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Author Topic: Third print supplement - actually  (Read 18364 times)
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #15 on: August 23, 2002, 10:37:23 AM »

Hi there,

Fabrice, you're dead-on target with both Rosemary's Baby and Eraserhead, regarding the "female" story. Notice that the male protagonist of the latter doesn't make it a "male" story - one example of the terms not being a 1:1 correspondence, or simple in any way. I'm happy to answer more questions about what I am using for the "female" story concept.

The "In Utero" chapter won't be released before the book is published, and it represents a fairly substantial upgrading of the con demo, as well.

Zak, I knew when I used it above that "wuxia" was going to cause horrible problems as a term. I wish I hadn't used it, as most movies in that category represent the blended male-female issues that I deal with in the Azk'Arn chapter - in other words, the "male" and "female" stories that I describe are not incompatible, and movies like Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, and especially The Bride with White Hair, are excellent examples of the combinations.

To be absolutely clear: I do not consider most wuxia movies to exemplify my interpretation of (one of) the "male" story as I use the term in the book. I don't use the term in the game text and it was nothing but a huge red herring in this thread.

The "male" story described in the second chapter and exemplified in the fourth chapter is based largely on the "four rings" model that I described in a thread here earlier this year. Most westerns are good examples; so are dramas like The Godfather and many others. The example of Paragon, my fourth chapter, is actually far more Shaw Brothers (e.g. The Five Deadly Venoms) than it is modern wuxia - ie, more simplistic and appropriate for a focused example.

Best,
Ron
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #16 on: August 23, 2002, 10:52:18 AM »

Hey,

I just realized I'd forgotten to put in a chapter list for you guys.

Ch 1: getting social dynamics among the real role-players out of the closet, then defining Lines & Veils, and finished by a very graphic revelation regarding Ch 7 in the main book in order to illustrate Lines & Veils

Ch 2: "Male" and "Female" story models/topics explanation - this is supposed to be much like Ch 2 in Sorcerer & Sword, which gets people all fired up about playing this kind of stuff, as well as about the source/inspirational literature and film.

Ch 3: In Utero, exemplifying a "Female" story topic - additional rules bit = lots of sexuality in rituals (not what you might think, either)

Ch 4: Paragon, exemplifying a "Male" story topic - additional rules bit = martial arts to colorize combat, Shaw Bros style

Ch 5: Azk'Arn, a sword & sorcery setting which combines the "male" and "female" story concepts - solid setting material (and it's a hell of a setting, too), examples of how the hero concepts create in-play and prep-to-play events

Ch 6: Very scary rules, going way past the edge - specific to male and female characters, specific to male and female players, not for the timid; followed up with how they would apply to Azk'Arn.

The "testimonials" are intended to go between the chapters.

Floor's open for more questions!

Best,
Ron
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Fabrice G.
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« Reply #17 on: August 23, 2002, 10:58:40 AM »

Hi Ron,


Quote
Fabrice, you're dead-on target with both Rosemary's Baby and Eraserhead, regarding the "female" story. Notice that the male protagonist of the latter doesn't make it a "male" story - one example of the terms not being a 1:1 correspondence, or simple in any way. I'm happy to answer more questions about what I am using for the "female" story concept.


Great !!!

The way I begin to see it, each story concept could use themes/premises that are usually connected (ie that cause more emotional responses/interest/concern) to each sex.

Thus the "female" one may use the pregnancy, fear of the arrival of babies, etc. ; where as the "male" one may use the father figure as in The Godfather.

Or it may be about the role (and type of interaction) of each sex in that kind of stories...

I don't know if I'm even close...but I would really like it if you could explain (just a bit) what your approch is here.

Fabrice.

[edited to note that Ron posted the chapter breakdown while I was posting this.]
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Jeffrey Straszheim
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« Reply #18 on: August 23, 2002, 11:42:55 AM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards

The "male" story described in the second chapter and exemplified in the fourth chapter is based largely on the "four rings" model that I described in a thread here earlier this year.


This sounds interesting, but I can't find that thread. :)
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Jeffrey Straszheim
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« Reply #19 on: August 23, 2002, 01:01:13 PM »

So then let me be the first: rules specific to male and female PLAYERS?  What is EVEN up with that?

(If anyone can do it and make it not ugly and bad, it's you, sir.  But that's a big IF there.)

-Vincent
Intrigued and skeptical
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jrs
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« Reply #20 on: August 23, 2002, 01:36:01 PM »

Jeffrey, I *think* that this is the topic where Ron talks about the "four rings" or "circle" model.  (Ron, correct me if I'm wrong here; point us to the correct topic if this ain't it.)

Relationship map issues
http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1486

Vincent, I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one balking at the idea of gender based rules for players.

Julie
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #21 on: August 23, 2002, 01:36:37 PM »

Hi there,

Fabrice, the thread in question is Relationship map issues. Pretty dense stuff, so you might want to print it out.

The deal is that such a story tends, historically, to have male protagonists. Not always - but if a female character is the protagonist, certain other issues and "edges" to the story are introduced onto the baseline.

Reproductive issues, regardless of what stage, regardless of whether the sexuality is being confirmed or denied, tend historically to have female protagonists. Again, in the instances when they don't, the presence of the male protagonist introduces further nuances or perturbances onto the baseline.

Vincent, my friend, have faith in me. The game is Sorcerer, after all - transgression and expansion of our perceived selves is part of the picture.
The essence of the supplement is to permit our sexuality and social concerns to be acknowledged as an influence on the role-playing.

Let me alleviate some concerns, if possible. The supplement as a whole and Ch 6 especially is not a tract or treatise on why or how to play - offering the "rules" in Ch 6 is a thought experiment for people who want to think about it, not a recommendation for actual play.

Some people shudder at the thought of a role-playing game that involves demons as a central concern, not just an "option." I ask them to use that shuddering reaction as a springboard into more effective play. Quite a few people unfairly regard this reaction on their part with amusement.

To the person who reacts similarly to my statement regarding gender (and the admittedly freaky rules-experiment in Ch 6), I ask ... have I found that thing which might be called ... your demon?

Best,
Ron
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Clay
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« Reply #22 on: August 23, 2002, 04:11:05 PM »

Then I'm all about buying this supplement as soon as it comes out.  I really like this style, and was completely blown away by Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.  The Sorcerer mechanics really seem to be ideal for the style.
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Clay Dowling
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« Reply #23 on: August 23, 2002, 07:08:43 PM »

Mostly on-topic but interesting nonetheless:

There was a storyline in the early issues of the Hellblazer comic (which is an awesome resource for Sorcerer, especially the earlier issues) in which a society of male "sorcerers" had bound and channeled the natural energies of the earth (leylines or dragon lines) and were using it as a weapon to kill through fear. Our protagonist gets connected with several female "sorcerers" who sought to liberate the energy and use it to shift the roles of gender to be in balance. It was a really good story culminating in a ritual which could've changed the world for the better if Constantine had been able to overcome his fear of such a world. (Male feelings threatened by increase in female powers.)

The whole storyline dealt with gender and its effects on magic. It was really good and might be a useful resource.
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Alex Hunter
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #24 on: August 23, 2002, 07:35:03 PM »

Hey,

Alex, my girlfriend at the time referred to that storyline as "the orgasm that saved the world ...."

Vincent, extensive conversations with Julie (jrs) have had a big impact on me, both regarding the "rules" themselves and their presentation. In fact, I wouldn't even call them "rules." Have faith.

Best,
Ron
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Fabrice G.
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« Reply #25 on: August 23, 2002, 11:24:01 PM »

Hi Ron,

Quote
The deal is that such a story tends, historically, to have male protagonists. Not always - but if a female character is the protagonist, certain other issues and "edges" to the story are introduced onto the baseline.

Reproductive issues, regardless of what stage, regardless of whether the sexuality is being confirmed or denied, tend historically to have female protagonists. Again, in the instances when they don't, the presence of the male protagonist introduces further nuances or perturbances onto the baseline.


Then I wasn't so wrong....good !

Considering gender storyline, you might want to check Eddy Campbel and Alan Moore's From Hell. It is not specificaly about that topic, but a whole chapter is devoted to the symbolic domination of men through the architecture of London. Pretty interesting stuff.

BTW, when should we expect this to be published ?


Fabrice.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #26 on: August 24, 2002, 04:21:28 AM »

Hi Fabrice,

I know From Hell pretty well. It's an excellent work, in terms of craftsmanship, but I think that both it and the Hellblazer reference mentioned by Alex are simplistic by my standards - more in tune with 80s-90s politics than with myth and literature. But let's not get into that. More to the point, domination of "one gender" by "the other" is off-scale for the supplement, which operates strictly at the protagonist, single-story level rather than sweeping statements about the Whole Gender and Society.

As to publication, I'm shooting for late January, 2003. Both text and art are well under way.

Best,
Ron
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Fabrice G.
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« Reply #27 on: August 24, 2002, 09:15:43 AM »

Hi Ron,

Quote
More to the point, domination of "one gender" by "the other" is off-scale for the supplement, which operates strictly at the protagonist, single-story level rather than sweeping statements about the Whole Gender and Society.


Well, noted and understood. Anyway, I prefer it that way.
Any source litterature you can share ?

Glad to know everything is running okay. Damn....6 whole month !


Fabrice.
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lumpley
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« Reply #28 on: August 24, 2002, 12:52:19 PM »

Hey Ron.

a. If you're undermining and transgressing the players' genders, ooh baby.  That's the good stuff, yeah.  That's not my demon, that's my demon's (or maybe just my) Need.  (I imagine a rule like: if you're a man, if a woman's talking you can't interrupt, and if a woman interrupts you, shut up immediately.  That's one of our Ars Magica rules.)

(In fact, since our Ars Magica rules are all social and negotiated, probably most of them are gender-sensitive.  But more than that, they're player-sensitive; we negotiated them ourselves, for our personal genders and sexualities, plus histories and personalities and tastes and so on.  The big IF here is: can you impose from a rulebook gender rules that are responsive enough, or will they inevitably be crude and clumsy?)

b. Anyway but if you're like prescribing meaning based on the players' genders, that's what's ugly and lame.  Almost for sure.  A rule like: if you're a man, you get experience points if NPCs come around to your character's opinion, and if you're a woman, you get experience points if your character and NPCs find common ground, yuck.  That's not my demon, that's just sneer-at-able.  (Unless you're using that sort of rule to highlight and thus undermine the stupid parts of the player's gender, sort of like my intention for my vampire game, in which case see a.)  

c. I see a third possibility and it's my Demon, yes.  That's where you're prescribing meaning based on the players' genders, and you're right, and I don't want to hear it.  My own gender transgressions are just me running away from being a man, like the cowardly weak little boy I am.  Humanity in real life means being Masculine or Feminine, depending on whether you have a penis or a uterus, my demon Misandry has led me down the path, and I'm this close to being taken over by the GM.

Which, yikes.

-Vincent
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #29 on: August 24, 2002, 07:35:28 PM »

Hi Vincent,

Actually, I'm standing over here ... which is off in a space or zone that's a bit, I dunno, N-dimensionally off from where you're looking. It may take some work to get our zones to overlap.

Here's a question - and this is not representative of the kind of "rules" I'm talking about for Ch 6. It's an attempt on my part to see what you're saying.

Let's say an RPG came out and there were four character races available (#1-4), and four classes (A-B-C-D). Now, what if the rulebook said this:

A male player can only play a character of races 1 or 2, but may choose any class. A female player can only play a character of class A and B, but may choose any race.

Bad? Ugly? Wrong?

I specify, for purposes of this hypothetical question: none of the categories, race or class, correspond to any specific male or female stereotypes or ideologies. None of them carry "weight" regarding sexism.

You might say, what's the point, then? The point is my question: is this limitation itself, because it is based on player gender, necessarily ugly, bad, or wrong?

Best,
Ron

P.S. I cannot stress enough that this is not a preview of Ch 6 in the third supplement. It's an attempt to understand Vincent's framework of reference, in order to discuss the Ch 6 stuff later.
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