A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    Default Re: Different RPG systems

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    * But not heard of, apparently there is a system that does not include character creation rules because all possible player characters in its single campaign are premade. That beats out even the narrowest Powered by the Apocalypse system. And now that I remember it maybe Blades in the Dark is more specialised also having a fixed setting.
    A game that only includes pre-mades seems more like a party game you pull out when so-and-so (who used to game with the group but moved away) is in town for the weekend and wants to game with the group and you play this instead making them play a onetime character (the GM has to figure out how to shoehorn into the story) or play Talisman or Axis and Allies or whatever.
    Quote Originally Posted by Theoboldi View Post
    Sadly, the sort of thinking that lead to those ideas is still pretty wide-spread in RPG discussion circles. In discussions about PbtA or narrative games I've read, every time somebody's brought up the idea that they find narrative games difficult for beginners to play or teach to, there's been somebody claiming that actually it's D&D players who have a uniquely hard time learning new systems.
    And Grognards/OSR players and players of modern versions still battle over who is playing the better/more mature/more skillful game while at the same time calling the other condescending. And D&D players and players of all other games battle over who is playing it right and who is being a jerk. There’s even some in some circles that continue to suggest that storygames and the related genre aren’t TTRPGs at all. It seems a reinforcement of the truisms that the closest of cousins are the bitterest of rivals and the smaller the stakes the higher the vitriol (and one I’ve been slowly formulating, that is something along the lines of ‘forget the jocks in high school, no one is worse to nerds than other nerds’).
    Ron Edwards certainly was one of the worst offenders, both in terms of the toxic framing of his opposition, and in general condescension. I am a little surprised how frequently people still have axes to grind with him, though. He said bad things, and got reputationally trashed for it. R.E./The Forge being condescending is right up there with 90s White Wolf being pretentious or 90s T$R being litigious in terms of memetic negative reputations in the industry.
    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    IMX, almost anyone who has only played <SYSTEM A> struggles to move to any other system. But those who have played all sorts of things (or no things at all) can switch more freely. And that's for any value of <SYSTEM A>.
    It's like that first system embeds itself deeply and creates ruts; coming at it fresh or having lots of other paths eases things.
    Oh definitely. I’m running a nice, serene, pastoral journey tale for my niece and nephew and brother using Ryuutama, and the kids are doing great just taking it for what it is. My brother, who started gaming with my using a D&D/AD&D hybrid BITD, cannot get out of the habit of making sure the combat rules are right at hand. Myself, I’ve been reading a few Cepheus Engine games as of late, and find myself having to remind myself every few pages that I don’t need to thing of it in Traveller terms. Habits are hard to break.
    Last edited by Willie the Duck; 2021-08-06 at 12:30 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #62
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    Default Re: Different RPG systems

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie the Duck View Post
    Oh definitely. I’m running a nice, serene, pastoral journey tale for my niece and nephew and brother using Ryuutama, and the kids are doing great just taking it for what it is. My brother, who started gaming with my using a D&D/AD&D hybrid BITD, cannot get out of the habit of making sure the combat rules are right at hand. Myself, I’ve been reading a few Cepheus Engine games as of late, and find myself having to remind myself every few pages that I don’t need to thing of it in Traveller terms. Habits are hard to break.
    One of the things I love most about playing with new players (especially kids) is that they're willing to take risks and do "crazy" things that fit the world and the ongoing narrative without trying to force it into some "optimal" framework. I've found they tend to be much better roleplayers, because they're not so caught up in piloting the "rules ship" around--they just act/decide as their character. Sure, it's a bunch more work for the DM, at least in heavier systems, because he has to shoulder most of the "rules engine" work.

    Oh, and new players are much less frequently jaded and cynical. Genre savvy, maybe[1], but generally still kinda awed by even the "standard" things.

    [1] my most paranoid bunch were a group of adults who'd never RPG'd at all. But they were savvy about traps, knew that those suits of armor would likely come alive (even though they didn't know about Animated Armor as a monster), knew that touching the "inviting" chests would be bad, knew that walking on the "suspiciously obvious" rugs would be bad, and even were worried about a "pulling the item will cause a pressure plate to move" trick that wasn't even there.
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  3. - Top - End - #63
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    Default Re: Different RPG systems

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie the Duck View Post
    A game that only includes pre-mades seems more like a party game you pull out
    Or a decent game for a con. I know a guy who has run it at a few cons and has had pretty good luck with it.
    And D&D players and players of all other games battle over who is playing it right and who is being a jerk. ... that is something along the lines of ‘forget the jocks in high school, no one is worse to nerds than other nerds’).
    Arguing seems to be a form of entertainment at some tables. I no longer play at such, and my son was driven away from D&D by that table culture when he was in college.
    R.E./The Forge being condescending is right up there with 90s White Wolf being pretentious or 90s T$R being litigious in terms of memetic negative reputations in the industry.
    Fair.
    Myself, I’ve been reading a few Cepheus Engine games as of late, and find myself having to remind myself every few pages that I don’t need to thing of it in Traveller terms. Habits are hard to break.
    I got the Firefly game (IIRC Cypher system?) book and never ended up with anyone to play it with. I had hopes.

    As an answer to the OP, things I got from other RPGs:

    Golden Sky Stories: players reward each other for cool things they did. (IIRC, it was called dreams or dream points).

    Great Ork Gods: don't take your Fantasy RP too seriously; the gods really do hate you.

    Traveller: backgrounds are a fun mini game that you can play if nobody showed up that night. It also gives you some back up characters if things go pear shaped when everyone does
    Last edited by KorvinStarmast; 2021-08-06 at 01:36 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malifice View Post
    (paraphrased) Rulings are not 'House Rules.' Rulings are a DM doing what DMs are supposed to do.
    Quote Originally Posted by greenstone View Post
    Agency means that they {players} control their character's actions; you control the world's reactions to the character's actions.
    Gosh, 2D8HP, you are so very correct!

  4. - Top - End - #64
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    Default Re: Different RPG systems

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie the Duck View Post
    And Grognards/OSR players and players of modern versions still battle over who is playing the better/more mature/more skillful game while at the same time calling the other condescending. And D&D players and players of all other games battle over who is playing it right and who is being a jerk. There’s even some in some circles that continue to suggest that storygames and the related genre aren’t TTRPGs at all. It seems a reinforcement of the truisms that the closest of cousins are the bitterest of rivals and the smaller the stakes the higher the vitriol (and one I’ve been slowly formulating, that is something along the lines of ‘forget the jocks in high school, no one is worse to nerds than other nerds’).
    Oh believe me, I've spent some time around OSR-focused communities. The arrogance can be staggering at times. People building up a playstyle of roleplaying games until it sounds more like a philosophy of life, just so they can put down anything else that is popular and feel like the most enlightened gamers ever. And of course those people who act in that worst way are also the loudest, allowing those ideas to spread elsewhere and making jerks on other ends of the aisle feel justified....

    You're quite right that it's the same old everywhere. Just petty clique-building and infighting. It's all honestly pretty tiring to see over and over again.
    Last edited by Theoboldi; 2021-08-06 at 01:16 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    You don't win people over by beating them with facts until they surrender; at best all you've got is a conversion under duress, and at worst you've actively made an enemy of your position.

    You don't convince by proving someone wrong. You convince by showing them a better way to be right. The difference may seem subtle or semantic, but I assure you it matters a lot.

  5. - Top - End - #65
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    Default Re: Different RPG systems

    There's an old saying in programming, "A Pascal programmer can program Pascal in any language".

    It's not unique to Pascal, though. Heh.

    I don't think any RPG is necessarily at fault here. I do think that the longer you get away with "programming Pascal in every language", the harder it is to learn languages that don't let you write Pascal in them.

    Like, if you know Pascal, you can write Pascal in C, or C++, or Java. But then you get to something like LISP or Erlang, and you really can't write Pascal in those languages.

    So.... I think it's a matter of what game you're used to, how different it is from what you're trying to pick up, how long you've been "writing Pascal in other languages" (thus cementing the idea that really all languages are really just Pascal, even if they're not), and also how much the game you're looking at can kinda look like the one you're coming from, even if it works differently.

    But no matter what, it's not a matter of "Game A" being bad.

    And I really haven't had much issue with people learning PbtA games. Burning Wheel is probably the worst, and Fate a close second. Of the ones I've tried.
    Last edited by kyoryu; 2021-08-06 at 01:27 PM.
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  6. - Top - End - #66
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    Default Re: Different RPG systems

    Quote Originally Posted by Theoboldi View Post
    Oh believe me, I've spent some time around OSR-focused communities.
    I've got some OSR material - most of it is some nice clean up, and some tightening of some of the earlier editions. (I got started in '75).
    I was out of the game for a decade or so, but my chances to play had already reduced a lot (RL, young kids) and then we moved out of the country in '95 for an overseas assignment. (Navy).
    The current edition brought me back and, seven years into it, it has kept me. It works well enough and the number of new players it has introduced is nice. My play groups have had people with ages from the late teens to early sixties.

    If a goal was to unify the player base, WotC has at least partly succeeded.
    Last edited by KorvinStarmast; 2021-08-06 at 01:44 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malifice View Post
    (paraphrased) Rulings are not 'House Rules.' Rulings are a DM doing what DMs are supposed to do.
    Quote Originally Posted by greenstone View Post
    Agency means that they {players} control their character's actions; you control the world's reactions to the character's actions.
    Gosh, 2D8HP, you are so very correct!

  7. - Top - End - #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyoryu View Post
    While that can be true, it's not necessarily true.

    From what I can tell, the core difference is whether you specify your desired intent when rolling. Which I think makes more sense in most cases that aren't "firing an arrow", IOW, any situation where you don't do all the inputs into the action before actually doing the action. Like, if I'm charging someone, there's a ton of little things I'd do as I do that, as I reach them and grab them, etc., that can change based on my goal.

    Where you run into trouble, I think, is when it's presumed that the dice can override previously established facts... which isn't really a thing. The only case where the roll should "change reality" is where reality wasn't defined in the first place. IOW, where the GM hadn't decided if something was true, but it was plausible, and so the GM might roll a dice anyway to figure it out.

    So, in these situations, the two are equivalent:

    1) The GM knows the information is in the safe
    2) The GM knows the information is not in the safe, or it's implausible that the info is in the safe

    For the second one, under "conflict resolution", the GM may not even ask for a roll since it kinda doesn't matter (unless there's something else that's time pressure going on)

    The only situation where the two differ is:

    3) The GM hadn't decided if the info is in the safe, but it's totally plausible.

    So under task resolution, I'd normally expect the GM to make two rolls, first to see if the info is in the safe, and second to see if the safe gets opened. The only difference is that the conflict resolution mechanic combines those into a single roll.

    IOW, I get your concerns, and think they're valid, but I also think that's at best a fringe reading of how it's supposed to work.



    Conflict resolution can be disassociated, but doesn't have to be. A lot of games that use it tend to be more comfortable with author stance stuff, but it's not a requirement. I run PbtA games as character-stance as possible, which in most cases is "pretty darn character-stance". I actually prefer my games to be as character-stance as possible.



    I'm unaware of any games where the rules require you to abandon coherence or internal consistency. I don't doubt they exist, but I'd be critical of those, too.
    I wish it still existed to link to, there was a whole thread on this on another forum that was eaten by one of their database implosions.

    It featured several advocates of PbtA games, and conflict resolution, pushing the things I described above, with statements I recall (or close enough to paraphrase) such as:

    - "You're not rolling to search the room, you're rolling to find the hidden thing that might be in the room -- and whether it is, is based on your roll."

    - "Whether the thing is there is determined by the roll, it's not established before -- anything else is bad, because either they search until they find it and so there's no roll, or it was never there so you're wasting their time and leading them on."

    - "Only roll when it matters, even if this means telegraphing information to the players that their characters don't have access to".

    - "Task resolution is just bad GMing, because the GM can just keep forcing rolls until the players fail."

    Those are the sorts of places and conversations I get that impression from. And of course going back through all the twisty turns to Usenet.
    Last edited by Max_Killjoy; 2021-08-06 at 03:54 PM.
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  8. - Top - End - #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theoboldi View Post
    [...] somebody claiming that actually it's D&D players who have a uniquely hard time learning new systems.
    I think this is not actually a D&D problem so much as a problem that D&D players are uniquely positioned to experience. In that I think your second paradigm is the hardest to learn. The first time you have no "bad"/mismatched habits to fall back on and after that you have a bit more practice. D&D is the main system that you could play on its own for a long time and really let those habits sink in before you branch out.

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    That sounds right.

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  9. - Top - End - #69
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    Default Re: Different RPG systems

    Hellas: Worlds of Sun and Stone (using the omni system iirc) does three things that I found particularly unique and interesting.

    1. Character creation is a a very involved collaborative process for the party. There are over a dozen pages of rolls to decide a character's backstory, and this is what I found out hooks players in and introduces them to several key concepts of the game.

    2. A player will most often play more than one character - characters are phased out as time progresses through the decades or centuries a campaign is supposed to last, succeeded by the descendants of the original character, building an entire dynasty.

    3. It emphasizes the collaborative nature of the game with several tools for players to alter and enhance the story the GM is telling.

  10. - Top - End - #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blueiji View Post
    Seven years of frequent LARPing (minus a period of quarantine) have completely changed my perspective on roleplaying games, both from the player and gamerunner perspective. One example of this is bleed.

    The concept of “bleed” is something I hear discussed very often by LARPers, but not by TTRPGers. It refers to when OOC and IC mindsets/experience begin to blend (or “bleed”) together, typically unconsciously. This can include stuff like an IC loss causing OOC depression, or something like an OOC phobia making certain IC scenarios untenable (even if the character which the player wishes to portray wouldn’t have a problem with the matter at hand). Being able to identify, articulate, and address bleed is critical for any roleplaying ecosystem, and its a concept I’d like to see recognized more within the tabletop RPG scene.
    It's talked about in the parts of the indie community with Powered by the Apocalypse games. But then there's a lot more freeform LARP in the DNA of PBTA games (like Apocalypse World) than there is most tabletop RPGs; Vincent Baker designed Apocalypse World round the rhythm of more freeform LARP so the rules only intruded at the point you would normally hand over narration, giving it almost the speed and snappiness of a freeform game while also providing chaos from the dice and structure from the rules.

    And yes Apocalypse World is overwritten, in part making the point that you are not supposed to run it the way you'd run e.g. D&D. The role of the MC is not the role of the DM, and if you go in trying to run AW the same way you run D&D you are going to have a bad time. If people who would be running the game don't like being told how to run the game and don't run it then the didactic nature of the writing is doing part of its job in preventing people from running bad games.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theoboldi View Post
    Sadly, the sort of thinking that lead to those ideas is still pretty wide-spread in RPG discussion circles. In discussions about PbtA or narrative games I've read, every time somebody's brought up the idea that they find narrative games difficult for beginners to play or teach to, there's been somebody claiming that actually it's D&D players who have a uniquely hard time learning new systems.
    I for one find it far easier to teach beginners new systems than I do long term players who are only used to only a single system and think that all RPGs should work the same way (something that could happen with World of Darkness games in the past but now only happens with D&D). I also find it easier to teach beginners more narrative games than D&D; even 5e is ultimately pretty complex.
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    Quote Originally Posted by neonchameleon View Post
    I for one find it far easier to teach beginners new systems than I do long term players who are only used to only a single system and think that all RPGs should work the same way (something that could happen with World of Darkness games in the past but now only happens with D&D). I also find it easier to teach beginners more narrative games than D&D; even 5e is ultimately pretty complex.
    This, and honestly I tend to find that anything above what most people consider 'rules light' gets bogged down in abilities and exceptions which makes it much more difficult to teach. I could probably teach a beginner Barebones Fantasy or Fate Accelerated* more easily than D&D.

    But yes, 'used to one system' is the big hurdle, and in the anglosphere a lot of people who play D&D aren't aware of the industry at large. I understand other places have their own dominant RPGs, although the only one I know of is DSA in Germany.

    * Teaching FAE to people only familiar with D&D is a nightmare. 'I'm a wizard so all my magic is Clever' is annoyingly common.
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    Quote Originally Posted by neonchameleon View Post
    It's talked about in the parts of the indie community with Powered by the Apocalypse games. But then there's a lot more freeform LARP in the DNA of PBTA games (like Apocalypse World) than there is most tabletop RPGs; Vincent Baker designed Apocalypse World round the rhythm of more freeform LARP so the rules only intruded at the point you would normally hand over narration, giving it almost the speed and snappiness of a freeform game while also providing chaos from the dice and structure from the rules.

    And yes Apocalypse World is overwritten, in part making the point that you are not supposed to run it the way you'd run e.g. D&D. The role of the MC is not the role of the DM, and if you go in trying to run AW the same way you run D&D you are going to have a bad time. If people who would be running the game don't like being told how to run the game and don't run it then the didactic nature of the writing is doing part of its job in preventing people from running bad games.
    I am very tempted to post that yes, the condescending and disdainful nature of Baker's writing helped prevent me from running the bad game he published.

    But I won't.

    Last edited by Max_Killjoy; 2021-08-07 at 06:48 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by neonchameleon View Post
    And yes Apocalypse World is overwritten, in part making the point that you are not supposed to run it the way you'd run e.g. D&D. The role of the MC is not the role of the DM, and if you go in trying to run AW the same way you run D&D you are going to have a bad time. If people who would be running the game don't like being told how to run the game and don't run it then the didactic nature of the writing is doing part of its job in preventing people from running bad games.
    There's no such thing as a bad game, just a game that a given person doesn't enjoy. If a group plays Apocalypse World like D&D and enjoys doing so, they're not doing something wrong. If the didactic nature of the writing, as you put it, prevents said group from doing so, then the writing is doing something wrong.
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    Quote Originally Posted by InvisibleBison View Post
    There's no such thing as a bad game, just a game that a given person doesn't enjoy. If a group plays Apocalypse World like D&D and enjoys doing so, they're not doing something wrong. If the didactic nature of the writing, as you put it, prevents said group from doing so, then the writing is doing something wrong.
    You know what I call a system that falls apart if a group plays differently than intended? A narrow, confining, fragile system.

    It's like Apple products--everything's great if you follow the one true way. But the instant you try to deviate, pain results. Well designed systems can handle GMs and parties not following the expected flow, at least to some degree.

    Edit: and the very strong vibe I got from reading the system was not just "if you don't do it this way, you won't have fun" but "if you don't do it this way you're a bad GM". That "playing D&D like D&D" is fundamentally wrong and no one should do it. It was the strongest One True Way-ism I've seen outside of a hardcore religion event. It smelled of ideological purity tests. And frankly, many of the people I've talked to online that are strong fans also portray that attitude. With a strong (although not universal) tendency to burst into other portions of forums and tell people they're bad for liking D&D and that no one should play it and instead they should play one of the PbtA games, because that's true TTRPG. Ok, I exaggerate. Slightly. Only very slightly.
    Last edited by PhoenixPhyre; 2021-08-07 at 11:14 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    You know what I call a system that falls apart if a group plays differently than intended? A narrow, confining, fragile system.

    It's like Apple products--everything's great if you follow the one true way. But the instant you try to deviate, pain results. Well designed systems can handle GMs and parties not following the expected flow, at least to some degree.
    Yeah, like how DnD falls apart whenever you use it for anything thats not DnD.
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    Quote Originally Posted by neonchameleon View Post
    I for one find it far easier to teach beginners new systems than I do long term players who are only used to only a single system and think that all RPGs should work the same way (something that could happen with World of Darkness games in the past but now only happens with D&D). I also find it easier to teach beginners more narrative games than D&D; even 5e is ultimately pretty complex.
    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    This, and honestly I tend to find that anything above what most people consider 'rules light' gets bogged down in abilities and exceptions which makes it much more difficult to teach. I could probably teach a beginner Barebones Fantasy or Fate Accelerated* more easily than D&D.

    But yes, 'used to one system' is the big hurdle, and in the anglosphere a lot of people who play D&D aren't aware of the industry at large. I understand other places have their own dominant RPGs, although the only one I know of is DSA in Germany.

    * Teaching FAE to people only familiar with D&D is a nightmare. 'I'm a wizard so all my magic is Clever' is annoyingly common.
    Just to clarify, my objection with that commonly brought up argument is that it is treated as something uniquely awful about D&D and its players and a killer argument against them. Yes, obviously new players have no pre-established assumptions that get in the way of learning new things, while people familiar with one system do.

    Like you said, the same happened with World of Darkness.

    On that note, I will say that the first time I ran FAE, despite having played many other systems in the past, I ended up in a similar situation to the one you described. My player wanted to use Flashy when attacking some enemies in a combat, and I interpreted the approaches too narrowly. So I instead demanded her to use Forceful, which did end up making her feel (justifiedly) like her swashbuckling character had been nerfed. I've gotten better at running it since, but FAE definitely was hard to learn how to run well. From a GM perspective, I think the book puts a little too much emphasis on being strict with what approaches can do what.

    I will also argue that a robust rules-medium or heavy system, when it does not get in the way by being overly complex, can actually help with learning a game since it provides the players and GM with structure. Rules-light games can require strong improv skills and more importantly, ask the people around the table to be clear on the tone and style of the game with each other. They're in some ways easier to teach, but in some others harder to learn and require a different kind of set-up preparation. There's no one size fits all, even if I personally do prefer them.

    Which is something I've learned from running different kinds of rpgs, to get back to the thread's title.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyoryu View Post
    There's an old saying in programming, "A Pascal programmer can program Pascal in any language".

    It's not unique to Pascal, though. Heh.

    I don't think any RPG is necessarily at fault here. I do think that the longer you get away with "programming Pascal in every language", the harder it is to learn languages that don't let you write Pascal in them.

    Like, if you know Pascal, you can write Pascal in C, or C++, or Java. But then you get to something like LISP or Erlang, and you really can't write Pascal in those languages.

    So.... I think it's a matter of what game you're used to, how different it is from what you're trying to pick up, how long you've been "writing Pascal in other languages" (thus cementing the idea that really all languages are really just Pascal, even if they're not), and also how much the game you're looking at can kinda look like the one you're coming from, even if it works differently.

    But no matter what, it's not a matter of "Game A" being bad.

    And I really haven't had much issue with people learning PbtA games. Burning Wheel is probably the worst, and Fate a close second. Of the ones I've tried.
    It’s a little harder to directly translate anything you learn working with Lisp back into Pascal, though.

    My original question was actually prompted by my experience moving from D&D to Fate and then running some D&D again reminding me of going back to Visual Basic (because legacy code never seems to die) from Python. The syntax was a bit uglier, but you could use dictionaries and lists in the same way (it was the same problem space, just needed to do some of it with the legacy software). The tools to do things more cleanly were always there, but their utility was obscured by a bunch of syntax that keeps you from seeing clearly.

    That experience isn’t a great analogy for what I found great about mechanically lighter games, though. Basically, with Fate there isn’t that pull to get into the weeds of the conflict resolution system—you know it’s going to be a dice roll based on whatever bonuses you can think up in your approach. With less to worry about, issues with pacing and player participation become obvious, because play is never dragging because a player doesn’t know how to use their abilities or is looking up a spell.

    The programming analogy would probably be working with a functional style data transformation tool that forces you to turn each step into concrete transforms. The first time you have to do it that was was a chore, but you now have a different view of the process and answers to some questions about it (is it reversible? What data is lost between the systems?) become trivially easy to answer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by InvisibleBison View Post
    There's no such thing as a bad game, just a game that a given person doesn't enjoy.
    FATAL would like a word. Even if you remove all the peurile misogyny and racism, you're still left with an awful system that doesn't work.
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    Hmm, with all of the talking, ranting, and theorizing that Ron Edwards did, did he ever produce a successful, playable game? (I know V. Baker did).
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    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    Hmm, with all of the talking, ranting, and theorizing that Ron Edwards did, did he ever produce a successful, playable game? (I know V. Baker did).
    While I can't say I personally have experience with it, I've always heard good things about Sorcerer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thane of Fife View Post
    While I can't say I personally have experience with it, I've always heard good things about Sorcerer.
    It's a pretty bog standard "art-house" and "minimalist" system, that ironically gives the GM a huge amount of power -- often through the vague or undefined nature of terms and of rules -- in contrast to many of the "storygames" it gets lumped in with due to the context of its origin and originator.
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    I haven't played anything tabletop rpg outside of d&d except for a brief stint into pathfinder and scion. So I haven't gotten much from play experience.
    But, I do have other rpgs I own. Five Torches Deep, which has 5e compatible material, Scion, Call of Chulthuhu, World of Darkness, and Solar Blades & Cosmic spells. I will borrow concepts and mechanics from them periodically.
    The big thing I have taken away is reward mechanics. I am using XP for gold in my current game, which has gotten some interesting results. First, it has created large amounts of money for my party to have on hand which they have started using for long term projects. Second, parley has been used more since combat has no inherent reward. The big one is that the players decide their progression, balancing new equipment, levels, and world building(one character is funding a cult & and other is establishing a workshop).
    How you give out XP can drastically effect a game.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theoboldi View Post
    Just to clarify, my objection with that commonly brought up argument is that it is treated as something uniquely awful about D&D and its players and a killer argument against them. Yes, obviously new players have no pre-established assumptions that get in the way of learning new things, while people familiar with one system do.

    Like you said, the same happened with World of Darkness.
    Oh sure, I tried to make it clear in my post that I was talking about a correlation, not a causation. It's why I brought up Das Schwarze Auge, even though it's essentially the German D&D (in terms of rough genre and success, not in terms of rules) it's the only other gsame which sprang to mind.

    On that note, I will say that the first time I ran FAE, despite having played many other systems in the past, I ended up in a similar situation to the one you described. My player wanted to use Flashy when attacking some enemies in a combat, and I interpreted the approaches too narrowly. So I instead demanded her to use Forceful, which did end up making her feel (justifiedly) like her swashbuckling character had been nerfed. I've gotten better at running it since, but FAE definitely was hard to learn how to run well. From a GM perspective, I think the book puts a little too much emphasis on being strict with what approaches can do what.
    Yeah, I might not have been so hard on them, but Clever wasn't too narrow here as it was still very useful outside of combat. You can also very much use magic Cleverly in combat, but it doesn't involve throwing blasts of fire and lightning.

    Yes it's a hard line to walk, and GMs should probably err on the side of players more than the book suggests. But I'd still run a D&D player through Fate Core before FAE (and I have a slight preference for Core anyway).

    I will also argue that a robust rules-medium or heavy system, when it does not get in the way by being overly complex, can actually help with learning a game since it provides the players and GM with structure. Rules-light games can require strong improv skills and more importantly, ask the people around the table to be clear on the tone and style of the game with each other. They're in some ways easier to teach, but in some others harder to learn and require a different kind of set-up preparation. There's no one size fits all, even if I personally do prefer them.

    Which is something I've learned from running different kinds of rpgs, to get back to the thread's title.
    Note the quotes around 'rules light', I'd consider most such systems rules medium. I plonk Fae into the rules medum category. But yes, easier to learn but harder to master is probably true for lighter systems.

    But I stand by my stance that an exception-based ruleset is harder to learn.

    Although one of the reasons I'd go for Barebones Fantasy is because there are games in other genres which use the same ruleset (Covert Ops=spy fiction, Frontier Space=space opera,Art of Wuxia=take a wild guess, Sigil & Shadow=urban fantasy with a dash of horror). So not only is there plenty of stuff to pinch it also means that the second game can easily be in another genre.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yuki Akuma View Post
    FATAL would like a word. Even if you remove all the peurile misogyny and racism, you're still left with an awful system that doesn't work.
    Look, I need to use my d1000000 for something.

    But yes, there are bad games. Also games that are great for entirely unintended reasons, deadEarth and it's bizarre ability to create interesting concepts comes to mind.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
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    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    Hmm, with all of the talking, ranting, and theorizing that Ron Edwards did, did he ever produce a successful, playable game? (I know V. Baker did).
    I'll throw in my voice - Sorcerer is super great. It's the oldest ttrpg I've found that really gets into the meat of what makes ttrpgs fun. Apocalypse World is something of a successor to Sorcerer, as its introduction of GM moves and Principles kind of pops the hood of ttrpgs and reveals all of the interesting moving parts we typically ignore in favor of hard numbers. It's really something, seeing the engine at work underneath your weekly sessions, and when I first realized it threw me for quite the loop. The core of tabletop games is the Conversation, really - the interplay of the players and the GM as they narrate the events of the game. Seeing things from that perspective was really helpful to me, and I stand by the notion that Apocalypse World's MCing chapter is probably the best advice for running games you're ever going to find.

    Though I would like to say that, as wack as Ron Edward's take about D&D causing 'brain damage' is, I do think that D&D does its players a disservice by conditioning them to believe that so many issues - arguments over confusing and sometimes contradictory rules, players pulling out their phones or handhelds during sessions, PvP that ends with hurt feelings, that-guy player behavior, murderhobos, wacky natural 20 stories, bards who seduce every monster they find, drawn-out battles that eat four hours of playtime, spending entire sessions planning only for something to go wrong in the first five minutes, spending hours of your time prepping bosses that get killed anticlimactically in the first round, getting screwed over in combat because you failed a saving throw and now you have to sit out for two rounds, total party kills, etc - are something inherent to tabletop roleplaying games. They aren't. Those issues are a clear symptom of using a system to do something it wasn't designed for. That is to say, using a system intended for tactical skirmishing wargames to tell their high fantasy stories of heroic adventure and intrigue. D&D is, at its core, not built to tell those stories, and now that I've played games actually designed to tell those kinds of stories (Fellowship, Mouseguard, Tianxia) I never want to go back.

    That is, unless I want to sit down and have some fun coming up with neat character builds or playing out tactical grid-based combat. Then I play D&D. But you couldn't get me to run or play in a high fantasy heroic adventure story using D&D even if you had me dangling over a balcony.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kymme View Post
    I'll throw in my voice - Sorcerer is super great. It's the oldest ttrpg I've found that really gets into the meat of what makes ttrpgs fun. Apocalypse World is something of a successor to Sorcerer, as its introduction of GM moves and Principles kind of pops the hood of ttrpgs and reveals all of the interesting moving parts we typically ignore in favor of hard numbers. It's really something, seeing the engine at work underneath your weekly sessions, and when I first realized it threw me for quite the loop. The core of tabletop games is the Conversation, really - the interplay of the players and the GM as they narrate the events of the game. Seeing things from that perspective was really helpful to me, and I stand by the notion that Apocalypse World's MCing chapter is probably the best advice for running games you're ever going to find.

    Though I would like to say that, as wack as Ron Edward's take about D&D causing 'brain damage' is, I do think that D&D does its players a disservice by conditioning them to believe that so many issues - arguments over confusing and sometimes contradictory rules, players pulling out their phones or handhelds during sessions, PvP that ends with hurt feelings, that-guy player behavior, murderhobos, wacky natural 20 stories, bards who seduce every monster they find, drawn-out battles that eat four hours of playtime, spending entire sessions planning only for something to go wrong in the first five minutes, spending hours of your time prepping bosses that get killed anticlimactically in the first round, getting screwed over in combat because you failed a saving throw and now you have to sit out for two rounds, total party kills, etc - are something inherent to tabletop roleplaying games. They aren't. Those issues are a clear symptom of using a system to do something it wasn't designed for. That is to say, using a system intended for tactical skirmishing wargames to tell their high fantasy stories of heroic adventure and intrigue. D&D is, at its core, not built to tell those stories, and now that I've played games actually designed to tell those kinds of stories (Fellowship, Mouseguard, Tianxia) I never want to go back.

    That is, unless I want to sit down and have some fun coming up with neat character builds or playing out tactical grid-based combat. Then I play D&D. But you couldn't get me to run or play in a high fantasy heroic adventure story using D&D even if you had me dangling over a balcony.
    Same. DnD in terms of TTRPG's well this meme says it best:
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    Sure DnD is a TTRPG, its great for those who don't want a story or whatever and just want to mess around with roleplaying in whatever direction the dice and weird collections of characters goes. its basically more valuable for its absurdity than its actual intent which is basically a gold mine for our current internet culture of irreverent ironic humor. the reason you find more webcomics about DnD mechanics and none about Fate or whatever, is because its a system works perfectly for making jokes by simply making a player fail a roll for absurd results. PC + Nat 1 = Instant hilarity.

    this doesn't work in a more narrative system where how you fail doesn't even interrupt the flow of events, because of the entire concept of failing forward either allows something to happen, or allows to succeed at a cost. there is no time to point and laugh at the absurd failure because the failure leads to guards coming to get you which have the key to door when you beat them and combat is much shorter anyways. now narrative systems aren't for everyone sure.

    like if your playing DnD to get that high fantasy story of heroic adventure, all the more power to you. you can do that. its just a good story you care about is a high emotional investment, and DnD with its constant dangers of bad rolls, traps and so on is better suited to low emotional investment characters, characters you can point and laugh at when they fail or look foolish or die. and a narrative system is better suited if you want a high emotional investment to pay off.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thane of Fife View Post
    While I can't say I personally have experience with it, I've always heard good things about Sorcerer.
    OK, thanks.
    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    It's a pretty bog standard "art-house" and "minimalist" system, that ironically gives the GM a huge amount of power -- often through the vague or undefined nature of terms and of rules -- in contrast to many of the "storygames" it gets lumped in with due to the context of its origin and originator.
    OK.
    Quote Originally Posted by Witty Username View Post
    The big thing I have taken away is reward mechanics. I am using XP for gold in my current game, which has gotten some interesting results. First, it has created large amounts of money for my party to have on hand which they have started using for long term projects. Second, parley has been used more since combat has no inherent reward. The big one is that the players decide their progression, balancing new equipment, levels, and world building(one character is funding a cult & and other is establishing a workshop).
    How you give out XP can drastically effect a game.
    Yes! How the reward system is set up incentivizes play quite a bit. (Video game creators have been messing around with that for years, successfully). By the way, parley as a tool is a very old school thing(well, in my experience anyway. YMMV from table to table).
    Quote Originally Posted by Kymme View Post
    The core of tabletop games is the Conversation, really - the interplay of the players and the GM as they narrate the events of the game. Seeing things from that perspective was really helpful to me, and I stand by the notion that Apocalypse World's MCing chapter is probably the best advice for running games you're ever going to find.
    Interesting. Dave Wesley (whom Arneson credits with teaching him about how to referee a style of game that would become RPGs) would not call his games role playing games. He referred to them as collaborative story telling or collaborative narration. (From the recent film project "The Secrets of Blackmoor")

    Your over the top expression of distaste for D&D is noted; that kind of bias makes your review less helpful than a neutral one would have been. What experience do you have with classic Traveller?

    Aha, interesting bit of trend setting by RE there.
    Ron Edwards and Sorcerer won the second Diana Jones Award for "excellence in gaming" in 2002
    Unfortunately, there is no chance I'll ever play that game; my wife has some strong opinions on RPGs, and a game based on demon summoning is not going to pass muster with her.
    Last edited by KorvinStarmast; 2021-08-09 at 08:05 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malifice View Post
    (paraphrased) Rulings are not 'House Rules.' Rulings are a DM doing what DMs are supposed to do.
    Quote Originally Posted by greenstone View Post
    Agency means that they {players} control their character's actions; you control the world's reactions to the character's actions.
    Gosh, 2D8HP, you are so very correct!

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    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    OKUnfortunately, there is no chance I'll ever play that game; my wife has some strong opinions on RPGs, and a game based on demon summoning is not going to pass muster with her.
    It's a shame. My experience with Unknown Armies is that once you give players access to dark and dangerous powers and don't judge them on them the game becomes a lot more morally grey, but a lot more fun. Although I also heavily enjoy playing around with demons, it would be my preferred side to run a In Nomine game for.

    As for reward mechanics, yeah removing the inherent reward for combat really deincentivises it. It's interesting seeing what games recommend giving character enhancement for (as opposed to potentially temporary gear upgrades).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    As for reward mechanics, yeah removing the inherent reward for combat really deincentivises it. It's interesting seeing what games recommend giving character enhancement for (as opposed to potentially temporary gear upgrades).
    Having all kinds of headaches with expectations led me to the simple arrangement for my system playtest. Character progression as the events call for it. Zero assumptions about gear and wealth, though it is notable that players can innately obtain most basic competencies they’d otherwise have to rely on gear for in other systems, narrative or crunch heavy.

    End result? The players query ever so rarely about character point handouts but usually only after it feels like an arc has ended. Otherwise their actions and choices are focused on interacting with the world rather than chasing certain scenes for mechanical reasons. I like my fiddly bits in between sessions, but so long as they don’t chew up time in session ‘updating’ we’re not worrying about John finally getting his +2 cloak, Carol chasing another IC argument to find some RP exp, or Bob reading all the books in the cultist hideout to sate/cash in on his flaw.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xervous View Post
    Having all kinds of headaches with expectations led me to the simple arrangement for my system playtest. Character progression as the events call for it. Zero assumptions about gear and wealth, though it is notable that players can innately obtain most basic competencies they’d otherwise have to rely on gear for in other systems, narrative or crunch heavy.

    End result? The players query ever so rarely about character point handouts but usually only after it feels like an arc has ended. Otherwise their actions and choices are focused on interacting with the world rather than chasing certain scenes for mechanical reasons. I like my fiddly bits in between sessions, but so long as they don’t chew up time in session ‘updating’ we’re not worrying about John finally getting his +2 cloak, Carol chasing another IC argument to find some RP exp, or Bob reading all the books in the cultist hideout to sate/cash in on his flaw.
    Honestly, I've gotten 95% of that value (and I agree there's value here) by moving to a fixed advancement schedule (leveling once every X sessions) with gear stuff happening mostly in downtime between "arc segments" (although that's kinda muted due to 5e's lack of reliance on necessary gear). No mechanical changes needed, really.

    The fixed schedule is like milestones, but with less book-keeping and more transparency to the players. No chasing fights. Sessions with combat are rewarded the same as sessions without; talking through things is just as effective (or more) than fighting through things.
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