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Author Topic: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist  (Read 3296 times)

AsenRG

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How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
« on: February 20, 2016, 06:03:01 PM »
Intro: Recently, I'd noticed that this forum has a great concentration of people who react to narrative mechanics with "that disrupts my immersion":). If you care about the discussion, feel free: it's in the spoiler tag.
Thing is, I've always felt that narrative games can be used for fully immersive games (also, I've almost always been of the opinion that they probably should be used in this way). In fact, we stumbled on a way to do that when trying out Spirit of the Century, a Fate game...despite people at the time raging against the [strike]machine[/strike] FATE system for being counter-immersive.
I've been mostly silent on the issue until lately, because I assumed that most people don't want a solution like that.
That is, I assumed that until recently, when I stumbled upon a few posts that show me that other people might want to achieve the same effect. After all, there are new games that are coming out, and some of them look interesting. I know it's nasty to not be able to play those because you hate the system;).
(There are other systems that managed to be counter-immersive for me, so yes, I know the feeling. Those systems are few and far between, luckily, but they include a D&D edition - so they are cutting me off from lots of potential games;)).
I'll quote just the last post that inspired me to post this thread.
Quote from: Madprofessor;880214
Thank you, Jason, for your response and honesty.  To respond in kind, I am trying really hard to set aside my biases about narrative and meta-game mechanics (which I admit I have) in order to figure out how to make this game work for me and my players.  I am a huge REH fan who has been running Hyborian Age adventures (off and on) for decades. Some people can just say "nah, not for me" and that's fine, but I am not really willing to give up on it that easily.  Obviously, many people enjoy these types of mechanics.  I don't begrudge anybody their fun - I am trying to join in!

My demo game the other night using the quickstart was a kind of a humorous fiasco.  I tried to keep an open mind and run it by the book.  It ended up as a Conan parody.  We had fun in a Monty Python board game kind of way - but it was silly and there was no immersion.  I don't blame the system for that! I am sure it was my fault for not grocking or completely buying into it. It wasn't black or white whether we liked the game.  The main conclusion was that it was hard to take seriously.

In any case, to be perfectly frank, it feels as if Modiphius is simply shutting the door on traditionalist GMs and groups who want to enjoy their game by throwing up their hands and saying "well, you're not gonna like it. Play something else," as if I am inflexible or incapable of learning something new.  I dunno, maybe that's just my frustration talking.  I seem to recall that you come from a more traditional RPG background.  Obviously, this narrative system is working for you.  I'm not sure why I can't do the same.



Content:
So, the task we're looking to achieve, is simple: we want to be using games that involve out-of-character elements as consisting of in-character elements. Furthermore, we want to be using them with rules that are as close to the RAW as possible, because too much houseruling creates the possibility for unintended effects. (Obviously, we wouldn't be using them with rules-as-intended if the intention was to use for some rules elements to be interpreted as out-of-character elements. Well, my feeling is that some narrative rules are probably deliberately set up in a way that allows a "double reading" - but it doesn't actually matter).

So, what do I recommend: Changing how you approach the rules.
IMO, the problems with metagame elements are usually solved if you keep several things in mind.

First (and at least for your first game), adopt the mindset of a character that's really competent. [SPOILER]That would solve lots of issues in two ways:
A) If you get to choose something you're not used to choosing...it might well be due to skill. You think a swordsman isn't choosing where to hit you? (Actually, he might be, or he might not be. There are different approaches to using a sword. A boxer that executes a one-two probably doesn't expect to hit you in the calf).
Now, that comes with a caveat: if the rules allow you to pick something that you really can't explain happening – pick something that you can explain. Yes, even if the other option seems better tactically.

B) Since stories are usually written about competent people...if you play a really competent character, a lot of mechanics (might) actually start making sense.
[/SPOILER]

Second: never assume that what you describe is all that happened. It's the opening action only, but your enemy is probably just as competent as you are...or why are you rolling dice at all?
The dice describe whether your whole action is successful.
[SPOILER]
Imagine a D&D character, or a Pendragon character, doesn't matter in this case (actually, that's probably one of the few cases where it doesn't matter). The player says “I hit him with my axe”. What the dice say is whether the enemy is hurt, though...not whether he was hit by the axe or not, not even how many hits were dealt.
If the enemy is hurt but remains standing, what might happen is that you struck him with an axe, but he dodged and you only managed to slap his helmet on the reverse movement, and that with the flat. Now, he might have been dazed, but the hit itself pushed him back, so you didn't get a second hit in before he could recover...
Or maybe you just hit him in the helm, and he only managed to roll with the blow to a degree, because your character was that fast (or that sneaky). The helm is ringing, but his head only suffered minor sharp trauma.[/SPOILER]

Third: If you have a spend-able resource that adds skill bonuses or allows you to ignore wounds, or the like, assume it is something like Willpower, aggression, ruthlessness, dogged determination, and stamina (not necessarily all of them, not necessarily all at once). Then: only use it in a way that corresponds to that.
Remember, “I'm allowed to do that” doesn't mean “I have to do that”.

[SPOILER]Does it matter whether your Savage Worlds bennies are meta-points or not? Does it matter that some setting rules allow you to introduce facts about the setting when you spend them?
They allow your character to shrug off a hit without being dazed, or to make sure a serious hit doesn't put you in immediate danger of dying. And sometimes, they're not enough. I'd say that stamina and willpower cover that.
Does it matter what else Fate points allow you? They allow you to get a bonus on the skills, in areas that you should be good at. And that might not be enough...because sometimes your rugged good looks are enough to convince someone to trust you, and sometimes, they're not.
[/SPOILER]
Fourth: If a game has a pools that allows you to do specific things when you spend points (and/or you can't do it until you have earned the points to spend): that's the Advantage pool.
[SPOILER]For example, Exalted 3 has Initiative, which allows you to deal heavy wounds to an enemy, and the latest Conan game has Momentum.
Both are, however, the same thing: a measure of the advantage you have achieved in a fight (or in the case of the Conan game, any other dynamic contest, like a chase, or possibly a debate). They allow you to deal really bad hits – because if you start with trying to deal the really bad hits first, you're only going to open your own defence.
Remember what we said above? Your opponent is, at least roughly, on par with your own ability.
The funniest part: I've seen the same mechanic in two different homebrews. Both were made by people who didn't care one bit about narrativism, but cared a lot about a good combat system, and felt it's not trealistic for the PCs to just start dealing their best blows:D.[/SPOILER]

Fifth: if some mechanic for using the above allows you to ask the GM for points, or requires you to give meta-points to the GM, talk with the GM that he does the same instead of you.
[SPOILER]As far as you're concerned, your character just went with the scheme a beautiful girl proposed, because he's a Sucker For A Pretty Face/Lecherous/whatever they call it in the system. The GM can give you a Fate point or equivalent for making his life harder. But the point is, just take what the GM is giving you, and don't think about the “why”, at least until after the session.
If you need more dice to succeed at a roll, and you know you can take more by exerting yourself...take them and roll. The GM can just adjust the value of his Doom Pool.
[/SPOILER]Yes – this requires the GM to cooperate. But then, cooperating with the GM really should go both ways;). And yes, these are the hardest kind of mechanics you might want to deal with.

Sixth: Some mechanics require you to pick a consequence for yourself, even on success. [SPOILER]That also goes with the “competent PC, competent opposition”. Sometimes, you just see several options how things might go wrong. And you realise that while your opponent is ready to do any of them, you can only stop some of them.
So what do you do? Well, you pick what you're ready to lose, of course!
[/SPOILER]
Now, there are some games that you can only play with a (hopefully healthy) dose of metagaming and thinking outside the character (for me, these were Torchbearer and D&D4e). But for a great many indie games, you can find a workaround!

Of course, I also realize my workarounds might not work for you. But I'd say they're at least worth considering and trying. I mean, what do you lose?
So, if you have an example of a rule that's causing you a headache, and wonder what I'd do to play while conserving an in-character approach, feel free to offer it for discussion in the thread! I'll try to answer.
What Do You Do In Tekumel? See examples!
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Omnifray

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How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2016, 07:35:37 PM »
Sometimes there will be perfectly decent workarounds; sometimes there won't. I don't think there can be a complete solution. Some of the above seem to me to require too much meta-analysis on the part of the player, or are just likely to end up being unconvincing. Nice try though.
I did not write this but would like to mention it:-
http://jimboboz.livejournal.com/7305.html

I did however write this Player's Quickstarter for the forthcoming Soul's Calling RPG, free to download here, and a bunch of other Soul's Calling stuff available via Lulu.

As for this, I can't comment one way or the other on the correctness of the factual assertions made, but it makes for chilling reading:-
http://home.roadrunner.com/~b.gleichman/Theory/Threefold/GNS.htm

Spinachcat

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« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2016, 07:49:10 PM »
Or you can just play another game.

Why is this rocket science? It's not 1979 with a handful of RPG options.

crkrueger

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« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2016, 07:50:14 PM »
Exactly, Omnifray.  When you're asking yourself "How can I take this Out Of Character mechanic and explain it In Character." You are Out of Character! You're replacing a player-facing mechanic, with a player-facing rationalization, none of which you have to do if the mechanic wasn't OOC to begin with.

Now as a GM or a player, you can take the list of options for Fate, Bennies, Karma, Luck or what have you and simply cross things off the list, leaving only things that truly could be IC decisions.  Like whether you exert yourself, whether to count on your Luck because you're one of those guys that knows you're not gonna die, no matter the odds, whether to place your trust in the gods or fate and just give in to the moment.

As AsenRG says, those are fairly easy, and with some systems they are possible, but with some systems they are not, the economy and shared narration is just too entrenched, you remove the engine the game runs on and what's left isn't firing on all cylinders.  It's better just to trust in the philosopher Eastwood, know your limitations and move on.
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

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Simlasa

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« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2016, 08:16:44 PM »
Quote from: Spinachcat;880311
Or you can just play another game.
That gets my vote as the simpler path... if I like setting elements I'll port them to a game I know and like... rather than going bonkers trying to fit square pegs in round holes.

I asked somewhere if the 'only players roll' aspect of *World games can be ignored... apparently not. So... not a game I'm going to try to 'fix' when I have others that work for me just fine.

crkrueger

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« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2016, 08:35:44 PM »
AsenRG, I'm not saying trying to de-narrative a system isn't worth doing.  For example, one of my players wasn't to keen on Combat Maneuvers/Special Effects in RQ6.  He thought determining outcome and then picking effect was in essence a form of retcon.  I told him to look at the attack and defense more like a single point of a spectrum, like a specific move in a dance, or a single play of a game of chess.  At that moment, as the attack and defense occur, if you get a Special Effect, that means there is an opening, not something you planned on doing beforehand, but something that you can exploit, so how do you choose to exploit it?  Yeah you could cut the SEs down further depending on style and attack type, etc... but then we're getting closer to a blow by blow simulation, which is to make combat much longer.  He got it and loves it.

Passions we don't use, haven't gotten a way to make those fly, mainly because personality mechanics basically are an OOC method of reminding the player that the character is supposed to act that way.  If your players already act that way, then they're useless, and if your players don't act that way, training wheels aren't the way to teach them.
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

Itachi

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« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2016, 09:08:38 PM »
Another vote for "just play another game".

Quote from: CRKrueger
Passions we don't use, haven't gotten a way to make those fly, mainly because personality mechanics basically are an OOC method of reminding the player that the character is supposed to act that way. If your players already act that way, then they're useless, and if your players don't act that way, training wheels aren't the way to teach them.

Don't know about Runequest 6 implementation of the concept, but in other games I know personality mechanics have various purposes besides what you describe, from creating interesting situations and dillemas/hard choices to working as flags for the group. Example: in Pendragon you can evoke a passion to get a boost on a related action but if fail you get the opposite effect; Fate makes your personality aspects compelable, forcing or "carroting" away your actions from the logical course of action for a situation; Burning Wheel beliefs work as flags pointing to where the campaign should go; some games use them for xp rewarding or bennies/fate pts/edge recharging, etc.

So yeah, they can be training wheels in some games but can have other purposes in others.

Bren

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How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2016, 09:17:18 PM »
Quote from: CRKrueger;880320
Passions we don't use, haven't gotten a way to make those fly, mainly because personality mechanics basically are an OOC method of reminding the player that the character is supposed to act that way.  If your players already act that way, then they're useless, and if your players don't act that way, training wheels aren't the way to teach them.

That's not how I see those sorts of mechanics.

Those mechanics first appeared in a Wyrm's Footnotes article about Dragonewts. And there paired traits were a way of simulating the non-human behavior of Dragonewts. Unlike many of the humanoid aliens in fantasy and science fiction that are just stereotypes of humans in facial prosthetics and fur or scaled suits, Dragonewts were supposed to difficult for humans to predict or understand and the dice mechanics were a way of simulating that as well as a way of allowing a human player to model the Draconic search for personal perfection in a being whose attitude towards death is very different from ours because that being is able to die and reincarnate itself.

Pendragon, took that system, adapted it to simulate the often inexplicable to us behavior of Mallorean characters - the same knight at different times in similar situations but for little apparent reason might choose to fight one knight to the death, spare another and take his arms, armor, and horse, spare a third but leave him his arms, armor, and horse in return for his oath to go to Camelot and tell the story of his defeat, spare a fourth so that the two can swear to bonds of eternal brotherhood and friendship, and then kill the fifth. The passions and traits were designed to emulate that sort of behavior as well as to emulate the real world experience most of us have of choosing to do something like laze around the bar drinking instead of studying for final exams that we know is uninteresting, sub-optimal, or even bad for us in the long term, but we do it anyway. I've seldom seen a player choose to have their character do the equivalent of watching a rerun on television or lay around drinking when they could be out looting dungeons, saving the heir to the  throne, exploring the wilderness and adding a few square miles to their demesne, meeting new friends and influencing people, training to improve their skills and abilities, learning or inventing a new spell, working to earn more money to buy better equipment, and so forth.

I'm perfectly capable of deciding what my character does without a personality mechanic. When I play Pendragon, I see the passions and traits as a way of finding out things like: is my character just not energetic enough to go and check on the night guards one more time; does my character fall in love with the Maiden of the Green Tower; will my character succumb to the charms of Morgan le Fay, even though he loves his wife (the former Maiden of the Green Tower), or will he stay true to his marriage vows; and will my love of family overcome my loyalty to my liege so that I side with my rebel brother who decided to forswear his allegiance to My Lord the Duke rather than remaining true to a man who my character admires and respects and who has been a good liege for years.

In other words, I use passion and trait rolls for the same thing I use attack and damage rolls in a more traditional game. I use the roll to find out what happens and so that I can occasionally be surprised at the outcome.

What I don't see those mechanics as, is some sort of training wheels for role players.

And to be clear, despite how I see the mechanics, passion and trait rolls are not the sort of mechanics I want in every single game I play and I probably do understand why you don't like them in whatever game you play. I just don't necessarily feel the same way about all games.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2016, 09:19:30 PM by Bren »
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crkrueger

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« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2016, 12:37:53 AM »
Quote from: Bren;880329
I'm perfectly capable of deciding what my character does without a personality mechanic.
I agree.

Quote from: Bren;880329
When I play Pendragon, I see the passions and traits as a way of finding out things like: is my character just not energetic enough to go and check on the night guards one more time; does my character fall in love with the Maiden of the Green Tower; will my character succumb to the charms of Morgan le Fay, even though he loves his wife (the former Maiden of the Green Tower), or will he stay true to his marriage vows; and will my love of family overcome my loyalty to my liege so that I side with my rebel brother who decided to forswear his allegiance to My Lord the Duke rather than remaining true to a man who my character admires and respects and who has been a good liege for years.
Yeah, but the whole thing is, when you're finding out about your character in this way: you are not your character.  When we use attack mechanics, our character has already chosen to attack.  The choice has been made, the mechanics determine outcome of the choice.  Personality mechanics make the choice for you.  If I have a more Lusty character then a Chaste one, I can decide for myself whether I will break vows or not, depending on how things were roleplayed.  I frequently take the "less optimal choice" or the one that will come back to bite me in the ass, because that seemed right for the character at that time.

If you have players who have a good idea in mind who the character is and play accordingly, you're get plenty of anguish, drama, comedy, tragedy just like if you used them, only it will be through Free Will, not a die roll.

That's why I say they are training wheels for roleplaying (and I don't mean that in a disparaging way), because if you take someone who doesn't yet have the chops for Pendragon, the personality rules keep them roughly within the bounds of what is right for that character according to the Personality Traits.  However, I'm not convinced you learn that way any better or faster then simply being at a table with good roleplayers.

The Passion roles are usually called for when your character is put to the test and sometimes severe consequences result.  This is the point at which your choices matter more than anything, and this is the point where the game takes those choices away from you, almost not trusting you to stay true to your character when the chips are down.

But you're right, all games are different, and if there was a game where I did use Personality Mechanics, it would be Pendragon.
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

S'mon

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« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2016, 05:04:02 AM »
I think there's a reasonable (but narrow) point, that many metagame mechanics can be explained as the PC calling upon his inner-strength or other in-universe element. Eg in Star Wars d6 the Force Points are explained as PCs 'using the Force' in-universe, when they are functionally identical to Buffy the Vampire Slayer RPG's 'Drama Points', explained as emulating the drama of the TV show.
Result - SWd6 is fully immersive; Buffy TVS constantly pulls players out of immersion in a massive design fail.
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AsenRG

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« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2016, 05:19:12 AM »
Guys, I thank you all for your input, but I want to emphasize something...
I'm not saying "just use another system" is not a valid choice. It is, I've used it a whole lot.
But this thread is not about that, so would you keep it out of it:)? Please?

Also, yes, there is some rationalisation. But you're considering them while out of character, at the same time that you do advancement, chat with other players, and stuff. The point is to adopt the rationalisation before the game begins, and just modify your reactions according to the "new paradigm". Then during the game, you just play your character - it's just that instead of marking off HP, you throw away a Bennie, or some stuff like that.

Similarly, I'm not talking about personality mechanics. I see them as helping my immersion, but I know I'm in the minority. At least Bren is there as well, so we're a good minority to play with.
But mostly, I'd recommend using stuff like Pendragon passions not to determine behaviour, but to determine whether you have a Morale bonus or Morale Penalty to what you decided the character is doing.
The passions are the voice in the back of your head that's either edging you on, dragging you back, or staying silent for a change. When it's edging you on, your focus is unrivaled, though, so it's worth it listening to;).

Quote from: Omnifray;880310
Sometimes there will be perfectly decent workarounds; sometimes there won't. I don't think there can be a complete solution. Some of the above seem to me to require too much meta-analysis on the part of the player, or are just likely to end up being unconvincing. Nice try though.

Yes, that's what I said as well.

Yes, some of the above would require meta-analysis. The advantage to my approach is, you do the meta-analysis before the game. This frees you to just react during the game.

Quote from: Spinachcat;880311
Or you can just play another game.

Why is this rocket science? It's not 1979 with a handful of RPG options.

Because sometimes you want to play this game? Because sometimes you're curious whether you can make this game work? Because sometimes your friends want to play this game and you'd like to at least give it a try instead of either vetoing their decision, or sitting out the campaign?
Pick one, or invent another. Playing another game is not rocket science - and if you always default to that, and see no reasons not to, this thread is useless for you. Sorry for that, but it happens.

Quote from: CRKrueger;880312
Exactly, Omnifray.  When you're asking yourself "How can I take this Out Of Character mechanic and explain it In Character." You are Out of Character!

As stated before, the point is to do it out of the game, while you are Out Of Character anyway.
Doing the "groundwork" then should free you to spend more time In Character during the game.

Quote
Now as a GM or a player, you can take the list of options for Fate, Bennies, Karma, Luck or what have you and simply cross things off the list, leaving only things that truly could be IC decisions.  Like whether you exert yourself, whether to count on your Luck because you're one of those guys that knows you're not gonna die, no matter the odds, whether to place your trust in the gods or fate and just give in to the moment.

Yes, that's the spirit.

Quote
As AsenRG says, those are fairly easy, and with some systems they are possible, but with some systems they are not, the economy and shared narration is just too entrenched, you remove the engine the game runs on and what's left isn't firing on all cylinders.  It's better just to trust in the philosopher Eastwood, know your limitations and move on.

Yep, that's also exactly what I said in my last paragraph:D! There are games that act like it for me, and I find them not worth the bother.
So I just don't play them.
That doesn't solve the problem of "I can't play this game even if I like the other players that are joining and know they're going to make for a fun game", though. But there are limits to what I can be bothered to do.

Quote from: Simlasa;880316
That gets my vote as the simpler path... if I like setting elements I'll port them to a game I know and like... rather than going bonkers trying to fit square pegs in round holes.

I asked somewhere if the 'only players roll' aspect of *World games can be ignored... apparently not. So... not a game I'm going to try to 'fix' when I have others that work for me just fine.

I've never heard of this particular feature being a problem for immersion. Can you elaborate?

I'm not even going to try and suggest a solution, if you're not interested. But I'm interested in why this is a problem.

Quote from: CRKrueger;880320
AsenRG, I'm not saying trying to de-narrative a system isn't worth doing.  For example, one of my players wasn't to keen on Combat Maneuvers/Special Effects in RQ6.  He thought determining outcome and then picking effect was in essence a form of retcon.  I told him to look at the attack and defense more like a single point of a spectrum, like a specific move in a dance, or a single play of a game of chess.  At that moment, as the attack and defense occur, if you get a Special Effect, that means there is an opening, not something you planned on doing beforehand, but something that you can exploit, so how do you choose to exploit it?  Yeah you could cut the SEs down further depending on style and attack type, etc... but then we're getting closer to a blow by blow simulation, which is to make combat much longer.  He got it and loves it.

As a side note, every fencer that I know, who has tried Runequest6/Legend/MRQ2 loved it precisely because of this feature:). But then about half the people in my school have played RPGs, and a few started playing due to our sinful influence:p!
So it seems totally in-character at least to us.

Quote
Passions we don't use, haven't gotten a way to make those fly, mainly because personality mechanics basically are an OOC method of reminding the player that the character is supposed to act that way.  If your players already act that way, then they're useless, and if your players don't act that way, training wheels aren't the way to teach them.

Have you considered the "voice in the back of your head" option?
If you have, I've got nothing.

Quote from: Itachi;880327
Another vote for "just play another game".

"Changing games is always an option".
"The trick is to find another way".

Quote from: CRKrueger;880363
I agree.

Yeah, but the whole thing is, when you're finding out about your character in this way: you are not your character.  When we use attack mechanics, our character has already chosen to attack.  The choice has been made, the mechanics determine outcome of the choice.  Personality mechanics make the choice for you.

Not always. Sometimes, they still determine the outcome of the choice;). See above.

As a side note, I know some people who can leave or take whether their character is going to act lustful or not, but wouldn't accept the character's lunge being beaten aside so sharply they drop their sword "because I'm not playing a weakling". But they're so much in the minority, I don't see a reason to bother with that:D!
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JesterRaiin

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How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2016, 06:27:35 AM »
I'm suffering from terrible hangover today and I have trouble forming even simplest sentences, so no useful input here, but I really wanted to comment on this.

Quote from: AsenRG;880408
Because sometimes you want to play this game? Because sometimes you're curious whether you can make this game work? Because sometimes your friends want to play this game and you'd like to at least give it a try instead of either vetoing their decision, or sitting out the campaign?


There are many arguments for staying with the game of our choice. Perhaps people you play with are impervious to change. Perhaps the setting and ruleset are inseparable. Perhaps you don't want to risk being secluded from the society formed around this game. Perhaps you don't want to throw 1000s of $$$ worth sourcebooks, miniatures and other accessories out of the window. Perhaps you simply don't want to try another game.

But sometimes we simply want to play this game "just because". This specific one, with all its flaws and contradictions, even when we know there are other games, possibly better ones, more relevant to our tastes and needs. We know it's not perfect, and we're gonna complain on its various weaknesses, spend truckloads of time "fixing them", but we still wanna play it and there's nothing to be done about that.

Playing other game sometimes isn't an option, even if there's no logical reason behind it. I think this deserves to be accepted as a plausible explanation.

Thanks, and please make this headache go away...
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AsenRG

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How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2016, 06:32:31 AM »
Quote from: S'mon;880407
I think there's a reasonable (but narrow) point, that many metagame mechanics can be explained as the PC calling upon his inner-strength or other in-universe element. Eg in Star Wars d6 the Force Points are explained as PCs 'using the Force' in-universe, when they are functionally identical to Buffy the Vampire Slayer RPG's 'Drama Points', explained as emulating the drama of the TV show.
Result - SWd6 is fully immersive; Buffy TVS constantly pulls players out of immersion in a massive design fail.

Yes, names do have power:).

Quote from: JesterRaiin;880415
I'm suffering from terrible hangover today and I have trouble forming even simplest sentences, so no useful input here, but I really wanted to comment on this.



There are many arguments for staying with the game of our choice. Perhaps people you play with are impervious to change. Perhaps the setting and ruleset are inseparable. Perhaps you don't want to risk being secluded from the society formed around this game. Perhaps you don't want to throw 1000s of $$$ worth sourcebooks, miniatures and other accessories out of the window. Perhaps you simply don't want to try another game.

But sometimes we simply want to play this game "just because". This specific one, with all its flaws and contradictions, even when we know there are other games, possibly better ones, more relevant to our tastes and needs. We know it's not perfect, and we're gonna complain on its various weaknesses, spend truckloads of time "fixing them", but we still wanna play it and there's nothing to be done about that.

Playing other game sometimes isn't an option, even if there's no logical reason behind it. I think this deserves to be accepted as a plausible explanation.

Thanks, and please make this headache go away...

I'm readily accepting it, myself;).
So maybe this thread could help some people that have that specific problem, though I don't think it'll solve the problem for everybody.
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Bren

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How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2016, 08:08:02 AM »
Quote from: CRKrueger;880363
Yeah, but the whole thing is, when you're finding out about your character in this way: you are not your character.
Yep. And sometimes I'm okay with that. If you aren't, then you aren't.

I’m not trying to convince you. You seem like you have a good idea of what you like when you play. I’m trying to explain how I see those kinds of mechanics and why they sometimes work for me. One reason they bug me less than you is our is a difference in motivations. I am slightly more motivated by finding out what happens next in play and I like sometimes to be surprised by what happens next than I am by always immersing in my character. You seem like you are more motivated by immersing in your character and don’t value surprise as much.* So mechanics get in between you and your character and the payoff of finding a surprise isn’t of sufficient value to you to tolerate the mechanics getting in your way.

I also like a mechanic to resolve things that are not really within the realm of a conscious choice of my PC. As in, does my character like the taste of sand prawns, Sidroni spices, or Mandolorean Narcolethe? How about sashimi or beef tartare? Does light beer taste great or is it less filling? What sort of barbecue sauce do they prefer? Are they physically attracted more to blondes, brunettes, red heads, or the Yul Brynner look? What sort of music do they like? What music that they have never heard before would they really enjoy if they ever heard it? Stuff like that.

How does one decide what our character likes and dislikes, especially when the object is new. It’s not part of the character’s history (played out or created). How do I decide, “Oh he’s the kind of guy who would like the taste of seafood.” That seems to be an OOC not an IC decision process. And if I’m going to go OOC to make a decision, why not shake things up by letting the dice decide some of those preferences? I see some of the choices (but not all of the choices) that are controlled by the Pendragon passions and traits as being similar.

Quote
Personality mechanics make the choice for you.  If I have a more Lusty character then a Chaste one, I can decide for myself whether I will break vows or not, depending on how things were roleplayed.
Agreed. One consequence of that stance though is that you will never have the experience as your character of making a choice you the character don't want to make. Emotionally speaking, your characters always do exactly what you want them to do.

* I understand that one can be surprised one some level by the choices that one makes for one’s character. I’ve certainly had the experience of making a decision as my character and on reflection thinking to myself, “Woah, I’m surprised he decided to do that.” But the vast majority of the time, the choices I make as my character don’t really surprise me. I don’t recall whether you’ve commented on that sort of surprise or not. So please forgive me if I am ignoring something you've said previously about your play style.


Quote from: S'mon;880407
I think there's a reasonable (but narrow) point, that many metagame mechanics can be explained as the PC calling upon his inner-strength or other in-universe element. Eg in Star Wars d6 the Force Points are explained as PCs 'using the Force' in-universe, when they are functionally identical to Buffy the Vampire Slayer RPG's 'Drama Points', explained as emulating the drama of the TV show.
Result - SWd6 is fully immersive; Buffy TVS constantly pulls players out of immersion in a massive design fail.
I think both mechanics do what they are supposed to do so I don’t think Drama Points are an epic fail. But they aren’t immersive.

I’ve commented before that Force Points in WEG Star Wars are easier to explain or conceive of as an in character or intra-diagetic mechanic, especially for Force sensitive characters. It gets harder to justify Force points as something the character has access to for the non Force sensitive and character points – which are also used as experience points and are not strongly connected to the Force – are even more difficult to associate.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2016, 08:11:27 AM by Bren »
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Itachi

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How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2016, 09:50:05 AM »
Quote from: CRKrueger

Yeah, but the whole thing is, when you're finding out about your character in this way: you are not your character.

Not necessarily. Have you never had a reaction that surprised even yourself ? I know I had. Real people do not always act in the most reasonable and logical way as characters in a role playing game do. These mechanics also help with that.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2016, 09:53:53 AM by Itachi »