*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
October 23, 2014, 12:02:11 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 43 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
Pages: [1] 2
Print
Author Topic: Fortune-forward Vs. Fortune-backward  (Read 3267 times)
lumpley
Administrator
Member
*
Posts: 3453


WWW
« on: January 13, 2002, 06:43:52 PM »

So I've been looking at my games, and others' games, and I've been thinking hard about the old Description-Based vs. Quantified thing, which seems to have lost currency, and about Fortune in the Middle vs. Fortune at the End, which seems to have replaced it, sort of.  And I put my finger on something.

Did you ever notice that the World, the Flesh, and the Devil has a really odd Fortune mechanic?  You roll the dice and they don't tell you whether you succeed or fail at all.

Most mechanics, Fortune in the Middle or Fortune at the End, that's what they do.  You get a modest success, what's up with that? (FitM) or you get a modest success, end of story (FatE).  In the World, the Flesh and the Devil, you don't get an outcome as such at all, you just get some information about what the outcome must include.

The dice say: I don't care whether you succeed or fail, by how much or how little.  I care that in some way you overcame the Flesh.  (Or whichever.)

My game Chalk Outlines works the same way.  The dice don't provide an outcome, they tell you some things you must incorporate into whatever outcome you want.  It's maybe even more clear in my game http://www.septemberquestion.org/lumpley/matchmaker.html">Matchmaker.

So check this out.  Picking a lock:

Fortune at the End:
"I pick the lock."  "The lock is very high quality, -3 to the roll.  You're taking your time, +1 to the roll."  [roll]  "You get a modest success and open the safe."

Fortune in the Middle, Fortune-backward:
"I pick the lock."  [roll]  "You get a modest success."  "Even though it's a very high quality lock, I take my time and open the safe."

Fortune in the Middle, Fortune-forward:
"I pick the lock."  [roll]  "The factor that matters most is Time."  "Since I have the luxury to take my time, I do so and open the safe."

It could just as easily go:
"I pick the lock."  [roll]  "The factor that matters most is Time."  "Dang, I don't have any to spare.  I guess I can't get the thing open."

Fortune-forward is FitM where the narration goes in chronological order.  Fortune-backward is FitM where the narration is a teeny-tiny flashback.

What do you think?

-Vincent
Logged
Jared A. Sorensen
Member

Posts: 1463

Darksided


WWW
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2002, 06:49:33 PM »

Quote from: lumpley

So check this out.  Picking a lock:

1. Fortune at the End:
"I pick the lock."  "The lock is very high quality, -3 to the roll.  You're taking your time, +1 to the roll."  [roll]  "You get a modest success and open the safe."

2. Fortune in the Middle, Fortune-backward:
"I pick the lock."  [roll]  "You get a modest success."  "Even though it's a very high quality lock, I take my time and open the safe."

3. Fortune in the Middle, Fortune-forward:
"I pick the lock."  [roll]  "The factor that matters most is Time."  "Since I have the luxury to take my time, I do so and open the safe."

It could just as easily go:
"I pick the lock."  [roll]  "The factor that matters most is Time."  "Dang, I don't have any to spare.  I guess I can't get the thing open."

Fortune-forward is FitM where the narration goes in chronological order.  Fortune-backward is FitM where the narration is a teeny-tiny flashback.


Just curious, why is a roll required at all in example 3 (I numbered the examples)?
Logged

jared a. sorensen / www.memento-mori.com
Paul Czege
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 2341


WWW
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2002, 08:20:39 PM »

Just curious, why is a roll required at all in example 3 (I numbered the examples)?

It determines the "factor that matters most."

Paul
Logged

My Life with Master knows codependence.
And if you're doing anything with your Acts of Evil ashcan license, of course I'm curious and would love to hear about your plans
lumpley
Administrator
Member
*
Posts: 3453


WWW
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2002, 04:16:51 AM »

Precisely.

The ugliest, most terribly clunky implementation might look something like this:

The Picking Locks Table
roll 1d6 for most important factor
1 - Time
2 - Quality of lock vs tools
3 - One's skill
4 - One's emotional state
5 - One's companions
6 - Outside circumstance

Everway is a Fortune-forward game.  Castle Falkenstein's magic system is Fortune-forward, if I recall it correctly.

-Vincent
Logged
Joe Murphy (Broin)
Member

Posts: 178


« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2002, 10:12:40 AM »

Quote from: lumpley


The ugliest, most terribly clunky implementation might look something like this:

The Picking Locks Table
roll 1d6 for most important factor
1 - Time
2 - Quality of lock vs tools
3 - One's skill
4 - One's emotional state
5 - One's companions
6 - Outside circumstance



Ooh. There is a game that does this. Er. I can't remember which one.

Am I thinking of Immortal, 1st edition? I vaguely remember that the dice you rolled for your skill were opposed by range dice, visibility dice, perhaps the enemy's dodging dice. That seems similar.

Now if only Ron wrote a big cross-referenced database of every RPG since 1975, analysing every rules mechanic, setting, premise...

Joe.
Logged
lumpley
Administrator
Member
*
Posts: 3453


WWW
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2002, 10:46:41 AM »

The most important thing is that you don't have a Time stat, or an Emotional State stat, or an Outside Circumstance stat.  The mechanics tell you what matters, and then you figure out what happens based on what's going on in the game world.  (Otherwise it's just Fortune at the End, only more work to get there.)

That's where it connected to Description-Based for me.  "Huh, my Emotional State?  I hadn't thought about it, but I guess I'm feeling kind of edgy, and seeing that cop earlier, I know it was nothing but I can't help thinking back to it... Doesn't look too good, friends."  You don't need any quantified attributes at all to make this kind of system work.  "What matters is my skill?  Nice.  Everybody knows I'm the best mufun b&e man in ... uh ... this goes over ... hold on ... damn!  Broke my damn lockpick!"

-Vincent
Logged
Gordon C. Landis
Member

Posts: 1024

I am Custom-Built Games


WWW
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2002, 02:17:51 PM »

So . . . it seems to me the whole Fortune to Start/in the Middle/at the End distinction is linked to the 4 Steps of Action model (Intention, Initiation, Completion and Effect).  And maybe that model (and thus, Forward/Backward issues) need not be applied.

I think what we see in the The World mechanic (and others like it) is something more like an end-around those 4 Steps into another model, perhaps becoming "Who gets to say what happens now?", followed by "What are the restrictions/details to what they can say?"  In some ways, this is more like an Improv technique than a game mechanic - the dice replace the "idea thrown out by the audience" as the random seed-generator.  But arguably, it (and the rest of a system) can also provide an opportunity for more organized and directed "play" than is possible in your average improvizational acting scene - and thus, we maintain a roleplaying game rather than move entirely into Group Storytelling.

So, we'd get Situation: the door is locked (and the players want to get through it, or the fact that it is locked is in some way meaningful to the players).  The question now unresolved is "Who gets to say what happens with the locked door?"  This is determined (with a full range of system options as to how), and any restrictions established (based on the magnitude of success, and/or another "round" - e.g., a damage/effect roll - of System, and/or a required use of Currency, and/or the Descriptors for that particular character,  . . . again, full range of options).  The lucky participant now gets to say what happens . . .  and play continues.  Beyond the locked door, perhaps - or with resolving the consequences of failing to get beyond the door.

Now, I said "end-around" the 4 Steps earlier, because in some ways, you can't avoid 'em - Who (the GM, 1 player, several players) gets to say and What (in terms of success, color terms, or etc.) they say are framed within a scene, or a round, or some other, possibly-varying "unit" (I guess that's the "now" in the "what happens now").  That unit began with some Intentions and is moving on to/through an Effect (or several Effects)  . . . a system like that in The World just doesn't focus the resolution mechanic on the steps.  Still, it seems like in actual play you do need some way to handle the steps - from another "layer" of mechanics (like Fang's Scattershot?), or even just an agreed upon (implied, if not overt) social-contract understanding of "how it works".  There does seem to be a general "win" for Narrativist goals in moving that "Steps" stuff OUT of the resolution system, as that avoids a number of the complications that can arise when trying to map story-appropriate, premise-supporting, PC-protagonizing outcomes into a model of (possibly twisted and/or reversed) chronological event description.

At least, that's my thinking here.  I've been working in the "Who gets to say" and "What they can say" model in my recent game design work - which is turning (for good or ill) into a MUCH more involved and, er, "fundamental" exercise than just a little "you are the bar" scenario.  So maybe I'm just, ah, "obsessed" with that idea at the moment.  I probably need to get those system notions posted - that always seems to help difuse the "obsession" factor . . .

Gordon
Logged

www.snap-game.com (under construction)
contracycle
Member

Posts: 2807


« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2002, 02:59:17 AM »

Way cool - I think this is where its at.  In essence, I think that all the discussion about GM-full and distributed authority are essentially converging on this point: a mechanic for mediting authorial control.

I'm termpted to go down a computing model and see "objects" in the game space which have "properties", and which can be modified by the players or the GM.  Thus, the presentation of an obstacle or challenge would be defined more by the extent of what the GM's intent is than by Sim-based cause -> effect calculation.  Thus, the Door is an Object with a property assigned by the GM like Locked; the player characters then need to exert some sort of character ability that has "rights" to modify the "locked" status of the door.  The mechanics, then, exist largely to indicate who has which rights over what.

Your combat grunt has lots of rights over "Shootin' Folk"; your techie has rights over "Makin' Stuff Work, Dammit"

Similarly, acombat between PC and NPC, or two PC's, is essentially negotiating who has the "right" to declare the other dead or hors de combat.

2p
Logged

Impeach the bomber boys:
www.impeachblair.org
www.impeachbush.org

"He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may cast."
- Leonardo da Vinci
Joe Murphy (Broin)
Member

Posts: 178


« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2002, 05:36:55 AM »

Quote from: contracycle

Way cool - I think this is where its at.  In essence, I think that all the discussion about GM-full and distributed authority are essentially converging on this point: a mechanic for mediting authorial control.


I'm termpted to go down a computing model and see "objects" in the game space which have "properties", and which can be modified by the players or the GM.  Thus, the presentation of an obstacle or challenge would be defined more by the extent of what the GM's intent is than by Sim-based cause -> effect calculation.  Thus, the Door is an Object with a property assigned by the GM like Locked; the player characters then need to exert some sort of character ability that has "rights" to modify the "locked" status of the door.  The mechanics, then, exist largely to indicate who has which rights over what.



If I'd had half this language when I ran a 2 year game of Mage, my, it would have been easier.

One interpretation of the magic system in Mage (which I now freely admit makes little sense) is that characters can manipulate and alter scenes/objects/people that have not yet been mentioned by the GM, more easily than objects/scenes which have been defined. If the GM blithely describes a room full of junk, then the character can use 'coincidental' magick to find a spade, say. If the GM instead says that the room is picked clean and empty, the character has to use more difficult magick to actually conjure things out of thin air.

It's a sort of in-character narrativism, but badly described. Bit like the idea of shadows in Amber. And it took us about a year of in-game arguments to define the difference between what's fair game for coincidental magick, and what's not.

And your 'object' model reminds me a lot of Drama-based mechanics, like the poker chips in Deadlands. Or gaames where the GM has a pool of plot points and has to bid against the players (or a combined group of players).

(random idea: in some games, characters have an in-character ability to change the world, cf 'Inspiration' in Adventure, or Possilities in Torg. Well why not have the players roll their 'Change' stats versus the GM's 'Inertia' stat?)

Joe.
Logged
Le Joueur
Member

Posts: 1367


WWW
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2002, 05:56:48 AM »

Quote from: contracycle
I think that all the discussion about GM-full and distributed authority are essentially converging on this point: a mechanic for mediting authorial control.

I very much agree.  This is what we've had to resort to as we sort out all the issues involved with sharing and our take on Narrativism.

Quote from: contracycle
I'm tempted to go down a computing model and see "objects" in the game space which have "properties", and which can be modified by the players or the GM.

Yep, except the objects often get called into existence fully formed, based on genre expectations and cliche (the way we see it).

Another thing I don't think the OOC (Object Oriented Computing, not Out-of-Character) terminology model discusses in the same way is things like 'who goes first.'  (Another peculiarity of role-playing games.)

Fang Langford
Logged

Fang Langford is the creator of Scattershot presents: Universe 6 - The World of the Modern Fantastic.  Please stop by and help!
contracycle
Member

Posts: 2807


« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2002, 04:50:12 AM »

Fang:
Yes, objects would definately be defined by genre and setting.  

Immortal:
I used to have a copy of Immortal, but it vanished.  I've been wracking my vbrain as to how it workd, and what I SEEM to remember is this:

You had different coloured dice for your abilites; like physique, or intellect, or whatever - I forget.

Then you roll the dice for task resolution, and they ALL have to succeed, IIRC.  If any fail, you can tell what kind of failure it was.

So, if my memory is correct, you would see something like this.  A player confronted with a locked door would roll their Dex die, their Intellect die, their Experience die (for arguments sake).

If the Dex die failes, the rsult can be narrated as "you accidentally break the tip of your pick."  If the Experience die fails, you could narrate that as "You've just never encountered this kind of lock before, and nopthing younknow how to try is working."  Etc etc.  This tells you what went wrongl.

Problem here is that you probably need different difficulties for different die types to represent difficulties in multiple fields.  But there might be comething that can be done on this principle with a die pool mechanic - 3 dice of dex, 1 die of experience, that sort of thing.
Logged

Impeach the bomber boys:
www.impeachblair.org
www.impeachbush.org

"He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may cast."
- Leonardo da Vinci
contracycle
Member

Posts: 2807


« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2002, 04:57:28 AM »

Quote

terminology model discusses in the same way is things like 'who goes first.'  (Another peculiarity of role-playing games.)


Who Goes First is essentially a Write Permission.  In a sense, an "initiative" determination passes a "write token" to the player.  Only the GM gets "change" permissions, or players only get them through mechanical determination (die-based victory) - a PC confronting a villain only has Read permission on the Villain; if they win the fight mechanically they are given a temporary "change" permission for that NPC.

In fact the whole "initiative" thing is much the problem that network operating systems need to solve - multiple actors acting on a shared resource.  Course, we don't want to go too far down this route - we don't need GM's inspired by the Bastard Operator From Hell. ;)
Logged

Impeach the bomber boys:
www.impeachblair.org
www.impeachbush.org

"He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may cast."
- Leonardo da Vinci
Paul Czege
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 2341


WWW
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2002, 06:52:18 AM »

Hey Joe, Gareth,

Am I thinking of Immortal, 1st edition? I vaguely remember that the dice you rolled for your skill were opposed by range dice, visibility dice, perhaps the enemy's dodging dice. That seems similar.

I used to have a copy of Immortal, but it vanished. I've been wracking my brain as to how it worked

I recall from a conversation at GenCon last summer that greyorm (raven) is something of an expert on Immortal, a long time participant in Immortal LARP and on the Immortal mailing list. You might send him a private message and alert him to this thread to get the straight poop on the game.

Paul
Logged

My Life with Master knows codependence.
And if you're doing anything with your Acts of Evil ashcan license, of course I'm curious and would love to hear about your plans
greyorm
Member

Posts: 2233

My name is Raven.


WWW
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2002, 09:20:51 AM »

Yep, I'm the "Immortal guy"...heh.

1st Edition Immortal worked as follows:
The Primary task roll was attribute (+ skill rank) + d10; beat a certain ranked target number.  Pretty standard.

Target numbers were set in 5 Ranks, set out in increments of 3 (3, 6, 9, 12, 15), representing the standard difficulty of tasks.  Also more or less standard.

However, some situations generated Hostiles: extra, seperate Ranks of something you had to beat for anything which might affect the Primary roll.

Frex: You are picking a standard lock, Rank 3 (TN 9).  Your Coordination is 3, your skill is 3, and you roll a 5, total 11.  You've picked the lock.

But wait!  Let's assume that there are other circumstances: you're in pain, because your hand was slashed by a knife earlier: This would be a Rank 1 Pain Hostile (TN 3) (note that the severity of a wound affected the Rank of the Pain hostile).

Now to open the lock, in addition to the actual lockpicking roll, you have to roll a d10 + Willpower and beat 3 with that roll.

Additionally, since the primary roll was beat by 2 points more than needed, you could use those extra points as a bonus to any Hostile you have to overcome.  I say "any Hostile" as one could end up rolling all sorts of Hostiles in addition to the Primary, in certain situations.

There were hostiles for Pain, Environment (slippery, misty, close-quarters, etc), Poison, Avatar, and a number of others.

So you might succeed at the task -- or have succeeded IF -- but be defeated by one of the other factors...the idea was you would end up knowing exactly what caused you to screw up (Did I slip?  Was the pain unbearable?  Did my sword hit the wall of the narrow tunnel?)

There were also mystical Legacies that allowed a character to cancel out a specific number of Ranks in a specific Hostile (frex: the "Keepers" had a Legacy which allowed them to cancel out a number of ranks of the Exhaustion Hostile).

Anyways, that's the deal with 1st Edition Immortal.  You'll note it is a system geared heavily towards simulationism, particularly once you get beyond the basic mechanics.

The complexity of the rules in the quest for "realistic modeling" was one of the things that turned me towards my "abstraction is the key/lighter is better" mindset; before this, I was on the "more realistic emulation!/more complexity!" bandwagon, but enough editorializing.
Logged

Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
Wild Hunt Studio
Paul Czege
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 2341


WWW
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2002, 11:14:32 AM »

That's dramatically different than what Gareth described, and honestly, I like his version of the mechanics a lot better.

Are you confusing Immortal with a different game Gareth? I wouldn't mind knowing what game it was that you described.

Paul
Logged

My Life with Master knows codependence.
And if you're doing anything with your Acts of Evil ashcan license, of course I'm curious and would love to hear about your plans
Pages: [1] 2
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!