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Started by Mytholder, March 14, 2002, 04:06:59 PM

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A random idea: A lot of problems and miscommunications arise in discussion of rpgs because rpgs are essentially a private affair. Sports or theatre has an audience. Cards and chess games can be recorded with play-by-play descriptions of what happened.

RPGs are rarely recorded in such a manner...the only examples I can think of are play-by-mail/chat logs, examples of play in rulebooks, and the "replays" you can get in Japan. Still...would it be useful to seek out a few publically available instances of these replays, and analyse and discuss them in terms of GNS and the other methods?

Mike Holmes

Quote from: Mytholderand the "replays" you can get in Japan.


Forgive me, but I am unfamiliar with this concept. What "replays"?

I'm not sure what your asking for. Are you looking at using actual replay technology in RPGs ("I said Bigby's Clenching Fist, not Clenched Fist! I demand we go to tape!"). Or just allowing players or GMS the explicit right ro replay through a scene? Or am I missing it?

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Ron Edwards


If I'm not mistaken, Gareth is talking about something less out-there or during-game - more of a venue for discussing what actually happened during play, afterwards, in an analytical way.

I was under the impression that this whole forum is devoted to that activity, but that's not to say that every aspect of the activity is being covered or even conceived here. Gareth, can I have an example of what you mean?



"Replays" are basically transcriptions of the events in a game session, ala:
Bob: My fighter kicks down the door.
GM: The door smashes. You see a troll.
Bob: Argh! I run away.
GM: The troll's chasing you.

Apparently, you can buy printed copies of these in Japan, and read about how some gaming group played through the Temple of Elemental Evil or whatever.

My suggestion is that if we (the Forge denizens) tracked down a few good examples of these and looked at them together, it would provide a common ground for reference.

Gordon C. Landis

We were on this track once before . . . (search, seartch . . .), ah, the "Observers to roleplaying" thread.  Take a look at :
for some general musing in the area of making RPGs less private/more public.

If anyone has access to "Replays", or any other form of "exposed" RP activity, I'd be thrilled to see 'em.  Maybe there's nothing useful/valuable there, or maybe there is.  Only way to find out is to take a look . . .

Oh, and I'm still looking for folks who want to help me pitch "Survivor: Lord of the Rings" to some TV execs :-)  "Fantasy Reality TV", the Next Big Thing!

Gordon (under construction)


(wonders if there are any published replays of GURPS Ring Dream)


(didn't really mention that, honest)

Jürgen Mayer

I actually know a group who recorded all the sessions of their campaign on tape and then painfully wrote it down. Alas, it's all in German, and so of not much use here...
Jürgen Mayer
Disaster Machine Productions

Ferry Bazelmans

Am I alone in thinking that replays are excellent reading material? I virtually live in the "Actual Play" forum nowadays to read people's experiences with indie games (Donjon Crawl especially).

If anyone has more to share, please do. :)

Oh, Jürgen, any chance of that group creating a translation? *smile*

Fer, who thinks replays would make better rpg fiction that most rpg fiction...
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Jürgen Mayer

Quote from: Ferry BazelmansOh, Jürgen, any chance of that group creating a translation? *smile*

Heh, chances are very slim, I'd guess.

But here's a little treat for you (IIRC):
Me: "We could reanimate the zombie in our cellar."
Jared: "You have a zombie in your cellar?"
Me: "Yes, do you want to see it?"
someone else: "It's a German techno-zombie."
Sean Wipfli: "Actually, it's from Belgium."
- InSpectres at GenCon
Jürgen Mayer
Disaster Machine Productions

Matt Gwinn

Although I think this could help in the process of analyzing how people play RPGs, I think we would lose a lot viewing such data in a flat text format.  A big part of how we play involves not only what we say, but how we say it.  If the transcriber wanted to take the time to add in visible changes in the players as well as the inflection and tone of what players are saying it could be far more useful.   Video would be best, though not very helpful online.  There are companies that will convert VHS to mpeg, but it's a little pricey and I'm pretty sure it would take more time to download than most of us have.

What could be useful is if we could record a session at GENCON, or bring footage with us, and put together some kind of seminar.  We could evaluate a few game sessions, noting the differences in play, whether or not the played system is meeting the needs of the players and so on.  If someone feels really ambitious they can make a serious documentary on roleplaying.

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