thread: 2005-10-20 : The Fruitful Void

On 2005-10-22, timfire wrote:

I didn't design Dogs, Tim didn't design The Mountain Witch, by arranging things around a void. You arrange things around a group of people.

Yeah, when I wrote TMW, I didn't think, "How do I make this game be about Honor without actually using an Honor score?" Rather, I was very concerned with creating tension between the characters/players.

The solution in TMW is pretty simple: I gave everyone a need to stick together (Trust mechanics), while simultaneously giving everyone a reason to turn against each other (Fate). Conflicting forces = tension! The GM then uses bangs to highlight this tension, and the Background Questions are used to wind up this tension.

It was only as an afterthought that I realized that this tension revolves around the question of "how do I do right in the face of conflicting duties, responsibilities, & loyalties."

This discussion highlights a design principle of mine. I like to argue that if you want something to be important to the player, you have to give them choice and freedom over it. The idea is if you automate something (mechanically regulate it, leave it GM fiat, etc.), the players don't have to think about it, and thus won't care. Whenever you create a decision point in the design, players are forced to think about it, thus making it important.

I don't think designers need to worry about creating "a Void", but they do need to be conscious of all the decision points the players need to make.


This makes...
short response
optional explanation (be brief!):

if you're human, not a spambot, type "human":