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Zzarchov
06-21-2009, 10:39 PM
So in the latest update of Piecemeal I put them in under the heading "Experimental Argument Rules" and left the old ones in.

I was wondering if anyone here with an interest in social conflict mechanics (and any knowledge of other systems too) could give me a heads up on which one they prefer and why?

I'd really appreciate some feedback and advice from anyone who likes social conflict resolution mechanics

Tamburlain
06-22-2009, 07:11 AM
[
So in the latest update of Piecemeal I put them in under the heading "Experimental Argument Rules" and left the old ones in.

I was wondering if anyone here with an interest in social conflict mechanics (and any knowledge of other systems too) could give me a heads up on which one they prefer and why?

I'd really appreciate some feedback and advice from anyone who likes social conflict resolution mechanics


So in the latest update of Piecemeal I put them in under the heading "Experimental Argument Rules" and left the old ones in.

I was wondering if anyone here with an interest in social conflict mechanics (and any knowledge of other systems too) could give me a heads up on which one they prefer and why?

I'd really appreciate some feedback and advice from anyone who likes social conflict resolution mechanics

Yup, this is a fascination of mine, too. I have three indie recommendations and then one big not-so-indie recommendation.

Have you checked out the resolution mechanics from Dogs in the Vineyard, Burning Wheel, and/or Polaris-Chivalric Tragedy (http://swingpad.com/dustyboots/wordpress/?page_id=230)? I picked those three, because they represent 3 grades of crunchiness (high, mid, and low, respectively), yet all revolve around the same theoretical structure for the their conflict resolution and their means for disambiguating outcomes.

Namely, they allow different phases for players and/or GMs to:
1. Evaluate/Act: Whereby, it is determined what is at stake after a brief narration of intent and goal.

2. Primary Resolution: Whereby, the game's mechanics are accessed to determine a primary outcome or set of primary outcomes (GM may access a predetermined situation-specific decision tree in order to formulate an appropriate narrative for the outcome and possible new choices).

3. Re-evaluate/React: Whereby it is determined how characters will react to a given outcome--or else, if possible, decide to attempt to modify a primary outcome.

4. Subordinate Resolutions: Whereby, if necessary, the game's mechanics are accessed again, this time to determine either the next level of outcome (subordinate to first), or else are consulted in order to verify or falsify an attempted modification to a previous outcome.

5. Conclusion: Whereby players and/or GM revisit and/or revise what is at stake, assess what has changed in the situation, and then either narrate a conclusion or else begin again at #3.

DitV has a crunchy social conflict system that would require a whole thread to outline and contextualize (here is a review (http://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/10/10742.phtml) that does a great job of doing just that); BW slightly less crunchy, but similar (I'm thinking esp. of the duel of wits (http://www.burningwheel.org/wiki/index.php?title=Downloads#Duel_of_Wits) mechanics of BW); and Polaris resolves conflict formally (using ritualized statements and counterstatements)--yet does so without dice and without a final arbiter GM. Conflict resolution in Polaris actually reminds me a little of model UN, if you ever did that as a kid, or Robert's Rules of Order (http://www.robertsrules.com/history.html). Here is another good review (http://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/12/12354.phtml) that does a good job of outlining the conflict resolution in Polaris.

Then, of course, there is the (sometimes ignored) new conflict resolution system provided in D&D4e, which consists of various GM-modeled decision trees whose narrative is rooted in various skill challenges. As a system, I think is it is actually quite good in its current formulation, with the potential to be superb. My biggest complaint is that the longer a challenge's model runs, the less likely it is to involve all players equitably. Also, yes, it is a new system that is marred by errata, but it's also a system that plays well if you are a GM who is used to modeling challenges of the sort that DitV or Burning Wheel allow for (c.f. the list above), or if you are a player who is used to taking narrative control of your character and not waiting always to be spoon-fed your options. All in all, it is an extremely flexible system, mechanically speaking, and it puts a lot of narrative potential directly into the hands of players. Actually, I would even go so far as to say that WotC was being (and is still being) influenced by the indie scene on this score, and it's clearly for the better of the venerable game. If people don't buy this claim, I urge them to take a look at some examples of the quality indie support for the new skill challenge system. The Skill Forge (http://www.skillforge.omnivangelist.net/) is but one awesome example.

Zzarchov
06-22-2009, 02:50 PM
While that is great in all, as your quoted texts notes, I was kind of asking for opinions on which of the systems in place you prefered and why?

That being said feel free to include references to other games and the experiences you've had with them as explanations to why you prefer things,

But im not really looking for examples of games to clone illegally.

Still, thank you for your interest.

Tamburlain
06-22-2009, 04:11 PM
While that is great in all, as your quoted texts notes, I was kind of asking for opinions on which of the systems in place you prefered and why?

That being said feel free to include references to other games and the experiences you've had with them as explanations to why you prefer things,

But im not really looking for examples of games to clone illegally.

Still, thank you for your interest.


My mistake, Zzarchov. I misunderstood the nature of your request. That much is true. However, I was suggesting games whose systems (I liked and preferred) that you as a designer might benchmark and learn from, not clone--much less clone illegally. Pardon me for saying so, but the inference of illegality is bizarre.