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Subject: A great article about why CRPGs aren't RPGs at all rss

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João 'Finding a new way to make you WTF today' Marum
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A word of warning, if you're a CRPG fan, MMORPG and especially a JRPG fan, don't read this article, for you'll be angry at its solid arguments.

Personally, I couldn't agree more with the article.

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Jorge Montero
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The author forgets that many pen and paper RPG players are a lot more invested in their stats, feats and equipment than they are in the actual role playing. Is he going to claim that they are not really role playing?

He also has total BS claims in there, like the fact that only schizophrenics can role play a party of characters. A good pen and paper dungeon master plays dozens of roles. But I guess that since it's pen and paper, it's all great and healthy.

He starts with the conclusion, and works back to the premise. While the amount of actual role playing that is allowed in an actual computer RPG varies considerably, so does the pen and paper RPG. Something like Oblivion or Baldur's Gate provides about as many choices as many pen and paper DMs will. Playing with humans has a higher ceiling, but the bottom is the same. The king asks for X and Y, and the group goes dungeon crawling, using a set of rules so precise that a player can argue with the dungeon master over rules interpretations. Go to a RPG tournament, where people try to get through a dungeon scoring points for taking care of threats, and tell me it doesn't have the same basic nature as the most combat-based computer RPG out there.
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João 'Finding a new way to make you WTF today' Marum
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hibikir wrote:
The author forgets that many pen and paper RPG players are a lot more invested in their stats, feats and equipment than they are in the actual role playing. Is he going to claim that they are not really role playing?

He also has total BS claims in there, like the fact that only schizophrenics can role play a party of characters. A good pen and paper dungeon master plays dozens of roles. But I guess that since it's pen and paper, it's all great and healthy.

He starts with the conclusion, and works back to the premise. While the amount of actual role playing that is allowed in an actual computer RPG varies considerably, so does the pen and paper RPG. Something like Oblivion or Baldur's Gate provides about as many choices as many pen and paper DMs will. Playing with humans has a higher ceiling, but the bottom is the same. The king asks for X and Y, and the group goes dungeon crawling, using a set of rules so precise that a player can argue with the dungeon master over rules interpretations. Go to a RPG tournament, where people try to get through a dungeon scoring points for taking care of threats, and tell me it doesn't have the same basic nature as the most combat-based computer RPG out there.


True, but one of the points he makes is that a RPG depends on the GM. Sure, if you have a bad GM, a CRPG could be better than that. BNut if you have a good GM nothing beats that. It all comes down to the subjective nature of people and how good a GM can a person be.
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Erik D
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meh. It's all semantics.
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Morgan Dontanville
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Everybody wants to think that their nerdy hobby is better than other people's nerdy hobby.
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Chris Tannhauser
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I was with him in the first half, but the tone in the second half undid his credibility (see Morgan's comment, above).

Coming from a purely narrative school of RPGing, I have always found computer and console RPGs to be sorely lacking. Early on I was confused by the RPG label -- these games weren't, based on my experiences, 'real' RPGs. The biggest difference is in the amount of creativity you can apply to solving problems -- in a 'real' RPG you can do anything; in a computer RPG you can only do what the creators have programmed. This is usually limited to things like push, pull, use an item or attack.

The biggest thrill a pencil and paper RPG offers is experiencing a truly novel and clever solution to a problem -- as a GM I almost never think about possible solutions to the problems I pose. I leave it to the characters. Fuck balance, fuck red-key/red-door, the antagonists are up to what they're up to and the players have to deal or fail, suffer and die.

Also, I reject outright the two supposed cornerstones of RPGing: long, drawn out combats and leveling up. Slow combats in which the players have realtime minutes to make split-second decisions are ridiculous; a deadly combat encounter should not take the better part of a session -- it should be nasty, brutish and short, with time-pressure that forces players to make stupid decisions and coordinate poorly. It should be over before everyone has time to process what just happened, forcing the players to go with what they got and where they are now.

I hate games with leveling up (we play D&D as a single-shot dungeon crawl). My favorite system to date is Traveller, because characters really don't improve across a campaign -- you're stuck with your current equipment loadout and wits. And because I like to break or take away stuff, that usually leaves only wits.

Real role-playing is a 1st level Wizard with one spell and a dagger; in Traveller it's waking up naked next to your smoking escape pod. Think your way out or die!

That said, I don't begrudge anyone their enjoyment of software-adjudicated RPGs -- I just think they are a thin ghost of the source experience.
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Jeff Wiles
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HiveGod wrote:
the antagonists are up to what they're up to and the players have to deal or fail, suffer and die.

HiveGod wrote:
Slow combats in which the players have realtime minutes to make split-second decisions are ridiculous; a deadly combat encounter should not take the better part of a session -- it should be nasty, brutish and short, with time-pressure that forces players to make stupid decisions and coordinate poorly.

HiveGod wrote:
waking up naked next to your smoking escape pod. Think your way out or die!


Exhibit 1 proving that HiveGod is Not Kidding At All.
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João 'Finding a new way to make you WTF today' Marum
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HiveGod wrote:
Also, I reject outright the two supposed cornerstones of RPGing: long, drawn out combats and leveling up. Slow combats in which the players have realtime minutes to make split-second decisions are ridiculous; a deadly combat encounter should not take the better part of a session -- it should be nasty, brutish and short, with time-pressure that forces players to make stupid decisions and coordinate poorly. It should be over before everyone has time to process what just happened, forcing the players to go with what they got and where they are now.


Cue my first session of Aces&Eights. Two PCs, no profession, just arrived at Lazarus.

2nd PC: I approach the Mexican guy at the bar and call him a motherfucker.
Me: Good. He draws his shotgun and blasts both barrels into your chest. No use in rolling dice, you're dead.

This after he spent 5 hours on making the PC, he dies 2 minutes into his first session.

He now is addicted to A&8s.
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They call me....
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Games? People still play games??
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I cast Leomund's Tiny Hut, crawl into it, and ignore this thread! Lightning bolt!! Lightning bolt!!!!!
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So here is my take on things. Sure console based RPGs are not the same as pen and paper D&D like RPGs. But the reason that I like games like Grandia and Final Fantasy is that I am playing a role. I am taking a character through their story from start to finish. I am controlling them as they go through their life -- their problems -- in their world. It is not my life. It is a story -- and a role that I am adapting for the duration of that story line. Yes, things are fixed -- rigid -- very few choices can be made by you. And recent FF games have a customizable battle/skill set system.

But if role playing is adapting the guise of another character and living out their story from beginning to end, then console based games like FF can be RPGs (I say can cause FF1 was a dungeon crawl. i wont lie). But set in a way that a novel is set. Where as some like the D&D is fluid and dynamic, but in the end, what is done is done, and the choices made stand. D&D gets written as you go, FF is already written, you are just along for the ride. But that is OK with me.
 
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They call me....
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Toggy wrote:
(I saw can cause FF1 was a dungeon crawl. i wont lie).


Wow! I am floored. Even the mighty Leomund and his tiny hut can't protect me from the most egregiously constructed sentences out there. This one actually came up on a mystical monitor that suddenly appeared right above my Leomund's Reasonably Compact Camping Grill.
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João 'Finding a new way to make you WTF today' Marum
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Truth be told, the only fantasy setting my groups are playing is the Hyborian age, using Mongoose's Conan RPG, which is a modified d20 system.

In my 6+ hours sessions, my group only rolls dice 4 or 5 times the whole time, combat included.
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Nick Bah Doo
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Quote:
They mash a button; random numbers keep flashing all over the screen; and if they happen to die at some point they simply double back, kill a couple hundred more green slimes and try again.


I mostly disagree with the article, but the above made me laugh.
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