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Independent Game Forums => Muse of Fire Games => Topic started by: Dominic Claveau on June 24, 2008, 03:24:28 AM



Title: Upper limit to players number
Post by: Dominic Claveau on June 24, 2008, 03:24:28 AM
Hi,

my first idea was to post this under "Is Capes good for..." but I feared it would be considered theadjacking. Also, if this question as already been answered, I invite you to give me a link to the previous thread.

So, here it is : Is there an upper limit to the number of players in a game of Capes ? By this I mean ; at wich number of participants does it become too much to manage on a purely practical level ?

I was playing with the idea of starting an open-table game of Capes for wich I would invite between 8 and 12 people, but would only play with those able to be present. For example, I would like to make Wednesday our Capes night and play with whoever shows up each Wednesday. My hope is that it will result in a few regular players and the rest bringing their own recurrent characters, much like guest appearance. But what if, say, 10 people show up ? Should I offer to "split" the game ? With people switching tables between scences, if they feel so inclined ?

la prochaine,
Dom


Title: Re: Upper limit to players number
Post by: Hans on June 24, 2008, 05:20:20 AM
I've played with six.  (I think Tony's words to me when I ran it for 6 at GenCon were something like "You're running it with 6 people?  You're a DEMON, Hans!").  It's not optimal.  There are just too many different things to juggle (I had three different "batons" being passed around, for scene starter, action, and reaction) and people will sometims sit too long between turns.  However, it can be done, and it is fun with the right group.  Thus, I would say 6 is the upper limit.  This counts you, of course, since there is no GM. 

That being said, if you have lots of people who have never played before, and you personally are experienced with Capes, you may want to just "manage" the game for the first couple of scenes if there are 4+ players (i.e. keep track of whose action/reaction it is, remind people of their legal options, help with keeping rules straight, etc.).  Once people are into the vibe, you can join in at the start of a scene.

More than 6 players, and I would break into two tables, mixing it up occasionally during the gaming session.

Four and half people is the sweet spot, in my experience.  Both four and five have advantages and disadvantages that sort of cancel each other out.

Two is impossible.  Three is good, but not as good as four.


Title: Re: Upper limit to players number
Post by: Dominic Claveau on June 24, 2008, 01:01:47 PM
Thanks for your reply Hans. It has confirmed what I suspected. I don't have a big experience with Capes... yet. Let's just say that some of the people who I usually play with are not really at ease with the shared authority and the idea of conflict resolution instead of task resolution.

Well, for now, I've only been able to play 4 times and on 3 occasions, it was a 2 players game. My experience with 2 players was in fact pretty good, even though it is a bit longer to kick off and that you don't have a big surprise as to whom will confront you. But it kinda helped to "teach" the game.

I just hope that my idea of "Capes Night" will help me run sessions of at least three players each week.


Title: Re: Upper limit to players number
Post by: TonyLB on June 29, 2008, 11:17:05 AM
But what if, say, 10 people show up ? Should I offer to "split" the game ? With people switching tables between scences, if they feel so inclined ?
I've found that this works way better than with most games ... especially if the two tables are within a distance that lets them hear screams of outrage.  When you're trucking along, and feeling a bit overwhelmed, and suddenly you hear the other table absolutely break up and somebody yells "You detonate the bomb?  But that's CRAZY!" it really inspires you to come up with something to top whatever the heck they're doing over there.  They don't get to be cooler than your table!


Title: Re: Upper limit to players number
Post by: Dominic Claveau on June 29, 2008, 03:21:09 PM
You raise a truly good point there Tony ! I tend to underestimate the competitive possibilities of Capes. I just thought that both tables could compete as you mentionned, but you could also try to convince a player who has lots of inspiration and story tokens to move to your table to give you a hand against a player/character/situation at your table. Playing this way would be great to evoke cross-over comics ; be it, for example, X-men and Avengers or even DC and Marvel. The player could then go back to his table and introduce events from the other storyline by using the inspirations gained.

Speaking of wich, do you have suggestions to keep track of inspirations in big games ? I don't know if it's my lack of experience with the game, but I tend to forget where inspirations came from and thus, miss the opportunity to link conflicts. And, as an aside, do you keep a record of what goes on in your games ? For now, we spend a lot of time figuring out how to play the rules and the stories mostly emerge when we take time to talk about the game once the session is finished.

I believe that it would be even more confusing with big tables of novice players. Hans suggested that the person who knows the game better should "manage" at first. This gave me the idea of taking the role of Editor. The Editor would simply keep track of what's going on and could bring editor's notes to the imaginary reader. The Editor couldn't make any changes to the narration itself though, since that would turn him in a GM.

Anyway, I'm still thining about this.


Title: Re: Upper limit to players number
Post by: TonyLB on June 30, 2008, 06:50:34 AM
Speaking of wich, do you have suggestions to keep track of inspirations in big games ?
I write a conflict ("Kill Trish Trixby!") down on an index card ... then when it's finished, I write the value of the resulting inspiration right on the card, and that's the marker.  When you're going through later, you can say "Oh yeah, I got 6 points of villainous inspiration through the brutal murder of Trish Trixby ... time to use that to really reinforced the hurt on this beleaguered hero!"


Title: Re: Upper limit to players number
Post by: Dominic Claveau on June 30, 2008, 09:53:12 AM
Just to clarify : Is it the same index card as the conflict or one that you keep especially for this ? Because, I thought that if it is the same as the conflict, it also could be used to keep track of who spent debt, from wich drive and so on, helping to create an "issue synopsis" la With Great Power... I really liked this feature and am thinking about doing something similar for Capes.


Title: Re: Upper limit to players number
Post by: Hans on June 30, 2008, 10:49:36 AM
I typically write a lot of this stuff on the Conflict cards as well. For example, I'll write "Speedball: Justice" and draw a little arrow to the stack of debt from that character. 

The only downside to Tony's method of tracking Inspriations is that it is possible for more than one player to receive Inspirations from the Conflict (pg 30, w/errata).  But you obviously have a pile of index cards sitting around, so you can always just write it down quickly on another card when that happens.

We have typically used the Inspiration tracking sheets that can be tracked down on the Muse of Fire website.


Title: Re: Upper limit to players number
Post by: TonyLB on July 09, 2008, 04:34:59 AM
I usually use index cards within an episode, then the inspiration tracking sheet between episodes:  I'll take the snow-drift of inspirations, and consolidate it all down onto a sheet for next week.


Title: Re: Upper limit to players number
Post by: Dominic Claveau on July 09, 2008, 07:42:46 PM
Tony, do you also keep a debt and story tokens record between weeks ?


Title: Re: Upper limit to players number
Post by: TonyLB on July 16, 2008, 03:58:39 AM
Yeah:  For campaign play, what I've done is use the Flash character generator to print out multiple copies of the same character sheet ... we destructively use one copy for each scene.  Then, when the scene is done, you can mark down the debt right there inside the circles, and when you go to prep the character for the next scene, you carry forward the debt.

Our little book of used character sheets, together with the paper inspiration logs, actually gives an interesting log of the campaign.  "Oh yeah ... that was the time when Minerva went plum loco because of how she accidentally destroyed her entire future ... she was hugely over-drawn for like three sessions.  Heh.  Good times, good times."