RPG - Bill of Players' Rights & Duties

edited July 2016 in Story Games
Hi all. I'm wondering if it could be possible to write down a "Bill of Players Rights" for tabletop rpg like the one that was made available by Graham Nelson on Interactive Fiction.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Players'_Bill_of_Rights
Is there anyone interested?

And here's the list.
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Underpinning principles
Principle of Berg - The following rights apply to every game given the caveat "unless the player consents or rules enforce otherwise" and apply to no games given the caveat "contrary to agreements and expectations".

List of rights and Duties

Right #1 - Player Characters should not be killed without warning and/or useful hints to avoid it (especially if character death means end of play for a player). - (Merges right#1 and right#2 of Graham List)
Right #2 - Playing arc (intended as the complete expected duration of an rpg game, it maybe a campagin, a one-shot or whatever...) should not be terminated suddenly without warning. - (Merges right#3, right#4 and right#5 of Graham List)
Right #3 - Players should not be forced to do unlikely or boring things with their characters to progress in the game. (Merges right#6 and right#7 of Graham List)
Right #4 - All Players have to do their best to clarify, or to help other players to clarify, what they really want to happen in the fictional world through their characters, so that, if a referee exists, no mis-interpretation leading to a bad experience may occur. (Merges right#8, right#9 and right#10 of Graham List)
Right #5 - Player Characters must have a reasonable freedom of action and luck should not be the main driver of the game.(Merges right#11 and right#12)
Right #6 - Players have the right to understand the context of a play setting, including the reasons of impossibility to make actions or to reach objectives. At least this must be explained at the end of the playing arc. (Merges right#13 to right#17)
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Rob
«1

Comments

  • Graham Nelson is a genius and I love IF and IF has absolutely informed my DM style, perhaps more than anything. But.
    There are so many styles of RPGs. You'd want one bill of rights for Apocalypse World and another for D&D and another for Remember Tomorrow.
  • edited June 2016
    From Nelson's actual bill of player rights:

    "...it must never be forgotten that [adventure games] intentionally annoy the player
    most of the time. There's a fine line between a challenge and a nuisance..."

    1. Not to be killed without warning
    2. Not to be given horribly unclear hints
    3. To be able to win without experience of past lives
    4. To be able to win without knowledge of future events
    5. Not to have the game closed off without warning
    6. Not to need to do unlikely things
    7. Not to need to do boring things for the sake of it
    8. Not to have to type exactly the right verb
    9. To be allowed reasonable synonyms
    10. To have a decent parser
    11. To have reasonable freedom of action
    12. Not to depend much on luck
    13. To be able to understand a problem once it is solved
    14. Not to be given too many red herrings
    15. To have a good reason why something is impossible
    16. Not to need to be American
    17. To know how the game is getting on

    These sound like good tips for old-school GMing with fiction-based challenges. For my own game in that category, I use 1, 2, 6, 7, 14 and 15 almost exactly as written, have my own tabletop equivalent of 8/9, always support 11 as best I can, give feedback which sorta covers 17, and attempt to provide for 13. 3-5, 10, and 16 don't come up as far as I'm aware. So, trim that list accordingly, and you've got a good starting point.

    Or, y'know, play some more constrained RPG where the rules and GM role kinda cover it, and then you don't need much beyond:

    1. To be able to contribute
  • edited June 2016
    To be fair, in tabletop RPGs we should also think of the GM in the bill of player's rights.
  • edited June 2016
    @WarriorMonk
    Yes, you're right.

    @2097
    We should target a bill of players right generic for different rpg styles, if possible
  • David actually nailed it, beyond "To be able to contribute" you can't add much more. It certainly needs further exposition as it emcompasses a lot of things but some of that would definitely depend on the game style as Sandra already pointed.
  • For example, there are things that an MC does in AW that I appreciate there, that I would be appalled if it happened in D&D. Actually I can't think of a single item that applies to all styles.
    Like, I very much like the following for D&D:
    1. The DM should first and foremost consult the prep. What's in that mage's pockets? Does the prep say anything?
    2. Failing that, the DM should consult mechanics. For example random tables of weird pocket stuff.
    3. And only as a last resort, make something up that seems fitting. Like deciding that her pockets are empty or have a couple of copper pieces.

    Now, it's strange, but I'm kinda happy with this priority for many games -- but while I care very much about it, at the same time I think different games have a completely different weight to the priorities. Like in D&D I try to have as much prep as possible, and as a fallback have random tables to cover most eventualities, and only as a last resort make something up (which I gladly do, if it gets to it, I like improvising, but it's a sign that the prep was insufficient, in this mode of play) -- but in other games, maybe the order is the same but falling down on it us done much more eagerly and the amount of prep and mechanics is way smaller. You'd make a front and a namelist at most, it'd almost be taboo to prep more.

    And, in some games, like Archipelago, this list is completely unappropriate.

    But OK. After writing all of that, I came up with something that I feel strongly about, that's often broken, and that's common to many playstyles.
    1. Dice shall be rolled openly and monster AC and HP shall be known
    2. DM should be expected to follow the rules if the players are. For example, in AW the Principles are rules rather than advice.
  • Those who have long too successfully laboured to inflame players of RPGs by gross misrepresentations, and to infuse into their minds a system of opinions, repugnant to the true constitution of the game group, and to their subordinate relation to the Game-Master, now openly avow their revolt, hostility and rebellion. Many unhappy players may still retain their loyalty, and may be too wise not to see the fatal consequence of this usurpation, and wish to resist it, yet the torrent of weird theories and stupid advice has been strong enough to compel their acquiescence, till a sufficient force shall appear to support them.

    On our part, though it was declared in 2003 that a rebellion existed, yet even those players we wished rather to reclaim than to subdue. The online discussions breathed a spirit of moderation and forbearance; conciliatory propositions accompanied the measures taken to enforce authority; and the coercive acts were adapted to cases of conspiratorial combinations amongst players not then in arms. I have acted with the same temper; anxious to prevent, if it had been possible, the calamities which are inseparable from a state of war; still hoping that my RPG players would have discerned the traitorous views of their leaders, and have been convinced, that to be a subject of a Game-Master, with all its consequences, is to be the freest member of any civil society in the known world.

    The rebellious war now levied is become more general, and is manifestly carried on for the purpose of establishing an independent empire. I need not dwell upon the fatal effects of the success of such a plan. The object is too important, the spirit of RPGs too high, the resources with which God hath blessed us too numerous, to give up so many players which she has planted with great industry, nursed with great tenderness, encouraged with many commercial advantages, and protected and defended at much expence of blood and treasure.

    It is now become the part of wisdom, and (in its effects) of clemency, to put a speedy end to these disorders by the most decisive exertions.

    When the unhappy and deluded multitude, against whom this force will be directed, shall become sensible of their error, I shall be ready to receive the misled with tenderness and mercy ! and in order to prevent the inconveniencies which may arise from the great distance of their situation, and to remove as soon as possible the calamities which they suffer, I shall give authority to certain persons upon the spot to grant general or particular pardons and indemnities, in such manner, and to such persons as they shall think fit; and to receive the submission of any RPG player who shall be disposed to return to their allegiance. It may be also proper to authorise the persons so commissioned to restore such RPG player so returning to its allegiance, to the free exercise of their play and commerce, and to the same protection and security as if they had never revolted.
  • edited June 2016
    Here are some guidelines from Viola Spolin. It's about how she handled theater exercises, but it's applicable to roleplaying groups as well.

    × Am I giving enough energy?
    × Am I staying overlong on mechanics?
    × Which players need individual attention?
    × Do they need more workshops?
    × Are rehearsals to drawn out? (read: sessions)
    × Am I nagging the players?
    × Am I attacking them?
    × Are the actors working at odds with me?
    × Is the problem physical or psychological?
    × Am I just being a traffic manager?
    × Is it necessary to stimulate more spontaneity?
    × Am I overanxious?
    × Am I asking them for more than they can give me at this time?
    × Am I reaching the intuitive?
  • Here are the ones our group uses (more or less)

    -To be able to contribute, during all the lenght of the game.
    -To receive a proper feedback from the group.
    -To be mocked friendly if the occasion calls for it but to still have my contributions taken seriously by the group.
    -To have a spotlight time equal to the rest of players and be able to interrupt it and seat back when I consider it necessary for my comfort.
    -To not be demanded an amount of prep/calculation/diving in rulebooks that makes it feel more a work than a game.
    -Being offered clear communication and the chance to ask others to repeat their input.
    -To have consistent rules, rulings and practices along the duration of the game but being able to question and offer alternatives when those create problems in play.
    -To see good thinking and/or good storytelling/acting triumph over rules and/or luck.
    -To find a good reason behind any kind of blocking (and even being able to contribute to it if I feel it's insufficient)

    In exchange for these rights, we take these duties:
    -To help things go forward
    -To do whatever we can to reach consensus quickly
    -To collaborate in anything that helps the group to no break the immersion
    -To provide as much quality input as needed for the game, up to the best of our abilities.
    -To help other players come up with and give coherence to their input, if neccessary.
    -To refrain from doing the previous one if that means you're playing the game for them instead of letting them up to their decisions.
    -To respect or at least tolerate other player's input that isn't up to our tastes.
    -To signal the group whenever I feel the content is affecting anyone's sensibility on the table.
  • Thanks for reply.. I'll try to assemble rights and duties and arrange them in a "generic purpose" list for rpg, if possible.
    Rob
  • edited June 2016
    Gotta say that both WarriorMonk and Rickard impressed me with their lists -- I don't agree with everything but they are applicable regardless of what type of RPG it is, which I didn't think possible. Interesting
  • Fantastic thread. JD, David, Rickard, and WarriorMonk in particular!

    This should be required reading for gamers - even just thinking about some of these for 2-3 seconds could be very eye-opening. Thanks!
  • thanks everyone, glad I can be of help! ^_^
  • edited June 2016
    Ok rather than providing a unique list I'd like more to explore and discuss items one by one.

    1. Characters should not be killed without warning (especially if character death means end of play for a player)
    Is everybody ok with this? Can I move to item 2?
    Rob
  • yep, I agree. That warning should better come at the start of the game though. Like "This game is going to be lethal in old school fashion" for example; though "if you do that in the way you're descibing it, you'll get killed, you know?" still seems okey.
  • edited June 2016
    I am not ok with this item: "Characters should not be killed without warning (especially if character death means end of play for a player)"
  • I am not ok with this item: "Characters should not be killed without warning (especially if character death means end of play for a player)"
    It's ok to disagree, but I'd need to know on what you disagree. :)
    Rob

  • edited June 2016
    I put a ☑ for everything I'm ok with, and a ☐ for everything I'm not ok with. Those are unicode, hope you can see them. (They tend to disappear on my phone.) Most of these I feel very strongly about one way or the other, I couldn't really find any I was lukewarm about.


    ☐[x] Not to be killed without warning
    ☐[x] Not to be given horribly unclear hints
    ☐[x] To be able to win without experience of past lives
    ☐[x] To be able to win without knowledge of future events
    ☐[x] Not to have the game closed off without warning
    ☐[x] Not to need to do unlikely things
    ☐[x] Not to need to do boring things for the sake of it
    ☑[v] Not to have to type exactly the right verb
    ☑[v] To be allowed reasonable synonyms
    ☑[v] To have a decent parser
    ☑[v] To have reasonable freedom of action
    ☐[x] Not to depend much on luck
    ☐[x] To be able to understand a problem once it is solved
    ☐[x] Not to be given too many red herrings
    ☐[x] To have a good reason why something is impossible
    ☐[x] Not to need to be American
    ☑[v] To know how the game is getting on
    ☑[v] Dice shall be rolled openly and monster AC and HP shall be known
    ☑[v] DM should be expected to follow the rules if the players are.
    ☑[v] Am I giving enough energy?
    ☑[v] Am I staying overlong on mechanics?
    ☑[v] Which players need individual attention?
    ☑[v] Do they need more workshops?
    ☑[v] Are rehearsals to drawn out? (read: sessions)
    ☑[v] Am I nagging the players?
    ☑[v] Am I attacking them?
    ☑[v] Are the actors working at odds with me?
    ☑[v] Is the problem physical or psychological?
    ☑[v] Am I just being a traffic manager?
    ☑[v] Is it necessary to stimulate more spontaneity?
    ☑[v] Am I overanxious?
    ☑[v] Am I asking them for more than they can give me at this time?
    ☑[v] Am I reaching the intuitive?
    ☑[v] To be able to contribute, during all the lenght of the game.
    ☑[v] To receive a proper feedback from the group.
    ☐[x] To be mocked friendly if the occasion calls for it but to still have my contributions taken seriously by the group.
    ☑[v] To have a spotlight time equal to the rest of players and be able to interrupt it and seat back when I consider it necessary for my comfort.
    ☐[x] To not be demanded an amount of prep/calculation/diving in rulebooks that makes it feel more a work than a game.
    ☑[v] Being offered clear communication and the chance to ask others to repeat their input.
    ☐[x] To have consistent rules, rulings and practices along the duration of the game but being able to question and offer alternatives when those create problems in play.
    ☐[x] To see good thinking and/or good storytelling/acting triumph over rules and/or luck.
    ☑[v] To find a good reason behind any kind of blocking (and even being able to contribute to it if I feel it's insufficient)


    Edit:, ok, they totally disappeared on the phone. I'm going to add a [x] for "not ok with" and a [v] for "am ok with".
  • I agree completely with most of Grahams list for long IF games. But tabletop isn't IF even though IF more than anything else in the whole world, including other GMs, has influenced my GMing style. (And even for IF, for shorter games I'm ok with breaking several of these rules, like Shrapnel being a very good piece of IF that breaks some of them.)
  • edited June 2016
    Ok. Keep in mind that, quite obviously, players' rights for IF do not apply "as is" to RPG, given the different nature of the game.
    Also, some of the rights and duties discussed overlap and / or exclude, or do not apply.
    Anyway, here's the item #2

    2. In case the game rules allow hints, do not give unclear hints. In case the game rules do not allow hints, follow the rules.
  • Yes, I realized that the issues need translation because IF and RPG are so different. But even translated, I can disagree strongly with them.

    As is clear from my long list, this is another item I'm not OK with. Unclear hints can happen
  • Haven't heard of a game allowing hints, these more often respond of a personal adjustment of whoever is playing/facilitating/gming the game in order to keep things going, whenever that person feels the information given is insufficient for the group.
  • Long IF works usually have a good hint system. But again, it's a different medium.
  • Sandra, I'd really also like some more insight about why you're against telling players if their characters could die if for example, a player tells you that she wants to try running through a fire hoping that they won't get too burnt. I mean, that's a case I imagine it's fair to inform the player that her character can't do that without getting killed, perhaps I'm understanding the item 1 wrong or in a different way than you do, or there's something equally important I'm missing here?
  • Sandra, I'd really also like some more insight about why you're against telling players if their characters could die if for example, a player tells you that she wants to try running through a fire hoping that they won't get too burnt. I mean, that's a case I imagine it's fair to inform the player that her character can't do that without getting killed, perhaps I'm understanding the item 1 wrong or in a different way than you do, or there's something equally important I'm missing here?
    Thanks, this is a very good question and I was feeling bad about not giving detail, but couldn't find words. You phrased it in a way so that I can find words. So again, thank you WM.

    I love some games where neither the players nor the DM have any idea when death -- even permanent PC death -- is going to strike. In fact, I see that as a huge plus with some game styles.

    In the case of jumping through a fire. I think the DM should tell the players the chance of death. "You'll have about a 20% chance of dying" (or whatever the chance is, if it's easy enough to calculate, some games like Jason Morningstar's excellent Fight Fire have fires that consists of so many factors and dice rolls and points and aspects that it's not easy to calculate). I mean, I think it's polite to do so. But I don't think it's a strong enough requirement that it belongs in an inalienable list of rights.

    It's a politeness at best, absolutely never a necessity.
  • It's ok to disagree, but I'd need to know on what you disagree. :)
    Rob
    I missed this post earlier. I apologize, I just didn't see it. In short: "I love some games where neither the players nor the DM have any idea when death will strike. "
  • edited June 2016
    Sandra,

    If neither the GM nor the players know when death will strike, doesn't that imply that "death" will be the result of impartial procedures which, generally, the players are familiar with (i.e. the rules of the game)?

    If I'm playing D&D and there's a big fat "Save vs. Death" on my sheet, I certainly know a good deal about the likelihood of death in the game. :)

    I can think of two examples where neither GM nor the player know when death will strike:

    a) A game where the entirety of the rules are not known. (For instance, the game comes with a card deck or random generator, and we haven't played it before or looked through all the possibilities.) This strange example comes to mind...

    b) A game where the GM is using an adventure module with lots of arbitrary death, like Tomb of Horrors. If the GM hasn't "read ahead" and is exploring the content of the module along with the players, it's possible that the GM is also unaware death is about to strike.

    Both of those sound potentially fun to me, but they're also pretty rare cases. And I would want to be mentally prepared for the possibility of death* arising from those sources before I played, anyway.


    *: Keeping in mind that the original entry specified "...especially in games where character death means end of play for that player". Otherwise, it's not necessarily as big a deal.
  • "I love some games where neither the players nor the DM have any idea when death will strike. "
    I can totally agree and relate with this, but I'd also like to know if I'm playing with a GM that thinks this way too or with one that prefers to have the characters survive against all odds. But then also, I'll admit to you that I'm talking here of a game style I believe you don't like too much, which is probably more like wuxia in the sense that characters are expected to jump right into a big group of minions and kick them all unconscious, or an old-comic book style where villains may leave heroes unconscious but never kill them.

    There are so much people used to this kind of playstyle that I often have to make sure all players and the GM are on the same page about character death, because the references they may have for each genre are so varied that even when saying "medieval fantasy" it's different to say "old school", "tolkien-like", "Game of Thrones-like" or "historical accurate" death.
  • edited June 2016
    A game where the entirety of the rules are not known.
    We just wrapped up a long Pandemic Legacy campaign. Legacy games and nomic games are examples of games like this.
    Something I think can be fruitful ground for RPG design.
    If the GM hasn't "read ahead" and is exploring the content of the module along with the players, it's possible that the GM is also unaware death is about to strike.
    I love that mode of play ♥
  • How do legacy/nomic games accomplish this?
  • edited June 2016
    How do legacy/nomic games accomplish this?
    Legacy: "(For instance, the game comes with a card deck or random generator, and we haven't played it before or looked through all the possibilities.)"
    In the case of Pandemic Legacy, a deck that you are not allowed to look at any of the cards before play starts. The top card will say when to read it. Then there will be more cards to read then stop -- do not read until this or that happens. It's a board game with pieces and boards. There are also boxes that the legacy deck tells you to open at certain times, you're not allowed to open them before. There are stickers that go into the rule book, changing the game. These stickers come with the game but are not visible as play starts.

    Nomic: participants can introduce rules into the game after the game has started by following meta-rules that govern such rule insertion.
    D&D has nomic qualities.
  • I think we're just running into the fact that any list of rights will apply to every game given the caveat "unless the player consents otherwise" and apply to no games given the caveat "contrary to agreements and expectations".

    The point of "right to not die without warning" is obvious and valid, but at the same time of course it's possible to find games out there where dying without warning is super fun.

    Perhaps it'd be easier to discuss a list that began, "These can be problematic unless agreed to by the players up front," and then listed all the unwelcome surprises that can come up. Nelson's list perfectly fits that framing as is, and then you wouldn't have to face an infinite string of special case caveats, @rgrassi. Then when this discussion is done, you can re-label them Rights to make it more catchy. :)
  • (Sandra: cool thanks!)
  • edited June 2016
    I think we're just running into the fact that any list of rights will apply to every game given the caveat "unless the player consents otherwise" and apply to no games given the caveat "contrary to agreements and expectations".
    David, that was my original point but I was very pleasantly surprised by Rickard's list.
    Perhaps it'd be easier to discuss a list that began, "These can be problematic unless agreed to by the players up front," and then listed all the unwelcome surprises that can come up. Nelson's list perfectly fits that framing as is, and then you wouldn't have to face an infinite string of special case caveats, @rgrassi. Then when this discussion is done, you can re-label them Rights to make it more catchy. :)
    But when the items go against my very favorite game style, it's hard to want to put them on a list.
  • No wait, I think the concepts we're looking for are "Player Elimination" and "being put in disadvantage without compensation".

    I mean, if character death means that you get eliminated as a player, then of course it sucks and shouldn't be allowed, but character death doesn't necessarily mean that in RPGs, as usually you will get to made another character and reincorporate into the game.

    Then you have the case where character death means that while you get to make another character, you're back to first level without all the equipment you had looted before and no way to access it because metagaming. That sucks too, but if you're warned that will happen there's less chance you would take it badly. Quite often GMs are recommended to give players with new characters a level comaprable to that of the next less experienced character in the party or the media, and some comparable equipment to make things fair.

    So, as long as these conditons are met, character death holds no impact in the equation.
  • Still not onboard. I mean this sort of stuff is still so genre specific
    Death and hints and even my own feeble contributions of HP and dice...
    When we could have stuff like "Am I asking them for more than they can give me at this time?" -- now that's sublime.
  • edited June 2016
    No wait, I think the concepts we're looking for are "Player Elimination" and "being put in disadvantage without compensation".
    I mean, if character death means that you get eliminated as a player, then of course it sucks and shouldn't be allowed, but character death doesn't necessarily mean that in RPGs, as usually you will get to made another character and reincorporate into the game.
    Yes, exactly. And now a short recap.

    1. Characters should not be killed without warning (especially if character death means end of play for a player). Partial agreement.
    2. In case the game rules allow hints, do not give unclear hints. In case the game rules do not allow hints, follow the rules.Partial agreement.

    Item #3 and #4 (from G. Nelson)
    3. To be able to win without experience of past lives.
    4. To be able to win without knowledge of future events
    These rights are pretty clear to everyone plays computer based Interactive Fiction. It's difficult to apply in RPG and maybe it doesn't apply. It basically states that you're a player is not asked to "die / reload / die / reload / die / reload" in order to find the winning path. It is of course tied to the point 1 and 2 that deal with the "sudden death" and "useful hints" syndrome.
    This consideration also suggests me to think better and reconsider the already stated rights as follows.
    Consider this now and forget the past.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    Underpinning principles
    Principle of Berg - The following rights apply to every game given the caveat "unless the player consents or rules enforce otherwise" and apply to no games given the caveat "contrary to agreements and expectations".

    List or rights
    Right #1 (restated). Characters should not be killed without warning and/or useful hints to avoid it (especially if character death means end of play for a player).
    Status: Partial Agreement
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    Is everybody ok with this now?
    Rob
  • A dissenting vote from me, for reasons stated upthread.
  • A dissenting vote from me, for reasons stated upthread.
    Yes, thanks. Partial Agreement reflects this.

    Right #2. - Playing arc (intended as the complete expected duration of an rpg game) should not be terminated suddenly without warning.

    Feedback? Opinions?
  • We're still in such hugely game specific territory. To have campaigns not suddenly end, that's... that's what games often do: "Art is never finished, only abandoned" as DaVinci put it.

    To me this project is so far progressing like "Let's make an unalienable list of Important Things that All Players Always Need For All Games!"
    An it starts with like "OK, players must have at least 12 AC at starting level! In every RPG!"
    "Players must start with a full hand of cards in every RPG" "Players can not be asked to spend more than one fate point per 15-minute period in every RPG".
    It's like... guys, we're doing art here. You'll end up like Doesburg and Mondrian, cutting friendship because Doesburg committed the dual sins of using diagonals (the horror) and algorithmic composition (OK, that's more understandably contrary to Mondrian's aims).

    Having a campaign specific list of rights that players can rely on against DMs is great and I can see something like:
    "Players have the right to have their character's lives be in real danger of death"
    "Players have the right that the DM shall never fudge"
    "Players should be given real choices"
    "DM shall follow the rules and not refer to Rule Zero"
    etc for a game of some types that I'd like to play in. That's a list I would gladly undersign and present to the DM. So far we're getting:
    A. Items that are kind of opposite of campaign-specific list; in that they replace danger and excitement with inevitability and dramatic structure
    B. Claims of universality (the Berg principle isn't nearly enough of a caveat) that go way beyond such a campaign-specific list.

    Actually what I would want most of all would be a bill that was one sentence:
    "The table shall Play to Find Out."
  • Sandra, this:

    "Playing arc (intended as the complete expected duration of an rpg game) should not be terminated suddenly without warning."

    is just a formal way to say this.

    (A group of people is having fun together...)
    "Great, come on! Let's continue!"
    "No. This was the last action. The game has ended."
    [Funeral March in Background]
    :)

    Rob
  • Oh, then I completely had it backwards,
    I thought you wanted to formalize that such sudden endings should not happen.
    We do those sudden endings all the time in our group, love it
  • But it says "should not"? Should say "can"? Or is this some double negative thing that I misunderstand?
  • It says should not happen. :)
    Sudden ending may be funny sometimes but is it funny doing it "all the time"? :O
    Rob
  • edited June 2016
    Ok, either the bill of rights includes more sorts of playstyles or we call it a matter of acquired tastes and quit. Or perhaps if we still want items to be generic, these could be more like procedures to avoid specific issues instead of rights, because otherwise, I've gotta give JD the reason when he jokingly stated that players have no rights, at least until the group agrees to adopt a specific gameplay style.

    I mean, Sandra has no problem about character death, bringing special rules when they are needed, and letting the arc die if it comes to happen, all these enforce a specific gameplay she and her group like, which makes it perfectly valid.

    I don't have a problem with well placed illusionism, rolling behind the screen and using illusion of choice, all these enforce a different kind of gameplay whick my group enjoys a lot, which makes it a valid gameplay style too.

    The fact that you choose one over the other at this point is a matter of tastes, about what we can't actually say nothing more except that we like it because it promotes X or that we don't because it promotes Y.

    What about this:

    1-Besides Tastes, players/GM/facilitators sensibilities about different aspects of the game may and will be different. Get on the same page before playing.
    2-Stick to it to avoid problems.
    3-Play, let everyone play and have fun together.


    After that, you can list specific player rights for specific playstyles, and let players choose their favorites. It could be a great way to help everyone get on the same page, I think.
  • edited June 2016
    It says should not happen. :)
    Sudden ending may be funny sometimes but is it funny doing it "all the time"? :O
    Rob
    We do it several times per week. Not for funny but because it's so intense and as soon as someone can't take it anymore, we wrap it up

    In our most recent game (monday three nights ago) literally right after a roll, someone said "Ok let's wrap it up" and the rest of us looked at our watches and said "Yes"
  • edited June 2016
    Looks like the underpinning principle isn't sticking, Rob. Sorry I couldn't come up with something more catchy!

    Within that principle, I'm with you on Right 1 and Right 2 as you've stated them. Random death and random end to play are indeed things that can severely displease gamers.

    I think points 3 and 4 from Nelson apply best to learning-demanding encounters in RPGs -- the monster you can't beat until you learn its weakness, but by the time you learn its weakness you're so low on HP that you're toast. I assume Nelson's point is that it's a friggin' chore to start the game over from scratch (or from a distant save point) to repeat an encounter just because there was no possible way you were going to beat it the first time. Personally, I think this is more a matter of degree than a hard line, but I think Nelson has a point -- I might phrase it as something like "players have a right not to have to grind in order to get anywhere", in the un-fun drudgery sense of "grind".
  • edited June 2016
    #2097, one question.
    In our most recent game (monday three nights ago) literally right after a roll, someone said "Ok let's wrap it up" and the rest of us looked at our watches and said "Yes"
    But will you continue that game in the next days?
    Because that's different from a "playing arc".
    A stop during play, for whatever reason, is absolutely good.
    What I'm talking here is to end suddenly a "complete game" without warning for players.

    Such as you're playing at Cold Soldier and during the first Mission.
    "Ok. The game is finished."
    "What? We've just started and that's the beginning."
    "No, it's finished."

    #WarriorMonk
    After that, you can list specific player rights for specific playstyles, and let players choose their favorites.
    I'll do that later. First, I'll try to generalize the most possible. Then we'll specify.

    #David_Berg
    Yes, I'm with you.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    Underpinning principles
    Principle of Berg - The following rights apply to every game given the caveat "unless the player consents or rules enforce otherwise" and apply to no games given the caveat "contrary to agreements and expectations".

    List or rights
    Right #1 (restated). Characters should not be killed without warning and/or useful hints to avoid it (especially if character death means end of play for a player).
    Status: Partial Agreement
    Right #2. - Playing arc (intended as the complete expected duration of an rpg game) should not be terminated suddenly without warning.
    Status: Partial Agreement

    Let's try one step further.
    From G. Nelson, merging:
    6. Not to need to do unlikely things
    7. Not to need to do boring things for the sake of it

    Right #3 - Players should not be forced to do unlikely or boring things with their characters to progress in the game.
  • Yeah, we play several times a week. But, sometimes I'll go "let's do a new campaign" and they're like "what happened to the old campaign" and I'm like "eh… maybe we'll continue it later, maybe not". And we didn't have a real finish last session. I don't think in arcs for RPGs, unlike board games or books. It's more of a piraresque.

    As far as boring stuff… we try to share the burden of boring stuff in our group, like I don't track their xp for example, I have them do it, and the same goes for scheduling games, we take turns.
  • Phrasing of Right 3 sounds good to me!
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