Ron Edwards has a new essay on Setting & Emergent Stories, which is a great, relatively easy read on the differences between Illusionism vs. Narrativism, Narrativism focused on characters vs. setting, and how to prep for Narrativist play, especially if you have a game that isn’t designed for Nar play.
It’s a nice tie in to my post on Risk & Emotional Investment.
I also think this in particular is really worth thinking about:
3. Seeing an overt, culturally-supported conflict.
4. Seeing potential for culturally-unexpected, deconstructive conflict (internal or external)
My own overt angle on that sits in my Heroquest Hack with regards to community values and character generation. Less overtly, it’s encoded in a lot of the fill-in sentences in the Extended Character Concept Generator.
Likewise, Conflict Maps also key on this concept as well- first in demarcating sides in a conflict, but the second part about deconstructive conflicts by giving each figurehead, 2 attached characters who angle about HOW or WHY to complete some given goals – it sets up the classic Kirk/Spock/Bones trio.
What happens in play is that you find the group naturally focuses on certain conflicts and ignores others – this is a very natural, and organic way to focus play.