RPG Theory Glossary: I

Short for Intent, Initiative, Execution, and Effect, referring to the relationship between announcements of action by real people and the establishment of those actions into the shared imaginary game-world. How actions and events in the imaginary game-world are resolved in terms of real-world announcement and imaginary order of occurrence.
The four steps of action
What is IIEC?
A term for styles where the GM has tight control over the storyline, by a variety of means, and the players do not recognize this control. Coined by Paul Elliot on the Gaming Outpost in January 2001. See also Participationism.
I am a 13th Level Illusionist (!)
What is Illusionism?
Illusionism: a new look and a new approach
Illusionism and GNS
This is used to mean varying states of being involved in the game. It may refer to close emotional identification with one's PC, and/or narrow focus on the in-game reality (diegesis), and/or actively trying to cut out meta-game information and view things from the Point-of-View of your character.
Feeble attempt at defining immersion
thoughts on why immersion is a tar baby
Immersive Story: A View of Role-played Drama
The Impossible Thing Before Breakfast
A term coined by Ron Edwards for the hypothetical phrase: "The GM is the author of the story and the players direct the actions of the protagonists." He suggests that this concept is widely repeated across many role-playing texts -- but the essence of it is contradictory.
GNS and Other Matters of Role-playing Theory, Chapter Five
Narrativism: Story Now
This is a broadly-used term with multiple meanings. (1) Direct in-character speech and action -- i.e. when the player and the PC are exactly one-for-one equivalent. (2) Any described action of a PC which is consistent with the imagined character. (3) Thinking in-character, i.e. In-Character Stance.
In-Character Stance
One of the four stances from Kevin Hardwick's Narrative Stance Model. This refers to the view of the game from within the inside of the game world and its reality, usually from within the mind of a player character living within that reality. The player is thinking as the character -- he doesn't acknowledge Out-of-Character (OOC) information and tries to concentrate on what the character is experiencing.
Within GNS theory, play which includes incompatible combination of GNS priorities. This can mean clash of priorities among players (i.e. one player wants to just live as her character while another wants to defeat his enemies). It can also mean clash within a game design. A commonly cited example is a game like Vampire: The Masquerade which claims to pursue story, but the mechanics (supposedly) do not support this. Abashedness is a term for a minor, correctable form of Incoherence.
Intuitive Continuity
A term coined in the game Underworld. This is a method of GMing RPG sessions where the GM uses the players' interests and actions during initial play to construct the back-story of the scenario retroactively.

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