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Old 08-28-2013, 03:13 PM   #11
Kromm
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Default Re: Things we get out of roleplaying

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post

I'm with you on rules and competition, but for me the make-believe worlds are crucial. I want to envision the make-believe world, or to explore someone else's vision of one, and I want it to be interesting in its own right, and I want it to be the focus of everyone's attention.
Please note that what I said was highly conditional. Adding emphasis:
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If the other gamers are obsessed with [...] make-believe worlds [...] at the expense of being friendly, then I couldn't care less about the game.
If the fascination doesn't become an obsession and if friendliness doesn't suffer, then I'm all for make-believe worlds!

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In other words, it's kind of like belonging to a square dance club or a chess club or a writers' group: The play of the game is a thing for me, not simply a mode of socializing, and the social interaction is subordinate to the thing.
I know that there are people who do this, but it hasn't been my personal experience in life (and I'm not that young). Every hobby or activity I've been involved with has quickly crystallized into friendship groups, and I find that no pastime can hold my interest if I'm not friends with a few other participants. My latest interest, tango, already has me showing up as much to chat with the people as to dance, and when we talk, it's more likely to be about entertainment, travel, or life experiences than about steps. That's pretty much a mirror of everything in my life. Only work enjoys a strict firewall, because I'm a strong believer in professionalism – and I avoid such firewalls in my downtime precisely because they leave a bad "unpaid work" taste in my mouth.

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But the socializing takes place after the game and is kept somewhat separate from it.
I'm certainly unable to do that. At best, I can put socializing on an equal footing with, say, make-believe worlds. But without the socializing, I probably wouldn't bother the stick around to hear about the worlds. Then again, as I've said many a time around here, I'm an allistic extrovert, which appears to be a minority temperament in the gaming hobby.
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Old 08-28-2013, 03:40 PM   #12
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Default Re: Things we get out of roleplaying

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I'm certainly unable to do that. At best, I can put socializing on an equal footing with, say, make-believe worlds. But without the socializing, I probably wouldn't bother the stick around to hear about the worlds. Then again, as I've said many a time around here, I'm an allistic extrovert, which appears to be a minority temperament in the gaming hobby.
Probably quite relevant. I'm definitely an introvert—I used to think a strong introvert, until I contemplated some friends who make me look like a social butterfly—but I find social interaction as such an energy drain, work more than pleasure. Having a topic to focus on make it more a pleasure and less an effort.

Bill Stoddard
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Old 08-28-2013, 05:34 PM   #13
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Default Re: Things we get out of roleplaying

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As a GM, my honorable mention goes to inspiring the players to tell a good story. I don't want to tell stories – that aspect of GMing has never interested me. Rather, I like to set scenes, invent conflicts, and establish themes, and then see what the independent actors known as "player characters" do that turns the situation into a tale worth remembering. I consider it a good game session when I show up with a vague idea that popped into my mind in the shower and leave with notes on four or five hours of collaborative storytelling to write up as a recap.
That's #1 for me.

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for me the make-believe worlds are crucial. I want to envision the make-believe world, or to explore someone else's vision of one, and I want it to be interesting in its own right, and I want it to be the focus of everyone's attention. The value of interacting with that particular group of people comes from their sharing the desire to be involved in that particular make-believe.
And that's #2.


A few months ago it came up in conversation when a friend of mine was complaining about his wife to ask what a person really gets out of life, what the payoff is. Is is solving a thorny analytical problem, or having one's advice accepted and made real in a program, or seeing the smiles of the children who have not be maimed in car crashes because of ones contribution? Is it painting, or seeing one's picture finished, or the recognition one gets in a successful exhibition, or the experience of discussing your artistic goals and the extent to which you achieved them with fellow-artists after the show? Or is it the very fine single-malt Scotch one buys with the income earned from being an economist or an artist?

I thought about this after the conversation. For me, the pay-off is playing with ideas among people who think as well as I do but differently.

I do a large proportion of such playing on these forums.
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Old 08-29-2013, 07:57 AM   #14
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Default Re: Things we get out of roleplaying

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The top thing I get, whether I'm a player or the GM, is an excuse to take a block of x hours away from work, household tasks, working out, formal social obligations, paying bills, visiting the doctor, shopping, etc. to sit in a room and be casually social with friends.
It's certainly not the way I work. I like to socialise, certainly, and I don't want to be in games with people I don't like, but when I'm gaming the game comes first. I also do boardgaming, and wargaming, and record a podcast, and host barbecues, with many of the same people I role-play with -- and perhaps as a result of that I don't feel such a strong need for a social component within the game session. (And yes, I'm quite likely to be the guy who says "let's get back to the game" when the chat has diverged a bit.)

To put it another way: if socialisation came first, I wouldn't be role-playing as much, because I can get more socialisation per unit time with other types of activity.
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Old 08-29-2013, 10:59 AM   #15
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I also do boardgaming, and wargaming, and record a podcast, and host barbecues, with many of the same people I role-play with -- and perhaps as a result of that I don't feel such a strong need for a social component within the game session.
That makes sense, though I suspect that it's still a matter of temperament. The fact that I socialize with the people with whom I game makes it more likely that I'll regard a game session as time to socialize. That's how my brain works: the fact that I associate those individuals with social activity guarantees that seeing or speaking to them will trigger my desire to socialize. Then again, I'm one of those annoying people who will, after meeting you at a casual party, forever after interact with you in a familiar manner unless you specifically push formality.

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(And yes, I'm quite likely to be the guy who says "let's get back to the game" when the chat has diverged a bit.)
I must admit that I am very often the person who creates the necessity to say that . . .

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To put it another way: if socialisation came first, I wouldn't be role-playing as much, because I can get more socialisation per unit time with other types of activity.
If you regularly steer gaming gatherings back to the game, then your point is unassailably sound. As I do not – and indeed, must often take the blame (such as it is) for diversions from the game – there's about as much socialization as gaming during the average session chez moi.



All of which is heartening to me, as it demonstrates that "gamers" aren't this easily labeled homogeneous group, but an interesting cross-section of people.
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Old 08-29-2013, 01:55 PM   #16
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Default Re: Things we get out of roleplaying

For me, when playing, it is the opportunity to lose myself in another character. Quite fun, especially when playing against "type" -- i.e., exploring a character archetype I've never played before. It can be quite fun. And it is rarely about the specific abilities so much as the fantastic situations that said character(s) can involve themselves in, especially the risks they can take often for little gain.

As a GM, I enjoy world building considerably, as well as coming up with interesting NPCs, scenarios, scenes, etc., for the PCs to interact with. And I love being surprised by clever PCs, or having my players "take charge" of an adventure and move off in a direction I hadn't anticipated. Those are some of the most rewarding experiences.
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Old 08-30-2013, 08:28 AM   #17
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Default Re: Things we get out of roleplaying

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What specific events and results in a game do you especially enjoy?

I started thinking about this because of the latest Parkour thread in the GURPS forum, which baffled me. I can see why it might be a useful ability, but some of the commenters seemed to want it as the centre of character design, the defining aspect of the character. There was something there I wasn't getting in terms of the rewards of the game.

Things I like these days include: Playing the character(s) and thus thinking as someone else to some degree for a while. Getting things done in terms of goals or a mission. Doing things "neatly" by ingenious methods or just seeing a simpler way to get the job done. Using less violence or destruction than the obvious way, if that's possible.

What do you most like to get out of a game?
Much as you say-

Acting, being someone else;
improvising rapidly and consistently;
trending towards the achievement but never 'finishing' the tale, as it's as long as the characters' life;
defeating evil by pure-hearted trickery rather than violence;
outflanking the GM in a an amusing and character-consistent way.

This has, interestingly, modified a character of mine until he's the 'watch out for the nice ones' character, as TVTropes puts it.
Some quotes from him (and those who first said them, natch):
'Well, I am the nice one...'
'I really hate to lose my temper. People tend to die.'
'You either die a hero, or live to become the monster... so...'
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Old 08-30-2013, 08:38 AM   #18
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Default Re: Things we get out of roleplaying

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snip
A few months ago it came up in conversation when a friend of mine was complaining about his wife to ask what a person really gets out of life, what the payoff is.
snip
Or is it the very fine single-malt Scotch one buys with the income earned from being an economist or an artist?

I thought about this after the conversation. For me, the pay-off is playing with ideas among people who think as well as I do but differently.

I do a large proportion of such playing on these forums.
A Chinese philosopher once wrote that the best thing in life is the moment that comes when the meal is cooked, put in the bowls, you sit down at the table with friends and loved ones, look at them and the food... that moment, just before you eat.

I feel RP'ing covers a lot of that ground. Then with good munchies handed around... :)

Some think it's later, with 'the winning.'
I must disagree, I'm afraid.
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Old 08-30-2013, 11:00 AM   #19
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Default Re: Things we get out of roleplaying

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A Chinese philosopher once wrote that the best thing in life is the moment that comes when the meal is cooked, put in the bowls, you sit down at the table with friends and loved ones, look at them and the food... that moment, just before you eat.

I feel RP'ing covers a lot of that ground. Then with good munchies handed around... :)

Some think it's later, with 'the winning.'
I must disagree, I'm afraid.
I can get behind that completely. There is also a fine moment after the game session – often days, weeks, months, or even years after – when you swap "war stories" about the game and everybody grins. Or when someone who wasn't in the group at the time overhears, asks for the long version, and appears as amused by the tale as he or she might have been by something more professionally written. I definitely love that part.
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Old 08-30-2013, 01:06 PM   #20
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A Chinese philosopher once wrote that the best thing in life is the moment that comes when the meal is cooked, put in the bowls, you sit down at the table with friends and loved ones, look at them and the food... that moment, just before you eat.
It varies from person to person. Also, we aren't brought up to examine our lives and isolate what it is for us. Considerable self-examination, thought, and frank discussion may be required to achieve a just formulation. If we are fortunate enough to have a partner in life then, I submit, it is very important to discuss the matter with him or her.

The examination can be intensely personal; most of us might prefer not to share it with the public or with casual gaming buddies. It helps to think about it, though.

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