On 2009-06-26, David Artman wrote:
VERY interesting and thought-provoking post and thread. You're making me have to rethink everything about ASCII @HACK by saying far more clearly what one playtester said like this: "It's clever, I dig it, but why would I role-play if it's really all about resource min-maxing and instantiating things for dice?" Even then, I know that he meant mostly "creatively describe actions" and possibly even "act in character;" but what he was trying to really get at is what you've explained above.
Color me impressed. Again. Must get boring to hear that, eh? ;^)
As a potential illuminating aside, I am happy to realize that I will not have to address this hardly at all for GLASS. That's my real baby (I'm reluctant to even birth it, let alone watch when people change it!!) and I read the above and though, "Oh, shit, is GLASS like I__E?" And I think it isn't, and for an interesting (to me, maybe to you) reason: it's LARP rules. I may well have to go to the RPG.net LARP board and do some linking to here, because you point out one of the major reasons that LARP isn't the same as table top.
There's is no need for details and explanations of how you are resolving a conflict. You swing your weapon and hit or not; you maneuver and duck and weave; you incant (or not) your spells or powers, throw packets or spread arms or point; you discuss tactics and plans. It's all live, you see and do all that; and GLASS in particular is designed to be the most "invisible" system it can be while supporting the most (multi-)genre conventions. As such, it can't (well, OK, shouldn't) become mired in system wankery or "roll playing."
Enough crowing, though—I just wanted to point out this distinction. Hmm... and come to think of it, it's not even really true of all LARPs—non-contact systems tend to turn into turn-based, step-by-step, phased task resolution (especially in a mass battle) where everyone's more concerned with resource management and winning at roshambo (and getting it the fuck over with) than remaining in character or stunting or creative details.
You want detail and creativity? Go to a boffer LARP! It's also better exercise than 12oz curls and Cheetos munching. :^)