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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 49 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [Middle Earth - home brew] - A first, another group with the same play style!  (Read 11777 times)
Silmenume
Member

Posts: 467


« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2006, 02:55:36 AM »

Hey there Caldis, now I reply to you!

This is not a problem for sim because that is the heart of what sim is, getting the play right. Accepting constructive denial as Ron put it in one of the last few posts in the GNS forumThe dream is created before the play even begins it has nothing to do with their decisions creating it, the dream is simulated in play.

Red highlighting added.

With all due respect – that is utterly, completely and shockingly – wrong.  (To me, that is – and what do I know?)  What is created in play is the Dream – via player input.  You statement describes everything that is wrong confused and just plain backward with regards to the understanding of Sim.  The play you describe is Zilchplay – as in the Players’ input amounts to Zilch to what is created.  The model is explicitly clear that the action of player creation is expressed during the confrontation of conflict.  Going back to the Lumpley Principle, if one or all defers all credibility to the mechanics then the players are not deciding, and by extension the totality of the model, anything – Zilch.  Addressing conflict is the dynamo of role-play.  That which does not touch on conflict is Color – patina.  Color is certainly an experience multiplier, but it must act on something else; and that something else is the players’ addressing of conflict.  If all (or all the important/major) conflict credibility assignments are deferred to the mechanics then the players have deferred all their credibility and hence deferred their all input.  By the Model they have become Color generators – and that play style, by way of the Model, falls squarely into the category of Zilchplay.

One cannot have the Dream before play, because that, by definition, falls outside the Model.  The Dream does not; nay, cannot exist outside the players’ efforts.  Something else might exist outside of Exploration, but it is most certainly cannot be the Dream.  That’s foundational to the Model; human beings sharing imaginings.  Just as there is no Narrativism if the Theme is fixed prior to play, there is no Simulationism if the Dream is fixed prior to play.  Now, there may be the source material upon which the Dream will use as seed, but that source material will be altered during the course of play if the players are protagonized and you can’t have CA expression without protagonized players.

Now, what you described may be what is called as Sim and what I am describing may ultimately find another name, but I firmly assert this – What you describe and what I describe are as proudly incompatible and different in play as Gam/Nar are from what you described.  The difference being simply this – protagonism regarding conflict (G/N/and the type of play I describe which I believe is Sim) and deprotagonism regarding conflict (Zilchplay/the type of play you described above/what is currently called Sim).  Those two divisions are utterly incompatible and rightly so.

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No that's not what I've said at all.  What I've said is that your group has accepted the idea that removing players who dont live up to your standards is socially acceptable.  Whether it's because they dont have the same agenda or there not on the same page with you as to what the game is about the answer is the same.  In other groups dropping people is not socially accepted, therefore they have adopted other means to get people on the same page,  personality mechanics being one of them.

Red highlighting added.

First of all, let me apologize if I misrepresented you or mistook your statement.  That was not my intention!

I’m trying not to just gainsay your positions as much as possible, but again I’m going to have to disagree with your arguments.  While I do agree that groups that don’t share compatible CA’s often have issues with removing such players, but your conclusion is just a glaring example of the Geek Social Fallacy in operation.  The personality mechanics don’t make the game any more functional for the mismatched player, rather they function to muzzle said player’s CA expression thus making the whole game experience more enjoyable for the remaining players.  Again this is the Big Model 101.  You can’t “force” players to engage a CA they aren’t interested in expressing.  On top of the essays, the various threads that have popped up on the failure to “sneak up on CA” bears out the idea that CA cannot be enforced on a resisting/disinterested player.  Such tactics (techniques) are muzzles on the unwilling and straightjackets on the willing with regards to Sim CA expression.  One simply cannot “technique-away” a social contract level issue.  At best this type of solution is cowardly as it defers the attention away from the true problem, and at worst it’s just outright dishonest as in we know we have a problem player but it’ll work if we can just stifle the problematic player in a way they won’t recognize.

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See Jay that's a narrativist choice right there.

Not in the least – at least not with regards to role-play.  It is the player making the decision who determines if a problem is a Narrativist choice or not.  Like Ron’s sample scene in the Narrativism essay, one cannot determine CA from transcript.  Only from the players actions and reactions that make, express and support CA that CA can be seen.  Thus there are no “Narrativist choices,” only players who address problems from a Narrativist point of view – but that takes lots of data to figure out; at least one full conflict and reward cycle.  One cannot compare decisions made while Exploring (during role-play) with those decisions seen in fixed texts because the social environment where the player decisions were made are available for examination.  To make such an assertion is category error that only serves to confuse the argument, just as it has here.

Quote from: Ron Edwards from the Narrativism essay
The real question: after reading the transcript and recognizing it as a story, what can be said about the Creative Agenda that was involved during the role-playing? The answer is, absolutely nothing.

What other games have you played that you would identify as sim?

Until about a few weeks ago, I would say that I had come across only one Sim facilitating game.  I fully admit that my experiences are very limited, but I have read and skimmed through a number of systems and they all suffered from that same basic conceptual problems.  Their insistence upon Story.  Their overwhelming resolution systems that suffer from two basic problems.  Their sheer crushing weight, and that they are framed basically as task resolution systems.  Sim is not about story and task resolution systems confound the Sim CA as much as conflict resolution systems do Gamism and task resolution systems do Narrativism.  Any game structured around one or both of these memes can and does confound the Sim CA expression.  I have not come across a published game design yet that has avoided both these common barriers to effective Sim expression.

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To legislate an immutable/unwavering “rule” of behavior is to “freeze up” a part of the Sim process – i.e., it weakens the effective expression of the Sim CA.
I'm glad you said this, because I totally agree. Except I see it as a feature, not a bug. It's a creative focus - yup, that part of the sim process is frozen - because this game will be about exploring issues other than that.

It may be too much stick though, not enough carrot. Personality rules which propose a certain character reaction (like rage), with a reward as an incentive is probably better.

It’s exactly like a Narrativist facilitating system which rewards a player for voluntarily losing a conflict!  You want to encourage players to exhibit certain behaviors, but still leave them the freedom to choose to do so.  That’s a technique that leaves player protagonism intact!  The stick deprotagonizes the players, and that’s never healthy for CA expression!  (Or enough to be close enough to be never – there are many kinds of players out there!)

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Okay, understanding you a bit more. And I think I understand a sim address.

Right on!  I apologize if I sounded a bit condescending.  You are right, you do sound like you do have a strong and functional grasp of Sim address.  (I hope that didn’t sound condescending!  Eeesh!  Can I put my foot in my mouth more often without getting athlete’s mouth?)

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But I think your treating book rules as if really their just the same as setting.

That is my point!  Yippie!!!  Not that you necessarily agree, but you have seen what I have been trying to get at!

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The former is open to change - if you pour blue ink on her head, her hair changes colour. With the book rule in place, her hair doesn't change colour - it remains red. I'm pretty sure at first this rubs a simulationist back the wrong way - "There's no causal reason - her hair just remains red? Regardless of all the other stuff in the universe? What if we nuked her/atomised her - would she even exist so that her hair is still red? What!? It would! That's freakin' rediculous!"

I think if you are treating rules as if they are setting, this is why - the book rules create causal impossiblities. Thus, instead of being treated as unbending (which just screws with your agenda), they become treated as setting and open to bending, folding and spindling.

EXACTLY!!!  It’s not the old “golden rule,” of, “throw out rules that don’t work.”  Rather don’t “throw out rules,” but bend, twist, spindle, fold – through play – the rules because they aren’t fixed!  In fact they are part of what is open to negotiation through play.  The rules should reflect the Setting and as Setting is open to negotiation thus the rules must be too as a reflection of said Setting.  If rules are fixed then you do get contradictions between Setting and mechanics and traceable to institutional inertia as well as the “conventional wisdom” contained in almost all so called Sim facilitating games.  The relative importance of Setting and mechanics in Sim are actually flip-flopped from the conventional wisdom.

Yes, one needs “published” mechanics at the beginning, but they are only “suggestions/seeds” and should only function as a starting point from which the subsequent game (Exploration) will blossom.

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And that's all I've got, so I'm going to bow out on this issue (hope it wasn't a waste of time for you or other forge members).

Don’t go!  You’ve got it!!!  …and you didn’t waste my time!  You gave me much needed hope and refreshed my weakening resolve!

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I think sim play can and probably needs to benefit from the structure rules give.  But this is a difficult problem to overcome, should you want to.

I fully agree that Sim does benefit from the “structure” rules give, but it needs to be understood and communicated that the rules are structures open to altering, folding, etc., and not immutable truths!  It is a terribly difficult problem to overcome and I am (still) hoping to defeat – but the resistance is staggeringly stiff.

I’m unfamiliar with the exact term “creative denial” but I do know that Chris’ various threads do touch on what I suspect you mean by “creative denial.”

Hi contracycle,

I don't agree rules are an inherent problem to the bricoleur; there is nothing about this process of implicit and impressionist change that requires that all things be changeable.  In fact I would suggest that contradicts the idea that objects formed or altered by bricolage are then whole in their own right.  For this to be true they must have implications of their own, consequences to other objects, all of which is to say: they impose limits on what else can be done.  They construct rules of permissable future change.

Let me see if I can work through some of your arguments.  (Where’s Chris when I need him?!  He could do a much better job arguing on this level than I ever could hope to!)  Your drawing the hypothetical conclusion to my argument of objects formed or altered by bricolage are not “whole in their own right” is correct.  Such objects can be broken down and employed in other objects in parts.  The iron that Chris used in his threads is a prime example of this.  While the iron can be used as a localized heating source rather than a device to remove wrinkles from clothes, it can also be broken apart and the heating element used in another item that actually cools!  Such as propane fed, gas flame powered refrigerators that are employed in typical motor homes.  On the whole though, you are fairly correct in that the inherent qualities of an object do construct rules of permissible future change.  However, like in my example of the heating element torn from the iron it is still used to create localized heat, but it is also used as part of a greater overall device that could then be employed to cool or remove heat.  A seeming contradiction, but the basic nature of the iron remains intact, though through complicated means it is doing something that appears to contradict its inherent qualities.

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The point of establishing such a statement about a character goes far beyond that they are "said to be" X, but in fact are known to be X, have been observed to be X from the past.  It is one of the properties of this object.  That does not imply that the object is unchangeable; but it seems, the mention of "entailments" related to "violations" assumes too much of the gamist use of personality mechanics as a punitive measure, rather than a sim-appropriate use for portrayal.

The problem is that such mechanics would not allow for any change or would certainly remove a player’s choice thus leading to deprotagonization with regards the Sim CA.  Using the analogy that Callan had employed above, such mechanics (like personality mechanics) that remove player choice are deprotagonizing – they are sticks and not carrots.  Conversely, rewarding players for employing or exhibiting certain (detrimental) personality traits is protagonizing as it preserves and even rewards(!) player input.

I hope that I read you correctly.  Please let me know if I misinterpreted you.

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I fear thats an overextension to an illogcial degree - the presence of personality mechanics does not imply they are necessarily immutable.  I suggest that it is far more common to have some kind of escape clause rule about possible changes than it is to find a system asserting that a choice once made can never be altered by anyone or any act of play.

Maybe.  But my experience, which is openly admitted to be fairly limited, is that such “rules” are typically given huge amounts of credibility, so much so that failure to adhere to them is typically a “punishable offense.”  I agree that personality mechanics are not “necessarily” immutable, as per the Lumpley Principle, but I have not encountered much (any?) flexibility in my experiences.  So I’ll just note my disagreement and defer to someone else who has far more role-play experience to offer their own data/experiences with regards to the amount of credibility that is typically given to personality rules/mechanics in so called Sim facilitating games.

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No I disagree; Calvinballing is an inherently dishonest act and I cannot see how this can be construed to be important to sim.

You misunderstand me.  When I said, “From a certain point of view,” I was hoping it to be read in a loose interpretation.  Not the cheating breaking the Social Contract part, but that clever interpretation and under circumstances “alteration” of the interpretation of certain mechanics is not only allowable but encouraged.  Just as the iron can be altered and used in novel ways that even suggest a conflict with its inherent qualities - heat being used to remove heat or the inherent weight of an iron being used to create “negative weight” through the clever use of levers or pulleys.  But if you wish to cleave to the denotative negative connotations of “Calvin Balling” I will defer to your literal and direct reading and cease using the term in (an apparent obfuscatory) analogy.
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Aure Entuluva - Day shall come again.

Jay
Silmenume
Member

Posts: 467


« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2006, 02:56:30 AM »

(Blast these post size limits!)

Hi Claire!

What's to stop someone lying to fake expertise?  I can be a damn good bullshitter.  I could unscrupulously fake an expertise in something to gain advantage.

Social Contract?  That there is not “advantage” to be gained in Sim?  That the desire to “gain advantage” is to be expressing a CA other than Sim?  Conversely Sim is not about absolute truths, its about constructing a mutually agreeable “reality” (the Dream) via consensual player input.  There are no “advantages” to be had in the process of creating a synthetic reality.  The process or input is something that is either aesthetically pleasing to those players involved or not.  As has been argued a great number of times on these boards there is no objective “reality” in role-play, just what is plausible to the players.

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Or less brokenly, what happens when there's two experts and they disagree?  When it's something like bows, it's reasonably concrete.  If I were playing in such a game, I'd probably want a Pig skill related to the functioning of the criminal justice system, or psychology, since those are areas that I'm both interested in, and possess some expertise.  But someone with a similar expertise could have very different views and dispute the statements of authority I might make because they fundamentally disagree with the particularly theories I subscribe to.  Who decides who has the authority?

The consensus view, of course.  Remember we are creating a reality that we would like to create, not one that is objectively “true.”  However, if a consensus is not possible then we do have Social Contract level problems; perhaps along the similar lines that a “gentleman gamer” and the Hardcore Gamist have incompatible aesthetics sensibilities even though they are both said to share the same broad basic CA.

In the game I play in the GM says he adheres to “reality.”  However, many many times he has also stated that there is a certain “heroic romanticism” to the game – and in here is correct.  Thus certain “realities” are rejected in favor of more “flavored” interpretations.  These “flavored” interpretations share many commonalities with those of the source material.  I should note that between games there are frequent and sometimes heated conversations about what is truer to the source material and what is a “reasonable” extrapolation of the source material.  Actually these conversations, in my estimation, amount to about 30-40% of the fun of the game in general!  I also believe that these conversations are vital to Sim play.  Though to be honest I don’t know if that is simply due of the nature of our group or not.

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Or take something even more obviously controversial, like history.  There are major splits in the study of history over how things work or should be interpreted.  And I'm sure that even in the concrete example of bows, there are experts with different views who can have major spats over exactly how something was made or used.

Indeed!  And that eventually gets “resolved” via play.  Again, its not about getting something exactly right, but rather getting a place that is mutually aesthetically agreeable to all those involved.  I will state that it is typically the GM who makes that “final call” (barring game stopping objections) during play, though it can and in my experience is frequently discussed in much greater detail before and after the games.  If someone is utterly inflexible in their opinion then there is a problem in their understanding about a mutual consensus, give and take game process.  Its not about “my” versions or understanding of “reality,” but the constructed reality we are all contributing and yielding to.

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I'm not trying to knock the technique, just see what it's limitations are so I understand it.  Basically what happens when someone lies, and what happens when there are multiple experts?

If someone lies, that’s a Social Contract violation.  There is nothing to be gained in bricolage by lying – unless said person has another CA operating.  I am not saying that Sim is immune to “lying” or that other CA’s foster, accommodate or support lying any more than Sim, but rather that one must wonder what lying gets said player in Sim.  Sim is about the creation and reinforcement of the Dream (structure of meaning) – it is impossible given bricolage for lying to gain any advantage.  Not that there aren’t lies but that is definitely a Social Contract issue.  IOW since there is nothing to be gained in bricolage through lying then it’s a problem the offending player probably in dealing with other people in general.

Conversely, unless the topic is incredibly arcane it is not unusual for someone else at the table to have an at least a passing knowledge of the topic under consideration.  My GM has been GMing his world for close to 25 years and he has had lots of things thrown at him in his time and thus has a reasonable passing knowledge of many, many topics.  However we also understand, as part of the Social Contract, that we are looking more to create the look and feel of Tolkien’s Middle Earth than to make an infallible and authoritative dissertation.  I would like to note that bricolage is an inherently “make-do” process, it is anything but exact.   Good enough is good enough; just whatever is being introduced needs to account for the past in some manner (IOW - not conflict with it directly.)

I think that the coming to a mutual agreement on something is very much a part of the Sim CA expression.  If I can make an oxymoronic statement – there are no absolute truths in Sim – it is a consensus effort.  We either agree ahead of time to agree to the call the GM makes in game or the game will fall apart.  If we can’t do that, then we have a serious aesthetic and Social Level issue problem.  But isn’t that what the Lumpley Principle suggests anyway?

I see that I have rambled some (allot?).  Have I addressed your questions to your satisfaction at all?  Please ask more questions if you need!
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Aure Entuluva - Day shall come again.

Jay
contracycle
Member

Posts: 2807


« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2006, 05:32:53 AM »

I';m afraid that response looks rather confused to me.  At the top you refer to mutual consensus, at the bottom you refer to submission to the arbitration of the GM.  Mutual consensus and submission to arbitration are not at all the same, and this reveals precisely where dishonesty can enter this picture.  I can subvert submission to the GM's authority by insisting on information I don't actually possess and blackmailing you to come to my "consensus".

Secondly, you appear to have assumed that the games CA is universally and inalterably held by all participants at all times, but this is unlikely to be the case.  Everyone exhibits all CA's in various degrees and with varying frequencies.  So you simply cannot rule out the appearance of a gamist decision, and the pursuit of advantage - which may itself be sublimated into "what the character would do" - even in game in which the Sim CA predominates.

Furthermore, I don't really follow how it can be that you say that decisions are made by consensus, and also that there are heated disputes about what a given outcome should be.  This is all the more striking in the light of your previous post some time back regarding a player decision with which you fundamentally disagreed.  It appears to me that you are achieving an eventual outcome through confrontation rather than consensus, and with the notional virtue of consensus serving to conceal the ultimate executive authority of the GM.

Anyway, I don;t mean to attack your game but I am trying to explain why I find your responses confusing.  Above, to caldis, you reject the idea that the dream pre-exists play, and yet previously you have said that players joining your group would be expected to read and digest LOT and related works, so quite clearly you are appealing to a dream the predates the game and is external to the players.  And indeed, without such an external and pre-existance standard, the ability to determine what is "correct" in the game world vanishes as there is no standard for comparison.  Why couldn't dwarves average 7'8" if that is what we agreed to imagine?  Because it contradicts the canon.

And this, it seems to me, unerlies your misunderstanding of the proposal in regards personality mechanics.  Becuase funcitonally, your game does appear to be willing and able to over-rule a given players proposed interpretation of the dream, hopefully by "consensus", but if necessary by GM fiat.  What the personality mechanics would seek to do is obviate the need for such socially coercive behaviours in favour of explicit statements as to how this aspect of the character is to be presented and portrayed in play, with the overt consent of all parties.
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contracycle
Member

Posts: 2807


« Reply #18 on: January 06, 2006, 05:44:22 AM »

Iron element becoming component of cooling device, all accepted.

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The problem is that such mechanics would not allow for any change or would certainly remove a player’s choice thus leading to deprotagonization with regards the Sim CA.  Using the analogy that Callan had employed above, such mechanics (like personality mechanics) that remove player choice are deprotagonizing – they are sticks and not carrots.  Conversely, rewarding players for employing or exhibiting certain (detrimental) personality traits is protagonizing as it preserves and even rewards(!) player input.

And as I have already pointed out, thats a faulty assumption of how personality mechanics must work.  There is no inherent reason that at the system level, the player could not simply strike a peronality value of their sheet and say "I'm different now".  Obviously that has some implications for consistency in the game itself, but it is not the case that merely becuase personality mechanics exist, therfore they must be absolute and coercive and unalterable.  An excellent counter-point I think is the SA's in TROS which can be bought off, as can traits in HW I believe.

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Maybe.  But my experience, which is openly admitted to be fairly limited, is that such “rules” are typically given huge amounts of credibility, so much so that failure to adhere to them is typically a “punishable offense.”  I agree that personality mechanics are not “necessarily” immutable, as per the Lumpley Principle, but I have not encountered much (any?) flexibility in my experiences.  So I’ll just note my disagreement and defer to someone else who has far more role-play experience to offer their own data/experiences with regards to the amount of credibility that is typically given to personality rules/mechanics in so called Sim facilitating games.

Well I agree with your observation, inasmuch it does indeed describe the way that they have commonly been done to date.  But that is not an argument against them ever being do-able.  You see what worries me is when the Dream should for example say that a character is so handsome that noble ladies swoon in his presence, but this becomes forgotten in the excitement and process of play.  Whereas if it is systematically represented, it is one of the ways in which play is carried out, and imposes itself on the game space through the action of system.

What I do ont think anyone has argued for is controlling mechanics; your objection appears to throw this baby out with the bath-water.
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"He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may cast."
- Leonardo da Vinci
Callan S.
Member

Posts: 3588


WWW
« Reply #19 on: January 07, 2006, 02:53:56 AM »

Hi Jay,

Okay, we hit a few nails on the head together, let's see how we go.
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I fully agree that Sim does benefit from the “structure” rules give, but it needs to be understood and communicated that the rules are structures open to altering, folding, etc., and not immutable truths!  It is a terribly difficult problem to overcome and I am (still) hoping to defeat – but the resistance is staggeringly stiff.
I think weve got a real issue here, based on where you put rules on the social contract - above or below/level with setting.

I don't think you can do this to rules ad hoc. Rules are not just rules, they are often the conduits of other players input. When you say you can fold, spindle and alter the rules they are giving input by, it's putting you up higher in the social contract than they are - you can fold, spindle and alter their input, but they can't do that to you.

One players rules enabled way of getting the game to just where they'd have fun, is your causal impossibility that needs to be fixed. They want the game to be somewhere that's fun. You want to iron out the game worlds wrinkles because having that (and even ironing) is fun. Your either headed for trouble, or all the players give up on any rules that could guide the game and the game sort of floats along (that's what I imagine, anyway).

A quick idea are rules that can be jetisoned. These would be used to guide the game to where everyone wants it to be. Then, by due process, everyone decides if they agrees to jetison them (kind of like a booster rocket once it's fuel is spent). If they agree, at that point the rules are either forgotten about, or go through usual process of folding, spindling, etc. That way they guide the game a bit, but everyone also gets to iron out the impossiblities.

I'm really glad weve come to so many mutual understandings so far. I hope these suggestions aren't too far off track.
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Philosopher Gamer
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Caldis
Member

Posts: 359


« Reply #20 on: January 07, 2006, 01:31:49 PM »


One cannot have the Dream before play, because that, by definition, falls outside the Model.  The Dream does not; nay, cannot exist outside the players’ efforts.  Something else might exist outside of Exploration, but it is most certainly cannot be the Dream.  That’s foundational to the Model; human beings sharing imaginings.  Just as there is no Narrativism if the Theme is fixed prior to play, there is no Simulationism if the Dream is fixed prior to play.  Now, there may be the source material upon which the Dream will use as seed, but that source material will be altered during the course of play if the players are protagonized and you can’t have CA expression without protagonized players.

I think Contra nailed this pretty well but I'll add to it.  The dream exists before play, as he said your group requires that LotR be read, but it's not just the source material it's your vision of the source material.  It's the choices made to model that dream, the rules that govern existing within that vision.  You believe that swords and armor react in x manner, therefore the rules reflect that and those rules are immutable.  If something unexpected comes up we check it with the dream and see if it fits and either discard it or allow it.  The player is empowered to dream along but he must follow the dream and not seek to disrupt it.

Sim is not just the dream Jay, Sim is the Right to Dream as Ron has pointed out countless times and the right is the most important part.  Dreaming exists in Game and Nar as well, it's just used to different ends there.   

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Now, what you described may be what is called as Sim and what I am describing may ultimately find another name, but I firmly assert this – What you describe and what I describe are as proudly incompatible and different in play as Gam/Nar are from what you described.  The difference being simply this – protagonism regarding conflict (G/N/and the type of play I describe which I believe is Sim) and deprotagonism regarding conflict (Zilchplay/the type of play you described above/what is currently called Sim).  Those two divisions are utterly incompatible and rightly so.

I'm afraid I dont understand what you mean by protagonism with regards to sim play.  I understand what it means in Nar play, a players character is treated like a protagonist.  This obviously isnt the case in your games, characters are killed off rather frequently from my understanding and the character that spat in a dwarfs face certainly wasnt a protagonist.

If you just mean the player is empowered to make choices well then they certainly are.  The player in your game made the choice to spit in the dwarfs face, he had to deal with the consequences.  The player in my gurps game took the Bad Temper disdvantage, when it came into play they had to face the consequence and roll against it to determine how they reacted.  I should note that it is also not a straight jacket.  Failing the roll did not mean she had to attack it meant that her bad temper came into play.  The book suggests she has to insult attack or otherwise deal with the source of the aggravation, she was still free to decide how to react just limited in her options.   That limit on the options is exactly what sim is about.     



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I’m trying not to just gainsay your positions as much as possible, but again I’m going to have to disagree with your arguments.  While I do agree that groups that don’t share compatible CA’s often have issues with removing such players, but your conclusion is just a glaring example of the Geek Social Fallacy in operation.

Stop right there Jay, you've missed the fact that the people I'm talking about do share a CA.  They are not playing with incompatible agendas they are all after the same thing, the question is what is that thing?  The personality mechanic helps define that, they say that this character is x and will act in an x manner.    The player knows that when it comes into play they have to either react in a manner consistent with the disdavantage they've taken or they may have to roll.  If they consistently fail to do so they may be labelled a bad roleplayer or they may be accepted as forgetful in any case the mechanic can keep the play going properly.  In your group players have to learn to react quickly, either that or they'll get split by an axe quickly when the dm starts swinging.  If they fail to the they may get kicked out of the group.  The player who continually shot arrows into combat, was he trying to put forward his own agenda by the actions or was he stunned and came up with the actions because he couldnt think of anything better?       


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Not in the least – at least not with regards to role-play.  It is the player making the decision who determines if a problem is a Narrativist choice or not.  Like Ron’s sample scene in the Narrativism essay, one cannot determine CA from transcript.  Only from the players actions and reactions that make, express and support CA that CA can be seen.

You clipped the qualifiers and missed my point.  Making that choice is the heart of narrativism, that is why it requires freedom to make that choice.  For Sim this is a possible outcome but it's not a necessity.  You don't have to be free to make the choice you have to be considering the dream when you make the choice.   Deciding on Vaders action in sim would require consideration of what has gone before, the incident you gave as an example I have a hard time imagining anyone restricting the choice he makes after he's already turned against the emperor.

 
 
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What other games have you played that you would identify as sim?

Until about a few weeks ago, I would say that I had come across only one Sim facilitating game.  I fully admit that my experiences are very limited, but I have read and skimmed through a number of systems and they all suffered from that same basic conceptual problems.  Their insistence upon Story.  Their overwhelming resolution systems that suffer from two basic problems.  Their sheer crushing weight, and that they are framed basically as task resolution systems.  Sim is not about story and task resolution systems confound the Sim CA as much as conflict resolution systems do Gamism and task resolution systems do Narrativism.  Any game structured around one or both of these memes can and does confound the Sim CA expression.  I have not come across a published game design yet that has avoided both these common barriers to effective Sim expression.

Wow Jay, umm dont you think that view is kind of limited?  I mean how did Ron manage to recognize Sim as a creative agenda if no games were functionally supporting it?

How does task resolution conflict with the Sim CA?  I know it conflicts with narrativism in that it' s generally a waste of time, keeping one from getting to an address of premise because you are doing all sorts of meaningless tasks.  In Sim on the other hand those meaningless tasks can be just as important as the story, i.e. necessary for realism.

Again Jay I have to say that I think you are a strong advocate for your style of play, but you've made the mistake of identifying your style as the only way to possibly do sim.  I think Sim is quite varied and many forms of it have been functionally supported by the industry for virtually it's entire history.  Some gamist cruft may appear in many of the games but they are generally not deal breakers because the sim support is so thorough.  Take disdavantages from gurps, you thought they sounded gamist but they are anything but.  A player actively bringing his disadvantages into play is not trying to show his ability to step on up, he's reacting according to the dream in a manner that will likely be a suboptimal choice.

Your game does sound fascinating and if you want to promote it as a sterling example of sim in action I'm all for that, I dont think however it is definitional of sim.  If you want to really promote your style of play there are lots of things you could discuss here that would help others understand and hope to emulate it.  I'm not sure if you can answer the really gritty questions however, they may be secrets your GM keeps close to his chest.  I'd really be interested in how he comes up with scenarios, how much and what type of prep time does he do for the games.  How often does your group play, and how does that affect his prep?  I believe you talked one about your group having bull sessions discussing Tolkiens work.  How much does that influence play?  Does he get ideas in those sessions or does he give out more info on how he feels the world works, getting people on the same page?  I know you tend to play for long sessions, do you have shorter ones if so what difference does that make?

You dont have to answer those questions now rather I think they are a basis for interesting discussion.




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Silmenume
Member

Posts: 467


« Reply #21 on: January 09, 2006, 02:00:52 AM »

Hi contracycle,

I';m afraid that response looks rather confused to me.  At the top you refer to mutual consensus, at the bottom you refer to submission to the arbitration of the GM.

I can certainly see where I have made a confusing mess of things.  Let me see what I can do to untangle this Gordian knot.  When I said “mutual consensus” I was referring to the Lumpley Principle.  So whether the whole table literally stops play to hash out and vote on an issue or the GM makes a call the Lumpley Principle is still in operation.  Which, to me, means that in either case all the players must still be in consensus in order for play to continue.  If the GM makes a call that the players feel is inconsistent with the Dream then that call may come up for discussion.  We all understand that just because a player disputes a GM’s call that does not mean said players hasn’t evaluated the call and has not placed a “vote.”

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I can subvert submission to the GM's authority by insisting on information I don't actually possess and blackmailing you to come to my "consensus".

I’m not sure I’m following you.  While I certainly agree it is possible that one could dissemble regarding the veracity of their proffered knowledge, yet if said “knowledge/contribution” is agreeable to all involved then what does it matter – everyone agrees that said knowledge tracks close enough with the established SIS and the source material that it does not matter whether it is objectively “factual” or “fictional.”  If everyone thought it was “plausible enough” isn’t that all that matters?  There are no “winners” or “losers” in Sim, so what is to be gained by essentially bullying one’s point into credibility?  The goal to create a mutually acceptable SIS is not circumvented, but the Social fallout among the players if such tactics are discovered for what they are would certainly a Social Contract catastrophe.  People would be sitting around wondering why the offending player “had” to lie to the other players?  There is no upside and a huge potential downside.  One could, for example, “cheat” in Gamism for the goal of achieving the state of “victor” – even if it is hollow.  In Sim I’m just not convinced there is a game based advantage to be had for “lying.”

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Furthermore, I don't really follow how it can be that you say that decisions are made by consensus, and also that there are heated disputes about what a given outcome should be.

All decisions must ultimately be a consensus if the game is to move forward – that just a rephrasing of the Lumpley Principle.  The “heated” disputes, (if they indeed become “heated”) when they come, do so after the game and are usually a matter of discussing the implications (potential entailments) of player decisions (i.e., what said decisions “mean” for the “world”).  There are frequent discussion in-between games (actually “after” games) about an almost infinite variety of matters, one such might be cavalry tactics FREX and would such-and-such people be organized as such, and if so how would they be employed given the particulars of the culture and geography of the people in question, etc.  Also out of game (and I don’t mean OOC) discussions can cover such matters as mechanics or “designing” a new culture, a new weapon, new town or anything else of game related interest.  Nothing in these discussions becomes final until they are entered into or “felt” in the SIS.  The important thing to remember is that such discussions and their “conclusions” are nothing until they have been run through the Lumpley Principle during play – consensually agreed upon by all the players even if it is only the GM who spoke the statement in the particular process of making of an in-game ruling.

Don’t let the whole “heated” discussions throw you.  Heated discussions during play are “not allowed.”  Such discussions (heated or not) are not bricolage in action – they are a meta-game process (ad extra to the SIS) operating at the “concept level” (engineering, as opposed to bricolage, thinking process) and while they are strongly discouraged they are not strictly forbidden.  However, getting hot at the table during one of those discussions is considered extremely bad form and is a subject that is covered in the Social Contract.  Finally remember, as has been discussed on the boards here before, consensus doesn’t mean everyone must be happy with the decision it only means that everyone is in agreement or at least giving consent.

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This is all the more striking in the light of your previous post some time back regarding a player decision with which you fundamentally disagreed.  It appears to me that you are achieving an eventual outcome through confrontation rather than consensus, and with the notional virtue of consensus serving to conceal the ultimate executive authority of the GM.

Of course we achieve consensus through confrontation or at least conflict!  Without conflict there is no impetus to come up with consensus!  That’s the core process of role-play, isn’t it?  Bricolage only comes up when there are problems that need to be dealt with/addressed.  We’re not just sitting around a table brainstorming or philosophizing, we’re struggling as a group to contend with problems that arise within and “need” solving via the SIS all done while holding to and supporting the group aesthetic – just like Premise (the guiding aesthetic) is addressed via conflict within the SIS and Challenge (the guiding aesthetic) is addressed via conflict within the SIS.

Hmmm… just as aside, I wonder if it would be useful to discuss the notion that all role-play rests on at least two basic pillars:  Player protagonization (which includes the Lumpley Principle) and the necessity of conflict for CA expression.  I wonder this because on the biggest and most stubbornly persistent problems plaguing Sim theory is the consistent denial of the necessity of conflict for its expression.  This would obviously have to be discussed somewhere else as I’m not sure such a discussion would be germane to the Forge any longer.

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Furthermore, I don't really follow how it can be that you say that decisions are made by consensus, and also that there are heated disputes about what a given outcome should be.

Obviously we’re having a communications break down!  Since I can only account for myself I’ll both take the blame and make the effort to clear it up.  If I gave the impression that decisions are made by “vote” consensus during a game and that there are also heated disputes during a game about what a given outcome should be – then I have completely and utterly failed to communicate my ideas with any facility.

When I say that, “decisions are made by consensus I mean two things.”

  • First, the Lumpley Principle is in operation even if the buck stops with the GM during play.  IOW just because the buck stops with GM during Exploration that does not mean in any way that the players have no say on such decisions.  The GM’s decisions are not made in a vacuum but are based upon the evolving player generated aesthetic.
  • Second, the players are continually shaping (i.e., having input on) that same game aesthetic through their decisions while confronting problems within the SIS as well as during the after game discussions.

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It appears to me that you are achieving an eventual outcome through confrontation rather than consensus, and with the notional virtue of consensus serving to conceal the ultimate executive authority of the GM.

I hope that I have addressed this assertion in the preceding paragraphs.  If I did not do so to your satisfaction, please let me know I will make a direct effort.

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Above, to caldis, you reject the idea that the dream pre-exists play, and yet previously you have said that players joining your group would be expected to read and digest LOT and related works, so quite clearly you are appealing to a dream the predates the game and is external to the players.

I think the apparent contradiction lies in our conflicting “definitions” of “The Dream.”  I’m not quite sure how to put this as the idea is still fuzzy in my head, but here goes…

Starting with Exploration is the active sharing of imaginings among the players we can assume that role-play is something that is transitory a very-in-the-present kind of thing.  That is, when the players are not engaged in the ritual process of sharing their imaginings they are no longer said to be engaged in Exploration.  That is when the ritual space is exited (we have stepped outside the model) then CA expression has also ceased.  Thus from a Narrativist perspective we are no longer engaged in the ritualized process of Addressing the Premise question.  From a Gamist perspective we are no in the ritualized process of Addressing the Challenge situation.  It follows then, in Simulationism, that one is not “Dreaming” unless they too are in the ritual space of Exploration.  As the Premise does not “exist” outside the game space, the Dream does not “exist” outside the game space either.  Just like music.  We can read the notes on a sheet of paper, we can discuss the music, but it just ain’t music unless it is being played – i.e. made audible on instruments.

And just like Narrativism, it isn’t just about playing the notes on the paper (playing a pre-created Theme) it about making the melody (making the Theme up as we go along).  Thus it goes, by extension, with Sim.  By the Model the Dream cannot exist before the game because it cannot exist outside the game.  To claim otherwise is to commit a category error.

Continuing this “music” analogy, all the required reading is the same as becoming familiar and proficient with a certain style of music, say, Dixieland jazz conventions.  Thus we ask that new players make themselves familiar with the same forms and “theories” that we established players draw from when playing in our group.  We are not just vomiting up previously published pieces of music, but rather having all the participants be conversant with the conventions so we may continue to create Dixieland jazz style of music.  In our case it would be asking new players to become familiar with the Middle Earth structures so that may join us in continuing to expand upon those structures.

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And indeed, without such an external and pre-existance standard, the ability to determine what is "correct" in the game world vanishes as there is no standard for comparison.  Why couldn't dwarves average 7'8" if that is what we agreed to imagine?  Because it contradicts the canon.

Here again we come to the starting structures that both myth and Sim need.  They serve only as a starting point, the seed material not the conclusion.  Who knows, maybe in time the group agrees through play that something does indeed happen that makes the Dwarves 7’8”.  If that’s what the group has played to then that’s all that matters.  The group aesthetic has evolved during play and there is nothing in Sim that disallows that.  Bricolage says that it will happen over time.  If fact, not only is that drift utterly unavoidable, it is a central feature of the process.

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And this, it seems to me, unerlies your misunderstanding of the proposal in regards personality mechanics.  Becuase funcitonally, your game does appear to be willing and able to over-rule a given players proposed interpretation of the dream, hopefully by "consensus", but if necessary by GM fiat.

The problem with this conclusion is that even “GM fiat” must be accepted by all – bringing us right back to consensus and the Lumpley Principle.  Thus a player cannot be “over-ruled” if he himself joins the consensus.  The game cannot proceed without his agreement to the interpretation.  The side you have neglected to explore is the converse, where a player proposes an interpretation that is different from the norm yet is accepted into the SIS.  By using the your logic said player has “over-ruled” the whole table, but that is simply not the case.  Everyone has agreed that the new “interpretation” is a better “interpretation” of the aesthetic than they had all agreed to previously and so it is altered by consensus just that little bit.

Actually this is a phenomenally crucial point to wrapping one’s mind around the Sim CA.  That act of consensus is the point of play – it just happens in a way that is culturally alien to literate culture thinking styles.  I.e. the Dream being agreed upon by one and all of the players and is not something that can be deferred to a fixed third party mechanical system.  Mechanics pull “assume the responsibility/empowerment of consideration” away from the players in the act of striving for that consensus.

Hi Claire,

In reviewing my post to you I see that I should expand a bit upon my response to your question about “Who decides who has the authority?”

During a game itself, for two major reason, the Buck (typically) Stops with the GM with regards to how the world works/responds.

  • 1 – speed.  The GM makes a call an the game moves on quickly.  As a matter of Social Contract we are specifically trying to avoid long drawn out conversations during play itself so that play/bricolage may continue.  I should also note our Social Contract does have a specifically stated clause that if a player feels that the GM has made a “bad call,” that he can bring it up during play and call for a player vote.  In my 10 years at the table I have seen this only once or twice and it boiled down to the GM mis-hearing what the player said.
  • 2 – perception.  We play a game of perception not objectivity.  IOW there may be other factors involved in a situation that we just don’t know about.  I would also like to note it is de rigueur for the mythic bricoleurs to spackle over any inconsistencies created during the process.  This “sorting” out of what appears to be inconsistent is a crucial part of demonstrating that the Dream is whole and true in the first place.  Its not about getting it perfect, but rather demonstrating that an inconsistency is really not an inconsistency but can be accounted for.

That there are “imperfections” or conflicts within the perfection of the Dream compels us forward to explain them away – thus “proving” the wholeness and soundness of the Dream.  That’s how myth works and I believe that same process is at work in Sim.  Just as a jazz player at a performance might make an “error,” rather than resetting and trying again another player takes that so called “error” and works it into the melody demonstrating that there was no “error” in the first place!
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Aure Entuluva - Day shall come again.

Jay
RDU Neil
Member

Posts: 152


« Reply #22 on: January 09, 2006, 02:05:21 PM »

So... I'm sure a bunch of folks will correct me if I'm wrong but I always understood things to work like this...

The Premise exists before the game.
The Challenge exists before the game.
The Dream exists before the game.

The game is the Exploration of the Premise or Challenge or Dream... depending on your CA.

Very simplified, with all the errors that entails... but it means that even if you have stopped the "ritualized process of Addressing the Premise" it doesn't mean that the Premise doesn't exist... you just aren't currently exploring it.   Same for the Dream... which exists to be explored in the "ritualized process" that is the game... but doesn't have to be explored to exist. 

Like I said... I could be completely off on this, but if I'm close it could explain some of the cross talk on this issue.
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Life is a Game
Neil
Silmenume
Member

Posts: 467


« Reply #23 on: January 10, 2006, 03:53:59 AM »

Hey contracycle,

The whole split post thing totally gaffled my little pea brain!  Here is my effort at a response to the second part of your post.

And as I have already pointed out, thats a faulty assumption of how personality mechanics must work.

I’ll have to review your earlier postings regarding my “faulty assumptions” regarding personality mechanics.  If you could quote your previous arguments in a reply, that would help me out immensely.  I honestly don’t recall coming across a “proof,” so I am eager to see what missed or just plain skipped over.

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There is no inherent reason that at the system level, the player could not simply strike a peronality value of their sheet and say "I'm different now".

Actually such an action is inherently at odds with bricolage.  Interestingly, I am quite delighted you used this as an example!  Understanding this, even (especially?) for myself, is the key to understanding the basic, fundamental difference between N/G and Sim.

This will be mostly “thinking out loud,” so if I don’t make too much sense, don’t take it as a demonstration that my thesis is insupportable, yet, I’m still trying to work it through!  Any way…

My basic argument is that the process and the necessary attendant criterion by which the whole group validates input into the SIS is what is “at stake” in Sim.  I am going to use an analogy which will probably gum up the works somethin’ fierce, but it’s the best I can do at the moment.  Have patience please!

Sim (using Nar play as an easily understood reference point) is a rough equivalent to having a “Theme” already in place (lodged in the players heads) and the players efforts, their expression of their Sim CA, is to create input, via the addressing of problems, that supports and expands that “Theme.”   Now don’t get all hung up on the word Theme as being exactly representative of Ron’s and the Big Model’s denotative meaning.  The part that I am groping for is not the “problematic human issue” but rather that some human state is already accepted to be “proven,” what we are doing in game is showing all the different ways that the Theme is represented throughout all segments of the game space.  We are, to borrow a term that has been tossed around the Forge prior, celebrating that “Theme” through out all of play.  Except – there is not just one “Theme,” but there are many and the number must continue to grow through out play.  The key is we are not questioning the “Theme” at all.  Rather, that a given statement is accepted into the SIS is the indication of said statement as being an acceptable restatement of the group celebrated “Theme(s).”

This “criterion/aesthetic” yardstick of acceptability is under constant revision as play progress and anything that has an effect on what does or does not get validated will distort that aesthetic.  Just as GM force dilutes the effective address of Premise and the resultant Theme in Nar, in Sim fixed Mechanics that “determine” what gets accepted into the SIS have the identical diluting effect on the Dream.  It is no longer the players’ Dream, but the players Dream as distorted/diluted/fixed by the game designer’s “vision.”

Thus, I argue, that mechanics are a reflection of the SIS and implies at least two very important ideas.  The first is that mechanics are not the controlling impetus of play as they are in G/N.  The second is that the mechanics ought not and should not be placed on a pedestal – they are merely a mirror of the players’ decisions and thus are open to evolution/alteration etc.  Ultimately a cognitive shift needs to take place in marketed “Sim” games in that they are not “about story” and that the role of mechanics is not to act as an “objective adjudicator” of tasks.

Whew!  Now to get back to you statement - There is no inherent reason that at the system level, the player could not simply strike a peronality value of their sheet and say "I'm different now".

Such an act is not a bricolage act.  In fact it demonstrates a process that functions directly in reverse from the way Bricolage functions.  IOW the above is an Engineering process style of action.  A bricoleur would not, “simply strike a personality value of their sheet and say, "I'm different now,” they would simply not have their Character act in that fashion within the SIS.  Not only is there no need for a player to say, “I’m different now,” its an empty statement – a category error as it were.  All the ideas/concepts are demonstrated via choices expressed within the SIS.  There is no point in saying, “I am different,” when they have already acted different within the SIS.  Said player has already made the statement, within the SIS, that they are, “different now.”  That something is noted on a piece of paper is merely a reflection of what the player has already chosen to express.  That’s how bricolage works.  We make the machine to express the concept/idea.  In role-play this would mean we have our Character (the Character “machine”) act in a certain way and then we point to the Character “machine” when we want to communicate the concept/idea – “I am cruel,” or “I am brave,” or “I am patient.”

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You see what worries me is when the Dream should for example say that a character is so handsome that noble ladies swoon in his presence, but this becomes forgotten in the excitement and process of play.  Whereas if it is systematically represented, it is one of the ways in which play is carried out, and imposes itself on the game space through the action of system.

This, to me, is really a bit of a silly “what if?”  “What if” in the excitement and process of play the mechanic itself becomes forgotten?  What happens as a result?  The Dream becomes a little dimmer, an iota less rich.  This is where the “quality” of player comes in, just as in the “quality” of player comes into play in Gamist play.  Some players are simply better/more capable/skilled as certain activities than others.  That’s part of the necessity of finding compatible players for a given group and game.  Who wants a player at Narrativist game who consistently chooses bland responses and can’t get the “system” right?  Who wants to play against a player in a Gamist game who consistently forgets rules and loses?  If everyone at the table is OK with mismatched players then all is right in the world.  However, mechanics cannot and should not substitute for player choice/creativity/intelligence.  That’s the province of Social Contract.  IOW that’s a problem that can only be solved among the players and not something that can be shoved down to mechanics.

Hullo Callan,

I don't think you can do this to rules ad hoc. Rules are not just rules, they are often the conduits of other players input. When you say you can fold, spindle and alter the rules they are giving input by, it's putting you up higher in the social contract than they are - you can fold, spindle and alter their input, but they can't do that to you.

I fully agree that rules can’t just be altered ad hoc.  First of all any so called rules change must be “ratified” by the whole group ala the Lumpley Principle.  Second and following upon the Lumpley Principle, said fictional rules change must reflect/adhere to the group aesthetic of what the Dream is all about.  So I want to just make clear that this not something that is done on a whim or without some sort of over arching view/review.  The rules are still beholden to the Dream, as they are a reflection of said Dream, that the whole table is trying to express.  Thus a player cannot act capriciously and/or solo when proposing a rules change, oh no!  This is a group process; make no mistake!  Because of what has been termed the Lumpley Principle this must still be a consensus process.  Do we all agree that the proposed rule change is agreeable to us all?  Do we all believe that it better reflects/captures the Dream we are trying to express? 

Just as a side note, at the game I play in, we usually reserve such conversations for after a game so that we may continue to play and then make the corrections when we aren’t in the thick of things!  But I do think that is locally set aesthetic that does vary from group to group.

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You want to iron out the game worlds wrinkles because having that (and even ironing) is fun.

You bet that even the ironing can be fun!  Many an hour has been spent outside of play debating, fining and refining the rules to match what has happened in play as well as idea that we think are consistent with the source material over all.  It really is an extension of the whole Sim process.

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A quick idea are rules that can be jetisoned. These would be used to guide the game to where everyone wants it to be. Then, by due process, everyone decides if they agrees to jetison them (kind of like a booster rocket once it's fuel is spent). If they agree, at that point the rules are either forgotten about, or go through usual process of folding, spindling, etc. That way they guide the game a bit, but everyone also gets to iron out the impossiblities.

Absolutely!  That’s a critical idea!  I think that is exactly what happened in the very early days when my GM was “generating his system.”  They went through excruciating detail to try and get things “just so,” but once employed for a while it no longer became necessary to “haul them out” as they became so engrained into the process of play and how the players understood the world they just slowly faded into the background and were then slowly were morphed over the course of time and play.

HEY!  I finally go a hold of the system information of Myrandus that I had made reference to in the beginning of this thread –

Quote from: The author of the Myrandus game system.
Please do NOT select any area of knowledge of which you, the player, know little or nothing. To truly role-play a character, you must at least have a firm grasp of the basics of an area. Thus, if you truly have no idea how to be a good hunter, what a tracker looks for in a print, how to read the stars, and how one goes about driving a “hard bargain,” choose other skills/characters. Research will increase your ability to play new characters if you are truly interested. Above all, DO NOT FAKE IT! Bullshitting your way through a skill makes people ignore you and is very unsatisfying for all involved.

Some skills are more challenging than others in the above manner. To this end, two special marks can be found among the text. These are serious warnings to dissuade the casually interested from investing in these skills, as player performance is crucial in their execution.

[Book icon here]  Do not select these skills unless you as a player are somewhat educated in their area, interested in learning much more about them, and willing to role-play a world view based on an understanding of this skill.

[Pig-face icon here]Do not select these skills unless you are able, willing, and eager to role-play them to the appropriate level, no more, no less. These skills generally grant “permission” to utilize real-world knowledge and skill in-character. The GM won’t help you if you can’t pull off the role-playing. These skills are mandatory to purchase if you intend to use similar real-world experience to assist your role-playing, such as salesmanship or leadership, and they are forbidden if you don’t have the talent.

Many of the sentiments listed about are similar to ones we hold in our game.  We don’t spell our skill out nor enumerate them to the same degree as the author above did, but success is heavily based upon what the player says, not what is listed on the sheet, i.e., a mechanic.

Just thought I would finally share some of the actual text of what I have been referring to since the beginning of this thread!  I though the part about “bullshitting” might be particularly interesting to Claire because of her question earlier regarding this very topic.

Caldis I will post a reply soon!
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Aure Entuluva - Day shall come again.

Jay
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