*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
October 31, 2014, 06:20:39 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 71 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
Pages: [1]
Print
Author Topic: Primeval. A G/N/S hybrid?  (Read 5959 times)
unheilig
Member

Posts: 27


WWW
« on: October 25, 2001, 08:06:00 AM »

Anybody whose played Primeval knows it is a VERY narrative style of play.
No stats, no skills, no rounds, no initiative.
You tell the story of how your character overcomes his obtacle, you are judged on narrative elements, and assigned a number of dice based on the quality of your narration.

BUT...

Your goal is to win. Only one player can win. One character's account is heralded as truth, whilst the others are discounted. At the end of the campaign, the character with the longest legend is the clear winner. He is elevated to godhood. The other characters are delegated in hindight to supporting roles in the Epic of this new god.

Do we have a Gamist/Narrativist Hybrid here, or am I misunderstanding the model?

Tom

[ This Message was edited by: unheilig on 2001-10-25 12:12 ]
Logged
hardcoremoose
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 669


WWW
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2001, 08:19:00 AM »

I'm certainly not the GNS expert around here, but at least I've played Primeval.

As Ron will tell you, Gamism and Narrativist have a lot in common, particularly when it comes to player empowerment.  And many games (maybe all games) have elements of all three types; it's just a matter of which style of play is supported and promoted most by the system.

As far as Primeval goes, I'd say it's gamist first.  It's all about the competition, and there's even a little strategy (in that you can wager your past exploits to try to elevate your current story).  But it's definitely hard to classify - it falls way outside the parameters of a "traditional" rpg.

- Scott


[ This Message was edited by: hardcoremoose on 2001-10-25 12:21 ]
Logged
Mytholder
Member

Posts: 205


WWW
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2001, 08:39:00 AM »

I'm neither a GNS export nor have I played Primeval, but...

No game is catagorically G or N or S or anything. A game may be especially good at supporting a particular style of play. From what I've seen of Primeval, it could be played in either way. If I concentrate on the best way to play the game to maximize my control over the story, and "play to win", then I'm emphasizing the gamist elements(*).

If I try to come up with the most satisfying story I can, then it's more narrativist.

*: play to win isn't accurate, though. Play to test my ability at storytelling, perhaps. A gamist storyteller (;-O) might deliberately try stylistic tricks or something he's not used to just to see how they work.
Logged
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2001, 08:55:00 AM »

Hello,

My only knowledge of Primeval comes from breathless accounts from play at GenCon.

AS TOLD TO ME, playing Primeval is a Gamist experience. The means of play is to manipulate or make use of game events through a Drama mechanic.

(It may well be that another group of people would take more pleasure in the story itself, but I believe that would constitute Drift. I hope that puts me in general agreement with Gareth [Mytholder] about what COULD happen.)

I really wish people would grasp this point, which I have stated so many times. The presence of any of these - "narrative," or "story," or Drama mechanics - does not automatically mean Narrativism. I have stated VERY carefully, at many points in my essay, that Gamist play may well use story elements (and their descriptions) as a means of competition.

If Primeval is played in this fashion (which is what I heard described), then those players are doing Gamist stuff. If the game itself is designed such that this is facilitated, then it's a Gamist game.

I think that's really clear, and not ambiguous or hybrid-y in the slightest.

Best,
Ron
Logged
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2001, 09:06:00 AM »

Quote

On 2001-10-25 12:55, Ron Edwards wrote:
I really wish people would grasp this point, which I have stated so many times. The presence of any of these - "narrative," or "story," or Drama mechanics - does not automatically mean Narrativism. I have stated VERY carefully, at many points in my essay, that Gamist play may well use story elements (and their descriptions) as a means of competition.


Well, you'd also admit then, Ron, that the presence of a goal of winning or other competitive elements don't necessarily make a game Gamist either. Isn't it a matter of preponderance, or decision at the moment of truth?

I do agree with Ron, however, in his classification. Not having played it, mind you (though intending to), it sounds to me like a Gamist game that happens to make neat stories as a by-product. This is very cool, and may be, for many, superior to the Narrativist method of story creation, BTW. Assuming it works as well as reported. :smile:

Universalis is a bit like this, but doesn't drive as hard towards story so much as dramatic moments.

Mike
Logged

Member of Indie Netgaming
-Get your indie game fix online.
unheilig
Member

Posts: 27


WWW
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2001, 09:44:00 AM »

so...
G/N/S relates to game purpose, whereas Drama/Karma/Fortune relates to mechanic used?

So, we could call Primeval Gamist (purpose= to win)
with a Drama/Fortune mechanic  (quality of narration= probability of success)?

Tom
Logged
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2001, 09:53:00 AM »

Mike,

"you'd also admit then, Ron, that the presence of a goal of winning or other competitive elements don't necessarily make a game Gamist either. Isn't it a matter of preponderance, or decision at the moment of truth?"

I have "admitted" that very thing, Mike. Nor was it an admission, but a plain statement of what I've thought all along. I am referring to the notion that elements of any GNS goal may exist "in service" to the operative one. Thus competitive inklings might provide a motor to (but not replace) a shared Narrativist effort, for example.

This is explicit in my essay in the GNS chapter.

Unheilig,
Have you checked out my new essay in the Articles section? It is pretty much What Ron Thinks about the GNS issue and many concerns such as the one you opened this thread with are addressed in detail.

Best,
Ron
Logged
hardcoremoose
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 669


WWW
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2001, 10:54:00 AM »

Quote
If I concentrate on the best way to play the game to maximize my control over the story, and "play to win", then I'm emphasizing the gamist elements(*).

If I try to come up with the most satisfying story I can, then it's more narrativist.


Primeval is interesting in the sense that its conflict resolution requires every player to narrate how they would resolve the problem.  Only one player can be right, though, so everyone's elses' narrations are retroactively written out of the story, presumed to never have happened, and have absolutely no consequence or effect on events that occur later on in the adventure.  So while you can concentrate on telling the best story possible and ignore the competitive elements entirely, in the end, if you're not the winner, everything you've said is marginalized to the extent of not mattering in the context of the greater story.

Further clouding Primeval's hopes of being called narrativist (which I do not necessarily believe it should aspire to) is the fact that (at least when I played it), even the winning player's narrations seem to have at best a marginal influence on future in-game events.  Of course, we were just playing a demo, but it seems to me that in Primeval the GM sets up the Challenges, the players encounter those Challenges sequentially, and the only unknown factor is which of the PCs is going to emerge the victor.  Now, if Primeval had a mechanic that gave the victorious player the right to determine the next Challenge the group would face, things might be different.

Primeval does have mechanics which encourage good storytelling, at least within the players' narratives during Challenges.  The fact that you get extra points for being respectful to the other PCs (unless you're the Hyperborean!) and your opponent is one example.  But it isn't necessarily narrativist, just a way to make the storytelling that emerges from the competition interesting (and emulative of the way real epics are told).

And to change topics for one brief moment, Primeval isn't strictly Drama-based.  It has a very important Fortune mechanic which takes effect after each player has narrated their character's actions; after receiving the "score" for their narrative, they get to roll that many dice.  The outcome of the Challenge is dependent upon who rolls best, so even players who scored low on their narratives can squeak in a victory through blind luck (although players can also wager past "victories" to reroll their dice, an important strategic element in the game).

- Scott

P.S. In case anyone misconstrues any of the above, I thoroughly enjoy playing Primeval.  It's challenging, fun, and emotionally draining.  And the artwork kicks ass.

[Editorial Note:  This post was meant to be inserted much earlier in the discussion, to hopefully provide clarity to the way Primeval actually plays out.  Ignore those parts that no longer seem relevant]

[ This Message was edited by: hardcoremoose on 2001-10-25 14:58 ]
Logged
unheilig
Member

Posts: 27


WWW
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2001, 11:08:00 AM »

"Further clouding Primeval's hopes of being called narrativist (which I do not necessarily believe it should aspire to) is the fact that (at least when I played it), even the winning player's narrations seem to have at best a marginal influence on future in-game events. Of course, we were just playing a demo, but it seems to me that in Primeval the GM sets up the Challenges, the players encounter those Challenges sequentially, and the only unknown factor is which of the PCs is going to emerge the victor. Now, if Primeval had a mechanic that gave the victorious player the right to determine the next Challenge the group would face, things might be different."

Actually...
Since any particular challenge has the possiblity of changing the world, victorious narrations should most definately affect the future plotline.

for all those who participated in the demos...
under normal circumstances, challenges sort of "happen" within the story... with lots of narrative play in between.
During the demos, we were forced to push folks along a bit so we could get enough "action" in.

So please don't think actual play is designed to be quite so linear!

love and kisses,
Tom


Logged
Ian O'Rourke
Member

Posts: 273


WWW
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2001, 12:06:00 PM »

Who's designing Primevil?
Logged

Ian O'Rourke
www.fandomlife.net
The e-zine of SciFi media and Fandom Culture.
unodiablo
Member

Posts: 149


WWW
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2001, 12:16:00 PM »

Hi Ian,

Tom / unheilig studios did... (With others?)

All this jabbering is mostly from reactions of people who played at GenCon this past year. The publication date is slated @ GenCon of 2002.

I'm looking forward to the trip to Milwaukee soon to play it! I didn't get a chance at GenCon. But I did play The Pool and InSpectres...

Sean
Logged

http://www.geocities.com/unodiablobrew/
Home of 2 Page Action Movie RPG & the freeware version of Dead Meat: Ultima Carneficina Dello Zombi!
Ian O'Rourke
Member

Posts: 273


WWW
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2001, 12:20:00 PM »

Okay, just curious. I'd never heard of it until recently, which is to be expected, I'm not plugged into the indie-rpg scene other than glancing through this site.

To those concerned, the designer(s)of Primevil, if you're not reading Fandomlife.net (and why not?) you may want to check it out on 5th November.


Logged

Ian O'Rourke
www.fandomlife.net
The e-zine of SciFi media and Fandom Culture.
unheilig
Member

Posts: 27


WWW
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2001, 01:26:00 PM »

Hey guys!

(for the record, its Primeval, not Prime-evil)  :smile:


So what's up Nov. 5th?

Tom
Logged
Ian O'Rourke
Member

Posts: 273


WWW
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2001, 12:16:00 AM »

Sorry about getting the name wrong.

As for what's special, possibly not that much, but check it out on the 5th, as I'd be pleased if it was me.

Good luck with the game.
Logged

Ian O'Rourke
www.fandomlife.net
The e-zine of SciFi media and Fandom Culture.
Pages: [1]
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!