The Forge Archives

Archive => GNS Model Discussion => Topic started by: matthijs on June 18, 2004, 10:25:54 AM



Title: GM premise in narrativist play
Post by: matthijs on June 18, 2004, 10:25:54 AM
This has probably been asked before, but:

In narrativist play, players define premise for their characters. The setting is a tool for addressing premise.

Can the GM be said at times to use the setting as a means to address premise? Would the GM then be better described as a player, using the setting as his/her character?


Title: GM premise in narrativist play
Post by: Eero Tuovinen on June 18, 2004, 11:30:18 AM
But of course. Addressing premise is not a priori an attribute of a character, or a rules system, or a game world. It's only an attribute of one or more of the players. The GM is a player like everyone else, and he might have a premise or not, depending on the playing style.

Thinking of premise as an attribute of the character makes some things really hard to understand. Sure, you can design a character that's focused on a premise, but you could as well address a premise through some entirely other means. It's not the character that makes your play narrativist, it's the fact that you the player are invested in the premise.


Title: GM premise in narrativist play
Post by: Mike Holmes on June 18, 2004, 01:30:52 PM
Eero's right (I assume that we're talking about Premise in the current definition per the glossary). Also, premise is defined locally for every decision. That is, a character might tend to produce certain sorts of questions, but when it comes down to it, the question at hand is actually what the situation is delivering.

We talk about this in terms of Sorcerer a lot.

In Sorcerer, the overall premise of the game is "What would you do for power?" This is immediately localized by the GM providing the one sheet and the getting it right with the players. So a specific game of Sorcerer might be, "How bestial are you willing to become to dominate those around you?" Then a player might have a character which narrows that to, "Will you run like a wolf to gain the freedom that their strngth of spirits can give?" Which in a specific case might be, "Will you take on another wolf spirit to give you the strength to climb the tower to get to your lady love, risking losing the humanity that you need for her to even recognize you?"

See how these things change as the scope changes?

Mike


Title: GM premise in narrativist play
Post by: matthijs on June 18, 2004, 01:41:25 PM
Okay. Just to make sure we're talking about the same thing here, let me provide an example:

The setting has an in-built conflict between Christian missionaries and the little people. This is connected with a general issue of civilization vs nature. The GM's premise is: "Can a dominant, expanding culture and a traditional, passive culture co-exist? In what form?"

However, players have other premises they address. Different time scales are involved, so the GM's premise is being addressed much more slowly. Sometimes it ties in with players' premises, other times it goes on in the background.


Title: GM premise in narrativist play
Post by: Eero Tuovinen on June 18, 2004, 01:57:01 PM
Quote from: matthijs

The setting has an in-built conflict between Christian missionaries and the little people. This is connected with a general issue of civilization vs nature. The GM's premise is: "Can a dominant, expanding culture and a traditional, passive culture co-exist? In what form?"


An interesting example of a premise that's not stated as a moral question. Periodically people here hash out the limits, and while some prefer to take the premise as a "moral question", some see it as too narrow. Usually this is a matter of how wide one takes "moral" to be.

Quote

However, players have other premises they address. Different time scales are involved, so the GM's premise is being addressed much more slowly. Sometimes it ties in with players' premises, other times it goes on in the background.


Yep, quite possible. It should be noted that a player can address premise on his own, he doesn't necessarily need other players to support him. Thus the above is a quite possible case even if other players are not interested in the juxtaposition of civilization and savagery. However, the unity of the game can suffer if the players are not clear on the currents and do not honor the worth of the other player's issues. Thus it might happen that the GM premise is flattened by the sheer bulk and immediacy of the other players. Depends entirely on case-by-case negotiation of the actual players in the actual situation.

Then again, this is what happens always when each player has his own premise. To play a narrativist game with other people you need a modicum of capability of responding to other players and their issues.


Title: GM premise in narrativist play
Post by: matthijs on June 18, 2004, 09:56:32 PM
Eero,

Good point about how players can address premise on their own, but it's better (for unity and play experience) when players at least know of each others' premises.

It spawns a new question (how to make players with different premises interact?), which has probably been asked gazillions of times, so I'll search the forums for threads on that.


Title: GM premise in narrativist play
Post by: Mike Holmes on June 19, 2004, 02:21:25 PM
Quote from: matthijs
Good point about how players can address premise on their own, but it's better (for unity and play experience) when players at least know of each others' premises.

It spawns a new question (how to make players with different premises interact?), which has probably been asked gazillions of times, so I'll search the forums for threads on that.


There's a base assumption that's incorrect here. Premise isn't thought about...almost at all. Most players producing narrativism couldn't tell you what the premise they were addressing is.

People somewhere along the line get the idea that premise means that at some point the player says, "Aha! My character is about the clash of neo-classicalism and postmodernity!" The only game that I can think of where the player is required to state something like this at all is my game Synthesis - and even then it's couched in game terms. In Sorcerer, sometimes people make a premise statement when they determine what humanity will be for the game, but it's really an academic excercise, and you don't have to do so for play. Once playing with the humanity definition in question, premise exists and is occuring in play. Players create character premises merely by defining their characters and kickers, etc. They create new premises on the spot by what they decide to have their characters do. There is no external process.

Do you see the importance of what I'm saying. Players producing narrativism don't think, "Gee, this conflict gives me a chance to address the concept of love vs. ethics." They just play. And premises are created and addressed.

So, no, it's plainly not at all important if other players "know" what the other player's premises are at all, from one POV. All that's required is a feeling that some premise is being addressed (or even just that premises aren't being overlooked).

I think that the everyday meaning of the term premise is getting mixed in here. It was formerly part of the theory meaning something like this - something like "What's the character about?" Sure it's important for players to understand the basic concepts of a PC, so they can enjoy the contexts of the players decisions. All this requires, however, is allowing each other to read each other's characters sheets, talking about the character, and in general playing with as much OOC chat as needed to deliver any local context that might be missing. Hardly different, if at all, from any typical play.

Most importantly, it's actually not at all undesirable for players to be addressing different premises. It probably wouldn't hurt to have more than one player addressing the same premises - after all they're likely to diverge in choices at some point. But there's absolutely no reason at all why players can't be addressing even vastly divergent premises in the same game. One PC could be all about "Power vs Humanity" and issues within local to his character, and another could be addressing "Law vs Liberty" sorts of issues. There would be no problems with this at all.

Further, premises change at any time. A player may start out looking at once class of issue, and end up dropping that (or resolving it) only to pick up a completely new set of premises at any time. On any level. System support may be greater or lesser for many premises, but consider that most narrativism has occured using systems that do not support it at all. Hence the premises in these games were all entirely player generated, and completely unique to the desires of the player.

Am I making things more clear, or less?

Put it this way, games do not have premises, nor do characters. They have support for addressing certain kinds of premises. What premises are actually addressed come out entirely through play.

Mike


Title: GM premise in narrativist play
Post by: matthijs on June 19, 2004, 11:47:00 PM
Mike,

Quote
games do not have premises, nor do characters. They have support for addressing certain kinds of premises. What premises are actually addressed come out entirely through play.


Someone should give you a medal for all the great explaining you do on the Forge :)

I don't think I've ever stated premise for a character, and haven't played with anyone else who has. However, with my setting, I'm thinking about it a fair deal - mostly so that I can explain to others what they can do with the game.

In the post you quoted, I think I got things mixed up. What I meant was something like: Players should not operate completely independently of each other, running in effect three or four solo games. Knowing or having a feel for what other characters are about will definitely help the group play together.

Oh, and looking at your post again, that's exactly what you said. And Eero mentioned it too, I see. Uh... apparantly another of those things that one understands only when saying it in one's own words :)


Title: GM premise in narrativist play
Post by: Mike Holmes on June 21, 2004, 06:50:43 AM
Cool. :-)

Mike


Title: GM premise in narrativist play
Post by: Doctor Xero on June 21, 2004, 10:45:18 AM
All right, this thread has me a tad confused, now.

When I have been commissioned by players to run a superhero campaign for them, for example, I will consider possible thematic threads for them to pick up or ignore as they will, I will specifically seek out player input on thematic threads the players would like available for their characters to address, and I also will incorporate a few thematic questions of my own into my campaign design.  I find the structuring allowed by using a familiar and beloved genre aids me in this endeavor.  As the campaign goes on, players through their characters will grapple with some of these thematic premises, ignore others, and introduce still others.  The genre conventions (e.g. players have to play superheroes not supervillains) provide stable grounds from which the premises can be more emphatically addressed.  Of course, we will also have fun just playing out our favorite superhero tropes and motifs!

Much of the above sounds like narrativism, yet I have been told that my grounding in genre means I run only simulationist campaigns.

Huhn?

Doctor Xero


Title: GM premise in narrativist play
Post by: Eero Tuovinen on June 21, 2004, 11:45:10 AM
Quote from: Doctor Xero

Much of the above sounds like narrativism, yet I have been told that my grounding in genre means I run only simulationist campaigns.


Wouldn't this be a problem for the one who is doing the telling here? I mean, don't believe everything you're told.

Seriously: creative agendas are not absolute styles of gaming, they are properties of individual choices made during play. Thus, when a player makes a decision based on how a superhero is supposed to act that particular decision is solidly sim. On the other hand, when the player makes the choice to reinforce a particular meaning, it's narrativism. The difference is obvious in some situations, but some particular examples are quite hard to fathom from outside the player's head. Consider:

Quote from: Hypothetical play example
Hyperman confronts a villain bend on destroying the city. He gets an opportunity to stop the villain by killing him. Will he do it? The player tells us "no".


Now, the above could be a sim or nar decision, you cannot tell which it is. Let's take a look at the head of the player:

SIM: "Hmmm.... sure, I could take the chance, but it'd be no fun; superheroes don't act that way."
NAR: "Hmmm.... on the other hand is the life of the city, on the other the principle of not killing, one that's deeply instated in the character I have. I will choose not killing, even if it puts the city at risk."
GAM: "Hmmm.... I could take the villain now, but I'd lose the karma points. Better to wait until I can stop him without killing."

A decision can be nar if it's not predicated on staying in genre, and it's sim if the genre expectation degrees the decision or multiple possible choices.

What I'm trying to say is that although your game seems to be based on some sim interest on genre fidelity, you have some elements of nar there as well. I'd say that if genre wins always and players never make decisions outside it, it's a good chance that your game is "sim", whatever you mean by calling a game that instead of a singular decision.


Title: GM premise in narrativist play
Post by: Doctor Xero on June 21, 2004, 12:02:23 PM
Quote from: Eero Tuovinen
Consider:

Quote from: Hypothetical play example
Hyperman confronts a villain bend on destroying the city. He gets an opportunity to stop the villain by killing him. Will he do it? The player tells us "no".


Now, the above could be a sim or nar decision, you cannot tell which it is. Let's take a look at the head of the player:

SIM: "Hmmm.... sure, I could take the chance, but it'd be no fun; superheroes don't act that way."
NAR: "Hmmm.... on the other hand is the life of the city, on the other the principle of not killing, one that's deeply instated in the character I have. I will choose not killing, even if it puts the city at risk."
GAM: "Hmmm.... I could take the villain now, but I'd lose the karma points. Better to wait until I can stop him without killing."

< laughter > No wonder the confusion!  My best players and I would be thinking in this situation thusly:

DR.X: "Hmmm... on the one hand is the life of the city, on the other the fact that superheroes don't act that way and I really, really want to be a superhero.  I almost chose to kill him to save the city, despite my beliefs against killing and the fact that superheroes don't act that way... Can I really still call myself a superhero?  Or am I a fraud -- to being a superhero and to being true to my own beliefs in the sanctity of all life!"

I guess my best games could be labelled simula-narrativ-ist! < grin >

I think I'll stick to labelling them fun (when successful) on my own time and worry about G/N/S when discussing G/N/S!

Doctor Xero


Title: GM premise in narrativist play
Post by: M. J. Young on June 21, 2004, 08:39:22 PM
Quote from: Doctor Xero

< laughter > No wonder the confusion!  My best players and I would be thinking in this situation thusly:

DR.X: "Hmmm... on the one hand is the life of the city, on the other the fact that superheroes don't act that way and I really, really want to be a superhero.  I almost chose to kill him to save the city, despite my beliefs against killing and the fact that superheroes don't act that way... Can I really still call myself a superhero?  Or am I a fraud -- to being a superhero and to being true to my own beliefs in the sanctity of all life!"

I guess my best games could be labelled simula-narrativ-ist! < grin >

I am persuaded that simulationism, for as long as it has been with us, is very poorly understood. Because simulationism-supporting games have tended to be high on rules detail (something which indeed does tend to support the simulationist agendum), we fall into the error of thinking that high fidelity equals simulationism, and then the Beeeg Horseshoe looks particularly appealing because simulationism suddenly isn't anything more than verisimilitude or genre fidelity or some similar version of "realism".

There is only one question that needs to be answered in the situation above: are you most interested in exploring what it is like to be a superhero the way they are portrayed in the comics, or are you most interested in making a statement regarding when if ever it is good and right to kill someone? Both can't be most important; one must trump the other, even when they yield the same response. If you spared the villains life, you might have done it because you wanted to discover what it was like to be the superhero in this sort of world, or you might have done it because you wanted to make a statement about good not stooping to the means used by evil even to stop evil. "Genre fidelity" is in this sense a red herring. It is correct that to discover what it would be like to be a character in this genre, you must remain faithful to the genre. However, if you decide that you want to remain faithful to the genre while making a statement about the premise, that is narrativism, and no amount of dedication to genre fidelity will make it simulationism, because simulationism is not primarily about genre fidelity or verisimilitude, but primarily about the sort of discovery for which such a foundation is necessary in order for us to learn anything at all.

One of Ron's essays contains the famous section, $#!+, I'm Playing Narrativist. I'm really inclined to think that you are. You've got a high commitment to genre fidelity, but that's not the same thing as simulationism, and it's only confusing the issue to think so.

I hope this helps.

--M. J. Young


Title: GM premise in narrativist play
Post by: Doctor Xero on June 21, 2004, 09:06:10 PM
Quote from: M. J. Young
There is only one question that needs to be answered in the situation above: are you most interested in exploring what it is like to be a superhero the way they are portrayed in the comics, or are you most interested in making a statement regarding when if ever it is good and right to kill someone?

In the above situation, I want to start out the campaign exploring what it is like to be a superhero the way they are portrayed in the comics, and then once I have done that, I want to explore whether it is ever good and right to kill someone and explore what a particular answer to that question really means and what its effects are, et al.

Without exploring what it is like to be a superhero the way they are portrayed in the comics first, I would feel that I have no grounding from which to explore the ethics of killing or sparing nor to play with any answers I might consider apropos that issue.

Once I know all the "rules", I know which ones to challenge!

And sometimes I want to challenge, and sometimes I don't.  So some days we have an intense game in which characters have volatile arguments over whether or not to allow another person to commit suicide, and on other days we have nothing more than a genre-appropriate version of a dungeon crawl.

When I've finished exploring possible answers to when if ever it is good and right to kill someone in one part of the superhero genre or "reality", I want to move on to another part, explore what it is like to be a superhero in the comics in that new superhero subgenre, and then once I have done that, explore what ethical questions I can through this new metaphor and this new subgenre reality.  And on some days I will explore those questions, and on others I will simply rescue the dragon in distress from the firebreathing maiden.

And so on.

Because each genre presents its own distinctive possibilities for ethical exploration and metaphor as well as conventions for playing with magic and mystery.

Over the past two decades, most of the people with whom I have been part of the "roleplaying" movement (as we called it back in the 1980s) have claimed to come to feel similarly, though I often end up the game master because most of them have difficulty balancing both aspects.

So I suspect that, yes, I enjoy both simulationism and narrativism in the same campaign, and since I've known and read many others who have held this up as an ideal, I wonder that it seems so odd and that so few have done it.

But then, I am old enough to recall when a geek was someone who not only watched SF/fantasy films but also read SF/fantasy literature, read philosophy both modern and ancient, studied both science and the humanities, and explored even the arts and music -- Star Wars, yes, but also Asimov, Lem, Wichtenstein, Aristotle, Bohr, Jung, Thoreau, Emerson, Picasso, Robert Johnson, etc.

Doctor Xero


Title: GM premise in narrativist play
Post by: Ron Edwards on June 22, 2004, 06:08:47 AM
Hello,

Backing up a post or two, Doc X, you wrote,

Quote
I have been told that my grounding in genre means I run only simulationist campaigns.


Not by me, nor by anyone who should feel proud of telling you any such thiing. Armchair diagnosis of others' play is bullshit. And furthermore, a lot of snap "oh that's Sim" responses, even from people who should know better, are assuming that the play is coherent enough even to gain a single descriptive term.

So I suggest that the power of the phrase you're reacting to is so weak that you are wasting effort even to take it into account when reflecting on your play-experiences.

Best,
Ron


Title: GM premise in narrativist play
Post by: Valamir on June 22, 2004, 07:25:43 AM
He Doc.  I want to point out that when you say:

Quote

I want to start out the campaign exploring what it is like to be a superhero the way they are portrayed in the comics, and then once I have done that, I want to explore whether it is ever good and right to kill someone and explore what a particular answer to that question really means and what its effects are, et al.


That this is exactly what I was talking about in the other thread (http://www.io.com/~xiombarg/cgi-bin/nph-colorblind.cgi/010110A/http/www.indie-rpgs.com/viewtopic.php?t=11583)

when I said:

Quote
The difference between this situation and Narrativist play is that this form of Simulation thrives on enforcing and reinforcing the stereo type while many times Narrativist play is about establishing those stereo types and then breaking them.


You'll note the similarities.

This was, in fact, a large part of the point I was making in that other thread.  In Sim play you adhere to the genre conventions because the whole point of play is to adhere to the genre conventions.

In Nar play you can also spend alot of effort adhereing to the genre conventions, but here that effort is solely to provide the context for the premise.

Genre Conventions are a pretty common method of expressing the key elements of Exploration (setting, color, character, situation).  If you are using genre conventions to provide a context for addressing premise you're playing Nar.  If you are using genre conventions because enjoying the experience of being true to those conventions is the primary reason why you are playing...then you're playing Sim.


Title: GM premise in narrativist play
Post by: matthijs on June 22, 2004, 09:46:27 AM
I thought I'd say a little bit more about the original theme of the thread.

Perhaps one could say that setting premise is narrativism's answer to metaplot? Instead of having a greater pre-planned story arc that adventures must hook on to, there's a dynamic story arc, created in real time during play, that adventures organically tie into. Meaning that they grow together, and affect eachother.

Now, if I were to try to focus on addressing setting premise as a GM - wouldn't it be fun if there were setting bangs? As history unfolds during play, sometimes strange twists and dilemmas occur that can be turning points for the flow of events. Players could perhaps make such bangs for the GM, perhaps one per session or once every few sessions, and in this way make life... interesting for the GM.

This could also make for an Aria-like game. Instead of defining the GM as "the one in control of setting", different players could have different parts of the environment and/or individual characters. Then, the GM would be defined as "the one supplying the bangs for the group".


Title: GM premise in narrativist play
Post by: Ron Edwards on June 22, 2004, 10:04:23 AM
Hello,

That is exactly right, Matthjis.

You have described our experiences with HeroQuest (at the time Hero Wars) perfectly. That's exactly why, especially after many discussions with Greg Stafford about it, I do not consider our play of this game (or its text) to include a metaplot in the same sense that (e.g.) the Mage line of supplements did.

I also submit, since all role-playing contains all five components of Exploration, that during Narrativist play, the Explorative content of Bangs can draw from all five in whatever combination one can imagine.

In other words, just because one's current game concerns a lot of character-defined/originated Premise, doesn't mean the GM "shouldn't use" setting-based Bangs. Bangs are Explorative composites, not setting-only or character-only or any such thing.

Best,
Ron


Title: GM premise in narrativist play
Post by: matthijs on June 22, 2004, 10:39:46 AM
Ron,

cool! Do you have any of your HQ/HW experiences written down somewhere?

Did you use setting-based bangs? If so, who introduced them, and how were they resolved?


Title: GM premise in narrativist play
Post by: Ron Edwards on June 22, 2004, 10:47:34 AM
Here are a few threads to check out, although you may have to parse the Bangs a little on your own. God damn it, I love Glorantha (http://www.indie-rpgs.com/viewtopic.php?t=180), Premise in Hero Wars? (http://www.indie-rpgs.com/viewtopic.php?t=1631), my Goddess of Rape (http://www.chimera.info/daedalus/articles/fall2003/redeeming_thed.html) article for Daedalus #1, and Peter Nordstrand's Narrativist scenario writing (http://www.indie-rpgs.com/viewtopic.php?t=6696).

Best,
Ron


Title: GM premise in narrativist play
Post by: Emily Care on June 22, 2004, 11:23:58 AM
Quote from: matthijs
Perhaps one could say that setting premise is narrativism's answer to metaplot? Instead of having a greater pre-planned story arc that adventures must hook on to, there's a dynamic story arc, created in real time during play, that adventures organically tie into. Meaning that they grow together, and affect eachother.
...
This could also make for an Aria-like game. Instead of defining the GM as "the one in control of setting", different players could have different parts of the environment and/or individual characters. Then, the GM would be defined as "the one supplying the bangs for the group".


This also exactly describes the long-running Ars Magica games I played long ago with the Ennead.  However, at the time I thought of these games as simulationist because they focused on detailed description of setting and character, were largely un- or loosely-plotted and in-game motivations were emphasised as justification for plotting and play.  

This was back in '93-'95, heyday of Rec.games.fantasy.advocacy as seen in John Kim's FAQ (http://www.incywincy.com/default?catid=165&cached=www.darkshire.org/~jhkim/rpg/styles/).  More heavily plotted games ie metaplot games would have fallen under the Dramatist mode.  This captures the sea-change that has occured along the way from then to now!

Yes, I'm not imagining it take a look at this (http://www.darkshire.net/~jhkim/rpg/theory/rgfa/faq_v0/faq2.art) part of the FAQ. I'll quote it here too:

Quote

1) What is "dramatic plotting" in an RPG?  
   (by John Kim <jhk6@columbia.edu>)
......
1) What does it mean to pre-plot a game?
   (by John Kim <jhk6@columbia.edu>)

   Much discussion has been on the subject of "dramatic plotting",
  based on certain formulas from dramatic theory.  The basic concept
  is that the GM should prepare lines of tension which will specifically
  engage the PC's.  In short, the GM looks at each of the PC's, and the
  PC's as a whole, to determine what will engage them:  what is
  interesting and meaningful to them.  

   The GM then prepares background on elements which will lead
  to this engagement, and arranges for the PC's to get an inkling
  of what is there.  (This is often called a "hook" in some circles,
  or the "plot-premise").  

   The key is that once the PC's have committed themselves to
  a line of tension (or perhaps even before), the GM prepares a
  series of scenes -- his prediction of how the conflict will be
  played out (using both his knowledge and communication with the
  players on what they plan to do).  The sequence is designed as
  one would write a dramatic plot: with twists, climax, and so
  forth.  
 
     During the game, the GM may have to abandon particulars of
  his prepared plotline, of course, when the PC's do the unexpected.
  The theory is that his preparation will still be useful, because
  even though the particulars of the second plot twist have changed,
  the GM can still arrange for there to be a second plot twist,
  and thus retain his scene structure.  

The difference between rgfa dramatism and gns narrativism seems to be who exactly does the plotting, and Sim has come to be associated with what was once seen as dramatism.

Compare this with the definition of rgfa sim from the Faq:

Quote
 "simulationist":  is the esthetic of games where effort is made
   to not let meta-game concerns during play affect in-game
   resolution of events.  That is, a fully simulationist GM will
   not fudge results to save PC's or to save her plot -- and
   will not add forces to the game world just to make things
   more challenging for the PC's.


No wonder I often feel like the world is upside down when I talk to people about sim and nar.

yrs,
Emily Care


Title: GM premise in narrativist play
Post by: Doctor Xero on June 22, 2004, 01:25:31 PM
Quote from: Ron Edwards
And furthermore, a lot of snap "oh that's Sim" responses, even from people who should know better, are assuming that the play is coherent enough even to gain a single descriptive term.

Ah!  I had encountered that so frequently in the threads I explored when first I found The Forge that I took that for the normative assumption here.

The "oh that's Sim" response from the reluctant (and new-narr-converts) Narrativists about whom I've written in a different thread reinforced that interpretation.

Discounting the "oh that's Sim" responses I've read in threads or encountered in posts (and RL comments) directed towards me eliminates much of my confusion over a seeming narr-vs.-sim schism I've seen.

For there to be no narr-vs.-sim binary enforcement answers a lot of my concerns about why my experiences and studies conflict with that seeming binary.  Most of the campaigns I've been in oscillate between those two CA according to player interests for that day.

Doctor Xero

< grin > One could say that in playing The Forge campaign, I've been challenging narrativistically a seeming CA dichotomy after first simulationistically adapting to the normatives here.  So, to complete the analogy, where do I go to get my gamistic rewards?  < laughter >


Title: GM premise in narrativist play
Post by: Doctor Xero on June 22, 2004, 01:43:02 PM
Quote from: matthijs
Instead of having a greater pre-planned story arc that adventures must hook on to, there's a dynamic story arc, created in real time during play, that adventures organically tie into. Meaning that they grow together, and affect eachother.

Now, if I were to try to focus on addressing setting premise as a GM - wouldn't it be fun if there were setting bangs? As history unfolds during play, sometimes strange twists and dilemmas occur that can be turning points for the flow of events. Players could perhaps make such bangs for the GM, perhaps one per session or once every few sessions, and in this way make life... interesting for the GM.

I love this image!

According to this idea, then players who are playing out fairly stereotypical characters with no breaking ever of those stereotypes are still using a Narrativism Creative Agenda if their focus is not on their characters but on setting bangs through which the players explore ethical questions about the movements and evolutions of tribes or nations!

That would be totally cool!  (And one of the few times I can imagine my deriving any pleasure from Author stance instead of Actor stance.)

Doctor Xero