Posted By: Me, in the sacred cow thread* Whether someone has all of it, everyone has some of it, or it moves around, Authority is always in there somewhere.
I don't know if there's really a cow there or if I'm just jumping at cow-shaped shadows, but it seems to me that there's some variety of assigning authority
present in any roleplaying game I know anything about (which, admittedly, isn't very many), whether it's one guy at the table being explicitly given total authority over the rules and the setting or everyone sharing (or trading off, or competing for, or whatever) narrative authority.Can
you have a roleplaying game where no one
has any authority at all? I mean, gaming is mostly a social activity, and there are plenty of other social activities that don't require authority (no one's in charge
of hanging out on the back porch drinking beer and arguing about politics... are they?), but a game?
Is that even possible?
Part of me says "Duh! Of course
not! Even if none of the players get to wield any kind of authority, the rules themselves
have authority... at least as long as you choose to follow them. As soon as you stop following them, the rules you make up in their place get the authority and if you don't
make up any in their place, if there are no rules at all
, then you can't possibly be playing a game. Or if you were, you wouldn't know it, because even 'you know you're playing this game when...' counts as a rule. So ha!"
The other part of me says "Duh! Of course
you can. Just because I'm not smart enough to figure out how doesn't make it impossible. Now go fire up the grill, 'cause that's one tasty looking cow!"