Of Mooks, Plot Armor, and ttRPGs

Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
What I follow is what the Forge (which I really don't care for) refers to as "process sim", where you're trying to emulate a reality via the game rules. I am NOT looking for genre simulation, and rather hate the conflating of those two concepts that the Forge has proliferated.

I agree that there are substantial differences in mentality/agenda between the sort of play experience you are looking for and something like FATE or Classic Deadlands as typically played. I would have separated them out personally. I guess I would question why you feel the need to then turn around and conflate a game like Dune 2d20* with a game like Monsterhearts* as if they were trying to do the same sort of thing? They are both not designed to be played in a process sim way, but the play models are fundamentally different. Isn't that basically doing the same sort of thing you say you do not like?

* I adore both of these games, but for very different reasons.
 

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But that’s not a railroad, either.
Ok, I get Railroad is a super loaded term....I just did not feel like typing out linear directed set story etc.
I also mentioned Spire.
I don't know the game, so can't really talk about it.
How do you determine if an attack succeeds in D&D? You roll a die, add a bonus, and try to meet or exceed the target’s AC. That’s the system determining results… “system says”.

When it comes to non-combat in D&D, things can potentially shift much more into the “GM says” sphere.
Ok?
Yes. Uncertain, with the outcome determined by the system.
Ok?
Right. After you just got done saying how easy everything sounded, and made a snarky comment about Jurgen being a 20th level healer. (Never mind that a medium-level cleric can wipe out any amount of injury, no muss no fuss!)
Remember I don't know about your game. So if I got healer wrong...well, I don't know about the game. At least you understood what a meant?
And who exactly are these people? Why are you bothering to bring them up? Your post rather seems to come out of nowhere.
Putting all the "other game stuff" behind me, I was restating what I first said before I typed the word "game" and people jumped to posting "not my game" when I never said (persons game).
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
I agree that there are substantial differences in mentality/agenda between the sort of play experience you are looking for and something like FATE or Classic Deadlands as typically played. I would have separated them out personally. I guess I would question why you feel the need to then turn around and conflate a game like Dune 2d20* with a game like Monsterhearts* as if they were trying to do the same sort of thing? They are both not designed to be played in a process sim way, but the play models are fundamentally different. Isn't that basically doing the same sort of thing you say you do not like?

* I adore both of these games, but for very different reasons.
I haven't even mentioned those games, except for FATE. Where is this coming from?
 

Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
I haven't even mentioned those games, except for FATE. Where is this coming from?

In several threads on those boards, you have conflated pretty much every game that doesn't fit exactly what you are looking for and put it inside the "narrative game" bucket without regard for how fundamentally different they are from one another. Stonetop / Dungeon World gets put in the same bucket as FATE for example because they both feature mechanics that are not process sim in orientation despite the fact that they are fundamentally different in how they are actually structured and sort of play experience they engender.
 

What I follow is what the Forge (which I really don't care for) refers to as "process sim", where you're trying to emulate a reality via the game rules. I am NOT looking for genre simulation, and rather hate the conflating of those two concepts that the Forge has proliferated. It can't be done perfectly, but it is a goal to strive for, and gamers do it every day. Please don't tell me that what I want is impossible and should be abandoned.

I don't let the perfect become the enemy of the good.
Yeah, like I say, I certainly would never deny that people have the idea of emulating reality, but IMHO it is so utterly far from possible that it kind of isn't a real agenda. I mean, lets imagine we could actually do it, what would be the point of RPing that? What sort of 'game' would it be? We'd just be pretend living in the real world? And OK, we extend it a bit and we can all sort of 'get' the idea that its "reality but a lot more fantastic", but we can't even begin to simulate. You can say "don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good" but we're not even close to good! We're at 'meaninglessly bad'. So bad that we can predict nothing, extrapolate nothing, gain no insight into anything, etc. We, in effect, have a game world and, what 5 Wikipedia articles worth of text about it? OK, 50 Wikipedia articles worth. Wikipedia itself has millions of articles and we can learn very close to nothing about the world even by reading them all, not at the level of telling us details of anyone's life.

This is why I say, there is not, cannot be, any process sim agenda. Instantaneously it falls into the murk, we can imagine ANYTHING AT ALL, and so we do! We make up whatever we want, according to some other unexamined agendas, whether genre sim, concept sim, gamist, whatever.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
Well, I haven't studied Ron's take on this well enough to be sure what he was thinking, but IMHO there is no such thing as 'world simulation', its such a totally impractical and unrealistic concept that it literally does not exist, flat out, never. I mean, I think it might be fair to say that people often BELIEVE they are doing it, but they aren't.

You know man, this is one of those cases where telling people they aren't doing what they think they're doing is not going to win you any good will or make any points in an argument, and the truth or not of your statement could not be less relevant to that.

So I'd rethink trying to make this argument in the future.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
I know this point of view riles up a lot of people with a certain slant on RPGs. I will just say, I'm not criticizing them exactly, I just see things differently!

Missed this, but how do you feel about people telling you and people who share your views that you're delusional in other contexts? I'm kind of thinking you're not a fan, and if you don't care I can bet that you're nearly alone in that.
 

Ok, so now everyone knows and accepts that :
"lots of other games have negative consequences"

So back to the thread. To re re state:

Yes, I think far too many players watch all the fiction (TV and movies) and then set that fictional reality in thier head as the only way. Then when they want to play an RPG, they want to play out that fiction.

And this is the typical "geek/nerd" fiction seen in most movies, like Disney or Marvel ones. The main characters have Plot Armor and there is No Random Character Death. Even more often No Character Death at all. Nearly all foes will be mindless mooks that will be very easy to defeat. The Main Characters will Automatically Succeed whatever the story plot is of the fiction.

So many players, and more then a few DMs come to an RPG with this above mindset. They sit down and want Plot Armor, No Character Death, Mook Foes, and Auto Succeeding, just like a movie.

I say RPGs are special, different : you can have a much more exciting and more dramatic story...simply by not doing ANY of those above things.
No, 99.99% of the time you get "and we went into room #3 and were all ganked by orcs, then we rolled up some new PCs." It leads nowhere. I mean, its a fun game, for a year, or two or whatever. And then you realize you're bored out of your skull sitting for another session of this, or running another session of this. That's my experience.

And you are incredibly dismissive of people's imaginations, ideas, and methods of play here. Honestly, you kinda ooze contempt actually.
 

Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
So, in general when there is a formal agreement that death isn't in play, I don't see a lot of fudging to avoid it. I see a house rule or set of house rules to treat 0 hp as a defeated status that doesn't necessarily mean death. It might mean you need to seek medical attention/healing. It might mean you get captured. It might mean some sort of concession must be given. This sort of thing is common in games like Dune 2d20, Seventh Sea Second Edition, et al. where the stakes for being defeated are determined by the play group or the GM.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
In several threads on those boards, you have conflated pretty much every game that doesn't fit exactly what you are looking for and put it inside the "narrative game" bucket without regard for how fundamentally different they are from one another. Stonetop / Dungeon World gets put in the same bucket as FATE for example because they both feature mechanics that are not process sim in orientation despite the fact that they are fundamentally different in how they are actually structured and sort of play experience they engender.
I have played a couple of PbtA games, know just a bit about FATE, and basically nothing about Stonetop, other than that posters who are known to be proponents of narrative mechanics-filled games seem to be fond of it. The factor that is most relevant to be me is that all those games, to my limited understanding, use game mechanics to facilitate telling a particular kind of story. This is a concept I don't generally find fun, so I am generally not interested in playing these games. If I'm wrong about that basic concept I apologize and will happily accept correction, but otherwise, the fact that those games use different mechanics from each other is not my primary issue with them.
 

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