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A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life

hawkeyefan

Explorer
I didn't make a general claim that making decisions is more realistic than other methods. I said the DM making a reasonable decision about something weapon breakage, is more realistic than pink bunny dreams resulting in a weapon breaking.
My apologies....if I'd realized that this was your point, I would not have replied at all.

Two methods that were both about orange juice(equal realism). I was talking about making Tang(less realistic) more like orange juice(more realistic). Your comparison shifted the conversation away from what it was about.
I'm struggling to understand this analogy.

Aren't we discussing comparative methods? Method A compared to Method B?

If you're point is that Method A is better than no method at all, I suppose you may be on to something. I just don't know if it's all that meaningful. I also think it does nothing to comment on Method B or Method C, which seems to be what you're trying to do.

Baseline D&D already has mechanics for this. Page 256 of the 5e DMG might help you. Or you could use the 1e rules for disease. They're much better and more realistic than the 5e version. Also, you should probably have these illnesses affect all of the classes. If you limit them to only fighters for some reason, you are losing realism in other areas.
Well, only the fighter in my campaign has a diet where I worry about incontinence! The wizard lets at least the occasional vegetable pass his lips, and the Cleric worships a nature deity, so he's practically a vegetarian. The diseases listed in the DMG seem much more impactful than the minor thing I'm talking about.....they're self-described plot devices more than anything else. I prefer to keep my game realistic...and certainly most people will face minor illnesses more often than major diseases....so I'll add a mechanic to handle this!

That's more realistic, right?
 

hawkeyefan

Explorer
In and of that particular instant and looking at nothing else, both are equally realistic and consistent and valid.

But there's a bigger picture to consider: first the easy one, whether the right-hand path being more travelled makes sense with what has been determined in the fiction leading up to this point; and second the harder one, whether that determination now is going to risk leading to things appearing later that should have (or could have) been known or telegraphed sooner.
On the first point, I would say that predetermining things actually creates more risk of inconsistency. Certainly a new element that is introduced can't contradict what hasn't been established, right? So this seems a pretty pointless concern.

On the second, I would say that this is a more valid concern, but that I think it's far less of a big deal than you seem to think. There's nothing that says new elements introduced in a more narrative game must come from absolutely nowhere. You can build to things just as you can in a traditional RPG.


In a pre-mapped situation the GM [and maybe everyone, depending whether a) the map is already known or b) someone in the party has flight capabilities and went up to scout] will in theory know what both paths lead to before the party get to the junction, and that knowledge will then inform the tracking results. Internal logic is maintained.
If they already know the areas beyond the branching paths, then there's no real need to focus on the amount of traffic at the fork. Certainly the traffic at the fork might be the trigger for such exploration....which can then be narrated accordingly in either method. The GM can read the boxed text or paraphrase from his notes, or the GM can call for dice rolls, and then construct what is found there based on the results.

I think that in this case, the predetermination may be helpful for some GMs. I myself find that kind of stuff very helpful, depending on what it is. But I also love determining things on the fly. Or a combination of the two things, which is I think what most narrative games really are; the GM has ideas about what may come up, often very informed by what would be challenging or meaningful to the characters, and then lets the dice roll to determine how those things come into play.


Because unless the entire idea of setting exploration is denied to the group, the players don't know what's out there that they haven't seen yet. If for example the GM already knows that the left path leads to an orcish village while the right path leads to a rarely-used dock on a lake then the GM could have in various ways telegraphed or breadcrumbed these things earlier had the opportunity arisen. But if the GM doesn't know these things then she can't telegraph anything; she can't describe elements of the scene that might very logically be there (e.g. that the traffic on the left path is probably all orc) because she has no way of knowing yet that they would exist.
I think this is likely one area where the misconception of narrative games comes up.....it's not all being determined on the fly by improv. Certainly the PCs are heading in a certain way for some reason. Very likely they have an idea of what challenges may lay ahead. The GM'll have an idea about all this regardless of the game type, and likely have discussed this with the players in one way or another.


I don't have to have in this case, if a dumb bozo like me can see how easily it'd fall apart.
Actually, you do. I mean, if you want to have an informed opinion. You can certainly put forth any assumptions you want about anything. But without actual knowledge to back them up, that's all they are.....assumptions. Even the ones that may turn out to be correct, they are mere assumptions.

The only way it wouldn't happen is if the players were extremely forgiving of inconsistency (which IMO is close to unforgivable if it happens all the time) or simply didn't care enough.
I can imagine that it may seem this way without having firsthand experience. But you are incorrect. There's nothing about such games that makes them more prone to inconsistency than any other game.
 
I don't have to have in this case, if a dumb bozo like me can see how easily it'd fall apart.

The only way it wouldn't happen is if the players were extremely forgiving of inconsistency (which IMO is close to unforgivable if it happens all the time) or simply didn't care enough.
I don't think it would be especially prone to falling apart. First of all, there's no guarantee whatsoever that any indication is needed. In your example there's no reason to believe that the orcs left especially recognizable signs, nor that anyone in fact made an attempt to look for them.

Beyond that, in HoML for example, there are ample ways in which a player could determine that orcs are on the right hand path. He could simply utilize some kind of ability which would let him determine this, or he could expend inspiration and decide that his 'raised by orcs' background should be leveraged so he can visit an orc village. The GM might well respond to this with "it appears that many orcs have traveled to the right."

I would be exceedingly surprised if players noticed or complained of 'inconsistency'. Even in classic D&D games I have both run and played in I almost never heard such a complaint, unless the GM sprung some total gotcha on the players.
 
Yes, this is exactly what I mean by referring to unarticulated assumptions about how RPGing "must" be.

Well, presumably there are some Manhattan-ites who have the privilege of living their lives in that very fashion! (I live in a country which is rather peripheral in world terms, but am conscious that there are peripheries of the periphery whose inhabitants have to engage with my situation in a way that I don't have to engage with theirs.)

But one wouldn't expect to encounter those particular Manhattan-ites posting in a "rest of the world" forum. Just stick to the I-heart-NYC ones, and maybe even particular subforums.
It is the posting on the 'rest of the world forum' to inform the guy who got lost in the backwoods of Maine that finding your way is a simple procedure of going down to the next cross street and turning right or left as needed.

TBH, I just find the objections that are made to narrative play to be essentially 'spherical cows'. [MENTION=29398]Lanefan[/MENTION] complains that 'inconsistencies will arise', yet in 1000's of sessions of actual play I have seen little sign of any of these inconsistencies. Nor has classical play convinced me that GMs are particular apt at attending to every possible inconsistency. I can't say I believe that there is any greater likelihood that any given GM running a game in 'classic' style is more likely to do so than that the players and GM in a scene framing exercise will produce narrative which seems consistent. Thus these sorts of objections and observations, particularly as they aren't based on comparing styles of play both of which the commentator has experience with, are really just sort of 'sphere world' kind of objections. You can invent them, hypothetically they might arise, but in terms of actually playing actual RPGs they simply don't become concerns.
 
The only "weakness" you've pointed to (by way of bolding @Lanefan's post) is that because I don't pre-author I won't have pre-authored material to establish which path is the more travelled. That's self-evident. (Tautological, even.) But you were defending Lanefan's claim that this will lead to inconsistent fiction. That is what @Hawkeye and I are denying.

This makes no sense. If you go down the right path and observe no tracks, then either (i) there's no village, or (ii) for some reason there are no tracks to find. (Eg it's a village of ghosts.)
I don't even see any real need to go this far. When did it last rain in this spot in [MENTION=29398]Lanefan[/MENTION]'s game? I would be fairly surprised if a ready answer exists to this question in most cases. How hard or soft is the soil? What exact sorts of undergrowth and conditions prevail on and around this trail? Without knowing these things there isn't any way to assign some sort of probability to the question of whether or not orc tracks are likely to be spotted. In fact it is merely a supposition, one designed to support a particular opinion about different types of game play, which leads to this 'orc track objection'.

In fact, this is basically exactly the same sort of blindness which leads to the whole set of assertions about GM-directed classic 'high myth' play WRT a more dynamic 'story now' zero myth style of play. The GM/commentator in both cases simply makes assumptions and draws conclusions on these assumptions and then labels them 'facts' or 'logical deductions' when in fact they're not, they're just making stuff up! This is a fine way to play, but elevating it to some higher plane where it is 'more realistic' or 'more consistent' seems like just plain blindness to me.
 
Such inconsistent authoring is unavoidable with the style of play you engage in. Or do you really expect me to believe that before any player authors anything in the fiction, you guys stop and go over ever single thing ever authored in that campaign to see if it results in any type of inconsistency and cease that specific case of authoring if it does?
Yup! Just as likely that we will do that in my game as that you will carefully note down every single offhand assumption and bit of reasoning you went through to come up with every little detail in your game, and then manage to index and crosscheck them all and maintain this sort of database across years of play.

And lest you believe I am not fully cognizant of all the issues with doing this. I have 10 three-ring binders, and several boxes full of other papers and notes on my D&D campaign(s). I also have a very extensive wiki which I use to keep track of everything I can. It is absolutely a monstrous task, and I am utterly certain (because I've many times discovered it myself) that there are inconsistencies, forgotten and overlooked material, etc. all over the place in that mass.

Even in shorter and more restricted campaigns I've run it is unlikely that, using your sort of techniques, I would be able to attain full consistency. I wouldn't expect the game to be any more consistent in fact than one I would author on the fly using 'Pemertonian' techniques today.
 
When I used to prep everything, I already had all the consistent information available at my fingertips.
When did it last rain in this spot in [MENTION=29398]Lanefan[/MENTION]'s game? I would be fairly surprised if a ready answer exists to this question in most cases. How hard or soft is the soil? What exact sorts of undergrowth and conditions prevail on and around this trail? Without knowing these things there isn't any way to assign some sort of probability to the question of whether or not orc tracks are likely to be spotted. In fact it is merely a supposition, one designed to support a particular opinion about different types of game play, which leads to this 'orc track objection'.
A variation on [MENTION=29398]Lanefan[/MENTION]'s objection would seem to be the following:

* The players ask about the colour of the ceiling in the dungeon room;

* The GM, who has no notes on this (in my experience it's rare for module descriptions to note ceiling colours), narrates that it's red;

* The players note the following inconsistency and/or lack of telegraphing - no spots of red paint on the floor or walls were mentioned, and yet there are no drop sheets in the dungeon inventory!​

Or even this old standby:

* The GM's account of the details of the orc village includes the weaponsmith, and a forge, but doesn't itemise any carpentry tools - and yet the orcs are narrated as living in timber dwellings not all of which are in total disrepair!​

I think the Keep in B2 suffers from this "inconsistency", actually; I'm not sure about the village in T1.
 

Sadras

Explorer
This is a fine way to play, but elevating it to some higher plane where it is 'more realistic' or 'more consistent' seems like just plain blindness to me.
I believe the idea is that these additional elements (attempting to mirror instances within real life), are to provide a more immersive experience and/or to provide a hardcore form of gaming. At some point these additional elements slow the game down and a balance needs to be struck.

The idea that these additional elements are fixed within the mechanics (daily weather, weapon/armour depreciation...etc) might have some proclaim that their game is 'more realistic' than others whose game does not have such mechanics. Do these systems emulate everything within RL, of course not.

EDIT: I think the argument that everything needs to be as in real life or otherwise nothing is, is a fairly weak one. It does not further conversation or understanding between parties to only speak in absolutes. The use of the word more in "more realism" is indicative that the conversation is not about absolutes.
 
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Lanefan

Hero
Ths tells us something about the limits of your imagination.
How, dare I ask?
And of your willingness to believe others, given that everyone posting in this thread who has actually used the technique you're talking about is saying, on the basis of their actual experience, that your concern is not warranted.
Actually, it's possible my concerns are coming from the fact that I *do* believe you guys - or at least what shows up in your game logs and posts - and from that can quickly realize that were I in one of those games the following sequence would very likely happen before long:

- I'd notice inconsistencies and would call them out
- I'd want to know what was being skipped between the "scenes" and whether any of it might have been (or been made to be) relevant had we been told of it (I'd often be saying "Wait a minute", "back it up here", "stop jumping ahead", and the like; and be constantly asking for more detail and-or description of things beyond just the scene being framed)
- after a while of this I'd get frustrated, probably followed by a brief period of angry
- after this I'd eventually come to realize that the only answer is to view that game/campaign as something considerably less than serious, and proceed on that basis.

And before you jump in with your inevitable reply to the bolded bit above: "know what was being skipped" does NOT mean role-playing making breakfast every morning or other such trivialities, it means that instead of jumping straight from one encounter to the next you allow us to explore the potential options and decide what we'll do next.

We're in the bazaar looking for a clue to help sort out my brother and we've decided we won't leave until we find one? Then let us explore the whole bazaar and maybe spend the time to role-play chatting with ten or fifteen merchants if that's what it takes (even if it takes all session or maybe longer!) rather than framing us straight to the feather merchant that turns out to have the clue we seek. Why? Because maybe after the first six merchants we change our minds and decide hey, maybe the clue isn't to be found here after all, let's go look somewhere else. And because maybe while we're doing all this our party thief is busy robbing these same merchants blind while we distract them... :)

EDIT TO ADD: In short, it's a question of pacing: I'd probably want a much slower and more detailed pace of play than this type of game (as evidenced by the various logs I've read) would tend to give.
 
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Lanefan

Hero
What things?

[MENTION=29398]Lanefan[/MENTION] plays an AD&D variant. The elements in his game are ones that I'm very familiar with. The mechanics are also ones that I'm very familiar with (AD&D plus a hp/wound variant, a spell memorisation variant similar to 5e, and I think some critical hit/fumble variants). What are you suggesting his game contains that [MENTION=6785785]hawkeyefan[/MENTION]'s or mine or any other poster on this thread's lacks?
There's a bit more - and a bit less - to my game than that; if you want to see the basic player side rules look here:

http://www.friendsofgravity.com/games/commons_room/blue_books/decast-blue-book-in-html/index.html

Spell write-ups, pantheons, and setting info all have their own pages. Sorry, though, but most of the DM-side stuff isn't online (yet).

What are you talking about?

My actual play posts on these boards count in the dozens. Where are the inconsistencies in the fiction?

This is the bottom line, for me: if you want to make it a competition, I'll put the depth and richness of my gameworlds up against your or [MENTION=29398]Lanefan[/MENTION] any day of the week.
And, were it a competition, I've no doubt that we'd both have our good and bad moments.

However, the question is more one of how much of that depth and richness do your players ever get to see or hear about - should they so desire - beyond that which is in the framed scenes?

For instance, [MENTION=29398]Lanefan[/MENTION] has made it clear that he thinks it is an inconsistency if a surprise emerges in play that has not been previously foreshadowed.
Er, not quite.

I think it's an inconsistency if something - doesn't have to be a surprise at all - emerges in play the existence of which would have (or easily could have) made a difference to previous play had said "something" been known of or thought of at the time said previous play occurred. For an example, look no further than my own sad tale of the missing wagon tracks from way upthread.

But, in fact, in real life surprises occur all the time. People discovered dinosaur fossils around 200 years ago and were surprised. The first time I visited London - a city of millions of people, of whom I knew about half-a-dozen - I bumped into the sister of a friend of mine, whom I'd not seen since my friend's wedding nearly 8 years earlier, walking down the street. There was no foreshadowing beyond my having heard, sometime in the intervening 8 years, that she'd moved to Britain.
Surprises do occur all the time...but even then sometimes you can think back and realize that some previous things you maybe thought irrelevant at the time were in fact related and-or leading up to this surprise event.

Dinosaur fossils were noticed long before 200 years ago but were either ignored, not followed up on, or fell victim to wild and inaccurate speculation (here be dragons!); what happened 200 years ago was that some people suddenly realized what they really were and were then able to tie a bunch of previous observations etc. (i.e. years if not centuries of "foreshadowing") together.

The consistency was, in hindsight, always present. And that's what I'm after in the game.
 

Lanefan

Hero
Hang on - are you telling me that before you say anything as GM you check it against a written record of every bit of fiction ever produced in your campaign? Or do you rely on memory when doing your prep and when making decisions in the course of play (such as whether or not any sect members are in the teahouse)?

At my tabel we rely primarily on memory but secondarily on notes. (I suspect that this is what [MENTION=29398]Lanefan[/MENTION] and you also rely on.)
I rely on memory when I can but my memory only goes so far. My current campaign has been going for over ten years now and believe me, if I didn't have fairly detailed (if often only in point form) game logs to fall back on I'd be screwed. Even then I make mistakes, but I try my best to keep them to a dull roar. :)

I believe that much of what you and Lanefan call inconsistency is really ambiguity or uncertainty. For instance, in my 4e campaign there is uncertainty about how old the world is; and about the precise sequence in which certain events occurred before, during and in the immediate aftermath of the Dawn War. But given that only one PC (the deva invoker/wizard, who having become a Sage of Ages has access to all the memories of his previous incarnations) has the possibility of access to such knowledge, and he hasn't attempted to ascertain and document it all, the uncertainty makes sense. And gives the campaign a trueness to life that encyclopedia-style campaign timelines undermine!
Uncertainty and-or ambiguity can be great!

And even relatively detailed campaign-history timelines can leave lots of holes and gaps to be filled in later. Hell, those gaps are what I've been mining for stories and plots for most of this campaign! :)

If nothing else, a timeline tells what happened when - but it doesn't always say why it happened or what caused it to happen...
 

Lanefan

Hero
A variation on [MENTION=29398]Lanefan[/MENTION]'s objection would seem to be the following:

* The players ask about the colour of the ceiling in the dungeon room;

* The GM, who has no notes on this (in my experience it's rare for module descriptions to note ceiling colours), narrates that it's red;

* The players note the following inconsistency and/or lack of telegraphing - no spots of red paint on the floor or walls were mentioned, and yet there are no drop sheets in the dungeon inventory!​
No, the players wonder why we weren't told the light coming from the room had a somewhat redder hue than usual when we saw it from down the hall. (such an observation would inform us that there's maybe something odd here which might lead us to take more time and-or spend more resources than usual, e.g. spells, in our approach to this room - even though it turns out to be completely mundane in the end)

This is the sort of thing that gets missed.

Or even this old standby:

* The GM's account of the details of the orc village includes the weaponsmith, and a forge, but doesn't itemise any carpentry tools - and yet the orcs are narrated as living in timber dwellings not all of which are in total disrepair!​

I think the Keep in B2 suffers from this "inconsistency", actually; I'm not sure about the village in T1.
This is in fact exactly the sort of thing I get annoyed with; particularly if my character has any interest in carpentry. :) And sure, there's ways to explain away almost everything but it gets to be a bit much if this has to be done all the time.
 

Aldarc

Adventurer
What I find curious is that everyone understands the plain words of "more realism" and accept it on D&D material, whether it be stuff from the DMs Guild or the monthly D&D booklet (forget its name now) that Enworld produces for 5e - and yet when Max uses it ppl lose their minds and need all sorts of measures and what not.

EDIT: Latest En5isder.
Really wonder if a thread needs to opened up to discuss Mike Myler's definition of the words "more realistic"
I disagree. Everyone brings their own notions about what "more realism" means, but that does not mean that a singular understanding is equally shared. It just means that everyone has their own set of expectations. This brings us back to one of my first posts in this thread that started this mess with Max:
Even ignoring the fantastical elements within the most popular genre of TTRPG play, I'm not sure if I would call it 'realism' by any reasonable metric. Often that appeal to realism is selectively applied, if not prejudiciously, by both the game system and the participants, typically with some other goal or value in mind. 'Realism' is likely a smokescreen for some other issue(s). This is to say, I don't necessarily think that 'realism' is the genuine goal of people who claim they desire 'realism' in their TTRPG, especially D&D.
Emphasizing here my earlier point that appeals to "realism" typically masks other play preferences (e.g., immersion, genre aesthetic, etc.) rather than representing an actual concern for "realism" itself. When I see a game or supplement offering "more realism," then that usually raises a red flag or two for me. I don't know what "more realism" means in a RPG because everyone has wildly different ideas about what "more realism" entails mechanically that it is fairly meaningless. We do not so much "accept it" as much as our eyes glaze past it as a meaningless buzz phrase that generally prefaces the revelation of particular play preferences and mechanics.

I believe the idea is that these additional elements (attempting to mirror instances within real life), are to provide a more immersive experience and/or to provide a hardcore form of gaming. At some point these additional elements slow the game down and a balance needs to be struck.

The idea that these additional elements are fixed within the mechanics (daily weather, weapon/armour depreciation...etc) might have some proclaim that their game is 'more realistic' than others whose game does not have such mechanics. Do these systems emulate everything within RL, of course not.
I would suggest that your post supports my point above that "realism" in this debate is a smokescreen about other play preferences (e.g., internal coherence of fiction, play procedures, immersion, etc.) rather than what constitutes "more realism."
 

Sadras

Explorer
I disagree.
Are you saying En5sider's use of the term "more realistic" in the link I provided is unfamiliar or ambiguous to you?

Emphasizing here my earlier point that appeals to "realism" typically masks other play preferences (e.g., immersion, genre aesthetic, etc.) rather than representing an actual concern for "realism" itself. When I see a game or supplement offering "more realism," then that usually raises a red flag or two for me. I don't know what "more realism" means in a RPG because everyone has wildly different ideas about what "more realism" entails mechanically that it is fairly meaningless. We do not so much "accept it" as much as our eyes glaze past it as a meaningless buzz phrase that generally prefaces the revelation of particular play preferences and mechanics.

I would suggest that your post supports my point above that "realism" in this debate is a smokescreen about other play preferences (e.g., internal coherence of fiction, play procedures, immersion, etc.) rather than what constitutes "more realism."
Bold emphasis mine. Ignore play preferences / motives for mechanic.

Armour in RL depreciates due to wear and tear for whatever reasons.
A system that includes a mechanic (abstract as it is) for accounting for the depreciation of armour is attempting to mirror RL more so than a game that does not account for the depreciation of armour, for that specific category. Do you agree or not? If not, why?
 

Aldarc

Adventurer
Are you saying En5sider's use of the term "more realistic" in the link I provided is unfamiliar or ambiguous to you?
I am familiar with the use of the buzz phrase "more realistic," but I often don't find it exists as a particularly meaningful phrase. En5sider's use seems more like marketing jargon preying upon popular naivety than being indicative of actual substance, and I don't fault them for that.

Edit: I would clarfiy that "more realistic" is mostly vacuous; however, the link saying that they will provide a mechanic for item degredation for 5E is more meaningful.

Ignore play preferences / motives for mechanic.
I don't think that you can. Contextual analysis abhors a vacuum.

Armour in RL depreciates due to wear and tear for whatever reasons.
A system that includes a mechanic (abstract as it is) for accounting for the depreciation of armour is attempting to mirror RL more so than a game that does not account for the depreciation of armour, for that specific category. Do you agree or not? If not, why?
Except that is not necessarily true. For example, the above link that you had provided had also suggested that you may want this mechanic to "bring a little destructive excitement to the table," which does not require realism to be an intent for adopting it as a mechanic. Therefore illustrating how "realism" can be incidental to the inclusion or preclusion of mechanics or game design.
 
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Sadras

Explorer
I am familiar with the use of the buzz phrase "more realistic," but I often don't find it exists as a particularly meaningful phrase.
You keep changing the conversation. You understand the buzzword of how/why it is used in relation to the the mechanics - whether it is meaningful or even appropriate word was not part of the question.

I don't think that you can. Contextual analysis abhors a vacuum.

Except that is not necessarily true. For example, the above link that you had provided had also suggested that you may want this mechanic to "bring a little destructive excitement to the table," which does not require realism to be an intent for adopting it as a mechanic. Therefore illustrating how "realism" can be incidental to the inclusion or preclusion of mechanics or game design.
I find this logic very uncharitable and nonsensical.
The marrying of a little destructive excitement to the table is a result of what might happen with weapons in the midst of combat in RL. You would not marry a little destructive excitement to the table with the realities of encumbrance for instance.
 

Aldarc

Adventurer
You keep changing the conversation.
I have remained consistent in my position regarding this realism debate throughout this entire thread, which is what I have been consistently arguing, and I even linked my initial post in this thread. Don't get frustrated with me just because I want to remain on topic.

You understand the buzzword of how/why it is used in relation to the the mechanics - whether it is meaningful or even appropriate word was not part of the question.
No, I said that I understand how/why the buzzword is used for the purposes of marketing the mechanics. I think that it is ambiguous what it means but I don't have the same reaction to that as I do with Max because I engage in conversations with people and not with marketing materials.

I find this logic very uncharitable and nonsensical.
The marrying of a little destructive excitement to the table is a result of what might happen with weapons in the midst of combat in RL. You would not marry a little destructive excitement to the table with the realities of encumbrance for instance.
I find your lack of good faith disturbing. You asked my reading, and I provided it in good faith. You disagree with my reading. That's fine. But accusing me of being uncharitable and nonsensical in my reading poisons the well, and that will certainly not endear your perspective to me. The link you provided uses the language "whether... or" which suggests to me a distinction of elements in the introductory clause as opposed to the causal link you make here. The buzz language is meant to suggest that if you belong in either camp (or both), then the contents of this article will appeal to you (so subscribe/purchase/whatever today).
 

hawkeyefan

Explorer
[MENTION=6688277]Sadras[/MENTION]

I think that when it comes to the phrase "more realistic" I generally don't mind people using it to try and convey an idea. And I think that generally speaking, I'm likely to know what they mean when they use it. The EN5ider article, in that sense, is clear to me what it is trying to convey.

So the rules for weapon degradation being an attempt to add "more realism" to the game.....I get what is meant, even if I don't really think it's technically accurate. But sometimes for the sake of conversation and for conveying ideas, that kind of phrase can work fine. I do think a lot of the conversation has been wasted by devoting time to this angle. To me, someone saying "I added weapon degradation to my D&D game to make it more realistic" is perfectly fine.

What I don't think is fine is something more like "My D&D game has weapon degradation mechanics, and therefore is more realistic than a game that lacks such mechanics" because I don't think that's true at all and for a myriad of reasons.

So I think the semantic debate has remained relevant to the discussion because some folks will mistake acceptance of the general use of the phrase for acceptance that the phrase is technically accurate. Others want to make sure that distinction is clear.
 

Sadras

Explorer
@Sadras

I think that when it comes to the phrase "more realistic" I generally don't mind people using it to try and convey an idea. And I think that generally speaking, I'm likely to know what they mean when they use it. The EN5ider article, in that sense, is clear to me what it is trying to convey.

So the rules for weapon degradation being an attempt to add "more realism" to the game.....I get what is meant, even if I don't really think it's technically accurate. But sometimes for the sake of conversation and for conveying ideas, that kind of phrase can work fine. I do think a lot of the conversation has been wasted by devoting time to this angle. To me, someone saying "I added weapon degradation to my D&D game to make it more realistic" is perfectly fine.
Thank you! At least someone is willing to accept the plain word, without requiring people to jump through hoops and thereby allowing the conversation to reach the next plateau.

So I think the semantic debate has remained relevant to the discussion because some folks will mistake acceptance of the general use of the phrase for acceptance that the phrase is technically accurate. Others want to make sure that distinction is clear.
Yeah, I don't find that style of conversation helpful or sincere.

What I don't think is fine is something more like "My D&D game has weapon degradation mechanics, and therefore is more realistic than a game that lacks such mechanics" because I don't think that's true at all and for a myriad of reasons.
Apologies, I haven't been following your entire post run with Max, could you please provide me some reasons or an example why you think said statement is untrue.

EDIT: I believe I have thought of one - if the mechanic was badly designed, then sure it might prove that exclusion of such mechanic would make more sense (be more real), given its terrible design. For instance the old fumbles on a 1, which means a fighter with more attacks in a round is prone to more fumbles than one with fewer. Is this what you had in mind?
 
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