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Author Topic: Learning to play and Run the riddle (and a humorous bit)  (Read 12128 times)
Ace
Member

Posts: 204


« on: May 17, 2002, 10:14:21 AM »

Quote from: contracycle
I agree with the above - when weapons are actually dangerous, much of the positive feedback powergamers seek vanishes.



That quote above got me to thinking how hard it is going to be to learn how to use the Riddle of Steel in the way is was meant to be used and how hard it will be to teach the "style of play"

I don't mean the mechanics, which are simple and elegant for the most part but the "play style"

Frex in Riddle you can build a build a character for years on end then suddenly die because of a bad roll.

Since there is no raise dead or similar it means a lot more caution and realism on the part of the players. This can be a bad thing as a lot of my oplayers will say "I don't want that much realism in my game I play to eascape real life not to emulate parts of it"

Or in other words "I am the hero damn it, I get script immunity"

The conundrum I see in TROS is the fact you have an awesome combat system that you don't dare use.

A very good GM can work around this and build scenarios that emphasize other things but then why play TROS?

I think that will be the cry of more than a few gamers.

It is going to be hard to explain the spirtual attributes too. A lot of the guys in my group and in fact 95% of all gamers come from a D&D inspired mentality.

Kill, Loot, Power Up repeat ...

I can easily imagine an exchange like this

Player" "So what about TROS I heard about"

GM "It has a very detailed combat system that plays really fast. It is based on real medieval martial arts"

Player "Kewl"

GM "And its got this really powerfull magic system that lets you do all sorts of things"

Player "Keen" as visions of lightning bolts and ice storms dance through his brain

GM "But there is a nasty price.  First there is no "zappy magic"

Player looks sad

GM " You can kill almost anyone, anywhere no save"

Player smiles

GM: "heres the rub,  basically you are limited to a couple of minor spells a day unless you are willing to have your character age a few months with every spell and each time you age you risk falling uncouncious"

Player Sighs

GM: "Here another cool thing. Your charcter has spirtual attributes, they are like EP's and powerup all in one. Anytime you character belives in something important he get a pretty nice bonus maybe up to doubling his skills and weapons and magic.
The hitch, your charcter has to believe in the right stuff to get the bonus.  Say you are jumped by a couple of bad guys unless they are covered by a spiritual attrinute, no bonus."

Player: You mean its easier to die in a bar fight with two mooks than fighting the sick fingered man?

GM: Yup

Player: That sucks "Ok , in order to win basically don't play fair, right?"

GM: "Uh huh"

Player "No thanks, I remember how much you complained the last time I played Sniper Joe in that other game. You were whining about me never engaging the enemy and always killing people in their sleep. You said it made game balance to hard and that Joe was supposed to be a hero. I don't to start that up again . I think I will pass on Riddle. Lets go play something else"

GM: "But..."

Player "Listen, I have seen the way you GM, you are fair and realistic. Thats works great when my tenth level fighter can survive a bit but imagine this, My character kills Baron No Good Nick"

GM: "Ok"

Player: "What will happen is, The Baron men will come after us about twenty of them. They will hunt the party and  shoot my character full of arrows or worse."

GM: "So don't go kill  the baron

Player "You are mssing the point. I play RPG's to do stuff and be heroic. Playing my characters drive of "Avenge myself on the evil Baron' and not being able to do anything about it is boring and it makes me feel helpless. I get enough of that at my job.  Listen because combat is so brutal you have to avoid it"

GM: "So?"

Player "Listen Do you want an RPG session of my character spending all day talking to barmaids, ostlers and practicing. Sorry to say your roleplaying skills aren't up to the task of that many people. Heck neither are mine. As far as Narrativism, As I see it unless I want to die I have to do the little stuff because I will fail sooner of later. I can do little stuff in the Real Word but I can't be a hero."


GM: Sigh. "What about the sword fighting?"

Player: "Not worth the rest of the baggage."

Card on the tale I bought TROS because of it Simulationist combat system.
 I like Sim systems and games character and situation exploration is my thing in games.  While I use a number of Narrativist elements basically I am a Sim gamer on anything but mini campaigns (like I might run Sorcerer).

What Iam finding as I read on, is that The Riddle is a Narrativist game that happens to have a Sim combat system!

This is the opposite of what I expected and is taking a lot of effort for me to get used to.

Being Senechal (since I am the only likely candidate right now) is going to require me to learn how to create Narrativivst campaigns with a simulationist elements

Normally I run Simulationist agmes with Narratvist elements, the exact opposite.

Most of my games are exploration of character and situation  with heroic questing.
These elements don't really work with TROS but I don't know what will

Ideas?
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Bankuei
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« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2002, 10:41:18 AM »

Very interesting point, I think your players would see it perhaps a little better if they looked at it as "kewl Cthulu"  When you play CoC, you know that your character is going insane, or going to die horribly, even before you play.  Period.  

If you play ROS, you know that you will probably be seriously injured, or killed if you keep taking risks.  Does that mean you stop taking risks? Hell, no! This is an action game, but you play it smart.  If you want to know a good attitude to take, if you've read the Sin City comics, all the protagonists do real great about what they care about, take the odds as best they can, and then (mostly) end up dead in the process.  

"I've got to play this sneaky.  Sneaky, and very, very nasty." - Marv

Quote
Or in other words "I am the hero damn it, I get script immunity"


Hence, Spiritual Attributes.  

Quote
GM: "So don't go kill the baron

Player "You are mssing the point. I play RPG's to do stuff and be heroic. Playing my characters drive of "Avenge myself on the evil Baron' and not being able to do anything about it is boring and it makes me feel helpless. I get enough of that at my job. Listen because combat is so brutal you have to avoid it"


So then, the tale becomes one of getting together a band of rough-toughs(is that the A-team theme I hear?) who CAN take on the Baron and his men, and then kicking his ass.  Enter the giant scene of swashbuckling with 50 something combatants in the background, and said pc and Baron facing off atop a burning rooftop....

Of course, if your players want D&D, give 'em what they want.  Each game was made for a reason, and if it fufills a niche, go with it.  I play Final Fantasy for my "kill, powerup, kill, etc" needs. :)

Chris
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 10459


« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2002, 10:55:57 AM »

This is a spurious argument. Either the characters are heroically effctive by the Spiritual traits (which is what everyone else playing seems to think), or they are not effective. If they are effective, then you've got no argument. If they aren't effective, then the game is broken, and you should play something else.

What else is there to say? There is an age-old dillema that says that if you make a game too challenging in combat, then the characters will die making it dull. OTOH, if you make it too easy for the characters to survive, then there is no challenge making it dull to play. Most people here feel that the game has struck a good position related to this. Obviously you like the D&D Hit Point cushion.

Play D&D, then.

Mike
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2002, 10:56:05 AM »

Hi,

I wanna see Jake's answer to the question that Anthony poses. In fact, I'll up the ante.

Imagine a fairly stereotypical gamer-guy at the TROS booth at Origins - sounding off in front of ten other potential customers, saying, "I played this game, and ..." going into the whole "What's the point of play if you get maimed every time you fight?" rant.

Now remember, I'm on Jake's side. I know what I'd say. (And it would be pitched to have an impact on the people who are listening to it all.) But for now, I'm standing here, hands folded, smiling slightly. What's Jake say?

Best,
Ron
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Jake Norwood
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« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2002, 11:07:14 AM »

Anthony,

Truth be told I think you're overreacting to a number of TROS issues. The first is that it's a "Narrativist Game." When TROS was written I had no idea (and I'm still sketchy) about what a Nar game is. I knew that I liked running games with stories where the players had personal involvement and motivation. I can't tell you how many crappy games I've been in where the GM had his own agenda and his own world, and we were spectators and dungeon hoppers. Not heros or even protagonists (that's the buzzword around here, I guess) at all, just mercenaries.

To hit a few things note-for-note:
Quote
Frex in Riddle you can build a build a character for years on end then suddenly die because of a bad roll.

Since there is no raise dead or similar it means a lot more caution and realism on the part of the players. This can be a bad thing as a lot of my oplayers will say "I don't want that much realism in my game I play to eascape real life not to emulate parts of it"

Or in other words "I am the hero damn it, I get script immunity"


You cannot and will not die in TROS because of a bad roll. You'll die because of a decision you've made. Do bad rolls happen? Yeah, but look at the botch rules--I've seen 5 botches in 2 years of constant play. Its really hard to botch in TROS. Second, if you've been building a character for 10 years in TROS, he'll be approaching some serious power here...CP of 25, TO of 6 or 7, etc...he'll be damn near impossible to kill.

As for escapism...I can understand that. Most of us game as some form of escapism or (all of us) as recreation. If you like blown-up board games (which is what the better portion of FRPGs are) then play one and enjoy. I can't play them anymore. I lost my "escapism" when I could no longer believe in what was going on in the world of my characters, when I took 13 arrows, 3 sword wounds, and fell off a 60' cliff...and walked away. That's far fetched for even the most outrageous of old myths and Baron Munchausen stories. TROS isn't emulating reality--I don't really kill with a sword--but it allows us to be someone we're not in a believable way that most other FRPGs don't provide.

Script immunity...you can still cheat on rolls as the seneschal. Beyond that, though, I sense a kind of Hackmaster-esque "GM vs. the Players" thing here, where you ambush the players and try to kill them all the time because if you were the bad guy that's what you'd do. In TROS we're trying to create adventure stories...look at all your favorite books and movies, the ones that you look to for inspiration when you game, and you'll find that all of them (exept anime, perhaps) completely support the way TROS runs, and not the "other FRPGs."

Quote
The conundrum I see in TROS is the fact you have an awesome combat system that you don't dare use.


Have you played a campaign? Have you tried it out. Yes, it's realistically deadly but (how many times have I said it) it isn't what you think! Even combat-heavy games (and mine always are...I have a minimum of one serious fight every game) don't cause the loss of players or limbs... Yes, we do have to step out of a D&D mentality and stop fighting 17 orcs per PC. One Gol per PC is going to be a challenging fight, but infinitely more meaningful than the orc battle because you actually earn your victory. If you feel combat is too deadly (again, your assumption is off, as a few real sessions will show), then don't throw hordes of badguys or powerful enemies at your players.

Quote
Player: You mean its easier to die in a bar fight with two mooks than fighting the sick fingered man?

Sorry I'm jumping around your post a bit but this fit better here. This assumption is wrong...the 6-fingered man is a master swordsman, with whom you become equal or superior through the use of SAs. Mooks are just that. Cronies with a CP of 8 (or less) and no real desire to die fighting for their crappy boss.
This is what I see in many games: You spend a long adventure fighting cronies. It's fun, because you get to clean house, but by the 73rd mook you're bored as hell. But in order for the GM to challenge you he needs to throw 74 mooks at you. Then, you come to the 6-fingered man, who you abstractly whittle away at and (again) are bored to death by the time you win. Your win is, of course, guaranteed, because you've got "script immunity." Half way through that fight, though, half the players have wandered off with questions like "where's the cheetos" and "hey Graham, can I have a Mountain Dew?" Where's the challenge? Where's the fun. Honestly, during your next important combat in most any other FRPG, see who's sleeping...it'll be everyone but the guy rolling saying "hit"..."miss"..."hit"..."miss"..."27 points"..."hit"..."miss"...and so on.

Quote
Player "You are mssing the point. I play RPG's to do stuff and be heroic. Playing my characters drive of "Avenge myself on the evil Baron' and not being able to do anything about it is boring and it makes me feel helpless. I get enough of that at my job. Listen because combat is so brutal you have to avoid it"


On the contrary you'll never have so much fun killing the barron. Dammit, try it...you rave about the system being great and the combat and so on, and then feel that it isn't really a playable game. IT IS! I swear it to you! Just...play! Yes, you'll have to modify your GMing style a bit, by letting the characters help you put the story together. No, TROS isn't D&D...based on feedback, that's apparently one of the game's strong selling points. Why is that? Because "Traditional" fantasy gaming--which fails to resemble the literature that it was meant to re-create and emulate--is lacking horribly. TROS fills that gap. Your players are feeling it too. So are you. Go play for 3 weeks. Use an even hand and don't compete with your players. When one dies, they stay dead...go back and read a book and you'll see exactly what I mean.

No, TROS isn't powergaming and it's not D&D...it doesn't have to be Narrativist either--just play it.

Jake

Ps. Looking over my post I realize that it might sound a little harsh. That isn't my intention and this is definitely not meant to even resemble a flame. What I am seeing repeatedly, though, is that people buy the game, read it, love it, don't play it for a week, then decide that it's unplayable. Try it, really. Try it as full-on sim, and don't punish your players for being sneaky and clever. Lastly, go watch all your favorite fantasty films and read any fantasy book (even D&D ones) and you'll see what I mean about the contradiction in gaming reality and gaming literature that you don't see in TROS.
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"Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing." -R.E. Howard The Tower of the Elephant
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Ace
Member

Posts: 204


« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2002, 11:27:34 AM »

Quote from: Bankuei
Very interesting point, I think your players would see it perhaps a little better if they looked at it as "kewl Cthulu"  When you play CoC, you know that your character is going insane, or going to die horribly, even before you play.  Period.  

If you play ROS, you know that you will probably be seriously injured, or killed if you keep taking risks.  Does that mean you stop taking risks? Hell, no! This is an action game, but you play it smart.  If you want to know a good attitude to take, if you've read the Sin City comics, all the protagonists do real great about what they care about, take the odds as best they can, and then (mostly) end up dead in the process.  

SNIP

Chris


Thats a nice way to put it and handily leads right into my real point.

 If I can't get players for the game what good is it?

 Games are meant to be played and TROS however brilliant may be unplayable for my group (all but me and one guy) and likely other groups as well.

Its not a mechanical issue but a design one. TROS is very good at what it does but what it does may not be what my players want.

How do I get them to branch out of the comfy D&D nitch?

 TROS is a high order game meant for experienced gamers.  But that put it at real risk of ending up in the discard pile along with the Fantasy Heartbreakers or being condened to a nitche game

I know  its not derivative in any way (unlike the heartbreakers) but it is hard to play and get started.

Basically I don't know to run   such a dark and harsh game with my player base.
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Jake Norwood
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« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2002, 11:55:08 AM »

This I understand, and I feel for you. I experienced the same thing with just one player (a mega-munchkin powergamer type) and I talked him into being a wizard. He didn't care about aging all that much, and so just whisked 2 years off his life every game on average, but he REALLY got into it, and was working spells of destruction for every occassion. We also got more actual roleplaying out of him than I've ever seen.

The other thing is that TROS really isn't as harsh as you think...okay, I've said it a million times, so I'll stop, but it really isn't.

Overall I've found that very very very few gamers--even D&D types--are dissatisfied with TROS after one game. Most of them become stauch loyalists. My best advise is to play a few combats with your group so that they get accostomed to the feel, advise them to have a high TO or to wear armor if you feel they're going to be really gung-ho, and let them play just once. Let them get into some real personal one-on-one type fights and skirmishes. Let them kill a guy for the sake of SA's (again, to the mook at the bar issue...why would they kill them in the first place...a regular old fistfight will do) so that they can see how cool SAs are, and they'll be hooked.

I promise.

Jake
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Ace
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Posts: 204


« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2002, 11:56:23 AM »

Quote from: Mike Holmes
This is a spurious argument. Either the characters are heroically effctive by the Spiritual traits (which is what everyone else playing seems to think), or they are not effective. If they are effective, then you've got no argument. If they aren't effective, then the game is broken, and you should play something else.

What else is there to say? There is an age-old dillema that says that if you make a game too challenging in combat, then the characters will die making it dull. OTOH, if you make it too easy for the characters to survive, then there is no challenge making it dull to play. Most people here feel that the game has struck a good position related to this. Obviously you like the D&D Hit Point cushion.

Play D&D, then.


Mike


I don't think the spiritual attributes will be as effective in the types of play I am likely to enage in as some here would believe.

Does that make TROS broken, No!

It does what it is meant to do.

It isn't that I am found of D&D (its a good system but not to my liking) but that my players expect certain D&D "tropes" like one fight every session or two, plenty of treasure (not necessarily magic) and daring do.

Does TROS reward those things, not really.

It doesn't "reward" good roleplay so much as use a hammer to enforce it.

If you don't roleplay well your character will  die because you won't have your SA buffer.

Paradoxically that makes roleplaying harder arther than easier IMO

In TROS  I have a game with rapiers in it that is more like the complaints lodged by George Silver aginst Deuling than an Errol Flynn movie.

thats a tough sell.

I don't mind standing up and being a critic because I think the goal here is to make TROS the bets game possible. I don't want to change the rules Well maybe the magic ;)

I don't want to change players.

What can I do?

IMO this is a the 'riddle within the riddle'

Is TROS a nitche game or does it have something "more" like Call of Cuthulu does and issomething bigger.
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Bankuei
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« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2002, 11:59:13 AM »

I understand your problem, but that has less to do with ROS as much as your players.  It's like saying "East Indian food is good, but what good is it if there are no East Indian restaurants around?"  The food is still good, whether you can get it or not.  We could likewise have this same problem with the Pool, Sorcerer, or any of the other games out there, if the folks we play with only want D&D.

Here's my suggestion; Get two people who you'd know would at least be interested, folks who you haven't gamed with before, perhaps aquiantences, or new folk.  Play with the combat system, get a feel for it. Play a few games.  Occasionally leak bits of the campaign to select folks in your D&D group.  Don't bring the entire group, bring in one person.  Get him or her immersed in it, he'll blab to the rest of the folks.  Again, do it one by one, and you'll have fully seduced the group.

Or, ask Jake to run a demo at your local shop.  I'm sure he's a pro at preaching conversions :P

Chris
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Jake Norwood
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« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2002, 12:00:37 PM »

Quote from: Bankuei
Or, ask Jake to run a demo at your local shop.  I'm sure he's a pro at preaching conversions :P
 


Yup, I've got my "Book of Fahal" under one arm and my "Why is Thayrism right for You" under the other, not to mention my "What happens to Stahlnish nobles when they die?" and "Uglub: The Dark Betrayer Reborn, or just his servant?"

Tongue in cheek, but it sounded like fun.

Jake
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Jaif
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Posts: 327


« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2002, 12:21:04 PM »

A few points I haven't seen touched:

1) Luck.  A point may be spent permanently to afford an instant success in any matter normally out of your hands---like a hay cart at the bottom of the castle tower you just fell out of (no matter what the TN!).  Pg 10.  This gives that soft cusion for when a really bad string of die-rolls threatens a character.

2) RE: The Baron.  If a player is worried about the Baron's men, that's a good thing.  Tell him to come up with an escape plan, it's not too hard.  Remember, the Baron's men are normal people too; they won't pursue forever.

-Jeff
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2002, 01:10:41 PM »

Ace,

Did you read what Chris wrote? You have players who don't want to play TROS, but you want them to play TROS. Well, sorry, but it sucks to be you. This is a very common problem, and it's what GNS is all about. Sometimes you just realize that the style that you want and the style that your player's want are different. This leaves you with three options (can you tell I've written this before?):

1. Play what they want to play, D&D in this case. Not the end of the world.
2. Convert your players. People have given you several suggestions, but you just keep pointing out how it can't be done. Well, you know what? You're probably right. It's the general consensus that this is too hard to do in most cases to even bother trying.
3. Play TROS with somebody else. For some reason Gamers have some sort of problem with this, like the only people they can possibly game with is the people that they are currently gaming with.

Your assertion that TROS is only for experienced gamers is wrong. Most players start with D&D, and that's not a simple game. Your assumption is based on the very false notion that D&D is easy to play. It's not, particularly, it's just waht most people know. And people will surprise you in what they can pick up, anyhow. I've started players on Rolemaster, which is waaayyy more complicated. Add to that that there are plenty of experienced gamers out there (um, say, everyone on this forum) who are willing to try things other than D&D, and the fact that Jake repeatedly points out that TROS actually is appealing to D&D players who do try it, and you have no point to your argument.

What you have is a personal problem. Stop blaming TROS for not being attractive to die-hard D&D players. It wasn't designed to, nor should it be. The best game for such players is D&D.

Mike
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Jaif
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« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2002, 01:56:52 PM »

Mike, in the sense of rules complexity, you're right that D&D is harder.  But TRoS is hard in the sense that Chess is hard.  It's not the rules, it's the game, and the decision making that goes into the game.

-Jeff
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Ace
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Posts: 204


« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2002, 01:58:15 PM »

Quote from: Jake Norwood
Anthony,


You cannot and will not die in TROS because of a bad roll. You'll die because of a decision you've made. Do bad rolls happen? Yeah, but look at the botch rules--I've seen 5 botches in 2 years of constant play. Its really hard to botch in TROS. Second, if you've been building a character for 10 years in TROS, he'll be approaching some serious power here...CP of 25, TO of 6 or 7, etc...he'll be damn near impossible to kill. .


I will try that before judging my "duel situation" showed the exact opposite. One crappy role means certain death if your opponent is of equal stature.  As one of my gaming buddies (the one I lent my copy of the riddle too) put it "I am the King of Bad Die Rolls"
One set of bad in our duel meant at least a level 2 wound and unless you a re much better than your foe any wound of that magnitude or higher means certain death.
Unless you have unoccupied buddies or are very lucky. Of course I could be wrong....

Quote

As for escapism...I can understand that. Most of us game as some form of escapism or (all of us) as recreation. If you like blown-up board games (which is what the better portion of FRPGs are) then play one and enjoy. I can't play them anymore. I lost my "escapism" when I could no longer believe in what was going on in the world of my characters, when I took 13 arrows, 3 sword wounds, and fell off a 60' cliff...and walked away. That's far fetched for even the most outrageous of old myths and Baron Munchausen stories. TROS isn't emulating reality--I don't really kill with a sword--but it allows us to be someone we're not in a believable way that most other FRPGs don't provide. .


I am not fond the ridiculousness of certain other sytems either. However the players, ahh there is the rub. I will get them to try TROS first and we shall see....


Quote

Script immunity...you can still cheat on rolls as the seneschal. Beyond that, though, I sense a kind of Hackmaster-esque "GM vs. the Players" thing here, where you ambush the players and try to kill them all the time because if you were the bad guy that's what you'd do. In TROS we're trying to create adventure stories...look at all your favorite books and movies, the ones that you look to for inspiration when you game, and you'll find that all of them (exept anime, perhaps) completely support the way TROS runs, and not the "other FRPGs." .


Thats why TROS is a narrativist game :)

And I never cheat on die rolls.  Brownie points (or Luck SA) sure. Cheating, no way

One of the cardinal rules of my games are "The bad guys act according to their nature."It isn't Me vs. My players but a heavily simulationist element. If I were a soldier tasked to stop Mr. 25 combat pool I would either kick the door in a 3am (like real cops do) and demand a surrender or use an ambush.
 And I don't punish my players for being sneaky and clever. If I was a fighter and I knew someone was coming who had already killed people and doesn't mind ambushes and maybe  even sorcerery I would either punk and run or use an ambush.
One on One? Are you nuts? I have a wife and kids I better get five or six guys. Mr. 25 is roughly equal (afaik) to three mooks so thats a balanced fight.  

If I can use an actual play type example. In my high fantasy games (D&D, Rolemaster or GURPS) it is normal and routine to attack people from ambush. If you don't a mage will fry you.

Tactics adapt around the threat. In some games a hail of cyanide tipped  poisoned bolts at the cleric and the mage (if they are spotted)  is a standard thing to open a fight with.

In TROS there will be more regular fights as there are few Wizards but there will aloso be a lot of ambushes, setup and triple teaming. Just like real life.

It is not punishment but a natural "organic" reaction from the NPC's. There is a difference

Because of the combat system (and most especially my players) I am going to have to revisit my play style and put story first to avoid prevent the game from being ruined  

Easier said than done..

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The conundrum I see in TROS is the fact you have an awesome combat system that you don't dare use.  Have you played a campaign? Have you tried it out. Yes, it's realistically deadly but (how many times have I said it) it isn't what you think! Even combat-heavy games (and mine always are...I have a minimum of one serious fight every game) don't cause the loss of players or limbs... Yes, we do have to step out of a D&D mentality and stop fighting 17 orcs per PC. One Gol per PC is going to be a challenging fight, but infinitely more meaningful than the orc battle because you actually earn your victory. If you feel combat is too deadly (again, your assumption is off, as a few real sessions will show), then don't throw hordes of badguys or powerful enemies at your players. [quote/]

I have tried it in a duel. Howver I may have used the rules wrong so we will see. If the deadliness is more than GURPS it is a no sale with my guys.


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Player: You mean its easier to die in a bar fight with two mooks than fighting the sick fingered man?
Sorry I'm jumping around your post a bit but this fit better here. This assumption is wrong...the 6-fingered man is a master swordsman, with whom you become equal or superior through the use of SAs. Mooks are just that. Cronies with a CP of 8 (or less) and no real desire to die fighting for their crappy boss.  


fair enough. But doesn't the six fingered man have SA's too. Heck don't the guards?  I can see guard having SA's like "Serve my liege" or "take care of my family" and those will count

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This is what I see in many games: You spend a long adventure fighting cronies. It's fun, because you get to clean house, but by the 73rd mook you're bored as hell. But in order for the GM to challenge you he needs to throw 74 mooks at you. Then, you come to the 6-fingered man, who you abstractly whittle away at and (again) are bored to death by the time you win. Your win is, of course, guaranteed, because you've got "script immunity." Half way through that fight, though, half the players have wandered off with questions like "where's the cheetos" and "hey Graham, can I have a Mountain Dew?" Where's the challenge? Where's the fun. Honestly, during your next important combat in most any other FRPG, see who's sleeping...it'll be everyone but the guy rolling saying "hit"..."miss"..."hit"..."miss"..."27 points"..."hit"..."miss"...and so on. [quote/]

Spot on. Thats why I was attracted to TROS and its flashy/cool combat system. There is a conundrum however. I am afraid a TROS game will veer the other way and look like this.

Well its the final showdown.

 The Wizard died last session do to being hit by an ambush then exploded by another mage.  

Jims made a bad choice backed with a bad die roll  so his character is dead.

Jerry "sniper" is still alive but he tool a level three last week and won't be good for much.

Those guys are off eating cheetos, talking Monte Pyhton and drinking my Mountain Dew.

That leaves two of the player characters, and Me, The Senechal

A few hours later.

They  got around the mooks but Bob took a level2 to the chest.

Look its the six fingered man lets get him

Big fight-
Bob (operating a few dice down) dies and Inigo (who used up his luck SA's) even with his vengance thing going gets a bad roll and a takes a dagger through his throat.

Not Fun
 

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Player "You are mssing the point. I play RPG's to do stuff and be heroic. Playing my characters drive of "Avenge myself on the evil Baron' and not being able to do anything about it is boring and it makes me feel helpless. I get enough of that at my job. Listen because combat is so brutal you have to avoid it"  

On the contrary you'll never have so much fun killing the barron. Dammit, try it...you rave about the system being great and the combat and so on, and then feel that it isn't really a playable game. IT IS! I swear it to you! Just...play!


I would like too but I have no players willing to try at this time (my other group disappeared on me). The players know what to expect and just aren't interested. At all...

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Yes, you'll have to modify your GMing style a bit, by letting the characters help you put the story together. No, TROS isn't D&D...based on feedback, that's apparently one of the game's strong selling points. Why is that? Because "Traditional" fantasy gaming--which fails to resemble the literature that it was meant to re-create and emulate--is lacking horribly. TROS fills that gap. Your players are feeling it too. So are you. Go play for 3 weeks. Use an even hand and don't compete with your players. When one dies, they stay dead...go back and read a book and you'll see exactly what I mean.
No, TROS isn't powergaming and it's not D&D...it doesn't have to be Narrativist either--just play it.

Jake [quote/]

We shall see.
 If I ever get players who are interested I will try 4 sessions solid play before I decide the game is unplayable.

As to when, well the second group I had may want to play in a month, so there is hope.

As to finding new gamers, I have noticed that gamers in my neck of the woods are not interested in joining new groups, taking on new players or trying new things in general.

They are the most pathetic lot of gamers I have ever seen :)




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Ps. Looking over my post I realize that it might sound a little harsh. That isn't my intention and this is definitely not meant to even resemble a flame. What I am seeing repeatedly, though, is that people buy the game, read it, love it, don't play it for a week, then decide that it's unplayable. Try it, really.  Lastly, go watch all your favorite fantasty films and read any fantasy book (even D&D ones) and you'll see what I mean about the contradiction in gaming reality and gaming literature that you don't see in TROS[quote/]

No offense taken Jake. TROS is your baby and you are rightly a little protective of it.
Asfor me I think TROS is cool, combat is utterly brilliant (I still can't figure out how you manged something so awesome) and the rest is still solid.

Please understand I want to make TROS the best game possible so if my comments seems harsh or over critical I apologize. if it turns out it is not the game for me then Ah well. I still think it is a masterpiece.
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jburneko
Member

Posts: 1351


« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2002, 02:16:36 PM »

Hello,

I've been follwing this discussion with some interest and I thought I'd jump in here concerning the whole 'Narrativist Game' thing.  The reason something is CALLED a 'Narrativist Game' in the first place is because it directly and easily facilitates Narrativist thinking.  Theoretically, what this means is that any random GNS-ignorant schmoe off the street who picks up the game and follows the rule will NATURALLY start thinking down Narrativist lines without really trying or being aware of it.

I haven't looked at Riddle of Steel personally myself but as Jake keeps repeating, he didn't design it with GNS in mind.  He did what the best game designers do.  He designed it from the heart.  He said, damnit, I want a game that does THIS.  And he went out and he built a game that did THAT.  The fact that, THIS and THAT, happen to align with Narrativist goals is rather IRRELIVANT.

Look at Sorcerer, another 'Narrativist' game.  So long as you do EXACTLY what the book tells you, (mainly, concretely define Humanity, make play center around player's kickers, and follow the normal game rules) then a thematic story about sacrifice and power will NATURALLY follow.  Why?  Because eventually the players will latch onto the Humanity statistic as their main 'power' vector and start doing things that relate to that statistic.  Things that relate to that statistic are things that relate to HOW you defined humanity and thus your players are constantly addressing that thing in a thematic way.

Similarly I assume that if the Spiritual Attributes are as central to the Riddle of Steel as everyone makes them out to be then similarly the 'Narrativism' thing will work itself out.  Don't even make THAT big a deal about the Spiritual Atributes.  Just make sure the players know they exist, what they are for, and the rules that goven their use, JUST LIKE ANY OTHER DAMN RULE IN THE GAME.  

Eventually, some player will notice, "You know, the only thing that's keeping me alive is this Faith Score.  I need more of this Faith Score.  How do I get more of this Faith Score?"  Then they will go off and do something Faith related.  BAM!  Again, you get thematic protagonist driven story, AUTOMATICALLY, and easily.

That's the whole point concerning quality rules design.  If you follow the rules then the STYLE the game facilitates will naturally follow.  So, I can't help but just back up what Jake said and agree that the best thing to do is just play the game.  Explain the rules carefully and clearly and the rest should work out for you on it's own.

Jesse
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