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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 60 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Vanilla Narrativism  (Read 7927 times)
Valamir
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« on: March 14, 2002, 06:21:56 AM »

Really the basic definition of Vanilla Narrativism is "Narrativist play, without all of the Narrativist mechanics bells and whistles"

The word having sprung from the idea that vanilla is "plain".

Those of us who feel that vanilla is the only true ice cream flavor and all others are merely painted tarts trying to conceal their inherent inferiority under layers of colorful additives, however, dislike the implication that vanilla is somehow plain ;-)

I prefer to think of it as Stealth Narrativism.
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Bankuei
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« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2002, 07:27:26 AM »

Or for those of us who've spent years kludging and chopping systems to do what we wanted: Hack Narrativism.

:)

Chris
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 10459


« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2002, 07:39:44 AM »

Right, Chris, or to use more widely accepted terminology what you describe is a drift to Vanilla Narrativism.

Mike
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Walt Freitag
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Posts: 1039


« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2002, 10:20:17 AM »

HackNarrativism! I love it! And I can't wait to try it out in HackMaster!

(no smiley; I'm actually serious though I doubt anyone will believe that)

- Walt
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2002, 10:52:07 AM »

Hi there,

So far, so good. I think all the above posts are nailing it.

For anyone who's interested, I've clarified the definition in these threads:
Intuitive Continuity
Dramatism as Vanilla Narrativism
Abashed Vanillaism

Plus the older threads are linked within these. I don't really see how further confusion is possible, once all these are reviewed.

Best,
Ron
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hardcoremoose
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 669


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« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2002, 10:53:14 AM »

Ralph said:
Quote
Those of us who feel that vanilla is the only true ice cream flavor and all others are merely painted tarts trying to conceal their inherent inferiority under layers of colorful additives, however, dislike the implication that vanilla is somehow plain ;-)


I was just talking with Paul last night about the life-cycle of a narrativist.  I, for one, remember stumbling onto The Forge about a year ago and being overwhelmed with things like Director's Stance and Premise and some realy avant garde game designs and thinking "Yeah, that's what I want."  But for someone, like me, who has roleplayed without lapse since they were young (10 or 11) and always enjoyed it to one degree or another, I think it's natural to fall back to a more "familiar" style of play.  After my initial period of wide-eyed wonder - as evidenced by my various game designs over the past year - I found the really outre games to  be too dissimilar from the activity that I've enjoyed lo these many years, so I now find myself reconciling these new tools with my old activity.  The Result: Vanilla Narrativism.  

Anyone else experienced this sort of metamorphosis?

- Scott
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joshua neff
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« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2002, 11:03:50 AM »

That would be me, too, Scott.

When I really started getting into GO & then Forge stuff, & realizing that narrativist gaming was what I really wanted to be doing all along, I was really excited by all the envelope pushing. I still am, but I've also come to the conclusion that what I really like, most of all, is sitting down with a nifty little game, some friends, some paper & pens, a bunch of dice (I really like rolling dice), & having one person be the GM & everyone else the Players*. What I really like is vanilla (or "stealth" or "hack") narrativism. Not that I'm opposed to the more extreme forms, but for my main gaming, I like the vanilla stuff.

* Ron, you know how you've been agonizing over the GM/player distinction, trying to come up with a better term, since GMs are players too? As a temporary solution, I'm thinking that one capitalize the "p" when talking about non-GM players & having it be lower case when talking about everyone in the game. So that in a group of players, you have one person be the GM and everyone else be the Players.
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--josh

"You can't ignore a rain of toads!"--Mike Holmes
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 10459


« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2002, 11:29:38 AM »

I think the retraction to Vanilla Narrativism is natural. The stuff that is really "out there" needs work before it's really ready, I think. Look at the work Paul is doing with WFD, Scott with WYRD, and me and Ralph with Universalis. These things aren't really done yet.

I suspect when a Chocolate Narrativist game does come along that is really totally complete that it will get a lot of play time. The Pool is already pretty close, I'd say, and TQB may do the trick entirely.

Mike
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hardcoremoose
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2002, 11:41:28 AM »

Mike,

Funny you should mention WYRD, as I almost wrote about it in my initial post; it paints a pretty fair picture of my Narrativist evolution.  Look at what I am doing with WYRD, the revisions that are being made, the way we actually played the game during our recent run, and you'll see that it's a lot different than what I wrote and distributed almost a year ago (coinciding nicely with my discovery of The Forge).  And the changes are all about taking a step back, making the game a little more familiar, a little less "out there", a little more like something I actually want to play.  It's much more Vanilla now, at least in my mind (which is not to say that it is Vanilla, just that it's moreso than it was).

Heh, now all I need to do is finish reading the new Universalis stuff and I can begin the comparisons in earnest.

- Scott
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