6 thoughts on “Angry Rants: And Then…

  1. I had the same feeling watching Lost and latest Star Trek movies, I think the “and then” phenomena it’s a permanent flaw of J.J Abram screenplays. (I admit it, Lost had its moments btw)

    BTW, i disagre with you when you say the improvisation cause most of “and then” effect in adventures and campaign. IMO it’s the opposite, i mean, if i’m inclined to improv more; i need to listen carefully what my players ask and react accordingly, that to me seems more of “cause-effect flow” then bring to the table a prepped adventure and follow it step by step.

    I think you meant “let’s go around at random location and do random things” behavior; THAT is a real seed in making “and then” stories, but it’s the worst use of improv a human being can accomplish. Healthy improvisation and setting pres are the best ingredients for a cohesive story.

  2. I’m not entirely convinced that you need to provide that much “story structure” and “pacing” as Angry thinks; Because of something Angry says – we naturally CREATE this stuff. As long as there is even a tentative, tiny hint of a “why” then it’s usually good enough. And it’s very easy to improv that kind of thing.

    • No no no. We naturally recognize this stuff. And SOME PEOPLE do naturally create this stuff. Because they have a natural talent for it. But that isn’t everyone.

      The thing is, though, once you understand the ideas, it becomes easier to do it. In fact, if you get good at analyzing stories, you get good at dropping your stories into a good structure without thinking too hard about it.

      But no. Improv is not easy. Especially NOT good improv. It’s something people THINK is easy. There’s a LOT of people who think it is easy who are NOT good at it. And really good improv doesn’t stop at cause and effect. It’s also important to note that people who have a little knowledge often overestimate their level of expertise. That’s why a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing.

      • In the case of “patterns that aren’t actually there” “creating” is the same as “recognizing”; People invent stories out of real life events because it makes them feel better that there is rational cause and effect going on. The same sort of thing happens at the game table.

        • Yes, but actual events are incredibly more complex patterns than the conversation that is a roleplaying game session. There’s much more information in reality to select parts for your pattern from. Finding a story in actual events is one thing. Finding a story in a chaotic narrative is something else.

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