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Saturday 19 December 2015

Final Word on The Attempted Murder of Immersion by the Narrative-Control Crowd

There's been a lot of bullshit flung around by the Swine in this series of posts.  The latest is the claim that I'm being "absolutist".
In what universe is it more "absolutist" to offer 3 options than to only offer 2?
How is me saying "A GM should have the freedom to say no" more absolutist than a gang of pseudo-intellectual cunts saying "The GM is FORBIDDEN from saying No, he must say yes or roll the dice"??

THEY are the ones who want a powerless GM that is given no authority to act without express player permission. They are the ones who say you are "literally brain damaged" if you don't play their way.  They are the absolutists in this.

And in pages and pages of bitching at me, and complaining about what I said, and feigning outrage, and pretending to be ordinary people who just happened on this blog and yet strongly disagree with me while expressing explicit Forge propaganda slogans, and all the other cavalcade of nonsense and distraction, there's one thing the Swine have NOT done all this time.  They have yet to show a single scenario where you can have narrative-control mechanics and NOT lose Immersion as the cost.

That's the core of my point in all these entries, and yet they have never been able to actually address it.

All arguments against what I've written that weren't just insult or incoherence amount to one of the following:
a) "Immersion is not the goal of RPG play" - except it very clearly is, to change that you need to change the definition of RPG and suddenly you're not talking about the same thing anymore at all. So if your only defense is changing the very definition of an RPG, you are not refuting my point, you are just saying "ok, yes, the Pundit is RIGHT, and Narrative-control mechanics always remove at least some immersion, but we've arbitrarily decided that Immersion should be removed as a goal for RPGs, even though that would mean they'd not be RPGs anymore".

b) "you are presenting a worst-case scenario/distrust players/etc" -I have clearly shown I am not, I've presented increasingly 'Best Case Scenarios' and shown how the argument still stands regardless

c) "you are a mean terrible person/hate Storygames" -both true, but in no way address the point.

d) "you've put up a strawman" - In what way is this a Strawman? If I show that in every single instance that you put ice in a pot of boiling water the ice will melt, that's not a strawman, that's just proving a consistent truth.  It's not in any way a 'strawman' to point out that every single time you jump into "player control space" you must, by definition, be jumping out of "immersion space". It's just a law of nature.

You will note that NONE of these arguments have even ATTEMPTED to explain how you could have player-based narrative-control and still retain the same level of Immersion as if you didn't. Because everyone knows that's not possible.

And they won't. Otherwise they'd have done it already instead of pussyfooting around while trying to claim that I'm discussing exceptional cases rather than the core fact


Currently Smoking: Mastro de Paja Bent Apple + Gawith's Squadron Leader


  1. I'd like to correct you on something. You fall short when you say "They have yet to show a single scenario where you can have narrative-control mechanics and NOT lose Immersion as the cost." That's insufficient to prove you wrong. They actually need to prove no scenario used in a narrative-control mechanics system does not lead to loss of immersion.

    That's quite a task to achieve, particularly since "Yes or roll dice" is a subset of "Yes, no, or roll dice". So any miraculous roleplaying-agenda rule-mechanism-whatever found in the former is contained in the later.

    It has come to my attention that what many refer to as "Yes", or "Yes, and..." or "Yes, and roll dice" is actually a "polite no", or as they say here "dar atole con el dedo". Which means to drip feed someone atole (a cornstarch based drink) with one's finger. Let us not kid ourselves. That is saying NO, plain and simple. Kindly disregarding someone's idea is a great habit to have in any group activity, not only roleplaying games, but it's still NO. Different cultures have different ways of saying no, some even mean no while actually using the word yes. So it is understandable why some might find a simple "NO" offensive while others might not bother.

    Now being politically correct at the table is a long shot from adding means (points, dice, consensus,etc.) to turn a "no it's not happening" to "yes it is happening".

  2. I've played in a bunch of 'storygame' RPGs at this point and from what I've seen there's plenty of 'immersion'... but it's often of a different type than I associate with traditional RPGs. It's more like how a thespian is inmmersed in their role or how a person telling a story is immersed in their telling of the tale. They're in the spotlight, it's all about them, and they're giving it their all.
    It's often riding roughshod over anyone else's concept of the setting or the characters... but they are fully 'immersed' in their presentation of it. The line between PC and Storyteller is blurred out at that moment.
    It's very much like being as some writer's workshop and listening to a participant present their latest chapter for a shared world project.
    It's not my taste in gaming at all... but they really seem to enjoy themselves.

  3. You're an "absolutist" in the same way that people who promote free speech are "absolutists" according to those who call for censorship in the name of "safe spaces" to promote "diversity". Or those who say you're the "absolutist" because you're not letting them impose their religion on everyone.

    Some people just think that their freedom means no one else is every allowed to contradict them, that the OTHER people have to be limited. It's pretty messed up, as you know.

  4. How can you have player control and still have the same level of Immersion? By having not a GM but a Referee, who will modulate the individual players' participation without influencing the story itself. Consider Judges in the US Courts, who have no role in presenting or evaluating evidence, but only ensuring that the prosecution and defense play by the rules.

    In case of a Storygame Referee, s/he will keep the self-aggrandizement and micro-aggression in check, much like a group therapist. That leaves the question of the game scenario. I was going to use the idea of stage director, but that would require the use of scripts for the players. Maybe the Referee can lay out the scene, in which the players will act their roles. Two things to consider: The setting need not be physical, but mental/emotional, for instance: Players are army officers guarding a hospital, and you just got a message from Headquarters, which states that the enemy will take the town in a couple of days, nobody can help you, try to save as many of the wounded and your men, as you can. The scenes can be meetings and phone calls as the players try to evacuate everyone, while they run into transport shortages etc while dealing with the deteriorating situation. Of course, this can be an OSR game as well, and I can't think off hand, which scenarios can be better handled by story gaming, then again, I never played one of those.

  5. "There's been a lot of bullshit flung around by the Swine in this series of posts."

    This is why I just can't take you seriously. By your narrow definition of an RPG in your style of play, you are correct, but why should I care what you do? The fact that you insult any who disagree with any level of your view means this is just a shouting match, basically pointless.