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The Assumption of Awesome.

Levi

Of The Canadian Levis.
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#1
Rather recently, Rebbeca Borgstrom and a few others schooled me to something interesting - something I'm not entirely sure they knew they'd shown me. I'm going to try to put this new thing into really plain terms, so we can discuss it.

I call it "The Assumption of Awesome".

A game has it, to greater or lesser extent, when it assumes that players are going to try to come up with stuff that is awesome for everyone else as well.

In D&D, there is no assumption of awesome. D&D, as written, assumes that the players are going to play the game to play the game, not to come up with awesome stuff. Sure, they sometimes do anyway, but it's not assumed; intead, there are controls in the hands of the DM to prevent players going wild. This works.

In Dogs in the Vineyard, the game assumes that players will generally have an eye out to come up with awesome stuff, and that it'll also happen on it's own because the mechanics are geared to generate it. There's the general group ability to shoot down lame stuff, but the emphasis is on working to make good, not to shoot down bad. This also works.

In Nobilis, it would seem, the game not only assumes that players will try to come up with the awesome, it assumes that they will succeed, because players are awesome. Non-awesome things will simply fall by the wayside. I am assured that this works.

So, that was my "holy crap" moment for the last couple of days.

Your thoughts?
 

C.W.Richeson

RPG Reviewer
RPGnet Member
#2
I think that makes a surprising degree of sense, but i'm not sure you didn't just write "Game X gives player some narrative control" in a different way.
 

TonyLB

Wanna-be Super
#3
Are you using "Game X assumes Y" to be synonymous with "Game X encourages (in all those ways that game texts can) its players to assume Y"?

'cuz if so ... yeah. Some games do a pretty heavy amount of assuming players will be awesome. My experience is that they are right: players are, if anything, even more awesome than the game texts lead me to assume.
 

Ashikaider

seeker of things AWESOME
#6
I believe this is part of Exalted as well, and it's something that the GM in my group who's going to run it is trying to learn, as he cut his GMing teeth on Palladium and Star Wars D20.
 

Levi

Of The Canadian Levis.
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#7
Are you using "Game X assumes Y" to be synonymous with "Game X encourages (in all those ways that game texts can) its players to assume Y"?

'cuz if so ... yeah. Some games do a pretty heavy amount of assuming players will be awesome. My experience is that they are right: players are, if anything, even more awesome than the game texts lead me to assume.
I'm not sure - for example, I'd say that Capes doen't quite assume that players will always be awesome. It assumes they often will be, and then tries to help.
 

Levi

Of The Canadian Levis.
Staff member
Moderator
RPGnet Member
Validated User
#8
I think that makes a surprising degree of sense, but i'm not sure you didn't just write "Game X gives player some narrative control" in a different way.
Not necessarily.

Capes gives total control to the narrative to the players - even more than Nobilis.

I would say it assumes less awesome. Or less competence at producing awesome, maybe.
 
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