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  • Game-specific terms and what they mean...

    Being a newer player, there are times when someone uses a term that I don't fully understand. I think this could be a good thread for those question, so they don't clog up meaty threads. I'll start: what does White Room mean? I've seen it used in the following context: "At higher essences he can start to put together combos that in a white room can wipe a whole party of Dragon-blooded. If you're fighting him as a PC party of DB's do not let him white room you. Be willing to take losses and wear him down." Even int he context, I'm not really sure what this means.


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  • #2
    Originally posted by Lukkychukky View Post
    Being a newer player, there are times when someone uses a term that I don't fully understand. I think this could be a good thread for those question, so they don't clog up meaty threads. I'll start: what does White Room mean? I've seen it used in the following context: "At higher essences he can start to put together combos that in a white room can wipe a whole party of Dragon-blooded. If you're fighting him as a PC party of DB's do not let him white room you. Be willing to take losses and wear him down." Even int he context, I'm not really sure what this means.
    White Room or White Rooming is a descriptive and sometimes derogatory term for the practice of assuming mechanics will be engaged with in "A White Room". What this functionally means in practice is, it's entirely an exercise of the mechanics and not context. Criticizing white rooming tends to stem from the idea that there is always context. Most of the time white rooming is talked about with regards to combat mechanics. So, for example, a White Room example would not consider things like environmental factors and scenery, wave battles, and other standard complications.

    A personal note on White Rooming

    On a personal note as a person who tests and breaks things for a living, White Rooming is mostly dangerous in how it informs people the way a game "ought" to work, because it is supposedly a neutral mechanical position. No situation in an RPG should ever be like that. As a storyteller, my advice isnever let a player get a purely white-room scenario that they didn't plan for and work for very hard.

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    • #3
      White room is a clean simulation environment where only character stats matter. For the purpose of Exalted it means that no outside factors matter. Exalted should always take place in some form of context, a setting, a reason for things to be happening etc. Never should something happen in a blank room where nothing other than character stats matter.

      It's not Exalted specific, just that it tends to be more problematic in Ex assorted than other games.

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      • #4
        That's kind of what I figured it was, but the second usage of the term was a bit more ambiguous. Thank you for the clarification!


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        • #5
          Here's a classic practical example from D&D:

          White room:
          Your character is in a white 30 by 30 foot room. There is an orc with a pie at the other end of the room. What do you do?

          And now the same basic scenario, but with context:
          Your character is standing at the Briartown square. There is a market going on. Suddenly you hear a shriek "Stop the thief", turn and see an orc running away from a baker's stall with a pie. What do you do?

          Now you suddenly have context, you have basic motivation. This is part of what makes a game fun


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          • #6
            Would the second use of the term, i.e. "don't let him white-room you", mean "don't let him get you into a situation where there's basically no scenery, no bystanders, etc, such that he can use his crazy combos without having to consider mitigating factors"? I kind of wonder how a foe would manage that against PCs unless they had ST support, which... seems like not great ST practice? I don't know.

            I will also note that, at least for a lot of 2/2,5e white-rooming I've read (with a combination of fascinated horror and glassy-eyed boredom), a lot of it seemed to be predicated on the ST in question allowing them big stunts for basically every action, which also sounds kind of weird to me---at an actual table, that sounds difficult for a player to actually sustain without defeating the purpose of stunts (i.e. rewarding players for spicing up the action with a fun description now and then, as opposed to miring every roll in extra layers of slog). It seems like in general, a lot of player-driven white-rooming relies on the idea of the ST being incredibly generous.


            Abyssals: Whom Death Has Called, a PEACH-as-heck attempt to make an Abyssal 3E holdover.

            Where I try to make Artifacts. When I finish them I'll probably post them in the Artifact Workshop thread so people can help me hammer them into shape.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Beans View Post
              Would the second use of the term, i.e. "don't let him white-room you", mean "don't let him get you into a situation where there's basically no scenery, no bystanders, etc, such that he can use his crazy combos without having to consider mitigating factors"? I kind of wonder how a foe would manage that against PCs unless they had ST support, which... seems like not great ST practice? I don't know.
              So, this is what threw off my understanding of it initially. I thought white room was more of a testing idea. Seems like bad ST'ing if this happened in an actual session.

              Originally posted by Beans View Post
              I will also note that, at least for a lot of 2/2,5e white-rooming I've read (with a combination of fascinated horror and glassy-eyed boredom), a lot of it seemed to be predicated on the ST in question allowing them big stunts for basically every action, which also sounds kind of weird to me---at an actual table, that sounds difficult for a player to actually sustain without defeating the purpose of stunts (i.e. rewarding players for spicing up the action with a fun description now and then, as opposed to miring every roll in extra layers of slog). It seems like in general, a lot of player-driven white-rooming relies on the idea of the ST being incredibly generous.
              I'm not sure what you mean by generous. The core book seems to expect a one-die stunt on any roll made as the default. If you can, why wouldn't you, right?


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              • #8
                Ah yeah this is my fault. Sorry I was writing that thread for mostly newer players and fell into the trap of using kind of an RPG jargon term there.

                It’s not a totally useless way of thinking about things. What white rooming can let you do is establish a kind of baseline. Like if a Solar archer ambushes a Dynast while traveling through the wilderness, is he going to have an easy time of it? You can take that to a white room, where he’s got infinite unobstructed space, and say that yeah basically he can use Revolving Bow Discipline and Arrow Storm Technique* and wipe them all out before they can even close to medium range. Assuming he doesn’t roll abysmally on that bow discipline flurry. That’s fun sometimes, but maybe you’re looking for more of a dynamic action scene.

                So we take that and we go okay, if the dynast was traveling on a road through thick woods, and has a vanguard and a rear guard, and maybe they hide in an armoured carriage so they’re not vulnerable to the initial assault, that’s how we can balance the encounter out a bit to be more interesting. Maybe throw in some invisible demon spies too.

                Conversely you might look at the battle you set up between Octavian and your fresh chargen DBs and after white rooming it realize that you might kill the whole party in the first sesssion, in which case you need to include ways to get some backup in that initial story arc. Once they’re essence 3 though it’s time to kick his oily butt.

                *results of doom combo may vary, this is not intended as a realistic example.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Beans View Post
                  Would the second use of the term, i.e. "don't let him white-room you", mean "don't let him get you into a situation where there's basically no scenery, no bystanders, etc, such that he can use his crazy combos without having to consider mitigating factors"? I kind of wonder how a foe would manage that against PCs unless they had ST support, which... seems like not great ST practice? I don't know.
                  Well kind of. Sorry for the double post btw. A white room scenario in play is not necessarily out of the question even without a bad ST. Like that Dynast example above. If you don’t have a big and dispersed guard formation and you get ambushed in a field and not a forest, and you are riding on your horse up front instead of in the full cover carriage, which is not radically unreasonable, then it’s pretty much a white room combat. Likewise some Solar showing up to bear up a DB Threshold lord in his throne room or something, depending on the intimacies involved.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
                    Ah yeah this is my fault. Sorry I was writing that thread for mostly newer players and fell into the trap of using kind of an RPG jargon term there.
                    No worries, brah! We all do it. That's why I thought this kind of thread would be relevant.

                    Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
                    Once they’re essence 3 though it’s time to kick his oily butt.
                    LOL! I'm not sure what this means, but it made me laugh myself into tears!!


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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Lukkychukky View Post

                      So, this is what threw off my understanding of it initially. I thought white room was more of a testing idea. Seems like bad ST'ing if this happened in an actual session.

                      I'm not sure what you mean by generous. The core book seems to expect a one-die stunt on any roll made as the default. If you can, why wouldn't you, right?
                      1. I'm also not sure if that's what the second use means, so I could be off-base anyway.

                      2. I was referring mostly to two- or three-die stunts, and then mostly in the context of 2/2.5e (where stunts were measured by how much dice they gave you, rather than the way 3e does it). Specifically, an element I noticed in a lot of 2/2.5e whiterooming I read was assuming that they could pull off two- or three-die stunts constantly to make up for the large mote costs of their crazy combos (since back then, a successful stunted action gave you motes equal to twice the dice value of the stunt). In the 2e core, 3-die stunts especially appear to be held to a high standard, and it seems like trying to pull out such major stunts for everything would be hard to sustain for long.
                      ​Again, I could also be way off base

                      Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post

                      Well kind of. Sorry for the double post btw. A white room scenario in play is not necessarily out of the question even without a bad ST. Like that Dynast example above. If you don’t have a big and dispersed guard formation and you get ambushed in a field and not a forest, and you are riding on your horse up front instead of in the full cover carriage, which is not radically unreasonable, then it’s pretty much a white room combat. Likewise some Solar showing up to bear up a DB Threshold lord in his throne room or something, depending on the intimacies involved.
                      The field thing, yeah ... though I feel like even then there might at least be some things players could try do if they're creative, depending on ST allowance, like trying to make smoke cover by starting a grass fire. With the throne room, also yeah, though I imagine you could at least argue for scenery (such as using one's throne as light cover or something).


                      Abyssals: Whom Death Has Called, a PEACH-as-heck attempt to make an Abyssal 3E holdover.

                      Where I try to make Artifacts. When I finish them I'll probably post them in the Artifact Workshop thread so people can help me hammer them into shape.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Lukkychukky View Post
                        LOL! I'm not sure what this means, but it made me laugh myself into tears!!
                        Instead of sweat, the demon Octavian secretes a toxic black oil that bleaches the very ground he walks on, and blinds mortals when it gets in their eyes.

                        Presumably there's some on his ass too.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Lukkychukky View Post

                          LOL! I'm not sure what this means, but it made me laugh myself into tears!!
                          He’s a big scary demon with gross caustic oil all over and somebody you really shouldn’t be fighting with chargen DBs unless you want a serious challenge, lol.


                          Originally posted by Beans View Post

                          The field thing, yeah ... though I feel like even then there might at least be some things players could try do if they're creative, depending on ST allowance, like trying to make smoke cover by starting a grass fire. With the throne room, also yeah, though I imagine you could at least argue for scenery (such as using one's throne as light cover or something).
                          *thumbs up*

                          I like the way you think, the smoky grass fire especially is a cool idea!

                          It can...sort of be a moot point though. In the field ambush you’re dead basically before you get to act and in the throne room the Solar multi attack charms let you teleport strike all over the range bands. It is NOT a forgone conclusion by any means, but it’s something you’re going to want to plan around your players/antagonists specific abilities.

                          One of the things Solars are best at, for both good and bad, is turning non-white room fights into a white room and then beating you there. Just with stuff like reflexive aiming and cover ignoring and stuff. Luckily they can’t just ignore their own intimacies so threatening to drop the little peasant girl down a well still works...

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                          • #14
                            The true might of the Solars is their ability to bury context in a bucket of d10s, probably while yelling "HOW 'BOUT THESE DICEPOOLS, JACK?"


                            Abyssals: Whom Death Has Called, a PEACH-as-heck attempt to make an Abyssal 3E holdover.

                            Where I try to make Artifacts. When I finish them I'll probably post them in the Artifact Workshop thread so people can help me hammer them into shape.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
                              Presumably there's some on his ass too.
                              #ded LOL! Oh man, there's my ab workout for the day...


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