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Author Topic: -The Xerox Missive- An rpg based on Philip K Dick.  (Read 6292 times)
Plenz
Member

Posts: 20


« Reply #15 on: August 25, 2003, 07:10:18 AM »

Quote from: Dave Panchyk
Quote from: Plenz
I don't get it. Why a boot in the ass?


Why indeed. This forum is generally given to very nuts-and-bolts issues concerning the design--primarily mechanics--of indie games. You'll see that Ron and Clinton do an excellent job keeping everyone on track.

This thread is especially difficult, since head-hurty intellectual matters are bound up in the very essence of this game, but we need to get more granular when it comes to expressing through "system" the play experience of The Xerox Missive (duh, I'd ignored the fact that was the title, and a much better one than the one I suggested).

Okay, one final scattergun blast of semi-topical stuff:

    - I'm digging the conversation here. Xaos is a breath of fresh air from Xtian.

    - Too lazy to research the matter (google "de profundis" hogshead
[and if need be] Tynes), I'll only say De Profundis was authored by "some Polish guy."

- In explaining LARP to a couple of ex-L.A. people, the woman turned to her partner and said, "That sounds like those things that Bob would put on."
I had a hunch. "Bob?"
"Yeah, Bob Wilson."
"You mean, Robert Anton Wilson?"
"Yeah--Bob!"[/list:u]



Ah, yes. A kick in the ass. I understand now.  As you mentioned the mechanics of this game do require a bit of an unusual dialogue to get ideas out. Hopefully the mods wil allow this thread to prosper. "Granular" yes.

Bob & Arleen Wilson LARPing. Scary.
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Cemendur
Member

Posts: 61


« Reply #16 on: August 25, 2003, 04:12:50 PM »

Bob Wilson also wrote many works of nonfiction including Leary-influenced psychology and conspiracy theory. The 8 intelligences are also known as the 8 circuits. I also interpret them as the 8 willpowers and the 8 (meta-)attributes. They are the Physical, Emotional, Social, Conceptual, Sensory, Psychic, Spiritual, and Mythic Intelligences.

First came John C. Lilly’s “Programming and Meta-Programming the Human Bio-Computer”. Yes, Lilly the dolphin intelligence researcher. Last I checked it is out-of-print and selling used for about $100 for the pamphlet and about $400 for the hardcover book. A slightly defective version is available online the last time I checked. Then came Timothy “Info-Psychology {A Revision of Exo-Psychology} A Manual on the Use of the Human Nervous System According to the Instructions of the Manufacturers”. Next was “Neuropolitique” by Timothy Leary with Robert Anton Wilson and George Koopman.  Then came Bob’s book “Prometheus Rising”. Prometheus Rising is definitely the most useful for RPG applications. He talked about about roles, role-taking and role-playing. Wilson and Leary also wrote about the psychology and metaphysics of the I-Ching as related to I-Ching, Chess, and DNA.

Terence McKenna was a psychedelic guru who wrote extensively on DMT. He also wrote about the connections between the I-Ching, Chess, and DNA. He did studies into  television as a drug, a psychotechnology, a sort of psychedelic heroin where the trip is programmed by the media. Unfortunately he died of brain cancer at a young age. I would not be surprised if the psychotechnology, mind machines, he utilized are connected to brain cancer (close proximity of electricty to the brain over extended periods of time seems conductive to brain cancer). Timothy Leary called him the next Timothy Leary. I would not be surprised if Timothy Leary also has writings on Philip K. Dick.

Marie-Louise Von Franz was a disciple of Carl Jung. A Jungian feminist, she also finished Emma Jung’s book “Grail Legends” after Emma had died. I am not as familiar with her work as I would like to be. She mapped the I-Ching in 3 dimensions.

I have her Grail Legends book, but not the others. I am a struggling online used book dealer which makes me book rich and money poor. That leaves me with about 20,000 books, but little money to buy new books for myself.

Did you read “Schizophrenia & the Book of Changes”?

I have been thinking that perhaps an I-Ching fortune resolution mechanic is better suited for a Narrativist RPG rather than my simulationist game. It sounds like your RPG will be Narrativist?

I see why you wanted a brain dumping thread to begin this. The more I study the I-Ching, the less I understand about it. You have developed many topics related to your RPG. One of which is “I-Ching Oracle Resolution Mechanic in Xerox Missive” which could make for its own healthy thread.

Also, I have been thinking about the relation between RPG adaptations and movie adaptations. For instance, Brazil makes for an excellent movie. It took elements from Brave New World and 1984 and added some exciting twists. In my opinion it is far better that the movie adaptations of the aforementioned books. Terry Gilliam stole many pieces directly from those books and made them his own. If I were to do a Dystopian RPG, I would attempt do for RPGS what Gilliam did for Cinema.

Consider making your own setting in the Philip K. Dick canon, not all or many of the settings. A setting that is its own, but is very Philip K. Dick.

P.S.: Since you are interested in the Gnostic aspects of Dick, I would suggest taking a look at the many essays on Gnosticism and the movie Matrix. I understand it is a very different entity. However, it may help spark the powderkeg of PKD awareness.

Dick, Robert Anton Wilson, Leary, etc. and the Matrix all deal with the questions "what is reality" and "what is human". Also recommended is RAW’s screenplay entitled, “Reality is What you Can Get Away With’.

P.P.S. The first 4 intelligences are space-time linear understanding of reality. It makes since for a linear forune resolution for them, mechanics like dice. However, Sensory, Psychic, Spiritual, and Mythic intelligences are non-linear. A oracle mechanic is approriate for them. Esp. for Mythic, where synchronicity is prime. Hmmmmmmm.
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"We have to break free of roles by restoring them to the realm of play." Raoul Vaneigem, 'The Revolution of Everyday Life'
Plenz
Member

Posts: 20


« Reply #17 on: August 25, 2003, 06:02:54 PM »

I was always curious about "Prometheus Rising" I will have to order an copy. Also I checked out some of the Von Franz books I found at work. They were interesting one was alchemical related text and the other two works were based off fairy tales. Interesting books.

Quote
Did you read “Schizophrenia & the Book of Changes”?

I have been thinking that perhaps an I-Ching fortune resolution mechanic is better suited for a Narrativist RPG rather than my simulationist game. It sounds like your RPG will be Narrativist?

I see why you wanted a brain dumping thread to begin this. The more I study the I-Ching, the less I understand about it. You have developed many topics related to your RPG. One of which is “I-Ching Oracle Resolution Mechanic in Xerox Missive” which could make for its own healthy thread.



I have read Schizophrenia & the Book of Changes. I have it collected in Sutin's collection...um, can't remember the exact title. It is the collected literary and philosophical writings. There are really great essays in that book. Also, a couple of Exegesis essays that weren't collected anywhere yet. I've yet to come up with a situation in the game involving the overall concept of the Exegesis and obssessive note taking/ journal writing in general.

Yes it is an narrativist rpg. I strongly feel that the way Dickian stories take shape - in these odd little ways- would have to be narrative based in nature.

Quote
The more I study the I-Ching, the less I understand about it.


It is an odd phenomenon, yes. The I-Ching has been called a living organism by some. It's nature, that of the hexagrams and their odd little ways, makes it for a fresh read and even fresher, interpretation. Along with the Logos and Plasmate and all that jazz(which is what would in fact be the "living organism part" of the I-Ching. (I must post my glossary)


Quote
Consider making your own setting in the Philip K. Dick canon, not all or many of the settings. A setting that is its own, but is very Philip K. Dick.


I had detailed this a bit in an above posting. The setting will take the form of a multiverse(like Moorcock's stuff) The gateway of all these worlds will take the form of a twilight zone like Northern California of the 50's-70's.

I really need to break this mosh into several different threads.


I've read a bit on Gnosticism. The Gnostic Jung and Elaine Pagel's wonderful book -the gnostic gospels-(I'm also a Matrix fan and t a fan of Simulacra & Simulation of Baudrilliard. )


Thank you for your post.
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English
Registree

Posts: 2


« Reply #18 on: August 26, 2003, 12:17:47 AM »

Please keep us informed of your progress - I'm a huge fan of PKD and Gnosticism in general!

- Jesse
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Plenz
Member

Posts: 20


« Reply #19 on: August 27, 2003, 11:43:25 AM »

I haven't had much time to post over the last few days but I plan on posting  afew example castings of the I-Ching system that I have been working on. I have gone through a couple of character creations sessions with myself; and plan to use these characters and a small storyline to illustrate some examples.

-Plenz
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Cemendur
Member

Posts: 61


« Reply #20 on: August 27, 2003, 02:57:40 PM »

Quote from: Plenz
I haven't had much time to post over the last few days but I plan on posting  afew example castings of the I-Ching system that I have been working on. I have gone through a couple of character creations sessions with myself; and plan to use these characters and a small storyline to illustrate some examples.

-Plenz


Looking back on the trial and errors of designing my own I-Ching Oracle system, I am aware that my first attempt was merely a transformation of the I-ching into a 64 option fortune resolution. What I wanted to emulate was lost, a 64 option oracle resolution.  An oracle system is a fortune system with interpretation.

What events does the oracle resolve?

How does the interpretation resolve an event?

Do personal abilities, traits, or magical ability modify the personal oracle (the interpretation) in any way. If so, how?

Do abilities, traits, or magical abilities of other people modify the oracle (the interpretation) in any way. If so, how?

Is the oracle also used for understanding? If so, how?
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"We have to break free of roles by restoring them to the realm of play." Raoul Vaneigem, 'The Revolution of Everyday Life'
Plenz
Member

Posts: 20


« Reply #21 on: August 27, 2003, 04:29:33 PM »

Quote from: Cemendur
Quote from: Plenz
I haven't had much time to post over the last few days but I plan on posting  afew example castings of the I-Ching system that I have been working on. I have gone through a couple of character creations sessions with myself; and plan to use these characters and a small storyline to illustrate some examples.

-Plenz


Looking back on the trial and errors of designing my own I-Ching Oracle system, I am aware that my first attempt was merely a transformation of the I-ching into a 64 option fortune resolution. What I wanted to emulate was lost, a 64 option oracle resolution.  An oracle system is a fortune system with interpretation.

What events does the oracle resolve?

How does the interpretation resolve an event?

Do personal abilities, traits, or magical ability modify the personal oracle (the interpretation) in any way. If so, how?

Do abilities, traits, or magical abilities of other people modify the oracle (the interpretation) in any way. If so, how?

Is the oracle also used for understanding? If so, how?



It does go deeper than simply the hexagrams acting as the end result. It is a difficult question as the I-Ching can mean something very different each time.

the resolution factor is something that I've put alot of thought into. The character system features very few attributes. There are base attributes to work with(intelligence, perception, etc...)but the great majority of attributes are personally tweaked and essentially based off of the characters own choices. The pc's know what their characters are good at so these attributes are formed with these ideas in mind.

Wait...I must go. I will continue this later.


Plenz
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Rob MacDougall
Member

Posts: 160


« Reply #22 on: August 28, 2003, 04:54:28 AM »

Quote from: Cemendur
Looking back on the trial and errors of designing my own I-Ching Oracle system, I am aware that my first attempt was merely a transformation of the I-ching into a 64 option fortune resolution. What I wanted to emulate was lost, a 64 option oracle resolution. An oracle system is a fortune system with interpretation. (my emphasis)


Chris Lehrich's Victorian occult game Shadows In The Fog uses tarot cards and the magic system involves fortune plus interpretation in what I think is a very elegant way. Plenz, you might want to check it out. It sort of breaks down the divide between player and character, and I think something similar could be cooked up for the I Ching that would be very Philip K Dick appropriate.

A draft of the rules is here: http://auroragames.com/pdf/Rules120.pdf

And a seach of the Forge forums for "Shadows in the Fog" will turn up a half dozen threads discussing it.

(If you do read the Shadows draft, note that it's the magic system I'm talking about. Chris' basic task resolution rules (using the minor arcana) are basically just fortune - the interpretation part comes in when doing magic with the major arcana.)

Rob

ps Love the idea of the game, & it sounds like you're off to a good start. Keep us posted on it!
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Plenz
Member

Posts: 20


« Reply #23 on: August 28, 2003, 03:07:39 PM »

Quote
Looking back on the trial and errors of designing my own I-Ching Oracle system, I am aware that my first attempt was merely a transformation of the I-ching into a 64 option fortune resolution. What I wanted to emulate was lost, a 64 option oracle resolution. An oracle system is a fortune system with interpretation.

What events does the oracle resolve?

How does the interpretation resolve an event?

Do personal abilities, traits, or magical ability modify the personal oracle (the interpretation) in any way. If so, how?

Do abilities, traits, or magical abilities of other people modify the oracle (the interpretation) in any way. If so, how?

Is the oracle also used for understanding? If so, how?



It does go deeper than simply the hexagrams acting as the end result. It is a difficult question as the I-Ching can mean something very different each time.

the resolution factor is something that I've put alot of thought into. The character system features very few attributes. There are base attributes to work with(intelligence, perception, etc...)but the great majority of attributes are personally tweaked and essentially based off of the characters own choices. The pc's know what their characters are good at so these attributes are formed with these ideas in mind. Coupled with other ratings that the characters possess; such as an empahtic rating
and Amnesis rating and one other(which I cannot recall the term I used right now) that states the loss of Amnesis.

Not all castings of the oracle will be due to ability tests. There are times when numerous things may arise, all seperate items but together they form an important whole to consult the oracle. Here's an example.

Leonard Sammis refills fountain pens. For six days a week, eight hours a day, this is his job.

He works within the Scribe Cathedral located in the wooded lands of southern Washington. He has been refilling fountain pens for twelve years and does not see and end to this.

One day; while re-filling a pen with a particualarly difficult ink-plunger, he suddenly felt the need to write something with *this pen* Leonard has been told hundred of times by his boss Hal Carroll, to never, ever use a fountain pen that comes in from one of the scribes for refilling. Well, Leonard's usual obidient behavior took a left turn today. Leonard grabs a sheet of rice paper and lets the ink flow. "Scribe attic b31-row 12f." Leonard has written out a location within the castle in which re-fill orders never arrive from. He is curious now as to why this particular location has been discovered.

Now it is at this point that something must be explained. Casting of the I-Ching is either done with the character, ic, casting the oracle or the player deciding that this point may be a good time to consult it ooc and then consider their plight with this new outlook. The thing is this: A character will not always a) have an I-Ching handy. b) not being in an optimum situation in which to cast it. Leonards plight takes the form of b).

Leonard's player, Pete, has decided to consult the oracle himself and then interpret the meaning of this newly written location by a ghost pen and what he should do about it.

Let's cast the I-Ching...

"Should Leonard visit Scribe attic b31-row 12f? If so, what does it hold in store for him?"

The hexagram cast:

      18.   Ku / Work on What Has Been Spoiled [Decay]

     ----------
     ---- ----        above    K^en    Keeping Still, Mountain
     ---- ----
     ----------
     ----------        below    Sun    The Gentle, Wind
     ---- ----

     The Judgement

          Work on What Has Been Spoiled
          Has supreme success.
          It furthers one to cross the great water.
          Before the starting point, three days.
          After the starting point, three days.

Leonard feels that his situation concerning the refilling of pens is a positive one. It is achieving success in some manner. His decision to use the pen was a wise one.

He feels that in a couple of days(three days) he will be able to journey to this specific location within the Scribe Cathedral and determine it's meaning further.


     The Image

          The wind blows low on the mountain:
          The image of Decay.
          Thus the superior man stirs up the people
          And strengthens their spirit.

The image of decay worries Leonard. The very act of refilling pens is so the scribes can continue their mission of copying the only remaining works of print available in the world. A great computer crash several years before has left the world without any remaining works of literature, philosophy, science...etc...The one computer that managed to save it's memory from being wiped out is called Abulafia. It is whispered that Abulafia itself is located within the cathedral and gives it's scribes order, daily, to remit the printed word with the only remaining works available.
The image of decay meaning the loss of litereature. The superior man rising is either Leonard himself(as he feels he can strengthen the spirit of fellow pen-refillers) or his boss Hal Carroll. Leonard feels it is himself; and he is one step closer to visiting the location in three days.


     The Lines

     ()  Six in the fifth place means:
          Setting right what has been spoiled by the father.
          One meets with praise.


     57.   Sun / The Gentle (The Penetrating, Wind)

     ----------
     ----------        above    Sun    The Gentle, Wind
     ---- ----
     ----------
     ----------        below    Sun    The Gentle, Wind
     ---- ----

     The Judgement

          The Gentle. Success through what is small.
          It furthers one to have somewhere to go.
          It furthers one to see the great man.

Leonard will continue to act in his normal, gentle manner. Success will come through small adventures. It indeed furthers him to go to the location. Who is the great man? Is it Abulafia?

     The Image

          Winds following one upon the other:
          The image of the Gently Penetrating.
          Thus the superior man
          Spreads his commands abroad
          And carries out his undertakings.

The following winds may be co-workers that Leonard may shed light on the subject to. Leonard feels that he will spread his mission and find loyal followers. To rise up out of the cathedral?


Well, that's all the time I have now. I'll expand it later.

Best,

Plenz
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Plenz
Member

Posts: 20


« Reply #24 on: August 28, 2003, 05:57:22 PM »

Is my thread within regulation?
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Plenz
Member

Posts: 20


« Reply #25 on: August 28, 2003, 08:16:30 PM »

The last post in which I cast the I-Ching in order to set it to use, I took great liberty in adding parts of the story that the character would not know right off. Or at least not from one consultation with the oracle. I'd like to go over another example which is alot more transparent, but illustrates my intent a bit more clearly.

-Timothy Orchid spent the last ten minutes arguing with his coffee machine. This meant that he was ten minutes later for work in which at least half of that time would be spent trying to find his car keys(which when he found them and actually got into his car, he would merely have another argument. This time with his vehicle. These days, everything has an opinion) After bribing his coffee maker for a cup  and locating his car keys he proceeded to leave for work. Or at least he attempted to do so. "Tim! Tim! Have you left yet? Are you still here? I can't locate the spare battery pack to my mood organ and it set itself off at dial 436; that's the code for gloomy outlook coupled with the urge to watch television. I don't want to be gloomy and I don't want to watch television. Tim!? Tim are you still here?" Timothy was already at the top of the stairs as Marna, his wife, ceased her moaning. "After all this" Tim said to himself "There's still my dear wife".-

This is the normal routine of a Dickian character. I didn't even mention what Timothy does as a living, his actual job as a stamp detailer will be utilized as a later example. After Tim gets to work and settles in, he runs off to the employe washroom to consult the I-Ching. Not every character needs to be an obsessive I-Ching user. They don't even have to utilize it for anything but what the GM would like them to cast the oracle for. Some players will decide upon casting the oracle  IC as well as OOC for casting. Some are I-Ching obsessive I-Ching casters. Timothy Orchid is one of them. So Tim casts the oracle: He asks what of my wife and I?


Quote
3.   Chun / Difficulty at the Beginning

     ---- ----
     ----------        above    K'an   The Abysmal, Water
     ---- ----
     ---- ----
     ---- ----        below    Ch^en   The Arousing, Thunder
     ----------

     The Judgement

          Difficulty at the Beginning works supreme success,
          Furthering through perseverance.
          Nothing should be undertaken.
          It furthers one to appoint helpers.

     The Image

          Clouds and thunder:
          The image of Difficulty at the Beginning.
          Thus the superior man
          Brings order out of confusion.

     The Lines

     Six in the third place means:
          Whoever hunts deer without the forester
          Only loses his way in the forest.
          The superior man understands the signs of the time
          And prefers to desist.
          To go on brings humiliation.

     Six at the top means:
          Horse and wagon part.
          Bloody tears flow.


     37.   Chia J^en / The Family [The Clan]

     ----------
     ----------        above    Sun    The Gentle, Wind
     ---- ----
     ----------
     ---- ----        below    Li     The Clinging, Flame
     ----------

     The Judgement

          The Family. The perseverance of the woman furthers.

     The Image

          Wind comes forth from fire:
          The image of the Family.
          Thus the superior man has substance in his words
          And duration in his way of life.




Timothy feels that since his marriage is still new, it may take time to work out the quirks. Perserverance.  Although if he keeps at it too much without positive result he will simply humiliate himself. In any event nothing should be taken for granted. He still feels that his wife will try and perservere further, towards her own goals though. Timothy will endure throughout it.


Now what if the same question while Tim is jumping out of a window while his dextrous ability is best kept at a slow walking pace(or a situation in which the gm would cast hte oracle.)


Shortened version. Most important passage.


Quote
Nine in the fourth place means:
          Perseverance brings good fortune.
          Remorse disappears.
          If a man is agitated in mind,
          And his thoughts go hither and thither,
          Only those friends
          On whom he fixes his conscious thoughts
          Will follow.




Must perservere for good of marriage. Not feeling sad anymore. Although still agitated. Jumping out of the window is still a bad idea though.(now this is an instance where the the oracle as a living organsim  takes center stage.) Timothy projects his thoughts upon his coworker who runs into the room at th elast second grabbing tim's collar and dragging him in from the window.

I believe I have stopped making sense. I'm tired. Comments?
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Plenz
Member

Posts: 20


« Reply #26 on: August 29, 2003, 05:50:02 PM »

I will be taking a day or two off from posting here. I have to work and have some reading lined up. I'll post further I-Ching Resolutions and an example of character creation soon. Some crunchiness for y'all.
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Plenz
Member

Posts: 20


« Reply #27 on: August 29, 2003, 09:40:19 PM »

Quote
-Timothy Orchid spent the last ten minutes arguing with his coffee machine. This meant that he was ten minutes later for work in which at least half of that time would be spent trying to find his car keys(which when he found them and actually got into his car, he would merely have another argument. This time with his vehicle. These days, everything has an opinion) After bribing his coffee maker for a cup and locating his car keys he proceeded to leave for work. Or at least he attempted to do so. "Tim! Tim! Have you left yet? Are you still here? I can't locate the spare battery pack to my mood organ and it set itself off at dial 436; that's the code for gloomy outlook coupled with the urge to watch television. I don't want to be gloomy and I don't want to watch television. Tim!? Tim are you still here?" Timothy was already at the top of the stairs as Marna, his wife, ceased her moaning. "After all this" Tim said to himself "There's still my dear wife".-





I'd like to cast the I-Ching again in this matter to illustrate another hexagram on the same topic.

Quote


 The present is embodied in Hexagram 5 - Hsu (Waiting): With sincerity, there will be brilliant success. With firmness there will be good fortune, and it will be advantageous to cross the great stream.
 There are no changing lines, and hence the situation is expected to remain the same in the immediate future.
 The things most apparent, those above and in front, are embodied by the upper trigram K'an (Water), which represents danger and the unknown.
 The things least apparent, those below and behind, are embodied by the lower trigram Chi'en (Heaven), which represents strength and creativity.





Timothy suddenly feels distant from his wife as an unusual desperation overwhelms him. He knows that his perserverance is the
right thing for him to do but nothing will change the tension between Timothy and his wife.

Well, those two(three if you count the outlandish "window jump" scene) are all very different.

So much for that post about not posting for two days.

-Plenz




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