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46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13297 Members Latest Member: - Shane786 Most online today: 32 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [Dresden Files] It‘s not Zilch play, but what is it?  (Read 5079 times)
Daniel B
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Posts: 196

Co-inventor of the Normal Engine


« Reply #30 on: June 25, 2011, 02:05:21 PM »

I'm just jumping into this conversation in the middle. PLEASE NOTE, although I'm aware these comments border on bashing Frank's friend (and Anime culture in general).. I don't mean any particular offence to her.

Her behaviour is NOT necessarily indicative of her being any kind of abused gamer. The tip-offs are that first of all she's playing a Japanese exchange student, and secondly a half wereCAT (as opposed to half-something-useful). This is right out of an anime comic.

Anime seems to have this perverted streak in it, an obsessiveness for vomitously cloying cuteness. EVERYTHING has to be cute for no other reason than just to BE cute. That is, in itself, the end goal. It seems to pervade the whole anime culture to the point that even their most supposedly bad-assed characters are ultra-kill-me-now-cute. (Don't bother with counter-examples. I'm speaking in hyperbole, but not by very much!)

sirogit called it a power struggle between her and the GM, but I would claim it has absolutely nothing to do with the GM. In fact I would go so far to say that the GM doesn't even really register on her radar. To answer sirogit's questions from this point of view, I'll answer his questions again:
  • Is the first scene about talking? NO. Its about me being cute as a wittle kitty.
  • Is the second scene about sneaking around? NO. Its about me being cute as a wittle kitty stuck up a tree.
  • Is the third scene about fighting a bad guy? NO. Its about me being cute as a embarrassed wittle Japanese schoolgirl.
  • Is the fourth scene about some dude in a coma laying there silently? NO. Its about a dying old man having "a special moment" with the cute wittle Japanese schoolgirl.

UGH!
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Arthur: "It's times like these that make me wish I'd listened to what my mother told me when I was little."
Ford: "Why? What did she tell you?"
Arthur: "I don't know. I didn't listen."
Callan S.
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« Reply #31 on: June 25, 2011, 04:57:21 PM »

I don't think the japanese student were-cat is really indicative of anything at all. It's not part of her behaviour, as in body language and semantic interaction with other humans.

The issue of behaviour here is that it is like if the objective was to talk about an imagined cake and decorating it, the GM starts off by saying some sparkles around the base of the cake. Then he throws over the next stage to the girl, passing the ball so to speak, and she...talks about her kitty chasing a mouse in the corner. She does not add decoration to the cake then pass the ball on to the GM or someone else. Repeatedly. It's the mark of someone who's been burned - who's added decoration and then it's been stripped off along with some negative social feedback - indeed you can see the type of person who does that in this account who says "No you don't!" when she goes to euthenase the old man. This is happened to her enough until she's adopted this method of play. This is like sitting down to a jamming session and she just starts playing a song (an anime one) that doesn't link at all with what other people are playing.

However, don't take this as me supporting the notion that "You HAVE to play/work on the same imaginative material together otherwise it's not roleplay!". I support the notion of "It's nice to play together. And that sometimes means you might pass on decorating the cake". Indeed this girl has taken that 'sometimes' and simply extended it to 'always, by default'. This, instead of simply ditching roleplay forever.

Or at the very least, I think I'm accurate in saying that when someone passes the ball to her for the next cake decoration, she drops that ball entirely.

The hard question is has anyone here been burned the way I describe above? I have, a few times over the years I've roleplayed. If I had been burnt enough, I would have either A: Started doing what this girl does or B: Ditched roleplay forever because it was full of bloody minded bullies who treat their own imagination with religious conviction, like it's some sort of global truth. Atleast for myself I can speak perfectly accurately - if enough gamers burnt me, I would take one of those two options.
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Frank Tarcikowski
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« Reply #32 on: June 28, 2011, 12:38:03 PM »

Daniel, seems she was drawing off anime in addition to the Dresden Files source material, granted. But why did she do it the way she did? That was my question. Please note that I do not know the player, I met her for the first time at that convention.

Callan, I don't know. It's a convenient explanation but it doesn't seem to be the only possible explanation.

- Frank
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Daniel B
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Posts: 196

Co-inventor of the Normal Engine


« Reply #33 on: June 30, 2011, 07:35:22 AM »

Honestly, I really do think there's no deeper explanation.

I am of the opinion that your question of "why does she play that way?" is equivalent to asking people at a Renaissance Faire why they enjoy wearing period clothing and speaking in accents. It's just fun.

I expect the Anime angle is just a different sort of fun.
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Arthur: "It's times like these that make me wish I'd listened to what my mother told me when I was little."
Ford: "Why? What did she tell you?"
Arthur: "I don't know. I didn't listen."
Frank Tarcikowski
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a.k.a. Frank T


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« Reply #34 on: July 01, 2011, 01:06:15 AM »

But why not, say, explore the anime angle in a way that involves interaction with the other players? That's the question.

- Frank
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Callan S.
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« Reply #35 on: July 01, 2011, 03:38:54 PM »

Or the way I'd put it, it's like the anime bit is beer and the interacting is like chips - you can enjoy beer and chips together (and I'd say they even compliment each other). When did she go off chips? Or are some people never a big fan of chips to begin with?
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Anders Gabrielsson
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Posts: 100


« Reply #36 on: July 03, 2011, 09:59:51 AM »

Did you get an impression of if she was an experienced roleplayer or not? Meaning, did she seem comfortable with dice, terminology and the type of interaction that typically goes on around a gaming table?

It seems you brought your own characters to the game. Is that correct?

One reason I'm asking is that she may just have been used to a different form of play. For example, she might have played one-on-one, or in another very small group. Or (and this might be a bit prejudiced) she might have been a hanger-on with her boyfriend's playgroup where the others were okay with this type of play because it kept her "out of the way" while still being in the game.
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pawsplay
Member

Posts: 17


« Reply #37 on: July 04, 2011, 10:33:24 PM »

She wants to be a cute girl who turns into a cat.

She turned into a little kitty during the "talking" scene. Did anyone pet the kitty? No. They ignored her kittiness.
She got stuck in a tree. Did anyone rush to her rescue? Did anyone capitalize on the potential comedy? No.
She's a schoolgirl who turns into a cat. Then she was naked. Did anyone respond to her embarrassment? No. Instead she was treated as a sex object.
She showed a hidden, more serious side, taking the part of a literal angel of death. It wasn't important that the comatose guy see her; she was giving him last rites. Was she taken seriously? Apparently not.

It sounds to me like she had a concept, and some kind of plan, but no one tuned into the things she was interested in, and no one was interested in the hooks she offered. It's not some weird, mutant style of play. It's an awkward person being rejected by a group that doesn't get her. I think she really tried, but the group was all earnestly talking, and earnestly tactical, and earnest about some comatose dude. The group didn't really offer a lot of space for an innocent, non-professional kind of character. The group expected River Tam; she brought Mathilda from Leon the Professional. So she got brushed off.
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Callan S.
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« Reply #38 on: July 04, 2011, 11:21:34 PM »

I think apart from the sex object notion (which seems hyperbole), that's an interesting point.

Quote
The group didn't really offer a lot of space for an innocent, non-professional kind of character.
But equally, what space was she offering them in what she did? It didn't seem especially wide either? It was kinda 'Stop! Kitty time!'

I'd almost propose two groups not offering the other that space - even if one of the groups was only comprised of one person. But then again I've not soley focused on her throughtout this thread as if the only off kilter things could be to do with her.

Anyway, that 'space' is an interesting idea. I kind of imagine it as a window, presented by either party - with the size of the window the amount of 'space' given and whether one participants window overlaps another participants windown to some or a large degree. The area they overlap in is the area they can work in together. But I think players with a strong sim basis tend to offer very narrow windows, with the narrowness indicative of "see, we don't just allow any old thing in, thus we must be doing this right!". When from my perspective there is no right to be had, just a very narrow window. Two narrow windows here in the AP, with no real chance of overlap?
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pawsplay
Member

Posts: 17


« Reply #39 on: July 04, 2011, 11:37:23 PM »

I think apart from the sex object notion (which seems hyperbole), that's an interesting point.

I wasn't trying to be hyperbolic. Rather, I was speculating about a mismatch in expectations. Even a small mismatch in this case would lead to a recoiling reaction.

Quote
Quote
The group didn't really offer a lot of space for an innocent, non-professional kind of character.
But equally, what space was she offering them in what she did? It didn't seem especially wide either? It was kinda 'Stop! Kitty time!'

I'd almost propose two groups not offering the other that space - even if one of the groups was only comprised of one person. But then again I've not soley focused on her throughtout this thread as if the only off kilter things could be to do with her.

Anyway, that 'space' is an interesting idea. I kind of imagine it as a window, presented by either party - with the size of the window the amount of 'space' given and whether one participants window overlaps another participants windown to some or a large degree. The area they overlap in is the area they can work in together. But I think players with a strong sim basis tend to offer very narrow windows, with the narrowness indicative of "see, we don't just allow any old thing in, thus we must be doing this right!". When from my perspective there is no right to be had, just a very narrow window. Two narrow windows here in the AP, with no real chance of overlap?

This actually reminds me of an eerily analogous experience I had. A long time ago, I started dating a woman who had an existing gaming group. Because they let her bring her young child to the session, she was pretty grateful for the opportunity and had been loyal to the group for some time. I got brought along, basically as a date. The game was Hero System, and I impressed the group with my math skills and my ability to whip up a character basically on the spot. I was a long-haired punk, but I wanted to explore something different, so I created a conservative, divorced, ex-Marine with a drinking problem and a buzz cut, who had become an armored vigilante and was trying to study Aikido in order to deal with his personal demons. He had growing bonsai as a hobby.

A group member was missing, so rather than proceed with the planned adventure, they decided to run a quick "soap operatic" session. First, my character was introduced as a new recruit. Things got off to a bad start when they described my character as having an "enhanced physique" according to their scanner, and after I clarified that I was playing a super normal, they just stared at me like I was speaking Martian. Belatedly I realized that being Batman was still a superpower as far as they were concerned. I sort of rolled with it. Each of the established players had six or more regular players which they played, often switching parts between two or three at a time. My date only had two characters, and only played one at a time. Somehow, the group zeroed in on the idea of "going to Las Vegas" as a way of blowing off steam. At that point, I was like, ok, this is not what I would choose to roleplay, but I can see some possibilities here. Some of the other characters might try to be friendly, there will be alcohol, etc. Well, right off the bat, my character was isolated from my date's character, and I found my staid vigilante being confronted with a bubbly, flirtatious female character played by the male host. Now I can't say with certain that this wasn't just my discomfort, but I got a "vibe" and suddenly I wanted to be just about anywhere else doing just about anything else than roleplaying a flirtation with this player. It was instinctual, and I can't state any explicit reason for my ill-ease, but I didn't want to see him making "flirty" faces, didn't want to know more about how he portrayed women in fiction, and didn't want to have to try to feel out what MPAA rating we were shooting for. I thought about my character and considered that logically, he might find her repellant, so I role-played the brush-off, with a little extra rudeness, for spice. The rest of the session was pretty banal. Ultimately, I felt the truest thing to my character would be to sneak off from the social situation, and get pretty drunk. The other players basically let that happen without interruption, and I spent the last fifteen minutes or so fielding the occasional question about my character's level of consciousness, before finally allowing that he had fallen asleep with a whiskey bottle in his hand. Frankly, it was (I felt) a poignant scene that pointed out the amount of missed potential.

I wanted to interact. I tried to interact. But I found myself backpedalling away from one unwanted interaction, and being ignored in virtually every other area. And I don't remember a damned thing about my date's character. It would not have taken a lot of effort to involve my character more. But somewhere, sometime, I was probably the subject of a post much like the OP in this thread.
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Frank Tarcikowski
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a.k.a. Frank T


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« Reply #40 on: July 05, 2011, 01:12:44 AM »

Anders, she did seem quite familiar with role-playing per se, if not with FATE. We did not bring our own characters, but made them up in the beginning of the session.

Pawsplay, I can see how you could get that impression from what I have written, but it’s not really how it happened.

Quote
She turned into a little kitty during the "talking" scene. Did anyone pet the kitty? No. They ignored her kittiness.

Actually, she already turned up as a kitty, and it was established how she climbed one of the other player characters (including the use of claws, ouch). Someone might even have said, “Come here, kitty!” I wouldn’t have thought much of it (just a bit of character portrayal, which others did as well) but it did seem pretty obvious from how the GM announced the scene that this was the scene in which we would talk.
    
Quote
She got stuck in a tree. Did anyone rush to her rescue? Did anyone capitalize on the potential comedy? No.

Actually, we wanted to get her out of the tree but she had compelled an Aspect and earned a FATE point and it would have been contrary to the rules to just negate her disadvantage, the GM explained.  As for capitalizing on the potential comedy, can you give an example of how you would have done it? Because, really, as she kept meowing, I thought, does she expect us to do anything? But I had no idea what.

Quote
She's a schoolgirl who turns into a cat. Then she was naked. Did anyone respond to her embarrassment? No. Instead she was treated as a sex object.

Actually, she did not portray her character as being embarrassed. She portrayed her as teasing and shaking her hips.

You are certainly right that the group did not get her, but I’m not so sure about the rest. I think we could have handled a non-professional kind of character, and all characters had their Trouble Aspect anyway, so although I’ll grant that we played in a problem-solving mindset, it was expected and encouraged by the FATE system and the source material that characters do sub-optimal things. However, it did not seem to me that the Werecat player tried to interact with the group in some way and got brushed off. It rather seemed to me that she did not have any interest in interacting with the group at all, which is the thing that puzzles me.

I get your example form that Vegas scene. I’ve done likewise, disengaging from a game that made me uneasy and positioning my character in-game in such a way that I could reduce interaction to a minimum. (At other times I’ve made up a polite lie to excuse myself, but I see you couldn’t do that on a quasi-date.) In the case of the Werecat player, though, the idea of “she disengaged because the game made her uncomfortable” kind of doesn’t seem to fit with that euthanasia scene in the end, and also with the “look I’m naked” scene.

Callan, that window you are talking about, would that be Congruency by big model terms?

- Frank
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pawsplay
Member

Posts: 17


« Reply #41 on: July 05, 2011, 10:00:48 AM »

Actually, she already turned up as a kitty, and it was established how she climbed one of the other player characters (including the use of claws, ouch). Someone might even have said, “Come here, kitty!” I wouldn’t have thought much of it (just a bit of character portrayal, which others did as well) but it did seem pretty obvious from how the GM announced the scene that this was the scene in which we would talk.

So what make it obvious? And is it required that she be on board with the whole talking thing? Is her character one that would logically have a lot to say in the situation? I have lots of questions about how that scene played out. It's entirely possible she was biding her time, waiting for the scene to end, which is still not necessarily total disengagement, just disinterest in the scene.
    
Quote
Actually, we wanted to get her out of the tree but she had compelled an Aspect and earned a FATE point and it would have been contrary to the rules to just negate her disadvantage, the GM explained.  As for capitalizing on the potential comedy, can you give an example of how you would have done it? Because, really, as she kept meowing, I thought, does she expect us to do anything? But I had no idea what.

Like... get her out of the tree? Just a thought I had.

Quote
Actually, she did not portray her character as being embarrassed. She portrayed her as teasing and shaking her hips.

But she ran away as soon as the situation was resolved. I'm guessing her idea was born out of spontaneity and possibly a desire to be outragerous.

Quote
You are certainly right that the group did not get her, but I’m not so sure about the rest. I think we could have handled a non-professional kind of character, and all characters had their Trouble Aspect anyway, so although I’ll grant that we played in a problem-solving mindset, it was expected and encouraged by the FATE system and the source material that characters do sub-optimal things. However, it did not seem to me that the Werecat player tried to interact with the group in some way and got brushed off. It rather seemed to me that she did not have any interest in interacting with the group at all, which is the thing that puzzles me.

I wasn't there, I'll grant you. But it sounds, to me, like she did try to interact with the group. She did attention-getting things. She just wasn't able to communicate clearly what she expected. Maybe she was nervous. Nervous people sometimes do very strange things. :)
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Callan S.
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« Reply #42 on: July 05, 2011, 02:56:19 PM »

Quote
Callan, that window you are talking about, would that be Congruency by big model terms?
Looking up the term, no, that's some creative agenda thing. A straightforward example of the windows I'm talking about is if you only spoke German and I only spoke English - those windows of communication and understanding only barely overlap, and that's only because of body language and pointing at stuff, etc. Here it's the language of the kitteh and language of the serious investigation crew. They just don't overlap.


Paws, I don't think you need to do the internet thing of 'Just a thought I had'. At the forge generally people try to earnestly understand the other dude (atleast at the start, anyway). But on your question it raises some interesting points...
Quote
Actually, we wanted to get her out of the tree but she had compelled an Aspect and earned a FATE point and it would have been contrary to the rules to just negate her disadvantage, the GM explained.
Frank, is it really contrary to the rules?

If so, perhaps she didn't realise the power of the rules she was invoking and was thinking 'Aww, I'll just use these to put myself in a tree, then they come save mah kitteh!' when the rules she invoked don't work that way.

Did the GM explain this to her as well? What was her reaction (her real body language)?

How long is the disadvantage supposed to go for, anyway? If the rules don't say and it's up to the GM, then it's one of those points where the GM starts saying the rules are in control when actually the rules have punted control to the GM on the matter. A murky, mollasesy moment...
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pawsplay
Member

Posts: 17


« Reply #43 on: July 05, 2011, 03:13:28 PM »

Paws, I don't think you need to do the internet thing of 'Just a thought I had'. At the forge generally people try to earnestly understand the other dude (atleast at the start, anyway). But on your question it raises some interesting points...

I felt I should demure because my knowledge of FATE is pretty soft. My knowledge of Dredsen Files, specifically, is almost non-existent. I don't allow the rules to tyrannize my games. However, I was concerned I might not be understanding the rules. Maybe there is a good reason you can't just rescue the kitty. In most games, when you receive some kind of currency for accepting a complication, the complication itself is played out as a little scene-inside-the-scene. But maybe in this game, if you accept the point, you have foreclosed certain options. I honestly don't know.

But if a thing is a role-playing game, I think it should be possible to rescue the kitty.
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Frank Tarcikowski
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a.k.a. Frank T


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« Reply #44 on: July 06, 2011, 12:23:17 AM »

I don't have the Dresden Files RPG. The Free FATE text on Compelling Aspects is pretty wide open to interpretation. The actions needs to be "to the character's detriment", that's about all it says. The GM gets to make the call. It's well possible that the player did not expect that consequence.

- Frank
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