Hello! Long time lurker, first-time poster...
I had a question about some comments on another thread and didn’t want to derail it, so I’m starting a new thread.
Here are some quotes from the the “Trad Reformation” thread:For me, the third option (OSR [and proto-OSR like the Knights of the Dinner Table] and Story Now games being the two other ones) has been neo-trad games a la Apocalypse World and Blades in the Dark.
andAlthough I think the “neo-trad” games (like Apocalypse World, Blades in the Dark, maybe FATE, and others) seem to be mostly derived from the story game tradition, curving back towards traditional play rather than the other way around.
This something I’ve seen said on this forum a few times, which is that games like Apocalypse World and Blades in the Dark aren’t “Story Now” games, but something more traditional (or Neo-traditional).
So I guess I don’t understand what counts as “Story Now”. I’ve read Ron Edwards essays, I’ve lurked on forums, and from how I understand it, Story Now is a style/agenda/whatever in which:
A.) The main goal of play is to create an meaningful narrative that at least approaches what could be considered a “good story” (i.e. Characters do something and are changed by the experience, there is some kind of premise addressed, and the structure at least of sort resembles a traditional story with rising action/climax/denouement, and there is a satisfying conclusion of some sort, with “meaningful”, “premise” and “satisfying” being highly subjective terms.)
B.) The story created is in no way prewritten or controlled by one member of the play group. Player decisions control where the story goes, and there is no foregone conclusion or expectations of moving towards a particular outcome. You “PLAY TO FIND OUT”. It is shared creation of the narrative that happens organically.
C.) Decisions made (in play and in design) prioritize story-creation (as described in A.) over the immersion in/exploration of the shared imaginary world (Simulationism/The Right to Dream) or the overcoming of challenges by the players (Gamism/Step On Up).
So when I run a PbtA game, for instance my own fantasy hack
(SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION!), I think it conforms to the above. The narrative is improvised on the spot, based on the characters’ starting premisses and driven by their decisions, and the mechanics are designed around pushing the story forward (altering the narrative in one interesting/meaniful direction or the other) rather than “balance” or “verisimilitude”.
I find this to be true of most PbtA games, Fate, and Blades in the Dark... or I think I do?
( I’ve seen some criticism of Dungeon World on this front that it “doesn’t do PbtA right”, but in this case let’s leave that for another discussion and take PbtA to mean games like Apocalypse World, Monsterhearts, and Masks - games I think most would agree “get” PbtA.)
So, what am I not seeing?
Am I wrong about what Story Now means?
If not, how do the games mentioned not qualify?
What games out there do qualify as Story Now? (And how are they different?)