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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 62 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: The 4 steps of action (for Ron)  (Read 11040 times)
Manu
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« on: October 18, 2001, 10:55:00 AM »

Hey again,

you mention these four steps in any action: Intention, Initiation, Completion and Effect; could you again provide some examples of what you were thinking about? Thank you - great essay by the way :smile:
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Manu
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2001, 07:52:00 AM »

Hey Manu,

Whoo doggies ... can I ask a favor and sort of belay this one for a while? What with Scenes and Tasks and Gamism and Audience and all that, it's pretty thick at the moment.

This topic is a BIIIG deal and I think we can probably move it to the Design forum. How about in a couple days?

Best,
Ron
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2001, 07:44:00 AM »

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Laurel
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« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2001, 10:19:00 AM »

I think IICE is brilliant, and its a game mechanic I'm working on this week for my own game.  I want players to be able to state their character's Intent, and if the action seems possible but not absolutely assured, for them to pause long enough for a very quick fortune-based check.  

Regardless of the outcome of the check (success, failure, or catastrophe), I want players to proceed to the Initation without stating a new Intent, even if they know the action is going to fail and to role-play through to the Completion using a Director's stance to provide the elements that explain specifically why the action was successful or a failure.  The Effect will be announced by the next player to pick up the narrative, as an introduction to their own Intent.  

What I'm stumbling over right now is the best mechanism for determining order of actions.  My design goal is to minimalize disruptions to Narrative play, so that the story flows with as few meta-game interruptions as possible.  The standard linear form of resolution (what Ron posted as step 1-3) required enormous quantities of meta-game interruption.  I'm not saying this is bad, or bad for every game, but its something I'm trying to avoid without running smack into the organizational and coherency issues of freeform.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2001, 10:42:00 AM »

Actually, Laurel, I suggest that you're struggling with an impossible design goal here:

"My design goal is to minimalize disruptions to Narrative play, so that the story flows with as few meta-game interruptions as possible."

Narrativism relies on a very strong metagame presence, and I've found that, counter-intuitively, it HELPS the story flow by acknowledging it.

I think the key issue, though, is "disruption" rather than metagame vs. in-game. The traditional/common method, for instance, LOOKS as if it's very logical, but if people change their actions at the last second, you have a whole renegotiatory process going on with every character at every action. It's that kind of disruption that I think CAN be avoided.

Best,
Ron
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Le Joueur
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« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2001, 03:19:00 PM »

Warning: system plug ahead.

This simplifies very well, kudos to you Mr. Edwards.

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Ron Edwards wrote:

The topic at hand is...the communication among the role-players to establish the event...could have been any of the following.

Intention: ...the game-world...has not yet moved or done anything. That must wait upon some other step of the process.

Initiation: ...moved into action...

Completion: ...the action...is finished.

Effect: ...has...established just what has happened... Quote
In actual role-playing, I have seen EVERY one of these categories as an interpretation of Sam's statement.

For a role-playing situation to be functional at the most basic level, the group as a whole must know and agree upon which one it is. I think that most of us are aware how jarring, disruptive, and plain Not Fun it is, when people at the role-playing table are disagreeing about which of the four categories is being established by an announced action.

You have that right.  We felt so too when creating Scattershot; in fact we felt that our mechanics had to first act as a communal language, thus such concepts had to be explicitly delineated in the text.

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By far and away, the most common solution is to break down the game-world causality into linear form.
1) Establish order of actions among all participants. Each character may now be considered "frozen" in the beginning of the sequence.
2) Resolve the action of the first participant in terms of (a) unfreezing, such that the action may now be announced in full by the player; (b) motions of the character from initiation through completion through result.
3) Continue through all characters.c
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- Formalizing and fixing the announcements of actions prior to step two. E.g. in Sun & Storm, the characters' actions are announced in order of slowest-to-fastest between steps 1 and 2, and then resolved in order of fastest-to-slowest in step 2 as normal.

As an aside, for all my bad experiences with role-playing gaming, this is the style whose author I most wish to go back in time and strangle in their crib.

Quote
Quote
It's a really big deal and - in my opinion - even more fundamental than DFK. The four categories obviously are integrated in many ways with conflict vs. task resolution
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2001, 07:28:00 PM »

Fang,

Quotin' you for emphasis:
"I believe this kind of communal unspoken agreement stuff underpins a great deal of role-playing gaming yet receives almost no discussion."

Exactly. I've been chafing for over two years to get to this level of discussion, yet until now have been tripped up by the continual need to clarify GNS. With any luck, that stage is over.

Best,
Ron

P.S. Editing this personal note in: I didn't find the Sun & Storm (backwards-announce, forwards-resolve) anything as aggravating as the perpetually saved action. Or worse, the play-tactic that shifted announcements up and down the Intent/ Initiation/ Completion/ Result spectrum as the player or GM saw fit, from action to action.

[ This Message was edited by: Ron Edwards on 2001-10-24 10:01 ]
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Laurel
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« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2001, 11:52:00 AM »

Fang-

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