A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    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.
    So, yeah, combinging "do I find it" and "is it there" into a single roll can happen. I pointed that out. That's the "the GM hasn't decided if it's there or not, but it's plausible that it is" scenario. You know, the one where more traditionally, the GM would do separate rolls for each? Yeah, AW (and a lot of "narrative games") collapse that into a single roll. Nothing is going to happen that wouldn't happen in a traditional system, the only difference is how many dice rolls. The only thing it violates is a strong assumption of "the dice roll must ONLY mean how well the character did."

    Same with the "use a single roll instead of multiples." Can you avoid the issues with task resolution? Of course. Is it really easy to fall into them? Yup. Does collapsing them into one roll make it more clear what the probabilities are, even to the GM? Yup. Can that help avoid situations where the GM accidentally creates an impossible/trivial check where they didn't intend to? Yup.

    And do some people go overboard when talking about it, making it seem like people using task resolution are inherently doing it wrong and are bad people? BETTER BELIEVE IT.

    I've learned that there are jerks in every group, though, and have learned to ignore them. Because there's good people in almost every group, too. They're just usually quieter, especially if you're not in the group.

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  2. - Top - End - #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyoryu View Post
    Did we just become like best friends? I'm the dude that wrote https://bookofhanz.com/, btw.
    I love the book of hanz!

    I'll say that while I love FATE I despise pbta. I've played masks twice, as well as some other variations, with multiple gms.

    What I hate most is the idea of the spotlight. Rather than presenting a situation and leaving it up to the players to figure out how to resolve it, before a players turn the gm gives them a lead in. This means that there is no planning no taking action, just reacting to whatever the gm throws at you, and you only have one way to affect the situation based on your build (that the gm will tend to play into).

    I'm playing a character that can shield others? Oh look, as the turn moves to me through gm tells me some kids are about to get crushed by boulders, what should I do?

    And then play moves on to some one else, and my plans and ideas to improve our overall situation are completely wasted, so why should I even bother paying attention? The GM doesn't need me, they can just roll 2d6+X on their own time. I'm here to play not to be railroaded in combat.

    I would actually hate pbta less if it just got rid of all tense situations that rely on the spotlight. Ugh! I'd rather roll and fail, then to be presented with interesting problems that are dangled in my face, but that I'm not allowed to resolve.

  3. - Top - End - #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jakinbandw View Post
    I love the book of hanz!

    I'll say that while I love FATE I despise pbta. I've played masks twice, as well as some other variations, with multiple gms.

    What I hate most is the idea of the spotlight. Rather than presenting a situation and leaving it up to the players to figure out how to resolve it, before a players turn the gm gives them a lead in. This means that there is no planning no taking action, just reacting to whatever the gm throws at you, and you only have one way to affect the situation based on your build (that the gm will tend to play into).

    I'm playing a character that can shield others? Oh look, as the turn moves to me through gm tells me some kids are about to get crushed by boulders, what should I do?

    And then play moves on to some one else, and my plans and ideas to improve our overall situation are completely wasted, so why should I even bother paying attention? The GM doesn't need me, they can just roll 2d6+X on their own time. I'm here to play not to be railroaded in combat.

    I would actually hate pbta less if it just got rid of all tense situations that rely on the spotlight. Ugh! I'd rather roll and fail, then to be presented with interesting problems that are dangled in my face, but that I'm not allowed to resolve.
    That sounds like a really bad PbtA GM :/ Sorry you had to go through that.

    Some of the best GM moves in PbtA games boil down to "announce future badness". IOW, "here's why the situation is garbage" without attaching immediate danger to it.

    And if the GM is just handing you situations that obviously and clearly map to exactly one move, they've taken choice out of the game, so why are you playing?

    Sorry you had that experience.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyoryu View Post
    That sounds like a really bad PbtA GM :/ Sorry you had to go through that.

    Some of the best GM moves in PbtA games boil down to "announce future badness". IOW, "here's why the situation is garbage" without attaching immediate danger to it.

    And if the GM is just handing you situations that obviously and clearly map to exactly one move, they've taken choice out of the game, so why are you playing?

    Sorry you had that experience.
    Yeah, even I wouldn't blame PbtA for that, I can't believe that's how the game is written or presented or intended to be played.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    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.
    Point taken, and I'm glad we can agree on that much.


    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.
    I see! Though I'd personally put FAE on the very line of Rules Light to Rules Medium, I was in this case thinking of both it and systems like Risus, Lasers and Feelings, or Freeform Universal. The kind that can be summarized in just one or a few pages.

    I think I'll agree to disagree about exception-based rulesets, but only insofar as I believe that it heavily depends on the person and group they are in. Even though I myself once again actually do prefer rulesets that are not exception-based. The latest one I've been eyeing is a free, light generic system called Tricube Tales. It does a lot of things I like, and isn't too narrative for my tastes. If I wasn't already knee deep in homebrewing something of my own I'd be right on it.

    I'll have to check out Barebones Fantasy, though. I always love finding a good light system, as I am still looking for the exact perfect ones to run the more out there ideas I've had. And if nothing else, being able to steal a mechanic or two lets me get closer to homebrewing exactly the system I need.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kymme View Post
    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.
    You just named a bunch of things you didn't like about D&D, its culture, and bad players that could apply to any game, most of which had nothing to do with the actual argument that you proceeded to made. I could go over the individual ones, and some do make a bit more sense than the others, but when for the most part the first half of that paragraph and the second do not relate at all, I see no value in getting lost in the details.

    Go ahead and enjoy the games you do, but don't build up some insane strawman of what D&D is for the sake of tearing it down for others.

    Quote Originally Posted by kyoryu View Post
    Did we just become like best friends? I'm the dude that wrote https://bookofhanz.com/, btw.
    Hold up, that was you? Colour me impressed, that book's a pretty valuable and in-depth tool.
    Last edited by Theoboldi; 2021-08-10 at 10:56 AM.

  6. - Top - End - #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theoboldi View Post
    Point taken, and I'm glad we can agree on that much.
    It is good when agreement happens on the internet.

    I see! Though I'd personally put FAE on the very line of Rules Light to Rules Medium, I was in this case thinking of both it and systems like Risus, Lasers and Feelings, or Freeform Universal. The kind that can be summarized in just one or a few pages.

    I think I'll agree to disagree about exception-based rulesets, but only insofar as I believe that it heavily depends on the person and group they are in. Even though I myself once again actually do prefer rulesets that are not exception-based. The latest one I've been eyeing is a free, light generic system called Tricube Tales. It does a lot of things I like, and isn't too narrative for my tastes. If I wasn't already knee deep in homebrewing something of my own I'd be right on it.

    I'll have to check out Barebones Fantasy, though. I always love finding a good light system, as I am still looking for the exact perfect ones to run the more out there ideas I've had. And if nothing else, being able to steal a mechanic or two lets me get closer to homebrewing exactly the system I need.
    Oh yeah, L&F is my go-to example of what rules-light actually means (and why I treat D&D5e as rules-heavy). It's kind of a meaningless term in these discussions, we'll all draw the lines in a different place and rarely tell each other where that is.

    You are entitled to your opinion, but I'll note that I've personally found that the more consistency there is the easier players pick up the core mechanics. But that might be my uni group consisting entirely of physicsists and engineers, we found systems easy to understand.

    On Barebones Fantasy, I will note that in a lot of ways it's D&D with all the cruft cut out (less than twenty spells, for example). So if that doesn't float your boat feel free to skip it and even other d00 Lite games. Also important to note that it's roll under percentiles and most of the games use Profession As Skill. But I like it, it cuts down on all the cruft and fits character creation, basic ules, and combat in less than 50 pages (and players only need 0). It might not be rules light to you, but I find that it is to me.
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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.

  7. - Top - End - #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    Same. DnD in terms of TTRPG's well this meme says it best:
    Spoiler: What is a TTRPG?
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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.
    Different tastes I suppose.

    Personally I find the exact opposite to be the case, emotional investment is much easier if I feel like I am in a consistent world with realistic risks and consequences rather than being an actor in a pre-structured story, and the frequent switching between author stance and actor stance many such games require is also very jarring to my immersion, especially if the system allows players to compel or control other people's characters.

    I think that the reason D&D makes good memes, aside from its obvious popularity, is that it has very structured archetypes which, while constraining in play, are a lot easier to make references to and jokes about as everyone knows what you are talking about.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Different tastes I suppose.

    Personally I find the exact opposite to be the case, emotional investment is much easier if I feel like I am in a consistent world with realistic risks and consequences rather than being an actor in a pre-structured story, and the frequent switching between author stance and actor stance many such games require is also very jarring to my immersion, especially if the system allows players to compel or control other people's characters.

    I think that the reason D&D makes good memes, aside from its obvious popularity, is that it has very structured archetypes which, while constraining in play, are a lot easier to make references to and jokes about as everyone knows what you are talking about.
    You mistake my words. Its not about whether the emotional investment is easier to get into. its about whether its a safe investment.

    in DnD, if you have something in mind for a character and they die? well funs over. its not something I want to deal with. and DnD has a lot of things to screw over you having those sorts of things.

    in Fate, the compels you talk about are something you accept or deny at your choice, and you get a reward out of it- a fate point if you accept, and I recall compels only coming from the GM. like the entire point is "you can have this bad thing that will cause more interesting things to happen and in return you get this fate point to use later to help yourself", now this isn't very appealing when your full on fate points, you got them to spare, but when your getting low.....might be time to accept some compels to build them up so you can spend them when you need them. like when your about to die or something.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    You are entitled to your opinion, but I'll note that I've personally found that the more consistency there is the easier players pick up the core mechanics. But that might be my uni group consisting entirely of physicsists and engineers, we found systems easy to understand.
    I actually do also agree with this, but it's a bit of a separate matter whether a game is light or heavy and how much consistency there is between its mechanics.

    Even if they are to some degree related. The heavier a system is and the more things it explicitely covers, the more the different mechanics will start to differentiate after all.

    And then there's the matter of how intuitive those differences are and how internally consistent subsystems are, and that's a topic way too big for my lazy butt to go into for now. :P

    On Barebones Fantasy, I will note that in a lot of ways it's D&D with all the cruft cut out (less than twenty spells, for example). So if that doesn't float your boat feel free to skip it and even other d00 Lite games. Also important to note that it's roll under percentiles and most of the games use Profession As Skill. But I like it, it cuts down on all the cruft and fits character creation, basic ules, and combat in less than 50 pages (and players only need 0). It might not be rules light to you, but I find that it is to me.
    Heh, I don't care to judge either way. Maybe I'll check out Covert Ops instead, though. I do not yet have a specific system for spy stories that I like, compared to the many fantasy ones.....
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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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Theoboldi View Post
    I actually do also agree with this, but it's a bit of a separate matter whether a game is light or heavy and how much consistency there is between its mechanics.

    Even if they are to some degree related. The heavier a system is and the more things it explicitely covers, the more the different mechanics will start to differentiate after all.

    And then there's the matter of how intuitive those differences are and how internally consistent subsystems are, and that's a topic way too big for my lazy butt to go into for now. :P
    I have views on mechanics creep, suffice to say I'm one of those people willing to use one set of casting mechanics for magic, psionics, and weird science if they work well enough.

    As for rules heaviness and mechanical consistency, I've personally noticed a correlation. It's not a causation, I think it's just rules light tends to mean a shorter book, which means less rules, which means less chances to rules to break from the paradigm. I have seen incredibly consistent rules-heavy games, so it's definitely not a given in either direction.

    Heh, I don't care to judge either way. Maybe I'll check out Covert Ops instead, though. I do not yet have a specific system for spy stories that I like, compared to the many fantasy ones.....
    Oh, sure, just warning because I'll admit that the game isn't for everybody. Honestly if you're looking into d00 Lite pick up whichever one you want, they don't vary that much.
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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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    Swords Without Master taught me that a game didn't have to focus on success vs failure to be fun or interesting, and that dice could govern things like tone instead of denoting ability.

    Monsterhearts taught me that a game could focus on the PCs being at each other's throats, telling a story from that drama.

    Risus taught me that character attributes didn't have to be concrete skills or physical abilities, they could be anything!

    Wushu Open taught me that I didn't need the permission of a good die roll to do cool stuff, but could lean on that die result to tell me the consequences of my cool action.

    Golden Sky Stories taught me that low stakes stories could be powerful and fulfilling.

    Apocalypse World taught me that I didn't have to plan a story, I could just prep situation. And, the framing of the facilitator as an MC instead of a Master of the game or the world was groundbreaking because of the completely different type of responsibility involved.
    Last edited by CarpeGuitarrem; 2021-08-10 at 04:03 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarpeGuitarrem View Post
    Golden Sky Stories taught me that low stakes stories could be powerful and fulfilling.
    Heh, never played the game, but I had the same sort of epiphany at uni. Although slightly more importantly...

    Unknown Armies 3e taught me that characters are the core of the game. Not nations or powerful factions, but individual characters, their wants, and their limits. A faction that doesn't provide a character is minor and that PCs can be defined as much by their place of work or their family as by their magic and skills.
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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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    Shadowrun 2e in college taught me about death spirals* and that using nice cheap words was preferable to expensive hospital bills. Even if those nice cheap words are "I seek hard cover."

    * - I'm almost positive we weren't supposed to apply wound penalties to damage resistance rolls. But the GM had us do that. This meant that avoiding damage was entirely the point. This meant that Speed (initiative) was life, and made me understand WW1 naval combat better, among other things.

    Amber taught me that an incompetent GM** is a true nightmare. Also, that a system that requires you to be really into a setting is going to run into problems if the players couldn't give a diarrhetic crap about the setting. I found out later that the game continued and was enjoyed by an almost entirely new group of players with a new GM.

    ** Amusingly, the Amber GM was the Shadowrun GM, too.

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    After playing a lot of D&D, Shadowrun and Legend of the 5 Rings taught me that fighting is bad M'kay. Try to avoid it whenever possible.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    You mistake my words. Its not about whether the emotional investment is easier to get into. its about whether its a safe investment.

    in DnD, if you have something in mind for a character and they die? well funs over. its not something I want to deal with. and DnD has a lot of things to screw over you having those sorts of things.

    in Fate, the compels you talk about are something you accept or deny at your choice, and you get a reward out of it- a fate point if you accept, and I recall compels only coming from the GM. like the entire point is "you can have this bad thing that will cause more interesting things to happen and in return you get this fate point to use later to help yourself", now this isn't very appealing when your full on fate points, you got them to spare, but when your getting low.....might be time to accept some compels to build them up so you can spend them when you need them. like when your about to die or something.
    So is character death an opt in thing in Fate? I think Scion does that something like that, it is by arbitration, there no set rules for character death but a player or game master can decide if a player character dying is fitting for the situation or narrative after they are knocked out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Witty Username View Post
    So is character death an opt in thing in Fate? I think Scion does that something like that, it is by arbitration, there no set rules for character death but a player or game master can decide if a player character dying is fitting for the situation or narrative after they are knocked out.
    In Fate: Core and in Tianxia (the versions of Fate I've played) death is totally opt-in. In the majority of conflicts death isn't even on the table, as the stakes are typically grounded in the big emotions and personal goals of the people involved, rather than who makes it out of any given conflict alive. My go-to is that a character should only die if/when that character's player wants them to. Otherwise, it should be completely off the table.

    I think one of my favorite things about Fate is the modular nature of its conflict resolution system, where a 'fight' could be anything from a back-alley brawl to reading a scroll full of forbidden knowledge to climbing a perilous mountain to navigating a complicated bureaucracy to adventuring across unexplored wilderness. It all uses the same robust system.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Witty Username View Post
    So is character death an opt in thing in Fate? I think Scion does that something like that, it is by arbitration, there no set rules for character death but a player or game master can decide if a player character dying is fitting for the situation or narrative after they are knocked out.
    Not really.

    When someone is Taken Out, their fate is up to the player/GM that took them out. By convention, that is mostly non-lethal except in particularly dire circumstances. However, there is no rule preventing death in that case. Just most Fate games feel that non-lethal consequences are more interesting. So it's opt-in on the part of the attacker

    It is generally considered good form to let players know that you're going to go for the lethal Take Outs.

    Players also have the option of Conceding fights - running away, surrendering, etc. In that case, they have some ability to avoid teh worst consequences. However if they fail to do that and are Taken Out, they, by the book, have no input.

    Also, any time that logic dictates you're dead, you're dead. You screw up politically enough that you end up with your head in a guillotine? You ded. Jump into a vat of lava? Ded. Do shots of poison for kicks? Ded.
    Last edited by kyoryu; 2021-08-12 at 04:54 PM.
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    PirateWench

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    Here are some of my experiences:

    Amber taught me that I really do like dice being used in conflict resolution situations. For a long time, I had kind of hated how combat in a lot of games is just "roll dice until you win" but then Amber told me "Okay, what if there are no dice at all? Not ever?"

    I had planned to run a game of Amber and had gotten as far as getting the players to make characters using the fun character creation system (where the players "bid" to see who gets to be the best at certain stats and each time, the GM tells the players that *this* stat is the most important stat). But I realized that I never wanted to run the game. The GM has to describe what happens in combat or any other conflict resolution situation, but without dice to show what's happening. So, the winner will always be the person with the better stat, but the GM has to spend time describing stuff like "Oh, you parry and thrust and then thrust and parry, while your opponent does stuff, like, I don't know, parrying and thrusting. And then you win because you're better."

    I just don't want to have to do that. It's much easier just to have dice tell the tale of what happened in combat.

    Tons of other game... but I'll cite GURPS or Call of Cthulhu because they were some of the early games I was exposed to... showed me that games don't have to be done the D&D way. Like, instead of focusing on having a character who can kill in various ways (or help others kill, the way a cleric does), you could just have a character who's good at skills. And that might be *more* important than killing people. Just being a skills-master could be crucial to the team's success. And maybe the story in the game ends up not having anybody kill anybody. This is so alien to the D&D mindset that it's almost unimaginable. Like, if a rogue (without backstab/sneak attack) or a bard were the important Tier One characters in a game... that's crazy, right? When reading 3rd edition D&D for the first time, I was initially lured in by a brand new skill system and talk in the DMG (I think) about how players might "defeat" an opponent by using diplomacy or sneaking past them instead of killing them and getting the same XP either way... but that ended up not being something that happened in reality as too many people I knew were still in the D&D mindset of "you only get rewards for killing people" and also the skill system wasn't good enough to make this work (like, Diplomacy on NPCs doesn't accomplish everything that we might want it to do, nor do tough NPCs get the appropriate defenses against low level Diplomancers).

    But also, pretty much everything D&D does... is something that's very limiting and unnecessary. Classes? Don't need 'em, don't want 'em (okay, Call of Cthulhu has something similar to classes though not nearly as rigid, but most games don't need classes of any kind). And weird things like "alignment" or "super inflated hit points for PCs" are just things that don't have to exist.

    And superhero games show that not only do people not have to be pigeon-holed into a class, the PCs can have wildly different abilities and it's all okay because nobody (for the most part) is going to be an out of control D&D wizard who can do *everything*. Superhero games let a PC do a few things *very* well, but that's it. And that's much easier for a GM to deal with. Superheroes might seem incredibly unbalanced because of the incredible feats that they can accomplish, but they can't do everything. And that's so much better than the D&D wizard idea of a PC that can do everything.

    One of my pet peeves is that because wizards can do anything, high level opponents have to have defenses against *everything*. So, there's this thing called Spell Resistance or Magic Resistance (back in the day). And so, the opponents can ignore *everything* a wizard can do because otherwise, the wizard just wins instantly. So, then wizards take abilities to deal with Spell Resistance so they can win. But even when spell resistance works to stop the wizard, it doesn't have any real narrative feel other than "you can't beat this guy with any of your stuff because he's better than you". But in a superhero game, if a player has powerful fire powers, the opponent can simply be immune or resistant to fire and that seems more fair to me because it doesn't cover everything. Maybe the fire guy also has some minor other ability (like cutting off the opponent's air supply by using fire to burn up the oxygen) and then the opponent isn't resistant to that because he's not immune to *everything*, just fire, so the PC can still do something. But it's not just Spell Resistance, it's all the other "wizards lose now" things that the game employs, like Anti-Magic Fields or golems. They just turn off a character class because it's too powerful; why not just not have a character class be that powerful?
    Last edited by SimonMoon6; 2021-08-13 at 11:41 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SimonMoon6 View Post
    Here are some of my experiences:

    Amber taught me that I really do like dice being used in conflict resolution situations. For a long time, I had kind of hated how combat in a lot of games is just "roll dice until you win" but then Amber told me "Okay, what if there are no dice at all? Not ever?"

    I had planned to run a game of Amber and had gotten as far as getting the players to make characters using the fun character creation system (where the players "bid" to see who gets to be the best at certain stats and each time, the GM tells the players that *this* stat is the most important stat). But I realized that I never wanted to run the game. The GM has to describe what happens in combat or any other conflict resolution situation, but without dice to show what's happening. So, the winner will always be the person with the better stat, but the GM has to spend time describing stuff like "Oh, you parry and thrust and then thrust and parry, while your opponent does stuff, like, I don't know, parrying and thrusting. And then you win because you're better."

    I just don't want to have to do that. It's much easier just to have dice tell the tale of what happened in combat.
    That's not how Amber is supposed to work.

    The higher stat will win, all other things being equal. The "game", then, is figuring out how to either use a stat you're better at, or making things not equal.

    That doesn't take away from your point, of course. But that's a really poor example of how Amber is supposed to be run.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    You mistake my words. Its not about whether the emotional investment is easier to get into. its about whether its a safe investment.

    in DnD, if you have something in mind for a character and they die? well funs over. its not something I want to deal with. and DnD has a lot of things to screw over you having those sorts of things.
    As to the bold, that isn't necessarily the case. Fun's not over if you want to keep playing.
    Roll up a new character.
    Problem solved.

    I discovered early in D&D play that overidentifying with a single character caused a real let down if the PC died, so I stopped doing that. I also learned to make spares.

    Nowadays, even though the current edition is a lot less lethal, I always have another PC about 80% created at any given time, so if a PC dies I've got a back up ready to go on very short notice. In one case, I retired one character and we brought in the next one for other reasons (two clerics in the party).

    I have a DM currently who had us make two to start with, just in case we got in over our heads and lost a PC or two.

    Dead PC does not equal game over. This isn't Diablo II / III in hardcore mode.
    Last edited by KorvinStarmast; 2021-08-13 at 01:00 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    As to the bold, that isn't necessarily the case. Fun's not over if you want to keep playing.
    Roll up a new character.
    Problem solved.

    I discovered early in D&D play that overidentifying with a single character caused a real let down if the PC died, so I stopped doing that. I also learned to make spares.

    Nowadays, even though the current edition is a lot less lethal, I always have another PC about 80% created at any given time, so if a PC dies I've got a back up ready to go on very short notice. In one case, I retired one character and we brought in the next one for other reasons (two clerics in the party).

    I have a DM currently who had us make two to start with, just in case we got in over our heads and lost a PC or two.

    Dead PC does not equal game over. This isn't Diablo II / III in hardcore mode.
    There's different game structures. In some, there's supposed to be investment in a character, and their story, and everything around them.

    In others, it makes sense to have spares (the OG style was all about having a stable of characters you'd choose from).

    They're all valid styles. What works for one doesn't work for others. And... that's where a lot of the issues come from, in that early D&D was evolved around a certain game structure which is no longer dominant, but a lot of design decisions that centered on that remain, and many have become sacred cows.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyoryu View Post
    There's different game structures.
    There certainly are. Traveller (the original) which I have noted previously in this thread has a different take on chargen and on having back ups handy, in our experience. Avoiding a lot of lethal situations was how we found the team stayed together better. Games with level advancement models often induce a level of investment that I have seen turn unhealthy (in some cases - separate topic, for a lot of reasons).
    Last edited by KorvinStarmast; 2021-08-13 at 02:56 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.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    There certainly are. Traveller (the original) which I have noted previously in this thread has a different take on chargen and on having back ups handy, in our experience. Avoiding a lot of lethal situations was how we found the team stayed together better. Games with level advancement models often induce a level of investment that I have seen turn unhealthy (in some cases - separate topic, for a lot of reasons).
    Also on the concept of character advancement.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    You mistake my words. Its not about whether the emotional investment is easier to get into. its about whether its a safe investment.

    in DnD, if you have something in mind for a character and they die? well funs over. its not something I want to deal with. and DnD has a lot of things to screw over you having those sorts of things.

    in Fate, the compels you talk about are something you accept or deny at your choice, and you get a reward out of it- a fate point if you accept, and I recall compels only coming from the GM. like the entire point is "you can have this bad thing that will cause more interesting things to happen and in return you get this fate point to use later to help yourself", now this isn't very appealing when your full on fate points, you got them to spare, but when your getting low.....might be time to accept some compels to build them up so you can spend them when you need them. like when your about to die or something.
    Ok. Gotcha. That’s a much sadder situation.

    I mean that in earnest, not as an insult. That’s a tough one.
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    Disclaimer: I haven't read the whole thread, I am just responding to the OP.

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    I feel like character death, and permanent effects help maintain tension. Success, failure and choice benefit from that tension. Also, the death of your character and the creation of a new one can lead to interesting group experiences. That being said, the game tends to grip me more than the character, so losing the character feels like less of an issue if I got good gaming out of it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Witty Username View Post
    I feel like character death, and permanent effects help maintain tension. Success, failure and choice benefit from that tension. Also, the death of your character and the creation of a new one can lead to interesting group experiences. That being said, the game tends to grip me more than the character, so losing the character feels like less of an issue if I got good gaming out of it.
    I think you need to have consequences.

    I find, in most cases, story level consequences are just as interesting if not more so, and can more easily be a constant threat.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyoryu View Post
    I think you need to have consequences.

    I find, in most cases, story level consequences are just as interesting if not more so, and can more easily be a constant threat.
    Fair enough, but personally I find it easier to have story level consequences when danger is present. I will admit this is more action game thinking (er, action may be the wrong word. Adventure, horor, murder mystery type stuff. Physical conflict I suppose).
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyoryu View Post
    I think you need to have consequences.

    I find, in most cases, story level consequences are just as interesting if not more so, and can more easily be a constant threat.

    My personal experience may be skewed because I play primarily at “open” tables at the FLGS, but my primary reaction to character death was to remember the players whose actions got my character killed and avoid ever playing with them at a table with a “killer DM”.

    The possibility of failure is required to make success meaningful, but in my experience it works better done some other way than character mortality.

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    That reminds me of my first long term 1st edition AD&D campaign. At one point, all of the PCs had acquired some low level NPC followers. One of the very real threats was the deaths of these beloved NPCs. One of the more reckless players quickly had almost all of his followers die, while a more cautious player kept his alive until they were ready to "graduate" to their own adventures.

    So, there were consequences and they involved death, just not the deaths of the PCs themselves.
    Last edited by SimonMoon6; 2021-08-15 at 06:37 PM.

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