Creating the Scenario with the Character Sheets in Front of Me

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Quote from: Bankuei on December 20, 2005, 03:37:21 AM

Hi Judd,

I can understand the "uncomfortableness", but if you look at actual play, I bet it's not a restriction at all.  I mean, few people consider it "limiting" to play a single character- as a GM, you're probably going to get at least 3 or 4 ways to push thematic buttons for each player- which means we're talking 9 or more options for every scene, and assuming you have normal rights to frame scenes and conflicts- that's not very limiting at all.

In a way, its a reversal of traditional play- instead of players looking to the GM for signals on where to go next, the GM is looking to the players for signals of what to frame next.  It makes your job easier, not harder.


Holy crap, Chris.  I read DitG too, but for some reason your post here was a huge "light on" moment for me, to the point where I need to write this down and stick it in every game I write from now on:

Narrative role-playing is a form of constrained creativity.  Players are constrained to a single character, with whom they select multiple points of thematic interest.  GMs are constrained to a given set of points of thematic interest, from which they draw multiple characters and situations.

Hi Brendan,

(Smile)- right.  My breakthrough wasn't in recognizing we ought to be using flags, that I figured out a few years back.  It was that I asked the question, "Why the hell would you want to NOT use flags?" and I was left without an answer.  I mean, if Flags = what people find interesting, then veering from that means you are openly ignoring what everyone is telling you to make the game about.

"Well, Joan and I are voting we go see Harry Potter, John and Louis want to see Narnia, what do you think?"
"We're watching Pride And Prejudice!"
Everyone: "Um, well, if you -really- want to see it, I guess we'll go along..."


Emily Care:
Hey Judd,

That's the best description of why system matters I've seen in a while.

: )

For John,  I can deeply empathize with liking your flags & markers to be narrative in form.  Looking at #'s on a sheet can completely break my creativity.  But another nice thing about all this new-fangled innovation is that making the mechanics mattter doesn't have to come in one form.  Narrative based free-form flags work as well as any stat. Better even at times.  The thing about having the markers not be anywhere on the char/resource sheet is that then, what goes there? The stuff that doesn't matter to anyone, and that's the mess we're trying to get out of. That we are now out of, as Judd's chronology exemplifies.  Hope I got the jist of your question, anyway. 


"Well, Joan and I are voting we go see Harry Potter, John and Louis want to see Narnia, what do you think?"
"We're watching Pride And Prejudice!"
Everyone: "Um, well, if you -really- want to see it, I guess we'll go along..."

Just a little earlier today, I read on 20by20 a comment by someone saying that the trad GM-is-god play is far less common than folk here seem to imply, but this thread really puts a finger on the real problem.  Not that GM's have too much authority over what the players choose to do, but that the GM (herstorically) has to flail around trying to figure out what would make people happy.  And the players were not put in a position to say.  It's really just a matter of better sharing the toys, and communicating about what to play. 


Judd -- pure gold.  Your post helped me put my finger on something that's been bugging me about Nobilis for a while now:  Chargen forces you to think about your character's Estate, and you have to define your characters moral Code, strengths and weaknesses, and even some important NPC's (Anchors). 

The problem is, the GM is then faced with a group of identically-formatted laundry list of potential Markers.  But then you have to play mind-reading games to figure out which of these Markers is live and wired in to the player's interests, and which is just sitting there, spun out by the player out of Simmish interest or, worse, dredged up in order to have a filled-out character sheet. 

To expand on my already long post: there's a houserule I like that allows PC's to get more magical energy from their bonds to the things they love, and which also encourages them to take strong bonds to a limited number of things.  Now it seems that the best thing about this house rule is that it makes it a lot easier for players and GM to identify which are the real Markers!  (There should be a good term for false Flags, BTW.  "I thought his wife was a Flag, but she was just a Dud.")


I'm glad I helped with something that's been rattling around in your head.  That is a great feeling.

Do you want to take that idea of the flag vs. the dud and make it its own thread?

It seems important enough to be.

Just a thought,



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