"I Will Not Abandon You" - what is it?

edited June 2011 in Story Games
I Will Not Abandon You... I don't understand what it is exactly and how to use it. I read the provided link and was still not clear.

Can anyone put it in simple terms with an example?

Comments

  • edited June 2011
    John, it doesn't make much sense by itself. It's one of a set of terms (there's 3 or 4?) that were coined to descibe the social contract among players that covers how to deal with potentially problematic (violent, sexual, highly emotional, etc.) material in play. "Nobody Gets Hurt" was another one. I'm trying to remember the others.

    EDIT: Aha! "To the Pain" was another one.
  • (repost) There is a pretty good recount on Joel's blog of I Will Not Abandon You in play here
  • Here is, like, the greatest IWNAY AP post ever!

    http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forge/index.php?topic=31553.0

    Okay, now my thoughts. One of the great misunderstanding of Ron's discussion of Lines and Veils in Sex & Sorcery was that these were things that you should hammer out in advance with your play group like some kind of contract written in blood. I think that's socially problematic because it creates fictional trenches in the name of social safety rather than actual understanding of each other's lines. What Ron was getting at was that these things *exist*. People have lines. Some creative material gets veiled.

    When you go into a social situation knowing these things exist then you can *discover* them rather organically. Someone introduces some fictional content and someone else gets a little squicky about it. You know you're walking near a line for that person. The question is when that happens what do you do?

    For No One Gets Hurt, you back away. You revise your content. You throw a veil over something and quickly move on. You introduce new content that quickly moves play away from the line.

    For I Will Not Abandon You, you keep going. You acknowledge that you're crossing a line but you also trust the other player to handle it. The other player plays through the uncomfortable content with you.

    These are reciprocal relationships. If they don't check out for your material, you don't check out for theirs. These also apply to oneself. You might find yourself cornered by the fiction and you realize you're about to do something that makes *yourself* uncomfortable. For No One Gets Hurt, you rationalize a way out of doing that. In I Will Not Abandon You, you go there and trust the group to play through it with you.

    For whatever reason whenever I talk about this stuff people liken it to therapy. That's not what it is. It's about emotional and creative integrity to the demands of the fiction and about appreciating the social honesty of that fiction.

    Does that help?

    Jesse
  • edited June 2011
    Basically, it means "this game might touch some dark, sensitive, painful stuff (for you): we promise that we'll be there with you, nobody will make fun of it, and we'll deal with it together".

    "nobody gets hurt" instead says "all at the table can and should feel comfortable to say that some theme/situation/whatever is not ok and will be ok to veil it or avoid it"

    Am I off?

    --edit--
    I've been thoroughly Jesse'd :)
  • It's a duality. Nobody Gets Hurt vs I Will Not Abandon You.

    In Nobody Gets Hurt, we play nice and don't push each other's buttons. For example, let's say you've got a phobia of cockroaches. I do not bring cockroaches into the game.

    In I Will Not Abandon You, we push each other's buttons, but have an agreement that we'll support each other and get through it. For example, let's say you've got a phobia of cockroaches. I bring cockroaches into the game and we see where it goes.

    (Cockroaches is a deliberately trivial example. Replace with whatever genuinely pushes your buttons.)
  • edited June 2011
    Posted By: renatoramI've been thoroughly Jesse'd :)
    Maybe, but you said it better.

    Jesse
  • Guys, it's not a duality. There are other ways to play somewhere in the middle, right? Like To the Pain? Or am I misremembering? Is "To the Pain" just a more badass way of saying "Nobody Gets Hurt"?
  • I remember To The Pain but I'm not sure I buy it. In my play experience we're either going There or we're not. I'm not saying it isn't possible but I really haven't seen it.

    Jesse
  • There is a third thing, I think.

    I Will Not Abandon You is, in my experience, about how you deal with triggering or squicky or painful stuff if it comes up, but there's an assumption that no one is trying to make you feel squicky or triggered or in pain. We play the game, we know the game might go there, and we're prepared for it if it does.

    Theoretically there's another option, which is that we seek out the painful stuff, that we look for where it's uncomfortable, and we go there on purpose. I know someone has a thing about family relationships, that messed up family dynamics are a powerful but also painful emotional trigger for her, so I make sure to bring messed up family dynamics into the game.

    I know I have brought things into a game because I knew that one of the other players found that kind of situation particularly emotionally difficult. I think that was the right choice at the time, but I'm not sure it's always a good idea.
  • Is there more on the subject in relation to what kind of topics 'push buttons?' Because the triviality of cockroaches vs. the severity of rape are a wide distance apart. Are there links or discussions about how to consider more than just 'does it push someone's buttons?' I'm specifically wondering what parts of both NGH and IWNAY can be unhealthy or dangerous. Where do we advise people who play in these directions?
  • Nothing? I assume they play in those directions because they like it?

    My play is totally "no one gets hurt" for pretty much everything, because of my group's current collection of day jobs (Alzheimers, child abuse, trauma care, etc.) It's like, "oh great, another rape, if I wanted to deal with this kind of thing I could just go in to work."
  • I've been in some games where the pitch felt very alluring to take the "I Will Not Abandon You" approach. I didn't like it. And yet i feel like i should, or that there could be a way for me to enjoy it. Or maybe what i was doing was something else, or maybe just IWNAY in an...incorrect way? Is there no advice one can share on how to ...i don't know, 'do it right' i guess?
  • Tangent!

    I've found that misreading/misunderstanding the concept has led to sufficiently enjoyable play.
    I think it's led to something comparable to Nobody Gets Hurt play, where we agree up front that certain things are nooot enjoyable, period. Rather than "back up" to avoid something undesirable when it starts happening, you just say "This? No. None of it."

    /Tangent!
  • Posted By: graypawnIs there no advice one can share on how to ...i don't know, 'do it right' i guess?
    One of the most important things is that the players need to be able to address the material and not simply be subjected to it. I remember reading this horrible story on RPG.net about how a guy ran a Firefly game that involved the crew transporting a guy who turned out to be a dealer in forced child prostitution. Any time the players tried to do anything about it the GM reminded them that if this guy failed to arrive at his destination an inter-galactic war would break out or something like that. Basically, he just subjected to them to moral helplessness for four hours.

    That isn't edgy, that's abuse.

    The premise is fine but if the players want to kill the guy and deal with the inter-galactic war then that's what they should be allowed to do.

    Jesse
  • @Jesse:
    Or, depending on how much player authority the game provides, they might have been able to come up with a clever Door #3 response, perhaps involving the impending war.
  • Posted By: JesseI remember To The Pain but I'm not sure I buy it. In my play experience we're either going There or we're not. I'm not saying it isn't possible but I really haven't seen it.
    I have, though we called it "I will not abandon you, motherfucker."

    I Will Not Abandon You seems to be around pushing-with-support. Going further (if that's what To The Pain is), ...Motherfucker was about playing emotional chicken.

    - Ryan
  • Posted By: Ryan Macklin...Motherfucker was about playing emotional chicken.
    Oh, right.

    I was thinking about the space in between. Not the space beyond the edges.

    I have seen this one.

    Jesse
  • It seems so simple, when i think of it now, because the turn of phrase should be the answer. But in retrospect i'm still a bit stunned to admit that a lot of the negative emotions i've got toward the IWNAY games i've played were not due to the material covered, but the estrangement that followed. There was closeness through the topics, but afterwards friendships became hard. Friendships complicated by revelations directly created in a role-playing game. About faiths, desires, and the impressions we had of each other.

    And so i've sorta twisted "I Will Not Abandon You," to a point, when i hear it now, it almost sounds like "This Is Why I'll Abandon You." It's become a sort of 'play with fire...' kind of mentality. I guess i'm just not sure why it's viable, or desirable anymore. But i admit that's all pretty jaded. I'm asking this question openly.
  • edited June 2011
    I will not abandon you and nobody gets hurt are, kind of as usual, emotionally provocative names for what's really a simple technical difference between rules.

    When I say a thing you don't like, can you veto me by the rules, or would you have to step outside of the rules to veto me?

    You can see the implications for our social interactions as we play. If the former, our precious consensus comes first, even when I have something challenging and provocative I want to say. If the latter, my precious idea comes first, even when I'm being a total wad.

    Then, as VERY usual, they became rallying cries for people including me who prefer one to the other. I hope that's over. Because of course the real value of them is not as rallying cries, but as insights into rule design, so that you can look carefully at both and create more sophisticated games. When does our consensus really need to trump one person's vision? Which challenging ideas are really more valuable than our feelings?
  • Posted By: JesseAny time the players tried to do anything about it the GM reminded them that if this guy failed to arrive at his destination an inter-galactic war would break out or something like that.
    Out the airlock with him, and see what happens.For bonus points quote Emperor Ferdinand I: "Fiat justitia, et pereat mundus." [1]

    [1] (Let justice be done, though the world perish.)
  • edited June 2011
    I didn't used to, but now at convention games I talk a little at the beginning about veils and how it's OK to fade to black, and if anyone feels uncomfortable or wants to draw back, it's OK to speak up, and if someone does, we should all listen respectfully, and deal with it, and I try to keep an eye on player body language to see if maybe someone is looking uncomfortable but not speaking up. John Harper had a couple of custom moves for Apocalypse World that led to my realization that sometimes players think they need permission to be allowed to speak up.

    This leads into a big long thing about the GM's role in shaping a safe playspace for players who don't know each other, which is way too long for here, but I'm sure hoping Ryan's book on convention GMing will get into it.

    ETA: And I agree a lot with Vincent's insightful comments in #20.
  • I think it may have been me who coined "To The Pain" back in the day. Looking at what I was trying to get at in the context Vincent provides in #20, it's a "middle ground" in that

    1. We have a social agreement to back off of uncomfortable content, but
    1a. NO mechanical or formal principle that enforces that agreement and
    2. A prior agreement that UNLESS somebody speaks up to the contrary, we will assume nothing is out of bounds.

    So, yeah, depending on how robust the social context, I could see the "emotional chicken" Ryan refers to in #17 falling in that area. My own experience with this has been more about exploration of where our lines REALLY are, as opposed to where we thought they would be in advance.
  • It's become a sort of 'play with fire...' kind of mentality. I guess i'm just not sure why it's viable, or desirable anymore.
    I think it's a pretty simple series of questions. Do you enjoy reading/watching emotionally difficult fiction? Do you want to create emotionally difficult fiction with your friends? And then to touch on Vincent's point, can we create mechanics with emotionally difficult content in mind?

    If at any point you personally say, "No" then that's fine. Like Vincent said, it's not a rallying cry (which I admit to being guilty of but I at least try to point out that there's no shame in enthusiastically sharing what you enjoy).

    Jesse
  • edited June 2011
    The choice of material, the approach to the game, the assumptions brought to the game (explicit and implicit) also create an atmosphere that can be conducive to one or the other path. The worst problems occur when either the environmental factors (setting, tone discussion, culture of play) gives people enough awareness to know that they may be heading into murky waters, or when the mechanics/system heads you down that path, but doesn't address the social implications.

    Though any game can go into deep waters. It's hardest when some people want to swim there, and others don't.

    ETA: Vincent is a smarty pants. Meg too, who wrote the original post.
  • I've come into this term and its culture post-rallying-cry, i think. But 'emotionally difficult fiction' is a pretty broad term. I mean, i could say yes, no, and maybe, and 'i don't know' to that question.

    In my life i've come to the personal conclusion that emotionally challenging art is easier for me to deal with by looking at the intentions of the artist. It's not a perfect solution, and it's certainly not a universally applicable key. But basically i say, "is this person challenging something that makes me uncomfortable because they want me to grow? Or are they trying to explain something to me that's just personally hard for me to get? Will my empathy to the concept make me better at loving/understanding them? Do they want me to be better or uplifted from my discomfort? Or are they just trying to be different for sake of being different? Are they just trying to be sensational for attention?"

    I guess, what i would ask, is...well, "When does our consensus really need to trump one person's vision? Which challenging ideas are really more valuable than our feelings?" And also, What are the ramifications of pulling people through emotionally painful experiences? Art, especially in RPGs, does an amazing thing by offering us a sort of hyper-experience through fabricated reality. It takes from us time and experience that is real, and gives us in return something beautifully unreal and worth the trade. At what point is using our imagination to create emotionally dangerous situations a worthy trade off?

    I can say only this right now: i wish i'd played safer with certain people in my past. We'd still be friends. Abandonment would have never been an issue. Nobody would have gotten hurt. Moreover, i wish i'd thought about these things before i ran those games.
  • Vincent, thanks for the reply! Very clear.
    Posted By: lumpleyI will not abandon you and nobody gets hurt are, kind of as usual, emotionally provocative names for what's really a simple technical difference between rules.
    Total tangent… when I see people debate game design ideas, it's often because of this. And by the time people are done debating, when they finally realize what these terms mean, it's very common to hear… "Wait! This is what we were talking about? That's so… obvious!"
  • edited June 2011
    Posted By: rian_bean(repost) There is a pretty good recount on Joel's blog of I Will Not Abandon You in playhere
    Thanks, Tori! I'm very fond that experience, and it's nice to see it get love.
    Posted By: JesseHere is, like, the greatest IWNAY AP post ever!

    http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forge/index.php?topic=31553.0
    Aww, I'm blushing! Jesse, that's high praise from you, since Play Passionately is totally the foundation of, like, everything I'm pursuing in roleplaying right now.

    So, Jenskot, as you can see from the above links, I'm enthusiastically exploring the space of I Will Not Abandon You right now, in play and design. I definitely use it as a rallying cry, but it's also baked into my rules, because that's how Rallyed I am. :) I'm using it as a way to make space for uncomfortable material in games, where said material will be fruitful for building powerfully moving art together.

    So the way The Dreaming Crucible makes that space is, first: it names I Will Not Abandon You explicitly as the mode of play. Then it gives some guiding principles for the group's social and creative interaction: Say What You See, Live in the Moment, Lift One Another Up. Then the players generate the material for play by each choosing a Seed for, respectively, the Heroine, Nemesis and Companion. These provide a starting image for the characters that the players flesh out. The Heroine/Hero seeds all imply trauma, like "A boy throws rocks against a shed as hard as he can, his bruises still throbbing and starting to purple," or "A girl sits in the passenger seat of a car, dreading the return of her uncle from the liquor store." And finally, during play, the players vie for control of aspects of the characters--the Heroine's Gift and Flaw, the Nemesis' Powers, etc--and who will ultimately transform each aspect: will "Heart full of anger" mature into "passionate defender" or "bitter and spiteful"?

    All these elements work in concert to push play into uncomfortable, emotionally affecting places. But the key element is the agreement, that invitation to enter dangerous places together. Looking each other in the eye and saying "I Will Not Abandon You" is a significant and powerful social act, and doing just that creates more trust than some groups have over the course of years of play.
    Posted By: Simon CI Will Not Abandon You is, in my experience, about how you deal with triggering or squicky or painful stuffif it comes up, but there's an assumption that no one istryingto make you feel squicky or triggered or in pain. We play the game, we know the game might go there, and we're prepared for it if it does.
    Well, Simon, actually, I see pushing toward uncomfortable material as a core component of IWNAY play and design. There's a spectrum, surely--Bacchanal's injunction to always narrate something that's uncomfortable to share resides at one end, where I'm sure plenty of games happily occupy the "don't push for it but it might go there" category. To really be IWNAY, though, I think there needs to be SOME degree of push toward the uncomfortable. Making it too easy to avoid pain might be IWNAY in name but functionally will really be NGW 99% of the time. Many games that facilitate IWNAY (mine included) take an approach of pushing hard, to varying degrees (Bliss Stage pushes harder than Crucible, for instance) toward uncomfortable material coming up, without actually requiring it.

    That said, going in with an explicit agreement to bravely face painful moments together does increase the chances of play going there, I think. And you don't have to FORCE play into the triggering places, surely. Generally, being true to the integrity of your fiction is quite sufficient.

    Peace,
    -Joel
  • Andrew,

    I read this (below) with some fascination:
    Posted By: graypawnIt seems so simple, when i think of it now, because the turn of phrase should be the answer. But in retrospect i'm still a bit stunned to admit that a lot of the negative emotions i've got toward the IWNAY games i've played were not due to the material covered, but the estrangement that followed. There was closeness through the topics, but afterwards friendships became hard. Friendships complicated by revelations directly created in a role-playing game. About faiths, desires, and the impressions we had of each other.

    And so i've sorta twisted "I Will Not Abandon You," to a point, when i hear it now, it almost sounds like "This Is Why I'll Abandon You." It's become a sort of 'play with fire...' kind of mentality. I guess i'm just not sure why it's viable, or desirable anymore. But i admit that's all pretty jaded. I'm asking this question openly.
    Have you ever told this story, or at least any of its details?

    I, for one, would read it. I don't know if this is the right forum for this, but if it's something you feel comfortable talking about, it could a really eye-opening conversation.

    How does "passionate" roleplaying bring about estrangement, and what can we do about it? Is it better to avoid it or to embrace it more fully? What does it look like when it happens?
  • Hey all. I'm new to this concept and Story Games in general, but I have questions for the hard-core IWNAY rally-ers, like Joel.

    Should you state your lines ahead of time so they can be more easily crossed? (Is this likely to lead to people sand-bagging their stated lines?)

    What if someone's lines are just boring to you? Should you push them just for schadenfreude?

    Joel, did we get anywhere near that in our Dreaming Crucible game? I feel like we stayed in a pretty comfortable area. I was really pleased with the outcome. If you had your druthers, how would you have pushed us? How do you push strangers without just getting as gross as possible as fast as possible?

    (This last bit might be better addressed in the Actual Play . I'm hoping all this isn't too far off topic).
  • Hi, Morgan. Not off topic at all, I'd say!

    So, no, we didn't get very near my personal comfort zone in that game, but we DID build our game around pretty sensitive material: A 10 year old getting beaten black and blue for standing up to the boyfriend that was beating his mom!. And then his mom yells at him for it! This is what I mean about pushing play toward uncomfortable places without necessarily requiring that it go there. The violence visited on young Derek could very well have been triggering for other players. The fact that we were all pretty comfortable doesn't take away from that. And honestly, if the violence had been any more explicit and "on camera," I probably would have been uncomfortable.

    You're right that when you play with strangers you're not going to always know where people's comfort zones lie. I think that's fine. I haven't tried it, but my instinct says that stating your lines up-front is likely to either lead to soft-balling those issues ("oh, John is uncomfortable with incest, so even though it's totally legit to go there, I'll just be nice and avoid that direction.") or to pushing those boundaries in a too-hard, artificial fashion. ("Oh, Mary's freaked out by rape? Well BAM! out of the alley jumps a rapist!") So far, for my game, just stating up-front that play can go to painful places seems to serve OK. At that point, it's the exploration of the material and gameplay that uncover those places. I mean, "bruises still throbbing and still starting to purple?" Yeah, I guarantee you can think right now of a good 3-5 things that could mean, none of them pleasant. Leaning on the "sensitive material" issue any harder than that would sort of break the bubble.

    And that's one of the main tools the Crucible provides, for strangers OR friends, for discovering the dangerous territory you'll be exploring. The heroine choosing this or that Seed is making a default statement, "I'd like to be challenged HERE," without having to say bluntly, "Hello everyone, today I'd like to play a game to work through my personal issues with physical abuse." And if she picks a Seed that doesn't really push buttons for her? Her prerogative, and no one's gonna force her to lower her guard. But the game does at least provide an invitation to do so. And even if she plays it safe with the Seed, the other players are granted permission to push hard on her through the rest of play.

    Another example: Apocalypse World pushes for IWNAY play: the book has a "Mature" rating, and the MC's duties include "making everyone human" while "looking at NPCs through crosshairs," which means humanity is precious but life is cheap. Play thus leads toward stories of people in desperate, brutal circumstances striving and suffering, including families, children etc. And of course each PC has a Special move, which basically says "here are the social consequences of having sex.

    It's possible to play AW close to the bone in relation to these issues, like I did awhile back. But it's also possible to play it pretty casually, without a lot of empathy (in character or out) for the suffering NPCs, avoiding the sex moves altogether, etc. and it's quite possible to play Apocalypse World IWNAY style without hitting every uncomfortable area that play might go. the game simply provides tools that point you in certain, emotionally affecting directions, and the rest is up to you.



    I'm still working out these issues and techniques for myself--as delighted as I am to see I Will Not Abandon You thrust to the forefront of Story-Games' attention, please bear in mind that I don't have any definitive answers. just field reports from my own explorations, still in progress. I would love, for example, to hear more of others' techniques for IWNAY. Like, what does "play through the issue" look like? So far in my play it's meant simply "our voices, facial expressions and body language may indicate that we're experiencing some rough emotions, but we'll just keep playing without mentioning it, and probably discuss it after the game to decompress." Which is OK, but does anyone have advice, techniques or rituals for acknowledging emotional distress mid-play without breaking flow or bursting that bubble of emotional investment in the fiction?

    Peace,
    -Joel
  • That's good stuff, Joel. I'm hoping to get some really pratical applications out of these concepts that seem so abstract to me. So, as a follow-up to my previous question, what do you do when you have played with a player before and you are aware of their lines?

    Push intentionally? Let it come up organically?



    Do you ever feel like you've explored another person's lines and might be bored by going there? Would you ever actively avoid it in that case?




    I know I'm interrogating Joel here, but I hope that anyone who feels like they have a suggestion will jump in too.
  • edited June 2011
    I don't agree about one thing that was said about IWNAY:
    Posted By: JesseWhen you go into a social situation knowing these things exist then you can *discover* them rather organically. Someone introduces some fictional content and someone else gets a little squicky about it. You know you're walking near a line for that person. The question is when that happens what do you do?

    For No One Gets Hurt, you back away. You revise your content. You throw a veil over something and quickly move on. You introduce new content that quickly moves play away from the line.

    For I Will Not Abandon You, you keep going. You acknowledge that you're crossing a line but you also trust the other player to handle it. The other player plays through the uncomfortable content with you.
    This would make it seems IWNAY a personal choice. But it's not. Or, at least, it can't be a choice from only one person at the table. That would not be IWNAY by definition, it would be abuse.

    IWNAY is a characteristic of the Social Contract (in big model terms), everybody must be (more or less) on the same page about this (even if they don't talk about it)

    So, if someone draw a line or a veil... you listen to him. Even in IWNAY play. Because it does mean that (1) that was really too much for him, even if he/she was prepared to play IWNAY, or (2) you don't have the same expectations about the game, not everybody is playing like you. (and in this case Nobody Gets Hurt is the safe fall-back choice until the question can be discussed together.. or not, maybe you simply play IWNAY another time without that player)

    IWNAY is a group thing. It doesn't mean that you don't respect other people's explicit lines and veils. It does mean that everybody at the table is on the same page (or at least around there) about trying to push their normal line and veil WITHOUT calling them. It does not mean "break other people's lines and veils", it foes mean "I am trying to push MY OWN lines and veils, help me doing that, and don't abandon me instead"

    (I consider the use of Lines and Veils - you could call them "safewords" if you want - even more important in IWNAY play. If a game is built about NGH, usually you have the means to stop any material you don't want at the table even without using safewords)
  • Posted By: Moreno R.This would make it seems IWNAY a personal choice. But it's not. Or, at least, it can't be a choice from only one person at the table.
    Moreno, for clarity the "you" in my questions was directed at a hypothetical *group* not an individual. But I can see how what I said can be interpreted as if I was suggesting this was an individual choice to be made. That's obviously a problematic point of view. We, as a group, are going There or we aren't.

    Jesse
  • edited June 2011
    @ Paul T.

    I've never told any of those stories, no. There's one in particular that stands out the most, but it's kind of a tale that doesn't stop at play-experience, it treads into needing further explanation of me, and reveals a lot about my faith, my personal take on altruism and pacifism, and my very close relationship with a guy i knew through college and a few years after, his marriage, our roles in the game and the group of friends that made the game...it's all juxtaposed in a very sad and beautiful jewel that i wish the King of the Underground would mine from my head :) ...

    So i'm iffy about telling it (definitely here since it would very much meander off topic) but i will say this: my friend and i had both never heard of IWNAY or NGH. We were just young, passionate gamers, and we wanted to play through a tale that really gripped our hearts. With a great deal of ignorance i hedged a lot of the relationships of our 'characters' to mimic our own interconnectedness as friends. It worked very well, people began to play their characters among each other the way we hung out in real life. Our characters became more like avatars, and their relationships eased into an intimacy that was cinematic, and in that hollywood way sort of promised happy endings. Promises that were never spoken, but i think were assumed between each other in real life, as well.

    Then i drew a line in the sand, pretending like it was an 'in game choice,' nothing more than a divider in the path of a simple story. It resulted in a character scene that became a real live shouting match in my friends dorm room. It ended, to me, when my friend came to my house the night i was putting all my stuff into my car, the night before i drove away forever. He tried to make amends, i tried to make amends, i believe we really did. But we failed. He hugged me, soaked my shoulder in tears, and left. I did the same, feeling like my heart was a stone. The next morning i got in my car, and very thoroughly abandoned my friends in that city. I think Everybody Got Hurt.

    We never played the last session of that game. I wrote a long, gaudy story for my own ends that served as an epilogue (and therapy). But the game was just a White Wolf hack. It told us everything about how to shoot each other and nothing about how to handle the truth about other people in the game with us. We knew who went first in combat, but we didn't know how to react when we found out what things came first in our beliefs.

    Defining a mental state before you play is great. But in my mind it's only a first step. What comes next? Oh, jeez. I have no idea. But it needs to be talked about. It's a huge, huge thing. What is I Will Not Abandon You? It's admitting that sharing a story or experience can shape who you are by realizing the shape of those you love. Story Games are powerful in that fact, being a blend of sharing and experiencing that sometimes borders on magic.

    I think we need a thread about how to really deliver on the phrases "I Will Not Abandon You" and "Nobody Gets Hurt." We could define it forever, but what are we going to do with it?

    [edit: apologizing for writing what should probably be blog post, will be short-winded from here on.]
  • Don't have much time to post right now, but...thank you so much for sharing that, Drew. It really gets at the emotional dangers involved, and resonates with some experiences of mine as well.

    I just wanna say, I will not abandon you here, in this discussion. You're rocking the vulnerability, man.
    Posted By: graypawnI think we need a thread about how to really deliver on the phrases "I Will Not Abandon You" and "Nobody Gets Hurt." We could define it forever, but what are we going todowith it?
    Done and done. Give me till tomorrow sometime to start it, unless you wanna go first.

    Peace,
    -Joel
  • Joel, these kinds of talks just wouldn't be complete without you, man. I'll see you at the new thread.
  • New thread on how to do it! Sorry it took so long; I've been sick this week.\

    So, "what is IWNAY"? continue to discuss in this thread, and "best practices for IWNAY" go in the new thread.
Sign In or Register to comment.