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

On 2009-05-14, Jesse Burneko wrote:


I think I have a way to phrase this that might help.  Vincent can confirm.  Vincent brings up timing which I think is clouding the issue.  This is really about cross-player communication.

Yes, the core point is that building on previous established fictional facts is better.  Which is a big DUH.  But the thing is System can promote this by requiring cross-player communication to function.

If the rule is, "Invent something, get a bonus" then it takes work to enforce the "invent" part.  If no one steps up to enforce it then you can let it slide because YOU invent it and YOU benefit from it.  The mechanic works just fine if you say, "I'm using an improvised weapon, so I get a +3"  Someone then has to step up and say, "Heh!  So.... what weapon?"  And then you say, "Oh, it's a bottle."  And then someone says, "and what are you doing with it?"  And you say, "Oh, I'm hitting the guy over the head with it."

I see this a lot in Mouse Guard with the Helping Die.  Someone is using their Pathfinding skill and someone says, "I'm helping with Cartography" and I have to step up as GM and remind them, "And what does that look like?"  It gets exhausting and indeed tends to start slipping later in play.  That's why Vincent has been saying, "It takes discipline."

However if the rule is, "identify something, get a bonus" then it requires that something has to have been communicated from one player to another.  You can't put your own girlfriend into danger for a bonus, someone ELSE has to put your girlfriend into danger which you then recognize and reap the bonus.  Communication has happened.  If you can't see that your girlfriend is in danger then communication hasn't happened.

That's how Humanity works in Sorcerer.  You do stuff and it has to have enough detailing for the GM to see it and say, "Humanity Check!"  But it doesn't need to be the GM.  It just has to be across players.  Player A makes a contribution which causes Player B to execute a mechanic.

Does that make more sense?



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