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Started by Ron Edwards, April 02, 2006, 05:50:32 AM

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For the Midwestern gathering this weekend, I think I'll print out all these drills/excercises/whatever (I think we need a better word than "drill") and try them all out. I'll post how it all goes after the weekend.
--Timothy Walters Kleinert


I know I'm printing some out to do in the car on the way to the Midwest Gathering. (Guardian Angel, Great Journey)
little-known chris
Iowa Indie Gamers!


Hey, :)

Quote from: timfire on April 06, 2006, 05:41:28 PM(I think we need a better word than "drill")

Story-Games has taken to calling these microgames.

João Mendes
Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon Gamer

David "Czar Fnord" Artman

More ideas that occurred to me while waiting for a bus transfer today:

Trap Invention - Again, from my early days of RP, we would try to draw, plan, describe, and general create situations based purely on traps and how they could be solved without some purely mechanical solution (like rolling Perception, then Disarm Traps). Later, this went on to include bombs, mazes, and other sort of non-fantasy puzzles.
   I don't know what it teaches, but it sure was fun, and it made me (I believe) better at coming up with nefarious tricks and subtle misdirections. Ultimately, this sort of skill would be best in LARP or in games which have no system to "circumvent" actual player deduction and problem solving with a stat check.

Genre Tag - I just coined this term for a sort of "public game" one can play (with friends or in ones own mind) whereby you people-watch and try to figure out which genre of game/story they best fit. Really just a sort of conversational game or joke fest... until you turn it into a drill: go with your gut on what is the person's "true genre," then reverse your thinking and try to ask yourself what features gave you that first impression.
   As a character development and GM tactic (how to choose strong descriptors to quickly characterize NPCs), it could be quite useful, with practice.

More to come!
Quote from: JMendes on April 07, 2006, 02:03:33 AMStory-Games has taken to calling these microgames.

Am I confused? I thought these exercises, drills, etc were not supposed to be a complete game, per se. Sure, some of this site's more famous examples of "rarefied" or "streamlined" games could qualify. But the majority of the current ideas (as well as Ron's metaphorical examples from theater) struck me as nowhere near a "game," micro or not. (Unless your flavor of game theory beliefs see almost every human interaction in game theory terms, of course.)

I'm not trying to critique you directly: I just think that renaming these exercises, drills, etc would be as against the thread goals as developing categories in advance. In essence, to rename from "drills" to something with the word "game" in it not only re-characterizes the type of activities we're brainstorming, but also constrains them and, in fact, becomes a "metacategory" of the entire set of activities. Consider the musician: they can do scales (exercises), they can work on new and weird chords (drills and explorations), they can do practice pieces (warm-ups), they can do rehearsals (a "complete game," in our context), and they can finally steel their nerves before a performance (Ron's "group Hugs," loosening up). In my opinion, RPG "pre-game activities" should include all of those connotations, not just the warm-up connotation inherent in a microgame.

If you liked this post, you'll love... GLASS: Generic Live Action Simulation System - System Test Document v1.1(beta)

Marc Majcher

Quote from: timfire on April 03, 2006, 04:28:39 PM
Real quick, I see 3 general types of drills: The first are warm-ups and the like. The second are excercises like Invisible Knife, excercises that teach essential skills but are not neccessarily the activity at hand, but are still related to the activity. Another example would be when the football player runs through a field of tires, or when a musician plays scales.

I don't think that these two types of drills are really that different, aside from the intent.  They're probably going to be mostly the same format - the exercises that teach essential skills to beginners are the same ones that are used by experienced players to warm up, generally.  Can you give some examples of these two types that wouldn't cross over?

The third type are actually the activity in question, but under controlled circumstances. An example of this would be...


Are y'all following me? (Writing right after work isn't the most coherent time of day for me.)

BTW, I've been thinking about this for a while, and Ron and I have talked about it like he said, and my goal is to collect 6-12 or so really good drills in a volume along with some good introductary essays. Think about that, an honest to goodness teaching text! Obviously, that's down the road a bit, but that's where I would like to head. I really think we need something *like that* if we want to really see our artform grow.

Totally following you.  All of y'all.  I'd love to see a good collection of these drills, with accompanying essays that relate them specifically to role-playing.  I've been talking with people about something exactly like this for a while, too - I'm happy to see that we're on the same wave.