Teaching the Big Model

I've been teaching an informal course on Gamemastering since last year at my university, focusing on Social Contract and Creative Agenda (GMing tasks, coherence, the Same Page Tool, Lines and Veils, etc.). I also cover material from Robin's Laws of Good Game Mastering and the Gnome Stew Books (Never Unprepared, Odyssey, Unframed, Focal Point). For the Big Model bits, I'm mostly basing my curriculum on the Big Model wiki, which hasn't been updated for a few years. I'm also familiar with Ron's essays on the Forge and the posts on Vince's blog.

I'm hoping to expand my course material into a video series, and would like to ensure my material is current. Has the discourse on the Big Model evolved since the closing of the Forge? If so, are there better references for the current state of the Big Model than the Big Model wiki? I'm happy to do any amount of research if pointed in the right direction.



  • I'm pretty sure the only person to get what Ron meant was Ron. That's what the endless discussions on here have indicated.
  • edited May 2016
    I'm pretty certain the Big Model Wiki contains the most current version of everything that's actually on it. For anything that Ron and Vincent never got around to including on the wiki, you can look at the Forge Provisional Glossary from 2004, or my 2008 proposed update which is similar but more inclusive and differently organized. There have also been some good summaries or overviews of core Big Model concepts penned by other people, such as Key Concepts in Forge Theory by Emily Care Boss in 2008.
  • edited May 2016
    I guess I'm just salty and jealous because my own model, GDNS official, canonical theory never really took off.
    OMG, I just re-read it. Tears streaming down my cheeks of pride and joy on how great and underappreciated it is.
  • edited May 2016
    Years from now, struggling scholars on the verge of intellectual collapse will stumble upon GDNS official, canonical theory, and find it a veritable oasis of healing unification. Have faith, Sandra. Great artists are never appreciated while they're alive.
  • Don't worry, I'm staying the course for sure. But... I'm working on an update to GDNS official, canonical theory to fix an issue that our friend Paul brought up last summer.
  • What?! No! Then the original text will be less canonical! Heretic!
  • Or maybe it will be... perfected?! But I have my doubts. I have more faith and trust in the original version but... it was pearls before non-pearl-appreciating beings. This new version is designed to create less mis-understanding. The drawback is that it might also create less understanding :( So I don't know. I was genuinely disappointed in the reception of the GDNS official, canonical theory. I know it's kinda jokingly written but my sense humor is a little different from Ron's "Step on up"-style carnival barkery. It was still genuinely meant.
  • There are no better references for the Big Model (or other Forgite theory), because there is no joint development or any sort of certifying board approaching a credible consensus; while some minor development has been done, it's all scattered and unauthoritative as any sort of inheritor of Ron's work.

    This means that while it may not be the best explanation for the Big Model, the wiki and the original materials at the Forge are the only things approaching official regarding it.
  • [I'd love to see your syllabus/outline/reading list for this class and I'm sure others would too.]
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