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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 154 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [jeep form]Doubt PDX  (Read 8739 times)
Emily Care
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« on: November 05, 2007, 07:30:12 PM »

Doubt happened again, this time in Portland, OR. Read Moreno's post<In Life and in Play<Themes and Dreams<GMing and Play<when
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Koti ei ole koti ilman saunaa.

Black & Green Games
sirogit
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« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2007, 09:25:21 PM »

Lately I've been looking into developing a narrativistic LARP, and Jeepform is definately something that seemed both very close to what I wanted and containing elements I was suspicious about.

I'm a little curious about how you presented this game to the potential players - Did you compare it to tabletop, other varieties of live action roleplaying, theatre, etc? How was the game organized exactly? Did you know these players?

This might be easier answered by looking at the PDF which I cannot at the moment, but I am curious as towards how much of the Author role is shared by the players, GM and scenario author respectively. Is there a push to 'appreciate' or 'consider' the scenario author's creative contribution in terms of the pre-written fiction, comparable to the level that people appreciated each other as authors?

I has always been my opinion that freeform negotiation is highly dependant on previous relationships between the players - i.e., the players already have systems of negotiation between each other and use those. Did this seem to be the case? Did Mike struggle at the beginning, or seem to take cues from the other players who knew each other?

Looking at the other thread, did any of the "seven rules" of Doubt come up? Were any players interested in bending or breaking the rules? Did the rules's purposes become more meaningful at examination in the game?

Were all the players declaratively or assumably heteronormal people?
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Jake Richmond
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« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2007, 12:06:19 AM »

Quote
I'm a little curious about how you presented this game to the potential players - Did you compare it to tabletop, other varieties of live action roleplaying, theatre, etc? How was the game organized exactly? Did you know these players?

Charles and I had read about the game earlier this year, and were both interested in playing it when Emily proposed it. So we already knew what the game was about and how it was played. I'm not sure how Mike and Becca heard about the game or how it was introduced to them. I believe that Mike was already familiar with it before we played.

.
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Emily Care
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« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2007, 07:12:54 AM »

Great questions. As Jake said, I knew everyone a little bit before hand. Except for Becca, they were all familiar with jeep form at least a little bit, from descriptions.  I had a hit that Becca would enjoy it too, and was glad to find that that was true. 

When we started the session, I described the overall flow of the game: the play within a play structure, that they would frame scenes then act them out. They wanted to know how long each scene might take. And we made a sort of a stage in the room we were using. Though we originally blocked out half for the play reality, half for the "real world" scenes, but never really paid attention to that.

Acting out scenes, I find, is quite intuitive. It can drop you deeply into character. I wonder if they found it that way as well.
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Koti ei ole koti ilman saunaa.

Black & Green Games
Jake Richmond
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« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2007, 08:42:28 PM »

Quote
Acting out scenes, I find, is quite intuitive. It can drop you deeply into character. I wonder if they found it that way as well.

I did, although in hindsight I can think of other approaches I might have taken to different scenes that I think would have been more interesting. I guess thats natural though.
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Alephnul
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« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2007, 01:27:12 AM »

I find that I had much the same reaction as Jake.  In the actual play, there was only one scene that I can think of where I had much doubt about how to play something (and that was in the pre-scene, and Emily's direction got us over that bump very nicely). I was immersed pretty deeply throughout, and had strong character bleed running all the way into the next day. Becca, Jake, Emily and I had some long conversations about the game the next day as well. The game continued to dominate my thoughts for several days after that, although by mid-week a fair share of them were replaying specific bits and thinking about ways that I might have pushed them to make the game harder hitting.

Someone elsewhere described the immersion in Doubt as tending to be deep, but not deeply in character, and I think that was fairly accurate in my case. I wasn't always playing as close to home as I might have, but there was definitely some of me invested in the game.

I'm interested to try it again at some point. I'd be fascinated to see what replaying the game with a different group of players (or even just as a different character) would produce. I could see it being just as good, but I can also see it leading to over-thinking the play.
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GB Steve
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« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2007, 02:20:43 AM »

Sounds like a wonderful experience. I've got a few questions.

Did you get the feeling that this was a game or was it something else?

Picking up on what the previoys poster said, it seems that the outcome, or the fact that such a game works at all is likely to be very dependent on the players you have. Is it possible to identify the kind of attitude that you need to take for the game to work?
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Jake Richmond
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« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2007, 03:24:57 AM »

Quote
Did you get the feeling that this was a game or was it something else?

Right before we started playing I mentioned to Charles and Emily that for me the difference between live play and table top gaming was whether I was sitting or standing. So keep that in mind when I say that I approached it as a game in the same way that I approach my own games, or Shock:, Perfect, Contenders or any other rpg that I've played over the last few years; something load and active and full of emotion  that involves movement, acting and physical contact. Thats the way I most often play, so it felt like an rpg for me. Someone else mentioned that it was very much like a theater exercise (for obvious reasons), and I think thats a good comparison too. So for me it certainly is a game. But like a lot of games I enjoy, "game" isn't a really great word to describe them.

To answer your question more directly, it did feel like an rpg. We all had our characters, each with goals, personalities, traits and needs. We had a story and a director. I know that there are people who would say other wise, but I think Doubt is pretty recognizable as an RPG. In a good way.

Quote
Picking up on what the previous poster said, it seems that the outcome, or the fact that such a game works at all is likely to be very dependent on the players you have. Is it possible to identify the kind of attitude that you need to take for the game to work?

Just like with any game, the players need to be willing to do what the game requires in order for it to work. Same as in D&D. If you aren't actually willing to go into the dungeon, the adventure can never happen. I really think it's just about a desire to play. You get 5 people together who actually want to play the game and I think it's going to work out fine. If you have 1 or 2 people tat don't want to play, that would rather play something else, then it's not going to work. I really wouldn't want to play this with someone who wasn't into it. I think it would lose it's impact and fall apart.

I think it would be a mistake to think that you need some kid of special attitude or be a certain kind of player to enjoy this game. It would be easy to say that this is the kind of thing that you need to be into new ideas or alternative gaming to appreciate, but really thats just not the case. All you need is  willingness to try it. Not everyone is going to have that. But if they do, I think thats all it takes.

Jake

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Emily Care
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« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2007, 08:23:55 AM »

Quote
I has always been my opinion that freeform negotiation is highly dependant on previous relationships between the players - i.e., the players already have systems of negotiation between each other and use those. Did this seem to be the case? Did Mike struggle at the beginning, or seem to take cues from the other players who knew each other?

This is a really good point.  This definitely entered in wrt the casting: I asked Becca and Charles to play the leads because I knew they had a personal relationship that would support fairly intimate play.  Becca was a lynch-pin as well. I think having a woman as one of the players made it easier for contact, emotionally and physically, to happen. Sexist of me to think of it so? Or just pragmatic? Hope that was all right, Becca. Smiley

Communication-wise, there was a good amount of direct communication between the players before scenes. We talked about what would happen a bit more than I remember doing in Finland. (Perhaps that is why Tobias accused us there of being stonewalling immersive players? In the nicest possible way, of course.) But a tremendous amount of what happened was commucated through in-character narration and action, and got picked up on by the others and followed through in successive scenes.  Telegraphing through character is a fascinating process. You seemed to do it naturally, Charles & Jake. Was it easy?

Re: Mike, he did seem to be a bit uncertain of himself in his first few scenes. I wonder if that was because he was newer to this particular group. How was it for you, Mike? Was it awkward working with all new people?
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Koti ei ole koti ilman saunaa.

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Mike Sugarbaker
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« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2007, 03:57:10 PM »

Hi, sorry I'm late. :-)

I was uncertain in the first few scenes, but I wouldn't chalk that up to any lack of comfort with the other players. I was uncertain about the character and who or what he was going to be, definitely, but I felt totally supported by the other players. (And my uncertainty about who Peter was made me feel uncertain, and so Peter himself came out a lot more uncertain than he was "written." This is a common problem for me in the early stages of doing any kind of acting or roleplaying, and probably lost me more than a few roles back when I was doing theatrical stuff in high school and college. Nobody wants to watch a tentative Sky Masterson.)


I also wanna chime in on the "game or not?" question. That will have to wait a few hours though.
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Jake Richmond
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« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2007, 04:30:36 PM »

Mike and I had already been through the crucible of Sea Dracula. After that, nothing could really be uncomfortable.
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Mike Sugarbaker
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« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2007, 07:49:22 PM »

Did you get the feeling that this was a game or was it something else?

I definitely got the feeling that it was something else. It felt to me like an unusually specific long-form improv game. (Well, okay, the only long-form improv structure I know of, "Harold" or "the Harold," doesn't have any specified content. The level of complexity in its structure is about equivalent or even a little higher maybe.)

I think the main thing that makes others feel like Doubt is a game is the fact that no audience is invited to observe. Without an audience, the flavor of the drama is, for the most part, much more like what we're familiar with from roleplaying sessions than like anything else we have any experience with. The between-scenes stuff and pre-game structural planning - all of which I thought of as directorial, like what you'd do between scenes at a rehearsal - may contribute to this feeling on others' part as well.

In case anyone thinks I'm trying to diminish jeepform by calling it "not really gaming," hell, gaming gets me excited but a new art form altogether gets me really excited.

Mike and I had already been through the crucible of Sea Dracula. After that, nothing could really be uncomfortable.

What happens in Animal City stays in Animal City.
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Alephnul
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« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2007, 11:28:41 PM »

Emily,

What do you mean by telegraphing through character? Could you give an example of it from the game? I thin I know what you mean, but I'm not sure.

Steve,

For me it definitely felt like role playing, but I have no theater or improv experience, so I can't really tell how much it felt like those things. There were definitely points where I was aware of performing for an audience (since not all characters were in every scene, there was often an audience of 3, and always at least Emily), but I sometimes do that in my normal roleplaying, and most of the time I was not particularly aware of the audience (mostly Tom and Julia scenes, but also sometimes with Lewis and Nicole). The scripting in the play scenes definitely gave a different feel to the game than most role playing has, but the Tom and Julia scenes were unscripted (and the play scene scripting didn't feel very restrictive, at least not for Lewis).

The interplay between the play and the non-play was fantastic. The fact that the first Tom and Julia scene is focused on their experience of performing the play, even though we have only seen the opening monologues of the play did really interesting things in our session. I suspect that how the players of Tom and Julia choose to interpret the play in that first scene would have a huge effect on the over all meaning of the game, but I don't know.

Jake and Mike, did that first scene between Tom and Julia have any real influence on how you played Peter and Nicole?
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Jake Richmond
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« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2007, 11:57:48 PM »

I'm sure it did, but I can't really think of how. I know I felt like you guys set a tone for te entire game.
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Christoph Boeckle
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« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2007, 04:25:23 AM »

Hi! Great thread!
How long did play last?
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Regards,
Christoph
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