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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 182 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: Schizo Exalted  (Read 9304 times)
Callan S.
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« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2003, 03:50:30 PM »

Just a quick responce here.

Quote

Not hard at all. Witness Mike Mearls' upcoming article in Dragon Magazine about how to remove the effectiveness of powerful divination spells so that players cannot use them to "ruin" adventures, or Mike Morris' "Art of Magic" articles which began with an article on how to strip PCs of their hard-won enchantments and magic items with a type of anti-enchantment spell.

These are two recent examples, but gaming lore, "GMing advice" is rife with similar gripes by GMs and effective "solutions" to the percieved problems -- this is by no means something new, but it is making a comeback in terms of promotion.

Witness my own terrible recollections of Immortal play, where the GM at the time (and the main line developer) outright stated that it was really difficult to come up with ways to keep character magical abilities from ruining a game, so he had to nix them when someone tried to use them using the old "You dont' know why, but it doesn't work!" idea.

To say nothing of presenting new enemies and situations never even hinted at in the main rules, all to keep players from having any idea what to do until he chose to reveal clues as to what might work (and thus allowing the 'plot' to continue).

The a common gripe in adventure gaming is "the players are wrecking my adventure with their powers!" And the equally common response, the accepted wisdom, is to limit those supposedly book-legal powers and abilities.


You know, I think the real problem is a lack of cooperation between players and GM. These powers are leading to 'The game ends in 5 minutes because we know everything' or 'The GM's creative drive is stymied because we just skipped a bunch of well crafted material, ie we saved 10 minutes and in the process hurt the GM's desire to perform'.

Really it could be better handled just by the GM saying before game "Okay, you guys have powers that could answer all questions in five minutes, probably and/or they'll mean you'll skip interested material. Now, if you guys do that and don't want the game to finish that quick/miss out on interesting stuff, your going to have to think about that when using the power...and when you do use them, I'm going to ask you how its still limmited enough so that it only advances you in a cool way and doesn't end the session. Let's co-operate so you can use the powers AND enjoy a solid and filling session."

It's a bit of a gaming tradition that says players don't have to think of the meta game consequences of any of their actions. That they don't have to cooperate and be responsible. Well, that works for war games, but in RP?

EDIT: Err, this may be a bit off topic.
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Philosopher Gamer
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Callan S.
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« Reply #16 on: December 14, 2003, 04:16:23 PM »

Quote from: Funksaw
Quote from: greyorm
Hey, Funksaw, Narrativism isn't about "Telling a Good Story." And characters with a weak defense have nothing to do with Narrativism.


You misunderstand me.

If Narrativism isn't about telling/creating a narrative, then wouldn't it be a bit of a misnomer?  And you're right, charcters with a weak defense in design have nothing to do with narrativism in design. In execution however, a narrative GM would be more likely to forgive or work around a character's weak defense for the purpose of a story.  A gamist GM would not be likely to be forgiving at all, especially since there's that big box in the text.


I think he's refering to the idea that the GM shouldn't be considered to be telling a story. A story is a fixed struture, a railroad. Rather the GM should be considered to be dishing out situations and whatever the players do becomes the story (and once you finish the session or campaign, you have the whole story). You may have ment this, but it's still a good idea to keep away from words like story/plot, they tend to drift the mind toward producing particular actions from players, rather than just providing stimulating situations.

And I'm guessing that if were looking at how the rules work, were looking at them through a glass darkly gamist. That there is a narrativist 'work around' isn't the focus of an analysis of rules. Sort of asking why did the eggs go off...we already know that we don't have to eat them.

Anyway, sometimes it gets a bit exacting around here, from what I've seen. Go with the exacting flow, but take it with a grain of salt and all that, that's what I do. :)
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Philosopher Gamer
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greyorm
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« Reply #17 on: December 14, 2003, 05:29:05 PM »

Funksaw, Callan, this is a heads-up that I'm starting a seperate thread for the Narrativism tangent that has arisen. I will be posting my reply there. Everyone else, back to topic or to the new thread with commentary on the tangent. Thanks!
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Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
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qxjit
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« Reply #18 on: December 14, 2003, 09:58:11 PM »

Ok, I'll throw my opinion in since I disagree with a lot of what is being said here about the game. I do think that Exalted basically achieves the goals that it seems to be set out for, at least the goals I saw when reading it (colored by my preconceptions of course).

Ron, you said that, in observation, play usually drifts to (a) faux-Gamism where the competition isn't really competition, (b) full-Gamism with mostly figthing and little story, or (c) a few fights with a lot of other exploriation of character and color.

First, is this an accurate assessment of what you think?

I think that option (c) is really what the game is built to support, and it is what I got from the book the first time reading it.  If the players create combat heavy characters, then you end up doing more combat than if they create diplomats or craftsmen, but that's still part of (c) in that it's exploration of the character.  To me, Exalted seems to be about "hey, my character can do really cool over the top things -- now lets go do some of those things."  It's exploration of character and color at its core -- at least, that what I see.

Now, if there is something Exalted is doing that's is in conflict with this agenda, I would really like to have it pointed out to me.
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--Dave
Funksaw
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« Reply #19 on: December 14, 2003, 10:38:03 PM »

Keep in mind that the "gamism" elements in Exalted are also a bit of a nod to "simulating" chop-socky.

"You may have beaten me last time, Lo Phan, but now I know the secret of flying monkey drunken kung-fu, which can beat your Screaming Chi Style!"

"Yes, little Pho Li, but what you do not know is that my Eagle's Nest style beats Flying monkey Drunken Kung Fu!"

Personally, the "combat stunts" mechanic - which is a subjective measure of effectiveness - would actually make me think that Exalted in a purely gamist style was not intended by the developers.  The gamist combat game, of course, is Chess - and since when have you heard: "The pawn, expecting the Knight's advance, deftly moves to the side, taking out a rook with his mighty blade as he does so." -- and I'll bet you hear: "Cool move!  Take another one as a bonus!" even less.

Gamism, I think, relies on rigid (and complex) rules which allows one to apply strategy/tactics based on the idea that the rules do not change from one turn to the next.

-- Funksaw
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #20 on: December 15, 2003, 07:39:20 AM »

Hello,

Dave, that's a pretty good summary of what I think, except for the point I'm making about your option (c). I'm suggesting that Exalted, as a text, is setting up a desired play-situation (c) which is very, very likely to turn into (a) or (b), again quite likely to the disappointment of anyone who'd prefer (a) and gets (b), or vice versa. I agree with you that the text promotes (c), verbally, but I think that various features - most especially the scale difference that I mentioned above - will make (c) hard to realize.

Funksaw, that's a remarkably limited interpretation of Gamism. It's a good example of synecdoche - you're taking "role-playing" and reserving it for non-Gamist role--playing alone. Exalted in a "purely Gamist style" would not resemble chess.

Best,
Ron
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qxjit
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« Reply #21 on: December 15, 2003, 11:46:30 AM »

Hi Ron,

I'd like to hear more about this conflict in scale that you see -- particularly because I'm not seeing it in Exalted.  Maybe it has something to do with the way I GM, which when I think about seems perhaps likely. I've GM'd quite a few WoD games over the years and had to deal with the incoherencies in those texts -- ones that I thought they had finally done away with in Exalted.

And frankly, if people are playing the game in mode (a) or mode (b), then I don't think that they're playing the game as it's written.  Of course, this is a problematic statement because Exalted is a poorly written game when it comes to understanding the rules.  There are parts of the rules that I've had to go over again and again to make sense of.  Maybe the game has a tendency to drift because of this, but I don't think that's a design issue.
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--Dave
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #22 on: December 15, 2003, 11:57:19 AM »

Hi Dave,

Did you see my post on page 1 of this thread? I lay out the scale-issue as well as I can (just reviewed it, pretty sure I can't say it any better).

If so, and if it's still not clear, let's take it to private messages for a bit.

Best,
Ron
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Funksaw
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« Reply #23 on: December 15, 2003, 01:02:20 PM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards
Hello,

Funksaw, that's a remarkably limited interpretation of Gamism. It's a good example of synecdoche - you're taking "role-playing" and reserving it for non-Gamist role--playing alone. Exalted in a "purely Gamist style" would not resemble chess.

Best,
Ron


What would it resemble?

(I'm guessing Magic the Gathering.)

-- Funksaw
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Blake Hutchins
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Posts: 614


« Reply #24 on: December 15, 2003, 01:22:04 PM »

Hi Funksaw,

Gamist roleplaying is still roleplaying and needs to be considered in that light.  Just because you're calling a roleplaying activity "gamist" doesn't make it the equivalent of a board or card game.  Similarly, just because you might choose to identify with your King's Knight and invest it with an imagined personality during a game of chess doesn't make Chess equivalent to DnD.

Best,

Blake
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