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Norming

Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years, 5 months ago

Once the essential conflicts have been largely resolved, the group passes through the Storm and into the calm afterwards that we call "Norming." Some members may have left the group, but those who remain will start to get along. After the chaos of Storming, members may be somewhat tentative with one another again as they were in the Forming stage. But their politeness is different this time; in the Forming stage, they are generally polite as they would be with anyone, but in this Norming stage they know each-other more personally, and so take account of one another's personal sensitivities. They are perhaps too polite with each-other – things go along smoothly, but still not a lot is achieved, people being reluctant to take initiatives outside their normal range of action. The group structure which was established in the Storming stage is strongly respected at this point.

 

Example of Norming

Anna and Bob have spent a lot of time missing lectures and discussing magic in the game world. Bob has adjusted a lot of the spells, and he and Anna have come to a compromise, where magic can do a lot of exciting things, but it won't slay an evil overlord in a single die roll. So Bob gets to have some magic, while Anna doesn't have it dominate her campaign.

 

Anna: "Okay, Bob, your turn. Half the orcs are down but there are still six of them up and angry."

Bob: "Actually it's Charlie's turn, he rolled higher than me in initiative."

Charlie: "That's okay I hold my action until after Bob."

Dave: "Anyone want some cola?"

Erika: "Thankyou, Dave, but I don't drink cola, it has too many preservatives."

Dave: "Yes, I know. That's why I got this wheatgrass juice for you."

Erika: "Oh, lovely!"

 

The group is getting along well, and taking account of one another's sensitivities and needs, but things move slowly and not much gets done, and the game really has got no zing. They have Normed.

 

Many game groups are quite content to remain in this stage forever. Unfortunately, it can lead to Stagnation, and not much will get achieved in the game session. A group of Casual Gamers will be especially happy in this stage. They're not actually there to game, gaming is just the excuse to get together with people they like. So whether the party slays the dragon, is slain by the dragon, just sits in the inn for a week, or characters have deep relationships or get bigger swords, nobody really cares – "we hung out and had fun." In this case, we might say that the group is Norming in terms of roleplaying, but Performing in terms of friendships. If someone wishes the group to be Performing in terms of some other goal - intense rolepaying, etc - they may have to use one of the methods listed in Stagnation to move the group back into Storming, so they can rearrange themselves, pass through that new chaos, into Norming again and then into Performing.

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