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Messages - Simon C

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Yeah, "Sometimes" makes sense to me. I think it's probably different for different people too, like, I think the way I tend to play characters is pretty intuitive, I just have them do whatever seems right at the time and I don't really think much about the characters' internal life. Other people I've played with though do a lot more thinking about their character, what they're thinking and such, and they plan what their character is going to do next.

It's also something that can change based on the game design though right? We could imagine a game text that says "You, Bob, get to say what this character is doing, how they act, what they say and stuff. You, Linda, get to say what the character is thinking, feeling, hoping and planning for." In fact I think there are some LARPy games that actually do stuff like this.

Also the game can just never require anyone to know what the characters are thinking. I think most rpgs are like this, but maybe some games more than others? The mechanics of most games require you at the most to know the intent of characters so you know what they'll get out of conflict resolution.

I think that one of the reasons that this came up in Bliss Stage was that that game, which doesn't have explicit conflict resolution in most scenes, really lets you just play out the actions of the characters without thinking about their internal motivations. For me and some of the other players, this meant that a lot of the enjoyment of play was about thinking about what the characters might be thinking, about trying to understand them. We'd be like "Aaron isn't an asshole, he's just scared and kinda taking it out on Rachel" or "Nella is really the most mature of the lot, and that's why she's not involved in their petty shit." And we'd have these conversations with the players of the characters we're talking about, and they'd be like "Maybe you're right! I don't know!" Or at least, some of us would be like that. Some of the other players would be like "I'll tell you if you were right after we've finished the game."

Is this a thing that you can have authority about?

Like, if you say "my character George is gonna pull out his gun. He's pissed off because you stole his lady-friend" is that second part true, or is it just your interpretation?

If you say to me after the game "I think Greta only stole George's lady-friend to get him mad, she doesn't really care about Linda at all" can I say back "No, you're wrong"? Or can I only say "That's not how I see it?"

I'm not sure of this has a lot of implications for design, but it seems pretty relevant to how the game gets played. I just finished a Bliss stage game where the players were coming from pretty different directions on this question, and it definitely affected how they played the game.

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