an instance of Step On Up

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Re: an instance of Step On Up
« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2010, 02:20:18 PM »
"There is no apologizing in Storming the Wizard's Tower!" shall be my bedrock for all future explanations of Step On Up/competitive gaming.

Re: an instance of Step On Up
« Reply #16 on: September 21, 2010, 04:02:41 PM »
Not a backdrop of narrative stuff. A backdrop of any stuff. Zombie rats (instead of "foe with X qulities"), Necromancer (instead of "Boss fight"), sewers. What part of the GM's job covers making up stuff like that?

Things like us pretending like our playing pieces are people and not playing pieces. Is there ever in-character dialogue in StWT? What for?

Abolutely, talking about your girlfriend or whatever just stinks up the place. But there's some backdrop that makes the game more enjoyable, yeah?

Also! What do you think of Luke's incredibly controversial definition of rpgs?

http://story-games.com/forums/comments.php?DiscussionID=10218&page=1

Quote
"[An RPG is] A game in which a player advocates the goals, priorities and survival (or doom) of a persona who, in operation of the game's mechanics, is confronted with one or more ethical choices."

Is StWT an rpg by that definition? (Not that it needs to be, just curious).

I'm still keen to check that this is an enjoyable conversation for both of us. I'm finding it slightly frustrating but also hugely interesting. If it's boring for you, by all means just be like "whatever Simon" and I'll be like "It's cool". Like I said, you don't owe me an explanation. Let's not be voices on the internet.

Re: an instance of Step On Up
« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2010, 04:20:18 PM »
Things like us pretending like our playing pieces are people and not playing pieces. Is there ever in-character dialogue in StWT? What for?

Good question.

*

lumpley

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Re: an instance of Step On Up
« Reply #18 on: September 21, 2010, 04:43:38 PM »
Yeah, the conversation's fine with me. Maybe I'll sum up my position here.

Two things. Thing 1 is the medium of play. This is in-character conversations, rat-zombies, sewers, characters, characters' girlfriends, Elliot's guy's handgun and my guy's background as a librarian-wizard. Thing 2 is story. This is loyalty, passion, jealousy, ego, then conflict across moral lines, escalation, crisis, and resolution.

1 can exist perfectly happily without 2. Up at the top of the thread is an example of lots of 1 with no 2 at all.

The Big Model doesn't draw distinctions at the level of 1, but at the level of 2. (The Big Model calls 1 "exploration," and puts it at the foundation of all play.) GNS says: does your game have passionate characters escalating conflicts to resolution, or doesn't it? Are your game's players live and active collaborators through the process of play, or is something else going on?

I think that you're looking for 2 to be the basis of 1's value, in all cases. I think that your objection to GNS is based on this. I think that in fact, no, 2 is the basis of 1's value in some cases, but not at all in others.

I can talk about the value of 1 to Step On Up play, and the value of 2 to Step On Up play. (In fact that's my favorite thing about Storming the Wizard's Tower.) but if your position is that Step On Up play is, in fact, Story Now play, we really have to sort that out first.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2010, 04:45:09 PM by lumpley »

Re: an instance of Step On Up
« Reply #19 on: September 21, 2010, 04:45:17 PM »
I can talk about the value of 1 to Step On Up play...

I'm interested in this.

Re: an instance of Step On Up
« Reply #20 on: September 21, 2010, 05:37:00 PM »
I'm like, breathing a big sigh of relief. I thought I was living in crazy town!

Your distinction between 1 and 2 is crystal clear to me. So that's good. I mean, maybe I'm still confused about it, but I don't feel confused about it.

But! Just because exploration doesn't have loyalty, passion, conflict across moral lines etc. It still has things that are meaningful to us as human beings, yeah? Like, things that have ethical weight, or symbolic meaning, or emotional resonance. That's why it's fun and critical to StWT, yeah? Or is that still part of story?

But if you're saying that both exploration and story are important to Step on Up play, then we don't even have a problem, because my whole point was basically that exploration and story are important to Step on Up play. That would be funny.

Basically, what I'm saying is that I like D&D better than chess because it's fun to imagine stuff. Moreover, it's fun to imagine the specific stuff that D&D makes me imagine. Some of that stuff is: Medieval fantasy, swords and spells and things. Violence and mayhem. Weird monsters. Heroes being brave or cowardly, sticking together or splitting up. Lucky escapes, tragic deaths. Hard men with big swords conquering the unknown, or being defeated by it. I like that stuff not just randomly, but because those things are meaningful to me.

Re: an instance of Step On Up
« Reply #21 on: September 23, 2010, 05:37:49 PM »
After thinking for a while:

Vincent, how's this for a statement, in terms of fitting with a) your understanding of the big model, and b) usefulness:

All instances of satisfying play provoke enjoyable experiences, and are meaningful on a human level. They're satisfying to us because they have a meaning we share, appreciate, and understand. "Meaning" not being used to mean "message" or "lesson" but more like "significance" or "feeling".

Some meanings and experiences are best communicated by passionate characters, escalating conflicts, and resolution, etc. Other instances of play, communicating other meanings, that stuff just stinks up the place. It doesn't help communicate the meaning, or evoke the experience at all. In fact, it actively gets in the way.

Some meanings and experiences are best communicated by challenges which the players use skill and luck to overcome, by a fair-play contest with clear winners and losers. Other instances of play, that stuff just stinks up the place. It doesn't help communicate the meaning, or evoke the experience at all. In fact, it actively gets in the way.

Does that work for you?

Re: an instance of Step On Up
« Reply #22 on: September 23, 2010, 06:27:02 PM »
Basically, what I'm saying is that I like D&D better than chess because it's fun to imagine stuff. Moreover, it's fun to imagine the specific stuff that D&D makes me imagine. Some of that stuff is: Medieval fantasy, swords and spells and things. Violence and mayhem. Weird monsters. Heroes being brave or cowardly, sticking together or splitting up. Lucky escapes, tragic deaths. Hard men with big swords conquering the unknown, or being defeated by it. I like that stuff not just randomly, but because those things are meaningful to me.
When I play chess with my daughter it is just like your description of playing D&D above. And when I play D&D with my brother, it's all just a game that's played to win, basically a board game with a very long and colorful set of rules.  :)

Re: an instance of Step On Up
« Reply #23 on: September 23, 2010, 06:50:45 PM »
I should specify that when I say D&D, I mean early D&D, Moldvay and Metzner editions. They're very badly suited to boardgame-style play.

Re: an instance of Step On Up
« Reply #24 on: September 23, 2010, 10:17:31 PM »
I should specify that when I say D&D, I mean early D&D, Moldvay and Metzner editions. They're very badly suited to boardgame-style play.
We definitely played it as a board game as youngsters. We've been at roleplaying for 25 years, and my brother would still prefer to play our old, ratty copy of red box "board gaming style."  :)

Re: an instance of Step On Up
« Reply #25 on: September 24, 2010, 12:20:47 AM »
Wanna start a thread about that? I can't really imagine how that works, given that a first level character has about a 50% chance of dying in any fight they get into.

Re: an instance of Step On Up
« Reply #26 on: September 24, 2010, 10:19:51 AM »
Simon, have you seen BlueTablePainting's YouTube videos? Have a look at this D&D4 video, the important bit is the 0:33 mark.

I don't really want to start a thread about how we played D&D Red Box as a board game, but suffice to say we had minis the entire darn time, and we had no backstories, no talking in character, PC names that were on the level with "Conan II" or "Gandalfagain," but never really referenced as it was always "my guy does this or that." The players rested frequently at "nameless" town. It was pretty much a game of Heroquest, Descent, or perhaps the new Castle Ravenloft the Board Game.

(Phew, I had time to edit my post.) I forgot to mention that as GM I played as the adversary of the rest of the players. We played only published adventures, and I tried my best to kill them by sticking to the script of the adventure.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2010, 10:32:09 AM by Yokiboy »

Re: an instance of Step On Up
« Reply #27 on: September 24, 2010, 12:45:10 PM »

I'll just echo the experience of playing D&D like a board game, although in my case there was no Step on Up involved it was all Right to Dream.    Characters never died, unless the player wanted to try something else or made up silly characters like Gary Gnome (pronounced Gun-nome) the gnome with an 18' pike who intentionally pole vaulted right into a dragons mouth.

Re: an instance of Step On Up
« Reply #28 on: September 24, 2010, 01:16:08 PM »
For us it was Step on Up to the level of there usually just being one or perhaps two co-conspirators left standing in the dust as they wanted all that XP for themselves and slaughtered the other characters to take their treasures. Everyone kept coming back for more though.  :)

Re: an instance of Step On Up
« Reply #29 on: February 20, 2011, 06:34:40 PM »
Way to come to a topic late, but its interesting to me -- I never quite agreed with the whole Step on up thing as being the primary for gamist players.

My gut says Step on up is a part of roleplaying in general, regardless of which priority youre playing.  Its the same thing as saying Players want (their character) to be able to make decisions that matter, regardless of the method.  Like it could be a choice of a spell at the right time or making a dramatic decision with ethical consequences or whatever, its still stepping on up to me.

So I agree the rules matter - they support the ability to make choices that matter.  In gamist terms you have the choice you make during character design and ongoing character improvement, which is a huge fun part of play, and also the tactical choices you make when you test that design against adversity. 

Thats why I think Ron dosent get the term character 'balance' as he doesnt get the gamist thing.  If the design tradeoffs are not balanced, then the player isnt making choices that matter -- the nature of the game insists that he take the obviously best performing option, which isnt a choice at all.

The GM of the Wizards Tower did make the adversaries slightly too  difficult, and was apologising for the right reasons (whether he needed to?)   the perfect level of difficulty to present players with is one that if they make the right tactical choices, they win, and if they dont, they loose,otherwise their choices dont matter!