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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 54 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: [TSOY] With Players New and Old  (Read 3371 times)
Jason Morningstar
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« on: May 11, 2007, 04:43:06 AM »



Remi was recently asked by some of the improvisers in his performing company<here
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2007, 05:01:18 AM »

Hey Jason,

I have a bit of an agenda in replying, which I need to disclose - I am one of the few who thinks the various skills/socializing of improv and those of role-playing are not necessarily compatible. By "not necesssarily," I mean that literally - perhaps they can be compatible at times, but they don't have to be and might often be at odds.

So with that on the table, I'd like to learn more about the rules which got mangled. This is also in the interest of helping people reading this to understand the game's incredible rules, which I am not confident actually get employed by many groups, based on the actual play posts I read.

Best, Ron
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Jason Morningstar
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« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2007, 05:29:11 AM »

I think the biggest thing, which I talked to Clinton about afterward, was that I had non-canonical definitions for parallel and perpendicular in Bringing Down the Pain.  My weekly group, which has been playing TSOY for over a year, has sort of drifted that unintentionally, and I brought our dialect to the table.  In retrospect it didn't have much of an impact in play (I think it resulted in me, as GM, exerting a little more influence in arranging conflicts than would otherwise be the case), and I gather that in itself was instructive to Clinton regarding his current design project. 

I doubt we're in much disagreement about improvisational techniques applied to gaming - we certainly cherry pick the ones that are most fruitful.  I hope Clinton and Remi will weigh in with their perspectives.
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Clinton R. Nixon
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« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2007, 08:01:13 AM »

Ron,

Jason's got it right - that was the only rule that got mangled, and it was actually a really interesting permutation, and only took place once. Otherwise, the rules were as written, and I found they were even more easily employed than normal: the two new players got into the use of gift dice, not associating them with their character, instantly.

In terms of what improv brought, and what improv didn't bring: it brought intense scene framing by every player. Once the two new people got excited, they would start new scenes with their character, checking in quickly with the GM along the way. I worried it would bring an avoidance of conflict, but it didn't: these were two people who asked to play a RPG, so they knew it wouldn't be the same as playing at improv.
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Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games
Remi Treuer
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« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2007, 08:43:05 AM »

Hey Ron,
Both M. and J. come from 'sister hobbies', they're both sf/fantasy geeks (J. goes to DragonCon regularly), and I got the feeling that they were leaning on those experiences as much as, or more than, improv.

They went into Bringing Down the Pain, with Will (J.) trying to protect Marian (M.) from recklessly engaging the troops downstairs, and the very act of doing so seemed to cement that when the Pain was Brought it meant the conflict was important to their character. They often took consequences when it was fun (did either of them got into BDtP again? I feel like we had two more, mine and another), and revelled in their victories.

Further, they got into the individuality of their characters. Jason had us all make supporting roles for Will to steer us through rapids, and it felt very natural to work in a group in that way. There was never any shying away from dice to 'play it out'.

My favorite moment was when we came out of the dungeon, Robin Hood on John Little's shoulders. Jason said, "The Sheriff notices you, and he calls on his guards to attack you!" M., eyes wide, said, "You can't! We're dancing!" There was no expectation that this would simply be accepted, though. We went to the dice, knowing full-well that the outcome could not be in our favor. (it ended up in our favor)

In short, they jumped into roleplaying, conflict resolution, and the responsibility of being a player.

As for improv and roleplaying not necessarily being compatible, is there argument about this? Like any set of skills, improv techniques are useful in certain situations, and not so much in others. We've had some tetchy experiences with uncontrolled 'tag-outs' of characters at the table (automatically coming in as a supporting NPC in another person's scene), and I try to wait until there is a voiced need for a character before coming in as an NPC. I'd even go so far as to say that the weakest game in our Twilight:2000 series was the one where we went to improv instead of the system. The only thing from improv that I use in every single game I play is improv listening, but that's essentially an outgrowth of my desire for focus at the table. Am I reading this right, or is your objection even deeper than mine? Is this the right place to discuss this?
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