Do authors take a peek at current design-space when creating new games? Should they?

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CRKrueger

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So it’s a rulings-not-rules thing. Gotcha.
To be fair, I think it’s a combination of a few things.
  • Running an actual demesne granted by a lord, having a manor, etc, wasn’t as interesting to Gygax, so we don’t get Harnmanor or Pendragon level detail on what happens once you make a dovecote, etc.
  • If you were inclined to go Full.Medieval with it, Gygax’s players were all people who’d read the original medieval or scholarly texts that Basic, Harnmanor, and ACKS pulled their data from, if not had a copy in their libraries.
  • I think Gygax envisioned the D&D endgame more as creating what we’d call a frontier Point of Light rather than being part of a more stable civilization hub. As a result, you’re worried more about a Priest of Plague and his Nurglorks somewhere out in the hills then you are about dysentery in the Greek Quarter because of inadequate sewage runoff.
Having said all that, would I have loved an ACKS/Harnmanor treatment of each AD&D classes endgame? Fuck yes.
 

CRKrueger

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When he is comparing them to clocks, I just want to point out that clocks are like, at least in the context of tracking faction goals, such barebones mechanics they are barely mechanics.

All it is is a little pie chart with like, 6 sections, and you as the GM go "hey do I think this faction accomplished anything towards its goal during the time since I last looked at this" or "did something my players do change this factions progress" and if you do you fill in a section (or erase one if the PCs set them back). And if you fill in a full circle they finish the goal and maybe the PCs have to deal with that (if they are in the same sphere.

It's just notes shorthands for tracking a factions progress towards a goal. I find it useful in a setting with lots and lots of factions because you don't have to detail exactly WHAT they are doing just if they are making progress or not, and it's a fast visual way to keep track of who is getting close to finishing some goal.

So I can see the point that the stages are pretty much like faction clocks. In fact, they are probably MORE detailed than faction clocks because they actually describe what "stage 2" towards a goal would actually mean.

(Also as a note, I have no opinion specifically on Delta Green or Labyrinth as I've read neither)
You don’t have to detail what they are doing, just if they’re making progress?
That’s not just a different way to take notes, that’s an abstracted mechanic. It’s like making ammo rolls instead of keeping track. It’s saying you can carry 2 big things and 5 little ones.

If it’s a teaching tool, it’s not teaching you to think about how the various factions in your setting interact with each other and are affected by player action. It’s showing how none of that matters, and you can fake having anything at all behind the curtain.

It’s a very clever technique for the types of playstyles the games it was written for support, but they’re certainly not useful for all types of games or campaigns.
 

Lychee of the Exchequer

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Well, this thread at least convinced me to check on Delta Green 2.0.

I must also admit that CRKrueger's blatant repulsion to all things clocky made me curious about that too :wink:. For a thing to elicit such a strong emotional response, it must have some interest :hehe:.
 

Justin Alexander

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Well, again, Stage 1, 2 and 3 was how Tynes always wrote up his stuff
This is because Tynes has always been focused on providing the game structures that Silva is talking about. (I haven't actually read The Labyrinth, so I can't comment on it specifically.)

Which is one of the reasons why Tynes is such a superb RPG designer.

Oh sure, the rules for building a castle are fine. What happens after that, though? AD&D doesn’t care.
Not 100% true.

1. You earn income from your demesne as long as you keep the area around your stronghold cleared.

2. There are specific procedures the DM uses to threaten the cleared status of your hexes.

It's Gygax so these mechanics are contradictory, incomplete, and poorly explained, but the core loop is that the GM makes random checks to see what monster groups have moved into the region. That's an adventure generator with a built-in hook.

This sort of Gygaxian mini-game that over-formalizes a meta-mechanic is, of course, due to the influence Ron Edwards and the Forge had over Gygax as a designer. The fact that some people consider AD&D to be a roleplaying game at all is, frankly, an outrage.
 

robertsconley

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So, my question is: do authors look for what's out there when creating their games? Should they? Is a look at the design-space around you desireable? Also, are there specific demographies or subcultures that do this more than others? I have a suspicion that older games fanbases tend to be more insular and attached and thus more prone to ignore whats out there, while newer games fanbases are naturally more, "ecclectic". But it's just anecdote.
For me I am always looking at presentation and utility factors. In terms of mechanics mostly. I am interested in how mechanics reflect the setting or broad genre the book target versus playability versus "feel".

For example of feel GURPS versus OD&D. I don't have any issue with running the Majestic Wilderlands with either but the nuts and bolts of the sessions have a different feel with GURPS versus OD&D due the detailed mechanic of GURPS. But the appeal of the details of GURPS is considerably narrower than the details of D&D in various editions.

My preference is that a system is enough of a toolkit that I can just get on with writing my hexcrawls and sandbox adventures and not have to dick around with the system that much. But reality is what it is hence I wound up writing my own targeting the classic D&D audience.
 

robertsconley

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I've played in lots of games where the GM bought the book and was excited to run but where the cool stuff never arrived.
I know I am late to the thread. This issue is one of the reason I going to pursue the publication of my Majestic Fantasy RPG in an unusual way. Instead of presenting it as a fat rulebook coupled with standalone supplements that require it. I am going to release it as a serious of supplements sprinkled with setting and adventure material supporting the topic of the supplement.

Together it will combine into a traditional RPG, separately they act as supplements for classic D&D systems like Swords & Wizardry or Old School Essentials. For course it helps that the various classic editions are a hop and skip away from each other.

But I think in the fullness of time the approach would also help something like D&D 5e or Pathfinder where there only a single edition so to speak but it accompanied by a sprawling mass of supplemental materials.

The advantage of doing this way is that I focus on make each supplement shine on it own and pack with more of the "cool stuff" you talked about. Which I consider stuff useful for a ongoing campaign or a session.

So later this year I will be releasing the Lost Grimoire of Magic which all about how spellcasters work in my Majestic Fantasy Realms. Then after that will be volumes covering Fighters, Rogues, Clerics, Monsters, Items (magical and mundane) and so on. Hopefully each useful as a supplement in it own right and considered to supportive of an ongoing campaign.

What this has amount in practice so far is a focus on utility in my draft. There is some prose but I lean hard into various stereotypes to minimize what I have to explain. The what I try to do flesh out the bog standard stuff in a way to make the old tropes of D&D depict a richer world filled with possibilities for adventure that folks haven't considered or considered too much work to do.

A bit of a gamble all around so we will see how it goes.
 

robertsconley

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robertsconley

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Having said all that, would I have loved an ACKS/Harnmanor treatment of each AD&D classes endgame? Fuck yes.
Well funny you should say that, because that what my campaigns been about for 40 years. To date it been a hodgepodge of material (including the use of Harnmanor) but I been working on making it more my own and incorporating what I learned. The most important of which is how much detail most hobbyists are interested in.

It nuanced but it basically hovers around the level of detail that Classic Traveller does for starships in the 3 LBBs. A little bookkeeping to support some options in how things are setup but with straightforward math (adding up totals). The open content of ACKS been a big help.

The other thing is not a one size all solution. So dividing my material into focused supplemental volumes will make easier as a conclave of magic-users has enough of a difference compared to a castle as part of a feudal demesne for a fighter. Or running a merchant house as a Merchant Adventurer (A rouge class I have).
 

CRKrueger

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I know I am late to the thread. This issue is one of the reason I going to pursue the publication of my Majestic Fantasy RPG in an unusual way. Instead of presenting it as a fat rulebook coupled with standalone supplements that require it. I am going to release it as a serious of supplements sprinkled with setting and adventure material supporting the topic of the supplement.

Together it will combine into a traditional RPG, separately they act as supplements for classic D&D systems like Swords & Wizardry or Old School Essentials. For course it helps that the various classic editions are a hop and skip away from each other.

But I think in the fullness of time the approach would also help something like D&D 5e or Pathfinder where there only a single edition so to speak but it accompanied by a sprawling mass of supplemental materials.

The advantage of doing this way is that I focus on make each supplement shine on it own and pack with more of the "cool stuff" you talked about. Which I consider stuff useful for a ongoing campaign or a session.

So later this year I will be releasing the Lost Grimoire of Magic which all about how spellcasters work in my Majestic Fantasy Realms. Then after that will be volumes covering Fighters, Rogues, Clerics, Monsters, Items (magical and mundane) and so on. Hopefully each useful as a supplement in it own right and considered to supportive of an ongoing campaign.

What this has amount in practice so far is a focus on utility in my draft. There is some prose but I lean hard into various stereotypes to minimize what I have to explain. The what I try to do flesh out the bog standard stuff in a way to make the old tropes of D&D depict a richer world filled with possibilities for adventure that folks haven't considered or considered too much work to do.

A bit of a gamble all around so we will see how it goes.
Followed up at the end with a Kickstarter for a hardbound Collector’s Edition with everything in one book, right? You know people are going to be wanting that. :thumbsup:

To be honest, I think the Supplemental or Zine format is a good way to experience a setting. Forgotten Realms was a string of Dragon Articles before it got the boxed set. The Arduin Grimoire were useful as D&D supplements of stuff, or a piece of Arduin in every issue. Dolmenwood and the Land of Nod were revealed in episodic format as well. I think it’s a good publishing model, especially for the OSR, where Zines are definitely part of the Zeitgeist.
 

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You don’t have to detail what they are doing, just if they’re making progress?
Most example clock uses do suggest the specific sorts of things which trigger a section to be marked or cleared, though, so a GM has that detail, even if it's as simple as "PC spent a few evenings tinkering on their project". @EmperorNorton is just describing a shorthand process that he uses; and ultimately, what's the different between that and a GM deciding "I've foreshadowed this Bad Thing for long enough, so here it is"?

A lot of this just reads like looking for the worst possible, most un-fun, way that a concept could be used, and claiming that's the intention and goal behind it.
 

CRKrueger

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Most example clock uses do suggest the specific sorts of things which trigger a section to be marked or cleared, though, so a GM has that detail, even if it's as simple as "PC spent a few evenings tinkering on their project". @EmperorNorton is just describing a shorthand process that he uses; and ultimately, what's the different between that and a GM deciding "I've foreshadowed this Bad Thing for long enough, so here it is"?

A lot of this just reads like looking for the worst possible, most un-fun, way that a concept could be used, and claiming that's the intention and goal behind it.
Oh that must be it, because we all know how PbtA and FitD games are renowned for their complex, detailed and fleshed out settings...:tongue:
 

AsenRG

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OK, let me answer the questions in the title:grin:!
1. Some do, others don't, and if they aren't using them, the public rarely realizes whether it's a conscious rejection or an ignorant one.
2. It's not a bad idea, but I don't see it becoming mandatory, not the least because there are so many games released each year.
/thread:shade:!
 

TJS

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Most example clock uses do suggest the specific sorts of things which trigger a section to be marked or cleared, though, so a GM has that detail, even if it's as simple as "PC spent a few evenings tinkering on their project". @EmperorNorton is just describing a shorthand process that he uses; and ultimately, what's the different between that and a GM deciding "I've foreshadowed this Bad Thing for long enough, so here it is"?

A lot of this just reads like looking for the worst possible, most un-fun, way that a concept could be used, and claiming that's the intention and goal behind it.
Isn't part of the point of the clock the metagamey aspect of sharing it with the players? Or maybe that was just the game I played. The GM would show us the clock so we could see the plans of the factions were preceding unless we did something (not solely that I would add, - eg he would narrative something happening that the characters would know about, then he would show us the clock moving forward as the mechanical aspect of what the characters had just learned.).

I have to admit, to be underwhelmed by both clocks and Fronts in dungeon worlds. But that's because I've long had my own way of running factions, by just sketching out timelines of events that will happen if the PCs do nothing, from which I can just let the game play out.
 

Black Vulmea

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I suspect much of the ground they cover must have been second nature to the old school hex-and-chit wargaming crowd, and lost to later generations (mine obviously included).
To some degree, but primarily to the extent that wargamers were also history buffs, and didn't need to be instructed in great detail how a lord exploited his demesne.

This is true of a number of aspects of the early game - I remember staring at posts by gamers describing how 'tactical!' 3e D&D was, thinking to myself, 'But D&D's always been tactical.'

Again, a close reading of The First Fantasy Campaign explains so very much about strongholds & strategy gaming.

Or maybe just handwaved away, in favor of retiring the character and playing one of the lower-level followers.
I can't speak for all grognards, but I remember a friend and I sitting at the dining table drawing up the castles our fighters and clerics would eventually occupy and figuring out how much they'd cost to build long before they'd reach name level.
 

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Isn't part of the point of the clock the metagamey aspect of sharing it with the players? Or maybe that was just the game I played. The GM would show us the clock so we could see the plans of the factions were preceding unless we did something (not solely that I would add, - eg he would narrative something happening that the characters would know about, then he would show us the clock moving forward as the mechanical aspect of what the characters had just learned.).
That seems more of a GM affectation than anything else - I get the feeling the PC's are meant to know, or have an idea, that a group's plans are progressing, but generally it would be IC rather than OOC.

I have to admit, to be underwhelmed by both clocks and Fronts in dungeon worlds. But that's because I've long had my own way of running factions, by just sketching out timelines of events that will happen if the PCs do nothing, from which I can just let the game play out.
TBH I wouldn't expect you to, because they're not doing anything new or exciting, the only novelty is in the presentation. Like... the only difference I see between DW's Fronts and your Bad Stuff Timeline is that one is written on a piece of paper titled "Front : " and one isn't.
 

Lessa

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I've played in lots of games where the GM bought the book and was excited to run but where the cool stuff never arrived.

I played a hordelands forgotten realms game where the GM didn't really know how to manage to incentivise us to travel the vast distances of the central asian inspired setting (I read the boxed set recently as research for my Silk Road game - it's not bad in a lot of ways, but it's terrible at helping to set up a campaign.).

I played a Fading Suns game which was basically just a traveller game of going from port to port, whatever interesting stuff was going on in the setting the GM didn't know how to actualise.

I remember running a Sla Industries game in the late 90s and not really knowing what to do with it.

I ran Symbaroum successfully, but that was mostly working around the core treasure hunting ruins in the forest activity that the game places at the core of its setting but then is untterly uninteressted in actualising.

I find this a bit of a perennial issue with many games. It's a bit irritating to have a setting and then have to break it down myself, work out what the main conflicts are and how to structure a game in such a way that the players actually get to experience the cool stuff in the setting. It would nice to see more game designers actually do some of this work themselves.
This is something that pbta and games influenced by it (Mutant: Y0, Blades, etc) really excel at. They treat their advice as unambiguous instructions like those booklets from boardgames, with clear methods to run games.

I find OSR is also very good at it. Be through written procedures or by using assortments of tables, it's usually easy to discern how the games are intended to be run.

The problem, I think, is with the kind of simulation-focused 80s games that assume you have previous knowledge of how to GM those games, or knowledge of their literary sources or genres. And so the books end up being almost full lore/setting and little to no advice on how to run a game on it. Delta Green, like CoC before it, carries this DNA.
 
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EmperorNorton

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You don’t have to detail what they are doing, just if they’re making progress?
That’s not just a different way to take notes, that’s an abstracted mechanic. It’s like making ammo rolls instead of keeping track. It’s saying you can carry 2 big things and 5 little ones.

If it’s a teaching tool, it’s not teaching you to think about how the various factions in your setting interact with each other and are affected by player action. It’s showing how none of that matters, and you can fake having anything at all behind the curtain.

It’s a very clever technique for the types of playstyles the games it was written for support, but they’re certainly not useful for all types of games or campaigns.
The game that I have played that uses faction clocks has like, 50+ factions. Of course you abstract it somewhat.

I'm sure of course, that you detail what all 50+ factions are doing between every session in your own campaigns, but some of us like to sleep, eat, and unfortunately have to go to work so don't have the time to right down notes on every single thing that they do.

The point is that you don't have to think about EXACTLY what they are doing until the players are likely to run into it. Players are going to Barrowcleft for a job? Hmmm, what have the factions that are there been up to? That is when it is important to know. And the clocks you moved give you an idea of about where they are in achieving goals, and hence, what they might be up to. If they had gone to Crow's Foot, they wouldn't be running into the same factions, what the factions in Barrowcleft are doing is unimportant to play at the table, at least for that session.

When you are playing a sandbox where players can go anywhere at any time, the idea of tracking all the possible factions they could encounter in detail is ridiculous.
 

EmperorNorton

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Isn't part of the point of the clock the metagamey aspect of sharing it with the players? Or maybe that was just the game I played. The GM would show us the clock so we could see the plans of the factions were preceding unless we did something (not solely that I would add, - eg he would narrative something happening that the characters would know about, then he would show us the clock moving forward as the mechanical aspect of what the characters had just learned.).
I've never shown or been shown a Faction clock in BitD unless we in character used time to look into what a faction was doing (which generally you would only do if you were doing a job where that faction might get involved, or you had been having run ins with them). Then we might use the clock as a bit of a "on this plan they seem about this far along" if they could uncover what the end game even was.
 

EmperorNorton

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If it’s a teaching tool, it’s not teaching you to think about how the various factions in your setting interact with each other and are affected by player action. It’s showing how none of that matters, and you can fake having anything at all behind the curtain.
Also this is 100% bullshit. Considering how they are interacting and how the player's actions have impacted them is written into the whole "should I move this clock" bit. That is the questions you are asking yourself when you are using it, and things they suggest you consider when playing the game.

You just don't have to think in detail "What EXACTLY is this faction doing right now to accomplish this goal".
 

Black Leaf

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That's bullshit and you know it @CRKrueger . Pendragon does all that. Is it a fucking boardgame?
While Kruger is being hyperbolic, I don't think the Pendragon subsystem in question uses RPG mechanics.

The problem, I think, is with the kind of simulation-focused 80s games that assume you have previous knowledge of how to GM those games, or knowledge of their literary sources or genres. And so the books end up being almost full lore/setting and little to no advice on how to run a game on it. Delta Green, like CoC before it, carries this DNA.
That's true to an extent. It's been openly stated that one thing Unknown Armies 3e aimed to do was answer the "what do I do with this thing?" question. Where I differ is I don't think that's a problem. Not every game needs to aimed at a hypothetical new GM. There's room for everything from games explicitly aimed at taking you through your first GMing session (incidentally, Lone Wolf Adventure game is objectively better at that then any other game I've seen) to ones that assume you've been running that kind of RPG for years.

So your issue seems to me to be less that of designers not being aware of current design space and more that you don't like games without significant running advice. Which is valid, but suggests to me you simply aren't the target audience for those games in the first place.
 

KrakaJak

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Trying to follow this thread. Is the basic premise that Fall of Delta Green isn't Blades in the Dark?

I really wonder why a game like Fall of Delta Green, developed and published before Blades in the Dark, couldn't be inspired by an unreleased game's mechanics?

That being said, I think the very HEAVY structure of Blades in the Dark is both a great asset, and it's greatest weakness. Every game of Blades In The Dark nails the on edge criminal organization premise of the game.

Buuuuut....After 5 or 6 sessions of Blades in the Dark, the structure becomes a chokehold. I know reasonably what to expect to happen in every session. Succeed or fail, there are no surprises. I don't really have a choice of downtime activities, because I will have to try to reduce whichever bad stuff is highest. PCs literally have no recourse once they are out of downtime "actions." They must do a heist. The game has literally zero GM tools for how to handle improvising anything outside of it's very rigid framework. Every game of Blades In The Dark nails the on edge criminal organization premise of the game, and nothing else will ever happen.
 

Trippy

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Trying to follow this thread. Is the basic premise that Fall of Delta Green isn't Blades in the Dark?
I dunno now, because the premise seems to have now morphed into 'I like the way various groups in The Labyrinth supplement include levied plot lines to involve them in an ongoing campaign, and so this is now considered the same thing as what I was suggesting when I presented how they should make Delta Green more like Blades in the Dark, even though it is clear that Delta Green has its own ways of doing things.' Or summat.
 

CRKrueger

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The game that I have played that uses faction clocks has like, 50+ factions. Of course you abstract it somewhat.

I'm sure of course, that you detail what all 50+ factions are doing between every session in your own campaigns, but some of us like to sleep, eat, and unfortunately have to go to work so don't have the time to right down notes on every single thing that they do.

The point is that you don't have to think about EXACTLY what they are doing until the players are likely to run into it. Players are going to Barrowcleft for a job? Hmmm, what have the factions that are there been up to? That is when it is important to know. And the clocks you moved give you an idea of about where they are in achieving goals, and hence, what they might be up to. If they had gone to Crow's Foot, they wouldn't be running into the same factions, what the factions in Barrowcleft are doing is unimportant to play at the table, at least for that session.

When you are playing a sandbox where players can go anywhere at any time, the idea of tracking all the possible factions they could encounter in detail is ridiculous.
Somewhere there lies an excluded middle the size of the known universe between knowing what every single NPC in a city does and...
The Players had a session where they fuck up X, Click - move everyone else one step closer to midnight, Ding.
The Players had a session where they fucked up Y, Click - move everyone else one step closer to midnight, Ding.
The Players had a session where they fucked up Z, who is the enemy of A, Click - move everyone else one step closer to midnight, move A two steps, Ding.

You’re telling me anything more detailed than that is literally impossible for anyone with a life.

Sorry bro, you’re life may be full, but you ain’t Mother Theresa busy.

You run your campaign that way because you get 30% of the depth for 5% of the work, and for how you play, 30% is enough. That’s great. That doesn’t make those tools universal that should be applied to every game, no matter how superior Silva thinks they are.
 

CRKrueger

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Trying to follow this thread. Is the basic premise that Fall of Delta Green isn't Blades in the Dark?

I really wonder why a game like Fall of Delta Green, developed and published before Blades in the Dark, couldn't be inspired by an unreleased game's mechanics?

That being said, I think the very HEAVY structure of Blades in the Dark is both a great asset, and it's greatest weakness. Every game of Blades In The Dark nails the on edge criminal organization premise of the game.

Buuuuut....After 5 or 6 sessions of Blades in the Dark, the structure becomes a chokehold. I know reasonably what to expect to happen in every session. Succeed or fail, there are no surprises. I don't really have a choice of downtime activities, because I will have to try to reduce whichever bad stuff is highest. PCs literally have no recourse once they are out of downtime "actions." They must do a heist. The game has literally zero GM tools for how to handle improvising anything outside of it's very rigid framework. Every game of Blades In The Dark nails the on edge criminal organization premise of the game, and nothing else will ever happen.
Which for some people is fine, but honestly I’ve seen Mordheim and Necromunda campaigns played with all the Specialist Games magazine content that had more depth and variety.

I loves me some Necromunda and I’d probably love Blades in the Dark, but not on Roleplay night. It just doesn’t deliver a deep enough setting.
 

TJS

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That's true to an extent. It's been openly stated that one thing Unknown Armies 3e aimed to do was answer the "what do I do with this thing?" question. Where I differ is I don't think that's a problem. Not every game needs to aimed at a hypothetical new GM. There's room for everything from games explicitly aimed at taking you through your first GMing session (incidentally, Lone Wolf Adventure game is objectively better at that then any other game I've seen) to ones that assume you've been running that kind of RPG for years.

So your issue seems to me to be less that of designers not being aware of current design space and more that you don't like games without significant running advice. Which is valid, but suggests to me you simply aren't the target audience for those games in the first place.
You don't necessarily lose something because a game provides a little more scaffolding for GMs. And it's not necessarily new GMs. Someone may have GMd D&D games for 10 years, it doesn't mean they will know what to do when they pick up a game that requires different play structures to work.

It's often said that picking up the first adventure for a game is useful because it tells you how a game is meant to be played. There are two issues with that. First, shouldn't the core book actually communicate that to you? And second, often the first adventures for the game reveal that the designers didn't actually give that much thought to how a game is meant to be play.
 
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CRKrueger

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You don't necessarily lose something because a game provides a little more scaffolding for GMs. And it's not necessarily new GMs. Someone may have GM D&D games for 10 years, it doesn't mean they will know what to do when they pick up a game that requires different play structures to work.

It's often said that picking up the first adventure for a game is useful because it tells you how a game is meant to be played. There are two issues with that. First, shouldn't the core book actually communicate that too you? And second, often the first adventures for the game reveal that the designers didn't actually give that much thought to how a game is meant to be play.
Ideally, every game should have an introductory campaign - a short intro adventure in the Rulebook/GM’s book and a campaign book released at the same time that gets the players into the setting and get’s the GM on board with what the designers were thinking by Showing, not Telling.
 

AsenRG

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Ideally, every game should have an introductory campaign - a short intro adventure in the Rulebook/GM’s book and a campaign book released at the same time that gets the players into the setting and get’s the GM on board with what the designers were thinking by Showing, not Telling.
I applied this logic to Kuro and shuddered:shade:.
May we just say that some games by some designers are better off without the introductory campaign:grin:?
 

CRKrueger

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I applied this logic to Kuro and shuddered:shade:.
May we just say that some games by some designers are better off without the introductory campaign:grin:?
Was the campaign bad?
 

robertsconley

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Followed up at the end with a Kickstarter for a hardbound Collector’s Edition with everything in one book, right? You know people are going to be wanting that. :thumbsup:
Perhaps, but I need to think of a killer layout format. Something that would make such a large tome easy to use during prep and play.

To be honest, I think the Supplemental or Zine format is a good way to experience a setting. Forgotten Realms was a string of Dragon Articles before it got the boxed set. The Arduin Grimoire were useful as D&D supplements of stuff, or a piece of Arduin in every issue. Dolmenwood and the Land of Nod were revealed in episodic format as well. I think it’s a good publishing model, especially for the OSR, where Zines are definitely part of the Zeitgeist.
The format of Arduin was one my primary inspiration to try this. I just going to be a tad more focus in Hargrave was.
 

Lessa

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Trying to follow this thread. Is the basic premise that Fall of Delta Green isn't Blades in the Dark?
More or less. I'm just frustrated that the game has an amazing settin full of conspiracies but then give no support for the players to interact with those beyond a "scenario of the week" format.
 

CRKrueger

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More or less. I'm just frustrated that the game has an amazing settin full of conspiracies but then give no support for the players to interact with those beyond a "scenario of the week" format.
You’re frustrated that that’s all you can do with it. Others seem to not be having the same problem. Probably because hundreds of pages of setting and faction detail to them is “support”.
 

TristramEvans

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Which is valid, but suggests to me you simply aren't the target audience for those games in the first place.
Exactly. Some games assume the user knows how to GM already, some want training wheels.

It's kinda like Mac and PC (not those funny commercials, but the reality behind the advertising) - Mac computers have (had?) a very robust operating system and their machines were fine-tuned for ease of use, especially for the not-technically or internet savvy. They appealed on the basis of style/fashion and the handholding that meant the lowest common denominator of the populace (as long as they were within a certain income bracket) could use them. But for those who knew what they were doing, it felt like a straightjacket, stuck using proprietary software (oh you want to listen to music? Hope you like motherf****in' Itunes!).

PC, OTOH, you can build it yourself, fine-tune it exactly the way you want, switch your OS to Linux, bypass shortcuts and code for yourself, and essentially gives you complete control of the machine you bought and paid for. Which, sure, I could see being intimidating and potentially buggy for the uninformed, but likewise you're rewarded for your skill and experience. I had a computer I built from scratch in the early aughts where I replaced every system sound with midis ccaptured from the film Brazil - I mean, yeah, it ended up gettig annoying after a while, but it just reflected how much that computer was mine.

To this day, if one of my friends comes to me with a computer problem, I'll ask what kind they have.

If it's a Mac, I say "take it to the Mac store"

If it's a PC, I'll say, "give me half an hour, I'll fix it."
 

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You’re frustrated that that’s all you can do with it. Others seem to not be having the same problem. Probably because hundreds of pages of setting and faction detail to them is “support”.
Yep, thats it. For some people setting info is enough to run a game, for others it's not.
 

TristramEvans

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You’re frustrated that that’s all you can do with it. Others seem to not be having the same problem. Probably because hundreds of pages of setting and faction detail to them is “support”.

These, of course, are probably the same people who don't think the 80's, the most diverse and innovative decade of game design in the Hobby's history, is encapsulated entirely by the misuse of a Forge term...
 

Black Leaf

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More or less. I'm just frustrated that the game has an amazing settin full of conspiracies but then give no support for the players to interact with those beyond a "scenario of the week" format.
If you mostly want a way of building conspiracies easily, there's stuff that's portable. Both Cabal and one of the Heroes Unlimited supplements have this, but approach it in very different ways.
 

Lessa

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Some games assume the user knows how to GM already, some want training wheels.
Not exactly. It's not a matter of knowing how to GM or not, at least not in my case, but of having support or tools to facilitate it. These days I dont have the inclination anymore to build whole campaigns from scratch, and prefer when the game gives me a hand with that, in terms of ready-made (and playtested) procedures or frameworks.
 
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Lessa

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If you mostly want a way of building conspiracies easily, there's stuff that's portable. Both Cabal and one of the Heroes Unlimited supplements have this, but approach it in very different ways.
Interesting. I never heard of Cabal. Please tell me more, if you may. :grin:
 

EmperorNorton

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Somewhere there lies an excluded middle the size of the known universe between knowing what every single NPC in a city does and...
The Players had a session where they fuck up X, Click - move everyone else one step closer to midnight, Ding.
The Players had a session where they fucked up Y, Click - move everyone else one step closer to midnight, Ding.
The Players had a session where they fucked up Z, who is the enemy of A, Click - move everyone else one step closer to midnight, move A two steps, Ding.

You’re telling me anything more detailed than that is literally impossible for anyone with a life.

Sorry bro, you’re life may be full, but you ain’t Mother Theresa busy.

You run your campaign that way because you get 30% of the depth for 5% of the work, and for how you play, 30% is enough. That’s great. That doesn’t make those tools universal that should be applied to every game, no matter how superior Silva thinks they are.
You do realize that I'm exaggerating as far to one side because you seem insistent on exaggerating as far as you can to the other right? That basically it is exactly the bullshit that Ladybird already said: You take the absolute worst interpretation possible, and then smear that as the intention of how the system is "supposed to be used".

Also, the thing you wrote looks nothing like how faction clocks are written in BitD... so... maybe you just don't know what the fuck you are talking about?

You think maybe the problem could possibly not be "you don't care about depth in your game" and may more be "I don't understand how this mechanic is being used/is supposed to be used"?

(I imagine that the second isn't something that crosses your mind often.)
 
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