Friday, November 10, 2006

Monthly Review October 2006

Two major themes arose this month, in one case continuing strong into November. First, was the rewards of system and play. Second, were the issues of force and fiat.

How System Rewards

This theme began with Vincent Baker describing reward systems as what actually happens in play to reward the players. As something of a response, John Kim describes the range and flexibility of reward systems as mechanics, aligning them to the type of play you want. Later, Malcom Sheppard suggested that sometimes burdensome mechanics can be rewarding, since the dynamics of those mechanics is also part of play.

Force and Fiat

Early in October, a discussion started at Story Games about compelling moments of player decision (Bangs) and GMing using concealed force (Illusionism). This caused, Eliot Wilen to call for refining the terms being used. Then, Thomas Robertson put forward the idea that an often ignored form of authority is the depth of context a player's character or other imagined elements possess. As the month closed, these ideas emerged again in a series of posts at Story Games, linking with last month's theme of conflict and task resolution.

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