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Topics - dlouismartin

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RPGs / Star Trek?
« on: August 20, 2012, 11:05:03 AM »
Anyone out there run or play in any Trek games? Does anyone know of any Trek systems out there besides LUG, Decipher, and FASA? I understand Fantasy Flight has a deal with Paramount now. Any plans for them to come up with something? Any system converters out there for Trek? I have been messing with an ORE version.

I am playing catch-up in terms of hearing all the podcasts. The podcasts are excellent. I have listened to the competition, and I find myself agreeing with the RPPR guys much more often. In my opinion, the Fear the Boot guys are a little to "my way or the highway." That said, I wanted to share my own perspective on a podcast that is old, but that I just listened to.

RPG Characters & Free Will

I was listening to a podcast and the topic of character on character persuasion was brought up. Character A wanted persuade character B that his course of action was best. Character A asked the GM if he could roll to persuade Character B to see his side. The podcasters unanimously agreed that this was not the way to handle it. I immediately agreed with this decision, but upon further listening to I started to think deeper about the topic.

1. Now there are some things that I absolutely agree with as it relates to the points raised by the podcasters. The following is paramount: the free will of the PC is to be protected at all costs. Unless there is some kind of mind control in place, the player should always be free to make their own decisions.

2. I absolutely do NOT agree with the fact that it is not the GM's place to tell the PC how they "feel". Think about this for a minute. Telling someone how they feel has nothing to do with impacting their free will. Thoughts and emotions come to us from seemingly random places. Things just pop into our heads, and it is my opinion that the GM can plant seeds. I don't think it is the GM's place to impart everyone's thoughts and feelings. I do, however, think it is okay to plant those seeds in an attempt to make the story more compelling.

Think of the following examples:

The players sit in a jazz bar, and the scene is set. The GM describes the singer as not only a beautiful woman, but he further describes her singing as beautiful and emotionally moving. MOST of us who run games have painted similar scenes. So why is this something that we think is okay?
Answer: Because the GM is unlikely a beautiful woman and unlikely a wonderful jazz singer. So he describes it in a way that details emotional tangibility.
Oratory: A rousing speech may be described as inspirational - an emotional response. We accept this because we know that the GM isn't an expert orator, great general, or an inspirational coach.
I think it is okay to tell a player that they "feel" something, but ULTIMATELY it is up to the PC to decide how they respond.
The GM has a job to create a living world. I personally also think that it is the GM's job to coax some performances out of their players. Some players need this more than others, but mature and experienced players may enjoy the challenge of being told something.   

Think of this scene:
Lighting the candles in the church provokes a memory. Your father lit these same candles and smelling the wax burn all these years later brings you a small measure of peace.

Describing a "small measure of peace" is by no means "mind control".

So, with some judicious use of description, emotional or otherwise, you can create memorable games that provoke and challenge mature groups.

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