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Re: Question about play

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  • orlanthumathi
    I see nothing in the rules to suggest narration passes to the player after a successful roll, so option one seems to be a departure from the rules. Option two
    Message 1 of 21 , Apr 2 5:36 AM
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      I see nothing in the rules to suggest narration passes to the player after a successful roll, so option one seems to be a departure from the rules.

      Option two doesn't quite work for me either though. HQ uses a "fortune in the middle" system for conflict resolution. So things are not decided by the dice roll but afterwards. For HQ this means that once the conflict has been framed such that everyone knows WHAT is being decided the dice are rolled and then the player gets to decide if the level of victory is acceptable or if he wants to sway it in his favour with hero points, only once this has been resolved does the GM then narrate the consequences.

      Group discussion over framing of the conflict or the final narration is outside of the rules as written, but usually happens in most groups to some extent or other. But, note that the rules leave the authority over the framing and the narration with the GM/Narrator.

      Jamie


      --- In HeroQuest-RPG@yahoogroups.com, "rlbeaver" <rlbeaver@...> wrote:
      > "GM describes the scene, there's negotiation between the GM and players, roll dice, players describe what happens if success, GM describes what happens if failure? Move on to the next important scene. "
      >
      > Or
      >
      > "GM describes the scene, assumes the persona of the NPC, monster, etc. Players assume the persona of their characters. Interact until a task/conflict resolution is required. Negotiation between GM and players, roll dice, GM describes results. Move on to the next important scene."
    • Stuart Laird
      In the game I run, Mostly #2, sometimes #1 if the player has a particularly inspired vision of what they want to happen. My players are experienced with the
      Message 2 of 21 , Apr 7 3:40 PM
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        In the game I run, Mostly #2, sometimes #1 if the player has a
        particularly inspired vision of what they want to happen. My players
        are experienced with the systems and have a good understanding of the
        levels of success so they are able to match those with the description.
        I also have a very mature group.

        How does play vary in contrast to "traditional" RPG's. IMHO HQ is
        pretty much a Co-operative effort of narrative, where as "traditional"
        RPG's are often a bit more Adversarial between GM and Players, Players
        often trying the "beat" the GM.

        On 30/03/2010 10:47 AM, rlbeaver wrote:
        >
        > I'm having trouble visualizing how HQ actually works during a gaming
        > session. I recognize it's classified as a "narrative" style game, and
        > I understand the rules (mostly.) The Actual Play sessions I've read
        > did not clear it up for me. Is the game play more like
        >
        > "GM describes the scene, there's negotiation between the GM and
        > players, roll dice, players describe what happens if success, GM
        > describes what happens if failure? Move on to the next important scene. "
        >
        > Or
        >
        > "GM describes the scene, assumes the persona of the NPC, monster, etc.
        > Players assume the persona of their characters. Interact until a
        > task/conflict resolution is required. Negotiation between GM and
        > players, roll dice, GM describes results. Move on to the next
        > important scene."
        >
        > or something else entirely?
        >
        > I guess I'd like to see how it contrast/compares to "traditional" RPGs
        > in actual play.
        >
        >


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Matthew Cole
        We do it like Stuart s group. I suspect that, at the start, you ll have to lead by example (narrating each outcome yourself) but I recommend you encourage your
        Message 3 of 21 , Apr 8 12:55 AM
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          We do it like Stuart's group.

          I suspect that, at the start, you'll have to lead by example (narrating each outcome yourself) but I recommend you encourage your players to have a go at narration of both victorious and defeated outcomes.

          We find it particularly useful to give players narration responsibility for their own defeats. I recommend encouraging them towards enthusiasm for this.

          The main reason for my recommendations is that this gives players ownership of the most important part of the game. It also gets the group into a cooperative mode (distinct from Stuart's observation of "adversarial", traditional gaming). Particularly with defeats, it can show that failure can be fun
        • Matthew Cole
          We do it like Stuart s group. I suspect that, at the start, you ll have to lead by example (narrating each outcome yourself) but I recommend you encourage your
          Message 4 of 21 , Apr 8 12:58 AM
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            We do it like Stuart's group.

            I suspect that, at the start, you'll have to lead by example (narrating each outcome yourself) but I recommend you encourage your players to have a go at narration of both victorious and defeated outcomes.

            We find it particularly useful to give players narration responsibility for their own defeats. I recommend encouraging them towards enthusiasm for this.

            The main reason for my recommendations is that this gives players ownership of the most important part of the game. It also gets the group into a cooperative mode (distinct from Stuart's observation of "adversarial", traditional gaming). Particularly with defeats, it can show that failure can be fun
          • orlanthumathi
            It is possible that the initial confusion about how the game is supposed to play is based on the difference between the game text and the differing styles
            Message 5 of 21 , Apr 10 4:01 AM
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              It is possible that the initial confusion about how the game is supposed to play is based on the difference between the game text and the differing styles espoused here and elsewhere.

              I would be cautious when suggesting that passing narration rights to the players is a good thing for HQ2.

              There are no specific rules that help HQ2 players to operate with shared narration or shared scene framing and much of the GM advice in the book is incompatible with such an open approach to narration authority.

              Games that work well with shared narration such as Zombie Cinema, have built in authority rules and clear cut role divisions. They have been designed with shared narration in mind. (Indeed ZC is designed to teach the concept of shared scene framing and as such isn't quite a full game so much as a fun skill honing exercise.)

              See also the designer of this game's own thoughts on 'the pitfalls of narrative technique in rpg play' here:
              http://isabout.wordpress.com/2010/02/16/the-pitfalls-of-narrative-technique-in-rpg-play/

              As soon as you transplant techniques into games with different design aims you are wandering off of the map (or as some games designers like to say "invalidating the warranty"). I like to do this, but it can be full of potential confusion and may result in unsatisfying play if the people at the table have differing understandings of the changes. For an obvious example, you can no longer look up the intent of a rule to solve problems if you have adjusted things.

              This is not to say that a group shouldn't do this so much as to say that when first playing a game it is probably wise to learn how all of the parts are supposed to work together before you start tinkering with the clockwork, and given that rpgs have many emergent qualities this would mean playing the game for a few sessions.

              RPG GMs have traditionally taken bits from all sorts of games and house-ruled like crazy, but most of the games that served as the raw material for such home-brews had compatible aims. With the more broad spectrum of RPGs since the indy scene this is no longer true. You cant just grab the concept of narrational authority and throw it into a Shadowrun game without a good bit of crowbarring and explanation.

              In my view the core mechanics of HQ are a powerful tool that can be utilised by many styles of play, but the overall rule set including the copious advice, has a specific style in mind, and it is probably worth becoming familiar with this style before adapting it too radically.

              Jamie
            • rlbeaver
              Thanks for all the replies. I m not sure where I got the idea that narration was passed, I may just have read too much into the rules. I ve played in another
              Message 6 of 21 , Apr 11 5:47 AM
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                Thanks for all the replies. I'm not sure where I got the idea that narration was passed, I may just have read too much into the rules.

                I've played in another "narrative" game where the GM's role was more handling negotiation of the outcome and situation of the players. It didn't seem like fun (I enjoy trying to play out NPCs the players encounter (no, not GMPCs, I'm very cautious about that.) I was concerned that this was the GM's role in this system as well.

                It doesn't sound like this lends itself to this, but I'll ask anyway...is there any chance there exists a pre-generated adventure that I could read through to get a feel for the game?

                It's just not clicking for me, but there are parts that sound like I would really like this system...
              • orlanthumathi
                Not online that I know of. What is it that is not clicking? What kind of game have you played before? What kind of game do you have in mind for hq?
                Message 7 of 21 , Apr 13 9:29 AM
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                  Not online that I know of. What is it that is not clicking? What kind of game have you played before? What kind of game do you have in mind for hq?

                  --- In HeroQuest-RPG@yahoogroups.com, "rlbeaver" <rlbeaver@...> wrote:

                  > It doesn't sound like this lends itself to this, but I'll ask anyway...is there any chance there exists a pre-generated adventure that I could read through to get a feel for the game?
                  >
                  > It's just not clicking for me, but there are parts that sound like I would really like this system...
                  >
                • rlbeaver
                  My experience is mostly crunchy games D&D 3.5, Pathfinder, GURPS, Burning Wheel, and WHFRP 1st ed. In lighter games, I have played Savage Worlds, Hero s
                  Message 8 of 21 , Apr 14 6:21 AM
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                    My experience is mostly crunchy games D&D 3.5, Pathfinder, GURPS, Burning Wheel, and WHFRP 1st ed. In lighter games, I have played Savage Worlds, Hero's Banner, Mouse Guard.

                    It's difficult for me to clearly state what's not clicking. I guess it's more of how abstracted skill and conflict resolution is compared to games like D&D. In attempting to understand it, I wrote up below:

                    In my reading of it, it really doesn't seem that different as far as play, there's just a single resolution mechanic.

                    For instance, using a combat conflict, my interpretation of play is:

                    H1. GM Describes Situation
                    H2. Players describe what they would like the outcome to be and what
                    actions (skills) they are going to use to achieve it.
                    H3. GM Describes opponent's actions
                    H4. Dice are rolled, results applied
                    H5. If player/opponent not defeated, goto step 2

                    If the player's action were "I Kill it with my BFG" and they had a high enough margin of success, then combat is over in "one roll". As compared to D&D, it would go:

                    D1. GM Describes Situation
                    D2. GM Determines order of actions
                    D3. Player/opponent describe action they are attempting
                    D4. Dice are rolled, results applied
                    D5. If player/opponent not defeated, goto Step 3 for
                    next player/opponent

                    It would be very rare for combat to end without at least one iteration.

                    My interpretation of HQ's strengths are:

                    - There's one resolution mechanic that is not modified by another rule. While D&D has one resolution mechanic, the rules of how it's applied are modified depending on the action, for instance grapple.

                    - Step H2 above give players more "say" in successful results.

                    If that's it, then it just clicked as I was writing this, if not, then I'm still lost and will just have to try and find a game in the open gaming at GenCon.


                    --- In HeroQuest-RPG@yahoogroups.com, "orlanthumathi" <anti.spam@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Not online that I know of. What is it that is not clicking? What kind of game have you played before? What kind of game do you have in mind for hq?
                    >
                  • Manuel MOLINIER
                    I think that to make it click with HQ2 one solution can be to forget any other RPG you ve played (in terms of rules) and think of yourself as a book writer or
                    Message 9 of 21 , Apr 14 11:39 PM
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                      I think that to make it click with HQ2 one solution can be to forget any
                      other RPG you've played (in terms of rules) and think of yourself as a book
                      writer or a movie/tv show director. Try to think of how you would run your
                      favorite movie or TV show in HQ2.

                      What decide of the time spent on a challenge is not the number of HP of the
                      monster but the emotional interest of the scene and the time you wish to
                      allocate to it.

                      You are to decide if you want to resolve something in 1 action or attach
                      more importance to it. In Conan or in SW or others the director decide that
                      climbing the stair meeting guards /reaching the spaceship with Storm
                      troopers will take only a few minutes of the movie time. You roll a simple
                      contest and depending on the level of success/failure you describe the run
                      with some exchanged blows, or the capture of the characters and you move to
                      the next scene.

                      On a fast running scene the goal of the contest can/should be more high
                      level to keep the pace fast (reaching your spaceship). On a slow running and
                      high intensity scene each meter or small action count to keep the thrill
                      (taking the door, breaking the door security, retreating as the enemy
                      barrage fire, taking a good shoot at the enemy, running for your life,
                      starting your spaceship ... ).

                      There was a subject on this list I think about running a Dungeon crawl in
                      HQ2. If you can put your hand on it in the archive it could also help you,
                      But the general idea is that HQ2 is more oriented to running the Moria run
                      in LotR the movie or book way than with the grity details of a D&D fight.

                      Another big difference I see is that HQ2 focus on the PC actions/goals and
                      less on the NPC action. While the GM describe the goal of NPC, the action is
                      driven by the PC action. No long minutes where the DM chooses the right kind
                      of attack his monster will try to do.

                      Manuel



                      On Wed, Apr 14, 2010 at 3:21 PM, rlbeaver <rlbeaver@...> wrote:

                      >
                      >
                      > My experience is mostly crunchy games D&D 3.5, Pathfinder, GURPS, Burning
                      > Wheel, and WHFRP 1st ed. In lighter games, I have played Savage Worlds,
                      > Hero's Banner, Mouse Guard.
                      >
                      > It's difficult for me to clearly state what's not clicking. I guess it's
                      > more of how abstracted skill and conflict resolution is compared to games
                      > like D&D. In attempting to understand it, I wrote up below:
                      >
                      > In my reading of it, it really doesn't seem that different as far as play,
                      > there's just a single resolution mechanic.
                      >
                      > For instance, using a combat conflict, my interpretation of play is:
                      >
                      > H1. GM Describes Situation
                      > H2. Players describe what they would like the outcome to be and what
                      > actions (skills) they are going to use to achieve it.
                      > H3. GM Describes opponent's actions
                      > H4. Dice are rolled, results applied
                      > H5. If player/opponent not defeated, goto step 2
                      >
                      > If the player's action were "I Kill it with my BFG" and they had a high
                      > enough margin of success, then combat is over in "one roll". As compared to
                      > D&D, it would go:
                      >
                      > D1. GM Describes Situation
                      > D2. GM Determines order of actions
                      > D3. Player/opponent describe action they are attempting
                      > D4. Dice are rolled, results applied
                      > D5. If player/opponent not defeated, goto Step 3 for
                      > next player/opponent
                      >
                      > It would be very rare for combat to end without at least one iteration.
                      >
                      > My interpretation of HQ's strengths are:
                      >
                      > - There's one resolution mechanic that is not modified by another rule.
                      > While D&D has one resolution mechanic, the rules of how it's applied are
                      > modified depending on the action, for instance grapple.
                      >
                      > - Step H2 above give players more "say" in successful results.
                      >
                      > If that's it, then it just clicked as I was writing this, if not, then I'm
                      > still lost and will just have to try and find a game in the open gaming at
                      > GenCon.
                      >
                      >
                      > --- In HeroQuest-RPG@yahoogroups.com <HeroQuest-RPG%40yahoogroups.com>,
                      > "orlanthumathi" <anti.spam@...> wrote:
                      > >
                      > > Not online that I know of. What is it that is not clicking? What kind of
                      > game have you played before? What kind of game do you have in mind for hq?
                      > >
                      >
                      >
                      >


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Lev Lafayette
                      ... Of course, for purposes of maintaining a sense of plausibility a match between the apparent difficulty of the challenge and the intensity of the scene
                      Message 10 of 21 , Apr 15 12:18 AM
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                        On Thu, 2010-04-15 at 08:39 +0200, Manuel MOLINIER wrote:
                        > I think that to make it click with HQ2 one solution can be to forget any
                        > other RPG you've played (in terms of rules) and think of yourself as a book
                        > writer or a movie/tv show director. Try to think of how you would run your
                        > favorite movie or TV show in HQ2.
                        >
                        > What decide of the time spent on a challenge is not the number of HP of the
                        > monster but the emotional interest of the scene and the time you wish to
                        > allocate to it.
                        >

                        Of course, for purposes of maintaining a sense of plausibility a match
                        between the apparent difficulty of the challenge and the intensity of
                        the scene should be maintained, in my opinion.

                        > You are to decide if you want to resolve something in 1 action or attach
                        > more importance to it. In Conan or in SW or others the director decide that
                        > climbing the stair meeting guards /reaching the spaceship with Storm
                        > troopers will take only a few minutes of the movie time. You roll a simple
                        > contest and depending on the level of success/failure you describe the run
                        > with some exchanged blows, or the capture of the characters and you move to
                        > the next scene.

                        With the caveat that even simply contests can suddenly - and
                        surprisingly because this is improvised - become important due to a
                        total defeat, for example.

                        All the best,


                        --
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                        A: Top-posting.
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                      • Stuart Laird
                        Hmm, My feeling is that what might not be clicking for you is the drama. If the scene should have dramatic impact then you use a dramatic resolution mechanic.
                        Message 11 of 21 , Apr 15 3:46 PM
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                          Hmm,
                          My feeling is that what might not be clicking for you is the drama.
                          If the scene should have dramatic impact then you use a dramatic
                          resolution mechanic.
                          If it is something that is not 'in camera' then at most a simple roll
                          should be used.
                          In the basics of what you have written there is not much difference.
                          But in HQ though there is not a huge list of modifiers and qualifiers
                          that need to be added and subtracted and factored in.
                          IMHO the elegance of HQ is the single conflict resolution system allows
                          the players and GM's more flexibility on how to dramatically achieve
                          their goals. You don't just have to beat the paste out of your opponent
                          with a stick to win. You can out talk them, out run them, humiliate
                          them all as part of the same contest. Me and my players took several
                          sessions before we managed to get our heads around how it worked for us.
                          Invest some time with your players and try out some situations and see
                          how it works for you.
                          Run a traditional sword duel. Then a social/legal argument. Then a
                          small battle with many participants. Then a battle against a single
                          large opponent. Then a romance/tryst between two people.
                          Encourage your players to challenge the situation with a different way
                          of resolving it. My players always look at their opposition an try to
                          find the weakest point to attack them. Legalese or Bluff or Combat or
                          Magic or a Chase. But also remember sometimes people just want a good
                          beatdown.

                          On 14/04/2010 11:21 PM, rlbeaver wrote:
                          >
                          > My experience is mostly crunchy games D&D 3.5, Pathfinder, GURPS,
                          > Burning Wheel, and WHFRP 1st ed. In lighter games, I have played
                          > Savage Worlds, Hero's Banner, Mouse Guard.
                          >
                          > It's difficult for me to clearly state what's not clicking. I guess
                          > it's more of how abstracted skill and conflict resolution is compared
                          > to games like D&D. In attempting to understand it, I wrote up below:
                          >
                          > In my reading of it, it really doesn't seem that different as far as
                          > play, there's just a single resolution mechanic.
                          >
                          > For instance, using a combat conflict, my interpretation of play is:
                          >
                          > H1. GM Describes Situation
                          > H2. Players describe what they would like the outcome to be and what
                          > actions (skills) they are going to use to achieve it.
                          > H3. GM Describes opponent's actions
                          > H4. Dice are rolled, results applied
                          > H5. If player/opponent not defeated, goto step 2
                          >
                          > If the player's action were "I Kill it with my BFG" and they had a
                          > high enough margin of success, then combat is over in "one roll". As
                          > compared to D&D, it would go:
                          >
                          > D1. GM Describes Situation
                          > D2. GM Determines order of actions
                          > D3. Player/opponent describe action they are attempting
                          > D4. Dice are rolled, results applied
                          > D5. If player/opponent not defeated, goto Step 3 for
                          > next player/opponent
                          >
                          > It would be very rare for combat to end without at least one iteration.
                          >
                          > My interpretation of HQ's strengths are:
                          >
                          > - There's one resolution mechanic that is not modified by another
                          > rule. While D&D has one resolution mechanic, the rules of how it's
                          > applied are modified depending on the action, for instance grapple.
                          >
                          > - Step H2 above give players more "say" in successful results.
                          >
                          > If that's it, then it just clicked as I was writing this, if not, then
                          > I'm still lost and will just have to try and find a game in the open
                          > gaming at GenCon.
                          >
                          > --- In HeroQuest-RPG@yahoogroups.com
                          > <mailto:HeroQuest-RPG%40yahoogroups.com>, "orlanthumathi"
                          > <anti.spam@...> wrote:
                          > >
                          > > Not online that I know of. What is it that is not clicking? What
                          > kind of game have you played before? What kind of game do you have in
                          > mind for hq?
                          > >
                          >
                          >


                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • David Dunham
                          ... For what it s worth, our group almost always resolves situations that involve potential killing with extended contests, and things are seldom over in one
                          Message 12 of 21 , Apr 15 5:54 PM
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                            On 14 Apr 2010, at 06:21, rlbeaver wrote:

                            > If the player's action were "I Kill it with my BFG" and they had a high enough margin of success, then combat is over in "one roll".


                            For what it's worth, our group almost always resolves situations that involve potential killing with extended contests, and things are seldom over in one roll.

                            David Dunham
                            Glorantha/HQ/RQ page: www.pensee.com/dunham/glorantha.html
                          • Lev Lafayette
                            ... I presume you mean the killing of a PC. The reason being, of course, that death is dramatically important for most characters :) Although there are
                            Message 13 of 21 , Apr 15 9:52 PM
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                              On Thu, 2010-04-15 at 17:54 -0700, David Dunham wrote:
                              > On 14 Apr 2010, at 06:21, rlbeaver wrote:
                              >
                              > > If the player's action were "I Kill it with my BFG" and they had a
                              > high enough margin of success, then combat is over in "one roll".
                              >
                              >
                              > For what it's worth, our group almost always resolves situations that
                              > involve potential killing with extended contests, and things are
                              > seldom over in one roll.

                              I presume you mean the killing of a PC. The reason being, of course,
                              that death is dramatically important for most characters :)

                              Although there are possibly exceptions...


                              --
                              A: Because it messes up the order in which people normally read text.
                              Q: Why is top-posting such a bad thing?
                              A: Top-posting.
                              Q: What is the most annoying thing in e-mail?
                            • Manuel MOLINIER
                              I agree with David, unless someone is a professional killer or suffering from a mental disease facing possibility of killing or getting killed should be a
                              Message 14 of 21 , Apr 15 11:43 PM
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                                I agree with David, unless someone is a "professional" killer or suffering
                                from a mental disease facing possibility of killing or getting killed should
                                be a dramatically important scene for the characters and the players. Even
                                if it involves killing others.
                                By this I don't mean climbing to a tree or a cliff or driving your car but
                                engaging in physical violence with the aim to kill.

                                Manuel

                                On Fri, Apr 16, 2010 at 6:52 AM, Lev Lafayette <lev@...> wrote:

                                >
                                >
                                > On Thu, 2010-04-15 at 17:54 -0700, David Dunham wrote:
                                > > On 14 Apr 2010, at 06:21, rlbeaver wrote:
                                > >
                                > > > If the player's action were "I Kill it with my BFG" and they had a
                                > > high enough margin of success, then combat is over in "one roll".
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > For what it's worth, our group almost always resolves situations that
                                > > involve potential killing with extended contests, and things are
                                > > seldom over in one roll.
                                >
                                > I presume you mean the killing of a PC. The reason being, of course,
                                > that death is dramatically important for most characters :)
                                >
                                > Although there are possibly exceptions...
                                >
                                >
                                > --
                                > A: Because it messes up the order in which people normally read text.
                                > Q: Why is top-posting such a bad thing?
                                > A: Top-posting.
                                > Q: What is the most annoying thing in e-mail?
                                >
                                >
                                >


                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • David Dunham
                                ... Good point. I meant the killing of others, since PCs never get killed (all those hero points...). But there are exceptions -- I vaguely recall some
                                Message 15 of 21 , Apr 16 11:09 AM
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                                  On 15 Apr 2010, at 23:43, Manuel MOLINIER wrote:

                                  > I agree with David, unless someone is a "professional" killer or suffering
                                  > from a mental disease facing possibility of killing or getting killed should
                                  > be a dramatically important scene for the characters and the players. Even
                                  > if it involves killing others.


                                  Good point. I meant the killing of others, since PCs never get killed (all those hero points...).

                                  But there are exceptions -- I vaguely recall some episodes involving fortresses, where dealing with the sentries was a simple contest. Because the dramatic scene was the upcoming big fight.

                                  David Dunham
                                  Glorantha/HQ/RQ page: www.pensee.com/dunham/glorantha.html
                                  Imagination is more important than knowledge. -- Albert Einstein
                                • orlanthumathi
                                  I think I can see a knot in your thinking here, and it is apparently founded on what conflicts are for and how they work in RPGs in general. ... It would be
                                  Message 16 of 21 , Apr 17 1:27 AM
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                                    I think I can see a knot in your thinking here, and it is apparently founded on what conflicts are for and how they work in RPGs in general.

                                    --- In HeroQuest-RPG@yahoogroups.com, "rlbeaver" <rlbeaver@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > My experience is mostly crunchy games D&D 3.5, Pathfinder, GURPS, Burning Wheel, and WHFRP 1st ed. In lighter games, I have played Savage Worlds, Hero's Banner, Mouse Guard.

                                    It would be enlightening to know how your experiences with Mouse Guard worked out, did you find the procedures of play (turn taking and very specific scene framing) any more difficult?

                                    > It's difficult for me to clearly state what's not clicking. I guess it's more of how abstracted skill and conflict resolution is compared to games like D&D. In attempting to understand it, I wrote up below:
                                    >
                                    I know this can be very frustrating - I have had a number of cognitive blocks in learning HQ and they often turn out to be not what they first appear. And my initial thoughts on the problems have led me down blind alleys.

                                    > In my reading of it, it really doesn't seem that different as far as play, there's just a single resolution mechanic.

                                    This is certainly a big difference to most games and the thing that drew me to HeroWars as it then was. A Unified conflict system is a major difference and to me was simultaneously an eye opener and a source of confusion based on my Basic RPG background. My first understanding was that all conflicts could be framed as fights. (To some extent the game text itself is still stuck in this slightly unhelpful frame of mind.)

                                    > For instance, using a combat conflict, my interpretation of play is:
                                    >
                                    > H1. GM Describes Situation
                                    > H2. Players describe what they would like the outcome to be and what
                                    > actions (skills) they are going to use to achieve it.
                                    > H3. GM Describes opponent's actions
                                    > H4. Dice are rolled, results applied
                                    > H5. If player/opponent not defeated, goto step 2
                                    >
                                    > If the player's action were "I Kill it with my BFG" and they had a high enough margin of success, then combat is over in "one roll".

                                    Your perceived procedure of play seems to be a bit off and focused on developing situation but more on this later.

                                    >As compared to D&D, it would go:
                                    >
                                    > D1. GM Describes Situation
                                    > D2. GM Determines order of actions
                                    > D3. Player/opponent describe action they are attempting
                                    > D4. Dice are rolled, results applied
                                    > D5. If player/opponent not defeated, goto Step 3 for
                                    > next player/opponent
                                    >
                                    > It would be very rare for combat to end without at least one iteration.

                                    This flow chart is focused on victory or defeat in an ongoing conflict, HQ isn't really designed to handle this so comparisons are going to get a little weird. Sure there is a complex extended conflict system built into HQ but the concepts are built up from the basic simple contest, and as such don't quite translate.

                                    > My interpretation of HQ's strengths are:
                                    >
                                    > - There's one resolution mechanic that is not modified by another rule. While D&D has one resolution mechanic, the rules of how it's applied are modified depending on the action, for instance grapple.
                                    >
                                    agree
                                    >
                                    > - Step H2 above give players more "say" in successful results.
                                    >
                                    Your steps seem a bit off to me but you are on the right track, as player say is a big part of conflict in HQ.
                                    >
                                    > If that's it, then it just clicked as I was writing this, if not, then I'm still lost and will just have to try and find a game in the open gaming at GenCon.

                                    Playing is certainly a good idea. I would offer to try and run through an example over MSN but as you appear to be on the opposite side of the pond to me (England) that could be tricky time wise (but not impossible if you were up for a cross time zone chat).

                                    --

                                    My procedure for play would be thus:

                                    GM frames scenes for the players, play remains free and unfettered by mechanics until the player wants their character to do something that the GM (or the player) thinks should be opposed.

                                    Player states how he wishes to overcome the situation
                                    GM describes the resisting factor
                                    Dice roll
                                    Player (and GM but I never liked that) decides if he wishes to sway the dice result with Hero Points
                                    Overall outcome is narrated with reference to final dice and HP, which means that the situation is now resolved (no direct iteration).

                                    Free play resumes and either further conflicts ensue or the scene closes. But further conflict must either be different or developed, the previous conflicts cannot be repeated.

                                    ----

                                    For standard Extended Contests the only difference is that the situation is not fully resolved until a number of points are scored, so effectively iteration is used and the narration is left open ended until this. But overall its still functionally identical to a simple contest.

                                    ---

                                    But what is resolved means is often different in HQ than it would be in D&D.

                                    D&D primarily utilises Task Resolution which focuses on what the action of the character is, and models the consequence of that action in the world. Such actions are only working towards a resolution of the conflict, not seeking to resolve it overall.

                                    HQ utilises Conflict Resolution (which is poorly defined in most modern RPGs IMO) which focuses on the two opposing agents in the conflict and seeks to resolve their opposing intents in a single pass.

                                    The difference between "I hit him with my sword" and "I fight him with my sword in order to gain entry to the guarded room".

                                    ---

                                    So your hunch that the difference is partly on the players sway over the terms of the conflict is true, as this will greatly impact how the conflict itself is played out. But they also have an impact in the middle of the process by using Hero Points to sway the mechanical result. This helps them express how important victory is in this specific contest.

                                    ---

                                    I should probably pause for comment here, any thoughts or insights?

                                    Jamie
                                  • rlbeaver
                                    ... I didn t find it difficult per se, it was more my players having a real difficult time framing what they wanted out of the conflict. Because I spent so
                                    Message 17 of 21 , Apr 17 6:06 AM
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                                      --- In HeroQuest-RPG@yahoogroups.com, "orlanthumathi" <anti.spam@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > I think I can see a knot in your thinking here, and it is apparently founded on what conflicts are for and how they work in RPGs in general.
                                      >
                                      > --- In HeroQuest-RPG@yahoogroups.com, "rlbeaver" <rlbeaver@> wrote:
                                      > >
                                      >
                                      > It would be enlightening to know how your experiences with Mouse Guard worked out, did you find the procedures of play (turn taking and very specific scene framing) any more difficult?

                                      I didn't find it difficult per se, it was more my players having a real difficult time framing what they wanted out of the conflict. Because I spent so much time coaching them through it, it felt more like we did "here's a situation" "negotiate a resolution" and repeat without the roleplay in between the situation.

                                      >
                                      > > In my reading of it, it really doesn't seem that different as far as play, there's just a single resolution mechanic.
                                      >
                                      > This is certainly a big difference to most games and the thing that drew me to HeroWars as it then was. A Unified conflict system is a major difference and to me was simultaneously an eye opener and a source of confusion based on my Basic RPG background. My first understanding was that all conflicts could be framed as fights. (To some extent the game text itself is still stuck in this slightly unhelpful frame of mind.)

                                      I may have understated that. The single resolution mechanic is what is making me want to like HQ. I agree, it is a big difference to the other games. Just the flow of the game is basically the same up to the point there is a "conflict" of any time. Conflict doesn't revolve around task resolution as in D&D.

                                      While I don't do dungeon crawls, in other games it tends to be focused on the tasks of detecting traps, fighting baddies, taking stuff, fighting the BBEG. I see HQ as hand waving all the tasks as more narration unless they have more significance to the story line, then you use the resolution mechanic. Or, you could take the whole dungeon as an extended resolution garnering points to see if you go through. I think...

                                      > Your perceived procedure of play seems to be a bit off and focused on developing situation but more on this later.

                                      >
                                      > Playing is certainly a good idea. I would offer to try and run through an example over MSN but as you appear to be on the opposite side of the pond to me (England) that could be tricky time wise (but not impossible if you were up for a cross time zone chat).

                                      I may take you up on that, although it would have to be a weekend when my wife hasn't planned something. With spring coming on, that's getting more difficult.

                                      >
                                      > --
                                      >
                                      > My procedure for play would be thus:
                                      >

                                      I think I might be getting it...playing would certainly help. I may try running my wife through a scenario or two and post the results to see where I go wrong if I do.


                                      > ---
                                      >
                                      > I should probably pause for comment here, any thoughts or insights?
                                      >
                                      > Jamie
                                      >
                                    • orlanthumathi
                                      Message 18 of 21 , Apr 18 7:09 AM
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                                        <was more my players having a real
                                        difficult time framing what they wanted out of the conflict. Because I spent so much time coaching them through it, it felt more like we did "here's a situation" "negotiate a resolution" and repeat without the roleplay in between
                                        the situation.>

                                        At least with HQ there isn't a scene framing structure to make you feel like each scene has to have a specific point. So it should be easier. I would recommend not pulling out too far from the action in general. I have wrestled with conflict scope for some time and I find that it works best for me if you resolve the obvious immediate conflicts rather than widening everything out into overall conflicts.

                                        So I wouldn't make a whole raid on a castle a single roll, I would either play through each stage "you are confonted with a large wall with guards on the ramparts, how do you plan to get past them?"; or just jump to the first major obstacle/branch point "You scale the walls, sneak past the guards and find yourself in an antichamber with a large door and sounds of conversation". These kinds of decisions are entirely based on the players expectations. The player of a sneak thief may revel in not even having to roll to pass the guards but will probably become frustrated if they never get to test thier sneaking abilities.

                                        The trick with conflict resolution is to keep the action flowing regardless of outcome. A major failure could result in the guards being alerted to a break-in attempt and a cat and mouse game in the outer grounds while the players seek another route in, but it shouldn't just be a failure and back to the drawing board. This is where the Failure is Fun maxim comes in, or in other words failure must still move the story forwards not backwards.

                                        < I see HQ as hand waving all the tasks as more narration unless they have more
                                        significance to the story line, then you use the resolution mechanic. Or, you
                                        could take the whole dungeon as an extended resolution garnering points to see
                                        if you go through. I think...>

                                        I see this as another possible stumbling block. Deciding what is important to the story line can keep play moving forward and focused, but I really don't think you need focus on the overall arc so much as how important is this current conflict to the players, and where is it pointing us. There is even a procedure built in to help you identify if it was more important than you realised. All automatic successes are minor but can be bumped up two steps to complete with a player hero point.


                                        <I may take you up on that, although it would have to be a weekend when my wife
                                        hasn't planned something. With spring coming on, that's getting more difficult.>

                                        Same here with wife and parents making plans but PM me if you want to chat it through. I record all of the games I run so I could send you some edited stuff to show how I tend to run things.

                                        Jamie
                                      • David Dunham
                                        ... And I think to some extent HeroQuest is designed to work with emergent arcs. In other words, you don t have to have things planned. As the players
                                        Message 19 of 21 , Apr 18 10:08 AM
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                                          On 18 Apr 2010, at 07:09, orlanthumathi wrote:

                                          > < I see HQ as hand waving all the tasks as more narration unless they have more
                                          > significance to the story line, then you use the resolution mechanic. >
                                          >
                                          > I see this as another possible stumbling block. Deciding what is important to the story line can keep play moving forward and focused, but I really don't think you need focus on the overall arc so much as how important is this current conflict to the players, and where is it pointing us.


                                          And I think to some extent HeroQuest is designed to work with emergent arcs. In other words, you don't have to have things planned. As the players improvise a story, the pass/fail cycle gives you a way to turn that into an arc that at least is shaped like a planned arc.

                                          Of course, the pass/fail cycle is optional -- if you the GM have a better idea of what you want, go for it!

                                          David Dunham
                                          Glorantha/HQ/RQ page: www.pensee.com/dunham/glorantha.html
                                          Imagination is more important than knowledge. -- Albert Einstein
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