Recommended Threads by Topic

     This is a collection of threads which have been recommended as reading for specific topics.

Scene Framing

My First Sorcerer Session (Jul 9, 2001)
Scene Framing (Jul 27, 2001)
Scene Framing and octaNe (Feb 4, 2002)
Simultaneous multiple-scene play (May 16, 2002)
Narrativist GMs: How do you have fun? (Jun 9, 2002)
Scene Framing (May 31, 2003)
Adventure! First Session (Aug 21, 2003)

Beeg Horseshoe Theory

All-out dissection (LONG AND BRUTAL) (Apr 24, 2001)
Ron Edwards' original idea that GNS Simulationism is not a Creative Agenda per se, but rather "a form of retreat, denial, and defense against the responsibilities of either Gamism or Narrativism."
The Beeg Horseshoe Theory (Sep 7, 2001)
A term coined by Jared A. Sorensen 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 -- the ends of the horseshoe.
Beeg Horseshoe Theory Revisited (May 29, 2003)
Mike Holmes' reformulation of the concept as a two-dimensional plane: Low-Fidelity vs High-Fidelity, and Gamism vs Narrativism.
Fidelity vs Integrity (Jun 2, 2003)
Vincent Baker's attempt to break apart and clarify the concept of "fidelity".
Invention as a Creative Agenda (Sep 24, 2003)
Ian Charvill suggests "Inventionism" as a separate Creative Agenda from G, N, and S.
What is the Dream? (Jan 9, 2004)
A long thread on the concept of "The Dream" and whether it is really the primary goal of GNS Simulationism, or a quality desired by both GNS Narrativism and Simulationism.
The Roots of Sim II (Feb 4, 2004)
A thread started by Mike Holmes on the Beeg Horseshoe Theory -- as he puts it: "If we want story, and we don't know how to facilitate Narrativism, then we'll quash Gamism and get as close as we can with Sim."
Understanding: the "it" of Simulationism (Sep 7, 2001)

The Lumpley Principle

     This is a principle expressed at one point as "System (including but not limited to 'the rules') is defined as the means by which the group agrees to imagined events during play." It was expressed as such by Vincent Baker (aka "Lumpley") first in October 2002.

Vincent's Standard Rant: Power, Credibility and Assent (Oct 2002)


Mike's Standard Rant #3: Combat Systems (Apr 30, 2002)
Mike's Standard Rant #4: Stat/Skill systems (May 2, 2002)
Mike's Standard Rant #5: The Myth of Opposed Rolls (Jul 8, 2002)
Mike's Standard Rant #2 - Species/Race/Culture/ (Feb 15, 2003)
Mike's Standard Rant #1: Designers! Know your hobby! (Mar 13, 2003)
Vincent's Standard Rant: Power, Credibility and Assent (Oct 4, 2002)
Nonstandard Rant: Opposed rolls ARE more random, dammit! (Oct 5, 2002)
Walt Freitag's rant on dice probabilities
Chris's Standard Rant: "Innovative" (Apr 19, 2003)
On Innovative: Ranting Against a Rant (Apr 20, 2003)
M.J. Young's reaction against Chris' rant.
Game Writer's take heed--a bit of a rant. (Mar 4, 2003)
Sidhain's rant that game designs should be longer ("Write more").
"Sacrificing Character Integrity" - a Rant (Jun 30, 2004)
Vincent Baker's rant against the idea that "A Narrativist will sacrifice character integrity in order to address Premise".

And here are a few that could be construed as rants:

Observable Probability
Anti-Combat Bias (kinda long)
Linear Die Roll Modifiers Are Broken (long and math-full)
Rant against guys playing chicks (Jared)
No More Incoherence! -- A Rant


     On designing for more than one GNS priority:

GNS and "Congruency" (Mar 30, 2002)
Can a game designer work for all three (G/N/S)? (Sep 10, 2002)
Same game, different players, different rules? (Sep 10, 2002)
Can a game have all 3 G/N/S Revisited (Nov 5, 2002)
Incoherence is Fun! (Feb 4, 2003)

The RPG Industry

Popular and damaging (Oct 25, 2003)
Discussion of game design and how certain commercial games may have damaged the industry as a whole.


Illusionism: a new look and a new approach (Nov 2002)

The Infamous Five

         These are a series of five threads along with related discussion which Ron Edwards started in November 2002, to talk about issues he considered important for The Forge. Each one has spawned a bevy of secondary threads as well, as intended.

Mainstream: a revision
Production value
Active vs. passive entertainment
The Store
What would make a non-role-player buy your game?
The game that would sell to non-role-players
The importance of play
Accessible? To whom?
Actual play in the stores
Mainstream media
Social Context
Gay culture / Gamer culture
Christian gamers and self-esteem
What does role-playing gaming accomplish?
Sexism and gaming
Vanilla and Pervy
Pervy in my head
Combat systems
Cannot stand cutsiepoo terms
Pervy Sim, points of contact, accessibility

Roleplay as Psychological Exploration

Self-Revelation in Role-playing (or Educational RPGs) (Mar 13, 2003)
A thread started by Joachim Buchert's suggestion that self-understanding is a common, often unconcious, goal of role-playing.
Exploration of Player (Mar 13, 2003)
A split from the above by Joachim, to discuss the relation of such exploration of self within the context of GNS.
Character and Our Weird Gamer Friends (Sep 9, 2003)
Spawned from big ball of 'character existence' threads.
Characters as Therapy (split) (Sep 10, 2003)
Split from above, talking about the stuff in this thread
Personal Relevance and Multi-PC Play (Sep 15, 2003)
More on the above, but unfortunately it didn't develop
Exploration of Self (Mar 5, 2004)
Emily Care's thread discussing this as mode separate from the three existing GNS modes, dubbed "Self-Exploration" or "Examination" (by Chris Lehrich).

GNS / Threefold Relations

All-out dissection (LONG AND BRUTAL) (Apr 24, 2001)
Discussion of whether Simulationism is really a 'retreat' from pursuing real meta-game goals.
More FAQ comments (long and bloody) (Jun 16, 2001)
Discussion of the GNS model and its relation to the Threefold Model and GENder.
Clarifying GNS for the re-write (Jun 18, 2001)
A long thread discussing the current status of GNS.
Simulation: the problem is with the word
Discussion following comments by John Morrow -- an rgfa regular who was briefly at The Forge from late June to early August 2001.
A call for new terminology (Sep 10, 2001)
A thread started by Hunter Logan, calling for an expansion of GNS to more specific game styles. He also announced dropping work on the FAQ.
Interesting Threefold Model Essay (Sep 20, 2001)
Discussion of Brian Gleichman's criticism of the rgfa Threefold Model.
Replacing (Jan 17, 2002)
A thread started by Logan discussing the GNS / Threefold differences. Unfortunately, Logan later editted to delete all of his posts.
Dramatism, what is it. (Mar 28, 2002)
Discussion of what rgfa Threefold "Dramatism" means and how it relates to GNS.
Okay, Dramatism Again... (May 27, 2002)
Fang Langford discusses again Dramatism with regards to GNS.
GNS and its origins from the Threefold Model (Nov 3, 2002)
A short history for a new poster recapping the history.
GNS and Threefold comparison (specific) (Nov 8, 2002)
Further discussion with MK Syder which highlights differences between the models.
Naive and Sophisticated: The Terms (Jan 15, 2003)
Christopher Kubasik proposes the term "fabulist".
GNS - what is it? (Apr 3, 2003)
In response to newbie questions, Ron Edwards discusses his current view on what GNS is and a bit of the tone of earlier essays.
The Impossible Thing (Apr 3, 2003)
Ron Edwards' long thread on the contrast between GM control and player control, where the "impossible thing" is claiming both.
Criticisms of the Threefold (Jul 26, 2003)
Discussions of Larry D. Hols' articles criticizing the Threefold Model and similar theories.
Simulationism Revisited (Dec 26, 2003)
A proposal by myself (John Kim) to distinguish between types of Simulationism, based on Threefold distinctions.
Rough Draft Essay on Threefold Simulationism (Jan 25, 2004)
Discussion of my (John Kim's) essay on what I saw as the appeal and workings of Threefold Simulationism.

John H. Kim <jhkim-at-darkshire-dot-net>
Last modified: Wed Dec 1 10:49:05 2004