Fun via Failure

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As I continue to read stuff and see input from other people...it has begun to dawn on me that there seems to be an attitude that a player would have difficulty failing but still having fun.

And by "a player failing" I mean that they themselves have failed at something in the game. Not their characters (if a delineation between player goals and character goals is being made for some reason)...but the players themselves.

Whether this failure is a character death or the loss of an item or a plan going awry or anything like that...I think you get the point.

Does this failure necessarily diminish the fun a player is capable of having in D&D? Or in any game?

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

As I continue to read stuff and see input from other people...it has begun to dawn on me that there seems to be an attitude that a player would have difficulty failing but still having fun.

And by "a player failing" I mean that they themselves have failed at something in the game. Not their characters (if a delineation between player goals and character goals is being made for some reason)...but the players themselves.

Whether this failure is a character death or the loss of an item or a plan going awry or anything like that...I think you get the point.

Does this failure necessarily diminish the fun a player is capable of having in D&D? Or in any game?




There is a concept called "failing forward" that I am still trying to bring into my games. It emulates a lot of grittier sci-fi and fantasy fiction, like Farscape or the Dresden Files. The complication and barriers kind of pile on and the protagonists, facing mounting and even insurmountable odds, pull off a move of desperation which costs them greatly but wins the day.

In theory, it is awesome and something I very much want to capture at the table. In practice, it either feels like the challenge gets of out hand and failure is a dead stop in the water, or the players fear the pain to the point of where they avoid the situation, seek an instant-win with minimal risk, or throw their hands up in frustration before ever reaching the end. None of those are fun.

I have seen straight up failures (ie death, losing a vital item, not saving an NPC, etc) end games. You can call it immaturity or being thin skinned, but I have witnessed players who lose all the fun of the game in those moments. I've also seen players trudge on and even some bounce back, but it always seems risky and I've rarely seen a player enjoy failure, at least at my table.




There is a concept called "failing forward" that I am still trying to bring into my games. It emulates a lot of grittier sci-fi and fantasy fiction, like Farscape or the Dresden Files. The complication and barriers kind of pile on and the protagonists, facing mounting and even insurmountable odds, pull off a move of desperation which costs them greatly but wins the day.

In theory, it is awesome and something I very much want to capture at the table. In practice, it either feels like the challenge gets of out hand and failure is a dead stop in the water, or the players fear the pain to the point of where they avoid the situation, seek an instant-win with minimal risk, or throw their hands up in frustration before ever reaching the end. None of those are fun.

I have seen straight up failures (ie death, losing a vital item, not saving an NPC, etc) end games. You can call it immaturity or being thin skinned, but I have witnessed players who lose all the fun of the game in those moments. I've also seen players trudge on and even some bounce back, but it always seems risky and I've rarely seen a player enjoy failure, at least at my table.





You haven't addressed the topic though. You've avoided it.

"Failing forward" necessarily requires assessing and recognizing mistakes and using those mistakes to move forward. It means failure necessarily occured and that it was recognized. A great cost for victory is NOT failing forward...it is succeeded at a cost. They are two totally different concepts. I think that might be the problem you are seeing. Also...such a thing probably can't be artificially created. You're just making more problems for yourself.

Do you think it is a commentary on someone that cannot deal with failure in a game? For instance, imagine you were playing literally any other game...for example, a game of Final Fight (a good old fashioned beat'em up)...now, the person you are playing with loses a life in the course of the game. At this point, they throw up their hands, declare the game bad and "unfun" then decide to stop playing. What would you think of this behavior?

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

Does this failure necessarily diminish the fun a player is capable of having in D&D? Or in any game?




I did answer this. And this was THE question you asked.

My answer was: I have seen straight up failures (ie death, losing a vital item, not saving an NPC, etc) end games. You can call it immaturity or being thin skinned, but I have witnessed players who lose all the fun of the game in those moments. I've also seen players trudge on and even some bounce back, but it always seems risky and I've rarely seen a player enjoy failure, at least at my table.


Sorry I added what I wished failure could be at my table, but I clearly stated what I have seen.
Does this failure necessarily diminish the fun a player is capable of having in D&D? Or in any game?




I did answer this. And this was THE question you asked.

My answer was: I have seen straight up failures (ie death, losing a vital item, not saving an NPC, etc) end games. You can call it immaturity or being thin skinned, but I have witnessed players who lose all the fun of the game in those moments. I've also seen players trudge on and even some bounce back, but it always seems risky and I've rarely seen a player enjoy failure, at least at my table.


Sorry I added what I wished failure could be at my table, but I clearly stated what I have seen.



Do you believe it necessarily does so?

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

I'm not sure what you are looking for, and I believe you are looking for something specific. I think straight up failure is not fun. That's why it is failure. It is by definition negative.

I said I would love to see a positive failure and you said I was avoiding the topic.

So ...
I'm not sure what you are looking for, and I believe you are looking for something specific. I think straight up failure is not fun. That's why it is failure. It is by definition negative.

I said I would love to see a positive failure and you said I was avoiding the topic.

So ...



Is it your opinion that straight up failure CAN NOT be fun? Or merely that you can not experience it as fun?

Have you ever been part of a different sort of game where failure was able to be experienced positively?

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

What is a example of a player failing in the game?

Is it like when I try to jump over some pits and fail the checks then I fall into the pit??
What is a example of a player failing in the game?

Is it like when I try to jump over some pits and fail the checks then I fall into the pit??



Potentially. That could be a failure since you did not achieve the result on a roll that would have resulted in success. So sure.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

Oh, okay, I think I'm getting you now.

I have experienced failure as fun, but it has always been in more of a humerous game. Sometimes you are wanting to see your character not only fail, but fail spectacularly, like your roasting corpse topples into the gas filled mine shaft and destroys the whole town.

So I am not of the opinion it cannot be fun. It can be fun, but in my experience that is lightning in a bottle and hard to achieve.

BUT, in straight up games of D&D, everytime my guy has gotten killed, it sucked.

Kay, I think I covered the questions. I hope some other people jump in on this soon ;)
Oh, okay, I think I'm getting you now.

I have experienced failure as fun, but it has always been in more of a humerous game. Sometimes you are wanting to see your character not only fail, but fail spectacularly, like your roasting corpse topples into the gas filled mine shaft and destroys the whole town.

So I am not of the opinion it cannot be fun. It can be fun, but in my experience that is lightning in a bottle and hard to achieve.

BUT, in straight up games of D&D, everytime my guy has gotten killed, it sucked.

Kay, I think I covered the questions. I hope some other people jump in on this soon ;)



And what of the situation regarding other games and that attitude being present in those games?

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

As with most things, it depends on context.  I have read books, played games, and engaged in activities which were rife with failure (mine or the characters) and I had a blast.  Dresden Files is great, and failing in Dungeon World is actually rather fun.  But the author of Dresden Files is really good, and Dungeon World is specifically designed with the idea of making failure as fun as possible.  It takes skill and effort to keep failure interesting.

In the first D&D game I played in, my character was involved in two major failures back-to-back.  One of them was a failure imposed on us due to the storyline, and the other one was a wildly-imbalanced encounter that we couldn't avoid.  That wasn't fun at all.  It also pretty much tells you all you need to know: if you have an average (or worse!) DM, then failure tends to spring either from his/her less-polished style, or tends to magnify any existing problems in the game.
in the exemple of the pits it is the character who failed no the player.........
As with most things, it depends on context.  I have read books, played games, and engaged in activities which were rife with failure (mine or the characters) and I had a blast.  Dresden Files is great, and failing in Dungeon World is actually rather fun.  But the author of Dresden Files is really good, and Dungeon World is specifically designed with the idea of making failure as fun as possible.  It takes skill and effort to keep failure interesting.

In the first D&D game I played in, my character was involved in two major failures back-to-back.  One of them was a failure imposed on us due to the storyline, and the other one was a wildly-imbalanced encounter that we couldn't avoid.  That wasn't fun at all.  It also pretty much tells you all you need to know: if you have an average (or worse!) DM, then failure tends to spring either from his/her less-polished style, or tends to magnify any existing problems in the game.



In both your examples, that is not "failure". Failure assumes the potential for success. If there is no chance for success there is no failure because it is a foregone conclusion.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

But it didn't feel like that at the time.  It just felt like a failure, and we didn't know how we could have avoided it.  That makes failure uninteresting.
But it didn't feel like that at the time.  It just felt like a failure, and we didn't know how we could have avoided it.  That makes failure uninteresting.



...wait what?

But the situation had NO success so there was also no failure...because, as stated, it was a foregone conclusion. So there was no success or failure even if it "felt" like it.

There was no way for your to succeed. There was, apparently, no way for you to avoid it...which is a prescription for annoyance...because it's not a fair situation at all.

That said, your one game means failure must be uninteresting? And, again, does it mean it must be uninteresting for you or it must be uninteresting for you?

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

Humans are entirely focused around succeeding. Everybody has a goal of some sort, and they work towards that goal; to see all of their efforts go to waste is harsh, and it is frustrating. It is possible for someone to enjoy not "winning," but only if they have some kind of alternative goal. For instance, someone who intentionally chooses to let someone win won't be annoyed when they do. The person who realizes that their opponent is vastly more skilled than them may be fine if they can just put up a decent fight.

There are probably a few people out there who actually enjoy watching their plans fail, but such a desire is not "normal." Instead, I find it likely that without something to change a person's goals to something other than "winning" the game, then losing at that game is a failure and, as such, not fun. If the goal is not to win, whether the purpose of the game is to last as long as possible (Call of Cthulu, I have heard, is like this) or simply the player is divorced from their characters and merely wants to see how things play out, then they can "lose" but still succeed.
A few things can make failure more interesting.  Maybe the failure throws you into a new interesting situation (falling forward), maybe the failure was entirely due to another player or bad dice rolls which takes out the sting, or maybe we see opportunities for improving our play in the future and the act of improving our play will itself be interesting.

Perhaps my example was unclear, but we did not know these encounters were stacked against us.  As far as we could tell at the time, we had failed, and not in a way that was interesting.
I'm having a hard time understanding exactly what you are asking.  My players have missed attack rolls and skill checks, and still had a good time.  

My players have had PCs that died, once where the PC was an NPC for that session since my wife had a prior engagement, so that didn't affect her game play at all and she was rezzed by the next session.  During another encounter, the party tank was drained of blood by the then-BBEG and didn't like sitting out the next hour or so before he was rezzed.  Fortunately, there have been some very interesting repercussions of him coming back to life, and his character is coming to terms with the fact that he is now a homebrewed "shade."  All in all, I'd say that has been a mixed back of fun and not fun.

My players have failed by divulging too much or not the right kind of info to NPCs that lead to further complications for the party, and one particular choice will pit the baroness of what has been their home base city against them once their present usefullness is fulfilled.  I'm still waiting to see how it all pans out, but it should lead to more fun.

Is this what kind of information/examples you're looking for? 
Humans are entirely focused around succeeding. Everybody has a goal of some sort, and they work towards that goal; to see all of their efforts go to waste is harsh, and it is frustrating. It is possible for someone to enjoy not "winning," but only if they have some kind of alternative goal. For instance, someone who intentionally chooses to let someone win won't be annoyed when they do. The person who realizes that their opponent is vastly more skilled than them may be fine if they can just put up a decent fight.

There are probably a few people out there who actually enjoy watching their plans fail, but such a desire is not "normal." Instead, I find it likely that without something to change a person's goals to something other than "winning" the game, then losing at that game is a failure and, as such, not fun. If the goal is not to win, whether the purpose of the game is to last as long as possible (Call of Cthulu, I have heard, is like this) or simply the player is divorced from their characters and merely wants to see how things play out, then they can "lose" but still succeed.



And what if the goal is one that frames both success and failure positively?

Failure still occurs and it bites, but since it can be used it is not bad in and of itself.

After all, do we not learn through both success and failure? Isn't it a common notion that we actually learn far more from failure than success? If so, if we're playing a game and trying to do well...can't we learn from failures and use that to do better in the future? Isn't that admirable and a good, healthy way to look at a game? Would you think that is a healthier attitude towards a game than saying "I get upset when I fail" or "I can't have fun in a game if I don't succeed at it"?

Objectively speaking those seem like pretty...well...bad attitudes towards a game. Childish even. As an example, if you were teaching a child a game and they lost at it then immediately declared the game "bad" and "no fun" because they lost (having previously enjoyed engaging in the actual gameplay) would you think that child is acting in a mature way or an immature way? Would you reinforce that behavior and/or find it agreeable? Would you want to play games with them in the future? What if they were an adult? How would you perceive it?

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

A few things can make failure more interesting.  Maybe the failure throws you into a new interesting situation (falling forward),



Again...that is not failing forward. Failing forward is learning from failures and using the energy from that failure positively. It is an attitude not a quid pro quo situation.

maybe the failure was entirely due to another player or bad dice rolls which takes out the sting, or maybe we see opportunities for improving our play in the future and the act of improving our play will itself be interesting.



Should the latter example not be what players strive for in games in general?

Perhaps my example was unclear, but we did not know these encounters were stacked against us.  As far as we could tell at the time, we had failed, and not in a way that was interesting.



This is simply bad DMing. Not really relevant since the problem is arising from the DM.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

I'm having a hard time understanding exactly what you are asking.  My players have missed attack rolls and skill checks, and still had a good time.  

My players have had PCs that died, once where the PC was an NPC for that session since my wife had a prior engagement, so that didn't affect her game play at all and she was rezzed by the next session.  During another encounter, the party tank was drained of blood by the then-BBEG and didn't like sitting out the next hour or so before he was rezzed.  Fortunately, there have been some very interesting repercussions of him coming back to life, and his character is coming to terms with the fact that he is now a homebrewed "shade."  All in all, I'd say that has been a mixed back of fun and not fun.

My players have failed by divulging too much or not the right kind of info to NPCs that lead to further complications for the party, and one particular choice will pit the baroness of what has been their home base city against them once their present usefullness is fulfilled.  I'm still waiting to see how it all pans out, but it should lead to more fun.

Is this what kind of information/examples you're looking for? 



Yes this is good stuff. So you'd say it all worked best when the people involved accepted what occured and used it to move forward as players?

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

Like some others in the posts I am confused about your point. I want to undrstand it.

Who are you talking of when you talk about the people who are like children about failure? Is it  something you see at your game? Or is this hipothetical people?
Like some others in the posts I am confused about your point. I want to undrstand it.

Who are you talking of when you talk about the people who are like children about failure? Is it  something you see at your game? Or is this hipothetical people?



I find children are generally very negative about failure, especially in games. They will enjoy playing the game up until the point where they lose...at which point they denounce the entire game and no longer wish to play. This isn't true of all children, of course, but it's pretty common. Children claim that "failure" is un-fun, uninteresting, bad, etc...but I've always found it to be a matter of attitude...and not the attitude of the game but the attitude of the player.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

This is simply bad DMing. Not really relevant since the problem is arising from the DM.



That was my point.  Bad DMing tends to make failure uninteresting, which is one of the places where the attitude that "a player would have difficulty failing and having fun" comes from.

Should the latter example not be what players strive for in games in general?

 

I think that DMs should strive for this.  The way a game is structured has everything to do with whether a player *can* have fun while failing.  Players themselves should play in whatever non-obstructive way they find fun, whether that be striving for improvement or simply sitting back and enjoying the ride.
Humans are entirely focused around succeeding. Everybody has a goal of some sort, and they work towards that goal; to see all of their efforts go to waste is harsh, and it is frustrating. It is possible for someone to enjoy not "winning," but only if they have some kind of alternative goal. For instance, someone who intentionally chooses to let someone win won't be annoyed when they do. The person who realizes that their opponent is vastly more skilled than them may be fine if they can just put up a decent fight.

There are probably a few people out there who actually enjoy watching their plans fail, but such a desire is not "normal." Instead, I find it likely that without something to change a person's goals to something other than "winning" the game, then losing at that game is a failure and, as such, not fun. If the goal is not to win, whether the purpose of the game is to last as long as possible (Call of Cthulu, I have heard, is like this) or simply the player is divorced from their characters and merely wants to see how things play out, then they can "lose" but still succeed.



And what if the goal is one that frames both success and failure positively?

Failure still occurs and it bites, but since it can be used it is not bad in and of itself.

After all, do we not learn through both success and failure? Isn't it a common notion that we actually learn far more from failure than success? If so, if we're playing a game and trying to do well...can't we learn from failures and use that to do better in the future? Isn't that admirable and a good, healthy way to look at a game? Would you think that is a healthier attitude towards a game than saying "I get upset when I fail" or "I can't have fun in a game if I don't succeed at it"?

Objectively speaking those seem like pretty...well...bad attitudes towards a game. Childish even. As an example, if you were teaching a child a game and they lost at it then immediately declared the game "bad" and "no fun" because they lost (having previously enjoyed engaging in the actual gameplay) would you think that child is acting in a mature way or an immature way? Would you reinforce that behavior and/or find it agreeable? Would you want to play games with them in the future? What if they were an adult? How would you perceive it?



I'm not saying that it isn't an immature way to handle things, you are definitely correct about that. A mature, well-adjusted person should be able to handle a negative turn of events in a game and move on, having learned from the failure and accepted it. I feel you are entirely correct about the bolded part of the post I quoted. It doesn't, however, change the fact that humans (all species, really) are hardwired to find failure an awful alternative to success. It certainly creates some issues in the modern world, but it's easy to understand why, from a survival frame of thought, it makes sense.

Ideally, it wouldn't be an issue for someone to fail in a minor way that has no actual, physical consequences. Realisticly, however, I have found that I am incapable of thinking of any scenario where a person would prefer to "fail" (understanding that failure is different from losing). If a player is simply thinking of themselves as their character, anything that sets back that character from their goals is going to feel like failure. And for someone with heroic responsibility, where the job is to succeed no matter the costs, failure is bad. They can't console themselves that they had no way of knowing, or that it was out of their hands. They failed, and failure is always biting when you care about the result.
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />That was my point.  Bad DMing tends to make failure uninteresting, which is one of the places where the attitude that "a player would have difficulty failing and having fun" comes from.



Neither of your examples include failure though. That is the problem with your example. The bad DM is not making failure uninteresting...he did not have the possibility for success or failure...he just had an outcome forced on you. You were not allowed to succeed or fail on your own merits.

I think that DMs should strive for this.  The way a game is structured has everything to do with whether a player *can* have fun while failing.  Players themselves should play in whatever non-obstructive way they find fun, whether that be striving for improvement or simply sitting back and enjoying the ride.



But if having fun while failing is dependent on the attitude of the player is it even ultimately possible for the DM to control this? Influence it perhaps, but if the persons attitude is that failure CANNOT be interesting there is NOTHING the DM can do that includes failure that can spin that.

You have a game. We will say...Street Fighter. One player plays and loses to another player. They thank the person for the game and reflect on what caused them to lose the rounds while applying that information to what they will do in the future. One player plays and loses to another player. They say the game is "stupid" or "unfun" and that they will not play again.

What could the designer of Street Fighter have done to avoid the second situation? Is the onus on the designer to even do so?

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />I'm not saying that it isn't an immature way to handle things, you are definitely correct about that. A mature, well-adjusted person should be able to handle a negative turn of events in a game and move on, having learned from the failure and accepted it. I feel you are entirely correct about the bolded part of the post I quoted. It doesn't, however, change the fact that humans (all species, really) are hardwired to find failure an awful alternative to success. It certainly creates some issues in the modern world, but it's easy to understand why, from a survival frame of thought, it makes sense.

Ideally, it wouldn't be an issue for someone to fail in a minor way that has no actual, physical consequences. Realisticly, however, I have found that I am incapable of thinking of any scenario where a person would prefer to "fail" (understanding that failure is different from losing).



I think I see something of note in here. "Prefer" is not necessary. On the scale of "prefer" for me playing Street Fighter it would go like this...Succeeding with no effort is less desirable than losing by any means which is less desirable than succeeding with effort. So in that way, a form of success is below failure in preferences...because success without effort is, ultimately, unfulfilling.

So it's not binary...it's a spectrum.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

If children are not fun to play with maybe you do not play with children? I am not sure what is th epoint here.

How do you lose as a player  at D&D? 
But if having fun while failing is dependent on the attitude of the player is it even ultimately possible for the DM to control this? Influence it perhaps, but if the persons attitude is that failure CANNOT be interesting there is NOTHING the DM can do that includes failure that can spin that.

You have a game. We will say...Street Fighter. One player plays and loses to another player. They thank the person for the game and reflect on what caused them to lose the rounds while applying that information to what they will do in the future. One player plays and loses to another player. They say the game is "stupid" or "unfun" and that they will not play again.



The designer couldn't do a thing about the 2nd player.  But the designer was able to attract the first player, something that many many games fail miserably at.

I thought I understood the point of the thread, but I admit to being confused now.
Some people on the forum say that failure should be interesting.

Do you say here it should not be interesting?

When is interesting it is not really failure? I think youy say that in the other thread about when players do something stupid.
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />The designer couldn't do a thing about the 2nd player.  But the designer was able to attract the first player, something that many many games fail miserably at.

I thought I understood the point of the thread, but I admit to being confused now.



How is the 2nd player different from a D&D player that insists the game is "uninteresting" or "unfun" or "bad" because they failed at something?

One point to consider is...how much of "fun" being had in the game can be attributed solely to the good attitude of the players involved? If the game is run fairly (IE: not in the way you described in your example) and the players have every reason to believe this (because it is true) is it fair to say that if they fail at something they do so on their own merits and that their reaction will be based on their attitude, essentially reducing it to the potential outcomes given for the Street Fighter game?

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.



I think I see something of note in here. "Prefer" is not necessary. On the scale of "prefer" for me playing Street Fighter it would go like this...Succeeding with no effort is less desirable than losing by any means which is less desirable than succeeding with effort. So in that way, a form of success is below failure in preferences...because success without effort is, ultimately, unfulfilling.

So it's not binary...it's a spectrum.



That's definitely part of it. The greater the challenge, the better the person feels for overcoming it; it makes them feel better, more powerful, for being able to trounce such a massive threat. A first grader beating up the 4th grade bully that's the king of the playground is going to feel like the coolest kid in the world. The high school sophmore that rolls in and does so will not. A human who defeats a giant has taken on a greater opponent, and through their own efforts, defeated it. A human who has crushed an ant has fought something not even near their level; they don't feel like their skills had anything to do with it.

Investment is also an issue. Beat me at a game of tic-tac-toe, I'll be fine. Beat me at a game of chess and I'll be a bit bummed, but fine. Beat me in a bet worth a month's pay, I'll be pissed.

If I fail to purchase tickets to a concert before they sale out, I'd be upset. If I fail to manage to pull my family from a burning building...

A minor loss, that you don't care about is an annoyance. A major loss, that strikes at the core of your being, is devastating.
Some people on the forum say that failure should be interesting.

Do you say here it should not be interesting?

When is interesting it is not really failure? I think youy say that in the other thread about when players do something stupid.



Failure must be something one would wish to avoid. Depending on attitude, a player may or may not have fun with it...but it is HEAVILY based on their attitude.

"Interesting" is irrelevant as interesting is a matter of attitude. In a fair game, any potential failure is interesting by virtue of what can be derived from it. This requires a fair game, of course, but it also requires a positive attitude.

When someone feels totally divorced from preference regarding the outcome of a situation, then failure and success are actually irrelevant in regards to the game.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.


Yes this is good stuff. So you'd say it all worked best when the people involved accepted what occured and used it to move forward as players?



Well, it depends on the example.  when it comes to missing attack rolls and skill checks, yes definitely.  It is a game of chance after all, and sometimes great ideas and strategy don't pan out.  One needs to adjust, roll with the punches, and keep moving forward.

With player death, at least as far as the party tank went, it was too bad that he sat out for so long.  This is part of the reason why I prefer say Settlers of Catan over Risk.  If you're getting together with some friends to play Risk, the first player out can get bored before the hour and a half or so passes and another game can get started.  With Settlers, everybody is in the game until the end, and sometimes a string of 9s being rolled can put the guy in last place right up with the contenders for winner during the last few rounds.  But to get back to my example, it was a good story move, and the player is having fun playing a fighter loyal to Bahamut who is --as far as some powers are concerned -- undead though he breathes, eats, etc.  We lucked out that there was a Cowboys game on at the time, though why someone would root for the Cowboys is still beyond me.

As for failing in social encounters and putting themselves in bad spots, yes, this is interesting, it drives the story forward, and creates additional complications for the PCs to navigate through.  


That's definitely part of it. The greater the challenge, the better the person feels for overcoming it; it makes them feel better, more powerful, for being able to trounce such a massive threat. A first grader beating up the 4th grade bully that's the king of the playground is going to feel like the coolest kid in the world. The high school sophmore that rolls in and does so will not. A human who defeats a giant has taken on a greater opponent, and through their own efforts, defeated it. A human who has crushed an ant has fought something not even near their level; they don't feel like their skills had anything to do with it.



Hence, on a player level, success CAN be less prefered when compared to failure.

Investment is also an issue. Beat me at a game of tic-tac-toe, I'll be fine. Beat me at a game of chess and I'll be a bit bummed, but fine. Beat me in a bet worth a month's pay, I'll be pissed.



Tic-tac-toe is an awful game.

I note you say "pissed". That implies anger. Would you necessarily be angry about the situation just because more was invested?

If I fail to purchase tickets to a concert before they sale out, I'd be upset. If I fail to manage to pull my family from a burning building...

A minor loss, that you don't care about is an annoyance. A major loss, that strikes at the core of your being, is devastating.



But in a game can't your attitude totally control how you work with those set-backs?

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

How is the 2nd player different from a D&D player that insists the game is "uninteresting" or "unfun" or "bad" because they failed at something?



There isn't, assuming a skilled DM.

One point to consider is...how much of "fun" being had in the game can be attributed solely to the good attitude of the players involved?



Everything is attitude.  You can have fun with the most mind-numbingly boring game if you approach it with the right attitude (see: drinking "games").  Better games are more inclusive of requisite attitude.

If the game is run fairly (IE: not in the way you described in your example) and the players have every reason to believe this (because it is true) is it fair to say that if they fail at something they do so on their own merits and that their reaction will be based on their attitude, essentially reducing it to the potential outcomes given for the Street Fighter game?



I think that Street Fighter would be more restrictive on requisite attitude in this example.  It would be easier to have fun while failing in a D&D game run in this fashion.


Yes this is good stuff. So you'd say it all worked best when the people involved accepted what occured and used it to move forward as players?



Well, it depends on the example.  when it comes to missing attack rolls and skill checks, yes definitely.  It is a game of chance after all, and sometimes great ideas and strategy don't pan out.  One needs to adjust, roll with the punches, and keep moving forward.

With player death, at least as far as the party tank went, it was too bad that he sat out for so long.  This is part of the reason why I prefer say Settlers of Catan over Risk.  If you're getting together with some friends to play Risk, the first player out can get bored before the hour and a half or so passes and another game can get started.  With Settlers, everybody is in the game until the end, and sometimes a string of 9s being rolled can put the guy in last place right up with the contenders for winner during the last few rounds.  But to get back to my example, it was a good story move, and the player is having fun playing a fighter loyal to Bahamut who is --as far as some powers are concerned -- undead though he breathes, eats, etc.  We lucked out that there was a Cowboys game on at the time, though why someone would root for the Cowboys is still beyond me.

As for failing in social encounters and putting themselves in bad spots, yes, this is interesting, it drives the story forward, and creates additional complications for the PCs to navigate through.  



I find it odd that in so many games that if someone dies they just sit out. I think this has to do with SO MUCH being mechanically derived in the game...people feel like if they don't have a direct mechanical interface (their character) they are useless to the game. Sad.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />There isn't, assuming a skilled DM.



Agreed.


Everything is attitude.  You can have fun with the most mind-numbingly boring game if you approach it with the right attitude (see: drinking "games").  Better games are more inclusive of requisite attitude.



So, assuming a skilled DM and a fair game, reaction to failure would be derived from player attitude rather than the DM or the game itself. If so, I would agree with this in the same way that assuming a fair interface (working controllers or whatever) means someones attitude towards a loss in a video game is dependent entirely on their attitude. It is disingenuous to blame the game or what is facilitating the game for an attitude problem.

I think that Street Fighter would be more restrictive on requisite attitude in this example.  It would be easier to have fun while failing in a D&D game run in this fashion.



Yet we have so many people stating that failing is "uninteresting" and implying that it must not be fun to fail. How does it reconcile? Issues with attitude?

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

Yet we have so many people stating that failing is "uninteresting" and implying that it must not be fun to fail. How does it reconcile? Issues with attitude?



Well, my answer hasn't really changed, I still think that is mostly due to DMs.  If you've been a player in such a game and not had fun while failing, you're likely to chalk it up to failure being uninteresting, and this carries over into the games you DM.  If you're such a DM, you're likely to blame the failure of the player as the root cause of the discontent, without wondering how you could improve the interface to alleviate it.
English is not my first language..... I still I dont see anyone say that failure is no interesting. I think is possible it is not interesting. This is easy to fix.

If it is interesting failure that does not mean that people want to fail. I think people want to suceed because is a game. To have a failure does not mean it have to be borring or that nothing happen so that you can feel good about sucess. Failure that is fun take nothing from sucess.

You make no sense t ome. Maybe it is the language. I am practicing! Sorry!
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