Dilemma Play

Another quote from the Fruitful Void thread, and this one is awesome.

Both Narrativism and Gamism strike me as “dilemma” play: if there’s an obvious best answer (morally, for Narrativism; tactically, for Gamism), play dies; the enjoyment is in making difficult choices among equally valid but imperfect options. A Gamist design or scenario that had (explicit or implicit) a single optimal strategy [Doyce: I’m going to mention, as an example, CoH’s design-flaw of 95% of all character ‘need’ the Stamina power pool” as a crappy example] would be the equivalent of a Narrativist game where the designer or GM had already answered the Premise: The only role for the players is to discover the “lesson” and bow down before its wondrousness.

“The enjoyment is in making difficult choices among equally valid but imperfect options.”
Give me a game system that facilitates my ability to do that both tactically AND for the ‘story’, and I am one satisfied guy.*
Dogs does this whole-enchilada thing. Sorcerer does this. I think TSoY does this, but I need to play it more to say.
D20 totally does this for the tactical aspect of it.

* Give it to me in real life, and I bitch and moan, of course. 😛 🙂

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One Reply to “Dilemma Play”

  1. Heh.
    Yes. If there’s no player choice, there’s little satisfaction. Or, perhaps, a better way of framing it, player *consequence*. Here’s how what *I* do makes a difference in how things turn out. Even if it’s just lying down and dying (which some players, when faced with railroading, will just do).
    Consequence usually means some level of choice, but it still may be just the difference between forging onward and lying down and dying. Heck, you could argue the same thing for story-writing — if there’s only one thing for the character to do, there’s very little tension for the reader, except to watch the train wreck.

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