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The Lumpley Principle (also known as the Baker-Care Principle or the Baker-Boss Principle,[1] or written in lowercase as the lumpley principle[2]) is a principle in role-playing game theory relating to role-playing systems and the concept of role-playing as a social activity. It was developed by Vincent Baker (aka lumpley) and Emily Care Boss, and the name was coined by Ron Edwards in 2002 on The Forge.[2]

Formulations of the modelEdit

The Lumpley Principle has many different formulations.

Emily Care Boss's version of the principle is:

The fictional events of play in a role-playing game are dependent on the consensus of the players involved in order to be accepted as having occurred. All formal and informal rules, procedures, discussion, interactions and activities which form this consensus comprise the full system used in play.[1]

Vincent Baker has stated the principle as:

When someone declares that something happens in the game, it becomes true when everyone assents to it, and under no other conditions.[3]

The Principle was used by Ron Edwards to define the term system in the jargon of The Big Model. This is now one of the most commonly quoted versions of the Principle (although it is not strictly a statement of the principle itself):

System (including but not limited to 'the rules') is defined as the means by which the group agrees to imagined events during play.[1][3][4]

Vincent Baker sometimes states this definition of system as:

However your group decides what happens in play, that's your system.[3]

CriticismEdit

Commenting in September 2019, Avery Alder said:

"In my opinion, game design culture has evolved to a place where The Lumpley Principle no longer needs explicit statement. Individual designers have repeatedly pushed notions of how games are structured, what is included with them, and how player agency interacts with rules outcomes. The field is more expansive now."[5]

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Emily Care Boss. "Terms". Black and Green Games. Retrieved 2020-01-05.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Moreno Roncucci. "The lumpley principle". The Forge. Retrieved 2020-01-05.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Vincent Baker (2012-11-21). "Positioning: Some Looly Pooly Groundwork". anyway. Retrieved 2020-01-05.
  4. Rob Edwards (2004-05-08). "The Provisional Glossary". The Forge. Retrieved 2020-01-05.
  5. Avery Alder (2019-09-07). Tweet "APPENDIX EXCLUSIVELY INTENDED FOR PEOPLE WHO PARTICIPATED IN THE FORGE AND MIGHT HAVE THEIR OWN OPINIONS ON THE MATTER". Twitter. Retrieved 2020-01-05.
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