thread: 2006-01-17 : More Character Co-ownership

On 2006-01-19, Alex Fradera wrote:

What Christian says resonates with me. Here's a thing I'll say from his shoulders. I'll use "other-contribution" to mean an act of co-ownership (inserting a relationship into another player's character), just as a stand-in term.

If other-contribution contradicts the established facts 'out there' in the story, clearly problems may emerge (which is not to say that an interesting game design couldn't make hay out of such situations).
Other-contribution could also be a problem if it jars with the feel/genre of the game people wish to be playing. If I'm trying to play a gritty game about real people with tough decisions, while all the while circus performer, MI5 spy and ninja are being inserted into my characters background, there may be a point where I'd want to call a halt and address this.

But really, this complaint isn't about messing with the character - it's messing with the story. It should apply just as much when another player contributes something to her character that breaks the tacit genre/feel. If we're trying to play "real people, tough decisions" then your circus-ninja-spy contributions should be as problematic no matter whose character they're being applied to. Otherwise, it suggests each player enjoys a set of fiction that centres round their character and only marginally overlaps with other characters.
1) you make me a circus-ninja-spy
2) you make you a circus-ninja-spy
Here's my claim:
the degree to which 1) is more problematic than 2)  =  the degree to which a shared story ISN'T happening.


This makes XP go "Yes!"
And as I said in marginalia above, this comes up once we move from "this character is my pawn in 'winning' this game" mode to "we're all creating a story together" mode. But people have a hard time making that transition completely; that's why we call it "baggage," I suppose.

This makes AJF go "My return to gaming is Forge driven..."
after a long hiatus, so my standard gamer baggage is luckily lighter (I may be carrying other stuff). BTW, as a general restatement of the circus-n-s stuff, how does this sound? "The extent to which changes to my character matter more to me than changes to your character is the extent to which we are NOT involved in collaborative fiction."

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This reminds AJF of Following this up at home...