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Author Topic: An approach for mechanics and innovation  (Read 10491 times)
Le Joueur
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« Reply #15 on: August 08, 2001, 07:34:00 AM »

I know I promised to not quote your words to pick them apart, but in this case I must make an exception.

Quote
Ron Edwards wrote:
How to involve people who would LIKE role-playing, via the book's text?

My thought is this: that no one gets exposed to or interested in role-playing solely by reading a book. It's a socially-transmitted activity; one's friends invite one into it, and that's just about the only way. But once the book is cracked, there should be prose there that speaks to the person reading such stuff for the first time.

It's the kind of prose and point that makes sense to that person, and THEN, years later, STILL makes sense, after tons of role-playing experience.

And let's not forget one other thing: there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of people who WOULD like to role-play but have had bad experiences. They buy games and pore through them, wondering why they never seem to get a successful game together. The very same prose ought to grab them - hey! this book actually makes sense! - and contribute to some people actually enjoying their hobby.

So I agree with you that such sections should exist in role-playing games, but I am also thinking that the audience member is neither the total non-gamer nor the total gamer, but in between.That
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #16 on: August 08, 2001, 10:23:00 AM »

Thanks, Fang. I occasionally manage to get all points of my mind aligned properly. Too bad we didn't get any time to hang out at GenCon.

Best,
Ron
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Doc Midnight
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« Reply #17 on: August 08, 2001, 04:52:00 PM »

Okay, Emily:

I am all over the idea of GM-full gameing experiences. My goal is to make my group with consists of The G, N, and S types not notice the difference.

Some players need to believe that the ideas must flow from somewhere else and therefore a light must strike them on the day they are ready to take the reins and become the little shrivled up man in the red robes.

I have nothing but love for the writers with enough vision to share and the charisma to get people to follow it though.

Fang:

If you have a way to get John and Joan Filo-Fax into a game store to LEARN about what the funyon generation have been doing in the basement all these years, I'm all ears my friend.

There are ways to market games and as you think about those games, think about how the mainstream find the products they do buy. MTG expanded a market and they didn't do it with so called mainstreamers either.

There is a chance that a number one draft pick stayed off the streets because he needed to get more XPs for his Ranger/Assassin but that's less likely than him just playing NBA street alot.

On a more grass roots level, If every gamer could get one non gamer to join a session once in a while instead of well...not, then that would be market expansion.

That would even be the market that could buy into GM-full gaming experiences too (pulling it all together Ron).

Gaming traditionalists will not become extinct anymore than people have run away from baseball since inter league play.  Gaming traditionalists could do a bit more to NOT seem like the secret society who wants the mainstream to respect what it does so badly.

Now get out there and lets get that chick with the kate Spade Bag into the Games Joint and hope she doesn't chip a nail and sue.

Doc Midnight
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Doc Midnight
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Le Joueur
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« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2001, 07:21:00 AM »

Quote
Doc Midnight wrote:
If you have a way to get John and Joan Filo-Fax into a game store to LEARN about what the funyon generation have been doing in the basement all these years, I'm all ears my friend.
Unfortunately, as far as I am concerned, they did it backwards.  It was great how they brought licensed product to the customers of our industry, but that means they were targeting a market inherently smaller than that we already have.  My feeling is they missed a great opportunity to instead take role-playing games to people who were fans of the licenses and expose them to role-playing gaming (all without alienating current gamers).

Quote
There are ways to market games and as you think about those games, think about how the mainstream finds the products they do buy.Quote
MTG expanded a market and they didn't do it with so called mainstreamers either.Quote
On a more grass roots level, If every gamer could get one non-gamer to join a session once in a while instead of well...not, then that would be market expansion.playing the character who they were in the card game, I think that could only lead to market expansion.

And if, right next to the Goosebumps novels (that arguably succeeded because they were also written about<publisher (not as a designer), the idea that in both these cases the product has already been shipped and paid for, cannot lack appeal.  So what happened?  Where am I missing something in my ratiocination?  Or am I onto something here?

Quote
That would even be the market that could buy into GM-full gaming experiences too (pulling it all together Ron).

Eventually, exactly!

Quote
Gaming traditionalists will not become extinct anymore than people have run away from baseball since inter-league play.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #19 on: August 09, 2001, 07:43:00 AM »

Damn, I don't know if I'm EVER going to get to Emily's topic ...

Fang,
My concern about licensing and topic-crossover comes from comics. The observation there: although comics fans will run out to see (say) the Barb Wire movie, moviegoers will not swarm into the stores to buy Barb Wire comics.

Substitute any title you please and it still applies. The flow is one-way, in the service of the film/TV medium.

(Those of you who are saying, "Hey, Ron's channelling Dave Sim," are sort of right. However, I arrived at this view prior to his famous essay on the topic, and there are some differences between our views. He blew my mind with several points and went waaay-strange with a couple of others.)

That's why I've never been optimistic about licensing with RPGs. Start with a non-RPG topic and make a game - it didn't work with Xena and it didn't work with Star Trek (it KIND of works with Star Wars). Go the other way, start with an RPG topic and make a movie - it didn't work with D&D.

Now granted, there are many other variables at work here. One might say that we have yet to see a really excellent RPG and a really excellent fan-based topic come together, and if THAT happened, the attraction-effect would occur. However, I'll cite Cthulhu, the aforementioned Star Wars in its original design, and Pendragon. Coherent, fascinating, exciting games, highly tuned to the priorities of those who find the topics themselves interesting outside of gaming. Yet these fine examples did NOT bring people of the fan-persuasion swarming into gaming.

You see, the hell of it is that I have found RPGing to be EXACTLY like comics in terms of attracting or interesting people - it can happen! Many people who either poo-poo the medium or hadn't really thought about it DO turn out to like it, a lot. If they are exposed to it properly. However, I've always had to provide effective introductions verbally because the games themselves (God knows) did not. I applaud Fang's effort to change this problem.

It's just that licensing and topic-crossover isn't my pick for the means to do it.

Best,
Ron
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Le Joueur
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« Reply #20 on: August 09, 2001, 09:17:00 AM »

i]have seen<thatthat
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #21 on: August 09, 2001, 09:29:00 AM »

Fang,

OK, I do see your proposed tactic of "print with print" as a viable and untried option. I also agree with your philosophy of "any positive gain is positive gain." That all flies well with me, and I think your counterarguments have dealt well with my suspicions and fears.

You know, it's perfectly OK to quote me ... my objection is to the line-by-line dissection of posts that fails to address the overall argument ... but I suspect you know this and are enjoying yanking my chain a little.

Best,
Ron
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Mike Holmes
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« Reply #22 on: August 09, 2001, 12:30:00 PM »

Quote

On 2001-08-07 11:07, Ron Edwards wrote:

It's also fair to state that many folks LIKE Fortune to play the role you describe, such that moving the physics or processes of the game-world out of the hands of the actual people is a goal on its own. (Mike Holmes, did I state that correctly?) In other words, Fortune-driven Simulationist play is with us and shouldn't be marginalized.

Best,
Ron


[Mike, donning hat of resident Simulationist proponent]

Ah, yes, Ron, very much so. Thank you.

Consider this. Hiesenbergs Uncertainty Principle tells us, essentially, that the universe has some random elements. If my Role-Playing universe is at all simulative of the real one, I would be doing it a disservice by ignoring Herr Hisenberg. God may not play at dice, but he allows the universe to.  :wink:

We've even had some discussion of late of moving even more stuff out of player control to simulate things more precisely. The whole debate on whether or not it makes sense to be able to control fear or any strong emotion can be taken to the extent that one might take away player control of these aspects of the game. Its an interesting line that many games draw. Few players have a problem with the idea that they can't control, say, their shock reaction to injuries. But this is a mental process to an extent. The sanity rules in CoC are seen as a good addition to that game by many, as is the madness meter of UA. Where do you draw the line?

Pendragon takes away much of the character's control as far as the passions and virtues go. CRPGs take even more than that away at times, even limiting what your character is allowed to say in certain situations. The problem with this in simulation is that the more you try to control with mechanics, the more the fallacy that certain things can be simulated well may slip in. This is why CRGPs are not particularly "realistic" as compared to tabletop where character dialog (amongst other things) is concerned.

I'd suggest that Simulationists are usually looking for that
fine line that gives the players power to simulate what they can do well, and give the game the power to simulate all else. The line is traditionally drawn at the decisions of a single character because this is similar to our own control of ourselves in RL. This is one of the appeals of LARP for many, that you even get to simulate (act) the role of a character including dress, movements and mannerisms.

For certain specific simulations the system may be able to do better than the player. I think that Pendragon does this very well using the passions and virtue mechanics. The stories produced seem to my mind to simulate Authurian Legend pretty well. I think that people have made RPGs about being insane, which would certainly require mechanics for controling either your behavior or perceptions to become an accurate simulation.

A lot depends on how specific your simulation is as to what it regards. Many intend to be able to handle anything in a generic form, and do so only so well, therefore. Not to say that a game like GURPS does a terrible job, in fact I find it perfectly acceptable, overall. However it won't do Arthurian Legend as well as Pendragon specifically because its rules aren't as limiting as those in Pendragon.

My appologies, we now return you to your regularly scheduled thread.

Mike Holmes
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Mike Holmes
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« Reply #23 on: August 09, 2001, 12:43:00 PM »

Quote

(My opinion is also that such a game would have to more reflect personal-level role-playing otherwise the difference when shifting over might alienate the potential market, but I digress.)


What did you mean by that comment?

Mike Holmes
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Mike Holmes
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« Reply #24 on: August 09, 2001, 01:01:00 PM »

Quote

On 2001-08-06 10:08, lumpley wrote:
What impediments to simple agreement are the mechanics there to address?  Are those impediments real?  Do the mechanics address them?  Is there a better way?

-Snip-

I think that there are.  I have some ideas.  But the point is that we can ask those sorts of questions about everything that all y'all came up with in the New Directions thread.  Stats and Skills, what impediments to consensus do they address?  Is there a better way for my game?  Having a GM, what impediments does it address?  Is there a better way for my game?  Meeting once a week, what impediments, is there a better way?

-lumpley


Good post. I think that you have hit on something there, in general. We could all just go out and Collabotratively Storytell with no rules. For every rule you add, ask yourself, how does this improve on Collaborative Storytelling? This works from a Narrativist POV especially well, because the forms approach each other in ways.

For Gamism, I'd say that the rules are the point. Without them there is no judging quality, success, failure, and the other sorts of things that deal with challenges which interest Gamists. For Simulationists, the rules are what compose the simulation, they provide the framework on which to rest suspension of disbelief in something external. For Narrativists, its a framework for propelling the development of stories, having a starting point.

All IMHO.

So to what extent do particular rules do these things, and improve on our neighboring form, Interactive Storytelling?

Neat question.

Mike Holmes
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Le Joueur
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« Reply #25 on: August 10, 2001, 05:47:00 AM »

Quote
Mike Holmes wrote:
Quote
I've been toying with this idea for the longest time now, as well. Even worked up some ideas. Need a collaborator?Quote
I've always meant to look into Dragon Storm. Isn't that exactly what we're talking about here? Maybe it's poorly executed or something. Anybody know details? I've always thought that the Middle Earth CCG was close to being an RPG engine as well.

Actually, to do it the way I am thinking, the card game in question cannot be a role-playing game.  It really must stand alone and have no requirement for role-playing on the part of the participants.

Quote
Quote
(My opinion is also that such a game would have to more reflect personal-level role-playing otherwise the difference when shifting over might alienate the potential market, but I digress.)

What did you mean by that comment?me<Then
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lumpley
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« Reply #26 on: August 10, 2001, 11:05:00 AM »

Mike Holmes says:
Quote
Neat question.

Why thanks.  One tries.  :smile:
Quote

For Gamism, I'd say that the rules are the point. Without them there is no judging quality, success, failure, and the other sorts of things that deal with challenges which interest Gamists. For Simulationists, the rules are what compose the simulation, they provide the framework on which to rest suspension of disbelief in something external. For Narrativists, its a framework for propelling the development of stories, having a starting point.

All IMHO.

So to what extent do particular rules do these things, and improve on our neighboring form, Interactive Storytelling?


Precisely.  Although as a non-buyer-into of the GNS, I don't immediately jump to "How does this rule support a gamist (or whichever) game?"  I'd rather start with "How does this rule help the players respect one another's visions?" or "How does this rule help make settings/characters/events new and interesting?" and as an absolute minimum "Is this rule smart and flexible?"  

(After all, no matter how well a set of rules supports e.g. gamist play, if it interferes with the players' investment in the action and setting or if it sabotages description or if it's stupid and rigid, the kind of play it really supports is: lame.)

But, again as a non-buyer-into, I have some questions for you.  (And for anybody else who's reading, but I'm quoting you, so.)  I'm trying to locate myself on the triangle.  This may not be the best place, but, well, here we are.  

As you say, simulationists prefer/need an external something to hang suspension of disbelief on, and gamists prefer/need an impartial judge of success, failure, quality, etc., yes?  Does that mean that mechanics -less to -light folks are generally a. not simulationists or gamists (i.e. they're narrativists) or b. poor simulationists or gamists?

For the longest time the damage system I used for every game was my partner, an EMT.  I'd say, here's what happens, what's the effect? and she'd tell me, and that's what I'd go with.  She was always also a player in the game.  Simulationist?  Narrativist?

Because frankly I don't give a bean for story, I want a game where what probably would happen probably happens and it's interesting.  But I play a shared-gm, rules-light, description-based (as opposed to quantified) diceless game.

What's up with that?  Am I broken?

-lumpley

(Just in case: :smile:)

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greyorm
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« Reply #27 on: August 10, 2001, 12:05:00 PM »

Quote

I want a game where what probably would happen probably happens

Classical Simulationist, IMO.
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Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
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lumpley
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« Reply #28 on: August 10, 2001, 05:47:00 PM »

With a healthy dose of gamism ("...and it's interesting") is how I see myself too.

No problem reconciling that with mechanics-light diceless etc.?  No need for an external framework on which to suspend disbelief?

Cool.  I'm fine with that.

-lumpley

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Tim C Koppang
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« Reply #29 on: August 10, 2001, 07:55:00 PM »

Quote
As you say, simulationists prefer/need an external something to hang suspension of disbelief on, and gamists prefer/need an impartial judge of success, failure, quality, etc., yes?  Does that mean that mechanics -less to -light folks are generally a. not simulationists or gamists (i.e. they're narrativists) or b. poor simulationists or gamists?


Before I get way off topic (this probably belongs in the GNS forum but hey what the hell?), I'd like to ask why the GNS model immediately assumes that certain rule-heavy/rules-light systems are atttached to the three points of the triangle?  From my understanding, and I should tell you that I prefer the GENder model, a position on the triangle gives you a goal.  Do GNS goals automatically dictate a style of rules for you?  From the sounds of it yes, but why can't a simulationist be happy with a rules-light system?  If the GM fiate is accurate to the setting's reality, then set in stone rules shouldn't matter.  The simulationist's goal, to play an accurate representation of reality, has been accomplished - or is there something more to his goal?

As a side note, this is my problem with GNS: it relies too heavily on the relationship between the RPG system and the player.  Rules are a tool to allow a gamer to accomplish his goals, not part of the goal itself.

It think I'm going to browse the GNS forum now.

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[ This Message was edited by: fleetingGlow on 2001-08-10 23:56 ]
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