Teoriakatsaus #31

Teoriakatsaus #31

Theory review #30

Theory review #30

Teori-innblikk # 29

Teori-innblikk # 29

Two Burning wheels

There are two ways of playing Burning wheel; one relies on consensus-based decision making and respecting the sanctity of the characters, whereas the other has more focus on challenging the core concepts of the characters and unpredictable, perhaps unwanted, story outcomes. For the usual disclaimers, please see a few paragraphs down.

Storyboarding

The game is a means of shared story creation. Players each play a character and they typically have an idea for a storyline they want the character to go through, or at least some way they are going to evolve. The role of dice and uncertainty is to add twists and surprises along the way, but it is not their mandate to create a bad or undesired story. Techniques (or rules) that might support this include:

  • Negotiation of dice rolling outcomes until everyone is happy with both the effects of failure and success. Telling the failure stakes ahead of time is paramount, as it allows the players to object to any undesired outcomes and suggest more fun ones.
  • Players should typically be allowed to play the characters they want. Adjusting lifepaths and requirements might help with this.
  • Beliefs are a sign of where the game should go next. They are typically taken very seriously.
  • Persona complication optional rule is a good bet.
  • If there is too much or too little adversity, the game master might remove or add some.
  • The negotiation of dice rolls is a good safety tool.

Story now

The game is a means of creating a story none of us can control. Players each play a character and advocate for them. The purpose of play is to challenge the beliefs of the characters and see how things turn out, no matter where it goes and how well or poorly the characters do.

  • Dice rolls are unlikely to be negotiated. Announcing failure outcomes might not be done in a systematic manner; maybe only if they are hard to foresee.
  • Players might be forced to play something not quite what they wanted due to lifepaths or resources.
  • Beliefs are a sign of what is to be challenged, what is uncertain about the fate of the characters. They might be taken more an indicators of what the game should be about, rather than an ironclad rule.
  • The game events might derail the game from what was expected or planned for.
  • The game might turn into a depressing tragedy or an easy triumph for some character, and this is okay. It might be a good reason to rewrite beliefs to take this into account.
  • It is necessary to handle group safety by some other means, since nobody is in control about where the game is going. Safety tools or at least general attention and support.

Disclaimers

These are not discrete modes where necessarily do one or the other. People might not have or know their preferences, and I have, for the sake of simplicity, blended together a few things that might not always be blended together. The idea here is more to illustrate that there are differences what some of them might be to act as a first step in discussing them.

I have preferences here. I tried to write both descriptions in a positive light, but to the extent I failed, please do better and I’ll be happy to link to it. Or write angry feedback in the comments.

Related readings

Ron Edwards does not approve of storyboarding play. This is in context of Primetime adventures, but the same reading applies to Burning wheel, too: http://adeptplay.com/seminar-hearts-minds/discuss-primetime-chat . The other non-D&D things linked in the later theory review can also be relevant: https://ropeblogi.wordpress.com/2021/10/02/teoriakatsaus-28/

My aim with an earlier house rules text was what I have here named story now play: https://ropeblogi.wordpress.com/2021/08/03/oiled-wheel/

The term ”story now” comes from the alternative name of the narrativism creative agenda by Ron Edwards. No further knowledge of or belief in the theory is necessary. A better name is naturally welcome.

Two Burning wheels

Teoriakatsaus #28

  • Roleplaying Is an Emotional Contact Sport, kirjoittajina Noah ja Sam, http://adeptplay.com/actual-play/roleplaying-emotional-contact-sport, kertoo Palava pyörä (BW) -pelistä, jossa pelinjohtajan tunteet olivat välillä pinnassa ja minkälaiset sääntömuunnokset olivat käytössä.
  • Our series begins, Ron Edwards ja muut, http://adeptplay.com/actual-play/our-series-begins, esittää Parhaaseen katseluaikaan -pelin pelaamista ja keskustelua ja kommentaaria peliä koskien. Tuottajalla (pelinjohtaja) on monopoli taustatarinan suhteen, vaikka pelaajilla onkin välillä kerrontaoikeutta ja muuta keskustelua asian suhteen. Myöskin tuotantotiimineuvottelupelaamisesta on keskustelua.
  • Premium, https://podtail.com/fi/podcast/viskningar-fran-kryptan/avsnitt-4-premium/, sisältää pitkän keskustelun alkuperäisehköstä D&D:stä, tai oikeammin sen uudisrahastuspainoksesta, lähteineen ja vaikutuksineen.
  • Discuss: Primetime Chat, esitelmöitsijänä Ron Edwards ja useita kirjoittajia, http://adeptplay.com/seminar-hearts-minds/discuss-primetime-chat, käy läpi Parhaaseen katseluaikaan -pelin kahta ensimmäistä laitosta sääntöjen ja historiallisen sääntötulkinnan kannalta. Voimavarajärjestelmä ja tarinatyöpajapelaamisen ja roolipelaamisen ero ovat keskiössä.

Teoriakatsaus #28

Next patch of games to consider

  • Online or physical: Physically near Horten, Norway, if there is sufficient interest, otherwise online. Local players have priority in any case.
  • Preferably weekends (reasonable European time). Evenings European time might work with shorter sessions, but I like sleeping at night and waking up fairly early in the morning.
  • Language: norsk/skandinavisk, suomi/kveeni or English.
  • Game about once per two weeks, fixed time and date. Start maybe January 2022, maybe in November 2021. Thereabouts.

Play

I will consider any short-term game and particular long-term ones. The main consideration is that what happens in play has to come from a combination of player choices ad creativity, game master preparation and creativity, and unpredictability bought by dice or a similar element. No rails, no fate tokens that guarantee success.

Other options are ones I would be willing to run (in addition to playing).

Sorcerer

Modern day, set in a place one of the players knows well. You are all sorcerers, having summoned a demon. All went fine for a time, but now something has happened or is happening that permanently changes your life, forcing you to act. You, the player, decide what it is and you also design your demon, to a point. We play to see what happens to your character and whether they retain their humanity. The game continues for however long it takes to come to a resolution.

Demons are forces of nature or old gods, no longer actively worshipped.

Game master plus two to three players.

Vancian tunnels

We take the core rules of Tunnels and trolls, but replace weapons lists with martial arts and introduce an organic skill system (no point buy, rest assured). For the world we take inspiration from the writings of Vance and Dunsany: the world is a magical place, with monsters and wonders, but they are not unknown; you can learn where you are going to. Characters have random attributes; some of them will be magicians, some not. We play adventures and we play downtime projects of the mages and others. The adventures are typically high risk, high reward, and characters might very well die. They won’t die of game master arbitrariness, but rather misjudgment, risk-taking or bad luck. And hopefully many will survive.

A beginning mage has a few random spells; might be powerful, might be weak. You can learn more from other mages (if they want to teach you) and from adventures. During downtime you can build magical wonders, though you might first want to establish a sanctum and maybe deal with such details as wealth and ageing. Magical workings tend to take months or years of downtime, giving you an ample opportunity to play other characters in your stable. The adventures are partially designed by players by way of knowledge checks the characters make.

This is an open table game with any number of players.

Excessive drafting of details here, somewhat preliminary and up to simplification: https://ropeblogi.wordpress.com/2021/07/23/vancian-tunnels-maybe-with-trolls/

Apocalypse world

I have run it, once upon a time, two short campaigns. Now I want to come back to the game to see if it is any good, from the perspective I have now. Rules used to letter, to the extent we manage, but understanding that there will be mistakes and problems along the way, as always.

The first session will determine the milieu and such details.

Two to four players, or two to three online, plus the master of ceremonies.

Some other games

For these I would want at least one other participant willing to take equal creative and organisatory responsibility, together with shared creative goals. The bar is not low. Excitement plus proven ability to carry through.

  • Burning wheel with some modifications to make the game faster and smoother, and less controlled: https://ropeblogi.wordpress.com/2021/08/03/oiled-wheel/ . Also some simulatory skill house rules: https://ropeblogi.wordpress.com/2020/05/12/burning-wheel-skill-house-rules/ . Maybe other rules, too; replace duel of wits with something out of Miseries and misfortunes, for example. This’ll be a rules tinkering project. Maybe vikings, maybe Paris 1648, maybe mongols, maybe something else historical. Two to four players.
  • Miseries and misfortunes, but remove or retool mortal coil, so that it no longer gives automatic successes. Two to four players.
  • Long-term campaign play, OSR, neutral referee, wargaming sensibility, etc. Eero Tuovinen’s Muster (a crowdfunding project). Start with whichever basic rules chassis we want, with the expectation that it will change a lot as we get our hands on it and start remaking it to fit our sensibilities of how the world works. Open table, any amount of players.
  • Tunnels and trolls, pretty much as written. Any number of players.
  • D&D 3 remade to actually simulate some parts of martial combat, and for more spontaneous character advancement. Very much a rules tinkering and design enterprise. Two to five players.
  • Investigation, whichever reasonable traditional rules system. Do it properly. No breadcrumbs to follow. Call of Cthulhu (any but the most recent edition) is traditional, of course, but something else is fine, too. Any amount of players, but up to the players to keep the game together.

Next patch of games to consider

Character stable #26

I include some numbers that give an idea for the power level of the character.

  • Gotfried, a very unfortunate pickpocket who was caught and pressed into service as a dungeon guide in Great kingdom, in the world of Greyhawk. Currently imprisoned by dwarves of Graymere. Level 1, experience 367, average attribute 9.
  • Fridswid, a young witch travelling with elves in the world of Greyhawk. Level 2, experience 2517, average attribute 12.
  • A dungeon badger in the dungeons of Castle Greyhawk. Hit dice 2, average attribute 11.
  • Guinevere, the current queen of Camelot, but now adventuring in Greyhawk. Average attribute 12, level 1, experience 399.
  • Pönk, level 4 wolf troll warrior in the empire of Khazan, near Saxon. Personal adds 41, total adventure points 624.
  • Shahu, a human merchant (or maybe a naga wizard) working for the glory of his trade company (or maybe nest). Currently active in the empire of Khazan, near Saxon. Level 1, personal adds -1, total adventure points 358.
  • Senja, a commander and outdoorswoman who would rather not kill. Level 3, experience 3438, average attribute 11.
  • Sølv, a leader who inherited a great farm, from and living in Nordveien. Visa-fortelling played through.
  • Torgun Sigurddottir, a skjoldmøy from and adventuring in a shattered Norden. Level 2, average attribute 10.
  • Ottar, a chieftain from Sogndal, currently in Scotland. Average attribute 59, sanity 55, luck 85.
  • Ælfstan, a psionic monk who lives in poverty and has opinions about organized religions. In Gnarley woods in Greyhawk. Level 3, experience 3999, average attribute 13. Poisoned by a hydra to eternal sleep.
  • athes, a cruel pseudo-mongol mounted archer. From Barren lands in Greyhawk and adventuring in Middle kingdoms. Level 3, average attribute 11.

Graveyard

  • Blarg, forest troll warrior died in the empire of Khazan, near Saxon, killed while simultaneously killing a horrid necrolyte and saving the village. Level 2, adventure points 1560.
  • Pöö, a warrior in the empire of Khazan, died in the blood feud of Saxon. Level 1, adventure points 1483.
  • Garkromm, a savage entertainer from Abbor-Alz in Greyhawk, died in the dungeons of Castle Greyhawk, eaten by a fire beetle. Level 1, experience 268.
  • Rodaria, a seamstress from the city of Greyhawk, died in the dungeons of Castle Greyhawk, pierced by two spears to their gut, one ripped out by a (friendly?) barbarian. Level 1, experience 209.
  • Wohoo the gargoyle warrior, level 1, killed by an orc at the exit of Buffalo castle in Khazan Empire. 42 adventure points.
  • Möö the urook warrior, level 1, died in a pit in Buffalo castle, killed by an orc. Empire of Khazan in Trollworld. 5 adventure points.
  • Ranrance, a first level thief of small stature, mauled by a magical owlbear statue in Greyhawk. Level 1, experience 0.

Character stable #26

Theory review #27

Theory review #27

Teori-innblikk # 26

  • Yliopisto-opiskelijat uivat henkilöstöjohtajan nahkoihin pelaamalla – digitaaliset oppimispelit ovat rantautumassa myös korkeakouluihin av Titta Puurunen, https://yle.fi/uutiset/3-12084626, forteller om bruk av digitale læringsspill i handelhøgskolen til Universitetet i Jyväskylä.
  • Anti-Lovecraftean horror av Anders, https://forums.gauntlet-rpg.com/t/anti-lovecraftean-horror/6959/13, bygger en mer progressiv alternativ til Cthulhu-mytologi.
  • The influence of board games on mathematical spatial ability of grade 9 students in junior high school av Chih-Chao Chung, Yen-Chih Hsu, Ron-Chuen Yeh og Shi-Jer Lou, https://grdspublishing.org/index.php/people/article/view/317/2792, prøver å vise at bestemte brettspill kan forbedre spatiale matematiske ferdigheter. Kontrollgruppa hadde ingen relevante aktiviteter. Elevene med bakgrunn i digitale, spatiale spill gjorde det bedre enn de uten sånn.
  • Why? av Matthew Colville, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7In4ftJddEo, argumenterer at spillerne bør fortelle spillederen hva de prøver på og hvorfor, fordi spillederen er jo ikke imot dem. Videoen antar mye av spillet og spillemåten og disse antakelsene er ikke eksplisitte.
  • Immervise story av John H. Kim, en artikkel i https://nordiclarp.org/w/images/8/84/2004-Beyond.Role.and.Play.pdf, sammenlikner et tradisjonelt syn på fortellinger og rollespill. Mens i tradisjonelle fortellinger prøver skaperen å vise fram følelsene til hoderollene, kommer disse automatisk i rollespilling og er ikke nødvendigvis kommunisert til andre deltakere.

Teori-innblikk # 26

Character stable #25

I include some numbers that give an idea for the power level of the character.

  • Gotfried, a very unfortunate pickpocket who was caught and pressed into service as a dungeon guide in Great kingdom, in the world of Greyhawk. Currently imprisoned by dwarves of Graymere. Level 1, experience 367, average attribute 9.
  • Fridswid, a young witch travelling with elves in the world of Greyhawk. Level 2, experience 2517, average attribute 12.
  • A dungeon badger in the dungeons of Castle Greyhawk. Hit dice 2, average attribute 11.
  • Guinevere, the current queen of Camelot, but now adventuring in Greyhawk. Average attribute 12, level 1, experience 399.
  • Pönk, level 4 wolf troll warrior in the empire of Khazan, near Saxon. Personal adds 41, total adventure points 624.
  • Shahu, a human merchant (or maybe a naga wizard) working for the glory of his trade company (or maybe nest). Currently active in the empire of Khazan, near Saxon. Level 1, personal adds -1, total adventure points 358.
  • Senja, a commander and outdoorswoman who would rather not kill. Level 3, experience 3438, average attribute 11.
  • Ælfstan, a psionic monk who lives in poverty and has opinions about organized religions. In Gnarley woods in Greyhawk. Level 3, experience 3910, average attribute 13.
  • athes, a cruel pseudo-mongol mounted archer. From Barren lands in Greyhawk and adventuring in Middle kingdoms. Level 3, average attribute 11.
  • Sølv, a leader who inherited a great farm, from and living in Nordveien. Visa-fortelling played through.
  • Torgun Sigurddottir, a skjoldmøy from and adventuring in a shattered Norden. Level 2, average attribute 10.
  • Ottar, a chieftain from Sogndal, currently in Scotland. Average attribute 59, sanity 55, luck 85.

Graveyard

  • Blarg, forest troll warrior died in the empire of Khazan, near Saxon, killed while simultaneously killing a horrid necrolyte and saving the village. Level 2, adventure points 1560.
  • Pöö, a warrior in the empire of Khazan, died in the blood feud of Saxon. Level 1, adventure points 1483.
  • Garkromm, a savage entertainer from Abbor-Alz in Greyhawk, died in the dungeons of Castle Greyhawk, eaten by a fire beetle. Level 1, experience 268.
  • Rodaria, a seamstress from the city of Greyhawk, died in the dungeons of Castle Greyhawk, pierced by two spears to their gut, one ripped out by a (friendly?) barbarian. Level 1, experience 209.
  • Wohoo the gargoyle warrior, level 1, killed by an orc at the exit of Buffalo castle in Khazan Empire. 42 adventure points.
  • Möö the urook warrior, level 1, died in a pit in Buffalo castle, killed by an orc. Empire of Khazan in Trollworld. 5 adventure points.
  • Ranrance, a first level thief of small stature, mauled by a magical owlbear statue in Greyhawk. Level 1, experience 0.

Character stable #25