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 Post subject: Re: Definition of a Story
PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 8:35 am 
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higgins wrote:
Maybe your experience tells differently, and there are some exceptions, but in general I find infinitely harder to to deal with players that have been exposed to D&D. If I have to referee a group in a convention, I always, always prefer people who don't know anything about role-playing to those who have D&D experience.


I think, in general, the first example of a particular thing encountered by someone influences greatly their attitude and opinion of the whole thing. This goes from the big -- "I played a game of Universalis once and didn't enjoy it. Role-playing games just aren't my cup of tea." -- to the detail of a single rule interpretation.

However, when that thing in question also claims to be the best example of a certain thing and promotes itself in that way then you do see people believing the advertising and promoting the game in the same way. There are games out there that actively promote the idea that being associated with rival games is uncool.

Anyway, I wouldn't attribute this to D&D itself. D&D attracts a juvenile gamer. Many guys never actually get beyond juvenile in their real lives -- what hope that their gaming tastes would mature when none of their other tastes have? ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Definition of a Story
PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 11:07 am 
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Ian.Plumb wrote:
Anyway, I wouldn't attribute this to D&D itself. D&D attracts a juvenile gamer. Many guys never actually get beyond juvenile in their real lives -- what hope that their gaming tastes would mature when none of their other tastes have? ;)
But the thing is that in my experience, this is not generally the case. I know several mature people that become immature the instant they sit behind the gaming table. I've also spoken to a brilliant young writer whose captivating and unique writings I really, really, really like. But when he spoke of his gaming sessions, those seemed like a bunch of go-happy pratchettian silliness. I was quite shocked. It's like he never even imagined that role-playing could be as powerful and captivating as his writings were.

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Last edited by higgins on Tue May 12, 2009 11:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Definition of a Story
PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 11:41 am 
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Certic wrote:
There aren't any more Paths in the rebooted Vampire by the way. Everyone uses Humanity.

That’s an excellent step back into the right direction. Now if they threw out the focus on vampire-to-supernatural relationships and replaced it with vampire-to-human relationships, the game would once again be about vampires and not just about a feud among superheroes.

higgins wrote:
By "aggressively" I meant that... we're trying to be concious about it, but if we'd be given a visible deadline of 5 SA points, we'd most likely try harder.

I totally see where you’re coming from – you’re not against resolving the premise, but you are against consciously thinking about doing so. You want it to flow naturally from playing immersively in Actor Stance – wich is a bit of hit-and-miss. Mostly miss, imo.

But that’s why we have different game designs and also shows once again that “System Matters” is very true. If, like me, you like to consciously push towards the premise being resolved, you’ll be glad of a game giving you rules that facilitate this mechanically. If, on the other hand, you abhor to consciously shaping your haracter’s story, you better give such systems a wide berth.

higgins wrote:
Maybe your experience tells differently, and there are some exceptions, but in general I find infinitely harder to to deal with players that have been exposed to D&D.

While I share your opinion about D&D “spoiling” people for other kinds of role-playing, I think that Ian’s got it right. People form an idea what something, in our case role-playing, is like, and many tend to be by this opinion linded to other possibilities. Fact is, I have encountered the same problem of getting people to break with their habits if I try to introduce seasoned Simulationists to Narrativism. It may be frustrating to you that some guys think that role-playing is just about killing somebody, but it is equally frustrating to me that some people think that role-playing is just about playing a character true to his fictional personality.

I dunno, maybe my broader view of role-playing has to do with my personal history. I got into the hobby in 1985, and back then, actually playing out the roles was a total minority thing, cutting edge and avant-garde. Mostly, it was about being challenged by the referee with some problem and overcoming the opposition he threw at you. I had hardly begun gaming that what we would today call Immersion really took up speed, and I soon found myself in the Immersionist camp, setting up the room in such a way as not to disturb us from the fictional world we were going to enter. The fact that I made an ealy transition (from largely Gamism to Simulationism) may account for me not having a firm view of what role-playing was like. Had I started out just five years later, I would have entered a world of Simulationism, and it would probably never have occurred to me that there are other ways to game.

higgins wrote:
But is the hierarchy of sins identical to the one I quoted?

Looked it up. The original Hierarchy was:

10 – Accidental wrongdoing
9 – Any sort of purposeful wrongdoing
8 – Shoplifting
7 – Theft and robbery
6 – Unintentional killing
5 – Wanton destruction
4 – Causing injury and personal harm
3 – Sadism and perversion
2 – Murder
1 – The most heinous and demented acts

Depending on the circumstances under which the “sin” was committed, one would either roll Conscience, Self-Control or Courage to avoid Humanity loss. I find the new Hierarchy better, btw; it’s largely identical, but worded more clearly.

higgins wrote:
This is where we've spoken of different things. You've spoken of solving the premise (which both systems can theoretically do), while I've been spoken of that outcome being forced to happen during the game (which MLwM accomplishes, and Vampire doesn't).

Yes indeed. Humanity and Weariness/Self-Loathing are both premise-resolving mechanics, but MLwM ensures that the premise is resolved, whereas Vampire allows to keep Humanity floating up and down indefenitely. But, where story and the story’s premise is concerened, I consider this a grave weakness – instead of resolving the pressing literary (and psychological) question posed by the vampire’s existence, the mechanic allows the group to shelf it away forever. I am asking myself what the point in telling a story about a vampire is if you shirk addressing the premise of such a story.

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 Post subject: Re: Definition of a Story
PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 1:31 pm 
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Grettir wrote:
Depending on the circumstances under which the “sin” was committed, one would either roll Conscience, Self-Control or Courage to avoid Humanity loss.
Now there's a fixed number of dice to roll vs. standard TN of 8... the worse the sin, the less dice you get. If you fail, you lose a dot and must immediately roll your new morality stat (Humanity for vampires) value as a dice pool... if no successes come up, you also get a derangement (phobia, paranoia, hysteria, etc) related to the trauma your character went through.

For the new WoD, I also loved how they did away with Nature and Demeanor -- now you must pick one of the seven biblical virtues and one of the seven biblical vices for the character.

Grettir wrote:
I am asking myself what the point in telling a story about a vampire is if you shirk addressing the premise of such a story.
That's exactly what I meant with the TROS-mod example. If there's a game-mechanical deadline, I think it makes the game immensely more Narrativistic.

_________________
"Brothels are a much sounder investment than ships, I've found. Whores seldom sink, and when they are boarded by pirates, why, the pirates pay good coin like everyone else."
- Lord Petyr Baelish, A Game of Thrones


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 Post subject: Re: Definition of a Story
PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 10:19 pm 
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higgins wrote:
For the new WoD, I also loved how they did away with Nature and Demeanor -- now you must pick one of the seven biblical virtues and one of the seven biblical vices for the character.

Just to be pedantic, they're not biblical: the seven deadly sins were defined by Pope Gregory and the virtues are the work of Plato.


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 Post subject: Re: Definition of a Story
PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 9:28 am 
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higgins wrote:
For the new WoD, I also loved how they did away with Nature and Demeanor --

I quite liked part of that concept -- the Natures alone, without the Demeanor, and without the new ones added in the 2nd ed Player's Handbook. The Natures corresponded to certain Jungian archetypes which seem to be part of the common subconscious of the human race and can be found in mythology and literary all over the world. Using them moved the game closer to storytelling and aided in making characters that had the potential to speak to us on a very primeval level. The Demeanors were quite unnecessary, though, as were the new Archetypes added later; introducing them merely narrowed down the original ones.

Grettir wrote:
I am asking myself what the point in telling a story about a vampire is if you shirk addressing the premise of such a story.
higgins wrote:
That's exactly what I meant with the TROS-mod example. If there's a game-mechanical deadline, I think it makes the game immensely more Narrativistic.

Agreed -- and I don't think I've ever said otherwise. I merely took exception with your allusion that Narrativistic game design is not role-playing design anymore.

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