Thursday, November 28, 2013

Dragons Crown: Should have an aftermath story, after main story completion

I'm not quite sure how the story would work out, assuming it ends in the first dragon being defeated again (maybe it wasn't quite down the first time - well, if you play again, assume that's because a hero must rise because it wasn't quite down the first time)

What am I talking about? I'm talking about not repeating the original story for every single character. Because that story event happened already. Lucains bones were found - why am I finding him again?

No, an aftermath story would be a whole new story to play through, which takes into account the first dragon being defeated. Maybe Lucain went out to check on some troubling rumours and again his mage tower is empty - so you go find him in the aftermath story.

Replaying the first story is jarring? Anyway with me on that? You mash X to get through the dialog, not just because you've seen it before, but because it makes no sense! You DID all that stuff already. Count Dean is DEAD! No, I am not going through the idea that he is a douche, but in the end an okay douche, omg he's gone off and been killed...I did all that. It's over with! Please!

An aftermath story would be events which could be repeated several times. Instead of repeating where formerly dead characters are again alive but then again made dead again, and formerly dead characters who were made alive are back to being dead - but then being brought back to life.

Which would just be more enjoyable - and I think not that super hard to do.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

TTRP; Answering the Air: Always parpuzio?

From here
As a secondary point, is non-mechanics outcome authority always parpuzio?

The issue is that parpuzio is somewhat like giving a name to a food that is far too spicy hot for ones own tolerance, let alone taste.

Ie, a misleading name, if one enjoys a certain amount of spice. Because the naming given is simply a result of an overload of spice - thus it damns all spice use.
Depends on what you mean by "mechanics." Some of the games we know have rather sophisticated speaking-distribution rules which impose mechanics constraints without fortune mechanics.
Sophisticated enough speech/speaking distribution rules basically are board game mechanics. May as well be passing around cards and tokens.

If they don't become full on board game mechanics, then they are 'parpuzio'.

But again the question is: How much spice do you want to use?

Traditionally the question is take that there's 'persuade the GM' and there's 'good GM'ing' where the GM is just 'running the world'.

On reflection I'm not sure I parallel Moreno's position
but that kind of "play to convince the GM" somewhat returned to be felt during the sessions.
I'm not sure if it's a translation thing, but the way it's put, it's as if there can be a point (in non board game play) where there ISN'T convincing of the GM. Rather than simply considerably less of it/play does not soley revolve around convincing the GM.

I'd answer in the thread, but I'm waiting. I'm pretty sure I don't have a place there, as yet. More in the 'say it for yourself' stage.

Edit: Okay, call BS on me. In regard to one of the topics, I replied

Table Top Roleplay: Crouching suggestion, hidden legislation

Ran into this post by Eero Tuovinen
To me this distinction seems pretty arbitrary: as per the Lumpley principle, the only difference between those "rules" and "suggestions" is whether the group actually allows you to get away with it when you go against them. I've often felt the impossibility for a designer to actually make his text somehow authoritative, and this is very much more so when we're discussing game moves you make according to artistic judgment.
AW could not make the parts it leaves up to MC consideration any more legislatively constraining without also removing the freedom of artistic choice inherent in those choices.
 My estimate is that it's contradictory - if you take it that A: rules can only be suggestions, how they can at all B: become legislatively constraining enough to remove freedom of artistic choice.

How does something which is mere suggestion somehow do that? Or is it not mere suggestion?

Table Top Roleplay: The backseat, and the steering wheel that was put there

the rules should take a backseat to whatever is happening at the game table. Rules are guidelines, not laws. And they should never dictate the game/story flow
This is the classic mantra. Most recently run into here.

If you think of the rules as being like a steering wheel (and brake/accelerator), it's hard to make sense of these - you have to put them to the backseat? Where you can't reach them?

It's the strange starting part - why have them to begin with? Is it a need to simply identify with a certain game - gotta have the book, or you aren't a real player of RPG X (whether X==D&D or some other RPG)?

It's like an urgency to both draw them close, but then also push them away.

I suspect it basically comes from gamers who have never, ever encountered rules that do what they actually want to do. They just keep encountering encumbrance rules, or weapon vs armour charts, or even to hit rolls's like way, way, way over there in group B. And what they want to do is in group A.

And they've never encountered a rule that helps or adds interesting things to group A.

So they assume rules really have nothing to do with what they like. Or parochially, rules have nothing to do with roleplay.

Side note: Somehow I spelt parochially right the first time, but not encumbrance! Bad gamer!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Tabletop Roleplay: The Coin Principle

This is a simple exercise in psychology.

Take anyone and do the usual roleplay stuff (whatever that is), but about every ten minutes a player is to declare their PC flips a coin in the fiction. The GM has to say which side a fiction coin lands on. The GM isn't allowed to keep a record of his past declarations.

Further variations are that players will lose a large number of HP on tails, while gaining a small sum on a result of heads.

As well as players being somewhat annoying to the GM, or in other variations, buying the GM pizza.

The question is, will the coin always come up 50/50 on each result?

Or will a bias show?

This is the uncomfortable 'persuasion' argument the adept press 'your stuff' forum went through recently.

Really I think we all know a bias will show up. To what degree and in what direction depends both on the GM involved and the circumstances they find themselves in, so the bias is fairly unique each time.

Yet for some reason we have to keep a black screen us and that when it comes to 'How Epidiah decided range to target in Dungeon Crawl Classics' or '[D&D] Is the dungeon real?'

For some reason some of my posts on this had a higher traffic rate than my dragons crown posts - so I write on the idea there may be interest still.

Is it some sort of uncomfortable final disenchantment? I can't find Moreno's example of him recounting how he said his character hid amongst bodies so as to elude the zombies chasing him.

But the thing is I can see the persuasion lines in that - the bias. And I can still enjoy it! It seems possible, if certain variables went Moreno's way. To me that's all the fiction ever was - the idea that if certain variables were to just happen to go in someones direction.

Though as I've said before, a GM can, in varying circumstances (say if you bought him pizza, or if you've just said he's a great guy) can become quite easy to persuade. Ie, alot more variables will just happen to fall your way than usual. That 'easy' is a problem in gamism.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Taking the idea of 'extending' to table top

A problem I have in a classic dungeon exercise is that really the players could simply back off and heal often at any time (generally nothing in the game world (atleast as I envision it) naturally stops this - only if I force an event to stop it from occuring, can it be stopped)

However after playing dragons crown, they have a mechanic where every dungeon you do after the first has an increase in gold and XP gained. If you were to go back, this resets back to the default.

I'm really liking this. In the past I've considered having enemies remove treasure from the dungeon if the players withdraw. But that's kind of missing out on something - don't gain for being bold, you just miss out if you are not bold. Of course the opposite is quite simple - have it possible to gain more treasure. Of course a bit of a simulationist attitude blocks this idea from being cognised. Because why would more money appear? But having played it, I know it's fun! So the reason more money would appear is that its fun (it's a particular type of fun and delivers it nicely).

Monday, November 18, 2013

Dragon's Crown (6/6)

There's also a weird power you can get for the dwarf which is eagle dive - the higher levels have you dropping bombs as you glide across the screen after a double jump. The more skill points in it, the more bombs. Not sure where the heck this comes from - it seems like an unholy mix of warhammers dwarven flying steam helicopters and D&D.

Anyway, that's my current look into the game - entering into the hard mode now, still with the dwarf. Haven't played the other characters much yet still enjoying it just on the one character...but then again, maybe the wizard needs to step boldly into the dungeons, yet again...

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Dragon's Crown (5/6)

Not sure about the toughen up power. You have to stand there for a period to do it. I presume it's like the wizard having to recharge - except they coded it that if you hold down the recharge button after using it for another attack, the wizard will start recharging, while the dwarf ignores the button if it was also held down during another attack. Which is annoying.

Also it's duration - I really have no idea. The visual indicator is so subtle it's really impossible to tell amongst the leaping and flying bodies and beatings when it ran out. Still, it's something you can do to prep before a battle and if you are doing really well, do so inside a battle as well!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Dragon's Crown (4/6)

And the wrestle mania!? The dwarf does a lot of crowd control (compared to the archer, who seems more attuned to boss killing). Grabbing enemies above his head - if you jump he takes them with him and you can throw them down. Buy into a skill for that and they create a blast radius when they hit, no matter if it's a great big lizard or a tiny fungi guy, boom - damage all the other enemies. If you can get into a sequence of making half the screen get slammed by a falling body then go to the other half, grab somebody who was just getting up from the last slam you did and knock them all down again, you can just make the screen shake with thrown bodies! A rare few enemies can't be picked up, but they are pretty rare - even in hard mode, it seems. Though it is annoying when the old grab 'em and throw em reflex kicks in but they stay resolutely on the ground!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Dragon's Crown (3/6)

The funny thing is is how much of Dragons Crown captures D&D style tropes - yet it utterly ignores one of them completely. It even has you drag along a thief to open doors and chests (instead of the main characters kicking them open - but it is fun to have a comedy relief character (whom you can trick into walking into geysers of fire!)).

But there are no clerics! Where are the clerics!?

Well, probably because it doesn't really work so well as a brawler. Sure, you work together, but you independent characters working together, not dudes who cannot do anything unless a cleric is patting you on the back through the whole thing. Which is probably fairly like D&D in a way, as you could go in sans cleric. Though mostly you didn't. So DC slips in on the edge case, with that one!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Table Top Roleplay: The Persuasion Factor

I think there is going to be a factor that is pretty much going to remain invisible to alot of roleplayers. That play rests upon persuasion and that at various times the GM can be very open to persuasion. And importantly conversely, at times he can be very hard (but not impossible!) to persuade.

Some will go on about how much effort they put into checking the accounting on every single fictional transaction ( [D&D] Is the dungeon real? ). But unless you watch out for how easy it is to persuade the GM, then that variable is left to the wind. Sure, I get it, they don't think it's even a relevant variable. That's the state of the divide I'm outlining.

Some will say they just get the GM to make decisions ( How Epidiah decided range to target in Dungeon Crawl Classics ). The thing is, unless the GM works like a old text based adventure game program, only giving certain, very fixed responces to certain input, this isn't true. The program works by decisions - people work by empathy and caring. It's our nature. Hell, that's why so many roleplayers so hautily say 'this isn't a boardgame/computer game!', even as the distinction eludes them (as so many 'what is an RPG?' threads attest). And while I think they should be more self aware of how it works, I largely agree. For sim, the very core of it is a GM AND players who are very much able to be persuaded by each other to give responces that they both want and the other person wanted them to give. I'm not sure it's an issue in Nar, particularly, as the moral problematic isn't really screwed over at all by people wanting the same fiction. It's only gamism that gets a mickey slipped in it's drink.

Anyway, I get that this is invisible as a factor. The GM just makes decisions - that's all he does - I get the perspective. The difficulty of play based upon such decision does not appear to fluctuate at all. Hell, it doesn't appear to fluctuate to me either, from direct observation! But nor does sleight of hand appear as sleight of hand upon direct observation. And here's where it goes sour, because folk hear that, they think malicious intent - in fact they want to ascribe malicious intent to that, because then they can say their GM never did that.

But it's sleight of hand without any party intending to do sleight of hand.

How is that possible, you might ask? How can you do something without intending to?

I could get lazy and ask how did you just process all the pixels on this screen in front of you - how did you do that, even as you did it to read this post and this sentence as it unfolds and heck, what is the very point of unfolding (define 'now' for me?). But it's lazy. Too up in the air. Too abstract.

But sure enough your heart beats without you intending it. You walk without monitoring every single joint movement of your legs and hips. Your liver processes various things in ways still kinda mysterious to science. You do alot of things without knowing how you do it. It stands to reason you do things without even knowing you do it. But now it's too basic - we know our organs, but treat our mind as different somehow. Too basic or too abstract. Too hot, too cold. Ever Goldilox, spoiling the porridge because 'the porridge is spoiled!'.

All of this is a stretch, I know - for the frustrated by all the particularness of such discussion. But in the end, assuming were hitting the emperic in this (maybe you'd disagree its emperic, which is fine), what the fuck does that matter? Yes, the emperic is full of fiddly particulars. How is that any kind of point but to treat your own frustration as if the other guy has somehow done you wrong enough to shut up shop on conversation. Yeah, you don't wanna talk about it? Just say so, be honest - yellin' at the other guy is just passive aggressive intellectual dishonesty.

It's not the other guy who's pushing you to respond at all. It's your own sense of intellectual honesty. Not the other guy. Take it up with yourself.

Dragon's Crown (2/6)

The dwarfs power strike - oh yeah, is that a fun button! They've done well on that one - I think you are invulnerable during the wind up. Which is great when a zombie just decided to do it's grab rush in your direction and instead you see it slide around your charging up character, then get pounded by the hammer strike

I think I probably use it fairly inefficiently - you are probably supposed to beat 'em up (as if this game was some kinda beat 'em up!) a bit first, then drop the hammer. Since you will lose the weapon right after doing so. Though I improved unarmed attacks for precisely this reason. In fact I got unarmed attacks to 100% damage - really I should buy it up further. But again I'm still not sure what it does.

Anyway, love that one smashing button - and the way you watch a bosses health bar suffer during it!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Table Top Roleplay : 'Is the dungeon real?' wrap up. One perspective.

Pretty disappointed with how the following threads went, with a trend toward using hard words in regards to personal crusades (amongst the choir) but not really facing mild words against holy cows.

[D&D] Persuasion in the Middle, or GM Fiat at the end?

[D&D] Is the dungeon real?

How Epidiah decided range to target in Dungeon Crawl Classics

Basically the refutations enter the model of advertising - they already solve anything anyone raised and to question the solutions is to incite yelling. In bold.

So yeah, you have people who are ready to take on holy cows...other peoples holy cows. Granted, they can't see their own cows and instead just see the other guy as being X, Y or Z (all of which are negative). But in the end it's always aimed away.

I'm not even sure what sort of bogeyman the word 'persuasion' conjures in their mind. It's a horrible world though, apparently. Just dreadful and just simply couldn't be the case. I guess if you demonise something enough, it just can't be true.

Okay, I'm walking the perimeter here - I haven't gotten into evidence and argument. But frankly the wounds seem so raw, what would the point of that be? It's like that guy who somehow got authorities to try and drag Australian backpackers back for murdering his brother - because his brother came to him in a dream. I mean, how far do you think reasoning will go with that? Taking it his brother suicided, it's a hell of a thing to have to face Vs simply having some very clear cut enemies instead. We like familiar enemies.

In the end you have people unwilling to look at how they have actively influenced the supposed impartial GM. Maybe if they did they might have another word for it which is more apt than 'persuasion', who knows. But that isn't going to occur.

When we influence each other all the time - it's just part of the whole social thingie! To think social influence somehow stops when we roleplay?

Speaking of, atleast I'm outside of moderation used instead to preserve certain ideas, in writing here. Oh, could be wrong, could be wrong! Maybe there is some kind of way those ideas are founded on very solid ground. But even humouring a 'you could be right' rather than 'you are right' ends up in yelling, as far as I can tell.

Dragon's Crown - Who let the Dwarves out? (1/6)

* I've played the side scrolling brawler 'Dragons Crown' a fair bit, recently. Decided upon the Dwarf mostly, though I dabbled in the arts of wizardry for brief while (which was good but whoa, you get weak when your mana runs out and you can't get the few seconds you need to recover it!). Called him Braddock - I was playing AD&D a little while back with a dwarf called Murock, so I don't know if that was a call back to him. It's funny sometimes when you take a table top character you didn't get to play out fully into a CRPG! Anyway, it's a great game in many respects. It gives you points if you don't die at all during a stage, but on the other hand if you use up your lives, you can spend gold to recover and to me the amount wasn't that much per revive. So you both strive to do well, but at the same time you can just push through with accumulated points if the going gets tough (and that boss really does just need to be killed! Stupid 'Gazer', I'm looking at you, you Beholder with the serial numbers filed off!!). The magic gate in the game becomes randomised after awhile, while unlocking the stable - so you can choose to go to a random stage for free, or pay to go to a specific one. And after doing a stage, you can press on to another random stage. And you can buy more bags to hold more supplies for these extra long excursions! It's actually a very nifty design, meaning you don't just need to find one good weapon, but instead it's beneficial to find several, to put in other bags, because doing several dungeons in a row gets higher gains, cumulatively.

More about it in the following five parts on Dragon Crown!