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Common Problems from GNS Incompatibility

Started by Marco, September 10, 2001, 06:51:00 PM

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Marco

I'm thinking this has been discussed elswhere but I just got into the GNS model and was discussing it with a friend and came up with this:

When a group has elements at different areas of the triangle there are bound to be conflicts (i.e. Gamists vs. Narrativists). I'm thinking that the model is great for diagnosis ("we have a power gamer--he's gameist!") but doesn't get into resolution (not that it should).

There might be some 'refactoring' tips for groups experienceing GNS incompatibility. Some thoughts:

Problem: "(Sur)Reality Exploitation"

Incompatibility: Gamist vs. Simulationst

Commmon Description: In a system-heavy game arguments arise over the acceptability of rules after action resolution using those rules.

Probable Root Cause: The 'reality' of a simulationist game (e.g. GURPS) is exploited by gamist players. Sumulationists complain, the Gameist cites rules.

General Solution(s): House rules creation (which makes one player feel cheated) and immediate implementation (to please a Simulationist GM). Mediation on newsgroups "My GM did this!" Players argue and/or leave in disgust.

Refactored Solution: The rules stand for the action, the GM exercises narrative power to explain why the unusual outcome occurred. The rule is then amended (with notation to appease the gamist) and the amended rule is used from then on. Eventually the compiled rules-changes are published to usenet where the poster is flamed to a crisp by system purists ( :wink: )

----
I got this idea reading through Anit-Patterns (an excellent book on software design).

Or did I just re-invent the wheel in a major fashion?

-Marco
[JAGS (Just Another Gaming System) a free, universal, highly-supported RPG
http://jagsgame.dyndns.org/jags/index.jsp ]
---------------------------------------------
JAGS (Just Another Gaming System)
a free, high-quality, universal system at:
http://www.jagsrpg.org
Just Released: JAGS Wonderland

Mike Holmes

I like. If we can cover them all (unlikely as there are bound to be third or more individal combinations; maybe stick to the simplest ones) it would make an interesting addendum to the FAQ.

Running a Sim game with occasional Gamist players (probably the most common situation I find myself in), I often use exactly the refactored solution that you provide, and it works like a charm.

Mike

Member of Indie Netgaming
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Marco

Heck, it'd be a good edition to the FAQ--I think it might be worth paying for (but I'd of course advocate making it freely available). I bet a lot of "bad-player"/"bad-GM" headaches originate from these problems.

Reading the FAQ was an eye-opener for me. The refactoring guidelines would be the "practical application" of the theory (and would presumably help to validate it).

-Marco
---------------------------------------------
JAGS (Just Another Gaming System)
a free, high-quality, universal system at:
http://www.jagsrpg.org
Just Released: JAGS Wonderland

Ron Edwards

Hi Marco,

I think you might be interested in my discussion with Tim (Galfraxas) in the Actual Play forum, in his thread "When the players think the GM is trying to kill them."

It involves solutions that may be employed PRIOR to play, rather than during play.

Best,
Ron

Marco

The idea with this was an answer to the "what's the practical application of GNS?" question. If the model correctly shows how people value different aspects of gaming it should provide insight towards recitfying problems.

That's what patterns have done for software design. I think it'd be cool and worthwhile to try for gaming.

-Marco
---------------------------------------------
JAGS (Just Another Gaming System)
a free, high-quality, universal system at:
http://www.jagsrpg.org
Just Released: JAGS Wonderland