Monday, January 01, 1990

Narrating the Game--Narration

The last section explained how to interpret the dice. This section answers the question, “Who gets to interpret the dice?” As always, there are several different possibilities, and the gaming group should determine which option they are using before the game starts.

The Narrator narrates This is probably the simplest answer. Whoever is acting as the Narrator gets to interpret the dice and determine the outcome of the conflict, although he must keep in mind the stated goals of the characters in conflict. The primary advantage of this method is that it allows for a certain amount of consistency and neutrality in interpretation. Also this method allows the Narrator to maintain a measure of control over game events in order to emphasize certain themes or moods. The primary disadvantage of this method is that it can limit the other players’ input into conflict resolution.

The Narrator assigns If this option is chosen, then the Narrator is responsible for deciding who narrates the outcome of the conflict. This should not be an arbitrary selection. Rather, the Narrator should choose someone based on the social needs of the players. For instance, this can be a good tool to provide spotlight time to a player who has not had much opportunity to contribute to the game or who is less assertive than some of the other players.

The winner narrates If this option is used, whoever won the conflict gets to narrate the outcome. This method ensures that the winner gets what he is wanting, although it can also have the possibility of overriding the loser’s desires too much.

The loser narrates This is an unusual option. The loser must interpret the dice and narrate, taking into account the winner’s stated goals. The primary advantage of this method is that it keeps both the players involved in the narration of the conflict resolution. The primary disadvantage is that many players may not want to narrate their characters’ failures.

The higher roller narrates Let the dice decide! In this method, whoever rolled the highest clock face, regardless of victory, gets to narrate. The primary benefit of this method is that neither party is automatically excluded from being able to narrate the results of the conflict. The primary disadvantage is that the narrator will still usually be the winner.


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