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Pervy & Points of Contact

Started by Alan, June 15, 2004, 09:22:09 PM

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In Narrativism without Pervy Mechanics? ( ) Ron wrote:

Quote from: Ron Edwards
QuoteWhy is narration-when-no-dice-are-being-rolled in The Pool higher in PoC than narration-when-no-dice-are-being-rolled in Trollbabe?

Because the two phenomena are profoundly different, and I think that's apparent to anyone who's played both games. In Trollbabe (when rolling's not involved), there are very clear rules for how Scenes occur and how Conflicts occur within them. Once you understand those rules, they are very easy to apply in multiple different ways without having to reference them and wonder (work out) how they apply.

In The Pool (when rolling's not involved), there are no such rules - so you have to invent them and validate them for every single situation. After all, there will be scenes and conflicts, but how does the group get to them and understand what they are? They, uh ... just talk. Somehow. In other words, they have to invent System on the fly and keep doing so.

And to take a slightly better example, in The Window (when rolling's not involved, and even when it is!), this invent-and-validate process is constant. At least The Pool is clear about what to do once you have a conflict, although it requires quite a bit of local customizing about the acceptable scope and impact of narrating the outcomes of conflict.

This seems to focus on contact with the process[/i] of creating system, rather than reference to the accepted elements[/i] of system.  Do we want to make a distinction here? Perhaps games have two different kinds of PoC requirements.  Maybe one should be called Points of Contact and the other, Points of Negotiation?
- Alan

A Writer's Blog:

C. Edwards

I think that the problems we're encountering are due to looking at PoC as representing either a finite number of individual system references or the amount of effort expended on system references, when in reality PoC represent both.

I think Alan is on to something with his Points of Negotiation, but I'm not sure that there's any need to split Points of Contact up into two seperate terms. As long as we realize that PoC are measured in quantity as well as the amount of effort (could also be read as "time") required to reference them, we can see that the total "weight" of PoC in The Pool can be equal to that of a game with a greater quantity of official rules.

Also, I think that familiarity with or the ease of use of a particular game only affects the effort variable of the PoC. You have the same number of PoC but the effort required to reference them has decreased. Effectively lowering the overall "weight" of the PoC in that game.