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Old 07-24-2017, 10:49 AM   #11
whswhs
 
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Default Re: my new campaign ideas

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
The Storyteller system has many issues that range from 'a matter of very polarized preference' all the way to 'game engine design positively messed up and not thought through'.
I've run several campaigns with rules systems I will never use again: Space 1889, Godlike, In Nomine, Marvel Heroic Roleplaying. In each case I found applying the rules frustrating and the results unsatisfying, even though the idea initially sounded cool. That wasn't at all the case with M:tA: I thought the game initially sounded cool, and in fact the campaign was cool, and the game mechanics not only didn't hinder the coolness but actively contributed to it.

My experience as a player in Changeling: The Dreaming was comparable. I didn't end up keeping it on my shelves, because its mythos didn't speak to me as much, and I couldn't imagine running a campaign in it. But playing it was a lot of fun.
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Old 07-24-2017, 11:21 AM   #12
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Default Re: my new campaign ideas

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
I've run several campaigns with rules systems I will never use again: Space 1889, Godlike, In Nomine, Marvel Heroic Roleplaying. In each case I found applying the rules frustrating and the results unsatisfying, even though the idea initially sounded cool. That wasn't at all the case with M:tA: I thought the game initially sounded cool, and in fact the campaign was cool, and the game mechanics not only didn't hinder the coolness but actively contributed to it.
It works for you. It clearly works for a lot of people. It doesn't work for your other player, and my attempt to explain why it doesn't work for me was an attempt to give you some idea of the worldview of a person who feels that way.
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Old 07-24-2017, 11:30 AM   #13
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It works for you. It clearly works for a lot of people. It doesn't work for your other player, and my attempt to explain why it doesn't work for me was an attempt to give you some idea of the worldview of a person who feels that way.
Yes, and I'm not trying to dispute your reaction to it. There are systems I have negative reactions to that a lot of other people like, too. There are even people who don't like GURPS! I'm not sure if I can comment on your points without sounding pedantic or disputatious, which I would rather avoid; in any case I need to think about them.
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Old 07-24-2017, 01:01 PM   #14
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Ah. I took it in the context of discussing the possible outcomes of the Ascension war, as it usually is when such a scenario is mentioned next to Sorcerer.
Certainly it's a partial inspiration. But I would also point to Heinlein's "Waldo," Rand's Atlas Shrugged, Crowley's Little, Big, and Stirling's Emberverse series as portraying worlds where, for one reason or another, it's becoming impossible to rely on technology.
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Old 07-24-2017, 03:46 PM   #15
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Default Re: my new campaign ideas

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You posted them in my choice order (although 2 and 3 might swap based on mood) so

1
2
3
4
5
Same here. I didn't really care for WoD when I played it, but I couldn't tell you the system was a factor. Those two are lower on my list because the setting of the others would, I think, be more interesting to me. The WWI one could be interesting, but I don't have much interest in yet another take on science vs. magic.
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Old 07-24-2017, 05:40 PM   #16
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The one local player who's returned a questionnaire has said that the Mage campaign is his top choice, but he would really prefer to play in GURPS: Mage the Ascension. I don't quite get that; I really like the OWoD system a lot, and I was very happy with running my one Mage campaign in it.
I agree with him. I've played OWoD Storyteller Mage, GURPS Mage, and a Frankenstein combination of Storyteller Mage, D&D and RuneQuest.

There are two things I like about GURPS Mage as opposed to Storyteller Mage. One is the dice system: I find it easier to grasp what my odds of success are like with the 3d6 bell-curve than with a pool of d10s and a variable target number. The 3d6 is less "swingy" than the d10s, and a bit more predictable.

The other is the character modelling: there was something in White Wolf's ideas about how people behave that I've never quite grasped. This makes it hard for me to deal with the representation of personalities in Storyteller, whereas I can do it fairly easily in GURPS or Hero System.
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Old 07-24-2017, 06:19 PM   #17
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One is the dice system: I find it easier to grasp what my odds of success are like with the 3d6 bell-curve than with a pool of d10s and a variable target number. The 3d6 is less "swingy" than the d10s, and a bit more predictable.
Yeah the variable die pool, variable target numbers and variable required successes made it really difficult to get a feel for the probability.
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Old 07-24-2017, 06:50 PM   #18
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Yeah the variable die pool, variable target numbers and variable required successes made it really difficult to get a feel for the probability.
It's really easy to get the expected number of dice of success for any combination.

Say, for example, you are rolling seven dice against a difficulty of 5. Each die succeeds on a 5-10, which is 0.6 successes contributed per die, a total of 4.2. But each die cancels out a success on a 1, which is 0.1 successes contributed per die, a total of 0.7. The difference is 3.5, so that's the expected number of successes.

Generalizing from that, if you roll N dice against difficulty m, you get N(10-m)/10 successes.

It's tricky to figure out the chance of an out and out botch, but that's fairly small in any case. I did produce a complete table of odds many years ago, setting it up on Excel, but I would have to reconstruct the whole process; I didn't save it.

But figuring odds aside, my experience was that the results of dice rolling didn't produce crazy unintuitive narratives, quite unlike my experience with Godlike's seemingly similar dice mechanics.
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Old 07-24-2017, 07:04 PM   #19
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The other is the character modelling: there was something in White Wolf's ideas about how people behave that I've never quite grasped. This makes it hard for me to deal with the representation of personalities in Storyteller, whereas I can do it fairly easily in GURPS or Hero System.
Of course this is purely a matter of taste. But I've felt for some time that Hero characters are really flat, whereas GURPS and OWoD characters are interesting, in quite different ways. OWoD is like Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Big Eyes Small Mouth or Call of Cthulhu in that it doesn't have a lot of personality mechanics. But the campaigns of all of those that I've played in or run have had plenty of roleplaying, whereas I didn't feel that Hero's support for that was as good somehow.

Just speculating, it might be that Hero gives maximum resolution to the combat scenes and tactical decisions; everything else feels a little sidelined. So characters in Hero seem to spend less time revealing personality or engaging in social interaction.

On the other hand, it's true that Mage is a lot about superpowers! Perhaps the difference is that in Mage you're explicitly required to think about the style with which you perform superhuman feats, and the organization where you learned them, and its relationships with other organizations, and the typical personalities of members of the organization, whereas Hero looks at powers through a more purely mechanical and tactical lens.

Or maybe it's that, like Call of Cthulhu, the various OWoD games have an explicit "you're so ****ed" mechanic, and you always have to trade off power against personal problems.

In any case, the Mage campaign I ran and the Changeling one I played in both had characterization and personal quirks and social interaction all over the place. But that might be because of the people I was gaming with.
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Old 07-24-2017, 07:19 PM   #20
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But figuring odds aside, my experience was that the results of dice rolling didn't produce crazy unintuitive narratives, quite unlike my experience with Godlike's seemingly similar dice mechanics.
Yup, Godlike's "One Roll Engine" is just weird.
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