Translation and you

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Kuildeous
Posts: 1148
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2016 1:41 pm

Re: Translation and you

Postby Kuildeous » Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:22 am

It can be hard to unlearn habits. We've had decades of games telling us that the GM should keep everything secret and that players should fall into gotchas in the metagame. I do not know what was the first game to allow for transparency; I believe 13th Age was the first well-known game to use it.

And the secrecy is really kind of silly. How much longer do my D&D games take because I have to ask if a 21 hits? And then because something may have changed between that round and the next, I have to ask if a 23 hits. If I know the target number ahead of time, I can just roll my dice and tell the GM what my success was.

But this concept is anathema to old-style gaming. Even in oTorg. My game has 4ish veterans of oTorg, and I still have to work to break them out of old habits. They'll still play Action or Adrenalin before rolling the die, and I have to remind them that they should hang onto that card until after they know the result.

But I still fall for it too. I find that I never tell them the DN unless I'm asked, and that's practically never. I don't keep it hidden. There's just this old-school trapping that we still maintain the illusion of secrecy. I tell them they got a Good result, and the player will ask if a +3 will make it Outstanding. Instead, I really ought to just tell them the DN is 9 and let them do the work.

And Mystic, you could suggest all this to your GM, but that's likely going to sound like you're trying to weasel. Of course, players will ask to make things easier. So I suggest you offer to run a game here and there. Maybe do some one-shots so your GM can get to play. And you can show a different side of running. If the GM is set in the old school, they may hate it at first. But at least you gave it a shot.
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utsukushi
Posts: 727
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2017 7:30 pm

Re: Translation and you

Postby utsukushi » Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:01 pm

I do think there is a different, and legitimately fun, feeling that comes from the secrecy. Having all the numbers out, for me, makes the game less immersive and more tactical. My decisions stop being so much "What would my character do?" and are more influenced by, "What's going to work best?" Combat in Earthdawn, for example, always feels very chaotic and risky to me. In TorgE, it feels more like a puzzle; yeah, there's an element of luck, but for the most part you could sit down on Round 1 and say, "OK, if we do this, and this, and this, we should win in round 4."

Which isn't bad. I think it encourages teamwork, for one thing - when you have the numbers, it's a lot easier to say, "I need someone to make them Vulnerable." When you don't have those, that feels more like you just want your attack to shine. Someone is a whole lot more likely to offer something like trading for their Adrenaline card when they can actually see it's going to give you an Outstanding result, than if it just looks like you probably did well but could maybe do better. So in TorgE, I think it's important, and yeah, Kuildeous's suggestions for perhaps introducing your GM to the idea without stuffing it down his throat are good ones.

Most games don't actually have those options anyway, though... so while saying, "I got a 22," and then pausing a second to see if you should roll damage can slow things down a little, I think there are benefits to the `secrecy' beyond the old-school GM-vs-Players attitude.

Blightcrawler
Posts: 88
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:04 pm

Re: Translation and you

Postby Blightcrawler » Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:43 pm

mystic101 wrote:Is that written down somewhere? I mean, is it some kind of printed guideline, rather than something that's just being inferred?


It's all inferred, a lot of it developed from previous discussions on these forums. It's inferred mostly from the fact that players can auto fail at actions (if by no other means than refusing to make a roll) and are generally masters of how their characters develop. Plus it plays up one of the unique things about the game.

Add to that the fact that XP advancement is common among PCs for a given game, which means if you can change characters without having to start-over from an advancement perspective. So, if say, a player decides they dislike their character's cosm, they could swap by killing the character (a martyr card makes that easy) and making a new one pretty much identical to the previous, except within the cosm of choice. It would be a pretty poor move for a GM to force a player who dislikes their character's cosm, but enjoys the personality and relationships developed, to go through the gauntlet of character death just because they wish to change cosms. There can be good reasons to do so, of course. Such as emphasizing the tragedy and loss of the war.

All told, as TorgHacker says, it boils down to if the GM and player(s) agree that it's a cool thing to happen, then it can happen. There's no rules that says it can be a player-driven choice, but nothing says it can't either.

Everyone automatically disconnected, without any rolls, and then we all had to reconnect at difficulty 14, without being able to use any of our cards.


This, however, is a gross rules violation. You did the GM a great favor by going along with it. Not that the rules don't support changing cosms against player will, but there is no case for auto-disconnect (that's something that happens to Ords, never Storm Knights). The probability of changing cosms is, at worst, 1% (I think: 20% 4-case disconnect, plus rolling a 1 on a reconnect attempt). Forcing a disconnect on players makes transformation 5-20 times more likely. Even if the GM invents a darkness device power that can achieve that effect, you should get your cards.

agarrett
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Jul 30, 2017 8:05 am

Re: Translation and you

Postby agarrett » Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:32 pm

Blightcrawler wrote:This, however, is a gross rules violation. You did the GM a great favor by going along with it. Not that the rules don't support changing cosms against player will, but there is no case for auto-disconnect (that's something that happens to Ords, never Storm Knights). The probability of changing cosms is, at worst, 1% (I think: 20% 4-case disconnect, plus rolling a 1 on a reconnect attempt). Forcing a disconnect on players makes transformation 5-20 times more likely. Even if the GM invents a darkness device power that can achieve that effect, you should get your cards.


While I agree with you, just a reminder to never overlook the potential fun of GM-fiat. He might have something in mind. Some Nile Empire super-science random-reality-transformer that swaps the party's reality, for example, could be quite fun for an adventure. I assume, in this case, that the GM is also playing fair(ish) and you manage to swap back at or right before the end of the adventure. That would fall along the lines of any number of super-hero team comics where the heroes randomly swapped powers for an issue or two, and I'd consider a perfectly fair use of plot-railroading.

mystic101
Posts: 212
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:13 am

Re: Translation and you

Postby mystic101 » Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:44 pm

Kuildeous wrote:And Mystic, you could suggest all this to your GM, but that's likely going to sound like you're trying to weasel. Of course, players will ask to make things easier. So I suggest you offer to run a game here and there. Maybe do some one-shots so your GM can get to play. And you can show a different side of running. If the GM is set in the old school, they may hate it at first. But at least you gave it a shot.


Hi, everyone. I just wanted to report back on what happened. I took Kuildeous' excellent advice and asked if it would be possible to storytell an adventure for the group, with the normal storyteller getting to play for a change. He was up for it, and it went very well.

The first session, I had a villainous cyberknight that I'd previously played a Romance card on return, and convince my character to accompany her back to the Cyberpapacy to "get turned back into a knight again". Not the sharpest crayon in the box even before he became a caveman, he went along, so the other players raced to the CP to rescue him before he got brainwashed and converted to the Cyberpapacy.

They entered the CP at the port of Calais, a mixed CP/Aysle zone, and snuck into the Tour du Guet, where the Papacy "converted" heathens publicly by using a giant device at the top of the tower to project a hologram overhead, hundreds of feet tall, of the proceedings inside. The pcs turned on the projector as they launched their surprise attack, and everyone in town's jaws fell open when they saw a larger-than-life cyberpriest getting shot overhead. :) They ended up getting three Glories while there, which everyone in town could see happening, so that was nice.

Renaud had been transformed to the CP by a mysterious device before they could rescue him, and then he was spirited away by ninjas in the confusion. The next session, the players arrived in Tokyo to investigate, and found Renaud had been mysteriously transformed to the PP, and was being forced to fight an old Pan-Pacifican Nemesis in a public, underground dueling arena called Grudge Match. The players interrupted the rigged duel, saving Renaud, but not before he was spirited away by a Tharkoldu personal aircraft before they could get into the enclosed dueling ring.

They tracked him to the Russian city of Tolyatti, where they found he'd been transformed to Tharkold axioms (sensing a pattern here?), and forced to compete in a televised death race. The players forced their way onto the track and followed the contestants in commandeered wasteland junkers, through washboard ramps while flying buzzsaws attacked overhead, then a maze of columns rigged with explosives as the contestants shot at each other, and then a narrow end-section with only room for one single vehicle to exit. All while a wave of Mim shredder mines exploded behind them, the wave front moving faster than the top speed of their vehicles, destroying the course behind them as it drew every closer.

The technodemon in charge of Tolyatti met them at the end of the course, and threw Renaud into a "disintegration chamber" that turned out to be a disguised dimthread tree. Recognizing the ruse, the players "disintegrated themselves" to escape the demon and follow their comrade. They ended up in Aysle, where a mysterious magical device had already transformed Renaud to Aysle axioms on the spot. An evil wizard there info-dumped what was going on:

Orrorsh had devised a ritual, centuries in the making, that would attune their stelae to the axioms of a sacrificed victim. Once Orrorshan stelae came into contact with the stelae of an attuned realm, Orrorsh's axioms would wash over the other linked realm, creating an Orrorshan/Realm X mixed zone, giving Orrorsh an overwhelming advantage against any attuned cosms. The ritual required a Possibility-rated sacrifice of exceptional moral virtue, and would attune the stelae to the victim's current and previous axiom sets. Renaud had originally been Core Earth, transformed to the Nile before the game began. Once he converted to the Living Land, and Orrorshan spies got word that he was then headed to the Cyberpapacy to convert to a fourth reality, they realized they finally had the candidate they needed, and pulled strings to get Renaud converted to the other three realities that still needed attuning.

The players traveled via the Land Between to get to the ritual site in time: a new Orrorshan stela being planted on a promontory at Ngapali Beach, Malawi. The players had to fight off the ritual casters and an entire pack of werewolves, plus all of the normal stela defenses the Darkness Device dimthreads in, in order to pull the stela and also prevent Renaud from being sacrificially converted into an Orrorshan Horror. They did it, and after a massive reality storm returned the area to Core Earth axioms, they found that Renaud . . . had been transformed, yet again, this time to Core Earth. :)

I had a lot of fun running the story. I couldn't resist poking fun at the whole "transformed involuntarily" thing, by having Renaud involuntarily transformed to every single possible reality I could, heh heh. But also, it gave me the otherwise-impossible chance to briefly do that whole "realm-jumper" character concept I had in another thread. Renaud's settled back down into one single cosm again, now. And I also gave him the Realm Runner and Realm Dancer perks so that he would, hopefully, never, ever transform to anything else ever again. :)


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