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David_Berg

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  • I certainly think it's worth considering here that the solutions for maintaining players' sense of "feels real" may have more to do with the nuances of how the GM presents content and die rolls, as opposed to the content and die rolls themselves. I…
  • Since you haven't rolled yet, you don't know what the Game State holds. Once you roll "blue," you will know that the Game State always held "blue." The Game State can only be known through Exploration (Techniques).Okay, thanks! I can wrap my head …
  • Hey @Adam_Dray I'm lost. I hope that if you answer this question I've come up with, it'll clue me in. If we have a table that determines NPC eye color, and its entries are Blue and Brown, and we haven't yet rolled for NPC Bart, then what exists in…
  • Here's a thought. Every time player character exploration leads the group into a new location/situation, there's a roll to see what does exist and could be there, and then a second roll to see if that thing is there right now. So in a lot of cases…
  • There are definitely die rolls that don't mess with my feeling of realism. Any roll to update an existing situation is usually pretty seamless. Any roll to resolve a genuine toss-up, likewise. So if we know there are orcs, and if we don't have an…
  • Lots of stuff here to address already (sorry I haven't engaged with your posts yet, Tod), but before I forget, I wanted to add this into the mix: Although rolling a die can sometimes create a feeling of defining the gameworld on the spot, looking u…
  • I'd rather not get into who thinks what of other people's playstyles here, please. I have great success with something Sandra wants no part of. (No need to hippiefy anything at my table to make GM-invents-stuff functional.) It's clearly a matte…
  • Gotcha. So in your case, the question of "might we not roll because that makes something feel less real?" is irrelevant, because the alternative is unacceptable. A better question might then be, "How do we make the roll feel as real as we can?" I…
  • And also agree that rolling things up ahead of time is great. The Q then becomes: when is "ahead" enough?Agreed! That's why I went for informational temporality rather than spatial temporality in the quest queue proposal.Oh sweet! I will give this …
  • I had a thought on realness and fictional truths (which I figure is not identical to Game State but overlaps significantly), but I'm not sure if it's quite on-point for this thread, so I started a new one: randomization vs feeling real
  • 4. I have no idea what it means to share PIS, and I have no idea why it's useful for theory or game design discussion at all.I can see reasons to communicate PIS, e.g. so as to harmonize it with the Game State. But "having a shared PIS" does strike…
  • Yeah, we totally have different experiences. I enjoy comparing notes! As for things being real, though, I'm 100% with you on how valuable that is. I think we just differ on what's necessary for us to feel like something is real. I'm glad you're …
  • "Imagine a house where you don't know the layout or what's in the rooms" is a strange idea. "Imagine what it's like to be in a house where you don't know the layout or what's in the rooms" is super easy and poses no special problems at all.Agreed. …
  • @Adam_Dray , I'd say there's the communicated imagined space, whether union or overlap, and the various personal imagined spaces, and all of these things may feed into the game state depending on the system. Few games treat all their fictional fact…
  • I'm personally trying to nuance your rule B. I still want to be careful about the, uh, "challenge element" of the entities ("chasm width"–problem).The most compatible-with-your-style GM I know handles it like this: 1) Rigorously prep everything. 2) …
  • Interesting. In the context of a single-GMed "exploration and discovery" adventure RPG, all of the above reads to me as, "Well, yeah, of course." Reality-ambiguity-interpretation is a big chunk of what @contracycle and I used to ramble about a few…
  • It seemed to me that the master was often ill-tempered but seemed at his most cheerful when abusing others. Solid villain!
  • Nobody's disputing that in rpgs, the moment of communication is a moment of communication . . . The question is, what else? I've always been fascinated by how much a given player's experience of play (beyond just hidden info on their sheet or other …
  • Nested diagram summaries. First D&D at-a-glance would represent "face danger to get cooler and better at facing bigger dangers" with some coverage of what happens when facing danger goes well vs poorly, and maybe some very broad factors that …
  • Many RPGs are bought by GMs and introduced to players by those GMs. In those cases "introducing your RPG" is really about helping the GM introduce your RPG. So, I'd say the goal is to design and offer a "GM teaches players" process that is rewardi…
  • I attended a panel on instructional design where the presenters said to structure play so that players can learn things in the proper sequence. Give them a thing to do, that teaches them A. Once they've learned A, then give them a thing to do that…
  • Much love for Time & Temp @DeReel
  • I'd ask the group. Specifically, I'd check on the potential problem case where, the way the fiction plays out, it's not obvious how that influence would last. For me personally, I'd say, "No, they're mesmerized now, do what you will with that now.…
  • Sounds cool, @Gulix ! I'm curious, in this context does "calm" mean still, tranquil, peaceful, harmonious, or all of the above? I think I get what "sinister" means here.
  • @Mel_White thanks! That sounds cool. As long as the game stuff is both baseball-informed and high-consequence, I have no problem with there being other stuff too.
  • @David_Berg was that one of the Ten Candles game with Seraphina? because she brings the night. Hard Ohhh yes indeed.
  • Dreamation! @Adam_Dray sorry I never actually got to talk to you there. Sounds like you were a busy man! So glad you were able to make it; I know that had been in doubt. Here's what I played: Masks wide-con. I remain very impressed with the …
  • @Mel_White , I'd also love to hear how The Bat Hack went. I didn't play it because I read "you don't need to know anything about baseball to play it" and I am a hardcore baseball fan, so I figured I wouldn't be on the same page with the group. But…
  • Don't take the wit of Mr. Corley too seriously... not unless you want to, anyway. I think focused can cover a lot but generally it suggests to me, rules that are specifically geared toward a particular play experience, narrow genre focus or a game…
  • Fun blog post, Adam! My recap of Joseph's point would be: "Focused design and play is worth it if your goal is to emulate genre fiction. But isn't it amazing that design and play which is more open can represent the limitless complexity of real l…
  • No real useful feedback here because I played it for a couple hours back in November and failed to take notes, but I just wanted to drop a note of encouragement to say that my group had a great time with this! Good stuff, @DBB ! (Also, note: Your …
  • Gotcha. So you're not looking for a dice-results logic to apply across all rolls, but rather for a bunch of fictional situations with specific resolution procedures for each? Is that accurate?
  • If BitD/AW use approaches you like, but you can't just use those' games rules, then I think you can still use their logic. So: When the player characters are in a tight spot, like a pit filling with acid, be aware that 3 things can happen: 1) The …
  • I think the uncertainty is key to the fun in most of your examples.I mean, it is necessary, but it's also a given. "Hey, look, we aren't clairvoyant!" seems like a weird thing to focus on, to me. If you cover the bases I laid out, the necessary un…
  • Here's my primary problem with the in-character player / story and backstory player / wade into battle and kill things player group: Let's say the in-character player has no interest in combat. Now, they can still have a positive attitude and be a…
  • I had one campaign where one player was interested in fighting and having cool combat scenes, one player was deeply invested in playing his character (wherever that led him to), another player was clearly interested in puzzling through the setting a…
  • Brendan, do you have a handy example for a fun game you ran or played where the players' creative goals differed significantly? I'd love to hear the details of who had which goals and see whether this is something that's super familiar to me or tot…
  • I think it is definitely more common for player goals to be different if the thing that brought the players together is "Let's roleplay!" But is that a good pitch, or is a more specific pitch better? Can you think of any other games besides RPGs w…
  • I'm inclined to disagree, Brendan, but I guess it depends on what sort of goals we're talking about. I play a variety of games and sports with a variety of people, and while individual differences are great, I wouldn't say that people are there at …
  • the longer I game, the more my focus becomes what works at the table. And the more I do that, the more I start to realize what works at the table can't easily be put into a neat box with a bow.I completely agree. But I find that continuing to get c…
  • I think I've seen a strong correlation between fun play and purposeful play, and a loose correlation between fun play and well-articulated purposes specifically. As long as the group is on the same page and going somewhere with their play, they don…
  • I think some sort of uncertainty is necessary for excitement, but I think some sort of uncertainty is present in every moment of play. I think having high stakes uncertainty is definitely one way to generate excitement. Even "roll anything but a…
  • How fictional positioning is established is, to me, a separate topic. Brendan, my best guess re: your experience is that the term "fictional positioning" happens to have caught on among folks who like the technique of metagame negotiation. Maybe t…
  • FWIW, my two cents on Fictional Positioning: "Positioning" in a game means that your options depend on your current game state. You may have different options depending on whether you are: - winning or losing - on a red square or a green square - …
  • Paul, how could you not name-check Fluffy Bunny here??? Itras By is surrealism. "Be weird" is part of the mission statement. Descent Into Midnight has a pretty weird collection of content and themes -- the creatures and environment are nicely ali…
  • Jeff, I think the ability to do both some character play and some authorial/GMful stuff at the same time is a big part of the appeal of many "GMless" games. I enjoy it myself in a lot of cases. But there are other games in which I much prefer t…
  • Next time I'll just have heretics kill you and then the witch can resurrect you.
  • I think we can sometimes pick our story’s shortcomings to death—which I would argue is an unhealthy impulse and ultimately defeatist.Perhaps you should opt out of those discussions then -- I don't want to ruin your fun! For my part, I can compartme…
  • I think this thread is done talking about the initial premise, so wherever y'all wanna go from here is fine by me.
  • Jeff, your Armond burning himself, in exactly the context which you just described (the plague, the series of burnings, Armond's own past, and especially what you and Paul had played out between Armond and Thorne), was fantastic! The way everything…