Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour? - Page 132
  1. #1311
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    Maybe posters who think the thread is not worthwhile, or is overly cluttered, could cease posting in it?
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  2. #1312
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    Fantastic idea.

    ((heads off to unsubscribe from the thread))

  3. #1313
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    Quote Originally Posted by pemerton View Post
    Maybe posters who think the thread is not worthwhile, or is overly cluttered, could cease posting in it?
    Your threads suck! And you're terrible! And we hate you!

    More stuff!
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    Quote Originally Posted by pemerton View Post
    And if the OP was The Old Man and the Sea then I might have won a Nobel Prize
    Would the Nobel team consider a post in a TRPG forum as a candidate for the Literature prize?

    If so, that might go a long way to break the elitist stigma against assigning literary value to anything connected with the fantasy and science fiction genres.

  5. #1315
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    Quote Originally Posted by pemerton View Post
    In my 4e game, when the player of the Deva Sage of Ages recalls his days in the heavens, he is warming us up for some potentially unorthodox deployment of one of his memory-oriented abilities.
    I recall a character in a Hero System (Champions) game, who had Overall Skill Levels, with the limitation that he could only use them while recounting an anecdote from his decades of service all across the Empire, and applying the lesson from that anecdote to the current situation.

    Was I entirely mistaken, in my theory that your OP was related to experiences in which GMs used pretentiously florid narration, as "icing" in a vain attempt to compensate for half-baked "cakes"? Apparently so, since you say that you don't have much experience of spotlight-hoggin' narration, and thus you're managed not to cross the path of spotlight-hoggin' GMs.

    Have you accomplished the goals of your OP?

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    I retread back to a post by Ovinomancer adding onto a reply to myself by Aldarc (excellent posts by both of them) where Ovi speaks about intent. I wanted to make a point about this at the time, but life.

    As a DM when I find that I won't have the lexicon in the moment to provide the pazaz I desire during a social exchange in a game, I switch to 3rd person, and I do my best to describe what was said and how it was said. This is because I value the wordcraft and I really do not want to mess it up. When however, I have something prepped or inspiration grabs me, sure I spout out something hoping to impress/immerse the players. Importantly, the intent is always there you see, even if the execution does not always follow through.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manbearcat View Post
    So the Qallupilluit is quintessential bogeyman mythology.

    For bogeyman mythology to be thematically potent, it has to have some way to hook into the PC's childhood or folklore, otherwise, its just another creepy monster.
    Though sometimes, "just another creepy monster" - something new that the PCs (and players!) haven't seen or heard of before - is exactly what's required at the time. As in:

    DM rolls give a random encounter, DM quickly thinks to self: "Hmmm. Do I throw yet another monster at 'em that they've seen and beaten a hundred times before, or do I dream up something brand new right now that suits the surroundings? Yeah, let's go for something new..."

    "Your little sister was lost so many years ago but your mother's words echo in your mind nonetheless; 'look after her while we're gone or the Qallupilluit will take her.' The frozen forest gives way to clearing. The babe's soft cries give way to gentle parting water. A mask of sharp teeth and oily hair disappear with it."
    And it doesn't even have to have anything to do with someone's sister in order to make it a) a threat and b) interesting, if the DM does it right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hawkeyefan View Post
    Having said that, generally speaking, I find high levels of player narration to be annoying. I dont mind a bit, and I certainly like when players are engaged and talking about the situation. But when its a players turn and they start in with something like Recalling his days on the high plains of Valinor, the stoic ranger Aspar presses on, undaunted by the challenges ahead.... I want to smash my head into the table. It just often seems so self indulgent. Theres a time and place for incorporating backstory, you dont need to jam it in at every chance. Especially when other people are waiting to take their turn, too.
    Where I wouldn't mind some of this.

    Comes down to expected pacing, as so many of these things seem to end up doing: it's an open-ended game* with no set schedule for what adventuring has to be done by when; and if long-winded descriptions of what, why and how a character does something is what keeps (a) player(s) engaged, I'd say to the DM "Sit back, crack open a beer, relax, and let it happen".

    * - assuming a typical home game, rather than a con game or some other limited-time affair.
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  9. #1319
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riley37 View Post
    Was I entirely mistaken, in my theory that your OP was related to experiences in which GMs used pretentiously florid narration, as "icing" in a vain attempt to compensate for half-baked "cakes"?
    Yes.

    The OP was the result of two threads that were current at the time it was posted - one about boxed text, one about narration of action declarations. In the former thread, some advocated for boxed text argued that it is important for establishing tone/mood. In the latter thread, some critics of the idea that players should narrate their action declarations based their criticisms on an assumption that more evocative/"florid" narrations were going to get those players a bonus to their checks.

    My own view is that if a RPG system doesn't require players to narrate their action declarations - if it is purely mechanical moves - then that's probably a weakness of the system. But that doesn't equate narration with evocative description - it equates narration with engaging the fiction. And the flipside of that is the idea that at the heart of good GMing in a RPG is framing situations: the emotional heft of the RPGing situation is generated by the call to action and the invitation to respond as a protgaonist; not the evocative power of the narration.

    Quote Originally Posted by Riley37 View Post
    Have you accomplished the goals of your OP?
    I posted an answer to this, or a very similar question, upthread about a fortnight ago:

    Quote Originally Posted by pemerton View Post
    What about me? Do you mean, what did I hope to get out of the thread?

    One's never sure in advance beyond "interesting conversation". But the discussion about storytelling and various modes, driven mostly by @Aldarc and @hawkeyefan, has been interesting.

    @Hriston and @darkbard have helped refine my framing of my point. That's helpful. And also led it in the direction of "advice to GMs", which led to some fruitful discussions with @uzirath whom I've not engaged with very much before as a poster.

    And @Manbearcat has pushed with some challenging posts about pacing that I haven't replied to yet.

    Ultimately, the reason I post on a discussion board is to have discussions.
    Since then, there have been more interesting posts and profitable exchanges of ideas.
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  10. #1320
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    Quote Originally Posted by pemerton View Post
    at the heart of good GMing in a RPG is framing situations: the emotional heft of the RPGing situation is generated by the call to action and the invitation to respond as a protgaonist; not the evocative power of the narration.
    Thanks!


    What's at the heart of good playing in a RPG? Responding as a protagonist?

    Some of my favorite moments as a player, are times when I inspired another player to high-immersion inter-character RP dialogue. Those moments are worthwhile, in the context of a story in which the PC party is engaged in some worthwhile enterprise, so perhaps they depend indirectly on previously established protagonist response.

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