Started by Alfryd, March 24, 2011, 05:04:32 PM
Quote from: Alfryd on March 27, 2011, 03:03:33 PMOf course, this ideal raises all kinds of practical difficulties, and gets even uglier when you toss in the insistence that players must know, and have control over, nothing the characters wouldn't. Because then the GM has to keep the machinery of an entire universe in their head, and the players have to essentially take it on trust that he or she is some kind of Mentat paragon always capable of maintaining a perfect separation between (A) what would genuinely seem most likely to happen on the basis of pre-established knowledge of the world, and (B) what he or she would personally like to happen as a real human being. (I would personally contend there is such a distinction, but the temptation to mix the two is perfectly real. And of course, depending on your overarching goal, may not be a bad thing. But it ain't Sim.)
Quote from: Alfryd on March 26, 2011, 11:17:22 AM...the thing is that- while I agree there needs to be an 'emotional connection' in the sense that the players do care about how the characters feel, that doesn't mean player feelings equate with character feelings.
QuoteSo, in that sense, focusing on player responses as opposed to character reponses could be misleading.
QuoteAgain, I would say this is predicated on the assumption that (A) the player-characters are all perfectly rational and (B) that large-scale outcomes are deterministic (which is to say, you can forecast in advance what the 'optimal' outcome would be without, as it were, 'experimenting' with different courses of action.) I don't think either of those assumptions actually accords with observations of reality. Which means it is, at best, a rather selective application of Sim principles.
Quote from: stefoid on March 27, 2011, 07:59:24 PMI think the general understanding of improv is that the GM reacts to the players during play, and the 'plot' arises from that interaction on the fly, as opposed to preconceiving a plot before play and walking the players through it. (to some degree or other).Your definition of improv seems to me to be : introducing a situation into the fiction for reasons other than in-game causality. Is that a fair understanding?If so, I would use another term for it. It seems to me that using 'improv' as I define it is going to help simulation play because you are reacting (with 100% causality) to what the players are doing, rather than trying to direct them back to the pre-conceived plot which may result in you ignoring/lessening causality of player actions because it would take the game away from the preconceived idea of where it should go.
QuoteYour version of 'improv' is better described as 'agenda' , as everybody has been saying. If your agenda is causality then you are playing a simulist game, regardless of the situations that arise during play sometimes being the same as what might arise with a narativist agenda.
Quote from: contracycle on March 27, 2011, 08:40:35 PMUff. I dispute that. First of all, I think the logic of "what would happen" is weak. All too often that means "what would be the most probable outcome", but reality is more complex than probable outcomes. What if the odds between two outcomes are 51% and 49%? To assume that Sim MUST take the former when the two are so close is very limiting.
QuoteSecond, I don't think that individual preferences are ruled out. If "what would happen" was all that was inviolved, most FRPG sim play would be reduced to peasants harvesting their fields. After all, that's where you'd most likely be born, thats the limited world you would most likely encounter, and maybe if you're lucky one day you'll get to go to the town fair 10 miles away.
Quote from: Caldis on March 28, 2011, 12:21:35 AMYou talk a lot about once play starts but really the things that are decided before play starts have a huge impact on how the game will turn out. Embedding those moral/ethical problems in the setting is one, chosing situations that come up in play that emphasize or ignore them and make a choice necessary or treating it as meaningless is another, that includes things like the ramifications of these ethical decisions happening offscreen or outside the scope of play. Conversely all these decisions made before play begins shape how play will turn out to such a huge fashion that I dont see the difference between the preplay manipulation and the in play manipulation like railroading....
Quote from: Alfryd on March 28, 2011, 02:53:58 PMI understand your point, but one of the points I'm making is that, by ensuring the PCs genuinely have a level of mechanical power/influence/information that's commensurate to the scale of the setting/situation, it's possible for their choices to have a dramatic impact on final outcomes without having to distort the strict modelling of in-world causality. An example I gave was influential nobility within a feudal setting- the idea that their decisions could have major historical ramifications doesn't hinge on some fluke perturbation of the odds, but is entirely expectable. (With that said, the result would quite possibly be a form of Blood Opera.)
Quote from: Alfryd on March 28, 2011, 02:41:08 PMIf you want to phrase 'improvisation' in that way, sure, yeah I can agree with that. And, yes, being 100% faithful to in-world causality does not have to entail that PC choices are insignificant, because PC choices are an in-world event that should have some repercussions. The trouble with Sim is that everything else that happens in the world would also, logically, have repercussions, so in order for player choices to be significant, they would have to be expressed through control of characters who are powerful/influential enough to give the environment a run for it's money. Otherwise, you have to resort to metagame.
QuoteQuoteYour version of 'improv' is better described as 'agenda' , as everybody has been saying. If your agenda is causality then you are playing a simulist game, regardless of the situations that arise during play sometimes being the same as what might arise with a narativist agenda.I still incline toward the view that if it looks like address of premise, walks like address of premise, and quacks like address of premise, it's address of premise. I'll freely concede that premise-addressing moments-of-decision may arrive with somewhat lower frequency than dark-chocolate-with-cinnamon-sprinkles narrativism, but if stories are about (Moral Choices)X(Consequences), this simply strikes me as a question of tradeoffs between how strictly you model Consequences versus how reliably you hit with Moral Choices. But how, exactly, do you walk out of this game without player actions producing a theme? QuoteWhere is the ostensible boundary condition between Sim and Nar
QuoteWhere is the ostensible boundary condition between Sim and Nar
Quote from: Roger on March 28, 2011, 02:15:54 PMThis look very interesting, but I'm finding too many ways to parse that to have a good sense of what you're saying. So far I'm between:1. Focusing on a player's emotional response to the fiction, as opposed to a character's emotional response within the fiction, could be misleading.2. Focusing on a player's response to a situation, where the response is deciding to leave someone outside to die, could be misleading as opposed to focusing on the character's response to do so.
QuoteThat being said, is there any requirement for the Right to Dream player to be rational? Hmmm. Deep question, this. I would suggest that it is a fundamental feature of Right to Dream play. The enjoyment comes from Exploring the rational cause-and-effect System. As the Right to Dream essay proposes, "Internal Cause is King". I can't think of any examples of irrational play that would persist beyond a short-lived superstition, but I'm happy to hear suggestions.
Quote from: stefoid on March 28, 2011, 06:23:51 PMIn the agenda of the people at the table. If your agenda is causality, you arent addressing a premise or producing a theme, you are addressing causality which might have a few themey moments.
Quote from: Caldis on March 28, 2011, 04:58:37 PMThis is exactly the point though. By setting the game up in such a manner and then following through on those expectations in play and also allowing the players to freely choose how to respond to those situations you are engaging in a narrativist creative agenda and not a simulationist one.
Quote from: stefoid on March 28, 2011, 06:23:51 PMPlayers choices are significant if you focus on, and play out the consequences of those decisions to their full extent. the magnitude of those consequences doesn't really come into it. they could be earth shattering or purely personal for the character involved, depending on the game. If you rob the players of a chance to make a decision or modify the natural consequences of the decision, in order to drive the plot, then thats where player decisions become less significant.
Quote from: contracycle on March 29, 2011, 09:38:55 AMNow at the risk of making gross and unfair assumptions, I think the example you gave is one of an essentially accidental occurrence. It looks to me rather like the following happened: the GM wanted to intoriduce a pet character, or a source of plot or setting information, into the group; and chose a female character in the hopes this would arouse greater sympathy, and gave her a lot of weapons so she would appear useful and competent. When you rejected her, she was disposed of, because the GM is either going to abandon the attempt or try another device to introduce whatever function that character was supposed to fulfill. It's probably caused some sort of prep rewrite.
Quote from: Caldis on March 29, 2011, 04:40:47 PMI think another problem is you've set out that you think certain elements are essential sim elements but you havent really been outlined what those are.