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 Post subject: Succumbing to the "Dark Side".
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 7:00 am 
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Hey Guys.

So I've decided I'm finally gonna do it. I'm giving in to the "Dark Side", that is to say, I'm gonna try it your way ;)

From what I gather, most of you hold SA's to be what Ian calls "Dynamic", changing whenever the Player wants them to, in order to drive the story. Also reading over the SA threads again, some of you have said that SA's do not need to be directly linked to the Character's personality.

So what I've decided to do is to make the SA's based purely on what I want to do in the game, and then apply them to a Character that doesn't share my idea of fun :)

I want you guys to help. This is just an experiment, and maybe afterwards I'll try a more mild version.

One Idea I have is Drive: To win alot of duels. So as a Player I am telling the GM that I want my Character to get in alot of duels and win them. However the Character is going to be somewhat of a Coward/Pacifist who would never dream of being in a duel, and by rights should not win.

I actaully think this could be fun. However I'm really struggling on the other ones. Ofcourse Destiny or Anti-Destiny would be relatively easy to come up with as they are not directly linked to what the Character does or doesn't want. However what about Passion (love / hate/ loyalty) or Oath? How do I as the Player have a Passion Love someone/something, whilst the Character has no interest in it?

Anyway give me your thoughts, I'd like to see how much I can spereate SA's from Character and still make them fun. I'm actually looking forward to the Drive :P

Cheers!

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 Post subject: Re: Succumbing to the "Dark Side".
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:02 am 
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Crow Caller wrote:
From what I gather, most of you hold SA's to be what Ian calls "Dynamic", changing whenever the Player wants them to, in order to drive the story.


There are three Core rules to keep in mind:

Core, Page 66Should a player ever wish to change the focus of a Spiritual Attribute (such as a change in religion, lovers, or ideals) that Attribute and any one other Spiritual Attribute must be dropped to zero and the focus rewritten.


So to re-write an SA, you have to drop that SA to 0 and another SA. This serves to ensure that the player isn't changing SAs on a whim. Rather, they are prepared to sacrifice SA points in order to drive the story in a different direction.

Core, Page 66An even rarer and more dramatic event is when a Spiritual Attribute changes entirely (e.g. replacing "Destiny" with a "Passion"). This is only possible if (1) the Seneschal approves it and if (2) 10 Spirit Points (explained below) are spent to facilitate the change-over.


So to change an SA completely requires referee approval and the expenditure of 10 SA points -- the equivalent of acquiring a new Minor Gift or buying off a minor Flaw. The player is not just changing the direction of the scenario but is introducing a whole new theme. That's a lot of work for the referee, a significant change for the other players -- hence the high cost.

Core, Page 66Whatever happens one's Spiritual Attributes should always be compatible with one's Philosophy, as set forth during character creation.


Lastly, we have the often overlooked Philosophy. I'll happily admit I don't always bother with one for my characters. I'd like to say that it is because I like the Philosophy to evolve over time as I become familiar with the character and his quirks -- but it is usually because I forget.

Crow Caller wrote:
Also reading over the SA threads again, some of you have said that SA's do not need to be directly linked to the Character's personality.


I'm not certain that "directly linked to" is the right choice of words. I would prefer "derived from." You'll notice that the mechanics above do not mention the character when detailing the circumstances under which an SA might change. There is no caveat to the rules saying "as long as the changed SA fits the character's perceived personality" or "as long as the new SA fits the character's background and previous experiences." However, all the examples of SAs apart from Destiny and Luck that are provided in Core and Companion are about the tale that the player wants to tell through their character. As such there is a link between the player's definition of the SAs and the character. However, it is the player calling the shots and not the character -- the player defines the SAs, not the character (as would be the case if SAs were derived from the character's traits and experience).

Crow Caller wrote:
So what I've decided to do is to make the SA's based purely on what I want to do in the game, and then apply them to a Character that doesn't share my idea of fun :)


OK. This is a good thought experiment.

Crow Caller wrote:
One Idea I have is Drive: To win alot of duels. So as a Player I am telling the GM that I want my Character to get in alot of duels and win them. However the Character is going to be somewhat of a Coward/Pacifist who would never dream of being in a duel, and by rights should not win.


Personally I don't like the SA definition. It applies too broadly, much like "Destiny: To Be The Greatest Duelist In The World" from a player who wants to get bonus dice in every fight his character faces. For me, it isn't driving the plot -- it isn't helping the referee to develop the scenario material.

How about:

Drive: Cursed to Draw Human Blood Between Sunset and Sunrise.

combined with

Major Flaw: Coward

So the character gets bonus dice when fulfilling the curse but has to make TN rolls in order to do so when it involves a confrontation. The character clearly has no interest in fulfilling the curse -- yet is forced to.

I think this combining of SAs with Flaws could work with other combination as a way of distancing the character from the SA yet the story being told is still one the player wants to tell.

Regards,

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 Post subject: Re: Succumbing to the "Dark Side".
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 10:35 am 
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Ian.Plumb wrote:
Crow Caller wrote:
From what I gather, most of you hold SA's to be what Ian calls "Dynamic", changing whenever the Player wants them to, in order to drive the story.


There are three Core rules to keep in mind:

Core, Page 66Should a player ever wish to change the focus of a Spiritual Attribute (such as a change in religion, lovers, or ideals) that Attribute and any one other Spiritual Attribute must be dropped to zero and the focus rewritten.


So to re-write an SA, you have to drop that SA to 0 and another SA. This serves to ensure that the player isn't changing SAs on a whim. Rather, they are prepared to sacrifice SA points in order to drive the story in a different direction.

Core, Page 66An even rarer and more dramatic event is when a Spiritual Attribute changes entirely (e.g. replacing "Destiny" with a "Passion"). This is only possible if (1) the Seneschal approves it and if (2) 10 Spirit Points (explained below) are spent to facilitate the change-over.


So to change an SA completely requires referee approval and the expenditure of 10 SA points -- the equivalent of acquiring a new Minor Gift or buying off a minor Flaw. The player is not just changing the direction of the scenario but is introducing a whole new theme. That's a lot of work for the referee, a significant change for the other players -- hence the high cost.


I thought you didn't keep to these rules. They are the same rules I use under my definition of SA's, I thought that by playing them "Dynamicly" you ignored these. Good to know you don't (it was one of the things my group and I were having difficulties accepting :) ).

Quote:
Core, Page 66Whatever happens one's Spiritual Attributes should always be compatible with one's Philosophy, as set forth during character creation.


Lastly, we have the often overlooked Philosophy. I'll happily admit I don't always bother with one for my characters. I'd like to say that it is because I like the Philosophy to evolve over time as I become familiar with the character and his quirks -- but it is usually because I forget.


This is pretty much at the heart of my veiw of SA's. Philosphie's belong to the Character not the Player, and having SA's derived from (or compatible with) their Philosophy to me means that they are central to that Character's world veiw.

However, I don't know how to reconcile this with:

Grettir wrote:
Crow Caller,

I think I surmise from what you say that you hold a mental definition of what SAs are that cause you problems. Try to look at the that way:

SAs are always your (the player's) priorities for your character's stories. SAs, can and often will, but need not mirror the character's personality.


That's just one example of folk saying that SA's don't have to be linked to the Character's personality, which I see as meaning their philosphy (soft of).

So, if my Character's Philosphy is "Turn the other Cheek", but his is Drive: Avenge my brother. They are not compatiable. But is, Drive: to win lots of duels, compatiable?

Quote:
Crow Caller wrote:
Also reading over the SA threads again, some of you have said that SA's do not need to be directly linked to the Character's personality.


I'm not certain that "directly linked to" is the right choice of words. I would prefer "derived from." You'll notice that the mechanics above do not mention the character when detailing the circumstances under which an SA might change. There is no caveat to the rules saying "as long as the changed SA fits the character's perceived personality" or "as long as the new SA fits the character's background and previous experiences." However, all the examples of SAs apart from Destiny and Luck that are provided in Core and Companion are about the tale that the player wants to tell through their character. As such there is a link between the player's definition of the SAs and the character. However, it is the player calling the shots and not the character -- the player defines the SAs, not the character (as would be the case if SAs were derived from the character's traits and experience).
See the quote from Grettir, he uses the term "mirror".

The above mechanics do mention the Character tho' :? when it talks about his/her philosophy. Like you said tho', this is often overlooked.

Perhaps you could give an example SA that is compatiable with a Character's Philosphy, but does not Mirror his Personality?

Quote:
Crow Caller wrote:
So what I've decided to do is to make the SA's based purely on what I want to do in the game, and then apply them to a Character that doesn't share my idea of fun :)


OK. This is a good thought experiment.


It's harder than I imagined, other than the Drive I'm coming up short.

Quote:
Crow Caller wrote:
One Idea I have is Drive: To win alot of duels. So as a Player I am telling the GM that I want my Character to get in alot of duels and win them. However the Character is going to be somewhat of a Coward/Pacifist who would never dream of being in a duel, and by rights should not win.


Personally I don't like the SA definition. It applies too broadly, much like "Destiny: To Be The Greatest Duelist In The World" from a player who wants to get bonus dice in every fight his character faces. For me, it isn't driving the plot -- it isn't helping the referee to develop the scenario material.

How about:

Drive: Cursed to Draw Human Blood Between Sunset and Sunrise.


To be honest the definition of the Drive was purposely vague, just to give a rough idea of the direction I was thinking.

Something like:

Drive: To have his best intentions misconstrued, resulting in Duels that he is unable to back out of, and resulting in the death of those he had intended to councle.

So basicaly, if there is a bar fight the Character tries to break it up, trying to talk down the parties involved, then this results in a duel that despite his best efforts he cannot get out of, and then, despite the fact that by all rights he should lose the fight, he not only wins but more often than not his opponent is killed.

The key being that the Character is not only a Pacifist, but also a Coward.

Quote:
combined with

Major Flaw: Coward

So the character gets bonus dice when fulfilling the curse but has to make TN rolls in order to do so when it involves a confrontation. The character clearly has no interest in fulfilling the curse -- yet is forced to.

I think this combining of SAs with Flaws could work with other combination as a way of distancing the character from the SA yet the story being told is still one the player wants to tell.

Regards,


Yeah I love pairing SA's with Flaws, I like Passion: Love so and so, and then taking so and so as an Enemy :) but that won't work here.

So, anyone got any ideas for other SA's? How to you make a Passion: Love without linking it to, deriving it from, or mirroring it with the Character's Personality.

Cheers.

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 Post subject: Re: Succumbing to the "Dark Side".
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 9:35 am 
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Core, Page 66Whatever happens one's Spiritual Attributes should always be compatible with one's Philosophy, as set forth during character creation.


Crow Caller wrote:
This is pretty much at the heart of my veiw of SA's. Philosphie's belong to the Character not the Player, and having SA's derived from (or compatible with) their Philosophy to me means that they are central to that Character's world veiw.


Why do you say that the Philosophy belongs to the character and not the player? The player defines the character's philosophy according to the tale he wants to tell through the character...?

Regards,

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 Post subject: Re: Succumbing to the "Dark Side".
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 1:12 pm 
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Ian.Plumb wrote:
Core, Page 66Whatever happens one's Spiritual Attributes should always be compatible with one's Philosophy, as set forth during character creation.


Crow Caller wrote:
This is pretty much at the heart of my veiw of SA's. Philosphie's belong to the Character not the Player, and having SA's derived from (or compatible with) their Philosophy to me means that they are central to that Character's world veiw.


Why do you say that the Philosophy belongs to the character and not the player? The player defines the character's philosophy according to the tale he wants to tell through the character...?

Regards,


Core says that the Philopshy is the Character's, I mean sure the Player chooses it, and you're not gonna choose something you don't want to play. But it is not the Player's Philosophy, for example I don't believe in "Eat Drink and be Merry for tomorrow we die", but I have a Character that does.

Core, Page 152. Philosophies

Everyone has a different approach to life.Some are aggressive, others passive. Some believe that the strong should defend the weak; others that the strong should rule them. Your character's personal philosophy, when combined with his concept and background history, will largely determine what kind of experience you have as a player in The Riddle of Steel. Your hero's philosophy will be the most rewarding if it is one that you have created on your own. Nonetheless a short list of sample philosophies is provided.


Emphasis mine.

I veiw it the same as SA's, SA's are core to my Character's beliefs, drives, passions etc. I the Player Choose them, because I want to Play them, but they are the Character's Drives and Loves etc.

Same as if I give my Barbarian a ST of 6, its because I the Player want to play a Character with a ST of 6. Who has the ST of 6? The Player or the Character? The Character does, but the Player choose it and wants to play it. Same deal with SA's, Philosohies, Concepts and Backgrounds, they all belong to the Character and are integral parts of the Character, why? Because the Player wants them to be.

Still, I wanna give this other way a go, but really other than the Drive I've got, I see no way to do it. Passion seems 100% linked to the Character, and as such I'm in need of help.

Cheers & God Bless.

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"It was hard-fought, a desperate affair that could have gone badly; if God had not helped me, the outcome would have been quick and fatal" (115) ~ Beowulf after defeating Grendle's Mother.


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 Post subject: Re: Succumbing to the "Dark Side".
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:23 pm 
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Core, Page 152. Philosophies

Everyone has a different approach to life.Some are aggressive, others passive. Some believe that the strong should defend the weak; others that the strong should rule them. Your character's personal philosophy, when combined with his concept and background history, will largely determine what kind of experience you have as a player in The Riddle of Steel. Your hero's philosophy will be the most rewarding if it is one that you have created on your own. Nonetheless a short list of sample philosophies is provided.


Do you see though how this isn't really compatible with what is later said about the creation and use of SAs? How does the Philosophy, concept, and background largely determine the player experience when there is nothing in the mechanics to reflect that? The SAs largely determine the player excperience, and the mechanics ensure that is the case. Is it more important to link the SAs with the Philosophy than it is to link them with the other player's SAs? If the Philosophy is one that you create on your own, and SAs are strongly linked with Philosophy, does it follow that SAs are also created in isolation?

Personally I don't see how all of that hangs together but it's a bit of a moot point I guess.

Regards,

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 Post subject: Re: Succumbing to the "Dark Side".
PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 2:38 am 
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I think you're coming at this slightly wrong, Crow Caller. Of course SAs are linked to the character in some way. You can't have a Passion that's not really the character's passion. However, the key points are that first, the level of the SA does not represent the level of the Passion, and second, you can abandon the Passion without implying that the character isn't passionate about that person anymore.

So my character's Passion: Wife can be abandoned at any time for Passion: Evil Duke without implying that my character no longer loves his wife. It's just that I, as a player, am tired of the wife plotline and want to pursue the evil duke plotline. It doesn't matter how much my character loves his wife, or how long we've been following that plotline. My desires as a player have changed, and so I change my SAs to let the Seneschal know that I'm serious.

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 Post subject: Re: Succumbing to the "Dark Side".
PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 1:28 pm 
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I admit not to have read the entirety of this thread, but I have skimmed it and I would like to provide another explanation of how (I think that) SAs and character personality mesh.

SAs are not disconnected from personality. They can not normally run counter to personality. But they do not have to mirror the personality.

Many things might be important to your character, according to his personality. But it does not follow that the things that are most important to him need be his SAs – it is only necessary that his SAs are things important to him. That’s where player wishes enter the equation. The player decides which of the aspects of the fictional personality of his character will be made into SAs.

You might have a character who does love his family madly – but if you don’t want adventures about your character’s family being threatened, you don’t make this love into an SA. The love is there, it is part of the personality, but the adventures will not revolve around it, because it is not an SA. Which is a matter of conscious player choice.

You could call character personality some kind of constraint of what can and what can not reasonably be an SA, but within this field (which is widened still by the player’s right to decree organic changes of character personality) you are free to choose and more importantly to change SAs as you see fit.

That's what I meant when I said SAs need not mirror personality. They literally need not be a mirror image of what's important for the character, but they still are not disconnected from this.

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 Post subject: Re: Succumbing to the "Dark Side".
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 3:59 am 
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Well that certainly makes things clearer, I was completely stumped on how to make any other SA that opposed the Character's personality, hence the thread died :D

It also falls alot more inline with the way I view SA's. Now the only difference is pedantics.

Cheers.

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 Post subject: Re: Succumbing to the "Dark Side".
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 5:31 am 
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Crow Caller wrote:
It also falls alot more inline with the way I view SA's. Now the only difference is pedantics.

It’s a slight difference, but an important one, one that’s more than pedantery and semantics. I think it is important to wrap your head about the difference especially in regard to changing SAs, not necessarily in choosing the initial ones.

If you consider SAs equal to what’s most important to a character, changing an SA requires a shift in the character’s priorities. If you consider SAs to merely having to be in line with a character’s personality, you can change it according to your desires, as long as you don’t go entirely against the character’s personality. As long as you can imagine a character to care about something, you are free to change his SAs into this, even if there are other things he cares about more. In the first case, change of SA always requires change of personaliy, in the second, it doesn't.

And of course, if you want a really radical shift in SAs, you can justify this by a change in your character’s personality. “Well, revent events were so traumatic for my guy/opened my guy’s eyes that he now…” As usual, some degree of plausibility is really the only constaint.

This approach gives you much more creative freedom in shaping the stories you really want to have right now.

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 Post subject: Re: Succumbing to the "Dark Side".
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 3:10 pm 
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I can live with that ;) I still prefer my way, but I would have no problem playing with a group that done it this other way.

The idea of having the Characters personality "broad" and then having freedom to move SA's around within sits well with me, because it doesn't break my biggest tennet which is that SA's should fit within the Character's personality.

I like to order the Character's Personality and have the SA's reflect this, but it is not necesary.

I also have no problem with the Character's Personality changing, having his "eyes opened" so to speak.

This all sits well with me. I can also see how my version of SA's can fit into "your" version, whereas "your" version can't as easily fit into mine, and thus can concede that "your" version can be viewed as superior in atleast that regard :)

Wow, I love being able to come here and have a civil discourse, I've just been over on other Forums/Chat sites where this level of civility is unheard of.

*Breathes deeply the breath of fresh air that is TRoSfans*.

Cheers and God Bless.

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 Post subject: Re: Succumbing to the "Dark Side".
PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 9:24 am 
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Crow Caller wrote:
This all sits well with me. I can also see how my version of SA's can fit into "your" version, whereas "your" version can't as easily fit into mine, and thus can concede that "your" version can be viewed as superior in atleast that regard :)

If versatility to more varied styles of play is the benchmark of superiority, then sure, your approach is clearly the superior one. For me, it is much more important that SAs do not shackle me but facilitate the stories I want to experience right now, so I regard the more loose SAs and the attendant required acceptance of SAs not being the mirror image of character personality but merely constrained by character personality as the superior one.

Crow Caller wrote:
Wow, I love being able to come here and have a civil discourse, I've just been over on other Forums/Chat sites where this level of civility is unheard of.

*Breathes deeply the breath of fresh air that is TRoSfans*.

Very true. TRoSfans is a special place with dedicated, mature and polite members who do not come here on an egotrip but with an open mind and the honest wish to either give or receive help.

*A pat to all our shoulders.*

*And thanks to Ian for making it possible.*

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