Why are we okay with violence in RPGs? - Page 17
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  1. #161
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elfcrusher View Post
    I thought it was the other way around: the military puts a whole lotta effort into un-conditioning new recruits, so that they won't be all conflicted about it when the moment comes.
    Yes, but I am postulating that modern society successfully conditions the majority of person to abhor actual violence through a variety of mechanisms, both subtle and overt.

    Thus, it is necessary to uncondition new recruits if they are from modern society.

    However, there is a lot of highly politicized research into this and because it appears to be agenda driven, I take with a grain of salt assertions about how difficult it is to get people to kill other people.

    And that this is why the military actively promotes derogatory slurs for people of whatever state they happen to be fighting. To de-humanize the enemy.
    LOL. Ok, yeah. This is an example of why I can't take this sort of thing seriously. Any group of humans will actively develop slurs for any perceived rival group of humans all on their own. The idea that the military would some how need to create a culture of slur usage and transmission amongst a group of young humans, rather than simply utilizing what is universal human behavior boggles my mind. Like, do you suppose there is some intelligence officer who is tasked with developing a slur for the enemy, runs it by some sort of standing committee, and then he disseminates this to officers and NComs? On the contrary, in the modern military there tends to be heavy pushback from the brass on any sort of slur developed by the grunts that might be perceived as insensitive.

  2. #162
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobble View Post
    If one actually reads the earlies of the genre it was clear that XP was to be given for accomplishing the goal. Not necessarily killing anything. If one bested or overcame, by whatever means, the bad guys and saved the Princess XP was awarded. Whether out fought or out thought.
    Well when I mentioned genre, I meant the kind of fiction that RPGs are generally drawing from; fantasy, sci-fi, horror, and all their sub-genres. Many such stories involve lots of violence...so games inspired by them do also.

    As for the XP, I was speaking generally, but it varied from game to game and even among editions/versions of D&D. The earliest examples typically didnt involve saving the princess very often, but usually involve a dungeon/site exploration and the acquisition of treasure. I think, for D&D at least, a shift toward more heroic based XP happened later on, closer to the launch of 2E.

    I could certainly be wrong though. Did you have specific modules in mind?

  3. #163
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    Quote Originally Posted by hawkeyefan View Post
    As for the XP, I was speaking generally, but it varied from game to game and even among editions/versions of D&D. The earliest examples typically didnt involve saving the princess very often, but usually involve a dungeon/site exploration and the acquisition of treasure. I think, for D&D at least, a shift toward more heroic based XP happened later on, closer to the launch of 2E.
    No. starting with AD&D DMG pg. 84? it sets it up for XP without killing. And has been part of every edition since. As for modules. No idea. We've played TONS of save this or solve that type of games. 99% of my play time and DMing has been our own creation since '79. BUT, the rules are clear on it since day one.

  4. #164
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobble View Post
    No. starting with AD&D DMG pg. 84? it sets it up for XP without killing. And has been part of every edition since. As for modules. No idea. We've played TONS of save this or solve that type of games. 99% of my play time and DMing has been our own creation since '79. BUT, the rules are clear on it since day one.
    Ah okay....I was going off memory of published adventures since thats what people will have in common. What was the rule on page 84 of the DMG?

  5. #165
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    Quote Originally Posted by hawkeyefan View Post
    Ah okay....I was going off memory of published adventures since thats what people will have in common. What was the rule on page 84 of the DMG?
    I'm not sure about page 84. I'll look in a second. However, the intro section of the PHB says the following.

    "While initial adventuring usually takes place in an underworld dungeon setting, play gradually expands to encompass other such dungeons, town and city activities, wilderness explorations, and journeys into other dimensions, planes, times, worlds, and so forth."

    It's pretty clear that things like "Rescue the princess" and other such adventures were intended as part of 1e from the very get go. That also jives from my play experience. I started playing in 1983, 6 years before 2e started and every DM I played with had these sorts of adventures. Often it was a dungeon. Less often, but still fairly common were the rescue, infiltrate and steal scenarios.

    This is the relevant portion of page 84.

    "Tricking or outwitting monsters or overcoming tricks and/or traps placed to guard treasure must be determined subjectively, with level of experience balanced against the degree of difficulty you assign to the gaining of the treasure."

    This section seems to indicate that a monster level should be assigned when treasure is accomplished without combat so as to figure out the award of experience for gaining the treasure.

    Edit: If you were going by published adventures, then I can see where you'd get that impression from. The vast majority of them were some form of invade the dungeon and get the loot after killing things that got in your way.
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  6. #166
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    Quote Originally Posted by hawkeyefan View Post
    What was the rule on page 84 of the DMG?
    That's where XP is discussed (or 86) It's been a couple of decades since I cracked that book open. But Gygax talks about it in several places in the beginning. Many players who haven't read what he wrote for DMs assume it isn't there because their DM was stuck on hack and slash.
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  7. #167
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    There is violence in gaming, but only up to a point. Hit points hide the sense of realistic damage: In few games do we deal with lingering injuries (cut nerves or tendons, badly healed bones) or issues of infection, or of malnutrition or insanity. For most games, the violence is of a sanitized sort. That 3E was a step away from a miniatures games emphasizes this, at least for D&D. (There are exceptions. Warhammer and Call of Cthulhu spring to mind. And some groups embrace greater realism.)

    When violence becomes an issue is when one is forced to more clearly imagine what is happening. When 1HD-1 goblins turn into juvenile and other non-combatants who are backed in a corner and are facing slaughter. When torture scenes are made more detailed. My thinking is that we handle violence by finding find ways to not see it.

    That gamers as a whole eschew more detail and realism is positive in that it shows that most folks are violence averse. See, for example, reactions to groups role playing rape, which was discussed in another thread. Folks will tolerate only so much violence in their games.

    Thx!
    TomB

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    Like a lot of things AD&D, it was pretty schizophrenic.

    For example, while you can talk about xp for "tricking" monsters being in the 1e DMG, you also have the training rules. A fighter that didn't fight was actively penalized by being forced to take longer to train and spending far, far more money on training, for example. In 2e, while there were "bonus Xp tables" again, fighters ONLY gained bonus xp for killing stuff.

    Add to that the published modules of the day, which again, leads to a VERY schizophrenic experience of 1e where the DMG advocates one thing and the modules pretty much entirely ignore the DMG, and it's very easy to see why murderhobo play was pretty common.

    Referenced: 1e DMG p 86

    Clerics who refuse to help and heal or do not remain faithful to their deity, fighters who hang back from combat or attempt to steal, or fail to boldly lead, magic-users who seek to engage in melee or ignore magic items they could employ in crucial situations, thieves who boldly engage in frontal attacks or refrain from acquisition of an extra bit of treasure when the opportunity presents itself, "cautious" characters who do not pull their own weight - these are all clear examples of a POOR rating.
    It was pretty clear the implication that combat was pretty strongly expected.

    1e DMG P 85:

    The judgment factor is inescapable with respect to weighting experience for the points gained from slaying monsters and/or gaining treasure. You must weigh the level of challenge - be it thinking or fighting - versus the level of experience of the player character(s) who gained it.
    And then there are pretty complex maths used for calculating that xp. For stuff that isn't killing and/or looting, we get this piece of advice:

    Tricking or outwitting monsters or overcoming tricks and/or traps placed to guard treasure must be determined subjectively, with level of experience balanced against the degree of difficulty you assign to the gaining of the treasure.
    IOW, if you kill the monster and take the treasure, you are guaranteed a certain xp award. If you trick the monster and steal the treasure, your xp reward will be based entirely on whatever you DM feels like. You tricked them too easily? Oops, sorry, no xp for you. And, frankly, that sort of thing just leads to far too many arguments at the table. So, DM's and players both shied away from it and relied on the codified rules.

    And, lastly, we're left with this bit of advice on page 85

    Note: Players who bolk at equating gold pieces to experience points should be gently but firmly reminded that in a game certain compromises must be made. While it is more "realistic" for clerics to study holy writings, pray, chant, practice self-discipline, etc. to gain experience, it would not make a playable game roll along. Similarly, fighters should be exercising, riding, smiting pelts, tilting at the lists, and engaging in weapons practice of various sorts to gain real expertise (experience); magic-users should be deciphering old scrolls, searching ancient tomes, experimenting alchemically, and so forth; while thieves should spend their off-hours honing their skills, "casing" various buildings, watching potential victims, and carefully planning their next "job". All very realistic but conducive to non-game boredom!
    IOW, all that stuff that isn't killing and looting is "conducive to non-game boredom".
    Last edited by Hussar; Monday, 17th June, 2019 at 04:17 AM.
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  9. #169
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    Quote Originally Posted by hawkeyefan View Post
    1E Made combat costly and potentially very dangerous, so clever play was often expected in order to avoid combat. The drawback here is that the game mechanics for non-combat options were minimal at best.
    When you put it that way, it's amazing we spent so many hrs playing it!


    My criticism of 3Es skill system is not so much that it was limited in what actions it covered, but more that its resolution of those tasks was pretty bland compared to combat. Most actions involved a DC and a skill check and little more.
    And, typically only one character...

    After playing 3E for a time, my players almost never hesitated to enter combat. I had to actively alter the system in order to make them think of combat as the last option. I find this to be true of 5E, as well, although its easier to adjust.
    I can see how some table take a fair play message from encounter guidelines - and, hey, its not a dysfunctional style of play for the DM to essentially assemble foes for the party like building an army in a wargame, then playing that side intelligently, to win.
    In the sense that now there were at least rules in place, yes absolutely!
    That's the sense I was going for....


    My experience with 4E is pretty minimal, but the Skill Challenge system seemed to be an attempt at what Im describing. I think that games that make non-combat challenges more engaging will wind up seeing them come up more often...nothing surprising, really. If sneaking into a lair is as much fun at the table as killing the monster would be, and equally rewarding for the character....then it would happen more often. Especially when, as you say, everyone can be involved and not just the Thief.
    Yes, I do find that idea compelling. It was just 1e treasure for XP as an example that threw me.
    And, while I argued that the WotC eds have implemented some sub-systems that move the game towards more non-combat challenges, I have to acknowledge that none ever really succeeded. Skill Challenges were probably the closest, but they were still more abstract, and faster/less engaging than combat, unless the DM stepped up and elaborated on them to a degree that the game didn't tend to encourage.
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  10. #170
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hussar View Post
    It was pretty clear the implication that combat was pretty strongly expected.
    I notice it doesnt say anything about seeking out combat. What you highlighted could easily be expected behavior at the point combat has been rendered unavoidable.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hussar View Post
    IOW, all that stuff that isn't killing and looting is "conducive to non-game boredom".
    Or, you know, the stuff that isnt adventuring (which includes other stuff like doping out riddles and traps, exploring, etc. Youre way too hung up on killing and looting. You should get that looked at...

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