Friday, May 31, 2013

Slender Dust 514

It doesn't matter if you have a shot gun. If you shoot, he will yet live and your second shot will miss. If you try to aim for the head, he will sense you and move, spotting you! He will kill you - his back is your death, not his! The horror is in the not understanding!
So, they brought out a new slender game - that was quick! And this one is set in space, with guns! The guns are there to break your spirit, of course, because like the goggles, the guns, they do nothing!

No, you will stand two meters away and shot gun the slender man as he types things on the interwebs. He will simply sidle backwards and although you will plant another half of a shotgun blast, he will end you like the slender man ends everything!

Oh, they pretend these are other players. But that's just part of it - this is the future, and the future is multiple slender men, all able to kill you as soon as they can see you! Oh god, don't be seen!!!1!

Sometimes when the slender man kills you, you don't die straight away. There's a mechanic there that lets you call for help from the not-slenders (your team). guessed it, it's there to break your spirit! It'll even say that someone with a revival unit is near you - and then they go away. You call for help and nobody comes - this is how much the slender man kills you! Right inside!

It ties in to the whole hunting around for scraps of paper - here you find yourself hacking various pieces of machinery, some which are objectives, others which help your side of not-slenders. You 'hack' them because that's to remind you of what the slender man will do to your body if he sees you.

At first the game seemed a fairly uninteresting excursion to death land (even at the academy stage) and I had assumed you probably need to be elbow deep in the skill system before you can hack. But no, everyone can hack. And the thing is, you get the same points for hacking (or more!) as you do for when the slender man lets you think you killed him! This is a game changer! Clearly the who gun thing is what we all knew it was - there to raise your hopes, simply to dash them to the ground! No, you are instead to go to various pieces of machinery and if you have the skills to hold the circle button down for a period of time and watching a progress button, you can get just as many points as if you managed to pretend kill the slender man! 50 points! 50 of what, I do not know? I have no idea - but 50 sounds good!

So, dash on through, find various machines that will put your heavy thumb skills to the test! And lose the scenario anyway! It's okay, you get a fair wack of cash and skill points even if you lose - because the slender man wants you to know, you're not going anywhere!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Weird agenda gear shifts in some peoples roleplay

I'm talking to some guy on the 5E playtest forum. He really wants there to be an unconcious state so players can be captured, but as is the cleric will keep quick healing PC's to 1 HP, so he thinks the monsters will have to coup de grace PC's to stop them from popping back up again.

It's really odd how insistant he is about this capture option being available - then when I assume the only point to it being always available is to capture them every time the party loses a battle, he says 'oh no, capture is only a possibility!'?

Well, 99% is a possibility as well. But ignoring that and trying to read 'possibility' (since it was highlighted to me in bold) as being a rare event, lets say 10% is a rare occurance.

So he's arguing against missing out on an edge case?

What I suspect, if one looks at his gaming history (in games that have an unconcious state and no quick heal issue as outlined above), is that the ratio of party defeats that lead to capture Vs the ratio of party defeats that lead to the monsters killing the PC's is a 1 to 0 ratio, or a 100 to 1 ratio. Ie his 'possibility' is actually a near certainty.

But he keeps trying to tell everyone, including himself, that it's a mere possibility that you'll be captured.

That, or he's arguing to keep something that very rarely happens? (oh yeah, keeping that means that players who go unconcious need to stay that way (because being captured is so important) and so can't do anything else during the combat (unless a proper heal is used up on them))

Actually I just realised - why doesn't this happen with normal healing spells - those make the PC's rise up again. Why don't monsters CDG fallen PC's to make normal healing spells (not just the one single quick heal a cleric can do in addition to swinging a mace) not work?

I think he's got this gamist thing going on during combat where he has to be all optimal in their attacks - but che-CHRdddd, he shifts gears the instant combat ends and it's some other agenda.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Your die roll most likely was just busy work

I was reading this, and in time honoured tradition I'll ignore the larger subject and bite at a subject it raises as absolutely true (or it seems to be depicted that way).

The passage in question is this.
Sometimes all an Owlbear really wants is to be scratched behind the ears or to share that bag of Twizzlers you’ve got in your pocket; you just need to roll the dice to find out.
 What I kinda hate is the false legitimacy rolling a small, multicided piece of plastic apparently lends. It's like this post, except that guy can actually state its all dice rolling for show. I'll quote from it
A surprising number of people need a die roll to add authenticity to narration, even if there's no set DC and the DM is basically just gonna tell you that you succeed unless the die comes up really low. To be honest, I'm one of those people sometimes -- it's as if the trappings of mechanical support make it seem like you're actually doing something impartial, rather than just bullshitting.

Psst, it's the GM just saying you can! Were all acting like were not voting ourselves a payrise, but that's what's happening - were all just voting ourselves a payrise. We roll a dice, pretend that matters somehow, then we all just pat each other on the back for being awesome.

This will seem horrible to some (and with it, an impossible conclusion to make) because that's all that roleplay can be.

Okay, we can go traditional or newer stuff - for traditional, death. For newer stuff, a player defined loss mechanic: maybe the player states their character has a picture of their loved one (they can't easily replace) and that's at risk.

Right - now lets say the roll to determine if the owlbear just wants to be friends could, on a set series of numbers, involve death or loss of something important to the PC.

Now things are heating up!

Or no, you just roll something and then maybe the GM just says yeah, the owl bear is totally your friend - I'll indulge myself since it's my blog. No, your play sucks. It's a dead, cramped thing. It's totally great for you to give excuses to give your friends pats on the back (which is fine if you can admit that's all you want out of coming to the table). But your play is a dead, withered thing that looks like it stickily fell off the sole of someones shoe.

Your play sucks. But you've been patted on the back enough about it, you really genuinely actually think it's bigger and better than 'hitting some buttons'. No, the person hitting the buttons has gone through something far more arduous than your delusion that you 'used the power of imagination!!1!'.

Again, I don't mind if people just want an excuse to pat each other on the back and can admit to that.

But when they really encourage someone to think they are doing something they aren't - what is that?

Monday, May 6, 2013

RPG culture and stone soup, ie 'Don't be stupid, you make all the fun yourself (now buy the book!)!'

Ran into this delicious...idea, would you call it, in naked glory. Of course the fun bit that from, as far as I can tell, the rediculous position the person, they start saying anyone in a normal position is rediculous. Link is here.

Me:  If so, I'm disinterested in it - I'd rather just write my own RPG than pay money for a boring framework that I then have to make exciting.

Them: Ah, a fresh start to reading ridiculous things on the internet today.

D&D is about making your own excitement. You'd better go find a video game if you want it all spoonfed to you.
It seems a recurring pattern in roleplay culture - the stone soup fetish.

I mean, I'm taking the guy at his word - he has basically pardoned the game rules from being interesting (let alone exciting!) - the game rules can be as dull as dish water. Because guess what, it's up to you to bring the excitement.

100% of the excitement.

You can argue he doesn't mean 100% and instead means the book maybe brings 10% or 20% of the fun or some percentage.

I don't think he meant that though.

So he wants to PAY for books, books which are utterly boring. Then he wants to do all the work to bring ANY excitement to the game table. And for some reason he needs to buy a book to do this?

Internet guy, the world is upside down rediculous because your head is upside down, stuck in the sand. Is is thou who is ass backwards.

And of course a strawman at the end in wanting only to be spoon fed.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Thoughts today:

Of how businesses in the capitalistic system, as much as you might not like the bosses and CEO's, those businesses are like animals backed into a corner. Well, perhaps not all of them - banks seem to get bailed out by governments.

But the system overall is that we leave businesses to the dogs - they run out of money, they fail, they go bankrupt and die.

Then we complain about business people only caring about money.

When we support a system that leaves them to the wolves if they don't get money.

I'm not supporting bailing out of businesses here. Just saying that its a bit of a set up - condone the repeating scenario of people getting into a position where they face losing all that stuff they've built up - you're essentially making desperate people.

The best bit is, you have those desperate people in charge of other peoples supply of food and shelter.

Or to be more accurate, those people are in charge of your job (or whether you get one, if you are unemployed and looking for work).

But hey, blame them rather than the corner we set up for people. And the society we base upon people (ie, to provide jobs) who are backed into corners, snarling.