AW-IaWA Principles

edited August 2012 in Story Games
So I had another thread where Rafu advised me to retain AW as my vocabulary but write down my own set of Principles for the game based on IaWA

I don't know what principles for IaWA capture it properly.

* Create tangled situations
* Be true to your Oracles
* Keep putting the player characters in front of each other
* Cultivate your visual language for the setting
* Connect to other sessions (i.e. cultivate the story in your mind)
* Be sensitive to the strains (i.e. of not being a protagonist, of changing characters, of PvP)
* Wrap up quickly
* Provide goalposts (i.e. keep the story confined to the Oracle. If it's drifting off look to wrap up into another story.)

What do you think?


  • edited August 2012
    That's not a bad list. But how does one "create tangled situations" and "wrap up quickly" in the same breath? Are these mutually exclusive?
  • edited August 2012
    I don't think that they're exclusive if you're thinking of them as happening at different stages of play, right?

    You want the starting point to be a complicated web of relationships and motivations, but the individual scenes to resolve without a lot of frittering. That makes sense to me, anyway.
  • The section of IaWA that talks about scene-framing (sometimes rush in, sometimes circle around...I don't remember Vincent's choice of words) seems like it deserves one or more principles. Maybe something like 'Vary the pacing' ?

    And I'm not sure that creating tangled situations is needed as a GM principle because the oracles do that and you don't really have to worry about it.

    Threaten characters' best interests
  • I'm genuinely excited to see you're doing this.
  • IaWA definitely has phases of play that are different from Apocalypse World.

    Whereas Apocalypse World has

    1) Make characters
    2) MC goes away for a while and builds Fronts
    3) We see what happens

    IAWA has

    1) Draw Oracles / Extrapolate Situation / Extrapolate Characters from Situation
    2) We see what happens

    In phase #1 of IAWA, create a tangled situation means making sure the players are really facing each other, not avoiding each other.

    In phase #2 you want to always be looking for places to end the chapter, or scene.

    I think I'll change "wrap up quickly" to "something something ruthlessly".

    But it brings up a good point - even in the extrapolating character stage you have to go quickly, avoid a lot of back-and-forth. There's a miasma that can screw up IAWA that I talked about in my failed houserule thread.
  • RyRy
    edited August 2012
    Here they are revised and grouped together for my brain:

    * Push the players and characters towards each other, but...
    * Be sensitive to the strains (i.e. of not being a protagonist, of changing characters, of PvP)

    * Vary the pacing, but...
    * Ruthlessly cut away from scenes and end chapters

    * Cultivate your the setting in your imagination and language and...
    * Connect to other sessions, but...
    * Provide goalposts (i.e. keep the story confined to the Oracle. If it's drifting off look to wrap up into another story.) and...
    * Collapse ambiguities
  • Ry, just an initial thought based on our shared experiences with the game: I feel like some principles focused on facilitating conflicts might be a good idea. It's been a while since I've played, though, and I've never GMed the game, so I'm not sure if I'm headed in quite the right direction with this:

    * Let the players control the conflict, but...
    * Ensure their actions make fictional sense, and...
    * Encourage (demand?) real, lasting consequences.
  • Good idea. Those are things that I'm hoping the switch to AW-style mechanics will help, but that motivation should be in the principles. Although I don't know if the players really need to control the conflict - as long as they're playing their characters honestly, and are pointed at each other, I mean. There's a thread between the PvP Go Aggro move and negotiation, i.e. "you can have it or I make you shoot me."

    Add to group 1

    * Enforce the consequences

    Start group 3 with

    * Be a backstop for the fictional space, so...
  • I donno, some of this seems too complicated.

    The only thing I would add (and maybe this can replace some stuff) is:

    * Just go ahead and end the chapter.

    The worst IAWA experiences I've had is where someone has conclusively achieved or failed to acheive their best interests and we're still going around and around. Nope, don't do that. Chapter over. Next chapter.
  • RyRy
    edited August 2012
    Mr. Corley,

    I am writing to advise you to that you arrived in this thread said something smarter, more concise, and more direct than what I said.

    By way of correcting this would you please, please, please read my next couple of threads on the topic?

    Mike, by way of Mr. Corley, remember I'm keeping Principles and Agenda largely unchanged; i.e. do what the rules say, what honesty demands, what Vincent says, what manchurian candidate activate.
  • RyRy
    edited August 2012
    * Push the PCs towards each other
    * Watch for strain (i.e. in the real people, of not being a protagonist, of changing characters, of PvP)

    * Weave the setting back onto itself
    * Ground the reality

    * Just go ahead and end the chapter
  • This is a really great exercise for any game design, I think.

    I'm not sure referring to other sessions is really a principle. The game system already enforces that through the "we owe" list. Focusing on it as a principle might actually mislead your game mastering.

    On the other hand, playing characters honestly and going for the throat are definitely principles of play in IAWA.
  • edited August 2012
    A principle from Monsterhearts is perfect for IaWA: treat your character like a stolen car.
  • When I said you have to consider rewriting Principles, of course I meant Principles and Agenda. See what not playing AW in six months has done to my brain?
  • RyRy
    edited August 2012
    I think the job of the IaWA GM is to:

    * Ensure the player characters are tangled mess of wants and needs
    * Put the PCs in front of each other
    * Provide the stage and props that the players can count on
  • RyRy
    edited August 2012
    you do that by always saying...

    * whatever the rules demand
    * whatever the Oracle demands
    * whatever pushes the story forward
  • RyRy
    edited October 2012

    * Get the PCs in front of each other
    * Vary the pressure with NPCs and scenes
    * Watch for strain (i.e. in the real people, of not being a protagonist, of changing characters, of PvP)
    * Weave the game back onto itself
    * Ground the reality of the setting
    * End the chapter
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