Providence

Providence is a LARP game using Trent Yacuk's Kingdom Come system. It is a game of Fallen Angels and their struggle to survive against the forces of Heaven and Hell and some things in between.

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    Game Styles - To Be a Storyguide

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    cenobyte
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    Game Styles - To Be a Storyguide

    Post by cenobyte on Tue 27 Jan 2009 - 15:55

    Heavenforum, you have eaten my inspired and brilliant post for the last time!!

    Right. So, a *paraphrase* of the last post I attempted to make follows:

    In running a game, the job of the Storyguide, as I see it, is first and foremost to find a balance between styles of gaming. For instance, I am an abstract gamer - I prefer to play games without the constraint of stats and objective measures. I don't consider most RPGs and LARPs to be competitive systems, and I don't like to game as if they are.

    When you run a game in which I am a player, you will know this because at some point, you'll say "what's your stat in X?" and I will rummage around in my brassiere to try to find which bosom my character sheet is stuffed under, and I will probably reply: "I haven't a clue." I prefer to play in a system where you don't need a character sheet or stats. I prefer to use a method of play wherein it doesn't matter if you succeed or fail at an action, because there are plenty of good roleplaying opportunities regardless of the outcome. I prefer acting to stats-comparisons.

    This is why sometimes I say things like: "It doesn't matter. Play through." I don't mean to be dismissive, and for the players out there who prefer objective systems where X situation always results in Y, I am a very frustrating Storyguide.

    I recognise this about myself and I try to be accommodating to gamers who prefer concrete systems and methods of play.

    Some famous guy quoted some other not-so-famous guy who said something like "You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time". The more famous guy is attributed with saying something more like "You can't please all of the people all of the time, but you can please some of the people some of the time.". Or something. The point of that rambliness is that I do try to take a Utilitarian view of running a game.

    Which is to say, I try not to let my own ego come in to play too much. I don't tend to run games...I try not to run games solely for the purpose of getting a sense of being in charge or of being in control. I *think* I run games because I want people to have fun. And when you're having fun, chances are good that I, also, am having fun. When I say I try to take a Utilitarian view of things in running games, I mean I try to make the game as pleasurable as possible for as many people as possible.

    That being said, there does have to come a time when, in being a Storyguide, you have to act as an arbiter. I have to decide not only what is 'fair' for the players involved, but also what is 'fair' for the story. I don't like to stifle creativity; I would prefer to channel it...and that's why sometimes I say things like "I like your idea, and I'm not sure how it will fit in with the game currently...can we work on it together a bit?" Or, more likely, "that's a neat idea; have you considered W?"

    In a conversation I had recently, it was pointed out to me (and I wholeheartedly agree) that as a Storyguide, you kind of have to be a bit of a benevolent dictator. And hopefully, as your resident benevolent dictator, this game is being hosted in a fashion that results in your having fun. If it doesn't, I do encourage you to talk to me about it. I might not say what you want to hear, and I might not share your opinion, but I'm running this game for you. I want you to have fun. And if that means I have to make some concessions on my part for different styles of play, I hope I'm doing that. I hope I'm getting better at trying to see things from your perspective.

    Please have patience with me, because I'm still learning what it means to be a good Storyguide and a good host.

    (Dave: no, you can't have those extra 20 Creation Zeal, but please don't think that means you should stop talking Canoe.)


    Last edited by cenobyte on Tue 27 Jan 2009 - 21:28; edited 1 time in total
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    Corral

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    Re: Game Styles - To Be a Storyguide

    Post by Corral on Tue 27 Jan 2009 - 17:06

    It's not just you, by the way, whose posts Heavenforum has been gobbling. Most of them I have been able to recover without much loss, but I once wrote several paragraphs into that Trust thread that I was not able to make myself write out again. (Yes, the one with no replies).

    I saw a Firefox Add-on today that logs your keystrokes for the purpose of reconstructing lost forum posts and so forth. I think I might try it (despite the usual fear associate with the words "keystroke" and "log" used in close proximity) on my computer at home.

    Stupid Heavenforum.
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    Gabe
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    Re: Game Styles - To Be a Storyguide

    Post by Gabe on Tue 27 Jan 2009 - 18:16

    cenobyte wrote:Heavenforum, you have eaten my inspired and brilliant post for the last time!!

    I suggest that any long or long-to-write posts are
    typed into a word program and then copied and pasted into the forum
    text box. I do it for all my long posts so that the gremlins won't get
    them. Just a thought.

    Marius
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    Re: Game Styles - To Be a Storyguide

    Post by Marius on Tue 27 Jan 2009 - 19:22

    Personally, I don't want you to specifically make concessions to other styles of play. In spite of the fact that I do vastly prefer more concrete systems and a more rules-based play style (to the point where I find KC frustrating because it gives me so little support).

    Why? Because you'll probably screw it up.

    No offense meant. I'm sure you will make compromises that try and reflect the areas people seem to be having trouble with. But the fact is that you don't understand what the problem is. In the end, one of two things will happen: either you will make so many compromises that things will just turn into an undefined mess, or you will make compromises that don't actually help the underlying problems.

    Rather than compromises, I'd like to see tolerance for play styles and approaches that don't match your own. You have given a lot of guidelines on "good roleplaying", and about half of them are specific to your style. You ask us to stop doing things that are jarring for you, irregardless of the fact that they may add to our fun.

    I play character sheet in hand. I want to know my allies' stats. I set myself win conditions and then go after them. My approach to your guidelines is to acknowledge them, and then go around them.

    What I would appreciate most of us is NOT hearing about how to play better, because when I hear your advice, it only supports one style of play. And it's a style I don't particularly enjoy.
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    cenobyte
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    Re: Game Styles - To Be a Storyguide

    Post by cenobyte on Tue 27 Jan 2009 - 21:39

    "Irregardless" is not a word.
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    Molior

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    Re: Game Styles - To Be a Storyguide

    Post by Molior on Tue 27 Jan 2009 - 22:50

    As an extremely rules-focused sort of fellow, I know where you're coming from, Mike. I find KC rather frustrating at times myself.

    But you're completely misreading what Jill said.

    Jill IS practicing tolerance. She IS trying to make the game fun for me and you and Dave and Mike. And even when it's driving her batty (I know that I, at least, drive her batty), she IS listening to us and using that feedback to make the game more fun for us. She's trying to get better, and, I would argue, she IS getting better.

    Nowhere did she say that being a rules guy is the WRONG WAY. But it's not Jill's way, and she's the storyguide. You can't work around your storyguide - you have to work with your storyguide.


    Last edited by Molior on Tue 27 Jan 2009 - 22:50; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : grrrrrr formatting grrrrrrrr.)
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    Keth
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    Re: Game Styles - To Be a Storyguide

    Post by Keth on Tue 27 Jan 2009 - 23:39

    Gabe wrote:
    cenobyte wrote:Heavenforum, you have eaten my inspired and brilliant post for the last time!!

    I suggest that any long or long-to-write posts are
    typed into a word program and then copied and pasted into the forum
    text box. I do it for all my long posts so that the gremlins won't get
    them. Just a thought.

    Beat me to the punch...

    Ambrose
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    Re: Game Styles - To Be a Storyguide

    Post by Ambrose on Tue 27 Jan 2009 - 23:47

    I just typed up a response to Keth's new post three freaking times and it got ate over and over thanks to my own dumbness.
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    cenobyte
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    Re: Game Styles - To Be a Storyguide

    Post by cenobyte on Tue 27 Jan 2009 - 23:55

    To be clear, I did say that you were welcome to roleplay any way you wish.

    I also said that I award Zeal for what I consider to be good roleplaying.

    Those two points do go hand-in-hand.

    Marius
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    Re: Game Styles - To Be a Storyguide

    Post by Marius on Wed 28 Jan 2009 - 0:40

    And pardon me for bringing this up at this late date, but

    cenobyte wrote:"Irregardless" is not a word.

    True. Irregardless of this fact, I will continue to use it.
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    cenobyte
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    Re: Game Styles - To Be a Storyguide

    Post by cenobyte on Wed 28 Jan 2009 - 1:26

    You've just been docked seven grammar points.

    Marius
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    Re: Game Styles - To Be a Storyguide

    Post by Marius on Wed 28 Jan 2009 - 21:14

    Yay! Seven grammar points!

    I will now begin sailing on the Sea of I-Don't-Care with my docked points!
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    cenobyte
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    Re: Game Styles - To Be a Storyguide

    Post by cenobyte on Wed 28 Jan 2009 - 21:36

    You can't sail when you're docked, doofus.

    Marius
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    Re: Game Styles - To Be a Storyguide

    Post by Marius on Thu 29 Jan 2009 - 19:36

    Well, you can't keep me from undocking, now can you? Razz
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    cenobyte
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    Re: Game Styles - To Be a Storyguide

    Post by cenobyte on Thu 29 Jan 2009 - 20:25

    You have to spend one fortnight in grammar dock per point, as punishment.
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    Eliel

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    Re: Game Styles - To Be a Storyguide

    Post by Eliel on Thu 29 Jan 2009 - 20:52

    If need be, I'll lend him a grammatical tump strap to portage his way out.
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    cenobyte
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    Re: Game Styles - To Be a Storyguide

    Post by cenobyte on Thu 29 Jan 2009 - 21:04

    Embarassed

    I suspect that would be very, very naughty.

    Grammarians love the strap... 😊

    Ambrose
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    Re: Game Styles - To Be a Storyguide

    Post by Ambrose on Thu 29 Jan 2009 - 22:00

    Now I have the bizarre image of a Grammar Nazi Fetish.
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    cenobyte
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    Re: Game Styles - To Be a Storyguide

    Post by cenobyte on Thu 29 Jan 2009 - 22:17

    You said you wouldn't tell!
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    Keth
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    Re: Game Styles - To Be a Storyguide

    Post by Keth on Thu 29 Jan 2009 - 22:19

    lol!

    Ambrose
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    Re: Game Styles - To Be a Storyguide

    Post by Ambrose on Thu 29 Jan 2009 - 23:47

    cenobyte wrote:You said you wouldn't tell!

    I think a certain fraulein has been ending some of her sentences with prepositions...

    And to say nothing of your speech in Chat! It's like a grammatical holocaust.
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    cenobyte
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    Re: Game Styles - To Be a Storyguide

    Post by cenobyte on Thu 29 Jan 2009 - 23:52

    Oooooh.

    Embarassed

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