Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Seven Observations and Equations

Seven Observations and Equations presented for your dissection.

1. Game-play possibilities diminish when the term Dungeon Master is not synonymous with the term Referee.

2. The longer it takes a player to create a character the longer the player expects that character to survive.

3. Character survivability decreases as the amount of dice-rolling behind the screen increases.

4. The importance of character statistics corresponds to the amount of character generation variables.

5. The level of player meta-gaming increases or decreases at a rate equal to a game's level of complexity.

6. The more detailed the campaign world the less the characters will accomplish with each session.

7. The frequency of interruptions in play is proportionate to the significance of Alignment in a campaign.

~Sham

12 comments:

JDJarvis said...

lol :"6. The more detailed the campaign world the less the characters will accomplish with each session."

We just played a session of Shopquest in my regular game, next session: Moving Day.

Arkhein said...

I like every single on of those. That's a lotta food for thought. Heck, I'll be thinking for days now. Hmmm.

- Ark

James Maliszewski said...

Those are some astute observations.

Jonathan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JB said...

Hmm...

1. Often.

2. Yes, absolutely.

3. Not necessarily...often the opposite holds true (as non-visible dice rolls are "fudged" by the GM to keep players alive)

4. Not necessarily.

5. Gosh, that's tough to agree with...the word "complexity" really needs to be defined. Many indie-games contain 90% meta-gaming in extremely rules light systems.

6. Again, not necessarily. However, I'd say the amount of "world content" ADDRESSED in a game session is inversely proportionate to character accomplishments. Ignoring the detailed campaign world can still result in much "stuff" being accomplished.

7. Not in my latest game its not! Alignment is VERY significant...however, its in-game effects are very defined. Abstract rules governing role-playing (which I thing is what you're trying to get at) may indeed lead to more frequent interruptions (due to "refereeing of PC behavior).



: )

Jeff Rients said...

Number 2 is why I try to keep chargen as short as possible.

Taketoshi said...

Half of those sound like clearer restatements of thoughts I've been having as a result of my most recent Stonehell session...

Lord Kilgore said...

3. Character survivability decreases as the amount of dice-rolling behind the screen increases.

Actually, the exact opposite has always been true in my experience due to the fudge factor noted by JB. I guess fudging could go either way, but the game BTB is so deadly that there's really no reason to fudge *against* PCs.

Otherwise the list is spot-on.

Lord Kilgore said...

Unless by "dice-rolling behind the screen " you meant "dice rolling by the DM."

In which case I agree. Any time the DM rolls dice, there's at least some chance that something is going to go against the PCs. Players should try to avoid getting their PCs in a situation where the DM needs to roll.

cibet said...

1. Absolutely. Impartial adjudication of the rules is the DMs main focus.

2. Oh so true. "Expects" is the key word here.

3. Depends on what this means. I assume you mean the DM is put in the potion to let the dice determine things too often which will ultimately have unfortunate consequences for the PCs. If so, true.

4. True.

5. Yes, at times a necessary truth.

6. If by "accomplish" you mean levels and treasure hauls and such, probably. Some DMs want the PCs to just explore the world though. Of course this is a bad DM practice, see #1.

7. I would adjust this as so: "The frequency of interruptions in play is proportionate to the significance of Alignment conflicts in a campaign."

Sham aka Dave said...

Yeah - I thought that the phrase "dice rolling behind the screen" just sounded cooler than "dice rolling by the DM". I normally roll everything from behind the screen. It could just as easily have been written as "dice rolling".

Alignment - touchy subject. I think you'd agree though that downplaying it would mean fewer debates overall?

Note these are simply observations, presented for dissection. In no way do I mean to imply that a detailed campaign world is a bad thing. Having to stop less frequently to smell the roses will certainly speed things up though.

retrorpg said...

I don't know if I agree 100%, but often these principles are true!

A lot to chew on here, but I really think this post is worth pondering.