Why Do You Hate An RPG System?

Saelorn

Hero
That seems to be either a poorly qualified or overly-restrictive statement, depending.

Whose choices are you talking about? Player or character?
Role-playing is the process by which a player makes decisions from the perspective of their character. Is that under dispute? Is someone using some other definition of role-playing, which is at odds with that? Or is there some other, commonly-accepted term for the process by which a player makes in-character decisions?
 

lowkey13

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
The question shouldn't be, "Why do you hate an RPG system?" It should be... why do you apply the emotion of hate to a thing that harms nobody and is only used as an entertainment?
Because it's there?

Because it's there, AND it's fun?

I mean, sure, it is nice to see people back on the first page of so specifically disclaim hatred ("I don't know that I hate any games, but I didn't enjoy a few ...") but sometimes it feels good to just, you know ... really dislike something without reservation.

It doesn't mean that you have to get all violent. Or mean.

But this happens all the time.
Red Sox fans HATE the Yankees (and vice versa).

University of X fans HATE X State University (and vice versa).

Patriots fans HATE everyone else (and vice versa).

So long as it remains (mostly) good-natured, and doesn't devolve into some sort of Futbol-style violence, then it's all good.

Rivalries. Nemeses. A little hatred. It's like espresso- it gets you going in the morning.


I would actually turn the phrase back on you- why would someone apply the emotion of hate OUTSIDE of the world of entertainment, because it seems that it's outside of entertainment and faux-hate that real hatred does the damage.

In other words- have fun and hate, but don't hate for real, man.
 

Aldarc

Hero
Role-playing is the process by which a player makes decisions from the perspective of their character. Is that under dispute? Is someone using some other definition of role-playing, which is at odds with that? Or is there some other, commonly-accepted term for the process by which a player makes in-character decisions?
Part of the problem is that you are assuming that the character's decisions and player's decisions will always be aligned, but that is not always the case even if one assumes that a player knows best how their character would act. It does not mean that they do so perfectly, all the time, or without the impulses of outside knowledge about the fact that they are playing a game and that the player may have play goals that are at odds with the character's in-game goals.

If you were actually doing it because it's what you think the character would do, then it wouldn't matter whether or not you got a fate point for it. If you were actually role-playing, then you would care about the item because the character wants it.
This is a false dichotomy, Saelorn.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
It doesn't mean that you have to get all violent. Or mean.
If you aren't getting mean... is the word "hate" appropriate?

I mean, I know we are in a world in which we have to accept literally everyone's usage of words, even when that usage is literally the opposite of the nominal meaning of the word. But still, I'll be a stick in the mud, and suggest that just maybe we should push back on it. "Dislike such that I will not play it," is not the same as "dislike such that I denigrate people who do play it", and maybe we shouldn't use the same word for both.

And, I think it reasonable to say that the former is fine, and the latter is toxic behavior we should not, collectively, be tolerating.

But, if you wanna use the same word for behavior that's okay, and behavior that isn't... well, have fun keeping your discussion cogent.
 

lowkey13

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
If you aren't getting mean... is the word "hate" appropriate?
As explained above, yes.


I mean, I know we are in a world in which we have to accept literally everyone's usage of words, even when that usage is literally the opposite of the nominal meaning of the word. But still, I'll be a stick in the mud, and suggest that just maybe we should push back on it. "Dislike such that I will not play it," is not the same as "dislike such that I denigrate people who do play it", and maybe we shouldn't use the same word for both.

And, I think it reasonable to say that the former is fine, and the latter is toxic behavior we should not, collectively, be tolerating.

But, if you wanna use the same word for behavior that's okay, and behavior that isn't... well, have fun keeping your discussion cogent.
So, I think the problem in the communication is that you are introducing new meanings to the word.

If I say, for example, "Oh, that Tom Brady is a fancy dog, and I'm so happy that the Patriots aren't in the Super Bowl because I hate them and that Bill Belichick," that doesn't mean that I'm engaging in toxic behavior.

It doesn't mean that I am about to go to a bar in Dorchester and start punching the first Sully I can find.

I will not seek out the local Dunkies and burn it to the ground.

I am not looking to harass people in hoodies simply because of a possible resemblance to the coach of the Patriots.

I do not intend to drive to Graceland and urinate all over the place for the sole reason that the Patriots' logo looks like Elvis.

So if you want to call out toxic behavior (which, as behavior, would likely include actions) I am completely in agreement.

If, on the other hand, you are asserting that a good natured, "I HATE THE LAST SEASON OF DEXTER" is somehow either over-the-top, or wrong, then I think you need to spend a lot more time hangin' out with serial killer lumberjacks.
 

atanakar

Adventurer
I don't HATE any system per se.

1) I shy away from systems that offer too many options. I don't want to read a thesis on how a RPG can emulate reality. I'm sure GURPS is awesome but when no one has exprience with the system it is daunting to create a character. It took us two hours to create a half-troll detective with minor arcane abilities... I never had the courage to help build the four other characters. The same character took 30 minutes with Modern AGE by Green Ronin.

2) Illusion of choice is also one of my pet peeves. By that I mean that if there is only one optimal build for each archetype why offer options that will never be selected. This leads to discontent by players who are not good at optimizing. I'm looking at you D&D 3e, 4e, D20 Modern, etc. 5e paths are fine for me.

3) Systems that have a very elaborate character background creation systems are not my cup of tea. I prefer the background to remain a bit vague so the player and I can integrate things on-the-go. The INFINITY 2d20 rpg by Modiphius suffers from this. The Coriolis rpg by Free League, has some background choices but only for the larger questions. It is a bit more than I am used to but it works very well with the setting so we had fun using it.

4) Systems that use dice with symbols as with FFG's Genesys. I'm don't want to pay for them. We played a Star Wars FFG game and we didn't enjoy all the dice interpretation we had to do.
 

Nagol

Unimportant
If you aren't getting mean... is the word "hate" appropriate?

I mean, I know we are in a world in which we have to accept literally everyone's usage of words, even when that usage is literally the opposite of the nominal meaning of the word. But still, I'll be a stick in the mud, and suggest that just maybe we should push back on it. "Dislike such that I will not play it," is not the same as "dislike such that I denigrate people who do play it", and maybe we shouldn't use the same word for both.

And, I think it reasonable to say that the former is fine, and the latter is toxic behavior we should not, collectively, be tolerating.

But, if you wanna use the same word for behavior that's okay, and behavior that isn't... well, have fun keeping your discussion cogent.
Yes, it is a visceral feeling. One that need not be acted upon, but is there nonetheless. I hate lots of things: "wet" foods like soups and stews, certain singers like Kate Bush that literally cause me pain on high notes, and yes, some books full of words that are the antithesis of my perspective of my hobby.

Here"s Oxford's definition: HATE: [transitive, intransitive] to dislike somebody/something very much

Yep, looks right. I hate those things.
 

lordabdul

Explorer
But there are things that make me say a hard "NO" to a game
While I think a lot of people (including me) tend to agree with your list, I have a suspicion that if we were to specifically name some games and accuse them of such things, a lot of differences of opinions might suddenly surface :) (especially since I can't really come up with any game that does any of the things you say... I can come up with some adventures that do a few of those things, though)
 

Nagol

Unimportant
While I think a lot of people (including me) tend to agree with your list, I have a suspicion that if we were to specifically name some games and accuse them of such things, a lot of differences of opinions might suddenly surface :) (especially since I can't really come up with any game that does any of the things you say... I can come up with some adventures that do a few of those things, though)
Kult first edition has the tag line "Death is only the beginning" on the cover. That intrigued me so I picked it up to see how the game handled the transition through death and how they balanced/changed things for those who died and those who hadn't. I read the book through and then went back and checked it again. There were rules for getting killed.. That's it. There was no after-life in the game for PCs. I was put out.
 

miyabhai101

Villager
There are some systems that I dislike and don't want to play or GM, but I don't have an all-abiding hate for them. They just aren't ones I enjoy.
 
If you were actually doing it because it's what you think the character would do, then it wouldn't matter whether or not you got a fate point for it. If you were actually role-playing, then you would care about the item because the character wants it.
All of which assumes that I have a perfect knowledge of everything my character would want to do and a perfect knowledge of the backstory of every item that would come up. And that I weight things exactly the same way as they do.

In reality I'm never going to be able to see the shine of the gold and feel it warm up under my fingertips - I simply do not get the same visceral. If it belongs in a museum it would be lucky to have a backstory of the index card's worth of text you normally see by a museum exhibit.

If on the other hand I get a bennie like a Fate point a significant part of that visceral, tactile mismatch vanishes. I might not touch it - but I still get the same dopamine hit of getting something shiny. And the Fate Point gives a clue visible to everyone how much my character wants it.

To use an analogy, too many movies these days are acted in front of a green screen. Your position is that if you're truly acting a green screen and no props at all shouldn't make a difference. Mine is that I want props of about the right shape and weight even if we're going to CGI an overlay to them because it is much much easier to act when more of it is real.

Making a Willpower check (or whatever) is not a voluntary choice. You can no more resist doing this thing, than you can resist bleeding out when you've been shot. You don't want to do it, but you do it anyway, because you have no choice.

Role-playing is only concerned with the process of making choices.
And this is why Fate is far superior to GURPS for roleplaying. In Fate I get to make choices about whether I do something, and am given temptations and the dopamine hit my character would get for giving in to the temptation. In GURPS, as you say, "Making a Willpower check is not a voluntary choice" - I am not roleplaying because I am not making choices. Instead I am being mind controlled by the dice and then filling in why I did what I did. In Fate I am roleplaying, in GURPS I am not.
 
While I agree with many of your points, let's not rush into the same badwrongfun accusations you're defending against. While not my preference, GURPS is a fine role playing game.
You're right and I overstated that. I'm not roleplaying at the specific instant that the dice decide whether I am going to give in to temptation. I do roleplay the rest of the time and knowing the game will take my control away causes me to be even more wary.
 

Nagol

Unimportant
You're right and I overstated that. I'm not roleplaying at the specific instant that the dice decide whether I am going to give in to temptation. I do roleplay the rest of the time and knowing the game will take my control away causes me to be even more wary.
In FATE, the player and the character motivations can end up at odds ("I'd never steal! But my player thinks taking the chip is a better choice and is willing to insert a narrative complication here and now so I guess I will". The player has complete control over the character actions, but the character can never exceed or fail to meet expectations.

GURPS, Hero, Pendragon, and other games with mechanical impulse-control systems mechanically model aspirational view versus in-the-face-of-temptation effects. The character and player motivations stay aligned, but the character may have either hidden depths or insufficient strength to succeed where the player would like. "I would never steal. I'm a good person. I really shouldn't take that wallet. Taking that wallet really wasn't stealing! OK, it was, but it was in a good cause!". It is not mind control so much as either exceeding or failing to live up to player expectations.

In GURPs and Hero, the dice will only remove control in those situations the player specifically arranges as part of character creation -- for which the player is duly compensated. You don't want to have an impulse control problem? Avoid the character attributes that inflict them.

Some campaigns specifically insist on a variety to better emulate the expected genre -- "Unwilling to kill" is a fairly common default expectation in the superhero genre games, for example.
 

lordabdul

Explorer
You're right and I overstated that. I'm not roleplaying at the specific instant that the dice decide whether I am going to give in to temptation. I do roleplay the rest of the time and knowing the game will take my control away causes me to be even more wary.
With my previous group (who really liked GURPS), they didn't do it that way. First, at character creation, they felt incentivized to make complex personalities (as opposed to being "forced to take 3 flaws" or something like that) in the form of point credits to spend on other stuff. During play, most of the time, they didn't roll for their disadvantages, they just played the character that way because that's the character they created and wanted to play anyway. They basically saw their advantages as a "roleplaying promise" that rewards you in the form of being better at firing guns or performing surgery. The only times they would roll would either be when they weren't sure how to play it (so it effectively acted as a guide, rather than as something forcing you to act a given way), or when it's a disadvantage that's basically not any different from any other "let's see if you're affected by this" mechanic (like CON rolls for poison or SAN rolls for monsters). They liked it because they felt more of the character's behaviour was under their control, as opposed to something the GM throws onto you like compels or intrusions and such.

Personally I like both GURPS and FATE, and I know several people active on the SJGames forums are the same, where FATE is perceived like a lightweight/narrative alternative to GURPS, and people end up playing both depending on the group and adventure at hand.
 

prabe

Aspiring Lurker
You're right and I overstated that. I'm not roleplaying at the specific instant that the dice decide whether I am going to give in to temptation. I do roleplay the rest of the time and knowing the game will take my control away causes me to be even more wary.
I think I'd rather have the dice make that determination than have the GM make it because he couldn't think of anything "cooler" than taking control of my character.
 

Aldarc

Hero
In FATE, the player and the character motivations can end up at odds ("I'd never steal! But my player thinks taking the chip is a better choice and is willing to insert a narrative complication here and now so I guess I will". The player has complete control over the character actions, but the character can never exceed or fail to meet expectations.
GM: "Then why did you select 'Insatiable Kleptomaniac' as the Trouble for your character?"

I think I'd rather have the dice make that determination than have the GM make it because he couldn't think of anything "cooler" than taking control of my character.
How is the GM taking control of your character? If you have Fate points, you can spend a Fate point to reject the complication. If you want the Fate point, you are accepting the complication presented to you, and you get the Fate point. If you want to steal, then you are accepting the complication presented to you, and you still get the Fate point. D&D has far more readily available ways for the GM to remove player agency than anything that Fate offers.
 

Saelorn

Hero
Insulting other members
In reality I'm never going to be able to see the shine of the gold and feel it warm up under my fingertips - I simply do not get the same visceral. If it belongs in a museum it would be lucky to have a backstory of the index card's worth of text you normally see by a museum exhibit.

If on the other hand I get a bennie like a Fate point a significant part of that visceral, tactile mismatch vanishes. I might not touch it - but I still get the same dopamine hit of getting something shiny. And the Fate Point gives a clue visible to everyone how much my character wants it.
What you're saying is that you have a poor imagination, and therefor need to meta-game if you want to generate a result that would approximate the outcome of successfully role-playing.

I guess that makes sense. In the same way that people who have never bowled before might use the bumpers, because it wouldn't be fun for them to roll nothing but gutter balls.
 

Aldarc

Hero
What you're saying is that you have a poor imagination, and therefor need to meta-game if you want to generate a result that would approximate the outcome of successfully role-playing.

I guess that makes sense. In the same way that people who have never bowled before might use the bumpers, because it wouldn't be fun for them to roll nothing but gutter balls.
This sort of rude condescension is utterly uncalled for, Saelorn.
 

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