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  1. - Top - End - #151
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    Telok's Avatar

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    Default Re: Negativity bias, trauma-based game design and learned helplessness in metagames

    Quote Originally Posted by Glorthindel View Post
    That's the crux of the issue though, you have granted the Wizard several benefits that he does not have - spellcasting is not subtle, so the somatic component there is dodgy, and mumbling is straight out (and depending on the spell, you have possibly given him a free range bonus and removed the material components too). That Wizard is clearly and visibly spellcasting, and that changes the scenario significantly - in the analogy he as the very least has his sword in his hand (and very possibly a very large cannon).
    What game system and which setting? I presume you're talking about D&D 5e, but I've seen threads on this and other boards (and experienced from DMs) different interpretations of the casting rules. Also relevant to the question, if D&D 5e is the system, is which spell you're talking about. Then there's setting question since Ebberon treats casters differently from Forgotten Realms, which is different from Dragonlance, which is different fron Dark Sun.

    Personally, much my issue has been DMs using inconsistent readings of the rules to bash PCs when they feel their "story" is threatened. This is most common, in my experience with the charm/mind control magic, illusions, and stealth (although in Starfinder it did happen several times with computer skill checks). Direct damage combat spells? No complaints. Occasional questions about cold spells freezing water, but no real PC bashing for trying to use basic spells as intended. And of course then there's when the NPCs apparently get free reign to ignore the same rules "for the story/adventure".

    So ya, I have a bias towards wanting to adjust rule sets towards player-DM fairness and having a system effectively emulate a fiction style or source. If your game says "bards weave spells in their music to charm crowds" I might get snarky if the rules, adventures, fiction, & DM let NPCs do it while the PC trying the same thing gets hammered for it.
    "And this, too, shall pass away."

    DtD40k7e rewrite complete.

  2. - Top - End - #152
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Negativity bias, trauma-based game design and learned helplessness in metagames

    Quote Originally Posted by Telok View Post
    So ya, I have a bias towards wanting to adjust rule sets towards player-DM fairness and having a system effectively emulate a fiction style or source. If your game says "bards weave spells in their music to charm crowds" I might get snarky if the rules, adventures, fiction, & DM let NPCs do it while the PC trying the same thing gets hammered for it.
    Absolutely there should be parity between NPC's and Players, and I would be besides you in calling out a DM who allowed his villain to do something a player could not (in fact, more strenuously than most around here, I firmly do not subscribe to the "NPC's and Characters are built differently" paradigm that 5e uses these days). In fact, my stance is doing exactly that, to quote icefractal from a couple of pages ago that was never addressed by people claiming such spellcasting should be ignored by bystanders:

    Quote Originally Posted by icefractal View Post
    ...but what about when it's just parity between PC and NPC reactions?

    GM: The merchant you're questioning mutters something in draconic and makes a strange hand motion. Bob, make a Will save.
    Bob: Failed.
    GM: You have the strong feeling that this guy is trustworthy and you should stop hassling him.
    Bob: Guys, I think we're questioning the wrong person. He's obviously innocent.
    Other Players: Ok, well he obviously used a charm spell. We tell him to dispel it and not try anything like that again or else.
    GM: No, you have no reason to suspect anything like that.
    Players: Bull****! (and they would be right to say this, IMO)
    Last edited by Glorthindel; 2021-09-02 at 08:31 AM.

  3. - Top - End - #153
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    Default Re: Negativity bias, trauma-based game design and learned helplessness in metagames

    Quote Originally Posted by OldTrees1 View Post
    I don't think I claimed anything of the sort about your claims. Even then, the majority of your argumentation was several counterclaims and example scenarios. I don't think it would make sense to measure the severity of your claims.

    I did make claims about the severity of PhoenixPhyre's and my claim. Especially in relation to your initial reading of PhoenixPhyre's claim. For example the claim "The moon is made of cheddar cheese" is a more extreme claim than "The moon is made of cheese".

    Part of my goal was to clarify what part was not in disagreement (especially how there are a various responses). For example you now made the claim that "Humans rarely behave as truly rational actors; ignorant humans even more rarely. Any setting which does not take this into account makes for incoherent settings where people don't act anything like real people would." which is a reasonable claim. I don't disagree with it.

    And with that claim as a premise, I would still suspect societies to take some imperfectly rational precautions to existential threats whose potential they are aware of. Part of those precautions might cause false positives if someone casts a benign spell in a way that mimics the warning signs of the threat.
    Ah. I even misunderstood your attempt to clarify.

    You just meant that my understanding of PhoenixPhyre's position was a stronger claim than you read them to be making - have I got it right this time?

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    I agree that people[1] are often irrational. But people also fear the unknown, the different.
    I've made stronger claims about that, on these boards. So I don't disagree.

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    And magic is both unknown and different. And fear doesn't make people react better (more favorably) than is rational, it makes them react worse (less favorably) than is rational. So calling out irrationality only makes my point stronger, as far as I can tell.
    Despite so many people claiming that there no such thing as Magic in this world, plenty of people have died for it.

    If you go down this rabbit hole, in a setting that actually *has* magic? It's either not going to be pretty, or it'll have a high risk of being, as you would say, incoherent, not really matching humans at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    * Magic happened
    * I've heard of magic doing horrible things [even if those things aren't necessarily true; bad rumors spread way faster than good ones]
    * <rational response> Well, it doesn't look like this was a horrible thing, wait and see
    * <fear/irrational response> Run away/panic/react badly.
    Yes, "magic happened", and now my computer needs a new cupholder. Burn the witch!

    That's perfectly coherent, but I've gotten the impression it's not the setting you want to run.

    My point is simply that there are multiple coherent responses, based on how magic is viewed.

    Replace "magic" with "technology" (which is pretty horrific and terrifying in its capabilities and side effects, if you really think about it (cancer, sterility, birth defects, and oh so many more, just for side effects, before cloning, invasion of privacy, and global extinction as a few intended effects)), and even most modern ignoramuses don't panic when someone pulls out an unknown device.

    Again, my point is simply that there are multiple possible settings, multiple possible PoV that our hypothetical "Charlie" could have, that would change how they react, without that making the setting incoherent.

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    [1] not just ignorant people--those who believe they're educated are often just as irrational as uneducated people, just in different ways.
    I think that the opposite of "ignorant" here would be "knowledgeable", or even "wise" (being the root word of "Wizard", after all ), not "educated".

    I've gamed with plenty of college-educated individuals who, after months or years playing the same RPG (and even the same character!) still ask, "what do I roll?" & "Do I want high or low?"

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    There is, in fact, a strong argument that, once the existence of magic is postulated, the wizards will either: 1. be constantly on the run from those who wish to purge them as monstrous abominations, 2. hide behind some sort of complex masquerade, or 3. be essentially forced to use their phenomenal powers to take either implicit or explicit control of the world in order to avoid oppression by the masses. Peaceful D&D style coexistence is probably the least likely scenario.
    Most settings where magic is known, but hasn't beenů adopted/accepted/integrated (like technology) are probably either horrible places, or incoherent.

    Quote Originally Posted by Glorthindel View Post
    That's the crux of the issue though, you have granted the Wizard several benefits that he does not have - spellcasting is not subtle, so the somatic component there is dodgy,
    AFB, but 2e actually have somatic components. "Sticking your fingers in your ear" seems par for the course, IMO.

    Quote Originally Posted by Glorthindel View Post
    and mumbling is straight out
    Depends on the edition and the table; however, given my stance on Knock vs the epic challenge of the locked door, I'm generally on your side on this one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Glorthindel View Post
    That Wizard is clearly and visibly spellcasting,
    Well, no. They are clearly and visibly doing *something*, and that something is being evaluated by Charlie, the D&D equivalent of the guy calling tech support to fix his cupholder.

    So Alice *may* have been saying "Gesundheit", or talking to Bob in their native language, or saying their gobbledygook password for their secret society, and, in most editions of D&D, ignorant Charlie cannot tell the difference, and must behave similarly to each of these scenarios (among many others).

    Quote Originally Posted by Glorthindel View Post
    and that changes the scenario significantly -
    Yes, understanding the scenario correctly does, indeed, change things significantly.

  4. - Top - End - #154
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    Talakeal's Avatar

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    Default Re: Negativity bias, trauma-based game design and learned helplessness in metagames

    Quote Originally Posted by Glorthindel View Post
    That's the crux of the issue though, you have granted the Wizard several benefits that he does not have - spellcasting is not subtle, so the somatic component there is dodgy, and mumbling is straight out (and depending on the spell, you have possibly given him a free range bonus and removed the material components too). That Wizard is clearly and visibly spellcasting, and that changes the scenario significantly - in the analogy he as the very least has his sword in his hand (and very possibly a very large cannon).
    My players insisted that verbal components required no speech at all. They insisted the book said that to use a spell with verbal components the caster "must be able to speak in a strong clear voice" but never actually said that they must actually do so.

    I thought it was ridiculous rules lawyering, but my group was unanimous in that reading.
    Looking for feedback on Heart of Darkness, a character driven RPG of Gothic fantasy.

  5. - Top - End - #155
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Negativity bias, trauma-based game design and learned helplessness in metagames

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Ah. I even misunderstood your attempt to clarify.

    You just meant that my understanding of PhoenixPhyre's position was a stronger claim than you read them to be making - have I got it right this time?
    Yes. I believed/believe that your prior understanding of PhoenixPhyre's position was a more extreme claim than what they were actually claiming.



    Personally I think there is a lot of agreement. For example my position was/is:
    Different Charlies might react differently. However it is likely that generally defense protocols against extreme threats will lead to generally negative reactions against false positives. So if Alice does something that resembles the warning sign for the extreme threat, some Charlies would react negatively (with variation in what that entails).
    Last edited by OldTrees1; 2021-09-02 at 01:07 PM.

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