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Author Topic: Forge Glossary  (Read 13833 times)
Ron Edwards
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« on: May 11, 2004, 11:35:31 AM »

Hello,

Here's the state of things: the first draft has been finished for over a month. It's been awaiting formatting, and now that's hit a snag in terms of others' time.

So here's the link to the extremely not-formatted-right-yet version: http://www.indie-rpgs.com/_articles/glossary.html

This is the thread for comments, questions, inquiries, and so on. Please save me a lot of grief and read the guidelines for posting in the beginning of the document.

Best,
Ron
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ethan_greer
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« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2004, 11:56:56 AM »

I thought Beeg Horseshoe proposed Nar and Gam to be on the tips of the horseshoe, with Sim residing on the bar of the horseshoe at a centerpoint between the two ends. Have I been wrong all this time?  I think that would be funny. Looking at the original thread, it's a little ambiguous.

http://www.indie-rpgs.com/viewtopic.php?t=617
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Sean
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« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2004, 12:24:25 PM »

Hi, Ron -

- In the entry for Creative Agenda, you identify System as the component of Exploration which most crucially expresses it. I thought I remembered you picking out Situation as an 'eight hundred pound gorilla' elsewhere. My memory may be confused here though - possibly you were saying Situation was important for something else. Question: is it important to pick out an element as 'the important one' at this point in the definition process? Does the potential for confusion outweigh the benefit of saying 'hey, look here'?

- In the definition of Bang you seem to have Narrativist bangs in mind. Is that intentional? If you intend 'Bang' to have broader relevance, maybe you should drop 'thematically' and go with the vaguer 'significant'.

- The technical terms for the fallacies committed by an argument which employs what you call synecdoche are Division (whole for part) and Composition (part for whole). Since these terms aren't used here they probably don't need to be in the glossary, but it always kind of amuses me that we use litspeak here to deal with logical errors.

Best,

Sean
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2004, 12:57:09 PM »

Ethan is correct as to the theoretical shape on Beeg Horseshoe.

I think Lasersharking should go in. From this thread:
http://www.indie-rpgs.com/viewtopic.php?t=7072

Mike
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2004, 01:26:10 PM »

Hello,

Lasersharking goes in, for sure. And I just realized I forgot to give thread & name credit for "tells" to Storn and his group. Probably a few more of that sort of thing to be ferreted out.

As for the horseshoe, yeah - I confused myself during reviewing those threads because it still seems reasonable that the "empty" space of the horseshoe corresponds to what Jared says "doesn't exist." Check that to be fixed.

Ummm ... and for Bangs, I've decided to stick with the logic I presented in Confused about Bangs ..., which should probably go in as a reference link.

Situation is the 800-pound gorilla when figuring out how all the components are linked. If you describe the situation, then you can point to any of the other components with very little difficulty, and also point out how they are connected, imaginatively speaking. But System is what makes the Situation "move," or as I like to say, it introduces fictional time into the shared imaginary space. So if we're talking about play-procedures, System is the "vehicle" (although not isolated to itself, as it must emerge from Situation) for the Creative Agenda, or to whatever might pass for one/more in a given group.

All the above aside, I'm probably not going to reply very much on this thread, which as you might imagine would become a serious source of stress for me if I let it. So anyway, post away, I'm reading with care, and will chime in pretty rarely.

Best,
Ron
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rafial
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« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2004, 03:35:38 PM »

Overall, this is a very good thing.  Since I don't keep up with all the terminology threads, it was a excellent chance to compare my existing comprehension of the vocabulary with the current state of the art.

My only major comment is regarding the definition of the Lumpley principle.  It's entirely possible that the concept has moved out from under me, but for me, the most succinct and evocative description of it has always been:

  "Nothing happens in the shared imagined space unless the participants agree it does."

...followed with the corollary that "System is how agreement is reached". Certainly the way it is currently defined in the glossary left me scratching my head.

It seemed like the Crunch and the Gamble could each stand to have another sentence defining what is meant by predicability vs. risk.

And the definition of Drama seemed quite confusing, especially compared to the very clear definitions of Karma and Fortune.  If asked to produce an alternate proposal, I might try something like this:

"Resolving imaginary events by the fiat of some pre-established authority, without recourse to numerical values or other components of character effectiveness."

But then my understanding may be flawed.

Finally, a few minor typos I noted:

Illusionism - the phrase "story creation" appears twice

Paying to Suck - sentence gets wonky in the middle "nets him with an low"

Oh, and I'd suggest a pronunciation key for Synecdoche ;)
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greyorm
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« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2004, 03:47:06 PM »

Now, my understanding of the Lumpley Principle is that it arose in response to the idea that rules exist to model the game's reality -- when they only exist to determine among the participants what is accepted as happening.

That bit of history might do to be included in the description.
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Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
Wild Hunt Studio
ethan_greer
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« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2004, 03:53:19 PM »

Oh, yeah, and I forgot - wicked cool.  Thanks for stuff you do, Ron.
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Doyce
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« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2004, 06:38:53 PM »

I've asked several of my players to read through the Glossary -- these are not Forge people, but they are people who've been exposed to Forge terms through my own assimilation of the material (I'm someone who learns by reading, then telling others about what I've read, which is a useful trait as a GM.)

This tactic of exposing Forge novices (who have encountered some of the terminology in play, as it were, through me) to the material was the best way I could think of getting you feedback from what would likely be the target audience.

They found the material opaque.  Despite being gamers for years and dealing with all sorts of games and player types, they struggled with figuring out what the whole thing was about.

Now, largely, the problem seemed to be that the terminology is internal to the Forge and inward-turned.  The biggest frustration by far was that none of the referenced thread names were links, so that when they were inclinded to see the context the words live in, they had no means of doing so (short of using the search function, which I personally couldn't recommend, as I find it entirely inadequate myself*).

One specific comment emailed to me:
Quote
When you mention Forge words, though, I get them immediately, because they come in as part of gaming, with examples or in a context:  "he was deprotagonized when his marksman couldn't hit the broadside of a barn due to a bad roll."


I see their point: like gaming concepts in a rulebook, some things work better with examples -- perhaps examples for the terms would make it more immediately accessible to the newcomer, but barring that, the big neon sign held up was "provide links to threads".  I understand the work involved in that (IMO, writing quick examples would be easier, if more prone to misinterpretation or bias), but that was the big thing that came back from their feedback.

For myself, I thought it was great and didn't mind not having the links (though I still sort of wished they there), because, and I think this is key, I already have most of the context, since I've been slurping up Forge posts for five months.

* - After five months, I still can't get the Search function to pull up all four parts of the Art Deco Melodrama discussion:  frankly, using "art AND deco AND melodrama", plus the author "Ron Edwards", searching only "Adept Press" should work better than that.
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Bob McNamee
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« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2004, 07:37:01 PM »

I think that links an such are part of the 'waiting for formatting' that was mentioned.

This is the rough version.
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Bob McNamee
Indie-netgaming- Out of the ordinary on-line gaming!
Doyce
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« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2004, 08:03:40 PM »

Quote from: Bob McNamee
I think that links an such are part of the 'waiting for formatting' that was mentioned.


I was all set to disagree with you, because of this:

Quote
I haven't included the actual links to the indicated threads, mainly because that would delay this posting


But in going to quote it, I of course caught the next bit:

Quote
They'll get added in the next iteration.


Which of course I'd missed.
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Doyce Testerman ~ http://random.average-bear.com
Someone gets into trouble, then get get out of it again; people love that story -- they never get tired of it.
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2004, 08:05:02 PM »

Hello,

I also want to emphasize that printing out the glossary and showing it to folks as a basic textbook is not consistent with the goals I brought to compiling it. Those goals begin and end with a person who wants to participate here, and who has already decided to get involved with discussions.

Best,
Ron
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clehrich
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« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2004, 08:46:31 PM »

I do think that a very brief example sentence or short paragraph for each term would be helpful.  While showing the thing cold to a newcomer may not be the primary purpose, it's quite a good test-case in its way.  I mean, suppose I go away for the summer (as in fact, I probably will), and miss some new terminological invention.  Fine, so I go and look at the glossary.  If all I find is a general definition, without context, and some links to read, I'm not much farther forward than if I simply searched for the term on the search engine.

The glossary thus far looks very good; it's a major step forward.  But I also think it needs a significant expansion to the explanations.

One possibility, within the formatting, would be cross-links of terms.  So if I look up the Lumpley Principle and find that it mentions SIS, I would like to click on SIS and get to that definition.  That's a formatting thing, I know, and a pretty optional one.  But it would be nice.

A thing I don't quite understand is why the Big Model terms are all "key concepts."  That does seem to suggest that the Big Model is established and known, and everything else then refers to it.  I think this is a BIG mistake.  I also think it could be solved simply by changing the phrase "key concept" to "Big-Model concept."
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Chris Lehrich
ethan_greer
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« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2004, 09:22:31 AM »

I see the glossary as a reference tool - someone new is tooling along, reading, absorbing, and sees the phrase, oh hell, I don't know, how about "Gamism-Simulationism Incoherence." Right now, they're a little stuck.  But with the glossary available, and with the context of the thread to go along with a terse definition, the terminology will theoretically be less of a barrier to dialogue for newbies. You don't read the dictionary cold to learn a language, right? Context is the key.

Regarding the Big Model as separate thing, I think I agree with Chris on that - throw everything together, says I.
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Christopher Kubasik
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Posts: 1153


« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2004, 10:44:04 AM »

First, congrats to Ron and everyone who offered a hand on it in one way or another.  It's a real boon to the site, and I'm glad its here.

My reactions are as follows:

My first impression: I loved it.

Then I read a couple of the posts here.  I sifited it down to: a) yes, it's a reference for people already invested in figuring this place out, and in no way should it be designed as a text book for understanding everything; b) I think examples are actually a vital idea (and the moment they were mentioned I thought, "I'm amazed I didin't think of that," cause usually I think immediately of things like that; c) the formatting between glosary terms would be nice, but so low a priority against getting the examples, I couldn't in good faith push for it knowing it would take time away from the examples (and you know, life) cause really, it's a simple matter to scroll up and down at this point; and d) I do think if a thread is reference, it should be linked.

In no way, I should make clear, do I think that any of my suggestions "should" have been already implemented.  The defintions are clean, the list is solid as is.  Again, congrats, Ron, for getting it up.

Christopher
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