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Why is math so underrated?
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Zinegata
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 2:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Cervantes wrote:
I made literally none of these claims you're disputing. I would claim that RPGs need solid math but that that's not sufficient for the RPG to be great. And "solid math" is, of course, relative to the particular use of the math - math fails when it creates outputs which don't match the narrative you're trying to establish.


Then forgive me for going off on a tangent then Smile. I think it should be rather obvious I was talking more about RPGs in general.

Quote:
Nobody is claiming that game-instantiations are purely mathematical. But game-systems, from which instantiations stem (in combination with game settings), are. We can't critique game-instantiations because they rely on the players and the DM but we can critique the game-system.


Ah, but here's the rub: Modern design does critique how game systems lead to specific game-instantiation states. It is no longer enough to blame the players for "misusing" the system, but the system must in fact actively guide the players into ideal play states.

And to know these ideal play states, you must actively look at how players actually play the game and enjoy themselves. It is no longer just a matter of creating a math equation to arrive at a particular solution; rather the challenge is figuring out what the ideal end state is by observing actual human actors.


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Guts
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 3:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Zinegata wrote:
Not talking about Shadowrun or Blades in the Dark specifically but...

Modern designers pay great attention to "user interface" and "rules creep", which are sadly two aspects that tabletop RPGs still totally ignore to this day.

More specifically, many games have come to realize that a very complex game system can be made more comprehensible through the use of intuitive player boards and iconography; of which Scythe must be held up as a prime example. It's a fairly heavy Euro 4X game with many subsystems (e.g. Technology, Military Combat, Production), but because the player boards are organized very well and the iconography is clear and consistent it's actually one of the easiest games to teach how to play.

By contrast RPG books still tend to be organized the same way as they were in the 70s; and still tend to be just a mass of rules with very few examples of play to facilitate teaching especially when no one in the group has ever played an RPG before.

Instead, RPGs have remained rooted in the mindset of bloat: More is better, regardless of what people can actually use. Never mind the fact that I probably only ever used less than 1/5 of the available creatures in the Monster Manual because so many are just "goblin with a gimmick". Meanwhile actual examples of how to actually run a game session tend to be taken for granted.

Makes total sense. Better organization and interface, and good examples of actual play. I would say this have been bleeding to the RPG industry as well, but in a much slower pace. I wont cite specific games, but try to look at games that were conceived the last 10 years or so if you can, and contrast them to games from the 80s, for example. I think the difference in those aspects you cite is pretty clear. Sure it's still a pale shade in comparison to boardgames, but I believe it's there.
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Zinegata
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 3:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Guts wrote:
Zinegata wrote:
Not talking about Shadowrun or Blades in the Dark specifically but...

Modern designers pay great attention to "user interface" and "rules creep", which are sadly two aspects that tabletop RPGs still totally ignore to this day.

More specifically, many games have come to realize that a very complex game system can be made more comprehensible through the use of intuitive player boards and iconography; of which Scythe must be held up as a prime example. It's a fairly heavy Euro 4X game with many subsystems (e.g. Technology, Military Combat, Production), but because the player boards are organized very well and the iconography is clear and consistent it's actually one of the easiest games to teach how to play.

By contrast RPG books still tend to be organized the same way as they were in the 70s; and still tend to be just a mass of rules with very few examples of play to facilitate teaching especially when no one in the group has ever played an RPG before.

Instead, RPGs have remained rooted in the mindset of bloat: More is better, regardless of what people can actually use. Never mind the fact that I probably only ever used less than 1/5 of the available creatures in the Monster Manual because so many are just "goblin with a gimmick". Meanwhile actual examples of how to actually run a game session tend to be taken for granted.

Makes total sense. Better organization and interface, and good examples of actual play. I would say this have been bleeding to the RPG industry as well, but in a much slower pace. I wont cite specific games, but try to look at games that were conceived the last 10 years or so if you can, and contrast them to games from the 80s, for example. I think the difference in those aspects you cite is pretty clear. Sure it's still a pale shade in comparison to boardgames, but I believe it's there.


Just to be clear, I'm not being sarcastic here: Would you have any specific examples of RPGs that have improved their organization and interface?

I ask because I'm genuinely interested in seeing a few examples, as I honestly feel the last big "leap" in RPG book design was Ptolus' attempt to turn the setting book closer to a tour guide. And because I'd like to be able to highlight these examples when I talk to other RPG players and designers.
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Cervantes
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 3:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Zinegata wrote:
Ah, but here's the rub: Modern design does critique how game systems lead to specific game-instantiation states. It is no longer enough to blame the players for "misusing" the system, but the system must in fact actively guide the players into ideal play states.

And to know these ideal play states, you must actively look at how players actually play the game and enjoy themselves. It is no longer just a matter of creating a math equation to arrive at a particular solution; rather the challenge is figuring out what the ideal end state is by observing actual human actors.

As I see it, you can't really do this on a systematic top-down level with TTRPGs. The variance between human actors is just too big, let alone the variance between groups of human actors.

I mean, shit, we're in the hopelessly complex here. Game-systems lead to specific game-instantiation states in that a bad rule is going to come up, baffle a table, and then get ignored or houseruled or whatever - that's a shitty rule. But the more subtle stuff, the overall interaction between systems, settings, presentation of said systems and settings, and players that lead to instantiations, is not really in the realm of systemization. "Ideal play states" is, what - people having fun? I dunno, let people figure that out for themselves and give them something that doesn't get in the way of that.

We can divide our critique into "system, setting, presentation" and feel okay with that. Of course it all boils down to how they lead to instantiations because that's our ultimate goal but we're going at it bottom-up instead of top-down here.
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Zinegata
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 4:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Cervantes wrote:
As I see it, you can't really do this on a systematic top-down level with TTRPGs. The variance between human actors is just too big, let alone the variance between groups of human actors.

I mean, shit, we're in the hopelessly complex here. Game-systems lead to specific game-instantiation states in that a bad rule is going to come up, baffle a table, and then get ignored or houseruled or whatever - that's a shitty rule. But the more subtle stuff, the overall interaction between systems, settings, presentation of said systems and settings, and players that lead to instantiations, is not really in the realm of systemization. "Ideal play states" is, what - people having fun? I dunno, let people figure that out for themselves and give them something that doesn't get in the way of that.

We can divide our critique into "system, setting, presentation" and feel okay with that. Of course it all boils down to how they lead to instantiations because that's our ultimate goal but we're going at it bottom-up instead of top-down here.


While I agree with you that there are great variances between different human actors and playgroups; I would challenge the idea that it presents an insurmountable challenge for Tabletop RPGs, and that the best approach to achieving an ideal play state is to "let people figure that out for themselves".

Most games - boardgames and computer games in particular - in fact don't let "people figure that out for themselves", because they understand that players don't necessarily know how to have fun to begin with.

More specifically, it is very rare for a player to start playing a game "knowing" the fun they will experience unless they've played it before. Indeed, such loaded expectations are more likely to cause "hype backlash" - where a player ends up disappointed because it failed to deliver an expected experience.

A game must therefore be prepared to guide a playgroup towards the ideal play experience; and indeed much of the design work in many games is the elimination of mechanics and "side quests" that lead players astray from this core experience.

That's why Dark Souls for instance has few mechanics that allow players to shortcut the learning process of defeating monsters - because the core "fun" gameplay experience of that game is the feeling of earned achievement: Killing that giant after 20 tries feels good because you slowly figured out how to do it.

And what's important to realize here is that the core gameplay question is paramount regardless if you employ a top-down or bottom-up design paradigm; because otherwise you don't know if you're actually successful with your design.

For my part, my feeling is that tabletop roleplaying games must define its core gameplay experience as "cooperative story-telling". It should guide players into realizing that creating a shared story is fun. The focus should thus not be centered around specific mechanics about combat or skill checks, but about how the group each contributes to the story in a meaningful way.

Indeed, there are already these kinds of story-telling games - "When I Dream" being the best-known one, albeit they are often still saddled with arbitrary objectives (that are often forgotten in favor of focusing on the created story).

In short, an RPG should be a game where creating the story for the player's enjoyment is the objective. And the system should be judged on its ability to enable its players to create said stories.
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Guts
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 4:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Zinegata wrote:
Just to be clear, I'm not being sarcastic here: Would you have any specific examples of RPGs that have improved their organization and interface?

I'm creating another thread for this, if you don't mind, as I think it's starting to get to tangential to the topic of math.


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Mord
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Zinegata wrote:
For my part, my feeling is that tabletop roleplaying games must define its core gameplay experience as "cooperative story-telling". It should guide players into realizing that creating a shared story is fun. The focus should thus not be centered around specific mechanics about combat or skill checks, but about how the group each contributes to the story in a meaningful way.

Indeed, there are already these kinds of story-telling games - "When I Dream" being the best-known one, albeit they are often still saddled with arbitrary objectives (that are often forgotten in favor of focusing on the created story).

In short, an RPG should be a game where creating the story for the player's enjoyment is the objective. And the system should be judged on its ability to enable its players to create said stories.


Some of the main tools that an RPG system can use to facilitate cooperative storytelling, though, are the RNG and associated mathematical structures that together provide a framework for resolving conflicts, prompting the story to go in unexpected directions, and enforcing limitations on an individual player's narrative agency. Without probability and statistics arbitrating the outcomes of uncertain events, your group must either get used to improv theater (that runs the risk of being dominated by a strong personality) or explicitly grant dictatorial authority over the narrative to one participant as the MC.

Without a defined method by which to interpret the outcome of a die roll, there is no objective limitation on any one player's contributions. This is where so many rules-lites fall down; they strip out all the structures that give the dice rolls meaning but keep the rolls. This forces the MC to just make shit up, which neuters the other players' ability to contribute. The MC can definitionally never be surprised by what happens in most rules-lite games, because the missing pieces of the system are replaced by the MC's own brain.

An effective mathematical framework for an RPG enables all players to have equal inputs. The more effective and comprehensive your math is, the more equality you can achieve. That's not to say this math has to be complex in execution on the players' side; to the contrary, the designer has to put in a lot of work on the front end in order to leave as few holes as possible to be filled in by the MC's brain. Obviously there are practical upper bounds to how comprehensive your system can be before you have to leave it to the MC, but the fewer gaps the better.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Zinegata wrote:
angelfromanotherpin wrote:
As a guy who worked at a gaming store for the entirety of 4e's run, I can confirm that 'the math just works' was an official marketing phrase, parroted both by the reps running D&D encounters and the players who came to buy it.


I checked the front and back covers and don't see it for 4E materials.

""It" (the game) just works"" is something I've heard people say to defend 4E, but that's hardly equal to just the math.


Fucking hell. Look, you're just wrong.

"The Math Just Works" was a marketing slogan deployed in 2008 to sell 4th edition D&D. It was part of a guerilla marketing campaign in which people who had connections to the game pretended that they didn't and were just gamers who were wowed by how they could play 4th edition and "the math just worked." Related marketing sloganeering was that 4th edition expanded the "sweet spot" where the game worked.

It was all bullshit, and the marketing campaign was fundamentally fraudulent. Both in the sense that the math for 4th edition was actually a catastrofail and in the sense that the people spreading the meme were lying about who they were and their relationship to the game.

I don't give a single shit if you can find the original Mouseferatu article where he pretends to not be a paid shill nine actual years later after WotC has purged their web board at least three times. Your incredulity doesn't mean dick. It is a thing that happened. Here's me talking about it seven fucking years ago. Just accept you were wrong and eat your fucking crow.

-Frank
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Cervantes
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Zinegata wrote:
Most games - boardgames and computer games in particular - in fact don't let "people figure that out for themselves", because they understand that players don't necessarily know how to have fun to begin with.

More specifically, it is very rare for a player to start playing a game "knowing" the fun they will experience unless they've played it before. Indeed, such loaded expectations are more likely to cause "hype backlash" - where a player ends up disappointed because it failed to deliver an expected experience.

A game must therefore be prepared to guide a playgroup towards the ideal play experience; and indeed much of the design work in many games is the elimination of mechanics and "side quests" that lead players astray from this core experience.

That's why Dark Souls for instance has few mechanics that allow players to shortcut the learning process of defeating monsters - because the core "fun" gameplay experience of that game is the feeling of earned achievement: Killing that giant after 20 tries feels good because you slowly figured out how to do it.

And what's important to realize here is that the core gameplay question is paramount regardless if you employ a top-down or bottom-up design paradigm; because otherwise you don't know if you're actually successful with your design.

Most games don't "let people figure that out for themselves" because they're not marked by MTP and freeform actions. Most games use rules to completely define the space of "acceptable action" whereas TTRPGs don't need to do that. That's the big difference in my eyes - we can't treat TTRPGs like board games or video games.

Zinegata wrote:
For my part, my feeling is that tabletop roleplaying games must define its core gameplay experience as "cooperative story-telling". It should guide players into realizing that creating a shared story is fun. The focus should thus not be centered around specific mechanics about combat or skill checks, but about how the group each contributes to the story in a meaningful way.

Indeed, there are already these kinds of story-telling games - "When I Dream" being the best-known one, albeit they are often still saddled with arbitrary objectives (that are often forgotten in favor of focusing on the created story).

In short, an RPG should be a game where creating the story for the player's enjoyment is the objective. And the system should be judged on its ability to enable its players to create said stories.

"Cooperative story-telling" isn't just one unified thing and this completely ignores the game-like aspects involved. I find combat fun because I like grid-based tactical combat, not because I find the narration of combat to be interesting or compelling. If you consider DnD style combat to be part of "creating a story" I'm going to say that your definition of "creating a story" is too fucking loose. Because yes, it is creating a story to have pieces on a board move around. And it's also creating a story to roll during grapples to see if you accidentally anally penetrate the target, but both of those are really more game than story.

I mean I'm really just curious as to what sort of concrete ideas you have here. Is FATE what you envision this as being? Is DnD combat bad or good?


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Zinegata
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:
It was all bullshit, and the marketing campaign was fundamentally fraudulent. Both in the sense that the math for 4th edition was actually a catastrofail and in the sense that the people spreading the meme were lying about who they were and their relationship to the game.


ROFL

Okay, for the purposes of this post I will suspend my disbelief and pretend that there really was a grand WoTC scheme to push "Math Works" as a guerrilla marketing talking point through various 4venger agents.

Try not to blow a gasket after reading it.

===

If "Math Works" is such a great talking point then why - as you just admitted - did it fail?

"People were lied to!" is not an answer. We are talking about the marketing, so people should have been buying the books regardless for "Math Works" and only find out afterwards that they were lied to and got pissed off. 4E had bad sales right from the start.

Rather, it seems to me that "Math Works" wasn't a terribly strong talking point to begin with, which is why nobody else in pretty much any other gaming industry uses it as a major marketing talking point. Heck, if 4E was so gung-ho over this then why didn't they plaster it on the book's cover?

Indeed, the only thing that was controversial about the cover was the artwork; which some claimed was sexist. That should demonstrate how people pay way more attention to the artwork than they admit.
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Zinegata
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Cervantes wrote:
Most games don't "let people figure that out for themselves" because they're not marked by MTP and freeform actions. Most games use rules to completely define the space of "acceptable action" whereas TTRPGs don't need to do that. That's the big difference in my eyes - we can't treat TTRPGs like board games or video games.


Here's the thing though - TTRPGs do actually use rules to define the space of "acceptable actions". That's why there are rules for various skill checks in 3E for instance, and ability checks for those that don't quite fit the bill. TTRPGs simply have a broader definition of acceptable actions; and indeed can even go beyond the definition of acceptable actions by DM fiat or group consensus.

The problem is that this is actually where TTRPGs get into trouble, because there is such a thing as having too much freedom. Other games have more clearly defined what they are trying to do and thus are more consistently able to deliver the target experience.

Quote:
"Cooperative story-telling" isn't just one unified thing and this completely ignores the game-like aspects involved. I find combat fun because I like grid-based tactical combat, not because I find the narration of combat to be interesting or compelling. If you consider DnD style combat to be part of "creating a story" I'm going to say that your definition of "creating a story" is too fucking loose. Because yes, it is creating a story to have pieces on a board move around. And it's also creating a story to roll during grapples to see if you accidentally anally penetrate the target, but both of those are really more game than story.

I mean I'm really just curious as to what sort of concrete ideas you have here. Is FATE what you envision this as being? Is DnD combat bad or good?


Firstly, cooperative story-telling absolutely is not a unified thing, but that's why there's room for plenty of different kinds of RPGs.

Secondly, I am increasingly convinced that tactical grid-based combat is a different genre on its own - largely due to the Dungeon Crawl games I mentioned such as Descent.

And in this game, the main gameplay experience is clearly not story-telling - but victory over tactical challenges presented to the play group.

That's why the genre has increasingly dispensed with the need for the DM and created a purely cooperative experience: Rather than hoping that you get a good combat encounter because the DM prepared for it, you simply punch up the app which throws a pre-generated, pre-tested scenario for you. You are thus assured a balanced and challenging encounter. There is also now a real sense of danger and tension as the AI will be playing to win, rather than the group being dependent on the DM.

Meanwhile other systems - like Conan/Batman - have retained the DM but have imposed restrictions on his actions (e.g. he has to spend action points to activate minions). This allows for fair adversarial play, and is frankly the sort of game that I feel you would like better if you're really into D&D combat.

Finally, for a "concrete" idea of what I'm looking at - I would suggest looking at games like The Shab-al-Hiri Roach. It's a GM-less one-shot game that has very simple mechanics - and may seem very silly in terms of premise - but it turned out to be a very funny game that created a lot of memorable stories. With a bit more work I feel that something like it can be turned into an actual campaign system.
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Zinegata
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Mord wrote:
Some of the main tools that an RPG system can use to facilitate cooperative storytelling, though, are the RNG and associated mathematical structures that together provide a framework for resolving conflicts, prompting the story to go in unexpected directions, and enforcing limitations on an individual player's narrative agency. Without probability and statistics arbitrating the outcomes of uncertain events, your group must either get used to improv theater (that runs the risk of being dominated by a strong personality) or explicitly grant dictatorial authority over the narrative to one participant as the MC.


Mord, I don't think people are denying that having the math "work" is a good thing. You should take a look at my review of First Martians.

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1843786/core-issues-first-martians-math-cruel-and-thematic

My issue is the idea that having solid math on its own is enough; to the point that it should be used as advertising copy. Indeed, one may even go as far as to argue that you can make some games work very well despite having very minimal math.

In particular, the real problem is this: What is the "correct" percentage chance of success anyway?

Is it 50-50? 75-25? 90-10?

And the answer to this problem can only be found by determining what kind of game you're trying to make and by observing how people react to it. Robinson Crusoe for instance was an utterly cruel game with a very small chance of winning, and yet a lot of people loved it precisely because they enjoyed it for the challenge. By contrast the successor First Martians, as I pointed out, didn't present a consistent experience which is why a lot of players didn't like it. For these games, "low chance of success to the point of unfairness" was the correct answer despite expectations otherwise.

In short, this idea that you can force an RPG session to conform through the use of a mathematical structure is a fallacy if you can't define what your target experience is in the first place. That's why the theme and target experience matter more than the math itself, because the math is merely a means to an end.


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Guts
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman, in case you missed it, I answered to your challenge in last page and I'm waiting for a reply.

Zinegata, never played Shab al hiri roach but I've read it and it looks neat. Do you know other games by the same author? Fiasco, Carolina Death Crawl and Grey Ranks also look interesting.


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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Guts wrote:
FrankTrollman, in case you missed it, I answered to your challenge in last page and I'm waiting for a reply.
.


Didn't really seem required to reply, since your response proved my point. The declared action was apparently based on in-game established details, but the results were total ass pulls that don't make any sense. Adjusting the mission clock is a thing that can be a game mechanical cost, but leaving a pile of human blood on the floor isn't like knocking over a trash can.

Heightened awareness but no active alert is not a thing that happens because you leave blood all over the walls. Blood on the walls is a thing that will eventually be found and then there will be an alert at that time. If enemy guards haven't seen the blood, they would continue to go about their business. And when they do see the blood, they are pulling the alarm right away.

You described an event where the character's failure was completely arbitrary and where the story effect and the game effect were completely dissociated. Your only defense was that everyone present seemed OK with it, but that is an argument you could make to justify eating at Arby's.

-Frank
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Guts
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

It seems to me you have a problem with people coming up with things and situations on the fly, regardless of it's coherence to the fictional context. In that case, I see you will have problems with any role-playing game, as the kind of "ass pull" you cite is inherent to the story-telling and Let's Pretend nature of RPGs, but specially so with games with more aggressive scene-framing and improvisation power by the participants.

Well, the matter is clear to me now. We can move on.


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virgil
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Guts wrote:
It seems to me you have a problem with people coming up with things and situations on the fly
No. YOU have a problem with conflating extemporaneous DMs with rules. There have been games he's advocated which are about story-telling - and they are good games. Hell, I've advocated several - and they all do it better than the nonsense you see with Bear World.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Guts wrote:
It seems to me you have a problem with people coming up with things and situations on the fly, regardless of it's coherence to the fictional context.


It seems to me that like every fucking bear world enthusiast, you are a pompous asshole who belittles peoples imaginations whenever they call you on your shit. Like you're too fucking stupid to imagine that people wouldn't like your incoherent railroady bullshit for any reason other than some sort of coolness deficiency on their part. Well guess what? People don't like your crappy game because it sucks. That's the whole and sufficient reason.

You had the opportunity to bring up any in-game event you wanted. I don't watch your games, so you could have even offered embellishments or improvements and I wouldn't have known or cared. The example you chose:
    Had a drawback with a severity unrelated to the roll or the task.

    Had a story explanation that was completely at odds with the effect.


You own goaled yourself super hard. You kept going on about how we'd all see how wrong we were to theorycraft Bearworld if we actually played it, but when it came tome for you to recount one fucking actual event from the game it was incoherent gibberish.

-Frank
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Guts
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

First of all, calm down people, we are just talking about Let's Pretend for adults here. Mr. Green

Now, to your critique...

FrankTrollman wrote:
The example you chose:

Had a drawback with a severity unrelated to the roll or the task.

Had a story explanation that was completely at odds with the effect.

Nope, the complications were all related to the context at hand, since the context is about a a group of criminals trying to infiltrate a secure facility. Notice how the intent of the task was accomplished - bypassing the spirit - but the cost was raising suspicion by letting a blood smudge in the floor - again, totally related to the context.

But the real catch here is: the complications don't need to be about the task at hand all the time, no. Because one part of the concept' goals is to send the story in new directions if needed. Which leads me to the next point..

It seems to me, FrankTrollman, you have a lack of understanding of the concepts we're discussing here. Failing Forward, also known as Succeed at a cost, is not unique to PbtA games. FATE, Burning Wheel, Mouseguard, FFG Star Wars, Blades in the Dark, etc all have it in some form or another. And each one will tell you the "cost" in the title is there to push the story in different directions, to avoid it stopping in it's tracks. This is the important part. This is a reaction to the binary pass/fail resolution of older/traditional games, where a common outcome for, say, picking a lock, was "You fail. Try again?", which was seen as a waste of time that didn't add anything to the game. So the entire point of the concept is to introduce complications to spice up the story or overcome "dead-ends" when needed. This is by design. You may not like it, and that's totally fair, but saying it's "problematic", or disfunctional, or something, is nonsense. And your argument that "those are not even games!" is at least funny, because if you look at that Roll20 data from the last page, you'll see there is a lot of people play those exact games.


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Guts
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Here, Frank, let me refresh your memory about the "games that are not even games": http://blog.roll20.net/post/167058851665/the-orr-group-industry-report-q3-2017.


Apocalypse World systems: 1338 games, 4932 players
Fate: 853 games, 3433 players
Blades in the Dark: ? games, 1400 players
Star Wars*: 1341 games, 8604 players
Warhammer*: 1720 games, 9082 players

*consider just a part of that total for the newer editions.


Doing the math, it's around 25%, or 1/4, of the whole Roll20 player base. A significant amount, considering the hobby was always dominated by older traditional titles like D&D and Vampire. Well, it seems some folks actually do something with those "games that are not even games". Mr. Green


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angelfromanotherpin
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Wow, a smug emote at the end of a bandwagon argument. I can't clap slow enough.
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Guts
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Educating an arrogant person who thinks his opinions and tastes are the absolute truth, by using actual data? Yeah, I can't slap slow enough too.
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violence in the media
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The "Failing Forward" and "Success at a Cost" concepts are basically variations of the bad old days' Critical Fumble charts; just without the veneer of impartiality that the old charts had.

Mister Cavern didn't want your character to cut their own foot off, but that's the result you got from rolling a 62 on chart C.

Bearworld just dispenses with all the chart nonsense and has MC just arbitrarily decide whether your character loses a foot, kills a child, or fucks a corpse as the result of your roll. The whole system would be immeasurably improved just by the letting the player decide what "success" and "success at a cost" were going to be before the roll. If we're playing a cooperative storytelling game, why are we leaving all the storytelling arbitration up to one person? Like, why isn't this stupid fucking game just played round-robin, where each player acts as the opposition for the player on their left? Bearworld is supposedly all about making shit up on the spot with no pre-planning or pre-conceptions; you don't need a designated MC for that.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Know what frustrates me? The cultural assumption that rules and roleplaying are dichotomous. It gives arrogant *-World heels a real edge in debates.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Is Guts just Silva MkII?
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shinimasu
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Not weighing in on the debate proper but I'm a little confused. The first and so far only game using this system that I've played did outline specific things the player picked from on a 'partial success' roll. Like "On ten you do this thing. On 9-7 you do this thing, but pick an additional thing that happens from the list below."

Or is this referring to the 'hard move' system where the GM picks from a list of much vaguer 'bad things' that can happen when you outright fail a roll?

Or is this just a case of all the games are kind of different from each other and some are much worse than others in this department.
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