D&D 5E Character play vs Player play

pemerton

Legend
if it came from the forge you can be pretty much 100% certain its wrong, terrible advice and you should run as fast as you can in the opposite direction if you want to have a long term, healthy campaign with well adjusted adults.
Ron Edwards' essays and posts on the Forge, plus a post there by Paul Czege, have done more to improve my GMing than any other single piece of advice.

The only other things I can think of that come close are Chapter 8 of Moldvay Basic, and the original Oriental Adventures.
 

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Hussar

Legend
The difference is that the "lucky" aspect is something which the player invokes to alter the game world, and the "spellcaster" aspect is something which the character is physically capable of doing within the game world. The character can decide to cast a spell, but it's the player who invokes luck to make something happen.

"By the soul of my father, I seek the man in black. Father, guide my sword so that I may find him and get my revenge" (paraphrase) Inigo Montoya seconds before finding the secret entrance to the Pit of Despair.

Looks like luck certainly is something the character can choose to invoke in the game world to me.
 

Looks like luck certainly is something the character can choose to invoke in the game world to me.
No, not even a little bit. There's no reason to believe that his finding that secret door has anything to do with his invocation. There's no reason to believe that he wouldn't have found it, if he hadn't said it.

Except for the fact that it is narrative convention for things to happen when the plot demands it, or when it is most dramatic. Those rules don't apply within the game world, though; at best, they might apply to the game world, and even that is a matter of great contention.
 

Hussar

Legend
No, not even a little bit. There's no reason to believe that his finding that secret door has anything to do with his invocation. There's no reason to believe that he wouldn't have found it, if he hadn't said it.

Except for the fact that it is narrative convention for things to happen when the plot demands it, or when it is most dramatic. Those rules don't apply within the game world, though; at best, they might apply to the game world, and even that is a matter of great contention.

Well, actually, there are several reasons to think that he could not have found it. Count Rugen, despite knowing the location, has great difficulty finding the trigger, so, it's pretty well hidden. The fact that the entrance is just one tree in a forest means that Inigo would be some time to say the least, finding the secret door. Plus, he admits that he has no idea where the man in black is hidden and this is why he is invoking his father.

But, that's just one example. There are tons and tons of them all over the genre. Maverick having just the right card at the end of the movie to win the poker game comes to mind. "Hera give me strength" cries Wonder Woman and who's to say that it doesn't? The thrush lands on Bard's shoulder, just at the right time, to tell Bard to wait until Smaug shows his vulnerables and then kills Smaug. Luke Uses the Force to guide his shot and destroys the Death Star. On and on and on. The genre is chock a block with unlikely events to the point where Pratchett lampshades the whole thing in Guards Guards, declaring that 1 in a million chances happen 3 times in 4. No one ever succeeds in a 1 in 999 992 chance. But a one in a million shot? Bound to succeed.

Thus, we have quasi metagame mechanics that allow players to invoke the fact that their character, not the player, but the character, is lucky.
 

neonagash

First Post
Ron Edwards' essays and posts on the Forge, plus a post there by Paul Czege, have done more to improve my GMing than any other single piece of advice.

The only other things I can think of that come close are Chapter 8 of Moldvay Basic, and the original Oriental Adventures.

things must have been pretty screwed up to start with if those people made it better.

I suppose if the bar is low enough though even a drunk midget with a ball and chain on his ankle could hop it.
 

neonagash

First Post
I'm going to call out this bit and disagree. The stuff at the Forge is useful if you use it intelligently. All of it is useful for helping you think about how you want to run a game, because even if it's not good advice to you, it makes you think about why it doesn't work and you learn something from that. And the advice is useful as long as you understand what type of play it's intended to promote. Taking random bits of advice from the Forge without context is a bad idea because those folks' goals for play are often not traditional, and if you want a traditional game, using those ideas will mess up your game.

ugh, this is like a geek fallacy. Not being able to call out crap when we see it because we dont want to hurt the feelings of the author of said crap.

No its not helpful. If anything thinking that deeply about running a game just leads to OVERTHINKING a hobby.

As a GM its your job to make the game fast, fun, and challenging. And thats it. Just chat with your players, get to know them as folks. Chat for a half hour before and after games.

Use a sales tactic, IE ask leading questions. Dont tell them what to do, ask them a question that you think will lead to your desired result, and if it doesnt, roll with it.

GMing really isnt rocket science. Its the sort of good old fashioned storytelling mankind has done since we lived in caves. You dont need theories, and practice, and advice. Just think about the story a bit, stand in front of the mirror and tell it to yourself a few dozen times, make it loose so theres breaking points. Focus on the powers that be and their goals, not individuals. That way you can adapt to player choice easy while keeping to the story.
 

neonagash

First Post
No, not even a little bit. There's no reason to believe that his finding that secret door has anything to do with his invocation. There's no reason to believe that he wouldn't have found it, if he hadn't said it.

Except for the fact that it is narrative convention for things to happen when the plot demands it, or when it is most dramatic. Those rules don't apply within the game world, though; at best, they might apply to the game world, and even that is a matter of great contention.

LOL this reminds me of the bard from order of the stick.
 

pemerton

Legend
An observation about [MENTION=87792]Neonchameleon[/MENTION]'s example of walking into a bar and seeing a known NPC there: a lot of people have described that as scene-framing. But it's not; it's backstory authorship. Until the NPC responds in some fashion to the presence of the PC, we haven't got a situation to be resolved. And in a standard GMed game, it will be the GM who plays the NPC, hence who chooses the reaction (subject to any constraints arising from prior skill checks by the player), hence who frames the scene.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
things must have been pretty screwed up to start with if those people made it better.

I suppose if the bar is low enough though even a drunk midget with a ball and chain on his ankle could hop it.


Dude, you're welcome to not like Forge stuff. But, when you expression of that dislike goes to the point of insulting the skills or persons of people you've not even met or played with, then we are going to have an issue. Rule #1 of EN World is, "Keep it civil." Insulting folks isn't civil.


ugh, this is like a geek fallacy. Not being able to call out crap when we see it because we dont want to hurt the feelings of the author of said crap.


"Calling out" is not generally functional communication. Up above, you insulted someone. Do you think they're going to take your comments to heart, and learn from them? No. Since you insulted them, their emotions are going to get in the way. They are going to resist your point. And rightfully so, because you made it with more colorful and emotionally loaded language than you did with reason. You've given the fact that you disagree, but no support for why that disagreement is valid. So, except in the primate chest-beating sense, your point is pretty weak.

There is a skill to giving constructive criticism (as opposed to just plain-old badmouthing something). If you want your points to be considered seriously, you will need to exercise that skill. This doesn't mean you can't discuss that which you don't like - but it does mean that you have to be thoughtful in your presentation.

Thought #1: There is no One True Way. That you personally don't care for something is not evidence that it is objectively "crap". There are lots of way to play the game, and people looking for lots of different things from their games. The person you are speaking to may be looking for fundamentally different things from the hobby than you are. Leave room for that.

Thought #2: Address the logic of the post, not the person of the poster. Don't make it personal - that's a fast road to having an argument, rather than a discussion.
 

Hussar

Legend
An observation about [MENTION=87792]Neonchameleon[/MENTION]'s example of walking into a bar and seeing a known NPC there: a lot of people have described that as scene-framing. But it's not; it's backstory authorship. Until the NPC responds in some fashion to the presence of the PC, we haven't got a situation to be resolved. And in a standard GMed game, it will be the GM who plays the NPC, hence who chooses the reaction (subject to any constraints arising from prior skill checks by the player), hence who frames the scene.

And, I really think that people tend to take the idea of player authorship far too far. I mean, we started with the example of adding a couple of boxes in a location where it is perfectly reasonable to find boxes. It's not like there we are adding hover cycles or NPC's. Add a couple of boxes, find a secret door, pull a card when you need it - while these things might be unlikely, they're not terribly unbelievable. There's no breaking the fourth wall, it's all fitting with genre and no one's trying to rewrite the game.

IME, people don't add NPC's to the DM's game. Even if the DM might say yes, IME, if you're going to make that big of a change, everyone asks first. "Hey, we're going into this town, Mr. DM, could you arrange things so that I meet someone from my affiliation here? I have some stuff I would like to do, and I need a member of my affiliation to do it". Are there really DM's here that would freak out over this?

OTOH, I'm finding the idea that tossing in minor details like a beard on a bloody wizard needs to be absolutely under the DM's control to be a pretty extreme example that likely isn't going to happen at a lot of tables. Again, IME, most DM's would roll with it.
 

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