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

hawkeyefan

Explorer
Ah, OK.

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.
Yeah, that's kind of the intention. The setting is designed to promote the play style and the mechanics. The city is for all intents and purposes closed off from the rest of the world. So the Crew can't simply get out of dodge when things start to get hairy. They have to deal with the repercussions of their actions. This is why I wouldn't say that the game is not a serial because new events very much flow from what's already happened. This happens both mechanically, and in what the players and GM decide to bring to the game.

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.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it's perfect. It just seems a little better than ignoring it all.
So an area of attack spell could basicalyl destroy all their stuff? Do you ever have someone run off with one of their backpacks? I would assume that theft would be a motivator for at least some opponents...bandits or goblins and the like....so the PCs dropping their gear would seem a prime opportunity to grab some and go. Do you use a map and minis? Do you mark where the PCs have dropped their gear?

It sounds to me like you've kind of abstracted this for ease of playing a game, is that right?

I think it's fine if that's the case.....but again, this seems really more a question of preference. There's a nod to cause and effect, but ultimately what you're doing is more about making the game simpler to play.

In a broad sense, I agree. The question then is one of granularity in detail.
Right....this seems to me an acknowledgement that it's about play preference. "I like my inventory management system to be a bit more involved" versus "I like my inventory management system to be simplified".

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.
Well the classic idea of "murderhobos" is based on the idea that the PCs are wanderers. And I don't mean to say your game is anything like that, but I think the idea of the party wandering from location to location and getting into adventures is still relevant even when not taken to that extreme.

Your PCs have castles that they use as bases of operations. My D&D party does as well....but they still tend to leave their base with everything they think they'll need, and that list generally remains static for each character except maybe for some consumable items, or the occasional piece of specific gear based on their expected destination. I admit that we don't track inventory very closely because as a group we've found that to be more tedious than engaging, but that's just our preference. So we kind of eyeball it, so to speak.

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!"
Yeah, this is a big part of it. Each playbook/class in the game has an area of focus, and their XP triggers, abilities, and gear are all themed on that focus. So the lock picks are only available to the Lurk (similar to a thief or rogue) as a free inventory item, any other playbook would have to spend an inventory slot on Burglary Gear to have access to lockpicks. The other playbooks have access to other specific items suited to their focus, and so on.

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.

Fair enough. :)
And that's where the choice comes into play. In a D&Desque game, the resolution of the dog situation is pretty much decided when the player picks his gear before the adventure starts. He either has some food that the dog may like or he doesn't (obviously there are other class abilities and so on that can be used, but just for the sake of argument let's say no magic and no ranger abilities are available). In Blades, this challenge of how to deal with the dog creates a decision for the player....do I devote inventory space to deal with this dog effectively, or do I try to sneak around it or fight it, and risk it alerting the bad guys? This may be an easy decision for some, or a difficult one for others, depending on other factors at play.

So this is a game mechanic that provides the player with a meaningful decision as a player...which is good for a game....but which can be supported by the fiction either way.

I get that these "quantum inventory slots" seem unrealistic at the surface, but I think when you consider what they are meant to represent, then they make a lot more sense....much like HP or AC make sense but are abstractions.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Yeah, that's kind of the intention. The setting is designed to promote the play style and the mechanics. The city is for all intents and purposes closed off from the rest of the world.
Interesting that the setting is built in as an integrated part of the game; and is so restricted in scope - it's almost like the city is analagous to a Castle-Greyhawk-like megadungeon, where you can sandbox around within it all you like but you can never completely leave it and go elsewhere.

So the Crew can't simply get out of dodge when things start to get hairy. They have to deal with the repercussions of their actions. This is why I wouldn't say that the game is not a serial because new events very much flow from what's already happened. This happens both mechanically, and in what the players and GM decide to bring to the game.
Fair enough, and obviously some GMs will end up tying successive events together into an overarching plot line more than others will.

So an area of attack spell could basicalyl destroy all their stuff?
The luck of dice would almost certainly dictate that not all of it goes up, as each (relevant) item gets its own saving throw. (side note: yes this can take some time at the table to sort out) (second side note: due to an incredible run of luck early on in my campaign where backpacks always made their saves - and thus protected their contents - it has been declared here that in fact Backpacks are the Master Race)

But yes, if they got unlucky they could lose a bunch of gear - it's happened - and even just losing the backpack itself presents a problem as to how its surviving contents will now be carried.

Do you ever have someone run off with one of their backpacks? I would assume that theft would be a motivator for at least some opponents...bandits or goblins and the like....so the PCs dropping their gear would seem a prime opportunity to grab some and go.
Good point - I should do this more often. That said, often the gear is left in the area the PCs are defending, thus if the foes get to the gear it probably means there's no PCs left anyway. :)

Do you use a map and minis? Do you mark where the PCs have dropped their gear?
'Yes' to the first and 'only if it becomes relevant' to the second. If for example a fireball spreads out enough to maybe clip their gear then we'll determine where it is, and whose is where. Otherwise we don't bother.

It sounds to me like you've kind of abstracted this for ease of playing a game, is that right?

I think it's fine if that's the case.....but again, this seems really more a question of preference. There's a nod to cause and effect, but ultimately what you're doing is more about making the game simpler to play.
Kind of a combination between abstracted and assumed-standard-operating-procedures, I guess.

Right....this seems to me an acknowledgement that it's about play preference. "I like my inventory management system to be a bit more involved" versus "I like my inventory management system to be simplified".
To a point, along with a general reminder to people that it's not a free-for-all and that there are some reasonable limits: you can't normally carry a grand piano around with you, for example, no matter how badly you want to practice your concerto every night at camp. :)

Well the classic idea of "murderhobos" is based on the idea that the PCs are wanderers. And I don't mean to say your game is anything like that, but I think the idea of the party wandering from location to location and getting into adventures is still relevant even when not taken to that extreme.
It's relevant, yes, but I find that once a party (or group of parties) establish a base they tend to want to go back there between adventures whenever they can in order to evaluate and divide treasury, train up (my game has training), reshuffle their lineup if desired, and so forth.

In general, once a base is established I find that if they stay in the field for more than one or two consecutive adventures it's usually because either a) they've ended up a long way from their home base and thus are temporarily using a different town or sanctuary as a between-adventures base, or b) I've used some sort of DM force to keep them there. And once they gain access to long-range travel magic then all bets are off - they can return home whenever they like.

"Wandering murderhobo" play certainly happens, but IME only either at very low level while they're still finding their feet as adventures or (rare IME) when a party specifically decides to adopt that lifestyle.

Your PCs have castles that they use as bases of operations. My D&D party does as well....but they still tend to leave their base with everything they think they'll need, and that list generally remains static for each character except maybe for some consumable items, or the occasional piece of specific gear based on their expected destination. I admit that we don't track inventory very closely because as a group we've found that to be more tedious than engaging, but that's just our preference. So we kind of eyeball it, so to speak.
At higher levels, pretty much same here. But what the castles provide is a place to safely store spare gear and backups. The wizard types, for example, almost always keep backup spellbooks at home - or if they're really co-operative a master spellbook which they all share in the maintenance and scribing of and which they can each access to rebuild their own book if required. The base also serves as a place to park things that are too cumbersome to take into the field but are still very useful - e.g. a full-size writing desk with a neverending supply of spellbook-grade ink or a plant-based scrying device that's the size and bulk of a dining table plus chairs.

And that's where the choice comes into play. In a D&Desque game, the resolution of the dog situation is pretty much decided when the player picks his gear before the adventure starts. He either has some food that the dog may like or he doesn't (obviously there are other class abilities and so on that can be used, but just for the sake of argument let's say no magic and no ranger abilities are available).
Maybe not even just in a D&D-esque game, but in any system where the mechanics allow the GM to introduce unforeseen complications for whatever reason e.g. on a failed roll of some sort. It would seem the threat of such complications is considerably reduced if the system allows for on-the-fly inventory selection and the character (or party) have any item slots left.

In Blades, this challenge of how to deal with the dog creates a decision for the player....do I devote inventory space to deal with this dog effectively, or do I try to sneak around it or fight it, and risk it alerting the bad guys? This may be an easy decision for some, or a difficult one for others, depending on other factors at play.
The same decision as to how to deal with the dog is still there in other games, except that because the inventory decisions were all made earlier the easy out-clause of throwing some meat to the dog won't (usually) be available.

Put another way: in BitD, assuming at least one available slot, the dog represents a threat that first forces a metagame decision from the player whether to burn a slot on meat or not, and only if that decision is 'no' do things get to the next step - which is where a D&D-style game would start at: a player-driven in-the-fiction decision by the PC as to how to (otherwise) deal with the dog. Fight it? Tame it? Ignore it? Abandon the score for now and come back later with some meat?

It's that metagame decision part in mid-play that I don't like, as it pulls the player out of character.

So this is a game mechanic that provides the player with a meaningful decision as a player...which is good for a game....but which can be supported by the fiction either way.
AH, here's where we disagree I think. I agree that meaningful decisions are good, but I want to see those meaningful decisions be made in character as part of role-playing rather than out of character as part of the metagame.

I get that these "quantum inventory slots" seem unrealistic at the surface, but I think when you consider what they are meant to represent, then they make a lot more sense....much like HP or AC make sense but are abstractions.
I can see how they'd work well from the perspective of sheer game play if that's what's desired, but I can't get square with the way it forces metagame decisions into the fiction on the fly like that.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
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.
Except that they do add realism. For what you just said to be true, realism would have to be a dichotomy where it's all or nothing. It's not, so you can in fact have small incremental increases where adding something like disease mechanics will edge you closer towards the real life end of the spectrum. That's a realism increase. To quote someone else in this thread, "I'm not sure what the impediment to understanding is in this thread."
 
OK, sounds good.

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?

OK, again sounds good.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.
I'm far from an expert on BitD, but I would think there are 2 relevant comments here. One is that it may well have many other subsystems which provide ways to produce the things you're asking about. I know it has 'stress' and some other types of currency, as well as an SC-like (in some ways) mechanic. I'm sure [MENTION=16814]Ovinomancer[/MENTION] will tell you about how these work.

The other thing though, is that maybe this is the type of story the game is aimed at. No game is good for everything. It is very difficult to do some types of fairly obvious stories in D&D, at least without them seeming very contrived, unless you subscribe to some unusual interpretations of hit points and other things.

Finally, this is not by any means the last word in possible mechanics of this ilk. Looking at my own game, HoML, I don't find any trouble in having things happen in various ways, even though most of the things that do happen have some kind of dynamic associated with them where the players can 'change the situation', much in the way that BitD allows you to choose a piece of gear when you need it. These actions all have consequences. For instance a player could expend their Inspiration to have their PC come up with a piece of gear, but then it is spent, and getting it back will require leveraging a character attribute in an unfavorable way. So PCs have both fortune and misfortune, and because both require leveraging an attribute, they add to the coherence of the story (generally, though players ARE devils sometimes).
 

pemerton

Legend
Do you ever have someone run off with one of their backpacks? I would assume that theft would be a motivator for at least some opponents...bandits or goblins and the like....so the PCs dropping their gear would seem a prime opportunity to grab some and go. Do you use a map and minis? Do you mark where the PCs have dropped their gear?
Very much a tangent, but . . .

In my 4e game, which typically does use maps and counters in circumstances of physical conflict, I sometimes mark dead bodies using counters (which also makes the players assume that there is a NPC/creature with a reanimate ability) and will generally mark a dropped piece of gear. (Because if its significant enough to note that it's been dropped, it's significant enough to keep track of it for purposes of the "picking stuff up" rules.) A PC lost a carpet of flying this way: it had been temporarily abandoned for whatever reason, and the NPC lich picked it up and flew off on it, and the PCs didn't have the capacity at that time to chase it down.

I wouldn't put any of that under the heading "realism". I'd put it under the heading stakes.

I admit that we don't track inventory very closely because as a group we've found that to be more tedious than engaging
For me this is very system-dependent.

In 4e we track magic items closely, as they're elements of PC build. Mundane gear doesn't come into play very often, and tends to be assumed. Occasionally if the players say "We'll do such-and-such" and it depends on some relatively improbable piece of gear, like say a good length of chain, I might ask who is carrying it and if they can't show it one someone's equipment list I'll block it - but that's not about realism so much as the GM establishing some adversity by drawing on the system conventions (which include inventory).

In Cortex+ Heroic inventory is basically irrelevant except as it is displayed through Assets, Resources and Gear-oriented Limits. Outside those well-defined mechanical contexts it's just flavour.

In Prince Valiant gear is notionally listed on a PC's sheet, but most of the time it's even more peripheral than in 4e, because the sorts of situations that arise in a Prince Valiant game are even less likely to be gear-oriented. The one exception is important stuff like quality horses, armour and weapons, tokens of a lady's favour, etc - the stuff that is integral to being a knight. This is tracked closely, and (at least in our experience) is frequently lost and won as a result of the outcomes of jousts, wooing attempts and the like.

In Traveller and Burning Wheel inventory is tracked closely, and I take steps as referee to keep the players on task here. Acquiring and using gear - from vacc suits to spaceships to portable hologram recorders - is a central part of Classic Traveller. In BW it's an optional subsystem, but it's a subsystem we use. It includes but certainly isn't limited to repairing damage to armour after fights.

The point of these anecdotes is just to elaborate on your contention, with which I agree, that this is all about system and preferences, not realism.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I wouldn't put any of that under the heading "realism". I'd put it under the heading stakes.
There's no requirement that it be one or the other. Both is valid.

For me this is very system-dependent.

The point of these anecdotes is just to elaborate on your contention, with which I agree, that this is all about system and preferences, not realism.
Again, both is valid.
 

lowkey13

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
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.
So I completely agree. I do not understand what the impediment to understanding is. I mean, I recall that I replied ... to you .. with the following:

This shouldn't be a difficult concept. Most people who aren't fighting it understand it instinctively. That said, there are a number of common issues with realism in TTRPGs which mean that realism is not a "good thing" in and of itself*:

1. Realism isn't perfection. Let's look at that saving thrown table on p. 80 again; is it accurate? No. Of course not. It is an approximation of effects, that (TBH) are numbers that are completely pulled out of EGG's posterior. However, and this is the key factor, does it make the game more closely mirror reality than the absence would? Yes, it does. I think this example was raised by @Aldarc with the Disease example (DMG, pp. 13-14). Do the disease chances and tables mimic real life spread of diseases? No. Of course not. But do they make the game slight more "realistic" (in terms of having some provision for disease that is otherwise absent) than without them? Yes. The idea that perfect is the enemy of more realistic is a bizarre one, as the only perfectly realistic system is the one you are in right now- and AFAIK, it's not a game (although people debate that, maybe this is just a really good simulation).
And that's what you don't seem to grok (or, at least, don't try to understand). More succinctly, it's fine to disagree with other people, but it's truly bizarre to keep asserting that the many people who disagree with you are wrong because they just can't comprehend how simple your point is.

I get what you are saying. You're asserting that because the systems in TTRPGs don't model things very well (or, sometimes, are completely incorrect), they can't be said to be more or less realistic. That's a fine point to make!

I, and many others, just disagree with it. Realism isn't a binary concept. It has gradations, especially when we're looking at TTRPGs. You can add things to more closely model things in "reality."

Of course, IMO it really is only helpful to talk about this within a gamesystem (in other words, whether or not the presence of absence of a particular mechanic within that TTRPG makes the game more authentic/realistic or not). It becomes increasingly less helpful and useful to try and compare different gamesystems. But that's my opinion.

(Anyway, to move to the cited example, some allowance for disease makes the game more realistic, or authentic, or whatever you want to call it. It would be great if there could be a vector model for certain diseases, and other models for diseases that do not have that transmission, modeled for population and other factors ... but the added complexity isn't worth it. In fact, as I wrote before, the added complexity of the disease subsystem in 1e wasn't worth it for me, and I never used it.)
 

Sepulchrave II

Adventurer
lowkey13 said:
I get what you are saying. You're asserting that because the systems in TTRPGs don't model things very well (or, sometimes, are completely incorrect), they can't be said to be more or less realistic.
Almost. Systems in RPGs don't typically model things at all; they model ideas which we have about things. That's one problem.

The bigger problem is that the experience of "realistic-ness" is entirely subjective, and neither you nor Max can possibly be qualified to dictate the terms or context of someone else's subjective experience.

The even bigger problem is bound up in the initial premise of this thread. Reality is characterized by an infinite number of variables from which complex phenomena emerge. Nothing which we do at the table can ever be anything other than a stereotype of a few of those variables, whatever our methodology. The variables which we choose to stereotype and emphasize are entirely system- and genre-dependent.

"My feeling of something being more realistic" is not "something being more realistic." It is an aesthetic preference.
 

lowkey13

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
Almost. Systems in RPGs don't typically model things at all; they model ideas which we have about things. That's one problem.
But ... and I don't mean to get all philosophical on you ... that's all we have. What? Unless you're trying to go all brain-in-a-vat, we have to agree that each of us has "ideas which we have about things" that we can model (whether it's good, or bad)- that's the basis of math, or physics, or computer simulations, or CGI, or even TTRPGs.

We can do it more realistically (or whatever word you want to use there) or less, but saying that all we have are ideas about things doesn't mean that two people can't determine whether, for example, a given computer simulation more closely models reality.

The bigger problem is that the experience of "realistic-ness" is entirely subjective, and neither you nor Max can possibly be qualified to dictate the terms or context of someone else's subjective experience.

The even bigger problem is bound up in the initial premise of this thread. Reality is characterized by an infinite number of variables from which complex phenomena emerge. Nothing which we do at the table can ever be anything other than a stereotype of a few of those variables, whatever our methodology. The variables which we choose to stereotype and emphasize are entirely system- and genre-dependent.

"My feeling of something being more realistic" is not "something being more realistic." It is an aesthetic preference.
Yeah, we disagree. Like, completely. You can go down the completely relativistic route if you want, and that's okay- because that's like, your opinion, man.

But in the end, it's not that we don't understand you. We just think that you're wrong. And that's okay! But continuing to insinuate that we are just too stupid to comprehend you isn't likely to convince us. :)

Better off just realizing that we understand you perfectly, and think you're wrong. Such is life.


(EDITED TO ADD- to be clear, I am okay with you thinking I am wrong as well, so long as you accord a modicum of respect for the fact that I, and others, have a differing viewpoint on this issue, and you see that this is based not on "not understanding," but rather in disagreement. Because people can disagree, and it's entirely possible that the disagreement is based on actual differences as opposed to one side or the other needing another 5000 comments worth of explaining to really, truly get it.)
 
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hawkeyefan

Explorer
Interesting that the setting is built in as an integrated part of the game; and is so restricted in scope - it's almost like the city is analagous to a Castle-Greyhawk-like megadungeon, where you can sandbox around within it all you like but you can never completely leave it and go elsewhere.
Yeah, the setting and mechanics of BitD are very tightly interwoven to produce the desired effects. The mechanics lean into the setting, and vice versa. It's actually very impressive.

Fair enough, and obviously some GMs will end up tying successive events together into an overarching plot line more than others will.
Sure, and this is true of any game, ultimately. In BitD however, there are actual mechanics that come into play...ratings with other factions within the city will fluctuate, and the crew can find themselves at war with another gang. Or their Heat can rise to the point where the cops show up at their door, and so on. During each Downtime Phase, the crew has to roll for an Entanglement, and then something happens that they have to deal with. There's a chart that determines what it is, but the expectation is that whatever the result is, that the GM shapes the Entanglement around what's already happened. So, if the Entanglement is "Reprisals" or "Show of Force" then the GM should use a Faction with whom the crew already has a negative standing and then have that Faction make a move on the crew.

So BitD promotes the serial element of ongoing matters and continuing relationships, where as with D&D that stuff is up to the DM and players to incorporate.

The luck of dice would almost certainly dictate that not all of it goes up, as each (relevant) item gets its own saving throw. (side note: yes this can take some time at the table to sort out) (second side note: due to an incredible run of luck early on in my campaign where backpacks always made their saves - and thus protected their contents - it has been declared here that in fact Backpacks are the Master Race)

But yes, if they got unlucky they could lose a bunch of gear - it's happened - and even just losing the backpack itself presents a problem as to how its surviving contents will now be carried.

Good point - I should do this more often. That said, often the gear is left in the area the PCs are defending, thus if the foes get to the gear it probably means there's no PCs left anyway. :)

'Yes' to the first and 'only if it becomes relevant' to the second. If for example a fireball spreads out enough to maybe clip their gear then we'll determine where it is, and whose is where. Otherwise we don't bother.

Kind of a combination between abstracted and assumed-standard-operating-procedures, I guess.

To a point, along with a general reminder to people that it's not a free-for-all and that there are some reasonable limits: you can't normally carry a grand piano around with you, for example, no matter how badly you want to practice your concerto every night at camp. :)
Seems reasonable. That's largely how we handle it in D&D 5E with my group. We kind of assume certain default expectations....people have a waterskin and so on. We only track significant gear like weapons and magic items and the like.

Here's what I'll say on how my play in these two systems shakes out. D&D has a more detailed system that we largely ignore in favor of a mix of abstraction and assumed basics. BitD Has a simpler system that creates a potentially compelling aspect of play.

As for the realism of either system....I really don't favor one over the other in that respect. It's more about how they play out at the table.


Maybe not even just in a D&D-esque game, but in any system where the mechanics allow the GM to introduce unforeseen complications for whatever reason e.g. on a failed roll of some sort. It would seem the threat of such complications is considerably reduced if the system allows for on-the-fly inventory selection and the character (or party) have any item slots left.
I don't know if the threat of the dog is reduced, really. On one hand, I see what you're saying in that the player could decide to have a bit of gear that might resolve the issue out of hand (although I expect there'd likely still be a roll of some sort, the use of the meat would likely make that roll less difficult for the PC), and that seems an easier option, so therefore the challenge is lesser. I can understand that logic.

But, I think it becomes more of a question of is the loss of the inventory spot worth making this challenge easier? The limited availability of such slots makes it a question of resource management rather than just a question of what skill to use (stealth or attack). So in that sense, it's potentially more meaningful. Sure, the risk of harm may be removed, but the player may find out later that the inventory slot could have been put to use toward something perhaps more significant.

The same decision as to how to deal with the dog is still there in other games, except that because the inventory decisions were all made earlier the easy out-clause of throwing some meat to the dog won't (usually) be available.

Put another way: in BitD, assuming at least one available slot, the dog represents a threat that first forces a metagame decision from the player whether to burn a slot on meat or not, and only if that decision is 'no' do things get to the next step - which is where a D&D-style game would start at: a player-driven in-the-fiction decision by the PC as to how to (otherwise) deal with the dog. Fight it? Tame it? Ignore it? Abandon the score for now and come back later with some meat?

It's that metagame decision part in mid-play that I don't like, as it pulls the player out of character.
Why do you consider it a metagame decision? It really is very much in the game....it's only the timing of that decision that is different. If a player in D&D said before the Score "I want to pack a hank of beef in case there are any guard dogs or the like watching this place" you would allow it, right? So in BitD it's the same decision. The Character is not acting on outside of game info....the player is acting on inside the game info. I don't think this is what we would typically consider "metagaming" when that's brought up.

To use your own phrase; how does this: "a player-driven in-the-fiction decision by the PC as to how to deal with the dog" not apply to the BitD example? What part of your statement is untrue for BitD?


AH, here's where we disagree I think. I agree that meaningful decisions are good, but I want to see those meaningful decisions be made in character as part of role-playing rather than out of character as part of the metagame.

I can see how they'd work well from the perspective of sheer game play if that's what's desired, but I can't get square with the way it forces metagame decisions into the fiction on the fly like that.
Yeah, I don't think we agree at all that this is metagaming in what would be considered the "traditional" sense. The player is making a decision for his character about how to address a challenge in the game.

The character is in no way acting on knowledge outside of the fiction.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
The bigger problem is that the experience of "realistic-ness" is entirely subjective, and neither you nor Max can possibly be qualified to dictate the terms or context of someone else's subjective experience.
It doesn't matter what they experience. They can experience it as a moon made of cheese and that won't change the fact that there was some amount of realism increase. The value each person places on the realism increase based their perception of it can very wildly. That there was a realism increase is set in stone.

The even bigger problem is bound up in the initial premise of this thread. Reality is characterized by an infinite number of variables from which complex phenomena emerge.
This is no problem at all. Realism =/= reality, so it doesn't have to take all of those, or even most of those into consideration. The fewer variables you account for, the smaller the realism increase.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
Taking that out of context that way is really immature. Given your earlier responses, though, I suppose I should have expected that. My bad.
As I read it, that was the big takeaway -- the rest of the 'context' was explaining this sentence. You've clearly said that you do not care what subjective experience on if an addition adds realism or not, because you can categorically say that there's an objective realism added outside of subjective opinion. Nothing immature happened here except maybe your reaction to having your thesis sentence quoted without your supporting sentences.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
As I read it, that was the big takeaway -- the rest of the 'context' was explaining this sentence.
The context was critical. Out of context it sounds bad. In context it isn't at all.

You've clearly said that you do not care what subjective experience on if an addition adds realism or not, because you can categorically say that there's an objective realism added outside of subjective opinion.
That's a lie. What I said is that their subjective experience doesn't matter with regard to whether something adds realism or not, not that I don't care about their experiences. Out of context what it sounds like is that I don't care about their experiences.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
The context was critical. Out of context it sounds bad. In context it isn't at all.



That's a lie. What I said is that their subjective experience doesn't matter with regard to whether something adds realism or not, not that I don't care about their experiences. Out of context what it sounds like is that I don't care about their experiences.
The context was critical. Out of context it sounds bad. In context it isn't at all.
The context doesn't do this, though.


That's a lie. What I said is that their subjective experience doesn't matter with regard to whether something adds realism or not, not that I don't care about their experiences. Out of context what it sounds like is that I don't care about their experiences.
Yes... that's what I said it said. Are you doing okay, Max?
 

hawkeyefan

Explorer
The context was critical. Out of context it sounds bad. In context it isn't at all.



That's a lie. What I said is that their subjective experience doesn't matter with regard to whether something adds realism or not, not that I don't care about their experiences. Out of context what it sounds like is that I don't care about their experiences.
So what you're saying is that their experience doesn't matter....but you care about their experience?
 

lowkey13

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
So what you're saying is that their experience doesn't matter....but you care about their experience?
So what you're saying is that you don't understand the difference between characterizing someone else's position in an attempt to better understand it and advance to conversation, and caricaturing someone else's position in order to score points on the internet for a game that doesn't exist?*

Hmmm..... I'm pretty sure that's not the case. And if that's not the case, why not ask Max questions about what he meant, instead of defending the juvenile use of a one-sentence out-of-context quote for an insult?


*To the extent it does, I hereby state to anyone reading that they win the internet always and forever!
 

Satyrn

Villager
*To the extent it does, I hereby state to anyone reading that they win the internet always and forever!
Woot! I'm a winner!

. . . at least until the Internet Olympic Committee rules that I have to take humour suppression drugs to level the playing field. Ain't no way I'm doing that, so I'll have to forfeit.
 

hawkeyefan

Explorer
So what you're saying is that you don't understand the difference between characterizing someone else's position in an attempt to better understand it and advance to conversation, and caricaturing someone else's position in order to score points on the internet for a game that doesn't exist?*

Hmmm..... I'm pretty sure that's not the case. And if that's not the case, why not ask Max questions about what he meant, instead of defending the juvenile use of a one-sentence out-of-context quote for an insult?


*To the extent it does, I hereby state to anyone reading that they win the internet always and forever!
So you're replying to a post where I asked Max to clarify what he's saying to tell me that I should ask Max to clarify what he's saying?

Not sure how you see what I asked as defending anyone, but I can assure you it wasn't.
 

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