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Started by Montola, October 21, 2005, 06:27:11 AM
QuoteI'm finalizing my paper proposal for the role-playing book by Bryn Neuenschwander and Ben Aldred. I've earlier said that I'm never going to do this, but now I've grabbed the hot potato right by the balls: I'm trying to define role-playing. I'm going to state aloud the rules of role-playing, which is the thing that is always explained allegorically in the obligatory "this is how you role-play" chapters of role-playing books. Quite different rules compared to the gibberish Gary and Dave put out in their original 1974 white box Dungeons & Dragons: Rules for Fantastic Medieval Wargames Campaigns Playable with Paper and Pencil and Miniature Figures.Here's what I'm proposing, a bit of gibberish of my own:1. Role-playing is an interactive process of defining and re-defining the state, properties and contents of an imaginary game world.2. The power to define the game world is allocated to participants of the game. The participants recognize the existence of this power hierarchy.3. Player-participants define game world through personified character constructs, conforming to the state, properties and contents of the game world.All gaming according to the rules above is role-playing. All activities lacking one of those is not.The plan is to publish the full explanations and rationales to that in the book, but I'll just point out that interaction refers to social interaction, and that this is supposed to include tabletop role-playing, larping, online role-playing, freeform role-playing and so on, but also supposed to exclude single-player activities. Role-playing requires two participants, and one of them has to participate in a player position.Feel free to mail me or catch me in a bar if you want to beat them until they bleed.
Quote from: matthijs on October 21, 2005, 06:33:50 AMTwo comments:A. In your point 2 - can a game text or process define the game world? If I roll on "Character Race" table and get "You're an elf", where does that fit in?B. You seem to say the world comes first, and characters conform to the world. What of play that springs forth from the character, where the world is secondary, ephemeral and mutable?
Quote from: Montola on October 21, 2005, 06:43:28 AMI actually say that it is an iterative (or even recursive) process, where the world is perpetually recreated (or updated) according to it's present state and the player intentions.
QuoteIntentions or actions? Or is intention defined through actions?
QuoteI believe your definition includes a lot more than role play games. Skirmish war games, miniatures games where players take on the role of commanders, even some board games like Advance Squad Leader where you personally identify with one of your cardbard officers would all fit.
QuoteWhich leads me here. "If the definition lumps these guys into role playing when they don't see themselves as doing that then maybe the definition is too broad."
Quote from: Montola on October 21, 2005, 06:27:11 AM3. Player-participants define game world through personified character constructs, conforming to the state, properties and contents of the game world.
Quote from: MatrixGamer on October 21, 2005, 11:59:22 AMWhich leads me here. "If the definition lumps these guys into role playing when they don't see themselves as doing that then maybe the definition is too broad."
Quote from: Joshua BishopRoby on October 21, 2005, 12:58:56 PMThis is a relatively minor nitpick, but you're assuming that player-characters (or equivalents) are a necessary element of roleplaying? Your definition here does not assume one PC per player (so Troupe Play is still in), and does not assume that there must be a GM (so GMless play is still in) -- am I reading this right? I suppose it's not really "roleplaying" if there is no role to play, but there's something about this that strikes me as problematic.