RPG Theory Glossary: D
Mechanics which have positive feedback. More specifically, this
refers to wound mechanics which give a penalty to all combat rolls.
This means that once wounded, a character is more likely to be
wounded again, and soon there is an inexorable progression to defeat.
Techniques for Action Pacing in RPGs
Gamism: Step on Up
A term coined by Paul Czege on The Forge, meaning to limit or
devalue another person's opportunity to establish their character
as a protagonist during Narrativist play. This is specific to
Paul's use of Protagonism strictly in the limited Narrativist
Is Director Stance Real?
not functionally equivalent to handling a protagonist
Short for Drama, Karma, and Fortune, as originally presented in
the game Everway by
Jonathan Tweet, and adopted by Ron Edwards in his GNS theory.
The terms refer to the resolution mechanics of a given game,
which may include any combination or blending of the three.
Drama is deciding on the basis of what makes the best story.
Fortune is deciding on the basis of a randomizer. Karma is
deciding based on the defined character abilities and
System Does Matter
Literally, play without dice. However, this most commonly is used
to mean play without any sort of randomizer -- including cards,
spinners, or rock-paper-scissors.
Dice and Diceless: One Designer's Radical Opinion
The fictional reality being portrayed by the game. A term from
film and narrative theory borrowed by Nordic role-playing theory.
It is discussed extensively in "Beyond Role and Play".
This is essentially the same as the Forge term
Shared Imaginary Space.
As Larp Grows Up
Beyond Role and Play
Originally from Kevin Hardwick's Narrative Stance Model
, later adopted by Ron Edwards as just Stance.
The original included any thinking parallel to a film director, while
Edwards separated Author and Director as separate stances.
In the latter, Director stance means the player determines
things beyond character actions based on meta-game
priorities -- i.e. action separate from the character's knowledge
or ability to influence events. The player thus determines
context, timing, and spatial circumstances of those actions,
or even features of the world separate from the characters.
Director Stance is often confused with narration of an in-game
event, but the two concepts are not necessarily related.
A term from the rgfa Threefold Model. It is
defined as the style which values how well the in-game action
creates a satisfying storyline. Different kinds of stories may
be viewed as satisfying, depending on individual tastes, varying
from fanciful pulp action to believable character drama. It is
the end result of the story which is important. However, on
The Forge it came to represent only a subset where the story
was directed by the GM -- distinct from Narrativism. In GNS
theory, it is considered a problematic term and not included in
The Threefold Model
Dramatism, what is it?
Within Ron Edwards' GNS theory, the characteristic phrase of GNS
Simulationism. It is defined as "commitment
to the imagined events of play, specifically in-game cause and
pre-established thematic elements".
Simulationism: The Right to Dream
What is the Dream?
Within Ron Edwards' GNS theory, movement from one GNS mode to another
during the course of play, which involves changing or ignoring of the
game and rules as written. It can be relatively simple, as in the
case of Abashed design. However, it is distinct
from Transition which is change GNS mode using
rules which are designed for that purpose.
GNS and Other Matters of Role-playing Theory
Simulationism: The Right to Dream
Common Forge term, meaning simply role-playing which is not fun.
John H. Kim
Last modified: Tue Mar 18 15:19:07 2008