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Started by JB, April 18, 2010, 02:25:41 PM
QuoteTo be more useful, I think that the party and mission are a big obstacle to dramatic play, just like you said. As a practical point one of the first things to do here is to get rid of the party - once you don't have a party you'll find that even if you still have missions, they tend to be rather more cross-purposes with each other, and therefore not real missions. So get rid of the party and assume that all characters have independent concerns and their own scenes, that'll get you 70% there.Of course the big issue with not having a party is that players will have to sit around watching as others play. This is the big methodological shift in play, not because the GM has to do something difficult, but because it requires the players to adjust their attitudes to play. All players will have to learn how to be audience to each other and how to appreciate the scenes of play in which their own characters are not present. It also means that the entire group will have to learn to be economic about time - you can't forget yourself and waste an hour going through a dialogue with the shopkeeper when you have scene allotments to consider and other players sitting on their thumbs.
QuoteI once read an article by Wolfgang Kramer, renowned German board game designer, in which he explains how players must not wait too long for their turn, but an important factor of how long you can let them wait is whether they have a chance to participate while it's not their turn.... you should encourage players to engage in scenes where their characters are not present. This may be limited to listening and commenting here and there, but you could also (for instance) hand an NPC to one of the other players. Some games also explicitly use mechanics that let other players participate, the simplest being "Bennies" of some sort that you may spend on rolls other than your own, and/or may award to other players (popular example: "Fan Mail" in Primetime Adventure).
Quote from: Adam Dray on April 19, 2010, 12:41:58 PMIf it isn't interesting to the "audience," then ... it should be made more interesting. One way to do this is to have it impact other characters. Another way to do this is to make sure all players care about what happens to all characters.
Quote from: Eero Tuovinen on April 19, 2010, 01:19:16 PMAll of the above is not enough to make a group that is practiced in ignoring play not involving their character into one that is "on" all the time; many traditional gaming methods I've seen encourage being uncaring of anything your character is not involved with by having the down-times be very long and by having "good roleplaying" mean not reacting to OOC knowledge in any was as a person. In that sort of environment it's actually a virtue if you can compartmentalize and read comic books or whatever without getting bored while others play their own scenes.
Quote from: Eero Tuovinen on April 19, 2010, 01:19:16 PMGame systems are involved in this as well - one typical feature of a traditional game is that player characters are not actually inherently interesting; the character sheets are full of means and devoid of goals, which means that the other players don't even generally know why your character is interesting. If anybody knows, it's you, but because nothing is written down or spoken aloud, the other players have difficult appreciating the greatness that is your character.