Coming to a Conclusion

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to what I want in a game system; what works for me and what doesn’t.
I want to know objectively (not subjectively) what the character is capable of in most any situation likely to occur within the genre. I want a game system that defines those values ahead of time.
I want the GM’s subjective opinion to determine what an NPC is going to do, but I want a hard-and-fast rule to determine what the result is. Either relying on the GM’s personal opinion to determine an action’s result or using a game rule to determine an NPC’s action is a failure in game design.
Those criteria in place, I just don’t see myself playing Amber Diceless campaigns anymore. Every time I try to work on something long-term for that system, I feel like I’m wasting time on a dead end.
I acknowledge that no game is perfect, but some are less-flawed. I can choose to ignore any rules that try to take subjective storyline control out of the hands of the player and GM’s hands. I can’t simply choose to ignore that there is no viable objective task resolution in ADRPG. After eight years of doing Amber diceless, I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t believe subjective task resolution works, and by “works” I mean “satisfies and entertains the participants, long-term”.
For me, it better to start with structure and remove what I don’t need than build structure on a surface that won’t support it.

2 Replies to “Coming to a Conclusion”

  1. >I just don’t see myself playing Amber Diceless
    >campaigns anymore. Every time I try to work on
    >something long-term for that system, I feel like I’m
    >wasting time on a dead end.
    [applause]
    After playing it on Sunday, I stand by my original opinion. BESM _is_ “Amber Second Edition.”
    Other than that, can I add a large double-handful of other games to the list? I’m tired of _anything_ whose basic decision-making philosophy is, “The GM says so.”

  2. >I want to know objectively (not subjectively) what the >character is capable of in most any situation likely to >occur within the genre.
    I saw this and literally went, “Yessss!” hand motion and everything.
    But I guess I don’t feel the way you do about GM-opinion-for-conflict-resolution. I figure, if you’ve got a dumbass GM, the game’s bound to be unsatisfying in the long-term no matter the system. So, assuming you’ve got a reasonable GM, it’s ok to not hedge his reason with random events.
    But I haven’t had your experiences, and I’m not you, and I wish you happiness in doing what works for you. 🙂

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