Loves Your Favorite Game
The fact that no one is forced to care makes them stronger, better, not worse, for me. If a player doesn't care about that stuff, then I'm not going to foreground offers of those to them, simple. I'm not trying to argue this is perfect for every table, so salient enough for my tables is all I'm looking at. I care. My players care. Other people in this thread have said they care. I'm fine with you and your tables not caring. We're just asking for the same respect.There is nothing that forces a player to "take heart" in any of these things in a standard game of D&D. Kick out of the faction? Who cares? Town's opinion of you goes to reviled. Who cares? Foes escape? Who cares? When your only consequences are left down to the player's choice to invest in them, changes are a good portion of your table is just going to not care. What do you do when 3 of your 5 players only care about leveling up and improving their character? Salient enough to matter to certain tables is not the same thing as salient enough to matter.
People have made that game, I'm sure, though I don't know what it is. There's probably even a really good version of it, and I'd enjoy my time there. But for Dungeons and Dragons, I would never say that is the core of the game. Social Interaction is explicitly called out as just one of the three pillars, and I enjoy all three. If I actively didn't want to play this game in its totality, I would play a different game. And if there was a mechanical system included that embodied these things well, I'd use it, but the absence of such is not a reason to not include that pillar, especially given that we have a DM present who can adjudicate complicated topics like this.But OK, if this is your answer, that some tables are so invested in story elements like the approval of NPCs that this is meaningful and that's the core of the game, why don't make that game? Why have hit points? Let's just have a reputation system? Why have a combat system? Let's just have social approval as the metric that matters in the game. Why not make your relationships to other NPCs have meaningful mechanical effects on play? Plenty of games do that. If that's really the core of game play and not trudging through steaming jungles and fighting monsters, why don't we play a game that facilitates that instead of having an illusionary combat system that produces no negative outcomes. Let's just have a system where if you want to fight something, and dispense with the dice rolling under the principle that you shouldn't roll the dice if nothing is at stake?
The fact that you keep using lines like this makes it feel like you're not listening to what I'm saying, or arguing against someone else, because that's not my stance, nor have I ever portrayed it as such. I have been doing nothing but advocating for varied consequences. My very first post in this thread was about the value of frustration and not getting what you want. You strongly prefer a very specific type of consequence. I think those sort have their place in this game, just, alongside other types.When your only consequences are left down to the player's choice to invest in them, changes are a good portion of your table is just going to not care.
There is a very strong correlation between people who don't want consequences and people who don't want to care.
If that's really the core of game play and not trudging through steaming jungles and fighting monsters, why don't we play a game that facilitates that instead of having an illusionary combat system that produces no negative outcomes.
But I can't help but see some self-contradiction in saying that the game should be primarily about the D&D experience of dungeon crawling, adventuring, fighting and so forth but that there is no need for consequences to that, because there are these tangential abstract experiences that a group could potentially become invested in.