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Messages - JonTheBrowser

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Pen and Paper Roleplaying Games (RPGs) Discussion / Obscure Games?
« on: March 10, 2013, 03:09:58 AM »
Quote from: RPGPundit;635638
I thought the RIFTS version was vastly better; and I remember I played the shit out of it in the 90s. It was probably one of my most-used sourcebooks.

When i said the RIFTS version was no substitue, I meant that it did things so differently that they're not that compariable.  Like d20 Call of Cthulhu in "Shotguns & Shoggoths" mode and Chaosium BRP Call of Cthulhu.  Same setting, very different implementations.

The RIFTS one was largely more RIFTS play.  But if you love that, then you'd probably find the RIFTS version more appealing.  The main strength of the Myrmidon version's system was that it was really fast compared to RIFTS once the guns cleared the holsters.

The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Common ground with storygamers?
« on: March 10, 2013, 01:44:32 AM »
Quote from: Omnifray;635368
And it seems we can all agree that Apocalypse World is a trad game. And the fact that it seems to have tripled Baker's sales only goes to bolster the Pundit's argument about storygames being a tiny niche pursuit and commercially s**t.

The disconnect with Pundit's argument is that it assumes that the designs coming out of a community dedicated to indy game publishing were making claims about commercial success.  That something that does not have commercial success as it's primary goal might not be about commercial success is pretty much a tautology.

What then to make of the Forge-loyalists who despise trad play and use "trad" as an insult but happily play Apocalypse World?

Many of them are not playing the game right.  They do not listen to the instructions given in the text that tell them how to run the game and instead import their own "skills" from other story games and play a hybridized form of the game.  I'd say many haven't actually played the game itself, but their own massively house-ruled version.

For those that do actually play it like it was designed to be played but hate or disparage "trad" games probably fall into a few related categories.  

Those who don't even realize that's what's going on and because Apocalypse World has thematic based resolution (from the lists of both appropriate moves and <6,7-9,10+ result lists) it feels right to them despite being in a more traditional framework.

Then there would be those who have different definitions of trad, or at the very least, those who only hate a subset of traditional play and in error, lump all traditional games into the same category.  They then like Apocalypse World because it supports a particular type of traditional play that doesn't rub them the wrong way.  And since they've been militantly warring for so long, they've conflated "games they like" with not-traditional and thus falsely conclude that if they like it, it must not be a "trad" game.

And then there would be those who make the exact same mistake as the Pundit and categorize the book based on the name on the cover rather than what it does at the table.

Quote from: jcfiala;635303
He did devote a pair of episodes to playing a session of Dragon Age.  (I assume that you mean 'Playing a Roleplaying game' on the show - he's written about his experiences with GURPS and D&D offscreen.)

For the purposes of RPGsite, we get to pretend that "playing a Roleplaying game" means playing the games Pundit likes in the way he likes and that everything else is not really roleplaying.  It makes him happy, so just go with it.  Given how much Wil Wheaton enjoys Fiasco (to the point he wrote a supplement for it), I think we can assume that Wheaton's previous D&D and GURPS experience doesn't count as what Pundit has decided is "playing a Roleplaying game."  Wil Wheaton must have been doing it wrong given his proclivities for such games as Fiasco. :D

Now if this was my site and I got to pick what counts as a true RPG and what doesn't, I'd probably go with just OD&D and it's retro-clones like Swords & Wizardry.  Then I'd get to move all the threads about every other game to the "other gaming" category because they're obviously not true RPGs.  But I guess I never took the time to build a community like this one, so that will remain a wistful dream.

Pen and Paper Roleplaying Games (RPGs) Discussion / Obscure Games?
« on: March 07, 2013, 10:56:07 PM »
My submission would be the Myrmidon Press version of Manhunter published in 1993.  It was later redone in a RIFTS version, but nothing RIFTS in the 90s can be called obscure.  I think the original game was though.

I liked it because of the strange grid based abstract ship building system.  And the combat system where different armours worked better than others at stopping different attack types.  Nothing unique or ground breaking, but it was just a fun sci-fi hodge podge game that I regret selling off years ago.

The RIFTS version was no substitute.

The easiest way to have the NPC the new person is using continue to be an NPC is to acknowledge that they have not yet fully embraced the role of being a player at this point.  When they take full ownership of a character (including a character someone else made for them) then they're fully into the role of being a player.  Until then, they're like a temp who has not yet been hired on to regular staff.  Like a GM's assistant that's been brought in to control one of the many non-PCs.  When they transition into being a full participant rather than just checking it out to see if they like it, then you can start talking about their character as a PC.  Whether they keep their existing one or develop a new one.

Great points.

Yeah, you can take modules from previous editions and run them any edition without much work on your end.  The game hasn't changed that much.

The more I think back on my play of games people might call D&D heartbreakers, the more I realize my heart wasn't broken.  The games worked and produced play that can be enjoyed on its own terms.  I found many of them to be overly complicated, but some people like that.  The current OSR heartbreakers certainly don't suffer from that feature/problem.

Similarly I'm not heartbroken if one of these games fails to achieve market prominence.  With the internet, labour-of-love variations on games can exist and be distributed at next to no cost between those who like them.

I'm pro heartbreaker, I think.  I hope more people play a game, think to themselves "here's what I'd do differently" and get something together for other people to try.  Sounds good to me.

Quote from: Zak S;635256
Baker's just a guy who's very interested in things I don't care about and things I do care about but appears, so far, to be interested in things about them that I don't care about.

And such threat as he poses, if any, is to things I don't care about.

This puts him in roughly the same category as 99.9% of humanity

I think your attitude isn't more widespread here because it's hard to fight a war when you don't care and people are very interested in internet wars.

Quote from: Justin Alexander;635029
Same technique they used to ban me back in 2004.

At least back then they could at least pretend that the problem was the lack of a search function on the forum.

I just read your blog post and wow.  I would like to ask one question though about something you wrote:

There are members of the moderation team who take great pride in the fact that they’ve never played an RPG. (This fact boggles my mind every time somebody mentions it.)

Is there a link?

The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Common ground with storygamers?
« on: March 07, 2013, 07:49:57 PM »
Quote from: TristramEvans;635191
The thing is, Dungeonworld isnt one of Baker's designs,

Omnifray clairfied what he meant and I'm choosing to concentrate on Baker's work given the topic of this thread.  Don't like it?  That's nice.

The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Common ground with storygamers?
« on: March 07, 2013, 07:43:12 PM »
Quote from: Omnifray;635149
Because of course, leaving aside for a moment the formalisation of the GM's options into "moves", no trad GM ever had this principle in mind...

That's the point.  In Apocalypse World, Vincent Baker is trying to say something about game design and he's doing it inside the context of a game that produces play that is largely indistinguishable from trad play.

You mean, it's a trad game?


With the GM's options formalised into "moves" that can be interpreted as broadly as a horoscope so they always fit almost any situation... ?

I suppose so.  I'm not saying Baker succeeded, I'm just explaining what he tried to do and by extension, how Apocalypse World is a totally different beast from his earlier designs.

So basically, apart from the list, it's trad.

Which was the whole point of the design.  To show that the range of appropriate moves from a given position in a traditional RPG might not be as limitless as we all like to think.  Is he right?  I don't know.  Probably not.  Doesn't change the fact that he's doing something very different here than in his previous designs and lumping them together is, like Silva said, a matter of politics and not reason.

Because trad players never restrict themselves to picking what's appropriate to the game...

This is exactly the point.  That they do.  It's not some big innovation, but a spot light on what Baker thinks what is going on during play and then designing specifically with that in mind.

So, in short, the only difference is the list. The systematisation. And that's not really a foreign concept to trad games either.

So what?  The game isn't about being some new ground breaking design.  It's very, very "normal" in terms of what it does at the table.

it's a trad game, except that the GM's actions aren't quite *completely* open-ended, in the sense that the GM has to be able to shoe-horn what he wants to do into a very broadly defined "move".

As well as interpreting the player descriptions into their moves as well.  Every participant is basically making choices from a list of moves that are designed to cover what's appropriate to the game.  Then they produce a list of resutls which have been designed to cover what's appropriate to the game

I'd say that Apocalypse World is Vincent Baker's statement that what people do in traditional play is great and has been all along.  I would call it his 'graduation' out of the foundational Forge idea that there is something wrong with how RPG play works.  His departure from it.  Just like how Dogs In the Vineyard might be considered his final piece of closure in his departure from Mormonism.

It's a widening of scope though, rather than a tightening of the definition of RPG like Pundit does.  Pundit says only his way is valuable if we're talking about RPGs.  Vincent Baker is saying lots of ways are valuable, and then presents Apocalypse World as a demonstration of why traditional play is good and what he thinks is going on when people play that way (they make a bunch of appropriate choices based on their position relative to other people at the table and the fiction).  The reason that this is so very fucking obvious to us is that it is.  He's finally taking a look at traditional play in a manner serious enough to make a game about it.

People are not all apeshit about Apocalypse World because it's providing some new unique play experience that's never been seen before. People like it because it provides traditional RPG play with a fuck-ton of guidance about what are appropriate choices for a given place in the fiction for each participant.  This includes making choices that are appropriate to the character's archetype.

Dismissing it because "oh, it's not that innovative after all" is 100 percent missing the point.

Silva was correct when he called Pundit's decision to consign Apocalypse World discussions to "other games" politically motivated.  It is a trad RPG.  Perhaps Vincent Baker's first published one.  And Baker's current approach now represent a line of thinking that accepts traditional play and story based play without needing to retreat into a "true RPGs" vs "horrible story games" position like Pundit has trapped himself inside of.  Even to the point where Pundit can't even see what's going on because of ideological blinders forged from his reaction to the author's previous works and the works and writings of Baker's known associates.

Other Games / Wreck Age Staker Box Sets Are Here!
« on: March 07, 2013, 07:28:31 PM »
Quote from: msears;635121
Thanks for the kind words!

Yeah, we kind of took a gamble going more true scale than heroic, and it is nice to hear someone appreciate it :)

Events are conspiring against you.  I just have too many miniatures in the unpainted pile to add more.  Hopefully you'll be able to find lots of people who like the true scale look and will immediately buy every miniature you make, even if it can't be me right now. :mad:

Other Games / "Sorceror": What's the big deal?
« on: March 07, 2013, 11:26:48 AM »
Quote from: Anon Adderlan;635101
They're not, but I'll wait till I see how you respond to my other statements before I take the time to explain.

I failed to explain how the decision making process in sorcerer departs from how decisions are made by players in games our host would call true RPGs.  When I play in a game with stake setting and scene framing and conflict resolution and the like, I make decisions on different factors than when I play games that expect me to stay in character and make decisions based on that character alone.  I don't really know how to unpack that further.

As for the Nature as character thing, I think you're on to something to an extent there, but I largely disagree.  While humans do have the genetic predisposition to infer agency where there is none (like making up supernatural explanations to explain weather), I don't think we need nature to be personified in order to enjoy conflicts about it in a story.  Some great stories are about the impersonal nature of the cosmos, for example.

As for humanity in Sorcerer ostensibly doing some great thing to explore character-vs-himself conflicts, I don't think you should bother expanding on it.  At this point, I'm likely not going to buy it given that my own experience with the game leads me to believe the opposite.  Unless you are suggesting the procedures in the book are wrong and if you just apply the right house rule, *then* humanity can handle conflicts like that well.  I could buy that.  On this issue, I'm going to believe my eyes more than your words, just like you are with your insistence that Sorcerer is a traditional RPG.

You feel you've experienced playing the game in a way that makes you conclude it's a traditional RPG and I've played the game too and come the exact opposite conclusion.  Sorcerer simply asks you to make decisions based on different factors than traditional RPGs.  The fact that you can ignore the game procedures and make decisions based on your character and the game doesn't fall apart probably says more about the strength of the traditional approach to gaming than it does anything about Sorcerer.

Quote from: BedrockBrendan;635070

I can't speak on behalf of your local game store but our products usually do make into stores in the US and Europe. I hear from people all the time who buy our products at a game store. So you may see it on a shelf somewhere.

The primary games I play are Swords & Wizardry based, so things like Arrows of Indra interest me (as I like the idea of a game with classic mechanics that deals with that mythology).  Is it out yet?

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