sourcebooks where devs don't bother to add some life, some personal insight, dynamic examples & such.

I mean, shit, that's how I get the idea what the game is supposed to be like - by seeing the story behind the text. Take it away and all I'm seeing is a chemical pattern that's supposed to be a tasty alcohol. :confused:

Quote from: AsenRG;885444

(...)Remember, we're talking a complete newbie.(...)


Ha! I've just boarded this very same train of thoughts and came to similar conclusions. :D

Quote from: AsenRG;885444

Cool. I'll double-check with some Czech friends next time I open my Facebook (which isn't even a monthly event with me).
And due to Amazon, I can probably order it:p!


I don't want to promise anything, but there's exactly 33% chances that I'm gonna visit Bulgaria this year, sometime prior to July. I wanted to travel there since long, and perhaps I'm gonna finally amass enough money to make a short trip.

If so, I'm not gonna forget about a few examples of good beers. You can count on me. ;)

After all, it will be FOR THE SCIENCE!
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AsenRG

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« Reply #80 on: March 17, 2016, 09:51:11 AM »
Quote from: JesterRaiin;885536
Guilty as charged. :)

It's true: there are plenty of "typical" RPGs where it's hard to say what to do next. I think my assumption comes from the fact that I've never in my life see a group playing *.World/FATE games as their first RPGs - therefore the problem might stem not from the fact that people don't know how to play these games, but that they treat them as "yet another RPG" and allow for "old" thinking and experience to guide them.

Which doesn't work. FATE/*.World games require to effectively un-learn ways of traditional gaming, I think.

Depends on what you believe to be "traditional", I'd say:).


Quote
I like the corebook to be a bit similar to a story. I don't want to simply read another "cold", "souless" tutorial - I want it to be an adventure even before I'll actually play it. Therefore I dislike those core/sourcebooks where devs don't bother to add some life, some personal insight, dynamic examples & such.

I like examples, but I don't want mushy language in the rules. Sure, add the story to the setting...just provide the raw data as well, because I'm almost sure to need it when the PCs enter the setting:D!

Quote
I mean, shit, that's how I get the idea what the game is supposed to be like - by seeing the story behind the text. Take it away and all I'm seeing is a chemical pattern that's supposed to be a tasty alcohol. :confused:

I guess you like Actual Plays:p? Care to read a couple?

Quote
Ha! I've just boarded this very same train of thoughts and came to similar conclusions. :D

Yes, I see - it just pays to bear in mind that what different people consider "traditional" might well be...different;).

Quote
I don't want to promise anything, but there's exactly 33% chances that I'm gonna visit Bulgaria this year, sometime prior to July. I wanted to travel there since long, and perhaps I'm gonna finally amass enough money to make a short trip.

If so, I'm not gonna forget about a few examples of good beers. You can count on me. ;)

After all, it will be FOR THE SCIENCE!

That's great! Let me know a week in advance, and I'll do my best to organise a couple of sessions for you as well. For greater international cooperation, for practicing my verbal English, and for the hard-boiled egg, if you need any reasons;)!
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Morrius

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« Reply #81 on: March 17, 2016, 12:10:12 PM »
Quote from: AsenRG;885558
Depends on what you believe to be "traditional", I'd say:).


I think the current trend in new RPG is an influence of improv acting. The appeal is to reduce prep time and GMing burden for people who don't have a lot of time to write lengthy dungeons.

Add me to the category of people who couldn't wrap their head around FATE. *World games took me a while to get too; they require a substantial amount of reading between the lines. Dungeon World has grown on me.

JesterRaiin

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« Reply #82 on: March 17, 2016, 02:27:42 PM »
Quote from: AsenRG;885558
Depends on what you believe to be "traditional", I'd say:).


Yep, like Chuck Fort said, "everything merges into everything else". Precise line separating game styles is hard to drawn. ;)

Quote from: AsenRG;885558

I guess you like Actual Plays:p? Care to read a couple?


Sure! I mean, as long as they are similar to...



:D

Quote from: AsenRG;885558

That's great! Let me know a week in advance, and I'll do my best to organise a couple of sessions for you as well. For greater international cooperation, for practicing my verbal English, and for the hard-boiled egg, if you need any reasons;)!


Oh, if I'll manage to gather enough resources this will be something along the lines of a quick hellride through some among most iconic places, visited each year by dumb tourists who carry their Nikons and Canons all around, take truckloads of photos and later brag about how they totally felt the spirit of this magical, exotic place, how much it expanded their understanding of the other cultures and that they no longer are limited by that backward thinking everyone else, ahahahahaahha... Ahem... I mean... Ummmm... I'll see myself out.

;)

Still, count on that beer. I'm deadly serious about keeping my promises.
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« Reply #83 on: March 24, 2016, 01:31:08 AM »
Still think you really just shouldn't.
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« Reply #84 on: March 24, 2016, 03:50:48 AM »
Quote from: RPGPundit;887086
Still think you really just shouldn't.


I agree.

I look forward to our future threads on "How to Play Poker Without Cards", "How to Play Pandemic Without a Board", "How to Play Video Games Without Electricity", and "How to Eat Peanut Butter If You're Allergic to Peanuts".
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AsenRG

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« Reply #85 on: March 24, 2016, 03:55:36 AM »
Quote from: RPGPundit;887086
Still think you really just shouldn't.


Quote from: Justin Alexander;887102
I agree.

And I still think you're both wrong.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2016, 05:08:42 AM by AsenRG »
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JesterRaiin

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« Reply #86 on: March 24, 2016, 04:15:19 AM »
Quote from: Justin Alexander;887102
"How to Play Pandemic Without a Board"


Too late.

:D
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AsenRG

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« Reply #87 on: March 24, 2016, 05:10:12 AM »
Quote from: JesterRaiin;887107
Too late.

:D


And in the same vein, chess without the figures and without the board has been a thing for ages;).
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JesterRaiin

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« Reply #88 on: March 24, 2016, 05:26:54 AM »
Quote from: AsenRG;887118
And in the same vein, chess without the figures and without the board has been a thing for ages;).


Fun fact: back when we had the obligation to do a military duty, and it often meant "take the rifle and protect that gate nobody gives a damn about and never will". Some of us spent that time playing "mind chess", a few different games at once.

One day we were ordered to cut that bullshit because plenty of use became quite unresponsive.

Talking about immersion. :D
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« Reply #89 on: March 24, 2016, 06:34:15 AM »
Quote from: AsenRG;887104
And I still think you're both wrong.


Just curious...why bother?  Serious question.

Why would I take a game constructed with OOC mechanics to give narrative control or whatever, and remove those or alter them in a way so that I'm now playing without them.  What is left that makes it worth the trouble?

  • Why not?
  • Just because.
  • I like tinkering.
  • I really like "Mechanic X" so salvaging it is worth the surgery.
  • So I can say I did it.


Wondering what the real point of "depurposing" a game is because traditionally these types of threads are bait, waiting to drop the "see, you always play narratively anyway" or "there is no difference" or some other argument.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2016, 06:36:17 AM by CRKrueger »
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