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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Post Need Player Input & DM Input, Tabletop RPG Theory

    Hello fellow Roleplayers. I go onto this forum as I know it is frequented by a multitude of tabletop players. So I wanted to come here to gather information, and player/DM opinions. So I ask all the following questions, in this order.

    1. Which Die system do you believe to be superior? (D20, d10, success's vs failures, d%, etc)

    2. What do you look for most in a tabletop? (Simplicity, learning curve, immersion)

    3. What common tabletop rules/standards would you change and why?

    4. What are things you hate in most current tabletop games?

    5. What's three things you wish they would introduce into tabletop games, that they have not yet introduced?

    For those of you interested I ask these questions for a project me and some colleagues are working on. So I am looking for player and DM input to help build this project up, and hopefully it comes to fruition. Any who, I am eager to hear some of your input!

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Need Player Input & DM Input, Tabletop RPG Theory

    Quote Originally Posted by msmyall View Post
    1. Which Die system do you believe to be superior? (D20, d10, success's vs failures, d%, etc)
    None. The die system in itself is pretty much irrelevant, because what you do with them can vary so much.

    My favorite, though, is 3d6 under a target number defined by an internal factor (e.g. PC skill) modified by external factors, because I'm a gamist-simulationist and the probability curve that "absorbs" negative modifiers at high skills while giving mediocre skills better than even success chances appeals to me. (Obviously, where you set the average skill competent level is hugely important; 12 is good.)

    Quote Originally Posted by msmyall View Post
    2. What do you look for most in a tabletop? (Simplicity, learning curve, immersion)
    Solid, simple but deep (cf. ACKS, MRQ2, The Riddle of Steel, Artesia) mechanics; good setting is great, too (cf. Glorantha, Artesia).

    Quote Originally Posted by msmyall View Post
    3. What common tabletop rules/standards would you change and why?
    lol wut. What is a "common rule/standard" ?

    Quote Originally Posted by msmyall View Post
    4. What are things you hate in most current tabletop games?
    Bad math (cf. D&D 3.5 DMG2 business rules) and design by market research / design by committee.

    Quote Originally Posted by msmyall View Post
    5. What's three things you wish they would introduce into tabletop games, that they have not yet introduced?
    There is literally no one in the world with the omniscience required to answer this question.
    Last edited by Rhynn; 2014-04-15 at 02:59 PM.

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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Need Player Input & DM Input, Tabletop RPG Theory

    1.
    I love 'em all but I started with d20 so I'll go with that.

    2.
    Connection to topics/ideas I enjoy (rpg of Doctor Who, yes please) really inspires what I buy.

    3.
    I am not going to touch this for personal reasons.

    4.
    I dislike the laziness that can often appear. I dislike players that believe they know the rules and will not accept when someone shows them the rule. I dislike even more those who don't care to learn the rules even the ones that only pertain to them. When I hand your character sheet and explanations please read them and think.

    5.
    (a) I think most rpgs need to add intuitiveness, a way to feel what should happen instead of having to look up mounted combat rules then the bullrush and charging and ..... just to resolve a dispute.
    (b) I would add quizzes to determine whether someone has the right personality to DM so we do not end up with DMs who have little fun and burnout easily but keep players happy or poor DMs who have lots of fun with the massive amount of control they have while stopping players from enjoy themselves.
    (c) More blatant ways to handle arguments outside of the rules (Stop placing the dm's suggestion in a seperate book let the players understand each other).
    DSmaster21: The Dicey Cultist

    I apologize if I ramble sometimes my Asperger's Syndrome causes me to talk a lot when trying to communicate. I may also get distracted so I ask forgiveness in advance.

    A D12 of The Church of D20

    Games: Doctor Who: Adventures in Space and Time, Shadowrun 5e, D&D 4e, Pathfinder, Star Wars: Edge of the Empire, Assorted Retroclones, D&D 5e.

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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Need Player Input & DM Input, Tabletop RPG Theory

    Quote Originally Posted by msmyall View Post
    Hello fellow Roleplayers. I go onto this forum as I know it is frequented by a multitude of tabletop players. So I wanted to come here to gather information, and player/DM opinions. So I ask all the following questions, in this order.

    1. Which Die system do you believe to be superior? (D20, d10, success's vs failures, d%, etc)
    There really isn't any such thing as a "superior die system"; There are some things you can do to screw up your die system (Mostly, lots of math that causes people to go crosseyed with the computations or reach for the calculator) but that's usually the 'riders' rather than the die system itself. That said, lower numbers are easier for most people to work with, so if you're dealing with a system that uses a lot of modifiers, keep it to d20 or lower. But as long as I can get results quickly, I'm good.

    2. What do you look for most in a tabletop? (Simplicity, learning curve, immersion)
    Mechanics that support the type of game the game wants to be.

    3. What common tabletop rules/standards would you change and why?
    None, because I have no real concern for "standards", unless you want me to list something like "the way entirely too many gamers act like creepers around women." :P

    4. What are things you hate in most current tabletop games?
    The tribalism involved in the community. Too many "us vs them" "traditional vs storygames" blahblah nonsense, all too often from people who know little about the other 'side' of their artificial division.

    5. What's three things you wish they would introduce into tabletop games, that they have not yet introduced?
    If I had answers for this, I'd be introducing them. (Though DSmaster21's item C has pretty much already been done.)

    Oh, and P.S. DSmaster21 - http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/produc...Time-and-Space

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Need Player Input & DM Input, Tabletop RPG Theory

    All my answers come with an additional "it naturally depends on the specifics", but I'll answer with a universal idea in mind.

    Quote Originally Posted by msmyall View Post
    1. Which Die system do you believe to be superior? (D20, d10, success's vs failures, d%, etc)
    I find dice pools and bell curves the most enjoyable. A single die is too random in all directions (each result is as common as the others), so a more bell curve spread of results is preferable. Dice pools are also nice, as long as the pools remain in manageable size (if you have to roll over 10 dice as a common thing, it becomes far too much).

    2. What do you look for most in a tabletop? (Simplicity, learning curve, immersion)
    Focus. I like games that know what they're doing and do it well. I like to have a game for a specific genre, as it allows for more refined mechanics precisely for that genre instead of trying to cater to everything but spreading itself too thin or complicated in the process.

    3. What common tabletop rules/standards would you change and why?
    There are no universal things I change in every game. Some games I play without changing them at all and others I try to fix (or find fixes) to the point of not even recognizing the system anymore.

    4. What are things you hate in most current tabletop games?
    Honestly, at the moment it's the community. Everyone hates everything they don't play and are unwilling to try anything new. Exaggeration, of course, but edition wars and the whole "I haven't tried it but it sucks" mentality are sad.

    5. What's three things you wish they would introduce into tabletop games, that they have not yet introduced?
    My game theorizing mostly focuses on existing things instead of new things, so I do have a hard time trying to come up with something I would like to see in games that could be a part of the game. A way to make the participants of the game (both players and GMs) better? Overly broad, but if there's something I'd like to see it's a way to make interaction between players better.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Need Player Input & DM Input, Tabletop RPG Theory

    Quote Originally Posted by msmyall View Post
    1. Which Die system do you believe to be superior? (D20, d10, success's vs failures, d%, etc)

    2. What do you look for most in a tabletop? (Simplicity, learning curve, immersion)

    3. What common tabletop rules/standards would you change and why?

    4. What are things you hate in most current tabletop games?

    5. What's three things you wish they would introduce into tabletop games, that they have not yet introduced?
    1. Eh They all have their good and bad points and the answer is really dependant on what you want to use the system for. I wouldn't use d20 for Exalted or Scion, for instance.

    2. Good setting or concept, and mechanics that don't make me tear my hair out in frustration. Mechanics are always secondary to setting in my book, but they can be a very close second.

    3. Huh?

    4. Too vague a question. There are plenty of issues with very specific things in various games, both regarding mechanics and setting fluff, but nothing that I can point to that applies to the entirety of RPGs and say "this is wrong". Unless you count jerks, but jerks are hardly unique to RPGs.

    5. Again, too vague. Are you asking for something that has never been thought of before but which can work for every possible type of game? Are you asking for something new, however niche? Are you asking for absurd rules that should be made universal (BWR is always right, everybody should pay for BWR's pizza, everybody should play when BWR feels like it are tempting, I'll admit). Are you asking for magic? Because if I could wish up perfect mechanics, perfect settings and perfect players I would totally do so.

  7. - Top - End - #7
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    Default Re: Need Player Input & DM Input, Tabletop RPG Theory

    Which Die system do you believe to be superior? (D20, d10, success's vs failures, d%, etc)

    Not applicable. All dice can be used, and the important part is that they are used well and the mechanics support the use of the dice. A good system can make unique use of the specific dice, while a bad one will frequently have poor mechanics regardless of which dice system it uses.

    As an example:
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    One of my favorite systems uses the following:

    • Roll d20 and compare to the skill level. Determine success/failure.
    • Opposition rolls d20 and compares to the skill/target number. Determine success/failure.
    • Modify success and failure by the degree difference between character skill level and target number. (If the character has 5+20 in a skill and the target number is 15, then improve the character's success by one.)
    • Compare the successes of the two to determine victory.


    This works really well, in that the system can hand out temporary and permanent modifiers very easily without causing problems. +9 or even +20 are considered quite large, but the system handles those large bonuses without problem. Conversely, +3 is the smallest bonus you will see in the system, which is large enough to have a noticeable impact but not so large as to determine the final result.

    As you can see, this is a d20 system that has basically no resemblance to the standard D&D d20 system. Even the bonuses are so different as to be incompatable. D&D sticks with between +2 to +5 for bonuses, as anything larger would skew the results guaranteeing the results either way.

    For the above system, even +20 can be handed out (temporarily) for a significant bonus, but not even guaranteed success. It is an example of how the designers were familiar with their dice/success system, and tailored the ruleset to work with it.

    What do you look for most in a tabletop? (Simplicity, learning curve, immersion)

    First, the system needs to be able to take what happens at the table and translate it into the story. This could be as simple as "roleplay it out" or as complex as covering all the options, but one of the worst things that a system could do would be to leave the players at the table unsure of how to resolve an in-game situation.

    My second requirement would be how quickly it can be learned, taught, and started up. If this is a rulebook that takes a week to read through and several hours per person to show them how it works, then I'm inclined to simply pass on it. With no guarantee on its quality, I'm not inclined to spend hours just to try something. I have many other systems to try out as well, after all.

    What common tabletop rules/standards would you change and why?
    What are things you hate in most current tabletop games?

    I would get rid of the general mindset that D&D is roleplaying and that D&D is the default RPG. There are a lot more ways to create and run a RPG than the D&D mindset, and it becomes annoying when most people default to the idea that a RPG must be equivalent to D&D to be functional.

    Other than that, not much.

    What's three things you wish they would introduce into tabletop games, that they have not yet introduced?

    I don't know about three things, but I'd like to see more open-source mechanics and sharing of mechanics. Right now, most RPG designers seem to think that their mechanical bonuses and dice rolling variables are their "game" and that the story, setting, and adventures are just side-material to show off the mechanics. On the other hand, "roll d20 and add bonuses" is probably the least interesting part. What's more, if companies would be interested in freely sharing and exchanging these mechanics, we could see improvements on the "base" system for whatever direction they want.

    Instead, we see companies either re-invent their core system with new releases (D&D) or are limited to a small team of people as the only ones working on and revising their core system (most others). More improvements, and being able to freely use those improvements, would just make RPGs better overall.
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  8. - Top - End - #8
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    Default Re: Need Player Input & DM Input, Tabletop RPG Theory

    Quote Originally Posted by msmyall View Post
    Hello fellow Roleplayers. I go onto this forum as I know it is frequented by a multitude of tabletop players. So I wanted to come here to gather information, and player/DM opinions. So I ask all the following questions, in this order.

    1. Which Die system do you believe to be superior? (D20, d10, success's vs failures, d%, etc)

    2. What do you look for most in a tabletop? (Simplicity, learning curve, immersion)

    3. What common tabletop rules/standards would you change and why?

    4. What are things you hate in most current tabletop games?

    5. What's three things you wish they would introduce into tabletop games, that they have not yet introduced?

    For those of you interested I ask these questions for a project me and some colleagues are working on. So I am looking for player and DM input to help build this project up, and hopefully it comes to fruition. Any who, I am eager to hear some of your input!
    1 - none and all. the resolution method, frequency of success/failure, etc... as a whole can work to impact someone's overall enjoyment of the game. this is one reason why i'm not a big fan of early level D&D where your overall success relies far more on a good roll of the d20 then your character's overall proficiency. if you have a +4 or 5 on a roll, you tend to rely far more on the d20 then your own character.

    but no given system will work for EVERY game out there. the resolution system should be informed by the genre, type, etc... of the TTRPG. it's one of the things that annoyed me with the OGL in that EVERYONE AND THEIR DOG tried to fit any and all game types under the d20 system... to wildly varied results. some were successful, others... not so much.

    use the right system for the right genre.

    2 - personally? focus, depth & simplicity. I'm far more likely to pickup a game that does one or two genres VERY well then a game that does a wide variety of genres with mediocrity. If i want to play an action-oriented game with the fantasy genre, and the game system is built around that concept rather then trying to deliver every game type possible, it's probably going to be better for the game i'm looking for. that the system doesn't do a cloak & dagger, modern intrigue game well doesn't bother me the slightest. right tool for the right job and whatnot.

    the game should be also be easy as a whole to pickup but allow for more expansive play once you become familiar with the system. note i say familiar rather then mastery: once you know how the core of the game works it should naturally open up various forms of play. i also like simplicity, in that the core concepts of the system should be easy to grasp and transferable across the entire game.

    another thing would be viability of concepts within the genre and ease of making those concepts possible. i generally want to play characters with one or two cool & reliable tricks but are competent overall without too much fuss, if the game doesn't allow that from the get-go, it tends to irk me.

    3 - bwuh? could you please rephrase the question? I don't quite understand what you mean by this?

    4 - generally speaking, that most TTRPGs are simply bad at being good games. i've played TTRPGs for a good 16-17 years now and i find myself generally annoyed with most games i've played.

    it's very easy for even the most mechanically crudest TTRPG to supply me with the roleplay i like, but if the part of the session i'm looking the most forward to is when i put the game aside, i have a very hard time justifying my time at the table. the play, IE the game, should be informing the roleplay just as much as the opposite.

    and very often i find myself trying to represent various aspects of the character, at least those aspects that are relevant to the type of game we're playing, and wind up getting frustrated as i can get close to my concept but never really achieve it or if i do get something i'm content with, it's simply not reliable enough or far too focused on that one thing (ie: the character becomes a one-trick pony) for me to want to play the character.

    5 - ehh.... i would say before we start adding things we should first improve what we have. i would simply like more and better research on intuitive and better overall game design as the first thing i'd want to introduce to the industry. i'm talking a set of university-level courses and study of in-depth theory and practice of game design here, not just a few biased multiple-choice/rank from 1-to-5 questions on a survey and 2 guys poring over it, specifically focused on TTRPGs and why/how people play them.

    get the next generation of game devs off on a good, strong start.

  9. - Top - End - #9
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    Default Re: Need Player Input & DM Input, Tabletop RPG Theory

    Quote Originally Posted by msmyall View Post
    Hello fellow Roleplayers. I go onto this forum as I know it is frequented by a multitude of tabletop players. So I wanted to come here to gather information, and player/DM opinions. So I ask all the following questions, in this order.

    1. Which Die system do you believe to be superior? (D20, d10, success's vs failures, d%, etc)
    That's a pretty vague and broad question, but I don't think there's an answer to it. d20 is generally weaker as a randomizer, because it's so incredibly swingy, but otherwise the field is wide open. Dice pools, Fate dice, Jenga, bring it on!
    2. What do you look for most in a tabletop? (Simplicity, learning curve, immersion)
    Mechanical engagement. The mechanics should be meaningfully and smartly applied to the story aspect. They should bring up the tensions and themes of the story so that the players can riff off of them. The rules, ideally, are a spark (and sometimes a pressure) that brings out more interesting story.
    3. What common tabletop rules/standards would you change and why?
    Sportsmanship. There isn't an accepted sense of sportsmanship in tabletop RPGs, and that's a shame. Also, I'd change the standard accepted price point of a game to be higher; RPG players seem to be cheapskates, the way they take offense to games priced $50+.
    4. What are things you hate in most current tabletop games?
    The outcome of the d20 boom, really: a lot of games that didn't significantly diverge from D&D. They didn't bring anything new to the field, and just served to reinforce some of the innate assumptions of D&D games as hobby standards. It's hurt the diversity of mainstream games a lot.
    5. What's three things you wish they would introduce into tabletop games, that they have not yet introduced?
    I wish that more games would mess with the standard model of GM authority; there's essentially one concept of it that's taken for granted in the RPG ecosystem. I wish that more games would come in at a higher price point, because they're that valuable. I'd love to see more games with social subject matter, such as that found in Jane Austen's works.
    Ludicrus Gaming: on games and story | My Steam Account
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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Need Player Input & DM Input, Tabletop RPG Theory

    Quote Originally Posted by msmyall View Post
    Hello fellow Roleplayers. I go onto this forum as I know it is frequented by a multitude of tabletop players. So I wanted to come here to gather information, and player/DM opinions. So I ask all the following questions, in this order.

    1. Which Die system do you believe to be superior? (D20, d10, success's vs failures, d%, etc)
    I'm going to dance around this question a bit by saying what I want a dice system to do for me:

    - The system should ideally have a consistent variance across the range of power-levels that the game is trying to represent. In d20+modifier, for example, the variance decreases relative to the mean as the modifier grows. For games with a small range, this doesn't matter so much. This is actually a fairly hard problem if you want to capture a huge range of scales, like having a creature with a skill of 1 and a skill of 100 and a skill of 10000 all in the same game system. For narrower games, it doesn't matter that much.

    - Players should be able to invest resources to decrease their uncertainty in specific things they want to be reliable (D&D's Take 10, for example)
    - Having dice outcomes be more than pass/fail is a nice touch. For example, you could have something where you roll a variable number of d6's but 1's accumulate as fatigue or something. This has to be customized to the thematics of the game though.
    - Quick to assemble, execute, and evaluate. Rolling 10d6+5d4+2d12 is bad compared to rolling 1d100.

    2. What do you look for most in a tabletop? (Simplicity, learning curve, immersion)
    Primarily I want something that is inspiring - the execution of mechanics and thematics are tied together in a way that gives me ideas for characters to play or scenarios I want to run. This can be achieved in a number of different ways, but all are somewhat important.

    - Tight integration between game mechanics and thematics. 'Universal systems' really don't do it for me. Part of this is the idea that the fluff should matter and not just be a paint job.
    - Non-trivial interactions between the game mechanics. A system where there are combos/etc entices me to explore it further, whereas something where everything separates very cleanly or is mechanically identical tends to cause me to lose interest.

    3. What common tabletop rules/standards would you change and why?
    This is more of a feature of the player community, but I'd really like to have more systems that encourage players to learn to be proactive. Many games are structured along the lines of 'DM assigns today's scenario, players run through the scenario' but there are comparatively fewer game systems really encourage and depend on the players actively pursuing their own goals in an explicit fashion.

    4. What are things you hate in most current tabletop games?
    - Mechanical sameness in the name of balance is a pretty big offender these days - the so called 'wrought iron gate made of tigers' as a hard separation between crunch and fluff.

    - Mismatches between what something is supposed to be in the game world and what, mechanically, it is not effectively designed to be - for example, games where the most deadly poisons can be shrugged off by 95% of significant characters. I'd rather the game say something like 'magical treatments have rendered poisons irrelevant' than claim that a poison is very deadly but then have it end up being underwhelming.

    - Trap options/rules whose main function is just to reward people manipulating them. As an extreme example, 7th Sea had a character generation system where you could build a character with the exact same skills/traits/etc in two different ways for two different XP costs. If you knew the system well, you could basically start with more XP than someone who didn't know the system well.

    5. What's three things you wish they would introduce into tabletop games, that they have not yet introduced?
    I really like the idea of having games where there's more maneuvering and mastermind-ey things going on - that is, games where somehow the overall strategy of the story arc becomes something the players can directly interact with. I've played around a bit with this sort of thing in homebrew; for example, I've given PCs abilities that let them 'delay the target's plans for 1 day', 'retroactively have taken a trivial action', 'create a religion', etc.

    I like the idea of city-builder sorts of side-games as well, things where the PCs build up a persistent thing over the course of the game that grants benefits and maybe has attendant followers/etc. I've run a game where the PCs could build facilities in their home city which would give broad benefits to them and everyone else living there - for example, if they build one structure then it changes the resale value of things they find on their adventures, but if they build another structure then they get more XP, and a third structure would let them purchase rarer items, and so on; that was kind of interesting.

    The third thing I'd like to see is a game that explicitly rewards awesome character death with an in-game explanation, so that the long game becomes a balance between retaining a character and letting them go out with a bang. For example, something where the players are actually playing the current heir to a dynasty or family, and the family (and therefore their next character) gets permanent buffs based on how the current character ends up dying. This would also allow campaigns with a much longer timescale than you usually see.

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