*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
October 23, 2014, 06:29:36 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 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 57 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
Pages: 1 2 [3]
Print
Author Topic: An approach for mechanics and innovation  (Read 10626 times)
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #30 on: August 10, 2001, 11:06:00 PM »

Folks,

The GNS model does not suggest that Simulationist play is necessarily associated with "rules-heavy" system design.

To the contrary, it suggests that Simulationist play is represented across a wide spectrum of "rules-density," from the detailed causal mechanics of RuneQuest to the nearly-rules-less Elayjitist play style.

The final paragraphs in the "System Does Matter" essay explicitly state that rules-light vs. rules-heavy is not related to GNS discussion.

Best,
Ron
Logged
lumpley
Administrator
Member
*
Posts: 3453


WWW
« Reply #31 on: August 11, 2001, 04:18:00 AM »

I think I'll post my followup to this part of the thread over in GNS.  See you there!

Mm, later, unfortunately.  Gotta go bathe the kid.

Oh but meanwhile, where can I find more about Elayjitism?  I've seen y'all refer to it but I've no clue what it is.

-lumpley

[ This Message was edited by: lumpley on 2001-08-11 08:22 ]

[ This Message was edited by: lumpley on 2001-08-11 09:10 ]
Logged
lumpley
Administrator
Member
*
Posts: 3453


WWW
« Reply #32 on: August 11, 2001, 08:49:00 AM »

I've been thinking hard and I changed my mind.  Turns out I don't have much more to say about the GNS, and the last thing we need is a thread about me disagreeing about how y'all may possibly have characterized a description of the way I play that I don't even 100% identify with.  I mean, please.  I think my Crackpot persona was slipping and revealing the Whiney Belligerent Dogmatic Gimboid underneath.

But I'm still curious about Elayjitism.  Can somebody help me out?

-lumpley


Logged
Gordon C. Landis
Member

Posts: 1024

I am Custom-Built Games


WWW
« Reply #33 on: August 12, 2001, 03:47:00 AM »

http://live.roolipeli.net/turku/school/

That should do it - the uh, absolutism and arrogance displayed at the site left me laughing at this notion for a long time, but as I've come to understand the desires and motivations of its' practioners better, I've realized they've got a really HARD problem, so maybe the Elaytijist stuff ain't completely wacko.  It's not for me, but if your into that kinda thing, it might help.

Gordon C. Landis
Logged

www.snap-game.com (under construction)
lumpley
Administrator
Member
*
Posts: 3453


WWW
« Reply #34 on: August 12, 2001, 06:38:00 AM »

Huh.  Well, I'm all for confronting people and being in their faces and all, but it seems to me that a sense of humor can sometimes help.

What's the hard problem they've got?  I didn't spot it in my casual read-through.

And I understand now why more people call it 'the E-thing' than its name.

Thanks for the link.

-lumpley
Logged
Jack Spencer Jr
Guest
« Reply #35 on: August 12, 2001, 07:52:00 AM »

boyoboy

I, too, have only casually glaced at the Turku's Manifest and gawd!

I state this much to be fair but now to be unfair:

I sounds like the Turku School take themselves and their games very, very seriously.  And that's fine, although I have to wonder where the fun is, but that's just me.

It also sounds like a lot of work.  With so much effort being presented, I have to ask what do you get out of it?

This is something that goes along with the whole GNS model and it should probably go there.

In fact, it will go there.

Later.
Logged
Emily Care
Member

Posts: 1126


WWW
« Reply #36 on: August 12, 2001, 06:28:00 PM »

There is a phrase I've heard recently:

Before speaking, consider is words are an improvement over silence.

I was reminded of that by the discussion of the use of mechanics, and the comparison with Group Storytelling. If you don't need a mechanic, don't use it.

That's how I feel, too. But in many ways I'm a lazy GM, or at least I would be in some circles. The folks I co-gm with think I'm pulling my weight.

Back to the original question:
When does a mechanic support SOD/help overcome a breakdown in concensus?
When doesn't it?

A classic example for me of mechanics that always break down my SOD are attribute purchasing lists.  I know the lists are there to help me think up neato keen things for me character to be/be able to do. But I always find myself buying an Eidetic Albino with Perfect Timing and Absolute direction. (Yes, I really did this, actually I don't remember if she had timing _and_ direction) Drives me nuts, and I know it's my own darn fault, but I often find that skill lists block my creative juices when I'm character building, rather than helping them flow.

Emily Care


Logged

Koti ei ole koti ilman saunaa.

Black & Green Games
Gordon C. Landis
Member

Posts: 1024

I am Custom-Built Games


WWW
« Reply #37 on: August 12, 2001, 09:41:00 PM »

Quote

On 2001-08-12 10:38, lumpley wrote:
What's the hard problem they've got?  I didn't spot it in my casual read-through.


The "problem" *I* see (it wouldn't be phrased this way on their site, if it's there at all - it occured to me in the context of GNS discssions here) is that they desire a "pure" simulation, and "complete" immersion.  That's tough to pull off.
Logged

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

Posts: 2807


« Reply #38 on: August 13, 2001, 01:40:00 AM »

All in all, it does seem like to much work.  And possibly flawed in conception, but thats another argument.
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
Logan
Member

Posts: 153


« Reply #39 on: August 13, 2001, 05:55:00 AM »

Hey, Gordon,

I think the way I'd put it is "Immersion to the exclusion of all else." But there is one thing that's weird about their doctrine. While they seem to be all about being the character, they also talk about supporting the GM in achieving the GM's goal for the game. Seems to me, these 2 stated goals might sometimes cause a contradiction.

Logan
Logged
Logan
Member

Posts: 153


« Reply #40 on: August 13, 2001, 06:43:00 AM »

There are a couple things I wanted to add to the discussion about games with a distributed GM arrangement. It seems to me, the idea works very well for a game like Soap. The premise is such that the resulting chaos from allowing everyone to have a pretty free hand in saying what happens just adds to the fun. I'm not certain how well such a free arrangement works with more serious subject matter.

I also must respectfully disagree with the notion that the GM is some sort of elected dictator. Certainly, some GMs may treat the role as such, but sometimes that is exactly what the players want and expect. Different social contracts for different groups. Some GMs simply end up with the job because no one else wants it or because that person is the one with the greatest desire to make the games happen.

Give the GM some credit. Seems to me that most games demand the GM to make a pretty steep commitment in time in order to run a game. Most RPGs are rather heavy games. They have a lot of rules, a lot of bookkeeping, and require a lot of work to set up adventures. It takes a certain kind of person to willingly deal with that. Yet, the real world has its own demands. The time to do all that and a person's willingness to put in the time often fades as the roleplayer gets older.

In practice, having a GM as moderator, peacemaker, and final arbiter can help keep the attention centered on the game. From a certain point of view, the GM can set the tone. Finally, not all GMs act as dictators. Ron and I have been talking recently about the role of GM as facilitator. We pretty much reached the same conclusion by independent means.

Ron and I both think that author/director power for the players is a very good thing. For it to work, the GM has to give up a lot of his power as, umn, dictator, and give the players freedom to take the game where they want to go with it. The GM still has input, but it's a very democratic approach to running a game. The primary benefit there is that the GM can still remain detached and help keep the game from degenerating into chaos or silliness. He can also run the game more loosely, reducing his preparation time and increasing everyone's enjoyment of the game.

Logan
Logged
lumpley
Administrator
Member
*
Posts: 3453


WWW
« Reply #41 on: August 13, 2001, 12:19:00 PM »

Logan says:
Quote
It seems to me, the idea [of a distributed GM arrangement] works very well for a game like Soap. The premise is such that the resulting chaos from allowing everyone to have a pretty free hand in saying what happens just adds to the fun. I'm not certain how well such a free arrangement works with more serious subject matter.


Well, I don't know a better way to play Ars Magica, and it's relatively serious.

There are some games that I can't imagine sharing GM power/responsibility in.  A Spend the Night in a Haunted House game, for instance.  There, I'd want a tight, taut, bounded game, thematically consistent, focused, with only one person's sense of timing.

But a big, sprawling, long-term game like Ars Magica, as long as all the GMs like the game, it'll work fine.  Giving everybody free reign makes the game diverse and rich, not (merely) chaotic.

Quote
Ron and I both think that author/director power for the players is a very good thing. For it to work, the GM has to give up a lot of his power as, umn, dictator, and give the players freedom to take the game where they want to go with it. The GM still has input, but it's a very democratic approach to running a game. The primary benefit there is that the GM can still remain detached and help keep the game from degenerating into chaos or silliness. He can also run the game more loosely, reducing his preparation time and increasing everyone's enjoyment of the game.


I see it as a continuum.  At one end you have what the E-thing-people do, where the only right of the player is to play the character and every every EVERY thing else belongs to the GM.  At the other you have what Meg and Emily and I are doing, where there is nobody more GM than anybody else.  In between you have all sorts of tasty stuff: powerful player-directors, troupe-style multiple PCs, rotating GMs, a story-GM and a rules-GM, and so on.

Short form: it's all good.

-lumpley

p.s. A couple of times you mention that the GM can keep the game from degenerating into silliness.  Why do you need a GM to do this?  Why can't the players just do it them own selves?
Logged
Emily Care
Member

Posts: 1126


WWW
« Reply #42 on: August 13, 2001, 06:38:00 PM »

Hi Logan,

Thanks for writing about GM as facilitator. That's a very good model for play.  

And from my experience, polyGMing doesn't add chaos or detract from focus. Lumpley's discussion of different distributions of GM power for different types of games is helpful.

By dictator, I was alluding to the original sense.  Before the Emperors, the Senate in ancient Rome would choose a dictator at times of crisis.  Lumpley's original post about the "breakdown of consensus" made me think of that process.  When a group of roleplayers has a break down in their consensus, by which their collective disbelief is suspended, they elect a dictator: a GM.  Only in the sense, that one person at a time, generally, is given the power to enforce the rules and make binding decisions.  

My experience has lead me to believe that powers traditionally held by a single GM can be spread among multiple people, and play can still be focused. If done in a haphazard fasion, chaos might ensue, but if everyone is pulling together, then instead what you get is greater complexity. Meguey gives an example of this with regard to NPC's in the "Narrative Sharing" thread in Actual Play.  

My main point is not that the GM holds too much power _over_ the players or characters, but that the GM holds an imbalance and unnecessary amount of power in the world.  Good GM's facilitate and guide, and help and encourage and challenge and stump and allow their players to go beyond their own experience.  However, I think you've said yourself, Logan, why it is that so few people GM vs. play.  The complexity of the rules of most roleplaying games.  
When you simplify mechanics, or question the need for them altogether---although, I rather think that co-gming simply uses different kinds of mechanics that we are in the process of mapping out, and I believe that if we want to encourage it in more people guidelines will be extremely helpful--it becomes easier for more people to GM.  

Another stumbling block, ability to create plot/character/world/goal/etc. would be lessened if people were encouraged to do these things as a matter of course in play, or if it were more acknowledged and appreciated that that is what they are doing (often) in the course of writing and playing their character(s).  

Emily Care
Logged

Koti ei ole koti ilman saunaa.

Black & Green Games
Logan
Member

Posts: 153


« Reply #43 on: August 14, 2001, 05:43:00 AM »

Silliness, in this case, is just a sort of catch-all for behavior which doesn't help the game go. GMs can contribute to that as much as anyone. YMMV. If you're running serious stuff with distributed GM arrangement, that's great!

I have to agree with Lumpley. The whole Balance of Power thing is a continuum. There are some folks who aren't going to want anything to do with distributed GM arrangements. Immersive roleplayers come to mind. For them, the time and effort to be part GM interferes with their all-consuming effort to be their characters.

The rules-light/rules-heavy issue has a lot of impact here, but I think the way it actually plays out is weird. Lighter rules give more freedom to everyone just as a matter of course. They're easier to learn, easier to use, more open to interpretation. I'm a big fan of lighter systems. Yet, heavier rules seem to flourish in the marketplace. The 3E PHB is an emblem of that. People complain that it reads like an encyclopedia, yet most of the players I know own the thing and play the game. I don't. It makes my eyes glaze over after a few minutes, though I suppose I would have been thrilled with it when I was in high school.

Heavy rules have been the historical hedge against giving the GM too much power. The GM has a rule to consult for resolving everything that happens. His freedom to interpret results is limited. The knowledgable player can monitor how the rules are applied and point out discrepancies. Ergo, the power for resolving actions goes more to the rules themselves than to the players or the GM. The designers fix it so that the GM retains great power over the setting and events in the world.

It works after a fashion, but I think Emily's got the better idea: Encourage players to use Author/Director power, develop their creative abilities, and make the game more a collaboration of equals using a lighter system.

Logan
Logged
Pages: 1 2 [3]
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!