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

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Well, there are some items in BitD that are light enough that they do not count toward the character's load. There's a handful for each playbook, and they are marked by italics, and are freely available. So these are essentially brought on every score, or can be. The same ruling could be applied to other items of negligible weight such as a keepsake or a grooming kit or the like.
OK, sounds good.

Basically, the game doesn't really care about a character being able to carry their mother's necklace or a grooming kit from a mechanical standpoint. If those items add to the character's story, then they can have them.

The reason why I think this works is that there is enough to the system as it exists to give the player meaningful choices to make without having to rely on RP only reasons for them to make the decision.
Something here doesn't make sense to me, or maybe I'm reading you wrong, but shouldn't all decisions and choices ideally be based on RP-only reasons, if one is indeed assuming the role of one's character?

Well, it's not really items of any weight. There are some items that count as two inventory slots....such as large weapons and heavy armor, and a few others that would be pretty bulky like climbing gear. And as I mentioned above, some that do not count toward inventory at all. Most items are one slot, some are two, some are zero.
OK, again sounds good.

The structure of the game expects that any given session will likely consist of a downtime section, some free play, and a score. This is not absolutely required, but it's kind of the expectation.

This is likely one of the significant differences between Blades and a more traditional D&Desque game. There are specific modes of play and expectations about those modes. They can be bent or broken, but they are an assumed element of the game as designed.

And personally, I prefer that. It helps maintain forward momentum. I've had plenty of D&D games that didn't need help in that area....but I've also had plenty that needed such help.
In short, from the way you put this BitD is designed to be episodic rather than serial in play. How hard does the system fight back if you try to make it more serial in play e.g. what was intended to be a score turns into something more resembling a full-on dungeon crawl that takes several sessions to play out?

Well I would say that participants in an RPG very much do serve as an audience. I just don't think their role is solely that. But certainly we are entertained by the story the game is building, right? Certainly, we can be surprised by what happens? If there isn't some aspect of being an audience, I'm not exactly sure what the point of playing would be.
Agreed. My point was that we're not just the audience (which to me implies passivity and non-participation), we're also collectively and individually the active entertainers participating in - and often improvising - the show.

Well, I would say that the encumbrance rules do try to mirror the real world to the extent that there is weight involved, and a character's strength is involved and so on.....I don't know how accurate a representation it really may be. How much can a person carry and still remain mobile enough to wade into combat? I would guess that the average inventory list for the average D&D character would likely be very limiting if we gave it much thought. A backpack alone is restrictive. Add 50' of rope and a hammer and pitons and a bedroll and waterskin and a whetstone (just in case! :D) and so on.....the label "realistic" starts to break down.
We always assume that the reason characters (and often their foes) almost never get full attack sequences in the first round* is that part of that first round is spent shrugging off and-or dropping such bulky gear and getting ready to fight; along with drawing weapons, fishing out spell components, etc.

* - probably a house rule, I forget where it came from but we've done it that way forever.

I think abstracting all those weights and strength scores and the like into simple inventory boxes works just as well. Both are representing the real world fact that a person can only carry so much. So in that regard, they're appealing to the same thing, one's just more abstract.
More abstract, and from what I can tell also somewhat more metagame. The decisions seem to be more play-based than character-based, if that makes any sense.

Here's the thing....in your D&D game, what choice do the players have to make in regard to their characters' gear? Do they generally have to decide what to bring with them into a dungeon? Or is it more a case that each character has basically come up with a default inventory that they have with them at all times and it rarely if ever changes?
Once the low-level days have passed each character tends to settle in to having its own standard inventory that doesn't change often; but said inventory is different for every character. We haven't really ever gone in for things like standardized "adventuring kits".

For characters who own more than they can carry - i.e. most of 'em! - it's ideally expected that the character sheet shows what's on board in the field vs what's been left back at home or base. Ideally. Player recordkeeping deficiencies sometimes make things less than ideal...some are far more meticulous about this than others... :(

My experience....which I know is limited....is that it's more the second case. 90% of the characters roll around with the same gear at all times. Yes, every now and then they may be going on some specific mission where slight changes will be made. But is it agonizing to decide to bring your +1 Undead Bane Longsword versus your +2 Flaming Battleaxe just because you're expecting to face some undead?
Thing is, in our games bringing gear into the field carries the risk that it'll be blown up by a lucky AoE spell of some sort (which is another common reason we need to know what you're carrying!). Some players have their characters intentionally leave backup resources at home or base for just this reason.

But yes, most of the time the characters pack along everythng they can. :)

Not entirely sure what you're getting at....you seem to understand the systems in a general way. The specific slots would work out differently because of the way some items are lumped together as "Burglary Gear" and so on, but for discussion, you seem to get the way the system works. Yes, in the BitD example, the character could choose to have brought some kind of food that the dog would want, and they could use that to distract the animal long enough to escape.

Why I like this is that it makes the character look competent and capable. The character's preparation as a living being in their world is not affected by my limited knowledge. To me, that's a more authentic way to portray things. The character is more capable of making decisions about the score than I am.....which makes sense to me. This is not "unforseen or unexpected" to the character.
My hypothetical example, however, was trying to show the difference in what would happen in a situation that was unforeseen or unexpected.

If the system in effect mandates that the first [number of slots available] situations encountered will always be assumed to have been foreseen and-or expected, that to me blows authenticity out of the water. Sometimes in a real situation it might be the very first obstacle that catches the character unprepared - in my example, maybe she meets the unexpected guard dog on the way in rather than on the way out - and unless there's more to it I can't see how BitD can reflect this provided the character has any unallocated slots left.

From a meta perspective it also comes down to a table-level guessing game for both the player(s) and the GM as to how many slots to have vs how many different types of obstacles* to throw at them. Teh same can be said for D&D, of course, but it's not as cut-and-dried.

* - if the max number of slots is 7 does that in effect limit the GM as to how many different-gear-requiring types of obstacles she can put in the way, or is a truly nasty GM allowed to put in 8 or more and thus guarantee failure?

EDIT TO ADD: Another aspect is information. The BitD version seems to assume that if the character happens to have some meat on hand then the character knew there was (or could be) a dog involved. The D&D version allows for this information to either have been a) kept intentionally hidden or b) be available to discover but outright missed during the research-and-casing phase. To me this makes the D&D version more authentic in that the character can make a mistake or be caught by an oversight.
 
Last edited:

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
This is wrong.

Yes, in both scenarios the groups are picking gear in advance. In real life, however, you will often not have exactly what you need for a given situation. When you pick the gear in advance and know what that gear is, you will often not have exactly what you need for a given situation. When you pick the gear in advance and don't set what that gear is, allowing you to just pick whatever is perfect for you to use in a given situation you encounter later, you will have exactly what you need far more often than you would in real life. It's less realistic than knowing what gear you are picking before you get to a situation.
As a professional who must engage in travel to do my job, I very rarely find I lack a tool to overcome an issue onsite. We take drills, hardware, test equipment, etc. Long experience informs our packout. Assuming my character has long similar experience with their job and can reasonably plan ahead, I don't know why I as a player should akso have such experience. As such, I do not at all agree with what you are saying here.

In fact, this really looks like an argument that it's the player's task to plan ahead and has little or nothing to do with the character.

Gamist is making decision in order to win at the current situation. When I tell the DM I go buy 6 torches, a flint and steel, 50 feet of rope, a hammer and 20 iron spikes, I have no idea if those will come in handy or not. I'm making decision as my character to outfit for things I might have to use or might not. If I tell the DM I go spend 100 gold on 5 slots and can just turn them into whatever I need for a given situation, I'm making my decisions at the point of adversity in order to win at it. That's gamist behavior.



Er, what was Forge-speak? Adventurers? Equip? Travels? Themselves? Think? I'm not seeing forge specific terms there.
It's amusing that you tell me what another poster meant with a word and then show that you're not even aware of where such duscussion originated. I'd strongly recommend, however, that you avoid learning that history. You'll thank me.

However, addressing your point, I would think that a player is akways making chouces to "win" (whatever that means) by succeeding at their chisen tasks. Isn't, then, all play tmaimed at trying to succeed "gamist" under your definition, including, say, trying to preplan your gear to be as comprehensive as possible? In short, your definition isn't very useful in analyzing ehich parts of a game are "gamist."
 

hawkeyefan

Explorer
Something here doesn't make sense to me, or maybe I'm reading you wrong, but shouldn't all decisions and choices ideally be based on RP-only reasons, if one is indeed assuming the role of one's character?
Sorry, that was poor wording on my part. What I meant was that you may have a difficult decision about gear without there being some RP related reason to make a supoptimal choice. Like the fastidious elf who wants to have a grooming kit....the game is not as concerned with such RP only related decisions.

In short, from the way you put this BitD is designed to be episodic rather than serial in play. How hard does the system fight back if you try to make it more serial in play e.g. what was intended to be a score turns into something more resembling a full-on dungeon crawl that takes several sessions to play out?
Well, every serial is made up of episodes. What Blades does is try to make those episodes one session each. There could be any number of linked Scores where one leads to the next and then the next and so on.....but the game as designed expects each session to contain a Score. That's not always the case, though.

The game doesn't push back too heavily against extending a Score, though. The main area is that XP is intended to be awarded at the end of each session. So idealy, you'd complete a session and a Score, and then get XP. If a Score takes more than one session, do you grant XP per session or per Score? That would be the big question.

Having said that, the setting is different than most D&D style settings in that you generally aren't going on long expedition/excavation style missions. The setting is an urban location, and the characters are a gang or similar criminal group within that city. So usually, you're performing a heist or an attack on a rival or springing someone from jail or some other activity that won't be like a prolonged dungeon crawl.

We always assume that the reason characters (and often their foes) almost never get full attack sequences in the first round* is that part of that first round is spent shrugging off and-or dropping such bulky gear and getting ready to fight; along with drawing weapons, fishing out spell components, etc.

* - probably a house rule, I forget where it came from but we've done it that way forever.
Fair enough. But then if things don't go well, do they have to retrieve their belongings? If they flee, is all their gear lost?

To be clear, I'm not criticizing the system....it's fine. But I just think it's not really very realistic when you scrutinize it at all.

More abstract, and from what I can tell also somewhat more metagame. The decisions seem to be more play-based than character-based, if that makes any sense.
I don't think the inventory slots versus item weight is more metagame. I could see that argument about the other aspect of being able to choose during play rather than ahead of play, even if I disagree with it. But inventory slots and item weight are trying to replicate the same thing....."a person can only carry so much".

Once the low-level days have passed each character tends to settle in to having its own standard inventory that doesn't change often; but said inventory is different for every character. We haven't really ever gone in for things like standardized "adventuring kits".

For characters who own more than they can carry - i.e. most of 'em! - it's ideally expected that the character sheet shows what's on board in the field vs what's been left back at home or base. Ideally. Player recordkeeping deficiencies sometimes make things less than ideal...some are far more meticulous about this than others... :(

Thing is, in our games bringing gear into the field carries the risk that it'll be blown up by a lucky AoE spell of some sort (which is another common reason we need to know what you're carrying!). Some players have their characters intentionally leave backup resources at home or base for just this reason.
Okay, cool. I know many games where there isn't even a home base of any kind!


But yes, most of the time the characters pack along everythng they can. :)
Yeah, that's been my experience as well.

My hypothetical example, however, was trying to show the difference in what would happen in a situation that was unforeseen or unexpected.

If the system in effect mandates that the first [number of slots available] situations encountered will always be assumed to have been foreseen and-or expected, that to me blows authenticity out of the water. Sometimes in a real situation it might be the very first obstacle that catches the character unprepared - in my example, maybe she meets the unexpected guard dog on the way in rather than on the way out - and unless there's more to it I can't see how BitD can reflect this provided the character has any unallocated slots left.
Sure it does....if you encounter something that early in the Score, you have to decide if you want to devote an inventory slot or two to the challenge at hand, and risk not having something later on.

Maybe they decide to kill the dog. Maybe one of the other characters has a potion that could knock the dog out. In those cases, maybe they can get away without having to have someone devote an inventory slot to the meat.

From a meta perspective it also comes down to a table-level guessing game for both the player(s) and the GM as to how many slots to have vs how many different types of obstacles* to throw at them. Teh same can be said for D&D, of course, but it's not as cut-and-dried.

* - if the max number of slots is 7 does that in effect limit the GM as to how many different-gear-requiring types of obstacles she can put in the way, or is a truly nasty GM allowed to put in 8 or more and thus guarantee failure?

EDIT TO ADD: Another aspect is information. The BitD version seems to assume that if the character happens to have some meat on hand then the character knew there was (or could be) a dog involved. The D&D version allows for this information to either have been a) kept intentionally hidden or b) be available to discover but outright missed during the research-and-casing phase. To me this makes the D&D version more authentic in that the character can make a mistake or be caught by an oversight.
I don't think there's any way (or desire) for the GM to guarantee failure. Most obstacles can be overcome in more than one way, and there are multiple crew members, so a variety of challenges is desired, really.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Max, I'm not interested in playing your gotcha games.
Cool, because I don't like having to "getcha." If you would actually read what I am saying and not twist things around, you wouldn't be "got" by me. I made no assumption.

The reason why I did not answer the only question you actually asked - "How does hit point recovery work?" - was because I can't recall the HP recovery mechanics by heart and don't have access to the book at work.
Then that's what you should have said instead of inventing fiction about me making assumptions.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Here are the claims you made to which I responded:

If knives can get dull, then so can bladed weapons. I agree there's no rule about caring for weapons, but the whetstone is a listed part of the game the intent of which is clearly the sharpening of dull blades. The proportion of character sheets at a gaming convention that list whetstones in their inventories has zero to do with the presence of whetstones in the published rules or the intent thereof. One place you can find whetstones listed in inventories is on three out of the ten pre-generated character sheets the D&D Next September 20, 2013 Playtest Packet, which I believe was the most recent one. These characters, the Dwarf Fighter, the Halfling Rogue, and the Human Bard, also all happen to carry bladed weapons like battleaxe, short swords, and daggers.
So a whetstone is neither a rule, nor proof that weapons degrade in D&D. If no whetstone is ever purchased, no weapon in 5e will ever degrade and become dull or dinged up. There simply are no rules for those things in 5e. You could buy a whetstone if it makes you feel better I suppose, but it's never going to be needed if you play by RAW.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
As a professional who must engage in travel to do my job, I very rarely find I lack a tool to overcome an issue onsite. We take drills, hardware, test equipment, etc. Long experience informs our packout. Assuming my character has long similar experience with their job and can reasonably plan ahead, I don't know why I as a player should akso have such experience. As such, I do not at all agree with what you are saying here.
Cool. Let me know when it's your job to go into the UNKNOWN and face monsters, traps and situations where aren't going to be aware ahead of time what is going to happen. Then, and only then, will your personal experience be relevant here.

However, addressing your point, I would think that a player is akways making chouces to "win" (whatever that means) by succeeding at their chisen tasks. Isn't, then, all play tmaimed at trying to succeed "gamist" under your definition, including, say, trying to preplan your gear to be as comprehensive as possible? In short, your definition isn't very useful in analyzing ehich parts of a game are "gamist."
The player is not always making choices to win. There have often been time swhen the suboptimal or even bad choice has been appropriate for my character to make. The gamist person doesn't play that way. He's always out to win and having insta-advantage in his pocket is a great way to get there.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
Cool. Let me know when it's your job to go into the UNKNOWN and face monsters, traps and situations where aren't going to be aware ahead of time what is going to happen. Then, and only then, will your personal experience be relevant here.
Sorry, but are you actually saying that a professional at exploring unknown places and fighting monsters cannot have relevant experience to make good plans on possible gear? Because I related an anecdote that, as a professional, I know my job pretty well and have done extensive planning such that I'm very, very rarely caught offguard by surprises at jobsites, which often happen to be very far away, places I haven't been before, and have the kind of monster that is the customer who's been lying about the physical conditions onsite. If you've never faced this kind of monster, I envy you -- they're truly horrifying and all too common.

But, point being, you're arguing that it's unrealistic for the character to be able to do such planning, which leaves the players to do it, but you just told me my personal experience cannot be relevant, so I'm left wondering if you really think that it shouldn't be possible to plan ahead well enough to bring the right equipment for the job?

The player is not always making choices to win. There have often been time swhen the suboptimal or even bad choice has been appropriate for my character to make. The gamist person doesn't play that way. He's always out to win and having insta-advantage in his pocket is a great way to get there.
Right, you're labeling anything that isn't sub-optimal as gamist. That's a useless definition of the term, or, rather, a definition that lacks any negative connotations -- ie, you should be playing in a gamist manner most of the time. Yet, you seem to be implying a strong negative connotation, which doesn't flow from your definition being 'doing things that aren't sub-optimal because you might win.'
 

pemerton

Legend
So a whetstone is neither a rule, nor proof that weapons degrade in D&D.
Upthread, when I suggested that pork is not a part of the D&D rules unless a GM adds it in, you cited the presence of boar in the MM animal listing as a counter-point. But when [MENTION=6787503]Hriston[/MENTION] points to the presence of whetstones on the equipment list, and in some WotC-published character inventories, as a counterexample to your claim about weapoin degradation, you scoff.

Why the difference in the two cases?
 

pemerton

Legend
Numidius said:
Players that choose gear all by themselves before approaching a challenge, without a sort of linkage to how their characters would do it in their fictional world, looks pretty gamist to me.
In what way? I'm not following.
I would think adventurers would equip themselves between their travels. Are you inferring that they do not confer with each other or with others/specialists before equipping?
If we look at D&D solely, then we are looking at a system (or series of related systems throughout time) that has its own set of assumptions about the cultural norms, rationalities of the game, and how it nominally should function.
I've quoted Aldarc here in the context of Sadras's response to [MENTION=6972053]Numidius[/MENTION] because it seems highly apt in that context even though that wasn't quite the context Aldarc was responding to.

I took Numidius to be referring to the standard approach for equipping a new PC in D&D, which is (i) to roll (or, in more recent editions, otherwise establish) starting money, then (ii) choose equipment from a list which has various items (with a particular focus on combat gear, and then travelling gear, and less focus on (say) household furnishings or cute trinkets) and prices next to them, with (iii) this often being done more-or-less independently by each player, or - if there is collaboration - the collaboration being purely in terms of ensuring not too many iron spikes and ensuring enough oil and lanterns.

And the poiint that I took to be the main one is that this process doesn't bear any close resemblance to what is happening in the fiction, which is that (i) this character lives in a quasi-mediaeval economy where a lot of trade is barter- rather than coin-based, and (ii) this character has a backstory, family history, geographic and social context, etc which will establish what equipment it is plausible that s/he does or doesn't have accesss to, and (iii) that same personal background has more too it than simply this current at-the-table context of preparing to go on the first adventure of the campaign.

And my own reason for brining [MENTION=5142]Aldarc[/MENTION]'s reference to cultural norms and expectations associated with the game is because these are really what is driving the player's equipment choice in most cases. The player is not getting into character and asking "What sort of stuff would this person own?" The player is getting ready to run his/her PC through an adventure and is asking "Given the norms of D&D adventures, which include pits and corridors and doors and so on, but tend not to include much need to entertain upper middle class gentlemen in my apartments, what sort of stuff do I want on my inventory?"

The notion that this becomes realistic or more realistic simply because of the time sequence at the table - establish a player-side resource list in advance of the need for the equipment in the fiction, rather than (as in BitD) choosing whether or not to expend a player-side resource pool in response to the demands of the fiction - is not something that I find plausible, or even really very meaningful.

When you pick gear in advance, creative thinking comes into play a lot. I don't see that happening as often if you just have a bunch of nebulous objects that will become whatever you need, unless you run out of those objects and just have the things you already morphed those objects into.
When you pick the gear in advance and know what that gear is, you will often not have exactly what you need for a given situation. When you pick the gear in advance and don't set what that gear is, allowing you to just pick whatever is perfect for you to use in a given situation you encounter later, you will have exactly what you need far more often than you would in real life. It's less realistic than knowing what gear you are picking before you get to a situation.
How often can you restock on slots, and what happens to the objects you've created with the slots you've already used?
These claims are completely unsubstantiated.

In a typical BitD session, what is the ratio of decision situations that make gear salient to number of gear slots available? I don't know the answer to this question, because I've neither read the rules for the game nor played it. Given the question that you ask, I'm pretty sure you don't know the answer either. So you have no idea how often in (say) [MENTION=6785785]hawkeyefan[/MENTION]'s game the players choose to forgo choices to establish gear because they're saving slots for later. Which is to say, you don't know what the frequency is of occasions when these characters don't have exactly what they need.

Furthermore, you haven't proferred any such frequecy of occasions as being "realistic" for experienced criminals in the real world. So whatever the "realistic" frequency may be, which itself seems to me pretty much just conjecture or taste, you don't know whether or not anyone's BitD gameplay has the same frequency, a greater one or a lesser one!

Also, as your question shows, you have no idea what the rules are for use of gear, re-use of gear, expenditure of gear, etc. So you have no idea how often BitD players make creative choices involving already-established gear rather than expend unspent slots on establishing new gear. So your claim about how often creative thinking might take place is also completely unsubstantiated.

A system that I am experienced with, and which handles inventory not as a resource established in advance but as something to be established in play by expending player-sided resources, is MHRP/Cortex+ Heroic. In that system it's simply not true that players always have what they want, because for various reasons (ranging from prospects of success on a required roll, to availability of plot points, to desires about how to spend their turns) players don't always try to establish inventory that in principle they might be able to. And I see creative uses of inventory quite often - for instance, a player established a riding horse as part of his PC's inventory because he had the opportunity to do so and thought it might come in handy for riding and fighting, and then found himself using the horse to help in a social interaction with a giant chieftain by offering it up as a gift of food.

I don't know whether or not BitD produces moments like that because, as I've said, I don't know the details of the system and how it interacts with the broader dynamics of the play of the game. But nor do you! Yet you make all these confident assertions as if you're an expert.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Upthread, when I suggested that pork is not a part of the D&D rules unless a GM adds it in, you cited the presence of boar in the MM animal listing as a counter-point. But when [MENTION=6787503]Hriston[/MENTION] points to the presence of whetstones on the equipment list, and in some WotC-published character inventories, as a counterexample to your claim about weapoin degradation, you scoff.
This is a False Equivalence. Pork being from a boar isn't a rule. Neither one of those are rules. I asked for a RULE for weapon degradation(that would be a mechanic in case you weren't aware), not a whetstone that is not a rule.
 

Aldarc

Adventurer
Cool, because I don't like having to "getcha." If you would actually read what I am saying and not twist things around, you wouldn't be "got" by me. I made no assumption.
A desire to refrain from playing your "gotcha games" doesn't mean that you "got me." It means that I don't want to get roped into playing them by you. Please stop trying to turn every discussion into a competition to be won.

Then that's what you should have said instead of inventing fiction about me making assumptions.
Your "because if" still implies things about the game, reality, etc. that are not necessarily true. For example, your entire bit about 3 rounds of combat in "Into the Odd" being 18 seconds is most definitely an assumption that you bring from D&D. :erm:
 

Aldarc

Adventurer
If I'm reading [MENTION=5142]Aldarc[/MENTION] correctly, that system doesn't have any means of completely avoiding damage ("endurance drain") - though it seems you can try in the fiction to avoid being hit, you'll be hit anyway. Put another way, every attack hits at least to some extent with the only variable being how much damage is inflicted.

That said, a question for [MENTION=5142]Aldarc[/MENTION] : [MENTION=23751]Maxperson[/MENTION] may have a valid point, I think, in questioning how long it takes to recover endurance loss suffered through avoided attacks (i.e. simple combat exertion) vs non-avoided attacks.

I say "may have" above in that the answer will largely depend on the answer to a bigger question: whether endurance drain is seen as fatigue (easy to recover) or "meat" damage (not so easy to recover) or a combination of both, or whether the game system bothers with such distinctions. In the realism-authenticity debate this matters because 99% of the time fatigue "damage" is easier to recover from than "meat" damage - after hard exertion you can recover for a few minutes and be good to go again (e.g. a hockey player does a shift on the ice, recovers for a few minutes on the bench, and is good to go for another shift) but if your finger gets mashed that's gonna hurt for days.
I don't necessarily think that it matters. From what I recall, and maybe [MENTION=23751]Maxperson[/MENTION] can clarify his views, but he plays (per RAW) in 5E that the first half of hit point loss is luck, fatigue, abstracted that do not reflect actually being "hit" while the second half of hit point loss are "meat" hits. However, 5E does not make a distinction with how the first half (fatigue/luck) are recovered versus how the second half (meat) are recovered. In fact I am not sure if D&D makes a distinction between the recovery of HP. The closest is maybe subdual damage from 3E though subdual represents damage inflicted meant to subdue. Star Wars in 3E distinguished between wounds and HP. One could make the argument that D&D does this by distinguishing between HP damage and ability score damage. But [MENTION=29398]Lanefan[/MENTION], I'm not sure that this is a clear cut valid point at least without not scrutinizing the assumptions that our own games (namely D&D) about these sort of things.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
As a professional who must engage in travel to do my job, I very rarely find I lack a tool to overcome an issue onsite. We take drills, hardware, test equipment, etc. Long experience informs our packout. Assuming my character has long similar experience with their job and can reasonably plan ahead, I don't know why I as a player should akso have such experience.
The corollary questions then become, how many tools do you take on a typical site visit that don't end up getting used? And, is this all gear that's carried by you or is it carried by/in a vehicle to be pulled out if and when required?

I ask because the comparison being made is with examples of game mechanics trying to emulate limits - in some cases rather severe limits - where people are carrying only what they themselves can carry. The character isn't taking a gear-laden horse to the site of the score, for example, if for no other reason than its presence would likely be a dead giveaway that someting was afoot. :)

Another possible flaw with your real-life example is that you-as-you quite likely have means of information access a typical PC probably doesn't. For example (and not knowing anything more about your specific job than what you've posted here) it's reasonable to think you can phone ahead to someone already on site, ask what the issue is, and then pack to suit. A character on the other hand, has to prepare for a possibly very wide range of potential occurrences as best she can within her limitations as enforced by the game mechanics in use.

However, addressing your point, I would think that a player is akways making chouces to "win" (whatever that means) by succeeding at their chisen tasks. Isn't, then, all play tmaimed at trying to succeed "gamist" under your definition, including, say, trying to preplan your gear to be as comprehensive as possible? In short, your definition isn't very useful in analyzing ehich parts of a game are "gamist."
There's an admittedly fine line sometimes between playing to a character's own sense of self-preservation and outright gamism...it's one of those things where even though there's no hard and fast definition you kind of know which is which when you see it.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Sorry, that was poor wording on my part. What I meant was that you may have a difficult decision about gear without there being some RP related reason to make a supoptimal choice. Like the fastidious elf who wants to have a grooming kit....the game is not as concerned with such RP only related decisions.
Ah, OK.

Well, every serial is made up of episodes. What Blades does is try to make those episodes one session each. There could be any number of linked Scores where one leads to the next and then the next and so on.....but the game as designed expects each session to contain a Score. That's not always the case, though.

The game doesn't push back too heavily against extending a Score, though. The main area is that XP is intended to be awarded at the end of each session. So idealy, you'd complete a session and a Score, and then get XP. If a Score takes more than one session, do you grant XP per session or per Score? That would be the big question.

Having said that, the setting is different than most D&D style settings in that you generally aren't going on long expedition/excavation style missions. The setting is an urban location, and the characters are a gang or similar criminal group within that city. So usually, you're performing a heist or an attack on a rival or springing someone from jail or some other activity that won't be like a prolonged dungeon crawl.
So a completely different setting as well, then, from the typical pseudo-medieval or pseudo-renaissance D&D. Got it.

Given this, then short missions being the basis of (most) play makes much more sense.

Fair enough. But then if things don't go well, do they have to retrieve their belongings? If they flee, is all their gear lost?
What is this thing you call "flee"? :)

Unless there's extenuating curcumstances it's easy to assume they swoop by and at least pick up their packs on the way out. Where it gets nasty is if the foe has a teleporting effect when it hits an opponent...but even then not all their gear is lost - they'd still have whatever they were wearing, and what they had in hand, and what they had in small containers e.g. belt pouches or scabbards. But it's still a headache for the characters.

One effect dropping gear does have is that if the dropped gear gets hit by an AoE effect its saves are "unattended" i.e. it doesn't get any bonuses that the owner might give it were it being carried.

To be clear, I'm not criticizing the system....it's fine. But I just think it's not really very realistic when you scrutinize it at all.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it's perfect. It just seems a little better than ignoring it all.

I don't think the inventory slots versus item weight is more metagame. I could see that argument about the other aspect of being able to choose during play rather than ahead of play, even if I disagree with it. But inventory slots and item weight are trying to replicate the same thing....."a person can only carry so much".
In a broad sense, I agree. The question then is one of granularity in detail.

Okay, cool. I know many games where there isn't even a home base of any kind!
IME that would be unusual. The home base might not be the same for every character, mind you, but most if not all characters have a base of some sort.

In my current campaign, for example, Decks of Many Things have turned up The Keep far more often than random chance would seem to dictate (particularly for one specific player who seems to get one every flippin' time!); thus parties have their choice of several small castles to use as a base (and each owning character obviously bases him/herself at his/her own keep); three of these castles that have been put quite close together have become something of a base for nearly all now.

Early on in the campaign, before Keeps started springing up like weeds, one character built a small inn and pub which became home base for loads of people for a while. One character - who oddly enough isn't even a Cleric - has made a particular temple her home base, and it's hundreds of miles away from where most other characters base themselves.

Sure it does....if you encounter something that early in the Score, you have to decide if you want to devote an inventory slot or two to the challenge at hand, and risk not having something later on.

Maybe they decide to kill the dog. Maybe one of the other characters has a potion that could knock the dog out. In those cases, maybe they can get away without having to have someone devote an inventory slot to the meat.
To keep the example simple I've been assuming this score was being done by a character acting alone. Once you get a whole party involved then yes, it would be possible to cover way more eventualities in either system simply by having different people carry different things: "Joe, you take the cracker tools. Cindy, you're on ropes. Bobbie, pitons and grapnels are yours. Pips, you're the bagman once we get in. I'll worry about lights and covers. Everyone got a weapon and face charcoal? Right, let's go!"

But yes, the character could decide to kill the dog - or try to - and risk a lot of noise; or could even try to tame or befriend the dog, again at some risk if the attempt fails.

I don't think there's any way (or desire) for the GM to guarantee failure. Most obstacles can be overcome in more than one way, and there are multiple crew members, so a variety of challenges is desired, really.
Fair enough. :)
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I don't necessarily think that it matters. From what I recall, and maybe [MENTION=23751]Maxperson[/MENTION] can clarify his views, but he plays (per RAW) in 5E that the first half of hit point loss is luck, fatigue, abstracted that do not reflect actually being "hit" while the second half of hit point loss are "meat" hits. However, 5E does not make a distinction with how the first half (fatigue/luck) are recovered versus how the second half (meat) are recovered. In fact I am not sure if D&D makes a distinction between the recovery of HP. The closest is maybe subdual damage from 3E though subdual represents damage inflicted meant to subdue. Star Wars in 3E distinguished between wounds and HP. One could make the argument that D&D does this by distinguishing between HP damage and ability score damage. But [MENTION=29398]Lanefan[/MENTION], I'm not sure that this is a clear cut valid point at least without not scrutinizing the assumptions that our own games (namely D&D) about these sort of things.
Fair point re D&D; we long ago overlaid a body-fatigue system on to hit points in 1e D&D because of just this, along with mechanics for how they do recover differently.

IMO 5e seriously missed the boat on this - they got down to the dock by having h.p. be first-half luck and second-half a bit meatier, but then failed to get aboard by having them recover differently. 4e, for all its other failings, was really on to something with its 'bloodied' mechanic...and even there could have taken it a lot further.

But I was more asking you about the system (whose name I forget now) that you were referencing upthread and that Max was responsding to, where every attack "drains your endurance" (I think that's the term you used for it), and how recovery works there.
 

Aldarc

Adventurer
But I was more asking you about the system (whose name I forget now) that you were referencing upthread and that Max was responsding to, where every attack "drains your endurance" (I think that's the term you used for it), and how recovery works there.
Into the Odd. I don't necessarily know if every attack drains your endurance. It's simply that there are no attack rolls, only damage. (Armor does mitigate damage.) So the fiction is loose with explaining and rationalizing the mechanics. "Draining your endurance" was one possible explanation among many rather than an official one.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
The corollary questions then become, how many tools do you take on a typical site visit that don't end up getting used? And, is this all gear that's carried by you or is it carried by/in a vehicle to be pulled out if and when required?

I ask because the comparison being made is with examples of game mechanics trying to emulate limits - in some cases rather severe limits - where people are carrying only what they themselves can carry. The character isn't taking a gear-laden horse to the site of the score, for example, if for no other reason than its presence would likely be a dead giveaway that someting was afoot. :)

Another possible flaw with your real-life example is that you-as-you quite likely have means of information access a typical PC probably doesn't. For example (and not knowing anything more about your specific job than what you've posted here) it's reasonable to think you can phone ahead to someone already on site, ask what the issue is, and then pack to suit. A character on the other hand, has to prepare for a possibly very wide range of potential occurrences as best she can within her limitations as enforced by the game mechanics in use.
When was the last time, in your game, someone said "shucks! I was going to bring [thing] but didn't have room for it?" Every time in my games it wasn't because it couldn't be sqeezed into someone's inventory but because it was not thought of. So, no, I don't see your corollary to be very telling at all.

D&D has always been loose with emcumberance because it's a gane that has a "bring the kitchen sink" style of play. A good question would be if this kind of player-aimed puzzle improves "realism" at all.
There's an admittedly fine line sometimes between playing to a character's own sense of self-preservation and outright gamism...it's one of those things where even though there's no hard and fast definition you kind of know which is which when you see it.
I do not, or, rather, this is not a problem I have at all. I expect my players to advocate for their characters, which neans they should be striving to succeed at all times. It's ridiculous, in a discussion of "realism" in games, to add a new term "gamist" that describes trying to succeed! I mean, to avoid "gamist" play as players we have to make suboptimal choices for our characters, but this is in pursuit of "realism?"

When will it be recognized that these terms and ideas are being presented not in service of a discussion of how games work but instead to protect a specific style of play? "Realism," "authenticity," and now "gamist" aren't being presented as things that describe how we play but instead as stand-ins to make subjective preferences sound less like subjective preference. We play pretend elf ganes, folks. It's okay to just say you like your elves this way and not have to make it seem like your elves are the most logical, most realistic, least gamey pretend elves there are.

There's value in discussing how we play, but not if your part is just trying to make your elves the most proper ones. How you like your elves is great! We can have different elves. But we can also talk about how you pretend in relation to elves in a way that might better play because we've looked at how play works and understand it better and so can get even closer to how we like our elves. So much of these discussions seem to be more a defense of a system rather than how we can best achieve our own version of pretend elves.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I don't necessarily think that it matters. From what I recall, and maybe [MENTION=23751]Maxperson[/MENTION] can clarify his views, but he plays (per RAW) in 5E that the first half of hit point loss is luck, fatigue, abstracted that do not reflect actually being "hit" while the second half of hit point loss are "meat" hits.
This isn't accurate. The second half are not meat hits. They are still skill, luck, fatigue, etc. hits, but ones which show some slight meat damage such as scratches, small cuts and bruising. There is only ever one true meat hit in 5e, and that's when the one being hit drops to 0.

However, 5E does not make a distinction with how the first half (fatigue/luck) are recovered versus how the second half (meat) are recovered. In fact I am not sure if D&D makes a distinction between the recovery of HP.
It's mostly consistent, except for that last hit. You can go from a hit that literally by RAW has you dying and then be up and going a short time later through use of hit dice or a long rest. I don't like that part of it at all. I am using a variant of the gritty realism rest variant. I don't mind a short rest being an hour, but I've made a long rest 7 days.
 

Sepulchrave II

Adventurer
I’m not sure what the impediment to understanding is in this thread.

1. We make up systems in our heads so that we can represent certain phenomena in an exercise of shared imagination.

2. The systems are not empirically derived. We just make them up. We base them on “ideas” that we have about “things” in which we have no expertise: human recovery, medieval warfare, warp physics, mental illness – whatever. They are highly genre- and system-dependent.

3. These systems do not now become “realistic.” They are at best clumsy caricatures of a narrow selection of possibilities within the phenomena which we are representing.

The insanity mechanic in Call of Cthulhu does not add realism to CoC. The disease mechanic in 1e does not add realism to D&D. The mustering out process in Traveller does not add realism to Traveller. The glory mechanic does not add realism to Pendragon.

They are all little games which we play with our imagination in order to lend structure and emphasis.
 
Last edited:
What you say is true, however sometimes we employ research to determine actual limits and capabilities in the real world. These we attempt to port over to the game through various sub-systems of the rules.

There is a wide variance on how these limits and capabilities are interpreted given the goals and genre of the games we play. Given this, I'm really only quibbling with your second point. :)
 

Advertisement

Top