What’s YOUR trajectory?

Last week I wrote about a couple of game experiences that really nailed a certain emotional desire for me. I rambled on for quite a bit about it! The bottom line was, I’m pursuing a certain element of intimate tragedy, through characters who care passionately for others, but whose presence can’t help but cause them pain. But now I’d like to hear about others’ experiences.

So how about it? What sort of narrative is YOUR heart seeking in the storytelling that you do or the storytelling that you receive? And by what sort of trajectories do characters approach that narrative in their inner qualities and fictional circumstances?

If I get a couple of answers there’s follow-up questions. But start with that for now!




5 Responses to “What’s YOUR trajectory?”

  1. April 10, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    On rare occasions I have actually brought tears to the eyes of my players when I endangered a NPC that they’ve come to enjoy during a Game. I consider it the highest complement to my story line when I can manage it but save the attempts for important twists in the gaming. They often mark rites of passage for the players as they become less dependant on me leaving a way out of a tricky situation and more capable of building their own.
    I like to build a support team for my players to help them achieve their tasks. It allows for jump in players [which, while hard on the plot line bring a great deal of needed color to the game] As the players grow, they need their team less. However I play each npc like a PC so the players become more emotionally dependent even as they become less physically dependent. My belief is that all chrs are an aspect of avatar for their players, I look for the links and encourage them to rely less on their chr sheets and more on who they are, This opens vulnerabilities that form a more realistic game.
    That’s my gaming response for now, others will follow as responses guide me in to a better understanding of the heart of this thread

  2. 2 Joel
    April 10, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    Hi, Kev!

    Interesting point–I hadn’t considered the dimension of how players (including GMs) might provoke a strong emotional response in OTHER players. You’ve got a good point about concentrating on who the characters ARE (and “playing each NPC like a PC”). I find that this where stories really come to life for me; note how, in the examples in my previous linked post, Vincent really breathed life into these NPCs (non-player-characters) by giving them really direct, human wants and needs and feelings. That certainly fed how I emotionally invested in the game.

    My follow-up question to you would be, can you think of a time when YOUR emotions were powerfully engaged in a game? What did THAT look like?

    • 3 Kevin
      April 11, 2010 at 12:19 am

      oddly enough, no, with the exception of the time I missunderstood the GM and injured a fellow player with my actions. I begged for a cosmic rewind because the player in question had a history of playing with people who could care less about him and had been a little scarred against gaming about it, and I always like to have a good comradery with my co players. It was denied And I was left feeling I had ruined somone elses gamming exp. To me that is the antithesis of gaming. Would you like me to tell you exactly what happened?

  3. 4 buriedwithoutceremony
    April 28, 2010 at 12:29 am

    I tend to play characters who are unrestrained by what is possible.

    The more common iteration of this is that my characters have very little comprehension of the bounds of their capabilities. The slightly less common iteration is that my characters are concerned with matters far more internal and subjective than a goal that needs accomplishing.

    This usually leads to self-isolating, self-obsessed visionaries with a fragile connection to reality.

    I’m kind of annoyed with that trajectory, and want to change it, but often find myself slipping into it.
    In real life and in games.

  4. 5 Joel
    April 28, 2010 at 6:04 am

    Wow, interesting, Joe!

    Two questions:

    1) Can you share an example of this trajectory at work in a game?

    2) What do you think the trajectory you’d like to change to would look like?

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