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Author Topic: IIEE and Karma Resolution  (Read 2308 times)
TonyLB
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« on: August 30, 2005, 05:59:00 PM »

A discussion over on the Muse of Fire boards got me thinking pretty seriously about IIEE, and where it applies.  I reference threads:  the four steps of action, What is IIEC? and I finally got IIEE.  Particularly, there is a word in the definition that I think is open to a lot of different interpretations:

Quote from: The Provisional Glossary
Intent, Initiation, Execution, and Effect - how actions and events in the imaginary game-world are resolved in terms of (1) real-world announcement and (2) imaginary order of occurrence.

Emphasis mine.  What does "resolved" have to consist of in this context?

My read on this has always been that you could apply IIEE to pretty much any moment that something is contributed to the SIS.  If Becky says "Brea opens her mouth and says..." then you've just witnessed IIEE on the micro-scale.  Becky contributed the idea that Brea opened her mouth, rendering speech possible.

Where was the "resolution" there?  The class Karmic Resolution that underlies every piece of roleplaying... that a player can assume character success in things where there isn't the slightest shadow of doubt that the comparable "real-world" attempt would be successful.  Opening your mouth isn't a big deal, but it is definitely a contribution to the SIS.  If you had a sufficiently good memory, you'd be able to say of your finished session "Brea opened her mouth" just as you'd be able to say "Sebastion killed an ogre."

Naturally, treating it that way, I see IIEE instances nested deeply within each other:  opening your mouth being part of a speech to try to convince the Elf-king of your virtue (drama resolution) which is in turn part of a longer conflict to win the alliegance of the Elves to a growing army (fortune resolution, say).

Another way of viewing it is to say that IIEE is linked only with explicit resolution and points of contact.  I can certainly see the power of that, but it places explicit mechanics in a privileged position.  I don't see how to reconcile that with the Lumpley Principle notion that any means by which the SIS is negotiated is System.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2005, 06:54:12 PM »

Hello,

More atomism. Sorry man, although System is definitely "how we get things into the SIS," not all of System is Resolution. A great deal of System is just talkin'; in fact, one of the features of a given (overall) System is how that's proportioned.

Resolution applies to times when we don't want to rely on just talkin'. That's why Drama resolution has to be structured in order to be functional; the constraints (e.g. how you use tenses in Puppetland) provide more than just talkin' can do.

What do we get out of any resolution system-elements that we don't get out of just talkin'? Articulating that is problematic, on-line, because any words we use will be hot-buttons and open to massive what-I-meant bullshit, and so I think actual play is a better context for that conversation.

Best,
Ron

P.S. I hope this message also explains why I think that the common explanation of role-playing, that dice & rules are a way for us to resolve disagreement about what happens ("I shot you! No you didn't!") is completely, thoroughly stupid.
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Callan S.
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« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2005, 07:21:17 PM »

Trying to keep away from hotbuttons:

Is resolution more like establishment? All the talking is like bartering for something. Sure, you can talk and talk and talk. But at some point someone says something like "Going once, going twice, SOLD!" and slams a hammer down/uses a mechanic. Now it's sold/established and no more talkin' will change that...you can't try and throw in another late bid.

Talking can achieve that, but sometimes you can talk your way out of an established moment and put it back up for negotiation. While mechanics...well, it's really hard to change a number by talking at it! So that means something that is established, stays established. Am I off track?
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Philosopher Gamer
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Jason Lee
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« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2005, 07:43:45 PM »

Another way of viewing it is to say that IIEE is linked only with explicit resolution and points of contact.  I can certainly see the power of that, but it places explicit mechanics in a privileged position.  I don't see how to reconcile that with the Lumpley Principle notion that any means by which the SIS is negotiated is System.

My view is right... here.  The only really important edit is in the middle:

Quote
'Regulated by mechanics' should be replaced by 'regulated by an external agent'.  Mechanics are one form of points of contact, but a player having to pass a statement through the GM for Validation is also a point of contact.
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- Cruciel
Vaxalon
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« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2005, 09:55:32 AM »


Is resolution more like establishment? All the talking is like bartering for something. Sure, you can talk and talk and talk. But at some point someone says something like "Going once, going twice, SOLD!" and slams a hammer down/uses a mechanic. Now it's sold/established and no more talkin' will change that...you can't try and throw in another late bid.


Capes doesn't really DO that though... nothing is ever "established". 
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"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!"
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Andrew Cooper
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« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2005, 11:11:23 AM »

Vax,

Not too long ago, I'd have agreed with you.  Then I actually got a few games under my belt.  In Capes, nothing is established permanently.  Things can and are established quite frequently though.  I'm not certain that this thread is really the place to discuss what players in Capes can and can't establish in the SiS.

I think I'm grokking the IIEE thing though.  When I'm playing D&D or whathaveyou and we're doing a bar scene and I narrate the barmaid coming over and taking our order and carrying on conversation, I'm just talking.  Sure the System says that I can do that and without the GM jumping in and saying "no" it just happens.  No resolution at all.  It's when I'm doing something that the GM or I (or someone else) thinks we shouldn't establish by just talking that IIEE becomes and issue because we have to explicitly use the System to resolve whatever I'm doing.

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TonyLB
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« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2005, 11:24:04 AM »

Andrew:  Nicely worded.  My question is "When the system explicitly says that Player A can establish Element X by just talking about it, even though the GM and every other player doesn't want it established, is that IIEE?"

Say, for instance, you're playing a game (heavily, heavily modifed Amber, for instance) where Player A has the high Warfare score in a purely Karmic system.  Player A says "My character swings his sword and chops off the ogres head.  Now it's dead."  The GM grits his teeth and curses under his breath.  He had plans for that Ogre!  But the rules are very clear:  Player A gets to establish that sequence of events, in its entirety, because his Warfare is just that much better than the Ogre's.  Is that Resolution?
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2005, 11:26:26 AM »

Hi Tony,

Yes, that is Resolution. They entered into the formal Resolution system the moment they compared Warfare scores with the tacit agreement to abide by them. I'm really not seeing why you're grappling so painfully with these ideas. That phone call option is still open.

Best,
Ron
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ewilen
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« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2005, 02:22:05 PM »

I just want to raise my hand and say (suggest) that Resolution can also be invoked even if nobody else is really "opposed" to the Player A's establishment of Element X. Player A can invoke Resolution just because he wants the structure it imposes (? or something). Although doing so may seem dumb when everyone else is willing to go along, that sort of attitude can and does deflate excitement. See for example the AP thread on a really awful L5R con game where the GM kept depriving the players of the pleasure of actually playing out the conclusion of fights.

I suppose this kind of dysfunction could be reinterpreted as the player saying "I fight the bad guy" (Intent) and the GM interpreting that as "I kill the bad guy" (all the way from Intent through Effect).
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Elliot Wilen, Berkeley, CA
Josh Roby
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« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2005, 03:55:39 PM »

I wrote a big long thing about what resolved means in the IIEE definition, but now I'm rereading that definition and I'm thinking 'resolved' should be replaced with 'connected' or 'married' or 'aligned' or something similar.  IIEE doesn't involve resolution; resolution involves IIEE.  Perhaps Ron didn't mean to reference the term Resolution in the IIEE definition, but even if that's the case, it's a trifle ambiguous.

I find Resolution to be a poor term in general, though, and I've personally ditched 'resolution' referring to dice in FLFS entirely.  'Resolution' implies that there is some sort of player conflict resolved, which is not always the case when we roll dice (or whatever).  It also implies the 'dice mechanics resolve disagreements' thing that Ron pointed out, which I'll agree is not accurate.  Dice can also add new elements, determine how elements are added, and qualify new or established elements.  And as Eliot points out, there may be other goals that are fulfilled by rolling dice (FLFS uses some die rolls and the ensuing characterization-narration to gain game-currency).  Secondarily, when I talk about narrative resolution, I don't want to confuse what I'm talking about with "game" resolution.

...or is this 'massive what-I-meant bullshit'?
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Callan S.
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« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2005, 07:02:18 PM »

I'll add further blind flailing on my part: A player enters into IIEE when they want something (that something needing crediblity granted to it, for the player to have it).

Saying "Brea opens her mouth and says X" isn't really an example of the player clearly wanting something. If for example, the GM says she doesn't say it because a matrix agent closed up her mouth, the player who doesn't want anything will go along with it.

A player who does want something from Brea's words, will invoke his matrix agent resistance save, or something like that. He'll enter into IIEE to get what he wants.
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John Kim
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« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2005, 08:48:23 PM »

Yes, that is Resolution. They entered into the formal Resolution system the moment they compared Warfare scores with the tacit agreement to abide by them. I'm really not seeing why you're grappling so painfully with these ideas.

Well, I suspect you're muddying the issue here by distinguishing "formal" Resolution, because Tony's question was about Resolution in general -- not just formal Resolution.  The important thing in my mind is emphasizing that most of the same principles apply to formal and informal resolution.  This is what the Lumpley Principle is about -- it defines System as everything including both die rolls, stat comparisons as well as "just talking".  (I have some semantic issues about using the term "System" for this, but the principle is strong.) 

In particular, you can take a game which is played with no numeric stats and no formal system... and still analyze it in terms of how IIEE operates.  I often will see a player say something in-character, and then later have either the words they say or the meaning of those words changed  (i.e. another player says "Before he gets to that, I signal the guy behind me" or whatever).  That IIEE at work just as much as saying "I cast my spell" followed by "I disrupt it with an attack of opportunity". 

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