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System matters and free kriegsspiel


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Numidius

Adventurer
Yes. :D

Edit: Yeah, I think so. If your table relies on numbers of dice to inform their choices, and there is a formalized set of player facing rules they expect to follow in order to proceed in the game, then, as I understand it, it is not FKR.
And I, myself Gm, would not run it as such, as an FKR "Play worlds... bla bla", if there were procedures to follow, rules to resolute, in place.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
It's a really slick game. Fantastic really. One tagline is "powerful ambition & poor impulse control". You're playing a Coen brothers film, basically. But you need a group you can trust. Like a lot. It's very narrative heavy. There's no skills or stats. No task resolution. Conflict resolution is handled by playing through scenes. The short version is you: 1) pick a setting; 2) roll for connections and build a relationship web between the characters; 3) everyone takes turns being in the spotlight until the game resolves after so many scenes. That's a gross oversimplification of a really elegant game, but it's the only bit that's relevant.

Everyone takes turns being in the spotlight. You do that with scenes. When it's your turn, the scene is about your character. You get to pick whether you establish the scene or resolve the scene. If you establish, the table resolves; if you resolve, the table establishes. Establish meaning you decide the who, what, where, when, and why of the scene. Flashbacks, flashforwards, everyone's there naked in a sauna or everyone's bundled up tight in the back of a freezer truck bound for Alaska...as long as the scene is about the spotlight character. Resolve meaning decide how the scene ends in a positive or negative for the spotlight character. Very much a shared-authority, high-trust game. Sounds like an absolute dream on paper...unless you play with "that guy." And we did.

The trouble is there's no conflict resolution for what happens within scenes...except for this: "To be perfectly clear, you don’t set stakes as such (although it’s OK to say what you want), you don’t roll the die to determine an outcome, and the only limits on your description are those imposed by your friends on a social level − if they balk, figure it out together as players, with you (the player whose character is in the spotlight) having the final say."

So whoever is in the spotlight controls the scene, basically. Push comes to shove, the entire table disagrees...doesn't matter. The rules are clear: the spotlight player has the final say. They have carte blanche. So when the spotlight player decides their character is going to hack bits off of other players' characters...despite the entire rest of the table objecting...that's that. The other characters are now missing limbs. Period. That was the first spotlight scene for that player. The second went about the same...before we stopped. Mid game. Booted the guy and never played Fiasco again.

Yes, that absolutely was an example of bad faith play. But it's also perfectly within the rules. So I'm not interested in shared authority. Gimme a good, old-fashioned Referee/GM/DM any day. This was years ago, when the game was new. Thinking back, there's a lot of things we could have done. Put in a house rule about a table veto, now we know about things like X cards (which they did in 2E), so could use that...but I'm not into RPGs with lots of tchotchkes. I was over the moon about that game. It's perfectly in my wheelhouse of interests and I still use it as an idea generator. But I'm over the idea of shared authority, especially anything to the level of spotlight = DM.
This is like saying that since FKR play allows for a hard GM railroad (bad faith play), that the game is flawed and basing a theory of play around this. If people are engaging in bad faith play -- explicitly against the guidance, rules, and principles of play -- then this is not sufficient reason to blame the structure of the game for the experience.

ETA: there's nothing about having a GM that forestall the exact problem from occurring! All you've done is consolidate authority over the scene, you haven't actually prevented this exact example from happening. There's nothing about having a GM that fixes this problem.
 
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Numidius

Adventurer
Sounds like an absolute dream on paper...unless you play with "that guy." And we did.
So when the spotlight player decides their character is going to hack bits off of other players' characters...despite the entire rest of the table objecting...that's that. The other characters are now missing limbs. Period. That was the first spotlight scene for that player. The second went about the same...before we stopped. Mid game. Booted the guy and never played Fiasco again.

Oh...
6eef2968135b47f27e5b17730a9c57b3.jpg
 

pemerton

Legend
I'll try. Do players need to take into account extra diegetic, out of fiction stuff, looking at their char sheets, rules, follow procedures, in order to play the game?
If yes, then no FKR.
OK. I'm not sure if you count memory as looking up the sheet or not. PCs in Prince Valiant have rankings in Brawn, Presence and up to two-dozen skills. They also have equipment lists. And there are canonical resolution procedures.

Cthulhu Dark doesn't count as FKR under this test either, as the Insanity rating is something that has to be remembered and applied in play.

If your table relies on numbers of dice to inform their choices, and there is a formalized set of player facing rules they expect to follow in order to proceed in the game, then, as I understand it, it is not FKR.
Upthread I posted an ostensibly FKR bloggers formalised set of someone-facing rules for playing AW-flavoured FKR: Apocalypse World, powered by ancient rules

I'm not saying this as a gotcha - I'm just trying to work out what different people are meaning by FKR. I take it that you wouldn't count that system as FKR.

So Risus is not FKR? Or does its FKR status quantumly fluctuate based upon whether I am looking or not looking at my character sheet?
As I posted upthread, Risus is very similar to OtE but with tighter editing, and replacing OtE's combat rules with a simpler, more universal, conflict resolution system that has some resemblance to Prince Valiant. In terms of rules systems it's no lighter than OtE without the combat rules (eg just use opposed checks and drop hit points altogether) or Prince Valiant.

I had the same thought!
 

Numidius

Adventurer
@pemerton

Just to be clear, when I say "players looking at their character sheet" I mean: looking for numbers, rules related minutia, "What can I do know?" moments when scrolling a long list of stuff and modifiers. Extra diegetic stuff. "Lets see if I have 1 more point to add to that roll".

Of course actually looking at the sheets is not the issue in itself, this isn't a game of memory, after all.
As you say: equipment. Yes. List of spells if Vancian-like magic. Skills (I'd love to play WFRP with just skills and critical hits tables). Feats (5e with all feats as fluff only, no mechanical bits, for example). Previous fictional events written down. I guess all good to look at.

From that AW FKR (yeah, I know) game you posted:

STATS:
Cool 0, Hard+2, Hot+1, Sharp-1, Weird+1. This translates to:
A violent, good-looking, somewhat dim man with a strange sixth sense.

That's what I mean. Numbers becoming descriptions.

I found good advice from Wizard Lizard's (which is a french woman, by the way) blog:



...and also from her in the FKR Discord chat:

So, conversation between referees and players, resolution based on what would make sense in the world, ref as final arbiter over rules, etc.
is a fitting definition to wargames too.
Like, you could use the Landshut rules or Any Planet is Earth etc. to run games where you control one character
or you could take a bird's eye view and run skirmishes or mass battles
and the point is that you can do all of this in the same game.

That's why we say the distinction [between wargames and rpgs] kind of melts away.

Consider the following game elevator pitch: you and your friends play the officers of a mercenary band in pseudo-historical France during the hundred years war. You index cards which describe said officers, or maybe even just "whatever character you want". Maybe someone plays an aide de camp, someone plays the seer and lover of the leader, etc. In play, the referee starts by setting up a battlefield, with chits or miniatures, and have players handle various groups of units, even potentially including the enemy forces.

Then, halfway through the battle, we "zoom in" on some hill with ruins terrain on it where a small squad is.
At that point, the GM hands out index cards with informations about a bunch of men-at-arms, and every player assumes control of one of them. They're in a dungeon under the ruins, looking for an ancient magical weapon that, if safely recovered, would turn the tide of battle their side.
Game becomes a one-on-one dungeon crawl for a few hours.
Half of the dudes die in the dungeon. But one of them comes out with a magic sword that gives him the strength of ten men!

We focus back on the minis/chits and terrain. The ref puts a new figure to represent that magic sword-wielding character on the battlefield.
A dragon shows up, helping the enemy forces. The magic sword hero jumps on it to duel it. The other players keep moving their troops and handling the battle with referee supervision, while in a corner of the table, the sword player fights the dragon (maybe by himself, maybe with ref supervision, maybe another player who isn't too busy gets to play the dragon).
The hero gets killed, the dragon starts rampaging through the mercenary army and most of its forces are destroyed!

Suddenly, the referee begins describing things from the subjective point of view of the initial "party" I described.
There's this massive army killing your troops and they're coming for you next, what do you do?
Maybe some stay and fight to the death,
Maybe some try to run away,
but it's back in first person view.
Later on, the party is safe and sound (minus the second in command, who bravely stood with the men) hidden in a cave. With no troops to handle, the rest of the session will be played in 1st person.

Next session begins with bandits (50 of them) ambushing the heroes. They first need to figure out how to stall their capture or fight and not die, until eventually a cavalry of rohirim arrive! These, again, are played by players, same for the bandit army.
Etc.

Because the referee handles all rules (all one or three of them in case of contemporary FKR, though back in the days it seems they also kind of liked having a lot of rules to back up their refereeing, sometimes. Depends on the GM, depends on who you speak with), this kind of stuff is seamless compared to if you were using a framework like 5e.
 

Aldarc

Legend
As I posted upthread, Risus is very similar to OtE but with tighter editing, and replacing OtE's combat rules with a simpler, more universal, conflict resolution system that has some resemblance to Prince Valiant. In terms of rules systems it's no lighter than OtE without the combat rules (eg just use opposed checks and drop hit points altogether) or Prince Valiant.

I had the same thought!
Over the Edge and FUDGE were explicit influences for Risus, Fate, and Cortex. This is one reason why I typically think of them as coming from a similar game philosophy that places an importance on fictional tags for establishing the character: e.g., Clichés (Risus), Aspects (Fate), and Distinctions (Cortex). So even if these games have different underlying architecture - Cortex (Savage Worlds), Fate (FUDGE), etc. - their fictional tags are an important part of how they understand character. One could, for example, potentially make a d20 based game that operates along similar game design philosophy and principles as Fate, Cortex, and Risus.

There are a number of fiction-first games that run pretty close to what FKR is doing. FKR, however, seems to reject the points of design that draws attention to its design or mechanics. So, for example, if I Create an Advantage in Fate, then I am creating an Aspect (a fictional tag) for the scene: e.g., "Blinded by Pocket Sand."

King Of The Hill Eyes GIF


An Aspect is essentially anything in the fiction that has enough in-fiction significance to have mechanical weight or interactivity for characters. It can be invoked for a +2 to the player's roll against the effected NPC. The NPC has to spend at least one turn to try getting rid of the Aspect. Creating this Advantage may simply require beating +2 on the Difficulty Ladder. How we do this in Fate may depend on the dials and knobs in place (e.g., Skills, Approaches, Rated Aspects, Stunts, etc.), but I may still spend a Fate point to invoke one of my character Aspects to make this succeed: e.g., "Unpredictable Conspiracy Theory Redneck."

Though Cortex varies in its system architecture, it may produce a similar result as Fate: e.g., player inflicts a Complication on the NPC ("Blinded by Pocket Sand") or player creates a temporary Asset ("Pocket Sand!").

FKR would seem to say that all of these rules are completely unnecessary. The player declares that they use pocket sand, and the GM declares that it works or makes the player roll for it. (Or possibly the GM simply declares that it doesn't work.) The dice resolution systems for FKR varies, so I won't presume what those are. However, players in Fate can reliably make this happen, and they know how they can reproduce the effect (i.e., Create an Advantage). It's also something that can be inflicted on them.

I suspect that the differing reasons why Fate (or other games) may want these rules and why FKR doesn't could highlight some real insight into these two different sorts of games approach the nature of fiction, rules, and the participants. I respect the idea that FKR is fiction-first - (not sure why FKR doesn't just say that rather than "play worlds not rules") - but there seems to be a different attitutde towards the fiction that I can't quite put my finger on.

Like I understand that a human processor is (potentially) faster at adjudicating fiction without rules, but I'm not necessarily sure that the fastest possible speed is necessarily the optimal thing.. IMHO, the rules are an underestimated contributing factor for the pacing of the game. The rules can draw attention to dramatic moments in the fiction.
 
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pemerton

Legend
If your table relies on numbers of dice to inform their choices, and there is a formalized set of player facing rules they expect to follow in order to proceed in the game, then, as I understand it, it is not FKR.
A further comment on this: Prince Valiant is classic Greg Stafford design. So there is nothing like WotC D&D feats, or other quirky exception-based stuff that generates pure mechanical manipulation. (With one exception: players can get Gold Stars on their PC sheets that entitle them to a bonus die once per session.)

So there is no difference between playing one's PC's stats and playing one's PC's in-fiction strengths.

This contrasts with eg Burning Wheel, or 4e D&D.
 

Can @overgeeked , @Numidius , @Malmuria , or @Snarf Zagyg unpack what the difference is between "play worlds, not rules" from the credibility test that takes place for each component of situation framing > action declaration > consequence handling in all games governed by genre logic that are emulating said genre?

Is it the same thing? Subtly different?

If its the same thing, then the only difference would be:

"play worlds and rules"

vs

"play worlds not rules"

So, for instance, in the former the procedure of play would be the following:

* GM performs internal credibility test when framing a situation/obstacle (is this genre appropriate)? GM then interacts with whatever rules come into play for mechanizing the conflict so players can manage the cognitive workspace of their characters and navigate the decision-space.

* Player then makes an action declaration informed by genre logic, whatever thematic/dramatic/tactical/strategic trappings that are inherent to system/character, and interacts with the system architecture to see how it resolves.

* GM adjudicates action/conflict resolution results, performs the necessary internal credibility test (what is the most compelling and appropriate consequence for the game in question that hews to genre logic?), and changes the gamestate and orientation of the relevant component parts of the shared imagined space.




So that is the typical procedure/loop for most of the games I've GMed in the last 65 million years (the KT Boundary Event was actually the beginning of TTRPGing...bit of trivia for everyone to pop out at your next dinner party...you're welcome).

What is, in your mind, the concrete difference between the and and the not here?

I mean...if I'm a person in real life, I don't do this genre appropriate/logic step. But I certainly make intense observations about the situation before me and then orient myself to the relevant parameters before deciding how to approach it (if I'm climbing, I'm measuring distance/examining holds/considering routes/evaluating moveset/measuring and rationing the various aspects of my gastank...if I'm running, I'm evaluating pace/heart rate/topography/gas tank...if I'm trying to settle a dispute or lower the temperature in the room I'm considering the audience/how we got here/what makes each of these people tick/will humor disarm or is another manner of de-escalation required/how do they feel about me and my various approaches socially/how much do I even want to get involved...etc). I don't need rules for that in real life that regulates my cognitive workspace and encodes my observation > orientation > decision process. I'm there. But in a game, I have to have something...so we come up with means to regulate and encode that stuff. So we use rules (FKR does the same, they're just iterated in real time at the table rather than digested and assimilated prior).


So...what am I missing...what am I wrong about here (if anything)?
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
The thing I don't get/don't like about some of the examples in the blog posts I linked to is how the verbal descriptors turn into mechanical bonuses, to wit at the discretion of the GM. One of the purposes of mechanical bonuses is to replace or model the certainty of the character vis a vis skill X for the player. So, the character would climb a given wall because they think they have the skills, but the player doesn't have access to that, they have stats and whatnot. So, sure, in a FKR game I have the descriptor 'climby' or somesuch, but that doesn't really tell me anything about the wall in question, just about my character relative to other characters. Which leaves me to ask the GM - does this wall look like one I can climb without too much trouble or do I think I'm likely to fall to my death? I find having to ask those questions intensely annoying. So how does FKR not end up feeling like that? I haven't played FKR, so that's an honest question, not a baited trap.
 

pemerton

Legend
The thing I don't get/don't like about some of the examples in the blog posts I linked to is how the verbal descriptors turn into mechanical bonuses, to wit at the discretion of the GM. One of the purposes of mechanical bonuses is to replace or model the certainty of the character vis a vis skill X for the player. So, the character would climb a given wall because they think they have the skills, but the player doesn't have access to that, they have stats and whatnot. So, sure, in a FKR game I have the descriptor 'climby' or somesuch, but that doesn't really tell me anything about the wall in question, just about my character relative to other characters. Which leaves me to ask the GM - does this wall look like one I can climb without too much trouble or do I think I'm likely to fall to my death? I find having to ask those questions intensely annoying. So how does FKR not end up feeling like that? I haven't played FKR, so that's an honest question, not a baited trap.
I think if you read the second of @Numidius's links to Lizard Wizard you'll get an answer: Example of Play in Diceless Combat with Norbert G. Matausch + Free Zine!

I think that could be translated to climbing easily enough (in principle: I imagine the narration would be about handholds, tired fingers, straining tendons, etc. @Manbearcat should be able to elaborate!).
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Hmm. Yes and no. I'm talking more about that moment when the player is trying to decide what to do, not the narration of doing it. I suppose it works to a point, but when you expand my example to anything that would normally be covered by skills it feels like an awfully shallow information environment for the players as regards decision making. That could just be my lack of experience with FKR in play though.
 

pemerton

Legend
Hmm. Yes and no. I'm talking more about that moment when the player is trying to decide what to do, not the narration of doing it. I suppose it works to a point, but when you expand my example to anything that would normally be covered by skills it feels like an awfully shallow information environment for the players as regards decision making. That could just be my lack of experience with FKR in play though.
Well, I imagine you would say that you (as your character) look at the wall, to see what the best way to tackle it might be. The GM would say something about what you can see, and perhaps what it's "rating" is or something else about the apparent difficulty. Then you'd say what you do. If you don't say that you chalk your fingers maybe the GM narrates slipping due to sweat, and then you have to explain how you hold your position with legs and one hand while getting to your chalk bag with the sweaty hand.

At least something like that (and with apologies to posters who actually know something about climbing).
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Well, I imagine you would say that you (as your character) look at the wall, to see what the best way to tackle it might be. The GM would say something about what you can see, and perhaps what it's "rating" is or something else about the apparent difficulty. Then you'd say what you do. If you don't say that you chalk your fingers maybe the GM narrates slipping due to sweat, and then you have to explain how you hold your position with legs and one hand while getting to your chalk bag with the sweaty hand.

At least something like that (and with apologies to posters who actually know something about climbing).
That last sentence is problematic for me. What about players who don't know about climbing? Or martial arts? Or swordfighting? Or machine guns? Or the nuances of a criminal enterprise? I mean this on both ends, for the player and GM, a significant imbalance of practical knowledge seems troublesome. Again, I'm not naysaying here, just a little boggled. :D
 

pemerton

Legend
That feels like you've pre-determined what should be in question. What I loved seeing in my play was more akin to the 'representative of one of the most liberal states in Europe' coming to the conclusion that 'political stability depends upon affirming the most reactionary forms of government'. To me those are the golden moments. Sometimes they seem to change the worldview of a player as well as the worldview of their PC. I've seen players have political-moral epiphanies in-game. Right up there with "Are we the Baddies?" :D
I may create or use a Situation with NPCs that may superficially resemble the start conditions of a murder mystery - there might even be a murder - but I'm not interested in seeing it resolved according to the beats & tropes of murder mystery fiction. What I'm interested in is the people - PC & NPC - their motivations, personalities etc. I love seeing them interact in accordance with their goals etc, with no pre-determined outcome. If the PC detective falls in love with the murderess NPC and they run off together, that's certainly fine by me. I love me the immersion, the experience of being 'in' the fictional world. I don't find murder mystery fiction immersive at all; the world seems to exist only as a thin backdrop for the mystery/plot/puzzle
To me, there seem to be two readings of in accordance with: a causal reading; and a consistency reading. I've got nothing against the second - the goals etc set some sort of soft/fuzzy boundary of tenability/plausibility around a character's reactions and responses. I tend to find the first implausible. It's a creative decision, what a character does.

I think whether a player learns something moral-political from their creative play is a separate thing, that depends on further aspects of personality etc. Eg, and at a risk of painting with a broad brush, and given my impressions of the two people I'm about to mention, I would expect this more from (eg) Picasso than from Eric Hobsbawm. I don't think these personality differences necessarily tell us anything more about the virtue/character of the person.

Here's an example from my own play (Burning Wheel) where the fiction led me to develop a character:
My PC is Thurgon, a warrior cleric type (heavy armour, Faithful to the Lord of Battle, Last Knight of the Iron Tower, etc). His companion is Aramina, a sorcerer. His ancestral estate, which he has not visited for 5 years, is Auxol.

At the start of the session, Thurgon had the following four Beliefs - The Lord of Battle will lead me to glory; I am a Knight of the Iron Tower, and by devotion and example I will lead the righteous to glorious victory; Harm and infamy will befall Auxol no more!; Aramina will need my protection - and three Instincts - When entering battle, always speak a prayer to the Lord of Battle; If an innocent is threatened, interpose myself; When camping, always ensure that the campfire is burning.

Aramina's had three Beliefs - I'm not going to finish my career with no spellbooks and an empty purse! - next, some coins!; I don't need Thurgon's pity; If in doubt, burn it! and three instincts - Never catch the glance or gaze of a stranger; Always wear my cloak; Always Assess before casting a spell.

<snip>

Friedrich [a NPC] took them as far as the next tributary's inflow - at that point the river turns north-east, and the two character's wanted to continue more-or-less due east on the other side of both streams. This was heading into the neighbourhood of Auxol, and so Thurgon kept his eye out for friends and family. The Circles check (base 3 dice +1 for an Affiliation with the nobility and another +1 for an Affiliation with his family) succeeded again, and the two characters came upon Thurgon's older brother Rufus driving a horse and cart. (Thurgon has a Rationship with his mother Xanthippe but no other family members; hence the Circles check to meet his brother.)

There was a reunion between Rufus and Thurgon. But (as described by the GM) it was clear to Thurgon that Rufus was not who he had been, but seemed cowed - as Rufus explained when Thurgon asked after Auxol, he (Rufus) was on his way to collect wine for the master. Rufus mentioned that Thurgon's younger son had married not long ago - a bit of lore (like Rufus hmself) taken from the background I'd prepared for Thurgon as part of PC gen - and had headed south in search of glory (that was something new the GM introduced). I mentioned that Aramina was not meeting Rufus's gaze, and the GM picked up on this - Rufus asked Thurgon who this woman was who wouldn't look at him from beneath the hood of her cloak - was she a witch? Thurgon answered that she travelled with him and mended his armour. Then I switched to Aramina, and she looked Rufus directly in the eye and told him what she thought of him - "Thurgon has trained and is now seeking glory on his errantry, and his younger brother has gone too to seek glory, but your, Rufus . . ." I told the GM that I wanted to check Ugly Truth for Aramina, to cause a Steel check on Rufus's part. The GM decided that Rufus has Will 3, and then we quickly calculated his Steel which also came out at 3. My Ugly Truth check was a success, and the Steel check failed. Rufus looked at Aramina, shamed but unable to respond. Switching back to Thurgon, I tried to break Rufus out of it with a Command check: he should pull himself together and join in restoring Auxol to its former glory. But the check failed, and Rufus, broken, explained that he had to go and get the wine. Switching back to Aramina, I had a last go - she tried for untrained Command, saying that if he wasn't going to join with Thurgon he might at least give us some coin so that we might spend the night at an inn rather than camping. This was Will 5, with an advantage die for having cowed him the first time, against a double obstacle penalty for untrained (ie 6) +1 penalty because Rufus was very set in his way. It failed. and so Rufus rode on and now has animosity towards Aramina. As the GM said, she better not have her back to him while he has a knife ready to hand.

The characters continued on, and soon arrived at Auxol,. The GM narrated the estate still being worked, but looking somewhat run-down compared to Thrugon's memories of it. An old, bowed woman greeted us - Xanthippe, looking much more than her 61 years. She welcomed Thurgon back, but chided him for having been away. And asked him not to leave again. The GM was getting ready to force a Duel of Wits on the point - ie that Thurgon should not leave again - when I tried a different approach. I'd already made a point of Thurgon having his arms on clear display as he rode through the countryside and the estate; now he raised his mace and shield to the heavens, and called on the Lord of Battle to bring strength back to his mother so that Auxol might be restored to its former greatness. This was a prayer for a Minor Miracle, obstacle 5. Thurgon has Faith 5 and I burned his last point of Persona to take it to 6 dice (the significance of this being that, without 1 Persona, you can't stop the effect of a mortal wound should one be suffered). With 6s being open-ended (ie auto-rolls), the expected success rate is 3/5, so that's 3.6 successes there. And I had a Fate point to reroll one failure, for an overall expected 4-ish successes. Against an obstacle of 5.

As it turned out, I finished up with 7 successes. So a beam of light shot down from the sky, and Xanthippe straightened up and greeted Thurgon again, but this time with vigour and readiness to restore Auxol. The GM accepted my proposition that this played out Thurgon's Belief that Harm and infamy will befall Auxol no more! (earning a Persona point). His new Belief is Xanthippe and I will liberate Auxol. He picked up a second Persona point for Embodiment ("Your roleplay (a performance or a decision) captures the mood of the table and drives the story onward").

Turning back to Aramina, I decided that this made an impact on her too: up until now she had been cynical and slightly bitter, but now she was genuinely inspired and determined: instead of never meeting the gaze of a stranger, her Instinct is to look strangers in the eyes and Assess. And rather than I don't need Thurgon's pity, her Belief is Thurgon and I will liberate Auxol. This earned a Persona point for Mouldbreaker ("If a situation brings your Beliefs, Instincts and Traits into conflict with a decision your PC must make, you play out your inner turmoil as you dramatically play against a Belief in a believable and engaging manner").
For my part, I think the fiction has to get pretty emotionally laden for these sorts of things to feel "emergent" rather than "deliberate".
 

I think if you read the second of @Numidius's links to Lizard Wizard you'll get an answer: Example of Play in Diceless Combat with Norbert G. Matausch + Free Zine!

I think that could be translated to climbing easily enough (in principle: I imagine the narration would be about handholds, tired fingers, straining tendons, etc. @Manbearcat should be able to elaborate!).

Ok. I don’t mean to be a jerk…but holy mother of god. I can’t imagine playing that? I’m struggling to distinguish what I just read from some kind of Calvinball Conch Passing hybrid. That is not what I anticipated from engaging in this thread nor from reading a few systems/blogs.

I mean…what governs the moment of play below?


Wiz: could I stab his eyes with my fingers? Or is he holding me by the shoulders?

Norbert: my old rule is, "if you ask 'can I', my answer is always 'no', but if you just DO, it might work" ;)

We’re playing the world…not the rules. Ok.

These are the elements of the shared imagined space.

* on plane.

* big beefy jerk.

* I say I’m a shaolin archetype.

* I go tray to face to angry beefy jerk and it just works (I don’t know why).

* I try to ask questions to orient myself to the fiction (I’m playing the world) because I have no rules to orient me. I get stone cold rebuffed by the GM who says “just do it” (this really feels like someone read Apocalypse World and just ripped out all the system architecture that handles said orienting of character : player : situation …it even feels like they’re channeling VB’s casual prose).

* So I just do it…and it works (why I don’t know).


I could easily map this onto climbing or talking or running. It would all be the same; working from a huge information deficit and getting rebuffed when I try to ask orienting questions. Like so:

Player: Is this a big move? Seems like you’re describing a big move? Like a double Dino where I lose all 4 points of contact on the wall for a moment? That right? Is the hold Im leaping to a sloper or a tiny pinch or crimp? Something bad like that? I’ve gotta be tired at this point? Am I tired? Can I reroute to something more technical but time consuming? Less explosive and dangerous?

GM: If you ask me stuff, you can’t do it. Just DO it. Maybe it’ll work.

Player: …ooooooook? I reroute to a more technically demanding and lengthy route but I’ve got the gas tank for that and it’s way less dangerous.

GM: Cool. Your fingers are getting exhausted as you near the crux. One last move and you’re at the top.





That is a depiction of actual play? That feels like that has to be an orthodox-deviant version of FKR. That does not look like what I’ve read this far. That play example is on a continuum of Consensual Story Time or Calvinball depending upon the frequency of seemingly arbitrarily “yes” or “no” responses by the GM.
 

pemerton

Legend
That last sentence is problematic for me. What about players who don't know about climbing? Or martial arts? Or swordfighting? Or machine guns? Or the nuances of a criminal enterprise? I mean this on both ends, for the player and GM, a significant imbalance of practical knowledge seems troublesome. Again, I'm not naysaying here, just a little boggled.
Well, I think a premise of at least some FKRery is that the player will bring their expertise. That seems to be the implication of the blog I linked to just upthread.

This is the logic of referee and player expertise in free kriegsspiel, I think.
 

Numidius

Adventurer
@Manbearcat
Yeah, fascinating, ah ah!

Btw I guess that was an improvised exchange in a chat, nonetheless...... yeah

That is basically how I handled combat in my Gumshoe game, to be honest. Sometimes asking the player to roll a D6, eventually spending skill points.
 

pemerton

Legend
Ok. I don’t mean to be a jerk…but holy mother of god. I can’t imagine playing that?

<snip>

That is a depiction of actual play? That feels like that has to be an orthodox-deviant version of FKR. That does not look like what I’ve read this far. That play example is on a continuum of Consensual Story Time or Calvinball depending upon the frequency of seemingly arbitrarily “yes” or “no” responses by the GM.
I had a similar response. The blog refers to Theatrix, which I've heard of but don't know. Maybe it says something about when to say yes and when to say no? Here is the Wikipedia entry:Theatrix (role-playing game) - Wikipedia. If that's accurate, then I don't think the example in the blog was strictly by the book!
 

Well, I think a premise of at least some FKRery is that the player will bring their expertise. That seems to be the implication of the blog I linked to just upthread.

This is the logic of referee and player expertise in free kriegsspiel, I think.

That I can absolutely get with.

One of my theoretical Player Best Practices above was exactly that (give solicited advice when the GM needs help).

But that doesn’t seem like what’s happening here.

If we were to map this into climbing there might be a back and forth between player and GM and the player then rolls Gas Tank + Gear + Climbwise (3d6 and gets 2 results of 4-6) vs Long Route + Slippery Hold (2d6 and GM gets 0 results of 4-6) for a contest of 2d6 +2 vs 2d6 +0…win and you’ve made the ascent…lose and it costs you something and we’re still on the wall.

But that looks very different from the completely unstructured freeform without descriptor restraint and extremely limited orienting aspects that I just read.
 

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