Lord_Johnny
 member, 185 posts
Sat 7 Jan 2017
at 18:20
So much freeform!
So, let me premise this with saying that while I don't particularly care for free form myself, at least part of that is my lack of understanding of the appeal. I mean, yes, there is some level of "I can do things that I might not otherwise." Sure, that makes sense. But, on the other hand, all games have that benefit. (Unless of course there is somewhere I can sign up in real life to go fight goblins and loot gold filled tombs etc without it being looked down on!) And some people see it as a more liberating way of having a game without rules (which I can understand), but again a lot of game rules make sense. We can't fly in real life simply by flapping our arms up and down, so having rules makes sense. Common Sense has it's place, of course, but then what I may or may not be able to do doesn't necessarily reflect on someone else, which is where game rules seem to shine. You get a consistent understanding of the results.


So...what is the appeal of Free-form, and how does Free form have it that others don't? I ask because, there is a LOT of free-form on RPOL, and I just don't get it.
Shannara
 moderator, 3699 posts
 Keep calm, drink more
 COFFEE!!!!
Sat 7 Jan 2017
at 18:32
So much freeform!
I no longer play system games online, myself.

I prefer to write to tell an interactive story, not to 'overcome challenges' or 'solve puzzles' or, even worse, 'beat the GM'.

The rules in freeform are to tell a good story.  When you've got players invested in that, it's a good game.

When you've got players invested in grandstanding their character, monopolizing the action, and/or not playing for the good of the story or game, it doesn't work so well.

I was a 'system game' person when I started out, and I didn't know what to do when there were no guidelines.  *shrug*  However, once I figured it out and what I liked about it, I prefer flavor over the rules.

Whatever floats your boat -- I'm just glad that there are lots of options available so everyone can have fun.
wyrmpuff
 member, 132 posts
 I need a name change.
 I want more games.
Sat 7 Jan 2017
at 18:47
So much freeform!
I prefer system games, but sometimes free-form, or collaborative writing as I call it in my mind, are the best way to go if the players and gm/moderator are all on the same page. The result are usually quite pleasing for all parties if that is so.
gladiusdei
 member, 495 posts
Sat 7 Jan 2017
at 19:01
So much freeform!
I've been curious about freeform games as well.  How do you keep players from derailing a story?  I understand creative writing, and working together to create a story, but I also know this site is filled with people who tend to want to slant a game to make themselves the star.  It's human nature, and the internet makes it a lot easier to indulge in.  So how do you keep a free form game from becoming a fight over dominance of the story?

I'm not asking this critically, I am legitimately curious how you all have had it work successfully.  What if, for instance, the game is about contemporary relationships, and three players end up all wanting their characters in a relationship with a fourth player.  That seems rife for players one upping each other and using the 'no rules' aspect to sabotage each other.
Shannara
 moderator, 3700 posts
 Keep calm, drink more
 COFFEE!!!!
Sat 7 Jan 2017
at 19:18
So much freeform!
The fourth player decides.  It does generally require players talking to each other to come up with a good outcome, but I've mostly seen that the gravitation happens rather fluidly.

If sabotage is occurring, and it's not done in a collaborative manner with all those involved enjoying it, then that's when the GM steps in and gives the player engaged in it an ultimatum, or the boot.

There are rules.  The rules are just of the 'play nice and have fun' variety.

This message was last edited by the user at 19:20, Sat 07 Jan.

gladiusdei
 member, 496 posts
Sat 7 Jan 2017
at 19:27
So much freeform!
so would you say a free form game likely entails, or needs, a lot more ooc communication than a ruled game?