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Author Topic: Game or Roleplaying, Which is More Important?  (Read 9633 times)
pete_darby
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Posts: 537

Will dance with porridge down pants for food.


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« Reply #30 on: July 11, 2003, 06:22:39 AM »

Quote from: Bruce Baugh
Quote from: pete_darby
This is the point where I make my annual promise to write the definitve article on using IMPRO for RPG's...


Write it, and I'll read it and refer to it regularly.


Dammit Bruce, I've already said I'll write three RPG's this weekend!
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Pete Darby
Bruce Baugh
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Posts: 143


« Reply #31 on: July 11, 2003, 07:45:10 AM »

So write it next weekend. I'm busy this weekend anyway.
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Writer of Fortune
Gamma World Developer, Feyerabend in Residence
http://bruceb.livejournal.com/
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #32 on: July 11, 2003, 07:55:57 AM »

Hello,

Back to the discussion, please. Or is the discussion over?

Best,
Ron
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epweissengruber
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Posts: 311

I like games! and theory! and The Forge!


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« Reply #33 on: July 11, 2003, 08:21:52 AM »

One last kick at the can.

Improv theatre demonstrates that roleplaying is perfectly compatible with rule bound behaviour that requires a participant to meet a "step on up"challenge (AKA Gamism).

For example: On improv game presents players with several physical objects and a starting situation.  The players have to play out the situation and, in the course of behaving in a reasonably realistic fashion, incorporate all of the objects.  The ref will call out a team that makes an unconvincing use of the object.  Just meeting the ref's step on up challenge is hard enough -- expert improvisers will be able to carry out the challenge in an amazingly short period of time while pikers will take forever.

No dice are involved, but this improv exericse is still a game.  You either do it well or blow it.  BUT the challenge also requires the participants to simulate or enact plausible but fictional patterns of behaviour -- isn't that roleplaying?

Now, to RPGS

Suppose the GM of a detail-heavy martial arts game told the players up front: "I have 4 carefully mapped out locations for fights: an abandoned mine shaft, a foundry full of molten metal, a gangster's mansion, and the wing of a biplane used by a stunt pilot.  Also, someone will have to seduce a femme fatale.  I'm gonna start you at the Dragon Boat races in Hong Kong harbour, where you are trying to prevent the assasination of a politician friend of yours.  The challenge is this: I want you guys to incorporate all of these locales, and the seduction scene, into a convincing sequence.  If you stick to your characters, and you maintian at least a John Woo level of plausibility, I will give you 1 [insert combat-assisting token] for every scene you incorporate.

I don't think that this is attempting the "impossible thing" of melding N, S and G: the token is fully Gamist -- you can use it in game to meet in-game challenges.  However, it is generated by meeting a meta-game challenge: stepping up to the GM's proposal.  Wit, intelligence, acting ability are what you draw on to meet this meta-game challenge.

Is it "deep immersion."  Will the players loose themselves in their characters.  Probably not.  But they will have an intensely focused creative experience -- and anyone who has participated in good improv sessions will tell you that playing these games to the hilt, consciously going out there to bust  the cleverest/funniest/most original moves, is an immensely rewarding enterprise.
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Bruce Baugh
Member

Posts: 143


« Reply #34 on: July 11, 2003, 09:16:05 AM »

Quote from: epweissengruber
Suppose the GM of a detail-heavy martial arts game told the players up front: "I have 4 carefully mapped out locations for fights: an abandoned mine shaft, a foundry full of molten metal, a gangster's mansion, and the wing of a biplane used by a stunt pilot.  Also, someone will have to seduce a femme fatale.  I'm gonna start you at the Dragon Boat races in Hong Kong harbour, where you are trying to prevent the assasination of a politician friend of yours.  The challenge is this: I want you guys to incorporate all of these locales, and the seduction scene, into a convincing sequence.  If you stick to your characters, and you maintian at least a John Woo level of plausibility, I will give you 1 [insert combat-assisting token] for every scene you incorporate.


I love that. I will have to give something like that a try sometime. :)
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Writer of Fortune
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http://bruceb.livejournal.com/
epweissengruber
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Posts: 311

I like games! and theory! and The Forge!


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« Reply #35 on: July 11, 2003, 11:11:33 AM »

Yeah, I tried it about 3 years ago and it worked fairly well.

But you should make it clear that the players are "railroading" themselves.
In other words, they have to take Director stance.

GM: Alright the sniper is out, thanks to your shuriken toss.  Now, what  
       do the bad guys do.  Take over ....

Jon:  OK, when they see that they're buddy is down, the Thai drug dealers peel out in their high-powered SUVs.  They are headed downtown, to the well-appointed mansion of their paymaster.

Helen:  Yeah, and we hop on the motor bikes!

GM:  I think I see where this is going.  Car chase!
        [GM knew nothing about Thai drug dealers until now]
   
But players really have to feel that they can invent details like this.
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Jeph
Member

Posts: 338

Jeff Schecter


« Reply #36 on: July 11, 2003, 11:39:51 AM »

This thread has reached 3 pages, and no definition for Adventure has been decided upon yet? That's kind of odd, seeing as at least half a page of posts in it are about what Adventure is and isn't. Hmm...

Adventure: A series of risks taken by the characters in order to reach a goal.

Let's look at that again, piece by piece.

A series of risks...
This means that in order to have Adventure, there must be something that the character's are risking. So there's a new politician in town. Big deal. So there's a new politician in town who knows about your shadey past and how you covered it up, and that shady past involves offing his brother. Now there's risk involved with this new politician, and it can spark an Adventure.

...taken by the characters...
So it's got to be a risk for the characters. Not the players. A risk for the player might be that Stan will get the last cheetoe. That doesn't make for adventure (unless cheetoes are a central theme to the game and figure into it some how).

...in order to reach a goal.
There has to be a reason to do something, otherwise it's either a 'random encounter' or just plain a waste of time to play through. Neither of those makes for Adventure. Say you're going to get tylonal, because your running low, and might need it some time. That's not Adventure. That's inconsequential. But say you need tylonal, because it's the last ingredient to the Elixer of Life, and you need it NOW, because you have to finish making the Elixer before The Other Guys do. Then getting some caugh syrup becomes an Adventure, because it's a Goal.

Oh, and epweiss...awesome. ;)

EDIT: grammar
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Jeffrey S. Schecter: Pagoda / Other
DarkKingdoms
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Posts: 4


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« Reply #37 on: July 12, 2003, 12:07:36 PM »

I agree, "adventure" without risk is like a movie without plot. "Risk," however, is individual with each character. If you make the risk that a character's wife will be kidnapped and murdered by thugs, this may not make much "adventure" for the rest of the characters, except by helping out their friend, but where's their "risk?"

"Adventure" in this case can be accomplished by providing a separate risk for each character. Maybe one has a bounty on his head, another has a brother working with the thugs who is also seeking revenge on his sibling, and yet another is being chased because of owed debts.

Remember to interweave each character so that their risk is present throughout the game. Each having a separate risk from different outlets makes it even more exciting, and provides more for the characters to deal with.

One alternative to "risk" for the characters is the element of fear, but it takes a worthy GM to pull this off successfully. I guess "fear" does coincide with being a risk to one's life.
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