"Gamist" vs "Simulationist"... FIGHT!


Gamer Life General Discussion

151 to 200 of 216 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | next > last >>

crosswiredmind wrote:
It all comes down to the level of abstraction. Toon does not need detailed rules. It embraces abstraction in order to emulate a system where the rules are very loose to begin with. I cannot see abstraction and simulation working well together.

I think that's where I was veering towards. I saw gamist as being about things being more abstract and less related to the world you're playing in. When things are more gamist, they get more arbitrary because you have to make decisions about what work best for the rules, speed of play, and abstraction, not for retaining the essence of the thing being simulated.


I love this thread. I had no idea people had such divergent perceptions of GNS. I can see why I butted heads with people before.

The Exchange

CourtFool wrote:
I love this thread. I had no idea people had such divergent perceptions of GNS. I can see why I butted heads with people before.

GNS?

Dark Archive

Bleach wrote:
BM wrote:
Bleach wrote:

Um, since when did "Minions" become a gamist concept/action movie concept.

I've read BOTH LotR and Conan and they both CLEARLY have minions...

When you get into game design. 4e and the current favorite line of thought implements minions by giving them binary HP (1 and 0, or Alive and Dead) with otherwise normal stats. This has internal consistency problems, as Kobold #1042 can get killed by a stiff breeze, while Kobold #5 can take 30 stabs to the chest but otherwise be identical. Further, minions are only minions in comparison to PCs. When Kobold #1042 gos and threatens a commoner, he is no longer a minion, but rather something else. That is a gamist convention, that violates internal consistency making it anti-simulationist.

No it isn't.

I think you're mixing terms up. Check out the FORGE (oh how I hate using that..but they did define the term).

By your argument, the TOON rpg is gamist, but that's regularly lauded as a prime example of a simulationist RPG.

Simulationist != What happens off-screen.

It has NOTHING to do with that at all.

It does to quote the wiki

Wikipedia wrote:


The Right to Dream focuses on the elements of exploration as things unto themselves. This creative agenda emphasizes appreciation for nuanced development of character, setting, and color to no other end than creating a holistically consistent experience. While one simulationist creative agenda may emphasize realism, another may attempt to emulate "four-color" superhero action. Whatever the target, the goal is to create an experience that neatly fits its parameters.

See holistically consistent experience. Further:

Wikipedia wrote:


Simulationist refers to decisions based on what would be most realistic or plausible within the game's setting, or to a game where the rules try to simulate the way that things work in that world, or at least the way that they could be thought of working.

Note within the setting. This includes offstage events, which are part of the setting. A simulationist cares that there are rules for offstage events, and model what they would expect for the setting. And while you can argue that their are mooks in fantasy, their is no doubt there are fantasy settings where they are no mooks. This means that minions can be simulationist, the can also be anti-simulationist, while the minion rules are almost always gamist, as they're meant to speed up play with large numbers of foes, so it gets labeled as gamist.

As well, read my first post:

Myself wrote:
What is important to remember is that Gamist/Simulationist/Narrativeist is that they're not mutually exclusive. You could have rules meant to help enable play(gamist) and be internally consistent and within the "reality"/fluff of the setting.

I stated flat out that gamist and simulationist can go hand and hand, but also state that things are call their defining traits. Thats why I called it gamist. Even when it seeks to be simulationist, the 4e minion rule can be jarring, and cause disconnect between the setting and the player. This is further compounded by the 4e rules state that the minion rules are in relation to the PCs, and that stats/rules for them change based who is in front of them. This causes a case where the minion rules fulfill one trait and fail at another(consistency).

Really, the problem when calling things simulationist, is that there are two types of simulationism that are related but not always the same. There is the genre simulationism, where the rules are meant to model the genre, and world simulationism, where the rules are meant to simulate the setting. Usually Simulationists want both, but there are times where a rule that fits the first may not fit the second, and vice-versa. This is where the 4e minion rules (which is what people mean when they say minion rules these days) fail. Of course not all mook-type rules fail at being simulationist, as approach matters in this case. A way you could do in a simulationist way, would be to scale PC damage output vs mook HP in such a way that that a hit from a PC will likely kill/knockout the mook.

Dark Archive

crosswiredmind wrote:
Bleach wrote:
By your argument, the TOON rpg is gamist, but that's regularly lauded as a prime example of a simulationist RPG.

Then we are back to simulationist and gamist being completely useless terms.

I think the term confusion comes from simulation. A simulation tends to be closely related to the recreation of reality used to test or model an interaction or system. To say that TOON is a cartoon simulator starts us off in an impossible bind - how can you set up rules to simulate something which has none.

I think the actual continuum is not simulatist < -- > gamist. I think the real continuum is simulation < -- > emulation. Emulation is more about setting up a system to replecate the experience of a different system. Toon tries to emulate the feel of Saturday morning cartoon action. D&D tries to emulate heroic combat. RuneQuest tries to simulate medieval combat. Phoenix Command tries to simulate a modern firefight.

It all comes down to the level of abstraction. Toon does not need detailed rules. It embraces abstraction in order to emulate a system where the rules are very loose to begin with. I cannot see abstraction and simulation working well together.

I have to agree with you somewhat. Simulationism is not on the opposite side of Gamism. You can be both, depending on what the rules are and what you are trying to simulate.

Really if you try to tie game design to an axis or two this is what I think it is:

Simulationism<------------>Emulationism
Free-Form <------------>Narrativeism

Gamism doesn't favor any one particularly but a number of Gamist rules/Game Design does fall closer to Emulationism, as you can sacrifice details for speed of play (A trait of Gamism)

Liberty's Edge

crosswiredmind wrote:
CourtFool wrote:
I love this thread. I had no idea people had such divergent perceptions of GNS. I can see why I butted heads with people before.
GNS?

It's "Gamist/Narrativist/Simulationist Theory." I was looking at it on Wikipedia; they have a description of the thing.


Pax Veritas wrote:

There's also been a crisis with saying the word, YES.

In the past, the players were expected to use their imagination, to immerse themselves in their character and take what the DM said at face value to be instantly true, and run with it. Ostensibly, saying YES to the DM regardless of circumstance, reason, etc. Once YES was said, quietly, internally; the player imagination picked up and asked, "what will my character do next?"

Over time, as more and more rules got piled higher and higher, the players began to reference information previously only accessible to DMs. That is, players were (and are) remarkably familiar with all the rules in the PHB, DMG and even the MMs. At this point - the shift, in my opinion was to demand that the DM say YES. It seems the reason the joy of DMing has been strained is the insistant pressing of the players to reference even the most obscure rule and hold the DM accountable (which isn't bad) coupled with MIN/MAXing, or munchkining, both their characters and manipulating the scenario in that way.

Its simply not fluid for the DM to keep discussing rules, and rule options to help the player identify what is the ultimate best option for their character each and every round. Man, that's a drag.

I just want to chime in on this post.

I played 2nd Edition and earlier editions and found that because of the lack of rules on many things, our DM could arbitrarily disallow a lot of actions that we wanted to take. In fact, many times our DM stunted our imaginations.

With newer editions, 4E and 3.x included, I find that having a core set of rules, that both players and DMs can reference, puts everyone on the same page, allows for a better consistency in how the world and characters interact with each other, and allow the players to accomplish anything they want.

I generally encourage my players to think about what they WANT to do, and then figure out HOW to accomplish that with the rules. I have a mantra in my game that sometimes comes out: You can try to do anything. You may not succeed, in fact, you may fail miserably, but you can attempt to do anything your imagination can think up.

Having the rules there in the background allows us to come up with a feasible way of determining success or failure without leaving it up to some DM who thinks, "there's no way someone could do that".


Samuel Weiss wrote:

The mechanics for monster "classes" are inherently limited. Look at the CR modifiers for adding hit dice of various monster types. The best are equal to perpetual non-associated class levels. This is am implicit acknowledgement that monster "levels" are less useful than character levels.

This carries forward into 4E where adding a character template to a monster just makes it elite, something still far short of a PC.

By having monsters dependent on the same system of gaining skills and feats as characters, they are based on the same mechanics.
Likewise when you create an NPC it is both limited by and gains full access to all of the abilities of a PC of the same class and level.
This contrasts with 4E where those are always separated by the mechanical gulf between PCs and everything else.

I think you're glossing over a few things here.

First off, as you point out yourself, even in 3E 'monster' levels are mechanically inferior to regular class levels. That's a mechanical gulf right there.

Also, 3E NPCs use (normally) NPC classes, which are also inferior.

Then there's the difference between CR and ECL: this more than anything ilustrates the fundamental mechanical difference in approach between PCs and NPCs. NPCs not meant to last beyond an encounter or two are, in 3E as well as 4E, cast from an entirely different mold than PCs.

Also, just as you can in 3E, you can create NPCs using the exact same rules as for the PCs in 4E if you want. It's not prohibited, it's not against the rules and it isn't even discouraged. It worst, the rules indicate that such NPCs should be rare exceptions. I'll readily agree that last bit is a little too much WotC trying to hold your hand and showing you the "right way" to play (I think we all know there is no single "right way"), as is in fact the case for a lot of parts of the 4E rules, but stating that creating NPCs using the same mechanics as the PCs somehow requires breaking the rules is plain false.

Finally, where 4E does or states things often in ways I find fault with, I do prefer its approach to NPCs to that of 3E for one simple reason: 3E's basic concept is to determine what kind of CR you want and then fitting abilities into that CR as best you can, while 4E's basic concept is to give the NPC the abilities you want him to have and see where you end up. Obviously that's putting things too crudely - both in fact lie somewhere closer to the middle - but the difference should be clear enough.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
crosswiredmind wrote:
The most immersive role playing I have ever experienced occurred while using simulationist rules. By simulationist I mean rules that made every effort to have the mechanics reflect reality. There were very few moments where the "simulation", in the immersive sense, broke down to reveal the rules behind the curtain.
That's why I hate sped-up film and excessive CGI; it's like a giant poster on screen saying "HEY! YOU'RE WATCHING A MOVIE!" Monkey Grip does the same thing for my game; we've unanimously agreed to ban it. Mechanics that contradict the way the "reality" of how the game world works, rather than supporting it, are the bane of simulationst games. Shotgun to the knee: depends on your setting. If you play "A-Team: The RPG," then all bullets should always miss, and this should be reflected in the rules, because that's the "reality" of the A-Team. But if you're playing in some sort of really gritty blood 'n' guts setting, then rules for crippling and massive blood loss are probably called for.

I played A-Team the roleplaying game and that is exactly what they did... Shooting guns at people cause flower pots to explode and your opponent to loose their turn.

Sovereign Court

I like the realism expressed in the HARN world. Most of combat is the clash of weaponry, not the deadly contact with it.


P1NBACK wrote:
Pax Veritas wrote:

There's also been a crisis with saying the word, YES.

In the past, the players were expected to use their imagination, to immerse themselves in their character and take what the DM said at face value to be instantly true, and run with it. Ostensibly, saying YES to the DM regardless of circumstance, reason, etc. Once YES was said, quietly, internally; the player imagination picked up and asked, "what will my character do next?"

Over time, as more and more rules got piled higher and higher, the players began to reference information previously only accessible to DMs. That is, players were (and are) remarkably familiar with all the rules in the PHB, DMG and even the MMs. At this point - the shift, in my opinion was to demand that the DM say YES. It seems the reason the joy of DMing has been strained is the insistant pressing of the players to reference even the most obscure rule and hold the DM accountable (which isn't bad) coupled with MIN/MAXing, or munchkining, both their characters and manipulating the scenario in that way.

Its simply not fluid for the DM to keep discussing rules, and rule options to help the player identify what is the ultimate best option for their character each and every round. Man, that's a drag.

I just want to chime in on this post.

I played 2nd Edition and earlier editions and found that because of the lack of rules on many things, our DM could arbitrarily disallow a lot of actions that we wanted to take. In fact, many times our DM stunted our imaginations.

With newer editions, 4E and 3.x included, I find that having a core set of rules, that both players and DMs can reference, puts everyone on the same page, allows for a better consistency in how the world and characters interact with each other, and allow the players to accomplish anything they want.

I generally encourage my players to think about what they WANT to do, and then figure out HOW to accomplish that with the rules. I have a mantra in my game that sometimes comes...

There's value in both opinions here. Personally, I think both DM and players that have been around since AD&D and before can benefit greatly from having rules that adequately cover most situations (like 3E has and 4E will), while at the same time having the advantage of experience with rules that don't. The former is obviously a benefit just for practicality and convenience, the latter impresses the very important idea that the RAW is not gospel but that those actually involved in a specific game should be in the best position to decide what works best for that game. It's unfortunately difficult to combine both these qualities in a single system and D&D, again unfortunately, has so far been designed in all its editions in a way that effectively makes the combination impossible IMO.

Liberty's Edge

Pangur Bàn wrote:
I think you're glossing over a few things here.

Barring a 200,000 word dissertation, we are all glossing over a lot of things.

Pangur Bàn wrote:
First off, as you point out yourself, even in 3E 'monster' levels are mechanically inferior to regular class levels. That's a mechanical gulf right there.

Yes and no. Remember, 3E does not call such things by the same name, and it accounts for their lower power in the challenge rating.

Still, that is a critical area where 3.5 should be improved.

Pangur Bàn wrote:
Also, 3E NPCs use (normally) NPC classes, which are also inferior.

Normally, they do not. The vast majority of NPCs with levels have full character levels rather than NPC levels. Still, that is again accounted for in the challenge rating.

Pangur Bàn wrote:
Then there's the difference between CR and ECL: this more than anything ilustrates the fundamental mechanical difference in approach between PCs and NPCs. NPCs not meant to last beyond an encounter or two are, in 3E as well as 4E, cast from an entirely different mold than PCs.

It is true, ECL is a very difficult, and probably poor, mechanic, and should be excised. It is a rather natural outgrowth of the trend to making all monsters identical to characters, or at least suitable for use as such. That is indeed just as big an error as making all monsters utterly divergent from characters as 4E did. That still does not justify 4E.

Pangur Bàn wrote:
Also, just as you can in 3E, you can create NPCs using the exact same rules as for the PCs in 4E if you want. It's not prohibited, it's not against the rules and it isn't even discouraged. It worst, the rules indicate that such NPCs should be rare exceptions. I'll readily agree that last bit is a little too much WotC trying to hold your hand and showing you the "right way" to play (I think we all know there is no single "right way"), as is in fact the case for a lot of parts of the 4E rules, but stating that creating NPCs using the same mechanics as the PCs somehow requires breaking the rules is plain false.

Barring the appearance of the apocryphal Game Police, nothing is forbidden. What remains is that there is a very specific section on designing NPCs in 4E, and that section is quite clear.

And if you check that section, you will find two very clear statements that it is "too much work" to stat out an NPC as you would a PC, and a further statement that only "the rare exception" of statting an NPC like a PC "might serve". That is very much discouraging the practice, and rather strongly.

Pangur Bàn wrote:
Finally, where 4E does or states things often in ways I find fault with, I do prefer its approach to NPCs to that of 3E for one simple reason: 3E's basic concept is to determine what kind of CR you want and then fitting abilities into that CR as best you can, while 4E's basic concept is to give the NPC the abilities you want him to have and see where you end up. Obviously that's putting things too crudely - both in fact lie somewhere closer to the middle - but the difference should be clear enough.

You might want to check your DMG 4 again. Out of a ten step process, choosing the level is Step 1, choosing powers is Step 7.


Samuel Weiss wrote:


Pangur Bàn wrote:

Also, 3E NPCs use (normally) NPC classes, which are also inferior.

Normally, they do not. The vast majority of NPCs with levels have full character levels rather than NPC levels. Still, that is again accounted for in the challenge rating.

Not IMX. The vast majority of NPCs that are meant to mean something do, but by definition those are special to begin with. Your dime a dozen grunt NPCs supposedly have NPC class levels, or at least that's WotC's intention in 3E.

Samuel Weiss wrote:


Pangur Bàn wrote:

Then there's the difference between CR and ECL: this more than anything ilustrates the fundamental mechanical difference in approach between PCs and NPCs. NPCs not meant to last beyond an encounter or two are, in 3E as well as 4E, cast from an entirely different mold than PCs.

It is true, ECL is a very difficult, and probably poor, mechanic, and should be excised. It is a rather natural outgrowth of the trend to making all monsters identical to characters, or at least suitable for use as such. That is indeed just as big an error as making all monsters utterly divergent from characters as 4E did. That still does not justify 4E.

I'm not trying to justify anything, rather I'm pointing out that 3E and 4E are not that different in this regard.

Samuel Weiss wrote:


Pangur Bàn wrote:

Also, just as you can in 3E, you can create NPCs using the exact same rules as for the PCs in 4E if you want. It's not prohibited, it's not against the rules and it isn't even discouraged. It worst, the rules indicate that such NPCs should be rare exceptions. I'll readily agree that last bit is a little too much WotC trying to hold your hand and showing you the "right way" to play (I think we all know there is no single "right way"), as is in fact the case for a lot of parts of the 4E rules, but stating that creating NPCs using the same mechanics as the PCs somehow requires breaking the rules is plain false.

Barring the appearance of the apocryphal Game Police, nothing is forbidden. What remains is that there is a very specific section on designing NPCs in 4E, and that section is quite clear.
And if you check that section, you will find two very clear statements that it is "too much work" to stat out an NPC as you would a PC, and a further statement that only "the rare exception" of statting an NPC like a PC "might serve". That is very much discouraging the practice, and rather strongly.

... for NPCs that are not meant to be used for more than a single encounter. As I said, that's a little bit more patronizing than I care for but it doesn't discourage the practice altogether. It's certainly not so that statting up an NPC the same way as a PC requires breaking or even bending the rules, as was said in an earlier post on this thread.

Samuel Weiss wrote:


Pangur Bàn wrote:

Finally, where 4E does or states things often in ways I find fault with, I do prefer its approach to NPCs to that of 3E for one simple reason: 3E's basic concept is to determine what kind of CR you want and then fitting abilities into that CR as best you can, while 4E's basic concept is to give the NPC the abilities you want him to have and see where you end up. Obviously that's putting things too crudely - both in fact lie somewhere closer to the middle - but the difference should be clear enough.

You might want to check your DMG 4 again. Out of a ten step process, choosing the level is Step 1, choosing powers is Step 7.

Step 6 to be precise, which doesn't invalidate your point. However, that process to me seems to result in NPCs that are nearly as detailed as the PCs, which is why I interpreted the text as saying only to bother with it for those that matter. I stand corrected though.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
CourtFool wrote:
I love this thread. I had no idea people had such divergent perceptions of GNS. I can see why I butted heads with people before.

I absolutely agree with this statement. I love this thread.


CourtFool wrote:

Let me make sure I am on the same page with everyone else now.

Gamist = fewer rules

Naratavist = All RPS are equally Naratavist and therefore this is not applicaple

Simulationist = reality

My take:

Gamist = The game should be interesting to play. (E.g. Monopoly is interesting to play, even if it's a terrible simulation of the real estate market and doesn't usually have a good plot.)

Narrativist = The game should tell a good story. (E.g. Free form storytelling is interesting, even if it isn't necessarily much of a game or mechanically simulating anything.)

Simulationist = The game should provide rules that approximate some aspects of the (real or imagined) world. (E.g. A stock market simulation might be accurate, but it might not be balanced as a game and it might not make for interesting stories.)

Liberty's Edge

Pangur Bàn wrote:
Not IMX. The vast majority of NPCs that are meant to mean something do, but by definition those are special to begin with. Your dime a dozen grunt NPCs supposedly have NPC class levels, or at least that's WotC's intention in 3E.

In my experience, only a published product even bothers assigning levels to the vast herd of NPCs that PCs will do little more than buy supplies from. Those would have NPC levels if anyone bothered statting them.

For those the PCs will actually deal with in depth and long term, character levels dominate by a vast margin.

Pangur Bàn wrote:
I'm not trying to justify anything, rather I'm pointing out that 3E and 4E are not that different in this regard.

To a large extent, yes. That is what makes most 4E marketing claims so spurious.

Pangur Bàn wrote:
... for NPCs that are not meant to be used for more than a single encounter. As I said, that's a little bit more patronizing than I care for but it doesn't discourage the practice altogether. It's certainly not so that statting up an NPC the same way as a PC requires breaking or even bending the rules, as was said in an earlier post on this thread.

Even for those intended for long term use.

The primary method is to have them not be like PCs. Sometimes, maybe, possibly, if you really absolutely must, you could make them like PCs, but it really is "not worth your time".


CourtFool wrote:
I love this thread. I had no idea people had such divergent perceptions of GNS. I can see why I butted heads with people before.

I think most of us, myself included, are not really all that well versed in the theory. I'm going to quote what Wikipedia says on Gamism, Narrativism and Simulationism.

However before I do I should not that that there are lots of critics of the model and D&D players in particular often more or less ignore it, possibly partly due to a high percentage of more casual gamers. There is also the issue that D&D in general has always been considered a prime example of gamism by the theories proponents. This makes our positions on this thread more difficult because we are essentially 'splitting hairs'. To an outsider looking in, one who is versed in the indie RPGs, we are arguing back and forth about simulationism vs. Gamism but we are all actually playing D&D which is the RPG equivalent of the epitome of Gamism. On the other hand, while the model presumes we are 'splitting hairs' in some manner obvously our perceptions of these kinds of distinctions are important to us and how we play and enjoy the game.

wikipedia wrote:


Simulationism

The Right to Dream focuses on the elements of exploration as things unto themselves. This creative agenda emphasizes appreciation for nuanced development of character, setting, and color to no other end than creating a holistically consistent experience. While one simulationist creative agenda may emphasize realism, another may attempt to emulate "four-color" superhero action. Whatever the target, the goal is to create an experience that neatly fits its parameters.

Gamism

By contrast, Step on Up considers the elements of exploration as an arena for proving the abilities of the players. This creative agenda emphasizes clever use of tactics, resource management, and character victory.

Narrativism

Lastly, Story Now attempts to use the elements of exploration to create an engaging story that addresses a "premise" to produce theme. Premise here is defined in accordance with Lajos Egri's The Art of Dramatic Writing and is usually framed as a statement (Friends are worth dying for) or a question (Are friends worth dying for?). In narrativist play, most or all of the decisions made by the players will reflect on the premise, proposing answers to the question.

I'm a link to the source material.


WotC's Nightmare wrote:
I understand where you are coming from, but would this guy really feel like a lord of ancient, eldritch magic in 4E? He'd basically be a huge pile of hit points with 2 or 3 (maybe 4) different magical attacks that would be pretty subpar compared to the PCs abilities. He'd also be pretty vulnerable without a bunch of minions, brutes ,or sodliers to keep the PC's off of him while he hits them with with his "spells". At least in 3.5, barrring surprisingly good luck on the PC's part, he could be quite formidable and have enough magical defenses up to keep him in the fight for a while.

He'd actually likely be a very tough customer because of his role.

Essentially our Rune Lord of Greed, within the context of 4E, exists in two states both meant to serve the story. There is the Rune Lord of Greed as he exists in the background of the AP, sending servants to raise armies of Giants and having a history associated with Ancient Golorian and then there is the Rune Lord of Greed as he exists for the final epic battle. Its only in the final battle that we are really going to consider his stat block and here he needs to fulfil his purpose in the story by being the bad guy in a really epic fight as well as display the fact that he is a Rune Lord of Greed through the style and fluff associated with the things he does in the battle.

In that final battle he is given a role - specifically he's pretty much the archetype of a Solo. One big bad guy who's purpose is to be able to effectively deal with an entire party of adventurers all alone. As a Solo he needs a design thats somewhat different from other kinds of monsters that generally operate in groups. He needs defences and staying power to help him absorb all the attacks coming his way and he needs powers that let him do multiple things in a round to try and even up the odds. This probably means I give him things like the ability to teleport as an immediate action to keep him from being pinned down and I give him spells and powers that reflect some kind of a quicken spell like ability, maybe some powers he can use as a minor action to supplement his major spell abilities, I also likely create spell like powers that can be used as large bursts. Think something like 'Sow Greed' that might target every player in a certain radius around him and have effects on them if they are hit like causing them to cease attacking for one reason or another until they make a save.

Note also that buffs play a much more minimal role in 4E. I can't even think of one off hand though there may be powers that give one benefits until a long rest is taken. This is important because I'm not worrying about my creatures abilities in terms of what happened before the battle started just what takes place actually during the rounds of combat he is in with the PCs. So I only need enough powers to make that battle interesting and convey the flavour, if its not part of this battle in particular then its part of his other role as a major villian thats the BBEG of my Rune Lords campaign and he has whatever powers outside of combat he needed to fulfil that plotline.

That said he will likely have more then 2-4 powers. While the MM usually gives monsters 2-4 powers there are many exceptions and the bigger and nastier you are the more likely you are to have more powers, likewise Solo's tend to have more powers because they need to have a means to take more actions in round. Beyond this many powers have multiple parts. The most extreme case in the MM in the Beholder Eye Tyrant that has an Eye Ray Power thats 'pick any two of the following list of ten different attacks and resolve them'. Thats an extreme case though. More common is something like the Young White Dragons attack that boils down to: make two claw attacks, if both hit then it lunges in and bites you.

So for my Rune Lord of Greed I';m probably going to estimate that he might last 12 rounds. That might be a little high be he's my big bad guy so maybe I should err a little on the side of caution and call it 12 rounds. Well here I'm probably giving him about six powers. Some of them are likely multi-use ones, like maybe the ability to get two different arcane attacks from each end of a staff. He'll also have a couple of abilities on top of that meant to move him around or make him come out of detrimental conditions or some such and again this is pretty common in the MM. Pitfiends, for example, beyond just attacking have teleports and like to summon other Devils to help them in combat. Mainly the goal in power selection for a monster is to have them do something each round and still manage to convey a 'style' of combat. The design philosophy is that my Rune Lord should in fact use all of his powers in the combat or at least should have had a strong possibility of using them - he'd have some good ranged abilities but its possible it does not come up if all the PCs crowd around him for example.


Samuel Weiss wrote:


Deus ex machina encounters go both ways, and both are rather thoroughly unsatisfying.
Such a plot structure results in you either having to hardwire in a specific power for said escape, along with hardwiring in automatic success for using it, or hardwire in gratuitous handwaving. The first is an example of how the rules get in your way no matter what. For the second, if a villain can just escape "because the plot says he has to", then it takes away a considerable amount of interaction and control of the flow of the story from the players. That almost always winds up as exceptionally bad design.

I'd say that the need for either the PCs to escape or the villain to do so has been off loaded from encounter stat blocks and become part of encounter and adventure design. Its obvously up to the DM to decide whether certain conditions need to be dealt with to escape or if its a total hand wave thing and the villain always gets away. I'd agree with you that its usually not a very satisfying encounter to have the villain automatically always escape but don't feel its the place of the rules to tell the DM how to run his story.

Samuel Weiss wrote:


When macguffin fights handwavium, you lose your gamist structure almost completely.
Yes, you most certainly can do it, you just invalidate the principle at hand.

I'm unclear what principles you see as being invalidated. I've moved outside of the guidelines and I know why I've done it.

Samuel Weiss wrote:


Actually I am certain of that. Indeed, given the level 8 monster in the first part of the adventure path, I am rather certain they already realize some critical issues with the straightjackets of their rules.
And as above, when you reject the gamist rules, it essentially concedes the point that the rules are in fact getting in the way of design and you must start ignoring them, defeating the whole purpose of having them.

The rules for encounter creation were never meant to be a straight jacket. Thats not what we are told in the DMG nor do I believe that was ever the intention of the designers. They are a guide, if we move outside of them then we had best be thinking about why.

You seem to have it in for any balancing mechanic, which I find rather strange, I loved it when they finally included one in 3.x and am happy with the redesign done for 4E. Certainly the idea of a balancing mechanic is intensely gamist but I don't agree that they are in my way. They give me a heads up when I'm moving outside of balanced which, I feel, is all for the good since, in a game like D&D, I probably should be devoting some thought to why I'd want to have an unbalanced encounter.

Samuel Weiss wrote:


Not directly, no. But there is an implied rules structure of needing ritual casting to perform rituals. By stepping outside that with the handwaving of the requirement because they are villains, you step away from a structure.
Similarly if you have the ultimate commander of swarms of fanatical lackeys have a Charisma of 8, or equivalent thereof.
Sure you can do it, and yes the gamist structure already concedes any semblance to internal consistency, but the result ultimately defies the gamist nature when the players ask "How within the rules?" and the only answer is "The rules let the monsters cheat." In the long run that is rarely satisfying.

If I have a leader of lackeys then I make his charisma higher then 8 - though it really does not matter because my players don't actually know the guys charisma.

For the rest of this, well here we get a total disconnect between what you are looking for in the rules and what I am looking for in them. I completely disagree that one can say that that the rules allowing the monsters to cheat for plot line purposes is "rarely satisfying" as a general position though it can be one you personally hold. I have no need or interest in mechanical rules for how my players can emulate what the cultists in my plot are doing. In Age of Worms the antagonists were attempting to summon The Worm that Walks, no mechanics were included to tell us how exactly that was done nor were PCs able to do it themselves - all that was fine from my perspective, better then fine really - if I have exact mechanics for how something like summoning demons is done then I'm encouraged to follow those mechanics and that may or may not serve my plot line.

Samuel Weiss wrote:


Except they are not out of the way. That is the very definition of omnipresent. You know that to go beyond those parameters is to risk the game not functioning.
To some degree that is essential in any game system.
Past that point it inhibits the potential of the narrative.
I do agree, they do appear to be cutting off the heads of any wheat stalks that dare to lift above their fellows. That is yet another symptom of putting game balance before everything. There are too many reductio ad absurdams that follow from that, most of which are unappealing.

Its not really essential to any game system but it is very helpful to a D&D game due to the class and level structure. I needed balanced encounters in 2E as well I just did not really have much of a way of figuring out what these balancing mechanics were and ran things by ear. It was usually OK in 1E and 2E though occasionally it was disruptive if I screwed up (five cockatrices was a bad idea, even though they appear weak). However we seem to be back at how much you dislike balancing mechanics.

I'm unclear why you dislike the fact that WotC is being hardcore on maintaining play balance but you seem to dislike play balance in general so I guess I'm not surprised you don't like it here.

Sovereign Court

It makes for a crazy game group when you have the players at your table all coming from different perspectives on this topic. The struggle comes when you thoroughly please one player, only to leave another player feeling like something was lacking. I also find it sometimes difficult to bring others along to the style you prefer - either they enjoy the game that way, or not. My advice: choose your players wisely.

Sovereign Court

Samuel Weiss wrote:
Pangur Bàn wrote:
Not IMX. The vast majority of NPCs that are meant to mean something do, but by definition those are special to begin with. Your dime a dozen grunt NPCs supposedly have NPC class levels, or at least that's WotC's intention in 3E.

In my experience, only a published product even bothers assigning levels to the vast herd of NPCs that PCs will do little more than buy supplies from. Those would have NPC levels if anyone bothered statting them.

For those the PCs will actually deal with in depth and long term, character levels dominate by a vast margin.

Pangur Bàn wrote:
I'm not trying to justify anything, rather I'm pointing out that 3E and 4E are not that different in this regard.

To a large extent, yes. That is what makes most 4E marketing claims so spurious.

Pangur Bàn wrote:
... for NPCs that are not meant to be used for more than a single encounter. As I said, that's a little bit more patronizing than I care for but it doesn't discourage the practice altogether. It's certainly not so that statting up an NPC the same way as a PC requires breaking or even bending the rules, as was said in an earlier post on this thread.

Even for those intended for long term use.

The primary method is to have them not be like PCs. Sometimes, maybe, possibly, if you really absolutely must, you could make them like PCs, but it really is "not worth your time".

Yeah, making NPC's like PC's is not only discouraged, but I believe that there aren't any rules for calculating their xp. Are they elite or just another monster of their class level?


Pax Veritas wrote:
It makes for a crazy game group when you have the players at your table all coming from different perspectives on this topic. The struggle comes when you thoroughly please one player, only to leave another player feeling like something was lacking. I also find it sometimes difficult to bring others along to the style you prefer - either they enjoy the game that way, or not. My advice: choose your players wisely.

This is why I am so interested in this ‘splitting of hairs’.

My early gaming career was dominated by friends. I believe we all had very similar gaming agendas so none of this mattered.

I now find myself searching for a new group and it seems each one has very different gaming agendas. I find GNS useful to identify why a group ‘feels’ wrong for me. My instinct tells me a group is wrong for me, but I like to understand exactly why. It also helps to identify if there is enough common ground to try and make it work.

I am sure I come off as arrogant and condescending some times. It is not intentional. It just comes out of a frustration of not finding what I seek.


CourtFool wrote:

This is why I am so interested in this ‘splitting of hairs’.

My early gaming career was dominated by friends. I believe we all had very similar gaming agendas so none of this mattered.

I now find myself searching for a new group and it seems each one has very different gaming agendas. I find GNS useful to identify why a group ‘feels’ wrong for me. My instinct tells me a group is wrong for me, but I like to understand exactly why. It also helps to identify if there is enough common ground to try and make it work.

I am sure I come off as arrogant and condescending some times. It is not intentional. It just comes out of a frustration of not finding what I seek.

I agree. In the meetup group that I organize, I posted a sticky that tells anyone posting a game invite what style of play to expect. Ratings are from 1-10 on Story, Combat, and Roleplaying

Here's the breakdown I posted:

Roleplaying: 1 to 10 where 1 = "Everyone is themselves" and 10 = "Borderline live-action roleplaying, we roll dice once in a long while"

Action: 1 to 10 where 1 = "We fight monsters once or twice between levels" and 10 = "Every game session is mostly all combat"

Story: 1 to 10 where 1 = "We only go on adventures we find on the tavern bulletin board" and 10 = "The characters are the center of a web of political and cross-campaign world intrigue where gods and the very fabric of existence depends on them!"

Scarab Sages

wikipedia wrote:

Gamism

By contrast, Step on Up considers the elements of exploration as an arena for proving the abilities of the players. This creative agenda emphasizes clever use of tactics, resource management, and character victory.

(emphasis mine)

I find that quote interesting, because, for me, the definition of 'gamism' has less to do with whether the rules are short/long, simple/complex, realistic/abstract, and more to do with whether they are 'fair' to all participants.

Fair games are great. The majority of games throughout history have striven to be fair and balanced to all players.

Monopoly is fair. Everyone starts with $1500, on the same space. After that, it's a free-for-all.

Settlers of Catan is fair. The board may be different each time, the probability of each hex paying out may be random, and there may be some starting junctions that are clearly better than others, even no-brainers, which will storm ahead of the pack. But until the dice are rolled for first placement, everyone is equal.

The players are playing a game, and in a game, there are winners, and there are losers, players who succeed, and players who fail. But for these groups, the emphasis is not just on the conflict between the PCs and the scenario, and about the rivalry between the players themselves, with each player measuring his ability at how they perform relative to everyone else.

The PCs could totally fail their mission, even suffer a TPK, but a player still come out a winner, as 'Most Valuable Player', 'Best Assist', 'Highest Kill Ratio', 'Most Damage Dealt in One Blow', etc, or claim victory by 'Who Gets Closest To Freedom', or 'Who Dies With The Most Toys Wins'. These 'Kobayishi Maru' scenarios may say 'You Are All Doomed', but the challenge is in how you face failure, how long you last, and how awesome you look while doing it.

As such, balance is essential, so all players are starting from a level playing-field. Otherwise, how can one prove that they are a better player than the rest? If your PC has more orc-kills under his belt, you want to be able to rub everyone's face in that fact, not have your achievement dismissed, on the grounds that your PC has 18s in every stat, while everyone else had to make do with more modest scores. But, if everyone was on point-buy, they would have to acknowledge your brilliance.

Similarly, having unbalanced classes is less than ideal; if wizards suck at low level, then rule at high level, then how can you compare your Fighter's achievements against his Wizard ally (or vice versa)?

Max hp at first level, and average hp thereafter, reduce a random factor in character creation and advancement, focusing the importance on the choices made, and the dice rolled, during the session, not saddling you with poor luck from three weeks before.

There is no shame in playing a gamist game, and I think some people are sensitive to the term, thinking they are being insulted, when often they aren't. I concede that some people are using 'the G-word' as an insult, but not all.


Snorter wrote:
The players are playing a game, and in a game, there are winners, and there are losers, players who succeed, and players who fail.

No winners or losers was one of the things that drew me to role playing. Obviously different people play for vastly different reasons.

Liberty's Edge

Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:
I'd say that the need for either the PCs to escape or the villain to do so has been off loaded from encounter stat blocks and become part of encounter and adventure design. Its obvously up to the DM to decide whether certain conditions need to be dealt with to escape or if its a total hand wave thing and the villain always gets away. I'd agree with you that its usually not a very satisfying encounter to have the villain automatically always escape but don't feel its the place of the rules to tell the DM how to run his story.

And yet a prime selling point of 4E is how much advice it gives on how to run games.

Are you catching the trend there?

Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:
I'm unclear what principles you see as being invalidated. I've moved outside of the guidelines and I know why I've done it.

The core gamist principles of the rules being the most important thing to make play enjoyable.

Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:
The rules for encounter creation were never meant to be a straight jacket. Thats not what we are told in the DMG nor do I believe that was ever the intention of the designers. They are a guide, if we move outside of them then we had best be thinking about why.

Yes and no.

They have a very directly stated limiting range, and such a limiting range is very much a design intent. That is in fact their problem, as it was a problem with 3E.

Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:
You seem to have it in for any balancing mechanic, which I find rather strange, I loved it when they finally included one in 3.x and am happy with the redesign done for 4E. Certainly the idea of a balancing mechanic is intensely gamist but I don't agree that they are in my way. They give me a heads up when I'm moving outside of balanced which, I feel, is all for the good since, in a game like D&D, I probably should be devoting some thought to why I'd want to have an unbalanced encounter.

Not for any balancing mechanics, just some of them. Past a certain point those mechanics become straightjackets and not tools.

Some rules need to be absolute, like attack rolls and AC.
Some rules need to be inherently fluid, like monster and encounter design.
That was a flaw of 3E made worse in 4E.

Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:
If I have a leader of lackeys then I make his charisma higher then 8 - though it really does not matter because my players don't actually know the guys charisma.

It eventually matters because of how much that can affect the overall balance you mentioned. If your master villain needs to be super awesome at everything for one reason or another, he suddenly winds up with abilities well beyond anything even vaguely comparable for a PC, or he winds up with handwaved modifiers to allow him to do "everything". While it can be kept hidden, it does in fact disrupt the game balance you were looking for.

Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:
For the rest of this, well here we get a total disconnect between what you are looking for in the rules and what I am looking for in them. I completely disagree that one can say that that the rules allowing the monsters to cheat for plot line purposes is "rarely satisfying" as a general position though it can be one you personally hold.

That is fine, but that is in complete opposition to the basic premise of a gamist system where the rules define everything possible.

Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:
Its not really essential to any game system but it is very helpful to a D&D game due to the class and level structure. I needed balanced encounters in 2E as well I just did not really have much of a way of figuring out what these balancing mechanics were and ran things by ear. It was usually OK in 1E and 2E though occasionally it was disruptive if I screwed up (five cockatrices was a bad idea, even though they appear weak). However we seem to be back at how much you dislike balancing mechanics.

If you need balanced encounters then you strict rules for building them. If you then break those rules, what was the point of having them?

No, what is needed are fun encounters. That means ignoring balance more often than not and just going with the flow.

Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:
I'm unclear why you dislike the fact that WotC is being hardcore on maintaining play balance but you seem to dislike play balance in general so I guess I'm not surprised you don't like it here.

That is because the play balance they offer is an illusion. There are so many glaring holes in 4E encounter design you do not have to go outside of them to create horrifically unbalanced encounters. More, despite the effort to build such a system, even the people who made it find themselves constantly going outside it in an effort to build encounters. If they cannot stick within the bounds of their own system, what does it say about the overall utility of the system?

Scarab Sages

CourtFool wrote:
No winners or losers was one of the things that drew me to role playing. Obviously different people play for vastly different reasons.

Oh, very much so.

Take a party, when looking for a replacement PC. They are greeted by a hulking man-mountain in the tavern, bench-pressing a cow. They engage him in conversation, and it appears he is witty and intelligent.

The Narrativists will think "We must have this man on our side! Such a one will help us overthrow the oppressive Overlord!".

The Simulationists will think "What's an ubermensch like that doing, hanging around a one-horse town like this? It just doesn't seem realistic.".

The Gamists will cry "Foul! As if he could have stats like that! He can F**k Off! We don't want him around, making us look bad!".

The Exchange

wikipedia wrote:

Simulationism

The Right to Dream focuses on the elements of exploration as things unto themselves. This creative agenda emphasizes appreciation for nuanced development of character, setting, and color to no other end than creating a holistically consistent experience. While one simulationist creative agenda may emphasize realism, another may attempt to emulate "four-color" superhero action. Whatever the target, the goal is to create an experience that neatly fits its parameters.

Gamism

By contrast, Step on Up considers the elements of exploration as an arena for proving the abilities of the players. This creative agenda emphasizes clever use of tactics, resource management, and character victory.

Narrativism

Lastly, Story Now attempts to use the elements of exploration to create an engaging story that addresses a "premise" to produce theme. Premise here is defined in accordance with Lajos Egri's The Art of Dramatic Writing and is usually framed as a statement (Friends are worth dying for) or a question (Are friends worth dying for?). In narrativist play, most or all of the decisions made by the players will reflect on the premise, proposing answers to the question.

This seems kinda weak. You can take just about any game and play it in all three modes.


Snorter wrote:
The Gamists will cry "Foul! As if he could have stats like that! He can F**k Off! We don't want him around, making us look bad!".

The Gamists will ask, “What level is he? I want him as my cohort.”

Dark Archive

crosswiredmind wrote:
wikipedia wrote:

Simulationism

The Right to Dream focuses on the elements of exploration as things unto themselves. This creative agenda emphasizes appreciation for nuanced development of character, setting, and color to no other end than creating a holistically consistent experience. While one simulationist creative agenda may emphasize realism, another may attempt to emulate "four-color" superhero action. Whatever the target, the goal is to create an experience that neatly fits its parameters.

Gamism

By contrast, Step on Up considers the elements of exploration as an arena for proving the abilities of the players. This creative agenda emphasizes clever use of tactics, resource management, and character victory.

Narrativism

Lastly, Story Now attempts to use the elements of exploration to create an engaging story that addresses a "premise" to produce theme. Premise here is defined in accordance with Lajos Egri's The Art of Dramatic Writing and is usually framed as a statement (Friends are worth dying for) or a question (Are friends worth dying for?). In narrativist play, most or all of the decisions made by the players will reflect on the premise, proposing answers to the question.

This seems kinda weak. You can take just about any game and play it in all three modes.

It is but, far as I know, it wasn't so much meant to define types of games, but rather types of play. At some point, people started to define games as such, and where we are are now. The splitting of hair is due to everyone expanding on the definitions of the terms to make them more precise, but with everyone coming up with their own definition.


BM wrote:
It is but, far as I know, it wasn't so much meant to define types of games, but rather types of play. At some point, people started to define games as such, and where we are are now. The splitting of hair is due to everyone expanding on the definitions of the terms to make them more precise, but with everyone coming up with their own definition.

I was just thinking something along these lines. That weren't these terms really meant for types of game play and not types of games, for the most part.


veector wrote:

Here's the breakdown I posted:

Roleplaying: 1 to 10 where 1 = "Everyone is themselves" and 10 = "Borderline live-action roleplaying, we roll dice once in a long while"

Action: 1 to 10 where 1 = "We fight monsters once or twice between levels" and 10 = "Every game session is mostly all combat"

Story: 1 to 10 where 1 = "We only go on adventures we find on the tavern bulletin board" and 10 = "The characters are the center of a web of political and cross-campaign world intrigue where gods and the very fabric of existence depends on them!"

Typical game I run/play would be (R, A, S) = (5, 7, 6).


Hmm?

How can the monster guidelines by level be seen as a straightjacket?

Unless one knows what the "typical" monster does, how can one make a monster different but effective?

Sovereign Court

P1NBACK wrote:
I generally encourage my players to think about what they WANT to do, and then figure out HOW to accomplish that with the rules. I have a mantra in my game that sometimes comes out: You can try to do anything. You may not succeed, in fact, you may fail miserably, but you can attempt to do anything your imagination can think up.

Esteemed friend, we are in complete agreement. Even when I say, the DM arbitrates the situation, makes a ruling, and players say "yes" and move on to the next, even when it sounded like rules weren't used.... they were indeed used. In the old days, DMs would use their own internal clocks to set difficulty classes of a sort and have players make certain rolls, and left some portion up to the luck of the dice. Administered either consistantly or secretly, this worked very well. I won't share my personal system - but I could, in those days, adjudicate any scenario, any creature, any action, without a rule book, ...leaving players amazed at the game! For those who understand this, great. But to be sure, my mantra was, and still is the same as P1NBACK's - "You can try to do anything!"

... you know, as a related side comment, Gary Gygax at one time worked as an insurance underwriter. If this bit of history has been forgotten, please allow me to shine light upon the fact that underwriters assess risk - and the higher the risk, the higher the rates. Well, in the old days, the nudge and wink DMs would give to one another was the unspoken means we had of balancing and adjudicating all things in a game - - this was to assess the amount of difficulty for the PC to accomplish the action, and assign a dice roll to it. Many versions of this existed, and it was not unusual for players to be asked to roll various dice, differently depending on the situation, nor would it have been unusual for the players to roll against the DMs rolls. Historically - this was the genesis of what led to the creation of the Opposing Skill roll system, and was a progentor of the Difficulty Class System. Oftentimes it was a simple percentage roll, or a success criterion set against a mixture of dice based on the situation. All in all, if the DM was any good - this was a highly consistent method, because the "mechanics" of the DMs mileau were trusted to live and exist, and remain balanced in the mind of the DM. That is, players would "trust" the DM, as though playing the game through the DMs mind and his descriptions of what took place in his mind.

... yeah, go ahead and rip this up if you must, but I thought I would share these ideas for those who may have not considered that a group can play a game like this totally anchored to the DMs imagination, rather than the compartmentalized widgets of third edition or fourth edition.


(R, A, S) = (7, 1, 8)


CourtFool wrote:
(R, A, S) = (7, 1, 8)

Yeah, that looks pretty close to a lot of campaigns I've enjoyed the most, too.


Most of the groups I have found lately are (R, A, S) = (0¹, 10, 2)

¹ Seriously. Nothing but meta-game speak at the table. In my most recent game one the players asked who everyone was. When I said I was a squire, he looked at me funny and then said, “I did not know there was a squire class.”


We used to play a classless hybrid system (it worked out to being more or less gestalt characters), with deadlier combat rules. Fights were more rare, but more interesting because the outcome always made a big difference in terms of story -- there were no fights just for the sake of fights. Investigation, planning, interaction with NPCs, and skill use filled the bulk of the play time.

I'd still be playing that if I hadn't gotten hooked on Dungeon magazine, and thereby dragged into 3.5.


I like running games that are:
Roleplaying 7
Action 5
Story 9

Dark Archive

My gaming group is schizo.

I like Rp 7, Ac 4, St 6, often finding that too much story gets in the way of *my* story, and too much action is just tedious and repetitive. Fortunately, I prefer quiet-but-effective characters, for the most part, and don't end up being the game-monopolizing attention-hog that some frustrated-thespians-cum-'roleplayers' turn into.

One player likes Rp 1, Ac 10+ and St 0 (he literally falls asleep, or starts playing video games between fights, although when he does roleplay, it's usually memorable, if genre-breaking with whacky anachronistic joke names and over-the-top actions). Because of this, the games I run tend to need frequent combats. He runs the best Warhammer Quest games.

Another player loves puzzles and intricate plots and probably wouldn't notice if I ran three sessions without a fight, Rp 6, Ac 2, St 10+. He's got the attention-span and detail-focus to play PBP or Live-Action or whatever. I feel guilty for not giving him more intellectually stimulating stuff. He runs the best Vampire games.

Everyone else who comes and goes is more in the middle. Able to roleplay, if it's encouraged, able to stay awake during a storyline, when I present one, and perfectly fine with the occasional combat.


CourtFool wrote:
In my most recent game one the players asked who everyone was. When I said I was a squire, he looked at me funny and then said, “I did not know there was a squire class.”

See, I could see how that might be confusing since squires are usually an attendant to someone. Typically squires aren't running around on their own.

Also I think there are some times when metagaming is perfectly fine. Like when your a healer and trying to heal your party members. This can be extremely frustrating if someone is trying to roleplay it up too much. "How badly hurt are you." "Quite a bit, those orcs' attacks wounded me badly." "Yeah, ok, so your hurt HOW MUCH ..." "Well, I have a bad slash through my arm and I think my ribs might be cracked. Also my head ..." "Cure serious? Cure light? What?" "What are these 'cure serious or light' that you speak of." "Fine, you get a cure light and I don't want to hear anymore about it." It sucks bad enough to be the heal-bot for a party without having to deal with a drama queen at the same time.

What I have started doing and suggested to other players in the above situation is to say things like, "I am MODERATELY wounded." That way you get the point across without actually tossing out numbers. Of course that only works when the injuried person knows how much the spells heal.


pres man wrote:
See, I could see how that might be confusing since squires are usually an attendant to someone. Typically squires aren't running around on their own.

Absolutely. They are generally not seen as a PC since they are effectively a sidekick. I do not think that was part of his confusion though.

I am proud to be the game-monopolizing attention-hog that some frustrated-thespians-cum-'roleplayer' has become.

Dark Archive

pres man wrote:
Also I think there are some times when metagaming is perfectly fine. Like when your a healer and trying to heal your party members.

Yeah, we let this one go, because hit point damage is already an abstraction. Since the majority of 'light work' is handled with Wands of Cure Light Wounds, the healer generally whips out the Wand and just keeps healing until the PC says, 'I'm good.'

Our 'healers' tend to be Druids or negative energy channeling Clerics or Archivists or whatever, so the spontaneous healer isn't very common, and spells bigger than Cure Light / Close Wounds / Lesser Vigor are rare choices to prepare.


pres man wrote:
What I have started doing and suggested to other players in the above situation is to say things like, "I am MODERATELY wounded." That way you get the point across without actually tossing out numbers.

We used to play that after a loss of 1/4 max hp, you're lightly wounded (-1 to checks); after 1/2 is a moderate wound (-3), and after 3/4 you're heavily wounded (-6). The wounded character could therefore feel himself becoming more and more impaired, and could thus gauge his level of exhaustion without saying "I have 6 hp left."

Sovereign Court

Kirth - to what checks did the modifier apply? All?

The Exchange

pres man wrote:
BM wrote:
It is but, far as I know, it wasn't so much meant to define types of games, but rather types of play. At some point, people started to define games as such, and where we are are now. The splitting of hair is due to everyone expanding on the definitions of the terms to make them more precise, but with everyone coming up with their own definition.
I was just thinking something along these lines. That weren't these terms really meant for types of game play and not types of games, for the most part.

Thank you both - this makes more sense.

The Exchange

veector wrote:

Roleplaying: 1 to 10 where 1 = "Everyone is themselves" and 10 = "Borderline live-action roleplaying, we roll dice once in a long while"

Action: 1 to 10 where 1 = "We fight monsters once or twice between levels" and 10 = "Every game session is mostly all combat"

Story: 1 to 10 where 1 = "We only go on adventures we find on the tavern bulletin board" and 10 = "The characters are the center of a web of political and cross-campaign world intrigue where gods and the very fabric of existence depends on them!"

For my latest Warhammer game ...

Roleplaying: 5
Action: 6
Story: 6

Hmmmm. Kinda middle of the road on everything.

The last Call of Cthulhu game I ran ...

Roleplaying:7
Action:2
Story:8

Much more immersive.

Last D&D campaign (3.5) ...

Roleplaying: 3
Action:8
Story:6


Pax Veritas wrote:
Kirth - to what checks did the modifier apply? All?

Attacks, physical skill checks, and all ability checks. We had very limited healing (usually through rest), and when you dropped a wound category, you had to save vs. Fort (DC 11, 13, or 16) or be stunned 1 round as well. That made combat exceptionally deadly; you hit a guy and lightly wound him; he's stunned, and you whale on him until he dies (or saves, at which point he's still at a big penalty). This was a great system for when you want to have infrequent, but pivotal, fights. For the standard "dungeon crawl," it would totally suck.


BM wrote:


It is but, far as I know, it wasn't so much meant to define types of games, but rather types of play. At some point, people started to define games as such, and where we are are now. The splitting of hair is due to everyone expanding on the definitions of the terms to make them more precise, but with everyone coming up with their own definition.

Odd. I'd have sworn I heard the opposite in an episode of Theory from the Closet. The system was developed to define what kind of a game an indie RPG was (and this was very often contrasted with the 500 pound Gorilla that is D&D) and it later morphed to how we define play styles. However I certainly could be wrong.

Liberty's Edge

Bleach wrote:

Hmm?

How can the monster guidelines by level be seen as a straightjacket?

Unless one knows what the "typical" monster does, how can one make a monster different but effective?

[joke]wow. how did we ever survive the dark ages of 1e, with all of the uncertainty of monster balance against a party?[/joke] ;)

151 to 200 of 216 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Gamer Life / General Discussion / "Gamist" vs "Simulationist"... FIGHT! All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.