Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour? - Page 81
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  1. #801
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aldarc View Post
    It seems like they are narrative endeavors or storytelling endeavors. I don't necessarily think that the word "literary" applies when we are talking more about story-craft or fiction-craft than the crafting of literature, even if we apply the technical sense of pertaining to written words.
    It's fair to pull out narration or storytelling as components of literary endeavour, perhaps as necessary but not sufficient. However, I think your focus here on the format sidesteps the question a bit -- would this be "literary" in a different format? Would tge sane oresentations in a play-by-email or play-by-post or play-by-chat format change you evaluation because it's now a written work? IE, is the main differentiator the format of the work?

    If so, then it would be interesting to note this. And interesting to follow this into written adventures ir home-brew planning as potentially literary endeavors.

    FWIW, I see RPGs have having literary potential, but not inantely requiring it. As with most artistic efforts, it's hard to define. Hence, in a thread premised on discussing whether RPGs meets an artistic classification, there is strong disagreement.
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  2. #802
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    Quote Originally Posted by Umbran View Post
    Let's be even-handed about it - after this much argument, nobody is apt to convince anyone about things, are they? I mean, really, wouldn't that have happened already? Isn't everyone pretty much dug in and un-moving now?

    Folks went something like 70 pages before you started addressing the definition in earnest. 70 pages.

    Don't you all think that the emotional attachments to arguments - to lines drawn in the sand, were pretty much set by that point? I mean, folks had already decided if rpgs were, or were not, literary, some time ago. Nary a one is going to admit to wrongness and shift at this point, are they?

    Consider whether bull-dogging on this one is constructive, folks.
    But Umbran .... someone on the internet .... IS WRONG.

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  3. #803
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ovinomancer View Post
    It's fair to pull out narration or storytelling as components of literary endeavour, perhaps as necessary but not sufficient. However, I think your focus here on the format sidesteps the question a bit -- would this be "literary" in a different format? Would tge sane oresentations in a play-by-email or play-by-post or play-by-chat format change you evaluation because it's now a written work? IE, is the main differentiator the format of the work?

    If so, then it would be interesting to note this. And interesting to follow this into written adventures ir home-brew planning as potentially literary endeavors.

    FWIW, I see RPGs have having literary potential, but not inantely requiring it. As with most artistic efforts, it's hard to define. Hence, in a thread premised on discussing whether RPGs meets an artistic classification, there is strong disagreement.
    A big part of that will likely depend on the play mode in which RPGs are performed, which will shape how scenes can be framed. But at most this would mean that RPGs can be literary but that they are not inherently so. But I think that it is important that we recognize how the crafting of story and narrative will differ through TTRPGs than in other media forms.

  4. #804
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manbearcat View Post
    Is there a collection of, say, 15 words that can impel the gravity (say, better depict the steep angle of descent down the Falling Action roller coaster) better than any other collection of 15 words, where both collections of words conveys the situation appropriately (appropriately here meaning, inform players sufficiently that they can make intuitive action declarations for their PCs).
    For my part, the answer to this question is yes, the collection of words that best invites the players to action, directly and explicitly, is the collection of words best suited to convey the situation. In such a way, wordcraft of the "literary" sort articulated by @pemerton can impede direct and explicit communication, for it puts artfulness (including, perhaps, subtlety, implication, and other techniques thay may mask clarity for effect) to the fore.

    In this way, I see my position aligning pretty closely with that of pemerton and @Bedrockgames.

    Quote Originally Posted by Manbearcat View Post
    One last post.

    We're all familiar with the axiom:

    "Its not what you say, its how you say it."

    We are social animals. We are evolved to respond to inflection, tone, countenance.

    But I don't agree with the first part in the slightest, in any arena, but especially in the conversation of TTRPGs.

    Obviously its "what you say" in TTRPGs.

    But, there is also an aspect of "how you say it."

    Then, there is the significantly important aspect of GMing; "how deftly you integrate it (within the particular game's paradigm)."

    I think these three components are what is in play in this conversation. For my mileage, each are important, but there is a hierarchy of import. Personally, I'm putting the hierarchy as follows:

    1) How deftly you integrate it.

    2) What you say.

    3) How you say it.
    I think I agree with your hierarchy here. Of course there is a role for "how you say it." But that role is, to my taste, secondary (or tertiary here ) to the situation as invitation to action. This invitation to action is what separates TRPGs, in my opinion, from other artistic endeavors: In the talk of venn diagrams, this is the part of the circle that is not shared by other artforms with which it overlaps.
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  5. #805
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxperson View Post
    The only binary here is you. To suggest that in order to be engaging in wordcraft you have to be like Mercer is binary. Wordcraft is on a sliding scale.



    Sure, and in casual conversation, people still pick and choose words, which is engaging in wordcraft. Even if you don't put effort into it, you are engaging in it.
    But then we are talking about degree. And you are the one asserting if there is any wordcraft, or any literariness, then something is that thing. But I've already explained my interest in both is minimal. It would be misleading to describe my GMing style as wordcraft or at aiming for literary quality in its descriptions. I think most rational people would agree based on what I've been saying. But you are playing word games by saying if there is a trace of something presence, then that is how the thing is described. Look I am something like 1/16th Native American, but I wouldn't describe myself as Native American. Or to use another example. Like all people, I have some anger in me, and get angry form time to time. But I wouldn't describe myself as an angry person. Do you understand that the degree matters here? You are trying to win the argument by claiming the whole scale for yourself.
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  6. #806
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxperson View Post
    LOL I assure you, that was just normal conversational language, without an particular care or effort. If I was "pulling word games"(wordcraft) with that normal conversation, then you do it as well with your normal conversational language.
    Max, I think you would do well to actually listen to what I am trying to say, rather than just assume you are always right and always smarter than me. You don't have to agree with me. But I am making valid points, and this is a case of exactly the kind of "X is inescapable' that I am talking about.
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  7. #807
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxperson View Post



    Sure, and in casual conversation, people still pick and choose words, which is engaging in wordcraft. Even if you don't put effort into it, you are engaging in it.
    That isn't wordcraft

  8. #808
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxperson View Post

    I do understand and accept it. Nothing I've said has indicated otherwise. I just think you are unaware that despite the lack of care and effort, you are still engaging in wordcraft to a degree.

    Just look at my example above. My wife and I were having a normal conversation about our dogs. We chose the word spray. We could have chosen spotting, or marking, or peeing, but we didn't. We didn't put any particular effort into it, and we didn't particularly care, but we did choose one word over the others and use it, because that's what people do in conversations. We still used wordcraft, despite the lack of effort and care.

    Again, this is just semantics at this point. But the larger point, whether we call it wordcraft or not, is if we have a scale of wordcraft: I am way, way down on the bottom. You may describe that as still engaging in wordcraft because in your world everything is always everything. I wouldn't describe it as such. We have disagreements over what wordcraft means and how words function, that we frankly are not going to resolve in this thread.
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  9. #809
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxperson View Post
    The only binary here is you. To suggest that in order to be engaging in wordcraft you have to be like Mercer is binary. Wordcraft is on a sliding scale.

    Sure, and in casual conversation, people still pick and choose words, which is engaging in wordcraft. Even if you don't put effort into it, you are engaging in it.

    I do understand and accept it. Nothing I've said has indicated otherwise. I just think you are unaware that despite the lack of care and effort, you are still engaging in wordcraft to a degree.

    Just look at my example above. My wife and I were having a normal conversation about our dogs. We chose the word spray. We could have chosen spotting, or marking, or peeing, but we didn't. We didn't put any particular effort into it, and we didn't particularly care, but we did choose one word over the others and use it, because that's what people do in conversations. We still used wordcraft, despite the lack of effort and care.
    Max, you have a tendency to be rather liberal in your definitions and technically you are not wrong but by broadening the use of wordcraft to such a degree you make its value in this debate somewhat meaningless. You applied the same thought to literary endeavour and came up with your grocery list example.

    In this very post I had to technically wordcraft, that does not mean I consider my post to be some sort of literary endeavour.

    You can afford to be a little more conservative and fair in the terminology used. Don't go full progressive on us.
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  10. #810
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bedrockgames View Post
    And I think this is fine. If you find the game to be a literary endeavor in this way, and if you are a GM in the style of Matt Mercer, then that is what you should do. I am not saying it can't be these things. All I am saying is it does not have to be these things. Matt Mercer's style of GMing isn't the only way, or the best way: it is just one way to it.
    Bold emphasis mine.
    I agree with you, but here is the rub, @pemerton does not as per his OP. He does not even make that concession that someone could engage in a literary endeavour for their RPGing.

    This is the issue @lowkey13 has been highlighting for a while.
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