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Author Topic: Which RPG-type (based on GNS) do I seek?  (Read 3165 times)
Acts of Evil Playtesters

Posts: 76

« on: June 01, 2005, 11:17:07 PM »

This has loosely spawned from this topic. The answers given about the difference between Nar/Gam and Sim didn't sit too well on me. Basically, I'm asking myself:"What type of RPG am I seeking?"

Reason for this question: Because, in this fashion, I can describe the system I'm looking for (whether it exists or not) and develop it when not available.

Ok, so a profile.

I'm looking for a game, in which character exploration is very important. The development of your character, first by a history, later by playing, to create the feeling of being able to feel like the character. (I guess this suggests to sim). The world may be detailed, but isn't really necessary for me though. I don't want to explore the world, I want to think about: what would my character do.

The way I would like to achieve this, is by creating a number of choices for this character. So, I guess you could call that 'Multiple Premises'. Not only on the side of e.g. "How do you crave for power?", but slowly on more and more premises. Basically, slowly creating more and more difficult decisions for the character, in which each of these decisions are possibly influencing the world, but at least are influencing the way the world percieves the character (when they are heroic).

I can't think of a more accurate way to describe this, but with a few questions, perhaps I will :).

Remko van der Pluijm

Working on:
1. Soviet Soviet Politics, my November Ronnie
2. Sorcerer based on Mars Volta's concept album 'Deloused in the Comatorium'
Victor Gijsbers
Acts of Evil Playtesters

Posts: 390

« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2005, 11:26:56 PM »

What do you think about The Shadow of Yesterday, where your character has several (possibly custom-made) Keys that reflect his issues, gets experience for hitting these Keys, gets even more experience for resolving the issues and abandoning his keys, and can use this experience to buy new keys at any time.

This is Nar-facalititaing play that almost forces you to build a dynamic, changing character who gets more and more complex as his issues are resolved and new ones are adopted.

But maybe I'm thinking in the completely wrong direction. Also, from personal experience I am quite pessimistic about how well we can describe our RPG preferences before we've tried out the kind of games we claim to like. When I came here I thought: Nar sounds interesting, but I'm 100% sure that Simulation of Character is just as important for me! That was so wrong.


Posts: 756

« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2005, 05:09:07 AM »

Remko, could you describe what you mean by "difficult decision?" Maybe you could recount a couple of specfic play experience from your past that you found really satisfying. Right now you haven't really given us enough info.

That said, anything anyone says here is going to be really unreliable. Right now all we're going on is your words, and there's a pretty well documented phenomonom that people tend to misinterpret their own actions. That's no fault of your own, everyone has trouble with it.

For example, I have a friend who copnstantly tells me that "story" is important to him, but when I play with him, he's constantly scheming ways to the best out of any situation. And whenever he tells me of past gaming sessions, he always concentrates on how he (and others) were able to make a difficult situation good. In other words, he's playing for the challenge of it (Gamism), even though he constantly talks about "story" (which would suggest Narrivitism).

What I suggest is that you play lots of different games, especially highly focused Indie games. [edit] I, myself, didn't fully understand CA/GNS until after a couple of very specific play experiences. [/edit] After a while your preference should become clear, and then you can use your favorite games as a meter for what CA you prefer.

--Timothy Walters Kleinert

Posts: 527

Heretic Forgite

« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2005, 05:58:58 AM »

Here's what I think.

GNS is supposed to help you understand your preferences and enjoyment and thereby allow you to create or find games and like-minded players to enjoy. It's a theoretical model, i.e., not something absolutely real, but a thought construct.

Therefore, if you can articulate what you want out of play, and how to achieve that, you don't need to worry where it fits into GNS. Just go by what you know you like. It is true, however, that we sometimes misjudge our preferences, and that's where the actual play analysis comes in. Think about game moments you really enjoyed, why you enjoyed them, and how you made your play decisions in those moments.

It seems to me you have a good start there of what you're looking for. It's pretty close to my own preference. I don't need an overarching theme - I want complex characters with real connections who are involved in highly dramatic situations, and have to make tough choices. A theme may evolve, or many may, but for me, the tension of the decision is more important than the moral of its outcome.

Now we can think of what type of system supports such play. It must contain ways that the character's values and connections matter. It should probably focus on conflict resolution, in order to really emphasize those tough choices. It should emphasize and reward complex and detailed characters. And so on...

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