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Author Topic: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming  (Read 9575 times)
Callan S.
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« Reply #45 on: February 01, 2010, 10:57:53 PM »

Anyway, you think it's possible and although you haven't said it, your going to keep thinking it's possible and your not about to consider through discussion that perhaps it isn't. I've just gone on and on because I assumed you would idly consider that possiblity. I've made that mistaken assumption on someones blog before, where I thought they would consider that but then they revealed they were teaching what they knew, as if they couldn't be wrong on what they were saying. So I'll leave it there.
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Philosopher Gamer
<meaning></meaning>
Catelf
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Posts: 146


« Reply #46 on: February 02, 2010, 04:50:42 AM »

I have to add a few comments again:
Stefoid, i am a bit worried.
It seems like you want the Game to teach the Mechanisms of GM-ing, but i feel, that by making, for instance "not listening" into a Card to be played in a mechanism, you may succeed in teaching the technical Mechanisms surrounding it ......... but forgetting how to teach actual Games Mastering!

I also think this has been your problem from the start!

You say you don't have much time.
Ok, can you es aside 2 Hours, 1 Hour, or maybe only 15 Minutes?
(Please bear with me, i' trying to approach the problem from another direction....)
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stefoid
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Posts: 319


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« Reply #47 on: February 02, 2010, 03:05:09 PM »

It seems like you want the Game to teach the Mechanisms of GM-ing, but i feel, that by making, for instance "not listening" into a Card to be played in a mechanism, you may succeed in teaching the technical Mechanisms surrounding it ......... but forgetting how to teach actual Games Mastering!

At the moment, about 20 minutes a day I can find for this thread and related activities.

Can you expand on the above? 

Let me expand on what I said, as an example.

Lets say that patterns and anti-patterns are card categories.  The names can be changed, but thats what they are.  Not Listening is an anti-pattern.  when it is their turn, players must play a Pattern card (of some sort, there may be various categories of Patterns, some of which make sense to play, some of which may be used in other ways).  The pattern card dictates some kind of thing they must do in relating the next piece of their story.  their 'story' is actually a story about fictional people roleplaying, however.  So its not 'once apon a time there was a princess and a dragon', but more like 'once apon a time there was a roleplaying group who sat down to play a D&D game featuring a princess and a dragon...' 

Ok, so when another player plays an anti-pattern on the player who is currently having their turn, that is an extra element that thing that must be integrated into the story or story-telling process.  Being an anti-pattern, it is going to disrupt the fictional game that is being related.  the challenge to that player is then to show how the fictional game is affected by the anti-pattern, and how, perhaps, it recovers.

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Catelf
Member

Posts: 146


« Reply #48 on: February 04, 2010, 12:48:16 AM »

I'll try to describe in more detail what i meant:
First: How much time can you set aside for Gameplaying, not for internet activities ....... or is it perhaps that very same 20 minutes?

Now to describe in detal:
For instance, You may fit a card game into 20 minutes, that may help the Pllayers understand some Mechanisms surrounding the "Art of GM'ing", but once faced with an Actual Rpg, they will still be out of their depth, having to learn what the mechanisms actually means, or represents, during the actual playing of an Rpg! (Like the difference between being able to do a blueprint of a table, and being able to actually make the table in reality.)

However, if you make the game you have mentioned, so that the Players has to avoid and/or include the played Cards ... pattern .... by describing it, furthering the story, still, then you might find that it easily takes an hour or two, and during that time, you could have just as well been playing an really fast-played actual Rpg, learning the principles firsthand!

That is what i meant, if you need to, i may try to describe it further........

Cat
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Alex Abate Biral
Member

Posts: 22


« Reply #49 on: February 04, 2010, 03:20:04 PM »

The way I see it, what Calan is trying to get at (or ate least my view of that) is, basically, that you can't have a simple game that has some hard rules that determine if you are roleplaying correctly. Ron has a picture showing how he categorizes the various ephemera aggregating into techniques aggregating into the exploration. This basically means how the little things we do in play (like saying something, taking an action or rolling a die) aggregate into patterns (like making a dexterity check to avoid falling down a well) which aggregate in the imagined whole everyone experiences.

Now, if you have any doubts about what is above, please ask. I know it can be a little hard to grasp these concepts, but if you roleplayed before, you should have a good grasp of what this all means, even if not with these words. The problem is that it isn't possible (I think) to simply determine what ephemera or technique should be used at which point. It would be akin to trying to determine a grammar that would assure that what is written with it would be good, understand? The only way to determine if what is going on is good roleplaying or not is by having the people who are playing judge it. But if you have that, you will end up with a normal roleplaying game, instead of a game that judges what is going on. I think that is the main problem with your idea.

Maybe what you should do is to make a rpg that somehow speeds up roleplaying so some key points are played instead of entire stories, and you might add mechanics that help people to come up with what they do or decide at each point, so they won't feel clueless as to what to do. For example, you might have a few rules that say that whenever x and y happen, there must be a confrontation. You might have a few cards that set up some specifics of this confrontation. While such a game might be good to help people understand roleplaying, it wouldn't be a generic teaching tool. It would be only a game that sacrifices a little of the player's freedom in order to get the ball rolling. It would, necessarily, leave out some kinds of good roleplaying.

I hope this helps!
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stefoid
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Posts: 319


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« Reply #50 on: February 04, 2010, 07:59:26 PM »

I'll try to describe in more detail what i meant:
First: How much time can you set aside for Gameplaying, not for internet activities ....... or is it perhaps that very same 20 minutes?

Now to describe in detal:
For instance, You may fit a card game into 20 minutes, that may help the Pllayers understand some Mechanisms surrounding the "Art of GM'ing", but once faced with an Actual Rpg, they will still be out of their depth, having to learn what the mechanisms actually means, or represents, during the actual playing of an Rpg! (Like the difference between being able to do a blueprint of a table, and being able to actually make the table in reality.)

However, if you make the game you have mentioned, so that the Players has to avoid and/or include the played Cards ... pattern .... by describing it, furthering the story, still, then you might find that it easily takes an hour or two, and during that time, you could have just as well been playing an really fast-played actual Rpg, learning the principles firsthand!

I dont agree with this, because  the hypothetical fast paced rpg doesnt have 'teach the players how to roleplay" as one of its main objectives.   

anyway, its simply not as easy to pick up these things as you make out, lets be realistic.  theres nothing wrong with another game available that might aid the process, is there?   
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stefoid
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« Reply #51 on: February 04, 2010, 08:10:33 PM »

Quote
Now, if you have any doubts about what is above, please ask. I know it can be a little hard to grasp these concepts, but if you roleplayed before, you should have a good grasp of what this all means, even if not with these words. The problem is that it isn't possible (I think) to simply determine what ephemera or technique should be used at which point. It would be akin to trying to determine a grammar that would assure that what is written with it would be good, understand? The only way to determine if what is going on is good roleplaying or not is by having the people who are playing judge it. But if you have that, you will end up with a normal roleplaying game, instead of a game that judges what is going on. I think that is the main problem with your idea.

Other players judge the success or otherwise of a players efforts.  I agree there cant be any absolute way to judge it.  that was never an intention.

Maybe what you should do is to make a rpg that somehow speeds up roleplaying so some key points are played instead of entire stories, and you might add mechanics that help people to come up with what they do or decide at each point, so they won't feel clueless as to what to do. For example, you might have a few rules that say that whenever x and y happen, there must be a confrontation. You might have a few cards that set up some specifics of this confrontation. While such a game might be good to help people understand roleplaying, it wouldn't be a generic teaching tool. It would be only a game that sacrifices a little of the player's freedom in order to get the ball rolling. It would, necessarily, leave out some kinds of good roleplaying.

This is more like what Im talking about, but too far towards being an actual RPG. 

How about, instead of talking about what may or may be possible, why dont we take the attitude that we'll give it a try, and if the idea is worthwhile or hopeless, I figure that will quickly become apparent one way or the other.
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Catelf
Member

Posts: 146


« Reply #52 on: February 05, 2010, 07:31:55 AM »

Ok, try it, but i obviously can't help you.
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Warrior Monk
Member

Posts: 85


« Reply #53 on: February 05, 2010, 10:05:58 AM »

I write and draw comics. Recently I've been working on a sort of story generation engine and though I've been using concepts from varied rpgs on it I never thought about making a game from it. So far it makes a proper work if not exceptional (well, at least is better than some primetime tv stuff) I still doubt I could turn it into a game (though it's somehow fun to use) but perhaps some of its parts could be used in the game you're trying to make. So far I found it's easier to built an engine like this around a single genre, since you can start with a list of cliches of that genre and turn them into a random aid table to create characters, plot twists and conflicts for that genre. Let me know If it can be of help to ellaborate further on this, and if you have any direct questions about it, it will help me not to go on rambling about nothing useful.

Since I love a challenge, I'd say what you want to make is possible, but perhaps the way to accomplish it won't be one recognizable on first sight.
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Alex Abate Biral
Member

Posts: 22


« Reply #54 on: February 06, 2010, 12:03:09 PM »

This is more like what Im talking about, but too far towards being an actual RPG. 

How about, instead of talking about what may or may be possible, why dont we take the attitude that we'll give it a try, and if the idea is worthwhile or hopeless, I figure that will quickly become apparent one way or the other.

I am really sorry, but I am unable to help you directly in this project. I currently have an rpg project of my own (which I barely have time to take care of) and a lot of things on the back-burner. I don't think an RPG specifically made to help people get started is a bad idea at all, but I lack the time, and the expertise too. That said, maybe I can give you somewhat useful advice:

First: I didn't exactly follow the reasoning behind Ron's last post in this thread (sorry), but regardless, he is right. If you have an interest in rpgs, you should play some games, if possible watch some videos and read a few posts in actual play. Even if your position in an eventual project is only in helping determine if the rules make "sense" you will still need some knowledge of rpgs. You certainly can learn a lot by working with someone who already has some knowledge, but you will need some practical experience.

Second: Also, understand that gamist rpgs are full blown role playing games, not something like 40% rpg, 60% game. This is important because any game you might come to create should be a good rpg in itself. People should want to play it by its own merits, not because they are training to play other rpgs. This may (or may not) sound obvious to you, but being a good rpg means that it must be a good tool to tell some kind of "story" (for a very loose definition of story). You can't make the end result "less" of an rpg. You can only try to change the kind of story that gets told in your game.

Third, I think it worth mentioning the rpg (I guess it is more of an story game, but regardless) The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen. This game has a series of turns where every player tells a short story and, at the round's end, each player votes on their favorite stories. Perhaps this will help you get the timing for your own game correct. It seems like a fun game (haven't been able to play it yet), and is short and cheap to boot! I am sure there are other games that might help you too, but I can't think of any others right now.

Finally, I really don't mean to discourage you, but I think you will have a hard time finding anyone to help you with this game. Since you have so little time to help with the project, most people will be wary of pairing with you. Also, you will need to get a good grasp on what rpgs are before this idea can become a reality. I think it would be much more productive if you could find someone who you can meet person to person (it will avoid wasted time). If the person can play rpgs with you (preferably face to face), it would be that much better! I know finding this type of help can be very hard, but I don't think anything less than that will wield much results to you.

That is it. Best of luck to you, and sorry I couldn't be of much use.
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hix
Member

Posts: 531

Steve Hickey


« Reply #55 on: February 06, 2010, 02:20:30 PM »

Hi Stefoid,

Perhaps this brainstormed list of player skills on Story Games could be of some use to you: link.
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Cheers,
Steve

Gametime: a New Zealand blog about RPGs
stefoid
Member

Posts: 319


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« Reply #56 on: February 07, 2010, 02:13:56 PM »

Hi Stefoid,

Perhaps this brainstormed list of player skills on Story Games could be of some use to you: link.

thnaks!
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stefoid
Member

Posts: 319


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« Reply #57 on: February 07, 2010, 02:18:23 PM »

I write and draw comics. Recently I've been working on a sort of story generation engine and though I've been using concepts from varied rpgs on it I never thought about making a game from it. So far it makes a proper work if not exceptional (well, at least is better than some primetime tv stuff) I still doubt I could turn it into a game (though it's somehow fun to use) but perhaps some of its parts could be used in the game you're trying to make. So far I found it's easier to built an engine like this around a single genre, since you can start with a list of cliches of that genre and turn them into a random aid table to create characters, plot twists and conflicts for that genre. Let me know If it can be of help to ellaborate further on this, and if you have any direct questions about it, it will help me not to go on rambling about nothing useful.

Since I love a challenge, I'd say what you want to make is possible, but perhaps the way to accomplish it won't be one recognizable on first sight.

Hi.  The angle Im coming at it is more meta-game.  How to introduce good conflicts is an issue, but the specific conflict itself is not.
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Warrior Monk
Member

Posts: 85


« Reply #58 on: February 08, 2010, 07:54:29 AM »

The hard thing about implementing this would be deciding what is "good narrativist play".

Yeah, you need to come up with a list of such, describing how and when to use them, and possibly a scoring system if you judge some to be harder to apply than others.

Then you need to come up with (if we use my original example)  an equally useful (as a learning aid) list of anti-narrative stuff that players can use to fuck with the current GMs game.  All in good fun of course.   

But its gamey, so people arent so so prone to stage-fright.  Like "the players go through the dungeon, dodging traps and looting the corpses of some monsters unlucky enough to cross their path...  Now Im going to try technique X...<insert relation of attempted narrative tactic X here>"  and then the other players can vote on whether she pulls it off and the player gets points. 

And equally gamey, an opposing player says "Oh yeah, well Im spending 3 points on your Dwarf player saying <insert common anti-narrative tactic Y> what are you going to do about THAT?!?!"   

etc...

Dont ask me what the lists are, however.  Sad
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stefoid
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Posts: 319


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« Reply #59 on: February 08, 2010, 02:17:38 PM »

Hi WM.  Yep, without becoming too attached to any specific detail, what you have described is something like I have in mind, explained better than I managed to.

I think the lists of what you call GM and player resources, and what I have been calling patterns and anti-patterns needs to be nutted out as a first step, because the nature of of those will dictate to a large extent how the rest of the game goes. 

The hard thing about implementing this would be deciding what is "good narrativist play".

Yeah, you need to come up with a list of such, describing how and when to use them, and possibly a scoring system if you judge some to be harder to apply than others.

Then you need to come up with (if we use my original example)  an equally useful (as a learning aid) list of anti-narrative stuff that players can use to fuck with the current GMs game.  All in good fun of course.   

But its gamey, so people arent so so prone to stage-fright.  Like "the players go through the dungeon, dodging traps and looting the corpses of some monsters unlucky enough to cross their path...  Now Im going to try technique X...<insert relation of attempted narrative tactic X here>"  and then the other players can vote on whether she pulls it off and the player gets points. 

And equally gamey, an opposing player says "Oh yeah, well Im spending 3 points on your Dwarf player saying <insert common anti-narrative tactic Y> what are you going to do about THAT?!?!"   

etc...

Dont ask me what the lists are, however.  Sad
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