2005-02-03 : Archive 167
P.S. I also want to talk about your "what makes a character a protagonist" bit. I think you're missing something.
First I remind us what's a protagonist: a protagonist is a passionate character locked into conflict across a moral line with fit opposition. A protagonist begins at a turning point (creating a dynamic, unstable situation) proceeds as the situation escalates to crisis and resolution (through the opposed actions of the protagonist and the opposition), and ends when the situation resolves at last to stability.
Now, there are three ways to relate to a character.
Way one: as player. The character is yours, your creation. You dedicate yourself to getting the character, in order to best have her do what she'd do, in order to show her best to your fellow players, in order to say what you have to say.
Way two: as fellow player. You're a fan of the character but you don't own her. You groove on the character and dig her and hold your breath when she comes on screen because she's SO COOL. You want to get her but you rely on the player to show you what's what.
Way three: as GM. Like the player, you're dedicated to getting the character, but your goal is totally different. You want to make her face everything she doesn't want to face. You want to test her, provoke her, push her as far as she'll go.
The player is dedicated to her integrity as a character. The GM depends on her integrity as a character. They both have the same desire - to see her shine - which is only possible when they work together. (The fellow players have the same desire too, and serve as backup and cheering section for both sides.)
The GM is the person who identifies what decisions the character needs - needs! - to confront, and who puts them in her way. The player is the person who decides what the character does. A player and a GM, working together, create a protagonist. If either fails to do the job, the character's just a made-up person, not a protagonist at all.
This can be quite subtly arranged! What I'm suggesting is that you look at your gaming group and say to yourself, "who's really my character's GM?" Maybe it's you yourself.
The Czege Principle says that when one person is the author of both the character's adversity and its resolution, play isn't fun. My experience concurs. I'd go so far as to say that the GM/player split (in this new narrow sense) is the reason I roleplay instead of writing fiction.
1. On 2005-02-03, Vincent said:
2. On 2005-02-03, Vincent said:
3. On 2005-02-03, Chris said:
4. On 2005-02-03, Ben Lehman said:
5. On 2005-02-03, Vincent said:
6. On 2005-02-03, Ben Lehman said:
7. On 2005-02-03, LordSmerf said:
8. On 2005-02-03, Ben Lehman said:
9. On 2005-02-03, Ninja Hunter J said:
10. On 2005-02-03, Matt said:
11. On 2005-02-03, Phil Levis said:
12. On 2005-02-04, Vincent said:
13. On 2005-02-04, Brennan said:
14. On 2005-02-04, Emily Care said:
15. On 2005-02-04, Ben Lehman said:
16. On 2005-02-04, Vincent said:
17. On 2005-02-04, Paul Czege said:
18. On 2005-02-04, Ben Lehman said:
19. On 2005-02-04, Eric Finley said:
20. On 2005-02-04, Eric Finley said:
21. On 2005-02-04, Vincent said:
22. On 2005-02-04, Emily Care said:
23. On 2005-02-04, anon. said:
24. On 2005-02-04, Vincent said:
25. On 2005-02-04, Emily Care said:
26. On 2005-02-04, Ben Lehman said:
27. On 2005-02-04, Eric Finley said:
28. On 2005-02-04, Vincent said:
29. On 2005-02-04, Eric Finley said: