Un-PbtAing Games

Whatever's on your mind
User avatar
Jared Rascher
Posts: 295
Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2019 11:45 am
Contact:

Re: Un-PbtAing Games

Post by Jared Rascher »

I'm interested to see where the Monster of the Week discussion goes, although I feel like there are some examples of OSR styled games that touch on the topics.

Dark Streets and Darker Secrets is one, and I would have never heard of it except for the Gauntlet podcast.

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/26 ... +darker+se

Content warning: I'm not a fan of the illustration they used for the "Drugs and Other Substances" section on page 34. It feels both disturbing and exploitative. Just as a warning to anyone that may be paging through the book.
User avatar
zircher
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2019 5:23 pm
Location: OKC, OK
Contact:

Re: Un-PbtAing Games

Post by zircher »

zircher wrote: Tue Sep 03, 2019 5:03 pm I think I would meet the problem half way and go with a D20 based PbtA. That way all the old school values and such would still apply to the rolls. You then have the GM act on failure as per PbtA.
Well, call me prophetic, the kickstarter for Hyper Light Drifter: The Role Playing Game is doing exactly that. D20 with PbtA-ish thresholds.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/me ... es/hld-rpg
User avatar
Bohnhoff
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:23 pm
Location: Albuquerque
Contact:

Re: Un-PbtAing Games

Post by Bohnhoff »

zircher wrote: Sun Sep 15, 2019 5:50 pm
zircher wrote: Tue Sep 03, 2019 5:03 pm I think I would meet the problem half way and go with a D20 based PbtA. That way all the old school values and such would still apply to the rolls. You then have the GM act on failure as per PbtA.
Well, call me prophetic, the kickstarter for Hyper Light Drifter: The Role Playing Game is doing exactly that. D20 with PbtA-ish thresholds.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/me ... es/hld-rpg
That's a fascinating concept. I like bands of success in just about all my games. I'm not sure I'm totally sold on ditching a bell curve for a flat roll but I guess it eliminates a bit of math. If their Energy economy flows easily enough, I suppose boosts could replace a predictable statistical curve.

But, for the purposes of this discussion, is that enough to make it OSR? Is OSR defined by using a d20 over 2d6? Is it more about random tables?
I don't think I know what OSR really is in a post-retro-clone sense.
User avatar
zircher
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2019 5:23 pm
Location: OKC, OK
Contact:

Re: Un-PbtAing Games

Post by zircher »

OSR is certainly an open definition and I don't think you can point to one thing. Solo gaming uses a ton of random tables, but I use those for indie titles these days.

For me, OSR is about nostalgic play and that's a highly personal thing based on your own experiences (I played a lot more Arduin Grimoire than I did OD&D.) Mad alchemists with machine guns may not be OSR for you, but it brings a fond twinkle to my eye. :D
User avatar
Emmett
Posts: 82
Joined: Tue Jul 30, 2019 12:44 pm
Contact:

Re: Un-PbtAing Games

Post by Emmett »

Bohnhoff wrote: Mon Sep 16, 2019 1:04 pmBut, for the purposes of this discussion, is that enough to make it OSR? Is OSR defined by using a d20 over 2d6? Is it more about random tables?
I don't think I know what OSR really is in a post-retro-clone sense.
I did a reaction to one of the books that a lot of OSR groups consider "Definitive" of the movement "A Quick Primer for Old School Gaming". I thought I would get a lot of blowback but most weirdly agreed with me. http://store32.net/osr/
User avatar
RobAbrazado
Site Admin
Posts: 255
Joined: Mon May 06, 2019 10:52 am
Location: New York, NY
Contact:

Re: Un-PbtAing Games

Post by RobAbrazado »

Bohnhoff wrote: Mon Sep 16, 2019 1:04 pm That's a fascinating concept. I like bands of success in just about all my games. I'm not sure I'm totally sold on ditching a bell curve for a flat roll but I guess it eliminates a bit of math. If their Energy economy flows easily enough, I suppose boosts could replace a predictable statistical curve.
I don't think you even need to worry about the die swinginess or lack thereof. Having bands of success means the predictability of the die result isn't significant, in the sense that when you throw 2d6 in PbtA, rolling a 2 produces the same result as rolling a 6, so all you care about is the probability of getting each of the 2 through 6 results combined. So in that sense, HLD setting a miss at 8 or less on a d20 is approximately the same probability as a 6 or less on 2d6. Your chances of missing (or hitting) in PbtA are the same as your chances in HLD, no matter the curve of die results.

What HLD does do that's different is shift the threshold between partial success and success based on character skill, which actually I think is pretty neat-looking! It's logically equivalent to, say, shifting the die result when in PbtA you roll+STAT, but in HLD your skill modifier won't lessen your chances of a miss! So a novice and a master have the same chance of missing; what the master gets is a reduction in the chances of complications when they hit. Pretty interesting departure from how PbtA plays!

Anyway. I didn't want to derail the discussion about OSR. I just wanted to point out that while moving to a d20 does change the shape of the probability curve of die results, it doesn't change the curve of game results.
Need help with the Forums? Hit up the Questions and Feedback board!
Support Misdirected Mark Productions on Patreon!
User avatar
Emmett
Posts: 82
Joined: Tue Jul 30, 2019 12:44 pm
Contact:

Re: Un-PbtAing Games

Post by Emmett »

RobAbrazado wrote: Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:18 amI just wanted to point out that while moving to a d20 does change the shape of the probability curve of die results, it doesn't change the curve of game results.
I wholeheartedly agree with this. Everything breaks down to a percentage chance which can be approximated with a flat roll. Maintaining the relative effect of simple bonuses like what a +1 does to a 2d6 is a little trickier but it's doable.
User avatar
zircher
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2019 5:23 pm
Location: OKC, OK
Contact:

Re: Un-PbtAing Games

Post by zircher »

Emmett wrote: Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:28 am I did a reaction to one of the books that a lot of OSR groups consider "Definitive" of the movement "A Quick Primer for Old School Gaming". I thought I would get a lot of blowback but most weirdly agreed with me. http://store32.net/osr/
Interesting read and thanks for sharing.
User avatar
Emmett
Posts: 82
Joined: Tue Jul 30, 2019 12:44 pm
Contact:

Re: Un-PbtAing Games

Post by Emmett »

Thanks.
User avatar
Bohnhoff
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:23 pm
Location: Albuquerque
Contact:

Re: Un-PbtAing Games

Post by Bohnhoff »

Emmett wrote: Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:28 am I did a reaction to one of the books that a lot of OSR groups consider "Definitive" of the movement "A Quick Primer for Old School Gaming". I thought I would get a lot of blowback but most weirdly agreed with me. http://store32.net/osr/
Cool! So, if we use Emmett's post as a definition of OSR, our un-PbtAed game needs to:
1. rely on rulings (rules are loose and open to interpretation)
2. rely on player cleverness (characters can't be smarter than players)
3. allow characters to get in over their heads (balance isn't important)
4. use critical successes and failures to provide the secondary consequences of success bands
5. involve an important resource management aspect

I'm discarding "Heroic, not Superheroes" because that seems more of a genre consideration than a play style.
Post Reply

Return to “General Discussion”