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.

9 thoughts on “Day 25: Do you like your scene framing hard, harder, or hardest? What’s the very hardest you’ve had your scene framed?”

  1. I am entirely happy to be doing it wrong. Like, to me? A dungeon problem is admittedly a weak prompt to action, but it’ll do if that’s all that’s needed, since the goal is to keep the action going to interesting places.

    Scene framing with a dramatic goal other than that feels overly-directed to me, like a clever railroad built on theme instead of plot or some shit like that.

  2. Levi Kornelsen yeah I’m not a fan of explicit dramatic goals either, unless we’re talking intent/consequences type resolution. Assuming we’re both talking about the same thing.

  3. I realized recently that the biggest problem with the sessions I GM is that I sometimes only half-frame the scene, which leads to players (and even their characters) just sitting around discussing what to do next.

  4. It’s fascinating to me how much of the conversation around this ends up being about action orientation as the presumed natural default of games.

    Also, how much of it is in table-top standard. Like, how much this changes when you are talking FATE vs. Montsegur vs. Fiasco vs. Microscope.

  5. If I understand the term, it’s crazy broad. If you try to talk about it in general, I can see why it would default to something that’s a bit action and a bit trad. It’s a broadly shared experience, and it leads to a broad discussion (maybe too broad).

    I think.

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