Does GM Agenda determine the style of play? Is AW the Right to Dream?

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lumpley

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Re: Does GM Agenda determine the style of play? Is AW the Right to Dream?
« Reply #15 on: September 01, 2010, 02:15:53 PM »
Those are great! For sure, Apocalypse World loves to help you create scenes like those.

They're straightforward character- and situation-exploration scenes. Scenes like these are the mainstay of any kind of cool, high-energy, actiony roleplaying, whatever the creative agenda.

More later. Does this make sense meanwhile?

Re: Does GM Agenda determine the style of play? Is AW the Right to Dream?
« Reply #16 on: September 06, 2010, 10:03:34 AM »
Yes, this make sense.
But I'd argue that if the purpose is just to Explore Character and Situation, then isn't it pure Right to Dream ? I mean, yes you can have great Exploration in Story Now, but this isn't enough. If all there is is pure Exploration, we're in RTD.

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lumpley

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Re: Does GM Agenda determine the style of play? Is AW the Right to Dream?
« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2010, 11:46:39 AM »
Right on, but you have to look at the scene's purpose in context, not just scene-by-scene. The purpose of that scene in Matrix Revolution isn't just to be exciting, but to advance the plot by revealing, escalating and resolving conflicts between the characters, right?

Re: Does GM Agenda determine the style of play? Is AW the Right to Dream?
« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2010, 12:46:48 PM »
Right, but conflicts are the meat of Situation (a Situation without conflict would be pretty tasteless, and no player would want to Explore it), so escalating is just Exploring more Situation, by letting it spread onto several conflicts or scenes. So in my opinion, even in the purpose of reveal, escalate and resolve conflicts, it sure can be pure Exploration, and so Right To Dream play. Conflicts are exciting.
I'm not sure, but are you trying to tell me that a bunch of conflicts makes Story Now ?

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lumpley

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Re: Does GM Agenda determine the style of play? Is AW the Right to Dream?
« Reply #19 on: September 06, 2010, 01:09:20 PM »
Not just any bunch of conflicts, but a passionate character (at least one) in an untenable situation, escalating conflicts through crisis after crisis to a final resolution, yes. That's the "story" in Story Now. The "now" is "...and we all do it now, live, at the table."

Re: Does GM Agenda determine the style of play? Is AW the Right to Dream?
« Reply #20 on: September 07, 2010, 08:41:24 AM »
Not just any bunch of conflicts, but a passionate character (at least one) in an untenable situation, escalating conflicts through crisis after crisis to a final resolution, yes. That's the "story" in Story Now. The "now" is "...and we all do it now, live, at the table."

Right, but this could be Right to Dream also. It depends on how we approach that "story", right? If we're approaching it with an end-state in mind (to reveal how much of a badass we are) that's Right to Dream, as far as I'm trying to understand it from your blog, and if we're approaching it with a question on our mind (how do they handle/overcome this?) then it could be Story Now or Step On Up.

Right?

The actual "scenes" don't really matter, but what we're trying to accomplish with the scenes, which could escalate through crisis after crisis until final resolution.

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lumpley

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Re: Does GM Agenda determine the style of play? Is AW the Right to Dream?
« Reply #21 on: September 07, 2010, 10:23:22 AM »
Yes! If we have something other than a passionate character untenable situation etc, it's not Story Now; that's one way. If we don't all do it together and live at the table, now, it's not Story Now; that's the other way. If we approach it with an end state, not just in mind, but decided, then we aren't all doing it collaboratively at the table. Somebody already did it, and now we're intent upon making it so, not upon making our own thing. Consequently, it's not Story Now.

Now this is important! We don't have enough information to decide whether it's Step On Up or Right To Dream instead, or zilchplay. All we can conclude so far is that it's not Story Now. I'm inclined to leave it that way, at least for now.

So to draw this back to the point of the thread: if we have a passionate character in an untenable situation, escalating through crisis after crisis to resolution, and we're all doing it now and live together at the table, it's Story Now. Having exciting scenes that explore character and situation is just part of roleplaying, and could be contributing to any creative agenda. The fact that Apocalypse World's rules help you create exciting scenes that explore character and situation doesn't mean that it's not a Story Now game; the fact that Apocalypse World's rules help you create passionate characters, untenable situations, escalation, crisis and resolution, live at the table, DOES mean that it's a Story Now game.

Nocker, Michael, make sense?

Re: Does GM Agenda determine the style of play? Is AW the Right to Dream?
« Reply #22 on: September 07, 2010, 10:26:33 AM »
...the fact that Apocalypse World's rules help you create passionate characters, untenable situations, escalation, crisis and resolution, live at the table, DOES mean that it's a Story Now game.

Nocker, Michael, make sense?

Yup. I dig.

Re: Does GM Agenda determine the style of play? Is AW the Right to Dream?
« Reply #23 on: September 08, 2010, 06:00:30 AM »
I don't get it :
Are you saying that a Right To Dream play mandatory involves either 1) dull characters (nobody would chose such a PC), 2) plain and reasonable situations (nobody would initiate such scenes), 3) no escalation (straight resolution, without exploring the back and forth), 4) no resolution (infinite question, nothing achieved), or 5) that the fiction or part of it is established before play (all established parts aren't rpg) ?

Not only it portrays me Right To Dream with a very sad and static tone which I think it doesn't deserve, but also it puts all the interesting Roleplaying in Story Now (because I can't imagine an interesting fiction, whatever the Creative Agenda, with one of the above conditions unmet. If you have an example, my ears are open)
« Last Edit: September 08, 2010, 06:03:24 AM by Nocker »

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lumpley

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Re: Does GM Agenda determine the style of play? Is AW the Right to Dream?
« Reply #24 on: September 08, 2010, 08:26:01 AM »
The point of Right To Dream and Step On Up play isn't interesting fiction. They don't want or need this passionate-character-escalating-situation crap.

Here's a fact about creative agendas. Ben Lehman pointed it out to me a few years ago. Most people, in their roleplaying histories, have pursued one creative agenda, sometimes fulfilling it, sometimes not. When they encounter the idea of creative agendas, they look to find their diversity in their own roleplaying history, but it's not there! There's only one there. When they finally encounter the realities of another creative agenda, they react with active rejection: "but that's not fun. Really, really no. Why would anyone do that? Is that even roleplaying?"

GNS is a theory of why other people roleplay. People you couldn't stand to play with (that's what "incoherent creative agenda" means). What are they getting out of it?

Your version in particular, Nocker, "but this puts all the interesting roleplaying under Story Now. There's nothing fun left for Right To Dream!" just shows that you love Story Now, and you're just now, this minute, encountering the realities of other creative agendas. You're the one saying that Right To Dream play doesn't sound fun. I'm only saying that Right To Dream play cares about something other than, y'know, creating a story now.

Re: Does GM Agenda determine the style of play? Is AW the Right to Dream?
« Reply #25 on: September 08, 2010, 08:29:08 AM »
I don't get it :
Are you saying that a Right To Dream play mandatory involves either 1) dull characters (nobody would chose such a PC), 2) plain and reasonable situations (nobody would initiate such scenes), 3) no escalation (straight resolution, without exploring the back and forth), 4) no resolution (infinite question, nothing achieved), or 5) that the fiction or part of it is established before play (all established parts aren't rpg) ?

Not only it portrays me Right To Dream with a very sad and static tone which I think it doesn't deserve, but also it puts all the interesting Roleplaying in Story Now (because I can't imagine an interesting fiction, whatever the Creative Agenda, with one of the above conditions unmet. If you have an example, my ears are open)

Not at all. I think he's saying that if the conclusion is foregone, then it's not Story Now. Some people play 4th Edition D&D this way. They know the heroes are going to win. The DM sets up challenges that almost give the players a challenge, but really they don't. They're set up for the players to win (nearly every battle) over time - more to showcase how badass the PCs are and how cool it is win they win the day and save the world. The game mechanics are clearly designed for the DM to pre-plan interesting, compelling, thoughtful and intense encounters. But, it's almost a foregone conclusion whether the PCs will engage those encounters and whether the PCs will overcome those encounters.

The characters aren't dull (hopefully), the situations aren't plain and reasonable (the DMG gives awfully good advice how to set up fantastic encounters), there is escalation and back and forth (options like "Second Wind" give this), and there is certainly resolution (kick some ass, save the girl).

But, we're not playing to find out what happens or create the story - the story is already there. We're playing to showcase how we go through it. The cool powers, interesting tactics, witty quips, and general badassitude we can summon to save the day.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2010, 08:32:18 AM by Michael Pfaff »

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lumpley

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Re: Does GM Agenda determine the style of play? Is AW the Right to Dream?
« Reply #26 on: September 08, 2010, 08:42:22 AM »
In 4E (given that it's the coherent Step On Up game that everyone says it is; I haven't played it) but in 4E, the story exists as a backdrop to the point of play, which is how well you play the goddamn game. I'd expect to hear things at the table like "Dammit, Mitch, you're being the worst fighter in history tonight! Why am I carrying your ass like this?" and "Mary, that was TIGHT. Keep that up and the DM's going to cry home to his mommy tonight."

Saving your sister the princess from evil in 4E is like saving your sister the princess from evil in a video game: it's flavorful, it contributes to the fun, it may even be a driving tactical consideration - "sorry guys, I know it'd be easier if I could go along with this, but I'm not gonna. We fight, we don't torture! I'm a paladin!" - but you aren't hoping for gripping fiction from it.

If someone in the group goes haring off after gripping fiction, that guy's an asshole who broke the game and doesn't know how to roleplay and you don't invite him back next week.

Re: Does GM Agenda determine the style of play? Is AW the Right to Dream?
« Reply #27 on: September 08, 2010, 08:54:43 AM »
In 4E (given that it's the coherent Step On Up game that everyone says it is; I haven't played it) but in 4E, the story exists as a backdrop to the point of play, which is how well you play the goddamn game. I'd expect to hear things at the table like "Dammit, Mitch, you're being the worst fighter in history tonight! Why am I carrying your ass like this?" and "Mary, that was TIGHT. Keep that up and the DM's going to cry home to his mommy tonight."

That's how my group plays 4E. But, notice I said "some people". I've read on various forums and I get the impression that some DM's design the encounters for the PCs to win. They feel bad about the PCs losing - and most PCs will fight to the death rather than lose an encounter.

So, if you're not setting up real challenges for the PCs, but instead giving them "obstacles" you know they'll overcome (and fudging dice to make sure it happens), then certainly that's Right to Dream, aye?

When I play 4E, I roll dice in the open and even tell my players often times what the monster or bad guy's challenge rating (XP value and level) and give them an opportunity to learn the powers and vulnerabilities of the enemies. This gives them the full story - they know what they're up against and I'm not going to fudge the dice. This is what I'd consider Step On Up. Can you beat this challenge I put up for you? Because I'm not going to help you in the sense of fudging dice or whatever. And you certainly hear that at the table, "Come on guys! Focus fire! Remember our strategy!" Etc...

But, I don't think everyone plays 4E that way. And, it's certainly possible for the system to drive for Right to Dream play (as far as I'm understanding it...).

Saving your sister the princess from evil in 4E is like saving your sister the princess from evil in a video game: it's flavorful, it contributes to the fun, it may even be a driving tactical consideration - "sorry guys, I know it'd be easier if I could go along with this, but I'm not gonna. We fight, we don't torture! I'm a paladin!" - but you aren't hoping for gripping fiction from it.

If someone in the group goes haring off after gripping fiction, that guy's an asshole who broke the game and doesn't know how to roleplay and you don't invite him back next week.

I agree we aren't hoping for gripping fiction (in Step On Up), but it can happen (at my table). It's just typically not from the system and more from the players at the table and the situations.

But, yes, I've been one of those assholes who broke the game in someone else's 4E game, shooting for "the fiction" instead of the "next encounter" - and I eventually stepped down from the game.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2010, 08:56:17 AM by Michael Pfaff »

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lumpley

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Re: Does GM Agenda determine the style of play? Is AW the Right to Dream?
« Reply #28 on: September 08, 2010, 08:58:51 AM »
With you!

Here's an interesting question, though: is it Right To Dream, or is it debased Step On Up?

If the GM is jumping everyone through his preplanned storyline, hoping for gripping fiction, is it Right To Dream, or is it debased Story Now?

My vote is: the latter, in both cases, unless it's serving as a backdrop for something else.

Re: Does GM Agenda determine the style of play? Is AW the Right to Dream?
« Reply #29 on: September 08, 2010, 09:05:48 AM »
With you!

Here's an interesting question, though: is it Right To Dream, or is it debased Step On Up?

If the GM is jumping everyone through his preplanned storyline, hoping for gripping fiction, is it Right To Dream, or is it debased Story Now?

My vote is: the latter, in both cases, unless it's serving as a backdrop for something else.

Right on. But, what if the players WANT that?

They want to go through the hoops and see this story unfold that they are taking part in, they want to see how badass their characters are when they take down the enemies (knowing the DM will fudge if their characters' builds suck or they make a bad decision or the encounter happens to be too hard or whatever), and they want to win every time (maybe come close to losing once or twice - after all, we want it to be heart-pumping action - but never lose).

The DM knows this. The players want this. So, it's all a big example of "We want to be badass. Please make this happen for us."

It's only debased if everyone's not on the same page, right? Or, am I totally off it.