thread: 2009-04-10 : A Moment of Judgment

On 2009-04-17, Valamir wrote:

wow...that's a rather bizarre interpretation of my example.

Ummm, I'll take a stab at untangling that, but if we can get all this way and that's where we wind up, I'm not sure how successful I'll be.

Firstly:  Your procedure was not expressed as "Player 3 should do it".  Your procedure was "Player 3 should do it because he STRONGLY wants the game to have a reliable-but-interesting internal consistency, and doesn't care a bit whether Bobnar has the high-ground advantage"

See all that stuff after the "because..." THAT'S the stuff that will lead to toxic argument.  That's the illusion of an objective standard (that of internal consistency) that people can disagree with.

I actually don't have a problem with "Player 3 should do it" (and nothing else) as a concept at all.  Because that lets Player 3 do it for whatever reason Player 3 pleases.  Player 2 now has no expectation that "internal consistency" is going to be the yardstick that Player 3 is supposed to use.

If that distinction isn't clear...geeze...I don't know what else I can say to clarify it.

Secondly:  "players will violate the procedure if it doesn't serve their most blinkered and myopic self-interests."  Really?  That's what you've taken away from what I've said?  All the parts where I indicate that all of the players are interested in internal consistency they just have different ideas on what will best preserve it doesn't ring true to you?  When I said that I'd make the case that Bobnar shouldn't have the high ground advantage because my weapon would turn that into a disadvantage for don't believe that I'd make that case because I truly believe that that would be more "internally consistant"; that I'm just arguing out of self interest?

Hmmm, I don't know what to say to that.  I come from a culture where wargamers would routinely refuse to play you in a battle if the uniforms your minis were painted with weren't appropriate to the time period of the scenario; because that's how vested they were in the internal consistancy of the maybe I just have a different perspective on how important that stuff can be and how passionate people can get about it.  Maybe you just haven't witnessed how fired up people can get about my version of what's realistic vs. your version of realistic in a way that has nothing to do with self interest and everything to do with an overwhelming desire to "get it right".

In such an enviroment leaving the decision up to player 3 because he "cares more" seems absurd to me.  You're giving responsibility to one player to "get it right" but then expecting that no one else will object when, in their view, he actually gets it wrong.  Better IMO to give player 3 the responsibility to do "whatever he feels like" because then at least there's much less to object to.

Thirdly: my solution to have a procedure has a large number of benefits to game play in general.  The benefit that specifically applies here is that when such an impasse is reached it helps defuse the emotional fallout.  If you don't like it, you can blame the rules rather than blame the other guy.  When these impasses happen (and IMO if you play long enough they're inevitable if you're playing with people who actually care about the fiction)often the best you can hope to accomplish is damage control.  Resource based procedures also let players indicate just how important a particular issue is to them by how many resources they're willing to spend on it. Even if they lose, this at least gives them the comfort of knowing they lost because someone else cared more...which is much more psychologically palatable than losing because your arguments were unconvincing.

But I think I've said everything I can say on the topic.  I know I've taken up alot of space on your blog, but most of it has been in direct response to people's questions of me rather than a desire to grandstand.  I was happy to wait for your next thread way back in post 20.

If this last post of yours was you getting a bit frustrated with my monopolizing the conversation, I can bow out.


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