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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 55 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Combat systems [Pervy and Vanilla]  (Read 6685 times)
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« on: November 22, 2002, 12:32:40 PM »

Something just occured to me. Combat systems are Pervy!

Mike
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Mark D. Eddy
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« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2002, 12:57:03 PM »

Actually, Mike, let's clarify that.

By definition, any separate mechanics for combat resolution are pervy. From the feather (GURPS quick combat rules) to your friend Guido (was that Phoenix Command?), they can't help it. That's one of the interesting things about Nobilis it's all the same, slightly pervy, system, no matter what you want to do.

(Edit: I missed a 'v')
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Mark Eddy
Chemist, Monotheist, History buff

"The valiant man may survive
if wyrd is not against him."
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2002, 02:07:56 PM »

Quote from: Mark D. Eddy
Actually, Mike, let's clarify that.


Good point. I define a combat system as rules that differ from the default system to specifically address combat. Single systems are Vanilla, and therefore more accessible. That's been my point all along.

Mike
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M. J. Young
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« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2002, 09:22:05 PM »

So, to the degree that a system has a single coherent mechanic that resolves everything, it is vanilla, and to the degree that it varies from this it is pervy?

And if there is a primary system that resolves almost everything, but it has variations for the kinds of things being resolved, those variations are pervy?

So the system is: specified attribute value plus skill ability plus area abilty bonus, with such modifiers as the referee thinks are necessary for other variables, and this resolves everything; so far, fairly vanilla? Then it says
    [*]for combat, those other modifiers include the attacker's attack score and the defender's natural defense score, plus any others for equipment and skills the characters choose to use
    [*]for magic, the character should get his religion or occult knowledge as a bonus and sometimes a bonus for doing what his deity wants, as well as modifiers for the difficulty of the ritual and the degree of power
    [*]for actions which would be opposed by another character's will, such as possession attempts, the other character's attribute should be included as a penalty
    [*]other guidelines for how to determine modifiers are given in the text
    [/list:u]
    And the more of that there is, the more pervy? Or is it still vanilla, because it's still attribute plus skill plus area mod plus appropriate modifiers?

    --M. J. Young
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    Ron Edwards
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    « Reply #4 on: November 22, 2002, 09:35:26 PM »

    Hi M.J.,

    With the proviso that you're talking about one single aspect of the entire system, and also that your "starting point" in your outline is already fairly "stepped" compared to many, then yes. Pretty much.

    Pervy and Vanilla are obviously relative terms, and I think it's important to repeat to oneself that the "weirdness" or "simplicity" or whatever are not what we as gamers tend to think, based on our own entrenched standards.

    Just goin' by my definitions: given two games, one's more Vanilla than the other if its System requires less [procedure + imagined event] steps to get X done.

    Best,
    Ron
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    Mark D. Eddy
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    Posts: 157


    « Reply #5 on: November 22, 2002, 10:55:06 PM »

    Well, M. J., I'm not sure. In your proposed system, at what point are things calculated? If the character sheet already has attribute plus skill plus area ability bonus written down so that it's a no brainer to reference, yes, that would be fairly vanilla.

    It's the stopping while you cycle through the options available in the system that makes something pervy, in my opinion.
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    Mark Eddy
    Chemist, Monotheist, History buff

    "The valiant man may survive
    if wyrd is not against him."
    JMendes
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    « Reply #6 on: November 23, 2002, 02:52:40 AM »

    Hey, :)

    Er... Hm... I thought the definition of vanilla/pervy, being as it is highly dependant on GNS terms (namely exploration and system), was a definition that applied to modes of play, rather than specific systems or mechanics.

    In other words, from the definitions, I can play vanilla sim in rolemaster just as easily as pervy sim.

    Example: my character is pondering swimming across a river. The GM says:

    Vanilla - Ok, Joao, swimming the river is a -20 static maneuver using your swimming skill. Roll.

    Pervy - Ok, Joao, swimming the river is going to count as a -30 moderate maneuver on the movement maneuver table. Your max (100%) swim rate is 10 feet per round. The river looks to be about 50 feet wide. Start rolling, let's see how many rounds it takes you.

    I'll note that, as RM GM, I've made calls like both of the above, depending on the situation.

    In other words, if it's about how you choose to explore the mechanics, then combat mechanics are neither pervy nor vanilla per se, it's all about how you play them. Of course, as usual with GNS, the system can facilitate pervy or vanilla or even be incoherent.

    Anyway, this is my understanding. Do correct me if I'm wrong.

    Cheers,

    J.
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    Ron Edwards
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    « Reply #7 on: November 23, 2002, 11:31:57 AM »

    Hi there,

    J, you're absolutely right. The terms do ultimately apply to play. However, as I mentioned in the original thread, the transfer from System to Play is pretty damn near as far as these terms are concerned. Especially if you consider that trimming a system like Rolemaster in play quickly transmogrifies into Drift.

    H'm, neurons just fired. I just considered the notion that Drift, as a term, can apply to Pervy vs. Vanilla within a GNS mode/goal, without changing the mode/goal. Interesting.

    Best,
    Ron
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    JMendes
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    « Reply #8 on: November 23, 2002, 10:59:31 PM »

    Hey, Ron, :)

    Er, hm... nn... no. Ok, it's your theory and all, but from what I read of it (and I'm a pretty intense analytical guy) drift is just something that this is. Like I said, I can be a heavy sim guy but focus on the system or not focus on the system.

    If the system is so basic that it simply cannot be focused on, then ok, I accept that if you choose to somehow focus on such a system you may be drifting.

    But if the system is such that you can just easily focus on it as not, then this is not dirft as I understand it. Note that none of my examples above require that you drift the rules of rolemaster at all.

    Unless you were speaking hypothetically, of course, in which case I just typed about 10 lines of garbage... ;)

    Cheers,

    J.
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    Ron Edwards
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    « Reply #9 on: November 24, 2002, 07:48:44 AM »

    Hi J,

    Not garbage, necessarily. But yes, I was speaking hypothetically. Such a rules-trim as you run isn't Drift, it's a technique that is often associated with Drift, but doesn't have to be. Definitely a side point relative to your major point in your post.

    I should point out that your post is a good reminder that V/P is, indeed, ultimately a matter of play.

    Best,
    Ron
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    Mike Holmes
    Acts of Evil Playtesters
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    « Reply #10 on: November 24, 2002, 10:29:50 AM »

    Right, so, technically, using a Combat System is Pervy. And a system that states that you are supposed to use a combat system is promoting Pervy play.

    I could see just making combat a standard opposed check from RM (one roll resolves the whole combat). But that would be practically the definition of drift, would it not? :-)

    Mike[/i]
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    Ron Edwards
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    « Reply #11 on: November 25, 2002, 09:18:21 AM »

    Hi Mike,

    I really really think that whenever you bring up the Combat System Rant issue, you should specify that you mean a actual rules-set that is unique to combat in a particular game, that is, distinct from the rules for everything else. That's not what people see, I think, when you just say "combat system." They think you mean any mechanics that make in-game combat possible. Therefore when you crank (rightly, I think) against the default assumption of many game designers that you need one set of rules for combat and one set for "other stuff," people get all confused and think you must be talking about role-playing in which physical conflict never occurs.

    Best,
    Ron
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    Mike Holmes
    Acts of Evil Playtesters
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    Posts: 10459


    « Reply #12 on: November 25, 2002, 11:41:47 AM »

    Yeah. Mea Culpa.

    What Ron said. I've tried to make it clear; I like combat. And I even like combat systems (especially TROS). I just find the unconscoius inclusion of such extra systems into games to be, well, a little more than suspect.

    And Pervy. :-)

    Mike
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