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

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Posts

  • WearingglassesWearingglasses Of the friendly neighborhood variety Registered User regular
    Glazius wrote: »
    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.

    But I've heard of examples where players want to look for a secret tunnel - and because they rolled successfully, find one (even if the GM did not plan for it); I take it NPC aspects are a different scenario than secret tunnels?

  • Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Bad Opinion Haver Registered User regular
    6of77sd7u24a.png

    Basically.

    ElvenshaeSteelhawkErin The RedjammuShinyRedKnight
  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    Glazius wrote: »
    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.

    But I've heard of examples where players want to look for a secret tunnel - and because they rolled successfully, find one (even if the GM did not plan for it); I take it NPC aspects are a different scenario than secret tunnels?

    You could do it either way. How much latitude is available depends on the situation, the npc in question and how much control the gm wants to give up.

    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.
    OatsPhoenix-Djdarksun
  • UncleSporkyUncleSporky Registered User regular
    edited May 2017
    Solar wrote: »
    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.

    But it's not necessarily a shame from their standpoint, as long as you can keep things rolling. They aren't disappointed because they don't know what they missed out on (and really, who can say whether they would've loved that sequence more than what they ended up doing instead).

    I understand the GM needs to enjoy themselves too, though.

    UncleSporky on
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  • ToxTox I kill threads Punch DimensionRegistered User regular
    6of77sd7u24a.png

    Basically.

    W...

    what game is this

    Wishlists! General | Gaming | Comics | Twitter! | Dilige, et quod vis fac
    DarkPrimusErin The Red
  • Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Bad Opinion Haver Registered User regular
    Tox wrote: »
    6of77sd7u24a.png

    Basically.

    W...

    what game is this

    The new edition of Paranoia. It's not super fancy or anything but the writings consistently funny and it's worth a glance.

    ElvenshaeNotoriusBEN
  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    Tox wrote: »
    6of77sd7u24a.png

    Basically.

    W...

    what game is this

    The new edition of Paranoia. It's not super fancy or anything but the writings consistently funny and it's worth a glance.

    The best part about showing them the book about you not being a dick is that you can then execute their character for reading things above their clearance level.

    Also the book is probably lying about not being a dick. If you're not a dick while running Paranoia you are playing it wrong.*
    *That's right, badwrongfun! The Computer decided it.

    Elvenshae
  • WearingglassesWearingglasses Of the friendly neighborhood variety Registered User regular
    edited May 2017
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    Glazius wrote: »
    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.

    But I've heard of examples where players want to look for a secret tunnel - and because they rolled successfully, find one (even if the GM did not plan for it); I take it NPC aspects are a different scenario than secret tunnels?

    You could do it either way. How much latitude is available depends on the situation, the npc in question and how much control the gm wants to give up.

    Alright, noted thanks! I guess I'll allow it if their reason for doing so isn't for luls and/or will not frustrate the other players.

    Wearingglasses on
  • GokerzGokerz Registered User regular
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    Giving the players a degree of control over shaping the world makes them more invested and personally connected to it.
    Maybe for some, but pleaes don't state this as if it was a generally applicable statement.
    It has the opposite effect on me and at least some other players.

    causality.png
    JustTee
  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    Delduwath wrote: »
    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.

    All of these are different from a character spending a narrative token to decide that the book is there.

    Above that point though, saying that any one way is wrong is silly, and leads the conversation into repetitive loops of everyone accusing everyone else of having fun wrong.

    "I will write your name in the ruin of them. I will paint you across history in the color of their blood."

    The Monster Baru Cormorant - Seth Dickinson
  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    Glazius wrote: »
    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.

    But I've heard of examples where players want to look for a secret tunnel - and because they rolled successfully, find one (even if the GM did not plan for it); I take it NPC aspects are a different scenario than secret tunnels?

    You could do it either way. How much latitude is available depends on the situation, the npc in question and how much control the gm wants to give up.

    Alright, noted thanks! I guess I'll allow it if their reason for doing so isn't for luls and/or will not frustrate the other players.

    I think the benchmark should probably be whether their declared Aspect changes an NPC in a way that isn't interesting or entertaining. "Recognizing" that the dastardly Lord Marshal is secretly pining for a lost love could be cool. Using a high Empathy score to systematically declare that every enemy is actually on your side deep down probably wouldn't.

    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.
  • Foolish ChaosFoolish Chaos Registered User regular
    There is a way to allow player influence without absolving veto power or world solidity. Which is a good thing to practice because there 2-4 other people at your table, and unless you are literally GOD, they can help you make a fuller more believable world.

    It's not "do we think there would be a book on botany at this library?" Which is a fine question if you are playing that sort of game. But in this case it's not asking that. If your initial thought is "I actually don't think there would be", that's fine. But maybe realize that just saying no doesn't result in a very fluid experience. And it doesn't really serve anybody's vision of your world but your own.

  • SolarSolar Registered User regular
    edited May 2017
    Solar wrote: »
    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.

    But it's not necessarily a shame from their standpoint, as long as you can keep things rolling. They aren't disappointed because they don't know what they missed out on (and really, who can say whether they would've loved that sequence more than what they ended up doing instead).

    I understand the GM needs to enjoy themselves too, though.

    It is a shame for two reasons;

    1) I'm a good GM and I create cool scenarios which my players will want to experience. I don't want to railroad them into the scenario if they can come up with an inventive way to solve the problem, and I always try to create various options and scenarios for them to explore and combine, but "I use narrative powers to create the solution that my character then can come across" is not inventive, it's boring. Which leads me to...

    2) As a GM I get to have my fun too, and part of that is the protection of my niche as dude in charge of the story. I like coming up with plots and plans and cunning NPC machinations. I don't like players messing around with my setting on a narrative level. On a personal, direct, character level? Sure go nuts. Wreck it. They have done before, they will again, and I love it. But sitting there letting the players decide everything about the setting and narrative is booooring... for me.

    Solar on
    Steelhawk
  • admanbadmanb unionize your workplace Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Oats wrote: »
    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.

    Oh yeah this is the foundation of the Blades arc we just completed. The cast was:

    Baszo Baz: ex-leader of the Lampblacks, now a ghost. She was killed by the crew when she tried to setup an ambush and it went (unsurprisingly) terribly wrong. She's showed up as a ghost before but the crew was merciful and ended up making nice.

    Malista: priestess and former lover of one of the crew. She was initially marked down as an enemy, but she ended up being more of an acquaintance and complication.

    Abigail: creepy occult lady. She was created as a contact by one of the crew when they needed to learn stuff about ghosts.

    However, it was obviously more complicated than that. At one point the crew had gone to Abigail and I offered them a Devil's Bargain* to "reveal" that Abigail was Baszo's mother. They took it.

    At another point, another of the crew was going to visit with Baszo's children** and I offered a Devil's Bargain that Malista was there as a counselor sent by the church. They took it.

    So we had Abigail Baz, creepy-ass occult lady and mother of the ghost, Baszo, in search of some combination of power and vengeance, and a priestess that was either the crew's way in or a canary in the coal mine. This led to an epic infiltration of a thrall-infested mansion, a full-on flight, and an eventual long range assassination of Abigail Baz. The setup was done by me, but two of the characters were created by my players and while the connections between the three were my idea, they had to be confirmed by them. None of this was plotted out in any way, it was all just stuff that followed from previous events involving these characters.

    As an additional note, this is the entirety of the prep I did for what turned into a two-session mission:
    Abigail has taken over the Baz household. She’s turned all the servants and guards into hollows and is setting up many ghost wards, prisons, anti-whisper wards, and so on. All for the elaborate purpose of forcefully shoving Baszo into an unwilling host.

    Baszo does not want to be shoved into a host. She’s furious with her mother for corrupting her house and scared for her wife and sons. This will not stop Abigail from binding her to a body (likely Malista, unless she is prevented from going to the household) at which point Baszo will be Abigail’s living tool.

    There’s a lot of history here -- Abigail wanted Baszo to follow in her footsteps as a whisper, but Baszo refused. We can see how that ended.

    *a rule in Blades that gives you an extra die on your action roll in exchange for a cost that the GM offers -- the key being that the Devil's Bargain has to be accepted by the player and happens no matter what the result of the action

    **yeah it's a whole thing. My Blades crew doesn't actually kill that many people, so it has an impact when they do

    Erin The Red
  • ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    admanb wrote: »
    It's 300 hours of awesome!

    I can't start West Marches until I finish Swan Song.

    ... but won't that be the last thing you ever watch?

    omgbfz5lzi1s.png
    Steam: Elvenshae // PSN: Elvenshae // WotC: Elvenshae
    The Disappearance of Inigo Sharpe: Tomas à Dunsanin
    Delduwathadmanbcrimsoncoyote
  • admanbadmanb unionize your workplace Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited May 2017
    Elvenshae wrote: »
    admanb wrote: »
    It's 300 hours of awesome!

    I can't start West Marches until I finish Swan Song.

    ... but won't that be the last thing you ever watch?

    Sometimes it feels that way, but I've passed the halfway mark (ep. 27 now) so maybe it's possible!

    (and yes I see what you did there)

    admanb on
    Elvenshae
  • Grunt's GhostsGrunt's Ghosts Registered User regular
    admanb wrote: »
    Elvenshae wrote: »
    admanb wrote: »
    It's 300 hours of awesome!

    I can't start West Marches until I finish Swan Song.

    ... but won't that be the last thing you ever watch?

    Sometimes it feels that way, but I've passed the halfway mark (ep. 27 now) so maybe it's possible!

    (and yes I see what you did there)

    Isn't Swan Song still going?

  • admanbadmanb unionize your workplace Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    admanb wrote: »
    Elvenshae wrote: »
    admanb wrote: »
    It's 300 hours of awesome!

    I can't start West Marches until I finish Swan Song.

    ... but won't that be the last thing you ever watch?

    Sometimes it feels that way, but I've passed the halfway mark (ep. 27 now) so maybe it's possible!

    (and yes I see what you did there)

    Isn't Swan Song still going?

    nah it's long over

    Oats
  • JoshmviiJoshmvii Registered User regular
    They did a live in-person Swan Song show for Rollplay a few months back that was basically a sequel/epilogue, with Matt Mercer guesting as a player alongside DJ Wheat, Geoff, and JP. It was very cool. Make sure to watch that after you finish the original series if you're into.

    Oats
  • admanbadmanb unionize your workplace Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    rip Steven Lumpkin

    (he's not dead)

    ((he's actually been running the King Arthur Pendragon campaign on his own channel with a pretty fantastic cast that includes Luke Crane, designer of Burning Wheel! It's a good show))

    McKid
  • ArdentArdent extra Registered User regular
    edited May 2017
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    If rpg settings are non fiction, we're all war criminals.
    Many of us are Americans and therefore cannot, definitionally, be war criminals.
    Oats wrote: »
    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.
    This is why every adventure begins with a car chase in medias res, man. This is not accidental.
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    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.
    This is key: narrativist GMing is an adaptation to the workload involved in determinative world building. Veteran GMs would do this even before it was codified; OSR was basically all about GMs going "that sounds cool, let's roll with that." The idea that RPGs-as-collaborative-storytelling is some newfangled mumbojumbo is asinine.
    Solar wrote: »
    1) I'm a good GM and I create cool scenarios which my players will want to experience. I don't want to railroad them into the scenario if they can come up with an inventive way to solve the problem, and I always try to create various options and scenarios for them to explore and combine, but "I use narrative powers to create the solution that my character then can come across" is not inventive, it's boring.
    Good news, everyone! It turns out you can actually use every prepared thing you have as long as you're not playing in a rigidly determinist setting. Those sweet kobold sorcerers you were going to throw at your players for trying to loot the dragon's lair but they instead went to rob the skytrain? They're now birdman sorcerers who are totally against skytrains being robbed.

    That crazy puzzle you designed that would require everyone to use their special skills to overcome to enter the Dark Laird Lair of Darkness? Well, they went to the Happy Unicorn Oasis instead, but you can still use that very same puzzle!

    It's about re-skinning your encounters to match whatever narrative the players are interested in pursuing. It's a basic GM survival skill, honestly, and it stuns me that more people don't talk about how to do this, when to do this, and why you absolutely should be doing this all the time.

    Ardent on
    Steam ID | Origin ID: ArdentX | Uplay ID: theardent | Battle.net: Ardent#11476
    Rhesus PositiveSteelhawkadmanbDr. Phibbs McAtheyDarkPrimusElvenshaeAnialosMsAnthropydestroyah87JustTee
  • Rhesus PositiveRhesus Positive GNU Terry Pratchett Registered User regular
    I'm currently doing the extreme version of that: my group have decided to take a break from Ars Magica to try Rogue Trader, so I'm adding "space" before every noun in all of my campaign notes

    OatsOptimusZedadmanbBrodyDr. Phibbs McAtheyDarkPrimusElvenshaeMsAnthropyErin The RedJacobyJihadJesuswebguy20jakobagger
  • Grunt's GhostsGrunt's Ghosts Registered User regular
    I could have sworn I saw a new episode pop up on YouTube last week. Checking now...

  • FaranguFarangu I am a beardy man With a beardy planRegistered User regular
    My group took that handy tip with them when we started Edge of the Empire, since I an the person in the group that most knows about Star Wars fiction. Then they shorted it to adding the prefix "sb-" to anything that was specific to the fiction.

    "We have to get the spotorcycle working to catch that guy who stole our spoogle maps" was a legit phrase I heard at one point.

    Rhesus PositiveDarkPrimusErin The Reddestroyah87Calica
  • UncleSporkyUncleSporky Registered User regular
    edited May 2017
    Ardent wrote: »
    Good news, everyone! It turns out you can actually use every prepared thing you have as long as you're not playing in a rigidly determinist setting. Those sweet kobold sorcerers you were going to throw at your players for trying to loot the dragon's lair but they instead went to rob the skytrain? They're now birdman sorcerers who are totally against skytrains being robbed.

    That crazy puzzle you designed that would require everyone to use their special skills to overcome to enter the Dark Laird Lair of Darkness? Well, they went to the Happy Unicorn Oasis instead, but you can still use that very same puzzle!

    It's about re-skinning your encounters to match whatever narrative the players are interested in pursuing. It's a basic GM survival skill, honestly, and it stuns me that more people don't talk about how to do this, when to do this, and why you absolutely should be doing this all the time.

    But you're just palette shifting this quantum ogre over to another context and robbing the players of having any real choice or agency and they will grow to resent you for it
    of course I'm not serious...but I do find the whole thing an interesting discussion with how people approach it from different angles.

    UncleSporky on
    Switch Friend Code: SW - 5443 - 2358 - 9118 || 3DS Friend Code: 0989 - 1731 - 9504 || NNID: unclesporky
    Ardent
  • ArcanisTheImpotentArcanisTheImpotent Registered User regular
    he linked to rpgs with pornstars, good way to tank your credibility

    if you have the time to spool up hours and hours of content and it works for your group more power to you

    that would burn me out real quick tbh

  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    edited May 2017
    Ardent wrote: »
    Good news, everyone! It turns out you can actually use every prepared thing you have as long as you're not playing in a rigidly determinist setting. Those sweet kobold sorcerers you were going to throw at your players for trying to loot the dragon's lair but they instead went to rob the skytrain? They're now birdman sorcerers who are totally against skytrains being robbed.

    That crazy puzzle you designed that would require everyone to use their special skills to overcome to enter the Dark Laird Lair of Darkness? Well, they went to the Happy Unicorn Oasis instead, but you can still use that very same puzzle!

    It's about re-skinning your encounters to match whatever narrative the players are interested in pursuing. It's a basic GM survival skill, honestly, and it stuns me that more people don't talk about how to do this, when to do this, and why you absolutely should be doing this all the time.

    But you're just palette shifting this quantum ogre over to another context and robbing the players of having any real choice or agency and they will grow to resent you for it
    of course I'm not serious...but I do find the whole thing an interesting discussion with how people approach it from different angles.

    Wow, that's a huge strawman there about the bandits (and be extension the Ogre.) Once the players encounter the bandits or the ogre you don't keep shifting it around. If they pack up and decide to not engage than that's the ogre/bandit encounter. He basically said "It's ignoring player agency when you add on ignoring player agency to your plan."

    Edit: Actually I love the fact he uses the word "Quantum" to try and sound fancy and knowledgeable and then completely ignores that context. Once you've detected tracks/ESP'd/whatever the encounter the waveform is collapsed and it has become determinate! If he actually knew the science he would understand the role of observer effect and why the term is fitting and his example is horrible.

    DevoutlyApathetic on
    OatsHahnsoo1Elvenshae
  • Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Bad Opinion Haver Registered User regular
    But yeah, one last call for Infinity on Sunday (6PM UK time) for a learning one shot. Looking to get at least three people interested before saturday so I can actually plan out the pre-gen characters and stuff. The quick start rules are available on drive thru RPG and we'll be playing over Discord.

  • UncleSporkyUncleSporky Registered User regular
    Wow, that's a huge strawman there about the bandits (and be extension the Ogre.) Once the players encounter the bandits or the ogre you don't keep shifting it around. If they pack up and decide to not engage than that's the ogre/bandit encounter. He basically said "It's ignoring player agency when you add on ignoring player agency to your plan."

    Edit: Actually I love the fact he uses the word "Quantum" to try and sound fancy and knowledgeable and then completely ignores that context. Once you've detected tracks/ESP'd/whatever the encounter the waveform is collapsed and it has become determinate! If he actually knew the science he would understand the role of observer effect and why the term is fitting and his example is horrible.

    That's been my thinking on the subject. You don't follow the players around. "2 bandits and 2 bandit archers." "We run!" "In town you find 2 thieves and 2 thieves with bows." "Uh...we run?" "In the mountains you stumble onto a camp with 2 orcs and 2 orcs with crossbows!" "...I guess we fight..."

    Switch Friend Code: SW - 5443 - 2358 - 9118 || 3DS Friend Code: 0989 - 1731 - 9504 || NNID: unclesporky
    OatsOptimusZedArdentdestroyah87Calica
  • JoshmviiJoshmvii Registered User regular
    The illusion of choice thing to me is not about using your prep that goes unused. Most people are not going to fight with you if you say "I prepped these cool encounters, but I ended up using them in a place that was different than my original plan."

    The problem is when you get railroady situations where the GM goes "Alright, there are two paths, and only one of them leads to the thing you want, choose wisely." And the players do what they think is due diligence to make the right choice, then the GM just puts whatever he wants at the end of the path the players choose.

    That is problematic to a lot of players, because the GM is lying to them about whether or not their choices matter. Just don't give me a choice if you are just going to plug your content at the end of whichever choice I make, etc.

    The two things are not the same. A good GM doesn't need to trick the players and make them feel like they are making choices that matter. It's remarkably easy to just actually put situations in front of your players and let them decide how to approach them. It's less work for the GM and more fun for the players. Sure it requires more improv chops than planning everything out ahead of time, but it's a skill you need.

    admanb
  • admanbadmanb unionize your workplace Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    For what it's worth, the source article and its followups (at dreamsinthelichhouse) are much better than the directly linked article.

  • DelduwathDelduwath Registered User regular
    Joshmvii wrote: »
    The illusion of choice thing to me is not about using your prep that goes unused. Most people are not going to fight with you if you say "I prepped these cool encounters, but I ended up using them in a place that was different than my original plan."

    The problem is when you get railroady situations where the GM goes "Alright, there are two paths, and only one of them leads to the thing you want, choose wisely." And the players do what they think is due diligence to make the right choice, then the GM just puts whatever he wants at the end of the path the players choose.

    That is problematic to a lot of players, because the GM is lying to them about whether or not their choices matter. Just don't give me a choice if you are just going to plug your content at the end of whichever choice I make, etc.

    The two things are not the same. A good GM doesn't need to trick the players and make them feel like they are making choices that matter. It's remarkably easy to just actually put situations in front of your players and let them decide how to approach them. It's less work for the GM and more fun for the players. Sure it requires more improv chops than planning everything out ahead of time, but it's a skill you need.
    Wait, sorry, would you mind elaborating? To me, "I made a cool encounter so instead of letting it die on the untaken path, I put it on the path the players actually took" sounds the same as "whichever path the players decide to take will bring them to the encounter I made". I think I'm missing something.

  • Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Bad Opinion Haver Registered User regular
    Turns out the illusion of choice is a hard thing to maintain and often arbitrary if viewed as a purely semantic thing rather than a weird art form.

    Jacoby
  • admanbadmanb unionize your workplace Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Delduwath wrote: »
    Joshmvii wrote: »
    The illusion of choice thing to me is not about using your prep that goes unused. Most people are not going to fight with you if you say "I prepped these cool encounters, but I ended up using them in a place that was different than my original plan."

    The problem is when you get railroady situations where the GM goes "Alright, there are two paths, and only one of them leads to the thing you want, choose wisely." And the players do what they think is due diligence to make the right choice, then the GM just puts whatever he wants at the end of the path the players choose.

    That is problematic to a lot of players, because the GM is lying to them about whether or not their choices matter. Just don't give me a choice if you are just going to plug your content at the end of whichever choice I make, etc.

    The two things are not the same. A good GM doesn't need to trick the players and make them feel like they are making choices that matter. It's remarkably easy to just actually put situations in front of your players and let them decide how to approach them. It's less work for the GM and more fun for the players. Sure it requires more improv chops than planning everything out ahead of time, but it's a skill you need.
    Wait, sorry, would you mind elaborating? To me, "I made a cool encounter so instead of letting it die on the untaken path, I put it on the path the players actually took" sounds the same as "whichever path the players decide to take will bring them to the encounter I made". I think I'm missing something.

    It's more like this: I made two cool encounters, one of which I put on path A and one I put on path B. My players chose path B so they ran into that cool encounter. But my other encounter was really cool, so later when they were in a completely different area I put that encounter in front of them.

    JoshmviiOatsSteelhawkElvenshaeDex DynamoDracomicron
  • ArdentArdent extra Registered User regular
    Ardent wrote: »
    Good news, everyone! It turns out you can actually use every prepared thing you have as long as you're not playing in a rigidly determinist setting. Those sweet kobold sorcerers you were going to throw at your players for trying to loot the dragon's lair but they instead went to rob the skytrain? They're now birdman sorcerers who are totally against skytrains being robbed.

    That crazy puzzle you designed that would require everyone to use their special skills to overcome to enter the Dark Laird Lair of Darkness? Well, they went to the Happy Unicorn Oasis instead, but you can still use that very same puzzle!

    It's about re-skinning your encounters to match whatever narrative the players are interested in pursuing. It's a basic GM survival skill, honestly, and it stuns me that more people don't talk about how to do this, when to do this, and why you absolutely should be doing this all the time.

    But you're just palette shifting this quantum ogre over to another context and robbing the players of having any real choice or agency and they will grow to resent you for it
    of course I'm not serious...but I do find the whole thing an interesting discussion with how people approach it from different angles.

    Wow, that's a huge strawman there about the bandits (and be extension the Ogre.) Once the players encounter the bandits or the ogre you don't keep shifting it around. If they pack up and decide to not engage than that's the ogre/bandit encounter. He basically said "It's ignoring player agency when you add on ignoring player agency to your plan."

    Edit: Actually I love the fact he uses the word "Quantum" to try and sound fancy and knowledgeable and then completely ignores that context. Once you've detected tracks/ESP'd/whatever the encounter the waveform is collapsed and it has become determinate! If he actually knew the science he would understand the role of observer effect and why the term is fitting and his example is horrible.
    Yes that's a ridiculous strawman and yes he uses quantum incorrectly.

    The idea that the ogre is somehow quantum because it appears wherever the players go is dumb; it's not quantum, it's an ogre that shows up to keep the game moving along. Once the players have dispatched the ogre, it's dead. Quantum dead, if it makes you feel better.

    It has nothing to do with player choice; players are going to decide what they want to do based on either completely arbitrary or completely predictable paradigms. "It's what my character would do" being the most (hopefully) predictable paradigm. In which case Mr. Quantum Ogre doesn't go anywhere because you've successfully divined where your players will be.

    Palette shifting is a ridiculous strawman not even worth addressing. If your players choose to flee from an encounter, they've still had the encounter. They chose to lose it, so now something bad happens, and your monsters are effectively gone until the players opt to re-engage.

    Also I will never say "illusionism" with anything other than a stupid grin. Because that word, and the attached concept, is the height of comedy gold. Sometimes you wonder how there can be people who think this badly, and then you remember The Big Dig. "We couldn't account for all of the water IN THIS DRAINED SWAMPLAND NEXT TO THE OCEAN." Sure, buddy.

    Steam ID | Origin ID: ArdentX | Uplay ID: theardent | Battle.net: Ardent#11476
    Elvenshae
  • SolarSolar Registered User regular
    I don't like the illusion of choice

    I prefer actual choice

    If the PCs go down one path, they won't find what's on the other path. I know what's down each path and they're not the same, not even reskinned because they go to different places, and what is in a place is based on what's I've written and planned to be there.

    Harder work but a more complex world, and besides, the stuff in both places is still there, they can go back to either.

    Wolf of DresdenSteelhawkErin The RedJustTee
  • DelduwathDelduwath Registered User regular
    edited May 2017
    admanb wrote: »
    Delduwath wrote: »
    Joshmvii wrote: »
    The illusion of choice thing to me is not about using your prep that goes unused. Most people are not going to fight with you if you say "I prepped these cool encounters, but I ended up using them in a place that was different than my original plan."

    The problem is when you get railroady situations where the GM goes "Alright, there are two paths, and only one of them leads to the thing you want, choose wisely." And the players do what they think is due diligence to make the right choice, then the GM just puts whatever he wants at the end of the path the players choose.

    That is problematic to a lot of players, because the GM is lying to them about whether or not their choices matter. Just don't give me a choice if you are just going to plug your content at the end of whichever choice I make, etc.

    The two things are not the same. A good GM doesn't need to trick the players and make them feel like they are making choices that matter. It's remarkably easy to just actually put situations in front of your players and let them decide how to approach them. It's less work for the GM and more fun for the players. Sure it requires more improv chops than planning everything out ahead of time, but it's a skill you need.
    Wait, sorry, would you mind elaborating? To me, "I made a cool encounter so instead of letting it die on the untaken path, I put it on the path the players actually took" sounds the same as "whichever path the players decide to take will bring them to the encounter I made". I think I'm missing something.

    It's more like this: I made two cool encounters, one of which I put on path A and one I put on path B. My players chose path B so they ran into that cool encounter. But my other encounter was really cool, so later when they were in a completely different area I put that encounter in front of them.

    And so, indeed, both paths led to encounter B (although one of them contained encounter A first), no?

    EDIT: Oh, I should note that I understand that "encounter B that the players ran into later" in this case can mean "elements of encounter B but in a different time, location, and with a different coat of paint on top".

    Delduwath on
  • ArdentArdent extra Registered User regular
    Joshmvii wrote: »
    The problem is when you get railroady situations where the GM goes "Alright, there are two paths, and only one of them leads to the thing you want, choose wisely." And the players do what they think is due diligence to make the right choice, then the GM just puts whatever he wants at the end of the path the players choose.
    You will literally never catch a good GM presenting something this way. Here's how you, as a GM, present a "choice" and enforce the "correct" pick.

    You find yourselves at the metaphorical fork in the road; the tunnels split here and run in two divergent directions. On the left the slope declines slightly and to the right it inclines ever so much. There is moss sticking to the wall on the left tunnel, gently luminescent beyond the pale glow of your lantern. To the right the sound of rushing water reaches your ear.

    Which way do the players go?

    IT DOESN'T FUCKING MATTER. Either way you're going to have an awesome time because on the left you have a sweet moss slide ride down deeper into the dungeon and to the right you have a sweet river ride down deeper into the dungeon.

    But the players feel like they had a choice and literally will never realize they didn't have a choice.

    Unless you're the kind of asshole who says "hahaha I totally railroaded you, get rekt" at the end of a session or something.

    Steam ID | Origin ID: ArdentX | Uplay ID: theardent | Battle.net: Ardent#11476
    ArcanisTheImpotentElvenshaeZomrowebguy20
  • JoshmviiJoshmvii Registered User regular
    edited May 2017
    There are 100% GMs who are terrible "you must do only what I let you and how I think you should do it" GMs and who don't hide it at all. It's like half the posts on the big D&D subreddits on any given day. They're out there, in numbers far too large.

    Joshmvii on
    Erin The Red
  • Grunt's GhostsGrunt's Ghosts Registered User regular
    Turns out the illusion of choice is a hard thing to maintain and often arbitrary if viewed as a purely semantic thing rather than a weird art form.

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