Collaboration.   Posted by GM.Group: 0
 GM, 8 posts
Mon 3 Apr 2017
at 18:10
I want everyone involved to collaborate on the game and the fiction. I need to explain what I mean by that.

Roughly speaking, nothing fictional is necessarily true here in this game unless it's been posted in this game, even if it's written in an official source. Anything that is posted can and usually will carry the weight of law and canon. Therefore, it's not necessary to couch contributions in tentative terms. If something "maybe" the case, it absolutely is the case.

This is not intended to make people afraid of posting their musings, lest their character suffer as a result; I'm aware of the trope of the GM who assumes a character uttered any jokey thing a player says. The intent of this is to embolden contributors to really contribute, confident that their ideas will be integrated.

This key aspect of the game - that what is written is true and that what's unwritten may not be - is meant to be "self-correcting" in the sense that if someone says something another doesn't like, or would prefer wasn't true, then that other may say something of their own to augment, modify, add to but not negate what the first player said.

This is difficult to quantify and it's an interesting mental exercise to come up with something that one could never modify enough to accept. "Negate" here means "undo the thing or the effects or intent of the thing." A basic example is that one player says that "[noun] [takes action X]/[has property Y]" and another player states that no [noun] ever [takes action X]/[has property Y]. The first statement has been negated, and that player's contribution at least partially erased, possibly completely. Try the best you can not to do things like that, even if you think you "technically" can in some case, because of what I have or haven't said.

Nutshell: Think in terms of accepting and adding on, of "Yes," or "Yea, and...." If a response to a player idea could be framed as "No," or even as "Yes, but..." then consider whether or not you're negating or blocking what you're responding to.

This message was last edited by the GM at 18:28, Mon 03 Apr 2017.

 GM, 9 posts
Mon 3 Apr 2017
at 18:25
A few things can make this easier:

Avoid making absolute statements, or basing statements on other absolute statements. If some [nouns] are said to have [property] but some others are said to have a contradictory property, then nothing has been negated: both are true, and probably an interesting tension has been added to the game.

By that token, if your character is of a race or class that would "never" do a thing, then that puts us at risk of someone else giving an example that does do that thing. If you can roll with that, cool. If not, then there's an issue, that could have been avoided upfront. This approach is meant, among other things, to address the reality that not everyone reads everything, or grants what they do read the same importance.

All that said, be polite with others' characters. They shouldn't have to state that their character had a happy childhood to head off someone else establishing that the person who killed their parents has just appeared on the scene. There's flexibility here, and more to be gained as a group builds fiction and trust together; after all, some people might dig an establishment like that. But, for instance, stating that someone who picked on someone else's character as a kid has appeared is something that won't be quite as difficult for that player to integrate into their concept.

Anyway, the main focus in this game is on Eberron and Sharn, so collaborating on character fiction (unless it ties into facts key to Eberron and Sharn) is not really what this is about.