thread: 2006-01-05 : I suspect but can't prove...

On 2006-01-05, Emily Care wrote:

Character-less is exactly the same problem as GM-less.  It’s all a matter of looking at who can do what with what.  The death grip on character autonomy that quote from 20X20 exemplifies is all about you losing your little piece of the creative pie if the GM muscles in on your character territory.  Damn, if all I could do was make up what one measly little part of a world does, I’d be loathe to let it go too. Status, like crazy, but more so—it’s player effectiveness, authorship & your one shot at looking good. Take that away at your peril.  But if we all get the whole pie—its a different story all together.

Then we get:
It becomes “I want it! I take it!” vs. “you can’t have it! I keep it!” - the only possible compromise is a compromise of vision.

This is precisely the dilemma when you do step out of the GM distribution of roles.  Who delivers the adversity? How do you square it with the realities of human social interactions? Brrr…it’s a cold world out there once you leave the calm shelter of GMhood.  I’ve been struggling with this for City of the Moon—it like pits the players against the players, vying for resources & lets makes you choose to destroy other players’ juju.  I described this to NinjaJ last night and realized what I was asking people to do. I mean, I hate Diplomacy, and here I am inflicting that level of inter-player strife on poor shmoes who might want to play my game.

So what to do? Tie the player effectiveness on another hook, for one.  Invest people in the adversity coming their way.  Make them want it.  Killing character ownership helps do this.  If instead of looking at somebody coming at “my” character with a knife as a threat to my gamely livelihood, but as an opportunity to author about something I care about and am interested in, I’ll dive right in.  I’ll take the blow, damn, I’ll give myself the blow—if it means I can say something about loyalty, or cowardice or what have you.

Kill the character, play the story.

(Sounds to me like Discernment is all over this.)


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