2006-01-10 : Pulling Coplayers In

Here's a point of view to bring to playerful play: Mo on pulling.

What if you were to arrange a game so that its push rules were all within the bounds of traditional character ownership, but its co-own dynamics were all pull?

So that it's not that I get to reach in and fiddle with your character, but that you open up pieces of your character that just demand that I fiddle with them?

1. On 2006-01-10, Mo said:


Here's an example: I played a zealot in an Exalted game that was defined by her system of belief (the one I talk about over on Fair Game in The end of the game). However, I handed the keys to the GM that allowed for complete transformation of character by revealing, subtley in game and explicitly out of game that the entire mountain was built on a faultline so great that it would make the San Andreas one look like a crack in the sidewalk.

It didn't really accomplish anything, but not for any reason that says it couldn't work. I didn't have the language about what I was doing then that I have now and the trad mode in which were playing subtextually denied the GM's authority to take advantage of the information, even though what I was saying was: "Take advantage of this. Exploit it. Bring the Mountain down."

I've always been fasinated with the literary insistance of the tragic flaw and how it relates to RPG characters. I'd to see, or maybe make a game someday where the tragic flaw is explicitly identified on the character sheet, and the whole idea of the game is to trigger it artfully in play. To some extent, that's part of what Brand and I are doing in 1000 stories.


2. On 2006-01-10, Mo said:

Damn, you got me excited, so I forgot what else I meant to say!

Most of my experience with that kind of pulling only ever really has been with the GM because most players don't often respond to it (because they're trained not to?). I'd be very interested in seeing what would happen if that became the point. Some games give the Player entry to it (like Polaris' Mistake) but I'd really like to try it in a situation where it's not only the point to pull the other players in, but to pull the other players' characters in as well (where the fiddling occurs in the fiction not just authorially).b


3. On 2006-01-10, Emily said:

When I played Polaris recently, I found myself telegraphing very bad things that could be happening to my character.  Not technically my job, and not mechanically supported, but what felt right at the time. There's plenty of room for it in what we call fun.


4. On 2006-01-10, Ben Lehman said:

Telegraphing bad things that could happen to your character isn't mechanically support in Polaris?  Woe!  I've failed as a game designer!



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5. On 2006-01-10, Levi Kornelsen said:

What if that happened?

I'd jump up and down and be very happy with that part of the game.


6. On 2006-01-10, TonyLB said:

I think that there's more potential to pulling in co-owning than just the player with "dibs" on the character pulling.  The other players can assert co-ownership by pulling on the primary player.

If I say "No, I can't force you to have your character get angry right now ... but here's five widget points that you'll get if you do have her get angry," then I'm using a very explicit pull tactic to make you more likely to choose anger as a response.  I'm not pushing you ... I'm not trying to overpower you and force you to do my will.  But I'm not just standing there and letting you make the choice without any influence, either.

But, of course, this is stuff we've been doing implicitly for decades.  If you've got a superhero who isn't quite sure whether he's good enough to defend people, what do you do?  You have the villain gloat "Hah!  Puny citizens of Metroburgh!  I have defeated your last champion!  There is nobody to save you now!"  Now, is that a push, or a pull, or both?

Isn't providing adversity (the oldest co-ownership technique in the book) always a combination of pushing and pulling.  "Here's something that forces you off-kilter" PUSH "... and now there's this great opportunity for you to push back" PULL.


7. On 2006-01-10, Adam C. said:

So on your last thread I was all, "Dude! What? How is this fun?" And you were like, "Dude, you're doing this already."

So you put up this idea and I'm like: What's the big deal? Huh, I guess I *do* do this already. A system for doing it would be neat.

I'd still be able to take pleasure in character ownership under such a system.


8. On 2006-01-10, timfire said:

What if you were to arrange a game so that its push rules were all within the bounds of traditional character ownership, but its co-own dynamics were all pull?

OK, I'm repeating myself across blogs, but oh well. Vincent, do you think The Mountain Witch already fulfills this?


9. On 2006-01-10, xenopulse said:

My pull/reward suggestion from a while back:

I.e., keep complete character ownership from "freeform" games as I know them, but add rewards for allowing things to happen to your character, and put up explicit flags with rewards attached for things you'd like to see happen.


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10. On 2006-01-10, JAK said:

That game that I'm working on translating/releasing in the US called Tenra Bansho has something like this.  I'm no where near done so this isn't a plug, just a shout out.  First edition was released in 97, second in 2000, and though this mechanic was definitely in the rules in the 2000 edition, they may have been in the 97 edition as well, I'm not sure.

ANYWAY, the game is structured like a Japanese Opera (Kabuki), complete with mechanics for setting the scene, acts, and taking intermissions. During the game, you get what can be described as Fan Mail for doing Fan Mail Rewarding kinds of things.  On your character sheet, on the right hand side, is your "Karma".  In the Karma section you write down Spiritual Attribute-style things like "Love of the Princess", "Horrible Repressed Memories", etc.  Playing off those in game lets you convert Fan Mail into points that let you do things like improve your character or roll a bunch of dice for an attack roll.

But the cool thing is that that area, Karma, is totally open for people to fuck with.  You spend a Fan Mail point to fuck with someone's Karma. Also, for major NPCs, there's this chart where by the GM can award you fan mail for fucking around a bit with your Karma.  However, the real magic happens when players spend their Fan Mail to fuck with each other's Karma.

GM: (in character as The Princess, she chews out Andy's player for not being a loyal knight).
Andy: I'm taking this chewing-out, thinking, "Damn, I'm protecting this friggin selfish bitch?"
Tony: "Oh yeah, she's a bitch, but deep down (SLAPS DOWN A FAN MAIL CHIP) you're In Love With her.  BOO-YAH!"
Andy: What the fuck? Uh, ok...
Tony: "Yeah, I'm thinking some love-hate going on here."
Andy: "OK, ok, I'm feeling it... I guess.  I'll play along." (WRITES "LOVES THAT BITCHY PRINCESS" under Karma section of character sheet)

And later, in play, if Andy plays up that love for the princess, just like Spiritual Attributes in TROS, then more XP and bonus die flow.  Andy gets to taste a new character aspect, and play it up for points or reject it in the long run, because other people can spend Fan Mail to fuck with each other's Karma.

From actual play replays I've read of this mechanic in the game, there's a lot of "GOTCHA!  HA HA!" that happen, which lead to really cool drama and story.



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11. On 2006-01-10, Roger said:

I'm still trying to get a handle on this.  Is the following fair?

Pulls are questions.

Pushes are answers.

(I mean literally, not figuratively.)


12. On 2006-01-10, Brand Robins said:


I'd say pulls are questions or statements which invite further elaboration.

Pushes are answers, though they can lead to further questions.


13. On 2006-01-10, Seth Ben-Ezra said:

When I read the description of Tenro Bansho, I thought about Inspectres and the ability of players to hand out Descriptors to other PCs during Confessionals.  The PC doesn't *have* to do anything with it, mind you, but he earns a Franchise Die each time that he does.

Is that the sort of thing that we're talking about?


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14. On 2006-01-11, Brand Robins said:

Seth (and Tony, I guess)

I'm a little devided on the issue. A lot of stuff has gone on in the comments on Mo's blog, but the thing Vincent orriginally said was: "So that it's not that I get to reach in and fiddle with your character, but that you open up pieces of your character that just demand that I fiddle with them?"

Both Tenra Bansho and Inspectres (shame—I have never played Inspectres) sound like they do something close to this, but mildly reversed. In both cases you reach in and fiddle with my character, then I decide if I use the thing you fiddled with or not. This (to me) speaks of a Push with a soft place to land—or a Push then Pull.

Vincent, otoh, seems to be asking about a Pull first. It isn't that I get to go "Gotcha! You love the princess!" It's that I set up a character who so obviously loves the princess in order to get you to fiddle with that love. The idea comes from me, and is given force by you, or by you using the system. This, rather than the idea coming from you and being given force by the system, you, or a bribe after the fact has already been established.

So, rather than me spending points to say you love the princess, I start off by saying I love the princess. I also say (whether outloud or through system flags) that I open up my love for the princess, and then Tony comes in, dying to screw with it, and says, "Sure, but you hate her too."

At that point you'd need a system that rewards Tony for making screwing with things I've pulled him to screw with.

Then, once again, we have the subtly different way Xenopulse was doing it: in which Tony decides he wants me to love the princess, but rather than forcing it at me (even if it is a forceful bribe and not actually a full force), bribes me with escalting rewards to do what he wants. "You love the princess huh? Well here are 5 drama points that say you hate her too." At that point I decide whether or not I want to take them.

And I suppose there is the fourth axis of this "who says what and who gets to respond how" diagram as well. So far we've got "He suggests, system bribes me" (xenopulse), "He forces, system bribes me to play along" (Tony), and "I suggest, system bribes him to play along" (what I thought Vincent might be asking after). That leaves us with "he forces, system forces me to go along" that we get in many tad GM-centric RPGs.

The love-hate thing can happen in any of the above ways, the question is who started it and what the power dynamics around establishing it were like.


15. On 2006-01-11, TonyLB said:

Brand:  It seems to me as if you're saying that writing something on the character sheet is the important thing (that's what makes it "real" for the character), and actually calling on that element from the character sheet is an afterthought.  Am I reading you right?


16. On 2006-01-11, Brand Robins said:


Writing things on the character sheet can be important. I kill puppies for satan, and all that.

However, that isn't all of what I'm saying. What I am saying is that it is important in the context of this discussion to know where the original impetus for a character element comes from, and who has both creditability and authority to change it.

In TB, you can change my character, in a way that gets described as "GOTCHA!" That seems a pretty clear indication that it hooks up with Vincent's statement of "I get to reach in and fiddle with your character." You have, in that system, the authority to reach in and fiddle. If you didn't, if you were actually changing absolutely nothing about my character, the SIS, or the game then why the hell would you bother saying it? Spending points for it? Going Boo-Yah when you do it?

Of course, you may not have the credibility to change my character as he is actually played. I can decide to ignore what you did (in which case you didn't getcha so much, I think), but that is because I chose not to reinforce something that you brought into the SIS. You still did bring it in, it's just that I don't do anything with it. That's what turns it from a hard push (if you could say it and force me to adhere to it) to a push-followed by pull (you say it and bribe me to adhere to it), or a "push with a soft place to land."

Or, to reinforce that, as JAK said in his recent marginalia posts: "So slapping a Fate on someone that they may not be too interested in is a narrative opportunity ("I want to see you try to act this out"), and a gamist opportunity ("I see you're getting close to Dark Side. Here, have a chit and maybe this will ease the pain a little"). So it's a chance to support each other... WHILE fucking around with each others' characters."

However, what I am going with along the lines of Vincent's statement of "not that I get to reach in and fiddle with your character, but that you open up pieces of your character that just demand that I fiddle with them. In that context I am talking about a situation in which you do not have the authority to put anything on my sheet unless I have first said that you can. In fact, unless I have opened it up and tempted you to do so. Taunted you to do so. Dared you to do so.

You do not get to reach in and tinker, authority or credibility wise. The authority is mine, to open up my character in a way that tempts you to tinker with it. I am the one that is the source of the element's change. It could even be that, in this situation, I'm the one with the authority to open it, but you are the one with the credibility ??? I get to say it comes up, but unless I can convince others to play it out it comes up and just sits there.

So really, it is much like the example of TB, but inverted. Rather than you pushing and then bribing me to follow through with my character, I pull you and then bribe you to follow through about my character.

P.S. I'll be back tomorrow, but for tonight my brain needs rest. To much pushing and pulling and yinging and yanging!


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17. On 2006-01-11, TonyLB said:

You do not have to put anything into the SIS in order to say "GOTCHA!" or even "BOO-YAH!"

There is this notion that "pull" techniques have to be passive.  They don't.  They seriously, seriously, don't.

There is no way (read that again and understand that I really mean no way, absolutely none) for a player to force any mechanical impact on another player's character in Capes.  Any player may choose to opt out of any conflict.  They take no damage of any sort.  The only time that the conflict can have any mechanical impact on them is when the player chooses to stake debt on it.  They have to choose to engage.  If they don't choose to engage then they are completely invulnerable.

Throwing down a conflict in Capes is totally Pull-oriented.  It can't be anything but.

And I go "BOO-YAH!" about proposing conflicts in Capes all the time.  I put down something like "Goal:  Kettridge convinces himself that he's doing the right thing" and I am stoked.  I know I just pegged Sydney right between the eyes.  He has every right to ignore that completely, but he's not going to.  I know he's not going to, because I know him.  I know he can't leave it alone, and I'm proud of knowing that, of being clever enough to target him so well, and that's why I Boo-Yah.

So I read the Tenra Bansho example differently.  Someone says "You love the Princess ... BOO-YAH!" and you think "Well, if he's saying Boo-Yah then that must mean that he's just achieved victory.  So adding that thing to the Fate must mean that it's true."  Someone says "You love the Princess ... BOO-YAH!" and I think "If he's saying Boo-Yah then he knows that he's got the guy on a hook.  He knows that player well enough to know that the guy will be unable to resist the notion of his character being in love with this Princess, even though it's totally the wrong thing for him.  He's pegged him right between the eyes, and he's proud."

Now, of course, I don't speak enough Japanese to really know what TB actually does.  But I can certainly imagine systems that are exactly what Vincent is talking about (all co-ownership is pull-oriented) where people are still breakin' out the BOO-YAH on a regular basis.

Do you see how I can envision that?


18. On 2006-01-11, Brand Robins said:


I do see what you're saying. I just disagree. I think the epehmera that you're discounting are indeed indicative of something more than you're allowing them to be. I also think there are different levels of control, and force, and social acceptance and contracting that go on in game that you're not describing.

I do think that Capes does have a lot of pull. It just has more push. (It's actually a well balanced game in many ways, especially for me who likes to be able to push and pull in alternation.)

At this point I don't know that there's much more to say. I think we're both hearing each other, I just think we disagree.


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19. On 2006-01-11, Metal Fatigue said:

Actually, Brand, if the community is ever to arrive at a consensus on what the words "push" and "pull" mean, this is precisely the kind of discussion we need to be having. We just need to be civil about it.

My opinion follows.

Tony, I have to agree with Brand: your example illustrates push, not pull. When you're "pegging" someone, when you're surprising them with something that they did not originate, that's push. It doesn't matter whether your push is based on hard mechanics or on careful analysis of the player's psychology, it's still push.

Now, if the other player had said "My character's relationship with the Princess is open to redefinition," or used a System flag to indicate the same thing, and then you say "OK, you're in love with the Princess," that's pull. Why is it pull? Because the other player has created a hole, and you're filling the hole.

I think a pull with non-zero boo-yah factor would be like this: "So you pull the Princess close and kiss her, huh? OK, I walk in on the two of you embracing. What do I do next? You tell me! BOO-YAH!"


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20. On 2006-01-11, Ben Lehman said:

I think we're concentrating too strongly on flags as pull techniques.  Really, they're just techniques that say "push me here."

Good pull techniques take someone else's push and run with it, enthusiastically, into new heights.  What games encourage this and how?



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21. On 2006-01-11, Vincent said:

Push: "I contribute [this] to your character. You can't say no!"

Pull: "You, contribute something to [this part] of my character. You can't say no!"

I'm not interested in bribes or rewards or payoffs; I'm interested (for now) in hard co-ownership. Within bounds, but totally non-negotiable.


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22. On 2006-01-11, Lisa Padol said:

Tony—I think you're describing something Weapons of the Gods does. Courtiers cannot actually force anyone—or, at least, any PC—to do anything. They can say, "If you do X, these good things will happen for you. If you do Y, these bad things will happen for you."

One of the Taoist Magic powers in the game seems to be "Discover Information about an NPC", but, as Josh realized after reading the section, is actually "Make Shit Up about an NPC". That is, you can decide what you want your character to have "discovered", and, if the GM agrees or you make your Use-That-Power roll, you have officially created a fact about the NPC. This fact generally means you can use some of the Courtier techniques. E.g., the taoist character realizes that the shopkeeper has a Passion for the shrine keepers daughter, and says that, so long as it is unrequited, the shopkeeper gets some kind of mechanical bonus or penalty.

Part of what makes Weapons of the Gods so good is that it takes a lot of ideas that, if a conservative gamer, like, say, me, heard them cold, the knee jerk reaction would be "Yuck!", and works them so smoothly into the game that I go "Cool!" And, folks who like crunching numbers and systems get to have a ball with this.

Ben—I was going to reference Paka's thread on the Forge Actual Play Forum, but it sounds like you're a step ahead, asking whether it's really pull or really push. That said, I think Sorcerer encourages taking the push and running to new heights, and DitV and Polaris.

Beyond that, well, I think a certain amount of codification is necessary. I remember getting very confused in a brief pbem about what I was supposed to do.

See, the GM's entries were my PC's diary. (Go ahead and put "my" in quotes, if you like.) This was a mystery plot, and, as far as I knew, the GM was making up the mystery—old style, GM fiat, and I wasn't supposed to make up facts or clues or anything. Or so I thought and think; it is possible I was not picking up on subtle clues. This was in the 90s, quite some time ago.

So, he'd describe what my character was thinking, feeling, and doing. And, I would try to tell him what my PC's plans were. The game didn't last long, nor did it engender hard feelings. I'd created an empath, and the GM decided that I wasinvestigating a charismatic cult leader, a combination that meant a certain amount of someone other than myself deciding what my PC was thinking or feeling was in order. Okay, I found it very strange, but my big problem wasn't "Hey! He's messing with my turf!" but "What is my turf, then? What am I supposed to be doing? Or should I be sitting back and letting someone else tell me a story?" This last was not, I think the case—nor, I think, should it be, at least, not if we're taking the premise that rpgs are active, not passive.

Hm. I guess all of this boils down to two things:

1. Folks are more receptive when stuff is worked into the system in a cool way. They see what they are "getting" in return for what they are "giving up". Context is vital.

2. Without a clear idea of who is supposed to do what—even if that idea is "There are no hard and fast rules"—it's not going to happen. This (comprehension issues) is a different failure mode than the one I'd anticipated (personality issues), though the two are not discrete categories.



23. On 2006-01-11, Matt Wilson said:

Pull: "You, contribute something to [this part] of my character. You can't say no!"

Okay, uh, so we're creating characters. I'm mostly responsible for Zenn the bus driver. I write on my sheet: "Zen is in love with someone." I pass it to you. You write. "That person is Fran the dispatcher."

In Dogs, I just lost a conflict. I roll fallout and decide that it's a new trait at 1d4. Then I say, "dude, you decide what my new trait is."

That sound like pull by your definition? Are you mostly thinking grander scale than that?

Here's a follow-up question: how different is it between voluntarily doing the above and being required to do the above? Is it different? It seems like it might be, kind of.

For pullin' to work right, it seems to me like maybe you need the carrot, not the stick, but I don't entirely know what I mean by that.


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24. On 2006-01-11, Vincent said:

Matt: those both sound like pull co-ownership to me.

"Here's a follow-up question: how different is it between voluntarily doing the above and being required to do the above? Is it different? It seems like it might be, kind of."

Different. I'm looking to systematize, and that means constraints, and that means requirements.

I don't think that voluntary vs. required is related to push vs. pull, however.

When I said "what about pull co-ownership?" and so many of you heaved this big sigh of relief, I think it's because you read me as saying "what about voluntary co-ownership?"

I was not.


25. On 2006-01-11, TonyLB said:

Okay ... confession time for me.

I don't think "push" and "pull" make all that much sense as terms.  I think they are intuitively appealing, but I don't see how they hold up when you look closely.

Game-theory looks at (say) a chess game and says that the only move that has value in itself is a move that establishes checkmate.  All other moves, no matter how brilliant, have value because they constrain your opponent to moves that aren't as good (again, probably defined by reference to his ability to then constrain you).  Because of your move N, the opponent has a different set of possible moves N+1, which in turn gives you a different set of possible N+2, and so on into the vast network of sequences, all ending with checkmate for someone (or stalemate).

It's not really possible to break the game apart and look at all (or any) of white's moves in isolation, then say "Yep, that set of moves was better than the set of black's moves ... that's why white won."  The push-and-pull, the dance steps into the future, are what inform each and every move.

It seems to me that you're combining our intuitive notion that we wholly "own" the characters ("This is one thing because it's being instigated by me on your character, that is another thing because it's being instigated by me on my own character") with our intuitive notion that we wholly "own" our actions ("This is one thing because I did it, that is another thing because you did it") and getting a very seductive but not really true distinction.  Does that make sense?

Now ... I expect that I'm wrong.  I'm missing something that you folks are catching.  But I don't know what it is.


26. On 2006-01-11, Vincent said:

Tony: excellent, excellent comment.

What you're missing isn't a thing, just a context. It's that I'm not talking about the truth. I'm talking about a structure we can build, if we want to, on top of the truth. It's a parallel structure to "I own my characters and my input exclusively," and not any more true.


27. On 2006-01-11, TonyLB said:

Gotcha!  Okay, as a structure/shorthand/design-tool/whatever I'm right with you.  Thanks!


28. On 2006-01-11, Metal Fatigue said:

Okay, I want to take this comment out of the margin and put it front-and-center. When we say "push" and "pull," are we talking about ephemera, or techniques?

It seems to me that Vincent and Mo are using the words principally to refer to ephemera, and Ben explicitly says he means techniques. I think it makes more sense to say that they're ephemera, that they happen, and maybe move on to a discussion of what techniques we can use to encourage pull.

Which is not to say that pull is always what we want to encourage???as Lisa points out, a lot of recent games derive their power and engagement from cool kinds of push. But we ("we" being the design-theory community) now have a good start on techniques to manipulate and channel push play, and we know little about techniques for pull play.


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29. On 2006-01-12, Brand Robins said:

I am, by the end of the week, going to be trying to do a Yud's dice article about pull/push, game theory, aikido and Capes (a very aikido game) as a follow up to things said here and on Sin Aesthetics. I'll try to deal with the issues Tony raised, the differences between game logic and social space, and the now infamous "place to fall into" issue.

Mo has said she's going to do a follow up about actual play and the use of pull in game. Hopefully between the two posts we'll be able to clear up the things we were talking about with pull in the first place.

For now, let me say that one of the things I think is going on is that everyone in the discussion is talking about pull/push on different levels. Mo was talking about it at the social level, as a rhetoical stance that people take towards the power dynamic of game. It then quickly moved into discussion of techniques and ephemera that enable such a stance, and from there into the underlying logic of game theory. Then Vincent moved it another step over, taking it into playerful play and the group dynamics thereof, and came up with a brilliant idea based thereon—which because we weren't on the same page at the start hasn't gotten proper discussion in this thread, I think.

As a result, a lot of us are talking about slightly different levels of things. No wonder there is confusion.


30. On 2006-01-12, JasonL said:


When you say:

When I said "what about pull co-ownership?" and so many of you heaved this big sigh of relief, I think it's because you read me as saying "what about voluntary co-ownership?"

I was not.

Reading that in the context of your Bid Idea for 2006, and the context of the blog-plosion of commentary on the Push/Pull, Yin/Yang topic, I read you as saying:

I create this thing on a ("my") character, that the system demands you, the other player, take part in - not optional, you have to do it.

Is that right?

Like I put in a triat called "Greedy", and the system demands that you assign a mechanics penalty to it.  Or, I put "Democlese is in love" and you, the other player, have to assign who the love interest is...

Which, if that's what you're talking about, seems like Pull-Push to me...

It means I'm inviting you (i.e. pulling you) to take direct control over an aspect of the character (i.e. pushing me).  I pull one way to get you to push another way...

Put another way, Push=assertive authority (I get to say because I won/I have the power/I have the credibility) and Pull=active redirection (Yes, that happened, and in addition, this happened too; or Yes, that and then this)

I'm not talking at the mechanics level...I'm aiming at the ephemera with this...

Like others, I'm sure I've got it all wrong...


"Oh, it's you...


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31. On 2006-01-12, Mo said:


Push: "I contribute [this] to your character. You can't say no!"

Pull: "You, contribute something to [this part] of my character. You can't say no!"

OK, so the YES! EXACTLY! was a little premature. I absolutely did assume voluntary co-ownership.

This whole co-ownership thing gives me the wiggies a little, but I've been trying to get my head around it before going "Barg!". This is not to say I'd go "Barg!" here, just at Brand, but anyway....

Then after considering this correction, I realized one of the games in my design folder, temporarily called Asylum has conceptual mechanics that do just this kind of thing. In it, characters have multiple identities, one that is created and maintained by the character's "owner" one as interpreted and modified by another character's psychosis. Neither of the character's personas (at this point in the design phase) are more important than any other. Play will likely be cyclical so that you are the main character in the psychodrama of your own life, but supporting cast in that of the other members. At different points in time, players will pull to say exactly that statement: "Tell me what my character does/who my character is". Hard Pull co-ownership, no?


32. On 2006-01-13, Metal Fatigue said:

CS wrote, in the margin:

pull is followed by give (as in gift) as push is followed by give (as in fall back)

OK, that's a good word. I vote we add it to the lexicon along with "push" and "pull."

So in (to take an example) Sorcerer, the mechanics encourage a cycle of "push hard—give, then push back harder," which builds to the dramatic climax.  Ditto Dogs.

Interestingly, both of those games have an explicit pull technique in character creation: Kickers in Sorcerer, initiation conflicts in Dogs.


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