D&D General Fighting Law and Order

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pemerton

Legend
Wait, what? Are you saying a GM is not supposed to frame a scene with elements the players can decide if they want to interact with immediately or not? That sound awfully close to a kind of railroad to me.
The principal agenda for a Burning Wheel GM is to frame scenes that put the player-authored PC Beliefs, Instincts, etc under pressure. So if the GM is framing scenes that the players are not engaging with - eg abandoned farms that they walk past and note for future reference - I think that is weak framing, yes. The GM needs to be stepping things up, increasing the pressure!

It's not about railroading. It's about inciting the players to declare actions for their PCs that will reveal, test, etc their Beliefs, Instincts etc. "We walk on" isn't, typically, such an action.

Are you saying a narrative game requires the players to align so that all characters are basically having the same overall topic on their agenda, or else it will fall apart? Even to the extent that you even cannot phantom having such an odd mix of character traveling together as a hypothetical?
No. I'm saying that, if the players really want to pay a game about circuses, the poor, and farming, then they will do the work to make sense of it. It's you, not me, who seems to be worried that it will fall apart unless the GM imposes some tight leash onto everything.
 

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pemerton

Legend
But we weren't talking about the play at the table, where such a distinction might be necessary. We were talking about pemerton who apparently gets confused by the words PC and player, or the idea that other people understand that things aren't happening in real life.

<snip>

There's a game world. The GM describes it. Maybe the PCs also describe it. That description has meaning to the PCs, helps to inform their actions, and thus helps to further define the game world.
Many RPGs - Burning Wheel, Apocalypse World, Classic Traveller (1977 version), and others - rely on the fact that (i) a dice roll is something that can be done at the table by a player, as a result of them declaring an action for their PC, and (ii) can then trigger (due to its result, which feeds into the rules of the game) some narration by a GM, without (iii) the in-fiction cause of whatever elements the GM mentions being the PC under the control of that player.

The interplay of (i), (ii) and (iii) is what makes it possible for the player to never have to do anything but declare actions for their PC yet the stuff the GM narrates is highly constrained by the player's concerns for their PC (ie the PC's dramatic needs).

If, as a matter of principle, you won't accept that "player" and "PC" are words that refer to different things, then I can't explain the above to you, because you will insist (for instance) that the PC is the author of their own dramatic needs, that the rolling of the dice and the result they produce is something the PC is doing in the fiction, etc.

If you want to insist on the stuff in the previous paragraph being axiomatic, OK, knock yourself out! But it will mean that you can't understand the vast swathes of RPGing for which it is not axiomatic.

EDIT: In the first LotR film, Peter Jackson lets the audience know that there is a Hobbit called Farmer Maggot because Frodo says to Merry and Pippin something to the effect of "You've been in Farmer Maggot's fields again!"

Novels often use the same device: eg in one of the Le Carre novels about George Smiley, the way the reader comes to know that Smiley has a wife called Anne is that one of the other characters asks Smiley "How's Anne?"

A story which introduces every element by direct narration rather than this sort of obliqueness - "There once was a Hobbit called Farmer Maggot", "There once was a spy called George Smiley who had a wife called Anne" - will come across as rather child-like in its narrative style.

The (i), (ii), (iii) technique I've described above is the RPG analogue of the sort of obliqueness I've just described: it allows fictional elements to be brought into play without anyone having to directly narrate them. This is why, upthread, I said that Gygax and Arneson probably did it too, even though I don't think they wrote it down as a technique: it's an obvious and powerful tool.
 
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Autumnal

Bruce Baugh, Writer of Fortune
@Faolyn , I hope this doesn’t come across as insulting, because I absolutely do not mean it as such. But either you are doing something very strange and/or possibly quite foolish, or you’re doing something creating massive confusion not just for involved people like @pemerton but many others, too.

It looks like you’re saying that when someone at a game table who isn’t the GM exerts authorial influence, it’s the character doing so. Not the player - you seem to explicitly deny that, to emphasize that it’s the character shaping the world beyond their capabilities as an inhabitant.

At which point I find myself going “WTF?” again and again. Do you to mean to do that? Do you regard player and character as indistinguishable, or character as such a prominent part of the player that it should be regarded as present when the player acts with regard to the game in any way, or anything like? What the hell is going on here?
 

How thorough an example do you want? It seems like unless someone posts the entirety of the rules, you’re going to jump on them with the “oh it’s clearly just like the Classic game with total godlike GM power tapestry lulz”.
Just as much as needed. So not like endless paragraphs, but more helpful if it's more focused.

So what example would you like? I can tell you about the first score I ran in Blades in the Dark? Will you actually read it? Will you try to understand or just try to point out how it’s no different than any other game?
Well, an example that shows the ultimate power of player agency. So I don't think a random game session would work, unless every game session is over flowing with supreme player agency.

I always try to understand, but it would help if the example was more obvious.

Do you mean an open minded person like the kind that would be a grown up and have a discussion with their players?
No, I don't associate talking with maturity.
 


CreamCloud0

One day, I hope to actually play DnD.
Seems obvious to me. Sherlock Holmes didn't invent the hound of the Baskervilles. Conan Doyle did.

Should the second occurrence of "character" read "player"?

Also: don't the characters exist in the mind of everyone who is imaging them?

This seems pretty obvious, yes.

You then impose that description onto me, as if I should accept its incoherence as a true description of my play.
The issue with this analogy to me is that ACD who controls Sherlock and watson and everyone else knows everything he needs to know about the setting, he is functionally in the position of being both the GM of the world who knows everything there is in the setting as well as being the player who controls the actions of the protagonists, when you play as a player pemeton you don’t know everything about the setting, even if your character would know alot more than you you can’t truly speak for what they know because you don’t know what’s in the world, but the GM does
 

hawkeyefan

Legend
The issue with this analogy to me is that ACD who controls Sherlock and watson and everyone else knows everything he needs to know about the setting, he is functionally in the position of being both the GM of the world who knows everything there is in the setting as well as being the player who controls the actions of the protagonists, when you play as a player pemeton you don’t know everything about the setting, even if your character would know alot more than you you can’t truly speak for what they know because you don’t know what’s in the world, but the GM does

But the GM doesn’t need to know everything. They don’t even need to know a whole lot more than the players.
 

But the GM doesn’t need to know everything. They don’t even need to know a whole lot more than the players.
This does depend on how serious, detailed and simulated the game is.

If the game is just a casual, lite game then sure nothing matters.

If the game is just a bunch of random encounters with no logic or simulation, then it does not matter.

And if the game is just the players doing random things in a sandbox, nothing really matters.

Though if the game has any level of simulation, logic or detail....then the GM needs to know a Bulk Ton more then the players just to run the game.
 

pemerton

Legend
where my issue comes from is that if your character wishes to search for spellbooks, and in the scenario that you suceed on their roll to look for them, then there are no circumstances (to my understanding) that your character will not find the spellbooks in that location (barring specific exceptions wherein the standing results of another dice result has already influenced the GM's ability to make a move on the matter that says they don't find them?),

because you suceeded on the roll, your actions as a player controling your character have been able to influence the fiction in a way that should be beyond the scope of the direct influence of the actions of your character
Basically everything you say here is correct. (I mean, I could quibble over the phrase "consolation prize" - but the basic account of the process of play is accurate.)

To elaborate: my actions as a player were (i) to declare that "I look for spellbooks" and (ii) to roll the dice. If (iii) that roll had succeeded, then as you say (iv) the GM would have said that I found the spellbooks. So by (i) I put the possibility of spellbooks on the table, and by (iii) the dice mandated that everyone go along with that and agree that there are spellbooks there, found by Thurgon.

Notice how the structure is nearly identical to this:

The ONLY way this happens is if the players don't actually play. If they can play, then the resulting fictional narration that happens is a COMBINATION of DM and player input, not DM only. Even though the authority to author the fiction resides primarily or completely with the DM, the fiction is still a collaboration between the players and DM.

<snip>.

Player: "I go to the town blacksmith."
DM: "Doh! I didn't think to put one here. You go to the blacksmith."

Before the player said anything there was no blacksmith. Now, because of the player there is.
There are only two differences: (1) it is systematised - instead of unstructured negotiation among the participants, there is a dice mechanic; and (2) it is about something high stakes (spellbooks) rather than low stakes (a village blacksmith).

You and @Oofta both XPed that post by @Maxperson. I infer from that that you are not implacably hostile to the GM narrating an element of the setting, such as a blacksmith, when it is the player and not the GM who puts the possibility of it onto the table. Thus, to me it seems that the reason you react differently to the spellbook case is (1) and/or (2) - that is (1) the rules can oblige the GM to go along with the players idea, and (2) it can happen for high stakes as well as low stakes stuff.

your capability to look for those books should have no bearing on if they were ever actually there.
This would equally apply to the blacksmith.
 

pemerton

Legend
So where on earth are you getting the idea that in Apocalypse World, or in PbtA games in general, that the GM can't change things?
The following passages are found, verbatim, in the original AW rulebook (pp 109, 136):

ALWAYS SAY
• What the principles demand (as follow).
• What the rules demand.
• What your prep demands.
• What honesty demands.
. . .

Creating a front means making decisions about backstory and about NPC motivations. Real decisions, binding ones, that call for creativity, attention and care. You do it outside of play, between sessions, so that you have the time and space to think.​

It's not unclear or ambiguous.

(I make no comment on some of the other games you mentioned, whose rulebooks I've not read.)
 

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