thread: 2009-04-10 : A Moment of Judgment

On 2009-04-17, valamir wrote:

I've always assumed player 3 was the GM in these examples.  Let me ask it this way.

So you have player 3 / the GM making the call, always.

Is the GM making the call however he pleases?  Can he make the call because its the bottom half of the hour and he always turns to the left in the bottom half of the hour?  Can he make the call because last night he was drunk and saw pink elephants dancing in his head and that inspired him on how to make this call.

OR is the GM specifically instructed by the game rules to make the call based on what's most internally consistant at the time.

Because if the latter...then player 2 can still disagree with him on whether or not that call really was or wasn't internally consistant.

And if there's no rules based procedure for player 2 to follow when he feels that way, then the only thing he can resort to is social pressure...or just sucking it up and having his sense of the reasonable causality of the fiction violated (which is exactly the experience you don't want).

So what are the games instructions to the GM in terms of what standard to use when making the call, and what are the game's instructions to player 2 in terms of what he can do if he thinks the GM isn't living up to those standards?

That's the key...that to me is the heart and soul of good game design.  What can a player do when he thinks the GM (or another player) isn't living up to the expectations set by the game?

Having an answer other than or in addition to "just work it out" = good design.

Not having an answer other than "just work it out" = weak design.



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