Forum ‘right givers’

As a supplement to my thread here.

Looking at the D&D forums, they also have a little forum culture where they start granting themselves rights. Like ‘Oh, the GM can’t cheat’ and such. And they have a thread where they all agree with each other that that is the case. And ‘thus’ it’s the case for their group. Except it’s only the people on the forum who have agreed with that, not their group.

Agreeing to agree with what you don’t agree with. Yup.

I’m looking at this, and it kind of reminds me of the ‘it’s true’ vs ‘treating it as true’ discussions I’ve had lately. I’ll quote from it.

(b) The player in question, let’s call him Abe, trusts G.M. to fulfill her responsibility rightly, and she in fact makes good. When she makes a surprising call – which she does, that’s part of what makes her good at this – even when it’s against Abe personally, he can always see its rightness.

See’s its rightness? But someone can always have something in their imagination that makes you go WTF?

Further, not only does it clash with your own imagination – but it being ‘right’ in any commonly used notion of the word ‘right’? I mean commonly used outside the cul de sac that is roleplay culture.

Take this from a forge thread I’m posting in

I think this question starts right out in the social contract (then from there, pierces straight into the very moment of play). What have your players agreed to? Is it

A. You call how much an actions worth and which outcome it applies to. Players accept that, even if it doesn’t match their idea of sense at all. They are good sports about it if it doesn’t make sense to them. But if it does match their idea of sense of how the game world works, everyone enjoys that syncronicity between you. So either everyones fine with you making your call, or their happy! It’s win/win! Well, fine/win!

I think this can be agreed to, because you don’t agree to see what they rule as ‘right’, you just agree they get to make the call.

I was going to add that there could also be an agreement to try and somehow fit in the GM’s call, and find some way that it might make sense atleast in a small way. Put in a bit of effort to doing so, even if you can’t find a way. Take an example of Vincents, from his thread

So put ’em together and what you’ve got is (pardon the crudity, this is an approximately real example of J’s of a time when magic felt magical to him): with plain rockets your character’s rocket launcher obviously won’t hurt Tiamat, but if your rocket launcher fires dildos instead, maybe then it can.

In such a case I would put some effort into thinking how that could fit. And hell, ideas on how it would fit are already coming to mind – things about sex magic and fertility being counter to the dreadful shadow of destruction, or some shit. That came up in half a second, it seems. Give me longer and I could probably flesh it out considerably!

It’s all entirely possible and I think has the very same practical effects that Vincent wants. But agreeing to see the rightness??!! I don’t think the human mind works that way? I’m talking at almost a mechanical level here – how synapses fire and connect, almost. Agreeing to agree with things you don’t agree with? That sentence hurts my head, let alone the notion! But apparently I’m not qualified to comment cause I don’t own and haven’t played certain books.

I don’t think I’m disruptive. The practical effects desired, I think are entirely achieveable. I just don’t think they are achieved in this way and not only that, I think this way is perhaps damaging? (if it weren’t damaging, eh, it wouldn’t matter)

Edit: Though it occurs to me that perhaps my set up from above is for a somewhat more detached from/less passionate about the fiction play. For example, Ralph (valamir) speaks here (comment #93)

For me personally I can’t reconcile these two things:

1) Maintaining internal consistancy / making the world seem realistic / preserving the genre tropes is very important to me and something I value highly in the game I’m about to play.


2) I’m willing to completely cede all responsibility and authority for doing so to someone else and 100% go whereever they lead regardless of where that is.

For me…if its really important to me, I’m going to want — expect — a say in how it goes down. If I don’t care whether I have a say, if I’m willing to just let a GM do whatever…that pretty much means its not that important to me and I’m really not into it.

Like the time I played OctaNe. Completely ridiculously stupid plot…but because I totally wasn’t into the gonzo wierdness anyway I just let it go and played along waiting for the game to end so I could go do something else.

So when you say: “Well, in Storming the Wizard’s Tower in particular, the game’s world’s internal logic and causality isn’t communally owned, it’s the GM’s. Bob’s obligation (his “recourse”) is to reevaluate, from the ground up if necessary, his own sense of how the game’s world works. To bring his own sense of reasonable causality into line with the GM’s. At the very least to extend the GM every benefit of the doubt.”

My reaction is “fuck that shit”. If that’s my only recourse, then I can’t see why I would ever want to play that game…at all. I’m not saying I’m a control freak and want to be able to say every single little thing…but if something winds up being important to me I’m going to want more than just the expectation that I have to be the one to change my mind.

With the structure I outline, things don’t wind up being important to you because your either giving the GM the nod to make the call, or by chance it matches up with your sense of realism and you know it was by chance.

And of course Ralph made universalis, which has a large number of procedures for handling this when it gets important.

I’m kind of thinking what were looking at is the divide of sim/gamism(or nar, for that matter). Either you support that importance Ralph talks about, but then it becomes the preoccupation of play, or you do my procedure and that kind of importance and passion will not show up.

You want an activity that is about agreeing about fiction…you want it, therefore you have it, right?

The title just about poses the question entirely.

Okay, you want an activity where you all agree about fiction.

So you’d think if you want to agree, then you’d just agree.

And since you can just agree, and the other people you know can just agree, you can just decide to have an activity which is about agreeing with the fiction and BAM, you will get what you decided?

Will you?

I don’t really know how to put it any better than that, without getting ‘esoteric’ or whatever.

What if your future self does NOT wish to agree to the fiction? Haven’t you ever changed your mind on an issue? Something new comes up in between now and then, some new reason not to agree with a certain bit of fiction you otherwise would have agreed with.

I would say you cannot agree to a fiction agreement session – because something might come up between now and when that session arrives, that makes you unable to agree with some/all of the fiction. Agreeing to a fiction agreement session is the same as agreeing to a win tatslotto session. It’s a matter of chance as to whether you can do it – your agreement is rather meaningless, except like a lottery, you have to have bought a ticket to have a chance at all. However, having bought your ticket, that’s everything you can do.

Nah, too esoteric this piece, I bet. It doesn’t have enough practical ramification clear and present. I guess I could say it’s talking about a certain kind of madness – there’s a practical ramification. But everyone will get really uncomfortable with that as a practicality, I suppose. I don’t know why – I could say ‘look both ways before you cross the street’ and people don’t stress that I’m talking about someone potentially walking in front of a bus. In fact they find the advice boring and humdrum, not even a sliver of controversy. But if I say ‘look both ways before you cross your mind’ they freak out, like being run down by madness is worse and a taboo subject, while being run down and turned into sidewalk pizza by a bus is a perfectly comfortable subject. Ha! I suppose I should be explicit – when I say the problem is a kind of madness, I don’t bring up madness as a social stigma to shame and belittle – I bring it up as a problem like being hit by a bus is a problem. No shame, just impact.