OK, a philosophical question

OK, a philosophical question

OK, a philosophical question

DW is all about the fiction – yet it has number-mechanisms. 

A PC has 9 stats. A monster has three. We roll dice according to those stats and the dice define the outcomes. We change the story according to the die roll results. 

So: What is the minimum in mechanics (as in die rolls) necessary to make DW work?

Reason I ask: I get the idea that people see die rolls and statistics in conflict with the fiction, as is often seen in conversations of tags (fiction) vs statistics(mechanics). 

As I see it: The fiction is a tree that starts at the trunk and can follow myriads of branches to the very tips. Branching happens in three ways: The GM chooses, the players choose, or the dice choose. 

No GM choices? Can’t work in an RPG. (OK it works in Fiasco)

No player choices? Then there is no game.

No dice? Boring – all is predictable.

So, how do you see the balance between tags and numbers? Are you an “I do it all by tags in the fiction!” or an  “At night, we roll DICE!” person?

9 thoughts on “OK, a philosophical question”

  1. Why are those stats not part of the fiction? Seems to me they are. If I have 13 Strength, that says something. Especially when standing next to the guy with 9 Strength.

    The moves and stats are tools to help manage and shape the fiction, just like the conversation they contribute to.

  2. Adam Blinkinsop, of the games you mention, I have played only The Resistance, which is random because of random roles assigned with a random deck of cards. And is is not strictly an RPG. But yes you are right, every “rule” will prove to have an exception 🙂

  3. For the counter argument to “No dice? Boring – all is predictable” see Montsegur 1244. Not only is there no randomness at all and only the barest skeleton of system, the ending is always  the same choice between burning for heresy or converting. Yet it is not boring in the slightest.

  4. The dice and the stats are absolutely within the fiction, as Sage LaTorra pointed out. We roll the dice when we don’t know the answer — when we’re not sure what should happen in the fiction — and the stats and crap modify the chances of a success. 

    The moves especially are within the fiction, and help dictate what sort of fiction the game is about. While DW has “hack & slash&, in AW “go aggro”, the basic sort of attack move, effectively uses damage as leverage — they either cave or take your damage.

    Moves, stats and dice are all heavily in the fiction. Change any, change the fiction.

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