Thursday, November 14, 2013

Table Top Roleplay: The Persuasion Factor

I think there is going to be a factor that is pretty much going to remain invisible to alot of roleplayers. That play rests upon persuasion and that at various times the GM can be very open to persuasion. And importantly conversely, at times he can be very hard (but not impossible!) to persuade.

Some will go on about how much effort they put into checking the accounting on every single fictional transaction ( [D&D] Is the dungeon real? ). But unless you watch out for how easy it is to persuade the GM, then that variable is left to the wind. Sure, I get it, they don't think it's even a relevant variable. That's the state of the divide I'm outlining.

Some will say they just get the GM to make decisions ( How Epidiah decided range to target in Dungeon Crawl Classics ). The thing is, unless the GM works like a old text based adventure game program, only giving certain, very fixed responces to certain input, this isn't true. The program works by decisions - people work by empathy and caring. It's our nature. Hell, that's why so many roleplayers so hautily say 'this isn't a boardgame/computer game!', even as the distinction eludes them (as so many 'what is an RPG?' threads attest). And while I think they should be more self aware of how it works, I largely agree. For sim, the very core of it is a GM AND players who are very much able to be persuaded by each other to give responces that they both want and the other person wanted them to give. I'm not sure it's an issue in Nar, particularly, as the moral problematic isn't really screwed over at all by people wanting the same fiction. It's only gamism that gets a mickey slipped in it's drink.

Anyway, I get that this is invisible as a factor. The GM just makes decisions - that's all he does - I get the perspective. The difficulty of play based upon such decision does not appear to fluctuate at all. Hell, it doesn't appear to fluctuate to me either, from direct observation! But nor does sleight of hand appear as sleight of hand upon direct observation. And here's where it goes sour, because folk hear that, they think malicious intent - in fact they want to ascribe malicious intent to that, because then they can say their GM never did that.

But it's sleight of hand without any party intending to do sleight of hand.

How is that possible, you might ask? How can you do something without intending to?

I could get lazy and ask how did you just process all the pixels on this screen in front of you - how did you do that, even as you did it to read this post and this sentence as it unfolds and heck, what is the very point of unfolding (define 'now' for me?). But it's lazy. Too up in the air. Too abstract.

But sure enough your heart beats without you intending it. You walk without monitoring every single joint movement of your legs and hips. Your liver processes various things in ways still kinda mysterious to science. You do alot of things without knowing how you do it. It stands to reason you do things without even knowing you do it. But now it's too basic - we know our organs, but treat our mind as different somehow. Too basic or too abstract. Too hot, too cold. Ever Goldilox, spoiling the porridge because 'the porridge is spoiled!'.

All of this is a stretch, I know - for the frustrated by all the particularness of such discussion. But in the end, assuming were hitting the emperic in this (maybe you'd disagree its emperic, which is fine), what the fuck does that matter? Yes, the emperic is full of fiddly particulars. How is that any kind of point but to treat your own frustration as if the other guy has somehow done you wrong enough to shut up shop on conversation. Yeah, you don't wanna talk about it? Just say so, be honest - yellin' at the other guy is just passive aggressive intellectual dishonesty.

It's not the other guy who's pushing you to respond at all. It's your own sense of intellectual honesty. Not the other guy. Take it up with yourself.

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