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Solving the Narraitivst gamers Exalted paradox

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  • #16
    Have you ever read Discworld?

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    • #17
      Basically?

      By ignoring the mechanics entirely whenever they clash with the narrative pacing. Which was often. If a rule got unwieldy or unfun, we simply took the torch to it.

      I'm not what one would call a very canon-minded person :P.

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      • #18
        Narrative doesn't mean "Hate Crunch". Crunch isn't my strong point, but then I don't have years of Exalted experience to draw from. I love the new combat system and the new Social Influence system. I'm sort of wary of the Craft and the Fact systems, but I am willing to give them a chance before deciding completely how I feel about them.

        I'm just willing to toss the rules out the window in situations where the rules impede the narrative. You are playing the game to play the rules, you may not like an ST that doesn't respect sanctity of the rules.


        I write things.

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        • #19
          Short, flippant answer: Narrate everything.

          Longer answer: Even in an entirely combat-oriented Circle, you should be role-playing every dramatic action you take. Unless it's dramatically apropos, no one should be limiting themselves to pronouns and verbs when describing their character's actions. The system is complicated, but between the die rolls and decisions, there's a lot of room to be expressive in your description of the action. Played long enough, the system should be easy enough to improvise around, but I think that the key thing is to know which actions your players plan on taking require full use of mechanics and which don't. The fact that very few NPCs have stats detailed to the same levels as Players would suggest to me that they shouldn't be actively role-played to the same degree as PCs, so the Storyteller doesn't hog the spotlight. They're there to push against, not to be pushing.


          Crunch isn't a hobby; it's a calling.

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          • #20
            The posts in this thread reminds me of there being at least two common meanings for Narrative games.

            One where the focus is on description flow and what makes an interesting choice at the moment; but regardless how simple of complex the system, it has to be out of the way.

            The other is where the game mechanics can be very noticeable, but they are there to push the story in different potential direction instead of simulate something or giving tactical options with balanced challenges.

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            • #21
              Exalted is, from where I'm sitting, a high-crunch maximalist game that designed it's mechanics on narrative, rather than gamist or simulationist logic. I don't see how the game has difficulty reconciling narrativist desires.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by ParanoiaCombo View Post
                Exalted is, from where I'm sitting, a high-crunch maximalist game that designed it's mechanics on narrative, rather than gamist or simulationist logic. I don't see how the game has difficulty reconciling narrativist desires.
                I happen to agree with you, but if a big part of what you consider to be "narrativism" is explicitly the rejection of rule-based gaming in favor of free-form or lightly structured storytelling, this take on Exalted would be semantically nonsensical on at least a couple levels.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Blackwell View Post

                  I happen to agree with you, but if a big part of what you consider to be "narrativism" is explicitly the rejection of rule-based gaming in favor of free-form or lightly structured storytelling, this take on Exalted would be semantically nonsensical on at least a couple levels.
                  But if your take on "Narrativism" is "Simulation? Man, I just want to tell a fun story", then you see the title of this thread and say "... There's a paradox?"

                  Then you read the post and go "... Man, I just play the game and love the hell out of it".


                  Disclaimer: I'll huff, grump, and defend my position, but if you're having fun I'll never say you're doing it wrong.

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                  • #24
                    Like Paranoia Combo and others, I don't see a paradox here.

                    However, perhaps we are defining our terms differently. When you use the term "Narrativist" in this context, what do you mean?

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Monkipi View Post

                      I really agree with this. I also think that Ex3 is uniquely designed as a crunchy vehicle for narrative, in some ways like the Powered by the Apocalypse games where things start and end with the narrative and mechanics occupy a lot of the liminal space there. Ex3's mechanics are a scaffold for unfolding narratives, and so they lay in structures and expectations for how things should and will go. They underlie things to an extent that, in my experience, they often don't do much to poke their head out and rub against the narrative in undesired ways.

                      Generally, call for rolls when dramatically appropriate and things are in question, utilize the game's scaffolds for narrative, and ignore those rules that you find to make the first two difficult. I'm an intensely narrativist player and I find that this works for me well, and that the 3 ed rules play really, really nicely with my narrative mindset and I am usually crunch averse to some extent.

                      EX3 leans strongly toward narrativist-style goals and design ethos, but comes at it from a core of traditional design and bending trad tools to those ends, rather than the highly-abstract systems that are the norm for narrativist games (such as FATE, CORTEX, and the excellent PBtA engine). Very few other designers are trying to do that right now, so it can be a bit of a challenge to quantify.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by ParanoiaCombo View Post
                        Exalted is, from where I'm sitting, a high-crunch maximalist game that designed it's mechanics on narrative, rather than gamist or simulationist logic. I don't see how the game has difficulty reconciling narrativist desires.
                        Yep, although it dips into gamist design quite a lot as well-- it is very interested in being a playable game as well as a story-telling framework-- it just doesn't ever give that top priority, in contrast to say D&D4.

                        It is probably helpful to look at design as occurring along at least a set of X-Y axes rather than just as a flat list of three styles, because a lot of the problem in this thread-- it's completely turned Totentanz around!-- is coming from conflating "narrativist" with "light" or "abstract" design, and they don't necessarily correspond at all. It might be more useful to consider the goal of the game (gamist, sim, nar) and the method of attaining that goal (trad/rooted, abstract) as two separate matters, with maybe a Z axis for light and heavy systems as well, although I think you'll find that one doesn't have as much variance as expected.

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                        • #27
                          (Like, there are going to be a couple of X-Y-Z combinations if you ascribe to that method that I think would only end up occupied by Jenna Moran games. Nobilis is probably the only Sim-Abstract-Middleweight game kicking around out there, while Chuubo is the rare Narrativist-Abstract-Superheavy example)

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Blackwell View Post

                            I happen to agree with you, but if a big part of what you consider to be "narrativism" is explicitly the rejection of rule-based gaming in favor of free-form or lightly structured storytelling, this take on Exalted would be semantically nonsensical on at least a couple levels.
                            Do I know you?

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Holden View Post

                              Yep, although it dips into gamist design quite a lot as well-- it is very interested in being a playable game as well as a story-telling framework-- it just doesn't ever give that top priority, in contrast to say D&D4.

                              It is probably helpful to look at design as occurring along at least a set of X-Y axes rather than just as a flat list of three styles, because a lot of the problem in this thread-- it's completely turned Totentanz around!-- is coming from conflating "narrativist" with "light" or "abstract" design, and they don't necessarily correspond at all. It might be more useful to consider the goal of the game (gamist, sim, nar) and the method of attaining that goal (trad/rooted, abstract) as two separate matters, with maybe a Z axis for light and heavy systems as well, although I think you'll find that one doesn't have as much variance as expected.
                              I agree with most of what you say but I don't think the game/sim/nar axis should be considered the "goal of the game". I think it's more appealing to me to cast those dimensions as modes with which players engage with the game, while your trad/abstract axis represents ways the game can engage with the players. I think "light" vs "heavy" is an area of real variation though I will admit that this is a gut check.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by ParanoiaCombo View Post

                                Do I know you?
                                Outside this forum I don't think so?

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