Mush Campaigns



  • @Arkandel Respectfully, I disagree. What we are doing on these mushes is more akin to tabletop gaming than MMORPG. If a game has 50 individual logged in IPs and 100+ characters, are we talking 100+ protagonists who are the main character in the story and are thusly protected from death until it is delivered on favorable terms? Nah. We are playing tabletop RPGs, and every tabletop RPG has rules for death and dying, but most games try to avoid using that bit out of fear that the player will ragequit and take 20 players with them.

    It's why sometimes players choose actions like "rush the minigun that is spitting 40,000 rounds per minute" instead of "find cover and call for backup", because after a certain amount of time you know which GMs will kill your char, and which will give them a miraculous survival. Lots of people wanna be the hero, and that lack of logic quadruples when there is no OOC fear of repercussion, such as character death.


  • Banned

    @Ghost

    By the way, there were, seriously, space Christian peasants starving because of the war, thematically.

    However, Paulus and Co. totally forgot about them later on, which cheesed me off a little because my character was there to save them from certain death, by leading a Space Relief Convoy stocked with food and drink.

    So my character became doubly irrelevant: no Space Muslims attacking for her to defend against, and no peasants to boldly save with her company of Knights guarding the food wagons.

    Maybe the peasants died?

    Maybe they gorged themselves on the leftover food from the Sexy Parties thrown by the Lords and Ladies?



  • @Cirno Shit, you didn't get the memo? SpaceTebows are supposed to say they're feeding SpacePeasants, but instead only spend 10% of their millions of SpaceDollars on SpacePeasants, and instead disseminate the remaining SpaceMoney to the SpaceTrust of their SpaceMinistry...

    ...which are the SpaceTebows


  • Pitcrew

    @Ghost
    To be fair there are quite a lot of people that play tabletops that way too.
    I know I have have to really stress to new players that if the dice says you die I will not GM fiat to save you in my tt campaigns. I do this before i start each one and I still get players who have not gamed with me before surprised when it happens. And have lost players as a result for that matter. Note not every game I run is deadly it all depends on the genre.
    Honestly I am fine with either style but I do think games need to be a lot more specific about what they are on the tin so to speak.
    For example I had the same issues with Star Crusade as Cirno did some times. I played a Questing Knight out to do stuff and found mostly social scenes.


  • Banned

    @ThatGuyThere said:

    For example I had the same issues with Star Crusade as Cirno did some times. I played a Questing Knight out to do stuff and found mostly social scenes.

    There were more people at the strip club than at the war front, yeah.

    And, yes, the Grand War Simulator that was like the movie Kingdom of Heaven, as Paulus and Co. claimed? Its Holy Space Christian Crusader City had a strip bar.

    Because Raymond and the other Crusaders in real life spent time watching strippers instead of fighting the Crusades, of course.

    I ain't even mad. I just wish Paulus had truthfully told us that it was gonna be Sexy Lords and Ladies in space.

    Then I would have rolled a ditzy blonde Stripper-Knight-Noblewoman and created a truly garbage character - you know, like the other garbage characters there.

    Instead of:

    "I hope we can destroy the Kurgan menace once and for all! By my Sword I swear this! We shall not rest until we defeat the enemy!"

    ...My character would have been more like,

    "Ehehehe, I'm Lady Sedaina, and I'm, like, really smart! Oops, I dropped my sword! Now I must bend over seductively to pick it up! I'm a real knight! Tee hee!"

    Her favorite activities would have been dancing at Space Christian nightclubs, making sure her makeup is fantastic, and tanning herself at the beach.


  • Banned

    You know, Star Crusade could have done good as Shangrila In Medieval Space. P and the rest should have admitted that it was just that, instead of pretending it was about a star Crusade.

    They lost their credibility some time around when the Kurgan Space Muslims mysteriously stopped attacking, Evil Sexy Space Countess Amber was thoughtfully unzipping her catsuit over her breasts at government meetings, and people were dancing in nightclubs.


  • Coder

    @Ghost said:

    @Arkandel Respectfully, I disagree. What we are doing on these mushes is more akin to tabletop gaming than MMORPG. If a game has 50 individual logged in IPs and 100+ characters, are we talking 100+ protagonists who are the main character in the story and are thusly protected from death until it is delivered on favorable terms? Nah. We are playing tabletop RPGs, and every tabletop RPG has rules for death and dying, but most games try to avoid using that bit out of fear that the player will ragequit and take 20 players with them.

    It's why sometimes players choose actions like "rush the minigun that is spitting 40,000 rounds per minute" instead of "find cover and call for backup", because after a certain amount of time you know which GMs will kill your char, and which will give them a miraculous survival. Lots of people wanna be the hero, and that lack of logic quadruples when there is no OOC fear of repercussion, such as character death.

    See, this is why I have no fear of killing /anyone/ in any of my plots on any of my games. Without actual risk, there is no reward, and nothing has value. Even if the only thing being risked is time spent and loss of potential stories. Make a new character, make new stories! It always amused me how some people see PK as the 'end' of stories, no it isn't. It's just a focus shift.


  • Banned

    @Lithium said:

    @Ghost said:

    @Arkandel Respectfully, I disagree. What we are doing on these mushes is more akin to tabletop gaming than MMORPG. If a game has 50 individual logged in IPs and 100+ characters, are we talking 100+ protagonists who are the main character in the story and are thusly protected from death until it is delivered on favorable terms? Nah. We are playing tabletop RPGs, and every tabletop RPG has rules for death and dying, but most games try to avoid using that bit out of fear that the player will ragequit and take 20 players with them.

    It's why sometimes players choose actions like "rush the minigun that is spitting 40,000 rounds per minute" instead of "find cover and call for backup", because after a certain amount of time you know which GMs will kill your char, and which will give them a miraculous survival. Lots of people wanna be the hero, and that lack of logic quadruples when there is no OOC fear of repercussion, such as character death.

    See, this is why I have no fear of killing /anyone/ in any of my plots on any of my games. Without actual risk, there is no reward, and nothing has value. Even if the only thing being risked is time spent and loss of potential stories. Make a new character, make new stories! It always amused me how some people see PK as the 'end' of stories, no it isn't. It's just a focus shift.

    I like you and want to play on your games.

    Here is a song I like, for you.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2PTZoQRpi4

    It's got the Para Para routine so you can dance to it.


  • Coder

    @Ghost said:

    @Arkandel Respectfully, I disagree. What we are doing on these mushes is more akin to tabletop gaming than MMORPG.

    I must respectfully disagree with your disagreement :)

    Actually what you're saying may be 100% true on some games, but the ones I play on are almost nothing like a tabletop RPG. If anything, I would liken them to a serialized TV soap opera. I mean, yeah, TV shows kill people off sometimes, but as @Arkandel said - unless you're watching Game of Thrones or Walking Dead, those deaths are the exception not the rule.

    I play MUSHes not to play a game, but to tell a story. While I don't expect to have 100% control over the story (MUSHes are a collaborative environment), I do get miffed if my story gets cut off arbitrarily halfway through the 1st act by some random die roll.



  • @faraday I've always felt that if you're involving dice, you're inviting exactly that. To me, half the fun of roleplaying games are when things go absolutely sideways because of a bizarre dice roll.
    If a story is 90% set in stone regardless of the dice, then why have them at all?


  • Banned

    @SG said:

    @faraday I've always felt that if you're involving dice, you're inviting exactly that. To me, half the fun of roleplaying is when things go absolutely sideways because of a bizarre dice roll.
    If a story is 90% set in stone regardless of the dice, then why have them at all?

    Not to mention how emotionally wrenching a good death scene can be on other players.

    We don't watch or read Shakespeare to see Romeo and Juliet live happily ever, Macbeth live to tell the tale of his encounter with Macduff, or Richard III not get his just desserts.

    Nikolai Gogol's "Overcoat" is not interesting because Akaky survives. J.R.R. Tolkien's "Tale of the Children of Hurin" is not fantastic because Nienor and Turin live. Kafka's "Metamorphosis" does not impress because BeetleGregor lives happily ever after with his family and learns to love being a bug.

    The story of Jesus is not exciting because he went to Pontius Pilate's place and had tea and cake with him. He dies. In a very graphic manner.

    The Ragnarok of the Norse Gods does not end with Odin and Thor going home to snuggle up with some Valkyries.

    Sgt. Elias in "Platoon" does not escape the Victor Charlie successfully.

    I expected to eventually pose Sedaina bleeding to death on five Kurgan lances embedded in her abdomen. I was annoyed when Paulus and Co. went out of their way to ensure that this would not happen, ever, at all.

    Or she could have turned on the other Crusaders and died like Harold Godwinson with someone shooting her through her eye socket.

    But, no, just an endless fucking parade of masquerade balls and social scenes.


  • Coder

    @SG said:

    If a story is 90% set in stone regardless of the dice, then why have them at all?

    For the last 10%? :)

    But seriously - I coded FS3Combat, which will never kill a player. The worst you get is incapacitated. I believe that you can have fun quirky outcomes and randomness and consequences without having death.

    Also, between folks idling out and being killed off, and NPCs being killed off, and the handful of PCs who surprise everyone by choosing to be killed off in dramatic fashion... I don't see a lack of death as a big problem on the games I've played on, honestly.

    But I'm not saying anyone else is wrong if they like risk and chance. Just saying that's not fun for me - and I know I'm not alone.


  • Banned

    @faraday said:

    @SG said:

    If a story is 90% set in stone regardless of the dice, then why have them at all?

    For the last 10%? :)

    But seriously - I coded FS3Combat, which will never kill a player. The worst you get is incapacitated. I believe that you can have fun quirky outcomes and randomness and consequences without having death.

    Also, between folks idling out and being killed off, and NPCs being killed off, and the handful of PCs who surprise everyone by choosing to be killed off in dramatic fashion... I don't see a lack of death as a big problem on the games I've played on, honestly.

    But I'm not saying anyone else is wrong if they like risk and chance. Just saying that's not fun for me - and I know I'm not alone.

    Hey, some of us are trying to be tragic over here. XD


  • Coder

    @faraday said:

    @SG said:

    If a story is 90% set in stone regardless of the dice, then why have them at all?

    For the last 10%? :)

    But seriously - I coded FS3Combat, which will never kill a player. The worst you get is incapacitated. I believe that you can have fun quirky outcomes and randomness and consequences without having death.

    Also, between folks idling out and being killed off, and NPCs being killed off, and the handful of PCs who surprise everyone by choosing to be killed off in dramatic fashion... I don't see a lack of death as a big problem on the games I've played on, honestly.

    But I'm not saying anyone else is wrong if they like risk and chance. Just saying that's not fun for me - and I know I'm not alone.

    There are plenty of games where Death is by consent only, and I am not saying there aren't times when throwing the dice out to kill a character dramatically isn't awesome (I've done it myself in the past), but on the flip side there are very few games anymore that death /isn't/ optional on outside of rare circumstance.

    Especially in the 'super hero' genre.

    So for me, I wish I had time to find a good system and finish Horizon City, just because it offers that experience. No game is for everyone, won't catch me on Neighvada Nights for example and I believe trying to cater to everyone is a recipe for failure.


  • Pitcrew

    I think most people have a point. But I do get annoyed at people who face combat situations with a knowledge that they likely won't be killed by the storyteller and thus do the absolute dumbest shit, and then get upset when the one-in-one-hundred storyteller kills them off. PC invulnerability is a problem when you're trying to create tension, because a lot of people won't acknowledge it. Saying "But I do" doesn't really change anything for those of us who have to suffer the idiots.


  • Banned

    @Coin said:

    I think most people have a point. But I do get annoyed at people who face combat situations with a knowledge that they likely won't be killed by the storyteller and thus do the absolute dumbest shit, and then get upset when the one-in-one-hundred storyteller kills them off. PC invulnerability is a problem when you're trying to create tension, because a lot of people won't acknowledge it. Saying "But I do" doesn't really change anything for those of us who have to suffer the idiots.

    I'm not going to say "But I do", but I will say that I enjoy messing with people's minds by rolling characters that die in large, tragic scenes with everyone crying, or throwing up, or throw-up crying (when people are crying and vomiting at the same time).

    Like, the incident where a PC bisected one of my female vampire characters? I got a huge kick out of vividly describing her guts spraying out like Silly String and making other characters in the scene nauseous. One guy actually posed throwing up.

    I live for that stuff!

    EDIT:

    Oh, and on an old WoD MU* called Rusted Promises , I played a mortal, squishy Japanese woman whose leg nearly got torn off her body. I had lots of fun emoting her collapsing to the ground and crawling away while screaming and crying and spewing blood from her shredded leg. Was I upset? Hell no! It was funny!

    I would have allowed one of the supers to tear her to bloody shreds if the game had held itself together long enough.

    EDIT2:

    I am very much of the "kill your darlings" school of thought when it comes to my characters.

    On the My Little Pony fanfiction site I'm on, I told people they could do whatever to my personal Original Character.

    https://www.fimfiction.net/group/206280/use-our-ocs/thread/150844/use-my-oc-alsvid

    They could write a story about Twilight Sparkle blowing my character's fucking head off with a M4 carbine. I really don't care.



  • @faraday There's a lot of random, dumb and arbitrary deaths that happen when it's left purely to chance and I think we know how it can rob everyone of an extremely good story when 'well, it seems the protagonist fell down a cliff and died' leaves everyone with a pretty stupid anti-climax.

    My feeling in addressing the problem players that @Coin mentions is to have more perceived risk than actual risk. I really, really hate killing players, but it's not that bad for dramatic tension if they think it is way worse than it actually is.


  • Pitcrew

    If someone dies in my scene it's typically because they saw danger, identified it as danger, and then ran right into it--or deliberately near it--with little to no preparation.

    Or ignored me saying: guys, this course of action could end super badly for you.

    Or both.



  • Yeah, in my table top group, I'm running D&D 5 for two new people, and when they did absolutely stupid shit, and the goblins killed them, they were shocked. Like one player's jaw dropped and she just stared at her sheet for five minutes after she was cut down by arrows.

    I asked her what she was expecting, running into the middle of a courtyard of goblins when she only had and AC of 13 and like 3 HP left? I think statistically, even with my crappy math, it was improbable that even one goblin would have missed under those circumstances, let alone all 4 of them that were there.

    She replied that in 15 years of gaming, that was the first character she's had that died and that sort of move was the usual for her.

    I was like, well, you're dead now, and the bard who's been talking shit to the goblins for the past 4 rounds, who you left alone in the corner is probably right behind you. Try to be more careful with your next characters.

    Sure it sucks when players who are careful lose a character, I was kind of sad when my Lost Generation dude had his head split open by a german shovel, but I don't even think twice when players who do retarded shit drop like flies. Maybe I'm just old and cranky.



  • I try to be realistic about this. You see, if a game doesn't have a dice system to arbitrate risks/plot twists, then you're going to have a game with a wide population of "main characters in their own story" who will only choose the outcomes that fit what they want for their character's story. Only...not everyone can be the Space Admiral, or the TOP pilot, or the special snowflake telekinetic rarity, or the fabled only person in the universe with the unique skill. I've been in plenty of scenes where it was just a bunch of "main character" players leap-frogging over each other to be THE hero with the winning solution.

    Dice solves who hits, who doesn't, and saves the game from having a bunch of free-form roleplayers from all being the super magical wonder person or ubertragic lone survivor trope.

    The problem with games/systems that don't allow players to die, is the theme of the game needs to determine the tone of the story. Let's use the Battlestar Galactica Mushes as an example. In BSG you had horrific headwounds turning characters into brain damaged translators. You had gunshot wounds to the knee leaving a character with an amputated leg. You had military-grade trauma. SO, if a character can survive a CRITICAL MASSIVE HEADWOUND by a round shot from a Cylon Raider, through the cockpit of their Viper, and into their head, then the round clearly isn't a paintball round or pellet. That would kill anything. That hit would kill a rhinoceros.

    When you are playing a game with stakes, it is important to identify that there are players that play fair with damage. Their massive leg injury becomes a limp that will negate their ability to pilot Vipers. Their head trauma results in a mangled, scarred appearance on their once attractive character. When other players do not play fair with their damage, or risk of damage, in lieu of telling their story (because their want for a story > the story as a whole), then the game breaks. Why? Because the players who are willing to suffer negative consequences due to bad dice rolls or fairly judging how to roleplay damage incurred as part of the story that involves the whole of the game are not only caring about their story, but the story for the whole of the game. They are willing to suffer a negative character angle because it makes sense to the story and the damage incurred was part of a scene involving other players.

    Any player who ignores damage or deadly wounds received because that gets in the way of telling the story they want to tell, is pretty much saying "I am picking and choosing the things I think were important out of a scene involving 10+ other players, and since I don't want to roleplay my character being hurt, I'm just going to ignore that part about being hurt."

    I couldn't disagree more that character death isn't important. Not everyone can be superhuman or come out of so much trauma and damage unscathed. Sometimes, to build drama, an unexpected character death is necessary, and if the player isn't so busy worrying about themselves over the good of the story as a whole, they'd understand that shrugging off damage or death because its inconvenient to their wishes as a writer breaks the fourth wall for everyone else trying to immerse into a story.


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