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Challenge-based play vs. Narrativism. Incompatible?

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Challenge-based play vs. Narrativism. Incompatible?

I wrote something really long on my blog.

It covers some questions about the design idea we're exploring in the thread in the design forum, but goes further than that and starts exploring whether a game can be challenged-based and narrative at the same time...

It surpassed the character limit on the Storygames forum, so I figured I'd just post the link rather than try to fit it in here.

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If I read you correctly (no

If I read you correctly (no promises) - what you're talking about is perfectly normal. I've heard them called 'character advocacy' games and were a common Forgey-design. The goal of the game from the player side is for their character to achieve what that character wants, within the bounds of that character's understanding of the world.
Making it too easy is still a concern - if your twists just blast away all the obstacles in the character's path, there's no drama in that.

A very large number of games developed to be narrativist on The Forge have all of those 'traditional techniques' you list, and the goal is often explicitly for your character to 'win' by achieving their goals.
The Fudge/Fate 'give you a point if you choose to fail' is antithetical to this type of play.

I remember this series of blog posts being a really good description of the play style: https://playpassionately.wordpress.com/2008/08/17/character-advocacy-par...

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Play Passionately is the bomb!

That blog is a perfect encapsulation of this playstyle, and describes its appeal really well.

In fact, I'd argue that until Fiasco, the dominant "school" of Narrativist design was all about "character advocacy" play very much in this vein. (You might consider Sorcerer is the originating game for this style of design.)

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Very much so.

It took some time for games with stances that weren't direct player:character related started taking off in popularity, and got pooh-poohed quite a bit for a while by the Big Thinkers of the Narr-Movement.

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