July 2nd, 2007

OMG! Pingu Kills!

Campaign journal (sort of)

This would be the campaign journal of last nights events in one of my ongoing Campaigns. This is a homebrew campaign. There are kingoms to the north, south and east. Our party is from the eastern kingdom (we are basically the good guys out of the three kingdoms). The southern kingdom is most devils and demons and all that nice stuff, and the northern kingdom is basically the Underdark (mostly Drow) recreated overground (Shadow magic practitioner and Book of nine sword users).

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Quite an enjoyable session.

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Voodoo Dolly

Free Will Overcompensation

Something I was reminded of recently from a discussion I overheard:

My sister took part in a Matrix MUSH some time ago, and when the MUSH had crashed and burned there was much discussion about starting a fresh MUSH.  Part of the debate that started up was social skills and attributes.  One player was adamantly against such things existing in the setting, and when the discussion about a character's leadership skills and persuasiveness or cunning came up, he was insistent that such things should be strictly RP.  When the discussion came to programs which could be used to ... persuade... people, he insisted such shouldn't exist, or should be RP-only.

For some reason, the conversation turned to Vampire, and he admitted that in the Vampire games he runs, the Presence and Dominate Disciplines don't exist, and any Disciplines which have emotion / mind control or manipulation don't exist either.  He hedged when I asked how he balanced out the Clans, and never did answer that...

I've often been of the thought, 'why have social skills/attributes in an RPG if you're not going to use them?' myself.  A player whose character has a Charisma of 6 shouldn't RP like someone with a Charisma of 14, and someone who doesn't have any Social Skills shouldn't RP like they do.  But RPing aside, there's also how the character interacts with others.  Yes, the GM can arbitrate how an NPC reacts to the character, but I feel that in negotiations and other such situations, the RP should facilitate the mechanics, not simply replace them.  (Okay, you RP'd well there, I'll give you a +2 bonus to your roll for NPC reaction) or (Damn, you blew it, -2 penalty...)

Powers are something else.  I've had a player flip when Charm Person was cast on his character.  The moment this happened, he'd hand over the character sheet, refusing to play the character until the effects wore off.  Back then, that would result in an argument -- these days, I think I'd just accept that, and run the character as he requested.  But the thing is, in fantasy settings (and games such as Vampire, Mage, etc) there is almost always powers for control and manipulation.  The idea that such 'shouldn't exist' just... bugs me.
  • Current Music
    The Moody Blues - I Know You're Out There Somewhere

Killing two birds with one stone, so to speak

I think I've been in, and watching the posts in this community for a few months now, maybe more. It occurred to me, when getting to reading all these gaming histories - that I don't recall ever introducing myself, let alone giving an in-depth history. I've been reading other people's histories, and the posts in this community in general, and have been made laugh and smile and made glad over it all.

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So that's me. Young, new, but loving it.
Voodoo Dolly


My sister got into a debate online, and asked me to post on here to get other people's advice and insights.

She was playing on the Matrix MUSH I had mentioned earlier, and had made a sniper/programmer character.  Essentially, she wanted a second-string utility character to be able to write programs to augment the characters (bullet-proof jackets, guns which do a little more damage, etc), and be outside of combat, pot-shotting Agents and programs to give fire support.

Now, this is a standard tactic for her.  She likes making support characters (Scorpion shugenja who de-buffed opponents for the PCs to take out, or shamans in Shadowrun to give stealth modifications to PCs, etc).  She rarely makes front-line characters, because she likes a sense of security and protection.

Anyway, they had cleared her character on the MUSH, but the character wound up near-useless in her assigned roles.  The MUCK didn't allow 'runners' to program anything which had any impact on the Matrix, and the difference between shooting someone with a pistol at close range and shooting them at range with a sniper rifle was nil.  A punch was just as effective, and the bad guy had the same odds of evading the attack.

This came up in discussion today, and she was informed that in online RP, people want things to be 'dramatic', and my sister likes 'efficiency'.  The alternative suggested to her was that rather than doing her assigned role, if she did things so other people could 'be cool', she'd be allowed to get away with more.  (I think the suggestion was, rather than augmenting people's gear, program 'marbles' to fall over an area to make people fall, or rather than shooting an agent from behind, shoot the tires out of the vehicle).

This brought up a discussion about realism versus drama, and being cunning versus being dramatic or exciting.  To give some examples:

Can a PC use a sniper rifle to take out an opponent following the Sniper's Credo? (This is assuming the setting allows for such).
Eg:  I actually e-mailed the designers of Shadowrun 3E, and asked about this and whether an NPC gets any type of defence if they don't see the shot coming.  The answer was that no, a character not expecting or alerted to a sniper shot does not get a defence, and thus can almost certainly be expected to be killed in one shot.

-- Would you as a GM allow a PC to do this to an NPC?  An important NPC?
-- Would you as a GM on an online game allow a PC to do this to another PC?
---- (Even if the rules indicated otherwise, would you give the PC a chance to notice and 'get out')?
-- Would you allow an NPC to do this to a PC (assuming it was warranted)? -- a PC ticks off a mob boss for example.

Can a PC set up an effective trap to 'eliminate' an opponent?
Eg:  My sister had a ninja who hated guns (in Ninja and Superspies).  She purchased the 'one shot' uber-pistol which did incredibly insane points of damage - then had it engineered so that pulling the trigger launched the bullet out the back end to wipe out the shooter.  This effectively slaughtered two or three people who had disarmed her.

-- Would you as a GM allow a PC to do this to an NPC?  An important NPC?
-- Would you as a GM on an online game allow a PC to do this to another PC?
---- (Even if the rules indicated otherwise, would you give the PC a chance to notice and 'get out')?
-- Would you allow an NPC to do this to a PC (assuming it was warranted)? -- an NPC feels particularly cruel and sets up this as a 'trap'?

As above, but what if the trap were 'certain death'?
Eg:  A Trump Trap in Amber which, unless you were expecting it, pulled you into a Shadow Location which was probably an instant kill?

Can a PC set up a system to protect themselves near-absolutely from detection from an opponent and thus bypass encounters?
Eg:  In Shadowrun, our group was able to infiltrate the Renraku Archology by using body suits to cover chemical and IR signatures, and magic to cloak sound, Gecko Crawl to cover pressure plates, Cat Feet to fall if need be, and Trid Phantasm to 'coat' areas in illusions to cover up events and activities.  The majority of the trip was a cakewalk due to the precautions and successes rolled.

-- Would you as a GM allow a PC to do this to bypass NPC security? An important NPC's security?
-- Would you as a GM on an online game allow a PC to do this to another PC if the first has intent to kill?
---- (Even if the rules indicated otherwise, would you give the defending PC a chance to notice and 'get out')?
-- Would you allow an NPC to do this to a PC (assuming it was warranted)? -- an NPC has access to skilled assassins or minions?

Now the big question.  If a player makes a character who is 'efficient' at getting the job done, would you begrudge them this and try to make things complicated, or disallow them being able to do their 'schtick'?
  • Current Music
    A friend's weird mp3.

A brief introduction along with a brief history.

I don't think this post will be long enough to be under a cut, but if it is, please, let me know and I would be happy to cut it.

*Waves* I'm Meg.
I have only been role playing for about 8 months or so. My husband got me into it when we started dating (one of the reasons I wanted to date him was because he was into RPG). For our first month's anniversary I got him All Flesh Must Be Eaten, a survival horror RPG, and the counter guy suckered me into buying an overpriced set of dice. I didn't know that ten d10's was 9 too many! He was thrilled, though. Time went by and he wanted me to try my hand at playing it with him. He was the ZM and I was a norm with computer skills (since I'm new to this world, I don't know if there's a more technical term for it.) It was supposed to turn into a group game and we had one session with 2 other people. We moved away and the game sadly fizzled out. But dear husband liked the way I RP'd especially for a newbie. During a visit to an old friend we acquired the Star Wars book as well as a hero and dark side guide. Husband also got me into Star Wars, too, as I'd never seen them before I met him. Now, I know almost as much about the universe than he does. Currently he is GMing a game for my character Cer who is trying to become a sith. I'm trying my hand at GMing a game for him (my first attempt ever) and he's playing a tech that is trying to become a pod racer. The people I've played with make GMing look SO EASY and I do okay for someone with as little experience as myself but I still have much to learn and I'm very excited about reading everyone's entries.
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