View Profile: hawkeyefan - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Today, 04:45 AM
    So all that is fine, really. But all it says is that at best D&D is neutral as far as roleplaying goes. True Neutral. Thereís not a game I can think of where you canít come up with characters like those youíve offered. I do think itís interesting that the main area of 5E that even approaches the issue...Traits, Ideals, Bonds, and Flaws...is one you donít even bother to detail. Why not?...
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 05:28 AM
    I play D&D all the time. From a rules standpoint, it doesnít do a whole lot to help roleplaying. In 5E, you have your class which defines your overall role as part of the party. You have your race and background which give some idea of your role in society. You have your alignment which gives you your overall moral views. Thereís a bit of overlap with them, but thatís what these things do. In...
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 05:04 PM
    Because it seemed like you might have the answer based on your posts in this thread. I play plenty of D&D, so I know how my table handles the lack of mechanics in this area, but my group also holds much less tightly to the player being the sole authority on their character. So given your statements about players being sole authority, I was curious how your group handled a player who always...
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 09:49 PM
    Iím questioning your definition because I donít know how it works. I canít comment on what chaochou thinks, but I expect that it would likely depend on the system in place. He probably views things one way for Burning Wheel, and another for Blades in the Dark, and yet another for D&D. It sounds to me like you want players to play true to their character, right? So if someoneís playing a...
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 07:05 PM
    In the absence of rules, how do you determine whatís cheating? If the rules state that a character decision is entirely up to the player, then how can there be a preferred choice? I mean, in most situations, Iíd expect a player to pick whatever he wanted and then justify that choice in any way he felt was suitable. If heís the sole authority on what his character thinks or feels, then how...
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 03:45 PM
    I could reply point for point, but I donít think that will really do anyone any good. My point was this: the increase in risk to character and the mechanics that go along with that are what many players find appealing about such games. You acknowledged that increased risk, and I think you understand that such a game would have a bit of a shift in focus from a more traditional RPG. So I think...
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 04:00 PM
    No, it can't happen if you don't want it to. You have to approve it since your PC is your domain. That's the whole point. You're talking about playing in "bad faith" but that's a judgment call, and is going to have a pretty broad gray area. And again, relying on judgment is a fine way to do it if that's what you prefer. But the addition of mechanics would remove the gray area and the...
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 05:42 AM
    Just that systems that leave outcomes up to the player are less risky than those that resolve them in other ways. Could be combat, could be social encounters.
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 05:19 AM
    I didnít mention the maidenís wink. Iím asking if combat mechanics for a game worked in such a way that the player decided the outcome of combat for their character, would you consider such a system more or less risky than the traditional D&D combat system?
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 05:15 AM
    But the outcome is always up to the player. They may choose to lose an eye, yes....out of some sense of realism or because they think itíll be dramatic or any other reason. But itís up to them. They donít ever have to lose an eye, or fail a save, or face any other outcome that they donít want to face. But you didnít really answer my question. If combat works for me where I decide the outcome,...
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 04:50 AM
    All those things may happen, yes. But they happen if the player decides that they happen. So in that sense, there is no risk. If we take the idea and instead apply it to combat, perhaps that will make it clearer. When I enter combat, only I decide how my character is affected. The DM tells me an orc attacks me....I declare it is a miss. A spell goes off? My character avoids the effects. ...
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 09:40 PM
    Well all systems have flaws and are subject to abuse of one kind or another. My point is that the Flaws in 5E are flawed because itís purely incentive based to have a player actually roleplay the Flaw in any meaningful way. If he does so, he gets Inspiration. Thatís it. So no matter what else comes up, no matter how closely it may fit the characterís Flaw (or Traits, Bond, or Ideals, really) the...
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 09:15 PM
    Sorry, the highly specific example of having found out in play that 6 of her 7 husbands had vanished seemed a bit unlikely as a reason why the wink would not affect your character as opposed to something more routine like the character resisting the urge to give in to a pretty face. Thatís all I meant. The latter part of your comment is what Iím getting at. This kind of stuff absolutely falls...
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 06:42 PM
    I was speaking of 5E, but I think itís largely applicable across editions. There are other ways for PC actions to be dictated by DM or by mechanics in different editions. 4E Probably has the most because it essentially shed the distinction of ďbecause magicĒ and just had all kinds of abilities that could inflict a status on a character, whether the source was arcane or martial or divine, etc....
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 06:21 PM
    Funny, thatís what I was thinking! I have no problem with D&D. I love D&D....I play it all the time. But this is an area of play that doesnít seem to be a focal point for D&D. A PC being influenced by an NPC in some mechanical way....are there any examples that donít involve magic? Iím trying to come up with some, and the only thing I can think of is Surprise in combat, but nothing else. ...
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 05:47 PM
    I think it really depends on what the outcome is. Everyone seems to be leaping right to mind control much like the charm person spell. But it doesnít need to be so invasive. I would also expect that whatever it is the maiden is hoping to get would play a part as well. If she winks and then asks the PC to help her assassinate the king, Iíd expect the wink to have much less impact. But of she...
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 05:09 PM
    I donít know if this requires the DM to ďplay your PCĒ so much as perhaps restrict some options depending on the mechanics at play. But either way, your preference is clear. I would expect that if a game with some different mechanics was actually played, perhaps youíd see some of the ways the mechanics empower players and youíd not feel the need to cling so tightly to your PC as the sole...
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 04:04 AM
    So would a valid reason never be "my character was able to overcome his urge to give in to the maiden"? I mean, that seems a more likely and potentially valid reason than the crazy example you've provided. If it's possible for the character to not give in, but it's entirely up to the player if they can do so, it seems a bit flawed.
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 03:54 AM
    That's what I meant by it's up to the player if it matters. I think Inspiration is forgotten by many groups, based on comments here. As you say, that whole aspect of the game has as much meaning as a group gives it. I just don't think that it's a bad thing in any way if a game actually makes rules about this stuff so that it inherently has meaning.
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 01:17 AM
    I said letís say mechanics are involved, not that the GM just decides how the PC reacts. Maybe the maiden makes a Persuasion check or a Consort roll or a Diplomacy action....whatever mechanic may be relevant for the game. Letís say the GM rolls well....or that the player rolls poorly on a save or whatever. Obviously, with 5E, this doesnít really work because thatís not how the game is set up....
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 01:03 AM
    If youíve set it up in advance and let the DM know about it, then why canít he challenge the character with that flaw? I mean, itís literally a part of the 5E character sheet. Same as Strength and Armor Class and all the other things you decide about your character. Yet the DM can challenge those things (meaning put the character into situations that test those traits) and no one thinks anything...
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th July, 2019, 10:17 PM
    For the Blades example, you had it right that this was the result of a poor roll on the playerís part. The GM narrated the severe consequences accordingly. Perhaps worth noting is that the player likely had a decent idea of how bad the consequences would be based on the Position stated by the GM prior to the roll. I think that the example of the wink was given with the expectation that there...
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th July, 2019, 08:18 PM
    What does ďoverride the PCĒ mean? The PCs will? Their libido? The playerís desire to not face a specific kind of challenge? This is a genuine question. What is being ďoverriddenĒ? Letís assume some kind of mechanics are at play and itís not a case of a GM dictating results, but letís also assume it has nothing to do with magic in the fiction.
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th July, 2019, 08:08 PM
    Right. And sometimes, how people will behave can be in doubt. As for taking away options, I donít think thatís really the case, but that can also be remedied by allowing degrees of success.
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th July, 2019, 08:04 PM
    While a wink may not be one of those for a given game (D&D), it may be for others. Should or should it not be is another question. Why not? Havenít we all known people who donít always act in their best interests because thereís a person who can always get under their skin, or because theyíre a sucker for a pretty face, or any other number of things? Sure, these things can be roleplayed...
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th July, 2019, 05:48 PM
    I donít see what connection youíre making here. What out of fiction reason are you citing? Why would a DM ever say ďyou lose 50 HP for no reason muhuhahahah!Ē? I donít think anyone here is advocating for anything so absurd. I know Iím not.
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th July, 2019, 05:43 PM
    So? There are plenty of things that roleplaying allows for which can either be determined by player decision or by mechanical resolution, depending on the circumstances. Thatís odd. I would actually argue the opposite. It offers opportunities for roleplaying. Unless you feel that roleplaying means you always get to decide exactly how your character acts at all times. But of so, then...
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th July, 2019, 03:59 PM
    Do you view an attack from an opponent that does damage to your PC as something the ďDM forces on youĒ? Or the aforementioned Charm spell....you fail the save, is the DM forcing the charm effect on you? If there are mechanics in place, then itís not a case of the DM forcing anything. This is my point.
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th July, 2019, 03:12 PM
    Reading over the comments here, and two things come to mind. First, in the real world, itís often true that we lose control of ourselves. We get angry at others, we act foolishly due to lust or love. We get influenced by others and act irrationally based on that influence. You see this kind of stuff all the time. People act without thinking things through. People make bad decisions all the...
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th July, 2019, 02:02 AM
    That 4th example that made you cry Bloody Blue Murder is exactly how things can play out in Blades in the Dark. Sometimes, the GM will narrate a consequence. ďYou attempt to kill the Red Sash Swordsman with your knives, but he manages to draw his sword, parry your attacks, and run you through. You feel his sword slide into your gut and scrape alongside your spine. You take Fatal Harm.Ē At that...
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th July, 2019, 12:06 AM
    Thatís because weíre talking broadly, about any RPG. I canít really get more specific than that unless we narrow things down a bit and talk about a specific example of a specific game. How I play D&D is different than how I play Blades in the Dark is different from how I play Microscope is different from how I play Dungeon World. And so on. I thought that was self evident. What...
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 04:53 PM
    I find this analogy....off-putting. Clearly it's an Avengers and Masters of Evil dynamic. Duh.
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 04:45 PM
    Not that I really disagree with you, but I didn't limit my definition to a player adopting the role of only one character because of games where the player adopts more than one character. And also because of the role of GM typically being required to have more than one character who he must portray. I don't know if I'd go as far as to say that a player only playing a particular character...
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 04:40 PM
    Yeah, I follow what you're saying. I think that "do" and "accomplish" generally are synonyms, although in the context of many RPGs, one is something that has no risk of failure, and the other invovles risk of failure that will usually result in some kind of action roll or equivalent. I don't think this distinction is necessary, but I do believe that it exists in many games, or in many approaches...
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 06:22 AM
    Yup. It will indeed mean different things to different people. For me, taking on a role most often means a role in a story....a persona, a specific character...and I play the game essentially advocating for that character within the story. I would say even that is debatable, but letís not even worry about the GMís other roles (whoa) in the game. You claimed that true roleplaying...
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 05:39 AM
    I would expect that the answer will vary. I feel that RPG is a category of game, not one game. So there would be any number of ways to play one. I mean, even within a very traditional RPG like D&D, you have people roleplaying in different ways and with different rules applied. I donít think that anyone would claim that the DM isnít roleplaying because the characters he plays are more subject...
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 05:20 AM
    A game in which the participants take on the roles of characters in a shared fiction. Seems pretty straightforward. I donít see how the question of who decides how an action is resolved really affects the above. Different systems will have different ways of doing that to appeal to different play experiences and/or achieve different play goals. Doesnít change the fact that the participants...
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 10:33 PM
    I think it may be so, depending on the game in question. It depends on the mechanics of the game. Beside that, though, more broadly I think that most games tend to make a distinction between PCs and NPCs. Here you describe the NPC as belonging to the GM, almost like the NPC is the PC for the GM, which I don't think is the common take on NPCs. I know you hold a very specific "the PCs are...
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 05:29 PM
    That's true. My point was more about how the fictional situation will play a major part. If the PCs are already looking for something specific....let's say they've broken into a place for the specific purpose of finding a map....then that's potentially going to influence how they declare actions. "I want to see if the map is in this safe" is more specific than "Let's see what's in this safe". A...
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Monday, 1st July, 2019, 01:40 AM
    For the example of the safe, what if youíre not already looking for something specific in it? What if itís more a case of ďooo a safe! Letís see whatís inside.Ē
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 29th June, 2019, 03:27 PM
    Iím no business expert, so I certainly could be wrong, but it seems to me that the need for a new edition is tied to their model. They sell lots of books. And many are full of crunch. The constant flow of rules and options has simply made the volume of material for first edition overwhelming. So they need to start from scratch. Theyíve tweaked some things and attempted to address some...
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Monday, 24th June, 2019, 04:39 AM
    Christopher Bixby Jot down the three things youíd like to see come into play for the campaign. These can be a location or an object or a NPC, whatever you think may be interesting. Then, ask your players to do the same. Take that list, and create a very loose sketch connecting several of the suggestions, but donít connect them all, save some to be introduced later. Use that sketch to...
    39 replies | 1451 view(s)
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Sunday, 7th July, 2019

  • 09:14 PM - pemerton mentioned hawkeyefan in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    So you guys have been saying that if the DM says, "The woman winks at you and melts your heart," I can just say, "No she doesn't, it has no effect on me at all?" No. We're asking you what action you think is required on your PC's part. At least I am. (And I'm pretty sure the same is true for hawkeyefan.) My heart being melted isn't an action. It's an emotional state. What action do you think is required/dictated by that state?
  • 07:55 PM - pemerton mentioned hawkeyefan in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    Seriously? You don't see that it's dictating the response of warming the heart? That precludes greater and lesser responses that I might want to give for my PC. Why?I think you'll find that the answer to these two questions is the same! hawkeyefan and I are wondering what you envisage melting someone's heart as requiring or dictating.

Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019

  • 10:51 AM - pemerton mentioned hawkeyefan in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    ...engage in free-form play, describing their interactions with an environment. - The rules help one or more participants adjudicate in the case of ambiguity. A game in which the participants take on the roles of characters in a shared fiction.I think that there are two things that are central to RPGs and distinguish them from games in the same general neighbourhood such as shared storytelling games, wargames and the like, all of which tend to involve a shared fiction: * In a RPG, most if not all of the participants engage the game primarily through a particular person within the shared fiction - their moves primarily consist of descriptions of things that their corresponding person does or attempts to do in the fiction; * In a RPG, the fiction matters to resolution of moves. The second point is what distinguishes a RPG from a boardgame and at least some wargaming. The first point is what distinguishes RPGing from most wargaming, and I think is a more precise take on what hawkeyefan means by "taking on the roles of characters". Also note that, by my account of RPGing, players in a single-figure wargame where the fiction matters to resolution are playing a RPG - which I think is the right outcome, given that that's pretty much a description of the basics of Arneson's Blackmoor game as I understand it. The issue of whether the moves are "free-form" or prescribed is, I think, secondary. Much more important, I think, is that the fiction matters to resolution. The way in which fiction matters to resolution - do we imagine in-fiction causal processes, do we use the fiction as a constraint on permissible framing and outcome narration, etc - varies across RPGs. The early ones tend to focus on in-fiction causal processes because of the wargaming inheritance but there are pretty early systems (T&T, Classic Traveller) which dispense with that in at least some respects and obviously there are contemporary systems (eg Apocalypse World) in which in-fiction causal processe...
  • 06:12 AM - pemerton mentioned hawkeyefan in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    hawkeyefan - there's more than one thing going on in your post but I thought I'd start with this one, as it speaks directly to the OP: In a way, it's not about "What do you do?" although I ask that question all the time in my game. It's really about "What do you hope to accomplish?"The OP, following in the lead of Donald Davidson, is really asserting that "do" and "accomplish" are synonyms. So opening the safe is something that the PC does. And finding X in the safe (or not, as the case may be) is also something that the PC does. And nimbly moving his/her fingers while listening to the fall of the tumblers is also something that the PC does. And these are all the same thing, although under different descriptions - just as moving my finger, flicking on the light switch, illuminating the room[i] and [i]alerting the prowler that I've come home are all descriptions - different descriptions - of the one action. Building on this point, the OP is asking about who, at the table, gets to decide ...

Wednesday, 12th June, 2019

  • 05:46 PM - darkbard mentioned hawkeyefan in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    My last post- Do you ever feel like you keep saying, over days and weeks, that people are talking past each other, because of definitions, and you keep saying that, and every now and then, someone will say, "Hey, you know what Lowkey, you know what the real problem is, definitions! I mean ... context matters, buddy." ....and you just kind of want to smash your head repeatedly into your desk? Ever get that feeling? ;) Aye, but for the context of this discussion, pemerton pretty clearly describes from the beginning (I would argue, though others, like hawkeyefan, have framed this as almost from the beginning, i.e., with some early supporting posts) the intent behind his use of the term "literary." Rather than people jumping in and obfuscating the discussion with arguments over alternative definitions, why not engage the OP on the terms presented? Or just, y'know, not get bent outta shape by the usage?

Sunday, 9th June, 2019

  • 08:28 PM - Imaro mentioned hawkeyefan in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Let me ask a question to pemerton, Hawkeye, Bedrockgames and Aldarc. Would you use the same words/language/etc. to describe a remote village in the mountains for say a Ravenloft campaign vs a Four color superhero game like Icons? let's assume good faith in that the Icons village isn't supposed to be haunted or anything tht would make it more Ravenloft-esque.... EDIT: Meant hawkeyefan ...
  • 01:53 AM - Imaro mentioned hawkeyefan in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    hawkeyefan... can you just give an example of what you feel would be literary?? I'm not certain your and pemerton 's idea of literary line up since he claimed I seemed to understand it and my understanding was non-conversational, evocative description.

Friday, 7th June, 2019

  • 06:10 AM - Lanefan mentioned hawkeyefan in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    I think it's possible to describe a situation without "painting a picture" in the literary sense. If I can't engage the players unless I "paint a picture" in the literary sense, then I worry that it's probably not a very good situation. You still need to paint the picture and make it all clear somehow, even if the players are already fully engaged. Why? Because if you don't you'll end up with players imagining or "seeing" the same situation in completely different ways both from each other and (worse) from you the DM, and reacting to it based on their own interpretation of what you-as-DM said. I've had this happen numerous times both as DM and player, where I (or the DM) wasn't clear enough and a player (or I) had a character react in a way that made perfect sense to the player but none at all to the DM: the DM - be it me or someone else - simply wasn't painting a clear enough picture and the player had the character act based on wrong info.
  • 12:12 AM - pemerton mentioned hawkeyefan in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    ...ess your game consists of nothing but retreaded material, where the context is already set, you need to actually paint that picture for the player. I think it's possible to describe a situation without "painting a picture" in the literary sense. If I can't engage the players unless I "paint a picture" in the literary sense, then I worry that it's probably not a very good situation. EDIT: Having read on, I see that Aldarc has made much the same points upthread. Also, I've spent far, far too long dealing with non-native English speakers who do not share our culture to take any description for granted. Every single reference you've made presumes a native English speaker (or near native anyway) with a deep grounding in western Judeo-Christian culture. As soon as you lose that background, none of your allegorical explanations are going to work. Imagine teaching D&D to ten year olds and you're trying to reference Men In Black - a 20 year old movie they've likely never seen. As hawkeyefan has said, what does this have to do with literary quality?

Thursday, 6th June, 2019

  • 03:28 PM - Sadras mentioned hawkeyefan in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    ...on's premise in his OP. But it seems like people are arguing not about what he said, but misconstruing what he said so they can argue imaginary point. And, yes, equivocating on the meaning of "literary" has been a part of the frustration that people like Bedrockgames and I have had with people criticizing pemerton's argument. Even now, you can see this in Hussar's argumentation, much as Maxperson's before him, an attempt to essentially argue that everything is literary (or define it in an overly broad way) and use that to claim ergo that TTRPGs are a literary endeavor. I don't think that people are fairly representing pemerton's argument. I agree it does not help to use the word literary in such a broad manner, despite technicalities, I already addressed same with Max. My only engagement in this thread has been about the the use of wordplay for the immersive experience as well as the backstory I might create for a campaign which I might view the latter as an literary endeavour. @hawkeyefan, he can correct me where I misrepresent him, does not see such exercise as a literary endeavour. I'm not entirely convinced of this but I'm not opposed to this either, mostly because, I have not yet clearly defined what a literary endeavour is in my mind. The high art definition is easy, but is it anything more AND IF YES, where does it stop? Conan? The Three Investigators? Gamebooks? Comics? Because at some point I'd inject my backstory into that mix. There are characters with motives. Internal Consistency exists. There is a setting, a theme. There is no dialogue though and that is probably where I could agree then, it fails as a literary endeavour if literary endeavour requires at the very minimum, dialogue. @pemerton viewed wordcraft to be more reflective, so as not in the spur of the moment (during roleplay). That is a tricky position to take but understandable. At minimum then my backstory has wordcraft. But the question is what if I write my NPC dialogue prior game time? I woul...

Tuesday, 4th June, 2019

  • 12:07 PM - Ovinomancer mentioned hawkeyefan in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    ...is not specific to the profession. Painters use ladders, house owners use ladders, cleaning people use ladders, and so on. Creating scenes in RPGs, playing NPCs in RPGs and resolving scenes in RPGs are some functions specific to GMs, and at least two of those are present in Fiasco and Microscope. Now the Strawman. It wasn't my reasoning that you used. I said GMs, participants of the games, are labeled GMs because they engage in GM specific activities, not a label for the functions themselves. You applied an incorrect argument to me and then responded to your own fictional argument. We can agree to disagree, but I was hoping to see if you would succeed in a fallacy hat trick with your next response. I take it back, Max -- do not explain fallacies, just keep using the titles. While that's a habit that indicates a lack of argumentative ability, better that than to remove doubt. I mean, while building your cases for the fallacies here, you completely missed the thrust of hawkeyefan's argument and actually helped him land it more solidly. That main thrust was at the gooey, shifting center of your argument where you keep saying the are GM specific functions but are very careful to not list them. You've mistaken sarcasm for fallacy. At least when you were just tossing fallacy names out one may have imagined you'd followed along. Now, we know you didn't.

Monday, 3rd June, 2019

  • 11:35 AM - Ovinomancer mentioned hawkeyefan in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    You don't get to just invent definitions in order to win the internet. At the very least, I have no obligation to humor you and your fictional definition. It was Lanefan's definition, and it was the impetus fir this spur of the discussion. I neither invented it, nor particularly cared for it because there are examples of RPGs without Lanefan's defined role. Just like there are RPGs without your preferred role. I don't believe for one second that you forgot the second part of the definition. ", in particular by narrating the details of the story that are not controlled by the players." Stop your disingenuous arguments. Oh, Max. Didn't you just say the GM is also a player in your special pleading against hawkeyefan? Yet, here you are backing off of that so you can special plead against me. And, I'm disingenuous? It's not like I've tried to agree with you twice, now, on a good point but you're still arguing the infallability of internet dictionaries. Hete's a clearer example of the circle in your argument: Q: What are the properties of a field? A: They have cows in them. Q: What's a cow? A: Cows are things in fields, particularly things different from other things. That's the heft of your current argument, with a good bit of appealing to.the authority of internet dictionaries thrown in.

Friday, 31st May, 2019

  • 01:31 AM - Lanefan mentioned hawkeyefan in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    But .... the difference between a DM/GM/referee/adjudicator and a host of a referee-less RPG is ... what? And let's take Fiasco, for example. Would the key person in that instance, if you were to play it with friends in a public space, just be the owner of the RPG? And if so, what does that mean? I think that while the concept (a "key person") is both useful and common to most RPGs, it is not a necessary condition for an RPG, if that makes sense?Try it without one sometime...if you can. Someone has to take the initiative and get the game together one way or another; and though in different games/systems this can involve different duties and responsibilities as hawkeyefan says, the end result is the same: without this person there is no game.

Wednesday, 29th May, 2019

  • 10:01 AM - Aldarc mentioned hawkeyefan in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Right. So, the mood is something that engages you. So... what tools are used to establish the mood? When you play, does someone *just tell you*? "This scene with the Senechal is jocular, with an undertone of imminent threat, so please play accordingly,"?IME, sometimes yes. Not to speak for hawkeyefan, but one of the points that I raised in this thread has been about how different storytelling mediums have different tools at their disposal. Films can create mood in ways that books can't. Likewise TTRPGs have more tools than any sense of literary wordcraft available to utilize for establishing the mood: music, terrain and minis, pictures, scene/grid layout, countdown timers, rules, DM presence, etc. Many TTRPGs also draw on the personalized experience and collective memory of their table. You may have a group of characters who have never encountered an aboleth before, but the players have. And when a DM pulls out an aboleth, it can trigger a sense of collective memory in the players. "Remember that time where we nearly wiped to the aboleth and had to flee?" So often I have seen mood created simply through this manipulation of play experience, memories, and stock monsters. OTOH, the main sticking point here is because I still have no idea what you or Aldarc mean by these term...
  • 01:47 AM - pemerton mentioned hawkeyefan in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    And the author of the OP?What about me? Do you mean, what did I hope to get out of the thread? One's never sure in advance beyond "interesting conversation". But the discussion about storytelling and various modes, driven mostly by Aldarc and hawkeyefan, has been interesting. Hriston and darkbard have helped refine my framing of my point. That's helpful. And also led it in the direction of "advice to GMs", which led to some fruitful discussions with uzirath whom I've not engaged with very much before as a poster. And Manbearcat has pushed with some challenging posts about pacing that I haven't replied to yet. Ultimately, the reason I post on a discussion board is to have discussions.

Monday, 27th May, 2019

  • 03:53 PM - darkbard mentioned hawkeyefan in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Attempting to pigeonhole "literary" or "literature" into objective, unassailable categories is a fool's errand. As hawkeyefan points out several times, pemerton has been consistent in his use of a definition for this particular discussion, and he has clarified that definition for the purpose of this discussion when needed. I think what qualifies as literary/literature and why can make for fascinating analysis, but that is not what's happening here in this thread, at least not any longer. I also do think Bedrockgames is on to something when he says, ultimately, this discussion now has become a mask for playstyle arguments. Of course it has. This is inevitable, for aesthetic judgments are inseperable from "our deeper structures of belief," as literary critic Terry Eagleton calls them: If it will not do to see literature as an 'objective', descriptive category, neither will it do to say that literature is just what people whimsically choose to call literature. For there is nothing at all whimsical about such kinds of value-judgement: they have their roots in deeper structures of belief which are as ap...

Friday, 24th May, 2019

  • 10:02 AM - Hussar mentioned hawkeyefan in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    pemerton. Nice tautological definitions there. Until such time as youíd care to plant the goal posts, this discussion regardless of how much blather you want to add, is pointless. óóó hawkeyefan - I would tell such a new DM that there is no single most important thing but rather dming, like any creative exercise is a combination of multiple factors that need to be addressed.
  • 05:13 AM - Hussar mentioned hawkeyefan in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    ...is about. REH isn't high art either, but clearly Tower of the Elephant and The Scarlet Citadel are literary endeavours. Read the recent posts from @hakweyefan or uzirath. Those engage with the theme of the thread. Here a quote from you from a way upthread: Assuming that you haven't changed your mind, then this is something that we disagree about. And it's something that, in the OP, I am denying. ROTFLMAO. Oh, goodie, we're right back to swirling around the rabbit hole of what does "literary" mean. Yay. See, folks, this is why this thread is 50 pages long, and you can talk about pemerton being clear with what he meant all you like, but, this is about as clear as mud. REH is "literary"? Seriously? A minor genre author who wasn't good enough to actually publish a novel and is virtually unheard of outside of genre circles is "literary"? CONAN qualifies as literature? So, until you actually define what you mean by literary, there's no point in this discussion. hawkeyefan or uzirath only "engage with the theme of the thread" because they apparently agree with you. Granted, I have no idea what they are agreeing to, since apparently, literary encompasses everything from Dickens or Melville to pulp fiction writers, so, umm... yeah? I'll stick to the one definition that Bedrockgames seems to be consistently using - literary=high art stuff like Shakespeare or whatnot. Which, fair enough, if that's our definition, certainly RPGing is not a literary endeavour. pemerton, when you can actually clearly write what you are on about in an unambiguous way that uses clear English, I'll engage with you. Until then, it's goalposts on rollerskates and I've got far too little patience to bother anymore.

Tuesday, 14th May, 2019

  • 11:19 AM - Sadras mentioned hawkeyefan in post GAME OF THRONES SEASON 8--Final Run-- Part 5
    See, this is interesting to me (and one of the reasons I brought up gaming as a corollary or coincidental reference-point if you'd like). I've enjoyed the ramped-up pacing. /snip Coming back full circle to my initial statement, my gaming preferences follows suit; economy of time and action with a ceaseless deluge of hard choices + an onslaught of conflict as it snowballs then crescendos into climax and denouement...no "wasted" motion. Ramped up pacing with logical sense thrown in sure...but this was senseless. I also disagree with @hawkeyefan with his (and I'm going to say it) apologist view of the scorpion use. Again this goes back to what feels 'more real' For instance Episode 4 scene Instead of having Bronn complete the Tyrion sidestory (I will pay you double), they should have tasked him with assassinating the Dragon Queen after the NK debacle. In that moment Missandei dies saving Daenerys taking the deadly bolt. Then we would not have that unnecessary Euron/Missandei moment and her silly execution but the grief would still be real. Revised Episode 5 Remove dragon getting killed by Euron, rather have the dragon wounded in the battle by one of the scorpions, as it crashlands alive in KL. It makes the scorpions seem useful/effective but not supermagical and doesn't have to nullify them from one episode to the next. Jon, who was riding said dragon falls into the water before the beast crashlands into the city. The Bells Ring, but the scorpions on the walls have already taken aim at the wounded dragon writhing and lashi...

Monday, 6th May, 2019

  • 10:44 AM - pemerton mentioned hawkeyefan in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    Maxperson, as far as I know there are no rules in 5e for clothes becoming dirty or sweaty. Does that mean you think a GM who narrates a failed physical manoeuvre in a swamp as "You fall into the mud, making your clothes filthy" is breaking the rules? Or a GM who narrates a failed CHA check to influence a NPC, in circumstances where the PC has been in the wilds for a long time without bathing, as the NPC walking away making a comment about These reeking travellers? There are many ways that humans can degrade their clothes, their weapons, their pets, their companions (where are D&D's rules for putting a frog in someone's bed?) that D&D's rules don't model. That doesn't mean those things aren't part of the gameworld. It doesn't stop both players and GM's invoking them when the mood strikes, either as mere colour (like hawkeyefan's player who has a cold and so plays his/her PC as having a cold) or as part of the narration of failure (as per my examples above, or as per the suggestion that AbdulAlhazred and I made way upthread that a missed attack might be narrated as the weapon having become dulled) or even as mattering to resolution (maybe after falling in the mud, the GM imposes disadvantage on CHA checks to befriend strangers until the PC gets clean clothes). The 5e Basic PDF has whetstones on its equipment list. It also has price lists for different qualities of clothing, food, drink and accommodation, even though there are no mechanics governing social class and status. There is an abacus on the list, although no rule that forbids a player using a calculator or pen-and-paper to do maths for his/her PC. All these things are clearly there to help establish these various elements of the fiction. The fact that there is no mechanic that necessarily invokes them is entirely beside the point. EDIT: A lot ...


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Sunday, 21st July, 2019

  • 05:37 AM - FrogReaver quoted hawkeyefan in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    I play D&D all the time. From a rules standpoint, it doesnít do a whole lot to help roleplaying. In 5E, you have your class which defines your overall role as part of the party. You have your race and background which give some idea of your role in society. You have your alignment which gives you your overall moral views. Thereís a bit of overlap with them, but thatís what these things do. I wouldn't say any of those things help roleplaying (well maybe they help put new players in the right mindset) In addition to that, 5E has Traits, Ideals, Bonds, and Flaws. These things give you some more specific facets of your character. This is the kind of thing I think most long time players have always done to some extent, but now itís formalized as part of character creation. I can't think of the last character where I really sit down and mapped those out. Just to give some context. In my current campaign I've played a number of different characters. I want to hone in on my first and my current. ...

Sunday, 14th July, 2019

  • 11:25 PM - FrogReaver quoted hawkeyefan in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    Iím questioning your definition because I donít know how it works. I canít comment on what @chaochou thinks, but I expect that it would likely depend on the system in place. He probably views things one way for Burning Wheel, and another for Blades in the Dark, and yet another for D&D. It sounds to me like you want players to play true to their character, right? So if someoneís playing a paladin whose vows include a vow of chastity, youíd expect the player to roleplay the character accordingly. Now, he could be devoutly chaste or it could be something he struggles with...really, itís up to the player how he decides to play it. Right? If the above is all true, then how can you ever say a player is ďcheatingĒ in what they decide? So yeah, if the player always takes the most expedient route, always makes the easiest choice...how is this a negative? It is simply what the player decided for their character and they are the sole authority of that characterís thoughts and feelings and decisions. Ho...
  • 07:58 PM - FrogReaver quoted hawkeyefan in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    In the absence of rules, how do you determine whatís cheating? If the rules state that a character decision is entirely up to the player, then how can there be a preferred choice? I mean, in most situations, Iíd expect a player to pick whatever he wanted and then justify that choice in any way he felt was suitable. If heís the sole authority on what his character thinks or feels, then how can a GM or any other participant decide that a choice heís made is cheating? It all seems very self-contradictory, no? @chaochou obviously feels always choosing what's expedient is not a good way to play. I happen to agree with him on that as I believe you do as well. The overall point is that the playstyle I suggest doesn't lead to that unless a player ignores their character conceptualization. You are way to hung up on my definition of always choosing what's expedient as cheating.

Thursday, 11th July, 2019

  • 04:11 PM - Elfcrusher quoted hawkeyefan in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    My point was this: the increase in risk to character and the mechanics that go along with that are what many players find appealing about such games. You acknowledged that increased risk, and I think you understand that such a game would have a bit of a shift in focus from a more traditional RPG. So I think that you can at least grasp the different opinion, even if you donít share it. What I'm struggling with here is to understand the point you are making about risk. I do get that risk and uncertainty make (or can make) games more exciting. But the consequence of a risk gone awry does matter. Traditionally (at least in my experience) in an RPG some of the things exposed to risk are: - Health/Life - Treasure/Possessions - Allies - Reputation - XP/Levels (in older versions of D&D, for example) - Maybe some other stuff I'm not thinking off at the moment. Sure, "Character Concept" could be added to this list. But I'm not sure what that achieves, except to annoy people who think they shoul...
  • 05:09 AM - Maxperson quoted hawkeyefan in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    No, it can't happen if you don't want it to. You have to approve it since your PC is your domain. That's the whole point. Yes it absolutely can happen if I don't want it do. I can approve all kinds of things I don't want to happen. For instance, even though I really don't want you to try and argue your incorrect position, I approve of your right to that kind of speech. But the addition of mechanics would remove the gray area and the need for as much judgment. And this addition appeals to some players. Really that's all it boils down to. I've not argued otherwise. If those sorts of games appeal to you, I'm truly glad that they exist for you to play. :) Thank you. This is the point. People may prefer a game where there is more risk in this area. They want there to be mechanics so that there's consistency in application, and understanding of stakes and risk. Again, I've not argued that some people don't prefer games with mechanics for this sort of thing. Basically, the stance "I ...

Wednesday, 10th July, 2019

  • 06:12 AM - Maxperson quoted hawkeyefan in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    Just that systems that leave outcomes up to the player are less risky than those that resolve them in other ways. Could be combat, could be social encounters. Cool, but you've moved the goalposts. The debate is between zero risk and risk, not more risk and less risk. That you've acknowledged that there is at least some risk with me deciding the outcomes is enough for me. Some risk is all I've argued.
  • 06:09 AM - Maxperson quoted hawkeyefan in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    But the outcome is always up to the player. They may choose to lose an eye, yes....out of some sense of realism or because they think itíll be dramatic or any other reason. But itís up to them. They donít ever have to lose an eye, or fail a save, or face any other outcome that they donít want to face. It isn't about "want." I may want to remain a paragon of knightly virtue, but if the circumstances warrant a fall, it's going to happen whether I want it to or not. I'm not going to play in bad faith and avoid something that is warranted, just because I don't want it to happen. But you didnít really answer my question. If combat works for me where I decide the outcome, but it works for you along the traditional D&D type expectations, who faces more risk in combat? Me or you? Or is it the same? There's more risk with the random method. There is still risk with you deciding things..........if you're playing in good faith anyway.
  • 05:22 AM - FrogReaver quoted hawkeyefan in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    All those things may happen, yes. But they happen if the player decides that they happen. So in that sense, there is no risk. If we take the idea and instead apply it to combat, perhaps that will make it clearer. When I enter combat, only I decide how my character is affected. The DM tells me an orc attacks me....I declare it is a miss. A spell goes off? My character avoids the effects. Yes, I could decide to say that the orcís attack inflicts 12 HP of damage, or even that it was a critical and my PC lost an eye! I could decide that the spell incinerates my PC, and his adventuring days are done! But however it actually plays out, is all up to me. So, given that these things can happen to my PC, combatís just as risky for my PC as it would be for PCs where the game functions normally. Right? It depends on how the scene is framed. There can be risk in such combats (though what you describe is not a combat resolution system I would enjoy). Let me give an example. Perhaps if you fight too ...
  • 05:21 AM - Elfcrusher quoted hawkeyefan in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    I didnít mention the maidenís wink. Iím asking if combat mechanics for a game worked in such a way that the player decided the outcome of combat for their character, would you consider such a system more or less risky than the traditional D&D combat system? Well, that's exactly how I handle PvP. (Thanks, iserith!) I'm actually tempted to ask you to define "risky", but I'll assume the LCD meaning and say "less risky". Point?
  • 05:12 AM - Elfcrusher quoted hawkeyefan in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    All those things may happen, yes. But they happen if the player decides that they happen. So in that sense, there is no risk. If we take the idea and instead apply it to combat, perhaps that will make it clearer. When I enter combat, only I decide how my character is affected. The DM tells me an orc attacks me....I declare it is a miss. A spell goes off? My character avoids the effects. Yes, I could decide to say that the orcís attack inflicts 12 HP of damage, or even that it was a critical and my PC lost an eye! I could decide that the spell incinerates my PC, and his adventuring days are done! But however it actually plays out, is all up to me. So, given that these things can happen to my PC, combatís just as risky for my PC as it would be for PCs where the game functions normally. Right? If you are talking about a game in which "Seductive Wink" is a known mechanic, and has been defined in the way that sword attacks and the like are, then sure. But otherwise it sounds like you're confl...
  • 05:07 AM - Maxperson quoted hawkeyefan in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    All those things may happen, yes. But they happen if the player decides that they happen. So in that sense, there is no risk. I have no control over what the DM does that might impact my character's character, though. As he challenges me, sooner or later things will happen that cause my character to deviate that I have no control over. If we take the idea and instead apply it to combat, perhaps that will make it clearer. When I enter combat, only I decide how my character is affected. The DM tells me an orc attacks me....I declare it is a miss. A spell goes off? My character avoids the effects. Yes, I could decide to say that the orcís attack inflicts 12 HP of damage, or even that it was a critical and my PC lost an eye! I could decide that the spell incinerates my PC, and his adventuring days are done! But however it actually plays out, is all up to me. So, given that these things can happen to my PC, combatís just as risky for my PC as it would be for PCs where the game functions norm...

Sunday, 7th July, 2019

  • 10:49 PM - Lanefan quoted hawkeyefan in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    I have no problem with D&D. I love D&D....I play it all the time. But this is an area of play that doesnít seem to be a focal point for D&D. A PC being influenced by an NPC in some mechanical way....are there any examples that donít involve magic? Iím trying to come up with some, and the only thing I can think of is Surprise in combat, but nothing else. The first one that leaps to my mind are 4e forced-movement (push-pull-slide) effects in combat; and trample/pushback rules in earlier editions. And traps, where an NPC actually sets them off just at the right moment. But those are physical effects, though still mechanical in nature. A PC being mentally influenced without magic - Intimidate, Bluff, and Persuasion skills can try, if a DM has the stones to do it. But after that, there's not much.
  • 10:29 PM - Maxperson quoted hawkeyefan in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    Sorry, the highly specific example of having found out in play that 6 of her 7 husbands had vanished seemed a bit unlikely as a reason why the wink would not affect your character as opposed to something more routine like the character resisting the urge to give in to a pretty face. Thatís all I meant. I read about that sort of thing happening on pretty much an annual basis, often multiple times. Maybe not 7 times, but black widows aren't a crazy example. There are also other things that can influence reactions. I was working retail in a corporate store many years ago. One of the models came down to the department I was working in and was flirting with me. While the flirting was going on a kid who was maybe 4 walked by with his mother. The model took note of them and said in a very serious tone, "I just hate kids. When they bother me, it makes me want to drown them." And just like that there was no attraction left whatsoever and pretty much nothing could have brought it back. Deal break...
  • 07:53 PM - pemerton quoted hawkeyefan in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    4E Probably has the most because it essentially shed the distinction of ďbecause magicĒ and just had all kinds of abilities that could inflict a status on a character, whether the source was arcane or martial or divine, etc. didnít matter all that much. So 4E allowed for more examples by basically treating more actions the same as magic.That second sentence has the potential to be controversial! I'd put it this way: the designers realised that the relationship between a certain sort of mechanical design, and the infiction category magic, is contingent and a matter of aesthetics. So for a brief period D&D design caught up to Greg Stafford c 1989! (I'm referring there to Prince Valiant, of course - the most undeservedly neglected FRPG there is. I don't get the contrasting degree of widespread love for Pendragon.)
  • 07:09 PM - Maxperson quoted hawkeyefan in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    Ah....Iíll have to look up ďMelted HeartĒ in the list of Conditions. Why?
  • 07:05 PM - Maxperson quoted hawkeyefan in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    So would a valid reason never be "my character was able to overcome his urge to give in to the maiden"? I mean, that seems a more likely and potentially valid reason than the crazy example you've provided. I didn't provide a crazy example, but to answer your question, it would be a valid reason and here's why. Sometimes people who have flaws can just overcome those urges. Now, if the player is doing it all the time and/or only at times when it would be detrimental to the PC/party, then he's abusing the system and would need to be talked to after the game. If it's just once in a while, then it's fine. If it's possible for the character to not give in, but it's entirely up to the player if they can do so, it seems a bit flawed. No, it's not flawed. It just requires that the player not play in bad faith.
  • 06:26 PM - pemerton quoted hawkeyefan in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    this is an area of play that doesnít seem to be a focal point for D&D. A PC being influenced by an NPC in some mechanical way....are there any examples that donít involve magic? Iím trying to come up with some, and the only thing I can think of is Surprise in combat, but nothing else. Does D&D encompass non-5e versions? In that case, I already posted the example of the Fang Tyrant Drake's furious roar (which paralyses with fear). In 4e there's no need to conceive of the fear caused by dragons as magical, either (which brings them closer to the Smaug-ish form of dragon terror).
  • 05:51 PM - FrogReaver quoted hawkeyefan in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    I think it really depends on what the outcome is. Everyone seems to be leaping right to mind control much like the charm person spell. But it doesnít need to be so invasive. I would also expect that whatever it is the maiden is hoping to get would play a part as well. If she winks and then asks the PC to help her assassinate the king, Iíd expect the wink to have much less impact. But of she winks and asks the PC to buy her a meal and a drink....seems pretty likely. It really boils down to the fictional situation and the system at play. I think that the reason this breaks down for those viewing through the lens of D&D is that the only thing there seems to be to compare it to is magical mind control of some kind. Most other similar mechanics are mostly gone, or were largely applicable only to NPCs, and therefore not a problem. Sigh, there comes the D&D only crap again...
  • 03:49 PM - Maxperson quoted hawkeyefan in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    I just don't think that it's a bad thing in any way if a game actually makes rules about this stuff so that it inherently has meaning. I'm okay with that, but only as long as the DM is not playing my PC at all. The DM can never know my PC as well as I do, and I don't want the frustration of seeing him play my PC wrong time and time again, which is what will happen if he is allowed to play my PC. I meant an example of how such mechanics force only one outcome. The list you provided doesn't seem any different than what I'd expect to see in a game that included mechanics of the kind we're talking about. The example being used is a good one. "The woman winks at you and melts your heart" has just dictated exactly how the PC responds to the wink.
  • 09:56 AM - Lanefan quoted hawkeyefan in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    For the Blades example, you had it right that this was the result of a poor roll on the playerís part. The GM narrated the severe consequences accordingly. Perhaps worth noting is that the player likely had a decent idea of how bad the consequences would be based on the Position stated by the GM prior to the roll. Backed by mechanics, then, and all is good. I think that the example of the wink was given with the expectation that there would or could be such mechanics at play, depending on system.However this was not stated, only the narration without anything else to back it up - and around here I've learned to make no assumptions. :)


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