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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 82 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Communal Language (or perhaps Lingua Illudo)  (Read 1710 times)
Le Joueur
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« on: October 24, 2001, 06:28:00 AM »

url=http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/viewforum.php?forum=3&1217]GNS Model Discussion[/url].

Pardon my Latin (I have never made a study of it) if the title here is wrong.

Quote
Ron Edwards wrote:

Quotin' Fang 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.how a declaration is viewed by the participants in a game.  He used four divisions (allow me to suggest alternate terminology).

  • Intention: the declaration is what the participant desires the subject to perform; the manner or even possibility must first be addressed.
  • Execution: the declaration represents the actual action of the subject; success and results must follow.
  • Conclusion: the declaration corresponds to the finish of the act leaving only the results to be determined.
  • Resolution: the declaration stands for how the action is fully and finally resolveFortune in the Middle or Fortune at the End, you begin thinking about how<gamesGNS Model Discussion[/url].

    Pardon my Latin (I have never made a study of it) if the title here is wrong.

    Quote
    Ron Edwards wrote:

    Quotin' Fang 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.how
    a declaration is viewed by the participants in a game.  He used four divisions (allow me to suggest alternate terminology).

    • Intention: the declaration is what the participant desires the subject to perform; the manner or even possibility must first be addressed.
    • Execution: the declaration represents the actual action of the subject; success and results must follow.
    • Conclusion: the declaration corresponds to the finish of the act leaving only the results to be determined.
    • Resolution: the declaration stands for how the action is fully and finally resolveFortune in the Middle or Fortune at the End, you begin thinking about how<games
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2001, 12:07:00 PM »

I usually think of RPGs simply as a form of entertainment. But others might see it as art primarily or something else. But I'm not sure how that is pertinent here. Just that they aren't the same as other games? OK.

Anyhow, are you simply proposing that the game designer should develop a more precise style in describing his game? Or do you intend for the designer to create jargon for use specifically in that game to increase understanding? Or do you advocate a generalized language for all RPGs such that it is easier to play any one written using that language?

I gather that the purpose is to facilitate communication between the participants such that the game is more functional (hey, there's a "fun" in functional). I don't think anybody would disagree there. I'm just not sure the method that you're proposing, exactly. You point out that such a language is created by every game. Is it merely recognition of this fact and working in that context that you're advocating?

Mike
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Laurel
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« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2001, 12:09:00 PM »

Quote
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Bankuei
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« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2001, 01:54:00 PM »

  I would say that the communal language comes from how the mechanics work, not vice versa.  For example, take the idea of min/maxing.  This term didn't come from a set of rules, but how the rules were applied, likewise such terms as hack'n'slash, munchkinism, etc.  If you watch sports, you'll find certain terms will come into play that aren't officially part of the rules.
  The rules allow a structured means for players(including gm's) to create a "fair" game of make believe.  The communal terminology to a game(THACO, hitpoints, etc.) also form a sublanguage, but are not necessarily designed to codify the terms of all actions(what's the difference between a "hit" "sucessful combat roll" and "successful attack roll"?).  I'd say the language is used to communicate the ideas or trends of the game itself.  After all, how many slang terms exist for handguns?  The language of the handgun didn't define the language as much as the language was created to define the tool of the handgun.  Likewise with game terms.

Bankuei
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Le Joueur
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« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2001, 01:58:00 PM »

Quote
Laurel wrote:

Quote
Quote
I'm not convinced its -the- primary function, and I don't believe that many game designers concern themselves with a "universal" communal language for all gamers.  What they seem to want is a way for everyone who plays -their- game to a well-organized platform or paradigm that allows them to easy interaction and co-participation within the framework of the game itself.Quote
Mike Holmes wrote:

I usually think of RPGs simply as a form of entertainment. But others might see it as art primarily or something else. But I'm not sure how that is pertinent here. Just that they aren't the same as other games? OK.Quote
Anyhow, are you simply proposing that the game designer should develop a more precise style in describing his game?

Not exactly.

Quote
Or do you intend for the designer to create jargon for use specifically in that game to increase understanding?

I suppose they could, but that is not my suggestion either.

Quote
Or do you advocate a generalized language for all RPGs such that it is easier to play any one written using that language?

Heavens, no.

Quote
I gather that the purpose is to facilitate communication between the participants such that the game is more functional (hey, there's a "fun" in functional). I don't think anybody would disagree there. I'm just not sure the method that you're proposing, exactly. You point out that such a language is created by every game. Is it merely recognition of this fact and working in that context that you're advocating?some
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 10459


« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2001, 05:46:00 AM »

OK, I think I see what you want. But what would you suggest as a method? All I can think of is just to ensure that the writer is tinking critically. Could you give an example of a written mechanic that does not employ this thinking vs. one that does? So that we can "know it when we see it". Right now, I'm not getting an intuitive notion of exactly what your talking about. From citing Ron's 4-thing I'd think that you were just talking about being very specific, or not ignoring things that are assumptions of the "common" role-player.

Interestingly, I have given up trying to write RPGs for the "non-gamer". I don't believe that many people get into RPGs without being taught by another gamer, and, thus, you are likely to get that teachers biases anyway. If I actually thought that a game that I was writing was an gateway game that would attract new players then I'd think about it. But I just tend to think of them as products for people who are already gamers. If I were to write to the "new" gamer, I suppose that I'd try to include a chapter to get that reader up to speed with other readers. This would probably include a primer on common jargon.

Mike
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Laurel
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« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2001, 12:07:00 PM »

Fang, I slept on this one.  Here's my thoughts in a short coherent form using what we already talked about.

"Within an RPG, the primary function of game mechanics is to
provide a well-organized platform that allows interaction and co-participation for all the players.  This platform is expressed through the creation of a communal language."

The communal language is not in itself the purpose of the game mechanics.  Its not the house.  Its the hammer and the nails used on the wood to build the house.  

Which is probably what you meant, all along.

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Le Joueur
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« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2001, 02:00:00 PM »

Quote
Quote
as I tried to explain much earlier
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Le Joueur
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« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2001, 02:29:00 PM »

Quote
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