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Offline alxnjshTopic starter

System Games
« on: January 05, 2012, 04:15:35 PM »
Systems Games

This thread is designed to tackled the topic of system RPGs. What is a system RPG? You can visit Lord Drake's thread to get a primer.

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Re: System Games
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2012, 02:04:09 PM »
System Games

Well let’s start at the very beginning as it is a good place to start. I would say that most of us have played games like Chess, draughts, cards, and board games…In my mind it follows a similar principle. As in there are certain rules that each player has to follow. Let us all be honest even when playing solo games like solitaire we follow the parameters …yes? There are in computer games rules and gaining of skills, so really it’s relatively similar.

There are so many systems out there I could not go into them all, some are complex and some are very simple. I tend to find simpler ones do work better on forums. Again that is just personal choice.

In most simple terms the majority of games have statistics for characters and their strengths and weaknesses. Often personal experience has shown me that really a character sheet works more as a guide for the GM and the players rather than certainly more so in a forum environment. However it can become necessary to make certain rolls for various feats.

In order to perform a task or challenge one usually rolls a dice, though there are other ways to determine success whether it be ‘rock, paper scissors’ the drawing of a card or drawing a symbol from a box, it basically all the same. Essentially in system games sometimes the character is indeed in the hands of fate. After all the greatest of fighters can still be knocked out by some featherweight unlikely in almost all circumstances but not unheard of, thus one cannot always succeed, but then neither can the protagonist.

Usually a system game allows for chance, where as freeform in my opinion is wholly in the hands of the GM and the players, but there are often less surprises The truth is that sometimes a duff roll or even exceptional one can completely wreck a game but for me that’s half the fun of it.. .

Really a system game is not really different from a free form game. People make characters. Yes there are more seeming restrictions but those restrictions can make for more interesting storylines.


More to follow I hope this helps.


Online Thufir Hawat

Re: System Games
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2012, 09:22:01 PM »
I've found a very good explanation what a system game is.

Fundamentals of Tabletop Roleplaying
It requires registration, but the registration is free, and so is the file.

Now, may I join with some musings of my own?
Musings
In a way, good system games aren't that different from good freeform games. If you claim your character is the best runner in the state, he's unlikely to lose to an average one. Sure, this might happen, but it would be a freak accident! In system games, you just have "best runner in the state" on your character sheet - except it's a number. So, yeah, character sheets exist so you'd know what the characters are like. But then, many freeform games use them as well!
So, what advantages do I see in system games? (I've played both freeform and system, and decided to stick to systems, so I'm likely seeing some advantages). Well, there are a couple of them.
First, you know how a conflict would be resolved! This means that you still get to describe it, but you don't need to negotiate the outcome. This speeds the game immensely, in my experience! I don't need to negotiate with the GM whether I can poison an NPC he likes, I simply use my Poisoner* ability! Succeed or fail, I probably knew the result as soon as I see what the Dice Bot on E. had to say.
More importantly, there's the often-neglected ability of system games to provide inspiration, both for the player and the GM. Not only does describing a conflict guarantee it wouldn't become repetitive - the system might actually throw you plot hooks**!
Last but not least, a good system will help you keep to the genre. The protagonist in a swashbuckling game can do quite a bit of jumping, and fencing a couple guys at once, but guns can really spoil his day - so he should surrender when a dishonourable Cardinal's Guard points one his way! Then he can make a dashing escape. A protagonist in a horror movie-style game knows fighting hurts and can get you killed, so most of them try to avoid it. And sometimes, when they need it, they still triumph against the odds!

*Names may vary in different systems, so this might be a Finesse skill for dropping a vial of poison in someone's drink without being noticed, or something.
**I like to quote the occasion when the system started a blood feud between two noble families in 17th century France. In a duel to the first blood, the winner managed to score a hit - but the system said the other guy moved his hand away to avoid being struck and losing the duel! Seeing the opening, the duellist lunged, skewering him through the hearth. The doctor only confirmed the death... it took the story in an unanticipated direction, and vastly improved it!

And yes, I'll add my voice to the chorus. Lighter systems do indeed work better for forums (and I prefer them in tabletop, as well). Alas, that means many if not most of the popular systems aren't really good for forum games.
For hose of you without prior experience with systems, there was a thread where various GMs were offering to teach new people how to use a system. (It's not hard, actually, there are children that play them).
The thread is here.
http://elliquiy.com/forums/index.php?topic=102574.0
Feel free to post in it if you want to ;).
« Last Edit: August 16, 2012, 06:56:59 AM by Thufir Hawat »

Offline AndyZ

Re: System Games
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2012, 04:22:57 PM »
Would this be the right place to suggest various system houserules?

Online Thufir Hawat

Re: System Games
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2012, 11:51:13 AM »
I'd rather suggest starting a different thread. Imagine someone opening a thread, looking for answer of the question "what is a system".
Do you really want to spring on them all the possible houserules for all systems that are played on E., right from the start ;D?

Offline AndyZ

Re: System Games
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2012, 11:51:53 AM »
Good point, thank you.

Offline CarnivalOfTheGoat

Re: System Games
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2012, 12:03:15 AM »
I would just like to add that not all system games are of the "sooner or later, you roll the dice" variety. Recently there has been emphasis in the gaming community in what some are calling "storytelling RPGs" or "narrative RPGs." Narrative RPGs are not very unlike what happens in a freeform game, except that somewhere there is a hard, solid set of rules and background that players are expected to conform to.

Let me see if I can try and distinguish this in a way that might be helpful:

Classic Tabletop RPG:
1) Characters are built using dice or points, this creates a sort of 'leveling' effect in terms of character power.
2) They must conform to specific races/classes/jobs/roles appropriate to the setting.
3) The gamemaster creates the world/setting and the problems within it which the player characters will attempt to deal with (classically, "We need money, there's a lot of gold in that cave, but there's a dragon on top of it.")
4) Players tell the GM what their individual characters attempt to do. Everyone rolls dice to see what happens.
5) Roleplay is something that takes place when you aren't rolling dice. In theory, you could play this type of game without anything recognizable as roleplay. Characters are a pile of stats, monsters are a pile of stats, there is a random number generator, hooray. This is what many 'Online' and videogame 'RPGs' are like.

Classic Forum Freeform RPG:
1) Characters are created as concepts, usually without numbers or relative methods to weigh one concept against another except 'that looks interesting' and the GM approves them.
2) The gamemaster's ability to judge relative power and how much a given player may or may not play well with others is the only brake on the entry of characters which might overshadow others. One player submits an elf with a drinking problem, another submits a minor godlet. If the GM approves both, and if the godlet-player is of the 'me first/me most' variety, the elf-player will probably be dissatisfied if they intended to gain any satisfaction from being able to help solve problems. This can even reach the point of the godlet 'curing' the elf's drinking problem. This is a gamemaster nightmare, because most gamemasters are uncomfortable having to reign in players when there are no concrete 'rules of play' and they feel somewhat guilty for having approved of the godlet in the first place.
3) The gamemaster creates the world/setting and the problems within it which the player characters will attempt to deal with (classically, "We need money, there's a lot of gold in that cave, but there's a dragon on top of it.")
4) Players tell the GM what their individual characters attempt to do. The GM may use some randomization system for some outcomes or may simply base responses on what the GM feels will be most dramatic/will push the overall story forward.
5) Since there are no dice to roll, roleplaying interaction is the norm, although because different people seek different things to satisfy their roleplay bug, there may be peculiar and sometimes irreconcilable conflicts. This sort of thing is kind of tough on the GM.

The 'Narrative RPG':
1) Players discuss with each other and the GM what sorts of plots they want to see, and agree upon a set number of things which interest them all ("There should be car chases and explosions," "There should be hot and raunchy sex," "Our characters should cooperate to save the world/defeat the villain in a way that mandates everyone helping out as a team (even if one of us has to say 'And I'll form the head.')."). This will take place against a backdrop or setting mandated by the rules which emphasizes a given agreed-upon sort of power-level. Character sheets may include some numbers to help evaluate ability, but these usually are not hard and fast, and their purpose is to be a 'quick easy referent' for how the character stacks up at accomplishing a task, rather than to be a number which will be used in some form of randomized resolution.
2) Players discuss character concepts with each other, and work up their characters, usually starting from an 'archetype' level ("I want to play a smart character who doesn't do much (and has trouble doing much) in terms of physical feats.") then adding in negative issues (also usually discussed with each other) and only towards the end of the line finalizing these bundles of concepts into names, personas, with histories and ideas. Every step of the way, other players will discuss with them how their character ideas interact.
3) The players create elements of the world/setting as part of their backgrounds. In some games, each player's character describes a 'flashback' or 'establishing' shot that introduces who the character is and how they got to be who they are. Other players are encouraged to interact with this flashback by playing NPCs. The goal is to help encourage that player to bring their character to life in such a way that everyone can see how it works. As this phase moves around the table, there may be minor tweaks and adjustments so that "My character will work better with yours now that I've seen X element of (yours or another player's character flashback) if I do Y."
4) The GM takes notes as if s/he is trying to use up every byte on the internet or every tree in the Amazon. Then takes the elements the players agreed they wanted to see in step one, the archetypes and concepts from step 2, and the settings, NPCs and events and backgrounds elaborated during step 3, and attempts to quickly turn this into a coherent 'starting point'. They begin describing to the players what the starting point is.
5) At given times (different narrative RPGs handle it differently) the narrative is passed from the GM to the players. The players then describe not only what their characters are trying to do, but also how well it works out, and in many cases also work in actions and reactions of other players' characters. These games tend to have elements which permit other players to 'take control' of the narrative briefly if they want to tweak what their character is doing/how they handle/react/accomplish something. The GM steps in to 'smooth the path' by adding in possibly useful elements (NPCs, items, situations) and to help make sure everyone gets their opportunity to participate.
6) Resolution may involve some kind of a randomizer, but if so then there is usually some sort of a simple mechanism which rewards players working with each other to create 'successes' in the story which can override the randomizer.

These descriptions are biased based on my own experiences and values, but I think it is fair to say that in the classic Tabletop RPG, the numbers and character creation exist to attempt to mandate a level and 'fair' playing field. Players often worry about someone being introduced who will 'game the system' instead of play cooperatively for fun. In both the classic Tabletop and the Freeform Forum RPG, the GM spends a great deal of time worrying if someone is 'overpowering' other players, and preventing things from being fun for everyone. The Narrative RPG tries to create an interactive playing field by having everyone create characters cooperatively and figure out how they will work with each other, it assumes that the players will behave in a mature fashion and will actively help each other to be involved in the story, participate, feel rewarded, and feel that their characters accomplish something.

It is interesting to note that when reading after-game reviews/reports of the Tabletop/System game played online, one will hear comments like 'My character achieved level X and did Y and was able to do Z before the game ended.' When reading after-game reviews/reports of Narrative games one starts occasionally seeing comments like 'I felt like I was really able to explore the facets of my character and how they interacted with the world around them and grew.'

It appears to me to be a very, very different mindset. I have yet to participate in one of these games, but I have watched several of them being played via PbP elsewhere.

The ones I have seen so far (there are undoubtedly others, this seems to be the 'leading edge' and I'm betting that has to do with a 'greying' of the RPG-gamer community) include Nobilis, Cold City, Diaspora, Capes (Capes hasn't even GOT a GM...), Dresden Files (Uses dice a bit more, but creation of the setting and of characters is heavily mandated towards interactivity and group ideas/cooperation in building a setting and characters who have past history and ties together...No more 'You meet in a tavern...'), Mouse Guard (has dice later but has interactive multiplayer character generation), Shock (another GMless game), and Universalis.

Online Thufir Hawat

Re: System Games
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2012, 05:44:13 PM »
Either I'm always playing with "narrative" style, or this isn't a fair representation of what "classical" tabletop RPGs are like. What I'm sure is, your description of "narrative" approach is much closer to what I do, and I tend to play fairly classical RPGs, with some "narrative" ones thrown in for good measure.

I guess we simply disagree about what is "classical" and what is "narrative". Doesn't really matter, you raise a good question that I've always been curious about. Namely, why aren't "narrative" games more popular on a site like this one, with so many people being after a good story?

Offline CarnivalOfTheGoat

Re: System Games
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2012, 06:12:53 PM »
Either I'm always playing with "narrative" style, or this isn't a fair representation of what "classical" tabletop RPGs are like. What I'm sure is, your description of "narrative" approach is much closer to what I do, and I tend to play fairly classical RPGs, with some "narrative" ones thrown in for good measure.

I guess we simply disagree about what is "classical" and what is "narrative". Doesn't really matter, you raise a good question that I've always been curious about. Namely, why aren't "narrative" games more popular on a site like this one, with so many people being after a good story?

How an individual plays is not necessarily indicative of gross trends or what a game system is 'intended to encourage'.

Let me put it to you this way, there's a thing we used to call a min-maxer, back in the early 80s, who in RPGs was focused on making the baddest of the bad, and effectively 'winning' the game. They did not mix well with roleplayers, who were about 'how does my character work in this world?' On forums I see similar behavior talked about as a 'god-moding' (sometimes god-modding, but I think this is getting away from 90s-era FPS games which had a 'god-mode' in which one was invulnerable, unstoppable, and did stupid amounts of damage...Which is where I first heard the term and where I am fairly sure it is borrowed from.) who poses actions and results on other peoples' characters without asking them. These are both non-cooperative modes. The narrative RPG doesn't really ALLOW someone to take a non-cooperative mode, at least the ones I have read. They require cooperation between the players on building the world, on creating characters, and during game play. People who tend to be noncooperative and thinking about 'winning' don't last long in such games and tend to avoid them.

Based on your self-description, you are not one of those people. :)

In classical RPGs, one could be selfish and uncooperative based on hacking the numbers and statistics, it's less of an issue in forum freeform (although god-moders in such situations will often attempt to reinterpret the setting/character/situation in their favor) and it's downright difficult in narrative, because everyone's voice gets heard so it is much more difficult for one individual to try to override everyone else.

This may seem like an ugly way to think about game design, but back in the day there used to be tons and tons of edits and revisions to try to prevent people from 'gaming the system' and ruining other peoples' fun. The concept of 'fairness' and 'equal opportunity' became problematic when effectively you had people playing two different games: Player A whose goal is 'Make my numbers bigger, win.' and Player B whose goal is 'Develop my character's personality and story in relation to the setting.' Narrative games try to eliminate the numbers, and thus favor player B type behavior.

I won't say it is 'fair', or 'unfair', but it's a different perspective on game design than you're used to, perhaps.

Effectively, numeric 'score' advancement games encourage a certain amount of competitiveness (my numbers are larger than yours, RAWR), while many of the narrative games do away with many or all of the numeric values and focus on cooperation (you can't dice your way through codified and tablified situations on the basis of numbers, you work with the other players both to create adverse situations and to solve them cooperatively).

Is that a better way of explaining how I'm breaking them down? I tend to be a roleplayer, too. And one of the classic jokes is that you don't mix roleplayers with roll-players (people who just use dice to solve the situation).
« Last Edit: April 24, 2012, 06:18:20 PM by CarnivalOfTheGoat »

Online Thufir Hawat

Re: System Games
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2012, 11:21:01 AM »
See, CarnivalOfTheGoat, it's not that I didn't understand what you're saying the first time ;D! I simply disagreed with these statements, due to different understanding of the theory behind it.
I know what you wrote is passed as common understanding among some people, and while I think it's mostly true, I also find it's leaving important parts out of the picture.

Since this thread is meant for new people, I'd rather avoid having the discussion in this thread. But we can take it to a new thread, to the RP theory thread, or to IMs, whatever you prefer ;)!

The question I feel belongs in this thread is, why aren't more people on E. playing narrative-style games, and I'd really like to hear your opinion on it!

Online Thufir Hawat

Re: System Games
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2012, 06:59:18 AM »
Just added a file to my first post in the thread.
Fundamentals of Tabletop Roleplaying
The site does require registration, but the file is free.

I find it rather useful for novice players to have such an explanation to read!

Offline Healergirl

Re: System Games
« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2012, 04:47:21 PM »
I running a system light narrative style game, I think.  A New God Rising: The Siege is Pathfinder based- but I handle all, and I mean all the detail.  The characters roleplay.  I handle the mechanics.  All of them.  character sheets, die rolls, combat - everything mechanical happens behind the scenes.  the game is very new, but it seems to be working so far.

 I warned the players up front that I cheat on die rolls constantly as a GM - in favor of the players.

If you are interested in looking:

http://elliquiy.com/forums/index.php?topic=149304.0

Online Thufir Hawat

Re: System Games
« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2012, 06:04:40 PM »
I running a system light narrative style game, I think.  A New God Rising: The Siege is Pathfinder based- but I handle all, and I mean all the detail.  The characters roleplay.  I handle the mechanics.  All of them.  character sheets, die rolls, combat - everything mechanical happens behind the scenes.  the game is very new, but it seems to be working so far.

 I warned the players up front that I cheat on die rolls constantly as a GM - in favor of the players.

If you are interested in looking:

http://elliquiy.com/forums/index.php?topic=149304.0
It might be interesting to compare, since I handle mechanics in the exact opposite manner 8-)!
But that depends on the group's playstyle, I guess. Good luck with your game ;D!

Offline Healergirl

Re: System Games
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2012, 06:09:22 PM »
Thank you!  It's been easy so far, I only have two players - I kept the number small because well, this online Gm is newish.  I tried one last year but it crashed and burned.  This project is much less ambitious.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2012, 09:03:51 AM by Healergirl »

Online Thufir Hawat

Re: System Games
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2012, 05:37:27 AM »
You're welcome :P!
I tend to keep my games to small groups, too. Of course, the best way to end with a small group is often to start with a bigger group, but that's outside the scope of this thread 8-)!

Offline Healergirl

Re: System Games
« Reply #15 on: August 22, 2012, 09:10:16 AM »
thinking back to my tabletop days.

Like all players, I was very suspicious that the Gm was cheating against the party.  Then I became a GM and found out how much effort I had to put in keeping the damn fool player characters alive.  I quickly concluded that "killer" GM's were not cheating at all, they just read the dice as they fell, and may the Trickster Gods help the players.

Offline AndyZ

Re: System Games
« Reply #16 on: August 22, 2012, 09:28:17 AM »
If I may offer a humble suggestion: never, ever let the players know that you're going easy on them.

I used to have a reputation for hating my players back in college, even if they never seemed to notice the little things which kept them alive.  The best games keep the players convinced that it's something about them that keeps them coming out on top, and not that it's that things are stacked in their favor.

That said, when it comes to system games, you also have to develop a "Price is Right" feel for monsters, figuring out how much they can take without exceeding their ability to deal with it all.  There's all kinds of things which affects the players' ability to fight, including but not limited to synergy, how well the characters are made, and how well the players know the game.  If you find that you often have to fudge the dice, you may be better off simply easing up on them and giving them less challenging battles.

Offline Healergirl

Re: System Games
« Reply #17 on: August 22, 2012, 09:57:02 AM »
AndyZ,

Totally true.  But how do you deal with stupidity?

In one session, in GURPS, I had a character standing in the open, while four crossbowmen shot at him.  They hit him eventually and he went down like a sack of rocks in a well.  He protested this, to put it mildly.  But before I said anything, the other players burst out laughing, and said to the effect:  "They were shooting at you, you saw them, right?  Right.  They could see you, they took turns shooting and reloading and then wham, down you went.  That settles whether they saw you  in the most obvious manner possible." 

And another chimed it, "You know she thinks the game underrates crossbows, she gave us the stats on what those clowns were using on you, the damn things can one-shot a bear!"

Offline AndyZ

Re: System Games
« Reply #18 on: August 22, 2012, 10:17:47 AM »
Hmmm...

Well, the other players knew you were in the right.  One of them should probably have said something in-character, like "Get down!" or the like.  This is where you encourage the players to help each other out, shouting out in-character suggestions to the newer players.  However, this obviously works better in tabletop than on forums.

Now, I may have had a shot ricochet off one of the stones, not even rolling but giving the idea, "Hey, these rocks can block bolts!"  I could also see having a sort of guide who's going along with the characters if none of them know things well enough, who can tell them things like to get down.  I could even take care to explain how they're in cover, so that it's not possible to get an easy shot on them.

If the player isn't much for puzzles and figuring things out, he probably won't be too interested in having it hinted at that he should get to cover.  In that case, he might take a bolt to the leg, which staggers him a bit over and puts him behind the rocks.  I don't think I'd use that unless nothing else was working, though.

Offline Healergirl

Re: System Games
« Reply #19 on: August 22, 2012, 11:01:40 AM »
AndyZ,

They did, they even attempted covering fire - but they, unlike the player character in question - were not at a good line of sight with the crossbowmen. They had their hands full anyway, they really needed for the Stalwart Fool to fall back and reinforce them.  He was a melee specialist, they needed his axe very badly.

 They did scream at him in game and  advise him around the table to get back to the main group.
 
Some people just can't be helped.

Offline AndyZ

Re: System Games
« Reply #20 on: August 22, 2012, 11:16:15 AM »
Yeah, when you get to that point, having the crossbows repeatedly miss the guy starts to feel like a strain of credulity, as well as give the feeling that the players are going to succeed no matter what they do.

You're probably not familiar with Exalted, but there's one guy called the Emissary who's (oversimplified) basically a powerful sorcerer who rules this one city, and he always wears a mask.  I had one PC who attempted to pull off said mask.  The PC was turned into a silver statue and sold at the market.

Looking back, my favorite D&D groups (with one exception) were games where I had characters die, because the GM didn't pull punches and we had to really fight for everything we had.  The exception was a game where the GM let us walk all over him, and we did, and had a castle and all kinds of crazy stuff.  However, that guy burned out because we could waltz through any kind of monster he threw at us.

Different people enjoy different types of things, though, and you have to make sure you fit your players in that regard.

Online Thufir Hawat

Re: System Games
« Reply #21 on: August 22, 2012, 11:59:36 AM »
thinking back to my tabletop days.

Like all players, I was very suspicious that the Gm was cheating against the party.  Then I became a GM and found out how much effort I had to put in keeping the damn fool player characters alive.  I quickly concluded that "killer" GM's were not cheating at all, they just read the dice as they fell, and may the Trickster Gods help the players.
Not all players suspect that :P! I can guarantee that my players don't have any such ideas.
How could they, when they see my dice all the time >:)?
Before the campaign began, I explained them my style, including the part about the lives of their characters. "It's not my job to keep your characters alive, it's yours! My job is to play the NPCs logically and consistently, even if you don't know why that would be the logical option. If something strikes you as odd, better take it as a hint! Also, if all the characters get killed at once, it's fine in my book. Play smart if you don't want it to happen!"
If that makes me a killer GM, I'd have to live with that ;D!

AndyZ,

Totally true.  But how do you deal with stupidity?
(snipped)
I consider this covered by the introductory speech, so I'd just give it the consequences of stupidity, whatever they are 8-)!
Seems like you did the same thing, actually, and I approve.

Offline Healergirl

Re: System Games
« Reply #22 on: August 22, 2012, 02:12:59 PM »
AndyZ,

Yep, sometimes you have to shop around to find a group that fits you.

I was lucky.  In high school, I and some other people disconvered D&D at about the same time, we lerned it together, developed our attituted towards play together.

Thufir Hawat,

you sound like my kind of GM!

Offline kckolbe

Re: System Games
« Reply #23 on: August 22, 2012, 02:25:04 PM »
I have always been a big advocate of all types of system games, and love creating simple systems for popular freeforms.  I have a working system for Hogwarts in its first playtest, and dice rolls will be required later on.  I am also working on a "character sheet system" for X-Men.

Character sheet systems are games where no rolls ever happen, but every player is forced to decide upon the strengths and weaknesses of the character early on.  I think it will be a good way of preventing Gary Stu/Mary Sue types without intimidating freeform players.  I've noticed that, on the whole, people that enjoy Harry Potter and X-Men games are far less likely to join them with a system attached, so I am hoping something like this is a decent compromise.

Online Thufir Hawat

Re: System Games
« Reply #24 on: August 22, 2012, 02:33:14 PM »
Thufir Hawat,

you sound like my kind of GM!
Glad to hear that, Healergirl! Feel free to apply for any game I run, if you've got the time ;D!
Also, that way of GMing has always seemed natural to me. Although I've been advised against doing it by some local "experts", it turned out quite a few players like it as well!

Yeah, when you get to that point, having the crossbows repeatedly miss the guy starts to feel like a strain of credulity, as well as give the feeling that the players are going to succeed no matter what they do.
Well, that depends on the PC's Dodge value. I've played PCs that wouldn't be likely to get shot by a couple of crossbowmen.
Of course, Dodge 13+ makes quite the difference in GURPS ;D!

Quote
You're probably not familiar with Exalted, but there's one guy called the Emissary who's (oversimplified) basically a powerful sorcerer who rules this one city, and he always wears a mask.  I had one PC who attempted to pull off said mask.  The PC was turned into a silver statue and sold at the market.
Did he sell well, at least :P?
And since that was Exalted, were you playing an Exalt?

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Looking back, my favorite D&D groups (with one exception) were games where I had characters die, because the GM didn't pull punches and we had to really fight for everything we had.  The exception was a game where the GM let us walk all over him, and we did, and had a castle and all kinds of crazy stuff.  However, that guy burned out because we could waltz through any kind of monster he threw at us.
Yeah, that's what my players can count on. Castles, if they survive. Otherwise, I offer new character sheets and the death of the PC having some influence, positive or negative 8-)!