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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 69 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Time, what is Time?  (Read 2284 times)
Jared A. Sorensen
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Posts: 1463

Darksided


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« on: January 22, 2002, 07:54:46 AM »

Okay, the obligatory heavy metal reference is outta the way.

How does time factor into RPG design and play? Not like in a Puppetland kinda way...but more of a "what moment is of most pressing concern?"

If I were going to link this with GNS, I could see it thusly:

Past: Simulationist. Just because every SIm-heavy game seems more concerned with continuity -- from timelines and pages of background history to the very linear combat.

Present: Narrativist. There's a conflict. How does the character and game deal with it now.

Future: Gamist. Definitely a style of play where thinking about the outcome of your action is really important. Also, the whole concept of levelling up or whatever really makes you think about the future of your character (but more in terms of advancement - skills, feats, multiclassing, etc. - than any kind of "what am I gonna do next."

Ah, give me a break. I don't start work for another week and I'm a little stir crazy here in my apartment.
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jared a. sorensen / www.memento-mori.com
AndyGuest
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Posts: 56


« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2002, 08:05:53 AM »

Just to throw a spanner in the works.... ;-)

Past - Gamist. Your ability to deal with the know depends on how you got here and how you prepared.

Past - Narrativist. What is happening and will happen is unimportant, what matters is that looking back, a good story has been told.

Past - Simulationist. Everything that is happening must be a reflection of what has happened.

Present - Gamist. It's all about succeeding in the challenge. THe challenge is now, what is past is past, what is to come is unknown.

Present - Narrativist. It's about making this scene right, significant and as good as possible.

Present - Simulationist. What came before and after doesn't matter, all that matters is that in the moment, the simulation holds true.

Future - Gamist. To succeed you have to prepare, what came before and how well you do know are irrelevant if you fail in the long run.

Future - Narrativist. The story takes precedence, we should be concerned with our eventual arrival at a satisfying resolution.

Future - Simulationist. The simulation takes precedence, we must ensure that we end up in accordance with that simulation and not stray off the path.

Hmmm, I'd have to say that the time/GNS connection isn't possible to make, mind you, I'm not sold on GNS yet for much the same reasons ;-)

Andy..

[EDIT to add]

Or to be more helpful, I guess it matters not only what aspect of GNS you are working with but also what you want to get out of that aspect.
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Joe Murphy (Broin)
Member

Posts: 178


« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2002, 07:22:57 PM »

Quote from: Jared A. Sorensen


Future: Gamist. Definitely a style of play where thinking about the outcome of your action is really important. Also, the whole concept of levelling up or whatever really makes you think about the future of your character (but more in terms of advancement - skills, feats, multiclassing, etc. - than any kind of "what am I gonna do next."


I once got a new player who joined an established supers game (a mixture of Aberrant and Over the Edge). After a couple of weeks gaming, he presented me with a spreadsheet showing me his planned experience point expenditures for the next year of gaming. Strange boy. (Amusingly, I then started thinking about how it would be interesting to run a game where the characters designed their 'future fates' and had to work towards that destiny, so his strange preoccupation with yet-to-be-earned experience wasn't a complete loss).

I like the idea, Jared, but I'm not sure it's so solid, just yet. Frex, Gamism is also very much based on previous risks and decisions made, not just wagers.

And discussing whether 'in character' really exists with a Sim friend of mine, I see that his roleplaying is very much based in the present. As a Narrativist GM, I'm often preoccupied with the future (or in a tense I'm not sure of the name of, where I have a sense of being in the future, looking back on a well-made story).

Come to think of it, Puppetland has another example of how time is used in RPGs. Players narrate their actions in the present tense. The GM narrates everything in the past tense, like a storybook. Trippy.

Quote

Ah, give me a break. I don't start work for another week and I'm a little stir crazy here in my apartment.


I hear that computer games and pornography are a good way to pass time.

Joe.
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Zak Arntson
Member

Posts: 839


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« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2002, 10:59:15 PM »

I'd look at it as a continuum of time:

Gamist:
(past) experience leads to -> (present) what is the current best strategy for the -> (future) outcomes I can expect and plan for

Narrativist:
(past) what avenues of the themes have we explored -> (present) how can I best work with the presented story and set things up for -> (future) other themes or continuations of them.

Simulationist:
(past) satisfaction with consistent past should logically lead into -> (present) what would be the appropriate actions to best simulate the Premise -> (future) interest is in the plausible possibilities the future holds.
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