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Tuesday, 14th August, 2012, 12:49 AM #591
Myrmidon (Lvl 10)
Tuesday, 14th August, 2012, 01:07 AM #592
The Great Druid (Lvl 17)
Shallow immersion is more akin to character acting. It's all about the external portrait painted. The shared experience may be moving, and experienced as such by the participants, but not directly because of the link between character and player.
So were you previously a deep immersionist, but found it unsatisfying and eventually changed? Or were you more of a shallow immersionist that discovered process sim wasn't getting the job done and/or was too limiting for you?
The reason I ask is that my critique above is not to cast aspersions on deep immersionists. They got enough flak in the 1990s to last them a lifetime. Rather, I'm trying to explore why there seems to be a brick wall between deep and shallow immersionists on questions of game mechanics, where all of us keep butting our heads. My current best guess is that deep immersionists like being in the audience while the magic show goes on. So they strongly resist any attempt to get them to peek behind the curtain. Meanwhile, a shallow immersionist is all about ripping the curtain back to better understand how the trick works, so we can all do it at the same table.
Tuesday, 14th August, 2012, 01:35 AM #593
Time Agent (Lvl 24)
There are a fairly large number of 4e gamers whose playstyle finally got recognized and supported. It's not that you're is badwrongfun. It's that we finally got an edition that said that ours isn't either.
Tuesday, 14th August, 2012, 01:44 AM #594
Time Agent (Lvl 24)
Tuesday, 14th August, 2012, 02:05 AM #595
Time Agent (Lvl 24)
Oh, and on the point about Legolas and using "just a balance check". Here's the clip:
Let's see, the odds of actually doing this in 3e are pretty low. You'd have to make the balance check and then make several attacks at serious penalty. Which, of course, is entirely moot because Leggylass makes multiple attacks and moves, which is flat out impossible in 3e. In 4e, it's a "Shift X and make a Burst Y attack" daily power. Fairly common for rangers.
Tuesday, 14th August, 2012, 03:04 AM #596
Grandfather of Assassins (Lvl 19)
The first question is whether Legolas's shield surfing changed what he was actually doing - was it fundamentally different from running down the stairs. 3.0 being simulationist would as a rule say "He's sliding down the stairs on a shield. Wtf? Balance check!" 4e being more character-driven and cinematic would say "Can he get that far without the shield? Let him do it." Although some DMs of each would fit the other category. This is playstyle and worldbuilding - but 4e indicates one way, 3.X the other.
The second point is opportunity attacks. At a rough count, Legolas in 3.X would have given the orcs six AoOs to use against him there. In 4e rangers can sometimes shift pretty far - so no OAs (and being an elf, difficult terrain like stairs doesn't slow him when shifting). Trying that stunt in 3.X would have turned Legolas into cuisineart.
The third point is the number of arrows sliding down the stairs. Four - and Legolas is moving. That's not a full round attack. So no Rapid Shot. And Manyshot specifies a single opponent. Four arrows at four orcs in one standard action? Not happening in 3.X. A burst 1 attack making a shot against each enemy in the burst? That's a standard at will for a Hunter.
So shield-surfing like that? Almost entirely RAW for a 4e character set up to perform stunts like that. (Of course this is a slightly unfair comparison because I'm pretty sure that the 4e archer ranger was at least inspired by movie!Legolas).
This doesn't mean that you can't play Legolas doing that without AEDU powers. Feng Shui doesn't have AEDU but I could do that with a feng shui archer with a couple of gun schticks. It just isn't something that could happen in pre-4e D&D.
Tuesday, 14th August, 2012, 04:24 AM #597
Grandmaster of Flowers (Lvl 18)
@Crazy Jerome Hmmm...by that specificity of jargon, I would be referring to your "shallow immersionist" for my players. However, I would say the reasoning that I applied in the prior post would apply to a "deep immersionist", if not more-so, as it would be impossible to legitimately, intellectually honestly (there may be the rub) "possess" a fictitious body if the world and its mechanics are premised upon a model whose internal consistency is a volatile concoction of mild empiricism, psuedo-empiricism masquerading as empiricism, and mush with no pretensions toward either of the former.
Given that my experience in gaming is exclusively as a GM/DM, then I would say that neither apply to me as, while I inhabit my NPCs in a hybrid of Actor and Author Stance, I'm also constantly meta-gaming in Director Stance. Therefore, I don't believe that it is truly possible for a DM to be "immersed" in the same sense that a PC is "immersed." Its more like the role of "Parent as Santa Claus Legend" during the Christmas season. You're both playing Santa Claus through present facilitation (Actor), while perpetuating the myth of Santa Claus through passing along the narrative to your children and all that entails (Author), and orchestrating the myth through the tree, the letter to Santa, the cookies and milk, etc (Director).
Tuesday, 14th August, 2012, 05:53 AM #598
The Great Druid (Lvl 17)
I doubt it is possible for a DM to deep immerse on a routine basis, even if that same person otherwise does as a player. Though if the techniques work as reported, it might be possible in a game with only a handful of NPCs.
I'm not even a deep immersionists at all, but once ran a murder mystery adventure where there were three characters that really caught my fancy. One was the murderer and the other two were witnesses that the party needed to interview, and that were never "on screen" at the same time. And actually were sequential, as the murderer killed one, and the other one fled.
So I did get inside the head of those three characters somewhat, in turn, and treated every other NPC, thug, and townsperson as mere color. It also helped that we were playing with an experienced group that knew their characters really well, and thus there weren't many DM rulings required. If I can do that without even trying, I suspect a deep immersionist can do better with a lone NPC when the setup is right.
Tuesday, 14th August, 2012, 06:39 AM #599
Grandmaster of Flowers (Lvl 18)
There appears to be a bit of overlap here with the PC immersion with respect to "dissociative mechanics" only from the other side of the screen. The DMs mechanical toolkit of intangibles is creativity, improvisation, logic, a knack for multi-tasking, quick-wit, math-capability, a wide breadth of knowledge and an understanding of the human condition. His means of bringing an NPC to life is by way of "inhabitance" while also meta-gaming using many of the above skills simultaneously. However, unlike a PC, his motives are underwritten by express purpose of creating good fiction (rather than "inhabitance" being the sought end"). Given that his position is facilitator of the fiction/an internally consistent world (as much as possible), it seems that by the very nature of his meta-agenda, it would be impossible to be truly "deeply immersed"...therefore, he is embroiled in perpetual "dissociation" with respect to his capacity for "inhabitance" of NPCs.
If this is true (and I believe it is), I wonder why Justin Alexander has never raged against the dastardly, inherent nature of balancing meta-agenda with NPC "inhabitance" as a DM/GM. Perhaps he just PCs as it would seem that as DM he would be hoist with his own petard. Or perhaps, maybe just as likely, his finding of "dissociation" as unpalatable only runs downstream (with the DM being upstream). This may be likely as it seems that a decent number of folks feel that the job of a PC is to steadfastly "inhabit" the PC in 1st person while putting a magnifying glass at all stimulus and demanding transparency of premeditated rationale to confirm internal consistency for stuff they want to be "physically coherent"...and seemingly putting blinders on for stuff that they don't realize is inconsistent/incoherent...or they don't care if it is inconsistent/incoherent...or its inconsistency/incoherency is "charming" or a "Legacy" issue and thus, they're ok with using post-hoc justification there.
I don't know. Its all maddening to me. Hence why I took the red pill and climbed out of the rabbit hole.
Tuesday, 14th August, 2012, 08:15 AM #600
Spellbinder (Lvl 16)
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I know Hussar is on record as saying that 4e is "under the surface" much closer to 3e than 3e is to 1e, but based SOLELY on the 4e system as presented in the initial 3 core rulebooks, I don't know how anyone can really make that claim. Yeah, it's roll d20 and get the highest number possible, but the entire baseline "structure" for class development is nothing like 3e. How many GMs have gone on record on these forums saying that they could convert 80-90% of characters from 1e up to 3e without much difficulty, but had to start over with 4e? Even pemerton freely admits that the kind of D&D he plays / GMs is not anywhere explicitly "defined" within the core 4e rulebooks; it's taken lots "shaking up" with input from other sources.
And yes, to some degree people who have played prior editions have learned to just gloss over the metagame inconsistencies.....but then they've been around long enough for the "glossing over" to take hold, and players and GMs have oodles and oodles of advice and house rules on how to hammer down the "proud nails."
Believe me, though, I totally get the frustration with 3e not just mechanically, but in terms of coherency. I think my recent frustration with 3e and Pathfinder came from the fact that I wanted those rule sets to be internally consistent as stand-alone entities. But 3e was never meant to be "internally consistent" as a stand-alone; it's meant to be internally consistent with the D&D family of RPGs. D&D 3e is waaaaay better when it doesn't have to be "D&D," but can just be a great fantasy RPG (Fantasy Craft).
As far as "taking the red pill," I'm definitely off the 3.x / Pathfinder bandwagon. They're good systems, but are too beholden to "being D&D" for my taste anymore. They don't intersect with what I'm really looking for in a fantasy RPG to make them my preferred system(s). I just found that 4e wasn't my next "go to," and went a different direction entirely.
At this point, my problem with 4e isn't that I don't rationally understand its merits, or logically recognize what it improves over 3e. It's that deep down, I just don't "grok" 4e's style of fantasy RPG. I wouldn't even know how to begin mixing the metagame constructs with what I consider "classic D&D tropes." Now, take me out of D&D and throw me into FATE (Legends of Anglerre) and I TOTALLY GET how narrative metagaming works....but it's not trying to be D&D.
Anyway, sort of rambling now, so I'm off.
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