…but some players are.
(Crossposted to: http://www.story-games.com/forums/comments.php?DiscussionID=1312)
I was incredibly underwhelmed by the recent stakes-discussions. I saw a lot of problems that some people were having, that I weren’t. So I didn’t get anything out of them. If you did, that’s groovy by me.
So anyway, today I sat down to play the Mountain Witch with a GM I’d never gamed with before, and two people who I’d only gamed with once. (So there’s definitely some unfamiliarity here.)
“This game doesn’t use stakes,” one of them said.
“Bwuh?” Was my response. “This is a classic example of a stake using game.”
“Ah, but according to Important Sounding People On The Internet
*, you’ve been doing stakes wrong.” (*It is unlikely that these were his exact words. But the accusation was there: that *I*, specifically, was unenlightened about the true nature of stakes, because I hadn’t read some threads on the Forge/Story Games, even though I had but that’s not really the point.)
He went on to explain something that wasn’t stakes at all as an example of what he thought I had thought stakes might be, and that it was wrong*. And I said, “yeah, I know. Stakes are just the outline of what you want.” (*He didn’t use the term, but his point could have been reduced to ‘This Game Doesn’t Use Hedged Stakes.’)
“An Important Indie-Industry Person* says you should think of them as ‘goals,’ not ‘stakes'” another one suggested, as if the word we used made any difference. (*Again, probably not an exact quote.)
So no, I am not brain-damaged about stakes. I have read the rulebook, I know what is permitted, and I realize that some people out there, who aren’t me, are getting a little gonzo with their stake-setting and its eating into the narration. I don’t appreciate blanket accusations that stakes are bad. (Not to imply that this is the point of many people involved in ongoing stake-threads, but its a perception that seems to have gotten picked up.)
And the guys? We went on to have a stake-filled session. (And apologies if any of you feel that you’re unfairly portrayed here, it was a fun time. I kid because I love.)