*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
September 18, 2014, 03:43:34 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 36 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 ... 6
Print
Author Topic: "Sacrificing Character Integrity" - a Rant  (Read 19988 times)
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #15 on: June 30, 2004, 08:44:14 AM »

Hello,

Marco, you wrote,

Quote
Jesse (IIRC) hits the exact question without using terms like 'address' or even 'premise' and you tell him explicitly that Situation with human interest stuff that is resolved by play is Nar play.


Your "exact question" is not Jesse's question. I think you fall into one of the two problem-audiences I identify in the essay (dunno which), and therefore are very, very likely to get all tangled up whenever you try to participate in my dialogue with someone else.

I really don't think it's valuable to try to disentangle you. Past experience shows me that you seem to like staying tangled.

Quote
When you ask if the other people are doing the "addressing" do you mean the "resolving the situation"?

I'd think so. Mostly all the players are involved in resolving the situation.


I do not mean "resolving the situation." Almost all role-playing involves resolving situations, from "I hit him" to "The empire is crumbling" to "DarkFyre and my guy are getting married."

What I'm talking about with "addressing" is specific to the emotional involvement with the general question of the Premise, and it requires the power to bring one's own judgment into the "answer" that is to be realized (in the older sense of the word) via the player-character's decisions & actions during play.

You may insert "conscious" or "intention" into the above paragraph as you see fit. However, that will be another red herring if you replace instead of insert.

To continue, the typical outcome of addressing premise will have story structure as an epiphenomenon.

Best,
Ron
Logged
Marco
Member

Posts: 1741


WWW
« Reply #16 on: June 30, 2004, 09:00:38 AM »

Ron,

This is from the essay:
Quote

Jesse: I'm just still a little confused between Narrativism and Simulationism where the Situation has a lot of ethical/moral problems embedded in it and the GM uses no Force techniques to produce a specific outcome. I don't understand how Premise-expressing elements can be included and players not be considered addressing a Premise when they can't resolve the Situation without doing so.

Me: There is no such Simulationism. You're confused between Narrativism and Narrativism, looking for a difference when there isn't any.


That's not the exact same words--but it is my exact same question. I'd know.

Put it another way:
If there is deep emotional involvement in the resolution of a non-railroaded situation that isn't tied to competition or winning, how is that not addressing premise?

What situations that engage us don't boil down to some derrivable premise (other than winning)?

Basically I think the identifying factor to Narrativst play is the depth of emotional involvement (and lack of railroading). Premise might be entirely unidentifiable to the participants or observers. I don't think presence of moral issues as a focal point of play gets you there because every story game has moral issues as a focal point of play.

I also think John Kim points out that story structure as part of the definition isn't given or, likely, even typical: every deep feeling RFGA Simulationist is (likely) doing Nar play and few of their games would be story-structured.

You can consider that tangled. That's up to you.

-Marco
Logged

---------------------------------------------
JAGS (Just Another Gaming System)
a free, high-quality, universal system at:
http://www.jagsrpg.org
Just Released: JAGS Wonderland
Valamir
Member

Posts: 5574


WWW
« Reply #17 on: June 30, 2004, 09:34:14 AM »

Quote
Ralph: Oh jeez do I not think so.

If my initial, private conception of my character has her locked into a moral conflict with fit opposition, I don't have to reconsider, refigure, adjust or fiddle with her behind the scenes at all. I don't have to be willing to do so. I can absolutely to-the-fucking-wall refuse to do so, and still play Narrativist. Because it's the locked into a moral conflict with fit opposition part that matters to Narrativism. When I happened to come up with my ideas doesn't figure.


I don't think I agree with this Vincent.  It may happen that you don't have to do any of those things.  But unless you're playing solitaire, the SiS is constantly changing and evolving based on the input of all of the players.  There is no guarentee that your initial conceived "locked in moral conflict" or "fit opposition" will survive contact with the other players and what they are doing.

The situation that you envisioned may well morph into something that no longer allows you to address the premise in the manner in which you'd planned without some fiddling.

In fact, this seems to me to be a crucial Instance of Play defining moment.  At this moment its all about what you prioritize.  Are you prioritizing addressing Premise by being willing to fiddle.  Or are you not willing to fiddle in which case you're saying that addressing the premise isn't as important as not fiddling.

Again, such a binomial choice may never actually arise in play...but it can, and at such a juncture, it seems you would need to be willing to do so.  

No?
Logged

C. Edwards
Member

Posts: 558

savage / sublime


« Reply #18 on: June 30, 2004, 09:41:38 AM »

Hey,

Ralph has the right of it in regards to my posts in the Virtuality and Ouija Boards thread. I do think Vincent and I are mostly in agreement. And, just as a disclaimer, the ideas I was expressing about my "micro" view of play aren't necessarily an official part of the Big Model. Meaning that while I think the area of a player's internal dialogue is represented in the Big Model, it's not articulated in detail nor expressed in the manner I was attempting in my posts.

I was basically delving into what I believe is Ron's "author/audience" distinction. Ralph made a great point about that with his "potential details".

-Chris

edit: to note the cross post with Ralph and add:

Quote from: Valamir
In fact, this seems to me to be a crucial Instance of Play defining moment. At this moment its all about what you prioritize. Are you prioritizing addressing Premise by being willing to fiddle. Or are you not willing to fiddle in which case you're saying that addressing the premise isn't as important as not fiddling.


I agree with this fully, it is to my mind, one of the primary factors in distuingishing one's own GNS preferences.
Logged
lumpley
Administrator
Member
*
Posts: 3453


WWW
« Reply #19 on: June 30, 2004, 09:42:32 AM »

Marco:  If your question is the same as Jesse's, why would you expect a different answer?

Effective emotional engagement around the table with an interesting human issue equals Narrativism.

"Effective" means "empowered to contribute meaningfully, via input into the SIS (generally character action)."
"Around the table" means "no player's shut out."
"Interesting human issue" means "Premise."

Depth of emotional engagement isn't it.  If you're deeply emotionally engaged but unable to contribute meaningfully, no Narr.  You're along for the ride.  If you're deeply emotionally engaged but it's not an interesting human issue, no Narr.  You're playing what-ifs or wish fulfillment.

Now...  
Quote from: You
Premise might be entirely unidentifiable to the participants or observers... every deep feeling RFGA Simulationist is (likely) doing Nar play and few of their games would be story-structured.

Premise won't be entirely unidentifiable, or else how would the players engage with it?  Just because they or you or I don't happen to spot the Premise, don't happen to articulate it, doesn't mean there isn't one.  Similarly, a group of RGFA Simulationists, while playing Narr right along, might be intentionally ignoring the story structure under their noses.  That's ouija board play.

If this were a real conversation with actual RGFA Simmists, here's where we'd take the discussion to Actual Play.  Maybe we'd get somewhere and maybe we wouldn't.  Meanwhile, there's no use arguing theoretical cases: you end up where Jesse ended up.  "But what if they're fully engaged with Premise, collaborating like fiends, and still playing Sim?"

-Vincent
Logged
lumpley
Administrator
Member
*
Posts: 3453


WWW
« Reply #20 on: June 30, 2004, 09:52:30 AM »

Ralph:  Well, that's what I'm saying: there are no Play defining moments.  There are Play defining instances of play, where an instance of play is hours and sessions long.  Do you, over time, address Premise, or do you not?

edit: I should say, it takes only one moment to scuttle your CA, as when Tommy Lee Jones shot Harrison Ford in the face.  But it takes a whole bunch of play to fulfill your CA - not just accumulated moments, but what emerges from them over time.  end edit

An unwillingness to create a character (DaS or DiP) who'll let you address Premise is, yes, an unwillingness to play Narrativist.  To play Narrativist requires you to be willing to play Narrativist.  But your willingness or unwillingness doesn't define the play.  I might be perfectly willing to play Narrativist but, then, not do so.

Does that make sense?

-Vincent
Logged
Marco
Member

Posts: 1741


WWW
« Reply #21 on: June 30, 2004, 10:00:55 AM »

Vincent,

I don't expect a different answer: I just don't think the ramifications of the one Ron gave (story structure being a likely given, for example) are as I usually see them stated (I think story-structure is being piggy-backed on).

For one thing: I don't think that "what-if's" or "wish fufillment" generate high-emotional involvement outside of premise (i.e. I stipulate as someone who wrote many English papers in any situation where there is what-if or wish-fufillment one will be able to find Premise or "winning").

In fact, I believe that was likely Egri's entire point.

As for Effective Input: I hear you (I stipulated no railroading).

But I think there's some unstated assumptions there: clearly all characters Nar or not will have limits on their actions either imposed by the game system or the situation.

If the player wants to make his input in a way that violates situation ("I now grow wings and fly illustrating my address of premise as XYZ") when that's not feasible is that a violation of Nar play? Or would that be 'unreasonable' (this is an extreme example--the real cases would be far closer to the line).

If the GM says "no" to the wings does that constitute Force?

As to the hypotheticals? I don't agree: the theory says that story-structure is common and likely. I see a huge part of play where I don't think it'll occurr. That's a question as to whether the boundaries are correctly drawn.

-Marco
Logged

---------------------------------------------
JAGS (Just Another Gaming System)
a free, high-quality, universal system at:
http://www.jagsrpg.org
Just Released: JAGS Wonderland
John Kim
Member

Posts: 1805


WWW
« Reply #22 on: June 30, 2004, 10:04:13 AM »

Quote from: lumpley
Premise won't be entirely unidentifiable, or else how would the players engage with it?  Just because they or you or I don't happen to spot the Premise, don't happen to articulate it, doesn't mean there isn't one.  Similarly, a group of RGFA Simulationists, while playing Narr right along, might be intentionally ignoring the story structure under their noses.  That's ouija board play.

If this were a real conversation with actual RGFA Simmists, here's where we'd take the discussion to Actual Play.  Maybe we'd get somewhere and maybe we wouldn't.  Meanwhile, there's no use arguing theoretical cases: you end up where Jesse ended up.  "But what if they're fully engaged with Premise, collaborating like fiends, and still playing Sim?"

Um, hello?  Vincent?  What am I, invisible?  (jumps up and down waving his arms)  

I specifically asked you to talk about actual play of my Water-Uphill-World campaign.  Let me repeat again...
Quote from: John Kim
What Chris was responding to was my point about Virtuality. If there is no conflict between these two, then where is the trade-off between Virtuality and Narrativism? Don't just spout platitudes -- address the examples of my Water-Uphill-World game and Chris' HeroQuest game. Was my game both Narrativist and Virtualist? Conversely, what was Chris doing when he perceived a trade-off?

So let's talk about real play.  There were most certainly moral issues within Water-Uphill-World.  How would you decide if it was Narrativist?  To my eye, the transcript lacked story structure and was very meandering, but there were many moral questions.
Logged

- John
Matt Snyder
Member

Posts: 1380


WWW
« Reply #23 on: June 30, 2004, 10:17:39 AM »

John,

I don't get it. First, I am not familiar w/ the often referred to Water Uphill game, so it's quite possible I'm missing something. That said:

Quote
There were most certainly moral issues within Water-Uphill-World.  How would you decide if it was Narrativist? To my eye, the transcript lacked story structure and was very meandering, but there were many moral questions


This seems an impossible question from where I'm typing for the following reasons:

1) A transcript very rarely makes anything clear about Creative Agenda. I don't care about the transcript. I care about what the players at the table were doing, deciding, and relishing in. (Perhaps that's what you mean by transcript?) See Ron's example in the Narrativism essay. We know nothing about that play from its "transcript."

2) That there are "many moral questions" similarly says nothing much at all. There may be many moral questions raised in, say, Gamist play, but the players don't particularly care, and they certainly aren't focusing on those. What was going on there? Were people addressing those questions? If so, Narrativism. If not, Something Else. Was it just the GM (presumably you) "addressing" those questions? If the players did address them, and addressed many of them (if, in fact, these were distinct and separate Premises), then maybe you had, um, messy Narrativism going on, but it's still Narrativism. Narrativism play doesn't mean "good" or "focused" or "better" play necessarily, of course.
Logged

Matt Snyder
www.chimera.info

"The future ain't what it used to be."
--Yogi Berra
lumpley
Administrator
Member
*
Posts: 3453


WWW
« Reply #24 on: June 30, 2004, 10:18:06 AM »

Marco:
Quote from: You
If the player wants to make his input in a way that violates situation ("I now grow wings and fly illustrating my address of premise as XYZ") when that's not feasible is that a violation of Nar play?

Yes.  It's a violation of Exploration.  It's a violation of every CA.

How can making input in a way that violates situation possibly address Premise?  Addressing Premise means fit character, escalating conflict, moral line, fit opposition.  According to Egri, growing wings and flying when it's out of character to do so would be "jumping" conflict, not escalating conflict.  We the audience go: the fuck?  That's lame.   We don't go: hell YEAH!
Quote
Or would that be 'unreasonable' (this is an extreme example--the real cases would be far closer to the line).

I don't get you.  I agree that real cases would be closer to the line, though.  Tommy Lee Jones shooting, etc.
Quote
If the GM says "no" to the wings does that constitute Force?

No.  The wings were never a thematic contribution on the part of the player.

As far as story structure goes, I have a hard time seeing where fit characters escalating a moral conflict into crisis and resolution would fail to produce a reasonably good story structure.  I think you're asking this: "but what if they just meander around and bobble and hit-or-miss the Premise, but still address it?"  The answer is, choose one or the other.

John: Well, there it is.  Did you meander around and bobble and hit-or-miss the Premise, or did you address it?

What would you say were the main take-home messages of your Water Uphill game?

With Matt, who would you say contributed those take-home messages to the game?

Answer in Actual Play, I'll be there.

-Vincent
Logged
Marco
Member

Posts: 1741


WWW
« Reply #25 on: June 30, 2004, 10:28:50 AM »

Vincent,

Sorry for being absurdist--I was trying to avoid arguing one specific issue. Might not be possible. It's more like this:

Silence of the Lambs
Player: "I don't want to engage with Lecter. He's too creepy. (thinks: I'll explore the premise of my character's alienation within the FBI some other way) I will hunt for the killer myself."

GM: "Fine -- although with no other leads, you're aware that killer will very likely kill another family."

Player: "Not acceptable. I have detective skills. I should be able to turn up other clues."

GM: "The whole FBI has detective skills too--there aren't any other good leads in this situation--you can roll but the odds are very very bad--perhaps impossible unless we can think of some angle I've missed."

Player: "You're shutting down my input."

No one is violating plausibility or exploration. The situational constraints allow for the character to take off on her own--but the course of action is per-situation ineffectual in the GM's opinion.

Has the GM constructed a panama-canal style game (Lecter or nothing) in a way that's antithetical to Nar?

-Marco
Logged

---------------------------------------------
JAGS (Just Another Gaming System)
a free, high-quality, universal system at:
http://www.jagsrpg.org
Just Released: JAGS Wonderland
lumpley
Administrator
Member
*
Posts: 3453


WWW
« Reply #26 on: June 30, 2004, 10:58:03 AM »

Marco, it's not a lot to go on - I mean, I wasn't there, what do I know? - so recognize that you're asking me to judge on too little information.

If your question is: is violating the integrity of the game world the only way to shut down Narrativism?  Then the answer is, of course it's not.  Yes, the GM squashed the player's input, my-way-or-the-highway style, and thereby screwed Narrativist play.

If your question is: could the player prevail and go on, over the GM's initial reluctance but with the GM's later buy-in, to address Premise without Lecter?  Then the answer is sure, maybe, if they manage to do it.

If your question is: in order to make the game turn out Narrativist, does the player have to violate her character's integrity and go back to Lecter?  The answer is definitely not.  What has to happen is the player and the GM have to stop trying to undercut and block one another, so they can get on with it already.  Maybe the player's character isn't fit for the conflict that addressing Premise will entail.  That happens sometimes, she'll have to make a new one - either from scratch or by modifying this one.  Maybe on the other hand her character's all loaded and ready and it's the GM's sitch that isn't.  We don't know.  If they work it out between them, they'll get Narrativist play.

(Notice, per the topic of the thread, that "making a fit character" is not at all the same thing as "sacrificing a character's integrity."  Refusing to make a fit character screws Narrativism.  If you've got a fit character, sacrificing his integrity screws Narrativism.)

-Vincent
Logged
Matt Wilson
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 1121

student, second edition


WWW
« Reply #27 on: June 30, 2004, 11:00:19 AM »

That example doesn't work for me either.

The player says "X is important to my guy (and me via my guy). Because of X, I don't want my guy to do Y."

The GM says, "If you don't do Y, good chance of significant consequences."

How is that not story right now, right here? The player, as your example continues, is fighting for "story later" by trying to avoid any consequences from the decision.
Logged

lumpley
Administrator
Member
*
Posts: 3453


WWW
« Reply #28 on: June 30, 2004, 11:07:10 AM »

Quote from: I
(Notice, per the topic of the thread, that "making a fit character" is not at all the same thing as "sacrificing a character's integrity."  Refusing to make a fit character screws Narrativism.  If you've got a fit character, sacrificing his integrity screws Narrativism.)

Preemptive: "I sacrificed my character's integrity to make him fit for Narrativist play!  Sometimes Nar play requires you to sacrifice your character's integrity!"  Bullshit.  If that's what you mean by "sacrificing integrity," why the hell don't you call it "giving my character the tightening up, fleshing out and kick in the pants he needs to make him worth playing"?

Fit characters, yes, are one thing that distinguishes Narrativist play from Simulationist play.  Character integrity isn't.

-Vincent
Logged
Marco
Member

Posts: 1741


WWW
« Reply #29 on: June 30, 2004, 11:08:45 AM »

Vincent,

I wasn't thinking about violations of character. I do think that there is such a thing as set-character-concepts that would be a personal violation to change.

I read some as saying "if it's not on the table as a character personality it doesn't count for continuity" and while that's true as far as shared-space go, it's not true for my internal imaginary space.

So I think I agree with you there.

I would *not* expect the player to violate character or "need to" in order to address premise.

When you say:
Quote

Yes, the GM squashed the player's input, my-way-or-the-highway style, and thereby screwed Narrativist play.


I disagree. I don't think the GM violated anything at all.* I agree with Matt Wilson: the GM (IMO) isn't employing 'force' any more than refusing to let the character grow wings is using force.

I think it's the *player* who is opting out personally.

-Marco
* unless prior to the game the GM had pre-approved "this is a game where you always solve the crimes" or something ... some IME abnormal social contract.
Logged

---------------------------------------------
JAGS (Just Another Gaming System)
a free, high-quality, universal system at:
http://www.jagsrpg.org
Just Released: JAGS Wonderland
Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 ... 6
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!