Phenomenology 2: Making it go – YouTube

Now as I’m listening to this it occurs to me that what Edwards to doing is describing what Tolkien was describing in his scene with Eru and his chorus at the very beginning of his Silmarillion.

Essentially what Tolkien is doing is what the guide in an RPG does, present his creation to his players, and they in turn cooperate and collaborate in fleshing it out.

With the exception of Morgoth. Morgoth has to have things his way. Morgoth is a disruptive player. The angel doesn’t want to cooperate or collaborate, he wants to make it his. Morgoth is a brat.

So Eru does absolutely the worst thing he can do, he incorporates the changes Morgoth makes in Eru’s creation, which is not what Morgoth wants.

This applies where disruptive players in any RPG session are concerned, it has to be theirs. Should you deny them this outright it’s bad enough. But what’s even worse is when the guide finds a way to may the player’s work part of his. The disruptive are not out to make an experience better they are out to make it theirs even when it makes the experience worse for the other players.

Then Ron points out something I hadn’t thought of before. For the most part the events in an RPG are indeterminate. That is, it’s a matter of luck. The diceless RPG is very much a cooperative/collaborative storytelling game with guide and players deciding on what is going to happen and how. You get right down to it, a storytelling is determinative, events are set down. It may be the decision of one, it may be the decision of the many, but it is a decision and one deliberate decided on.

In a role playing guide (to use my phrasing) what might occur can be up to chance. Player says he’s tossing a bag of poison inside a dragon’s mouth. The guide rolls a 1 on  a d20 and the dragon dies . Changes things, don’t it? Not entirely, but to some extent luck will change the course of events.

That’s pretty much what I got out of this, but before I go I have this to say.

As far as I can see fiction really has nothing to do with story. The fact it can’t happen in reality doesn’t mean it can’t happen in fiction, that it can’t happen in our imagination. What it comes down to is that events happen in play pretty much as they do in life. A choice is made, you get run over a car when its brakes fail. Nobody expected it, just bad luck. In a story it’s not a character who decides he’s not dropping a nuke on Moskva, it’s the writing who decides his character who’s not dropping the bomb because he doesn’t see that character doing it. To make this simple, storytellers have control over what they are doing, players in an RPG don’t, and that includes the guide.

I’ve got more video to watch, more thinking to do, and more composing.

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