Social 'Combat': the hill I will die on (because I took 0 things for physical combat)


  • Coder

    @lithium

    I was unduly snarky too, sorry.

    @lithium said in Social 'Combat': the hill I will die on (because I took 0 things for physical combat):

    The whole idea of player agency is something I don't understand.

    Likewise, the "you're cheating" argument is something I don't understand because games have different rules.

    On a full-consent game ... you're not cheating because the game literally has 100% player agency.

    On BSGU... you're not cheating because the game policies expressly give you agency.

    On Fate... you're not cheating because (as I understand it... please don't nuke me if I got it wrong from 2nd hand information) the game rules provide "outs".

    Even on WoD, the game rules acknowledge that some things are not possible no matter the die roll, and that other things require modifiers - sometimes extreme modifiers depending on the situation.

    So unless a game system has an expressly written rule for resolving social conflict with expressly listed available modifiers and limits, this whole "you're cheating" thing doesn't hold any water for me.

    @lithium said in Social 'Combat': the hill I will die on (because I took 0 things for physical combat):

    We're not writing a book here. We really aren't. We're playing a game in a medium that involves writing, not writing a book and using dice to determine the outcome.

    You can't make a blanket statement about "we" are doing. That may be what you are doing, but that doesn't mean it applies to everyone equally.

    MUSHes are not a book. They're also not a game. They're somewhere in-between and different people view them differently. It's that Narrative->Simulation continuum I'm always going on about. I fall more heavily on the Narrative side and you fall more on the Simulation side. That doesn't mean you're a bad person or you're wrong or anything - it just means you like to play differently.

    Why the heck can't people just leave it at that and stop attacking each other?


  • Coder

    @faraday The whole thing about playing by the rules, is everyone keeps throwing around WoD as the standard by which people are discussing social rolls. Yes different games have different rules. Yes if it was a pure consent game then the /rules/ of that game would be to have complete player agency.

    Obviously (to me at least) I am not talking about /those/ games.

    In those games, the rules are such that player agency is first and foremost, but, people keep trying to apply player agency to games with rules that do not support complete player agency, and then people get angry, when others who /are/ playing by the rules of that game, are saying they aren't.

    Because they're not.

    I have not said that dice rolls make anything possible, because that is false. Dice rolls make anything /within the scope of the rules for that system/ possible. That is the disconnect here, there are games with social rules, that make things possible, and people want to just go 'No. Cuz it interferes with my Player Agency.'

    Also, I have no idea why you think these aren't games. They use rule systems. They aren't reality. They aren't us. They are fictional characters.

    Now a point could be made for say, a talker situation, that it's not a game, it's just collaborative writing and make believe, but if there is a game system, then it's a game.


  • Coder

    @lithium said in Social 'Combat': the hill I will die on (because I took 0 things for physical combat):

    Also, I have no idea why you think these aren't games. They use rule systems. They aren't reality. They aren't us. They are fictional characters.

    Duh. Nobody is saying they're reality or that they're us, the players. But MUSHes are a collaborative storytelling game. They're not a pure simulation. They're not a video game where you're completely bounded by the physics of the game engine. They're a game of imagination.

    And to the whole "they're based on tabletop RPGs with rules" argument - I call BS because I've played in tons of tabletop RPGs where the GM and players are all: "Well, yes the rules say that, but that's complete nonsense so let's ignore it." Where story trumps mechanics. Where GMs fudge rolls in the interests of making the game more fun.

    You can claim all day that those people were playing "wrong" but to me that's about as sensible as someone saying that people who like comic book movies are wrong/dumb just because they personally do not find that genre appealing.

    ETA: And just as you're apparently not including games that flat-out state their consent rules in your arguments, nobody talking about player agency is claiming that they should be exempt from rules on a given game that's fully non-consent. It's the difference between saying "TGG has permadeath - I really don't like that because <reasons>" and "TGG has permadeath but that shouldn't apply to me." The first is a discussion. The second is absurd and I haven't seen anybody saying that.



  • Just two cents.

    MU's are not games be default. Games can be played on them. There are still social MU's out there. I'm sure if we hunted long enough we could find an educational MU out there. When I play on one, it's more improv play (acting/writing). A MU may express it is a game. If there are rules I follow them. Games do not always involve conflict, rules yes, mostly competitive but not always.


  • Coder

    @lithium said in Social 'Combat': the hill I will die on (because I took 0 things for physical combat):

    I just want social characters to be able to influence people socially, because, that's the point.

    I just want everyone to play by the same fucking rules and quit trying to cheat.

    "Those who disagrees with me is cheating" is not at all helpful. Your attitude and framing are exactly the problem I have with the other side of the argument.


  • Pitcrew Banned

    @lithium said in Social 'Combat': the hill I will die on (because I took 0 things for physical combat):

    Also, no, I am not asking for social rolls to be like bullets, and I am /tired/ of that bullshit that the 'player agency' people are putting forth.

    I just want social characters to be able to influence people socially, because, that's the point.

    I just want everyone to play by the same fucking rules and quit trying to cheat.

    (ETA) Now if a game wanted to give social stats a price break, both in chargen and in xp, and say they only functioned as guidelines against PC's but functioned fully against NPC's I'd be fine with that. Because that's playing by the rules of that game. I'm a coder, I like rules being followed. Without rules we have Anarchy.

    The fact remains that a lot of people are asking for a single social roll to have the same impact on the opposition's intentions as a bullet would on their health. They've even suggested a separate health track for socials, just to make sure we all knew that's what they were talking about without any room for confusion or debate. That's what most of the pro-social stats folks want: A manipulation-machine-gun that never breaks or needs repair and maintenance or runs out of bullets, and ultimately a bullet hits your player's active decision-making ability and innate intentions as opposed to their desire to follow a course of action they've already decided on.

    That, in my book, is cheating for a lot of reasons I've already laid out. It ignores the target's background, it ignores any rational expectation of backstory which we can assume amounts to someone else's extended social successes to convince them to do what they're doing right now in the first place. So now everyone's supposed to stat out the attack/defense/health points assigned to every single facet of their personality modified by exactly how every event in their background influenced their present state of mind? I've been playing RPGs since I was 12, I've been GMing since I was 16, I've been doing both on IRC and MUSHes since within the same timespan, and I'm a coder too. I wouldn't want to have to play in this ridiculous-ass system, I wouldn't want to have to GM it, and I sure as shit wouldn't want to have to design and maintain code systems to support it. That's a completely second chargen and sheet for your character's mind and mentality. The whole idea is insane.

    Players know what's IC and what isn't for their character. You're not going to seduce a gay guy to sex with a woman unless his own backstory has him as bi-curious. That doesn't mean the same woman can't seduce the same gay guy to betray his government for a fat cash payout, if he needs money to live - especially not if he has any particular leaning toward greed - being sexually disinterested in women does not by any stretch of the imagination make the gay guy immune to seduction attempts by women.

    I realize that most people on WORA don't really bother to read a whole post - someone above just quoted 1 paragraph of my prior post and his response had nothing to do with anything I said, unless that 1 paragraph had been all I said. Those people might accuse me of going back and forth between pro-social and anti-social skill usage at this point. Those people would be retarded. I'm all for the appropriate uses of social skills in the appropriate contexts.

    Giving people a price break on social stats is bullshit. Just make people figure out wtf social skills really are and what they represent, or advise them that they really aren't prepared to engage in any type of RPG except the MMO that gave them the idea that you should be able to socially derail the psychological equivalent of a speeding train with a single dice test and without supernatural powers.


  • TV & Movies

    @nemesis said in Social 'Combat': the hill I will die on (because I took 0 things for physical combat):

    The fact remains that a lot of people are asking for a single social roll to have the same impact on the opposition's intentions as a bullet would on their health. They've even suggested a separate health track for socials, just to make sure we all knew that's what they were talking about without any room for confusion or debate. That's what most of the pro-social stats folks want: A manipulation-machine-gun that never breaks or needs repair and maintenance or runs out of bullets, and ultimately a bullet hits your player's active decision-making ability and innate intentions as opposed to their desire to follow a course of action they've already decided on.

    So... if you were familiar with anything about one of the systems being talked about for 'social health' (FATE), you'd realize it doesn't have to be this way at all.

    Any conflict in FATE works the same way. People roll skills as attacks, stress is accrued (or absorbed via consequences, which are basically victim-controlled crits/lasting injuries/etc). When you run out of stress/consequences, you're taken out. At any point before that, however, you can concede the conflict. In this case, you lose, but you get to choose how: in combat, you're left for dead amidst the fallen, taken as a hostage to the supervillain's lair that you wanted to break into anyway, thrown off the waterfall, etc. In a social conflict, this easily covers 'flee the room in embarrassment' vs 'now we fuck.' You also get some fate points for conceding!

    So basically the only situation where your agency is removed is when you, the player, are determined to keep fighting for a win no matter the cost. That alone is pretty much an ironclad buffer against any kind of abuse. There's no way for an aggressor to supersede your ability to lose gracefully on your own terms.

    So while I still have my doubts about some FATE mechanics being suitable for MU usage, I will continue to point out that its stress system is brilliant and could be the great basis for a MU design. It's incredibly versatile: aside from social and physical combat, I've seen FATE variants use it for wealth systems, Vampire-worthy influence conflict, etc.


  • Pitcrew Banned

    @bored said in Social 'Combat': the hill I will die on (because I took 0 things for physical combat):

    @nemesis said in Social 'Combat': the hill I will die on (because I took 0 things for physical combat):

    The fact remains that a lot of people are asking for a single social roll to have the same impact on the opposition's intentions as a bullet would on their health. They've even suggested a separate health track for socials, just to make sure we all knew that's what they were talking about without any room for confusion or debate. That's what most of the pro-social stats folks want: A manipulation-machine-gun that never breaks or needs repair and maintenance or runs out of bullets, and ultimately a bullet hits your player's active decision-making ability and innate intentions as opposed to their desire to follow a course of action they've already decided on.

    So... if you were familiar with anything about one of the systems being talked about for 'social health' (FATE), you'd realize it doesn't have to be this way at all.

    So here's just a perfect example of a WORA user not reading anything but the first paragraph, quoting it, and then proceeding to make a whole other post completely unrelated to anything he quoted or anything in the post he quoted.

    The only thing I ever said about FATE is that I don't need to look into it to know that it doesn't work this way, so if you were in fact reading anything that was written then: Thanks for pointing out that I was right.


  • TV & Movies

    @nemesis Your post was about social health tracks, where several prior posts were discussing those in relation to how FATE uses them (including the person you were responding to). Shockingly, context is a thing.

    The rest of your post is a strange rant about your RP resume and a ridiculous hypothetical system no one has suggested. Just like combat doesn't need a hitloc for every blood vessel, you can abstract social stuff down considerably as well.

    Also you seem like kind of a crazy person, so good luck!