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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

[Open Design] Using Syllogisms to drive GM action

Taking an example from , here is a syllogism:

Major Premise: All cars have wheels.

Minor Premise: I drive a car.

Conclusion: My car has wheels.

For now, while I play with the basic idea, I'm ignoring the distinction between major and

minor premises.

Let's say you had a set of premises that described some aspects of your setting. You

could drive "GM" decisions by creating syllogisms out of these premises. These syllogisms

would guide and drive your content, acting as boundaries.

An analogy: 

Creating the content of your adventure is like coloring in a coloring book. When you color,

you try to stay within the lines or boundaries. Syllogisms are the equivalent of those

coloring book lines.


Not everything can or should be driven by syllogisms.  Some things should fall under what

I’ve coined as Baseline Assumptions-- a fuzzy concept that I describe as “things about the

setting which are unremarkable to you”.

So, given all that, here are some questions I’m pondering:

  •  How should you adjudicate what falls under the umbrella of Basic Assumptions about a setting
  • Conversely, how do you decide what should be dominated by premises?

Assuming, you’ve figured out for yourself what should fall under each domain, there are

other things that you might worry about:

  •  How do you judge whether the content you’ve created has stayed within the boundaries defined by the syllogisms?
  • What is a fair way to expand those boundaries when needed? In other words, how do you evolve existing premises or create new ones?

 Some ideas on the last question:

  •  Trade a mechanical success, 1-for-1, to modify a premise or introduce a new premise.
  • Or, maybe create an economy with “currency” that you use to “buy” or modify premises. For example, trade a mechanical success, 1-for-1, for currency.

This is all I have for now.

Note: I’m basically re-visiting an aspect of #writingwithdice, which I call Principles. Maybe there is a cleaner and simpler way of doing that.

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