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TQB Styles of Play

Started by James V. West, March 09, 2002, 04:19:57 AM

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James V. West

Hello again

The Questing Beast features the idea of Accords, which can be best described as settings discussed and agreed upon by a group before starting play. This establishes what, where, why, and when so that Bards know what they can mess with during Monologues and what they need to approach with caution and respect.

But what about the how of play?

Let's say you're using an Accord based on the film Excalibur. One player is acting and narrating in a dramatic style inspired by the movie. But another player obviously thinks he's in a Monty Python flick. Obviously this is a problem that creeps up in virtually all rpg groups.

I was thinking of a way to address this issue head-on in the rules for TQB. I call it using Styles.

When your group decides on an Accord, you could also streamline everyone's thinking by agreeing on a Style of play as well. A Style would simply be a manner of playing--an approach or mood everyone agrees to acknowledge. Each Style would have a few rules attached to it to help quell the Stooges from invading your darkly tragic kingdom.

For example:

Storybook Style- Romances and Monologues are presented in simple language and pacing is rather fast. Fantasy creatures tend to be singular rather than breeds or races--thus it could be decided that if someone's character meets the Unicorn it is indeed the Unicorn and not one of many. Monologues could cover a broader span of story, essentially becoming mini-stories within the greater picture ("Sir Gareth rides into the Tangled Wood after dark to find the hideous beast. In a clearing he spots it curled up on a log"..and so on).

Tragic Style- Romances cannot end happily. Heroes do not get what they want in the end, but rather lose all that is dear. Emphasis is placed on relationships between Hero and object of Quest. When swords are drawn, someone always dies.

I can see an argument that Styles ought to come naturally from Accords. I can see this being true in some cases. I can see certain types of Accords that would only work if the players took a particular approach. However, sometimes an Accord may just be a collection of facts--as in a historical Accord. What then of Style?

Can you see any merit to pursuing this as an addition to the game?

James V. West

Some more thoughts on this...

Perhaps I'm overswinging a little. Or perhaps Accord needs a redefinition.

Instead of just a Setting, how about making it a combination of 3 elements: Setting, Style, and Premise.

Setting to dictate the who, what, when and where.
Style to dictate the how.
Premise to dictate the why.

An Accord is really just a social contract that is focused on the internal concepts of the game such as who, what, when and all that instead of external elements like who's the Guide, when do we play, and where.

Thinking out loud is fun.