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Archive => GNS Model Discussion => Topic started by: Logan on April 12, 2001, 09:02:00 AM

Title: Intro to Madness
Post by: Logan on April 12, 2001, 09:02:00 AM
It's very kind of this site's hosts to leave a GNS forum in place. Thank you. Also thanks to Paul Czege for advising me that this forum is here.

No sense letting it sit empty.

Seems to me, the thing to do is provide an intro to the madness that the 3-fold model has become - a little something for people who stumble onto this topic and want to know the score.

The 3-fold concept was started by John Kim on usenet. He started with the original triad, G/S/D, Gamist, Simulationist, Dramatist. Most discussion of the 3-fold model uses his thinking as a basis. You can find his original faq and articles at this site:

The concept was later picked up and built further by Ron Edwards in his article, "System Does Matter." You can find this article on Ron's website.

John Kim's site and Ron's article are essential reading for any discussion of G/N/S, and there is a whole lot more to say on the subject.

More soon.



[ This Message was edited by: Logan on 2001-04-12 23:04 ]

Title: Intro to Madness
Post by: Ron Edwards on April 16, 2001, 08:06:00 AM
Hi there Logan,

And to continue the introduction to the topic, I present this idea: that G/N/S provides a foundation for discussing MORE material - in other words, it's the 101, intro-level concept that permits the "real work" of RPG play and design to occur.

One of the most frustrating elements of internet-discussion about all this is that people join the discussion and need to be brought up to speed. I'd like to suggest that this is NOT a problem - that it's OK for someone to say, "Hey, what IS all this, and why should I care?"

I'd like to avoid elitism - the notion that someone isn't good enough to join the discussion simply because they haven't been involved so far.

Of course, that means that we need OTHER threads about the more advanced levels of discussion (Stance, Setting/PC richness, D/F/K issues, Currency, and more). But it would be nice to have a basic, welcoming intro-level venue as well.


Title: Intro to Madness
Post by: GreatWolf on April 16, 2001, 08:14:00 AM
Another advantage to a newcomer showing up and asking "What's this all about?" is that it allows the group at large to sum up what has been developed so far.  In some ways we are still fine-tuning some of our definitions and the opportunity to restate where we have been so far is a useful one, IMHO.

Title: Intro to Madness
Post by: Jimmy the Barrel on April 27, 2001, 09:14:00 AM
Thanks for the links. I was a little lost on this disscusion and now I can digest this new info and hopefully throw my 2 pennies in, with ,hopefully, an informed opinion.

Title: Intro to Madness
Post by: Mytholder on April 28, 2001, 04:38:00 PM
To throw my hat into the ring - I wrote a little intro to G/N/S for a new Irish rpg fanzine. The article is here on my site, but can also be found on the IGA site in the White Elephant section.

[ This Message was edited by: Mytholder on 2001-04-28 20:39 ]

Title: Intro to Madness
Post by: Ron Edwards on April 28, 2001, 05:33:00 PM

I read your article - and I think it's BRILLIANT. Very well put, in all particulars. I vastly appreciate you pointing out the range within each priority. Tiny quibbles follow.

Regarding game design, I tend to think of Tunnels & Trolls as very Gamist - lite rules, yes, but all about slaying and slaying some more, at least in the basic rules. Interestingly, some of their solo adventures are quite rousing and permit some author-input (e.g. Sea of Mystery).

This "classification" thing always puzzles me. To me, there is NO difference between saying, "this person who exhibits Gamist behavior a lot" and "this Gamist." But somehow the difference is huge and horrifying to many people. I suppose I should bow my head to the inevitable and simply start adopting the more cumbersome, yet somehow more palatable phraseology.


[ This Message was edited by: Ron Edwards on 2001-04-28 21:36 ]

Title: Intro to Madness
Post by: Mytholder on April 28, 2001, 05:53:00 PM
Thanks for the note of praise.

As for the tunnels and trolls bit - yeah, T&T is still gamist as hell, but I wanted to give some idea of game evolution. C&S wasn't especially simulationist back then either, they were both only baby stepping away from gamism.

On the issue of labelling people...people hate being labelled, and I think G/N/S serves best when it's tied more to the game than the person. I mean...I'm a narrativist most of the time, but I can sit down and munchkin out in D&D or debate obscure technical points in Blue Planet. I think most people are a bit more mobile on the Big Giant Y than you seem to think they are...