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Re: [dragwars] fam..w/ D&D vs DW .. on to GameStyle

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  • Gary Johnson
    ... As I wrote, that degree of lack of detail would make it hard for me to get in character. If a GM told me the rock looked to heavy to lift , for example, I
    Message 1 of 135 , Nov 1, 2004
      Nicholas Bannister <bannistr@...> wrote:
      > Gary Johnson wrote:

      > > > I dont tell them the difficulty, since they wont know if they pass or
      > > > fail, until their character will know if they pass or fail.
      > >
      > >Eww. Sorry, that wouldn't work for me at all. If it's something important
      > >enough that I have to make a roll to succeed or fail at, I need to know
      > >what the likelihood of success is. Otherwise, I can't measure the
      > >likelihood of success *in character*. For example, I know that my
      > >character, Sir Balin, has a Strength of 7; in the game setting, Sir Balin
      > >knows what he can and can't lift easily. If I don't know what Balin's
      > >chance of success is, I can't *be* Sir Balin trying to assess whether
      > >or not I can roll that somewhat large rock. Not converting the difficulty
      > >from a narrative description ("It's a somewhat large rock") to a game
      > >mechanic ("it would take a Strength of 10 to roll the rock - you have
      > >to roll 7 or less on 1d20 to roll the rock in one round)" pulls me out
      > >of character, and makes it an exercise in dice rolling.
      >
      > Actually, um, you just re-iterated what I do.. Sorry again for my badly
      > written point,
      >
      > "Its somewhat a large rock, looks too heavy too lift".
      >
      > This is stating that based on the characters perception, the rock looks
      > like it would be a low chance to succeed in passing.. e.g. anything from
      > under a 6 or less to outright no chance.

      As I wrote, that degree of lack of detail would make it hard for me to get
      in character. If a GM told me the rock "looked to heavy to lift", for
      example, I probably wouldn't even try.

      > The player would state, they will attempt to lift it anyway.. I would roll
      > behind the screen (regardless if the roll is needed or not). If the player
      > passes and the situation allows for the rock to be lifted, The rock is
      > indeed lifted.. But if the rock is too heavy, held fast by some other
      > element.. such as story line... then the rock is not lifted.

      Hmm ... this sounds like sharing information about the game world is being
      constrained by the need for the GM to keep secrets to make the game
      interesting. I'm sometimes leery about about this: I'd prefer the GM to tell
      me there's a narrative reason why something can't be done, but it sounds
      from your next paragraph that your gaming groups had players who didn't like
      narrative reasons for in-game effects.

      > Too often, in my younger days, the roll was done by the player, with the
      > full knowledge of the difficulty factor of the rock, and when they roll a
      > pass, yet fail to lift it.. they become agitated, or the plot hook is too
      > easily given away.

      I wouldn't have thought giving away the plot hook was a problem: I
      frequently have the converse problem, which is when the players wouldn't
      recognise the plot hook if it had flashing neon lights above it in a futile
      attempt to get their attention. :-)

      <snip>

      > ---- Rolls vs Roles
      > Yes, even I have the checks for Trading, co-ersion, persuasion, but I roll
      > just to determine the outcome, not the roleplay itself...

      Interesting! Do you find you have trouble with players not realising when
      they can't succeed?

      > Its like the
      > Assassins Pick-lock skill, the Games-master rolls to see if the lock is
      > picked, and the player rolls to see WHEN he/she discovers if the lock can
      > be picked or not... ... I roll the outcome of the event quickly, and then
      > roleplay the other party accordingly..

      Sounds fair to me.

      <snip>

      > Oops.. sorry for posting so much..

      I wouldn't worry about it: the Over-Posting Police haven't turned up yet.
      :-)

      Cheers,

      Gary Johnson
      --
      Home Page: http://www.uq.net.au/~zzjohnsg
      X-Men Campaign Resources: http://members.optusnet.com.au/xmen_campaign
      Fantasy Campaign Setting: http://www.uq.net.au/~zzjohnsg/selentia.htm
    • Gary Johnson
      ... To continue playing devil s advocate here, why let the players see any of their character s game mechanics? Why not keep their character sheets a secret
      Message 135 of 135 , Nov 6, 2004
        Nicholas Bannister <bannistr@...> wrote:
        > Gary Johnson wrote:
        > >Nicholas Bannister <bannistr@...> wrote:
        > > > Gary Johnson wrote:
        > > >
        > > > "Its somewhat a large rock, looks too heavy too lift".
        > > >
        > > > This is stating that based on the characters perception, the rock
        > > > looks like it would be a low chance to succeed in passing.. e.g.
        > > > anything from under a 6 or less to outright no chance.
        > >
        > >As I wrote, that degree of lack of detail would make it hard for me to
        > >get in character. If a GM told me the rock "looked to heavy to lift", for
        > >example, I probably wouldn't even try.
        >
        > That part of the reason I don't tell them, I have two games styles, 1 is
        > the 'simulated world' where players know only that which their character
        > perceives... much like real life..

        To continue playing devil's advocate here, why let the players see any of
        their character's game mechanics? Why not keep their character sheets a
        secret from them, if they can't use the game mechanics as a tool to measure
        what's happening in the game setting?

        > you only know that you can pick up the
        > rock based on your perception and memory of picking up rocks of that size,
        > rather than saying to yourself, hmm, I have a strength of 17 and that rock
        > is a weight of 16, I can pick up that rock. How does a character know that
        > rock is a weight 16?

        How does a character know they have a strength of 17? You're conflating the
        player's knowledge of the game system with the character's knowledge of the
        game world.

        > they don't, so the player cant know that information either..
        > if they want to ATTEMPT to pick up the rock, then they do so.. but
        > have you ever picked up a rock and said to yourself... Oh, that rock
        > weights 16.4 Kilograms.. ? No I doubt it. so if you pass or fail to pick
        > up the rock, you wouldn't know WHY/How Much by.. you passed or
        > failed.. you would just know IF you passed or failed.

        Sorry, but that seems silly to me. If I try to pick something up and don't
        succeed, I know whether or not I could lift it off the ground, whether or
        not I could lift it above my waist, whether or not I could walk with the
        object, whether or not it was too bulky to get my arms around, whether or
        not I had enough leverage ... there's a lot of things I know about the
        situation - it isn't a binary "success/fail" situation. The game mechanics
        simplify this situation in the game into a "pass/fail" situation, and in
        doing so abstract away most of the sensory imput the player receives about
        their character's activities. That's why I find the lack of game mechanic
        information in this example so frustrating: it seems to me to be keeping a
        secret for little benefit. If there was some reason in the game world why
        the character couldn't take their time to assess the situation and had to
        attempt it straightaway (for example, "move the rock blocking the exit
        before the Malgash catches up") or if it was meant to be an important event
        (for example, "you only get one attempt to lift the rock, but if you do you
        win the prize"), that may be different.

        > for me, that means that alot of more interesting ways of playing are open
        > for me, and my players.. things that are not available if you 'play it by
        > the numbers'

        Fair enough: horses for courses.

        > In other games, If a gamesmaster points out a movement in the bushes,, its
        > allways a plot hook, a wandering encounter, or an incoming NPC / PC. this
        > degrades all those events, but with a perceptive based system, where the
        > players are not called to roll for those bushes, the values are not 'given
        > to them' then those rustling bushes,

        I'm curious: why would you reveal the target number at all? Wouldn't the GM
        roll for the Stealth of the thing in the bushes against their Perception,
        and they would find out only if the hiding thing fails?

        > my roll behind the gamesmaster
        > screen, can be the wind, a cat, a non-conflict living bush, it can be
        > anything, players may draw thier swords or not.. both could have
        > consequences..
        > especially when Nulgar throws his dagger at the bushes and kills Mrs
        > L'Nuegens pet Dog, so she refuses to serve him when he enters her
        > apothecary now...
        >
        > It Doesn't take anything away from the game, and adds so many more choices
        > for both Gamesmasters and Players

        I think this is more a gaming group style thing than a mechanics thing (that
        is, the divergence is between "every encounter matters" and "some encounters
        are trivial"), but if you find the change in mechanics supports the gaming
        style your group enjoys, then separating them is more an exercise in
        semantics than anything else. If it works for you, it works - and that's
        what's important.

        > ><snip>
        > >
        > > > ---- Rolls vs Roles
        > > > Yes, even I have the checks for Trading, co-ersion, persuasion, but I
        > > > roll just to determine the outcome, not the roleplay itself...
        > >
        > >Interesting! Do you find you have trouble with players not realising when
        > >they can't succeed?
        >
        > Yes and No, its like real life, ever do anything, and keep trying, not
        > knowing that you cant succeed? I have, usually they are called computer
        > games, each 'level' is a success roll, I used to work in bars,

        That's an interesting segue.

        > I'd see
        > guys ALL the time trying to pick up girls, trying and trying and trying,
        not
        > knowing when to give in.. sometimes their persistence wins, and they get
        > the girl, sometimes there is no win situation...

        From my perspective, each person they try and pick up is a different check,
        not the same check.

        > How can you play that out in roleplay, if you assign a difficulty value to
        > a roll and allow the player to know, he'll roll the dice, you say
        > pass/fail.. and then he gets the girl or her doesn't.. there is no..
        > "almost but gave in".. or "kept trying and eventually won" in a black and
        > white dice roll.

        Sure - if you want that degree of detail in a game mechanic resolution, you
        need more complexity than a pass/fail outcome. That's one reason why I'm
        giving some thought to a more complex mechanic for social interactions in my
        D&D game: I would like social interactions to be more than a "pass/fail"
        check, and I want game mechanics for it because not all my players are as
        suited to improvising complexity based on the outcome of a "pass/fail"
        check. After all, there's nothing in the mechanics stopping a player or the
        GM interpreting what the outcome of a "pass/fail" check means, and adding
        the complexity I think we both want without using mechanics.

        Cheers,

        Gary Johnson
        --
        Home Page: http://www.uq.net.au/~zzjohnsg
        X-Men Campaign Resources: http://members.optusnet.com.au/xmen_campaign
        Fantasy Campaign Setting: http://www.uq.net.au/~zzjohnsg/selentia.htm
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