thread: 2011-02-07 : Design scales: to the text!

On 2011-02-10, Josh W wrote:

That reminds me of a misunderstanding I made of your earlier post about barriers.

I wondered if you might be saying that barriers come between the player and their goals for the game, like some bait and switch. You think you're sitting down to play one game and then another one gets chucked in front of you.

I was trying to consider how this might be a good thing, and it occured to me that there are people who play competative games to gloat. Give them a chance and they'll gloat right away, but delay it in the right way, and their gloating has more character, more to work with, and is (apparently), more fun.

In other words, it occured to me that certain games could be about inspiring situations, then delaying them in a way that prepares the players to really do them well when they get there.

I'm talking a little bit about what makes certain kinds of D&D 3.5 play work; "the game is char-gen and it's spread over months with events in between", except it doesn't always work that way, because the delay becomes a waiting room and doesn't add much when you get through to the stuff it was delaying. It doesn't pay you for your "work" of trying something else, at least not in terms that complement that creative objective.

So maybe with maschine zeit's survival stuff, it's like the designer's saying "hold on, I know you want to see this guy get wrecked, but look after him and his interests and I'll make sure that happens, and it'll be more awesome".

The trouble with that vs the flashpoint thing is that the flashpoint thing says "go in this sideways direction for a sec and then we'll come back and do that better" wheras the other rules are requiring you to actively invert your attitude towards the character.

I wonder if there is some way to gently pull players round to having sympathy for their characters/trying to save them a bit of pain, even when they go streight from a perspective of kicking their asses.


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