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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy
    That's what I would call "story-focus". There can be plenty of character and roleplaying, but there's an ongoing central concern for the ongoing and upcoming story.

    And for me, personally, it would be a terrible drag. I'm not interested in intentionally setting my character up for trouble and loss -- if I see those things coming, my every gaming instinct is to head them off, not walk into them face-first. If I'm forced to walk into a problem my character doesn't see coming but I do, that's going to be me as the player going through the motions without any enjoyment and perhaps even a touch of bitterness about it.

    And, as the player, I'm no more concerned about "the story" than my character is. Most people don't go through their lives worried about whether their daily or long-term life would "make for a good story"... why should an RPG character have that worry? And if my character doesn't have that worry... why should I, as the player?
    Quote Originally Posted by Florian View Post
    @Max

    Your wouldn't turn up for a game where nothing happens. No dangers, no threats, only thing you´ve got decide is when your regular Joe goes to the loo and that doesn't have consequences, not even getting your Joe fired or into a "we-both-take-a-pee-here-right-now"-conversation.
    I am not sure how that's a reply to what I said.

    Nothing in my comment even implied a game wherein nothing happens, wherein there are no threats or dangers, no challenges, no consequences.

    Maybe it's a language-barrier thing, but what I said was that I don't care about seeking out an intentional story, and have no interest in creating drama -- and that knowing a specific bad incident is coming as a player but having to leave my character hanging out to dry "for story" or "for drama" results in at best zero enjoyment, in at worst an actively negative experience.

    Give me mysteries to solve, secrets to uncover, plots to foil, artifacts and treasures to recover, battles to win, allies to aid and enemies to defeat, etc, presented (to the degree possible) as my character would encounter them. If my character knows a problem is coming, they're not going to sit there and wait for it to happen, they're going to try to do something about it.

    If I know "drama" is coming but my character doesn't, and it's considered "bad form" to do anything to prevent or prepare or avoid... then that's not anticipation I'm feeling, it's something else entirely.
    Last edited by Max_Killjoy; 2018-01-13 at 07:22 PM.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

    Verisimilitude -- n, the appearance or semblance of truth, likelihood, or probability.

    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    I do not see how thats different from my own approach to be honest.
    I am not surprised you do not see a difference. This is not a dig at you.

    The Edwardian Forge movement mainly did two things.

    1) They developed a gaming philosophy and style that they found more enjoyable than the classic approach.

    2) They actively sought out to discredit, deride, and eliminate the old style.

    I have no problem with the first part. To me, it’s just like when Donald X. Vaccarino decided that the part of Magic the Gathering he really enjoyed was creating his deck, and developed a new game where building your deck took center stage, Dominion.

    It is the second part that caused the problems. Personally, I find Dominion much more enjoyable than MtG. But I never felt a need to attack the Collectable Card Game format to promote the new Deck Building Game category.

    But that is what the Forgists did. Worse, they did it very effectively. I have no doubt that a large part of the reason WotC coast shut down their forums was due to how effectively the D&D forum was hijacked by people pushing Forge philosophies.

    Which is why it is not at all surprising that the first two responses to me describing a typical style of play from before the Forge movement came about is first ignorance “I don’t see the difference”. And then derision. “Playing with your Barbie” as Florian put it.

    A relatively small group of very determined and organized zealots worked for this exact result.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    again this sounds like "thoughts in my head before any of this ever hits the table" sort of stuff. whatever happens in your head to make a character work doesn't really matter, since the whole difference is so abstract and seemingly hair-splitting to me. developing the character leads to those scenes and those scenes lead to developing the character, they're inextricably linked together, since characters are practically built off of defining moments and events that allow seemingly contradictory actions and beliefs to exist. story and character and pretty much inextricably tied together, since if you don't have a character, you don't really have a story, and if you don't have a story you don't really have a character.

    Like I'm really starting to wonder how much of this is just our own perception of how we roleplay vs. how we roleplay in practice. Like, in practical rolepalying terms of actual play, whether its story or character or whatever seems pretty meaningless to me, since its all connected together, and works to make a bigger harmonious whole. So I doubt any of these viewpoints people are expressing are as pure as people try to make it out to be. roleplaying is all about being this mixed bag that creates an interactive experience unlike any other in the world and has never been pure this or that, so its like.....whats so important about identifying and cultivating this pureness really? what is the practical actual difference these two views and how would they actually affect the table? I cannot see how'd they be different for the life of me, because our views are not as pure and isolated from other methods as we believe.
    Purity is not a word I would use to describe any style. Focused is the term I used, because it does not exclude the existence of other elements, but shows what elements are front and center. In both Dominion and MtG, you need to build a deck. Since MtG is a CCG, a lot of the focus of the Game happens before you sit down to play. Buying, trading and just generally finding the cards you need to build your deck. In a CCG, this is just as much a part of the experience as when you sit down across from another playing and draw your starting hand. MtG can be said to have three focuses. Collecting Cards, building a deck, and playing the game.

    In Dominion, the collecting aspect is largely removed. Every player starts with the same starting cards, and have access to the same cards on the field to improve their deck with as the other players. The focus is to use the same resources better than the other players. Dominion is more focused then MtG on the Deckbuilding aspect, but I would not call it a Pure deckbuilding experience. For one thing, there are expansions to collect, and add to your Dominion set base set.

    So please, do not think I am advocating for some type of gaming purity. Both Dominion and MtG have a deck building element. But only Dominion is called a Deck Building game, because that is the focus of the game play. Likewise, in recognizing that there are different Roleplaying styles is not advocating for a pure Roleplaying experience.

    Now, that does not help in trying to describe what the difference is. Can you accept that there is a difference, even if you can’t spot it right now?

    The starting elements are pretty much the same. Like comparing similar math equations:

    2+2=4
    2x2=4

    On the face of it, the only apparent difference between these two statements is that in the first one, the cross like symbol between the twos is upright, and in the second, it is more on the side. Otherwise, same numbers with the same result. So it would appear that there is no difference between + and x, so why bother having different symbols?

    2+3=5
    2x3=6

    A little different, but close enough that we can ask if the difference really matters. But the further we go, the bigger and more apparent the differences become.

    6+7=13
    6x7=42

    A result different enough that you can end up wondering how you thought ever thought they could be considered similar.

    That is what the difference between character focused and story focused game styles is like. You can have the same elements, but because you are dealing with those elements using different processes, the results are different. Both results are correct, it is simply a matter which style is more enjoyable for you. What becomes important is recognizing that there are different styles, and being able to tell what style of game is being run.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    and the fact that your read the implication into that use of "properly" says more about you than me. I didn't mean it like that, so I don't care for your reprimand because it wasn't needed.

    Really all this seems to just be nerds hair-splitting over semantic definitions for the sake of it. Which I don't approve of. Its worrying about the process of making the beautiful painting when the important part is that it gets made. As long there the result is good, there is no problem.
    Actually, all I did was point out that the connotation exists, I went no further than that. I did not - for example - accuse you have deliberately selecting the word to push a one true way of gaming agenda.

    But, I do understand that pointing out that such a connotation exists carries its own connotation that you did so deliberately. Instead of flipping it back around again and saying that you taking it as a reprimand speaks more on you than me (in the “finest” tradition of internet debates) let me instead say that it was not meant as a reprimand.

    Since you enjoy writing, consider this some unsolicited feedback on how word choices can carry meanings you do not want to convey to your readers.

    Which is why I tried to pick more neutral terms when describing the difference in the game styles. Character focused vs Story focused seems fairly neutral. If you were hearing about Roleplaying games for the first time, and someone said that some Roleplaying games are character focused and others are story focused, than neither sounds inherently superior or more correct.

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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post

    Give me mysteries to solve, secrets to uncover, plots to foil, artifacts and treasures to recover, battles to win, allies to aid and enemies to defeat, etc, presented (to the degree possible) as my character would encounter them. If my character knows a problem is coming, they're not going to sit there and wait for it to happen, they're going to try to do something about it.

    If I know "drama" is coming but my character doesn't, and it's considered "bad form" to do anything to prevent or prepare or avoid... then that's not anticipation I'm feeling, it's something else entirely.
    The above is why I say the Players are not a big part of the Storytelling. To tell a story, you must know and control the ''behind the scene'' things...and players don't do that.

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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    Give me mysteries to solve, secrets to uncover, plots to foil, artifacts and treasures to recover, battles to win, allies to aid and enemies to defeat, etc, presented (to the degree possible) as my character would encounter them. If my character knows a problem is coming, they're not going to sit there and wait for it to happen, they're going to try to do something about it.

    If I know "drama" is coming but my character doesn't, and it's considered "bad form" to do anything to prevent or prepare or avoid... then that's not anticipation I'm feeling, it's something else entirely.
    So, your biggest complaint against the whole "collaborative storytelling" concept in RPGs....is...that you are not allowed to meta-game?
    "Sleeping late might not be a virtue, but it sure aint no vice. The old saw about the early bird and the worm just goes to show that the worm should have stayed in bed."

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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    Give me mysteries to solve, secrets to uncover, plots to foil, artifacts and treasures to recover, battles to win, allies to aid and enemies to defeat, etc, presented (to the degree possible) as my character would encounter them. If my character knows a problem is coming, they're not going to sit there and wait for it to happen, they're going to try to do something about it.

    If I know "drama" is coming but my character doesn't, and it's considered "bad form" to do anything to prevent or prepare or avoid... then that's not anticipation I'm feeling, it's something else entirely.
    Please separate player and character for once.

    Each group will have their social contract about what to game, how to game and play it, methods used, etc. pp., else you can't have a (functioning? good?) game. I think we know how badly it can end when this is not talked about beforehand, like coming up with an agreement the likes of "You may act "in character" as long as that doesn't disrupt the game." or "Create characters that are actually eager and willing to participate".

    What you apparently mix up is "game" and "method". As a player, you know what will happens if you agree to join a game of "Temple of Elemental Evil" and the first thing you say is: "Well, my character would never leave Hommlet or willingly go into danger, he rather will get a job as apprentice to the blacksmith". It takes no special meta-game knowledge to see that you, right there, announced that you don't want to participate in the game.

    There's an even easier way to highlight the difference. We can play D&D as "Combat as Sports" or as "Combat as War". Choosing one over the other will have a huge difference when it comes to "rules for conducting the game", meaning how the "in-game rules" are going to be used and, more important, what "methods" work well for the game and which will break it, ie. CaS will have you to abstain from certain things that might be "in character" or, more often, "logical" because the results runs counter to the more "gamey" rules behind it.

    So, to pick up your example, if you join a group where "drama" is the "game" and you either create a "Teflon Billy" or a character that would squash drama to prevent it, being "logical", it´s more like failing to want to participate in that game, nothing to do with the character (which still doesn't exist and is not sitting at the table).

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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    The above is why I say the Players are not a big part of the Storytelling. To tell a story, you must know and control the ''behind the scene'' things...and players don't do that.
    Ok, DU, did you notice that I'm using a lot of quotation marks to mark technical terms and keep repeating some of them over and over, mainly "game", "method" and "exploration"?

    You keep misusing the word "railroading", when what you mean is "setting exploration" and what you do as a gm is creating obstacles and challenges to interact with and overcome that are "set in the fictional game world". I agree with you that this stance will create a "game" that needs the players to use certain "methods", like "Method Acting" (what I talk about with Max here) and cannot handle players going into full "author stance" because it will break down then.

    But, and that is the important point here, other combinations of "game", "method" and "exploration" lead to different results that can handle an "author stance" really well and actually need it to function.

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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Florian View Post
    Please separate player and character for once.
    The character is my one point of interface with everything going on inside the setting / "secondary world". Or at least, that's how games work for me.

    Some of these other gaming styles make the game actively worse (for me) by trying to break that connection -- by treating the character as a plastic game piece or narrative element, and/or by trying to get the player to engage the "secondary world" from outside the character via what are sometimes called "narrative mechanics" or "narrative rules".

    (My standard example of a "narrative rule" -- in FFG's Star Wars, there's a higher-tier Talent that allows the player to cause a technological device to fail or malfunction. This requires no action on the part of their character whatsoever, no cause-and-effect at all, and the player might explain why it happened with some little tidbit like "the normal technician was out sick and the guy who took his shift forgot to clean it" or whatever that their character had nothing to do with and will never know about.)


    Quote Originally Posted by Florian View Post
    Each group will have their social contract about what to game, how to game and play it, methods used, etc. pp., else you can't have a (functioning? good?) game. I think we know how badly it can end when this is not talked about beforehand, like coming up with an agreement the likes of "You may act "in character" as long as that doesn't disrupt the game." or "Create characters that are actually eager and willing to participate".
    Reasonable so far.


    Quote Originally Posted by Florian View Post
    What you apparently mix up is "game" and "method". As a player, you know what will happens if you agree to join a game of "Temple of Elemental Evil" and the first thing you say is: "Well, my character would never leave Hommlet or willingly go into danger, he rather will get a job as apprentice to the blacksmith". It takes no special meta-game knowledge to see that you, right there, announced that you don't want to participate in the game.
    I have no idea what you're talking about with "game and method"... which makes it hard to mix them up.

    I've never in my life of gaming encountered a group who was "playing a game of (insert module name here)" -- it would always have been "We want to play D&D, and run through ToEE."

    The person who creates a homebody craftsman... after struggling with that a few times, my response as a GM became "OK, you've created Bob the Blacksmith, who wants to stay home and perfect the crafting of horseshoes. Cool. Now, you can play that character, and come watch and hang out if you want, but don't expect any attention to your character, because this campaign isn't about blacksmiths or crafting or staying at home with the family, and most of it won't be taking place in that one town. Or... you can create a character who will want to travel with the rest of the PCs and 'have adventures' and can actually contribute to fighting and exploring and investigating and so on".

    We had a couple of players who were so bad about it that we ended up with a name for it -- secondary character syndrome. For some reason, certain players seem to want to make "secondary characters". Comparing to fiction, it would be the character who appears three times in the entire novel and never gets a POV scene or chapter.


    Quote Originally Posted by Florian View Post
    There's an even easier way to highlight the difference. We can play D&D as "Combat as Sports" or as "Combat as War". Choosing one over the other will have a huge difference when it comes to "rules for conducting the game", meaning how the "in-game rules" are going to be used and, more important, what "methods" work well for the game and which will break it, ie. CaS will have you to abstain from certain things that might be "in character" or, more often, "logical" because the results runs counter to the more "gamey" rules behind it.
    There has to be a better way to express what you're trying to say here than using the word "rules" two different ways at once -- especially when "rules" will for many people specifically mean "game system and subsystems", "the mechanical part of the game", and/or "how the characters and setting are 'mapped' and allowed to interact non-arbitrarily."

    (E: this is why I use and "game" and "campaign" of "game" and "game" as well, to avoid confusion between "game meaning the ruleset" and "game meaning the activity at the table". )

    "CaS" and "CaW" are both kinda tangential, IMO... the feel and lethality of any particular combat should be determined by the setting and circumstances and characters involved.


    Quote Originally Posted by Florian View Post
    So, to pick up your example, if you join a group where "drama" is the "game" and you either create a "Teflon Billy" or a character that would squash drama to prevent it, being "logical", it´s more like failing to want to participate in that game, nothing to do with the character (which still doesn't exist and is not sitting at the table).
    If the entire point of the campaign is "drama drama drama", and there's going to be metagaming / author stance involved to deliberately make drama occur, then I wouldn't join in the first place. That's never going to be a campaign I'd enjoy. I'm not entertained by drama, and why would my character complicate their life with drama that they can avoid? (Don't confuse "drama" specifically with any and all forms of complications, challenges, setbacks, etc.)

    In my experience, however, "drama" hasn't been the point of the campaign, it's part of the assumptions or preferences that some players bring to the table, and it's possible to give them what they want without forcing the other players to deal with it too. It's not necessary to cram the exact same thing down every player's throat, and each player's experience can focus on what they enjoy the most. The old group here had the player who wanted drama and intrigue, and the player who wanted to solve mysteries and uncover plots, and the player who wanted to hit stuff, and so on... and somehow, whether it was the other GM or me running a campaign, we managed to give each player what they wanted while not forcing the other players to get too deep into things they weren't interested in.
    Last edited by Max_Killjoy; 2018-01-14 at 03:20 PM.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

    Verisimilitude -- n, the appearance or semblance of truth, likelihood, or probability.

    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Florian View Post
    Ok, DU, did you notice that I'm using a lot of quotation marks to mark technical terms and keep repeating some of them over and over, mainly "game", "method" and "exploration"?
    I noticed, but if that is your writing style...

    Quote Originally Posted by Florian View Post
    You keep misusing the word "railroading", when what you mean is "setting exploration" and what you do as a gm is creating obstacles and challenges to interact with and overcome that are "set in the fictional game world". I agree with you that this stance will create a "game" that needs the players to use certain "methods", like "Method Acting" (what I talk about with Max here) and cannot handle players going into full "author stance" because it will break down then.

    But, and that is the important point here, other combinations of "game", "method" and "exploration" lead to different results that can handle an "author stance" really well and actually need it to function.
    Right...so you agree with me, but don't want to agree with me, so you say you don't and then just do.

    And I guess your saying, like I have also said, there are the specifically made collaborative storytelling games. Where everyone is a Player/Author/Game Master and everyone just takes a turn saying ''and then'', and after a set time everyone stops and links all the ''and thens'' together to get a story of what happened in the set time. And you get the worst type of story possible: the pile of linked ''and thens''.

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    Or... you can create a character who will want to travel with the rest of the PCs and 'have adventures' and can actually contribute to fighting and exploring and investigating and so on".
    The vast majority of games are action adventure games, and players should know and understand this. This is a bit of the unavoidable metagame: the players will always know they are playing a game.

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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    And I guess your saying, like I have also said, there are the specifically made collaborative storytelling games. Where everyone is a Player/Author/Game Master and everyone just takes a turn saying ''and then'', and after a set time everyone stops and links all the ''and thens'' together to get a story of what happened in the set time. And you get the worst type of story possible: the pile of linked ''and thens''.
    ... and that is not how it works, like, at all.

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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Florian View Post
    ... and that is not how it works, like, at all.
    Indeed. I'm not even a fan of author-stance or "story-focus" RPG play or "storytelling games", and I know that's not how it works. Sheesh.
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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Florian View Post
    ... and that is not how it works, like, at all.
    And that is what everyone will say, but it does not seem to be true. It's more just people don't like the ''way'' I put it, or simply people just don't want to agree with me.

    A Real Story, not just the Basic Account of What Happened for a set Time Barley a Story, takes time and effort and most of all an good deal of control, predestination and outline.

    In a Classic Game(like D&D) the DM makes the Story, and the players play through it. The Players can not (and don't want to) know all the story details and outline, as ''Ok everyone encounter 5, where all your characters will get captured. Everyone have your character trip or something and drop their weapons'' is the worst possible sort of non-game.

    The only other way is everyone is a player/storyteller/GM. And that is just each person in the game, saying and doing whatever they want. Sure you can build on what the player before you just said..but you don't have to. And after a set time..say a couple hours...you stop and look at the Barley a Story that everyone sort of made together.

    Though, guess somewhere here is the Casual Sandbox, where no matter what the players do, the DM just makes the story right in front of the characters. This type of Random Game does not need the DM to make a Story..or do much of anything else.

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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    From the comments section below the article from The Alexandrian I linked to earlier (comment made by the author of the article):


    Long answer: Deciding to take an action is not the same thing as exercising, obtaining, or determining narrative control. If I tell you a story about going fishing last week, it doesn’t follow that I was engaged in narrative creation while fishing. Similarly, if I tell you a story about the events in a roleplaying game, it doesn’t follow that I was engaged in narrative creation while roleplaying. (Although I might have been, it’s not inherent in the game.)

    If I’m playing a storytelling game, OTOH, I am engaged in narrative creation while playing the game. It’s inherent in the mechanics — and thus the playing — of the game.

    There seems to be a natural tendency to conflate the concept of “fictional” with the concept of “creating a story”. But stories don’t need to be fictional and roleplaying games open up a realm in which fictional actions can be taken outside the act of story creation.

    To put it another way: Take the roleplaying out of it. If I tell you a story about this amazing game of Monopoly I played, it doesn’t mean that “roll 2d6 and move that number of spaces around the board” suddenly became a narrative control mechanic.

    I'd never bothered reading the comments before, but note the parts I bolded.

    Huh.
    Last edited by Max_Killjoy; 2018-01-14 at 09:05 PM. Reason: formatting problems
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    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    A Real Story, not just the Basic Account of What Happened for a set Time Barley a Story, takes time and effort and most of all an good deal of control, predestination and outline.
    Are those conditions for a real story necessary, sufficient, or both, and how did you arrive at this determination?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    In a Classic Game(like D&D) the DM makes the Story, and the players play through it. The Players can not (and don't want to) know all the story details and outline, as ''Ok everyone encounter 5, where all your characters will get captured. Everyone have your character trip or something and drop their weapons'' is the worst possible sort of non-game.
    Why is this the worst possible sort of non-game?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    The only other way is everyone is a player/storyteller/GM. And that is just each person in the game, saying and doing whatever they want. Sure you can build on what the player before you just said..but you don't have to. And after a set time..say a couple hours...you stop and look at the Barley a Story that everyone sort of made together.
    Why is that barely a story?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    And I guess your saying, like I have also said, there are the specifically made collaborative storytelling games. Where everyone is a Player/Author/Game Master and everyone just takes a turn saying ''and then'', and after a set time everyone stops and links all the ''and thens'' together to get a story of what happened in the set time. And you get the worst type of story possible: the pile of linked ''and thens''.
    Why is that the worst type of story?

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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    And that is what everyone will say, but it does not seem to be true. It's more just people don't like the ''way'' I put it, or simply people just don't want to agree with me.

    A Real Story, not just the Basic Account of What Happened for a set Time Barley a Story, takes time and effort and most of all an good deal of control, predestination and outline.

    In a Classic Game(like D&D) the DM makes the Story, and the players play through it. The Players can not (and don't want to) know all the story details and outline, as ''Ok everyone encounter 5, where all your characters will get captured. Everyone have your character trip or something and drop their weapons'' is the worst possible sort of non-game.

    The only other way is everyone is a player/storyteller/GM. And that is just each person in the game, saying and doing whatever they want. Sure you can build on what the player before you just said..but you don't have to. And after a set time..say a couple hours...you stop and look at the Barley a Story that everyone sort of made together.

    Though, guess somewhere here is the Casual Sandbox, where no matter what the players do, the DM just makes the story right in front of the characters. This type of Random Game does not need the DM to make a Story..or do much of anything else.
    Or, you know you could use the rules (which most of these games have) to help define bits of the story. Take fiasco, where the game itself leads to a climax, and helps provide prompts and restrictions. Or, you know, players could talk and negotiate out what happens.

    (Also, in a Classic game like DnD, generally the dice determine if a PC drops their weapons. If the GM is deciding that, it's more a "frustrated novelist storytelling experience." than a game)

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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    Now, you can play that character, and come watch and hang out if you want, but don't expect any attention to your character, because this campaign isn't about blacksmiths or crafting or staying at home with the family, and most of it won't be taking place in that one town. Or... you can create a character who will want to travel with the rest of the PCs and 'have adventures' and can actually contribute to fighting and exploring and investigating and so on".

    I'm not entertained by drama, and why would my character complicate their life with drama that they can avoid? (Don't confuse "drama" specifically with any and all forms of complications, challenges, setbacks, etc.)
    So just to make this clear, I'm about to describe my own favorite way to play and run RPGs, and I say this with love:
    The name of tonight's dungeon is My Character is a ****ing Idiot Who's Ruining His Life. If you want to build a Smart Character Who's Handling His Life that can be you're secondary character, but if you want to interact with this campaign please build a life-ruining-fool who will do dumb **** to create drama.
    When I see this stuff as a whole campaign, it's because the one thing I don't want there to be is a choice between being a damn idiot and progressing the campaign. Productively going deeper into the campaign should be something I can accomplish by being as dumb as humanely possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    \
    The only other way is everyone is a player/storyteller/GM. And that is just each person in the game, saying and doing whatever they want. Sure you can build on what the player before you just said..but you don't have to. And after a set time..say a couple hours...you stop and look at the Barley a Story that everyone sort of made together.

    Though, guess somewhere here is the Casual Sandbox, where no matter what the players do, the DM just makes the story right in front of the characters. This type of Random Game does not need the DM to make a Story..or do much of anything else.
    More realistically, there's a kind of game setup where everyone is doing something like "what the DM does in a sandbox game". Whether or not the DM in a sandbox game creates story is something that I see we disagree on, but suffice it to say that you're wrong about everything.
    Last edited by Chauncymancer; 2018-01-15 at 01:56 AM.
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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    Huh.
    I find that the Alexandrian has a major error in his analyses, that's why the conclusion is also faulty.

    We have two major and distinctive layers to talk about:
    1 - "Rules for running a game of D&D" aka "playing D&D"
    2 - "Rules for playing a character in a game of D&D" aka "roleplaying a D&D character"

    The fault is, that any decision made for (1) can also result in "rules elements" that will find their way into (2), else you'll get a dysfunction.

    That's why I mentioned the CaS / CaW divide earlier as an example. 3E acknowledge that both exist and offered the option to play CaS by using the CR structure, or play CaW by ignoring it. The result is that CaS-based games lack in verisimilitude a bit, while CaW-based games can't manage balance. The dysfunction is that you simply cannot have both at the same time.

    So the conclusion is faulty as it´s based on the assumption that for "classic play", (1) cannot directly influence (2) - which would be "disassociate mechanics" - while things are fine and acceptable when staying "hidden" by making it the GMs job to handle.

    So it´s like saying "I want to play a high adventure game, but please hide the fact that we're playing a high adventure game from me, else I cannot enjoy it"

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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    And that is what everyone will say, but it does not seem to be true. It's more just people don't like the ''way'' I put it, or simply people just don't want to agree with me.
    It´s more like you just don't seem to have first-hand experience with the subject matter and repeat some BS you have picked up somewhere, because what you describe doesn't match with experience and reality of people that actually gamed it that way and can tell about it.

    I also suspect that this might be because early story-based games really were a bit odd and hard to stomach for the "classic D&D gamer", but things changed a lot on that front, just have a look at, say, Shadowrun: Anarchy as a damn good story-based alternative to regular SR 5.

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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Florian View Post
    I find that the Alexandrian has a major error in his analyses, that's why the conclusion is also faulty.

    We have two major and distinctive layers to talk about:
    1 - "Rules for running a game of D&D" aka "playing D&D"
    2 - "Rules for playing a character in a game of D&D" aka "roleplaying a D&D character"

    The fault is, that any decision made for (1) can also result in "rules elements" that will find their way into (2), else you'll get a dysfunction.

    That's why I mentioned the CaS / CaW divide earlier as an example. 3E acknowledge that both exist and offered the option to play CaS by using the CR structure, or play CaW by ignoring it. The result is that CaS-based games lack in verisimilitude a bit, while CaW-based games can't manage balance. The dysfunction is that you simply cannot have both at the same time.

    So the conclusion is faulty as it´s based on the assumption that for "classic play", (1) cannot directly influence (2) - which would be "disassociate mechanics" - while things are fine and acceptable when staying "hidden" by making it the GMs job to handle.

    So it´s like saying "I want to play a high adventure game, but please hide the fact that we're playing a high adventure game from me, else I cannot enjoy it"
    You keep talking about "rules for running a game of D&D aka playing D&D" as if that's an established thing everyone knows about and that no one will object to as an assumption or concept. What exactly are you referring to with that?

    Is this simply the idea that there should be communication between everyone at the table before the campaign, with discussion of the particulars, such as setting, tone, system, etc? Because this hardly strikes me as something that needs a formalized set of rules.

    Or is it something else?
    Last edited by Max_Killjoy; 2018-01-15 at 10:22 AM.
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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    You keep talking about "rules for running a game of D&D aka playing D&D" as if that's an established thing everyone knows about and that no one will object to as an assumption or concept.
    Because it´s the difference between "game" and "toy" and makes for the "G" in RPG because of that.

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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Florian View Post
    Because it´s the difference between "game" and "toy" and makes for the "G" in RPG because of that.
    Then I have no idea what you're getting at that is supposedly creating two different levels of rules here.
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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Florian View Post
    It´s more like you just don't seem to have first-hand experience with the subject matter and repeat some BS you have picked up somewhere, because what you describe doesn't match with experience and reality of people that actually gamed it that way and can tell about it.

    I also suspect that this might be because early story-based games really were a bit odd and hard to stomach for the "classic D&D gamer", but things changed a lot on that front, just have a look at, say, Shadowrun: Anarchy as a damn good story-based alternative to regular SR 5.
    Even in quotation marks, the "classic D&D gamer" comment is at least reminiscent of one of the fallacies that's repeatedly been committed by some in two different camps... that there's "D&D" and then "whatever style of gaming the person is arguing for or against".

    I'm not a fan of "story focus" / author stance, storygames, storytelling games, "narrative mechanics", etc.

    I also washed my hands of D&D, D&D-like games, the entire d20 thing, etc, in the early 90s. There are too many elements in D&D that are antithetical to my enjoyment of RPGs.

    So, either I'm neither a "storygamer" nor a "D&D gamer", or you mean something by "classic D&D gamer" that has nothing to do with D&D.
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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    Even in quotation marks, the "classic D&D gamer" comment is at least reminiscent of one of the fallacies that's repeatedly been committed by some in two different camps... that there's "D&D" and then "whatever style of gaming the person is arguing for or against".

    I'm not a fan of "story focus" / author stance, storygames, storytelling games, "narrative mechanics", etc.

    I also washed my hands of D&D, D&D-like games, the entire d20 thing, etc, in the early 90s. There are too many elements in D&D that are antithetical to my enjoyment of RPGs.

    So, either I'm neither a "storygamer" nor a "D&D gamer", or you mean something by "classic D&D gamer" that has nothing to do with D&D.
    Ok cool. so your whatever this thing we don't know is that isn't one of these two things, and therefore must be a third thing of probably many things. Are you kind enough to define yourself from other things, or are you going be unhelpful and say your a thing thats not these other things we do know of in confusingly righteous defeat of this fallacy?

    cause if you don't, its just like dude, we have words for a reason, you want to discuss this, define your position other than "not these things".
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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    Ok cool. so your whatever this thing we don't know is that isn't one of these two things, and therefore must be a third thing of probably many things. Are you kind enough to define yourself from other things, or are you going be unhelpful and say your a thing thats not these other things we do know of in confusingly righteous defeat of this fallacy?

    cause if you don't, its just like dude, we have words for a reason, you want to discuss this, define your position other than "not these things".
    So unless I'm able to offer up a neat little term, I'm not allowed to object to what appears to be a tenacious and pernicious false dichotomy?

    If nothing else this thread should have demonstrated in spades that terminology is a minefield. I've had to tiptoe around words and phrasing just to avoid added confusion. I can't use "fiction" to describe the imagined / not-real-world elements of the game because people conflate "fictional" with "telling a story". I can't use "simulationist" because people think that means stifling minute intricate rules for every little aspect of the game and "secondary world". Etc. Etc. Etc.

    So no, I can't offer a neat little definition that doesn't end up causing as much confusion as it avoids or clears up.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    So unless I'm able to offer up a neat little term, I'm not allowed to object to what appears to be a tenacious and pernicious false dichotomy?

    If nothing else this thread should have demonstrated in spades that terminology is a minefield. I've had to tiptoe around words and phrasing just to avoid added confusion. I can't use "fiction" to describe the imagined / not-real-world elements of the game because people conflate "fictional" with "telling a story". I can't use "simulationist" because people think that means stifling minute intricate rules for every little aspect of the game and "secondary world". Etc. Etc. Etc.

    So no, I can't offer a neat little definition that doesn't end up causing as much confusion as it avoids or clears up.
    I'm not saying you can't object. I'm saying just objecting on its own doesn't really help. I'd rather have three definitions than two, and I'd rather have you define yourself than have someone define your for you whether you like it or not, despite how arbitrary labels are in general, because you need something to communicate things no matter how arbitrary the communication is, because otherwise we're stuck dancing around this with descriptions without getting any hard progress on getting a spectrum of viewpoints rather than a binary definition we're currently stuck in.
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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    Thanks for those of you who responded to my last question.

    What I find particularly interesting is several of you seem to think that "collaborative storytelling" is a description of what players and GMs do when playing an RPG, at least the roleplaying part of it. And possibly technically accurate. But that you don't think the best way to phrase it is "... about Collaborative storytelling".

    The reason I find this interesting is "... about collaborative storytelling" is almost exclusively the way I see it used. Either "Roleplaying is about collaborative storytelling" or "RPGs are about colloborative storytelling" or "D&D is about collaborative storytelling." And when I say see it used, I mean by posters in these forums. It's a very common statement used to describe RPGs and roleplaying.

    And that's one of the primary reasons I object. I don't believe any of those are true as a general statement of what they are about, the why or the purpose or the goal. That's obviously a different issue from a statement of how it's being done, the method being employed. (Even though I also disagree with the latter.)

    ----------------

    Also Tinkerer, please note although I primarily think of storytelling, in regards to roleplaying games, as narrative mechanics or narrative resolution, as opposed to a predetermined story, that's just what leaps to mind. As I covered in post 438 that's not the only definitions I accept. An emergent story is a story. In other words, my definition of story in RPGs in the first post is my 'Strong' definition, but there is a valid broad one that includes recounting emergent story.

    Or to put it another way, I accept that more broadly, a story is an account of events.

    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/shows...&postcount=438

    I just disagree strongly that a player describing intent and approach, followed by GM resolving them and describing outcomes and possibly consequences, is an account of events. That is events happening in the in-game world. The mere fact that communication is necessary for events to occur in the in-game world, just because one of them is (necessarily) playing the part of the universe resolving the outcome of things being attempted, does not convert it from "event" to "account of events".**

    (Edit: **important disclaimer: I am not saying that all RPG playing is done this way. What the player and DM are doing, their purpose, their goal, is what causes the division between "events occur" and "an account of events". Some people it's discussing established facts and describing them, others it's establishing the facts.)

    ----------

    Let's add another question, that just occurred to me while typing up that last paragraph:
    If talking to a DM necessarily is an account of events, when we replace the DM with a computer, and the player enters commands by keyboard and mouse instead of vocally, does gameplay suddenly change back from an account of events, to actual events occurring?
    With the word "about" used in the phrase "X is about Y" comes up I always affix a "IMO" in front of it because you can never truly say that something is about something. Is Moby **** about a whale? Obsession? Fate? Divine knowledge? There are as many "RPGs are about" statements as there are gamers... okay, that's a touch of hyperbole however that is only due to using a limited shared language. Given a perfect unlimited language there would be as many "RPGs are about" statements as there are gamers because there is no authority or truth that we can test the statement against.

    For the middle section that may very well be where we are forced to disagree and indeed it exemplifies the difference between how we view these. An account is merely an oral or written description of events, whether real or fictitious. Within the fiction events are occurring however in the real world an account of the events is occurring. Just like listening to a ball game on the radio. "Now, Derocher gets back in again. Vander Meer has a new ball. No balls, two strikes, two out, three on. The pitch. It's a high fly ball going into medium centerfield. Harry Craft comes under it, sets, and takes it, and it's a double no-hitter for Vander Meer." This caused me some confusion since I have the opposite point of view as stated in your paragraph. Whether or not you could call the events in a session "storytelling" at least I can see the opposing side. But I don't quite see how one could not call it an account of events.

    For the latter part it depends on the format and how it is presented. Namely, is it being presented in an oral or written form or in some other manner? Let us take Zork for instance, a classic example of the genre interactive fiction. I would absolutely call that an account of events. You describe an action and the game gives you an account of the events which occur as a result.
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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Tinkerer View Post
    With the word "about" used in the phrase "X is about Y" comes up I always affix a "IMO" in front of it because you can never truly say that something is about something. Is Moby **** about a whale? Obsession? Fate? Divine knowledge? There are as many "RPGs are about" statements as there are gamers... okay, that's a touch of hyperbole however that is only due to using a limited shared language. Given a perfect unlimited language there would be as many "RPGs are about" statements as there are gamers because there is no authority or truth that we can test the statement against.
    That's very reasonable

    For the middle section that may very well be where we are forced to disagree and indeed it exemplifies the difference between how we view these. An account is merely an oral or written description of events, whether real or fictitious. Within the fiction events are occurring however in the real world an account of the events is occurring. Just like listening to a ball game on the radio. "Now, Derocher gets back in again. Vander Meer has a new ball. No balls, two strikes, two out, three on. The pitch. It's a high fly ball going into medium centerfield. Harry Craft comes under it, sets, and takes it, and it's a double no-hitter for Vander Meer." This caused me some confusion since I have the opposite point of view as stated in your paragraph. Whether or not you could call the events in a session "storytelling" at least I can see the opposing side. But I don't quite see how one could not call it an account of events.
    Whereas I see what the player and DM are doing, if the player is making decisions for their character as a fictional person in the fictional environment, and the DM is resolving them and determining outcomes and consequences, AS the ballgame. The exact opposite of listening to an announcer. If a third party gave a summary, then that would be the analogue to the announcer.

    At least we know exactly why we disagree, in clear terms now.

    For the latter part it depends on the format and how it is presented. Namely, is it being presented in an oral or written form or in some other manner? Let us take Zork for instance, a classic example of the genre interactive fiction. I would absolutely call that an account of events. You describe an action and the game gives you an account of the events which occur as a result.
    Sadly, I'm not familiar so I can't comment.

    But to me there's no real difference in terms of what's going on underneath the scenes between:
    - a player using a vocal control interface to control their character, and the DM determining outcomes and consequences.
    - a player using a hand control interface to control their character, and the computer determining outcomes and consequences.

    What is different is in a TRPG the player isn't limited to a set of pre-programmed approaches and intents, and the DM isn't limited to a set of pre-programmed outcomes and consequences. And of course that the DM can improvise the world and challenges in it on the fly, as opposed to them needing to be arduously programmed. But in regards to "events happen" vs "account of events", an RPG can easily be analogous to both a CRPG or the real world in terms of how you play, as opposed to an interactive book or a movie.

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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    Sadly, I'm not familiar so I can't comment.
    Reference to old-school point-and-click adventures. You know, here's a scene, there is stuff in it to interact, make the right choices and you proceed to the next scene (Door, Orc, Pie...)
    So, the "story" is basically told and will reveal itself when you succeed at playing the game. (I kick in the door, kill the pie and kiss the orc...)

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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Florian View Post
    Reference to old-school point-and-click adventures. You know, here's a scene, there is stuff in it to interact, make the right choices and you proceed to the next scene (Door, Orc, Pie...)
    So, the "story" is basically told and will reveal itself when you succeed at playing the game. (I kick in the door, kill the pie and kiss the orc...)
    Man, I remember trying to play Hitchhikers Guide in green-pixel font. I got so frustrated with the pixel-bitching, or whatever the pre-point-and-click version of it would be called. I mean, I was only like 7 or 8, but even then I recognized what not at all fun is like.

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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    Whereas I see what the player and DM are doing, if the player is making decisions for their character as a fictional person in the fictional environment, and the DM is resolving them and determining outcomes and consequences, AS the ballgame. The exact opposite of listening to an announcer. If a third party gave a summary, then that would be the analogue to the announcer.

    At least we know exactly why we disagree, in clear terms now.
    Yes, I think we do. As one final note here I should mention is that I also view the player and GM as acting as the ballgame. They are just functioning as the announcer on top of that. I don't quite view those tasks as mutually exclusive.
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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    Man, I remember trying to play Hitchhikers Guide in green-pixel font. I got so frustrated with the pixel-bitching, or whatever the pre-point-and-click version of it would be called. I mean, I was only like 7 or 8, but even then I recognized what not at all fun is like.
    Ey, you didn't play Future Wars on the Amiga, because that was the game where you had to hit exactly that one Pixel to proceed and actually start the story.....

    Still, relevant to the overall topic, tho.

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