Started by Joel P. Shempert, January 09, 2008, 02:34:24 AM
Quote from: Ron Edwards on November 18, 2006, 04:19:36 PMii) Establish and participate in an assembly-of-equals when it comes to announced actions and conflicts, so that people don't trap themselves in a scared corner (very common!). In other words, anything stated for the first time is available for feedback and editing through full-group dialogue. No one has pre-emptive speaking authority, although someone does have finalizing authority.The central concept for successful use: in doing this, everyone must focus on and respect what the game (text or played) provides so far. You will find that any and all dispute about "could have," "would have," "but wasn't he there not here" and related stuff - which I have seen occupy upwards of 70% of total attention and dialogue during actual play - will disappear.
Quote from: Melinglor on January 09, 2008, 02:34:24 AMIf so, then does your comment only apply to a game like TSoY which does have crystal-clear tools, or can I take a game of (say) D&D and use what it provides to this purpose?
QuoteAs regards the second example, I prefer not to track physical space on that level of exactitude in the first place, at least without a map/battle grid/dungeon tiles or something.
Quote from: David Artman on January 09, 2008, 12:13:25 PMBut next time you're in such a play situation, take the five minutes to wipe down the battlemat and sketch in the details that impact visibility, maneuverability, and speed--it doesn't have to be a cartographers wet dream, but it BETTER be able to answer line-of-sight and movement rate questions (two BIG elements of most Crunch systems like D&D and Hero).
Quote"Did I hear that?" "Have they passed by me yet?" "Am I next to him when he does that?"
Quote from: Callan S. on January 09, 2008, 11:51:30 PMDuring this, did any rolls actually happen? Or did all the little questions sort of circumvent rolls that might have otherwise emerged?
Quote from: David Artman on January 10, 2008, 11:14:37 AMI don't really know what to tell you about how to deal with that.
Quote from: David Artman on January 10, 2008, 11:14:37 AMOtherwise, you need to stay on the grid system OR have clear demarcations of when you're off-grid and on-grid.
Quote from: David Artman on January 10, 2008, 11:14:37 AMSo the mansion should have been on-grid from the first guest's arrival. Period. We've done it all the time: draw out an area where all the encounters ended up being conversational or social challenges. And ya know what? We *still* had to know ranges and lines of sight and such
Quote from: David Artman on January 10, 2008, 11:14:37 AMAnd ya know what? So what? Yep, the PCs will form a neigh-perfect array based on their combat niches. So What? These folks (if not, like, 2nd level) are presumably serious combat machines--adventurers and battlemasters--and so why wouldn't they almost always move (in "casual mode") in proper support array? Every watched a squad of Special Forces walk into a bar together? You ain't getting the drop on them, there will be no unnoticed corners or blindspots, they get back-to-wall almost by instinct (in fact, probably ACTUALLY by instinct). So who cares if the PCs "always" enjoy ideal positioning? Throw some blink dogs at 'em and that will go to shit soon enough.
Quote"I don't want to break down the causality of the world by being ten feet to the left of where I 'should' be, because otherwise I'll be penalised by that missunderstanding (either by being unable to do things or having to make rolls I otherwise wouldn't have had to make)"
Quote from: Melinglor on January 11, 2008, 02:31:19 AMWell, there wasn't really anything roll-worthy in that part of the session, it was all a by-the nose GM-directed plot scene: PCs sent to get a thing from a guy, meet the guy, he leads us to the thing, we get the thing, we're walking back, we find some mages chanting in a grove, it turns into a combat encounter. The meticulous I'm-hear-not-there, do I overhear that remark? type stuff seemed purely aimed at maintaining versimiltude at a highly atomic level--i.e. "I don't want to break down the causality of the world by being ten feet to the left of where I 'should' be!"
Quote from: Callan S. on January 13, 2008, 04:46:42 AMOh, I don't think I was probing for "gotta be in just the right square to flank/cast my buff spells/etc". That sounds too positive, like the player has a plan and that plan is to be in a certain square. I'm thinking more a player that has no plan and in the past various nasty zaps have launched themselves at him (do you know what I mean - it's like missing one detail and taking alot of damage, or losing gear, and such. It's a bit hard to summerise). I'm thinking players in constant damage control - not toward any purpose, but simply avoiding 'pain'/game penalties. It doesn't get play anywhere, but it's like flinching away from a hot counter top that burnt your fingers in the past - they can't help but keep flinching/hammering out every fucking detail.Your describing a considerable amount of effort - usually effort is driven by pain or joy. I'm guessing pain (which drives avoidance), cause you havn't described any happy faces. Don't worry, I'm not thinking gamism! Still sounds way off?
Quote from: contracycle on January 13, 2008, 05:24:47 AMMy own solution top the problem of switching from Low Detail to High Crunch has been to stay in Low Detail. Combat scenes, even with all the crunch, are conducted in much the same way as the usual question-and-confirmation structure of play.[SNIP]The 'little clockwork model' in my head is indeed the only 'true' model, but as long as I am not persecuting the players, and have their trust, then IME it's functional. Because I am not locked into the tactical and map-based approach, I can also introduce normal narration should that be required; it is probable, although of course not certain, that given the situation with the ring balconies I would have described not only the appearance on the balcony but also how the characters could see them (that is, through the ring); just as in normal narration, I am aware of dominating the only channel of communication and that if I don't describe it it isn't there.
Quote from: Ron Hammack on January 13, 2008, 10:57:44 AMDo you think it's possible that "do I overhear that remark" might have meant "can I roll some dice now so that I feel like I have a little mechanical control over this otherwise by-the-nose GM-directed plot scene"?
QuoteGeneral confusion, jostling and jockeying over who did what and how and if-you-did-that-Id've-done-this--could all almost be a definition of roleplaying at times in my group. And even in our best moments, there's been no small friction along those lines.
QuoteSo, Ron: I'm not sure if what you're talking about applies to every issue I've raised above, but I think the core principle underlies it all: profound confusion and struggle over SIS input. So could you expand on what you were talking about in the quote--this concept that, when grasped, causes these disputes to disappear? Like, maybe you could unpack "what the game (text or played) provides so far" a bit. What's the "it" that the game provides? Play procedures? ... Or do you mean something besides procedures/rules? If so, what, and specifically how does whatever-it-is address the difficulties I'm describing?
Quote from: Ron Edwards on January 15, 2008, 01:44:16 PMYou've articulated the problem so well, and demonstrated it with examples so well, that it's been hard for me to post constructively. "I hate biting my own fingers off! It deprives me of useful fingers, it serves no purpose, and it hurts! [explicit examples] Man, this business of getting together and having to do this while we try to play piano together, it's really getting me down! [explicit examples of specifically why it's counter-productive] How do I stop?" I guess I'm hunting for something to say besides, "Um, stop doing it?"
Quote from: Ron Edwards on January 15, 2008, 01:44:16 PMThe bad news first: the reason this situation persists is because one or more group members are used to exploiting it for minor advantages. One GM is simply not up to the task of managing general confusion, and general confusion can be maintained with only very minor additions at key moments. It provides a context in which a person can maneuver his or her character into maximally-advantageous positions, both in imagined time and in imagined space.Don't get me wrong; I am not saying that one or more players is maliciously sabotaging the fun of everyone else. I am saying that a person can functionally instigate this sort of confusion even when he or she is "just trying to do stuff" or "just trying to find out what I can do." It may even be that that person's experience says, if I don't do this, I won't be able/allowed to do anything. The usual tactic involves a certain amount of verbal interruption as well, but in long-standing groups who purport to care about the game content, then it can be employed without such obvious telltales.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on January 15, 2008, 01:44:16 PMThe good news is that there are many, many solutions. There are so many because the solution is not a matter of Techniques, but rather a more general, better existing interface between social contract and SIS. If your group doesn't want to work on that, either because a person is a culprit or because he or she is so immured in this mode that they cannot conceive of an alternative, then there literally is no solution. You can't enjoy playing piano with people who are convinced that the activity must include biting off fingers.So now we drill down into the SIS level, and clearly, this is all about Situation, and the hell of old-school play is that it assumes Situation is always plainly and simply emergent from people saying "I do this" and "I do that," in the Murk. Which it isn't.OK, since it isn't, we have to talk about Techniques relevant specifically to Situation, and fortunately that was a topic of a thread a while back - this is an Authority issue. Specifically, Situation Authority. As with all the Authorities, that does not mean that it needs to be centralized, but rather that however an immediate Situation is established, the group knows that's how it's established. The means are legion. What matters is that the ends (everyone knowing what's going on, and for that to be effortless and expected) must be known and valued.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on January 15, 2008, 01:44:16 PMWell, any and all solutions to the problem operate at a much "higher" level of play than merely the resolution procedures which necessarily include IIEE.* IIEE is certainly part of the solution for a given game and a given group, and that does speak to procedures, but it's an expression of the solution rather than its core, or a means to it.In other words, I think if you played The Shadow of Yesterday or Sorcerer with this group (both games being crystal-clear about what is said prior to a roll and what a roll means, and who goes when for both player and character), you'd run into the exact same problem. People would play as if the game offers no such structure and substitute the confusion in an attempt to impose structure (at best).