: Turks vs. Oldsters
Scott A. H. Ruggels:
The Big change for me looking over the notes is different rules, a lot of interpersonal rleations, and the emphasis on "Story" rather than simpl the situation and background. (Lets just say that in the old days, the Background was the GM's responsibility and the players were "strong Actors", and when I GM'd I much prefered it that way. This stuff seems kind of newfangled, and a bit too touchy feely, and "Story focused" for one that came to the hobby from war gaming, and the original D&D 3 book set.
Hi, welcome! Stick around if you feel like it. I think I remember your name from rgfa; I lived in the Ennead back in uh '94 or '95, I'd have to calculate. I never posted to rgfa but I read it all.
Take it not at all personally when I say: nothing like being called artsy fartsy by an oldster to get your blood up! Here comes the traditional and expected return of fire.
I know it looks like we're emphasizing "story," scare quotes and all. But we're not. What I want out of play is the same as what you want out of play: a kickass, exciting, gripping game, where I'm my character up to the elbows and deep in the shit, and you the GM are hitting all the right points and keeping me rapt.
That's what you and I both want out of a movie or a novel, too, see it? So let's learn from other fictional forms. They've been doing this longer than we have.
The biggest reason that rules are different now than they were ten years ago is that we've stopped treating fictional causality as the be-all. Instead we're looking at the actual causality in tabletop roleplaying - the human beings playing the game and the things they say. If you want cool stuff to happen in your game, you have to get the people to say cool things. The RPGs of ten years ago - and the vast majority of today's too - have no earthly clue how.
Don't take this personally either, I'm talking about your style of play, not your self: you stopped tabletop roleplaying because it stopped being fun, right? The high points became fewer and further in the past, the payoff for your effort became less, and you couldn't figure out how to get *it* back?
1. On 2005-04-19, xenopulse wrote:
The biggest reason that rules are different now than they were ten years ago is that we've stopped treating fictional causality as the be-all. Instead we're looking at the actual causality in tabletop roleplaying - the human beings playing the game and the things they say. If you want cool stuff to happen in your game, you have to get the people to say cool things.
This is probably the best explanation and summary of what this is all about that I've seen so far.
And yes, I think there is more of a focus on interpersonal relations, both between players and between characters. Why? Because that's the interesting stuff. Fighting monsters that are clearly marked evil, without any ambiguity, might be entertaining, but it's not personally engaging. Having to decide whether to beat up your friend because he's about to stab an innocent person, now that's going to get me personally involved.
I don't like things that are clear cut. They're no fun; they're too easy. I like messy things, complicated, no-good-way-out issues that deal with the imperfect creatures that we happen to be.
I hate Steven Seagal movies. I love Deadwood, and the Sopranos, and those ambiguous shows. That's what I want to play. That's what'll get me involved. And I won't find that in clear-cut, no-meaningful-relationships games.
What I want out of play is the same as what you want out of play: a kickass, exciting, gripping game, where I'm my character up to the elbows and deep in the shit, and you the GM are hitting all the right points and keeping me rapt....If you want cool stuff to happen in your game, you have to get the people to say cool things.
And the two things to that are also key- not everyone finds the same things exciting, so its important to know what works for you and your group, AND also that games should make that interesting stuff happen more often than not.
By opening up a little more input around the table, it allows the whole group to say what they like and don't like, and also to make that stuff happen more often. An unfortunate habit that has become widespread is that for a lot of groups, play slows down as the players try to figure what "to do next"(AKA, what the GM wants them to do), and the GM tries to figure out what the players would find fun to happen next. In this case, you have two groups of people trying really, really hard to read each other's minds... or perhaps not.
Either way, its not nearly as effective as out and out saying it, and it helps to have a solid system to organize who gets to say what, and how it actually fits together in play. It's not so much "touchy feely" as much as a logical outgrowth of good rules.
I summed it up as follows to my group of players: "I don't give a shit about your characters having fun or being motivated, as long as YOU are having fun and are motivated to actively take a part in our story!"
We know that the characters probably won't enjoy all the situations they are about to find themselves in, but the player should strap in because it's bound to be a bumpy, but quite enjoyable ride!