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Author Topic: I Don't Play "Let's Pretend" Any More.  (Read 2572 times)

Warthur

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« Reply #30 on: June 30, 2007, 12:00:15 pm »
Thanks for the enthusiasm. It's a sentiment that Dan Hemmens (who you may have seen on the Big Purple) and I have shared for a long time, and I suspect he was the one who first expressed it in similar terms.

It's very, very easy to lose sight of the fact that even the greats of literature and the arts were often working to pay the bills and entertain people as much as they were trying to make Great Works, and indeed often the most well-remembered piece of an artist's output won't necessarily be one where they were consciously trying to make "Art".
I am no longer posting here or reading this forum because Pundit has regularly claimed credit for keeping this community active. I am sick of his bullshit for reasons I explain here and I don't want to contribute to anything he considers to be a personal success on his part.

I recommend The RPG Pub as a friendly place where RPGs can be discussed and where the guiding principles of moderation are "be kind to each other" and "no politics". It's pretty chill so far.

LostSoul

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« Reply #31 on: June 30, 2007, 10:18:35 pm »
I believe I play with a narrativist agenda (except in the current D&D game I'm in, that's gamist, pure awesomeosity).  I don't sit down and declare that I'm creating art, or claim that what I'm doing is art.  

What I do is get excited when we make moral choices through our characters.  I believe that some sets of rules help us produce those moments.  

I have never found that failure (dictated by the dice rolls) ruins that excitement.  I have found the contrary to be true: failure tends to make things cooler.
 

Warthur

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« Reply #32 on: July 01, 2007, 12:08:39 pm »
Quote from: LostSoul
I believe I play with a narrativist agenda (except in the current D&D game I'm in, that's gamist, pure awesomeosity).  I don't sit down and declare that I'm creating art, or claim that what I'm doing is art.

Which is fair enough, but Ron Edwards (who, let's remember, coined and defined the term) inherently links narrativism with producing literary stories (and asserts that literary stories come about through exploration of theme).

Quote
What I do is get excited when we make moral choices through our characters.

How is this different from playing a so-called "simulationist" game and playing a moral character? How does this fit the actual definition of narrativism of exploring a theme?

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I believe that some sets of rules help us produce those moments.

What features of rules sets help with this?

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I have never found that failure (dictated by the dice rolls) ruins that excitement.  I have found the contrary to be true: failure tends to make things cooler.

So you admit that some dicerolls are better than other dicerolls?
I am no longer posting here or reading this forum because Pundit has regularly claimed credit for keeping this community active. I am sick of his bullshit for reasons I explain here and I don't want to contribute to anything he considers to be a personal success on his part.

I recommend The RPG Pub as a friendly place where RPGs can be discussed and where the guiding principles of moderation are "be kind to each other" and "no politics". It's pretty chill so far.

Thanatos02

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« Reply #33 on: July 02, 2007, 07:45:10 pm »
Quote from: J Arcane
It's really just an juxtaposition of talent, and trial and error.  Reading a lot of other good books helps too.

It's true that writing courses will not magically make you a better writer, but they can help. Mostly, though, you only need one or two basic courses if they're done right, and lots of practice. Little helps more then other writers who are willing to pan your shitting writing, also.

I think that's true for the RPG world, too. It's work writing stories. It's work writing background fiction. It's work learning rules. It's work to make something new. There's no magic rule bullet that will make one's game better, and to tell the absolute truth, there are really only so many mechanical rules-bullets you can even have before one game starts to look like all the others. (It's just like D&D, but with guns!/no classes/you're asian instead!)

Many Forge games keep trying gimmicks instead of solid designs. That's why a few are solid games, but a lot are either weak or one-note.
God in the Machine.

Here's my website. It's defunct, but there's gaming stuff on it. Much of it's missing. Sorry.
www.laserprosolutions.com/aether

I've got a blog. Do you read other people's blogs? I dunno. You can say hi if you want, though, I don't mind company. It's not all gaming, though; you run the risk of running into my RL shit.
http://www.xanga.com/thanatos02

Fritzef

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« Reply #34 on: July 08, 2007, 06:32:52 pm »
I'm struck by the very insightful analogy between thematic narrativist games and classroom role-playing.  It strikes me as spot-on, though with a major limitation.  I'll get to that in a minute, but I just wanted to mention that, strangely enough, this insight means that narrativist games tap into an earlier stratum of RPG design that predates D&D and other RPGs-as-entertainment.  I've recently learned that the term 'role-playing game' itself was apparently first used in education, some years before D&D arrived on the scene.  And political scientists were using 'role-playing' exercises, and calling them that, on college campuses as far back as the 40s.

All of which means very little, but I like the irony of Forgite games being the 'old stuff' or inspired by the old stuff.  Traditional gaming grognards get to be the newfangled innovators.

Now for that limitation.  I agree with Warthur about the shallowness of some RP exercises used in the classroom, when they are ways to get students to explore implicit moral questions, like the balloon game.  On the other hand, RP exercises can be very useful when they are used to explore how the different parts of a fairly complex social structure or institution inter-relate and interact.  This sort of thing can be easier to grasp by seeing it 'in motion' with people playing the roles of various actors in the situation.  These RP exercises aren't anything like narrativist gaming, though--they are explicitly aimed at modeling or simulation.

But that's a little off topic, I guess.
 

Settembrini

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« Reply #35 on: July 08, 2007, 06:38:26 pm »
Nonono!

Kriegsspiel-> Braunstein -> D&D -> Adventure RPGs

Socializing -> What if?-Game -> Classroom dillemma + US-Soaps+D&D -> Thematic Games
If there can't be a TPK against the will of the players it's not an RPG.- Pierce Inverarity

Fritzef

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« Reply #36 on: July 08, 2007, 06:56:05 pm »
Quote from: Settembrini
Nonono!

Kriegsspiel-> Braunstein -> D&D -> Adventure RPGs

Socializing -> What if?-Game -> Classroom dillemma + US-Soaps+D&D -> Thematic Games

Well, maybe.  I have some problems with the Braunstein->D&D link myself and we're still left with the question of where to put those simulationist classroom RPGs.  A deeper problem is what kind of connection are we tracing here?

******************

I started to write a longish post on the difficulties of understanding the history of the RPG, but then decided that this thread isn't really the place (threadjacking).  Maybe another time, in a new thread.
 

David R

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« Reply #37 on: July 08, 2007, 07:15:41 pm »
Quote from: Settembrini


Socializing -> What if?-Game -> Classroom dillemma + US-Soaps+D&D -> Thematic Games


Quote
From my sig:
Aces In Spades - (WT) Strange Skies,Familiar Troubles (Baa Baa Black Sheep meets first season of Lost  )


:eek: :D

Regards,
David R

Settembrini

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« Reply #38 on: July 09, 2007, 02:19:36 am »
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I started to write a longish post on the difficulties of understanding the history of the RPG, but then decided that this thread isn't really the place (threadjacking). Maybe another time, in a new thread.

I´ll be there. There´s a lot of wisdom I gained via Google-Zen, that needs structurization via dialogue. We´d better summon Elliot when the stars are right to helop us out.
If there can't be a TPK against the will of the players it's not an RPG.- Pierce Inverarity

Arminius

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« Reply #39 on: July 09, 2007, 01:56:26 pm »
The poli-sci RP games sound, to me, like just an academic version of Braunstein. Or rather the other way around. Might take another look at Weseley's interview at the Acaeum; also check out Herman Kahn and the use of roleplaying at RAND in the 50's & 60's.

Basically those guys were into game theorgy (the mathematical/social-science kind, not what ought to be called RPG theory), and so was Weseley...oh, wait, no need for me to write more, it's already been done up by Rob MacDougal here.

Settembrini

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« Reply #40 on: July 09, 2007, 02:08:15 pm »
Wow!
This Rob guy did what I planned on doing next year: hunt up all the Weseley scientific material and digest it.

I´ll still do it, 2008, I´m coming.
If there can't be a TPK against the will of the players it's not an RPG.- Pierce Inverarity

Arminius

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« Reply #41 on: July 09, 2007, 02:12:02 pm »
Well, he found it through my LJ, and I got the ref to Weseley & Braunstein from you, so we're both in the chain of knowledge. But he did the legwork and he's apparently going to publish in Push, which is good from my perspective because it helps show that story-based gaming is a deviation based on misunderstanding the tools that were handed to RPGers.

Settembrini

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« Reply #42 on: July 09, 2007, 02:29:42 pm »
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that story-based gaming is a deviation based on misunderstanding the tools that were handed to RPGers.

I feel a deep and fuzzy warmth when I read such sentences from you.
There might be only a handful of people on the internet who realize that stuff.

The problem is, in my eyes, that there is not a real misunderstanding that happened. It´s more like different audiences receiving the Method of Roleplay in a leisure context , and projecting their wants and needs unto it.

See the Ron Edwards interview on a prime example on that, but I´m sure you know legions of examples.

Why do I think it´s the receiving audience that matters?
Because of the situation in Germany.

The (nearly) total lack of wargamers in the early RPG hobby doomed us to story-centered gaming in a travesty of RQ mixed with AD&D2nd FR style background wallowing. It went so far, that having an actual challenge and danger in the game is seen as a "revolutionary movement" (=ARS)

It was some hippy LOTR fans that picked up RPGs, and this audience still is the largest over here, albeit influxes from many different social groups have levelled the playing field.
If there can't be a TPK against the will of the players it's not an RPG.- Pierce Inverarity

Sosthenes

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« Reply #43 on: July 09, 2007, 02:39:33 pm »
Quote from: Settembrini

The (nearly) total lack of wargamers in the early RPG hobby doomed us to story-centered gaming in a travesty of RQ mixed with AD&D2nd FR style background wallowing. It went so far, that having an actual challenge and danger in the game is seen as a "revolutionary movement" (=ARS)


Oh go put on a Che t-shirt, will ya?
FOLLOW was about as wargamey as you can get, DSA had attacks of opportunity in '85.
 

Settembrini

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« Reply #44 on: July 09, 2007, 02:43:33 pm »
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FOLLOW was about as wargamey as you can get, DSA had attacks of opportunity in '85.

Midgard is played by nobody, and Werner Fuchs is the great tragic figure of the German Hobby.
Look what German mainstream gamers think of DSA 1st, the Werner Fuchs tactical rules, or the Sword & Planet adventures (Tor der Welten, Borbarads Fluch).

I love these Fuchsian influences, but alas, the audience wasn´t there to receive it. Instead the Kiesow-abomination that is DSA 2nd rules supreme.

EDIT: Actually your examples are backing up my point: Even when given the choice, the German audience opted for story-based gaming and jeux d´ambiance.
If there can't be a TPK against the will of the players it's not an RPG.- Pierce Inverarity