Episode 132: Currency

Hosts: Megan, Todd, Timo, Scott

What did we play
Scott, Todd, Timo: The Shadow of Yesterday
Ascension, Cards against Humanity: Todd
Malifaux: Scott

Main topic: Currency
There’s a term used for describing how the different parts of a rpg interact with each other, currency. We take some time muddling around with that term trying to really grok the underlying idea, as well as discuss the interactions that we see in different games and how we respond to them.

Other Links
Solar System
Kingdom of Amalur
Assassin’s Creed: Revelation
Dungeon Defenders
El Shaddai
Mist-Robed Gate
D&D: 3rd, 4th editions
Zombie Cinema
Apocalypse World
Please-Bird Shirt.

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4 thoughts on “Episode 132: Currency

  1. Sylvia and I definitely love us some Cards Against Humanity. We can’t figure out if some of the really awful cards we’ve made up are her fault or mine. I maintain that two midgets shitting into a bucket is the funniest card ever. It’s only lost once in a game that I’ve been part of.

    I tried the demo for El Shaddai and it was gorgeous but really, really weird.

    As someone who hasn’t really had a lot of experience playing RPGs, but is interested in getting more into them, I will say that you guys do a pretty good job of describing the games you talk about well enough so that I can at least reasonably infer what you’re talking about even when I otherwise have no idea/experience to relate to. It’s pretty awesome.

    In response to Todd’s rant, I was playing the new(ish) Deus Ex recently and having fun being a sneaky ninja before coming up to the first (not last) boss fight only to find I was horribly unequipped to deal with him because I hadn’t had to actually kill anything prior to then. Had I not been looting the rooms and run across a rocket launcher, I’d have had to start over from scratch.

  2. Deus Ex was AWWWWWWFUL about that! In fact, the makers of the game had to fess up to it and said they farmed out the boss battles to another studio and that’s why they didn’t fit. But yeah, it was like “you’re this sweet, stealthy guy who sneaks your way past everyone and no one can detect you and you’re in and out like a ghost and NOW PUNCH THIS GUY IN THE FACE A BILLION TIMES WHILE HE SHOOTS YOU WITH A ROCKET LAUNCHER!!!” Every single one ground my game to a halt while I tried to figure out what to do.

    Other than that, though, that game was sweet.

  3. I’m slowly but surely catching up. Only about 30+ episodes behind 🙂

    Currency has roots with the word Current, and the way I see it is currency is the “juice” that runs your game. In other words, it is the flow between the mechanics and the fiction, and how they interact to create the feeling of the game.

    When you were talking about how you could have a D&D game taht was all about the interaction between the players, I was thinking – well, the mechanics give that type of activity no “juice”, and therefore people don’t do it.

    While conversely, you could conceivably run a Fiasco tactical-style RPG, the rules give that type of play no juice, and therefore people don’t do it.

    I also enjoyed your discussion of reliable mechanics vs unreliable mechanics. To me the difference between the two is who determines the outcome. Random generator mechanics are reliable; while other people mechanics are unreliable.

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