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WFRP narrative, simulationist or gamist?


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#1 Ubernatus

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 02:12 PM

 Self explanotary :) Which side does it fit in GSM theory?



#2 phild

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 07:54 PM

As with pretty much any RPG, the answer is all three. However, I think it scores lowest on the Simulationist axis and highest on Gamist, but with a reasonbly strong narrative sense.



#3 BigKahuna

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 08:23 PM

Have to agree with the above poster for the most part.  Certainly for the GM it offers a ton of mechanics that make creating a narrative a lot easier, so the game tends to run very narrative as a result.  However in the end it is a fantasy adventure game and you are going to end up in plenty of combat in which case it certainly is very gamist in that respect as it has plenty of rules and mechanics that favor this style of play during combat.  That said even in combat you have many very strong narrative elements with action cards like Perform Stunt and the dynamic use of the dice pools and resulting translations.

It definitively offers very little to the simulationist player though the game system is quite flexible and if you paruse the house rules forum you will find people trying to create some simulationist mechanics for the system, though most of these are a far cry from simulationist games, but rather an attempt to make some aspects of the game a little less abstract.



#4 Ubernatus

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 09:16 PM

 Some said WFRP 1st and 2nd were much more narrativist and with the 3rd edition it became gamist/narrativist. Also someone in this forum also mentioned that WFRP (especially 1st edition) was 'anti-DnD' (storydriven, dark, theatre style etc.) and also i must mention something combat is not a gamist aspect in my opinion.



#5 Daedalum

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 11:30 AM

 Above posts seem pretty spot on.

If you listen to the reckless dice podcast actual plays, you will get an idea of where various GMs take it. Practice trumps theory :) 



#6 Doc, the Weasel

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 08:18 AM

This is another thread where I am reminded that people misunderstand the creative agendas in Big Model (e.g. Simulationism =/= trying to be realistic).

WFRP 3ed is a Simulationist game, with some Gamist elements. It best supports "The Right To Dream" agenda, while it's resource management decision-making (stances, allocating die results, etc) lend themselves to the "Step On Up" agenda (though to a much lesser degree).

There is very little if any Narrativism in this game. There are no character traits defining the character's motivations or beliefs, and there is no sharing of narrative control (it always resides with the GM). Many GMs may add some of these elements (I certainly have), but there is little right out of the box that supports true Narrativist play. 

 


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#7 korknadel

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 07:07 PM

Doc, the Weasel said:

This is another thread where I am reminded that people misunderstand the creative agendas in Big Model (e.g. Simulationism =/= trying to be realistic).

WFRP 3ed is a Simulationist game, with some Gamist elements. It best supports "The Right To Dream" agenda, while it's resource management decision-making (stances, allocating die results, etc) lend themselves to the "Step On Up" agenda (though to a much lesser degree).

There is very little if any Narrativism in this game. There are no character traits defining the character's motivations or beliefs, and there is no sharing of narrative control (it always resides with the GM). Many GMs may add some of these elements (I certainly have), but there is little right out of the box that supports true Narrativist play. 

 

 

You are so very right!!!

 

I agree with you that much of the earlier posts suffer from a general misconception of what the Big Model really is (or describes). Most of all WFRP1st being narrativism?!?  Totally missed the point.

 

Thanks for the clarification, Doc!



#8 BigKahuna

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 09:40 PM

It depends on your definition of simulationist, in my circles simulationist most certainly ='s realism.  That's what simulationists want, the most realistic represenation of life in a mechanic that is possible, GURPS being a good example in attempting to do just that.

I don' disagree with you in regards to the game "simulating something", but in as a whole I think most people associate simulationism with the attempt to have realism in their game produced by the mechanics.

By your definition, every role-playing game out there is simulationist, after all, they are all trying to simulate something.



#9 Doc, the Weasel

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 05:11 AM

BigKahuna said:

It depends on your definition of simulationist, in my circles simulationist most certainly ='s realism.  That's what simulationists want, the most realistic represenation of life in a mechanic that is possible, GURPS being a good example in attempting to do just that.

I don' disagree with you in regards to the game "simulating something", but in as a whole I think most people associate simulationism with the attempt to have realism in their game produced by the mechanics.

By your definition, every role-playing game out there is simulationist, after all, they are all trying to simulate something.

Most people's definition is wrong. People are free to call things whatever they want, but in terms of GNS theory and Big Model there is only one definition.

 

I think a lot of people bandy those terms about not knowing that there is an actual body of work that they came from.

Here's the wikipedia entry:

Big Model

And here are Ron Edwards' original articles for reference:

Simulationism: The Right to Dream

Gamism: Step on Up

Narrativism: Story Now


Listen to my actual play podcasts at BeggingForXP.com.

 

Take a look at my Talent Trees (Edge of the Empire and Age of Rebellion), YT-2400 deck plans for the Lazy Bantha, as well as my other handouts.


#10 BigKahuna

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 08:34 PM

Its like a colloquialism in a sense where when enough people use a word in a certain way or even make up a word that doesn't actually exist it becomes the definition of that word or term despite being wrong.

But by the letter of the GSM theory I think korknadel had it right, it is a simulationist game by those definitions.  Its worth mentioning however that as Doc, The Wiesal said "most people are wrong" is pretty accurate in terms of what simulationism is generally accepted as being, as such if you read this post and aren't aware of the the GSM theory and the definition of the word simulationist in this context it could be very misleading.

I think WFRP's unique approach to how role-playing games are played stems more from the practical side rather than actual mechanics.  For the most part the game is not that different than many role-playing games on paper, its in practice with its component heavy approach and the kind of simplified way to play a more complex system is what makes it special and why I personally like it.  I think without the components many mechanics of this game like tracking fatigue, stress, wounds, critical wounds, various diseases and effects would be really unwieldy without the components.  In fact even with the components, in particular in more complex combat encounters as an example I have found the game to be difficult to run and have as a result come to the conclusion that a good application needs to be written for the GM to keep it all straight. 

To me, WFRP 3.0 has taken the first real steps in the digital direction because by creating a more complex system with components, the natural progression is to make it acceptable to have "more moving parts" which will ultimatly lead people to creating more specific digital tools for RPG's.  In a way its what 4th edition D&D promised to be with its digital table top application, but that never materialized. I think a decade from now most Role-Playing games will be played on digital table tops more often than in person and concepts like "pencil and paper" will be a thing of the past if they aren't already.

Ok I derailed their somewhere…. I do that sometimes.

 






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