2011-04-25 : We are creative equals
Here's the first and fundamental principle that Meg, Emily and I explicitly adopted for our 6-year freeform Ars Magica game:
The moment of creation is the moment of collaboration. At that moment, we are all creative equals.
Here are a few of its important immediate implications:
There is no GM, and can't be one.
Owning something - a character, a setting element, a situation - means taking responsibility, not holding authority. It means that you portray it, but that you answer to us for your portrayal, not that we accept your portrayal sight unseen as given.
When we roll dice, we do it to inspire and provoke ourselves, not to bind ourselves to an outcome we've preconstructed. We answer to one another, not to the dice. No die roll is binding; the best a roll can hope for is to inspire us to act on it.
Prep if you want, but do it knowing that you'll have to win us over at the moment of collaboration just the same. All prep is always uncertain.
I may hurt Meg and Emily's feelings here, but playing this way is an awful lot of work, and compared to playing well-designed games it's not unusually fulfilling. You can get some things out of it that are difficult or impossible to get otherwise, but they aren't unusually great things. They're just fun. These days, there are things that are more fun that are also much easier to come by.
It also positivively defies any more game text. The principle IS the game text. Everything else is the live, vibrant, ongoing, mercurial working creative relationships of the people themselves.
If you want to play this way, grab some friends to be your creative equals and go for it. Nothing's stopping you, and there's no sense waiting for a game text - it wouldn't help you anyway. Don't set yourself up, though! It's not the pinnacle of the medium.
1. On 2011-04-25, Vincent said:
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