On 2009-04-08, Brand Robins wrote:
Just so. Also, as I was talking with someone else somewhere else (because all things Vincent will spread the good word through the net, and lo I say unto you the field is ripe and ready to harvest...) and I said the following about this discussion:
"The other part of it I think I can illustrate with an example of AP between Dogs and IaWA.
I've this one player whose characters are often established types—they have pull and influence in the culture and politics of a setting. He had a Dog like this and an IaWA character like this. They didn't have a lot else in common, but they had enough that it lead to two quite parallel conflicts.
In both situations there is another character in the setting who accuses their character of wrong doing, going to the sheriff or the territorial authority. The characters, rather than trying to escape or talk the cops out of arrest, go along with it, go in for questioning, and then use their influence to turn the chargers around on the accuser.
In the IaWA conflict the character started off Covertly and For Myself, and rolled the dice. From then on, those where his dice, no matter what. Several things changed as we went forward, and the life of a little girl who might be sold into slavery came into the conflict. The PC at this point started acting more With Love and Directly—but that didn't change the dice, it didn't have mechanical impact. The fiction had changed, but there was no feedback from the changed fiction to the mechanics we were using.
Similar situation in Dogs. Character starts off Talking and with a relationship "My Brother is In the TA 2d10" or something like that. As we get into the situation things start to shift around, and the character's brother starts to try to shift blame onto one of the other PC Dogs. All of a sudden the way the character is approaching the conflict changes, he starts using his honest trait and his I'm a Dog relationship—and those dice get rolled into the conflict. Now the dice on the table have changed to reflect a change in the fiction.
The difference in feeling between the two was an increasing level of abstraction and distance between what we're doing in the "game" level of the play and the "fiction" level with IaWA, where Dogs kept the two more tightly linked. (Though not completely tightly linked, as Dogs traits get rolled into a pool and the dice don't necessarily go directly into the conflict at that moment.)
So, when you're looking for the mechanics to reflect and shape the fiction, and the fiction to shape and reflect the mechanics (which I don't think all of us are looking for in every game), a system with more "right arrows" where the fiction changes the dice at the table will help keep things moving more in syncopation than a system that has arrows going mostly one way."