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[Roleplaying Games] Thank God I Finally Have A Table For Cannabis Potency.

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Posts

  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    If rpg settings are non fiction, we're all war criminals.

    We're reading Rifts. You should too. You know you want to. Now With Ninjas!

    They tried to bury us. They didn't know that we were seeds. 2018 Midterms. Get your shit together.
    Edith UpwardsDarkPrimusFuselageJustTeeElvenshaeArdentMsAnthropydestroyah87Mostlyjoe13NotoriusBENEl Muchodiscrider
  • Foolish ChaosFoolish Chaos Registered User regular
    admanb wrote: »
    I saw that post a couple weeks ago when the designer of Blades in the Dark tweeted it, citing its influence on his design.

    I found that interesting because Eero's roleplaying philosophy seems in many ways the antithesis of what we see in BitD, and I assume other games like it (blades is the first one of its type I've played; we've been playing for 10 months). Example, Eero practices high lethality; yet it is nearly impossible to die in BitD unless you consciously decide to let it happen.

    An aside, the GM and sandbox style Eero writes about is what I dreamed of running back when we were playing 3.5 D&D in highschool. Makes me want to give it a go again. I'm not sure what system I would use now though.

  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    This guy sounds similar to the only person who would run games in college.

    "The shore does not dream of you." - Blind poet Gallan.
  • admanbadmanb unionize your workplace Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    admanb wrote: »
    I saw that post a couple weeks ago when the designer of Blades in the Dark tweeted it, citing its influence on his design.

    I found that interesting because Eero's roleplaying philosophy seems in many ways the antithesis of what we see in BitD, and I assume other games like it (blades is the first one of its type I've played; we've been playing for 10 months). Example, Eero practices high lethality; yet it is nearly impossible to die in BitD unless you consciously decide to let it happen.

    An aside, the GM and sandbox style Eero writes about is what I dreamed of running back when we were playing 3.5 D&D in highschool. Makes me want to give it a go again. I'm not sure what system I would use now though.

    As far as lethality you're definitely right, but I see that as more thematic design than mechanical -- Eero is running low-fantasy, non-heroic D&D, so high lethality makes sense. Blades is about scoundrels and heists, so low lethality makes sense.

    Mechanically I see a lot of similarities in how Eero establishes fictional positioning and negotiates actions and consequences -- the Blades action system is all about negotiation of position and consequences.

  • jdarksunjdarksun Scion of Chaos Registered User regular
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    If rpg settings are non fiction, we're all war criminals.
    You hear the unmistakable snap-hiss of a Keystone Light can being opened.

    Distant "Wooo!"-ing can also be heard.

    Edith UpwardsOptimusZedOatsDr. Phibbs McAtheydestroyah87
  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    jdarksun wrote: »
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    If rpg settings are non fiction, we're all war criminals.
    You hear the unmistakable snap-hiss of a Keystone Light can being opened.

    Distant "Wooo!"-ing can also be heard.

    When are Florida Man's antics going up for the public's edification?

    "The shore does not dream of you." - Blind poet Gallan.
  • Foolish ChaosFoolish Chaos Registered User regular
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    If rpg settings are non fiction, we're all war criminals.

    In the dystopic future where every conversation is recorded and put under a filter of dangerous trigger words, its someones job to parse through and find the of real psychopath murderers among millions of fucking nerds.

    admanb wrote: »

    As far as lethality you're definitely right, but I see that as more thematic design than mechanical -- Eero is running low-fantasy, non-heroic D&D, so high lethality makes sense. Blades is about scoundrels and heists, so low lethality makes sense.

    Mechanically I see a lot of similarities in how Eero establishes fictional positioning and negotiates actions and consequences -- the Blades action system is all about negotiation of position and consequences.

    What do you mean exactly with negotiating consequences?

    So, how we play blades is we might state our desired action and skill we are using, and GM might say "thats going to be dangerous, so its a desperate roll, is that okay?" and then the player can revise if they wish. I don't imagine Eero said anything of the sort when his players were descending the stairs, and the lizard men were aiming their catapult. I get the feeling I'm misunderstanding though.

  • admanbadmanb unionize your workplace Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Well, that specific example would be a situation in Blades where you apply consequences without an action roll, because the situation is that fictionally bad for the players. The examples more comparable to the Blades action loop are later in the thread.

  • WearingglassesWearingglasses Of the friendly neighborhood variety Registered User regular
    Stupid Fate Question: How much control do the players have over narrative details?
    Suppose that they were fighting a Big Monster summoned by the Village Druid. The Village Chief did some actions defending the Druid but did not help the Monster. Now, they defeated the monster, and I kind of want to say that the Chief was an unwilling ally (acting out of fear to protect his villagers), but can a player say "I think he's lying. I'm want to see if he's a liar and if he's acting out a ruse as a Plan B, rolling a contest of my Empathy versus his Deceive"? Can I just say "No, he ain't lying, he's telling the truth", or can they roll successfully and have the chief Actually Lying?

    Fate Assistance: My last player is having trouble trying to fit the kitchen sink into his character, which is a Magical T-800 Terminator (Time Traveling Steel Golem with Flesh exterior). He wants the Termi Steel Golem to be hella Strong (Physique), hella good at a Fight (Fight/Shoot), and be as agile as a normal human with better reflexes (...Athletics), resistant to medieval small arms fire and weapons (????), functions with a magical battery that can be charged with magic or sunlight, effectively making him tireless (?????).
    So yeah, kitchen sink. I said to whittle it down and focus on a few things he'd be good at (because of the Skill pyramid), and we'll just handwave the rest away to a glitch the Steel Golem encountered when it time traveled. Is that a good call? Is there a better way to handle it?

  • SolarSolar Registered User regular
    I do dislike player control over the setting beyond their character's ability to influence it directly.

    If a player asks whether there's a book on Botany in the Library, I'll know the answer and tell them. They don't get to spend a narrative resource to just put shit in the world I'm controlling. Maybe it's important there is, or isn't.

    And as a player if I could do that, it'd make the world seem less real. Like it actually is just a fuzzy backdrop rather than an actual place. Immersion is important to me.

  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    Solar wrote: »
    I do dislike player control over the setting beyond their character's ability to influence it directly.

    If a player asks whether there's a book on Botany in the Library, I'll know the answer and tell them. They don't get to spend a narrative resource to just put shit in the world I'm controlling. Maybe it's important there is, or isn't.

    And as a player if I could do that, it'd make the world seem less real. Like it actually is just a fuzzy backdrop rather than an actual place. Immersion is important to me.

    Which is fine if you want to tell "Dead in a ditch at 12 from malnutrition" stories. If you want any kind of heroic fantasy stories (or mystery stories or space opera stories or basically anything that's actually a story) then you have to accept that the interesting ones are the ones with a narrative element to them and a purely simulation approach doesn't really generate those.

    Though I think the phrase "the world I'm controlling" has a whole lot of implications to it wrt differing philosophical frameworks on how to run the game.

    jdarksunOptimusZedJoshmviiOatsArcanisTheImpotentDarkPrimusElvenshaePhoenix-DDex DynamoMsAnthropydestroyah87jakobagger
  • UncleSporkyUncleSporky Registered User regular
    Even though the GM ultimately knows the answer, the reason for the answer is what makes the difference in this case. If you're open to the reason being, "you know what, I like where you're going with this, and that sounds cool, so yeah," then that sounds like a pretty fun time. If that can never be the reason, and it's always "because it makes sense and/or because I say so and it's MY world," that's needlessly strict and limiting.

    I don't think many games make an explicit rule that GMs must say "yes, and." But you do it anyway on occasion because it's awesome.

    If the thief checks for traps and nails the roll, but you didn't have any traps there, sometimes it's cool to materialize one and let them disarm it. Let them kick some ass.

    Switch Friend Code: SW - 5443 - 2358 - 9118 || 3DS Friend Code: 0989 - 1731 - 9504 || NNID: unclesporky
  • SolarSolar Registered User regular
    edited May 2017
    I don't have to accept that at all. For a start it's got nothing to do with what I'm talking about there, and secondly "interesting" is an entirely subjective term.

    There is a philosophical difference in terms of how to run the game, mind, or rather a difference of preference; I don't like player control of the game outside of their character's actions (so in a manner similar to real life I suppose) because it makes the world and the NPCs seem less solid and real. I have taken this approach to all the games I've run. And without blowing my own trumpet; I'm a pretty good GM. People enjoy my games. There's no problem to be solved here.

    Also I carefully, and happily, plan campaigns and plots out. If players can change the setting structure that I've carefully put together to allow those plots, then I can't really do that because it can disrupt them entirely and not to the benefit of anyone at the table, because that was a cool plot they'd have enjoyed and would have created roleplay opportunities which has now been cut out due to a player editing the scene, potentially inadvertantly.

    Solar on
  • UncleSporkyUncleSporky Registered User regular
    Solar wrote: »
    Also I carefully, and happily, plan campaigns and plots out. If players can change the setting structure that I've carefully put together to allow those plots, then I can't really do that because it can disrupt them entirely and not to the benefit of anyone at the table, because that was a cool plot they'd have enjoyed and would have created roleplay opportunities which has now been cut out due to a player editing the scene, potentially inadvertantly.

    GM: "Through the bars of the grating, you see the cultists below, their leader poised with a dagger over the heart of your friend and mentor. As you watch the scene unfold..."

    Rogue: "I pull a grappling hook from my pack, and look at the fighter and say, 'are you thinking what I'm thinking?'"

    Fighter: "I bend the bars open to make enough space for the rogue to squeeze through!"

    GM: "Uh these bars are made of mithril and unbendable, and also rogue you don't have a grappling hook. There isn't time anyway, the dagger is plunged into the heart of your friend, who collapses lifelessly, and the ritual is completed!"

    Rogue and Fighter: "..."

    GM: "You're supposed to feel sad and swear revenge! Roleplay your anguish now! Wasn't that a dramatic scene?"

    Rogue and Fighter: "..."

    Switch Friend Code: SW - 5443 - 2358 - 9118 || 3DS Friend Code: 0989 - 1731 - 9504 || NNID: unclesporky
    DevoutlyApatheticOptimusZedJoshmviiOatsArcanisTheImpotentjdarksunDarkPrimusElvenshaeDr. Phibbs McAtheydestroyah87Mostlyjoe13Calicajakobagger
  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    If you've ever incorporated character backstory into a game or tweaked an adventure based on player action, you've already given away narrative controls. The rest is just a question of degree.

    We're reading Rifts. You should too. You know you want to. Now With Ninjas!

    They tried to bury us. They didn't know that we were seeds. 2018 Midterms. Get your shit together.
    ArcanisTheImpotentRhesus PositiveDex DynamoMsAnthropyOats
  • McKidMcKid Registered User regular
    Delduwath wrote: »
    McKid wrote: »
    No campaign exists before contact with the players.
    Yo that is a solid line. Please enter this into the canon of tabletop aphorisms.

    Thanks, but it's just "Play to find out what happens" reworded to reflect what I don't like about the classic line "No campaign survives impact with the players" :)
    AspectVoid wrote: »
    McKid wrote: »
    The specific example wasn't about a key campaign object, as if players are searching for the lost Orb of Grach-ma and one of the players is like "I find it under this nearby rock" and the GM is like "ok we'll roll with that."

    It was a player just wanting a book on botany to do something interesting in the next couple minutes.

    I mean Dungeon World seems largely based on that kind of rabbit-from-a-hat fun, within reason. The Adventuring Gear is designed for you to be able to pull whatever mundane object you happen to need at the time. There's not a GM-approved list of what's in there. Sure they can veto but I think that kind of handwavey tool is great, keep things moving, let the creativity work.

    If you want to subject yourself to it (and you really don't), this is where the standpoint is laid out and this is where the book on botany discussion happens (the post and the comments below it).

    Wew, you were right. I don't really know the RPG Pundit, but after reading these, I don't really want to. But honestly, this isn't representative of the OSR discourse I've seen before.
    AspectVoid wrote: »
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    2) A situation where the players come up with a solution that bypasses a bunch of prepwork that the GM did, so that they either flip the table over in a rage or collapse to the floor sobbing because you knocked the mind-controlled giant over on the building where the evil wizard was hiding and squashed him, he was behind the whole thing it was supposed to take you hours to track him down but now he's dead and so the whole session is over.

    My group does this all the time. If you don't want your main villain to die a quick and ignoble death, he needs to stay at the other side of the campaign from the players the entire time. Otherwise, someone's going to get two natural 20s with a vorpal axe, or have 5 dice on a mind control spells constantly explode to get 47 successes, or someone's going to get the bright idea to telepathically say hello the super slime monster which drives it nuts and has it devour the entire pirate force that was holding the party captive, or any of a dozen other things we've pulled off.

    Seriously, no campaign survives first contact with players.

    No campaign exists before contact with the players. Play is what happens at the table. When I switched to this mode of thinking, it made my prepping much easier and I felt way less pressure as a GM.

    My group does not handle sandbox. If you try to just play what happens at my table, you're fucked because the table won't do anything or go anywhere. I tried, and it was terrible. So very, very terrible. You need to have a campaign and a plan, because otherwise nothing will happen and the players will hate you.

    Oh yeah, I get you on this. But it doesn't have to be sandbox play to work. I'm playing in a campaign right now who's really representative of what I mean. We have very clear quest ("Go to this ziggurat and bring me back the Sorcerer-King magic tome in exchange for money"), but then there is no clear path to how we can achieve this. The GM has some initial idea about some challenges we might encounter, but not how we can resolve them. So when we find a (good or bad) solution to a challenge, it cannot be the "wrong" solution because the GM didn't really plan for one.

    If you are the podcast-listening type, the "Hieron" Seasons of Friends at the Table also follow this pattern of play.

    That said, I don't think that mode of play would be easy in a D&D game, mainly because the system is so combat-focused that you can't really improvise challenges and non-combat solutions to them.

  • SolarSolar Registered User regular
    Solar wrote: »
    Also I carefully, and happily, plan campaigns and plots out. If players can change the setting structure that I've carefully put together to allow those plots, then I can't really do that because it can disrupt them entirely and not to the benefit of anyone at the table, because that was a cool plot they'd have enjoyed and would have created roleplay opportunities which has now been cut out due to a player editing the scene, potentially inadvertantly.

    GM: "Through the bars of the grating, you see the cultists below, their leader poised with a dagger over the heart of your friend and mentor. As you watch the scene unfold..."

    Rogue: "I pull a grappling hook from my pack, and look at the fighter and say, 'are you thinking what I'm thinking?'"

    Fighter: "I bend the bars open to make enough space for the rogue to squeeze through!"

    GM: "Uh these bars are made of mithril and unbendable, and also rogue you don't have a grappling hook. There isn't time anyway, the dagger is plunged into the heart of your friend, who collapses lifelessly, and the ritual is completed!"

    Rogue and Fighter: "..."

    GM: "You're supposed to feel sad and swear revenge! Roleplay your anguish now! Wasn't that a dramatic scene?"

    Rogue and Fighter: "..."

    That sure is a scenario which fits your preconception of what I'm talking about that you've concocted there

    You know what fuck it I genuinely can't be bothered to even speak to someone who is going to refuse to engage with the topic in such an incredibly obtuse manner.

  • Grunt's GhostsGrunt's Ghosts Registered User regular
    edited May 2017
    When it comes to narrative control, I think it needs to be 50/50 or maybe 40/60 in the GMs favor. Players are suppose to be controlling the characters, if they start controlling the world around them without character input, such as saying "Yes, this rare book on Summoning Demons from the Ninth Realm of Hell is in this public library in Alabama." can be fun, but it also could get out of hand quickly.

    In my 13th Age games, I've given players some narrative control in the form of Tokens. When they picked their characters, they picked up to 3 Icons their character associate with and the type of relationship. At the start of each game, they roll dice, and for every 5 or 6, they get a token. During the game, they can spend that token in different ways.

    So my player might have a sword that seems ordinary to everyone. But he spends at token to connect it to an Icon. Now, I turn that weapon into magical weapon connected to that Icon saying that the player discovers that the sword has a secret compartment in the hilt that is holding a letter written by a Soldier of the Crusader about how much he hates the demons that killed his sister and how with this letter written in his and her blood he vows to slay as many demons as he can until his last breath. And now the player has Dying Breath, a sword that deals 1d6 per level damage to demons with the quirk that the player now believes that demons are behind everything, wither or not they are.

    Grunt's Ghosts on
    destroyah87
  • Grunt's GhostsGrunt's Ghosts Registered User regular
    McKid wrote: »
    Delduwath wrote: »
    McKid wrote: »
    No campaign exists before contact with the players.
    Yo that is a solid line. Please enter this into the canon of tabletop aphorisms.

    Thanks, but it's just "Play to find out what happens" reworded to reflect what I don't like about the classic line "No campaign survives impact with the players" :)
    AspectVoid wrote: »
    McKid wrote: »
    The specific example wasn't about a key campaign object, as if players are searching for the lost Orb of Grach-ma and one of the players is like "I find it under this nearby rock" and the GM is like "ok we'll roll with that."

    It was a player just wanting a book on botany to do something interesting in the next couple minutes.

    I mean Dungeon World seems largely based on that kind of rabbit-from-a-hat fun, within reason. The Adventuring Gear is designed for you to be able to pull whatever mundane object you happen to need at the time. There's not a GM-approved list of what's in there. Sure they can veto but I think that kind of handwavey tool is great, keep things moving, let the creativity work.

    If you want to subject yourself to it (and you really don't), this is where the standpoint is laid out and this is where the book on botany discussion happens (the post and the comments below it).

    Wew, you were right. I don't really know the RPG Pundit, but after reading these, I don't really want to. But honestly, this isn't representative of the OSR discourse I've seen before.
    AspectVoid wrote: »
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    2) A situation where the players come up with a solution that bypasses a bunch of prepwork that the GM did, so that they either flip the table over in a rage or collapse to the floor sobbing because you knocked the mind-controlled giant over on the building where the evil wizard was hiding and squashed him, he was behind the whole thing it was supposed to take you hours to track him down but now he's dead and so the whole session is over.

    My group does this all the time. If you don't want your main villain to die a quick and ignoble death, he needs to stay at the other side of the campaign from the players the entire time. Otherwise, someone's going to get two natural 20s with a vorpal axe, or have 5 dice on a mind control spells constantly explode to get 47 successes, or someone's going to get the bright idea to telepathically say hello the super slime monster which drives it nuts and has it devour the entire pirate force that was holding the party captive, or any of a dozen other things we've pulled off.

    Seriously, no campaign survives first contact with players.

    No campaign exists before contact with the players. Play is what happens at the table. When I switched to this mode of thinking, it made my prepping much easier and I felt way less pressure as a GM.

    My group does not handle sandbox. If you try to just play what happens at my table, you're fucked because the table won't do anything or go anywhere. I tried, and it was terrible. So very, very terrible. You need to have a campaign and a plan, because otherwise nothing will happen and the players will hate you.

    Oh yeah, I get you on this. But it doesn't have to be sandbox play to work. I'm playing in a campaign right now who's really representative of what I mean. We have very clear quest ("Go to this ziggurat and bring me back the Sorcerer-King magic tome in exchange for money"), but then there is no clear path to how we can achieve this. The GM has some initial idea about some challenges we might encounter, but not how we can resolve them. So when we find a (good or bad) solution to a challenge, it cannot be the "wrong" solution because the GM didn't really plan for one.

    If you are the podcast-listening type, the "Hieron" Seasons of Friends at the Table also follow this pattern of play.

    That said, I don't think that mode of play would be easy in a D&D game, mainly because the system is so combat-focused that you can't really improvise challenges and non-combat solutions to them.

    How your GM is doing his game is exactly how I've been doing all of mine for years now. I normally have a start, an end goal (which shifts as the game goes on), and then some set pieces that I might use or might not use. One of the things I loved about DMing 4E and 13th Age is that they have charts for DIY monsters and when my players come across something that demands fighting, I just look at the charts and adjust a few points here and there and make up everything else in my head. In 3.5, I'd crack open the MM and pick a monster the same level or CR as my players and then do the same. Either way, it's stupidly easy to run D&D that way.

    italianranma
  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    If I'm being perfectly honest, I'm lazy enough that my current approach to game running is all about offloading as much work as possible to the players.

    "Well, what do YOU think happens?"

    We're reading Rifts. You should too. You know you want to. Now With Ninjas!

    They tried to bury us. They didn't know that we were seeds. 2018 Midterms. Get your shit together.
    ArcanisTheImpotentjdarksunAlbino BunnyOatsadmanbcrimsoncoyoteElvenshaeMsAnthropy
  • JoshmviiJoshmvii Registered User regular
    I totally get how some GMs and players like "I plan out every detail of the world and the players just interact with them" style gameplay. It's a thing that exists, and it's not just controlling GMs who do it. Some GMs just enjoy plotting out details, and there are absolutely players that like playing in that style of game. That feel like they get a feeling of versimilitude by knowing that if they ask if the book is in the library and the GM says it is, it's because it was already there and they came up with an idea that allowed for a discovery.

    It's absolutely not how me and my friends like to play now though. As a GM, I'm interested in telling collaborative stories. And my players want to be free to make things happen that couldn't have been anticipated. Play to find out what happens is the core principle of how I run games, and it's not just for the players. I come up with stuff that's going on in the world, but I don't decide the correct angles of approach or decide exactly how long this hallway is or whether there's a book in the library.

    For me, it's a matter of doing as little GM prep as possible while still also having a fun game together where I get surprised by what happens as much as the players do.

    McKid
  • Grunt's GhostsGrunt's Ghosts Registered User regular
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    If I'm being perfectly honest, I'm lazy enough that my current approach to game running is all about offloading as much work as possible to the players.

    "Well, what do YOU think happens?"

    Then, what's the point of having a GM at all?

    JustTee
  • ArcanisTheImpotentArcanisTheImpotent Registered User regular
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    If I'm being perfectly honest, I'm lazy enough that my current approach to game running is all about offloading as much work as possible to the players.

    "Well, what do YOU think happens?"

    this and the post before me

    i work a lot now, my friends work a lot now

    no one has time to sit down for hours a week and plot out a magnum opus from start to finish and no one in my group wants to show up to the game, lean back in the chair and say to the gm "bring me my immersions! Entertain me!"

    we would all rather be active participants and create a shared experience together instead of going through an interactive funhouse

    destroyah87
  • McKidMcKid Registered User regular
    McKid wrote: »
    Delduwath wrote: »
    McKid wrote: »
    No campaign exists before contact with the players.
    Yo that is a solid line. Please enter this into the canon of tabletop aphorisms.

    Thanks, but it's just "Play to find out what happens" reworded to reflect what I don't like about the classic line "No campaign survives impact with the players" :)
    AspectVoid wrote: »
    McKid wrote: »
    The specific example wasn't about a key campaign object, as if players are searching for the lost Orb of Grach-ma and one of the players is like "I find it under this nearby rock" and the GM is like "ok we'll roll with that."

    It was a player just wanting a book on botany to do something interesting in the next couple minutes.

    I mean Dungeon World seems largely based on that kind of rabbit-from-a-hat fun, within reason. The Adventuring Gear is designed for you to be able to pull whatever mundane object you happen to need at the time. There's not a GM-approved list of what's in there. Sure they can veto but I think that kind of handwavey tool is great, keep things moving, let the creativity work.

    If you want to subject yourself to it (and you really don't), this is where the standpoint is laid out and this is where the book on botany discussion happens (the post and the comments below it).

    Wew, you were right. I don't really know the RPG Pundit, but after reading these, I don't really want to. But honestly, this isn't representative of the OSR discourse I've seen before.
    AspectVoid wrote: »
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    2) A situation where the players come up with a solution that bypasses a bunch of prepwork that the GM did, so that they either flip the table over in a rage or collapse to the floor sobbing because you knocked the mind-controlled giant over on the building where the evil wizard was hiding and squashed him, he was behind the whole thing it was supposed to take you hours to track him down but now he's dead and so the whole session is over.

    My group does this all the time. If you don't want your main villain to die a quick and ignoble death, he needs to stay at the other side of the campaign from the players the entire time. Otherwise, someone's going to get two natural 20s with a vorpal axe, or have 5 dice on a mind control spells constantly explode to get 47 successes, or someone's going to get the bright idea to telepathically say hello the super slime monster which drives it nuts and has it devour the entire pirate force that was holding the party captive, or any of a dozen other things we've pulled off.

    Seriously, no campaign survives first contact with players.

    No campaign exists before contact with the players. Play is what happens at the table. When I switched to this mode of thinking, it made my prepping much easier and I felt way less pressure as a GM.

    My group does not handle sandbox. If you try to just play what happens at my table, you're fucked because the table won't do anything or go anywhere. I tried, and it was terrible. So very, very terrible. You need to have a campaign and a plan, because otherwise nothing will happen and the players will hate you.

    Oh yeah, I get you on this. But it doesn't have to be sandbox play to work. I'm playing in a campaign right now who's really representative of what I mean. We have very clear quest ("Go to this ziggurat and bring me back the Sorcerer-King magic tome in exchange for money"), but then there is no clear path to how we can achieve this. The GM has some initial idea about some challenges we might encounter, but not how we can resolve them. So when we find a (good or bad) solution to a challenge, it cannot be the "wrong" solution because the GM didn't really plan for one.

    If you are the podcast-listening type, the "Hieron" Seasons of Friends at the Table also follow this pattern of play.

    That said, I don't think that mode of play would be easy in a D&D game, mainly because the system is so combat-focused that you can't really improvise challenges and non-combat solutions to them.

    How your GM is doing his game is exactly how I've been doing all of mine for years now. I normally have a start, an end goal (which shifts as the game goes on), and then some set pieces that I might use or might not use. One of the things I loved about DMing 4E and 13th Age is that they have charts for DIY monsters and when my players come across something that demands fighting, I just look at the charts and adjust a few points here and there and make up everything else in my head. In 3.5, I'd crack open the MM and pick a monster the same level or CR as my players and then do the same. Either way, it's stupidly easy to run D&D that way.

    Nice, so now AspectVoid can try it at their table :p

    What I meant was that in DnD, most of your unplanned challenges and the players' solution to them will still be combat, because that is what DnD's system support, takes the most time at the table and rewards the players in XP. So if the players find solutions that aren't fighting, it might feel like they short-circuited the game, which feels bad. But in a system that gives equal support to all sorts of task resolution, it feels as mechanically satisfying to sneak past the ogre than fight it. So you can more easily throw stuff at your players without having any clue to how they'll overcome it and let them be creative.

  • Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Quantronic Dreamgirl Registered User regular
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    If I'm being perfectly honest, I'm lazy enough that my current approach to game running is all about offloading as much work as possible to the players.

    "Well, what do YOU think happens?"

    This is part of the reason I don't run Fragged more often. The reliance on grid combat and hard stats means it's even harder to fudge than Shadowrun (especially because roll20 doesn't seem great for just having impromptu grids rather than pre-prepped images).

  • Grunt's GhostsGrunt's Ghosts Registered User regular
    McKid wrote: »
    McKid wrote: »
    Delduwath wrote: »
    McKid wrote: »
    No campaign exists before contact with the players.
    Yo that is a solid line. Please enter this into the canon of tabletop aphorisms.

    Thanks, but it's just "Play to find out what happens" reworded to reflect what I don't like about the classic line "No campaign survives impact with the players" :)
    AspectVoid wrote: »
    McKid wrote: »
    The specific example wasn't about a key campaign object, as if players are searching for the lost Orb of Grach-ma and one of the players is like "I find it under this nearby rock" and the GM is like "ok we'll roll with that."

    It was a player just wanting a book on botany to do something interesting in the next couple minutes.

    I mean Dungeon World seems largely based on that kind of rabbit-from-a-hat fun, within reason. The Adventuring Gear is designed for you to be able to pull whatever mundane object you happen to need at the time. There's not a GM-approved list of what's in there. Sure they can veto but I think that kind of handwavey tool is great, keep things moving, let the creativity work.

    If you want to subject yourself to it (and you really don't), this is where the standpoint is laid out and this is where the book on botany discussion happens (the post and the comments below it).

    Wew, you were right. I don't really know the RPG Pundit, but after reading these, I don't really want to. But honestly, this isn't representative of the OSR discourse I've seen before.
    AspectVoid wrote: »
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    2) A situation where the players come up with a solution that bypasses a bunch of prepwork that the GM did, so that they either flip the table over in a rage or collapse to the floor sobbing because you knocked the mind-controlled giant over on the building where the evil wizard was hiding and squashed him, he was behind the whole thing it was supposed to take you hours to track him down but now he's dead and so the whole session is over.

    My group does this all the time. If you don't want your main villain to die a quick and ignoble death, he needs to stay at the other side of the campaign from the players the entire time. Otherwise, someone's going to get two natural 20s with a vorpal axe, or have 5 dice on a mind control spells constantly explode to get 47 successes, or someone's going to get the bright idea to telepathically say hello the super slime monster which drives it nuts and has it devour the entire pirate force that was holding the party captive, or any of a dozen other things we've pulled off.

    Seriously, no campaign survives first contact with players.

    No campaign exists before contact with the players. Play is what happens at the table. When I switched to this mode of thinking, it made my prepping much easier and I felt way less pressure as a GM.

    My group does not handle sandbox. If you try to just play what happens at my table, you're fucked because the table won't do anything or go anywhere. I tried, and it was terrible. So very, very terrible. You need to have a campaign and a plan, because otherwise nothing will happen and the players will hate you.

    Oh yeah, I get you on this. But it doesn't have to be sandbox play to work. I'm playing in a campaign right now who's really representative of what I mean. We have very clear quest ("Go to this ziggurat and bring me back the Sorcerer-King magic tome in exchange for money"), but then there is no clear path to how we can achieve this. The GM has some initial idea about some challenges we might encounter, but not how we can resolve them. So when we find a (good or bad) solution to a challenge, it cannot be the "wrong" solution because the GM didn't really plan for one.

    If you are the podcast-listening type, the "Hieron" Seasons of Friends at the Table also follow this pattern of play.

    That said, I don't think that mode of play would be easy in a D&D game, mainly because the system is so combat-focused that you can't really improvise challenges and non-combat solutions to them.

    How your GM is doing his game is exactly how I've been doing all of mine for years now. I normally have a start, an end goal (which shifts as the game goes on), and then some set pieces that I might use or might not use. One of the things I loved about DMing 4E and 13th Age is that they have charts for DIY monsters and when my players come across something that demands fighting, I just look at the charts and adjust a few points here and there and make up everything else in my head. In 3.5, I'd crack open the MM and pick a monster the same level or CR as my players and then do the same. Either way, it's stupidly easy to run D&D that way.

    Nice, so now AspectVoid can try it at their table :p

    What I meant was that in DnD, most of your unplanned challenges and the players' solution to them will still be combat, because that is what DnD's system support, takes the most time at the table and rewards the players in XP. So if the players find solutions that aren't fighting, it might feel like they short-circuited the game, which feels bad. But in a system that gives equal support to all sorts of task resolution, it feels as mechanically satisfying to sneak past the ogre than fight it. So you can more easily throw stuff at your players without having any clue to how they'll overcome it and let them be creative.

    I will admit to being sad that the guys in my "What Lies Beneath" game has pretty much stealth their way to the end, that's fine because a) They got to get out some how, and b) they now got a fight on their hands.

    Also, don't give xp just because of monster fights. That's so stupid and old school it should be dead in any gaming experience. Did you play in a game today and not die? POINTS! Did you do your quest and succeed? POINTS! Did you have fun? POINTS! Did you get really drunk at the table while playing? Bathroom is that way, don't puke on my table.

    Dr. Phibbs McAtheyJacobywebguy20Calica
  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    If I'm being perfectly honest, I'm lazy enough that my current approach to game running is all about offloading as much work as possible to the players.

    "Well, what do YOU think happens?"

    Then, what's the point of having a GM at all?

    I build the alley, we set up the pins, they knock them down.

    We're reading Rifts. You should too. You know you want to. Now With Ninjas!

    They tried to bury us. They didn't know that we were seeds. 2018 Midterms. Get your shit together.
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  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    Giving the players a degree of control over shaping the world makes them more invested and personally connected to it.

    Does it really matter to my degree of control of the if I let them name some locations and NPCs? Well, yes, but IMO only in a positive way. Players coming up with contacts they know more usually provides me with more opportunities for story hooks, rather than shutting them down.

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  • SolarSolar Registered User regular
    Joshmvii wrote: »
    I totally get how some GMs and players like "I plan out every detail of the world and the players just interact with them" style gameplay. It's a thing that exists, and it's not just controlling GMs who do it. Some GMs just enjoy plotting out details, and there are absolutely players that like playing in that style of game. That feel like they get a feeling of versimilitude by knowing that if they ask if the book is in the library and the GM says it is, it's because it was already there and they came up with an idea that allowed for a discovery.

    This is essentially what I'm getting at

    It's not about being a controlling GM or coming up with ridiculously contrived circumstances or fucking your players over, much as some people might have ludicrously stupid ideas that it is. It's about creating a living, breathing world that their characters can interactive with while feeling immersed into something that isn't just an immediate projection around the PCs. It feels real and deep. As a GM, I strive to evoke that feeling. As a player, I love to swim in it. I don't want to create the setting, I want to experience it and I want my players to have that experience.

    Yes it is hard and it does take time to get right
    A lot of planning goes into my games. Probably hundreds of hours, certainly dozens of hours. I enjoy the game much more when it is planned out. It is collaborative storytelling insofar as the PCs and the NPCs/setting work together to bring a story to life; but just like in the real world, what a player can directly control is limited to themselves and their ability to interact with things around them. Nobody has narrative powers. Everyone has what their character would have if they were real within the context of the setting.

  • UncleSporkyUncleSporky Registered User regular
    edited May 2017
    Solar wrote: »
    That sure is a scenario which fits your preconception of what I'm talking about that you've concocted there

    You know what fuck it I genuinely can't be bothered to even speak to someone who is going to refuse to engage with the topic in such an incredibly obtuse manner.

    I wasn't trying to be a dick, I just thought an illustration would be an easier way to get my point across.

    Everyone can run their game the way they and their table likes it, but I thought general GMing advice was to avoid an intricately set up world and plot, because it won't survive the players. Unless they dutifully act exactly as you expect them to and travel that rail, and to be fair some tables have that buy-in from all the players.

    You can know your players and have a general idea of what cool plots they would enjoy, however I expect that most players will consider whatever happens to be an enjoyable plot, if they got to roleplay and utilize their skills effectively that session. If their actions start disturbing the balance of the GM's plot, it's probably because they're excited about other opportunities they see (as long as you know they're not intentionally fucking with you). They may not have a story to tell later about the scenario you envisioned, but instead they have a story about the time they somehow rolled 3 20s in a row, blew everybody's mind, and accomplished something miraculous.

    Saying your plot creates roleplay opportunities that can be lost due to player intervention strikes me as backwards, but maybe that's just from the standpoint of playing to find out what happens together. The GM can feel a sense of loss that they didn't get to tell their story, and of course GM enjoyment is important too, but to the players it's just another thing that happened. There are always interesting roleplay opportunities. The game doesn't come to a screeching halt unless the GM lets it - "you guys accidentally killed the Big Bad so now everything is fine here, everyone is happy. There was going to be a showdown with a monologue but that opportunity is gone. I'd ask 'what do you do' but now there is nothing left to do." Not to imply this is how you would run things, I just don't see a lost opportunity unless the GM stops creating them.

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  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    edited May 2017
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    If I'm being perfectly honest, I'm lazy enough that my current approach to game running is all about offloading as much work as possible to the players.

    "Well, what do YOU think happens?"

    This is part of the reason I don't run Fragged more often. The reliance on grid combat and hard stats means it's even harder to fudge than Shadowrun (especially because roll20 doesn't seem great for just having impromptu grids rather than pre-prepped images).
    I've never explicitly run Shadowrun on grid-based combat. Neither has any GM for Shadowrun at GenCon. Sometimes, we never had a map.

    Shadowrun is really easy to fudge. All rolls boil down to either Roll Rating of Thing or Roll Rating x 2 of a Thing. The players never notice.

    And if you are talking about Fudging rolls from Players or NPCs, that's what Edge is for.

    Hahnsoo1 on
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  • McKidMcKid Registered User regular
    McKid wrote: »
    McKid wrote: »
    Delduwath wrote: »
    McKid wrote: »
    No campaign exists before contact with the players.
    Yo that is a solid line. Please enter this into the canon of tabletop aphorisms.

    Thanks, but it's just "Play to find out what happens" reworded to reflect what I don't like about the classic line "No campaign survives impact with the players" :)
    AspectVoid wrote: »
    McKid wrote: »
    The specific example wasn't about a key campaign object, as if players are searching for the lost Orb of Grach-ma and one of the players is like "I find it under this nearby rock" and the GM is like "ok we'll roll with that."

    It was a player just wanting a book on botany to do something interesting in the next couple minutes.

    I mean Dungeon World seems largely based on that kind of rabbit-from-a-hat fun, within reason. The Adventuring Gear is designed for you to be able to pull whatever mundane object you happen to need at the time. There's not a GM-approved list of what's in there. Sure they can veto but I think that kind of handwavey tool is great, keep things moving, let the creativity work.

    If you want to subject yourself to it (and you really don't), this is where the standpoint is laid out and this is where the book on botany discussion happens (the post and the comments below it).

    Wew, you were right. I don't really know the RPG Pundit, but after reading these, I don't really want to. But honestly, this isn't representative of the OSR discourse I've seen before.
    AspectVoid wrote: »
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    2) A situation where the players come up with a solution that bypasses a bunch of prepwork that the GM did, so that they either flip the table over in a rage or collapse to the floor sobbing because you knocked the mind-controlled giant over on the building where the evil wizard was hiding and squashed him, he was behind the whole thing it was supposed to take you hours to track him down but now he's dead and so the whole session is over.

    My group does this all the time. If you don't want your main villain to die a quick and ignoble death, he needs to stay at the other side of the campaign from the players the entire time. Otherwise, someone's going to get two natural 20s with a vorpal axe, or have 5 dice on a mind control spells constantly explode to get 47 successes, or someone's going to get the bright idea to telepathically say hello the super slime monster which drives it nuts and has it devour the entire pirate force that was holding the party captive, or any of a dozen other things we've pulled off.

    Seriously, no campaign survives first contact with players.

    No campaign exists before contact with the players. Play is what happens at the table. When I switched to this mode of thinking, it made my prepping much easier and I felt way less pressure as a GM.

    My group does not handle sandbox. If you try to just play what happens at my table, you're fucked because the table won't do anything or go anywhere. I tried, and it was terrible. So very, very terrible. You need to have a campaign and a plan, because otherwise nothing will happen and the players will hate you.

    Oh yeah, I get you on this. But it doesn't have to be sandbox play to work. I'm playing in a campaign right now who's really representative of what I mean. We have very clear quest ("Go to this ziggurat and bring me back the Sorcerer-King magic tome in exchange for money"), but then there is no clear path to how we can achieve this. The GM has some initial idea about some challenges we might encounter, but not how we can resolve them. So when we find a (good or bad) solution to a challenge, it cannot be the "wrong" solution because the GM didn't really plan for one.

    If you are the podcast-listening type, the "Hieron" Seasons of Friends at the Table also follow this pattern of play.

    That said, I don't think that mode of play would be easy in a D&D game, mainly because the system is so combat-focused that you can't really improvise challenges and non-combat solutions to them.

    How your GM is doing his game is exactly how I've been doing all of mine for years now. I normally have a start, an end goal (which shifts as the game goes on), and then some set pieces that I might use or might not use. One of the things I loved about DMing 4E and 13th Age is that they have charts for DIY monsters and when my players come across something that demands fighting, I just look at the charts and adjust a few points here and there and make up everything else in my head. In 3.5, I'd crack open the MM and pick a monster the same level or CR as my players and then do the same. Either way, it's stupidly easy to run D&D that way.

    Nice, so now AspectVoid can try it at their table :p

    What I meant was that in DnD, most of your unplanned challenges and the players' solution to them will still be combat, because that is what DnD's system support, takes the most time at the table and rewards the players in XP. So if the players find solutions that aren't fighting, it might feel like they short-circuited the game, which feels bad. But in a system that gives equal support to all sorts of task resolution, it feels as mechanically satisfying to sneak past the ogre than fight it. So you can more easily throw stuff at your players without having any clue to how they'll overcome it and let them be creative.

    I will admit to being sad that the guys in my "What Lies Beneath" game has pretty much stealth their way to the end, that's fine because a) They got to get out some how, and b) they now got a fight on their hands.

    Also, don't give xp just because of monster fights. That's so stupid and old school it should be dead in any gaming experience. Did you play in a game today and not die? POINTS! Did you do your quest and succeed? POINTS! Did you have fun? POINTS! Did you get really drunk at the table while playing? Bathroom is that way, don't puke on my table.

    That's a common misconception. In Basic DnD, you got the vast majority of your XP from bringing back loot to the town. 1 gold = 1 xp.


    Also, and this might be a discussion for another time, but I firmly believe in strictly following the reward structure of a game.

  • GlaziusGlazius Registered User regular
    Stupid Fate Question: How much control do the players have over narrative details?
    Suppose that they were fighting a Big Monster summoned by the Village Druid. The Village Chief did some actions defending the Druid but did not help the Monster. Now, they defeated the monster, and I kind of want to say that the Chief was an unwilling ally (acting out of fear to protect his villagers), but can a player say "I think he's lying. I'm want to see if he's a liar and if he's acting out a ruse as a Plan B, rolling a contest of my Empathy versus his Deceive"? Can I just say "No, he ain't lying, he's telling the truth", or can they roll successfully and have the chief Actually Lying?

    Lying is defended by Empathy. You can't create lies any more than you can create invisible arrows by rolling Athletics to dodge them.

    Empathy can give you aspects that "already exist", though, and it's up to you as GM to decide what the chief's aspects are in order to reveal them.
    Fate Assistance: My last player is having trouble trying to fit the kitchen sink into his character, which is a Magical T-800 Terminator (Time Traveling Steel Golem with Flesh exterior). He wants the Termi Steel Golem to be hella Strong (Physique), hella good at a Fight (Fight/Shoot), and be as agile as a normal human with better reflexes (...Athletics), resistant to medieval small arms fire and weapons (????), functions with a magical battery that can be charged with magic or sunlight, effectively making him tireless (?????).
    So yeah, kitchen sink. I said to whittle it down and focus on a few things he'd be good at (because of the Skill pyramid), and we'll just handwave the rest away to a glitch the Steel Golem encountered when it time traveled. Is that a good call? Is there a better way to handle it?

    Uh, he gots Stunts, right? Conform to the skill pyramid as you can and use stunts to make up the difference.

    Elvenshaeitalianranma
  • Grunt's GhostsGrunt's Ghosts Registered User regular
    McKid wrote: »
    McKid wrote: »
    McKid wrote: »
    Delduwath wrote: »
    McKid wrote: »
    No campaign exists before contact with the players.
    Yo that is a solid line. Please enter this into the canon of tabletop aphorisms.

    Thanks, but it's just "Play to find out what happens" reworded to reflect what I don't like about the classic line "No campaign survives impact with the players" :)
    AspectVoid wrote: »
    McKid wrote: »
    The specific example wasn't about a key campaign object, as if players are searching for the lost Orb of Grach-ma and one of the players is like "I find it under this nearby rock" and the GM is like "ok we'll roll with that."

    It was a player just wanting a book on botany to do something interesting in the next couple minutes.

    I mean Dungeon World seems largely based on that kind of rabbit-from-a-hat fun, within reason. The Adventuring Gear is designed for you to be able to pull whatever mundane object you happen to need at the time. There's not a GM-approved list of what's in there. Sure they can veto but I think that kind of handwavey tool is great, keep things moving, let the creativity work.

    If you want to subject yourself to it (and you really don't), this is where the standpoint is laid out and this is where the book on botany discussion happens (the post and the comments below it).

    Wew, you were right. I don't really know the RPG Pundit, but after reading these, I don't really want to. But honestly, this isn't representative of the OSR discourse I've seen before.
    AspectVoid wrote: »
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    2) A situation where the players come up with a solution that bypasses a bunch of prepwork that the GM did, so that they either flip the table over in a rage or collapse to the floor sobbing because you knocked the mind-controlled giant over on the building where the evil wizard was hiding and squashed him, he was behind the whole thing it was supposed to take you hours to track him down but now he's dead and so the whole session is over.

    My group does this all the time. If you don't want your main villain to die a quick and ignoble death, he needs to stay at the other side of the campaign from the players the entire time. Otherwise, someone's going to get two natural 20s with a vorpal axe, or have 5 dice on a mind control spells constantly explode to get 47 successes, or someone's going to get the bright idea to telepathically say hello the super slime monster which drives it nuts and has it devour the entire pirate force that was holding the party captive, or any of a dozen other things we've pulled off.

    Seriously, no campaign survives first contact with players.

    No campaign exists before contact with the players. Play is what happens at the table. When I switched to this mode of thinking, it made my prepping much easier and I felt way less pressure as a GM.

    My group does not handle sandbox. If you try to just play what happens at my table, you're fucked because the table won't do anything or go anywhere. I tried, and it was terrible. So very, very terrible. You need to have a campaign and a plan, because otherwise nothing will happen and the players will hate you.

    Oh yeah, I get you on this. But it doesn't have to be sandbox play to work. I'm playing in a campaign right now who's really representative of what I mean. We have very clear quest ("Go to this ziggurat and bring me back the Sorcerer-King magic tome in exchange for money"), but then there is no clear path to how we can achieve this. The GM has some initial idea about some challenges we might encounter, but not how we can resolve them. So when we find a (good or bad) solution to a challenge, it cannot be the "wrong" solution because the GM didn't really plan for one.

    If you are the podcast-listening type, the "Hieron" Seasons of Friends at the Table also follow this pattern of play.

    That said, I don't think that mode of play would be easy in a D&D game, mainly because the system is so combat-focused that you can't really improvise challenges and non-combat solutions to them.

    How your GM is doing his game is exactly how I've been doing all of mine for years now. I normally have a start, an end goal (which shifts as the game goes on), and then some set pieces that I might use or might not use. One of the things I loved about DMing 4E and 13th Age is that they have charts for DIY monsters and when my players come across something that demands fighting, I just look at the charts and adjust a few points here and there and make up everything else in my head. In 3.5, I'd crack open the MM and pick a monster the same level or CR as my players and then do the same. Either way, it's stupidly easy to run D&D that way.

    Nice, so now AspectVoid can try it at their table :p

    What I meant was that in DnD, most of your unplanned challenges and the players' solution to them will still be combat, because that is what DnD's system support, takes the most time at the table and rewards the players in XP. So if the players find solutions that aren't fighting, it might feel like they short-circuited the game, which feels bad. But in a system that gives equal support to all sorts of task resolution, it feels as mechanically satisfying to sneak past the ogre than fight it. So you can more easily throw stuff at your players without having any clue to how they'll overcome it and let them be creative.

    I will admit to being sad that the guys in my "What Lies Beneath" game has pretty much stealth their way to the end, that's fine because a) They got to get out some how, and b) they now got a fight on their hands.

    Also, don't give xp just because of monster fights. That's so stupid and old school it should be dead in any gaming experience. Did you play in a game today and not die? POINTS! Did you do your quest and succeed? POINTS! Did you have fun? POINTS! Did you get really drunk at the table while playing? Bathroom is that way, don't puke on my table.

    That's a common misconception. In Basic DnD, you got the vast majority of your XP from bringing back loot to the town. 1 gold = 1 xp.


    Also, and this might be a discussion for another time, but I firmly believe in strictly following the reward structure of a game.

    For me, it's about the maths. I don't like counting up all the xp earned this game, dividing it up, and what not. I rather say "Ok, you've completed this story arc, mission, ect. You've gained a level/ level advancement." and go on. Easier on me, easier on them.

    ElvenshaeRhesus PositiveErin The Redwebguy20
  • DelduwathDelduwath Registered User regular
    From a player's perspective, when you go "Hey, we need a demonology book to stop the current Big Bad, maybe there's one in this library?", the GM says "Well, roll your Dewey Decimal skill to see what's up", you do so, and the GM looks you in the eye and says "You've found 'Of Infyrnal Creatures and Daemoniac Beasts', good for you!", how can you possibly know whether
    - The book existed in the GM's notes, in this very library
    - The GM saw you succeed in your roll and made the book up on the spot to reward you
    - The GM made the book up to reward you for having the idea to search for it, and was going to give it to you regardless of what you rolled
    - The book existed in the GM's notes, and was going to give it to the first person who thought to look for it

    Like, to me it seems like unless the GM betrays it, intentionally or not, the players won't necessarily know whether their action made the GM change their world, or whether the actions simply revealed more of the pre-existing world.

    OptimusZedFoolish ChaosElvenshaeDarkPrimusOatsadmanbPhoenix-DRhesus PositiveDr. Phibbs McAtheyArcanisTheImpotentAnialosRainfallcrimsoncoyoteErin The Reddestroyah87
  • Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Quantronic Dreamgirl Registered User regular
    I like setting up specific simulationist environments that are moderately detailed and giving the players a goal in which to fuck around in that area. With anything else done in a more broad strokes fashion. Which is probably why cool crime games (Shadowrun, Blades In the Dark) appeal to me a lot because that's practically the definition of the genre structure wise.


    E.G. the plan for this Sunday (which doesn't seem to be happening due to a lack of interest. Tragic):

    24 hours ago Tunguska's data vaults (containing information and finance vital to keeping the Nomad nation afloat) were compromised on a scale that no breach has ever managed before. While internal security quickly tracked down and incarcerated the individuals responsible they still managed to transmit a sizable portion of strategic information to an unknown vessel. Interrogations bore fruit and had one of the criminals reveal that the payment for the data heist would be occurring in Little Havana: a large scale night club and not so secret black market occupying six floors in a large cave system on Acontecimento. As the nearest Nomad agents available your job is to enter the club, establish who the seller is and capture him for interrogation so we can stamp out this breach once and for all. If this proves impossible then eliminate the seller and remove his cube for later examination.

    So primarily the mission would start off using the games Psywar system to establish the various groups with in the clubs infrastructure, gain the trust of at least one of them and figure out who the Seller is. Then depending on the situation the group could try to pose as the target's buyers, go for an assassination or any number of possible options. The main focus (with this being a psywar op in a pretty public location) would be on the various factions about Little Havana:

    The Staff are primarily concerned with keeping a club full of criminals, naive young adults and jumpy Acontecimento cops existing without someone shooting someone else. They're headed by Rodriguez the head bartender. Rodriguez and his staff are savvy enough to peg all but the most discrete PC's for what they are as soon as they walk in. However they won't act on that information unless they feel the social equilibrium of the club is threatened by the PC's in some way. They're also a fantastic source of information due to their eyes and ears all over the place.

    Gente Independiente de Acontecimento The independent people of Acontecimento for those not up on their spanish. Depending on who you ask these guys are dangerous drug pushers who use politics as a cover or dangerous terrorists who fund themselves through narcotics. Either way you can find rubes sporting their logo on their t-shirts and AR signatures all over the club. Not that any of them are actual GIA members. Just eager supports of the cause giving daddy's money to the great cause of drugs and feel good politics. The actual members are a little harder to spot. They mostly hang out in the main cave. They aren't the smartest of the bunch or the hardest to manipulate but they know not to start any trouble for risk of getting turfed out by the Familia a much more established and far more serious gang. However if the PC's can arrange for the Familia's pushers to be distracted or incapacitated for the night to allow the GIA drug sellers access to some more choice areas of the club then they'll happily be your goons or provide information where possible.

    De Familia The real criminals around the place. They're serioiusly dangerous and seriously good at what they do. Chances are if a PC's got someone trying to sell them happiness in a pill then they're working with De Familia. The current leader of operations for Little Havana is a small man of Brazilian descent named Johnny. De Familia are involved in tonights mission as an aggrieved customer: the data stolen almost certainly involves financial or operational information on them considering Tunguska's involvement with many criminal organizations. While this likely won't have an impact on the behavior of the average goon (who are a bit too low on the ladder to really know or care about such things) Johnny will be simultaneously aggravated and willing to help PC's if he becomes aware of the mission they're on. Though there's no stopping him from taking the Seller for himself and engaging in a little ransom if he's given the opportunity.

    Forest Rangers Service Much to the chagrin of the Forest Rangers Service Little Havana is technically just a little too far away from Bhai Gurdas to fall under their police's jurisdiction. Meaning that Little Havana often becomes the job of disgraced, inexperienced or just plain unlucky Forest Rangers. They mostly spend their time on the outer edges of the cave. Sometimes sending people on drink runs to the bar and have a small camp a couple hundred meters away from the din where they go when off shift. Depending on the situation you can find them cleaning up the outskirts of the club, scanning people who enter (never De Familia members though) and generally doing any task that's low effort and doesn't involve going into the club and dealing with the den of criminals that outnumber and out gun them. Officers on duty mostly just accept that Little Havana isn't something they can do anything about unless command wants to petition for significantly more resources. The Rangers are apathetic to the PC's for the most part but will have the awareness to report the situation to HQ if they catch wind of it. In addition to that they're also well armed and armoured and can be called into the fight by any Pan-Oceanian agent on the scene.

    The Hexahedron Lets be honest, the only people who can afford to buy this data are mega corps or nations. Considering where we are and their interest in destabilizing the Nomad nation chances are real high that Pan-Oceania are behind this attack. As a result this is a short reading to not underestimate any individuals making the purchase or who take an undue interest in you. Hexas agents are licensed to kill and are very good at doing that when their impeccable social manipulation skills fail to achieve the objective.

    admanb
  • SolarSolar Registered User regular
    edited May 2017
    Solar wrote: »
    That sure is a scenario which fits your preconception of what I'm talking about that you've concocted there

    You know what fuck it I genuinely can't be bothered to even speak to someone who is going to refuse to engage with the topic in such an incredibly obtuse manner.

    I wasn't trying to be a dick, I just thought an illustration would be an easier way to get my point across.

    Everyone can run their game the way they and their table likes it, but I thought general GMing advice was to avoid an intricately set up world and plot, because it won't survive the players. Unless they dutifully act exactly as you expect them to and travel that rail, and to be fair some tables have that buy-in from all the players.

    You can know your players and have a general idea of what cool plots they would enjoy, however I expect that most players will consider whatever happens to be an enjoyable plot, if they got to roleplay and utilize their skills effectively that session. If their actions start disturbing the balance of the GM's plot, it's probably because they're excited about other opportunities they see (as long as you know they're not intentionally fucking with you). They may not have a story to tell later about the scenario you envisioned, but instead they have a story about the time they somehow rolled 3 20s in a row, blew everybody's mind, and accomplished something miraculous.

    Saying your plot creates roleplay opportunities that can be lost due to player intervention strikes me as backwards, but maybe that's just from the standpoint of playing to find out what happens together. The GM can feel a sense of loss that they didn't get to tell their story, and of course GM enjoyment is important too, but to the players it's just another thing that happened. There are always interesting roleplay opportunities. The game doesn't come to a screeching halt unless the GM lets it - "you guys accidentally killed the Big Bad so now everything is fine here, everyone is happy. There was going to be a showdown with a monologue but that opportunity is gone. I'd ask 'what do you do' but now there is nothing left to do." Not to imply this is how you would run things, I just don't see a lost opportunity unless the GM stops creating them.

    Well, you did come off like a total goose, and I'm pretty sure that the reason is because you're missing my point entirely but would rather mock what you think a game run under my preferences than actually engage with my point.

    Which is not that the plot can't withstand player involvement, the plot is reliant on player involvement. They are drivers of the plot through their action. You can, in fact, with planning and consideration, create plots and settings which withstand players and I do it all the time with pretty cunning and tricky players.

    But what carefully worked out plots and setting elements can't do is withstand player alteration without falling apart. If the plot relies on there not being a book on biology in the library then it will fall apart if the players spontaneously create the book with their control of the narrative. And that's a shame because I just worked out a whole sequence where the players go somewhere and interact with the setting which now is defunct. Not player involvement, player alteration on a narrative on a level beyond what that actual character can do. I hate that. I don't want to write my character's story from the perspective of them being fictional, I want to inhabit them as if they were real, play their role so to speak. And as a GM I want them to do the same.

    It's not railroading or slapping the player's inventiveness down, it's letting players making choices in the context of what their character would do and feel and me presenting the choices and challenges and consequences thereof, dealing with the shifting implications of their actions on the world and story I am supervising. I hate railroading just as much, incidentally, which is why your insinuation that it's what my style of GM-ing does pissed me off like it did (amongst being patronising and ignoring my actual points)

    Solar on
  • Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Quantronic Dreamgirl Registered User regular
    Hahnsoo1 wrote: »
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    If I'm being perfectly honest, I'm lazy enough that my current approach to game running is all about offloading as much work as possible to the players.

    "Well, what do YOU think happens?"

    This is part of the reason I don't run Fragged more often. The reliance on grid combat and hard stats means it's even harder to fudge than Shadowrun (especially because roll20 doesn't seem great for just having impromptu grids rather than pre-prepped images).
    I've never explicitly run Shadowrun on grid-based combat. Neither has any GM for Shadowrun at GenCon. Sometimes, we never had a map.

    Shadowrun is really easy to fudge. All rolls boil down to either Roll Rating of Thing or Roll Rating x 2 of a Thing. The players never notice.

    And if you are talking about Fudging rolls from Players or NPCs, that's what Edge is for.

    Yeah, Shadowrun I'm probably gonna run kinda grid-lite where I'll provide a map if I feel we need it but mostly just play it by ear.

    Fragged you could that with in theory but I don't think it'd work out super well.

  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    Exhaustive determinative world building is essentially indistinguishable from a more lackadaisical narrativest approach if both are run well. From the player's standpoint, at least.

    We're reading Rifts. You should too. You know you want to. Now With Ninjas!

    They tried to bury us. They didn't know that we were seeds. 2018 Midterms. Get your shit together.
    Hahnsoo1OatsadmanbElvenshaeArdentArcanisTheImpotentAnialosErin The Reddestroyah87jdarksun
  • OatsOats Registered User regular
    Players can and will be their own worst enemy with this sort of stuff too.

    If you ask your players "what went wrong when, between sessions, you tried to <whatever>?" more often then not they will go hard.

    Phoenix-DElvenshaeThe Hanged ManErin The Reddestroyah87jdarksun
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