Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Role-Players, Players of RPGs, and Fun For Others

So, John Wick talked about 'Good Role-Players vs. Good Players' over here:http://wickedthought.livejournal.com/554184.html

My friend puts some of his thoughts about the issue and related deals here: http://kniedzw.livejournal.com/122851.html?view=526563#t526563

I responded there, but I'm also putting it here, to bring in more people to the conversation and spin off a bit.

I've had a love-hate relationship with Wick's ideas and games since my early involvement with L5R. I haven't read Mamet either (or if I have, it was a tiny little bit that didn't stick with me much), but I do think that his division does illuminate a possibly interesting thing to talk about:

Which is the different ways that players can enrich the experience of the RPG, for themselves and for others.

When I'm playing, I can focus on engaging with my character, trying to be very 'deep' in the character so that I as an actor am transparant to the character and the action of the narrative. This is the 'What could/would/should I (Character) do here?' Actor Stance.

I can also focus as a player on the story level, thinking about what things I can do as a player to use my character to make the game more interesting for other characters, which engages other characters, or maybe I create a scene/situation which other players engage with. This is more like the Author Stance.

I can make the game more fun for myself using both stances. I love the 'flow' experience of being fully 'in' a character that I dissapear into him/her.

I also love taking a look at the whole picture and making a decision that will engage other players, move the story forward, even at the expense of my own character's position/status.

I can also make the game more fun for others, but that depends on what values of 'fun' the other players are looking for.

If they want to see a player be soo fully in their character that they can look over at me on the tip of my seat, tapping the table because my character is nervous, shouting at one of his friends when he learns that their leader is to be executed on Demon TV, then I can make the game more fun for them by role-playing my character.

If they want to have their characters pushed or pulled into a new situation , if they're sitting in a chair thinking IC and then OOC "I'm so bored. I have nothing do to" and I make plot for them, or engage them directly, then I can make the game more fun for them, like if I'm stupid enough to steal a potent McGuffin from a demonically empowered Auctioneer and a demon, I can give them something to do instantly. I have to try to suss out what the different players and characters would want to be in the game to engage them on either or both of those levels (character or player).

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