On 2009-04-27, Emily wrote:
I've had this experience too. It is odd to feel the story drift off into space, and watch the mechanics keep pumping right along. It's not immersion that's being broken, the the fiction being lost. The fiction doesn't require immersion—feeling a character deeply doesn't have to happen, and rules can be as engaging any virtual experience.
I think if we'd simply written off Ars Magica's magic rules, letting ourselves develop a more intuitive approach, the game would have had better magic in it than it did.
We did do this eventually. Instead of looking at levels, we would ask eachotherquestions: what does it feel like to cast the spell, what form does it take, what goes wrong? Those were good things we did, I think.
Where "I am standing" when my NPC girl-friend tells another PC she's actually in love with him and I can maybe be seen (in which case she says it in front of my face) and maybe can't—in which case she doesn't—could mean a lot.
Ah. This is part of the reason why live play can resonate so strongly. The body is a cue, and everything about what you do in the play field "matters" all the time. Playing in the shared concrete space. :)
To my group, each of those points of fact - his youth, his house, his former master's status, his former home, his relationship with the grogs - was rich with implication.
This is important. How much are our mechanics representing what we need and really use in play? What do they point us at? I think we've come a long way in this respect, actually. But it would be an interesting exercise to look at a char sheet and see what you have been playing to and off of. What are the important bits?