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Author Topic: Moral differences around the table?  (Read 2780 times)
sirogit
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Posts: 503


« on: July 12, 2004, 12:45:06 PM »

In a group for sorcerer that I'm assembling, something has crept into my mind as a concern: Since the game is about stories with moral judgement(Not preachy stories, but good stories.) Is it a big problem if people have vastly different concepts of morality?

Now mind, I'm assuming that people could put aside thier differences and buy into a shared moral judgement for the story. They get along personally, after all. But some of their views on morality are so diamtericly oppossed that I can't help but assume that it'll be hard to get into Humanity rolls with one player going "Oh, I get it. " without the other player going "Hm. I don't get it."
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Christopher Weeks
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Posts: 683


« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2004, 12:51:52 PM »

I've been thinking about this topic too.  (Because my own personal standards are pretty divergent from most of my peers.)  I think the key is to enumerate the meaning of Humanity so clearly that the people on the sides of these wide gaps don't get tripped up on how _they_ view the real world and instead focus on how the game-world behaves in response to their characters.  Maybe giving lots of examples, specifically targetting the rift that you perceive would be enough.

Chris
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 10459


« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2004, 01:39:19 PM »

Apparently the differences are not so great that you can't be friends despite them, right? So you're afraid that a game in which the ideas come up are going to be a problem? I wouldn't worry.

You are all friends, right? You aren't trying to get a bible thumper and a Satanist to meet over a game of Sorcerer or something?

Mike
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2004, 02:33:59 PM »

Hiya,

This is no more and no less than what you encounter in any group-creative effort when theme is involved.

However, do consider the issue of how the media differ. Director, Producer, Actor, Writer ... in some media, these roles are logistically defined as apart from one another, and in practice, one of them essentially wears the pants when it comes to thematic or other differences.

But in role-playing, the roles aren't logistically defined, as everyone contributes to action, explanation, and imagination. Usually, not even the GM/player distinction really means much in terms of authority over theme, unless Force comes into the picture.

But in Sorcerer, the GM does get some pants-power in thematic terms, via assigning the Humanity rolls. So what you need is a social contract in which everyone understands that particular power of the GM, and is willing to abide by it.

Best,
Ron
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greyorm
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Posts: 2233

My name is Raven.


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« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2004, 03:47:45 PM »

Quote from: Mike Holmes
You aren't trying to get a bible thumper and a Satanist to meet over a game of Sorcerer or something?

Would that even BE an issue, though? Isn't Sorcerer's morality defined right there at the table? ie: "If you do THIS you'll get a negative Humanity check, if you do THIS instead, you'll get a positive Humanity check. Ok?"

And there you go...then you stress that issue. Humanity = loyalty. It doesn't matter what the players think about loyalty or its value, you've defined it in the game world as "the valuable thing to a person's humanity."
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Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
Wild Hunt Studio
sirogit
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Posts: 503


« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2004, 05:44:29 PM »

I'd definately say they could be comparable to a satanist and a bible thumper. I've played with a group with a stanist and a bible thumper and they got along fine, but that game wasn't terribly high-contact like I want this game to be.

I think the problem I see is:

I want Humanity loss to correspond to pushing the moral envelope for the players.

One person has a pretty svelt morality system. I think that's pretty cool, but I have no idea what he considers right and wrong, therefore I'd call humanity losses for things which hardly make him blink an eye in real life.
On its own I don't think that'd be too hard to work with if we're cooperative.

The other person has certain moral buttons that get him really fired up when they're pushed. Not in a "Don't bring that up" way, but in a, "my character is going to be against this!" way. Something which we work for both of us in the game. There's times when he is totally "Okay, do not mention that in the game." But overall we work well together.

Now, the problem I see that, with mostly any humanity definition I set, one person is going to be totally non-plussed working on a level of transgression that is the comfort level for the other person.

Anyway, I guess the thing I'm wondering now is, do these sort of concerns accurately manifest in play much? I could be overagonizing...
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2004, 07:38:35 PM »

Hello,

Overagonizing seems to be the latest fashion for Sorcerer GMs.

Sirogit, you've painted yourself into an impossible corner: you're trying to govern the players' reactions to your Humanity judgments.

Just forget it. It's not up to you to make them squirm and shudder. They're doing that already with their Kickers and demons, which they made up, so it's not your problem.

Be straightforward and consistent, and merely call for Humanity checks and gain rolls as the GM should. Be happy with that. Let their reactions take care of themselves.

Best,
Ron
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2004, 06:15:32 AM »

Quote from: sirogit
I'd definately say they could be comparable to a satanist and a bible thumper. I've played with a group with a stanist and a bible thumper and they got along fine, but that game wasn't terribly high-contact like I want this game to be.
But you dodge the question that's important. Is this their first meeting? From what you've said elsewhere, the answer is no. So, given that they can apparently be social with each other, then I don't see a problem.

Like Ron says, if they've all agreed to play the definitions that you've all set out together, then they're agreeing, nay asking, for these sort of decisions to come out in play.

Mike
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