"Extended discussions on any subject requires that involved people feel somehow authoritative on the discussed subject."
During my game on Saturday, several of my players expressed the opinion that from among the people commenting on my blog, Scarbrow seems to be particularly insightful. And I feel these two recent examples show his talent for getting to the nub of the matter - perhaps it has something to do with his being Spanish, that English is not his first language or that he's just a bloody genius.
In any case, putting these two thoughts together: if I want an extended discussion about how the social contract of the role-playing game produces an effect that cannot be duplicated with any other medium, then the first thing I cannot do is express my opinion about it. I tend to come off all authoritarian and shit, making people feel there's no room for an alternate opinion (given I'm moderating this space). If I play, then people are bound to feel either a) I won't listen for the opinion they have and are certain is correct; or b) I'll suck all the air out of the conversation by saying the words first.
So . . .
I'll initiate with a few questions:
1) Is the social contract strengthened or weakened by the DM existing as a "judge"? Should the DM back off to a greater extent from regulating role-playing games, in order to produce a more equal social contract, or should the present view of DM as absolute final arbiter in all things be upheld?
2) Should parties have "leaders," as stipulated in the DM's Guide, so that there should be one person who speaks when the whole party is going to take an action? Should individual players be allowed to stipulate action only when the DM expressly calls upon them?
3) What destroys the social contract?
4) Could the social contract ever be replaced by an electronic medium (of imaginable, even fantasy power)?
Please. Talk among yourselves.
|Orc Council by Peter Siedl|
I'll make every effort not to delete comments. As I'm not promoting any particular viewpoint, rules 1 & 2 do not apply to this post. As it is all opinion, rule 3 does not apply. Therefore, let's just not insult anyone.