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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 158 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Narrative Sharing for Gamists  (Read 11060 times)
Mike Holmes
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« Reply #30 on: October 10, 2001, 05:20:00 AM »

Ron,

Quote

On 2001-10-09 17:09, Ron Edwards wrote:
Hey,

I have kill puppies for satan. It is not a Gamist game - there is NO element of competition, between players/GM, among players, or anywhere. So let Gamism off the hook, 'cause it's not involved and doesn't deserve judgmental comments in its direction anyway.

Which were the judgemental comments? I missed them. Personally, I was giving advice on how to make a better gamist game on the assumption that Lumpley had that as a goal. He has indicated that his players may have a gamist bent in part, so I was trying to be helpful.

(BTW, Lumpley, Contracycle, sorry about any confusion; have you guys considered using real names? I just can't associate a name like Lumpley or Contracycle to a person's goals and writing. )

Quote

Now, the rant from Cockroach Souffle is a bit of a different story. You've added some Director Stance stuff in there. But since the game, overall, doesn't have much of a Premise that matches with Narrativism, the Director stuff doesn't DO much in terms of GNS - it makes life easier, more creative, and more fun during play, but it doesn't create Narrativism.


This is what I have been responding to the whole time. I only referred to the game as to how I think that his mechanic from the rant would work with it.

Quote

And no, Mike, NO definition of Gamism, Simulationism, or Narrativism relies on Stances. Not one. The association of Stance with Mode (G, N, or S) is NOT definitive.

I'm quite aware of that; did somebody else imply otherwise? Any linkage I might have implied was only to say that director stance has only found tried and true applications in Narrativit games, so far, and that I thought that his mechanism might be problematic in the particular situation that he describes. I've actually been looking at the idea of directorial power in simulationist games for quite a while, and was trying to consider how it might work in a gamist game.

If any of that was unclear, I apollogise.

As I said in the last post, I think that in the context of that particular game, that the mechanic might work as presented. After all, the GM is playing the devil, and players may get the idea that the GMs rulings may not be for the sake of fairness as they are in other RPGs. I kinda like that concept actually. I'm just concerned for it's success. The gamist concept that I presented was, again, in case he had really gamist players, and I thought had an interesting gamist balance.

Lumpley,

If you like what I proposed, I'd be flattered to have you include the mechanic as an alternate method. It may bear some further scrutiny and playtesting, though, before just including it. Or you can present it with a caveat that it's untried and let some other poor sap do the playtesting for you. :wink:

Mike

(Why have I forgotten to edit my posts before hitting submit?)

[ This Message was edited by: Mike Holmes on 2001-10-10 09:25 ]
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #31 on: October 10, 2001, 06:44:00 AM »

Hi Mike,

I'm not picking on you, and I apologize if you felt criticized. What you deserve is a big medal, as the guy who's pretty much DEFINED the activity of the Forge, especially lately.

Part of my comments reflect an ongoing frustration with putting Gamism into an "over there" box. For anyone who's interested, I love Gamism (yes, this is a change, and a recent self-realization). I think it deserves extensive attention and re-casting, both in the larger role-playing culture and here at the Forge. It struck me that the term was being used off-the-cuff here in this thread, without attention to whether it really applied. When it was clear that it didn't, the time came to say so. Again, this wasn't a dig at you and I'm sorry if I phrased it badly.

We'll talk about the Stance/GNS issue privately, I think. Publicly, we're obviously on the same page about it, in that, given a GNS focus, we think system design should make Stance (of all kinds) help with that focus. Do I have that right?

Best,
Ron
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #32 on: October 10, 2001, 07:02:00 AM »

Quote

On 2001-10-10 10:44, Ron Edwards wrote:
Publicly, we're obviously on the same page about it, in that, given a GNS focus, we think system design should make Stance (of all kinds) help with that focus. Do I have that right?

Absolutely. And given that we haven't seen much directorial stance in gamism or simulationism, I'm eager to see more. I've become very interested, in general, with how to empower and limit stance use in ways that promote different styles. My long time favorite is the use of authorial/directorial power to allow players to help the GM create a more detailed and interesting simulationist world. Backgrounds and MPC creation and such.

Mike
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #33 on: October 10, 2001, 07:32:00 AM »

Hey,

If I'm not mistaken, one of the entrenched assumptions of much Simulationist play is that the players only get Author and Director power during character creation. Then, they can make suggestions about "what's going on," or invent NPCs for "who my guy knows," and all that - but only then.

But why is that before-play-only so entrenched? Why not do the Lumpley trick and let some of that into the nuts and bolts of play? If the game is not heavily committed to the complex back-story (and believe me, kill puppies is not), then it ought to be a blast. Same goes for any number (if not all) Simulationist approaches, including some that have "story" material involved.

Granted, a fair amount of Simulationist play would NOT work well with such mechanics, but some of it just might.

(Gamist RPG design has done this quite a lot lately, possibly due to the impact of Once Upon a Time on the shared culture. Pantheon's the obvious example, and I suspect a lot more is to come.)

Best,
Ron
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lumpley
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« Reply #34 on: October 10, 2001, 08:57:00 AM »

Hey All.

Mike, I've been thinking about the negative reinforcement thing and I have a couple things to say about it after all.  None of this is stuff that I'd expect you to pick up from the text.

I want to give the players of my game power over the world that they may never have had.  It's not nothing, it's actually kind of a big deal, and it's not something everybody comes to easily.  So I have to sell it.  

GMs:

"What?  You mean give up my iron-fisted control of the world and everything in it?"

"Easy now, just the parts you don't like [a transparent but comforting lie] and plus, if your players try to break the game you can kick their butts."

Players:

As contracycle says, some players (especially non-Narrativist players) hesitate to take directorial power, especially when it isn't specifically bounded by the rules.  (Character creation is an obvious case of directorial power bounded clearly by the rules.)  I've found that if for character creation I hand a player a blank sheet of paper and ask her to write a couple paragraphs, if she's not prepped, she won't take advantage of the opportunity.  That kind of sudden, unexpected freedom can actually inhibit creativity.

"What?  You mean I can do ... anything?"

"Well, not ANYTHING.  If you try to break my game, I'll kick your butt."

--

I don't expect that the negative reinforcement would ever actually happen.

It's all theory on my part, though.  Like I say, my players are enthusiastic and responsible sharers of the world.  Playing with a GM at all is the challenge for them.

Oh, and whether a. it's possible to break a game and b. anybody actually ever worries about it are open questions.

--

I find it more confusing, personally, when people's user name is one thing and they sign their posts something else.  That's why I don't sign mine Vincent.

Why my username is lumpley to begin with is a good question, and the answer is not that interesting: when I signed up for Juno they recommended v1_baker332@juno.com and I said -- no way.  Sure enough, nobody else had already taken lumpley.  Now I've gotten used to it.

-lumpley



[ This Message was edited by: lumpley on 2001-10-10 13:03 ]
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random
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« Reply #35 on: October 10, 2001, 09:24:00 PM »

Quote


Ron Edwards wrote:

If I'm not mistaken, one of the entrenched assumptions of much Simulationist play is that the players only get Author and Director power during character creation. [..]


Much Simulationist play, maybe, but certainly not all. In the Amber games I've run, I have always encouraged players to do character diaries, with the stipulation that the best kind of diary entry is only tangentally related to the events that unfolded during game sessions.

Essentially the character diary mechanism lets players write stories about their characters and interactions with new, previously unknown parts of the universe. I always reserved the right to edit entries so that they would fit into the parts of the universe that I had defined ... but this didn't happen very often. And then I got to incorporate all the neat new details into the unfolding plot arcs.

It worked really well sometimes. Other times, not so well. But I think that between-game-session times can provide a really good venue for players to take a directoral stance.

So there's my $0.02.
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Mytholder
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« Reply #36 on: October 11, 2001, 01:34:00 AM »

*blips in, not having read the whole thread in detail*

Simulationism demands consistency and a strong vision of how the world works. Therefore, to avoid directorial power damaging the game, you need to have one of the following conditions being true:
1) Everyone has the same strong vision of the world. Tricky, but possible.
2) The application of directorial power is limited to stuff that can't break the world - the diaries mentioned in the previous post, for example.
3) The GM has a veto on all uses of directorial power ("no, your uncle isn't the bloody Minister of Finance", or, from a vampire game "No, you can't hack into the Swedish computer network and scramble a jet to bomb the guy you're in melee with").
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #37 on: October 11, 2001, 06:41:00 AM »

Hey Gareth (mytholder),

"*blips in, not having read the whole thread in detail*"

*winces - this thread is not well suited for quickie comments* Oh man, do you have to do that?

"Simulationism demands consistency and a strong vision of how the world works."

I suggest that all role-playing demands these things, and that your points apply to Director Stance in general, not to its use/applications in Simulationism alone.

Since Director Stance in Simulationism is a real new baby in the world of RPG design, maybe we should take it to its own thread.

Best,
Ron
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #38 on: October 11, 2001, 06:47:00 AM »

Random,

Upon mulling, I've decided to get leery after all of considering anything outside of the literal role-playing session to be a "Stance." So maybe what we're talking about between sessions should be considered "preparation." In a strong Simulationist context of a certain kind, that kind of preparation, and its framing in the group, may be making sure that Director stance is not applied during play.

I agree with you entirely about "much" not being "all." I chose the word very carefully.

Amber is an interesting choice to be using, because I think its design is (to use Jim Henley's term for Everway) "abashedly Narrativist," which means that it has to drift a bit to get Narrativist, and similarly, drifts easily into other modes of play. That whole issue is worth its own thread, though.

Best,
Ron
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