[D&D 2097e] Remapping diegesis, mimesis and all kinds of sis

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  • edited May 2019
    Sandra,

    Don't worry! I'm not annoyed or anything. I just got very confused by all the tangents and mixture of "current rules" with hypothesizing and so forth. I couldn't tell what was you explaining things and what was you suggesting possibilities and what was you pointing out issues with my suggestions. For instance, now I finally understand why you were talking about carrots and sticks - it's about player behaviour, not diegetics or game mechanics. Now I get it! It seems I was a bit dense. :P

    Hilarious how I ended up sort of reproducing your system. Ha! Sorry about that.

    I still find it odd that you're so concerned with the PCs "not looking dumb" but willing to use a "stick" when a player describes an attack. (I understand that it's the player, in the second case, who made the "error", not the character, but it's still the character who ends looking "dumb" or at least "slow" in the fiction - and, in my opinion, worse - dumber, in other words - than in the standard case of "the monster parried your attack".)

    Anyway, it sounds like you've settled on something, so that's good.

    I have a few minor comments, and then I'll leave it at that:

    1. I think D&D shoots itself in the foot with the way attacks, hit points, and special abilities all interface. It just roughly holds together in the "standard" interpretation (all hits are actual "hits" in the fiction - bam! pow!), which is kind of like a superhero fight: lots of brutal powers and attacks landing, but no one actually gets killed or seriously hurt (until the end, anyway). As you start to remap those things, the flaws and problems come out, as they are doing here.

    If you use the "wound limit = hit, but not lethally" and "0 HP = lethally wounded" rules, the ideal solution would be to rewrite all those powers, spells, and effects so they interface with that.

    Basically, casting a spell or breathing fire or any of those things threaten to finish the fight (just like swinging your sword), but someone with HP remaining can avoid that fate.

    Therefore, any such ability or power should have a "damage". For instance, you cast Mind Control on your foe, it "does" "20 damage". Pay that many hit points, and you shrug it off.

    However, each power also has an effect at "wounded" and another at "dead". Mind Control, perhaps, imposes disadvantage on everything you do until you make a saving throw (if it gets to your wound limit), or makes you a puppet of your opponent (at 0 HP). Stuff like that.

    For weapons, it's "lingering injury" at the wound limit and "mortally wounded" at 0 HP. For other abilities and powers, it's "minor effect" and "full effect", for that ability.

    So those attacks, as befits the "genre", can be fired off and get shrugged off, over and over, until the final one or two end the fight. (The "fainting buffer" gives the opponent a chance to surrender before they're done for good.)

    2. I prefer my variation on the wound limit, where you can take multiple wounds. More dramatic and more interesting! Some people love to play Wolverine, and it adds cool tension to fights, too. (But it does depend on what rules you're using for those wounds; I'd be fine with them just being cosmetic, too.)

    3. Interesting to see that "lingering wounds" table. I can't say I love it, but the minor risk of serious injury is at least potentially intriguing. The idea of gaining Inspiration just to spend on the injury roll itself is kind of lame, though, in my opinion. For anyone who has tokens piled up, it just means it drains their stockpile, for instance, and it has no effect on the fight itself.

    Hard to pass up that 12.5%-ish chance difference on losing a limb! I don't know. Maybe you're already using it and it's working out great in play...

    Also, isn't getting Inspiration part of the reason you'd want to have a high wound limit? In that case, it needs to be good for something other than avoiding the wound you've just signed up to suffer...

    4. You occasionally use the acronym DSF - I have no idea what that is!

    5. I like your technique of looking for diegetic responses to "incorrect declarations" as opposed to just saying it's "wrong". That's a smart thing to look for, and I understand what you're going for now.

    6.

    These three things are the gateway between “healthy&safe” vs “here sits a bloody mess”:

    HP (“death clock” a.k.a. “maneuver points”; spend these to negate attacks or survive manuvers)AC/DC (succeed on rolls and you might not even have to spend points)action econ (act out of turn and you might not even get to roll)
    This is very insightful! A good analysis.

    7. Overall, I like a lot of this, but the "roll to maneuver" business sounds like it would be awkward and un-fun to me. Of course, I'd have to try it, and maybe some people will love it, but that's my hunch. For instance, some things that could feel funny:

    For starters, now instead of "rolling to swing a sword at your enemy" you're "rolling to get the GM to tell you that you get to hurt the monster now". Killing the monster is cool and all, but "well done, you get to hurt the monster now, just not kill it" feels a little like a "mother may I" interaction.

    The timing of dice and rolls seems to place the suspense/tension and the fictional causes in the wrong places sometimes.

    For example, I've never seen an action movie where the Orcs draw their bows, point them at one enemy, then see they can't get a shot, so they point them at another enemy, and repeat. Are they just standing there, aiming (and could be for many rounds)? No, we've got arrows flying and bouncing of peoples' shields and everyone is screaming!

    Same thing when two swordsmen are fighting - all those blows are potentially killing ones, they just can't get through defenses.

    It's no different in "calmer" fiction (e.g. Tolkien's fight/battle scenes, at the opposite extreme of the spectrum from an action flick).

    (Sidenote: perhaps it would work well if there were different *types* of maneuvers which matteres - maneuvering for position vs. trying to drive your opponent back, stuff like that.)

    As another example, this is weird:

    "The Orcs draw their bows but don't fire yet. 14 damage, including the poison you can see. Roll a Con save."
    -> Strange that PC knows about the poison already (dramatically speaking, a wasted opportunity - no suspense or uncertainty; similarly, it's knowledge that would normally affect future decisions - am I worried about the poison - but, instead, it's already in the past mechanically even though nothing has happened yet diegetically).
    -> Strange that the PC now makes a Con save - what does this even represent? They're feeling super healthy today, so now they're not as scared of the arrows... even though they haven't even left the bows yet? On a failure, they have a... future sense that the poison will be bad for them if the Orcs do fire?

    And what if I'm a 'berserker' raging into battle, or a desperate warrior trying to save their dying child, acting all irrational? Or I'm fighting a horde of zombies or a swarm of bees? Or trying desperately to swing at an invisible foe? Surely none of those are going to be all "here I am, maneuvering, trying to line up the perfect shot"?

    None of it is terrible or game-breaking, but a lot of the details sound strained and odd to me. Overall, not convinced it's better than D&D as-is (with all the awkwardness that has).

    Definitely worth trying and reporting back on, however! It's been a pretty fascinating conversation and I think it's great stuff to be thinking about and experimenting with.
  • edited May 2019
    I still find it odd that you’re so concerned with the PCs “not looking dumb” but willing to use a “stick” when a player describes an attack. (I understand that it’s the player, in the second case, who made the “error”, not the character, but it’s still the character who ends looking “dumb” or at least “slow” in the fiction - and, in my opinion, worse - dumber, in other words - than in the standard case of “the monster parried your attack”.)

    OK, here is my motivation there:

    I’ve had this complete hangup for five years against players describing “attacks” because I was scared that they’d look dumb.

    Like I thought of some of your examples.

    The new hypothesis is that by describing “attacks”; they invite this. They’re saying yes we want action! We’re brash, we take risks!

    By saying “OK I do a shortsword attack” they mean “I want to dance with deeeaaaath!!!!”

    By saying “I shoot with my bow” they mean “I don’t mind if I waste arrows or if I miss”

    Instead of me trying to be the hobo’s mom and take care of them and make them always look competent… I can go wild! “The skeleton can pay 4 hp easily and the arrow just slides straight through the ribcage hitting the dungeon wall behind”.

    I think D&D shoots itself in the foot with the way attacks, hit points, and special abilities all interface. It just roughly holds together in the “standard” interpretation (all hits are actual “hits” in the fiction - bam! pow!), which is kind of like a superhero fight: lots of brutal powers and attacks landing, but no one actually gets killed or seriously hurt (until the end, anyway). As you start to remap those things, the flaws and problems come out, as they are doing here.

    Right, or my previous example with a slasher movie with bloody stab after bloody stab. I want more of a swashbuckler feel.

    If you use the “wound limit = hit, but not lethally” and “0 HP = lethally wounded” rules, the ideal solution would be to rewrite all those powers, spells, and effects so they interface with that.

    Wilco! Like I’ve done for our movement rules.

    Therefore, any such ability or power should have a “damage”. For instance, you cast Mind Control on your foe, it “does” “20 damage”. Pay that many hit points, and you shrug it off.

    OK, yeah, that’s something to think about for sure.

    Check out how Sleep works in 5e, cool right?

    But as I told DeReel; I’m gonna experiment with having the normal shenanigans like Grapple and Disarm etc on the table mixed & matched with the “death clocks” that are specifically for hurting or killing.

    Interesting to see that “lingering wounds” table. I can’t say I love it, but the minor risk of serious injury is at least potentially intriguing.

    A good thing about it is that it’s 5e RAW (although an optional, non-default variant). I wished it was re-ordered so that all 11+ results were the healable ones; i.e. putting the horrible scar at 4-6 and the minor scar at 7-10 since they don’t heal up.

    The idea of gaining Inspiration just to spend on the injury roll itself is kind of lame, though, in my opinion. For anyone who has tokens piled up, it just means it drains their stockpile, for instance, and it has no effect on the fight itself.

    You might be right also I’m really happy that you know how my insp tokens work!!!

    Hard to pass up that 12.5%-ish chance difference on losing a limb! I don’t know. Maybe you’re already using it and it’s working out great in play…

    Also, isn’t getting Inspiration part of the reason you’d want to have a high wound limit? In that case, it needs to be good for something other than avoiding the wound you’ve just signed up to suffer…

    People have been kinda happy using it for it. There’s also three other adjacent & appealing uses: fighting the enemy, defending against the enemy, or on the (probably impending if you have a low wound threshold) death save. But the wound is prob your best use.

    You occasionally use the acronym DSF - I have no idea what that is!

    DSF means “death save failures”. Get three DSF’s and you’re punk rock after January 25th, 1977—in other words, dead!

    That’s one I created just for this thread. Are you perhaps on mobile or tablet or similar? It’s good for me to learn that the abbreviations thing I’m using (hover over the word DSF to see) isn’t working for everyone. Since I found out about it a few weeks ago I’ve absolutely peppered my posts with it (not abbreviating more, but annotating my abbreviations).

  • I like your technique of looking for diegetic responses to “incorrect declarations” as opposed to just saying it’s “wrong”. That’s a smart thing to look for, and I understand what you’re going for now.

    That’s one of several ideas behind the key phrase glossary.

    For starters, now instead of “rolling to swing a sword at your enemy” you’re “rolling to get the GM to tell you that you get to hurt the monster now”. Killing the monster is cool and all, but “well done, you get to hurt the monster now, just not kill it” feels a little like a “mother may I” interaction.

    This is valuable information. Thank you.

    The timing of dice and rolls seems to place the suspense/tension and the fictional causes in the wrong places sometimes.

    This is exactly the kinda thing I need to be on the lookout for and see if it’s fixable.

    For example, I’ve never seen an action movie where the Orcs draw their bows, point them at one enemy, then see they can’t get a shot, so they point them at another enemy, and repeat.

    (CW violence)

    Was looking for kinda the scene in Battle Royale where they all have guns drawn and are screaming at each other. But rewatching it, that scene had way more action than I remember.

    Are they just standing there, aiming (and could be for many rounds)? No, we’ve got arrows flying and bouncing of peoples’ shields and everyone is screaming!

    So what I’m hearing is that a good maneuver can be “I catch the flying arrows with my shield”? Or what?

    I need to build “fighting vocab”! I’ve seen like three action films!

    Same thing when two swordsmen are fighting - all those blows are potentially killing ones, they just can’t get through defenses.

    But they don’t get through defenses. That’s what we want to emulate with the HP spending, right?

    “The Orcs draw their bows but don’t fire yet. 14 damage, including the poison you can see. Roll a Con save.”

    Right, that’s weird. I mean the lemonade to this is that weird situations lead to varied narration, right?

    Why are arrows always so weeeeeeird… I don’t have the same problems with mêlée weapons or spells.

    Arrows suck in BW and DW too. Introducing late night fighting at leats made the volley rounds easier & more challenging so that it’s mostly mêlée weapons being used.

    Strange that the PC now makes a Con save - what does this even represent? They’re feeling super healthy today, so now they’re not as scared of the arrows… even though they haven’t even left the bows yet? On a failure, they have a… future sense that the poison will be bad for them if the Orcs do fire?

    It’s not fear, it’s more, uh, the clock of destiny doesn’t tick a lot when super hardy guy con +9 is subjected to some weak poison.
    It’s not their own sense, it’s destiny’s sense. IDK, it’s stupid.

    The poison / HP thing specifically is not something that has changed during our 5 years of 5e.

    And what if I’m a ‘berserker’ raging into battle, or a desperate warrior trying to save their dying child, acting all irrational? Or I’m fighting a horde of zombies or a swarm of bees? Or trying desperately to swing at an invisible foe? Surely none of those are going to be all “here I am, maneuvering, trying to line up the perfect shot”?

    Right but that’s what brash actions can be. “brash↔risky”, but it still ticks down monster HP none-the-less.

    OH also I need to write up swarm rules! I’m gonna be better at saying how many bees there are in each swarm and note how many HPs it takes to represent a bee, or (if less than one) how many bees there are per HP. And then after EVERY blow I can be “you can kill three bees” or “you can kill two bats” or whatever. Each bee in effect has its own killing threshold.

    None of it is terrible or game-breaking, but a lot of the details sound strained and odd to me. Overall, not convinced it’s better than D&D as-is (with all the awkwardness that has).

    I have the same fear…
    I tried explaining the system to one of the players over the phone and I was so embarrassed & couldn’t explain it & couldn’t think of any examples…

    Definitely worth trying and reporting back on, however! It’s been a pretty fascinating conversation and I think it’s great stuff to be thinking about and experimenting with.

    Yeah! ABT!

    OK so we were talking about the three gates:

    • Action econ
    • AC/DC
    • HP spends

    The action econ gate has its own vocab “As you…”, “Before you even”, “Suddenly”, “Out of nowhere”, “SLAM!”, “But at the same time, Bob is attacked!”.

    Maybe we should build up a separate vocab for HP spends compared to attack/defense rolls. (And maybe a separate vocab for attack rolls compared to defense rolls, but I think that difference might come naturally.)

    The HP is sort of a separate beat. A second chance.

    Win vs AC → “You push the skeleton’s sword aside…”
    the skellie can afford the HP loss→“… but he sidesteps.”

    Win vs AC → “You push the skeleton’s sword aside…”
    the skellie can’t afford the HP loss→“… and he is vulnerable. You can kill him.”

    Lose vs AC → “The skeleton’s pushes your sword aside…”

    In a game written from scratch there wouldn’t have to be three gates grumble grumble but oh well. Maybe the three gates leads to the battle turning back&forth in a more flavored way…???

    ⚞Εύρηκα⚟ !!!!

    (PS this section is very inspired by your idea, Paul. I’m just really into the innovation of changing the word “lose” to “spend” wrt hit points.)

    This isn’t something that can save the whole system but at least I just came up with a way to save the word “damage”; the damage number is now the cost to prevent the wound effect of that damage. Iow, a sword attack that rolls 1d8 + 3 = 8 damage; well, an “8-damage” is a wound that you need to pay 8 to prevent. Double price if you’re vulnerable to that particular type of wounds, half if you’re resistant, free if you’re immune.

    Hit points are points you spend to avoid getting hit, that’s pretty, uh, obvious ♫innocent whistling♫

    And now hit & miss (on the AC/DC roll) can maintain their orig meanings.

    “I miss” ok, that’s that
    “I hit for 4-damage” not so fast, that means I can spend 4 hit points to prevent that damage (that wound).

  • So… maybe… I’ll ease off all the maneuver/aiming stuff.

    Describing your “attacks” as aiming & moving sword aside & shield bonking etc is cool & allowed & if one of those attacks happens to be the one that reaches the WT line or the 0HP line, then you’ll get a new “you can hurt the monster” or “you can kill the monster” prompt, which means it’s never “wrong” to maneuver. The narrative beats are not the same thing as spending actions in the econ.

    Describing your attacks in other ways is cool too.

    But what you need to do is say what you do in the SIS.

    • To get to do defense rolls, say how you defend yourself (duck, position your armor, hold up your shield)
    • To get to do attack rolls, say how you attack/maneuver/aim/shoot/approach
    • To get to spend hit points to negate hits, say what you do to negate the hit (block, avoid, parry w/e)

    This sort of automatically does differentiate between defense rolls & spending HP?

    I mean, so far the vocab sets I’ve come up with for both are

    1. incredibly small, and
    2. the same.

    So the differentiation isn’t great admittedly. But maybe the rhythm…? uh…

  • If everyone sees your HP clock ticking, there's no need for a much different vocabulary. (That's why tokens, cards and dice as tokens are great.)
    What happens when a player invokes an inappropriate fictional move to negate damage, like : "- it lunges at you - I step back and avoid it's spear" ?
  • edited May 2019
    Looks good to me, Sandra.

    Two things:

    1. One of the reasons I was trying to build some choice into HP spend was to make it less of an “empty” beat. Otherwise, it’s easier to just subtract the points and move on. (But maybe that’s ok!)

    2. There is no real meaningful difference between a successful defense roll and an HP spend in this system. But that’s not your fault! That’s what D&D does already.

    E.g. “I hit you for 10 damage!” “I spend 10 HP, which means I step out of range at the last minute. You never hit me after all!”

    Vs.

    “I missed my attack roll, darn.” “Yeah, but you missed because of my high AC, which is from my armour, so that means you did actually hit me - clang!”

    Silly; but that’s how the game is set up.
  • edited May 2019

    I love this question for two reasons!

    1. It’s great practice for me since I haven’t run this sorta narrative fighting in years (last time I ran Everway was in 2010 and last time I ran DW was 2014).
    2. It explains the new system from another perspective
    What happens when a player invokes an inappropriate fictional move to negate damage, like : “- it lunges at you - I step back and avoid it’s spear” ?

    I can think of eight ways a move can be inappropriate so let’s go through them separately. Not saying there can’t be other reasons, if they are I’ll deal with them as I find them. #CasualGödel

    So to start with, the intended normal response from me to Alice saying “I step back and avoid its spear” is to either demand a defense roll or an HP spend. That’s the baseline.

    When they don’t have enough actions to do it

    Unlike Kutulu, in Introducing late night fighting, defending doesn’t cost actions in the tally. So for this one, let’s use another example: Alice says “I step forward and jam my spear into it” when they don’t have enough actions in the “dice” to trigger an attack roll. That’s my queue to be the Time Master and make things go quickly and either narrate how other monsters act, or prompt other hobos to act, before Alice has the time to do so. (This is gonna be super difficult! Why do I make rules that are difficult to use :bawling:)

    I say:

    “Faster than lightning he grabs ahold of your spear and holds it with his left hand as he slashes his [turn to Bob] sword at Bob; Bob, what do you do?”

    When they don’t have enough HP to do it

    I say:

    “Make an injury roll.”

    Let’s say it comes up arm, I then say:

    “You avoid the first stab but she makes another stab and this one gashes deep into your arm and you drop your sword as the arm goes numb. It’s almost eerily painless and the first thing you see is…. why is this spear so red.[Turn to Carol] Carol, you see the door open and…”

    When they don’t roll well enough to do it

    Negate the orig defense, initate/offer a chance to do the “second line” defense (spending HP).

    I say:

    “Step back? It had read your move perfectly as the spear lunges straight forward, in lockstep with you, what do you do?”

    When they are encrouching on a codified move in the game (that they can do)

    Just go into it. Narrating a single step back ain’t nothing so let’s use the example:

    “I swing my sword as hard as I ever-lovin’ can, tryna knock it’s sword out of its hand”

    This triggers Disarm: monster defends with strexterity instead of AC.
    I say:

    “Roll an attack roll, vs 12 instead of the normal 13.”

    When they are encrouching on a codified move in the game (that they can’t do)

    Just narrate them failing it. Narrating a single step back ain’t nothing so let’s use the example:

    “I run up on the wall and run along the wall to get to the other goblin”

    Running on the wall is reserved for monks level 9 or higher, or “Spider Climb” spell.

    Just let them fail. I say:

    “You take one step and then you fall prone on your back. The skeleton is over you, and her sword is coming down hard and fast, what do you do?”

    When their description triggers another codified move in the game

    Just trigger it. Normally a single step back would be just color but let’s say I’m interpreting it as actually moving out of the reach of the skeleton. That triggers OA so I’d say

    “When you move that far back, the skeleton can stab at you again without having to fear your sword; his spear is lunging towards you again, what do you do?”

    When the specific unusual circumstances in the SIS prevents them

    If there’s like a precipice or a wall behind them, incorporate that into the answer. I can respond to their description in a negating (it doesn’t work for their intented action [in this case, defending against a spear] or in an affirming way [it works to defend the spear, but it has other consequences]. I’m going to have to decide on which I should try to primarily use.

    Here is what the negating answer would look like in the wall variant:

    “SLAM! The wall was closer to you than you thought and you can’t get back as far as you thought; the spear is just about to skewer you, what do you do?”

    Both the wall & the precipice variants can handle the affirming answer, here’s the wall variant first:

    “Bump, you hit the wall behind you and slide slightly to the side, narrowly avoiding the spear. [Turn to Carol] Meanwhile, Carol, you…

    And the precipice variant:

    “You take a step back and you avoid the spear but you suddenly feel no ground under your foot, what do you do?”

    Leading into a dex save if they try to keep their balance or a strength save to see they can hold on. The principle “precede every unestablished roll with a soft move + ‘what do you do’” is new, we’ll see how it works. I’m gonna have to retrain myself (and my beloved dork crew) that instead of saying “Make a dex save”, say the Initatiation and ask what they do.

    (Sidebar: the “affirming” variant of the wall bump is actually more blocking in some ways; it changed what they said that they were trying to do. I think instead of looking at it as negating/affirming, I should just say what happens in the SIS.)

    When it’s something they just can’t do

    Like, if they describe super powers they just don’t have.

    Just narrate them failing it. Narrating a single step back ain’t nothing so let’s use the example:

    “I effortlessly phase through the wall like Kitty Pryde!” (:bawling:Rulla en trolle nästa gång för sjutton!)

    “As you reach the wall, bam! It’s much more solid than you expected. Make an injury roll.” [skipping over “the three gates” since she didn’t defend herself properly]

  • (Re encrouching on codified moves; I find that in 5e the balance of "everyone can try this" vs "niche protected moves" is just perfect, hits my sweet spot exactly, and that sweet spot is "significally less niche protection than many other games".)
  • edited May 2019
    Looks good to me, Sandra.

    Thanks! Yeah, after working on this pretty intensively for the last week it’s starting to fall into place. Thanks for the tough love, it lead to a lot of changes.

    1. One of the reasons I was trying to build some choice into HP spend was to make it less of an “empty” beat. Otherwise, it’s easier to just subtract the points and move on. (But maybe that’s ok!)

    2. There is no real meaningful difference between a successful defense roll and an HP spend in this system. But that’s not your fault! That’s what D&D does already.

    Right! I have to accept that they both mean defense! But today I’ve been thinking that a flubbed defense roll is “your first idea of defending yourself didn’t work, here’s a reiterated or changed threat, what do you do?”

    Example “The sword glides along the shield and above it and is going for your face, what do you do?” leading into a chance to justify a HP spend through SIS actions (a.k.a. fictional positioning).

    First line of defense vs oh-shit-second-chance

    “I missed my attack roll, darn.” “Yeah, but you missed because of my high AC, which is from my armour, so that means you did actually hit me - clang!”

    Great example!

    But I’m hoping for moving the fortune to further at the end [compared to some earlier iterations of “Oh, Injury!” on page one of this thread]. SIS first, roll later istead of roll first, explanation later. IIEfE vs IfIEE.

    “I shift around to let my armor take the blow” “Make a defense roll, DC 14” “Made it!” “Clanng! [Turns to Ted] Meanwhile, Ted, you see the vampire queen starting to…”

    I’m actually nervous AF for tonight’s session! Although with my luck there might not even be any fights though. It’s prob gonna be soap opera time since I posted new Insp rules that we haven’t tried either. “Tonight, on As the T9G turns…”Alice, I’m pregnant“…”

    (I just pulled that example out of my hat but I realized it could happen!? #PolymorphSex Unfortunately it must’ve happened 2 days ago diegetically and it takes a couple of weeks for first symptoms to show.)

  • edited May 2019

    (If this works out I’m gonna have to make a lot of additions to the key phrase glossary)

  • Good luck! Let us know how it goes!
  • First of all, great! I didn’t think it’d get this good this fast! (BTW you were absolutely right that many maneuvers are&shouldbe actually direct tries to murder right then and there!!) Having the flexibility to choose actually ended up good!

    So we have ran into…

    a few snags!

    Do you kill it?

    “Uh yeah I already cast a fucking thunderwave at it that more do you want?”

    Our new rule: If the intent is obviously murderous & already sufficient, DM please just describe it.

    We ran into a counter snag because if they aren’t killed, just hurt, I need to know “where you aimed”

    I also had to be super clear that the killing prompt can be you doing a “re-hit”, or following through with your action, whatever makes sense in the diegesis (at our table we usually say diegesis rather than say spell ess-eye-ess or say “sis” like sister].

    Are we being cheated out of actions?

    No but… if you feel that you’re being cheated out of actions you lose buy-in. Which is why I invented “transparency of method” in the first place back in the day.

    Need to figure out a way to reassure players that everything is on the level. I had to go over to one of the players with “the fight book” where and show the action tally. Having it writ large on a wall or something might work. Then the player started saying “and then you could write an app and it could be digital and we could connect into it” and I kinda, uh, not into that. #luddite2097

    But putting it up on the wall might be good. For a few sessions at least, so that there is some trust being built for this partic player to feel comf. Which is important♥

    This player also is one of our three rules masters; but it’s all cloud←dice with them. Decisions start & live among the dice but then the “cloud” is sort of a shadow realm reflecting the dice action. But with the new system the diegesis actually have some… uh… it leads into things! Fictional positioning mattered af!

    Eww is this like Mortal Kombat?

    Yeah, kinda :(

    Honey I get it, it became kinda scary. One player really NOT into it at least at first. Violence has been veiled at our table up until now.

    It’s way better than MC because it’s not bloody slash after bloody slash, the pretties are spending hp to negate attacks, but sure there was a bit of a “finish him” vibe at first.

    a bunch of good things!

    As I said in the What did you play this week?, the hit point spending worked really well! Nice to finally know unambiguously what hit points are. They became some sorta totally wild action points!!

    multiattack worked great!

    It made the two lines of defense really work; you deal with three of the arms one way but then BAM here’s the fourth!

    Uh, the flow, I’m trying to document it

    Monster attack flow

    • You see a maw full of teeth flying towards you, what do you do?
    • I try to duck under it!
    • Roll a defense roll DC 18!
    • Fail!
    • It bobs down, following you down doing kind of a somersault, gnashing&gnawing at you, what do you do?
    • I slam it’s face with my shield!
    • OK, spend 11 hit points to do that!

    Player attack flow

    • I try to push its arms aside & smash its head with a morning star!
    • Make an attack roll AC 17!
    • Succeed! 14 damage! [note to self: that’s how I remember it; that they roll attack and damage in quick succession / one beat]
    • It spends 14 hit points to push your morningstar aside and slash you with its claws, what do you do?

    Also with multiattack weaving the attacks back & forth was pretty awesome!

    The players were surprised at first but then we had four reactions (the fifth of them still kinda not into the more graphic fighting I guess)

    • Alice: this is awesome! weave weave weave!
    • Bob: this is awesome! weave weave weave!
    • Carol: wait, how did…. I didn’t get my…
    • Ted: more of a “rolling all his [technically multiple] attacks together to describe all of the damage into one big diegetic strike” kind of guy!

    Stray observations

    All five of them were awesome by the way!

    Even the ones that had reservations did a really good describing things!!!

    I really really pushed on the “you do not need variety, you do not need to be clever etc”.

    This isn’t Exaulted/Wushu where you describe things first, it’s coolness judged, translated into bonus dice making your mechanical roll more effective.

    This isn’t Feng Shui where you roll first, its mechanical impact judged, you given extreme liberties to turn that impact into narration.

    This is kinda like AW/DW though. Has some similarities, some differences.

    And like AW/DW what matters is what do you actually do in the SIS because I need to know that when describing how the monsters spend their HP.

    There’s still a risk that it just falls away, even though that definitely didn’t happen today. The new words “they spend 14 hp to XYZ” might devolve to “they spend 14 hp to defend”. Anytime we almost fell into old habits, our inability to then describe the next action was an immediate wakeup call. “It… wait, how did you defend?” “Oh, yeah, I this-and-that!”

  • edited May 2019
    Kinda angry at some of my dorx rn;
    after last Tue they were stoked about the sesh but today their suggestions for improving it made it kinda clear they don't understand the underlying issues of IIEE & how the diegetical engagement is a first-class ludeme.

    That said, I need to remember the first rule of listening to feedback; people can be good at pointing out problems even though their suggestion for solutions often are way off. It's sort of a… there's some smoke over there coming from somewhere the forest! If they go "Oh let's go buy sausages to go and have them smoked there!", I can get so mad at how dumb that idea is that I forget that maybe I do need to address the fact that there might be a problem in the forest.
  • Good observations!
  • Also, if you pitch an idea or show a preview and everybody starts having ideas of how it could have been a different story, at least you got their imagination started.
  • I don't know if this helps, not being a game designer myself, but perhaps you can do a walk through scenario for the purpose of explaining the whats and whys while soliciting questions from your players about where they are having problems or missing the mark.

    Maybe there are problems within the system design and maybe the players just aren't grokking to the system or a combo of both. Sorting where the problem(s) lies first should be a big help in directing your efforts.

    I hope I haven't stated the eye-rollingly obvious.

    Best,

    Jay
  • I don't know if this helps, not being a game designer myself, but perhaps you can do a walk through scenario for the purpose of explaining the whats and whys while soliciting questions from your players about where they are having problems or missing the mark.
    That's right; that's why I lost my temper with them. At first I expressed strong gratitude for the feedback and then I started walking through it in detail, following along with their comments. And then the next day they were like "cool story but why can't we try it my way?" and I lost it because I had just thrown so many pearls before them
  • Your pearls. Now they want theirs in too. Why don't you let them, so they see its harder than they think ? You'll only lose a session.
  • I'll consider that suggestion, DeReel!
  • :bawling: even though I was screaming & crying #emo2097 they got together and arranged an extra session tonight (in addition to our next scheduled one which is on Tuesday)
    ♥ my dorx
  • So I'm kinda already tired of all the description. It's so boring and it's the same monster types all the time and everyone has their goto moves.

    They LOVED having the board up so they could see HP and everything but the pen crapped out halfway through the session.
  • Yes, I think for this kind of “here’s a prompt for you” description to work, you either need to be really good at it and enjoy it for its own sake (e.g. Critical Role) or it’s got to matter more than it does currently, in your system (e.g. Dogs in the Vineyard).

    What did the session feel like? Did you try anything different?
  • edited May 2019
    Yes, I think for this kind of “here’s a prompt for you” description to work, you either need to be really good at it and enjoy it for its own sake (e.g. Critical Role) or it’s got to matter more than it does currently, in your system (e.g. Dogs in the Vineyard).

    What did the session feel like? Did you try anything different?
    The big difference was the board up on the wall.

    We ditched the murder prompts. But my prediction that the system "needs" the other description (IIEE, teeth etc) still held up; the only skippable line is ironically the last one, the killing blow, and I just had to be disciplined to do those.

    In one of the fights the hobos had trapped some gargoyles using a spell so that they couldn't do anything. And I was like "ok you can just kill them scratch some arrows" and then one player got confused and I said "OK we'll just roll it out yahtzee style"; when the monster's can't make moves there's no need for description.

    But then later we had a more detailed fight again because, uh, not to keep on harping but the system really does force the description out (in order to select between the diegetically different but dice-level-equal monster moves). It's just a not fun to describe the same types of hits and moves over and over again. I use my shield ok you block its mouth with your shield etc.

    An interesting side effect is that the increased focus on the diegetics lead to all of us remembering to do all kinds of other moves like shove, grapple etc. The room's features, balconies, ledges, bottomless slime pits etc all mattered way more as well.
  • Dogs, that part of Dogs I could never get to work well. There was always this extreme gap between the diegesis and the dice in that game. Like "wait, uh, how did that happen…?!"
  • Interesting! Your experience doesn’t match mine.

    How do you square “the description really matters” with “we just describe the same moves over and over again”? Those sound like contradictions to me.
  • Interesting! Your experience doesn’t match mine.

    How do you square “the description really matters” with “we just describe the same moves over and over again”? Those sound like contradictions to me.
    You need to say "I hit with shield", "I parry with morningstar", "I thrust with sword", "I slash with sword", "I try to klonk it with the shoulder of my armor" etc. These are all meaningfully different but once you've heard "I try to klonk it with the shoulder of my armor" nine times you get sick of it
  • Like, pre "Oh, Injury!", "thrust with sword" and "slash with sword" would've just been "I attack" [implicitly "with sword" since that's the weapon the char has equipped]. But now you need to say exactly how you attack with sword.
  • I can for the first time finally understand how someone would get similarly sick of my "what do you do/say exactly" when it comes to trap-finding or convo-petitioning. Just that I'm way more into exploration & interaction than I am to fighting I guess!

    I'm gonna keep at it with the new system.
  • Do you feel strongly about ALWAYS using the new system, vs only using it when warranted by the energy / excitement at the table and nature of the fight? (And often stating at the start of the fight, "We're gonna Yahtzee this one!")
  • I'm still not seeing it, sorry. How is "I thrust with sword" different from "I slash with sword", under these rules? It seems to me that the only difference is that the responder will take your description into account.

    If it really did matter, in a more important sense than that, I don't think people would be repeating descriptions.

    So... I'm probably missing something in this system.

    For example, "how exactly do you try to find the trap", in a Finchian trap-finding situation, really matters. You can say, "I do the same thing as last time," no problem, but you saying that still determines whether you find the trap or not (in other words, your description from "last time" is still meaningfully important - the actual action). When I say, "I spend 4 points to parry, ducking low", or "I'm ducking low - can I spend the 4 points now?", I don't think saying I'm ducking to the left, instead, matters at all, and, if it did, people wouldn't simply repeat their descriptions.
  • Do you feel strongly about ALWAYS using the new system, vs only using it when warranted by the energy / excitement at the table and nature of the fight? (And often stating at the start of the fight, “We’re gonna Yahtzee this one!”)

    I’m gonna let the default be that we use it.
    If the energy is low, putting a boring Yahtzee fight in isn’t gonna help it either, right?
    Since the system was introduced (and including the ‘dream fight’) there has been six fights. At the end of fight number 5 I wanted to be like “OK and from this position you can easily kill them” but you know players in this stance they hate their time gaps so we ended up Yahtzeeing it out.

    I’m still not seeing it, sorry. How is “I thrust with sword” different from “I slash with sword”, under these rules? It seems to me that the only difference is that the responder will take your description into account.

    Not “will take”; has to take. Me knowing what move the monster [moves that while similar on the dice level are different on the diegetic level] will make depends on knowing if you’re thrusting, slashing, shield-bashing or feinting. Especially now (this change happened between first and second session) that advantage and disadvantage are being handed out like candy depending on your diegetic position.

    So… I’m probably missing something in this system.

    I think that’s fair. Maybe I was too, before I tried it and was surprised to what extent the descriptions did matter.

    You can say, “I do the same thing as last time,” no problem, but you saying that still determines whether you find the trap or not (in other words, your description from “last time” is still meaningfully important - the actual action).

    Yeah, this is similar. It’s often the case that repeating your exact last action isn’t possible as the diegetic situation has changed; when I said bored I meant that I was bored of some very specific actions that came up repeatedly; often not directly following each other but that came up several times.

    The insight that it’s similar to trap finding will help me not get as bored. And to be more accepting this kind of short hand. “Same thing as last time” is, after all, a great tool in the arsenal of the trap-finder.

    When I say, “I spend 4 points to parry, ducking low”, or “I’m ducking low - can I spend the 4 points now?”, I don’t think saying I’m ducking to the left, instead, matters at all

    I think this is like the ninth time or so that I’m saying that you are wrong here. So either you are wrong, or I am, or we’re talking past each other to a ridiculous degree.

    I have to remind myself that I, too, was surprised by the degree that it ended up mattering in actual play.

    and, if it did, people wouldn’t simply repeat their descriptions.

    They do it because there can be more than one situation where the appropriate move to make is ducking low.

  • edited May 2019
    That's a great point about high/low energy.

    And I'm glad the trap-finding analogy is useful to you!
    I’m still not seeing it, sorry. How is “I thrust with sword” different from “I slash with sword”, under these rules? It seems to me that the only difference is that the responder will take your description into account.

    Not “will take”; has to take. Me knowing what move the monster [moves that while similar on the dice level are different on the diegetic level] will make depends on knowing if you’re thrusting, slashing, shield-bashing or feinting. Especially now (this change happened between first and second session) that advantage and disadvantage are being handed out like candy depending on your diegetic position.

    I *think* we're actually exactly on the same page, then. The descriptions aren't (usually) changing the "dice" level of the game, but they're interactive in that they build on each other and create an exciting choreography of combat.

    If you're starting to interface with that more, by "handing out adv/disadv like candy", then that changes this dramatically, of course! I didn't think you'd do that, it being somewhat against the RAW (depending on how you read the rules). That would definitely give the descriptions more teeth! You could even make it Blades-like by implementing your "Blades position translator", which is what I'm imagining you starting to do here. That sounds like fun!

    I have to remind myself that I, too, was surprised by the degree that it ended up mattering in actual play.

    Thank you! I really appreciate. I'm working at this relatively "blind", compared to you.

    I have to remind myself, in turn, that you're moving to this from a nearly "dice-only" form of D&D combat, which is probably an enormous change in style, whereas *I'm* imagining starting from a highly detailed, descriptive combat (Critical Role is pretty close to how I've usually seen people play D&D, in that sense), from which this change would (I think!) be very, very minor.
  • Great post, thanks♥
    (We crossposted, I posted in the other thread while you posted this)
  • If you're starting to interface with that more, by "handing out adv/disadv like candy", then that changes this dramatically, of course! I didn't think you'd do that, it being somewhat against the RAW (depending on how you read the rules).
    Yes, it is radical!

  • And I'm glad the trap-finding analogy is useful to you!
    It turned out really well today (third sesh). Couldn't really do any candy adv/disadv (my name for referee adjudicated—albeit as impartially as possible—as opposed to wholly gloracular adv/disadv) today because they were so good at using things like fire sensitivity, prone conditions, grappling etc to keep the Full Metal Francis Bride on lock down.

    Also she (Francis that is) grappled a dork and tossed him into a death pit but he still had wildshapes left so he turned into a bat & flew up. #CoDzilla

    The whole "going into codified moves" thing is so great. Martial stuff is awesome now & strength has become a super stat.
  • Great. I'm excited to hear how this all shapes up; please keep the updates coming!
  • Oh:

    Does that mean you're gradually moving further and further from "here are the dice rules; choose your action" and closer and closer to "just tell me what you do! I'll tell you what dice you roll", as your general style of D&D, then?

    You mentioned watching some of the designers play D&D and that you were surprised by that aspect of things. I hope you'll follow up on that! It sounds like an interesting conversation.
  • Oh:

    Does that mean you're gradually moving further and further from "here are the dice rules; choose your action" and closer and closer to "just tell me what you do! I'll tell you what dice you roll", as your general style of D&D, then?

    You mentioned watching some of the designers play D&D and that you were surprised by that aspect of things. I hope you'll follow up on that! It sounds like an interesting conversation.
    Darling that was in private

    but I'll provide some context for the entire class to enjoy.

    In our fights before this new HP spending that Paul invented I am claiming 100% credit for, our flow had been very much "here are the dice rules; choose your action". This was something that it had gradually devolved into; new players are much more willing to just say a diegetical move and have us translate it into new and exciting positions.

    For fights. And, after a while, for another hyper-dice-alized situation, wilderness/hexcrawling procedures.

    In other contexts we do it all Finchian & Lawsian with only the very rare check.

    BTW we really need to cook up a new name for 'dice'. Sorry @lumpley but it's just confusing at this point.:bawling:

    But our last three sessions even fighting (and ofc I'll try to find a way to convert other situations to work similarly) has been, uh… Lumplian? what's the fighting equiv of Finchian & Lawsian… :bawling:

    And I was thinking back on a passage in the D&D rules that promote the "just tell me what you do! I'll tell you what dice you roll"–type of play. Which we now have achieved to a (scalarly) greater degree than just a few weeks ago. Not that the "here are the dice rules; choose your action"–style doesn't have some significant advantages, for the subsystems where you are resolving questions through a dice-alized, multistep process. (I Ching the original DMG.)

    The "I'll tell you what dice you roll"–type of play does require a bit of ouija-boarding [not referring to ouija-boarding a premise-revelant story here, which, uh, that was a dumb & patronizing theory the forge guys had because they didn't understand the emergent property of the gloracle & blorb] in that in order to be effective you're rewarded if you have a dice-level understanding of your character. Especially wrt spells, or how strong you are (if you're weak then grappling isn't great).

    Interestingly, since the change, martials have been more buffed than casters. And martial monsters have been more fun to play. Grappling PCs and throwing them down the death pit is the best
  • Yay for throwing PC's into pits of Death!! :wink:
  • edited May 2019
    Very cool.

    (And sorry if I crossed the threads of conversation! I couldn't remember where that was coming from.)

    I don't understand why this change would make "martials more buffed than casters". Is it just because more people are *remembering* to use certain options they would forget before? Or because you're handing out advantage more often?

    I've been under the impression that most of this change is purely about presentation, and therefore shouldn't affect character effectiveness.

    (I totally disagree with you about the Ouija Board thing, but I'll take that elsewhere.)

    On the other hand, maybe you could explain what you mean by it here. What did you mean by that (in your terms, not according to the Forgite meaning)?
  • I forgot to finish my thought in that post (insomnia af rn). I'll continue off the quote:
    And I was thinking back on a passage in the D&D rules that promote the "just tell me what you do! I'll tell you what dice you roll"–type of play. Which we now have achieved to a (scalarly) greater degree than just a few weeks ago.
    And I was wondering if the games' designers actually did play this way themselves and was looking at some actual play recordings to try to "catch them" not doing it but everything I found they were actually doing it. So the hypothesis I was talking to Paul about making a post about ended up not being well-founded. See? I do research my posts on here af.

    And I got sad :bawling: and thought back to the whole patriarchy theory on why I even have rules in the first place (because the players [old group] didn't trust my calls). But when the diegesis is a relevant lexeme as per Laws, Finch, and now this system—they have to play with this flow. And we're having a lot of fun so far
  • Is it just because more people are *remembering* to use certain options they would forget before?
    Yes
  • The room layout becomes way more relevant too. And it feels like a 3d space♥
    not for ants
  • Yes, I understand where you're coming from now. I had always just *assumed* that your D&D play was full of colourful descriptions and players doing clever stuff (because a lot of people play D&D that way), but going from one extreme to the other is bound to change the way you play. I can well imagine that!

    Here's a post (and the next one or two respond to it) which you might find interesting:

    http://www.story-games.com/forums/discussion/comment/469567/#Comment_469567

    Is that pretty close to what you're experiencing?
  • 1. Me, clicking the initiative counter. "Bree, your turn."
    2. Leah, playing Bree: "I'm going to shoot it with my bow."
    3. Me, saying nothing, because she knows what to do.
    4. Leah, rolling: "15."
    5. Me, checking against its AC, which is 13. "Hit."
    6. Leah, rolling damage: "Oh, good! 8 piercing damage."

    Here we have some yahtzee, followed by:

    7. Me: "Tell me what happens."
    8. Leah: "So I pull an arrow back, waiting for Oisin to get out of the way, then take my shot. The arrow nails it right in the face."
    9. Me: "Yeah, it rears back and lets out an angry cry, thrashing its arms in Oisin's general direction, but not connecting... yet."

    …some painted on description. The kind of attached description that you need to have discipline to remember to do and that, for me at least, fell away sometime during our first year with the game.

    So far, normal stuff. Now this.

    17. Me, clicking the initiative counter. "Ronald, your turn."
    18. Woody, playing Ronald: "So the mushroom is here?" Pointing on the map.
    19. Me: "Correct."
    20. Woody: "I want to use it for cover to sneak up behind it."
    21. Me: "Stealth check with Advantage."

    Nothing out of place even with our old yahtzee style. (I would’ve been making a slightly different ruling; the stealth is gonna give you advantage later, having cover is what allows you to even roll stealth in the first place.)

    Now I’ll describe what’s going on as we’re only now moving out of the yahtzee style into a diegetics-as-first-class-ludeme style:

    Alice: I want to attack it (reaches for dice) what’s the AC?
    DM: it’s… [remembers that she needs to know the specific attack so she can know how to defend against it; since un-defended-against attacks can deal wounds & DSFs directly] What are you doing, exactly?
    Alice: I draw the bowstring back & release an arrow.
    DM: OK, the AC is 17.
    Alice: [rolls to hit, rolls damage] 8 piercing.
    DM: With her resistance, she pays 4 to just grab that arrow, snap it, roar, and then [turns to Bob] she tries to grab you Bob.

    This is for the purps of documentation & testing as much as anything else. ABT!

    This third session was much better, people getting more comfortable building vocab, finding tools, describing using back-references (a la your “same thing as last turn”); “I parry with my staff again, but this time trying to crouch a bit” etc. I’m digging the new style.

  • Ah, yeah, if you occasionally let attacks succeed automatically, that changes the flow of combat quite a bit! (And the same thing goes if you assign advantage based on the description of the attack, as well - you've inserted another step into you combat flow resolution. My original "spend HP to defend" proposal had another step like that written in, where the defender could not decide how much to spend until the attacker described their attack. It was more "robust" in this sense; in your example the GM could easily forget that step, and no one would really notice.)
  • My original "spend HP to defend" proposal had another step like that written in, where the defender could not decide how much to spend until the attacker described their attack.
    Well, it's not just about "how much" [the various damage types and resistances lets there be a little bit of "how much" in version we're using too] and "whether", but "in what way". In essence the fight is diegetic and the hit points are a sort of "action point"–like resource to use in order to negate hits.
    It was more "robust" in this sense; in your example the GM could easily forget that step, and no one would really notice
    What's this, the twelfth time we're going over this?
    As DM if that step is skipped it's immediately noticable because then I (as the monster) wouldn't know how to defend (in this case grab&snap the arrow) which I need to do in order to not die.
  • edited May 2019
    Oh boy. Yeah, I still don't see that, at all. Let me rewrite your example:

    Alice: I want to attack it with my bow (reaches for dice) what’s the AC?

    DM: OK, the AC is 17.

    Alice: [rolls to hit, rolls damage] 8 piercing.

    DM: With her resistance, she pays 4 to just grab that arrow, snap it, roar, and then [turns to Bob] she tries to grab you Bob.

    Does anything go wrong? Seems like it would work just as smoothly, no problems here.

    More to the point, it could be:

    Alice: I want to attack it with my bow (reaches for dice) what’s the AC?

    DM: OK, the AC is 17.

    Alice: [rolls to hit, rolls damage] 8 piercing.

    DM: With her resistance to [piercing, probably?], she pays just 4, and then [turns to Bob] she tries to grab you Bob.

    Obviously, play is more fun if you remember those bits, but I don't understand the claims that "play will fall apart" if you don't do it. That seems rather... overstated.

    I think you've totally internalized this system now, and it's working great for you. That's lovely! But I don't think it's robust to the point that you could hand the rules to a bunch of strangers and reliably expect that they'll do the same thing.

    It's not a deadly criticism - most games have lots of rules and interactions like this. It's just a minor point.
  • Oh boy. Yeah, I still don’t see that, at all. Let me rewrite your example:

    Alice: I want to attack it with my bow (reaches for dice) what’s the AC?DM: OK, the AC is 17.Alice: [rolls to hit, rolls damage] 8 piercing.DM: With her resistance, she pays 4 to just grab that arrow, snap it, roar, and then [turns to Bob] she tries to grab you Bob.
    Does anything go wrong?

    Yes.
    You can’t know an arrow was fired.

    The following example though is fine & system working as intended:

    Alice: I shoot it! [mimes bow shooting, or adds “With my bow!”]

    DM: OK, the AC is 17.

    Alice: [rolls to hit, rolls damage] 8 piercing.

    DM: With her resistance, she pays 4 to just grab that arrow, snap it, roar, and then [turns to Bob] she tries to grab you Bob.

    More to the point, it could be:

    DM: With her resistance to [piercing, probably?], she pays just 4, and then [turns to Bob] she tries to grab you Bob.

    Pays 4 to do what?

    How is she not dead?

    Alice just shot her.

    Sidenote: I realize now this is also absolutely the solution to the yahtzee fight problem we had last time. The players had trapped two monsters magically and the monsters couldn’t attack back. They were just spending their points in there dodging & putting out flames etc the poor souls. So I said “OK you kill them” and then a player said “wait how do you know that?” and I said “fine let’s quickly yahtzee it out” and we used the old system. Which, well, never again: I realize they can just decline to spend the HP and just get killed!

    Obviously, play is more fun if you remember those bits, but I don’t understand the claims that “play will fall apart” if you don’t do it. That seems rather… overstated.

    It’s not a deadly criticism - most games have lots of rules and interactions like this. It’s just a minor point.

    This is a crucial, linchpin point. It’s like saying “Well, I don’t believe the dice you’re using actually has twenty sides, that sounds exaggerated to me, I could believe seven or eight sides at most, but other than that your game sounds cool.”

    Please go beyond just the ad nauseam repetition of your “I just don’t believe it”; for example, the exchange above using examples is great because then I can show you where the misunderstandings are. Also it’s frustrating: I explain it, you seem to understand, than the next day I have to explain it over again.

    I think you’ve totally internalized this system now, and it’s working great for you. That’s lovely! But I don’t think it’s robust to the point that you could hand the rules to a bunch of strangers and reliably expect that they’ll do the same thing.

    It’s been three sessions! Seven fights.

    Of course it can’t be that robust yet. No system survives contact with strangers, as evidenced when even Dungeon World has AP by people who missed the point and go

    Player: I want to Hack & Slash the monster [rolls] OK I got a 9
    GM: OK you take d10 damage and you can deal your class damage.

    Or

    GM: Suddenly there’s a roar and an ogre runs into the room from nowhere and swings his spiked flail around and everyone of you need to roll Defy Danger right away!

    And how quickly do you think I internalize systems? I’ve experienced first hand how something was almost skipped but then play broke down so I immediately had to ask “wait, what did you do exactly?” in order to continue. Literally.

  • I've explained this so many times and both how and why it works.
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