*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
October 21, 2014, 08:50:58 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: 75 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
Pages: [1] 2
Print
Author Topic: [D&D 3.0] Illusionist sim all the way through  (Read 2596 times)
Callan S.
Member

Posts: 3588


WWW
« on: March 12, 2005, 08:05:35 PM »

My character is a level 9 cleric, Daniel's is level 10 rogue or so, earned all the way from level 1. Mathew, Daniels younger brother, is GM. Close friends of mine.

The game is from a recent issue of dungeon, I think. No idea of what it's called.

Okay, so we start in the tower our characters have claimed and been refurbishing. And it starts off with a merchant coming by and…

"He wants to hire you to escort him to a festival, do you take the job? He offers 650 in gold", said a little more elaborately, but you get the jist.

I've become sick to death of this question…of course were going to take it, nothings going to happen if we don't! Actually the problem isn't that we have to take it, but that we have to engage with it. There's the hello's on both sides, the statements of intent, the questions that I at least ask in case our having a chance to ask them is important in some latter challenge. And it goes on and on, unless you stop it (which is hard to do, if you think your supposed to work out some clue from this process).

"Okay, now, what's the first conflict we run into?", I try asking, after that. An almost explicit request for scene framing.

There's a sort of blank response. I think he tries to digest it and the eventual response is 'Okay, so you head off…what was the time of year again? And your traveling below these mountains  (points to home made map. Daniel assists with the mountains name)". And so on, for several minutes.

Now Matthew looks to us and there's probably a blank response from us. He's finished his description and is looking for what that prompts in us. I'm almost bouncing up and down in my seat, like I'm waiting through a video games opening scene, but pressing the button doesn't end it early.

Sim Vs gamism. Even the payment was in gems, which the value of was almost incidentally mentioned after their offering. Don't think about rewards, think about how those gems must look!

Nothing happens. Mathew declares we find a bow in the middle of the road (actually, we are asked to roll spot checks to find it...I don't know why) and the battle mat is pulled out. At this point Chris gets home from work and his character joins the party (he was sleeping in the merchants cart). Thinking gamist, I say I'm spotting for snipers (in case the bows a trap), and roll the dice so as to further get that SIS action into motion. There aren't any, but there are two spiders in a nearby tree. Combat ensues and I get webbed. One runs up to me and bites me, doing little real damage, but lowering my strength score as I fail the save. Daniel makes a derogatory noise about that and makes a quip about a cleric with no neutralise poison memorised (to which I say it's a waste of space normally). I feel slightly pissed about being stirred on this and start looking for my options to beat this now or in future. In other words, I'm told I've lost (lost a small challenge) and I get pissed and look to win over it now (preferably) or next time. My gamist pride forces me to mention here that I have +8 fort save and +5 heal…I found in the rules that I roll heal after a failed check, so with two rolls I was pretty safe from the second poison save I'd have to make.

Speaking of which, I try and remain quiet about that second save you should do (it's even safer if you don't do a roll at all). I don't know if it's hard core gamist, but I started playing a memory game with Mathew/the GM, seeing if he'd remember to apply it latter. If he failed his memory test, then I win! Then bloody Chris reminds him "Shouldn't Callan being doing a second poison save now?" "Thanks for that, Chris!". He does this…like's to get authoritarian about the rules for the meta game power it gives him briefly. He will say its for something that sounds like simulationist reasons, but it isn't IMO.

Anyway, we wack the spiders (Daniel moving to flank when the one that bit me got close) and then the GM calls for wilderness checks. This leads us to notice a scuffle happened here and further in is a guard with two spiders ready to eat him. They die even quicker (I'm chasing after my 5yo son who is present, during this mostly, so don't quite see what happens).

Okay, he's a guard for this festival and got surprised here or something. Okay, I didn't pay much attention. On a side note, the arrangements for how this guard comes along happen with Daniel saying the guard can ride behind my character on my horse. I don't like my resources being volunteered for me (thinking about it, it's like them starting to play my part of the game for me), but I know saying 'nuh uh' will get me a 'why are you making a fuss' thing. So I ignore it, as no one actually asked me if that's what happens and without my credibility granted for him being on my horse, he's in the merchants cart if anyone actually asks me latter on. I note this because I see a dynamic here but can't quite name it and would like help.

So, we travel futher and discover a big rock on the side of the road. Chris's PC detects magic on it and reads it. It's something about monsters being kept below. Interestingly Mathew just says its about drow, after reading it's inscription to us. And then he notes the spider/drow connection. Then someone spots an owlbear.

Okay, I guesstimate our proximity to our goal, which I also estimate to be a safe area (a festival). So I drop flame strike on the thing for 37 damage! YAY! My most potent spell, but I'm guessing I'm not going to need it for anything else, today. On a side note; I do this from my horse because I think that'll look cool. I think that's enjoying a bit of sim. The owlbear comes at me and when I attack, Chris again notes how I'll have to do a horsemanship roll. For some reason Danial chimes in on this vehemently too, talking about how certain feats are for that sort of thing (the same ones no one uses). Okay, so I was, after releasing holy fire on the thing, going to casually smack it from my horse. I thought it'd look cool, but now I'm carefully getting off my horse and hitting it while just standing there. BTW, this is where Mathew goes "Your on your horse" having taken Daniels previous comments even futher and assuming I'd let the soldier we found, ride it alone. As I planned, I said no, Daniel just said that and the soldier dude is in the cart. Sigh, such mechanations.

Daniel tumbles under the cart to get over to the owlbear and eventually flanks the thing. Here Chris presses in and asserts Daniels sneak attack damage doesn't apply, as the monster was waiting for us and wouldn't be flat footed. Weve been through this before, in an adventure GM'ed by Chris. Chris basically asserts that it just wouldn't suffer the flat footed status. This goes on for awhile with Daniel saying he'd never get sneak attack damage if it's like this. I'm surprised when Chris stops after I say "Well, if he ignores flat footed status, why does he have to roll initiative…why doesn't he just win that automatically as well?". This stuns him, I think as there are some tricky game world logics involved, that he can't draw an answer from in time. Really, next time I'm just going to explicitly remove my cred from him and place it on the GM…and if Mathew goes "Aww, I just want to have a good game (/I don't want to make a ruling that might involve me in a conflict)" I dunno.

The sneak attack damage is done. Eventually with a lot of muck around, the thing is killed. We are asked to roll heal checks. Daniel repeats it back to Mathew as a question, twice "Make a heal check?", as if to ask "Isn't a heal check something we decide to do, like deciding  when we swing a sword? I don't mind, but I'm confused as to what you mean". The heal checks are to find out that the owlbear was poisoned by some really big spider recently.

That's what we were supposed to care about…the poisoned owlbear. About thirty minutes of combat, but it's a poisoned owlbear is what were supposed to care about. Gah! That's thirty minutes of my effort and concentration for no freaking point, if no one cares about the fight or if no one is supposed to care about that. What about my real life effort put into this fight? Yeah, so it's only thirty minutes…so what, I'm real and it's not, so why should an imaginary object get focus for just being there, while I get nothing for my thirty minutes put in? Man, it's like the bloody imaginary thing outranks me, a player! The fuck!?

Okay, cathartic rant aside there is some substance there. You can't ask for effort by players, and then try and make the efforts of the system or module, more important. Well, not for gamism. These little tid bits that tie the story together can be entirely forgotten about in the rush to ensure care is given to the players efforts (care can even be given in a "You lost way"…cruel to be kind is just another type of caring about someone's efforts).

But were not talking about gamism. Were talking about straight illusionist simulationism. We got to the festival, with a small, quickly hand drawn map. My son kept trying to grab the map, to look at it, which irritated Mathew, but was somewhat of a relief to me as I really didn't care about the layout of the place and didn't feel like feigning it for social reasons.

At about this time I let the beer take me to the toilet a few extra times and I chased after my son a few more times than required (he was playing with figures outside on castle scenery in excited tones…which sadly seemed alluring to me at the time). Daniel was cooking dinner himself, while trying to climb one of the sentry trees that grew around the festival. First off Mathew says he can't, to which Daniel notes his boots of spider climb (damn those boots have been handy for him). Then the guards don't want him in the tree and tell him to go off and enjoy the festival. Daniel's rogue says he's too worried about the spiders to enjoy it and wants to come up. And so on…but none of it works.

About this time I say it's a school night for my son and I have to go. Mathew postulates to everyone that it's a good time to wrap up since they'd gotten to the festival. Another indicator of what was achievement in this game, after nearly three hours of gaming.
 
It's probably sad, but this being a module makes me feel that at some point I can talk with Mathew about the game style without it entering prickly 'You don't like my art? But you know…this stuff is good(/if you don't confirm it's good, it'll be a blow to my ego on the matter, rather than finding out what you like in a game)'. BTW, this is how I am too, with no solid social contract around for such discussions.

On another matter…how did we get to this point? I'm pretty sure some of my own games enter illusionist simulationism, but usually the players break out at certain points (usually combat). It sort of works and can be refined to something far more effective (  ). But why did myself, and basically my whole group, end up there? Now with some of us wanting simulationism rather than just having some to buffer between conflicts?
Logged

Philosopher Gamer
<meaning></meaning>
Bill Cook
Member

Posts: 501


« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2005, 11:19:49 PM »

Quote from: Noon
On a side note, the arrangements for how this guard comes along happen with Daniel saying the guard can ride behind my character on my horse. I don't like my resources being volunteered for me (thinking about it, it's like them starting to play my part of the game for me), but I know saying 'nuh uh' will get me a 'why are you making a fuss' thing. So I ignore it, as no one actually asked me if that's what happens and without my credibility granted for him being on my horse, he's in the merchants cart if anyone actually asks me latter on. I note this because I see a dynamic here but can't quite name it and would like help.


Something like this happened to me once while playing a game of M:TG. I got tired of waiting on the player to my right to finish, so I got up for a drink. The player to my left got tired of waiting for me to return, so he untapped my cards and drew for me. He did something similiar a number of times until I had to ask him to stop. He complained about me being slow, and I told him he should consider playing solitaire; otherwise, he was going to have to respect the controller authority I held over my cards.

The misdirection strategy you describe ducks the confrontation.

** ** **

This was a pretty funny read.

What can I say? Playing from a script trades for low prep. You could manage a lot of pain by making metagame disclosures. (e.g. "An owlbear emerges from the woods. Ok, I just want to tell you guys: it's been poisoned by the spiders. That suggests increased giant spider activity and hints at a Drow infestation that the characters will uncover, which is the whole point of this story.")

If you were using the written adventure as world source and plot inspiration, you could be freer with authoring into your bliss, as a non-GM player.
    e.g.

GM: Well, you sure showed those spiders. Now it's time to make camp. Anyone want to announce whether they'll be sleeping in their armor, reading bedtime stories?
PC: Uh, yeah. Here's the deal: we arrive at the festival. We're having a great time until a peasant girl interrupts a dancing troupe while running away from three Drow pursuers, carrying drawn swords. "Help me!" she screams. "Don't let them take me back to their laboratory for breeding experiments!"
[/list:u]
Logged

Halzebier
Member

Posts: 216


« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2005, 01:21:00 AM »

Quote from: Noon
"He wants to hire you to escort him to a festival, do you take the job? He offers 650 in gold", said a little more elaborately, but you get the jist.

I've become sick to death of this question…of course were going to take it, nothings going to happen if we don't! Actually the problem isn't that we have to take it, but that we have to engage with it.


Alternatively, one might take the job, but also make irreverent jokes about it and signal to the DM that one wants to move on. However, this only works as long as everyone is on the same page. If another player engages (i.e., does this roleplaying thing) or the DM gets pissed if one doesn't go through the motions, well, there's a problem. I've often been at odds with other players over this, as I tend to get impatient.

Quote
"Okay, now, what's the first conflict we run into?", I try asking, after that. An almost explicit request for scene framing.


Yeah, exactly like that.

(And then another player says "Wait, my character wants to do some shopping first." In-character haggling over a pair of leather boots ensues....)

Quote
I'm almost bouncing up and down in my seat, like I'm waiting through a video games opening scene, but pressing the button doesn't end it early.


Hehe. This reminds me of gamer jargon: 'Fine. I make my aesthetics appreciation roll. It's a beautiful castle.' (Read: 'Get on with it.')

Quote
Okay, cathartic rant aside there is some substance there. You can't ask for effort by players, and then try and make the efforts of the system or module, more important. Well, not for gamism.


I'm not sure I'm following you here. Did you feel that the DM ignored the fact that the owlbear was almost burned to a crisp by your PC and hence noting that it had been poisoned was very unlikely?

A similar experience to that -- if that's what you were getting at -- epitomizes illusionism (and what's right and wrong with it) for me:

My PC sneaks up on this huge ogre and fires a crossbow bolt at him... The DM describes how the bolt hits the ogre's ass and he grunts as if stung by a bee ... and then he lets rip with a titanic fart. Combat begins.

It was a very funny description and had everybody in stitches. But I felt sooooo deprotagonized. You see, I had scored an awesome critical hit and the description simply ignored that. The DM (probably) deducted the hit points for the crit, but had decided on how to describe the ogre's first injury ahead of time... never mind the input of the dice.

Quote
On another matter…how did we get to this point? I'm pretty sure some of my own games enter illusionist simulationism, but usually the players break out at certain points (usually combat).


Dunno. It's a slippery slope, which often begins with a player signaling that he doesn't want his PC to die and Could you please fudge but keep up appearances? But judging from your other posts, that doesn't seem to be the problem, so I am at a loss.

Regards

Hal
Logged
Callan S.
Member

Posts: 3588


WWW
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2005, 03:03:32 AM »

Quote
I'm not sure I'm following you here. Did you feel that the DM ignored the fact that the owlbear was almost burned to a crisp by your PC and hence noting that it had been poisoned was very unlikely?

I hadn't even thought of how he'd be burnt.

No, it was that we won...we spent 30 minutes on this challenge and we won.

And it didn't matter to him. Only the poisoned owlbear being shown mattered. A few seconds of material that we had absolutely no input on, was more important than the last thirty minutes of effort. It's basically saying 'Even this tiny clue is above what you did, in value'. And I think the current GM's values tend to filter out to the players. And I'm pretty certain the modules design was affecting his values somewhat, too.

Actually your ogre fart story does sound similar. The GM really showed he didn't care at what you'd gained/won with that crit (ie all the damage you won/dished out). Your win was his fart gag.

I actually forgot to mention how he was pleased when Daniel took an owlbear feather (which I now realise, from your comment, would have been singed). He was pleased then and latter something made Daniel mention it again. Mathew said "Oh, so you really did take that owlbear feather?". When Daniel replied positively, I actually heard Mathew say "Yesssssss!!" under his breath, it was that important to him.

Why couldn't he do that when we won the fight!?

Okay, I already know I suppose. It's because my attempts at gamist drift are just ending as an attempt to sneak up on mode.

Quote
Dunno. It's a slippery slope, which often begins with a player signaling that he doesn't want his PC to die and Could you please fudge but keep up appearances? But judging from your other posts, that doesn't seem to be the problem, so I am at a loss.

I'm not so sure we don't. Recently I ran a Rifts game where Daniel attacked a dangerous robot with whirling blades. The mega damage destroyed his armour and the excess damage was in the hundreds when it came to hurting his HP. So he was dead. So there's this sort of look amongst us as atleast I evaluate the mood of the moment. I evaluate it that he isn't done with this character yet and suggest he hit's the ground, torn up and an arm removed. Not much of an impediment as his PC is a cyber doc and simply replaced the arm with a bionic one latter.

I would consider this a 'you lose' moment, if it happened to me.

Latter I jokingly said perhaps we should have fate points in it (warhammer RPG has these so PC's who are killed, instead ignore the blow). And there seemed to be this silent moment which said 'That would imply my PC died'.

Well, he did die. It's just that we don't need PC death, to indicate a loss? Do we guys? Do we?

Perhaps these are questions I need to actually ask outloud.

Conversely weve had another player, Anthony, who's low level cleric got killed. I said to him that he could always be raised and he actually got defensive "Look, I don't want him to come back" and I'm sure was about to say something along the lines of "I have director stance over this, don't try and take that away from me". I backed way off as I wasn't trying to force it and explicitly said "No, that's cool, it's your choice". I was offering a way out, should he want it. But that character has stayed in the dirt, as was his will.
Logged

Philosopher Gamer
<meaning></meaning>
Kerstin Schmidt
Member

Posts: 289


« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2005, 04:13:52 AM »

(Quoting out of context:)
Quote from: Noon
On another matter…how did we get to this point?


I don't know why your other games might have gone a similar route, but the overall picture I'm getting from your description is of an inexperienced or un-confident GM (a player's younger brother: how much younger?) who's keeping to his pre-written script because he's trusting in the scenario authors (being vastly more experienced than him), and who's protected by the group playing along with his inexpert effort.  

Has Matthew run many games for you before? How much younger than Daniel is he, and where is he at in the age spread of the group?

Quote
Okay, so we start in the tower our characters have claimed and been refurbishing. And it starts off with a merchant coming by and…

"He wants to hire you to escort him to a festival, do you take the job? He offers 650 in gold", said a little more elaborately, but you get the jist.


This could be a sim leaning on the GM's part of course. But seen in the context of your other remarks (more below), I suspect it might be simply that he hasn't a clue that he could use scene framing to any extent. Maybe he has never experienced it, maybe he has but hasn't identified what it is.

Quote
"Okay, now, what's the first conflict we run into?", I try asking, after that. An almost explicit request for scene framing.

There's a sort of blank response. I think he tries to digest it and the eventual response is 'Okay, so you head off…what was the time of year again? ...


Again, it might be the GM ignoring a player overstepping their bounds - or it might be that he simply tried to digest your strange new question and failed because he doesn't know the GM techniques to deal with it. He doesn't know how to do this, he only knows that, say, the scenario (or the travel section in the DMG) says to describe the journey well to give the players a feel of the world.  And surely the scenario/game authors knew what they were doing?...

Quote
And your traveling below these mountains  (points to home made map. Daniel assists with the mountains name)". And so on, for several minutes.


GM flails on world description, player steps in to help.

Quote
Now Matthew looks to us and there's probably a blank response from us. He's finished his description and is looking for what that prompts in us.


GM looking to players for help in general.  "I've done what I was told to do, now are you having fun?"

Quote
Sim Vs gamism. Even the payment was in gems, which the value of was almost incidentally mentioned after their offering. Don't think about rewards, think about how those gems must look!


So he didn't ask for an Appraise check? That would have made sense in the context of the system (and in a gamist context), and would have given the rogue a chance to shine (or bumble if he forgot to take ranks in it).  Do you know whether the gems were written into the scenario? Or were they the GM's addition?

Quote
Nothing happens. Mathew declares we find a bow in the middle of the road (actually, we are asked to roll spot checks to find it...I don't know why) and the battle mat is pulled out.


Sure you weren't rolling spot checks to notice the spiders (and failing)? It's not uncommon to be asked to spot (for something) and when you fail the roll, be told you notice another thing.  This could be either the GM having no clue how to use Spot (poor command of rules again), or a misunderstanding.

Quote
Thinking gamist, I say I'm spotting for snipers (in case the bows a trap), and roll the dice so as to further get that SIS action into motion. There aren't any, but there are two spiders in a nearby tree.


Player looking around for enemies specifically, getting a reroll and succeeding the second time round. The DC would have been lower than before.

Quote
Daniel makes a derogatory noise about that and makes a quip about a cleric with no neutralise poison memorised (to which I say it's a waste of space normally).


Gamist approach from Daniel. He has to support his younger brother, but he can have an outlet for his competitive needs towards you - you're more resilient and you're not in the vulnerable position of having to GM when you're feeling you're possibly not quite up to it.  

Quote
Speaking of which, I try and remain quiet about that second save you should do (it's even safer if you don't do a roll at all). I don't know if it's hard core gamist, but I started playing a memory game with Mathew/the GM, seeing if he'd remember to apply it latter. If he failed his memory test, then I win! Then bloody Chris reminds him "Shouldn't Callan being doing a second poison save now?" "Thanks for that, Chris!". He does this…like's to get authoritarian about the rules for the meta game power it gives him briefly. He will say its for something that sounds like simulationist reasons, but it isn't IMO.


Nah. Chris is supporting Matthew, who needs all the help he can get. His command of the rules isn't all that good in the first place apparently, and he's struggling to deliver a satisfying game to you bunch. He's obviously not gonna be able to remember about second poison saves.  

What this looks like to me is that your unspoken contract says that players should support the GM, even over another player. Playing memory games with the GM is a fine tactic when the contract says that you can, but it sounds like it didn't in this case - or perhaps there's a special "When Matthew GMs" GM protection clause in place, which wouldn't apply when another player is running the game but kicks in when it's Matthew.  

I may be off track here of course, but if I'm reading the pattern from your description right, the group is clustering around Matthew to protect him from failure. That's good in some respects because it gives him room to practice and get more confident, but bad in others because the featherbedding makes it difficult to nudge him gently into better directions.  

Quote
So I ignore it, as no one actually asked me if that's what happens and without my credibility granted for him being on my horse, he's in the merchants cart if anyone actually asks me latter on. I note this because I see a dynamic here but can't quite name it and would like help.


Well, speaking up right away will save grief later. If you feel you can't speak up when someone "volunteers your resources" but reserve the right to bring it up later when everyone else has already accepted the facts brought into the SIS by the volunteering player, that'll jar on everyone's enjoyment.  It's a bit like taking revenge on them for not letting you "make a fuss" in the first place.

If this kind of thing happens a lot you may want to bring a new clause into the game contract:  Nobody Touches Callan's Resources. So people think you make a fuss about your resources being volunteered. So what. They may not understand it but once it's stated clearly and for good they will likely accept it.

Quote
Interestingly Mathew just says its about drow, after reading it's inscription to us. And then he notes the spider/drow connection.


Does interesting mean good or bad?  To me it sounds as if Matthew might have realised at this point that you were lacking information you'd need to deal with the owlbear challenge the way you were supposed to, so he was dropping info over and above what was written on the stone.

Quote
On a side note; I do this from my horse because I think that'll look cool. I think that's enjoying a bit of sim. The owlbear comes at me and when I attack, Chris again notes how I'll have to do a horsemanship roll. For some reason Danial chimes in on this vehemently too, talking about how certain feats are for that sort of thing (the same ones no one uses). Okay, so I was, after releasing holy fire on the thing, going to casually smack it from my horse. I thought it'd look cool, but now I'm carefully getting off my horse and hitting it while just standing there.


It should be a concentration check, shouldn't it? Anyway Chris and Daniel are helping Matthew out again, by quoting the rules.  You're playing incoherently here btw, first playing gamist "memory games" with Matthew and now "enjoying sim" and getting all worked up over rules being applied stringently.

Quote
Here Chris presses in and asserts Daniels sneak attack damage doesn't apply, as the monster was waiting for us and wouldn't be flat footed. Weve been through this before, in an adventure GM'ed by Chris. Chris basically asserts that it just wouldn't suffer the flat footed status. This goes on for awhile...


Gamist quibbling over details. A strong GM hand is needed here to rein things in, but ...

Quote
Really, next time I'm just going to explicitly remove my cred from him and place it on the GM…and if Mathew goes "Aww, I just want to have a good game (/I don't want to make a ruling that might involve me in a conflict)" I dunno.


And right you are. On both counts I think: wanting to point out that the GM makes the rulings, and suspecting that Matthew won't have an easy time doing it.

Quote
We are asked to roll heal checks. Daniel repeats it back to Mathew as a question, twice "Make a heal check?", as if to ask "Isn't a heal check something we decide to do, like deciding  when we swing a sword? I don't mind, but I'm confused as to what you mean". The heal checks are to find out that the owlbear was poisoned by some really big spider recently.


Ok, really really inexpert GM at work here again. I can so see the line in the scenario: "Owlbear, poisoned by giant spiders (Heal DC15 to notice), breaks out of woods and attacks."  The GM isn't told he should introduce color telling the players that something is wrong with the owlbear, it's spasking, say, and/or foaming at the mouth, or "dragging itself along looking much like Callan's character earlier" or whatnot. The GM isn't told that a Heal check requires the players to state they are checking the owlbear.  You're supposed to know all that and if you don't, well then you do what Matthew did here: follow instructions to the letter.

Quote
That's what we were supposed to care about…the poisoned owlbear. About thirty minutes of combat, but it's a poisoned owlbear is what were supposed to care about. Gah! That's thirty minutes of my effort and concentration for no freaking point, if no one cares about the fight or if no one is supposed to care about that.


Not sure what your problem is here. Why should you care about what the fight is about if you're wanting to playing gamist? It's a fight, it means XP.  No loot, ok, that's a drawback;  but if you get a clue out of it (pointing to spiders and again, drow), there's loot and more fighting and XP in the offing, isn't there?

Quote
Man, it's like the bloody imaginary thing outranks me, a player! The fuck!?

Okay, cathartic rant aside there is some substance there. You can't ask for effort by players, and then try and make the efforts of the system or module, more important. Well, not for gamism.


I don't understand this. Would you explain?

Quote
But were not talking about gamism. Were talking about straight illusionist simulationism.


I don't see sim (except in your "cast from horse" stunt that you gave up on), certainly not from the other non-GM players. Matthew's input looks like he simply doesn't know what to do, so he drags himself and you along from world detail to world detail, to try and keep the game going. That's not sim though. It's just not-knowing-what-to-do-to-get-to-the-next-clue/fight.

Quote
My son kept trying to grab the map, to look at it, which irritated Mathew, but was somewhat of a relief to me as I really didn't care about the layout of the place and didn't feel like feigning it for social reasons.


Refusing to protect Matthew the way the rest of the group was doing.

Quote
Daniel was cooking dinner himself, while trying to climb one of the sentry trees that grew around the festival. First off Mathew says he can't, to which Daniel notes his boots of spider climb (damn those boots have been handy for him). Then the guards don't want him in the tree and tell him to go off and enjoy the festival. Daniel's rogue says he's too worried about the spiders to enjoy it and wants to come up. And so on…but none of it works.


None of it works in the sense that Daniel's PC couldn't get into the tree? Did he get to roll Bluff or Diplomacy checks, or did Matthew just state that he couldn't go up?

Quote
Mathew postulates to everyone that it's a good time to wrap up since they'd gotten to the festival.


I can so hear his sigh of relief when he came up with that way to end the session.

Quote
Another indicator of what was achievement in this game, after nearly three hours of gaming.


What exactly would you have wanted to go differently? You wanted faster pacing, right?
 
Quote
It's probably sad, but this being a module makes me feel that at some point I can talk with Mathew about the game style without it entering prickly 'You don't like my art? But you know…this stuff is good(/if you don't confirm it's good, it'll be a blow to my ego on the matter, rather than finding out what you like in a game)'.


No you have a good point. He'll need help to improve and you won't get through to him if you get him ono the defensive.  Ask him about the pacing, let him know you'd like to gloss over parts in which nothing much happens, rather than play them out bit by bit.  

Also say it before the next game, not at some point later.  Frustrating play has already happened for you, to a point where you dropped out of the session in instalments (first no longer caring about anything, then running off after your son, then actually saying you had to leave). Things aren't going to improve next time round and you'll only spoil everyone's fun in addition to your own if you play along fuming with frustration.
Logged
Kerstin Schmidt
Member

Posts: 289


« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2005, 04:29:55 AM »

Quote from: Noon
No, it was that we won...we spent 30 minutes on this challenge and we won.

And it didn't matter to him. Only the poisoned owlbear being shown mattered. A few seconds of material that we had absolutely no input on, was more important than the last thirty minutes of effort. It's basically saying 'Even this tiny clue is above what you did, in value'.


Cross-posted with you, above. But I'm still not getting it.  What you achieved in a gamist sense was beating the challenge. The challenge wasn't killing the owlbear, or not just that - it was also you finding the "poison" clue. It'll sure be important for something later.

Quote
He was pleased then and latter something made Daniel mention it again. Mathew said "Oh, so you really did take that owlbear feather?". When Daniel replied positively, I actually heard Mathew say "Yesssssss!!" under his breath, it was that important to him.


Hm. So either taking owlbear trophies will lead to future challenges (e.g. PC poisoned by feather he carries, owlbears coming after PC to revenge kin, owlbear clan willing to talk to PC to find out how their kin died...), or Matthew is planting a "red hering" to make his brother squirm and wonder whether he's made a horrible mistake taking that feather.  

Quote
Why couldn't he do that when we won the fight!?


Why would he have been happy, after all that quibbling about rules throughout the combat? He'd have been stressed and glad the horror was over, more likely.

Quote
Okay, I already know I suppose. It's because my attempts at gamist drift are just ending as an attempt to sneak up on mode.


I dunno. I don't think you're sneaking up exactly, you're already playing (inexpert, somewhat incoherent) gamist.  Once Matthew learns that fast-forwarding to the next challenge is permitted and actually more fun than not, and you guys stop worrying about looking stylish and caring about things other than XP and loot you'll be fine.

Quote
Well, he did die. It's just that we don't need PC death, to indicate a loss? Do we guys? Do we?

Perhaps these are questions I need to actually ask outloud.


Whether or not to have permanent PC loss (by death or by becoming unplayable) in the game is a question that I've seen perfectly gamist DnD groups struggle with. It's one of the most frequently recurring themes on places like EN World. DnD 3.x being a rather deadly system for being one in which most of the gamist fun comes out of long-term character building, that's a typical problem. Not a mode problem, but a question that a group needs to find a coherent answer to.  

Quote
I said to him that he could always be raised and he actually got defensive "Look, I don't want him to come back" and I'm sure was about to say something along the lines of "I have director stance over this, don't try and take that away from me".


Could have been that. Or it could just have been that level loss sucks. I've never liked to have PCs raised in DnD, for that simple reason.
Logged
John Burdick
Member

Posts: 105


« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2005, 06:00:41 AM »

Quote from: StalkingBlue

I don't know why your other games might have gone a similar route, but the overall picture I'm getting from your description is of an inexperienced or un-confident GM (a player's younger brother: how much younger?) who's keeping to his pre-written script because he's trusting in the scenario authors (being vastly more experienced than him), and who's protected by the group playing along with his inexpert effort.  


I agree that we're dealing with a player muddling through as best he can. I think the problem here is the hesitancy to talk about expectations and results from each other. I don't assume that limited proficiency and confidence means limited time in a hobby. Many people keep doing the same thing for years because no one ever talks directly about what they want.

My experience with illusionism was caused by passive players waiting for the GM to set up the action combined with the avoidance of overt force. Fear of failure upsetting players was a contributing factor. I pushed the limits to reveal the force. We resolved the problem by talking about our actions at the player level. The cranky player that whined about game level issues didn't succeed in communicating to anyone except me. I interpreted his complaints of his powerful character being ineffective to be about his player input, because I was struggling with force issues in the same game.

Quote
Not sure what your problem is here. Why should you care about what the fight is about if you're wanting to playing gamist? It's a fight, it means XP.  No loot, ok, that's a drawback;  but if you get a clue out of it (pointing to spiders and again, drow), there's loot and more fighting and XP in the offing, isn't there?


All creative agendas thrive on social affirmation. There's not much reason to value XP unless it has social value or enhances input into the game.

Quote
Cross-posted with you, above. But I'm still not getting it. What you achieved in a gamist sense was beating the challenge. The challenge wasn't killing the owlbear, or not just that - it was also you finding the "poison" clue. It'll sure be important for something later.


For me, finding a clue I don't want is never the challenge. Nothing can be a challenge unless it is possible to accept it. Succeeding at something I'm not attempting is just an event.

John
Logged
Callan S.
Member

Posts: 3588


WWW
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2005, 11:08:17 PM »

Hi Kirstin,

Mathew is the younger brother of Daniel. He's actually expressed hesitation about GM'ing us before, but not in very exacting words. Until he moved up to the city recently, he's actually been playing the most, GM'ing for his own circle of friends. I get the feeling it may be a very simulationist game, as Daniel played with them once and said 'It was different' with a raised octive on the last word. Two of Mathews friends are in the army and I get the feeling their recreation of army tactics pushes a sim agenda pretty strongly. They are probably exploring in game what they have learned in RL.

On scene framing, I don’t think Mathew knows about the idea. That's why I tried to gently push the idea with 'What conflict comes next?'.

Quote

Quote from: I
Now Matthew looks to us and there's probably a blank response from us. He's finished his description and is looking for what that prompts in us.

 GM looking to players for help in general. "I've done what I was told to do, now are you having fun?"

No, that would be an entirely meta game question. I'd have noticed that. He'd just finished a fairly rich description of the journey so far…we were to respond in turn.

Quote
So he didn't ask for an Appraise check? That would have made sense in the context of the system (and in a gamist context), and would have given the rogue a chance to shine (or bumble if he forgot to take ranks in it). Do you know whether the gems were written into the scenario? Or were they the GM's addition?

Yes, he asked for them. But there wasn't any air of 'will the rogue get this right!?', it was just what comes up with gems. No idea if the gems were written in. I'm guessing they are, as I suspect the scenario is pretty sim orientated.

Quote
Sure you weren't rolling spot checks to notice the spiders (and failing)? It's not uncommon to be asked to spot (for something) and when you fail the roll, be told you notice another thing. This could be either the GM having no clue how to use Spot (poor command of rules again), or a misunderstanding.
*snipping out me*
Player looking around for enemies specifically, getting a reroll and succeeding the second time round. The DC would have been lower than before.

Nope, it was for the bow. Looking on it, it was a method of underlining the object for the players. If the GM describes a tree, it's just a tree. When he asks for a spot roll and declares you notice a tree, that tree has been underlined in the SIS.

My spot roll for snipers specifically ended up showing me the spiders. There were no behind the scenes gamism going on here that I didn't detect. Because gamism is more forefront than that…forget to say 'strike mighty blow' in warhammer, and you'll know it from the other players that you’re a dunce. Same here…do another spot roll when you should and a gamist GM will say something about it explicitly.

Quote
Nah. Chris is supporting Matthew, who needs all the help he can get. His command of the rules isn't all that good in the first place apparently, and he's struggling to deliver a satisfying game to you bunch. He's obviously not gonna be able to remember about second poison saves.

No, Chris is supporting Chris. How does reminding Mathew about a poison save help Mathew give me a better game? That's like walking up to one chess player and suggesting moves to him.

I think you might have a simulationist tendency yourself here. How is that second poison save going to make it a better game for me, if Mathew is reminded? Because perhaps I'll appreciate how B comes after A in the game world? That sort of progression…that's sim.

Quote
What this looks like to me is that your unspoken contract says that players should support the GM, even over another player. Playing memory games with the GM is a fine tactic when the contract says that you can,

No, I could ask Daniel and even Mathew and they'd say Chris was on a power bent. I know Daniel wouldn't actually approve of me being quiet about the poison save…what would he do? Avow to never forget when he GM's, to beat me on that. Gamist. I'm not so sure what Mathew would do…it'd be interesting to ask.

Your miss reading any protectiveness of Mathew in this account. People played as normal. Any stuff about rules and such is protectiveness, but it is on something other than Mat GM'ing.

Quote
Does interesting mean good or bad? To me it sounds as if Matthew might have realised at this point that you were lacking information you'd need to deal with the owlbear challenge the way you were supposed to, so he was dropping info over and above what was written on the stone.

It was interesting that he was so explicit in meta game terms, rather than keeping it all an in game exploration.

Quote
You're playing incoherently here btw, first playing gamist "memory games" with Matthew and now "enjoying sim" and getting all worked up over rules being applied stringently.

Yes, I was playing incoherantly. Incoherance is actually a nuetral term and drift is common occurance in play. It would have been disfunctional if I'd pressed further on the horse matter rather than saying 'Okay, I use one action to get off my horse and the other to hit'. My drift didn't stick here and I gave up on it. Though interestingly it wasn't Mathew that withdrew credibility from this…I wonder what he would have done if left to his own word.

Quote
None of it works in the sense that Daniel's PC couldn't get into the tree? Did he get to roll Bluff or Diplomacy checks, or did Matthew just state that he couldn't go up?

No checks asked for. It doesn't work.

Quote
I don't see sim (except in your "cast from horse" stunt that you gave up on), certainly not from the other non-GM players. Matthew's input looks like he simply doesn't know what to do, so he drags himself and you along from world detail to world detail, to try and keep the game going. That's not sim though. It's just not-knowing-what-to-do-to-get-to-the-next-clue/fight.

What matters here is what Mathew was really interested in. He was really interested in that next clue, not the fight it leads to. He might be doing sim badly, but when he's interested primarily in how the world is going, he's doing sim no matter how much it limps. Do you see him getting excited about the fights, or sweating the game world details, in my account?

Quote
Cross-posted with you, above. But I'm still not getting it. What you achieved in a gamist sense was beating the challenge. The challenge wasn't killing the owlbear, or not just that - it was also you finding the "poison" clue. It'll sure be important for something later.

This is where I think your working from a sim preference. Umm, why can't our fight, rather than the module material, be important latter?

To be precise, yes, this clue can lead to other conflicts. But there is no fun in them if someone at the table is all ho hum about how they resolve.
I'll quote you again:
Quote
Not sure what your problem is here. Why should you care about what the fight is about if you're wanting to playing gamist? It's a fight, it means XP. No loot, ok, that's a drawback; but if you get a clue out of it (pointing to spiders and again, drow), there's loot and more fighting and XP in the offing, isn't there?

Your mistaking hard core gamist for all gamism. I play with other people because I hope my efforts are appreciated…the XP and shit is meaningless unless other people think something of me for earning it. If they don't think something of me for doing that, gamism goes down the gurgler (except for hard cores). What is the point of a trophy that nobody admires…there is no point. If your GM doesn't give a crap about your win, this helps kill gamism in everyone. Indeed, even if it's just a player who doesn't care, it helps kill gamism.

I notice John says the same thing, more concisely, too.

Quote
Why would he have been happy, after all that quibbling about rules throughout the combat? He'd have been stressed and glad the horror was over, more likely.

Dude, skip the RPG guilt trip. Too many threads here (recently, even) how guilt trips pass for actual discussion in RP culture. Ask me how much 'quibbling' there was, because your looking at the highlights/lowlights of play, not the rounds that just happened without any notable stuff. Your taking the account too literally.

Quote
Once Matthew learns that fast-forwarding to the next challenge is permitted and actually more fun than not, and you guys stop worrying about looking stylish and caring about things other than XP and loot you'll be fine.

Side note: Jeez man, you don't have much of an opinion of gamism if you don't think you can win with style and it's all just this piddly XP and loot stuff.


Hi John,
Quote from: John
For me, finding a clue I don't want is never the challenge. Nothing can be a challenge unless it is possible to accept it. Succeeding at something I'm not attempting is just an event.

Damn, what a neat way of saying it. I was struggling for something like that! I'll remember this one.

Quote
My experience with illusionism was caused by passive players waiting for the GM to set up the action combined with the avoidance of overt force.

Ding! Very reminicent of our play. But I'm sure there's an emphasis on how traveling through the world is happening (by the mountain description, and such). It's not just lack of force, I think. It's a focus on sim.

Not that we don't use force at all…I remember years ago, when were all teenagers and Daniel giving me some GM advice early in my GM'ing "If everyones just piss farting around in front of the (next) door, just tell them they go through it". Ah, my first neutral force scene framing advice.

Thing is, we don't do much more force than that (I've done some scene framing recently (You were exploring and found a mysterious ruin, your there right now) and I think there's been some shocked "Is he going to do that to us through the whole adventure?" looks)
Logged

Philosopher Gamer
<meaning></meaning>
James Holloway
Member

Posts: 372


« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2005, 02:13:13 AM »

Quote from: StalkingBlue
(Quoting out of context:)
Quote from: Noon

It should be a concentration check, shouldn't it?

No, he was trying to fight from horseback rather than cast from horseback. Fighting from horseback requires Ride checks; the mounted combat feats either reduce or eliminate those (can't remember which).

I once played a fighter with lots and lots of mounted combat feats ... and then spent all my time in dungeons. Oh well.

As for the owlbear thing ... I can understand being frustrated, but expecting the GM to go No Myth gamist out of a clear sky seems unlikely.
Logged
Kerstin Schmidt
Member

Posts: 289


« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2005, 03:23:25 AM »

Hi Callan,


We agree of course that you were there and I wasn't.  I operate on the limited detail you give here (limited by the nature of this discussion), in the context of other games I've been in, not yours.

Also we agree that the session you report sounded like a classic frustration-builder from a low-skills GM. I'd have hated every minute of the stuff you describe.

Quote from: Noon
I get the feeling it may be a very simulationist game, as Daniel played with them once and said 'It was different' with a raised octive on the last word. Two of Mathews friends are in the army and I get the feeling their recreation of army tactics pushes a sim agenda pretty strongly. They are probably exploring in game what they have learned in RL.


Recreation of army tactics could be sim. What exactly is it that he prefers about that other game, can you tell?  Is it the tactics?  The way players engage with the world perhaps?

If he has a sim preference then it must be hard work for him GMing for you gamist folks. On the other hand if he likes a friendly atmosphere, perhaps it's the squabbling between older players that he's supposed to be arbitrating that makes him nervous. I've been in gamist games where everyone reminded everyone about rules in a friendly fashion and advice on char building and tactics was always flying around. No memory games, no repeated arguments about rules. (Wouldn't work in a tournament-style game, but that's beside the point here; it was still about challenges, only we didn't want adversarial behaviour at the OOC level.)

Quote
On scene framing, I don’t think Mathew knows about the idea. That's why I tried to gently push the idea with 'What conflict comes next?'.


And he either hated the idea straight away, as a GM with a strong sim preference might; or he was simply in divide overload already and couldn't process it.  

Have you used scene framing in game sessions in which Mathew was playing? If you did and he enjoyed it, that might be a good point to start a discussion on styles with him.  (Not a discussion about GNS in those terms of course, but that's not what you're intending I'd guess. Just a discussion on preferences and GM techniques.)

Quote
Yes, he asked for them. But there wasn't any air of 'will the rogue get this right!?', it was just what comes up with gems. No idea if the gems were written in. I'm guessing they are, as I suspect the scenario is pretty sim orientated.


Yeah, that sounds sim all right. (Sigh.) Unless he's just too poor on his GM skills to enjoy any sort of player success and all that counts for him is to correctly "carry out" his scenario instructions.  (Which wouldn't be sim although it might look like it if enough world detail was slapped on.)

Quote
Quote
Sure you weren't rolling spot checks to notice the spiders (and failing)? ...

Nope, it was for the bow. Looking on it, it was a method of underlining the object for the players. If the GM describes a tree, it's just a tree. When he asks for a spot roll and declares you notice a tree, that tree has been underlined in the SIS.


Yeah. I see now how it must have looked to you and I agree, if he was doing it with any intention and not simply because he needed you to notice that bow and didn't know how to do it without a die roll (poor-skills problem again), then that looks very sim to me.  

Quote
My spot roll for snipers specifically ended up showing me the spiders. There were no behind the scenes gamism going on here that I didn't detect. Because gamism is more forefront than that…forget to say 'strike mighty blow' in warhammer, and you'll know it from the other players that you’re a dunce. Same here…do another spot roll when you should and a gamist GM will say something about it explicitly.


Some will. Most of my past play experience has been gamist and most of us that I've experienced wouldn't be explicit, at least not all the time.

Quote
No, Chris is supporting Chris. How does reminding Mathew about a poison save help Mathew give me a better game? That's like walking up to one chess player and suggesting moves to him.


It's not supporting Mathew in a good way - although depending on how people play, it might give the affected player a better game by making sure they're not cheated out of the second-save challenge.  (Heck, I've reminded GMs about it and been reminded by my players, with no one objecting. But that's the way we liked to play, and if your contract is different, that's beside the point obviously.)

What I thought Chris might be doing is giving Mathew a crutch. The gamist GM is supposed to be in control of the rules, and if your contract says memory games are in, then he's supposed to remember stuff that's detrimental to a player. So one thing that could have been happening here is that Chris was playing GM assistant, so help Mathew along. If you say that it was competitive behaviour on Chris's part and directed against you and not towards Mathew, then that's what it was.

Quote
No, I could ask Daniel and even Mathew and they'd say Chris was on a power bent. I know Daniel wouldn't actually approve of me being quiet about the poison save…what would he do? Avow to never forget when he GM's, to beat me on that. Gamist.


Yeah. Gamist, with a "memory games are in" clause included in the contract. Not all gamists play like that.

Quote
I'm not so sure what Mathew would do…it'd be interesting to ask.


That might be telling, yes. When are you going to talk to him? :-)

Quote
Your miss reading any protectiveness of Mathew in this account. People played as normal.


Understood.

Quote
Any stuff about rules and such is protectiveness, but it is on something other than Mat GM'ing.


Not sure I understand. Do you mean protectiveness of each player's own position over the others?  

Quote
It was interesting that he was so explicit in meta game terms, rather than keeping it all an in game exploration.


Did he enjoy doing that you think? If he was playing sim, it would have been some kind of desperate measure, wouldn't it?

Quote
Quote
You're playing incoherently here btw, first playing gamist "memory games" with Matthew and now "enjoying sim" and getting all worked up over rules being applied stringently.

Yes, I was playing incoherantly. Incoherance is actually a nuetral term and drift is common occurance in play. It would have been disfunctional if I'd pressed further on the horse matter rather than saying 'Okay, I use one action to get off my horse and the other to hit'. My drift didn't stick here and I gave up on it.


Sure, not a dysfunction. But you were giving Mathew mixed signals, not clearly pushing your preferred style.

Quote
Though interestingly it wasn't Mathew that withdrew credibility from this…I wonder what he would have done if left to his own word.


Ask him? :-)

Quote
Quote
None of it works in the sense that Daniel's PC couldn't get into the tree? Did he get to roll Bluff or Diplomacy checks, or did Matthew just state that he couldn't go up?

No checks asked for. It doesn't work.


Hm. The matrix ends here... Lack of flexibility again that seems to imply lack of skill.  Do you agree with what we've been putting forward btw, about Mathew's skills being comparatively poor?

Quote
What matters here is what Mathew was really interested in. He was really interested in that next clue, not the fight it leads to. He might be doing sim badly, but when he's interested primarily in how the world is going, he's doing sim no matter how much it limps. Do you see him getting excited about the fights, or sweating the game world details, in my account?


I don't see him getting excited about anything to be honest. It all reads to me like he was nervously going through the motions. Which doesn't make for a fun game of course.

Quote
This is where I think your working from a sim preference. Umm, why can't our fight, rather than the module material, be important latter?

To be precise, yes, this clue can lead to other conflicts. But there is no fun in them if someone at the table is all ho hum about how they resolve.


I wasn't communicating clearly. I didn't mean to defend Mathew's style, nor to say that scenario stuff or GM work should for more than player achievement or failure - I'm very much in the opposite camp.  And if I'm playing D&D it had better be gamist.  Personally this whole pre-scripted "random encounter with clue label attached" stunt bores me to sleep to begin with, and the way it was run here didn't exactly improve things.  

But what I was looking at was whether what you describe supports your hypothesis that Mathew plays sim, and I don't think it does. What it does support, to my mind, is that Mathew cared about going through his own motions, prescribed by scenario, more than anything else.  We agree on this. But I suspect his reason was that he sorely needed compliance with the scenario, or he'd be swept away to sea and be lost, no more.  

(That's not meant as an apology for Mathew, to be clear. Low-skills GMing is a pain on everyone involved. I'm just looking for likely causes.)  

Quote
Quote
Why would he have been happy, after all that quibbling about rules throughout the combat? He'd have been stressed and glad the horror was over, more likely.

Dude, skip the RPG guilt trip. Too many threads here (recently, even) how guilt trips pass for actual discussion in RP culture. Ask me how much 'quibbling' there was, because your looking at the highlights/lowlights of play, not the rounds that just happened without any notable stuff. Your taking the account too literally.


Guilt trip? Not my intention at all. You did put a lot of emphasis on the bits of squabbling and how they irritated you, so perhaps I'm seeing them in too much spotlight here - granted. It's simply that this kind of thing is a complete nightmare for a low-skills GM. He knows he's expected to be the authority and keep the game in hand, but can't.  I keep testing my hypothesis and keep coming up with the same result: he might be sim;  or he might simply have in over his head.

Quote
Side note: Jeez man, you don't have much of an opinion of gamism if you don't think you can win with style and it's all just this piddly XP and loot stuff.


Woman, not man.  And piddly XP? Nah. I like XP and loot in D&D. :-)  See, here is a point where I'm more hardcore than you perhaps.  Style in D&D ... for me that's all about having the right feats and using the right tactics. Exploiting the system in a stylish way, not trying to look stylish in the game world, for no numerical advantage.  

Quote
Thing is, we don't do much more force than that (I've done some scene framing recently (You were exploring and found a mysterious ruin, your there right now) and I think there's been some shocked "Is he going to do that to us through the whole adventure?" looks)


Did people enjoy that once they got used to it? I've seen gamists protest vehemently against scene framing when I first started that because they feared that I was placing their characters in a trap, mostly by cheating them out of the "I'll take this job but only if you pay 3 more gems" talk, depriving them of preplanning and purchasing, and stuff like that.  It ended up working fine as long as no one found themselves missing equipment they would "reasonably have had with them" when they went on this ruin exploration or whatever.
Logged
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2005, 05:37:27 AM »

Hi folks,

There is too much line-by-line exchange happening in this thread. Take my word for it; it's hampering the discussion even if you don't feel like it is.

Callan, I'm fascinated by a few things, in the sense of rubbernecking at a car accident.

1. You do realize that your legitimate desire for feedback for successful fights and similar stuff is 100% not going to get met?

2. And similarly, that your (by and large successful) attempts to mess with the SIS, in order to get your way later, are probably being perceived as deliberately obstructive, asshole play?

3. Is it possible to consider that using your son as a means of allocating attention to the other people is way past the tolerance level of most people, outside of gaming? (As you accurately state, attention is a big part of a reward system.) It seems to me that you have very clearly stated that you used him as a excuse to pay attention or not.

4. Have you graded into the Hard Core without realizing it - specifically, Breakin' the Game? I think you have.

5. Am I correct in reading your first post, that both you and Daniel have played this game with Matthew for your characters to make it to levels 9 and 10? And you guys have been playing like this for the whole time?

Best,
Ron

P.S. Adding Color is not Simulationist play. You are falling prey to the pernicious confusion between Simulationism and basic Exploration, as well as the "atomist" fallacy, looking at individual moments rather than cycles of reward.
Logged
Callan S.
Member

Posts: 3588


WWW
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2005, 06:40:09 PM »

1. Not really. The feedback comes in dribs and drabs. Mostly it comes from not screwing up...ie, forget to say 'strike mighty blow' in warhammer and someone will note you forgetting. Outside of play we'll talk about how you've always got to remember it.

But by and large, between the rare dribs and drabs, I think that I've been thinking my efforts have been taken into account even if that hasn't been expressed. Looking at my log here, I think I've been deluding myself on that. Damn.

2. I don't quite see this one. You mean with the soldier and whether he's on my horse or not? Without my credibility granted for Daniel volunteering my resources for that, how does that effect the SIS? The other option is to say 'Ah, no, he doesn't' straight off, which would be responded to with 'Ah, don't make a fuss'. Ie, peer pressue to just do it...I did a passive agressive dodge on that one.

3. Given our social contract seems to include Chris taking a phone call or two during other games (even when GM'ing), people doing other activities like cooking, people talking to other people in the house for awhile (after getting a beer or toilet brake) before coming back to game, people looking through books and not paying much attention for awhile, people ordering, paying for and eating home delivery, stories about unrelated stuff (movies, etc) occuring multiple times and going on for minutes at a time (engaging everyone)...I don't think I was stretching it much.

Looking at it now, that SC is a mess. It's a reflection of gaming history which just isn't that compelling (go on, ask why we play then!? :) ). These things had to be allowed in, because people just couldn't sit still if their being bored, for that long. I'm probably not even stretching SC, when I do this. Shocking, eh?

To give some idea of how it works, it seems to drift into people doing shifts of gaming, while others drift away doing other stuff. The people on shift get the excitement of focus and spotlight (even from people wandering arround). If we try and spread that spotlight/work around, everyone doesn't get enough for it to be worth it. So people drift around, until their shift comes up. When I walk off to look after my son/whatever, I'm indicating I'm off shift. Hell, if I'm doing nothing, the GM's already shown me I'm off shift anyway. We explicitly shout for someone, when we need them. I think that's indicative of our SC acceptance of how it all works and how we manage it. No one shouted for me.

4. I'm not sure of that. I remember some of Ralphs posts about character weaknesses. How they reward players to argue about whether the weakness applies, since there's a slim chance they can argue that penalty away. Ralph suggested players getting rewards for when their weaknesses apply...players will try and get their weakness into each scene, then.

Here, that second poison save rewards me for keeping my trap firmly shut, just like the above rewards arguing. I think that's just 'system does matter', because it it promotes a little mind/memory game.

Was there some other point, like judging when to bust off my flame strike, that was hard core. I thought you were supposed to judge the best release time.

I just looked at the gamism essay on breaking the game. I don't see it...atleast in this play instance. Where am I repeating one strategy and getting something out of it, over and over?

I'm pretty sure if I was at this level, I wouldn't have bothered with ranks in brewing. It never comes up in game and it's merely there to ammuse me with the idea of my character brewing between games, or retiring to own a brewery, or to add color in game when near a tavern. It's a waste if I want pure efficiency...but it isn't a waste, it's like my little signature in a corner of a painting. I'm not to keen on brew potion now and wonder if I'm weaker for it, but it ties in with that skill and I'm not certainly not ditching my character just to change it. If it is a handicap, I do look at it in a 'Hey, if I win with a handicap, I'm really cool' way, I freely admit. Indeed, all the other players characters were made with a modified stat rolling system, where you re-rolled ones. My character isn't (used the usual dice system)...I only realised I'd done it differently a few levels into play. And I'm still with him at level 9...I admit I try and boast, saying if I can keep up with my lower stats, well... (implying I must be a good player, but not quite this bluntly).

Before re-reading the gamist essay, I was more open to the idea I was breaking the game, but I'm less so now I've read it. Ummm, the D20 modern forum boards where they talk about how you can kick a tank to death in two rounds just leave me wondering "Why are you doing this?". Surely I'd lap that up, if I wanted to break the game?

5. Damn, should have noted this. No, weve gotten to around level 10 by round robin GM'ing, by whoever feels like GM'ing. Myself, Daniel, Mathew, Chris and Anton have GM'ed at times. Myself and Daniel the most. This game was not the best quality example of our play, or Mathews GM'ing.


On the PS, I dunno...my sitting on a horse, gesturing while holy fire drops down, is the sort of thing I'd be inclined to draw so as to savour the moment latter. It wasn't just a 'putting go fast stripes on the side' moment. I've lost my sense of what sim is now, if they don't actually feel anything like this. They have no 'Cool, that was movie worthy' moments??
Logged

Philosopher Gamer
<meaning></meaning>
Callan S.
Member

Posts: 3588


WWW
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2005, 01:26:28 AM »

Hi Kerstin,

Yeah, Mathew was in a game I recently scene framed in. Actually two, both in a Rifts campaign. In one, I simply stated they have been exploring and found the entrance of a old alien tomb (actually, this wasn't scene framing right to a conflict, but it was atleast dodging some pointless 'I want to hire you to explore an old tomb' thing). The other was in the follow up, where I said they were back at the remains of the battle scene that happened after the tomb. Mat didn't quite take it in, assuming they were still in town to repair "What, were there right now?", to which I responded yes and explained that him and Daniel should just think about anything they got in town, as we got down to exploring now. So we could play and think of resources they'd have gotten in town (ie, that "reasonably have had with them" thing you mentioned), at the same time, rather than seperating them needlessly.

Apart from some brief surprise, I don't think the scene framing was really noted by either. Ideal, really.

Quoting myself:
Quote
It was interesting that he was so explicit in meta game terms, rather than keeping it all an in game exploration.

I don't think it was desperation, though he may have come to the technique from that in the past. He actually looked at the players and gave them a direct meta game heads up, so they'd better know how they fit in to things. I think he was in sim, just quietly moving the game along rather than being under pressure and staggering. And if that's true, then he zipped out of sim immersion, looked at us, told us this meta thing and zipped back into sim without a batt of an eye. Impressive.

About him getting excited...don't you remember the 'Yesssss!' about the owlbear feather. He was excited...and that was as meta game expression he was going to get about it. He's usuing a pretty common sim technique where the GM isn't supposed to be there and not influence what the players like by showing what he likes.

Quote
Style in D&D ... for me that's all about having the right feats and using the right tactics. Exploiting the system in a stylish way, not trying to look stylish in the game world, for no numerical advantage.

Even though Ron's suggested that I'm a hard core gamist, I find that a touch of style is like a handicap in golf. Even if it makes you a little less efficient, if you can still win with that, your even cooler. I suppose an example is where my cleric put on the magic armour of a drow, a nice upgrade. I'd forgotten we'd gotten it from a drow priestess. Daniel finally reminded me and I ditched it. I mean, I didn't try to get it panel beaten or such...but I didn't want that sort of sillyness effecting the style of my cleric, so he went and got his old armour (donated to his order, rather than sold for gold), and chucked it back on (loosing my plus +1 AC, which is more than most have in our party on armour).

Still, if you want to see style supported...well, it's a console game, but have you played 'Devil may cry?'. Style is your tactic.
Logged

Philosopher Gamer
<meaning></meaning>
James Holloway
Member

Posts: 372


« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2005, 01:41:25 AM »

Quote from: Noon

2. I don't quite see this one. You mean with the soldier and whether he's on my horse or not? Without my credibility granted for Daniel volunteering my resources for that, how does that effect the SIS? The other option is to say 'Ah, no, he doesn't' straight off, which would be responded to with 'Ah, don't make a fuss'. Ie, peer pressue to just do it...I did a passive agressive dodge on that one.

Yes, but you lose no matter which way you look at it. Unless you've been playing your character like some kind of haughty aristocrat (or are Lawful Evil or something), and sometimes even then, any possible response to the other guy saying "you can ride his horse" will result in the other players thinking "stop being such a baby and let the guy ride your horse."

And in particular, if we're talking about players with any kind of commitment to a consistently envisioned SIS, they're going to hate hate hate it when a player says "oh, you said that, but it never happened. He's been in the wagon all along." I'd find that very frustrating as a GM, and I'm more receptive to player control than 75% of other GMs.

Basically, you got snookered. There was no way that you could describe how you wanted things to be for your character without looking like you were being obstructive.
Logged
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2005, 05:11:30 AM »

Hiya,

Callan, this is textbook. It's almost-total denial - and I suspect that denial simply mirrors what you'd tell (or are telling) the other people about how you play.

Let me put it to you this way: I totally don't care whether you think you are or aren't in the Hard Core. I have seen hundreds of players who are doing what you do, especially the point that James emphasized ("no, he's not; he's been doing X all along"). You might want to consider that universally such players are despised and complained about by all Sim-ish-preferring other players.

You are breaking the game, because you're using the rules to find ways to disrupt the others' SIS, as a tactic toward getting what you want. And you're doing it over and over, same thing, different components of the SIS at different times.

As per my essay, you are "lurking like Grendel" in the Sim group, winning in your own mind as you go, and simply being tolerated.

Your comments about how fucked-up the whole group's Social Contract is are the most important substantive responses you've made. "But everyone else does it" is no defense, man. They don't realize what they're doing; you do. Especially because you're using your son - an actual person - as a tool toward this end.

I suggest you stop using line-by-line thinking, re-read some of the recent responses, and see the overall points instead.

Best,
Ron
Logged
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!