The Bigger Circle
Okay, I don’t mean to get all Vincent-y here, but I’ve hit a situation that I think sheds light on how traditional gamers tend to veiw With Great Power… Trouble is, I need to draw some circles to demonstrate it. It stems from this thread in the Incarnadine Forum.
Okay, I think most of us can agree that three kinds of talking happen during play of an RPG: Out-of-Game talking, In-game role-playing, and Rule Mechanics discussions. I know they bleed into one another, which is why this diagram has no lines:
Traditional RPGs teach people to split these up like so (notice how nothing touches):
I also think that traditional play discourages people from seeing those blue and green circles as important. As with anything unimportant, people learn that they can throw it away.
When I wrote WGP…, I tried to bring more of what was traditionally outside the rules into the rules themselves, to make them organic, necessary pieces of the game. Like this:
When people who are used to thinking about traditional games bring that understanding to WGP…, they lay the old circles over the new game and this is what they end up with:
See those pieces outlined in red? They assume they’re part of the traditional green and blue circles and thus, they throw them away. This leaves:
Which isn’t a circle at all. They see the gaping holes and immediately want to fix it by cutting off the tail and corners to get it back to that familiar, round shape.
It’s all very understandable. Nobody learns a new way of thinking without lots of trial and error first. I’d be surprised if some people didn’t do this. But I think I now understand why they do it.
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