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Started by Levi Kornelsen, July 31, 2006, 04:13:40 PM
QuoteFor a given instance of play, the three modes are exclusive in application. When someone tells me that their role-playing is "all three," what I see from them is this: features of (say) two of the goals appear in concert with, or in service to, the main one, but two or more fully-prioritized goals are not present at the same time. So in the course of Narrativist or Simulationist play, moments or aspects of competition that contribute to the main goal are not Gamism. In the course of Gamist or Simulationist play, moments of thematic commentary that contribute to the main goal are not Narrativism. In the course of Narrativist or Gamist play, moments of attention to plausibility that contribute to the main goal are not Simulationism. The primary and not to be compromised goal is what it is for a given instance of play.
QuoteLet's say you have three guys, all of whom love pigs. One loves to eat them, one loves to race them against one another for prizes in the annual Pigathon, one loves to name them and pet them and scratch their chins. They don't know each other, but then they find one another in a chatroom or something and establish that they all "love pig." They get together on a Friday evening to all love pigs together, and the first one says to the other two, "hey, so here's my favorite recipe, what's yours?"That's a group with an incoherent creative agenda.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on July 31, 2006, 06:17:09 PMSo what would be agenda-talk, for your group?
QuoteLaura, our GM, started the game with the goals of creating versimilitude in her game setting, to make space for immersive-type play, and evoke the "feel" of certain bits of mythology. John, playing the ritualist, came in with his standard set of goals - to build a character that functioned in a way the designer probably didn't anticipate as both a dramatic and tactical challenge. Holly, playing the Skriver (uh, magical scribe) is our more social player, and came primarily to interact with the other players - both as herself and in new and interesting situations as her character. Kim had a character concept that she really wanted to try on and explore, an undead-hunting necromancer and fanatical old woman. I came to relax and play the big dumb thunk, partly to see how my game engine worked in play and tinker with it between games, partly to collaborate on creating setting in-play.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on July 31, 2006, 08:27:37 PMHowever, at this time, I'm not sure that's what you want to do here. I'm not fully satisfied that you want to know, and perhaps you're more comfortable saying, "Nope, no GNS for me, we don't match it, I don't like it."
QuoteI have the impression that Lukas likes to do a lot of what he calls "real role -playing", i.e. getting in character, acting, and acting out behaviors and believes different from those of his real personality. He prefers rules "no to interfere" with that, though he seems to be o.k. with rules bringing about or framing situations for him to act upon, such as stress checks in UA or some of the BtI mechanics. Niklas likes strategizing, delving into his resources and playing close situations - fights, car chases, interrogations and such. He loves clear goals and strong, blunt opposition and obstacles. Socially, he sort of bears with Lukas´acting, because, well, we´re all friends, Lukas does a great job, it´s fun to watch him, and sometimes, if in a good mood, he plays along and even seems to enjoy it, but my impression is that he likes getting his dice out and maybe coming up with a cool one -liner ("Prepare to die", "Ve haf means to make you talk...") a lot better.I would like to see more thematic play happen. It did happen, now and then, in our UA game, but I´d really, really like some mechanics to foster that and, what´s even more important, I´d like everyone to appreciate and enjoy those moments. I want conscious thematic play to happen.Now, I guess it´s pretty clear that our game eventually had to break, right? Any two of us got along just fine, more or less: Niklas let Lukas have some of that acting, and Lukas was happy to roll some mean ol´dice, once he got "his guy" to a point where that would make sense. Neither of them could fathom what the heck I was all about with that "thematic" stuff and what in heaven was wrong for me with the way the game ran. I could get into an acting contest with Lukas (while Niklas was rolling another cigarette) or throw dice with Niklas (while having to keep some acting up for Lukas - which is difficult, you know), and of course feeling that I was catering to their needs but got very little out of the game in terms of my thematic preferences. I tried to adress these problems, we tried some changes to the game (stronger scene framing, some player empowerment, some meta - game currency, a more explicit social contract, heck, just some talking about what everybody wants out of our gaming). Dind´t work too well. I got the feeling that the other two tried to be nice and help me out, but, come on, why did they have to talk about gaming such an awful lot all of a sudden? 'Why not, you know, just ...game? The problem being, of course, that "just gaming" was a lot of work for ME. After a while, we kind of agreed to disagree and switched to board games. Fine.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on August 01, 2006, 12:00:00 PMSo! During this session, did you, Levi, like what the others did? Did they like what you did? I'm pretty certain they did.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on August 01, 2006, 12:00:00 PMLooking back on the actual human interactions among you-all during play, how was this enoyment and appreciation of one another's play literally expressed?
Quotethink about the session as a whole. I would like to know, was the entirety of what you described a climactic event relative to previous sessions, or a build-up toward something hefty in the next, or least later ones? I get the idea that the main bad guy was new to the group, but that you already knew a lot about the tribal totem and had dealt with it before in some way. Or is this mistaken? Was this the first time the totem had been brought into play? If so, was it the first time it was even mentioned?
QuoteGenerally, one is getting the best bit of any moment. Two or three are actually in there with them, helping that moment work and enjoying it. And there's often one, maybe two people playing audience at any given moment, listening and relaxing. At best, they're completely cool with what's going on - they just don't have anything to add. At worst, they're not really into that moment, but they're trying to keep along with the fiction, looking for ways to play off the results.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on August 02, 2006, 09:50:25 AMPART ONE
Quote from: Ron Edwards on August 02, 2006, 09:50:25 AMPART TWO
Quote from: Ron Edwards on August 02, 2006, 09:50:25 AMMinor point 1: If you guys are using person-customized techniques or modes of expression along the way, that's OK. I'm thinking that you have read my essays to say "one way to roll! one way to speak! one way to do it! only one! do that, all of you, exactly alike!" as the meaning of "system." I've said no such thing. Systems can be plural regarding their techniques. To me, that's a nose-wrinkling "of course they can" with multiple examples to point to.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on August 02, 2006, 09:50:25 AMMinor point 2: I used "reliably" in that paragraph above with some care. You have not fully confirmed that this is a reliable phenomenon in your group, but I think it probably is ...
Quote from: Ron Edwards on August 02, 2006, 09:50:25 AMPART THREE
QuoteTrying to frame this from the perspective of a shared aesthetic standard..."Anything that creates new situations in the fiction which speak to both the characters and the setting, creating further opportunities to explore both, is awesome (so long as it isn't overdone). The actual exploration of those things is good - the meat and potatoes of the game. Things that do neither are neutral or dull."Closer to the perspective you're looking for?
QuoteWhat I described (the fictional events) was a minor climactic event on the way to a larger one. Our totem was one of the main objects of our quest - one we didn't expect to find there, but it was something we were looking for, and was a strong part of the background fiction for the game. The enemy leader was something we'd seen hazily in a vision, but never actually confronted.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on August 02, 2006, 10:00:39 PMOur job at present is, having identified what we're looking for and where it might be found (how to look for it), to discover what it actually is: the content or identity of your group's focus, attention, goal, shared aesthetic standard, creative agenda.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on August 02, 2006, 10:00:39 PMRegarding "speak to the characters," I will say this: the characters don't exist. The only imaginable interpretation of such a phrase is "speak to the participants," which is to say, the real people. I recognize, yes, that the characters are involved as fictional constructs, as media for the relevance to the players. When I'm playing simple Jed the homesteader, what "speaks to me" may not be the same as what "speaks to me" when playing Abbanzar the Avatar. But whatever and whenever, we are talking about the material speaking to me, and that's how I'm going to read your phrasing.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on August 02, 2006, 10:00:39 PMTell me, how was this quest established? What was up with the Frost Folk tribe that needed questing to solve? Now, I'm not asking for the metaphysics and what the Caribou Shamaness said in the sweat-hut, I'm talking about what was presented, in play, that got the players strongly invested in going off on the quest?
QuoteOur job at present is, having identified what we're looking for and where it might be found (how to look for it), to discover what it actually is: the content or identity of your group's focus, attention, goal, shared aesthetic standard, creative agenda.
QuoteSounds good, but I'm not sure how to go from here to there. ...
QuoteJohn, playing the ritualist, came in with his standard set of goals - to build a character that functioned in a way the designer probably didn't anticipate as both a dramatic and tactical challenge. Holly, playing the Skriver (uh, magical scribe) is our more social player, and came primarily to interact with the other players - both as herself and in new and interesting situations as her character. Kim had a character concept that she really wanted to try on and explore, an undead-hunting necromancer and fanatical old woman. I came to relax and play the big dumb thunk,
Quote... we were the aspiring heroes of the tribe, not yet risen to leadership positions (or, in the case of the Crone, actively in rejection of leadership roles).
Quote... the overall feel of the setting, the characters, and the dynamics of the game - the whole idea that our characters had previously been secondary member of a supremely skilled tribe, and were now the best thing the tribe had going for it, and the character reactions to that (their own personal issues, so to speak). This was strong content in the sense of establishing characters and their stuff.
Quote... that was the stuff that established the game.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on August 03, 2006, 10:44:02 AMNot only, can the tribe be saved?, but also and centrally, can we save the tribe, when we are neither fully-yet leaders or even in one case, when we do not desire leadership? And when we are quirky bastards, too, with quirks that make our potential leadership problematic? And when we, with our faults, turn out to have to be spiritual leaders (heal/replace the Totem), not just a 'tac squad?Does that make sense? I am not claiming that any of you actually articulated any of this during play itself, whether aloud or internally. Such things do not have to be articulated in order to be central to our aesthetic interests, as human. I'm asking if it makes sense now, with you looking back over play as the Martian anthropologist.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on August 03, 2006, 10:44:02 AMNow I'd like to talk about the last session or two of this particular saga. What happened to the totem? Did any or all of the group enter the spirit world through the path of death? Did that help rescue it? How about any inter-character relationships, like Andjagger to the Crone? Did Son show any qualities of leadership, as opposed to showboating? Did Tavel emerge from her confusion to arrive at a powerful statement of 'what we need to do'? In fact, did the characters establish any hierarchy or sets of individualized responsibility among them?Because what I'm anticipating, in your account, is the presence of a certain degree of answer to the more abstract questions, italicized a few paragraphs above, inherent in the answers to these more concrete/SIS questions, italicized just above.