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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 103 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: A Gamist game to teach Narativist gaming  (Read 9201 times)
stefoid
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« Reply #15 on: January 29, 2010, 02:49:36 PM »

So to furrther answer your question, I could break it down a little more:  Some of the things to teach would be:

how to apply conflict res vs instead of task res
how to present interesting conflicts/decisions that have cool consequences with respect to the unfolding fiction

I realize that I am talking not only about narrativist skills, but rpg skills in general that could apply to any style of game.  Thats OK too and a worthy goal for this game.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #16 on: January 29, 2010, 05:49:04 PM »

You haven't answered me at all. What are the people actually doing? I gave them names for a reason, so you could describe their actions as people. This discussion simply won't be useful until I have a clear idea of Bob, Suzy, Ned, and you actually talking and doing things, such that the fictional events are established among you.

Also, you keep bouncing back and forth between "narrativist" and "narrative." At one point you indicated that you didn't seek Narrativist play, in the technical CA sense, and now you appear to be using the term anyway - for something else, or for what, I don't know.

Best, Ron
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Callan S.
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« Reply #17 on: January 29, 2010, 07:34:18 PM »

I think Ron's shooting for what people would do in narrative role-playing as you describe it. Like with Suzy shooting the arrow, what did she do at the table? Did she lean forward and declare she was shooting the lizard man, then roll a dice against a target number? Or did she just say it and the GM mulls over whether he would declare a hit. What was her expression if she were rolling dice - does she have a 'momma needs a new dead lizard man!' expression, or something else?
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Philosopher Gamer
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stefoid
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« Reply #18 on: January 29, 2010, 07:43:26 PM »

Also, you keep bouncing back and forth between "narrativist" and "narrative." At one point you indicated that you didn't seek Narrativist play, in the technical CA sense, and now you appear to be using the term anyway - for something else, or for what, I don't know.

Best, Ron

OK, for now, lets drop the Narrativist/Narrative part, because it seems Ive unwittingly pushed a button, and it seems to be complicating things unnecessarily.

Lets say, instead, that the aim of the game is to teach good role playing skills in general, particularly those required  to GM a game.  (Please dont freak because I used the word term GM.)

So in the game Im proposing, you are use 'good roleplaying skills' to win the game.  The game outlines what those skills are, and provides a framework within which to use those them in a competitive environment with the other players.  

As for 'good roleplaying skills', you could also consider 'good storytelling skills'.  So the game could be considered maybe as competitive story-telling, where players compete to tell the best story, and to disrupt the telling of the other players stories.  But the stories are about a group of fictional gamers who are roleplaying!
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stefoid
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« Reply #19 on: January 29, 2010, 08:03:39 PM »

I think Ron's shooting for what people would do in narrative role-playing as you describe it. Like with Suzy shooting the arrow, what did she do at the table? Did she lean forward and declare she was shooting the lizard man, then roll a dice against a target number? Or did she just say it and the GM mulls over whether he would declare a hit. What was her expression if she were rolling dice - does she have a 'momma needs a new dead lizard man!' expression, or something else?

Am I required to understand the process of such play in order to propose a game that would teach it?    But regardless, Ill have a crack at it.

Bob: lets go examine the sliver veins in the canyon walls.
GM: as you advance closer to the walls, the lizard men get agitated and start to mill around you.
Suzy: I cock my bow
Ned: I heft  my two and a half handed bastard sword in a menacing manner
GM: are you continuing to advance?
Suzy: yes, for now...
GM:  they continue to become more agitated the closer you press.  Some are looking ready to do something serious.
Bob: I really want to get my hands on that silver.
Suzy: I dont know
Ned: the'll be pushovers!
Suzy:  Yes, but they were so generous to us earlier, further down the canyon path.  Somethings wrong here
GM:  You have to decide now whether to back off or force a passage.
Bob:  force a passage!
Ned: yep.
Suzy: crap.  allright.... but lets take it easy, okay?
GM: roll combat.  Lizards roll a 5
Bob: 8.
Ned 11!!
Suzy:  4...
GM: OK, then, the lizardmen are all bark and no bite - Bob and Ned swing menacingly and manage to intimidate the crowd in their area.  Suzy, you hear a guttural growl and spin to see a lizardman in midleap towards your back - you fire and your shot takes him through the throat and he dies noislly in front of you.



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greyorm
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« Reply #20 on: January 29, 2010, 09:27:28 PM »

Am I required to understand the process of such play in order to propose a game that would teach it?

That should be self-evident: yes.

But since there seems to be some confusion on this issue: If you are merely proposing the idea for someone else to develop this game, then you've done that. Thread's done. If you mean for yourself to develop it, then, again, yes; that would be a requirement because otherwise you would, by analogy, be trying to design a game that teaches a person how to play music when you yourself don't know how to play music. To be absolutely clear: if you don't know what the process is, then you cannot describe it for others to follow either.

Also, no one's buttons are being pushed, people are trying to help you communicate your intent clearly by pointing out the use of terms/statements on your part that are causing confusion and why (and thus no one is going to "freak" because you used the term "GM", nor would they normally). As such, can you see how "good role-playing skills" is equally an problematic statement to "narrative role-playing", because no one is going to know what that means until you describe what you believe those skills are?
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Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
Wild Hunt Studio
stefoid
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« Reply #21 on: January 29, 2010, 10:27:11 PM »

Am I required to understand the process of such play in order to propose a game that would teach it?

That should be self-evident: yes.

But since there seems to be some confusion on this issue: If you are merely proposing the idea for someone else to develop this game, then you've done that. Thread's done. If you mean for yourself to develop it, then, again, yes; that would be a requirement because otherwise you would, by analogy, be trying to design a game that teaches a person how to play music when you yourself don't know how to play music. To be absolutely clear: if you don't know what the process is, then you cannot describe it for others to follow either.

Also, no one's buttons are being pushed, people are trying to help you communicate your intent clearly by pointing out the use of terms/statements on your part that are causing confusion and why (and thus no one is going to "freak" because you used the term "GM", nor would they normally). As such, can you see how "good role-playing skills" is equally an problematic statement to "narrative role-playing", because no one is going to know what that means until you describe what you believe those skills are?

I made it clear that I cant design this game myself.  What I propose is a collaborative effort.   If I could clearly define "good role-playing skills" then I wouldnt need to collaborate.  At the moment Im still trying to understand if you understand what Im proposing.  If you say "yes, but Im not interested", then yes, its thread over.
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Ar Kayon
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Posts: 190


« Reply #22 on: January 30, 2010, 12:40:40 AM »

I may be backtracking, but here's what I gathered from the thread:

*The original poster equates narrativist gameplay to good role-playing.
*OP seems unsure of narrativist concept, but this is not important; OP has not been clear on what good role-playing is.
*Therefore, it would be best if the OP state precisely what constitutes good role-playing, in his opinion, so that he and others may have an idea on how to actually model the system he proposes.

However, it is in my opinion that this idea will yield little interest - after all, you're proposing the construction of a game out of a game.  Game Mastering guides already exist for the purposes of helping GMs improve their skills, and they seem to be quite useful.
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Catelf
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Posts: 146


« Reply #23 on: January 30, 2010, 02:03:04 PM »

Hmmmm.
stefoid, I will try to make an example play, of what you seemed to describe earlier, and then i'd like you to answer if it is something like that which you are looking for ....... when  i think of it, what you are looking for may kind of exist already, if you twist that game's basic rules .......

But, here goes:
* 3 Players: Suzy, Ned and Bob.
* Each has decided a genre, Syzy chose Fantasy, Ned Cyberpunk, and Bob jokes and opt for wierd Horror (a, la Twin Peaks).
* Each gets a Card.
* Suzy goes first, her current card is Greed, so she's to let the main character be greedy.
She starts the story of the Silver Vein, and the half-elf that's questing for it.
* Ned sees this as an oppurtunity to intervene: His Card says "Self Protection", and mentiones the Lizardmen that protects the area.
* Suzy decides that they are really calm, and if they'd attack, the half-elf could shoot them with the bow and arrows it is armed with.
* Bob wants to up the ante, and throws in His card: Guilt, and says that the lizardmen helped the half-elf before, but is attacking anyway, because they are possessed.
* Suzy notices, that Ned's card, Self-protection, now works for the halfelf, rather than the lizardmen, so she ends the scene by letting a lizardman attack, but the halfelf manages to kill it with an arrow.
* Suzy managed to include, or work her way around, the cards played against her, in a good way, so she is deemed winner this round.
* Next Storyround: Ned's.
* Ned and Bob get one new Card each, but Suzy Get 3 Cards: Her normal, +1 for each that was played against her.
* Ned Starts telling a Cyberpunk Scene, his chosen genre.........

Is this what you had in mind?

Creative Cat
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Callan S.
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« Reply #24 on: January 30, 2010, 02:14:43 PM »

Hi stefoid,

Dude, I'd say if your not able to design such a game that's atleast a bit like what you describe then you'd be no use as a collaborator as well. If you have no skill in terms of a project, then your no use as a collaborator on such a project. As an apprentice, perhaps, but see below.

I'd almost think you want to ask to be taught, but don't want to be the student in a student/teacher relationship. So your looking for a way around it where some game teaches you and since it's a game it's not like having a human teacher and you being the student.

I mean, you want to be taught, but when anyone here has imparted something they know about the subject you've argued with it. Now I don't think a student simply involves believing everything a teacher says - he can listen skeptically and while remembering it, treat it as if it may all be bumkiss. But he does have to listen and remember. Or you can research, look at actual play accounts, read the narrativism essay skeptically a few times. It'll take longer but you can do that alone.

I just see this 'game that teaches you and I'll collaborate in making it with you even though I have no skill to contribute in that as I'm trying to learn that skill' as an attempt to dodge. I may be completely wrong in that, but IF that were the case (and I genuinely mean I may be quite wrong in thinking it's the case) IF that were the case, all I can write is this wake up call. Perhaps I'm hearing things wrong and it doesn't apply to you, but with what I'm hearing, all I can give is a wake up call. And don't rush and think it's being all hoity toity to do so - you must agree sometimes people may need a wake up call - and so sometimes when it seems hoity toity to give one, it actually isn't, it's dead on the right time to give it. Just perhaps this is that time --- or I've burned up more bandwidth on the internet. Wouldn't be a first for me.
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Philosopher Gamer
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Ar Kayon
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Posts: 190


« Reply #25 on: January 30, 2010, 02:50:14 PM »

Hmmmm.
stefoid, I will try to make an example play, of what you seemed to describe earlier, and then i'd like you to answer if it is something like that which you are looking for ....... when  i think of it, what you are looking for may kind of exist already, if you twist that game's basic rules .......

But, here goes:
* 3 Players: Suzy, Ned and Bob.
* Each has decided a genre, Syzy chose Fantasy, Ned Cyberpunk, and Bob jokes and opt for wierd Horror (a, la Twin Peaks).
* Each gets a Card.
* Suzy goes first, her current card is Greed, so she's to let the main character be greedy.
She starts the story of the Silver Vein, and the half-elf that's questing for it.
* Ned sees this as an oppurtunity to intervene: His Card says "Self Protection", and mentiones the Lizardmen that protects the area.
* Suzy decides that they are really calm, and if they'd attack, the half-elf could shoot them with the bow and arrows it is armed with.
* Bob wants to up the ante, and throws in His card: Guilt, and says that the lizardmen helped the half-elf before, but is attacking anyway, because they are possessed.
* Suzy notices, that Ned's card, Self-protection, now works for the halfelf, rather than the lizardmen, so she ends the scene by letting a lizardman attack, but the halfelf manages to kill it with an arrow.
* Suzy managed to include, or work her way around, the cards played against her, in a good way, so she is deemed winner this round.
* Next Storyround: Ned's.
* Ned and Bob get one new Card each, but Suzy Get 3 Cards: Her normal, +1 for each that was played against her.
* Ned Starts telling a Cyberpunk Scene, his chosen genre.........

Is this what you had in mind?

Creative Cat

I like where you're going with this.
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stefoid
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« Reply #26 on: January 30, 2010, 08:27:11 PM »

I may be backtracking, but here's what I gathered from the thread:

*The original poster equates narrativist gameplay to good role-playing.
*OP seems unsure of narrativist concept, but this is not important; OP has not been clear on what good role-playing is.
*Therefore, it would be best if the OP state precisely what constitutes good role-playing, in his opinion, so that he and others may have an idea on how to actually model the system he proposes.

However, it is in my opinion that this idea will yield little interest - after all, you're proposing the construction of a game out of a game.  Game Mastering guides already exist for the purposes of helping GMs improve their skills, and they seem to be quite useful.

I propose that, collaboratively, anyone who is interested can chip in with whatever they think constitues good roleplaying.  I could make a list, but its probably not the time for that yet, and Im not the best person to start it anyway.

What would be better as a first step is to agree on a general framework within which such a list could operate, then start pumping out the list itself.  In other words, how does the game genrally work?  Tjhere is a bit of chicken and egg there, so we could at least propose categories of Cards.  i.e. this type of card is from list A, that kind of card is from list B.  And when and where in the game to play them.
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stefoid
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« Reply #27 on: January 30, 2010, 08:29:23 PM »

Hi stefoid,

Dude, I'd say if your not able to design such a game that's atleast a bit like what you describe then you'd be no use as a collaborator as well. If you have no skill in terms of a project, then your no use as a collaborator on such a project. As an apprentice, perhaps, but see below.

Im a hobbyist game designer.   See my website if strategy gaming is of interest to you.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #28 on: January 30, 2010, 08:37:57 PM »

Please hold on a moment. Before anyone revises the meaning and purpose of this thread, there's still an interaction to finish.

Stefoid, you did answer my question and I appreciate it. Now I'll follow up.

What I see in your description is only one single, key element that makes the role-playing-as-an-activity work: the people in question are listening to one another. Because of that, they know when to move to a given mechanical device (in this case dice) without any back-tracking or confusion or sudden revision of the fictional events.

This isn't "narrative" role-playing. This isn't anything but actually role-playing, period. I wrote about this in some detail a couple of years ago. I called the common confusion about which character is where, or the cacophony of sudden shouted clarifications once it's clear that dice will be used, "murk." It's a good word for it. A group of people playing in the murk is painful to see and even more painful to be part of. They literally don't know when to engage with any formalized aspect of the system, and when they do, no one knows how to mesh what those mechanics do with what's been announced so far.

Catelf's example is perfect to include because I hope you can see that it's exactly the same as yours. It doesn't matter that one uses cards and one uses dice. It doesn't matter than one focuses on actions/skills and one on emotions/goals. The point is that in each case, the people playing know that what they say before using the relevant mechanic is important, and that moving into the mechanics-based part of play is both logical and fun given what's going on. Again, the core component is that they listen, engage imaginatively, and work with what's been established by whoever has been speaking.

You are barking up the wrong tree entirely when you talk about seeking relevant mechanics and training in them. You are talking instead about social and creative standards of behavior, within which, almost whatever mechanics are functional, and without which, no mechanics are functional.

I think this thread is essentially meaningless in terms of game design. It is far, far more important for you to describe actual play in your experience, in the Actual Play forum, especially with games you played prior ever to finding the Forge. Because clearly it's not any single special type of role-playing that has eluded you. It's any sort at all.

Best, Ron
whoops, had to edit in the end of a sentence I'd left off
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stefoid
Member

Posts: 319


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« Reply #29 on: January 30, 2010, 08:44:05 PM »

But, here goes:
* 3 Players: Suzy, Ned and Bob.
* Each has decided a genre, Syzy chose Fantasy, Ned Cyberpunk, and Bob jokes and opt for wierd Horror (a, la Twin Peaks).
* Each gets a Card.
* Suzy goes first, her current card is Greed, so she's to let the main character be greedy.
She starts the story of the Silver Vein, and the half-elf that's questing for it.
* Ned sees this as an oppurtunity to intervene: His Card says "Self Protection", and mentiones the Lizardmen that protects the area.
* Suzy decides that they are really calm, and if they'd attack, the half-elf could shoot them with the bow and arrows it is armed with.
* Bob wants to up the ante, and throws in His card: Guilt, and says that the lizardmen helped the half-elf before, but is attacking anyway, because they are possessed.
* Suzy notices, that Ned's card, Self-protection, now works for the halfelf, rather than the lizardmen, so she ends the scene by letting a lizardman attack, but the halfelf manages to kill it with an arrow.
* Suzy managed to include, or work her way around, the cards played against her, in a good way, so she is deemed winner this round.
* Next Storyround: Ned's.
* Ned and Bob get one new Card each, but Suzy Get 3 Cards: Her normal, +1 for each that was played against her.
* Ned Starts telling a Cyberpunk Scene, his chosen genre.........

Is this what you had in mind?
Hi catelf.  Your example seems more like a RPG than a card game, but its hard to tell with only one type of card played - what would the category for those cards be called?  Motive?  Self-interest?  Theme?  But in general, yes: competitive story-telling.

We could revisit the scene with more categories of cards in play -- perhaps thats where Ron was headed to try and get a coherent vision of the game?

As this is a learning tool -- but something playable and fun in itself rather than a dry and painfull 'how to' manual -- Id like to see more 'nuts and bolts' cards come into play.  Im not sure what category of card that would come into - 'mechanics'?  (of roleplaying / GMing).  The game as you described above would work for experienced players, but inexperienced players would need to have the scene a little more mapped out in terms of what to do.  Imagine you are an inexperienced roleplay, you have a card that says 'Greed' and its youre turn to start talking...  Can be intimidating and confusing.
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