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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Mutazoia View Post
    I might argue that your 1 and 3 are essentially the same thing, but on different scales.
    "This happens" is another form of "This is the situation"
    "I do this" is just a more limited scope of "Then this happens", as the "this" in this case, applies to a singular reference point, rather than a broader one.
    The primary difference is the level of authority the individuals have.

    In the type 1 interaction, the players (note that there's a separate GM role) are only given authority over their own character, and can only declare the actions of their character - and not even the result. Also, in Type 1 games, especially the more pure they get, the GM is in charge of the rules - the players say what their characters do, and the GM is primarily responsible for determining the result, be it by fiat, by rules, by rulings, etc. That's actually the biggest difference between Type 1 and 2.

    In type 3 interactions, the boundary is not as strong, or completely nonexistent, and the players can narrate things outside of their own characters' actions.

    That may not be a significant difference to you but it is to many people. And, yes, few games are "pure" on any axis, and so it's common to allow for some amount of incorporation of different types of the different interactions.
    Last edited by kyoryu; 2017-12-29 at 07:02 PM.
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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    Nonsense.

    RPG's consist of two things. Rolling dice and telling stories. Either of these things are possible without the other. If you're rpg'ing with the dice, there is an element of a game of chance in your collaborative storytelling. This is a variable: Sometimes it's more correct to state that there is an element of collaborative storytelling in your game of chance.

    So at one extreme of the spectrum, you're all about the dice rolls, and at the other - all about the storytelling.

    And what about those of us who value in-character decisions, characters with depth, rich and robust settings... leave chance for when there's real uncertainty... and couldn't give a tinker's damn about "telling a story"?
    Last edited by Max_Killjoy; 2017-12-29 at 07:13 PM.
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  3. - Top - End - #33
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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    To Max_Killjoy: What do you mean by "telling a story", because as I see it consistent characterization, detailed characters, good world building and... maybe not so much the last, are all part of telling a story. (The last item could be seen as unpredictable narrative, or the dice rolling part.)

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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    To Max_Killjoy: What do you mean by "telling a story", because as I see it consistent characterization, detailed characters, good world building and... maybe not so much the last, are all part of telling a story. (The last item could be seen as unpredictable narrative, or the dice rolling part.)
    Those things are useful, probably necessary, as tools for telling a good story -- but they do not belong to "telling a story".
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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    Nonsense.

    RPG's consist of two things. Rolling dice and telling stories. Either of these things are possible without the other. If you're rpg'ing with the dice, there is an element of a game of chance in your collaborative storytelling. This is a variable: Sometimes it's more correct to state that there is an element of collaborative storytelling in your game of chance.

    So at one extreme of the spectrum, you're all about the dice rolls, and at the other - all about the storytelling.
    Just a suggestion - maybe you should listen to people and what they say instead of just telling them that their desires and preferences are factually wrong. You might learn something.
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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    And what about those of us who value in-character decisions, characters with depth, rich and robust settings... leave chance for when there's real uncertainty... and couldn't give a tinker's damn about "telling a story"?
    You´re basically kidding yourself. We're humans, were prone to connecting the dots and everything will create a narrative in hindsight. What you do is outsourcing the dot-making, nothing else.

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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    Those things are useful, probably necessary, as tools for telling a good story -- but they do not belong to "telling a story".
    What does belong then? Identifiable beginning, middle and end? One or more ongoing plots? A moral?

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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Florian View Post
    You´re basically kidding yourself. We're humans, were prone to connecting the dots and everything will create a narrative in hindsight. What you do is outsourcing the dot-making, nothing else.
    Max has this narrow viewpoint where he thinks all storytelling is trodding out bad cliches for the sake of bad cliches. I wouldn't listen to him on that definition.
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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Florian View Post
    You´re basically kidding yourself. We're humans, were prone to connecting the dots and everything will create a narrative in hindsight. What you do is outsourcing the dot-making, nothing else.
    First, speak for yourself, don't pretend to know what's going in on other people's heads. "You're kidding yourself" as a response there is nothing but arrogant condescension. Whether you believe it or not, doesn't matter, some of us simply don't give a fig about "story" when we're "RPGing".

    Second, making up a narrative in hindsight about things that already happened is not the same as sitting down to intentionally craft a work of fiction "from the beginning".


    Quote Originally Posted by Millstone85 View Post
    What does belong then? Identifiable beginning, middle and end? One or more ongoing plots? A moral?
    As with most things, storytelling requires intent -- and a story is more than a sequence of events that happened in some order.

    Plot, structure, pacing, etc, are needed.

    We could tell a story about my workday after the fact, but that doesn't mean I'm setting out to tell a story when I leave the house. My actions and reactions and decisions aren't being made with story in mind, they're just the things that happen.

    Similarly, when I'm playing an RPG, a story could be told after the fact about what went on, but that doesn't mean any of the in-character decisions and actions are done with story in mind. If someone is doing what their character would do and saying what their character would say, and influencing the fictional world through their character, that's no more "telling a story" than it is for a real person to get out of the bed in the morning, get cleaned up, and go to work or whatever.

    If I'm crafting a story, I care about actually creating a story that makes sense, that has some buildup, some tension, maybe some failures along the way if they work out, that sort of thing.

    If I'm playing my character, then like my character, I don't give a fig about any of that. If my character has an opening to defeat the "BBEG" in the first five minutes with some cheap trick, then I'm taking it -- my character doesn't care if it's anti-climactic, or doesn't make for a good story (I mean, an actual genuinely good story, not "the good story" of Narrative Causality), they're in it to win it, just like a real person would be.


    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    Max has this narrow viewpoint where he thinks all storytelling is trodding out bad cliches for the sake of bad cliches. I wouldn't listen to him on that definition.
    I don't think you'll find anywhere I've actually said that about all storytelling.

    When I say those things, I'm talking about Narrative Causality and various actual cliches and tropes, and my dislike of those elements in gaming.
    Last edited by Max_Killjoy; 2017-12-29 at 09:52 PM.
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  10. - Top - End - #40
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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    Second, making up a narrative in hindsight about things that already happened is not the same as sitting down to intentionally craft a work of fiction "from the beginning".
    Eh.

    As someone who regularly participates in NaNoWriMo, and has been writing since middle school, I can say that starting with the ending and working backwards is not an uncommon practice.

    Or, if you prefer, you can easily say that conspiracy theories are detailed works of fiction, that have been crafted by piecing together small events that have already happened, and filling in the (considerable) blanks with made up details and events, and become something completely different from the truth.

    Or, if you prefer, anytime Hollywood has made a movie "based on real events", that have had little to nothing to do with the actual events, or assume quite a bit of events and dialog that may or may not have taken place (this is especially common with films based on historical events that pre-date any modern conception of record-keeping, and/or had any way of recording said events...such as Titanic).
    Last edited by Mutazoia; 2017-12-29 at 09:53 PM.
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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    I find that playing an RPG is very much like writing an extremely short-segment serial fiction (with lots of participants and within a fixed framework of resolution mechanics).

    1. At time T we establish the state of the world. This (in D&D-like games) leans heavily on the narrator.
    2. We then loop through the participants (PCs and NPCs) and determine what they do in the next segment of time. This involves proposing an action and then resolving it using the mechanics. Important points:
      • Each character usually has a range of things that are "in character" for that person--virtually no circumstance has only one in-character response down to the details.
      • We must use something decide between whatever options remain.
      • Story considerations (character growth, keeping things fun for everyone, foreshadowing future events, etc) are perfectly good criteria here, as is random chance.
    3. Once all simultaneously-moving actors (including NPCs and the world as a whole) have selected and resolved their actions, we advance the time counter to T = T0 + dT and continue from step 1. Depending on the situation, dT might be as small as 6 seconds (a D&D combat round) or as much as several months (during downtime or extended travel).


    Character-based and story-based decision making are not mutually exclusive. They're both tools for deciding what a character attempts at step 2. Some games give players abilities to affect the situation beyond the actions of their character (FATE points, meta-currency in general) or explicitly ask players to consider the story. Those put a higher weight on the story-focused aspects. Only when you get as far as games like Microscope (where there are no distinctions between "my character" and "your character") do you remove the role-playing aspect. It's a sliding scale with lots of overlap in the middle.
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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Florian View Post
    You´re basically kidding yourself. We're humans, were prone to connecting the dots and everything will create a narrative in hindsight. What you do is outsourcing the dot-making, nothing else.
    But then most everything is collaborative storytelling. I played PLAYMO with my friend as a kid where we were the heroes assaulting an castle. We can connect the dots and make a story and now we weren't playing anymore but taking part in a collaborative storytelling!


    When playing cops and robbers as a kid we can squeeze out a narrative where me and Joe were the cops chasing the robbers. We weren't playing, we were taking part in a collaborative storytelling.


    I went skating with my wife the other day and I managed to fall on my ass, now I connect the dots to make a narrative and I wasn't skating with my wife anymore but collaborative storytelling with her.
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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Nothing is a story while it's happening. It becomes a story after all is said and done, when it is told to others.
    Last edited by Mutazoia; 2017-12-29 at 09:58 PM.
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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by RazorChain View Post
    But then most everything is collaborative storytelling. I played PLAYMO with my friend as a kid where we were the heroes assaulting an castle. We can connect the dots and make a story and now we weren't playing anymore but taking part in a collaborative storytelling!


    When playing cops and robbers as a kid we can squeeze out a narrative where me and Joe were the cops chasing the robbers. We weren't playing, we were taking part in a collaborative storytelling.


    I went skating with my wife the other day and I managed to fall on my ass, now I connect the dots to make a narrative and I wasn't skating with my wife anymore but collaborative storytelling with her.

    Yeap. It ends up with a really goofy definition of storytelling -- "anything you do that you could tell stories about later is storytelling".
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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Mutazoia View Post
    Nothing is a story while it's happening. It becomes a story after all is said and done, when it is told to others.
    If you're writing a story, it's a story during the writing process. It's not a complete story, and you writing it isn't a story, but the actual text is a story. The same thing applies to speaking a story, whether or not you have an audience and whether or not you're finished.

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    Yeap. It ends up with a really goofy definition of storytelling -- "anything you do that you could tell stories about later is storytelling".
    On the other hand, using the term "storytelling" to describe the actions of people describing fictional characters interacting with fictional settings is hardly unreasonable, and it doesn't extent outwards nearly as far. It doesn't even extend to the PLAYMO (which appear to be themed LEGO sets or similar upon quick research) and cops and robbers example, where people are still pretending to be characters of a sort, but aren't necessarily meeting the "-telling" part of the word. It certainly doesn't fit the ice skating example.

    The other requirement I'd make of storytelling within the specific sub-definition in use here is that you're deliberately presenting fiction as fiction. Knowingly describing fictional characters interacting with fictional settings as factual information is just lying.

    Storytelling also doesn't necessarily preclude play, which is highly relevant to RPGs, PLAYMO, cops and robbers, and basically imaginative childhood play and related fields in general. Even if those were examples of storytelling (and PLAYMO might have been, if it came with description; that certainly can come up with imaginative play in other contexts and it's not like the little figures can do everything their characters can) they're still play, and all the rhetoric about how they're no longer play can be safely disregarded as a distraction.
    Last edited by Knaight; 2017-12-29 at 10:56 PM.

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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    There is nothing within any definition of Storytelling I've found that excludes improvisation. The whole thing could be improvised and still be a story.

    Yes, as I play a game I hope cool things happen. I want to get to know the characters. I want to watch them change over time. I want to see then overcome challenges and have things happen to them, good and bad. I want to see them make decisions based on incomplete information or based on personal biases and see if those biases change over time.

    I'd call all of the above storytelling.

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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    And what about those of us who value in-character decisions, characters with depth, rich and robust settings... leave chance for when there's real uncertainty... and couldn't give a tinker's damn about "telling a story"?
    That would be the story of your character.

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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Merely picking a certain type of character is showing a desire to tell a certain type of story. You don't make your character take out of character decisions for the sake of "the story". You make a character who will do interesting things which will lead to an interesting story.

    No one's character is perfectly fleshed out because, you know, they're not a real person and you haven't spent their entire life getting to know them. And that means that when there is some doubt as to what your character would do, it is usually a good thing to pick the more interesting of the options. And picking that interesting thing develops your character further in the process and you remember it for next time something similar comes up.

    Also, interesting characters are flawed. These flaws don't need to be crippling, but they need to exist. Perfect people are unrealistic and boring.

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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by RazorChain View Post
    But then most everything is collaborative storytelling. I played PLAYMO with my friend as a kid where we were the heroes assaulting an castle. We can connect the dots and make a story and now we weren't playing anymore but taking part in a collaborative storytelling!


    When playing cops and robbers as a kid we can squeeze out a narrative where me and Joe were the cops chasing the robbers. We weren't playing, we were taking part in a collaborative storytelling.
    I said earlier that there was something different between RPG's and (effectively) these examples. And I think I'm starting getting a better handle on it and it's basically that a lot comes from, unsurprisingly, the RP element. And it's no surprise really, as theatrical RP similarly crosses the line. Also I suspect you can think of the one game of C&R that did cross the name, where the robbers had name's and ...

    Quote Originally Posted by RazorChain View Post
    I went skating with my wife the other day and I managed to fall on my ass, now I connect the dots to make a narrative and I wasn't skating with my wife anymore but collaborative storytelling with her.
    I think another feature comes in when you deliberately apply creativity and something else. So now you're storytelling, when you accidently fell you probably weren't (if you were doing your own improv version of Swan Lake and you built in in, that would be different).

    So perhaps it's the act of building the narrative where it becomes Storytelling. In an RPG that happens more or less constantly (partly because you are already describing stuff), in other games that happens at the start or end (and is usually pre-done).

    I'm fully aware that's not fully worked out. And need to say what in R/P makes it do stuff. I think Characterisation is a big part and a sufficiently complex virtual World.

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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    Those things are useful, probably necessary, as tools for telling a good story -- but they do not belong to "telling a story".
    OK, but you lay out, in simple terms, what "telling a story" itself actually is?

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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    That would be the story of your character.
    No. A story is more than a sequence of decisions and events, and we can care about character without caring about story.

    But hey, if anyone ever wonders why I get so cranky about "narrativism" and "story games", the attitude on display by the above poster, that self-serving attempt to claim anything remotely interesting about RPGs as part of "story", is a chunk of why.

    Just because something is a useful tool or necessary element for your preferred type of RPG (or other game, some of these games leave the overlap area of the Venn diagram), that doesn't give your preferred type of RPG ownership of that element.

    Just because YOU are deliberately crafting or telling a story when you game, that doesn't preclude others from playing without any storytelling at all -- including those who are deeply into character and setting.


    Quote Originally Posted by Koo Rehtorb View Post
    Merely picking a certain type of character is showing a desire to tell a certain type of story. You don't make your character take out of character decisions for the sake of "the story". You make a character who will do interesting things which will lead to an interesting story.
    And here we get into part of why I cringe at the notion of "archetypes" or "types of characters" in RPGs -- the inference some make that a certain character is selected for a certain type of story.

    Because all this time, I've been selecting and building each character because I found the character interesting, not because of any desire to tell any stories of a certain type or not.


    Quote Originally Posted by Koo Rehtorb View Post
    No one's character is perfectly fleshed out because, you know, they're not a real person and you haven't spent their entire life getting to know them. And that means that when there is some doubt as to what your character would do, it is usually a good thing to pick the more interesting of the options. And picking that interesting thing develops your character further in the process and you remember it for next time something similar comes up.
    Meh.

    I once took my character out of an entire arc of a campaign, like weeks worth of material, because it would have required her to violate multiple aspects of her code of honor. Luckily it was a game focused on a single city, so I could be around for some other things that were going on, but for those 4 or 5 sessions I was involved in less than an hour out of each 6+ hour session.


    Quote Originally Posted by Koo Rehtorb View Post
    Also, interesting characters are flawed. These flaws don't need to be crippling, but they need to exist. Perfect people are unrealistic and boring.
    Unfortunately, too many people don't understand that, have no sense of scale or nuance or subtlety, and only recognize crippling flaws as legitimate, and think their character has to be either terminally stupid or "perfect" with no middle ground.
    Last edited by Max_Killjoy; 2017-12-30 at 08:54 AM.
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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    But hey, if anyone ever wonders why I get so cranky about "narrativism" and "story games", the attitude on display by the above poster, that self-serving attempt to claim anything remotely interesting about gaming, to claim as much as possible, as part of "story", is a chunk of why.
    Would you say that characters, the setting and other pieces of non-story-driven fiction are part of "simulationism"?

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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Millstone85 View Post
    Would you say that characters, the setting and other pieces of non-story-driven fiction are part of "simulationism"?
    Those elements can be part of that type of game/gaming, yes. Personally, I'd say that character and setting are essential elements for that sort of game.

    But I would be just as mistaken to claim those elements as the exclusive property of "simulationism" as the "narrativists", "dramatists", or "gamists" would be to claim them for their own preferred sort of game.

    (Scare-quotes used very deliberately here, because of all the baggage that got attached to those terms. If we're going to use them, I'd rather go back to GDS than deal with GNS's crap, and even then I think they needlessly divide things up along not-always-useful, not-always-accurate lines. For example, some try to put "genre emulation" in the "sim" category, but I think it's an odd edge case.)
    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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    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 Max_Killjoy View Post
    If we're going to use them, I'd rather go back to GDS than deal with GNS's crap, and even then I think they needlessly divide things up along not-always-useful, not-always-accurate lines.
    Well, some of the views expressed here also feel like hairsplitting to me.

    Would "collaborative fictionmaking" be a more inclusive term for that part of the activity that isn't dice, tiles and spellcards?

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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Millstone85 View Post
    Well, some of the views expressed here also feel like hairsplitting to me.

    Would "collaborative fictionmaking" be a more inclusive term for that part of the activity that isn't dice, tiles and spellcards?
    Does it need a specific name?

    The whole thing is interconnected, and to me is defined by an overlapping space between having rules, having a fictional world and characters, and having causally connected events. This is directly opposite of the approach I've often seen that says "If X is what makes something an RPG, then more X equals more RPGish". I say if you go too far in any direction, you no longer have an RPG.

    Go too far in the direction of the rules, or neglect character and setting and continuity too much, and you've left the RPG space of the Venn diagram and you have board game or the like.

    Go too far in the direction of the "sim", and you have a literal simulation with no player agency, not an RPG.

    Go too far in the direction of "story", abandoning the notion of specific attached PCs as the avenue of player agency in favor of trading off "what happens next in the story" for example, and you have a storytelling game, not an RPG.


    I'm not against players factoring in "what's interesting" or "where do I want this story to go" in their decisions, as long as their decisions and actions are still things that their character would and could do. What I am against is this notion that sitting down to play an RPG is inherently an act of storytelling, as opposed to something from which story might emerge, and that all players are doing it whether they want to or not, whether they realize it or not, etc... this attempt to tell people what they're thinking and feeling as opposed to listening to them. It's exactly the sort of smug arrogant nonsense that turned so many people off when Edwards and his little cult did it.
    Last edited by Max_Killjoy; 2017-12-30 at 09:21 AM.
    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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  26. - Top - End - #56
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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Max still hasn't defined story.

    Which, ironically, is making this take start to veer towards the inverse of what he accused another poster of doing:
    Rather than claiming that everything interesting about an RPG is part of the Story conceptual space, he's attempting to claim that NOTHING he personally enjoys about an RPG falls under the Story conceptual space.

    To theorize, Max finds some aspect of personality among storyteller type people annoying, and admitting any sort of interest in that aspect of rpgs is tantamount to drawing some interconnectivity with them. I make this theory because he has been doing a lot of Us and Them and defining people into tribe-like camps based on little evidence.

    Is it accurate? I dunno. It's just a theory.

  27. - Top - End - #57
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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    No. A story is more than a sequence of decisions and events, and we can care about character without caring about story.

    But hey, if anyone ever wonders why I get so cranky about "narrativism" and "story games", the attitude on display by the above poster, that self-serving attempt to claim anything remotely interesting about RPGs as part of "story", is a chunk of why.

    Just because something is a useful tool or necessary element for your preferred type of RPG (or other game, some of these games leave the overlap area of the Venn diagram), that doesn't give your preferred type of RPG ownership of that element.

    Just because YOU are deliberately crafting or telling a story when you game, that doesn't preclude others from playing without any storytelling at all -- including those who are deeply into character and setting.
    Hey - thanks for skipping all the tedious bits and going straight to the personal attacks =)

    A story doesn't have to be anything other than a sequence of decisions and events. And we can care about .... all manner of things for all manner of reasons. RPG's are different things to different people, but what makes an rpg something different from a tactical or strategy game is the story. Customization is as big a part of (some) strategy games as rpg's.

    But I think you misunderstand me. I'm not trying to tell you what you do or should enjoy - or defining your games, or putting you in a box you feel you don't belong in.

    RPG's are, as I said, two things: System and story. Without the story, it's a tactics game. Conversely, if you add story to a tactics game, you generally get something akin to an rpg. Not always. Not every 'campaign mode' is the same as 'rpg elements'. But often enough to make the point.

    I think I can safely say that if you dislike telling stories, you'd be terribly bored with any game I run - and vice versa. I care not a whit about systems, except in so far as they serve as tools to promote the story.

    But that's the point: We don't need to enjoy the same thing, but denying that it's all part of the game feels just a little strained to me.

  28. - Top - End - #58
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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    OK, but you lay out, in simple terms, what "telling a story" itself actually is?
    Are we talking about "what is a story?" or "what is telling a story?" Those can bet two different questions.

    I don't know if there are "simple terms". I'm trying to come up with a definition that doesn't come across as self-serving, and doesn't start more needless nitpickery. It's more than just a sequence of events, or a recounting of what happened -- more than just "this happened, and then this happened, and then that happened, and..."

    The problem is that many of the definitions given here in this thread by those who want all gaming to be "storytelling" is that they end up laying claim to the everyday lives of real people as "storytelling", which is both blatantly false, and wandering off into the mire of postmodernist nonsense.

    If an RPG character decides to do something, and events result, and he reacts, and so on, and that's "storytelling", then if a real person decides to do something, and events result, and he reacts, and so on... then that would also be "storytelling" under that overbroad definition.
    Last edited by Max_Killjoy; 2017-12-30 at 11:19 AM. Reason: typo typo typo typo
    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 Max_Killjoy View Post
    If an RPG character decides to do something, and events result, and he reacts, and so on, and that's "storytelling", then if a real person decides to do something, and events result, and he reacts, and so on... then that would also be "storytelling" under that overbroad definition.
    I mean, real people's actions are stories if you tell people about them. And in order for an RPG character to do something, usually, you have to tell everyone about what your RPG character's actions are.

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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    Hey - thanks for skipping all the tedious bits and going straight to the personal attacks =)
    You're the one who's asserting that you know better than other people what they want, what they're thinking, and what they're doing... you don't get to play the "poor me, I've been insulted" card.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    A story doesn't have to be anything other than a sequence of decisions and events. And we can care about .... all manner of things for all manner of reasons. RPG's are different things to different people, but what makes an rpg something different from a tactical or strategy game is the story. Customization is as big a part of (some) strategy games as rpg's.

    But I think you misunderstand me. I'm not trying to tell you what you do or should enjoy - or defining your games, or putting you in a box you feel you don't belong in.

    RPG's are, as I said, two things: System and story. Without the story, it's a tactics game. Conversely, if you add story to a tactics game, you generally get something akin to an rpg. Not always. Not every 'campaign mode' is the same as 'rpg elements'. But often enough to make the point.
    If you restrict it to just system and story, you're assuming that elements such as setting and character belong to one of those two, when in fact they're independent of either one. I can build a character in more than one system, and have the same character in more than one story. The same setting can be used for many stories, or no stories at all.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    I think I can safely say that if you dislike telling stories, you'd be terribly bored with any game I run - and vice versa. I care not a whit about systems, except in so far as they serve as tools to promote the story.

    But that's the point: We don't need to enjoy the same thing, but denying that it's all part of the game feels just a little strained to me.
    I don't dislike telling stories, I actually write (just for my own sake so far) and have tons of worldbuilding done for multiple settings. I have so many stories in my head that I don't know where to start.

    What I dislike is "telling stories" as a deliberate act in my RPGs, or the assertion that I'm doing it when I keep saying that I'm not.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    I mean, real people's actions are stories if you tell people about them. And in order for an RPG character to do something, usually, you have to tell everyone about what your RPG character's actions are.
    There is a difference between something happening that a story could then be told about, and actually telling a story.

    And just telling people "given the current circumstances, this is what my character does now, with the intention of the following results" is not telling a story, any more than me reacting to the car in front of me in traffic skidding to a halt is me telling a story.

    Part of this goes right back to the verisimilitude and immersion issue. Too far into the "game" space on the Venn diagram, and the characters don't feel like people who could be real, they feel like plastic playing pieces. Too far into the "storytelling" space, and the characters don't feel like people who could be real, they feel like index cards being moved around on a storyboard to create a work of fiction.
    Last edited by Max_Killjoy; 2017-12-30 at 11:18 AM.
    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.

    Planet Mercenary RPG Discussion

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