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Speaking of handing off or sharing narrative control, here's a pretty good example with SilverSerpher. They comment that they're "kind of an RP addict" and in a later session with a third party I comment that Serphy does freeform as well as or better than I do, and indeed, they are probably the only person I've played with from the Dreamwidth IRC channel who's done this kind of thing without my introducing them to it. They slip details into the setting unobtrusively and naturally, which is awesome, and gives me clues to work off of in building things further. But, in a way, it can be harder to accommodate a full partner than it is to GM for someone who's a more passive player, because the negotiation between you for narrative responsibility is at the forefront, as you can see in the beginning section of the log. Another interesting feature that also came up in "The Plan" is using the dice-rolling bot (called Fig-Bit) to randomize things a little without specifically quantifying things, especially in suggesting a theme.

I wonder what a linguistics or game theory researcher would make of this.


Part two here.

(05:34:53 AM) me: okay, so.
(05:34:56 AM) me: Ocean, city, or space?
(05:35:42 AM) SilverSerpher: hmm.
(05:35:47 AM) SilverSerpher: would it be fair to ask Bit? :)
(05:36:09 AM) me: yes, absolutely
(05:36:13 AM) SilverSerpher: kewl.
(05:36:19 AM) SilverSerpher: Bit: ocean, city, or space?
(05:36:19 AM) Fig-Bit: city. I think. Maybe.
(05:36:24 AM) SilverSerpher: city works. :)
(05:36:39 AM) me: okay.
(05:37:45 AM) me: ]
(05:39:17 AM) me: There is a city street. A person is walking down it. There are other people on the street. A mixture of tall office buildings paned in glass, neo-classical stone buildings, and tenements-turned-trendy shops line it. The person is passing a coffeeshop with a green awning.
(05:40:23 AM) me: She has dark hair, and is wearing a purple beret.
(05:40:31 AM) SilverSerpher: ((and she's not my char, right?))
(05:41:00 AM) me: ((she could be, I'm trying a different narrative style. Your POV could be a camera, or you could swoop in to be the girl.))
(05:43:11 AM) SilverSerpher: ((hmm. would it work if I had a kitty to start with? :D))
(05:43:30 AM) SilverSerpher: ((/me makes a Raspberry Beret joke))
(05:43:34 AM) me: ((what, as the PoV?))
(05:43:44 AM) me: ((I'm unfamiliar with the reference.))
(05:43:48 AM) SilverSerpher: for my own char, I mean. or did you mean it another way?
(05:43:53 AM) SilverSerpher: ((er. (()) that.))
(05:44:17 AM) SilverSerpher: ((ah -- Prince song. "She wore a raspberry beret // the kind you'd find at a secondhand store // a raspberry beret--"))
(05:44:48 AM) me: ((hah. um, you don't necessarily have to have a character. if it helps to have one, then sure. I usually think of dream sequences as having a point of view, or POV.))
(05:46:16 AM) SilverSerpher: ((hm. so I'd just... sorta write the way you are, and we just co-narrate something where the chars are both of ours, or...? haven't done it this style before, so...))
(05:46:30 AM) me: ((uh, sure. that could work.))
(05:46:44 AM) me: ((I'm winging it))
(05:46:57 AM) SilverSerpher: ((I mean, if that's not what you had in mind, I'm totally open to getting pointed in the right direction. :) ))
(05:47:33 AM) me: ((Well, I didn't have anything in particular in mind as to style, mostly as to atmosphere. that's my goal in this sort of thing is to encourage an atmosphere to develop.))
(05:48:06 AM) SilverSerpher: ((hmm. mkay. :)))
(05:50:27 AM) me: ((grabbing water, brb))
(05:52:43 AM) SilverSerpher: There are people inside -- a few have stopped by for a light lunch, and others for a hot drink and to make use of the free wifi, checking their email or whatever it is they're up to. Most of them seem not to notice her at first; one that does, near the doorway, simply gives her a faint smile and a nod of acknowedgement before sipping at their drink again, blowing a little at the steam rising 
(05:52:43 AM) SilverSerpher: from it.
(05:52:48 AM) SilverSerpher: ((how's that?))
(05:53:23 AM) me: ((Sure, okay))
(05:53:46 AM) me: She wonders where she knows them from.
(05:55:19 AM) me: She catches a glimpse of her reflection looking quizzical in the window. It shows a dramatic November sunset sky, fitful clouds being painted in sherbet colors, and a skyscraper of stone and glass taking on a strange luminance in the half-light.
(05:56:02 AM) me: /s/sunset/late-afternoon
(05:57:30 AM) SilverSerpher: It's a fairly ordinary-looking guy. Youngish, perhaps college-age, a white shirt under a green pullover sweater, his straight brown hair pulled back in a low ponytail that hangs down below his shoulders. He's clean-shaven, tidy. A notepad and pencil rest on the cafe table before him, beside a newspaper. He glances up from his drink again, apparently having noted her still standing there 
(05:57:30 AM) SilverSerpher: out of the corner of his eye.
(05:59:20 AM) me: She is gazing at the amazing clouds behind her, still in the window. She wears glasses.
(06:00:10 AM) me: She adjusts them on her nose, then blinks a few times, noticing that the guy is still looking at her. She leans closer so that her shadow obscures the reflections from the window and she can look in better.
(06:00:18 AM) me: She tries to read what's on his notepad.
(06:02:40 AM) SilverSerpher: His handwriting is a bit difficult to read from that angle. Looks like the current page is scratch paper for him trying to figure out the crossword that the newspaper's lying open to, though. He smiles a little, noting her attention, and raises his right hand in some semblance of a wave hello. It's the sort of greeting that could easily be returned and left at that, or taken as an invitation; 
(06:02:40 AM) SilverSerpher: he doesn't look adverse to company, and he seems to be eyeing her with as much thoughtful curiosity as she'd looked at him with a moment ago.
(06:04:04 AM) me: She blinks at him and steps away from the window. She turns in a circle, looking at the rest of the street. Something is nagging at her.
(06:04:32 AM) SilverSerpher: He tilts his head a little, simply watching her, wondering.
(06:05:58 AM) me: She goes inside the coffeeshop, taking no subjective time at all. She stands next to him, and looks at the notepad again. She flips up a page.
(06:10:08 AM) SilverSerpher: He sits back in his seat a little, looking up at her, still thoughtful, the lidded drink in his hand. The other page shows a phone number; it looks something like it might be notes on an appointment. Thursday, 8pm, Robin M at theater. He makes no move at all to stop her; if anything, he's inviting her to. "Funny," he says, quietly, the corner of his mouth pulling a little further up into 
(06:10:08 AM) SilverSerpher: a smile. "I had a feeling you would."
(06:11:10 AM) me: She seems startled at his talking.
(06:11:32 AM) me: She picks up the pencil or pen he was using to write and tries it on the paper.
(06:12:07 AM) SilverSerpher: The pencil writes easily; it's a mechanical one with plenty of lead in it and a well-worn but still quite nice eraser.
(06:13:50 AM) me: She scribbles a snarl, and draws a finger across the graphite on the paper, watching it smudge.
(06:14:59 AM) SilverSerpher: He simply continues to observe for a moment, turning in his chair a bit to lean on his elbow, on the edge of the table.
(06:15:35 AM) me: She looks to him, gauging his presence.
(06:16:20 AM) me: "You're not angry about your notepad?"
(06:16:56 AM) SilverSerpher: He seems vaguely preoccupied, trying to figure something out, perhaps about her. "No. It's just paper." A little pause. "You want a drink?"
(06:18:41 AM) me: "No," she says, matter of factly. "I'm not thirsty."
(06:19:00 AM) SilverSerpher: He shrugs a little. "Pastry?"
(06:19:11 AM) me: She looks around the room, examining the coffee counter, looking at the employees and other patrons.
(06:19:37 AM) me: "No," she says so softly as to be a mumble. "Not hungry either."
(06:23:04 AM) SilverSerpher: The other patrons seem mostly absorbed in their own worlds, each only about as big as the table they're at. One employee is sweeping something from the floor into a dustpan discreetly, in the corner. Another is cleaning the espresso machine while there's no one to wait on. The menu above her offers an assortment of desserts and snacks, and sandwiches. Their stock is mostly in the glass case 
(06:23:04 AM) SilverSerpher: on the countertop, while below it is a glass display showing the cooler contents, bottled and canned beverages and foods.
(06:23:05 AM) SilverSerpher: "Hm. Well, you gave me deja vu; I ought to give you something in return, right?"
(06:24:07 AM) me: She looks directly at him. Her eyes are dark, but with shades of other colors flickering in them. They seem unusually large behind the glasses. 
(06:24:24 AM) me: "Do you ever feel," she says, wonderingly, "that the world isn't quite real?"
(06:25:16 AM) SilverSerpher: He hesitates, leans forward a little more, tilting his head to perhaps see her face again. "Not quite real....?"
(06:27:39 AM) me: She reaches out to touch the glass window that she was looking in earlier. Her hand warms up the glass a little.
(06:28:22 AM) me: "Yeah, like..." she drags her hand across the glass. "Like you could just wipe it away."
(06:30:02 AM) SilverSerpher: "Usually when I'm not quite asleep," he admits, his eyes staying on her face, rather than following what she's doing. "You ever have those times when you -know- you've had a conversation with someone, except they don't know anything about it, when you try to bring it up again later? ....or someone tries talking to you about a conversation you didn't have with them?"
(06:30:45 AM) me: She nods, continuing to run her hand across the glass. She presses harder and it makes that low squealing noise.
(06:32:46 AM) SilverSerpher: "And those moments when you -know- something is some way, except... it just isn't?"
(06:35:21 AM) me: "I... those exactly." she looks at him directly again.
(06:35:24 AM) me: "How did you know?"
(06:35:45 AM) SilverSerpher: "Deja vu, remember? I keep thinking we've -had- this conversation before. But... you don't remember it, do you."
(06:35:56 AM) me: She shakes her head.
(06:37:46 AM) me: She grabs his hand, and makes to drag him out the door of the coffeeshop.
(06:38:50 AM) SilverSerpher: "Yeah," he says, softly. "Didn't think so." He lets her take his hand, but he sets his drink down to grab his things first, stuffing them into the messenger bag sitting on the floor beside him. He picks it up, puts its strap over his shoulder, takes his drink again, and then rises to follow her on his own. "Are we going to the park this time too?"
(06:39:06 AM) me: She blinks. "No."
(06:39:22 AM) me: She looks up at the top of the skyscraper, and points with her free hand. "Up there."
(06:40:10 AM) SilverSerpher: He turns to look out the window, to see where she's pointing. "....All right." It was a simple agreement, as though she'd asked nothing out of the ordinary.
(06:40:35 AM) me: She drags him across the street into the lobby of the skyscraper, to a bank of elevators. She punches the call button.
(06:43:49 AM) me: The place is done up in tan marble, with knots of darker stone spattered through it, and white and cream ribbons.
(06:44:27 AM) me: The elevator has a half-circle dial on top showing the floor numbers. There are so many it goes by fives.
(06:47:41 AM) SilverSerpher: He simply follows after her, going wherever it is she insists on going, without questioning it. Well, not exactly questioning it, at any rate. He waits until they're alone in the elevator before he speaks up again. "This has always been here, right?" --as though he wasn't sure of it.
(06:49:03 AM) me: She grins at him, panting from the dash across the street still. Her heart flutters excitedly. "I don't know." She hits the button for the top floor. The doors come shut, a faux wood veneer on the doors.
(06:50:50 AM) SilverSerpher: "Either it has been, and I never really noticed it, or it's a recent thing, then," he muses to himself, taking a deep breath and leaning his head back against the wall as it starts to move. He closes his eyes a brief moment. "Have you seen the bridge down by the museum? I keep wondering if it's supposed to be painted blue."
(06:51:41 AM) me: "Do you think we could see it from the top of the building?" she says. "I love that museum. Whoever decided to put art and science in the same building--just brilliant."
(06:52:26 AM) me: She looks at the progress of the elevator. It's in the low twenties now. The top floor was labelled 58.
(06:52:43 AM) me: "Maybe it will be painted blue by the time we're at the top."
(06:53:27 AM) SilverSerpher: He peeked over at her, smile returning. "Maybe. Or maybe it'll be gray. It seems like it should be gray, don't you think?"
(06:54:49 AM) me: "Red. It's the color of the Hawks." 
(06:55:37 AM) SilverSerpher: "Red?" He frowned a little, considering it. "Hm.... I might've seen it be red before.... I'm not sure."
(06:57:10 AM) me: She blinks completely unassumingly at this. "Interesting."
(06:57:24 AM) me: The elevator clicks into the upper forties, and slows down as it approaches the top.
(07:00:19 AM) SilverSerpher: He stands back up from the wall, adjusts his messenger bag's strap. It's a light thing; it doesn't seem to have much in it, really. "What else should we look for from up here?"
(07:00:50 AM) me: "Impossible things," she says, with an amused lilt in her voice. The elevator comes to a stop.
(07:01:00 AM) me: She grabs his hand again and squeezes it as the door opens.
(07:02:45 AM) SilverSerpher: He sqeezes hers back, smiling absently again, looking to the doors, waiting for them to tuck themselves away before he steps out.
(07:04:10 AM) me: She steps out into a vacated, large meeting room.
(07:06:19 AM) me: Aging folding tables squat in the center of the room, surrounded by stacking chairs upholstered in a somewhat rough black fabrick.
(07:06:24 AM) me: *fabric.
(07:07:47 AM) SilverSerpher: He glances around, but then looks to her, letting her lead the way. He hasn't been in this place before; he has little idea where to go. If she does, he'll follow her.
(07:08:14 AM) me: The entire top floor seems to be this open space, aside from the one elevator and a partially enclosed kitchen area to the left.
(07:08:50 AM) me: It's kind of large and echoey. It has aging dark blue blinds, the kind that run on a track on top and rotate when you pull a string at the side.
(07:09:27 AM) me: She comes to a window, using a chain to pull aside the blinds altogether. "Heh," she says, smiling. "My dentist had these exact same ones."
(07:09:27 AM) SilverSerpher: Which mostly begs the question as to which of them to open, to look out first, doesn't it.
(07:10:11 AM) me: Half of them are rotated so that you can look out through them.
(07:11:36 AM) SilverSerpher: He watches them fly away to the sides of the window as he steps up to it. "Mine had the kind that went up and down, and never kept the sun out of your eyes while you were lying in that stupid chair," he said, looking to her before he turned his attention to the view. There was the main street, there. The river ran... that way...? So the bridge and theater should be about.... there? He 
(07:11:37 AM) SilverSerpher: squinted a little, wondering if his eyes were playing tricks on him or not, and quietly pointed to it, the question left unasked.
(07:13:54 AM) me: It's a little foggy up here, and the sun slants fitfully through the afternoon clouds. Mostly the view is grey. The river runs parallel to the window, slanting a bit towards you on the right and opening up into a harbor. There are the two main bridges; one is a rather stodgy old road bridge; the second is a pedestrian bridge.
(07:14:02 AM) me: it's exciting and new, and probably the one you were talking about.
(07:14:26 AM) me: The construction is partially sculptural concrete, all holey and Gaudi-esque, and partially steel girders and cables.
(07:15:01 AM) me: She squints at it. "Is it... I don't think it's painted. Maybe it -is- grey."
(07:15:11 AM) me: Her face is nearly mashed up against hte window.
(07:15:53 AM) SilverSerpher: "Let's go down later and take a better look, shall we?" He puts up a hand to wipe the fog from his breath off the glass so he can see again.
(07:16:16 AM) me: "The metal is still that stupid 'platinum' finish, I think." She sounds disappointed.
(07:16:31 AM) me: The theater is on this side of the river; the museum is across the pedestrian bridge from it.
(07:17:25 AM) me: It's made that part of town a popular destination. The museum is spectacular, like a Frank Gehry building; the main part is a wacky spiral that forms a concave bowl at the top, with spikes sticking up various distances around the outside.
(07:17:34 AM) me: The theater is a bunch of boxes stacked on top of one another. 
(07:19:28 AM) me: She turns to look at him. "I think we could get up to the roof, maybe."
(07:19:49 AM) SilverSerpher: "Think we could see better from there?" He turns to look at her too.
(07:20:43 AM) me: "Oh yes, definitely."
(07:20:56 AM) me: She turns and goes around to the back of the elevator, which is where the emergency exit staircase is.
(07:20:57 AM) SilverSerpher: "Let's go, then." That took no debating.
(07:21:11 AM) SilverSerpher: He follows quickly after her.
(07:23:00 AM) me: She tries the doorknob, finding it able to open with a convincing shoulder after a bit of jiggling. "They really aren't keeping up this building," she observes. The stair is lit by dingy yellow lights and has a railing painted a flaking red.
(07:23:10 AM) me: She heads up, a slim bag bouncing on her hip.
(07:24:28 AM) SilverSerpher: He lingers to make certain that the door isn't locked from the inside, before heading up after her. No need to get so caught up in the moment that they can't get back inside.
(07:25:22 AM) me: She seems utterly unconcerned about doors being locked behind her, and flounces up the last flight of stairs.
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