thread: 2012-12-20 : Positioning: Retroactive

On 2012-12-21, rabalias wrote:

There's lots of ways that the "obvious difference" (i.e. that the game situation only exists in our heads) can express itself:

- Mismatch of views about what is happening right now in the current scene. I say "I punch him in the face", and the GM says "no, he's a kinda giant worm thing, he doesn't have a face". Or in the mirror example, I say "cool, I look and see who is on the other side of the mirror" and the GM says "you're on the shiny side, dude, you can't do that".

- Mismatch of views about what is possible in this situation. I say "I punch him in the face" and the GM says "there's no way you can punch him in the face; you're just way too clumsy". Or in the mirror example "I throw a chair through the mirror". The GM says "one-way mirrors are always made of hardened glass; the chair would just bounce off".

- Mismatch of views about past actions. I say "I shoot him in the face" and the GM says "you never mentioned bringing a gun" or "you had to get through security so you couldn't have brought a gun". In the old Sebastienne example from the last post in this series, I say "I use angel wings to go to Sebastienne's dining room" and the GM says "you've never been there". I reply "oh, I thought I could have slipped in at some point".

- Mismatch of views about intent. I say "I shoot him". The GM says "cool, his head explodes like a watermelon". I say "no, I only wanted to wing him - shoot him in the knee or something".

...some of these are a product of an ambiguity in the world as described so far; I never said where I would shoot him, so maybe the GM isn't wrong to say I shot him in the head - depends on the etiquette of the situation and the protocols of the game we're playing. Some of them are product of a lapse of reasoning on the part of one of the participants; maybe the GM mentioned there was security on the doors and I just forgot. Sometimes it's ambiguous which situation we're in (maybe I just assumed the GM would say something if security detected my gun).

I've seen some pretty horrific mismatches in the past, where scene upon scene turns out to be predicated on a misunderstanding. They can be tough to unpick.


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