Teleri (telerib) wrote,
Teleri
telerib

"Playing Dirty"

I just got a download of John Wick's Playing Dirty and am starting to read through it. I'm a fan of several of the RPGs he's designed, and his GMing advice in them usually resonates with me. And hey, he invokes Chumbawumba close to right off the bat.

On the one hand, I agree with his "Die Hard" idea, that (many) players want to be challenged, to be knocked down so they can get up again. I'm a giant fan of Willpower, Wisdom, Resolve, Earth, or whatever the relevant stat for mental fortitude is.

Between hands, my guess is that he played with a lot of munchkins who he was educating in his version of role-playing via the school of hard knocks. I happily don't play with many munchkins or cheese monkeys.

And on the other hand, my early impression is that I'm not caring for his major technique for "hitting them where it hurts," which is using a villain so omniscient that it's almost silly. Now, we're talking about a supers game example, and if Adrien "Ozmandius" Veidt can be a believable, um, character in "Watchmen," I suppose I should loosen up. But I can see where players would get pretty ticked off, because it looks like it's the GM screwing with you and your Disads ("Oh, he just 'happened' to know my secret allergy? Uh-huh, sure."). Because bad GMs do that kind of thing - arrange utterly implausible 'coincidences' just to mess with their players. Wick had an in-game reason - and figuring that out was apparently a huge part of a two-year game - but I can't fault anyone for not being able to distinguish that. There are way too many bad GMs out there.
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