*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
August 21, 2019, 10:45:07 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: 158 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
Pages: 1 ... 3 4 [5] 6 7 8
Print
Author Topic: Tony's Standard Rant #1: Roleplay/Game Duality  (Read 32034 times)
TonyLB
Member

Posts: 3702


WWW
« Reply #60 on: April 07, 2005, 09:37:16 PM »

How about let's not take another tack on it.  I'm not done with the first tack yet.  We were just getting to the point where we had a common understanding of that example, and could use it to seriously investigate where our opinions differed.

If I move my paladin on the board, and attack your minotaur, how have I not communicated to you the notion that a paladin is attacking a minotaur?

I hate to keep repeating this question.  If you'll just answer it then maybe I'll offer something more interesting.
Logged

Just published: Capes
New Project:  Misery Bubblegum
JMendes
Member

Posts: 379


WWW
« Reply #61 on: April 07, 2005, 10:20:22 PM »

Hey, :)

Tony, I'm very much on your side with regard to your standard rant, but I really don't see how you don't get Fred's point.

If you move your paladin on the board and attack his minotaur, all you are communicating is the notion that that paladin figure on the board is now in the position to execute the procedure outlined in rule A7.2 (or whatever) and you are going to execute it.

You did not communicate the notion that it is an imagined paladin that is bravely attacking an imagined minotaur. The paladin is not your character and the minotaur is not his character, simply because neither the paladin nor the minotaur are characters at all. They are nothing but figures on a game board.

Now, you may be imagining the brave Sir Anselmo facing down the hideous beast, but really, that's about as productive as having your knight capture an opposing chess player's rook and you imagining the brave Sir Anselmo storming into Dread Roberts' keep.

Unless you share it. And if you share it and it is accepted by the other player, then suddenly, the Lumpley principle pops into action, you get system, and you have a roleplaying game.

And now your rant applies in full. Because you're not playing DnD Miniatures anymore, your playing something larger, something that the word 'game' doesn't fully define anymore.

Suddenly, you and your opponent have discovered the photoelectric effect.

Cheers,

J.
Logged

url=http://lisbongamer.mc-two.com/]Lisbon Gamer[/urlLisbon Gamer
Vaxalon
Member

Posts: 1619


« Reply #62 on: April 08, 2005, 03:11:30 AM »

Quote from: TonyLB

If I move my paladin on the board, and attack your minotaur, how have I not communicated to you the notion that a paladin is attacking a minotaur?


Yes, you have... but you haven't communicated anything fictional.
Logged

"In our game the other night, Joshua's character came in as an improvised thing, but he was crap so he only contributed a d4!"
                                     --Vincent Baker
TonyLB
Member

Posts: 3702


WWW
« Reply #63 on: April 08, 2005, 04:02:32 AM »

Well, actually, the paladin and the minotaur are fictional, as is their fight.

The paladin and the minotaur are understood imaginatively by both players because of the groundwork that they have done in learning the game.  To the extent that both players are seeing the pieces in terms of that imaginative construct, and seeing a capture as a fight, they are using the rules to structure a shared imaginary space.

Aside to JMendes:  Yeah, if you wanted to achieve that in chess you'd have to communicate outside the rules, to notify a person that these imaginary tags ("knight", "castle" and "attack") were being applied.  It's not communicated by the standard rules of chess.  Is it communicated by, say, a Lord of the Rings chess-set?  Maybe, maybe not.  Does that make sense of what I'm saying?

Now people could play a structurally identical game without projecting any of those images onto the pieces.  You could replace the miniatures with colored coins, and rename them something undescriptive, and rewrite all the rules to reflect that.  And then you would have a game where the mechanics probably would not help the players to established shared imaginary space (I say "probably" because the structure itself has certain patterns that people might perceive, even absent other cues, but that's another discussion).

But the original statement, way back on page 2, was:
Quote from: Vaxalon
Yes, you can remove the roleplaying from DnD.  It's called the DND miniatures game.  I think I already made this point?

I just don't think that DND miniatures avoids creating a shared imaginary space.  On the contrary, I suspect it's a very good example of exactly what I'm talking about:  you can look at the activity from the point of view of gaming and strategy, and you can look at the activity from the point of view of roleplaying and exploring the shared imaginary space.
Logged

Just published: Capes
New Project:  Misery Bubblegum
Vaxalon
Member

Posts: 1619


« Reply #64 on: April 08, 2005, 05:15:37 AM »

I guess that gets down to the fundamental disagreement, then...  while there may be imaginative content in the DND miniatures game, I don't believe that sharing it is part of the game, while (if I understand your position correctly) you believe that it is.  This probably has more to do with our definitions of what a "game" is.  You seem to have a much broader definition of "game", one that could arguably include a marriage, a job, crossing the street, et multiple cetera.
Logged

"In our game the other night, Joshua's character came in as an improvised thing, but he was crap so he only contributed a d4!"
                                     --Vincent Baker
James Holloway
Member

Posts: 372


« Reply #65 on: April 08, 2005, 05:17:45 AM »

Quote from: TonyLB

I just don't think that DND miniatures avoids creating a shared imaginary space.  On the contrary, I suspect it's a very good example of exactly what I'm talking about:  you can look at the activity from the point of view of gaming and strategy, and you can look at the activity from the point of view of roleplaying and exploring the shared imaginary space.

Does any miniatures game avoid creating an SIS? I mean, OK, I move my little men around, you move your little men around, but we're both imagining, say, the 101st Airborne clearing the Germans out of Vierville in vicious house-to-house fighting, or Imperial Space Marines cutting down the enemies of the Emperor in a deadly hail of bullets.

Indeed, in historical games at least, it's axiomatic that an important goal is that rules-strategy decisions and SIS-perspective-decision-making decisions should be more or less congruent. A common criticism of rules sets is that strategies that don't make sense from an SIS perspective (charging a 101st Airborne BAR squad up Vierville's main street in the open) might work in a game, or vice versa. This leads to vicious infighting because the SIS in question is that eminently debatable entity "the real world."
Logged
TonyLB
Member

Posts: 3702


WWW
« Reply #66 on: April 08, 2005, 05:46:13 AM »

I'd be hard pressed to think of a miniatures game that doesn't create an SIS.  The whole concept of minis is that they represent something.

Now that doesn't mean that it's an RPG.  As I've said, I don't have a hard definition of what an RPG is.  But it does mean that there is exploration of a shared-imaginary-space going on by way of those rules, even if the players never exchange a single word, play from separate rooms, and are carefully shielded from any information that isn't reflected on the board.

I honestly don't see how this has gotten so confusing:  If I go into a WWII game with the question in my head "What would have happened if Eisenhower gave Montgomery the go-ahead for his plan to drive to Berlin with surgical strikes?" and I play the Allies accordingly then the guy on the other side must be dealing with the question "How would the Germans respond if Allied forces drove toward Berlin with surgical strikes?"

That's why I just can't get my head around Fred's position:
Quote from: Vaxalon
[W]hile there may be imaginative content in the DND miniatures game, I don't believe that sharing it is part of the game

We've just gone around and about through dozens of posts on this.  Using the rules is sharing imagined content.  The paladin and the minotaur are imaginary.  The 101st Airborne is not actually present in the gaming room.

So if we posit that using the game-mechanics is part of the game (which I hope that we can agree to) then how can sharing imaginary content not be, when they're the same thing?

I assume you disagree with something about this syllogism:[list=1][*]Paladins, Minotaurs and attacks are imaginary
[*]Manipulating the game-mechanic introduces that imaginary content into the SIS
[*]Manipulating the game-mechanic is part of the game
[*]Therefore introducing imaginary content into the SIS is part of the game[/list:o]So what is it?  One of the individual points?  The logical structure as a whole?

If you genuinely want to discuss the question of "Is crossing the street a game?" then split that to another thread.  For this thread, I'd like to see where we can get with the question of imaginative content being expressed through explicit rules-mechanics.
Logged

Just published: Capes
New Project:  Misery Bubblegum
Lee Short
Member

Posts: 123


« Reply #67 on: April 08, 2005, 05:49:35 AM »

Quote from: TonyLB
Well, actually, the paladin and the minotaur are fictional, as is their fight.


The 'paladin' and the 'minotaur' are little pieces of lead, with a very physical existence.  It is these little pieces of lead that are being referred to in the statement 'my paladin attacks your minotaur.'  Or at least in the version of that statement that Fred is talking about.  It is also possible to make that statement in the sense that you are talking about, but that in no way negates the ability to make that statement in the sense that Fred is talking about.  

Quote

The paladin and the minotaur are understood imaginatively by both players because of the groundwork that they have done in learning the game.  To the extent that both players are seeing the pieces in terms of that imaginative construct, and seeing a capture as a fight, they are using the rules to structure a shared imaginary space.


(emphasis added)
 
To the extent that both players are seeing the pieces in terms of that imaginative construct assumes your conclusions.  It is precisely the ability to look at the pieces and not see the imaginative construct that Fred is asserting.  

In fact, I quit playing those sorts of games precisely because I got to the point that I could no longer see the imaginary constructs, even when I wanted to.  

If I am sitting down to play D&D miniatures with you, and you are interpreting my paladin as an imaginary construct with a scruffy beard from forced marching and I am interpreting my paladin as a lump of lead, there is no shared imaginary space.  Now when I say 'my paladin attacks your minotaur', you may choose to look at that as a statement about your private imaginary space, but I have made a statement about lead figurines.

So 'the paladin' is at once a part of your PIS and a physical object for me.  This in no way makes it a part of any shared imaginary space.  Even if there are 3 players and 2 of them share the imaginary space, that does not make the paladin part of the SIS for the third player.
Logged
TonyLB
Member

Posts: 3702


WWW
« Reply #68 on: April 08, 2005, 05:53:28 AM »

Wow, maybe I'm misunderstanding these games.

Do the little pieces of lead actually physically attack each other?  Do they get wounded?  If the system has morale checks, do the lead figures physically express fear?

Because if they don't (as I rather suspect they don't, unless minis have come a long way since my day) then you're still working on a shared imaginary space.  Do you disagree?
Logged

Just published: Capes
New Project:  Misery Bubblegum
Vaxalon
Member

Posts: 1619


« Reply #69 on: April 08, 2005, 05:56:41 AM »

I disagree with 1.

The paladin miniature is actual.  You can play the game without ever thinking about it as a representation of an imaginary creature, and believe me many people do.  They're just stats and pewter or plastic, to some people.  If you and I were to play.. yeah... what you describe would probably be true... but that's not an attribute of the game, its an attribute of you and I.

I played Warhammer Fantasy Battles miniatures wargames for years... believe me, some of these people do NOT get it.  There's no imagination there at all.  Is it possible that you can't imagine playing the game, and not participating in the imaginary world that it evokes for you?

I disagree with 2.  

Manipulating the pieces does not introduce any imaginary content, because any imaginary content was there to begin with.
Logged

"In our game the other night, Joshua's character came in as an improvised thing, but he was crap so he only contributed a d4!"
                                     --Vincent Baker
James Holloway
Member

Posts: 372


« Reply #70 on: April 08, 2005, 05:59:17 AM »

Leaving aside the whole "what is an RPG" thing (I've never really cared), let's talk about "there is no duality between roleplay and rules."

I think that many objections to this come from synecdoche: take "roleplay" here to mean "satisfying roleplay" or "play that fulfills my Creative Agenda," and you can definitely have a problem, since well-designed rules can inhibit some styles of play or CAs and badly designed ones can be even worse. Players often react to this problem by Drifting or ignoring rules, seldom by altering the content of the SIS (although I think that there are cases where game rules, particularly those of D&D, have made lasting changes to the SIS).

Most gamers come into a game with a very clear idea of what kind of imaginative engagement they want, and in my experience at least they seldom alter this, regardless of what game they're playing. This can create disjunction in the SIS -- for instance, I had an NPC try to hold a PC at gunpoint in a Skull & Bones game. A perfectly reasonable thing to do from a rules standpoint would be to just let the guy shoot you, since the chances that a pistol ball could kill you are incredibly slight for a mid-level PC, and then whup the guy's ass. But the players all balked at this as being an unacceptable contribution to the SIS.

Now, all this means is "inappropriate system for desired fictional content" or, if you like, "System Does Matter." But I suspect it's what most people mean when they talk about a difference between "roleplay" and "rules," although presumably not Vaxalon.
Logged
James Holloway
Member

Posts: 372


« Reply #71 on: April 08, 2005, 06:01:19 AM »

Quote from: TonyLB

Do the little pieces of lead actually physically attack each other?  Do they get wounded?  If the system has morale checks, do the lead figures physically express fear?

No, but you could argue that the system defines "attack" in a particular way. You might say that this means that we are being asked to envision "moving a piece into an adjacent square, rolling a d20 and adding our attack bonus, comparing it to the target's AC" as two imaginary characters attacking one another, or you might say that "attack" is just being used here to signify the above.
Logged
Vaxalon
Member

Posts: 1619


« Reply #72 on: April 08, 2005, 06:01:30 AM »

What I'm trying to do, is distill down what it is about a roleplaying game that makes it different from other kinds of games, and indeed what makes them different from other kinds of human interaction.
Logged

"In our game the other night, Joshua's character came in as an improvised thing, but he was crap so he only contributed a d4!"
                                     --Vincent Baker
James Holloway
Member

Posts: 372


« Reply #73 on: April 08, 2005, 06:03:47 AM »

Quote from: Vaxalon

I disagree with 2.  

Manipulating the pieces does not introduce any imaginary content, because any imaginary content was there to begin with.

I don't think that's quite right -- imaginary content can be a simple statement of action like "the goblins on the hill began to pepper the advancing enemy with arrows." There was already a hill, some goblins, and an advancing enemy in the imaginary content. Saying "these guys will shoot at those guys" introduces a specific new piece of content, viz. that one unit is shooting at another.
Logged
TonyLB
Member

Posts: 3702


WWW
« Reply #74 on: April 08, 2005, 06:06:12 AM »

Fred:  Yay!  Now we're making some progress!

You feel that there is no imaginary content, whatsoever, assigned to any rules entity.  And that when that is the case, rules manipulation is not an exercise in imaginative construction.  I'd quibble (as you've seen), but sure, fair enough.

So let's back talk about the far more common case where there clearly is imaginary content assigned to the rules entity.  Your character has a name.  His attributes have imagined counterparts ("18/00 strength... I am strong like Hercules!  Woot!")

In this situation, would you still have quibbles with part #2:  "Manipulating the game-mechanic introduces imaginary content into the SIS"?

If all I do, all session long, is slog through an off-the-rack dungeon, roll dice, and use the game mechanics to wordlessly kill orcs and take their stuff, is that contributing to the SIS or not?

James:  Right with you there.  Nicely said.
Logged

Just published: Capes
New Project:  Misery Bubblegum
Pages: 1 ... 3 4 [5] 6 7 8
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!