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46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13297 Members Latest Member: - Shane786 Most online today: 43 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [Pitfighter] SBP: is there anything better to roll for than success?  (Read 12827 times)
contracycle
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Posts: 2984


« Reply #45 on: December 10, 2011, 04:46:28 PM »

Well, yes, if the GM applied it consistently, they would (eventually) learn the same lesson as if it were expressed mechanically.  But there are problems with this approach; it relies on the GM being absolutely consistent, it assumes the players buy into what the GM is trying to communicate, it requires the players notice it i the first place.  I just don't think it is reliable, and if we're discussing a sort of game in which this is the point, then that kind of vagueness just isn't good enough.  If you want people mto behave in certain ways, then you have to set up incentives that prompt them t behave in those ways, and those incentives have tio be explicit and visible.

If I set up a game in the intention is that players should behave with the logic that would apply, say, to a samurai, then I don't really want to go through all the trial-and-error, bumping heads stuff that conveys what I mean, I want it to be right there on the character sheet, part of their character design decisions, fully visible from the start.
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Anders Gabrielsson
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Posts: 100


« Reply #46 on: December 10, 2011, 10:34:35 PM »

Does it have to be mechanical to be visible, though? Couldn't it be enough to make it clear in the game text that that is how things work?
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Callan S.
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« Reply #47 on: December 11, 2011, 12:42:20 AM »

Mechanics are the way you make it clear how things work. When you want things to be deliberately less clear, you simply describe how things work. Generally if the A+ feature of your game that aren't in other games is described rather than mechanically implemented, I'd estimate that A+ feature generally wont happen.

Quote
while enough empowerment makes them a major figure in the setting and likely the GM's plot.
How does that work? It sounds to disruptive of prior determined plot? I'm thinking if major NPC's are actually scripted to do big GM plot stuff but these fate rolls come through, instead it's the PC who does it. Perhaps with control of colour that is within the scope of what the NPC was scripted to do. Say the NPC was going to destroy the goblin village, well the PC can do so but maybe leave some supplies for the remaining fleeing goblins since that's still 'inside' what the NPC would have done.
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Anders Gabrielsson
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« Reply #48 on: December 11, 2011, 01:14:52 AM »

In general, I agree. BNote that this was added to resolve having explicit game mechanics on the one hand and discovering the GM's way to decide how things go by trial and error on the other as the only two options. When a major game mechanic is "the GM decides if you succeed or fail" then describing how to act to have the GM decide that you succeed is as close as you're going to making those mechanics explicit.
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contracycle
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Posts: 2984


« Reply #49 on: December 11, 2011, 09:30:39 AM »

Well, hang on.  I'm not at all signed up to the idea that "the GM decides if you succeed" should be overt, or that it can't be taken care of with the right kind of system, hypothetically.  That is historically the ways it's been done, but that doesn't mean that things have to stay that way.  In addition, there is a difference between the GM-as-scenario-writer and the GM-as-system-administrator.  I'm not committed to necessarily keeping "GM decides" on pricniple, anyway; if the decisions the GM would make can be offloaded onto system (or scenario, or some synthesis of the two) in some way that would be better.
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"He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may cast."
- Leonardo da Vinci
Anders Gabrielsson
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Posts: 100


« Reply #50 on: December 11, 2011, 09:52:02 AM »

I was basing my points off of this:
And if honor does help determine success/failure, well, the players will learn that pretty damn quick regardless of whether it's tracked by mechanics or just by the GM, right?  "Our honorable foes keep beating us when they act with honor, and our dishonorable foes keep beating us when they act with dishonor; maybe we'd better pick one and act accordingly!"
If we've eliminated that I missed it.
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David Berg
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Posts: 997


« Reply #51 on: December 11, 2011, 11:22:47 AM »

I think we all agree on what purposes mechanics can serve.  Callan, I'm with you, anything that's just instruction tends to wind up being played as if it were optional.

I hope it's clear that I haven't been proposing "no mechanics!" for any sort of fictional determinations other than simple "does my action succeed or not?" 

Samurai honor?  Perfect for #2 Fictional Positioning, or #5 Character Development.

The one tricky case is when you might wish to highlight how something in the fiction influences success/failure.  If we can agree that that's what needs discussing here, I'm prepared to address it.  So, are we agreed?

Separately, I think it's about time to start another thread to discuss Gareth's excellent suggestion of systematizing the GM's higher-level role in SBP resolution.
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David Berg
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Posts: 997


« Reply #52 on: December 11, 2011, 11:43:07 AM »

Anders, I stand by that point you quoted, but I think we're now shifting from examining "what input do the players receive?" (honor impacts success!) and "how is that input delivered" (by the GM!) to "how is that input generated?"
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Anders Gabrielsson
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Posts: 100


« Reply #53 on: December 11, 2011, 11:49:01 AM »

Fine with me.

Have we settled (or at least finished discussing) how overt the GM is supposed to be about what things the players can influence and not? I.e., will they know beforehand (on a game, session, scene or action basis) what they can and cannot succeed at?
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David Berg
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Posts: 997


« Reply #54 on: December 11, 2011, 12:07:16 PM »

The system for determining succeed/fail must be known beforehand.  I do not think the outcomes it produces need to be predictable, though.  Apparent randomness in the form of dice, hidden information, the GM's judgment, etc. are all fine with me.
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Anders Gabrielsson
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Posts: 100


« Reply #55 on: December 11, 2011, 12:21:14 PM »

What I meant was that as this is Story Before, there will be things the players cannot affect as they are part of the story. Will those be known, and if so, how far in advance?
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David Berg
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Posts: 997


« Reply #56 on: December 11, 2011, 12:52:35 PM »

The only short answer I can give is the one I just gave.  There does need to be a known system for "sometimes the players cannot affect certain things".  Specifics beyond that depend on the individual game.  If you have thoughts on what game priorities would dictate which approaches, I'd be happy to discuss that in another thread!
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Anders Gabrielsson
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Posts: 100


« Reply #57 on: December 11, 2011, 12:56:05 PM »

It does seem like an interesting topic. I'll think a bit more on it.

I probably won't post more in this thread unless something specifically calls out to me. I need to absorb before I say more.
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stefoid
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« Reply #58 on: December 11, 2011, 08:40:13 PM »

The only short answer I can give is the one I just gave.  There does need to be a known system for "sometimes the players cannot affect certain things".  Specifics beyond that depend on the individual game.  If you have thoughts on what game priorities would dictate which approaches, I'd be happy to discuss that in another thread!

Sorry if I missed anything skimmin the second half of this thread..

I reckon there needs to be player decision making.  The game needs to present the player with meaningful choices otherwise its yawnsville for the players.    Meaningful choices are those that have significant in-game consequences.  I reckon this is a given for whatever game you are playing - its fundamental. 

you need to work out the nature of the choices players will be making in your game, and the nature of the consequences that will render those choices meaningful.

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David Berg
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Posts: 997


« Reply #59 on: December 11, 2011, 11:38:11 PM »

Hi Gareth,

Just wanted to reiterate this after the last bunch of posts:

The one tricky case is when you might wish to highlight how something in the fiction influences success/failure.

Am I correct that this is on track for addressing your concerns?  I think what you brought up is an important issue here.
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