Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.

Main Menu

Indie Gaming Monday - InSpectres

Started by Zak Arntson, April 30, 2002, 06:22:02 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

Walt Freitag

There appear to be two different possible types of establishment. One could establish in the manner of an omniscient narrator: "The thing in the attic is a ghost." In principle this could happen before any character sees the thing in the attic or is even at that place at all. Or one can establish through the character's point of view: "You can see right through the thing." That means it cannot be a man in a mask, but it still could be a hologram.

It would appear that this could lead to two very different styles of play under the same rules set.

A simple matter of stance? I don't think so. It's closer to the Lit concept of point of view, and the difference is not so much in the types of decision being made but in the mechanism of establishment. In either case a player can decide it's a ghost (basically, author stance) but that can either omnisciently establish that it's a ghost, or only establish what the characters actually perceive.

- Walt
Wandering in the diasporosphere

Zak Arntson

Quote from: wfreitagThere appear to be two different possible types of establishment.

Wow! Yeah, I didn't think about that, but I definitely adhered to the character-centric view. I don't think I've _ever_ played omniscient GM. Isn't that one of those GMing presuppositions (though not egregious, like "GM is there to settle disputes)? You never give the Players non-character knowledge. This is bad, as it leads to no discussion of play beforehand, during, or sometimes after. But for a game like InSpectres, it's beneficial to narrate Character-centric and let the Players fill in the gaps.

Mike Holmes

This is an interesting point. Personally, I would play assuming both POVs. That is, there is a point at which the player has to consider whether or not it is really of advantage to the story at a particular point to consider a particular "Fact" to be concrete or subjective. The player and GM should hold themselves to a high standard in this regard such that they do not step on the toes of any pther player (as in simple negation of a fact, often), and in such a way as the story is actually enhanced by the change. As such, the standard should be that if you have a doubt at all, go with the established fact.

But once in a while, pull the old perspective thing and change a fact. Do it when it makes the original player look good for having put the fact out originally, and in such a way as to make for an effective twist. Certainly not just for the heck of it.

I think that a lot of people forget that Narrativist play has a social contract of responsibility that is just as potent as any other mode. Players, flush with author or director power, figure they can just create willy-nilly with no attempt to ensure quality. Would you have your character behave in such a manner in a Sim game? Just doing random silly things (assuming that wasn't the character concept)? No. Similarly one should not use their power to behave in a silly manner in a Narrativist game.

So Joe's player is saying that he can't imagine himself behaving responsibly towards the created story. I think that's just a case of bad attitude. Has that player actually played, and made an appropriate effort? I have, and the game rocks. Becuause the players make it rock, and are able to do so because they are supported by an appropriate system.

Member of Indie Netgaming
-Get your indie game fix online.

Ron Edwards


Full agreement. Enthusiastic agreement.

Walt's distinction is valid, and playing InSpectres means making fun, creative, and fully self-cognizant use of both the meanings of establishment, and knowing the difference as you go.