Meh, I’ll have a pick at Penny arcade ‘Story gaming’

Here

I’m trying to create a story that they can play and killing them seems counter intuitive. My goal when building encounters is to challenge them and push them to their limits but not murder the entire party.

Doesn’t that sound kind of contradictory (and counter intuitive) itself? I’m challenging you – but the final arbiter of whether you failed the challenge- ie, death, is completely off the books!

It’s like me giving you a really, really hard maths quiz that tests your maths limits – but no matter how many you get wrong, you always pass the quiz/you always live.

I’ve actually heard quite a few actual play accounts where players have tried to do things that would get their PC killed, to see if they could die. Ie, fail as many/all questions, to see if it’s actually possible to fail the quiz.

I think it’s classic illusionism, where even the GM has himself under an illusion – where he doesn’t really look at what he says to himself “Hey, what I just said just freaking contradicts itself!! What the hell was I thinking?”. Instead he thinks he can push them to their limit, but never actually kill them. It’s like the impossible thing before breakfast, where two mutually contradictory things are asserted as happening in the one game.

I beg of you to seriously reconsider your position
I beg of you to seriously reconsider your position
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2 thoughts on “Meh, I’ll have a pick at Penny arcade ‘Story gaming’

  1. It all depends on how you define “Winning”, that “Losing” will follow.

    If “Winning” comes from telling a story, then whatever stops you is losing, but it can also be being misdirected and getting the wrong “truths” or being stone-walled, IC.

    If in combat, winning is about surviving, then perhaps they should be able to die. Note, he doesn’t want a total party kill, he didn’t say he’s not ok with some of them dying, because then the story ends, which ties to the above.

    If in combat, the assumption is that you won’t have a TPK, then winning becomes about skill and luck; how many resources were expanded in the fight (less relevant under 4ed), how many people died, how close you were to dying… in such cases, losing does not necessiate character death, but you also lose if you didn’t do well, or nearly died, or all of your potions and magical charges were used, etc.

    Also, it ties to the “Game” aspect, that if you have a TPK, the game ends because there are no more characters, and the GM who prepared 5 more sessions “lost”, both having his world played in, a story told, and 5 more meetings will be cancelled, and his work going down the drain. The GM wins when the party keeps playing.

  2. Guy, you could, after the fact, clarify everything self contradictory that someone says. Particularly the traditional impossible thing before breakfast
    “The GM is the author of the story and the players direct the actions of the protagonists.”
    Oh, but if you take it that by story, the person saying that means…and so on and son on.

    Basically if I’m running with a false positive, then there isn’t much of a big deal – I wrote some stuff which while strong, was polite. If what their actually doing is functional, how can it hurt to say that their words indicate their doing something else that is non functional? It doesn’t hurt – it can only help or have no effect either way.

    However, if your running with a false negative, your reinforcing and supporting a proposition that’s impossible to forfil.

    If in combat, winning is about surviving, then perhaps they should be able to die. Note, he doesn’t want a total party kill, he didn’t say he’s not ok with some of them dying, because then the story ends, which ties to the above.

    Guy, you might have a bit of a contradiction here yourself. If your only okay with some of them dying, but you have a ruleset which grants the capacity for all of them to die, are you in conflict with the ruleset your using? Because the rule set is eventually going to do something you really aren’t okay with, but at the same time, it’s been clear from the first time you chose it that it could do that. Is this a gamblers optimism, that you will beat the house even as the odds against that are in front of you? Or atleast, you’d propose he feels the odds of a TPK don’t apply to him?

    If in combat, the assumption is that you won’t have a TPK, then winning becomes about skill and luck

    What it’s about aught to be defined by the person who challenged you, rather than defined by the absence of some other lose condition like a TPK.

    If the challenger has failed to really communicate what the challenge actually involves, there really isn’t a challenge being given by them at all.

    Also, it ties to the “Game” aspect, that if you have a TPK, the game ends because there are no more characters, and the GM who prepared 5 more sessions “lost”, both having his world played in, a story told, and 5 more meetings will be cancelled, and his work going down the drain. The GM wins when the party keeps playing.

    That’s just a contradictory reward mechanism. If I win chess but lose 10 bucks, that’s just a contradiction in the design.

    The whole idea of prepping material is a big fuck up in terms of design, because it grants the GM a big loss upon the players losing. If anything, their losing should be neutral to him (he’s just an umpire) or he can consider it a win (he was adversarial). Speaking of umpires, if you tied a loss in salary for them if a certain side loses in sport, wouldn’t that be a bit of a fuck up? It would bias him towards making favourable calls to that side. Do you want a GM who you’d say isfair, but really is systematically biased towards making calls in your favour?

    The GM isn’t winning, he’s just under the influence of a ridiculous reward cycle.

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