Discussion in 'Roleplaying Games' started by Shipyard Locked, May 26, 2017.
John Wick Chapter 2
Sure, but unfortunately some of the creators love to talk about themselves (hell sometimes more than their creations) When their egos get that big then we (fortunately or unfortunately[depending of personal preference])need to get some really big needles to deflate them.
I like games with hard choices and hard realities, but I don't feel that Wick really delivers on those. His games seem too scripted to give a genuine hard choice. The overall gist of advice I have seen from him is to spend most of the campaign making sure everything goes wrong and then to engineer it so that there is an "earned" reversal at the end where things finally go right. It doesn't feel to me like the events really lead from the players' choices as all.
As a GM, I like the drama in my games to come from what the players do, not from a story arc that I worked out before play began.
Nor from rules enforcing such story arcs.
I'm not convinced that rules are the way to do stories. But then, I'm the heretic that thinks RPGs are a terrible medium to use for storytelling.
That's what I meant to say. I fixed it in my original post.
Why is it a terrible medium for storytelling?
So we start off with some definitions. Telling a story heavily implies describing events after the fact. Which is very much not what you're doing in an RPG.
Burt moving on, who's story is it anyway? A group of five people, each knowing they are the star and most important character in the whole shebang, combined with a GM means way too many people vying for control. And far too great a chance of an unexpected action or character death or player absence derailing the planned story. It's way to dynamic and fluid a situation. And if the GM asserts control, players usually complain of railroading. While if one player becomes too dominant, the others often complain about favouritism or solo roleplaying.
So rather than a situation where we're telling a story, what we instead have is a group of people in a shared imaginary space reacting and building on a changing situation. Which is something that roleplaying is very good at. Even if it's not great at beginnings or endings.
For my money, the playing a game bit and playing a role thing don't need to be connected to telling a story. Not even loosely. Even if you can make a story out of what happened in a given game session after the fact. And build on that to tell a story after the event of a campaign.
But like life, it's not a story until you tell it to someone who wasn't involved. And gaming anecdotes usually end with a weak "Well you had to be there..." at the best of times.
This might help a bit.
To which I offer this as a different look at things. With particular emphasis on
And the real question,
I think these are questions that everyone needs to find their own particular answers to. There's no right or wrong. But back in the 90s, when this editorial appeared in the pages of Arcane Magazine, it started me on a thought journey that continues to this day. And seems to have led me into what I now self describe as 'iconoclast territory'.
Back on topic.
What does the upcoming KS for 7th Sea say about its floundering?
Destined to fail?
Way to reinvigorate interest?
A sign that it's actually doing ok?
I suppose whether that Kickstarter funds will tell us, although the fact that they're immediately jumping to 7th Sea In Spaaaaace...er, Chiiiiiiinaaaaa seems odd.
I think the zeitgeist is different than it was in the 90's, with its endless splatbooks and factions treadmill. I have one friend who was a huge fan back in the day, and he passed on the original Kickstarter and seems lukewarm about picking up the current 2nd edition. I think there's a lot of nostalgia out there, but actual play? I'm not convinced.
I always felt it was one of those games that looked good (visually) but wasn't really my cup of tea.
It's not really jumping straight to another line though as I understand the KS had plenty of splats to go with the funding so that'll run on for a bit.
I think the real indicator of whether it's nostalgia or not will be how 'well' this funds. Since its something new it's success should be more about system popularity and promotion than anything else. If it fails (and I think we can accept a low successful funding as failure in this instance) then we can probably surmise that the success of 2e was nostalgia.
Unfortunately I don't know that we'll ever really get enough independent data to determine gameplay but I'm inclined to agree with Daniel that I don't think there is a lot of actual play going on.
I think the real question is, why you think roleplaying is antithetical to storytelling?
This "I play role-playing games in order to engage in a sophisticated daydream about myself in the role of various dream-personae: knights, astronauts, superheroes." is in no way ever stopped when "storytelling" is around.
Focus means simply to role-play: to get caught up in the world, to concentrate on the character, not to parody the serious bits or talk about Babylon 5 every time a lull develops.
Acceptance is simpler and harder. It means that players should approach the game with an uncritical spirit: they should respect the basic reality of the other PCs and of the world. They should accept and respect what the referee is doing, and always be on his side.
Strange isn't it, both of these are needed for storytelling.
Why do you think roleplaying requires storytelling?
Think about how roleplaying is used outside of gaming. For training, for therapy. For exploring a situation and reacting appropriately to it. None of this has anything to do with stories. Also, think about how RPGs = stories is received wisdom. Back in the 80s, we didn't give a hoot about that kind of thing. We wanted to play cool characters in fun situations. End of story, if you'll excuse the turn of phrase. Then came the 90s and a shift in paradigm. A shift that has been in place in the mainstream since 1991 or so. I know, you could argue that DragonLance started the move towards RPG as story. But the fact is, story isn't a necessity for RPG fun.
Despite what we thought in the 90s.
Now, this is the bit most people have trouble with. I'm not saying you shouldn't do what you're doing if it's fun to you. I'm saying that there are alternatives. There are other ways to look at things and it's never worth closing your horizons off to new ideas.
Think, post-story. Not anti-story.
As I said, I'm an iconoclast. I don't put myself on the same level as someone like Frank Zappa or Terry Gilliam. But they definitely influence my thought process and lead me towards challenging assumptions.
Mind showing me where I said it does.
This is becoming a pointless conversation. I say roleplaying is a bad medium for telling stories because it's more about the now and being in the moment than they it is about a developing narrative. And because there are too many random factors involved for any sort of coherence (in the dictionary rather than Forge definition of the word) to emerge. Though you can tell a story about the event after the fact, if you choose. You then post to a page that gives such a broad definition of stories as to be utterly useless saying it might be of some help. Indicating that you have a different viewpoint.
I post some stuff offering an alternate viewpoint, which you take as me saying that roleplaying is antithetical to storytelling. In other words, you said that roleplaying does require storytelling. Whereas, I simply said it's a poor medium for telling stories. And that there are other options that often get ignored in favour of the received wisdom derived from the original writers at White Wolf choosing to use a particular type of language to describe their games.
If this conversation follows the usual format, next comes a repeated widening of terms. Quite quickly reaching the point where the definition of what is a story becomes so broad that there is nothing that isn't a story.
Meanwhile, I'll be over here, not worrying about that stuff and using my thesis-antithesis-synthesis model to run games.
The sage says more gaming less game theory wankery
I never cease to be amazed at how bad the "Story Now" folks broke the word "story" by using it as a shorthand for the sort of gaming they preferred — though admittedly "Emulation of Literary Formalisms Now" doesn't quite roll off the tongue.
Can we just accept some people like narrative mechanics and others don't. These kinds of arguments are forum cancer.
I agree. This forum is not going to cater to one certain demographic of RPG enthusiasts. There are plenty of other forums where badwrongfun is promoted heavily.
I think the history of the gaming hobby reveals the answer to be "No. No, we can't".
I have an extant theory for why these kinds of arguments are so common in hobby gaming specifically, but it would create more flamewars than it resolves.
I am fine with people not liking games. I am fine with people expounding on why they don't like a game. I'm always happy to go into a detail about why I found a game unsatisfying. That is part of the fun of a forum.
It just becomes pointless if I try to convince someone that a game they like is bad. It's like arguing about whether anchovies should be on pizza. I firmly believe they should be, but I am never going to convince my brother-in-law of that.
And now I crave anchovy pizza at 9am. Thanks, @Baulderstone.
Well this forum was supposedly made to allow these types of discussions, but now seeing what the admin posted, guess he changed his mind.
I don't see that, Endless Flight was just offering his opinion. And to be honest there was little debate beyond repeated yes it is, no it isn't. At that point what's left to say.
You can talk about how you do or don't like narrative RPGs all day long, but this forum is not going to cater to people on one side of the fence or the other like other places I won't name.
Forget anchovies, these days it's all about the pineapple.
That can be a heated issue, but we managed to settle it in New Jersey by bringing back the death penalty purely for people that order pineapple on a pizza. Pizza is serious business here.
Man do I miss New Jersey pizza. And pork roll egg and cheese on an everything bagel. With salt, pepper and ketchup.
I miss pizza, period.
Being a vegetarian for 14 years was no problem, but going vegan and giving up cheese in the last 3 has been a serious sacrifice. Thankfully cheese alternatives keep getting better, but they cost a mandible and an antenna. Sadder still, they won't be getting cheaper until they start to stabilize and coalesce into products of scale, which could take a while.
At least I still have my last remaining vice, soda.
Anchovy pizza is literally the greatest thing that has ever existed. Ever.
This. One of the reasons I haven't gone vegan is because I know my limitations: I'll never be able to give up cheese.
I kicked caffeine, though. Had a splitting migraine for about a year, but I did it.
Fools. Pork and pineapple are a match made in Heaven.
Not my #1 pizza but I relish the salty umami kick to the teeth.
Speaking of relish, if you dig anchovies, you should try this.
Also very good. I don't mind fruit on a pizza.
You're evil, Butcher. Pure evil.
I miss anchovies, on pretty much anything.
Yeah, cheese is hard... I'm not really able to just cut down on it, I have to go cold turkey.
Coffee though... I've given it up before but really missed that bitter taste that nothing else will match. Plus, I didn't really have any good reason for stopping.
As for John Wick... the few games of his I've bought/read seemed underwritten. More like sketches of cool ideas than fully fleshed out gaming systems/settings. I've never looked at L5R or 7th Sea.
I'd like to take this opportunity to write that if anyone's thinking about kicking caffeine, don't. Seriously. Unless you're crystal clear on why you're doing it, just enjoy the tea and coffee. They're delicious.
It took me a year for it to work it's way out of my system. Ever been around a lifelong smoker that's going cold turkey? That was me. I don't know how anyone managed to stand being around me. I was a crabby, withdrawing, donkey bitch.
I detoxed once...you'd think I'd been doing crack, shakes vomiting. I was awful, after that I admitted I had a problem and swore to overlord caffeine I would never try to leave again.
Oh man, L5R is the cat's meow. I especially appreciated how the interwoven factions, subfactions, and conflicts meant that the plots just wrote themselves. It was also much easier for players to grok than an actual Japan game, and the lethality of combat ensured a lot of tense lateral thinking to avoid it until absolutely necessary. Later editions added courtiers as a 'class' and made combat-free runs a fun subgoal. Great memories.
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