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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 70 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Horseplay gone too far?  (Read 10381 times)
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #45 on: May 22, 2003, 07:30:13 AM »

Hi John,

You wrote,

Quote
should a game design state up front "the players choose their functions -- their `classes', if you will -- while the GM, as creator of the story, will select which story role the character will fulfill"? or its inverse?

or should we think about chargen designs where the player explicitely selects the "Information Finder" or other roles as a different layer in the character design phase?


You've described my primary consideration in character-creation options in all three of my games, each of which offers a different solution.

In Trollbabe, for example, one's score descriptor does not define "story role" in any sense at all. In fact, it's explicit in the rules that although your Fighting specialty may be "missile weapons," your character is considered to be expert in all nuances of fighting. It's just Color. Furthermore, in Trollbabe there are no personality mechanics whatsoever, just mechanics for establishing and utilizing relationships. "Story role" then becomes a matter of seeing what constellation of relationships forms with the character at its center, as well as that constellation's impacts on various Stakes per adventure as adventures continue.

In Elfs, on the other hand, there are satirical alignment mechanics (Oral, Anal, and Genital stages) which have direct effects on in-game events based on failed roles or other activities. They essentially de-protagonize the characters to a certain limited degree through the system itself, in intended mockery of how a GM or fellow player would use alignment mechanics to do so in dysfunctional D&D play. "Story role" then becomes a matter of how the character's personal brand of failure, venality, and stupidity (in tandem with the Dumb Luck rules in particular) actually turns out well for the real people's enjoyment of play.

So my answer to you is not either/or, but merely "Yes," meaning that clarity of some relationship among my levels 1-4 is the key to avoiding the problem that John has run into. Well, not the big problem (de-protagonism, subset-sexism), but rather one route to its expression (story role vs. in-game role).

Best,
Ron
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John Kim
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« Reply #46 on: May 23, 2003, 10:26:03 PM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards
Quote
should a game design state up front "the players choose their functions -- their `classes', if you will -- while the GM, as creator of the story, will select which story role the character will fulfill"? or its inverse?

You've described my primary consideration in character-creation options in all three of my games, each of which offers a different solution.
...
So my answer to you is not either/or, but merely "Yes," meaning that clarity of some relationship among my levels 1-4 is the key to avoiding the problem that John has run into. Well, not the big problem (de-protagonism, subset-sexism), but rather one route to its expression (story role vs. in-game role).

Hey, Ron.  Unforunately, I'm going on vacation and don't have time to address this properly.  At this point, I don't I understand how this avoids the problem I had.  I saw the problem mainly as sexism (vs character) brought out by being uncomfortable with us drifting further away from the intended plot.  The more direct solution is empowerment of the PC in terms of gender and sexuality.  Another approach is for the GM to prepare in such a way as to not feel tied to an expected line of events.  

I don't yet have a good picture for what the "story role vs in-game role" solution would look like.
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- John
Nev the Deranged
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Posts: 741

Dave. Yeah, that Dave.


« Reply #47 on: May 24, 2003, 11:29:31 AM »

I have to say, this is quite an interesting and depthful thread.  But I think you're all missing the most salient point of the original situation.

 While the transformed character's mare was getting it on with the big black badguy stallion, the other players could have easily killed, trapped, or subdued it; thus turning a problem into a solution. =>
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Nev the Deranged
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Posts: 741

Dave. Yeah, that Dave.


« Reply #48 on: May 24, 2003, 11:30:42 AM »

And yes, that was a tongue in cheek post, please don't flame me.
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