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Kanada Ten
Memetics is the study of contagious ideas. More specifically, Memetics studies how ideas propagate from one host to another and the properties of those ideas. Viral ideas are called Memes and can be designed, though the greatest are often spontaneous.

As a knowledge skill, Memetics grants complimentary dice spot Membots (those under the influence of a powerful Meme, using or resisting Psychology, creating or understanding mental Advertising and Marketing techniques, forming Influence statements, and so on. GM discretion.

[ Spoiler ]
blakkie
...ninety nine bottles of beer on the wall, ninety nine bottles of beer. If one of those beers should happen to fall...ninety eight bottles of beer on the wall...
Kanada Ten
Interesting divergence there. Memetics would of course include knowledge of well known memes and such.

...ninety nine bottles of beer on the wall, ninety nine bottles of beer... take one down pass it around... ninety eight bottles of beer on the wall...
Dakhran the Dark
ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US!!! cyber.gif

FIRST POST!!!11! silly.gif

On a more on-topic note, memetics is an interesting pursuit, but how would this assist a 'runner? Perhaps it would be minorly useful to a Face, but typically this would be more on the lines of something megacorp marketroids would employ. For example, the master memecrafter at NERPS. biggrin.gif
Arethusa
So, who's up for some Stand Alone Complex?
Kanada Ten
QUOTE (Dakhran the Dark)
On a more on-topic note, memetics is an interesting pursuit, but how would this assist a 'runner?

Memetics could be used to aid infiltration of a cult, baiting a target for long term goals, and of course creating a cult: programming and deprogramming of subjects.

Memetics could also be used with Etiquette, Interrogation, Intimidation, Leadership, and Negotiation though I would require knowledge of the target[s] before hand.

Johnson's could use Memetics and Psychology to find and recruit susceptible runners, while an assassin lays out the bait a target cannot refuse.

Runners would most often use it as a defense to protect themselves from Meme targeting and spotting Membots. But they can also make great team slogans and better control their street rep. Though that could get out of their hands very easily...
vegm.gif
Person 404
QUOTE (Kanada Ten)
[ Spoiler ]


(Emphasis mine). I don't know about these guys, but I've not met military personnel whose survival was "inconsequential in their own minds."
Kanada Ten
I agree it is an exaggeration if not an outright error. Military studies seem to indicate that ideals and abstract concepts mean nothing in actual combat. The things that keep personnel functioning are fear of failing their comrades and fear of death.
Ancient History
Kanada, have you been reading Neal Stephenson again? nyahnyah.gif
Arethusa
On a more applicable note, I'm completely uncomfortable with this being used mechanically in game. This is pure roleplaying stuff, and it's one thing to take it as a knowledge skill to flesh out a character, but it's pretty bizarre to apply the concept to a set of rules.

And, yes, military personnel who don't prioritize their personal survival are generally pretty damn rare.
Kanada Ten
QUOTE
This is pure roleplaying stuff

Memetics? Um, no. Memetics is not yet a science, but it was invented by Richard Dawkins before discovered by RPG's.

QUOTE
Kanada, have you been reading Neal Stephenson again?

No. I have never read any cyberpunk, Stephenson, Gibson or any of the others usually mentioned here.

[edit]
QUOTE
This is pure roleplaying stuff

I get it, you mean the players have to roleplay it and game mechanics be damned. Let me find that quote by Derek about doing the same thing with firearms...

[edit again!]
Ha HA!

Roleplaying is wonderful and a great compliment to mechanics. I look at the Negotiations example and apply it to everything.
lacemaker
Interesting idea,

I don't know that mimetics would have all that much to say about the propogation of ideas as distinct from doctrines like psychology and marketing - in the same way I guess that most of what we've been able to say about genetics until recently (when we developed the tools to interface with genes directly rather than just looking at their expression) drew from botany and zoology.

I don't know that there's a uniquely "mimetic" way to start a cult - a knowledge of what makes ideas appealing, memorable or likely to propagate seems to me to involve more hands-on disciplines, where as mimetics seems more of a way of viewing phenomena, kind of like the relationship between theology and athropology...

I do like the idea of runners engaging in their own viral marketing campaigns though...
Ancient History
QUOTE (Kanada Ten)

QUOTE
Kanada, have you been reading Neal Stephenson again?

No. I have never read any cyberpunk, Stephenson, Gibson or any of the others usually mentioned here.

You should perhaps try Snow Crash then. Don't consider it a serious work, just enjoy the ideas that percolate through it.
gknoy
QUOTE (Dakhran the Dark)
ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US!!! cyber.gif

All your arcology is belong to Deus.

wink.gif

As for Neal Stephenson . . . I must confess that I greatly enjoyed every one of his booksthat I've read (Snow Crash, the Diamond Age, Cryptonomicon (tied w/ D.A. as my favourite I think), and even Zodiac) ... which makes me feel all the weirder for not wanting to read his latest work, which is set in pre-fire england (1600s?), and issupposed to span a lot of europe and history...

What's weird is, even the books of his I didn't think I'd like (Zodiac) I liked, tho not nearly as much as the others ... but this one , from the reviews I've read, is especially dull, pointless, or something . . . which if I wanted, I'd go read Jane Austen. (No offense to Jane Austen readers, I do like her work, but it's a completely different type of book.)

I probably should get it once it's in paperback.
Arethusa
QUOTE (Kanada Ten)
[edit]
QUOTE
This is pure roleplaying stuff

I get it, you mean the players have to roleplay it and game mechanics be damned. Let me find that quote by Derek about doing the same thing with firearms...

That's right. Because firing a gun is a very similar process to exercising one's knowledge of a sociological topic and applying it to the situation at hand. Good call.
Kanada Ten
It is exactly the same actually. I have no gun skills but my character does; I likewise have no social skills but my character does. Therefore, the character should be able to shoot great, but can't use social skills worth a damn. Yeah! That makes sense!

Shouldn't one's character be able to do things far beyond the players ability? The roleplaying aspect is not dismissed, but forbidding a character from performing something because of a player's lack seems unnecessarily harsh. Roleplaying already grants target modifiers and karma points, how much more important need it be?

lacemaker
OT: I'm about a third of the way through quicksilver and finding it moderately heavy going, but I'd still be happy to recommend it - milleu aside Austen is not a good comparison (and even the surrounding society is radically different) - this is sci-fi literature set at the birth of science and you shouldn't let the setting put you off. A lot of the first book is scene setting, but I gather the second book released recently, makes it all worth the effort.

On Topic: Unless I'm misunderstanding the suggestion I think Mimetics is the wrong title for what you're trying to do - it's simply too distant and academic an analysis to be useful even in situations where the propogation of ideas is important - trying to use mimetics deductively (as opposed to inductively) is like being cornered by a hungry animal and saying "right, I'll use my knowledge of evolutionary pressures on behaviour to determine what it's going to do next" - genetics will have insights into that kind of question, but they won't be the sort to be useful in a hands-on situation...

I think mimetics works well as a cool name for a more down-to-earth psychology of ideas/marketing kind of skill - and if that's what you meant then I apologise for splitting hairs about nomenclature - but that's radically different to what real world "mimeticists" would actually do with their skill...
Dashifen
My google-fu is off tonight and I can't find any real information from a university or research journal on mimetics tonight. Linkage? I don't know enough about the topic to debate herein, however.
Kanada Ten
Meme is the term to search for, BTW.

http://www.memecentral.com/

QUOTE
    *  Memes are the basic building blocks of our minds and culture, in the same way that genes are the basic building blocks of biological life.

    * The breakthrough in memetics is in extending Darwinian evolution to culture. There are several exciting conclusions from doing that, one of which is the ability to predict that ideas will spread not because they are "good ideas", but because they contain "good memes" such as danger, food and sex that push our evolutionary buttons and force us to pay attention to them.
Connor
WAAAAZZZZZUUUUUPPPPP!!!!!! biggrin.gif

Google-Fu

Selected Links:

Journal of Memetics

Memetics Papers
Kanada Ten
Having mulled over Lacemaker's point (and then realizing that Arethusa meant the same thing, right?), I think Memetics is useful in the same way as Genetech is useful to characters. Not in the middle of combat but in understanding the field and seeing it used in practice.

Memetics: complimentary to Marketing, Advertising, Programming/Deprogramming Psychology, and Sociology skill tests. It makes a great conversation piece, too.
lacemaker
I'll buy that- I think it works fine as a complementary background knowledge kind of skill, both in game and IRL.

Just to draw one more needless distinction, I think it differs form Genetech simply in that it's currently (and, we appear to assume will be in 2060) a much less developed field - genetech is able to look at the mechanics of gene propogation at the molecular level, that is proximate causes. Memetics is only really at the level of general principles, that is ultimate causation - kind of where genetech was two or three decades ago. I don't know how it would advance, though I guess oyu could argue that BTLs and skillwire technology have pretty profound impacts on our understanding of how ideas actually form in the brain...
blakkie
QUOTE (Kanada Ten)
...ninety nine bottles of beer on the wall, ninety nine bottles of beer... take one down pass it around... ninety eight bottles of beer on the wall...

That is a stituational adaptation option of that meme. Which one gets propagated depends on how thirsty the host is. smile.gif
Arethusa
Memetics is useful knowledge, yes (though I feel it's worth pointing out that it's still very young, and, on a lot of levels, extremely loose theory). For a runner, not so much, or, at least, not much more than most academic background skills (discounting the hard sciences, like physics and chemistry).

But that's not really my concern. My issue is with claiming that having the number on your character sheet should automatically make up for any lapse in knowledge you may have. Good roleplaying, like good acting, requires a personal knowledge of the character and the character's fields of knowledge. Certainly, no one expects an actor playing, say, a mathematician, to be deeply versed in math, but he can't expect to give a compelling performance if math is completely and abjectly foreign to him, either. In RPG terms, a player who knoes absolutely nothing about guns but takes Pistols 6 has made a terrible mistake, because his portrayal of that character will always ring false. He must at least understand what pistols are, what they do, and generally how they do it to portray that aspect of the character well. Simply having numbers on a sheet does not make up for roleplaying, and simply because you have Etiquette 6 doesn't mean you should be able to bumble your way through everyone around you without ever being forced to take responsibility for your idiotic actions (for clarity's sake, Kanada, this is not specifically a reference to you) simply because your Etiquette skill clearly reflects more social grace than you are humanly capable of mustering. That is wholly insane, just as it is insane to expect your GM to bail you out of a bad situation simply because your character has an Intelligence of 6 and should be able to come up with a suitable solution while you cannot. That's my point.

Of course, if you're playing a simple game with roleplaying largely excised, little of this applies, and you're practically playing a pen and paper video game, but if you're doing that, what use could you possibly have for Memetics or Psychology or American History or whatever as a knowledge skill anyway?
Tzeentch
GURPS Transhuman Space has rules for Memetics that can be adapted. In particular, the newly released Toxic Memes sourcebook has some "meme creation" rules and a boatload of strange beliefs and ideas you can plug into Shadowrun with a bit of fiddling.
blakkie
Arethusa, I play a game. I am not walking the boards at Stratford. I am not some sort of second coming of the Method Actor Avatar. Actually classical actors don't really need any knowledge of the subject matter, but since RPG players are co-writers I suppose a tiny bit of knowledge doesn't hurt. However if there is -someone- at the table that understands the subject they can help guide it (best if it is the GM), or if everyone at the table has relatively the same incorrect conception of the subject that seems to work out just fine too....to have, you know, fun.
Cray74
QUOTE (Kanada Ten)
I agree it is an exaggeration if not an outright error.  Military studies seem to indicate that ideals and abstract concepts mean nothing in actual combat.  The things that keep personnel functioning are fear of failing their comrades and fear of death.

Those sound like some powerful memes. wink.gif

Memes sounds like a useful skill for determining how to make a run most (or least) psychologically effective against a megacorp or the public. Mr. Johnson wants you to smear Aztech's good name? [Meme skill roll] Well, planting evidence that Aztech's new flagship fast food product has something distasteful in it is good. So, now to visit some ghouls for raw material, then sneak into the Aztech soy-synth factory and plant the body parts. "Soylent Burgers are people!"

And there's a new Transhuman Space book out? I'm gonna have to pick that up.
Kanada Ten
QUOTE
My issue is with claiming that having the number on your character sheet should automatically make up for any lapse in knowledge you may have.

No, rolling the skill test against a target number and garnishing a number of successes should. Roleplaying reduces those target numbers to increase the number of successes you have.

QUOTE
In RPG terms, a player who knoes absolutely nothing about guns but takes Pistols 6 has made a terrible mistake, because his portrayal of that character will always ring false. He must at least understand what pistols are, what they do, and generally how they do it to portray that aspect of the character well.

I could not disagree more. The rules laid out in the books tell the player how skills behave, not any real world knowledge of guns or sociology. That's why I wanted opions on Memetics as a skill and dice mechanics - to give players an idea of how to use the skill in game.

I've heard this idea that players should research their characters before, and I just disagree. While it's really cool when they do and often grants them extra points and lets them slide when the dice go sour, I don't make it manditory. And yet I always have fun when we play.

QUOTE
Of course, if you're playing a simple game with roleplaying largely excised, little of this applies, and you're practically playing a pen and paper video game, but if you're doing that, what use could you possibly have for Memetics or Psychology or American History or whatever as a knowledge skill anyway?

Can there be no middle ground?
Arethusa
QUOTE (blakkie @ May 12 2004, 01:04 AM)
Arethusa, I play a game. I am not walking the boards at Stratford. I am not some sort of second coming of the Method Actor Avatar. Actually classical actors don't really need any knowledge of the subject matter, but since RPG players are co-writers I suppose a tiny bit of knowledge doesn't hurt. However if there is -someone- at the table that understands the subject they can help guide it (best if it is the GM), or if everyone at the table has relatively the same incorrect conception of the subject that seems to work out just fine too....to have, you know, fun.

Classical, method, self taught, or whatever school he or she works from, no actor will ever be any good at what he or she does without an understanding of the character, and that includes the stuff the character knows. Even if your game is pure entertainment, this principle carries over for maintaining immersion and staying in character to at least a minor degree. If you want to believably portray a character with a large amount of knowledge in a field you know nothing about, you probably should get reading. This even pertains to fictional fact, as I don't have a hope in hell of portraying a good decker since I know next to nothing about deckingó at least not in regards to any aspect of that decker that has anything to do with his chosen profession.

QUOTE (Crazy74)
Memes sounds like a useful skill for determining how to make a run most (or least) psychologically effective against a megacorp or the public. Mr. Johnson wants you to smear Aztech's good name? [Meme skill roll] Well, planting evidence that Aztech's new flagship fast food product has something distasteful in it is good. So, now to visit some ghouls for raw material, then sneak into the Aztech soy-synth factory and plant the body parts. "Soylent Burgers are people!"

Your suggestion of rolling Memetics dice to devise a plan to best soil a company's good name is quite literally one solid step away from rolling intelligence to devise an assault plan on a corporate facility. That is completely absurd. The character is not the dice. Dice are an element for randomization of unpredictable events like firing a weapon, and should never be used to make up for the deficiencies of a player who can't think his way through a situation. Once you go down that route, you're two steps away from rolling 2d6 and having fun if you get an 11.

[edit]

QUOTE (Kanada Ten)
No, rolling the skill test against a target number and garnishing a number of successes should. Roleplaying reduces those target numbers to increase the number of successes you have.

That is an acceptable midpoint between having players roleplay at the level of their skills (very much not advisable unless you have a group willing and able to do this well) and just rolling dice (really only a useful system if you're playing the aforementioned video game style and only use social skills for the acquisition of funds, equipment, and information). But my point is that Memetics is a skill that really doesn't have a lot of practical application that can be mechanically simulated. Whereas rolling Structural Engineering could help you out if you want to blow something up, Memetics is only going to be useful for very broad stuff that is already purely the purview of roleplaying (eg devising a plan to assault a compound that does not stand much chance of inciting public uproar or is guaranteed to cause the people to rise up; take your pick). Adding dice here is very much akin to rolling Intelligence during the planning stage to have the GM plan for you, and at that point, you're not very far from just letting the numbers play for you.

QUOTE (Kanada Ten)
I've heard this idea that players should research their characters before, and I just disagree. While it's really cool when they do and often grants them extra points and lets them slide when the dice go sour, I don't make it manditory. And yet I always have fun when we play.

I think, in this case, it ultimately comes down to how seriously you take the game and what your approach to the medium is, which would explain our vastly differing views. Also, to be fair, I can pretty much guarantee that you have a lot more practical experience than me.
Kanada Ten
I'll try to put Cray's example into my game and we'll see how that works for you.

MemePlayer: "Ok, so the J wants us to smear the Azzies. What if we hit their fast food places and make them look unsafe?"

GM: "Roll your Marketing to see what impact that would have."

MemePlayer: "All right, can I use Psychology or Memetics as complementary?"

GM: "I'm going to say no on the Psychology because you're not targeting an individual person, but Memetics might work."

MemePlayer: "Ok, Marketing... 2 4 4 8 and Memetics 8 8 3.

GM: I'll set the base target number at 6, with a +1 because he's not using the Matrix. That means he got 2 successes, so he knows that his plan has holes (1 success) and that he needs to widen the damage (2 successes) "You think it would have a small impact, but you would have to hit many places at once. Things like food poisoning and SURGE victims had more impact in the past."

MemePlayer: "Food poisoning? That sounds doable, I'll call up Mary Ann, my truck driver contact, and see if she knows an Azzie distributer."

GM: "Roll Etiquette, Trucking or... I'll let you use Street."

MemePlayer: "What about Corp? She does work for one."

GM: "Yeah, but you know she doesn't exactly speak their language." If the player hadn't interacted with the contact much, I'd allow him to try Corp at a plus 2 target number, and then have him use Charisma (6) to notice the negative effect.

MemePlayer: "Screw it, I'll use Etiquette to get a face to face meet with her and then use Seduction on her. I'm short on cash anyway."

GM: "She answers the call and seems happy to see you."

MaryAnn: "What's up wit you, dog? Long time."

Meme: "Hey babe, just wanted to see your beautiful face. What's say you and me get together and boogie?"

GM: "Roll Etiquette." The base TN is 4 but I've set a time of one week divided by the number of success, and his sweet talking gives a -1 TN.

MemePlayer: "Ok! 3 4 4 7 2 1"

MaryAnn: "Sure honey, I'll clear my schedule... we can meet Friday, if that's not to late." 2 days after the call.
Cray74
QUOTE (Arethusa)
QUOTE (Crazy74)
Memes sounds like a useful skill for determining how to make a run most (or least) psychologically effective against a megacorp or the public. Mr. Johnson wants you to smear Aztech's good name? [Meme skill roll] Well, planting evidence that Aztech's new flagship fast food product has something distasteful in it is good. So, now to visit some ghouls for raw material, then sneak into the Aztech soy-synth factory and plant the body parts. "Soylent Burgers are people!"

Your suggestion of rolling Memetics dice to devise a plan to best soil a company's good name is quite literally one solid step away from rolling intelligence to devise an assault plan on a corporate facility. That is completely absurd. The character is not the dice. Dice are an element for randomization of unpredictable events like firing a weapon, and should never be used to make up for the deficiencies of a player who can't think his way through a situation. Once you go down that route, you're two steps away from rolling 2d6 and having fun if you get an 11.

First, it's childish to misspell my handle like that.

Second, I disagree with your underlying logic. The whole reason I play roleplaying games is to be someone or something I'm not. Being an actor is not part of the game to me; I'm just there to immerse myself in an imagined, interactive world, even if I can't really act the part. That often means playing characters with abilities and skills I personally lack. To make up for that deficiency, the character has skills and attributes that can be rolled. In the case of memes, my long-gone college psych courses are far from up to the task, so I'd make a memetic skill roll to figure out the specific effects of the meme. The characters are not the player; they're meant to be someone else, and they don't have rigorous acting requirements. That's what all skills, attributes and other stats are for.

Kanada Ten about captured how I'd use skills, though if the players were fumbling I would even allow intelligence and small unit tactics rolls to figure out how to invade a corporate facility (or apply memetics), particularly for new players who were unfamiliar with the Corporate Security Guide or State of the Art. As a GM, I'd even hint to players when their characters would recognize something the players wouldn't. The characters are professional criminals with a couple or more decades in the world of Shadowrun; the players are anything but.

Third, depending on the player's knowledge to accomplish tasks involves far too much out-of-character information for my tastes.
Moonstone Spider
I have to agree with Cray and Kanada. Arethusa, do you demand that Magicians actually know all about magic in real life and use it? Do you require your riggers to know from real-life experience, or at least reading about it, what it's like to be one with a two-truck? And do your deckers have to be actual real-life hackers with an understanding of how to break into computer systems?

Because unless that's true you're applying your logic to only one part of the game and penalizing Faces where you don't give the same penalties to Riggers, Magicians, and Deckers.
Siege
Two things:

1. Isn't Marketing a knowledge skill? If so, do you allow knowledge skills to act as comps with other knowledge skills?

2. During the early stages of the Nazi invasion of Russia, defending Soviets were not particularly enthusiastic with political officers spouting rhetoric and exhorting troops to defend the Soviet Union.

So much so that at some point during the campaign, the Soviets started advocating defense of "Mother Russia" which had a much stronger impact.

In short -- not many soldiers will gladly and cheerfully place their own lives below those of a higher, grander ideal. Those few that do, however, can be pretty impressive things.

-Siege
blakkie
QUOTE (Arethusa @ May 12 2004, 05:46 AM)
QUOTE (blakkie @ May 12 2004, 01:04 AM)
Arethusa, I play a game. I am not walking the boards at Stratford. I am not some sort of second coming of the Method Actor Avatar. Actually classical actors don't really need any knowledge of the subject matter, but since RPG players are co-writers I suppose a tiny bit of knowledge doesn't hurt. However if there is -someone- at the table that understands the subject they can help guide it (best if it is the GM), or if everyone at the table has relatively the same incorrect conception of the subject that seems to work out just fine too....to have, you know, fun.

Classical, method, self taught, or whatever school he or she works from, no actor will ever be any good at what he or she does without an understanding of the character, and that includes the stuff the character knows. Even if your game is pure entertainment, this principle carries over for maintaining immersion and staying in character to at least a minor degree. If you want to believably portray a character with a large amount of knowledge in a field you know nothing about, you probably should get reading. This even pertains to fictional fact, as I don't have a hope in hell of portraying a good decker since I know next to nothing about deckingó at least not in regards to any aspect of that decker that has anything to do with his chosen profession.

First, that is -your- opinion on acting. An opinion shared by method for sure, and many others. However not shared universally, notably among some very respected [albeit often egomanical] film directors.

EDIT: You might also want to check out the Anthony Hopkins interview on the Red Dragon DVD.

Second, by centering your argument around that you seem to be completely missing the point of:

I am not walking the boards at Stratford.
Arethusa
QUOTE (Cray74)
First, it's childish to misspell my handle like that.

That's actually a typo, and it took me a moment to figure out what you were talking about. Z's a bit close to the A key. Anyway, sorry about that.

QUOTE (Cray74)
Second, I disagree with your underlying logic. The whole reason I play roleplaying games is to be someone or something I'm not. Being an actor is not part of the game to me; I'm just there to immerse myself in an imagined, interactive world, even if I can't really act the part. That often means playing characters with abilities and skills I personally lack. To make up for that deficiency, the character has skills and attributes that can be rolled. In the case of memes, my long-gone college psych courses are far from up to the task, so I'd make a memetic skill roll to figure out the specific effects of the meme. The characters are not the player; they're meant to be someone else, and they don't have rigorous acting requirements. That's what all skills, attributes and other stats are for.

Knowing a character and knowing, to some degree, what he or she knows in order to become that character doesn't meant that you are the character. Nothing is or should be stopping you from playing a character that is far and away not who you are. Immersing yourself in the mind and world of the character pretty much is the first step in acting or roleplaying, hence the similarities. But, as I've noted before, the extent to which the parallel holds varies quite a bit depending on how serious the game is and how deep the players (and GM) are willing to get into it.

If you actually are willing to allow floundering players to roll Intelligence to figure things out, I'm afaid our conceptions of playing an RPG are far too different to be reconciled. That's a practice I find reprehensible, as it completely undermines player involvement in the game. If I just have to roll dice, I never really should bother to think for myself, and any players that want to are cheated out of any sense of accomplishment. It breaks immersion, distances players from their characters infitely more than it would ever do the opposite, and is decidedly untasty.

QUOTE (Moonstone Spider)
Arethusa, do you demand that Magicians actually know all about magic in real life and use it? Do you require your riggers to know from real-life experience, or at least reading about it, what it's like to be one with a two-truck? And do your deckers have to be actual real-life hackers with an understanding of how to break into computer systems?

Of course not. But anyone playing a mage needs to know the magic rules and the concepts that govern SR's magic, anyone rigging needs to likewise understand SR's rigging concepts (and should possess at least some degree of knowledge about real world vehicles), and anyone decking needs to understand SR's decking concepts (and not computers; that'll just make your head hurt; an understanding of digital information flow and its advantages, however, is paramount). It applies everywhere. If you don't understand your character and yo don't understand what your character does, it's your fault and you should run into walls.

QUOTE (blakkie)
First, that is -your- opinion on acting. An opinion shared by method for sure, and many others. However not shared universally, notably among some very respected [albeit often egomanical] film directors.

EDIT: You might also want to check out the Anthony Hopkins interview on the Red Dragon DVD.

Different actors from different schools do do it differently, which I won't contest, but I will say that I know of no actor that's any good that doesn't, in some way or another, get into the head and perspective of the character he or she portrays in an effort to understand the character, his or her motivations, and the way he or she thinks. All acting depends upon it. Method just takes it a step further and makes you live it (and, on a personal note, is a school of thought I'm quite fond of).

And I'm not suggesting that everyone playing a game must be an accomplished or even aspiring actor. As I said, it vaires depending on the way you look at roleplaying gaming as a medium. But, as I said above, at least to some degree, it definitely applies until you start playing it as a videogame with no real roleplaying, and at that point, there's little use for most knowledge skills.
Cray74
QUOTE (Arethusa)
If you actually are willing to allow floundering players to roll Intelligence to figure things out, I'm afaid our conceptions of playing an RPG are far too different to be reconciled.  That's a practice I find reprehensible, as it completely undermines player involvement in the game.  If I just have to roll dice, I never really should bother to think for myself, and any players that want to are cheated out of any sense of accomplishment.  It breaks immersion, distances players from their characters infitely more than it would ever do the opposite, and is decidedly untasty.

You're making a very broad statement that's not applicable to all games, at least mine.

I haven't found using dice rolls to be a "distancing" problem, nor one that breaks immersion, with beginning or floundering players. The players learn from the aid and have rules explained to them with the roll. ("Yeah...you don't have a clue of how to do this, but your character should. Okay, roll Memetics. Alright, here's what your character figures out and why...") The dice roll is an opportunity to have the rules, as well as the setting, explained to the new/floundering players, and in the future they'll understand how it works so they won't need dice rolls for such basics.

Expecting players to come to the game with rules memorized and/or well known is too much of a bother - I'd prefer to have them show up for the game and teach them on the fly that throw a dozen books at them and say, "Learn those before playing your mage," or "Read the Transhuman Space background on memes and memetics before showing up."

Some of the players don't even have the books to study between games, or the inclination to read dry text to learn how to play the game. A live, during-play example is preferable.

Further, when the players are floundering because of lack of knowledge of the setting, it's bad form (IMO) to withhold information that their characters should know. If the players came unread and ignorant to the game, no problem. I'll teach them then and there by explaining (with or without dice rolls, as appropriate to the character's knowledge) how the game and setting works.
blakkie
QUOTE (Arethusa @ May 12 2004, 06:48 PM)
QUOTE (blakkie)
First, that is -your- opinion on acting. An opinion shared by method for sure, and many others. However not shared universally, notably among some very respected [albeit often egomanical] film directors.

EDIT: You might also want to check out the Anthony Hopkins interview on the Red Dragon DVD.

Different actors from different schools do do it differently, which I won't contest, but I will say that I know of no actor that's any good that doesn't, in some way or another, get into the head and perspective of the character he or she portrays in an effort to understand the character, his or her motivations, and the way he or she thinks. All acting depends upon it. Method just takes it a step further and makes you live it (and, on a personal note, is a school of thought I'm quite fond of).

Please take note of my suggestion of watching that interview on the Red Dragon DVD. It talks about compelling experimental evidence that not only does the actor not nessasarily need to 'understand' the characters feelings but in some cases they don't need even an inkling of knowledge of what their character is suppositly looking at. I truely mean none; no knowledge of the script [edit]outside their own lines[/edit], not actually looking at what the film editting suggests they are looking at, nor having any description given to them of what their characters are looking at.

P.S. I really hope that reference is correct, it has been probably a year since I watched it. When my son is done watching My Neighbor Totoro and gets put to bed I'll check to ensure that is the proper source.

QUOTE
And I'm not suggesting that everyone playing a game must be an accomplished or even aspiring actor.  As I said, it vaires depending on the way you look at roleplaying gaming as a medium.  But, as I said above, at least to some degree, it definitely applies until you start playing it as a videogame with no real roleplaying, and at that point, there's little use for most knowledge skills.


Please explain to me why, unless you have some need to be playing for people outside of the game (such video taping or taping the session for future audiences), there is a need for a more correct knowledge beyond what is available within the group and that the group agrees to, explicitly or implicitly, this conceptal description of the subject?
blakkie
Oops, it is actually the Hearts In Atlantis DVD.
Kanada Ten
QUOTE
Siege
1. Isn't Marketing a knowledge skill? If so, do you allow knowledge skills to act as comps with other knowledge skills?

Yes I do. I think Police Procedures would be complementary to Criminal Law if you're a lawyer looking for technicalities; I think Drug Dealers would be complementary to Crack Houses; and I think Medicine should be complementary to Chemistry when trying to design a drug. Is there a reason no to allow it? Sorry I missed the question.
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