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Author Topic: [D&D] Good solid gamism?  (Read 24329 times)
ffilz
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« Reply #30 on: November 15, 2005, 08:45:10 AM »

Except there isn't really much play between the dungeons. Between dungeons, the game is an express train on railroad tracks straight to the next dungeon (with one opportunity for a choice of which dungeon next). The play during this period is almost purely color and is not a non-gamist CA. Even the choice of which dungeon to go to next doesn't diverge from gamist play (it would be perfectly fine in gamist play to ask the players if they want to fight a bad-ass dragon or a clan of giants next).

I strongly suspect this game is so successefull because it DOESN'T mix agendas.

Frank
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Frank Filz
Halzebier
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Posts: 216


« Reply #31 on: November 15, 2005, 09:04:59 AM »

I guess what I meant by realism in my post wasn't really the world-physics kind of realism but the type that the players live in.  Saying that the elven ranger had his head bashed in when he was knocked out (ala Final Fantasy) may be realistic for the world but if the characters never die do to metagame reasons it's really hard to justify their characters reactions in-game.  Players and characters live in a semi-riskless universe.  This can still be roleplayed but in some ways it's more difficult.

This disconnect - the character's life is at stake, the player's isn't - cannot be avoided, but it can - arguably - be lessened by tying negative consequences for the player to character death. For instance, having to sit out the rest of the session is a major deterrent to a player who wants his character to attack his king just for the heck of it.

(That said, a game where such a suicidal action is desired by some, but unacceptable to others has a deeper problem.)

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When a character does die, I usually let her/him make a character that's about two levels below the rest of the party.  If (s)he wanted to make a character as high as the party I'd probably let her/him provided that my other players wouldn't mind (they probably wouldn't).  So the highest difference I've encountered is probably about 4 levels but the gap was pretty quickly closed (do to D&D's square mechanism).

That's certainly an advantage of exponentional experience awards/requirements (though the concept was abandoned for D&D 3e and 3.5e due to its disadvantages).

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I like weaker creatures because it gives you some leeway for tactical preperation.  With smaller monsters the focus isn't on defeating the players directly.  As suggested earlier with random encounters, it's about the war.  You're trying to bring down their resources or one of the creatures is stealing things from them or killing prisoners or whatever while they're trying to fight them off.

My problem is that this approach often lacks iron-clad victory conditions. I.e. if the characters needlessly blow their potions and one-shot items on random encounters to the dungeon, will the DM really go ahead as planned and hose them? If I trust the DM on this matter, all is well. If I suspect that he's pulling his punches, using monsters weaker than the ones planned, providing a few much needed potions by way of a monster's loot etc., all the fun goes out of the game for me.

[examples of non-combat challenges snipped]

These sound pretty good and, as Mike pointed out, even haggling for a sword can be an arena for conflict if done right.

Speaking of Mike's excellent post, I'd like to add a point about risk:

Generally speaking, the more there is at risk, the higher the level of excitement is. As a recipe for a successful game, this works only up to a certain point, though. At some point - which varies from person to person -, excitement turns into anxiety and the frustration of the losers disspells any joy they have had before or could have after the loss.

For instance, few people would really enjoy a game of Russian Roulette. Similarly, having to sit out the rest of the evening or being saddled with an ineffective character for the next ten sessions is a price most, if not all players consider too high - and yet, many play in games where noone knows that there are alternatives (with their own drawbacks, mind you).

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Well why NOT eliminate the shuffle time entirely now that we've identified it as a simulationist priority?  Well that would make it little more than a strategy game, which is fine if that's what your into.

This question reminds me of Ron's 'hard question' for gamists (from his essay in the articles section)

http://www.indie-rpgs.com/articles/21/

Quote from: Ron Edwards
Why is role-playing your chosen venue as a social hobby? There are lots and lots of them that unequivocally fit Step On Up with far less potential for encountering conflicting priorities: volleyball, chess, or pool, if you like the Crunch; horse races or Las Vegas if you like the Gamble; hell, even organized amateur sports like competitive martial arts or sport fishing.

Food for thought.

(I'd elaborate, but unfortunately I don't have time for a longer post right now.)

Regards,

Hal
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #32 on: November 15, 2005, 10:31:07 AM »

Ron's why question is pretty easily answered...why play volleyball, when you can play basketball? Because they're different forms of competition, each with their own skills that are challenged. RPGs challenge you to use your imagination as a tool to solve problems in addition to all sorts of logistical analyses, etc, etc. They test abilities that no other sort of activity tests. The real question is whether the overhead is worth it.

In any case, Eric, yes, in this case, the agenda in question is being supported by moving along as quickly as possible from arena to arena. I thought I was clear about that. Any decision-making offered in between is going to distract from that.

GM: "Which cult do you join?"
Player: "Which makes my character more powerful?"
GM: "They're equal."
Player: "Then why did you bother to ask me? Who cares! I take the cult on the left. Now can we move on?"

Eric, play where more than one agenda is going on is what we call incoherent, and often leads to dysfunctional play - like almost all play that you've ever described in Actual Play. By avoiding having more than one agenda, we fix that. Not by trying to pander to all of them. You've been on this site for how long now, and this idea still hasn't sunk in?

Mike
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Rob Alexander
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« Reply #33 on: November 15, 2005, 10:34:54 AM »

Hmmm...

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In gamism, it's largely the GM's job to shuffle players from arena to arena.

Mike, maybe I'm reading your post in an overly absolute way, but I don't think I like the idea of a game that's all gamist challenge and no filler. For starters, you need 'slack time' if you're going to have tension. Unrelenting excitement soon palls; in a typical horror film, there's a lot of breathing space between the shocks.

A large part of play, for me, is 'immersion'. Not in the 'immersion in character' sense but in terms of the feeling of really being in a dark scary dungeon and fighting horrrible monsters. I want that, indeed need that, about up to the point where it would become physically painful.

Hell, if I could feel a very muted version of my characters physical pain.... I might even sign up for that too :).   

On reflection, I think I'm really an "adventure gamer", rather than a "roleplayer" - I wouldn't say I don't give a toss about 'roleplaying' per se, but that's not far off the mark. What I want to do (as a player) is have immersive, vicarious experiences, and all my good gaming experiences (as a player) have been of this nature, I think.

I think I'm interested in creating worlds and stories as well, but as for 'playing a role'.... that can go hang as far as I'm concerned.

Maybe I'm exagerrating a little here, but after years of worrying about 'roleplaying' it's quite a relief to realise that I don't care much, and that I was wasting my time looking for it. It's the other bits that I'm actually interested in.

What vicarious experiences do I want to have? I want to experience fighting monsters and seizing treasure in hostile, complex, maze-like dungeon environments. Always did, still do. There's nothing quite like being underground, and I spend most of my real life topside.

Part of this is greatly helped by a certain consistent realism in space and time portrayal. This can be gamist, yes, in terms of "how fast to we move, how cautious do we go, do we search for traps, etc.", but it's also necessary for providing 'reality' in the setting.

For example, returning to an adventure site is quite attractive to me, although I don't think I've *ever* done it as such in a rolegame. This current campaign comes close in that the (out-of-dungeon) playing area is tiny and we visit the same towns again and again. That's cool, it helps to make the world real and believable.

On Sunday, I ran a session in this campaign as a guest DM. I'll start a new thread about that soon. My emotional response to that illustrates the above pretty well, I think.

Looking back over the above, in CA terms I'm saying that I need some Sim with my Gam or I get wind. Reasonable? Or likely to lead to dysfunction sooner or later?
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ffilz
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« Reply #34 on: November 15, 2005, 10:59:12 AM »

Rob - you're right, those interludes are necessary. Indeed, I think they are part of what defines an RPG as opposed to a pure war game. The color is important, but it doesn't hold the same importance that the challenge holds. I think one important part of the interludes is that they give time to savor the success (for gamism, for narativism or simulationism, interludes are also important, but to savor the particulars of those agendas, though for simulationism, the interludes may not seem so much different than the rest of the action).

What is key though is that the interludes allow reflection and focus on the agenda at hand. Being turned loose in the city to haggle with merchants over dying armor green (sorry - borrowing a specific example from a related off-board thread) most likely has nothing to do with a gamist agenda (though obviously you could construct a scenario where that would be important, and getting the best price is also important). Spending an hour poring over the list of magic items and deciding what to buy with one's treasure that will maximize character effectiveness (and prepare for any known challenges) most definitely is.

Frank
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Frank Filz
Mike Holmes
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« Reply #35 on: November 15, 2005, 11:12:57 AM »

Note: crossposted with Frank.

Mike, maybe I'm reading your post in an overly absolute way, but I don't think I like the idea of a game that's all gamist challenge and no filler.
You're talking about a particular sub-agenda of gamism (or, potentially, gam-sim incoherence). Which is not problematic with what I've said, really. That is, suspense is built up by giving players input that's of an indeterminate nature in terms of danger. They hear a noise? Was that just some water dripping, or the approach of goblins? This, actually, is part of the arena. That is, in some play, identification of danger from amidst "noise" descriptions is, in fact, a form of challenge. Wondering whether or not to respond to such potential dangers is what makes for the suspense.

Basically "Arena of Conflict" is a pretty broad thing, and doesn't mean shuffling players from fight to fight. "Downtime" between adventures and looking for new equipment and such, again, can also be a gamism challenge. So pacing on the intensity of dangers faced is a technique that forms subsets of this sort of play. I still posit that putting a character in a situation in which he can only make a thematic or sim decision is pretty dull for a player who wants gamism from play.

Which is not to say that occasional forays into play that supports other modes isn't potentially a good thing. Shifting is fine, if it actually does occur coherently. So, overall the statement is more like "The job of the GM is to shuffle players to decisions where they understand what sort of interest there is in the decision to be made." For gamism, this is merely most often gamism conflicts. Which, again, can be pretty much anything.

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Maybe I'm exagerrating a little here, but after years of worrying about 'roleplaying' it's quite a relief to realise that I don't care much, and that I was wasting my time looking for it. It's the other bits that I'm actually interested in.
Cool. You may, by turns, find out that you come back to other forms later. But if by "roleplaying" you mean first person portrayal and dialog, I'm with you. That is, that stuff is fine, but not the end-all of play.

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Part of this is greatly helped by a certain consistent realism in space and time portrayal. This can be gamist, yes, in terms of "how fast to we move, how cautious do we go, do we search for traps, etc.", but it's also necessary for providing 'reality' in the setting.
This is another subset of gamism, what I call pinball gamism (contrast pinball sim or Open Sim), where the arena is, well, very much a physical space with rules that represent physics. I find this very fun myself. Same effect you get from playing a First Person Shooter, right? Just done in the mind.

I'm not saying that gamism requires any throwing out of any simulative elements at all. The question is only to what extent you want to represent the simulative elements. As I said before, I'm betting you don't want to have to deal with trips to the bathroom, whether or not you finish eating what you start, or whether you go to the end of corridors that you state you're walking down. Right? All RPG play is abstracted to some extent. You're just looking for less abstraced arenas of conflict. Like, The Whole World.

Some people like that, some people don't. It does have a tendency to drift over to a sim agenda, from what I've seen, but not automatically by any means. Anyhow it's still about getting from arena to arena. Even if that arena is the whole world by parts.

Mike
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Rob Alexander
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« Reply #36 on: November 15, 2005, 11:40:19 AM »

Halzebier said:
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This sounds prefectly viable, though it has the potential drawback of wasted prep work. For instance, I like to draw up very elaborate battlemaps in advance (e.g. a Robo-Rally inspired factory map with conveyor belts etc.) and that prep is wasted if the player characters can avoid combat there

This kind of prep is something I'm really keen to avoid. A big attraction of RPGs is the flexibility (compared to, say, a board game like HeroQuest (no relation)), in that a GM can create a huge dungeon with just a few ideas and a scribbled map.

In the game I DM'd on Sunday (will post about that soon, if I find something coherent to say about it), I had rough topological map for the above-ground area, then maps for the first few rooms of the three accessible underground areas. Given that the party didn't need to go underground, and were going to be warned not to, I thought that this would be enough. If I needed more, I could ad-lib from that point onwards. When asked for distances, I just looked at my sketch and guessed. Then that guess was canonical. Likewise with the type of stone or most of the room fittings.

Of course the players did go underground, and it was great, but that's for another post.

For that game, we didn't use a battleboard, but if we had I'd have just used my guesses to draw it on the fly. A blank battleboard that I can scribble on with coloured pens is my favourite kind. I think I'd find a pre-printed map actually off-putting.


rob
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John Harper
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« Reply #37 on: November 15, 2005, 02:06:14 PM »

Mike said it in a 'round-about way, but let's remember this:

ALL agendas have the five elements of exploration in common: Character, Situation, System, Setting, and Color.

So, when Mike says, "move them from arena to arena" of course he's not saying "but have no color or setting." Those things are a given. He's talking about an issue of productive focus for the game, not trying to enumerate every single event that should transpire in the game, ever.
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Eric J.
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« Reply #38 on: November 15, 2005, 02:48:09 PM »

Glad the game went well Rob.  I'd appreciate a more detailed follow up post.

There are a few things I want to tackle and I can't think of any neccecary order so I won't address them that way.

Moving between dungeons is important.  It isn't as simple as having setting and color in most games.  In most D&D games this time serves as downtime for characters and gives them the chance to change direction.  From a purely gamist standpoint it's not logical to speed up the downtime because it could be ELIMINATED altogether.

Why not just say: Okay, you gain full HP, level up and spend up to one half of your treasure.  Now you're in THIS dungeon.

That would be fine but it would eleminate other parts of D&D.  This brings us to my next point.

There is no such thing as a game totally oriented towards a creative agenda.  An RPG is practically defined as something having all three.  Even other game types have aspects that some would consider oriented towards a specific agenda.  Chess is partly simulating a battle.  Why aren't you trying to protect your pawns (your weakest and most numerous piece)?  If communism had been the only form of economy when Chess was being invented maybe it would have.

Okay, bad example.  But I think that it's obvious that most games have aspects of all three agendas.  This brings me to my next point (addressing one of Mike's points).  Differing agendas are fine if they aren't conflicting, that is if they don't mix priorities.  Usually, and especially in game design, this is difficult because mechanics usually favor one agenda but there aren't any rules that say that you can't change agendas frequently and focus on them when you do.

This is one of the things that really helped me to have great games, Mike.  For a couple years we had this Star Wars game going (I think you posted in the original thread) and it was a blast because I met everyone's different CAs at different times.  Some sessions would be nothing but character exploration but other sessions were romps through dungeons.  When I would do this I would say: Okay, next session is going to be a romp through a dungeon.  One time they found that one person had been kidnapped and they wanted to go rescue her.  I constructed a city for them to go through, gave them 12 Jedi with different abilities to help them and one of the players who hadn't had much leading role promptly divided them into squads and we had a couple sessions of that.  Two sessions later they were arguing with the main villain about his motives and the meaning of fate.

The same thing works here.  I spotted it and Rob basically confirmed it.

Yes Rob, you have have two different agendas as long as their priorities don't get in the way.  That's when it's incoherent.  If your god uses a lance and you want to use a lance for that reason but lances only deal half damage as swords (which the rest of the party use) then you have conflicting priorities.  That's when it becomes incoherent.  Otherwise it's fine.

May the wind be always at your back,
-Pyron
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #39 on: November 16, 2005, 02:05:57 PM »

Eric, from what I can see from your post, all you've done is to put forward your own preferences, and display an ignorance of the theory under discussion. Compounded by the incorporation of several logical fallacies. I'll try to correct the bewildering array of mistakes.


Moving between dungeons is important.  It isn't as simple as having setting and color in most games.  In most D&D games this time serves as downtime for characters and gives them the chance to change direction. 
First, this is just your own personal preference. People do play without any time between dungeons. In fact, in the earliest editions of D&D there was no concept of anything outside of dungeons. You made a character, you selected equipment from a list, and then you were in the dungeon. If you leveled up, it happened right then and there. And people had lots of fun with it. In any case, you admit that it's only in "most" cases that this is true.

Second, I never said that you shouldn't have time between dungeons. This is a straw man fallacy. When I said move between arenas of conflict, I even gave an example of having buying a sword be an arena. So I have no idea where you get the idea that I'm saying not to do between dungeons. For all I care, do nothing but stuff outside of dungeons. Just be sure, if it's a gamism agenda, to get to the gamism choices in the arenas. Whatever those arenas might be.

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From a purely gamist standpoint it's not logical to speed up the downtime because it could be ELIMINATED altogether.
Good thing I never made this illogical argument either. Straw man again.

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There is no such thing as a game totally oriented towards a creative agenda.
Well, GNS is about play, to be technical. Games don't have creative agendas, though they can support them potentially. In any case, there is a lot of play that has only one agenda. It's largely an accepted design principle here at the Forge that creating a game that supports more than one mode is a bad idea.

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An RPG is practically defined as something having all three. 
Actually there's very little consensus on what defines a RPG. But in any case, no, RPGs are in no way defined by the Creative Agendas by which they're played.

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Even other game types have aspects that some would consider oriented towards a specific agenda.
Nope, Creative Agenda only applies to RPGs. That is, as a theory nobody has seriously looked at it's application beyond RPGs. To do so cavalierly is reckless and doesn't help your case at all.

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Chess is partly simulating a battle. 
Are you implying that this simulation is simulationism? Confounding these two things like this is one of the oldest and most classic misidentifications of the simulationism CA. If chess were presented as a RPG, it's rules would be decidedly supportive of gamism.

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Why aren't you trying to protect your pawns (your weakest and most numerous piece)?  If communism had been the only form of economy when Chess was being invented maybe it would have.
You're arguing that it's a simulation because pawns are a representation of some historical structure? Fortunately because of the last point I don't have to correct this absurd notion (I could go on all day...).

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But I think that it's obvious that most games have aspects of all three agendas.
About as obvious as dogs being cats. I think I know what you're trying to say, it's something that people have called the Atomic Model of GNS. But that's not the model as it stands. In any case it's not a competing model and doesn't obviate the original model in any way.

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Differing agendas are fine if they aren't conflicting, that is if they don't mix priorities. 
The definition of a mode is that it has a mutually exclusive set of priorities from another. So this is a contradictory statement on the face of it.

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Usually, and especially in game design, this is difficult because mechanics usually favor one agenda but there aren't any rules that say that you can't change agendas frequently and focus on them when you do.
Actually, the problem with RPGs is that the rules usually are presented to support more than one CA, which leads to incoherence, which tends to be dysfunctional (meaning not fun). What's difficult, and beneficial is to create games that support only one agenda so that play doesn't break down this way. We spend lots of time here tying to achieve just that./

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For a couple years we had this Star Wars game going (I think you posted in the original thread) and it was a blast because I met everyone's different CAs at different times.
All I can say is that it sounds like your romanticizing. That is, all I remember from those posts about that game is how it was constantly blowing up, players including yourself weren't having fun, and it was a general train-wreck of a game. The threads are still there if you want to dredge them back up.

Further, all of us told you what the problem was in GNS terms, and apparently you still haven't got the message.

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When I would do this I would say: Okay, next session is going to be a romp through a dungeon. 
Note that it is entirely possible to shift modes of play. That is, if/when you did prepare your players to play gamism, and they got what they expected and enjoyed it, well, that's just proof of the theory.

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The same thing works here.  I spotted it and Rob basically confirmed it.
I don't even know to what you are refering here. All I see is a game that is working as long as it's focused on gamism. Where the only problems are when it drifts into something else momentarily.

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If your god uses a lance and you want to use a lance for that reason but lances only deal half damage as swords (which the rest of the party use) then you have conflicting priorities.  That's when it becomes incoherent.  Otherwise it's fine.
You're pointing out how the system is promoting incoherence, and then saying that if it doesn't cause problems it's fine. That's some odd logic you have there.

Yes, system can be overcome to come up with a coherent agenda. But that doesn't make the system good. Same with techniques like how you as GM move players from arena to arena.

You really need to re-read the essays (if you've ever read them, which is hard to imagine).

Mike
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John Harper
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« Reply #40 on: November 16, 2005, 02:17:29 PM »

Yes. Well said, Mike.
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Eric J.
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« Reply #41 on: November 16, 2005, 05:23:48 PM »

:p

Alright, I know that forgiquette doesn't include emoticons but I think that my little bit of silliness there was needed to balance the rest of my post which is in fact going to be written seriously (at least as serious as I can).

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Moving between dungeons is important.  It isn't as simple as having setting and color in most games.  In most D&D games this time serves as downtime for characters and gives them the chance to change direction.
First, this is just your own personal preference. People do play without any time between dungeons. In fact, in the earliest editions of D&D there was no concept of anything outside of dungeons. You made a character, you selected equipment from a list, and then you were in the dungeon. If you leveled up, it happened right then and there. And people had lots of fun with it. In any case, you admit that it's only in "most" cases that this is true.

I'm not explaining this from a personal standpoint at all.  I meant that most D&D games are played this way (I highly suspect) and I'm trying to apply what I say to actual play and this thread's game in general so most of what I say can be considered from that standpoint.  I'm not saying that it couldn't be played that way or anything like that but from what Rob has said it isn't being played that way in his game.  I was suggestion some reasons for that.

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From a purely gamist standpoint it's not logical to speed up the downtime because it could be ELIMINATED altogether.
Good thing I never made this illogical argument either. Straw man again.
But didn't you?  You said that to facilitate purely gamist play that the time between dungeons should be kept to a minimum.  Well the true minimum is no time.  I'm suggesting that if you suggest that there should be some out-of-dungeon time that you aren't really doing the best that you can to facilitate a purely gamist agenda.
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There is no such thing as a game totally oriented towards a creative agenda.
Well, GNS is about play, to be technical. Games don't have creative agendas, though they can support them potentially. In any case, there is a lot of play that has only one agenda. It's largely an accepted design principle here at the Forge that creating a game that supports more than one mode is a bad idea.

Really?  Well if that is the accepted notion I dissagree.

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An RPG is practically defined as something having all three.
Actually there's very little consensus on what defines a RPG. But in any case, no, RPGs are in no way defined by the Creative Agendas by which they're played.

I guess I shouldn't have made such a blanketing statement like that in the middle of what I said  without elaborating.  What I meant is probably too divergent and difficult to defend that I will withdraw it for now.

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Even other game types have aspects that some would consider oriented towards a specific agenda.
Nope, Creative Agenda only applies to RPGs. That is, as a theory nobody has seriously looked at it's application beyond RPGs. To do so cavalierly is reckless and doesn't help your case at all.

I have a case of overzealousness.  It has endured 13 years of public education.  It cannot be cured.  I guess what I meant was that other games could be looked at as using specific agendas.  I've explored this in other threads and gotten mixed responses.  Are you saying that it isn't worth entertaining the notion long enough to explore it?

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Chess is partly simulating a battle.
Are you implying that this simulation is simulationism? Confounding these two things like this is one of the oldest and most classic misidentifications of the simulationism CA. If chess were presented as a RPG, it's rules would be decidedly supportive of gamism.

No, I'm not implying that and I'm surprised that you're scrutinizing an example of mine that I already admitted was bad.  Chess can be looked at in different ways, fulfilling different functions.  Multiple elements were considered when creating chess and multiple elements are considered when playing chess.  It would not be the same if it were not a simulation of something.

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But I think that it's obvious that most games have aspects of all three agendas.
About as obvious as dogs being cats. I think I know what you're trying to say, it's something that people have called the Atomic Model of GNS. But that's not the model as it stands. In any case it's not a competing model and doesn't obviate the original model in any way.
Dog's aren't cats?  What?  (Okay, not entirely serious)  I've never heard of the atomic model of GNS so I won't address that.  I'm surprised that you commented in this way.  Most games that I read about are addressed from one or two different agendas.  When players play a game they tend to bring different agendas to the game (I believe that this tendancy was one of the big inspirers of GNS in the first place).  Between differing design goals and player goals it doesn't figure that most games will contain aspects of the three?

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Differing agendas are fine if they aren't conflicting, that is if they don't mix priorities.
The definition of a mode is that it has a mutually exclusive set of priorities from another. So this is a contradictory statement on the face of it.

Really?  I don't think so.  I think that it's reasonable to say that their priorities tend to interfere with eachother but I don't think that their specific priorities neccecarilly conflict.  For instance: In many RPG books characters start off with the same resources which is typically a gamist priority.  A group could be narrativist oriented but still keep starting off with the same resources.  If this didn't get in the way of their narrativist agenda in play they would not be conflicting priorities.
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Usually, and especially in game design, this is difficult because mechanics usually favor one agenda but there aren't any rules that say that you can't change agendas frequently and focus on them when you do.
Actually, the problem with RPGs is that the rules usually are presented to support more than one CA, which leads to incoherence, which tends to be dysfunctional (meaning not fun). What's difficult, and beneficial is to create games that support only one agenda so that play doesn't break down this way. We spend lots of time here tying to achieve just that.

Right.  What's your point?
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For a couple years we had this Star Wars game going (I think you posted in the original thread) and it was a blast because I met everyone's different CAs at different times.
All I can say is that it sounds like your romanticizing. That is, all I remember from those posts about that game is how it was constantly blowing up, players including yourself weren't having fun, and it was a general train-wreck of a game. The threads are still there if you want to dredge them back up.

Further, all of us told you what the problem was in GNS terms, and apparently you still haven't got the message.

Um... no.  There's a thread called the end of Pyron's Woes or something like that.  A couple of years ago I started having great games and I hardly posted about them here.  I think I got the message regarding GNS because my games improved as my understanding of GNS did.  As I said I eased the problem by changing the agenda at different times.  As for the old threads, I have no need to dredge them up.  You can do that if you want though.

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The same thing works here.  I spotted it and Rob basically confirmed it.
I don't even know to what you are refering here. All I see is a game that is working as long as it's focused on gamism. Where the only problems are when it drifts into something else momentarily.

I should have been more specific.  I meant that the game is encountering a mix of sim/narr priorities. 

Rob said:
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Looking back over the above, in CA terms I'm saying that I need some Sim with my Gam or I get wind. Reasonable? Or likely to lead to dysfunction sooner or later?

I think it is reasonable as long as you do it right and keep a solid focus on gamism.

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If your god uses a lance and you want to use a lance for that reason but lances only deal half damage as swords (which the rest of the party use) then you have conflicting priorities.  That's when it becomes incoherent.  Otherwise it's fine.
You're pointing out how the system is promoting incoherence, and then saying that if it doesn't cause problems it's fine. That's some odd logic you have there.

I'm pointing out how a system can be incoherent.  If it avoides incoherency like this it doesn't cause a problem.

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Yes, system can be overcome to come up with a coherent agenda. But that doesn't make the system good. Same with techniques like how you as GM move players from arena to arena.

I don't understand why you're saying here.  Could you please clarify?  Anyway, I think that this thread is moving off course.  It's kindof devolved into a purely theoretical discussion which isn't why I posted in this thread to begin with.

I'll clarify my (sadly) only real point that belongs in this thread: I think that a game can be a good one even if it doesn't meet only one agenda.

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You really need to re-read the essays (if you've ever read them, which is hard to imagine)

I dunno.  I can imagine quite a bit.  (  =) Okay I lied.)

May the wind be always at your back,
-Empyrealmortal
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Callan S.
Member

Posts: 3588


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« Reply #42 on: November 16, 2005, 07:11:30 PM »

Toooo....much...quoting! Please stop!

Okay, on the removal of death:
Player "I'm really invested in the fighting in dungeons game"
GM pulls out a space pirate game.
"What are you doing? I'm not at all interested in space pirates!"
GM "Well, the dungeon game doesn't work properly. And mechanically both games are much the same, so I think you are actually interested in playing this game"

Many people are invested in the possibility of PC death. It's just as much part of a game for them as having dragons or dungeons in play. Dungeons, dragons & death!

That player investment is pretty problematic in terms of continued play, there is no doubt. But if your players are invested in it, then your pretty much stuck.


On investment:
Liking stuff between dungeons isn't automatically simulationism. It's easily a renewal process of investment, getting jazzed up about the game world and pumped to play. What you do when you play, shows your prefered agenda. What you do to get pumped up tells us nothing about agenda.
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Philosopher Gamer
<meaning></meaning>
Eric J.
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Posts: 396


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« Reply #43 on: November 16, 2005, 09:54:08 PM »

Alright, I'll stop.

I agree what your post, Callan.  Though I agree that outside of the dungeon isn't nearly automatically simulationism.  I would stipulate, however, that in many D&D games there is a sim. mindset (just take a look at 3.5.  You have sim. in a lot of places) and it occasinally finds its outlet in the realm of inbetween dungeons.

May the wind be always at your back,
-Pyron
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Rob Alexander
Member

Posts: 76


« Reply #44 on: November 17, 2005, 01:25:22 AM »

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Liking stuff between dungeons isn't automatically simulationism. It's easily a renewal process of investment, getting jazzed up about the game world and pumped to play. What you do when you play, shows your prefered agenda. What you do to get pumped up tells us nothing about agenda.

That makes sense. Kind of like the cut scenes in a computer game; you're not really playing (since you're basically on rails) but you still enjoy it, and it "renews you investment" as you describe. The actual play resumes when you start the next level / enter the dungeons.

I've experienced this in computer games before, most recently Warcraft III (although in that case I didn't much care the actual gameplay, so I lost interest as soon as the levels became even slightly difficult).

So, if this isn't sim... what would a sim-oriented player want here? If I was a sim-oriented player who'd just been dragged through a dungeon crawl, what would I want to do once I got out? (Assume I've never heard the word 'incoherence' and don't have much ability to observe the responses of the other players.)
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