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Author Topic: Dramatism as Vanilla Narrativism  (Read 8867 times)

Posts: 49

« on: March 12, 2002, 05:34:50 PM »

I may be wrong...
I decided to take a game that I'm running toward a more Narrative angle while using most of the book rules. So I added some of the techniques that have been referred to as Narrative(kickers, some Author stance). The attempt was to make it more Vannila Narrative style(nonconfrontational, a bit less scary). Then I saw the post referring to Dramatism as "experiencing story", rather than "exploiting story".
What I'm doing is not illusionism, I am giving players a highly free range. What I am doing is a much lower level of narrativism than say the Pool. Does this fit, possibly, with the ever evolving definition of dramatism. If not, why?

-Jeremiah J. Davis
"Girl you know I love you. now ya gotta die." ICP
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Posts: 16490

« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2002, 08:16:32 PM »


My impression is that you are doing precisely as you originally thought - playing in a more Narrativist manner, with an emphasis on Vanilla meaning that it's low-pressure.

Dramatism is not a term I include formally because no one seems to agree on what it is - and most especially no one seems to do it. All discussion of Dramatist play seems to be about what other people must be doing.

This is excepting, of course, our discussion a while ago in which - when pressed - some Forge members presented a description of Dramatism, which fell squarely and fully into Simulationist play with emphasis on Exploring Situation, also with a twist of system preferences to the minimalist side. Again, this was not based on actual play.

Hence, no, I do not see you "doing" Dramatism because I don't see what it's supposed to be (i.e. that is not already described in my terminology, emphasis, mine, not the Threefold). I see you playing textbook Narrativist.

Everyone, it really doesn't have to be this hard. Is story creation the most common priority among your group? Do you "do stuff" of whatever description that facilitates it? Is the story really created, not transmitted from one person to the rest? That's Narrativism. It may even be grossly system-heavy using BRP. It may even rely on a massive set of "starting facts" for everyone to memorize.

We are talking about priorities of play, and habits of play that reinforce them. Amiel's description is a fine example of a particular priority of play.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: you do not have to have (a) Director stance, (b) out-of-character discussion, (c) improvisational game-world elements, or (d) no starting "what to do" in order to play in a Narrativist fashion. All you need is a fair amount of Author stance- even if limited to key moments - and a strong commitment to addressing a Narrativist-style Premise through the agency of actual in-play events.

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