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Independent Game Forums => Adept Press => Topic started by: Marhault on August 24, 2007, 10:59:08 AM



Title: Lighting a Black Fire
Post by: Marhault on August 24, 2007, 10:59:08 AM
Ron,

I’m putting together a game of Black Fire, ‘cause it looks awesome.  Most of the questions I had after reading the text were asked and answered in prior threads.  (For reference, here are the good ones, the second one is hard to find: Black Fire, you can never have too many buckles (http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=9972.0) and Black Fire - developing for play test (http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=6827.0))  I do still have a couple things I want to run by you though, so here goes.

Playing Up - “1. Any characters who failed to achieve a Goal in the previous Playing In phase meet their fates.”  This means anyone who rolled for and lost a Goal, right?  I read it wrong on my first way through and was imagining a horrible millstone of despair.

Storymaps - Am I right in saying that the group essentially creates the storymaps blind, and then the GM has the option to assign them to whatever Goal or Monster he pleases?  Does the GM have final say as to what makes into the final version of a storymap?  It occurs to me that there should probably be extra storymaps generated so that when goals are added later there’s still some mystery as to what the goal will entail.

PC vs PC Conflict - I find the wording about Target Numbers confusing.  Is the Target Number for an attack provided by the attacking or defending characters current goal?  I think it’s the defending characters, but wanted to be sure, since I can imagine reasons for either.

Vows - “Achieving a Vow earns the player-character a Black Point, and the Goal in question is considered failed.”  Are Vows something you roll for, then?  I had imagined that you took in-game actions to prevent the Goal from being achieved.  If you do roll for them, are there consequences for failure?

Oh, and I think a successful Vow should mean you trade seats with your victim.  Since players don’t all draw dice at the same time, seating is very important.  This would balance that somewhat in a fun, competitive way.  The player to the GMs left gets first crack at dice, but becomes a target.

Was any art ever completed for the project?  I know it was in the works at one point.  I think the visuals are awesome, and would love to see sketches or whatnot, if they’re available.  Do you have any comments or suggestions?  Anything we should pay special attention to, or ideas you want us to try out?


Title: Re: Lighting a Black Fire
Post by: Ron Edwards on August 24, 2007, 07:56:51 PM
Yeesh! That's a blast from the past.

I'll try to come up with reasonable answers, although I'll be first to say that certain elements of what you're asking about were black-boxed, to be developed later if the larger-scale issues worked out OK.

As for art, I did commission some, but never received it. Too bad. I loves my skulls & buckles, and I still have very clear mental images of what my player-characters for the game would look like.

Best, Ron


Title: Re: Lighting a Black Fire
Post by: Ron Edwards on August 27, 2007, 11:34:57 AM
Hello,

I hope this gets to you in time for your game.

Quote
Playing Up - “1. Any characters who failed to achieve a Goal in the previous Playing In phase meet their fates.”  This means anyone who rolled for and lost a Goal, right?  I read it wrong on my first way through and was imagining a horrible millstone of despair.

You are correct. If a character didn't try for a Goal, then this step isn't important for him or her.

Quote
Storymaps - Am I right in saying that the group essentially creates the storymaps blind, and then the GM has the option to assign them to whatever Goal or Monster he pleases?  Does the GM have final say as to what makes into the final version of a storymap?  It occurs to me that there should probably be extra storymaps generated so that when goals are added later there’s still some mystery as to what the goal will entail.

I think the original plan was as follows:

1. Start by listing all Goals that were announced during the previous Playing In phase, and placing them on the world map.

2. Then generate very brief storymaps for the Goals, which are basically relationship maps with some situational and emotional details, by going around the table. The maps should be pretty small, about five people at most, maybe.

3. Then the GM takes them and finalizes each one per Goal, treating everyone's input as suggestions, so although everyone hears all the suggestions, what the GM probably uses is a bit simpler, a subset of what was offered, and maybe with a tweak or two of his own. He shouldn't make it bigger and more complicated.

That's kind of interesting, but the next part seems kind of clunky to me: to do yet another storymapping step: make up monsters and then storymap each one all over again. Maybe it could even be done by players privately, one player to a monster, and then the players hand the monster storymaps to the GM, or something like that. That way a given player is familiar with the map for a given monster, but may not be the person who faces it.

I like the idea of a monster, with its storymap, superimposed on a Goal, with its storymap, and slowly destroying it. That strikes me as a neat way to prep a scenario.

Quote
PC vs PC Conflict - I find the wording about Target Numbers confusing.  Is the Target Number for an attack provided by the attacking or defending characters current goal?  I think it’s the defending characters, but wanted to be sure, since I can imagine reasons for either.

Whew! I can answer this. It should be the attacking character's goal, with the implication that one is motivated primarily by that goal and trying to get through the other character to do it.

On the other hand, now that you've mentioned that it could be the defending character's goal, my mind says, "Hey, that could work," but I am suppressing the impulse. The attacking character uses his or her own goal target number as his or her own target number when attacking another player-character.

Quote
Vows - “Achieving a Vow earns the player-character a Black Point, and the Goal in question is considered failed.”  Are Vows something you roll for, then?  I had imagined that you took in-game actions to prevent the Goal from being achieved.  If you do roll for them, are there consequences for failure?

I figured that one cannot prevent a Goal from being achieved without having to face some kind of adversity that requires a roll. To prevent another player-character from killing some guy, for instance, you could kill him yourself, defeat the other player-character when he tries, or any number of other things. I can't really imagine how one might prevent a player-character's Goal from happening without having to roll at some point in the process. You're right that the text should say so.

Quote
Oh, and I think a successful Vow should mean you trade seats with your victim.  Since players don’t all draw dice at the same time, seating is very important.  This would balance that somewhat in a fun, competitive way.  The player to the GMs left gets first crack at dice, but becomes a target.

That's a good suggestion! I did in fact want seating to matter greatly, so shuffling it a little bit is a great reward mechanic.

As a final point, I always thought of this as a six-to-eight person game, in order for seating to matter and for multiple simultaneous resolution to be a really shattering series of events. I don't really think of it as working with only three or four people total. However, I don't have any real experience in judging this assumption. How many people do you think you'll have?

Straps! Tatters! Let the gaming commence!

Best, Ron


Title: Re: Lighting a Black Fire
Post by: Marhault on August 28, 2007, 11:05:51 AM
Ron,

Great!  Thanks for the help!  There's still plenty of time before the game.

Whew! I can answer this. It should be the attacking character's goal, with the implication that one is motivated primarily by that goal and trying to get through the other character to do it.

On the other hand, now that you've mentioned that it could be the defending character's goal, my mind says, "Hey, that could work," but I am suppressing the impulse. The attacking character uses his or her own goal target number as his or her own target number when attacking another player-character.

Darn.  I liked it better the other way.

Quote
Vows - “Achieving a Vow earns the player-character a Black Point, and the Goal in question is considered failed.”  Are Vows something you roll for, then?  I had imagined that you took in-game actions to prevent the Goal from being achieved.  If you do roll for them, are there consequences for failure?

I figured that one cannot prevent a Goal from being achieved without having to face some kind of adversity that requires a roll. To prevent another player-character from killing some guy, for instance, you could kill him yourself, defeat the other player-character when he tries, or any number of other things. I can't really imagine how one might prevent a player-character's Goal from happening without having to roll at some point in the process. You're right that the text should say so.

Actually, that's not quite what I meant.  My real, underlying question was supposed to be "Do Vows get difficulty numbers assigned to them the way Goals and Monsters do?".  Reading your answer, though, I realize that they don't because only storymapped things get difficulty numbers.

Quote
Oh, and I think a successful Vow should mean you trade seats with your victim.  Since players don’t all draw dice at the same time, seating is very important.  This would balance that somewhat in a fun, competitive way.  The player to the GMs left gets first crack at dice, but becomes a target.

That's a good suggestion! I did in fact want seating to matter greatly, so shuffling it a little bit is a great reward mechanic.

If the group's amenable, we might try it that way then.

Quote
As a final point, I always thought of this as a six-to-eight person game, in order for seating to matter and for multiple simultaneous resolution to be a really shattering series of events. I don't really think of it as working with only three or four people total. However, I don't have any real experience in judging this assumption. How many people do you think you'll have?

Well, right now we've got four total.  We may pull in a couple more, but I don't see us getting up to eight people.  I see seating as mattering mostly at the point where the Black Pool dwindles.  This will happen faster in a larger game, but I think the punch would still be there.  Especially since Twisting the Knife hurts everybody equally.  Am I missing something?

Quote
Straps! Tatters! Let the gaming commence!

Best, Ron

Hell yeah!

[edited by me to fix quoting format - RE]


Title: Re: Lighting a Black Fire
Post by: Marhault on August 28, 2007, 11:07:40 AM
I totally screwed up the quote tags in that last post.  The paragraph immediately following the second quote box is Ron's.


Title: Re: Lighting a Black Fire
Post by: Ron Edwards on August 28, 2007, 06:42:28 PM
Fixed the quotes!

You're right, the Vow isn't assigned its own target number.

I think I know why I set up the target numbers for player-player combat the way I did. The Goals are a big deal, in the game, and relative to winning. I wanted to reward striving for them, and making people think twice about getting in the way of characters who have them. Otherwise, the winning tactic would be to hang back and not state Goals, then Vow to stop people who have them. But if the Goal target number is high, then look out - that guy is going to be hard to stop.

Best, Ron