A discussion of metagame concepts in game design - Page 19
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  1. #181
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neonchameleon View Post
    It has nothing out of necessity to do with 80s games. It has everything observationally to do with 80s RPGs.
    Well it is true that games suddenly started using those types of mechanics in larger doses at some point on the timeline. I assume people like yourself really enjoyed those innovations and thus they were used more. In some cases it may just have been the designer not even knowing an issue existed for some people.



    Quote Originally Posted by Neonchameleon View Post
    Not everyone is you. I'd probably be quite happy playing a wizard in your game who came from across the sea. I wouldn't be happy playing a fighter in your game.
    Well who knows but my guess is that you wouldn't enjoy my game. We won't ever know so let's leave it at that.


    Quote Originally Posted by Neonchameleon View Post
    To me this makes as much sense as a blanket statement as "the food I find objectionable I find objectionable no matter whether it is on my plate or the plate of someone else at the restaurant".
    No. It shows a complete lack of understanding of how these mechanics affect people who don't like them. If something breaks your immersion or causes the feel of the game to be wrong, that happens regardless of who is doing it. It's silly to think you could ignore the entire game except for your own characters actions.


    Quote Originally Posted by Neonchameleon View Post
    If I am playing a fighter with an actual brain who paces himself between combats, who thinks, and works on outmaneuvering his opponents this interferes with your having fun because you, in your lack of understanding how real world athletes and warriors actually work think that my making in character decisions is somehow objectionable just because you don't think people ever pace themselves in athletic events.

    To me it's no skin off my nose if you want to play a fighter like a complete dunce at the area they are supposed to be focussed on. What he does is believable and if we are going out for a group meal I don't care what is on your plate as long as it stays on your plate even if it is just tofu and ramen. I don't have to think about things that way. And what reaches the gaming table is workable.
    And now comes the judgment. This doesn't even deserve a response. My fighters traditionally have been one of the most important to my game and loads of fun to play. I always have more trouble finding spell casters.



    Quote Originally Posted by Neonchameleon View Post
    And many others didn't, and more still dropped after trying the fighter. Also there was a difference between those different fighters, in part due to the combat scheme.

    You here are saying "Because some people liked the classic fighter no one is ever allowed to play any other interpretation of the fighter as an archetype." I'm saying "Some people like the simple fighter. Others find it cripplingly anti-immersive because the way you need to think for one is nothing like an actual fighter. And a third group of people like it because it's anti-immersive with no thought required and you can just smash things. That doesn't mean a 'simple mechanics fighter' should be banned. It means that other options should be available."
    NO I AM NOT. I am saying in my game there can be no metagame mechanics. I don't mind anyone else doing anything they want. You are getting all upset and offended about what goes on in one group. Why do you care if someone else in a different group plays in a different style? You seem to have an attitude where you want everyone to accept your presumptions about what is a good game. Why? Live and let live.


    Quote Originally Posted by Neonchameleon View Post
    I like quite a lot of styles of play from classic pawn play dungeon crawling to complete metagame heavy collaborative storytelling to immersed improv-with-dice.

    What I am pointing out is that you personally can not stand someone having what you consider BadWrongFun by making decisions that real people in the situation would make - and indeed in your own words you find people having an understanding of the world different to yours to be "objectionable". This is where I have a serious disagreement with you. First that your understanding of the world is just plain wrong. Second that you find that other people having a different understanding from you to be "objectionable".
    AT MY GAME TABLE!!!!! It doesn't bother me one iota that it exists which is something I'm coming to believe you don't grant me.


    Quote Originally Posted by Neonchameleon View Post
    And one answer to this is to realise how arbitrary your preferences are and to not sweat the small stuff.
    Why would I play games that are not fun? Would you?

  2. #182
    Quote Originally Posted by Emerikol View Post
    It's hard for me to comment greatly on the details of a system I have not read. I am though not at all averse to games that allow you to build a character history. Though of course that "generic" history has to be fit into the specifics of the campaign world. WOIN does this pretty well. You might be a wizards apprentice as your origin but which wizard and where still has to be decided in game.
    It's similar with Beyond the Wall. However, BtW is more young adult oriented. It takes inspiration from the novels of Ursula LeGuin (Earthsea), Lloyd Alexander (Chronicles of Prydain), Tolkien (The Hobbit), and arguably the first few books of Robert Jordan (Wheel of Time), where it is often about relatively young heroes exploring beyond the bounds of their lifelong homes and grow into heroes. It's why playbooks are generally are akin to "Would-Be Knight," "Self-Taught Mage," "Young Woodsman," or "Untested Thief," etc. You may be level 1 in the game, but you are level 0 in life. As such, BtW generally assumes that your characters belong to the same village or town.

    Your background questions are generally about your history in this town: who are your parents? how were you distinguished as a child? how did you learn your trade? Who was village adult who you were close with? But most of these answers are fairly generic and give the player and GM room to collaboratively create. It's really about basic things like, "Okay, Player 2. You get to create and place a location in the town. Since you rolled that your parents are blacksmiths, perhaps you should add a smithy." Your players will create the minimum and then you get to fill in the rest.

    I didn't mean to imply it was too expensive. I was just saying I wasn't going at this very moment to check it out. I just sunk some cash into WOIN but I will definitely consider this game.
    Yeah, WOIN looks pretty neat, but I have too many other systems to try first.

    Yes this sort of stuff is metagame for me. I have only briefly looked at Dungeon World. I think I went to a seminar at Gen Con one time. So I thought Dungeon World allowed players to do that sort of stuff but I look at a lot of games so I might be off.
    Although this is 'metagame' - and not appropriate for your tastes - it also isn't an issue for me because of how it blends player and player character engagement. The player must engage and roleplay their character in order to invoke their aspects. The player characters are pushing themselves when it pertains to who they are, their values, their history, and their nature. I just don't see metagame mechanics as a bogeyman when it actually engenders roleplay and player enagement.

    It can be a challenge but for me I don't want to throw the baby out with the bath water. Whenever a PC is in his home waters, I almost always give him some NPC contacts. At character creation if it's important to the PC (and they know how I play) they will request certain types of contacts.
    Sure but sometimes you don't necessarily know what would be appropriate for your character until during the midst of play itself. IMO, this is the benefit of Fate's mechanic here. You may call it metagame, but it ensures that the roleplay can continue without player-PC dissonance disruption. Not all metagaming breaks roleplaying immersion. It's the player character saying, "Hey, I was a bodyguard for the prince, so I know there is actually a secret entrance that leads from the outer garden shed to the palace kitchen."

    All of those are valid reasons for that style of play. In fact when listing the advantages of that playstyle, your items are often given as advantages. It's just not what I'm looking for in a game. I find FATE a very interesting game in many ways. As written it's just not for me. In fact I believe WOIN has a lot of the same advantages and a system a bit easier to house rule away the parts I don't like.
    Oh, I understand that this is not what you are looking for in a game, but as I said before, I like talking about Fate.

    I am going to recommend the Black Hack again, which apparently will have a second edition this year. (I just found out about 2e from a recently finished Kickstarter.) It is D&D O/BX meets 5E. Stripped down basic classes: warrior, thief, conjuror, cleric. Advantage/disadvantage. Unified roll-under-ability checks: for saves, attacks, and skills. Super customizable. Cheap (~$2). Entire rules are ~20 pages.

  3. #183
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emerikol View Post
    What amazes me is that a game where the players make up the world is so far from where I am at playstyle wise. How is that not metagame? The characters obviously aren't making up the world as they go. To the best of my ability, I'd like for the players to be inside their characters heads and seeing through their characters eyes.
    Maybe I missed your specific definition, but when I use the term, it refers to the decisions you make as your character and how those decisions are influenced by things that the character doesn't know. Free-form world creation as-you-go wouldn't be meta-game, as I understand the term, because it has nothing to do with your character; it takes place entirely outside of the character's influence. (But if someone acting in the capacity of world-designer is making decisions based on information that they can't know, like who the PCs are, then that's meta-gaming from the other side; you wouldn't be authentically role-playing the gods, or any of the countless NPCs in the history of that world, if your decisions take the PCs into account.)

    It's still out-of-character player agency, of course, which I'm not a fan of. I would never play a game that asked the player to do such things, because the reason I play a role-playing game is so I can role-play, and I don't want to be dragged out of character like that.
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  4. #184
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neonchameleon View Post
    To me this makes as much sense as a blanket statement as "the food I find objectionable I find objectionable no matter whether it is on my plate or the plate of someone else at the restaurant".
    If anyone at the table is eating eggs, then it's going to make me nauseous, and I'm going to excuse myself. I'm not having fun anymore.

    RPGs are a communal effort that is both produced and consumed by everyone at the table. If someone at the table is actively cheating (as an example, not saying that meta-gaming is necessarily cheating), then it's the equivalent of them adding eggs to the stew. I'm not having fun anymore. There are many other ways in which a single player can ruin the experience for everyone else, and they're mostly going to be a matter of preference.
    Quote Originally Posted by Neonchameleon View Post
    If I am playing a fighter with an actual brain who paces himself between combats, who thinks, and works on outmaneuvering his opponents this interferes with your having fun because you, in your lack of understanding how real world athletes and warriors actually work think that my making in character decisions is somehow objectionable just because you don't think people ever pace themselves in athletic events.
    It doesn't matter how enthusiastically you try and argue that there are five lights, when there are actually four. Maybe this comes down to quibbling about whether or not something technically counts as a light, but if someone tells you that they aren't counting it because it doesn't meet X criteria, then you aren't helping them at all by asking them to change those criteria.

  5. #185
    Quote Originally Posted by Emerikol View Post
    No. It shows a complete lack of understanding of how these mechanics affect people who don't like them. If something breaks your immersion or causes the feel of the game to be wrong, that happens regardless of who is doing it. It's silly to think you could ignore the entire game except for your own characters actions.
    What matters to me is what actually happens within the gameworld. My speculations about anything else including how and why other people made their decisions are just that. Speculations. To know for certain would require telepathy.

    And now comes the judgment.
    Next time don't call playstyles objectionable if you don't want fire returned.

    I always have more trouble finding spell casters.
    And when I made a suggestion about simple spellcasters you rejected it.

    NO I AM NOT. I am saying in my game there can be no metagame mechanics.
    And as has been pointed out repeatedly athletes pacing themselves is not a metagame mechanic. What you are saying is that there can be no mechanics that disagree with the way you see the world.

    [quote]You are getting all upset and offended about what goes on in one group.[/quopte]

    I am getting particularly upset and offended that you are sneering at people who actually try to get into the head of fighters and you call changing your approach and pacing yourself metagame mechanics despite the fact they are nothing of the sort.

    Why do you care if someone else in a different group plays in a different style? You seem to have an attitude where you want everyone to accept your presumptions about what is a good game. Why? Live and let live.
    Says the person who is claiming that fighters are metagaming when they think the way real world fighters do.

    Why would I play games that are not fun? Would you?
    Sometimes they are interesting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saelorn View Post
    If anyone at the table is eating eggs, then it's going to make me nauseous, and I'm going to excuse myself. I'm not having fun anymore.

    RPGs are a communal effort that is both produced and consumed by everyone at the table. If someone at the table is actively cheating (as an example, not saying that meta-gaming is necessarily cheating), then it's the equivalent of them adding eggs to the stew. I'm not having fun anymore. There are many other ways in which a single player can ruin the experience for everyone else, and they're mostly going to be a matter of preference.
    But the problem here is when you say "I can't stand eggs" and then claim that a water chestnut is an egg.

    It doesn't matter how enthusiastically you try and argue that there are five lights, when there are actually four. Maybe this comes down to quibbling about whether or not something technically counts as a light, but if someone tells you that they aren't counting it because it doesn't meet X criteria, then you aren't helping them at all by asking them to change those criteria.
    Indeed. It does not matter how enthusiastically or repetitively you argue that athletes do not pace themselves in combat and fighters don't mix up what they are doing to outmaneuver other fighters - they do.

    I'm not asking him to change his criteria. I'm asking him to be honest about them - thinking the way real life athletes do and making the same sort of choices they do is not metagaming. Metagaming isn't the problem. Disagreeing with his understanding of the world and the way D&D has historically understood things is. He has clearly internalised D&D design assumptions and they are what he needs for flow. But he has internalised them to the point that it is impossible for him to enjoy games that handle things in a more realistic manner.
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  6. #186
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neonchameleon View Post
    Indeed. It does not matter how enthusiastically or repetitively you argue that athletes do not pace themselves in combat and fighters don't mix up what they are doing to outmaneuver other fighters - they do.
    It does not matter how much you insist that Action Surge and Second Wind are representative of in-character decisions, when the arbiter has disagreed with that evaluation. If you can't understand why it's a problem, then you're in no position to offer a solution to that problem.

    It would be like matching paint samples with someone who has different color perception. It doesn't even really matter whether there's an answer which is objectively correct. It doesn't matter how it looks to you. The question is how to make it look right to someone else.
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  7. #187
    Quote Originally Posted by Saelorn View Post
    It does not matter how much you insist that Action Surge and Second Wind are representative of in-character decisions, when the arbiter has disagreed with that evaluation. If you can't understand why it's a problem, then you're in no position to offer a solution to that problem.

    It would be like matching paint samples with someone who has different color perception. It doesn't even really matter whether there's an answer which is objectively correct. It doesn't matter how it looks to you. The question is how to make it look right to someone else.
    On the contrary. This is a public thread and one entitled "a discussion of metagame concepts in game design". If it was one entitled "Emerikol's type of games" that would be different. But he says he wants purple paints but not yellow ones. He's perfectly welcome to say he doesn't like matt purples and only wants gloss ones. But this doesn't give him the right to arbitrarily declare a matt purple a yellow and no amount of insisting it is will make it so.

    As I said earlier on the thread, the best game I'm aware of for thinking in character rather than about mechanics is Apocalypse World. I also said I know that he would absolutely hate it - and not just because you create large parts of the world as a part of character creation.
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  8. #188
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neonchameleon View Post
    On the contrary. This is a public thread and one entitled "a discussion of metagame concepts in game design". If it was one entitled "Emerikol's type of games" that would be different. But he says he wants purple paints but not yellow ones. He's perfectly welcome to say he doesn't like matt purples and only wants gloss ones. But this doesn't give him the right to arbitrarily declare a matt purple a yellow and no amount of insisting it is will make it so.
    It's more like saying that a purple or a green is a blue. You could get quite a following of people who agree that a certain purple is a blue, or that a certain green is a blue, even if most artists disagreed on those points.

    The opinion at hand, which forms the basis of this thread, is not an unusual one. It is a common perspective. Many people drew the line at martial dailies.

  9. #189
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aldarc View Post
    It's similar with Beyond the Wall. However, BtW is more young adult oriented. It takes inspiration from the novels of Ursula LeGuin (Earthsea), Lloyd Alexander (Chronicles of Prydain), Tolkien (The Hobbit), and arguably the first few books of Robert Jordan (Wheel of Time), where it is often about relatively young heroes exploring beyond the bounds of their lifelong homes and grow into heroes. It's why playbooks are generally are akin to "Would-Be Knight," "Self-Taught Mage," "Young Woodsman," or "Untested Thief," etc. You may be level 1 in the game, but you are level 0 in life. As such, BtW generally assumes that your characters belong to the same village or town.

    Your background questions are generally about your history in this town: who are your parents? how were you distinguished as a child? how did you learn your trade? Who was village adult who you were close with? But most of these answers are fairly generic and give the player and GM room to collaboratively create. It's really about basic things like, "Okay, Player 2. You get to create and place a location in the town. Since you rolled that your parents are blacksmiths, perhaps you should add a smithy." Your players will create the minimum and then you get to fill in the rest.
    I could probably live with this given the blacksmith background was already in place.



    Yeah, WOIN looks pretty neat, but I have too many other systems to try first.

    [QUOTE=Aldarc;7459636
    Although this is 'metagame' - and not appropriate for your tastes - it also isn't an issue for me because of how it blends player and player character engagement. The player must engage and roleplay their character in order to invoke their aspects. The player characters are pushing themselves when it pertains to who they are, their values, their history, and their nature. I just don't see metagame mechanics as a bogeyman when it actually engenders roleplay and player enagement.
    [/QUOTE]
    Blending player and character engagement is practically the definition. I understand though there are different types of metagame and they offend people sensibilities differently. For example, a daily martial power might be less acceptable than a fate point because the character has to know about such a thing whereas you might keep the fate point aspect (forgive the pun) of it completely away from the characters view. I don't like either but I do understand there are degrees and some people go so far and no farther.

    [QUOTE=Aldarc;7459636
    Sure but sometimes you don't necessarily know what would be appropriate for your character until during the midst of play itself. IMO, this is the benefit of Fate's mechanic here. You may call it metagame, but it ensures that the roleplay can continue without player-PC dissonance disruption. Not all metagaming breaks roleplaying immersion. It's the player character saying, "Hey, I was a bodyguard for the prince, so I know there is actually a secret entrance that leads from the outer garden shed to the palace kitchen."
    [/QUOTE]
    You see, what if a map exists and there is no secret entrance. I tend to have that sort of thing worked out ahead of time. I'm old school I guess but my players still map.


    [QUOTE=Aldarc;7459636
    Oh, I understand that this is not what you are looking for in a game, but as I said before, I like talking about Fate.

    I am going to recommend the Black Hack again, which apparently will have a second edition this year. (I just found out about 2e from a recently finished Kickstarter.) It is D&D O/BX meets 5E. Stripped down basic classes: warrior, thief, conjuror, cleric. Advantage/disadvantage. Unified roll-under-ability checks: for saves, attacks, and skills. Super customizable. Cheap (~$2). Entire rules are ~20 pages.[/QUOTE]
    I will check out black hack.

  10. #190
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saelorn View Post
    Maybe I missed your specific definition, but when I use the term, it refers to the decisions you make as your character and how those decisions are influenced by things that the character doesn't know. Free-form world creation as-you-go wouldn't be meta-game, as I understand the term, because it has nothing to do with your character; it takes place entirely outside of the character's influence. (But if someone acting in the capacity of world-designer is making decisions based on information that they can't know, like who the PCs are, then that's meta-gaming from the other side; you wouldn't be authentically role-playing the gods, or any of the countless NPCs in the history of that world, if your decisions take the PCs into account.)

    It's still out-of-character player agency, of course, which I'm not a fan of. I would never play a game that asked the player to do such things, because the reason I play a role-playing game is so I can role-play, and I don't want to be dragged out of character like that.
    You see metagaming to one degree (see my example in the response above). I want the players making only decisions as their characters. Yes even to me it's probably worse if the player character is making metagame decisions but both are so far past where I want to be that it really doesn't matter.

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