thread: 2011-06-27 : The Dice & Clouds series from 2009

On 2011-07-11, David Berg wrote:

Moreno, I think the only way to make 100% sure that arguments like that never happen is to not care about realism.  If a Dogs GM builds their town around a giant immovable stone idol, and then a player decides his character should run off with it, neither Saying Yes nor Rolling the Dice will prevent everyone's fun from being ruined.  That guy simply needs to be shouted down, and kicked out if he won't relent.

With reasonable players who have any sense of why they're there to play the game, I think this can be troubleshot entirely on the social level.  Agree on what's plausible, cede what's probable, flip a coin, and don't take longer than the least interested player can stomach.

If we're talking about fiction-mediating procedures, though, I can only see two solutions: get the facts, or don't look too close.

The classic conflict resolution system just rolls for whether you get the tablet to the woods without being shot, without worrying about probabilities.  As long as everyone at the table agrees that it is possible that you succeed and possible that you fail, we're all good.  A result is established, and people can think whatever they want about how that happened in the fiction.  On a success, you may envision it as a desperate dash and your friend may envision it as a casual stroll, but you aren't gonna argue about it for more than a minute because it doesn't affect your play decisions moving forward.

Or you can get the facts.  Go to wikipedia, or leaf through the sourcebook for the right table, or roll to establish the precise slushiness of the snow.

Specifying reload times, tablet weight, snow depth and travel distance means you are looking very close.  When you do that, you now need to look at every relevant factor on that level.  "4 seconds between shots" and "snow slows you down somewhat" cannot coexist in the same discussion.  You need an actual snow-running meters-per-second speed.  If you don't wanna get those facts, don't rope in all the other facts like reload times.

That's part of why I now describe everything subjectively as GM.

"How far is it?"

"Kinda far.  Looks like a good shooter could take a dozen or so shots at a normal person.  With that thing on your back, maybe two dozen."

"No, I know from football this weight only reduces my speed by a third!"

"Okay, fine, about a dozen and a third."

"16 shots?"

"Roughly.  You really have no way to be sure."

If that's not the end of the discussion, then you have the footing to tell the guy he's screwing up your horror game with his precise-reality-modeling game.  In your actual session, you couldn't do that, because you wound up playing the precise-reality-modeling game with him.  I would hope that someone else at the table would smack you both.

(Why didn't they?  My guess: (1) GM authority over fiction gets conflated with GM authority over the point of play, and (2) CoC's system seems to encourage this crap, which is the game's biggest failing.)

Oog, this post got long.  Well, I know I didn't spell out how all of this addresses the Moment of Judgment thread, but I think the connections are there.


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