Steve Jackson Games Forums Gumshoe, its genus of RPGs, and distancing mechanics
 Register FAQ Calendar Mark Forums Read

05-04-2013, 12:53 AM   #31
ak_aramis

Join Date: May 2010
Location: Alsea, OR
Re: Gumshoe, its genus of RPGs, and distancing mechanics

Quote:
 Originally Posted by whswhs I'm not sure what that means. Can you offer examples? Bill Stoddard
Clearest case is in Houses of the Blooded and Blood and Honor:

You generate a dice pool; you set aside some dice to turn into "how many things you get to say," and those set aside dice are called "Wagers." The dice you roll don't roll for success; you roll to decide who determines success and gives a "Yes, and..." or "Yes, but..." statement first. High roller determines success or failure of the task, and each of their wagers is one turn at the "Yes, And..."/"Yes, But...", while everyone else, in descending order, gets 1 statement per two wagers. You have to roll at least a 10 to keep any dice at all...

It's highly mechanical, but it drives control over the story to different people (and forcibly shares it, too).

Example:
Tokisama is addressing Nobusan and Keokisan. Tokisama wants to convince them that he isn't sheltering their enemy, Kohito. Kohito, who is really hiding under the castle, is listening in.

Toki has 6d in his pool; he sets the task as "I will convince them that Kohito is not in my village." Holding them in his hand, he silently pulls 1 aside as a wager, leaving 5.

Nobu has 8 dice, after spending an honor. He Rolls 4 of them, setting 4 aside as wages.

Keoki has 7 dice, and sets aside 2 wagers.

Kohito has but 3 dice... He has to roll at least 2 of them. Desperation, but, he'll try 2, and wager 1.

Toki gets a thoroughly bad roll of 13. He's not the high roller, so he keeps his 1 wager, because you always keep at least one.
Nobu having a bad dice day, rolls a 9. He loses all wagers for failing to roll 10+
Keoki rolls a 20. He keeps his pair of wagers.
Kohito rolls a 10. Just Barely.

Keoki decides that the Daimyo Tokisama has in fact convinced them. He then says, "We are convinced, but I'm hearing something under the floor."

Toki, thinking fast, "And the guards come in, saying, 'Kohito has been spotted! He just went under the hall!'"

Kohito, "And I have gotten out the other side unseen."

Keoki adds, "Unseen, but not uneard... I'm charging through the wall after Kohito."
Different narrativist games hadnle narrative control differently, but B&H is one of my favorites with the right group. Anything someone wants to challenge can be handled by the wager mechanic. Combat uses it. Mass combat uses it. Social conflict and mental powers.

05-04-2013, 11:49 AM   #32
whswhs

Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Lawrence, KS
Re: Gumshoe, its genus of RPGs, and distancing mechanics

Quote:
 Originally Posted by ak_aramis You generate a dice pool; you set aside some dice to turn into "how many things you get to say," and those set aside dice are called "Wagers." The dice you roll don't roll for success; you roll to decide who determines success and gives a "Yes, and..." or "Yes, but..." statement first. High roller determines success or failure of the task, and each of their wagers is one turn at the "Yes, And..."/"Yes, But...", while everyone else, in descending order, gets 1 statement per two wagers. You have to roll at least a 10 to keep any dice at all... It's highly mechanical, but it drives control over the story to different people (and forcibly shares it, too).
So what you mean is that you play, not to determine the outcome of an attempted action, but to determine who gets to narrate the outcome of the attempted action? And as a result, necessarily, the narration by a player is not the input into the dice roll, but the output from the dice roll; the odds on the dice roll are not influenced by the story the player has told, but by the player's tactical decisions as to how to mobilize available dice?

It seems to me that the closest I've seen to that in game mechanics may have been Hero Wars. Is that anything like what you're describing?

Bill Stoddard

05-04-2013, 03:01 PM   #33
Agemegos

Join Date: May 2005
Location: Oz
Re: Gumshoe, its genus of RPGs, and distancing mechanics

Quote:
 Originally Posted by whswhs So what you mean is that you play, not to determine the outcome of an attempted action, but to determine who gets to narrate the outcome of the attempted action? And as a result, necessarily, the narration by a player is not the input into the dice roll, but the output from the dice roll; the odds on the dice roll are not influenced by the story the player has told, but by the player's tactical decisions as to how to mobilize available dice? It seems to me that the closest I've seen to that in game mechanics may have been Hero Wars.
That's a tolerably exact description of FATE.
__________________

Decay is inherent in all composite things.

05-04-2013, 03:32 PM   #34
whswhs

Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Lawrence, KS
Re: Gumshoe, its genus of RPGs, and distancing mechanics

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Brett That's a tolerably exact description of FATE.
I don't think it's to my taste, but that's really neither here nor there. But it seems odd to me to describe that sort of game system as "narrativist."

When I hear "narrativist," I think of the narrative itself as having a determinative roll in play. You look at the situation your character is in, and at their options, and you ask what they would do, and narrate whatever comes to you, and that narrative determines what dice you roll and what outcome they determine; or, perhaps, the narrative itself determines the outcome. But in this approach, it seems that you determine what dice to roll by pure tactical calculation, and you don't narrate what your character does till after the dice roll. I think that I would describe that, not as a narrativist style, but as an attempt at narrativism made by a hard core gamist who has heard about narrativism but not experienced it.

Bill Stoddard

05-04-2013, 03:44 PM   #35
Peter Knutsen
Banned

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Europe
Re: Gumshoe, its genus of RPGs, and distancing mechanics

Quote:
 Originally Posted by ak_aramis Different narrativist games hadnle narrative control differently, but B&H is one of my favorites with the right group. Anything someone wants to challenge can be handled by the wager mechanic. Combat uses it. Mass combat uses it. Social conflict and mental powers.
Where's the character sheet? How can a player choose to create a character who is good at certain things, in such a way that a pattern of specific competence is observable in-world during the campaign?

E.g., the equivalent to purchasing Stealth-16 in GURPS, so that your character can be seen to be better at sneaking, by the other characters who live in the world, than a character who has Stealth-12 or Stealth-10?

05-04-2013, 04:09 PM   #36
Agemegos

Join Date: May 2005
Location: Oz
Re: Gumshoe, its genus of RPGs, and distancing mechanics

Quote:
 Originally Posted by whswhs I don't think it's to my taste, but that's really neither here nor there. But it seems odd to me to describe that sort of game system as "narrativist." When I hear "narrativist," I think of the narrative itself as having a determinative roll in play. You look at the situation your character is in, and at their options, and you ask what they would do, and narrate whatever comes to you, and that narrative determines what dice you roll and what outcome they determine; or, perhaps, the narrative itself determines the outcome. But in this approach, it seems that you determine what dice to roll by pure tactical calculation,
I take it that when you use "tactical" here you are referring to manipulation of game mechanics by the player, judging whether to spent or hoard a token or point etc., not to a choice of a course of action for the character in its conflict. E.g. "spend the Fate Point on an attack and hope for such decisive effect that I don't need it to defend before my next non-combat Compel" rather than "move to the left of the guy on the left so that the other is busy manoeuvring for one vital second".

Quote:
 and you don't narrate what your character does till after the dice roll. I think that I would describe that, not as a narrativist style, but as an attempt at narrativism made by a hard core gamist who has heard about narrativism but not experienced it.
I feel the same and have said something very similar. The Forgite Indie "narrativist" games are mostly attempts to gamise narrative as older crunch-heavy games attempted to gamise simulation. They are not much like what narrativist players like to do.
__________________

Decay is inherent in all composite things.

05-04-2013, 04:44 PM   #37
RogerBW

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: near London, UK
Re: Gumshoe, its genus of RPGs, and distancing mechanics

Quote:
 Originally Posted by whswhs When I hear "narrativist," I think of the narrative itself as having a determinative roll in play. You look at the situation your character is in, and at their options, and you ask what they would do, and narrate whatever comes to you, and that narrative determines what dice you roll and what outcome they determine; or, perhaps, the narrative itself determines the outcome.
I think that the term has been overloaded, in part for reasons stated earlier in the thread. Another approach that's often called "narrativist" is what was mentioned near the start of this thread, the game in which the preferred story has a defined form and there is mechanical benefit to actions which encourage the played story to take that form.

05-04-2013, 05:26 PM   #38
Agemegos

Join Date: May 2005
Location: Oz
Re: Gumshoe, its genus of RPGs, and distancing mechanics

Quote:
 Originally Posted by RogerBW I think that the term has been overloaded, in part for reasons stated earlier in the thread. Another approach that's often called "narrativist" is what was mentioned near the start of this thread, the game in which the preferred story has a defined form and there is mechanical benefit to actions which encourage the played story to take that form.
I had many arguments on r.g.f.a in which my interlocutors insisted that that that was what I must mean by any reference to "story", "plot", or "narrative", in spite of every attempt I made to clarify that it was not.
__________________

Decay is inherent in all composite things.

05-04-2013, 06:28 PM   #39
whswhs

Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Lawrence, KS
Re: Gumshoe, its genus of RPGs, and distancing mechanics

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Brett I had many arguments on r.g.f.a in which my interlocutors insisted that that that was what I must mean by any reference to "story", "plot", or "narrative", in spite of every attempt I made to clarify that it was not.
If we're talking about gaming theory here, and someone responds to a discussion of narrative by bringing up Narrativism, or GNS, or anything from that intellectual tradition, I make a point of saying that I'm talking about "narrativism" or "narrative" and not about "Narrativism," and that I'm not competent to discuss "Narrativism." There's a reason for that.

Bill Stoddard

05-05-2013, 01:49 AM   #40
ak_aramis

Join Date: May 2010
Location: Alsea, OR
Re: Gumshoe, its genus of RPGs, and distancing mechanics

Quote:
 Originally Posted by whswhs So what you mean is that you play, not to determine the outcome of an attempted action, but to determine who gets to narrate the outcome of the attempted action? And as a result, necessarily, the narration by a player is not the input into the dice roll, but the output from the dice roll; the odds on the dice roll are not influenced by the story the player has told, but by the player's tactical decisions as to how to mobilize available dice? It seems to me that the closest I've seen to that in game mechanics may have been Hero Wars. Is that anything like what you're describing? Bill Stoddard
Hero Wars comes close, Fate also. Both are still far less focused upon narrative control than are Wick's games (HotBlooded, Blood & Honor), but both focus upon the metagame resources driving the story to some degree, and giving players narrative control...

One might say that Narrativist games have the metagame elements allow the players to sieze the GM's role in whole or part for some chunk of time.

 Tags gumshoe, trail of cthulhu

 Thread Tools Display Modes Linear Mode

 Posting Rules You may not post new threads You may not post replies You may not post attachments You may not edit your posts BB code is On Fnords are Off [IMG] code is Off HTML code is Off Forum Rules
 Forum Jump User Control Panel Private Messages Subscriptions Who's Online Search Forums Forums Home Illuminati Headquarters     SJ Games Discussion     Daily Illuminator     Forum Feedback and Help Warehouse 23     Warehouse 23 General Discussion     Warehouse 23 Digital     Pyramid Munchkin     Munchkin 101     Munchkin     Munchkin Collectible Card Game     Other Munchkin Games Roleplaying     Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game         DFRPG Resources     GURPS         GURPS Resources         GURPS Character Assistant     Transhuman Space     Traveller     The Fantasy Trip         The Fantasy Trip: House Rules     In Nomine     Roleplaying in General     Play By Post Board and Card Games     Car Wars         Car Wars Old Editions     Ogre and G.E.V.         Ogre Video Game         Ogre Scenarios     Board and Dice Games     Card Games     Miniatures The Gnomes of Zurich     The Industry     Conventions     Trading Post     Gamer Finder

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:11 PM.

 -- Default Style ---- Classic Forum Colors Contact Us - Steve Jackson Games - Privacy Statement - Top