Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour? - Page 45
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  1. #441
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    Quote Originally Posted by pemerton View Post
    OK. In that case I think it's fairly clear why two GMs might present the same situation with the same degree of clarity and at one table get buy-in while at the other table it falls flat.

    Or in other words, the answer to the question you posed here seems fairly straightforward:

    Those players who don't find it interesting are probably the ones for whom it is not interesting.
    Or, which was my point, there are numerous reasons (including how it was presented) why it could happen outside of lack of clarity...

    EDIT: It's not interesting because I don't find it interesting doesn't really speak to why one doesn't find it interesting.
    Last edited by Imaro; Tuesday, 21st May, 2019 at 04:48 AM.

  2. #442
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    Interesting that no one talked about the Vengaurak on the hill. After all, itís a situation and itís just as clear as 14 kobolds.

    So. There is a Vengaurak on that hill. What do you do?

  3. #443
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bedrockgames View Post
    That they are dancing is more about content than description. The thing that makes the scene more interesting is that the kobolds are dancing for some reason, not how the GM describes the dance
    It's not, or at least it's not entirely content. Dancing is a description of what the kobolds are doing up on the hill. Dancing is also content. This brings me back(again) to the point I made pages ago. Both qualitative description AND content are both necessary to make an interesting scene. One without the other is going to be dull.

    Also not sure why my posts keep including that quote
    I think it has something to do with multiquoting. @Zardnaar was driving @Morrus crazy with it in a thread recently. Maybe one of them could help you figure out how to stop quoting it.

  4. #444
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    Quote Originally Posted by pemerton View Post
    To elaborate on my question, then: upthread @Imaro seemed to assert, or at least very strongly imply, that whether or not a situation is interesting is a player-independent state of affairs. Do you agree?
    I don't agree with that, no. However, I've seen how quality presentation can turn something uninteresting into something interesting. I like rocks, minerals and gemstones. My wife couldn't care less, except for when they are in jewelry. Once, though, we were at a museum where someone was doing a presentation on minerals. He was really great with his presentation and actually hooked my wife into paying attention and showing interest. At least until it was done and we moved on to something else.

    What do you think the GM should have regard to in coming up with situations? @Lanefan, in other threads over many years, has posted that the GM should always author scenarios without regard to which players and/or PCs will engage with them. Do you agree?
    I think that the players should be kept in mind. The DM should not necessarily be tailoring the scenario to the player/PC, but depending on the situation in game, it can be appropriate to do so. I also think that the scene, while still keeping the players/PCs in mind, should not have to be engaged. If the players decide not to bit the hook and want to do something else, they should absolutely be able to. If they have a goal in mind that prompts the creation of a scenario, that scenario should absolutely have regard to the players/PCs. They're the ones that are initiating things, so by default it will concern them.

    Upthread @Hussar has complained about players who just want the GM to "roll up the plot wagon". What do you think the players have a duty to bring to the table? For instance, do you think the players have a duty to be enthusiastic about the situation the GM presents?
    I run a sandbox type game. A sandbox requires proactive players. Reactive players just sit in a sandbox like lumps. In a sandbox game, the players have a duty to bring ideas and goals for their PCs to the table in order to drive the game forward.

    Not at all far upthread @Bedrockgame posited a contrast between GM as storyteller/entertainer and GM as facilitator/adjudicator. Do you think this is a useful contrast? If so, which side of it do you favour? If not, why not?
    I don't find it terribly useful, no. The DM is all of those things to varying degrees, depending on the DM and style of game.

    These are some of the matters, most of them raised in this thread, that I think might be more interesting to discuss than the meaning of the word "literary".
    Maybe they are more interesting, and maybe they aren't. It really depends on who is interested in what.
    XP Imaro gave XP for this post

  5. #445
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hussar View Post
    Interesting that no one talked about the Vengaurak on the hill. After all, itís a situation and itís just as clear as 14 kobolds.

    So. There is a Vengaurak on that hill. What do you do?
    Kill it and take its loot.
    Laugh lowkey13, Satyrn, Hussar, uzirath laughed with this post

  6. #446
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxperson View Post
    It's not, or at least it's not entirely content. Dancing is a description of what the kobolds are doing up on the hill. Dancing is also content. This brings me back(again) to the point I made pages ago. Both qualitative description AND content are both necessary to make an interesting scene. One without the other is going to be dull.



    I think it has something to do with multiquoting. @Zardnaar was driving @Morrus crazy with it in a thread recently. Maybe one of them could help you figure out how to stop quoting it.
    I couldn't fix it. It stopped after an update I think it's a board technical glitch.
    XP Maxperson gave XP for this post

  7. #447
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    Quote Originally Posted by Imaro View Post
    It's not interesting because I don't find it interesting doesn't really speak to why one doesn't find it interesting.
    Well, I did put it the other way round: the players don't find it interesting because, for them, it is not interesting/

    Eg maybe the situation is something about kobolds on a hill, and the players (in general; today; because of the PCs they're playing; some combination of factors; etc) simply aren't engaged by that sort of situation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hussar View Post
    Interesting that no one talked about the Vengaurak on the hill. After all, itís a situation and itís just as clear as 14 kobolds.

    So. There is a Vengaurak on that hill. What do you do?
    I don't know what a Vengaurak is. I know, therefore, that the stock play is to Magic Missile it. (Or am I confusing gazebos for darknesses?)

    But more seriously, as well as not knowing what a Vangaurak is I also don't know what game I'm playing, what character I'm playing, and what makes this Vengaurak on this hill relevant to anything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pemerton View Post
    Well, I did put it the other way round: the players don't find it interesting because, for them, it is not interesting/

    Eg maybe the situation is something about kobolds on a hill, and the players (in general; today; because of the PCs they're playing; some combination of factors; etc) simply aren't engaged by that sort of situation.

    I don't know what a Vengaurak is. I know, therefore, that the stock play is to Magic Missile it. (Or am I confusing gazebos for darknesses?)

    But more seriously, as well as not knowing what a Vangaurak is I also don't know what game I'm playing, what character I'm playing, and what makes this Vengaurak on this hill relevant to anything.
    But, that's entirely the point.

    We talk about the kobolds on the hill and we don't need a whole lot more than that, because, well, frankly, we're all experienced gamers and we know what a kobold is. At some point in our gaming history, someone has described a kobold to us. Probably several someones over the years. So, now, we can basically take it as read that we know what a kobold is and what we should do if we see them.

    But, a Vengaurak? Well, you don't know what that is. So, someone needs to explain to you what it looks like and what it wants. Now, here's two descriptions:

    1. You know that cockroach monster at the end of Men in Black? That's more or less what you see.

    2. Born of the blood of the glutton Titan Gaurak, "this hideous horse sized creature appears to be a twisted hybrid of beetle, mantis and maggot. It stinks of carrion and blood"

    Now, the second description is a direct quote from the Creature Collection Revised for Scarred Lands. Which do you think would be more effective and needed at the table? Which do you think would be more likely to draw some sort of visceral reaction from the players? Which do think is the better description? After all, both get the description of the creature across pretty accurately.

    Note, for reference, here's a Vengaurak:


  9. #449
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hussar View Post
    Interesting that no one talked about the Vengaurak on the hill. After all, itís a situation and itís just as clear as 14 kobolds.

    So. There is a Vengaurak on that hill. What do you do?
    You describe it. I don't think anyone is saying you don't describe things or that you can't describe things better or worse. We are just saying we not striving for a description that meets literary standards of excellence, nor are we trying to sound like we are the author of a novel. We are also not too hung up on the descriptive aspect. I will attempt a description. If the players don't get it, they can press for more specific details. The conversational aspect of the description is the key thing that makes it so different from a book. It is also why I don't use boxed text when I run modules. Basically we are saying we are not trying to heighten the mood or atmosphere through our descriptions in he way that a novel writer does. It isn't the focus, it isn't something we consciously work toward. Like i said before, I keep it very conversational.

  10. #450
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxperson View Post
    It's not, or at least it's not entirely content. Dancing is a description of what the kobolds are doing up on the hill. Dancing is also content. This brings me back(again) to the point I made pages ago. Both qualitative description AND content are both necessary to make an interesting scene. One without the other is going to be dull.
    I would argue that dancing is what they are doing. It primarily comes from my sense of what the kobolds are all about, what they are doing, what they are like as characters....and I would file that under content. Saying they are dancing is the most barebones and efficient way for me to convey that. Am I describing what they are doing? Yes. But what they are doing wasn't arrived at by description. And I don't think my description (how it was delivered and crafted) was particularly important to any level of interest the dancing generates---as much as the fact that they are dancing. I am not saying we don't need to describe things. But I do think the qualitative aspect is very important. Again, it is a conversation. I really don't worry about that part of it. I am certainly not treating it like its literature.

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