Friday, August 19, 2011

Interesting Discussion Starting at HC


in the topic entitled: Building a Better GM: A Challenge

I interject my thoughts about the base assumption by pointing to a separation of technique and creative force, which seemingly has been lumped into one facet of a "How To?" process.  My response is posted there and is quoted below.

You are confusing technique with creative force. There is no "How to" to CF, that is bred at birth, greatly expanded (or not) during childhood,  intuitively practiced in later years (or not) and thereafter grown and sustained (or not) by each and every individual.

It is like asking, "How best is it to write?" as I have knowledge of the techniques of writing. The best answer to mastering any such hands-on subject is to do it and therein find your own creative form.  This addresses "form" vs "formula" the latter which seems so prevalent in this medium.

Each DM's form will also differ according to the range of material being presented  "in each moment,"  just as different types of stories have varying  weights applied to  them at different times by the author creating these.Also note the last question of my [recent] interview as this is a better starting point, mastering story, for any GM as far as techniques go, and this too cannot be tricked into being.

Also, this question is being asked in a vacuum.  It addresses current DMs (i.e. largely considered as a whole, "veteran DMs") and their thoughts on this as culled from experience but does not, as far as I can see within it, address fledgling DMs, that is, newcomers to the art.  While exclusionary, it paints a definite process which was not true for those veterans when newcomers themselves.

The process of learning to DM/story-telling is best discovered in the trenches by  creating our own dungeons/locales.  This personalizes the experience 100% and builds in layers of confidence, objectivity and other enhancements of a greater type not found in running  pre-made adventures. The difference between creating your own story and reading it aloud rather than reading aloud another's. 

For the most part many of us were weaned  in "Fun House" climes; but whatever the "adventure"  environment, one learns rudiments and essentials and these thereafter take root and grow according to the prevailing creative force in every individual as expressed through personal understanding and application, and in differing degrees.


JasonZavoda said...

"You told me what the first rule of wisdom is," I said. "What is the second rule?"

"That can be answered," he said. "There are five in all. Always ask any questions that are to be asked and never answer any. Turn everything you hear to your own advantage. Always carry a repair outfit. Take left turns as much as possible. Never apply your front brakes first."


The wizard of the cave of Les Trois Freres does a ritual dance high above a medley of animals of ancient times. His head is crowned with reindeer antlers; his ears are those of the wolf, and his face is bearded like a lion's. He has a horse's tail and bear paws. The wide and startling eyes appear to see not only the creatures gamboling beneath him but through the timeless space separating us from this paleolithic vision.


De l'audace, encore de l'audace, et toujours de l'audace.

Timeshadows said...

Thanks for adding your voice to this topic, Rob. :D

Lord of the Green Dragons said...

Thanks you "two."

Unfortunately my well stated (and I will add, well researched) interjection was shuffled aside.

The more humans condense individual, creative processes into a How To prescription, the less is learned in the transference, as the discovery process that is important to all human development, especially at the grade school/adolescent level, is negated. You cannot teach what you have not learned, then, but only transmit what you were told. Get it Peeps?! And what you were told in this case is: THIS IS THE WAY WE DO IT. Social pressure and the easy way out continues even in games, how about that, it''s an instant shoe-in coming out of college, fits the prescrip exactly.

)I will state it until my face turns blue (which it probably will given the conformist/group-think views inundating our society): ONLY VALUE ADDED EXPERIENCES SPUR GROWTH...

On a saner note, it has spurred me on to finish an essay which has about 100+ pages of research material attached to it. To be added to the pile.

PS So much for the Socratic method or the Mentoring/Scaffold(ing) approach... Sickening.

PSS Our society has become: "Just add water and stir..."

END PS Now back off the net and to sanity...

DHBoggs said...

Its easy enough (for me, anyway)not to notice the obvious when riding the currents. You teach, I learn. Thanks Rob.

Lord of the Green Dragons said...

@ Jason" I just figured out what your closing line in French meant: Audacity, more audacity, something along those lines (pulled my F<>E dictionary).

How that figures in, dunno, but I like it, as I very much love the French language. I wish I had learned it in earlier days.

Lord of the Green Dragons said...

Hello Mr. Boggs,

Yeah. What I teach is a fading art. People want instant everything, there is little real room to learn as we must all adapt to fit within the prescription of society as detailed for us in advance, etc. That is why I have great joy when I see someone expressing individuality, especially in any creative medium. I believe that the last one to go down the drain of mediocrity will be dance, as this is a form of kinesthetic talk and think. Professionals who dance have an attachment for it like no other art has due to this--it is their breath and thought and without it they fade away.