Bangs & Illusionism

Este trecho do tópico ficou tão excelente que estou reproduzindo aqui para guardar para a posteridade:

Is the confusion then about what constitutes illusionism?   I had, in times past, recognized the following as illusionist play:

Me: So, do you follow her into the bar?
Player: Sure.


 I think I can break it down into four possibilities, without much if any spectrum bridging them.

1. The GM is offering that possibility and can live with a “no” in response, or even an “I attack her!” or whatever sort response might show up. Similarly, the player is fully on top of this possibility as well and in this case has decided that the character shall follow the girl. Maybe the player does this to see what the GM has in mind for later, maybe not. It doesn’t matter. I’m emphasizing that both people are fully aware that any response is on the radar screen (except, perhaps, going ape-shit for no reason or turtling up and doing “nothing! nothing!” no matter what; arguably, both of these effectively refusing to play). This is Bang-driven play and no Force is present. Note that more transitional input by the GM, such as “next evening, you’re at the bazaar” to start the scene, is subject to negotiation – it doesn’t happen just because the GM says so.

2. The GM is doing what you describe – “go this way so we can play.” The player, unfortunately, is like the player in #1 above and might take it upon himself to have the character kidnap the girl or something totally oriented to some other goal that might be, say, on the character sheet but has nothing to do with whatever the GM introduced the girl for in the first place. Now, maybe he wouldn’t do something so extreme in this case, but sooner or later, his expectation that “I can do cool shit when I get the bug up my ass to do so,” is going to come a-cropper against the GM’s expectation that he’ll go where he signals him to go through such beckonings. This is a disaster waiting to happen, because the GM is exerting Force and the player doesn’t like it. Cries of “railroader!” and “powergamer!” are sure to arise. The GM may stave it off for a long time by smoke-and-mirrors techniques, but it never works as well as such GMs like to believe. Unfortunately, these are exactly the GMs who like to write published scenario splatbooks.

3. The GM is not doing what you describe, and although he’s OK with the player following the girl, maybe even has a next step in mind, is also pretty open to however it might go down. He knows what the girl’s like (presuming she’s not furniture) and how she might respond to being ignored, for example – saving that for a later scene. (In other words, the girl is a Bang and ignoring the girl is a response to the Bang just as kissing her or following her might be.) But in this case, the player is cooperating because he thinks he’s supposed to be obedient. There is no Force, but the player is trying to play with Participationist techniques. Sooner or later, this will yield problems too – the GM will get find the player cooperates even when the GM throws him the full plot authority to do stuff that matters. To this character, there are no Bangs, only cues. The GM will slowly become fatigued with providing both the adversity and the solution to it, as the player “acts it out.”

4. The GM is doing what you describe and so is the player, in full relinquishment of authority for purposes of this kind. “Where do you need me?” “I need you here.” “OK!” Put that dialogue into fully tacit application, and make damn sure that the player in #1-2 never shows up in that game, and all is well. It is, technically, Force, which is why I say Force is not always dysfunctional. This is Participationism. The GM is exerting what would be objectionable Force in any other context, and it’s totally consensual – effectively, every PC is being team-played by the player and the GM together, with the latter actually having the final say and the former conceding that.

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