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Author Topic: [Liquid] Well, I just rolled the dice for show  (Read 5304 times)
Frank Tarcikowski
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« on: February 11, 2009, 02:35:04 AM »

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Callan S.
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« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2009, 06:02:22 PM »

Magician shows are better when you don't know the rules of the illusion?

Here's a hard question - which is better - that 'awesome' game, or being able to see through the veils?
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Frank Tarcikowski
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« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2009, 12:51:25 AM »

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Callan S.
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« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2009, 04:29:17 PM »

Well, if your not sure of the System used in the liquid play, perhaps how do you know PTA and wushu are supposed to do the same thing?

Are you looking for evidence that discarding the ruleset is more fun? Using PTA and wushu as evidence?
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oliof
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Harald Wagener - Zurich, Switzerland


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« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2009, 05:25:53 AM »

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Frank Tarcikowski
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« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2009, 08:39:08 AM »

url=http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=15544.0]Jesus, Drugs and R<makes<made<withoutmakes<made<without
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Paul Czege
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« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2009, 08:46:22 PM »

Hey Frank,

Great question.

With the vast majority of games that apportion narration rights, play is about everyone gamely deferring to the mechanics and politely and supportively accepting contributions to the SIS. You know how the rest of the family claps and politely enthuses "good answer" on Family Feud, even when the answer is clearly pathetic? I think what you had in your Liquid game experience was social collaboration where quality mattered. Group dynamics and the expression of real, human authority determined what contributions made it into the SIS.

Your Liquid game wasn't made memorable by the way the resolution mechanics incrementally built the SIS; it was made memorable because the gateway to the SIS was dynamic, social assessment of creative contributions. Mechanics for the sanitary apportioning of narration rights can't compete with that.

Paul
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Callan S.
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« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2009, 12:19:10 AM »

Hi Harald,

If your ability to perceive the system your in is reduced, then there are blind spots where you don't know what's actually going on. That lends itself very easily to illusionism, even by accident.


Frank,
Quote
In my experience, if you have a game system that works perfectly well without investing much in the SIS
How do you mean 'works well'? Do you mean the next procedural step or the next options you can take are clearly presented in the text, regardless of how invested you are in the SIS?

As opposed to, perhaps, not knowing what procedure to do next or what options are available unless you really have invested in the SIS?
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oliof
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Harald Wagener - Zurich, Switzerland


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« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2009, 07:50:44 AM »

Callan, I don't understand what you mean with blind spots. I guess you refer to the GM not using the system all the time but 'just rolling with it' when you talk about blind spots. That this is one part that makes up illusionism does not mean you have illusionism whenever you hit it.

My understanding of "a game system that works perfectly well without investing much in the SIS" is a set of rules that gives you spotlight irrespective of your involvement with the SIS.

Frank, players that don't invest in the SIS fall into the "lame" category as much with "good old-fashioned role-playing" as with games like PtA. I fail to see a difference in that regard. Care to explain?
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lumpley
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« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2009, 08:40:32 AM »

In my experience, if you have a game system that works perfectly well without investing much in the SIS, people may tend to rush the story and their imagination of the actual in-game situation gets rather blurry.

In my experience too. Emily and I were having just exactly this conversation earlier in the week.

Callan: it's not a matter of not knowing what the next procedural step is, unless you've invested. Instead, it's that no procedural step makes any sense to DO, unless you've invested.

Raising and seeing in Dogs in the Vineyard is a small example. If I put forward a 6 and a 7 and say "I raise," you can't possibly decide what dice to put forward in response, until you first know what my character is doing. "So ... what so you do?" you'd say. We have to invest in the fiction in order for play to continue.

In a game where you CAN decide which dice to put forward in response without knowing what my character does - in a game where the concrete, specific details of what my character does DON'T have serious, consequential effects on the mechanics - you'll be putting your dice forward without caring where my character's standing, what's in his hands, whether he's sweating or cool, whether he's coming with an uppercut or a body blow or a knife or an axe handle.

Expand that idea outward and outward from this one little moment within resolution, and you've got what Frank's talking about (I'm pretty sure. Frank?). If the game's mechanics overall work perfectly well when nobody cares about concrete, specific fictional details, you overall get play without concrete, specific fictional details.

-Vincent
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Peter Nordstrand
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« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2009, 12:31:40 PM »

Yes, this is the empty spaces I've been yapping about in the While We Were Fighting threads: The importance of procedures for the creation of fictional content through empty spaces in the design where players get to put in imaginary events and other details relating to the shared imagined space.
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Callan S.
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« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2009, 07:46:30 PM »

Ah, now this is what I'm trying to check about "works perfectly well without investing much in the SIS"

For example, it's possible for me to stick my hand in a blender. But I wouldn't say sticking my hand in a blender works perfectly well.
 
Vincent, I think you've gotten the wrong handle on me. I disagree I can't possibly decide what dice to put forward. "Fancies his step sister, 1D8". There, done - I decided(I'm the one to tell you when I've decided something, right?). That's within the procedure, isn't it? I'm not breaking the rules and you'd be breaking the rules to stop me. However, I also agree with you. Doing that is like sticking my hand in a blender - it's possible, it 'works', but I wouldn't say it works perfectly well (well to be frank, it's not as unpleasant as sticking my hand in a blender, of course. I could put those dice forward without any pain or disfigurement. But basically it still just doesn't really work to do so - it's uncomfortable and awkward. More like sandpaper undies!)


Peter, by "works perfectly well" do you mean that it's simply possible to follow the games procedures without investing much in the SIS?

By 'empty spaces in the design' I'm making an educated guess what you want is where a group without an investment in an SIS does not know what to roll or follow next, in terms of rules. Perhaps it could be phrased that the rules no longer guide them at that point about what further rules to follow. The only thing that could guide them as what rules to use next is an invested in SIS? Without that invested in SIS, play cannot proceed? Am I way off?
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oliof
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Harald Wagener - Zurich, Switzerland


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« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2009, 01:59:05 AM »

IMHO we are discussing two separate things her: a) What it is when the rules move from mandatory to optional and b) what to do when the mechanics are played instead of the game.

Callan: "Fancies his step sister, 1d8" does not yet form the SIS. When you put that d8 forward, your step sister may or may not be part of that particular raise (you might have rolled and put a d4 forward for the action where you earned the d8), and just reading out the traits is better than just putting dice forward, but it does not tell me why the step sister is important here, or why fancying her is important here and now, especially<rules<game system as engine isn't well oiled and the game creaks and most likely fails to entertain the group. Those people claim PtA didn't work for them.

And they're right.

As a corollary, I made a very similar experience with PtA as he did with Liquid. We played a couple of very tense episodes in a very short time frame, because the majority of players had a very good understanding of how the story could or should move forward. The GM had a hard time coming up with conflicts because we generated the tension by our own, and after a couple of scenes the GM stopped mumbling "we, uuuh, would need a conflict here", and we'd roll the dice and go get cues about how to continue, and to find out when the unevitable would strike (like when the Don would find out one of his Torpedos was a traitor).

Aaah,

I'm rambling. The PtA rule set can also move into the background of the players' focus if the SIS is vivid and informative by itself, which works best if you have a high level of mutual investment. And if you're on that "good old-fashioned role-playing" vibe, you have the rules right where they belong, in a support role to help move the game along, and not in the fore and center where they may become a burden. This of course is a case of a), and my anecdote about the PtA game is used to illustrate that it doesn't always mean we're moving towards illusionism.
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gsoylent
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« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2009, 03:57:29 AM »

lumpley
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« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2009, 12:22:26 PM »

I don't know how important the technical details of my Dogs in the Vineyard example are, but it's obvious I didn't make them clear enough. Let me try again:

Callan, you have a bunch of dice, already rolled, in front of you. I say "I raise. 13," and I push forward a 6 and a 7. You have to push forward dice of your own to match my 13, but how many dice you use matters: if you match it with 3 or more of your dice, you take the blow, and you take fallout; if you match it with 2, you block or dodge. (The rules for your rolling additional dice into your standing dice are outside my example.)

Until I say "I hit you in the head with my shovel," or "I dive out the window," or "I say 'she doesn't love you, you know,'" or "I put my arm around your shoulder," you don't know what I'm raising, so you have no way to decide whether to take the blow or block / dodge. Both narratively, and mechanically: taking the blow means accumulating fallout dice, and the size of the fallout dice you accumulate depends on the precise details of my raise. "I hit you in the head with my shovel" gives you d8 fallout, while "I dive out the window" gives you d4 fallout. Until I make clear the specific fictional content of my raise, the game's mechanics can't go forward.

Like I say, I'm not sure how much it matters, but it is an example of game rules where, for the mechanics to proceed, you need to invest in the stuff of the fiction.

-Vincent
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