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Author Topic: Mystery-- Essay  (Read 5473 times)
Domhnall
Member

Posts: 97


« on: April 06, 2004, 12:43:50 PM »

Hello all.  I've just joined.  I had no idea a group of like-minded players were out here this whole time!  The following is an essay that I have in my (some-day-to-be-published) rulebook.  I hope this is the correct forum for it.  


-------------------------

Mystery, the Mirth of Role Playing
     The story is the most important part of role playing.  Without it, there is no context in which the players can interact in an authentic manner.  Role playing happens when characters exist in the story, interacting with the story, as part of the story.  The story is the stage we are playing on.  

Discovery.  It is for the joy of discovery that we love stories of every genre.  The great lure of role playing is that we not only observe, but participate in the ongoing story.  But, just as characters in a novel are confined to their own knowledge, so should PCs be confined to the knowledge of their characters.  It is therefore necessary for the Game Master (GM) to develop a boundary between what the player can and cannot know.  Granting the players semi-omniscience dulls the enjoyment of the experience drastically.     

   The solution to this problem is to unify the perspective of the player with the perspective of his character.  Do all that you can to make the player’s knowledge the same as his character’s knowledge.  This requires that the GM represent things to the players as he believes they would be understood by that character.  Just as our senses and perceptions of reality are never 100% accurate, so the representations that GMs give to the players must not be 100% accurate.  The GM must carefully deceive the players as much as he judges those characters to be deceived by their own perceptions.  

   Set up as a part of your gaming structure that perception is not the same as reality.  "What you think you know ain't necessarily so" should be echoing in players' minds.  Make clear to your players that everything you tell them is the perception of their characters, never absolute reality.  The characters have no access to the total truth of the matter; only the GM has that.  While most agree that this should be the case, they do not take the steps to enforce this in the game.  There are several things that help accomplish this:

To start, the GM must always analyze each player's character to determine how accurately he would perceive different situations.  Someone with a high Intuition would rarely miss someone acting anxiously, while someone with a low score would be interpersonally dense.   A very experienced woodsman will rarely misinterpret clear tracks, while someone who lived a pampered life in a city would scarcely interpret any of it well.  In between are a multitude of varying perceptive degrees.

   Second, the GM, not the player, must be the one to make all rolls (if rolls are needed) concerning things that are based on character perspectives.  Any perception rolls—rolls used for tracking, listening, interpersonal guesses, hiding, searching, etc.—should all be made by the GM.  The reason is this: what entertainment is it for the player when he knows he just rolled very well and that what the GM is telling him is going to be the truth?  For example, if a PC is searching for a trap and he rolls very well, when the GM tells him that there is no trap there, the player knows for a certain fact that there isn’t one.  There is no doubt whatsoever about it.  Contrast this to the GM making the roll for the character searching for a trap.  Now when the GM tells the player that he believes there isn’t a trap, neither the player nor the character can be 100% certain that there really isn’t one.  The character may have good cause to believe it—he may be very confident.  But this is still different from the player knowing for certain that his character is right.   Of course, the same problem exists when players roll for these things and roll poorly.  

The common practice is for the player to have his character act as if he thinks one thing while he (the player) knows another, but it is much more fun when the player thinks the same thing as his character.  What thrill exists for the player with a thief character when trying to pick someone’s pocket if he rolls very well and knows that it went perfectly?  The  fear has been stolen from that player.  What good is it for someone searching for enemies when the player rolls well and knows (with certainty) that there is no one hiding in the trees?  Isn't it much better to have that lingering doubt in the mind of the player and his character as to the complete truth? Tell the players that you will be giving them facts as their characters interpret them.  So, “there’s no one over there,” is synonymous with “your character cannot see anything over there.”  You could also employ phrases like, "you  think such and such," "you are sure that such and such," and "you seem to recall that . . . ."  But never step out of your GM role by telling the players what is the unmediated reality.  By doing this, you are uniting player and character into the same limited perspective that makes discovery possible for the player.  The player need no longer pretend his character is discovering and learning, he really will be.  Therefore, the mist of mystery has been put back into the story for the players.  

   Next, GMs can alter reality (the world and even some systemic things).  After playing for a while in a GM’s world, the player learns a good deal about his surroundings and "the way of the world."  (E.g., He knows that “the dwarves in the Kahmonn mountains are friendly only if you give a gift to the first dwarf you meet” because he has either been there or been informed from a reliable source.)  This is fine as far as that character is involved.  But, what about that player playing a different character in that same region?  This new character should know only what his limited exposure has taught him, but this isn't possible, is it?  That player inevitably has taken the knowledge received from playing in that world with former characters and is using that knowledge with this new character.  The solution has been for the player not to use the knowledge which he has gained through past characters, pretending his character is ignorant.  While this is a fair guideline to follow, it interferes with the fun for the player since actual discovery (for the player) has been removed.  Races, monsters, skills, spells, & even the history should slightly change sometimes.  The only time to make these alterations is when one or several characters have died or passed out of the story.  

For example, in a group I had, 4 out of 5 players lost their characters and had to bring new ones into the campaign at the same time (bad strokes of luck).  Two of the players had characters who used magic, and so they knew how some of the magic spheres were fleshed out.  To counter this and throw them off, I somewhat altered the magic they were using.   All the players remembered the plot, the secrets they uncovered, the enemies, etc., so I (informing the surviving player) altered a few (mostly minor) facts.  What this accomplishes is to keep the players off track as to what actually happened since they, with their new characters, have no idea what happened in the final version of reality.

   The shroud of mystery must exist not only for the player and his character but among the players themselves.  One player should not always know the perception of another player’s character.  For this GMs should use the common practice of note-passing and (what we call)  “Going Deaf.”  Players can have walkmans set up around the table so that whenever something is happening that their own characters are not aware of (or are aware of differently), the GM can instruct them to put on their headphones, or “go deaf.”  Going deaf is used to greatly reduce (though not abolish) note passing or sending people out of the room, but it should be used carefully so that players are not left deaf for too long a time (after all, they came to play!).  While trying to separate players’ perceptions perfectly is impractical (without a lot more  technology than walkmans), doing it some of the time at least will help efficiently maintain some mystery between your players and their characters.  

   As odd as it may seem, the more the GM deceives the players, the more fun he is making it for them.  Deceive them as much as our perceptions deceive us.  Let the statistically intelligent, intuitive, perceptive, and experienced characters (not players) be deceived less than others, but allow some opportunities nevertheless.  Be careful not to overdo this and have your characters be absurdly mistaken about even common situations that are so obvious that no one should be confused.  

   The task of a GM is similar to playing poker.  Just as poker players can tell an opponent’s hand by his quirks, so players can tell when something real is happening (or that he’s bluffing) by the GM’s behavior.  GMs should do things like roll dice often, whether he is really rolling for anything or not, and pass a multitude of blank notes to confuse other players as to whether a real note is being passed or not.  The reason for this is to keep players off track as to when something important is happening.  So, doing things like rolling often or throwing irrelevant notes or appearing to take special note of a character’s actions will throw off the players as to when the GM is doing something truly important.  


"Unmentionables”

   Players know something important is going on when GMs start mentioning particular mundane facts or asking specific questions.  E.g., a PC is in a tavern and the GM mentions that a man bumps into him and moves on.  Now, any veteran player knows that he’s likely been pick-pocketed if the GM bothered to mention it.  But, to that character, the bump may have seemed the accident of a drunk or clumsy man.  So, if the GM determines that the character would perceive the bump innocently, then the GM should not mention the bump at all.  This is to keep the players from either using experience they have as players or having to restrain themselves from using that experience.  The same applies to a wide number of experiences: people staring at a character, a recurring person in a crowd, someone’s attire . . . anything that does not occur to that character as important should not be revealed to that player.  This, like all selective GM deceptions, should be handled carefully so as not to deny the right characters the right access to knowledge.  E.g., a character who picks pockets would always pay attention to "bumps" in taverns.  

Just before a battle ensues, a GM may commonly ask, “so where are you sitting in the room?” or “are you wearing your armour?” or “are you keeping a watch—who’s on watch when…?”  These questions are cues to the players that something big is about to happen.  To avoid giving these cues, the GM must either ask these questions often (especially when it’s not relevant) or not ask at all and then decide for himself where people were at the moment of an attack.  

All of these steps are for the benefit of the players.  The divorce of the player/character perspective leads to a serious loss of entertainment.  Instead of having to always pretend he doesn't know certain information, the player, by this union, can think the thoughts of his character and experience both his character’s doubts and the thrill of uncovering the mysteries of your story.
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--Daniel
Valamir
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« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2004, 01:08:53 PM »

That's a really great essay.  I must say that I pretty much fundamentally disagree with all of its major points, but I'm a big believer in game designers taking a stand and specifying up front how they designed the game to played.  I'd recommend altering the phrasing to be more of a "for the purposes of this game you should endeavor to..." approach; rather than a "this is what's best for all roleplaying" approach.

The first way makes a clear statement about your design goals.  Acknowledges that there are other ways to play and the reader may (like myself) completely disagree with them.  However, the reader may (having been informed up front) be willing to give it a try and judge it on its own merits.  This a great thing and I heartily endorse it.

The second way (as you have now) sounds more like a manifesto of "one true way to play-ism" which is most likely going to get the reader (especially one who disagrees strongly) to shrug, toss the game aside and not look at it further.


This brings me to a key question.  Why do you percieve this kind of controlled information environment to be particularly suitable for your specific game?

As a general rule I find this style of play to be restrictive, insulting, and confining and succeeds mostly at stifling the collective creativity of the group and the ability to feed and riff off of each other while participateing in the over all game environment.  That's MY preference.  I would much rather GM a game where the players know exactly what is going on and drive their characters actions off that to deliver drama and excitement that they couldn't hope to do if they were kept in the dark.

However, I'm more than willing to concede that perhaps, for a very specific reason, for a very specific type of play, it might be both appropriate and effective to play this way.

So my question is: what specific reason and specific type of play is your game about that this sort of play style is especially appropriate and attractive for?
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Domhnall
Member

Posts: 97


« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2004, 01:27:12 PM »

Hey Valamir.  I'm just a step over in Bloomington.  

Yes, I gave no other intro for the essay.  I didn't wanna throw out too much at once, so just picked one of my system’s essays to post.  

My game focuses on "realistic fantasy" role playing.  So, we try and escape the "tabletop miniature game" paradigm and immerse ourselves in our characters’ minds to enrich role playing.  Therefore, the methods used to keep the players’ perspectives united with their characters.  Most gamers I know believe in this idea in spirit.  The essay just restates it and has suggestions for implementing it.  Yes, the essay belongs in the context of the system, not an edict for all games.  

“restrictive, insulting, and confining” ??  I don’t understand how.  By working to shift the mind of the player further into his character, our experience becomes richer.  In cases when characters should not know X, the choice is this:  Either the players pretend not to know X, or the players really do not know X since the GM keeps it from them.  The players are only “in the dark” as much as their characters should be.
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--Daniel
montag
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Posts: 172


« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2004, 09:14:21 PM »

Quote from: Domhnall
“restrictive, insulting, and confining” ??  I don’t understand how.  By working to shift the mind of the player further into his character, our experience becomes richer.  In cases when characters should not know X, the choice is this:  Either the players pretend not to know X, or the players really do not know X since the GM keeps it from them.  The players are only “in the dark” as much as their characters should be.
I feel pretty much agree with what Ralph said. You'd have to pay me money to get me to play under these circumstances (or be really convincing), but I appreciate it for its clarity and decisiveness. I'll try to answer why I wouldn't want to play this way:
(1) playing this way means the players' impact on the story is pretty limited. Moving my character around, reacting to what the GM comes up with is fun for a while, but I get tired of that fast.
(2) immersion, in the sense of "in-character-thinking" (not to be confused with in-character acting) isn't especially attractive to me. I like to do it once in a while and enjoy it when I do it, but since I know the character's mind inside out (because I made it) I basically view this as me congratulating myself on the good job I did. Nice and necessary at times, but not satisfying in the long run.
Anyway, it boils down to saying that my experience becomes richer when I participate in creating stuff with others and that I gain little from "not knowing X" over "pretending not to know X".
Hope this helps, and just to make sure, I'm talking about my preferences only.
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markus
------------------------------------------------------
"The real problem is not whether machines think but whether men do."
--B. F. Skinner, Contingencies of Reinforcement (1969)
Callan S.
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« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2004, 11:12:20 PM »

By "restrictive, insulting, and confining" I think Ralph means that if say, someone picks a PC's pocket, the player being ignorant of it and being surprised to learn of it, isn't the most you can get out of this situation.

I might be wrong and he'll correct me, but the following is one possible way of handling it:
GM: "In the busy tavern, the crowd jostles you and someone bumps your PC. At that time they take his purse without his knowledge!" (note: Yes, the GM telling the player explicitly)
Player: "Ah, but only lady moonlight, my former lover (also an NPC made up on the spot by the player), would know how to get past my quick eyed defences to do so. In fact, in turning I see her face just as she's leaving the tavern."
GM: "Indeed you do, but it seems she let you see her face. She perhaps wears a tiny smirk but then flits away quickly out the door"
PC: "Naturally, I can't let this go uninvestigated. I pursue!"

Note the full disclosure of mundane things like the purse stealing, while the more intriguing things are the ones which are kept secret (the smirk...which I find more interesting than a purse being stolen). Also note the GM like power the player was able to wield on the spot to make a NPC, and was rightly trusted to do so.

I have to say I don't do a lot of gaming like this. Not out of lack of interest, but out of old habits of mine and our group. But there are games out there that assist in this type of play and it can be quite thrilling for all involved, as the GM is entertained by what the players create...the GM also gets to explore a mystery, that players can just as easily create.
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Philosopher Gamer
<meaning></meaning>
contracycle
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Posts: 2807


« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2004, 11:46:58 PM »

Ah well, interesting article and interesting responses.  I stringly approve of the original article, that accurately describes a large part of what I would do as a GM.  I have mentioned before that I somethimes think of characters as mobile movie cameras shooting a scene; that is, my awareness is based on this mobile perspective and feeding back only what this perspective can see.

I must say though I cannot see how this style of play can be construed as "insulting".  After all I have full consent that this is the mode we employ (for historical reasons, and rightly or wrongly).  And I would not have it any other way - its not only the IC thinking, which is indeed very appealing to me, but also that gamist challenge is reinforced in this manner.

I agree that Montag that player impact on the story is "pretty limited", but my stock response is that this is only important to some.  Noon's sample of play, frex, leaves me completely cold, and its that sort of game that I in turn would only play if paid.  However, that said, I strongly endorse further reserach into this style of play, as I hope to cannibalise procedures for use else where.

What I like a great deal about this sort of analysis is the attention it pays to presentation, that actual interchanges between the people in the room, the practical mechanics of information exchange.
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Jack Aidley
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Posts: 488


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« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2004, 01:31:03 AM »

I'm with Ralph on this one: this is a great essay; I disagree with it almost entirely.

Funnily enough, it represents the way we used to play. I stopped doing so because when I didn't stick to it the games were more fun. They felt fairer and they had more potential for interesting and exciting situations. Taking your example of rolling a search for traps (not that I use traps - I think they are arbitary, pointless and dull) but look at the reverse situation, imagine the player rolled low. "You can find no trap" says the GM. The player knows that there may be a trap, but also has to play his character as if there isn't. What ironic potential and what fun!

Taking your other example of pick-pocketing. I can't really understand how this is going to be anything other than irritating:

Me: I give him 75gp for the sword
GM: You can't; it's gone.
Me: What? What do you mean gone?
GM: You don't know. It's just gone.
Me: %@*&!

And then... what? If we want to get the money back we have no clue, nowhere to start, we don't even know when the money went and we have no way of finding out. Contrast this with the same situation when I know I've been pick pocketed and know my character doesn't:

Me: I reach into my pocket, and realise my purse has gone. "What?" I say "but it was here a minute ago?" I start looking around on the floor.
GM: The shopkeeper gives you a sympathetic look "You been to the Trollsong tavern?"
Me: "Yes? But how did you know?"
GM: "There's a fair few pickpockets been operating out of there lately"
Me: "Bastards! Come on lads we going thief-hunting"

And back we head to the tavern for an entertaining session of clue finding, head bashing and thief-torturing. By giving the players knowledge we are able to go straight to interesting bits of gaming rather than blundering in the dark like blind fools.
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- Jack Aidley, Great Ork Gods, Iron Game Chef (Fantasy): Chanter
Domhnall
Member

Posts: 97


« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2004, 01:42:06 AM »

Well, thanks for your responses.  But, I must admit that I am truly lost as to some of the gamestyles you are presenting.  Do you guys mean that as you are playing, that the players can create people and situations along side the GM?  That the GM is the not sole "world narrator" that the PCs are dwelling in?  That sounds like what I am hearing, but correct me if I am wrong.  Is this phenomenon common?  I have never been exposed to that before.  You mean that as I (when a player) can decide, "This is a good spot for an orc" and then I can have one appear?  Is this fun?

If that is the kind of game you play, you are correct... this guideline wouldn't work at all (but then, none of it would match).  But, I would never enjoy a world where I could (as a player) create things.  As a player, I love discovering things and making choices in the world I am dwelling in (the GM's world).  It would feel strange and slightly godlike creating even the slightest alteration in reality.  Maybe like scribbling in my own notes in someone else's book.  

OK, so it sounds like this essay only applies to those who do not have the player-GM co-control of the world.



---------

Hi Jack, I guess we were typing at the same time.  Let me first ask if you belong in that category mentioned above where the players are co-creators of reality in their world.  If so, the discussion is already settled.  But, if not (as I suppose is the case) let me rebut by saying that we (my group) truly enjoy the harsh realism of the Secondary World, and loathe (what we call) the "contrived nudges" from GMs that keep the players knowing things that their characters would not consistently know.  

As a matter of fact, a couple of months ago, I had a player character who worked for years and years to get this one sword.  Only a few months later he lost it to a thief whom he had no way of tracking down.  He lost it forever.  Now, the reason that this is still so fun for us all is that the bigger picture is that this is a real world, and they are real people in this world.  His character had no experience whatsoever with thieves, and was totally naive about getting his precious blade stolen from his bedroom.  The player (John) is not irritated at all, he loves this because he knows that I am not holding his hand, or giving him any hints that his character would not have.  All the players know that there is an entire world filled with dynamics that they can only sometimes handle.  They would not want any arbitrary clue (that is inconsistent with their characters and the situation) pointing them in the right direction each time.  It would leave them feeling like they were being led around by the nose.  

I guess that it comes down to the overarching playing preferences.  For us, “Realistic Fantasy” brings the most enjoyment.  We enjoy the limitations of our character’s perspectives and experiences.  

(Oh, and I wholly agree with you on traps, but many people still use them so it seemed a useful example.)
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--Daniel
Rob Carriere
Member

Posts: 187


« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2004, 01:59:04 AM »

How about,
Quote from: Jack Aidley (Cut and paste by SR)
Me: I give him 75gp for the sword
GM: You can't; it's gone.
Me: What? What do you mean gone?
GM: You don't know. It's just gone.
Me: %@*&!
GM: The shopkeeper gives you a sympathetic look "You been to the Trollsong tavern?"
Me: "Yes? But how did you know?"
GM: "There's a fair few pickpockets been operating out of there lately"
Me: "Bastards! Come on lads we going thief-hunting"


I think it mostly boils down to two matters of taste:
[list=1]
[*] Do you like being surprised?
[*] Do you want to have influence on the game beyond your character?
[/list:o]

SR
--
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Argetlamh
Member

Posts: 21


« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2004, 02:06:32 AM »

I suggest you read some of the Forge articles. Doing so will give you a better idea what people are talking about here. They can be quite dense reading, but they're well worth the effort, IMO.

-Dan Vince
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Dan Vince
Jack Aidley
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Posts: 488


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« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2004, 02:06:34 AM »

Quote
Well, thanks for your responses. But, I must admit that I am truly lost as to some of the gamestyles you are presenting. Do you guys mean that as you are playing, that the players can create people and situations along side the GM? That the GM is the not sole "world narrator" that the PCs are dwelling in?


I'm not really sure where you get that impression from. It's certainly not the way I play.

Although I rather doubt you play without any kind of player-GM interaction in how the world is, think about it - have you, as player, ever said any of the following things:

"I stop a passer-by"
"Is there a tree nearby?"
"I grab a stone from the floor"
"I'll take a seat at a table" (said in an inn)

Depending on what group you play in, you're GM will allow more or less defining of the world by the players. I tend to allow things which make sense to me in the context the players are in, seems to me all the good GMs I know work in a similar way. Situations also can be created, and led, by the players through the actions of their character - I'm not sure how you could functionally play without that.
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- Jack Aidley, Great Ork Gods, Iron Game Chef (Fantasy): Chanter
Jack Aidley
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« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2004, 02:14:39 AM »

Hi Rob,

As in all things in roleplaying, there is no One True Way. I hope I'm not coming across as presenting one.

I don't think that it's about either surprise or control outside of your character, however - I think that Daniel's essay presents a way of roleplaying that de-protaganises the player characters. By removing knowledge from the players about their characters you prevent them from controlling their characters in a way that they would choose.

Oh, and Daniel - Welcome to the forge!
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- Jack Aidley, Great Ork Gods, Iron Game Chef (Fantasy): Chanter
Domhnall
Member

Posts: 97


« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2004, 02:19:16 AM »

Jack
Quote
I'm not really sure where you get that impression from. It's certainly not the way I play.

Although I rather doubt you play without any kind of player-GM interaction in how the world is, think about it - have you, as player, ever said any of the following things:

"I stop a passer-by"
"Is there a tree nearby?"
"I grab a stone from the floor"
"I'll take a seat at a table" (said in an inn)

Depending on what group you play in, you're GM will allow more or less defining of the world by the players. I tend to allow things which make sense to me in the context the players are in, seems to me all the good GMs I know work in a similar way. Situations also can be created, and led, by the players through the actions of their character - I'm not sure how you could functionally play without that.



No, I didn' get that impression from you, Jack, but from the NOON post:
Quote
GM: "In the busy tavern, the crowd jostles you and someone bumps your PC. At that time they take his purse without his knowledge!" (note: Yes, the GM telling the player explicitly)
Player: "Ah, but only lady moonlight, my former lover (also an NPC made up on the spot by the player), would know how to get past my quick eyed defences to do so. In fact, in turning I see her face just as she's leaving the tavern."
GM: "Indeed you do, but it seems she let you see her face. She perhaps wears a tiny smirk but then flits away quickly out the door"


Here, the player placed a specific person in the tavern, and the GM went along with it.  This is quite different from your examples of common things experienced in the settings you described.  Towns de facto have those common things, and it's makes perfect sense to have them be accepted without a second thought.

Oh, and thanks for the welcome.  Looks like my first post is just getting me stoned!  No, I'm just kidding.  I love a good debate, and you guys aren't being rude at all.
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--Daniel
Jack Aidley
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« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2004, 02:27:23 AM »

Hi Daniel,

Ah, I see - I missed that in Callum's post. Sorry.
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- Jack Aidley, Great Ork Gods, Iron Game Chef (Fantasy): Chanter
montag
Member

Posts: 172


« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2004, 02:35:46 AM »

edit: << -- Please ignore this post, it's off-topic. Sorry. -->>

Quote from: Domhnall
As a player, I love discovering things and making choices in the world I am dwelling in (the GM's world).  It would feel strange and slightly godlike creating even the slightest alteration in reality.
--SNIP--
 But, if not (as I suppose is the case) let me rebut by saying that we (my group) truly enjoy the harsh realism of the Secondary World, and loathe (what we call) the "contrived nudges" from GMs that keep the players knowing things that their characters would not consistently know.
--SNIP---
Now, the reason that this is still so fun for us all is that the bigger picture is that this is a real world, and they are real people in this world.
Yes, but ...  it  does  not  exist. Someone made it up. There is no "reality" worth speaking of. The "harsh realism" is something the GM (and if this was discussed before play perhaps players as well) decide to have happen. If you and your group decide to leave the power of defining the imaginary reality and the ultimate knowledge of said imaginary reality in the hands of one player only (the GM) and that's cool for everybody, then don't change it. But please avoid claiming it is more real.
It's as made up as anything else happening in that game, and the way one does distribute the power to define the imaginary places, events etc. does not make them any more or less real.
Like in your example, what really happens, is that it _feels_ more "real" to the player, if someone else is deciding "world-stuff" for him. If this feeling, which involves that the player simply forgets temporarily that the GM made it up, is what you're after in roleplaying, then go, go, go! Your essay is IMHO an excellent way to get the result you desire.
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markus
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"The real problem is not whether machines think but whether men do."
--B. F. Skinner, Contingencies of Reinforcement (1969)
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