thread: 2009-05-07 : Explaining the Right to Dream

On 2009-05-11, Josh W wrote:

Other Josh, I haven't quite got your meaning yet (and vice versa perhaps); I wasn't really talking about "yay I won" either, but the victory would be the second half of some kind of tension/release structure, the tension part serving to force the player to listen and contribute. So to emphasise I'm not talking about victory in itself, imagine a game where the character is a misery, and has a miserable life. Suppose the player is told that a certain good thing will happen to their character, the player then has to find a way that their character can react to that situation while still being a misery. The challenge is set so that it can be done pretty easily if the player thinks about what has happened before, and the player sits up, thinks for a moment, and says that the character is annoyed that she now has to be nice to someone she hates!

Mission accomplished, the misery has succeeding in remaining miserable!

The difference is that the player could have said "she does blah miserably", instead they were required by the rules to recognise the threat, and use appropriate resources to resolve it, and in doing so they entered the world of the character, took a misery-eye-view for a moment.

Now I suppose that relates to your acting spy-ish, but it's only half way there; if they say "they are like a spy because they shoot people while wearing a tuxedo" and your thinking "but their shooting people up in a train station, that's not stealth!", then even though they might be engaged with the situation, and loving it, you will be put out. Now I've suggested before that if you somehow want to let that one go, either you chalk that up as a "genre" issue, you know, a genre that you are partially creating, and send your own tux enhanced fighters after him, and remember that this player is so not into stealth/facial recognition issues, or you add your own work-around, such as giving him a built in neuraliser in his tux! You know, the comic book style workarounds that mean that no-one recognises superman.

But you're right, there is a whole other field where that players requirement to fit to your dream means that they must tone down the 70s-bond and shift more into 80s-bond or something: Total creative freedom is often not compatible with collaboration, unless you already agree on stuff or just have non-intersecting interests.

There is also the idea that the players want to portray something and are not quite sure how, and that you can tell them how to portray their character "better" which I suspect is where the long lost "roleplaying skills" of the 80s resides! For me that rings more true as the challenge of dream rp than ooc postgame stuff, the creation of the content rather than the postgame reminisces. But that's probably because I don't play with your group; how do you do it?


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