View Profile: Ovinomancer - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:01 PM
    I think that the default for D&D is that the GM can ask the player for a change to the mental state of the PC. I think this is important to D&D because the GM enjoys broad authority to directly change the PC's physical state, and has control over the fictional positioning at all times. Therefore, this narrow player authority is both important and essentially the third rail of D&D. I agree 4e...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:37 PM
    Using D&D as tge baseline, how can I, as GM, have an NPC mauden wink at a PC and melt the PC's heart without it being an ask of the player? This is why the baseline argument fails -- D&D is a specific model, not a general one. You can't logically argue from the specific to the general. This is amplified in cases where the model is of poor skill, such as D&D and social skills. As I said...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:39 AM
    I think, in D&D, it would be a serious overstep to do so. In the scene above, the player threw me for a loop. Previously, the player had established that the character had no recollection of their time before being a thrall. But, in the scene, the player revealed that they dud recall. I had been planning to offer a way to recover memory in exchange for helping this mindflayer, but that went...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:10 AM
    Like? I mean, you do know that the above method for D&D is straight from the rules, right?
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:54 AM
    Dang it. I had yesterday in the dictionary pool. :( But, to address your bolded part above, the invitation is to do something. Can you fail to do something? Yes, especially if it's difficult or impossible. So, yeah, you, um, supported my argument with the dictionary. Even in the example, one can fail to make up one's mind. I'm keenly aware of this every time I have the marital "what do...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:51 AM
    Let me clarify, I find saving throws against charm to be "not much of a challenge" because they're boring and are heavy with force. The GM decides to have an NPC with charm, and the GM decides when to use it an on whom, and then the player gets one roll to see if they can prevent this GM chain from continuing to putting limits on their character. In other words, the only thing the player stakes...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:32 AM
    How do you have a baseline of doing something one way so that you can talk about doing it another way? Take cooking, for instance. If the baseline is using the oven, because that's the most popular, is it worthwhile to have to refer to using an oven every time you want to talk about microwaving? No, you just talk about microwaving and skip referencing everything to the oven because how you do...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 11:25 PM
    Why, when discussing the ways that you can do something in RPGs, should D&D be the baseline assumption? Because it's popular? That seems a silly assertion to make, that you have to assume the popular way to do something in order to talk about ways you can do something. The base here is RPGs. D&D is a big contender -- how it does things should definitely be in-bounds. But, D&D being...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 03:09 PM
    You're imagining bad play, and so it is bad. Go back to the example I presented about the knight and the maiden. All the results of that were from the knight attempting to do things -- ie, player initiated. All of the outcomes were due to what the player explicitly had up as stakes -- ie, player initiated. These are in game where the GM's authority is much more limited and the players have...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 01:33 PM
    This reads very much like someone without experience in other play trying to suggest that other play must be more limited because, obviously, their play isn't limited at all! But, let's look at the outcomes that are okay in this example above. The PCs ignore the NPC. The PCs initiate combat with the NPC. The PCs agree with the NPC. The PCs do something else entirely. All of the...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 01:08 PM
    It wasn't ignored. I'm saying it's not a challenge, and you're here adding support for that. As for why a challenge has to be binary, well... if you don't risk anything, ie, there's nothing you can lose, then you're not being challenged. If you can't win something, then it's also not a challenge, because you're just engaged in a choice between two bad things proposed by someone else. It's...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 01:02 PM
    I'm 100% for playing with integrity. But, this thread has largely been about three things -- the proposition you posed in the the OP about the difference between two types of action declaration, if a GM should have authority over the characterization at any time, and what constitutes a challenge. Your example does address integrity of characterization, but doesn't touch on any of the previous...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 02:17 PM
    Tsk-tsk. Given your experience in the thread, you should know better. ;)
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 02:15 PM
    Your example is fun play. I like it, and I enjoy when such things happen in my game. What I don't see, though, is how your example illuminates the discussion about choice not being a challenge or risk to characterization. You player decided that this crisis happened, and, absent a scene or scenes where this crisis is tested in a way that the player risks their characterization, it remains just...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 06:01 AM
    Dude, irony.
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 05:56 AM
    Yes, you are confused. Finally, agreement.
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 05:34 AM
    Is there a mechanic? Can you fail? Can you succeed? There's your answer, three times over. If you play chess against yourself, is there a challenge? This is more akin to using your sole authority to determine characterization to make a choice about your characterization. You can't fail this challenge, you can just choose which side you win on.
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 05:32 AM
    Dude, irony, again.
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 05:28 AM
    What do you have if there's no failure, and no success, though? Not a challenge. If you can't fail, if there's no risk, then it's not a challenge. Does it have to be abject, absolute failure? No, of course not, but there has to be something at risk and that risk has to be losing that something. And here's where we're having a disconnect: you insist that the player has 100% sole authority...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 04:17 AM
    Actually, I think save or be charmed isn't much of a challenge, either. My argument has been that making a choice isn't a challenge if you can chose between all the choices. Even the unknown repercussions don't make it a challenge, just a guessing game. A challenge requires that something be staked and that you have a risk of losing your stakes. There's lots and lots of ways to do this, even...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 04:13 AM
    Dude, irony. Those comments were made about taking things either out-of-context or imagined and then trying to pin those arguments on other posters. Like you just did to me. You cannot find anywhere in this thread (or others) where I've gotten even close to saying that telling a player to make a saving throw out of the blue is a challenge. You've erected a strawman. Have fun with it.
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 04:01 AM
    I do, too. Weird, huh, that I'd agree with this last bit so easily, like maybe you've missed something fundamental?
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 11:58 AM
    So, success would be maintaining your chastity and getting the girl. How pseudo-zen of you.
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 11:54 AM
    If you cannot succeed nor fail, how are you challenged? You keep insisting that there are other challenges that don't include possibility of failure, but you haven't presented the case -- you just assert it. Show the work. Edit: multiquote is stuck
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 12:42 AM
    The choice is what's been presented as the challenge. This is the first instance of the example choice being part of a larger, interconnected story. Even there, I'm not clear on what you think the challenge is, or how the choice leads to success or failure at the challenge rather than just another part of a larger choice tree. I can see choice as part of an actual challenge only if you're...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 09:32 PM
    Then what does a success on this challenge look like and how does it differ from a failure? You're confusing a choice, even a hard one, with a challenge. You can fail to overcome a challenge, or succeed at it, but you can't fail or succeed at a choice.
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 09:27 PM
    If you need me to tell you what conclusion you reached that you then blamed on another poster's phrasing... well, I'm just gonna have to let you wonder about that.
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 06:10 PM
    I didn't have any trouble understanding him. If you don't add words to what he said, you can avoid the conclusion leapt to.
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 03:32 AM
    Re: challenging the character concept I was using risk earlier, because it's a better framing for the issue. Are you risking your character. Challenging is so vague as to mean anything. Heck, the example of chastity versus a sword is being used, but that doesn't challenge the character at all, it challenges the player to make a choice as to what character they want to play. This isn't...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 03:05 AM
    Huh? Are you taking Frogreaver's meds, too? The ask is to explore the reasoning behind the sudden change, not to refute it if doesn't meet guidelines. Heck, Aebir-Toril even says they wouldn't know what to do with "lol, magic sword duh" which strongly suggests that this would just be a confusing answer, not one that's censored. Perhaps I'm wrong, and AT really is running roughshod over his...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 03:02 AM
    Yes, I agree, it is the weirdest turn. No one's mentioned calling the choice cheating, yet here you are arguing as if this was said. It's like before, when you tried to use "roll-playing" to dismiss arguments. I though that had to be the most ridiculous thing in the thread, but, no, I was wrong. This is going a bit further. I'm not sure if you just don't understand what's being said, or if...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 03:02 PM
    You're missing my point, but that's partly on me for not being consistently explicit. There are no consequences to characterization. Your characterization is not at risk. Everything you mention here is external to the character -- and, I'm not, nor have I been, talking about that. So, I get you fine, it's you missing my points.
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 02:27 PM
    No, it isn't. If you're the only one that decides, then the concept is never at risk. There has to be a loss of control for there to be risk, and you're refusing loss of control.
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 02:25 PM
    This is just asking permission, though, something that you've roundly rejected from the player side (ie, you've rejected that player propositions are just asking permission of the GM). So, yes, there is a difference. If you risk your characterization and the result of a failure is that you're offered a choice to go through with it or ignore the failure, then there's no real failure, here -- you...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 01:44 PM
    Mechanics for that risk, not that decide. There's nothing in D&D that calls into question a PC's concept except indirectly. The game isn't built to do this normally, with how it frames scenes, with how it resolves uncertainty, heck, with what it treats as uncertain. D&D is bad at this, and that's fine, because it's pretty good at what it does do. But, some games have mechanics that allow...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 01:33 PM
    Sure, if that's how you think characters are tested, I suppose it is boring. Instead, picture the knight on a holy quest that has sworn a vow of chastity until the quest is complete. Then, a maiden melts his heart with a wink. The knight now has to decide between his love for the maiden and the importance of his quest, and, either way, we'll learn something about this character. I think...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 01:04 PM
    But you're assigning that role (also) to characterization, which is misplaced. Mechanics are how the system resolves uncertainty, they're not constraints on characterization, unless you're putting undue focus on them. Here, look at this next bit: This is what I'm talking about. You, on the one hand, tell me I'm misrepresenting you looking to the mechanics for protection of your...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 02:03 AM
    Yes, well, I thought it odd that you started by saying that you aren't focusing too much on mechanics and then talk about nothing but mechanics and how they enable your characterization and how you couldn't successfully characterize without knowing the mechanical boundaries. I mean, yeah? Weird. And, it completely doesn't address the point I initially made that you're too focused on...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 01:44 AM
    So, you're not too focused on the mechanics, but you determine your characterization by your focus on the mechanics. All good, I guess.
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 01:43 AM
    Seems you have a good handle on it and don't need my advice. Enjoy it!
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 08:27 PM
    Case 1: PC in dim light, NPC in bright light -- PC makes perception checks normally, NPC has disadvantage (on vision based checks). Case 2: PC in darkness, NPC in bright light -- PC makes perception checks about the NPC normally, NPC cannot make vision based perception checks about the PC (is effectively blinded with regards to the PC in darkness). Case 3: PC in darkness, NPC in dim light...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 08:18 PM
    1) don't confuse DCs with contested rolls -- rolling a 33 is not a Nearly Impossible challenge, even if it's pretty much a de facto one. 2) You don't challenge a rogue with stealth challenges at this point, except on rare occasion and then well telegraphed. They are really, really good at sneaking. If you apply the stealth rules reasonably, this is just very awesome and not an "I win...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 05:57 PM
    Yes! Although, you're too focused on mechanics. Just the fact that your character is at stake in more ways that just dying in combat is the real crux. Contests are just, "might my character die in this fight," but may be, "do I find out my character isn't who I thought they were at all?!"
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 06:09 PM
    You invited it. Hard to complain about it when you just explicitly did it.
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 05:03 AM
    So, not a flaw if it might hurt you.
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th July, 2019, 10:48 PM
    I think it might get your table in mutiny, but most? Doubtful. As for cause and effect, well, don't look to closely at D&D, then. You might notice that you determine the effect of an attack roll and then go back and determine the cause for the description. Or, most any check, really. Other games move the check even further in front of the resolution so as to be able to resolve an intent...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th July, 2019, 10:42 PM
    Yup. You're locked into a mindset that's best represented by D&D, even if you've played other games that support that same mindset (or, given some of the games on the list you presented, you've played those games and brought with you the D&D mindset and so didn't see a difference). I mean, you're defending taking authority away from the player so long as the mechanic used has the word "magic"...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th July, 2019, 10:36 PM
    Slow down. It's not an insult. It's a statement that no progress can be made while basic assumptions are so far apart. And, yes, I love 5e's play loop. I'm a champion of it, when discussion how 5e plays. But, if you assume that's how a game should be play, it will prevent discussion of other ways to play games so long as you don't look up from it. You can prefer it, that's awesome! Go...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th July, 2019, 07:16 PM
    So, at this point, I see that the Maxperson, FrogReaver, Satyrn nexus is doing the following: 1) assuming D&D in their arguments, and 2) confusing choice/authority with roleplaying (at least Max and Frog are). No conversation is possible so long as these are the assumptions, as these are different from the assumption set of the other side, who is talking about all games, not just D&D...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th July, 2019, 04:12 AM
    Right, the mechanical means in most other games is that you fail a check. If you insist it must be a save against magic before you're comfortable, that seems like an overly specific exception that really isn't -- it's just an exception you've internalized as okay and so you wave it away when it comes up. Charm Person is actually far more invasive a mechanic into player authorities than most of...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th July, 2019, 02:54 AM
    Right, because determining elements of the fiction that you're playing a role in has absolutely nothing to do with playing the role. Wait, what? Nope, it totally does. But, this is a very nice rhetorical trick where you take me talking about play preferences and pretend it's a post about the definition of roleplaying.
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th July, 2019, 04:45 PM
    I can understand that. I feel the same way in D&D ganes, but that's becayse the only authority I have in D&D is to make thin declarations -- the DM has authority over everything. So, when the DM intrudes into my very limited authority in game, it's a massive imposition. In other games, though, I have a lot more authority as a player. Many aspects if the game are my call, from foundational...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th July, 2019, 03:15 PM
    Let me give you another version of this: No, I don't. You're reifying magic when it's just another mechanic through which the GM, in this case, is acting. There is no 'other character' in the fiction -- they don't do anything in the fiction without a player directing them, so trying to say that because the GM is telling you what to do but using a fictional cover for the mechanic isn't...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th July, 2019, 03:48 AM
    This misses that, in games where this method is used, your objections don't matter. This outcome is the truth, and the players and GM have to figure out how it can be the truth, not look for ways for it to not be the truth of the game. If you're looking for procedural truth generation -- where every prerequisite is met prior to establishing the fictional truth -- then this is going to be very...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th July, 2019, 03:42 AM
    It means that you take the one the role, as in you think about how to interact with the shared fiction as if you were that character within it. No, they do not, by necessity, always determine what actions said imaginary character is taking. So long as when they have the option to make a choice they do so from within the role, this is roleplaying. When and how they get choices has nothing...
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    Thursday, 4th July, 2019, 12:51 AM
    I'll leave this here again for FrogReaver, as he seems to have missed it on his last pass.
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 12:45 PM
    We're not in disagreement at all. I said that in 5e players have authority to make their own thin declarations, except in some specific circumstances. While my preference wouldn't be what you presented, it's not an uncommon example of play. And, your AW example is dead on what I've been saying about DM directing PC action on a failure in some games. So, nope, not much, if any,...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 11:32 AM
    Magic is just a game mechanic, though. You could say "social check" or "Tuesday" or "Bob did it" with exactly as much explanatory power as to how the game works. "Magic" is just a fictional label.
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 10:57 AM
    Roleplaying is simply taking on an imaginary role in a shared fiction. There are a number of ways of doing this, including acting, therapy, and playing games. A roleplaying gane is one where the players roleplay a character(s) in the game and where the player is expected to advocate for their character. None of this is impacted by a GM being able to declare actions for a PC in some...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 12:20 AM
    Yup. No change. Have you tried to log in and post and had success?
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 12:15 AM
    Strongly disagree with this. You've defined 'roleplaying' as 'how I prefer to play' and not in any terms outside of your preferences. Burning Wheel is very much a role-playing game and yet has mechanics where the DM can indeed direct a PC's action. This is because it's play loop is contested truth statements, and the winner of the roll gets their statement as truth. On the GM side, this can...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 12:12 AM
    See, I disagree. Without asking for specific duties and authorities that constitute the "GM role", we can say that whatever these are they must be severable -- ie, exercising one of these authorities does not necessarily entail the ability to exercise all of the authorities. In fact, in many games with a GM, the specific authorities are defined and do not constitute the same set of authorities....
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 02:51 AM
    Morrus, Oooh, getting closer! Nope, can't post, and almost all the threads show as unread. If I click 'mark forum as read' it does so, until I refresh the page, then they're all unread again. There hasn't been a new post since the 26th, which is unusual.
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Monday, 1st July, 2019, 03:09 PM
    Is there, maybe, a middle ground between 'I pull my sword" and the entirely of what you posit? Could, maybe, discussion happen about things in that middle ground? In other words, no, you can't do the bottom in any game, but that's because you're not engaging the fiction of the scene or the genre of the game and are, in fact, being a jerk. Can we please dispense with the "but if a jerk does it"...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Monday, 1st July, 2019, 03:01 PM
    That is, indeed, one way it happens, and one of the ways pemerton noted in his OP. There are other ways, though, like the other one in the OP, that you've dismissed as a falsehood. Given that it exists in a number of games, and can exist in even more, you should reconsider whether or not you've grasped the intent of the OP and whether or not you're the one engaged in a falsehood. As pemerton...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Monday, 1st July, 2019, 05:41 AM
    Yes? How does this advance a discussion about the differences in play who chooses makes? A good example of a game that can go either way, look to 4e, which has a split personality depending on which method of outcome resolution you choose. So, no, it's not always about the game you've chosen -- there are opportunities in a number of games to let choice of outcome drift. I let this drift in...
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    Monday, 1st July, 2019, 05:36 AM
    Yes, and the topic is about who gets to choose the outcome -- the GM or the player.
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    Monday, 1st July, 2019, 02:54 AM
    You know, thinking on this a bit more, I'm not sure where the resolution mechanic comes in. Are you talking about the outcome on a successful resolution? I'd guess you are, but it's best to be clear. Note that I'd lump, "saying yes" under successful resolution.
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    Monday, 1st July, 2019, 02:52 AM
    Sounds like you have half of it down pat. Now, you need to work on grasping how the player determines the outcome of the wink rather than the GM.
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Sunday, 30th June, 2019, 01:19 PM
    That it's a according to preference. Firstly, I agree with the way you've presented this -- so no issues at all with how you've explained the difference in approach. That said, the choice is really a matter of preference. There's two different kinds of games going on here, with different play goals, and that means that it's the play goals that are making the choice, not the actual mechanic. ...
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    Saturday, 29th June, 2019, 12:26 PM
    Course it doesn't. Then it wouldn't be fun!
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Saturday, 29th June, 2019, 03:36 AM
    Morrus I know it's low priority, but CM is straight up broken today. I tried to post something and it said "This forum requires that you wait 30 seconds between posts. Please try again in 37372418 seconds." That's not a typo, I C&P'd it. Also, thread read status is broken in all subforums (everything shows as unread and won't change), recent threads aren't showing, and somehow goldomark...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Friday, 28th June, 2019, 10:59 PM
    Okay, so, your point is that players can't understand enough to make reasoned choices because the play loop is so fixed (who said this? Oh, no one, it's a strawman) that they can't ask questions and the DM will refuse to answer questions because, well, the play loop won't let them (again, strawman), but, nope, there aren't any jerks involved here. This is even more hogwash. For one, you're...
    178 replies | 5483 view(s)
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 09:15 PM
    No. What turns out is that this PC is capable enough at that level of uncertainty. Uncertainty does not append to the outcome of the check -- this presupposes a check -- but to the action -- is this action uncertain to be successful. What you're doing here is assuming a check and looking for uncertainty in the outcome of the check. This is not what I'm saying. I'm saying that you look at...
    178 replies | 5483 view(s)
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 08:49 PM
    This seems... odd? You use you understanding of the approach and fiction to set the DC to double check your understabding of the approach and fiction? Let's say I think that a given approach is uncertain and seems moderately difficult. How is setting the DC to 15 a check on the above? What if I think it's super easy and set the DC at -5. How is this a check against my thinking the approach...
    178 replies | 5483 view(s)
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 08:21 PM
    D&D's shift is pretty sudden. There's a reason people have talked about the combat whoosh before. Otherwise, yes? Was there a point beside this extra qualification?
    178 replies | 5483 view(s)
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 08:16 PM
    The same way you determine the DC? You consider the approach in regards to the fictional positioning? I honestly don't understand this question, given you're doing the same thing only you've cloaked it inside a mechanics check and are pretending that makes it somehow more valid. I work at the level of the approach, not the specific PC. You seem to want to never ask for a roll that...
    178 replies | 5483 view(s)
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 07:43 PM
    This is so confused. You start by asking how I can tell if an action is uncertain, then repeat what I said I did as an example of how you do it. You even say you set DC based on approach! I have absolutely no idea what your question might be, as it appears the one you asked was answered by you.
    178 replies | 5483 view(s)
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 03:56 PM
    Core play loop is in chapter 1. Everything else serves the loop. This, though, is why I said earlier that D&D does a hard entry into combat. Combat is an extended uncertainty resolutuon mechanic that is much more granular than the non-combat resolution mechanics. Yet, the DM decides when to use the combat rules when they determine character actions are uncertain and the proper resolution is...
    178 replies | 5483 view(s)
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 12:38 PM
    Totally disagree. I consider whether the action is possible in the fiction first, tgen, if it seems uncertain, then determine the mechanic. Take walking across a room with no hazards. According to you, I have to determine the controlling mechanic, determine the difficulty, and then determine success/uncertainty status. My way, I just say yes. But, this is easy, so let's go harder. Now...
    178 replies | 5483 view(s)
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 12:19 PM
    Simply put, it's the core play loop. There's no "NPCs declare actions" there. This is because that would end up being solo play for the DM. NPC actions are part of "describe the scene" or "narrate outcomes." Combat is, as I said previously, the odd case in D&D, because NPCs appear to take actions independently and leverage the same mechanics. However, if you view combat as an extended...
    178 replies | 5483 view(s)
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 02:31 AM
    Nope. It is the same loop, just different expectations and mechanics. The 5 step loop I presented is essentially core to most RPGs, with small edits to the scope of abilities and roles here and there. You can use the 3.x expectations in 5e -- just look at how many people on this board do so. The loop is flexible enough to even support very different rulesets. All PbtA game follow the same...
    178 replies | 5483 view(s)
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 02:03 AM
    Well, I can say that Bawylie isn't the jerk. He's running three games where everyone's happy using his rulings. The argument against his ruling so far sums up as "but if a jerk did it, it wouldn't work, right?" Or, some form of, "but if you were running for jerks, it wouldn't work, right?" That's the extent. You can't even argue his ruling is outside the rules, even. The core game loop is: ...
    178 replies | 5483 view(s)
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th June, 2019, 11:06 PM
    Man, I do so love the "But what if a real jerk is the one running your game, how does it work then?" argument. As if the problem is the ruling, not the jerk.
    178 replies | 5483 view(s)
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th June, 2019, 12:40 PM
    D&D has always had a hard transition into combat from other play. And, D&D has always had a hard line in detail between combat and other play. Because of this, it makes it difficult to do things that are very near or even astride that line, like the situation in the OP. There will always be many that say that since you've touched on the combat pillar, the hard transition must be accomplished,...
    178 replies | 5483 view(s)
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th June, 2019, 05:15 PM
    Sorry, but how is this a defense against mischaracterizing a playstyle? I mean, if this is generally applicable, all manner of things can be said to other people while avoiding the actual content being dismissive if others (and incorrect). So, really, you are 100% dead wrong - I am having a discussion with someone that seems to me 100% grounded in our play experiences. I don't doubt you...
    63 replies | 2017 view(s)
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th June, 2019, 04:27 PM
    Thanks. I have 5ekyu on ignore, so I can't respond. You got it in one.
    63 replies | 2017 view(s)
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th June, 2019, 04:25 PM
    The post wherein Umbran decides to continue to rely on his assumptions rather than what people actually say about hiw they play. I play with people that have no idea how to do many of the things their characters do, and yet we don't have your fears as problems when coming up with approaches. Maybe you should actually think it through trying to see how it could work well rarher than assume you...
    63 replies | 2017 view(s)
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th June, 2019, 11:37 AM
    Right, but the action was just looking at the tracks, not recalling cool character backgrounds to the fore. If the player actually provides the skills his character has as part of the action deckaraction, then they aren't relying on the DM to remember those background details -- they're telling the DM about them again. I don't understand the pushback on this. It's literally the chance for...
    63 replies | 2017 view(s)
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th June, 2019, 11:25 AM
    The slippery slope argument is weak. Asking for an approach so that you aren't assuming character actions isn't the same thing as pixel bitching for gotchas. The former is a hood technique for running where you assume character competence and are matching in game action to the resolution mechanics. The latter is adversarial gotcha games. Please stop insisting that anyone asking for an...
    63 replies | 2017 view(s)
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Sunday, 14th July, 2019

  • 05:08 PM - pemerton mentioned Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    ... should not have total control over their characters in every system?(1) This thread is in general RPG. Not D&D. There's a reason for that. (2) I'm not saying that players should or shouldn't do anything in every system. The OP invites discussion about various ways in which true descriptions of PC actions might be established. The current discussion has moved on a bit from that, to also talk about how true descriptions of PC choices, PC emotional states, etc might be established. (3) If someone's answer to the questions posed in the OP is the way D&D does it, end of story then they're welcome not to participat in the thread. If they're going to make ungrounded assertions that nothing else is really possible, well that's not very helpful either and is fair game for clarification or correction. (4) The most interesting thing for me at the moment - obviously I can't speak for others - is what are the necessary conditions for a genuine challenge to character concept? This is what Ovinomancer and I have disagreed about - I believe without undue acrimony! I would be very interested to hear what Campbell, chaochou and/or Aldarc thinks about it, should they care to weigh in. (Of course it's their prerogatibe not to.) My own views on this are heavily influenced by a certain conception of GM role in terms of framing scenes that put players under pressure by putting things that matter to the PC at stake. I don't know Exalted at all except from Campbell's accounts in this and other threads; and my experience with PbtA games is fairly limited, although I know the rulesets for DW and AW fairly well.
  • 04:52 PM - pemerton mentioned Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    ...ts/etc in opposition. That then becomes a defining moment of the PC's character.You're not learning it. You're deciding it - as seems evident in your use of the verb determining in the first quote. Maybe it's a hard decision, but it's a decision, not a discovery. As I said, I can't see how this puts the least bit of pressure on the player's conception of his/her PC's character. (I guess it could if the player had said of his PC both I am chaste and I will do whatever it takes to preserve the kingdome. But the conflict there is so obvious and so shallow that I think we can discount it as a working example.) Contrast that with the example I posted of the paladin: he learns he is a killer. Or the examples of Duel of Wits, or Exalted social conflict: the PC (and player) learn that the character is capable of being persuaded in such-and-such a fashion. Those are not choices made by the player; they're the results of putting things at risk, and then losing them. (This is, roughly, Ovinomancer's definition of a challenge.) For the PC, the persuasion attempt is a challenge only if it makes the PC stop a moment and debate back and forth on what the right course of action is. Often times, when the player is struggling to determine whether the NPC persuaded their PC, it's because the PC is having an internal struggle as well over what they should do.But in the examples you provide this "internal struggle" is all just colour - like in D&D combat if the GM narrates the hp loss as a blow to the arm or a blow to the leg. It doesn't actually matter to resolution, or to the unfolding of the fiction. It's epiphenomenal. Contrast the paladin example: the killing isn't epiphenomenal. It's an actual thing that has occurred in the fiction, which refutes the paladin's self-conception (I'm not a killer) which has been held up until that point. Similarly for the outcome of a Duel of Wits. Which goes back to the point about play experience. Thinking really hard about what you...
  • 03:05 PM - pemerton mentioned Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    ...ce with Exalted, but in my experience with other systems that provide various sorts of systematic support for engagement with PC motivations and emotions the range of characters played - when considered in proportion to the overall number played - tends to be increased, not narrowed. Consider a D&D game. An NPC is trying to persuade a PC to do something. The DM states the NPC's case with a high level overview. To provide some context for the players into how persuasive the NPC argument was the DM rolls the NPC's persuasion skill just so they players can gauge how convincing said NPC would be to the average person. Then the players take the NPC's specific argument and the persuasion skill roll and filter that through the character they are playing and come to a conclusion of how to have their PC react. In this situation what is gained from actually requiring a persuasion contest with binding results for the PC in order to determine if he was persuaded?Now I haven't yet read Ovinomancer's post not far below, where I am guessing (maybe I'm wrong?) that he is going to press the issue with me about choice vs challenge. But in this post I want to make clear that what I am talking about, in trying to convey my view as to how a character conception can be challenged in the absence of mechanics of the sort that Campbell has described, is - at least to my eyes - nothing like what you (Frogreaver) describe here. I'll put to one side the GM making a Persuasion roll and telling the player that result, as I don't see what that adds to the situation - mechanics work as mechanics, but I don't see what work they are meant to do as guidelines. With that put to one side, what we have is simply the GM telling the player that a NPC wants such-and-such from the PC. I can't see any pressure there. Any tension. Any challenge. The player can weigh pros and cons, try and calculate consequences, even decide non-rationally based on feeling if s/he likes, or a coin toss, what to do...

Saturday, 13th July, 2019

  • 04:27 AM - pemerton mentioned Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    I agree with Ovinomancer and Umbran that making a choice - even a hard choice - isn't a challenge to character and character concept of the sort that has been raised in this thread. Whether you need mechanics (social mechanics, emotional mechanics, whatever they might be) to generate that sort of challenge is a further question. My view is that you don't, although obviously they might help. To expain why I think you don't need such mechanics, I want to quote a recent post: If I am playing or running a game that is supposed to be more character focused I absolutely do make aesthetic judgments of other players and I expect the same in kind. We should all be invested in each others' characters - be fans of them. For that to happen players should play their characters as if they were real people with real passions and real relationships. Players should play their characters with integrity and want to find out who they really are. They shouldn't try to drive play to some preferred outcome. Still ultimately ...

Friday, 12th July, 2019

  • 11:16 PM - Aebir-Toril mentioned Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    I really don't understand why @Ovinomancer and others can't grasp this simple concept. Challenges are about risk. Risk is based on uncertainity. However, even in a perfectly deterministic world, there is still uncertainty which means there is still risk which means there's still challenges. Thus, you don't need a randomization method like dice to produce uncertainty. Chess actually makes a great example. Chess is a deterministic game and it's very challenging. It's challenging because there's always uncertainty because as a human we don't possess the knowledge of all game states. That lack of knowledge causes uncertainty which causes risk which causes challenge. Now consider a simple game of a coin flip where you win if a heads is flipped. There's uncertainty there. You have a great chance to lose the game and no control over winning or losing (without cheating). That kind of a game doesn't present a challenge even though there could potentially be risk and uncertainty. The real challenge with such a game is the ...
  • 10:20 PM - FrogReaver mentioned Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    By making the hard choice obviously. I you can't fail to pick a choice, but none of the choices may be what you want, so there is no success. Challenge has more than one definition and not of them are binary. Trying to limit a challenge to success or failure is a False Dichotomy. I really don't understand why @Ovinomancer and others can't grasp this simple concept. Challenges are about risk. Risk is based on uncertainity. However, even in a perfectly deterministic world, there is still uncertainty which means there is still risk which means there's still challenges. Thus, you don't need a randomization method like dice to produce uncertainty. Chess actually makes a great example. Chess is a deterministic game and it's very challenging. It's challenging because there's always uncertainty because as a human we don't possess the knowledge of all game states. That lack of knowledge causes uncertainty which causes risk which causes challenge. Now consider a simple game of a coin flip where you win if a heads is flipped. There's uncertainty there. You have a great chance to lose the game and no control over winning or losing (without cheating). That kind of a game doesn't present a challenge even though there could potentially be risk and uncertainty. The real challenge with such a game is the ...

Thursday, 11th July, 2019

  • 05:33 AM - pemerton mentioned Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    isnít combat (besides being fun) really the result of failing to overcome challenges in more interesting, and in many ways less risky, ways?I don't see how this could be a general truth about RPGing. Maybe it's a truth about a certain sort of approach to D&D, Classic Traveller and maybe RQ. In Marvel Heroic RP, combat - ie fisticuffs between superheroes and supervillains - isn't a result of failing to overcome challenges in some other fashion. It's how heroes defeat villains! In Prince Valiant, a joust can be anything from friendly sport to a duel of honour. It's not normally the result of faiur in some other domain of challenge. Etc. As as a quick example - letís say your the chaste knight. You are promised Excalibur for giving up your chastity. Do you take that offer? Is that not having your character challenges while still maintaining full control of it?Just to add to my post half-a-dozen or so upthread, and also Ovinomancer's post just upthread of that - what you describe here is an offer, not a challenge. It invites the player to make a calculation or choice of some sort. You could elaborate on the scenario, so that in some way this is the culmination of a series of events in the fiction - a bit like Ovinomancer's story of the knight on a quest, or my actual play example of Nightcrawler discovering he's neither as nice nor as devout as he thought. Not all character change or development need be the result of failed checks. It can come about from fidelity to the fiction. But that fiction won't have been established solely by the player!
  • 03:41 AM - pemerton mentioned Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    A long post as I catch up on this thread. If it's left to a die roll or the DM's decision, there is no real test of character. <snip> There's a huge difference between me struggling with a decision for my PC, and clack, clack, clack! Oh, look. This time he's an ass, maybe next time he'll be noble. *yawn*The second bit here suggest to me that you're not familiar with the play of any of the non-D&D games that Aldarc, Umbran, Ovinomancer and I have referenced - Fate, Pendrgaon, Prince Valiant, MHRP/Cortex+ Heroic, Bunring Wheel, etc. And the first bit is odd, because the way you find out whether a D&D character is tough enough to beat Orcus in a fight is (among other things) to roll some dice. Of course D&D combat is not nothing but die rolls. But nor is a skill challenge, or a Duel of Wits, or whatever other mechanic a system might use to find out whether or not your PC is steely-hearted enough to resist the maiden's wink. Consulting rules makes zero difference here. It's just a question of whether or not you trust the GM to set up the game to be fun. Adding a veneer of rules on top is just a comfort blanket for gamers who really like rulesI certainly find it interesting that FrogReaver and Maxperson are fine with the maiden melting a PC's heart of the GM has written down (i) that the maiden has such a special ability and (ii) it allows a saving throw. Given that there's no rule in D&D that limits the specia...

Wednesday, 10th July, 2019

  • 02:59 AM - FrogReaver mentioned Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    But even so, rolling a die or having the DM dictate a failure of chastity...or even just a temptation...is kinda boring. In my opinion. Isn't what he is suggesting what is classically referred to as roll playing. When you roll dice to determine if your characters heart is melted, if you are tempted etc. Aren't playstyles heavy in such mechanics also classically deemed simulationist. I find it strange that the playstyle I'm advocating for has been referred to as roll-playing and simulationist etc, but that such mechanical tests that Ovinomancer and others keep referring to actually would be much clearer examples of such terms than anything I've advocated for.

Monday, 8th July, 2019

  • 11:07 PM - Aldarc mentioned Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    ... It lies in deciding how our characters choose to respond to their emotional and psychological urges rather than in deciding the particular emotional and psychological urges themselves. These feelings are not necessarily something that lie within the realm of agency, though your response to such scenarios would be. It's not as if human agency has some grandiose authorizing power over every emotional response or erection you feel. Well, only if you have a +100-year-old out-of-date notion of a mind-body duality in which somehow your moral agency is utterly divorced from psychosomatic and biological cognitive functions. Since pemerton mentioned Pendragon, I would suspect that a lot of Arthurian courtly romantic complications could have been solved had Lancelot (et al) told the DM, "Nope, my heart doesn't melt for Guinevere, because I know that acting on that would have dire consequences for the kingdom and that it would involve me betraying my bro, Arthur." I think that gets close to Ovinomancer's accurately glib comment about how this only transpires when there are potentially negative consequences that a player may want to ignore.

Saturday, 6th July, 2019

  • 05:15 PM - pemerton mentioned Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    In fiction is fine. Out of fiction is not fine. All you mentioned above are in fiction acts. Those are all fine.But having someone wink at you is also an infiction act. I don't understand what distiinction you think you're pointing to here. An in game reason that allows the DM to control my PC? Hardly. Absent some sort of mind control, I get to decide if the maiden's wink melts my heart. No, because charm is an accepted part of the game. I know going into the game that there are in-fiction mechanics such as charm, dominate, command, etc., to assert control over my PC. A wink is not one of those and shouldn't be.These are just bare assertions of preference. As Ovinomancer already noted. I already said that there are some games with out of fiction mechanics, that allows the DM to assert control over my PC via something a wink, and that I wouldn't want to play one of those.It's not "out of fiction". The wink occurs in the fiction. The melting of your PC's heart happens in the fiction. No difference from a spell. And the rule that explains how winking works is something written down in a book. Just like the rules for "an accepted part of the game" that "know going into the game." An in fiction wink has no ability to override a PC's normal reaction. Speaking personally, winks do absolutely nothing for me.Mere assertion. As many have pointed out - George Orwell probably most famously in relatively contemporary literature - everyone has their breaking point. It also suggests significant ignorance of the variety of RPG designs out there. For instance, if you really want your PC never to be influenced by another PC's friendly behaviour, you c...
  • 08:43 AM - pemerton mentioned Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    ...ome action or behave some way - that's depriving your player of a moment in which he can roleplay. You're depriving him of a moment in which he can really make his vision of his character come to life.If you tell the player You're paralysed. I'll tell you when you can act again. or You're charmed. You think Orcus is your best friend you're also depriving the player of a moment in which s/he can really make his/her vision of the character come to life. The fact that the infiction reason for the PC doing such-and-such is ensorcellment has no bearing on the real-world reality that you are pointing to. Whether roleplaying = make my vision of the character come alive is a further question. This is the first post where you've suggested that particular definition. It obviously differs from other definitions that have been put forward, such as portraying a particular character in an imagined world by imposing an authorship constraint on what counts as roleplaying. I reiterate what Ovinomancer says about Bob. Whether or not it can be roleplayed, and counts as roleplaying, has nothing do with the stuff the GM (or other player) is imagining as s/he tells you what has changed about your PC's mental states.No idea what you are saying here. I've read it 3 times and still am drawing a blank.Whether the GM, when s/he tells you what has changed about your PC's mental states, is imagining a winking maiden or a might sorcerer or Ovinomancer's Bob or the Orcus of my earlier paragraph makes no difference to whether or not you, as a player carrying out the GM's directions, are playing a role. Maybe you are. Maybe you aren't. That depends on what it means to play a role. But whatever playing a role means, it is not affected by what is happening in the imagination of the GM when s/he tells you what your player should do now. For instance, if playing a role includes the authorship constraint you have stated, whether or not that constraint is honoured doesn't change because the GM imagin...
  • 03:38 AM - pemerton mentioned Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    In one case the magician - has an in-fiction method of making your PC obey his commands. A maiden's wink (unless it's a wink with supernatural powers) doesn't have an in-fiction method of making a PC do anything.Two things in reply: (1) I reiterate what Ovinomancer says about Bob. Whether or not it can be roleplayed, and counts as roleplaying, has nothing do with the stuff the GM (or other player) is imagining as s/he tells you what has changed about your PC's mental states. (2) You seem to be pre-supposing that the only way that human beings can influence one another's mental states is by way of magic. I see human influence one another's mental states all the time, and I've never seen a human use magic. So I don't agree with yur presuppsition. The moment that additional description is about the PC doing something additional than what the player said then it's the DM assuming roleplaying responsibilities for that PC for that moment.And one thing here, which goes back to the OP: the player has established that her PC is looking for an escape route. The GM isn't having the player do something additional. The GM is establishing further true descriptoins of what the player has had her PC do - you look at your barred window, thinking it might b...

Thursday, 4th July, 2019

  • 08:15 AM - pemerton mentioned Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    FrogReaver - I pretty much agree with Ovinomancer's most recent post about what roleplaying is (post 139 on my count). If I'm told to play an angry person, I can do that. If I'm told to play a person who is pulling the trigger to assassinate the duke, I can do that. If I'm told to play a person whose heart has just been melted by a wink, well I can do that to. Being told "The magician has ensorcelled you - play that" is no different from being told "The maiden's wink has softened your heart - play that." In some ways the latter is actually easier, I think, because it's closer to a genuine human experience! (Unless you've spent a lot of time in the company of Svengali!) I also want to go back to the Apocalypse World example that I posted and that Ovinomancer mentioned. The player establilshes that her PC is looking for an escape route. She makes her check and fails. So the GM narrates that she is looking at her barred window, thinking about how maybe she might be able to escape through it, as her enemies attack her with a gren...

Thursday, 27th June, 2019


Wednesday, 19th June, 2019

  • 02:25 PM - Fenris-77 mentioned Ovinomancer in post [5E] Urban Intrigue Campaign - Gating the Sandbox
    Or you forge an invitation; though that probably requires borrowing a valid invitation, to copy its layout and style, and to copy the signature on the valid original. This is exactly how I want the players to think, yes. Forging the invitation carries a significant set of possible consequences, and would also require, potentially, disguises and other skulduggery. That sounds like a strong role playing opportunity to me. When you're talking about society events it's more complicated than just forging an invitation. People in 'society' tend to know each other, and the hosts know who they invited and didn't, so odd people out will need to find a way to not get asked awkward questions. Ovinomancer - I realize that D&D isn't optimized for this style of play. However, I do think it will support it just fine with some tweaking. Results doesn't have to be binary. Pretty much anything can be run based on X number of successes, like 5E chase mechanics. That can work as straight roles or opposed roles. Also, there are situations where several smaller goals might need to be accomplished before a major one, and there are a bunch of ways to avoid those being save or lose propositions. For example, PCs might need to make X number of successful PER checks over the course of a party to sway opinion, that doesn't mean they only get X chances. Your comments about factions is pretty much what I was thinking, although I was planning to start based a little more on background than you as far as PC affiliation. As for the gating, we're also thinking along similar lines, as are we about plotting. Linear plots are a fools errand in most campaigns, and doubly so in this kind. I'll have important in...

Sunday, 16th June, 2019

  • 01:29 AM - Hriston mentioned Ovinomancer in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Even so, when Ovinomancer denied that anyone had said any such thing - well, as a matter of fact, you HAD said that thing. Ovinomancer denied that anyone in this thread had said that how content is presented cannot determine whether people wish to engage with it. Hereís what I said: Because color (dungeon dressing) is content that provides atmosphere when imagined by the participants at the table. The quality of form with which itís expressed isnít whatís important but rather whether the odors, noises, furnishings, and items found in an area suggest a torture chamber, a harem, or a wizardís laboratory. In other words, itís the actual content that matters, not the particular words that are used and the way they are said. NOT the same thing!

Friday, 14th June, 2019

  • 05:30 AM - pemerton mentioned Ovinomancer in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    when Ovinomancer denied that anyone had said any such thing - well, as a matter of fact, you HAD said that thing. That sentence, as written, says that content matters, and wording doesn't matter. I'm not asking you to stand by or renounce that sentence as the sum of your thoughts on form and content; I was challenging Ovinomancer's assertion that no one had said anything along those lines.If someone says "All the cheese is gone" before the dinner party, and then the next day you and a friend are debating whether or not anyone has ever thought that there's no cheese left in the world, the person who said "All the cheese is gone" doesn't count as an example of such. It's not that they said as much but didn't mean it. It's that anyone who thinks that's what they said doesn't understand the relevant semantic features of natural language. Hriston literally did not assert that the particular words used by a speaker never matter to the effectiveness of communication. Which is the assertion that you and ...
  • 05:21 AM - pemerton mentioned Ovinomancer in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    ...hen the same might be true. Much the same things applies to dinner parties, boardgame nights, attending tutorials, and really any occasion where people get together to interact. Is anyone asserting, on this basis, that all human interaction and communication is a literary endeavour? Is anyone asserting, on this basis, that speaking loud enough to be heard or choosing the right word to accurately describe something is an aspect of literary quality? Or in other words, is anyone asserting that the concept of literary as an adjective applied to endeavour and/or quality is empty, and adds nothing to the general notion of human interaction and communication? Does anyone who read the OP, which includes the following - RPGing requires narration: GMs describe situations, and players declare actions for their PCs that respond to those situations - think that I'm unaware that RPGing involves communication and interaction? I'm frankly at a loss as to what you want me, or Hriston, or Ovinomancer, to take away from your posts on this matter.

Wednesday, 12th June, 2019

  • 04:18 AM - FrogReaver mentioned Ovinomancer in post The Overkill Damage Fallacy
    Ovinomancer, by the way I can account for multiple enemies etc in my formulas. The only thing I can't implement yet is variable damage dice. My formula is surisingly easy to use. Simply list rounds out. Find first round enemy can be killed and then copy paste my formula in every cell.


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Tuesday, 16th July, 2019

  • 12:52 AM - Tony Vargas quoted Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    This is why the baseline argument fails -- D&D is a specific model, not a general one. You can't logically argue from the specific to the general. This is amplified in cases where the model is of poor skill, such as D&D and social skills. As I said before, the D&D way is akready endlessly argued from within the ruleset, so hiw can it be an effective model for general discussion.It's Sisyphean, but starting with the familiar concepts of D&D, and explaining the broader alternatives in those terms, would be using it as a baseline, but not assuming it as the only thing. Maybe? This, frankly, smells of "but if you just agree with me upfront, you'll see that you agree with me."There's some of that in "if you'd just master this other system and accept it's paradigm, you'd understand..." This is an interesting question - in general, and about D&D play: To what extent is the GM permitted to rewrite player-authored PC backstory by drawing upon a combination of (i) situation and stakes and (...

Monday, 15th July, 2019

  • 09:15 PM - pemerton quoted Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    I'm not familiar wiht the example in question, mind elucidating it for me?Reposted: a player that has a backstory as a mind-flayer thrall and has staked his lack of recollection of his past as at risk met with a mind flayer. The mind flayer proposed that what the player thought their memories were are false memories, and that, instead, there's something about the character that caused him to be recruited rather than enslaved. That the character was a dangerous tool that the elder brain thought it could control. Is this true? I don't know, maybe. That really depends on how the player chooses to interact with it. So far, the player has chosen to enter into a temporary agreement for mutual benefit (the mind flayer wishes to disrupt some plans of the player's former masters -- different mind flayer factions at play here), but not to trust the mind flayer. Meanwhile, I've planted seeds of doubt, as what the mind flayer has said may come true. But, again, because D&D, it's the player that wi...
  • 08:53 PM - Lanefan quoted Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    I treat the term challenge as referring to a situation with at least two clear mutually exclusive outcomes, and the possibility of not attaining the desired one if it is chosen for the attempt. This to me is a false premise, in that not all (or even all that many) challenges need only have two clear mutually-exclusive outcomes to still be defined as challenges. Outcomes often run on a scale, with highly-desireable at one end and highly-undesireable at the other and a whole lot of other options in between. Except that some of us genuinely disagree with that premise, even caveated as it is... In a game with a strong GM role, and a Gygaxian rule 0 (either The GM can change the rules on a whim or The GM is always right), the player never has the surety that the GM won't impose conditions on the character's mental state. Which is fine provided it's done within the framework of the game mechanics. An NPC charms or dominates my character? Cool - I can run with that. But if the GM declares my...
  • 01:48 PM - pemerton quoted Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    I have no tools in D&D to bring this into a challenge for characterization nor to resolve such a challenge. In another system the player could have challenged the mind flayer's assertions, but would be risking finding out they might be true. I don't see how that could work in D&D without crossing the one bright line of authority in the game.Do you have much experience with 4e D&D? It's a bit of an open question exactly what tools 4e provides, because the skill challenge is - as presented - such an open-ended or un-nailed-down framework that (experience suggests) needs users to bring ideas and/or experience from outside to really get the best out of it. I think a skill challenge might be able to handle the scenario you're describing. Of course it would depend on table norms - and of course so does everything, but for this sort of thing among D&D players the need for clear norms I think is especially important. In my long-running 4e game - currently on hiatus while one of the players fi...
  • 01:18 PM - Sadras quoted Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    In another system the player could have challenged the mind flayer's assertions, but would be risking finding out they might be true. I don't see how that could work in D&D without crossing the one bright line of authority in the game. EDIT: So, to sum up the above, in D&D, the way this works is the the GM can ask for a change, but it's the player's authority to accept or refuse. I have been leveraging the characters Ideals/Bond/Flaws in D&D, essentially I as DM bribe them with an Inspiration Point if they do or not-do a course of action which is supported by their Ideal/Bond/Flaw. To be clear my bribe is an incentive to complicate matters in game. And as you say it is the players' right to choose. But I'm wondering if I could then also offer a player their character an auto success in an intricate Social Encounter with minimal to no risk to the PCs at the cost of a change in a character's Ideal/Blond/Flaw (Of course this change would need make sense storywise). Player could always choose to...
  • 10:16 AM - pemerton quoted Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    a player that has a backstory as a mind-flayer thrall and has staked his lack of recollection of his past as at risk met with a mind flayer. The mind flayer proposed that what the player thought their memories were are false memories, and that, instead, there's something about the character that caused him to be recruited rather than enslaved. That the character was a dangerous tool that the elder brain thought it could control. Is this true? I don't know, maybe. That really depends on how the player chooses to interact with it. So far, the player has chosen to enter into a temporary agreement for mutual benefit (the mind flayer wishes to disrupt some plans of the player's former masters -- different mind flayer factions at play here), but not to trust the mind flayer. Meanwhile, I've planted seeds of doubt, as what the mind flayer has said may come true. But, again, because D&D, it's the player that will decide if his character is swayed or not. If I were playing a different game, then...
  • 03:18 AM - aramis erak quoted Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    So, I like my definition of a challenge to be where the player has something at stake and can fail to achieve it. Oddly, this pairs okay with my usual positions re: how to run D&D. The core play loop alongside the Middle Path for dice use leads to never asking for a roll unless there's a clear approach, clear goal, and a chance and consequence for failure. Maybe it's not so odd. If I know that many in this thread that are arguing against my position here also argue against that one. Even though I can give page numbers for the rule references. But, this method says that it's not worth even going to mechanics unless there's a chance and consequence for failure -- that, unless it's a challenge as I've defined it, don't roll, just narrate. Yours is a little too Burning Wheel for general adoption, as it will result in not rolling a great many things that the D&D rules require.

Sunday, 14th July, 2019

  • 11:57 PM - aramis erak quoted Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    The character is really just a sheet of paper. It's the player inhabiting the idea of the character that gives it life. That's why I don't understand this idea that you can challenge the character socially, without challenging the player. When Umbran said that I was switching the challenge from the character to the player, I had a vision of Leslie Nielson in an interrogation room with a character sheet sitting on a chair, demanding that it confess. After a few minutes he turns to Nordberg and says, "I never thought it would be so hard to challenge a character." You cannot challenge a character without simultaneously challenging the player. A challenge where the DM takes control and informs the player that his PC's heart warms is no less a challenge to the player than what we are describing. It's just a different sort of challenge. There are a great many challenges for the character that are not for the player, and best resolved with simple mechanical considerations. Some are just ...
  • 11:43 PM - Aebir-Toril quoted Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    Why, when discussing the ways that you can do something in RPGs, should D&D be the baseline assumption? Because it's popular? That seems a silly assertion to make, that you have to assume the popular way to do something in order to talk about ways you can do something. The base here is RPGs. D&D is a big contender -- how it does things should definitely be in-bounds. But, D&D being in-bounds doesn't mean everything else is out-of-bounds. Or that just understanding how D&D does things means you have an understanding of how it can be done. D&D does social pillar stuff very poorly. So poorly that it's either been broken (3.x diplomancers) or almost non-existent (every other edition except, maybe, 4e, and then only if you squinted and imported some non-D&D ideas). Locking the discussion into having to baseline with D&D's bad performance seems like a tremendous way to handicap any useful discussion. Let's not. I'm happy to talk about how D&D works. I'm happy to talk about where I find it do...
  • 03:45 PM - Maxperson quoted Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    This reads very much like someone without experience in other play trying to suggest that other play must be more limited because, obviously, their play isn't limited at all! But, let's look at the outcomes that are okay in this example above. The PCs ignore the NPC. The PCs initiate combat with the NPC. The PCs agree with the NPC. The PCs do something else entirely. All of the above are good outcomes to your example because it's that person engine deciding, and they're the best deciderers. But, I'm absolutely certain that the above is not what you meant. Instead, you have a list of unspoken additional requirements. @Maxperson's social contract probably shows up, in that you're expected to play within the social contract. Here, this would be that the players should accept the proposition and the roll and use the table's understanding (read GM's) of how their character acts to figure out a path that doesn't violate these things while still accomplishing something the player wants. All of ...
  • 03:34 PM - Maxperson quoted Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    It wasn't ignored. I'm saying it's not a challenge, and you're here adding support for that. As for why a challenge has to be binary, well... if you don't risk anything, ie, there's nothing you can lose, then you're not being challenged. By one limited definition of challenge, sure. By other definitions of challenge that's simply wrong. You can in fact be challenged without a win/lose scenario happening. verb verb: challenge; 3rd person present: challenges; past tense: challenged; past participle: challenged; gerund or present participle: challenging 1. invite (someone) to engage in a contest. "he challenged one of my men to a duel" enter into competition with or opposition against. "incumbent Democrats are being challenged in the 29th district" make a rival claim to or threaten someone's hold on (a position). "they were challenging his leadership" invite (someone) to do something that one thinks will be difficult or impossible; dare. "I challenged them to make up their own minds" ...
  • 03:25 PM - FrogReaver quoted Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    This reads very much like someone without experience in other play trying to suggest that other play must be more limited because, obviously, their play isn't limited at all! I appreciate the actual response! Thank you. I think if what you suggest here is the case then it will be easy for you to show I'm wrong. So let's see what you said. But, let's look at the outcomes that are okay in this example above. The PCs ignore the NPC. The PCs initiate combat with the NPC. The PCs agree with the NPC. The PCs do something else entirely. Sounds good so far All of the above are good outcomes to your example because it's that person engine deciding, and they're the best deciderers. But, I'm absolutely certain that the above is not what you meant. Remember how frustrated you got when you thought I was putting words in your mouth. Please have some empathy and don't inadvertently do the same to me. Instead, you have a list of unspoken additional requirements. @ Maxperson 's social contra...
  • 08:59 AM - Lanefan quoted Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    Is there a mechanic? Can you fail? Can you succeed? There's your answer, three times over. If you play chess against yourself, is there a challenge? This is more akin to using your sole authority to determine characterization to make a choice about your characterization. You can't fail this challenge, you can just choose which side you win on.However - and this seems to be getting ignored here - in choosing which side you win on you're also choosing which side you lose on (which, to reverse your words above, also means you cannot succeed this challenge); and in the RPG sense it's most likely the chosen loss that'll have the consequences attached. And yet again I ask you: does every challenge have to be a binary succeed-fail affair? And if so, why?

Saturday, 13th July, 2019

  • 03:34 PM - pemerton quoted Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    Your example is fun play. I like it, and I enjoy when such things happen in my game. What I don't see, though, is how your example illuminates the discussion about choice not being a challenge or risk to characterization. You player decided that this crisis happened, and, absent a scene or scenes where this crisis is tested in a way that the player risks their characterization, it remains just a choice the player made about their character. I can see why you say this. But for me, this brings us back to Campbell's remarks: Players should play their characters with integrity and want to find out who they really are. They shouldn't try to drive play to some preferred outcome. The absence of choice in the example I provided occurred at the point of the killing. At that point, thie player learns - without having any say over it - that his PC is a killer. At that point, playing the character with integrity generates the crisis. There were subsequent events, too, that played on the crisis. Tha...
  • 02:10 PM - Aebir-Toril quoted Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    Actually, I think save or be charmed isn't much of a challenge, either. My argument has been that making a choice isn't a challenge if you can chose between all the choices. Even the unknown repercussions don't make it a challenge, just a guessing game. A challenge requires that something be staked and that you have a risk of losing your stakes. There's lots and lots of ways to do this, even without dice. In an RPG, though, it pretty much requires some kind of mechanic to determine the uncertainty, even if that mechanic is "DM chooses." I think that's a lousy mechanic, but there you go. Oh, perhaps I didn't see you original comment. I seem to be working off quotes of your posts. Sorry, that makes sense.
  • 10:15 AM - pemerton quoted Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    "Fidelity" has two connotations. One is "strict adherence" - this is like a "high-fidelity recording". I don't think that's the sense meant here. The sense intended here is probably "faithful". And that's important. Because if we use the first, then fidelity is, "You wrote that your character is Lawful Good, so you cannot take that action." Fidelity, meaning faithfulness, is more about making the character a real person - who can make errors and change over time..Yes, I mean faithfulness to what the unfolding fiction reveals about the character. Not accuracy. I was trying to build on what Campbell had said. What I'm seeing is an argument that a choice can be offered that risks the player's characterization, but this fails at first contact because the player is making the choice about the characterization -- it's still exactly what the player wants. If you, personally, exhibit difficulty in making a choice to change your characterization, this doesn't make the choice special or suddenl...
  • 05:58 AM - FrogReaver quoted Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    Yes, you are confused. Finally, agreement. This is a discussion board. If your not going to discuss with me then stop talking to me.
  • 05:49 AM - FrogReaver quoted Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    Is there a mechanic? Can you fail? Can you succeed? There's your answer, three times over. Then I'm confused. In chess you can choose between all choices. Earlier you said that meant something wasn't a challenge
  • 04:27 AM - FrogReaver quoted Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    Actually, I think save or be charmed isn't much of a challenge, either. My argument has been that making a choice isn't a challenge if you can chose between all the choices. Even the unknown repercussions don't make it a challenge, just a guessing game. A challenge requires that something be staked and that you have a risk of losing your stakes. There's lots and lots of ways to do this, even without dice. In an RPG, though, it pretty much requires some kind of mechanic to determine the uncertainty, even if that mechanic is "DM chooses." I think that's a lousy mechanic, but there you go. In real life - What about chess? Is Chess a challenge? (assuming two nearly equally skilled players)
  • 04:20 AM - FrogReaver quoted Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    Dude, irony. Those comments were made about taking things either out-of-context or imagined and then trying to pin those arguments on other posters. Like you just did to me. You cannot find anywhere in this thread (or others) where I've gotten even close to saying that telling a player to make a saving throw out of the blue is a challenge. You've erected a strawman. Have fun with it. Okay Mr Grumpy - can't take a joke - but can belittle others


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