Q&A with Gary Gygax - Part I - Page 64





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  1. #631
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    Re: Re: Random Chance

    Originally posted by JERandall


    Or, as Damon Runyon would have it:

    "The race is not always to the swift nor the battle to the strong -- but that's the way to bet it."

    http://www.creativequotations.com/one/1452.htm

    Yes, no doubt, and the stats and probabilities set forth in the game system enable the player to judge how to wager, and then in a real RPG said player generates the random result that determines if the "bet" was well founded

    Yuletide cheer,
    Gary
    Last edited by Col_Pladoh; Monday, 23rd December, 2002 at 10:28 PM.

 

  • #632
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    G'day Gary!

    Wow... PA returns with a vengeance, and inflames a discussion about my two favourite RPGs: D&D and Amber.

    Oh wait... Amber isn't a RPG. It's a DRP experience. Under no circumstances do I consider Amber to be a game. Highly enjoyable with the right GM, but not a game. (Even GM is utterly the wrong term... )

    I feel that an RPG is a game (with some random element), where the rules may be broken by the GM.

    However... is Chess a game? No random element... like Amber DRP...

    If Amber had slightly more strict rules, would it then become a RPG?

    Cheers!
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  • #633
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    PA, regarding the "diceless RPG" issue, this board is set up for D&D 3E and D20 games fans. I think that dice are integral to both of these items, so you probably aren't going to find too many supporters or converts to your point of view here. I'm not saying that interractive storytelling can't be cool, but I don't buy into the notion that we're still talking about the same game/experience.

    Please don't take this personally but I think you should stop trying to hijack this man's thread. Last time I checked, this thread was called "Ongoing Q&A with Gary Gyxax - get your questions answered!," not "PA's discussion about the pros and cons of diceless roleplaying."
    Last edited by Baraendur; Tuesday, 24th December, 2002 at 12:25 AM.
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  • #634

    Re: Panes, Pains, and Puns

    Originally posted by Col_Pladoh
    Indeed one scenario centers on that very thing, the true grateness of the pun
    I'd rather go back to the Temple of Elemental Evil, then walk through Necropolis, before visiting the sewers of Waterdeep. I would die too (many times over) but I would stay clean.

  • #635
    Originally posted by Baraendur
    PA, regarding the "diceless RPG" issue, this board is set up for D&D 3E and D20 games fans. I think that dice are integral to both of these items, so you probably aren't going to find too many supporters or converts to your point of view here. I'm not saying that interractive storytelling can't be cool, but I don't buy into the notion that we're still talking about the same game/experience.
    So, when during a D&D session you spend one hour without rolling a dice (it must have happened even to you), you are no longer RPGing?


    Originally posted by Baraendur
    Please don't take this personally but I think you should stop trying to hijack this man's thread. Last time I checked, this thread was called "Ongoing Q&A with Gary Gyxax - get your questions answered!," not "PA's discussion about the pros and cons of diceless roleplaying."
    Last time I checked, before I posted, that thread was long dead, as Gary himself stressed out. This question "is diceless still RPG?" has been a subject of discussion between the both of us for quite some time. Though we exchanged more than a dozen emails on the subject, some while ago, it is the first time I bring it on those boards, so to get some more opinions, more ideas and examples, from more people. You'll notice that "this man" has answered and even presented new arguments (biblical quotes, of all things). Had he thought I was "hijacking his thread," I don't think he would have bothered.

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    Originally posted by PA

    You'll notice that "this man" has answered and even presented new arguments (biblical quotes, of all things). Had he thought I was "hijacking his thread," I don't think he would have bothered.
    Hmm, good point. You've got me there.
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    Originally posted by PA

    So, when during a D&D session you spend one hour without rolling a dice (it must have happened even to you), you are no longer RPGing?
    Well, in fact it has, obviously. If it hadn't I would be guilty of munchkinism (which Gygax has defended in Dragon and would be the subject of a very interesting debate). I'm fairly certain that this is a pretty common experience actually.

    It isn't so much that a person isn't RPGing if the dice aren't rolled for over an hour, but rather that something that doesn't require a random factor hasn't occurred. Perhapse the party is questioning witnesses, perhapse they are trying the fine dining at the local tavern, or perhapse I (the DM) am too busy eating pizza to want to start an encounter requiring a bunch of dice rolling (grease stains on the notepaper looks tacky and makes it hard to write on).

    On the other hand, where it comes to combat, picking locks, and other skilled items, the most interesting way to do it is with a randomness factor. Now a stroyteller could simulate the random factor by using statistics, allowing for example 1 out of every 3 actions to succeed, but in doing so, some of the fun and excitement of RPGing is missed. It also doesn't take into account that one lucky shot, that unexpected run of good rolls, or someone who is just a bad die roller in general (speaking of which, there is a reason that my players love me as a DM)
    Last edited by Baraendur; Tuesday, 24th December, 2002 at 03:20 AM.
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  • #638

    Optional Post Subject

    Originally posted by Baraendur


    Well, in fact it has, obviously. If it hadn't I would be guilty of munchkinism (which Gygax has defended in Dragon and would be the subject of a very interesting debate). I'm fairly certain that this is a pretty common experience actually.

    It isn't so much that a person isn't RPGing if the dice aren't rolled for over an hour, but rather that something that doesn't require a random factor hasn't occurred. Perhapse the party is questioning witnesses, perhapse they are trying the fine dining at the local tavern, or perhapse I (the DM) am too busy eating pizza to want to start an encounter requiring a bunch of dice rolling (grease stains on the notepaper looks tacky and makes it hard to write on).

    On the other hand, where it comes to combat, picking locks, and other skilled items, the most interesting way to do it is with a randomness factor. Now a stroyteller could simulate the random factor by using statistics, allowing for example 1 out of every 3 actions to succeed, but in doing so, some of the fun and excitement of RPGing is missed. It also doesn't take into account that one lucky shot, that unexpected run of good rolls, or someone who is just a bad die roller in general (speaking of which, there is a reason that my players love me as a DM)
    So when you describe how your character faces someone with a sword, you need to roll a dice, but when you describe how your character faces someone with words, you do not?

    Well, according to 3e rules, you do: diplomacy, bluff, intimidate, sense motive checks and all that. But my point is: you CAN do without. So can you with combat, and in a similar way: by using descriptions, by using wits.

    Now, do I think it would work for any game, for any universe? Nay. I am talking about Amber here, a world in which those "lucky shots" that you mention never seem to happen. In the novels, the best fighter wins, unless he is outsmarted (as Benedict is tricked by Corwin).

    Of course, you can then ask me: what the f* does it have to do with D&D, or d20? And my answer is: er, not much. As I said, I just wanted to inject some fresh blood in a subject that Gary and I actually discussed now and again many times for the past year. We will never agree. Because he is wrong, of course, since I am always right, but I still find the discussion interesting.

    And thank you for making it more so.

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    Re: Optional Post Subject

    Originally posted by PA

    Well, according to 3e rules, you do: diplomacy, bluff, intimidate, sense motive checks and all that. But my point is: you CAN do without. So can you with combat, and in a similar way: by using descriptions, by using wits.
    Well, 3E rules provide mechanics to determine how successful you are when situations requiring the skills you have mentioned come into play. Personally, I am of the school of thought that states that a character who is particularly good verbal comunicator shouldn't have to roll to determine success if they come up with something that seems reasonable, brilliant, or inspired unless I as the DM don't already know how the character is going to react to a certain line of questioning or request the characters might make. On the other hand I've played with players that enjoy hack and slash more than diplomacy, so they actually prefer the dice rolls to the drawn out in-character conversations.

    On a related topic I did run an instant message session of a game a couple years back. During that one the only die rolls were made where I couldn't see them, so I could only assume honesty. There weren't a lot of die rolls during that session because the characters spent most of the time sneaking around and spying. It actually remains one of the more memorable game sessions I have run. Having said that though, I wouldn't choose to run too many sessions like that simply because the focus does shift a bit from the risky elements of combat or whatever to cunning plans and diplomacy.

    You may be surprised to find out that my games are always plot heavy, which could easily lend itself to diceless RPGing. Combat encounters are rarely random, and if the player isn't paying attention, he won't know what to do next. I try not to lead the players by the nose, but at the same time it does no good to plan an adventure and have them turn a tangential encounter into the night's session. I think the dice make the game more interesting. Maybe Amber is different, I haven't played it, but I have a hard time imagining playing a game where there isn't some degree of chance. As a matter of fact, chance seems to be the one thing that most RPG's have in common with most traditional board games.
    Last edited by Baraendur; Tuesday, 24th December, 2002 at 06:16 AM.
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