Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Diegesis in TTRPGs, (OR why I don’t oppose meta-gaming or table-talk – any more!)

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Diegesis in TTRPGs, (OR why I don’t oppose meta-gaming or table-talk – any more!)

    So, I wrote a thing about narrative and GMing RPGS - it's not strictly Exalted, but you folks have alway sbeen one of the more thoughtful gaming communities when it comes to feedback on ideas of this nature.

    As always, and feedback, criticisms, corrections or dissenting opinions are welcome.

    https://bragrman.com/2017/08/07/diegesis-in-ttrpgs/


    Visit me at Tales of Grey - my RPG Game-Master's blog.

    "If only I had an enemy bigger than my apathy, I could have won" - I gave you all, Mumford & Sons

  • #2
    My first thought is that you have a very different idea on why people have a problem with metagaming than the objections in my experience. My experience metagaming becomes a problem when the players are actively using information they have no way of knowing, but only makes sense if the character knew the information. Example of one from 2nd, a player formulating a strategy to negate the perfect defenses of an Infernal despite not knowing that Infernal exalts are even a thing, but because the player recognizes the description of the person to be Sulumor and then just formulating based off her write up in one of the books.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by nalak42 View Post
      My first thought is that you have a very different idea on why people have a problem with metagaming than the objections in my experience. My experience metagaming becomes a problem when the players are actively using information they have no way of knowing, but only makes sense if the character knew the information. Example of one from 2nd, a player formulating a strategy to negate the perfect defenses of an Infernal despite not knowing that Infernal exalts are even a thing, but because the player recognizes the description of the person to be Sulumor and then just formulating based off her write up in one of the books.

      I did say "once you view RPGs as narrative then..."

      In your example, I would say that the problem is not 'metagaming' as much as it is the player (and to some degree, the GM) viewing the game as a mechanical contest between character and NPC


      Visit me at Tales of Grey - my RPG Game-Master's blog.

      "If only I had an enemy bigger than my apathy, I could have won" - I gave you all, Mumford & Sons

      Comment


      • #4
        At the table, the GM/ST is also a player. My expectations surrounding 'meta-game' knowledge being used or not used extend only so far as my own enjoyment and the preservation of Versimilitude with the world.

        If any player character's action are predicated on protecting themselves from 'mechanical reprisal' or 'beating a challenge' rather than responding to a moment - my immersion breaks and I have issues.

        I have never had this problem with anyone who wasn't already a problem player for numerous other reasons (eg, their antics were designed to 'beat' the other players and force the game to continually focus on them specifically) so I can't say meta-gaming itself is that big a concern of mine.

        So... I dunno. *shrug*


        My Homebrew: Architect of the Regal Puppet Style (WIP) || Monkey Style || Radiant Halo of Incandescent Might || Pale Driver, Ruination of the Edifice of Tyranny || Sublime Percussion, Just a Whole lot of Fun || Idris, The Graceful Heart of Purpose

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by CapitanTypo View Post


          I did say "once you view RPGs as narrative then..."

          In your example, I would say that the problem is not 'metagaming' as much as it is the player (and to some degree, the GM) viewing the game as a mechanical contest between character and NPC
          Yeah, but what I'm saying from my experience that's more where metagaming is seen as a problem. To me your statement comes off as saying "Here's how to handle a broken leg. Now after you've had your cast taken off, you'll want to do this." You're giving advice on a problem except at the stage you're discussing it's not really a problem anymore. To use Dnd as a simpler one, this isn't trying to figure out a way for your character to work out that zombies take more damage from slashing weapons than piercing or bludgeoning. Then having the exchange:
          "Okay I smash it's arm with my club to get it to let go of my leg."
          "You bring the club down as hard as you can, but it doesn't let go. More surprising because you can clearly see broken bone sticking out of it's now broken arm."
          "Then I shout to the group to just cut off the limbs don't waste time breaking them."

          The problem comes more when you have the player trying to assassinate Manosque Cyan for literally no reason in universe with the reason being the players know she's an Infernal.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by nalak42 View Post
            Yeah, but what I'm saying from my experience that's more where metagaming is seen as a problem. To me your statement comes off as saying "Here's how to handle a broken leg. Now after you've had your cast taken off, you'll want to do this." You're giving advice on a problem except at the stage you're discussing it's not really a problem anymore. To use Dnd as a simpler one, this isn't trying to figure out a way for your character to work out that zombies take more damage from slashing weapons than piercing or bludgeoning. Then having the exchange:
            "Okay I smash it's arm with my club to get it to let go of my leg."
            "You bring the club down as hard as you can, but it doesn't let go. More surprising because you can clearly see broken bone sticking out of it's now broken arm."
            "Then I shout to the group to just cut off the limbs don't waste time breaking them."

            The problem comes more when you have the player trying to assassinate Manosque Cyan for literally no reason in universe with the reason being the players know she's an Infernal.
            I get what you're saying, but I would very strongly argue that if you've got a player who does that sort of thing, while it could technically be described as meta-gaming, the problem is not actually the issue of meta-gaming.

            I will see what I can do to clarify that point, however.


            Visit me at Tales of Grey - my RPG Game-Master's blog.

            "If only I had an enemy bigger than my apathy, I could have won" - I gave you all, Mumford & Sons

            Comment


            • #7
              I have to agree that Meta-Gaming does indeed exist... and I've played in many groups where one or more players use information that they know but their characters shouldn't have. It has little to do with the GM making a challenge for the players rather than the characters... but rather that the players are either unable or unwilling to separate what they know from the books from what their characters actually know in the setting.

              ​I've had players whose characters instantly knew the vulnerabilities of supervillains when this is the first time they met the villain and their vulnerability to specific things isn't widely known (especially to a new group of inexperienced heroes). I've seen players know exactly how to bypass a trap in a dungeon because they read the book where the dungeon is described... even though it is the first time their characters entered the dungeon and they didn't bother with any research about it before hand in character (many dungeons will have legends and lore about them... especially if they were once an important place in the past). As Nalak42 pointed out... some players often have their characters recognize important NPCs that have been described in the books even when those NPCs are not well known in the setting... and their true nature has yet to be reveled (in my case... it was players instantly recognizing the Alchemicals as Exalts of Autochthon... even their specific names... when there is no way their characters should know what the Alchemicals are... let alone their specific names... and then using tactics to counter the "never-before-seen-in-Creation" charms before they've actually been seen using them (including how to counter the unique Flaws of Invulnerability that Alchemicals have for their perfect defenses).

              ​You may be right... in that the players see the game as a mechanical contest to be won... but that doesn't change the fact that they are using information they know as players to give their characters who have no way of knowing that information an advantage that they really shouldn't have. Just because a player views the game as a mechanic that can be "won" doesn't mean the information he is using to allow his character to "win" isn't meta-gaming.
              Last edited by Shadowstripe; 08-10-2017, 05:54 AM.


              There are three types of people in the world... those who can count and those who can't.
              I reject your reality and substitute my own!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Shadowstripe View Post
                I have to agree that Meta-Gaming does indeed exist... and I've played in many groups where one or more players use information that they know but their characters shouldn't have. It has little to do with the GM making a challenge for the players rather than the characters... but rather that the players are either unable or unwilling to separate what they know from the books from what their characters actually know in the setting.

                ​I've had players whose characters instantly knew the vulnerabilities of supervillains when this is the first time they met the villain and their vulnerability to specific things isn't widely known (especially to a new group of inexperienced heroes). I've seen players know exactly how to bypass a trap in a dungeon because they read the book where the dungeon is described... even though it is the first time their characters entered the dungeon and they didn't bother with any research about it before hand in character (many dungeons will have legends and lore about them... especially if they were once an important place in the past). As Nalak42 pointed out... some players often have their characters recognize important NPCs that have been described in the books even when those NPCs are not well known in the setting... and their true nature has yet to be reveled (in my case... it was players instantly recognizing the Alchemicals as Exalts of Autochthon... even their specific names... when there is no way their characters should know what the Alchemicals are... let alone their specific names... and then using tactics to counter the "never-before-seen-in-Creation" charms before they've actually been seen using them (including how to counter the unique Flaws of Invulnerability that Alchemicals have for their perfect defenses).

                ​You may be right... in that the players see the game as a mechanical contest to be won... but that doesn't change the fact that they are using information they know as players to give their characters who have no way of knowing that information an advantage that they really shouldn't have. Just because a player views the game as a mechanic that can be "won" doesn't mean the information he is using to allow his character to "win" isn't meta-gaming.
                I'm curious to know... what do you think is going on there? (Whether you call it metagaming or not)


                Visit me at Tales of Grey - my RPG Game-Master's blog.

                "If only I had an enemy bigger than my apathy, I could have won" - I gave you all, Mumford & Sons

                Comment


                • #9
                  I thought the post was very interesting. I agree with a lot of the points you had. I think that 'table-talk' can often enhance a game, but I wouldn't go so far as to say 'meta-gaming' doesn't exist.

                  I think it does to some extent, but only truly becomes an issue when a player is essentially using what they know of the game in a way that breaks the flow of the story and ruins the enjoyment of others at the table. I have been in discussions with GM's who have called a player out on meta gaming, when the players actions have been more along the lines of 'within the characters parameters, this is the only thing they can do in this situation... or stand around and do nothing.'... When in those cases, I think it was more the inability of the GM to deviate from their expected plot. But I have also been in games where a player has had almost every other player at some point turn to them and say 'your character has no way of knowing or finding that out AT ALL.' At which point I would use the term 'meta-gaming'...

                  But I think every GM has a different threshold when it comes to player knowledge becomes perceived as 'meta-gaming'... and some players are just (insert insulting word of choice)
                  Last edited by Lang_Dao_Ming; 08-10-2017, 08:36 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Lang_Dao_Ming View Post
                    I thought the post was very interesting. I agree with a lot of the points you had. I think that 'table-talk' can often enhance a game, but I wouldn't go so far as to say 'meta-gaming' doesn't exist.

                    I think it does to some extent, but only truly becomes an issue when a player is essentially using what they know of the game in a way that breaks the flow of the story and ruins the enjoyment of others at the table. I have been in discussions with GM's who have called a player out on meta gaming, when the players actions have been more along the lines of 'within the characters parameters, this is the only thing they can do in this situation... or stand around and do nothing.'... When in those cases, I think it was more the inability of the GM to deviate from their expected plot. But I have also been in games where a player has had almost every other player at some point turn to them and say 'your character has no way of knowing or finding that out AT ALL.' At which point I would use the term 'meta-gaming'...

                    But I think every GM has a different threshold when it comes to player knowledge becomes perceived as 'meta-gaming'... and some players are just (insert insulting word of choice)

                    I confess I was being a bit cheeky when I was saying that meta-gaming doesn't exist, the point I was trying to make is that what many people consider meta-gaming as a bad thing should actually be considered nondiegetic gameplay, and an intrinsic part of the game. Terms are, as always, a bit loose and variable in application, and if you take the examples given above (players heading off to kill a canonical bad guy that's had no role or implication in the game actually being played) - while that might seem an example of 'meta-gaming' I would argue that that player is not actually playing the same game as the rest of the group.

                    They're like a hockey player who turns up with a pink flamingo lawn ornament instead of a stick, but insists on being treated seriously by the rest of the team. They're doing their own thing for their own reasons, and perhaps the best response to that kind of behaviour is to (gently) point out that they're not actually playing the game with everyone else and tell them they're welcome back once they're ready to engage with everyone else.


                    Visit me at Tales of Grey - my RPG Game-Master's blog.

                    "If only I had an enemy bigger than my apathy, I could have won" - I gave you all, Mumford & Sons

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by CapitanTypo View Post


                      I confess I was being a bit cheeky when I was saying that meta-gaming doesn't exist, the point I was trying to make is that what many people consider meta-gaming as a bad thing should actually be considered nondiegetic gameplay, and an intrinsic part of the game. Terms are, as always, a bit loose and variable in application, and if you take the examples given above (players heading off to kill a canonical bad guy that's had no role or implication in the game actually being played) - while that might seem an example of 'meta-gaming' I would argue that that player is not actually playing the same game as the rest of the group.

                      They're like a hockey player who turns up with a pink flamingo lawn ornament instead of a stick, but insists on being treated seriously by the rest of the team. They're doing their own thing for their own reasons, and perhaps the best response to that kind of behaviour is to (gently) point out that they're not actually playing the game with everyone else and tell them they're welcome back once they're ready to engage with everyone else.


                      Cheeky? Noooo... lol. I get why you said it, and I agree to some extent with your point. To my reasoning the term 'meta-gaming' was made for just those instances of players using a flamingo... I really like that analogy btw... and some people have taken the term and used it on all manner of things related to it, while maybe not actually using it in the precise context and way it was originally intended. but that's just the evolution of language. Words get generalised, misinterpreted, turned upside down, re-imagined. There are plenty of words in any language that many people use in a completely different manner to what they were originally intended. But can you claim that they don't exist? :P

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Lang_Dao_Ming View Post



                        Cheeky? Noooo... lol. I get why you said it, and I agree to some extent with your point. To my reasoning the term 'meta-gaming' was made for just those instances of players using a flamingo... I really like that analogy btw... and some people have taken the term and used it on all manner of things related to it, while maybe not actually using it in the precise context and way it was originally intended. but that's just the evolution of language. Words get generalised, misinterpreted, turned upside down, re-imagined. There are plenty of words in any language that many people use in a completely different manner to what they were originally intended. But can you claim that they don't exist? :P
                        Well... you can when using shitty click bait strategies to try and generate interaction/traffic ;-)

                        But I take your point. I might revise and tone down the rhetoric somewhat.

                        One thing I do have a problem with, however, is the use of a term like metagsming in such a way that it effectively normalises and makes space for the 'pink flamingo players' (I want that term in common use by Christmas...) By simply saying "stop metagaming" to the player who starts the curse of strahd module by eliminating a few key npcs and walking straight over to the hiding place of the useful artifacts you're creating a place for the behaviour, when in fact the correct response might actually be to say 'no'. Harsh as it sounds, in a social activity, social exclusion may be the only response to those who refuse to play... socially?


                        Visit me at Tales of Grey - my RPG Game-Master's blog.

                        "If only I had an enemy bigger than my apathy, I could have won" - I gave you all, Mumford & Sons

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by CapitanTypo View Post

                          One thing I do have a problem with, however, is the use of a term like metagsming in such a way that it effectively normalises and makes space for the 'pink flamingo players' (I want that term in common use by Christmas...) By simply saying "stop metagaming" to the player who starts the curse of strahd module by eliminating a few key npcs and walking straight over to the hiding place of the useful artifacts you're creating a place for the behaviour, when in fact the correct response might actually be to say 'no'. Harsh as it sounds, in a social activity, social exclusion may be the only response to those who refuse to play... socially?

                          To some extent, I think this does happen. People do just say no, or stop inviting them to games. From my experience Pink Flamingo Players or PFP's (yup, I am totally going to use it), tend to be group hoppers, or they find a group with other PFP's and a GM who likes the challenge of making the hardest possible game for PFP's to 'win'... Which I guess means they are not playing the same game as you or I.

                          Maybe there should be a PFP intervention... and a recovery group.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            If I were faced with players trying to assassinate Manosque Cyan for being an infernal, I'd just have her turn out not to be an infernal.

                            "You just murdered an innocent woman for no reason. What do?"

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              In a Changeling game I was in, I, as a player, knew there was a Nosferatu in the area, and that he was using Obfuscate to hide from my character. I also knew he had Banality 8, which is nauseating for a changeling to be near, and I was playing a sluagh, who can see through any illusion, reflexively if I recall correctly. So I used a lot of OOC information to have my character look for the invisible vampire that she didn't know was there, yet it was a perfectly sound IC action. Sometimes using OOC knowledge isn't just acceptable, it's essential.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X