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Author Topic: Dynamic Status Quo  (Read 9828 times)
Le Joueur
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« on: August 10, 2001, 01:36:00 PM »

Not sure where to address something FAQ related, but stemming from what I do
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2001, 07:26:00 AM »

Fang,

Your post is impenetrable. I could print it out, mark it up with a pen, and then take a while to cross-reference its points with (say) my theories, but I don't have the luxury of time and energy to do that. I have no doubt that you are making a substantive claim, but in the absence of face/voice contact, or awareness of the prompting-point for you, it's impossible to follow your argument.

Could you please break it down into a stated claim, a set of comparisons, and examples? I would especially appreciate it if you could clarify whether your point (1) accords with, (2) refutes, or (3) is independent of other concepts and terms discussed at the Forge.

Best,
Ron
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Ian O'Rourke
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« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2001, 02:16:00 PM »

Wow, while reading that the green light outside my window changed to red, and a dancing midget in a red shirt spoke backwards to me.

Weird.

Seriously though, it sounds like you've though this all through and it deserves discussion - it's just all the pieces of the puzzle don't seem to be present.

Can we step back a bit first - such as pointing us to the article(s) your referencing may be?
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james_west
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« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2001, 02:29:00 PM »

Me - too. Can't parse the post. An example, maybe?

                - James
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Emily Care
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« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2001, 05:50:00 PM »

Seems like you're describing a style of plot and PC-hooking that you use in GMing called "Dynamic Status Quo" which I paraphrase as:

Characters are generated and run and allowed to pursue their individual agendas.

You find the "channels" in the society they are gaming in that would block or interact negatively (or in a positive manner) with the PC's agendas.

And your discussion of "linking" player to character to character motivation to npc intervention and world conerns, strikes me as this:

You generate plot from the character conflict with world entities, thus the characters are mirrored by the world, and since the players are invested in their character's actions, they feel the resistance of the world against them and so it feels "real" and they have a deep experience of play.

Now, I'd love to know what the source document(s) is/are for the various terms you discuss in the first part of your post (Intuitive Continuity etc) Those are all very tantalizing terms. :smile:

Emily Care
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Le Joueur
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« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2001, 08:34:00 AM »

By popular request:

Quote
Can't parse the post. An example, maybe? - James
Quote
Can we step back a bit first - such as pointing us t
Quote
Now, I'd love to know what the source document(s) is/are for the various terms you discuss in the first part of your post (Intuitive Continuity, etc), those are all very tantalizing terms. - Emily
Quote
Could you please break it down into a stated claim, a set of comparisons, and examples? I would especially appreciate it if you could clarify whether your point (1) accords with, (2) refutes, or (3) is independent of other concepts and terms discussed at the Forge. - Ron

The annotated version (with hyperlinks):

Not sure where to address something FAQ related, but stemming from what I do((1) Accords with and (3) is independent of as an addition) to the list of Scenario Designs offered by the rough draft of the FAQ.

That would be the draft of the GNS 101 FAQ here.  Specifically referring to the section about two-fifths of the way down called Scenario Design that lists Linear and Branched Adventures, Intuitive Continuity1, Set of Encounters2, and Relationship Maps3.  It goes further to stress indirectly that the most important aspect is their relationship to railroading4.

As suggested (vaguely) in my Get Emotional! articleSet of Comparisons #1 Intuitive Continuity1 at first seems like a solution to this dilemma.  The depth of detail of an element in the narrative is roughly proportional to the degree of interaction it has with the player characters.  Superficially, this has a strong tendency to elicit unconscious emotional investment in these elements.

In Get Emotional!<<I recognized some of my game facilitation techniques in both Relationship Mapping3 and Intuitive Continuity1, but I felt both missed something I did unconsciously.  Set of Comparisons #2


Stated Claim

Example<
GNS 101 FAQ<already exist<them<such<<Get Emotional!<

(2) Refutes


This refutes the idea that all Scenario Designs (by implication) should have a stance towards railroading4.

<
Get Emotional! article.)

Whew!  I hope this clears things up a bit.  Feel free to isolate parts for further clarification, I am more than happy to go into detail, obviously.

Fang Langford

1 Defined in the GNS 101 FAQ as "relies on the GM providing a number of encounters and interactions to the players early in a session or series of sessions, without pre-determining their importance. He then uses the players' interests and responses during play to decide which NPCs and situations are going to be the basis for the actual conflicts and concerns."

2 Defined in the GNS 101 FAQ as "a set of locations with descriptions and encounters set out on a map. The players are free to visit or not visit any encounter as they see fit, and they may visit the encounters in any order they choose. Some encounters can lead to other encounters on the map."

3 Defined in the GNS 101 FAQ as "a way to organize a scenario's back-story. It's a chart which shows relationships...among various NPCs in the game. The GM and players build the adventures from character goals and interactions with the NPCs based on the relationships established in the map."

4 Defined in the GNS 101 FAQ as "the GM assuming or controlling player-characters' decisions and opportunities for action."

[ This Message was edited by: Le Joueur on 2001-08-13 17:51 ]
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Le Joueur
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« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2001, 09:04:00 AM »

Quote
Emily Care wrote:
Seems like you're describing a style of plot and PC-hooking that you use in GMing called "Dynamic Status Quo" which I paraphrase as:

Characters are generated and run and allowed to pursue their individual agendas.

You find the "channels" in the society they are gaming in that would block or interact negatively (or in a positive manner) with the PC's agendas.Quote
And your discussion of "linking" player to character to character motivation to npc intervention and world concerns, strikes me as this:

You generate plot from the character conflict with world entities, thus the characters are mirrored by the world, and since the players are invested in their character's actions, they feel the resistance of the world against them and so it feels "real" and they have a deep experience of play.can be a little wordy.

Fang Langford
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Uncle Dark
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« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2001, 10:07:00 PM »

Fang,

A little wordy?  Only in much the same way that Stephen King tends to write short novels! :smile:

If I'm reading you correctly, one of your major points is the way in which you use aspects of the character's role in the settting's society (as determined by the player) to hook the character into the game's social structure that facilitates an "outsider" stance for the PCs, which in turn enables them greater freedom to choose how to react to the great conflict.  But because this "outsider" status is determined by the major players in the society, the PCs cannot ignore the major conflict without giving up on aspects of the character which the player chose, and thus presumably has some investment in.

It seems that much of what you have done is to make explicit  a l ot of things that have been held implicitly by many   GMs.  I am specifically referring to ways to hook the PCs into the great conflict.  I have gamed with very few GMs who do not use some aspect of what you have described, but most of them could not have explained what they were doing.

Lon
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Le Joueur
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« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2001, 05:39:00 AM »

Quote
Quote
Quote
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contracycle
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« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2001, 07:05:00 AM »

Just wanted to mention that I am NOT a fan of the outsider role at all.  I undrestand that attraction, but the great advantage of playing an insider is that the control systems are MORE active on you than on the outsiders (who have no credibility) and thus easier to invoke in play; they emerge more naturally out of the backdrop.  Further, you can use the daily exposure to such control systems as mechanisms for the exposition of the world, which outsiders may not get.  I've had enough negative experiences with outsiders (bloody caitiffs) that these days starting as an insider would be the default, unless there were some overpowering reason to do so.

I would also point out the number of stories that are premised on the transition from insider to outsider, such as Fahrenheit 451.
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Le Joueur
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« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2001, 01:41:00 PM »

quote]contracycle wrote:
Just wanted to mention that I am NOT a fan of the outsider role at all.  I understand that attraction,Quote
but the great advantage of playing an insider is that the control systems are MORE active on you than on the outsidersQuote
[on outsiders]
(who have no credibility) and [are] thus easier to invoke in play; they emerge more naturally out of the backdrop.Quote
[for insiders]
Further, you can use the daily exposure to such control systems as mechanisms for the exposition of the world, which outsiders may not get.

Or outsiders can have repetitive conflicts with the status quo for the same effect, six of one, half a dozen of the other.  In presentation, I doubt one has anything but subjective value over the other.

Quote
I've had enough negative experiences with outsiders (bloody caitiffs) that these days starting as an insider would be the default, unless there were some overpowering reason to do so.Quote
I would also point out the number of stories that are premised on the transition from insider to outsider, such as Fahrenheit 451.

This makes a great basis for premise in more self-conscious games (see Get Emotional! for details on my description of extrinsically valuable, self-conscious games), and an excellent example.  Thank you.

Fang Langfor
Quote
contracycle wrote:
Just wanted to mention that I am NOT a fan of the outsider role at all.  I understand that attractio
Quote
but the great advantage of playing an insider is that the control systems are MORE active on you than on the outsidersQuote
[on outsiders]
(who have no credibility) and [are] thus easier to invoke in play; they emerge more naturally out of the backdrop.Quote
[for insiders]
Further, you can use the daily exposure to such control systems as mechanisms for the exposition of the world, which outsiders may not get.

Or outsiders can have repetitive conflicts with the status quo for the same effect, six of one, half a dozen of the other.  In presentation, I doubt one has anything but subjective value over the other.

Quote
I've had enough negative experiences with outsiders (bloody caitiffs) that these days starting as an insider would be the default, unless there were some overpowering reason to do so.Quote
I would also point out the number of stories that are premised on the transition from insider to outsider, such as Fahrenheit 451.

This makes a great basis for premise in more self-conscious games (see Get Emotional! for details on my description of extrinsically valuable, self-conscious games), and an excellent example.  Thank you.

Fang Langford
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Paul Czege
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« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2001, 08:15:00 PM »

 This Message was edited by: Paul Czege on 2001-08-15 00:16 ]
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contracycle
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« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2001, 03:41:00 AM »

Quote
Le Joueur
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« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2001, 06:18:00 AM »

Quote
Quote
The scenario presents material that would create emotional impact for the character, and the player's immersion causes him to be interested in the things affecting the character.

I know I sound like a radical, but first-person identification is not the only connection between player and character that exploits this "interest."  As an example, for people who find their characters finely crafted tools that allow them to exploit the game, the act of craftsmanship creates a visceral "interest" in what affects the character.

Quote
But what I'm really interested in is the potential for the concept of channels to bypass the two-tier method of hooking the player via the character.

Just curious, which two-tier method is that?

Quote
I'm interested in the potential of channels to hook the player directly. There's a reason the Ron Edwards' relationship-map scenario method is focused almost exclusively on relationships of blood (relations) and sex. It's because the betrayal, violation, and exploiting of those relationships is universal in being compelling to players, with no immersion required, in ways that the nuances of chivalric honor, for example, probably aren't. The relationship-map method is about hooking the player directly.

I think the reason that "blood and sex" are very good is because both are almost entirely about emotion by themselves<more<read<
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And it seems to me that there's some potential with your theory of channels to accomplish the same thing. Your statement that channels are "always well worn" speaks to their universality in relation to the human condition.our world!").

Quote
When I think of something like a person being channeled into in a situation of disempowering subordination in a workplace environment, which seems like something with the potential to hook a player directly.

And this also makes a great premise for playing in a self-conscious narrative.

Quote
What do you think? How about some examples of channels you've exploited in your games?I
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contracycle
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« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2001, 06:37:00 AM »

So, precisely which channels were you exploiting?
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