thread: 2008-09-24 : That Reminds Me

On 2008-09-29, Ron Edwards wrote:

Is there any useful distinction to be drawn between "cool," and "cool enough?"

I ask in order to understand your point better, Vincent. I would like to agree with your first post/quote hands-down, but I look back on my role-playing history and am not certain it'd be honest to do so.

Some friends were over yesterday and we were talking about "traits," based on the discussion Markus began at the Forge. We talked about how there was an ongoing group-based, but GM-centric standard for when abilities could be used to augment other abilities. "When relevant and fun" seems like a good guide, but what does that really mean?

Maura had been notorious in that game for justifying a ton of abilities to use to augment the main one, and so was the typical target for that standard (whatever it was). She referenced one point in play when we all threw up our hands and cheered, though, at her choice of abilities when her character was buried in a huge wave of earth. I can't remember what the basic ability she used was, perhaps something like "tough" or similar, but she decided to augment it with another ability, "can talk for hours." "Yes!" we all shouted, and part of the pleasure of the moment came from a bit of frustration at how, until that point, Maura had been such an ability-grubber. This time it was so cool and worked so perfectly and was so *right* for that character (a voluble sort).

And the point being that our collective reaction was part of the system. It wasn't just about her enjoying the coolness of her choice, and it wasn't just about us happening to think it was cool too. That confluence of mutual coolness-recognition was part of what *allowed* her to use that ability! (As opposed to a collective groan for trying to shoehorn in God-knows-what in a previous conflict.)

So, um, there's something there. Something about the shared quality of the coolness that's beyond the automatic "we like the same stuff" that we did share in that group. And something about how that sharedness is *judged* at the table.

I think that it has a lot to do with whether and when I enjoy playing Dogs.

Best, Ron


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