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

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I think discussing GNS without discussing edwards is a bit like discussing RPGs without discussing D&D. He’s the 800 lbs gorilla in the room.
There are fruitful comparisons to be made between Edwards and Freud, I think. Each a pioneer of a field that, prior to their efforts, was an unsystematic grab-bag of assorted musings. Each contributed a great deal...and also made things, in some ways, more confusing, and more specific but still very abstruse. And each contributed enormous and unnecessary controversy.

Psychology and psychiatry advanced by an enormous degree due to Freud's work, and some of the theoretical and technical underpinnings of his work still inform the fields today, even though many of his positions (like the Oedipus complex) are...pretty thoroughly deprecated. I think it's quite fair to say that if we hadn't had Freud, our frameworks for understanding things like personality and human growth and development would be significantly less-developed than they are. If, on the other hand, Freud had done the same work but with fewer extremely controversial claims, perhaps those same theories would be better-developed than they are today. We'll never really know.
 



hawkeyefan

Legend
I'm going to try one more time, since I really think that there might be a failure of understanding here. Just so there is no misunderstanding, I just want you to imagine one of us, recasting the Edwards comments and saying that people who use Forge terms or GNS are literally brain damaged, and that they behave similarly to a twelve-year old victim of sexual abuse. The damage of the Forge, like the damage inflicted on a childhood victim of sexual abuse, can never be undone*, and at best we can hope to make "functional repairs" to the people who have had the Forge inflicted upon them.

*To be clear, this is not my opinion, but that is in Edwards' quote.

I may read that and think "ugh that's a crappy take" or "wow that's poorly thought out and worded" or whatever other criticism I may have of it. But it wouldn't affect me in the sense of being insulted. I may read it and be a bit annoyed. I might even respond and share my thoughts on it.

Look at this thread. People have said some things I disagree with or that I find dismissive or rude. But I don't feel insulted by anyone. Perhaps I have a higher threshold for insult or something, but yeah, I don't generally get insulted by things I see people say on the internet.

EDITED TO ADD: Somehow left this part out.

I would still try and engage with it and see if it had a point of some sort. Take Scorcese's comments about Marvel films not too long ago. While I ultimately disagreewith Scorcese, I don't think his comments were entirely without merit. So when he made them, I remember thinking "ugh I don't know about that" and then I considered them, and the films in question and what they do, and I considered their souce material of comic books, of which I am a huge fan. I think his comments were valid, even if I disagree, and I think they sparked what was an interesting discussion about art and film.

I could not imagine someone saying that, no matter how internet awesome and edgelord-y that person thought they were being. Nor would I want to be put in the position of defending that or minimizing that- because I wouldn't.

I also differ on the value of apologies.

Yeah, I'm not defending it. It was a stupid way to make his point.

Minimize, though.... I don't know. He compared it to actual harm, and most folks seem to think that was poorly done. I think comparing what he did to something that inflicts actual harm is just as wrongheaded. I don't think that I'm minimizing it as much as other people are blowing it out of proportion.

I think an apology would have been lost and those who choose to take offense to his comments would continue to do so.

I'm against that as well; I just think that perspectives will differ as to where the issue is occurring. Which, again, likely means it might be an issue of perspective.

Sure, that's absolutely to be expected.
 
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There are fruitful comparisons to be made between Edwards and Freud, I think. Each a pioneer of a field that, prior to their efforts, was an unsystematic grab-bag of assorted musings. Each contributed a great deal...and also made things, in some ways, more confusing, and more specific but still very abstruse. And each contributed enormous and unnecessary controversy.
you can site sources OTHER than Freud though...
 




you can site sources OTHER than Freud though...
Imagine you are someone trying to study psychotherapy in 1910, at the founding of the field.

Who else do you cite?

There isn't anyone. Because the field is literally only about ten years old.

Edit: In the case of the Forge, it's closer to about 20 years. Edwards first began his stuff in the early 90s, as I understand it, but did not get out his final form essays until the late 90s/early 00s.
 
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Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
Doesn’t the whole “instability is required for narrativism” thing kind of put paid to the idea that the GM is controlling the story there? It seems like Narrativism offers an alternative to trying to have the GM control the story and the players control the characters, rather than a way to make it actually happen.
See article, "bass playing."
 

Imagine you are someone trying to study psychotherapy in 1910, at the founding of the

Who else do you cite?

There isn't anyone. Because the field is literally only about ten years old.

Edit: In the case of the Forge, it's closer to about 20 years. Edwards first began his stuff in the early 90s, as I understand it, but did not get out his final form essays until the late 90s/early 00s.
it's not 1910... in the interanet age you are telling me that no one else is studying this?
 


Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
You're suggestion is intended to be ridiculous, but there is a non-ridiculous version of this criticism and that is that it is perfectly possible to design and play a solo RPG. And in fact, certain people have done so. So then if Sociality is not an aesthetic of play that drives a group to play together, you'd think that they'd be equally happy and derive equal enjoyment from choosing to play a solo RPG. But that's clearly not the case. So I don't think you can dismiss that a RPG tends to be a social experience that drives a group to meet together for a long period on a regular basis from the reasons that an RPG is fun, because you certainly could have an RPG that doesn't do that.

More subtly, you could have an RPG where the mechanics didn't drive group collaboration on problem solving or story creation or shared experience. You could have an RPG where players typically set and watched each other play each taking a turn doing their own thing, something that tends to happen for example when parties become heavily split. So it isn't really tangential to the experience of enjoying D&D that splitting the party is such a bad idea there are memes about how bad it is. Having mechanics that drive the party to work collaboratively or risk failure upholds the desires of the player that enjoys the game because it is Social in a way that each of the three pillars of GNS just don't. So to claim that Social enjoyment is tangential to the game is to so far misunderstand RPGs that you don't even notice how it can be baked into the mechanics and processes of play (or not).
It's not tangential, it's orthogonal. If you actually look at the Big Model, Social is the outside box that exists before you even decide to play. Deciding to play is inside that consideration. Creative agendas are inside that consideration. GNS doesn't ignore this, it's predicated upon it. Whatever answer you have to the social space, it's done before you get to creative agenda.
 


I played it because I like dressing up slutty and/or goth and standing around looking moody, smoking Djarum Blacks.

…Oh, wait you’re probably talking about the tabletop version.
You certainly have a good grasp of the essentials of Vampire!

And speaking of Vampire, I like it too. I haven't played the tabletop version for ages, but I was pretty impressed by it and other WW games back then. I mean, sure, I had my issues with them, and I would probably find more if I went back to them now, but they were far cry from incoherent mess. Compared to many other games of the era (such as D&D as it was back then) the design was very sleek and elegant, and the subject matter fresh (though of course it is rather passé now.)

If I had more gaming time, WW stuff definitely would be high on my list to play. I'd actually love to run very classic Vampire like it was 90s again.
 

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