The Big Model

Creative Agenda Ephemera Techniques Exploration Social Contract
Diagram - The Big Model
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Social Contract

All interactions and relationships among the role-playing group, including emotional connections, logistic arrangements, and expectations. All role-playing is a subset of the Social Contract.


The imagination of fictional events, established through communicating among one another. Exploration includes five Components: Character, Setting, Situation, System, and Color. See also Shared Imagined Space (a near or total synonym).


Specific procedures of play which, when employed together, are sufficient to introduce fictional characters, places, or events into the Shared Imagined Space. Many different Techniques may be used, in different games, to establish the same sorts of events. A given Technique is composed of a group of Ephemera which are employed together. Taken in their entirety for a given instance of role-playing, Techniques comprise System


Moment- to- moment or sentence- to- sentence actions and statements during play. Combinations of Ephemera often construct Techniques. Changes in Stance represent one example of an Ephemeral aspect of play.

Creative Agenda

The aesthetic priorities and any matters of imaginative interest regarding role-playing. Three distinct Creative Agendas are currently recognized: Step On Up (Gamist), The Right to Dream (Simulationist), and Story Now (Narrativist). This definition replaces all uses of "Premise" in "GNS and other matters of role-playing theory" aside from the specific Creative Agenda of Narrativist play. Creative Agenda is expressed using all Components of Exploration, but most especially System.

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