The players seeing the bloody innards of the game...

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The players seeing the bloody innards of the game...
« on: June 20, 2010, 10:38:24 AM »
Ok, the rules tell us "make your move, but misdirect". As the MCs we're not supposed to reveal the crunchy, mechanical bits to the players but instead always make sure the fiction rules during the game. But once outside the game, then what?

I know there are a lot of people here who've played the game with (fairly intimate) knowledge of the rules. Did that change the "wrapping up in the fiction" illusion for you? Did you, during the game, say to yourself "oooh, he's Separating Us now"? I mean, I'm slightly worried that once the players know about the principles, agenda and moves, it will spoil the fiction for them somehow. Or should we all know what page we're on? I'm all about talking to my players and explaining to them how the game works, but in this case I'm wary. In fact, during the first or second session I told them about "having the NPCs in my crosshairs" and I think that affected the game. Possibly maybe.

How terribly unfounded are my fears?

Re: The players seeing the bloody innards of the game...
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2010, 12:41:56 PM »
Knowing the rules and knowing the MC's moves does not spoil the fiction. Sometimes I try to figure out what move the MC is using, or what kind of NPC my character has just met. I consider that my character might know that there are Hive Queens and Mind Fuckers, and might recognize them when he meets them, but those distinctions may not give enough discriminatory information to behave in a particular way around them.

The moves were never explained to us at the beginning of the game. After game we occasionally ask Vincent what kind of character So-and-so was, and several times I've thought So-and-so was something she wasn't. It didn't alter how my character interacted with her, though.

I've also seen NPCs change type. We once had a character named Birdie who started out as some type of Brute, but became a Cannibal. I didn't guess the change, I think Vincent told us. The knowledge didn't alter my character's agenda wrt Birdie. I think she changed again when she no longer had a need to eat human flesh.
♥ Julia

Re: The players seeing the bloody innards of the game...
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2010, 04:42:32 PM »
Yeah, Gregor, you're not actually fooling anyone, after all. The players know you're making your moves because of real-world stuff, not fictional stuff. They know you're misdirecting.

You do that stuff because it makes the game more engaging and fun, is all.

Re: The players seeing the bloody innards of the game...
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2010, 02:29:16 PM »
Yeah, what Parthenia said. By the second game, with all new characters, there was a time or two when Vincent did something and we veteran players looked at each other and said 'Family:Close ranks! Got it!' but it didn't mess with the fiction at all. I think part of it is being able to fire-wall, just like in any other game, but most of it is that ApW makes the NPCs have actual motives, that I don't know at all, so even when the move is made and I can ID the move, I *still* don't know -why- that NPC made that move, or what shape it's going to take, or how it's going to all spill out.

*

DWeird

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Re: The players seeing the bloody innards of the game...
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2012, 04:23:31 AM »
Hee.

I actually remember the first time I found out AW had some kind of behind the scene rules at all - the result was a kind of dumbfounded awe.

The internet has actually saved a copy of my reaction!

Knowing doesn't make the game worse, but it does make you want to run it for yourself.

*

Scrape

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Re: The players seeing the bloody innards of the game...
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2012, 09:00:02 PM »
If you think about it, every game has rules that the GM uses behind-the-scenes and I think players can focus on the fiction regardless. If the DM rolls some dice and announces that the dungeon door is stuck, players usually have no problem accepting that in-character.

The GM principles are kinda the same thing at their core: they're rules that govern the behavior of the world. I think players can handle that just fine.

Another way to look at it: the principles and moves are mostly just common-sense stuff, normal GM advice codified a little bit. You Separate the characters or Put them in a Spot in pretty much every game, right? Does it ruin the fiction then? I don't think so, I think everyone gathers to play an RPG with the understanding that the GM is gonna narrate some action and they'll respond. That's what they're signing up for.