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12:31 AM
@SevenSidedDie I learned recently that the reason so many orange things are called "red" in English, is because we didn't have a word for orange yet. (Eg, red hair, red-breasted robin, etc)
 
well, the red hair thing,... some of that is either red or mixed red orange
 
@trogdor back then though, people called orange stuff red (orange was just a yellowy sort of red)
 
fair enough
 
12:52 AM
@trogdor Most "red" hair is more like orange. The closer-to-actually-red (natural) coloured hair is usually called auburn. (Then came artificial hairdyes, and fire-engine-red became possible...)
 
oh, Auburn, ok then
and yeah, I was not talking about the really dark/strong red
I meant like, a tinge of red that doesn't have orange in there
 
1:05 AM
Here's a topic I've been pondering a bit: why is D&D and the like so much easier to grok than more "modern", narrative systems like DW or Fate? You can give a D&D rulebook to someone who's never experienced an RPG before, or explain the rules to a similar newb, and they'll be able to play. Maybe not well, and there are certainly common pitfalls like adversarial GMing or My Guy Syndrome, but they're unlikely to fundamentally misunderstand the way the game is supposed to work.
Whereas with Fate or PbtA games, that seems to be happening all the time.
A simple answer would be that D&D is "procedural". It only bothers with resolving actions, leaving narrative formation mostly oustide the rules, on the group's shoulders. While narrative games try to shape the story as part of their rules, which is much trickier.
 
[citation needed]
 
Which part?
 
That "traditional" is easier to understand than "modern."
 
Pretty anecdotal, I'll admit. But that's the sense I get both from personal experience with both, and from questions I see on the main site.
Remember the Fate gremlin, for instance.
 
@Magician no kidding -- I utterly mangled Fate in many ways when I tried to use it
 
1:11 AM
I propose it's a sample bias based on accessibility via sunk costs.
 
@BESW Explain?
 
When I started playing D&D, I sunk $100 and read 900 pages. When I started playing Fate, I sunk $0 and read 300 pages; I could've read 70.
Which group of people do you think are going to be reading more closely and expecting their chosen system to require great effort to master?
 
But were those all of those 900 pages to do with running the game? I recall they were mostly individual rules exception bits, monsters, etc
 
And 200 pages of Fate Core are about philosophy, not mechanics. I'm making a point about sunk costs, not about content.
 
@BESW I read the Fate rulebook twice, closely, knowing it's going to be tricky. I still flopped around for the first few games.
 
1:16 AM
Broadly speaking, I'm speculating that one component of many is that greater sunk costs encourage closer reading and discourage assuming it's obvious.
 
I'll admit that we were paying more attention and were more willing to dig into the rules when we were younger.
 
Another component, I'd speculate, is that "traditional" games have several more decades of collective experience explaining themselves.
Look at Atomic Robo vs Don't Rest Your Head vs Dresden Files to see how just a few years experience can progressively improve the ability of one set of developers to explain narrative-game concepts.
 
@BESW This one, I'll agree with. Though that does raise the question on accessibility of older D&D rules, something we can't quite answer.
 
Anecdotally, "no such thing as D&D" was even MORE aggressively true back then.
We've had folks in chat talk about how they played D&D by extrapolating and inventing out of a monster manual and a single splat book, because their local stores didn't have any of the core books.
I'm not sure "understanding the way the game is supposed to work" has the same truth value for that paradigm.
 
...which is a somewhat different issue, lack of rules text vs lack of clarity in rules text.
 
1:21 AM
Right, but it's part of the same "understanding the game" landscape.
Online SRDs and RPG forums have fundamentally changed the community's sense of what "understanding the game" means.
 
Aye. And we have those for DW and Fate, too. And still people struggle to grasp how they're meant to work.
From anecdotal experience: I've started DMing with the online preview of D&D 3.0, quickly moving onto the free published adventures for it. They were pretty terrible. So were my games. But they were undoubtedly D&D. I was running them poorly, but not wrong.
 
How would a wrong game of Fate look?
 
And whenever we'd get a rule or three wrong, that didn't change the nature of the game, just the way the situation turned out.
 
@BESW no kidding -- playing 1e now is a totally different beast than I'm sure it was back in the day, even with a fairly freewheeling yet old-school DM
 
@BESW Underwhelming compels. Underutilised aspects. "Broken" stunts that dominate a scene.
 
1:25 AM
@BESW like my attempts to run it :P (more seriously -- I wound up not understanding how half the system worked so I simply started with the conflict resolution mechanics and never got very far from there -- things like compels and the Fate point economy simply made negative sense to me at that point)
 
I mean, I've played Fate with deeply flawed understanding of its broad philosophies and its specific rules (like the DFRPG fiasco where a sidebar said fate points had to move every time on fire influenced the narrative, rather than being an always-on truth). I've played entire campaigns where setting aspects sat neglected and ignored, and I've given out fate points for compels that did absolutely nothing.
 
A wrong game of either DW or Fate is one where the GM railroads the players, where the mechanics that create uncertainty and discourse are overridden to implement a a pre-determined outcome. These games are very opinionated about that sort of thing.
 
But there was never a point where I went "Oh, this is Fate and we weren't really playing it before!" or "Wait, this isn't Fate anymore." It's a spectrum of comprehension, but it was always Fate-y for me.
 
DW example: SSD believes most DW GMs are Doing It Wrong when it comes to modelling difficulty.
 
I think DW is a bit easier to say "that's not DW" than Fate is to say "That's not Fate," for a variety of reasons--first and foremost that DW mechanics are prescriptive where Fate's are descriptive.
 
1:29 AM
@JuneShores yeah -- that's probably the epitome of wrong in Fate or DW, and I probably veered close to there in terms of my past Fate-abuse experiences as well (albeit targeting the railroading at one of my own NPCs in a sense)
 
@BESW Yeah, that's accurate.
 
@BESW Right. Yes, looks like I've phrased it too strongly. Not claiming people are failing to play Fate as such, just that they are getting significant parts of it wrong. Which is still a version of Fate, just not necessarily the one intended by the authors.
As in, Fate without compels is still Fate. It's just missing the teeth it's supposed to have.
 
@JuneShores This is... weird... in Fate. Check out UnWritten some time! It's got a lot of "the GM knows what's up and here are mechanics for keeping secrets from the players and then revealing them later."
Like, there's a "ask the GM questions about what's going on" mechanic and a separate "make up what's going and tell the GM" mechanic.
 
UnWritten being a Myst/Riven world for Fate.
 
And the GM pretty much gets to decide which you use in a given case.
@doppelgreener Well, URU if we're being specific.
 
1:33 AM
@BESW I recognise these three letters but not their meaning in this arrangement
 
@BESW Huh, that's neat. I'll have to check that out. I'd not considered straight up, The GM Knows Whats Up style mysteries, but there are places where that can work and Fate has plenty of tools that can lean toward that if used with intent.
 
URU is the Myst franchise's failed MMORPG about modern people exploring the ruins of the fallen D'ni civilisation (of which the main characters in the rest of the franchise are the last survivors and descendants).
@JuneShores There's at least one other, but I can't remember its name right now. The coffee hasn't hit yet.
Oh, Aeon Wave does it!
Aeon Wave is a very traditional moderate-railroad adventure that still works perfectly for Fate.
 
@June Also hi, welcome! :D
 
Yes, hi.
 
Hi hi.
 
1:36 AM
Heck, the Morts pre-made adventure is a pretty traditional mystery-the-GM-knows format.
 
@BESW June is a good friend of mine. She's the one who's developing that game I mentioned the previous Saturday that you were interested in helping to playtest, and the one who put forward that notion about first session fate intros that I shared earlier.
 
Oh, sweet!
[waves enthusiastically]
 
(cc @Magician!)
 
@doppelgreener What did I do??
 
@Magician you did good. also, meet a pal of mine @June. :D
 
1:40 AM
Hi @JuneShores!
 
Hello there.
 
@doppelgreener would you say, personally, it was easier to grok D&D or Fate?
 
@June BESW and Magician and trogdor play Fate, Magician and the often-here SevenSidedDie play Apocalypse World games, and there are players from all walks of D&D here including from the days of OD&D and AD&D.
 
Oh, I like several of those things!
 
hello
 
1:42 AM
I'm a pretty voracious Fate and AW player, and I've played and loved me some classic D&D.
 
@Magician In terms of having an immediate idea of what was going on, it was easier to grok D&D: play fantasy hero, beat monsters, take loot. In terms of actually feeling like I understood the system and could master it, it was easiest to grok D&D 4e and basic D&D.
 
We've been playing 13th Age lately. Last game, our 5th level party went up against Asmodeus. That was a thing that happened.
 
Fate has been a long and fulfilling journey to fundamentally grasp and then steadily master.
 
I'm the resident wandering worldbuilder BTW -- I've dabbled in everything in the conversation above and a few things outside it too
 
@JuneShores Our group uses Fate as its primary/default system, with a lot of variety in systems for one-shots, but all my experiences with the Apocalypse Engine have been... underwhelming. It mechanises things I already do, so what would be natural and easy gets clogged up with rules. I prefer systems that push me to do things I want to do but don't gravitate toward naturally.
 
1:45 AM
...my bard challenged him to a rock off.
 
but I still haven't found a system that's quite satisfactory for some things I want to do though
 
If I'd gone from D&D straight to PbtA, it'd probably have been awesome and mind-blowing. But I came to it after a couple years in Fate and my playstyle paradigm had already shifted.
 
(I'm also probably one of the most un-narrativist folks on this Stack -- it's not that I hate it, it's that I find myself getting knocked for a loop by the tools that most writers count on to keep a story moving and interesting to the rest of the world)
 
@BESW That's fair. I tend to be underwhelmed by most AW hacks, actually. For example, I don't actually like vanilla Dungeon World very much, despite hacking it to pieces for various contexts.
 
@Magician My understanding of American folklore tells me that's reasonable.
@JuneShores I'm not interested in cynical post-apocalyptic settings, so pure AW doesn't work for me. I've GMed Monster of the Week and played a bard in DW.
 
1:48 AM
@Shalvenay Knocked for a loop in what sense?
 
@JuneShores We found out relatively recently that Monster of the Week explains a lot of the core principles of PbtA very poorly, and it was the first PbtA game we tried, I think.
SSD read it and it seems to describe the principles in a way someone who already understands them would recognise them, but someone who doesn't already know about them wouldn't be given an adequate education on them.
 
@doppelgreener Ooh, yeah. That'd do it.
 
That seems to have been a common failure mode for early AW hacks.
 
(I'm also increasingly impatient with any system that focuses on high-density a la carte character options; these days I prefer systems with more open-ended "guidelines for crafting your own options" structures.)
 
@JuneShores they're illogical to me, i.e. they don't mesh at all with my worldview (which is deeply steeped in the scientific-naturalism of someone who works in a STEM field)
 
1:51 AM
@Magician This is fabulous.
 
I go as far as treating characters as rational systems in their own right, instead of as people
 
@BESW Yep. I'm not terribly interested in the original AW either. I think my favorite at this point is Masks, and formerly Monsterhearts. Monsterhearts was one of the first games where I played a longer running (seven sessions, I believe) campaign and it was brilliant.
 
(think of what'd happen if you tried to apply Scott Adams' Moist Robot theory to literary analysis)
 
@doppelgreener You don't know the half of it. The Devil, according to our GM, was very bishonen, with long flowing blond hair, open shirt and ripped abs. My bard immediately ripped open his shirt...
 
@JuneShores Shalv's not big on consuming narrative media, so he's unfamiliar with its pacing and conventions. He tends to see campaign goals as obstacles to be solved in the most efficient method possible, rather than justifications for the journey.
 
1:54 AM
@Magician oh man. this sounds delightful.
 
But extended discussions of Shalv's RP peccadilloes should move to the Not A Bar, as they tend to go on at length and drown out everything else.
 
@Shalvenay @BESW Ah, I see. That makes a lot of sense. I've been steeped in anime and superheroes since forever, so these sorts of structures are pretty natural to me.
@BESW Gotcha.
 
@JuneShores yeah, I grew up digesting textbooks instead of literary works for the most part, and I was mostly aloof to the narrative conventions in the literature I did read. (LMK if you wish to continue this in the NAB btw)
 
@Shalvenay Certainly, it's an interesting topic.
 
Welp, I'm off to see a client. ttfn
 
2:13 AM
I spend a lot of my play-time introducing teenagers to TTRPG, usually starting with D&D. (Then, depending on the group and interests, another GM who knows dozens of other systems/games well may step in as we play a Chthulhu variant, or Fiasco!, or LB, or any of a dozen other that I've played a few sessions of but don't distinctly remember.)
The two things I'll say are that (a) D&D rulebooks explain themselves *horribly*, so I strongly contest your "you can give a D&D" point; (b) so much of the terminology and concepts of D&D mirror what they already know from computer games that a lot of th
 
hey there @nitsua60
 
Interesting. I was certainly familiar with PC game logic (which itself was hugely inspired by D&D) before ever reading D&D.
 
@Magician yeah, much of the Western CRPG world can trace at least some of its heritage to D&D and related Western TTRPGs
 
@Magician I think this is an interesting take on it, though. D&D does inherently give you a lot of framework/skeleton to hang things on, requiring less impetus/creativity from new players. (It also quickly quashes those with that creativity, in many cases.) I think it's akin to why we see so many assertions that D&D tables spend too much time on combat: it's easiest to run/play in some ways, since there's so much structure there.
@Magician For me D&D came first.
In fact, the first computer "game" I ever played was the one I wrote to play D&D with.
 
The reason I'm thinking about this at all, is because I'm wondering how narrative games can explain themselves, or structure themselves, better.
 
2:18 AM
(My dad brought home an IBM PC in the early days, slapped a BASIC manual on the desk, and said "we're not buying any games. If you want them, you can write them." It worked: two of his kids are avid programmers, two of us have never played more than an hour of a computer game at a sitting!)
 
@nitsua60 Yeah, that sounds accurate. I've been meaning to do an OSR hack that swings it the other way for a while now. More structured social stuff, less emphasis on violence.
 
@JuneShores Hiya! I don't believe we've met. Well met, good chatizen =)
 
@nitsua60 Nice!
 
@nitsua60 Hi! Yes, I'm new. Howdy there.
 
[pokes back] do I see correctly you're a RL friend of greener's?
 
2:20 AM
@Magician Narrative games have about as many unsaid skills required to play as trad games. They may benefit from bringing up those skills in the text more often.
 
@BESW I think this almost certainly has something to do with it. Partially sunk costs, partially sample bias based on who's willing to/interested in sinking such costs. (I'm thinking of how much I enjoy the "away from table" part of the D&D game, as I'm typing with my palms resting on castle designs another player and I are working on out-of-session.)
 
@nitsua60 Not real life, but a good friend nonetheless.
 
@JuneShores no kidding -- narrativist play has plenty of assumptions of its own, whether it is conducted using a narrativist system or as freeform play
 
Am I off my rocker here? It took me a while to be comfortable with Fate, and there are still things I know I don't do well enough (specific to Fate, not just generic GMing stuff ups, those happen too). But it's been a very long time since I've started with D&D, so I could be misremembering my past difficulties. And I was under the impression that many questions on the main site relating to narrative games are based on fundamental misunderstanding of the way the game's supposed to work.
 
@JuneShores Cool!
 
2:24 AM
@Magician D&D has a lot of systems which (with the exception of grappling) are each pretty easy to feel I've understood. Fate requires a lot more exploration and growth, because it's fundamentally up to me exactly how I'm using it, and there's lots of good ways to use it. There's also less firmly established culture telling me how it's supposed to go; I can tell any kind of story I want and use different mechanical pieces all kinds of ways to tell it.
 
@BESW Gods, but that was a fun time. (Said through the haze of reminiscence.) The thing is, we had no concept of doing it "right" or caring about how anyone else did it. I mean, I was aware the RPGA existed, but couldn't have cared less. We had our own RPGA in our neighborhood.
 
contrast D&D which says "You're meant to get into fights. Here are the rules for fights. The GM provides monsters. Here are the monsters and rules for making new ones. The players get loot for it. They can use the loot to get new items. They should use these items in new fights."
 
@doppelgreener Right, D&D has binary task resolution. Fate has more complex tools that can be applied and interpreted in many different ways.
 
Fate says "you want to tell a love story about a hulking behemoth and handle wooing the person as a series of challenges? okay sure!"
 
Contrast to Classic D&D, which actively punishes the players for getting in fights and pushes gold and freeform problem solving as the thing of play... sort of... they didn't explain it all well.
 
2:26 AM
it's taken getting to understand Fate quite a bit that I know I can run that kind of story and in what way various tools would be appropriate for it.
@JuneShores Oh yeah. I've read description that in D&D, if you've gotten into a fight that isn't resolved pretty much immediately and one-sidedly, you messed up in preparation and got in over your own head.
 
But what about, say, AW, in which, at least in theory, rules don't require judgement to apply, they trigger. And often they don't require much skill to resolve, either, you pick out of a list. And still everyone struggles.
 
... and my first exposure to Basic D&D was a two-part game (I wasn't there for the second part, but a friend was) where the party eventually confronted THE NECROMANCER, and within seconds of said necromancer beginning his monologue, the thief in the party shouted: "I THROW A KNIFE AT HIM!"
 
So, after seeing the answers that rolled in, I'm wondering if this question should actually be POB- or unclear-closed. But I'm not going to vote, since I've a horse in this race.
 
the DM paused, took a few seconds to think, asked for a roll, then declared the necromancer slain by said knife.
(the necromancer didn't even get to finish monologuing!)
 
@doppelgreener I love that story.
 
2:31 AM
@doppelgreener It was not at all unusual to roll up a 3hp fighter. Nowadays everyone would light their hair on fire and claim that the game was poorly designed if that were allowed to happen. Back then, we just said "well, we'll have to find a different way to snag some of that loot. We're not fighting our way through squat!"
@Magician That's not a bad observation. Which does argue for the idea that something's amiss with presentation....
 
@JuneShores yeah, although sometimes cleverness isn't rewarded after all (my DM at my current AD&D table very quickly put the kibosh on me trying to read Create or Destroy Water as being able to destroy water within a living thing. I was very glad I asked him for a ruling before I actually tried to do that)
 
@Shalvenay 1e or 2e?
 
@nitsua60 1e
 
@nitsua60 There's a problem many narrative games have, where rules suggest an outcome that doesn't make much sense in the story. Mixed success is often the issue. In retrospect this is often caused by applying the rules when things should have just happened without a roll in the first place... But that's another thing people often get wrong.
 
@Shalvenay Sometimes the GM has have to make allowances for playability. However, depending on the type of game, as GM I'd probably rule it possible at some greater cost or effort. Creating or destroying a body of water is one thing, but a living organism is pretty complex. Maybe doable, but probably with consequences.

There are plenty of GMs who would just say no, though.
@Magician Yeah, that's always sticky. One solution is to make the point where you roll explicit, but that takes the table's judgement to then know where to apply that rule.
I've been making a semi-freeform game patterned after 11 minute cartoon shows, which reverses the whole dynamic. The starting situation is random, but playing out scenes is entirely freeform and the scenes are mini-games that end with particular triggers -- not to go into a dice roll, but to just move on to another kind of scene/mini-game. No rolling with binary or mixed successes to worry about.
 
2:50 AM
Interesting. Can you give an example of such a trigger?
 
For example, the starting scene in each episode is a scene called Slice of Life. In this scene, players take their randomized prompts and narrate how they enter the scene, including their prompt. (You're either an Ace, Critic, Goof, or Glue, and each has their own set of prompts, you draw one at the beginning of the episode) Then, the other players respond. Once everybody gets a response, the scene ends.
In another kind of scene, it ends when one player either gives in to the other's demands, somebody disengages with the conflict, or somebody calls for a dramatic interruption. That's the PC vs PC conflict scene.
 
@JuneShores different, that's for sure
 
3:07 AM
@Shalvenay Certainly. We're still testing, and we haven't worked out the bugs, but it's been a fun experiment.
 
I've enjoyed the session and a half I've played very much
 
Aww, thanks.
@Magician Aside from the ending trigger, each scene has a few light rules for what gets said. Sometimes these are Apocalypse World style principles, like the latest versions of the scenes I talked about above, other times they're all about turn taking and more specific moments, like the Atmospheric Montage scene type.
 
So each type of scene has its own subset of rules/limitations, effectively?
 
That's right.
 
How many scene types do you have? I guess this is easily solved with cheat cards.
 
3:22 AM
Scene types vary by the premise. A magical girls sentai game is going to have different scene types to a post-apocalypse weird fantasy adventure.
 
@Shalvenay My wife did something similar in a game once - she used heat/cool item (or something like that - it was a cantrip in 1e) on an enemy. Lets you raise or lower its internal temperature by 5 degrees. That's enough to kill a person.
(DM only let her get away with it once, though)
 
@Adeptus haha, yeah, that'd do it alright -- death by magically induced hypothermia
 
@Adeptus what do we have envelopes for, if not for pushing them?
 
And the way they're designed, you could easily combine scenes from different "playsets" for different genre mashups.
 
[doppelgreeners are possibly ignorant of the mail system's existence]
 
3:25 AM
@JuneShores Iiinteresting. So as part of setting up the game you pick (physically?) several scene types (cards) you want to see in it.
 
@Magician That's one way to hack it. I'm leaning toward pre-built sets though, since that would let us have a more iterative release schedule when we take the game public.
Rather than releasing them all at once.
 
p.s @nitsua60 -- the AL table at my FLGS is running SKT
 
It also allows much leaner releases.
 
So, a release would be "Magical Girls" or "post-apocalypse", each with their own set of scenes?
 
Pretty much. There would still be scenes that are common in between sets, since we don't want players to have to hunt down releases to get a playable set. So stuff like Slice of Life will be in nearly every set.
 
3:40 AM
Consider (I know I have only a faint idea of how it actually works, and you probably already thought of this) having each scene type written up on an individual card, so they can be laid out on the table in front of everyone. And if players wish to mash up magical girls and post-apoc, all they have to do is pick a subset of cards from both sets that they feel fits.
@JuneShores There could be several "core" scene types that are present in every set and so don't need to go into them at all.
 
That's certainly a solution! I'll take it into consideration. Thanks.
 
3:54 AM
We're still figuring out the form factor and all that stuff.
 
@JuneShores At the beginning of a D&D 3.5 campaign, the villain got his hands on the MacGuffin and monologued about how it would help him take over the world... until I just grabbed it from him and ran.
(I was a Strength-dump caster with the worst BAB possible and anti-melee flaws out the wazoo, I was expecting to take a pratfall. But the dice said otherwise.)
 
@BESW Ha!
That's fantastic!
 
Sep 7 '16 at 0:18, by BESW
In my very first RPG ever, I had an assassin's guild castle looming over the starting town, which they ran. I planned for it to be an everpresent background menace, with the PCs slowly learning more about it and eventually engaging directly with its members. Maybe, toward the end of the campaign, one of the PCs might get inducted into the guild.
Sep 7 '16 at 0:18, by BESW
Second session: "We walk up and knock on the door."
 
@BESW This is why I have prep issues when I run games. I tend to be really, really broad just in case something happens and I need something else to toss at them.
 
Thinking a bit more about the apparent difficulty of understanding narrative games, I think I was somewhat unfair in my assessment. Specifically, I said D&D is easy to understand, but learning to actually run it well takes a long time. I had contrasted it with Fate or AW which often leave the GM feeling like they are doing it wrong, before they even get to whether they're being a good GM.
 
@nitsua60 hey again
 
But while D&D leaves running the game almost entirely up to the GM, narrative games bake GMing practices into their rules. Failing to run Fate "correctly" is intertwined with GMing it well. Running D&D "correctly" says nothing about the quality of GMing.
 
@Shalvenay hiya
 
4:22 AM
@nitsua60 does someone want to drop a "try these forums" message on there? I don't know the link to the list of recommended forums (fora?)
 
@nitsua60 so yeah -- if you didn't catch it earlier -- it turns out the AL group at my FLGS is running SKT, if that helps inform you what kind of AL group they are
 
@Magician Yeah. D&D doesn't have much opinion about how you run it. Fate does, and it has a tendency of reminding you how it wants to be played. A lot of D&D's assumptions, on the other hand, are implicit.
 
@Shalvenay Cool--I've been having a good time with it.
 
@JuneShores yeah -- I think that opinionation is what makes them more intimidating? to run
 
(Last session we had to run at a player's house rather than FLGS because life. By the end of the session two players had zonked out on couches, so another player and I each "double-fisted" character sheets. It was kinda fun.)
 
4:27 AM
@Shalvenay Definitely.
If you have character aspects that never come into play, you know something is wrong. If your D&D character doesn't care about anything or want anything and just goes along with plot, well, that's a thing to gradually figure out over years of roleplaying.
 
Or if you keep self-compelling without realizing it, and receive FP retroactively. That's also not a great feeling.
 
So... narrative games, because they're more explicitly manifestos for play styles, tend to give more immediate and aggressive feedback about playstyle choices than traditional games usually do.
 
@BESW quite
I could figure out I was abusing Fate (semi-intentionally) even though I had no prior exposure to narrative games
 
To summarize: it's easy to play a mediocre game of D&D, and not know why or if it was mediocre. It's easy to have a mediocre game of Fate, but you'll know where it went wrong. It's probably equally difficult to have a good game of either. In case of D&D this is contingent on absorbing collective wisdom as well as years of personal experience. For narrative games, the actual rules help.
5
 
@Magician Not to put too fine a point on it, but is the proper distinction there D&D vs. narrative games, or is it poorly-written games vs. well-written games?
 
4:39 AM
The actual rules help... in narrative games that are well developed. There are plenty of narrative games that don't help.
 
@nitsua60 I'd settle for "traditional vs modern"
@JuneShores Absolutely. "supposed to help".
 
Yeah, I think "supposed to help" is better phrasing.
 
@JuneShores My group still has scars from particularly messy games of Dogs in the Vineyard and My Life With Master.
 
Sorry, is it your contention that all traditional games fail to inform the user where things are going wrong, while all modern games succeed? Or that the question of whether the game tends to inform you vs. not is how you decide whether to characterize a game as trad vs. modern?
(I think I'm really not following you, here.)
 
@BESW This explains why poorly written narrative games are a nightmare: you know it's not working well, but you don't understand what you're doing wrong, and suspect it may not work at all.
 
4:42 AM
In any case, I'm off to bed--don't worry about answering.
Night, all!
 
@nitsua60 Ah, I wasn't trying to make a hard and fast rule for distinguishing games. I don't mean to imply that "traditional" games are bad and "modern" games are good, or somesuch.
 
@JuneShores the worst case for this, of course, is freeform RP environments -- especially ones which are populated by intuitive RPers who don't know how to explain narrative gameplay to folks to begin with
 
> I realize that I am generalizing here, but, as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care.
- Dave Barry
 
@Magician I don't assume you meant bad vs. good--I did think it interesting that perhaps a particular presentation style/ethos might be a good way to delineate trad vs. modern.
 
Maybe, though that's a whole different topic. It seems that modern games are more self-aware, more purposeful.
Anyway, go sleep!
 
4:47 AM
@Shalvenay Oh, definitely. Freeform play-by-post has this problem by the bucketload.
 
@Magician Right-o! See y'all later.
 
Bye, @nitsua60
 
@JuneShores Well met!
 
@nitsua60 Well met.
@Shalvenay And there are plenty who will deny that you even can explain how to play, or direct play as a game moderator, at all.
 
@JuneShores yeah -- my freeform experience is probably how I became so misshapen as a RPer without realizing it at first
@JuneShores directing play is one thing, but those who deny that play can be explained are probably doing so because they utterly lack the tools we have here on the Stack to explain narrative play
those tools are not commonplace in freeform circles, at least IME
 
4:50 AM
@Shalvenay Yeah, that's true.
They're not terribly common in trad gaming circles either, in my experience.
 
5:06 AM
in fact, I'd say the Stack, along with the constellation of blogs and writings surrounding it (Magician, Brian Ballsun-Stanton, and a few others that I can't recall offhand) is probably one of the outright best resources out there for that sort of analysis
 
5:32 AM
I saw several people recommend Inkarnate so I thought I'd give it a look. It's a fantasy mapmaking tool, but basically all it gives you are fancy brushes. So, if you can draw a line-art map in Paint, then you can draw a pretty map in Inkarnate. But if you can't draw a map, you're still out of luck.
 
6:20 AM
@JuneShores I eventually learned to prepare existing conditions so we can play to discover what happens next.
And recognise what kinds of things I can improvise, and not worry about preparing those.
 
Oh, definitely. "What happens if the PCs don't interfere" is a great guiding principle for prep.
11
 
yea
I have a dm who is very obstinate
PC rolled 33 on deception
 
My problem is that I often assume that I can improvise something and then I don't take the time to slow down and think about it before I start throwing noodles at the wall.
 
(with nat 20)
I rolled 33 on the persuasion following that (nat 19 though), and he's sticking his guns to the plot he was doing
 
Eugh. That's one of the worst things a GM can do to sabotage their own game. But I'd like to think I understand where they're coming from. A railroading GM scripts the experience so much because they assume the payoff of the awesome moments they had planned will be worth it. Except that's never worth the cost of bull-dozing over the players' agency!
 
6:32 AM
I felt so much happier when I realised that by inviting my players to collaborate with me in Director stance I was crowd-sourcing more awesome stories than I'd ever be able to inflict on them by myself.
We'd all get to be surprised by the outcomes, and nobody'd be accidentally torpedoing somebody else's elaborate narrative setup.
 
Yeah! Fate is especially good for that.
 
Like the time @trogdor's character was taken out in battle, and the fallout was being replaced by a shapeshifted villain, also played by @trogdor.
 
hehehehehe
that was very fun
 
At the table we all knew it, so we were all in on the glorious awkwardness of a villain trying to pretend to be @doppelgreener's character's father figure--and wound up being a better dad than the father figure.
 
that was an amusing consequence to the whole thing
that poor vulture sorceress had no idea who she was trying to pretend to be XD
 
6:37 AM
Because we were all in conscious control of when the reveal would take place, Troggy and Greener could push the masquerade all the way to the breaking point and then step back just before the game was given away.
 
Oh my gosh, that's fantastic!
 
They'd do things like get into a shouting match in the middle of a stealth mission.
 
Thats hysterical
 
"You're not my real dad!" was never truer.
(Mechanical sidenote: Most of that campaign used Atomic Robo RPG rules, a particularly crunchy kind of Fate Core. But for that particular adventure we'd traveled to the Masters of Umdaar setting, which is Fate Accelerated. So this was Queen Vulturra's character sheet.
 
Neeeat.
 
6:47 AM
So long as we roughly matched modifiers and refresh values, ARRPG and Umdaar meshed perfectly well. We had a couple Umdaar PCs join the party, and when one of them came back to Earth with us we rebuilt him in ARRPG mechanics.
We also jumped to Don't Rest Your Head for a dreamlike horror-themed session; the PC conversion was pretty easy.
Our game of Monster of the Week took place in the same setting, and in it we established that it's also the same setting as a particularly memorable 1930s-era Cthulhu Dark adventure from a few years earlier.
 
we may have gone overboard with that stuff
 
Maaaybe.
 
7:08 AM
This is all really cool.
I am also really tired.
 
Sleep. We'll still be here later.
 
Good night.
It was a pleasure chatting.
 
Likewise. ttfn!
 
 
1 hour later…
8:26 AM
hmmm. Interesting talk here. Inspired me to post a question about my problems with the pre-published TDE-Campaign we are currently playing (and in some portions kind of sufferin through)...
TDE-Campaigs tend to border between "really interesting and good, with lots for the heros to do" and "OK, now we are following an elf through the forest, who meets up with a unicorn that will be our guide after that. With nothing really happening other than "oh, you better have a sword or something to break through the foliage here!"
And yes, I know that I could probably find some interesting encounters somewhere (Like "gm, think about some encounters that could happen here"), but the adventure does not help at all with that. Which is weird, as TDE normally does.
Anyway, I will post that question later.
ramble::end();
 
9:27 AM
@xNGTMx Hi!
 
 
2 hours later…
11:38 AM
@Magician continuing from your summary: It's very hard to have a mediocre PbtA game, it either works just as intended or there is a fundamental problem in your understanding or in the game itself.
 
 
2 hours later…
1:13 PM
re: my earlier comments about blogs in the Stack's orbit -- I somehow managed to forget about Bankuei
(speaking of him -- I could swear he was active on this Stack at one point in time -- did he delete his account here?!)
hey there @Euch
 
1:33 PM
@Shalvenay yes he was, and I suppose he must have, or otherwise renamed.
 
1:56 PM
@doppelgreener Deleted - he's user9935 now.
 
@Miniman rats. I wonder why?! :o :/
hey there @nitsua60
 
2:18 PM
@Ahriman [wave] long time no se
 
ullo
have been popping back in
 
How have you been?
 
slowly
alive
and moved to new country
 
oh! exciting
and what country is that?
 
Got a job & learning the lingo
Sweden
 
2:20 PM
Well, then it's not new.
New for you, but not like USA-brand-new.
 
@eimyr eh?
 
I'm quipping that Sweden has a history of statehood that's longer than USA.
 
@Miniman nooooooo~
 
depends upon how you see statehood
The indians had states in a different manner from traditional white men view
 
I'm not imposing any definition of my own.
 
2:23 PM
I have heard there was another terrorist attack that never happened, in Sweden.
and that Swedes are very confused by a reference to anything happening.
 
So, say, China has a history of statehood of many millennia, even if there were many states, with periods of unification, with various regimes, systems and cultures.
 
@eimyr I KNOW AND i KNOW VERY LITTLE ABOUT iNDIAN CULTURE
 
@doppelgreener Mr President got lost in an IKEA, apparently.
 
2:38 PM
hey there @ThomasWard @eimyr and @Ahriman
 
Yo
 
casts a spell that saps @Shalvenay of all but one HP and transfers that sapped health to him instead
(I got literally zero sleep last night, blurgh)
 
@ThomasWard ouch man. casts a sleep spell on @ThomasWard
 
sleep spell bounces off the shield spell labeled "EMPLOYMENT"
 
@ThomasWard what, your employer has no HoS regs?
 
2:41 PM
@Shalvenay No sleep, acronyms are lost as a result of inadequate mental processing capacity being available, please expand acronyms.
 
@ThomasWard @shalvenay I'm pretty sure employer specialised in "Fire" spells.
 
@eimyr :P
HoS = Hours of Service
 
ah
@Shalvenay part time student employment while at university.
Flexibility of hours due to inadequate sleep = zero
 
ah
 
flexibility of hours due to actual illness = "Don't come to work, go rest up."
Of course, some of us have an innate "Skip Class To Rest" ability that activates in extreme cases such as these.
which will activate for me in... checks the clock and attempts to do math
... 3h15m.
so until then, massive quantities of triple-shot + extra shot espresso drinks.
 
2:54 PM
@ThomasWard what happens if you cast that on undead?
 
@doppelgreener the Dark Chaos power that fuels my spells and power fuse with the powers of the undead, and a wave of pure evil, chaos, and darkness spreads forth upon the lands and lays waste to all living creatures.
:P
Dark Chaos + sapping evil power of undead = infinite Armageddon to the world
 
oh dear. be careful with who you target with that then, that sounds like it would upset my sleep schedule and i've just recently started getting it under control.
 
And this is how a character created by me, taken control of by an evil necromancer witch controlled by the DM in a recent campaign actually brought forth the scourge of death upon the world, killing my five team mates in one move.
We've since changed the rules and backstory of my character to prevent the mind control thing. Homebrewed rules can be useful heh.
 
They sure can.
 
3:10 PM
"Held captive by dark witches, and subjected to intense evil, imprisonment, and suffering for seven years before tapping the power of the Dark Chaos of which the witches were trying to gain for themselves, he finally broke free of their spells which held him captive, and unleashed a wave of power decimating his captors and their coven. Free from their evil, he gained the power of Dark Chaos itself, and has since become immune to any type of full mind control attempts."
 
3:21 PM
@Shalvenay hiya
 
@nitsua60 how're things going?
 
Alright. Great weekend, followed by an extra-busy Monday at work ahead of me. You?
 
@nitsua60 alright here, have the day off :)
also, gnoll will make Monk2 next session
 
3:39 PM
also, @nitsua60, I think this guy could use your help
 
purely curious question: is there any idea how many RPG gamers are actually IT guys?
 
not sure
 
I'd assume it's a decent percentage heh
I know a few people here are coders :p
 
Well, I certainly am. But I don't think it is that high.
If there is anything that proves me wrong, I'll happily admit my mistake though :D
 
3:56 PM
well I call a decent percentage 1 - 20%
hugely wide range :p
 
4:22 PM
@Shalvenay ooh, I like the title. Have to run now, but I've got it sitting in another tabl.
 
 
2 hours later…
6:34 PM
0
Q: How about a generic [playtest-materials] tag?

SevenSidedDieWe have unearthed-arcana right now, which is just the current “brand name” for D&D 5e playtest material. Why not call a spade a spade and have a playtest-material tag for all our playtest material question needs? Naturally unearthed-arcana would be a synonym, so it would still pop up for people ...

 
hey there @nitsua60 and @BlackVegetable
 
 
3 hours later…
9:37 PM
Hi hi.
 
[wave]
Grats on your first chat star!
 
Thanks!
 
...I just quoted a theoretical physicist to describe a type of analytical lens on Literature.
 
@June donk, you are needed for a ping for discord
 
@doppelgreener Oh, okay!
 
9:45 PM
Nice to see you though also :)
@BESW I am very curious about what you had to say.
 
Oh, I just used "not even wrong" to describe some lenses' attitude toward considering authorial intent.
For some kinds of questions and/or ways of answering questions, the author is relephant--the author/text/reader triad has either replaced the author with some other player (like social gestalt forces) or cut out the author entirely.
This is... difficult... for many people to wrap their heads around, especially when they've been immersed in SF&F-style analysis where even the jargon prioritises authoritative canon ("word of god") over critical analysis of any sort ("fan theories").
It winds up sounding like "critics are smarter than authors," which is... again, not even wrong.
I often seem to be the closest thing lit.se has to a literary analysis expert, but my relationship with Anglosphere literary analysis is more like an atheist who studied Christianity so he could better argue with door-knockers.
 
@Shalvenay on second look (and reading the whole post), not "ooh," but "ugh."
 
@BESW I am very on board with Emrakul's "rename it to books" idea.
 
I'm not terribly intrigued by "do a lot of arithmetic for me"
 
@nitsua60 awwww
 
9:56 PM
I don't know--something about "here's a system, calculate what it does for me" strikes me as completely uninteresting.
OTOH, "I'd like to achieve X, how can I do that best (according to interesting list of criteria)" is super-interesting, in my book.
One requires a whole bunch of calculating to save someone else the work, one requires some creativity and playfulness.
 
@nitsua60 i'm interested to see it because i think it'll be super weird. the system involves three moving pieces: your score for dice you roll, a target number for dice to count as successful, and a (separate) difficulty score for negative dice you roll.
 
@nitsua60 For me I'm the why not both type of person
 
one does not need both nega-dice and a difficulty score in a number-of-successes system and i'm not sure why they have both of them.
 
@Skyler Cool--hopefully that means OP'll get a good answer here. It's just not likely to be from me =)
(For context, @Skyler, @Shalvenay may have directed that question to my attention because I'm often all-over mathy questions. 1, 2, 3, for example.)
 

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