I’ve been thinking about the old “GNS” axis in terms of the 7th Sea game that my friend Scott Olson runs.
Scott is definitely heavy on the S side of the Gamist-Narrativist-Simulationist side of the spectrum, based on the one and a half sessions I’ve had under him as a GM. Scott is very big on the details, of getting those details right and consistent.
For example, while a more narrativist style GM (like, say, me) might handwave things like seasickness on the sea trip that the party is on, or suggest that it happened, Scott made us roll–and even put a modifier on a PC who had stated he had been drinking.
His attention to detail on things that he knows quite a bit about–the shape and specifics of the ship, of weapons that our characters were looking over to buy, and so forth, are very “S” as well. Scott cares, and makes you care about the small differences.
Its somewhat a change from the more Narrativist GMs that I play under–Gal Ren is completely N, for example and character driven as opposed to GM driven, at that.
SB might be a little more top down than many of the other games in its weight class, but I admit that I handwave some details when they don’t contribute to the story. But I do like to have a consistent background and a world behind that story, which gives me, I think, some shadings of S. For example, I recently detailed the minutae of House Hendrake’s ranking system, not because its that likely the players will care overmuch, but because I wanted the consistency and regularity of same.
Still, to play under Scott as opposed to the more N games I am used to does take some getting used to.