MMP#376 – Fictional Positioning

Chris, Phil, and Bob break down and get inside game mastering, playing games, and game design in an effort to entertain and inform you.
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EpisodeBot
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MMP#376 – Fictional Positioning

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It’s all about the position of the fiction in this episode of the Misdirected Mark Podcast. Enjoy this episode as we get our narrative on. Misdirected Mark Productions Patreon Time Stamps 1:52 – One Thing & Announcements
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OldSchoolDM
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Re: MMP#376 – Fictional Positioning

Post by OldSchoolDM »

Surprise! Whenever MM characterizes play or game rules as having two "poles", I think you overly polarize "Trad" games, and explicitly D&D.
In this case, you trotted out that old chestnut: "I hit it with my axe" as a typical example, implying that's how all (most)? actions are described.

That's not correct, and it's in the rules.

Let me quote from the 5th ed DMG:

"...A player tells the DM what he or she wants to do, and the DM determines whether it is successful or not, in some cases asking the player to make a die roll to determine success...

The rules don’t account for every possible situation that might arise during a typical D&D session. For example, a player might want his or her character to hurl a brazier full of hot coals into a monster’s face. How you determine the outcome of this action is up to you..."

That description really doesn't sound all that different from some of the other so-called "Fictional Positioning" games, describing an action and the GM calling for a move.

For 40+ years "What do you do?" has been the order of the day for D&D in every game I've run, and every one I've played. Sometimes it's a long description leading to the DM having adjudicate. Sometimes, the position of the minis and the rolling of the dice assist in the Fictional Positioning.

Thanks for the terminology though! It was a good episode. I just wish there wasn't such a rush to position specific games on specific so-called spectra.
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chrismmp
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Re: MMP#376 – Fictional Positioning

Post by chrismmp »

I think if you listen instead of just jump to a conclusion about our stance and characterize us based on past prejudice, we, and especially I, say that “trad” games like dnd 5e and “trad” games like basic dnd very much have to do with fictional positioning.

If you listen to the games we site and the rule we site as being less on the fictional positioning side it’s 3.x and it’s variants because the rules are doing what they can to account for every situation.

Maybe the bias isn’t with us this time.

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Emmett
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Re: MMP#376 – Fictional Positioning

Post by Emmett »

I think a lot of game groups default to what is mechanically effective. "I throw the brazier at the monster." is prone to the GM deciding it had no effect. Is that good GMing? Probably not, but the GM probably is afraid of the players abandoning their swords and taking up a life of hurling braziers if they spot rule that it's effective. It's sometimes difficult for a GM to foresee all the knock on effects of their choices. I'm not justifying that kind of reductive GMing, just acknowledging that it does happen and why. As they gain system mastery they either ossify into only following the mechanical effects or they spread out and become more narratively inclined. I've seen both happen.

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OldSchoolDM
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Re: MMP#376 – Fictional Positioning

Post by OldSchoolDM »

chrismmp wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 2:08 am
I think if you listen instead of just jump to a conclusion about our stance and characterize us based on past prejudice, we, and especially I, say that “trad” games like dnd 5e and “trad” games like basic dnd very much have to do with fictional positioning.

If you listen to the games we site and the rule we site as being less on the fictional positioning side it’s 3.x and it’s variants because the rules are doing what they can to account for every situation.

Maybe the bias isn’t with us this time.
1) We all have interpretive biases, and I fully own mine (strong sensitivity to categorical biasing.) https://hbr.org/2019/09/the-dangers-of- ... l-thinking
2) I spent quite awhile, slowly going through the episode. I commented on what I digested from what I've heard (including historical context, but not just MM's context.)
3) Wish to acknowledge that Chris did make a distinction between 3.5 and 5.0, saying 3.5 was "less" about fictional positioning. On this I have no personal opinion, as I have only played/DMs OD&D, AD&D, 4e, and 5. Though, I have heard others us similar language about 4e

If the #1 "Trad" games "very much have to do with fictional positioning" (which I agree with, given the definitions provided), why overgeneralize a spectrum in the very same episode?

That's really my only concern. When I catch myself doing this, I end up learning a lot more about myself and the things I'm examining.
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