*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
April 20, 2019, 10:34:01 AM

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 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 90 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
Pages: 1 [2]
Print
Author Topic: Simulation: the problem is with the word  (Read 8632 times)
Mytholder
Member

Posts: 205


WWW
« Reply #15 on: July 04, 2001, 08:31:00 AM »

John Morrow wrote
Quote

In particular, if it is possible to distribute power to the players in order to have them influence the story, it is also possible to distribute power to the players in order to define the setting in a plausible way.  It is probably even possible to distribute power to the players in order to create or improve challenges.  

Rune's sorta like this...and thinking about it, so's Wraith in a way! While you're supposed to use your role as another player's Shadow to generate dramatic tension, you could also use it to hinder the other player tactically...
Quote

I've run a game, for example, where one of the players was the designer of the setting.  He had great lattitude to tell me how things were in the setting.  There is also a person on the Fudge mailing list who claims to run fairly r.g.f.a "simulationist" world defining games where the players have the ability to make up details for the setting.  

I've had similar experiences, but never attached much weight to them. Interesting...
Logged
JohnMorrow
Member

Posts: 36


« Reply #16 on: July 04, 2001, 09:03:00 AM »

Following are some raw thoughts on modelling role-playing games that are admittedly not finished.  I'm tossing them out for other people to hack away at.

I think that the current GNS is trying to capture several different things.  I want to break them back out into their parts to see if they can be fit back together again into a better package.

The first drawing I want to make represents the Locus of Control for the game -- who or what decides what happens next.  This seems to me to be the major contribution of the GNS model so it needs to be captured somewhere.  The diagram I'm going to use to represent it is a triangle extruded into the third dimension.  

The basic triangle I have in mind contains three posible loci of control that I can think of.  They are GM, Player, and Rules.  That basic diagram looks like this:

Code:

    GM Control
         ^
        / \
       /   \
Player/_____\Rules  
Control     Control


I extrude it into a third dimension to include randomness because all three of the above elements may defer to a random result generator but the raw random result must be processed into a game result by one of the three.  This also allows the model to capture the dice vs. diceless debate and helps avoid false assumptions about the role of random number generators in each of the three basic areas of control (each could be run with or without them).  The full 3D diagram is:

Code:

     GM Control
          ^
         /|\
        / | \
 Player/__^__\Rules    --\ None
Control| / \ |Control    /_ Randomness
       |/   \|           \
       +-----+         --/ High


My next point is to isolate out one of the fundamental core of the r.g.f.a Threefold which is the metagame issue.  Picture a d4 standing straight up on one point.  The pointed base represents an absense of metagame -- No Metagame.  As you proceed to the three upper corners, you hit corners labeled "Story Metagame", "Challenge Metagame", and "Social Metagame".  The higher up you go from the base, the more metagame is involved until you have metagame factors driving the entire game.

Code:

       Story Metagame
            |
Challenge\  |  /Social
 Metagame \ | /Metagame
           \|/
       No Metagame


This maps pretty well onto the r.g.f.a Threefold with "Social" included and the labels changed to make it more clear that this is about the use of metagame.  I've also put the absence of metagame on the bottom which might simply be my own personal none-to-light metagame bias.  It could easily be rotated to emphasize another aspect but it seems like a good baseline for now.

I'm not sure how to combine these two models or even if they can be properly combined.  But i think that's the challenge of the current GNS.

The final piece that I haven't fully figured out yet and which was touched on above is the role of the stances of play as they interact with the metagame.  The key to making metagame techniques work well is to have them operate at the same level that the player and GM are operating on.  

From an Immersive stance, no metagame is really suitable since there is no room for it.  This suggests a link between an absense of metagame and Immersion that I'm not sure is correct.  From a more distanced third-person in character stance, it becomes possible to direct the character.  From an even more distanced standpoint of looking at the entire game, it becomes possible to direct the character and other events to affect larger elements of the game.

In all cases, metagame elements in the hands of the GM are suitable.  The only concern there is that they don't damage the aspects of the game that the players are there to enjoy.  

I'm not sure how to reduce that into a simple model yet but the basics of the idea are there.

Logged
Logan
Member

Posts: 153


« Reply #17 on: July 05, 2001, 11:37:00 AM »

John and everyone, I've been following this thread with great interest. Excellent stuff here. I have some comments and additions. It may be a day or 2 before I can post them. Thanks!

Logan

Logged
Logan
Member

Posts: 153


« Reply #18 on: July 06, 2001, 06:05:00 AM »

Okay.I guess we'll start at the beginning.

John pointed out that Dramatism isn't really a transition between Simulationism and Narrativism. It's just a style of play that has attributes of both. I agree with this. Then, John added a diagram of how the border looks between Simulationism and Narrativism:

Code:


             GM
           CONTROL
"Simul'ist"  |  "Dramatist"
              |
              |
WORLD --------+-------- STORY
              |
              |  
    "????"    |     "Narrativist"
            SHARED
           CONTROL

 

The area marked by "Huh?" isn't Dramatism, but also falls on the Sim-Nar border. I think John's experience with Fudge was somewhat unusual, but the position is valid.

I also wanted to add something. The rgfa used the World-Story axis, but I think the complete expression is another triangle:

Code:

     Character
         ^
        / \
       /   \
World /_____\Story  


These are more competing influences.

I think most true Simulationist concerns fall solidly along the World-Character edge, minimizing the role of story. The older, heavier Sim games gravitate toward World. Lighter, more immersive sims gravitate toward Character.

Narrativist concerns concentrate at the Story point. Most of Ron's examples take place on the edge of Character and Story. I allow that Narrativist games could also take place along the Story-World line, though groups who allow development of story through both characters and events in the game world could fall at the center of the triangle.

I think possibly Gamist concerns are more fluid, shifting within the context of the game session.

John also added this triangle for Balance of Power:
Code:

    GM Control
         ^
        / \
       /   \
Player/_____\Rules  
Control     Control


I think this is correct. Again, it's a matter of competing emphases. The rules are almost always there. Most games have some sort of resolution mechanic, but in some games it's obvious that the rules are designed to minimize player and GM input into how things turn out. It's as if the rules say, "We don't trust the GM to do this. The rules provide." Also, some players will follow the rules even more than they follow what the GM says - even when the GM does things which might benefit the player. So, IMO, this is all to the good.

I don't think the triangle needs to be extended into 3D with Randomness because that falls in DFK, the resolution 3-fold. The RPG Theory forum might have something about it, but I'll paraphrase here:

DFK is Drama, Fortune, Karma. These are 3 more competing emphases.

Drama is player assertion as a means of resolution.
Fortune is random chance as a means of resolution.
Karma is character capability as a means of resolution.

While we're at it, we might as well touch on metagame. In rgfa, metagame is this stand-alone thing. Not true here. Ron came up with an idea he calls Character Currency. There's a thread about that in RPG Theory forum. Here's the link:

http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?topic=289&forum=4&16

The metagame diagram is interesting and it makes sense to me.

That's all for now.

Logan

[ This Message was edited by: Logan on 2001-07-06 10:17 ]
Logged
Supplanter
Member

Posts: 258


WWW
« Reply #19 on: July 06, 2001, 12:57:00 PM »

I like Logan's solution. I like John Morrow's axes. I have a couple of thoughts:

Re Logan: I can definitely see "dramatism" - story-oriented games with polarized direction - as "between" GNS Narrativism and Simulationism. I've been behind this idea for awhile. I'm convinced that another GNS "tweener" would be world-oriented games that use the distributed direction methods common to narrativism, a la Aria or that Fudge campaign John adduces. Anecdotes on rgfa suggest that Ars Magica has been run as a world-oriented distributed direction game too.

Re John: John's axes give us a way to distinguish among tweener forms for Narrativism and Simulationism. It doesn't in itself account for gamism - it wasn't trying to. I wonder if one can usefully add the Z-axis Game-Social. Now we are in the world of the octohedron!

Are game and social appropriate oppositions? I think so, and submit that one just has to see a parent play Candyland with a child to conclude this.

Best,


Jim
Logged

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

Posts: 36


« Reply #20 on: July 12, 2001, 06:53:00 PM »

Quote

On 2001-07-06 10:05, Logan wrote:
While we're at it, we might as well touch on metagame. In rgfa, metagame is this stand-alone thing. Not true here. Ron came up with an idea he calls Character Currency. There's a thread about that in RPG Theory forum. Here's the link:


"Metagame", in the r.g.f.a sense, generally meant something that was outside of the setting.  Probably not the best term for that concept.  Rules for berserk behavior, for example, are not "metagame" in the r.g.f.a sense because they describe something in terms of the world.  Script immunity is metagame because it exists independent of the setting, unless you are running something like Last Action Hero where it is a tangible thing that is noticable within the setting.  

What would be a better term for the r.g.f.a concept?  Meta-setting, maybe?  Extra-setting?  Hyper-setting?  Just plain non-setting, maybe?
 
Logged
Pages: 1 [2]
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!