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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 151 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [Amber] Why won't you let me set stakes?  (Read 12376 times)
TonyLB
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« Reply #30 on: December 20, 2005, 05:37:44 PM »

It was me making the statement that this character is so much about rooting out corruption, that he's going to walk straight into what I, player Thor, know is a nest of vipers, without any protection, to do what he feels is right.

So ... you said that there was definitely something that you, the player, were risking.  Is there a real chance that the character will die through this action?

Because if there isn't then I'm not yet seeing what the risk you're taking as a player is.  Perhaps you can clarify.
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Thor Olavsrud
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« Reply #31 on: December 20, 2005, 06:27:38 PM »

It was me making the statement that this character is so much about rooting out corruption, that he's going to walk straight into what I, player Thor, know is a nest of vipers, without any protection, to do what he feels is right.

So ... you said that there was definitely something that you, the player, were risking.  Is there a real chance that the character will die through this action?

Because if there isn't then I'm not yet seeing what the risk you're taking as a player is.  Perhaps you can clarify.

As I said in the previous post, the risk was that there would be a follow-up scene with an assassination attempt. There was. And my character was killed as a result.
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Josh Roby
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« Reply #32 on: December 20, 2005, 08:13:08 PM »

Thor, something like: "As a player, I want to see a conflict involving my character's loyalty to law and supporters tested, and in order to get that conflict, I'm willing to risk my continued use of that character as a method of credibility"?

Cause that's either orthogonal to what I'm talking about or absolutely awesome, and I can't tell which.
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Supplanter
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« Reply #33 on: December 20, 2005, 08:14:46 PM »

This story of Tony's Amber incident jogged my memory of one of the more interesting war stories ever to appear on rgfa in the glory days, by Kevin Hardwick. Kardwick's focus is on immersion, but it's clearly a case of a player attempting to make a strong statement by more than risking a character and being undermined by a merciful GM. The reason it makes an interesting contrast is that if there's one thing Runequest didn't lack, it was mechanical support for killing player-characters. AND YET the GM couldn't pull the trigger, despite the player's preference that he do so and the fictional logic of the outcome.

It makes an interesting compare-and-contrast. (I read it as a clear case of a player looking for an rgfa-sim/big model nar skewer.) It's clearly a social-contract failure, but one in which mechanics and system support the dispassionate, "objective" killing of characters in that situation. Mechanics did not save the situation. The biggest contrast I see is that the player's paramount concern is the integrity of his decision, not "stakes" as such. His interest wasn't in making a statement by incurring risk but by engaging in sacrifice.

Best,


Jim
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Blankshield
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« Reply #34 on: December 20, 2005, 11:02:59 PM »

Thor, would it be fair to say that what you were risking as a player was the direction the plot took?  I mean, if you get what you want, you move the story closer to the internal conflict you want for your character.  If you don't, there's an assassination attempt and yeah, you might die and stuff, but the real downside is that the story goes away from the conflict you're arrowing in on.

James
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Thor Olavsrud
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« Reply #35 on: December 21, 2005, 07:33:37 AM »

Thor, would it be fair to say that what you were risking as a player was the direction the plot took?  I mean, if you get what you want, you move the story closer to the internal conflict you want for your character.  If you don't, there's an assassination attempt and yeah, you might die and stuff, but the real downside is that the story goes away from the conflict you're arrowing in on.

James

On the nose, I think, James.
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Callan S.
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« Reply #36 on: December 27, 2005, 09:23:14 PM »

Quote from: Tony
So ... you said that there was definitely something that you, the player, were risking.  Is there a real chance that the character will die through this action?
Tony, are you asking if there's any chance of the character dieing AND doing so in a way that addresses premise? Or are you asking if there's any chance of the character dieing before getting to a position where they can address premise?

I think what James and Thor have said covered the latter. But were you asking the former?
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TonyLB
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« Reply #37 on: December 27, 2005, 09:42:04 PM »

No, I was asking to differentiate from the rare games that explicitly forbid protagonist death, and the not-at-all-rare gaming group that, as a practical matter of social contract, don't have protagonist death as a real risk.  If you've ever played a long-term D&D game where no PCs died, always being saved by last minute escapes and deus ex machina then that's what I'm talking about.

But, clearly, from Thor's response this wasn't the case.  So I got the information I was after (namely how much player risk was involved).
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Callan S.
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« Reply #38 on: December 27, 2005, 10:13:14 PM »

It just seemed to open a new can of worms in my mind - James seems to describing the risk as whether you'll actually be playing a narrativist game (since your risking whether you'll actually get to a point/conflict your interested in, where you can address premise).
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TonyLB
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« Reply #39 on: December 27, 2005, 10:40:31 PM »

Sounds like a terrific thing to post about.  Do you have any actual play examples where that happened to you?
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Unco Lober
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« Reply #40 on: December 28, 2005, 02:49:24 AM »

Sorry that I haven't really properly read all the posts in a thread (just the first half of them). I just hope this helps, for I seem to have had kind of similar experiences as a GM in the past.

I believe this particular GM was more a D&Dist in mind (and given that d20, not d6, d10 or d100, or anything, I believe I got it right) thought that character death is bad in all cases. Now then, if there was only 5% chance of game being enjoyable, and 95% otherwise, he disliked it, because it was braking fun for everyone, as he seems to have thought.

In this case he was mad with you, just like he would have been if you munched, powergamed, etc. all those ole D&D troubles. If you made a better choice (so that you would stay alive, as he thought), he would have had _less GMing trouble_.

My point is that you two were playing different games. He felt just a bit more responsible for your enjoyment than was needed, and also misunderstood your needs as a player.
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Callan S.
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« Reply #41 on: December 28, 2005, 04:33:19 PM »

Hi Tony,

I think so. I had an adventure once where the players heard NPC's outside a bar they were in, encountering a monster. But see, he was actually formally a man who turned himself into a barely sentient monster in a fit of rage (through a certain process) when a girl spurned him for his rival. And now he was serving his own mage son, without either of them knowing it, since in his rage he'd raped his love and left her pregnant, before he made himself a monster (part of the reason he made himself a monster, anyway). The son grew up, became a mage and so on. The players, at this point, know none of this.

And frankly, these players got out there and pushed (You know what I mean - eyes bright, sitting forward kind of push) with their resources, to kill this sucker. As I manouvered him the hell out of there, I knew the stakes were not about anything I had in mind with him (I didn't know about nar, years ago when this happened). In fact, it made me quite desperate to get him out of there, because it wouldn't just kill the NPC, it'd kill what I hoped for in the game (and from my position now, I'd say it'd kill the type of game agenda I hoped for).

I didn't think risking the chance for a latter address of premise was what I wanted at all and could never imagine, for myself, ever wanting to risk that (as part of nar play). So I'm not sure I really buy into the idea of risking future address opportunities as the risk a player faces. It's a bit glib, but I think losing a character only breaks your heart a bit...while losing those future opportunities breaks the narrtivist agenda. So much so that I hypothesize that a GM that wants narrativism but threatens such opportunities (to add player risk to an address), may be making idle threats.
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Philosopher Gamer
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TonyLB
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« Reply #42 on: December 28, 2005, 05:13:42 PM »

Callan, do you want to split this off into its own thread?  I'd love to dig into it deeper, but it's pretty far off the original topic, and my digging is only going to take it further.
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Storn
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« Reply #43 on: December 29, 2005, 07:22:18 AM »

Callan, do you want to split this off into its own thread?  I'd love to dig into it deeper, but it's pretty far off the original topic, and my digging is only going to take it further.

Just the greek chorus adding "I, too, would like to hear more, dig more."
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Callan S.
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« Reply #44 on: December 29, 2005, 06:17:14 PM »

Split: http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=18152.0
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