January 16th, 2008

Voodoo Dolly
  • tashiro

Using (and abusing) the system

Most of you have heard about my sister here already, but I don't think I've brought this up...
My sister really enjoys social warfare (and yes, I do mean warfare) when she makes a character.  To her, the setting is a symbiotic system, and she likes having her character as part of the system.

On the MUCK, this means making a character who works towards having status and power (which is fine), but once she has it, she uses it.  This means she uses NPCs or extras to do some of the dirty work she needs, and to work behind the scenes for her.  She'll get out and do things (with the usual screams I mentioned earlier for when she does get involved), but she gets just as many screams when she sends henchmen to do things for her.

For example:  She's in conflict with a noble who is trying to pull strings behind the scenes.  She pulls out the social/society based skills, and organizes economic warfare against the individual, hires people to spy on the person to gather information about them, and plants spies in among the servants and staff.  When the time is right, she sends the proper people to go and finish the person off.  Most people on the MUCK had very little idea what was going on, but those who did find out got very upset, because she was rolling to get her results, and was going to the staff -- rather than other players -- to get things done.

(I can see that as a complaint, but I can also see her point, in that if she did go to other players, either the things wouldn't get done to her satisfaction, or they'd just not get done / take forever, as the players involved tried to arrange times to get them done, or have no idea of what they're supposed to do without her micro-managing.)


When she's involved in Tabletop RP, she sometimes makes characters who go the same route -- she likes making characters with lots of social contacts, and who is constantly making more.  She'll find people she considers useful, play nice, give them things, do them favours, and then call on the favours later when necessary.  The book-keeping for this is annoying, since the GM never knows what characters she'll let go, and which throw-aways she will write down and keep going back to.  At her worst, I've seen something akin to 20+ contacts on her list (in Shadowrun), with the intention of making them all into actual, rated contacts.  When a roomie was going to run Vampire, she had every intention of figuring out the who's who, and mapping out the power structure and political system of the city, to figure out who to get in good with, and who would make good pawns.  The GM promised a few months back she'd run Vampire finally... but never got around to it.


This brings me to something else I've wondered -- how many people here actively use social skills and social attributes?  I don't mean just having them on the sheet and using them as guidelines for RP, I mean actively using them in social conflict?  Apparently, my sister actually enjoys using the Social Combat rules in Exalted -- she's got two characters geared for this, complete with Charms and the full intent on using her Social Skills as weaponry.  (Creating Intimacies, Destroying Intimacies, attacking Virtues, etc).  I've often heard of people who are vehemently against using Social stuff in an RPG, but I have to agree with the idea that if combat is going to be mapped out to great detail, and traps/tricks, knowledge/lore is mapped out, then social conflict and interaction should be given just as much weight... it reduces the amount of GM fiat and allows social characters to actually have as much oomph as combat monkeys.

  • Current Mood
    contemplative contemplative

Me on why I don't want template stacking in NWoD (aka I hate Sam Haight)

There are pages and pages of reasons to hate Sam Haight, but I'll keep it short in the interest of not using 30MB on my hate.

In short, he is the written representation of almost everything wrong with the bad gamers out there that make the hobby so painful for us on occasion. He is one man, who wanted every 'kwel powerz' he could get, for no other reason than his misanthropic desire for revenge against a society for no other reason than they were not the society he wanted.

He is the 35 year old virgin playing WoW in his parents basement, and dammit if he's not going to have all the 'l33t skillz' he can get! That'll show em.

And then metaplot wise, how did he ever live long enough to accumulate that much stuff? Really? Sure, maybe he escaped the notice of the werewolves long enough to become a skin thief, but we're really going to believe that every group ion the oWoD was that ignorant of this crazy idiot running around playing Pokemon with their abilities? Sorry, not in my WoD. These groups are too reliant on social control of their own groups to keep hidden for that to happen.