*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
May 23, 2022, 12:59:21 PM

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: 89 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
Pages: [1]
Print
Author Topic: Premise in the Whispering Vault  (Read 3542 times)
hardcoremoose
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 669


WWW
« on: March 05, 2002, 07:19:42 AM »

Okay, since we've been talking about hidden Premises of late...

I'm prepping to run possibly my all-time favorite game, The Whispering Vault.  Now, I've run the Vault in the past - many times - but this is the first time I've sat down and looked at the rules armed with the knowledge of The Forge.  I remember first coming to The Forge and seeing The Vault bandied about as one of the narrativist games to play, but at the time I couldn't see how it was all that different than many of the other games I was playing.

Well, I can see that now.  But the one thing I'm looking for - a clear articulation of its Premise somewhere in its text - has thus far eluded me.  I mean, I have some ideas - the Keys, the Enigmas, etc. have to have Premise tied up in them somewhere - but I'm wondering what the rest of you folks think.

So what's the Premise in The Whispering Vault, and how do the rules reinforce it?

Thanks,
Scott
Logged
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2002, 07:51:14 AM »

Hi Scott,

I think one reason no one has responded is that we need more to work with.

You own the game; you like it; you want to play it. I cannot for the life of me begin to help articulate the Premise until you explain why you like the game. I mean, I can "just say" the Premise that I think the game facilitates. But that grates on me, creatively speaking. It is ... well, irritating, for one musician to be asked, by another, what to play. My instant response is, play it yourself, and if you can't, then don't come talkin' music to me ...

But I want to be constructive about this, so I'll put it this way. Get beyond the gruesome flash of the Whispering Vault, the chains shooting out of the eyeballs and all that stuff. Look instead at the Keys to Humanity, the reward system that actually permits a character to become less effective if the player wants, and most particularly at the highly focused Situation of play (which in turn relies on the entire concept of the Unbidden). Think about how Shadows, Unbidden, and Stalkers all represent versions of "clinging to the Flesh," and think about these different entities' reasons for doing so.

Now, you tell me what you think the Premise is. Then we can debate about it, and make sure that we're talking about the text/mechanics of the game, and perhaps end up with a defensible answer.

Best,
Ron
Logged
hardcoremoose
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 669


WWW
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2002, 09:06:03 PM »

Ron,

Damn you and your incisive band metaphors.

Seriously though, while this may be of limited interest to others, it's of great interest to me.  You see, I have run The Whispering Vault - several times, always to my own enjoyment (and usually to that of my players, I'd venture).  But that was all before learning about Premise and narrativism and all the other stuff we talk about around here.  I'm curious to see how my informed nature affects my enjoyment of the game, and the enjoyment of my players.  

More in line with this thread, I'm interested in seeing the "before" and "after" of working with an articulated Premise.  Does a well constructed game, which I believe The Whispering Vault to be, convey its Premise through play, whether articulated or not?

So what do I like about the game (besides chains shooting from eyesockets, etc.)?

I like its tight structure.  When I first read the rules, years ago as it was, the thought that occurred to me was "this is a character study" - an investigation into what makes a specific Unbidden tick.

I like the fact that the Unbidden want to become more human (sort of), and that the Stalkers gave it up (sort of) - ostensibly for the same reason (their love of humanity).

So maybe the Premise has something to do with those two things.  Maybe it's something like "What's so damned great about humanity, that gods would foreswear their divinity for it, and mortals would give up everything to protect it?"

Hmmm...that does jive pretty well with what I like about the game, but it seems too...easy.

Fuck, I hate thinking in public.  Oh well, I gotta' go for now...more later, after I've had time to let these (and other) thoughts simmer.

- Scott
Logged
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2002, 09:44:23 AM »

Scott,

You wrote,
Does a well constructed game, which I believe The Whispering Vault to be, convey its Premise through play, whether articulated or not ?

Yes. I have never recommended that people articulate abstract Premise in terms of play experience or preparation.

the thought that occurred to me was "this is a character study" - an investigation into what makes a specific Unbidden tick.
Unbidden want to become more human (sort of), and that the Stalkers gave it up (sort of) - ostensibly for the same reason (their love of humanity).
 maybe the Premise has something to do with those two things. Maybe it's something like "What's so damned great about humanity, that gods would foreswear their divinity for it, and mortals would give up everything to protect it?"


Right. Bullseye.

Hmmm...that does jive pretty well with what I like about the game, but it seems too...easy.

That's because it is easy. Premise is always easy. I swear, you guys want everything to be horribly arcane and complicated, and all I do is keep saying, "Narrativist Premise is the inclusion of immediately, intuitively-grasped human problems and conditions; Narrativist play is the commitment to resolve those problems in the context of a given setting, characters, and situation."

Best,
Ron
Logged
Pages: [1]
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!