A discussion of metagame concepts in game design - Page 17
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  1. #161
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    Quote Originally Posted by Umbran View Post
    That is a bit of the nature of internet discussions. There is a tendency for discussion to drift to poles, even when the people in the discussion originally didn't start at poles.

    Another was, as I had noted - exactly what you counted as "metagaming" wasn't clear. When we both use the same term, but have different meanings, that leads to confusion - specifically, it made you look inconsistent in your position, which may in part drive what you see. Others think X and Y are both metagaming. You don't. So, they see accepting X and Y together as natural, and find it very weird that you cannot.

    If it took someone a year and a half to understand where you were coming from, some difficulties should have been expected.
    I think when you accept metagaming as a desirable part of your play you don't spend any effort to view a mechanic as not metagame. So for example hit points, AC, or whatever. If metagame is okay then you just say it's all metagame because you spend no mental energy solving a problem you don't have. I've never viewed those as metagame precisely because I would never have come to a metagame solution for something and kept playing it. It was quiet easy though on those things to consider them information the character has. Not the names of course but the concepts which is the key for me. Mechanics that sit in an area where interpretation can dictate perspective are okay mechanics. We can just interpret differently. Some mechanics don't fit in that space though.

    I also think that a lot of people did get what I was saying back then right off. Not all of them consider it a deal breaker obviously. Bawylie took a bit longer and others just never got it. I do think to give Bawylie credit he was trying whereas I think in some cases some of the others weren't. They did not want to concede that 4e had cross the line in a big way in areas where the previous editions had just flirted with the idea often in books outside the core. I don't know why because even I admitted the mechanics aren't evil or anything just different. They satisfy a different sort of playstyle desire.

    One of our biggest debates was over whether I could devise a formula that would include all of my objectionable mechanics while include none of the others. For some reason they considered it incredibly important that I not be able to show that. I don't know why. My personal opinion is that I could but they disagree. It's why I made so many pre-qualifications for this topic above. I was trying to avoid the reigniting of all these debates. I was like...just solve the problem for me instead of solve it for this class of players.

  2. #162
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lanefan View Post
    Which tells me that where damage to other players' PCs just affects their flesh, with yours it goes straight to the bone.

    Got it.
    That's bad to the bone, buddy. Bad to the bone. And don't you forget it!

  3. #163
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelSomething View Post
    It could be said that 4E was a very extreme edition; in that in order to make the game balanced/newbie friendly/tactical/whatever it had to sacrifice many, many, MANY sacred cows.

    So @Emerikol , how far are you willing to go to eliminate metagaming? What is the price you'll pay? Are you willing to as far as 4E did in order to remake the game into what you want???

    From what I read so far, it sounds like you'll willing to go quite far.
    For my game, I will go very far. Just realize that core 1e, 2e, and 3e were okay for me. Perhaps I should say super-core.
    1. Fighter, Wizard/Magic-User, Rogue/Thief, Cleric + maybe Paladin were the only classes I had to have work.
    2. Only the PHB was allowed in the game without DM approval.
    3. Most splat books were ignored.

    I am not 100% certain that Pf2e won't work out of the box either. I'm waiting to see. If the only thing objectionable is a widget that has replacements already available then I don't really have a problem. I just ban the individual widgets. In this case when I say widget I mean feat but it could be any replaceable widget.

    I like games in general where there are enough choices that banning individual items doesn't require me to create new rules to fix the loss. I wish 5e had put Second Wind and Action Surge on a subtype. Bawylies ideas were good though and I believe I could pretty easily house rule 5e. What is funny for me though is that the game is probably way to easy for my group anyway so maybe when I make the healing changes I don't do anything to compensate. Maybe now the game is just hard enough for them.

  4. #164
    This seems like it causes consternation in some people. I personally, have always just understood it to be a balance issue. Designers are always trying to balance the game, and sometimes to do that, one has to have meta-mechanics. Earlier games didn't seem to have as much of it because the need for balance wasn't as great. Gamma World anyone? The paladin in D&D 1e? Again, not as much balance, and in my eyes, not as much meta-gaming mechanics. They were there, yes, but not as much.
    That said, I believe all of them can be explained through narrative. It may be a stretch at times, but we've all seen a stretch, even in real life. I mean, c'mon, those poor students trapped in a cave. Could things go more right and wrong at the same time? (Fingers crossed, hopes and thoughts, and good dice rolls is what I am sure we are all wishing.)

  5. #165
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Christian View Post
    This seems like it causes consternation in some people. I personally, have always just understood it to be a balance issue. Designers are always trying to balance the game, and sometimes to do that, one has to have meta-mechanics. Earlier games didn't seem to have as much of it because the need for balance wasn't as great. Gamma World anyone? The paladin in D&D 1e? Again, not as much balance, and in my eyes, not as much meta-gaming mechanics. They were there, yes, but not as much.
    I've been accused of trying to keep the martials down by being against metagaming. I also admit I'll take martials that need magic items to equalize if the only other option is metagame mechanics. If you don't care though, as I suspect the D&D designers don't, then why throw away a wide open design space.


    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Christian View Post
    That said, I believe all of them can be explained through narrative. It may be a stretch at times, but we've all seen a stretch, even in real life. I mean, c'mon, those poor students trapped in a cave. Could things go more right and wrong at the same time? (Fingers crossed, hopes and thoughts, and good dice rolls is what I am sure we are all wishing.)
    It gets people worked up no doubt. Mainly because I think they perceive especially during the 5e design period that I was trying to keep their style of play out of the game. I was primarily just trying to keep my style in as an option. I failed by the way but I thought the effort worth it.

    And sure there are far worse things than gaming disputes. I think we all enjoy some degree of it but we also have a hard time keeping it under control. I think we are doing better than we used to though. I'm not going to emotionally invest so heavily in the hopes a game company will satisfy my desires for a game.
    XP Scott Christian gave XP for this post

  6. #166
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emerikol View Post
    For my game, I will go very far. Just realize that core 1e, 2e, and 3e were okay for me. Perhaps I should say super-core.
    1. Fighter, Wizard/Magic-User, Rogue/Thief, Cleric + maybe Paladin were the only classes I had to have work.
    2. Only the PHB was allowed in the game without DM approval.
    3. Most splat books were ignored.

    I am not 100% certain that Pf2e won't work out of the box either. I'm waiting to see. If the only thing objectionable is a widget that has replacements already available then I don't really have a problem. I just ban the individual widgets. In this case when I say widget I mean feat but it could be any replaceable widget.

    I like games in general where there are enough choices that banning individual items doesn't require me to create new rules to fix the loss. I wish 5e had put Second Wind and Action Surge on a subtype. Bawylies ideas were good though and I believe I could pretty easily house rule 5e. What is funny for me though is that the game is probably way to easy for my group anyway so maybe when I make the healing changes I don't do anything to compensate. Maybe now the game is just hard enough for them.
    Its not so much that 5th edition is too easy - its more like the default setting is too easy for you. Taking the average values for damage expression and monster hit points, or designing only medium-difficulty encounters would not be a sufficient challenge at your table.

    The underlying math system is robust enough to work at the difficulty you want, though. Just turn the heat up a bit from the default on the page. For instance, each monster has a damage listing for their attacks that give both a fixed value and a dice expression. Like 5 (1d6+2) piercing damage. And you can just use 5, or roll. But you could also use a fixed value of 8 instead.

    They do the same with by points. The default is average but the dice expression permits a wide range. So just use the higher end of the range.

  7. #167
    Quote Originally Posted by Emerikol View Post
    I also think that a lot of people did get what I was saying back then right off. Not all of them consider it a deal breaker obviously. Bawylie took a bit longer and others just never got it. I do think to give Bawylie credit he was trying whereas I think in some cases some of the others weren't. They did not want to concede that 4e had cross the line in a big way in areas where the previous editions had just flirted with the idea often in books outside the core. I don't know why because even I admitted the mechanics aren't evil or anything just different. They satisfy a different sort of playstyle desire.

    One of our biggest debates was over whether I could devise a formula that would include all of my objectionable mechanics while include none of the others. For some reason they considered it incredibly important that I not be able to show that. I don't know why. My personal opinion is that I could but they disagree. It's why I made so many pre-qualifications for this topic above. I was trying to avoid the reigniting of all these debates. I was like...just solve the problem for me instead of solve it for this class of players.
    The problem is that I can predict with extremely high accuracy what you will consider metagaming and what you will not through one simple algorithm. Is it made from parts that are either classic D&D or from classic 80s physics-sim design. The problem is that this category is not anything to do with the sort of choices you make or resource mechanics you have. It is entirely and completely to do with how familiar you are with those mechanics.

    If you were to say "This is not to my taste" I would shrug. I've a pretty clear understanding of your taste. When you say "My problem is [thing]" I am going to want to explore the bounds of [thing] because I enjoy game design - and because one of the key aspects of a class based system is that it enjoys players with very different preferences to sit down at the same table and all have fun as long as they have at least the flexibility to accept that not every class must cater in every way to them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Emerikol View Post
    I've been accused of trying to keep the martials down by being against metagaming. I also admit I'll take martials that need magic items to equalize if the only other option is metagame mechanics. If you don't care though, as I suspect the D&D designers don't, then why throw away a wide open design space.
    First, this is an entirely different thing from metagame mechanics. If we use Circe as the fictional inspiration for the wizard, why not Hercules or Cu-Cuchlain for the fighter? And if we use a random real world fighter for the fighter basis, why not a stage magician for the wizard? I'm serious here. One of my fundamental problems with non-4e WotC fighters is, even once you get past them being unable to make meaningful decisions in the very area that form the basis of them being an expert fighter like how to pace themselves, is that we're playing Ars Magica or Harry Potter with wizards and muggles.

    Second, Gygax and Arneson both used magic items as a balancing mechanic. If you look at the 1E DMG the magic items table is not just weighted towards magic weapons, but roughly 60% of all magic weapons were swords which the fighter could use and the cleric couldn't. Also swords reached +5, most weapons reached +3. And all the intelligent weapons on the magic item table were swords, which was another huge boost in power for the fighters. (3.0 of course proceeded to flush all this and the most accessible magic items in that game were scrolls, while you could get about three wands of cure light wounds for the cost of a single +1 sword).
    XP heretic888, MichaelSomething, Aldarc, Nytmare, pemerton gave XP for this post

  8. #168
    Quote Originally Posted by Emerikol View Post
    For my game, I will go very far. Just realize that core 1e, 2e, and 3e were okay for me. Perhaps I should say super-core.
    1. Fighter, Wizard/Magic-User, Rogue/Thief, Cleric + maybe Paladin were the only classes I had to have work.
    2. Only the PHB was allowed in the game without DM approval.
    3. Most splat books were ignored.

    I am not 100% certain that Pf2e won't work out of the box either. I'm waiting to see. If the only thing objectionable is a widget that has replacements already available then I don't really have a problem. I just ban the individual widgets. In this case when I say widget I mean feat but it could be any replaceable widget.

    I like games in general where there are enough choices that banning individual items doesn't require me to create new rules to fix the loss. I wish 5e had put Second Wind and Action Surge on a subtype. Bawylies ideas were good though and I believe I could pretty easily house rule 5e. What is funny for me though is that the game is probably way to easy for my group anyway so maybe when I make the healing changes I don't do anything to compensate. Maybe now the game is just hard enough for them.
    Have you looked into any of my TTRPG recommendations yet?

    I also have another: Beyond the Wall and Other Adventures. It combines Basic/1e OSR and more contemporary game design.

  9. #169
    Quote Originally Posted by Emerikol View Post
    I think when you accept metagaming as a desirable part of your play you don't spend any effort to view a mechanic as not metagame. So for example hit points, AC, or whatever. If metagame is okay then you just say it's all metagame because you spend no mental energy solving a problem you don't have. I've never viewed those as metagame precisely because I would never have come to a metagame solution for something and kept playing it. It was quiet easy though on those things to consider them information the character has. Not the names of course but the concepts which is the key for me. Mechanics that sit in an area where interpretation can dictate perspective are okay mechanics. We can just interpret differently. Some mechanics don't fit in that space though.

    I also think that a lot of people did get what I was saying back then right off. Not all of them consider it a deal breaker obviously. Bawylie took a bit longer and others just never got it. I do think to give Bawylie credit he was trying whereas I think in some cases some of the others weren't. They did not want to concede that 4e had cross the line in a big way in areas where the previous editions had just flirted with the idea often in books outside the core. I don't know why because even I admitted the mechanics aren't evil or anything just different. They satisfy a different sort of playstyle desire.

    One of our biggest debates was over whether I could devise a formula that would include all of my objectionable mechanics while include none of the others. For some reason they considered it incredibly important that I not be able to show that. I don't know why. My personal opinion is that I could but they disagree. It's why I made so many pre-qualifications for this topic above. I was trying to avoid the reigniting of all these debates. I was like...just solve the problem for me instead of solve it for this class of players.
    METAGAME
    n. A game about games; a game based on exploiting the rules etc. of some other game, at a higher level than simply playing the game normally.

    Metagaming is something we do, not something a game is.

    You have a short list of things that are a problem.
    Just cut them. You're the DM, it's your job. Give the fighter more magic items if you feel sorry for him and move on.
    Last edited by Ted Serious; Saturday, 7th July, 2018 at 02:20 PM.

  10. #170
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    This wasn't really supposed to be a discussion of what is or isn't metagaming. Emerikol was quite clear that he wasn't looking for a fight, just suggestions on games that might fit his preference. I mean, I kinda get it. I wanted to leap in and defend my preferred "meta-gamey" games too, and I think I might have hit xp on some Fate defender posts, but I think it's pretty clear on what was asked. I don't agree with Emerikol on his definition of metagame, and we play a very different kind of game, but I'm having no trouble understanding what kind of game he's looking for. So...
    1. WOIN
    2. AGE
    3. Castles and Crusades
    4.Runequest
    5.Warhammer(earlier edition)
    6. The Warhammer clone that I can't remember title of
    7. Lamentations of the Flame Princess
    8. Legend of the Five Rings (pre Fantasy Flight)
    Aldarc' s suggestion of Beyond the Wall is good one too.
    XP Aldarc, Emerikol gave XP for this post

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