thread: 2010-03-01 : Reliable vs Unreliable Currency

On 2010-03-02, jaywalt wrote:

This is one of my most favorite Anyway posts in a while.

I'm not sure unreliable currency is inherently dangerous or always unreliable. I mean, it's always present in X situation, right? So, if you're Eric (where "Eric" is code for a player that aspires to maintain every possible advantage), you just try to retain the high ground, all other things being equal.

The unreliable part of unreliable currency seems to be the degree to which it is negotiated and emergent, resulting from an SIS that any one player does not have total control over, rather than the relatively independent method of spending reliable currency and (barring some sort of OOC opposition) gaining an advantage.

And—this may be the dangerous part, I guess—if you're playing with Eric, you've just given him a mechanical incentive to bully the group into having an SIS that gives his character significant advantages. Whether he chooses to be an ass or not is another matter, but you've made fictional maneuvering a thing now, right? Which means that if your group doesn't have a shared understanding of how to negotiate the SIS (what Ben's calling "sportsmanship") then you may end up fucking yourself over.

I really doubt that there's a universal standard for sportsmanship. Just like how you can punch people in the face in hockey but not in soccer.

However, and Vincent really didn't get into this here, but if there are explicit methods (guidelines, procedures, etc.) for manipulating the SIS—such as the "moves" in AW—then I imagine that you can avoid some of the potential risk involved in incentivizing fictional maneuvering.  Like, when Eric declares he's going to acquire a machine gun, if there's a explicit way he has to do that, people can decide to react to it or not. If that's "just narration" until he marks the machine gun down on his sheet, I think we have a tendency to treat it as it's not "real," not worthy of focusing on as a point of interest in the game.


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