*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
May 17, 2022, 12:17:02 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: 77 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
Pages: 1 [2]
Print
Author Topic: 7th Sea: Illusionism in practice  (Read 14447 times)
Valamir
Member

Posts: 5574


WWW
« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2002, 01:24:08 PM »

sorry, I meant plot as in dastardly plans and machinations of the villain.

As in, foiling the evil wizards inticate plot...when really the plot (i.e. the many layered steps of the wizards plan) doesn't exist except as its created when the PCs come in contact with it.
Logged

gentrification
Member

Posts: 59


WWW
« Reply #16 on: November 22, 2002, 01:58:06 PM »

Mike:

Yes, I think so. Maybe a little of both?

The goal was not to make the players believe that I had the whole story (or plot) planned from the get-go. It was . . . hmm. To arrange the story around their characters so that the players could make sim decisions that still addressed the premise, without having to be explicitly deliberate about it.

That matter of being explicit is a tricky one, I think. There were moments where I broke out into meta-game discussion during the session, where I said, "We can do this scene or we can do this scene; my question to you is, which are you more interested in?" But that sort of talk was actually very minimal, and I tend to try to keep it that way. There is a certain level of narrativism that neither I nor my group are particularly comfortable with -- the level where you sit down and say, literally say, something like, "Okay, we're here to run a game that addresses the premise of filial duty vs. patriotic duty; everyone roll up a character that illustrates this conflict in some way and come up with a kicker." I would prefer to allow the players to dwell comfortably in "my guy" mode, if that's where they want to be.

I see examples of both kinds of behind-the-scenes manipulation in these write-ups:

    1) Manipulation to make it appear as though there is no predetermined outcome when really there is (ignoring the dice rolls when Gabriel and Iain crawled up the sewer pipe).
    2) Manipulation to make it appear as though there was a predetermined outcome when really there was not (Marcon teleporting to Alessandra by way of a retroactively blooded dress).
   
In either case, I was usually doing it to (in Brian's case) keep the character's environment "charged" with premise, so that the player would react to it and address it, or (in the case of the other two players), to serve what I thought were the dramatic needs of the moment, in terms of pacing, wrapping up or transitioning to a scene, etc.

I wonder if I've complicated things too much by bringing in decisions that were made in between sessions.
Logged

Michael Gentry
Enantiodromia
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #17 on: November 22, 2002, 02:03:00 PM »

I wouldn't worry, Mike. Is it fun?

Anyhow, I think we can all agree that there was some Illusionist technique being used here and there. But the play probably alternated between Sim and Narr. Which makes it sound a lot like my sessions with Hero Wars lately (though those are tending towards the Narrativist, which makes sense given the players). In any case, I think we're using a similar mix of technique.

And I'm having great gobs of fun. And my players say they are, too. So I can't complain.

Mike
Logged

Member of Indie Netgaming
-Get your indie game fix online.
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #18 on: November 22, 2002, 02:12:36 PM »

Hello,

Mike wrote,
There is a certain level of narrativism that neither I nor my group are particularly comfortable with -- the level where you sit down and say, literally say, something like, "Okay, we're here to run a game that addresses the premise of filial duty vs. patriotic duty; everyone roll up a character that illustrates this conflict in some way and come up with a kicker."

I'd like to emphasize that this mode of play largely remains a bugaboo - a fear that people experience when they read about "addressing Premise" or "Author stance," but not really much of a phenomenon in reality. I don't play this way. I don't know of anyone who plays this way routinely. It strikes me as something that really ought to be relegated to some theoretical closet and left there.

Were the players emotionally engaged in the Premise? In which "the" really means "a" or "several," which was or were mutually accessible? Did they make decisions out of that emotional engagement? Were those decisions, for all intents and purposes, the "story" in the sense of a movie or similarly focused series of fictional events?

Then there ya go, Narrativism. It really is that easy; it has nothing to do with stern-faced, pin-headed dialogue like, "Well, this is all about whether incest can be ethically justifiable under conditions of totalitarian oppression," justifying each instance of play.

There's definitely a shift represented by your four threads about the game. I'm mainly responding to or describing your final one or two.

Last thoughts: your distinction between "I meant that" (when you didn't) and "What a surprise" (when it wasn't) isn't much of a distinction to me; they seem like two versions of the same basic "curtain."

If I'm reading correctly, the employment of that curtain demands some review on your part, perhaps not in dialogue so much as internally, and perhaps not so much regarding this game, but in comparing it with whatever you play next, and how you handle it. You might find that the effort to say either of these things ("I meant that") ("What a surprise") turns out to be ... unnecessary. Or you might find that a player or two likes it enough to keep. Either way, the point is that you are the master of the curtain, not the reverse, and that it, itself, is not the make-or-break element of the success of the game.

Best,
Ron
Logged
gentrification
Member

Posts: 59


WWW
« Reply #19 on: November 22, 2002, 02:15:10 PM »

Oh, it's brilliant fun.

I didn't mean am I complicating my own play with between-session decisions. I meant did I complicate this analysis, in this thread, by examining between-session decisions right alongside decisions made during play. It suddenly occurred to me that those two situations probably have very different dynamics going on.

But yeah, it's great fun.

The purpose of this post-mortem was to help me get a handle on which of the grab-bag of ideas and techniques that I've picked up from the Forge helped to make it fun. I personally have no particular stake in whether it's called "Illusionism" or not; that's just the term I thought (perhaps too hastily) it fit best under.
Logged

Michael Gentry
Enantiodromia
gentrification
Member

Posts: 59


WWW
« Reply #20 on: November 23, 2002, 08:00:36 AM »

Quote from: Ron

Mike wrote,
There is a certain level of narrativism that neither I nor my group are particularly comfortable with -- the level where you sit down and say, literally say, something like, "Okay, we're here to run a game that addresses the premise of filial duty vs. patriotic duty; everyone roll up a character that illustrates this conflict in some way and come up with a kicker."

I'd like to emphasize that this mode of play largely remains a bugaboo - a fear that people experience when they read about "addressing Premise" or "Author stance," but not really much of a phenomenon in reality. I don't play this way. I don't know of anyone who plays this way routinely. It strikes me as something that really ought to be relegated to some theoretical closet and left there.


Ron, I hope I didn't come across as sounding denigratory; I apologize if I did. That impression comes to me from some of the more focused designs that get pitched on the game design forum -- language like, "These rules attempt to address or reinforce such and such a premise during play." It seemed to me that the best way -- the only way -- to effectively play a game like that would be to explicitly acknowledge its premise at the start of play and use the mechanics to work towards it.

All of which struck me as a fascinating direction to push game design, but one in which I wasn't motivated to travel in myself. I am pleased with Hard Travellin', for example, but I have little desire to play it.

In any case, I appreciate the feedback. I evidently understand narrativism less than I thought I did -- what I get, I suppose, for lurking so much instead of participating.
Logged

Michael Gentry
Enantiodromia
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #21 on: November 23, 2002, 11:24:08 AM »

Hi Mike,

No denigration perceived here. What I'm dealing with, I think, is the long-term fallout from being accused of a Narrativist conversion-cultist (and marginalizer of other forms of play) and reacting by cutting back on my coaching and examples, which used to be almost all of my internet time regarding role-playing back on GO. The result, a year later, is a bunch of people who don't realize what Narrativism is in practice, only in abstract principle. "H'm, am I thinking in [abstract principle] terms when I play?" they ask themselves. "No, I don't. [what a surprise] Guess it can't be Narrativist." It's even come to the point where people think that if they care about and like their characters, it must be too "involved" to be Narrativist, which is, bluntly, bizarre.

Anyway. None of this is directed at you particularly, but toward the whole community at the Forge. A number of recent threads have led me to kick myself, in retrospect, ever for listening to the cries of neophobes who accused me of favoritism, then all promptly left the Forge.

Best,
Ron
Logged
Seth L. Blumberg
Member

Posts: 303


« Reply #22 on: November 25, 2002, 11:53:39 AM »

Quote from: Ron
What I'm dealing with, I think, is the long-term fallout from being accused of a Narrativist conversion-cultist (and marginalizer of other forms of play) and reacting by cutting back on my coaching and examples, which used to be almost all of my internet time regarding role-playing back on GO. The result, a year later, is a bunch of people who don't realize what Narrativism is in practice, only in abstract principle.

That would explain why I'm starting to get the feeling that the only way I'm ever going to understand what Narrativism is is to game with you, or with someone who has gamed with you, and thereby receive the True Flame of Narrativism in Apostolic Succession.
Logged

the gamer formerly known as Metal Fatigue
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #23 on: November 25, 2002, 11:56:18 AM »

Hi Seth,

Actually, I think that's the wrong message to get. My real message would be that a whole bushel of you are probably already playing Nifty Narrativism and just think you aren't, only because you like to be "in character" or don't pontificate about Grand Themes while you play.

Best,
Ron
Logged
Blake Hutchins
Member

Posts: 614


« Reply #24 on: November 26, 2002, 04:49:35 PM »

Amen to that.  We've fallen into an Exalted Pool game over the last month, and (to my surprise) it's turning into an ongoing chronicle with plenty of player enthusiasm driving things and expanding the scope of play.  No grand themes, no deep thoughts, just blazing martial arts, oversized shoulderplates, crackling auras, and outlandish sword-spinning anime action.  Fun as hell for all involved, whimsey cards and all.  I'd certainly call it narrativist, though.

Best,

Blake
Logged
Gordon C. Landis
Member

Posts: 1024

I am Custom-Built Games


WWW
« Reply #25 on: November 27, 2002, 04:08:49 PM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards
Actually, I think that's the wrong message to get. My real message would be that a whole bushel of you are probably already playing Nifty Narrativism and just think you aren't, only because you like to be "in character" or don't pontificate about Grand Themes while you play.


OK, I went and hunted down an old quote from Ron about a Talislanta "metaplot" I was involved in.  

Quote from: Ron Edwards
As an aside, nothing about Narrativist play demands that every moment of every session is solely devoted to squinty-eyed scripting. Good stories come in all shapes and sizes and paces ... some meander, some are short (embedded in a sea of a long-term changing setting), some are long (enscapulating that same long-term changing setting). What you describe sounds like powerful Narrativism to me.


It took me a long time to digest the notion that what I thought was mostly-Sim drifting to Nar could in fact be strong Nar.  Thinking about it, I began to realize that for most RPers all styles strongly include elements of  each of the others.  I agree, this is an important point often lost on people.  The difference between a Sim version of my Talislanta game and a Nar version is actually pretty subtle in execution - yet still brutally obvious in experience.

Gordon
(looking forward to reading the 7th Seas sessions in detail ASAP)
Logged

www.snap-game.com (under construction)
contracycle
Member

Posts: 2807


« Reply #26 on: November 28, 2002, 08:54:45 AM »

Quote from: Mike Holmes
Wait, wait, wait, Ralph.

No.

Why would you want that? Why would anyone want the players to think there was a plot, when in fact there was none? What does that get you?


Consistency.  The facts of which bits of the world ARE detailed and which are not can convey/telegraph to the players where the plot is.  If they do not want to know this, then as simple thing as talking to a hitherto undetailed guard can start to spill the beans as the GM says: "Um... yeah, his name is Jack, thats right."  Immediately, Jack has a big player-visible signpost which says "This is not the plot".  This severaly challenges the perception that world is objective, and makes its subjectivity visible.
Logged

Impeach the bomber boys:
www.impeachblair.org
www.impeachbush.org

"He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may cast."
- Leonardo da Vinci
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #27 on: November 29, 2002, 09:15:41 AM »

Quote from: contracycle

Consistency.
Quote


Got it Gareth, as you can see above, my problem was based on my misreading of Ralph's post. We all agree that it's about creating the perception of an objective unniverse.

Mike
Logged

Member of Indie Netgaming
-Get your indie game fix online.
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!