“Fixing” Everway, part two

Part of the way you know you’re reading a game from the 1990s is Everway‘s use of language. It was relatively progressive for the time in using “his or her” frequently instead of defaulting to the usual “his” (although the singular “their” is still better), but it fails to acknowledge the problems intrinsic in the masculine-gendered term “gamemaster”, so in the interest of being properly inclusive, I’m going with “storyguide” for Glorious and Fearsome.

But there’s another reason. Today’s game designs have the advantage of something that Everway didn’t have: the Czege principle. Paul Czege’s wise observation that having the same person set up a character’s adversity and then also resolve it is unsatisfying rings true in light of the fact that, as mentioned in the previous article, the GM is both the one putting forth challenges to the players, and then deciding how they resolve essentially by fiat when applying either fortune or drama to the situation – that’s two-thirds of the time, at least on paper.

Glorious and Fearsome deals with this imbalance by explicitly codifying the Czege principle into its rule structure in a manner similar to Fiasco: players are given either the opportunity to frame a scene but not decide its resolution, or to hand over the scene framing to the storyguide or another player in exchange for the right to declare the resolution themselves.  For this reason, it’s actually a good thing that Everway decides to explain fortune/karma/drama to the players rather than just the GM: G&F strives to change as little as necessary in updating Everway for a contemporary sensibility.