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Author Topic: [D&D] Gamism, the whole way through  (Read 1736 times)
Callan S.
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« on: March 16, 2005, 06:11:26 PM »

This one starts before the game does, so bear with me if that's not your thing.

Okay, I'm sitting in the kitchen eating some take away at their table. Chris is across from me and weve been talking some bits of RP stuff for awhile, and my son is in the shed where Daniel is doing something. Mathew is painting a figure, so after awhile I ask him "Hey, do you want me to remind you about the poison save next time?". There's a bit of talking I can't remember, except for how he eventually described his position: "If I were playing, I'd never remind the GM"

Well, that's a load off my mind for a start.

Except Chris comes in and says something along the lines of how you should have it and how he doesn't care what happens to his character (I think he was trying to say he's in a 'bring it on' position on this). I suggested that we should just do the poison check straight after the battle (I'm implying a 'to get this toothpulling over and done with'), to which he said (quite correctly), that ten rounds (one minute) could end up being played and it could effect a mage for example. Eww, even more excruciating book work for just a penalty of all things.

Now, as I've said, I think system does matter here and it rewards me to keep my trap shut (like character disadvantages reward players arguing as to when they apply). However, Chris got to explain his position in less of a 'This is what you have to do!' way and instead showed me how he has some cares for this thing…he can be pushey and was in the previous game on it, but I now think it's also important to him. Ah, damn. I'm going to have to respect this badly designed penalty now! At least I now know I'll get some human feedback from Chris for this. Actually, it may not be explicit feedback but quiet appreciation. I'm a bit leery of that now because I think I was only imagining a lot of feedback was quietly happening. Should I prompt him for some explicit feedback when I remind the GM on the poison "There, I'm taking my medicine, see?"?

I can't remember if the topic strayed onto something else then or not. Anyway, I eventually asked Mathew "Did you have a problem with that soldier thing? Where you thought he was on my horse but I said he was in the cart latter.". After a pause to remember, he explained he wasn't really paying attention (and made an interesting anecdote about how modules tend to keep your eyes in the book and not paying attention to players much) and just heard 'someone' say the soldier was on my horse. I think there was some dissatisfaction there, but it was more like a minor pothole than a speed bump (let alone a tank trap). Next time someone volunteers my resources I'll say no. Of course I'll get the question "What's the problem" which isn't a question, just an order to do it. I think, I'll just say something like "Well, what do you want me to do, stay quiet then latter say I didn't do that?". It's a little rough, not up to standards here. But the thing is, I didn't have a big picture idea of what I was doing…if they can't see the problem, why would they change the SC?

A few quite important side notes, Chris has been talking about challenge during this time, as the conversation moved back and forth. He actually said he doesn't feel the game is lethal enough, that he doesn't feel afraid of dying (framing such a metagame issue in in character terms). I said to him how D&D was really less about life and death, because of all the resurection, so really it was more about how well you did. I said something that probed for if he was more into exploring the danger or winning. Ak, put my foot in it! "Oh, I don't want to win" he said hastily, keeping to RP tradition. I groaned and said explicity that I wasn't putting that down, their both valid play styles, it's just a matter of which way we want to go. Conversation went on rather than really addressing it. There was a big talk from Chris about ghouls and how if someone F's up, they should die. His example was if someone ran ahead and was all alone and the ghoul got them, it would coup de grace them and eat 'em. I think this was an extension of his rasing the stakes…he was trying to insert an explicit 'you loose' condition without actually saying it in meta game terms. Unfortunately he got rather excited by the idea…thinking that if it's established ghouls would do this, then they'd always do this (which means this tougher play must always happen). It was a 'my guy' justification in the making. I said that, well, not really, the ghoul should eat someone like this, if the GM has said that this is to be a rough and tough game. Or something like that.

The conversation then moved onto old 'Failing leads to new conflict' at that point. I can't remember who (might have been Mat), but they suggested that the ghoul might have a boss who get's first bite of captives. This idea escalated to the old 'Resuce the player who F'ked up' idea. Still not an explicit 'you loose' statement though. We'll have to work on that.

We got back to 'my guy' a bit latter on, in a funny way. Chris was talking about his characters motivations, and again I felt it was foreshadowing that his character would do stuff, because that was in character. We talked for awhile and I got him to the point where he actually said
"Well yeah, sometimes my character and my own goals are the same".
I was rather blunt when I said "Well, their always the same. Because your character doesn't exist."
"Noooooooo! You can't say that!" he said in mock shock…but seriously, I could actually hear a balloon popping, at that very moment.


Okay, I've gone on way long and not even mentioned the game. And I'm still not going to! I'm going to mention how I asked Mat that if the poison clue or finding the soldier was important, could we just sort of skip the combat? Matt could assign some damage or such? I think Chris showed he didn't like the idea when he asked how would we decide who gets hit (I said a random system) and noted how this poison damage stuff can effect all sorts of encounters. Changing tact, I suggested the threat is ramped up (in line with Chris's urge), so these are even more dangerous encounters. Then Mat notes how he just sort of had these things (the poison, the soldier) in for color/roleplay value. Gah, leaving us in the boring middle ground. I'll have to talk about this again some time soon.

Anyway, I mentioned this because I was readying myself for a sim fest, and wanted to make the least amount of psuedo gamist effort to enjoy that.

It wasn't a sim fest. The boring first part of the module had gotten us to the point where the hiring merchant ran from his tent in a nightmare, and we pursued. That was the end of the last game.

And now freakingly perfect, inadvertent scene framing lands us right in the middle of a conflict, right at the start of play. Oh god yes! Wait, I tell myself, must hold back gamist urge, think sim, think sim!

That was pointless effort. It was a big wade in fight with about ten bad guys (Grimlocks). Took us about an hour and I was slapped to half my HP. Mostly just a bit of prayer/mace work from me, as I hadn't been able to recover my spells yet (it's only just dawn right now). Everyone appreciates the +1 to hit/damage (while the enemy is the reverse) and there's in game negotiation on who does the math (we leave it to us, the players to add one to our AC rather than Mat having to do all the math). On a side note, I keep forgetting to remove one point of damage from each hit to me (as was agreed the player should do) and can't even remember how many times I got hit, so as to amend it. I wonder how much of a gamist that makes me? Meanwhile Daniel is working in his shot on the move attack (and his shadow pet) and Chris works out the concentration check for his burning hands spell (tells me how he really can't fail…ie, looking for feedback) and burns a bunch of 'em.

Now, at this point there's that sense of glee in the room. But I don't think were big on explicit positive feedback to each other. It might be an Australian thing, as I've heard that if an American music band can get an Australian crowd cheering, the must be bloody good. Were just not that expressive, we don't get excited like Americans! :) But I feel that to properly support gamism, we should be more explicit. Should I just say this? How?

And does it stop there? No, Vargoyles come out of a hole in the ground (remember that rock which had wards on it to keep evil below? One of them had toppled over to reveal a hole, that the merchant was dragged down). They were pretty easy to beat up, which is nice every so often. Actually, this is where Matt notes this module was designed for a lower level party and he's amped it up a bit. This could be a crucial issue to my gamist woes. Anyway, jokes are made about Chris XP leeching again (running joke) as he doesn't engage this fight. I was a bit peeved till I remembered his just got crappy invis. He went invis to heal himself and the vargoyles weren't much of a threat, so he just started scouting rather than loose invis to a hostile action. Fair enough and when I figured it out I actually said "Ooooh, that's right, you've got the version of invis!" as acknowledgment of his tactics.

Anyway, we get underground and damn, don't Daniel and Chris just get into the whole night vision and dark vision thing, carefully arranging us all so my lamp would help Chris's gnome, but Daniel didn't need it with his halfling (said with pride, by him). Down here we shuffle along, with much effort put into the edge this light/lamp thing might give us. Frankly, I left them to it. It could give us an edge, but the amount of real life effort I'd have to put into it makes it not worth it to me. Perhaps they are more immersed and have forgotten about that factor?

We find another room of grimlocks. This is where I have another flash of sim, where either Mat or someone else figures out that we met the spiders because these guys took over these caves (cob webs are still on the ceiling) and drove out all the spiders, to the surface. Ooooh, causality! And then the moments gone, because it's not that important to any of us.

Speaking of that, I feel rather sheepish now. I think Stalkingblue was right about Mat just going by the numbers in the previous games, and not doing sim. But he tricked both of us as to why he was doing that, I think. I mean, there must be some reason he'd just go by the numbers? I thought he liked it, he was playing sim. Stalkingblue thought he was scared of us. Dammit, I think it was just pure stamina! No motivation…he just does it, because he is stamina man! He's a drummer in real life and here in the game he just kept playing that beat, keeping the music/game together. Damn, I'd consider it the RPG equivalent of assembly line work! But since he's got the stamina, I think he can make much more of it than that. Still, the problem is he'll never work out scene framing (when the build up is no effort to him). Will work on this further, I think by explicitly demo'ing it in a game run by myself and then talking about it. Vital, really, as you can see from this account.

I'd go into the details of combat with the Grimlocks, but the highlights are Daniel upside on the roof with spider climb boots on, shooting into them, Chris giving up his invis after awhile to shoot into the crowd, and for myself I enjoyed using devine power…oooh, +15 to hit, so not used to that!

Anyway, we had to stop a little further on from that, at some mysterious and heavy door. Again it's Max's school night, so I gotta go. I think everyone felt sated at that point, too. I thank Mat for hosting the game. Yeah, hosting…'running the game' didn't sound right. Looking at why I used that word, I think we all run it…but he hosted us so we could do that. I don't think that's anything forge members would argue with, but it's interesting to me.

It's terrible, but I have a harder time remembering the good events than the bad (that's why I did that Mercenaries play log, because I had fun but could never remember why!!!). So this account may not be too perfect. Thanks for reading! :)
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Ian Charvill
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« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2005, 01:15:23 AM »

Quote
Now, as I've said, I think system does matter here and it rewards me to keep my trap shut (like character disadvantages reward players arguing as to when they apply). However, Chris got to explain his position in less of a 'This is what you have to do!' way and instead showed me how he has some cares for this thing…he can be pushey and was in the previous game on it, but I now think it's also important to him. Ah, damn. I'm going to have to respect this badly designed penalty now! At least I now know I'll get some human feedback from Chris for this. Actually, it may not be explicit feedback but quiet appreciation. I'm a bit leery of that now because I think I was only imagining a lot of feedback was quietly happening. Should I prompt him for some explicit feedback when I remind the GM on the poison "There, I'm taking my medicine, see?"?


I think you should give the possibility that being made to keep track of the penalties is feedback -- getting poisoned in D&D isn't a reward for success it's a punishment for failure.  People as a group making you do something that sucks isn't explicitly negative feedback, but, you know?

When you tell someone a joke, you don't expect them to say, "That was a really good joke, I'm going to laugh now.  A lot."  In D&D, when you do something wrong you have to track penalties, you lose resources or you get your character taken off you.  When you succeed the positive feedback mechanisms include the ability to make improvements to your character and the opportunity to obtain better equipment.

Having an expectation of rewards on top of the rewards is not always realistic, and such expectations are not always likely to be met.
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Ian Charvill
Kerstin Schmidt
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« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2005, 06:40:47 AM »

Cool contrast to your last session, Callan.  Glad to hear you were having fun.  

So Mathew says he added the poison and the soldier for color? That's actually a good sign, he likes making stuff better (only doesn't quite know how yet).  The only thing he has to fix is to focus on the good stuff in a scenario, and put his color there: the big villain, and maybe one or two risky and dramatic encounters before that.  Once he starts thinking about focus and what is and isn't important for your group's fun in a scenario, scene framing and skipping ahead will also become easier for him, I'll bet.  

It's just about pacing and building tension - which he'll know about, being a drummer.  (Which really isn't like working an assembly line. Try as you will, you'll never manage to make drumming as dead and mind-killing and mechanical as that.)

And I dunno how explicit you need to get in Australia to acknowledge other players' contribution...  But enjoying yourself and not playing wander-off games with your son would be pretty much an explicit enough message in most places I've gamed in.  (Not talking about having to walk over and deal with him as and when he needed it, which can be done while still staying attentive on the game;  but about using him as an excuse for mentally going "off shift".)



And on a complete side note: I agree with your annoyance about the poison save, I never liked the "dangling" design of that rule.  But in one sense the bookkeeping effort isn't worse than keeping track of round- or minute-duration spells, which you'll have a lot of if you're playing 3.5 (less of the minute-duration ones in 3.0 of course).  

What we did in practice to minimise bookkeeping of that sort was to decide at the end of combat whether or not to stay in combat mode. If yes, round-counting went on until the next encounter or "end of alert". If no (SOP except during certain high-pressure operations when we overran a complex with enemies who were interacting), second saves were made, short-duration spell effects assumed to have ended and bodies assumed to have been looted as we healed up and moved on.

Dunno, maybe you can find a similar compromise that works for both Chris and you.
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Callan S.
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« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2005, 08:04:43 PM »

Quote from: Ian Charvill
I think you should give the possibility that being made to keep track of the penalties is feedback -- getting poisoned in D&D isn't a reward for success it's a punishment for failure.

Quote
In D&D, when you do something wrong you have to track penalties, you lose resources or you get your character taken off you.

So it's the GM's job to remember to use that third attack of a monster (if he forgets there's a third attack, then it doesn't happen), but it's my job to do the poison roll? Or perhaps it is my job to remind him of the third attack, but it's his job to track just when that poison thing happens. Or perhaps he doesn't track it, but it is his job to say "You've gotten poisoned, and don't forget your second poison save in a minute" and then it's my job to do as he notes. What's saved this, IMO bad piece of design, is that a real life person cares about it (for gamist reasons). Causality isn't all compelling for every CA, or even required of exploration.

There are more than a few ways to handle this. I'm sorry, but that second posion check is like a second poison attack for the GM to remember to apply, in our group (Except for Chris). If the GM doesn't remember his resources, am I supposed to step on up for him? Not in our group.

I get the feeling there's this sim causality emphasis going. Like if the GM forget's to a monsters third attack, that's okay. Or if a GM forget's about some bad guys entirely during a battle, that's okay. But this poison thing...nah, that's already hit your character...you have to take that second save. Sorry, no...the GM get's one free attack on me and if he forgets, it's like those Orks in the tree's who never fired a shot, because he forgot. Either I've slipped into the hardcore and am denying it, or were hitting 'causality rules!' territory.
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Callan S.
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« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2005, 01:09:40 AM »

Hi Kirstin,

Thanks for noting the contrast. One scene frame right into what I want and look at the difference.

Mathew is a creative guy, my account probably does him an injustice. I think a few techniques (scene framing) under his belt...under all our belts, would help immesurably. BTW, I really didn't mean to put down 'drumming' that way...just begining to realise stuff there.

Quote
But enjoying yourself and not playing wander-off games with your son would be pretty much an explicit enough message in most places I've gamed in.  (Not talking about having to walk over and deal with him as and when he needed it, which can be done while still staying attentive on the game;  but about using him as an excuse for mentally going "off shift".)

Okay, I think I've just figured how you and Ron are seeing this. I don't know if you've ever had enough of an activity and needed a break for awhile. My account was indicating I was taking a lot of breaks, spending time on different activities during them. Taking breaks to do something else during a difficult activity is normal to me. It's up to you what you think, but it'll be a waste of your time if your conclusions are too hasty.

Quote
Dunno, maybe you can find a similar compromise that works for both Chris and you.

It'd be nice. Both of your ideas are pretty much how it happens now. I just dislike the effort of tracking ten rounds in combat all for the reward of a poison save. Tracking prayer is more like a 'Oh no, it's almost run out!' tension pleasure, making the tracking of that fun (not to mention the tactical issue the countdown brings up).
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Ian Charvill
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« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2005, 04:32:05 AM »

Quote
It'd be nice. Both of your ideas are pretty much how it happens now. I just dislike the effort of tracking ten rounds in combat all for the reward of a poison save. Tracking prayer is more like a 'Oh no, it's almost run out!' tension pleasure, making the tracking of that fun (not to mention the tactical issue the countdown brings up).


Callan

You seem to have read right past what I was trying to say.  The second poison save isn't a reward, it's a punishment.  Punishments are not supposed to be fun.  Avoiding the negative effects of failure in a "gamist" game is a failure to "step on up"*.  It's like you're making a public statement of I'm willing to risk X, and then when it comes time to lose X you're seeking passive aggressive ways of avoiding the loss.  In a trivial sense, you're welching on a bet.

You almost seem to be saying in your posts:

Quote
We could have fun, if only we'd play the way I want us to


and much as I understand the sentiment, I hope I'm misreading your posts.

* Avoiding the negative effects of failure in a "simulationist" game is a failure to respect the internal causality of the "dream" and avoiding the negative effects of failure in a "narrativist" game is a show of bad faith in the ability of the system to deliver premise.  It's the passive aggressiveness that hints at the hardcore.
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Ian Charvill
Callan S.
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« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2005, 11:59:58 PM »

Quote from: Ian Charvill

Callan

You seem to have read right past what I was trying to say.  The second poison save isn't a reward, it's a punishment.  Punishments are not supposed to be fun.  Avoiding the negative effects of failure in a "gamist" game is a failure to "step on up"*.  It's like you're making a public statement of I'm willing to risk X, and then when it comes time to lose X you're seeking passive aggressive ways of avoiding the loss.  In a trivial sense, you're welching on a bet.

You almost seem to be saying in your posts:

Quote
We could have fun, if only we'd play the way I want us to


and much as I understand the sentiment, I hope I'm misreading your posts.


This is going to look trite of me at first, but your looking past your own sense of reward, rather than me reading past your point.

People pursue rewards. So, why would anyone administer a punishment to themselves? Because they find it rewarding to do so. To lay the punishment on themselves is rewarding. It's usually social feedback stuff from others 'I'll do this and others will see that I take my medicine like a man. They will appreciate my sportsmanship for this'.

That 'sportsmanship' point is the key issue. It points to a social contract itself, of do's and don'ts in sport.

Except, much like old RPG ideas of 'X is the whole point of roleplaying and what you do is badwrong', were running into the idea that X is the only type of sportsmanship.

Your implying I said I'd risk X and welched on the bet. What happened is someone punched me in the face and that left me open for a follow up...I wasn't about to say 'woops, looks like you forgot to punch me again!'. If it gives you any sense of fair social contract, if my PC could poison people, it's equally up to me to remind the GM of the second save. If I don't, I miss out on inflicting that extra poison damage. See how it works both ways? See how if I forget, I miss out on that poison damage? Just like the GM forgetting to use the monsters third attack, or me forgetting to use one of my attacks, if we forget its a measure of how weve failed at step on up.

Go up and look at how we handled prayer...I forgot to keep taking off damage with it and without any real sense of how many times I'd been hit, I had to just keep the damage, loosing a benefit of my own spell. That was after we agreed the players should be tracking this. If that's agreed and the players don't track it, tough.  If we agreed that the GM keeps track of each PC's HP score, then I don't as a player (even if everyone else in the world does) and if I survive because of a GM mistake, then tough. If it's agreed the poisoner keeps track of the second save but fails to, then tough.I hope further discussion is on whether that was agreed in our SC.

Now, I'm looking at the gamist essay and the hardcore section. It says hard core is a slip into pure metagame. So, does that come when say, someone forgets to get rid of that damage and just takes it...really it would have happened in the game world, so this must just be pure metagame? Or when they leave it to someone else to step on up and apply that third attack, or second poison attack?

I'm interested in how we measure the hardcore/slipping into pure metagame. Is is based on whether it doesn't match up with the readers sense of sportsmanship? In that 'I couldn't play (and thus couldn't explore) under those conditions, so you musn't be!'.


Does anyone have examples of sportsmanship they don't subscribe to, but they could still see that exploration is on the go?

My final question, can I still credibly scrutinise here how we measure people slipping into the hardcore? Should I be using any particular procedures that would be more credible? Or am I in 'He just doesn't like being called a hardcore and is typing stuff to deny it' limbo here? It's just my impression, but one can't leave that limbo unless one meets ones accusers criteria for leaving it (attempting other lines of enquiry to leave it meet the 'your in denial' tag).

I'm not actually interested in leaving that limbo though, in anyones opinion. Instead I want technical feedback on how this works, since it's come to interest.
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Ian Charvill
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« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2005, 02:24:08 AM »

Callan, obviously you're a lot more invested in this than I am.  It's your actual social interactions with people you know, for me it's a post on the internet.  I want to clarify that I'm not saying you're wrong or trying to win an argument.  My point is this, from the first post:

Quote
I think you should give the possibility that being made to keep track of the penalties is feedback -- getting poisoned in D&D isn't a reward for success it's a punishment for failure.


Which reading it back should have had the words "some thought" in there, as in you should give that possibility some thought.  You seem to be responding with arguments against the idea.  You kind of answer the point when you wrote:

Quote
If it's agreed the poisoner keeps track of the second save but fails to, then tough.I hope further discussion is on whether that was agreed in our SC.


Particularly the second sentence, it comes close to answering my point fully.  If you were to say in effect, "I can see your point but that's not how  out group works", then that would fully respond to everything I've written.  There's no need to prove that negative feedback is positive feedback, and so on.

Quote
Does anyone have examples of sportsmanship they don't subscribe to, but they could still see that exploration is on the go?


I knew a guy who used to cheat on every other dice roll.  Rolemaster, percentile dice, highest number as the tens dice.  Every time.  It was so predictable it was comical.  His name was Gareth and he was never invited back to play with us after that.  Exploration was still on the go.  Up until he and the group parted ways, play continued exactly as if he had rolled those dice fairly.  There was no actual social unpleasantness, the campaign finished early and we just went our separate ways.
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Ian Charvill
Callan S.
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« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2005, 01:24:58 PM »

Quote
I think you should give the possibility that being made to keep track of the penalties is feedback -- getting poisoned in D&D isn't a reward for success it is a punishment for failure.

Emphasis mine and I extended out "it's" to "it is".

My problem is that slipping into the hardcore seems to be being judged by subjective opinions, which is pretty surprising for the forge. Replace "it is" with "it can be" and I'll fully agree with you straight off. The play groups social contract decides what is a punishment, not the rule set. Currently feedback seems to be in comparison with the readers own SC preferences and that's what I go to other forums for.

For myself and Mat, the second poison save most certainly isn't a punishment. It's another resource the GM gets to throw at you, if he remembers. For Chris, it is a punishment. Right now I'm switching over to his way, because his actually caring about it this way makes it worth it to me to follow that same way.

The "Hard core" seems a valid term to me, but it isn't useful when it's judged like this (so what other ways are available?). There must be something more concrete to use, in measuring whether it happened.

PS: thanks for your example. Would you say it's cheating when you all seem to have consented to it? I've seen Steve D on RPG.net say how in his group everyone is explicitly allowed to cheat on rolls, when they think it's important. I flatly disagree that this is actually cheating, but that's a side note. Would that effect exploration in his game? Remove it until play is pure metagame?
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Ian Charvill
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« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2005, 06:09:22 AM »

Callan

I think we're both in agreement on the issue of whether what I wrote is necessarily the case or not.  I used the word 'possibility' you'd have used 'can be' instead of 'is'.  Potatoes, potatoes.

In terms of 'is X cheating', in the short term we tolerated his behaviour, but in the long term we decided we'd rather not game with him.  Short of handbags at dawn, I don't see any more emphatic way of saying "we don't consent to your cheating", just different ways of saying it.
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Ian Charvill
Callan S.
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« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2005, 04:32:53 PM »

Quote from: Ian Charvill
Callan

I think we're both in agreement on the issue of whether what I wrote is necessarily the case or not.  I used the word 'possibility' you'd have used 'can be' instead of 'is'.  Potatoes, potatoes.

My mistake. I thought you were saying something like I had to face the possiblity that the rest of the world plays in X way, rather than facing the possiblity that other people in the world might play in different ways to me. The latter is clearly true...but I'm not sure why it's brought up. I was trying to play my way. Trying to get what you want doesn't mean you don't realise other people might like other things.

What I find interesting is that in the way I wanted to play, if I started to discuss at the table how to handle it (like we all did with prayer), it'd kill the way I wanted to play. Asking "Hey, do I keep track of this poison thing or will you say when it happens?" will mean that even if the answer is "I'll say when it happens", the GM is now reminded to say it. Essentially by reminding him, I am using the "I as a player will keep track of this (by reminding you the GM)" method, without actually wanting to consent to it. As soon as I talk about it, I consent to it.

It's actually interesting for perverse design practice. Take a rules area which is likely a blindspot in the general SC, then apply penalties for not talking about how to handle that with others. Ideally it should actually break the consent of the person if they talk about it...forcing them to accept something they don't want to, as a side effect of their talking about it (like the above). So, with such a strong incentive to stay quiet, they do.

I'm sure I could figure out more. How about you? I wonder if I could throw together a vile little game out of it, just for horrors sake.
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ffilz
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« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2005, 05:15:41 PM »

Quote

What I find interesting is that in the way I wanted to play, if I started to discuss at the table how to handle it (like we all did with prayer), it'd kill the way I wanted to play. Asking "Hey, do I keep track of this poison thing or will you say when it happens?" will mean that even if the answer is "I'll say when it happens", the GM is now reminded to say it. Essentially by reminding him, I am using the "I as a player will keep track of this (by reminding you the GM)" method, without actually wanting to consent to it. As soon as I talk about it, I consent to it.

What if you asked this question outside of a game session? Then you aren't reminding the GM about the specific circumstance.

From various things I'm seeing, I think it would be good to develop a good set of guidelines for negotiating social contract. Whether or not memory games are part of a particular social contract is a pretty important item, but I bet very few people negotiate it up front. Now the GM can easily lay down the law in the middle of a session (either by rewinding when he realizes something is forgotten, or bluntly saying "Sorry, you should have remembered your vorpal sword when you scored that critical."). Of course hopefully the GM is consistent. And hopefully a big argument doesn't ensue when this decision comes up in the middle of play.

Frank
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Frank Filz
contracycle
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« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2005, 07:55:25 AM »

Quote from: Noon

Does anyone have examples of sportsmanship they don't subscribe to, but they could still see that exploration is on the go?


One form we used a great deal through several years of AD&D2 play was called "one for, one against."  This allowed a controlled set of re-rolls at the players special request, not all the time.  So, OFOA was granted by the GM on appeal.

It worked like this: if you had a roll against you, you were "one against".  You then got to make another roll; if this failed, and you were thus "two against", then that was that.  If the second roll succeeded, you had achieved "on for, one against" and reset your Karma to neutral.  Then you could make a new roll cleanly, as if none of the others had happened.  You could, of course, still fail this new roll you had earned.

The main reason this was introduced was to circumvent the "whiff" factor, especially for rolls I obliged players to make, gambling that the odds of failure were so low as to be trivial.  But once it gained currency, it become a de facto legimitiser of events, and pretty much any event as severe as a character death would result in a OFOA appeal.  But this then was also the last appeal against Fate, and its decision was invariably final.
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