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

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.
@pemerton

I only have the window into AW and other games that you and other posters give me. Dug this up so you can see where I got the info that 'hot'/'seduce' is a skill that can lead to information.

If that's not true, that's fine, but you can see why it's getting confusing when you say it cannot be used to get info and others say it can?
 

log in or register to remove this ad


IMO. Hot isn't measuring your characters seductiveness in the fictional world because being seductive in the fictional world requires consideration for the particular NPC's resistance to seduction and that's no where accounted for in the resolution mechanics. You have the same chance of seducing a priest as you do a guy in the strip club.


Does it matter if I've played or read it? I trust that those I am speaking with are giving me the pertinent details in order to engage with their example (I didn't start talking about AW on my own afterall). If some pertinent detail was left out and that is mistakenly shaping my perception, then please add it in.


Am I correct that the resolution of the Hot roll determines that said NPC all along had the information you wanted? If so then in Frogreaver jargon that means 'the seduce skill established the NPC had the information.


For what I care about, that's a distinction without a difference. If a player move can result in the GM being obligated to use their content authority in a particular way then that's exactly the kind of detail I care about. It may not seem important to you, but it's immensely important to me.


I think I agree here.
Sounds almost exactly like what I've been saying.


Sure. I'm not saying that's wrong or bad. I'm just saying the moves being made are not moves within the fictional world as the process for resolving said moves takes no account of the situation/NPC's in the fictional world and 2) a successful result ensure far more than any in ficitonal world move by the character could have ensured.


Here you describe the DM being obligated to have the dirt be there based on a successful player move. That's exactly one kind of content authority that is important to me to know about.
I think the ultimate response here is that the fundamental difference between AW and 5e is that AW's rules govern the unfolding of a story, they regulate it, assign various responsibilities within it to the game participants, etc. In no way does AW's mechanics particularly bear on some imaginary world! 5e's mechanics are FUNDAMENTALLY about governing the characteristics of some imaginary world 'owned' by a GM. The fiction 'comes together' in AW on the basis of the rules clauses that were quoted by @pemerton above (and probably more significantly by the unspoken basic paradigmatic structure of all RPGs, that there IS a shared fiction). The primary mechanism of fiction creation in 5e is based on an externally written environment, often with meta-plot, preconceived 'paths' of development, etc. where the players then declare action which act as prompts on the GM to add more description, and suggest what form that description should take. In BOTH games the fiction is all generated by the GM, but in AW (PbtA generally) the inputs of the player put HARD CONSTRAINTS on what the GM can do next. In 5e there are no explicit constraints, though normative play includes a fair number of things that bind on the GM in most cases. Classic Gygaxian play binds the GM a bit more strongly, obligating them to faithfully describe and adjudicate their dungeon map and key (and you could do this sort of play with 5e by accepting this kind of limitation and map/key generation process).
 

A level 10 undead--given all those are predatory and most are recruiting--would have a pretty malign and visible effect on a town. So I don't think that gets a pass.
Oh, there's a bazillion undead monsters in D&D. I could make up one, a level 10 Mummy Baron, whatever. These sorts of details are not really material to the point, are they? It could be a Stone Golem left to guard an ancient ruined temple. People tell you to stay away, so you, the adventurer who has to go break all the rules will of course investigate! And obviously, some sort of highly constrained high level creature COULD exist, but it won't be one that will present an unsurvivable encounter for the starting PCs. Just look at B2, its the perfect model of a 'seed' for a hexcrawl. Heck if 5,000 DMs haven't done exactly that with it I'm a potato. All the nearby stuff is low level because that's how it has to be if there is going to be any sort of fun game!
And virtually every one I can think of wouldn't be a problem for a group of random adventurers, either, unless they chose to attack it for some reason even though it was clearly no danger.
Again, there's plenty of possibilities of monsters that are both dangerous if encountered but might live nearby a town. Do we really have to dredge through the 20 or more MMs I have over on my shelf? I don't think so.
I'd say that's because it virtually never should happen. Frankly you seem to really, really be reaching here to make your point. While this may end up serving a game agenda too, even anyone ignoring the game agenda would do the same thing.
Yes, it should never happen, because the GM won't set up that sort of scenario, and that was exactly my point! And I don't agree that there's some 'natural constraint' that makes this sort of thing happen. We will just have to disagree on that. D&D adventuring worlds are UTTERLY artificial constructs invented purely for game utility. IMHO there is no more significance to 'internal cause' than there is in Apocalypse World (to reference the discussion @pemerton is currently having on that point with some of the other posters). There's definitely reasons to make one thing fictionally follow from another in terms of telling everyone what to expect, but internal causality is a feature of the resulting fiction, not a something that constrains it on the INPUT side.
 

Again, there's plenty of possibilities of monsters that are both dangerous if encountered but might live nearby a town. Do we really have to dredge through the 20 or more MMs I have over on my shelf? I don't think so.

Yes, so what? In my campaign the second level characters encountered an adult dragon. The characters fled and hid from it, which probably was a good call!

Not that some regions of the world being less dangerous than others is particularly weird. Heavily populated areas where there are patrols etc will probably have less dangers. And different creatures live in different areas. A human(oid) settlement is more likely to exist in an area where rampaging giant monsters are not that common.
 
Last edited:

Notice that at no point is the player exercising authority over the content of the safe. But the GM is not allowed to make a hard move if there is not either a missed move, or an opportunity handed on a plate. And saying "What you're looking for isn't there" is irrevocable, a hard move.
Yeah, there's some fine points in terms of what is really within bounds. I mean, some tables will think that something like "Oh, you got an 8, there's a self-destruct device attached to the documents, you can try to disarm it..." is cool, and others might find that to smack too much of taking away what the player has earned. While moves are called 'hard' and 'soft', there's really kind of a range there. "A dog barks in the distance" might be considered fairly softer than the above self-destruct example. I'd say in this case the characterization is driven by whether the revealed fiction is in the way of achieving the ultimate aim, or simply indicating that some more obstacles might exist later down the road. In a sense though they're both pretty equivalent, either you disarm the trap or run away without your aim being achieved. Either you outrun the guard dogs or you're likely going to end up getting caught. Still, there's some difference. The simplest way to think of it might be that the more possible ways you can address an issue, the softer it is (IE disarming a trap probably has only one or two possible approaches, escaping dogs could happen many different ways).
 

Yes, I read your posts.

The thing is there are multiple reasons I can point to something not being a move in relation to the fictional world:
1. There's no differentiation based on the fictional NPC/object's fictional resistance to being interacted with.
2. The move resolves things in the fictional world beyond what would be resolvable if the fictional world were real and a person in the fictional world performed the actions.

1 is much easier to show than 2. So, I started at 1 to make the point which would hopefully be easier to understand and less controversial. That it's trivial to remove the issues from 1 doesn't remove the objection as 2 is still present. Also, even though 1 can be trivially removed, unless it actually is then it still stands as well. We are talking about AW gameplay without the optional difficulty modifier rule, right?

Will whether 1 is present change the game significantly enough to care? For many people I imagine the answer is no (you are one of them). For other people it may very well amount to a profound change in the game. IMO, The question really isn't do you care or does the RPG theory you are using care, but is it a differentiation that others are going to care about? And if so then IMO your RPG theory be taking note of that distinction!
I'd answer 2 above in 2 ways:
1) I don't think it does! You seduce someone and they give you some information. The check resolves that, with the proviso that it may do so in a sort of 'fail forward' kind of way (IE you actually technically carried out the action, but the results were not what you wanted). Even 5e has an option to play with fail forward, and I haven't heard anyone say it undermined the mapping of action to result.

2) There is no fictional world that is hard established in Story Now! So, yes, someone has to establish various parts of the fiction at some point, somehow. It cannot be the players, strictly, so it has to be someone or something else. In the case of PbtA games that someone is the GM, taking account of various constraints. While it can be said to be true that IN THE REAL WORLD the success of a Seduce move might constrain the GM to later narrate the existence of dirt in the safe, this is NEVER true in the game world! Fictionally the reason for the existence of the dirt in the safe is that the villain put it there for safekeeping. All the seduction did, fictionally, was acquire the relevant information. I'm not sure exactly in what sense your 2 is even a thing! As @pemerton noted, there are instances of this sort of constraint by implication in pretty much any RPG (albeit they are not central parts of the process of play).
 

Yes, so what? In my campaign the second level characters encountered an adult dragon. The characters fled and hid from it, which probably was a good call!

Not that some regions of the world being less dangerous than others is particularly weird. Heavily populated areas where there are patrols etc will probably have less dangers. And different creatures live in different areas. A human(oid) settlement is more likely to exit in an area where rampaging giant monsters are not that common.
Honestly though, there are infinite possibilities for how, in some 'realistic sense', a world filled with these sorts of monsters and whatnot, alongside humanity as depicted, might really evolve. We pick a way for things to be, not because we have any particular evidence or special judgment to say that it is more plausible than another, but simply because it works for us when we go to play our RPG! Is it 'realistic' that the dragon isn't running the town? Heck if I know! There isn't even a complete enough description of said world to be able to establish that in all likelihood.

Maybe the nastiest monsters would cluster around human settlements, humans seem to be a resource they could exploit! If there are enough higher level humans to prevent that, then what is special about the PCs? There should be level 10 NPC patrols out there with high enough frequency that you'd just meet THOSE instead, and how do low level monsters even survive at all? Clearly there are not answers to these questions, and if we examine game worlds very closely at all they disintegrate into total illogic almost immediately. They are the way they are because the GM and the players want to have fun, period. Any other 'explanations' are pure lampshading added after the fact to enhance enjoyment.
 

Honestly though, there are infinite possibilities for how, in some 'realistic sense', a world filled with these sorts of monsters and whatnot, alongside humanity as depicted, might really evolve. We pick a way for things to be, not because we have any particular evidence or special judgment to say that it is more plausible than another, but simply because it works for us when we go to play our RPG! Is it 'realistic' that the dragon isn't running the town? Heck if I know! There isn't even a complete enough description of said world to be able to establish that in all likelihood.

Maybe the nastiest monsters would cluster around human settlements, humans seem to be a resource they could exploit! If there are enough higher level humans to prevent that, then what is special about the PCs? There should be level 10 NPC patrols out there with high enough frequency that you'd just meet THOSE instead, and how do low level monsters even survive at all? Clearly there are not answers to these questions, and if we examine game worlds very closely at all they disintegrate into total illogic almost immediately. They are the way they are because the GM and the players want to have fun, period. Any other 'explanations' are pure lampshading added after the fact to enhance enjoyment.
I could keep answering your specific points about world building, but I doubt it would go anywhere.

This post basically seems to argue that anything that is made up is equally plausible and plausibility in fiction doesn't matter. Or something. I'm not sure. 🤷
 

pemerton

Legend
Yes, I read your posts.

The thing is there are multiple reasons I can point to something not being a move in relation to the fictional world:
1. There's no differentiation based on the fictional NPC/object's fictional resistance to being interacted with.
2. The move resolves things in the fictional world beyond what would be resolvable if the fictional world were real and a person in the fictional world performed the actions.

1 is much easier to show than 2. So, I started at 1 to make the point which would hopefully be easier to understand and less controversial. That it's trivial to remove the issues from 1 doesn't remove the objection as 2 is still present. Also, even though 1 can be trivially removed, unless it actually is then it still stands as well. We are talking about AW gameplay without the optional difficulty modifier rule, right?

Will whether 1 is present change the game significantly enough to care? For many people I imagine the answer is no (you are one of them). For other people it may very well amount to a profound change in the game. IMO, The question really isn't do you care or does the RPG theory you are using care, but is it a differentiation that others are going to care about? And if so then IMO your RPG theory be taking note of that distinction!
To me, the optional difficulty rule is like adding a new weapon onto the weapon chart in D&D.

I mean, if someone said "I'd play 5e D&D except it doesn't have rules for composite bows" it would seem pretty straightforward to fix that: just add it to the chart, with the same (or similar) stats to a longbow except it uses +DEX to hit but +STR to damage. It's a trivial fix.

Vincent Baker's optional move for difficulty is similarly trivial. So if someone is saying "I would love to play AW except for its treatment of difficulties" that strike me as a weird complaint, because the utterly trivial fix is published in the book by the author (together with his explanation of why he thinks most people won't use it).

Whereas the rules around what sorts of moves the GM makes when are fundamental to the whole game. They are at its core.

I only have the window into AW and other games that you and other posters give me. Dug this up so you can see where I got the info that 'hot'/'seduce' is a skill that can lead to information.

If that's not true, that's fine, but you can see why it's getting confusing when you say it cannot be used to get info and others say it can?
It leads to the information only in the sense that the NPC tells it. Just as in D&D it is CHA that leads to a successful Intimidate check (for instance) that leads the GM to have a NPC tell a PC something they were previously hesitant to tell.

I don't think you are looking at it through the lens of the rules that govern what a GM says. But those are what is doing all the work that you don't like. Consider again:

A player's character meets up with Dremmer's goon, a NPC. They read the person, and learn what would get the goon to spill the beans on Dremmer - maybe they'll do it for a case of canned peaches. So the PC offers them a case - I can get you peaches, now where can I find Dremmer's dirt? - and rolls for Seduce/Manipulate (if you do it, you do it) and gets an 8. So the goon wants some assurance right now, and so the PC gives them a single can - There's downpayment on your case - and now the GM has to have the goon say something. The player hasn't offered an opportunity on a silver plate, so the GM makes a soft move. The GM decides to offer an opportunity - the goon says The dirt is in the safe in Dremmer's compound.

The successful Seduce/Manipulate check doesn't establish that the NPC has something meaningful to say. But it does mean that everyone turns to the GM to see what the GM says, because everyone knows that the NPC is going to say or do something, and everyone knows that it is the GM who decides what NPCs do and say (as per the allocations of authority on p 109). And then (as per pp 116-17) the GM has to make a move and generally this will be a soft move (unless its in response to a player's failed move, or the player is handing the GM an opportunity on a silver platter).

It is the rules that constrain and direct what the GM says that are doing the work here. Those are the rules that make the outcome different from what it would be, in a D&D game, if the player had succeeded on a CHA (Intimidate) check against a NPC. It has nothing to do with differences in the player-side aspects of the game, either the way PCs are built (Hot vs CHA) or the way player moves are structured (Seduce/Manipulate vs making an ability/skill check).
 

pemerton

Legend
Yeah, there's some fine points in terms of what is really within bounds. I mean, some tables will think that something like "Oh, you got an 8, there's a self-destruct device attached to the documents, you can try to disarm it..." is cool, and others might find that to smack too much of taking away what the player has earned. While moves are called 'hard' and 'soft', there's really kind of a range there. "A dog barks in the distance" might be considered fairly softer than the above self-destruct example. I'd say in this case the characterization is driven by whether the revealed fiction is in the way of achieving the ultimate aim, or simply indicating that some more obstacles might exist later down the road. In a sense though they're both pretty equivalent, either you disarm the trap or run away without your aim being achieved. Either you outrun the guard dogs or you're likely going to end up getting caught. Still, there's some difference. The simplest way to think of it might be that the more possible ways you can address an issue, the softer it is (IE disarming a trap probably has only one or two possible approaches, escaping dogs could happen many different ways).
Sure. Working out what makes for a good move - hard or soft - is a huge part of GMing Apocalypse World.

Just as you're saying about D&D-style worldbuilding, so in this case: there is no unique solution dictated by the prior fiction. The GM has to make a decision. Sometimes they'll make better decisions than other times - everyone has their off days!

I'm sure you've participated in threads where various posters insist that railroading is just as possible/likely in "story now" play as it is in more "traditional" play. One thing that frustrates me about those threads is not only is that basic claim false - how would an AW GM railroad? what would that even mean, in the context of AW play? - but that it distracts from productive discussion about the actual pitfalls and challenges of GMing story now RPGs. The most obvious one is coming up with consequences, be that in the AW soft/hard move framework, or the Burning Wheel framework, or whatever else is required by the particular game being played.
 

I could keep answering your specific points about world building, but I doubt it would go anywhere.

This post basically seems to argue that anything that is made up is equally plausible and plausibility in fiction doesn't matter. Or something. I'm not sure. 🤷
No, that's going a bit too far. It is certainly true that some things are thematically favored, even required or excluded in some genres (though D&D itself is a very 'kitchen-sink' kind of thing, not much is out of bounds). Nor do I think that when we build sandboxes are we ignoring what players want to find there, in fact that is a pretty important thing. But no, I don't believe that, beyond 'thematic cohesiveness' that there's any kind of internal logic that holds these things together, not really. They are products of imagination, not of rational logic.
 

No, that's going a bit too far. It is certainly true that some things are thematically favored, even required or excluded in some genres (though D&D itself is a very 'kitchen-sink' kind of thing, not much is out of bounds). Nor do I think that when we build sandboxes are we ignoring what players want to find there, in fact that is a pretty important thing. But no, I don't believe that, beyond 'thematic cohesiveness' that there's any kind of internal logic that holds these things together, not really. They are products of imagination, not of rational logic.
I guess this is another binary I find weird and unnecessary. My imagination certainly works in conjunction with my reason, and I cannot even really comprehend how it could be otherwise. (And my worlds are practically never 'kitchen-sinks', I choose every ingredient that goes into them very deliberately.)
 

Oh, there's a bazillion undead monsters in D&D. I could make up one, a level 10 Mummy Baron, whatever. These sorts of details are not really material to the point, are they?

If I didn't think they were, I wouldn't have brought it up. The issue is, what makes a level ten monster relevant to the PCs? Most of the time because its a threat. If its a threat, then its a threat to people other than just the PCs, and in a D&D context, a level ten one is normally a pretty damn serious threat that the town and people going in and out of it don't get to just ignore.

It could be a Stone Golem left to guard an ancient ruined temple.

I believe I mentioned cases where the threat is only one because the PCs attacked first, did I not? But I'll outright deny that's a typical case, especially that close to a town.

People tell you to stay away, so you, the adventurer who has to go break all the rules will of course investigate! And obviously, some sort of highly constrained high level creature COULD exist, but it won't be one that will present an unsurvivable encounter for the starting PCs. Just look at B2, its the perfect model of a 'seed' for a hexcrawl. Heck if 5,000 DMs haven't done exactly that with it I'm a potato. All the nearby stuff is low level because that's how it has to be if there is going to be any sort of fun game!

Again, there's plenty of possibilities of monsters that are both dangerous if encountered but might live nearby a town. Do we really have to dredge through the 20 or more MMs I have over on my shelf? I don't think so.

If you want to suggest they're going to be common problems for routine adventurers who don't go out of the way to pick a fight, why yes, yes you do. Otherwise I'm simply not buying your premise.

Yes, it should never happen, because the GM won't set up that sort of scenario, and that was exactly my point! And I don't agree that there's some 'natural constraint' that makes this sort of thing happen. We will just have to disagree on that.

Then why are we still talking about it?
 

Yes, so what? In my campaign the second level characters encountered an adult dragon. The characters fled and hid from it, which probably was a good call!

Not that some regions of the world being less dangerous than others is particularly weird. Heavily populated areas where there are patrols etc will probably have less dangers. And different creatures live in different areas. A human(oid) settlement is more likely to exit in an area where rampaging giant monsters are not that common.

Yeah. The idea that there's going to be any significant number of high level monsters around areas where settlements of normal people are unless they are not hostile to the settlements for some reason but somehow are things that adventurers are going to always want to get into it with is sufficiently off from any sort of campaign I've ever seen anywhere I'm having some serious trouble believing AA is arguing in good faith here.
 

Sure. Working out what makes for a good move - hard or soft - is a huge part of GMing Apocalypse World.

Just as you're saying about D&D-style worldbuilding, so in this case: there is no unique solution dictated by the prior fiction. The GM has to make a decision. Sometimes they'll make better decisions than other times - everyone has their off days!

I'm sure you've participated in threads where various posters insist that railroading is just as possible/likely in "story now" play as it is in more "traditional" play. One thing that frustrates me about those threads is not only is that basic claim false - how would an AW GM railroad? what would that even mean, in the context of AW play? - but that it distracts from productive discussion about the actual pitfalls and challenges of GMing story now RPGs. The most obvious one is coming up with consequences, be that in the AW soft/hard move framework, or the Burning Wheel framework, or whatever else is required by the particular game being played.
Right, and in classic "GM pre-authored (or store bought)" story the authors of the material could in principle map out every reasonable consequence of failure to achieve any reasonable action declaration. That is rarely done, for reasons of brevity for one, but it shows how very cut and dried a perfectly cromulent 5e game can be. The truth is Story Now games just cannot be predicted, there's no knowing really where things will end up, how or why, except some player will somehow cause it to 'happen', lol.
 

RhaezDaevan

Explorer
After reading through every post in this thread, I can say for certain I never want to play a Story Now game and will avoid them at all costs.

I see them as BDSM. Extremely painful for me, even if other people find it pleasurable.
 


Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
After reading through every post in this thread, I can say for certain I never want to play a Story Now game and will avoid them at all costs.
As a side note, reading every post in this thread will give you a very warped view of Story Now games, since a good number of posters who dislike them don't actually have a good idea about how they play.

If you want actual information about how they play, there are plenty of quick resources that can explain them from a viewpoint unbiased by being in the middle of an argument.
 

RhaezDaevan

Explorer
As a side note, reading every post in this thread will give you a very warped view of Story Now games, since a good number of posters who dislike them don't actually have a good idea about how they play.

If you want actual information about how they play, there are plenty of quick resources that can explain them from a viewpoint unbiased by being in the middle of an argument.
I'm actually going off the information given by the side in this thread that were FOR story now games. The way they described it here sounded very unpleasant.
 

Dungeon Delver's Guide

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top