IPB

Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )

6 Pages V   1 2 3 > »   
Reply to this topicStart new topic
> using the rules versus being bound by them, what's a GM's job?
mfb
post May 20 2007, 07:05 PM
Post #1


Immortal Elf
**********

Group: Members
Posts: 11,410
Joined: 1-October 03
From: Pittsburgh
Member No.: 5,670



this is a discussion between me and toturi and anyone else who feels like jumping in. this is not a chance to bash or bait toturi. whatever i or anyone else thinks about his style of GMing, his grasp of the rules and his reasoning skills are both worthy of respect.

the basic question is, should a GM break the rules in order to maintain suspension of disbelief? to answer this question, you've got to first decide what the purpose of the rules are. i define the purpose of the rules in an RPG as being twofold: first, to be a fun game, in the specific sense that Monopoly is a game or Snakes and Ladders is a game--the mechanics should be fun to use. second, to help describe the world that the game is set in. my favorite example for the latter is that it's hard to run a gritty, violent game where the characters constantly fear for their lives if you're playing high-level d20, because the amount of effort it takes to kill a character at that level is generally immense. note that i didn't say it's impossible to do it; you can, with some work, run any style of game in any system. but some systems are better suited to some styles of game than others, and a system that is intended to be used with a single game world--such as Shadowrun--should help reinforce the feel of the game world as much as possible.

now, in order to be playable, the game mechanics have to be abstracted to a very large degree. there have to be lots of things that the game mechanics simply gloss over. how much should be glossed over is a point of some debate, and is one of the reasons i dislike SR4, but that's a discussion that's already been had many times. the problem with glossing things over is, there's going to be something, somewhere, that the rules are wrong about. example: in every version of SR i'm aware of, it takes no time at all to use a scope on a firearm. if there's a scope attached, you automatically receive its benefits--you don't have to spend time setting your scope to the correct magnification, finding your target in the scope, and so on. that's wrong. that's not how scopes work. whether or not a particular group chooses to houserule that is up to them, but it's inarguably a deviation from real life. all of the future-tech in the world can't fix it.

i've personally never made anyone spend extra time when they were using a scope, probably because i've never had any issues with sniper characters breaking the game. it nags at me every time i consider it, but hey. i'm lazy. it doesn't affect my suspension of disbelief enough for me to expend the effort. but what about stuff that does sharply affect suspension of disbelief? the game rules are imperfect, meaning there are any number of instances where a player could exploit them to break the game's reality. what do you do when a player deliberately acts in ways contrary to the dice he's rolling?

toturi, your stance is that the GM should change the game world to accommodate him. i asked you what to do if a character strips naked, paints himself orange, runs around screaming in a well-lit area, and then says "okay, i roll stealth." you said that the walls of the facility would suddenly turn orange, camouflaging him. the personnel in the facility would, i guess, all transform into raving madmen who run around naked and screaming. and, what, nobody else on the team realized that they were infiltrating a lunatic asylum instead of the top-secret research facility they'd intended to hit?

my solution to the above situation, assuming i didn't just simply kick the player out of the group immediately and run his character as an NPC, would be to not allow the player to roll stealth. the actions he's describing are not stealthy in nature, ergo he's not actually trying to be stealthy, and it doesn't matter what skill he says he wants to roll. the guards would not have to roll to spot him, because a naked screaming orange guy is pretty much impossible to miss, barring extenuating circumstances that i refuse to insert into my game just to accommodate an asshat.

social situations, which is how this whole discussion got started, are trickier because social dynamics are a) much harder to track than actions with concrete results, such as shooting a gun, and b) in many cases not something players and GMs want to determine by dice alone, because doing so can limit roleplaying. that said, i still feel it's possible to break suspension of disbelief by acting in ways contrary to the social skill dice one is rolling. a character is invited to a fancy meal prepared by the local don's mom; the character tells the don his mom's cooking tastes like crap while the player rolls 30 etiquette dice. even with edge and all the modifiers in the book, the don can't manage to get enough successes to dislike the character. again, in that case, i would not allow the payer to roll. the character is not acting etiquettey, so he doesn't get to roll his etiquette skill.

bonuses and penalties, i'm less in favor of. i agree that applying a penalty to an action because of how the player described it is tantamount to handwaving failure--and i'm not gonna tantamount anything. if i want a character to fail, i'll either stack legal penalties on him high enough to ensure it or i'll just say "you fail." if i want a character to have a chance but make it tough, i'll create a situation where the penalties that logically apply are tough to overcome. situational bonuses for good descriptions are something i'm more willing to hand out, because i view them as a reward for good roleplaying. i won't do it every time, or even most of the time, but i'm not going to never do it.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
nezumi
post May 20 2007, 07:32 PM
Post #2


Incertum est quo loco te mors expectet;
*********

Group: Dumpshocked
Posts: 6,546
Joined: 24-October 03
From: DeeCee, U.S.
Member No.: 5,760



Doesn't anyone remember that legal form they got with the SR2 main manual? The one that says that, in order to GM, you swear always to enforce the rules as written (optionally with or without the FAQ rulings) and you had to sign at the bottom? No? Maybe I was the only one...

Speaking for myself, I always try to stick strictly to the rules when gaming in a large group (shh people I GMed for two weeks ago, I didn't ask you) because it gives you a common start to jump from. Once we're comfortable, I'll bend rules or bring in house rules, but from the beginning, I feel most comfortable either sticking to the book, or actually writing out any new rules and distributing them so they can be insert into the book, and therefore not compromising my sworn statement above. It avoids confusion, provides a check against GM abuse and just seems to be expected. So scopes don't require an action to aim until the group has a few games under their belt.

In the second example, what happens if a character is acting contrary to the dice he's rolling? I don't think that's a rules question per se. I think it's a basic concept implied with RPGs. The mechanics and the character actions are not two different universes, where you can roll for one action while doing another. If a character says he's rolling stealth, that means he is acting stealthy. In the example given, that means he's being quiet and staying to the shadows, with penalties for being orange (inappropriate camouflage, unless he's in a traffic cone factory). If he continues shouting, that means he isn't trying to sneak, ergo he can't 'roll stealth'.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Chibu
post May 20 2007, 07:34 PM
Post #3


Moving Target
**

Group: Members
Posts: 494
Joined: 19-February 05
From: Amazonia
Member No.: 7,102



Hoi, just thought I'd drop a response as my group happens to be pretty into reading esseys and theory on roleplaying. (I'm not really, but I'm there when they talk about it)

Well, I think this all is the reason that the term "House Rules" even exists. Obviously many people change something or other about whatever game system they are using, whether inconsequential or world-changing.

I personally believe Suspension of Disbelief is the second most important part of roleplaying (the first being to have fun :P). Now, since having fun is more important, I say if your players like the orange-screaming-man scenario, then that's what you should do. However, if it's only one player who wants that and the rest of the group wants to be realistic about it, there should be no stealth roll.

I do have a slight problem with the "your food taste like crap" scenario though. I don't know whether you meant it as he literally said that and then wanted to like, apologize for it with the roll, or if he was trying to very politely tell her that her food was bad. And well, I suppose that in both of those situations, that is what the etiquette roll is for.

But then again, in my case, I only let people roll as a last resort. Such things as they're having a bad day, and can't roleplay well, or they just can't come up with the right words to say. I don't like rolling instead of actually talking things out. One GM I ran under used to make us talk it out and THEN roll, which I didn't find to work well, as the rolls and roleplaying rarely fit together well. I can't stand walking into a bar, making a test and then getting whatever I want. It removes ALL suspension of disbelief in my experience as there is no discourse involved.

But anyway... i'm just rambling now... sorry =\

EDIT: I also don't like the term "GM Abuse". AS well, the GM has the final say as to what happens, if he or she continually makes stupid things happen that piss of the group... get a new GM, ya know? rules should mean less to a GM than to the characters. While they should not be ignored, they should be molded to the situation to keep up the suspension of disbelief and to keep the game flowing and fun.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Kagetenshi
post May 20 2007, 07:44 PM
Post #4


Manus Celer Dei
**********

Group: Dumpshocked
Posts: 17,006
Joined: 30-December 02
From: Boston
Member No.: 3,802



QUOTE (mfb @ May 20 2007, 02:05 PM)
what do you do when a player deliberately acts in ways contrary to the dice he's rolling?

He can't. If he rolls a stealth test, he is being stealthy. A player can no more roll Stealth and continue to actively not be stealthy than a player can fail a damage resistance test against 9S damage with no other mitigating factors and not take damage.

There is no contradiction. The player is simply wrong about his description of his character's actions. Likewise, a player who criticizes the Don's mother's cooking with 30 successes on an Etiquette roll does so in an extremely disarming manner—a player who attempts to claim that his or her character is being terse and openly insulting in such circumstances is simply incorrect.

~J
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
hyzmarca
post May 20 2007, 08:09 PM
Post #5


Midnight Toker
**********

Group: Members
Posts: 7,686
Joined: 4-July 04
From: Zombie Drop Bear Santa's Workshop
Member No.: 6,456



A player who describes acts that are contrary to his intended actions takes a penalty, pure and simple. We can assume that he is attempting to hide while being bright orange, naked, and screaming. I wouldn't say that being bright orange, naked, and screaming is not stealthy all situations. Certainly, there are some situations where it assists stealth. But, in those situations where it would not assist stealth there would be a huge penalty. Guards would know that he's there because of the sound but may not be able to pinpoint his exact location because he could hide behind stuff if he got very good stealth rolls.

Now, there are other situations where a player might describe something that is impossible by the rules or attempt to make a roll that is impossible from the description he has given. In this case, the player should be corrected one way or the other. For example, it the PC had a zucchini in one hand and a spork in the other, both used as melee weapons, I wouldn't let him quickdraw and fire a pistol without frist dropping one of the melee weapons.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
mfb
post May 20 2007, 09:16 PM
Post #6


Immortal Elf
**********

Group: Members
Posts: 11,410
Joined: 1-October 03
From: Pittsburgh
Member No.: 5,670



QUOTE (Chibu)
I do have a slight problem with the "your food taste like crap" scenario though. I don't know whether you meant it as he literally said that and then wanted to like, apologize for it with the roll, or if he was trying to very politely tell her that her food was bad. And well, I suppose that in both of those situations, that is what the etiquette roll is for.

the example i'm trying to get across is a character who tries to get the don to like him by telling the don that the don's mom's cooking is crappy. dons being stereotypically very proud of their mothers' cooking, and very protective and adoring of their mothers in general, this is the exact opposite way to get into the typical don's good graces.

QUOTE (Kagetenshi)
He can't. If he rolls a stealth test, he is being stealthy. A player can no more roll Stealth and continue to actively not be stealthy than a player can fail a damage resistance test against 9S damage with no other mitigating factors and not take damage.

that's pretty much my stance. we actually did have an asshat a while back on SL, who did stuff like this. the most memorable example was when he got into a fight against a dude with a sword, and after rolling a successful counterattack, posted about how his character blocked the edge of the blade with his pinky. the owner of that page simply edited the asshat's post.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Wounded Ronin
post May 20 2007, 09:20 PM
Post #7


Great Dragon
*********

Group: Members
Posts: 6,640
Joined: 6-June 04
Member No.: 6,383



Well, MFB, maybe the PC is actually saying that the cooking sucks but puts it in such an artful way that the Don dosen't get it. Kind of like a 1700s French courtier might make fun of someone in a convoluted way so that everyone but the target laughs and the target doesn't realize he's been made fun of.


Anyway, on topic, I feel very strongly that the GM should adhere exactly to the rules as written even if it creates weird and un-believable scenarios from time to time. Basically, there's no point spending hours in writing up a character, purchasing gear down to the last nuyen, and carefully balancing attributes if in the end the rules are not going to apply with as much stringency as they do when you're doing chargen.

I would refer everyone to this old thread: http://forums.dumpshock.com/index.php?show...1601&hl=fudging

Seriously. It's a good discussion on exactly this issue.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
WearzManySkins
post May 20 2007, 09:25 PM
Post #8


Neophyte Runner
*****

Group: Members
Posts: 2,159
Joined: 12-April 07
From: Ork Underground
Member No.: 11,440



To me such a player gets no rolls to see if can recover from such idiocy.

To pull such a stunt like insulting a major NPC...if I am feeling nice about it, NPC and his groups just get up and leave. Idiot player gets no social roll to attempt to cover up is idiocy.

If I am feeling bad, NPC's like a underworld types, just kill him quickly and messily. Then look at the other characters and ask if they want some death too, or was the dead character acting out his death wish, and they did not know.

Only once that the player of said character, has fully and completely explained/atoned for his actions to the satisfaction of myself and the others players does he get a "controlled" next character creation.

In my games I generally do not try to kill characters, but if they do something obviously stupid, some have died, others "learned" from their stupidity quickly.

WearzManySkins
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
mfb
post May 20 2007, 09:25 PM
Post #9


Immortal Elf
**********

Group: Members
Posts: 11,410
Joined: 1-October 03
From: Pittsburgh
Member No.: 5,670



there's a difference between fudging rolls and not suffering fools. the former is a decision every GM has to make; the latter is something no GM (or player) should have to put up with.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Wounded Ronin
post May 20 2007, 09:32 PM
Post #10


Great Dragon
*********

Group: Members
Posts: 6,640
Joined: 6-June 04
Member No.: 6,383



QUOTE (WearzManySkins)
To me such a player gets no rolls to see if can recover from such idiocy.

To pull such a stunt like insulting a major NPC...if I am feeling nice about it, NPC and his groups just get up and leave. Idiot player gets no social roll to attempt to cover up is idiocy.

If I am feeling bad, NPC's like a underworld types, just kill him quickly and messily. Then look at the other characters and ask if they want some death too, or was the dead character acting out his death wish, and they did not know.

Only once that the player of said character, has fully and completely explained/atoned for his actions to the satisfaction of myself and the others players does he get a "controlled" next character creation.

In my games I generally do not try to kill characters, but if they do something obviously stupid, some have died, others "learned" from their stupidity quickly.

WearzManySkins

So the player character automatically dies? He doesn't even get the theoretical chance to put some hurting on the NPCs before he goes down? Even if the NPCs are all as powerful as can be there's a certain percentage chance that they will all fail their init rolls and roll poorly and the PC will roll well and get off one attack.

See, as MFB said, that's the same thing as fudging, but opposite. It's negative fudging against PCs who behave in unexpected ways in your campaign. It's also fudging to insure that major NPC=old testament god.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
WearzManySkins
post May 20 2007, 11:16 PM
Post #11


Neophyte Runner
*****

Group: Members
Posts: 2,159
Joined: 12-April 07
From: Ork Underground
Member No.: 11,440



Ok lets put it into perspective then...

You walk up to Mike Tyson in his prime(and on Steroids) in semiprivate location, you then mention his mother, and say very bad things about her.

His being a boxer means that his speed, will trump alot of martial artist and martial arts. Would he give you a chance to pull something out, and just stand there waiting for you to finish? Heck no your arse would get such a beating and maybe an ear chewing too.

You are lucky enough to have a meal with a major Mob figure, whose mother cooked the meal you are eating. You are there due you wish something from the Mob figure. Even if the meal tastes like rancid monkey arse, do you say so, or do you gagged it down?

President Bush is going thru the area, and you in the crowd, make a quick movement reaching into/underneath your coat/jacket. The "men with no eyes" will put a hurt one you so quick and so bad.

Since you are there for a reason, you complement the host(Mob figure) on the meal. If you say something bad about the meal, the chance to get something from the Mob figure goes right out the window. In my game the Mob figure would ask you to leave.

Then the insulting player(s) life gets complicated, police are stopping him alot, contacts seem to be out of contact, your lease expires and you get evicted, utilities get switched off, AR world for becomes a nightmare with all of the "interesting" things hitting you in AR/VR.

If a player does not know what to do, he can ask, I can generally put into perspective, before he makes an arse out of himself. If I explain it to him, and he goes ahead thinking that dice will save him. Then he gets the bulls horns so to speak.

NPC's in my games are part of the realm of the game, they have friends etc. They are not cookie cutter characters. Yes you can abuse the "bum" you see next to the dumpster. But he has friends, what goes around comes around. It might mean the "Bum" drops a dime on you at a very inconvenient time. Every time you go into your favorite bar, you come out and your vehicle has "interesting" things sprayed on it.

In my games, the players characters are not the Alpha's or the Prime Runners. Random acts of violence with no purpose in game, have retribution come to them.

If a player has his character jump off the Seattle Space needle, with nothing to slow his fall. No dice are rolled he dies. Stupidity does not get a dice roll to escape it.

Once long ago, a player did something extremely stupid. I told him that if he rolled 100 three times on percentile dice, he would survive it. Guess what he did it, I even had him change the dice for every roll, but he succeeded. My mistake, but it will never happen again.

WearzManySkins
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Kagetenshi
post May 20 2007, 11:37 PM
Post #12


Manus Celer Dei
**********

Group: Dumpshocked
Posts: 17,006
Joined: 30-December 02
From: Boston
Member No.: 3,802



QUOTE
If a player has his character jump off the Seattle Space needle, with nothing to slow his fall. No dice are rolled he dies. Stupidity does not get a dice roll to escape it.

Tell that to Ms. Vulović, or anyone else on the list at the bottom of that page.

~J
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Pendaric
post May 20 2007, 11:43 PM
Post #13


Moving Target
**

Group: Members
Posts: 993
Joined: 5-December 05
From: Crying in the wilderness
Member No.: 8,047



For me realism is the defacto measure of a good story. A good story is the ultimate rule. That being said I do adere to the rules 99% of the time. That final 1% however gives me the freedom to make a good story.
Perhapes the medics make it to the dying PC one turn ealier than they should so the character lives, maybe the car gets a flat and skids during the chase so the villains escape as planned etc
As a GM you can stack the realism high enough that a lack of realism will fail, to take MFB's example if said orange nude lunatic got into a firefight he would not get to shoot back as he has no gun. By that logic if he is not being stealthy he does not get roll stealth.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
WearzManySkins
post May 20 2007, 11:51 PM
Post #14


Neophyte Runner
*****

Group: Members
Posts: 2,159
Joined: 12-April 07
From: Ork Underground
Member No.: 11,440



QUOTE (Kagetenshi @ May 20 2007, 06:37 PM)
QUOTE
If a player has his character jump off the Seattle Space needle, with nothing to slow his fall. No dice are rolled he dies. Stupidity does not get a dice roll to escape it.

Tell that to Ms. Vulović, or anyone else on the list at the bottom of that page.

~J

A bit of a difference there chummer, she did not jump from the plane, it was blown up.

In that case she would get a roll since it was not a "voluntary" action on her part. In her case she obviously made the roll.

People get their Darwin Awards all the time. Here is one from the Darwin Awards web page

http://www.darwinawards.com/darwin/darwin2001-18.html

http://darwinawards.com/darwin/darwin2006-06.html
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Kyoto Kid
post May 20 2007, 11:55 PM
Post #15


Bushido Cowgirl
*********

Group: Members
Posts: 5,782
Joined: 8-July 05
From: On the Double K Ranch a half day's ride out of Phlogiston Flats
Member No.: 7,490



...mfb, thank you.

Following is a response that I was originally going to make to the Playing a Face thread but is more appropriate here.

One thing I feel is that player attitude and behaviour also plays a role in this issue. Often as GM I was forced to make adjustments for a player who frequently treaded the edge of the rules and constantly took an antagonistic approach to the other characters and NPCs. Yes, telling this player to leave was the proper solution, however, For a long time it appeared there was a dearth of SR players in my community and if I wanted to play I just had to make the best of the situation.

In one of my posts on the Face thread I illustrated the potential scene below.

Face Character deliberately insults Johnson & his associates during the "set up" phase of the meet. Johnson politely stands up and looks at the team, bids adieu and walks out [no negotiation test, basically the game session is over before it begins. Time to break put the cards]. Behind the scenes the Johnson gets on his/her grapevine puts out a word about the team he/she just spoke with. This word gets around to the team's fixer(s) who in the process may have lost a bit of street cred with this particular Johnson and anyone else the J may network with. Suddenly the runners are lucky to get milk runs for the next several jobs that barely cover even lifestyle expenses...

This would have been handling the situation within the scope of the game and rules but it has two inherent flaws...

1. The session is over in the first fifteen minutes & everyone packs up and goes home for the afternoon/evening.
2. The other characters/players end up paying the price for the one PC's/player's uncouth behaviour when it comes to future runs.

First of all, as others have echoed, the game needs to be fun for everyone (including the GM). When it is not, why bother playing? Sometimes it takes bending the rules a bit to keep things moving and enjoyable for the players. In SR3, I shortcut much of the matrix rules to keep Decking from dominating a session. For pursuit scenes I used diecast cars on a battle board and determined from the relative positions the vehicles if someone could get a shot of at the driver instead of consulting the cumbersome (or in the case of SR4 nonexistent) pursuit combat rules. I found my players like this kind of thing and it still presents them a challenge.

When player intent and character concept collide (as with the disruptive player I dealt with) I almost wish it was like in the cartoons where the character walks "offstage" or turns to the camera and addresses the writer, "now you know I wouldn't do that sort of thing." If it is a player who is simply unawares or new to the game, I will help them, sometimes by stepping OOC or through bending the rules for the moment at hand. If on the other hand it is a player who I know knows better and is just doing it to yank my (or one of the other player's) chain then it is a different story. That becomes an OOG (out of game) situation that intrudes on the session. As mentioned above, I have tried my best to deal with these in order to keep the story flowing for the other players, but sometimes it just gets impossible, and drastic measures need to be taken.

Toturi commented about my action of "bringing in the Big Gun NPC" as escalating the affair or being a "one trick pony". Out of context of the scenario it may appear so however this NPC was a key personality from the get go. For one, the player in question had been doing the escalating and I the GM was the one playing "catch up" (I don't have the time to just sit around & read rulebooks from cover to cover nor do I wish to which is why I frequently comment on & ask questions here on the Forum). After having the PC run roughshod over Mundane Johnsons, I attempted to level the playing field even a bit (if only to make the negotiations test even remotely a challenge), only to have the player up the ante. Looking back at it all now, yes it only sufficed to add fuel to the player's ego.

As to GM "laziness" I have succumbed to this before just to keep the action moving rather than bringing the session to a screeching halt with rules discussion/debate and research. More often than not these decisions tend to go in favour of the characters. For example, in one scene of the run I am currently doing, the question came up about the possibility of a background count while the team was in cellar of a large Cathedral. We were short on time (one of the players had to leave early and I wanted to get to a good stopping point without leaving everyone hanging in the middle of a combat for two weeks), so I said, I'm sure there may be something mentioned about it in the core rules or Street Magic, but it would take too long at the present to look up.

After a session I review the situation, and if there is a rule that would have a major impact, mention to the players at the outset of the next session that we will be using it for all future situations. In a sense, they got away with one for now.

QUOTE (laughingowl)
(from the Playing a Face thread) If character is purposly being oboxious (for some reason) then modify dice rolls as appropriate (or even deny dice rolls). 

...in a round about way, this is what I did. In and out of sessions this player would often boast about the character's attributes and dice pools talking in sheer numbers instead of persona traits. Since this person appeared so wrapped up in the power of the numbers no matter how the character acted (ie. "the dice don't lie"), that is when I felt pulling out the 36 ct. dice cube and saying, "OK you're on" was an appropriate response. Heck, for the time being it worked since I was now apparently speaking the player's language.

Now as others have mentioned, I could have just sucked things and up throw in the "by the book" modifiers, but it would have done nothing to resolve the underlying issue further stroking the ego of the disruptive player. You really needed to be there. Which leads me to...

QUOTE (laughingowl)
(from the Playing a Face thread) Now from some of the later comments it does sound like the player in this direct example IS trying to be obnoxious. In which case there is even a better solution than not allowing them to make rolls. 
 
"Hey bub, we all here are trying to have fun, If you're not having fun, or your fun is in antagonizing the rest of us then your are more then welcome to not come to the game!"

...this is the "Final GM Option" and where it all ended up. To make a long story short, in the week after the session after speaking to the rest group members, I informed the disruptive player of my decision. I have since been gaming with the remaining players from the group and needless to say things have been going quite smoothly.

QUOTE (laughingowl)
(from the Playing a Face thread)  Players [bent on] causing problems are not welcome in my games...

([added comment] mine).

...and will no longer be tolerated in mine either.

To this end, I now hold meets with prospective players to gauge where they are coming from. In a way, it's kind of like an meet with a Johnson. I lay down the basic ground rules, any house rules, give a brief background on the setting, and work out individual character details. Yes it is more work on my part but if it insures that everyone is there to have a good time it is worth it.

...sorry for the long ramble.

BTW: in my game, tiddling on the don's mum would be quick way to have Guido and Tony show up in the middle of the night (while the character is asleep) with Narcojets and a couple bags of quickcrete in the boot of the car. :D
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Darkest Angel
post May 20 2007, 11:56 PM
Post #16


Moving Target
**

Group: Members
Posts: 546
Joined: 26-February 02
From: Manchester, England
Member No.: 1,062



Looks like this is turning into another 'kill the character' post.

From the examples given here, orange shouty man, well, he'd get his roll, but so what? He's doing enough stuff to put the guards on straight 2s to spot him whatever he manages to roll up. If in the unlikely event they don't spot him, then obviously they were looking the wrong way, or were otherwise destracted, he got lucky. Crazier shit happens in real life, and people miss it.

The mafia Don, again, the PC put a few modifiers on the Don's roll to not get offended, but again, in the unlikely event he fails his roll, then you put it down to the character being sufficiently eloquent that he somehow managed to not offend him, and/or he simply takes it as a joke.

Personally, I feel that if at any point you decide not to make the roll, then you're railroading things. I'm not a fan of the plot train, and I'm not a fan of vindictive GMs. If the dice say it happens, then you work with it, not the other way round.

That's not to say all the rules in the book are spot on and to be used all the time without exception, but there should be a definate seperation of Player and Character. That's why we have dice rolls in the first place.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Kagetenshi
post May 20 2007, 11:58 PM
Post #17


Manus Celer Dei
**********

Group: Dumpshocked
Posts: 17,006
Joined: 30-December 02
From: Boston
Member No.: 3,802



I do still have to object to that idea. To clarify my earlier position, if the orange nude screamer rolls stealth and rolls well, the character immediately stops screaming and hides. At the character's next action they can stop being stealthy, but the player cannot override the character's action as implied in the dieroll.

I'd also apply modifiers based on the difficulty involved in going from screaming and orange to hidden, but I see no problem with allowing a character to attempt the transition. The player may not, however, both attempt to transition and decline to transition. When these two things conflict, the one that involved a game mechanic wins.

~J
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Darkest Angel
post May 21 2007, 12:01 AM
Post #18


Moving Target
**

Group: Members
Posts: 546
Joined: 26-February 02
From: Manchester, England
Member No.: 1,062



But then you're eliminating the possibility of an NPC botch. That's a bad place to go.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Kagetenshi
post May 21 2007, 12:05 AM
Post #19


Manus Celer Dei
**********

Group: Dumpshocked
Posts: 17,006
Joined: 30-December 02
From: Boston
Member No.: 3,802



QUOTE (WearzManySkins @ May 20 2007, 06:51 PM)
A bit of a difference there chummer, she did not jump from the plane, it was blown up.

In that case she would get a roll since it was not a "voluntary" action on her part. In her case she obviously made the roll.

Missed this one: how exactly does that change the lethality of the fall? And even if we accept your standards, you've still got Mr. Alkemade to contend with.

Darkest: how am I eliminating that possibility? An NPC can botch while attempting to observe a Stealthing character.

~J
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
hyzmarca
post May 21 2007, 12:07 AM
Post #20


Midnight Toker
**********

Group: Members
Posts: 7,686
Joined: 4-July 04
From: Zombie Drop Bear Santa's Workshop
Member No.: 6,456



Or maybe the Mafia Don is tired of sniveling lackies who tell him that his farts smell like potpourri and his shit tastes like chocolate and is impressed by the character's honesty.

QUOTE (WearzManySkins)

In that case she would get a roll since it was not a "voluntary" action on her part. In her case she obviously made the roll.


So you're sacrificing realism and fair play for a sense of cosmic justice.
Why not just have the gods strike the PCs down for performing non-lawful deeds?
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Darkest Angel
post May 21 2007, 12:20 AM
Post #21


Moving Target
**

Group: Members
Posts: 546
Joined: 26-February 02
From: Manchester, England
Member No.: 1,062



If you don't let the player make the Stealth roll, then there's no observer roll to spot. It's either a straight perception test, or The GM Says So. Perception is fine, but Stealth is more appropriate. GM Says So is not a good answer.

Stealth involves more than hiding, or sneaking, it's involves awareness, it's not inconceivable that Orange Naked Man may well have simply made sure he was fully aware of what his potential spotters were up to, and what else was going on around him (machinery noise, passing vehicles etc), and used various opportunities to seriously take the piss, by doing his dancing and shouting at the right moments when the guard have their backs turned, or he'd be drowned out by background noise. Obviously, it's risky, hense the modifiers, but you should never say it can't happen. Again Character =/= Player.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
mfb
post May 21 2007, 12:43 AM
Post #22


Immortal Elf
**********

Group: Members
Posts: 11,410
Joined: 1-October 03
From: Pittsburgh
Member No.: 5,670



QUOTE (Darkest Angel)
Personally, I feel that if at any point you decide not to make the roll, then you're railroading things. I'm not a fan of the plot train, and I'm not a fan of vindictive GMs.

it's not about railroading the plot or being vindictive. if a player manages to think of a clever way around my well-planned plot, he wins--i'll roll with it, and even give him bonus karma for being smarter than me. but that's not what this is. this is about a player trying to break the game, in which case he's probably the only one having fun. it's not being vindictive to prevent him ruin everyone else's fun.

QUOTE (Darkest Angel)
Stealth involves more than hiding, or sneaking, it's involves awareness, it's not inconceivable that Orange Naked Man may well have simply made sure he was fully aware of what his potential spotters were up to, and what else was going on around him (machinery noise, passing vehicles etc), and used various opportunities to seriously take the piss, by doing his dancing and shouting at the right moments when the guard have their backs turned, or he'd be drowned out by background noise. Obviously, it's risky, hense the modifiers, but you should never say it can't happen. Again Character =/= Player.

why should i as a GM go to all that trouble to explain away this character's crazed actions? i have several other players who i need to pay attention to in order to make sure they're having fun; i can't be spending all my time mopping up one jerk's mess.

QUOTE (Darkest Angel)
Looks like this is turning into another 'kill the character' post.

this is the crux of why i disagree with the points you've made: the problem has nothing at all to do with the character, and everything to do with the player. the player is acting out of character, and i refuse to accomodate him by bending over backwards to explain away the antics he's producing through his character. he does it once, i'll veto it and warn him. he does it more than once, he's not going to be gaming at my table anymore. i'll run the character as an NPC.

look, all these justifications that people are coming up with? if the player thinks of them, and he's genuinely thinks that they make sense in-character, and the situation is right? then the justifications will work. the don will laugh and say, "you know what? mom's cooking does taste like crap. sorry, ma, but it's true." but that's only if those justifications are the result of genuinely playing the character.

this is also the crux of why i disagree with toturi's stance. toturi is saying that out-of-character conflicts should be resolved in-character. i don't feel that's true at all. the gaming table is a place for in-character drama, not out-of-character crap.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Kagetenshi
post May 21 2007, 01:08 AM
Post #23


Manus Celer Dei
**********

Group: Dumpshocked
Posts: 17,006
Joined: 30-December 02
From: Boston
Member No.: 3,802



QUOTE (Darkest Angel)
If you don't let the player make the Stealth roll, then there's no observer roll to spot. It's either a straight perception test, or The GM Says So. Perception is fine, but Stealth is more appropriate. GM Says So is not a good answer.

If this was a response to me, you're missing my point. The player can absolutely make the stealth roll. If the player makes the stealth roll, however, and achieves a non-pathetic result, then the character is no longer shouting and dancing in the open, no matter how much the player may protest otherwise (at least until the character's next action, when the player may abandon stealth if he or she wishes).

~J
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Glyph
post May 21 2007, 01:10 AM
Post #24


Great Dragon
*********

Group: Members
Posts: 7,116
Joined: 26-February 02
Member No.: 1,449



I have a lot of respect for the rules, and tend to have a philosophy of "let the dice fall where they may". The rules give you a way to make quantifiable choices in character creation, provide a mechanic to determine success or failure of a player's actions, and add a genuin random factor to the game. I don't have a problem with house rules, as long as they are understood before play begins.

But a roleplaying game isn't simply rules, like chess is. It also has roleplaying in it, where the players try to assume the roles of their characters and immerse themselves in the game world. The dice are good for resolving things such as combat, but can disrupt the flow of the game in roleplaying moments - although they can also be used to gloss over unimportant or uninteresting scenes. Generally, for social interactions, I would rather have it be roleplayed, and keep the character's skill and Attributes in mind. In other words, a low-Charisma character will have to do a lot of talking, and slip the bouncer a bribe, to get into the exclusive club that they hand-wave the high-Charisma character into.

I don't mind, though, if a face simply describes what they want to do, such as "I try to seduce the barmaid" or "I try to get the Johnson to go up 20% and give us a third in advance". But social skills, and other skills, represent the character trying to actually do something. If a character is trying to do something but is going about it the wrong way, I will clue them in, for things that their character would know. But if a player is trying something impossible, I will either pile on heavy modifiers (for nearly impossible tasks), or state the consequences of failure (for impossible tasks). For the first case, I will, obviously, have to adjudicate a modifier on the fly - I don't consider the list of modifiers in the book to be an exclusive one, merely the most common ones.

In the case of the screaming naked orange guy, I would have the security guards open up on him. In the case of the face insulting the don's mother's cooking, I would allow the character to make an Etiquette test against threshold: 4 (disastrous) to negate the gaff (per pg. 121), since it is a gaff that a player could make, that a character would be unlikely to make. However, if the player wasn't interested in retracting the insult, then the character would suffer the consequences.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
hyzmarca
post May 21 2007, 01:15 AM
Post #25


Midnight Toker
**********

Group: Members
Posts: 7,686
Joined: 4-July 04
From: Zombie Drop Bear Santa's Workshop
Member No.: 6,456




QUOTE (mfb)
bonuses and penalties, i'm less in favor of. i agree that applying a penalty to an action because of how the player described it is tantamount to handwaving failure--and i'm not gonna tantamount anything. if i want a character to fail, i'll either stack legal penalties on him high enough to ensure it or i'll just say "you fail." if i want a character to have a chance but make it tough, i'll create a situation where the penalties that logically apply are tough to overcome. situational bonuses for good descriptions are something i'm more willing to hand out, because i view them as a reward for good roleplaying. i won't do it every time, or even most of the time, but i'm not going to never do it.


And here's the thing. There are legal perception modifiers for being bright orange and screaming loudly.



QUOTE
this is the crux of why i disagree with the points you've made: the problem has nothing at all to do with the character, and everything to do with the player. the player is acting out of character, and i refuse to accommodate him by bending over backwards to explain away the antics he's producing through his character. he does it once, i'll veto it and warn him. he does it more than once, he's not going to be gaming at my table anymore. i'll run the character as an NPC.


If the player is intentionally trying to screw with the other players passive-aggressively using a PC then the correct response is not to passive-aggressively screw his character as GM. The correct response is to beat him upside the head with a hardcover BBB then wipe the blood off the book using a dry lint-free towelette.

Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post

6 Pages V   1 2 3 > » 
Reply to this topicStart new topic

 



RSS Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 14th April 2024 - 06:07 PM

Topps, Inc has sole ownership of the names, logo, artwork, marks, photographs, sounds, audio, video and/or any proprietary material used in connection with the game Shadowrun. Topps, Inc has granted permission to the Dumpshock Forums to use such names, logos, artwork, marks and/or any proprietary materials for promotional and informational purposes on its website but does not endorse, and is not affiliated with the Dumpshock Forums in any official capacity whatsoever.