Monday, February 1, 2010

Telescopic Flexibility and Escalation

A question in the Forums got me thinking to why I like the complexity. It boils down to 2 things: telescopic flexibility and escalation.

Has anyone here, that mainly plays GURPS, ever play with another system and realize at some point that there was a skill/skills you [I]really[/I] missed and wished were available in that system? If so, what was it/were they? - Ragitsu (SJ games boards)


Telescopic. When I compare real world skills to GURPS, which I read up on to give a better story telling effect and it comes up as part of my job, GURPS skills looks simple.

Anything simpler than GURPS for me underestimates the many factors and limitations that affect certainty and risk (which i do a general study as an entrepreneur).

I am aware it is a game and the need for practical speed and simplicity. The details help in "escalating" the game along with the PC's advancement. It does so by giving a informed idea of the consequences and factors that affect situation and flow.

Details are Telescopic in Hind-sight. Its easy to abstract complex to simple, its hard to telescope into abstract to specific details without being informed about the differences. Being able to move back and forth between detail to abstract is a useful (but not necessary) tool among the many skills that figure into GMing IMO.

How details figure in the game and story telling. They enhance realism and allow for a more consistency and allow for more senses to be engage by the imagination (describing via 5+1 senses). It also places more engaging/attractive stimuli before the players (like a trail of candy).

Escalation. Details add Complexity. Complexity are more opportunities to screw up. Thus, complexity and details Escalate challenges. This all has to do with understanding and widening of options.

I'm sure everyone knows the principle: "...with more knowledge comes more questions." It works that way with details. As in Robin's Laws, its pretty much covered by the GM's standard response of "...and then what." and "tell me more.".

Inflicting my players with the problems, complexities, and dilemmas I found in business, historical, and behavioral interest books may sound unworkable. Although, a great measure of understanding is how I'm able to apply the basic principles in a way that is interesting to to the players.

It is a matter of the hobby perpetuating/enhancing the skill that allows me to have more time (and less stress) for other things. One can look at in another way: real life skills that make life workable, perpetuating/enhancing the game experience.
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