A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
You can get A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2 now at Gumroad
Page 6 of 6 FirstFirst 123456
Results 151 to 175 of 175
  1. - Top - End - #151
    Titan in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2013

    Default Re: 13th Age vs 4th Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    I think the concept of "failing forward" is best expressed as a statement that any result should let the game keep being played. Whether this means you wind up following the same plot as if you'd failed or not says more about the linearity (or non-) of the game you're playing than anything else.
    Fail forward intends to have any result allow the game to continue, but having every failure result in some form of progression.

    It is a case where the intend is more valuable than ruthless devotion to the method. However it is one of many useful guidelines.

    And guidelines are meant to be broken when there is a worthy reason to break them.


    Personally I prefer sandboxes where the players have so much agency, that it is okay if their failures have the potential to not fail forward. Because the game can continue being played due to the other routes that already existed.
    Last edited by OldTrees1; 2021-09-14 at 04:55 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #152
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Kymme's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    My Campaign Setting
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: 13th Age vs 4th Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Theoboldi View Post
    While I agree that it is great to see the variety of games that exist, and that it's a good thing when games are clear about how they are meant to be run, I cannot agree that this particular new trend is entirely positive.

    While creating a stronger system diversity, I think it also reduces GM diversity, forcing the people running these games to adopt a singular, mass-produced style of running games. And that's at its best. At worst, it creates an experience that feels restrictive and forced for those around the table when the group does not fit the finely crafted playstyle at all.
    There doesn't have to be just one framework and ruleset to guide GMs. Different games benefit from different approaches, and providing guidelines and rules can help achieve that. For instance, the GM rules for a game like Monsterhearts are vastly different from the GM rules for something like Mythender, but both games benefit greatly from placing the GMs inside a ruleset.

    Quote Originally Posted by Theoboldi View Post
    Keep also in mind that improv-heavy games come with their own sort of pressure, even when you are guided by the system. It is not right to assume that it is objectively better or easier for GMs, especially new ones, just because it tells you what steps you are supposed to follow in any situation. For some people, a prepared framework with a clear, expected throughline is far easier to run (and even improvise for in the moment) than an adventure that only is crafted at the table.
    I think that you're completely correct - I've had a lot of fun running Masks: A New Generation, for instance, improvising stuff on the fly and following the fiction, and I've also had a lot of fun running premade adventures and campaigns for D&D 3.5, Pathfinder, and 4e. Honestly, I think those games are at their strongest when you have an adventure path or campaign guide helping you along - it's another example of how a framework of rules makes things so much easier!

  3. - Top - End - #153
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Man_Over_Game's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Between SEA and PDX.
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: 13th Age vs 4th Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    That might be true. I just remember being unimpressed with the 13A fighter. Part of it is that it's very much a heavily-armored defender, which applies to the 4E fighter too. But that's just my general dissatisfaction with D&D classes, I guess.
    One thing I've grown appreciative of is for there to be options for when players don't want complicated or overtly impressive. Sometimes, they want the simplest path for success, because they enjoy tabletop games for other reasons. Or maybe they just want to not have to worry about being optimal all the time at the risk of judgement or frustrations from others.

    Having simple options for different styles is an excellent design choice. Personally, I believe that the secret element that determines whether a player enjoys a game is whether the game matches the level of complexity or effort they're looking for.

    3.5 was extremely complicated, which is why it appealed to a culture of super-nerds. 5e is stupid easy, and...well...a good portion of its players probably eat glue.

    The trick is figuring out how both types can enjoy their time at the same table. You do that by adding a complex and simple counterpart to every distinct playstyle. 4e's Fighter to the Warlord, or 13th's Ranger to the Rogue.

    13th's Age's forced Theater of the Mind really frustrates my simple, autistic brain, and the dependence on in-universe storytelling seems really stupid (probably an overreaction from 4e's bad reception combined with an unwillingness to compromise on certain mechanics), but those guys really knew how to engineer a good game.

    Man, now I'm really jonesing for a round of 4e.
    Last edited by Man_Over_Game; 2021-09-14 at 06:11 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by KOLE View Post
    MOG, design a darn RPG system. Seriously, the amount of ideas I’ve gleaned from your posts has been valuable. You’re a gem of the community here.
    Quote Originally Posted by Man_Over_Game View Post

    5th Edition Homebrewery

    Prestige Options, changing primary attributes to open a world of new multiclassing.
    Adrenaline Surge, fitting Short Rests into combat to fix bosses/Short Rest Classes.
    Pain, using Exhaustion to make tactical martial combatants.
    Fate Sorcery, lucky winner of the 5e D&D Subclass Contest VII!

  4. - Top - End - #154
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2019

    Default Re: 13th Age vs 4th Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    "Nothing happened" isn't accurate, though. Defenses were probed, the party avoided capture and came away with more intel. "Fail forward" is about what happens when you run up against, say, a locked door and you have to pick it, or a character you have to persuade to help you. It's not great design to have everything hinge on that one roll, but sometimes it does (especially if it's just that this was the last of a long chain of things you tried and this is the only one left you can think of). When such things happen, "you failed, so we're done playing the game; you lost," may or may not be appropriate, but "fail forward" says that you should have something happen that opens new doors. They don't have to be the doors the party was seeking, but there should be something happening because of it.

    Even if it's just that now the party's quest, after Bob failed to jump over the ravine, is to find a healer to fix his broken leg. That continues the game.
    If the game is going to come to a grinding halt due to a failed check then don't ask for a check in the first place?

  5. - Top - End - #155
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Corvallis, OR
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: 13th Age vs 4th Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Kymme View Post
    There doesn't have to be just one framework and ruleset to guide GMs. Different games benefit from different approaches, and providing guidelines and rules can help achieve that. For instance, the GM rules for a game like Monsterhearts are vastly different from the GM rules for something like Mythender, but both games benefit greatly from placing the GMs inside a ruleset.
    Here's the thing. With a fixed play style and ruleset, if I want to run a different style within a single campaign, I have to translate everything into a new system, have everyone learn that new system, etc.

    Whereas if the play style is more open and the ruleset is more of a toolset, I can switch play styles within a single session, seamlessly. With a reasonable amount of player/DM trust (mutual, of course), I can run a murder mystery inside a teen-drama session that's part of a heavy dungeon-delving campaign. All without anyone having to learn new rules or new systems or new ways of playing--they just follow the same basic pattern (which is really freeform, just with some scaffolding):

    1) DM describes the scene,
    1.5) asks "<Character>, what do you do"
    2) Player describes what <Character> is going to attempt.
    3) DM determines how that changes the scene going forward, consulting with the player and the rules/mechanics as appropriate, possibly invoking some sort of dice roll (but often not)
    4) DM narrates the changed scene
    5) IF (SESSION NOT OVER), GOTO 1.5

    The ruleset, then, does three things:
    1) creates a shared language for the player(s) and DM to use in step 3
    2) creates a set of default, pre-packaged action-resolution steps for easy resolution of attempted actions that the designers expect will be commonly attempted.
    3) creates a thematic set of pre-generated content to plug in.

    But you can do the steps without any ruleset at all, just with the standard meta rules of freeform. The ruleset is merely scaffolding, an aid so that it's easier for everyone to be on the same page. It's not some sort of binding contract; at most it's the starting point for any given table to figure out what rules they actually want to use and how much discretion to give various people at the table: eg do we want a single-person "DM" role or do we want to share that load across the table? What things can players state as facts (as opposed to just attempted character actions)? Who (and under what conditions) can change these rules or make rulings? Each table even playing the same ruleset can and should come to different conclusions about that. Because there's no way a developer can get it right for everyone, even in a very limited, narrow niche.
    Dawn of Hope: a 5e setting. http://wiki.admiralbenbo.org
    PhoenixPhyre's Extended Homebrew Signature
    5e Monster Data Sheet--vital statistics for all 693 MM, Volo's, and now MToF monsters: Updated!

  6. - Top - End - #156
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Tanarii's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2015

    Default Re: 13th Age vs 4th Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Kymme View Post
    You misunderstand me. I don't think that this sort of thing should be advice at all. I think it should be rules text, a framework about how the game functions. An issue I have with a lot of tradgames is that the GM operates completely on fiat, with no rules or framework. They're not playing the same game as the players, even slightly. Many of my favorite modern ttrpgs place the GM inside a framework that provides rules they need to follow. The best new games sculpt these GM frameworks to the point where they help you make decisions and improvise on the fly, and relieve a lot of the typical pressure that older games just force you to deal with.

    There are a lot of fascinating games out there that are experimenting and doing new things, and I think that's really cool.
    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Interesting. Care to suggest an easy to read freeware example?
    Powered by the Apocalypse

  7. - Top - End - #157
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Kymme's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    My Campaign Setting
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: 13th Age vs 4th Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    Powered by the Apocalypse
    Not a game, and not specific enough. I'm inclined to point you towards Dungeon World, Quertus, because as much as it isn't to my taste it's a really neat introduction to a GMing framework and rules. Also, it's totally free online!

    Blades in the Dark also has a free SRD, and while I don't think its SRD had quite as nice of a GMing section, the game itself is a lot tighter and pretty easy for people new to its genre of ttrpgs to pick up.

  8. - Top - End - #158
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Tanarii's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2015

    Default Re: 13th Age vs 4th Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Kymme View Post
    Not a game, and not specific enough.
    True. I was thinking about AW specifically. It has some of the strongest GM rules framework from any game I've ever read, while still giving incredible flexibility and seemingly designed to thoroughly enhance improvisation.

    I really don't like the way the game as a whole is designed, and I don't know if I could run the game effectively as designed. but the MC rules framework seems outstanding. Certainly for someone who grew up on D&D and what are all effectively D&D knockoffs when it comes to GMing, which includes things by RP elitists writers like White Wolf's or Palladium's/Amber's, it was eye opening as to what's theoretically possible in terms of true GM guidance without being a Ron Edwards about it.

    DW basically uses the same framework. As with AW, I'm not sure the game as a whole would work for me, but I agree it and Blades in the Dark eye both eye opening as to possibilities as well.

  9. - Top - End - #159
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Theoboldi's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: 13th Age vs 4th Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Kymme View Post
    There doesn't have to be just one framework and ruleset to guide GMs. Different games benefit from different approaches, and providing guidelines and rules can help achieve that. For instance, the GM rules for a game like Monsterhearts are vastly different from the GM rules for something like Mythender, but both games benefit greatly from placing the GMs inside a ruleset.
    And this I disagree completely on. Or rather, I disagree with the philosophy that this means it is automatically better to place the GM within a ruleset, at least to such an extent.

    I don't mean to argue that different games dont create different styles, but rather that you do end up with one style per game. Which I think is both terribly limiting and discouraging. The differences between how different GMs utilize the same system and setting are wonderful to me, and have been a source of incredibly creative and varied games over the years. Leaving the space for these differences to develop and grow is crucial for my enjoyment of roleplaying.

    I will point out, I am someone who runs games and likes to play in games run closer to a Free Kriegsspiel style, as some have come to call it. While I am not quite at the furthest extreme of that (I do enjoy having robust rules that can guide what happens when I'm not confident to rule arbitrarily.), I want to reference it here to point out my own preferences and biases when it comes to what is enjoyable in roleplaying games. Much like PhoenixPhyre, I prefer my systems as a toolbox.

    I think that you're completely correct - I've had a lot of fun running Masks: A New Generation, for instance, improvising stuff on the fly and following the fiction, and I've also had a lot of fun running premade adventures and campaigns for D&D 3.5, Pathfinder, and 4e. Honestly, I think those games are at their strongest when you have an adventure path or campaign guide helping you along - it's another example of how a framework of rules makes things so much easier!
    I don't think we are quite so much in agreement on this point, though it is right that is good that both preferences are served.

    Adventure modules are not a framework of rules in the same way that GM agendas are in a PbtA game. (I hope I am recalling the terminology correctly.) Rather, they are a pre-set collection of ideas and preparation material that serves as a loose guideline for the user. They're closer to advice than rules.

    In fact, many experienced GMs across the internet and even module writers have pointed that is best not to use modules as written or to treat them as rules. They're a starting point that often require rewrites, changes, and personal note taking to fit them for any given table. They provide a direction, but still leave it to the GM to make the most out of them. The deviation and customization is where the most memorable parts are created.
    Last edited by Theoboldi; 2021-09-15 at 06:16 AM.

  10. - Top - End - #160
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2015

    Default Re: 13th Age vs 4th Edition

    I don't think the more structured rules actually force one play-style. Maybe they are stricter than they have to be, but they do enforce a "matching" play-style for the system (and its campaign premise). And I think those things should be in sync. Classic counter example: the World of Darkness games. So little of that rule structure is dedicated to its premise - the social/internal torment part - to the point the default mode of interaction with the game could be the D&D with fangs the system's creators hated so much.

    I also kind of into the toolbox approach but since I do a lot of my own homebrew that is actually the same thing as a focused system. And the next project I have in mind actually puts a lot of limits on the GM (me) because in doing so I can offload more work to the system (or me while I'm designing) instead of having to do it during the session. Yes it is a trade-off, but sometimes it is definitively worth it.

  11. - Top - End - #161
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Kymme's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    My Campaign Setting
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: 13th Age vs 4th Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Theoboldi View Post
    And this I disagree completely on. Or rather, I disagree with the philosophy that this means it is automatically better to place the GM within a ruleset, at least to such an extent.

    I don't mean to argue that different games dont create different styles, but rather that you do end up with one style per game. Which I think is both terribly limiting and discouraging. The differences between how different GMs utilize the same system and setting are wonderful to me, and have been a source of incredibly creative and varied games over the years. Leaving the space for these differences to develop and grow is crucial for my enjoyment of roleplaying.

    I will point out, I am someone who runs games and likes to play in games run closer to a Free Kriegsspiel style, as some have come to call it. While I am not quite at the furthest extreme of that (I do enjoy having robust rules that can guide what happens when I'm not confident to rule arbitrarily.), I want to reference it here to point out my own preferences and biases when it comes to what is enjoyable in roleplaying games. Much like PhoenixPhyre, I prefer my systems as a toolbox.
    I feel like you're making an assumption here that when I say "framework" I mean "straightjacket," which isn't the point I'm trying to argue at all. I think that the framework provided in the rules for Masks: A New Generation does leave space for different GMs to utilize the same system and setting, make their own personal spins on things, and alter their styles as the game goes on. The first Masks game I was ever in had the typical superhero fights, but also investigations and unraveling complicated mysteries, it had bringing about political reform both in the city the game was set in but also on an alien planet, it even had a huge Evangelion-esque psychodrama sequence. All of these things involved big alterations in style, but the framework of the game helped keep us all on the same page, helped keep us communicating with one another, and helped us feel like we were playing a game together.

    Also, this gameplay style you linked to is super fascinating to me, because it's very similar to the advice I first gleaned from Apocalypse World. That games are about the fiction, the shared imagined space where anything can flow naturally from the fiction and from the actions of the player characters, even stuff that is unconnected to dice and math and the typical rules of ttrpgs. It's really fascinating to read about how these principles harken back to something much older, to a part of rpg history I never knew about. Thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by Theoboldi View Post
    I don't think we are quite so much in agreement on this point, though it is right that is good that both preferences are served.

    Adventure modules are not a framework of rules in the same way that GM agendas are in a PbtA game. (I hope I am recalling the terminology correctly.) Rather, they are a pre-set collection of ideas and preparation material that serves as a loose guideline for the user. They're closer to advice than rules.

    In fact, many experienced GMs across the internet and even module writers have pointed that is best not to use modules as written or to treat them as rules. They're a starting point that often require rewrites, changes, and personal note taking to fit them for any given table. They provide a direction, but still leave it to the GM to make the most out of them. The deviation and customization is where the most memorable parts are created.
    I think I was off-base here. No, adventure modules are not the same kind of framework of rules that PbtA games use. (Your recollection of terms is correct. There are also GM principles and moves, too!) I think I agree with you completely in that regard. I have found that having this premade structure, in the form of adventure ideas, maps, enemy statblocks (even if i have to make changes, just having something to work from is a huge boon), treasure, guidelines for experience points, NPCs, all of those things, make traditional games so much easier to run.

  12. - Top - End - #162
    Titan in the Playground
     
    KorvinStarmast's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Texas
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: 13th Age vs 4th Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Batcathat View Post
    Anyhow, it seems like the major difference is that I think plot can exist even with players acting independently of the "author"
    Indeed they can, and this really comes out in sandbox style play; one of the things 13th age tried to do, it seems to me, was to be very fluid in term of the direction of the story arc. By providing a setting but not providing a lot of detail, the movement between Those Big Powers that players have relationships with it seemed to me that the PCs choices would form the narrative arc that could only be realized in reptrospect. Again, our campaign didn't get far enough along (as a player I was working really hard to 'get' the mechanics and rhythm) for me to tell you that this happened; RL being the bane of many a campaign.
    Quote Originally Posted by Theodoxus View Post
    Are you talking about fiction you've written or games you've run? If it's fiction, then unless you're using other people to provide character direction, you're still 100% in control of the universe your characters are in. Those in-character decisions are tied to, and move the plot along. Without a plot, there is no story.
    I disagree with this. The plot can sometimes only become clear in retrospect. That's an interesting feature of Role Playing games.
    I think Tanarii is basically stating 'no plot survives an interaction with another human being.'
    I think that thought is a valid one.
    Quote Originally Posted by Frogreaver View Post
    Though, this does bring a couple of thoughts to me,
    If 4e hadn't have happened, then Pathfinder wouldn't have been nearly as successful. If 4e hadn't happened, 13th age wouldn't have got to adapt it's design to the complaints levied against 4e. If 4e hadn't happened would 5e have actually been well received and would it have looked anything at all like what we have now?

    It seems to me that 4e's existence made a ton of other great games possible, and while 4e is generally viewed as a failure, it's possible that strategically it was still the right decision.
    WoTC failed forward, did they not?
    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Probably the most intelligent person I've ever met one told me that "if I had lived your life, I'd be you".
    Durkon Thundershield and a vampire who was holding him hostage had a similar conversation.
    Different people have different ranges, and different size ranges.
    And some never get out of edgelord mode.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    And what's happening at the gaming table, at least the ones I play at, isn't a story. Any more than me living my life is living the story of my life.
    The story of your life is told after you've lived it, right? At your wake, we get the highlights.
    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    I agree with this statement, and wish more people would accept it. If there isn't an interesting result for both success and failure, don't roll. Both branches should lead the ongoing set of events[1] somewhere interesting, even if it's not the direction the players intended.
    Die rolling can sometimes interrupt play unnecessarily. On the other hand, in a game like Roll for Shoes, it inherently opens up new options. (Some day, I'd like to get our group together and try out Roll For Shoes. I think the five of us would be able to make something fun out of it).
    Quote Originally Posted by Kymme View Post
    An issue I have with a lot of tradgames is that the GM operates completely on fiat, with no rules or framework.
    That is so blatantly wrong as to not even be funny.
    Trad games have rules, had rules, and as they got bigger they got even more rules to the point that no few of them became unwieldy. I you were unlucky enough to be a rules bound player and GM you'd never get through the game. DMs and GMs are explicitly the lubricant that keeps the game moving in trad games.

    GMless games are a different form of RPG. (See my citation above in re Roll for Shoes).
    Quote Originally Posted by icefractal View Post
    I have fixed feelings on Fail Forward.
    Fail backward also works. Party runs into an encounter that's too tough; how they avoid or get out of that situation becomes a whole new path of events (Or would you consider that failing forward?)
    Without failure being possible, though, where's the narrative tension?
    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    "Nothing happened" isn't accurate, though. Defenses were probed, the party avoided capture and came away with more intel. "Fail forward" is about what happens when you run up against, say, a locked door and you have to pick it, or a character you have to persuade to help you. It's not great design to have everything hinge on that one roll, but sometimes it does (especially if it's just that this was the last of a long chain of things you tried and this is the only one left you can think of). When such things happen, "you failed, so we're done playing the game; you lost," may or may not be appropriate, but "fail forward" says that you should have something happen that opens new doors. They don't have to be the doors the party was seeking, but there should be something happening because of it.
    Or try stuff that isn't on your character sheet, like an old school party would.
    Avatar by linklele
    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
    Quote Originally Posted by HappyDaze
    Self-deception tends to have a low target number
    How Teleport Works

  13. - Top - End - #163
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Kymme's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    My Campaign Setting
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: 13th Age vs 4th Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    That is so blatantly wrong as to not even be funny.
    Trad games have rules, had rules, and as they got bigger they got even more rules to the point that no few of them became unwieldy. I you were unlucky enough to be a rules bound player and GM you'd never get through the game. DMs and GMs are explicitly the lubricant that keeps the game moving in trad games.

    GMless games are a different form of RPG. (See my citation above in re Roll for Shoes).
    I feel like you didn't spend even the minimum effort to read and understand my post. D&D is packed to the brim with rules for adjudicating events between actors, between the player characters and NPCs, but there are basically no rules proscribe the sorts of the actions that the GM should take in the running of the game. You don't see anything like Apocalypse World's Always Say section, or even a general list with quality of life things like 'be a fan of the players.' When a GM arbitrarily decides to inflate the difficulty class of a skill check because they, I dunno, really don't want you to climb this cliff or bluff this king or charm this dragon, they are operating purely on fiat. I think that situations like these lead to a lot of poor outcomes at the table, and that's one of the reasons I advocate for games that resolve these problems by introducing a framework.

    Also, I didn't even mention GMless games. Not sure where you're getting that from what I said.

    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    Fail backward also works. Party runs into an encounter that's too tough; how they avoid or get out of that situation becomes a whole new path of events (Or would you consider that failing forward?)
    Without failure being possible, though, where's the narrative tension?
    Yes, of course that's also failing forward. Fail forward doesn't mean that failure doesn't exist, or that there's no narrative tension, it means that failure should never be a place where the game just stops. Failure should always roll forward into something new, whether that's an alternate route, success-at-a-cost, some unfortunate setback, etc. There is some really good, primordial-soup-type failing forward advice in Dogs in the Vineyard. If you're interested in seeing what it's like you should check that out.

    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    Or try stuff that isn't on your character sheet, like an old school party would.
    Fiction first, definitely. I think that freeform style is pretty neat. Hard to say it's really what games like D&D 4e were built for, though.

  14. - Top - End - #164
    Titan in the Playground
     
    KorvinStarmast's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Texas
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: 13th Age vs 4th Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Kymme View Post
    I feel like you didn't spend even the minimum effort to read and understand my post. D&D is packed to the brim with rules for adjudicating events between actors, between the player characters and NPCs, but there are basically no rules proscribe the sorts of the actions that the GM should take in the running of the game.
    Did you read the DMG? Did you read chapter 1, specifically the part about how to play the game?
    When a GM arbitrarily decides to inflate the difficulty class of a skill check because they, I dunno, really don't want you to climb this cliff or bluff this king or charm this dragon, they are operating purely on fiat.
    The term "GM fiat" is a red flag, I have found since I began the post Forge era discussions, for a series of faulty assumptions and bad attitudes, so I'll stop there.
    Yes, of course that's also failing forward.
    OK, thanks, wanted to make sure of the size of that space.

    As to Dogs in the Vineyard, you find someone running that game near where I live and I'll consider playing it.
    Odds that happens are really slim. (The sole FLGS near to where I live has basically died (in terms of public play) due to COVID; a guy I used to work with created it, their big draw is MtG and WH40K, but he had to sell it when he moved).

    Seriously.

    I got a lot burned out on being the DM/GM, even though it gave me a lot of joy. (My first GM experience was three years, Empire of the Petal Throne, back in the late 70's/early 80's). For the next decade and a half if I wanted to play I was, more often than not, the DM. (Granted, Dming for my kids, nephews and nieces breathed fresh life into me ...)
    That right there - the lack of DMs / GMs - informed my decade long hiatus from RPGs.

    I only returned to them, in D&D 5e, due to the kids being mostly grown up and the condition that this time, I get to be a player. That worked for about two years, and here I am, DM for one group and part time DM for another. I am fortunate that my brother and I split DMing, and that Phoenix is a DM for a game that my wife {usually} allows me to play.

    Which makes me realize why I liked Diablo, Diablo II, and Diablo III (to a lesser extent) (CRPGs) so much.
    I could play, and if I had friend to play with GREAT but if I didn't then I could play solo if I had some time. WoW didn't do it for me, in part due to the GUI, but also due to scheduling. My son tried to get me to join his guild, but the game itself just didn't give me the feel I was looking for.
    Last edited by KorvinStarmast; 2021-09-15 at 09:47 AM.
    Avatar by linklele
    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
    Quote Originally Posted by HappyDaze
    Self-deception tends to have a low target number
    How Teleport Works

  15. - Top - End - #165
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Segev's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location

    Default Re: 13th Age vs 4th Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Frogreaver View Post
    If the game is going to come to a grinding halt due to a failed check then don't ask for a check in the first place?
    Precisely 5e's approach to the problem. Sadly, it's tempting for DMs to call for rolls when they should just grant auto-success.

  16. - Top - End - #166
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Theoboldi's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: 13th Age vs 4th Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    I don't think the more structured rules actually force one play-style. Maybe they are stricter than they have to be, but they do enforce a "matching" play-style for the system (and its campaign premise). And I think those things should be in sync. Classic counter example: the World of Darkness games. So little of that rule structure is dedicated to its premise - the social/internal torment part - to the point the default mode of interaction with the game could be the D&D with fangs the system's creators hated so much.

    I also kind of into the toolbox approach but since I do a lot of my own homebrew that is actually the same thing as a focused system. And the next project I have in mind actually puts a lot of limits on the GM (me) because in doing so I can offload more work to the system (or me while I'm designing) instead of having to do it during the session. Yes it is a trade-off, but sometimes it is definitively worth it.
    You say that about World of Darkness like it's a bad thing.
    That joke aside, I do believe that while structured GM rules do not force a singular specific kind of play, they restrict styles and actual gameplay enough for them to lose something for me. And while I do believe it's better if play-style and premise fit the chosen system, what exactly constitutes a good fit can change from group to group. Unlike fitting a shoe to a foot, here factors in a certain amount of personal preference and philosophy that goes beyond how strongly the mechanics enforce certain themes.

    On the matter of homebrewing, I definitely see where you are coming from. I am working on a system for my own games as well, and though I've kept it a generic system for use with the wide variety of premises I would like to run someday, it is very much written in such a way as to enable the kinds of experiences I wish to enable, without me having to oversee that at every moment. However, because that has given it an overall more pulpy feel it is also less suited for some of the grittier premises I've had in mind.

    I'm this close to starting on a second system. Despite the ridiculousness of that idea. >_>

    Quote Originally Posted by Kymme View Post
    I feel like you're making an assumption here that when I say "framework" I mean "straightjacket," which isn't the point I'm trying to argue at all. I think that the framework provided in the rules for Masks: A New Generation does leave space for different GMs to utilize the same system and setting, make their own personal spins on things, and alter their styles as the game goes on. The first Masks game I was ever in had the typical superhero fights, but also investigations and unraveling complicated mysteries, it had bringing about political reform both in the city the game was set in but also on an alien planet, it even had a huge Evangelion-esque psychodrama sequence. All of these things involved big alterations in style, but the framework of the game helped keep us all on the same page, helped keep us communicating with one another, and helped us feel like we were playing a game together.

    Also, this gameplay style you linked to is super fascinating to me, because it's very similar to the advice I first gleaned from Apocalypse World. That games are about the fiction, the shared imagined space where anything can flow naturally from the fiction and from the actions of the player characters, even stuff that is unconnected to dice and math and the typical rules of ttrpgs. It's really fascinating to read about how these principles harken back to something much older, to a part of rpg history I never knew about. Thank you!
    What's fascinating to me especially is how we utilize completely different methods to pursue similar goals. There's many valid ways to achieve them, I would say, and it's only been good for roleplaying in general that there's so many options to do so. And that's without even going into fine (but dearly important) differences between our similar goals, or people who want something entirely different out of their roleplaying games.

    Perhaps I overstated my point a little, though, as the enforcement of GMing style relates more to the how things are done and the proceedures taken to make that happen. All that moreso than the trappings and details of the stories themselves. There certainly is also a sliding scale of just how much enforcement there. Mythender for instance, I would argue is far more enforced than PbtA, which itself is more enforced than Fate, which is more enforced than D&D. (And then D&D also has some soft enforcement through magic item guidelines and challenge ratings! But those are so soft that they once more lean towards the side of advice rather than rules.) And I could go on and on and give more examples, and those could all be debated, but I think I'm getting my point across. Across this scale there are enough differences that for many people eventually it will feel like a straightjacket at some point, or too loose and directionless at others. Mileage may vary, and all that.


    I think I was off-base here. No, adventure modules are not the same kind of framework of rules that PbtA games use. (Your recollection of terms is correct. There are also GM principles and moves, too!) I think I agree with you completely in that regard. I have found that having this premade structure, in the form of adventure ideas, maps, enemy statblocks (even if i have to make changes, just having something to work from is a huge boon), treasure, guidelines for experience points, NPCs, all of those things, make traditional games so much easier to run.
    Thanks for the reminder on the terms. The only PbtA game I've spent a considerable amount of time with has been Ironsworn (and Starforged, but that's essentially the same system), most of which has been playing solo, so my memory is hazy on some details.
    And yes, those premade notes are in fact highly helpful. So helpful almost to the point of necessity in fact, that nowadays I prefer systems that utilize only very basic, or no stats at all for NPCs. Whether that's a sign of my personal gaming philosophy, or just me being lazy, I'll leave to you.
    Last edited by Theoboldi; 2021-09-15 at 03:39 PM.
    Always look for white text. Always.
    That's how you do it! Have a cookie!
    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.

  17. - Top - End - #167
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Max_Killjoy's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    The Lakes

    Default Re: 13th Age vs 4th Edition

    It's funny, I see a lot of the systems/games that try to put a framework on the GM... as the games also that try to make the GM play by different rules than the players.

    Why? Different rules for NPCs than for PCs. And I don't mean character creation rules, I mean fundamentally different characteristics/attributes and fundamentally different rules.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

    Verisimilitude -- n, the appearance or semblance of truth, likelihood, or probability.

    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

    The Worldbuilding Forum -- where realities are born.

  18. - Top - End - #168
    Titan in the Playground
     
    KorvinStarmast's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Texas
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: 13th Age vs 4th Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    Why? Different rules for NPCs than for PCs. And I don't mean character creation rules, I mean fundamentally different characteristics/attributes and fundamentally different rules.
    Well, a gelatinous cube is a bit different from your average Fighting Man.
    Avatar by linklele
    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
    Quote Originally Posted by HappyDaze
    Self-deception tends to have a low target number
    How Teleport Works

  19. - Top - End - #169
    Firbolg in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2011

    Default Re: 13th Age vs 4th Edition

    There are rules for how the banker in Monopoly should comport themselves. Those rules differ from the rules for an MtG judge, a movie critic, or a <system> GM. I'm not seeing where this should be surprising.

    The idea that different sets of rules lend themselves to different games… I can at least see that not being so obvious as to deserve a facepalm for anyone who doesn't instantly recognize the truth and full ramifications of that statement.

    But trying to *assign* rules to systems? There's definitely lots of opportunity to go too far, or not far enough. For instance, WoD does great as "superheroes with fangs", and trying to create rules to enforce the correct level of angst simply inhibits valid gameplay (color blue to taste).

    Point being, "what the designers intend" and "what a system actually *is*", let alone "what a system could be" don't necessarily match. Just look at how "balanced" 3e is, or how 4e doesn't match my definition of an RPG.

    So it's… dubious… whether system designers should be trusted to choose what rules get used at the table.

    That said, creating the system such that the rules aren't badly integrated into the system, and the table can actually choose for themselves to what extent to follow such guidelines - and tables use that baseline to explicitly list/discuss such deviations in season 0? I don't see much problem with that.

    *That* said, there are some rules/guidelines, like "Rule of Three" / "Fail Forward" = "don't make a game where a single thing - a single missed clue, a single failed (or successful) roll, a single decision from the players - can end / make unfun / make unsalvageable the game, *unless* that is *explicitly* intended behavior" (thank you captain obvious), that I think could be applied nigh universally.

    The guidelines for 4e… are a pattern of 2 encounters, short rest, 2 encounters, long rest? Presumably some WBL stuff. Anything else?

    The guidelines for 13th Age are…?

    (Many of the guidelines for 2e and earlier D&D should be labeled, "how to be the biggest ****", and definitely should be ignored.)

    Quote Originally Posted by OldTrees1 View Post
    Fail forward intends to have any result allow the game to continue, but having every failure result in some form of progression.

    It is a case where the intend is more valuable than ruthless devotion to the method. However it is one of many useful guidelines.

    And guidelines are meant to be broken when there is a worthy reason to break them.


    Personally I prefer sandboxes where the players have so much agency, that it is okay if their failures have the potential to not fail forward. Because the game can continue being played due to the other routes that already existed.
    Joyous exclamation! A call out to the power of sandbox!

    I have my opinion, but… why/when do you believe that the guideline of "fail forward", of don't have a choice end the game, should be broken?

  20. - Top - End - #170
    Titan in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2013

    Default Re: 13th Age vs 4th Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Joyous exclamation! A call out to the power of sandbox!

    I have my opinion, but… why/when do you believe that the guideline of "fail forward", of don't have a choice end the game, should be broken?
    2 Circumstance based on different scope:

    1) Is there value in a failure closing off that direction forever?
    Fail forward would suggestion the failure towards a terminal objective should push the party towards another way of achieving the same terminal objective. That is a good guideline, unless you want to allow the possibility of an objective being forever lost. In a linear campaign these objectives tend to be large, limited, and losing one forever tends to risk ending the campaign. In a sandbox campaign these tend to be small-medium, player generated, and losing one forever is a character moment rather than the end of the campaign.

    Still even in a sandbox many failures towards PC terminal objectives would not block off that objective. If a PC wants to protect a village, and the village is raided by slavers, the PC can fail forward by going after the slavers to free the village. However what if a deadly plague swept over the village. The PC can rush to find a way to save as much of the village as possible. If they fail a tiny bit, then they can fail forward into helping the village recover from their losses. If they fail by a lot, then the village died out.

    2) Is there value in a failure ending the campaign?
    Oddly enough, sometimes a disaster will be big enough that ending the campaign is more satisfying than undermining the agency of the PC's mistakes. Maybe a squad of astronauts as stranded on Mars. Minor failures might create complications that you can fail forward with. However any failure big enough to cause a TPK, is probably best left as a "Oh well, we lost. That was fun. What is the next campaign?". Does the possibility of that big of a failure add or detract from the campaign of "We are strangers in an exceedingly hostile environment?". Ask your players.


    Summary: The guideline of "Don't let a mistake end that section of the game" can be broken if the agency of the mistake is worth more (to the group) than the section of the game.
    Last edited by OldTrees1; 2021-09-16 at 05:09 PM.

  21. - Top - End - #171
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2015

    Default Re: 13th Age vs 4th Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Theoboldi View Post
    I do believe that while structured GM rules do not force a singular specific kind of play, they restrict styles and actual gameplay enough for them to lose something for me.
    I'm just going to need an example for this one. Like you say this and I can abstractly understand that something like this might happen, but I don't really see how it could. Well any more than any given rule in the system and if we go to that extreme we end up at free-form. So what makes the trade-off different in this case?

    For instance, in your homebrew example, you found that it suits a certain tone better than some others. And things like tone, setting, character creation options, player-hooks, distribution of direct setting/plot (not via a character) control and a bunch of non-GM player facing rules seem they would have similar or greater restrictions coming with them. So why is this one more of a problem?

    I'm this close to starting on a second system. Despite the ridiculousness of that idea. >_>
    Welcome to the long road.

  22. - Top - End - #172
    Titan in the Playground
     
    KorvinStarmast's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Texas
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: 13th Age vs 4th Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    it was eye opening as to what's theoretically possible in terms of true GM guidance without being a Ron Edwards about it.
    *yoda voice*
    Out loud, I laughed.
    Avatar by linklele
    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
    Quote Originally Posted by HappyDaze
    Self-deception tends to have a low target number
    How Teleport Works

  23. - Top - End - #173
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Theoboldi's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: 13th Age vs 4th Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    I'm just going to need an example for this one. Like you say this and I can abstractly understand that something like this might happen, but I don't really see how it could. Well any more than any given rule in the system and if we go to that extreme we end up at free-form. So what makes the trade-off different in this case?

    For instance, in your homebrew example, you found that it suits a certain tone better than some others. And things like tone, setting, character creation options, player-hooks, distribution of direct setting/plot (not via a character) control and a bunch of non-GM player facing rules seem they would have similar or greater restrictions coming with them. So why is this one more of a problem?
    Oh, it's not a bigger problem at all. I'm simply objecting to the idea that more codified rules for GMs is inherently a good thing that rpgs should have, rather than a specific desire that should be served by some rpgs.

    I do however think that GM rules, once they go beyond guidelines and are implemented as such, will by necessity have a big, perceptible impact. Since the role of the GM is so central to the flow of a game in which there is one, anything that affects them will have a knock-on effect on the rest of the game.

    I'll use Ironsworn as an example, since many PbtA games have rules relating to these things and this is the one of them that I've played at length. (Though it is unique in that regard in how it doesn't actually have explicit GM moves.) In essence, they way that task resolution is structured through moves makes most actions with an uncertain outcome result in what you could call success at a cost, and failures always instruct you to make a meaningful negative change happen to the story.

    There's no way for the GM to circumvent this short of not calling for a roll or blatantly not following the rules, which the game does not even state as an option. (Rule 0, sure, but I'm going off RAW here.) Explicitly, they are meant to help determine the outcome of moves, not dictate them, as that is done by the moves themselves. The game has a pacing and way of adding twists that exists independent of the GM, and by necessity the GM is forced to follow this. And since doing so for a prolonged time is very creatively exhausting (which I will attest to, since I've felt that a lot during my solo gameplay) the GM is also heavily pushed to offload part of the creative progress to the players, which is unsurprisingly what the system wants in the first place.

    None of this is bad in and of itself! In fact, it comes together and functions wonderfully with the right group. I just genuinely would not want to GM it, as it enacts too much control over parts of GMing that I have fun doing myself. (pacing and twists) That, and I know many friends of mine who have styles that are utterly incompatible with this, and who have such a skill for crafting intricate worlds and plots and NPC webs which they simply cannot bring to play under these constrictions.

    Again though. Great game. Love playing it. Even GM-less in a group. It's a good old time for some improv-based fantasy gaming.

    Welcome to the long road.
    A long road it is indeed. At least the progress of thinking up rules is fun! Writing them down, not so much...
    Always look for white text. Always.
    That's how you do it! Have a cookie!
    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.

  24. - Top - End - #174
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Max_Killjoy's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    The Lakes

    Default Re: 13th Age vs 4th Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    True. I was thinking about AW specifically. It has some of the strongest GM rules framework from any game I've ever read, while still giving incredible flexibility and seemingly designed to thoroughly enhance improvisation.

    I really don't like the way the game as a whole is designed, and I don't know if I could run the game effectively as designed. but the MC rules framework seems outstanding. Certainly for someone who grew up on D&D and what are all effectively D&D knockoffs when it comes to GMing, which includes things by RP elitists writers like White Wolf's or Palladium's/Amber's, it was eye opening as to what's theoretically possible in terms of true GM guidance without being a Ron Edwards about it.
    Which is kinda funny... AW comes out of the Ron Edwards inner circle, and at least some of us here have found the advice therein not helpful, but condescending.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

    Verisimilitude -- n, the appearance or semblance of truth, likelihood, or probability.

    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

    The Worldbuilding Forum -- where realities are born.

  25. - Top - End - #175
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Tanarii's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2015

    Default Re: 13th Age vs 4th Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    Which is kinda funny... AW comes out of the Ron Edwards inner circle, and at least some of us here have found the advice therein not helpful, but condescending.
    That certainly explains the prose accompanying the rules.

    But what's surprising is the rules seem pretty solid at what they want to accomplish. Unlike say Burning Wheel.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •