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Started by buzz, April 18, 2006, 02:26:09 PM
Quote from: buzz on April 19, 2006, 11:15:36 AMWhich makes me want to ask: "Why are there rules in here that would get in the way of me having fun?"
Quote from: Gaerik on April 19, 2006, 03:15:04 PMIt was like a lightning bolt to the brain. I had never thought to challenge the inclusion of Rule Zero in any game text but suddenly such a rule instantly turned me off to any system I read.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on April 19, 2006, 06:38:50 PMBuzz, I'm not sure if you know that the main essay to start with, now, is just the first page or two of the Provisional Glossary. Creative Agenda is still a big deal, playing a unique and crucial role in the Big Model, but it's not (and never was) the only thing to talk about. Check out that set of text, if you will. Contrary to the title of the piece, it's not just a list of terms.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on April 19, 2006, 06:38:50 PMAnd it just so happens that some really good diagrams have been published recently at Chris Chinn's Deep in the Game, which are perfect for this discussion.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on April 19, 2006, 06:38:50 PMIn your case, and not at all rare among Champs players, that's found in character creation. So no, that's not Exploration of System at all - it's a different activity that you're using to substitute for play itself.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on April 19, 2006, 06:38:50 PMBased on your description, I think there may be bits and pieces of player Narrativist priorities at specific moments, perhaps in a managed sense on the GM's part - "OK, here's your chance to be thematic!" - which might unfortunately also arrive only on his terms - "which would look like this, wouldn't it!" So in my view, what you guys are getting is certainly spotlight time, but that in and of itself isn't a guarantee of agenda satisfaction. Perhaps that satisfaction is sometimes or even almost always there, after all, you say those moments or sequences are a blast ... but I remain suspicious that in this group, especially with a long-time history like this, a "blast" may simply mean "gets to play" and not what I consider to be a real payoff.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on April 19, 2006, 06:38:50 PMAnd you know what? It didn't matter either what happened in each fight. Maybe they'll beat on someone, maybe they'll get beaten on. Champs is wonderfully predictable for combat, as combat mainly involves grinding down opponents' considerable resources. And here's the dirty secret of such GMing ... if the heroes do manage to pull off a cool combination and knock out someone important, you can always transfer the "important stuff" (the secret of the master plan, etc) to someone else who got away.So the fights become set-pieces which are just plain fun to run when everyone knows the rules, and players can work out little grudges against this-or-that villain, and buildings can get blown up. But the story or sequence the GM is working through can proceed as planned, pretty much no matter what. With a GM this experienced, he will never have to worry about stomping the characters into the dirt, except when he wants to, or about them totally stifling the Master Plan too early. You guys get to play your characters, he gets to write/present his story, you get to appreciate the story, and ... and, that's it.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on April 19, 2006, 06:38:50 PMAll right, I'm not really trying to bust on your GMs. I do understand the kind of play that's going on ... but long experience leads me to think that you, right this minute, are at the cusp of realizing that somehow ... everything seems to be becoming ...repetitive. Are you really having a blast with each spotlight? You qualified it, when you said so. Is warping the very fabric of space and time actually as fun as stopping a bank robbery was, back when your character had only 272 points? I mean, you guys are turning to alternate futures and pasts ... what next? When do the situations collapse under their own escalating weight?
QuoteI don't mind adversity and overcoming challenge, but I eventually want to kick ass. Maybe not in a Step On Up way, but more a "do the cool stuff I see in the comics" way. If the ass-kicking is done within a very comic-book-like context (i.e., an interesting setting), all the better.Unfortunately, this will get subverted by the GM. The uselessness of skills and in-character talk stuff I mentioned earlier, for example, makes it hard for my brainiac PC to be much of a brainiac. Other than giving him a high PER roll and good bases for his KS skills, his INT 35 hasn't really meant much. All my XP has since been sunk into improving his laser eyebeams and body armor.
QuoteSide point, worth another goddam lecture of its own - this entire history of design, publishing, and play I'm briefly outlining is the single most powerful influence on RPG design throughout the history of the hobby. Not even AD&D hit the subculture with such a jackhammer of ideas, influences, inspiration, and problems as this Champions sequence did. Nearly every single game published today is really a settting-specification of some version of Champions. No lie. In your group's case, what I'm seeing is the kind of play that ultimately was to inspire the design of Exalted, almost verbatim, with the additional influence of Magic: the Gathering.)