You know, it just struck me that roleplayers report their roleplaying sessions in terms of what actually happened. Like one might report the results of a sports or chess match.
It struck me, because if I compared that to sitting down with someone to just make up a story (humourous link) you wouldn’t, I would think, report ‘what happened’. At the time you’d have thrown together a story. But in reporting it you wouldn’t say any of the events happened.
However, roleplayers do, even when they enter straight story crafting. It’s never “So we thought it’d be a good story if a guy swung into the base from a helicopter guy rope. So we wrote that down”. It’s always “And then my PC swung into the base on the choppers guy rope!”
And I’ve always, perhaps delusionally, assumed this meant there was a desire in the general RP culture for the game rules to be like a board game or sport, where events actually happen (like losing a piece, or getting a point scored, or whatever). Because, and this is important, that’s the only way I know how something can actuallyhappen at a session. I thought, when people said their PC ACTUALLY swung into the base, they wanted rules for it as much as I could say my rook moved forward in chess, because there’s rules for that and it’s an actual event.
Because otherwise it’s just story crafting. It didn’t happen – the guy didn’t actually swing into the base in the same way a rook actually moves five squares forward or whatever. The only thing that happened is that you made up a story about a guy swinging into a base.
But it’s always reported as that’s what actually happened.
And I thought people just kept missing the fact there was no rule to what they asserted was happening, so it wasn’t happening, it was just a story they were making up. I thought they wanted an actual rule to make it actually happen, since they kept asserting events in game actually happened during play.
Although really, it’s been many years of it. Really why did I think they were missing it all this time? For years and years?
I thought there was something in common. But now? People go to sessions, just story craft amongst themselves but then assert they happened as events – when there were no rules that make them events (as I said, the only way I know to make something an actual event is to follow a rule, like in sport or chess). The only events were them talking about what story to make next and scribbling it down/remembering it. That’s all that happened – making stuff up. Which is a fine activity. But they speak about it then as if it were happening and speak about it after as if it happened.
And I always thought they wanted rules for these things, so they actually would be real events, and were just a bit confused on the fact that there weren’t any rules currently. Particularly in my own group, but also in general RP culture.
But now I think I’m looking at a culture, hundreds of thousands of people, who don’t want rules that would make an actual event, but they do want to call the story they crafted, an actual event that happened. When the only thing that actually happened was some people sitting around, making up a story together.
I don’t know what I’m looking at.