Monday, September 26, 2011
Critiques are for Blog Posts, not for forums
I realize the best forum for game system critiques are not in the forums. The product is already made and done, there is no going back and most of the time the changes only matter to the individual playing style (regardless of realism or standards of simulations- those things don't count against fun). Blogs are less In-your-face, so its easier to ignore stuff you down want to read in such a medium.
Although Forums should be, theoretically, an open discussion sometimes the nuances of the medium has some drawbacks in creating a more productive/constructive byproduct.
Although I have a critique regarding a skill, and thats Ship handling. By the description and from my own studies on management and leadership shiphandling is wierd, its the "magical" ability to keep a ship organize and running. I say magical because it fails to describe itself well or realistically. Anyone who'se lead a team and studied management knows many of the key concepts carries over to other kinds of work, industries and professions.
Most of the key skills of management, which is found in organizing (Administration) and leadership, seasoned with the experience and intuitive grasp of how things work in this industry with Profession: (specify). The profession skill is like Area Knowledge, you know how to navigate the pitfalls and the problems that comes in your profession. If you want to increase your pay, it is a mastery of the "game" or the industry's little quirks, and this is a task for your professional skill.
I realize that it shouldn't be shiphandling that is very high in a captain or an officer, its Profession: Shipman/Mariner/Spacer etc. The More senior someone is, and got a pay increase because of goon performance thats has something to do with his Professional Skill. Heck it makes more sense to junk shiphandling and spend those points in Profession.
Profession as a Social skill. Other than savoir-faire (mariner/spacer/shipman etc.), Profession is the skill one uses to do a Professional Courtesy. As ones intuition regarding their job gets better, they can empathize more with others who are in the same circumstance/job.
My Business Philo.
I do not like Antagonizing anyone at work, even if there is observation that supports my view that someone is not pulling their weight. Once you start conflict, it has a life of its own and eats up a significant part of your time and effort. I'm not advocating being a "pussy" at work but in gamer terms I use: Savoir-Faire Business, Diplomacy, Carousing, when dealing with problems with people.
When I have the time, and busy people don't, I launch my own investigation guided by some tools and people to keep things objective and above board. Although i keep the investigation discrete, I make sure I work within the limits of my authority and take careful note.
What has this got to do with gaming? Well its a personal protocol. once you start a fight, you lose. Its like that Dick rating regarding internet arguments. There is no buts about it, it doesn't even matter if its the other party that started it. As soon as you act on it, you lose, because the medium of discourse has shifted and you are at an arena.
Fighting is exciting, there is that suspense and risk. But in real life, we learn we settle things out of court and in calm and civil discussions where we make the most success. The funny thing about "settling" things and going to personal meetings and hashing things out like this is that this is where the real work and success making comes from. This is where the game really happens.
Basically, when it comes to the challenges of a Free Merchant, just like BPO biz with its high risks and rewards, as well as high paying and potentially nasty customers, it helps to be armed with the knowledge: the fight, the sale, or the ship is not the game. Maneuvering, the way cunning entrepreneur should, is the game and the stuff that would keep one by the seat of their pants.
Self Control in the Real World as opposed to the Game world.
Having personally dealt with criminals (rapists, arsons, swindlers, and white collar criminals) because of the incredibly lucrative opportunity the BPO business creates I have to say that a humanist sense of morals or ethics does not help one to stomach the tactics and modus operandi of such scum.
When you are being played, anyone with a sense of honor or reciprocal courtesy may keep himself under control but will definitely lose 1FP to anxiety (Or I'd like to call a Reserve Point). Heck, stress regarding the circumstance affects us all in the different grades of fear. Some fear being subtle and eat on one's psyche by making them unable to rest well, strain their relationships, or eat up a lot of effort trying to get the disgust and aversion under control. If possible some quirks manifest when these fears arrise, or low point mental disadvantages (procrastination, contrariness, confusion, compulsions, etc. )
Self Control is a funny thing, some parts of us are easy to control when we have a full mental reserve. Some parts of us also work better when given free reign, and thus work better when there is insufficient mental reserve. The way alchohol can help one have fun, bringing down inhibitions can get right down to what cathartic discussion or act is needed by the individual.
Making such Stress or Anxiety known or part of the circumstance enriches the game experience. It allows us to experiment with methods to deal with it, in the safety and positive attitude of the gaming experience. A system of rewarding player contribution, would help make things appear more common place the way it does so in the real world. But what reward can you give a player for being scared?
well, first off acknowledging the risks and the debilitating affects of fear is basic role-playing. The GM's sense of realism doesn't have to be the one to point out, an average person would be tearing their hair out in frustration in this circumstance (or going to their quick fix habit). If the GM were to give a reward, it would be to allow dealing with these matters allow the PC bring up their Will, IQ, Empathy etc. Coping abilities/skills that shouldn't be left to Point rewards to be raised.
Too bad Self-Control is so tricky, game systems really can't deal with it adequately without bogging everything down.