[Dying Earth RPG] Recordings of actual play?

edited October 2010 in Actual Play
Anybody got any or could provide links to any podcasts with them in? I'm interested to hear how other groups handle the re-rolling of dice narratively speaking.

Ben

Comments

  • edited October 2010
    I've played a lot of DE but I can't recall any being recorded. I'm not quite sure what you mean by narratively speaking but we take rerolling as an opportunity to make a further argument, parry or riposte, with accompanying dialogue.

    To wit, an encounter between a fox-faced vagabond and a rich merchant:

    - Sir, perhaps I may help you with your burden by carrying your weighty purse
    - I find your statement unpersuasive, unhand me uncouth ruffian
    - Do not tax yourself with vain arguments, at your age they might prove fatal. Here sit a while and meditate on impecuniarity
    - I will beat you with my stick if you do not unhand me at once
    - Sir, whilst your health seems teetering on the brink of extinction, as that of our troubled sun, I see that it is otherwise with your cudgel. I shall retire to consider my options. Good day.
    - Come back here you scoundrel.
  • Yes, it's a bit like Dogs. Say something, roll the die, find out how convincing you were.
  • Thanks for those and your examples are pretty helpful to me. I'm really quite keen to actually hear them in play too though - I want to see how much stuttering and thinking goes on. We've played quite a bit and in my games the dice rolls has tended to slow down or, worse, contradict strong and persuasive arguments. I don't want to just arbitrarily drop the die rolls - when I've tried this then the most creative Vancian linguist tends to win arguments which spoils the fun for less wordy players.

    Has anyone made up any interesting house rules or tweaks that worked around these issues? Off the top of my head I'm wondering about something like: decide in advance the max number of points you'll use in this conflict, make your verbal statements, GM applies boon/levy based on quality of arguments, players dice off, paying for re-rolls up to the maximum allowed?

    Ben
  • Has anyone made up any interesting house rules or tweaks that worked around these issues? Off the top of my head I'm wondering about something like: decide in advance the max number of points you'll use in this conflict, make your verbal statements, GM applies boon/levy based on quality of arguments, players dice off, paying for re-rolls up to the maximum allowed?

    The first thing is for players to understand that if they absolutely embrace the consequences of losing a verbal exchange, they are doing well. If your character is being doused in marinade while turning on a spit, with only their wits to protect them, they are winning. I recommend you use the strict Dismal Failure rule. Applying boons and levies according to the persuasiveness of arguments is a bit harsh on the less verbally adept players (though there is always Forthright and Obfuscatory for that. You could put a Limit on the number of rolls, but the rules themselves should quickly burn through points and correct long exchanges.

    The amount of rolling, and when you roll depends on the scene. Summarise arguments if they are dragging out, let them continue otherwise. Often, you'll find two players arguing in character - and it's then you call for a roll. For quick scenes, just a phrase between each set of rolls will suffice. You don't need something after every pay to re roll.
  • I'm really quite keen to actually hear them in play too though - I want to see how much stuttering and thinking goes on.
    Not much! It has to be quickfire.

    The Dying Earth RPG does tend to favour quick-thinking, linguistic players. Get players who aren't wordy to play characters who aren't wordy: the ones who rebuff arguments with "Bah!" and "Don't confuse me with your legal nonsense!". (There's a term in the rules for this. I forget what it is.)
    We've played quite a bit and in my games the dice rolls has tended to slow down or, worse, contradict strong and persuasive arguments.
    No, but that's good. If you read the Dying Earth books, that's what happens: someone comes up with a brilliant, unanswerable argument and...actually...it's not brilliant after all. Someone just tells them to be quiet. There is never a brilliant, killer argument: it's all silly verbal chicanery.
  • [...] someone comes up with a brilliant, unanswerable argument and...actually...it's not brilliant after all. Someone just tells them to be quiet. There is never a brilliant, killer argument: it's all silly verbal chicanery.
    This is a really nice way of looking at it Graham - I'm going to stamp that into my brain for next time I run the game.

    And Simon, I'm definitely going to use the strict Dismal Failures rule Simon. We haven't played DE for a while, having parked our campaign temporarily, but that rule was foremost in my mind for when we kicked off again.

    Now, what about if we wanted to 'go all Turjan'? Do strict Dismal Failures and 'persuasive argument killers/verbal chicanery' work alright in a tomb-raiding and exploring-style game?
  • edited October 2010
    Posted By: The Bunyip

    Now, what about if we wanted to 'go all Turjan'? Do strict Dismal Failures and 'persuasive argument killers/verbal chicanery' work alright in a tomb-raiding and exploring-style game?
    Silly arguments are not a feature of Turjan games, and you can dismiss them out of hand. To quote the rules:

    Persuasion and Rebuff are not the central focus of Turjan level games, so we recommend that players keep them to a minimum, in the interests of pacing. We’ve also skewed the random tables in favor of the more appropriate styles, by removing Obfuscatory, Contrary and Obtuse, all of which tend to slow the game down. However, even Turjanic characters are persuaded to do things that they might regret – if you don’t like this, build up your Rebuff.

    There is also an optional rule:

    Optional Rule – Conventional Argument
    The Persuasion and Rebuff rules allow your character to be persuaded to do something that you yourself may think is a bad idea. We hope that you will embrace this as a roleplaying challenge. However, if you feel that this rule distances you from your heroic PC, and your GM agrees, then consider the following optional rule. PCs do not have Rebuff ratings, they are completely immune from Persuasion. Persuasion includes the use of any other ability such as Seduction and Etiquette that allows an opponent to affect your behavior.
    If your GM allows magic or tweaks that let PCs enhance their persuasive skills, or reduce your GMC opponent’s resistance to such persuasion will give PCs an advantage. Your GM will let you know whether they are permissible.
  • Thanks Simon. Yeah, I'd read those rules. I suppose I wasn't so enamoured of the idea that players were just supposed to "keep them to a minimum". I prefer something a little harder. I can see that players will have no problem ignoring persuasion when it is making their heroic character do something they'd rather not do, but I can see that this self-policing going out the window when it comes to persuading NPCs. I suppose I'm not so keen on the 'fairness' of that... but maybe I should just get past that. After all, since when was anything fair in a dying world!? :) There, I've talked myself round.

    All this DERPG talk has made me think of another difficulty I have with the rules. Allow me to elaborate here if I may...

    How do you make sure that players persuade and rebuff in their character's appropriate style? If the GM (or other players) attempt to police it during a conflict it slows gameplay too much, but it feels that if your argument isn't Glib, for example, you should be able to call on that pool when your character's last point was clearly not Glib.
  • Oh, don't bother policing it. I've played games where I took "Glib", then realised, at the end of the game, that I'd mostly been "Eloquent". Don't worry about it. Use the argument styles as prompts for imagination, not contraints.

    Also, don't use the Trumping rules, unless you really like them.

    I haven't played Turjan style. It doesn't really appeal to me, I guess.
  • Ok, I'll stick to not policing it then, but I'll probably keep the trumping rules 'cos I do like them. :)
  • I do prefer people to Persuade and Rebuff in the correct styles (or their secondary styles) but there is some latitude. You can be intimidating in a Charming fashion, for example.
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