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Author Topic: Why Some Folks Dislike Fight!  (Read 10321 times)
Lisa Padol
Member

Posts: 365


« Reply #15 on: February 16, 2006, 09:26:44 AM »

I dislike Fight 'cuz it's too cruchy for me. For Me.

As far as I can tell, it does what it's intended to do, and what it is intended to do is a worthy goal.

The system is not broken, as far as I can tell from a one hour demonstration. It is simply not for me.

-Lisa
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Luke
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Posts: 1359

Conventions Forum Moderator, First Thoughts Pest


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« Reply #16 on: February 16, 2006, 10:08:34 AM »

Please don't debate whether or not Fight! is "realistic" in this post. (hint: it's not.) Eric's OP was an attempt at humor and irony. There's no need to defend or bandy. If you'd like add irony or humor, by all means. Otherwise, start a new thread.

-L
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Arturo G.
Member

Posts: 333


« Reply #17 on: February 16, 2006, 11:42:30 AM »


Ok Eric! I was taking you too seriously.

Quote
My recent experience over at the Harn Forum has convinced me that there are at least some people out there who can respond to lots of the other cool stuff in BW, but when it comes to combat its "Whoah there Tex!  You mean my guy might not actually be guaranteed to get in a strike if I fuck up the scripting?!?"

But have a look at this. This paragraph terrifies me. Because the duel of wits, the positioning, ... there are more mechanics in BW which follow the same concepts. Are these people liking for example the Duel of Wits, and not the Fight?

You know... I'm thinking I'm going to create a new group of players for an experiment. I will select all the folks around who I'm sure are completely swamped in the classical blow-interchange and I'm going to expose them to BW: First, to the duel of wits; second, to the fight. I will make some statistics on the reactions. If I find anyone who gets crazy about the first, but grumbles just a little on the second, I will take him apart of my normal players until mountains crumble to the see ;-)

Arturo

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Eric J-D
Member

Posts: 187


« Reply #18 on: February 16, 2006, 07:01:36 PM »

Hey Arturo,

I admit I should have made it clearer that I was not to be included in the group of folks I was complaining about.  Having cut my "indie" teeth on Sorcerer, I am very familiar with and fond of systems that essentially say "everything you declare is intent; we'll roll the dice and then determine what really happens."  I love that.  Even when your own character is getting hosed, I think you can take some kind of pleasure in just how fucked-up combat gets in games like BW.  But maybe I'm just a masochist of some sort.

Anyway, to answer your question about "Duel of Wits":  the guy over at the Harn Forum who I had in mind while I was writting my little diatribe doesn't like "Duel of Wits" either.  Of course, I should point out that he has had the game for approximately a week and confesses he hasn't played it yet (not even trial combat to get used to scripting)  But he's pretty sure that BW is "broken" given his extensive non-playtesting of the game and detailed 1-week study of it  (WARNING! Sarcasm has reached dangerous levels, please move to the nearest exit, being sure to first attach your own oxygen mask before fitting one on your child.  Thank you.)

Hey, the game might not be his cup of tea, but from the sound of it he isn't too likely to drop his treasured preconceptions about what rpgs *should* be like before he gives it a go.

Alas...

Eric

P.S.  Thanks to Luke for dropping in on the Harn Forum and being such a good ambassador for the game.  That was classy.
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Arturo G.
Member

Posts: 333


« Reply #19 on: February 17, 2006, 05:19:22 AM »


I hate when people become so stubborn that they don't want even to give something a try, especially something other people like a lot and recommend. Most of the times they miss things they may surely like. It always happens with games, food and many other things.
Ooopps!! I was doing it not so long ago. Come on, I'm still doing it many times!! Learning to avoid pre-judging not only things, but also people, is a hard path I'm trying to learn to follow.

When I first read the scripting idea I was not liking it. In my full read of BW I realized it could be much nicer than I though. Anyway, I was sure I was going to give it a full try sooner or later (now I have more games in the queue).

Arturo
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jchokey
Member

Posts: 4


« Reply #20 on: February 19, 2006, 03:03:19 AM »

My recent experience over at the Harn Forum has convinced me that there are at least some people out there who can respond to lots of the other cool stuff in BW, but when it comes to combat its "Whoah there Tex!  You mean my guy might not actually be guaranteed to get in a strike if I fuck up the scripting?!?"

I believe that "some people" refers to me?  (I'm assuming so, since I was the person you primarily engaged with in that discussion).

If so, I think I should make clear that never voiced such an objection at all.  My complaints about "Fight!", were outlined at the beginning of my initial post on the subject "More thoughts on Burning Wheel..."

Quote
My complaints fall into four main groups:  (1)  the complexity of the combat 'round', (2) some unusual aspects of how scripting can lead to annoying/silly results, (3) "Fight!" seems based on the assumption that all fights will be one-on-one-combats and doesn't really provide ready mechanisms for determining how to handle melees involving more than two combatants, and (4) the fact that scripting makes combat dependent on player abilities rather than character abilities.

A complaint about "not being guaranteed a strike" was nowhere in there.  In fact, I specifically wrote "Now, to be fair.... I do appreciate that it may be 'realistic' in the chaos of combat to have situations where someone plans a short series of actions that don't happen because their opponent outmanoeuvred them. (Thus losing other actions in the same volley as one fails to get the position one wants seems reasonable)."

Nor was such a complaint among the "unusual aspects of how scripting can lead to annoying/silly results" that I described in some detail later in that post and in subsequent posts.  Indeed, the specific example I focused on there was the fact that the scripting mechanics can lead to situations where the intent of the scripted acts can be completely perverted, so that the PCs scripted positioning moves for subsequent volleys must be changed in order to prevent the character from doing the exact *opposite* of what was the actual intent behind them they were scripted.

This is not to say, of course, that no-one out there has the objection you allude to above-- i.e. that one is not guaranteed a strike on one's opponent.  However, it was not one of my objections-- nor do I recall anyone else there raising it as an issue (except you, when you were arguing against it as a possible objection--- which I thought was a bit puzzling, since no-one had in fact made it).
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jchokey
Member

Posts: 4


« Reply #21 on: February 19, 2006, 03:43:38 AM »


But have a look at this. This paragraph terrifies me. Because the duel of wits, the positioning, ... there are more mechanics in BW which follow the same concepts. Are these people liking for example the Duel of Wits, and not the Fight?

Well, again, if 'these people' is me, the answer is a resounding no.  In fact, in the thread on the Harnforum that Eric alluded to, I specifically noted that I didn't like Fight! or DoW (despite the fact that I loved almost everything else about BW almost instantly).  I also noted that may of the same things I disliked about Fight! were the same things I disliked about DoW.   Specifically, this included:  (1) the three-volley round, (2) the absence of explicit rules/examples on how to handle either DOW or Fight! with multiple participants, and (3) that the scripting mechanics in both DoW and Fight! seemed likely to make  player 'scripting skill' and ability to predict/outguess how one's fellow players a key determinant in which PC triumphs in such conflicts.
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jchokey
Member

Posts: 4


« Reply #22 on: February 19, 2006, 05:17:52 AM »

Of course, I should point out that he has had the game for approximately a week and confesses he hasn't played it yet (not even trial combat to get used to scripting). But he's pretty sure that BW is "broken" given his extensive non-playtesting of the game and detailed 1-week study of it 

At the risk of sounding defensive, I must say that the suggestions that (1) I 'confessed' to the fact that I was new to the rules (as if it were some sort of grudging admission that was dragged out of me) and (2) that I had purported to have made a 'detailed study' of BW is both inaccurate and unfair.   I was quite clear and open about this in the opening paragraphs of my initial post:

Quote
Before I begin, though, I want to reiterate what I said in the prior thread: This is *NOT* a comprehensive or critical review of BW as a game system [...] It really just represents my immediately gut-level reaction to having read the BW rules through and a small amount of thinking about what they have to offer a Harniac and HM-user like me. [.....] I should give the following major caveat-- I have not yet actually tried *playing* the game using these mechanics... not even a simple 'practice' fight/duel. So, feel free to take this w/ a grain of salt. 

As for characterizing me as having stated BW as a whole was "broken," well, that also is inaccurate... and again, rather unfair.  As you know (since you posted on it), I devoted an entire thread to discussing how BW's basic mechanics were, simple, elegant, and likely to produce a very exciting style of play.  (I believe I even described them as "brilliant"). The fact that, in another thread, I mentioned that I did not feel the same instanteous enthusiasm for Fight! and DoW (but rather quite the opposite)-- and that I gave examples specific things about them that I found undesirable and potentially problematic if they seemed to be a factor in practice as well as in theory-  means that I do have some reservations, frustration, (and ongoing perplexity) about two submechanics of the game for resolving specific types of conflict.   It does not mean that I am "pretty sure" that BW is a defective system overall.

As a side note, for those who may be curious, this evening, I did finally get a chance play out two isolated practice combats to test out how the rules, scripting, etc. work in actual practice. The results were mixed--- the first went very quickly, neatly, and dramatically, basically because both characters were scripted to just get close and start hacking approach (oh yeah, and there was minimal armor)--  basically, the old 'trading blows' approach. The second proved to be a much longer (slightly tedious) affair (both participants had heavy armor and swords and did a lot more positioning strategization play).  In that longer combat, I could see that some of those things that I though I would might dislike based on the rules alone *are* factors in actual play as well.  Maybe not as frequently or as egregiously as I feared.... but I'm still not ruling out trying out some house variants-- to see if I can make Fight! and DoW more to my taste. 
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Durgil
Member

Posts: 306


« Reply #23 on: February 19, 2006, 05:34:18 AM »

Hi Jim, I know that it looks like you're being singled out for just voicing your opinion, but I wouldn't sweat it.  I know there have been others with the similar objections to the same parts of the game as you.  A few have decided that there's no rectifying the rules with there own style of play, but a lot of people have tried out the system as is after learning more about and have ended up being a strong supporter of the game.  The concerns you have about multiple participants in the Fight! and DoW I know I remember being hammered out on several occasions, just do a search over on the BW Forum.
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Tony Hamilton

jchokey
Member

Posts: 4


« Reply #24 on: February 19, 2006, 05:55:46 AM »

Hi Jim, I know that it looks like you're being singled out for just voicing your opinion, but I wouldn't sweat it.Quote from: Durgil on February 19, 2006, 05:34:18 AM
The concerns you have about multiple participants in the Fight! and DoW I know I remember being hammered out on several occasions, just do a search over on the BW Forum.
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Eric J-D
Member

Posts: 187


« Reply #25 on: February 19, 2006, 05:57:59 PM »

Hi Jim,

Since you seem to feel the need to defend yourself, let me take a minute to respond to some of what you wrote.

Quote
As for characterizing me as having stated BW as a whole was "broken," well, that also is inaccurate...

If you go back and reread my post, you'll see that I never claimed that you thought the whole system was broken.  Your repeated claims that "Fight!" as written "perverts" the intent of the player if the player fails the initial positioning test, however, strongly suggests that you see "Fight!" as broken.

My post (again which you really ought to read carefully) suggests that everything I say about why *some* people dislike "Fight!" is *speculative*.  That is, I make it very clear that I don't know for sure that this is why some people dislike "Fight!"; it is an exercise in speculation.

So your claims that you never objected to "not being able to get in a blow" are absolutely a non-issue since I never claimed that you did.  Your issues about the way "Fight!" allows for the possibility that the player's overall intent might get pooched, however, seems to fall quite clearly in line with some rather traditional expectations for rpgs.  The fact is, though, that BW doesn't adhere to this approach and in fact contains quite explicit mechanics that work against this approach.  That it does so is only a problem if you believe that all rpgs *ought* to model things in the same way and ought to be built on the same assumptions.  BW has a different set of modeling priorities, priorities that you seem to feel are--at least on some level--problematic (that is, you appeared to hold this position at the time you wrote your initial review of "Fight!" and "Duel of Wits"; you may have modified your position somewhat since then seeing as you have now actually *played* it).

Now, I think it is fine for you to prefer systems that model combat or take an approach to declared intent that are more traditional and thus quite different from BW.  That's fine!  Go and enjoy.  But when you begin using language about how BW "perverts" this and "perverts" that, you can't seriously imagine that no one is going to challenge that characterization, especially as it is shot through-and-through with a set of assumptions that *you* have brought to the game but *the game* has never promised you.  To complain about a game that never makes the promises that appear to underly your complaints is to complain that vanilla is not chocolate.

On the other hand, it is gratifying to hear that you have gone ahead and at least tried the game as written (i.e. without automatically instituting houserules).  I think that ought to be the approach that we take to games.  It is certainly the approach I took to Harnmaster when I first played it.  Games can only really be evaluated well through actual play.  Glad to hear that it didn't fail you as "egregiously" as you feared in your non-playtest evaluation of the game.  But even if it did, who cares?  So it isn't your cup of tea?  No one here really feels that you are under any obligation to love the game.  My objection was that your evaluation was based on 1) a set of fears about the kind of results "Fight!" could produce that did not seem to recognize a very subjective set of assumptions and modeling expectations at work; and 2) a set of fears that were not the product of "actual play" experiences but were instead the result of a reading of the rules with the problems of #1 in operation.

If you feel you've been misused, I apologize but I confess that you are hardly in a position to make such claims seeing as how you rather regularly misread others.

Cheers,

Eric

Cheers,

Eric
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Storn
Member

Posts: 228


« Reply #26 on: March 25, 2006, 02:40:50 PM »

Quote
My reasons for disliking this are based on my actual combat experience. I've fought for three years now in the SCA, I've taken some level of martial arts, and served for 8 years in the military. The only thing I've seen where you "pre-script" your actions in advance like this is beginner level martial arts,

I think I understand where you are coming from,  But it is just my perspective, but I look at the scripting in BW as the PLAYER directing the action.  The PC doesn't know he is going to block, thrust, grab, block.  She might know he is going to block as he closes, but that is about it and then follow up with an opportunity that presents itself.

But roleplaying is about drama, not pure simulation. 

Each player (including the GM) is like a movie director, moving their catspaws around in reaction to the story.  BW just gives some structure to that, almost shot by shot structure.  Something I'm fairly comfortable with because I have a bit of sequential art background.  Fight coreography comes pretty easily to me now.

Now, my two players rejected BW for being too crunchy, despite both of them being very into combat and tactics and stuff.  Our test fight went on forever because we had some pretty normal level folks duking it out with clubs.  They wanted the fight to be real and using their own characters and to have it "really be happening at the table"... so they wanted something nonlethal.... it was.  It eventually stopped due to exhastion on both Player and PC fronts... and well, I've seen bar fights do exactly that. 

If I had gotten stronger feedback, I would probably be running BW now.  But I didn't feel like strong arming my players.  They went back to Hero.  I went back to Savage Worlds.
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Lance D. Allen
Member

Posts: 1962


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« Reply #27 on: March 25, 2006, 10:09:33 PM »

For what it's worth, we've been playing Burning Wheel with a small rules modification.. We declare actions 1 volley at a time. If we have more than 3 actions, we still have to declare ahead of time which volley(s) are getting the extra actions.

The last session, we ended up going up against a troll, or some similar critter. We kept going at it, but it kept making it's armor saves, so most of our hits were doing no damage. (I later found out that the GM mis-read it and was rolling an extra die every time..) The very last volley, I declared, I think, a great strike. My character was stupidly brave for even being in the fight at all, because he'd not had time to get his armor on before the fight happened, but he'd managed to guess right every volley pretty much, and avoid being hit. Anyhow, the troll also declared a strike.. Crap. The other character in the fight had a hellacious Faith score, and rolled for.. a minor miracle? I don't remember. Some miracle; He wanted the troll's armor rating to be negated for this one round. I rolled very well for my strike.. Unfortunately, the troll didn't roll too shabby, too. We crippled each other; I gashed it for a traumatic wound, and it spilled my brains for a traumatic wound as well. I had some really lucky (and artha-fueled, as I remember) medical and faith rolls, so I'll recover without any serious debilitations, given enough time. The troll wasn't so lucky.

My point, besides to share a pretty cool fight, is to illustrate that, even rolled back somewhat, the blind volley declaration can still be really, really nasty.
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~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls
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