Started by David Berg, December 17, 2011, 04:40:05 AM
Quote from: Eero TuovinenThe GM in FLOW considers the player's contribution in two categories, Idea and Roleplaying; the former basically concerns the immediate realism of the character's proposed course of of action in the fictional context, while the the latter is about whether the proposed course matches with the abilities and nature of the character (and whether it's entertaining for the rest of the group and dramatic - entertainment concerns are usually scored in this category). Basically you fare well in the game by describing action that seems likely to succeed in achieving the stated goal while remaining true to and expressing with clarity who and what the character is. Both of those categories are scored on a 1-5 range (there are various scoring tools in the book to help in this), and the results are then multiplied with each other to gain a final score, which is then compared against a difficulty level also determined by the GM. Characters have skills that can influence the final score, too. The weirdest thing in that whole system is that it's all in the GM's head, and the players basically have no mechanical input into it whatsoever aside from using the get out of jail free card when a challenge goes awry. To an outside observer the system doesn't differ from GM fiat in any way whatsoever, which is pretty neat if you're into immersionism and mechanics not "getting into way". From the GM viewpoint it's pretty different from pure fiat, though, as you're on your honor to utilize the authoritative yet reasonably objective standards of evaluation provided by the game. I myself make the scores public when playing, in fact, instead of just telling the player that he succeeded or failed; this can be pretty intense, as any pretense of the adjucation being something else than an expression of the GM's creativity is swept aside: your goal is to get rated well, and you only get rated well by having a good creative relationship with the GM. Matrix Games have a similar feature in how they rely on the players judging each other's contributions.My judgment of the thing FLOW does is that it's not really qualitatively different from GM-as-physics-engine. In fact, that's very much the vision the designer in question has about the GM's job. The novel thing about the game is that it's very frank about the source of the adjudication by removing all interposing dice rolling and charts, and it gives you a mental framework to use in making the GMing choices. I find that this leads to more deliberate play on both the player and GM side as compared to the typical system that tries to accomplish the same by giving the GM a large number of rules references to use in judgment. Surprisingly enough it seems that participationism stripped of all mechanical fetishes leads to a sort of intensely cooperative creative interaction, which is something I wouldn't have expected without trying this game.As a player, a big part of the game's challenge is to simultaneously cover the bases of "do what would work" and "be interesting, colorful, and true-to-character". Usually it's not difficult to get a high score in one category, but also typically you can't rely on being able to get very high in both at will - it takes fortunate circumstances, usually ones that highlight your character somehow.In Stalker it is relatively easy to please the GM, because the genre of the work is very unstylized and low-key, and thus "pleasing the GM" isn't a big production of genre cliche so much as having searing insight into how the world works; the easiest way to please the GM is to say something about the game world that the GM in hindsight agrees to be true.
Quote from: Anders Gabrielsson on January 13, 2012, 02:00:02 AMOptions in the quest log don't need to be available forever... or the situation when the players decide to go after them doesn't need to be the same."Right, so you travel to Idyllic Village to help with the bandits you heard about a month ago. When you get there the village is burned to the ground." (Removes 'Save Idyllic Village' from the quest log and adds 'Investigate the burning of Idyllic Village'.)
Quote from: Callan S. on January 13, 2012, 02:56:43 AMSounds good! Though put a date on the quest when recorded, so the GM has some idea of how much game world time has passed once/if the players take it up again.
Quote from: DWeird on January 13, 2012, 07:16:48 PM"*what* are they doing with the corpses of the guys we played? Vengeance!"
Quote from: DWeird on January 13, 2012, 07:16:48 PMIf a player does not have primary authority over a character, then the GM doesn't even need to inelegantly remove options through fiction - he can do that through pre-agreed authority direct. "Okay, you've won that fight! Now you're back on the road to Haven." Not doing what the GM says the characters would naturally do is never really an option that resolution could result in - unless the GM fancies to allow such things. It's exactly what you present in the OP, I guess, it's just that it pushes the "if the GM wants it to succeed or fail, it does" deeper into the game, so it requires less moment-to-moment legitimation and is probably easier for the GM to deal with.
Quote from: DWeird on January 14, 2012, 05:48:32 AMDave, could you tell me about an episode when you or your players experienced and were changed by plot, as you say?
Quote from: DWeird on January 14, 2012, 05:48:32 AMThis whole thing rests on the GM being able to say "the characters want to..." without breaking the social contract.