fang_langford (fang_langford) wrote,

How About a Change?

The ground covered by the Lumpley Principle is well trod. But what if it isn't the center of your game theory? What if the whole idea of apportioning 'credibility' and the conflict over whose 'turn' it is, doesn't fit your ideal at all?

I've been playing around with these consequences for some time, but a great blog tipped it over for me. In his essay Burning Spotlight, Ben Robbins suggests that spotlight time is the coin of the realm (thus not 'credibility' say I). An interesting idea!

So here's a thought about it. What if you cast your gaze at a set of game texts looking at how it apportions spotlight time instead of the finer points of how it apportions 'credibility'? In many games, I can see a lot more problems than the essence of the 'credibility' structure suggests.

Most typical role-playing games are so absent the idea of spotlight time that anyone with a 'strong' personality can pretty much dominate a game. That would be the social 'system' overriding the game's texts. In my experience, that's why I spend so much time tinkering with my chara designs; not that I want to game the system, but that I want to ensure that at the times that I have chosen, I can dominate the spotlight.

Likewise, I used to consider 'niche protection' pretty important to chara design as a part of role-playing game design, but now it looks more like spotlight guarantee. So often in class-based systems, gamemasters are instructed to make sure that the adventure include things that require all available players' chara. Id est; make sure they all get spotlight time.

I think I was beginning to work in this direction back in Fundamental Particles of Character Class. The idea was that the parts you assemble into a chara are both you statement of 'what I want to play' and 'I will take the spotlight at these times.' And that was how I looked at it, but I never had the words.

This is yet another thing I have to mix into the Scattershot reconstitution.

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