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.

And showing your appreciation through a donation of 5 or 10 dollars would be nice. My machine could use a little cleaning and the software to do that is about 30 dollars American. The donation button is in the sidebar.

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Discuss: Phenomenology | Adept Play

Source: Discuss: Phenomenology | Adept Play

First, be sure you listen to the whole thing. He does go into some detail, and it really is a subject you need to take in and think about..

The main focus, as far as I can tell, is that there are two main elements to RPGs. One has to do with the guide’s sub-creation; with his adaptation of his world as best to present an imaginary version to his players.

The other has to do with how his players handle his presentation, which can have a lot to do with what they know of the guide, how he see things, how they see things, and how they are able to handle matters.

Ron does talk in some part about story, and as far as I can tell he does see them as being story. I don’t agree. I understand story as being an account of what has happened (my emphasis), whether the account be factual or fictional. In contrast what occurs during play is what is occurring. It doesn’t have to actually be occurring in all reality, it just needs to be taken as real in your imagination.

And then there is the matter of narration, which can include a witness relating what he sees as happening, as it happens. What you can call “description.”

Be sure to read the comments below the video, but do so after you’ve seen the video. This is the sort of things you’ll need some background on.

Thank you for your time, and feel free to leave a comment or observation.

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We’re Doing What?

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Existence


Lately I’ve run into people who keep insisting that when we play in an RPG we have to be telling a story. In case you hadn’t heard, I disagree.

Their Rationale

As far as I can tell in their way of thinking the fact events in play are imaginary—that is, fictional—it means that it has to be story. That is not how I understand story. How do I understand story?

As I understand it, a story is an account of events that have occurred. A narration is an accounting of those events. Whether those events are real or imaginary is irrelevant, what matters is that they have occurred. When they are occurring you don’t have a story, you have events.

And it doesn’t matter if they are real events or make believe, they are happening in one sense or another.

The Society

In the Society for Creative Anachronism—SCA—the members get together on occasion to pretend to be living in the Middle Ages as they should’ve been. They’re really not, they just pretend they are. And in that the events are happening at that moment, they’re not telling stories. For all that the lives are imaginary, they are still living lives.


And what are you doing in an RPG—Role Playing Game? You are living a life. For all that it is an imaginary life in an imaginary world, it is still a life.

Think of it as a sort of virtual reality. In all reality it has no reality, just the appearance of reality. You want to get right down to it, it’s a fraud. But it’s close enough to being real that we can pretend that it is. We can treat it as real, and in our treatment handle it as if we were actually living the life we pretend we are.

Closing Thoughts

I may have more to say on this, but first I have to think some more.



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Keeping it Simple

You know, when using Gutenberg to type up a post it’s really very simple when you keep it simple. That said, there are times when you do want to play around a bit, but with the way Gutenberg is set up getting fancy is just too damn difficult to my way of thinking.

I Mean

It would be nice if we could use the classical editor, without having to plant a damn block in. Hell, why not just provide the old editor and add new blocks to it. I mean, they had to fuss their heads off? The Mullenweg Mafia had to screw with things just because TinyMCE screwed up blocks originally?

And what do we need with header blocks when we’ve already got the classic editor?

And do they need to make life hard by insisting on HTML based columns when CSS columns do the job so much better.?

The Singularity can’t come soon enough.

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The fall of Horton Plaza

Source: The fall of Horton Plaza

It’s an incomplete story, for Mr. Potter’s yarn only carries you up to just after the shopping center opened. How it began it’s disintegration is not covered. That I suspect will be dealt with next week.

But even incomplete you do get a good idea of just why and how it failed, and the fault is in us.

For we like being thoughtlessly optimistic, as witness the brown nosing of Trump by so many today. Or, in the field of blogging, the slobbering now going on over the Gutenberg editor for WordPress5.

At the same time the bigotry against the very poor then rampant didn’t help matters any. Horton Plaza wasn’t an urban shopping mall, it was a suburban shopping mall misplanted in alien ground. It’s a gated community for the hoity toity. And a lot of the praise laid on the thing in my opinion consisted pretty much of a pack of screeching parrots trying to outshout each other. Or peacocks strutting mightily to impress a corpse.

Now I suspect that next week Mr. Potter will finish the story, but I have the feeling that the villain here is going to be the people at Westfield. They’re not the only damn fools gutting American enterprise, but they do make for a fine example of how not to keep your company in business for the long run. No, it’s not the Internet alone that’s killed Horton Plaza, Westfield put a lot of neglect into their role, and all because they aint got the smarts God gave a tazzie.

The Revolution is coming, and it will be events such as the abandonment of Horton Plaza that encourages it.

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Making It In San Diego: This is where rent in San Diego is rising the fastest

The cost of living in San Diego continues to rise, but what may surprise you is where rents are rising fastest throughout the city.

Source: Making It In San Diego: This is where rent in San Diego is rising the fastest

This is what happens when demand is greater than supply, and supply is kept limited by greed and those with a need to control. But fret not, for with the coming demographic collapse there will come a day when housing is going to be pretty damn cheap

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Tri-City to indefinitely suspend inpatient mental health services

Tri-City Medical Center votes to close its behavioral health and crisis stabilization units, a move that would leave coastal north San Diego County without emergency psychiatric services.

Source: Tri-City to indefinitely suspend inpatient mental health services

This means problems. It means more people out on the streets, more people living under conditions that will most likely lead to incidents of assault, rape, or even homicide. It means more chances for a revisiting of the HepA outbreak, or another disease. I don’t know what Tri-City is trying to pull, but this is the sort of short sighted crap that could lead to a lot of tragedy.

Heinlein was right, these are the Crazy Years and I expect we’re going to see even worse come down the pipe.

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A Tryout

And How Is This an Improvement

Thought I’d give Gutenberg a try again, and again I can only conclude that Mullenweg’s Mafia have taken things just a tad too far.

What used to be done simply and efficiently is now scattered hither and yon in all sorts of different places, and asking for entirely too many steps to accomplish. To be honest with you, I expect there to be a huge backlash come WP 5, and plugins such as the Classic Editor will get downloaded enmass.

What we’re going to see is another “New Coke”, an event where people Mullenweg and friends thought would love their new toy, only to find people heading to alternatives they actually find useful.

Disappointment is Coming

And expect a number of plugins for Gutenberg and a number of blocks to disappear, in as much as they are just irrelevant. The old editor will be back, or else something like it, and work will be done to allow bloggers to add things such as the all in one image/text block without all the foo-for-all Gutenberg requires.

You want to change the world, keep it small and let your successors carry on after you.

Now aint
this redundant?

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