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Author Topic: Monopoly: The Most Popular Roleplaying Game?  (Read 6427 times)
quozl
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« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2003, 06:00:49 AM »

Thank you Fang.  You've summed things up quite well.
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--- Jonathan N.
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Jack Spencer Jr
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« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2003, 06:05:04 AM »

Quote from: Le Joueur
...  No matter what you do in Monopoly, you can't take advantage of any situation involving the unlisted details of the 'imaginary space' inhabited by the land baron's of that century.  You can't buy a car, you can't take an opponent to a speakeasy, you can't have reporters find them in bed with a Hollywood starlet, you can't extort anyone, or sue them, all you can do is buy, rent, improve, borrow, loan, and auction properties and money.  (...To the best of my memory, and I acknowledge the number of 'setting-based' happenings drawn as cards, but you don't do those, they happen to you.)

I have two comments about this.

First, I don't think the distinction "you don't do those, they happen to you" works for distinguishing RPGs. Plenty of stuff happens to you when playing and RPG, especially in forms of illusionism.

Second, you can fairly easily add the elements above to Monopoly. The problem lies in getting it to work with the rest of the game. Just adding that freeform would, most likely, have no bearing on the rest of the game. Your character buys a car, but this comes out of his personal cash. The Monopoly money could be considered his business funds. You see. But with a little work, some additional rules could make Monopoly more of a RPG. Personally, I think it would be easier adding this to Clue, but that's my opinion.
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CplFerro
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« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2003, 06:37:38 AM »

Dear Mr. Hibbs:

As seeking to apply objective criteria to subjective experience (for what other experience can there be?) encompasses the entire possibility of knowing truth, then by contending it is mere word-play you have claimed that truth itself does not knowably exist.  Disabusing you of this form of outright insanity -- for if there is no truth, reason cannot hold, for A does not necessarily equal A, or at least if it did we'd never know --  requires a separate thread longer than my time and teaching ability are capable of administering, right now, even were your spirit amenable to realising your mistake.

Thus, all I can submit is a response presuming you have disabused yourself:  That, you could quite easily, in your head, be writing a story about the adventures of your imaginary self while playing Monopoly.  The actual play of Monopoly itself, with the other players, is not the RPG, but yes, you could be imagining a story, which resembles an RPG per se with the exception of an ongoing dialog.

An RPG per se, as in a group, requires a Socratic dialog about an hypothetical secondary world subject to exploration, through transformations of its simulated situations, administered by a sovereign participant.  Were you collaborating with the other Monopoly players in writing your story, you could well be playing an RPG, /at the same time/ as you were playing Monopoly, but Monopoly itself, remaining a fixed rules structure, would remain a board game you were also playing, through which your roleplaying or story-writing flowed over, just as it might flow over the table you were sitting at, or through the air you conspire.

So, you could press it together quite tightly, to the point where you would be using the mechanics of Monopoly as a form of RPG mechanics to decide what happens -- a big board-game-shaped randomiser.  Until the sovereign transformations implicitly (spiritually) took precedence over the transformations in, and could override what the Monopoly rules declaim regarding, the secondary world, however, you would still be playing Monopoly, too.  To say that your group was playing an RPG, would there have to mean your characters were all predestined in their actions,  governed by the unbreakable game mechanics.  This is the very spiritual definition of a board or other axiomatic game.  The moment the group decided that any and all of the player-characters could, at least potentially, break out of the mechanics, then at that point it would implicitly be playing an RPG.



Cpl Ferro
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Jack Spencer Jr
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« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2003, 06:58:31 AM »

Quote from: CplFerro
Were you collaborating with the other Monopoly players in writing your story, you could well be playing an RPG, /at the same time/ as you were playing Monopoly, but Monopoly itself, remaining a fixed rules structure, would remain a board game you were also playing, through which your roleplaying or story-writing flowed over, just as it might flow over the table you were sitting at, or through the air you conspire.

My dictionary is in the shop, but I think I caught this part.

Can this not be extended thus:

Were you collaborating with the other D&D players in writing your story, you could well be playing an RPG, /at the same time/ as you were playing D&D, but D&D itself, remaining a fixed rules structure, would remain a game of small group tactics and monster killing you were also playing, through which your roleplaying or story-writing flowed over, just as it might flow over the table you were sitting at, or through the air you conspire.

If not, then why not?
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CplFerro
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« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2003, 07:32:00 AM »

Dear Mr. Spencer:

Precisely!  The tropes, fetishes, and rules-structure boxed as “D&D” is not a role-playing game, it is at most a set of aids and guidelines for playing one.  We, for convenience, call the box or book on the shelf “a D&D game”, which is like calling the Official Baseball Rules “a baseball game”.  
Your extension demonstrates how at root the publications D&D and Monopoly are the same, except insofar as the former has been expressly designed for being absorbed by and transmuted into a roleplaying game.

This poses an interesting question to me, as a Phoenix Command devotee, since it begs of me, when administering the rules, am I really playing an RPG, or am I interpolating rules between the roleplaying?  My answer is no, it all implicitly becomes roleplaying, because all the rules may be controverted for the sake of the created principles of play (the genre, the PCs, the NPCs, the physical effects, the notion fair play, etc. – the whole gamut of “personas” in the game).



Cpl Ferro
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #20 on: April 17, 2003, 07:39:32 AM »

Hi Corp-F,

If I'm not mistaken, you're using quite a bit of verbiage to work through a well-known idea here at the Forge, which we call the Lumpley Principle.*

Rules serve as a means of arriving at consensus about the imaginary events of play.

This is entirely opposed, incidentally, to the commonly-repeated claim that rules-techniques in role-playing serve as a means of arbitrating disputes about what is happening (e.g. the Cops & Robbers, Cowboys & Indians examples in many texts).

In the terms of my essay, it puts the "rules" (or System, more precisely) entirely at the service of the Social Contract. Its many implications include the idea that one cannot solve Social Contract dysfunction by referring to rules.

Again, this principle is widely-understood and often used at the Forge. Your material so far is well-stated and illustrates how your own worldview and reasoning preferences have parsed the principle for you, which is fine. But you're not opening up a new door.

Best,
Ron

* after "lumpley," the web-handle of Vincent Baker, who articulated the idea best
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #21 on: April 17, 2003, 08:27:50 AM »

Hmm. That's an interesting definition.:

A RPG as a text is one in which there is a method described for ascribing credibility to some authority for the purpose of deciding the course of events that occur in the shared imaginative space, such that said activities are not specifically defined by other rules. That is, a RPG tells the participants how to adjudicate these events in general terms, but not all of what these events might be.

Mike
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John Kim
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« Reply #22 on: April 17, 2003, 11:01:33 AM »

Quote from: Mike Holmes
 That is, a RPG tells the participants how to adjudicate these events in general terms, but not all of what these events might be.

This applies fairly well to tabletop RPGs where there is a GM. However, it doesn't apply so well to other RPGs, such as many MUDs or LARPs.  As a specific example, it doesn't seem to include "The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen".  (By the rules, you cannot decide to not tell a story but instead do something else.)
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #23 on: April 17, 2003, 11:05:04 AM »

Hi John

I agree with you ... but that leaves me wondering what to do with that point.

1. "Hence, many LARPs, MUDs, and The Adventures of Baron von Munchausen are not role-playing games."

2. "Hence, Mike's definition does not hold."

Since there's no gold standard either from the etymology or from the practices in question - in short, because the term "role-playing game" is both historical and has been applied indiscriminately to a wide variety of activities - we're left flailing again.

For instance, I happen to find #1 suitable to my own viewpoint - but so what? That preference has no argumentative power, nor would a person's preference which happened to find #2 more convincing.

Best,
Ron
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #24 on: April 17, 2003, 11:15:46 AM »

Right Ron, this is a Venn problem. We have various sets of games. Each is referred to as an RPG, but they only overlap in parts of their designs in such a way as to disinclude what is not normally included in RPGS. In fact there are some pairs of sets whose common overlap does not overlap with other sets at all. Thus, no definition (which would be the unique overlap) can be common to them all that does not include things that are not supposed to be RPGs. I think that this is intuitive enough, but that if it's not, we could prove it rigorously.

So you either must use the definition "that which claims to be an RPG is an RPG" or you must come up with a definition that disincludes certain sets. Neither of which solutions seems palatable to anyone.

Mike
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Walt Freitag
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« Reply #25 on: April 17, 2003, 12:29:06 PM »

Just to underscore Mike's point, consider also some of the games that would meet Mike's proferred definition:

- The card game Once Upon a Time
- Many of the Whose Line Is It type of improv games
- The Minister's Cat and other "quick, come up with something!" party games
- Face to face Tarot reading and other reading systems with concrete formal components (palmistry, astrology, numerology, etc.)
- Children's pretend games, which sometimes do (contrary to frequent assumption) have explicit rules apportioning credibility

I personally wouldn't object to calling some instances of some of these things role playing games, but again there's not going to be consensus.

- Walt
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Valamir
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« Reply #26 on: April 17, 2003, 01:44:30 PM »

For a thing to exist it must be able to be defined.
It is impossible to define roleplaying games
Therefor role playing games do not exist.

:-)
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #27 on: April 17, 2003, 01:48:18 PM »

Trees need water
Ralph needs water
Therefore Ralph is a tree

Watch yer logicology, bud!

Uh, is this thread over?

Mike
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quozl
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« Reply #28 on: April 17, 2003, 01:52:07 PM »

Quote from: Mike Holmes
Trees need water
Ralph needs water
Therefore Ralph is a tree

Watch yer logicology, bud!

Uh, is this thread over?

Mike


But what kind of tree is Ralph? :-)

Yes, I think this thread has run its course and any attempt to define RPGs point by point should start their own threads.
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--- Jonathan N.
Currently playtesting Frankenstein's Monsters
Le Joueur
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« Reply #29 on: April 17, 2003, 02:39:43 PM »

Quote from: John Kim
Quote from: Mike Holmes
That is, a RPG tells the participants how to adjudicate these events in general terms, but not all of what these events might be.

This applies fairly well to tabletop RPGs where there is a GM. However, it doesn't apply so well to other RPGs, such as many MUDs or LARPs.

How so?  With MUDs, MUSHes, and MOOs, 'what sells them' is what "tells the participants..." (in addition to the software), unlike something like Phantasy Star Online it doesn't spell out every "event," so how aren't these covered.  I'm not getting it.

Quote from: John Kim
As a specific example, it doesn't seem to include "The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen".  (By the rules, you cannot decide to not tell a story but instead do something else.)

This is non-sensical to me.  It's like saying that Dungeons & Dragons isn't a role-playing game because the rules tell you that you can't change class to a rocket scientist.  I guess I'm not understand what Mike meant.

Can someone explain it to me?

Quote from: Walt Freitag
Just to underscore Mike's point, consider also some of the games that would meet Mike's proferred definition:
    [*]The card game Once Upon a Time
    [*]Many of the Whose Line Is It type of improv games
    [*]The Minister's Cat and other "quick, come up with something!" party games
    [*]Face to face Tarot reading and other reading systems with concrete formal components (palmistry, astrology, numerology, etc.)
    [*]Children's pretend games, which sometimes do (contrary to frequent assumption) have explicit rules apportioning credibility[/list:u]I personally wouldn't object to calling some instances of some of these things role playing games, but again there's not going to be consensus.

    Like I said above, I'd include Munchausen, LARPGs, and M##s on this list.  Further, I'd add the caveat that there must be this 'imaginary space' as well.  (Which would elminate "face to face Tarot reading..." though.)

    Overall, I'm just not reading Ron's dichotomy (either 1 or 2).  Please, someone, can you explain it to me?

    Fang Langford

    p. s. And then there's the whole "intent" issue....
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