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Author Topic: Cut-Scenes and Narritivist Technique Inventory  (Read 2591 times)

Posts: 55

« on: January 03, 2002, 08:38:00 PM »

There's a good amount of material on starting up a narritivist centered game on the site and, for example, in Ron's book on starting a narritivist game.  SOAP gives you the feel for what naritivism is, but there are some techniques that are alluded to in a variety of posts that I'm not sure how to work.

Is there an inventory somewhere (or could people toss in ideas) for in-game narritivist techniques (e.g., cut scenes)?

Gary Furash, furashgf@alumni.bowdoin.edu
"Life is what happens to you when you're making other plans"
Ron Edwards
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Posts: 16490

« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2002, 11:07:00 PM »

Hi Gary,

This is a good question, but (as usual) I have to get into some stuff about how GNS works ...

The idea is that each mode of play is a value-system, or set of priorities, or personal goals of play (these phrases are, to my way of thinking, all pretty much the same thing). Therefore two groups may use a given technique, say, the notion of one person having a lot of "cut to next scene" power, but utilize that technique (when, or how much to cut "out") very differently, for different GNS goals.

For instance, in Feng Shui, the text is very explicit about the GM's power to cut scenes in order to emulate the source material (the sorts of movies the game is based on). Some text in Sorcerer & Sword is almost identical - but I maintain that in the first game, the goal that is best facilitated is Simulationist, whereas in the second, the goal that is best facilitated is Narrativist. What's the difference?

In Feng Shui, based on how it's written and how it plays, the player goal is essentially to be in the thick of a wild & crazy set of events, and to survive and kick butt (not necessarily in that order). The player gets to be an "actor" (and although stance is involved, I am not discussing stance specifically). Both the thematic and logistic elements of the situation are "givens," and explicitly set by the GM in concert with the sourcebook. Whereas in Sorcerer, the player goal is to build a hero-saga or series in the tradition of pulp fantasy writing; the player is an "author" (same qualifier as last time).

So overall, my point is not to mistake the techniques themselves for the goals being attempted/reached. There are certainly associations and relationships between the two concepts, but I think it would be dreadful to say "this is the box of Narrativist techniques, utterly distinct from the box of Simulationist techniques." We'll probably find a fair amount of overlap between the boxes unless we talk about the moment-to-moment differences in the tools' actual uses.

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