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Narrativist Play, Prep, and Setting

October 31, 2011

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.

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