The Narrative or the Dice: Which Rules Your Game

Biggus Geekus Podcast
Biggus Geekus Podcast
The Narrative or the Dice: Which Rules Your Game
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Episode 60 Tuesday, November 2,2021

Call ins & Emails from the Outlands
Call Ins from John Alan Large
New Contest of Champions Winner Announced: We reached 100 YouTube subs
Paizo drops the word “phylactery”
Bugs and company get Ad& D stats…back in the day

Main Topic: The Narrative and/or the Dice
Which is more important: (1) what the dice determines or (2) what the story “needs”

Perspective:
Are the players the heroes in the story?
Are the dice sacrosanct?
Narrative control as in 13th Age and other games makes the game more about a group story. Does a changing party composition over its duration take the steam out of a campaign?
Is this a necessary result of Binary mechanics?

Binary results/Partial Successes & Fail Forward
Skill check: You must open a lock to get to the dungeon: you fail the check and go home vs. barely miss the check so the door is unlocked but you alert the guards.
Saving Throw: save or die vs. repeat save each round

Some sample Situations:
Character death: wizard (level 2) vs a spider- failed poison save so he died … but wait, through narrative control he lives!!!
Separation from group: only the dwarf fighter fails his jump check to make it across the narrow chasm, fails Dex save and plunges to his death … room 1 (level 5)

Do some games need more Narrative Aspects?
Aliens (in particular), but others have built in suggestions such as 13th Age and the current version of Savage Worlds.
How much narrative focus is too much?

Like it, Love it or Leave it

Playing in the Mud
What do we do beyond the 4 core character classes?
Will it be Druid, Ranger, Barbarian, Illusionist?
What should they be?
Is it too soon?

Shameless Plug Time:
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We would also like to encourage you to check out a few things that we like.
Red Dice Diaries (with John Alan Large and his wife Hannah)
Radio Grognard (with Glen Halstrom)
The Tale of the Manticore (a unique dramatized quasi-actual play)
Tavern Chat (with Eric Tenkar)
Nerd’s RPG Variety Cast (Jason)
Shadow of the GM (Barry)
Clerics Wear Ringmail Blog (Taylor)
Legion of Myth

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