2006-05-17 : Six straightforward examples

We're roleplaying. There's a conflict of interests we need to resolve. It's this: my character has motive, opportunity and intent to pitch your character off the top of a seven-story building. Everybody else is on the edges of their seats, watching to see whether it happens or not.

On my character sheet it says "following through: 3." On your character sheet it says "surviving the day: 2." There are three glass pebbles on the table.

Fortune at the End (that is, the roll is decisive)

I say, "I grab you, heft you bodily, and pitch you over. Scumsucker."

The rule is, we each roll a d6 and add our relevant number. Whoever's total is higher, wins. Ties go to you, the defender.

I roll a 4, so my total's 7. You roll a 3, so your total's 5.

You say, "aaaaaaaaa..."

Fortune in the Middle (that is, after the roll, there're still decisions to be made)

I say, "I grab you, heft you bodily, and pitch you over. Scumsucker."

The rule is, we each roll a d6 and add our relevant number. Whoever's total is higher wins. Ties go to you, the defender. Furthermore, after the roll, the loser can take a glass pebble from the table, give it to the winner, and add her relevant number again. Then, if I want to I can pass the pebble back, to undo your bonus. Later, whoever has the pebble can redeem it for a good bennie.

I roll a 4, so my total's 7. You roll a 3, so your total's 5. You give me a glass pebble and add your number again, so your total's 7 (and the tie goes to you). I can either accept that you win, or pass the pebble to you. I consider, then pass the pebble back to you. Your total goes back down to 5 and I win.

You say, "aaaaaaaaa..."

(I imagine that you redeem the pebble at once for a "survive, against all liklihood" bennie, but that's outside the scope of the example.)

Drama at the End, improv style

I say, "I grab you, heft you bodily, and pitch you over. Scumsucker."

The rule is, no blocking; said is done.

You say, "aaaaaaaaa..."

Drama in the Middle, group poll style

I say, "I grab you, heft you bodily, and pitch you over. Scumsucker."

The rule is, after I've said what I've said, everyone at the table gets to put forward a thumbs up or a thumbs down. You and I, we get as many thumbs as our relevant number; everyone else gets one thumb. More thumbs up means it happens; a tie or more thumbs down means it doesn't.

I put forward 3 thumbs up. You put forward 2 thumbs down. Anne puts forward a thumb up. Biff puts forward a thumb down. The final total is 4 up, 3 down.

You say, "aaaaaaaaa..."

Drama at the End, payoff style

I say, "I grab you, heft you bodily, and pitch you over. Scumsucker."

The rule is, if I want my character to do something to yours, I have to give you a number of glass pebbles equal to your relevant number; you can't refuse them. You can redeem the pebbles later for bennies.

I give you 2 pebbles, to match your "surviving the day: 2."

You say, "aaaaaaaaa..."

Drama in the Middle, bribe style

I say, "I grab you, heft you bodily, and pitch you over. Scumsucker."

The rule is, I can offer you glass pebbles up to my relevant number. If you accept them, then what I said, happens; if you don't, I get the pebbles and you say what happens. We can redeem the pebbles later for bennies.

I offer you three pebbles, to match my "following through: 3." You consider, then accept them.

You say, "aaaaaaaaa..."

The point

I'm addressing myself here to push and pull skeptics like Tony L-B, more than to Mo, Brand, Jess, etc.:

I suggest that if you examine my six examples for push and pull, per Mo's definitions here and Brand's expansion on them here, you'll find that push lines up perfectly with "at the End" and pull lines up perfectly with "in the Middle."

I suggest that if you examine Tony's TSoY example here for in-the-Middle vs. at-the-End, the key information you need in order to identify it is: what's being resolved, precisely? I suggest that this what Mo (here), and Jess (here and here - she even uses the word "stakes"!) are getting at when they ask Tony what was the matter underlying his action. To identify whether Tony'd pushed or pulled, they need to know what was up for resolution.

I suggest that Jess' "it's not how you feel, but how your group feels," here, is extremely sound. In an informal system, the difference between at-the-End and in-the-Middle is entirely a difference in how the group chooses to treat an individual's contributions. When I assert something, is it thus done, or is it still negotiable? If we're not playing by explicit, referable rules - including if we're doing something that happens to fall outside the explicit rules, as in Tony's example - this is precisely a matter of how the group feels about it.

I suggest that the push/pull proponents' instinct in that thread that push and pull are mutually exclusive is also right on. Their reluctance to accept Tony's position that you can regularly simultaneously push and pull is well-founded.

I suggest, finally, that push/pull is a big deal. It's a true development - nobody should read me as saying "we already thought of this, let's be comfortable." A week ago, if you'd asked me whether we can and should examine Drama resolution in at-the-End vs. in-the-Middle terms, I'd've shrugged: "we can, but should we? Neh. Why bother? It'll just be basically the same as Fortune." I've said such things on the Forge. I was DEAD WRONG.

In fact, push/pull has given me, understood this way, whole new insights into my group's long-term Ars Magica freeform game. Expect a comprehensive post here about that game's breakdown. When I find the time.

1. On 2006-05-17, Joshua BishopRoby said:

While the insights are sound, Vincent, what I'm primarily taking away from this post is that you're a crazy homicidal bastard who's always throwing people off of buildings.


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2. On 2006-05-17, Vincent said:

Those scumsuckers.


3. On 2006-05-17, Ben Lehman said:


How about, say, "Fortune in the Middle Narration HeroQuest style"

"I push you off the edge."

We roll!  I win.

"Okay, so I totally push you off the edge and you fall down and hit your mother."



4. On 2006-05-17, Vincent said:

Ben: interesting. What's the rule? We roll, and if I win, I get to add more to my action?


5. On 2006-05-17, Ben Lehman said:

Or, indeed, Nine Worlds style

"I push you off the edge."

We draw.  I win.

"Okay, so we tossle back and forth and I stab you in the gut and now we draw again."

We draw.  I win.

"Okay, so we're wrestling and you have me in a choke hold and I'm about to pass out and then suddenly I have a vision of Aphrodite, and her appearance gives me strength and I break out of your hold.  Okay, now we draw again, with Aphrodite in the draw."

We draw.  Aphrodite wins.

"Okay, no one goes over the edge, and you both fall in love with me."



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6. On 2006-05-17, Ben Lehman said:

The rule is "If we roll, and I win, I get to decide the outcome, which may or may not include the additional bits as well as the original intent."  Note that you have no power in this, but I still make post-roll decisions.

The Nine Worlds example is better.


7. On 2006-05-17, Vincent said:

What I'm not seeing in either example is decisions made about the dice after the roll.

In the old days, we called it FitM with teeth when you made decisions about the dice after the roll, and I guess FitM without teeth when you just made decisions about the fiction after the roll. Now, today, I'd say that both Nine Worlds style and HeroQuest style are fortune-mediated Drama at the End. We roll to see whose word goes.


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8. On 2006-05-17, TonyLB said:

Vincent:  Totally, as far as it goes.  Push/Pull can be viewed as "Where do we say a particular action begins and ends?"

If I think that my action is "I throw myself at your feet, begging for mercy," and that's -it- then that's a Push.

If I think that my action is "I throw myself at your feet, begging for mercy, now what happens next?" and what happens next is part of the unit we're looking at then that's a Pull.

I suspect (though I'd be open to counter-arguments) that the question of whether anything gets resolved is a red herring.  The resolution is just making it easier to see how a particular section is being lifted out of the ongoing river of "stuff in the game" and perceived as a unit.


9. On 2006-05-17, Vincent said:

Tony: The question of resolution is based entirely on Brand's piece about the moment of crisis. If push/pull is about the moment of crisis, it's about resolution.

If it's not, it's not, and I got nothin'.

Oh and I should say - I think that the question of resolution is something Jess is really struggling with. I get the sense that she's unaccustomed to thinking of games in those terms, but she's groping toward them.


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10. On 2006-05-17, Vincent said:

Oh and I should further say: Hi Jess! Sorry to talk about you as though you weren't in the room. Am I reading you wrong?


11. On 2006-05-17, Ben Lehman said:

Okay, branching out from my examples here's the simplest possible example of what I'm getting at:

"I throw you off the edge."

We each roll 1d6.  High roll wins, you win ties.

We roll.  3 vs 2.  I win.  BUT, there's a special rule that lets me take a bennie and reroll.  I take a bennie and reroll.

We roll. 5 vs 1.  I win.  I take another bennie.

We roll.  6 vs 4.  I win.  "Okay, I've got enough bennies, you go over the edge."


This strikes me as deeply FitMt, but not at all Pullish.


12. On 2006-05-17, Thomas Robertson said:


I'm not Mo or Brand or even Jess, but by my read every one of those, with the possible exception of your "Drama in the middle, bribe style" thing, is a push.  (And that one may be a push too...)

In each case you as a player are exerting your mechanically provided authority to make something happen.  In your *itM cases, I then have the chance to exert my own authority back at you.  However, the key, at least from where I sit, is that the throwing off the building thing happens on your authority, not mine.

In every case you have above, you are coming at me from a position of (mechanical) authority: I must respond or else...  In no case does my decision not to respond fail to have an effect.

Compare this to me looking at you and going, "Vincent, it would be so awesome if you tried to throw me off the building!"  You can go "Oh yeah!" or "I've got a better idea." or whatever you want.

That's how I think this works anyway.



13. On 2006-05-17, Mark W said:

This is pointing right at the heart of my wrestling with p/p, too. I'd always thought it was meant to be with respect to resolution, but the signals on that seem mixed.

Back in January, I was trying really hard to tie it into IIEE structure and not quite getting it.

For what it's worth, I think that Pull sometimes gets used to "drag one's heels" about resolution in a system or social contract where there's no formal way to set stakes, and Push likewise can be used to ram through a resolution before stakes are clear to everyone. That may be one reason why it's kind of an emotionally fraught concept.


14. On 2006-05-17, Vincent said:

Ben: Cool. You're right - I'd be all rewriting FitM on the fly if I disagreed.

Can you come up with a similar Drama in the Middle rule?


15. On 2006-05-17, Roger said:

A less-straightforward example is PTA's resolution system, in which the person who wins the conflict might not be the person who narrates the conclusion.


16. On 2006-05-17, Ben Lehman said:

Nope!  Nor Karma neither, for that matter.  That's the reason I used Fortune.

Does this point to a fundamental difference between Drama/Karma and Fortune?  I think so.  You can't extend Karma and Drama mechanics without multiple players' involvement.  For fortune, the dice sort of act like another negotiator—they give different and unpredictable results continually


P.S.  A long, long, long time ago I said "I think that maybe the lumpley principle is half wrong."  I was wrong, but, for what it's worth, my recollection is that this slightly-human-acting quality of randomness is what I was talking about.


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17. On 2006-05-17, Roger said:

On further reflection, I guess my mental image of the "Pull" side of these examples is:

I say, "I stand at the very brink of the roof, turning my back on you as I admire the fine view from up here."

But now I'm not so sure how that fits in.



18. On 2006-05-17, Vincent said:

Thomas: Compare this to me looking at you and going, "Vincent, it would be so awesome if you tried to throw me off the building!" You can go "Oh yeah!" or "I've got a better idea." or whatever you want.

That's not consistent with Brand's post about the moment of crisis. Here's Brand:

The moment of crisis is when something important to the game, under your social and creative contract, is brought to a head. Pull gets people to buy in before that moment, and then brings everyone already invested to the moment. Push gets people to buy in (hopefully) after that moment, because the moment is brought about by the individual authority of the pusher and other reactions come after.

Something important to the game, under my social and creative control, has to be brought to a head. "I throw you off the roof" is a push or a pull, depending on the input you have between my statement and the moment of resolution.


19. On 2006-05-17, kleenestar said:

Okay, okay, I'm here.  Hi.  :)

Vincent, I'm familiar with Drama/Karma/Fortune, if that's what you mean - where I'm groping is how it might connect to this Push/Pull stuff.

Unfortunately, I think I agree with Thomas that while you've got something interesting going on here, I'm not sure that stakes of "I throw you off the building" are very Pull-friendly.  I mean ... under what circumstances could being thrown off a building not be something that I would have to respond to in the context of the story?  Where is my option to participate?  You're saying, "I do this thing, and you have to struggle with me if you don't want it to happen," even if you're giving lots of different options for how that struggle might happen.

Roger, I think you're spot-on about how this might be turned into something more Pull-friendly.  You don't HAVE to push the other guy off the roof - but he's giving you this really tempting opportunity to do something dramatic and exciting.

Of course, I'm neither Mo nor Brand, so YMMV.

On the other hand, I think the negotiable/final group consensus thing is really spot-on, and it's something that I imagine will shape the group's understanding of where particular examples fall on the Push/Pull spectrum.



20. On 2006-05-17, Vincent said:

Jess, cool.

Reread my two Drama in the Middle examples, if you will, and imagine carefully how they'd seem if they resolved the other way.

The group votes me down - I've tried to pull them but they weren't taking.

You decline my bribe - I've tried to pull you but you're not interested.

"I toss you off a building" is a strong statement, but it's not a push if you can just say, "nah, I don't figure you do." Is it?


21. On 2006-05-17, Vincent said:

Ben: Does this point to a fundamental difference between Drama/Karma and Fortune? I think so. You can't extend Karma and Drama mechanics without multiple players' involvement.

...Yeah. That seems right to me.

I need to find out how serious Brand is about push/pull applying to fortune resolution.


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22. On 2006-05-17, Emily said:

A side note wrt the whole "things happen in a game because the group concenses that they do" thing: with push concensus is implicit, enforced by the agreement to use the mechanics to determine who gets final say; with pull concensus is more explicit, with people given options and opportunity to have say on what finally occurs.

It's all, always, collaboration. Just sometimes that is more obvious than other times.


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23. On 2006-05-17, kleenestar said:

Hmm, see, I'd say they just found a mechanical (rather than narrative) way to negate your Push.  Doesn't mean you weren't Pushing.  But again, I'm going to need to think about this some more.



24. On 2006-05-17, Vincent said:

Do think about it some more. My parting shot: I knew the mechanical negation was there when I said what I said.


25. On 2006-05-17, kleenestar said:

Hmm.  Fascinating.  So let me ask you a question: what do they get out of negating your offer to be pushed off a building, other than not-being-pushed?  If the reward for them is, "I didn't get pushed off a building," that's definitely Push to me.  If negating that gives them something else, I'd be more inclined to believe it as a Pull.



26. On 2006-05-17, Vincent said:

Well, in the bribe example, if you decline my bribe I get the coins and you get to say what happens instead. I'd expect you to say something beyond that I simply didn't pitch you off - at LEAST that you get away safe, maybe that you turn the tables - but that's up to you.

In the poll example, I didn't say anything about what happens when someone's voted down, but here's a possible rule: if the group votes me down, I lose a point from my stat and it's your turn to put something forward for vote.


27. On 2006-05-17, Charles S said:


Am I reading this correctly that in your view push and pull apply to the four drama examples, and that the Fate examples are mostly there for comparison?

Because FitM doesn't feel like pull to me, but both of the DitM examples do feel like pull to me (although the group poll style feels strange because of the unfamiliar mechanic, it is definitely recognizable as a formalization of a certain style of informal interaction).

Actual DitM (group poll) is interesting, because it is pull from the acting player to the group, but it is push from the group to the player whose character goes off the roof. The first player solicits the group, the group asserts its authority and both players accept that authority.

I do think that DitM is pull, but I think that all of your examples are still very pushy, as they all involve one player trying to assert authority. The phrasing is important here, so saying "I throw you off the roof," is an assertion of authority, even if you don't actually have that authority (the right to have made that happen).

Also, unless the other player (or the group) has the right to respond by saying, "No, I think you take me out for coffee instead," then you have at least engaged in the push of "I try to throw you off the roof, deal with it," while you may be engaging in the pull of "so what happens next?" at the same time depending on the mechanics used.


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28. On 2006-05-17, kleenestar said:

Yes, exactly - I get to say what happens instead.  How are you offering me a particular opportunity there?  Yes, now I can step up and make an offer of my own, but how do I become a creator with you instead of against you?

This is where social context could be really important, so I'm not willing to say that this is or isn't a Pull; I can see how it could be, but only if there's other social stuff going on around this particular conflict.



29. On 2006-05-17, Thomas Robertson said:


I think the key in Mo's most recent definition of pull is the word "solicit".

In basically all of your examples above you're not soliciting a response, you're using your in-game authority (as provided by the game's rules) to require a response.  I think that's important, but I'm having trouble articulating precisely how.



30. On 2006-05-17, Charles S said:

If the other player has to treat your character's attack as having happened, then you have asserted authority, so there was push involved. DatE resolution of the push has very little pull (although the bribe form of DatE does have the pull of handing over tokens, which is an invitation to the other player to take control of the scene from the point where their character is thrown off the roof). DitM has more pull, since it offers the other player (or the group) the opportunity to decide what happens next.

However, although it has since dropped out of the formal definitions, Mo's original description of push and pull talked about the difference between

  • Push-push back
  • Push-accept
  • Pull-respond
  • Pull-ignore

So if your action involves a clear push along a particular axis, the fact that your push produces an opportunity for the other player to push back does not make your action also a pull, it is just that pushes do invite a response as well.

I actually think that both of these formulations are correct, although we probably need some way of more clearly distinguishing them.

There is a level at which most actions which involve a push also invite a response (and inviting a response is a pull), and most actions that involve a pull also involve a push (saying "my character doesn't notice his enemy sneaking up on him, and continues to dangle his feet over the edge of the roof" is an assertion of fact based on your authority), but actions can also be viewed as a whole as being either pushy or pully, and I think that that is related to whether the assertion involved is the important part.

Hmm, another way of saying this:

If we are already in the middle of a potentially lethal fight scene, then saying "my character tries to throw your character off the roof" may be more pully than pushy, since the assertion that your character tries to do this is not significant, we already know your character is trying to kill mine, so you are merely inviting me to say what happens next. If our character were having an argument, and you have your character escalate to attempted murder, that assertion is the important thing, and you just resolved it using DatE. Now we move on to my response (accept or push back), but a push has happened.

Actually, who narrates is probably important to whether it is pull or push. If you declare that you try to throw me off the roof, and that means that I describe what happens next (consent based RP), then you have pushed if your character attacking mine is a significant development, but you have also pulled by giving me the opportunity to narrate. However, if you declare that your character tries to do this, and that means that I either accept, and you describe what happens next, or I reject and describe what happens instead, then there isn't a pull. I have to reject your input to get to do my own input. Unless (as in some of TonyLB's Capes examples on Story-games) your intention was that I would reject your atttempt and so take narration rights, in which case your push does have a pull, since you were actually soliciting my input.

Which relates up to Ben's comment that FitMt is not pull, since FitMt gave the narration rights at the end to the pushing player, not to the pulled player.


31. On 2006-05-17, Vincent said:

Um, Jess, Charles, Thomas - please, have mercy.

This post is not constructed nor intended to convince you. It won't convince you. That's okay.

I've made my case to Tony's side. I ask you to withhold judgement until I've made my case to your side.


32. On 2006-05-17, kleenestar said:

Okay, no problem.  It'll do me good to shut up for a bit anyhow.  I've got work to do today.  :)



33. On 2006-05-17, Charles said:

Yeah, sorry.

You did actually say that in the original post, and to the extent that I understand the other side, I think I see why this is a convincing case.


34. On 2006-05-17, John Laviolette said:

I was about to completely agree with Thomas, here, that in terms of Mo's definition (and the alternate definition I briefly suggested,) all of these examples are Push. However, I will grant that the negotiations that occur in Push could be interpreted with *itM mechanics... so if Vincent is doing a two-part explanation of Push vs. Pull, and this post is just saying "part I of what you need for Pull is *itM instead of *atE," then I'll agree with that.

I think what hasn't been stated is that, in terms of IIEE, Push is negotiated Intent. Once I've established my intent ("I grab you, heft you bodily, and pitch you over. Scumsucker.") and back it up with my authority, it's Push. If I openly call for negotiations about my intent ("Should I grab you and throw you over? Let's discuss.") then it's Pull. If the negotiations go on subtly without explicit offers (you tell me your character stands perilously close to the edge and seems oblvious to any possible danger,) that's also a Push.


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35. On 2006-05-17, Vincent said:

John, that contradicts Brand about the moment of crisis.

Which is fine, but be aware that it does.

If Brand's not right about the moment of crisis, like I say to Tony, I got nothin'.


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36. On 2006-05-17, Joshua Kronengold said:

Last I checked, the current Pull rhetoric allowed hard-pull, like, to steal from Kat Miller, "you came to this city to try to solve a problem you're having.  What is it?"

My knee jerk reaction is that the examples are flawed as pull.

That said, there's some interesting stuff here.

"I attack with a Flying Kick, come up with a good response move or I cave your skull in" is clearly push, despite the demand for a response.

"I attack with a Flying Kick, you will win the fight; tell me how you do it" is, I think, pull.

Where the line is is an interesting question.


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37. On 2006-05-17, Charles said:


I hope this is actual a useful question rather than more dogpiling, at least it is short.

Is DatB a valid concept, or is it (like FatB) a mirage resulting from looking at the theory structure rather than at actual play?

Some forms of pull look like they might be DatB to me.

So the pure pull version of "I throw you off the roof" is:

"I'm totally vulnerable to an attack, what do you do?"

Which is meaningful in a way that FatB ("I loose, what is the conflict?") isn't.

Does that make sense?


38. On 2006-05-17, Vincent said:

Joshua K: Last I checked, the current Pull rhetoric allowed hard-pull, like, to steal from Kat Miller, "you came to this city to try to solve a problem you're having. What is it?"

I guess I can keep telling people that if Brand's wrong about the moment of crisis, my whole post is wrong. I'd much rather that I get to stop saying it, though.

"I attack with a Flying Kick, come up with a good response move or I cave your skull in" is clearly push, despite the demand for a response.

I don't think it's that clear. You haven't provided any rules at all; you're banking on my immediate, visceral reaction to the violence of the action.

Compare: "I invite you out to a picnic. Is it a date, or how do you refuse?" Procedurally identical, not clearly a push.


39. On 2006-05-17, Vincent said:

Charles: Well...

When people ask about FatB they've invariably conflated IIEE with itM/atE.

It may turn out that pull = DitM + (Intent is up for resolution). That certainly seems to be what some of you are pushing for.


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40. On 2006-05-18, Ben Lehman said:

procedurally identical

I think that this is really important.  If Push/Pull is about how we feel about the fiction, rather than how we are interacting as characters, then it doesn't have a lot of use.  It's just "fiction that makes me feel comfortable" versus "fiction which makes me feel uncomfortable."

Consider Breaking the Ice: "I do a wind-kick and it totally smashes your jaw.  Do I get a dice?"  You can't negate that.  You have no systematic recourse to stop me from breaking your jaw with my wind kick.  You can decide whether or not I get a dice.  Mo sez: Pull.  Why?  Because with respect to what matters, you're deciding whether or not what I said has value.


P.S.  Also, now I want to play Breaking the Ice: Street Fighter.


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41. On 2006-05-18, Kirk said:

Push/Pull is essentially taking one of the basic tenets of social interaction and applying it to roleplaying games. It is entirely about how we interact as people. Seriously, anybody who says otherwise doesn't get out enough. It is how we talk to people every day. Normal conversation cannot function without Push/Pull.

Looking at how Push/Pull influences how we contribute to our shared imaginative space, it is a matter of "I make this thing happen" or "I set this thing up so you have do something with it". There are plenty of mechanics for Push, but very few explicitly designed for Pull as far as my experience goes. Polaris certainly comes close in that it takes the informal negotiation of Drama resolution (and the involved Push/Pull) and provides explicit mechanical guidance.


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42. On 2006-05-18, Curly said:

When you guys finally hash this out, you'll be able to bounce when Morpheus throws you off the building in the Matrix.


43. On 2006-05-18, Matt Wilson said:

This is kinda tangential, but I'm not sure where to put it. The whole idea of "I'm trying to throw you off a building" being maybe just absolutely push regardless of mechanics (whether it is or not) takes me back to that discussion round these parts about deconstructing ownership of character.


"Okay, I'm mad, and I'm trying to do something bad to your character. What am I doing?"

"Ooooh, you're totally trying to throw me off the building."

"I like that. That's cool. That's what I'm doing."


direct link

This makes...
WMW go "Not tangential at all"*
ecb go "agreed."*
mneme go "I actually..."*
WMW go "Show me conflict"*
WMW go "I should say that"*
CS go "yes"*

*click in for more

44. On 2006-05-18, Matt Wilson said:

Oh, and here's a follow-up thought: what happens in the above games when you get thrown off the building? Depending on what I'm allowed to do and say post-throw, your throwing me off may have kind of an implied pull quality, like, "I throw you off the building. What do you do as you're falling?"

And in the IIEE post above, I'm thinking maybe there's a push/pull connection between how specific you can make your intent and how closely intent matches effect.

Like, there's more pull in 'I'm trying to hurt you' than there is in "I'm trying to totally disintegrate you."


45. On 2006-05-18, Vincent said:


In fact, I'm going to white it out. Highlight with the mouse if you're a Forgie.

Sadly, lines of character ownership are all illusion. All roleplaying is fundamentally collaborative, so all ownership is fundamentally contingent and flexible.

If our procedures of play allow me to cross lines of ownership - if I'm not breaking the game to do so - then I haven't really crossed any lines, have I? I've stayed within the lines our game's established.

No, I have a harsh assessment of push/pull if it really depends on lines of ownership. Harsher even than "it doesn't exist." It exists, but it sucks; it's worse than useless, it's actively destructive.

Ready? Push is how other people play. The appearance of push and pull is based on me taking the lines of ownership in our game and looking at your game as though my game were the only true game. In your game, you have different lines of ownership; they look to me, from my provincial view, transgressive. I say you're pushing solely because you're playing by different rules of ownership than I am.

Now, while this exact provincialism may be a tension in some of the push/pull discussions, I think push/pull is a better idea than that.

Thanks everybody.

Oh, and please, respond to my Forge-only remarks in marginalia to this comment. Non-forgies, you might want to skip the marginalia here too.


direct link

This makes...
WMW go "Ding! Win."*
BL go "This is particularly interesting"*
mneme go "I don't"*
TER go "I think ownership is a red herring"*
VB go "TER, I agree."
Chris go "seconded"*
CS go "I cheated, but actually I'm okay."*
XP go "Help me understand something"*
ecb go "ownership is a line of authority..."*
lpl go "Oh!"*
XP go "Thanks"*

*click in for more

46. On 2006-05-19, beingfrank said:

I think I???m missing something.  I read Brand???s post on moments of crisis and took it to mean that pull does not happen in the moment of crisis, but before.  I understood it as saying that push is forcing a moment of crisis and pull is soliciting for collaboration to produce a moment of crisis.  So I look at the 6 examples, and they all look to me like they???re in the middle of the moment of crisis, and any pull involved has happened before this point.

I thought that D/FitM/E was about how stuff was resolved, in this case, the moment of crisis.  I???m not sure how to relate that to something that is a process of creating a moment of crisis.  Isn???t pull about suggesting something as a moment of crisis?  Does the pull itself necessarily include the resolution of that moment of crisis?  I would have thought not.

I do think you???re onto something there, but you seem to be putting bits together that don???t actually fit.



47. On 2006-05-25, web_weaver said:


May I ask a question in order to help clarify your intent.

Your six examples appear to be drawing a direct parrallel between the act of resolving a situation, whether by drama or fortune, with Brand's "The Moment of Crisis" and then asking if the parrallel is useful.

You do NOT appear to be saying that the six examples fit within Brand's Push/Pull clarification, rather that they are an example of a possibly wider rule.

Do I read you correctly?



48. On 2006-05-25, Vincent said:

Claire: Oh! How you create a moment of crisis - that is, how you create circumstances that will lead up to a moment of crisis - is, you propose something that requires resolution.

So then, push/pull refers to what happens between the moment when I propose a thing and its moment of crisis. Push is when nobody else gets to contribute between when I propose a thing and its moment of crisis. Pull is when I solicit other people's contributions between when I propose a thing and its moment of crisis.

And DitM/DatE refers to what happens between the moment when I propose a thing and its moment of resolution. DatE is when nobody else gets to say anything between when I propose a thing and when it resolves. DitM is when other people do get to contribute between when I propose a thing and when it resolves.

They look identical to me. The moment of crisis is the moment when it becomes true or false. The moment of resolution is when it becomes true or false too. It's all the same thing.


49. On 2006-05-25, Vincent said:

Jamie: I think that push/pull directly and straightforwardly contains DatE/DitM. Four of my six examples, therefore, are direct examples of push and pull. The two DatE examples are direct examples of push; the two DitM examples are direct examples of pull.

Push and pull, per Brand's most recent post, are arguably larger than, not identical to, DatE and DitM. That's okay; an example of DitM is still automatically an example of pull, and an example of DatE is still automatically an example of push.


50. On 2006-05-26, web_weaver said:

OK Vincent, let me try a different tack, and attempt a more formal definition of your theory.
This may help in proving its validity.


For the purposes of this argument I will name Mo's definition, "Social Push/Pull" (SoPP); as he is focused upon the communication of ideas within a conflict situation.

. SoPush is an assertion of individual authority
. SoPull is a directed solicitation for collaborative buy-in and input

Brand adds that to define a Push or a Pull one must examine the Moment of Crisis.

You examine the Moment of Resolution within a system of rules, I will name this "System Push/Pull" (SyPP).

. SyPush is a requirement for resolution by the system of a SoPush
. SyPull is a requirement for resolution by the system of a SoPull


. All examples of SyPush involve Fortune or Drama at the End resolution
. All examples of SyPull involve Fortune or Drama in the Middle resolution

Secondary Theory

SyPP is equal to or a subset of SoPP such that every example of a SyPP will be the result of a SoPP.
Therefore SyPP occurs at the Moment of Resolution of a SoPP ,if resolution is required, and coincides with the Moment of Crisis.

Am I near to correctly defining your theory?



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