Started by JC, January 12, 2008, 06:15:53 PM
Quotethe reason I'm "arguing", is that I think that Lacuna allows for a mode of play where both GM and players contribute to the back-story during the gametrue, there's nothing in the rules to support this, but they also don't state the oppositeso why not?
Quotethen, if we can agree that Lacuna can be played like this, I'd like to talk about the possibility of playing the game with a "mixed" group: some players contributing to the back-story, and others not
QuoteI must confess I have a hard time wrapping my head around a Sim game where the players have authority over the back-story, but if you say it can be done, I believe youout of curiosity, could you provide an example, or a link or something?or should I just look up Dead of Night?
Quotefinally, on a related topic: if players can't contribute to the back-story, how does Lacuna facilitate Nar?the only thing I see are the Static rules, that make characters choose whether to stick with an incompetent or even hostile Company(and I see that Nar does not equate "players contribute to back-story", but "players contribute to back-story on a succesful roll" does seem to me like a Nar-facilitating rule)
Quote from: Ron Edwards on January 22, 2008, 12:41:08 PMI suggest that the question is not "can," but rather what works best for Lacuna given its other features and rules. Sort of: sure, one "can," but is it an added motor or a wrench in the spokes?
Quote from: Ron Edwards on January 22, 2008, 12:41:08 PMHere's the feature that I think is most relevant. The GM is expected to be the only person to have read the book and apply the information in it. It's also expected that the GM use that information to construct many aspects of the back-story. If Lacuna were played as you describe, then it'd be like one guy with a big Moog organ and a bunch of "helpers" with penny-whistles – and not necesssarily tuned ones, either. To fix that, if everyone were to read the book and thus transform play into basically a bunch of Lacuna GMs, some of whom have player-characters, well, I think that would entail throwing out quite a bit of the other rules and text about play. It'd require major Drift.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on January 22, 2008, 12:41:08 PMIt's also expected that the GM use that information to construct many aspects of the back-story.
QuoteMy reading of Lacuna is that it explicitly says, "This game book does not provide a back-story or explanation, but it does provide an immense amount of stuff that's going on. The GM will have to fill in the gap of the big picture by himself." This isn't actually all that wild or kooky; it's pretty common among games written in the early 1990s, for instance. I think the book is pretty clear that playing requires the GM to bust his butt, either before or during play, to generate some semblance of sense "behind it all."
Quote from: Ron Edwards on January 22, 2008, 12:41:08 PMNow for a subtopic of this issue, based on your examples and phrasing. I noticed that your examples are immediately situational, like being followed by person A, not really back-story. We should distinguish between (a) being able to bring Agent Chambers into the scene via a roll, which is Situational Authority in my terms; and (b) stating that Agent Chambers is trying to assassinate a given character, via a roll, which I call Content Authority.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on January 22, 2008, 12:41:08 PMI suggest that Situational Authority might not be much of a stretch, as a general thing, and isn't much different from the common phenomenon of suggesting such things as a player, with the GM having the final call. When people play like that, it's often no big dal, as long as the suggestion doesn't contradict what prep and play so far has already established. It's always interesting to consider how trivial this technique is, and how often it's informally employed (and typically instantly forgotten or denied that it was employed).
Quote from: Ron Edwards on January 22, 2008, 12:41:08 PM(snip stuff about how allowing players the option to add to the back-story can be functional)
Quote from: Ron Edwards on January 22, 2008, 12:41:08 PM(snip how players can contribute to back-story in Sim games)
Quote from: Ron Edwards on January 22, 2008, 12:41:08 PMI see what's up here – you're looking for techniques, like back-story narration or authority over situation or whatever, which you are thinking of as "makes Narrativism." This is a big deal, actually, so I'm glad we can talk it over.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on January 22, 2008, 12:41:08 PMI'll start with your parenthetical statement first: the answer is "no." If players could have contributed to back-story in, say, my long-running game of Hero Wars (now HeroQuest), or in any of the many Sorcerer games I've played in, then the Narrativist power of those games would have been damaged and confounded, not enhanced.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on January 22, 2008, 12:41:08 PM(snip how Lacuna facilitates Nar)
Quote from: Ron Edwards on January 22, 2008, 12:41:08 PMI submit that these questions, and the Narrativist power which they can generate, are best conducted in the fog of disinformation, mental and physical stress, and desperation based on ignorance. I also submit that that fog is best played in the context of a single person having authority over the back-story, and having at least rubber-stamp authority over the set-ups for situations (who's there, when is it, what do we see), whereas each player has authority over what their characters choose to do and hence a great deal of decisive impact on the developing story itself.So as I see it, Lacuna hits its strongest Narrativist stride in part because it does not include player contributions at the level you're talking about.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on January 22, 2008, 12:41:08 PMNone of which contradicts your basic point that you "can" play it with such contributions. I'm not telling you what you should or have to do. It might even be lots of fun, who knows, and I'm not the one to dictate otherwise. And hell, for all I know, maybe there's some particular way to organize those player contributions so that those questions and issues are even better brought to the fore, although I tend to think not, in this case.
Quote from: FredGarber on January 22, 2008, 04:23:46 PMI'm trying to follow this, and the phrase "Back Story" is getting me confused.Are the players trying to muck around and Create a Past and History for their characters?Or are they mucking around with the Setting of Lacuna?Or are they mucking around with the current Plotline of the GM?Or are they mucking around with the Motivations of the NPC (Mentor) characters?
QuoteI'll start with your parenthetical statement first: the answer is "no." If players could have contributed to back-story in, say, my long-running game of Hero Wars (now HeroQuest), or in any of the many Sorcerer games I've played in, then the Narrativist power of those games would have been damaged and confounded, not enhanced.
QuoteI guess I was just looking for rules, when in fact all aspects of the game contributeto go on a bit of a tangent: can a game facilitate Nar even if its rules do not?or would the answer to that be that a game's back-story is part of its rules?
Quoteso what you're saying is that it's all about choices, and that, for the characters to make interesting choices, the GM has to have total control over the back-story?
Quotedon't you think that a player's contribution to the back-story can be part of the way he has his character answer a given bang?