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Independent Game Forums => Galileo Games => Topic started by: sirogit on February 04, 2008, 08:03:03 PM



Title: [Mortal Coil]Newbie Questions
Post by: sirogit on February 04, 2008, 08:03:03 PM
Hi!

I'm starting a game of Mortal Coil this week, and I had a few questions.

1. When someone proposes a fact like "Vampires Exist", what is the price? Is it a consequence for the vampires? For people who want to use the vampires? For other people? My first instinct is to to suggest that facts be declared as someone's ability, so instead someone should declare "People can turn into Vampires", which is much less ambiguous about who should get the price. Good solution or kludge?

2. Should Magical Facts have any mechanical consequences besides +2/-2 and Conflict Triggers? Case in point, I was thinking of a magical fact along the lines of "Supernatural thing can't get mental therapy from anything but other Supernatural thing because -they're in this thing together!-". Is too much tinkering with the mechanics liable to go awry?

3. Is there any mechanical indication of when a character achieves their stakes?

- Sean Musgrave


Title: Re: [Mortal Coil]Newbie Questions
Post by: Brennan Taylor on February 05, 2008, 03:25:35 AM
Hi! Let me try to answer your questons.

1. When someone proposes a fact like "Vampires Exist", what is the price? Is it a consequence for the vampires? For people who want to use the vampires? For other people? My first instinct is to to suggest that facts be declared as someone's ability, so instead someone should declare "People can turn into Vampires", which is much less ambiguous about who should get the price. Good solution or kludge?

There is always a price for a magical fact. For something like "vampires exist," a price something like "but they must drink human blood every night" would be appropriate. "People can turn into vampires" is a better fact, because it is stating a condition from the get go.

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2. Should Magical Facts have any mechanical consequences besides +2/-2 and Conflict Triggers? Case in point, I was thinking of a magical fact along the lines of "Supernatural thing can't get mental therapy from anything but other Supernatural thing because -they're in this thing together!-". Is too much tinkering with the mechanics liable to go awry?

You can set conditions like you suggest, that's a great way to use facts. The mechanical consequence options are there to create a framework so the group can see scale and how things should roughly work. Don't let them restrict creativity. Remember, everyone gets a veto, so that should serve as a sufficient check on the fact and price setting.

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3. Is there any mechanical indication of when a character achieves their stakes?

Nope, and this is a tricky part of the rules. That is the purview of the GM. When you reach a point in the conflict where it looks like a character achieved their stakes, it's the GM's job to say so and describe what happens.


Title: Re: [Mortal Coil]Newbie Questions
Post by: sirogit on February 12, 2008, 11:16:38 PM
Heya.

I figured I'd ask a few more questions on the same post. Feel free to tell me to 'knock it off' if that isn't how you like this forum.

1. I'm curious as for the reasons that the book strongly pushes for 'supporting characters written down, just like players' - Its not too uncommon of an idea, but I'm still curious of the thoughts that went in with, possibly along with comparative experiences of NPCs being written and not being written down. I have some resistance to the idea based on the concept that 'NPCs we've thought up now shouldn't be overly-prioritized over NPCs that pop up however in play'. but I'm still grappling with the idea.

2. Where's your preferred place for posting of actual play?


Title: Re: [Mortal Coil]Newbie Questions
Post by: Brennan Taylor on February 14, 2008, 04:31:02 AM
I figured I'd ask a few more questions on the same post. Feel free to tell me to 'knock it off' if that isn't how you like this forum.

Ask away! I'm not picky.

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1. I'm curious as for the reasons that the book strongly pushes for 'supporting characters written down, just like players' - Its not too uncommon of an idea, but I'm still curious of the thoughts that went in with, possibly along with comparative experiences of NPCs being written and not being written down. I have some resistance to the idea based on the concept that 'NPCs we've thought up now shouldn't be overly-prioritized over NPCs that pop up however in play'. but I'm still grappling with the idea.

I emphasize that so that the NPCs mentioned in theme creation are readily available for the GM after the game begins. It's really just to reduce the GM's work load during the session.

At conventions, I rarely stat out any NPCs until I am actually using them, and that generally works just fine.

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2. Where's your preferred place for posting of actual play?

Here at the Forge is great, but if you want to post it on RPGNet or somewhere else, that's fine with me. Just let me know when you put one up, I love to read them!
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Title: Re: [Mortal Coil]Newbie Questions
Post by: sirogit on February 15, 2008, 10:24:13 AM
More questions!

1. If players are tied in magic tokens, who sets the price for a GM introduced magical fact? I just rolled a die and made who's number came up to do it. Is there a better option?

2. Helping actions seem kind of weak. In the example given, wouldn't the character have been better off just getting the artifact themself? That way, if they win they -will- get the artifact, no question, and if they lose they won't hinder their buddy's attempt. It seems like the main benefit would be in combining margins of success, but would that be really worthwhile? It seems like far more effective teamwork would be to try to both attack an opponent with whatever actions in order to make him split his pools.

3. The text seems to imply that Power tokens allow you to narrarate very momentary kinds of facts while magic tokens allow you to make more permanent additions in a supernatural vein. Is that an important feature? Should I stop a player from using a Power Token to introduce a simillarly permanent fact that happens to be non-supernatural?


Title: Re: [Mortal Coil]Newbie Questions
Post by: Brennan Taylor on February 18, 2008, 09:29:29 AM
1. If players are tied in magic tokens, who sets the price for a GM introduced magical fact? I just rolled a die and made who's number came up to do it. Is there a better option?

Flipping a coin works as well. Your solution is fine, just make sure everyone is cool with how it's decided. In my games, we don't run into trouble very often as player-controlled facts are usually done as a group. That's not how it's described in the rules, but that's generally how it's worked in play.

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2. Helping actions seem kind of weak. In the example given, wouldn't the character have been better off just getting the artifact themself? That way, if they win they -will- get the artifact, no question, and if they lose they won't hinder their buddy's attempt. It seems like the main benefit would be in combining margins of success, but would that be really worthwhile? It seems like far more effective teamwork would be to try to both attack an opponent with whatever actions in order to make him split his pools.

I agree. Helping is often not the best strategy as the rules are written. I'm more of a fan of multiple actions generally.

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3. The text seems to imply that Power tokens allow you to narrarate very momentary kinds of facts while magic tokens allow you to make more permanent additions in a supernatural vein. Is that an important feature? Should I stop a player from using a Power Token to introduce a simillarly permanent fact that happens to be non-supernatural?

That's pretty much up to your playstyle. I try to keep the non-magical facts to a minimum in my games, but you can play quite effectively with more narrative power in this mechanic.