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

JesterRaiin

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How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
« Reply #90 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:

  • It's used by people I'd like/I'm forced to play with.
  • Its setting.


I wouldn't pick said games over more traditional ones, mind you, but I think both points are valid.
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AsenRG

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How To Play Narrative Games If You Are An Immersionist
« Reply #91 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.
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crkrueger

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« Reply #92 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".
Even the the "cutting edge" storygamers for all their talk of narrative, plot, and drama are fucking obsessed with the god damned rules they use. - Estar

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AsenRG

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« Reply #93 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;).
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AsenRG

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« Reply #94 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?
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Anon Adderlan

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« Reply #95 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 movie and Amnesia 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.

Maarzan

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« Reply #96 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.

AsenRG

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« Reply #97 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;).
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