A discussion of metagame concepts in game design - Page 15
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  1. #141
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morrus View Post
    The Metagame Axis sounds like an evil organization!

    It's about level with 5E on that aspect, I think.
    As a game or an evil organization? :-)

    LOL. Maybe I'll use that as an evil organization in one of my campaigns.

    As you know, I am a rules junky. And while I really like D&D style play (at least some subset of it), I am not sold on a sci-fi game as yet. That is why I asked. Do you have a starter document for your system? One where I could see the basic mechanics etc..

    Edit:
    I checked out the character creation on WOIN. Pretty awesome. I love how you build up the characters backstory. It's definitely something I like in rpgs. So far the luck as used in character creation isn't an issue since it's pre-game setup. I imagine it does get used elsewhere in a problematic way for me but just ditching it doesn't seem that big a deal. Maybe I'm missing something.

    Edit 2:
    I did some investigation and found your starter set. Looks interesting.
    Last edited by Emerikol; Wednesday, 4th July, 2018 at 02:49 PM.

  2. #142
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    Here are some of the roleplaying games I own folks....

    (and probably more but these right off the top of my head)
    All versions of D&D except 5e. I would sell my 4e to a good home if someones interested.
    Pathfinder 1e. Not a whole lot more of their books though.
    GURPS (and tons of support books which I find useful even without Gurps. Gurps Space for example)
    Savage Worlds
    Traveller
    Fate Core (and the book on making your own Fate game)
    RuneQuest
    Numenera
    Star Wars: Edge of Empire
    Top Secret (I own a ton of old books on this game)
    13th Age (yes I bought this KNOWING I wouldn't probably play it just because it had some good ideas I might steal)
    d20 Modern
    Hackmaster (The one that attempted to be a serious game)


    So yes, if there is a game buyers anonymous I need to go.

  3. #143
    Quote Originally Posted by Emerikol View Post
    I've been doing it successfully for years. I just don't tell players what they don't know. I change up monster stats all the time. I once had a player complain that a certain monster could not do what it was doing. My answer "Are you going to trust some dusty old tomes you read in a library or are you going to trust your eyes?" You see only what I tell the players is reality.
    This seems presumptuous, though disputing your claim opens up further conversation that I doubt would be particularly productive for our mutual purposes here.

    You are arguing that metagaming can be fun. I'm saying good for you.
    Thank you, though I do think that you implying that Fate is a "metagame style rpg" comes across as belittling. But I am also arguing that metagaming is a core and inescapable part of gaming.* There are metagaming mechanics that you find acceptable for your gaming preference and can rationalize (e.g., HP, saving throws, etc.) and there are those that you cannot or disrupt your gaming preferences (e.g., fate points). This is why I remarked to Lanefan that this conversation for me is a matter of "picking your metagaming poison" rather than finding games without metagaming or metagaming mechanics.

    * For a more mainstream example of metagaming as part of gameplay, see Basketball. Rules on fouls exist per original intent to discourage and minimize "foul play" from the players, but they are now a fundamental part of how basketball is played at all levels of organized play. You foul to control the tempo of play, particularly the last minutes of the game. You foul to setup plays. You foul to disrupt critical plays. You rotate players to manage your available number of fouls. "Hack-a-Shaq" even became a metagame strategy of intentionally fouling players who routinely make terrible free throw shots. If you change the rules or mechanics, then metagaming does not stop, new metas form around the new norm, which we see time and time again in basketball and other games. To paraphrase the esteemed Jeff Golblum: "the metagame finds a way."

    My way of dealing with the example of the outlaw is just rolling for it. In this town, what are the odds are famous outlaw will be recognized. Just roll for the various patrons. So yes, it is out of the players hands. Some don't like that. But it really is true that the character if he is hiding out doesn't want to be detected OR the character can let that out of the bag himself intentionally.
    I am one of those people. Rolling for it seems like too much work for less payoff. Why not make the story happen now? As a GM it's about having the character make interesting choices at interesting times rather than as a randomized event potentially detached from interesting consequences.

    On this there can be no doubt. I hope I have not in anyway given the impression that I don't agree that people have different tastes and different experiences.
    Of course. It may be beneficial for discussion for you to provide your sense for what constitutes metagaming mechanics. We may still disagree or see this as a double-standard -- this may not be fair for your goals in this thread, but it is unavoidable for such discussions -- but we may have a better sense of where you are coming from. Meanwhile, I will provide some additional suggestions for other systems you may want to check out. I do not know whether you will find their mechanics as metagaming or not, but they are worth looking into for your purposes.

    Dungeon World: It is a more narrative/fiction-first approach to D&D-style fantasy. It's designed to discourage the button-pushing approach of D&D play: "When entering the room, I roll for Perception." Players in DW describe their actions and reactions to the GM's narrative framing (i.e., "this happens, what do you do?") which may trigger "moves" that the player can perform (e.g., hack and slash, defy danger, spout lore, etc.). But it is easily hackable. Bonds may be a bit too metagamey for you, but they also be appropriate for your metagame preferences.

    Black Hack: It has been receiving quite a bit of praise for its rules simplicity and elegance, though I have not yet had a chance to play it.
    The Black Hack is a super-streamlined roleplaying game that uses the Original 1970s Fantasy Roleplaying Game as a base, and could well be the most straightforward modern OSR compatible clone available. If speed of play and character creation, compatibility, and simple - yet elegant rules are what you yearn for. Look no further!

    The Black Hack is a fast playing game and the rules can be picked up in minutes. The full rules fit in a single 20 page A5 book!

    Tiny Dungeon:
    It is a simple rules lite d6 D&D OSR style game.
    Powered by the TinyD6 engine, with streamlined mechanics that utilize only one to three single six-sided dice on every action, characters that can be written 3x5 notecard, and easy to understand and teach rules, Tiny Dungeon 2e is great for all groups, ages, and experience levels!
    Index Card RPG: It is a d20 D&D stripped-down naked. Fast-paced and easy to play. It almost reduces the game to ability scores and loot, including spells. Distinct dice for distinct purposes. Classes are more akin to guidelines of recommended gear, milestone rewards, and abilities. But it is also super easy to hack.
    Last edited by Aldarc; Wednesday, 4th July, 2018 at 02:19 PM.
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  4. #144
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emerikol View Post
    Well, regardless of when this happened it would not be while actually playing the character. If one of my players called me and said "I think I may want to multiclass into Sorcerer" then that would definitely be the player and not the character making that call. Right? So how do I deal with that? Well I could have the dragon blood manifest itself unexpectedly to the character and then play it from there. I admit that my groups don't do a lot of multiclassing especially the caster classes and sorcerer is not popular. My groups tend to be the big 4 and paladins..
    It can be handled in character. There's no way to write down everything that the PC knows about himself. He will in fact know more about himself than the player does if the PC is to be considered to be like a real person, so it's very plausible that the PC knows about dragon blood being in his family and manifesting some of them as sorcerers. With that in mind...

    1. You could have it spontaneously manifest the power as you mentioned above.
    2. The PC over time try to manifest power and eventually succeed.
    3. The PC could start seeking out sages, wizards, or other sources of arcane knowledge, seeking a way to strengthen the blood and/or bring out the power.
    4. Perhaps a pact with a dragon god to become a sorcerer instead of a warlock.
    5. Perhaps he has no dragon blood and needs to kill a dragon and use an arcane ritual he found to infuse the fresh blood of the dead dragon into his body.
    6. Many other ways.
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  5. #145
    Quote Originally Posted by Neonchameleon View Post
    Hit point loss on the other hand represents absolutely nothing at all. Someone is as physically capable of everything except taking damage at 1hp as they are at full hp. If it were anything to do with injury of any sort this would not be the case. So unless hit points are magical force fields then hit point mechanics are pure, raw metagame.
    Indeed. If HP truly represented flesh, meat, or bodily wounds, then we can only conclude that as player characters level-up they gain more mass in flesh.

  6. #146
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aldarc View Post
    This seems presumptuous, though disputing your claim opens up further conversation that I doubt would be particularly productive for our mutual purposes here.
    The problem is that every time I bring up the subject the players who do like metagaming tell me that I'm metagaming too and I should just accept their interpretation. I've went to some lengths to clarify what is and is not metagaming for purposes of our discussion. To keep the peace, I'm willing to take as a given that it is my definition for me. I don't believe that but I can accept it because I don't want this thread to become world war 3.

    And I get that you don't perceive the differences that I perceive. Of course you don't. If you did you'd likely object to them as I do. That is the crux of the issue here. So to the degree you can, just accept that there exists a class of mechanics I don't like. The reason is irrelevant. I've already said I'd give up roleplaying if my only choice was using those mechanics. I'm serious about that.

    So attributes that describe something true about a character in game are not metagame. Actions or decisions decided on by the player for the character which would be unknown to that character or objectionable to the character are metagame. Just take that on faith for now. I've spent years in debate on this which by the way is why Bawylie could go right to the crux of my desires even though he doesn't agree with me.

  7. #147
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxperson View Post
    It can be handled in character. There's no way to write down everything that the PC knows about himself. He will in fact know more about himself than the player does if the PC is to be considered to be like a real person, so it's very plausible that the PC knows about dragon blood being in his family and manifesting some of them as sorcerers. With that in mind...

    1. You could have it spontaneously manifest the power as you mentioned above.
    2. The PC over time try to manifest power and eventually succeed.
    3. The PC could start seeking out sages, wizards, or other sources of arcane knowledge, seeking a way to strengthen the blood and/or bring out the power.
    4. Perhaps a pact with a dragon god to become a sorcerer instead of a warlock.
    5. Perhaps he has no dragon blood and needs to kill a dragon and use an arcane ritual he found to infuse the fresh blood of the dead dragon into his body.
    6. Many other ways.
    I don't generally let my players pull background out of their hats after character creation. We do spend more time on character creation than most groups I'd wager. I actually have a one on one interview with the player to discuss background etc... about the character.

    Some of your other ideas in the list could work as options. Again it's solving a problem I don't have but I appreciate the advice.

  8. #148
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aldarc View Post
    Indeed. If HP truly represented flesh, meat, or bodily wounds, then we can only conclude that as player characters level-up they gain more mass in flesh.
    I don't think that is necessarily true. Suppose we have a fighter that at 1st level has 10 hit points. At 10th level lets say he has 100 just to keep the math easy. When the 1st level fighter takes 1 hit point of damage he is at the same state as when the 10th level fighter takes 10 hit points of damage. The 10th level fighter is just better at minimizing real damage.

    In my games a hit is always contact and some sort of damage. Obviously early on it is minor. It is why I don't accept the quick rest and recover rules of some games.

    Again though we are off track on this thread. There is no need to refight the old wars. You play your way and I will play my way. You playing your way doesn't bother me in the least. I hope that me playing my way doesn't bother you. If it does you need help. The world is a big place and we all have different tastes in gaming.

    So let's stay on track. Anybody at all familiar with different games? I've already figured out how to hack WOIN and it wasn't very hard. I'm thinking I will buy the sci-fi version of that game. Bawylie has some good ideas on D&D 5e. Anybody more familiar with Pf2e and how it's going to work? Will it be easy or hard?

  9. #149
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emerikol View Post
    I don't generally let my players pull background out of their hats after character creation. We do spend more time on character creation than most groups I'd wager. I actually have a one on one interview with the player to discuss background etc... about the character.

    Some of your other ideas in the list could work as options. Again it's solving a problem I don't have but I appreciate the advice.
    I let them come up with things within reason. Real people have more background by age 8 than even the most detailed characters. You just can't think of anywhere near all the things that happens to a PC in the lifetime up to the start of game play. As long as they aren't using background as the Batbelt and pulling out everything they need when they need it, I have no problem with a cool idea or thing coming from background after game play.

    Usually, they will need to link the new thing somehow to something else in the background. For example, if the PC wanted to give advice to a farmer NPC that they need information from on how to grow prize carrots, the player could point to his background where one of his uncles is a farmer to let me know how he would have learned that sort of information. Dragon blood, though, is tougher to link like that, but since multiclassing into sorcerer is allowed pretty freely, I don't have an issue with that being added in after the fact.

    I also understand that it's not a problem you have. I was putting that forward to show how things that may initially seem incompatible can often be made compatible.
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  10. #150
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emerikol View Post
    If it can stay civil, it can be interesting. Not sure my desired outcome though will be achieved. :-)
    You are posting on these boards and criticizing something about 5e. You, sir, are dancing in a minefield. The best possible outcome is to get through the song unscathed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Emerikol View Post
    But how and why do I choose to use HD as a player? It seems more logical to me to say you keep using HD until you are healed up or run out. In fact, I'd just take the average of all the HD, add the number to a pool and draw off that pool until it's gone. The decision making going on here to use or not use a HD is not character decision making.
    If I'm understanding correctly (and my memory still serves me), hit dice are rolled during a short rest and the character recovers that many hit points? So, hit points regained are generated randomly, not fixed?? Now I understand. That IS a terrible mechanic. I don't even like the idea of rolling for hit points when you level up. You know they fixed that in 4e? And healing surges were fixed. You spend one, you gain X hps back. You knew exactly what you needed to spend to get where you wanted to be. Maybe that's the solution, or, as you suggested, a fixed pool of hit points to draw from. Seems easy enough to house rule.

    Quote Originally Posted by Emerikol View Post
    This has been a big debate for a long time and I think most of the people who believe in these "surges" are wrong. It could be a whole different thread though and I'm not sure I want to even go to that thread. All that is going to be said on the matter has been said. You either believe it or don't. I don't. And it's not necessary for anyone to get on here and shout that I'm wrong. We can just agree to disagree. And Jacob, that last sentence was not at you but the whole thread.
    I haven't read through 10+ pages of posts so I'm not up to speed on the disagreement, but I know that telling people they are "wrong" because they believe something you don't usually doesn't win you the popular vote. And of course, if they say you're wrong for not seeing things their way... hey, Welcome to the Boards!!

    I don't know if surges are good or bad. It's something they just put in the game. I don't roleplay every single little action and thought my characters do trying to immerse the narrative so that the game books and mechanics somehow disappear. And it's not wrong if someone else does. But there are other systems out there better at pushing the narrative to the fore front of the game than D&D. To me, D&D was at its best (and sometimes worst!) during 4th Edition because it was being more honest about the kind of game it really is: a tactical fantasy combat game. The rules don't create stories and plot lines and character motivations at my game table. I do that, and those playing with me do that. And we did that quite well, even with 4e. We still can.

    Quote Originally Posted by Emerikol View Post
    Inspiration is a great way to provide metagaming to those that want it though. It is so easy to remove so it doesn't become a problem for those not wanting it. It is there and well defined for those that do. That is a big win in the design space. So I will say I like inspiration in D&D 5e but I would never allow it's use in one of my games.
    I don't really care for it, myself. It's basically a game cheat that is not actually part of the game. You can award it for something you do as a player, not your character. And, if awarded for something your character did as actual "inspiration", there is nothing that suggests it's use must be relative to whatever inspired him/her in the first place! The player can hold on to it for the rest of the session and use it for pretty much any dice check he makes. But as you say, easy to ignore and often just forgotten anyway.

    I don't know what your goal is, whether you're looking for a new system that better suits your style of play, looking to hack current rules to better suit your ideas, or just making conversation. So I don't know if anything I say is helpful, annoying, or offensive. I'll settle for entertaining any day, and thought-provoking on a few others. Hope things work out for you!

    P.S. You listed Edge of the Empire in your collection of games. THAT is the system I found was a great fit for me when I want more roleplaying and storytelling. But I still love tinkering with 4e. I kept all of those, and even collected more that I found in used book stores!

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