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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 183 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [Ronnies] November results at last  (Read 14342 times)
Frank T
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« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2006, 04:03:58 PM »

I like that part about just picking games up and playing them. I so wish I had two, just two, freaks like me at hand that would do that with me on a regular basis. Four hours face to face on a Sunday afternoon, and not two hours on a Wednesday evening via Skype while stressed out from work. I can already name the first half-dozen of Ronny games I would love to try out that way. I'm trying to initiate some "hardcore playtesting weekend" event, but that won't happen until march.

- Frank
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Arturo G.
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Posts: 333


« Reply #16 on: January 02, 2006, 05:52:38 PM »


First, I'm with Frank. Many posts in The Forge in general produce me a terrible envy, or at least the feeling that I missed something really relevant to me during so many years before arriving here and re-discovering both, role-playing and my determination to design games. My Tuesday's 3-hours evenings are getting more or less regular, but it is not enough. For example, I'm still trying to find a slot to playtest my own October Ronnies entry for the second time. The paragraph which begins with "2. In the world of enjoyment as a role-player" really touches me deeply.

I should also say that the Ronnies really helped me to do the jump and understand that anyone with a clear idea of what he wants to play can begin a game quickly writting down the main concepts, and that such an effort also helps to fix up the ideas about it.

About the mutualistic effort, I understand it is a basic part of The Forge dynamics. I'm always having the feeling that I'm not finding enough time to really participate and do my little part.

Cheers,
Arturo
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Callan S.
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« Reply #17 on: January 03, 2006, 07:53:19 PM »

Hi Ron,

Quote
Then I wanted to scale back the efffort to every other month, but in hopes of fostering an ongoing Ronnies-like culture of game design and play which would persist between them, and with any luck, eventually, without them.
In terms of feedback, everything looks good apart from this founding stone. It's doomed. Essentially the Ronnies are like a group forming to play an RPG "Hey, I'm saying I'm really excited about running that thing (ie, game) where we all make games". The enthusiasm is like the rock that starts off other rocks in an avalanche.

I think you described your own motives as not altruism, but as a support for selling your own games. But if the Ronnies is like a game you've designed, what reward have you concoted for other people apart from yourself, to initiate a game/start an avalanche? What's in it for them?

PS: I've written a post in the past which was interpreted to have a 'GOTCHA!' tone. I hope this doesn't. In fact, I'm sadly remembering a fragmenting club from my past as I write - a bit different, of course. But the guy kept expecting it to just run by itself - that others would do as he did to keep it going, even though they didn't share the same motives.
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Philosopher Gamer
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #18 on: January 03, 2006, 08:58:27 PM »

Callan,

You've misinterpreted the text you've quoted, I think.

The only perpetuation I hope for after the Ronnies are over (as I can't do them indefinitely, obviously) is for an improvement in the culture, the general dialogue, of game design. I said, a Ronnies-like culture, not for people literally to run contests like the Ronnies. In such a culture, what's in it for any given person is exactly the same, for everyone - heightened quality of discourse, heightened attention to one's own works in reciprocal fashion, and heightened awareness of multiple possible connections and comparisons among a far-flung community of experimental (and inspiration-heavy) game design.

I will mar the dialogue with a moderator point, unfortunately. Despite your disclaimer, your post, when viewed as communication as opposed to whatever internal intent you had, does stink of "gotcha." Remember, I do not care about your intent. I only care about the text as communication. You were aware of this enough to feel the need to post the disclaimer, and actually, that ought to have been your warning to reconsider posting at all.

I do appreciate your effort to see my points clarified, and I do recognize that challenging points is one way to do that. Next time you feel that feeling, a couple hours of downtime and a full rewrite will ensure that you can challenge them in a way that is up-front and effective, without giving off that smell.

Best,
Ron
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GreatWolf
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designer of Dirty Secrets


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« Reply #19 on: January 03, 2006, 10:29:35 PM »

Quote
If I can see the bigger reward system, grasp the Currency, and get bug-eyed to transform the Color into System through play (think about that one!), then the hard work is over, and it's all playtesting and refinement from here.

Especially as I have Trollbabe perculating in my head right now, this clicked with me.  As you mentioned (somewhere), Trollbabe chargen is essentially all Color.  As I noted to my players, even the selection of your Number is just shifting around Effectiveness.  However, it was an eye-opener to see my players putting a lot of thought into hair color and horn type.  Sure, it had no hard "numbers on the paper" impact, but, in another way entirely, it was the Color details that completely set apart these two characters.  As I type, I'm realizing that there's a lot of this in Legends of Alyria, too, but I hadn't really thought about it that way before now.

Also, in the German boardgaming community, there's this ongoing debate about the importance of "theme".  Given that boardgaming "theme" = RPG Color, I'm taking all my opinions about theme and making all sorts of connections in my head.....

So, anyways, this is the bit that connected for me.  And, for the record, I'd be interested in further discussions of the place of Color in RPG Design.  I'll see if anything turns up in my next AP reports.
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Seth Ben-Ezra
Dark Omen Games
producing Legends of Alyria, Dirty Secrets, A Flower for Mara
coming soon: Showdown
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #20 on: January 04, 2006, 06:24:52 AM »

Hi Seth,

A blast from the past: Need information for my Alyria session. Can you see that I really needed Color as a means of invoking Setting during play, rather than raw Setting, in the traditional sense?

Best,
Ron
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GreatWolf
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designer of Dirty Secrets


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« Reply #21 on: January 04, 2006, 05:05:17 PM »

Yep.  My recent experience with Polaris really drove this home.  Makes me wonder if the text of our roleplaying games need less Setting and more Color.

But that's probably already an obvious point.
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Seth Ben-Ezra
Dark Omen Games
producing Legends of Alyria, Dirty Secrets, A Flower for Mara
coming soon: Showdown
Callan S.
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Posts: 3588


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« Reply #22 on: January 04, 2006, 06:27:23 PM »

Hi Ron,

I did missinterpret. I think what your aiming for will happen. Are you going to use any benchmarks for judging how effective it is, or sort of see how it goes?

On the moderating note: There's supposed to be this "My brow is furrowed, I'm concentrating hard" passion in the previous post to show I'm invested in it. But there's a failure in the wording I reflexively reach for to convey that passion. Point taken and thinking on it.
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Philosopher Gamer
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #23 on: January 04, 2006, 08:01:11 PM »

Hi Callan,

Benchmarks - interesting question. No, I don't think I have anything specific in mind. I'm open to what the Forge can do, given the prompting or seeding or whatever the Ronnies might be called, whatever it might be.

Best,
Ron
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #24 on: January 06, 2006, 08:08:37 AM »

Hiya,

Over in [Defenders of the Union] Ronnies feedback, Rob wrote,

Quote
Ron, you say you were hoping to see some nuances within the Left appear in this round's games - and I remember you saying back while the contest was still on that you wondered if the entries would support some dialogue as it relates to gaming and Left politics. So can I ask, did you see what you expected? Any thoughts on the treatment of Soviet politics in the games of this round in general? (I can take the question elsewhere if this is the wrong place for it.)

Across the submitted texts, I guess I see mainly potential rather than power - a lot like the "girlfriend hate" entries in the first round. Clearly people have stuff to say and stuff to pose as questions, but many stumbling blocks exist. Some are real-world social ("uh oh, if I write a game about how much a guy hates his girlfriend, then I better back it up with a gender-reversed mirror") and some are hampered by RPG design assumptions ("better lighten this up by making it alternate-history").

So I think it's still too early to tell. I'd like to see a lot of the games developed further and played, and for the real dialogue to blossom among the creators, players, and readers. This "real dialogue" wouldn't be a full-on political debate, which is better suited to blogs and other websites, but rather a solid step into RPG design that's about real stuff, and quite likely politically and internationally diverse.

I also don't want to overlook the other excellent potential in this round, specifically the bevy of fascinating "mud dragon" games. The weird thing is that most of them were really strong runners-up, but none of them got the award ... not really what I was expecting even after I'd read them all and taken notes, but when the time came to bite the bullet and slot all the games into groups, that's how it turned out.

Best,
Ron
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Sydney Freedberg
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« Reply #25 on: January 06, 2006, 08:43:45 AM »

Could you give us a more detailed breakdown of how games "clustered" around certain sets of meanings and/or mechanics, e.g. the potentially intriguing but as-yet overcautious Soviet political games, or the cool but not quite there "mud dragon" games? I'm particularly hoping for you to follow up on this comment from your earlier post:

For this batch in particular, it was incredibly hard to keep the games straight in my head, as they shared many similarities among techniques, terms, and meanings - yet not in the same combinations. So I'd be thinking, "OK, Dogs/dice mechanic, was this the one with the Soviet spies or the one with the politics?" Or, "OK, mud as slander, was this the one with the hidden cards to turn over, or is it the one with slander but not mud?"  Some of the things which flew back and forth among these 24 games like bats include the finking/slander issue, Connections, Endgame, Escalation, Fact Tokens, and above all within-game, make-or-break judgments upon one another's characters and sometimes upon players.

I'd love to see either
a) your catalogue of the recurring game-mechanical (e.g. "Escalation") or imaginative-content elements (e.g. "Soviet politics"), or combinations of elements, saying what you find cool/significant about this particular pattern showing up so much, and then listing which games include that element (e.g. "Escalation is cool 'cause of this, and it shows up in Game A, Game B, Game C, and sort of in Game D.")
b) your list of the games annotated with which of the recurring features each one manifests (e.g. "Game A has Escalation, Mud-as-Slander, and giant fiery lizards; Game B has Escalation, Mud-as-Slander, Soviet politics, and Fact Tokens").
c) whatever categorization you actually already did in your own notes to help yourself think this through.

My particular personal interest is that so far, my apocalypse girl seems to be out on its lonesome instead of falling clearly into a larger group, especially in terms of mechanics (i.e. no other Capes derivatives), although its content has some slant-rhyme similarities to the apocalyptic clash of iconic figures in Dragon vs. the Gun and Golem vs. Dragon. Obviously the cladistics aren't going to be obvious, natural, and immutable, but seeing the patterns would be really interesting.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #26 on: January 06, 2006, 08:51:10 AM »

Hi Sydney,

I have notes that speak to this question in detail, but to write it up as an essay/thread for others, I must say, "I'm not paid enough for that right now." You'll do fine just reading them over yourself and building your own summaries.

Best,
Ron
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Rob MacDougall
Member

Posts: 160


« Reply #27 on: January 06, 2006, 09:34:09 AM »

Ron wrote:
Quote
Clearly people have stuff to say and stuff to pose as questions, but many stumbling blocks exist. Some are real-world social ("uh oh, if I write a game about how much a guy hates his girlfriend, then I better back it up with a gender-reversed mirror") and some are hampered by RPG design assumptions ("better lighten this up by making it alternate-history").

Moving from Soviet history to alternate history isn't necessarily a case of ducking the question, is it? It could be a way of opening up the range of possible interpretations. In the same way that Dogs in the Vineyard steps back a little from being a game about real-life Mormons. People may have already decided what they think about the real-life USSR and be pretty fixed in their views. With the alternate-USSR in Defenders of the Union, for example, or the farm in General Mud, there's room for players to decide in play whether the place is a worker's paradise, an abbatoir, or something in between. That said, I do also feel the urge to step back from a head-on examination of Stalinist Russia, and maybe that is just using genre as a security blanket. I respect Holomodor for what it takes on, but I'm not in a big hurry to play it on a Saturday night.
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Sydney Freedberg
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« Reply #28 on: January 06, 2006, 09:39:52 AM »

I have notes that speak to this question in detail, but to write it up as an essay/thread for others, I must say, "I'm not paid enough for that right now."

[annoyingly persistent] "Not right now" = "maybe in a week or two, if I get around to it" or "bloody never" or "somebody else take a stab at it and I'll comment"? [/annoyingly persistent]
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #29 on: January 06, 2006, 02:19:45 PM »

How about, "You do it, Sydney." That works perfectly.

Best,
Ron
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