D&D General Rules, Rulings and Second Order Design: D&D and AD&D Examined

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
However... in the discussion of "The overall goal of a game is to be fun", wargames ABSOLUTELY can be used as a counterargument to that statement and are completely relevant. Wargames are games. Wargames are not fun (for most people). Thus not all games are fun. Thus the design goal of a game to BE fun is not in fact true. There will be plenty of people and plenty of times when fun IS NOT the overall goal of the game's design.

Design of commercial TTRPGs, such as the ones that we discuss here, as opposed to the larger, undefined, "GAMES" that exist out in the universe, focus on what is fun.

This does not include "games" like wargames, punching each other until you fall down, and "Quien es muy Macho," the drinking game that involves a 20 sided die. Further, it does not include art experiments or TTRPGs wherein the expressed goal may be something different, such as a therapeutic purpose.

/pedantry out
 

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Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
I don't agree with this. I think genre pastiches are fun. So over the course of one game the players may walk through several different genres. Genre purism is an unnecessary constraint. The game should be it's own thing, not try to conform to a narrow genre.

I think that this is a more modern take.

I happen to agree with @jmartkdr2 that having a consistent genre makes the application of rules easier. For that matter, having a consistent genre makes FKR easier as well. It's for this reason that we see, inter alia, PbTA (and Forged in the Dark) ported to very specific situations.

On the other hand, the 70s and early 80s was filled with genre mashups. Arguably, modern D&D, while more constrained, is simply the "D&D genre" that arose as a pastiche of other genres.
 

I don't agree with this. I think genre pastiches are fun. So over the course of one game the players may walk through several different genres. Genre purism is an unnecessary constraint. The game should be it's own thing, not try to conform to a narrow genre.
Several genres of game? That would be hard to manage. After all, no game can do everything.
 

Several genres of game? That would be hard to manage. After all, no game can do everything.
HAT covers several different genres: fantasy, comedy, action, heist, horror. You can do several genres at the same time. But my players have fought a giant glass mech, visited the bridge of the Starship Enterprise (TOS) and ridden the mole from Thunderbirds into the Underdark in a single session. In another session, they found the pirate ship from Treasure Island moored at the floating island from Doctor Dolittle, where the Nautilus was trapped in an underground cavern.
 

I think that this is a more modern take.

I happen to agree with @jmartkdr2 that having a consistent genre makes the application of rules easier. For that matter, having a consistent genre makes FKR easier as well. It's for this reason that we see, inter alia, PbTA (and Forged in the Dark) ported to very specific situations.

On the other hand, the 70s and early 80s was filled with genre mashups. Arguably, modern D&D, while more constrained, is simply the "D&D genre" that arose as a pastiche of other genres.
I'd phrase it this way: DnD's genre is heroic fantasy adveture. That's a really big genre, and if you're willing to make a bunch of homebrew content you can use an extremely broad definition of "fantasy" (ie the librarian's definition: it's not entire;y realistic, which means all scifi is considered fantasy) - but without changing some very core elements like hit points, it will struggle if you try get out of the (very large) box it creates.

Even a generic system Fate is always Fate - sure, it works with any genre of fiction, but the gameplay is always a storygame. It will never scratch the wargame (fun version) itch. You can tell a war story, but you can't use it to simulate combat.

Genre doesn't need to be narrow. But you can't do everything unless you do nothing. FKR is the only universal system, and that creates its actual limitations - you still have to pick a thing to do with it. You can pick anything.
 

HAT covers several different genres: fantasy, comedy, action, heist, horror. You can do several genres at the same time. But my players have fought a giant glass mech, visited the bridge of the Starship Enterprise (TOS) and ridden the mole from Thunderbirds into the Underdark in a single session.
All of which are fantasy.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
Design of commercial TTRPGs, such as the ones that we discuss here, as opposed to the larger, undefined, "GAMES" that exist out in the universe, focus on what is fun.
And where we end up at just seems at the end of the day to be just quibbling over terms. Is "Focus on what is fun" the same thing as "The goal of the game is fun"? Someone who says they are is thinking and speaking one thing, while someone who doesn't is thinking and speaking something else. And that's why they talk past each other. In addition, there's also the question of the design of a game versus the game itself-- are those the same thing? Someone might say yes, while someone else might say no. And again, without that agreement the argument will continue indefinitely.

I have my own opinions on these questions... and my own opinions on how "fun" can be used as a measuring stick, or the most important measuring stick, or the only measuring stick, (or indeed not used as a measuring stick at all.) And this is true for both the design of a game and the game itself in totality. But my feelings don't matter if the other person disagrees with what my opinions are to begin with. We will never reach an accord.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
And where we end up at just seems at the end of the day to be just quibbling over terms.

No, again, the reason we are here is because you decided to intervene in a separate discussion to explain to me what I was really having the discussion about.

I explained to you that, no, this was actually just a continuation of a discussion that has been repeatedly raised over the course of several years. That the discussion is not actually about design goals, but about whether people should be allowed to express their preferences for different styles of play, and different games.
 

Oofta

Legend
???

They are GAMES. They are specifically called "wargames". So I'd ask you the same question... how do you judge whether or not something is or is not a game?

You are correct-- in the discussion of Dungeons & Dragons or even just roleplaying games, military wargames are not relevant to the conversion.

However... in the discussion of "The overall goal of a game is to be fun", wargames ABSOLUTELY can be used as a counterargument to that statement and are completely relevant. Wargames are games. Wargames are not fun (for most people). Thus not all games are fun. Thus the design goal of a game to BE fun is not in fact true. There will be plenty of people and plenty of times when fun IS NOT the overall goal of the game's design.

Wargames are not a leisure time activity, they are not games. They are very serious work. Some games are derived from real world wargames, but they are not real world military wargames. It's like saying horses can fly because horseflies can. :rolleyes:
 

But sneaking past the guard is stealth 101, it comes up all the times. so it would be nice to know if this scenario is meant to be passive perception, and active perception roll....both, etc.

I think this is where its valuable to treat it as a skill challenge sort of thing.

For instance, how Ive been pushing stealth design in LNO is that stealth is split, like perception, between the Active (any movement) and Passive (staying still while intending to stealth).

Active Stealth begins as a roll against the environment, and any failure is what triggers perception checks on part of enemies. (This could be represented in the fiction as you stepping on a stick or creaky floorboard, as an example)

From here, you can either reattempt an Active stealth check to displace yourself (at a penalty), or can remain still using your Passive Stealth. In either case, the enemies Passive Perception kicks in first, and if it exceeds the value you used, you're automatically exposed.

If it doesn't, then the enemy can attempt an active check, or swap to Investigation depending on the circumstances. If the check fails against the value you used, they find nothing and go about their business. If it passes, you're exposed.

Thus far Ive yet to spot any holes with this framework, though my testing has not exactly been exhaustive.
 

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