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Pen & Paper Roleplaying Central => Pen and Paper Roleplaying Games (RPGs) Discussion => Topic started by: AsenRG on February 20, 2016, 06:03:01 PM

Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: AsenRG 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.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: Omnifray 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.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: Spinachcat 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.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: crkrueger 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.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: Simlasa 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.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: crkrueger 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.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: Itachi 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.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: Bren 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.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: crkrueger 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.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: S'mon 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.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: AsenRG 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!
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: JesterRaiin 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...
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: AsenRG 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.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: Bren 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.

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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.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: Itachi 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.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: Nexus on February 21, 2016, 01:10:44 PM
Quote from: Bren;880425
Yep. And sometimes I'm okay with that.

*Excellent points clipped for length*



I think I'm close to Bren on this. I'm usually okay with moderate personality mechaniics, particularly if their somewhat optional though I value immersion. Sometimes I don't feel like I'm totally in the character's "headspace". At the end of the day I am different person, in a totally different situation not experiencing the same pressures, emotions and drives or coming from the same cultural background or any of the other countless influences that can't be covered in a rpg, at least not easily.

I feel the same way about social mechanics. We're not really consciously in control of everything we do and decide. I've been talked into some amazingly stupid shit in the past and made really poor choices. So I can see my character doing some that are "out of my control." Sometimes its fun to imagine why they might make these choices and incorporate them into the image I have. Though I understand why that's not to other taste and they prefer to maintain more control of their PC's specific narrative. Like most things it a spectrum.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: Madprofessor on February 21, 2016, 03:16:51 PM
Sorry I'm late to the party.

Sheesh, I'm honored that I could inspire anybody to write anything (now if I just had that effect on my students):)

I think what were really talking about here is layers of abstraction and translating mechanics into imagination.

The problem is that all mechanics happen ooc whether they're dice rolls, card draws or bauble counting.  However, some mechanics translate more simply and intuitively than others.  The problem of the Meta-Mechanics that AsenRG described in the original post is that they require several layers of processing to translate the ooc act into the in-character imaginary universe.  It is certainly possible to take the effect of any mechanical outcome and describe it in game terms but the more detached a mechanic is from an actual imaginary object or action then the more the player is detached from the game.

The best mechanics, IMHO, are those that translate with the least thought or effort, and for that they should be simple and specific to the mental imagery.  For example, a pass fail percentile roll to achieve a specific skill is extremely intuitive.  I have 35% chance to pick this lock, roll dice and go.  There is almost no break in immersion.

On the other hand, the 2d20 Conan momentum points can literally represent almost anything in imagination land: it could be something abstract like "success breeds success," or "my timing was perfect," "I'm lucky that way" or "this is emotionally important to my character," or a million other things.  Yes, you can rationalize their effects, but you must spend considerable ooc effort every time you use them or immersion, believablility, or suspension of disbelief is compromised.  The lack of specificity and difficulty in translation is where I have a hang up.

Obviosly, I coming at this from an immersionists perspective.  That is because I believe immersion is what makes RPGs both special and different from other games.

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Originally Posted by CRKrueger View Post
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!


Good point.  Ideally, there is just the thought.  A great player knows his character and doesn't need a mechanic to determine his personality.

However, I always felt that Pendragon personality mechanics were very intuitive.  "I've got a 6 Chaste and a 14 Lustful... hmm ... 'Hey doll face!'"  It is just a descriptor with a number, and it is quite specific to what it applies to.  I also find that many players don't really know their character that well so having these personality numbers helps them study and learn about their character.  Very rarely have players felt it was restrictive, and when they do, I let them change it or ignore it altogether.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: S'mon on February 21, 2016, 03:40:07 PM
Quote from: Bren;880425

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.


If I ever run Buffy, I think I'll call them Ki Points... Anything but 'drama'. If it was purely a story-building game then fine, characters in a storygame might well have associated 'drama points'. But Buffy's Unisystem ruleset is pretty vanilla simulationist other than this. Why give up immersion for no gain?
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: Itachi on February 21, 2016, 03:41:47 PM
Quote from: Madprofessor;880462
I think what were really talking about here is layers of abstraction and translating mechanics into imagination.

The problem is that all mechanics happen ooc whether they're dice rolls, card draws or bauble counting.  However, some mechanics translate more simply and intuitively than others.  The problem of the Meta-Mechanics that AsenRG described in the original post is that they require several layers of processing to translate the ooc act into the in-character imaginary universe.  It is certainly possible to take the effect of any mechanical outcome and describe it in game terms but the more detached a mechanic is from an actual imaginary object or action then the more the player is detached from the game.

The best mechanics, IMHO, are those that translate with the least thought or effort, and for that they should be simple and specific to the mental imagery.  For example, a pass fail percentile roll to achieve a specific skill is extremely intuitive.  I have 35% chance to pick this lock, roll dice and go.  There is almost no break in immersion.

On the other hand, the 2d20 Conan momentum points can literally represent almost anything in imagination land: it could be something abstract like "success breeds success," or "my timing was perfect," "I'm lucky that way" or "this is emotionally important to my character," or a million other things.  Yes, you can rationalize their effects, but you must spend considerable ooc effort every time you use them or immersion, believablility, or suspension of disbelief is compromised.  The lack of specificity and difficulty in translation is where I have a hang up.

Obviosly, I coming at this from an immersionists perspective.  That is because I believe immersion is what makes RPGs both special and different from other games.

Very good post.

In my humble opinion it all comes down to familiarity. Having grew up on Gurps and World of Darkness, the first time I met D&D I've found it's concepts of classes and levels artificial and abortive to my immersion. It took some time to get my head around it. When I did though, it never bothered me again.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: crkrueger on February 21, 2016, 05:28:11 PM
When I'm roleplaying and everything seems to be meshing, all cylinders are firing, I really get into the character's headspace, and I can and do surprise myself.  Get caught up in the moment, make decisions I regret, follow my gut, head, or heart when I should have following the other.

When you're really caught up in the character, you don't need those mechanics and die rolls, because if you're really immersed in that character, you do that anyway.  When I really grok that character, you ask me "blond, brunette or redhead" or "fish or chicken", I know.  It just pops into my head.

That's why having as little between me and the character is so important.  If these mechanics would just leave me alone I can get into that zone of suspension of disbelief where the real magic of roleplaying is, but these types of mechanics keep pulling on my shoulder and saying, "Hey, let me help you roleplay your character." or "Hey, let's do something dramatic and exciting, eh, wouldn't that make a great story?"

That's why I say things like this new Conan game probably shouldn't be called a roleplaying game, because frankly, I think roleplaying is actually secondary to the storytelling aspect.  It's at least 50/50.  People go apeshit when I do say things like that, but there's really nothing in that game that doesn't tie into the Doom storytelling metagame.  Even parrying gives a Doom point.  The point of that game is to recreate Howard's stories. With that goal in mind, it might do it.  It might do it brilliantly.  But when practically every decision keeps the OOC metagame in mind, it's kind of hard to do much roleplaying.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: Nexus on February 21, 2016, 05:32:35 PM
Quote from: Itachi;880465
Very good post.

In my humble opinion it all comes down to familiarity. Having grew up on Gurps and World of Darkness, the first time I met D&D I've found it's concepts of classes and levels artificial and abortive to my immersion. It took some time to get my head around it. When I did though, it never bothered me again.


I still do find them non immersive. So there is just some plain taste involved.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: Itachi on February 21, 2016, 05:39:19 PM
Quote from: Nexus;880478
I still do find them non immersive. So there is just some plain taste involved.

Oh sure, I think taste will always be involved. ;)
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: crkrueger on February 21, 2016, 05:47:43 PM
Quote from: Nexus;880478
I still do find them non immersive. So there is just some plain taste involved.


Agreed.
OOC does not become IC with familiarity.
Conflict Resolution does not become Task Resolution with familiarity.

I understand the Fate system.  I had great fun at a con playing Spirits of the Century.  I was totally into the scene and the story, but wasn't into my character because I was constantly making decisions my character couldn't make.  We were as much director as we were actor.

Maybe the fact that I GM all the time means I have an outlet for world building, so when I play, I want to *play*.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: Nexus on February 21, 2016, 06:17:33 PM
Quote from: Itachi;880479
Oh sure, I think taste will always be involved. ;)


Sorry if that came across as argumentative. Reading my post again it sounds much more hostile than I meant it to be.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: Madprofessor on February 21, 2016, 07:06:13 PM
Quote
Very good post.

In my humble opinion it all comes down to familiarity. Having grew up on Gurps and World of Darkness, the first time I met D&D I've found it's concepts of classes and levels artificial and abortive to my immersion. It took some time to get my head around it. When I did though, it never bothered me again.


Thanks,

I think familiarity is a part of it, because the less you have to think about a mechanic then the more immersive it will be and the more you can focus on the imaginary world.  However, some mechanics will always pull you ooc and out of immersion regardless of familiarity because that is what they are designed to do.  Mechanics that allow a player "narrative control" to alter the game world and assume the GMs hat are a good example.  No matter how well you know this mechanic it is anti-immersive for roleplaying a character. or getting in the zone as CRKreuger described.

I have never found D&D to be a terribly immersive game (and I have been playing it for 35 years) because classes, levels, alignments, Vancian magic, +3 wands of wuss slapping, and a whole slew of baroque mechanics imply such a bizarre alternate reality that you never forget that you are playing a game, and the whole "you be Gandalf, I'll be Conan and we'll team up and fight Dracula" implied setting reinforces the strange mechanical ideas.  I love D&D, but it's gamey, and not very immersive IMHO.  

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I still do find them non immersive. So there is just some plain taste involved.


I agree that there is taste involved, people have different interests and your fantasy and my fantasy are not the same, but there seems to be lots of people around who argue that its *all* subjective. I don't buy that for a second - I've played too many games - system matters.

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When I'm roleplaying and everything seems to be meshing, all cylinders are firing, I really get into the character's headspace, and I can and do surprise myself. Get caught up in the moment, make decisions I regret, follow my gut, head, or heart when I should have following the other.

When you're really caught up in the character, you don't need those mechanics and die rolls, because if you're really immersed in that character, you do that anyway.


I totally get this.  

Funny, a long time ago I discovered immersive RPGs with Rolemaster :eek: (MERP actually). Not because Rolemaster is immersive, its not, at all, but because as a GM I avoided the mechanics to this game like the plague - so we spent whole sessions doing nothing but roleplaying and never drawing a sword or rolling a die.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: Nexus on February 21, 2016, 07:21:30 PM
I feel that I am "really immersed" in my characters most of the time. But I find that some mechanics help more than hinder that by acting as the "voices in your head" and other influences that just aren't accountable sometimes. That I don't even fully grasp about myself at least until after they've had an effect.

And as I said, I know I'm not totally in the headspace the character is in and some assistance is a welcome thing and increases my fun. Particularly when a character is very different from me.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: Bren on February 21, 2016, 08:01:30 PM
Quote from: S'mon;880464
If I ever run Buffy, I think I'll call them Ki Points... Anything but 'drama'. If it was purely a story-building game then fine, characters in a storygame might well have associated 'drama points'. But Buffy's Unisystem ruleset is pretty vanilla simulationist other than this. Why give up immersion for no gain?
Buffy started out as teenagers in High School. They're all about drama.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: AsenRG on February 23, 2016, 02:31:12 PM
Quote from: Madprofessor;880462
Sorry I'm late to the party.

Sheesh, I'm honored that I could inspire anybody to write anything (now if I just had that effect on my students):)

Make a forum for them:)?
Also, do I get an A in your school:D?

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I think what were really talking about here is layers of abstraction and translating mechanics into imagination.

Mostly, yes - and how intuitive it feels to do that with different layers of abstraction on and off.

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The problem is that all mechanics happen ooc whether they're dice rolls, card draws or bauble counting.  However, some mechanics translate more simply and intuitively than others.  The problem of the Meta-Mechanics that AsenRG described in the original post is that they require several layers of processing to translate the ooc act into the in-character imaginary universe.

Yes. That's why I suggest using an approach where most of the steps are done already.
It's not A=>B=>C=>D=>E=>F. It's B=>E=>F, and we take it for granted that A, C and D has happened, too.

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The best mechanics, IMHO, are those that translate with the least thought or effort, and for that they should be simple and specific to the mental imagery.  For example, a pass fail percentile roll to achieve a specific skill is extremely intuitive.  I have 35% chance to pick this lock, roll dice and go.  There is almost no break in immersion.

For some people, that would be unimmersive, but yes, that's mostly true.

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On the other hand, the 2d20 Conan momentum points can literally represent almost anything in imagination land: it could be something abstract like "success breeds success," or "my timing was perfect," "I'm lucky that way" or "this is emotionally important to my character," or a million other things.  Yes, you can rationalize their effects, but you must spend considerable ooc effort every time you use them or immersion, believablility, or suspension of disbelief is compromised.  The lack of specificity and difficulty in translation is where I have a hang up.

Well, no. All Momentum tells you is: I have Advantage/Initiative, I'm using it.
How did it happen? Describe the first thing that came to mind, it's true now. Maybe you were lucky!
Does it matter why you won? Not in Conan, yes if I'm playing TRoS. But Conan often seems to win just because of inner qualities:).
Translate them however you wish, as far as I'm concerned;).

Quote from: Itachi;880465
Very good post.

In my humble opinion it all comes down to familiarity. Having grew up on Gurps and World of Darkness, the first time I met D&D I've found it's concepts of classes and levels artificial and abortive to my immersion. It took some time to get my head around it. When I did though, it never bothered me again.

IMO, you're right, but it's not the whole story.


At least my current theory is that it comes down to familiarity first, how well it maps to previous experiences second, and your specific way of thinking in the third place. (Places are arbitrarily assigned, and the second and third are interconnected, yes).
[SPOILER]If you're used to "attack=dice roll", you can immerse in that (who needs examples?).
If you're used to "attack=punching a button", you can immerse in that (fighting games).
If you're used to "attack=handing the Referee a hidden number of beads", you're going to be able to immerse in that (Gumshoe).
Trick is, the more you're used to one, the less the others sound intuitive.

Then we come to previous experiences. Do you believe in karma? Than a karma-based system might work better for you (based on my observations here, amusingly). Do you believe that every bad thing is followed by a good one? Fate compels might be intuitive. Do you believe that the universe is random, and everything else is an illusion? Dice rolls. Do you believe that the Hand of Higher Powers deals us cards at birth? Well, card-using systems aren't unheard of. Do you believe that the universe is basically arbitrary, but we can make it care by sufficient force of will? Play Pendragon.
And so on, and so forth. Mind: sometimes people just play the game, and don't think how it relates to their life outlook. Then they can mostly ignore this part...so maybe it should have been in third place instead. Ah well.

And then we come to ways of thinking. This is the part where my theory can use the most work, I admit. But I don't get people sending me money for it, so I was kinda working on it in my free time.
Basically, do you believe that things often have unintuitive consequences? That you can win by losing, attack by retreating, strike left by moving to the right? Do you believe you can create hate by kindness, murder through charity, mayhem through order?
We all know (I hope) that all of these are possible - I'm thinking of real life examples, of course! But how much have you internalised that logic?
If you have, you could play a lot of games immersively that other people would balk at. Because you don't expect that connections need to be simple.

Conversely, if your way of thinking is straightforward, go for straightforward systems.

This point has many ramifications I haven't explored. Say, someone who believes our minds are the sum of our impulses, and they're relatively constant, would have an easy time playing Pendragon - again from experience...
[/SPOILER]
But the cornerstone of my theory is that it's about finding a game that fits you as closely as possible. Because immersion is, to me, in the moment when you don't need to process external stimuli rationally. You hear, and you react as your character would, playing the system in the way.

That's why I suggest adopting a different outlook in most of the examples in my OP. You do that before the game, and it might take some work to adopt that specific approach (and then to unwind back, that is important), but once you have established that "filter" that you can invoke at will, one more kind of mechanic is fully intuitive.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: Justin Alexander on February 23, 2016, 09:47:21 PM
Ah, yet another thread demonstrating that the word immersion in RPG discussions has no meaning (http://thealexandrian.net/wordpress/35344/roleplaying-games/thought-of-the-day-why-i-dont-use-the-word-immersion):

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When discussing roleplaying games I’ve tried to eliminate the term “immersion” from my vocabulary: It’s terminology with a horribly fractured etymology and never fails to create confusion whenever it’s used.

The problem has its primary roots in the ’90s: In the tabletop community, the Usenet groups picked the term “immersion” to refer to people deeply immersing themselves in the playing of their character. “Deep immersion” became the state in which roleplaying flowed naturally and you were able to make decisions as your character and portray your character without have to engage in logical analysis.

Almost simultaneously, however, the video game community created the concept of “immersion vs. interactivity”. In this construct, loosely speaking, interactivity refers to the player making decisions and immersion refers to the player becoming drawn into or convinced by the faux reality of the game world. (You’ll notice that, in this construction, the concept of “immersion” is effectively set up as being in a state of antithesis with the tabletop community’s use of the word “immersion”.) This video game concept of “immersion” then “jumped the pond” and got picked up by various tabletop communities.

Then you can take all of that confusion and stir in a healthy dose of people using the word according to its general dictionary definition: “Deep mental involvement.” That meant any time somebody said “no, immersion is about deep mental involvement in X” (whether X was “playing your character” or “the presentation of the game world”), somebody else could respond by saying “no, I experience immersion by having a deep mental involvement with Y”.

My personal use of the term was shaped in those old Usenet discussions. So if you ever do see me using the word “immersion” in the context of tabletop roleplaying, it’s a virtual certainty that I’m talking about immersion in the process of roleplaying a character; the sort of one-to-one flow of thought to action and the empathetic flow of thought that often characterizes our conception of the very best Method actors. But I’ve generally found that when I need to discuss that sort of thing it’s almost always more rewarding to find a way of talking about it which doesn’t use the word “immersion”.

Whatever your personal conception of the word “immersion” is, I recommend you do the same.


I count... what? At least three different definitions of "immersion" all being used as if they were interchangeable here.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: AsenRG on February 24, 2016, 01:05:04 AM
Quote from: Justin Alexander;880979
Ah, yet another thread demonstrating that the word immersion in RPG discussions has no meaning (http://thealexandrian.net/wordpress/35344/roleplaying-games/thought-of-the-day-why-i-dont-use-the-word-immersion):



I count... what? At least three different definitions of "immersion" all being used as if they were interchangeable here.


As far as I'm aware, all the posters in this thread, myself included, are using "immersion" as a short-hand for the "old Usenet definition".
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: Spinachcat on February 24, 2016, 04:00:38 AM
Quote from: CRKrueger;880483
Maybe the fact that I GM all the time means I have an outlet for world building, so when I play, I want to *play*.


Exactly. When I play, I don't need to beg, borrow or steal any of the GM's power to have a good time. I wield the Gygaxian Axe far more than enough of the time.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: jhkim on February 25, 2016, 09:07:37 PM
A bit late - but first of all, thanks, Asen. I thought the original points were pretty good for these purposes.

I'd have two points here about the overall advice:

1) Not everyone always wants pure immersion or pure storytelling. It's pretty common to sometimes enjoy both, but want a little shift one way or the other.

2) Sometimes people enjoy in particular immersing in their storytelling. I've certainly greatly enjoyed A Thousand and One Nights - where you have a character who engages in telling stories with the other PCs.

I think the point about competence is good, but could use a bit of an example. If I'm playing a legendary expert engineer who knows every bit of his ship and how it works - then other PCs often will ask my character things like "Can we do X?" and "How long will it take to do Y?"  In some games, this always results in me turning to the GM and asking the same question - which doesn't give the feel of being an expert. If I can actually give a definitive answer back, then it can help the feel of being an expert.

On the tangent of personality mechanics,

Quote from: Itachi;880437
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.

Quote from: Nexus;880456
I feel the same way about social mechanics. We're not really consciously in control of everything we do and decide. I've been talked into some amazingly stupid shit in the past and made really poor choices. So I can see my character doing some that are "out of my control."


Conversely - When I'm immersing in a character in an RPG, I often find that I don't act in the most reasonable and logical way - and often make choices that surprise me, just like I do in real life. By getting into character, the same surprising, unconscious decisions can happen - and they're often really interesting for having done so.

That doesn't mean personality mechanics are wrong - but they're a matter of taste, and not necessary in order to get surprising and/or illogical behavior.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: Nexus on February 25, 2016, 09:44:57 PM
Quote from: jhkim;881425


Conversely - When I'm immersing in a character in an RPG, I often find that I don't act in the most reasonable and logical way - and often make choices that surprise me, just like I do in real life. By getting into character, the same surprising, unconscious decisions can happen - and they're often really interesting for having done so.

That doesn't mean personality mechanics are wrong - but they're a matter of taste, and not necessary in order to get surprising and/or illogical behavior.


I didn't say they were. I said I enjoyed them and social mechanics are guides and assistance for those times when I don't feel totally immersed. And because they bring some randomness and arbitrary feel to such situations. I can and do make in characters choices for my PCs but sometimes I want to see what fate (or their nature as represented by the mechanics) decrees.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: crkrueger on February 26, 2016, 12:53:40 AM
But if you ask the GM and he tells you (and only you) that it will take 6 hours to get the Warp Drive online, then you tell the captain it will take 10 hours, and then you actually do it in 5, you're a frickin' miracle worker, just like Scotty. :D

If you just asspull 7 hours, and that "makes it so" then 7 hours it is...boring. ;)
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: AsenRG on February 26, 2016, 02:24:18 AM
Quote from: jhkim;881425
A bit late - but first of all, thanks, Asen. I thought the original points were pretty good for these purposes.

You're welcome:). Glad you liked them.

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I'd have two points here about the overall advice:

1) Not everyone always wants pure immersion or pure storytelling. It's pretty common to sometimes enjoy both, but want a little shift one way or the other.

Never said everyone wants it all the time. Personally, I prefer immersion...but sometimes, say when I want to try a new game, I can easily play in a mixed mode, or in pure storytelling mode (as I used to do with a short-lived game of Heroquest 2 - I was imagining myself writing the character's biography, decades later).

Quote
2) Sometimes people enjoy in particular immersing in their storytelling. I've certainly greatly enjoyed A Thousand and One Nights - where you have a character who engages in telling stories with the other PCs.

Yes, it is, and I keep telling myself I should try the "1001 Nights" board/storytelling game. Or did you mean the indie RPG title?

Anyway, I doubt there's popular demand for a "how to play traditional games if you immerse in storytelling" thread:D!

Quote
I think the point about competence is good, but could use a bit of an example. If I'm playing a legendary expert engineer who knows every bit of his ship and how it works - then other PCs often will ask my character things like "Can we do X?" and "How long will it take to do Y?"  In some games, this always results in me turning to the GM and asking the same question - which doesn't give the feel of being an expert. If I can actually give a definitive answer back, then it can help the feel of being an expert.

Well, to me it's "I'm just that good and that's why I can tell"...but that might be part of why it works, yes.

Quote

Conversely - When I'm immersing in a character in an RPG, I often find that I don't act in the most reasonable and logical way - and often make choices that surprise me, just like I do in real life. By getting into character, the same surprising, unconscious decisions can happen - and they're often really interesting for having done so.

That doesn't mean personality mechanics are wrong - but they're a matter of taste, and not necessary in order to get surprising and/or illogical behavior.

Well, if that was the only criteria for immersion, then I know some players who are immersed all the time, regardless of system:p!

Quote from: CRKrueger;881441
But if you ask the GM and he tells you (and only you) that it will take 6 hours to get the Warp Drive online, then you tell the captain it will take 10 hours, and then you actually do it in 5, you're a frickin' miracle worker, just like Scotty. :D

If you just asspull 7 hours, and that "makes it so" then 7 hours it is...boring. ;)

Maybe, but it saves you so much time;).
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: crkrueger on February 26, 2016, 03:07:36 AM
Quote from: AsenRG;881446
Maybe, but it saves you so much time;).


Sounds like...

Quote from: Emperor Joseph II in Amadeus
Too many notes.
:D
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: RPGPundit on February 26, 2016, 10:31:27 PM
Mostly one just shouldn't.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: AsenRG on February 27, 2016, 01:15:27 AM
Quote from: RPGPundit;881659
Mostly one just shouldn't.


It's not about should I or shouldn't I.  It's about how.

Also, "you shouldn't play this game" is a statement befitting the outrage brigade.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: crkrueger on February 27, 2016, 02:07:30 AM
Quote from: AsenRG;881667
It's not about should I or shouldn't I.  It's about how.

Also, "you shouldn't play this game" is a statement befitting the outrage brigade.


More like "How do you play basketball with an American Football?"

You just shouldn't. :D

Seriously though, to me it's almost like a word riddle as if the title was:
How to Play Boardgames if You're a Computer Gamer?

You don't play boardgames as a computer gamer.   When you play computer games you're a computer gamer and when you play boardgames, you're a boardgamer.

Same thing here, when I want to be an Immersionist, I don't go enlist for a campaign with a narrative system.

Now narrative games contain different amounts of Narrativium (to use a phrase used by Benn over at Modiphius).  Some can be excised fairly easily, and roleplayers have been discarding such narrative tack-ons for decades.

Some games though, and this is relatively new thing, contain Narrativium that isn't tacked on, it's the very foundation of the system, and it's not simply discarding a mechanic, it's ripping the game to pieces and rebuilding it from the ground up.

At that point, you're chopping up the football, resewing it so it's round and then trying to play basketball with it - just get a basketball.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: AsenRG on February 27, 2016, 09:49:26 AM
Quote from: CRKrueger;881676
More like "How do you play basketball with an American Football?"

You just shouldn't. :D

Sounds to me like the argument "you shouldn't mix chess with punching people in the face". Any yet, chessboxing (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chess_boxing) exists, because someone, somewhere, thought it would be fun to do exactly that:D!

And you could, probably, play American Football with a basketball, though I've never tried that. It might add some specifics due to the ball, but change isn't always for the worse;).

Now, trying to play European football with a basketball is likely to get you some pain in the ankles. But that's, in my experience, more like trying to play an immersionist game with a system that was designed first and foremost to be a game, like a certain edition of D&D that's really not popular on this board:p.

Then again, this still wouldn't be "I shouldn't":). It's "I've found no way and have no patience to experiment".
With most narrative games, I've found a way that works for me and for at least some others;).
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: RPGPundit on February 28, 2016, 09:40:31 PM
Quote from: AsenRG;881667
It's not about should I or shouldn't I.  It's about how.

Also, "you shouldn't play this game" is a statement befitting the outrage brigade.


No, the Outrage Brigade would say "no one should be allowed the chance to play this game".
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: RPGPundit on March 01, 2016, 04:09:08 PM
Also, FATE is actually fucking easy to play as a totally standard and Immersive game.  Just take out the storygamey parts that make it suck. You're left with a fine game for certain genres.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: AsenRG on March 01, 2016, 04:17:36 PM
Quote from: RPGPundit;882142
No, the Outrage Brigade would say "no one should be allowed the chance to play this game".

Which is how the generic "you shouldn't play" reads to me, too, as a modern "thou shall not":).

Quote from: RPGPundit;882614
Also, FATE is actually fucking easy to play as a totally standard and Immersive game.  Just take out the storygamey parts that make it suck. You're left with a fine game for certain genres.

That's exactly the point of this thread.
And this game exists, it's called Fudge;).
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: RPGPundit on March 03, 2016, 07:08:02 PM
Yeah, well you can keep the FATE points and the aspects, just use them in a way that isn't storygamey.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: AsenRG on March 03, 2016, 08:58:45 PM
Quote from: RPGPundit;883139
Yeah, well you can keep the FATE points and the aspects, just use them in a way that isn't storygamey.


Yeah, that's what Fudge does,or at least the versions I am familiar with. It's part of the inspiration for this thread,  actually.
In fact, FUDGE was meant as a light system to facilitate immersion.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: Phillip on March 04, 2016, 07:09:55 AM
Quote from: AsenRG;883154
Yeah, that's what Fudge does,or at least the versions I am familiar with. It's part of the inspiration for this thread,  actually.
In fact, FUDGE was meant as a light system to facilitate immersion.

It might be me rather than Steffan O'Sullivan's fault, but when I looked at FUDGE somewhere between 10 and 20 years ago it seemed pretty heavy. Whereas I could easily pick up Hero System or GURPS and quickly get a game going, I just got bogged down in the FUDGE text.

I thought FATE might help me out, but it turned me off by piling on Aspects and such.

Maybe I'll give FUDGE another try, see whether it clicks with my brain this time.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: AsenRG on March 04, 2016, 06:00:52 PM
Quote from: Phillip;883236
It might be me rather than Steffan O'Sullivan's fault, but when I looked at FUDGE somewhere between 10 and 20 years ago it seemed pretty heavy. Whereas I could easily pick up Hero System or GURPS and quickly get a game going, I just got bogged down in the FUDGE text.

I thought FATE might help me out, but it turned me off by piling on Aspects and such.

Maybe I'll give FUDGE another try, see whether it clicks with my brain this time.


There are different variants of FUDGE. The ones I'm familiar with  are much, much lighter than GURPS, maybe on par with Mongoose Traveller without the lifepaths and setting info:).
The 5-point FUDGE rules might help;).
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: RPGPundit on March 06, 2016, 12:24:20 AM
Yeah, the original FUDGE was less a game as a way to make a game.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: -E. on March 06, 2016, 08:20:48 AM
I don't know if this has been covered, but it seems to me the easiest way to turn a highly abstract meta-game mechanic into an In-Character mechanic is simply to literalize it.

Make the characters aware of it. Make it a matter of physics in the game world.

In both the game I'm running right now (a space opera) and a post-apocalyptic game I ran a few years back, the system has an abstract mechanic for "success points" which can be added to various rolls, but unlike persistent bonuses, run out.

Some character advantages give a regenerating "pool" of points, and so-on.

I just made them literal treasure. You can find success points in a haul. Slain enemies can drop them, etc.

This requires a somewhat weird cosmology, but not an especially weird one by RPG standards.

I've also noted that having things like Level, Alignment, and Class be explicit, in-world concepts which the characters are aware of doesn't bother me as much as I'd have thought it would years ago. We class people by level of skill all the time (I was a Specialist in the Infantry, I'm a Vice President at my current job, etc.). We also self-identify with groups that have a moral valence (political party or political affiliation), and so-on.

I have noticed that -- for some reason -- I avoid literalizing hitpoints... but in theory there's no reason you couldn't.

None of this helps make less traditional RPG models work for me; I'm in the "why would I play that?" camp.

But if a game is a purely traditional RPG that just has a highly abstract mechanic like Fate Points? Just use it in a world where the characters are aware that Fate Points exist and know how to use them.

Cheers,
-E.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: AsenRG on March 06, 2016, 08:33:48 AM
Well, that is too literal for me:). But if it works for you, that's fine!
Personally, I prefer calling on resources to be in your mind only, so GUMSHOE protagonists literally are running out of tricks to use;).
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: Phillip on March 06, 2016, 07:23:45 PM
Quote from: -E.;883566
I don't know if this has been covered, but it seems to me the easiest way to turn a highly abstract meta-game mechanic into an In-Character mechanic is simply to literalize it.

I was thinking about that yesterday, in the context of a dungeon game in which the underworld is specifically a domain like the Celtic otherworld. For game purposes, I think I might like to have frangible points that one can use for various things. However, instead of (or in addition to) having them as found loot I would like to award them along the lines of per-session experience points.

One thing that occurred to me was to have Judges in the Underworld itself, sort of like the beings that in some accounts greet entrants to Lovecraft's Dreamlands. These would appear at the exit -- where/whenever that may be, time and space being malleable from their perspective -- to give explicit boons that are quantifiable ("so many uses") to character as well as player. They might perform other functions as well, viewing the characters' adventures rather as part game and part story in their own uncanny frame of reference.

Quote
But if a game is a purely traditional RPG that just has a highly abstract mechanic like Fate Points? Just use it in a world where the characters are aware that Fate Points exist and know how to use them.

That's how the points in Gygax's Dangerous Journeys seemed to me, just part of the understanding of people in a world in which magic is as real and measurable as electricity -- and in some forms available to everyone, even if not professional magicians learned in formal spell casting.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: Anon Adderlan on March 07, 2016, 09:05:42 AM
I can immerse with a pile of twigs if you'll let me and have always been able to keep two minds about these things. That said some things help or hinder more than others, and I slightly prefer in the moment play to out of the moment.

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.


That's the sperrut! {drink *BLEEECH*}... what arwe talking about?

Quote from: Nexus;880456
I feel the same way about social mechanics. We're not really consciously in control of everything we do and decide. I've been talked into some amazingly stupid shit in the past and made really poor choices. So I can see my character doing some that are "out of my control."


I think it's the whole "in the player's control but not their character's" and "doing the bad thing to get the good thing" that throws people. Finding mechanics which address these in ways that help achieve 'immersion' yet avoid disrupting it once achieved is still an open problem.

Quote from: CRKrueger;880477
When I'm roleplaying and everything seems to be meshing, all cylinders are firing, I really get into the character's headspace, and I can and do surprise myself.  Get caught up in the moment, make decisions I regret, follow my gut, head, or heart when I should have following the other.

When you're really caught up in the character, you don't need those mechanics and die rolls, because if you're really immersed in that character, you do that anyway.  When I really grok that character, you ask me "blond, brunette or redhead" or "fish or chicken", I know.  It just pops into my head.

That's why having as little between me and the character is so important.  If these mechanics would just leave me alone I can get into that zone of suspension of disbelief where the real magic of roleplaying is, but these types of mechanics keep pulling on my shoulder and saying, "Hey, let me help you roleplay your character." or "Hey, let's do something dramatic and exciting, eh, wouldn't that make a great story?"


Great summary. Also see my replies to AsenRG.

All I need are a few strong impressions and I'm good to go, so any system beyond that is entirely unnecessary (or worse disruptive) because success and failure are irrelevant to my immersion in character. I mean I intend to succeed, but the actual outcome has no impact on maintaining my immersion. This is also why I don't grok Fiasco, because once you take me out of the moment there's no reason for me to prefer black or white dice, because it'll be cool either way.

Quote from: AsenRG;880869
At least my current theory is that it comes down to familiarity first, how well it maps to previous experiences second, and your specific way of thinking in the third place.


Anything that avoids engaging conscious consideration.

Quote from: AsenRG;880869
Do you believe in karma? Than a karma-based system might work better for you (based on my observations here, amusingly). Do you believe that every bad thing is followed by a good one? Fate compels might be intuitive. Do you believe that the universe is random, and everything else is an illusion? Dice rolls. Do you believe that the Hand of Higher Powers deals us cards at birth? Well, card-using systems aren't unheard of. Do you believe that the universe is basically arbitrary, but we can make it care by sufficient force of will? Play Pendragon.


This is the most concise set of examples for what I've been trying to get across when I say we don't share the same reality even in real life, and assuming we do only ends up being disruptive and generating unnecessary hostility.

Quote from: AsenRG;880869
do you believe that things often have unintuitive consequences? That you can win by losing, attack by retreating, strike left by moving to the right? Do you believe you can create hate by kindness, murder through charity, mayhem through order?


Some games mechanically account for the character believing those things and feature play which is at least partly about validating those beliefs. Those games are also the ones which tend to provide immediately useful character impressions I can run with (though some like Burning Wheel put up a giant wall afterwards), as opposed to most others which just provide a bunch of statistical performance data and leave me wondering "Who is this?".

Quote from: AsenRG;880869
the cornerstone of my theory is that it's about finding a game that fits you as closely as possible.


Forge theory was about exactly the same thing. My theory on the other hand is that RPGs are thin at one end, much much thicker in the middle, and then thin again at the far end.

Quote from: RPGPundit;882614
Also, FATE is actually fucking easy to play as a totally standard and Immersive game.  Just take out the storygamey parts that make it suck. You're left with a fine game for certain genres.


Extracting the 'storygame' from Fate is a rather more serious surgical procedure than you're implying here.

#BadDoctor

Quote from: RPGPundit;883139
you can keep the FATE points and the aspects, just use them in a way that isn't storygamey.


You can't because of how Tagging works, which Fate requires you to build up through 'deliberate' failure in order to have enough to spend (typically all at once) to succeed at the finale. Marvel Heroic Roleplaying has this problem too, but defines the character through action much more than through the choices made before it, which I can't express much better and makes a difference for me in play.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: AsenRG on March 07, 2016, 04:47:17 PM
Quote from: Anon Adderlan;883794

All I need are a few strong impressions and I'm good to go, so any system beyond that is entirely unnecessary (or worse disruptive) because success and failure are irrelevant to my immersion in character. I mean I intend to succeed, but the actual outcome has no impact on maintaining my immersion. This is also why I don't grok Fiasco, because once you take me out of the moment there's no reason for me to prefer black or white dice, because it'll be cool either way.

Yeah, I don't understand Fiasco and Polaris for much the same reason.

Quote
Anything that avoids engaging conscious consideration.

I call it "familiar" when you don't need to think about doing it:).

Quote
This is the most concise set of examples for what I've been trying to get across when I say we don't share the same reality even in real life, and assuming we do only ends up being disruptive and generating unnecessary hostility.

Yeah, that was my point. And I can totally relate to the hostility part;).

Quote
Some games mechanically account for the character believing those things and feature play which is at least partly about validating those beliefs. Those games are also the ones which tend to provide immediately useful character impressions I can run with (though some like Burning Wheel put up a giant wall afterwards), as opposed to most others which just provide a bunch of statistical performance data and leave me wondering "Who is this?".

Indeed.

Quote
Forge theory was about exactly the same thing. My theory on the other hand is that RPGs are thin at one end, much much thicker in the middle, and then thin again at the far end.

My theory says RPGs are like sandwiches. To get to the meat of it, you have to eat the bread, too:D!

Quote
Extracting the 'storygame' from Fate is a rather more serious surgical procedure than you're implying here.

#BadDoctor

Not nearly as hard as you think.

Quote
You can't because of how Tagging works, which Fate requires you to build up through 'deliberate' failure in order to have enough to spend (typically all at once) to succeed at the finale.

You mean compelling?
The usual procedure is to get the GM to determine when you've acted according to an Aspect, so you wouldn't need to think about it.

Quote
Marvel Heroic Roleplaying has this problem too, but defines the character through action much more than through the choices made before it, which I can't express much better and makes a difference for me in play.

No experience with MHR, and frankly, no desire to try it.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: Madprofessor on March 08, 2016, 12:52:10 AM
Quote
Originally Posted by Anon Adderlan
Extracting the 'storygame' from Fate is a rather more serious surgical procedure than you're implying here.


I dunno.  It wasn't too hard for us.  We decided to give Fate a real try.  It didn't take us long to realize that having aspects for objects, places or events was really lame (for us), as was the whole concepts of tagging, zones, scenes, etc.  After that, character invokes, compels, skills and stunts played much like a traditional game - not a great one, but playable.  It wasn't surgery, it was just really clear what seemed forced and unnatural.  We couldn't help but just shrug and ignore those features.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: RPGPundit on March 10, 2016, 11:57:51 PM
It isn't difficult to extract the storygame from FATE, because FATE is primarily an RPG.  I've done it twice already, it was damn easy. Just don't use the storygamey parts of the Fate Point mechanic. That's it, for the most part.  Depending on which game you're playing, you might need to ignore some of the 'literary' details of character creation or collective world-building bullshit.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: JesterRaiin on March 11, 2016, 03:39:44 AM
Out of curiosity: what's the general name for "my aspect/ability/etc is vague enough to serve me in pretty much every situation there is" exploit?
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: AsenRG on March 11, 2016, 07:01:58 AM
Quote from: JesterRaiin;884495
Out of curiosity: what's the general name for "my aspect/ability/etc is vague enough to serve me in pretty much every situation there is" exploit?


"Making a  boring character" is generally accepted among Fate players.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: Nexus on March 11, 2016, 07:40:44 AM
Quote from: JesterRaiin;884495
Out of curiosity: what's the general name for "my aspect/ability/etc is vague enough to serve me in pretty much every situation there is" exploit?


I don't "get" FATE at all.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: estar on March 11, 2016, 08:31:28 AM
Quote from: Nexus;884525
I don't "get" FATE at all.


What don't you get?

If you are talking about aspects, it is a description of something within the setting. For example Batman's Gotham has an aspect of being a dark and gritty city. Aspect can be general description like the above. Or very specific like this X-Racer has an aspect of having a turbo charged Z-8 engine. In general only the stuff that make something stands out or makes different get described as an aspect.

Aspects can give you a bonus if they help your character in a particular situation. This is generally taken as a +2 modifier to the dice roll. It can be a re-roll as well. If it complicates what you are trying to do you could get a Fate Point to be used later. That part is what many consider to be storygamish.

Another storygamish mechanic is that players can "invoke" an aspect by spending a Fate Point, describing how it benefits them, which gets them the +2 or the re-roll. However a Fate referee can ignore this and just adjudicate the traditional way by deciding what the player is doing benefited by the aspect and thus grants him the bonus to his character for invoking it.

Then there is of course the Fate/Fudge Dice. It is for d6s marked with two pluses, two blanks, and two minuses. The plus reads as +1, the blank 0, and the minus as -1. You roll all four and add them together which gets you a number from -4 to +4.

You add to that the relevant skill/attribute and that tells you how well you succeeded or failed. In general you are shooting to roll a +1 or higher.

The main issues with this is that is very coarse when it comes to modifiers. A +1 improvement is a big big deal. In a opposed roll +1 can change it from a 50-50 outcome to a 65-35 outcome. Far greater than what would happen with a +1 with 2d6 or 3d6.

Other than that it is very straight forward to use.

Character generally have a single set of attributes/skills.  For example Fate Freeport has Str, Dex, Con, Int, Wis, Cha. All rated as a number for example Strength -1, Intelligence +2. In contrast Starblazer has nothing but skills. So does Fate Core.

What confuses many is that the skill/attribute system is totally freeform. So you can make it whatever you think makes sense for your campaign.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: Nexus on March 11, 2016, 08:39:28 AM
Quote from: estar;884531
What don't you get?


Any of it. How it supposed to work over all, the design intention, etc. It just doesn't click mentally. Which isn't to say its objectively bad.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: JesterRaiin on March 11, 2016, 08:44:28 AM
Quote from: AsenRG;884521
"Making a  boring character" is generally accepted among Fate players.


As in "purposefully boring", or so it happens, that FATErs simply don't put much into their characters?

Quote from: Nexus;884525
I don't "get" FATE at all.


As far as I can tell, FATE CORE is one of worst RPG book ever written.

How about FATE Accelerated? Or one of games using FATE's mechanics?
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: Nexus on March 11, 2016, 08:56:15 AM
Quote from: JesterRaiin;884534


How about FATE Accelerated? Or one of games using FATE's mechanics?


I haven't really looked much more into the game since it left me scratching my head. It seems pretty popular though.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: JesterRaiin on March 11, 2016, 09:17:58 AM
Quote from: Nexus;884536
I haven't really looked much more into the game since it left me scratching my head. It seems pretty popular though.


I'd actually suggest at least reading FATE Accelerated. It features 140% less "uhhhh, just... uhhhh, ummm, you know... just agree how it's supposed to... you know, uhhhhh, run, youknowwhatImsaying, ayyy... uhhh...." confusing bullshit, omnipresent in FATE Core. It's also different in a few ways. For example, there are quasi-Attributes in form of Approaches, that allow you to quickly determine the way you get the shit done.

As for derivatives, I find them the better way to learn FATE. Much better.

For example, The Demolished Ones - a crossbreed between The Dark City (http://akas.imdb.com/title/tt0118929/) movie and Amnesia (http://www.amnesiagame.com/) video game. I had fun playing it.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: crkrueger on March 11, 2016, 10:20:46 AM
Quote from: Nexus;884533
Any of it. How it supposed to work over all, the design intention, etc. It just doesn't click mentally. Which isn't to say its objectively bad.


Don't bother.  You're not missing anything, it just isn't for you, and you're not alone.  None of us will probably ever play even a third of all RPGs that have been created, so fuck it.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: JesterRaiin on March 11, 2016, 11:28:11 AM
Quote from: CRKrueger;884551
Don't bother.  You're not missing anything, it just isn't for you, and you're not alone.  None of us will probably ever play even a third of all RPGs that have been created, so fuck it.


Objection! Good half of RPGs are variations of d20 BUT WITH NO ALIGNMENT TREE AND ADDITIONAL "VS" THROWS! KA-BLOOOEY! :D
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: Madprofessor on March 11, 2016, 02:19:24 PM
Quote
Originally Posted by PGGPundit
Mostly one just shouldn't.


This is where I am at.

I tried FATE.  Gave it a real shot when a player said "hey, there is a whole new approach to roleplaying."  By the second session we were stripping out all the wonkyness that broke immersion.  By the fourth session we had nothing but character aspects and a clunky skill system.  FATE is playable as an immersionist game, but there tons of better options just waiting to played.  If you are an "immersionist," why bother?  

This doesn't mean that FATE is crap, its just piss poor at getting me and my players where we want to go. I am happy to just ignore it.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: AsenRG on March 12, 2016, 07:35:22 PM
Quote from: JesterRaiin;884534
As in "purposefully boring", or so it happens, that FATErs simply don't put much into their characters?

As in "you just made a 5-buttons game into a 1-button game and now all that you have to do is keep pushing that button". If your Aspect X is wide enough to cover everything, it means you'd be doing the same thing over and over again 90% of the time. That just makes the game boring for everyone.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: JesterRaiin on March 13, 2016, 11:55:01 AM
Quote from: AsenRG;884848
As in "you just made a 5-buttons game into a 1-button game and now all that you have to do is keep pushing that button". If your Aspect X is wide enough to cover everything, it means you'd be doing the same thing over and over again 90% of the time. That just makes the game boring for everyone.


I see. It's exactly what I had in mind.

I find it a serious problem for all those modern games relying on "just invent some shit" approach, and 'm honestly surprised that people rarely touch the subject when they discuss how awesome FATE (or similar games) are & shit.

Side note:
Around here it's often called "a cook's exploit" - one GM had a player who invested everything he could into "cooking" skill and later insisted on bonus, because "ruling and cooking have plenty of stuff in common", "a good cook must know plenty about poisons", "a frying pan is a multipurpose weapon" and so on and so forth. I'm not sure what system that was, but the more vague, the more "a cook's exploit" is applicable.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: Nexus on March 13, 2016, 01:29:11 PM
Quote from: JesterRaiin;884955
I see. It's exactly what I had in mind.

I find it a serious problem for all those modern games relying on "just invent some shit" approach, and 'm honestly surprised that people rarely touch the subject when they discuss how awesome FATE (or similar games) are & shit.

Side note:
Around here it's often called "a cook's exploit" - one GM had a player who invested everything he could into "cooking" skill and later insisted on bonus, because "ruling and cooking have plenty of stuff in common", "a good cook must know plenty about poisons", "a frying pan is a multipurpose weapon" and so on and so forth. I'm not sure what system that was, but the more vague, the more "a cook's exploit" is applicable.


Marvel Heroic Role play had a similar feel for, particularly Distinctions.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: JesterRaiin on March 13, 2016, 01:47:28 PM
Quote from: Nexus;884968
Marvel Heroic Role play had a similar feel for, particularly Distinctions.


Are you referring to Marvel Superheroes/Marvel Superheroes Advanced by TSR? I know the game exists, but I'm not familiar with its ruleset.

That aside: yep, I'm 140% convinced that all what the "New Wave" of RPG have to offer isn't that new. Merely a borrowed concepts reskinned & retouched.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: Nexus on March 13, 2016, 07:24:54 PM
Quote from: JesterRaiin;884971
Are you referring to Marvel Superheroes/Marvel Superheroes Advanced by TSR? I know the game exists, but I'm not familiar with its ruleset.

That aside: yep, I'm 140% convinced that all what the "New Wave" of RPG have to offer isn't that new. Merely a borrowed concepts reskinned & retouched.


The recent Marvel Heroic Role playing (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marvel_Heroic_Roleplaying) by Maragret Weis Productions.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: AsenRG on March 14, 2016, 05:17:57 AM
Quote from: JesterRaiin;884955
I see. It's exactly what I had in mind.

I find it a serious problem for all those modern games relying on "just invent some shit" approach, and 'm honestly surprised that people rarely touch the subject when they discuss how awesome FATE (or similar games) are & shit.

Side note:
Around here it's often called "a cook's exploit" - one GM had a player who invested everything he could into "cooking" skill and later insisted on bonus, because "ruling and cooking have plenty of stuff in common", "a good cook must know plenty about poisons", "a frying pan is a multipurpose weapon" and so on and so forth. I'm not sure what system that was, but the more vague, the more "a cook's exploit" is applicable.

Usually,people that play Fate don't consider this a system problem. it's a player problem, since the system explicitly tells you not to do that.
And since you're making it boring for yourself, too, you're even punished in advance and it's only a problem because it bores the other players.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: Itachi on March 14, 2016, 07:50:47 AM
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 ?
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: JesterRaiin on March 14, 2016, 09:05:00 AM
Quote from: AsenRG;885058
Usually,people that play Fate don't consider this a system problem. it's a player problem, since the system explicitly tells you not to do that.


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:

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.

Quote from: AsenRG;885058

And since you're making it boring for yourself, too, you're even punished in advance and it's only a problem because it bores the other players.


I see.

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.

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

Quote from: Itachi;885070
AsenRG, what Fate game do you think is the best representative of the engine, and that could show it's strengths more clearly ?


If I may...

I'd suggest BULLDOGS! The game itself resembles those old 80-90s animated lighthearted comedy-SF/Space Western tv shows, where bunch of ruffians travel the cosmos, meet with weird animal-like species (long before furrydom became a thing), solve some mysteries or do other galaxy-shit. Galaxy Rangers, Brave Starr, perhaps even modern shows like Futurama... You now the drill.

I find it a good way to learn FATE, because it uses Aspects all the time in such a way that you embrace them intuitively. Effectively, you know what they are long before you find yourself on a page where they are actually explained. It's also well written (IMHO) and features quite clever vehicle (starship) building process.

Side note: BULLDOGS! RPG was updated to newest version of FATE and re-released lately, but I don't know that edition. I'm talking about the earlier one, with such a cover:

(http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-C8tC4vMq2-E/T4SbFxqOhWI/AAAAAAAAAYc/H_727YTTEGw/s1600/Ska%CC%88rmavbild+2012-04-10+kl.+22.40.07.png)
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: Bren on March 14, 2016, 07:02:20 PM
Quote from: Nexus;884525
I don't "get" FATE at all.

Me neither. Don't sweat it.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: AsenRG 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!
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: JesterRaiin 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:
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: Itachi 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.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: AsenRG 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;).
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: JesterRaiin 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!
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: AsenRG 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;)!
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: Morrius 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.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: JesterRaiin 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...

(http://s29.postimg.org/os7tr3w3r/laundry.jpg)

: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.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: RPGPundit on March 24, 2016, 01:31:08 AM
Still think you really just shouldn't.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: Justin Alexander 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".
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: AsenRG 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.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: JesterRaiin on March 24, 2016, 04:15:19 AM
Quote from: Justin Alexander;887102
"How to Play Pandemic Without a Board"


Too late. (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.f2zentertainment.pandemic&hl=en)

:D
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: AsenRG on March 24, 2016, 05:10:12 AM
Quote from: JesterRaiin;887107
Too late. (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.f2zentertainment.pandemic&hl=en)

:D


And in the same vein, chess without the figures and without the board (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blindfold_chess) has been a thing for ages;).
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: JesterRaiin 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
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: crkrueger 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?



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.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: JesterRaiin on March 24, 2016, 06:58:03 AM
Quote from: CRKrueger;887125
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?


Allow me...

Two things come to mind:



I wouldn't pick said games over more traditional ones, mind you, but I think both points are valid.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: AsenRG on March 24, 2016, 08:34:03 AM
Quote from: CRKrueger;887125
Just curious...why bother?  Serious question.

Didn't we cover that already? Well, JesterRaiin answered before me, but let me give it a try, too.

Quote
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?

How about the fact that when re-purposed some narrative systems are better at simulation than some supposedly simulationist games?

How about wanting to play in Hyboria and being unwilling to change the 2d20 system? I'd rather use 2d20 than Mongoose d20, precisely because I know the latter. Or, to use a much less controversial example, "I want to play Tianxia".

How about "my friends want to play that, and I'd like to play with them, but don't want to get in the storygaming headspace"?

Quote
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.

Let me repeat what I told you in another thread:
It's too bad you've had bad experiences with people trying to prove "it's all the same" (and yes, you have mentioned this before).
That's, however, not the argument I'm making, so I'm not going to say I'm "sorry", just in order to avoid misunderstandings!

Also, I'd ask you to kindly stop confounding me with those people! It's what people on Internet tend to call "really fucking frustrating" (I call it "time wasting").

[SPOILER]Sometimes, when discussing with you, I get the impression that I have to defend both my point of view, and the point of view of people that participated in that discussion with you - and the worst part is, I don't even think they're right! However, you have the (potentially irritating) habit of arguing against the point of those "it's all the same, peace and rainbows" people, and when you disprove it, to consider that as proof against my arguments.

At the end, I can either defend the above point, try to explain it's not the point I'm making, or ignore your comments. Neither of these is entirely satisfactory, but I usually default to option #3. This is my last attempt at #2, and I'm not going to go for #1, because that's not my position.
[/SPOILER]

If you want to make my point explicitly: if I believed story games to be exactly the same as traditional sim games, I wouldn't have started that thread. If I believed IC and OOC decisions to be the same, I wouldn't have had issues with playing D&D 4e.
The closest I'm going to get to this position is when you hear/read me saying that 1) you can re-purpose (most of) them, possibly with some effort, and sometimes it's worth it, 2) there's stuff we can learn from any kind of game - even fucking MtG, not to mention story-games, and 3) there's things all good GMs and all good players are going to do, whether it's a story game or not.
But if it's not clear, I'm talking about two different, though very closely related, kinds of games. They're close enough that the distinction doesn't matter to some people. It does matter a whole lot to others, and I've got both kinds in my group.
And I'm ready to incorporate all kinds of games in my campaigns (including wargames), if they could help me to improve the immersive experience at my table. I've done it with story games, when there were good setting reasons, I'm going to add wargames when a campaign demands it, and if I have to add chess, I'll do that, too.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: crkrueger on March 24, 2016, 01:28:30 PM
Heh, ok guess I wasn't clear.  I know there's many reasons you could do such a thing, I listed a bunch myself.

I was looking more towards specifics as to why you want to do that for game X and specify the value of X.

Something like..."I really like the way 2d20 handles combat with different values like Reach and Guard while still being really fast, I just want to remove the less associated Momentum generation and spending and get rid of player Doom buys"...is system specific, interesting and addressing a particular issue.

A general approach that basically is just "Ignore the crap that doesn't bother other people, only you" is far less interesting or useful, not to mention obvious, and starts to sound exactly like a retread of the "there is no difference" argument.

So if you have both types of people in a game, which game.  What's the sticking point and how did you fix it other than "ignore the crap that bothers only you".
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: AsenRG on March 25, 2016, 12:53:28 AM
Quote from: CRKrueger;887186
Heh, ok guess I wasn't clear.  I know there's many reasons you could do such a thing, I listed a bunch myself.

I was looking more towards specifics as to why you want to do that for game X and specify the value of X.

Something like..."I really like the way 2d20 handles combat with different values like Reach and Guard while still being really fast, I just want to remove the less associated Momentum generation and spending and get rid of player Doom buys"...is system specific, interesting and addressing a particular issue.

OK, that's a different question to what I thought you were asking:).

I don't have the time to list examples now, but stay tuned. I'll offer several examples as soon as possible, which might be this evening;).
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: AsenRG on March 27, 2016, 10:46:18 AM
Quote from: AsenRG;887270
OK, that's a different question to what I thought you were asking:).

I don't have the time to list examples now, but stay tuned. I'll offer several examples as soon as possible, which might be this evening;).

And it wasn't that evening, but there were reasons for being late.

Quote from: CRKrueger;887186
Heh, ok guess I wasn't clear.  I know there's many reasons you could do such a thing, I listed a bunch myself.

I was looking more towards specifics as to why you want to do that for game X and specify the value of X.

Something like..."I really like the way 2d20 handles combat with different values like Reach and Guard while still being really fast, I just want to remove the less associated Momentum generation and spending and get rid of player Doom buys"...is system specific, interesting and addressing a particular issue.

A general approach that basically is just "Ignore the crap that doesn't bother other people, only you" is far less interesting or useful, not to mention obvious, and starts to sound exactly like a retread of the "there is no difference" argument.

So if you have both types of people in a game, which game.  What's the sticking point and how did you fix it other than "ignore the crap that bothers only you".

OK, let's see how I've dealt with this in the past.
First of all, my approach would differ depending on group. Some groups don't read the rules and if I explain them in associated/IC terms, they will think of them in those terms.
So the question becomes whether I can do that...
That's what I did with Sorcerer, BTW:D.

Second, we must specify that there are no players in my current group that prefer OOC mechanics. Some don't pay attention, some prefer IC mechanics only, nobody actively wants OOC. If I had such players, I'd probably have to split the group, or browbeat/blackmail them into playing what the rest of us wanted:p.
Or, you know, find other players, but who does that;)?

Third, I have the impression that some systems are meant to be of double-use, even if they're explained in purely IC or purely OOC terms. I suspect that this is the creators of the system bowing to what they think (rightly or wrongly) to be in vogue with the customers.
Call it a gut feeling, based on the fact that I've seen more than one supposedly narrative combat or social system that maps to my understanding of the dynamics of combat or persuasion better than a few supposedly simulationist systems.
Examples: Legends of the Wulin, Exalted 3, Sorcerer, Tianxia, Jadepunk, among others.
[SPOILER]Most of these were just easy. Exalted needed Initiative to be redefined as being the result of your set-up actions, and removing some sub-systems. Sorcerer just needed me to treat conflict resolution more strictly, as most of the tricks in the system are rules-independent (redefining demons might have been useful, too). Tianxia just needed players that don't want to use the Fate points, renamed to Effort points, for introducing facts (and yes, rerolling the dice is fully within the limits of what a good fighter should be doing anyway).
[/SPOILER]
And that is also why I wanted to change them, of course. They are simulating something that I felt was overlooked in standard simulationist RPGs.

A Dirty World, for example, simulates how the attitude of a person changes him or her, much like Pendragon passions. Both are based on the fact that ''excellency is a matter of habit". So are cruelty, valour, benevolence, lust, chastity, lying, being persuasive when telling the truth, and so on.

Exalted is among the games that do "simulating the set-ups before you can pierce someone's defence with a really damaging technique" better than most games. GURPS Technical Grappling and ORC-Classic (FWTD) are close to it, too, but actually do it with more rules.

Legend of the Wulin is actually a very good simulation of martial arts combat, including looking for opportunities and adapting depending on the enemy's approach. (Tianxia and Jadepunk do pretty much the same, but not so obviously and with less rules).

Need other examples?
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: Anon Adderlan on March 28, 2016, 03:05:14 AM
Quote from: AsenRG;883900
I call it "familiar" when you don't need to think about doing it:).


So on further consideration, is this not the key factor in whether someone can immersively play a particular RPG? Because if it is, then immersion is simply about what can be intuitively ignored.

Quote from: AsenRG;883900
Not nearly as hard as you think.


Also on further consideration I concede it's probably easier than I made it out to be, but Fate Points are still a metagame resource, and Fate Core still expects you to use them a certain way to succeed.

Quote from: JesterRaiin;884495
Out of curiosity: what's the general name for "my aspect/ability/etc is vague enough to serve me in pretty much every situation there is" exploit?


It's not an exploit, because you need Fate Points to apply it. So it doesn't matter if the fact you're 'Italian Batman' applies to everything, because it's not going to work for or against you without Fate Points.

Quote from: JesterRaiin;884540
For example, The Demolished Ones - a crossbreed between The Dark City (http://akas.imdb.com/title/tt0118929/) movie and Amnesia (http://www.amnesiagame.com/) video game.


Marvelous game. Still waiting to finish the one the designer ran for me and a brilliant editor.

Quote from: AsenRG;884848
If your Aspect X is wide enough to cover everything, it means you'd be doing the same thing over and over again 90% of the time. That just makes the game boring for everyone.


I'll take your challenge, and with just the Aspect 'Badass' still end up being the most interesting character in your game :p

Quote from: JesterRaiin;884971
I'm 140% convinced that all what the "New Wave" of RPG have to offer isn't that new. Merely a borrowed concepts reskinned & retouched.


Also refined, the less sexy form of technical progress.

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.


Technical writing and creative writing have priorities which are in actual opposition, yet an RPG must be written accounting for both. This is extremely difficult.

Quote from: JesterRaiin;885076
I'd suggest BULLDOGS!


So would I...

Quote from: JesterRaiin;885076
I find it a good way to learn FATE, because it uses Aspects all the time in such a way that you embrace them intuitively. Effectively, you know what they are long before you find yourself on a page where they are actually explained. It's also well written (IMHO) and features quite clever vehicle (starship) building process.


...but sadly this happened...

Quote from: JesterRaiin;885076
BULLDOGS! RPG was updated to newest version of FATE and re-released lately,


...which made a lot of people very angry, and has been widely regarded as a bad idea.

Quote from: JesterRaiin;885536
FATE/*.World games require to effectively un-learn ways of traditional gaming, I think.


Moreso with Fate I think. The @World model merely draws the lines at different places. For example, in a traditional game you draw lines between using your weapon, striking a target, and doing damage. But an @World game might draw a line between being willing to use your weapon and doing damage. So fail a roll in the former, and you miss, or do no damage. But fail a roll in the latter, and you didn't have the will to strike at all.

Quote from: AsenRG;887673
Legend of the Wulin is actually a very good simulation of martial arts combat, including looking for opportunities and adapting depending on the enemy's approach. (Tianxia and Jadepunk do pretty much the same, but not so obviously and with less rules).

Need other examples?


Actually I'd love an example of how Tianxia and Jadepunk do what Legend of the Wulin does if it's not too much of a sidetrack.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: Maarzan on March 28, 2016, 03:30:19 AM
Quote from: AsenRG;883900

I call it "familiar" when you don't need to think about doing it:).


That is half of the truth I think.
It works with abstractions and moves where the problem just lies in the complexity.

But other elements demand a different stance of mind and that is something where getting out is what is necessary to operate this item, no matter how often you do it.

I want to use a rally car racing simulator. I can adapt to complicated operation or that the simulation is not completely perfect here and there.
I can even get over the part that there is a limited set of refreshes after a crash.

But I don´t want to need to get out of the car to (re)build/ (re)code the racing track or modify my car during a race to be able to experience the race. And I also don´t want someone else to mess with it arbitrarily.
Title: How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
Post by: AsenRG on March 28, 2016, 08:32:57 AM
Quote from: Anon Adderlan;887809
So on further consideration, is this not the key factor in whether someone can immersively play a particular RPG? Because if it is, then immersion is simply about what can be intuitively ignored.

That's my best guess, yes.

Quote
Also on further consideration I concede it's probably easier than I made it out to be, but Fate Points are still a metagame resource, and Fate Core still expects you to use them a certain way to succeed.

And D&D expects me to go dungeoncrawling, but I used it to run city campaigns;).
Both are disappointed, but my game is fun. "Dead of the author", or, in RPG terms, "Screw whatever the rules expect me to do!"

Quote
I'll take your challenge, and with just the Aspect 'Badass' still end up being the most interesting character in your game :p

Everyone else is this, too, but they're also other things, so you'll fail:).

Quote
Moreso with Fate I think. The @World model merely draws the lines at different places. For example, in a traditional game you draw lines between using your weapon, striking a target, and doing damage. But an @World game might draw a line between being willing to use your weapon and doing damage. So fail a roll in the former, and you miss, or do no damage. But fail a roll in the latter, and you didn't have the will to strike at all.

Agreed.

Quote
Actually I'd love an example of how Tianxia and Jadepunk do what Legend of the Wulin does if it's not too much of a sidetrack.

So, I face a fast, mobile and aggressive enemy with a relatively uncomplicated style in both systems.
In LotW, I determine his style is Shadow Catching, it relies on speed, and Fears being interrupted. I'm using Flowing Universe, so I just determine I'm going to step back until I see a linear attack coming, which ought not to take long with Shadow Catching. Then I'm going forward and attack while deflecting his move, both Laughing at it because, and him being surprised giving me Fears bonus (and adding a Stealth Marvel to reduce his Tactics to justify the bonus).
The basic bonus is +10, and if I can touch him just barely without it, it's going to be a Rippling roll. Time to lay the hurt on...:D

In Tianxia, this is a Lightning Snake vs a Storm Tiger fight.
I have trouble doing something interesting with my first attacks, because that guy has high Athletics. So I use an action to Create Advantage: Your style is Clear to Me! Now I know I can hit him.
Next round, I Create another Advantage: Devising a Stratagem! I just determine I'm going to step back until I see one of his linear attacks coming, and then I'm going forward and attack while deflecting his move with the many, many circular blocks of Storm Tiger.
Next round, I've got 2-4 Advantages running on. Assuming I did it right, I'm now going in to hit him with my Fight with a +4 to +8 bonus before the dice. And I can use Fate points, too!
This is going to deal Consequences, it's as simple as that.

Quote from: Maarzan;887813
That is half of the truth I think.
It works with abstractions and moves where the problem just lies in the complexity.

Yeah, I don't mean it's the only problem. But it's a huge part of it.

Quote
But other elements demand a different stance of mind and that is something where getting out is what is necessary to operate this item, no matter how often you do it.

Indeed. This thread is meant, at least in part, to discuss different stances of mind.

Quote
I want to use a rally car racing simulator. I can adapt to complicated operation or that the simulation is not completely perfect here and there.
I can even get over the part that there is a limited set of refreshes after a crash.

But I don´t want to need to get out of the car to (re)build/ (re)code the racing track or modify my car during a race to be able to experience the race. And I also don´t want someone else to mess with it arbitrarily.

Hence the part in my OP where I say that not all story games can be used in that way;).