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Author Topic: Exploration of system?  (Read 2549 times)
matthijs
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« on: June 22, 2004, 10:52:44 AM »

I'm having a hard time understanding Exploration. I think I get what's understood by exploring character, setting, situation and color. But system? Could someone give me an example, or point me to a thread about Exploration?
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lumpley
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« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2004, 11:07:25 AM »

Exploration of System means time and attention spent on the process of deciding what happens.  

When I say "I walk across the street" and everybody just updates their mental picture to have my guy walking across the street, that's very little Exploration of System.  

When I say "I walk across the street" and you say "make a Walking Across roll!  Throw down!" and I say "um, 12!" and you check a chart, that's more Exploration of System.  

When I say "I walk across the street" and you say "okay, now how did we handle this last time?" and I say "we rolled for it, but I don't really want to roll for it this time, I think it should just happen," and you say "that's okay with me, I guess, what does everybody else think?" that's also more Exploration of System.

There's a thread here:
Exploration of System (split)

-Vincent
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2004, 11:08:11 AM »

"Roll a d10."

Clatter clatter.

"I got a 7 - that hits!"

More clatter clatter.

"16 points! Gunch! His head explodes!"

See? Procedures of (in this case) resolution + imaginative space.

Come up with any sort of resolution, any sort of character creation and development through actual play, e.g. the reward system. Now imagine "what happens" in the fictional events, and see how the system is applied to supply material.

I suspect people have trouble understanding "Exploring System" because they make it harder than it has to be. And also because they should turn it the other way 'round - using System to Explore.

And yeah, that applies to Character, Setting, Color, and Situation too - you don't Explore them, you use them to Explore (establish SIS).

Best,
Ron
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matthijs
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« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2004, 12:15:07 PM »

Okay. Thanks to both of you for answering! Now, let me see if I'm getting this right.

So we're exploring imaginative space, and the tools we're using to explore are those five, in different combinations, with different emphasis.

And we can use bangs to help us explore; they give spin and momentum to the exploration.

Now, the thing that prompted me to pose the question was Ron's comment in GM premise in narrativist play that
Quote
during Narrativist play, the Explorative content of Bangs can draw from all five in whatever combination one can imagine


I can think of bangs that are heavy in character, situation, setting. Color, not too sure, but maybe. But how can you have a bang that's heavy in system?
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Doctor Xero
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« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2004, 01:16:35 PM »

Quote from: matthijs
I can think of bangs that are heavy in character, situation, setting. Color, not too sure, but maybe. But how can you have a bang that's heavy in system?

If I'm more in Author stance not Actor stance, I might spend time trying to decide which approach will work best within the game mechanics, with my choice determining what happens next to me.

If I as the player am grappling with whether one ought risk one's life for another, once my character persona chooses to risk his/her life in the game, the game mechanics will determine whether or not that risk ends up in death.  For example, a fall from a 10-story building will assuredly kill any normal human in Call of Cthulhu but may not kill a normal human in Champions.

Doctor Xero
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"The human brain is the most public organ on the face of the earth....virtually all the business is the direct result of thinking that has already occurred in other minds.  We pass thoughts around, from mind to mind..." --Lewis Thomas
Valamir
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« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2004, 02:08:14 PM »

I think TROS SAs and Pendragon Passions are good examples of system driven Bang possibilities.  Pendragon especially is oriented at building situations that put 2 or more Passions/Virtues in conflict and seeing which way the character goes.  This would be easy to use to drive more Nar style bangs from.  

I would imagine that getting Nar play out of systems like GURPs and Champions could build on the Disadvantage mechanics to find suitable bang material that has a mechanical hook up.

Then you can step out to the broader definition of System that goes beyond mere mechanics.
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anonymouse
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« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2004, 02:51:24 PM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards
And yeah, that applies to Character, Setting, Color, and Situation too - you don't Explore them, you use them to Explore (establish SIS).


Ron,

If this is the case, then why is the term "Exploration OF System/Character/Variable" and not "Exploration BY" or "Exploration VIA"? That'd certainly be a lot more clear.

Unless there is some not-commonly-known use of "of".. in which case the many casual readers would still probably benefit from the use of "by" or "via" in place of "of".

(edit: fixed some emphasis tags)
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You see:
Michael V. Goins, wielding some vaguely annoyed skills.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2004, 05:40:45 PM »

Hi Michael,

'Cause the terminology just emerges from discussions where it helps to make points as we go. That's where terminology comes from. Of course it's going to be crappy or not make sense in some way. That's the way it goes. Exploration as a term was a wonderful and important addition to everyone's understanding of role-playing, when it was posed by the Scarlet Jester and I hope it's meaningful as I've re-tooled it for what's now the Big Model.

I wish I could see the faces of biology students 100 years from now trying to memorize the name "sonic hedgehog" for a gene which influences the development of neural crest cells and craniofacial structure. Was it wrong for the researchers to name the gene after an utterly irrelevant video game character? User's choice.

For the record, I'm perfectly happy to phase "Exploration" out in favor of "shared imagined space," but it's not as if I run about ice-picking people for not doing so. And I'm not going to take anyone's "ooh, I hate that term" talk too seriously. It gets coined, we do or don't manage to communicate well using it, and usage eventually rules the day.

Best,
Ron
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matthijs
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« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2004, 11:07:12 PM »

Ron,

Exploration is a good enough term, I think; and changing the terminology all the time will just add to the confusion. However, I agree with Michael that "Exploration by..." seems a lot clearer than "Exploration of..." (assuming I've understood what Exploration is all about).

I don't quite see how Exploration can be phased out in favor of "shared imagined space". Isn't Exploration something you do to the s.i.s.?

Oh well. Just as one thing becomes clear, something else goes all... uh, unclear...
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