Monday, April 27, 2015

Back to Basics Narrative Tool of Scaling; Definition - World Building Game Style?

Scope and Scale: Individual vs Individuals with organizations

If I were to look at the Novels and Stories I'm currently into, they are different from the stories that focus on individuals and their heroism in the face of adversity. Its something more contemporary or modern storytelling (like in many Biz or Military fiction or non-fiction), we have Individuals who are part of Organizations who deal with organizational challenges while facing their own Individual and Personal challenges. I've realized I'm a fan of this kind of narrative, as I use it as my own coping mechanism in work as part of an organization and the challenges the organization faces while deal with my own challenges. (i know how egocentric this sounds like but whatever)

The scale of Individual vs Individual as part of organizational (or community) tend to be very different as these military or biz fiction and non-fiction books have the Organization serving as a multifaceted NPC that is very complex and layered. An example is a Tribe or State, with its members - from its leaders to its lowest and weakest members, and the internal conflict within these organizations. 

More and more I find that the Cognitive Dissonance of an Individual is very similar to the Internal Dissent and Conflict within an organization. That I, the GM, can humanize elements of an Organization as I humanize elements of an Individual while the other elements (of an Individual or an Organization) are dehumanizing or antagonizing to the PCs/Players.  

It appears that I have simply moved from the scale of Individuals and organizations, and its median, freely in the narrative. That I should use this technique to bring about harder internal conflict within the players: A PC or Player can hate/love an Individual or Organization but depending on where I zoom in or out give him something that will conflict with his strongest leading emotion. This conflict happens as the PC is a humanized element

The ability to scale from Individuals to organization, from moments to days and using narrative tricks of projecting imagery of what can happen because of an event with a vast amount of time. I think this scaling can be used in time and subject focus, and maybe it can be used in Pacing as well.

Definition: World Building Game

This Scale, got me thinking of the Games I want to run. Its not enough that I want to run a game where there are PCs, but that these PCs can come to influence and groups and organizations and eventually shape the world. The emphasis is like in Military or Biz Fiction or Novels: that the Individual is not alone in the triumph. There is his party, peers, his henchmen or retainers or servants (his household). There is the organization, his army or his noble or military peers. That the PCs are interconnected by this complex web of relationships and as they move the matrix moves.

Typically World Building is just fun for the GM. I want the PCs to shape the world, I really want them to change history and the face of the world for either Good or Worse. The stories and tragedy is very interesting and engaging for me, the GM, and hopefully the players, and ideally the audience who wants to follow the story.

It is implied in the game that we deal with PCs, but when organizations and the world being changed and shaped, i think the game is a World Building Game. Well that's my subjective and narrow view of the definition.


By Biz and Military Fiction and Non-Fiction Books I mean lessons like that of Professors Micheal Roberto and Stanely K. Ridgely along with various other Biz Studies and Lectures. Strangely these are also inspiration for my games. Applying such techniques in a game is a bit of a high. 

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