Thursday, December 5, 2019

Concepts I re-learned reviewing the Starter and Essentials Set.

Concepts I re-remembered reviewing the Material.

  1. 3d6 Bell Curve. Rarer Extremes, more frequent near the Median. 
    1. The biggest change is that scores at the extremes, rolling a 15 or higher or a 6 or lower (rolling 3,4,5,6, 15, 16, 17, and 18) is at the 18.52% chance, compared to on a d20 rolling 1-5, and 15-20 is 50% of the time.
      1. Rolling on or higher than 15 is 25% with d20 and 5%  with 3d6.
    2. Less Gambling and More Calculated Risks. The behavior that results when their chance to roll a 10 vs an 18 means instead of hoping you will roll a 20, you assume the challenge is beyond you. This is a style of play for problem-solving and manages some of the Min-maxing behavior that would result because of the knowledge of the Probability. Knowing an 18 is below a 1% and rolling
    3. DC 10 + Proficiency Bonus + Ability Modifier has more relevance because the median is more frequent. In a bell curve distribution, your odds for a hard challenge goes down considerably, so you try to break down the task to smaller manageable tasks/wins.  
  2. Core Mechanic - The Check or Roll. Basing the core Mechanic on Conflict and Uncertainty - Will he climb the wall? ...Persuade the mayor? ...Negotiate the Deal? 
    1. Key Techniques that Teach Players and GM how to Frame a Situation. What is the Challenge? How the Players or GM define if its a Check to Persuade, to Save, Analyze or Understand, to Take Actions that will have an effect on a much more complicated situation. 
    2. A Situation drives the Roll. This means the Players think in Uncertainty and Problems, the GM and Players think in Conflict and Tension. Is the Objective to HIT the mark, or the Objective to Solve the Problem. My problem with certain game mechanics is that I grew up with the “Hitting” the Target mindset and that doesn't lend well to Storytelling. 
  3. Techniques of Narrating Combat or Thrilling Pacing. The mental model of Combat is Attack someone - which is not the case and limits the imagination. Giving players and GMs the arsenal in narrating High Tension Fast Pacing conflicts or uncertainty is one of the things I wish can be tackled in a Starter TRPG. Breaking down the Inputs, Outputs, Tools, and Techniques that allow anyone to have the capability to narrate thrilling conflict. 
    1. It's in Law School for Everyone in TGC I was reminded of Storytelling Pacing. The lecture covered how a lawyer can Draw out a scene moment to moment to slow down time. Controlling the Audience’s Perception of Time is important in Storytelling - even if you’re just the Player but especially so if you’re the GM. 
    2. Speeding up time means knowing the Techniques and having followed attentively HEMA inspired Books and novels. To prevent this barrier it's possible to teach key concepts of biomechanics (and keywords and concepts to understand), but save this for more enthusiastic gamers who want to polish their fight narration. 
    3. Speeding up Time is also seeing the Consequences of the Action or the “Wake of the Action” letting the imagination fill in the details. To imply the action by describing the bleeding gash, the three steps back and their stunned form, and seeing the spear shaft break the rock barely missing the mark, but seeing suddenly the form collapsing. 
  4. The margin of Failure, GM never Rolls. This is the Difference of an NPC rolling “To hit” vs the GM asking for a “Save”? Both situations the PC is being attacked/threatened but the Dice and Agency is with the Player. With Bell-curve probability and better framing techniques, it would be faster if the GM would abstain from rolling. 
    1. No more Roll and Opposed Roll. Set the Targets/Value and let the dice resolve the Conflict. The only exception is rolling between Two Players, in a contested roll. 
    2. Holding the dice, making sure the player knows they can frame or narrate how they deal with the circumstance. Not in the simple binary of attack and defend.

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