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Drumming [yes, more bass stuff]

Started by Ron Edwards, February 03, 2003, 06:00:04 PM

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Emily Care

Quote from: Matt WilsonI was thinking it in terms of practical storytelling. If you have 5 lead guitars and a bass player, you've got a weird ass band..


Or, you get the Cocteau Twins.  (Sorry, just had to say it :)

And though I'm coming to this conversation late, I'll add my 2 cents:

As Mike said, there's a danger of extending a metaphor too far.  We could haggle all day about whether I'm a soprano sax or oboe. But it seems like the most important part of the metaphor itself is that there are different metagame roles that players can occupy that help (or hinder) to orchestrate the flow of the game.  In a chorus of guitars, or drums folks will occupy different niches that fulfill the tasks that Ron's talking about. It's part of group dynamics.  Folks do the same thing in groups, in conversations etc.

--Emily Care
Koti ei ole koti ilman saunaa.

Black & Green Games

ADGBoss

Well now I have a question. In a system that properly allows the players to construct a fulfilling character, won't people just natureally fall into roles? I n some ways I am much like MArio as a player, and I tend to play similar characters most of the time. I do not feel slighted when another player seems to get a lead role, as long as I get my day in the sun as it were.

Now obviosuly the danger is getting Fleetwood Mac, a band where there are three lead singers, and where one (Stevie) is so much more popular (and infinitely more talented) then the rest and it leads to ego wars, affairs, drug abuse... well you know what I am saying

The point I am getting at is that unless your sitting down with 3-5 mature people who have no or can forget all their preconcieved notions of one another, then I think any pre-game role selection and placement is doomed.  

Now with the right group its possible but I have hard time seeing it as a GAME mechanic that can be generally used.

Sean
ADGBoss
AzDPBoss
www.azuredragon.com

Ron Edwards

Hi there,

I have a couple of points to make about this thread.

1) Mario is easily the most-valuable-player I've ever role-played with. With him in the group, everyone has more fun, play makes more sense in terms of the shared aesthetic, and all sorts of other good details are more reliably present.

2) I regard the possibility of formalizing the various possible social roles very dubiously. I don't see any particular reason why it would help play, as the expression of any social role/interaction is, itself, 'worth more' than any game-rule or guideline can possibly be. It's hard for me to imagine the latter doing anything besides facilitating the former, at most, and only with the former already, to some degree, being in operation.

Best,
Ron

Le Joueur

Quote from: Ron EdwardsI regard the possibility of formalizing the various possible social roles very dubiously. I don't see any particular reason why it would help play, as the expression of any social role/interaction is, itself, 'worth more' than any game-rule or guideline can possibly be. It's hard for me to imagine the latter doing anything besides facilitating the former, at most, and only with the former already, to some degree, being in operation.
And facilitating play isn't worthwhile?  I feel similar to your overall point, but that some facilitation is very worthwhile.  I believe that delineating a few roles can almost be vital.  As I spelled out in one of Scattershot's Emergent Techniques, some role specification can be useful.  One of the chief effects is you can avoid the 'too many cooks' problem.  You can also avoid the 'everyone wants to play the lead at the same time' problem.

I am, like you, dubious about spelling out all roles as though you can structure what must be involved.  I think having a 'crib sheet' to make sure of what you 'shouldn't leave home without,' is not only handy, but helps avoid circular, repetitive gaming (as in, 'everyone wants to complain, but nobody wants to fix it').  I also think such a 'crib sheet' can offer ideas for when things 'get stuck.'

One thing I find most notable about 'social roles' it that they are not fixed.  They can be identified at many points, but to 'fix' them as permanent is probably non-functional in the longer run.

Fang Langford
Fang Langford is the creator of Scattershot presents: Universe 6 - The World of the Modern Fantastic.  Please stop by and help!

Ron Edwards

Hi Fang,

I agree with you - especially the business about fixing (i.e. fixing-in-place) the social roles not being functional.

I also agree with you, if I'm reading your post right, that social roles exist - especially those that directly affect the aesthetics of play - and that functional role-playing requires those roles as a top priority.

How to arrive at this insight in a gaming text? That's a good question. You drive at in in your articles, I drive at it in mine, and we all kick it around. How to keep from laying out "step in these shoes" categories like classic character classes ...? How to keep, conversely, from providing trivial designations that, although descriptive, don't really help a group organize itself better ...? Is, perhaps, exactly the right silence at the right time the best way to treat the topic ...?

These are rhetorical questions and I expect individual authors to have very different answers. I'm happy to see a lot of games in development try to address them.

Best,
Ron