*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
April 19, 2021, 01:02:02 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 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 174 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
Pages: 1 [2]
Print
Author Topic: Interview with Clinton R. Nixon  (Read 7578 times)
Keith Senkowski
Member

Posts: 725

On A Downward Spiral...


WWW
« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2005, 08:40:44 AM »

Quote from: Mike Holmes
Interestingly, and perhaps surprisingly, I agree with Keith here.

I think that we're all in agreement with Clinton that there basically has to be a final arbiter of things, and that this can pass around. But, even early on in designing Universalis, we were going to put in rules for a "first player." Because, I actually do believe that someone needs to push everyone, and a game really can benefit from a vision that comes largely from one person. So that the vision is coherent and followable. Even in a game like Universalis, it's important to have this, because some players will just be in more of a "follower" mode sometimes, and can't do anything without someone in the lead.

So why doesn't Universalis have a "first player" rule? Well, what we discovered, is that it happens automatically. You don't need a rule for this position. Somebody will just always step forward and take this position. Humans, being the social animals that we are, always take up stations in a pecking order, or in terms of leaders and followers. It's almost tautological - if you have followers, that implies leaders, too. If a player can be a follower, then others can be leaders. And these situations adjust themselves to the group present.

If someone has the gumption to even suggest playing Universalis in the first place, they've got at least enough gumption to be the leader. So they, or somebody with more leadership ability will be there to step in to fill this role. So I do not believe that you need to put in rules for this sort of thing in an RPG. Just like Ron always points out that the "Points of Contact" in a game like Universalis are probably higher than they have to be in regards to who resolves what, when, etc, I think one can have a facilitator role, but that in many cases it's just not neccessary to appoint one.

So, as with anything, I think it depends on the specific design. I can get behind either concept. Specified facilitator, unspecified...as long as it's all part of the overall system and well considered, I'm sure it's the right decidsion for he game.

Mike

Holy crap!  We are in agreement!

However, even though the role of the Alpha tends to be filled naturally in a game group, I think it helps a lot to point that mother out.  For example, when learning all the life saving crap like CPR and Water Rescue, the one thing they stressed is when you are on a rescue, point to a specific person and say, "You, go call 911!"  I think the same principle applies here, cause if you don't, everyone will be milling around for a while why you try to save some half-drowned kid's life.

Keith
Logged

Conspiracy of Shadows: Revised Edition
Everything about the game, from the mechanics, to the artwork, to the layout just screams creepy, creepy, creepy at me. I love it.
~ Paul Tevis, Have Games, Will Travel
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2005, 01:16:29 PM »

The CPR situation is true, because it's a stress situation. Yes, if you're playing with an entire group of stress-puppies, who view making decisions like what monster to throw at a fictional character as hard to make, then you'll have a problem.

Again, however, it's my experience that if you have the gumption to decide to play in the first place, that somebody in the group has the very minimal reqirements that it takes to be "first player." I mean, I've seen some otherwise pretty damn timid people (let's face it RPG player can trend this way), who've taken up this role.

I mean, all we're talking about here is a person who can speak up and say, "So who's turn is it now?"

Nobody's life is at stake in RPGs (not any I've played, at least). So I think that baring very unusual circumstances, that you don't absolutely have to point out an alpha. Worse, I'd postulate that if you have to do this because nobody would naturally, that you're in some serious trouble anyhow. Sounds like a group with players who are going to all turtle anyway.

Again, that's not to say that it is harmful to point one out. If you feel the need, go ahead. I just think that the other option is valid as well. For example in games that do a lot of other handholding to ensure play progresses. Like Universalis where there's a turn order, rules for interrupting, for challenging, etc, etc, etc.

Mike
Logged

Member of Indie Netgaming
-Get your indie game fix online.
Keith Senkowski
Member

Posts: 725

On A Downward Spiral...


WWW
« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2005, 01:28:59 PM »

Mike,

You mean to tell me in all your years of role-playign you never had a deadly d4 incident?

You have a much rosier picture of humanity than I do.  People are sheep and will go on grazing until someone (the sheep dog) tells them, time to go back to the pen.  Like you said, role-players often have a tendency to trend towards the timid end of the pool and I think it is important to help them over that hump by reinforcing the need for the role.  

Also, we have all played with the one guy who is always right and tries to dominate play by sheer force of his/her personality.  By reinforcing that person X is the Alpha I think it can help deal with person Y who wants to be in charge.  But this is all social contract stuff, or as I like to call it Pack Relations.

Did I even have a point in all this?
Keith
Logged

Conspiracy of Shadows: Revised Edition
Everything about the game, from the mechanics, to the artwork, to the layout just screams creepy, creepy, creepy at me. I love it.
~ Paul Tevis, Have Games, Will Travel
sirogit
Member

Posts: 503


« Reply #18 on: February 11, 2005, 04:44:12 PM »

Relating my own expierience:

There seems to be a couple of thing were referring to as "First Player"(Or "Alpha", but I hate the term.)

1 - Voice of Authority
2 - Introducer of Conflict
3 - Iniatilizer/Energizer

No. 1 is pretty much nessecary. In my own expiereince, the Voice of Authority has to be one guy that's representing all of the formalized desires of the group for the game, whether it takes the form of an assumed social contract or their argeeance on the text of the game.

If the one guy stops being an authority, than the game loses cohesiveness, and if he stops representing the deisres of the group, well, it'll be shitty for them.

No.2 is variably usefull posistion depending on the makeup of the players and how much conflict they want that they aren't able to provide themselves. This posistion can be one guy, the whole group, a system, or any combination thereof.

No.3 This is again, nessecary to the degree that the average players wants energy/momentum and cannot provide it himself, and is something of a group variable wherin every person has a certain giving and receiving of it, with the game's shared general energy/momentum a result of how much everyone gives without receiving.
Logged
Pages: 1 [2]
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!