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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 113 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Making Stuff Happen non-Stance  (Read 7641 times)
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2001, 08:03:00 AM »

Hell's bells, man, I call it Currency for a reason.

Best,
Ron
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lumpley
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« Reply #16 on: November 06, 2001, 08:34:00 AM »

Yeah, well let's nationalize that sucker right now.  From now on, any game I make, beginning-play Framing Statements are FREE, or there'll be a damn good reason why not.

Free means you can state 'em for nothing, and then they go to the group consensus process, of course.

-lumpley Vincent
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #17 on: November 06, 2001, 09:11:00 AM »

Sorry Vince,

Funny money is still money if it buys something. I suggest that you'll see plain old Currency still in action during that "group consensus" process.

I think numerical structure, even from a "pot" of points to spend, isn't such terrible thing in game design. Sorcerer and Elfs both use it. What I caution against are (1) layering, such that you spend points to buy X, and then X and Y are averaged to produce Z, and Z has to be figured into Combat Value, and so on; and (2) whacked rates of exchange, such that Z can be bought down and then its points can be spent on X again, or that two original points buy a point of X, but one point will get you a new point of Z on TOP of its derived value from X and Y.

Best,
Ron
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Don Lag
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« Reply #18 on: November 06, 2001, 10:04:00 AM »

Waaaaiiiit a minute.

I can feel the clenches of the Stance model clasping at my taxonomy, dragging it in to the pit of functional definitions. Or something like that, I just wanted to start with a fun line :smile:

First, on Protagonists and Circumstance and Active Agents.

In no point to do I mean to compare what is being called an Active Agent to what I call a Protagnoist. Both terms focus on different aspects of an element in a game.

I believe that the definition being used for Active Agent is that of an element which can be said to have moral or ethical justifications for it's acts inside the game. Example: John the Barbarian is an Active Agent while  a box falling on John is not.
You can replace whether the conditions to be met are actually the presence of moral or ethical justifications eith anything else. But it seems that the objective is to separate stuff that has somne sort of "self promoted" activity from those which respond to some sort of mechanical law of nature (let's just try not to get TOO philosophical).

If I'm correct on my interperetation of what an Active Agent is, then I see no conflict between Protagnoist and Active Agent. Rather, the Active Agent definition works on a different layer. A Protagonist MAY be an Active Agent (I think it MUST be, but I'm not sure yet), but not all Active Agents are necessarily Protagonists. The definition of what constitutes Protagonists from Cirucmstance has much to do about the Premise of the Game itself. NPCs can be Protagonists for example, but aren't necessarily. The weather CAN be a Protagonist, but usually isn't.

The same goes with Circumstance, an NPC, the weather, even a PC could all be Circumstance a priori. I think discussing whether a PC can actually, in practice,  become Circumstance is interesting.

I think I'll repeat myself just for clarity:
Protagonism has nothing to do with "activity". Non-Protagonist elements in a game can "perform actions": establish chains of causality that affect the Circumstance. Stuff is always happening in the game, but ALL of the stuff isn't always provoked by the Protagonists.

I'm not sure whether any of the Stances can be defined in terms of Protagonism and Circumstance, they seem to be vocabularies of different aspects of the game. I DO think that such a search is very attractive and can yield interesting conclusions. But before that I think we should all be on the same page about Protagonism and Circumstance regarding what they mean, what they try to describe and whether this description is complete and correct. It seems to me that everyone so far understands (or has come to understand) the meaning of the Stances.

Finally, I can be too emphatic about this:
Protagonism has NOTHING to do about a character being PC, NPC run by a non-GM or GM (in fact the whole Stance/Circumstance model, as well as the Stance model say nothing about GMs, and consider them as nothing but tags that certain players may place on each other depending on the specific characteristics of a game, and have no relevance to the underlying model).
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lumpley
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« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2001, 10:38:00 AM »

Ron,

Hm.  I'm inclined to think that you've got it reversed: a pot of points is a way to foster consensus, but by no means the only way.  I'm thinking of times I've made my character and come to the group saying, hey, I spent 135 points instead of 100, does anybody think my character will actually break the game?

Numerical structure is (naturally) hugely useful, I don't dispute it, that's not really what I mean.  I mean: what would happen if, in Sorcerer or Elfs, the players got as many points as they wanted to make their characters?  What would you lose?

Maybe better take it to another thread or forum, though.

Don Lag,

I've been using Active Agent to mean Thing That Takes Action.  Is that what you said?

The way you've been using Protagonist, can an antagonist be a Protagonist?  If so, let's for god sake change the word.  If not, then I disagree that the game world can be meaningfully broken into Protagonists and Circumstance, and we should go with Active Agents (which antagonists can certainly be, and which doesn't depend on valued judgements like antagonist and protagonist at all) and Circumstance instead.

-lumpley Vincent

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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #20 on: November 06, 2001, 11:26:00 AM »

Don Lag,

The trouble is, Forge terminology already includes a very definite and crucial use of the term "protagonist." It's even spawned some bastard terms like "protagonize." I respectfully request that some other term be used in your model (which doesn't seem to be using the Lit 101 definition of protagonist anyway).

Best,
Ron
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lumpley
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« Reply #21 on: November 06, 2001, 03:21:00 PM »

Boy, I did rant.  Sorry about that.

With a cooler head I remember that points spent in character creation become effectiveness in the game.  Acanthus being smarter than he is experienced isn't the commodity -- no game I know of would charge me points for that statement -- Acanthus being smart and experienced is.  Which I can live with after all.

So yeah.  I'll just try to back out gracefully here.

-lumpley Vincent
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Don Lag
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« Reply #22 on: November 06, 2001, 03:35:00 PM »

Ron, ok. I wasn't aware of that. I welcome any suggestions regarding the vocabulary.

Just to be curious, in which ways is it different?
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