D&D General Supposing D&D is gamist, what does that mean?

To put it another way: interrogating the accountant is, in structural terms, no different from opening the safe. Task: We interrogate the accountant. Intent: We want to know if the dirt is in the safe. If task resolution is used, the characters can successfully interrogate the accountant, and have him sincerely ("truthfully") tell them there is no dirt in the safe, and yet it be the case that the dirt is in the safe, but the accountant just didn't know it (he didn't know about the false back of the safe with the dirt hidden behind it). Or the accountant can sincerely tell them that the dirt is in the safe and yet be wrong, because just this morning it got moved (the enemy being worried that the kidnapping of the accountant might reveal the location of the dirt).

This goes back to the quote from Paul Czege upthread:

My personal inclination is to call the traditional method "scene extrapolation," because the details of the Point A of scenes initiated using the method are typically arrived at primarily by considering the physics of the game world, what has happened prior to the scene, and the unrevealed actions and aspirations of characters that only the GM knows about.
Those unrevealed actions and aspirations - be they the accountant's ignorance of the false back of the safe, or the enemy's machinations in moving the dirt - are not excluded by the 5e social resolution system that you posted. And in fact, in my personal observation of D&D play (based on its rulebooks, its published adventures, and the way that people post about their play of the game) those unrevealed action and aspirations seem to play a fundamental role in whole swathes of D&D play, determining when conflicts and situations are resolved or not.
Right, and I have further posited that a LARGE swath of play arises in a manner where the GM basically looks at the infinite possible combinations of facts, motives, personalities, and possibly chance, and then picks from it certain outcomes which almost invariably adhere to criteria which support whatever the agenda is, theirs, the players, that espoused by the game, whatever it happens to be. In other words FICTION doesn't really do much to constrain GMs beyond immediate circumstances in a LOT of choices (generally those that involve social factors especially). Now, this is in effect the sort of thing that Story Now BANKS ON, that the GM can frame another scene which follows from the previous one, and respects that agenda, so that things 'snowball', that PC needs are addressed, etc. In cases of other agendas its the same, the GM inserts something which gives a desired result. That could be any of the recognized agendas, and/or something specific to the given GM.

In fact, I would say this is the primary dynamic of presentation, except in the restricted cases of 'dungeon like' settings similar to classic D&D where it is expected that the environment is close to fully specified in most important dimensions.
 

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clearstream

(He, Him)
But none of this bears upon the issue of setting stakes and resolving conflicts. If (for whatever genre or prior-fiction related reason) it's not plausible that there would be dirt on this enemy in this safe, then play is not going to get to the point of a player declaring an action to crack the safe so as to find the dirt. But it's the adjudication of that action declaration that we've been discussing for the past several pages. And at least for my part, I've been discussing it under the premise that the action declaration makes sense and doesn't violate any credibility tests.
In the Traveller scenario as you envision it, who decided there was a safe? Why does the dirt matter?

Each of these procedures is consistent with "say what follows", "resolve things playfully", "don't say implausible things". But each is very different. Which reinforces that "say what follows", "resolve playfully", "don't say implausible things" are not very tight constraints. They are features of all successful RPGing. But not all successful RPGing is the same in methods, principles or agenda.

How do the players know that what the accountant has sincerely told their PCs is, in fact, true?
One superficial answer is that in 5e an Investigation check will confirm that.

To put it another way: interrogating the accountant is, in structural terms, no different from opening the safe. Task: We interrogate the accountant. Intent: We want to know if the dirt is in the safe. If task resolution is used, the characters can successfully interrogate the accountant, and have him sincerely ("truthfully") tell them there is no dirt in the safe, and yet it be the case that the dirt is in the safe, but the accountant just didn't know it (he didn't know about the false back of the safe with the dirt hidden behind it). Or the accountant can sincerely tell them that the dirt is in the safe and yet be wrong, because just this morning it got moved (the enemy being worried that the kidnapping of the accountant might reveal the location of the dirt).
But a less superficial answer is perhaps the following.

It might be these concerns come out of the way we talk about these game moments. We zoom in on one event, which pushes toward an all or nothing interpretation of that event. It leads to questions like the one you asked where the whole thing could be felt to turn on one decision. So it's important to clear up that it doesn't turn on one decision, because each is constrained and formed in light of what comes before it.

Going back to the concept of fictional positioning, we're in a negotiation where at some point everyone at the table nods and agrees that the accountant knows the location of the dirt. If someone says otherwise at this point, either they're about to introduce something everyone will nod and agree to (something everyone else forgot until now, or a breath-taking revelation of a new gestalt), or they're reaching (errant play or a spoilsport).

It's akin to a chain of open-ended skill challenges. At various nexuses the group has "agreed" resolution of a conflict hinges on the consequences of the course of resolutions up to there (a chain of moves in the fiction, checks and other game events.) Depending on the group's interest in pretend violence, every so many conflicts will step into combat for their resolution. The way we have spoken about the safe makes it sound like the last resolution in one such chain (likely we will play out the actual revelation of the dirt, and commence new chains - there can be multiple chains at any one time.)

The accountant knowing the location of the dirt emerges out multiple moves and events, and participants at the table have fluctuating levels of authority over each one. In that way, the accountant knowing the location of the dirt is a group determination. It wasn't reached in one jump - we're only here, running social interaction with this accountant, with this attitude in play, because of what multiple participants said up to now. It might have been that in this case the accountant entered the world as something a player imagined.

Frex, two sessions back, before the location of the dirt was at issue. Bob - "The kingpin has an accountant right?" and everyone nodded and so now we know there is an accountant. What Bob said was not just plausible, it was the right question to ask just then and followed from our situation and descriptions to that point. Everything we knew about the kingpin made it right to say "yes" they have an accountant.

What might the accountant know? Seems like one decision. It's not one decision.

The above listing of skills and game effects must necessarily be taken as a guide, and followed, altered or ignored as the actual situation dictates.

The subject of the verbs must necessarily be followed, altered or ignored is the above listing of skills and game effects. In other words, the referee is expected to treat the listing of skills and how they work as a guide, accommodated to the actual situation.

It doesn't say the referee can call for a check on Streetwise in accordance with the stated procedure and then ignore the result.
Perhaps let's leave this here for now? It may be nothing turns on it. If it does, I'd need to see more of the text before I could agree (what you have quoted does not lead me to your interpretation.) And then even if we settled that, we'd still have a debate about what Social Interaction + Insight + Investigation permits players to do in 5e.

Possibly it's more fruiful to think about the chains of events that together can lead to group decisions (decisions that can't be attributed to one member of the group alone.)
 
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clearstream

(He, Him)
Right, and I have further posited that a LARGE swath of play arises in a manner where the GM basically looks at the infinite possible combinations of facts, motives, personalities, and possibly chance, and then picks from it certain outcomes which almost invariably adhere to criteria which support whatever the agenda is, theirs, the players, that espoused by the game
I have doubts about what you go on to say past this point, but I wanted to highlight your thought here. And that can be reoriented to form a parallel statement about how players pick which outcomes we will be resolving.
 

clearstream

(He, Him)
My point was more that these things are not specific functional ("process sim") tasks based on typical skills like athletics, picking locks, or (un)armed combat.


Right, the mapping from intent to move is up to the player. Right? (I am reminded that I seriously need to find and read Baker's clouds & boxes stuff, which I'm at best osmotically familiar with, to borrow a term from one of these multiplying GNS/jargon threads.)
I've observed an evolving acceptance of what I call ludic extensions to the language. Harper discussed it using prowl as an example.

Essentially, the group become comfortable using a game mechanic as a verb. In play, it can then feel artificial to stretch for proxies to say what you mean. IIRC Baker also says somewhere recently that he's no longer as concerned with avoiding naming moves.
 

clearstream

(He, Him)
So in D&D a characters 'skills' are defined in relation to in the fictional world. Because of this relationship, skill checks carry fictional meaning - they represent a characters ability tested against an obstacle within that fictional world.

In PbtA a characters 'skills' are defined in relation to the 'Story'. Because of this relationship these skill checks carry a 'Story' meaning - they represent the player's direction for a successful dramatic moment tested against the difficulty of the conflict.
I like this distinction. What for me is missing is that the checks can (and perhaps always must) carry an intentional meaning: why are we here, making this check?
 


pemerton

Legend
That's helpful.

If I might risk elaborating. What is being implied is that Character 'skills' are always defined in relation to something and that the something need not be the fictional world. That's a very interesting claim.

So in D&D a characters 'skills' are defined in relation to in the fictional world. Because of this relationship, skill checks carry fictional meaning - they represent a characters ability tested against an obstacle within that fictional world.

In PbtA a characters 'skills' are defined in relation to the 'Story'. Because of this relationship these skill checks carry a 'Story' meaning - they represent the player's direction for a successful dramatic moment tested against the difficulty of the conflict.

Does this sound correct to you. If so I think a solid groundwork for me to continue discussion from.
To be perfectly honest I think you are overanalysing this.

In AW (p 10), here is the description of a Skinner (the only playbook with Hot as its key stat):

Even in the filth of Apocalypse World, there’s food that isn’t death on a spit, music that isn’t shrieking hyenas, thoughts that aren’t afraid, bodies that aren’t used meat, sex that isn’t rutting, dancing that’s real. There are moments that are more than stench, smoke, rage and blood.

Anything beautiful left in this ugly ass world, skinners hold it. Will they share it with you? What do you offer them?​

As part of PC build in AW, you choose a "look" for your character from a list. For skinners, that includes the following: "Striking face, sweet face, strange face, cute face, or beautiful face."

By default, a skinner has Hot +2. As one of the two starting build choices, a player can choose "Breathtaking: you get +1 hot (hot+3)." Hot is the stat that affects the move Seduce or Manipulate, and that also affects certain skinner build options: Artful & Gracious, and Hypnotic.

Playing a skinner in AW is, at a basic level, comparable to playing a bard in D&D. You have a high CHA, and in virtue of that are good at influencing and manipulating people.

As I posted not too far upthread, the trigger for a player rolling the dice in AW is that the character does a certain sort of thing in the fiction. There is no "difficulty of the conflict" - the consequence spread is always 6-, 7-9, 10+ - but the roll is modified by the appropriate stat. So a Breathtaking Skinner (Hot +3) is more likely to get their way by seducing and/or manipulating others (full success on a 7+, or 7/12 chance), than a Brainer or Gunlugger with Hot -2 (full success on a 12+, or 1/36 chance). That's not hard to make sense of in the fiction.
 

pemerton

Legend
In the Traveller scenario as you envision it, who decided there was a safe? Why does the dirt matter?
I have no idea why the dirt matters. I'm simply following Vincent Baker's example.

Most likely, in Traveller played fairly canonically, a patron has retained the PCs to get the dirt for them. But maybe one of the PCs has an enemy and wants the dirt to blackmail them.

As for the existence of a safe: that can be established via Streetwise, and indeed that is exactly an instance of what the Streetwise skill is for. From Book 1, p 15:

The referee should set the throw required to obtain any item specified by the players (for example, the name of an official willing to issue licenses without hassle = 5+, the location of high quality guns at a low price = 9+). DMs based on streetwise should be allowed at +1 per level. No expertise DM = −5.​

In this case, the item is the place where dirt on so-and-so can be found. Is that a permissible item to specify for the purposes of Streetwise? Well, it seems like it's in the same general ballpark as corrupt officials and black market arms dealers. This is reinforced by other text:

The individual is acquainted with the ways of local subcultures (which tend to be the same everywhere in human society), and thus is capable of dealing with strangers without alienating them. . . . Close-knit sub-cultures (such as some portions of the lower classes, and trade groups such as workers, the underworld, etc) generally reject contact with strangers or unknown elements. Streetwise expertise allows contact for the purposes of obtaining information, hiring persons, purchasing contraband or stolen goods, etc.​

Learning where dirt on so-and-so might be found seems exactly the sort of thing one might learn by making contact with elements of the underworld. The name of the skill - Streetwise - reinforces that appearance.

So the player, being in a place where contact might be made (eg a starport, a city) declares I want to use my Streetwise to find out if anyone knows where dirt on so-and-so can be found. The GM sets a target number: given that a black market arms dealer is 9+, as I posted upthread I would expect this to be 10+ or even 11+ if so-and-so is the sort of person whose dirt would be very well hidden.

Assuming the throw succeeds, the GM has to provide an answer. The safe in such-and-such building is one candidate answer. The actual GM process here is very similar to answering player questions for Read a Sitch in AW, or for Discern Realities in DW. This is one reason why I regard Classic Traveller as being the closest to PbtA of all the early RPGs.


One superficial answer is that in 5e an Investigation check will confirm that.
If Investigation will do the job then why bother with the accountant?

But here is how the Basic PDF describes Investigation (p 61):

When you look around for clues and make deductions based on those clues, you make an Intelligence (Investigation) check. You might deduce the location of a hidden object, discern from the appearance of a wound what kind of weapon dealt it, or determine the weakest point in a tunnel that could cause it to collapse. Poring through ancient scrolls in search of a hidden fragment of knowledge might also call for an Intelligence (Investigation) check.​

That strongly suggests that the purpose of the skill is to oblige the GM to give the player extra information about the immediate environment. If a player says, "OK, the accountant said the dirt's not in the safe but I think he might have been duped. I'm going to check to see if he's right or not", how would that feed into an INT (Investigation) check?
 

clearstream

(He, Him)
I have no idea why the dirt matters. I'm simply following Vincent Baker's example.

Most likely, in Traveller played fairly canonically, a patron has retained the PCs to get the dirt for them. But maybe one of the PCs has an enemy and wants the dirt to blackmail them.
One could see the former as a lightly-held point of departure. Perhaps the PCs will do as asked, maybe not. The latter seems like a place play could reach over time.

As for the existence of a safe: that can be established via Streetwise, and indeed that is exactly an instance of what the Streetwise skill is for. From Book 1, p 15:

The referee should set the throw required to obtain any item specified by the players (for example, the name of an official willing to issue licenses without hassle = 5+, the location of high quality guns at a low price = 9+). DMs based on streetwise should be allowed at +1 per level. No expertise DM = −5.​

In this case, the item is the place where dirt on so-and-so can be found. Is that a permissible item to specify for the purposes of Streetwise? Well, it seems like it's in the same general ballpark as corrupt officials and black market arms dealers. This is reinforced by other text:

The individual is acquainted with the ways of local subcultures (which tend to be the same everywhere in human society), and thus is capable of dealing with strangers without alienating them. . . . Close-knit sub-cultures (such as some portions of the lower classes, and trade groups such as workers, the underworld, etc) generally reject contact with strangers or unknown elements. Streetwise expertise allows contact for the purposes of obtaining information, hiring persons, purchasing contraband or stolen goods, etc.​

Learning where dirt on so-and-so might be found seems exactly the sort of thing one might learn by making contact with elements of the underworld. The name of the skill - Streetwise - reinforces that appearance.

So the player, being in a place where contact might be made (eg a starport, a city) declares I want to use my Streetwise to find out if anyone knows where dirt on so-and-so can be found. The GM sets a target number: given that a black market arms dealer is 9+, as I posted upthread I would expect this to be 10+ or even 11+ if so-and-so is the sort of person whose dirt would be very well hidden.

Assuming the throw succeeds, the GM has to provide an answer. The safe in such-and-such building is one candidate answer. The actual GM process here is very similar to answering player questions for Read a Sitch in AW, or for Discern Realities in DW. This is one reason why I regard Classic Traveller as being the closest to PbtA of all the early RPGs.
I don't think it advances our conversation to restate these arguments. I'll respond that the referee can alter or ignore all that; and that the referee can decide that the DM for the dirt is one the players can't achieve (for example, referee decides that the dirt is so highly confidentialy that it is known only to the kingpin.)

If Investigation will do the job then why bother with the accountant?
If streetwise can do the job, why bother with the safe?

But here is how the Basic PDF describes Investigation (p 61):

When you look around for clues and make deductions based on those clues, you make an Intelligence (Investigation) check. You might deduce the location of a hidden object, discern from the appearance of a wound what kind of weapon dealt it, or determine the weakest point in a tunnel that could cause it to collapse. Poring through ancient scrolls in search of a hidden fragment of knowledge might also call for an Intelligence (Investigation) check.​

That strongly suggests that the purpose of the skill is to oblige the GM to give the player extra information about the immediate environment. If a player says, "OK, the accountant said the dirt's not in the safe but I think he might have been duped. I'm going to check to see if he's right or not", how would that feed into an INT (Investigation) check?
That reinforces my point. I can find interpretations of a game text that suit (or arise from) my prior determination that nothing in 5e can be read in a way that supports principled, constrained DMing. That shows how interpretations generally come after principles, not before.

Counter example: Player - "The dirt is a hidden object. I want to deduce it's location."

Possibly in an SN game system, focusing on one game event is enough, because that roll alone can be enough to resolve a conflict (i.e. conflict-resolution.) That isn't the approach I am discussing. What I am discussing is more like a skill challenge. That said, I don't think SN game systems are intended to hinge the conflict-resolution on the one roll alone, either. Play is expected in both cases to reach the point that the conflict possibly could be resolved by what happens next.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
To be perfectly honest I think you are overanalysing this.

In AW (p 10), here is the description of a Skinner (the only playbook with Hot as its key stat):

Even in the filth of Apocalypse World, there’s food that isn’t death on a spit, music that isn’t shrieking hyenas, thoughts that aren’t afraid, bodies that aren’t used meat, sex that isn’t rutting, dancing that’s real. There are moments that are more than stench, smoke, rage and blood.​
Anything beautiful left in this ugly ass world, skinners hold it. Will they share it with you? What do you offer them?​

As part of PC build in AW, you choose a "look" for your character from a list. For skinners, that includes the following: "Striking face, sweet face, strange face, cute face, or beautiful face."

By default, a skinner has Hot +2. As one of the two starting build choices, a player can choose "Breathtaking: you get +1 hot (hot+3)." Hot is the stat that affects the move Seduce or Manipulate, and that also affects certain skinner build options: Artful & Gracious, and Hypnotic.

Playing a skinner in AW is, at a basic level, comparable to playing a bard in D&D. You have a high CHA, and in virtue of that are good at influencing and manipulating people.

As I posted not too far upthread, the trigger for a player rolling the dice in AW is that the character does a certain sort of thing in the fiction. There is no "difficulty of the conflict" - the consequence spread is always 6-, 7-9, 10+ - but the roll is modified by the appropriate stat. So a Breathtaking Skinner (Hot +3) is more likely to get their way by seducing and/or manipulating others (full success on a 7+, or 7/12 chance), than a Brainer or Gunlugger with Hot -2 (full success on a 12+, or 1/36 chance). That's not hard to make sense of in the fiction.
What I find is that the names of such ‘skills’ evoke a rather task/sim oriented approach. My character is ‘hot’ in the fictional world, therefore He is good at seduction. But the skill checks aren’t resolving whether the PC was seductive enough, they are resolving whether the PC achieved some goal (resolved some conflict) that most likely doesn’t fictionally depend on how ‘hot’ they are - or at best their ‘hotness’ is a very minor dependency.

I think my analysis is spot on as it brings to light details I find important. It’s possible it’s only over analysis to you because you don’t value the differentiations it brings out.
 

That's helpful.

If I might risk elaborating. What is being implied is that Character 'skills' are always defined in relation to something and that the something need not be the fictional world. That's a very interesting claim.

So in D&D a characters 'skills' are defined in relation to in the fictional world. Because of this relationship, skill checks carry fictional meaning - they represent a characters ability tested against an obstacle within that fictional world.

In PbtA a characters 'skills' are defined in relation to the 'Story'. Because of this relationship these skill checks carry a 'Story' meaning - they represent the player's direction for a successful dramatic moment tested against the difficulty of the conflict.

Does this sound correct to you. If so I think a solid groundwork for me to continue discussion from.

It sounds basically correct to me, but do keep in mind that while I'm somewhat dramatist in my lean (at least to the point that having some tools that can put your thumb on the scale in terms of directing a game in the direction of a more satisfying story) its not my primary focus, and I'm very much not a Story Now person in the sense GNS Nar types are, so I could be unintentionally misrepresenting them.
 

soviet

Adventurer
It sounds basically correct to me, but do keep in mind that while I'm somewhat dramatist in my lean (at least to the point that having some tools that can put your thumb on the scale in terms of directing a game in the direction of a more satisfying story) its not my primary focus, and I'm very much not a Story Now person in the sense GNS Nar types are, so I could be unintentionally misrepresenting them.
Seems right to me.

I would say, think about where a character's stats and abilities are. What are they written down on?

In a simulationist game we might imagine they are written on a bio card that could exist in the gameworld. The character is this tall, that strong, trained in X.

In a gamist game we might imagine they are written on a stat card inside the game box or inside the game's code. The character has a +5 stealth bonus, an AC of 3, and the Expertise feat.

In a narrativist game we might imagine they are written on a board in the writers' room. This season the character Seeks Revenge, Has a Secret, and is Learning How to Be a Better Husband.
 

In the Traveller scenario as you envision it, who decided there was a safe? Why does the dirt matter?


One superficial answer is that in 5e an Investigation check will confirm that.


But a less superficial answer is perhaps the following.

It might be these concerns come out of the way we talk about these game moments. We zoom in on one event, which pushes toward an all or nothing interpretation of that event. It leads to questions like the one you asked where the whole thing could be felt to turn on one decision. So it's important to clear up that it doesn't turn on one decision, because each is constrained and formed in light of what comes before it.

Going back to the concept of fictional positioning, we're in a negotiation where at some point everyone at the table nods and agrees that the accountant knows the location of the dirt. If someone says otherwise at this point, either they're about to introduce something everyone will nod and agree to (something everyone else forgot until now, or a breath-taking revelation of a new gestalt), or they're reaching (errant play or a spoilsport).

It's akin to a chain of open-ended skill challenges. At various nexuses the group has "agreed" resolution of a conflict hinges on the consequences of the course of resolutions up to there (a chain of moves in the fiction, checks and other game events.) Depending on the group's interest in pretend violence, every so many conflicts will step into combat for their resolution. The way we have spoken about the safe makes it sound like the last resolution in one such chain (likely we will play out the actual revelation of the dirt, and commence new chains - there can be multiple chains at any one time.)

The accountant knowing the location of the dirt emerges out multiple moves and events, and participants at the table have fluctuating levels of authority over each one. In that way, the accountant knowing the location of the dirt is a group determination. It wasn't reached in one jump - we're only here, running social interaction with this accountant, with this attitude in play, because of what multiple participants said up to now. It might have been that in this case the accountant entered the world as something a player imagined.

Frex, two sessions back, before the location of the dirt was at issue. Bob - "The kingpin has an accountant right?" and everyone nodded and so now we know there is an accountant. What Bob said was not just plausible, it was the right question to ask just then and followed from our situation and descriptions to that point. Everything we knew about the kingpin made it right to say "yes" they have an accountant.

What might the accountant know? Seems like one decision. It's not one decision.


Perhaps let's leave this here for now? It may be nothing turns on it. If it does, I'd need to see more of the text before I could agree (what you have quoted does not lead me to your interpretation.) And then even if we settled that, we'd still have a debate about what Social Interaction + Insight + Investigation permits players to do in 5e.

Possibly it's more fruiful to think about the chains of events that together can lead to group decisions (decisions that can't be attributed to one member of the group alone.)
I think that my general response to the 'chain of decisions' argument is that there's still one proximate decision which established that fact. I don't think it does us much good to talk about a whole series of decisions (establishments of facts within the fiction) as being determinative, because that is subject to infinite expansion to the point where everything we have ever determined about the fiction since session 0 has some significance. It is like the the Buddhist view of causality, it may be very true in some sense, but it is not valuable to us in terms of explicating the play at any one moment at the table, and is in another sense false. I mean, our legal system clearly operates on a similar basis, mothers are not held to be culpable because they gave birth to murderers, for example.
 

I have doubts about what you go on to say past this point, but I wanted to highlight your thought here. And that can be reoriented to form a parallel statement about how players pick which outcomes we will be resolving.
Yeah, well, it isn't one of the major points of discussion in this thread really, but my point comes close to saying 'setting doesn't matter'. That is, any sort of story can manufactured out of appeals to 'setting logic', hidden backstory, etc. at any given point in the play of an RPG. The idea that only certain things follow, that fiction itself is in any way binding to those with authority over it, doesn't fly. I think the fiction SIGNALS things from those in authority over it, and the "adhere to criteria which espouse..." in my previous comment is meant to convey that there are, presumably, criteria which are important to other participants which a GM in such a position would likely factor into their description of what happens next. Fiction by itself is just a very weak kind of constraint.
 

I like this distinction. What for me is missing is that the checks can (and perhaps always must) carry an intentional meaning: why are we here, making this check?
Right, intent is independent of the name of the move. 'Go Aggro' could happen for an infinity of different reasons, and with an equally vast array of character motives. Honestly, is there a game where things actually work differently at this level? Even in BW the player picks an action that is tied to SOMETHING representational within the game. Thurgon wants to see if the tower contains any spellbooks which his ally Aramina can use (maybe because he wants to improve his relationship with her, I don't know but it involved one of his beliefs I'm sure). Pemerton says "Thurgon searches the tower." Obviously searching a tower engages some sort of perception ability or something (Scavenging skill perhaps).
 

One could see the former as a lightly-held point of departure. Perhaps the PCs will do as asked, maybe not. The latter seems like a place play could reach over time.


I don't think it advances our conversation to restate these arguments. I'll respond that the referee can alter or ignore all that; and that the referee can decide that the DM for the dirt is one the players can't achieve (for example, referee decides that the dirt is so highly confidentialy that it is known only to the kingpin.)


If streetwise can do the job, why bother with the safe?


That reinforces my point. I can find interpretations of a game text that suit (or arise from) my prior determination that nothing in 5e can be read in a way that supports principled, constrained DMing. That shows how interpretations generally come after principles, not before.

Counter example: Player - "The dirt is a hidden object. I want to deduce it's location."

Possibly in an SN game system, focusing on one game event is enough, because that roll alone can be enough to resolve a conflict (i.e. conflict-resolution.) That isn't the approach I am discussing. What I am discussing is more like a skill challenge. That said, I don't think SN game systems are intended to hinge the conflict-resolution on the one roll alone, either. Play is expected in both cases to reach the point that the conflict possibly could be resolved by what happens next.
It would be a crap GM who in any SN game who would simply hand the PC the object of their ultimate aim on a silver platter for the cost of risking one move. Also, remember, the whole point is really to confront what the character IS, or some other premise potentially, not to just run around giving out good and bad outcomes for checks. This is why the GM frames scenes instead of the players! They can't generate tension, and IT IS THE PLAY WE ARE AFTER, not the results of the play. This is identical to its Gygaxian parallel, the GM doesn't make one room dungeons with a pile of treasure and one tough monster and call it a day.
 

What I find is that the names of such ‘skills’ evoke a rather task/sim oriented approach. My character is ‘hot’ in the fictional world, therefore He is good at seduction. But the skill checks aren’t resolving whether the PC was seductive enough, they are resolving whether the PC achieved some goal (resolved some conflict) that most likely doesn’t fictionally depend on how ‘hot’ they are - or at best their ‘hotness’ is a very minor dependency.

I think my analysis is spot on as it brings to light details I find important. It’s possible it’s only over analysis to you because you don’t value the differentiations it brings out.
But clearly if the character seduces an NPC in order to find out some kind of information, it is said character's 'hotness' which enables the seduction and thus leads to the information, right? I mean, how else would it work? So, yes, a check is made, was I a good enough seducer to get what I wanted. There may have been some secondary plot point in there, I had to get the pillow talk to go a certain way, or I had to get the mark comfortable enough to leave me alone in the room for a moment, etc. If all that is really interesting enough it CAN be played out, potentially with additional checks required against the appropriate attributes. I'd just say that one of the arts of playing SN is knowing when to zoom in or out. If the whole 'seduce and get information' is a minor part of a much larger story, then lets just toss the dice once and go on. If it is the hing moment of the whole plot, then sure, zoom on in, savor it, build up the tension. Neither is wrong, the game is going to go on, presumably, and more stuff is going to come up either way. I'm pretty sure most of the people in this thread now were around back a few years when you and I (IIRC) had exactly this discussion WRT some dwarves and a cave, and how traversing the cave to get to the interesting part could be a single toss of the dice.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
But clearly if the character seduces an NPC in order to find out some kind of information, it is said character's 'hotness' which enables the seduction and thus leads to the information, right? I mean, how else would it work? So, yes, a check is made, was I a good enough seducer to get what I wanted. There may have been some secondary plot point in there, I had to get the pillow talk to go a certain way, or I had to get the mark comfortable enough to leave me alone in the room for a moment, etc. If all that is really interesting enough it CAN be played out, potentially with additional checks required against the appropriate attributes. I'd just say that one of the arts of playing SN is knowing when to zoom in or out. If the whole 'seduce and get information' is a minor part of a much larger story, then lets just toss the dice once and go on. If it is the hing moment of the whole plot, then sure, zoom on in, savor it, build up the tension. Neither is wrong, the game is going to go on, presumably, and more stuff is going to come up either way. I'm pretty sure most of the people in this thread now were around back a few years when you and I (IIRC) had exactly this discussion WRT some dwarves and a cave, and how traversing the cave to get to the interesting part could be a single toss of the dice.
I think it’s just because you’ve not peeled back the assumptions in your example.

What’s determined the NPC has the information in the first place? Isn’t your ‘hot’ skill what’s doing the work there? And if so isn’t whether the NPC has the information unrelated to your hot skill and the most important aspect and Yet the hot skill check resolves that as well.

Or take a slightly different example. Say it was established the NPC had the info. At that point it becomes process/sim because your characters fictional ability to seduce is fictionally and substantially related to why you were able to get the info.

This seems to be why I stay so confused in these discussions, because I’ve always easily picked up on sim elements but while conflict resolution play can sometimes momentarily become task/sim play it doesn’t have to be.
 

clearstream

(He, Him)
What I find is that the names of such ‘skills’ evoke a rather task/sim oriented approach. My character is ‘hot’ in the fictional world, therefore He is good at seduction. But the skill checks aren’t resolving whether the PC was seductive enough, they are resolving whether the PC achieved some goal (resolved some conflict) that most likely doesn’t fictionally depend on how ‘hot’ they are - or at best their ‘hotness’ is a very minor dependency.
As I believe @Manbearcat alluded to up-thread, there's a mapping from character to situation that technically skillful play and/or sensitive-to-fiction play would be managing. My character with +3 weird is more likely to get their choice of outcome in situations where weird matters. As a player, I'm therefore likely to be nudging the fiction toward weird mattering. Of course, one might also be choosing to bedevil oneself and get into situation where a weakness matters.

Anyway, the situation they're in probably relates to how Weird they are, and what comes next will be informed by how Weird they are. So there is fictional dependence there. Most of all, the resolution of the situation depends on player choices rather than facts about an imagined scene. Which is a dichotomy I think you described further above.
 

As I believe @Manbearcat alluded to up-thread, there's a mapping from character to situation that technically skillful play and/or sensitive-to-fiction play would be managing. My character with +3 weird is more likely to get their choice of outcome in situations where weird matters. As a player, I'm therefore likely to be nudging the fiction toward weird mattering. Of course, one might also be choosing to bedevil oneself and get into situation where a weakness matters.

Anyway, the situation they're in probably relates to how Weird they are, and what comes next will be informed by how Weird they are. So there is fictional dependence there. Most of all, the resolution of the situation depends on player choices rather than facts about an imagined scene. Which is a dichotomy I think you described further above.

That’s a pretty good encapsulation. The “hotness signal of any given moment and the through line of overall play will be significant (with you having a toggle to amp it up or turn it down).”

It might look like this if you mapped it out:

* Player build = Hotness

* Scene-framing = Hotness dependence

* Player decision-space = Hotness lens

* Player move = Acting on Hotness or not

* Move result = If Acting on Hotness, apt to achieve “Hotness-related gamestate and fiction change with or without strings attached (which you would then resolve via Hotness or not).”





It’s about the play, the action, the inputs and outputs. Looking at your sheet may or may not “bring the Hotness alive” to you (particularly if your orientation to the way the game encodes “Hotness” when written on a sheet is askew for one reason or another…kind of like how some people couldn’t grasp the thematic and tactical potency of a 4e Fighter utterly dominating the melee based on their integrated Defender suite sitting on a character sheet…but the play sure as hell bore it out!). But the play sure as hell will bear it out!
 

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