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There were times that called for the use of ancient and powerful words, the acknowledgment of humans in a crisis everywhere and everywhen since language was first invented. This was one of them. "Shit." Aurora said.
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 Post subject: Complications
PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 8:11 pm 
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The Anti-Canon
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Location: Stockton,ks
Sigh....

If there is anything that will drive me from playing Amber anymore, it's the endless stream of story complications that seem to infect every situation. I swear, I can't even try to herd cats without it turning into something even more complicated and annoying.

Why the hell can't any of the drama ever be "relatively" simple?

I'm not asking for black and white situations, but come on, does the undead Archenemy who literally killed your character in the past really need half your family as hostages to be a threat? On top of a supernatural fleet, dark powers you don't understand, and just generally being a nasty prick? And when you try to get help, does it really have to turn into a complicated set of twists and complications, leaving you to wonder why you even bothered?

Real life is full of stupid complications and depressing realities.
I made a character that I hoped would be simple and fun. A pirate, hey, that sounds light and breezy. Pbttt...

I know why this is getting so deep under my skin. Real life. :(
When you feel powerless in real life, it's incredibly annoying to have the character you made to be free, feel just as trapped and bogged down as you are. I guess that's the risk of getting attached to your characters and their stories.


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 Post subject: Re: Complications
PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 11:23 pm 
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Goddess
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Yeah, I play RPGs to get away from the crap of Real Life. When a game starts to cause as much stress as a Statics final, it's no longer enjoyable for me.

I'm not saying there shouldn't be conflict to overcome or problems to solve, but it shouldn't get to the point where the character is almost afraid to leave the safety of her hidey hole in Shadow, get out of bed in the morning, or interact with another person or creature. I'm all for some angst to make things interesting but it shouldn't be an 24/7 month after month, year after year state of being. If I wanted that I would be playing Vampire or Werewolf still.

I played one character several years ago in such a situation. It became remarkably painful to get into her mindset in order to play her. It seemed that every choice she made resulted in some world altering repercussions for her or her loved ones or Amber. It was ridiculous. For my own peace of mind, I had to finally bow out because I was at the point where it would have been less painful for the character if she slit her own throat. I didn't even care what happened with the character after I left. I was just relieved to be done with it.


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 Post subject: Re: Complications
PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 11:51 pm 
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Innocent of All But Malice

Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 11:29 pm
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Location: SF / Bay Area
I'm right there with you both. I've had the same situation myself - when every decision my character made was the wrong one.

I'll note that it is something I see a lot more often in Amber than other games I play, though I've been generally fortunate in that most of the games I've played in haven't been like that.

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 Post subject: Re: Complications
PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 1:02 am 
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The Anti-Canon
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If it wasn't a game I enjoyed, I surely would walk away. I've learned that much over the years I've spent playing PBEM's and Play by post games. But I really do enjoy the game. I just get frustrated when opportunities come that could simplify the situation, instead, turn into new issues that have to be dealt with. It's a piling on, and it waters down the story if it gets too crazy.

I'm just not sure where this kind of thing comes from. I know it is hard running a game, making things more complicated just seems crazy counterproductive to me. Why stifle the drama any more than you have too? Sometimes I feel like I need the Monty Python chorus to yell "GET ON WITH IT!"

I hope this mess gets worked though, I'm not giving up on the game. I just hope the climax to all this is worth it. I don't want it to be easy either, that would be almost as bad, like a crappy joke. I guess I will see how things work out.


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 Post subject: Re: Complications
PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 1:09 am 
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The Anti-Canon
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Quote:
I played one character several years ago in such a situation. It became remarkably painful to get into her mindset in order to play her. It seemed that every choice she made resulted in some world altering repercussions for her or her loved ones or Amber. It was ridiculous. For my own peace of mind, I had to finally bow out because I was at the point where it would have been less painful for the character if she slit her own throat. I didn't even care what happened with the character after I left. I was just relieved to be done with it.



Been there once. I had my poor PC head off into darkest rims of shadow to drink himself to death. It was very cathartic. As far as I was concerned, that universe didn't deserve him.


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 Post subject: Re: Complications
PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 11:45 am 
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Pattern Master

Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2010 4:54 pm
Posts: 152
[nods] Game Masters want to make stories exciting, but all too many don't realize that stress =/= excitement. The worst think that making life hell for the PCs makes a game 'deep' and 'cathartic'.

Amber encourages this because the setting is a grotty high school has all of the NPCs engaged in a constant struggle for status and thinking that pettiness is cool. The high school response mature, reasoned response ingame can be to bluntly point out that the NPC's childishness is why no one likes them - out of game though, best to resolve this before game start, by talking with the GM about what we want in a game!


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 Post subject: Re: Complications
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 9:20 am 
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Shadow Walker
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Posts: 136
Location: Australia
Been there, hear that, got the scars to prove it. One of the many reasons I created the Tears from the Sun PbEM was to see if something more could be done with the setting... Alas, my Real Life exploded awhile back, am now working 1 full-time job and 1 part-time job just to survive, which does not leave much time for RPG at all...


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 Post subject: Re: Complications
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 11:17 pm 
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Pattern Adept

Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 3:52 pm
Posts: 38
on this topic, another thing that annoys the crap out of me is when GMs nerf powers heavily. ive been in a game where Conjuring was heavily nerfed such that in addition to the 20 for the power, you had to spend more points to buy 'spells', predefined things you could conjure. it made the power almost useless. it dosent add balance, it just removes the creativity that makes the power fun. adding balance would be making it take more time the first time you summon something, not making it cost more points.


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 Post subject: Re: Complications
PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 7:27 pm 
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Castle Guard

Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2011 5:36 am
Posts: 15
Heh.I think some GMs don't realize that characters can have successes that don't turn to bitter ashes on their tongue before the big end game climax. I've also been in games where it was just doom after doom after doom ... in response to every possible variation of solution scrounged up by the characters and it became evident there was no way to succeed that wouldn't also unleash ancient evil EACH TIME. Each time!! I'm a big fan of the "Hey, look, your character IS that cool, you came up with a really neat plan ... that problem is fixed! Hey look here is a new one almost completely unrelated ... maybe you have allies now to help with it?" GMing style.


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 Post subject: Re: Complications
PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 11:00 pm 
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Innocent of All But Malice

Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 7:28 am
Posts: 1404
Location: Canberra, ACT, Australia
Sometimes GMs don't do it intentionally. Complicating things can be a stalling tactic. If a GM isn't sure how to deal with a PCs actions, there can be a temptation to throw in additional complication to keep the PCs busy while the GM works out their response.

Of course, the problem here is that the GM then has to deal with the PCs reaction to the new complication, so they trhow in another complication to give themselves thinking time and the whole thing becomes a vicious cycle.


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 Post subject: Re: Complications
PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 1:28 pm 
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The Anti-Canon
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Location: Stockton,ks
Yea Eric, I think you're right, complications do get turned into a stalling tactic. That then devolves into a cycle of repeating stalls.

It just makes me care less and less.

It's like Zeno's dichotomy paradox, where to advance, you must move half way to your destination. Then you encounter a complication, that you must overcome or fail, then move half the remaining distance. Rinse, repeat, forever... The closer you are, it seems there is more bullshit you have to deal with.

Blah.
Quote:
Heh.I think some GMs don't realize that characters can have successes that don't turn to bitter ashes on their tongue before the big end game climax.

What? Success that is not poisoned with the taste of ash? Sacrilege!
:P


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 Post subject: Re: Complications
PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 6:40 pm 
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The Anti-Canon
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I can't believe it's still happening.
Just when there was a perfect opportunity to have a rousing fight...

Now it's just one on one, and if I don't kill the goober, he will apparently be able to resurrect himself over and over. Using time travel cheese, no less.

I'm having difficulty caring now. I just wish I didn't like my character, so this wouldn't be so annoying.

No, obviously I do care, it just that I'm horribly frustrated by how this is turning out.


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 Post subject: Re: Complications
PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 11:51 pm 
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The Anti-Canon
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Location: Stockton,ks
Well, I think I have come to understand the issue that's behind these problems. The Gm and I had a little PM exchange that was mildly illuminating, though not very positive.

I'm pretty sure this is the deal.

If you know anything about GNS theory, I'm a Narrativist trying to play in a Gamist's version of Amber.

From the GM's view, all these complications are supposed to be opportunities for me to "win"
They are meant to challenge my character, give me something small to "fight" against between bigger conflicts.

From my view, these complications just get in the way of my character development and roleplaying. When my character acts like a real person, not a optimized combat monster, he suffers for it.

If a magic item is offered, for example, I'm a jerk when I don't take it for character motivation reasons. I've suddenly broken the Gamist's rules, and even when I try to roleplay out a solution like helping in some other way, I get shut out.

This realization doesn't bode well for me. At least I understand what's going on though, which makes me feel a little better.


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 Post subject: Re: Complications
PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 11:59 pm 
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Innocent of All But Malice

Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 11:29 pm
Posts: 2622
Location: SF / Bay Area
That kind of conflict sucks. I've been there myself.

_________________
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 Post subject: Re: Complications
PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2011 12:18 am 
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The Anti-Canon
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Location: Stockton,ks
Yea, it's not a good thing. At this point, I'm just going to try to keep things from getting any more personal than it already has. I like the guy, and I play with him and his wife in another game or two. They both are very nice, even if I don't fit well in their games apparently.


Last edited by battlebooze on Sat Aug 27, 2011 5:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Complications
PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2011 4:17 am 
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The Anti-Canon
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Location: Stockton,ks
I quit, depressing as that is.
I'll miss Jonas, it's not a fun thing to dump a character you enjoy and have put work into. I'll miss most of the interesting NPC's as well, a precious few unresolved things there, that happened between the grind of dealing with "important" issues.

If there is anything good to be taken from this, it's that I now know I enjoy the filler parts of the game more than the meat and bones of conflict. Bah, pulling a trigger or swinging a sword is easy. Telling a joke or writing a poem, that's a real challenge.


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 Post subject: Re: Complications
PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 7:43 pm 
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The Anti-Canon
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Well, maybe it wasn't all for naught.


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 Post subject: Re: Complications
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 3:42 am 
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Goddess
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I was always more partial to the character development scenes myself. Some people should realize though that there is a difference between character development and filler.

_________________
I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: "O Lord make my enemies ridiculous." And God granted it. ~Voltaire


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 Post subject: Re: Complications
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 8:04 am 
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The Anti-Canon
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Location: Stockton,ks
Depending on the game and the character, sitting around and shooting the bull can be one of the more pleasant things for me to roleplay. Anything that doesn't involve riddles, quests, negotiations, puzzles...

Anything that helps me define my character in my head, and doesn't make me want to pull my hair out is good.


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 Post subject: Re: Complications
PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 5:43 pm 
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Alpha Male

Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 1:43 pm
Posts: 625
I noticed that from my earlier post on, we actually had a game-related topic here, so I split it from the vent-fest that is the Pit.


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