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Started by Paul T, August 07, 2006, 04:37:05 PM
Quote from: Paul T on August 07, 2006, 04:37:05 PMSo, how do you make that work when the players have the power to author material and could potentially conflict with something the GM has determined before play?
Quote from: Paul T on August 07, 2006, 04:37:05 PMthe desire to see a predetermined outcome in the future makes a player withdraw from making meaningful contributions to the game. [...] when we look ahead to a cool event or thing we want to see, and expect to see, we disengage from playing in the moment.
Quote from: jburneko on August 07, 2006, 05:51:46 PMI think you might be confounding player authorship, with Director Stance (if you're familiar with that).
QuoteNow, if you WANT to ceed backstory and NPC behavior control over to the players that's a whole matter entirely. I'm just saying that you don't have to if you want to bring player authorship issues into play. So, can you clearify what your preference is?
Quote from: Ron Edwards on August 07, 2006, 05:55:15 PM2. GM says, "Roll!" Player says, "I got a 20! I get to narrate!" (launches into long and involved monologue about how this opponent is really his long-lost mother, to the consternation of the GM who'd been playing the NPC all along as someone totally different, say, Barnabas the stablehand) The GM is now forced to junk 80% of his prep and re-write the whole scenario in the next microsecond as the player looks at him expectantly.That's the fear, right? It's a common one.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on August 07, 2006, 05:55:15 PMDoes that help at all? I'm pretty sure you are used to putting narrational authority (how it happens, what happens), plot authority (now is the time for a revelation!), and situational authority (who's there, what's going on) together into one basket. I'm trying to help you tease them apart a little.
Quote from: Marco on August 07, 2006, 07:52:35 PM.- Get player buy-in. I'd stated that I wanted something that engaged the PCs. I got it from two of the three and ran the game. If I'd had a talk with her about engaging with *my* plot-hook (sight unseen) since she didn't provide her own, that might've averted my sudden sense of disorientation when my scene with her collapsed.
QuoteI think it might be fair to, out of game, have the conversation you had with the guy right there. After all, Players may not have the same level of directoral power of the back-story as a GM in most games--but they're still responsible for their share of pacing and proactive activity. If a Player disengages with the GM, I think it's fair to ask the player to contribute something and try to work with them.
Quote1. Is it even possible to separate them in any meaningful way in play? Isn't there tons of overlap between those three types of authority?2. Although I see what you're saying (given my reservations in the previous sentence), I'm not sure what you're getting at by getting me to look at it. If there's more coming, great, I follow you, let's carry on. If not, I'm not sure why you're trying to get me to understand those distinctions or how it deals with my question.
QuoteWhen you play the Pool (I'm thinking particularly of your "Jasmine and the Pool" game) with a solid back-story in mind, how do you (or how would you) react to some unexpected narration that clashes with your back-story? Your account makes it sound like there was no incongruity between playing the Pool and using a predetermined back-story.
Quote(I'm also thinking of games that allow players to state goals, or set the stakes of their actions. For example, in an interrogation scene, a player might be able to say, "I want to roll to find out what his connection to the mafia is," and if he is successful, then the victim of the interrogation is involved in the mafia, period. Those two examples are really the same thing in slightly different packaging, as far as I'm concerned.)
QuoteIn one incident, I felt that a player didn't contribute to a particular scene as much as he had the opportunity to do. I gave him free reign to basically jump in whenever he wanted, in whatever way he wanted, and make a cool scene happen. However, when he did jump in, it was to say "I run away into the woods", and I felt like he didn't really engage with the scene at all, leaving the rest of us hanging. I've discussed it with the player since then and discovered that he's really looking forward to a particular climactic scene. I'm thinking that play up until that moment might seem like sitting in a waiting room. (I've since gently pointed out to him that the scene he's hoping for is hardly guaranteed to happen. He saw my point right away, so I think this won't be a problem again.)
QuoteIn the second incident, the players were investigating an NPC who they thought might have been involved in a conspiracy. I had determined when I wrote up the scenario that this particular NPC wasn't involved in the conspiracy, and was eager to get to the next part--possibly a cool scene I had been hoping would happen since the beginning of the game. It turned into a real power struggle, where one player really wanted the NPC to be involved, and started authoring elements to suggest that he was, and I was resisting.
QuoteThinking about this has led me to think that when we look ahead to a cool event or thing we want to see, and expect to see, we disengage from playing in the moment. In the scene with the NPC, I'm sure I wasn't really participating in the sense of pushing the game towards some cool play. I think that 90% of the problems I've had as a GM in the past are due to this--when I'm looking forward to some scene or some revelation or plot twist, everything becomes boring until we get there, so I am not really interacting with the players--I'm just trying to shut everything down so we can get to the next bit. The players feel lost, everyone gets bored and/or frustrated.In games where the players have the power to contribute as authors, they can do this as well. Although in games with distributed authority no one can fully railroad the game, anyone can still withdraw from play by hoping to see their vision come out on top of anyone else's.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on August 08, 2006, 07:25:11 AMContent authority - over what we're calling back-story, e.g. whether Sam is a KGB mole, or which NPC is boinking whomPlot authority - over crux-points in the knowledge base at the table - now is the time for a revelation! - typically, revealing content, although notice it can apply to player-characters' material as well as GM material - and look out, because within this authority lies the remarkable pitfall of wanting (for instances) revelations and reactions to apply precisely to players as they do to charactersSituational authority - over who's there, what's going on - scene framing would be the most relevant and obvious technique-example, or phrases like "That's when I show up!" from a playerNarrational authority - how it happens, what happens - I'm suggesting here that this is best understood as a feature of resolution (including the entirety of IIEE), and not to mistake it for describing what the castle looks like, for instance; I also suggest it's far more shared in application than most role-players realize
QuoteIn my "Princes & Prophecies" game, we had two particularly awkward incidents. In one incident, I felt that a player didn't contribute to a particular scene as much as he had the opportunity to do. I gave him free reign to basically jump in whenever he wanted, in whatever way he wanted, and make a cool scene happen. However, when he did jump in, it was to say "I run away into the woods", and I felt like he didn't really engage with the scene at all, leaving the rest of us hanging. I've discussed it with the player since then and discovered that he's really looking forward to a particular climactic scene. I'm thinking that play up until that moment might seem like sitting in a waiting room. (I've since gently pointed out to him that the scene he's hoping for is hardly guaranteed to happen. He saw my point right away, so I think this won't be a problem again.)
QuoteI've since gently pointed out to him that the scene he's hoping for is hardly guaranteed to happen.