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Title: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: stefoid on January 26, 2010, 08:11:28 PM
before I start: "because I dont have enough time, and I seek to actually learn by playing such a game rather than writing it" is the answer to the obvious question.

Having looked through the rules to In a Wicked Age, the way it is structured is a bit gamey.  Its purpose is to create interesting narrative, but it got me to thinking about pushing that to the extreme, not so much as a RPG game in itself, but as a learning aid for developing skills of Narrative style of role playing.

Does that make sense?  Some kind of ruleset that is very gamist, that reinforces narrative skills directly via a reward scheme.  As an example, lets say each player takes on the  role of a GM who is roleplaying some cliched genre.  So player A is playing at playing a D&D GM, whilst player B is playing at playing a Horror Mystery GM, etc...  And its like: dueling GMs - which game is going to be the best?   So each player takes a turn at doing a scene from 'their game', and they get 'points' for whatever is considered 'good narrative play'.. I dont know, like introducing an interesting conflict between characters or something...   And after 5 rounds, you count up the points and declare a winner.

Maybe other players could chip in whilst a player was relating a scene and somehow generate points when it wasnt their turn, but in a gamist way, like they spend a point they already have and  interject as a stereotypical  anti-narrative player to disrupt/derail the narrative, and if the GM cant negotiate a suitable way out of their interjection, they get double points back, but if the GM does navigate the bad situation suitably, then they get the point...    this is just random examples - the point is its a game where players compete and get rewarded for applying narrative skills.


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: The Engine on January 26, 2010, 08:21:53 PM
The hard thing about implementing this would be deciding what is "good narrativist play".


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: stefoid on January 26, 2010, 08:37:16 PM
The hard thing about implementing this would be deciding what is "good narrativist play".

Yeah, you need to come up with a list of such, describing how and when to use them, and possibly a scoring system if you judge some to be harder to apply than others.

Then you need to come up with (if we use my original example)  an equally useful (as a learning aid) list of anti-narrative stuff that players can use to fuck with the current GMs game.  All in good fun of course.   

But its gamey, so people arent so so prone to stage-fright.  Like "the players go through the dungeon, dodging traps and looting the corpses of some monsters unlucky enough to cross their path...  Now Im going to try technique X...<insert relation of attempted narrative tactic X here>"  and then the other players can vote on whether she pulls it off and the player gets points. 

And equally gamey, an opposing player says "Oh yeah, well Im spending 3 points on your Dwarf player saying <insert common anti-narrative tactic Y> what are you going to do about THAT?!?!"   

etc...

Dont ask me what the lists are, however.  :(


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: Callan S. on January 26, 2010, 11:59:36 PM
I would swear your trying to teach going through the motions of narrativist techniques without someone actually having a desire for any of the elements narrativism revolves around? I mean, your talking about emulating players fucking with the GM's game (not to mention refering to it as the GM's game) - it sounds like your talking about people who don't give a rats arse about what nar revolves around.

I mean, grab a scene from a soap opera - man and woman who have partners get caught in romantic situation, but are almost drawn to kiss - what do either do??

If someones dead inside in terms of interest for this sort of situation/any aspect of it, it doesn't matter if they learn the motions of narrativism.


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: Simon C on January 27, 2010, 12:12:51 AM
Creative agendas are what the players care about at the table - what play is rewarding.

Creative agendas are not techniques, like what the players do at the table.

There's a complex relationship between the two, but you can't "teach" a group of people to collectively appreciate certain aspects of a game by teaching them a group of techniques.


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: stefoid on January 27, 2010, 01:39:16 AM
I would swear your trying to teach going through the motions of narrativist techniques without someone actually having a desire for any of the elements narrativism revolves around? I mean, your talking about emulating players fucking with the GM's game (not to mention refering to it as the GM's game) - it sounds like your talking about people who don't give a rats arse about what nar revolves around.

I mean, grab a scene from a soap opera - man and woman who have partners get caught in romantic situation, but are almost drawn to kiss - what do either do??

If someones dead inside in terms of interest for this sort of situation/any aspect of it, it doesn't matter if they learn the motions of narrativism.


Its a learning aid, structured as a beer and pretzels game.   

Im not sure how I came off sounding like it was something more than that.  Presumably, if someone wants to play this game, its because they have a desire to learn how to run a narrativist game but dont know how.


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: stefoid on January 27, 2010, 01:44:30 AM
Creative agendas are what the players care about at the table - what play is rewarding.

Creative agendas are not techniques, like what the players do at the table.

There's a complex relationship between the two, but you can't "teach" a group of people to collectively appreciate certain aspects of a game by teaching them a group of techniques.


Can you clarify that, perhaps with concrete examples?


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: Callan S. on January 27, 2010, 03:26:08 PM
I think Simon said it really well. The way narativism has been defined at the forge is that it revolves around the desire + techniques (or even just the desire by itself). That's the concrete example - if you want to refer to someone elses word as they have defined it, well then you follow how they defined it of course (or your not doing what you set out to do). The forges definition of narativism is about desire + techniques, not just techniques sans any desire. Your not following the forges definition - your game would not be teaching how to run a narrativist game. It'd be teaching a bunch of techniques without reference as to why you'd ever want to learn them and which also happen to be used in narrativist games.

Of course if you want to make your own definition for the word 'narativism', heck, it's not a word owned by the forge or anyone, to my knowledge! But if your making your own definition I think it'd be really confusing and disruptive not to indicate your using your own defintion in using the word.


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: Simon C on January 27, 2010, 03:51:21 PM
Concrete Examples:

Something happens in a game: Let's say, a hero and his sidekick defeat a powerful monster.

Why do we care about this? Why were we invested in the outcome? Critically, what choices did we make to get to that event, and how did we decide if they were good or bad choices?

Do we care because the monster was powerful, and defeating the monster took pluck, skill, and luck? Do we care because this event confirms or overturns what we knew about the characters, the setting, or something else? Do we care because overcoming the monster was vital to the Hero's relationship to the sidekick? These are kind of charicatures of creative agendas, but they illustrate the point.  Creative agenda is what play is for.  That's not to say that you can't appreciate other things in the game, but those other things are in service to a larger goal - the creative agenda.

Now techniques:

A common technique in games that support Story Now play is shared narration.  Shared narration is where players get to describe the actions of their characters, and the outcomes of those actions.  It's useful to Story Now play because it lets players express things about their character that might be missed otherwise.  It also lets players introduce complications for other characters, and get at the core issues of the characters in the game.  That's not to say that all games that support Story Now use this technique, or that all games that use this technique support Story Now, they're just commonly associated.

So if we imagine a game that's played with a Step on Up agenda.  We're appreciating people displaying skill, bravado, mastery of rules, and so on.  In this game, there is shared narration.  But we're using that technique in service of our agenda - we're using it to display skill, etc.  (Shared Narration isn't a very useful technique for Step on Up play, so this would be problematic in play).

Does this make sense to you?

I suspect that Creative Agenda might not be an especially useful thing to think about for you at the moment.  Why are you interested in Story Now play? Why do you want to "learn" it? If you're interested in trying new styles of play, I suggest finding a game that's really exciting to you, and playing it.  Find people who are also excited by it, and play it with them.  The important thing to creative agenda is not the techniques that you use, but the reason you're playing the game.  Find out what excites you about the game, and play to that. 


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: stefoid on January 27, 2010, 04:05:04 PM
Concrete Examples:

Something happens in a game: Let's say, a hero and his sidekick defeat a powerful monster.

Why do we care about this? Why were we invested in the outcome? Critically, what choices did we make to get to that event, and how did we decide if they were good or bad choices?

Do we care because the monster was powerful, and defeating the monster took pluck, skill, and luck? Do we care because this event confirms or overturns what we knew about the characters, the setting, or something else? Do we care because overcoming the monster was vital to the Hero's relationship to the sidekick? These are kind of charicatures of creative agendas, but they illustrate the point.  Creative agenda is what play is for.  That's not to say that you can't appreciate other things in the game, but those other things are in service to a larger goal - the creative agenda.

Now techniques:

A common technique in games that support Story Now play is shared narration.  Shared narration is where players get to describe the actions of their characters, and the outcomes of those actions.  It's useful to Story Now play because it lets players express things about their character that might be missed otherwise.  It also lets players introduce complications for other characters, and get at the core issues of the characters in the game.  That's not to say that all games that support Story Now use this technique, or that all games that use this technique support Story Now, they're just commonly associated.

So if we imagine a game that's played with a Step on Up agenda.  We're appreciating people displaying skill, bravado, mastery of rules, and so on.  In this game, there is shared narration.  But we're using that technique in service of our agenda - we're using it to display skill, etc.  (Shared Narration isn't a very useful technique for Step on Up play, so this would be problematic in play).

Does this make sense to you?

Right, so replace the word technique with whatever you want  agenda if you like, or maybe we have different types of cards like some agenda cards, some BANG cards, or whatever...  does that help at all?


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: stefoid on January 27, 2010, 04:10:31 PM
I suspect that Creative Agenda might not be an especially useful thing to think about for you at the moment.  Why are you interested in Story Now play? Why do you want to "learn" it? If you're interested in trying new styles of play, I suggest finding a game that's really exciting to you, and playing it.  Find people who are also excited by it, and play it with them.  The important thing to creative agenda is not the techniques that you use, but the reason you're playing the game.  Find out what excites you about the game, and play to that. 

Yeah, well the above isnt as easy as it sounds for a bunch of 30/40 somethigns with small children and limited time etc, etc...

Playing a new style of game is a big investment people like that (in time and effort).  And it can also be somewhat threatening to play a narrative style game, especially if you have to contact a new group to do it, etc.. etc..    so what im proposing is a low investment, low threat introduction/learning aid.   

So thats the challenge - rather than pick apart my half-baked example, come up with something that could actually fly as a gamey-game in its own right.  Designing games is fun right?  Maybe we could do it collaboratively in this forum?


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: Ron Edwards on January 28, 2010, 05:12:36 PM
Hiya,

If I'm reading you correctly, then we're best served here by abandoning your use of the Gamist terminology. It simply doesn't fit. We're talking about Narrativist play with a strong focus on easily-learned, easily-applied, and above all inspiring features. Even if it has a board with spaces to move around onto, little pawn-looking game pieces, and colored tokens, if it unequivocally facilitates Narrativist play, then that's what it is.

And as it happens, that's easy: you're looking for Zombie Cinema (http://www.arkenstonepublishing.net/zombiecinema). You can read about it in the Actual Play forum by running a search for it, and if you have any questions at all, Eero will be happy to help you in the Arkenstone forum.

Best, Ron


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: stefoid on January 28, 2010, 10:35:24 PM
Ill have a look at that shortly, but the main thing is that the agenda for this game is not to produce a narrativist style of roleplaying.   i.e. it is not a roleplaying game itself per se.  It is a gamist card game where the objective is to win the game and for the other players to lose.

The agenda of the game is to teach the players skills that they will find useful in narrative roleplaying, by way of playing the game.

An analogy - there are plently of games out there for kids where the aim is to teach the kids math.  the agenda for the game isnt to add up a set of numbers, its to teach the kids, in a fun way, HOW to add up numbers.

The caveats are: 

1) Im not sure which/what skills Im talking about.  I figure the forge is can help here
2) You may say, at first blush, that this is a crazy impossible taks and the best way to learn is by actually doing, not playing some stupid game.  Well, I ask you to have a think about if thats actually true before jumping to that conclusion.

cheers


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: Ron Edwards on January 29, 2010, 06:50:31 AM
Hiya,

Can you provide a very descriptive explanation of what you mean by "narrative role-playing?" This thread is utterly unsuccessful so far because no one, including me, can understand this phrase.

I'll jump-start, to help you. Bob, Suzy, Ned, and you are role-playing. Suzy's character is a half-elven archer-bard. The setting is a broad and colorful fantasy saga, and right now, the characters are in a dark canyon with gleaming veins of silver in teh canyon walls. The canyon is haunted by the ghosts of war victims killed centuries ago, who possess the otherwise-innocuous primitive lizard people.

Suzy's character kills a possessed lizard man who had leaped at her, by shooting him with an arrow.

How did this happen in play, as you see it, if it were conducted through highly successful and fun "narrative role-playing?"

Best, Ron


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: stefoid on January 29, 2010, 02:39:17 PM
The silver is valuable = greed
The lizard people are dangerous when posessed = self protection
the lizard people are posessed, not intrinsically malevalent = guilt

probably a couple of important decisions have been made leading to the result you have described.

Do you keep investigating the canyon?  greed vs protection
If so, are you willing to kill the lizard people to stay there?  greed + self protections vs guilt


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: stefoid on January 29, 2010, 02:49:36 PM
So to furrther answer your question, I could break it down a little more:  Some of the things to teach would be:

how to apply conflict res vs instead of task res
how to present interesting conflicts/decisions that have cool consequences with respect to the unfolding fiction

I realize that I am talking not only about narrativist skills, but rpg skills in general that could apply to any style of game.  Thats OK too and a worthy goal for this game.


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: Ron Edwards on January 29, 2010, 05:49:04 PM
You haven't answered me at all. What are the people actually doing? I gave them names for a reason, so you could describe their actions as people. This discussion simply won't be useful until I have a clear idea of Bob, Suzy, Ned, and you actually talking and doing things, such that the fictional events are established among you.

Also, you keep bouncing back and forth between "narrativist" and "narrative." At one point you indicated that you didn't seek Narrativist play, in the technical CA sense, and now you appear to be using the term anyway - for something else, or for what, I don't know.

Best, Ron


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: Callan S. on January 29, 2010, 07:34:18 PM
I think Ron's shooting for what people would do in narrative role-playing as you describe it. Like with Suzy shooting the arrow, what did she do at the table? Did she lean forward and declare she was shooting the lizard man, then roll a dice against a target number? Or did she just say it and the GM mulls over whether he would declare a hit. What was her expression if she were rolling dice - does she have a 'momma needs a new dead lizard man!' expression, or something else?


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: stefoid on January 29, 2010, 07:43:26 PM
Also, you keep bouncing back and forth between "narrativist" and "narrative." At one point you indicated that you didn't seek Narrativist play, in the technical CA sense, and now you appear to be using the term anyway - for something else, or for what, I don't know.

Best, Ron

OK, for now, lets drop the Narrativist/Narrative part, because it seems Ive unwittingly pushed a button, and it seems to be complicating things unnecessarily.

Lets say, instead, that the aim of the game is to teach good role playing skills in general, particularly those required  to GM a game.  (Please dont freak because I used the word term GM.)

So in the game Im proposing, you are use 'good roleplaying skills' to win the game.  The game outlines what those skills are, and provides a framework within which to use those them in a competitive environment with the other players.  

As for 'good roleplaying skills', you could also consider 'good storytelling skills'.  So the game could be considered maybe as competitive story-telling, where players compete to tell the best story, and to disrupt the telling of the other players stories.  But the stories are about a group of fictional gamers who are roleplaying!


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: stefoid on January 29, 2010, 08:03:39 PM
I think Ron's shooting for what people would do in narrative role-playing as you describe it. Like with Suzy shooting the arrow, what did she do at the table? Did she lean forward and declare she was shooting the lizard man, then roll a dice against a target number? Or did she just say it and the GM mulls over whether he would declare a hit. What was her expression if she were rolling dice - does she have a 'momma needs a new dead lizard man!' expression, or something else?

Am I required to understand the process of such play in order to propose a game that would teach it?    But regardless, Ill have a crack at it.

Bob: lets go examine the sliver veins in the canyon walls.
GM: as you advance closer to the walls, the lizard men get agitated and start to mill around you.
Suzy: I cock my bow
Ned: I heft  my two and a half handed bastard sword in a menacing manner
GM: are you continuing to advance?
Suzy: yes, for now...
GM:  they continue to become more agitated the closer you press.  Some are looking ready to do something serious.
Bob: I really want to get my hands on that silver.
Suzy: I dont know
Ned: the'll be pushovers!
Suzy:  Yes, but they were so generous to us earlier, further down the canyon path.  Somethings wrong here
GM:  You have to decide now whether to back off or force a passage.
Bob:  force a passage!
Ned: yep.
Suzy: crap.  allright.... but lets take it easy, okay?
GM: roll combat.  Lizards roll a 5
Bob: 8.
Ned 11!!
Suzy:  4...
GM: OK, then, the lizardmen are all bark and no bite - Bob and Ned swing menacingly and manage to intimidate the crowd in their area.  Suzy, you hear a guttural growl and spin to see a lizardman in midleap towards your back - you fire and your shot takes him through the throat and he dies noislly in front of you.





Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: greyorm on January 29, 2010, 09:27:28 PM
Am I required to understand the process of such play in order to propose a game that would teach it?

That should be self-evident: yes.

But since there seems to be some confusion on this issue: If you are merely proposing the idea for someone else to develop this game, then you've done that. Thread's done. If you mean for yourself to develop it, then, again, yes; that would be a requirement because otherwise you would, by analogy, be trying to design a game that teaches a person how to play music when you yourself don't know how to play music. To be absolutely clear: if you don't know what the process is, then you cannot describe it for others to follow either.

Also, no one's buttons are being pushed, people are trying to help you communicate your intent clearly by pointing out the use of terms/statements on your part that are causing confusion and why (and thus no one is going to "freak" because you used the term "GM", nor would they normally). As such, can you see how "good role-playing skills" is equally an problematic statement to "narrative role-playing", because no one is going to know what that means until you describe what you believe those skills are?


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: stefoid on January 29, 2010, 10:27:11 PM
Am I required to understand the process of such play in order to propose a game that would teach it?

That should be self-evident: yes.

But since there seems to be some confusion on this issue: If you are merely proposing the idea for someone else to develop this game, then you've done that. Thread's done. If you mean for yourself to develop it, then, again, yes; that would be a requirement because otherwise you would, by analogy, be trying to design a game that teaches a person how to play music when you yourself don't know how to play music. To be absolutely clear: if you don't know what the process is, then you cannot describe it for others to follow either.

Also, no one's buttons are being pushed, people are trying to help you communicate your intent clearly by pointing out the use of terms/statements on your part that are causing confusion and why (and thus no one is going to "freak" because you used the term "GM", nor would they normally). As such, can you see how "good role-playing skills" is equally an problematic statement to "narrative role-playing", because no one is going to know what that means until you describe what you believe those skills are?

I made it clear that I cant design this game myself.  What I propose is a collaborative effort.   If I could clearly define "good role-playing skills" then I wouldnt need to collaborate.  At the moment Im still trying to understand if you understand what Im proposing.  If you say "yes, but Im not interested", then yes, its thread over.


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: Ar Kayon on January 30, 2010, 12:40:40 AM
I may be backtracking, but here's what I gathered from the thread:

*The original poster equates narrativist gameplay to good role-playing.
*OP seems unsure of narrativist concept, but this is not important; OP has not been clear on what good role-playing is.
*Therefore, it would be best if the OP state precisely what constitutes good role-playing, in his opinion, so that he and others may have an idea on how to actually model the system he proposes.

However, it is in my opinion that this idea will yield little interest - after all, you're proposing the construction of a game out of a game.  Game Mastering guides already exist for the purposes of helping GMs improve their skills, and they seem to be quite useful.


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: Catelf on January 30, 2010, 02:03:04 PM
Hmmmm.
stefoid, I will try to make an example play, of what you seemed to describe earlier, and then i'd like you to answer if it is something like that which you are looking for ....... when  i think of it, what you are looking for may kind of exist already, if you twist that game's basic rules .......

But, here goes:
* 3 Players: Suzy, Ned and Bob.
* Each has decided a genre, Syzy chose Fantasy, Ned Cyberpunk, and Bob jokes and opt for wierd Horror (a, la Twin Peaks).
* Each gets a Card.
* Suzy goes first, her current card is Greed, so she's to let the main character be greedy.
She starts the story of the Silver Vein, and the half-elf that's questing for it.
* Ned sees this as an oppurtunity to intervene: His Card says "Self Protection", and mentiones the Lizardmen that protects the area.
* Suzy decides that they are really calm, and if they'd attack, the half-elf could shoot them with the bow and arrows it is armed with.
* Bob wants to up the ante, and throws in His card: Guilt, and says that the lizardmen helped the half-elf before, but is attacking anyway, because they are possessed.
* Suzy notices, that Ned's card, Self-protection, now works for the halfelf, rather than the lizardmen, so she ends the scene by letting a lizardman attack, but the halfelf manages to kill it with an arrow.
* Suzy managed to include, or work her way around, the cards played against her, in a good way, so she is deemed winner this round.
* Next Storyround: Ned's.
* Ned and Bob get one new Card each, but Suzy Get 3 Cards: Her normal, +1 for each that was played against her.
* Ned Starts telling a Cyberpunk Scene, his chosen genre.........

Is this what you had in mind?

Creative Cat


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: Callan S. on January 30, 2010, 02:14:43 PM
Hi stefoid,

Dude, I'd say if your not able to design such a game that's atleast a bit like what you describe then you'd be no use as a collaborator as well. If you have no skill in terms of a project, then your no use as a collaborator on such a project. As an apprentice, perhaps, but see below.

I'd almost think you want to ask to be taught, but don't want to be the student in a student/teacher relationship. So your looking for a way around it where some game teaches you and since it's a game it's not like having a human teacher and you being the student.

I mean, you want to be taught, but when anyone here has imparted something they know about the subject you've argued with it. Now I don't think a student simply involves believing everything a teacher says - he can listen skeptically and while remembering it, treat it as if it may all be bumkiss. But he does have to listen and remember. Or you can research, look at actual play accounts, read the narrativism essay skeptically a few times. It'll take longer but you can do that alone.

I just see this 'game that teaches you and I'll collaborate in making it with you even though I have no skill to contribute in that as I'm trying to learn that skill' as an attempt to dodge. I may be completely wrong in that, but IF that were the case (and I genuinely mean I may be quite wrong in thinking it's the case) IF that were the case, all I can write is this wake up call. Perhaps I'm hearing things wrong and it doesn't apply to you, but with what I'm hearing, all I can give is a wake up call. And don't rush and think it's being all hoity toity to do so - you must agree sometimes people may need a wake up call - and so sometimes when it seems hoity toity to give one, it actually isn't, it's dead on the right time to give it. Just perhaps this is that time --- or I've burned up more bandwidth on the internet. Wouldn't be a first for me.


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: Ar Kayon on January 30, 2010, 02:50:14 PM
Hmmmm.
stefoid, I will try to make an example play, of what you seemed to describe earlier, and then i'd like you to answer if it is something like that which you are looking for ....... when  i think of it, what you are looking for may kind of exist already, if you twist that game's basic rules .......

But, here goes:
* 3 Players: Suzy, Ned and Bob.
* Each has decided a genre, Syzy chose Fantasy, Ned Cyberpunk, and Bob jokes and opt for wierd Horror (a, la Twin Peaks).
* Each gets a Card.
* Suzy goes first, her current card is Greed, so she's to let the main character be greedy.
She starts the story of the Silver Vein, and the half-elf that's questing for it.
* Ned sees this as an oppurtunity to intervene: His Card says "Self Protection", and mentiones the Lizardmen that protects the area.
* Suzy decides that they are really calm, and if they'd attack, the half-elf could shoot them with the bow and arrows it is armed with.
* Bob wants to up the ante, and throws in His card: Guilt, and says that the lizardmen helped the half-elf before, but is attacking anyway, because they are possessed.
* Suzy notices, that Ned's card, Self-protection, now works for the halfelf, rather than the lizardmen, so she ends the scene by letting a lizardman attack, but the halfelf manages to kill it with an arrow.
* Suzy managed to include, or work her way around, the cards played against her, in a good way, so she is deemed winner this round.
* Next Storyround: Ned's.
* Ned and Bob get one new Card each, but Suzy Get 3 Cards: Her normal, +1 for each that was played against her.
* Ned Starts telling a Cyberpunk Scene, his chosen genre.........

Is this what you had in mind?

Creative Cat

I like where you're going with this.


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: stefoid on January 30, 2010, 08:27:11 PM
I may be backtracking, but here's what I gathered from the thread:

*The original poster equates narrativist gameplay to good role-playing.
*OP seems unsure of narrativist concept, but this is not important; OP has not been clear on what good role-playing is.
*Therefore, it would be best if the OP state precisely what constitutes good role-playing, in his opinion, so that he and others may have an idea on how to actually model the system he proposes.

However, it is in my opinion that this idea will yield little interest - after all, you're proposing the construction of a game out of a game.  Game Mastering guides already exist for the purposes of helping GMs improve their skills, and they seem to be quite useful.

I propose that, collaboratively, anyone who is interested can chip in with whatever they think constitues good roleplaying.  I could make a list, but its probably not the time for that yet, and Im not the best person to start it anyway.

What would be better as a first step is to agree on a general framework within which such a list could operate, then start pumping out the list itself.  In other words, how does the game genrally work?  Tjhere is a bit of chicken and egg there, so we could at least propose categories of Cards.  i.e. this type of card is from list A, that kind of card is from list B.  And when and where in the game to play them.


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: stefoid on January 30, 2010, 08:29:23 PM
Hi stefoid,

Dude, I'd say if your not able to design such a game that's atleast a bit like what you describe then you'd be no use as a collaborator as well. If you have no skill in terms of a project, then your no use as a collaborator on such a project. As an apprentice, perhaps, but see below.

Im a hobbyist game designer.   See my website if strategy gaming is of interest to you.


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: Ron Edwards on January 30, 2010, 08:37:57 PM
Please hold on a moment. Before anyone revises the meaning and purpose of this thread, there's still an interaction to finish.

Stefoid, you did answer my question and I appreciate it. Now I'll follow up.

What I see in your description is only one single, key element that makes the role-playing-as-an-activity work: the people in question are listening to one another. Because of that, they know when to move to a given mechanical device (in this case dice) without any back-tracking or confusion or sudden revision of the fictional events.

This isn't "narrative" role-playing. This isn't anything but actually role-playing, period. I wrote about this in some detail a couple of years ago. I called the common confusion about which character is where, or the cacophony of sudden shouted clarifications once it's clear that dice will be used, "murk." It's a good word for it. A group of people playing in the murk is painful to see and even more painful to be part of. They literally don't know when to engage with any formalized aspect of the system, and when they do, no one knows how to mesh what those mechanics do with what's been announced so far.

Catelf's example is perfect to include because I hope you can see that it's exactly the same as yours. It doesn't matter that one uses cards and one uses dice. It doesn't matter than one focuses on actions/skills and one on emotions/goals. The point is that in each case, the people playing know that what they say before using the relevant mechanic is important, and that moving into the mechanics-based part of play is both logical and fun given what's going on. Again, the core component is that they listen, engage imaginatively, and work with what's been established by whoever has been speaking.

You are barking up the wrong tree entirely when you talk about seeking relevant mechanics and training in them. You are talking instead about social and creative standards of behavior, within which, almost whatever mechanics are functional, and without which, no mechanics are functional.

I think this thread is essentially meaningless in terms of game design. It is far, far more important for you to describe actual play in your experience, in the Actual Play forum, especially with games you played prior ever to finding the Forge. Because clearly it's not any single special type of role-playing that has eluded you. It's any sort at all.

Best, Ron
whoops, had to edit in the end of a sentence I'd left off


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: stefoid on January 30, 2010, 08:44:05 PM
But, here goes:
* 3 Players: Suzy, Ned and Bob.
* Each has decided a genre, Syzy chose Fantasy, Ned Cyberpunk, and Bob jokes and opt for wierd Horror (a, la Twin Peaks).
* Each gets a Card.
* Suzy goes first, her current card is Greed, so she's to let the main character be greedy.
She starts the story of the Silver Vein, and the half-elf that's questing for it.
* Ned sees this as an oppurtunity to intervene: His Card says "Self Protection", and mentiones the Lizardmen that protects the area.
* Suzy decides that they are really calm, and if they'd attack, the half-elf could shoot them with the bow and arrows it is armed with.
* Bob wants to up the ante, and throws in His card: Guilt, and says that the lizardmen helped the half-elf before, but is attacking anyway, because they are possessed.
* Suzy notices, that Ned's card, Self-protection, now works for the halfelf, rather than the lizardmen, so she ends the scene by letting a lizardman attack, but the halfelf manages to kill it with an arrow.
* Suzy managed to include, or work her way around, the cards played against her, in a good way, so she is deemed winner this round.
* Next Storyround: Ned's.
* Ned and Bob get one new Card each, but Suzy Get 3 Cards: Her normal, +1 for each that was played against her.
* Ned Starts telling a Cyberpunk Scene, his chosen genre.........

Is this what you had in mind?
Hi catelf.  Your example seems more like a RPG than a card game, but its hard to tell with only one type of card played - what would the category for those cards be called?  Motive?  Self-interest?  Theme?  But in general, yes: competitive story-telling.

We could revisit the scene with more categories of cards in play -- perhaps thats where Ron was headed to try and get a coherent vision of the game?

As this is a learning tool -- but something playable and fun in itself rather than a dry and painfull 'how to' manual -- Id like to see more 'nuts and bolts' cards come into play.  Im not sure what category of card that would come into - 'mechanics'?  (of roleplaying / GMing).  The game as you described above would work for experienced players, but inexperienced players would need to have the scene a little more mapped out in terms of what to do.  Imagine you are an inexperienced roleplay, you have a card that says 'Greed' and its youre turn to start talking...  Can be intimidating and confusing.


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: stefoid on January 30, 2010, 09:01:14 PM
This isn't "narrative" role-playing. This isn't anything but actually role-playing, period. I wrote about this in some detail a couple of years ago. I called the common confusion about which character is where, or the cacophony of sudden shouted clarifications once it's clear that dice will be used, "murk." It's a good word for it. A group of people playing in the murk is painful to see and even more painful to be part of. They literally don't know when to engage with any formalized aspect of the system, and when they do, no one knows how to mesh what those mechanics do with what's been announced so far.

Catelf's example is perfect to include because I hope you can see that it's exactly the same as yours. It doesn't matter that one uses cards and one uses dice. It doesn't matter than one focuses on actions/skills and one on emotions/goals. The point is that in each case, the people playing know that what they say before using the relevant mechanic is important, and that moving into the mechanics-based part of play is both logical and fun given what's going on. Again, the core component is that they listen, engage imaginatively, and work with what's been established by whoever has been speaking.

You are barking up the wrong tree entirely when you talk about seeking relevant mechanics and training in them. You are talking instead about social and creative standards of behavior, within which, almost whatever mechanics are functional, and without which, no mechanics are functional.

Are social and creative standards of behaviour not skills that can be learned?


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: stefoid on January 30, 2010, 09:08:35 PM
and if so, why cant they be incorporated into the game design?


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: Callan S. on January 31, 2010, 02:09:20 AM
In terms of
Quote
The point is that in each case, the people playing know that what they say before using the relevant mechanic is important, and that moving into the mechanics-based part of play is both logical and fun given what's going on.

knowing, for example, that what your saying before using the relevant mechanic is important --- that's some knowledge that can be taught.

Is that the sort of thing your shooting for, Stefoid? Teaching stuff like that?


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: Catelf on January 31, 2010, 05:53:34 AM
Hi catelf.  Your example seems more like a RPG than a card game, but its hard to tell with only one type of card played - what would the category for those cards be called?  Motive?  Self-interest?  Theme?  But in general, yes: competitive story-telling.

We could revisit the scene with more categories of cards in play -- perhaps thats where Ron was headed to try and get a coherent vision of the game?

As this is a learning tool -- but something playable and fun in itself rather than a dry and painfull 'how to' manual -- Id like to see more 'nuts and bolts' cards come into play.  Im not sure what category of card that would come into - 'mechanics'?  (of roleplaying / GMing).  The game as you described above would work for experienced players, but inexperienced players would need to have the scene a little more mapped out in terms of what to do.  Imagine you are an inexperienced roleplay, you have a card that says 'Greed' and its youre turn to start talking...  Can be intimidating and confusing.
Well, the ideas that you first put out, was the idea, as i interpreted it, of learning to make stories by making it competitive.
You also mentioned Cards, and Greed, Self-defence, and Guilt as a kind of Game Ploys (yes, ploys, not Plots).
This is what i got, when i pieced it together.
Of course, there can be other "Ploy Cards", like Morals, Sin, Headstrong,, and so on.

Yes, it can be intimidating to start talking, but they'll have to do it sooner or later!
I may be wrong when i "translate" "Gamist" into Competitive, but, in this case, the competitive reward can be what you are looking for.

There is a "Storytelling Card Game" called "Once upon a time......"
It may be low on the competitive mechanisms, but i think it works quite well for learning at least some GM-like skills, mainly storytelling, and in a competitive mood, as well.
If you can, i suggest you check it out, and see what you can do with it.
If you really can't, (it's just a pack of cards, + a small Rules Sheet,) then i might be able to help out a little.

However, one great problem still remains:
The idea to reward "Good GamesMastering"!
To me, if you want to keep it on the "Teaching level", then it may be far better to just keep it on "learning how to GM", and reward each successfully completed scene, rather than "Learning how to GM Good"!

Again, i advice you to get the Storytelling Card Game called "Once upon a time....", it may be what you are looking for.....

On Other Kinds of cards (And this i have gotten from virtually all card Games based on Rpg,s, or Storytelling, like "Once...."):
Places, Powers, Heroes, Fiends, Assignments .......

And YES, to be able to get a coherent vision of the Game, through the Description Given, is Always Important.

Creative Cat


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: stefoid on January 31, 2010, 02:13:49 PM
In terms of
Quote
The point is that in each case, the people playing know that what they say before using the relevant mechanic is important, and that moving into the mechanics-based part of play is both logical and fun given what's going on.

knowing, for example, that what your saying before using the relevant mechanic is important --- that's some knowledge that can be taught.

Is that the sort of thing your shooting for, Stefoid? Teaching stuff like that?

Im not sure.  Could be.   The rules mechanics for any particular game obviously change from game to game.  When I talk about mechanics, I mean whatever can be distilled as the generic mechanics of roleplaying, as opposed to any particular game.  People seem to have a firm idea that for roleplaying to work properly, certain things must be observed and put into practice?  great!   Please have a go at quantifying those mechanics/principles/processes (doesnt matter what you want to call them), and Ill have a go at putting them into a framework which could work as the type of game I have in mind, and at the end of that, we can see if anything worthwhile comes out of it.


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: stefoid on January 31, 2010, 02:25:10 PM
However, one great problem still remains:
The idea to reward "Good GamesMastering"!
To me, if you want to keep it on the "Teaching level", then it may be far better to just keep it on "learning how to GM", and reward each successfully completed scene, rather than "Learning how to GM Good"!

Im not sure what you mean exactly.  The idea of rewarding players for successfully using whatever techniques are presented in a game is more about making the game successful as a game, rather than aiming directly at the learning experience.  However this particular game happens to be about learning skills associated with good roleplaying, so that is what is rewarded.  If the game is a failure at being a fun game to play,  it doesnt matter how useful or it might be - nobody is going to play it.

Ill check out that game you recommended.




Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: Callan S. on January 31, 2010, 04:37:26 PM
Im not sure.  Could be.   The rules mechanics for any particular game obviously change from game to game.  When I talk about mechanics, I mean whatever can be distilled as the generic mechanics of roleplaying, as opposed to any particular game.  People seem to have a firm idea that for roleplaying to work properly, certain things must be observed and put into practice?  great!   Please have a go at quantifying those mechanics/principles/processes (doesnt matter what you want to call them), and Ill have a go at putting them into a framework which could work as the type of game I have in mind, and at the end of that, we can see if anything worthwhile comes out of it.
Bold added by me.

You know, I think I've said similar things in the past myself. People get very adamant that for roleplaying to 'work properly' certain things must be observed. And then they get all vague and handwavey on those things and don't quantify them into some tangible rules at all. It's actually rather frustrating and I think a little bullshitty.

But Stefoid, do you take it to be the case that for beer to 'work properly' someone has to like and desire beer (or atleast like the idea of trying it)?

In terms of narrativism as the idea is discussed at the forge, it 'working properly' in a particular group involves each person in that group liking narrativism to some degree.

Now you probably could teach someone to like something...but, is that what you mean?

Have you ever enjoyed any sort of soap opera or drama on TV or in a movie? Once I almost shed a tear during the movie 'The english patient' (but of course I'm too manly to actually have done so). Has there been any book or show or movie that gets to you like that? Ever?

If there isn't, then you may simply have absolutely no desire for narrativism. The same way some people have no desire for beer, and thus beer does not work in relation to those people.

Perhaps you could be taught to like it - but why would you want to overide your natural disinclination?


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: stefoid on January 31, 2010, 05:02:09 PM
I agree to drop Narrativist play skills as a goal for this game.  Instead I substitute "good roleplaying skills with an emphasis on GMing".

This game then appeals to current/inexperienced roleplayers, who want to improve their roleplaying skills by way of a beer & pretzels (card?) game.  I concede that the best way (of doing most anything), is just to join a group of experienced people and learn by example, however this isnt always possible/easy for a number reasons and I can see something like this being useful if it can be pulled off. 


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: Callan S. on January 31, 2010, 06:46:53 PM
Quote
This game then appeals to current/inexperienced roleplayers, who want to improve their roleplaying skills by way of a beer & pretzels (card?) game.
Well, I think they might learn some good gamist roleplay skills, or perhaps just good gamist skills. So there you go, that's something that could be worked from.


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: stefoid on January 31, 2010, 07:14:00 PM
Quote
This game then appeals to current/inexperienced roleplayers, who want to improve their roleplaying skills by way of a beer & pretzels (card?) game.
Well, I think they might learn some good gamist roleplay skills, or perhaps just good gamist skills. So there you go, that's something that could be worked from.

okaaay.  Well, In your - and anyone eles who is reading this - opinion, what are the 7 most important things that a player can do to make a good and satisfying roleplaying experience?  Doesnt matter if you think they compatible with what I am trying to do or not. 


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: Nocker on February 01, 2010, 03:34:50 AM
- Be attentive to other (including the non-verbal communication), in order to increase appropriate propositions (rewarded propositions). It doesn't matter if the game is G, N or S, you have to look and listen to the others to be a good player (or GM).

- Have a good oral skill. I mean "put the fantastic thoughts in your head into words, in the most clear and inspiring way possible"

- For Nar, a good knowledge of the narrative structure, theories and dynamics of a story. Being able to quickly come up with an interesting twist, a conflicted character or a great stake is golden in Nar play.

- For Sim, a good knowledge of the canon. If a particular aesthetics is required, you must have read/watched/listen/see a lot of examples. Be it for firearms mechanics and ballistics ; medieval japan and samurai cast ; sword an sorcery ; psychology... The goal is to be on the same page as the other players, because refering to classics is the only way (apart from being very similar in mind)

- For Gam, a good knowledge of game theory, manipulation, political intrigue, investigation or wathever skill is tested in the game. If this is tactical simulation, you have to be a great tactician ; if this is a Vampire intrigue game, you have to be deceptive, calculator, anticipating ; if this is a Holmes problem solving, you have to be witty on investigations.

(Sorry, can't find more than these 5)


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: stefoid on February 01, 2010, 02:38:25 PM
1) - Be attentive to other (including the non-verbal communication), in order to increase appropriate propositions (rewarded propositions). It doesn't matter if the game is G, N or S, you have to look and listen to the others to be a good player (or GM).

2) - Have a good oral skill. I mean "put the fantastic thoughts in your head into words, in the most clear and inspiring way possible"

3) - For Nar, a good knowledge of the narrative structure, theories and dynamics of a story. Being able to quickly come up with an interesting twist, a conflicted character or a great stake is golden in Nar play.

4) - For Sim, a good knowledge of the canon. If a particular aesthetics is required, you must have read/watched/listen/see a lot of examples. Be it for firearms mechanics and ballistics ; medieval japan and samurai cast ; sword an sorcery ; psychology... The goal is to be on the same page as the other players, because refering to classics is the only way (apart from being very similar in mind)

5) - For Gam, a good knowledge of game theory, manipulation, political intrigue, investigation or wathever skill is tested in the game. If this is tactical simulation, you have to be a great tactician ; if this is a Vampire intrigue game, you have to be deceptive, calculator, anticipating ; if this is a Holmes problem solving, you have to be witty on investigations.

(Sorry, can't find more than these 5)

cheers , Mate!

1) This is helpful.  I am a software designer and a term used frequently is pattern and anti-pattern, meaning techniques, processes and procedures that are generally found to be helpful/'best-practice' or, err, anti-helpful.   This could best be reinforced in the game by using 'not listening' as an anti-pattern.  i.e. what is the best way to deal with a situation where a player is not listening?  If we make not-listening a card that can be played against someone else, it makes the point that not-listening is an anti-pattern, as well as getting the group to think about how to deal with that in practice.

2) 4) and -5)  While possibly true, I cant do anything with these, as they are out of the scope of the game scope. 

3) This is interesting, (anyone) please expand on this point to break it down into manageable chunks. 


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: Callan S. on February 01, 2010, 04:07:32 PM
Quote
This game then appeals to current/inexperienced roleplayers, who want to improve their roleplaying skills by way of a beer & pretzels (card?) game.
Well, I think they might learn some good gamist roleplay skills, or perhaps just good gamist skills. So there you go, that's something that could be worked from.

okaaay.  Well, In your - and anyone eles who is reading this - opinion, what are the 7 most important things that a player can do to make a good and satisfying roleplaying experience?  Doesnt matter if you think they compatible with what I am trying to do or not. 
Stefoid, some people might say there are 'good writing skills' in terms of writing books. Would you think it's possible to make a game that teaches good writing skills? Such that'd teach you how to write a 'good' book? I would say no - would you say yes?

In terms of your question my own thoughts are lateral. A game can be made so that the player, between the options the game presents him, just chooses what's fun for himself. He doesn't put effort into making it a good and satisfying roleplay experience - instead the author decides what options would atleast in terms of the authors tastes, make atleast a mildly good and enjoyable session. He then designs the game to hand those options to the player. Sure, the player might, in his fun, add even more cool fiction to it, making the session electric. But he does so because it feels fun, NOT because he feels obligated or otherwise OMG the moment or even the whole session will crash and burn.

So I head in a different design direction, sideways even, at an early point from you. Maybe that lateral direction is useful to you, or maybe it's just alien and out of place - but that's my answer.

Indeed I find your idea in contradiction - if I felt obligated to provide a good and satisfying experience, taking that to mean everyone including me gets that --- well, I wont have a good and satisfying experience when I'm obligated to do so. Thus it's an impossible condition to meet.

I have a background where for ages I've heard people say an awesome game needs this, or doing it X way is the way to do it. I do some programming as well and thought 'well, lets get this down on paper, eh?'

Over time I've come to the hypothesis these people are living in a fantasy. They can't quantify what they are talking about for the life of them. They are simply moved by something to make grand declarations about what makes 'good' roleplay, and it is being moved that seems to be the thing that thrills them about the activity called roleplay. Talking about how to do RP is more thrilling to them than...actually doing it.

The people who have said there are good roleplay skills...they may simply be wrong in some way on that? They may simply be enjoying making grand declarations on the matter.

Just in case: I'm taking it you would, to some degree, be okay with your base premises being argued with and questioned. If this isnt't the thread for questioning them but instead treating them as being true, just say the word on that and I'll leave it there. :)


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: stefoid on February 01, 2010, 07:21:52 PM

Quote
Stefoid, some people might say there are 'good writing skills' in terms of writing books. Would you think it's possible to make a game that teaches good writing skills? Such that'd teach you how to write a 'good' book? I would say no - would you say yes?

Would you say it was possible to create a game that presented skills associated with writing Prime Time television shows?  :)  Yes of course playing PTA wont make you an instant TV show writing genius, but it does provide a fun way of appreciating many of the associated concepts/techniques/skills or whatever you want to call them.   Certainly a neophyte would be further down the road to TV show writing success for having played the game, than not.

Quote
In terms of your question my own thoughts are lateral. A game can be made so that the player, between the options the game presents him, just chooses what's fun for himself. He doesn't put effort into making it a good and satisfying roleplay experience - instead the author decides what options would atleast in terms of the authors tastes, make atleast a mildly good and enjoyable session. He then designs the game to hand those options to the player. Sure, the player might, in his fun, add even more cool fiction to it, making the session electric. But he does so because it feels fun, NOT because he feels obligated or otherwise OMG the moment or even the whole session will crash and burn.

So I head in a different design direction, sideways even, at an early point from you. Maybe that lateral direction is useful to you, or maybe it's just alien and out of place - but that's my answer.

Indeed I find your idea in contradiction - if I felt obligated to provide a good and satisfying experience, taking that to mean everyone including me gets that --- well, I wont have a good and satisfying experience when I'm obligated to do so. Thus it's an impossible condition to meet.

I have a background where for ages I've heard people say an awesome game needs this, or doing it X way is the way to do it. I do some programming as well and thought 'well, lets get this down on paper, eh?'

Over time I've come to the hypothesis these people are living in a fantasy. They can't quantify what they are talking about for the life of them. They are simply moved by something to make grand declarations about what makes 'good' roleplay, and it is being moved that seems to be the thing that thrills them about the activity called roleplay. Talking about how to do RP is more thrilling to them than...actually doing it.

The people who have said there are good roleplay skills...they may simply be wrong in some way on that? They may simply be enjoying making grand declarations on the matter.

Just in case: I'm taking it you would, to some degree, be okay with your base premises being argued with and questioned. If this isnt't the thread for questioning them but instead treating them as being true, just say the word on that and I'll leave it there. :)

Im not exactly sure what all that meant?  are you saying its impossible to critically examine the process of roleplaying and quantify patterns and anti-patterns that exist -- given the nature of The Forge, its originator and community, I cant believe thats what youre saying, considering that seems to be one of the main aims.


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: Callan S. on February 01, 2010, 09:38:20 PM
Quote
Stefoid, some people might say there are 'good writing skills' in terms of writing books. Would you think it's possible to make a game that teaches good writing skills? Such that'd teach you how to write a 'good' book? I would say no - would you say yes?

Would you say it was possible to create a game that presented skills associated with writing Prime Time television shows? Yes of course playing PTA wont make you an instant TV show writing genius, but it does provide a fun way of appreciating many of the associated concepts/techniques/skills or whatever you want to call them.   Certainly a neophyte would be further down the road to TV show writing success for having played the game, than not.
It depends on what you mean by success. I'm sure in film school things like lighting, camera handling, site selection and preperation, etc are all taught and if you know them you are further down the road to success.

You could have a game that teaches these sorts of things, as far as I know. The current game called prime time adventures does not teach this. Though it may teach storyboarding to some extent.

Quote
Im not exactly sure what all that meant?  are you saying its impossible to critically examine the process of roleplaying and quantify patterns and anti-patterns that exist -- given the nature of The Forge, its originator and community, I cant believe thats what youre saying, considering that seems to be one of the main aims.
You've said
Quote
People seem to have a firm idea that for roleplaying to work properly, certain things must be observed and put into practice?  great!
I've said these 'people' may be talking shit.

I haven't said there's nothing to critically examine. Indeed I've said there's even more to be critical about.

You talk about patterns that exist...do they? What's the evidence for that? Someone just said they do? Is that enough evidence for you?


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: Callan S. on February 01, 2010, 10:57:53 PM
Anyway, you think it's possible and although you haven't said it, your going to keep thinking it's possible and your not about to consider through discussion that perhaps it isn't. I've just gone on and on because I assumed you would idly consider that possiblity. I've made that mistaken assumption on someones blog before, where I thought they would consider that but then they revealed they were teaching what they knew, as if they couldn't be wrong on what they were saying. So I'll leave it there.


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: Catelf on February 02, 2010, 04:50:42 AM
I have to add a few comments again:
Stefoid, i am a bit worried.
It seems like you want the Game to teach the Mechanisms of GM-ing, but i feel, that by making, for instance "not listening" into a Card to be played in a mechanism, you may succeed in teaching the technical Mechanisms surrounding it ......... but forgetting how to teach actual Games Mastering!

I also think this has been your problem from the start!

You say you don't have much time.
Ok, can you es aside 2 Hours, 1 Hour, or maybe only 15 Minutes?
(Please bear with me, i' trying to approach the problem from another direction....)


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: stefoid on February 02, 2010, 03:05:09 PM
It seems like you want the Game to teach the Mechanisms of GM-ing, but i feel, that by making, for instance "not listening" into a Card to be played in a mechanism, you may succeed in teaching the technical Mechanisms surrounding it ......... but forgetting how to teach actual Games Mastering!

At the moment, about 20 minutes a day I can find for this thread and related activities.

Can you expand on the above? 

Let me expand on what I said, as an example.

Lets say that patterns and anti-patterns are card categories.  The names can be changed, but thats what they are.  Not Listening is an anti-pattern.  when it is their turn, players must play a Pattern card (of some sort, there may be various categories of Patterns, some of which make sense to play, some of which may be used in other ways).  The pattern card dictates some kind of thing they must do in relating the next piece of their story.  their 'story' is actually a story about fictional people roleplaying, however.  So its not 'once apon a time there was a princess and a dragon', but more like 'once apon a time there was a roleplaying group who sat down to play a D&D game featuring a princess and a dragon...' 

Ok, so when another player plays an anti-pattern on the player who is currently having their turn, that is an extra element that thing that must be integrated into the story or story-telling process.  Being an anti-pattern, it is going to disrupt the fictional game that is being related.  the challenge to that player is then to show how the fictional game is affected by the anti-pattern, and how, perhaps, it recovers.



Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: Catelf on February 04, 2010, 12:48:16 AM
I'll try to describe in more detail what i meant:
First: How much time can you set aside for Gameplaying, not for internet activities ....... or is it perhaps that very same 20 minutes?

Now to describe in detal:
For instance, You may fit a card game into 20 minutes, that may help the Pllayers understand some Mechanisms surrounding the "Art of GM'ing", but once faced with an Actual Rpg, they will still be out of their depth, having to learn what the mechanisms actually means, or represents, during the actual playing of an Rpg! (Like the difference between being able to do a blueprint of a table, and being able to actually make the table in reality.)

However, if you make the game you have mentioned, so that the Players has to avoid and/or include the played Cards ... pattern .... by describing it, furthering the story, still, then you might find that it easily takes an hour or two, and during that time, you could have just as well been playing an really fast-played actual Rpg, learning the principles firsthand!

That is what i meant, if you need to, i may try to describe it further........

Cat


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: Alex Abate Biral on February 04, 2010, 03:20:04 PM
The way I see it, what Calan is trying to get at (or ate least my view of that) is, basically, that you can't have a simple game that has some hard rules that determine if you are roleplaying correctly. Ron has a picture (http://indie-rpgs.com/_articles/bigmodelpic.pdf) showing how he categorizes the various ephemera aggregating into techniques aggregating into the exploration. This basically means how the little things we do in play (like saying something, taking an action or rolling a die) aggregate into patterns (like making a dexterity check to avoid falling down a well) which aggregate in the imagined whole everyone experiences.

Now, if you have any doubts about what is above, please ask. I know it can be a little hard to grasp these concepts, but if you roleplayed before, you should have a good grasp of what this all means, even if not with these words. The problem is that it isn't possible (I think) to simply determine what ephemera or technique should be used at which point. It would be akin to trying to determine a grammar that would assure that what is written with it would be good, understand? The only way to determine if what is going on is good roleplaying or not is by having the people who are playing judge it. But if you have that, you will end up with a normal roleplaying game, instead of a game that judges what is going on. I think that is the main problem with your idea.

Maybe what you should do is to make a rpg that somehow speeds up roleplaying so some key points are played instead of entire stories, and you might add mechanics that help people to come up with what they do or decide at each point, so they won't feel clueless as to what to do. For example, you might have a few rules that say that whenever x and y happen, there must be a confrontation. You might have a few cards that set up some specifics of this confrontation. While such a game might be good to help people understand roleplaying, it wouldn't be a generic teaching tool. It would be only a game that sacrifices a little of the player's freedom in order to get the ball rolling. It would, necessarily, leave out some kinds of good roleplaying.

I hope this helps!


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: stefoid on February 04, 2010, 07:59:26 PM
I'll try to describe in more detail what i meant:
First: How much time can you set aside for Gameplaying, not for internet activities ....... or is it perhaps that very same 20 minutes?

Now to describe in detal:
For instance, You may fit a card game into 20 minutes, that may help the Pllayers understand some Mechanisms surrounding the "Art of GM'ing", but once faced with an Actual Rpg, they will still be out of their depth, having to learn what the mechanisms actually means, or represents, during the actual playing of an Rpg! (Like the difference between being able to do a blueprint of a table, and being able to actually make the table in reality.)

However, if you make the game you have mentioned, so that the Players has to avoid and/or include the played Cards ... pattern .... by describing it, furthering the story, still, then you might find that it easily takes an hour or two, and during that time, you could have just as well been playing an really fast-played actual Rpg, learning the principles firsthand!

I dont agree with this, because  the hypothetical fast paced rpg doesnt have 'teach the players how to roleplay" as one of its main objectives.   

anyway, its simply not as easy to pick up these things as you make out, lets be realistic.  theres nothing wrong with another game available that might aid the process, is there?   


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: stefoid on February 04, 2010, 08:10:33 PM
Quote
Now, if you have any doubts about what is above, please ask. I know it can be a little hard to grasp these concepts, but if you roleplayed before, you should have a good grasp of what this all means, even if not with these words. The problem is that it isn't possible (I think) to simply determine what ephemera or technique should be used at which point. It would be akin to trying to determine a grammar that would assure that what is written with it would be good, understand? The only way to determine if what is going on is good roleplaying or not is by having the people who are playing judge it. But if you have that, you will end up with a normal roleplaying game, instead of a game that judges what is going on. I think that is the main problem with your idea.

Other players judge the success or otherwise of a players efforts.  I agree there cant be any absolute way to judge it.  that was never an intention.

Maybe what you should do is to make a rpg that somehow speeds up roleplaying so some key points are played instead of entire stories, and you might add mechanics that help people to come up with what they do or decide at each point, so they won't feel clueless as to what to do. For example, you might have a few rules that say that whenever x and y happen, there must be a confrontation. You might have a few cards that set up some specifics of this confrontation. While such a game might be good to help people understand roleplaying, it wouldn't be a generic teaching tool. It would be only a game that sacrifices a little of the player's freedom in order to get the ball rolling. It would, necessarily, leave out some kinds of good roleplaying.

This is more like what Im talking about, but too far towards being an actual RPG. 

How about, instead of talking about what may or may be possible, why dont we take the attitude that we'll give it a try, and if the idea is worthwhile or hopeless, I figure that will quickly become apparent one way or the other.


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: Catelf on February 05, 2010, 07:31:55 AM
Ok, try it, but i obviously can't help you.


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: Warrior Monk on February 05, 2010, 10:05:58 AM
I write and draw comics. Recently I've been working on a sort of story generation engine and though I've been using concepts from varied rpgs on it I never thought about making a game from it. So far it makes a proper work if not exceptional (well, at least is better than some primetime tv stuff) I still doubt I could turn it into a game (though it's somehow fun to use) but perhaps some of its parts could be used in the game you're trying to make. So far I found it's easier to built an engine like this around a single genre, since you can start with a list of cliches of that genre and turn them into a random aid table to create characters, plot twists and conflicts for that genre. Let me know If it can be of help to ellaborate further on this, and if you have any direct questions about it, it will help me not to go on rambling about nothing useful.

Since I love a challenge, I'd say what you want to make is possible, but perhaps the way to accomplish it won't be one recognizable on first sight.


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: Alex Abate Biral on February 06, 2010, 12:03:09 PM
This is more like what Im talking about, but too far towards being an actual RPG. 

How about, instead of talking about what may or may be possible, why dont we take the attitude that we'll give it a try, and if the idea is worthwhile or hopeless, I figure that will quickly become apparent one way or the other.

I am really sorry, but I am unable to help you directly in this project. I currently have an rpg project of my own (which I barely have time to take care of) and a lot of things on the back-burner. I don't think an RPG specifically made to help people get started is a bad idea at all, but I lack the time, and the expertise too. That said, maybe I can give you somewhat useful advice:

First: I didn't exactly follow the reasoning behind Ron's last post in this thread (sorry), but regardless, he is right. If you have an interest in rpgs, you should play some games, if possible watch some videos and read a few posts in actual play. Even if your position in an eventual project is only in helping determine if the rules make "sense" you will still need some knowledge of rpgs. You certainly can learn a lot by working with someone who already has some knowledge, but you will need some practical experience.

Second: Also, understand that gamist rpgs are full blown role playing games, not something like 40% rpg, 60% game. This is important because any game you might come to create should be a good rpg in itself. People should want to play it by its own merits, not because they are training to play other rpgs. This may (or may not) sound obvious to you, but being a good rpg means that it must be a good tool to tell some kind of "story" (for a very loose definition of story). You can't make the end result "less" of an rpg. You can only try to change the kind of story that gets told in your game.

Third, I think it worth mentioning the rpg (I guess it is more of an story game, but regardless) The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen (http://index.rpg.net/display-entry.phtml?mainid=163). This game has a series of turns where every player tells a short story and, at the round's end, each player votes on their favorite stories. Perhaps this will help you get the timing for your own game correct. It seems like a fun game (haven't been able to play it yet), and is short and cheap to boot! I am sure there are other games that might help you too, but I can't think of any others right now.

Finally, I really don't mean to discourage you, but I think you will have a hard time finding anyone to help you with this game. Since you have so little time to help with the project, most people will be wary of pairing with you. Also, you will need to get a good grasp on what rpgs are before this idea can become a reality. I think it would be much more productive if you could find someone who you can meet person to person (it will avoid wasted time). If the person can play rpgs with you (preferably face to face), it would be that much better! I know finding this type of help can be very hard, but I don't think anything less than that will wield much results to you.

That is it. Best of luck to you, and sorry I couldn't be of much use.


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: hix on February 06, 2010, 02:20:30 PM
Hi Stefoid,

Perhaps this brainstormed list of player skills on Story Games could be of some use to you: link (http://www.story-games.com/forums/comments.php?DiscussionID=660).


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: stefoid on February 07, 2010, 02:13:56 PM
Hi Stefoid,

Perhaps this brainstormed list of player skills on Story Games could be of some use to you: link (http://www.story-games.com/forums/comments.php?DiscussionID=660).

thnaks!


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: stefoid on February 07, 2010, 02:18:23 PM
I write and draw comics. Recently I've been working on a sort of story generation engine and though I've been using concepts from varied rpgs on it I never thought about making a game from it. So far it makes a proper work if not exceptional (well, at least is better than some primetime tv stuff) I still doubt I could turn it into a game (though it's somehow fun to use) but perhaps some of its parts could be used in the game you're trying to make. So far I found it's easier to built an engine like this around a single genre, since you can start with a list of cliches of that genre and turn them into a random aid table to create characters, plot twists and conflicts for that genre. Let me know If it can be of help to ellaborate further on this, and if you have any direct questions about it, it will help me not to go on rambling about nothing useful.

Since I love a challenge, I'd say what you want to make is possible, but perhaps the way to accomplish it won't be one recognizable on first sight.

Hi.  The angle Im coming at it is more meta-game.  How to introduce good conflicts is an issue, but the specific conflict itself is not.


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: Warrior Monk on February 08, 2010, 07:54:29 AM
The hard thing about implementing this would be deciding what is "good narrativist play".

Yeah, you need to come up with a list of such, describing how and when to use them, and possibly a scoring system if you judge some to be harder to apply than others.

Then you need to come up with (if we use my original example)  an equally useful (as a learning aid) list of anti-narrative stuff that players can use to fuck with the current GMs game.  All in good fun of course.   

But its gamey, so people arent so so prone to stage-fright.  Like "the players go through the dungeon, dodging traps and looting the corpses of some monsters unlucky enough to cross their path...  Now Im going to try technique X...<insert relation of attempted narrative tactic X here>"  and then the other players can vote on whether she pulls it off and the player gets points. 

And equally gamey, an opposing player says "Oh yeah, well Im spending 3 points on your Dwarf player saying <insert common anti-narrative tactic Y> what are you going to do about THAT?!?!"   

etc...

Dont ask me what the lists are, however.  :(

Hi stefoid. Ok, this is more like GM training instead of narrativist player I see. Every player gets to play a GM, choose a genre of game and his resources would be a list of things any GM would to their players. Yet to play this game every player must had at least some idea of what the gm role is... perhaps being just a player and seeing what your GM friend did when you played would be enough. The GM resource list should explain by itself. The opposition would be the rest of the players, who get to spend their "usual player resources" from a list in order to ruin the GM narration. That just because this is GM training and if he doesn't find a challenge in managing the player group, then you wouldn't have a proper metageme conflict, which is what a gamist game appeals usually if I'm not wrong (though I'm sure there must be exceptions)

So, every turn either players get to ruin the GM narration or he manages to keep it going. Every player turn is a resume of a whole session -this way the actual story details lose importance and the metagame deal becomes more important- It doesn't matter if the previous session was a total failure, on his next turn the player can make a comeback as the best GM ever. Whole game would be a single campaign or even longer if the players want it. Perhaps for each turn the GMs get to "amuse" their players -in a metagame sense, I'll go into this deeper in a while- they gain points to keep their campaigns going. Every "session" that ends in failure is a point less for them, so if they lose all their points their campaign ends but they can keep being "players" in order to screw other gm campaigns. Last GM standing wins.

So how do you "amuse" the other players in your GM turn? You start by narrating a resume of your session introduction and then spend a "narrative technique X" as you stated. This can be accompanied of a roll + modifiers you have as a GM for using this technique. Then the other players get to spend "screwing with GM techniques Y, Z and Q" + modifiers and dice rolls to beat the difficulty and roun the game. If the player's roll is higher, the "session" is a failure. If the GM roll is higher, session went good. The higher the difference against the players, the more the GM "amused" them.

Players would have a double character sheet: one for their "GM" and one for their "Player", each one could be customizable to design different kind of GMs with different abilities (like, I dunno, acting, subterfuge, intimidation, being hilarious, etc.) and players with different flaws (short attention span, argumentative, munchkin, etc) each one listing their techiniques and respective bonuses for using each one.

Now, so far going into this directěon would get you not a way to teach good narrativism (which can't be ruled, since it depends on what the group of players and thus is something each GM has to learn on it's own) but a way to teach what is bad roleplaying and poor GM skills by making a caricature of RPG sessions. I know it may sound a bit far from your actual goal but yet is another way to get there. Perhaps some ideas here can help you get closer to the game you really want. Let me know what you think and what objections you have, the more accurate the better. Best regards.

Pol


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: stefoid on February 08, 2010, 02:17:38 PM
Hi WM.  Yep, without becoming too attached to any specific detail, what you have described is something like I have in mind, explained better than I managed to.

I think the lists of what you call GM and player resources, and what I have been calling patterns and anti-patterns needs to be nutted out as a first step, because the nature of of those will dictate to a large extent how the rest of the game goes. 

The hard thing about implementing this would be deciding what is "good narrativist play".

Yeah, you need to come up with a list of such, describing how and when to use them, and possibly a scoring system if you judge some to be harder to apply than others.

Then you need to come up with (if we use my original example)  an equally useful (as a learning aid) list of anti-narrative stuff that players can use to fuck with the current GMs game.  All in good fun of course.   

But its gamey, so people arent so so prone to stage-fright.  Like "the players go through the dungeon, dodging traps and looting the corpses of some monsters unlucky enough to cross their path...  Now Im going to try technique X...<insert relation of attempted narrative tactic X here>"  and then the other players can vote on whether she pulls it off and the player gets points. 

And equally gamey, an opposing player says "Oh yeah, well Im spending 3 points on your Dwarf player saying <insert common anti-narrative tactic Y> what are you going to do about THAT?!?!"   

etc...

Dont ask me what the lists are, however.  :(

Hi stefoid. Ok, this is more like GM training instead of narrativist player I see. Every player gets to play a GM, choose a genre of game and his resources would be a list of things any GM would to their players. Yet to play this game every player must had at least some idea of what the gm role is... perhaps being just a player and seeing what your GM friend did when you played would be enough. The GM resource list should explain by itself. The opposition would be the rest of the players, who get to spend their "usual player resources" from a list in order to ruin the GM narration. That just because this is GM training and if he doesn't find a challenge in managing the player group, then you wouldn't have a proper metageme conflict, which is what a gamist game appeals usually if I'm not wrong (though I'm sure there must be exceptions)

So, every turn either players get to ruin the GM narration or he manages to keep it going. Every player turn is a resume of a whole session -this way the actual story details lose importance and the metagame deal becomes more important- It doesn't matter if the previous session was a total failure, on his next turn the player can make a comeback as the best GM ever. Whole game would be a single campaign or even longer if the players want it. Perhaps for each turn the GMs get to "amuse" their players -in a metagame sense, I'll go into this deeper in a while- they gain points to keep their campaigns going. Every "session" that ends in failure is a point less for them, so if they lose all their points their campaign ends but they can keep being "players" in order to screw other gm campaigns. Last GM standing wins.

So how do you "amuse" the other players in your GM turn? You start by narrating a resume of your session introduction and then spend a "narrative technique X" as you stated. This can be accompanied of a roll + modifiers you have as a GM for using this technique. Then the other players get to spend "screwing with GM techniques Y, Z and Q" + modifiers and dice rolls to beat the difficulty and roun the game. If the player's roll is higher, the "session" is a failure. If the GM roll is higher, session went good. The higher the difference against the players, the more the GM "amused" them.

Players would have a double character sheet: one for their "GM" and one for their "Player", each one could be customizable to design different kind of GMs with different abilities (like, I dunno, acting, subterfuge, intimidation, being hilarious, etc.) and players with different flaws (short attention span, argumentative, munchkin, etc) each one listing their techiniques and respective bonuses for using each one.

Now, so far going into this directěon would get you not a way to teach good narrativism (which can't be ruled, since it depends on what the group of players and thus is something each GM has to learn on it's own) but a way to teach what is bad roleplaying and poor GM skills by making a caricature of RPG sessions. I know it may sound a bit far from your actual goal but yet is another way to get there. Perhaps some ideas here can help you get closer to the game you really want. Let me know what you think and what objections you have, the more accurate the better. Best regards.

Pol


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: Warrior Monk on February 09, 2010, 03:03:37 PM
Ok, here may arise a bit of a problem since what I was thinking was still around a caricature of bad roleplaying issues along with good ones. Perhaps we just have to state them all and then choose. The list provided by hix seems somehow useful so I'll start there, remove the ones that can't apply and add anything that pops into my head:

Player resources
-Interrupting to order some food
-Short span attention
-Rules discussion
-My character is not there
-Start some unrelated trivia chitchat
-Joke to ruin the mood
-Alleged Amnessia
-Showing up late
-Time wasting
-(what is the proper term when you play using information about the setting you know but your character isn't supposed to know?)
-Roleplaying out of character
-Acting the character too much / think you are the character
-Cheat with the dice
-Cheat with the character sheet
-Purposely misinterpretate the GM
-Not paying attention at all
-My PC Starts a fight with other PC
-My PC starts an unnecesary fight
-Insist on getting a 2 hour solo scene
-My PC doesn't go with the group for his own motivations and I can't do anything about it.
-Treasure doesn't worth the fight, my PC goes away.
-Nah, I don't think that will be interesting. Let's go the other way.
-My PC stays out of the fight. All the session.
-Insist on using an expansion of the game to munchkin his PC
-beign an uncooperative player

...I run out of time for today so I'll continue tomorrow, however if this already give you any ideas feel free to post them.


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: stefoid on February 10, 2010, 08:50:42 PM
Cheers for that.

Some of those are outside the scope, such as  Cheat with dice.
Quite a few seem to be variations on Not Listening, such as Lets go the other way   and     PC starts an unnecessary fight
Some arent anti-patterns at all - Stopping to order food   ???

Im looking into patterns at the moment.  I had a look at Zombie Cinema which looks interesting.  Im still not sure whether the aim of the player is to relate a story about a GM and some fictional roleplayers that are gaming, or whether the players should take turns playing at a GM role, whilst the other players play at roleplaying. 

i.e.  are we story telling, or are we roleplaying the act of roleplaying?

If the former, then when one player has a turn, its mostly that player speaking and the other players only interjecting occasionally.   If the latter then everyone is more involved during each others turn, which is probably better.


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: stefoid on February 10, 2010, 08:54:16 PM
another alternative that just occurred is that each player roleplays a specific roleplayer and any player can roleplay the GM at any time.  thus we might not need turns as such, but rather phases where everybody does the same thing.  i.e. drawing card(s) phase, and roleplaying phase in which any player can act by playing card(s).


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: Warrior Monk on February 11, 2010, 09:26:00 AM
As for patterns and anti-patterns, I'd say each player chooses 5 from the deck. It's better to have a deck for this to ensure players don't pick the same patterns or anti-patterns in order to keep the game varied. On their phase they use one and the opponent may have a chance to counter with another pattern of his own. Although with phases instead of turns is easy to lose track of who's the GM on some points or get lost in the thread of the story, if there's gonna be one, either about rpg players or a usual rpg story. On top of that, if the mechanic doesn't make everybody the GM at some point and only allows it when cercain conditions are meet, there's a chance more active players keep beign the GM while less active get to avoid the position at all.

Of course, it all depends on which would be the objective of the game. Is it to "amuse" a group of players as a GM though the use of patterns (and thus learning how to do it in another games)? Or is it to get the attention of the group as much as possible to attain and keep the GM position (and thus learning to do so in another games)? See carfully that both premises are valid and both are doable. But it's a matter of choosing now to steer the game design in the proper direction.

Now, about GM resources I'd list
-Start with a rich description of the whole place the players are in.
-Do a rich description of a character they just met.
-Now you all have to make a roll for a misterious motive only I know
-Everybody roll for perception
-A bunch of enemies jump from nowhere to attack you!
-Talk in secret with just one of the players
-Draw a huge scary misterious mass in the middle of the battlefield
-The big boss who was about to kick you sees something behind you and runs like hell is on his heels
-you suddenly find you can't move
-You start to feel like everybody is staring at you
-Launch another wave of attacks at the players
-Finally players get a quiet scene to rest, heal and recharge
-One of you starts attacking the rest for no apparent reason
-An npc of the opposite gender starts to flirt with one of the pc's
-Narrate a rich reward scene for the pc's
-Describe how good por the npcs went an adventure that the pc's choosed not to take.
-Leave the resolution of the argument to the dice
-Simply call the player's attention back to the game
-Taking notes of everything said on the previous sessions

There are some patterns and attitudes toward the game that can be added though for some reason I think they would suit best for "GM stats" since they can be developed and can interact with the patterns listed. Those could be
-Acting: The ability to interpretate different persons and mimic their gestures and speech. Works greatly to make players get a good idea of the NPCs mood and way of thinking
-Preparation: this ability measures the amount of time the GMs spend preparing for a session and how much prepared stuff they can pull on the table to get the players attention.
-Improvisation: This ability measures quick thinking, how capable is the GM to adapt to their players demands and change a whole campaign course by their reactions.
-Oratory: The ability to involve listeners with your voice by the use of the proper changes of tone and dramatic pauses.
-Narrative Skills: ... well actually this one is the point of the game so perhaps this is the only one that won't be listed.

Cheat with the dice and stop to order food can actually be anti-patterns when used to ruin a climatic moment on purpose, actually. I've seen people play like that :P About variations of a same pattern, I think they are valid to add color. Anyway, while I was writing this list I realized that if patterns and anti-patterns aren't funny or have some ridiculous hard to play choices among them, they get quite boring after a while. I agree this game is for training but it must still feel like a game somehow. Perhaps the patterns and antipatterns already described should be phrased differently, perhaps exagerated or in a sort of mocking RPG slang. Somehow a serious atmosphere doesn't seem to fit a game about metagaming for me at least...


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: stefoid on February 11, 2010, 03:41:02 PM
Your list is too specific.  Its all stuff that might happen for some reason or other in a D&D type game and some of it looks like anti-patterns to me anyway.

What I mean by too specific is that it mostly describes _what_ is happening - a specific situation that occurs for some reason, whereas a pattern should describe a general case. 

As an example, lets say we decide that Ron Edwards 'BANG" is a pattern we want to have in the game:  (from a wiki somewhere, here is a description)

Bang
A bang is a situation that requires a choice from the player as how the character will respond to the situation.[3] The choice will often be thematically relevant, based on the Humanity definition and earlier events in the game. For a bang to be effective, the game master shouldn't force a specific choice, and the player doing nothing should also have consequences.
The game master should prepare a number of bangs for each session in what Edwards calls a bandolier of bangs, but be prepared to alter them on-the-fly or discard them if necessary. A bang doesn't have to be initiated by the game master, another player or even the player himself could identify a bang situation that requires a choice.
The term was introduced by Edwards in the Sorcerer book.


Thats a pattern.  It describes a general technique that has been found to produce something good.  It doesnt say anything specific.  From your list below, there are many Bangs, such as "You start to feel like everybody is staring at you"   and  "A bunch of enemies jump from nowhere to attack you!"

So in this game, you draw a bang card which has a description of what a bang is on the card.  You can then play that card when you are the GM.  the challenge is to come up with a good one that your fellow players appreciate enough to give you "points.

Other people in this thread have pointed out that there is more to than techniques such as Bangs.  whats also important is the collective behavior of the real people at the table.  Their general disposition and way they interact has a huge bearing on the fun or otherwise of the rolelplaying game, and there are patterns and anti-patterns in that category as well, such as the anti-pattern "Not Listening"

The challenge for my game is to come up with the categories for patterns and anti-patterns, then the lists for each category, then create a framework within they can be applied in the way that I intend, which is a fun and educational gamey-game.


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: stefoid on February 11, 2010, 04:02:16 PM
Actually, WM, I didnt mean to crap on your list.  A list of specific situations that someone has found to be useful is one good way to identify patterns by 'reverse engineering' -- looking through lists of specific instances for repetition.  thanks for contributing and sorry for being a dick.

From your list:

BANGS:
-A bunch of enemies jump from nowhere to attack you!
-Draw a huge scary misterious mass in the middle of the battlefield
-The big boss who was about to kick you sees something behind you and runs like hell is on his heels
-you suddenly find you can't move
-You start to feel like everybody is staring at you
-Launch another wave of attacks at the players
-One of you starts attacking the rest for no apparent reason
-An npc of the opposite gender starts to flirt with one of the pc's

IMMERSION  (I just made this up as a name for this potential pattern)
-Start with a rich description of the whole place the players are in.
-Do a rich description of a character they just met.

PACING (I just made this up as a name for this potential pattern)
-Finally players get a quiet scene to rest, heal and recharge
-Narrate a rich reward scene for the pc's

I DONT KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN, PLEASE EXPLAIN FURTHER...
-Describe how good por the npcs went an adventure that the pc's choosed not to take.
-Leave the resolution of the argument to the dice
-Talk in secret with just one of the players

POINTLESS ROLLING (I just made this up as a name for this potential pattern).  To me, these are anti-patterns.  I find them irritating and problematic, as almost always there is an outcome that is preferable for fun reasons, so why bother randomly choosing between fun and no fun?  too bad, NOBODY sees the important clue that leads to more fun?  etc...
-Now you all have to make a roll for a misterious motive only I know
-Everybody roll for perception

Outside of scope.
-Simply call the player's attention back to the game
-Taking notes of everything said on the previous sessions


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: stefoid on February 11, 2010, 04:34:30 PM
from your list of player resources.

SYMPTOMS:  These are all variations on 'this game is boring me'.  They will be the result of one or more anti-patterns, but its hard to say anything about which one(s) from these outcomes.  Obviously the aim is to be having fun, not bored to distraction.
-Short span attention
-Start some unrelated trivia chitchat
-Time wasting
-Not paying attention at all
-Joke to ruin the mood

I think you answered your own question - roleplaying out of character - ANTI_IMMERSION, perhaps? 
-(what is the proper term when you play using information about the setting you know but your character isn't supposed to know?)
-Roleplaying out of character

EXPLAIN?
-Acting the character too much / think you are the character

ANTI_PATTERN, but Im not sure how to explain it succinctly, other than being inconsiderate.
-Insist on getting a 2 hour solo scene

ALL THESE SEEM TO BE THE RELATED/SIMILAR ANTI-PATTERNs.  The experience they describe is what someone was saying about the expectations of the people around the table being different.  Can someone help me out here?
-My PC Starts a fight with other PC
-My PC starts an unnecesary fight
-My PC stays out of the fight. All the session
-Nah, I don't think that will be interesting. Let's go the other way.
-beign an uncooperative player
-My character is not there
-My PC doesn't go with the group for his own motivations and I can't do anything about it.
-Treasure doesn't worth the fight, my PC goes away.


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: stefoid on February 11, 2010, 04:37:20 PM
PACING (I just made this up as a name for this potential pattern)
-Finally players get a quiet scene to rest, heal and recharge
-Narrate a rich reward scene for the pc's


Hmmn, maybe this isnt PACING at all, but merely the REWARD for earlier play, like part of the games basic structure?


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: hix on February 11, 2010, 07:23:01 PM
So, are you starting to get a clearer idea of how this might all fit into a game structure, Stefoid? (I'd be very interested in a summary of your latest thinking about how this might all work.)


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: stefoid on February 11, 2010, 07:47:20 PM
So, are you starting to get a clearer idea of how this might all fit into a game structure, Stefoid? (I'd be very interested in a summary of your latest thinking about how this might all work.)

Just vague ideas.  Id rather fit the game structure to the lists than the other way around, so the lists have to come first.

Feel free to hasten that outcome by proposing list categories and the patterns and anti-patterns that might fill them.


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: Catelf on February 16, 2010, 04:02:23 AM

EXPLAIN?
-Acting the character too much / think you are the character

ANTI_PATTERN, but Im not sure how to explain it succinctly, other than being inconsiderate.
-Insist on getting a 2 hour solo scene

ALL THESE SEEM TO BE THE RELATED/SIMILAR ANTI-PATTERNs.  The experience they describe is what someone was saying about the expectations of the people around the table being different.  Can someone help me out here?
-My PC Starts a fight with other PC
-My PC starts an unnecesary fight
-My PC stays out of the fight. All the session
-Nah, I don't think that will be interesting. Let's go the other way.
-beign an uncooperative player
-My character is not there
-My PC doesn't go with the group for his own motivations and I can't do anything about it.
-Treasure doesn't worth the fight, my PC goes away.
I think all the above might go into "Egotism" or "(Being) Inconsiderate".

Cat


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: stefoid on February 16, 2010, 05:18:13 PM
WMonk is obviously describing a gamist game and the person or people exhibiting that behavior are simply bored with what is supposed to happen and are trying to make something else happen that might be more interesting from their own point of view.  I suppose that is inconsiderate in a way, but that term doesnt describe the pattern.

Going on what Ron says, the pattern is 'playing the wrong game'. 

In terms of my game where a player is role-playing being a GM of a particular game, 'playing the wrong game'  implies a need to know what type of game the GM is running.

i.e.  playing the wrong game
if gamist - fictional player distances from the group by doing something 'simmy' or 'narry'  ( I think most of the above are 'simmy')
if simulation - fictional player wants to do something 'impossible' by being 'gamey/munchkiny' or 'narry'.  like wanting outcomes outside of the simmy framework of possibilities and resolution.
if narative - fictional player behaves gamey or simmy resulting in an unsatisfying narrative,.


??


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: Warrior Monk on February 19, 2010, 08:35:56 AM
It's all right Stefoid, the list I made was that specific because I was already thinking into a cynic-humor atmosphere for your game, but now I realize you're looking for something less distractive in that way, in order to focus on the educational part directly. I'll go back on those things I listed that require clarification, perhaps some of them can still be useful by either opening another pattern or anti-pattern category or adding to the others. If the explanation doesn't inspire you anything, feel free to discard the point completely. And I do agree with Catelf that most fit on the beign inconsiderate category.

-Describe how good por the npcs went an adventure that the pc's choosed not to take. > this is a childlike GM antipattern used to punish the players, stating the adventure would have been much better if they follow the clues into it instead of starting a pointless detour from it. It's more of a joke than something anybody would take seriously.
-Leave the resolution of the argument to the dice > this is actually a tool I use as a GM to keep argumentative players at bay. If they don't like the way things are going and I don't get convinced by their suggestions of how to solve the problem, we roll the dice as we could toss a coin.
-Talk in secret with just one of the players > this is a method to catch the attention of the players while they are busy on chit chat or discussing anything, as well as a method to get players to distrust each other PCs or just divide them.

POINTLESS ROLLING (I just made this up as a name for this potential pattern).  To me, these are anti-patterns.  I find them irritating and problematic, as almost always there is an outcome that is preferable for fun reasons, so why bother randomly choosing between fun and no fun?  too bad, NOBODY sees the important clue that leads to more fun?  etc...
-Everybody roll for perception> Sometimes the rolling may be pointless, sometimes not. However this actually works as a way to call the attention of the players and make them stop whichever distraction they are making. Only in that sense, calling everybody for a roll isn't pointless. But again, this is a tool for the GM. I didn't meant to create an antipattern here but it's your call.
-Now you all have to make a roll for a misterious motive only I know > written like this, this is totally an antipattern, I agree. Otherwise, see above.

Outside of scope.
-Simply call the player's attention back to the game> I thought this like a lvl 1 pattern against the "beign inconsiderate" antipattern, however it isn't too effective alone. As you aren't using much out-of-the-game-stuff you can just forget about this one.
-Taking notes of everything said on the previous sessions> again, this is a tool. Depending on how you use it it can qualify as a pattern or antipattern. Works like this: players said on the end of the last session that their characters would go to the town. On the next session they already thought it and see it isn't much of a good idea, so they state that they never said that their characters are going to the town, hoping the GM has gone amnesic. The GM then checks his notes and applies Force: "As you are entering the town..."

I'd say you can easily use my list to set examples for each pattern and antipattern on the cards, It will help the players get the idea of how can a Bang or a Pacing be used.


Title: Re: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming
Post by: stefoid on February 25, 2010, 07:00:33 PM
the following is from Rons article on narrative play.  The emphasis is mine.   Personally I see these techniques as patterns for any style of roleplaying, not just narrativist play.  The opposite of that behavior - the anti-pattern of railroading, etc...  is just the kind of behavior that results in the types of behavioral listed by warriormonk :
"-My PC Starts a fight with other PC
-My PC starts an unnecesary fight
-Insist on getting a 2 hour solo scene
-My PC doesn't go with the group for his own motivations and I can't do anything about it.
-Treasure doesn't worth the fight, my PC goes away.
-Nah, I don't think that will be interesting. Let's go the other way.
-My PC stays out of the fight. All the session.
-Insist on using an expansion of the game to munchkin his PC
-beign an uncooperative player"

agree / disagree? 

"Narrative Tools

... The whole premise of role-playing is the freedom the players have to take their characters in whatever direction they want. It is important to maintain this free will, and not lead the players with a heavy hand down a course only the narrator controls. Though the narrator may tell a good story, it loses the rich creative spirit of role-playing if the players have little say in what happens.

Putting aside the synecdoche ("the whole premise," etc), two key features show up in this passage as well as in the whole of the Maelstrom game text. (1) No mention is made whatever of seeming to grant player control - it's real freedom he's talking about. (2) The freedom is specifically over what the character thinks is right and decides to do: the goal he or she brings into the current imaginary situation. The GM ("narrator" in this case) cannot wield any authority over what the characters are supposed to want, which therefore extends to a similar lack of authority over how any conflict during play is supposed to turn out.

From Christopher Kubasik's Interactive Toolkit series of essays (1995, originally published in White Wolf Inphobia #50-53):

So, what are the differences between roleplaying games and Story Entertainments? Let's start with roleplaying's GM (referee, Storyteller, or whatever). This is usually the person who works out the plot, the world and everything that isn't the players'. To a greater or lesser degree, she is above the other players in importance, depending on the group's temperament. In a Story Entertainment, she is just another player. Distinctly different, but no more and no less than any other player. The terms GM and referee fail to convey this spirit of equality. The term Storyteller suggests that the players are passive listeners of her tale. So here's another term for this participant - one that invokes the spirit of Story Entertainment - Fifth Business.

Fifth Business is a term that originates from European opera companies. A character from Robertson Davies' novel, ... Fifth Business, describes the term this way:

"You cannot make a plot work without another man, and he is usually a baritone, and he is called in the profession Fifth Business. You must have a Fifth Business because he is the one who knows the secret of the hero's birth, or comes to the assistance of the heroine when she thinks all is lost, or keeps the hermitess in her cell, or may even be the cause of someone's death, if that is part of the plot. The prima donna and the tenor, the contralto and the basso, get all the best music and do all the spectacular things, but you cannot manage the plot without the Fifth Business!"

This certainly sounds like the GM, but it also makes it clear that he's part of the show, not the show itself.

Let's call the players Leads. They're not players in the GM's game. They're participants in a story. The Fifth Business has a lot more work to do than do the Leads, changing costumes and shaping the story while it's in progress. But the Leads are equal to the Fifth Business. The Leads must react to the characters, incidents, and information that the Fifth Business offers, just as players must react to what the GM offers in a roleplaying game. But the Fifth Business must always be on his toes and react to what the Leads offer.

... The Fifth Business can't decide what the plot is going to be and then run the players through it like mice in a maze. The Leads determine the direction of the story when they create their characters ... What do the characters want? What are their goals? The story is about their attempt to gain those goals. The Fifth Business creates obstacles to those goals.

[From Part 3, "Character, character, character"]

As the designer of the character you shouldn't simply depend on the Fifth Business ... to provide you with trouble. You should look for trouble for your character. ...

Moreover, you know best of all what kind of problems you want for your character. ... in a story entertainment you're not the passive passenger in the gamemaster's roller coaster. You are a co-creator with Fifth Business and the other players of a story.

[From Part 4, "Running Story Entertainments"]

Listen to the players, keep in mind the idea of obstacles, mix up volatile characters and objects, and remember you don't have to know where you're going. No roleplaying game ever follows the "path" of the story anyway, so a story entertainment just dismisses the whole notion of adventure. Rather than become frustrated when the characters don't do what they're supposed to, let them lead the story with their Characters' Goals.

It all comes down to this: a "player" in a Narrativist role-playing context necessarily makes the thematic choices for a given player-character. Even if this role switches around from person to person (as in Universalis), it's always sacrosanct in the moment of decision. "GMing," then, for this sort of play, is all about facilitating another person's ability to do this. "