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46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13297 Members Latest Member: - Shane786 Most online today: 41 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Psychology of Mechanics  (Read 1395 times)
Ari Black
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« on: March 06, 2011, 03:52:30 AM »

Hello all!
  Please see horomancer's thread "Simple System rework"(http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forge/index.php?topic=31227.0) to see what brought this on. The way I see it, most RP games require an "impartial" (read: random) system for adjudication. There are exceptions, of course; I'm thinking of Ron Edwards S/lay w/Me though I haven't read the manual yet. A lot of the time, this ends up being dice and DC or some variations. I've also seen decks of cards, either standard poker or otherwise. What I want to know is, what mechanic have you encountered that you've found the most psychologically satisfying. The system doesn't have to be mathematically sound, just satisfying to use. If you can, please tell me the source of the mechanic and why you like it.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2011, 02:03:41 PM »

Hi,

The Forge isn't a polling site. To post in this forum, you need to discuss some game project of yours in design, with an external link.

However, I suggest that your topic is actually a good Actual Play thread starter, as long as you round it out with some example from your own experience.

It seem silly or obvious to give an example of randomized resolution - "Everyone knows what I mean," is a likely reaction. And I'm say, no, it's not obvious, and no, we don't. Please trust me and work with me here: describe how randomized elements have been involved in any single instance of play you've experienced. It could be as simple and specific as a single roll to hit in some fight scene. As long as you're drawing on real play with real people, then you will have a superior and useful discussion topic for that forum.

The best way to do this is to reply with your example to this thread, and I'll move it without any hassle to the Actual Play forum.

Incidentally, S/Lay w/Me does include a randomized dice component. It's a good idea to be very familiar with games before using them as examples.

Best, Ron
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horomancer
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« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2011, 02:19:14 PM »

Wait, so is this thread getting moved? I confused.

About tools for mechanics, I'm partial to dice. I've played some games where cards are used, some using special decks, some using common poker decks. The trouble with those is the game quickly starts feeling about the cards and playing some variant of poker than of story telling.

That's why i favor dice. More specifically, I like a dice mechanic that is resolvable quickly. I like d20 systems since you can do the math (though some what excessive math) before hand, toss a single dice and you know then and there if what you want to happen as happened. I've used dice pool mechanics, such as Serenity, White Wolf, and a few other home brews and disliked time to add numbers, count success or what have you.
I like tools that make resolution quick and simple. For me, game play should be about the story being told and the mechanic to handle resolutions should be minimal. Not to minimal, like TWERPS minimal, but enough to get the job done soundly.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2011, 02:23:09 PM »

Please do not post when I have called for a specific task from the thread author. This thread is not open to posting until that gets resolved. The fact that you were confused should have led you to ask - you can do that in a private message to me, for instance. Please don't guess, or say, "Because I don't know, it's OK to post anyway."

Best, Ron
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Ari Black
Member

Posts: 21


« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2011, 04:59:50 PM »

Quote
Hi,

The Forge isn't a polling site. To post in this forum, you need to discuss some game project of yours in design, with an external link.

However, I suggest that your topic is actually a good Actual Play thread starter, as long as you round it out with some example from your own experience.

It seem silly or obvious to give an example of randomized resolution - "Everyone knows what I mean," is a likely reaction. And I'm say, no, it's not obvious, and no, we don't. Please trust me and work with me here: describe how randomized elements have been involved in any single instance of play you've experienced. It could be as simple and specific as a single roll to hit in some fight scene. As long as you're drawing on real play with real people, then you will have a superior and useful discussion topic for that forum.

The best way to do this is to reply with your example to this thread, and I'll move it without any hassle to the Actual Play forum.

Incidentally, S/Lay w/Me does include a randomized dice component. It's a good idea to be very familiar with games before using them as examples.

Best, Ron

Ron,
  Quite right! I had read that in the posting rules thread but hadn't thought of my posting as poll. Apologies, about the S/Lay w/Me reference, I haven't received my manual in the mail yet and have only read a description of a playtest that described it as a narrative without much mechanics. Forewith, my example!

The quote below comes from the thread I posted a link to originally.
Quote
... Psychologically, however, it differs quite a bit. The less work each roll is, the less imposing using a system becomes. As well, since the players will be able to see the DC they're rolling against dropping, it could encourage them to embody the confidence of someone who is trained in that skill in their roleplay.

The psychological impact of a mechanic is important to play experience. For example, I've found that, even though the odds are very close, players respond more calmly to failures of rolls in the Storyteller multi D10 system as compared to D&D's single D20. Is this a rational response, not really. But they seem to be able to more easily accept a failure with a roll of multiple dice than they can a failure of a single die roll.

I'm eager to see what others will post in the Actual Play forum.

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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2011, 05:38:28 PM »

Ari, you are making my head hurt so bad I am on the verge of closing this thread. Please pay attention exactly to what I am posting, which replaces what I wrote before. I apologize now for being so terse, but I am not too well at the moment and am perfectly capable of taking it out on anyone.

We are going to do this one step at a time.

1. Are you talking about a game you are working on, or are you talking in a more general, about-role-playing sense? Please choose which.

Best, Ron
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2011, 08:20:02 PM »

For the record, Ari very rightly opted not to continue posting to the thread when it was clear my emotions were involved, and we had a nice resolution via private message. An Actual Play thread may emerge.

Best, Ron
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