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#1 September 29, 2015 10:28:57

beholdsa
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Sept. 16th: GNS Agendas

Here's what my guesses for the group would have been before this thread:

  • Matt: It's a bit of a close call between whether I'd peg Matt as more of a simulationist or more of a narrativist. I'm tempted to say I'd go with simulationist, but that may be influenced by already having read this thread. Regardless, I'd put gamist in third tier.
  • Kat: I had Kat in the gamism column, with narrativist in second and simulationist in third. I come to this conclusion because in my mind in games Kat likes to be competent and likes to win. And if I'm trying to picture her having to give up one agenda or the other: say, playing a competent badass with no real emotional ties vs. playing a dramatic but incompetent loser, I have an easier time seeing one than the other. But I could be wrong.
  • Micah: I would have labeled Micah as gamist, simulationist, narrativist, which is particularly interesting because it's the opposite order of what he labeled himself. I would have given these labels because in my mind Micah likes engaging with the external plot (gamist agenda) and likes exploring and pursing his character's specific endeavors (simulationist agenda). Let me give an example: early in this Zeotis campaign Splice's sister comes to him and says “We need to lay off funding AEE for a while because Hooke Biotechnolgies needs to have its financials look good this quarter.” Okay, there's the conflict. Considering player agency, there are a number of different directions the player (Micah), can run with this. Some possibilities: 1) Focus on the internal conflict this presents (narrativist agenda). What does Splice value more, his public corporate life or his super secret society? Focusing on this could spawn scenes of dramatic revelation (“yes, sister, I am Splice and we need to fund the AEE to save the world from an extinction event!”) or scenes of heartfelt advice (“Pollinator, you've got a stake in this, too. I have this terrible choice to make, what do you suggest?”). 2) Focus on solving the external conflict (gamist agenda). Hey, this must be caused by corporate espionage. If I solve this external problem I win and am able to fund both my organizations! 3) I can't think of a specifically simulationist response here, I think in part because the simulationist agenda is less about pursuing conflict and more about tinkering with the game world. Maybe the simulationist response would be to say, “Sister, you're Hooke Biotechnology's chief financial officer. You balance corporate books for a living. I will yield to your expertise in this matter. Now I'm going to go play around with experimental biotechnology, because that's my expertise.”?
  • Eric: I have Eric pegged as a narrativist, easily. I'd go with simulationist as a distant second, followed by gamist.
  • Carroll: I'd also label Carroll as narrativist, then simulationist, then gamist, although I think Carroll has very different tastes than Eric (and some of the rest of the group) when it comes to the sort of drama pursued in the narrativist agenda.
  • Brian: Out of the group, I have the hardest time figuring out what I would call Brian. If I had to pick, though, I'd go with simulationist, gamist, narrativist. I'd say this because game world consistency seems important to Brian, as does having external goals to keep him occupied.

EDIT: I've spent the most time explaining my thoughts in places with they different from other peoples'.

Edited beholdsa (September 29, 2015 10:32:16)

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#2 September 29, 2015 11:55:58

Kat_Davis
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Sept. 16th: GNS Agendas

I think the Gamist part is super important to my fun. I like being good at things and feel frustrated if I feel completely ineffectual at whatever I'm trying to do. But I played a complete badass with almost no emotional ties, and that was Lilimandria and was arguably one of my least satisfying characters to play (although I did have fun every once and awhile rolling the dice). I think I need both in pretty heavy quantities to enjoy a character, but if I'm all badass and no emotional meat, I find myself checking out of the game in general (Shadowcaster was another example of this. Very good at what she did, but no real emotional hooks. Also Serra.)

I think I will build a hookless badass (Serra, Lilimandria, Shadowcaster, Alayne, Ayana to a lesser extent, she grew into her own, but this was a lot of her in the first campaign) before I will build an emotional loser (Poulette? Poulette made other people cooler mostly. Kalindi? Alice? Alice's main selling point was Resources and Willpower), because I enjoy systems, but I need the emotional draw to really enjoy the character and the campaign.

Some data: Campaigns that I've marked with 5 Stars: Deadlands and Tales of the Infinity Patrol. I rebuilt Saralynn partway through Deadlands because she felt too ineffectual to me and I'd tried to do too many things, but it was her arc and growth across the campaign that cemented it as my favorite. Infinity Patrol we just gelled so well as a group and I loved the pace at which all the secrets and revelations came. I remember Gray being good at what she did, but also something of a glass cannon who got blowed up pretty easily. Four stars brings in both Trystell campaigns, Hunter, and the first Warhammer campaign.

On the low end of the spectrum is Our Dear Departed and Life in the Donut, both at 1, with Promethean, the second WHF campaign, and Against the Dark Yogi all at a 2.

((Please note, this list was before anything past the second WHF campaign, but I'd expect the three campaigns since to all be in the middle-to-high range.))

Also, lifted straight from that survery I did.

Conclusions I've drawn: I like Epic Arcs. I like changing the world, for good or ill. I like feeling like we've made a different and that our campaign has changed things. I like characters with cool shticks. I like cohesion between the party. I like campaigns where the party geels close and like we all care about each other, even if we don't like each other. I like gritty campaigns that feel semi-realistic and tough, especially in world and villains. I like campaigns where we serve an organization that is bigger than us and gives us orders. I like a general feeling of Knowing Where We're Going and not scrabbling for plot. I enjoy character growth in the space of the campaign.

I think this all reinforces the “Kat likes Gamist things” perspective (I want to work for someone else who tells me what to do and a general feeling of Knowing Where We're Going over Sandbox"), I also think that if I find the overall narrative of what we're doing uninteresting, I have a hard time immersing myself or bringing myself to enjoy the experience. I love stories, and the stories we spin. But I would prefer if my character's personal story was put in the perspective of the greater story's framing device (Deadlands may have been mostly externally influenced plot, but boy howdy if Saralynn didn't have very personal feelings about literally everything we ever did that drove her motivations and existence.)

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#3 September 30, 2015 08:34:05

Micah
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Sept. 16th: GNS Agendas

Thinking about it more and reading Thorin's thoughts, what I want to get out of this game (agenda) is sometimes different than how I get there (methods).

The moments I remember, that matter to me, are Narrativist. I value Jeb's first words to Saralynn, Andrew Corrigan's existential crisis, Midas's sacrifice of his powers, Meiner's apathy, etc.

Order I value things:

1. Narrativist - I want to be part of a good story.
2. Simulationist - I like to be presented with a new and interesting landscape.
3. Gamist - I will admit I like cool powers and fiddly systems.

However, I do approach problems in a Gamist way, figuring out probabilities and managing resources. Heck, I approach real life in a “gamist” way, looking at some numbers and figuring out the optimal way to use them. Can I afford this house or apartment? What set of conditions give the best Z-factor for testing 100,000 compounds? If I want to spend X amount and have certain options, which phone fits that? I'm often surprised when people who are very good at figuring out the systems of games don't realize that most of life's little systems can be gamed in the same way.

Order of how I solve problems:

1. Gamist - Have a goal, come up with path to the goal, work on path.
2. Simulationist - Learn about the world, and an opportunity will present itself.
3. Narrativist - When faced with alternatives, which tells a better story?

It might be that I value narrativistic elements because I can't simply run the numbers to a dramatic storyline.

There can also be a huge downside to completely ignoring the gamist-side of things, like having nothing to do for half a session because the character is dead or unconscious. This may be a habit learned from a wood-chipper GM I used to play with.

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#4 September 30, 2015 10:03:03

Mkamm
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Sept. 16th: GNS Agendas

Are y'all familiar with the Manyfold Glossary? I have found it useful in the past for talking about stuff I like and seek out in tabletop games with a bit more granularity than the GNS lens (though I think that the GNS lens is useful, too).

Stuff Matt finds especially enjoyable from this list:

Expression: I like being descriptive, which is why I often take up everybody's time describing the way I'm picturing the action happening in my head, and why I sometimes take a lot of time describing exactly how my character does something in combat.

Kairosis: Seeing arcs resolve is super satisfying to me, which is why I often try to design characters with an arc in mind rather than “let's just see how it turns out,” though the latter can also be fun.

Naches: I like teaching and explaining a whole lot, which is why I have that annoying habit of interrupting Thorin and spouting a whole bunch of details whenever he's trying to teach a new system.

Sociability: This is why I will always tabletop rather than stay home and play video games, given the choice. I sometimes find social interaction to be energetically costly, but never so with role-playing games. RPG's miiiiiight actually be my preferred mode of social interaction? I'm not sure what that says about me.

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#5 September 30, 2015 11:09:25

Kat_Davis
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Sept. 16th: GNS Agendas

Catharsis: Payouts of big emotion. Wherever it comes from. The engagement at the end of the love plot. The taking down of one's personal plot nemesis. That big release of emotion. This ties into Kairosis further down, but I really really enjoy the emotional pay out of built of scenarios. This also ties into Fiero below.

Fiero: Here's where my Gamism comes in. I love overcoming challenges and the exhileration when somehow you manage to just survive with every one at 1 HP and cheering before slumping back in your chair. That moment of “Holy cow we did it somehow” is one of my very favorites. Triumphing together, working together to overcome.

Kairosis: This is the biggest for me. I want that arc. I want that emotional payout and the ending that seems to fit. All of my favorite campaigns have had that arc and it's a really important to my enjoyment. Seeing us grow from something into something else and seeing the resolution is a big part of my enjoyment.

Sociability: +1 to what Matt said. Tabletop is excellent and it provides collaborative storytelling and general enjoyment.

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#6 October 02, 2015 16:15:28

beholdsa
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Sept. 16th: GNS Agendas

October 7th Session Question: Manyfold Theory

Matt linked it last week, and it seems interesting. So take a look at the Manyfold Glossary, and list the 3 - 5 most important agendas for you according to that taxonomy. If you have some idea of their order of importance to you, feel free to provide that as well.

Edited beholdsa (October 02, 2015 16:17:42)

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#7 October 06, 2015 22:37:49

Kat_Davis
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Sept. 16th: GNS Agendas

And now, in order!

1) Kairosis: This is the biggest for me. I want that arc. I want that emotional payout and the ending that seems to fit. All of my favorite campaigns have had that arc and it's a really important to my enjoyment. Seeing us grow from something into something else and seeing the resolution is a big part of my enjoyment.

2) Fiero: Here's where my Gamism comes in. I love overcoming challenges and the exhileration when somehow you manage to just survive with every one at 1 HP and cheering before slumping back in your chair. That moment of “Holy cow we did it somehow” is one of my very favorites. Triumphing together, working together to overcome.

3) Sociability: +1 to what Matt said. Tabletop is excellent and it provides collaborative storytelling and general enjoyment.

4) Catharsis: Payouts of big emotion. Wherever it comes from. The engagement at the end of the love plot. The taking down of one's personal plot nemesis. That big release of emotion. This ties into Kairosis and Fiero.

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#8 October 07, 2015 08:41:53

Mkamm
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Sept. 16th: GNS Agendas

Ordered, as ordered, with new #5 addition!

1) Kairosis: Seeing arcs resolve is super satisfying to me, which is why I often try to design characters with an arc in mind rather than “let's just see how it turns out,” though the latter can also be fun.

2) Expression: I like being descriptive, which is why I often take up everybody's time describing the way I'm picturing the action happening in my head, and why I sometimes take a lot of time describing exactly how my character does something in combat.

3) Sociability: This is why I will always tabletop rather than stay home and play video games, given the choice. I sometimes find social interaction to be energetically costly, but never so with role-playing games. RPG's miiiiiight actually be my preferred mode of social interaction? I'm not sure what that says about me.

4) Naches:
I like teaching and explaining a whole lot, which is why I have that annoying habit of interrupting Thorin and spouting a whole bunch of details whenever he's trying to teach a new system.

5) Ludus: Tinkering with a new rules set is really enjoyable for me. I made five or six builds for our current campaign, not just because I like supers but because the Marvel SAGA system fired my imagination and I was interested to see what could be done with our point total and how the results would stack up against published heroes.

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#9 October 07, 2015 08:48:16

Micah
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Sept. 16th: GNS Agendas

Wow, I think I’ve felt most of those at some time or another. I also think they can relate to other types of gaming, but I will focus on tabletop here.

1. KAIROSIS

Stories matter. I think sharing stories is one of the fundamental human interactions. In childhood, they tell us how to behave and teach us who to be (for good or bad). They are our dreams for the future (utopian sci-fi), our fears (horror, dystopian sci-fi), or just something to make life suck a little less. Heck, American politics has weaponized the story (“He is a metaphor for hope” versus “He is everything you fear in a convenient, yet contradictory package”). Tabletop is a shared story, and in various campaigns over the years, I’ve been able to take part in some amazing stories.

2. KENOSIS

I feel it is important to get in the headspace of my characters. Each character is different, but they have some central element, some flaw or philosophy that drives them. For Splice, I spent a lot of time reading up on previous mass extinctions and thinking about all the ways society (in the Zeotis setting could end).

There is also the characters' connection to me. For example, Kurt Travers from Hunter was a doctor/sniper, things I could never be; at the time, I was dealing with a mild hand tremor and the exhausting meds associated with them. While this probably also has elements of venting/catharis, I do value this connection.

3. EXPRESSION

Kahler’s poetry, Charbon’s paintings, Andrew Corrigan’s sculpture, etc. were all about expression. There is something sort of fun about doing a creative project from someone else’s headspace. I value this creative outlet a great deal.

4. SOCIABILITY

While I am very introverted, I greatly value the social aspect of tabletop. It is fun hanging out with friends and doing something fun and maybe a bit frivolous. I won’t explain this much since it seems pretty obvious.

5. LUDUS

I do value rules and mechanics, and I enjoy tinkering with things.

The first reason is a matter of competence. If my character cares about magic or is good at his profession, I better know how these things work. If I want to my character to be a little offbeat, I better know the system well enough to do that. It can be frustrating to have a great idea and not be able to translate it into the system.

Secondly, mechanics also give boundaries to the universe we are playing in. It is how gravity works in the setting. It how medicine works or doesn’t. The table of numbers in a game are the equivalent to a data table on Wikipedia or the data from the random experiment I did yesterday. I like to know how things work.

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#10 October 08, 2015 20:44:16

beholdsa
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Sept. 16th: GNS Agendas

Taking a moment to answer the question myself, as a tabletop player my general order of importance would be as indicated below - although I'm rarely a player. (It's interesting, because what I look for from the GM's side of things is different.)

Kenosis: Really, if I can't get in my character's headspace, the whole experience just falls apart for me as a player. This if why, as a player, I'm not a fan of active special abilities or narrative framing mechanics - they force me out of that headspace. Suddenly I have to start thinking on a metagame level, and I don't like that.

Sociability: I like hanging out with people when roleplaying. This is largely why I don't spend time doing play-by-posts, forum games or other stuff like that.

Schadenfreude: Honestly, when I'm coming up with a new player character, I almost always start with: What is this guy's overriding flaw and how do I want to see him suffer? The rest of the character usually grows outward from there. I don't know what this says about me as a person, but I think it helps explain why I like darker settings. It may also be part of why I like GMing.

Expression: RPGs are in large part my creative outlet. I like making shit up.

Paida: Is this right categorization for wanting to do ridiculous things and fuck shit up just to see what happens? I'm not sure. I don't see a better category for it. But as player I rather empathize with Carroll's tendency to suggest half-thought-out plans to blow things up, even if it would obviously be a dumb move, or with some of Lloyd's ridiculous plans (for those who've been around long enough to remember him). But whereas Lloyd wants to pull off his ridiculous plan and get away with it, I'll happily then cache in on schadenfreude as my character is gunned down in the inevitable disastrous aftermath.

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