thread: 2005-10-20 : The Fruitful Void
On 2005-10-28, Jon Hastings wrote:
Ok, but hopefully any well-designed game is going to be satisfying, so the sense of accomplishment and excitement that you're talking about aren't what you fill the "fruitful void" with. (Btw, while I think "fruitful void" is a really useful idea, I have a hard time talking about "filling it" with your "accomplishment" without snickering ).
In DitV, the void is where I, as a player, get to make a powerful thematic statement about faith, say. And when I play, I get a sense of accomplishment, excitement, etc. "That was a badass choice you made about Sr. Temperance!"
Now, in AD&D3e, the void is where I, as a player, get to make meaningful tactical decisions. And when I play, I also get a sense of accomplishment, excitement, etc. "That was a badass move you pulled off with that 2 Weapons Feat!"
So, Vincent brought up boardgames, which are probably key to understanding the "fruitful void" in relation to Gamist rpgs. In Sid Sackson's Acquire, for example, the arrows are made up of the tile-laying mechanic, the stock buying system, and the rules governing mergers (which is essentially the intersection of the tile-laying game and the stock buying game). The "void" in the game exists because the random element of the tile-laying game and the group psychology aspect of the stock buying game make it impossible for there to be just one correct strategy. This means on any given turn, I have the opportunity to make a meaningful tactical choice. And when I make good choices, I get a sense of accomplishment. And when I can see my overall strategy falling perfectly into place, I get a sense of excitement. But the accomplishment and excitement are what I get out of the void, not what I put into it.