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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 158 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [LoL] Encouraging Narration  (Read 7069 times)
David "Czar Fnord" Artman
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« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2006, 12:31:01 PM »

Yes, I saw that a lower difficulty is a bonus--that's why having no bonus (+0) is a "penalty": if folks are most often playing correctly for your goals, they will usually have a bonus--which effectively makes a +0 a "penalty." And your example of what gets that "penalty" is Actor Stance--which is (usually) more desirable than Author Stance when seeking immersive play from players ("a little more 'into' the game").

Like I said, I am confused by your goals versus your examples--mainly, I think, because terms like "narrative" and "Actor Stance" and so forth mean something specific at The Forge, which doesn't seem to jibe with your usage in your follow-up questions.

Therefore, I can not confirm nor deny that letting other players grant multiple -1 bonuses to a "good" narration is "better" than having a GM-fiat -2 bonus: I still don't know what you want to encourage or what the goal of play is in the style of game you want to see. I could argue for, against, or that it is moot: it all depends on your Agenda and (perhaps) on the Techniques which you feel are appropriate to your System as it serves that Agenda.

Care to attempt to address my clarifying question above? I could probably help more, if I know what you want to accomplish;
David
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dindenver
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« Reply #16 on: March 27, 2006, 12:51:59 PM »

Hi!
  Well, as far as I know, "narration" does not mean narrativist CA. And you were the one who brought up stance of any kind. I generally avoid using Forge terminology because of possible misuse by me, misinterpretation or by others.
  Technically +0 is not a penalty, players can plan for it and understand what it means and the game is fine tuned so +0 works just fine. I didn't factor in description bonuses into my difficulty numbers and never will.
  I have described what I want from the players a number of different ways, but I'll recap:
Don't want to penalize players that are not overly descriptive by nature
Don't want to penalize players that are not creative
Do want to encourage players to say more than "I swing my sword"
Do want to encourage descriptions of characters actions
I relize that some players can't be reached
I realize that some players don't need encouragement

  And I did a power 19 and some AP posts and stuff too, thanks for the feedback!
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Dave M
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Tommi Brander
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« Reply #17 on: March 28, 2006, 06:27:39 AM »

Is "I stab the orc" better than "My character stabs the orc"?
Is "I lunge at the orc" better than "My guy lunges at the orc"?

This seems to be what David is asking. And it is worthy of consideration.
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dindenver
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« Reply #18 on: March 28, 2006, 09:04:42 AM »

Hi!
  OK, somehow I didn't see that question in all that. Maybe that's what he meant by stance.
  In fact, I am not worried about that, one way or the other. This mechanic is targeted at casual gamers who haven't thought about or worry about 1st person vs 3rd person narration.
   Personally, I prefer 3rd person narration, but that is a preference, not a design goal and I would not want to impose my preference on the player.
  Anyone have any suggestions on how to encourage more description from casual gamers?
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Dave M
Author of Legends of Lanasia RPG (Still in beta)
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Tommi Brander
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« Reply #19 on: March 28, 2006, 10:04:47 AM »

Give the right to it as a reward of some sort. That way they think it is worth something.
Critical successes are one option. Worked for me.
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #20 on: April 03, 2006, 09:21:50 AM »

What's being refered to with First Person, etc, is all about narrative voice (and, no, this has nothing to do with narrativism). I started a thread on this topic here: http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=15521.0

Without knowing the game's goals, it's hard to say what's better in terms of voice. But there is no superior form of narration a priori. Preferences, sure. But play can be fun played primarily with narration in any of the voices, or even mixed up.

Mike
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Callan S.
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« Reply #21 on: April 04, 2006, 01:59:44 AM »

Deciding what is good narration is a little problematic - it easily gets to the point where the person who decides this may as well tell the other person exactly what to say.

It might be better to leave the player up to their own judgement. Set a narration bonus. The player can just take it and gets it, no matter what they say (and make it really clear that is how it works). However, they now have themselves to contend with "I'm reaching for the narration bonus - if I'm doing that I should really try and say something good!". Leave the responsiblity of judgement on their shoulders - it's often tougher to live up to than anything else.
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dindenver
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« Reply #22 on: April 04, 2006, 09:08:43 AM »

Hi!
  OK, this has degenerated into a "theoretical" discussion. If you look at the examples I gave with the rule. the narration quelity requirements are set pretty low. As to 1st persone vs 3rd person POV narration. I don't really care which the player uses. I can see that it will change the "feel" of the game, but I don't think one is better than the other.
  Instead of throwing out "meaning of life" questions, lets focus on how to get a casual gamer to put a little narration (not necesarily narrativism) into their game.
  Thanks for your ideas though.
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Dave M
Author of Legends of Lanasia RPG (Still in beta)
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David "Czar Fnord" Artman
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« Reply #23 on: April 04, 2006, 01:22:40 PM »

I'll gladly sidestep the terminology muddle....

So you've got Difficulty, Dice Pools, and a desire for more player narration. In total, I see these ways to proceed:

Difficulty Modifiers for Narration
Complexity of Action
-1 to Difficulty for every adverb that qualifies the action(s) that the character is taking.
+1 to Difficulty for every additional verb added to the declaration of action(s). Note that this opens up an opportunity to add more adverbs (more -1) and, further, allows for complex actions at no penalty (or even at a bonus!) so long as each verb (+1) has at least one corresponding adverb (-1).
Tactical Details
-1 to Difficulty for every tactical nuance the player adds to the action ("from cover," "while steadying my aim," "with the sun behind me").
+1 to Difficulty for "flat-footed" declarations of action(s); i.e. if the player does not attempt any tactical adjustments at all.
Immersion
-1 to Difficulty for speaking in character or for declaring actions in first person (Actor Stance); or for referring to your character in the third person and by its proper name, title, or sobriquet (Author Stance).
+1 to Difficulty for referring to your character as "my character," "my guy," or any other phrase which emphasizes its fictionality.
Entertainment
-1 to Difficulty for each other player (or GM) who can't help but say, "Wow, cool!" after your action declaration.
-1 to Difficulty for each other player (or GM) who laughs. (Optional; only applicable if you like "light" moods)

Credability Rewards for Success
Each additional success allows the player to narrate an additional nuance of the action. This could be details of game world objects, states, and locations; changes to the tactical arrangement, as a result of the action(s); or dice bonuses on the next immediate action, to represent a gain in "momentum."

A critical success (whatever that is in your system) allows the player to narrate the extra results of the crit. This should allow the player significantly more credability than the above nuance additions (though how you will meter that should be interesting).

Other Ejecta
Aside from improving character efficacy and then rewarding player success with additional narration rights, what sorts of incentives could your (or any) system support?

Do you have a relationships/contacts dynamic that could provide rewards? Ex: NPCs have a greater chance to become a relation/contact, if they see the character acting with detailed declarations rather than dull ones. Note that this is, at its root, just another way to reward narration with increased efficacy--it's just increaed efficacy in other, later arenas, not in the current action(s).

Could you use out-of-game rewards to increase narration? Ex: keep track of "Cool Narration Points" for each player; and let them "sell" those points to have control over aspects out of play, like what toppings to put on the pizza or where the next session will be played or who gets the last beer (and who has to run for more).


Is this sort of suggestion more in keeping with your thread's scope, Dave?

HTH;
David
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