Friday, August 16, 2013

Judge Hodgman, We Appeal This Ruling

To The Honorable Judge John Hodgman of the First Circuit Court of Fake Internet Justice,

While the Playing Dungeon And Dragons With Porn Stars Court Of Appeals has been impressed by the perspicacity your jurisprudence in the matters of...

Nerd V. Other Nerd Who Wanted Him To Get His Shows Off His TiVo
Guy With One Definition Of Horror Movies V. Guy With Other Definition of Horror Movies
Megaman Cheater V. Hardcore Megaman Guy
and
Guy With Big Hair V. Ernie Pimpist...

...the court is moved to contest your recent decision in the matter of Guy Who Wants To Kick Ass V. Guy Who Wants To Play RPGs About Lore.

Here is the record of our proceedings as we reviewed the recording of the case...









Casey Garske
11:36 AM

There was a Star Wars cosplay episode a few months ago. Hilarious.


Zak Smith
11:39 AM
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OMYGOD THEY'RE PLAYING DRESDEN FILES. Fuuuuck.


Zak Smith
11:43 AM
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"You never forget the person who taught you D&D 3.5"


Zak Smith
11:44 AM
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Connie (at kitchen table): "Man, poor Dan"


Zak Smith
11:44 AM

"So Dan's playing this nerd game like a jock?"


Zak Smith
11:46 AM
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"Lore? As a skill? Can you explain this to me and other normals?"




Zak Smith
11:47 AM
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"Ok so you play in magical Chicago?"
"We've also played in magical Minneapolis"
"The Magical Twin Cities!"
"Well they're already magical.."
"Ok, so let me understand, you're walking down the street in magical Minneapolis and you see floating Garrison Keillor with tentacles and..."


Zak Smith
11:48 AM
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"You would roll 4 d6s"
Mandy (from the bed) "THIS GAME SOUNDS AWFUL! Is it a White Wolf game."
Zak: "It's Dresden Files. It's some series of nerd novels. I haven't read it."


Zak Smith
11:55 AM
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Dan is possibly advocating for player skill over character skill


Mandy Morbid
11:58 AM
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Clearly Dan is just their KK and they 've gotta be more understanding of the party barbarian's needs. 


Zak Smith
12:13 PM

Ryan sounds pretty boring but Dan sounds like he is kinda bogarting the game.
Dan needs some cooler friends.


Pearce Shea
12:14 PM

Dan needs some much, much cooler friends. 




Zak Smith
12:20 PM
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Also, I think if the GM can't juggle these players various and divergentmetagame goals then the GM is falling down.


Zak Smith
12:22 PM
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Dan: "Are you saying that just because a character is fast or strong or not as smart as you that they're not a deep character?"
Ryan: "Yeah that's exactly what I'm saying."


Zak Smith
12:22 PM
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Ryan, you dork.


Zak Smith
12:30 PM
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Ryan: "Part of roleplaying is therapy and for me to get to play this new character as escapism that's that's my therapy I'm letting out creativity and energy and pain and hope and aspirations and jumping straight into combat reduces my character to a bunch of skills rather than a person"
Mandy: "Idiot"
Connie: "He should find some game where there isn't combat"
Zak: "Or go to therapy"
Connie: "Yeah, it's not fair to the other characters if you just go out there andhave fun all the time"


Zak Smith
12:33 PM
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Now Dan's ruleslawyering and I hate him. "If this is in the rules, I should be able to do it".
Be a pal to your loser friends Dan.


Mandy Morbid
12:50 PM
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It sounds like they both want to be playing different games with different people.


Kasper Blomdell
12:53 PM
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Yeeeah, it feels like Ryan is being an elitist prick unwilling to experiment and upset somebody isn't playing like he want them to, and Dan is too attached to the people (rather than the game) to realize he's not getting every fix from that game, and being a little bit of a dick about that.

EDIT:
This is basically Jerry Springer for gamers, isn't it?


Zak Smith
1:13 PM
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All this talk of math and escapism, however, makes me suspicious.
If Dan's just kicking ass because he built his character as a combat monster, the GM is falling down there, too. He should only be winning if he's smarter than the GM's interpretation of tentacled Garrison Keillor.
And, the investgator's Lore should be essential to helping you kill Garrison Keillor 


Zak Smith
1:19 PM
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And if Dan dies, that gives Ryan something Deep to mope about.


Zak Smith
1:32 PM

Bottom line:
The ruling should've been "Guys, you need a better GM. And be cooler to each other." 
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17 comments:

  1. Wow, just wow. I've run into players like Ryan. How is combat not roleplaying? But Dan is kind of ass. Not as big of an ass as Ryan is though.

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  2. When Mandy asked if this was a "White Wolf" game on the G+ thread, I laughed soda out of my nose. This is partly because the Dresden Game is using the FATE version of FUDGE to emulate a series of books inspired by a White Wolf roleplaying game. It was a tremendously meta moment.

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  3. I would actually argue that after playing new World of Darkness for almost nine years that Dresden is actually better. FATE system beats up storytelling system any day of the week due to the simple fact that it does what storytelling is suppose to do, but better. Also as a fan of cross over I find Dresden Files as a fresh of air compared to the cold war stigma that I had often seen in new World of Darkness. So yeah in my opinion Dresden Files is better than the new World of Darkness because it has a easy to run system, and is generally open.

    Though FATE Core is even better than Dresden Files. Mainly cause it is going to the OGL route and people can actually do things with it if they don't like to be bogged down with rules from other games. So who knows? Maybe some one will make a cool game that uses FATE to make something that is better than Dresden Files and new World of Darkness.

    Though back on topic. If I was GM of that game I would told Ryan to shut up, or get out. I don't like it when people nitpick and/or bitch in my game. At least have the decency to wait till the game is over and talk with people with that. If you still don't like it, then just politely leave.

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    1. Since I've never played either, I'm in the rare position of being able to take this apart with absolute objectivity:

      "I would actually argue that after playing new World of Darkness for almost nine years that Dresden is actually better. FATE system beats up storytelling system any day of the week due to the simple fact that it does what storytelling is suppose to do, but better."

      Ummm...could you be more specific? What's "Storytelling supposed to do" and how does Fate do it better?

      "So yeah in my opinion Dresden Files is better than the new World of Darkness because it has a easy to run system..."

      Is it your opinion that it's easier to run or are you saying it objectively is ands that the subjective part is that this characteristic makes it better?

      "Though back on topic. If I was GM of that game I would told Ryan to shut up, or get out."

      It is implied the majority of players and GM are with Ryan, not Dan but we have no way to tell.

      More tellingly, this is group that has been together for years and years, I think saying you'd tell him to shut up or get out suggests social negotiation of the problem is impossible. Which I don't think it is.

      "At least have the decency to wait till the game is over and talk with people with that."

      There is no evidence Ryan didn't do exactly that.

      Delete
  4. The "at least have the decency to wait till the game is over and then talk" is what I am suggesting that Ryan should had done. Sorry for the confusion.

    Which thinking that right now I should inform you I am a shitty debater so please bare with me. As for explaining why I believe in my own opinion that FATE system is better than Storytelling system? Lets get started on that. I am only speaking in terms of mechanics and ease of use here as both systems allow you to customize your character to any thing you want.

    System wise in terms of getting new people in the FATE system is far less complicated and easier to play. It took me a hour to explain to a guy how to play FATE system and for him to master the basic mechanics. This is after making a character sheet and background for a full flesh character.

    New World of Darkness in the other hand I had to explain the system which is quick and easy, but it took maybe five hours for the guy to master the basic mechanics of the system. This is without making a sheet and no background for a fully flesh out character.

    Now the reason for that is mostly due to merits. The game has so many merits it will feel like a beginning player picking up wizard as his/her first class and suddenly the player has to make some choices. This is bad for people like KK who just wants to hit things with a axe with their first character.

    FATE system doesn't really suffer from that as you can just make up your own stunts with the help of the GM and fellow players. So you always have more help than you would expect from the GM in World of Darkness. Certainly a GM is helpful, but GM with players to aid you is even better.

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  5. Reason for that is the two games have completely different attitudes and that is not really fair to blame storytelling system cause it is stuck with new World of Darkness. However, it is and I have to base my judgement on that because there is no other game that I know of that is using that system. Before anyone shouts out Exalted and Scion at me I want to point out they use the storyteller system and not the storytelling system. That is a whole other conversation.

    Attitude wise FATE is very open and welcoming even in Dresden Files which I often joke as World of Darkness Lite. Players talk to each other and share ideas. It feels pretty good and refreshing to just do that while in character.

    From my experiences in new world of darkness not so much. Given in the world of darkness the first to spill his/her secrets is screwed cause you don't know when you are going to get back stab. So it is up to your pc to keep secrets and watch his/her own back. I often find many assholes who used the setting as a excuse to be out right asshole when I don't think they have no in character reason to be a asshole. So very different attitudes from what I had seen so far.

    Another flaw I find in new World of Darkness if you try to make a decent character that is outside of its scope you will pay for it. Say your concept is The Best Street Fighter of New York. In fate system you can put your combat and durability skills on top, put stunts in to improve those, and suddenly you are the best street fighter of New York. In the world of darkness after putting your attributes, skills, merits, and you still get your ass handed to you by mere mooks. In FATE that mortal street fighter can face a werewolf and have a real chance to win. Not through sheer force of course, but through his/her skill in martial arts. We are talking about Odysseus vs. the Cyclops type of combat here.

    Wow ten paragraphs already? Okay I cut this short. I like FATE system because I honestly could feel I am doing something with it. I actually get enjoyment out of it. I lost my enjoyment of the new world of darkness and I hope GMC makes it better. For now though I am going to FATE.

    Not to mention the OGL they are doing is nice for people who want to make their own FATE system games. It takes me back to the OGL made for 3.5 DnD which was also very nice. New World of Darkness does not have that so that is another thing I have against it. Then again this is coming from a guy who played Lamenation of the Flaming Princess, Stars Without Numbers, Other Dust, Labyrinth Lords, Pathfinder, and other games that would had never existed without that DnD OGL. Might be biased on that point.

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    1. . "The "at least have the decency to wait till the game is over and then talk" is what I am suggesting that Ryan should had done. Sorry for the confusion."
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      . Again:
      . There's no evidence that that (wait until the game is over and then complain) is not exactly what Ryan did.


      

"Which thinking that right now I should inform you I am a shitty debater so please bare with me."

      . It takes a big man or woman or spambot to internet admit that

      ." It took me a hour to explain to a guy how to play FATE system and for him to master the basic mechanics….New World of Darkness in the other hand I had to explain the system which is quick and easy, but it took maybe five hours"

      Ok. I believe you.

      "FATE system doesn't really suffer from that as you can just make up your own stunts with the help of the GM and fellow players. So you always have more help than you would expect from the GM in World of Darkness. Certainly a GM is helpful, but GM with players to aid you is even better."

      Ok, though I think sometimes a wide-open system can be worse for certain kinds of players, but that's a side-issue I guess.

      Either way--the difference is on the table for people to judge.

      "I often find many assholes who used the setting as a excuse to be out right asshole when I don't think they have no in character reason to be a asshole."

      Well that is definitely not a system problem. If you have an asshole, their existence is always a problem.

      "Another flaw I find in new World of Darkness if you try to make a decent character that is outside of its scope you will pay for it."

      I think that's always a dicey proposition to say. Games are about what they are about _precisely because_ they claim to do a certain thing. Go outside that thing without hacking and you are judging the game on something it never claimed to be good at in the first place.

      Delete
    2. . Again:
      . There's no evidence that that (wait until the game is over and then complain) is not exactly what Ryan did.

      That doesn't matter. I not saying what Ryan did, but what he should had done. The lack of evidence of Ryan did not wait till after game to address his complaints is not needed. I am just saying what he should had done instead of what he did during that game.

      Delete
    3. I don't understand.
      We don't know what Ryan did during the game.

      Delete
  6. Shit I almost forgot.

    The reason why I say FATE does the same job, but is better than the new World of Darkness is simple. Both systems try to be the one system that focuses on story telling while trying to keep mechanics out of the way of the game.

    The storytelling system (aka new World of Darkness) is actually a sleeker and smoother system than its older counter part known as the storyteller system which promise the same thing. White wolf tried to and successfully did attract a different target audience with their story first and game second approach. Problem was storyteller is clunky as hell and not smooth. So when the end of the world happen to the classical world of darkness White Wolf switch over to a brand new system that would solve all the problems.

    Now given the natural evolution of games and rules changing you know that in time there is going to be a new system that will be much more sleeker, faster, and easier to play. Here comes FATE where the mechanics are actually the story itself. The skills are more customizable in their use and what they do. Stunts are easier to understand and make compared to merits in the storytelling system. Aspects turns your entire back story, character concept, and what endangers him/her into useful tools that anyone can use. Every single thing about FATE in terms of rules is design to tell a story.

    Storytelling system tries to do that by being as simple as possible, but it is like comparing Windows XP to Windows 7. You know which operation system is more powerful and does a better job. I still love storytelling system, but compared to FATE it simply got out classed in the one thing that it was design to do. Which is tell a story. Just Storytelling system tries to be as simple as possible to tell a story while FATE uses itself to become the story to be told.

    Sorry if I cannot get more specific than that, but after 9 years of playing new World of Darkness and its storytelling system. Well I never seen a system that encourages story than FATE and still keeps it fun. Storytelling does its best to encourage a story while FATE is the story with every action you do only makes it even more of a story.

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    1. "Both systems try to be the one system that focuses on story telling while trying to keep mechanics out of the way of the game."

      I have seen this claim made for nearly every single RPG in history, and also the vague terms "smooth" and "clunky".

      What it seems to translate as, is "This system thinks of the gameworld so much like I do that it's intuitive for me (and I have made the mistake of assuming it is therefore intuitive for everyone else)"

      This whole thing was vague, and much less useful than your last 2 posts.

      Delete
    2. Okay let me try another shot.

      Say I want to hit a stone troll with my lightning spell. So I roll fudge dice and add my magical skill to the result. Maybe spend a fate point to get a +2 to the roll from one of my aspects if I want to do that. Troll has the choice of using athletics to avoid the attack, or simply tough it out with physique (it is a stone troll so it makes sense). So the troll rolls to see if his skill is higher than yours, or at least ties. A simple two rolls to see the winner.

      Now in storytelling say your playing a mage want want to do that. First off before we even go with skill + attribute + gnosis - defense of the target we need to ask questions. Is it a vulgar spell, or not? If vulgar you need to roll paradox and don't forget the modifiers of your arcane tool and rote spell. If not vulgar is it in such a way that it looks implausible? Yes go right to vulgar rules. No then you can cast your spell. This is with the first spell to be cast in the scene. If you keep casting vulgar spells the paradox will continue to grow in dice pool. So you have to keep track of that.

      Reason I talk about magical skills is that it is usually the magic system that makes things complex. They are the rules that offer a lot of freedom and power so of course they are going to get a hefty system. Though you have to notice how easy the simple lightning bolt spell was much easier in FATE, then in the Mage: The Awakening that uses the story telling system.

      That may not help you much. Then again I did say it was my opinion that FATE is better than Storytelling system. I just find it easier to use, newbie friendly, and has a different crowd. I had meet people that use to play new world of darkness and they want to make the switch. So I maybe wrong with my opinion.

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    3. What you're saying makes sense but it sounds like the White Wolf system is trying to trade away simplicity in exchange for gaining a thing that system believes is interesting (the paradoxes and the vulgar/not vulgar split).

      So unless Fate also has that or an easy way to simulate it, that's like saying no cabbage is better than cabbage because cabbage costs money.

      Well, ok. Unless you like eating cabbage.

      Delete
    4. In Dresden Files they try to make easier. The Sight is three rolls. One to open your third eye, two to gather information, and the third roll is to shut your eye before you take damage. Failing that you try to resist and then go to step two.

      Casting spells is a bit more complex, but your paradox like control is with a single roll with no mods. The only thing you have to keep track of is mental stress as casting magic right away is draining to a wizard.

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    5. Now that I had a day to think about it. I guess it is how FATE handles damage. You take stress damage if the spell goes wrong. Normally once you have a actual moment to rest the stress damage dies off. The only long term damage is consequences. Consequences reduce stress damage, but give you a negative aspect that cannot be rid of so easily.

      Lets do Mage the Awakening through FATE Core and Storytelling in paradox.

      Havoc (First Paradox Stage)

      Often the least harmful of paradoxes and easily fixable. The spell doesn't go exactly the way you want it to do. So the lightning bolt spell example I used before would be acting like a healing spell to that Stone Troll.

      Now fixing it in storytelling system is a simple wisdom roll and FATE is no different. To fate it just be a skill roll to fix it. By fix I mean making sure the spell is not altered in any way.

      Bedlam (Second Stage Paradox)

      This makes you and possible other people go mad. White Wolf is very keen of making you insane, but this time it makes sense as you are messing with the very fabric of reality here.

      Both systems you have to roll something to contain the damage. Storytelling system would just give you a derangement which gives you penalties for you to keep track of. FATE this would actually be additional aspect in which your foes can use against you. Both ways are simple, but to me having a additional aspect is easier to deal with.

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    6. Anomaly (Third Paradox Stage)

      This is where things are starting to get more complex and the two systems differ from one another.

      In storytelling system you just simply describe the changes of the area that just change for the weird. You can apply some mechanics if you want to, or none at all. It is really up to the GM.

      In FATE this would be adding, or changing location aspects. That way everyone including the enemy can use it and the environment has a impact to what is going on.

      Branding (Fourth Stage Paradox)

      This stage your starting to get witch marks and mutations. Depends how powerful you are with the arcana you are using.

      In storytelling the only time mechanics starts to pop up is at the three dot arcana it is only modifiers. The four dot arcana brings in something interesting, but not much.

      FATE could treat this like a true aspect like in bedlam. Only while bedlam is more like a consequence, branding is treated like a true aspect. As in it has a advantage, but it can clearly go against you. Growing a tail could give you a aspect that might help with some of your actions, but would be used against you by other people as well.

      Manifestation (Fifth Stage Paradox)

      Great you summoned a enemy that can deal out great harm to you and your friends. Depending on arcana it can go from pesky imp to a minor god of destruction.

      Thankfully White Wolf made these things into spiritual beings in the storytelling system. That means they are easier to make than full characters. Which also means you can create them on the fly as you will have to do that.

      FATE System is, however, even better at this. I will explain why through FATE core.

      Arcana 1: Average Minion at best. They are meant to be easily taken down.

      Arcana 2: Fair to Good Minion. They are meant to be taken out, but prove more of a challenge.

      Arcana 3: Treat it like a name npc which means you give it some stats, but not a lot. It is meant to provide a challenge, but not meant to steal the show.

      Arcana 4: These are usually doppelgangers. Just look at the sheet of the character that summoned it. Poof you got your stats for that monster. Other wise just make a stronger named npc.

      Arcana 5: This should get the full character creation treatment. Thankfully creating a character in FATE is just as easy as creating a spiritual being the Storytelling system. Just make sure it is more powerful than the character that summoned it. They could be great for end of game boss characters as well.

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