*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
June 24, 2019, 04:08:24 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 158 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
Pages: [1]
Print
Author Topic: No Myth PC's  (Read 7416 times)
pete_darby
Member

Posts: 537

Will dance with porridge down pants for food.


WWW
« on: September 24, 2003, 01:53:49 PM »

A random paragraph from the article I'm working on for Matt, but I couldn't resist popping it in front of you guys: be warned, ths contains an idea that I'd be surprised hasn't been talked to death already, but my search-fu can't find it except where it's subsumed in discussions of campaigns or worlds as a whole, rather than just characters:

Quote
But that leads to a fun thought: the No Myth PC. Rather than take the world as a tabula rasa to fit around the characters and story, how about allowing your PC, by default, to accept any suggestion of the other players that doesn't contradict previous play (including the character sheet). Looking at HQ, this seems wonderfully supported by the “As You Go” character creation method.
Hmm, I have a con-game to run in a couple of weeks... and it'll save on creating ready to run PC's to plug into the adventure...


Sure, it's just an extreme of what's generally necessary in play, but has anyone attempted to run (or actually run) an adventure where the character was essentially undefined at the outset? I'm getting minor flashbacks to the level-0 adventures for AD&D, but that took as it's premise the idea of characters for whom there wasn't much backstory to invent / discover, whereas the HQ "As You Go" Method gives you a pretty respectable character who isn't mechanically penalised for not having defined themselves at the outset.

Come to think of it, it could be a pretty damn good GNS divining rod. Since the character is defined through the manifest emergent play prioritisations of the player, there's no room to hide behind random character creation or the grand old foible (which I certainly have foibled with myself) "I'm a gamist character designer, and I try to be a narrativist player, please help!"

And I'm also discounting the grand game of no myth, Universalis, not merely because it answers my query all too comprehensively, but I'm more interested in how it would play out in a conventional RPG set up.

Especially since I'm looking to run one in 2 weeks time...
Logged

Pete Darby
Lxndr
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 1113

Master of the Inkstained Robes


WWW
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2003, 01:57:27 PM »

Snowball, my variant on the pool, is almost no-myth.  You start off knowing two things about your PC:  their name, and one trait.  Everything afterwards is defined entirely through play.

www.twistedconfessions.com has a link to Snowball under the "Products" section.
Logged

Alexander Cherry, Twisted Confessions Game Design
Maker of many fine story-games!
Moderator of Indie Netgaming
Bob McNamee
Member

Posts: 685


« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2003, 03:32:40 PM »

EPICS is another game that runs similarly...Paul Czege is using it  currently.

Edited in....
link to thread is
http://www.indie-rpgs.com/viewtopic.php?t=8093&highlight=
Logged

Bob McNamee
Indie-netgaming- Out of the ordinary on-line gaming!
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2003, 09:05:04 AM »

In Hero Quest, one of the chargen examples is of doing your character like this. It's one of the basic options. Often referred to as Developed In Play or DIP. We were talking about it last night.

Anyhow, Universalis works this way. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen anyone start with a character worked out pre-play (though it is possible).

Mike
Logged

Member of Indie Netgaming
-Get your indie game fix online.
pete_darby
Member

Posts: 537

Will dance with porridge down pants for food.


WWW
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2003, 12:45:48 PM »

Hmm, it seems more done than discussed... just curious for a couple of reasons: it arises out of the article I'm writing, it's how I'm hoping o run a convention scenario for HQ soon, and I couldn't recall anyone talking about it outside of general no-myth games as a whole.

I was really curious as to dsicussions of it's use as presented in HQ, where there's bags of setting, rather than where the setting and character definition are invented concurently, as in Universalis and, as far as I can tell, Snowball.

EPICS seems very close to what I'm talking about; what's really been a lightbulb moment is the possibility of the illustration of GNS preferences through define-in-play choices. Honestly, I don't think there's a more transparent test of preferences than this one. Where I think it scores above pure no-myth games is that, I've found, they tend towards the narrative, as the world is defined only in terms of the PC's issues: the discovery elements are slewed towards dupporting the protagonists. In a morld myth, PC no-myth game, the presence of a pre-defined setting & situation moves the starting point more towards Sim, or at least exploration.

But I may be talking through my hat.
Logged

Pete Darby
Andrew Norris
Member

Posts: 253


« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2003, 01:28:32 PM »

I think no-myth PCs are actually fairly common. I suppose it depends on how much preparation a player has done as far as backstory.

In the Neverwinter Nights online games I DM, I have a half-and-half mix between players with one to two pages of background and those with almost none. (This might be due to the nature of the game -- players generally seem to spend less prep time, partially because the automated nature of PC creation makes the whole process faster.)

With either type of PC, though, I have had good luck getting the players to collaborate with me on coming up with new details on the fly. Again, some of this may be due to the nature of the medium -- some of them are used to 'hack and slash' games online, and so rejoice that anyone is interested in helping them flesh out backstory.

In one recent campaign, I started in media res -- the characters were in the midst of an infiltration mission. They knew whatever backstory they had written was true, and that they were members of a freelance mercenary company, and that was it. The rest was to be discovered through play. The players riffed off each other to develop their working relationships.

In another game (as a player), I was Annalist and chronicler for a military-themed party celebrating their tenth anniversary. We moved back and forth during the game between the dinner party and a flashback to our group's first mission. Several of us started acting in certain ways during the present day scenes, and then we'd come up with a justification for those actions and feelings during the flashback. Maybe that's "Make your own Myth" instead, but it did have the effect of encouraging our creativity, as we knew things we did would matter "later".

I suppose my point is that No Myth is perhaps easier to do with characters because of the lack of immediacy. In online games of NWN, you can't really do No Myth in terms of setting, because the areas are visible on the screen. As a result, I think my players are much more willing for other elements of the game to be improvisational. This seems like a contradiction, but it works.

I don't know that this post has much to contribute to the theory, but I find it interesting.
Logged
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2003, 01:30:26 PM »

I dunno, Pete, I'm not buying it, neccessarily. I mean, even if the character is all brought about by dramatic need ala Universalis, even then it's not neccessarily Narrativist. Because the need could have just as high a plausibility measure. In HQ, for instance, we were making a character last night, who was going to have a few Abilities left over for DIP. Several were from his Homeland Keyword, as he was making the character for one of my homebrew games, and we were making it up as we went. At one point he mentioned that he ought to have Fishing, and I clarified it as Net Fishing. Why? Because his culture was coastal. Just wouldn't have been plausible without it.

This could have easily happened after play began. So I think that there's no neccessary connection to any GNS mode. I mean, I certainly could see a player running into a situation where he had to, say, break a horse, and decide instead that the missing ability was Horsebreaking. Wouldn't have been plausible, and would obviously have been to succeed at the situation. I'd call it Gamist.

Nope. It's the old Director Stance argument. Stances don't map to GNS.

Andrew, did the characters have stats? No Myth characters would start with nothing at all, not even an appearance, neccessarily, before play starts. In Universalis you introduce the character in play like, "A tall, strong looking man wanders into the room. I'm buying the strong and tall traits for him."

In Hero Quest, you can't even have a relationship in your background that means anything if it's not statted on the character sheet. I mean, you can't really develop an entire background for a character in all it's details (that takes about a life to do), so you always have to fill in as neccessary. That's not No Myth, because there can still be assumptions about the character. For example, if he's a warrior, there's an assumption that he learned that somewhere. No Myth means assuming this sort of creation of facts about absolutely everything that's not listed currently.

Mike
Logged

Member of Indie Netgaming
-Get your indie game fix online.
Andrew Norris
Member

Posts: 253


« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2003, 01:42:32 PM »

Mike,

Point taken. NWN being bound to a class/level system does prevent you from going all the way. (For that matter, your appearance and voiceset must be chosen at the start, and cannot be changed later.) I think the closest I've seen people come to this would be the flashback game I described earlier -- each character had no history, and only minimal military competence. The process of "leveling up" was hand-waved as us describing to each other what our characters were actually good at.

Rereading the original posts I see that No Myth can apply to mechanics as much as it can characterization, and I'll have to think more on applications of that.
Logged
Buddha Nature
Member

Posts: 94


« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2003, 11:51:15 AM »

So after doing as much searching as I could handle I could not find any "definitive" posts about "No Myth" gaming.  Could some kind soul please post some (or all) of the main links?  Thank you!

-Shane (royally confused)
Logged
deadpanbob
Member

Posts: 201


WWW
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2003, 12:28:49 PM »

Buddha Nature:

For some background, you should check out I Have Seen El Dorado! [ultra-long].

Then I'd jump to Eldorado (terms clarification).

These two threads will give you some background that relates to No Myth.

I beleive that No Myth comes up in Marco's View of Gaming and then again in No Myth playing.

Plotless but Background-based Games is related tangentially to No Myth, IIRC.

Finally, I'd end with No Myth Gamemastering.

If you want to see some theories that are generally thought to be counter to the GNS thrust do a search to find ALL of the following terms "No Myth Fang" (without the quotes, of course) and read any thread started by Le Journer.  Interesting reading.

Hope that helps.

Cheers,


Jason
Logged

"Oh, it's you...
deadpanbob"
Walt Freitag
Member

Posts: 1039


« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2003, 01:46:38 PM »

Gaah! Cross-posted with Jason, work wasted. But here's my chronology, which skips the El Dorado threads but includes several landmark Actual Play threads that Jason's post didn't mention.

Hi Shane,

What you were looking for is regrettably hard to find. The term "no myth" (based on rejecting "the myth of reality") was introduced by Fang Langford (Le Joueur) halfway through a thread called Marco's View of Gaming. Soon after, Fang brought it up again in an Actual Play thread called A Demoralising Day, and that was when the concept really seemed to take off. The Demoralising Day discussion had two important prequels: About time for another woe and Railroading, Star Wars and more. In these threads, questions and discussion about handling one small event in a Star Wars game led into deep and important issues on technique, in which Fang laid out examples of what he would later term no-myth play in the Demoralising Day thread. (And that's far from the only important technique discussion to emerge from Pyron's threads. The "Underbelly" technique was laid out by Ron and discussed in Open/Closed Setting (Pyron's Woes take 165) and Underbelly discussion (split from Pyron's Woes).)

Other important subsequent discussion of No Myth play took place in these threads:

No Myth playing
Plotless but Background-based games
Defining Genre Expectations
Relationships Between GMing Styles
No Myth Gamemastering
Unknown Armies and No Myth role-playing

The last-listed thread includes a post by Fang with links to some earlier precursors of the No-Myth concept. [Edited to note -- including the El Dorado threads.]

- Walt
Logged

Wandering in the diasporosphere
deadpanbob
Member

Posts: 201


WWW
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2003, 06:29:47 PM »

Walt:

I know this may be frowned upon here at the Forge - but I must say I'm in awe of your search-fu!

Shane:

Walt's chronology is much better than mine - and much more complete.

Kudos to you, Walt!

Cheers,


Jason
Logged

"Oh, it's you...
deadpanbob"
Pages: [1]
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!