View Profile: Ovinomancer - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Today, 03:26 AM
    I agree with this. How a player makes a choice for the character can tell us something about that character without a challenge. I've said this before -- choices are still good play, they just aren't challenges. There's lots of tools in the box to get character out, but the nature of message boards is the hyper-focus on a point of disagreement until it looks like the whole point to begin with.
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Today, 03:24 AM
    Wait, you're asking what detriment exists if you don't gate everything through the GM's approval? I'm going to need to sit down awhile on that one. I mean... but... really? This is, well, a bit philosophically confused. I'll let pemerton bring the big words, but you're doing a decent job pointing out that what happens in game is a fiction and therefore different from what happens in...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Today, 12:48 AM
    This goes right back to the OP where the question was about the difference between what your character does, as in proposes an action that the DM then determines the result of, or what you character does, as in you get to say the action and the outcome. This is firmly in that former group, the thin declaration, whereby the player is essentially asking the GM to do something nice if they succeed...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 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
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 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
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 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
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 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
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 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
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 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
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 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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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    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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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    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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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    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.
    654 replies | 16914 view(s)
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    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.
    654 replies | 16914 view(s)
    1 XP
  • 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. ...
    654 replies | 16914 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Saturday, 29th June, 2019, 12:26 PM
    Course it doesn't. Then it wouldn't be fun!
    12 replies | 645 view(s)
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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...
    12 replies | 645 view(s)
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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 | 5527 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 | 5527 view(s)
    1 XP
  • 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 | 5527 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 | 5527 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 | 5527 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 | 5527 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 | 5527 view(s)
    1 XP
  • 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 | 5527 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 | 5527 view(s)
    2 XP
  • 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 | 5527 view(s)
    1 XP
  • 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 | 5527 view(s)
    3 XP
  • 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 | 5527 view(s)
    1 XP
  • 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 | 5527 view(s)
    2 XP
  • 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 | 2024 view(s)
    1 XP
  • 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 | 2024 view(s)
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Friday, 12th July, 2019


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Tuesday, 11th June, 2019

  • 04:59 PM - FrogReaver mentioned Ovinomancer in post The Overkill Damage Fallacy
    Ovinomancer im still on phone the method to obtain a weighted average is simple Calculate (chance X happens) * X sum each value whala you have a weighted average that tells you the average oh whatever X is. If x is damage the. Itís average damage. If x is kill round then x is average kill round. I Shouldnít have to spend 3+ posts wxplainjng how weighted average works and that what I calculated was a weighted average.
  • 01:06 PM - FrogReaver mentioned Ovinomancer in post The Overkill Damage Fallacy
    Ovinomancer i will reply more detail later to find weighted average you donít use cumulative probabilities. Doesnít that affect your analysis?

Sunday, 9th June, 2019

  • 05:33 AM - pemerton mentioned Ovinomancer in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Iím sure mine and pemertonís ideas donít exactly match, no. But thatís fine. I donít entirely agree with his premise, but I understand it, and I think he has a point. But Iím only speaking for myself. I would tend to think of "rictus grin" as falling on the literary side of things, as does Hussar. As I've posted, it does no harm if it doesn't impede (what I regard as) the real point of play. It has a face like a skull might do just as well. I personally can't remember how I've described githyanki in the past - I suspect I'm more likely to have shown a picture, such as the one on the front of the Fiend Folio. More generally, and feeding this into the current Maxperson - Ovinomancer interaction, I think that the role of description in RPGing is easily overestimated. It prioritises immersive imagination orver protagonistic inhabitation. Whereas the latter is the distinctive virtue of RPGs as games that are about producing a shared fiction. All this said, I think you've fully understood my points in this thread, seem to agree at least to some extent, and have made many helpful posts into it for which I thank you.

Saturday, 1st June, 2019

  • 02:56 AM - Fenris-77 mentioned Ovinomancer in post Does the world exist for the PCs?
    Ovinomancer So, when you say "build around the PC", what are you actually referring to? That's the kind of phrase that could mean a lot of different things depending on who's talking.

Tuesday, 28th May, 2019

  • 03:42 AM - Fenris-77 mentioned Ovinomancer in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    Ovinomancer I agree with everything you just said. However, i do have a lingering issue with point buy 5e. INT is a dump stat for a lot of classes, but that doesn't stop whole parties of shortbus INT 8 characters from quoting chapter and verse from the MM or coming up with diabolically fiendish plans on a regular basis. No, the game doesn't care, and as a GM running actual games, neither do I, but conceptually, or perhaps even philosophically (ecumenically?) it sets my teeth on edge.

Friday, 10th May, 2019

  • 05:20 PM - robus mentioned Ovinomancer in post Blowing up my campaign
    @Ovinomancer - I do love the idea that as soon as they liberate the wizard for this one infraction, he's immediately arrested by the Marut for meddling with the timeline. It has taken all this time for them to track down who caused the schism. :) A nice twist to lead into a level 20 adventure. Edit: Though I've no idea what that entails... a court case as you say is the most logical outcome, but that would go down like a ton of bricks. So I think it would have to be a prison break/heist thing (and perhaps the wizard wishes himself a duplicate that can do the time... :) ) Or perhaps the group would just wash their hands of him and say he deserves it!

Wednesday, 1st May, 2019

  • 11:45 AM - pemerton mentioned Ovinomancer in post Stakes and consequences in action resolution
    ...hat if my chance of success is 1 in 20, then advantage nearly doubles that (39/400 is near enough to 1 in 10); while if my chance is already good, then advantage doesn't increase it as much (eg if its 50/50 it goes to 3 in 4, which is only 50% more likely; if its 4 in 5 then it goes to 24/25, which is only 20% more likely). But if I'm following properly, the general experience is that doubling a small chance doesn't, in practice, make much difference (eg because those checks don't come up often enough for the doubling to show through) while the more modest increase in to big chances does make a difference (eg because those checks come up a fair bit and already weren't too likely to fail and now are even less likely). You mean 'Bounded Accuracy?' Or the nominal easy/hard/etc guidelines?The two in combination, I think, because its the relationship between bonuses and DCs that determines the prospects of success, which matter to the viability of conflict resolution for the reasons Ovinomancer has given. Thinking through some more maths: Suppose a DC of 15 and a bonus of +1. Then the chance of success is 7 in 20, but with advantage is 231/400, or about 11.5 in 20. The latter sort of odds is enough to support conflict resolution in Burning Wheel, but the result is that the players (and their PCs) do fail a lot and hence the play experience can be pretty demanding on them. And demanding on the GM too, because it puts a lot of pressure on the GM to effectively narrate failures. I think D&D (and I include 4e here) has never provided a lot of support to the GM in narrating failure effectively. I don't have a good sense of how much better 5e might be in this respect, but if the general tendency in play is to incline towards making checks with significantly better than 50/50 odds then maybe it doesn't come up too much? I think this also touches on another corollary to your posts, that task -> conflict resolution, when well coupled, doesn't imply that a successful task ...
  • 03:53 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned Ovinomancer in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    ...in effect limit the GM as to how many different-gear-requiring types of obstacles she can put in the way, or is a truly nasty GM allowed to put in 8 or more and thus guarantee failure? EDIT TO ADD: Another aspect is information. The BitD version seems to assume that if the character happens to have some meat on hand then the character knew there was (or could be) a dog involved. The D&D version allows for this information to either have been a) kept intentionally hidden or b) be available to discover but outright missed during the research-and-casing phase. To me this makes the D&D version more authentic in that the character can make a mistake or be caught by an oversight. I'm far from an expert on BitD, but I would think there are 2 relevant comments here. One is that it may well have many other subsystems which provide ways to produce the things you're asking about. I know it has 'stress' and some other types of currency, as well as an SC-like (in some ways) mechanic. I'm sure Ovinomancer will tell you about how these work. The other thing though, is that maybe this is the type of story the game is aimed at. No game is good for everything. It is very difficult to do some types of fairly obvious stories in D&D, at least without them seeming very contrived, unless you subscribe to some unusual interpretations of hit points and other things. Finally, this is not by any means the last word in possible mechanics of this ilk. Looking at my own game, HoML, I don't find any trouble in having things happen in various ways, even though most of the things that do happen have some kind of dynamic associated with them where the players can 'change the situation', much in the way that BitD allows you to choose a piece of gear when you need it. These actions all have consequences. For instance a player could expend their Inspiration to have their PC come up with a piece of gear, but then it is spent, and getting it back will require leveraging a character attribute in an unfavorabl...

Sunday, 28th April, 2019

  • 03:26 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned Ovinomancer in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    ...can't really be quantified for the reasons I've given, but they can tell if something is becoming more or less realistic. But, if you read the posts earlier discussing the way BitD introduces an element into the game via its architecture and mechanics which could be seen as more realistic, but where that realism is in terms of 'authenticity of the narrated outcome' vs 'authenticity of the process' (which Lanefan argued for) then you must know that at least these two deeply differing sorts of realism exist, and yet not everyone seems to recognize them, or consider them to be effective at increasing authenticity. It is really just not as simple as 'subsystem X which arbitrates injection of element Y into the game, where element Y exists in the real world is the definition of realism and everyone recognizes that'. Where that true, then your criticisms, or those of lowkey13 etc. would all be super accurate, but they're not because there really truly is no one single agreement about this. Ovinomancer cares about reality of outcomes, but Lanefan cares about process (and I assume he would say that outcomes take care of themselves to some degree).

Saturday, 27th April, 2019

  • 02:40 AM - Maxperson mentioned Ovinomancer in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    ...g my head permanent this time. I appreciate that you recognize that. :) Sure thing! They do the same thing to me, so I know what you're talking about. I'm just a bit more stubborn than you are about this sort of thing. :) Anyway, I apologize if you thought I was indicating that people were bullying you; I really was using that as an analogy in that prior post, and you have shown you are more than capable of standing up for yourself (as shown in this thread!). I do think that there is something distasteful with a group of people that have an insular and (not necessarily) widely-shared opinion taking turns being, at times, rude and dismissive* to a fellow forum member and then bolstering each other with XP; that's what I meant when I wrote that "the majority of people looking at this thread will just see a circular firing squad of people high-fiving each other without cause." I didn't think you were saying that they were bullying me, so no worries. I was My response was to Ovinomancer who was equating the analogy with the accusation of bullying. It was to let him know that I wasn't taking it the same way he was. Anyway, whether it's called "more realistic" or "more authentic" or "more asdwfnksaedjk," I have always preferred a level of abstraction in my games and favored fast gameplay over simulation/realism; that's why I played a stripped-down 1e and pretty much checked out when they published the DSG and WSG. I personally think it would be helpful to, instead of concentrating on this sole issue, to discuss how different goals in TTRPGs have to balanced against each other, and different goals have different costs; something which is familiar in almost every endeavor. I agree, which is why I have repeatedly said here that while I enjoy more realism than 5e has at it's core, I won't engage realism to the point where the players' enjoyment of the game starts to suffer. It might be interesting to even ask whether the weighting of realism/simulation has cha...

Friday, 26th April, 2019

  • 11:43 AM - Sadras mentioned Ovinomancer in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    ...ure up differing mechanics which are attempting to do the same thing (AC versus Absorption for instance). it does come down to subjectivity. Would you agree though, for the sake of the argument, if we look at D&D solely and said the next edition of D&D will either have an AC mechanic (as it does now) or every attack will be considered successful, no die roll required. If you have to compare those two scenarios - is one more realistic/authentic than the other or do you feel that still comes down to preferences: those that wish to role dice and those that don't. Personally I feel at this point it cannot be just preferences and that there is a case for insert preferred buzzword, either wearing armour protects your character in some way, however abstract, or it is just cosmetic. SYNOPSIS My conversation starter was AC vs No AC which is more real. @Aldarc suggested its preferences as you cannot measure what is more real between AC vs Absorption mechanic. Mostly dealt with above. @Ovinomancer said he would measure more realism at the fiction level not via processes and described a 'GM decides' game which inputs realistic results via GM narration. Have to give this more thought. @hawkeyefan is ok with the terminology more realism except when measuring system vs system, a little similar to Aldarc as he follows the line of preferences which I understand, but probably no surprise to him, I disagree with the BitD example he used - it is TOTALLY gamist and we probably won't agree. In this specific instance I would probably side with Max. @AbdulAlhazred returns to the semantic debate and prefers the term more authentic giving his reasons for the use of either term as he views it. I may not agree entirely, but my interest does not lie in the semantic debate. I'm ok with the term more authentic as I've said many times, I was using the more realism term as a shorthand for a great many things. @pemerton reiterates everyone else's point in his first two replies (which is whe...

Thursday, 25th April, 2019

  • 04:27 AM - pemerton mentioned Ovinomancer in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    Blades in the Dark, fir example, has no AC mechanic at all, much less any specific mechanics for combat that are in any way different from sneaking past a guard. Yet, you can have broken or damaged weapons, sucking chest wounds, minor scratches, and many other interesting and "realistic" outcomes of a fight with deadly weapons. 5e, for example, has detailed, combat specific rules, yet generates none of these things. Which is the more "realistic"? You seem to be focused on game processes being the way to introduce "realism". I disagree this is appropriate. There's a dufference between process and resultant fictions. "Realism," to me, can only be judged at the fiction, not the process. However, all of your arguments so far about adding "realism" have been about adding additional processes. I'm pointing out that process is not required for "realism." Sadras, Ovinomancer here is saying to you much the same things as I said to Maxperson upthread. I didn't mention BitD, as I don't play that game - I mentioned Prince Valiant, Cortex+ Heroic and BW as games that permit these various things through a mixture of processes (especially important in BW) and GM narration of consequences - which is my guess as to how it is handled in BitD. (If that guess is wrong then hawkeyefan or Ovinomancer can correct me.) Isn't the shorthand for this realism. Will you be happy with more authentic? more immersive? more RL illusionary? more dramatic? I mean looking for a better description/buzz-word is just playing silly buggers...It's not just playing silly buggers - the fact that you think it is means that maybe you've missed AbdulAlhazred's point. That point was the following: one effect of the AD&D DMG disease system may be that a PC, on some occasion of play, suffers a disease which debilitates him/her for a little while. And that may increase the player...

Wednesday, 24th April, 2019

  • 01:33 PM - Maxperson mentioned Ovinomancer in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    ...games perform a similar function with different mechanics. Some games use counter combat rolls. The DM rolls (defense/combat) and the player rolls (defense/combat), and the success of the attack is in the difference. Is that more or less realistic than AC? Other games have the player roll defense, whether using dice polls or defeating a static difficulty number. Is that more realistic than AC? Many systems use armor as damage absorption/reduction. Is that more or less realistic than AC? I can't say for certain, because this does not fundamentally strike me as a debate on realism, but, rather, a debate on gaming preferences and aesthetics rather than some silly, vacuous notion of realism being on a scale, which unsurprisingly seems to having moving goalposts and arbitrary standards. The "realism scale" has as much "meat" as talking about the invisible hand of the market, the leviathan of the state, the state of nature, or the social contract of governance. This and the response from Ovinomancer are Red Herrings. It's irrelevant which one is more realistic. You can't point to a different system that adds realism to combat and ask "Which is more realistic?" as a reason to answer that 5e's system is not realistic. It's just a deflection. Even though Blades in the Dark has a different system that adds realism to its game, 5e's combat system still adds realism to the game. Which system is more realistic is irrelevant. IMHO, "Realism" has more to do with the game fiction than the mechanics, though the mechanics may attempt to support and reinforce that fiction. Realism has to do with both the game fiction AND the mechanics. Where there are mechanics and those mechanics interact with the game fiction, those mechanics must match the game fiction or you get nonsense. If you have a bow in the game fiction and use it, the mechanics must allow for ranged attacks and shooting. I think that cultural tradition has largely given the AC mechanic a post hoc justification...

Friday, 19th April, 2019

  • 07:29 AM - pemerton mentioned Ovinomancer in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...d the wizard has to start declaring melee attacks. At some point in this rambling conversation it was brought up that players who would worry about failing a roll and making a situation worse would simply choose not to roll. They would remain neutral as a counter to the consequences of failure. So, it was proposed, that there should not only be consequences for failure, but consequences for doing nothing. So, exactly what I said. Consequence for failing and consequence for doing nothing.That was me, not Charlaquin. As per a post I made not too long ago days-wise but maybe 100+ posts upthread, there are different approaches possible and this thread is bringing out some of those differences. Just to mention some of the posters I've interacted with: The approach I'm describing (which I use in 4e and which I think could be ported to 5e) has some similiarities to 5ekyu's, but is not identical (as can be seen in the discussion of the Audience With the Troll King scenario). Ovinomancer also does some things similar to me - eg in some recent posts mentions the idea of keeping up the pressure on the players via their PCs - but not identically I don't think. I also have some similiarites to Elfcrusher and Charlaquin - eg regarding the fictional specification of the declared action as very important - but some differences - eg I call for more checks than they do (see my quote upthread from Luke Crane for the reasons why). I have had far too many players who are so scared of failing and making things worse for the party that instead they opt to do nothing. So, when I see people saying that by adding more consequences for failing a roll than simply defaulting to the status quo, and that makes their players more eager to act, that goes against everything I have seen with new players. The more consequences there are, the more likely they are to withdraw. <snip> Failing forward is great, I love that style. But that was not the style I was addressing. This...

Monday, 15th April, 2019

  • 10:15 AM - pemerton mentioned Ovinomancer in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...nce. I might say ďok, you could break the leg off the table with a DC 10 Strength check, and you could apply Athletics proficiency if you have it. But the noise might attract the guardís attention if you fail. What do you do?Ē Now you have enough information to make an informed decision, whether you want to accept the risk or try a different approach. Youíre not blindly making checks, the results of which you canít predict. Youíre thinking about your character as an entity existing in a world, making decisions as you imagine that entity might. You succeed and fail based on your decisions and the risks you accept or donít accept.Here we can see the outlines of different approaches to RPGing. I want to draw out one contrast: between (1) consequences for failure as a prior, necessary condition to call for a check (Charlaquin's approach) and (2) consequences for failure as a subsequent condition mandated by a prior decision to call for a check (my preferred approach, perhaps sometimes Ovinomancer's approach). In approach (1), part of deciding whether or not to call for a check is inspecting the "causal" state of the fiction to determine whether or not it contains implicit consequences (eg guards who might be attracted by noise in a cell). This is one aspect of what I was trying to get at upthread in talking about an approach that focuses on "engineering" aspects of the fiction, like who is where when, and what causal processes are they participating in. This is not an aspect of approach (2). Approach (2) determines whether or not to call for a check on a different basis (I'll say what in a moment). If a check is called for, and fails, then consequences will be narrated, which may require establishing new fictional elements (like guards, or a cursed sarcophagus) to be constituent elements of those consequences. To put it another way, if a consequence is needed then the GM establishes the requisite in-fiction "causal" conditions that will be part of that. On approach (2)...
  • 05:06 AM - pemerton mentioned Ovinomancer in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...ter's ability in deciding that there is no reasonable chance of failure and hence no check required, well, I think the "goal and approach" advocates would see that as an instance of working as intended. I can see some possible problems here - eg there are two PC barbarians, one with STR 18 and one with STR 20, and the GM at stage (i) doesn't distinguish between them and thus does not give the 20 STR PC the benefit of that extra bit of STR. But I think that that is likely to be a marginal issue at most tables. If my warlock got tossed in a cell, with his +0 strength and no proficiency in athletics, I'd never try and break the door to get out. Maybe by magical means, but I'd want to know what bonus I got before trying to roll. Because, if I fail to break down the door, my situation gets worse. <snip> However, at a game where failure does not automatically mean things get worse, I might try athletics.Speaking from my own perspective, but also trying to make sympathetic sense of Ovinomancer's, I think there is a bigger issue here which you're missing - or to put it another way, you're missing the dynamic of play wood because of the ability check adjudication trees. I play a game (be that 4e, Prince Valiant, Burning Wheel, or The Dying Earth) in which there are adverse consequences for failed checks. But that's only a special case of the bigger picture: there are adverse consequences for the PCs unless they act. The situation is framed so as to yield pressure on the PCs (and, thereby, their players) which will drive the game forward. So while your trapped warlock may choose not to try to bend the bars, because you recognise the prospect is hopeless and you don't like the consequences implicit in the GM's framing of the situation, you can be sure that something is going to happen that will force you to make some sort of choice. And if you don't try to escape now, then you give the GM licence to make that something a bigger deal, if only because the passage of time in ...
  • 01:29 AM - pemerton mentioned Ovinomancer in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    To add to this, let us say there is a massive bloodstain in front of a trapped door. A door that is still trapped. That means no one has gotten through this door, because it is still trapped and the person who tried is dead. So then, why would there be a bloodstain in front of the next trapped door in that dungeon? No one got through the first, the only indication you had was the previous adventurers failure, no hints from the trap itself, so how would you narrate the next door that was trapped in the same dungeon? I wanted to second Satyrn's remark that it is possible to "telegraph" traps, to establish fiction that trap-interested players can pick up on, without introducing contradictions. What those might actually look like - bloodstains, mismatched tiles, holes in the wall, etc (I'm just parroting Ovinomancer here) - would depend on mood, context, past narration, etc. I'm also not sure how many of the "goal and approach" advocates are playing dungeons in the sense that you describe here. I think more than one poster has already suggested that traps are a distinctive rather than generic occurence in the adventures they are running. So it mayu be that this particular problem, of finding meaningful framing for multile geographically and temporally proximate traps, doesn't come up much for them. What if you want to flag down the waitress? It could be seen as a DC 5 charisma check. But, considering how minor in importance that moment is, and the high likelihood of success, we choose not to roll the dice. There is little to no uncertainty and no stakes. But does that mean there is not an ability check that could be rolled?I could be wrong, but you seem here to suggest that "an ability check" is an abstractly existing thing, or a latent element of the fiction. Whereas an ability check is cl...

Sunday, 14th April, 2019

  • 02:59 AM - pemerton mentioned Ovinomancer in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...was unfair "gotcha" GMing, but which was fun at the time, and was done in a system (4e) which is very robust for acommodating this sort of thing: I drew up my map similiarly, including with the side tunnel (behind the tiefling) which on my version ran down into the chasm, and the columns, stalactites, etc. I didn't use four beholders, only 2 - an eye tyrant (MV version) and an eye of flame advanced to 17th level and MM3-ed for damage. And also a 15th level roper from MV, introduced on a whim when the player of the wizard asked, before taking cover behind a column, if it looked suspicious. (Response to result of 28 on the Perception check before adding the +2 bonus for knowing what he is looking for - "Yes, yes it does!") On the other hand, if relevant fiction is already established, then I will have it express or implicit in the framing, so that the players can incorporate it into their goals. So no completely acontextual ambushes. (I think this would be an instance of what Ovinomancer means by "telegraphing", although the mode of telegraphing may be different - see further below on this difference.) As far as noticing a party in lieu of an ambush, that would either be narration of a failure (because the player wanted to get the drop on the waiting assassins on the other side of the door, but instead there's a crowd of revellers who are now an obstacle to finding the assassins and getting the drop on them) or in some contexts just a bit of colour. I think in many ways this comes back to a recurring theme in this thread: one side keeps assuming a model of "listen randomly at every door and check it for traps" or "check every NPC to see if they are lying" of play. And if that's the case, then yeah it gets a little unwieldy to describe approach in detail every time, and it also would feel like mere embellishment...a charge Oofta, for example, keep leveling. But if the players know they don't have to listen at every door, then when they get to the door they do ...

Wednesday, 10th April, 2019

  • 10:02 PM - pemerton mentioned Ovinomancer in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    I'm sure you're trying to help, but bringing up approaches that are appropriate to other games and might not be a good fit for the one under discussion is in my view needlessly confusing.There's a fair bit going on in this thread. I've had some interesting exchanges with various posters which they also seem to have found interesting/rewarding (no one forced them to give XP). And I replied to a thread that quoted me. I'm confident that Chaosmancer can work out that I'm speaking from one particular perspective. Perhaps Iím wrong and the curse was triggered by them touching it in an attempt to decipherÖ but then success or failure of the roll would have led to the mummies, because touching it activated the curse.I could be wrong - but my reading of Ovinomancer's example was that the fiction of the curse is established as a narration of the consequence of a failed check. A similar example is found in this actual play report (that's me posting as thurgon on rpg.net) - failure on an Aura Reading check led me to narrate a curse on the angel feather the PC was examining. And this can work, but sometimes there is an answer in the fiction, because I have put it there. <snip> there is a truth, and I need to know that truth before even calling for a check, and a success or failure does not change that truth, only how things react and occur.In these sorts of cases, I think it is harder to establish meaningful stakes and consequences for a knowledge check. I'm not 100% sure knowledge checks are a good fit at all for that sort of game - I'm no sort of expert, but I look at (say) GUMSHOE and it tends to eschew checks as the way to acquire game-driving knowledge.

Monday, 8th April, 2019

  • 02:52 AM - pemerton mentioned Ovinomancer in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Yes, I know. I play Dungeon World. Honestly I find this conversation a bit surreal. I'm not even sure how to respond. One of us totally doesn't understand what the other is talking about. Or possibly both of us.Well, I think there are (at least) two alternatives to Oofta's approach. iserith is describing one. I think Ovinomancer may be describing something a bit different, but he can clarify that if he wants to. I'm not sure what your overall position is. Both alternatives equate action declaration with describing something that happens in the fiction. This is a contrast with Oofta, Hussar, etc. In iserith's approach to 5e, following such an action declaration the GM then adjudicates this to determine whether or not a check is required, and if so how hard it is. As he puts it, the ultimate player goal is to avoid the risks of the dice. I see this as a type of puzzle-solving play, though (obviously) not like solving riddles or chess puzzles. By way of contrast, in DW, DitV, Burning Wheel, Prince Valiant, HeroWars/Quest, Maelstrom Storytelling, The Dying Earth, etc (just to name some of the games I'm familiar with that adopt this alternative approach), there is no avoiding the risks of the dice, assuming that something is actually at stake. (If nothing is at stake, then the GM should just "say 'yes'" and t...


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Saturday, 13th July, 2019


Friday, 12th July, 2019

  • 01:15 PM - FrogReaver quoted Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    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 Because there are other states than full success or full failure. The challenge is due to risk which is due to uncertainty. Pushing for full success can sometimes cause a greater risk for full failure
  • 01:12 PM - FrogReaver quoted Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    So, success would be maintaining your chastity and getting the girl. How pseudo-zen of you. Note my example didnít have getting the girl as the alternate goal. It was getting the sword. But Yes! To keep your chastity and get the girl is success if those are your goals. They used to call it marriage... ;)
  • 01:06 PM - Maxperson quoted Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    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 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.
  • 07:14 AM - Maxperson quoted Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    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. It's probably a good thing for me, then, that success/fail challenges are just one type of challenge and I can indeed be challenged in ways that are not success/fail.
  • 05:04 AM - Lanefan quoted Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    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 making the choice blind or partly blind as to whether or not it will lead to ultimate success at the overarching goal. What I don't see is your duality of challenge being either maintain your purity or get the girl -- this is a naked choice, not a challenge. There's no fail state here, nor is there a success state, it's just a choice between two different states. To illuminate, swap your goals to a) get the piece of pumpkin pie, and b) get the piece of apple pie. Either way you get a piece of pie and don't get the other, but this isn't a challenge, it's just a choice. For there to be an actual challenge...
  • 12:44 AM - FrogReaver quoted Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    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 making the choice blind or partly blind as to whether or not it will lead to ultimate success at the overarching goal. What I don't see is your duality of challenge being either maintain your purity or get the girl -- this is a naked choice, not a challenge. There's no fail state here, nor is there a success state, it's just a choice between two different states. failure = not being able to obtain both states at the same time.

Thursday, 11th July, 2019

  • 10:48 PM - Elfcrusher quoted Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    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. Oh, I see. You're trying to look at the choice itself as a challenge. I was looking at the choice as a small component of a larger challenge. Or, really, a piece of two larger challenges, with the dilemma being that choice A gets you closer to succeeding at the first challenge, but further from succeeding at the second, and vice versa. So the two challenges are: a) maintain your purity, and b) get the girl. (For whatever larger purpose both serve.)
  • 07:11 PM - Umbran quoted Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    If you don't add words to what he said, you can avoid the conclusion leapt to. What conclusion? If you are going to accuse folks of jumping to things, please be clear. Misunderstandings cannot be corrected when you are being vague.
  • 06:51 PM - Elfcrusher quoted Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    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. Without actually adding any words I still think he says (intentionally or not) what I first assumed. But you apparently read something entirely different. It's funny how that works. Sometimes I think we should all communicate in nothing higher level than assembly language.
  • 02:33 PM - Aebir-Toril quoted Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    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 players, but I haven't gotten that at all, and it requires adding words to what they've posted to get there. I don't know what Elfcrusher thought, but I am in no way crushing my players. I allow my players do do whatever the Nine Hells they want 99.9% of the time, but if, for instance, the Lawful Good Paladin says, "I torture her with acid to get information", even though her character's bond is to protect others, even those who have strayed from the path of good, I might ask her if that's what she really wants to do. Furthermore, I always allow the players to do what they want to do with their character...
  • 04:51 AM - Elfcrusher quoted Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    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 players, but I haven't gotten that at all, and it requires adding words to what they've posted to get there. I might be wrong, too. Let me break down how I read it: After all, If the player chooses to role=play in perfect character, this would not be an issue. But, if the player disregards the character in order to take a magic sword (Excalibur), the most we, as DMs, can do, under the RAW, is exhibit the consequences to the character from the perspective of outsiders. The phrase in bold was a red flag for me. It suggests that "perfect character" is something that can be discerned or defined. For ex...
  • 03:41 AM - pemerton quoted 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

  • 05:12 PM - DMZ2112 quoted Ovinomancer in post A Reliable Talent for Expert Stealth
    Oh my gods, six pages. Thank you all for taking the time to respond. 75% success against a garden-variety monster, under adverse conditions, seems pretty reasonable to me. If you want to have a particularly alert guard, you can give it proficiency, or even expertise, in perception. You are not wrong, but this is not in line with your original proposal. You said that high-level rogues should have the chance to sneak when no one else could. I agree with that idea, but that is not what this is. This is a high-level rogue having a chance to be detected when anyone else would be detected as a matter of course. To actually get to the point where such a rogue feels challenged, the monster would require a truly ridiculous bonus to their roll, well in excess of +10. Seems you have a good handle on it and don't need my advice. Enjoy it! I hope I didn't shut you down, Ovinomancer; I have a tendency to speak in absolutes that is easily interpreted as a lack of interest in discussion. I'm not certain, I just project confidence. The high-level rogue doesn't have to sneak through a dark dungeon past a sleepy guard. The high-level rogue has to sneak past a dragon, in broad daylight, at a full tilt run. Good. Yes. That is actually more helpful than it seems. Forest for the trees, and all that. I was actually just thinking about starting a post about whether or not expertise ruins the game. Is that not this thread? :) It just sounds to me like the argument is not so much "Expertise is problematic..." but "Expertise is problematic when I chop away two of the three pillars underpinning the game and things get wobbly." Which doesn't so much sound like a problem with Expertise per se, but the choices the DM has made. I think we agree here? I will cop to the fact that my issue is far more combat-focused than I thought when I wrote the post. I am much less co...
  • 09:26 AM - Lanefan quoted Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    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. Agreed so far. I think another problem with conceptualization here is the difference in how games that risk character play versus those that don't. In general, a game where the GM has some authority over character are those games that also play in the moment and not according to a preconceived plot. In the case of the knight above, the quest isn't something the GM has already written up in their notes but instead something that occurs from play. In that case, the knight suddenly deciding to go with the maiden doesn't derail the planned story because that choice is the story at that moment. Whereas in games wit...
  • 02:55 AM - Maxperson quoted Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    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. Nah. You just somehow don't understand what it is that I do. You see, if my knight whose concept is a knightly paragon of virtue gets put into that situation, he may or may not succumb to the maiden's wiles. His character is indeed at risk, as if he does succumb, his concept is dead or dying. Not only that, but if he succumbs, I then have to struggle with he reacts to his fall. Does he do the right thing and marry her? Probably. Does he fall into a great depression, perhaps drinking or not doing anything, including the quest? Maybe. Does he try to atone? Does he pretend it didn't happen and do double duty on knightly virtue stuff? And so on. Lots and lots o...

Tuesday, 9th July, 2019

  • 04:05 PM - Elfcrusher quoted Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    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. 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. When it gets interesting is when there's some actual temptation on the part of the player to succumb. Maybe sometimes, for some, just the story value is enough of a temptation. But for others a mechanical temptation might be needed. And I have to admit that I favor genuine trade-offs. (That is, the player of the knight knows that if he/she gives in to the temptation, there's some concrete benefit to be gained, and a concrete penalty to breaking the vow.) But, either way, if the ...
  • 03:52 PM - Umbran quoted Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    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. I think he has you there, Maxperson. There's a difference between, "the concept is always open to change - when I choose it," and, "the concept is *at risk*."
  • 02:32 PM - Maxperson quoted Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    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 risked nothing. And yet, you argue that this must be the case, that the player should never risk the character (making your own choices isn't risking the character). So, yes, there's a difference between failing and having the GM ask you if you want to suffer the consequences and failing and actually suffering the consequences. I never said that there was no risk or real failure. Don't put your assumptions onto me like that. There are consequences for almost everything. If you don't understand something, ask me. The result is that the knight is in love with the maiden. Period. This is a characte...
  • 02:29 PM - Umbran quoted Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    But, some games have mechanics that allow players to risk their concepts and some that allow the GM to attack character concepts to begin with. Example: because I mentioned it before, so it is handy now - FATE. In FATE-based games, the core of the character concept is ensconced in Aspects - descriptive bits about a character that are available to be invoked for good or ill. Your character may be a Champion Boxer, so they may get a benefit when punching, but a detriment when caught in a grapple. Or, maybe your character has a "Heart of stone" - they have a benefit when resisting having their heart melted by maidens, but perhaps a detriment when empathy is necessary. In conflicts, as previously mentioned, the player may choose to take Consequences, rather than Stress. There is one top-level consequence they can take it absorbs the most stress for you. The catch is that if you take it, it *replaces* one of your other aspects, permanently. Or, at least as permanently as any aspect is i...


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