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A Non-RPG Example of Premise in Play

Started by lumpley, May 24, 2004, 03:32:52 PM

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Check out Scott McCloud's current morning improv, Mimi's Last Coffee.  Requires Flash.

You've got a thematically charged setup and characters locked into it.  You can see from reading the comic that whatever the characters do, conflict escalates and resolves.  Just like in Narrativist play: the right characters in the right conflict will create a story no matter where they go.

I think it's nifty.  I think it illustrates Narrativist play better than movies or books do.


M. J. Young

For those of us who neither have nor want Flash using up our system resources, is it worth asking for more details?

--M. J. Young

Emily Care

Hey M.J.,

There is a non-flash version here. But it doesn't do it justice.

It's a multi-directional comic, kind of like a cross between scrabble and a comic strip.  You draw each panel and place them one after another.  Most of them are in one long line in the Flash version, but some branch off forming shorter story arcs that take different turns than the main branch.  I think I've seen him done them in grid formats too

I believe this is an outgrowth of Scott's 5 Card Nancy.

Koti ei ole koti ilman saunaa.

Black & Green Games


It's kind of like his (non-Flash) Choose Your Own Carl.  Only more like a tree than like a crossword, if that makes sense.


Jack Spencer Jr

It's sort of like a Choose Your Own Adventure except with prose passages, it uses comics panels.

But McCloud's experimental comics design is besides the point here. What Vincent wants to focus on is how the story build and the reader's choices are instrumental in making the story.

This did make me realise why I am not disenchanted with variable plot novels as a substitute for roleplaying. What do I mean. First, click on the link and read one of them comics. Did you? Good. Did you read only one possible outcome? No? Me either. With something like this it is too tempting to try to see all of the possible outcomes/stories. That's really not possible in roleplaying, is it. Not unless you have a like-minded group who doesn't mind playing the same situation over and over again.


Actually I wanted to talk about how the author's choices are instrumental in making the story.  Particularly, given the characters and the setup, any choices McCloud makes will lead to a story.  All he has to do is be true to the characters.  Just like in play - when we have good characters set up well, we have no choice but to address Premise.

We don't usually get to see that illustrated so clearly outside of roleplaying.  Usually we only get to see the end result of one string of choices.



Groovy.  Thanks for the link. Gives me a better grip on this Narrativist thing I keep hearing about.