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

Main Menu


Started by Jared A. Sorensen, May 26, 2002, 11:20:47 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

Jared A. Sorensen

No idea where to put this, so it goes here.

Thinking about (hypothetically) running a game where once the game is done (like, a single 4-hour session or so), the same game is re-run by another GM who acted as a player in the original session. Then, the game is run a third time by a third player. The game itself is played out as a "memory" of the GM, then re-interpreted by subsequent GMs from their points of view.

Roger Ebert just did Rashomon for his "Great Movies" column...that's where I got the idea.

I dunno. Discuss, I guess. Or just let the thread die. I think it would be interesting. Granted, I'm crazy, but...
jared a. sorensen /

Jack Spencer Jr

For those who don't know what Jared is talking about or who tought Ebert was an electronic version of the Seseme Street character (Ernie & eBert. Har har) the review is found here.

Rashomon, for those unwilling to follow the link, is a murder mystery with four eyewitness accounts told in flashback but the flashbacks vary wildly because people lie, embellish or just plain misremember.

As the article stats, this has been used several times since the films release in 1950. There was an episode of the Batman Animated Series called P.O.V. where two cops were being grilled on an incident involving Batman but the recounts didn't quite match up. One cop was trying to make himself come off better than he actually acted. Heck, I've seen sitcoms that did this where the characters were recounting an event and the guy who saw himself as cool made himself out to be cool and so on.

Now, that's all well and good. So how do we do this in a RPG? Would this require a system to allow for such things? Could this be just a one-shot to be used in an existing game? Would it require something like Jared's suggestion of the multiple sessions with different GMs?


In order to keep things speedy and to quickly pass the gm role around, maybe the time duration can build as each new GM takes over.
 That is, player one/GM1 starts out, narrating the event, say, "We're all in line at the bank when a suddenly masked man jumps on a counter waving a gun."  The players play this session for 5 minutes.  Stop.
 Player 2 takes over and runs for 10 minutes.  Stop.
 Player 3 takes over and runs for 15 minutes.  Stop.
 Player 1 takes over again and runs for 20 minutes.  Stop.
 And so on.


Having seen the movie for real, how about this:

• There are certain events, or facts established before play that are inviolate(or close to).  For example, someone is dead, and their neck is slashed.

• Each player has a motivation or a goal in regards to the events.  These goals direct how they'd angle a narration.

• Each player gets a turn to narrate events.  At the end of their narration, they roll a D6.  

1-The next player gets to establish something as a fact that is contradicting something you just narrated("Oh! You say that he was killed with a knife, but I had found had been poisoned, and ran to grab the magistrate...")
2-3-Nothing you've narrated has become fact, yet.
4- 1 thing is a fact, and may be backed by evidence.
5- 2 things are fact, "
6- 3 things are fact, or you can overturn someone else's fact("So you say, but how could you have found the body when you were sleeping with the sake brewer's wife!")

If a narration is particularly entertaining, each player(other than the narrator) can award another dice for the narrator to roll, taking the highest.

I'd probably say the game starts with 3 facts that have occurred in chronological order(Example, "The victim insulted everyone present", "His neck was slashed", "His body was found by Gozo, the village idiot").
Everyone narrates up to and around fact one, then everyone gets a turn with event 2, etc.

Everyone should develop a character who is involved with the incident in someway, and that everyone knows about.

Example- Jinzo the herbalist loaned the victim a lot of money, but he needed cash bad so that he could rebuild his burned down shop.



Matt Machell

I was considering something like this a while ago. But my take was to have the first story told slowly turn from being a basic tale into a mythic tale, as it was retold by various parties who wanted to manipulate that myth for their own ends (church, state etc).

In the end I shelved the idea, 'cos the constant retelling could get repetitive very easily.


Jared A. Sorensen

I should also add that I'm a big fan of the "road not taken" idea -- like Run Lola Run. So I don't see how visiting the same story more than once with the same people (and the same characters ) could be boring. I had a similar idea with "Fast/Forward" (the game is played in real-time and as fast as possible, but once the "story" has been finished, it's repeated. The players now have tokens (earned through play the first time around) they can use to skip scenes, replay scenes and generally "edit" the story as if it were film).

jared a. sorensen /

Jack Spencer Jr

Actually, after some thought on the matter, I'm going to have to side with Matt on this. I side more with this like from  Oral Tradition by Robin Ridington:
QuoteA story took place simultaneously in the real time of its telling and in the mythical time in which it occurred.
Actually, it isn't even that heavy. I have written stories. I continue to do so but I detest rewriting and editing. Michael Crichton once likeled writing to childbirth. I suppose I enjoy conception but I do not wish to be burdened with pregnancy or to endure the pain of childbirth. This might be why RPGs are my thing since the story is, for the most part, concieved and "published" on the spot.

The idea of playing a scene and then playing it over again, even with the intent and understanding that you're to make changes in the the scene each time and that each version of the scene is "accurate" for lack of a better word, fills me with dread. It is repetitious. I said, it is repetitious.

The idea of a He Said, She Said RPG is still interesting, but there must be a way to have all of the versions of the story unfold more-or-less at the same time, not repeating a scene in it's entirety to gain the different POV's desired.

Paul Czege

Hey Jack,

I agree with you. Extended retellings are tedious. Although I'm not sure having all possible versions unfold in simultaneous telling is the right way to go. One of the things that makes Run Lola Run work is that known scenes are abbreviated in the retelling. I think it would be functional for the game, upon subsequent tellings of the story, to focus only on points of variance, and then an altered climactic sequence.

My Life with Master knows codependence.
And if you're doing anything with your Acts of Evil ashcan license, of course I'm curious and would love to hear about your plans