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derfos
2010-06-12, 11:28 PM
I thought I'd create a thread for Indie RPG lovers to post some their favourite games and give a little pitch. For example:

Spirit of the Century:
Based on the Fate roleplaying game (which in turn is based on the Fudge system - a d3-like system with special dice called fudge-dice). Takes about 10 minutes to get started and learn the rules. The concept of the game: Pulp Action. If you ever wanted to go through a Jackie Chan fight scene, this game is for you. With a simple system of traits, your character can put himself into very sticky situations and as a reward for his risk, earn fate points. These fate points can in turn be used to get the player out of the sticky situations he got in by following his traits. In the first 30 minutes of playing, I jumped onto a moving train that had been hijacked by AK47-bearing gorillas and fought my way to the main chamber only to find a velociraptor accelerating the train towards an indian reserve. Remembering that "I once flew an aeroplane" (one of my traits), I managed to stop the train in time.
If you want some realism-free action-packed light game, try Spirit of the Century. Find the free SRD at their website (http://www.faterpg.com/dl/sotc-srd.html).

Otogi
2010-06-13, 12:22 AM
Would any mention of indie gaming be complete without Risus?...I 'unno, it depends, I guess. But it deserves to be in discussion anyway! It's a simple, easy to learn, varied universal system that thinks outside of the box and deserves a lot of the love it gets and it's only second to M&M in my mind. It's funny, exciting and action packed, but you're able to make dramatic and heartwarming moments just as good! It can be used for almost any type of play and it can work, but for most part, it's used for a soda and pretzels game, and it really plays that part with flying colors!

The Rose Dragon
2010-06-13, 05:11 AM
Define "indie".

For example, I'm sure Summerland and Pandemonium are indie, since they are literally the only RPGs created by their respective creators, but is Weapons of the Gods, an RPG created by two already-known RPG designers, indie? Is Qin: the Warring States, despite coming from a rather prolific company? Is Faery's Tale Deluxe indie for being created by a relatively unknown company, despite being published by Green Ronin?

EDIT: Also, Fudge dice are not d6s, despite having 6 sides. They are Fudge dice. You can certainly use a regular d6 as a Fudge die if you interpret two sides as -1, two sides as +1 and two sides as 0, but they are not the same.

derfos
2010-06-13, 07:13 AM
Define "indie".
I don't want to. If you consider it to be indie, then put it here. The way I see it, my intention here is to get to know some cool games that are not well known. If it is a "fringe" game, one only played by a small minority in the roleplaying community, it is certainly appropriate for this forum.



EDIT: Also, Fudge dice are not d6s, despite having 6 sides. They are Fudge dice. You can certainly use a regular d6 as a Fudge die if you interpret two sides as -1, two sides as +1 and two sides as 0, but they are not the same.

I stand corrected, I'm just used to going with d6s. They are more appropriatly d3s.

Eloi
2010-06-13, 07:22 AM
I play and make games using RPG Maker 1-3 software, does that count as 'indie'?

GolemsVoice
2010-06-13, 10:09 AM
Oh yeah!

Unhallowed Metropolis

In 1905, a plague spread, and the dead started to rise, hungering for the flesh of the living. Most countries were simply overrun, the cities proving deathtraps, and the countrysides to thinly populated to mount any meaningful defence. Europe fell into a new dark age, and only Prussia managed to rise again.

Great Britain was luckier. As an island antion, they were shielded from the giant hordes of animates (as the ambulant dead were called), and many could be destroyed by abandoning the cities and shelling them, until only ruins stood. Slowly, ever so slowly, the animates were driven back, and the cities reclaimed. This became known as The Reclamation, ending in 1967, with the full reclamation of London.

But Britan is nowhere near safe. The Plague not only raised the dead, but it manifested in the land, blighting it, and soon, the Wasteland spread across Britain, leaving twisted vegetation unfit for any civilization.

The focus of the surviors turned backwards, to the "glorious" age of the Victorians, and idealized time of glory and conquest. Calling themselves the "Neo-Victorians", the society has fallen back into cultural stagnation.

In the year 2105, most cities are horrible beyond imagination. Little laws protect the working class, and so, poverty is rampant. Most toil away in misery, seldom seeing their 50th birthday. Others break under the strain, becoming murderers that compete for the headlines in the dailies. The aristocracy shuts itself off in their towering mansions, preffering not to see or hear anything they don't want to. Wealthy industrialists live on the blood of the poor, building dynasties of money that can rival those of blood easily.

Reanimation of the dead is a constant threat, and so, cremation is mandatory for all but the richest, and so, the air is always black with the ashes of the dead. Even so, some parts of the city are regularly overrun, and the reclamation takes many lives. Against outside threats, the cities are surrounded by 40 feet walls, manned by the Deathwatch and armed with terrible galavanic weaponry.

Science has taken a huge leap forward, especially in the field of galvanics, alchemy and medicine. Mad galvanists call down the spark of live, and industrious alchemists seek to create life from death.

The Plague has also worn thin the barriers between the world of the living and that of the dead, and psychic phenomena, spirits and hauntings are very real, and frightfully common.


All in all, it is a victorian gothic horror setting turned to eleven, an dI love every part of it.

Totally Guy
2010-06-13, 12:36 PM
My top game is Burning Wheel. It's great because it creates a lot of good game behaviour by following the rules.

It's got loads and loads of skills with a fair amount of overlap and that's often called a criticism. But suddenly you realise that it all makes sense. A zealot who has a high Suasion skill (a debating skill concerning religion) needs to find ways of relating his argument to religious matters in order to use that skill over the more traditional Persuasion skill. And that would be totally in character for such a personality!

The players have a lot of power in the realm of game direction. The GM is not always right here. The GM has the responsibility of challenging the character concepts, finding out who the character's really are. That experience changes characters, they develop and adapt their very essence just by playing.

We had one character, a knight trying to reclaim his honour and reclaim his past life change in unexpected ways. In the end got every "thing" he wanted, but had compromised his integrity and the core of his personality. It was beautiful and tragic. And it happened at the table. No one person saw it coming.

Also this game stopped me from hating elves. :smile: :tongue: They're just so well done.

Downside is the learning curve. I've finally got the hang of it after studying it for 11 months.

But there's the final book in the set coming out next month. (We think it's the last one!) It's all about adventures and explaining all those complex further implications within the rules that you just can't quite see from the surface.

I'd like to try Burning Empires (which is BW in a sci-fi setting) but I don't think the group is ready for that.

UserClone
2010-06-13, 02:13 PM
Mouse Guard RPG FTW, by the way. Better way to introduce burning wheel, as I'm told, since it's a pared-down version of the same rules. Plus it's a combination of The Secret of NIMH and LOTR.

Cahokia
2010-06-13, 03:01 PM
I'm another big fan of Spirit of the Century. There's also an impressive amount of homebrew to be found for the system online, and it's very easy to learn quickly and introduce to people--especially those who've never gamed before.

Oracle_Hunter
2010-06-13, 03:10 PM
Bliss Stage
I could make a pitch, but TV Tropes (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BlissStage) already has it covered :smalltongue:

Unarguably the best RPG for Neon Genesis Evangelion & Mobile Suit Gundam -style games. And before you bring out some simulationist system, remember that neither anime was about geeking out over ergs, but about the psychological development of innocents thrust into war.

Knaight
2010-06-13, 03:30 PM
I'm another big fan of Spirit of the Century. There's also an impressive amount of homebrew to be found for the system online, and it's very easy to learn quickly and introduce to people--especially those who've never gamed before.

Its a pretty good game, though I like Fudge better, and have seen other Fate 3.0 adaptations that are potentially more interesting, namely Diaspora.

If we are looking at Indie games, someone is obligated to point out Wushu, a fascinating little gem with very unique mechanics. Its free, so no need to say more than that. Then on the other end of the spectrum is Riddle of Steel, another interesting game with one of the most complex combat systems that has ever been made (and Burning Wheel still beats it in realism.), and in between someone is obligated to point out Ars Magica, though that might be too popular to qualify. 4e is free, 5e is not, again find it somewhere.

Kaje
2010-06-14, 01:14 AM
Super Awesome Action Heroes

Designed by a friend of mine to be a sorta freeform game based on action movies and heavily utilizing action movie tropes.

Class-based, with Archetypes including Military, Haxor, Scientist, and Ninja.

Two character stats: Fitness and Sweetness. Three combat stats: Guns, Melee and Barehands.

The really awesome stuff is done via two different mechanics:
Give Me Five Minutes, which allows the character to automatically do lots of things their class would reasonably be able to do (wire a car to explode for Military, hack into a computer system for Haxor, etc.), as long as they're given about five minutes.

Sweet Move, which allows the character to do all kinds of super-awesome feats and stunts, as long as they describe it as awesomely as possible. All players then vote to determine the success of the Sweet Move.

One member of the party, the Primary Character, gets a +1 to every single roll. As does the Main Villain.

It's available online. Go find it!

erikun
2010-06-14, 01:54 AM
Since it's already been mentioned, I'll talk about Faery's Tale Deluxe.

The system is intentionally simple. Each character has three attributes: Body, Mind, and Spirit. Essence is a mix of life energy and magical strength - spend or lose all your Essence, and you're taking a nap. Dice rolling uses a dice pool, with evens being a succes and 6s allowing more dice to be rolled. Each character begins with four Gifts, or special abilities: two from their type of faery, and two chosen by the player.

Rewards are not in the form of gold or experience, but as Boons. Boons are promises to aid and support the Faery, and in true Fae fashion, can be traded and exchanged. They can be used for in-game support from the NPC in question, can be used for increases in the character's attributes, or even to grant the character new Gifts and magical equipment.

There's also rules for Dark Fae and Dark Essence, if you wish to play that, along with a method for the players to directly influence the story: A character may recover Essence in-game by the player suggesting additional hazards for their character to overcome.

I will also second Mouse Guard / Burning Wheel as an excellent (and in Mouse Guard's case, easy to get into) system.

Balain
2010-06-14, 02:53 AM
I have forgotten more RPGs than a lot of people on here.

Is toon Indie?

How about Necroscope..Okay actually no that one probably isn't since it's gurps with cards.

Bunnies and Burrows

Bushido

James Bond

Ghostbusters...The simplest RPG I have seen. You have 3 stats, or maybe it was 2 and equipment, that's it.

Witchcraft, The same company did Buffy the vampire RPG.

There was one I forget the name you play Mormons or in an altered/fantasy Utah that used card instead of dice.

The most Indie games are the various ones individuals in our group have made up.

erikun
2010-06-14, 02:55 AM
There was one I forget the name you play Mormons or in an altered/fantasy Utah that used card instead of dice.
Dogs in the Vineyard?

GoodbyeSoberDay
2010-06-14, 03:19 AM
Dogs is one of those games that's great in theory but poor in execution. It's not that the Dogs system lacks good ideas... I guess what I'm saying is I'd like to see a Dogs 2.0 with more mechanically sensible character creation and group task resolution.

Also, the designer seemed to take the setting very seriously. It's Mormon cowboys. It's begging for a humor adaptation.

Right, indie systems... Is Savage Worlds indie?

Samurai Jill
2010-06-14, 05:19 AM
Dogs in the Vineyard?
DitV uses dice pools. You may be thinking of the poker metaphor it uses for scene resolution based on raises and sees.

Dogs is one of those games that's great in theory but poor in execution. It's not that the Dogs system lacks good ideas... I guess what I'm saying is I'd like to see a Dogs 2.0 with more mechanically sensible character creation and group task resolution.
What did you find not-sensible about those?

I don't see anything more inherently silly about Mormon Exorcist Cowboys than, say, Colonial Gothic, Shadowrun, and gods-know-what-other RPG settings you could name.

Delta
2010-06-14, 05:55 AM
Bliss Stage
I could make a pitch, but TV Tropes (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BlissStage) already has it covered :smalltongue:

Alright now THIS got my attention :) I think I'll need to have a closer look at this.

GoodbyeSoberDay
2010-06-14, 06:18 AM
What did you find not-sensible about those?Having to buy flaws felt oddly restrictive in such a broad game, and being outnumbered in anything, including a discussion, seemed like an utterly crippling disadvantage (if no one wanted to give up). I'm also not the biggest fan of hugely abstract systems in general.

I don't see anything more inherently silly about Mormon Exorcist Cowboys than, say, [...] Shadowrun...Not saying much.

Innis Cabal
2010-06-14, 06:46 AM
Having to buy flaws felt oddly restrictive in such a broad game, and being outnumbered in anything, including a discussion, seemed like an utterly crippling disadvantage (if no one wanted to give up).

This. The game felt as if you were on a slope made of gravel that was constantly falling out from underneath you. It didn't matter the decisions you made in character creation. It didn't matter if you made a character for Situation X. You were going down.

There was no winning. There was just sucking less each and every time you had to do something. Damage was crippling, making losing all the worse. Death was a near constant terror looming ever closer, and there was no way to avoid that. Death is all well and good in a narritve setting. But when I play a game, I'd like not to lose each and every step of the way. Thats called Life and I play that 24/7 365. I want an escape, I want to be able to do something, and triumph at it. I don't play games to lose.

Team work seemed to work even less well then the above, faulting you for daring to commune with your allies, and thrusting your face into the proverbial pile of dog crap when you inevitably failed.

The rules of interaction, character creation were less rules and a unintelligable mess. It was not that the game was complex. Because its not, it is as systems go fairly easy to grasp and learn. You simply gained nothing from the expenditure, and were left where you begin, at the starting point.

It dosn't matter what the fluff was, because a system shouldn't be balanced on the game world its packaged with. A system should be able to be used no matter what you want to play. Thats why its a system and not a world setting. The System of DitVY....sucks. Period.

Delta
2010-06-14, 07:07 AM
A system should be able to be used no matter what you want to play.

I'm sorry if that's going way into OT, but this statement is very, very wrong, at least IMHO.

A system can very well be suited for one specific style of game, and that's not a bad thing at all. In fact, most of the systems I consider good give the reader a very clear picture of what kind of game you'll play with them.

Somebloke
2010-06-14, 07:09 AM
A/State. The rules are very light (percentile skills, very vague hit point system) and not designed for combat (one unlucky- not very unlucky- roll can kill you) but the setting is by far one of the most evocative I have ever come across- a blend of every urban distopia ever conceived in a single, massive, isolated city that no-one can ever leave and may or may not be the last human settlement in existence. The players have to spread hope in one of the most intelligently grimdark settings I've come across, roaming gaslit streets of crumbling brick and armed with batons and sparklock pistols, jumping at shadows that may contain the mysterious, inhuman Shifted. It runs the gamut from cyberpunk to steampunk with a hefty dose of the X-files by way of Condemned:criminal origins and is worth getting for the background alone.

The creators have a website set up- http://www.contestedground.co.uk/astint.html

Somebloke
2010-06-14, 07:17 AM
I thought I'd create a thread for Indie RPG lovers to post some their favourite games and give a little pitch. For example:

Spirit of the Century:
Based on the Fate roleplaying game (which in turn is based on the Fudge system - a d3-like system with special dice called fudge-dice). Takes about 10 minutes to get started and learn the rules. The concept of the game: Pulp Action. If you ever wanted to go through a Jackie Chan fight scene, this game is for you. With a simple system of traits, your character can put himself into very sticky situations and as a reward for his risk, earn fate points. These fate points can in turn be used to get the player out of the sticky situations he got in by following his traits. In the first 30 minutes of playing, I jumped onto a moving train that had been hijacked by AK47-bearing gorillas and fought my way to the main chamber only to find a velociraptor accelerating the train towards an indian reserve. Remembering that "I once flew an aeroplane" (one of my traits), I managed to stop the train in time.
If you want some realism-free action-packed light game, try Spirit of the Century. Find the free SRD at their website (http://www.faterpg.com/dl/sotc-srd.html).
I've heard great things about this- I may pick it up.

Hallavast
2010-06-14, 07:53 AM
Define indie.


I don't want to. If you consider it to be indie, then put it here. The way I see it, my intention here is to get to know some cool games that are not well known. If it is a "fringe" game, one only played by a small minority in the roleplaying community, it is certainly appropriate for this forum.


Anything that's not published by WoTC or Whitewolf, I guess... I mean, I don't consider Mouseguard to be "indie" but it is regarded as one of the best new indie games out there.

To me, indie is "any game that is not beholden to some other license". For example, Mouseguard was first a comic. Thus, the game is beholden to the license and material of the comic.

Maybe I just don't like the word indie...
:smalltongue::smalltongue::smalltongue:

Human Paragon 3
2010-06-14, 09:00 AM
I already have a thread about this, but I thought the cool cats here might be able to lend a hand. Could anyone explain how the firefight system in Burning Empires actually works? I am wondering whether it's worth borrowing for a homebrew system I'm working on that's based on BW/Mouse Guard.

Totally Guy
2010-06-14, 10:49 AM
I'm reading through Burning Empires for the first time and I'm at the start of the Firefight chapter...

I imagine it'll be like the scripting mechanic for MG or BW(Fight) but with about 8 manoeuvre options. I think the intent is to model a military skirmish with vehicles. I think there's a separate mini conflict for characters that end up meeting in close combat.

GolemsVoice
2010-06-14, 10:54 AM
I always wanted to pick up Spirit of the Century!. That stuff is right up my alley, and three (me + two other guys) from our core group are really into this pulp action thing, but the third can't stand it.

Oracle_Hunter
2010-06-14, 05:51 PM
Anything that's not published by WoTC or Whitewolf, I guess... I mean, I don't consider Mouseguard to be "indie" but it is regarded as one of the best new indie games out there.

To me, indie is "any game that is not beholden to some other license". For example, Mouseguard was first a comic. Thus, the game is beholden to the license and material of the comic.

Maybe I just don't like the word indie...
:smalltongue::smalltongue::smalltongue:
It's just a convenient handle for "small publisher RPGs." Even Mouse Guard (and its predecessor, Burning Wheel) are orders of magnitude smaller than publishers like Pinnacle or Paizo.

Honestly, Indie RPGs deserve the name for how they're promoted - word of mouth. Sure, everyone gets the Hipster Reflex ("I liked it before it was cool!") but as far as labeling goes, Indie RPG is pretty accurate.

Samurai Jill
2010-06-15, 06:34 AM
Having to buy flaws felt oddly restrictive in such a broad game...
'Flaws' are a trait like any other. They don't impose any disadvantage. You describe them during a scene, and you get their dice. How could that possibly be construed as restrictive?

...and being outnumbered in anything, including a discussion, seemed like an utterly crippling disadvantage (if no one wanted to give up).
The system of raises and sees should mean that being outnumbered is only a mild disadvantage (insofar as having two opponents means you have to see the better of their raises.) And aren't there multiple Dogs?

This. The game felt as if you were on a slope made of gravel that was constantly falling out from underneath you. It didn't matter the decisions you made in character creation. It didn't matter if you made a character for Situation X. You were going down.

There was no winning. There was just sucking less each and every time you had to do something. Damage was crippling, making losing all the worse. Death was a near constant terror looming ever closer...
Death only happens if you manage to roll maximum Fallout, which will only happen if you escalate every conflict to maximum violence, and even then there's, IIRC, only a 1% chance of it happening.

The rules of interaction, character creation were less rules and a unintelligable mess...
What the hell was unintelligible about them? You picked a background, and got a certain amount of dice to split between relationships, traits, attributes, and belongings. Why the confusion?

...It dosn't matter what the fluff was, because a system shouldn't be balanced on the game world its packaged with. A system should be able to be used no matter what you want to play...
Ah, I get it now. You were trying to play DitV like a Gamist. In that situation, yes, you are going to lose no matter what. Here is why:

"...Your goal in the next town is to take the characters' judgements and push them a little bit further. Say that in this past town, one of the characters came down clearly on the side of "every sinner deserves another chance." In the next town, you'll want to reply with "even this one? Even this sinner?" Or say that another character demonstrated the position that "love is worth breaking the rules for." You can reply with "is this love worth breaking the rules for too? Is love worth breaking this rule for?"

If you try to play DitV with the idea of a single, fixed objective in mind- i.e, with the aim of "winning"- you are eventually going to get your ass handed to you. Because the objective of DitV isn't to win- it isn't even to lose. It's to say something. When you keep giving the same answer to variations on the same question, the GM will eventually ask you- through the situations posed in play- "Is this belief worth dying for?" To prove sincerity, you back up a conviction with sacrifice- but if you never show any signs of backing down, any signs of re-evaluating your core beliefs, then those sacrifices have to escalate accordingly. Otherwise you're not saying anything new. It's ultimately a case of evolve or die.

But this is entirely consistent with what you find in most narrative storytelling. Characters who stick with a single, well-defined belief or goal and never waver from it eventually wind up destroying themselves. I mean, literally- pick a good story at random and you can divide 90% of protagonists into those-who-evolve-and-prevail and those-whose-stubbornness-destroys-them. Daniel Plainview in There Will Be Blood and Sir Thomas More in A Man For All Seasons are prime examples of the latter- there's no dependancy on whether their beliefs are good or bad in the first place. Conversely, Brick Pollitt from Cat On A Hot Tin Roof and Malcolm Reynolds from Serenity are characters that redefine themselves and prevail. Evolve or die. Evolve or die. Evolve or die.

Yuki Akuma
2010-06-15, 06:46 AM
Oh boy, Pseudophilosophy: the Game! I sure want to play Dogs in the Vineyard now!

I'm gonna second Risus and go.

Samurai Jill
2010-06-15, 06:52 AM
Oh boy, Pseudophilosophy: the Game! I sure want to play Dogs in the Vineyard now!

I'm gonna second Risus and go.
It's not even as complicated as a 'philosophy'. It's just a question of getting new thematic information from the character. Tolerating the same level of risk while pursuing the same objective means the player is saying absolutely nothing new.

Kish
2010-06-15, 07:01 AM
But this is entirely consistent with what you find in most narrative storytelling. Characters who stick with a single, well-defined belief or goal and never waver from it eventually wind up destroying themselves. I mean, literally- pick a good story at random and you can divide 90% of protagonists into those-who-evolve-and-prevail and those-whose-stubbornness-destroys-them.

This sentence triple-hedges. First, you can simply reject anyone who doesn't consider "be-destroyed-by-stubbornness" the defining characteristic of Sir Thomas More, or "evolve-and-prevail" the defining characteristic of Malcolm Reynolds, as wrong. Then, if you can't argue that point effectively, you can fall back to either, "It's not a good story" or, "that's one, now do the same thing for 10% of all protagonists in good stories, or my assertion is still right."


If you try to play DitV with the idea of a single, fixed objective in mind- i.e, with the aim of "winning"- you are eventually going to get your ass handed to you. Because the objective of DitV isn't to win- it isn't even to lose. It's to say something. When you keep giving the same answer to variations on the same question, the GM will eventually ask you- through the situations posed in play- "Is this belief worth dying for?" To prove sincerity, you back up a conviction with sacrifice- but if you never show any signs of backing down, any signs of re-evaluating your core beliefs, then those sacrifices have to escalate accordingly. Otherwise you're not saying anything new. It's ultimately a case of evolve or die.

It's not even as complicated as a 'philosophy'. It's just a question of getting new thematic information from the character. Tolerating the same level of risk while pursuing the same objective means the player is saying absolutely nothing new.
There is a slight difference between "expecting the character to change the way real people do" and, "requiring any and all core beliefs to either be discarded or destroy the character," which you don't seem to recognize here.

Kiero
2010-06-15, 07:18 AM
I always wanted to pick up Spirit of the Century!. That stuff is right up my alley, and three (me + two other guys) from our core group are really into this pulp action thing, but the third can't stand it.

Have you had a look at Diaspora (http://www.vsca.ca/Diaspora/diaspora-srd.html)? Or any of the other FATE 3.0 games?

panaikhan
2010-06-15, 07:29 AM
Not sure if this is indie, but here goes...

Macho Women With Guns

Not for people who take themselves (or their characters) too seriously.

lesser_minion
2010-06-15, 07:30 AM
While it's kind of pushing it to describe Eden Studios as an indie publisher, I'm going to put in another recommendation for WitchCraft. It has a generally nice tone to the setting, and the mechanics are pretty solid.

Innis Cabal
2010-06-15, 07:37 AM
Death only happens if you manage to roll maximum Fallout, which will only happen if you escalate every conflict to maximum violence, and even then there's, IIRC, only a 1% chance of it happening.

1% seemed to happen a good 90% of the time. Odd, but it may have been the game and the storyteller. Not going to discredit that option. Regardless, my experiances with the game were...boring.


What the hell was unintelligible about them? You picked a background, and got a certain amount of dice to split between relationships, traits, attributes, and belongings. Why the confusion?

The way it was written. No confusion of how to make the character. Confusion on how they got the thing published with their scribblings.


Ah, I get it now. You were trying to play DitV like a Gamist. In that situation, yes, you are going to lose no matter what. Here is why:

Ahhh...titles. How they mean little in the real sense. I'm neither a "Gamist" or a "Gamer". What ever the hell those two terms even mean anymore, or ever meant for that matter. If by "Gamist" you mean, I like to play games. Arn't we all Gamists? If you mean, I like to play games for the fun of it. Sure, I'm a Gamist. If playing to enjoy myself is wrong, well I don't want to be right. I never specified that the end goal had to be some tangible thing I could hold up and go "LOOK WHAT I DID!". I just said at the end of the game, I want to have something to show for. Be it character development or what have you. Again, if wanting to walk away with a sense of fufilment is wrong, well...then your right. I'm a gamist.


[i] *Snobby Psuedophilosophy Snip*

I'm sorry, I play characters like they were a person. People do not drop their core belief's at the drop of a hat simply because if they don't they'll get punished. One can re-evaluate their core beliefs and not back down.

What your saying is that the system punishs you for holding firm, being realistic in such things and that your "Not playing it right" if you don't waffle and become an inconsistant jerk who is cowed by the first person to spout something different then you believe.


Malcolm Reynolds from Serenity are characters that redefine themselves and prevail. Evolve or die. Evolve or die. Evolve or die.

Outside of my own personal opinion that Firefly and all its characters are...poor in any sense of the word. Mr. Reynolds does evolve. He does continue to shape his world view. But it never changes so dramatically that it could be viewed as wholey different then what it was.


To prove sincerity, you back up a conviction with sacrifice

What? Sure in some theories held by some people. But lots of people back up their convictions ever...you know what. I'm not getting into it with you. Clearly the game was made for you and people like you in mind. But for those of us who don't want to follow the pseudo-post modern, snobby "Gamer" attitude. We've got alternatives.

Samurai Jill
2010-06-15, 07:41 AM
This sentence triple-hedges...
Fine. Come up your own example of a good story where the central character (A) prevails, and (B) never modifies their core beliefs in the slightest. There are very few I can think of- possibly the Odyssey, (and hell, the central character still comes within a hairs-breadth of killing himself.)

Sir Thomas More believes "I am the King's good subject, but God's first." Never wavers from it, is destroyed.

Malcolm Reynolds goes from running from the Alliance to ensure his own survival to actively fighting them, even if it kills him. (Ironically, this is of course what lets him survive.)

Again, I am open to the possibility of counterexamples, but if you threw a dart at a chart of memorable stories, I wager you'l find the same basic structure, 90% of the time.

FWIW, Robin D. Laws apparently agrees-
http://robin-d-laws.livejournal.com/387047.html


Dramatic protagonists are encountered in a state of crisis or incompletion, often expressible as a conflict between contradictory inner impulses. Through the action of the narrative, they either:

* resolve the crisis, and are transformed by its outcome

* fail to resolve the crisis or contradiction, and are destroyed

A characterís dramatic arc can be summed up in a sentence that mentions the crisis and, where applicable, the inner conflict:

* Rick Blaine (Casablanca) paralyzed by a sense of loss and betrayal, must resolve his conflict between self-interest and altruism.

* Fanny Brawne, as portrayed in Jane Campionís Bright Star, doesnít understand poetry, until she learns to live by loving the dying John Keats.

* Nora of A Dollís House must resolve her desire to obey societyís expectations for her against her desire to free herself from them, as personified by her smothering, paternalistic husband.

* Daniel Plainview (There Will Be Blood) fails to reconcile his desire for family and community with the competition in him, that wants no one else to succeed.

* Mildred Pierce struggles to reconcile her desire to establish herself in the world with her love for her ungrateful daughter.

* Shelly Levene (Glengarry Glen Ross) struggles to maintain his dignity and usefulness, but has paradoxically invested it in a system that views both qualities as disposable.

...A dramatic characterís story concludes when his conflict is resolved, successfully or otherwise. For this reason, RPGs, generally driven by serial characters in campaigns of indefinite duration, rarely feature true dramatic characters.

There is a slight difference between "expecting the character to change the way real people do" and, "requiring any and all core beliefs to either be discarded or destroy the character," which you don't seem to recognize here.
Sooner or later, I'm afraid that yes, all core beliefs would eventually have to be changed, which sort of tends to 'exhaust' what the character has to offer. So characters in DitV tend to wind up either dead or retired. Same with, for example, Mouse Guard.
It's a simple question of gaining new data. DitV isn't Simulationist, i.e, about 'realism' either- because sure, in reality it's unlikely that a character would be bounced between life-defining crises in this particular fashion- but again, stories don't usually conform to statistical probability.

Nonetheless, I would say that most 'real people' would re-evaluate their beliefs before running up against the wall of assured self-destruction. The problem is that most gamers are accustomed to a comfortable cushion of ever-growing Hit Points to break their fall. No such luck here. Your character's 'sacrifices' entail actual sacrifices.

Kish
2010-06-15, 07:48 AM
Sooner or later, I'm afraid that yes, all core beliefs would eventually have to be changed,

There is considerable irony in you making this assertion. But, that aside, you'll need to support it with more than assertion if you wish to convince anyone who doesn't already agree with you.

Innis Cabal
2010-06-15, 07:49 AM
Again, I am open to the possibility of counterexamples, but if you threw a dart at a chart of memorable stories, I wager you'l find the same basic structure, 90% of the time.

I think you'll find, 90% of the time that people who don't balk in the face of change survive more often then not in fact. And the only reason that its not widely documented is because...simply...negativity is more fun to read. And the cases of death in the face of oppression is rare, and thus stands out in history. Thats why its easy to find those stories.

Oppression is wrong, and when it happens, and time goes on and people remember the brave, valiant sacrifice the person made so others -didn't- have to make it. You better believe they're going to write it down somewhere to point out "Hey. We get to do what we do despite people not liking it because of this dude. Ya, this dude right here. Go him."

But, since I disagree with your fundamental theory, that should mean you need to change your tune, or risk assured destruction. Guess we don't have an argument anymore do we?

Delta
2010-06-15, 07:56 AM
While it's kind of pushing it to describe Eden Studios as an indie publisher, I'm going to put in another recommendation for WitchCraft. It has a generally nice tone to the setting, and the mechanics are pretty solid.

WitchCraft is indeed a nice game, even if I wouldn't call it "Indie". But it has the advantage that you can get the core rule PDF for free.

wadledo
2010-06-15, 07:57 AM
Samurai Jill is correct in 99% of what she's saying, but she fails to mention this:
You play as what amounts to paladins in 3.5 D&D.

You are the Dogs of The King of Life.
There is no way to 'win' the game, no 20th level to reach, no point in which your character becomes so powerful that there is nothing to challenge him anymore.

So of course it's going to be more deadly than other systems.The game has to end with either death, corruption or retirement, and you move on to an entirely different game.

Samurai Jill
2010-06-15, 07:57 AM
Ahhh...titles. How they mean little in the real sense. I'm neither a "Gamist" or a "Gamer". What ever the hell those two terms even mean anymore, or ever meant for that matter. If by "Gamist" you mean, I like to play games. Arn't we all Gamists? If you mean, I like to play games for the fun of it. Sure, I'm a Gamist...
Gamism is defined (under GNS terms) as 'playing for the sake of winning'. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it, but DitV is emphatically not built to facilitate that style of play.

I'm sorry, I play characters like they were a person. People do not drop their core belief's at the drop of a hat simply because if they don't they'll get punished. One can re-evaluate their core beliefs and not back down...
Changing beliefs would imply changing behaviour. It's not a case of 'being punished', it's a case of being tested.

What your saying is that the system punishs you for holding firm, being realistic in such things...
Real people re-evaluate their beliefs in response to changing stimuli. This is not being wishy-washy or pathetic, it's a fundamental mechanism of intelligence. In the words of Edward de Bono- "If you never change your mind, why have one?"

And again, it's not a question of being punished. It's about asking questions, and getting answers through your character's behaviour. That implies being tested to different degrees or being tested on different questions. The game dosn't railroad you, so if you refuse to shift the focus to different questions, the intensity of the question has to escalate. Otherwise, you're saying nothing new.

...Mr. Reynolds does evolve. He does continue to shape his world view. But it never changes so dramatically that it could be viewed as wholey different then what it was.
I'm not saying the character has to. As long as the change is real and distnct, you're saying something new. Which is the purpose of storytelling, and hence of Narrativist play.

What? Sure in some theories held by some people...
In theories held by you. You've just said that having a belief entails being willing to stand up for it- to accept risks, even in the face of adversity. The purpose of play in DitV, in a sense, is to probe the exact extent of that conviction. Where does it break down? Does it break down? Is it so important that it's worth dying for? What are you trying to say?

Yuki Akuma
2010-06-15, 08:00 AM
You know, I'd have thought the purpose of playing a game would be to have fun playing a game.

The more I hear about this game the less I want to play it. You're not doing a good job of pimping this awesome indie RPG you like. :smallwink:

Innis Cabal
2010-06-15, 08:00 AM
Samurai Jill is correct in 99% of what she's saying, but she fails to mention this:

She's not 99% correct. The game is written on the assumption human's are drones, going along willingly with anything thrown in front of their face simply because if they don't some form of abitrary ruling will come down in a ball of fire and gloom and kill you for you ever daring to go against the status quo and refusing to back down from what you believe.

Its a game that rewards you for playing ants. Its a game that gives you success by removing all but a % of your brain, for being drooling, slobbering rubes at the whim of what ever "situation" thats thrown at you.

"Town X wants you to learn humility." Well, dang if you don't because your going down suckers.

What a great game.

wadledo
2010-06-15, 08:02 AM
I'm sorry, I play characters like they were a person. People do not drop their core belief's at the drop of a hat simply because if they don't they'll get punished. One can re-evaluate their core beliefs and not back down.

What your saying is that the system punishs you for holding firm, being realistic in such things and that your "Not playing it right" if you don't waffle and become an inconsistant jerk who is cowed by the first person to spout something different then you believe.

I think I see some of the problem here.
In Dogs in the Vineyard, you don't 'drop your core beliefs at the drop of the hat.' You refine your beliefs, saying "This how far I will go in the name of duty, and no further." The GM's job is to say "but what about here? Or here? Will you go this far, or farther?"
No one has said anything about letting go of your beliefs (and that's a good way for bad things to happen in DitV).


You know, I'd have thought the purpose of playing a game would be to have fun playing a game.

The more I hear about this game the less I want to play it. You're not doing a good job of pimping this awesome indie RPG you like. :smallwink:It's not a system for everyone, just like D&D isn't a system for everyone.
The game (IMOO) is fundamentally about Faith, and how far you take it. It's about being a wandering judge and jury, who has to deal with the dross of life and wash it away with purity, devotion and kindness.

Some people enjoy having their characters be on the edge of death constantly (Shadowrun, CoC). These people don't view it as bad, they view it as part of the fun.
When you play Dogs in the Vineyard, your not playing with physical death, you play with spiritual death. Will this town be the one where my morals crack and I take the low and fast road? Will I kill the corrupt shopkeep who raped the farmers daughter, or will I let him explain his actions and bring justice that will not be tarnished by anger?

Innis Cabal
2010-06-15, 08:09 AM
The GNS method? Ahh...I understand now. If we're using that system to define what I am. Well, it can take a hike. A singluar system not even supported by the full base of the "Gaming" Community is about as useful as a hole in your knee cap.

If you want to define things down to some rigid, unmoveable type casted cookie cutter mold...then there really is no point in discussing this with you. Again, its a game for people like you. And thats fine. I'm glad you enjoy it. But for those who don't see the world in three shades...we'll be off playing Free Form, where we're not punished for refusing to ask questions and focusing on realistic interactions between characters. Or playing domino's and drinking a beer or something. You know, actually enjoying ourselves.

Samurai Jill
2010-06-15, 08:11 AM
You know, I'd have thought the purpose of playing a game would be to have fun playing a game.
It absolutely is. But 'fun' means different things to different people- broadly speaking, the theory goes, 'fun' means more or less one of three different things: Victory (G,) Communication (N,) or Understanding (S.)

If this doesn't especially appeal to you, that's fine- but I find games based solely on winning to be just as lacking in appeal as games based solely on communication might be to you. (Though, actually, my foremost preference is Simulationism.)

wadledo
2010-06-15, 08:16 AM
The GNS method? Ahh...I understand now. If we're using that system to define what I am. Well, it can take a hike. A singluar system not even supported by the full base of the "Gaming" Community is about as useful as a hole in your knee cap.

If you want to define things down to some rigid, unmoveable type casted cookie cutter mold...then there really is no point in discussing this with you. Again, its a game for people like you. And thats fine. I'm glad you enjoy it. But for those who don't see the world in three shades...we'll be off playing Free Form, where we're not punished for refusing to ask questions and focusing on realistic interactions between characters. Or playing domino's and drinking a beer or something. You know, actually enjoying ourselves.

I'm still really confused by your posts.
I've played a Black hearted blacksmith who loved the king of life with a fervor not because he believed in him, but because he believed in his power. I've played a virtuous loli who just wanted to get along. I've played sinners and crooks and cons and paladins and pioneers.
You wouldn't play a mutant ostrich in a freeform game set in 1920's new york would you?:smallconfused:

Yuki Akuma
2010-06-15, 08:17 AM
It absolutely is. But 'fun' means different things to different people- broadly speaking, the theory goes, 'fun' means more or less one of three different things: Victory (G,) Communication (N,) or Understanding (S.)

If this doesn't especially appeal to you, that's fine- but I find games based solely on winning to be just as lacking in appeal as games based solely on communication might be to you. (Though, actually, my foremost preference is Simulationism.)

GNS theory is a load of crap. People do not fit into neat little categories.

wadledo
2010-06-15, 08:20 AM
GNS theory is a load of crap. People do not fit into neat little categories.

While I don't know or care about GNS, I'd just like to say that yes, they do. If they didn't then we wouldn't have things like racism, bigotry, and cliques.

Delta
2010-06-15, 08:22 AM
GNS theory is a load of crap. People do not fit into neat little categories.

My main problem with GNS that I have never seen a single situation where I could've applied it accurately. It is build on the assumption of 3 different kind of "basic types", that in my experience simply don't exist, which makes the whole model quite useless.

Innis Cabal
2010-06-15, 08:24 AM
While I don't know or care about GNS, I'd just like to say that yes, they do. If they didn't then we wouldn't have things like racism, bigotry, and cliques.

Racism, Bigotry and Cliques are, in the end, wrong at their base foundation purely because people do not fit into neat little molds. Everyone is different. Common themes? Yes they exist. Everyone being just the same across the board and being able to be summed up by three different "Types"...no.

Samurai Jill
2010-06-15, 08:25 AM
She's not 99% correct. The game is written on the assumption human's are drones...
Actually, I find the idea that human beings should never ever redefine their behaviour, regardless of whatever new IC data comes to light, to be much more reminiscent of a mindless automaton.

Again, it's not a case of being punished. You're being prompted for new answers. To say something new.

Wadledo has it right. You should stick to your beliefs- at least to a degree. But every fixed morality has it's limits. Every rule has it's exceptions.


Look, here's a simple example of a belief (that forms the basis of the black comedy In Bruges, incidentally:) "Every person who kills a child should be punished with death." Not the most unreasonable belief in the world.

What if the child is terminally ill? In constant pain? Begging for relief? What if it was accidental, and the killer is truly guilt-wracked and repentant? What if the child murdered both her parents in cold blood, and is advancing at the witness with a cleaver?

Under those circumstances, redefining your belief- not necessarily relinquishing it entirely, but establishing limits for it- is only sane.

Samurai Jill
2010-06-15, 08:28 AM
GNS theory is a load of crap. People do not fit into neat little categories.
You're the one blithely assuming that everyone has the same understanding of 'fun'. Not me. As far as you're concerned, everyone should fit into one 'neat little category'.

Innis Cabal
2010-06-15, 08:32 AM
I think Yuki's single definition of the word "Fun" is that it differes from person to person and can't be put into three narrow catagories based on a single theory. Such as you did. Call me crazy.

wadledo
2010-06-15, 08:33 AM
Racism, Bigotry and Cliques are, in the end, wrong at their base foundation purely because people do not fit into neat little molds. Everyone is different. Common themes? Yes they exist. Everyone being just the same across the board and being able to be summed up by three different "Types"...no.

Like I said, I neither know nor care about GNS, but people do fit into neat little molds, if only for a short amount of time.
Herd mentality, pack absorption, hot topic (:smalltongue:This is shown to express that I am not taking this seriously). If someone is defined by their neat little mold, then should they go into that category?
Common themes have started wars and genocides, why can't they be used to define people in a small, relatively isolated subculture like Role Playing Games?

Yuki Akuma
2010-06-15, 08:34 AM
You're the one blithely assuming that everyone has the same understanding of 'fun'. Not me. As far as you're concerned, everyone should fit into one 'neat little category'.

Hahah, no, I'm doing the exact opposite - I'm assuming that games should be designed in such a way that they can be fun for most people, rather than a tiny subset of people.

Don't tell me what I think, please. :smallsmile:

wadledo
2010-06-15, 08:37 AM
Hahah, no, I'm doing the exact opposite - I'm assuming that games should be designed in such a way that they can be fun for most people, rather than a tiny subset of people.

But since you're only one person, how can you determine if a game is going to be fun for more than just you?

Delta
2010-06-15, 08:37 AM
If someone is defined by their neat little mold, then should they go into that category?

I, for one, am not saying it's not possible to categorize roleplayers. I'm just saying that GNS is doing an awfully bad job at it.

Innis Cabal
2010-06-15, 08:37 AM
Common themes have started wars and genocides, why can't they be used to define people in a small, relatively isolated subculture like Role Playing Games?

I appreciate your candor. But take a look at what you said. They've started wars and genocide. Thats exactly why they shouldn't be used in an isolated subculture (Even then its no longer as isolated or subculture-y as it used to be). Defining people into catagories leads to problems, because it dosn't fit how humanity really is.

Yuki Akuma
2010-06-15, 08:38 AM
But since you're only one person, how can you determine if a game is going to be fun for more than just you?

I can read the comments by Innis Cabal and determine that it would not be fun for at least the two of us.

Seriously, dude, that was just too easy.

Innis Cabal
2010-06-15, 08:40 AM
I think by nature of it being an indie game, we can extrapolate the wide spectrum of gamers dosn't find it all that fun.

Indon
2010-06-15, 08:40 AM
Evolve or die. Evolve or die. Evolve or die.

What I'm hearing is, "Run from everything and live", and "Have principles and die". That doesn't sound very philosophical.


Anyway, does Kobolds Ate My Baby count as indie? Because it's hilarious. And awesome. Hilariwesome.

Innis Cabal
2010-06-15, 08:43 AM
I'd say it does, and I agree fully. Its certainly a nice game when you're drinking with your friends or staying up till 6 am. Sleep dep makes the game ten times more fun per hour you stay awake doing it.

wadledo
2010-06-15, 08:44 AM
I, for one, am not saying it's not possible to categorize roleplayers. I'm just saying that GNS is doing an awfully bad job at it.

Then don't use it.
But just because someone may be using a good or bad system of measurement does not mean that the information that they present may be more or less invalid. You may have to look at it more carefully and cut some small things out so that it remains pure, but you can not judge something by presentation alone.


I appreciate your candor. But take a look at what you said. They've started wars and genocide. Thats exactly why they shouldn't be used in an isolated subculture (Even then its no longer as isolated or subculture-y as it used to be). Defining people into catagories leads to problems, because it dosn't fit how humanity really is.
Religion. Cities. Business. All these things have come about because of arbitrary definitions.

Plus, war is the default state of mankind. We are carnivores.


I can read the comments by Innis Cabal and determine that it would not be fun for at least the two of us.

Seriously, dude, that was just too easy.So from his and your own assumptions, neither of you having played the game, you can come to a conclusion, while in the face of two people who've played the game, you say that it's not your system?

Seriously dude, that was just too easy.


I think by nature of it being an indie game, we can extrapolate the wide spectrum of gamers dosn't find it all that fun.Or it could be that the publishers don't have enough clout to let everyone in the RPG industry know about it and play it. or it could be for a nitch market. Have you ever play AMBO? It's a game made for bio students. They don't like other people playing it, so they don't tell anyone about it. It's fun, if somewhat simplistic.

Samurai Jill
2010-06-15, 08:44 AM
I think Yuki's single definition of the word "Fun" is that it differes from person to person and can't be put into three narrow catagories based on a single theory. Such as you did. Call me crazy.
I'm not saying that every Simulationist will be an identical person! Cripes! I'm not even saying that a person who favours one mode will be incapable of enjoying another (I have a secondary taste for Narrativism myself.) But the idea is that these people will be similar enough that they can at least productively compromise.

Here's a metaphor: There's a continuous spectrum between Tall People and Short People. Some are at one extreme or another, some fall in-between. The categories, in a sense, are artificial. But you can't make clothes that will simultaneously fit both.

Look, you're saying:

Oppression is wrong, and when it happens, and time goes on and people remember the brave, valiant sacrifice the person made so others -didn't- have to make it....
Great. A perfectly workable belief. But what could be more of a 'brave, valiant sacrifice' than laying down your life in the name of the aforementioned noble cause? I mean, all the game is asking you to do is to put your money where your mouth is. You're saying that this belief is worth dying for? Then prove it.


Hahah, no, I'm doing the exact opposite - I'm assuming that games should be designed in such a way that they can be fun for most people, rather than a tiny subset of people.
You were saying the purpose of an RPG was to 'be fun', thereby implying that DitV is not fun, thereby implying that nobody could have a definition of fun that fits with DitV. I am, in fact, capable of reading between the lines.

Samurai Jill
2010-06-15, 08:56 AM
What I'm hearing is, "Run from everything and live", and "Have principles and die". That doesn't sound very philosophical.
Oh no! Consistently running from things would, in itself, constitute an evident belief that would, in itself, need to be challenged, probed, or tested. You would be saying the same thing over and over again.

EDIT: This is precisely Malcolm Reynold's Dilemma in Serenity.

Innis Cabal
2010-06-15, 08:56 AM
I'm not saying that every Simulationist will be an identical person! Cripes! I'm not even saying that a person who favours one mode will be incapable of enjoying another (I have a secondary taste for Narrativism myself.) But the idea is that these people will be similar enough that they can at least productively compromise.

Here's a metaphor: There's a continuous spectrum between Tall People and Short People. Some are at one extreme or another, some fall in-between. The categories, in a sense, are artificial. But you can't make clothes that will simultaneously fit both.


Well, beside actually being able to make one size fits all clothing. Your saying


It absolutely is. But 'fun' means different things to different people- broadly speaking, the theory goes, 'fun' means more or less one of three different things: Victory (G,) Communication (N,) or Understanding (S.)

And all games, and gamers fit into.


Gamist
Gamist refers to decisions based on what will most effectively solve the problem posed. These decisions are most common in games which pit characters against successively tougher challenges and opponents, and may not spend much time explaining why the characters are facing them.

For example, to resolve combat (a common event in many role-playing games), a gamist approach might be to compare a variety of scores that each involved character has, including character strength (and other attributes), skill, luck, weapon damage, armor durability, and the like. These scores are often translated into dice to provide a gamble and allow players to risk more for higher stakes (for instance, attempting a more effective hit in combat requires a penalty on the dice roll).


Narrativist
Narrativist refers to decisions based on what would best further a dramatic story or address a central theme. This terminology often confuses those who have not read the articles on which the model is based, and thus assume that any game in which mechanics act directly on story is narrativist. Some critics suggest that the term "themist" might be more descriptive, given that addressing a thematic issue is a necessary condition for labeling a creative agenda as "narrativist"; however, this then leads to the question of how to categorize games in which mechanics act directly on story and story constitutes the main priority of the creative agenda that do not prioritize theme.

To resolve combat, a narrativist approach might be to consider the thematic implications of the fight, why the fight is important to the characters involved in it (beyond the obvious risk of harm), and what the story would look like if one side or the other won out. All of these considerations may be done aloud, mediated by dice, or simply resolved by GM discretion.

Simulationist
Simulationist refers to decisions based on what would be most realistic or plausible within the game's setting, or to a game where the rules try to simulate the way that things work in that world, or at least the way that they could be thought of working.

To resolve combat, a simulationist approach might be to see if the character hits, then if the victim can parry, then how much 'damage' the weapon does, then determine what part of the victim is hit, then how much damage the armour in that location stops, then see how much harm the remaining damage does. The benefit of this method is that it is simple for the players to interpret the results and understand what must have happened. The drawback is that the process of obtaining the results can take a long time to perform, and may still not produce plausible results if it is inaccurate and/or incomplete. Often, simulationist games have numerous additional layers, often optional, that can be used to further increase the complexity of combat or other activities. These optional layers can include things like targeted attacks or the use of special techniques like martial arts, whose complexities can even require an entire optional sourcebook, as in the case of GURPS.

However, the agenda is not necessarily bound to complex game mechanics. GURPS, which is very complex thanks to its many optional rules, is classified by Ron Edwards as a simulationist role-playing system, but Call of Cthulhu, which is lighter, can also be considered a Simulationist game with a strong focus on Narration.

Furthermore, an effect-based or statistical view can produce a Simulationist game that is more realistic, faster, and easier to run.

Thats all what your saying. Neat theory, but it dosn't account for...anyone that the models are not in fact set up for.


Great. A perfectly workable belief. But what could be more of a 'brave, valiant sacrifice' than laying down your life in the name of the aforementioned noble cause? I mean, all the game is asking you to do is to put your money where your mouth is. You're saying that this belief is worth dying for? Then prove it.

Living to fight for others right to do the same. There is no nobility in death. Proving its worth dying for dosn't mean dying to prove it. It means laying your life on the line to prove its right. Just because your willing, dosn't mean your going to martyr yourself or even die to prove a point.


You were saying the purpose of an RPG was to 'be fun', thereby implying that DitV is not fun, thereby implying that nobody could have a definition of fun that fits with DitV. I am, in fact, capable of reading between the lines.

Your assuming thats what he was saying. He didn't say that at all. He said that it was clearly not going to be fun for him. You may be capable of reading between the lines, but your not even reading from the same book here.

wadledo
2010-06-15, 09:00 AM
I beg your pardon, but I would apreciate it if either of you responded to my posts. I can not tell if you agree with me or simply do not wish to discus the matter anymore, but something would be nice, if only for a veil of civility.:smallannoyed:

Innis Cabal
2010-06-15, 09:08 AM
I feel my previous statements continue to defend and point out the flaws in your argument. No example you have raised that people fit into molds validates that assumption.

The more evidence you give to prove it, the more evidence in fact raises to prove it incorrect.

lesser_minion
2010-06-15, 09:11 AM
You were saying the purpose of an RPG was to 'be fun', thereby implying that DitV is not fun, thereby implying that nobody could have a definition of fun that fits with DitV. I am, in fact, capable of reading between the lines.

OK, how about 'entertaining'?

There are plenty of ways to derive entertainment from a game, not all of them are necessarily independent, and different people prioritise different elements to different extents.

That's a very different state of affairs to attempting to pidgeonhole prospective players into one of three arbitrary, poorly-defined, and pointless categories all of which have to exist in concert in order to have a roleplaying game in the first place.

In any event, I don't see how roleplaying game theory can really look solely at what one person thinks games 'should' include.

If you want to explain incompatibilities between particular gamers and different games, look for the conflicts and the negative aspects. Don't come up with some way of characterising what players want from a game without actually accounting for the things players don't want to see.

Hallavast
2010-06-15, 09:12 AM
Then don't use it.
But just because someone may be using a good or bad system of measurement does not mean that the information that they present may be more or less invalid. But it's not reliable, so why use it? I don't think you should use a thermometer that only has 3 points on it.



Religion. Cities. Business. All these things have come about because of arbitrary definitions. No. These things have come about because of conditions in human nature and society. We then conform these phenomenae into arbitrary definitions for convenience.



Plus, war is the default state of mankind. We are carnivores.
Neither of these statements are true.



So from his and your own assumptions, neither of you having played the game, you can come to a conclusion, while in the face of two people who've played the game, you say that it's not your system? If they've said they won't like it based on the version put forth by the two of you, then what's the point of hearing any more of your experience of the game? Honestly, two people present an idea. Two more people don't like it based on the presentation. Why would the first two people ever have an inclination to play the game in the future based on what they've already experienced?



Or it could be that the publishers don't have enough clout to let everyone in the RPG industry know about it and play it. or it could be for a nitch market.

Lol. I'd say they have plenty of clout within the online tabletop community based on the hype alone.

Samurai Jill
2010-06-15, 09:12 AM
And all games, and gamers fit into.
Oh, no. Many RPGs do not fit into any clear category, or even look like clear hybrids of two modes. Which is often a source of friction during play, because different players latch onto the bits they like and ignore the rest, leading to either (A) interplayer disagreements, or (B) effectively having to rewrite the rules.

Again, not all gamers are 100% one or the other. But any fixed set of rules won't be 'elastic' enough to cover what they all want.

Thats all what your saying. Neat theory, but it dosn't account for...anyone that the models are not in fact set up for.
It's hard to respond to that without you citing examples.

Living to fight for others right to do the same. There is no nobility in death. Proving its worth dying for dosn't mean dying to prove it...
But it does mean going into situations where death is a real risk. And if the rules shielded characters from that possibility, then that willingness wouldn't carry much weight, would it? Sooner or later, the odds catch up with you. Even 1% odds.

Yuki Akuma
2010-06-15, 09:12 AM
You were saying the purpose of an RPG was to 'be fun', thereby implying that DitV is not fun, thereby implying that nobody could have a definition of fun that fits with DitV. I am, in fact, capable of reading between the lines.

I was objecting to your statement that the purpose of the game is learning and questioning your ideals. No, that's not the purpose of a game - or at least it shouldn't be.

Samurai Jill
2010-06-15, 09:20 AM
There are plenty of ways to derive entertainment from a game, not all of them are necessarily independent, and different people prioritise different elements to different extents.
For the third time, I am not saying that everyone is 100% inclined to G, N or S. And sometimes the same techniques can reinforce more than one agenda. But often they won't. You can't make a single suit that will fit all shapes and sizes of people, even if Tall/Short/Round/Skinny are in a sense artificial categories.

And a game doesn't need to fit just one person. It has to fit everyone at the same table.

That's a very different state of affairs to attempting to pidgeonhole prospective players into one of three arbitrary, poorly-defined, and pointless categories all of which have to exist in concert in order to have a roleplaying game in the first place.
How do you have a multi-facted character with multiple deep beliefs, AND pursue a single goal with maximum efficiency? Answer- you can't.

How do you pursue a single goal with maximum efficiency, and provide new thematic information over the course of the story? Answer- you can't.

How do you combine theme- by it's nature a series of aesthetically pleasing but statistically unlikely coincidences- with strict adherence to likely in-world cause and effect? Answer- you can't.

Delta
2010-06-15, 09:21 AM
Oh, no. Many RPGs do not fit into any clear category, or even look like clear hybrids of two modes.

That's where I disagree. In my experience, almost no RPG fits in any clear category. Some (very few) may come close, but that's about it.

And the most important part, no gamer I know fits any of the categories. It goes as far as I'm hard pressed to find anyone I'd put in any of them. If everyone has something of each category (and more), and additionally, it's impossible to quantify those tendencies, then a system becomes utterly useless to me.

Samurai Jill
2010-06-15, 09:24 AM
I beg your pardon, but I would apreciate it if either of you responded to my posts. I can not tell if you agree with me or simply do not wish to discus the matter anymore, but something would be nice, if only for a veil of civility.:smallannoyed:
Sorry. I'm in pretty complete agreement with what you're saying (with the possible exception of the Paladin comparison. D&D paladins aren't allowed to change to their beliefs.)

Again, sorry.

Kish
2010-06-15, 09:26 AM
Actually, I find the idea that human beings should never ever redefine their behaviour, regardless of whatever new IC data comes to light, to be much more reminiscent of a mindless automaton.
I'd love to know who's said that human beings should never ever redefine their behavior. As opposed to not accepting,
When you keep giving the same answer to variations on the same question, the GM will eventually ask you- through the situations posed in play- "Is this belief worth dying for?"

which really isn't the same thing.

Most real people have some beliefs which change over time in minor to major ways, including some which they may completely reverse, and some which they maintain throughout their lives. If a player doesn't want his/her character to change a particular belief, it's a poor game indeed which says that the way to deal with that is "keep challenging that belief until the character lets go of the belief or dies," and no amount of GNS theory terminology will change that.

lesser_minion
2010-06-15, 09:33 AM
I guess you could consider it kind of perverse considering that the GNS movement is newer than the RPG movement, but the foundation of the roleplaying games movement has always been that it can be more fun to blend different kinds of entertainment (including wargames, group improv, collaborative storytelling, story writing, planning, and escapism) than it would have been to take one of those in isolation.


How do you pursue a single goal with maximum efficiency, and provide new thematic information over the course of the story? Answer- you can't.

You compromise. If you come across a conflict, which seems unlikely - are your players illiterate or something?


How do you combine theme- by it's nature a series of aesthetically pleasing but statistically unlikely coincidences- with strict adherence to likely in-world cause and effect? Answer- you can't.

You discuss it with your players and reach a decent compromise. Theme isn't necessarily a requirement, nor is strict adherence to likely in-world cause and effect.

What you don't do is eschew one completely in favour of the other.


How do you have a multi-facted character with multiple deep beliefs, AND pursue a single goal with maximum efficiency? Answer- you can't.

Why do players have to pursue a single goal with maximum efficiency?

If a character wants to do several things, then they can pursue them all as far as possible and can also derive some interesting roleplay from any conflicts that arise.

These are all spectra, not dichotomies.

Samurai Jill
2010-06-15, 09:35 AM
That's where I disagree. In my experience, almost no RPG fits in any clear category. Some (very few) may come close, but that's about it.
Oh, for heaven's sake:

Narrativist: Mouse Guard, Sorceror, HeroQuest (not the GW board game, the later-edtition Glorantha setting,) DitV, etc.

Simulationist: GURPS, FUDGE, CoC, Wushu, RuneQuest, etc.

Gamist: D&D (4E, most of 3E,) Rune, Kobolds Ate My Baby, Tunnels and Trolls, etc.

Before you respond, I will point that yes, it possible to use GURPS (for example,) to play in a Gamist fashion- it just won't be especially good at it. Likewise, if you use 4E D&D to play in a Narrativist fashion, the rules will get in your way at every stage. And DitV is not going to aid 'consistent winning' as an agenda, for all the reasons we've discussed throughout the thread.

And the most important part, no gamer I know fits any of the categories.
No gamer you know shows a clear preference for winning, or a clear preference for staying 'in-character', or a clear preference for real input to the story? I find that very hard to believe.

Innis Cabal
2010-06-15, 09:36 AM
Oh, no. Many RPGs do not fit into any clear category, or even look like clear hybrids of two modes. Which is often a source of friction during play, because different players latch onto the bits they like and ignore the rest, leading to either (A) interplayer disagreements, or (B) effectively having to rewrite the rules.

Frankly, if your not playing a game your whole group agree's on and is sure they're going to all enjoy it, you should pick another game. There are plenty of games that cater to various styles of play. DiTV dosn't cater to various styles. It caters to one style. And thats fine, but its not a game system I would play in more then once.


Again, not all gamers are 100% one or the other. But any fixed set of rules won't be 'elastic' enough to cover what they all want.

But one gaming group is fixed and set enough where one game can easily match their play style if they all look for a system together. Or just play free form.


It's hard to respond to that without you citing examples.

My example is the rest of the community that thinks GNS is crap. I'm sorry, but I don't need a bibliography to debate.


But it does mean going into situations where death is a real risk. And if the rules shielded characters from that possibility, then that willingness wouldn't carry much weight, would it? Sooner or later, the odds catch up with you. Even 1% odds.

I'd prefer, if your trying to refute a statement I make to use the whole thing. :smallsmile:

I clearly stated that yes, those situations could cause death. That dosn't mean people want to die. That was my point. If every time you hold to your convictions to the end and die for it. Thats not realistic. History is full of times when this happens, and people don't die. In fact, its happening right now. So is people dying for their beliefs. Do you want me to go to CNN.com or Foxnews.com and link you survivor stories of cancer victems? Some of them die in their struggle to live. Some lay their lives down and live.

I am very sorry, but again. I do not need a 10 page index of sources and examples to debate this with you. The arguments against it are self evident in day to day life. And in history as well. Demanding examples merely shows that you chose only to focus on what will support your argument, rather then looking at both sides before debating the issue itself.

Delta
2010-06-15, 09:41 AM
Before you respond

Don't worry, I won't. I knew a list like that was coming, and I know I don't agree with you on it, so it's pretty useless to argue about it.


No gamer you know shows a clear preference for winning, or a clear preference for staying 'in-character', or a clear preference for real input to the story? I find that very hard to believe.

I find that very easy to believe. The only people I know who claim to fit the profile I meet on forums like this one, as soon as I play with them... I find that categorizing them with GNS is absolutely impossible. First time I heard of GNS, I thought it a nice idea, until I tried to actually work with it, and found out it doesn't work, it's as simple as that.

Snake-Aes
2010-06-15, 09:41 AM
A good one for zombie apocalypses is Shotgun Dairies.
It's designed around cooperative narration and the classical zombie paranoia.
There's not much of actual "combat". It is just assumed that as you perform your actions you are killing zombies on the way. There is a pool of resources, a pool of zombies and a pool of Fear.

Players' resources are food, ammo, and sanctuaries. the Zombie pool is filled at every moment, and the limits incur in zombie outbreaks, breaching into sanctuaries and the like. The master can also consume a single zombie to create a problem like malfunctions on resources or that one scary zombie right where no one expected it.

The narration, as said, is cooperative. If you succeed your roll, you describe the action. If you fail, the DM describes it.

The pool of fear is the number of dice on your roll are "bad dice". As you fail Fear checks your pool increases, and the only way to reduce it is to use the bad dice on your roll. This means your action succeeds, but you fumble something because you're scared out of your wits.

It's incredibly fast-paced and you are forced to stay on the move, overall very fun for a one-night game with zombies.

Kish
2010-06-15, 09:47 AM
Don't worry, I won't. I knew a list like that was coming, and I know I don't agree with you on it, so it's pretty useless to argue about it.
I seem to remember that whatshisname (the GNS theory originator) responded to the news that the games people actually played didn't fall into his "Gamist/Narrativist/Simulationist/incoherent and inferior" dichotomy by calling people who used "unsuited for Narrativism" games to play games where the plot mattered brain-damaged.

Samurai Jill
2010-06-15, 09:54 AM
I'd love to know who's said that human beings should never ever redefine their behavior...
It's the distinct impression I got from Innis Cabal, who seemed unwilling to concede that there could ever be a situation in-game that would legitimately call for a character to change their convictions. (Note I said change, not wholly abandon.)

Most real people have some beliefs which change over time in minor to major ways, including some which they may completely reverse, and some which they maintain throughout their lives.
Again, DitV is not about realism, (and this is one of the significant frictions between N and S modes of play.) It's about collobarative storytelling, which implies the existence of a clear theme and clear exploration of that theme. Identical responses in identical emotional situations are boring from a thematic perspective.


You compromise. If you come across a conflict, which seems unlikely - are your players illiterate or something?
Nothing inherently wrong with compromise, but it means you are clearly not winning with maximum efficiency. You either pick the Gamist option, or the Nar/Sim option.

You discuss it with your players and reach a decent compromise. Theme isn't necessarily a requirement...
It is for Narrativist play. Tf you don't have a theme, you don't have a story in the aesthetic-statement sense of the word.

Why do players have to pursue a single goal with maximum efficiency?
They don't have to! But if they're not, you don't have Gamist play. That' what trying to 'win' is- picking a particular goal, and striving to achieve it as efficiently as possible.

Productive compromise on these grounds isn't really possible because each mode frequently demands contradictory things. Every concession you make to one negates one or more of the others.

Simple example: Let's say that you want to model Elves in a fantasy context. The Simulationist will crack open his Tolkien reference and, after exhaustive analysis, concludes that a +8 Dex bonus would be appropriate. The Gamist wants every race to have at most a +/-2 modifier so that there's a level playing field. What 'compromise' is possible here that won't be both unbalanced AND inaccurate?

lesser_minion
2010-06-15, 09:59 AM
I seem to remember that whatshisname (the GNS theory originator) responded to the news that the games people actually played didn't fall into his "Gamist/Narrativist/Simulationist/incoherent and inferior" dichotomy by calling people who used "unsuited for Narrativism" games to play games where the plot mattered brain-damaged.

Yes, Ron Edwards did claim that games that emphasised one of the three elements he claimed existed while basically eschewing the others were 'coherent', that all other games were 'incoherent', and that players of 'incoherent' games were 'brain-damaged'.

At the same time, you need to remember Niven's Laws here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niven's_laws).


Nothing inherently wrong with compromise, but it means you are clearly not winning with maximum efficiency. You either pick the Gamist option, or the Nar/Sim option.

No, you don't pick an 'option' at all. You take the various goals you have as a player, combine them with your goals as a character, and come up with a strategy that best fits all of them.


It is for Narrativist play. If you don't have a theme, you don't have a story in the aesthetic-statement sense of the word.

It's easy to impose an arbitrary theme on anything - a theme that didn't exist beforehand can still arise in play. Humans are incredibly good at spotting patterns, even when those patterns are meaningless.

You're trying to claim that a good simulationist should be intolerant of themes, when actually, simulationism demands that some themes arise because they would have arisen anyway. The truth is that simulationism doesn't ascribe any special meaning to those themes, not that it's completely intolerant of them.


They don't have to! But if they're not, you don't have Gamist play. That' what trying to 'win' is- picking a particular goal, and striving to achieve it as efficiently as possible.

You're not trying to 'win', you're trying to do as well as possible, from an interesting structure.


Productive compromise on these grounds isn't really possible because each mode frequently demands contradictory things. Every concession you make to one negates one or more of the others.

Erm... no. No choice demands that you eschew something else. Introducing a recurring theme (which you incorrectly characterise as "statistically improbable", when it doesn't have to be, and your "hardcore simulationist" players should be quite familiar with the fact that horribly improbable events are an everyday occurrence).


Simple example: Let's say that you want to model Elves in a fantasy context. The Simulationist will crack open his Tolkien reference and, after exhaustive analysis, concludes that a +8 Dex bonus would be appropriate. The Gamist wants every race to have at most a +/-2 modifier so that there's a level playing field. What 'compromise' is possible here that won't be both unbalanced AND inaccurate?

The power level of your characters is not a dependent variable, so there's no strict requirement to nerf the living daylights out of your elves - simply specify that they are playable over certain levels and leave it at that.

Over the levels that both humans and elves exist, the human lords will be comparable to the elves.

Samurai Jill
2010-06-15, 10:08 AM
Frankly, if your not playing a game your whole group agree's on and is sure they're going to all enjoy it, you should pick another game. There are plenty of games that cater to various styles of play.
That's not going to alter the problem of accomodating everyone at the same table. If different players want different things from playing, having ambiguous rules- and nothing is more ambiguous than free-form- can easily lead to talking at cross-purposes and proneness to bullying.

I clearly stated that yes, those situations could cause death. That dosn't mean people want to die...
You're confusing IC and OOC contexts. Of course the character doesn't want to die. But for the player, establishing that their character is willing to die for a particular belief means their character has to put him/herself in situations which demonstrate that willingness.

And for the fourth time, DitV is not about realism. It's about telling a story- having a clear theme which is explored during play by active protagonists. Themes, by their nature, are statistically unlikely. You're not simulating an internal world- you're trying to make statements about what you think is appropriate moral action in different situations.

Yuki Akuma
2010-06-15, 10:11 AM
Realism isn't about what could happen - it's about what a real person would do if confronted with this situation.

If the characters in a story don't react like real people, it's very hard to grow attached to them as characters. This results in a boring story.

Innis Cabal
2010-06-15, 10:14 AM
That's not going to alter the problem of accomodating everyone at the same table. If different players want different things from playing, having ambiguous rules- and nothing is more ambiguous than free-form- can easily lead to talking at cross-purposes and proneness to bullying.

Or, everyone at the table can be mature and talk through the problem and come out on the otherside with an understanding. Because not every game table is a violent barely restrained group of misfits with no social skills.


You're confusing IC and OOC contexts. Of course the character doesn't want to die. But for the player, establishing that their character is willing to die for a particular belief means their character has to put him/herself in situations which demonstrate that willingness.

You used real life examples. I used real life examples to refute this. IC and OOC still dosn't change that. No player wants their character to die. No character wants to die unless they're a martyr. I already stated people put themselves in the state of willingness to die, but it dosn't mean they want to. Fictional paper character or not.


And for the fourth time, DitV is not about realism. It's about telling a story- having a clear theme which is explored during play by active protagonists. Themes, by their nature, are statistically unlikely. You're not simulating an internal world- you're trying to make statements about what you think is appropriate moral action in different situations.

Then it is still not a game I want to play. If a game cannot be realistic in its own confines then for me, its not worth playing, and written poorly. Theme's can exist in a work and remain realistic within its own confines. Its poor writing no matter how you slice it.

Samurai Jill
2010-06-15, 10:24 AM
...If the characters in a story don't react like real people, it's very hard to grow attached to them as characters...
Again, exactly what is unrealistic about revising your thoughts and opinions in response to new experiences?

Or, everyone at the table can be mature and talk through the problem...
This outcome seems unlikely when you refuse to acknowledge the problem exists.

You used real life examples. I used real life examples to refute this...
Again, exactly what is unrealistic about revising your thoughts and opinions in response to new experiences?

I would add that Narrativist players may be perfectly happy to have their character die, IF it achieves something significant in the process. I've certainly had my characters do it more than once.

Again, if you don't want to play this game, because it's not your taste, that's fine. But stop claiming that it's manifestly crap when you clearly (A) didn't understand it's rules, (B) didn't understand their purpose, and (C) even played it much, going by all appearances.

Morty
2010-06-15, 10:24 AM
Don't tell me what I think, please. :smallsmile:

Telling other people what they think seems to be the purpose behind the GNS theory.

Kish
2010-06-15, 10:25 AM
No player wants their character to die.
Erm, well. I wouldn't go that far. However.

"It is for Narrativist play"..."You don't have Gamist play"...so? I could believe that Ron Edwards (thanks for the name, lesser_minion), and people who play with him, actually play "Narrativist" games, because I can see him screaming and pounding on the table if the game doesn't fit within his imagined strictures, but why would anyone else care whether a game was "a Narrativist game" or "a Simulationist game"?


Again, exactly what is unrealistic about revising your thoughts and opinions in response to new experiences?
Make up your mind, are you talking about realism or aren't you?

Samurai Jill
2010-06-15, 10:27 AM
...because I can see him screaming and pounding on the table if the game doesn't fit within his imagined strictures...
Oh, look. Another argument on the basis of wilful ignorance. How compelling.

Actually, what you describe is the exact opposite of the GM-ing style Edwards has always advocated, given his comments on the Impossible Thing Before Breakfast. Narrativist play demands that you not actively railroad players.

Samurai Jill
2010-06-15, 10:36 AM
Make up your mind, are you talking about realism or aren't you?
Realism is expected in how the characters respond to a given situation. But how those situations are created does not conform to strict likelihood, nor are the mechanics of how a scene is resolved make particular sense as far as realism are concerned (e.g, flaws can actually help the character.) On balance, the game does not have realism as a foremost concern.

Kish
2010-06-15, 10:39 AM
Oh, look. Another argument on the basis of wilful ignorance. How compelling.

Yes, alas, I am woefully unenlightened in the wisdom of GNS theory.


Actually, what you describe is the exact opposite of the GM-ing style Edwards has always advocated, given his comments on the Impossible Thing Before Breakfast. Narrativist play demands that you not actively railroad players.
You're missing the point that saying, "This is a Narrativist game" itself places the game within strictures. A roleplaying game will naturally wander outside of the strictures imposed by each of Edwards' categories unless the players make a deliberate effort to keep it from doing so--something Edwards came out in favor of by claiming that all games deserve one of the four labels: "Narrativist," "Simulationist," "Gamist," "Incoherent/Inferior/Bad."

Plot railroading is not necessary to impose strictures on a game. Can I get answers to my questions now?

Edit: Okay, realism is not a foremost concern in the game you're talking about; I hope you actually stick to that. A game where the entire point is to test all the characters' beliefs to destruction sounds marginally more fun than a root canal even if everyone agrees that "screw realism" is a good starting place for the game. That just leaves my other question, which was: Why would anyone but Ron Edwards find "then it's not a Narrativist game" important?

lesser_minion
2010-06-15, 10:41 AM
Oh, look. Another argument on the basis of wilful ignorance. How compelling.

Actually, what you describe is the exact opposite of the GM-ing style Edwards has always advocated, given his comments on the Impossible Thing Before Breakfast. Narrativist play demands that you not actively railroad players.

We're still discussing the guy who carefully accused the entire roleplaying games movement of brain damage, right? And then recanted when someone actually did some real research on the issue?

While it obviously says nothing about the truthfulness (or, more accurately, the lack thereof) of his doctrines, I think his inability to defend them properly does say a lot about how much he believed them himself.

Kiero
2010-06-15, 10:48 AM
Sounds like some people are confusing versimilitude with realism.

Totally Guy
2010-06-15, 10:49 AM
Poor thread.:smallfrown: Guess this isn't the place for it...

This is why we can't have nice things.:smalltongue:

Samurai Jill
2010-06-15, 10:53 AM
Yes, alas, I am woefully unenlightened.
When it comes to Ron Edwards' GM-ing style, evidently, yes.

You're missing the point that saying, "This is a Narrativist game" itself places the game within strictures. A game will naturally wander outside of them...
If you have incoherent rules and/or players with radically different tastes. I've read RE talk about abandoning groups because he didn't think it could work out, but 'screaming and banging his hand on the table' is not something I've heard about, ever, including from players.

...Can I get answers to my questions now?
What 'question'? You made an utterly baseless, ad-hominem accusation and expected that to constitute an argument.

Edit: Okay, realism is not a foremost concern. A game where the entire point is to test all the characters' beliefs to destruction sounds marginally more fun than a root canal...
I could make equally dismissive summaries of Gamist play, starting with 'vicarious power-masturbation contest' and working up from there, but it wouldn't be fair, and I doubt it would establish much to someone who hasn't played anything else.

Kish
2010-06-15, 10:56 AM
What 'question'?

Okay, I'll ask it a third time, with bolding.
Why would anyone but Ron Edwards consider "then it's not a Narrativist game" important?


I could make equally dismissive summaries of Gamist play, starting with 'vicarious ****-measuring contest' and working up from there, but it wouldn't be fair, and I doubt it would establish much to someone who hasn't played anything else.
Considering that the "Gamist" label is as meaningless as the "Narrativist" or "Simulationist" one, it'd also be an own goal. You brought GNS theory into this thread, remember? The entirety of it, not just the "Narrativist" label.
You're also the one who said:

When you keep giving the same answer to variations on the same question, the GM will eventually ask you- through the situations posed in play- "Is this belief worth dying for?" To prove sincerity, you back up a conviction with sacrifice- but if you never show any signs of backing down, any signs of re-evaluating your core beliefs, then those sacrifices have to escalate accordingly. Otherwise you're not saying anything new. It's ultimately a case of evolve or die.

But this is entirely consistent with what you find in most narrative storytelling. Characters who stick with a single, well-defined belief or goal and never waver from it eventually wind up destroying themselves. I mean, literally- pick a good story at random and you can divide 90% of protagonists into those-who-evolve-and-prevail and those-whose-stubbornness-destroys-them. Daniel Plainview in There Will Be Blood and Sir Thomas More in A Man For All Seasons are prime examples of the latter- there's no dependancy on whether their beliefs are good or bad in the first place. Conversely, Brick Pollitt from Cat On A Hot Tin Roof and Malcolm Reynolds from Serenity are characters that redefine themselves and prevail. Evolve or die. Evolve or die. Evolve or die.

If the same question keeps getting the same answer, eventually the person will be asked to die for that answer? I don't think "baseless" means what you think it means.

Samurai Jill
2010-06-15, 11:02 AM
We're still discussing the guy who carefully accused the entire roleplaying games movement of brain damage, right? And then recanted when someone actually did some real research on the issue?
Edwards never abandoned GNS theory, he expanded it into the Big Model. There's nothing about the latter than would contradict the former. Which is not to say that Edwards hasn't modified his opinions over time (he used to be a lot more dismissive of Gamist and Simulationist play, for example, and I suspect it's developing the theory that allowed him to appreciate their merits.)

As for the 'real research' on the subject- if you're referring to the WotC survey done prior to the release of 3E D&D, well all I can say is that if the researchers believed their own hype, D&D would have gone in a general, jack of trades direction, and not a decidedly Gamist one. The latter is what actually happened.

Samurai Jill
2010-06-15, 11:08 AM
Okay, I'll ask it a third time, with bolding.
Why would anyone but Ron Edwards consider "then it's not a Narrativist game" important?
Okay, I'll say it for the sixth or seventh time:
Because some people enjoy communication more than winning or immersion. They mainly want to Say Something.

...so "testing all beliefs to destruction" is hardly a straw man.
I'm not saying it's inaccurate, though you're of course deliberately phrasing it in it's most negative light. Where you go wrong is assuming it's inherently not enjoyable.

lesser_minion
2010-06-15, 11:10 AM
As for the 'real research' on the subject- if you're referring to the WotC survey done prior to the release of 3E D&D, well all I can say is that if the researchers believed their own hype, D&D would have gone in a general, jack of trades direction, and not a decidedly Gamist one. The latter is what actually happened.

What actually happened is something that made a decent effort to stay true to itself.

Considering that the survey actually noted that a roleplaying game must support all of the elements they identified, and that 3rd edition actually made a decent effort to do that.

Again, there is always compromise, because that is the entire point.

Roleplaying games and GNS theory are inimical. None of the elements GNS theory so pretentiously identifies is inimical to the others.

If it was something like "g + n + s < 100", then perhaps looking at one to the exclusion of the others would make sense. But it isn't like that. There are more factors, and at least some element of diminishing returns when focusing on one element. Different elements support each other in different ways as well - immersion, for example, is worthless when there's nothing interesting in which to be immersed.

Yuki Akuma
2010-06-15, 11:10 AM
Okay, I'll say it for the sixth or seventh time:
Because some people enjoy communication more than winning or immersion. They mainly want to Say Something.

But, you see, "Narrativist" is an arbitrary label that doesn't fit any real game, and communication can happen in a game that isn't labeled "Narrativist" by Our Lord Ron Edwards.

So. Why should anyone care if Ron Edwards doesn't consider their game "Narrativist"? What impact does his opinion have on the way they play their roleplaying games?

Kish
2010-06-15, 11:13 AM
Because some people enjoy communication more than winning or immersion. They mainly want to Say Something.

In my experience and observation, very few people think of games in terms of a trichotomy between "communication," "winning," and "immersion." Those people who do have all been influenced by Edwards. Still fewer respond to that with, "Yes, when I play roleplaying games I want them to be all about communication with no concern for winning or immersion...about winning with no concern for communication or immersion...about immersion with no concern for communication or winning."

WotC, and many RPG makers, aim for immersion, moral exploration, and entertaining gameplay. What makes GNS theory special, and so very bad, is that it asserts that trying to balance them in that way is "incoherent" and a "proper" game picks one of three focuses, consciously avoids two others, and has no more or less than three that are possible.


As for the 'real research' on the subject- if you're referring to the WotC survey done prior to the release of 3E D&D, well all I can say is that if the researchers believed their own hype, D&D would have gone in a general, jack of trades direction, and not a decidedly Gamist one. The latter is what actually happened.
A "pure Gamist" game, as defined by Edwards, would have mechanics and balance but waste no time, not a single syllable, on plot or any efforts at verisimilitude. It would be a game like poker or Uno or...most no-roleplaying games. So, if anyone were to claim that any edition of D&D was that, it would be a preposterous claim.

Talking about D&D "going in a...Gamist direction" manages to be vague enough to be unchallengeable. You can't be asked to prove it, confronted with examples of what you would not call "Gamist" elements in 3ed D&D, you could just say, "It's still mostly Gamist," and no one can disprove it. As such, this assertion is fundamentally unsuited to be used as evidence for something else which is under dispute.

Samurai Jill
2010-06-15, 11:24 AM
What actually happened is something that made a decent effort to stay true to itself.

Considering that the survey actually noted that a roleplaying game must support all of the elements they identified, and that 3rd edition actually made a decent effort to do that.
They noted that every player considers all three elements to be desirable. This is not the same as saying that they were prepared to invest actual effort in creating story, tactics, and verisimilitude.

It also noted- in a fashion that completely contradicts their overall conclusions- that different groups of players favoured different aspects over others. One group would charge into the fray with no concern for how it would impact the larger storyline, another group cared deeply about the story, another group schemed carefully to optimise their character from day one, and another group deliberately created characters that were strategically sub-optimal because it made sense within the world-setting. How, exactly, were they ever supposed to rub shoulders comfortably?

They were describing, in essence, 2 different flavours of Gamist who could more-or-less get along, a Sim group and a Nar group who had had directly contradictory agendas, and a small minority with no pronounced preferences either way.

But, you see, "Narrativist" is an arbitrary label that doesn't fit any real game, and communication can happen in a game that isn't labeled "Narrativist"...
Yes, but are you communicating in order to compete, or competing in order to communicate? Are you fighting because that's how you stay in-character, or has your character been optimised to fight? Do your responses dictate the storyline, or does the storyline- and it's stimuli- dictate your responses?

lesser_minion
2010-06-15, 11:35 AM
How does "different players have different preferences" contradict "a game should try to cater to as many players as possible"?

In the real world, none of the conflicts between different goals that you claim exist are meaningful enough to be worth caring about. If you have to design your game with a modular structure so that players can pick and choose what they like, then so be it. But that's an infinitely more sensible approach than trying to design your game from the ground up to cater to a meaningless label applied by one man with an oversized ego.

But a game isn't 'bad' because it's 'impure' in the eyes of Ron Edwards. Nor is a rule that doesn't necessarily cater to one and only one kind of player a 'wasted' rule.

It's not "follow my theory (x)or suck" it's "follow my theory to suck".

Samurai Jill
2010-06-15, 11:36 AM
A "pure Gamist" game, as defined by Edwards, would have mechanics and balance but waste no time, not a single syllable...
I did not claim 4E D&D was 'pure Gamism'. 4E D&D has a story, but it's essentially the province of the GM, not the players. Verisimilitude is permitted only where it does not conflict with tactical or strategic balance.

But the fact 4E D&D does have some elements of N/S play squeezed in at the corners doesn't indicate meaningful 'compromise' between the modes, any more than making a nacklace from chicken bones is a 'compromise' of your desire to eat chicken. Other modes making do with the leftovers is anything but an equal 'balance' of all three.

Which is a good thing. I'm not saying that you shouldn't involve S or N elements wherever they don't conflict with a Gamist agenda- but one mode should be clearly dominant. And you have to understand each mode before you can minimise these conflicts.

Yuki Akuma
2010-06-15, 11:43 AM
Yes, but are you communicating in order to compete, or competing in order to communicate? Are you fighting because that's how you stay in-character, or has your character been optimised to fight? Do your responses dictate the storyline, or does the storyline- and it's stimuli- dictate your responses?

Why does it matter?

Samurai Jill
2010-06-15, 11:51 AM
How does "different players have different preferences" contradict "a game should try to cater to as many players as possible"?
Because, in practice, over time, those preferences will frequently demand contradictory things. Compromising on points like this tends to either bore or irritate both parties.

In the real world, none of the conflicts between different goals that you claim exist are meaningful enough to be worth caring about.
I certainly care about them. I remember a con demo of Call of Cthulhu where the fact my character had no motivation to actually be involved was apparently irrelevant to the GM (despite him handing out those characters in the first place.) To him, solving the problem he'd presented was obviously our whole reason for being there, so we'd rationalise a motive to solve it as required. While my interest was actually quite different- maintaining a consistent persona who reacted to stimuli in a believable fashion.

If you have to design your game with a modular structure so that players can pick and choose what they like, then so be it...
That's the approach favoured by GURPS and FUDGE, and it can certainly work, but you still have the problem of finding a configuration that suits everyone at the table, there's more labour involved, and the rules will still be a tad less efficient than something optimised for a given mode.

lesser_minion
2010-06-15, 12:01 PM
Which is a good thing. I'm not saying that you shouldn't involve S or N elements wherever they don't conflict with a Gamist agenda- but one mode should be clearly dominant. And you have to understand each mode before you can minimise these conflicts.

No, a good game focuses on being what the designer wanted and catering to a variety of people.

The important questions aren't "how gamist should this be?" or "how narrativist should this be?". They're things like "how should this play?", "what kind of stories can I bend it towards?", and "how can I widen my scope?".

There shouldn't necessarily be a single 'clearly dominant' mode, because while people might have preferences, they still like a bit of everything, and they've deliberately chosen a roleplaying game, where you derive your entertainment from a bit of everything.

In essence, you don't have to turn your game into a Lamb Biryani or a chicken tikka -- you can have both. And you'll get a better meal out of it.

Indon
2010-06-15, 12:09 PM
Oh no! Consistently running from things would, in itself, constitute an evident belief that would, in itself, need to be challenged, probed, or tested. You would be saying the same thing over and over again.
But you can only challenge that belief with things that you could run away from.

This seems to imply the equilibrium for the system is a group of protagonists interested in their survival primarily while the ST tries to cajole them into giving a damn (so he can kill the characters), or repeated stories about different groups of martyrs.

I can indeed see how it could theoretically produce an interesting game. But I don't see how that's not facilitated by any high-failure system.


Simple example: Let's say that you want to model Elves in a fantasy context. The Simulationist will crack open his Tolkien reference and, after exhaustive analysis, concludes that a +8 Dex bonus would be appropriate. The Gamist wants every race to have at most a +/-2 modifier so that there's a level playing field. What 'compromise' is possible here that won't be both unbalanced AND inaccurate?

Depends on the analysis. Say that the +8 judgment is because elves had phenomenal grace. So, give the elf a +2 dex and a +6 bonus to Balance skill.

Not that there isn't a give-and-take there, as is true of engineering any system, but that doesn't mean elegant solutions do not exist.

lesser_minion
2010-06-15, 12:23 PM
Depends on the analysis. Say that the +8 judgment is because elves had phenomenal grace. So, give the elf a +2 dex and a +6 bonus to Balance skill.

Not that there isn't a give-and-take there, as is true of engineering any system, but that doesn't mean elegant solutions do not exist.

The thing is, power level is your independent variable here -- you decide what to play based on how powerful you want to be -- it doesn't really work the other way around.

You get around the imbalance between a badass immortal elvish lord by not playing said elf alongside a group of rohirrim dirt farmers.

You can ameliorate the loss of scope by adopting troupe-style play.

Now, I suspect that quite a few players wouldn't necessarily enjoy troupe style play. I'm not saying that you can have free lunches, what I'm saying is:

Not being able to have a free lunch doesn't mean I should necessarily skip lunch
There are still some compromises that are better than others
There are compromises that are better than extremes.
GNS theory doesn't tell much of the story.
GNS theory is useless as a guide to what concerns apply when designing a game.

Samurai Jill
2010-06-15, 12:25 PM
There shouldn't necessarily be a single 'clearly dominant' mode, because while people might have preferences, they still like a bit of everything, and they've deliberately chosen a roleplaying game, where you derive your entertainment from a bit of everything...
But players can't simultaneously devote conscious attention to creating all three. It's fine and well and good for the GM to concoct a story beforehand and walk the players through it in a linear fashion- and yes, then you have a story present as an artifact- but then the players aren't concerned with creating it.

It's not just question of sampling the buffet. It's a question of who's in the kitchen.


But you can only challenge that belief with things that you could run away from.
Yes, but if you run away, the GM presents you with another situation where running away ultimately entails an ever-higher risk or cost. Where he asks, "is it worth running away, even in situation Y? Where you have to give up X in the process?"

I don't see what's so inherently terrible about the idea of characters who evolve.

Depends on the analysis. Say that the +8 judgment is because elves had phenomenal grace. So, give the elf a +2 dex and a +6 bonus to Balance skill.
Right. And a +3 bonus to hit with missile weapons. And a +3 bonus to touch AC. And all the other side-effects of having a +8 Dex bonus in the first place.
The fundamental problem here is that is impossible to represent elves faithfully and not have them be more powerful than other races. You cannot satisfy both, and any attempt to 'meet halfway' will just irritate both parties.

lesser_minion
2010-06-15, 12:34 PM
Right. And a +3 bonus to hit with missile weapons. And a +3 bonus to touch AC. And all the other side-effects of having a +8 Dex bonus in the first place.
The fundamental problem here is that is impossible to represent elves faithfully and not have them be more powerful than other races. You cannot satisfy both, and any attempt to 'meet halfway' will just irritate both parties.

I've pointed out at least twice that there's no need to avoid them being more powerful than other races, because that's not necessary for balance.

Your choice of race doesn't determine how powerful you are. Your choice of power level determines what races you might want to choose.

You're forcing a choice between accuracy and balance, when you can easily have both. Your 'simulationist' wasn't going to be happy if his elf lord has all the competence of a rohirrim dirt farmer in the first place. And you'd need a pretty interesting backstory to have them adventuring together.

So don't try to 'skrrrltch' them in together in the same nonsensical party.


But players can't simultaneously devote conscious attention to creating all three. It's fine and well and good for the GM to concoct a story beforehand and walk the players through it in a linear fashion- and yes, then you have a story present as an artifact- but then the players aren't concerned with creating it.

What happened to varying your gameplay style over the course of the campaign? Dedicating different scenes towards different goals?

I don't really see why those are so difficult.

Roland St. Jude
2010-06-15, 12:38 PM
Sheriff of Moddingham: Please drop this off-topic line of discussion about preferences or take it to a different thread. This thread should be for the introduction and discussion of indie games.

lesser_minion
2010-06-15, 12:46 PM
Sheriff of Moddingham: Please drop this off-topic line of discussion about preferences or take it to a different thread. This thread should be for the introduction and discussion of indie games.

Good point.

If anyone wants to continue the discussion about GNS theory and player preferences, I'm happy starting a new thread. Just drop me a PM.

Also, here are the posts I'll probably end up linking if a new thread does go ahead:

http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8706285&postcount=46
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8706292&postcount=47
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8706309&postcount=48
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8706316&postcount=49
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8706329&postcount=50
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8706336&postcount=51
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8706347&postcount=52
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8706350&postcount=53
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8706364&postcount=54
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8706384&postcount=55
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8706389&postcount=56
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8706390&postcount=57
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8706400&postcount=58
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8706401&postcount=59
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8706406&postcount=60
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8706408&postcount=61
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8706417&postcount=62
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8706434&postcount=65
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8706436&postcount=66
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8706490&postcount=68
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8706559&postcount=70
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8706575&postcount=71
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8706579&postcount=72
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8706580&postcount=73
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8706581&postcount=74
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8706632&postcount=75
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8706637&postcount=76
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8706698&postcount=79
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8706715&postcount=80
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8706721&postcount=81
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8706738&postcount=82
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8706764&postcount=84
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8706801&postcount=85
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8706833&postcount=86
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8706932&postcount=90
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8706935&postcount=91
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8706939&postcount=92
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8706952&postcount=93
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8706990&postcount=94
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8707003&postcount=95
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8707019&postcount=96
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8707083&postcount=99
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8707103&postcount=100
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8707141&postcount=101
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8707176&postcount=102
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8707192&postcount=103
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8707193&postcount=104
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8707209&postcount=105
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8707272&postcount=106
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8707347&postcount=107
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8707360&postcount=108
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8707402&postcount=109
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8707447&postcount=110
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8707509&postcount=111
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8707562&postcount=112
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8707672&postcount=113
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8707691&postcount=114
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8707779&postcount=115

Totally Guy
2010-06-15, 01:54 PM
I've preordered an RPG I'm pretty excited by. Freemarket by Luke Crane and Jared Sorensen.

It's basically an RPG about life of a futuristic space station where all your needs are catered for. You don't age and material goods are free.

The economy used a currency called flow.

Lets say I want a coffee. I go find someone that gives away coffee and I'm a satisfied customer. My good feedback improves the coffee vendor's flow. With flow the vendor can acquire more space or improve his coffee making capabilities.

The culture is weird too, it takes the economy to its cultural conclusion. You benefit from carrying out anything in a group, there's an element of scary conformism.

So the premise of the game is basically how you can use the economy and culture of the space station to allow you to do the things you want to do.

Those things might be to rock out with everyone. It might be to get everyone paying attention to your flash mob. It might be to overthrow the system and impose new rules upon the space station.

They say they're only ever making 1000 units. I'm not sure what it's like mechanically as I've only seen fluff stuff but I've been so impressed with Luke Crane's hard mechanics before that I preordered it.

Samurai Jill
2010-06-15, 02:20 PM
I've preordered an RPG I'm pretty excited by. Freemarket by Luke Crane and Jared Sorensen.
Yeah, I'm looking forward to Freemarket.

Totally Guy
2010-06-15, 03:51 PM
The postage to the UK was crazy high but about the time the game will be released I'm visiting my Dad's new place in Tustin, California. So I'm sending it over there. (Plus another one to sell on back in blighty.)

But a few days after placing the order the website stopped saying "End of June" and instead now says "Summer"...

So I might miss my package. That'll delay me several months if it's later than mid July... Hmmm.

Knaight
2010-06-15, 05:12 PM
Hahah, no, I'm doing the exact opposite - I'm assuming that games should be designed in such a way that they can be fun for most people, rather than a tiny subset of people.

Why? There are thousands, if not tens or hundreds of thousands, of role playing games, between the lot of them they can cover a bunch of territory. Why should these games all be designed to be fun for most people? Take D&D, it has been designed to be fun to most people, and covers most of the market. I can't stand it, and consider it a fairly lousy game, so I play something else, which was designed to appeal to different tastes. While I certainly think that the market needs its fairly broad games that cover a lot of territory, once that area is covered (and it is, Fudge, Fate, Savage Worlds, GURPS, and Hero can pretty much cover that on their own, and its not as if they don't have a whole bunch of other games behind them for support) why not have little games with a narrow focus that won't appeal to many people?

On specific games, Now Playing is a very cool adaptation of Fudge that is built for campaigns aiming for the feel of an episodic TV show, of the more continuous changing plot variety. Its a really cool little book, and worth looking at, as you can mine it for ideas blatantly steal stuff from it and apply it elsewhere.

Totally Guy
2010-06-16, 11:43 AM
Now I've placed a preorder on the Burning Wheel's Adventure Burner expansion.

It's a book about adventures, GMing and further implications of the subsystem mechanics. More like a commentary than an expansion. Hopefully it will help me with some of the areas that I struggle with when running the thing.

Caliphbubba
2010-06-16, 02:54 PM
I don't know how indie it is, but I really liked Steve Jackson Games:

In Nomine

Somebloke
2010-06-18, 07:57 AM
I don't know how indie it is, but I really liked Steve Jackson Games:

In Nomine

Never played it, but I read the book from end to end and was really intrigued.

UserClone
2010-06-18, 09:42 AM
I haven't read it quite that extensively, but I have read a lot of it. I was lucky enough to find and purchase a copy of In Nomine at my local used bookstore. :smallbiggrin:

Renegade Paladin
2010-06-18, 01:47 PM
I quite like Epic RPG (http://epicrpg.com/) by Dark Matter Studios. The designers are great guys, and they've made a great game, but I don't get to play it much. Thinking of running a session or two at Gen Con, though.

Pollen
2010-06-19, 04:42 AM
Fairly recent convert to Indie land, and liking it lots. Players wanted a change (nothing 'political' about 4e, more economics/ recession) so we switched to Treasure in html.

Once I'd got used to being able to edit/ customise everything, print as required and controlling the artwork, started wanting the same for my beloved Traveller, which turned out to be real easy after Mongoose put up the SRD kit.
Kind of re-Indied Traveller since with art from places like conceptart.org and NASA.

Mashing up rules and artwork as you like is maybe a bit homebrew for some but the cost differences have made a difference to both games and recruiting. From roughly three dozen hardbacks plus a stack of Traveller booklets to 'want to try a game? Here's everything you need for zero.' :smallcool: