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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    Default Re: Did you mean Adventure Game?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Role-playing is when you focus on the character, their personality, how they react, what they would do.
    War Gaming is when you focus on the playing piece, its statistics, what it can do.
    Adventure Game is when you focus on the player, the problem solving skills they have, how they interpret the world.
    Story Telling Game is when you focus on trying to optimize the resulting story?
    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    War Gaming is when you challenge the playing piece, its statistics, what it can do.
    Adventure Game is when you challenge the player, their problem solving skills and ability to interpret the world / puzzles / etc.
    Role-playing is when you make decisions based on the character, their personality, how they react, what they would do.
    Story Telling Game is when you make decisions based on trying to optimize the final story?
    Ok, third time's the charm?

    War Gaming is when you make choices based on the playing pieces, their statistics, what they can do.
    Adventure Game is when you make choices based on the player, their problem solving skills and ability to interpret the world / puzzles / etc.
    Role-playing is when you make decisions based on the character, their personality, how they react, what they would do.
    Story Telling Game is when you make decisions based on what would make for a good story?

    So, you're in a fight. The optimal course of action is to apply maximum alpha strike DPS to the Necromancer. But your character is vengeful, so the best role-playing answer may be to attack his lieutenant, who did bad stuff to you earlier in the campaign.

    And this is where it breaks down for me.

    Because what makes the best story? For the Paladin to smite holy vengeance upon the Necromancer? For the Druid to smite holly vengeance upon the Necromancer? For the Wizard to defeat the Necromancer in some classic Wizard's duel? For the evil Drow Rogue to show that the power of evil is stronger, and kill the Necromancer themselves? For the party to kill the Necromancer as a team? For the Necromancer to get away? For the party to redeem the Necromancer? For the Necromancer to kill one or more party members before one of the above? For the lieutenant to die? Be captured? Get away? Get converted? Betray his master? But making decisions based on any of those would be metagaming Story-based thinking, I suppose.

    And, completely in opposition to anything said so far this thread, when I think in terms of the players here, I think things like, "gee, it would be cool to try out this new spell / item / maneuver", "it would be nice for Orkrit, Blade of Doom, to have something memorable for its 100th kill", "which character has gotten the least limelight recently?", or "I wonder how the party would feel about dropping the ceiling on this encounter?".
    Last edited by Quertus; 2018-06-12 at 07:00 AM.

  2. - Top - End - #32
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    Default Re: Did you mean Adventure Game?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    Speaking of missing the forest for the trees: I think I'm going to have to redact that model or something it really isn't the point. (As much as I want to correct misunderstandings about it, it is not the point.) The point is: Are you here for the adventure game? OK that probably isn't going to help anyone understand what it is going on.

    I'm going to need another way to describe this. This one isn't working. Maybe I should talk about the design principle disagreement that sparked this. In short Cosi said something about starting from challenges, I said you should start from story and we stopped but I was thinking about it and I think that this distinction kind of explains that difference in mind set.

    I'll think about it. See if I can create a better presentation of the idea.
    Can you elaborate what you mean with those deign principles? How does "starting from challenges" differ from "starting from story" and what do you mean by it?
    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    Blue text for sarcasm is an important writing tool. Everybody should use it when they are saying something clearly false.

  3. - Top - End - #33
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    Default Re: Did you mean Adventure Game?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pelle View Post
    I am a bit skeptical, purely based on that I care mostly about the RPG and AG, which fits rather strange with that diagram. Or maybe it just explains what I think should be focus for character and player respectively...
    I think I am story-telling & wargame myself. I think the answer to this is simple. Most systems have different parts that we can measure separately, not just with this system but many others. As a simple example character creation and pre-game set-up usually looks different than the system mechanics for the main play. Other people I know enjoy social aspects to be much more freeform than the rest of the system and so on.

    Quote Originally Posted by jayem View Post
    Perhaps Roll-playing (Gambling) could fit between Story and Role-play.
    It's kind of like a challenge, but you don't really think things through and plan them.
    And it's not really got the depth of focusing on story, but you do care about events and have to move on.
    I mean you could, but the more finely grained you go the less general the description becomes. Right now I am trying to keep this very general.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Ok, third time's the charm?

    War Gaming is when you make choices based on the playing pieces, their statistics, what they can do.
    Adventure Game is when you make choices based on the player, their problem solving skills and ability to interpret the world / puzzles / etc.
    Role-playing is when you make decisions based on the character, their personality, how they react, what they would do.
    Story Telling Game is when you make decisions based on what would make for a good story?
    It is a pretty good one line of each (I haven't found time to respond). I would add to war games that this also includes creating the playing pieces. So the character creation mini-game is definitely a wargame thing in this model. As for story-telling... yes that sounds about right. I usually prefer the interesting situations phrasing but maybe "making decisions based on how they will shape the story" might be a better way to do it. First it takes the "good" out of it. Not that we want bad stories but good is very subjective as you suggested later in your post.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lorsa View Post
    Can you elaborate what you mean with those deign principles? How does "starting from challenges" differ from "starting from story" and what do you mean by it?
    I would probably have to get Cosi back to explain that. It came from a brief exchange we had in Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY starting at post 82. This conversation has kind of gone in a different direction, that was the spark but it fit in with a bunch of other ideas.

  4. - Top - End - #34
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    Default Re: Did you mean Adventure Game?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Ok, third time's the charm?

    War Gaming is when you make choices based on the playing pieces, their statistics, what they can do.
    Adventure Game is when you make choices based on the player, their problem solving skills and ability to interpret the world / puzzles / etc.
    Role-playing is when you make decisions based on the character, their personality, how they react, what they would do.
    Story Telling Game is when you make decisions based on what would make for a good story?
    I think this is loosing focus a bit, and even maybe derailing the thread.

    The basic idea is the Adventure Game vs the Role Playing Game or even more direct: Roll Playing vs Role Playing.

    Now, ''role playing games'' as we know them come from Wargames, and this is RPG History 101. So, setting the Wayback Machine for the early '70's: with a small company making War Games. This was Chainmail, a War Game..and it had a tiny fantasy appendix. And out of that grew the idea to make a and had the idea of making a more fantasy based War Game, and not a more historical based one.

    When Dave Arneson read the Chainmail fantasy rules, he adapted them to a fantasy world of his own creation, Blackmoor. The premise was simple: players would portray only a single character and would explore underground dungeons where they would face perils and puzzles. Dave showed this game to Gary Gygax and soon, Gary & Dave had codified all their ideas and experiences into a ruleset they titled Dungeons & Dragons.

    And right here, literally right at the beginning of D&D is the split: Roll Playing vs Role Playing. Dave was on the side of Role Playing, and Gary was on the side of Roll Playing. And, as anyone can tell you, Gary's side was much more dominant in D&D. While D&D was called a ''role playing game'', it was a very light role playing game. Gary loved charts and tables and dice: and so D&D was full of them. Role Playing as in 'acting out a character' took a huge back seat to the Roll Playing of dice, mechanics and tables.

    And for years, this was D&D: The Roll Playing game...that had the hint of role playing, you could really add it or not, for years. Until much later when Gary was less and influence and then gone....and Dragonlance came out. Dragonlance really shined a spot light on setting, story, plot and most of all Role Playing. The actual rules of D&D did not change much to reflect this, but the idea was added to the game.

    And in 2018, the split is still alive and well. As a ton of gamers where not even alive when the game was created, it does just seem to be a natural split between personalities. And even today, you have the gamers that what a deep immersion role playing game and the players that want a deep rule roll playing game.


    So, this brings us back to your four points....and I don't think the focus should be on ''how'' you make choices. Really any choice is based on the game rules and what you want to do.

    You can't separate the Rules from the Character or the Story or the Player.

    *Rules Roll Playing(''wargame''): You have to play by the rules. You character can do X, and can't do Y and has a 50% of doing Z. This is all in the rules and will effect most of the decisions.

    *Player Role Playing(''adventure") making choices based on the player, their problem solving skills and ability to interpret the world / puzzles / etc

    *Character Role Playing: making decisions based on the character, their personality, how they react, what they would do.

    *Storytelling: Telling a Story. Making decisions based on telling a Story.

    Now, the important thing to keep in mind is that most games will have all four of the above, just at different levels(lets say on a 1 to 3 scale)

    A Classic pre '85 D&D 'Adventure' game is like Rules 3, Player 3, Character 1, Storytelling 1.

    ''Modern'' generic D&D: Rules 3, Player 1, Character 2, Storytelling 1.

    ''Epic Story" D&D: Rules 2, Player 2, Character 3, Storytelling 3.

    And a non D&D Storytelling game: Rules 1, Player 1, Character 3, Storytelling 3.

  5. - Top - End - #35
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    Default Re: Did you mean Adventure Game?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Take, for example, the case where, in the GM's world, it's expected that barn fires can be put out through mundane means. This is not something that the players can just roleplay - anyone with any knowledge or intuition of how that should work will roleplay their character at odds with the rest of the world. Without a master's in "the GM's world", role-playing is not an option. So, instead, there needs to be roll-playing, and the GM needs to just give the players the knowledge that their PCs would have so as not to seem pants on head stupid - especially if they are playing the cliched "idiot farm boy".
    I laughed.

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    Default Re: Did you mean Adventure Game?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    It is a pretty good one line of each (I haven't found time to respond). I would add to war games that this also includes creating the playing pieces. So the character creation mini-game is definitely a wargame thing in this model. As for story-telling... yes that sounds about right. I usually prefer the interesting situations phrasing but maybe "making decisions based on how they will shape the story" might be a better way to do it. First it takes the "good" out of it. Not that we want bad stories but good is very subjective as you suggested later in your post.
    Well, no.

    For me, character creation is primarily history and backstory and personality and psychology experiment - role-playing and adventure game. For some, it is primarily or exclusively the creation of a mechanical playing piece. And, for some, it's the expectation of certain interactions with the story.

    Character creation can be primarily about any of these, and the focus and approach will yield different results.

    Why, despite being my most successful massively multi-table character, who demonstrates the ability of a Wizard to not overshadow the party Fighter and Monk, does nobody else play Quertus, my signature tactically inept academia mage for whom this account is named?

    Quote Originally Posted by Friv View Post
    I laughed.

  7. - Top - End - #37
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    Default Re: Did you mean Adventure Game?

    To Quertus: OK, consider "character creation mini-game" as not referring to character creation in general, but the 3.5e "make the best character you can" mindset. Because it provides you with stronger tools for mechanical resolution later. Although it is sort of player skill thing itself seems to be aimed towards the character skill play style. Of course the closest action with a story focus would probably fall under story-telling so... I might have to come back to this.

    To further confuse things I'm not actually sure if that is what I meant the first time, it is what I should of meant by the new version of the model but by the old model (before tensai_oni's addition) war game had a broader net over character creation because it was organized differently. Not as cleanly though, which is why I might consider this as an upgrade. It is an evolving system.

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    Default Re: Did you mean Adventure Game?

    I never thought of the Gygax/Arneson dichotomy to be a role/roll split. In fact I'd even say that if there was a split in this fashion, that gygax was more the role side and arneson the roll side. The way I read it, Gygas was an outdoorsy kinda kid who loved exploring all around. His game let you do that. Run all around. Arneson had a hard time wrangling players into staying on task or within the boundaries he'd prepared, so he came up with the 'dungeon' part of dungeons and dragons as a way of limiting players to 'turn right or left' instead of flitting off on some random tangent blazing off into the sunset in a way that Arneson hadn't prepped beforehand. The first set of rails in the railroad, if you will.

    For me though a game is always going to be some combination of so many different things. Building an avatar. Showing some style. Constructing the most effective combination of traits and mechanics. Playing a part. Exploring a world. Using my abilities. Killin a thing. Solving a puzzle. Protect a thing. Rescue a thing. Rescue a person.

    Everyone just puts the priority of these things into a different order. Trying to smash it down into a threefold or binary doesnt quite cut it. Tabletop gaming is pandimensional. Non euclidian. Thats what makes it great. As long as the game you're in lets you satisfy your favorite combination of things.
    Last edited by VincentTakeda; 2018-06-12 at 09:51 PM.

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    Default Re: Did you mean Adventure Game?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lorsa View Post
    Can you elaborate what you mean with those deign principles? How does "starting from challenges" differ from "starting from story" and what do you mean by it?
    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    I would probably have to get Cosi back to explain that. It came from a brief exchange we had in Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY starting at post 82. This conversation has kind of gone in a different direction, that was the spark but it fit in with a bunch of other ideas.

    I kinda get it. Gaming styles and principles mean different things to people. For example Cosi is focused on the aspect that the game is about overcoming obstacles or challenges, which is a valid observation.

    But then again I've played with people who don't give much though about overcoming obstacles, they just got into character and had a whole conversations in character about their characters beliefs and philosophy. They were immersing themselves in the character, not in overcoming obstacles

    Then I've had people who were mostly interested in story, drama and interpersonal relations. If an action was in character and lead to making the story more interesting then that was the right thing to do. Overcoming obstacles wasn't their goal..unless it made for a better story, they could just as well make new obstacles if it made things more interesting.

    So what is right from a design principle? Story? Character? Challenge?
    Optimizing vs Roleplay
    If the worlds greatest optimizer makes a character and hands it to the worlds greatest roleplayer who roleplays the character. What will happen? Will the Universe implode?

    Roleplaying vs Fun
    If roleplaying is no fun then stop doing it. Unless of course you are roleplaying at gunpoint then you should roleplay like your life depended on it.

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    Default Re: Did you mean Adventure Game?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    To Quertus: OK, consider "character creation mini-game" as not referring to character creation in general, but the 3.5e "make the best character you can" mindset. Because it provides you with stronger tools for mechanical resolution later. Although it is sort of player skill thing itself seems to be aimed towards the character skill play style. Of course the closest action with a story focus would probably fall under story-telling so... I might have to come back to this.

    To further confuse things I'm not actually sure if that is what I meant the first time, it is what I should of meant by the new version of the model but by the old model (before tensai_oni's addition) war game had a broader net over character creation because it was organized differently. Not as cleanly though, which is why I might consider this as an upgrade. It is an evolving system.
    That's still only one way to approach character creation, even in 3.5.

    However, the "plan out a build from level 1-20" minigame that is, I think, nearly unique to 3e? That's mostly... hmmm... war gaming, or player skills, with a little bit of story demands? I think I'd label it player skills, which... could fall under... hmmm... anything? But I guess that those are war gamer player skills?

    So, wait, if player skills can be accessed anywhere, what makes the Adventure Game component unique, again?

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    Default Re: Did you mean Adventure Game?

    Quote Originally Posted by RazorChain View Post
    I kinda get it. Gaming styles and principles mean different things to people. For example Cosi is focused on the aspect that the game is about overcoming obstacles or challenges, which is a valid observation.

    But then again I've played with people who don't give much though about overcoming obstacles, they just got into character and had a whole conversations in character about their characters beliefs and philosophy. They were immersing themselves in the character, not in overcoming obstacles

    Then I've had people who were mostly interested in story, drama and interpersonal relations. If an action was in character and lead to making the story more interesting then that was the right thing to do. Overcoming obstacles wasn't their goal..unless it made for a better story, they could just as well make new obstacles if it made things more interesting.

    So what is right from a design principle? Story? Character? Challenge?
    There is no right thing. The right thing is to pick something and design rules to support it. It won't necessarily be possible to do them all simultaneously, at least not well.

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    Default Re: Did you mean Adventure Game?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    To Quertus: OK, consider "character creation mini-game" as not referring to character creation in general, but the 3.5e "make the best character you can" mindset. Because it provides you with stronger tools for mechanical resolution later.
    You know, from a certain angle, that sounds like disregard for the group, or an optimization challenge, rather than a character creation minigame.

    To my mind, a less toxic character playing piece creation minigame would involve aiming for the correct balance range of the group, and determining how to actualize your concept and intended role within the rules and within the group balance range, ideally without invalidating anyone else's character / stepping on toes / overshadowing / etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Why, despite being my most successful massively multi-table character, who demonstrates the ability of a Wizard to not overshadow the party Fighter and Monk, does nobody else play Quertus, my signature tactically inept academia mage for whom this account is named?
    Perhaps, more generally, why aren't their guides detailing background optimization, explaining which life events lend themselves to which character traits? Which parental personality attributes tend to produce which personality attributes in their offspring? Etc etc?

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    Default Re: Did you mean Adventure Game?

    Quote Originally Posted by VincentTakeda View Post
    I never thought of the Gygax/Arneson dichotomy to be a role/roll split.
    Arneson was all about the character, and he even gets the credit for bring that idea to D&D. Gygax was always a ''wargamer'' that loved rules, tables and dice. Arneson was all about a setting with a story right from the beginning, while Gygax liked the more 'vague nothing'.


    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post

    However, the "plan out a build from level 1-20" minigame that is, I think, nearly unique to 3e? That's mostly... hmmm... war gaming, or player skills, with a little bit of story demands? I think I'd label it player skills, which... could fall under... hmmm... anything? But I guess that those are war gamer player skills?

    So, wait, if player skills can be accessed anywhere, what makes the Adventure Game component unique, again?
    Older D&D had far fewer options to pick from and did not stack and scale like 3E+ So you could not really ''make a build''. The vast majority of abilities were static and unchangeable: you got X at X level.

    Though making a character is player Roll Playing skills, and system knowledge and mastery.

    The ''Adventure game'' is player Role Playing skills and real life knowledge and mastery.

    Roll Playing:
    Player 1: "My character walks up to the guard and says stuff, I rolled a 22"
    DM: The guard is amazed by your characters sharp wit and lets them pass."

    Role Playing:
    Player 1: Zorm approaches the guard with both hands in the open and says "Well met my good man guard, what a fair weather day we art having today. How art though?"
    DM: The guard looks bored, and says "Just fine."
    Player 1: Zorm :"Well, I say look over there I do spy a pouch of gold coins. Mayhap someone has dropped it? Maybe you, as a good guard could take it, and see that the right thing is done?"
    DM: The guard nods, walks away from the door and slowly picks up the pouch and counts the coins.
    Player 1: Zorm quickly opens the door, and looks back towards the guard.
    DM: The guard is still counting the coins....
    Player 1: Zorm walks inside and closes the door behind him!

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    Default Re: Did you mean Adventure Game?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Perhaps, more generally, why aren't their guides detailing background optimization, explaining which life events lend themselves to which character traits? Which parental personality attributes tend to produce which personality attributes in their offspring? Etc etc?
    There are, but unfortunately these important RPG manuals are often mislabeled as psychology textbooks, or guides to writing characters for novels.
    Last edited by CantigThimble; 2018-06-13 at 12:13 PM.

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    Default Re: Did you mean Adventure Game?

    I mean, if a player wants to go the effort of writing up their character's entire life story, and figuring out exactly which formative experiences led to which character trait, and all that kind of thing. That's fine.

    But my experience as a DM is that the people who do all that background work don't really end up with a character that's any better in terms of character contribution then the person who just wings it. Playing a character in an improv based game is not the same as writing characters for a novel. Having a memorable D&D character is about really putting the characterization out there when you play, because all that psychology stuff is just staying in your head.
    Quote Originally Posted by EvilAnagram View Post
    Yeah, I think the only way it makes sense is if you picture Yeenoghu spreading his taint over every gnoll.

    Go ahead and imagine that.

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    Default Re: Did you mean Adventure Game?

    Quote Originally Posted by War_lord View Post
    I mean, if a player wants to go the effort of writing up their character's entire life story, and figuring out exactly which formative experiences led to which character trait, and all that kind of thing. That's fine.

    But my experience as a DM is that the people who do all that background work don't really end up with a character that's any better in terms of character contribution then the person who just wings it. Playing a character in an improv based game is not the same as writing characters for a novel. Having a memorable D&D character is about really putting the characterization out there when you play, because all that psychology stuff is just staying in your head.
    True. In the same way I really don't need to know *why* I like board games on a psychological level in order to act out liking them you don't need to know where a character's traits come from in order to act them out.

    Picking traits that will work well in a game comes down to improv skills and the intuitive sense of "this group needs a straight man" or "this group needs a soul" and the ability to act that out in a way that is conducive to a fun and interesting gameplay experience.

    However, there are some people who really do go deep on character motivations and there's definitely a place for that. Although that style tends towards play-by-post and text RPs rather than live games.

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    Default Re: Did you mean Adventure Game?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    So, wait, if player skills can be accessed anywhere, what makes the Adventure Game component unique, again?
    Well besides that the system is not finalised (it went through one major revision already, don't confused the two versions) it describes focus. So the adventure game is focused on player and challenge, but it doesn't exclude considerations on story or character. Or you could look that as being a mixing thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    You know, from a certain angle, that sounds like disregard for the group, or an optimization challenge, rather than a character creation minigame.
    I mean I think mini-game means it is a game within the game. It is played by its own rules and can be played on its own (hence, optimization challenges). It can be played with varying goals and with varying levels of regard for the rest of the group.

    Now I can think of different ways to approach character creation in line with all four types we have laid out.
    • Role-Playing Game: Create a character, interesting, flushed out, consistent and so on.
    • Story-Telling Game: Create someone who will have an interesting effect on the story.
    • Wargame: Create a piece with the abilities useful for overcoming challenges.
    • Adventure Game: I have two interpretations. One this is just the character creation mini-game being played for its own sake rather than particular usage later. The second is as in wargame, except with a focus on how you will use the abilities in this campaign instead of the more general applicability. The first feels a bit out of place and the second gets really close to wargame, so this might need some work.
    Now the wargame version is the one I was talking about. And maybe I didn't need all this to explain why, but in my mind I don't think it is necessary toxic. Because "the best abilities for your character to solve problems" doesn't mean the highest damage. It could be healing if you are playing the medic or a medium amount of damage in a medium optimization game. So maybe best should be read as most appropriate, not maximum. Of course some people do read the latter and that can be a problem, but I don't think that is inherent.

    Perhaps, more generally, why aren't their guides detailing background optimization, explaining which life events lend themselves to which character traits? Which parental personality attributes tend to produce which personality attributes in their offspring? Etc etc?
    Because that would either be a list of genre conventions or a rather large essay on sociology and psychology. Maybe not. There are some, I've seen several threads on considerations on writing characters of particular alignments, but they rarely are as detailed as the mechanical guides. Personally I think there is a simple reason: The amount of options and nuisances in character history and personality vastly overwhelms mechanical options and would take a similar increase in text to discuss as usefully.

    I spend way longer on this post than I should have.

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    Default Re: Did you mean Adventure Game?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    Game based Game:
    Wow. Naming things really isn't your strong suit.

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    Default Re: Did you mean Adventure Game?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    [*]Adventure Game: I have two interpretations. One this is just the character creation mini-game being played for its own sake rather than particular usage later. The second is as in wargame, except with a focus on how you will use the abilities in this campaign instead of the more general applicability. The first feels a bit out of place and the second gets really close to wargame, so this might need some work.
    Now the wargame version is the one I was talking about. And maybe I didn't need all this to explain why, but in my mind I don't think it is necessary toxic. Because "the best abilities for your character to solve problems" doesn't mean the highest damage. It could be healing if you are playing the medic or a medium amount of damage in a medium optimization game. So maybe best should be read as most appropriate, not maximum. Of course some people do read the latter and that can be a problem, but I don't think that is inherent.
    I have found the first one, just making a character just for the personal bit, is fairly common for optimizers. They just want to make the character, but don't really want to use the character in a game. They might want to use or do an ability in a game, but that is still a far cry from playing the character. And such a player is ''out of place'' in a typical game.

    The second, ''adventure'' Roll Playing is very common, the player just wants to use the abilities, but does not want to really do anything else in the game. They fall into the typical Roll Player that are happy and active as long as it involves rules and dice...but then sit there and complain if any one talks for more then a minute or so.

    And the second one does typical get very toxic. After all is the typical Combat Roll Player that wants to do nothing by endless mindless combat. It's all ready bad enough when the player just sits their quiet, unless there is combat...but it gets worse when they whine and complain unless there is combat....and it's a slippery slope to them just being a murderhobo and attacking everything.

    While ''adventure roll playing'' can be things other then combat...it is often only combat.

    Quote Originally Posted by ross View Post
    Wow. Naming things really isn't your strong suit.
    The curse I live under is even worse. I have to not type my first two or so names as they would be ''too offensive'' for some, and I have to be careful not to use the wrong word.

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    To Darth Ultron: On the first interpretation: well the extreme would be someone making a character for an optimization challenge and never playing it. However less extreme forms exist and it doesn't exist to the exclusion of other parts. I have some purely mechanical "pieces" that have notable bits of backstory and character I mixed in after the fact. I could make the same comment about the second/third parts, but instead I would again raise the issue that your player base is not representative of the larger role-playing community.

    And now a summary of this new model thing I came up with. I have been thinking about some of the implications of the different parts, how they might trickle out and shape the system. Note that these are at best trends (at worst I'll have to fix it in the next version) and so will not always be true.
    Focus on the Character Focus on the Player
    Focus on Story Role-Playing Story-Telling
    Focus on Challenge Wargame Adventure

    Focus on the Character: The in world/game character(s) is in focus, the player just has to move it how it should be moved. - Shifts towards longer and more detailed character creation. More likely to have personality mechanics. Both so that the character has more detail on what they can or should do.
    Focus on the Player: The real-life player(s) in in focus, the character is tool they use to act on the game. - Probably more open to "meta" or disassociated mechanics, making the character one of several tools. More comfortable with "fast talk the GM" type rules (or lack of rules).

    Focus on Story: The unfolding story told is in focus, the challenges help shape and guide it. - Although free-from would be story-focused, sometimes story can actually bring in more rules as there can be more questions to ask other than "do they succeed".
    Focus on Challenge: The challenges faced and overcome are in focus, the story helps connect and define them. - More in favour of strictly defined rules that have hard conditions and outcomes, so that the challenge and its conditions are clearly defined.

    Role-Playing Game: Focused on characters effecting and being effected by the story. - In my mind one the classic mechanics associated with this are the character flaw systems that are encouraged to come up. Also if someone writes a bit complicated backstory and then pays attention to it, probably from here.
    Story-Telling Game: Focused on the players creating/telling a story. - Gets towards meta-mechanics. Also mechanics that don't relate directly to the characters can become more common as we become more interested in things away from the characters.
    Wargame: Focused on characters meeting and overcoming challenges. - The character's skill set becomes a big deal. The heaviest character creation rules of the quadrants. More abilities with "pre-canned" and straightforward uses.
    Adventure Game: Focused on the players figuring out and beating challenges. - The old "what can you do with a 10-foot pole" stuff. Character is a tool-box, often a very flexible tool box if used correctly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    In short Cosi said something about starting from challenges, I said you should start from story and we stopped but I was thinking about it and I think that this distinction kind of explains that difference in mind set.
    Then it was a mistake to go into categorizing things.

    I design from challenge. Because that's the thing I find interesting in RPGs. I'm not interested in traditional "story", and find adventures written by DMs that are "storytellers" to be boring. They need to go write a book instead. I'm interested in: Engaging challenges, reasons for the things going on so it appears to be a living world, and outcomes and consequences for decisions players make. I feel like designing around narrative structures destroys at least the last one, and possibly all three.

    This is one of the few places I disagree with Angry DM, since I think designing adventures around story elements or narrative structure generally results in hot garbage. But I'll provide links anyway since it seems to be along the lines you're talking about:
    http://theangrygm.com/narrative-structure-for-morons/
    http://theangrygm.com/narrative-structure-for-morons-2/

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    I'll say this--I think there's an excluded middle issue here, or at least a third way.

    I don't care about challenges. I tend to play games on the easiest settings, because I'm interested in the environments, the events, the people. Artificial difficulty (like most old Nintendo games) bugs me greatly.

    I don't care particularly about "narrative framing devices" either. Those are often artificial and used as paint-by-the-numbers.

    I do care about the potential for surprise. When I build something (either mechanical or adventure or setting), I want it to have the potential to be used in ways I didn't anticipate that still contribute and fit. When players come up with 3rd-way solutions that fit the world better than what I had planned, that enrich the shared environment, I win. When they force me to react to something I didn't have planned, and especially when that improv clicks with everything else, I'm happiest and do my best DMing.

    Conversely, when everything's meticulously planned out and every avenue forseen, when the mechanical piece is a perfect cog that fits exactly in its place and never does anything unusual, I feel like I've failed. I'm left wanting more.

    I want to see people taking the pieces I give and making something out of them that I never expected. The new Legos sets where everything builds together but you can't really re-use the pieces for something else are, in my mind, a waste.

    I'm normally a very Lawful person, but RPGs are my outlet. New, different, surprising, fantastic. Those are the things I crave.

    Edit: and that goes for characters I make. I want the character to have gaps, places to build and change, hopefully in surprising and beautiful ways. "Knowing the character inside and out" is boring to me. If I don't sit down to play and periodically go "wow, I didn't see them doing that before, but it makes total sense now", I've failed.
    Last edited by PhoenixPhyre; 2018-06-16 at 10:36 AM.
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    @PhoenixPhyre - I love it when people express sentiment that is almost identical to my stance, like you just did. I can enjoy challenge, and so feel no need to remove that component... and I want my surprises focused on the game, not the character... but, otherwise, what you wrote probably describes my sentiment better than anything I'd write.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    Wargame: Create a piece with the abilities useful for overcoming challenges.
    Now the wargame version is the one I was talking about. And maybe I didn't need all this to explain why, but in my mind I don't think it is necessary toxic. Because "the best abilities for your character to solve problems" doesn't mean the highest damage. It could be healing if you are playing the medic or a medium amount of damage in a medium optimization game. So maybe best should be read as most appropriate, not maximum. Of course some people do read the latter and that can be a problem, but I don't think that is inherent.
    I mean, I think if I asked my tables to use 3.5 mechanics to build the "best" build that they could, I suspect I'd see pun-pun.

    And moving away from damage doesn't help. MtG has plenty of possible decks, not all of which do damage, yet you still get plenty of toxic "best build or GTFO" sentiment that is such a buzz kill for what is otherwise such an enjoyable game.

    But, making the most appropriate character? Honestly, I'm right back to focusing on personality more than mechanics. Sure, for Oceans Eleven, my character needs one of several skill sets, but he also needs to be the type of person who would do that type of thing in the first place. The former seems far easier to engineer / far more likely to happen "by accident" than the latter.

    More importantly, it's great to tell a story about someone whose skill-set isn't exactly up to par, who has to struggle to accomplish their goal - it's great fun and a great challenge to run that character. It's another thing entirely to play a character whose motivations are shaky at best. It doesn't make for a good time, it ruins immersion, and it doesn't make for a good story when you're constantly left wondering, "what is he doing here?"
    Last edited by Quertus; 2018-06-16 at 01:34 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    Then it was a mistake to go into categorizing things.
    How so? Honestly the best outcome here is we get a few terms that people can use to describe their preferences, we can help a few conversations about systems people like and move on. That doesn't strike me as a mistake. Unless you are referring to something particular in the angry articles. I haven't read those yet but I will make an effort to later.

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    I'll say this--I think there's an excluded middle issue here, or at least a third way. [...] I do care about the potential for surprise.
    Funny enough so do I. I was thinking about how that map onto this model (best guess: a correlation with player focus) but it probably is just orthogonal. It is a mere two measurements, there are others that are best measured on their own (potential for surprise might be one, rules complexity another).

    Although it might still need fixing, so I will ask: Does this come at the exclusion of things on one of the axis? Is it instead of or in addition to? Because for me it is definitely in addition. Particularly in the story-telling section. Things being undecided is what makes it story-telling instead a story told to us.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    But, making the most appropriate character? Honestly, I'm right back to focusing on personality more than mechanics.
    You are my "iconic" role-playing player here so I am not surprised. But still I have seen people who, in response to requests for build advice, ask about the rest of the party and use that as much as whatever central concept the player presented. Mind you I don't hang around build threads that much, so I don't have any good examples but I have seen plenty of variations of "how optimized is everyone else?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post

    Although it might still need fixing, so I will ask: Does this come at the exclusion of things on one of the axis? Is it instead of or in addition to? Because for me it is definitely in addition. Particularly in the story-telling section. Things being undecided is what makes it story-telling instead a story told to us.
    It almost fits into story-telling, but the focus is not on "what makes a goods story here" (which can often lead to acausal events or narrative conceits that don't really feel right) but on "what fits the world right now? What does this say about the characters involved?"

    I describe my style as "self-laying railroad tracks." Pick a direction and follow it wherever it leads. I don't run "this game is about doing X" games. I run "here's a starting point and a bunch of themes, what do we want to pursue right now" games where when one arc is finished, another may open up with the changes from that first arc. Unlike a true sandbox, it doesn't reward jumping between tracks--once you've chosen your train, you finish that arc (or abandon it completely). Compared to a traditional railroad/linear campaign, I have no clue where the tracks lead more than a few sessions out. I know the major threats along the way (the basic landscape), the "theme" (undead, dragons, weird twisted creatures, etc) and a starting point. The players and I together end up creating the tracks as we go, and it's never where I expected to end up except in the broadest sense.

    It's about following the consequences to somewhere fun. Whenever there's a choice between possible consequences, picking the ones that lead to new things and that say "yes, and" to players, not the ones that say "no, nothing happens."

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    You are my "iconic" role-playing player here so I am not surprised. But still I have seen people who, in response to requests for build advice, ask about the rest of the party and use that as much as whatever central concept the player presented. Mind you I don't hang around build threads that much, so I don't have any good examples but I have seen plenty of variations of "how optimized is everyone else?"
    I usually pick a broad "role" to fill, then build characters mechanically and let them speak to me. I'll pick the one that has the most to say, that inspires me the most. Usually I'll pick a "twist" for that character, something that makes them unique.

    As an example, I built a few characters for a 5e game (using a module) that I'm playing in. I knew from the rest of the group I needed to play a support/skilled type.

    So I built the following characters:

    * Dwarven Nature cleric. Decided that his "twist" was going to be that he was a jeweler raised by gnomes, worshiping/serving a gnomish god somewhat unwillingly (grumbling about having to go adventure, arguing with his god, etc.)

    * An arch-fey warlock (planned as Warlock 2/Bard X). This one had the twist of being a Disney princess, except male and a little less than pleased about the whole "animals love me" thing.

    * A Celestial warlock (also bardlock). This was the dark counterpart to the one above. Her* twist is that she was actually a he that, as a consequence of his bargain (with a decidedly chaotic good celestial) ended up switching genders as well as getting a great voice.

    This last one was the weakest, but once I had the basics, the backstory hit me and I ran with it. She's coming to terms with her gender flip and is generally a snarky, sarcastic person who wavers between having strongly-held opinions and being a bit of a coward.

    I don't really know her backstory beyond "orphan in Waterdeep, raised by a cleric who sponsored him to a court-minstrel school. Failed out when his voice changed badly. Made a pact with a servant of X for a better voice. The adventure is his payment."
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post

    I do care about the potential for surprise. .
    This just is a personal style thing here. You like to 'somehow' not see something, so it will 'surprise' you. I guess you might really not see things, or you can pretend not to see them to get the surprise effect.

    Really, 'surprise' just is not the right word. As a DM I do Like when a player does just about anything in the game other then boring roll playing combat. Like when the players come up with a plan that is not 'kill,loot, repeat'. Or when the players play attention enough to remember a bit of information or a plot point and use it in the game.

    But it is in no way ''surprise''.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    You are my "iconic" role-playing player here so I am not surprised. But still I have seen people who, in response to requests for build advice, ask about the rest of the party and use that as much as whatever central concept the player presented. Mind you I don't hang around build threads that much, so I don't have any good examples but I have seen plenty of variations of "how optimized is everyone else?"
    I'm against the idea of ''building a party'' myself. It's bad enough that everyone has different idea of what the 'party' must have, but it is even more funny how the 'build supporters' suddenly will toss it away if they want too. Worse is the idea that some poor players are 'forced' to play characters they do not want to play, but are 'forced too' play.

    And, it ultimately can be pointless and silly. Even if you have the 'perfect build party', it does not mean much unless all the players have the right amount of game, skill and personal mastery. After all, the 'perfect build party' can still charge into battle like murderhobos and get all the characters killed in the first half hour of the game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    You are my "iconic" role-playing player here so I am not surprised. But still I have seen people who, in response to requests for build advice, ask about the rest of the party and use that as much as whatever central concept the player presented. Mind you I don't hang around build threads that much, so I don't have any good examples but I have seen plenty of variations of "how optimized is everyone else?"


    The roleplayers who taught this old grognard war gamer would be so proud to hear you say that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    How so? Honestly the best outcome here is we get a few terms that people can use to describe their preferences, we can help a few conversations about systems people like and move on. That doesn't strike me as a mistake. Unless you are referring to something particular in the angry articles. I haven't read those yet but I will make an effort to later.
    That's just it - the problem is that these few terms seem inadequate. I'm a step or two behind the poster you're replying to, so I can't put my finger on it yet (I should probably re-read what they posted), but it feels like we should still be describing all the animals we've ever seen, not saying that all the world's animals can be categorized as cats, dogs, and ducks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    It almost fits into story-telling, but the focus is not on "what makes a goods story here" (which can often lead to acausal events or narrative conceits that don't really feel right) but on "what fits the world right now? What does this say about the characters involved?"
    ... If the answer to "what makes a good story" gets you a bad story you obviously aren't answering it very well. Whenever I invoke the word story directly people seem to thing I mean following conventions and setting up overdramatic situations for later. A) I don't like that type of story myself and B) just go with the stories you like, formulaic or subverting or anywhere in between or off to the sides. People have some connotations around that I just don't understand. And if the story doesn't feel right it probably isn't that great of a story.

    That aside your "self-laying railroad tracks" sounds a lot like my "dynamic collaborative storytelling", as in it could be a paraphrasing of my own description. I don't use that terminology, but the underlying concepts sound the same.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    The roleplayers who taught this old grognard war gamer would be so proud to hear you say that.
    Their little Quertus is all grown up now. Anyways, I'm glad they would be happy to hear it.

    That's just it - the problem is that these few terms seem inadequate. I'm a step or two behind the poster you're replying to, so I can't put my finger on it yet (I should probably re-read what they posted), but it feels like we should still be describing all the animals we've ever seen, not saying that all the world's animals can be categorized as cats, dogs, and ducks.
    Well... there are other terms out there. This is to add to that collection. And I don't know of any other terms that cover these distinctions.

    (Roll/role-playing has been presented a few times, but that is been used as an insult enough its actual meaning has kind of worn away. Even going past that it means mechanical/non-mechanical most of the time and you can play in three of the four quadrants (wargame being the possible exception) leaning pretty heavily either way.)

    I also haven't really found any cases where something that feels like it should be covered by this isn't. What I mean is all the other distinctions so far feel like they can switch back and forth while staying within one group, instead of pushing out to form another group. But then PhoenixPhyre and I haven't finished so maybe something will come out of it that. The other examples I've been able to think of have all worked.

    On the other hand if you (or Tanarii) manages to put your figure on it I would like to hear it. The point is to make something people can use and if it doesn't work it should probably change. Maybe we should drop the quadrant names and just go with player/character-story/challenge focused. Or maybe player/character should be described as internal/external to the game world? Maybe that would be the more useful distinction or framing. I'm not sure but I would like to find it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    ... If the answer to "what makes a good story" gets you a bad story you obviously aren't answering it very well. Whenever I invoke the word story directly people seem to thing I mean following conventions and setting up overdramatic situations for later. A) I don't like that type of story myself and B) just go with the stories you like, formulaic or subverting or anywhere in between or off to the sides. People have some connotations around that I just don't understand. And if the story doesn't feel right it probably isn't that great of a story.

    That aside your "self-laying railroad tracks" sounds a lot like my "dynamic collaborative storytelling", as in it could be a paraphrasing of my own description. I don't use that terminology, but the underlying concepts sound the same.

    I also haven't really found any cases where something that feels like it should be covered by this isn't. What I mean is all the other distinctions so far feel like they can switch back and forth while staying within one group, instead of pushing out to form another group. But then PhoenixPhyre and I haven't finished so maybe something will come out of it that. The other examples I've been able to think of have all worked.
    I think the distinction is really between pre-conceived stories (which is where the narrative tools/conventions/etc as well as the push-back come in) and retrospective stories. My "playing for surprise" category focuses on the second and dislikes the first (as a DM). As a player, I can handle a pre-written story if it's compelling enough and surprising to me. As a DM, it's boring because there are no major surprises.

    My statement about there being a third way was really directed at Tanarii, who portrayed a dichotomy between challenge and "story" (meaning pre-conceived, pre-written stories). I can't "just go write a novel"--I don't know what will happen. I can't know what will happen until it does. But I'm also not playing for challenge.

    Dynamic collaborative storytelling sounds like a good way to phrase it. I wanted something to point out that in my system they're both freer than a railroad (can go anywhere and start anything) and simultaneously more restricted than a pure sandbox (if they abandon anything for very long, they can't really come back to it without huge consequences that will make it a different scenario).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    (Roll/role-playing has been presented a few times, but that is been used as an insult enough its actual meaning has kind of worn away. Even going past that it means mechanical/non-mechanical most of the time and you can play in three of the four quadrants (wargame being the possible exception) leaning pretty heavily either way.)
    I wonder why ''roll playing'' is consider an insult? Because Role Playing is the ''right'' way to play the game?

    Like say you are a Wargamer number cruncher that cares only about the dice rolls and mechanical rules..and only even give your character a name as the rules say your character must have a name. And someone says ''your a roll player!", um, so what? You are a roll player...you sure not role playing. And you'd freely admit to not role playing.




    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    Maybe we should drop the quadrant names and just go with player/character-story/challenge focused. Or maybe player/character should be described as internal/external to the game world? Maybe that would be the more useful distinction or framing. I'm not sure but I would like to find it.
    You might need to do my suggestion of different levels of each part. All games with have some of each...but how much tells you the type of game.

    A Classic pre '85 D&D 'Adventure' game is like Rules 3, Player 3, Character 1, Storytelling 1.

    This game is very heavy on the game rules and the player, but has very little focus on the character or any type of story.

    ''Modern'' generic D&D: Rules 3, Player 1, Character 2, Storytelling 1.

    Again, heavy on the rules, but with much more focus on the character...but very little on the player or story.

    ''Epic Story" D&D: Rules 2, Player 2, Character 3, Storytelling 3.

    The rules and player take a back seat her to the character story.

    And a non D&D Storytelling game: Rules 1, Player 1, Character 3, Storytelling 3.

    The rules and player take a back seat her to the overwhelming character story.

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