D&D 4th Edition Convincing 4th Edition players to consider 5th Edition - Page 59





  1. #581
    Quote Originally Posted by pemerton View Post
    I haven't disputed this, and don't dispute it. As I posted, my concern is with the potential conflict of interest. As I said upthread, I don't think that the GM and the players are symmetrically positioned.
    DMs and players are not the same, and DMs do face any number of potential conflicts based on the different goals they are supposed to be achieving (roleplaying NPCs, refereeing the game, directing the story). They have to balance all those conflicts instantaneously in their heads. It's really hard.

    That's what makes them so special. With great power comes...no...must...resist...cliche...
    "Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose"

 

  • #582
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    ° Ignore pemerton
    Quote Originally Posted by Ahnehnois View Post
    DMs and players are not the same, and DMs do face any number of potential conflicts based on the different goals they are supposed to be achieving (roleplaying NPCs, refereeing the game, directing the story). They have to balance all those conflicts instantaneously in their heads. It's really hard.

    That's what makes them so special. With great power comes...no...must...resist...cliche...
    Sure, but I think there are some techniques that can facilitate this, at least for a certain sort of play.

    If the principal goal of the players is immersion in a story where the bulk of the fiction is generated by the GM - I think a lot of Cthulhu play is like this, to give a non-D&D example - then the GM's conflicts of interest are less important, because they won't get in the way of that immersion.

    But the sort of play I'm talking about, where I think the conflicts of interest can matter, is play which makes player agency, as well as or even instead of player immersion, more important.

  • #583
    Quote Originally Posted by pemerton View Post
    For me, the "unexpected results" aspect of social mechanics is the most important. That's why I personally enjoy a skill-challenge style resolution system, where the mechanics oblige the GM and the players to continue to introduce new content into the situation (via further skill checks from the players, and further narration of the resolution of those checks from the GM). That new content, as it feeds on earlier-introduced content, produces results that no one at the table anticpated or was aiming for going into the situation.
    I enjoy this as well.
    Quote Originally Posted by pemerton View Post
    In a system without morale rules, for example, a GM who has the monsters break of combat and flee may be doing one of several things... But I don't think s/he can easily and plausibly say "I was just playing my NPC/monster accordig to its character - I'm not responsible for how it changed the situation."
    I emphatically disagree with this. Just utterly. I mean, yes, you are "responsible" for changing the situation, but that can easily and plausibly not be the intent of that decision, other than the NPC/monster deciding that running is "best" for it ("best" as defined by its thought process within the fiction, that you're currently RPing for it).

    I agree or slightly disagree with some other stuff you've said since this post, but overall I'm not overly invested in the rest. Suffice it to say that I like the X successes be fore 3 failures resolution system, but only with complications on a failure and the game progressing between each check. I feel that 4e usually covers these bases. I feel that extended contests with require multiple successes (such as from White Wolf, in my experience) tend to fall a little more flat. They're a good enough mechanic in that they make the check less binary, and therefore more nuanced (which I can appreciate), but the general lack of complications arising plus the fiction moving forward make the whole thing feel rather mechanical. Skill challenges, when done well, don't suffer from this, in my experience. Obviously others disagree, but I'm just posting my feelings on it. As always, play what you like
    As always, play what you like

  • #584
    Quote Originally Posted by Ahnehnois View Post
    DMs and players are not the same, and DMs do face any number of potential conflicts based on the different goals they are supposed to be achieving (roleplaying NPCs, refereeing the game, directing the story). They have to balance all those conflicts instantaneously in their heads. It's really hard.

    That's what makes them so special. With great power comes...no...must...resist...cliche...
    Quote Originally Posted by pemerton View Post
    Sure, but I think there are some techniques that can facilitate this, at least for a certain sort of play.

    If the principal goal of the players is immersion in a story where the bulk of the fiction is generated by the GM - I think a lot of Cthulhu play is like this, to give a non-D&D example - then the GM's conflicts of interest are less important, because they won't get in the way of that immersion.

    But the sort of play I'm talking about, where I think the conflicts of interest can matter, is play which makes player agency, as well as or even instead of player immersion, more important.
    Please, understand I am not picking on you two, I just quoted some shorter posts on this page from people I believe I have both +XP'd in this thread. This is really a question for everyone at this point. That said:

    What does any of this have to do with convincing 4e players to play 5e?

  • #585
    Quote Originally Posted by Harlock View Post
    What does any of this have to do with convincing 4e players to play 5e?
    Very little, admittedly. I just find it more expedient to respond to posts where they are rather than starting a new, topical thread. Others can feel free to start new threads, or mods can feel free to direct discussion as they please, I just read certain posts and feel I should post a response.
    "Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose"

  • #586
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    ° Ignore Tony Vargas
    Quote Originally Posted by Harlock View Post
    What does any of this have to do with convincing 4e players to play 5e?
    Well, the issue of 'player agency' is one that some of us 4e fans find important, which 4e provides well and 5e is not exactly setting itself up to do much of - at least, not across all classes.

  • #587
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Vargas View Post
    Well, the issue of 'player agency' is one that some of us 4e fans find important, which 4e provides well and 5e is not exactly setting itself up to do much of - at least, not across all classes.
    I am curious what player agency means when used by 4e fans. To me player agency sounds like something I would value (i have nly encountered it when discussing computer game). My understanding is it has to do with my ability to interact with and affect the setting. But I suspect there may be a divide between people who favor the 4e approach and people who favor a more traditional approach in terms of what this means in play and mechanically. For example to me it is important the players have the freedom to interact with the game world, that they not be railroaded and the Gm make an effort to incorporate their actions into the game logically (i.e. If the players kill the mayor of Ghastholm there should be a series of events and developments that logically flow from this and possibly shape the state of the setting). For me, it is still critical for the GM to be the ultimate source of setting though. I dont want the players to have mechanics for exampe that give them control over the setting (such as introducing conflicts, solutions or developments that are traditionally int he hands of the GM). I am not opposed to others taking a different approach. Just curious how the 4e fans see character agency, what they want from it, etc. Not trying to challenge it, but looking for some clarity so I can understand their point of view (preferably a jargon-free clarification)
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  • #588
    Quote Originally Posted by pemerton View Post
    I haven't disputed this, and don't dispute it. As I posted, my concern is with the potential conflict of interest. As I said upthread, I don't think that the GM and the players are symmetrically positioned.
    This is a fair concern and one every GM has to judge for himself. We all have areas we are less comfortable resolving without procedure I believe. Most GMs want an attack roll for example and don't feel they could be impartial determinig hits and damage freeform. In terms of character interaction, I find this isn't a problem for me personally. In fact, i find outcomes are much more fair in my own games the less we use social skill rolls or similar mechanics. But for lots of other parts of the game I do want procedures. So I think there is a place here where we agree.

    I want to feel like I am inhabiting a living world. This isn't for everyone, but to me it is important. Anytime I feel the GM is pushing a storyline on me or that I am pushing a storyline on my players, it just kind of ruins the experience (I did recently blog about the issue if anyone is interested:
    The Bedrock Blog: No Railroad. No Metaplot.). Again this is just my preference stemming from my own experiences at the table where I realized player freedom is crucial to my funat the table.

    So, as a GM i share your fondness of procedures where I don't trust myself to make a flat choice. When it comes to NPCs, i am fine because I can get in character enough that it just works. But for other things like encounters or significant natural events, I feel my own sense of pacing and drama would impact my decision. So i would rather roll randomly for encounters. Recently, when it became clear my Roman game would have divine intervention from the gods, I didn't want to do it without a procedure because I knew my own sense of what is dramatically appropriate would lead tonless than objextive decisions. I ended up making a divine intervention sysytem, where I roll anytime the players do something heroic or exemely wicked. Its a small chance the god takes notice. If the god takes notice he most likely bestows a small blessing/curse, but there is an even smaller chance that he performs a miracle or awesome display of wrath (or selects the player as his annointed servant).
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  • #589
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Vargas View Post
    Well, the issue of 'player agency' is one that some of us 4e fans find important, which 4e provides well and 5e is not exactly setting itself up to do much of - at least, not across all classes.
    See, this leans more toward edition warring than convincing 4e-philes to make the switch. What 5e is setting itself up to do remains to be seen. A single playtest document and smattering of articles does not a released system make. I understand, you're a cynic, but some of us are realists. Also, please keep in mind I wasn't speaking to those posts specifically, which I stated clearly. I was merely hoping to get away from the "my system is better than your system" crap we've been seeing and more to the supposed purpose of the OP.

  • #590
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    ° Ignore Tony Vargas
    Quote Originally Posted by Harlock View Post
    See, this leans more toward edition warring than convincing 4e-philes to make the switch.
    Not at all. 5e is supposed to try to include the best of all editions. I'm pointing out a positive of 4e that is not only not in 5e so far, but to which the 5e 'DM empowerment' kick is antithetical. 5e is going to have to allow for groups that want players to have more input into the development of the story, and, for that matter, DMs who don't want to make & re-balance the mechanics of the game as they go.

    Saying something good about an edition that we'd like to see in 4e is exactly what we're supposed to do /instead of edition warring/, and it's precisely the topic of this thread.

    What 5e is setting itself up to do remains to be seen. A single playtest document and smattering of articles does not a released system make.
    I'm sorry, but I refuse to give credit for vaporware. The current direction of 5e, based on what we've seen, is to have incomplete, barely functional rules, and let the DM fill in the blanks and fix them. It puts a huge burden on the DM and robs the players of the ability to define their characters, arrange dramatic moments for them that add to the developing story.

    For that matter, even the vaporware aspect hasn't promised much in the line of improving core to the point that it won't be a pain for new or casual or busy DMs, nor of giving players any of the aforementioned 'agency' to take some of that burden off the DM.

    These are things 4e did very well, using systems that 5e could easily have built upon or adapted.

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