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Is Immersion Important to You as a Player?

And "light-weight enough" isn't simple to define. It depends on how familiar they are, and how many different mechanics might be in play. I play a lot of GURPS which many would regard as a heavyweight game, but all the rolls for actions are the same: 3d6 wanting low. I don't have to allocate dice pool resources, or try to take advantage of keywords, which are mechanics that I'm less familiar with.
Yes, it's a blurry border. As you say, familiarity with a system can compensate a lot of complexity.
 

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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
When playing in a TTRPG, how important is immersion -- defined vaguely as "inhabiting your character inhabiting the world" -- to your enjoyment of the game?

Do you endeavor to experience the world of the game through your character and only your character? Do the rules matter for this, or is it more about the nature of play at the table? Are you okay seeing the sets and strings as it were? Do you act, speak and even think as your character for the duration?

If immersion is important to you, how do you react to other players or the GM when it isn't as important to them?
Immersion is very important to me. Since rolling dice pulls me out of immersion, the less die rolling the better.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I think immersion is a complicated conversation. I'm pretty sure we all know it when we feel it, but that's very different than saying that we're all feeling the same thing. Personally, I liken it to the experience of reading when you forget that you're reading words on the page. That's not exactly right, but its close enough for a rough description. I would agree that mechanics, in some cases, are a part of RPGs that interfere, or at least can interfere with 'immersion'. That said, I've played crunchy games where I've gotten the immersion feeling, and light games where I haven't, so I wouldn't argue that it's solely a mechanical weight issue. I suspect that it has to do in large part with the group gaming experience, with having the whole table on the same wavelength so to speak, but that's just personal experience.

If you'll forgive me a simile, I liken the idea of immersion across a session to a rock skipping over water when you throw it from the beach. The rock striking the water are the mechanical moments, and the varying arcs in between are, hopefully, at least somewhat immersive role playing.
For me immersion occurs when I sink myself into my character to the point where I'm thinking and acting as he would, not me.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I'm going to go out on a limb here, but in my experience as a GM, player immersion seems to happen when evocative detail and constant evolution of the fiction are the name of the game.
It's much harder for me to achieve immersion as DM. I'm constantly having to think of and track a zillion details outside of what is currently happening, which makes it nearly impossible, but when it does happen it's when I am roleplaying for a while as an NPC with the PCs and I can sink myself into that NPC the way I described for my PCs above.
 

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
I love immersion when defined to mean that I am experiencing something alike what my character is.

To give an example, if I think we have just barely managed to kill a monster, and are breathing a sigh of relief, when suddenly the monster stands up again, and the hair on my arms stands up and I think, “Uh oh…this is gonna be a TPK…” that’s immersion.

On the other hand, if I know perfectly well what that monster is, and I’m just pretending to not know that you need fire to really kill it, then I’m play-acting for the benefit of other people at the table (perhaps because they are new and I want them to be immersed) but I’m not personally feeling the immersion.
 
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Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
Immersion: I'm going to stick with @Reynard's definition: "inhabiting your character inhabiting the world."

I’m going to argue with that definition, not because it’s incorrect but because it is ambiguous. Some people will claim that it describes pretending to not know about trolls and fire because you don’t think your character would know. Others (me) will say that it describes genuinely not knowing about trolls and fire, and starting to panic like your character probably is.
 

Reynard

Legend
Supporter
I’m going to argue with that definition, not because it’s incorrect but because it is ambiguous. Some people will claim that it describes pretending to not know about trolls and fire because you don’t think your character would know. Others (me) will say that it describes genuinely not knowing about trolls and fire, and starting to panic like your character probably is.
I don't understand the second part. I mean, if you don't know, you don't know. If your character knows and you don't know, your GM should probably tell you.
 


Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
Here's what personally hinders my sense of inhabiting a character in the situations they find themselves in:
  • Social pressure to pursue some adventure or investigate some lead that really does not have anything to do whatsoever with the aims of the characters I am playing.

But, it isn't like every lead can be about your personal aims. The focus has to move around a bit for everyone's aims to get attention over time.

So, if you are playing for immersion, you are well served if some of your aims are served by helping the other PCs do their stuff, even if it isn't directly your thing.
 


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