Advice on pulp RPG systems

cranebump

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Huh? Those aren't synonyms, so why are we substituting in those terms? I think that's just going to muddy the waters too much, and cause misunderstandings/misinterpretations.
I meant substitute "feature" where I inaccurately used "trope." Since that's what I initially meant.

The players are, through the rules, forced to ct artificially to fulfill the needs of the clices to recreate the "atypical plot".

Now, at this point does wthe game represent the horror genre? (go ahead and reread the various plot synopsis quoted above)

...OR, are they being forced to recreate the most inspid, unimaginative, post-Halloween slasher copycats made by lazy film-makers where characters act artificially in service to the plot?

And "forced" is the relevant word here, going hand in hand with artificiality. Because a player's choices are cosntrained to artifical behaviours, this directly interferes/impedes the act of role-playing, and deliberately removes the element of RPGs that sets them apart from every other form of entertainment.
Sure, that would be counter to player agency. But I haven't actually played a game in which the rules force players to serve a plot. Among the systems I have played extensively that often get trotted out in "story game" discussions are Dungeon World and FATE, which get classified as story games, but really aren't. If anything, FATE's metacurrency increases player creativity, while DW's "succeed at cost" forces the same because you have to interpret what makes sense in the situation, rather than succumbing to binary pass/fail outcomes.

Long story short, I accept and agree that complete service to someone else's choices is not a desirable outcome. But here, too, it depends on what the table wants. You and I may not dig that. Others, I guess, do (not entirely sure why, but some folks don't mind the railroad).

So, at this point, no doubt, one may be asking "why this hypothetical situation? Why not specify the games where this plays out analogously to your complaints?" Well, originally I did. The reason this response took so long is because I spent an afternoon writing up a very specific example of another genre dear to my heart (superheroes) and compared it to how cliches ssociated with superhero comicbooks were translated into a particular modern game system.
This made me think of "Masks" here (which I'm personally not a fan of). I will say that, in systems I've used where players can build whatever they want, I've found some expected emulations ("I'm a man out of time, with a shield!") and stuff that's totally off the wall ("I'm a mime, but what I mime actually affects the real world"). "Supers" indeed.

I think it's enough for me to say that, over the last twenty years, as more narrative-based game mechanics have enter the vogue in RPG design, I began noticing the situation I'm criticizing here often enough that it to this day stands out to me as something that 1) happens frequently enough to warrant a mention of it as a trend, and 2) anyone who groks what I've written in this post should very easily be able to identify in games on their own and come to their own conclusions regarding.

That said, this trend, more than anything else, is why I shy away from new ostensibly genre games that advertise themselves as containing "story-driven mechanics" with extreme prejudice.
Well, this harks back to my initial assertion that this was about personal preference. The fact that you have a rather lengthy dissertation supports that. Sorry if my questions made you feel you had to spend so much time on an explanation. I did appreciate it, though, and agreed with, eh, well, let's say a lot of it.

For my part, I guess I just don't have a problem with the use of cliches (or, "expected genre features"):-) in RPGs, mainly because I don't think we can escape them. If the system doesn't have them, the players will create their own cliched characters, and behave in their own cliched ways, because, when we sit down at the table, we're playing some sort of role, and that role is based on equal parts who we are, and what we like (both of which are shaped by experience and exposure to the world, and its many stories, both real and imagined). That role can have depth, over time and with investment, but how many times have you sat down and played with players whose characters have:

(1) experienced some sort of personal tragedy
(2) lost everyone they loved/knew in said tragedy, and
(3) is now edgy, antisocial, shattered, and/or near-sociopathic because of said tragedy?

Have I seen this before? Yuuuup. Is it my favorite thing? Nooooope. Would I still let the player play that cliched piece of garbage? You betcha. First, is what it is. Second, the character is still an individual creation of the player, and an expression of that creativity. I'm not one to say this piece of creativity is any "better" than anyone else's. Preferences, y'know.

Just to sum this up: I do agree with you that forcing players into boxes where they have no choices is a completely undesirable outcome. However, I haven't played a system that does that, mechanically (or, I don't think I have, at least--none of them have felt that way). Now, I've played with PEOPLE (GMs) who try to force an outcome, but that's another story, for a different discussion.

Thanks for taking the time to respond. Appreciated.
 

cranebump

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Well, depends on how you look at the gameworld:grin:!

If you see it as "everyone that's not extremely capable and having "the spark of greatness" is a mook, even trained combatants", then it works. Your characters are just low-level supers/pulp heroes.
Nailed it. It's often stated on the package, as in "Fate doesn’t come with a default setting, but it works best with any premise where the characters are proactive, capable people leading dramatic lives." Some obstacles are speed bumps. Others are walls. (and sometimes, you think you're being a devious GM, creating that wall, and the players apply a wrecking ball to it, killing off your dropping-from-the-ceiling snake-thing because, damnit, there was like, this 2% chance it wouldn't have surprise, you failed the roll, and the f***ing barbarians carved it up before you could even get an attack! OH THE HUMANITY!).:-)
 

Chris Brady

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The idea that 'mooks' and 'goons' are not a threat confuses me. Maybe one on one, sure. But 2-3 on one? Most pulp heroes are starting to struggle here...
 

Baulderstone

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I've never played either of those games, but from the outside, the former seems to be an example of a character ability or consequence of the reality of the gameworld set in that reality, so doesn't in anyway affect player choice.

As for the latter example, well, I personally hate "mook" rules, but for entirely different reasons than the criticisms I've heretofor expressed regarding mechanics enforcing genre cliches (in fact, pretty much the exact opposite, as I think mook rules are an utter failure at emulating the genre convention they are meant to represent). To my perception, the existence of "mooks" in media are there to show just how badass a character is - "normal" people/combatants simply don't stand a chance against them, they can, as larger than life Heroes, cut through swathes of ordinary opponents. What mook rules do, of those that I've encountered (again, I'm not familiar with Feng Shui), is rob the characters of this by artificially depowering opponents so that they are inconsequential. In other words, the characters themselves aren't allowed to be powerful, the opponents are just made simplistically easy to defeat. I can't imagine how any player is satisfied by this, it's like beating a baby at chess. That doesn't make me feel like Luzhin, it makes me feel like a kid dumping water on an anthill.
I find mooks generally are threatening. In my experience, the key point of mook rules isn't to make enemies that can effortlessly be defeated. It is to make NPCs that have greater mechanical simplicity than PCs, allowing them to be deployed in large numbers without becoming a headache for the GM. Rather than provide the players with a level of additional safety, I can throw 100 orcs at a party without questioning whether or not I want to deal with the additional record-keeping.

Savage Worlds, Reign and Mythras all come to mind as games I have run with mook rules, and I can easily engineer a TPK using only mooks in those games without bending the rules at all.
 

Black Leaf

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I find mooks generally are threatening. In my experience, the key point of mook rules isn't to make enemies that can effortlessly be defeated. It is to make NPCs that have greater mechanical simplicity than PCs, allowing them to be deployed in large numbers without becoming a headache for the GM. Rather than provide the players with a level of additional safety, I can throw 100 orcs at a party without questioning whether or not I want to deal with the additional record-keeping.

Savage Worlds, Reign and Mythras all come to mind as games I have run with mook rules, and I can easily engineer a TPK using only mooks in those games without bending the rules at all.
Feng Shui does pretty much have mooks you can cut through like butter, but I think it's genre emulation in that case. The kind of badass heroes the game focuses on should have no trouble with henchmen and street thugs. Anymore than Bruce Lee gets himself beaten up by random muggers.
 

Baulderstone

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Feng Shui does pretty much have mooks you can cut through like butter, but I think it's genre emulation in that case. The kind of badass heroes the game focuses on should have no trouble with henchmen and street thugs. Anymore than Bruce Lee gets himself beaten up by random muggers.
Fair enough. I'm just making the point that making disposable enemies disposable isn't the only reason for the existence of mook rules.
 

Raleel

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13th age also has mook rules, and admit inspiration from Feng Shui. they can be quite threatening, but also fall down in droves.
 

Baulderstone

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I'll add, I don't even see mook rules as something was even entirely new. It was a just taking inspiration from the classic design of D&D, where monsters lacked the mechanical complexity of PCs.
 

Lessa

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Tristram Evans said:
I think it's enough for me to say that, over the last twenty years, as more narrative-based game mechanics have enter the vogue in RPG design, I began noticing the situation I'm criticizing here often enough that it to this day stands out to me as something that 1) happens frequently enough to warrant a mention of it as a trend, and 2) anyone who groks what I've written in this post should very easily be able to identify it in games on their own and come to their own conclusions regarding.

That said, this trend, more than anything else, is why I shy away from new ostensibly genre games that advertise themselves as containing "story-driven mechanics" with extreme prejudice.
Just to sum this up: I do agree with you that forcing players into boxes where they have no choices is a completely undesirable outcome. However, I haven't played a system that does that, mechanically (or, I don't think I have, at least--none of them have felt that way). Now, I've played with PEOPLE (GMs) who try to force an outcome, but that's another story, for a different discussion.
I think Tristram point is that genre-emulation games already force players into boxes by funneling their character concepts and interactions. Which is true.

But in the end, as you said, it's a matter of personal preference. I, as you, love genre-emulation games and perceive what he says as a feature, not a bug. Luckly for everybody, we live in an era where all sorts of gaming styles are thriving. :grin:
 
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Lessa

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I'll add, I don't even see mook rules as something was even entirely new. It was a just taking inspiration from the classic design of D&D, where monsters lacked the mechanical complexity of PCs.
This. DnD always had mooks.

They fit nicely in games with an important attrition and resources-managing aspect (again, like DnD). I'm replaying Persona 5 on the PS4, and it does this. Normal enemies in dungeons are all mooks supposed to weaken you - and deplete your resources - for the important encounters.
 
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Ronnie Sanford

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This is a very off the wall suggestion, but have you considered Tales from the Floating Vagabond? Because the schticks there do the totally over the top things you're suggesting. From the Roy Rogers effect (ignore all modifiers for movement and cover as you bounce your bullet off the wall behind, the beer glass and into your opponent) to the Errol Flynn effect (there is always something you can swing from, whether it's a vine or a chandelier).

It's not what's normally described as pulp, but roaming round the universe punching Space Nazis and avoiding Temperance campaigners feels pretty pulp to me.
Thanks Black Leaf. Tales from the Floating Vagabond looks interesting for multiple reasons. I will buy it tonight.
 

TristramEvans

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I'll add, I don't even see mook rules as something was even entirely new. It was a just taking inspiration from the classic design of D&D, where monsters lacked the mechanical complexity of PCs.
I disliked that aspect of D&D as well, though not necessarily for exactly correlating reasons, but certainly related.

I guess it's an aesthetic dislike of mine for NPCs/monsters to not be defined in the same terms as player characters.
 

TristramEvans

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Well, depends on how you look at the gameworld

If you see it as "everyone that's not extremely capable and having "the spark of greatness" is a mook, even trained combatants", then it works. Your characters are just low-level supers/pulp heroes.
Sure, if that's the case though, you don't need "mook rules" - people are just by default mooks
 

AsenRG

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Sure, if that's the case though, you don't need "mook rules" - people are just by default mooks
Almost so - in that case, everybody uses mook rules by default. The mook rules themselves exist in order to avoid mechanical complexity:smile:.

Like, I mentioned already Savage Worlds: Non-Wild Cards* simply get 1 Wound and don't get the Wild Die. And they've simply got to deal with it!
But the Wild Die is mechanical complexity, as evidenced by the fact that many beginning SW players forget to add it to their rolls:wink:. Might not be much, they all get the hang of it quickly IME. But that's exactly what it is: mechanical complexity that was stripped from non-Wild Cards to make them more manageable.
It also means you can roll their attacks in a dicepool... suddenly 20 zombies are much more manageable and don't slow the game all that much:grin:!
This is reinforced by the fact that mooks of the same type all act on one Initiative card:shade:.
Same with the higher number of Wounds. A non-Wild Card is either healthy, Shaken (token added) or Wounded - and thus out. The GM doesn't track them at all, except visually.

OTOH, Wild Cards deserve more attention and are better at surviving wounds. More mechanical complexity, again.

And BTW, we know that to be more than my conjecture because the part about rolling the attack dice of mooks together was in one of the official guides on the site of the publishers.

*Of which there are several levels, but even mooks are actually competent fighters. Most people don't have a d6 in Fighting (and possibly shooting).

I disliked that aspect of D&D as well, though not necessarily for exactly correlating reasons, but certainly related.

I guess it's an aesthetic dislike of mine for NPCs/monsters to not be defined in the same terms as player characters.
Well, I used to share said dislike. And I still prefer games that define NPCs the same way as PCs, mind you (yes, like Mythras, ORE and Traveller). But the decades of GMing have also taught me to appreciate the benefits of "lower mechanical complexity for NPCs":tongue:!
 

TristramEvans

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Almost so - in that case, everybody uses mook rules by default. The mook rules themselves exist in order to avoid mechanical complexity:smile:.

Like, I mentioned already Savage Worlds: Non-Wild Cards* simply get 1 Wound and don't get the Wild Die. And they've simply got to deal with it!
But the Wild Die is mechanical complexity, as evidenced by the fact that many beginning SW players forget to add it to their rolls.
I think you're kinda pushing it there on a technicality (yes, "technically" it's more complex, in the same way rolling a D20 is "technically" more complex than a d6...).

Plus, if I'm not wrong, the Wild die doesn't simply represent mechanical complexity, but also the potential for greater results. As such, I wouldn't consider that the sort of "mook rules" I'm complaining about - it's no different than a Stormtrooper in WEG Star Wars RPG not having Force points
 

TristramEvans

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Well, I used to share said dislike. And I still prefer games that define NPCs the same way as PCs, mind you (yes, like Mythras, ORE and Traveller). But the decades of GMing have also taught me to appreciate the benefits of "lower mechanical complexity for NPCs":tongue:!

I just prefer lower complexity systems overall
 

AsenRG

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I think you're kinda pushing it there on a technicality (yes, "technically" it's more complex, in the same way rolling a D20 is "technically" more complex than a d6...).
Wrong comparison for any adult who knows the numbers from 1 to 20 equally well:smile:. Rolling with advantage/disadvantage (or rolling in a d100 system while a condition allows you to flip-flop the result) is more complex - you've got to roll more than one die and then estimate which one applies. Rolling d6 and d20 is the same complexity, just different range of numbers - but you still roll one die and that is your result:wink:.

Plus, if I'm not wrong, the Wild die doesn't simply represent mechanical complexity, but also the potential for greater results.
True, but then all such mechanics lead to some bonus, whether in odds of success or in breadth of options (except for rolling at disadvantage, but then this isn't exclusive to PCs - it was just an example). Otherwise, they would shift into the muchreaded Mythos realm of "pointless mechanical complexity":devil:.

As such, I wouldn't consider that the sort of "mook rules" I'm complaining about - it's no different than a Stormtrooper in WEG Star Wars RPG not having Force points
Yes, that's exactly what it is:thumbsup:. That's why I'm giving it as an example for good mook rules, you know? It achieves the same thing, yet by doing it, lowers the complexity the GM has to deal with. Win-win, I say:grin:!

And I'm not sure what kind of mook rules you're talking about. Could you give me an example from a specific game? Send me a PM if you want to avoid ruffled feathers:shade:.

I just prefer lower complexity systems overall
I often do as well. Just not always.


Also, if you need a system where everybody is a mook, you need look no firther than Warhammer:gunslinger:!
 

Baulderstone

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Also, if you need a system where everybody is a mook, you need look no firther than Warhammer:gunslinger:!
Of course, even WFRP has a kind of mook system in that you can simplify NPCs by using the generic wound table that simply declares a character alive or dead rather than getting into the gory details.
 

CRKrueger

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Almost so - in that case, everybody uses mook rules by default. The mook rules themselves exist in order to avoid mechanical complexity:smile:.

Like, I mentioned already Savage Worlds: Non-Wild Cards* simply get 1 Wound and don't get the Wild Die. And they've simply got to deal with it!
But the Wild Die is mechanical complexity, as evidenced by the fact that many beginning SW players forget to add it to their rolls:wink:. Might not be much, they all get the hang of it quickly IME. But that's exactly what it is: mechanical complexity that was stripped from non-Wild Cards to make them more manageable.
It also means you can roll their attacks in a dicepool... suddenly 20 zombies are much more manageable and don't slow the game all that much:grin:!
This is reinforced by the fact that mooks of the same type all act on one Initiative card:shade:.
Same with the higher number of Wounds. A non-Wild Card is either healthy, Shaken (token added) or Wounded - and thus out. The GM doesn't track them at all, except visually.

OTOH, Wild Cards deserve more attention and are better at surviving wounds. More mechanical complexity, again.

And BTW, we know that to be more than my conjecture because the part about rolling the attack dice of mooks together was in one of the official guides on the site of the publishers.

*Of which there are several levels, but even mooks are actually competent fighters. Most people don't have a d6 in Fighting (and possibly shooting).

Well, I used to share said dislike. And I still prefer games that define NPCs the same way as PCs, mind you (yes, like Mythras, ORE and Traveller). But the decades of GMing have also taught me to appreciate the benefits of "lower mechanical complexity for NPCs":tongue:!
Oh please. Not this bullshit again.

Yes, most people are not Wild Cards so they can reduce mechanical complexity.
They ALSO are not Wild Cards because they are not the Big Damn Heroes or the Big Bad Villain. The narrative nature of the Wild Card as representing Dramatic Importance emulating genre is clearly explained, as it is in nearly every example of Mook Rules that exists.

You or others may like Mook Rules because they reduce mechanical complexity, but don’t insult our intelligence by pretending that’s the only, or even the primary reason they are used.[/QUOTE]
 

Baulderstone

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Oh please. Not this bullshit again.

Yes, most people are not Wild Cards so they can reduce mechanical complexity.
They ALSO are not Wild Cards because they are not the Big Damn Heroes or the Big Bad Villain. The narrative nature of the Wild Card as representing Dramatic Importance emulating genre is clearly explained, as it is in nearly every example of Mook Rules that exists.

You or others may like Mook Rules because they reduce mechanical complexity, but don’t insult our intelligence by pretending that’s the only, or even the primary reason they are used.
Pinnacle used to have detailed design notes about Savage Worlds on their website. Early on, Shane was running a Weird Wars campaign with the game, with squads of characters on both sides and combat was bogging down. The decision to remove the Wild Die for extras was so that you could roll attacks for a whole squad at once with a handful of dice, rather than needing to do them one by one.
 

CRKrueger

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Pinnacle used to have detailed design notes about Savage Worlds on their website. Early on, Shane was running a Weird Wars campaign with the game, with squads of characters on both sides and combat was bogging down. The decision to remove the Wild Die for extras was so that you could roll attacks for a whole squad at once with a handful of dice, rather than needing to do them one by one.
And in 40k, you’re supposed to roll each attack individually, but since it doesn’t matter most of the time, you can roll all attacks at once, all wound rolls at once, and all armor saves at once except in certain cases. That is not a Mook Rule. :grin:

As Deadlands morphed to Great Rail Wars morphed to Savage Worlds, the tabletop miniatures battle nature of the rules necessitated rolling for whole squads at a time to speed up combat just like 40K does.

However, due to the rules, this had to be accomplished by eliminating the Wild Die from most combatants.

As a Roleplaying game, however, the need for dozens of combatants on a side is reduced, so why then still use the quick system?

What differentiates the difference between a “Wild Card” and a cinematically named “Extra”? Some guidance from Deluxe...
“Your hero (a player character), and unique allies, villains, and monsters are collectively called “Wild Cards.” These beings have a little better chance at doing things, are a little tougher to put down, and are generally more detailed than common guards, minions, or lackeys—collectively called “Extras.”“
“Besides your own characters, it’s up to the Game Master to decide which characters are Wild Cards. The sergeant of the City Watch probably isn’t a Wild Card, but Sergeant Grimlock of the City Watch, a veteran of many wars and an important character in your campaign, certainly is. Skytch the Dragon is also a Wild Card, though his three young wyrms aren’t. “

So we see there are a few reasons for defining Wild Cards vs. Extras
Unique vs. common
Leaders vs. Lackeys
Campaign Importance

So, even in Savage Worlds, which really isn’t a Narrative RPG at all, the concept of Extras vs. Wild Cards being a signifier of campaign importance or defining minion status is there. They’re the Extras, they’re not John Wayne. It’s not purely speed.

In more Narrative RPGs, the primary purpose of the Mook is to simulate genre, to declare Narrative Importance, to allow for PCs to mow down nameless hordes and is usually stated to be so.

Some people tend to take any mechanical shortcut or any rule that allows for great skill or any difference between PC and NPC to be a “Mook Rule”.

For example, the AD&D Fighter’s rule that allows for extra attacks against low HD creatures isn’t a Mook Rule, any more than the Ranger’s damage bonus vs. giant-class humanoids. They are class abilities meant to represent specific skills of that archetype, not a means of differentiating PC or NPC by some meta rationale, or even for the purpose of speeding up combat.

Mythras also has a rule to represent an extreme skill difference - if one combatant has a weapon skill over 100%, you reduce their Skill to get it to 100 and reduce the opponent’s skill by the same amount. Like the AD&D Fighter, this is not a Mook Rule.
Mythras does have “Mook Rules”, you can define NPCs as “Rabble” or “Underlings” and they have specific rules. Mythras, like most systems, describes the reasoning of these rules as being to emulate fantasy literature and allow players to mow through hordes, but also lists speed as a reason. It is not just speed.

D&D4 has an extensive Mook system that classifies creatures into several orders of being with different rules: Minion, Normal, Leader, Elite, Solo. This, however, is done for a completely different meta rationale. It’s not literary emulation, but MMO emulation, similar to their Class Roles which map to classic MMO roles like Tank, Healer, DPS, CC, etc.

In fact, some meta-rationale exists to differentiate PC from NPC in all Mook Rules. Otherwise, it’s just a shortcut to save time. In a percentage system, if you have lots of rolls to make, converting to d20 and rolling them all at once, for example, saves time but isn’t making any distinction between PC and NPC for some meta reason.
 

AsenRG

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Of course, even WFRP has a kind of mook system in that you can simplify NPCs by using the generic wound table that simply declares a character alive or dead rather than getting into the gory details.
Why would you want to avoid the gory details in WFRP:shock:?
Pinnacle used to have detailed design notes about Savage Worlds on their website. Early on, Shane was running a Weird Wars campaign with the game, with squads of characters on both sides and combat was bogging down. The decision to remove the Wild Die for extras was so that you could roll attacks for a whole squad at once with a handful of dice, rather than needing to do them one by one.
Yup, those are the design notes I'm thinking about:thumbsup:.

Oh please. Not this bullshit again.
Yes, +1 from me. "Not this bullshit again" sums up my feelings nicely:devil:!
Yes, most people are not Wild Cards so they can reduce mechanical complexity.
Indeed. So far we're on the same page.
They ALSO are not Wild Cards because they are not the Big Damn Heroes or the Big Bad Villain. The narrative nature of the Wild Card as representing Dramatic Importance emulating genre is clearly explained, as it is in nearly every example of Mook Rules that exists.
Maybe that's how you see them.
Me? I see them in fully IC terms.
Like, for most people a kick in the nuts is a fight-ender. Many believe a broken nose to be fight-ending as well.
And it is in their reality - in the kind of fights they're used to.
However, in "Meditations on Violence"* sgt. Rory Miller (who has experience working with criminals - in a high-security/high-risk correctional insitution) mention that in his experience, in prison fights between prisoners or prisoners attacking a guard, a broken nose never ends a fight.
A kick in the nuts? It's only a fight-ender in 20% of the cases, in his estimates (which fits nicely with my estimates).

The difference? Drive, commitment, and being used to pain. Not "high pain threshold", which is an Advantage(though some doctors would dispute that), but being used to ignoring pain, stress and fear and keeping going and going until you're really out and collapse.
You know, fighting like most gamers expect PCs to fight:evil:!
And that is what a Wild Card is, in my games. It's called "having the Combat Reflexes advantage" in GURPS.


*Unless it's one of his other books. I've read more than one by the same author, so don't quote me. But luckily I discovered them shortly after or prior to discovering Savage Worlds, which helped my RPGing habits.
You or others may like Mook Rules because they reduce mechanical complexity, but don’t insult our intelligence by pretending that’s the only, or even the primary reason they are used.
I honestly don't know (nor much care, lately) how they're used by every single group out there. As for trends, both you and me are just guessing...though yes, it is likely that a sizeable part of people that use such rules would use them - at least partially - to represent narrative importance. I blame Ron Edwards:devil:!
 

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Okay, you are ALL very bad people. Becaue of you I bought Hollow Earth Expedition, Perils of the Surfae World, Secrets of the Surface World. Two Fisted Tales and I am strongly considering SWADE. You all are really evil people!
 

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Evidentally a new revised version of Adventure! is coming out. Supposed to use the same Storyteller system. See -> http://theonyxpath.com/onyx-path-announces-adventure-and-assassins-for-trinity-continuum/
Its not the same Storyteller system, its a modified version called the Storypath system, which operates a bit more like Fate in its mechanics. Also, it should be noted that Adventure! (along with Æon and Aberrant) are all supplemental to the Trinity Continuum rulebook. You need the Trinity core rules to play any of them.
 

Ronnie Sanford

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Its not the same Storyteller system, its a modified version called the Storypath system, which operates a bit more like Fate in its mechanics. Also, it should be noted that Adventure! (along with Æon and Aberrant) are all supplemental to the Trinity Continuum rulebook. You need the Trinity core rules to play any of them.
Ah! Thanks for clarifying! I thought StoryPath was just a tweaked StoryTeller system. I searched for pulp adventures on Drivethrurpg yesterday. There are quite a few available that I will pick up this week. Sooner or later I want to run Heroes of Rura Tonga
 

James Gillen

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That I'd like to see. That was one of the first "dramatic editing" mechanics outside of Fate.

JG
 

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Ronnie Sanford

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Justice, Inc., if you like Hero System stuff. It's a fun read and it's by Allston and Stackpole, how can you go wrong? Very well researched, it oozes atmosphere. OOP tho I think PDF is available on DTRPG. Can't remember how well it would fulfill the "schtick" you're after.

If you'd rather something lighter, and you want a relatively inexpensive hardcopy, there's Mercenaries, Spies & Private Eyes, also by Michael Stackpole. It uses a modified version of the T&T 5th ediiton rules, so that's either a feature or a big depending on your feels about T&T. Its stunting system should cover the "tricks" you want to try.

I can't speak for anyone else, but of I were to run a pulp game, it'd be one of those two.
Just curious how is Justice different than Pulp Hero? Which is more pulpy? Which is easier to learn?
 

Ronnie Sanford

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In Adventure! it amounted to a pool of points that could be spent on making adjustments on plot or scene details. It wasn’t original to it - the James Bond 007 rpg did it previously. However, it was a type of mechanic that became popular in the 2000s.
So would an example be using dramatic editing to put a shotgun under a bar during a bar fight? If not could you provide an example or two?
 

Ronnie Sanford

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Oh please. Not this bullshit again.

Yes, most people are not Wild Cards so they can reduce mechanical complexity.
They ALSO are not Wild Cards because they are not the Big Damn Heroes or the Big Bad Villain. The narrative nature of the Wild Card as representing Dramatic Importance emulating genre is clearly explained, as it is in nearly every example of Mook Rules that exists.

You or others may like Mook Rules because they reduce mechanical complexity, but don’t insult our intelligence by pretending that’s the only, or even the primary reason they are used.
I think I agree with CRKrueger on on this. I don’t normally use mooks but I would in a pulp game because I want to position the characters as tougher than normal people. That’s probably just as important or more important than the mechanical simplicity they bring to the table.
 

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Just to mention a couple of systems that I don't think have come up before in this thread:

Broken Compass is a new pulp game that's been on kickstarter. Not available to purchase yet, but it looks pretty cool

The PDQ system as used in Jaws of the Six Serpents (Sword and Sorcery) is pretty good, and there are 1930s pulp rules in the Serpent's Teeth supplement

Sadly no longer available even as a PDF is Pulp Fantastic which used the Vortex system from the Dr Who rpg - there is a successor using the same title, which is a new pulp supplement for Savage Worlds
 

Ronnie Sanford

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Just to mention a couple of systems that I don't think have come up before in this thread:

Broken Compass is a new pulp game that's been on kickstarter. Not available to purchase yet, but it looks pretty cool

The PDQ system as used in Jaws of the Six Serpents (Sword and Sorcery) is pretty good, and there are 1930s pulp rules in the Serpent's Teeth supplement

Sadly no longer available even as a PDF is Pulp Fantastic which used the Vortex system from the Dr Who rpg - there is a successor using the same title, which is a new pulp supplement for Savage Worlds
You know in my search for the perfect pulp system Vortex and Dr. Who came up a lot. Seems like a lot of people think it’s the perfect rule set for pulp.
 
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PrivateEye

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You know in my search for the perfect pull system Vortex and Dr. Who came up a lot. Seems like a lot of people think it’s the perfect rule set for pulp.
I do like Pulp Fantastic - I was one of the kickstarters, so I have a hard copy ass well as the pdf - I was always a bit disappointed it didn't do better.
 
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