Narrative Capital

Friday, April 20, 2007

Emily rocks, and also with the rolling.

Check out her post on Fair Game about narrative capital and leverage in gaming. This is what all the business is about in Nar gaming -- the stuff that gamers look at and say, "That's just like powergaming in Gamist play." Yes. But for completely different goals. So important!
Kickers, interests, conflicts, advantages, attributes: all these mechanical things are there to help us find story capital. And also, mechanics enforce the weight of elements we make up to act as leverage. My 2d8 "dusty bowler" in Dogs weighs heavily, if I've invested a lot of fallout in it. A good kicker gives the GM or other players really solid narrative capital to use against you. A less useful kicker can be ignored.



Blogger Fred says:  

Yep. Lenny, one of the SOTC authors, commented once that one of his playgroups was essentially a bunch of gamists (I will be the most awesome in this scene!) who were engaging with the system in the form of milking the aspects for all they were worth, in a way that produced some fairly narrativist-friendly results. It gave him something of a surreal moment when that happened. :) But that's what it's all about, when putting a system on-point about delivering tools to the player that can encourage a "powergaming" strategy that happens to turn the drama of story up to eleven. There are definitely times when I feel like I want to be that kind of a "hybrid" player -- powergaming for drama, maximizing the system's means of reinforcing my drama-power. Hell, I think that informs much of my design agenda in general...

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