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Old 07-01-2014, 01:53 PM   #1
johndallman
 
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Default Go wild?

Over in the GURPS forum, in a thread about campaign themes:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rasputin View Post
Also, the lack of a place to go wild with few social constraints hurts as well. Most military games have this problem. One of the takeaways we always have from war is that there are social constraints to killing folks and taking their stuff. Maybe not right away, but it catches up to folks. It's flat-out wrong, and we shouldn't be encouraging that. We're doing this to escape the grind for a few hours; realistic choices with realistic repercussions appeal only to a few gamers.
OK, this puzzles me. Consequences and repercussions from a broader society have always been a significant part of roleplaying in all the groups I've belonged to. Down a dungeon, they may be rarer than in town, but they can still happen. Sometimes an NPC in town has followers, prisoners or other interests in the dungeon.

Thinking back to learning roleplaying in 1979-80, you got new recruits who wanted to go wild all the time, but they learned pretty fast that there were limits in the societies, even in homebrew D&D worlds.

Is this experience atypical? Is a complete freedom from consequences part of many people's roleplaying?
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Old 07-01-2014, 02:33 PM   #2
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Default Re: Go wild?

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Is a complete freedom from consequences part of many people's roleplaying?
A lot of people start (or at least, have started) with very episodic gaming, where there's simply not much room for long-term consequences. A minority of some size start in more socially complicated settings, and some number of those who don't eventually move on to play creating broader story arcs with room for social ramifications, but I suspect a significant majority have social-consequence-free gaming for at least part of their career.

ETA: Really, that's kinda what the Dungeon Fantasy line is all about. It doesn't address consequences and repercussions from a broader society because it's not about that. You go kill the monsters and take their stuff, and everybody who enjoys that sort of thing has a fun evening playing out power fantasies.
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Old 07-02-2014, 03:36 AM   #3
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Default Re: Go wild?

I've never actually met one face to face, but I've read plenty of descriptions of player types which involve "the guy who only wants to kill stuff" – decompressing from work, perhaps. Some players are just impatient with problems that can't be solved by a +5 Holy Avenger.

TBC, that's actually where I part company with Dungeon Fantasy. I'm entirely happy to play someone who goes down a hole and bashes things, but I like the idea that there's also a civilisation "back home" too; it sets up a feeling of dramatic conflict, and when people have to interact with it without bashing it it makes for a different sort of adventure.
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Old 07-02-2014, 06:59 AM   #4
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Default Re: Go wild?

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Is a complete freedom from consequences part of many people's roleplaying?
This article is about video games but I think it can apply to tabletop games as well.
New evidence suggests heinous behavior played out in a virtual environment can lead to players’ increased sensitivity toward the moral codes they violated.
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Old 07-02-2014, 07:43 AM   #5
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I've never found role-playing people without consciences fun. But then I fantasize about being someone with more courage than me not someone who isn't being watched just now so they can get away with what they like.

Perhaps people who feel their powerlessness in real life is something imposed on them by circumstances rather than by their own nature fantasize about different things.
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Old 07-02-2014, 08:07 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Cule View Post
I've never found role-playing people without consciences fun. But then I fantasize about being someone with more courage than me not someone who isn't being watched just now so they can get away with what they like.

Perhaps people who feel their powerlessness in real life is something imposed on them by circumstances rather than by their own nature fantasize about different things.
I fantasize about being someone with more courage than me who isn't being watched just now so they can get away with what they like. This is why I sign up for and run cyberpunk. ;]

But seriously, I used to go in for the deep characterization and complicated web of RP thing (no, really, I ran V:tM for seven years), and the potential for that is still a big part of what I enjoy about GURPS, but nowadays I really just don't have the time for it. This is the one hobby I have left, and I use it to blow off steam with violence in a way that I don't get to do at my job as often as I might like.
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Old 07-02-2014, 09:17 AM   #7
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Default Re: Go wild?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Turhan's Bey Company View Post
A lot of people start (or at least, have started) with very episodic gaming, where there's simply not much room for long-term consequences. A minority of some size start in more socially complicated settings, and some number of those who don't eventually move on to play creating broader story arcs with room for social ramifications, but I suspect a significant majority have social-consequence-free gaming for at least part of their career.

ETA: Really, that's kinda what the Dungeon Fantasy line is all about. It doesn't address consequences and repercussions from a broader society because it's not about that. You go kill the monsters and take their stuff, and everybody who enjoys that sort of thing has a fun evening playing out power fantasies.
This.

When we played AD&D as kids, we didnt worry if the Goblins had a full warren back at home.
We didnt worry if that was the last dragon we were wailing on.
Bad Guys needed to have Bad Things happen to them and we were those things. That was it.
Now when we got back to town we were always civil without instruction. We just were. I dont even really recall why as I type this.
When we were 'in the dungeon' or 'on adventure' we killed things with very little conversation, but in town it was almost all chit chat. We never killed anyone in town unless we were SURE that dude had it coming and we could prove it.

Looking back it seems rather restrained for an imagination game.

Of course it could have been that the Monster manual had the Good and Evil creatures clearly labled, so we knew what we could kill with out remorse. As long as HEs evil, WE'RE the good guys. Convenient morality that.

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Old 07-02-2014, 10:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nymdok View Post
Of course it could have been that the Monster manual had the Good and Evil creatures clearly labled, so we knew what we could kill with out remorse. As long as HEs evil, WE'RE the good guys. Convenient morality that.
In the decade or two after LotR, Tolkien came to find that sort of thing worrisome.

Bill Stoddard
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Old 07-03-2014, 12:55 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
In the decade or two after LotR, Tolkien came to find that sort of thing worrisome.

Bill Stoddard
Meh.
We were simply kids with a simple morality. There wasnt this constant NEED fro the conflicted almost justifiable anti hero type.
We didnt even believe at that time that if we just understood the goblins/orc/bugbear/giants position we could negotiate something.

It was enough for us that there were good guys and bad guys.

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Old 07-03-2014, 02:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turhan's Bey Company View Post
A lot of people start (or at least, have started) with very episodic gaming, where there's simply not much room for long-term consequences.
Makes sense. My initial gaming experience was the club at college, all weekend, every weekend, plus a couple of weeknights. There was time for plenty of complexity there.
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