Monday, October 09, 2006

Weekly Review Oct. 1st to Oct. 7th

This week has seen a variety of theory developments, some stemming from continuing threads, others from outside.

A Question of Force

Over on Story Games, Joshua BishopRoby began a discussion about the relationship between compelling moments of player decision (Bangs) and GMing using concealed force (Illusionism). He asks how prepared bangs can be introduced without some measure of concealed force. The result is a debate over what sorts of GM influence constitute force. Eliot Wilen sums up this debate with a call to refine the terms being used, so that they are more generally useful.

Applied Theory

Likewise at Story Games, Christian Griffen began a discussion on the application of theory. Specifically he suggests that theory is in important part of playing and designing RPGs, namely it allows us to do either of these purposefully, with a deeper understanding of decisions and their consequences.

Passions of Design

Brian Hollenbeck relates different styles of graphic novel design with RPG design. Particularly he suggests some designers are classicist focusing on the great game, some animists focusing on the story potential, and others formalists designing to understand what is possible. He leaves whether there are designers who are truly iconclasts as an open question.

Reward System

Vincent Baker attempts to bridge ongoing discussion of reward systems. Particularly he motivates that reward systems are inherent in RPGs, namely that they are not a system that can be rewarding in play, but the system that is how the RPG does reward play. As he puts it, "If play is rewarding, there's a reward system, just EXACTLY like how if play happens, there's a system in action."

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