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Author Topic: Key Phrases: Ron  (Read 2492 times)
Will Whatley

Posts: 4

Love is near.

« on: April 10, 2006, 10:37:09 AM »

Hey Ron (et alii),

We met at Gencon last year '05, but it's entirely possible you shan't remember one of the boys from Alabama who played schizophrenic Sorcerer with you (you GMing). That's no matter.

I have a question: you occasionally make the remark, face to face and online, that while we (those of us roleplaying) should feel free to imagine and describe the details of the mood, the atmosphere, the inflection, in a word the Color, like in the best movies--but that we shouldn't fell constrained: we can imagine things that no movie could ever show.

So my question is: what is it that movies do not, can not show, that we can imagine? To phrase the same question in a different way, how do the bounds of graphical depiction and imaginary exploration map on to one another?

I have a few ideas. Smells, the feeling of grasping after stubbornly inarticulate ideas, warmth and coolth, and so on.

Hey people that aren't Ron,
Try to think of a few of your own before you highlight the ones I hid in the paragraph above. Then tell us what you think.

I used to post under this name.
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Posts: 16490

« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2006, 01:21:06 PM »


Fantastic. This is a real question.

"The air gets thick" is a pretty good piece of dialogue along the lines I was talking about. It suits my criteria of (1) the listener processes it and incorporates it without explanation and (2) not being a phenomenon I can easily imagine being conveyed through the medium of film, or not without some kind of explanation or dialogue. It's also kind of interesting that I don't immediately have a specific real-world reference point for it either; it seems to exist only as a shared-speaking point.

I have narrated body-image in certain surreal or hallucinatory situations in a way which might be conveyed on film, but that I haven't seen done ... in that the character's viewpoint would be present, but his or her body was not. If they look at themselves in any way, it's effectively reversing direction and seeing what was behind them. It's even more interesting when the player has the ability to move the viewpoint/presence around.

The concept was useful for that convention demo, because the demon was an entity of cold who only appeared as eyes in mists, and whose abilities were supposed to be visible ... but I didn't want them to be just movie-FX which any cub CGI tech could do, and which we would imagine as if he had.

Best, Ron


Posts: 8

« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2006, 10:19:34 AM »

To state the obvious, movies can only give you sight and sound.  That leaves three (or more) senses untouched.

I was once in a Champions campaign where a supervillain mentalist's Obvious Special Effect was a metallic taste in everyone's mouth.  We always knew when the scumbag was playing with our heads, but we almost never saw her and we could seldom tell which of us was being affected or how we were being messed with.  She wasn't nearly as powerful as some of our other opponents, but no one could make us more paranoid.

Another moment comes to mind: the GM says, "Oh, by the way, you can no longer feel your fingers..."
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