D&D 5E [+] Explain RPG theory without using jargon

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overgeeked

B/X Known World
"If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself." ―Albert Einstein

GNS. Story...Somewhere. Impossible Things. It all comes across as nonsense hidden under a thick layer of jargon specifically designed to keep the whole thing obscure and for insiders only.

So, this thread. If you're a fan of or think you understand any particular kind of RPG theory, here's your chance to explain it to people without that ever-present stifling layer of jargon.

A few ground rules. 1. No jargon; use plain English. 2. No tautologies. 3. Don't quote; use the Feynman Technique*. 4. Use examples from 5E.

* The Feynman Technique is, basically, this: "Without using the new word which you have just learned, try to rephrase what you have just learned in your own language."

For our purposes, this means explain things in your own words, without quoting someone else. It's great that Ron Edwards has thoughts, but put forward your own. If you've digested and understood his theories, then you should be able to explain those theories using your own words, not his.

As for the examples, the best way to help a lot of people understand things is to provide concrete examples referencing something they're familiar with. The most popular RPG is 5E, so use that as your example. If 5E doesn't work for your theory, explain what would need to change to make it fit your theory. Not in-depth subsystems and design, rather explain it in the simplest, most straightforward way possible. If you add X, it pushes the game towards theory Y. If you changed Z, it pushes the game towards theory A. Etc. And importantly, explain why that change does what you're claiming.

So how about it? Any takers?

ETA: Adding a [+] to keep the thread positive.
 
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iserith

Magic Wordsmith
I think with GNS and other Forge waffle, the jargon is the point.

By throwing down terms like "story now" or "ooda loop" or "deprotagonization," you get the benefit of looking like you're in an elite in-group of RPG theory crafters as well as interject interminable stories of that one time you played Burning Wheel or Prince Valiant when everyone else in the thread just wants to know how to implement passive Perception well or whatever.

EDIT: In before the [+].
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
I think with GNS and other Forge waffle, the jargon is the point.

By throwing down terms like "story now" or "ooda loop" or "deprotagonization," you get the benefit of looking like you're in an elite in-group of RPG theory crafters as well as interject with interminable stories of that one time you played Burning Wheel or Prince Valiant when everyone else in the thread just wants to know how to implement passive Perception well or whatever.
Thanks for the reminder to include a [+] in the title. It would be great to have this conversation without the bickering and finger pointing.
 


Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
Some people really like to play where play follows an understood set of cause and effect. Where the system generates this kind of play. This ranges a wide gamut, from a system that is very precise and details and step by step in generating outcomes, to systems that stress more abstract concepts like following a story or adherence to genre tropes. This is Simulationism.

Some people really like to play where achievement is important. They're less concerned with a clear cause-effect relationship but more towards clear procedures that can be played hard. Challenge is important. This is Gamism.

Some people want to play to find out, where the focus of play is one the character. Where there's not a planned story or setting that dictates outcomes, but rather that these serve only to provide situation that asks questions of the characters. That play generates spontaneously from the last moment of play, and stays lasered in on the characters -- what they want, who they are, and discovering the truth of these things through the testing of play. This is Story Now.

All people can like multiple ones of these, but you can't do them at the same time -- one has to be the priority in a given moment of play. You can toggle in play between them, but this leads to inconsistency in play. For the record, most 5e play is the abstract end of Simulationism, often called High Concept Sim, where the concerns of the story are the cause/effect model used for play under direction of the GM.
 


niklinna

satisfied?
are those real terms form the forge?
OODA loop is from military theory. "Deprotagonization" is from Paul Czege, and is mentioned in the glossary on The Forge, but I don't know if he brought up the concept in that context or if they adopted it. "Story Now" is right out of one of Ron Edwards's essays, to my knowledge.

Edit: Fixed typos.
 
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OODA loop is from military theory. "Deprotagonization" is from Paul Czege, and is mentioned in the glossary on The Forge, but I don't know if he brought up the concept in that context or if they adopted it. "Story Now" is right out of one of Ron Edwards's essays, to my knowledge.

Edit: Fixed typos.
I have heard story now, and I could break Deprotanization down (although I'm sure there is more too it) but Ooda Loop really seemed like nonsense... so wow thanks
 

So how about it? Any takers?

ETA: Adding a [+] to keep the thread positive.
I have never been to the forge, I don't even pretend to understand half there jargon, but I will try.

RPG theory of GNS is just a break down of weather the game itself is more important or the story that the game creates is more important.
 

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