Now, I want to talk about Ron’s fog, and why Sorcerer causes so many problems with experienced RPG’ers… yup, it’s that fog again.
You see, we, as veterans of foggy games, are so damn used to the fog, we love it so much, we often try to defend it. Frex, this recent LJ exchange, some of our fellow fog bound pour scorn on princeofcairo‘s idea for an omen mechanic. “It’s treading on the holy ground of plot! That’s the job of the GM!”
Fog fog fog.
Where is that written? Where is it stated that the GM must pace everything without mechanics? Especially mechanics that work so darn well as these.
Here’s a clue for anyone who makes this sort of call about foggy “gm’s call beats mechanics” claims of superiority. Have a look at this short list:
- Chekhov’s pistol
- Show not tell
- Rising action
- Conflict creates character, character creates conflict
Now, are these game mechanics or methods for writers?
The answer is both: dramatic writers use what are essentially game mechanics to craft stories: Universalis, frex, only codifies them slightly more.
Also note in that thread where Mythusmage asks “Are you telling a story? Or is the group playing imaginary people living imaginary lives in an imaginary world where imaginary fatalities take place?”
To quote Jack Nicholson “When you’re faced with a loaded gun, what’s the difference?” This is such a false dichotomy, it’s not even funny. I can see where he’s coming from (Mythusmage wants, or appears to want, a “real world” sim game, the omen mechanic works to reinforce a dramatic simulation of a certain sort of fiction), but still, can you write those sentences without pulling yourself up and saying “Whoa!”?
I guess it’s another case of “same planet, different worlds”.
But anyway, it’s another in a long line of defences of the fog. “Don’t have rules for social interaction, don’t give clear guidelines for narrative rights, please, please don’t actually seek to define the processes we all actually use in play, or talk about our social interactions…” Keep us in the fog, it shows we’re superior, it protects us from confronting what we’re actually doing.
Okay, I’m ranting again, let’s get back to Sorcerer. You see, when a fog bound player hits the sorcerer rule book, it’s so dense, and almost completely free of the fog clearing that Ron’s so good at in the Forge fora, that you’re left with foggy techniques to deal with it. And if you approach Sorcerer with foggy techniques, is pretty meh. Nothing special.
Approach it with a clear mind… but wait, who the heck could do that? Pretty much every actual Sorcerer player has come through a kind of apostolic succession to Ron, AFAIK. And all of us guys, pretty much are veteran role players, veterans of the fog.
Now, someone please shoot me down if I’m wrong, but I think I’m right in saying that Ron’s said that the Sorcerer main rule book has these problems that partly he thought that to be upfront about what makes sorcerer different in play, he’d put folks off. Scare ’em out of the fog.
Anyway, time getting on, thoughts getting incoherent, food getting cold, more later.