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What is a "Narrative Mechanic"?

I think one solution for your preferences would be for everyone to check everything that you think that you need in advance and do away with the "quantum gear." So you remove the possibility of checking gear in the middle of play. If you have it, then you have it. If you don't, you don't. Simple as that. Would that work for you? 🤷‍♂️

I mean obviously it would solve the issue. But that's not how the game works. And I think quantum gear is fun from certain angle, it just isn't immersive. Trade-offs.

So imagine your characters in the thick of battle but the players are discussing their tactics at the table, such as who should the wizard buff, what the player should do to set up success for the next player, who should be the one to heal the downed player, etc. I'm not sure if I have ever played at a D&D table where this wasn't being discussed out of character at some point in the battle.
Yeah, that happens to some degree and it is unimmersive too. But you also can have in character strategy discussions out of combat.

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Small God of the Dozens
Honestly, the overall lack of gear slots in Blades makes this seem a little bit like a tempest in a teacup. Plus, in no case are you choosing from a list anything like you might see on even a 1st level D&D character sheet either. Unless you're running heavy and risking a lot of notice while you walk about loaded down like Cable from a 90's comic book we're talking about a bare handful of slots and potentially even less actual gear given that some of it uses more than one slot. Having played rather a lot of Blades I can say with some certainty that conversations of this sort about which gear to check really don't come up that often. Having said that, and while I think my experience is broadly true of Blades play generally, it's also the case that there exists in the mechanic the constant possibility of having that conversation, and when it does happen I don't think you can call it anything but 'meta'. I'll leave off trying (pointlessly, IMO) to compare this to the amount of meta conversation at other tables using other systems. As I mentioned upstream the idea of meta or the feeling of meta often shows itself in the conversation at the table rather than being a stable referent of the mechanic.

So the answer simply is "do not discus the details and the options." Which is fine, I get that we probably didn't play the game as spontaneously as intended. But you also must recognise how this is different from a game where you can discuss such details in character.
I think you are missing something huge here. Your kit comes from two lists. The first

is not worth discussing much because every character has the same basic kit list here and can use their own supplies. So you don't spend much time discussing it.

The second

is short and playbook specific with half a dozen entries. Items in italics don't count against load; no need to discuss whether you have them. You do; it's the light class specific gear. There will also often be at least one item on there that's on the main list but better (normally marked as explicitly being Fine). In this case it's the "light climbing gear"; where a normal PC needs to use 2 load for climbing gear the Lurk only uses one because they are an expert here. The Spiritbane Charm is common to most playbooks as well as being free.

So literally the only points of discussion here for the entire lurk character sheet (other than "your dagger or mine?" or "is it worth using my armour rather than skill" which is the same conversation as "second wind or skill bonus?") are whether the lurk should bring their fine shadow cloak and/or their dark-sight goggles.

And that's the extent of the "quantum gear".
I mean you can discuss spells in character in D&D. You really cannot do same with flashbacks and quantum gear. I think this is a clear difference. You might not care, and perhaps it doesn't come up as often as I'd imagine, but I don't thing there is denying that the difference exists.
It really doesn't come up. And is a much smaller difference than the massive rulebook.


As long as i get to be the frog
In a sense that we can opt to not disguss at all. But the difference regarding D&D is that whilst in D&D it is indeed possible to have meta disgussion, it is also possible to have in chracter strategy disgussion, as the chracter gear and capabilities are diegetic. In Blades you really cannot in the same way, as many of the options are meta.

I don't know, to me the distinction is perfectly clear, and I experienced it. Like I said, I didn't hate the game or anything, and I hope that in the future we get into groove of more spontaneous play, so the issue is less frequent. But I don't see how what I say wouldn't be inevitable result of having these sort of mechanics, and I find it weird that people here are so hard trying to deny this.
I mostly agree. I’d suggest what you are discussing is the problem of abstraction.

A similar thing happens with hp and recovery as well. It’s why wound narrations are soo dicey that they are often just ignored for PCs.

abstraction essentially turns any mechanic quantum-esque. And any attempt to examine the quantum state until it’s decided reveals this, and it can be quite jarring.

As such I’d suggest that if a game uses abstractions in their mechanical representations then it’s best if they are done so in ways that the players won’t readily examine (at least for a subset of players).

In some sense, The abstract mechanic itself is fine, it’s the examination or observation of the quantum states that changes that.

I mostly agree. I’d suggest what you are discussing is the problem of abstraction.

A similar thing happens with hp and recovery as well. It’s why wound narrations are soo dicey that they are often just ignored for PCs.

abstraction essentially turns any mechanic quantum-esque. And any attempt to examine the quantum state until it’s decided reveals this, and it can be quite jarring.

As such I’d suggest that if a game uses abstractions in their mechanical representations then it’s best if they are done so in ways that the players won’t readily examine (at least for a subset of players).

In some sense, The abstract mechanic itself is fine, it’s the examination or observation of the quantum states that changes that.
This isn't about abstraction - almost the opposite. This is because hit points have a concrete effect (or lack of it) that has a direct concrete effect on any simulations.

Both Fate Core/Accelerated/Condensed and Blades in the Dark have fairly abstract combat rules - but in both games when you actually take an injury you then specify that and it has direct game mechanical implications whenever that injury is relevant even if in Blades it's normally something like -1 die. But it's there. And it gets in your way. And it can be examined.

By explicitly not having any penalties to anything for hit point loss D&D makes a concrete decision about world building and how mundane the characters aren't. And no it's not "a quantum state" and examining it isn't "quite jarring". It's a direct, concrete, clearly defined state. And it's not jarring in the slightest unless you were expecting something other than the clear and deliberate design decision to not have D&D characters take significantly injuries and becoming escalating networks of scars because it would lead to a less fun game. The only jarring thing is the mismatch between your expectations and what the D&D mechanics do.

Another game that makes a concrete decision that goes even beyond the D&D one is Tenra Bansho Zero. In that game you have three hit point tracks. You normally only use the first one that works more or less as D&D's. To open the second hit point track you just choose to say "I am willing to be injured for this" and get some bonuses - and to open the third you have to say "I am willing to die for this" and get bigger bonuses.

I'm not saying that for a game fact to be diegetic equates with its verisimiltude.
I think effectively you are though. Since 'diegetic' becomes nothing but an opinion, and one where there's a clear preference, there's a very strong tendency to simply see what appeals to you as having these 'good attributes'. Mushy definitions lead to mushy analysis. I'd vastly prefer if you'd simply put examples of actual play out there which illustrate things. I may not be as good about doing that myself as some people, but I do try to relate instances of play to my specific points and build on grounded experience. Just so I can raise some more hackles (J/K) I'd point out that this was the core ethos of The Forge, describe the actual play and THEN theorize about it!

I just reiterate here that I am applying the word "diegetic" in its literal meaning, as describing an aspect of the performance that is also understood to be experienced by the characters within the fiction.

Orson Welles' narration in The Magnificant Ambersons represents various parts of the fiction quite accurately. That doesn't make it diegetic!

Again I just don't see the word "diegetic" as doing any useful work here. If we want to say that a mechanically-framed state of affairs (eg a to hit bonus, a hit point tally, etc) is a more-or-less regimented descriptor for some fictional state, let's just say that.

We might then say that having the Lucky feat is not such a descriptor. Of course, that will then produce a puzzle about whether being Level X is such a descriptor, given that one way being of a certain level manifests in the mechanics is by having a certain number of feats, and we've just posited that having one of those feats doesn't describe anything in the fiction about the PC. One of the strengths of D&D is that it has always been rather ambivalent about the extent to which, and manner in which, various mechanics do or don't serve as descriptors for fictional states.

A contrast could be drawn with (say) Classic Traveller, which has nothing like the Lucky feat as a mechanical element. Everything on the Traveller PC sheet - whether generated via PC build (say Skill Expertise Ranks) or via action resolution (say wound levels) - is a descriptor of some fictional state. I don't see that we need to complicate this by labelling Traveller's mechanics as "diegetic".
I entirely concur. In my discussion with @clearstream I was merely pointing out the things that, it seemed to me, that he was throwing the label 'diegetic' at, and in some cases proposing there could be other ways of describing those. I think, perhaps, one way to think about these kinds of things would be to talk about the degree of abstraction that any given system (or mechanic, etc.) uses. You point out, rightly I think, that Traveller is a fairly concrete game in most respects. It still has SOME abstraction, wounds are fairly abstract and in general combat isn't too much more concrete, if any, than in D&D, but I think its fair to say that there aren't any mechanics like "you can do X once per day." (maybe psionics, not sure, but we really pretty much ignored that part of the game).

Clearly a game like TB2 is less concrete, there are things like Fate points, Persona, checks, and such that don't seem to clearly tie to any specific fictional fact or thing within the game, nor precisely correspond to any action PCs take. Some of them, like Checks are just COMPLETELY abstract and don't represent anything at all. I'd venture that the game's structure of play in different 'modes' (town, adventure, and the travel system) is pretty abstract as well. And just to say what needs to be said, it is not especially narrativist systems that tend to have this kind of abstractness, TSR's Marvel Super Heroes game had a LOT of abstract stuff in it (c1985)!

I guess I'll report this in this thread.

I just came back from my first session of playing Blades in the Dark. It was fun. However, the narrative mechanics were unimmersive exactly the way I assumed they would. A lot of discussions were very meta like "if we had this or that item we could try this thing" or "what if we did this as a flashback?" It was quite engaging, but it was more about problem solving via collaborative storytelling than inhabiting a character.
So, the BitD campaign I was a player in seemed pretty immersive to me. I'm not saying that it was objectively different from what you're describing, I don't know. There is probably a difference in perception for example where I perceived an interaction that, say, included a flashback as being pretty immersive but you would say not. It would be interesting to be able to really dig into instances of game play and see where everyone falls on each thing, though honestly I'm not sure any of us are documenting our play in enough detail to do that. Anyway, its pretty interesting to think about. :)

It could just be my old group, but do people's D&D games not have the sort of conversation that I've bolded? We constantly had that conversation and variants of it, in both D&D and Savage Worlds. It seems utterly normal to me. Of course that group also had to institute a dinner rotation to avoid extended rounds of nice-guy chicken, so it could very well be us.
Yeah, I was thinking this too, our D&D games were ALWAYS rife with this sort of discussion, plus different players telling each other (in an obviously OOC way) what to do, which kind of monster that was (when their PC is in the other room) etc. I know some of that is frowned on at some tables, but basically we never played ANY RPG in such an exacting way as to be constantly in character. FOR ME at least 'immersion' or what I might call 'character identification' comes more with how the game itself pushes character revelations, and I've much less often run into the really key revelatory situations in trad play than in narrativist play. When my BitD Cutter had to decide between loyalty to the crew or his dislike of 'demons'. When my Stonetop character discovered that she was perfectly capable of manipulating an NPC into risking his life to further her agenda. COULD happen in D&D, can think of a couple times like that back in the day, but its MUCH more prevalent in modern narrativist style games.

There was some of "maybe you should have brought this (common item) I have already brought many items" which is pretty similar.

But also like I said in the previous post, there was more. We were hiding from the guards, and needed to get rid of them. There were several options, which required different equipment. Does one of us perhaps have a disguise with them so that they can pretend to be a servant to bring the guards a drink which is laced with a sleeping potion, which one of us might have? Or do we perhaps lure them into an empty room by using a smoke bomb we might have and to jam the door with... some item I don't remember, assuming we have it? Stuff like that. Furthermore, flashbacks also caused some "but what if one of us did thing X before."
Right, so what I remember of our first session of BitD, we took on a hit for pay, and we did some pre-score casing out of things, and formulated a 'plan A'. However, Clausewitz was in attendance, plan A didn't survive first contact with the enemy. At that we just started 'doing stuff', my character whipped out a weapon, one of the other characters tried to drug an NPC, etc. It all kind of worked out (messily IIRC but we did all get out in one piece and the target didn't). MOSTLY after that it got more like what @Fenris-77 is saying, we got into a bit of a 'groove'. So when we did a hit on a rival gang's stash house we did acquire some uniforms and help from an NPC which got us partway through, and then it was just "oh, yeah, I pull out a widget" whenever we ran into a problem, until we started to run out of inventory, lol. Luckily we managed to finish up the score before things melted down, though. Honestly, BitD is a bit of a skilled play, you start to figure out optimal problem solving paths that let you rely on fewer pieces of gear, and the PCs skill sets start to really mesh. I mean, if you wanted to scare the crap out of someone, or kill them outright, Takeo is your guy. If you want to blow things up, BEAKER! Weird ghost stuff? Skewth!

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