*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
April 18, 2014, 11:03:50 PM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 61 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
Pages: 1 [2] 3 4
Print
Author Topic: About time for another Woe...  (Read 12593 times)
Jason Lee
Member

Posts: 729


« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2003, 11:16:10 AM »

The whole "hack the ship" railroading example has already been way covered...so, I'd just like to say I agree and leave it at that.

In my experiences with the "rollercoaster ride" style of play the fun for the players tends to lie with making decisions and seeing those decisions have an outcome on the chain of events in the game.  This sounds like any roleplaying, but the difference is that having the responsibility of authorship over setting/background/narration detracts from "ooo...I've got an idea...I do this...tell me what happens?"  If you remove any of their decision making ability you'll get cranky players who won't do anything because they think you won't let them.  I happen to think this style of play is very function, in addition to being very common.  I also think the style has a lot of similarities to the way video games function.

When you ask your player "What do you want to happen?", and he says "I dunno, what do you think should happen", throw him a bone and tell him what starts to happen.  From there he'll probably start saying things like "Oh, then I do this"...voila! you're playing.  On the flip side if you actually tell him what happens he'll get frustrated and go back to doing nothing...sometimes people don't say what they mean.
Logged

- Cruciel
Eric J.
Member

Posts: 396


WWW
« Reply #16 on: January 27, 2003, 02:52:41 PM »

I'm sorry, but I don't understand.

Quote
To take examples from the above: a player's ship was surrounded by the enemy, the player wished to hack the enemy ships as a way of escape. You said no. The player's ship was boarded and men with guns ordered the players surrender, being out gunned the player complied and you label this as passive and do nothing.

Let me tell you what I see as having happened in this game. You as GM had a certain collection of "cool scenes" in your head that you wanted to see played out. You as GM thought it would be fun and entertaining to have a situation where the player was captured by enemys boarding his ship and then had to fast talk or fight his way out (ala Han Solo on the Death Star). Your player found an alternative way to deal with the situation, one that would not have lead to your preconcieved "cool scene" so you you forbade it. You then ramroded the situation to set up the scene you wanted and were disappointed that the player didn't jump through the hoops you set for them.


Actually, he didn't try to hack the enemy ships.  He turned off all power, and let them board it.  I then felt that it would be interesting to see how he would do in a boarding situation.  I feel that I left a number of options:

Option A: Find a way to hack the ships.  (He was a tech after all)  The problem with this is that you need a way to interact with their computer systems.  No methods were tried.

Option B: Combat the enemy ships/escape or something.  He switched off all power.

Option C: Foil the boarding party/capture them or their ship or something.

My fear is that he didn't try anything because I'm too hard as a GM.  I kinda have a perfectionist nature that makes a lot of things impossible, because they really couldn't happen in the Star Wars universe.  (Hacking enemy ships by sending commands through the com. etc.)

Avery is also inexperienced, and I should have teamed him up with some more experienced players near the beginning.  The fault was mine.


As for the condition regarding these threads and the Forge: I feel that they have contributed to the Forge, as they've been refferenced and have benefitted my players and myself.  I have seen new ground covered in nearly each new threads and will continue to spawn them until they aren't helpful or are given the suggestion to stop by a forum administrator.  I'm not implying that I've been discouraged, but I feel that explaining my mindset for them will help.

BTW-I'll ask Charly to write up his session on a seperate thread.
Logged
hyphz
Member

Posts: 157


« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2003, 03:34:59 PM »

Quote from: Eric J.
I'm sorry, but I don't understand.

Actually, he didn't try to hack the enemy ships.  He turned off all power, and let them board it.  


He said that he DID try to hack the ships, so if you think he didn't, there's some communication problem here.

Quote

Option A: Find a way to hack the ships.  (He was a tech after all)  The problem with this is that you need a way to interact with their computer systems.  No methods were tried.


I suspect you had an 'abstraction fault' here: in other words, he may have thought that finding out how to connect to the enemy ships' computers would be part of the hacking test/roll.  Did you have some plan for how they might be able to get access, some specified way in which the ships' security worked?  Or did you want to play that any reasonable plan, well expressed, would succeed - but saying nothing would not?

Quote

Option B: Combat the enemy ships/escape or something.  He switched off all power.


Was he trying to fool them into thinking that the ship was already disabled?

Quote

My fear is that he didn't try anything because I'm too hard as a GM.  I kinda have a perfectionist nature that makes a lot of things impossible, because they really couldn't happen in the Star Wars universe.  (Hacking enemy ships by sending commands through the com. etc.)


Imagine that one of the main heroes in a Star Wars movie was a techie and their ship got surrounded by the enemy.  Would they be able to hack the enemy ships?
Logged
Eric J.
Member

Posts: 396


WWW
« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2003, 04:17:40 PM »

Quote
He said that he DID try to hack the ships, so if you think he didn't, there's some communication problem here.


He asked questions on how to do it.  He speculated on how to do it.  However, he never actually rolled for the attempt.

Quote
I suspect you had an 'abstraction fault' here: in other words, he may have thought that finding out how to connect to the enemy ships' computers would be part of the hacking test/roll. Did you have some plan for how they might be able to get access, some specified way in which the ships' security worked? Or did you want to play that any reasonable plan, well expressed, would succeed - but saying nothing would not?


Yes.  He would have to have created a link, which would have needed the any participant's consent.  Example: I want to update your ship with all of the Nav. coordinates that I used to make it this far.  I don't think that you would have any problem with that, considering that you have 3x as much firepower as I do.  (Bluff check) Thinks to himself: Okay.  I'm in.  Let's take control of the ship and use it do destroy the others...  He is used to a style of play where you can just say: I hack into their systems and take control of their ships (traditional D&D).  Roll a D20.  I simply thought that making this more difficult, would

A) make the situation more interesting.

B) Give the player a better sense of pride.

C) Be more true to the Star Wars universe (because it is based on an example from one of the novels)

Quote
Was he trying to fool them into thinking that the ship was already disabled?


He might have been.  I don't know.  If he did, he didn't follow up on it.

Quote
Imagine that one of the main heroes in a Star Wars movie was a techie and their ship got surrounded by the enemy. Would they be able to hack the enemy ships?


My instinct tells me no.  Then again, my instinct tells me that it would be an exception for a techie to appear as a protagonist.  I felt that the situation would have allowed for it, though, and it would be an interesting development to the character.
Logged
Aragorn
Member

Posts: 15


« Reply #19 on: January 27, 2003, 04:52:36 PM »

I'm back to reply yet again

Eric wrote
Quote
Actually, he didn't try to hack the enemy ships. He turned off all power, and let them board it.


This is entirely NOT true. I tried several different things to hack into their ships and disable. Everytime i said i was going to do something, you said that its not possible. so when u said
Quote
He asked questions on how to do it. He speculated on how to do it. However, he never actually rolled for the attempt.
i could never actually roll to attempt it because you wouldn't let me. You said that i needed to think or something different. I thought and tried two things:

A). When they were CONNECTED to us with their communications link, it is perfectly possible to get into their computers through that, its hard but its still very possible. May i remind you again of my computer uses of +12 and my disable device of +9.

B). Try to send the fighters information about the ship that they may need during the boarding and during or with the file hack into their ships and disabling them to the point where they cannot fight, or even better yet, set of their self-distruct system on their fighters and make it so that they cannot shut it off.

Then what do you say in return to me saying this? Nope im sorry but you can't do that. So then i tried something else, i went into the cargo hold and used my grappling hook thingy to fly up onto the ceiling in some shadows and when the guards come into get the captain, i go into their ship and disable the fighters from there. Grab a gun walk back to my shit and kill the guards. Then what do ya know, i servive and so does the captain (who is now dead) and i escape to the planet and another one of your problems is solved. That problem is getting the party together.
Logged

"If Avery saw a girl on fire he wouldn't come shouting, 'That girl is on fire,' but would instead coming shouting, 'That hot chic is on fire,' and he wouldn't even see the irony in it." -Eric and Anthony
Eric J.
Member

Posts: 396


WWW
« Reply #20 on: January 27, 2003, 05:48:53 PM »

Avery, while you make some valid arguments, I think that you're missing the point.

Quote
This is entirely NOT true. I tried several different things to hack into their ships and disable. Everytime i said i was going to do something, you said that its not possible. so when u said Quote:

He asked questions on how to do it. He speculated on how to do it. However, he never actually rolled for the attempt.

i could never actually roll to attempt it because you wouldn't let me. You said that i needed to think or something different.


This supports the theory that I restricted you too much.  Anthony supports the theory that I didn't give you enough hints as to what you were supposed to do.  I should have given you more direct instructions as to how to set up the link, but I stand by my decision that you could not have dissabled their ships by means of the com. system.

Quote
Try to send the fighters information about the ship that they may need during the boarding and during or with the file hack into their ships and disabling them to the point where they cannot fight, or even better yet, set of their self-distruct system on their fighters and make it so that they cannot shut it off.


I'm sorry Avery, but you did not say this.  You spent minutes thinking as to what do to and I have no doubt that your plan was this detailed.

Quote
B). Try to send the fighters information about the ship that they may need during the boarding and during or with the file hack into their ships and disabling them to the point where they cannot fight, or even better yet, set of their self-distruct system on their fighters and make it so that they cannot shut it off.

Then what do you say in return to me saying this? Nope im sorry but you can't do that. So then i tried something else, i went into the cargo hold and used my grappling hook thingy to fly up onto the ceiling in some shadows and when the guards come into get the captain, i go into their ship and disable the fighters from there. Grab a gun walk back to my shit and kill the guards. Then what do ya know, i servive and so does the captain (who is now dead) and i escape to the planet and another one of your problems is solved. That problem is getting the party together.


While that could have worked, I really saw no initiative to get it to do that.  You hid on the ceiling which I found creative.  However, one of the guards noticed you eventually, and shot you.  It was a total of 8 rounds in which you made no attempted actions.

I am not trying to blame you with this.  I am simply trying to explain to you how I percieved the situation.  From yours and other comments, I think that I understand better and can adapt to make the sessions play better in the future.
Logged
Valamir
Member

Posts: 5574


WWW
« Reply #21 on: January 27, 2003, 07:10:30 PM »

Quote from: Eric J.

I am not trying to blame you with this.  I am simply trying to explain to you how I percieved the situation.  From yours and other comments, I think that I understand better and can adapt to make the sessions play better in the future.


Then this thread is at least, in part, a success and can probably end here.  Hopefully your next one will contain a little more triumph and a little less woe as a result.
Logged

Daredevil
Guest
« Reply #22 on: January 28, 2003, 01:19:31 AM »

To Eric and the group,

It seems to me that there's one thing that constantly pops up in posts concerning your group and especially in the posts you make to each other. Your 'playing environment is very competetive and I don't only mean in the fashion of "let's get more XP", but in that you're constantly trying to prove each other wrong (and you also often refer to which one of you is more experienced than the other). You spend too much time arguing. Role-playing at its best is a very cooperative effort and especially so when trying the more free-form approach. You need to work for each other, not against.

That said, keep at it. You don't necessaruly have to get everything "right" first time, either. Just remember that it's ultimately about having fun. :)
Logged
hyphz
Member

Posts: 157


« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2003, 03:50:41 AM »

I'm posting here with a bit of caution as I don't think that the two of you discussing what did/didn't happen in your game on the forum is a Good Thing.  If you want to talk it over in e-mail and post if something useful to others as well comes out of it, then alright..

Quote

Yes.  He would have to have created a link, which would have needed the any participant's consent.  Example: I want to update your ship with all of the Nav. coordinates that I used to make it this far.  I don't think that you would have any problem with that, considering that you have 3x as much firepower as I do.  (Bluff check) Thinks to himself: Okay.  I'm in.  Let's take control of the ship and use it do destroy the others...  He is used to a style of play where you can just say: I hack into their systems and take control of their ships (traditional D&D).  Roll a D20.  I simply thought that making this more difficult, would a) make the situation more interesting, b) Give the player a better sense of pride, c) Be more true to the Star Wars universe (because it is based on an example from one of the novels)


But you do need to understand that there's a good reason that games similar to D&D wrapped all that up into a single D20 roll: because the player may not have the knowledge that the character would have.  Now, if you want more than that D20 roll - and I can well understand that you would - you need to work out how to get around that problem.  I'm going to talk about GNS for a moment, but please accept the disclaimer that I'm not a GNS expert and I'd really like to hear from others who have more experience than me.

If you want to do it in a simulationist way - which you seem to have mentioned here several times - then you'd need to work out the details of how the Empire's computers worked so you could simulate them, and you'd need to give some of that information to the techie's player so that HE could simulate being somebody who knew about hacking.  Or you could do it in the narrativist way, and say that as long as he comes up with a convincing and cool way in which he hacked the ships, he can roll/get a bonus/succeed automatically with no concept of checking whether or not what he said was "correct".  How you'd do it in a gamist manner I can't really say, to be honest, and I'd be interested to know from others here who know more about these models than I do.

What you've done, it seems, is to pick a solution on some basis or other and then ask the player to guess it.  Picking the solution on the basis of a coherent simulation isn't going to work too well if the PC can't take part in that simulation because the character's knowledge isn't being simulated.  The straight dice roll provides that simulation, at the cost of abstraction.  Consistency seems to me to be the single overriding message of GNS theory.

(Oh, and in case you care, a pretty practical way of hacking in that situation wouldn't involve the social engineering you describe - more likely they'd start by sniffing any data that was being sent between the three enemy ships to coordinate their attack, and then trying to copy the security header or just screwing things up by replaying the data.  But I can only come up with that because of my knowledge, and that is about real-world computer security rather than Star Wars computer security.  If you wanted me to come up with something similar about Star Wars computer security, then you'd have to tell me about it first.)

Quote
My instinct tells me no.  Then again, my instinct tells me that it would be an exception for a techie to appear as a protagonist.


Your game has a techie as a protagonist.  Welcome to exceptionville.
Logged
Ian Charvill
Member

Posts: 377


« Reply #24 on: January 28, 2003, 06:33:04 AM »

I've run up against a particular style of GMing - similar to the type you seem to be describing - which I have certain issues.  Which amounts to the following may have less to do with your group, than with groups I've gamed with in the past.

I think with certain strong genres the GM feels the need to protect the genre from the players.  This tends to happen either in games with prominent metaplots or, as in this case, with well known source material.

It feels to me like a trust issue: the GM - implicitly or explicitly - doesn't trust the players not to mess the game up.

To ask a concrete question: what bad things do you think would have resulted from your allowing the character to hack over the com?
Logged

Ian Charvill
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #25 on: January 28, 2003, 08:05:47 AM »

Hi Eric,

Some very important things have been presented for you in this thread so far. I strongly recommend reading them and not concerning yourself with dialogue with your fellow players, on this thread. Really - see what Joachim (Daredevil), Ralph (Valamir), and everyone else are saying. It's a big deal.

Best,
Ron
Logged
Eric J.
Member

Posts: 396


WWW
« Reply #26 on: January 28, 2003, 01:53:17 PM »

Quote
To ask a concrete question: what bad things do you think would have resulted from your allowing the character to hack over the com?


My biggest problem with this is that it doesn't work in any mode of GNS really with respect to Star Wars.

Gamist: If the character could do that, he could take out Star Destroyers with a dice roll.

Sim.: It doesn't reflect how computer systems work or how they do in Star Wars.

Nar.: Star Wars is about blasting your way or talking your way out of situations.  Look at TRotJ.  Han tries to hotwire his way into the installation.  Does he succeed? No.  That wouldn't be interesting.  He eventually tricks them into coming out of the instalation.

As for our game: Most of my sessions are good, and this wasn't an exception.  Even Avery says he liked it.  However, I am a pessimist and like adressing specific problems with certain styles, and feel that progress is made each time.  Pyron's Woes is a term coined by some one who made refference to one of these threads a while back, and the term stayed with me.

Quote
If you want to do it in a simulationist way - which you seem to have mentioned here several times - then you'd need to work out the details of how the Empire's computers worked so you could simulate them, and you'd need to give some of that information to the techie's player so that HE could simulate being somebody who knew about hacking. Or you could do it in the narrativist way, and say that as long as he comes up with a convincing and cool way in which he hacked the ships, he can roll/get a bonus/succeed automatically with no concept of checking whether or not what he said was "correct". How you'd do it in a gamist manner I can't really say, to be honest, and I'd be interested to know from others here who know more about these models than I do.

What you've done, it seems, is to pick a solution on some basis or other and then ask the player to guess it. Picking the solution on the basis of a coherent simulation isn't going to work too well if the PC can't take part in that simulation because the character's knowledge isn't being simulated. The straight dice roll provides that simulation, at the cost of abstraction. Consistency seems to me to be the single overriding message of GNS theory.


This, I think is very very valid.  The computer system's function was complex, and I should have presented it clearer.

BTW- I think that a part of my last post was cut off.
Logged
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #27 on: January 28, 2003, 02:55:25 PM »

Quote from: Eric J.
Gamist: If the character could do that, he could take out Star Destroyers with a dice roll.
Which would be great Gamist play. Your assumption is still that this has to be hendled in a certain way to be, well, Star Wars. IOW, you can't get past your own preconceptions. This is not Star Wars, it's the Star Wars RPG. Star Wars is a movie. You can't reproduce that. Sorry. Give it up and play the game. You realize that forcing the players to guess the winning plan from what you have already decided it to be is completely Gamist, right?

Quote
Sim.: It doesn't reflect how computer systems work or how they do in Star Wars.
Really? You're an expert on both, I take it? Moreso than your friends? Moreso than say, me? Given that data transmission can occur in any medium (already you can buy computers networked by radio, a technology that's existed since before computers), it seems just as viable a way to hack into something than anything else. And don't ask me how I know.

As far as how computers work in Star Wars, I think there is so little data on this subject that even bringing it up is ridiculous. Basically, everything in Star Wars works just the way Lucas needs it to in order that it be interesting. As such, of course you can hack a computer remotely. As long as one of the protagonists is a techie. Oh, lookee.

Quote
Nar.: Star Wars is about blasting your way or talking your way out of situations.
Hacking's a lot like talking your way out of a situation. In any case, somehow people like William Gibson managed to write whole books revolving around it. If you think that's not thematically appropriate, then your mistake was allowing the hacker character in teh first place. How is he going to be protagonized if he can't hack.

And, hey, if Han Solo can waltz past the Death Star security cordon (or think he can, anyway) with a stolen identity, um, how is that not hacking of a sort? Seems very suitable to the genre to me.

You just can't get the idea that this game you're playing with your "friends" is not "Eric's Game of Star Wars". Every RPG is shared between the players and GM. The GM has a central role, but it's not as sole author of all that's going to happen (or only very rarely, and not with your players, ever). For your players to have fun you have to, at the very least, give them some ability to decide what their own characters are doing. I've walked out on games for play that was less strictured than what you portray here. And the funny thing is that you defend it, "It was funny!", "It's cool!" Yay, lets all sit around and watch Eric tell a story and occasionally roll dice when he tells us to, that'll be fun. Have you even thought to think of how it must seem from their POV? Instead of trying to compete with them to figure out who's right?

Who cares who's right. It's about player satisfaction, and you're not delivering.

What Eric should have done:

Player: I'm going to hack into that Star Destroyer's system using my mad Haxor Skillz.
Eric: Cool, roll for it, but the target's realy high because of the security measures programmed by Vader himself for the Imperial Fleet.
Player: I made the roll!
Eric: Cool, you have managed to get control of the weapons subsystems and have locked them down. The massive Star Destroyer turns in your direction, and the ship's computer reports: Five seconds ot impact.
Player: Damn, they're going to ram us, run for it!

Now Player B gets to roll his cool piloting skill to get away from the impending collision, or whatever the players decide to do about it. No GM set of potential options that the players have to discover. Just creative use of their brains and their character's abilities.


Had a plan that would allow the hacking? I've got news for you, few players (and ceratinly not yours) want the GM to be making their plans for them, or even having to guess what they are from a preprepared list of possible actions ("I left a number of options"). Let them figure it out, and just let it work if the roll goes right. All sorts of crazy silliness works in the movies. I can just see it (Imagine Eric playing just after seeing the first film, episode 4):

Player: OK, I'm going to pilot the Millenium Falcon into the heart of the still incomplete Death Star and attempt to blow up the main reactor.
Eric: No way that would work, you have to fire torpedoes down the ventilator shaft.

Betcha in the last installment coming up that someone hacks a Star Destoryer remotely (leading to a later Apple computer ad for their "Air Port" technology). Anyone want to put money on it?

Mike
Logged

Member of Indie Netgaming
-Get your indie game fix online.
Gordon C. Landis
Member

Posts: 1024

I am Custom-Built Games


WWW
« Reply #28 on: January 28, 2003, 03:31:30 PM »

First of all - great analysis/advice here, and Eric, my compliments and respect to you for seeking it out.

Quote from: Eric J.
Nar.: Star Wars is about blasting your way or talking your way out of situations. Look at TRotJ. Han tries to hotwire his way into the installation. Does he succeed? No. That wouldn't be interesting. He eventually tricks them into coming out of the instalation


Mike's point that if you feel this way, you shouldn't have allowed a hacker character, is a good one.  If Han had been a hacker instead of a charismatic fast-talking pilot, it's the "trick" that would have failed and the hotwire that would have succeded.  But I also want to point out that your argument here has NOTHING to do with Narativism - you're talking about simulating Star Wars "correctly."  

That's probably a side issue to the main thrust of this discussion, but . . . Narrativism is about prioritizing "Story Now," about having the PC's be the protagonists, and about engaging with a Premise that the players find interesting.  To say you want a Nar approach to Star Wars isn't to say you want a story with the same sort of color as Star Wars - a Nar Star Wars captures the "themes and meanings" of the movie/universe.

(I will set aside comments about the possibly-herculean task of finding coherent "themes and meanings" in Star Wars.  You can come up with some that'll work just fine for a light and fun RPG - coming of age (and other forms of personality change) or whatever.)

Gordon
Logged

www.snap-game.com (under construction)
erithromycin
Member

Posts: 159


« Reply #29 on: January 28, 2003, 04:48:40 PM »

One of the key things to remember about Star Wars is that, when the pressure is on, it's the snap decisions that continue the story. The way Star Wars works is a series of crises intersperesed with brief moments for folks to catch their breath [usually at the end of the film]. Then it's straight back into another firefight, or assassination attempt, or invasion.

I'd argue that, when serving as a GM for Star Wars, your real concern is making sure that there's always more trouble for your players to find themselves in. Let them try and figure their own way out of it - your responsibility there should be having a reasonable grasp of the target numbers, and making sure that the players are aware that there's no fixed solution.

What's most interesting is usually the best way to go. After all, what reasonable group of people would attack a battle station the size of a moon with fighters? A group of people who've been pressured into doing something, not a group who've been pushed into doing that one thing.

Now, don't think for a second that I'm saying you shouldn't make things that'd be hard to do difficult, if not nigh on impossible - overcoming overwhelming odds with a little cunning, ingenuity, and luck, is part of the essence of Star Wars. It strikes me that the plan to hack the fighters was an ingenious thing to do for the character. Difficult, perhaps, but not impossible.

Which brings us to the characters that you have in this game - did you give any guidelines about what kind you had in mind? You seem to have had your heart set on rogues in space [and there's nothing wrong with that - Han Solo is a fantastic character], but if you didn't tell your players that then you've got a problem. Look at it this way - the scenario you envisaged, of a guy using his communication skills under pressure to fool some Imperials works if the communication is verbal, electronic, or, hell, the way he flies his ship.

Don't focus on the details, but on the intent. In other words, don't worry about preserving the setting - worry about preserving the feel.

- drew
Logged

my name is drew

"I wouldn't be satisfied with a roleplaying  session if I wasn't turned into a turkey or something" - A
Pages: 1 [2] 3 4
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!