Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tempest in a Teapot

Well, some people read a post of mine from earlier titled "Murder gets Boring". Some of them disagreed with the premise, some of them probably didn't read it before sounding the alarm. So, here is a quick post to dispel some myths:

1.) The rule mechanic is not to force you not to kill heroes or villains.

Not only does death still often occur as a result of the capture, the idea is a choice of situations, as stated. This is to make the various genre tropes part of the gameplay.

2.) This rule mechanic is not to force morality

In fact it is explicitly stated this has nothing to do with morality. You may capture a war criminal just to put him on trial and have him hung. A villain may capture you just to lower you slowly into a pool of mutated sea bass before conveniently leaving the room and laughing maniacally.

This was explicitly stated that it has nothing to do with heroes not killing people anymore than its about the villains.

3.) This rule mechanic is not bribery.

Perhaps I'm crazy here, but I'm under the firm view that a games mechanics support the gameplay you want to happen. This is not bribery, its why you choose the game system when you start your game. I do not pick up D&D and then play a story game with it for fear of "bribing" players with powers of narrative control. If I want to play a Hogwarts game I do not pick up sorcerer for fear of bribing the players with non-demon related magic.

In both cases I would choose games with mechanics that suit and reward the styles of play I want.

Conversely if I was playing a game where I always wanted villains to live (to suit trope) I would play a game where that is possible. HERO has a nice mod for the "A-Team" where all physical damage becomes intimidation. I used a mechanic like that in a piecemeal one shot where physical damage all counted as "influence", no one could die but you could force people to surrender. The mechanics back the gameplay you want.

This isn't bribery or trickery, its why you choose a game system to run a type of game.

1 comment:

  1. Gleichman has a track record of picking up something another blogger has written and then twisting it to suit what he wants to rant about.

    I experienced this myself when he took something I wrote about Tolkien (that LOTR has a sad, rather than a happy, ending) and somehow extrapolated from it that I was some sort of postmodernist young whippersnapper who didn't believe in good and evil. had no concept of morality, and was an indication of the worthlessness of my generation, or something. I forget precisely but it was along those lines.

    He's a deeply weird person and best ignored.