Archive for October, 2006

System Matters

Friday, October 27th, 2006

Hey, 🙂

It does!

If you think it doesn’t, or if you feel like a good laugh, check out what The Lord of the Rings would look like if it were a transcript of D&D sessions:

DM Of The Rings

Be sure to read the author’s commentary at the bottom of the comic, and don’t forget to follow the nearby Next links. 🙂


Murk and the Fundamental Structure of RPGs

Wednesday, October 25th, 2006

Hello, all, 🙂

A long time ago in a distant land, Joshua “El Fuego” BishopRoby was met with the following apparently unsolvable conundrum:

Does the GM need to apply some measure of Force in order to get to the interesting bits of the bangs?  Is there some ‘acceptable level’ of GM Force in the bang-structured game?  Is bang-structure advocating short bursts of illusionism to get to the very non-predetermined decisions that the PCs make in the bangs?

The question was asked by him and answered by Ron Edwards, and the answer is a flat and unequivocal No! The GM tools used to lead characters to bangs are, in fact, not Force, but rather Authorities, which I expounded on at length in my previous post.

In truth, this question was actually one of terminology, rather than one of actual form, and so, this thread would have been one among many, and quickly forgotten, were it not for one simple fact:

A long way down the line (in page 3, posts 4 and 5), in the process of constructing an answer, Ron unwittingly (or perhaps very much wittingly) dissects the whole damn structure of a role-playing game.

Like the previous one, this essay is my attempt at explaining these concepts in my own words, as a way of fostering my own understanding, as much as anyone else’s.


The Man in the Black Velvet Mask

Saturday, October 21st, 2006

Hello, all, 🙂

And welcome to my latest diatribe on game play and design techniques. This little essay is called:

A Study on Stances, Authorities, and Shared Narration Rights

GM: You are attacked by a man in a black velvet mask.
Player: I spin around and strike at his face, tearing his mask right off!
GM: Guess what, it’s Barnabas, the stable keeper!
Player: No kidding? Holy shit!
(Adapted from an example provided by Ron Edwards in this thread.)

Aside: Most, if not all, of what I say here can be gleaned directly from that thread, by the way, so really, you should go read it. This essay is really just my attempt at explaining these concepts in my own words, as a way of fostering my own understanding, as well as that of any hypothetical persons that might still be a tad lost about all this stuff. So, really, go read the thread before you read this. 🙂


A Wedding Tale

Wednesday, October 18th, 2006

Hey, all, 🙂

I’m starting off a new post category, for all cool things related to friends and/or family, but not related to gaming. It would be sort of cool if I had decided to do this, and then found something interesting to post right away. Even cooler, though, is the fact that I have something that I absolutely must post, which is what drove me to reorganize the categories in the first place.

A friend of mine got married the other day.

So what, that happens every day, right? Only, this wedding was… different.