Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour? - Page 123
  1. #1221
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bedrockgames View Post
    I think you are just making assumptions now...also I didn't say I preferred 1 over 2. I said 1 has more information, and there are definitely more analytically minded players who don't care about the flavorful description as much as they care about the info. And I don't think they are a small minority in our hobby.

    That said, you are right, these two descriptions are both pretty conversational, not literary. So the example is a bit puzzling anyways. Example two is just a bit vague.

    Again, I don't think this argument makes a whole lot of sense. We are talking about a conversational medium. Literary doesn't really seem like it would apply. you can try to run a game in a literary style. but I don't think it is necessary. Nor do I think it is particularly advisable.
    Literary only doesn't apply if you incorrectly believe that only high quality literary works are literary. If you believe that all things written are literary(the definition), then any time you are choosing these more evocative words to use over those words, you are moving up the literary scale. Using the named wood and describing briefly the carving, was more evocative than #1.

    Even though both of my examples fell into the conversational category, #2 chose words that were more evocative than #1, which made it fall farther up the literary scale than #1.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxperson View Post
    But neither are those mechanics speaking conversational English, which is what @Bedrockgames says he wants.
    Except I would say that they are still speaking conversational English, but the conversation will also be contextualized for the various interlocutors.
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  3. #1223
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aldarc View Post
    ...they are still speaking conversational English, but...
    I'm sorry I did that, but... You look good, but... You did a great job, but...

    When you add in the "but," you are invalidating what came before by carving out an exception to explain why what came before is wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hussar View Post
    Sorry, you're right, they aren't unknown. But, my point being, they aren't what you'd use in conversation either. Would you actually use the words "wield" or "gaunt" in a conversation?

    "A gaunt man wielding a gun robbed a liquor store" is not something you will ever hear in a conversation. You certainly might hear "A thin man armed with a gun" or "carrying a gun", but "wielding"? That's not going to be used.

    The way I'm seeing it, we've got a spectrum with high art prose on one end (think Tolkien, high Gygaxian, H. P. Lovecraft - if we want to use genre literature) and what you'd hear in a conversation or in the news on the other. As far as I can tell, @Bedrockgames is arguing for a level of prose where "an orc with a sword enters the room" is about as much description as he wants. You gave a Githyanki description that is much further along the scale, as did I with the description of the Vengaurak. As far as @pemerton goes, I really have no idea where on the scale he's coming down on since he's playing arpeggios up and down the scale so long as he can keep pretending that there is any real disagreement going on.

    So, no, it's not "10% of the description was useless". Sorry, I never meant that as the take away. Not at all. It's that the presence of that 10% slides the description away from the "pure conversation" end of the scale and further (and, really, where it's 10% of the words, pretty far actually) down towards the "high art" end of the scale.
    Thanks for clarifying your point.

    Do you think that word choice used in conversation will vary based on the topic of conversation? Do you think that word choice will vary based on those involved in conversation?

    I dont believe that all topics and all participants are locked into the same pool of words from which to draw. I doubt you would say so, either, but here we are.

    If youd asked me to describe a criminal from the real world who was breaking into a home, Id likely not use the word wield to describe how he was armed. But for D&D? I think its pretty firmly established as part of the lexicon. Same with gaunt or sunken eyes when describing inhuman, otherworldly things.

    I would expect that certain words would be more common when playing D&D and others would be more common when playing Call of Cthulhu and still others when playing Marvel Super Heroes. Use of the word psychic in an X-Men campaign, for example....its not a common word heard in conversation, but itll certainly come up when talking about the X-Men.

    Again, use of adjectives isnt what Im talking about. Theyre descriptive by nature.

    I would agree with you that sometimes one choice of word can be more creative than another. I think this can happen even when its not the focus of the speaker/writer. I think such examples are a bit tangential to the idea of craft.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lanefan View Post
    Ahead of? No

    As a part of? Certainly! Quality prose, unless completely overdone, is far more likely to add interest than diminish it.
    Thats fine. Id even agree in some instances.

    But what do you focus on with your game prep? Do you focus on creating situations or scenarios with which to engage your players? Or do you focus on how the scenarios are presented?

    Lets say you have minimal prep time for a session....you can only get so much done. What kind of prep would you typically do?

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    Quote Originally Posted by hawkeyefan View Post
    But what do you focus on with your game prep? Do you focus on creating situations or scenarios with which to engage your players? Or do you focus on how the scenarios are presented?
    Why does it have to be one or the other?

    Lets say you have minimal prep time for a session....you can only get so much done. What kind of prep would you typically do?
    With highly limited prep time I work on a few general ideas to present, so content. I can improv the descriptions and encounter details as I go. If I couldn't improv as well as I do, I'd call off the game for that week so I could prep both and we'd play board games. Terraforming Mars, Scythe, Clank and Tyrants of the Underdark are our current favorites.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aldarc View Post
    what ultimately matters is that players understand the stakes of the fiction so they can exercise their player agency to engage that fiction accordingly
    Yes. Duh. Has anyone said otherwise?

    Also, fire is hot. One can just say so, without introducing the complication of whether fire is also literary.

    So far as I can tell, pemerton's thread title is misleading; it isn't what he actually cares about. If, in a TRPG session, GMs give only the most conversational (but adequate and functional) descriptions and prompts, and players respond with action declarations *which include literary use of language*, then that TRPG session has a literary aspect; it might even be published for the entertainment of others, alongside "Critical Role". Whether the players' use of language is more literary, or more conversational, is orthogonal to the question of whether the GM neglects the interactive side of her role.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aldarc View Post
    even if @pemerton never addressed the question explicitly, it does not seem all that difficult with a modicum of effort to piece together pemerton's answers within the page frame of 1 and 119.
    (snip)
    I don't think that your question is particularly clear.
    If it's not difficult to piece together pemerton's answers, could you summarize his answer?
    I'm baffled at how you can piece together his answers, while simultaneously declaring the question unclear. But if you can, please do!

    Quote Originally Posted by Aldarc View Post
    with the position advocated by others that the game will fall apart without the literary narration
    Who has taken that position? Or are you deploying a straw man?

    Who has argued that BRG's game *will fall apart* because of its bog-standard language? Hussar has said that he would enjoy that game less. "I would not enjoy that game" and "That game will fall apart" are two different statements.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxperson View Post
    I'm sorry I did that, but... You look good, but... You did a great job, but...

    When you add in the "but," you are invalidating what came before by carving out an exception to explain why what came before is wrong.
    This is hardly a gotcha moment you imagine. And I apologize now that someone had to explain to you how the conjunction "but" can work in your own native language at this late of a stage in your life. Grammar is boring, but it's necessary.

    The conjunction "but" does not "[invalidate] what came before by carving out an exception to explain why what came before is wrong." Here's one example. In the statement, "He drinks, but he doesn't smoke," the fact that he drinks is not invalidated by the fact that he doesn't smoke. Or another example, "Jessie loved math, but Candice hated the subject" we may be at a loss to explain how Candice hating math invalidates or makes an exception out of Jessie's love of the subject. Probably another common example would be something along the lines of "You can go, but be careful." You are not creating an exception or invalidating the first independent clause. The speaker is qualifying the condition of the permission for the recipient(s), essentially a caveat.

    The inclusion of "but...also..." in my statement is a caveat rather than an invalidation of the precedent. It's an awareness that although we will engage in conversations as part of our daily life, we will also shift our discourse based upon who we are speaking to or our audience (i.e., the aforementioned interlocutors). Our conversational patterns are typically thus contextualized based upon the interlocutor.

    If I was talking about my research, I will likely explain what I do differently if the person was within my field or outside of my field because this latter person may not have a presumed shared knowledge-base (e.g., terms, methods, assumptions, knowledge, etc.) as the former would have. But if I was speaking with the former, it doesn't stop being a conversational style just because I am speaking to someone within my field either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aldarc View Post
    The conjunction "but" does not "[invalidate] what came before by carving out an exception to explain why what came before is wrong."
    In the context that you used it, it does. "They are speaking conversational English, but they aren't" is what it amounted to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxperson View Post
    In the context that you used it, it does. "They are speaking conversational English, but they aren't" is what it amounted to.
    I... what? Why do you keep hitting youself?!?
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