*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
November 27, 2014, 10:50:14 PM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 77 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
Pages: 1 [2] 3
Print
Author Topic: Story, schmory  (Read 7752 times)
joshua neff
Member

Posts: 949


WWW
« Reply #15 on: June 25, 2001, 11:50:00 PM »

pblock--

story bones is okay, but doesn't compare to story engine. check out the new revised edition (paperback's only $15). also, read hero wars, particularly the rules regarding lending of action points & augmentation (& the character creation & advancement rules). read dying earth (& read zak & clinton's report on it in "actual play"). if you can find a copy of prince valiant (i stumbled upon a copy in one of my local game shops, the same day i stumbled upon a copy of whispering vault in a different shop), grab it & read it.
but then, these have all been recommended before, no?

Quote
You see, I'm also trying to write fiction and one story I got, "Who Mourns For The Clowns?" needs serious help. Mechanics for good storytelling would be great.


well, good rpg storytelling mechanics are not the same thing as good advice on writing fiction. completely different beasts. i'd say good narrativist mechanics would be closer to good improv theatre exercises, but even that's only half the deal.


[ This Message was edited by: joshua neff on 2001-06-26 03:54 ]
Logged

--josh

"You can't ignore a rain of toads!"--Mike Holmes
Stivven
Member

Posts: 11


« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2001, 04:53:00 AM »

Quote

a good rules set can provide some very strong crutches to people who ain't that good.


This is a huge part of the of any story based game - the presence of a system that (arguably) puts all of the players on the same level w.r.t. creating the story.

The idea behind it is to make the story-system an integral part of the game, as oppossed to an offhand paragraph where the writer gives a prospective GM some 'advice' on 'storytelling' in the game. The story 'crutches' facilitate story through rules, not through group interpretation/house rules.

Steve

Logged
Jack Spencer Jr
Guest
« Reply #17 on: June 26, 2001, 05:48:00 AM »

J Neff- (fixed it :smile:

I did d/l the rules synopsis for Hero Wars but it really doesn't tell me most of the stuff you told me to look for.  It does have a little chart for Character Delevopment Costs and all I can say is if this is all the full game offers, it's different from games like GURPS how?

I'm willing to blame this lack of anything blindingly different on the fact it's a trial version of the game.

I suppose I oughtta go read the actual play post on DE.  

"well, good rpg storytelling mechanics are not the same thing as good advice on writing fiction. completely different beasts. i'd say good narrativist mechanics would be closer to good improv theatre exercises, but even that's only half the deal."

Rats.  I guess I'll have to write it myself, then.

BTW what's the other half of the deal?


Steve-

"This is a huge part of the of any story based game - the presence of a system that (arguably) puts all of the players on the same level w.r.t. creating the story.

Interesting since earlier in this thread I lamented the fact that some of these story games give a definate advantage to people who can tell a story well.

Oh, wait.  Harrison Bergeron.  A level playing field.

[ This Message was edited by: pblock on 2001-06-26 10:44 ]
Logged
joshua neff
Member

Posts: 949


WWW
« Reply #18 on: June 26, 2001, 06:35:00 AM »

*sigh* it's josh, not jeff. (& it's spelled sorenSEN, just in case it ever comes up.)

as far as i recall, the hero wars pdf only gives the basic mechanics, which don't reveal the brilliance of the rules, narrativist-wise. you're gonna have to actually go to the main rulebook. or, if that seems to pricey, check out some of ron's posts either here or at gaming outpost regarding the narrativism of hero wars (or read his review of it here at the forge). or maybe if you ask him really really nicely, he'll discourse to you on what makes the game so damn narrativist & cool. (he can do it much better than i can, especially as he's actually played it, while i've only read it.)

the other half of good narrativism? (at least, the narrativism that i'm talking about, & i believe ron, jared, logan, & paul are, too.) i guess it's the realization that unlike improv theatre, or radio, or novels, or movies, rpgs don't have an end product nor an audience that's separate from the creators. the creators (players & gms) are the audience, so anything dramatic has to hook them. so, certain dramatic techniques that may work in lit or theatre or film don't necessarily work in rpgs. & the point isn't to end up with a brilliant story that you can write down & share with people, it's to create a brilliant story RIGHT NOW, one that's relevant to the audience, who are also the creators.
Logged

--josh

"You can't ignore a rain of toads!"--Mike Holmes
Jack Spencer Jr
Guest
« Reply #19 on: June 26, 2001, 07:06:00 AM »

hmm.. it sounds like narrativism requires fairly like-minded group of players who would like the same sort of story, (regardless of the difference between RPGs and other media)

Most of my friends seem to like different types of movies and books, etc.

I'm still having trouble with this story NOW not later stuff.  This is different from other games...how?

Near as I can figure (and I'm probably missing something) is situations like typical RPG combat isn't exactly a good story situation as it's played and must be unraveled a little afterwards.  In play it's all to-hit modifiers and critical successes that peter out on the damage.  Afterwards it's sword swings and parries and stuff.

Most of the rest of the game can be very story-orientated but I guess they lack rules to emphasize the story so it's just as likely the players sit around and do nothing as not.  (That's their own fault IMO)

I dunno.  I'm getting the feeling that I just don't have the mindset for these sort of games.  Not that I won't enjoy 'em if I were to play but I'd be saying things like "this is different from a typical RPG....how?"

_________________
When you're picked last for kickball you're not going to be much of a team player.

[ This Message was edited by: pblock on 2001-06-26 11:10 ]
Logged
joshua neff
Member

Posts: 949


WWW
« Reply #20 on: June 26, 2001, 07:30:00 AM »

Quote
hmm.. it sounds like narrativism requires fairly like-minded group of players who would like the same sort of story, (regardless of the difference between RPGs and other media)


no, i wouldn't say so. but it does require a group of people who are all on the same page, not just regarding what's happening in the game, but what's driving the game--the premise. a good narrativist game isn't helped by the gm keeping everything closed. communication is essential. saying "i have this idea--i want to run a game of swashbucklin pirates" isn't as much help as "i want to run a game of swashbuckling pirates, driven by the idea of freedom vs control" & then elaborating on that as much as possible. so, going into the game, everyone knows why they're there & what conflicts are going to be driving the story.

Quote
I'm still having trouble with this story NOW not later stuff. This is different from other games...how?


because not all rpgs are concerned with story. some claim they are, but the mechanics don't support it. simulationism (at least, as far as i'm concerned. i'm staying out of the faq arguments for now.) isn't concerned with story, it's concerned with, well, simulation. story might be the end result ("hey, wasn't it cool when that happened?"), but dramatic concerns in the moment aren't an issue, whereas they are in narrativist games. conflict resolution is completely in the realm of "what happens when a player does this", i.e. the mechanics of action. narrativism is also concerned (possibly more concerned) with dramatic conflict resolution. which is why interaction with demons & humanity are given more weight than lots of skills & attributes in sorcerer.
now, there can be loads of conflict in a narrativist game, but it tends to be resolved in more narrative ways, eliminating the "whiff factor" of "declare specific action/roll (or whatever) to determine outcome" of most rpgs. instead, there is either the sorcerer & over the edge way of allowing some sort of roleplaying to affect combat (& keeping the declarations more general), or the much-taunted "fortune-in-the-middle" of hero wars & story engine, where you make a general declaration ("i'm gonna take the bastard out!"), you roll (or whatever), & then retroactively determine outcome. so, instead of "the expert swordsman swings, only to whiff it & miss the nasty little goblin" you have "damn, i didn't get any successes! okay, my expert swordsman moves in to splatter the nasty little goblin, but realizes one goblin death won't matter much in the long term, so i let him go".
narrativist rpgs also tend to accent combat less, having it resolved exactly as any other dramatic resolution would be, like a debate or a seduction. not because combat isn't important to a narrativist game (hell, it's central to extreme vengeance!) but because dramatically, it's no different than any other conflict (as opposed to most rpgs, with long lists of combat modifiers & tables of various weapons & such).
Logged

--josh

"You can't ignore a rain of toads!"--Mike Holmes
Jack Spencer Jr
Guest
« Reply #21 on: June 26, 2001, 07:53:00 AM »

hmm...  interesting, interesting.

I guess I'm not as far off as I thought I was, then.  The idea of treating combat like any other conflict is something I've been trying to get my head around.  It's depressing how the typical RPG combat/everything else concept is ingrained in my thinking.

SO it's about dramatic rolls (assuming dice).  That is, rolling only when it's important and, even then, the importance of the situation influences the rolling.

I'm more into the simulation of it myself but even I have been annoyed by useless rolls which effect the outcome w/o being especially useful.  I joke about a real life RPG where you must buy up your ass-wiping skill to avoid getting shit on your hands.  (anyone care to play?)

A more real example was a game of Staking the Night Fantastic.  The players go into a warehouse following some suspicious-looking character and the GM asked if we have flashlights.

There's a time and place for if you didn't say it then you didn't do it and that ain't it.  Our characters had spend the last couple months in intensive training in the Bureau, the players had not.  The characters should have thought to grab flashlights, I don't care what the intelligence rolls said.

Interesting, as I have said.  I'll have to apply this to Who Mourns For the Clows?

Did I say that was a story?  I lied.
Logged
Paul Czege
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 2341


WWW
« Reply #22 on: June 26, 2001, 08:20:00 AM »

Hey,

I'm still having trouble with this story NOW not later stuff. This is different from other games...how?

Think about storytelling outside the context of RPG's. If you're telling about an event that happened to you, it's a process of selecting, organizing, and presenting a relevant subset of the superset of all possible information you could include in the story. And the organizing principle is your purpose for telling the story, the message you want to convey to the audience; you organize and present your information around that theme.  As such, storytelling is a retroactive process of selecting details and organizing them to make a theme.

Traditional RPG's are "storytelling" like that. You pick from all the details of the game session and organize them for yourself in retrospect. You discard all the non-dramatic combat whiffing, for instance.

Narrativist RPG's aren't story in retrospect like that, because riffing on the theme is intentionally part of ongoing game events. Games like Sorcerer enable this for the play group by having mechanics that are granular and sophisticated in relation to the Premise, and by focusing on those things that hook the player on the story, rather than asking the player to work to be interested in what the character would probably find interesting. So story is an ongoing process, not a retroactive one. Scenes are framed so they contribute to story, not just because they're an event that follows logically in sequence after prior events, and ended when they've served their purpose.

Make sense?

Paul
Logged

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
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #23 on: June 26, 2001, 12:41:00 PM »

Hey pblock,

As far as the experience of actual play is concerned, the difference between (say) my old Champions and (say) my current Hero Wars is so huge as to beggar description. What the GM does is different. What the players do is different. What the PCs are for is different. What everything is about is different. What the mechanics do (per unit, per action) is different.

In (say) RoleMaster, I announce, "I swing at him!" and roll. In Hero Wars, I don't. It's a whole different SORT of announcement, and a whole different SORT of resolution. A Hero Wars "ability" is not a skill, and doesn't represent a % chance of success in the same way as a Call of Cthulhu or RoleMaster skill.

Here's the bad news. The downloads for either Sorcerer, Story Engine, or Hero Wars are totally inadequate. You only get "the point" from the full rules of each one.

I also suggest, regardless of whether this style of play is "for you" or not, that really playing it is probably your best bet for achieving some understanding of it. Paul Czege may be your man for some dialogue about his experiences in this regard.

Best,
Ron

[ This Message was edited by: Ron Edwards on 2001-06-26 16:44 ]
Logged
jburneko
Member

Posts: 1351


« Reply #24 on: June 26, 2001, 02:55:00 PM »

Hey Ron,

Quote

As far as the experience of actual play is concerned, the difference between (say) my old Champions and (say) my current Hero Wars is so huge as to beggar description. What the GM does is different. What the players do is different. What the PCs are for is different. What everything is about is different. What the mechanics do (per unit, per action) is different.


You say a lot of stuff like this and then never give any concrete examples.  I notice that there are a lot of people (me included) who are really curious about all this narrative stuff but seem to 'stare blankly' like you're conveying a bunch of totally alien concepts -- in chinese.

A lot of RPG books have a 'sample transcript' of what a session is supposed to be like.  Side Note: In my opinion SLA Industries has THE BEST transcript of what an RPG session is supposed to be like.

So I have a couple of ideas:

1) Why don't you make up a sample transcript of what narrative play should be like.  And I"m not talking just a few examples I'm talking about an extended 4 or 5 page transcript so that people can get an idea of the flow and the rhythem, how often dice are used when the players chime in and when they bow out to the GM, etc, etc.

2) If writing a fictional transcript is too difficult or too time consuming then I have a proposal.  TAPE RECORD, or even better video tape if you can, one or two of your actual game sessions.  If you don't want to type it up and edit it (for simplicity) send the tapes to me and I'LL volunteer to transcribe and edit it.

What do you think?

Jesse
Logged
joshua neff
Member

Posts: 949


WWW
« Reply #25 on: June 26, 2001, 04:56:00 PM »

or at least run something at gencon. i don't know if that would help jesse at all, but i'd get a kick out of it.
Logged

--josh

"You can't ignore a rain of toads!"--Mike Holmes
Jack Spencer Jr
Guest
« Reply #26 on: June 27, 2001, 07:14:00 AM »

Quote

You say a lot of stuff like this and then never give any concrete examples.  I notice that there are a lot of people (me included) who are really curious about all this narrative stuff but seem to 'stare blankly' like you're conveying a bunch of totally alien concepts -- in chinese.


Thanks, Jesse.  You hit it right on the head.

Why? Do words fail you in describing it or are you just afraid some nitwit like myself will think the way you play your Hero Wars campaign is the way ALL narrativist games are like?

_________________
When you're picked last for kickball you're not going to be much of a team player.

[ This Message was edited by: pblock on 2001-06-27 11:17 ]

[ This Message was edited by: pblock on 2001-06-27 11:44 ]

[ This Message was edited by: pblock on 2001-06-29 00:30 ]
Logged
Mytholder
Member

Posts: 205


WWW
« Reply #27 on: June 27, 2001, 08:00:00 AM »

Jesse wrote:
Quote
A lot of RPG books have a 'sample transcript' of what a session is supposed to be like. Side Note: In my opinion SLA Industries has THE BEST transcript of what an RPG session is supposed to be like.

The sample transcript in Nobilis v2 kicks the crap out of the example of play in SLA and every other game I've ever read. It's (a) totally true to the game (b) dramatic (c) hilarious and (d) actually has characters who seem like real players, instead of the idealised perfect roleplayers you see in other books.

Er. Anyway. Froth over.

Seriously...although I'm fairly sure I "get" narrativism (and I've only read the old free download of Sorcerer so far - I really must give Ron my nice new credit card number, so he can beggar me), having an example of play would really help get the narrativist concept accross.

(Thinking about it, it might be useful to do similar sample game sessions for other styles too...but that's a topic for the main forum...)
Logged
Supplanter
Member

Posts: 258


WWW
« Reply #28 on: June 27, 2001, 08:42:00 AM »

Quote
The sample transcript in Nobilis v2 kicks the crap out of the example of play in SLA and every other game I've ever read.


(Envious boggling.)

Wait a minute - just how do you know what the sample transcript in Nobilis v2 looks like?Huh

Best,


Jim

Logged

Unqualified Offerings - Looking Sideways at Your World
20' x 20' Room - Because Roleplaying Games Are Interesting
jburneko
Member

Posts: 1351


« Reply #29 on: June 27, 2001, 08:59:00 AM »

Quote

On 2001-06-27 12:00, Mytholder wrote:
The sample transcript in Nobilis v2 kicks the crap out of the example of play in SLA and every other game I've ever read. It's (a) totally true to the game (b) dramatic (c) hilarious and (d) actually has characters who seem like real players, instead of the idealised perfect roleplayers you see in other books.


Oh, really?  That's why I thought the one is SLA was so good.  It actually showed players making mistakes and the GM sliping on a cheesy accent but then showed what the turn around time on these little flubs should be.  I liked it BECAUSE it felt like real players.

But now, I'm dying to see this transcript you're talking about if you think it's better.  Umm... Just what IS Nobilis?  I've never heard of it.

Jesse
Logged
Pages: 1 [2] 3
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!