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Star Wars d20: Is this Sim vs. Gamism?

Started by hix, August 24, 2005, 02:37:38 AM

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Wow, that was an information explosion! Before I respond, some housekeeping first:

This thread's running dangerously close to making me defensive. I appreciate all the advice but how about we stop with the "I'm appalled" kind of language? I'd prefer we looked at this as a group who's identified an issue and is trying to figure it out (with your help).

We'll hopefully be talking about this face-to-face at our session on Tuesday.

Seraph had a pretty severe dentist appointment last night so I have no idea if he will be responding for a couple of days ...

Here's that essay by Bryan Bankhead.

Right, onwards.  It seems like this thread is producing two strands of information.  The first is advice on how to prepare scenarios so that stall-out time is minimised.* There's lots of good stuff there, and - Seraph, if you want to follow that path either by starting a new thread or PMing Eero, Ron or Mike - I'm sure people here could point you in some interesting directions.

I'd like to keep this thread more focused on the other direction: in character conversations, out of character discussions and the gap between the two. Whether out of character discussions ruin the suspension of disbelief (for any of the players in our group). When is it appropriate to raise a critique of the game (although, Ron, your a-b-c approach probably would've prevented my frustrations from boiling over).

There have been some quotes here that I've found particularly cool ...

Quote from: SeraphDid I explain that the war against the YV had pretty much screwed the rebublic? Corusant was occupied by the YV? New Rebublic forces spread thinly about the galaxy? Perhaps just over a hundred Jedi Knights left, equally spread all over the place?

Quote from: Eero... What happened here? You talk IC, but try to communicate simple, straightforward story direction through exposing setting. Players take on the difficult task of deducing their route from your IC exposition, and come to some decision. Pretty often that decision is not what would seem logical for the GM, because deducing story direction from IC material is friggin' harder than GMs believe. ...

... So that's why Ron gives no weight at all for IC exposition as a technique of story control. It doesn't work. Rather, he (I believe; at least I do) thinks that any important direction will be human-to-human, and any IC stuff will be explicitly subjective story material, to be interpreted freely. Because that what it is, objectively. So when you lay down setting precepts like the above quote, you're talking mood and general style, not some facts that have to be used to solve a puzzle. Or if they are facts that are necessary to solving a puzzle, you will write them down and give them a title: These Are Things You Need To Solve a Puzzle. That way nobody gets confused.**

Mike had a point on a different tangent ...

Quote from: MikeYou say OOC is fine. But what you're saying is that it's fine for the players to use. Not for you. Because, as you say earlier, if you use OOC, that's suggesting a move to somebody playing solitaire. So you have this situation where it's OK for the players to "cheat" and ask for help, but you feel it's not OK for you to help them out. ...

... Anyhow, it's not surprising that players don't know what to say at these points, because if the GM isn't "cheating," well they don't want to "cheat" either. You see what I'm saying? By not participating in the OOC yourself, and thus letting players know that it's OK to do, you create an unintentional barrier to them doing it, too.

No idea if that's what's happening, but it seems like a pretty reasonable point.

Anyway, this thread is so fascinating that it's distracting me from reaching a deadline.  So, no big posts from me until Tuesday.  I'll keep looking in, make the occasional comment, but I'd love the discussion to continue.

*I'm particularly thinking of Eero's thoughts on traditional adventure design and what to do when the game's out of tracks (starting 3 paras after the quote).

** I'm taking that to mean, for instance, saying "The Jedi are so under-resourced that you will personally have to follow up every lead."

Gametime: a New Zealand blog about RPGs

Ron Edwards


Actually, I think this particular thread has reached its endpoint, especially considering its title. So let's close it here and take these new topics to new threads, OK?



Good call, Ron.

Just before we do, I'd like to point out an ancestor thread to this one that has a lot of good relevant stuff about IC/OOC to consider.

Thread closed.

Gametime: a New Zealand blog about RPGs