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Author Topic: Botches for Research and Medical skills  (Read 412 times)

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Offline GMLovlie

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Re: Botches for Research and Medical skills
« Reply #20 on: January 31, 2017, 09:14:13 AM »
Generally I don't get offended, just very engaged (enthusiastic) and irritable. So, I'm not offended by what you write. :pirate: ;)

1) Again with the experience and age - as if its relevant or matter. But fine, I am mightily impressed by your experience and I bow down to your superiority. Now, that that has been established can be move on? If only you'd stay on topic and not come with arguments based on an appeal to authority due to having played games for x numbers of years, and read what I write and not read into it that which isn't there. Then this could lead somewhere.

2) I'm not insisting you're punishing your players - if you read my posts you shouldn't interpret it like that, especially if you read my post with bold writing a bit further up. So stop accusing me of that and start to read what I write instead of what you feel and think I write. As you said I don't know you or anything about you (except that you play RPGs and post on these forums.) So why do you take everything I say as an insult? I'm not directing it at you as insults. You're not simplistic - but some of your points and arguments are, in my opinion, but there's a difference between you and your arguments. At least to me. I see your arguments and their content, I don't see you. I can judge what you write, not you. That's a premise for online discussion.

3) I have not ignored you suggestions, I've pointed out that those are basic and obvious. And that they are already included in my perspective - I could've been a lot clearer about that, and I apologise for that. In other words, coming up with those examples has brought nothing to the conversation that was not already implied and part of it - from my point of view. Reasonable they were, I'm not disputing that, but unnecessary from my point of view.

4) Failures can have rewards, most failure do, so to speak. At least in the real world. It's called learning. In games, I also want the possibility of an unintended and surprising boon or interesting effect that, so far, has not been covered by your musings on how to incorporate failure into roleplaying. The games, my games at least, are about (wannabe) heroes, future heroes, people who somehow are at the centre of events in an unfolding story of our collective creation. That makes them special. My idea of rewards in failure, or reward is a misleading term. I don't want rewards, but I want effects, positive as well as negative, neutral, surprising, and unexpected effects. That may or may not be positive, depending on creativity of the player, the GM and the situation. This is not a novel or new or crazy idea (you need look no further than WHFRP and SWRPG from FFG for some recent examples.) This idea has been around as long as there's been roleplaying games. The problem of binary pass/fail systems is obvious and apparent. It can be seen as a feature or as a bug - I see it merely as something to overcome through creativity and collaboration with my players. It has its strength, but also its weaknesses.

5) I'm sorry you feel offended by being challenged. ;) I'm only joking! Seriously! We're talking past one another. That much seems obvious. I'm not so much disagreeing with your examples and suggestions, as I disagree with your (seeming) absolutism on failure v success and what they should and must mean and cannot and don't mean. And of course I disagree with your misreading of what I write. As you disagree with my misreading of what you write.

6) No, consequences doesn't necessarily equate reward, but it doesn't exclude it either. It can be both. Failure in itself can be a reward - for as you write: future missions, stuff to fix, stuff to create, and so on.

Failure is lack of achieving or accomplishing an aim or purpose.  So maybe my earlier suggestions that were ignored would be an idea.
Lack of achieving aim or purpose doesn't exclude other positive consequences, if narratively fitting and desired.

I'm not saying every failure needs this or should have positive consequences, most are simply failures. But taking inspiration from the cascading resistance roll tables and the scanner/sensor tables in HARP SF makes for a lot more fun and interesting games - in my opinion.

There's a disagreement of terms here, I think, more than a disagreement in principle, but I may be too positive  8)
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Offline Zhaleskra

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Re: Botches for Research and Medical skills
« Reply #21 on: January 31, 2017, 09:17:23 AM »
I'm the kind of player who gets offended when the GM does something to keep my character alive to protect "the story". This astounded one GM as I didn't tell him how my character was doing in a combat until that character was unconscious from hit point loss. I did give some wiggle room in a different game, where another player's character and mine were in a certain death situation: the remaining characters had a time limit to save us, otherwise those characters were dead. When I see topics like these, I wonder "why do you roll the dice at all if you're always going to fudge it?"

I play RPGs for different reasons than I watch a movie: I don't like plot armor when I'm playing a game.
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Offline GMLovlie

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Re: Botches for Research and Medical skills
« Reply #22 on: January 31, 2017, 10:53:41 AM »
Fair enough. Different groups and GMs will differ. Nothing wrong with that.

I prefer not to have plot-armour too, when I'm a player. I know that this goes for my players too, but we talk about this during session 0 - how vicious and merciless do they want the game to be, and how vicious and merciless do I as the GM want to be. Then we compromise. As a group. When GMing HARP Fantasy or HARP SF I tend to be more vicious and merciless than when I GM Star Wars FFG edition or 7th Sea. When I GMd d20 Star Wars back in the day I was more merciless than when I now GM FFG Star Wars, but also I was less merciless and vicious as a GM when I GMd d6 Star Wars.

When I GMd RMSS I was certifiably dangerous, but it was a group agreement, it was expected. There is no plot armour, but there is timing in addition to randomness. Some games have the plot armour built in - like FFGs Star Wars RPG, dying in that game is quite difficult at early stages - others don't.

It depends on the game and the genre of the game and storyverse to be explored.
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Offline Zhaleskra

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Re: Botches for Research and Medical skills
« Reply #23 on: January 31, 2017, 12:07:35 PM »
I was part of a college role-playing group for several years. Having not experienced other play expectations, I thought everyone would assume their character was always at risk. Apparently there was some unwritten rule about warning players their characters were at risk. After the second in a trilogy of adventures, a misunderstanding of what was happening associated with that rule caused me to lose that entire group.

I'm sticking with Mordrig on this though.
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Offline Mordrig

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Re: Botches for Research and Medical skills
« Reply #24 on: January 31, 2017, 12:37:16 PM »
I believe GMLovlie is in a group that is very invested in their characters and something like a catastrophic failure would cause undue stress.

Personally, my group, and myself in particular are perfectly willing to have our characters die, and / or suffer great misfortune.  Currently my Nightblade, a character that I have been running for close to 25 years, is at great risk to die from his actions.  I could have saved him I am sure, but chose to perform certain actions that will bring a very likely chance of his death.  I even went so far as to tell the GM "if he dies, oh well.  You pay's your money and you takes your chances."  Failure in this case means a great chance at death, or at least a debilitating injury that may cripple him or greatly reduce his abilities.  Another option for the GM is to have him captured, which is yet another scenario for me, I will be forced to escape where I will be held and travel back to where I currently am.  I know this is not a skill failure as the rest of the talk has been.  Just a note that some, many in my experience, groups are more willing to have PC's fail and fail spectacularly than others.  neither is right, it is what is right for your group.

As a GM I run worlds where you are always at risk of death or lasting injury.  If you want to do something that increases that risk, or something that might open you up to a horrible disfigurement if you fail, so be it.  I do not fudge rolls, if it is a roll that must succeed, why is it a roll?  It simply happens.  If it is your choice or action and doesn't truly affect the storey, no matter how strange or spectacular it may be, roll them bones.  As I said, I might give advice as to the risk, but I will let you do it.

Viscous as a GM means tougher monsters, not sticking to the results rolled, that is why there are random tables and events.  If you want to avoid random results play FATE or Theatrix.  I am not disparaging any GM styles, nor other systems.  Play as you and your group want.

Offline GMLovlie

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Re: Botches for Research and Medical skills
« Reply #25 on: February 01, 2017, 02:09:20 AM »
I was part of a college role-playing group for several years. Having not experienced other play expectations, I thought everyone would assume their character was always at risk. Apparently there was some unwritten rule about warning players their characters were at risk. After the second in a trilogy of adventures, a misunderstanding of what was happening associated with that rule caused me to lose that entire group.
This is why a session 0 is a good idea, so unwritten rules and expectations can be voiced and agreed upon, as this tend to vary to some degree depending on what game is about to start up in addition to the player mix. But basically, communication is a great tool that should be tried out and attempted rigorously and repeatedly. If this wasn't done, both parties are equally to blame for lack of insight and foresight. It is a bit drastic to lose the entire group of course, and that they didn't manage to communicate their perspective before it was too late is peculiar, but similarly, to not pick up on what's going on before the group is lost equally peculiar. Unless the group were actively trying to hide and avoid talking about this unwritten rule in an attempt to squeeze out the new guy. Which of course is just a douche move.
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Offline Mordrig

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Re: Botches for Research and Medical skills
« Reply #26 on: February 01, 2017, 06:19:07 AM »
How true, yet there are players and some GM's who will not have a pre-session to establish some basic guidelines.  In one game where this failed to happen part of the group felt they were seasoned veterans and the rest felt they were first time adventurers never having left home before the scenario started.  It made for a horrible mix-up and the campaign failed within a few sessions.  I myself have received resistance from players to establishing some basic ground rules for character creation.

Perhaps part of that should also be the source of this entire conversation.  Ask how players feel about a failed roll.  Have the discussion.  Do they want Failure, partial success, success, and spectacular success?  Do they want something added in between?  For them what constitutes a failure?

Offline GMLovlie

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Re: Botches for Research and Medical skills
« Reply #27 on: February 01, 2017, 07:19:37 AM »
Session 0 takes training and experience. Trying to establish ground rules or even context, can sometimes throw players off or cause potential hiccups, but in my experience this solves itself with a gentle, but firm guiding hand. I tell the players what would be needed in the campaign: healer, pilot, hacker, ranger ... you know, the environments and level of lethality that I intend or want to use, which is first adjusted based on what they want (if they have any particular wishes) and then adjusted again through game-play depending on their choices and preferences, fear and near-death experiences :pirate: After they've made their characters, hopefully within a few sessions and a couple of levels (I speed level character from 1st to 3rd it seems) they have adapted their characters and spread out the needed skills and responsibilities no one picked up at character creation. I do sometimes need to push a bit though - and the medic in my current group is now thanking me every session because I repeated that option to him again and again during session 0. He was initially perfectly happy with playing an assault rifle wielding yahoo with no other skills, but with a high presence  ??? he's saved the group several times now, as the designated and competent medic.

I've had a few short run campaigns, but really only one proper failure in HARP fantasy, during my college days in the UK... which reminds me to this day that "testing" what a huge fireball can do to 3-4 level ~6 characters (only one seasoned player, a Vampire-player mainly) isn't a great idea if you want to maintain group cohesion and not kill off characters unnecessarily. The players who lost their characters found it entertaining, at first, until they tried to introduce their new characters to the old characters... well, 2 of the 3 who lost their character. They made new characters, but ... the campaign failed at that point due to infighting and issues for some players to keep in-character conflicts from becoming personal conflicts. It should be mentioned it was art-college and a bunch of us were thespians, so the drama was basically a bunch of ego-flourishing nonsense :pirate: We started 7th Sea after that to get a break 8)

"What about the future...? We can only hope, we cannot however account for the minutiae of the quanta, as all accidents in an infinite space are inevitable."

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Offline Mordrig

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Re: Botches for Research and Medical skills
« Reply #28 on: February 01, 2017, 07:56:19 AM »
Worst Scenario / short campaign I ever had involved a Spacemaster campaign.  The players were trying to get in some offices in an office tower.  The doors were locked and someone set off the alarm.  Security arrived and were promptly gunned down, and still the players couldn't get past the doors.  The rapid response security team (all heavily armed) showed up and one of the players decided this were getting out of hand so he threw in a grenade, now the room they are trying to fight over was pretty small, nobody had spread out a bit and the blast radius of the grenade was quite large.  Needless to say the session ended with everyone either dead from the grenade or in critical condition and under arrest.  I believe one player actually survived the blast, that was the closest I came to a TPK without actually getting a TPK.  There were quite a few jabs over that one, not at me as GM, but at the player.  Even before he threw the grenade I asked if he was sure he wanted to do that considering the area they were in.

 

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