A Conversation for Role-playing

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Post 1

Major Domo

In the second paragraph it states, "The rest of the group are 'players' or 'cannon fodder'". Only a particularly sadistic GM would describe players as 'cannon fodder'. This term is often used to describe certain 'monsters' however.

In the fourth paragraph, Wizards of the coast (the new owners of D&D), have dropped the 'Advanced' from the latest edition of the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons game. Also, RIFTS (not RIFT), would perhaps be better described as a sci-fi specific game even though it does have overtones of a 'generic system'.

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Post 2

Ion the Naysayer

As a Vampire player I also have to object to the suggested idea that Roleplaying is all about killing monsters. In the better roleplaying worlds and systems the story of each character is at the core, with Combat being only one of many ways to approach a problem.

This philosophy, of course, can be applied to any system but some systems are designed around it (like Vampire and the rest of White Wolf's World of Darkness).

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Post 3


I have to say I only agree with part of what you have just said. Yes, role playing is more about the characters than it is about killing monsters. But having run and played in various White Wolf games, I can quite seriously say that their Storyteller System doesn't do this. It has one aim (And it does it well) and that is it allows the keeper to tell a story for the players to interact with. In this respect, its simillar to Call of Cthulhu. Both systems are quite bad when it comes to character growth.

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Post 4

Ion the Naysayer

The amount and quality of character growth depend on what type of storyteller you have. Ideally the storyteller and the players contribute equal amounts.

In the game I run, players who have proven themselves to be mature and able to handle total character freedom may do whatever they want with their characters and the NPCs in the game. If killing one of my NPCs allows their character to grow, that NPC dies. I've actually had players kill their characters voluntarily (and without me even asking) because it's what would be appropriate. Sometimes you have to take a heavy hand to advance the story but most times you don't.

Obviously there's a lot of potential for a trusted player to destroy the game but that's why you always leave yourself a back door and always reserve veto power. In that sense I suppose you are correct but I find there to be a lot of potential for players telling the story as much as storytellers.

After having tried (and failed) to create a game that was self-controlled it became obvious to me what went wrong: Somebody has to have the final say. For me, all a Storyteller is is the person who has final say.

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Post 5

Alex Danov

Damn Right!

Being a Vampire story teller (not GM, please note...) I feel that merely killing monsters in role playing does note really tap the real potential for in depth mood setting and most of all, intelligent gaming that is possible. Hell I have even taken part in a D&D game where we were left to question if we even had a right to be merrily chopping apart all and sundry at all.

At one with Malkav

Alex Danov

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Post 6


Meh. The most common conception role-focused roleplayers seem to have is that strong emphasis on character is better. I'd rather say that it's better FOR THEM. Every game is different. In mine, our characters are, essentially, the same as us, and most of our adventures involve dungeons, heists, and people who have it coming. It works for us and that's all there is.

Also, do you actually tell players they CAN'T do something, if it doesn't seem like a good idea to you? I always thought the most important part of rpg's was the freedom.

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Post 7

Ion the Naysayer

The only real limits I imposed as a Storyteller were to preserve the integrity of the game. If a player decides they want to do something, they're welcome to do it as long as it doesn't ruin the game for anyone else. With White Wolf systems, a lot of discretion with regards to what people would use certain powers responsibly is needed just due to the flexible nature of the game. No Storyteller in their right might lets irresponsible players lower their Generation too far since it's just inviting trouble, even though the rules don't explicitly limit the points a player can invest.

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