And my game comes up with an insurmountable issue that some players have with the base system and perceptions.
One player, a noted game designer, has the complaint that with the way percentages work, most of the time you are screwed or asked to screw yourself. His belief is that unless it is a 10+ success you are screwing yourself. The one example is my Move akin to Volley: 7-9 you choose one of 3 options. 1: run out of ammo, screwed; 2. do less damage: screwed because most of the time you can nullify all your damage, especially when armor is taken into account. 3: Put yourself in danger (which is sometimes damage and sometimes not): Screwed because you are..well.. in danger and likely face damage or other action that can nullify the effectiveness of the attack.
So the whole Move asks you to screw yourself if you do not get a 10+. I tried to play up the drama aspect and point out from a game design factor that a 10+ means you succeed with out cost but the 7-9 is like most other games where you use some sort of resource or lower your effectiveness, or, or.. it went on.
He understood the Narrative part of it and many games are partially narrative but didn’t understand, especially when you take math into account, how it is fair for the player that it asks you to screw yourself over on a high percentage of the time (10+ being the only result that it doesn’t do so). I tried pointing out the differences of Soft Move and Hard Move and that when any roll below a 10+ happens it is the only time that I as the GM (other than the golden opportunity) to interject any type of story or complication or that they face any opposition to their actions. Math was sited a lot. And I even tried to get past that with the fact that not every roleplaying action triggers a Move and emphasis that “Fiction First” concept. But to no avail.
Another couple of players hated the Xp system of getting XP on a failure, seeming to think that it is not a bonus but that if he didn’t roll 6s he would fall behind others in Advances and didn’t get it. My players don’t seem to understand resolving Bonds either.
This has left me very frustrated with the game and running the system. Yes, I am running a Shadowrun Hack of it but that shouldn’t change the tone of the game that much. The fundamental concepts of the system are there.
Ahhhh, Frustrated and disheartened. I have failed to get them to understand the system. Math took precedence over roleplaying it seemed.