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46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13297 Members Latest Member: - Shane786 Most online today: 30 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [ditv[ Say yes or roll the dice question  (Read 2616 times)
dindenver
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« on: August 21, 2008, 11:57:53 AM »

Vincent,
  Are there any tips, tricks or nuances to "Say yes or roll the dice"?
  I am designing a game that is going to rely on it heavily and any tips, even if they seem obvious to you, would be greatly appreciated.

  I've played and GM'd DITV, so I feel like I have a handle on the basics, but any info from you would be greatly appreciated.
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Dave M
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lumpley
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« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2008, 01:10:46 PM »

Oog.

Do you mean "drive play toward conflict" from Dogs in the Vineyard, or the "say yes or roll the dice" that gets thrown around willy nilly in idealogical battles online?

-Vincent
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dindenver
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« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2008, 01:42:15 PM »

Vincent,
  Hm... I don't know how to answer that. I don't want to "drive players to conflict" as much as I want to make the conflict system be about changing the world...
  Well, basically, the only mechanics are those for changing the world. I want the GM to "say yes or roll the dice" meaning that the PCs pretty much get to do what they like, as long as there is not a villain involved. Does that make sense?
  It's not exactly what DITV does, but not super different either. Any suggestions based on that info? Is that enough to be useful?
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Dave M
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« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2008, 02:03:51 PM »

The PCs get to do what they want unless and until they bump up against someone else, yes, that makes sense to me.

Let me lay it out, though.

Case 1, the Dogs in the Vineyard case:

"When night comes, I fly up to the moon and grab hold of it. Then I turn it into a firetruck." "What? Knock it off. What do you really do?"

"Hey, does Brother Jed have a shotgun in his barn?" "No, he keeps it in his house." "Okay."

"When night comes, I sneak into the barn." "Yes. There's a couple cows, a sad horse, a bunch of cats in there." "I wait until Brother Jed comes in to do the morning milking." "Yes. He does." "I hide behind the door and stab him with the pitchfork." "Roll dice!"

Case 2, the non-Dogs in the Vineyard case:

"When night comes, I fly up to the moon and grab hold of it. Then I turn it into a firetruck." "Dude, this is a Western, that's nonsense, but the rules say to say yes or roll the dice, so I guess you get to roll for it."

"Hey, does Brother Jed have a shotgun in his barn?" "I think he'd keep it in his house, but the rules say to say yes or roll the dice, so I guess you get to roll for it."

"What's at stake is: Brother Jed murdered him." "Uh, he didn't, at all. Sister Emmy did. But the rules say to say yes or roll the dice, so I guess you get to roll for it, and if you win, he did."

You're asking about case 1, yes?

-Vincent
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dindenver
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« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2008, 02:53:06 PM »

#1
  Absolutely.

  I guess if I wanted to know about #2, I'd ask Clint (Donjon) or Jared (InSpectres).

  The games is about Supers, so I don't want a character like Superman to have to roll to drive to work or to lift anything. But I do want them to have to roll if they are using their super strength to save the city or change the world. I feel like this is similar to what DITV does in regards to the rules. That you don't really want to bust out the dice unless it is something that matters to the Dogs, right?

  So, what can you say are good design tips and/or good GM tips that drove your design decisions and would be worth passing on to help other designs?
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Dave M
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lumpley
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« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2008, 12:36:43 PM »

Excellent!

As GM, I used to put, like, dumb logistical baffles in front of the players' characters. I figure it was because I wasn't confident in the backstory or the coming reveal. So the NPCs would lie and I'd put on a poker face, I'd hang my players up on stupid barriers when they wanted to go forward, and I'd always have future scenes in mind that I'd try to angle toward.

"Roll dice or say yes" is one piece of a GMing package; I don't think it stands well on its own. The other pieces are a compelling backstory, a situation at the beginning of play that the PCs will certainly throw out of balance, NPCs who seek out and respond actively to the PCs, PCs already entangled and ready for action, and just a general confidence on the GM's part that no matter where the game goes, it'll be good. Leave out any one of those other pieces, "roll dice or say yes" becomes weak advice. Leave out any two or more, it becomes maybe even harmful to play.

Those are my off-the-top thoughts. Anybody else?

-Vincent
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Daniel Yokomizo
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« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2008, 10:11:41 PM »

  The games is about Supers, so I don't want a character like Superman to have to roll to drive to work or to lift anything. But I do want them to have to roll if they are using their super strength to save the city or change the world.
  So, what can you say are good design tips and/or good GM tips that drove your design decisions and would be worth passing on to help other designs?
You can have other kinds of mechanics in place instead of "say yes or roll the dice". A possible choice is having a "scale" for powers/abilities. Let's say there are three scales (e.g. human, enhanced, super) and within a scale there are different difficult levels (e.g. a human can easily lift a pound but hardly lift two hundred pounds) for different tasks, the rule may say that if your power/ability is a scale above the scale of the task (even the most difficult tasks possibles in that scale) the success is automatic. This kind of rule expresses better the intent you mention.
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dindenver
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« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2008, 06:38:35 AM »

Daniel,
  I just want to say a few things things:
  First, there are two reasons why I am not going to do that (it is a good idea by the way, thanks for the suggestion):
1) It's been done, and well, in my opinion. If I want a good exam[ple of what you describe, I can't think of a better system than MEGS (DC Heroes/Blood of Heroes) and if I wanted to do a streamlined/lite version, I can't think of a better system than BESM. So, there is not a lot of incentive for me, as I am satisfied with the offering of Task-based systems that are out there for Supers.
2) It doesn't emulate the genre very well. If you look at Super hero tales, there is not a lot of drama/storytelling focused on heroes trying to perform a task and failing. Superman never tries to lift a car and fails. Batman never tries to repel a building and falls, etc. Even on stuff where there is a decent chance of failure, like Superman/Clark Kent never fails to submit an acceptable article or Peter Parker never fails to submit a decent photo. Sometimes, the heroes fail, but usually only in a circumstance where there is active opposition to  their success, right? Maybe "never" is too strong of a word, but it is not a common storytelling Trope in the Supers Genre and not what I want this game to be about. I really want to focus the players, GM and mechanics on how the characters (given the power and opportunity) would change the world.

  Lastly, this is Vincent''s forum, so I would like to keep the discussion on DITV-related info, like "Say Yes or roll the dice."

Vincent,
  That was very insightful. Is there anyone that you feel really "groks" it that I should maybe PM if they aren't visiting this thread..?


  Does anyone else have any more/different info on "Say yes or roll the dice?"
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Dave M
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Roger
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« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2008, 08:05:04 PM »

With respect to Vincent's "If you don't have these other things in place, it might not work well" point...

Saying no is a GMing band-aid.  It superficially covers up a deeper underlying problem.

Taking away the band-aids means that the people involved agree to figure out what the problem is and to do something about it.



Cheers,
Roger
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