Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour? - Page 134
  1. #1331
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    Go to the zoo. The kangaroos are your players. If they don't notice that you are DMing a game for them, then you win!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Riley37 View Post
    Go to the zoo. The kangaroos are your players. If they don't notice that you are DMing a game for them, then you win!
    On the internet, no one knows you already are a Kangaroo.

    Also? If you can win, doesn't that completely remove the entire point? I do not want the exhilaration of winning!

    The game should be a boot in the face of the players, forever.

  3. #1333
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    Orc and Pie, but without the orc and the pie?

    Have players write Level 20 5E D&D characters, give them a mission briefing, have an NPC wizard send them to the Meta-Astral... which is uninhabited; and see how far they go, before they realize that the sandbox only contains sand (and the hazards from the table in the DMG).

    If they spend almost the entire session optimizing their level 20 characters, then they only have the remaining time for a short window of non-opportunity.
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  4. #1334
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riley37 View Post
    Orc and Pie, but without the orc and the pie?

    Have players write Level 20 5E D&D characters, give them a mission briefing, have an NPC wizard send them to the Meta-Astral... which is uninhabited; and see how far they go, before they realize that the sandbox only contains sand (and the hazards from the table in the DMG).

    If they spend almost the entire session optimizing their level 20 characters, then they only have the remaining time for a short window of non-opportunity.
    Mmmm. I like this.

    Not only the banality of the play, but the bonus of crushed expectations, with an added soupcon of wasted time spent in meaningless character creation!

    I think we are getting somewhere! Or nowhere. Definitely ... where.

  5. #1335
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lanefan View Post
    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..."

    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.
    Couple things:

    1) In the spirit of this thread, I was trying to demonstrate that the framing of the creature is hierarchically more important than the words used to depict it (though again, they matter...they’re just lower in the hierarchy).

    2) If you aren’t thematically framing a “bogeyman” as a bogeyman, then it seems pretty apt to point out that the situation the PCs are confronted with would be “bogeymanless”!

    3) In your last sentence, what do “threat”, “interesting”, and “does it right” mean here in terms of confronting the PCs with a bogeyman trope? Are you just saying that you can present bogeymen in “bogeyman-neutral” ways that are still interesting threats? If so, that’s a pretty straight-forward claim. Of course you can. But the framing will have an extremely consequential impact on both the gamestate and on players’ emotional entanglement.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manbearcat View Post
    Are you just saying that you can present bogeymen in “bogeyman-neutral” ways that are still interesting threats? If so, that’s a pretty straight-forward claim. Of course you can. But the framing will have an extremely consequential impact on both the gamestate and on players’ emotional entanglement.

    I am so going to regret this.

    *sigh*

    At a certain point, isn't this just an issue of what we are going to say constitutes "framing" and what constitutes "narration/performance?"


    I mean, it's pretty difficult to do any framing without narration (in most TTRPGs under discussion- LARPing and certain non-standard RPGs would be different).

    If you want to say that your framing is evoking emotion because, well, to quote you-

    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.

    So this is actually the perfect example where a GM's deftness of framing is hierarchically the apex currency in the purchase of a great gaming moment.
    But that's also using narration (quality thereof) to evoke an emotional response - here, look at your example-

    "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."
    To the extent you are delving into prior tropes, you are making an allusion dependent on your skill and your a priori knowledge (hopefully) of the player's knowledge base.

    Which is a classic literary technique, used in literature, film, and other media.

    So, again, ouroboros. Just using different words to express the exact same concepts.
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  7. #1337
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    @lowkey13

    I think you’re more or less saying what I said in my initial post in this thread:

    Framing and understanding of dramatic device (arc composition and pacing, tropes) are fundamentally tethered. Insofar as they are (and they are), if one wants to fold “understanding and deftness in deployment of dramatic device” into “literary”, then we’re going to have a (self-imposed imo) communication impasse.

    My take on the lead post is the distinction being drawn is with respect to specific skill in word usage (exposition and elocution or oratory skills broadly...or scripting and then speaking).

    Again, that is on the hierarchy, but, IMO, much lower down than conflict/situation framing is (which, again, includes what I wrote above).

  8. #1338
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manbearcat View Post
    @lowkey13

    I think you’re more or less saying what I said in my initial post in this thread:

    Framing and understanding of dramatic device (arc composition and pacing, tropes) are fundamentally tethered. Insofar as they are (and they are), if one wants to fold “understanding and deftness in deployment of dramatic device” into “literary”, then we’re going to have a (self-imposed imo) communication impasse.

    My take on the lead post is the distinction being drawn is with respect to specific skill in word usage (exposition and elocution or oratory skills broadly...or scripting and then speaking).

    Again, that is on the hierarchy, but, IMO, much lower down than conflict/situation framing is (which, again, includes what I wrote above).
    Right, but again, what you wrote above necessarily is engaging. There is no easy way to put this, but there seems to some sort of dichotomy that some people have in mind, wherein they are trying to draw a circle around certain playing styles ("Oh, that language is high-falutin'," or, "Oh, you're using a funny voice") which is both demeaning to many people, and also unnecessarily creates a hierarchy due to a fundamental misunderstanding of "literary" and "quality."

    Let's look at your example of just plain ol' framing again-

    "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."
    So, let's look at what we have in terms of "framing"-

    Imagery
    Epigraph
    Allusion
    Foreshadowing
    Diction
    Alliteration


    ....should I continue? There's a LOT there. Arguably, you're even using chiasmus. You are certainly engaged in synechdoche.

    And that's the point. Framing requires narration. Narration requires word choice. Word choice can either be good or bad (in terms of quality) for the job.

    However you want to deal with that ... does it matter?

  9. #1339
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    This is so much more entangled than I ontrmdrf. EDIT - (Lol how about INTENDED. My phone autocorrected to ontrmdrf. Makes sense).

    Ok, let me pose a simple question.

    Is it possible to be very good at conflict framing (a) and resolution (b) yet be mediocre in words usage on the journey from a to b?

    Is the inverse possible (poor at framing and resolution but beautiful prose/oratory)?
    Last edited by Manbearcat; Tuesday, 11th June, 2019 at 08:37 PM.
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  10. #1340
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manbearcat View Post
    This is so much more entangled than I ontrmdrf.

    Ok, let me pose a simple question.

    A simple question? I PREDICT TWO QUESTIONS! Muahaahahahahahahah!

    Is it possible to be very good at conflict framing (a) and resolution (b) yet be mediocre in words usage on the journey from a to b?
    No.

    Is the inverse possible (poor at framing and resolution but beautiful prose/oratory)?
    Yes.



    ....wait, did you want an explanation?

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