2014-02-15 : Lies in RPGs
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Setting aside the practical difficulty of design, in principle, any rule you could legitimately include in any game, you could legitimately include in a roleplaying game.
"Remove the jokers from a deck of playing cards, shuffle it, and deal the entire deck out to the players."
"If you lose the round, you have to wear the hat of shame."
"If your pawn lands on a space already occupied by another pawn, you bump them back 1 and take their place."
"Odds are 2 to 1 against you, so every dollar you wager, if you win, you get two dollars back."
There's nothing in principle that prevents these from being rules in a roleplaying game. The only thing that prevents them from being rules in a really, really good roleplaying game is the practical difficulty of design.
If this is so, then:
In principle, you could legitimately design a roleplaying game wherein the players lie to one another, as in Diplomacy, I Doubt It, or Liar's Dice.
In principle, you could legitimately design a roleplaying game wherein the players lie to one another about the rules of the game, as in Crossed/Uncrossed, Are We In the Game?, or Triangulation.
In my Sundered Land game Warriors in the Ruins of the Future, the GM (the "butcher player") lies to you about what your character sees and hears, to evoke or simulate the confusion of the battlefield.
In Willow Palecek's brilliant game Sunshine Boulevard...
...the other two players lie to you about the game you're playing, including some truly dreadful lies about the rules you're playing by.
If you hang out in RPG design circles, you can watch a good solution for a particular design (like "in this game, don't fudge the dice") become a best practice (like "you should design your game so that nobody fudges the dice"), become conventional wisdom (like "obviously your game doesn't include dice fudging"), become an immutable principle (like "well-designed games don't include dice fudging").
The fact is that a well-designed game can include as much dice fudging as it wants. As much fudging, as much bluffing, as much lying. Of course it can! The hard part is just designing the game well, but that's always the hard part.
Including lies might be the very best solution.
1. On 2014-02-16, Josh W said:
2. On 2014-02-16, E. Torner said:
3. On 2014-02-16, Gordon said:
4. On 2014-02-19, adam mcconnaughey said:
5. On 2014-02-19, adam mcconnaughey said:
6. On 2014-02-19, Paul T. said:
7. On 2014-02-25, Paul T. said: