Re: Re: HP rationale

From: Benedict Adamson <yahoo_at_...>
Date: Mon, 02 Sep 2002 00:33:17 +0100

con1453_at_... wrote:


> Or as I put it recently in a verbal discussion: "simulationist games' are
> based on the idea of the gamemaster entertaining the players. This is bad.
> Narrativist games are better. In them, the game master (henceforth to be
> called THE NARRATOR) is to be entertained by the players."

Were you speaking through your mouth for this discussion?

> Here's how the "games" work -- first, THE NARRATOR tells the players to write
> down some words and numbers on a sheet. Don't worry about what they are --
> they will have nothing to do with the game. Nothing on them can be compared
> with anything, even with the same words and numbers on another player's
> sheet, let alone those on THE NARRATOR's sheet, except by the will of THE
 > THE NARRATOR will then tell a story. At times, he will ask the players to
 > roll dice. Don't worry about what you roll, good or bad, because it means

 > nothing, except at the will of THE NARRATOR.
 > The point of a narrativist game is for the players to provide an 
 > audience for THE NARRATOR. He has already decided everything of importance
 > that is going to happen in the game.

Well, this forum is for the discussion of the Hero Wars rules, a 'narrativist' game that has none of the characteristics that you describe, so I suppose we should count ourselves lucky.

Do you have much of experience of 'narrativist games'?

However interesting your broad experience of 'narrativist' games might be, I suppose we ought to concentrate on Hero Wars itself. Do you have any comments about HW?

> In a narrativist game, only one skill matters, and it isn't on your sheet. It
> is "Wheedle NARRATOR."

I guess no more so than other flavours of RPGs. Have you played Munchkin? One of the cards is 'Bribe DM with food'.

> When THE NARRATOR (rarely) asks the players to do something, it is the
> player's job to figure out what THE NARRATOR wants him to do. Often this
> involves convincing the narrator that some odd thing on the player's sheet
> (smelly feet 18) has something to do with the story that THE NARRATOR wants
> to tell.

Fascinating. I confess, my only experience of 'narrativist' games are Hero Wars and MOB's MGF, in which this has never the case in any game I've been in. Thank you for enlightening me.

> Above all, remember that you must not irritate THE NARRATOR,

You mean to say that it's OK to irritate the referee/GM/whatever in other games? How rude!

> but must provide
> an admiring audience, and, when called upon, figure out what THE NARRATOR
> wants you to do, despite the absence of many obvious clues.

Oh my, you have had a terrible Narrator. I recommend a diplomatic word in their ear. Or perhaps finding a different Narrator. Or try Narrating yourself.

> (DON"T keep on
> reading off different things and asking "does this work? does this work?")

Of course, that would be boring, showing no intelligence or imagination. Little better than reading out the names from the phone book.

> Not surprisingly, "narrativist games" are popular with potential narrators,
> but considerably less so with potential players.

We must very lucky, as that is not the case here. Our narrator has just finished a long series and tactfully asked whether we could take over for a bit.

If you have difficulties finding players, I suggesting using the player locators on the Issaries web site and Wesley's web site.

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