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The opposite of OSR

pemerton

Legend
I don't think that is true. FATE is a pretty traditional RPG system, Aspects notwithstanding. Just because the rules allow the players to define Aspects based on die results doesn't mean that they are arbiters of the rules. Players in FATE don't perform any adjudication, and that's the line between traditional RPG and other sorts.
Burning Wheel, and Prince Valiant, and Maelstrom Storytelling, and Agon 2nd ed, and Apocalypse World, all have a GM who adjudicates action resolution and frames scenes. But I don't think many D&D players would characterise them as "traditional" RPGs. All of them permit players to establish binding outcomes via action resolution that (i) are not confined to combat and (ii) don't depend simply on extrapolation from established fiction.
 

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Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
I don't think we are defining things quite the same way. The rules of fate provide clear guidance how players can use and create Aspects. That they do so within the framework of those rules does not mean they have adjudication power. In FATE adjudication is still solely within the auspices of the GM.
There's nothing to adjudicate there, though. You use the rules, the GM is bound by them, they have no say. If the GM tries to break these rules, the players have the ability to call this out. This is the same kind of adjudication of the rules the GM has. It's not like D&D, where it's explicit that the rules are what the GM says they are -- the rules of Fate are the rules of Fate -- the GM is not free to ignore them whenever they want.

So, adjudication is a table issue -- was the rule used correctly here. It's shared between players and GM. The GM has no special authority.

Often one of the biggest hurdles to trying games like this is bringing over assumptions for other games, like the GM being the final arbiter of the rules. This isn't so in some other games. The GM is not the final arbiter of the rules in Blades in the Dark, for instance -- they only have the authorities granted by the rules of that game. The table can choose to change those rules -- of course, this is obviously true for any game -- but the GM is not privileged in this decision.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
And there's a philosophical question as to whether this amounts to "changing the stakes."

In a purely mechanical view, the only stakes you really see in Fate Conflicts is Stress. And your character can only take so much Stress before being Taken Out. And that the players cannot change. The caveat to this being the ability to Concede a Conflict, which allows the players to opt out. What's at stake is who gets to narrate the finish of the conflict, really.

Of course, if we view the ability to set the narrative to be the ability to change stakes, then in this Fate violates the precept that players should know the stakes before roiling dice - the GM does not generally determine what they'll narrate about taking out a PC before it happens.
I'm not sure this last is true. You are aware that the GM can take your character out with this roll, but not how. That's knowing what's at stake, but not specifics. Like in poker, I can evaluate what's at stake (my bet) and the likelihood of success (if I know the game), but I can't tell if I lose what I will lose to (outside of very specific circumstances). Would you say I don't know the stakes here? I don't believe so.
 

Aldarc

Legend
I don't think that is true. FATE is a pretty traditional RPG system, Aspects notwithstanding. Just because the rules allow the players to define Aspects based on die results doesn't mean that they are arbiters of the rules. Players in FATE don't perform any adjudication, and that's the line between traditional RPG and other sorts.
Except this is contradicted by the rules and guidelines of Fate. The GM may get final say in adjudicating the rules, but players do get a say.
As the GM, you are the director of game sessions. Note that you are not the boss. Fate Condensed is collaborative, and the players have say in what happens to their characters. Your job is to keep things moving by doing these things:
  • Adjudicate the rules: When some question comes up about how to apply the rules, you can discuss it with the players and try to reach an agreeable consensus, but you get final say.
The GM in Fate is more like the moderator of a committee rather than the judge, jury, and executioner of the rules.

This also ignores the points in the game where the players in Fate do perform adjudication (e.g., creating an advantage, conceding defeat, consequences, declaring a story detail, etc.).
 

Reynard

Legend
Except this is contradicted by the rules and guidelines of Fate. The GM may get final say in adjudicating the rules, but players do get a say.

The GM in Fate is more like the moderator of a committee rather than the judge, jury, and executioner of the rules.

This also ignores the points in the game where the players in Fate do perform adjudication (e.g., creating an advantage, conceding defeat, consequences, declaring a story detail, etc.).
You literally quoted the section from the rules that says the GM gets the final word in adjudication. That's the definition of a trad game.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
You literally quoted the section from the rules that says the GM gets the final word in adjudication. That's the definition of a trad game.

I think the point is that in a trad game, there is no significant negotiation or player input, while in Fate, there's supposed to be a good deal of it. In traditional games, the GM adjudicates. In Fate, the GM has final word - the difference being a conversation in which there is a final word, instead of a fiat from the start.

If you want to claim there's no significant or meaningful difference, to you, you're free to do so.
 






Parmandur

Book-Friend
I've never understood the claims about earlier D&D being "rules light". Good grief. You have to take how many steps to determine whether an attack hit or not in AD&D? Something about fifteen if you actually do the steps and don't ignore them. How in the world can a game which actually details the exact space you require to swing a sword possibly be considered "rules light"?
My understanding is that most people ignored many of the steps, or internalized them. Also, people mean OD&D or BD&D when they talk OSR, not AD&D, I reckon.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
What a question!

It definitely depends. I mean there are folks that say when a PC can define things in the world or setting, like some FATE games do.

Or like others, when there are rules for everything. Or rules for what your character CAN do but also if they don't have those features they CAN'T do them.

Or a hyper focused rule set on a particular style of play.

Or a combination of the above.

Wikipedia has this in it for what OSR is, in a nutshell.

So the opposite of that would be: A complete set of rules as possible, or a set of rules meant to cover every situation even if they are light and very abstract. A game where the DM doesn't have to decide or arbitrate things during the game, the results are plain from the play following the rules. Game balance between players would be enforced by the rules. Player skill or ingenuity would not be required and in fact may be against the rules. Skill with the rules of the GAME is most important.

But I don't think that makes much sense? Just an opposite stating of that previous OSR style?
So, the Dungeons & Dragons Adventure board game line?
 

Aldarc

Legend
You literally quoted the section from the rules that says the GM gets the final word in adjudication. That's the definition of a trad game.
It would be erroneous to equate "the final word" with "the only word" in matters of adjudication of either the fiction or the rules as you do here.
 

Dyson Logos

Adventurer
I've never understood the claims about earlier D&D being "rules light". Good grief. You have to take how many steps to determine whether an attack hit or not in AD&D? Something about fifteen if you actually do the steps and don't ignore them. How in the world can a game which actually details the exact space you require to swing a sword possibly be considered "rules light"?
Generally speaking, most don't claim AD&D as being rules light. The core of most modern OSR games is B/X D&D - where everything for the game from levels 1-14 including all player-facing options as well as monsters, treasure, campaign and adventure advice, etc, all fits in 128 pages.
 

Yora

Hero
What you have even in AD&D is that the combat procedures are pretty straightforward without too many bells and whistles. You got your melee attack rolls and your ranged attack rolls, and that's mostly it as the combat system is concerned. You're dead at 0 hp, there's no skill checks, no feats, and no class abilities to use in combat.
That is all fairly light compared to 3rd edition.
 

Reynard

Legend
It would be erroneous to equate "the final word" with "the only word" in matters of adjudication of either the fiction or the rules as you do here.
I am honestly surprised anyone can play Dresden Files and think "that's a rules light narrative game." If Fate is a narrative game, then so is Genesys, which is a position I don't think any would argue for. The game mechanics explicitly allowing players to invent tags or establish facts usin% metacurrency isn't enough. Fate still has a GM with the power of "No" (even if the GM is discouraged from exercising that power), and if the players have to ask permission, the game falls under the traditional umbrella.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I am honestly surprised anyone can play Dresden Files and think "that's a rules light narrative game." If Fate is a narrative game, then so is Genesys, which is a position I don't think any would argue for. The game mechanics explicitly allowing players to invent tags or establish facts usin% metacurrency isn't enough. Fate still has a GM with the power of "No" (even if the GM is discouraged from exercising that power), and if the players have to ask permission, the game falls under the traditional umbrella.

The internet drives discussion to poles, with apparently no middle ground.

I reject the implication that "narrative game" is digital - it is or it isn't, all or nothing - and that the fact that a GM can say no suddenly entirely eliminates narrative play from a game. I think that's a vast overstatement of the case in practical play, and not constructive to discussion.

Are there games that are less narrative than Fate? Certainly. Are there games that are more focused on narrative play? Sure.

Are you going to be open to nuance and spectrum, here, or are you just going to stand ground that Fate is not a narrative game? Let us know now, please, so we can judge whether to bother to engage further.
 

Aldarc

Legend
I am honestly surprised anyone can play Dresden Files and think "that's a rules light narrative game." If Fate is a narrative game, then so is Genesys, which is a position I don't think any would argue for. The game mechanics explicitly allowing players to invent tags or establish facts usin% metacurrency isn't enough. Fate still has a GM with the power of "No" (even if the GM is discouraged from exercising that power), and if the players have to ask permission, the game falls under the traditional umbrella.
I’m honestly surprised that your better judgment thought it was a good idea to put words and arguments into my mouth that I didn’t say and then follow it up with an absurd hardline assertion that Fate only qualifies as a narrative game if Genesys does? I'm honestly surprised that you think that a GM having the ability to say "no" somehow disproves Fate as being a narrative game.
 

Reynard

Legend
I’m honestly surprised that your better judgment thought it was a good idea to put words and arguments into my mouth that I didn’t say and then follow it up with an absurd hardline assertion that Fate only qualifies as a narrative game if Genesys does? I'm honestly surprised that you think that a GM having the ability to say "no" somehow disproves Fate as being a narrative game.
The prior assertions were that Fate was a narrative game with a strong a implication that it was also rules lite based on the subject of the thread. I offered Dresden Files as a counterpoint. I'm not sure what's surprising about that.

In addition, it was explicitly stated that what divided traditional from narrative games was the capacity for the player to state a fact and the GM not having any ability to mitigate that. By its own rules, Fate explicitly does not work that way, which I pointed out. I'm not sure what's surprising about that.

That players get to narrate some stuff that happens in the game can't be the definition of a "narrative game" because literally every RPG ever explicitly allows players to narrate stuff. So it has to be something else. Fate has systemetized the process but it still isn't anything different than what has happened in every D&D game ever since 1974.

Player: I fire a flaming arrow at the hay piles the bandits are hiding behind in the stables so they catch fire.
DM: Roll to hit. [Success] Okay, the hay catches fire and now there's smoke and flame everywhere.
Player: Great. [To other players] Let's use the smoke for cover to get out of here!

That is literally no different than Fate's "create advantage." There just weren't words for it in 1974.
 

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