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Author Topic: [INGENERO] conflict res - tactical crunch players would u like this?  (Read 2095 times)
stefoid
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« on: April 27, 2011, 05:15:40 PM »

My aim is to provide tactical flair without the crunch.  Id be interested in those players who like a  good tactical fight.  would this appeal to you? 

(there are sections missing from this doco dealing with gear and equipment (basically there is no differentiation between gear and equipment) and about fighting mooks.  If you want to read those sections, go to the link to my draft doco in my sig.)

Sections to look at are particularly the earlier sections that involve 'plays' and the last section about conflict resolution.

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DarkHawkPro
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« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2011, 09:27:45 PM »

So far it looks like you have a great group tool for building a setting/story as a group.  Hut when it came to mechanics my mind kinda wondered a bit. 
So basically, its a climatic system with little actual dice.  Where actions and their resolutions are based on a collective cooperation of the group., basically?
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Callan S.
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« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2011, 10:27:33 PM »

Hi,

In terms of tactics which are like throwing a real life ball through a real life hoop (ie, dependent on physics or some other, external to the brain mechanism), it wouldn't appeal, as it's entirely based on lumpley principle sort of stuff (it even says 'the fiction always comes first'). From my observation, if such seems tactical, it's a perceptual error in confusing what one thinks would work for what actually, empirically does work. Such mechanics are, atleast part of the time, set to reward anyone who makes no distinction between one and the other.
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stefoid
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« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2011, 12:33:10 AM »

So far it looks like you have a great group tool for building a setting/story as a group.  Hut when it came to mechanics my mind kinda wondered a bit. 
So basically, its a climatic system with little actual dice.  Where actions and their resolutions are based on a collective cooperation of the group., basically?
[/b]

No -- players can make suggestions as to events that occur during story phase, particularly by bringing their own characters history and motivations into play to explain the story phase seed.  Otherwise the GM resolves things - with pure narration during story phase or with the help of the conflict res mechanics during challenge phase.

none of that will make a lick of sense if you havent read the rules.
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stefoid
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« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2011, 12:57:12 AM »

Hi,

In terms of tactics which are like throwing a real life ball through a real life hoop (ie, dependent on physics or some other, external to the brain mechanism), it wouldn't appeal, as it's entirely based on lumpley principle sort of stuff (it even says 'the fiction always comes first'). From my observation, if such seems tactical, it's a perceptual error in confusing what one thinks would work for what actually, empirically does work. Such mechanics are, atleast part of the time, set to reward anyone who makes no distinction between one and the other.

Hi Callan.  Im not what you mean. 

The tactical nature of games doesnt come from any real life physics -- some idea of what actually  would work, it comes from utilizing the game mechanics to achieve your ends.  A purely abstract game like chess is nothing but tactics, based on utilizing its arbitrary mechanics.

Im hoping that the mechanics I have in place offer that kind of tactical approach, with the result being the player is able to use them to position their character favorably in the fiction.   

For me, the fun part of tactical play is first designing your character to be able to overcome the kinds of challenges you expect it to face, and then utilizing the rules in the best way to overcome those challenges.   planning and execution in other words.

For Ingenero, the way to do that is:

1) selection of types of plays
2) design of plays
3) when and how to utilize those plays

mechanics that influence these decisions, both in planning and execution are:

1) -2 penalty for repeat use of plays
2)  large  bonus for next play from successfully executing advantage seeking play  (+3 / +4)
3)  resource allocation decisions when buying plays
4) +1 bonus for executing purely defensive play(s) in any given round
5) decision about targeting the opposition directly (target or counter play), or targeting their actions (cross play ) as the best way to achieve your aims for the conflict.
6) resource risking to overachieve during execution of a play (risk body or soul)

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stefoid
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« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2011, 12:58:12 AM »

err, I mean "Im not sure what you mean"
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Callan S.
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« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2011, 04:10:24 PM »

Stefoid, from my observation of the 'imaginative space' (ie, my estimate of what each person is imagining around a table and how much they actually match up), 'pieces' so to speak appear and disappear all the time, simply because were not dealing with physics. In chess, the pieces don't do that, as they rely on something external to the brain/imagination.

Maybe your thinking that when you group plays, your imagination is rock solid - all the pieces that exist, keep existing. But if I sat in with a notepad on a sesion, I bet I could find pieces popping in and out of assumed existance all over the place. That's why I don't find the arrangement tactically enjoyable.

For contrast, when I design I treat spoken fiction as simply appealing to peoples sympathies, that they might hand over resources in sympathy with what's spoken (and I might do the same) and only allow part (like half or less) of the resources of play to be doled out by anyone, based on that. The resources that aren't based on sympathy and instead 'rules first' lend tactical significance to whether someone (like a GM) doles out resources from his budget, but the actual interaction itself is still a sympathetic one (or, in some circumstances, conmanship (or alternatively, it's hard to draw a line between seeking sympathy and conmanship, as in where one ends and the other begins)).

I'm trying to second guess your perspective "No! It is tactics! I can totally see the crates in they alley and the guard beyond and how you could really dart from wall to wall to the top of the crates and then totally get the drop on that guard! What is that if not tactics!?". If I've repeated what you might think to some degree, it shows I know what you mean. But even knowing, I still say it's not tactics. It's a sympathetic exchange (or 'working sympathies'). That's my estimate on the matter.
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stefoid
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« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2011, 04:58:25 PM »

OK, I understand what you're saying now.  But I dont find the distinction important myself.  Im happy to define tactics as deciding how best to the utilize of the game mechanics.  Tactics are about offering a game player viable options, both in planning and execution stages.  That is built-in fun for a lot of humans I think.  The key is presenting    multiple    viable    options. 

Thats why this mysterious 'balance' is important.  Even if the mechanics offer you multiple options, if the degree of opposition is not pitched right (i.e. too soft or too hard), then your options aren't viable -- you will win or lose respectively, regardless of which option you chose.  Decisions that matter, thats the ticket.

So....I agree that the fictional situation isnt concrete -- except where it is pinned down by a mechanic that is brought into play.  If I say "I make a play to climb to the top of the crates in order to gain advantage over the guard", then *poof* the crates, previously a nebulous scenery detail, are now concrete.  But so what?  The player has decided to take the option of maneuvering to gain advantage.  The mechanics offer this as a viable option.   But there are others.  Perhaps I designed my character to be a crack shot, so a better solution might be simply to take a hard shot?  etc, etc...

So to sum up, I think the important thing is for the rules to offer the player decisions that matter.  The process of the player then picking the optimal decision at the optimal time, for each stage or situation of the game they are in, is 'tactics'.

The opposite of that would be a conflict resolution system like, PTA?  FITM  mechanics are inherently un-tactical I think.  So, I do a bunch of stuff in the fiction, we call a conflict, I state my intentions and we roll dice.  The dice decide if I win my stakes or not.  then I narrate how I won the stakes or I didnt.  Where are the multiple viable options?  There aren't any. 

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Callan S.
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« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2011, 08:21:45 PM »

Quote
If I say "I make a play to climb to the top of the crates in order to gain advantage over the guard", then *poof* the crates, previously a nebulous scenery detail, are now concrete.  But so what?  The player has decided to take the option of maneuvering to gain advantage.  The mechanics offer this as a viable option.
The standard model of play is that the buck stops with someone, who determines if they treat something as 'existant' (as nebulous as that term is in this context). Typically the buck stop is the GM (this can be changed by rules, of course). Under this buck stop arrangement, it has not been made concrete and the player isn't manouvering. He's waiting on the GM to say yay or nay. In terms of decisions that matter, the player isn't making a decision, he's actually waiting on the person who does make the decision that matters (the GM). It'd be like playing chess, going to make check-mate with a piece...then realising you can only move that piece if the GM allows you to (and...if it 'fits the fiction', then you might be allowed to check-mate). Atleast for me, I don't call that manouvering. Indeed it's exactly where 'molasses' seeps in, in games I've played. It often feels more like wading or having no traction at all.

Here's a mechanic I thought of some time ago - basically the player has a budget of points - now he spends the full price for something, describing his actions. Now the thing is the GM, if sympathetic to the described actions, can call a lower price after that and the player gets a refund of part of his points.

This makes the player proactive instead of waiting on someones say so, because they have payed the points already. So whatever it is, is the case. However, instead of just paying points and spoken fiction isn't relevant, spoken fiction can matter, because it might considerably lower the price and the player gets some of his points back. Taking to this game, he could just buy the bonuses he gets, but his spoken fiction might be the thing upon which it hinges whether he gets the majority of those points back. There is no 'mother, may I?' passive waiting point.

Of course, this negates the idea of fiction first - fiction first predicates itself on the backstop having the final say on everything. With my example, it's merely 'fiction may be very useful'.
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stefoid
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« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2011, 09:30:29 PM »

Quote
If I say "I make a play to climb to the top of the crates in order to gain advantage over the guard", then *poof* the crates, previously a nebulous scenery detail, are now concrete.  But so what?  The player has decided to take the option of maneuvering to gain advantage.  The mechanics offer this as a viable option.
The standard model of play is that the buck stops with someone, who determines if they treat something as 'existant' (as nebulous as that term is in this context). Typically the buck stop is the GM (this can be changed by rules, of course). Under this buck stop arrangement, it has not been made concrete and the player isn't manouvering. He's waiting on the GM to say yay or nay. In terms of decisions that matter, the player isn't making a decision, he's actually waiting on the person who does make the decision that matters (the GM). It'd be like playing chess, going to make check-mate with a piece...then realising you can only move that piece if the GM allows you to (and...if it 'fits the fiction', then you might be allowed to check-mate). Atleast for me, I don't call that maneuvering. Indeed it's exactly where 'molasses' seeps in, in games I've played. It often feels more like wading or having no traction at all.

Well, Ill talk about Ingenero, since that is what the thread is about.  Yes, the GM decrees whether crates exist or not.  The player does not get  to say 'there are crates', although they can certainly ask "what cover is available?", (which is a leading question...)  The player does get to say "I try to gain advantage", with the proviso that they also have to work it into the fiction.  But there are a lot of ways to engineer it -- that on the spot creativity is part of the fun.  Maybe my comrade puts his hat on a stick to draw fire, either to make the guard expose himself to counter fire, or to distract him while  I maneuver for advantage, etc... there's just a lot of ways to get the job done.  I dont see it as restrictive or delegating to the GM at all.
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Callan S.
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« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2011, 10:20:06 PM »

After chewing that over for some time I still can't see how you can say the GM decides if there are crates but also say it's not delegating to the GM, Stefoid? Instead of just going 'it don work, bro' I'm charitably trying to maybe figure out some process that's being used (implicitly or otherwise). In doing so I kind of thought of blank cheque like process. Like the player says (or would just say) "I try to gain advantage" and there, of course the GM agrees the player would do that. There, now the player has a nodule of agreement , but were not done with the resolution process yet. The player then takes the agreement they have (perhaps that's why they seem proactive - I'd almost agree you can 'have' someones agreement) and basically takes that agreement and extends it within the scope of what was already agreed. Like "So you agreed already that I'm trying to gain advantage, and gaining advantage would involve me rushing towards some objects that, if scaled, gain me advantage". Now they wouldn't say that in play, I'm just teasing out the implicit into the explicit (yeah, boobies!...wait, no, not that explicit...). Even then were not necessarily done - the process of extending out prior agreements to even more agreements can go on several times.

The initial agreement to that "I try to gain advantage" is a bit like being handed a blank cheque, but much like a real cheque you can't write just anything in it (you can't take a real life blank cheque and write 'ten cows' - it wont cash out). The process is writing out something that can be cashed out AND preferably something that itself is also a blank cheque (with it's own attendant restrictions, not all of which are possibly known).

I'm still not sure I agree with tactical, but in terms of the proactive part of the player/not delegating to the GM, here I've tried to charitably figure out a way that would be proactive, that seems to match. It all revolves around getting agreement on terms which are semantically open to intepretation (blank cheques), eg, what the heck is 'advantage' - well, too late GM, you agreed that I'd be trying to get it, soooooooo....

Well, those are my thoughts on the foundation of your question (must have strong foundations). I'd actually like to read an actual play thread about something like this bit from Ingenero or from playtests of Ingenero.
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stefoid
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« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2011, 06:09:07 AM »

I just got back from playing this evening, as it happens.

It basically goes like this:

1) GM describes a scene.  Maybe at this point, there are crates mentioned, but in this example, lets say not.
2) Players assesses initial situation.  Decides that, with the plays he has available, a straight up shootup is not his best option -- gaining advantage and then
hammering home that advantage in subsequent rounds seems a better option. 
3) players asks the GM some leading questions - what cover is available?  Is there an alternate route around the area the guard is guarding, etc...
4) Maybe the answers come back negatory.  Player continues to assess options.  How can I sneak up or distract the guard such that I can work an advantage play into this situation?
5) player comes up with a distraction involving , I dont know... lets say throwing a rock to clatter behind the guard, momentarily diverting his attention such that the PC can draw a bead on him without having to worry about return fire.
6) lets roll and see if that worked - does the PC go into the next round with an advantage, or not?

As long as the system is flexible enough to accommodate the sort of thing going on above, it works out.  The GM isnt actively trying to hinder the player's quest to work an advantage move into the situation, nor is he necessarily trying to pander to it.  Its just that it isnt actually that hard to do in the first place.  It doesnt require any particular wink and handshake from the GM.

I mean, if, for some reason, the guard is standing with his back to the wall in a perfectly clear area with full view of every possible avenue of approach -- if theres a good fictional reason for that setup... then the PCs quest for advantage is going to by stymied, but then thats what you would expect, right?  plan B...
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Callan S.
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« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2011, 09:37:28 PM »

I'm sure it does work, but what does it work as? I just don't think it works as something tactical (and so I don't enjoy it, by itself, as being tactics) - take these two examples:
1. Your RL PC figure is sitting at position 3,4 on a battle grid.
2. The GM has said "Your around the north west corner".
I just don't think there's anything tactical to the second one - if the GM can really know the exactatudes of position, then he could render it to an emperical metric (like a battlemat) and present the exact co-ordinates of the character. If he doesn't, then he is just working off his own biases and what, whether he realises it or not, he wants to pander to or hinder. Your probably thinking 'No, that's just the other guy - were unbiased when we play!'. In terms of the evidence it takes to convince me, I've just seen too much evidence over the years to believe you'd be an exception (same for myself - I'm no exception to this). Even if you were somehow an exception, if I were to play I'm probably going to be playing with that 'other guy', and from the evidence I've seen, he will play by his biases. And I've played under alot of games of that and I don't object to using bias to determine resource distribution (just because I use the word bias doesn't instantly mean 'Cast it out!!1!') - I just don't call it, by itself, tactical play.

Anyway, I've said the same thing with various angles of evidence a few times now. So I'll wrap it up there.
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stefoid
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« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2011, 10:19:30 PM »

I'm sure it does work, but what does it work as? I just don't think it works as something tactical (and so I don't enjoy it, by itself, as being tactics) - take these two examples:
1. Your RL PC figure is sitting at position 3,4 on a battle grid.
2. The GM has said "Your around the north west corner".
I just don't think there's anything tactical to the second one - if the GM can really know the exactatudes of position, then he could render it to an emperical metric (like a battlemat) and present the exact co-ordinates of the character. If he doesn't, then he is just working off his own biases and what, whether he realises it or not, he wants to pander to or hinder. Your probably thinking 'No, that's just the other guy - were unbiased when we play!'. In terms of the evidence it takes to convince me, I've just seen too much evidence over the years to believe you'd be an exception (same for myself - I'm no exception to this). Even if you were somehow an exception, if I were to play I'm probably going to be playing with that 'other guy', and from the evidence I've seen, he will play by his biases. And I've played under alot of games of that and I don't object to using bias to determine resource distribution (just because I use the word bias doesn't instantly mean 'Cast it out!!1!') - I just don't call it, by itself, tactical play.

Anyway, I've said the same thing with various angles of evidence a few times now. So I'll wrap it up there.

I think you're over-thinking it.  You can have a game where the game-state is pinned by mechanics (grid system) or fiction (narrated location).  It doesn't matter which as long as it remains consistent.  As long as the crates that were there a moment ago don't disappear for no reason.  '3,4' and 'at the northwest corner' serve equally as well.  I guess what I'm trying to say is the nature of the rules don't matter, as long as they are consistent in all ways.

Whether the presenter of the situation is biased or not, the players job is to deal with the situation as it is presented as best they can.  Not all games are set up fair/balanced.  Some games you are always going to lose, its just a matter of how badly.  Like playing the Turks in 'Empire at Arms'  You aren't going to win, but that's not the point.  The point is, how well do you utilize the resources you have, for the situation you are in?

Maybe what you are talking about is bias in terms of being inconsistent?  Like changing an established fiction on the fly because the situation isnt going in a direction you like?  OK.. so thats obviously possible, but thats a) really noticeable and b) really bad form.  Not just for some notion of tactical challenge, its blatant rail-roading.  Its equivilant to moving a piece on the chessboard when your opponent isnt looking.
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Callan S.
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« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2011, 07:46:08 PM »

Stefoid, as I said above, if it's really consistant with its resource instantiation rules and resource interaction and position, it could be rendered to a series of written, used each time resource generation rules and derived from those, hard numbers. If it isn't possible to render those, it isn't consistant. I mean, you know that in terms of "'3,4' and 'at the northwest corner' serve equally as well.", you can't play chess with "Your queen is...in the northwest corner". I don't know how you can say they serve equally well.
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