2006-05-18 : A quick IIEE primer, by request

Anybody new, feel free to ask questions.

IIEE stands for intent, initiation, execution and ...uh... outcome. Effect. The last E is effect. That doesn't matter too much.

IIEE means, what do we bindingly establish in the game's fiction before we resolve, and what do we leave unestablished until after we've resolved?

Contrast with FitM/FatE, which means, where in the real world process of resolution does the die roll fall?

IIEE = what the characters do in the fiction, itM/atE = what the players do at the table.

Here's an illustration of IIEE.

I want my character to do something. Let's stick with, I want my character to throw your character off a seven-story building.

I say "I totally pitch you off the building to your death. So long, sucker."

We do some process of resolution, the upshot of which is: you get to block me (in the improv sense: you get to negate my input). You get to say, "no you don't. Instead..."

How much of my input do you get to block?

Do you get to block me all the way back at my character's initial intent? "No you don't. Instead, you invite me out for coffee."

Do you have to grant me my character's intent, but get to block me before my character starts to move (initiation)? "No you don't. Instead, you restrain yourself, clenching your fists and standing menacing over me."

Do you have to grant me my character's intent and initiation, but get to block me while my character's doing it (execution)? "No you don't. Instead, you get your hands on me but I twist away, you can't catch me."

Do you have to grant me my character's intent, initiation and execution, but get to block what comes of it (effect)? "No you don't. Instead, you catch me and heave me over, sure, but I catch a window sill a story down. I'm dangling there."

See how that works? At the real-world moment of resolution, what fictional stuff have we bindingly established, and what's up for grabs? Of what I've said, what can you potentially negate, and what must you let stand?

In Dogs in the Vineyard, I raise ("I throw you to your death") and if you see with two dice, you block my execution ("I slip out of your grasp"), but if you see with three or more, you block my effect ("I fall - crunch - but I'm not dead yet").

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

Hey V:

Is this related to the push/pull discussion below? On account of because I have a related thought.


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

Put related thoughts into the thread they're related to. Preserve this thread for me talking about IIEE with people who have questions about it.


3. On 2006-05-18, Avram said:

You could almost have made it EIEIO. So close....


4. On 2006-05-18, Joshua Kronengold said:

Where does the voluntary stuff come into this?

For example, is there a difference, in this model, between -blocking- an action, and allowing a rollback (ie, "Kirkliness": "You realize that if you tried to assault the guard, you'd quickly be overcome.  Do you want to attempt the futile action anyway or go along peacefully?")?


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

Joshua K: Where does the voluntary stuff come into this?

For example, is there a difference, in this model, between -blocking- an action, and allowing a rollback...?

No, no difference.

That is, there are different ways you can treat my input - blocking, allowing a do-over, modifying, expanding, whatever else. What IIEE cares about is what we've bindingly established vs. what's up for grabs. All of those different ways you can treat my input, they're just different kinds of "up for grabs."


6. On 2006-05-18, Thomas Robertson said:


I just wanted to say: I had never grasped the IIEE difference between blocking and taking the blow before.  Dang that's cool.



7. On 2006-05-18, Eric Provost said:

Dude... You totally broke my brain again.  I never even considered the idea of blocking anywhere else but in Effect or Execution.  The whole "You invite me out for coffee"-thing had me violently twisting my head to one side any making the confused-Scooby noise.




8. On 2006-05-19, Charles said:

How does (or do they) IIEE and itM/atE relate to (say) scene framing?

Is there a different terminology for that level?

I can see it fitting into intent in a way:

"Should we have a scene on the roof top where my character tries to kill yours?"


"Can you frame the next scene?"


"Okay, we're on the roof top, and I try to throw you off."

but perhaps it is better to view it as a separate question?

I think it depends in part on what we mean by the fiction.

If it does fit into IIEE and atE/inM, then what is the middle example?


9. On 2006-05-22, Vincent said:

Charles: Definitely better to view it as a separate question.

There's a marked difference between "this is how we decide which of people's contributions become true" and the narrower "this is how we resolve." "Night falls windy and the trees whip overhead" is a different category of contribution from "Alexandra punches Benjamin in the eye." The former lacks fictional conflict of interest.

GENERALLY lacks fictional conflict of interest, that is; and the latter only GENERALLY includes fictional conflict of interest. You could construct example contexts for the two where they each fit into the other category; that's fine. The categories remain.


10. On 2006-05-27, jmac said:

Why is initiation separated?

In your example it can be considered as a part of intent, sometimes it can considered as a part of execution, I guess.

It's a part of system - how and who gets to say something about character and what does character want, do and get, right?


11. On 2006-05-27, Vincent said:

Uh... If sometimes you'd have to switch it from being considered part of one to being considered part of another, doesn't that point to its being its own thing?

But whatever, don't get hung up on it. I, I, E and E aren't distinct phases of resolution, they're distinct spots where resolution can be phased. Any and all of them can be considered part of the ones next to them, depending entirely on the system.

And better, the important thing to get isn't that there are four of them. "There are four of them" is just a way to look at the more general problem, which IS the important thing to get: what have you established in the fiction when you pick up the dice, and what do you leave unresolved until the dice are on the table?


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