This topic has probably been spoken of before, gods know I have broached it once or twice here. I just keep come back to it.
Should our mechanics, to start with our statistics (or the things we give numbers to) be as deep in the narrative of the game as the story itself?
I’ll explain. A person could use a system like ICRPG or DnD5e to run a Harry Potter setting game. That game would undoubtedly be super cool and fun. But, does it make sense to talk about characters in such a game from the context of Str, Dex, Con and so forth? Would it make more sense, and add to immersion, if the language of the mechanics were as inherent to the experience as the narrative elements of the story? I think it would, but that’s just me.
The more I play, run, consider, and hack games the more I hone in on what I want out of a game experience and what kind of experience I want to give my players. And I just keep coming up to: less mechanical weight and mechanics that are as much apart of the narrative as the storytelling and roleplaying is.
I don’t really have answers, I’m just kind of figuring things out. I like the sort or things that Blades in the Dark , and the Forged in the Dark products, has done with their action resolutions. They kind of draw you in and tell you what kind of game it is just by showing you the Actions section of the character sheet. It’s the same reason I feel weird about using normal ICRPG stats, other than effort, to do BEARCATS. The pieces ol’Hank wrote as kind of “placeholders” just make sense to roll with, they help inform the style of game BEARCATS wants to be. Hank did have a episode where he talks about making your mechanics matter. That has to go deeper than simple task resolution. At least that is my interpretation. (I am almost talking myself into thinking about Altered Stat with the same mind as I write this).
I know we have discussed the simplicity and the all encompassing scope of the traditional D&D stat block, but is it correct for everything? I know it is easy, because it is what a lot of us are used to. And some of you here have really helped bolster my understanding of using stats, which i am grateful for. But I feel the need to move beyond that. I feel like the whole table experience should be as much apart of the storytelling as the rp is.
Anyway, that’s all I got right now. If you have read this to the end, thanks. If you have thoughts or comments I would love to continue discussing. Ya’ll are seriously smart with this stuff.