Started by mcv, February 10, 2009, 07:43:14 AM
Quote from: Ron Edwards on February 10, 2009, 03:24:16 PMFirst, I didn't say Zero had no story-oriented techniques. It happens to have few or no techniques that happen to be trendy at the moment, that's all.
QuoteOn a related point, those techniques you're referencing aren't "story-oriented," they're merely aspects of how authority and narration get traded around.
QuoteSo to start with the Narrativism thing ... A lot of people say that Narrativism has "nothing to do with narrative." They are flatly incorrect. I often don't know what they mean when they say that.
QuoteSometimes it seems they're confusing narrative with narration,
QuoteWith just you and me, here, I say that Narrativist play concerns the core emotional motor of experiencing and creative a narrative. So when you say, "its about moral dilemma or about addressing premise," (which happen to be the same thing, so the "or" makes no sense), that is about making a narrative through play itself.
QuoteIt's like baking a cake. You can't start with the cake, you start with components and carry out processes that arrive at a cake (and in this case, we don't even know what sort of cake it is, to start). So Narrativist play can't start with a story ready-to-go, or use any processes that lay down a story in an arbitrary way regarding the important stuff. Maybe that's why people say that; maybe they think that if it's about a cake, there must be a cake to see right away.I dunno; analogies work sometimes in on-line discussion and sometimes not.
QuoteOne last thing: I don't have the ability to fire messages back-and-forth in units of a few minutes. I'm not avoiding you, but I'm pretty sure I'm not going to get back to the Forge before tomorrow. I'll pay attention to what you say, and let's focus on the Narrativism thing for now. But I ask some patience in awaiting responses.
Quote from: Marshall Burns on February 11, 2009, 10:40:08 AMSo, here's some sources of thematic decisions that are not Narrativism:3. Frontloaded by character. Like when we play D&D with strict adherence to alignment. "My guy's Chaotic Good, so he's going to break laws to benefit others whenever he gets the opportunity;" doing otherwise would be a breach of contract.(...)Here's where thematic decisions come from in Narrativism: the character's player.
Quote from: mcv on February 11, 2009, 04:48:30 AMThat narrativism isn't the same as story, I already got from Ron's article. What confuses me is that narrativism apparently is about narrative, or possibly narration, and I don't understand the distinction.
QuoteBut is that what the agendas really mean? ... Is Narrativism about making decisions that suit the character from the character's perspective (Nope, that sounds like Sim), or is it about making decisions that make a cool story?
Quote from: mcv on February 11, 2009, 11:17:14 AMI don't want to make decisions based on alignment, but I also don't want to make decisions based on what I would do in a situation. I want it to be my character who makes the decision. I mean, sure, he's just a figment of my imagination, but he's real in my head, and I've asigned him a personality of his own, distinct from mine. I want to think: What Would Bob the Barbarian Do? when I make a decision. That's what I call "deep character roleplay", and I still don't know whether that counts as Sim or Nar in the GNS model.
Quote from: John Adams on February 11, 2009, 11:40:11 AMI read the articles and thought I understood Creative Agendas. I didn't. Then I got my long time Sim group to play Capes which is about as un-Sim as you can get. It takes it's Creative Agenda (Nar supported by Gam) and hits it with a nine-pound hammer. It isn't subtle. I tried to make sure we followed the rules as written, but we screwed up as often as not. Didn't matter, we got close enough to "get it" or at least to understand that this was a completely different kind of game than we usually played. One of my friends exclaimed afterward "but that was NOT ROLE-PLAYING!!!". That's what a new Creative Agenda feels like the first time.
QuoteEver play with someone who just wanted to win? You wondered if he really understood what role-playing was all about, right? That was Gamism. It's fun and it's just as valid as the kind of play you and I usually do. The two Agendas just don't usually mix very well.
QuoteSo what does Nar "feel like"? It's story, ON PURPOSE. Contrast with deep Exploration of Character (where you're really into your PC) where you make decisions based solely on what you feel in the moment the character would do. Nar turns the whole thing upside down. You start with "here's what I want to say" and design a character who must, who cannot possibly escape, engaging that question. Story, but on purpose, front and center all the time.
QuoteContrast the kind of story that often came out of my Sim games with Story Now. I'd call most of my Sim stories "water cooler stories"; stuff happens and it might be amusing but there usually isn't a Theme in the Lit 101 sense.
QuoteStory Now stories are all about creating Theme. When I tried to impose a Theme on my Sim game (as the GM) it felt like a square peg in a round hole and I usually had to decide between using Force to push the PC's where I needed them to be in order for things to turn out "right" or letting the players, you know, play their characters and to hell with the story. A good Nar game produces a story with a Theme working with the players, you just don't decide before hand exactly how those big questions will be answered.
QuoteOne more contrast. When Luke destroys the Death Star at the end of Star Wars the story and its theme demand that all of those little details line up at exactly that moment. It must happen that way or the story sucks and the Theme goes "poof!". Luke must be the one to fire the shot. He must hit, despite it being an hard shot. He must turn off his targeting computer first. R2 just got fried and can't help him. His human friend, Han, did just help him by getting Vader off his ass. Lining all of that up is directly at odds with the Sim ideal of "being there" and the internal consistency it usually demands. Either R2 got fried or he didn't based on the die roll and whatever modifiers we use. Han would only get there in time if the Millenium Falcon could in fact fly fast enough, and we might argue about exactly how far he had to go. In my games at least, I would insist that Luke could MISS, which kills the Theme dead in its tracks. Now in some campaigns I would really, really want my story to go just this way and fudge it so that Luke must hit. We'd pretend, more or less, that of course Luke could have missed and wasn't it just so cool that he hit that all important shot. That's not Nar. That's GM-driven Theme in a Story Before Sim game.Playing Nar I can't script exactly what will happen in advance and I don't need to. All of the characters are set up in such a way that Theme is pretty much going to happen, all we need to do is play. How System can facilitate this is the topic of a great many threads here on the Forge.
QuoteQuoteBut is that what the agendas really mean? ... Is Narrativism about making decisions that suit the character from the character's perspective (Nope, that sounds like Sim), or is it about making decisions that make a cool story?That last part is very close. When the overall goal of the whole group is to "make a cool story" (with a Theme) and you actually sit down and do it, then you have reached your group's Creative Agenda, which is Narritivism. I phrase it that way to emphasize that it's what actually happens in play over time that matters.
QuoteIn discussions like this that sounds so nebulous. It's easy to pick specific moments where you think you can see the Agenda at work, but those moments are not themselves the Creative Agenda. Stringing lots of those moments together over time as a group is what makes your Creative Agenda.
Quote from: FredGarber on February 11, 2009, 03:40:28 PMTo chime on on the Star Wars Example, if the Conflict (and maybe the dice roll) at the end of the Death Star trench is "Will Luke use the Force to hit the exhaust port and blow it up, or will he use the targeting computer to hit the exhaust port and blow it up.", then you have a Nar game. Whether or not he succeeds in blowing it up might never be in doubt (like it would in a Gamist or Sim game).
QuoteI feel that Character Exploration is more about "How does my avatar's character, his personality, feel about issue X." It's internal, and how you respond doesn't change the challenges or the behavior of the character.
QuoteNarrativist play tends to be more "Given that the GM has just forced Choice X or Choice Y (or Choice Z, doing nothing) about Issue X for me, how do I respond?" It's external, and how you respond determines what happens in the story. But you are right, the difference is very subtle between Deep Immersion Character Exploration and Narrativist Play.
Quote"Narrative" creative agendas, by the way, got it's name when it used to be called "Dramatic" need, but got changed. "Dramatic" had too many connotations with particular style of play. When the word Drama got used to describe a certain type of technique (instead of rolling dice, whoever has authority describes what happens.), the name changed. Now that "Narration Rights" from Authority issues has entered the jargon, the term is all confusing again.
QuoteThat said: The way I finally understood it is that Creative Agenda (Nar / Sim / Gam), despite the word "Agenda" right there, is all about game theory and not about practical application. Practical application, in my head, needs the feedback from a session. If you are rewarded (by the game mechanics or by the group) for stepping up to the Challenges? You've played a Gamist game. If you went into the game saying "I want to be rewarded for playing Narrativist," then you have Dissonance. If you are rewarded (either by the game mechanics or the group) for addressing Premise? Then you are playing a Narrativist game.
QuoteAlso yes: games based on TV shows (like Serenity) are often good vehicles for Narrativist Play. Unfortunately, they tend to be designed around a Gamist/Sim bias: Unless your group is created to be a rag-tag band living on the frontier fringes of a civilized universe, taking whatever jobs they can to stay free, then there isn't really a whole lot of rules to the rule book. What if the game was designed around, instead of a Guns rating, Jane has a Loyalty rating, and the dice roll isn't whether or not Jane can successfully shoot the Alliance guy kidnapping River, but does he shoot the bad guy or give in and turn over River? It'd be a very different sort of character sheet.