The Threefold model of RPG systems and gameplay
There's been a lot of discussion and confusion regarding RPG systems and whatnot on the AEGIS mailing list. I've actually had to read through a more complex explanation of the Threefold model of RPG systems elsewhere, and here's what I've gotten (from a site that specializes in game definitions).


The common name for the theory of roleplaying motivations propounded by Ron Edwards, GNS was originally presented in his article "System Does Matter" at Gaming Outpost, reprinted in the text of The Sorceror RPG and preserved at The Forge web site. Initially built on the Threefold Model, it changed the name of the Dramatist to the Narrativist to avoid confusion with Jonathan Tweet's identified Drama mechanics concept. However, proponents of the Threefold model claimed that the Gamist, Narrativist, and Simulationist categories he defined were distinctly different from those of their model.

The model has been modified, clarified, and extended such that the gamist/narrativist/simulationist aspect (now called Creative Agenda) is presented as the link between the social interaction of the players and the events within the game.

The Threefold model applies the term strictly to decision points in the game, while the GNS model uses it more broadly, and applies it to elements of game design. It is commonly used to apply to gamers and games. By some definitions, both gamists and dramatists are just sub-categories of the simulationist.

Threefold (proper n.), also Threefold model, Three-fold.

A theoretical model that classifies the decisions made in roleplaying games along the dramatist, gamist and simulationist axes.

While the formal model only applies to decision points, and not tendencies or patterns of behavior, it is commonly used to classify both role-players and roleplaying games, often in a negative fashion. This runs contrary to the original model, which is intended to demonstrate that there are different, but equally valid, ways to roleplay.

Gamist (n., pl. gamists), also gamism.

Someone who makes a decision in a roleplaying game based on what will make the most effective challenge.

The gamist belongs to one of the three axes of the Threefold and the GNS models, along with the dramatist (or narrativist) and the simulationist. The Threefold model applies the term strictly to decision points in the game, while the GNS model uses it more broadly, and applies it to elements of game design. It is commonly used to apply to gamers and games.

In contrast to a dramatist, the gamist has a tendency to "let the dice fall as they may", and won't fudge things to ensure that the player characters win. In contrast to the simulationist, the gamist has a tendency to ensure that encounters are a fair match for an adventuring party, instead of basing them entirely on what would be realistic in the setting.

Dramatist (n., pl. dramatists), also dramatism.
Narrativist (n., pl. narrativists), also narrativism.

Someone who makes a decision in a roleplaying game based on what will make the most dramatic story.

Dramatists / Narrativists often favor metagame mechanics to ensure that dramatic things happen. This can include preventing character death or giving bonuses based on how well the player describes an action.

Simulationist (n., pl. simulationists), also simulationism.

Someone who makes a decision in a roleplaying game based on what would really happen in the world.

Simulationists usually enjoy exploring the world or the setting. They are world-oriented, and frequently have high standards of realism or versimilitude to help sustain the suspension of disbelief.
Painful to someone who's an avid reading, a sometimes writer, and friend to several who make a great bulk of their living from writing... I have to say that in Philippine Politics, I lean towards this philosophy.

So much of local politics is about the soundbite or motherhood statements: "I want what is good for the Filipino."

Ah yes. The Filipino, the common good, the benefit of all.

How do I know you mean what you say Ms. Politician? How can I be sure that your posturing isn't all a buncha hot air, Mr. Politician?

How do I know that you know "what is good for the Filipino"? Does your version of the common good include the common people? What qualifies you to decide what policies or activities will benefit all?
Humourous Music
I used to listen to Dr. Demento on the radio when I used to live in the California Bay Area... there were all these humor recordings that he'd play on his timeslot, and I'd always try to listen to it from 10pm to 12midnight. Here's a sample of the lyrics from The Drunk Scotsman.

The Scotsman

Now the Scotsman, clad in kilt, left the bar one evening fair.
One could tell, by the way he walked, he'd drunk more than his share.
He fumbled 'round until no longer could he keep his feet.
So he stumbled off into the grass to sleep beside the street.

About that time two young and lovely girls just happened by.
One said to the other, with a twinkle in her eye -
"See yon' sleeping Scotsman, so strong and handsome built.
I wonder if it's true what they don't wear beneath the kilt"?

Well, they crept upon the sleeping Scotsman as quiet as could be
Lifted up his kilt about an inch so they could see.
And there, behold, for them to view beneath his Scottish skirt
Was nothing more than God had graced him with upon his birth.

Now they marveled for a moment then one said we must be gone
But let's leave a present for our friend before we move along.
As a gift they left a blue silk ribbon tied into a bow
Around the bonnie star the Scotsman's kilt when lifted showed.

Now the Scotsman woke to nature's call and stumbled toward to trees
Behind a bush he raised his kilt and gasped at what he sees
And in a startled voice he said to what's before his eyes
"Lad, I don't know where you've been but I see you won first prize."
Need a Calculator?
Look no further than Google! Just type in 13*4 into the Google field to the left and see the result!

If you doubt me, look here.
Just got back from my trip to San Fernando, La Union for the Rang-Ay Bank annual stockholders meeting. It's really something of a reunion, though. Many of the stockholders are relatives, you see.

One of the things I really take from my trips there is seeing how my relatives move on with their lives; the decisions that they make, how they deal with their consequences, and the enduring acceptance of the family.

One of my older cousins is taking up nursing, and looking to get out of this country by October. One of my titos is doing the same thing, but is a bit further behind in studying nursing. Many folks who have been staunchly for the Philippines and for supporting the people of La Union and Ilocanos in general have been seriously considering sending their children out of the country for a better life.

I learned about how local government employees... supplement their income... from the gossip of my relatives. I watched one of my lolas struggle with being old - not just walking around, but remembering things from moment to moment. She sometimes remembers me right away, minutes later she can't remember my name or whose son I am.

One of my lolos still smokes regularly. At the age of 82, he goes up to La Union via bus to get his dividends, then heads back down to manila. He doesn't listen to all the folks who've told him to stop drinking and smoking - he says he's outlived too many of them. Besides, if you take his cigarettes and alcohol from him, what else is left for him to do? Every year enjoyed is a triumph at his age.

I look at all the development and wonder how the times will change La Union. Already there are plans for malls...