One Simple Thing #1: "My Guy"

TonyLB

Wanna-be Super
#1
I like the intent behind Fifth-Child's attempt to sum up his thoughts. But he tried to do so much, and in such depth, that people complained that he practically wasn't speaking english any more. "Just keep it simple!" people said ... and that's advice I think is pretty sound. So I wondered, how simple can I possibly make it to describe something that I consider a useful point of theory? It's a fun challenge. Let's see how I do! :D

My Guy: In RPGs you can play a guy (or a girl, or a wombat). This guy is not real. He does not have a brain, or a heart, or courage. You pretend he has these things. He can not make you do things, because you are real, and he is not.

You make this guy, in your mind. So it's cool for you to want him to act one way, and not want him to act some other way. After all, you made him. All you need to say is "I want My Guy to be brave," and your friends will say "Cool!"

But if you say "I can't have My Guy run away, that's not who he is ... I have no choice," then you are wrong. You do have a choice. You could choose to have him run away. Now maybe you really don't want him to run and (see above) that's cool. Maybe if he runs away then you can't have fun playing any more. That would stink. But if you mean "I won't" then you should not say "I can't." That is just not true. Your friends know it is not true, because they are not dumb. If you lie to your friends it pisses them off, even more than they were pissed off in the first place because you would not run away from a great big troll and all their guys got killed dead.​
So ... put this way, is any of this in the slightest way controversial? Or is it just "Ho-hum ... boring and obvious, everybody knows that"?
 

JDCorley

New member
Banned
#5
Tony, it was a big eye-opener for me when I realized it. As I just posted to the other thread, the most significant piece of gaming know-how I ever got when I realized that everything that happened at the table happened because someone at the table made it happen. Not some guy writing a gaming book, not "the GM" by himself, there's absolutely no reason that any "role" such as "game designer", "game book illustrator", "GM", "player" should force me to have a crappy or could force me to have a great gaming experience. This "my guy" stuff is a subset of that. "I had to do that, it's what my character would do?" Well, dummy, you designed your character a particular way, and you interpreted the design in play in every scene you've had up until now, and you made the decisions that got your character to this situation and you made the evaluation as to how your character would react, so whose responsibility do you think it is? It's YOURS.

The social, real-world level of gaming is SO important. So amazingly important. And most games either don't mention it or set the bar really fucking low ("don't steal anything or beat up your fellow players".) Um...yeah, it's an eye-opener. To some, at least. Maybe more to thems of us who are oldsters and set in our ways.
 
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Extrakun

Tinker of Games
Validated User
#6
TonyLB said:
But if you say "I can't have My Guy run away, that's not who he is ... I have no choice," then you are wrong. You do have a choice. You could choose to have him run away. Now maybe you really don't want him to run and (see above) that's cool. Maybe if he runs away then you can't have fun playing any more. That would stink. But if you mean "I won't" then you should not say "I can't." That is just not true. Your friends know it is not true, because they are not dumb. If you lie to your friends it pisses them off, even more than they were pissed off in the first place because you would not run away from a great big troll and all their guys got killed dead.
I completely lost you here.

BTW, there's one thing missing. "Who you choose to be must fit the context of whatever world you are in" or something like that. To use a TV metaphor - A samurai shalln't be wandering regularly in a show like CSI (Though if that happen, it will be just plain...surreal...and interesting).
 

Extrakun

Tinker of Games
Validated User
#9
TonyLB said:
Okay ... that's an awful big paragraph to lose me in. Did you lose me at the first sentence? Or does the first sentence make sense to you?
I think I don't get the 'run' away part. Are you saying that if a player concept is cowardly, then he shall be cowardly all the time?

Now maybe you really don't want him to run and (see above) that's cool. Maybe if he runs away then you can't have fun playing any more. That would stink. But if you mean "I won't" then you should not say "I can't." That is just not true. Your friends know it is not true, because they are not dumb. If you lie to your friends it pisses them off, even more than they were pissed off in the first place because you would not run away from a great big troll and all their guys got killed dead.
I don't get this paragraph. So a cowardly character shall run away, and if he insists on staying, he's being dishonest if he says "I can't run away" instead of "I won't run away" ?
 
#10
TonyLB said:
So ... put this way, is any of this in the slightest way controversial? Or is it just "Ho-hum ... boring and obvious, everybody knows that"?
I'd say that it's obvious to everyone except complete goobers (who either are unable to recognize it, or do and lie about it), and no-one that I know of was ever cured of being a jackass by reasoned argument. Nevertheless, I feel it's still worth articulating.


EDIT: This isn't aimed at Extrakun or anyone who found the writing style of the post hard to understand. I'm talking about people who say, "I can't help it, it's what my character would do!"
 
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