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Someone has probably done this before, but I tried to figure out some levels of GM power/player democracy in games. It's a work in progress (and possibly useless).1) Carefully democratic: No one has read the game text before the session, and the players read it together and figure out the whole game on the spot. Alternately, all players have roughly equal amounts of material only they are privy to before the game. I don't know any examples that demand this, but some games are designed to accomodate it.2) Prep power: No GM, but the facilitator of the session is familiar with the game and is typically the final authority on rules. Most GM-less games are played like this, I imagine.3) Rule-bound GM: The GM is technically bound by rules just like the players are. Burning Wheel is like this, I understand.4) Unlimited GM: The GM is in charge of the game, and the rules are just a toolbox. Trad RPGs are typically like this.I think there's a lot of drifting and uncertainty going on in between 3) and 4). Often I feel like PbtA (and indie) games are written to work as rule-bound, but end up being compromised or unlimited in practice, maybe because players are so used to the unlimited model, and it's an easy way out for the GM.
Then comes along DW that fucks up a lot of things right here, in this already nebulous area of the game system. Maybe "fuck up" is not the right term, but it surely made a bunch of steps back towards the direction of Trad prep and plot handling.The Principles and their explanation read almost the same, but the overall structure is much friendlier to prep-heavy play.This in and of itself is a problem, as people think they are playing "PbtA style" (as if it ws the same thing across the board of PbtA games) and instead end up doing stuff that in AW would never fly.It's no wonder there are "dungeon starters" for DW but there is no such thing for AW
@Hasimir - "US" == "Urban Shadows"?
Returning from the threadjack:I think this is a good breakdown. I agree that there's some weirdness between 3 and 4. In my experience, it's mostly that the group hasn't explicitly signed up for 4, so 4 has to masquerade as 3. Trouble arises when differences between 3 and 4 show up -- some sessions suffer from breaking the rules, and others suffer from playing by them.As for 2, I think what you describe is common, but there's a nuance that might be important. The owner of the game tends to be the rules "authority" in the sense of the group's resource and guide to the rules, but they aren't some sort of decider. This might be a different sort of "power" than in the other examples?
I don't quite agree with this. In fact, Adam Koebel is known for hating any kind of prep. And I don't remember the rules substantially favouring prep over improvisation. What is it specifically that makes you see DW that way?
" they needed the game to get out of their way." That. Hands-on-able and fast is sometimes/often better than good.@Hasimir : The work of the designer is to make a game proposition.The work of the editor is to make it clear and understandable. They can be the same person, but it's not necessary.Sorry, this is really out of the way regarding OP.
Consider, for a moment, how much more bland the Dungeon World "classes" are than AW's playbooks or Monsterhearts' Skins. They give you very little to work with. Being a Werewolf is a metaphor for puberty, anger, and how physical strength can be leveraged into possessive relationships. Being a Fighter in Dungeon World means... you like to fight things and look cool doing it.
He certainly preps when he runs SWN
He certainly preps when he runs SWN
Yeah, I agree, that statement seems weird. He's the only GM I've ever seen stream his prep sessions to the internet. I've watched a couple of them. He does prep, and he doesn't hate it. Obviously what you prep and how thoroughly varies by game (What you prep for Mouse Guard is very different from what you prep for SWN) but "hating" prep doesn't seem to be an accurate way to describe it, and I wonder what this is based on.
@Paul_T On a tangent, I do think we should be clear about what we mean by prep. As you point out, I can very well do tons of prep but that still doesn't mean I'm scripting a plot in any way. I think this is important to point out because I see a lot of people conflating the two all the time ("Hei, it's play to find out, so you shouldn't do any prep!")
Coordinating the dinner order, as we shift from a cafe/diner to some do that, some bring in, some order Indian food, to one person brings in, and the rest of us order Indian food.