2400 & 24XX: a Beautiful, Three-Page, Micro RPG

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Roll 2d6 being our rule in this case. How about simply - GM decides?
If you prefer, go ahead. It stops being a game at that point as there’s no randomness or chance. To me, that’s no different than story time…which I have professional writers and storytellers for. Not Referees, DMs, or GMs. The Referee generally does decide quite a lot. But the mechanics for dice exist for those times when the outcome isn’t obvious from the fiction.
 

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clearstream

(He, Him)
If you prefer, go ahead. It stops being a game at that point as there’s no randomness or chance. To me, that’s no different than story time…which I have professional writers and storytellers for. Not Referees, DMs, or GMs. The Referee generally does decide quite a lot. But the mechanics for dice exist for those times when the outcome isn’t obvious from the fiction.
So Alan Calhamer's Diplomacy isn't a game?
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
So Alan Calhamer's Diplomacy isn't a game?
Randomness doesn’t exist in Diplomacy, re: die rolling. But chance absolutely does. There’s always a chance your move will bounce. There’s always a chance your allies will stab you. Etc. But the dynamic of Diplomacy is wildly different than a DM-driven game.
 

clearstream

(He, Him)
Randomness doesn’t exist in Diplomacy, re: die rolling. But chance absolutely does. There’s always a chance your move will bounce. There’s always a chance your allies will stab you. Etc. But the dynamic of Diplomacy is wildly different than a DM-driven game.
By chance, I feel you might mean more an absence of certainty. No player at the table in Diplomacy is certain of a turn's outcome. There's no chance involved in your allies backstabbing you, but again you cannot be certain they will not.

So I suspect the concern with GM fiat over outcomes is that with certainty, as GM will be able to say (with certainty) what the outcome is. But... why does that matter?
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
By chance, I feel you might mean more an absence of certainty. No player at the table in Diplomacy is certain of a turn's outcome. There's no chance involved in your allies backstabbing you, but again you cannot be certain they will not.

So I suspect the concern with GM fiat over outcomes is that with certainty, as GM will be able to say (with certainty) what the outcome is. But... why does that matter?
Because I’ve had my fill of frustrated novelists pretending to “run games” for players. If it’s 100% GM fiat, I’m out.
 

clearstream

(He, Him)
Because I’ve had my fill of frustrated novelists pretending to “run games” for players. If it’s 100% GM fiat, I’m out.
So provided a GM isn't a frustrated novelist pretending to run a game, that could work for you? Or bad experiences have permanently negatively shaded full-on FKR?
 


clearstream

(He, Him)
“Full-on” FKR is not pure DM fiat.
Well, maybe we can agree that FKR includes DM fiat among its approaches. Some to consider:
  • random core process such as roll 2d6 where 7+ succeeds
  • non-random but not arbitrary method such as ranks where higher ranks prevail over lower
  • simple fiat such as GM decides
None of these are as straightforward as they sound, for instance, we can make it that
  1. players decide what their characters attempt,
  2. GM decides what outcomes are possible
  3. GM narrates results
Or
  1. players decide what their characters attempt
  2. GM decides what outcomes are possible
  3. players narrate results
To me there is scope to ally resolution heuristics (like GM fiat) with other arrangements that move the game away from story-time. That's assuming we can't just trust GM (which wouldn't let the system off doing its job, anyway.)

What is your goal in this endless barrage of questions?
I'm curious about how different people are thinking about TTRPG rules. Especially in distinctive modes such as FKR, fiction-first, story-now.
 

fwiw, here are the (free) rules for 24xx



RULES

PLAY: Players describe what their characters do. The game moderator (GM) advises when an action is impossible, requires extra steps, demands a cost, or presents an avoidable risk. Players only roll to avoid risks.

ROLLING: Roll a d6 skill die — higher with a rele‐ vant skill, or d4 if hindered by injury or circum‐ stances. If helped by circumstances, roll an extra d6; if helped by an ally, they roll their skill die and share the risk. Take the highest die.

1–2 Disaster. Suffer the full risk. GM decides if you succeed at all. If risking death, you die.

3–4 Setback. A lesser consequence or partial success. If risking death, you’re maimed.

5+ Success. The higher the roll, the better.

If success can’t get you what you want (you make the shot, but it’s bulletproof!), you’ll at least get useful info or set up an advantage.

LOAD: Carry as much as makes sense, but more than one bulky item may hinder you at times.

ADVANCEMENT: After a job, increase a skill (none➡d8➡d10➡d12) and gain 1 credit (₡).

DEFENSE: Say how one of your items breaks to turn a hit into a brief hindrance. Broken gear is useless until repaired.

HARM: Injuries take time and/or medical attention to heal. If killed, make a new character to be introduced ASAP. Favor inclusion over realism.

RUNNING THE GAME: Lead the group in setting lines not to cross in play. Fast-forward, pause, or rewind/redo scenes for pacing and safety, and invite players to do likewise. Present dilemmas and problems you don’t know how to solve. Move the spotlight to give everyone time to shine. Test periodically for bad luck (e.g., run out of ammo, or into guards) — roll d6 to check for (1–2) trouble now or (3–4) signs of trouble. Offer rulings to cover gaps in rules; double back during a break to revise unsatisfying rulings as a group.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Well, maybe we can agree that FKR includes DM fiat among its approaches.
Absolutely. You can't run a traditional RPG with a DM without some level of DM fiat. FKR generally relies a lot more on DM fiat than most games or gamers are used to. I'm fine with that. My objection was simply to it being the only means of resolution.
Some to consider:
  • random core process such as roll 2d6 where 7+ succeeds
  • non-random but not arbitrary method such as ranks where higher ranks prevail over lower
  • simple fiat such as GM decides
None of these are as straightforward as they sound, for instance, we can make it that
  1. players decide what their characters attempt,
  2. GM decides what outcomes are possible
  3. GM narrates results
Or
  1. players decide what their characters attempt
  2. GM decides what outcomes are possible
  3. players narrate results
To me there is scope to ally resolution heuristics (like GM fiat) with other arrangements that move the game away from story-time.
Sure. There's an infinite or near infinite arrangement of parts.
That's assuming we can't just trust GM (which wouldn't let the system off doing its job, anyway.)
Fair dice rolled in the open are perfectly trustworthy. The DM is human, and therefore fallible and potentially biased and/or adversarial.
 

clearstream

(He, Him)
Fair dice rolled in the open are perfectly trustworthy. The DM is human, and therefore fallible and potentially biased and/or adversarial.
It's interesting to interrogate this. We generally want an opinionated narrative. Participants say things that follow. Not just any words are spoken: attention and intention are desired.

As an example, a principle in DW is expressly that GM has an agenda: they are biased. They are adversarial. That is given them as a job to do. That may be at odds with alternative ideas of a neutral referee... but I think true neutrality has seldom or never been advocated in broader RPG.

Everything on either side of the fork in the road can be and is formed with intent. Therefore why differentiate the fork itself? What specifically does arbitrariness at that inflection point do for play?
 

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