2005-12-03 : Closing GNS and RPG Theory is Good

Here's why I think that Ron's closing the GNS and RPG Theory forums was a good idea. Ready? It won't endear me to you.

The biggest accomplishment of the RPG Theory forum and the GNS forum between them, in the past year-at-least-probably-two, happened in just the last couple of days, with Ron's coinage of "constructive denial."

The BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT in the PAST COUPLE OF YEARS was Ron's coinage of "constructive denial."

Know what it accomplished? It brought a few self-avowed simulationists on board with mainstream Forge thought.


Anyone care to guess how many hours I spent in theory and GNS over the past couple of years, accomplishing less than that?

Back in February, in Roleplaying Theory In Person, I wrote this:

I do have a shareable observation, though: over the three years plus I've been here, we've done an enormous amount of real work. That means that people coming here today don't get to participate in the groundwork. They have to learn it instead. They've been thinking really hard, really hard, about RPGs, just like I had. When they show up here they're all excited, at last they've found people who care like they do! But we respond to them with "yeah, old news, here's a thousand pages to read beyond your hard-won insight" or else with "nah, we used to think that too, here's a thousand pages to read refuting your lovingly-built construction."

The Forge today requires far more humility of its new participants than it used to.

Overwhelmingly, for a couple of years, the discussion in theory and GNS has been born of the lack of humility of "dissenters."

Now - I can hear you sharpening your pencils - isn't it ironic that I decry a lack of humility right in such an arrogant, arrogant statement! Isn't it rich! Put your pencils down and bear with me.

Yesterday, Ron cut off a discussion I was having with someone, and we continued it in PM. This person said, "I disagree with you, Vincent; I think (a) and (b)." I said, "ah, I see, (b)'s your mistake."

If this person can humbly accept correction, the whole thing will (eventually) click into place for him, he'll get it, and his participation at the Forge will be a great thing for him and us. If he can't, he'll build his misunderstanding into "dissent," and his participation at the Forge will become defined by arguments about it - or he'll (the better choice) ditch out.

That's how it goes. I've carefully watched it happen, one way or the other, fifty times. I've participated in it fifty times; it's happened hundreds. As I try to do, I pitched my tone and chose my words, based on what I know of this particular person and our past interactions and what I think he thinks of me, to incline him toward the former - but it's always a crap shoot.

So that's the reality, I signed up for that, but do you see what I did to a fellow human being? I said to him, "to continue this conversation, you must admit that you're mistaken." I said, "you aren't smart enough to disagree with me." I said, "we can have no interaction about this but your submission to me." I said, "your self-loathing is valid."

I said, "your self-loathing is valid."

Is it right, fair, just or good that the Forge requires more humility of its newcomers than it did four years ago? Is it okay that I never had to be as humble as you do, just because I got there first? That you have to submit to a hundred exchanges telling you you're stupid and wrong, you aren't even a good enough nerd, where I had to submit to ten or a dozen? That I get to be right, while you have to be wrong?


I use the word heavily and informedly.

What the Forge needs, to begin to make right its sin, is a solid introductory document, and a series of solid intermediate documents. How long have you been saying this yourself? Closing the RPG Theory and GNS forums to further poorly-informed and/or entrenched arguments is going to help make those documents happen. Opening up a "for newcomers" forum is going to help make those documents happen.

The entrenched dissent can carry on elsewhere, as it likes.

I don't see a downside.

1. On 2005-12-03, Victor Gijsbers said:

I'd like to ask two questions in order to better understand your position. I wish to stress that these questions are 100% non-polemical.

1. Do you believe that the groundwork laid down in, say, the Big Model, is so sound, solid and objectively useful that it doesn't need to be submitted to periodical criticism?

2. Do you believe that the further building of useful theory on this groundwork can take place most fruitfully by always linking it to very specific actual play instances?


2. On 2005-12-03, Ben Lehman said:

Vincent, I agree with you.

I'm trying to do what I can.  I'm getting a sinking feeling that what I'm working on right now is going to be obsolete by the time I'm done writing it.

If it needs it, the newcomer forum will have my enthusiastic participation.



3. On 2005-12-03, Vincent said:

Victor: "1. Do you believe that the groundwork laid down in, say, the Big Model, is so sound, solid and objectively useful that it doesn't need to be submitted to periodical criticism?"

Not at all.

But I do believe that periodical criticism has not been happening in the RPG Theory or GNS forums.

"2. Do you believe that the further building of useful theory on this groundwork can take place most fruitfully by always linking it to very specific actual play instances?"

By always linking it to specific actual play instances AND specific instances of game design, yes. Absolutely.

I base this on the fact that every single useful development so far has been linked to specific actual play and/or specific game design.


4. On 2005-12-03, Matthijs Holter said:

Vincent, I just agree so much. It's hard to say without sounding like a whiner - but I've felt humbled a lot at the Forge, and I'm no idiot; I know my gaming pretty well. Still, I don't feel as if there's much space for me to contribute.

I'm not sure if that will change. Right now, the theory is solid, and it doesn't feel like there's much more to do - over there, at least. The Big Model has been built; now what?

So I come to the Forge to learn and read, mostly.

This is not a criticism of anyone; it's just what happens when theory is being built. At some point, it's pretty much finished - new investigations must look to completely other fields, and time will show whether the theory survives and is still useful in fifty or a hundred years.


5. On 2005-12-03, Matt Snyder said:

Opening up a "for newcomers" forum is going to help make those documents happen.

I don't understand how. Can you explain? It's because I'm hearing Ron sighing and say, "So write 'em already, jeez!"


6. On 2005-12-03, Curly said:

If my newbie experience is any indication,
here's the rub:

A newcomer seeking to signal his friendly deference to the groundwork already-established/
and seeking in good-faith to participate;
will try to get up to speed by reading old theory discussion before posting.

And will then join-in, waving-around GNS jargon like a happy hello.  And will be surprised to be met unenthusiastically. And assumed to be a hostile dissenter.

I don't think your response is a sin.
I am grateful to have been set-straight so quickly; instead of a being left to flounder 'at my own speed'.  Which woulda been a waste of my time.

However, I did sometimes feel that the course-corrections I received (not just from you) weren't as informative as they shoulda been.  For example, flatly describing GNS as 'obsolete' is misleading to a newbie. 'Antiquated' is a better term, I think—because it says "keep going" past GNS/ not "throw it away". "Groundwork" is a good term, too.

Ron's a biology prof, right? I wonder if the recent 'intelligent design' nuisance is influencing his distaste for fighting won-battles ad nausea.

In that battle and this one; you gotta decide whether you're content to lose those who Don't Get It.  Or whether you feel compelled to win them over.

How much charity do you have for plodding slow-learners? For lost causes? For those too immature to realize that brusque correction contains generosity? (You can lead a horse to water...)

I'm impressed that the Forge community is capable of adapting, to grow.  Instead of doing the same things that didn't work last time, again & again.  Fixing the 'system' of how people interact is very Lumpley Principle. Good design.

Reading this today eases the gnawing concern I expressed in the "VA hospital" post—written at 3 a.m.


7. On 2005-12-03, Chris said:

Hi Vincent,

100% Yeah.  When any discussion becomes about who's right instead of what's right, it's pretty much over for constructive dialogue.

And it's completely understandable how it happens, because 1) 99% of stuff out there (on the internet, and otherwise) is bullshit opinion, and 2) gamer culture trains people not to observe what is going on socially, and between those two, a newcomer easily assumes our theory is just as bullshit as any other theory, and unable to confirm the theory because they're not able to see what the theory is talking about.

Anyone who can see what's going on socially- it clicks right away, but for anyone who is busy wondering if a +2 sword vs. a +3 sword makes Jim a jerk- they're not going to be able to get anything until they pass that first hurdle.

And, as you said, the key is whether the dialogue turns into one of informative value, or if it turns into one of ego and pissing contests.


8. On 2005-12-03, Ron Edwards said:

"How much charity do you have for plodding slow-learners?"

As much as time, energy, and any degree of improvement permit. I think I have a pretty good record so far.

"For lost causes?"

None. A lost cause is indicated by intellectual dishonesty, petulance, slander, and most importantly, failure to help others who can use good basic advice.

"For those too immature to realize that brusque correction contains generosity?"

Patience and willingness to start over if and when they want to, later. Lots of examples of these.

You left out "bug up their asses" regarding people who fixate on a single phrase or issue, then repeat their concern with it indefinitely without paying attention to discussions that address it. They persist as more-or-less snapshots of a given moment in the ongoing discussion, oblivious to changes or conclusions downstream in time.

The real problem is that these folks consider themselves dissenters, whereas they are really the intellectual equivalent of arrested development. They are looking for validation in terms of their past/lost moment of objection. The *actual* dissenters regarding theory at the Forge are relatively few.

With some pain, I eventually decided that ignoring these folks was necessary, because otherwise they make it impossible to help others.


9. On 2005-12-03, ffilz said:

Vincent, you can add at least one more person to the count of who benefited from the Constructive Denial discussion. I always felt I was at the edge of understanding sim, and was pretty sure I have had some good sim experiences in the past, but wasn't 100% sure. Now I am. Coupled with Chris Chinn's (bankuei) gamism entries on his blog, I feel like I've got as good an undestanding of the big model as I can without experiencing some nar play.

I do look forward to new introductory essays.

So thanks to all who have helped me understand (which includes at a minimum, Vincent, Ron, Chris, Ralph, and Mike).



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10. On 2005-12-03, Ed Heil said:

Yay!  I've thought for a long time that "read these 150 threads" needed to be reduced to "read this big document."

Even Ron's old essays aren't a good introduction because later ones contradict earlier ones.  Great for someone interested in the history of the development of the ideas, shitty for someone who wants to get up to speed ASAP.

I'm also deeply digging the way Vincent described what the Forge is to a newbie right now and why he's got a problem with that.


11. On 2005-12-03, Joshua BishopRoby said:

A whole lot of confusion on both boards had to do with their names and their short-descriptions on the index page.  GNS Discussions was the better of the two, because the board really was about the GNS model.  RPG Theory, however, wasn't really about the entire breadth of RPG Theory, it was about Big Model.  Additionally, the intent of both boards were specifically to develop GNS and later Big Model into a workable framework.  The short-descriptions weren't invitations to contribute to the Models, however, and so people walked in thinking that any take on RPG Theory was appropriate to discuss.

For me, the difference wasn't clear until Ron closed the boards.  They had served their purpose—which begged the question of what that purpose was.  I'm not one that has to believe in a theory in order to question, develop, or even talk about it.  I mean, I can still discuss religion like an old believer.  And at root, I like seeing theories built and articulated in general.  So somebody runs a board to build a useful model?  Great, more power to them.

But I'd say that a whole lot of time and effort was wasted because some people were posting about RPG Theory while the old hands were posting about Big Model.  I mean, how many people were referenced to the Articles?  How many people did you shake your head and say, "These people just don't get it" when the it in question was the Big Model, which they hadn't been given clear instructions that that was what the discussion was about.  I'd also say that this helped build up the sense that Forgites think the Big Model is all there is to RPG Theory—because in terms of the forum, RPG Theory was equated with Big Model.

So, yes, discussion on those boards did often take the slant of "accept these foundational principles in order to participate in the discussion."  There's nothing wrong with that; that's pretty much how discourse works.  It just wasn't made as clear as it might have been, to my eye.  An "Intro to Big Model" board will be far more explicit about this, and I think it will be a significant improvement.


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12. On 2005-12-03, Andrew Norris said:

Just posting to say I agree with you 100%, Vincent. The last half-dozen times I tried to tell someone about a topic that could have been discussed in one of those forums, I pointed them to your site instead. It's got the bulk of the information you actually need, and I think the rest can be readily picked up through the context of discussions here.


13. On 2005-12-04, Ron Edwards said:


Your distinction between GNS and the Big Model, and their correspondence to the two forums, isn't accurate, although I can see why you'd think that.

The tendency to talk about Big Model stuff in RPG Theory was a negative trend that I routinely combatted by moving threads to the GNS forum, for years. In the last year, I more-or-less gave up. Since the last year also corresponds to Big Model discussions (given the date of publication of the Narrativism essay, where it pretty much got that name), that's why you see what seemed to you to be a purposeful distinction.

Actually, the point of RPG Theory was to discuss any imaginable substantive ideas about role-playing, not to continue or work with the Big Model or any other specific framework. You could use it or not as you saw fit.

It was closed because it didn't work. Based on years of observation, I decided that the vast majority of posts there were better off anchored in accounts of actual play.

The current hope is for *better* theory discussions at the Forge, which go *farther* - the absolute opposite of the widely perceived notion that theory is being muzzled at the site. The discussions will be better and go farther because of the actual-play backbone of the initial posts, for a variety of reasons. Again, I hope.

If it doesn't work out, well, hey, there's always whatever blogs and fora and similar have evolved in the meantime.


14. On 2005-12-04, misuba said:

I think things would have been different at the Forge if A) standard phpBB-style forum software weren't so difficult to use, and B) the Articles page listed dates of publication on the articles, and contained the standard boilerplate of what order to read the articles in for the best odds of understanding how theory developed.

Telling people "you don't understand, here'a link," or even just "you don't understand, here's a search string," might have gone a lot further than just telling them, "you don't understand." The main problem is just approachability. It isn't there right now. (On which subject, here is a link to the Constructive Denial discussion for anyone else who is curious: )


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15. On 2005-12-04, Clinton R. Nixon said:

I'm not marginalizing this, because it shouldn't be.

Misuba is so damn right that it hurts. I take blame for the article dating thing. I blame, well, inertia for the forum software.

One thing five years of hosting the Forge has taught me is that forum software is crap, and that if I were to start the Forge again, I'd use something else entirely. New developments, like Vanilla, are cool, but hard to get old hands to try. (Me and Ron are butting heads on it this morning on another forum.) Personally, the Forge's structure would look a lot more like LiveJournal if I were to re-do it. Everyone gets individual weblogs, you can subscribe to each others and tag posts with what they're relevant to. Posts that get enough votes or that a moderator picks move to the front page of the site.


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16. On 2005-12-05, Markus said:

What the Forge needs, to begin to make right its sin, is a solid introductory document, and a series of solid intermediate documents. How long have you been saying this yourself? Closing the RPG Theory and GNS forums to further poorly-informed and/or entrenched arguments is going to help make those documents happen. Opening up a "for newcomers" forum is going to help make those documents happen.


Accumulation of forum threads is accumulation of information. But accumulation of information is not accumulation of knowledge. Dissemination of random data is impossible and inefficient. Externalized and summarized knowledge is easier to periodically criticize and build upon.

One thing I want to ask Ron and the others: Who were exactly the people making the decision of closing the forums? What kind of process was used? Who were consulted beforehand?

- Markus


17. On 2005-12-05, Ron Edwards said:

That's a Forge question, Markus. Bring it over to Site Discussion and I'll answer it there.


18. On 2005-12-05, Roger said:

One thing five years of hosting the Forge has taught me is that forum software is crap, and that if I were to start the Forge again, I'd use something else entirely.

I trust I need not explicitly draw any of the obvious parallels between this line of thought and the concept of System Matters.


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19. On 2005-12-05, Andy K said:

BTW, on Vanilla...

So, there's been a lot of suggestion about creating ones own forums or discussions on theory and the like.

Anyway, I set up a Vanilla play area, for those who want to see what the Forge might look like if done up with another tool.  If you're thinking about doing your own thing, and want to see what vanilla looks like up close, then feel free to go sign in and try to break stuff.



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20. On 2005-12-06, Ed Freeman said:

I've spent a good chunk of my life teaching university level mathematics.  Every year, students have been making the same mistakes and have been doing so for literaly hundreds of years. "I've been telling you people for ten years now that (a+b)^2 is NOT a^2 + b^2!"

At the Forge, there seems to have been a roughly yearly cycle of the same arguements being repeated, but by different posters!  It seems like no matter what the field, people have to go through understanding it in stages, and hitting fairly predictable speed bumps along the way.

Newtonian Mechanics has been suplanted by Quantum Mechanics.  But they still teach Newtonian mechanics, and people still use Newton for lots of things.  I suspect GNS and the Big Model are goign to be the same way.

There's one last idea I'd like to bring in from mathematics.  There are situations where people learn the basics, and situations where people discuss the cutting edge, and _these are different places_.  I think we could use a forum (whatever the software!) where, like an acedemic conference, anybody can read but only invited people can post.



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21. On 2005-12-06, Matthijs Holter said:

Not only are they different places: they're run by different people, for good reasons. Few people can do good theory, few people can teach well, and incredibly few people can do both.

Ideally, there would be different people running newbie-teaching and hardcore theory forums.


22. On 2005-12-06, anon. said:

Agreed to all of the above, I think.

I was taken aback by the closing myself, even though we knew it was coming, but I think that all the rambling theoretical discussions would do much better if disciplined by engagement with specific instances of Actual Play or specific proposals for Indie Design—better for teaching the novices, better for refining the state of the art.

But you know what? Honestly? That's all secondary rationalization, for me. The thing that went through my head after Ron closed those forums is the same thing that goes through my head every time Ron comes down like a hammer on some poster for what seems like a minor breach of protocol:

1) "Holy shit! Ron did whaaaat? Was that really called for?"
2) "Well, Ron's kept an online, open-to-all forum functioning, productive, and reasonably civil for more than four years (on the internet! Civility! Holy shit!), and I've benefited from it a lot, so he probably knows what he's doing."
3) "Yeah. I guess I trust Ron."

This entire 3-step process takes about 3 seconds, mind.

I trust Ron. Not because he is The Guru, not because he's The Founder, not because he has bullied me into submission, but because he has a track record. The intellectual arguments for WHY what Ron is doing is going to work come second, frankly, for me; the gut-check comes first:

I trust Ron. He's earned it.

(anonymous for now 'cause I'm one of the 30-40 people whose Ronnies submission is awaiting Ron's judgment and this is not about sucking up)


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23. On 2005-12-07, Green said:

Although people have hinted at it before, I'm hoping that one of the happy side effects of closing the RPG Theory and GNS forums at the Forge would be so that game designers like myself who have only tangental interest in pure theory can have more freedom to get constructive feedback on our efforts.  One of the things I'm looking forward to is linking theory to actual play, design, and RPG trends.  Too often in the past, I felt like I was in the wrong place at the Forge because all I wanted to do was design games and discuss aspects of gaming that apply to real RPGs and real experiences.  It's a . . . refreshing change.


24. On 2005-12-07, the GreyOrm said:

I agree with everything but the Sin. I think it is not a sin, not in any way, that a newbie coming into an established theory community has to be more humble than a newbie coming into a new theory community. Why? Simple logistics.

There's more to learn from established theory, less free range to explore (because it's already been), and more you are ignorant about. There's more listening you need to do.

Not fair? Too bad.

Otherwise, you're arguing that scientific disciplines are full of the Sin, for precisely the same reason. Can I walk into a discussion of Chaos theory or String theory with less or an equal amount of humility than I could have fifteen or twenty years ago?

By Odin, no!

With a basic professional level understanding of physics and mathematics, fifteen years ago I could walk into either and spit crap left and right until something stuck, without fear of being contradicted or otherwise shot down for doing so.

Today? I'd better walk in meekly and say humbly, "Teach me, Master, that I might learn to argue with you." Then sit down, shut up, and listen, only speaking up to help myself clarify my understanding of the points presented to me.

Once I go through all that, then and ONLY then can I start spitting crap wherever I feel, because I'll know where I actually can do so and how best to make it stick.

Not fair? Welcome to life. Welcome to the path of wisdom.

Now, the Sin...that's our failure to provide that coherent starting point the willing student can step forward to. We had an academic conference into which we threw novices and expected them to contribute and participate on the same level as masters, while trying to educate them at the same time.

What hubris on our part, inspiring hubris in theirs, supporting the lie of equality of opinion, thus confusing, angering, frustrating all involved. There is the Sin, as I see it.

Of course, though I disagree precisely with where lies the sin, the solution undertaken provides reparation for either, whichever it may be, and regardless of how raw my chosen metaphor rubs anyone—some of whom undoubtedly, and ironically, will incorrectly take this as a defense of hubris and dogma, and so miss the truth in it.

- Raven


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25. On 2005-12-07, ffilz said:

Good points about newcommer humbleness when coming into a mature field. However, one thing I think would be cool if there was a way to make it all happen would be "classes" where a teacher teaches the material, but part of teaching stuff like this is to let the students try their wings at deriving theory (even though it's covered ground) or otherwise talking about it. I for one learn a lot better when I am working through the theory myself rather than just having it regurgitated (and the fact that lots of [most] college courses are structured this way suggests that it's a proven way to teach).



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26. On 2005-12-07, Troy_Costisick said:


Well, I see Vince's point and agree with it.  However, I am with you 100%, Raven, on the sin of not providing the newcomers something to grasp and hold onto as they learn.  Hopefully we are constructing that in the RPG theory forum now.  I encourage everyone to send Ron batches of useful links so we cand build on what's already there.  I know we'll all benefit from it.




27. On 2005-12-07, John Laviolette said:

nope, I'm going to have to agree with Vincent and not Raven. sorry.

here's why: unlike a scientific discipline, there is no introductory text to the theory *as it now stands*, nor is there an introduction to the *entire* theory. what we have are a few articles on different aspects of the GNS portion of the theory as they were understood at specific moments in time, without any revisions, and pointers to old discussions, again frozen in time, complete with wrong-headed assumptions by "newbies" at that time trying to join the discussion. on top of this, there are several aspects of the theory that aren't even linked; they were merely mentioned in passing, sometimes in a thread not otherwise about theory. sometimes, not even described on the Forge itself, but on some other forum.

what scientific discipline requires you to read the entire history of a theory, including all the mistakes? and with not even a final summary that says "here is what we finally concluded from all that arguing"?

and how can it *not* be a sin for theorists in such circumstances to speak with condescension and arrogance to those trying to learn?

it's like saying "RTFM" when there is no "FM". just a lot of notes on discussions about what might be included in the "FM". and most of it is obsolete.


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28. On 2005-12-08, jmac said:

I like what Vincent said %)

when I first found Forge, there was a feeling like when playing a certain kind of game :) - there clearly happend to be some kind of theory (sound and consistent enough to be interesting) - I wanted to understand it, but there was a little teaching or learning climate in the threads, there happened to be a kind of debates - and folks with 10 posts seemed to participate just like those with 10000 posts :) I really want to understand it, but there is a discussion - so let's discuss.
such seemed to be a right way to conduct oneself ("seemed" more or less conciously). sorry. it seems really stupid now.
(I did read the Rules and "how-to-post"s actually, a bit later :-| )

I've read all the articles, many of Threads (at least what I though were conclusions) several times, I felt the Revelation ("Man, I was wrong. NOW I understood this thing!") about three times and as there are still things in Provisional Glossary I don't "feel", I'm sure this is not the last one :)

sorry for littering the comments.


29. On 2005-12-10, Steve Marsh (Ethesis) said:

I ran into the Forge from an article someone posted to me.  So I read through the articles section.  Then I started reading posts.

Noticed a couple of things.

1—people would say:  go to this thread, but read and don't comment on it, it is now solidified wisdom and it violates the social contract to comment or add to solidified wisdom.

2—much of the forum was swamped by people repeating things over and over again.

On balance, I can see that there was a good reason to break people free from that mold and try to kick them into application and reflection.

I think there wasn't much other choice.


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30. On 2005-12-12, Steve Marsh (Ethesis) said:

Posting to old threads makes the history befuddled?  Ah well, the version of the board I saw had time stamps.  True, it isn't a properly threaded Lotus Notes database, but it works fairly well.

But seriously, unless you have parent and daughter threads, you do have solidified threads creating solidified wisdom.  I didn't see that, though I did see a lot of repeating.

Initial "canon" thread.

Follow-up threads (rarely seen).

New posters revisiting subject, send to solidified "canon" thread.

No evolution of the solidified concept.

I stand by my conclusion that the result was a need to break free and that closing the comments seems like the only good choice.


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31. On 2005-12-13, Ben Lehman said:


Did you ever participate in theory discussion?  I'm really wondering where your experience is coming from here, 'cause it doesn't mesh with mine.



32. On 2005-12-13, Steve Marsh (Ethesis) said:

Very little.  I came on late, got told that I'd made a gross error by posting to threads that looked open but were too old (I'd misunderstood) and then the theory boards closed.

I read a lot, though.  Got pointed to some essays, some I really liked, and then read things thing linked to.  Probably read a couple hundred screens before posting.

But, as I read, over and over I saw collections of:  read these posts—combined with—these posts are closed and comments on them violates the social contract of the Forge.

Closing the theory forum from posts only solidified that.

So, as a latecomer, what I saw was:

Want to discuss something:  go read this thread, but do not post on it and do not thread from it (threading from it would be to add a post linking to a new post).

But, the more I looked, the more I concluded that the Forge was right in closing the theory board and encouraging people to discuss their experiences from actual play.

Anyway, post 30 is how it looked to me as I came in, looked around, read a lot, followed things and tried to join in.  I confess that I'm already getting bored.  The one thing I do want to do is spend some times with Dogs in the Vineyard.

I like redemptionist threads and the rules set seems nicely aimed at generating settings that allow for that type of situation.

Further, I've an old design, Mistworld, that had undead demons very much like the ones in DitV.  DitV structures something I had very much wanted to do, but had not gotten around to doing (I was having too much fun with an "active" magic system with real counterspells, and with spells that you could avoid by running out of range if you got a start on them).  Then I got seriously distracted (which is how I refer to burying three children over five years).

I'd given up on FRPGs for a while.  I've started to play again, once in a blue moon, with an old friend (the guy who was the GM for the first campaign I played in), Heroquest finally came out and Deluxe Basic Role Playing is due "any time now."

Anyway, that's my perspective, having seen a lot of APAzines, a lot of mainstream game companies and a lot of message boards (back in the non-internet days).

But I like DitV.  Reminds me of when I discovered D&D.  I'd been trying to build an FRPG since about '68 when I thought of it in Jr. High School (Middle School to you kids).  Hadn't gotten very far, board games were easier to do and I'd missed minatures.

Anyway, there is a structure there I like, in the way it generates scenarios, and I may stick around to just keep reading more.



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