RPG Theory Glossary: B

Often a term used for evenly dividing among the players, or between PCs and their opposition. However, it may be applied to many things: character Effectiveness, player power, Screen Time, or player status and attention. It has no clear definition within GNS theory, and in general should always be qualified on what it refers to.
Gamism: Step On Up
Balance of Power
As a role-playing term from The Forge, the distribution of who has authority to say what happens in a game. This was a term coined by Hunter Logan, and is essentially the same as the later-coined term Credibility.
All righty then
Gamism: Step On Up
A term from the game Sorcerer, originally "those moments when the characters realize they have a problem right now and have to get moving to deal with it." In Forge discussion, this has become "introducing events into the game which make a thematically-significant or at least evocative choice necessary for a player." See also Kicker.
Using Kickers & Bangs
Question about Bangs, looking for opinions.
Getting ready- Writing the bangs!
Bangs, bangs and more bangs!
Confused about Bangs...
Bangs, Crises, and Inciting Events
Any bangs for our buck?
Clueless about Bangs
Beeg Horseshoe Theory
A term coined by Jared A. Sorensen in September 2001 for the idea that GNS Simulationism doesn't really exist as its own agenda, but rather is a neutral state in-between Gamism and Narrativism. i.e. G and N were the ends of the horseshoe, while S is the middle. This was adapted later to the idea of a plane which was G vs N on one axis, while the other is low to high Fidelity. What was seen as GNS Simulationism is in this model high-Fidelity forms of Gamism and Narrativism.
All-out dissection (LONG AND BRUTAL)
The Beeg Horseshoe Theory
Beeg Horseshoe Theory Revisited
The Roots of Sim II
The Big Model
Ron Edward's term for his general theory of role-playing interaction, incorporating his ideas on GNS and further describing role-play as nested subsets of Social Contract, Exploration, and Creative Agenda, respectively.
The Whole Model - this is it
Narrativism: Story Now
Black Curtain
Ron Edward's term for the techniques a GM may employ to keep his use of Force hidden from the other participants in the game, such that they are at least somewhat under the impression that their characters' significant decisions are under their control. See Illusionism.
Blacow Player Types
An early model of player types from the late 1970s by Glen Blacow. This divided role-players into four groups: "Roleplayers", "Storytellers", "Power Gamers", and "Wargamers". This was later adopted by Robin Laws in his book, "Robin's Laws of Good Game Mastering". Laws includes seven types, however: The Power Gamer, The Butt-Kicker, The Tactician (i.e. wargamer), The Specialist, The Method Actor (i.e. roleplayer), The Storyteller, and the Casual Gamer.
Robin's Laws of Good Gamemastering
Player Types (from Glen Blacow and Robin D. Laws)
Blood Opera
A Forge term for play in which character generation focuses on potentially irreconcilable differences among at least some of the characters, and in which scenario generation is designed to put as much pressure on these differences (and therefore on unexpected alliances as possible). Notable for high mortality rates among characters, in the manner of the movie "Reservoir Dogs". The term was coined by Ralph Mazza, Jake Norwood, and Ron Edwards after playing an especially masochistic session of The Riddle of Steel during Origins 2003.
Within GNS Narrativist play, withholding response or otherwise mandating a break in the Premise-addressing action of play. Coined by Ron Edwards in the "Sex & Sorcery" supplement for Sorcerer.
Breaking the game
Ron Edwards' phrase from his Gamism essay for exploiting a loophole in the game such that repetitive behavior overshadows the other PCs or causes other irreparable problems. Described as "a dysfunctional technique of Hard Core Gamist play".
Gamism: Step On Up
One of Robin D. Laws seven player types, as part of the Blacow Player Types. The Butt-Kicker is the type of player who mainly wants to let off some steam with "old-fashioned vicarious mayhem".
Robin's Laws of Good Gamemastering
Player Types (from Glen Blacow and Robin D. Laws)

John H. Kim <jhkim@darkshire.net>
Last modified: Tue Mar 18 15:19:07 2008