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Author Topic: Rocks fall, everybody (who bid their HP) dies  (Read 23399 times)
Callan S.
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« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2006, 07:56:18 PM »

Quote
What do you imagine the social responce from your peers would be if you bid zero HP for climbing mount everest?

Callen,

If I could climb Mount Everest without risking HP, and no other reward was given for the risk, then my friends would call me a fool if risked HP to do it.
Okay, no, what your doing isn't taking on mount everest, it's trying to take on the gaming system and in some way that you've invented, and win at that invention. You've missplaced your effort. These rules are like setting the stick for polevaulting. These is no winning when setting the stick. Set it flat on the ground if you want. Flat on the ground is not a win. It isn't anything, there is no game at this point.

Think of it as two stages -
A. Set the stick
B. Vault the stick

The gamist arena of play only involves one of these events, the latter. Imagine if you were polevaulting and bribed the crowd and the person who sets the stick, so no one interfears when you make the guy put the stick to the ground. Then you go to vault and win? Is that lame? Yes, because your going outside of the gamist arena of play. Now imagine you instead train really hard for months and win. Is that cool? Yes, because you stayed inside the gamist arena of play.

Your pointing out a flaw in the mechanic which is like pointing out the flaw in chess that 'Hey, if I reach across and punch the other player, I can win...nothing in the game stops me, what a flawed game!"

When it comes to setting the stick/making your bids with this mechanic, it is not time to become all clever ass tactical. In fact, ironically, the way to fck up gamism at this point is to try and play resource bidding cleverly. Trying to be clever when setting resources is going outside of the gamist arena, which is playing the game wrong.

Anyone who judges you for not bidding zero resources is the fool, because there is nothing to judge here - the game has not, can not start until that bid is made. You can not judge someone for a game they haven't even played yet.

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Callan S.
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« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2006, 08:16:47 PM »

Other people would look at that and go 'But what does he get for putting his money down? Nothing? Then why do it?'. I have a few cheeky responces for that, but I've written enough already. :)

I'd like to hear those cheeky responses, if they have any nuggets of substance in them.  That's exactly the question I've been asking, so I'm interested in what your answer would be.
Check the above post about what is the game and what isn't actual play first, because that's more important.

My cheeky responces would mostly be goading people into taking on risks. I seem to remember you talking about running capes at cons and how nobody would touch the 'Humiliate Major Victory' goal...until you started playing him like the ego he is. You made some note of how after that players would consistantly go for that goal. Why didn't they go for it before? Perhaps because it was stupid to go for that goal - what use is winning a humiliation goal compared to saving points to protect themselves?

Anyway, I'm not going to try and goad you here - it just doesn't work because technical analysis always undoes goading. If we were both at a gaming table then yeah, that street cred with gamble and strategy you didn't want to have to establish in this thread - fuck yeah, you'd have to establish it with me right here, right now. You go bidding nothing and I think your a pansy. 'Oh, but it doesn't make sense to gamble anything!'. Pansy!

Okay, I did slip to goading and it was rather mean goading (not my normal modus). But that's because here I'm pushing hard to slip through any intellectual indifference you have to get across what drives the session. And with the mechanics, yeah, setting your bids is not supposed to be part of the game. So I can NOT judge you for being foolish for setting bids above zero and while your at it, look, I'm calling you out. Imagine if you were to set your bids high and come off scot free - imagine turning to me and saying "Beat that" and imagine if I floundered and couldn't! You = Awesome, Me = Back in my box!
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Falkayn
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« Reply #17 on: June 26, 2006, 10:43:03 PM »

I like the idea of the GM specifying the pools that can be used and (secretly) setting a reserve bid that must be met before any kind of success can be achieved. Doing a Dutch auction would also be interesting - that is the GM setting a high bid, and then counting down, with the winner being the player that announces they want to go for that amount first. This means that everyone hangs on to see the price fall, but then also feeling the pressure of needing to bid before the next player in order to win it, or see it fall below the unknown reserve price.

I find it intriguing that the mechanic leaves the narration up to the GM, but that suits a Gamist focus. I wonder if players will end up demonstrating their chutzpah by how little they bid?

It mimics the idea of people wanting to do something, but being unwilling to risk themselves. There needs to be some sort of reward for winning the bidding, other than success. Perhaps a replenishment of one of the resource pools, or the acquisition of points in a 'universal' pool? (hero points, game points, or whatever)
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Bill Masek
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« Reply #18 on: June 26, 2006, 11:06:33 PM »

Quote
When it comes to setting the stick/making your bids with this mechanic, it is not time to become all clever ass tactical. In fact, ironically, the way to fck up gamism at this point is to try and play resource bidding cleverly. Trying to be clever when setting resources is going outside of the gamist arena, which is playing the game wrong.

Callen,

Please do not swear.  This is a polite forum.  That language is unnecessary and disrespectful to the people who are taking time out of there day to help you with your game.

That said I believe that I may have found the root of your problem.

You are correct that setting par for a game before you play should not always be a tactical decision.  In Go, the board size is not a tactical decision.  The number of points you play to in Hearts is likewise non-tactical.  The size of Heroscape armies is another similarly "fun based" decision.

Your first problem is that resource bidding is not setting par for your game.  It is your game.  The resource bidding is the only real strategic decision players make.  Since you do not have a victory condition and there is no way to acquire more resources, the "goal" of this gamist game will, whether you want it to or not, will become resource conservation.

Your second problem is that setting par is only a "fun based" decision if it effects everyone equally.  Otherwise it is strategic.  That pole vaulter chooses the height of her bar.  It is a strategic decision.  She wants it to be as high as she can jump over, but no higher because she will score points based on its height.

Your third problem is your assumption that optimising is some how cheating.  It is not an optimum strategy to punch someone in the face in chess.  That is an act that exists completely outside the game used to change the results of the game and is thus cheating.  On the other hand, in gamist games, players should do everything they can within the rules to win.

Can you think of any gamist game where players risk resources without any chance of reward?  Can you imagine someone going to Vegas and gambling at a casino where they could only win back the money they originally risked?

Quote
You go bidding nothing and I think your a pansy. 'Oh, but it doesn't make sense to gamble anything!'. Pansy!

Peer pressure is never an effective tool to rely on when building games.  If you want a certain kind of game play, build it into your rules.  There is a history of roleplaying games which rely on players "playing the game like their supposed to" as supposed to following what the rules actually say.  This attitude leads to unreliable game play and a host of other problems.  If you want to learn more about the dangers of this kind of game play, read Dr. Ron Edward's article "Why System Matters".  It is available on this website.

Best,
        Bill
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Filip Luszczyk
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« Reply #19 on: June 27, 2006, 05:45:50 PM »

Callan,

If now I understand correctly how the game works, it's not chess, but rather Russian Roulette, motivated by boredom.

You have a bunch of extremely bored Russian officers, who sit in a bunker with nothing to do and a gun lying on the table. The officers desperately want some rush, but no one openly coerces the others to play the Russian Roulette. Nevertheless, the whole point is that they take risk and entertain the rest, because whoever refuses to take his turn with the gun is a boring wimp and not a real die hard Russian officer.

Did I get the mentality right here?
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Callan S.
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« Reply #20 on: June 27, 2006, 06:18:57 PM »

Please do not swear.  This is a polite forum.  That language is unnecessary and disrespectful to the people who are taking time out of there day to help you with your game.
Rons our moderator here and unless he decides otherwise, I have some leeway to moderate my own threads. Please respect my cultural expectations for communication rather than putting your own expectations before mine, if you decide to continue posting to this thread.

Quote
Your first problem is that resource bidding is not setting par for your game.  It is your game.  The resource bidding is the only real strategic decision players make.  Since you do not have a victory condition and there is no way to acquire more resources, the "goal" of this gamist game will, whether you want it to or not, will become resource conservation.
I want you to check out Eric's article and have a look at where he describes disabling traps with narration.

That sort of narration is part of my game as well. It is the arena of play. Why do you insist that my described mechanic is also part of that arena of play? Is there some way I can delinate between gamist arena rules and non arena that you can think of, that I could use here? There must be some way to deliniate, surely?

Quote
Your third problem is your assumption that optimising is some how cheating.  It is not an optimum strategy to punch someone in the face in chess.  That is an act that exists completely outside the game used to change the results of the game and is thus cheating.  On the other hand, in gamist games, players should do everything they can within the rules to win.
Is this the problem I should be looking at? That if it's in the written rules, then there's a widespread belief that it's inside the gamist arena as well? While social rules, like not punching the other guy, aren't within the written rules and thus outside the arena?

Hoo boy, if I'm taking on cultural assumption, I'm in for a bumpy ride.

Quote
Peer pressure is never an effective tool to rely on when building games.  If you want a certain kind of game play, build it into your rules.  There is a history of roleplaying games which rely on players "playing the game like their supposed to" as supposed to following what the rules actually say.  This attitude leads to unreliable game play and a host of other problems.  If you want to learn more about the dangers of this kind of game play, read Dr. Ron Edward's article "Why System Matters".  It is available on this website.
Check out the G, N & S essays. The rules don't trigger a hunger for each agenda, they only support a hunger if it's there to begin with. Peer pressure is only a part of the hunger that is gamism. I wouldn't at all be surprised if people reading my game didn't get it, if they lack that hunger to begin with. I'm not worried about that (though I am worried about getting support at a forum where that hunger is perhaps lacking).
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Callan S.
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« Reply #21 on: June 27, 2006, 06:45:46 PM »

Callan,

If now I understand correctly how the game works, it's not chess, but rather Russian Roulette, motivated by boredom.

You have a bunch of extremely bored Russian officers, who sit in a bunker with nothing to do and a gun lying on the table. The officers desperately want some rush, but no one openly coerces the others to play the Russian Roulette. Nevertheless, the whole point is that they take risk and entertain the rest, because whoever refuses to take his turn with the gun is a boring wimp and not a real die hard Russian officer.

Did I get the mentality right here?
Your example adds a game that is not there, nesting one game (russian roulette) inside a greater game (the game of life). It's not an example of how my mechanic works. There is no nesting of games.

Here's your homework: Give me examples of rules in any old game or even normal life, which are outside a gamist arena. Also give me examples of rules which are inside a gamist arena. Then we'll figure out what makes the difference between them and ensure my game has those signposts.
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Blankshield
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« Reply #22 on: June 27, 2006, 08:39:23 PM »

Callan,

As best I can tell, it's pretty much a straight up "Read the GM's mind to win" mechanic.

I bid X resources.  The GM then decides what resources the challenge is worth, and either I win or I lose.  I must be missing something, because I don't see any strategy possibilities - even if there are known constraints on what can be bid or what the GM can fiat, that just narrows the guesswork down.

What am I missing?


thanks,

James
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Bill Masek
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« Reply #23 on: June 27, 2006, 09:40:15 PM »

Quote
Is there some way I can delineate between gamist arena rules and non arena that you can think of, that I could use here? There must be some way to deliniate, surely?

Callen,

A very good question.

I can think of a couple of ways to delineate gamist arena rules from non-arena rules.

Let me first take a step back though and make sure that we are on the same page when it comes to gamist games.  Gamist games are about winning.  They always have at least two sides.  These sides could be players VS GM, players VS players, players VS pre-scripted-moves, etc., but there is always some kind of competition for which the goal is some kind of victory.  If the game has an actual win condition it will be that.  Otherwise it will default to accumulation/conservation of resources.

In a gamist game, any decision which can give one side an advantage over another is a strategic decision.  This forces them into the gamist arena.  So the non-arena rules must not grant one side an advantage over another.

So when playing Poker, the decision to play 5 card stud or 7 card draw is not a strategic one and thus can be set in the non-gamist arena.  If each player could individually choose whether to play 5 card stud or 7 card draw this would become a strategic decision and force it back into the gamist arena.

So the question becomes:  How do we move your bidding rules out of the gamist arena.

What if a player decided on the total number of points which needed to be bid in every conflict.  (Who ever was the last person to real 0 points won.)  This number could not be larger then that players total and control of this number would rotate every conflict.  Everyone would have an incentive to bid.  The decision of the total number of points would not be totally outside the gamist arena, but it would be a lot further then it is now.

A second option would be to embrace the gamist arena.  What if the goal was not to conserve resources, but to deplete them.  Who ever reached 0 first won.  The GM would assign every event a maximum number of resources which could be gambled.

A third option would be to make your game non-gamist.  When building a simulationist game you have a lot less to worry about when it comes to dominance strategies and Nash Equilibriums.  You have a character, you bid resources based on what makes sense.  When you run out of resources your character dies you get a kick-ass death narration then build a brand new shiny character at full capacity and do it all again.  No victory conditions.  Resource conservation is a non-issue.

I hope this helps you delineate between gamist arena rules and non arena.  I think you have a cool core mechanic here.  All it needs is a system that properly supports it.

Thank you for not swearing.

Best,
        Bill
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jbrandl
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« Reply #24 on: June 28, 2006, 05:08:53 AM »

hey, thou this is my first post at the forge i would like to try a little 'negotiation'. the type of where you explain party A to party B and could very well turn up mistaking the approaches of both.

party A is Callan. And i might very well miss his/your point. (..hm but then my understanding/application of the at beginning introduced mechanic rather appeals to me..)



as i understood the explanation of the mechanic in the first post there are basically two intervolved games going on. game A is the game half explained in the first post and game B is a rather generic narrative game.

game A is about 'bidding' as much resource(points) as possible as long as game B is continuing (..am i mistaking you here Callan? you noted that there is no winning condition.. but to me it seems like if you 'bid' the most resources at the end (..that's what i assumed and it's where i might be wrong.. that there is an end..) of the game, you win. that btw solves the bidding 0 resources issue.. if you never bid you'll never win..).

the players amount of a certain resource in game A reflects a certain related 'character stat' in game B, and vice versa.

to gain certain results in game B you need to bid a certain amount of resources in game A.

failure in approaching goal in game B will result in loosing the bidden amount of resources in game A.

so loosing resources in game A has a consequence in the shared imagined space of game B (.."Rocks fall, everybody (who bid their HP) dies", right?..). furthermore, being limited with resources (..because they have been lost beforehand..) limits the players competence to approach goals in game B.


i think introducing resources like 'horse training' blurred that basic scheme a little bit (..if I'm right with my interpretation in the first place..). but it seems much more obvious where things are up to go if you think of resources like Hit Points or Social Standing.



i can see the one or other problem resulting from this set but i would rather not go into details as long as I'm not sure if I'm right with my understanding of how this mechanic is to be implemented in the 'game'. am i? it seems contradictionary with some posts that followed the first one, but then..


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contracycle
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« Reply #25 on: June 28, 2006, 07:29:45 AM »

Go go go!  Storm the front!  Muppets rush in where campers fear to tread.

I like this a lot, and it makes instant sense to me.  Unfortunately I cannot say much more as any post longer than a sentence or two is giving me timeouts form some reason.
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contracycle
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« Reply #26 on: June 28, 2006, 07:39:20 AM »

Pools must be in the articulation of them specific game.  Pirate games must have different pools or whatever than supers games, if only as expression of colour.  In this sense, characters have to be vessels containing setting-specified values.
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Callan S.
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« Reply #27 on: June 28, 2006, 08:04:29 PM »

Callan,

As best I can tell, it's pretty much a straight up "Read the GM's mind to win" mechanic.

I bid X resources.  The GM then decides what resources the challenge is worth, and either I win or I lose.  I must be missing something, because I don't see any strategy possibilities - even if there are known constraints on what can be bid or what the GM can fiat, that just narrows the guesswork down.

What am I missing?


thanks,

James
Excellent, getting close.

Okay, if you run into situations you don't like, like 'have to read the GM's mind', assuming I know what you mean by that, then don't bid any resources. That's one thing the mechanic is supposed to cull out as the player demands.

By 'read the GM's mind' I think your refering to where the GM concocts a solution the player is supposed to guess. Correct me if I'm wrong. It's pretty lamo play.

Now think of how you can slap down that sort of behaviour by the GM, by simply not bidding. Screw his solutions, only bid when your working on your own solutions.
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Callan S.
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« Reply #28 on: June 28, 2006, 08:14:57 PM »

In a gamist game, any decision which can give one side an advantage over another is a strategic decision.  This forces them into the gamist arena.  So the non-arena rules must not grant one side an advantage over another.
Whoa, lets stop here and look at why you think it's granting one side an advantage over the other. We haven't begun playing yet, so there are no sides to be unevenly matched. Is it 'any decision which can give one side an advantage'? Can't I, as the game designer say 'Nope, not these decisions over here, these ones aren't about sides and don't advantage anyone, no matter how you set them' or some such? Will readers believe me/accept what I say?

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Thank you for not swearing.
Coincidence, I assure you.
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Callan S.
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« Reply #29 on: June 28, 2006, 08:33:48 PM »

Hi jbrandl,

Hmmm, not sure if that's what I want or what I want from a different perspective. Your kind of describing two games run in parralel which might be more on track than what I was saying, but I'm not sure yet.

Imagine this: There's a cute girl at the gaming table and for some reason she's impressed by nerdy gamist tactics. You start doing really difficult challenges in the game that you didn't have to do, to impress her. You don't have to do these stunts and they risk alot of your resources, but they gain her notice. So game A is an 'getting noticed by the chick' game and game B is the actual game. Doing well in game A (being noticed) doesn't help you at all with game B and resources. But doing well in game B does help you with game A.

The desire to be noticed by a cute chick isn't what I want as the drive, of course. I want it to be the desire to be measured by others as you step on up. Although if a cute chick were interested in genuinely evaluting my skill, it'd be pretty kewl... >:)

Humour: I have this hilarious premonition that having brought in a cute chick to the example, all the men will now get it. I wonder if I'll be right!!?
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