Tactile Role-Playing


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  1. #1

    Tactile Role-Playing

    This was touched on some weeks ago in a thread concerning a different subject, but I'm interested enough in the topic to get more opinions.

    Question:
    Do you think there's a place for more tactile game play in role-playing? From what I've seen so far (and I admit that I'm by no means an experienced role-player) there are role-playing games then there are tactile games (like trading card games, miniatures games, etc). The latter connects strategizing and game play together in a way that can't be overlooked -- that is, the rules are intertwined with some physical presence in the game (like cards or miniatures) so one cannot exist without the other (e.g. 'magic' or 'diskwars' or 'chainmail'). Role-playing is more open-ended by providing a loose framework in which fundamental rules set limitations on players but really it's the imagination of those players (and of the DM/GM) that's in control.

    My Opinion:
    I consider "Magic" to be a tactile game. You hold physical cards that are the key to winning the game. The setting of Magic, although fun to think about, really has little bearing on the game play itself. I love playing Magic for a lot of reasons but I do miss the immersive quality that role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons provides. Similarly, when playing Dungeons and Dragons I sometimes miss the rigid rules and visualizations that tactile games like Magic or DiskWars offer. Believe me, I love to imagine what's happening in the game while it's happening (in fact, sometimes I prefer that to seeing a picture or following rigid and seemingly arbitrary rules). But I think seeing a card with a picture that represents an element in the game or a miniature that represents me and is subject to rigid spatial rules would enhance game play.

    Note: Now I realize that miniatures *are* used in DnD to bring spatial clarity to battle scenes and other situations, but I'm not sure if miniatures rules are all that well-defined (again, correct me if I'm wrong).

    Note2: In retrospect, I can see how a message board passerby would find this topic exceedingly dull. if you're one of those people, I apologize -- sometimes i bore myself.

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    [[ EDITED ]]

    My apologies, that's what I get for reading posts, priming my miniatures, and watching "13th Warrior" all at the same time. Thank God I'm not chewing gum at the same time.

    Thomas
    Last edited by ThomasBJJ; Wednesday, 1st May, 2002 at 06:11 AM.
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    No, no, he does mean tactile. He's asking whether physical objects should have more of a place in role-playing games.

    Er...I'm not sure. I'm pretty frazzled right now; I'll have to get back to you on that.
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    As for your question, which I'm still not clear on, Miniatures, maps, handouts, physical things of that sort are VERY important to me. Imagination is great, but I just really get there by seeing real stuff. It can be miniatures or even the illustrations from the Kalamar modules, or even art I ripped from Dragon mag.

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    The game is already tactile - to a certain degree. DICE.

    DICE.

    Big Dice, little dice, colored dice, dice for weather, dice for pizza toppings, dice for reactions, dice for encounters, dice for traps, dice for names, bone dice, steel dice, gemstone dice, round dice...

    For some reason, we as gamers accept dice as part of our hobby without it detracting in the least, for some reason. If you found a way to make the dice a more noticeable presence in terms of looks or effects, I doubt this would change.

    However, adding an elements ushc as cards for some reason tends to detract, and make it more of a game, less of an "experience." the only exception I have heard of is the SAGA system, and even then I have never experienced it first-hand, so I can't say for sure.
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  6. #6
    don't get me wrong, i'm a big fan of dice. role-playing wouldn't be nearly as enjoyable if there wasn't that random element that works to get me out of sticky situations and, of course, get me into them. but sometimes I yearn for more. that's right: yearn.

  7. #7

    Re: Tactile Role-Playing

    Originally posted by planespace
    This was touched on some weeks ago in a thread concerning a different subject
    Tactile role-playing..."touched on"...nice pun.
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    Ok, thought this was about braille


    I'm not a big fan of "tactile" roleplaying games. I've used miniatures a few times, and the game seemed to devolve into a wargame to me. (maybe devolve isn't the correct term, don't mean that wargames are lesser. oh well)

    I enjoy my roleplaying games with rules (an intangible thing), and a randomness agent (a tactile element) , one that is easily accessible to everyone. Dice, normal playing cards, rocks, whatever. I do not like games with special gimmicky randomness agents, such as the Saga rules.

    PS. Is Magic a roleplaying game? I would say no, and would consider it a wargame, as the only goal is to beat your opponent, not play a role. I don't see anyone losing a match because that's what thier character would do
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    As a confessed dice and miniature collector I have to agree with you. Is it necessary or better for the rping .. NO... it helps but its not essential.

    Sometimes not having Tactile elements helps imagining...
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    How 'bout you and your players touch each other? A group hug after a successful fight creates a sense of community and opens avenues for the mature roleplayer that even today remain shamefully underexplored.

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