#INDIEGAMEaDAY2016  
Day 25: Do you like your scene framing hard, harder, or hardest? What’s the very hardest you’ve had your scene framed?

Not a ton to say today and I’m single-dadding it so not much time either.

Super short version: I think scene framing is a really smart technique depending on the game and players, it means different things for different games, and it’s not a universal best practice for all games everywhere.

NB I’m not at all surprised, reading some other folks’ posts today, that there’s a range of understanding of what this even is. You need to buy into the idea that narrative situations matter and can have urgency. I would not, personally, treat a dungeon problem description as “scene framing” of any kind — no scene, no frame, different paradigm. So, to me, trying to fit all gaming into that technique is to treat the technique as so vague as to be useless. Lots of functional roleplaying has nothing to do with scenes or framing.

I tend to do a mix of lightly framed scenes (mostly me, as GM, editorializing about what I feel like are the important things to focus on in the scene) and minute-to-minute coverage at home. More aggressive framing (more urgency and context) in one-shots and at conventions because we need to get shit done and fast. Nothing bugs me more as a player than sitting down and fucking around with irrelevant and uninteresting content.

Anyway, yay scene framing! Sometimes!

I’ll have more time tomorrow. Sorry for the short one today.

EDIT: Vincent Baker of course has crazy-smart stuff to say about the problems surrounding scene framing. Read him, he’s always provocative and interesting: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+VincentBaker/posts/hreaAFy1GE8

24 thoughts on “#INDIEGAMEaDAY2016

  1. Someone needs to write a game called Deprotagonized were one person sits and reads a novel-in-progress to a group of 3-5 “players”.

    And then write a sequel — Advanced Deprotagonized — where the players get to write notes that are presented to the reader, who then folds them in half and lights them on fire.

  2. Deprotagonized were one person sits and reads a novel-in-progress to a group of 3-5 “players”. And then write a sequel — Advanced Deprotagonized — where the players get to write notes that are presented to the reader, who then folds them in half and lights them on fire.]]>

  3. Mark Delsing Can you say a bit more about this: “Which naturally led to a pretty long fight that went down to the last gnoll. And led to our DM saying, “Man, if it weren’t for this map, I could have ended this fight a while ago.” I.e., TOTM would have let him say “…and the last few gnolls run off” or similar.”

    That is, how did using battle map and miniatures prevent the gnolls from running away (or surrendering or whatever they might do)?

  4. My group gets very leery of hand-waving away enemies when using a battle mat. As DM I certainly can say the gnolls run away, but gripes occur when my players can see that the gnolls cannot legitimately flee.

    Since TotM is more abstract they have less of an issue when this occurs.

    So I think it’s a matter of aligning expectations with the style of game.

    Obviously this is highly group dependent.

  5. Tommi Brander The presence of the map — at least for us — means that for the fight to end, either all the gnolls die or else they move enough squares that we are either unable or choose not to pursue. Everything gets played turn by turn until an outcome accretes. All of our movement and combat abilities are available and their effects are concrete.

    If we were just spitballing things, the DM can just say, “The last few gnolls retreat down the stairs.” Maybe even say they’re too far for us to pursue, if the DM wants to be stingy. It becomes more Mother-May-I.

    I’m not saying one is any better than the other, but just that they are different in play. In the former, the battle map essentially controls the “framing”, while in the latter, it’s mostly the DM, with some negotiation from the players.