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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 91 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: [DitV] Player power vs. Character power  (Read 5483 times)
BrendanC
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« on: March 29, 2005, 08:01:42 AM »

The background to this was in this thread. I wanted to follow up with some comments, but I thought it was better to split this off into its own thread.

Quote from: lumpley
Really it's about the players' power within conflict vs. around conflict, though, not the characters'.


This aspect of the game is taking me a while to grok. For whatever reason, it seems strange to me to give powers explicitly to the player, rather than to the character. In my previous RPG experience (mainly I'm thinking of D&D), while the players obviously had control over their character's actions and development, the control was more implicit. We all would try to design our characters for maximum effectiveness, but during the session the player's job was mainly to have his character act the way we all imagined they would act. What you, as a player, wanted out of a given scene generally matched up with what the character wanted - loot and an increase in skills as represented by experience. It took me a while to get my head around the fact that the dice you assign to Traits and Relationships should be assigned to those that you as a player find most interesting, not the "best" ones.

So I guess my question here is: in a game like this, where does the player's power end and the character's power begin?
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Lxndr
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« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2005, 08:08:35 AM »

I'm not Vincent, nor do I play him on TV (dang Andy Kitkowski got the TV position over me) but I believe the answer is that the character, per se, has no more power than a bishop in a chess game.  He's just an extension and representation of you.
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Alexander Cherry, Twisted Confessions Game Design
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lumpley
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« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2005, 09:03:51 AM »

Yeah, it works pretty much the way you'd think it would:

The characters and the setting aren't real and don't have any causality of their own, obviously. All the causality is in the hands of the players, sitting around the table and saying what happens. Your dice (note, yours, not your character's) are there to back up what you (note, you, not your character) say. When you say "this happens," how do I know whether I can say "no it doesn't, thusly" or I have to say "okay, it does"? The answer is: your dice and mine.

It's perfectly fine to have your dice match your character's strengths and weaknesses, and you can assign them that way in Dogs if you feel like it. There's just no overriding reason to do it that way if you don't feel like it.

-Vincent
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BrendanC
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« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2005, 09:30:41 AM »

So really, the system is just there to mediate who gets to narrate which parts of the story?
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lumpley
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« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2005, 09:42:40 AM »

Quote from: BrendanC
So really, the system is just there to mediate who gets to narrate which parts of the story?

As with every system, D&D's included. What else is there?

"Which parts of the story" breaks down into teeny-weeny chunks, in Dogs. Every See and every Raise is its own part of the story with its own narrator, if that's how you want to look at it.

Well - and the rules also provide constraints on your narration. They don't just say "you get to narrate how your character responds," they say "you get to narrate how your character responds, and your character has to take the blow if you used 3+ dice to See." Et cetera.

Plus I don't really think that there's ever a sole narrator. But that's a different subject, probably.

-Vincent
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BrendanC
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« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2005, 10:06:33 AM »

Quote from: lumpley
As with every system, D&D's included. What else is there?


You're right, and the more I think about my previous experiences with roleplaying, the more I begin to think that I've been missing the point this whole time.
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Valamir
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« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2005, 11:50:22 AM »

Heh...Hell Brandon, you've just been hit with a big old bucket of ice cold "What the Fuck have I been doing all these years?"

Welcome to the Forge :-)

We've pretty much all been hit with that bucket at some point.  Its damn cold at first but it gets warmer real fast.
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BrendanC
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« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2005, 12:23:27 PM »

I was expecting it, but that doesn't make it any easier. I'm starting to see that my games will be much better once I've gotten my head around all of this, even if I can't see exactly how yet. :)
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Valamir
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« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2005, 01:05:17 PM »

Well, FWIW I think you're going about it exactly the right way.  Grab some games like Dogs, or Prime Time Adventures, or Capes, or Mountain Witch, or Shadows of Yesterday or (dare I pimp) even Universalis.  Those games will all smack traditional preconceptions right between the eyes.  Then ask specific questions about how to actually play these games...and it will all fall into place tons faster than trying to dive into any theory discussions.
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BrendanC
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« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2005, 01:17:22 PM »

I have been reading through some of the theory articles and threads, and it's pretty hard to absorb without the experience behind it. Dogs is having a huge impact on how I think about this stuff, and I'm eager to get my hands on some others. I think PTA, Sorcerer and possibly Universalis are next on my list of "must haves".
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