thread: 2009-05-13 : Now where WAS I...

On 2009-05-14, Christian Griffen wrote:

That's the point, though, Callan.  Some calls are obvious and don't require judgment, as long as all people involved are rational.  A rule like "when your character bashes in a window with bare hands, the character takes 1 point of damage" doesn't need a GM.  Every rational person will be able to tell when someone in the fiction of the game does this.

A problem with GM-less games and these kinds of rules is that the same people who have the authority to establish the fiction are the ones whose characters benefit from the rules regarding the fiction.  That is, in a GMed game, the GM says "There's a hill" and the player says "Aha, I use it to get the high ground."  In a GM-less game, the player simultaneously says "There's a hill, and I use it to get the high ground."  So players in a GM-less game have a strong motivation to let the fiction be influenced by the rules—that is, we get left-pointing arrows rather than right-pointing arrows.

The same is true for Universalis, Ralph.  Sure, justifying the use of a trait looks a lot like using the fiction to trigger a rule.  But because every player in Universalis has the same authority as to the fiction, there's at least a temptation to establish the fiction in a way that will let you use your traits.  That's just not possible in a GMed game.


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