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Author Topic: IntCon vs GM Oomph?!  (Read 6932 times)
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 10459


« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2002, 10:40:53 AM »

You're reading way too much into Force (oomph). It's not about contramanding Player decisions so much as it is control of the events that occur.

And remember that this term is within the context of the Illusionism discussion. That is, GM ability to affect the world has no place in this discussion other than it refers to the GMs ability to control the plot. If I create a creature called a Boondoggle just for kicks, and I do not intend for it to affect the plot in any way, that is not Force. Force, is doing something like listening to the player's choice of rout at the fork in the road, and having it automatically taking them to the adventure. There must be intent on the part of the GM to make it Force.

So, no, this does not happen in all styles of gaming. Far from it. Although most GMs use some Force, some of the time. In some games it would be considered cheating, however. And some just don't like it for whatever reason. So, no, Force is not universal. Far from it.

I find myself oddly enough agreeing with Christoffer here.

That said, one can read the Planting Seeds part as definitely non-Illusionist. As long as the players are really free to ignore the seeds, then this particular technique is not Forceful. But you'll find GMs will even do subtle things like ensuring that the seeds pop up repeatedly and the like to get them to grow. As soon as that happens, IntCon becomes Illusionism. In any case, remember that if the players are grabbing onto these seeds because they are thematically interesting, then they are playing Narrativist.

What IntCon does not define is what the purpose of such play is exactly. Is it designed to produce Narrativist play? Sim play? Some combination? In the latter case, that would be, what should be call it...El Dorado?

This is the problem. Skarka isn't on the same page, and as such, his techniques could be used for all sorts of things.

Illusionism specifically states that the desired outcome is Sim play from the players (at least to an extent). As such, IntCon used to go Sim is Illusionist. I suggest that this is probably what Skarka is looking for, because what other goal is worth all the rigamarole?

Mike

P.S. If Mr. Skarka is reading, would you like to comment. I would like to know if I'm abusing your theory in any way.
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Le Joueur
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« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2002, 11:22:10 AM »

Hey Mike,

By George, I think you've done it!

Quote from: Mike Holmes
You're reading way too much into Force (oomph). It's not about contramanding Player decisions so much as it is control of the events that occur.

More like 'overstating' what I read, but I take your meaning.  And it was what I was actually trying to say; only you've said it much better.

Quote from: Mike Holmes
And remember that this term is within the context of the Illusionism discussion....  Force, is doing something like listening to the player's choice of route at the fork in the road, and having it automatically taking them to the adventure. There must be intent on the part of the GM to make it Force.

So, no, this does not happen in all styles of gaming. Far from it. Although most GMs use some Force, some of the time. In some games it would be considered cheating, however. And some just don't like it for whatever reason. So, no, Force is not universal. Far from it.

I wasn't very clear.  My understanding now is that both Illusionism and IntCon are both about creating 'story.'  However my point still stands, there are forms of gaming (with 'story') where the gamemaster is offered no Force usage.  Like perhaps some high-player-input Narrativism?

And in these terms, I'm arguing that there are 'story-conscious' games where the gamemaster is allowed no Force at all and that that is markedly different from those that expect, condone, or even just allow the use of Force.  So different in fact, that I still see the difference between a little Force and a lot, as trivial.

Christoffer's problem with my poorly worded take on 'none or some' Force, matters little on whether IntCon is Illusionism or not.  Don't you agree?

Quote from: Mike Holmes
That said, one can read the Planting Seeds part as definitely non-Illusionist. As long as the players are really free to ignore the seeds, then this particular technique is not Forceful. But you'll find GMs will even do subtle things like ensuring that the seeds pop up repeatedly and the like to get them to grow. As soon as that happens, IntCon becomes Illusionism. In any case, remember that if the players are grabbing onto these seeds because they are thematically interesting, then they are playing Narrativist.

What IntCon does not define is what the purpose of such play is exactly. Is it designed to produce Narrativist play? Sim play? Some combination?

That's what leads us back to my original assertion, the one I made in Private Messages that got Christoffer so up in arms.  You make it clear that IntCon either has or doesn't have Force.  When it has, it is clearly Illusionism.  Then what I said ("I was arguing...that (barring Illusionist play) it was most like 'pinball Simulationism' in that it didn't include Gamemaster Oomph in its explanation (for or against it).") still holds (with a new addendum that it could also be Narrativism; I hadn't accounted for 'story orientation' back there).  Illusionism isn't always IntCon and IntCon isn't always Illusionism; you've made the case that they aren't that relevant to each other.

You've also clarified what Forceful play is, which seems to be contrary to how Christoffer read it.  Thank you for settling that.  I was getting tired of not being able to say it as plainly as you have (and being accused of all kinds of personal agenda projection).

Quote from: Mike Holmes
This is the problem. Skarka isn't on the same page, and as such, his techniques could be used for all sorts of things.

My point exactly, and said better than I.  (Though I should qualify my last statement before this post, "My impression is that [Christoffer] can't imagine a [story oriented] game without some degree of [Covert Force]. In my eyes, that leaves [him] thinking that ultimately all [story oriented] gaming is Illusionism to some degree and that some games are simply 'more honest' about it."  And I still disagree.)

Fang Langford
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 10459


« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2002, 11:49:39 AM »

Hmm. The only real exception to the idea of Story requiring Force (which could almost be called Author stance), IMO, is the Narrativist example that you give.

One of my points was to say that I think that IntCon, when you sort out it's likely goal of player modes, probably does require some force. Making it Illusionism in that case. Skarka just leaves it open to player interperetation (and as such it may just become Narrativism in play, or even Objective Sim in which case the best you can hope for is the "Series of interesting events").

Part of the problem is that I'm using Story pretty strongly towards the Edwardsian meaning. Not the Nar Premise part, but I am reqiring play to be other than a "Series of interesting events" to be a story. As such, that does require sombody to be using some sort of technique to occur other than simple interperetation of the setting in objective terms. That's either Force, or it's Narrativism on the parts of the players. Or both; note that Ron uses a lot of Force to promote Narrativism (you just can't force the outcome of the moral decisions; that part has to be Player power for it to be Narrativism).

Is that any more clear?

Mike
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Christoffer Lernö
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« Reply #18 on: November 28, 2002, 08:35:52 PM »

To set the record straight Fang, what had me up in arms was when you said "IntCon = 0 GM Oomph" and the correlated claim that since I was using Force I couldn't be doing IntCon. (Yes that's what you said!) Well that and the claim that "GM Oomph = Railroading".

Are you saying you've changed your stance about that?
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« Reply #19 on: November 28, 2002, 10:29:28 PM »

Quote from: Pale Fire
Are you saying you've changed your stance about that?

Obviously, I've said as much.

Quote from: Pale Fire
...You said "IntCon = 0 GM Oomph"

Not once did I say that.  Sigh, for the third time, I said, "in your manner of expression, '0 GM Oomph =/= Illusionism' AND Intuitive Continuity can comfortably exist without story or 'GM Oomph.'"  And after the full quotes were made available, I recanted the latter part; IntCon is obviously for story, but as Mike demonstrated, could be read as with or without Gamemaster Oomph because Skarka didn't have this terminology.

Which goes back to the original statement that you had such a problem.  I remain unconvinced that IntCon is simply another form of Illusionism.  From the above, I think it's pretty clear that neither completely encloses the other; honestly, why is this so important to you?  It's just my opinion.

Quote from: Pale Fire
the claim that "GM Oomph = Railroading"

Over in this thread about Railroading Mike lays it out very well.  I'm classified as thinking both that Railroading isn't always dysfunctional and it means the same as Force or Gamemaster Oomph; that puts me in the minority.  Besides, what difference does it make what I think of your preferred method of gaming?  It's not like I discuss it with anyone; heck I don't even like using the term 'Railroading' in public.

Now can you let it go?  Or do you feel so personally insulted that I must make a public apology for something I said in private?

Fang Langford
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Christoffer Lernö
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Posts: 822


« Reply #20 on: November 29, 2002, 08:58:38 PM »

I just wasn't clear on what you wrote. I could see what you wrote before as both a "well, you have a point but I'm interpreting it my way" or "yes that's correct, and here are some more points". I just didn't know which one it was. There was a lot of "I agree, but only because it isn't what Christoffer said it was" so...

Quote from: Fang Langford
Quote from: Pale Fire
...You said "IntCon = 0 GM Oomph"

Not once did I say that.  Sigh, for the third time, I said, "in your manner of expression, '0 GM Oomph =/= Illusionism' AND Intuitive Continuity can comfortably exist without story or 'GM Oomph.'"

Well, that's true. I admit mixing things up... I was the one who asked you if the above "IntCon = 0 GM Oomph" was what you meant.
What you actually said was IntCon has little or no GM Oomph.

This was the closest you got to ruling out Oomph for IntCon was:
Quote
The reddened passages pretty much tell the story. Since overt (#2) use of gamemaster control (#1) is defined as railroading and both definitions of Intuitive Continuity define it as "NEVER railroading" (not even covertly) and "a form of 'winging it'" (no gamemaster control), Intuitive Continuity simply cannot be Illusionism. The "fixed variable" of gamemaster control is always present in Illusionism (however covert, flexible, or consensual) and "NEVER" in Intuitive Continuity, it seems pretty clear and simple to me.

Apologies for misquoting you like that. I stand corrected.

Now for a question:

If I understand things right, El Dorado is a proposition for something akin to a "GM Oomph free IntCon"(?) Something now understood(? or did I misunderstand that) going to some sort of Narrativism.

I'm not sure, but I seem to remember IntCon being established as GMing style working with (player) Simulationist play. In that case, wouldn't El Dorado rather been seen as a "hidden" "pure" Narrativist play?

On one side of the "Sim/Nar" divide we have IntCon grounded in Sim but borrowing covertly from Nar, and on the other we have El Dorado grounded in Nar but with (or without) a Sim covering? Would that work as a description?

(As for the other things: The problem we had in private was that since our definitions didn't match we were not able to communicate propertly. You felt I was missing your point and I felt the same)
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