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Author Topic: Dead Inside Playtest, Gender Ratios, Mild Analysis  (Read 13623 times)
Ben O'Neal
Member

Posts: 294


« Reply #30 on: May 06, 2004, 11:34:31 PM »

Regarding John's post: Of course, what you say is true, but the good thing about anecdotes is that they not so much that they provide information about the target in question, but about the observer's interaction with the target, and sometimes this can be just as important.

Also, what makes a generalisation true? Is it that is is accurate for one member? Over 20%? Over 50%? Over 90%? The more possible variables there are for the generalisation to consider, the fewer individuals it must be accurate for in order to be considered "true" (this is predictive power).

I am also a firm believer in using the tools you have available. If the very best we have is anecdotal evidence, then there is no reason to dismiss it, as to do so leaves us uninformed. Until I see some respectable large-scale studies relevant to gamers and gender, anecdotes have my vote. On the other hand, when superior evidence IS available, anecdotes can be dismissed or at least treated as dubious, such as with UFO sightings and what-not.

If you need to bash a nail into a piece of wood, but you don't have a hammer, you use a rock, because it's much better than your forehead.

-Ben
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Christopher Weeks
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Posts: 683


« Reply #31 on: May 07, 2004, 02:38:02 AM »

Quote from: Ravien
One last thing... I keep hearing "anecdotes are useless because ". Come on! If I collected 1 million anecdotes, I'd have me a VERY powerful and respectable study.


This is completely, totally false.  The plural of anecdote is not data.  Go to Nature with your million anecdotes and see if they're jumping to publish.  What John said.

Quote
Why can't the anecdotes of 100 people be considered powerful descriptors of some people in general?


Because they are not, in fact, the result set from a survey.  You can conduct a survey, but it will ask specific questions if you want respected quantified data from which to work.

Now, you _can_ make a descriptive, qualitative study.  But even that isn't just a bunch of folks telling what they see (as colored by what they already think).  It is a trained, scientific observer watching the subject behavior and instead of classifying events for quantification, simply describing it and making what they think are important observations.  Preferably over and over.  And many people (I include myself) think those studies are damn near worthless.

I think that the absolute closest that a thread like this can come to having a place in scientifically determining truth is helping us to collate observations of phenomena so that we might determine what questions are worth asking in an actual corellation or (later) an experimental study.

But neither 100 nor 1000000 anecdotes is a study.  I think the analogy between gendered gaming and UFO sighting is spot on in describing their scientific importance.

On the other hand, I like these threads anyway and think it's silly for folks to get pissy about the drawing of conclusions when simply pointing out the errors is much more effective.

Chris
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 10459


« Reply #32 on: May 07, 2004, 07:53:38 AM »

Callan, Ravien, it's precisely my point that starting with anecdotal evidence in the past has gone nowhere. That's why I posted those posts, to show that we've tried this tactic before, and that it hasn't worked. And it's not just because of an overly PC approach. It's because use of annecdotal evidence to try and categorize an entire group of gamers is doomed to be unconvincing.

My point about individuals is not that you can't generalize. I've never said that. It's that combined with anecdotal collection of data, it means that you aren't getting a representative sample. If all women were the same, then just asking one or two would do the trick. But since they're individuals, the only way to generalize is to use appropriate statistical methods.

And why not use the convincing stuff? I mean, we have psychological studies, marketing research, and all manner of real sources of data from which to work.

I'm not saying that we shouldn't try to crack this nut, I'm just saying that we do have the hammer (actual research) and that we've been trying to use the rock (anectotal evidence). Or that the rock may turn out to be a potato which  is never going to do any good.


Also, the replies that Chad was making weren't line-by-line, but point by point, an appropriate response to my bullet point presentation. Neither of us has voided any Forge etiquette in doing what we've done (we're not using disingenuous methods of disection to destroy each other's arguments).

Most importantly, Chad and I were actually getting somewhere before people came rumbling back in with discussion of appropriate methods of data collection. If we could get back to the matter at hand, that would be nice.

Mike
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chadu
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« Reply #33 on: May 07, 2004, 08:20:47 AM »

Quote from: Mike Holmes
Most importantly, Chad and I were actually getting somewhere (. . . ) If we could get back to the matter at hand, that would be nice.


Vis a vis -- I think it's your serve, mang.

This has been an interesting conversation, which has ranged all around the map.

I guess another way to isolate the first point I'm curious about (and trying to determine) is "why did this female-majority group give me a quite different RP/GMing experience, which was unlike that of previous groups?"

It's not simply quality of play -- I've run or played in kickass groups.

It's not simply the mere presence of women -- I've played in mixed-sex groups before.

It's possibly the simple combination of people, but while that point can be separated out if necessary, I think it's important to note that the majority of the people were female (just as if I'd note that they are all professional, all white, and all over 30), but the importance of the aspect of player's sex is the point at hand.

The second point I'm trying to analyze is methods of game design to enhance and support that sort of play and/or buy-in from those sort of people (which can lead to that sort of play).

The third point I want to think and talk about is one of access to the hobby; the periennal "how do we interest more people in RPGing?" and "how do we keep newbies interested and playing?" questions.

Am I missing anything?

CU
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Chad Underkoffler [chadu@yahoo.com]

Atomic Sock Monkey Press

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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #34 on: May 07, 2004, 10:02:42 AM »

Quote from: chadu
Vis a vis -- I think it's your serve, mang.
Well, I was hoping that it might develop into something more than a dialogue on those points we were discussing.

Quote
It's possibly the simple combination of people, but while that point can be separated out if necessary, I think it's important to note that the majority of the people were female (just as if I'd note that they are all professional, all white, and all over 30), but the importance of the aspect of player's sex is the point at hand.
Quote
Single or married? Were the earlier groups not all professional, white, and over 30? Are these differences?

I think that there was almost certainly an effect of the grouping of females. But I also think that whatever that effect was, was still unique to that group. That's not saying it wouldn't happen in other groups, and not to say that it wouldn't happen more with majority female groups, but just to say that even when it does happen, the group dynamic in every group is so individual that it's hard to make generalizations. And in this case, that's not because of the anecdotal problem I gave above, but because the permutations really do make groups distinctly different.

At least that's been my anecdotal experience. :-)

Quote
The second point I'm trying to analyze is methods of game design to enhance and support that sort of play and/or buy-in from those sort of people (which can lead to that sort of play).
That I totally support. At the very least you're supporting your group, and any groups that are "like your group." Which may be a substantial group, who knows?

So what effect do you want to start with?

Quote
The third point I want to think and talk about is one of access to the hobby; the periennal "how do we interest more people in RPGing?" and "how do we keep newbies interested and playing?" questions.
Might be best as a new thread. And, again, that's been hammered as hard as the gender issue (with, I think some actual success). So please everyone, do your reading before we go into that area.

Mike
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chadu
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« Reply #35 on: May 07, 2004, 10:48:09 AM »

Quote from: Mike Holmes
Quote from: chadu
Vis a vis -- I think it's your serve, mang.
Well, I was hoping that it might develop into something more than a dialogue on those points we were discussing.


Hope springs eternal.

Quote from: Mike Holmes
Quote from: chadu
It's possibly the simple combination of people, but while that point can be separated out if necessary, I think it's important to note that the majority of the people were female (just as if I'd note that they are all professional, all white, and all over 30), but the importance of the aspect of player's sex is the point at hand.
Single or married? Were the earlier groups not all professional, white, and over 30? Are these differences?[ /quote]

See that's the kicker: they weren't differences. Both groups were composed of:
* People who were already friends (for several years).

* People who worked professional jobs (3 defense contractors, 1 document specialist, 2 editors, 1 programmer, and 1 graphic designer).

* White People.

* 30+ years old people.

* Some married, some single people. Counting me -- in all-male: 2 married (to non-group members), 2 single; in female-majority: 4 married (2 pairs of spouses), 1 single.

* Some level of previous gaming experience. In all male: 4 long-time gamers; in majority-female: 3 long-time gamers, 1 "gamer-friendly" occasional-but-don't-much-like-it, and 1 complete newbie.

So the two biggest variables seemed to me to be player sex and level of previous gaming. Now, looking back, I'm wondering if the fact that the female-majority group contained 2 sets of pair-bonds makes a difference.

This is probably different than the classic "GM's SO" situation -- the pair-bond wouldn't be a unique experience within the group. It may also associate with the concept of having pre-existing relationships before you sit down at the gaming table; and in that case, we're talking about  possibly stronger relationships in the form of pair-bonds.

Quote from: Mike Holmes
I think that there was almost certainly an effect of the grouping of females. But I also think that whatever that effect was, was still unique to that group. (...)  the group dynamic in every group is so individual that it's hard to make generalizations.


True, and you may be right. However, I'm trying to do this in the classic old Frankie Bacon way: set up a hypothesis and try to knock it down. Unfortunately, I don't think we can even hope to start pitching balls at the hypothesis until I'm better able to qualify exactly how the experience felt differently.

Then there's the whole problem of emotional reactions not being empirical...

Quote from: Mike Holmes
Quote from: chadu
The second point I'm trying to analyze is methods of game design to enhance and support that sort of play and/or buy-in from those sort of people (which can lead to that sort of play).
That I totally support. At the very least you're supporting your group, and any groups that are "like your group." Which may be a substantial group, who knows?

So what effect do you want to start with?

 

Okay, let me try to take a crack at what I'm trying to achieve, based on info upthread.

* Play was deeply roleplayed with about 85% 1st Person POV ("I do this...") to about  15% 3rd Person POV ("My character/CHARACTER NAME does this...").

* Extensive social interaction with nearly every NPC mentioned, as if they were a genuinely interesting person.  If the PCs spoke to the nameless janitor NPC, they really explored in their discussion with him, even if there was no direct benefit to doing so. This seemed to happen when the PCs were confident, relaxed, and or happy. Interestingly, if the PCs were angry, stressed, or unhappy, all NPCs were suddenly seen as uninteresting obstacles, unworthy of attention -- and here's the really interesting part -- even if there was a benefit to doing so.

So, if PCs were pissed off about not meeting the rock star, instead of following the customary exploration of an NPC waiter character, they'd treat him like crap, even if he was wearing a tour-only t-shirt from the rock's star's show. ("Aw, he got it on eBay.") Only when the obvious clue-flag was raised ("hey, he looks like the rockstar, too"), did they back off of their anger and dismissal and return to their previous mode of interaction.

Another one involved being loudly, needlessly, and obnoxiously rude to a valet parking attendant for reasons unrelated to the valet, BEFORE the valet brought their car. Treated like dirt for no reason, the valet took his time bringing the car back, causing a delay in departure, whic caused further problems down the road for the PCs.

Preferably, I'd like to enhance the former rather than the latter style (for some sorts of games).

* Players/PCs also seemed to take the time to characterize/experience moments with objects or actions, either by explaining on their own or asking me for info ("I sit in the big comfy purple couch..." vs. "What is the couch like? Is it fuzzy?").  

* While pace slowed during intensive conversation with meter maids, it moved swiftly in conflict situations. The group supported each other during the conflict, where they had left each other  alon more outside of it.

That's about all I got right now.

CU
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Chad Underkoffler [chadu@yahoo.com]

Atomic Sock Monkey Press

 Available Now: Truth & Justice
Callan S.
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« Reply #36 on: May 09, 2004, 05:33:18 PM »

Quote from: Mike Holmes
And why not use the convincing stuff? I mean, we have psychological studies, marketing research, and all manner of real sources of data from which to work.


I'm loosing touch with the scale were working at here. We were presented with something that was akin to the level of squad tactics, to use a military analogy. Obviously this doesn't extrapolate particularly well as to what strategy to use at an army scale.

As I noted before, the video game industry is targeting the female demographic. With the luxury of data like they have but instead with an RPG focus, certainly speculation speculation at the strategic level is enabled. But we were presented with the tactical level and although any hypothesis produced is going to be partially a product of the specific circumstances, I work with what I get and within the scale I got it from. What scale are you working at?
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Philosopher Gamer
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #37 on: May 10, 2004, 09:35:38 AM »

My point, Callan, is that the small scale doesn't do any good in describing anything large scale. If we want to address the issues of gender in gaming on that scale, then we have to think large scale, and this small scale stuff doesn't do any good.

Now, if Chad wants to discuss just his group's dynamics, then I think the small scale is, of course, appropriate. We can probably say things about games that will be good for that group.

Then, if you want to extrapolate and say that things that are good for Chad's group are good for gender issues in gaming in general, you're free to do so- I just think this is where the leap in logic takes place that doesn't make sense. Just because Chad's group is mostly female, that doesn't mean that applealing to that group will appeal to females in general.

Moreover, I think the solution is simpler that all that. I don't think you can predict the likes of any demographic in RPGs enough to make games that will appeal to them. Instead the general Indie Credo seems to apply better - build a good game and players will come and play it. Both male and female alike.

Mike
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Callan S.
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« Reply #38 on: May 10, 2004, 05:29:15 PM »

Well, Mike, (just hadda copy that sentence layout! >:) ) that's my point as well. It's just that I respond to it in an equally valid, but different way. Basically hypothesize what works for this particular group. Then that can be tested with other groups to see if that can attract members of this demographic (ie, chicks).

Clearly, it'll go wrong in that it wont fit other group perfectly. But the idea is to create some technique so you start with something to help get these players rather than nothing. With the limmited data given obviously you can't make a perfect tool for the job. But you can atleast start to get something close (that will have to addapt for other groups, but atleast you don't start from scratch). A imperfect yet robust responce. The other way you can do it is go from the big picture, which you are.
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chadu
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« Reply #39 on: May 10, 2004, 06:54:42 PM »

Quote from: Noon
Well, Mike, (just hadda copy that sentence layout! >:) ) that's my point as well. It's just that I respond to it in an equally valid, but different way. Basically hypothesize what works for this particular group. Then that can be tested with other groups to see if that can attract members of this demographic (ie, chicks).
Quote


And newbies! Don't forget the newbies!

But yes -- that's one of the angles I wished to approach this concept from.
Are the bullet points upthread sufficient to create a method/approach for GMing and play (and other elements I'm surely missing)?

Or do they need more work? If so, in what way?

CU
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Chad Underkoffler [chadu@yahoo.com]

Atomic Sock Monkey Press

 Available Now: Truth & Justice
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 10459


« Reply #40 on: May 11, 2004, 06:56:15 AM »

Quote from: chadu
* Play was deeply roleplayed with about 85% 1st Person POV ("I do this...") to about  15% 3rd Person POV ("My character/CHARACTER NAME does this...").
This could be enforced. For example, in Puppetland, there is a requirement to speak in the past tense as if telling a story. The question is whether enforcing this will appeal to anyone, or if just letting each group figure this out on their own is best. That is, your group did this without enforcement, so enforcement seems unneccessary.

Now, what mechanics might reinforce this? The temptation is to say transparent, because that means less getting out of character. You've said that you don't want to go freeform because of the benefits of mechanics in establishing a shared imagined space. All well and good, but you're going to have to find just what it is that needs to be reinforced this way, and what can be left to the imaginations of the people playing. Basically, anything that's doesn't have a crucial need to be mechanically enumerated should be eliminated.

When I say that, I mean thinking radically and eliminating things like special rules for combat (have you read my rant?). To get down to brass tacks, what is your game about, primarily?

Quote
So, if PCs were pissed off about not meeting the rock star, instead of following the customary exploration of an NPC waiter character, they'd treat him like crap, even if he was wearing a tour-only t-shirt from the rock's star's show. ("Aw, he got it on eBay.") Only when the obvious clue-flag was raised ("hey, he looks like the rockstar, too"), did they back off of their anger and dismissal and return to their previous mode of interaction.
Interesting example. Have you considered the idea that the "negative" reactions to the NPCs were actually enjoyed play? It could well be that "raising flags" is the problem, and makes the players act in ways that they really don't prefer to.

Quote
Another one involved being loudly, needlessly, and obnoxiously rude to a valet parking attendant for reasons unrelated to the valet, BEFORE the valet brought their car. Treated like dirt for no reason, the valet took his time bringing the car back, causing a delay in departure, whic caused further problems down the road for the PCs.

Preferably, I'd like to enhance the former rather than the latter style (for some sorts of games).
Why? I'm sorta confused. You want to promote a style of play where the players always play their characters as sweetness and light towards all NPCs? To what end?

In the valet example, how was it determined that the delay with the valet was problematic? Did this make the game worse, or better? Is the game about characterization, or about accomplishing the mission?

Quote
* Players/PCs also seemed to take the time to characterize/experience moments with objects or actions, either by explaining on their own or asking me for info ("I sit in the big comfy purple couch..." vs. "What is the couch like? Is it fuzzy?").  
Once again, do you want to "allow" this, or encourage it?

A lot of this seems to be play going "right." So all I can say is that what you have for a system must be working. What we'd need to know is when the players weren't satisfied.

Quote
* While pace slowed during intensive conversation with meter maids, it moved swiftly in conflict situations. The group supported each other during the conflict, where they had left each other  alon more outside of it.
If this is something that you want to support, again it seems like light is what you want.

So, here's the problem. What you're giving us is behaviors without and details on social reinforcment. You could say all of the above, and then say, "but they said they had a terrible time." Or you could end with, "and they said it was the greatest session that they ever had." So the question is, do you think that they liked the play that occured? If so, then the question is whether or not you felt that the system encouraged this, or discouraged these behaviors. Once we know what they want, and what you have that supports it, or not, then we can work towards improvements.

Mike
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #41 on: May 11, 2004, 08:26:47 AM »

Hello,

I'd like to make a request.

Chad, can you post in Actual Play about the following?

1. How many people played, and what age range and sexes we're talking about.

2. What happened - not a blow-by-blow, he-did-this and then-I-did-that kind of way, but more in terms of what the characters really decided to do, and how real-person interactions led to those fictional events.

3. Themes that can be said to have emerged from the session. Dead Inside, in my opinion, is a remarkably moral and powerful game - it might be seen as "Sorcerer inside out," in that a character's Humanity is now gone, and you have to think about whether and how he or she gets it back. It's pretty clear to me that, played with heart, it will generate themes (statements, judgments, recommendations about problematic human situations). So I'd like to know more about how that actually occured during play.

4. Any specific gender-based issues or interactions that you are reflecting on. Keeping it specific to the group will immediately negate all this stuff about "society" and "culture" and "well, not all women" and that sort of thing (which frankly gets right up my nose), and will also perhaps be more useful to you as a discussion.

Make no mistake: I think Dead Inside deserves a lot of attention, a lot of play, and a lot of reflection. I also think this thread has been an appalling way for it to debut seriously at the Forge, and I'd like to see something a little more basic to actual play.

That's not a moderator comment, though. Chad, it's up to you whether this thread continues. Just say "close," and it's done.

Best,
Ron
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chadu
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Posts: 134


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« Reply #42 on: May 11, 2004, 09:06:14 AM »

Quote from: Mike Holmes
Quote from: chadu
* Play was deeply roleplayed with about 85% 1st Person POV ("I do this...") to about  15% 3rd Person POV ("My character/CHARACTER NAME does this...").

(snip)
Now, what mechanics might reinforce this? The temptation is to say transparent, because that means less getting out of character. You've said that you don't want to go freeform because of the benefits of mechanics in establishing a shared imagined space. All well and good, but you're going to have to find just what it is that needs to be reinforced this way, and what can be left to the imaginations of the people playing. Basically, anything that's doesn't have a crucial need to be mechanically enumerated should be eliminated.[/i]

Right. This is the roughly the sort of play (between 50% and 85% 1st POV; between 15% and 50% 3rd POV) I'd like to encourage; I think it's a nice mix of what makes an RPG an RPG.

And the PDQ System that DI runs on has eliminated -- or rather condensed or abstracted -- just about everything to the same level of detail. Anything a character is, possesses, or can do well is a Quality (specifically a Strength) and every character has a negative Quality (a Weakness). All are figured on the same scale.

Quote from: Mike Holmes
When I say that, I mean thinking radically and eliminating things like special rules for combat (have you read my rant?). To get down to brass tacks, what is your game about, primarily?


I haven't read your rant. Do you have a direct link, or a specific thread title?

There are no special rules for combat -- all conflicts take place the same way. (Well, there is a minor alteration for Soultaking conflicts, and separate subsystems for Virtue/Vice Checks and Soul Cultivation/Decay, but since those connect directly to the premise of the game in different ways -- "you've lost your soul; what will you do to get it back?" -- I think that's kosher.)

To step back a sec, all situations in DI are either simple, complicated, or conflict. Simple situations are resolved by comparison of Quality to Difficulty rank. Complicated situations (those with iffy resolution) are resolved by Quality+dice roll vs. Difficulty target number. Conflict situations (those with an active, opposed force) are resolved by Quality vs. Quality rolls.

Quote from: Mike Holmes
Quote
So, if PCs were pissed off about not meeting the rock star, instead of following the customary exploration of an NPC waiter character, they'd treat him like crap, even if he was wearing a tour-only t-shirt from the rock's star's show. ("Aw, he got it on eBay.") Only when the obvious clue-flag was raised ("hey, he looks like the rockstar, too"), did they back off of their anger and dismissal and return to their previous mode of interaction.


Interesting example. Have you considered the idea that the "negative" reactions to the NPCs were actually enjoyed play? It could well be that "raising flags" is the problem, and makes the players act in ways that they really don't prefer to.


A good point, but not relevant in this situation, I think.  My impression is not that the negative reactions were posed in-character, but a side-effect of the players missing the "adventure subgoal" of meeting the rockstar NPC. I'll ponder further.

Quote from: Mike Holmes
Quote
Another one involved being loudly, needlessly, and obnoxiously rude to a valet parking attendant for reasons unrelated to the valet, BEFORE the valet brought their car. Treated like dirt for no reason, the valet took his time bringing the car back, causing a delay in departure, whic caused further problems down the road for the PCs.

Preferably, I'd like to enhance the former rather than the latter style (for some sorts of games).


Why? I'm sorta confused. You want to promote a style of play where the players always play their characters as sweetness and light towards all NPCs? To what end?

In the valet example, how was it determined that the delay with the valet was problematic? Did this make the game worse, or better? Is the game about characterization, or about accomplishing the mission?


Well, this is tied up with the core conceit of the game, somewhat. Treating innocent people like crap is bad. I do want to promote a "nicer" attitude, I suppose.

I think the issue here is that it really seemed to me that the characters were acting out the players' out-of-game frustrations on NPCs rather than sticking with the in-character attitude they were previously displaying.

This might not be a solvable problem, just a function of group frustration. I guess I'm asking if that a character is defined -- and has mostly been played in that manner -- as "soft-spoken" and the player is performing that character as a "rude loudmouth" -- not because of an in-game choice by the character but as an effect of out-of-game issues of the player, was I right/wrong/incorrect to apply an in-game effect of that performance?

Let's simplify: If a PC "gentil knighte" is before the king on bended knee to ask a boon, and immediately before asking said boon, the player spills his coke on his dice and gets upset, and (after cleaning up) then says something like "Bee-yatch, gimme the majic sword," and the GM verifies that yes, indeed, that's the tone and nature of the request, what does one do?

Basically, the player's head got knocked out of the game, and even after time taken to get back into the scene, they're playing against previously illustrated characterization (for no in-game reason) then what?

To answer your final question in the above quote, I feel that RPGing is a balancing act between characterization and mission achievement. If you employ only the former, you're acting; if you employ only the latter, you're playing a board game. IMAO, of course.

Quote from: Mike Holmes
So all I can say is that what you have for a system must be working. What we'd need to know is when the players weren't satisfied.
(snip)
So, here's the problem. What you're giving us is behaviors without and details on social reinforcment. You could say all of the above, and then say, "but they said they had a terrible time." Or you could end with, "and they said it was the greatest session that they ever had." So the question is, do you think that they liked the play that occured?


Everyone at the table said that it was the best game experience they've ever had, and want to play more, once our schedule sync up.

Quote from: Mike Holmes
If so, then the question is whether or not you felt that the system encouraged this, or discouraged these behaviors. Once we know what they want, and what you have that supports it, or not, then we can work towards improvements.

 
I do feel that the system encouraged these responses and activities, but I'm not sure how. I think it's giving them the experience they want -- no, that's not quite right. They came in looking for a new experience, with no real preconceived notions (but some with previous game experience), and received one that they enjoyed tremendously, in ways they hadn't expected. That's true on my part, too: the game, as I said, flowed in a very different mode from what I'm used to, or even the same system, same scenario, with a different group.

The system seems to support both my more usual style of play alongside this more "looping" style of play, so now I'm not sure the system directly had an effect.

However, the more I think about it, the more I come to the hypothesis that it was the presence of newbies and semi-newbies at the table that had this effect on play. With no preconceived notions of how a game "usually" worked, they wandered all over the map, exploring everything, without any concern for the ticking countdown of the plot-clock. When confronted with a situation, they reacted from character rather than system or game-concerns. And that was just as effective a response as the group that did the more traditional gaming-influenced sort of approach.

So, I think this is where System/Game Mechanics comes back in. Since it's a simple system, it doesn't hinder or constrain the chances of success for a character's actions. It does its job, then scoots out of the way, which I think works here. (And would for any character-focused game or genre.)

CU
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Chad Underkoffler [chadu@yahoo.com]

Atomic Sock Monkey Press

 Available Now: Truth & Justice
chadu
Member

Posts: 134


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« Reply #43 on: May 11, 2004, 09:12:16 AM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards
I'd like to make a request. Chad, can you post in Actual Play about the following? (snip) I also think this thread has been an appalling way for it to debut seriously at the Forge, and I'd like to see something a little more basic to actual play.


Fair enough, Ron. Give me a couple days to review some Actual Play threads to get the feel, review your points, and write something up to post.

Quote
That's not a moderator comment, though. Chad, it's up to you whether this thread continues. Just say "close," and it's done.

Well, I think in my last post (written as you posted), I came to a conclusion. If Mike has something he desperately wants to talk about in re: that post, I'm cool with him continuing here or waiting for the Actual Play thread. Otherwise, let's stick a fork in this one, it's done. :)

CU
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Chad Underkoffler [chadu@yahoo.com]

Atomic Sock Monkey Press

 Available Now: Truth & Justice
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #44 on: May 11, 2004, 09:33:45 AM »

I'll only say that from what I can see, you have a good design for your goals.

Note that I think the "newbie" phenomenon is now becoming clear to me. What you've discovered is a principle around here that's really very simple. "Experienced" RPG players come to play with a lot of preconceptions that have been ingrained into them from previous play. No surprise. The question you have to ask yourself is whether or not you want to ty to combat this effect. The common wisdom on this is that it's not worth it, for the most part. All you can do as a designer is do your best to put into a game your vision for how it should work. You really have no idea how any reader is going to interpret and mangle your work. So you can't worry about that.

Now, it seems that the system that you have, when applied to "black slate" players, does precisely what you want it to do. So it's the "experienced" players who are gumming up the works. Now, one might say that these are the core audience, and they should be catered to. But if we're really looking to integrate women - they mostly being non-roleplayers (which is true of men as well), then isn't it better to keep the game as is, and not alter it to appeal to the current gamer crowd?

So it's up to you. We have a bias around here against making games that pander to typical "gamer" expectations. If you like I can go into more specific problems. But it seems to me that you're really on our wavelength in this regard, and should just stick with what you have.

Mike
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