38 thoughts on “How do you people like your games? Excruciatingly deadly or flowery heroic?”

  1. Vasiliy Shapovalov Personally, I really want to see them succeed and I don’t want to “punish” anyone, but I really really want to see them fight for their victories, everything included.

  2. Kasper Brohus Interesting article, never actually played ‘old school’ D&D, my route into RPGs was via other games.

     I think DW could work for this type of game though.

  3. Vasiliy Shapovalov I didn’t think it was for you. It has something to do with my gaming background.

    What I meant by “punish” is actually “punish arbitrarily” instead of “punish consistently”. The former is a hellhole, because it means your character will die or be rendered useless at the GMs whim. The latter is constructive, as it is based on clear guidelines about what will get your character killed. The latter has rules which is based on the preference of the group- The former has none, only one-sided bias.

    That was a little ranty, I guess.

  4. Personnally, I just like good stories. Be they heroic, dark, dreadful or just funny, I don’t care as long as they are good and we all enjoy ’em.

    BTW, that’s the kind of thing I like to discuss about prior gaming.

    In my Wild Lands setting, people know they’ll be crawling in the mud before they can get heroic. That’s why they enjoy it so much (being heroic).

    In my #tremulus game, people know the submarine they are on never reappeared from their present mission (accurate historical fact). some of the questions that need answering are:

    – Are there any survivors?

    – Why did survivors never tell about what happened onboard?

  5. Bastien Wauthoz I think the tone of our current small-scale campaign is pretty set, as seen by how you and Eric Nieudan beat the living shit out of that Mountain Giant. Eric did take a thrashing though (Eric’s face was priceless when he took 15 damage from one blow, lol).

    That said, I’m perfectly willing to change it into a bit tougher, more sinister direction. I’d happily do both. 🙂

    So what do you prefer?

  6. I always tailor it to what the players generally prefer.  But that’s cause I have a very wide range of appreciation for various genres and gaming approaches.

  7. Patrick Malone The asking thing was pretty much inspired by “Tell them the consequences and ask” GM move.

    This single, short sentence has taught me a lot. It is one of the dividing lines between excellent and sucky GMs, IMO.

    Oh, how many times haven’t I heard the GM justifying killing a character by claiming that the player did something stupid.

    Damn I hate the “the GM is always right” school of thought…

  8. Kasper Brohus I agree, that type of GM (always right) is simple the worst way to GM, i have had too much experience with that style that has just ruined many, many games.

  9. Noel O’Connor I think the problem with this GM type is that it betrays the assumption of equal participation. Everyone is playing the game, even the GM. He’s not special, he just have a different role in the game.

    I think the real problem is with the ruined friendships. I’ve seen people yell and scream at each other because of such things…

  10. I could just go and kill my character 

    #1 i get a cool bargain maybe

    #2 i get to play a new character and try out new and exiting stuff. 

    Win/Win situation

  11. i also now want to run the torchbearer demo adventure in DW while beeing really pedantic about traps, rooms, light etc. That will still be a different game then what torchbearer gives you BUT it would be interesting. 

  12. and yes. last game: Sky Dancer 1 HP. Fighter like 5 and shredded armor. The barbarian was relatively okay but his leg is mutating and the whole cave system they are in is collapsing fast. 

  13. I recently read some forum thread on DW at therpgsite (steer clear of it, it is NOT worth the time), and I am getting a sense that the game’s detractors are largely DMs who feel that leaving blanks and asking questions somehow undermines the DM and therefore the game.

    These are specifically the type of DM who lord PC death over their players and/or railroad them into one story.

    I dunno… Maybe they just grew up on console rpgs?

  14. Stefan Grambart I got that impression too. They feel like the “god-GMs”, the GMs that believe everything they do is okay, simply because they are the GMs. I don’t like playing under those kind of GMs, I think it’s boring.

  15. +Stefan Grambart- i think that type of DM/GM is actually more in the grognard school of DM, those who have been DMing that way and only that way for decades because it is the only way! (Not my way of doing things i add, i dislike this style as much as anyone else.)

  16. I’ve always been wary of extreme views.  It paints the undesired view in a very 2-dimensional manner.

    I’m no fan of Dungeons and Dragons 4th edition, for example, but I don’t think it would be fruitful in any way to generalize all who enjoy it to be MMOaddicts or something similar.  I love Dungeon World, but I also love White Wolf, and Fiasco, and even old school Palladium games (Macross) as well as really old school Mechwarrior, and I actually do love Final Fantasy Tactics.  And all them make me happy in very different ways.  Ultimately different strokes.

    I think the trick is just to realize that varying gaming styles, and exploring various approaches and methods can ultimately increase ones appreciation for the wonderful variety gaming has to offer, and allow one to draw elements from various styles which can enhance and make a game memorable.

  17. Kasper Brohus Noel O’Connor , the thing I find so utterly bizarre is the argument that “asking questions & leaving blanks turns a role-playing game into an exercise in storytelling“. Having a GM with absolute power puts control in one person’s hands, making the experience (in some cases) more linear.

  18. The conversation is tl;dr for me as I still have work to do, but to answer Kasper Brohus ‘s questions: the mix of danger and heroics is perfect to me. I honestly thought I’d buy it on more than one occasion. More would be too much for me.

    As a GM, I like to be able to go from one extreme to the other. It’s hard because if the players take too much of a beating, they’ll get cautious and non heroic. 

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