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Naive and Sophisticated: The Terms

Started by Christopher Kubasik, January 16, 2003, 05:55:30 AM

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Jack Spencer Jr

Quote from: John KimNaiveness is really a property of the story, not of the world.
I think that in Naivity, the world is a property of the story while in Sophistication the story is a property of the world.

Maybe. That's what it seems to be we're talking about right here. Like in Christopher's Oddyssey example. All of the stuff Ulysses finds on his journey home he finds only because he is there. If he wasn't on his journey, it would be more than he didn't find those those, those things wouldn't even exist.

Now with your Beowulf/Grendel example you're forgetting one very, very important and commonly forgotten or mistaken thing: That Gendel is not Beowulf and Beowulf is not Grendel. Oh sure, they are similar stories (Grendel is based on Beowulf after all) but they are not the same story. They share similarities, but are not the same, you see. There are plenty of "definable qualities of the world which are different."

Christopher Kubasik

Hmmmm.  I think I'll have to think on this, because I think movies are almost by definition not Fabulist.  (I like Fabulist.  I going to stick with it.  I think it's fabulous.)

In fact, four color comics, pulp stories, and most movies have almost nothing at all to do with what I'm talking about... So clearly I'm going to have to work to come up with some better -- something.  

By the way, this has nothing to do, John, with you not "getting" what I'm talking about.  I'm groping toward something here that I've been moving toward since my days at NU when I said to my Fantasy Hero crew, "And we could do something with the style of Fairy Tales and the Arabian Nights!" and was met with a really apologetic "We're not sure exactly where to go with that."  No one got it.  Nothing happened.  No one got it because I couldn't set the boundries propperly.  I'm working on that now.

The pulp/comic/action movie has anything to do with what I'm talking about because a) there's usually no religious/cosmological underpinning b) one only needs to go to a comic con and listen to fans ironing out the discrepencies between Reed Richard's from one issue to the next to know people really want these things to make sense (like most RPGs, people have a *lot* invested into bringing these genres up to speed on how we know the world "really" works) c) they usually involve speed and action and a fetishistic investment into objects (costumes, guns, cool set pieces) at the expense of simply a guy interacting with a universe that is always stranger than he can imagine -- which he accepts without question.

Please believe me when I gave my list of stories and authors above that those are the kinds of tales I'm talking about... And Fantastic Four, Die Hard, and The Shadow have nothing to do with what I'm talking about.  (God bless them all, though.)

As for worlds and stories... Yes.  Kind of.  I don't know.  The musical Camelot is set in the same "world" as Le Mort D'Arthur?  Only in a way that ultimately doesn't matter.  In fact, this is crux in the discussion for me -- the worlds are very different depending on the story being told.  In a Fabulist tale, the world is *completely* different than the one told in a rationaly, historical manner.  I admit, I've yet to read Grendel -- though I've wanted to for a long time.  But I could come up with some prehistorice beasties that make perfect sense in some zoological sense, pay lip service to the religion and culture of the time, but completely miss out on the storytellers mix of the heart and struggle of faith that is considered real to the storyteller and the characters in the actual text of Beowulf.  

(My guess is that Gardner's book is Fabulist as well.  In fact, having read three of his other books, I'd add him to my list of Fabulists as well.  Cricthton or a Robert Heinlien would do something very different with the tale -- and the actual reality of the world would be different.)

If one doesn't grok this, then I'm still failing miserably to get this idea out there.  If so, I apologize.


PS I can't speak for anyone else: I don't give a damn about being looked down upon by anyone else for something I'm passionate about.  I think, really, we can leave concerns about that at the Thread's door.)
"Can't we for once just do what we're supposed to do -- and then stop?
Lemonhead, The Shield

Christopher Kubasik

Quote from: Jack Spencer Jr
I think that in Naivity, the world is a property of the story while in Sophistication the story is a property of the world.

Damn.  I'm sure somebody's about to come in and take that apart, but I think that's brilliant.


(Who cross posted with Jack.)
"Can't we for once just do what we're supposed to do -- and then stop?
Lemonhead, The Shield

John Kim

Quote from: Christopher KubasikIn fact, four color comics, pulp stories, and most movies have almost nothing at all to do with what I'm talking about... So clearly I'm going to have to work to come up with some better -- something.  

A brief note:  I certainly agree that there is a big distinction between fables and pulp action stories.  However, I don't think it makes sense to lump pulp action together with the "Sophisticated" fiction either.  We have been talking as though there were a dichotomy of "Naive" vs "Sophisticated" here, but there seems to be more than that.  

Thus, we have at least three views here: "Fabulist", "Action-Oriented", and "Sophisticated".  [/img]
- John


Um, wouldn't it be easier to just make reference to the style of story that one wanted to tell?

Rather than attempt to map all stories onto axes [because it already seems that 'naive' and 'sophisticated' aren't quite enough] why not simply say:

"I want to play a game where it's like Greek legends. The specific features I have identified are..."

Followed by a list - to wit, the role of the character as a discrete entity with relation to their actions [are they aware that they're in a Greek myth], the role of the world in relation to the character [because this is a Greek myth, the gods get to do X to you], and then a list of conventions.

This sort of list could be created for most genres. The two key parts of the current naive/sophisticate oo fabulist debate seem to fit in the first, but they don't quite seem to be enough. To me, anyway.

If the issue is about how the stories are told then one should first identify how the stories are told. I mentioned earlier 'rewarding' or encouraging those within the game to adhere to this vision - I wasn't explicitly talking about experience points - this encouragement could take the form of an increased likelihood [if such a term is appropriate] for actions that are more fitting within the genre, and the intentions of the 'author'.

That's it! That's what I think you've been thinking! You're talking about players assuming the role of a gestalt author, whose style has been discussed beforehand, no? That's the reason for Camelot, Le Mort D'Arthur, and Excalibur being different - they've been written by different authors.

So what you have to do, I guess, is define your author, and then his characters [and possibly his relation to those characters, or his views of the genre in which he is writing]. So you're sort of looking at shared authorship, but within a defined 'voice'. Yeah?

At least, that's what I think you're saying. I may well be wrong.

- drew
my name is drew

"I wouldn't be satisfied with a roleplaying  session if I wasn't turned into a turkey or something" - A

Christopher Kubasik

Hello clehrich and drew,

I'm going to take some time to ponder all this.  

clehrick, just so you know, when I posted, I ended up seeing Jack's post at the top of page 3, but missed yours on page 2 completely.  You've made good points. I'll add again that I think we're talking about that point of view of the Players, not the PCs. There are intelligent characters peppered throughout all the tales I've referenced.

Drew, I had the same thought earlier today, that the distinction I'm making isn't about these two poles, perhaps, but at least two poles, with sub-poles(?) or other poles or something.  At the least, I'm trying to gather certain storytelling assumptions of the kinds of stories I'm most drawn to -- and often its easy to define them in opposition to other types of stories.  That said, I know I'm dealing with an awful lot of smart people here, and there might be something in my thinking that's just wacky/illogical.

Again, I'm going to mull for a while. But thanks so much for the posts.

"Can't we for once just do what we're supposed to do -- and then stop?
Lemonhead, The Shield


Quote from: erithromycin
So what you have to do, I guess, is define your author, and then his characters [and possibly his relation to those characters, or his views of the genre in which he is writing]. So you're sort of looking at shared authorship, but within a defined 'voice'. Yeah?

I submit we are reinventing the wheel.  A game structure as shared authorship, so that nobody engages with the world critically but rather constructively, naively, which locates World as a property of Story; and in which the conventions associated witgh the story selected are valid and existing part os of the world-as-property-of-story... have we not just described conscious Narrativism?

I start with a game world which is malleable by the needs of story, and we co-author an "emotionally meaningful" experience for the characters; it seems to me that the only innovation here is consciously stating that this applies to the set dressing as well as to the action.

I submit that thats doable, but as underlying analysis of a universal property it fails, IMO.  Anyone who engages in RPG in an Exploratory and not an Authorial mode is going to think analytically in the box in which they have been given to think.  The reason this it not apparent in Linear media is because the character thinks on command and is not actually reasoning; their reasoning is only portrayed by the author.  A singular author can impose such genre conventions with more subtlety than the Idiot Block, but in any mode other than either participationism or narratavism IMO you are facing critical intellects who must be persuaded and whose consent for play must be won.  Without being able to remote control their thoughts, they will engage analytically; and that would surely apply to all Simmers and Gamists.
Impeach the bomber boys:

"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


I used 'shared authorship' consciously. What I think Chris is trying to do is find a way to describe the kind of stories that he wants to see produced, and that seems to be something that we can explore.

Conscious narrativism is about telling a certain kind of story, but there's been a lot of focus [as far as I can see] on how to tell stories, not how to tell stories of a certain kind. Does that make sense?

I think that what we're looking for is a way to identify the tropes of a particular genre [or subgenre] of 'narrative' for use in the creation of said stories [and whether that use should take place as part of system/social contract/"other play" is, I guess, up to Chris.

- drew

[oops. no name. again.]
my name is drew

"I wouldn't be satisfied with a roleplaying  session if I wasn't turned into a turkey or something" - A


Whew, you're gone at work for a few days, and look what happens.
And, BTW, welcome to the Forge, John!

Now to the meat: I find myself agreeing with Chris in the particulars of his posts as to "what its about" -- and with Jesse's statements about Emotional Engagement, illustrated by him with 7th Sea. This is what I think John is missing in the discourse and particularly in the nature of the term "opposed" to Naivety.

Considering that, I find the breakdown into role-playing and storytelling off-center for a number of reasons. In fact, it seems to me a shadow of that old RPG beast: role-playing versus roll-playing (except that now we have role-playing versus storytelling).

Based on his description, I think what John means by role-playing is that creature we call "Immersion" hereabouts; but Immersion doesn't have anything to do with the difference between the Naive and Sophisticate doesn't matter whether you are "in-character" or "out" or whether you are addressing a "Premise" or not.

I think the point about people in all times thinking analytically is a miss -- how the character thinks isn't the issue at all, and, in fact, by examining the issue and the world in this light, John is displaying the self-same Sophisticated mindset which is directly contrary to the Naive one.

What is missing from the understanding of the terms, I think, (and this plays to anyone with similar tendencies, such as Jesse's fore-mentioned 7th Sea debate partners) is the difference between a world and a story.

To return to the sun-and-beetle example and mine and Gareth's continuing discussion of the issue: this is precisely where he and I part ways, stylistically. Gareth is looking for role-playing his character in a cohesive, self-contained universe -- not as a character in a story-situation.

This is why the whole issue of comics and action movies being or not being a part of the Naive mindset is another dead-end. Comics and action-movies can be made using either mindset, and interpreted with either. When the reader thinks to himself, "Wait, didn't Floss Mighty use the Whip of Doom in issue #38 and lose it?" he isn't thinking about the story, he isn't being Naive enough to enjoy the issue on its own merits, or to experience and understand the story contained within it.

On the same river, but a different barge, the same reason the characters in "Signs" don't ask themselves why the aliens aren't wearing doesn't matter, the story is about their reaction to the given situation. As outside observers, we might ask that, we might even ask why they aren't asking it...but it misses the point for the character involved in the situation.

The wetsuit issue doesn't matter. The character's reaction to the situation -- which is a real situation to the character, regardless of any inconsistencies or illogic presented -- is what matters.
After all, if you were to find yourself in that same situation tomorrow, would you stop and question the universe about the alien's choice of body-wear?

"Oh, wait, the aliens aren't wearing wetsuits! Crap, I must be hallucinating, or the gamemaster screwed things up! I sure hope my player talks to him about that!"

Naivety involves a certain level of Suspension of Disbelief in order to function, more Immersion (ironically) and a greater level of maturity and understanding of the story-as-story.

Edit: I was thinking of the following example before the wife interrupted me. Horror movies. Most horror movies require that the protagonists do stupid, stupid, STUPID things...they go outside alone when they know a killer is lurking about, they crawl into airducts by themselves looking for alien creatures, they pick up the one object we all know they damn-well shouldn't (and they should know, too).

We all know this about horror movies...and yet they work. We still become afraid, we get scared, and that's precisely what horror movies are about.

When you stop to ask, "Well, why the heck did they do THAT?" you're missing the point (though a movie that gives you enough time to ask that question during the movie is doing it wrong).
Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
Wild Hunt Studio


(Hi - I'm new.  'Nuff said.)

I think that some of the preceding posts are, if not missing the point, at least misunderstanding the analysis Chris is shooting for.  Even after we crack open the subject and find echoes of the "fundamental" roll/role dichotomy, or its cousins, validity remains in the original observation.

Good narratives do result from both naive and sophisticated modes, and they are definitely distinguishable modes of play (and literary modes as well).  By analyzing the differences, we can help play style mesh better with, *and* match better to, their desired literary exemplar.  Two examples spring to mind: Pendragon and Paranoia.

Pendragon characters who manage to properly (and naively) think inside the assigned box will almost always have a good session; part of the point of the game is recreation of a literary model, and that literary model is itself 'naive'.  Paranoia characters who manage to properly (sophisticatedly) come up with manipulations of the tools - and rules - they're given, tend to not only have a good session, but also tend to die less frequently to boot.  (Talk about your most fundamental reward system!).  In each case, unconscious attention has been paid to naivete/sophistication, in the construction of setting *and* mechanics, and the result is not only coherence but also appropriateness.  A sense of the appropriate may be exactly what we're striving for here...

I said above that attention to this axis can potentially cause a game to mesh better, and match better, with and to its literary source.  I made the distinction deliberately, because it feels like there are several levels on which to generate this feel.  These levels are, in our analysis, causing confusion... but in the design of the aforementioned games, they've been exploited instead.  

Pendragon encourages naive characters through its mechanics.  There is, for example, no Intelligence stat; it's not considered relevant, and the absence of it (in favour of, f'rex, the Chaste and Valourous characteristics) heavily steers character design, to good ends.  (Just as language shapes our thinking, the available statistics shape our characters... that in itself is worth a thread.)  It also, however, encourages naive play styles and stories, through its metagame mechanics, reward system, and examples of play.  Because it encourages both, there is no mismatch between them - the playstyle feels appropriate to the characters - and both reinforce our sense of the appropriate, in this case an appropriate match to the literary model.

Paranoia, in turn, encourages its characters just as heavily to be sophisticates, loading them down with secret motives and advantages whose effectiveness which can be maximized through manipulating the situation around them.  It also heavily encourages sophisticated gameplay, to the point where "naive play" in Paranoia - failing to question one's given directives, assignments, and so on - would either be very dull, rapidly fatal, or both.  Again we have agreement between levels, resulting in coherence and a fine sense of the appropriate.

Now, that being said, there are places where Paranoia could be considered "naive."  The game does not benefit from having either the characters or the players ask questions like, "So, if we're ALL members of secret societies, then where do the (apparently loyal) NPC ultraviolets come from?  Do they grow out of it, or are we just special?".  This, IMO, is actually a separate issue, and one which has contributed to the confusion in this thread.  All worlds, and all conceived-upon styles of gameplay, have givens, and unless "question everything" is one of the givens, there are issues which it simply does not benefit the game to have brought under the lens of scrutiny.  "Please do not tip the sacred cows" is, however, a separate issue from the subtler one of naivete/sophistication - it's just difficult to disassociate from the extreme sophisticate stance, and indeed it's possible to envision a game which chose its position on this axis such that even questioning the sacred cows was encouraged, even rewarded.  

Thus perhaps this thread is actually two; one is about the question, "how do you design a game so as to encourage gameplay which falls at a desired point on the naivete/sophistication axis?"  This issue focuses on how to identify the appropriate, and reward a sense of the appropriate in players and playstyle.  The other subthread is the question, "how do you clearly identify to players the *inappropriate*, and/or discourage them from tipping the sacred cattle?"  Because I'm sure that, problem players aside, much of the problem-end of the issue arises out of players who simply have not had the identity of the sacred cows communicated to them explicitly enough, and think they're just going to have a little fun tipping the temporal kine. :)

These two questions are linked, but definitely not equivalent.  But they both call for some conscious discussion of the naivete/sophistication axis.  There may be other axes which also relate to "what is appropriate behaviour in this context?", but we have identified one... and, it seems, have at best hit-or-miss tools to generate games which can communicate this to their audience.

So I'm with Chris... I'm excited about the thought of a little analysis providing us with the tools to look at a game and identify, "This game doesn't *feel* quite right, and I think it's because of a mismatch in X."  He then wants to turn that into a driving engine for fiercely Narrativist play... but I think the analysis will help with games elsewhere in the GNS spectrum, too.

- Harlequin

Walt Freitag

Hi Harlequin, and welcome to the Forge!

Funny how every example of Sophisticated play seems to come to a point of "Of course, there are Naive aspects of it too." And vice versa.

Funny, but not surprising. It comes down to this: exploration (which, keep in mind, doesn't mean just passive sightseeing, it means making decisions about the elements being explored) implies sophistication about the things being explored. And since exploration is a common element in all role playing, it means every game and every instance of play is being sophisticated about something. In Pendragon the play is sophisticated about such things like chastity and valor or the allegorical meaning of a color appearing in a knight's coat of arms. Every game also has elements that are present but are not being explored. Those things, play is naive about. In Paranoia, play is normally naive about why the world is the way it is.

The problem arises when we try to define Naive or Sophisticated as a quality of an entire game system or the totality of game play or the entirety of a player's behavior. (Or, for that matter, to any entire story. Odysseus in his naive world behaves in a sophisticated way about the particular problems he wishes to solve. His solution to the sirens, for example, expresses a scientist's curiosity. He could much more easily have stopped up his own ears along with his crew's. But he wanted to hear the Sirens and figured out a way to do it without paying the price.) That dog won't hunt. It ends up chasing its tail instead, so we've now got at least half a dozen distinct and incompatible descriptions of what "Naive play" means.

What we have to do is talk about which specific elements of play are Naive or Sophisticated. For example, we can say that play expresses a Naive approach to magic, or to politics, or to mythology. Which just means that play is not exploring those things. A fairy-tale world in which all the main characters are beautiful princesses and handsome princes is naive about the aristoctratic exploitation of the lower classes because the behavior of royals with regard to their performing the social functions of royalty is not what's being explored. A player who says, "My character, Prince Charming, will go shake down some peasants for tax money now," is simply exploring off limits. As is that paragon of dysfunctional naivete-breaking player, the fantasy game player who tries to make gunpowder.

The opposite situation, a player taking a naive approach to something that's expected to be explored, is also possible. "Let's just march boldly into the dungeon at a smart pace, and accept whatever fate befalls us." But this appears to be far less common in practice.

The lesson: some understanding should exist about what's not being explored as well as what is. Being more explicit about non-exploration (which is equivalent to Naivete, as far as I'm concerned) expectations in play might be beneficial for at least some styles of play.

But sorting whole game systems along a single Naive/Sophisticated axis is doomed to failure. And treating a case of a player breaking Naivete expectations (e.g. trying to make gunpowder) as wrong thinking (not being in a sufficiently "Naive mind-set") is, in my opinion, potentially destructive. The problem isn't what the player is thinking, it's what the player is exploring (doing) that's going against the expectations of the other participants.

With that caution in mind, however, I agree fully with your last paragraph.

(And if you're wondering geez, how badly would he have ripped me apart if he didn't agree, I can only say again: Welcome to the Forge! Baptisms by fire our specialty.)

- Walt
Wandering in the diasporosphere


I don't know.  When the concept was first presented I thought I had a pretty good grasp of what was being suggested.  But the more this gets hashed out the more I'm getting confused.

Perhaps I'm way oversimplifying, or perhaps I completely went down the wrong road...but it seems to me that the difference between Naive and Sophisticated comes down to 1 word..."why".

In a Naive world things happen because "that's the way they are".
In a Sophisticated world, things happen and one stops to question "why".

Take the Illiad.   A bunch of kings agree that if anyone should run off with Helen they'd all go to war with that person.  Why?  How much sense does that make.  A sophisticated approach would be to suggest that Menelaus was the brother of the most powerful king in Greece so in agreeing to this one was, in effect, sucking up to the major power.  But the Illiad to my recollection gives no such analysis.  Its just what happens.  And 10 years.  How is it possibly effective or efficient to war for 10 years over a chick.  A sophisticated approach would be to analyze the logistics nightmare of keeping the army supplied over seas for that long and the effect of the economies back home and likely conclude that 10 years was an exaggeration.  A naive approach simply doesn't ask.  It says 10 was 10 years.

Similiarly in Arthurian literature Arthur summarily banishes Sir Balin for killing the lady of the Lake in violation of the laws of hospitality.  A sophisticated approach would have all sorts questions to this.  Balin had just proved himself the most worthy knight present in drawing the maiden's sword, the lady of the lake was an evil vicious witch who'd destroyed Balin's family and he was sworn to vengeance against her.  None of that mattered, the laws of hospitality had been broken...period.  In reality its likely that lords would frequently weigh the cons of gaining a reputation for violating hospitality vs conveniently doing away with a hated enemy...but in Arthurian myth it isn't an option.  There is no why, no analysis no in depth accounting of benefits and simply is the way it is.  This is true throughout most of the myth cycle the knight are constantly DOING with very little thought to why.  The why isn't important...its just the way things are done.

Christopher Kubasik

Hello Harlequin,

Welcome to the Forge.

And all...

Just for the record, because honestly, if there's any sort of orginization to the thinking on these threads I've lost it long ago, my position is this:

*I'm not talking about the characters point of view, I'm talking about the creative view shared by the players at the table;

*Valamir's "That's the way things are"/"Why?" distincition is vital, and why I prefer these days the word Fabulist;

*It's not a binary system within the world so that there are smart people here, fools there -- Daedulus is an inventor after all, but anyone with redementary knowledge of aerodynamics knows his wax and feathered wings would never work -- that makes it Fabulist, even though there is a rational mind at work in the tale.

*It's not a binary system at all.  Let's say this: there is the city of Fabulist Story, and inside it's walls things are Fabulist.  And caravans of goods arrive every day through seven gates, bringing other tales of all the kinds the world possesses.

The tales are sorted at the seven gates, as GMs and players pick through the shiny baubles and decide which ones to carry into the city and weave into their tales.

This is not done in opposition to, say, Rationalist play.  It's just that this is the city of Fabulist Story, and around here, we like stories of "That's the way it is.

*It's not a mishmash of illogic.  Stories in the City of Fabulist Story make sense -- on an intuitive, fabulist and poetic level.  (Yes, it's subjective.)  I've been thinking about games that tried to be "mythic" -- like Everway for example, and I think one of the reasons the default setting struck me as so course is that by including EVERYTHING, it lacked all logic.  No choices had been made.  Faulist storytelling is nonsensical in intent, nor is it anything can happen, nor is everything and the kitchen sink, nor is self-contradictory, ridiculous or foolish.  Simply, it isn't interested in "Why?"

It is responsible to itself, however, for making sense of the world, the characters, through, perhaps, repeated metaphore, theme, images, cohesive *choices* -- the same kind of choices made in poetry or fables or fairy tales.  (The same kinds of choices made in other types of work, as well, by the way, but the Fabulist tale isn't responsible for "Why?")

In short, I'm groping toward a style of story telling that depends on us releasing certain contemporary modes of thinking. It's not as if this is *contradictory* to contemporary styles of story telling, since contemporary styles of storytelling. It's stripping away current trends of thought and seeing what we can do without them.  (Yeesh, I just called the Enlightenment a "trend".  Well, what the hell.)

So, that's where I am now.

Take care,
"Can't we for once just do what we're supposed to do -- and then stop?
Lemonhead, The Shield


Quote from: Christopher KubasikDaedulus is an inventor after all, but anyone with redementary knowledge of aerodynamics knows his wax and feathered wings would never work --


In your last post you kept mentioning that the Fabulist does not concern themselves with "why" something is the way it is.  In my experience not asking "why" (in a backwards projection way) isn't necessarily how the Rationalist works.  It's the projection FOWARDS given the "fantastic" as fundamental assumption.

From you example above: The Rationalist has no problem accepting that Daedulus can fly with wax and feathers.  But ONCE that has been accepted the Rationalist expects two things to happen:

1) ANYONE can fly with wax and feathers and the application of Daedulus's technique.

2) Once Daedulus's technique becomes common knowledge it should have all the normal consequences on economics and politics.  Thus, nations with access to an abundance of chickens and bees SHOULD have avian armies and postal systems.

It has been my experience that Rationalist roleplayers need an ever increasingly complex or shifting situation to not become bored because they rapidly hone "problem solving" techniques.  Once daedulus has flown with wax and feathers there's no point in EVER including a prison tower in any scenario ever again because the Rationalist KNOWS how to deal with it regardless of the emotional content of the circumstances.

Fabulists can take the same abstract situation and spin a 1000 tales regardless of what has come before and been established to be fact within the world.



Excellent point Jesse.  I think you were referring to my "why" post, but I would now definitely amend that to include "why not / why can't" as a telltale of the "sophisticate/non fabulist" player mindset.  As in "if Daedalus can fly, why can't I".  For a fabulist the answer of "because you're not Daedalus" is so obvious they wouldn't even ask the question.