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Inactive Forums => Chimera Creative => Topic started by: marknau on January 28, 2003, 11:33:18 AM



Title: Seeking Dealer Advice
Post by: marknau on January 28, 2003, 11:33:18 AM
I plan on Dealing a DD session using the sample scenario. My players will all be veteran RPGers, but they are all used to the GM-as-sole-director paradigm. I feel totally prepared in presenting the idea of a game that is structured differently, and feel they will have little trouble accepting the concept and will want to give it a try. But that also means I'm feeling some pressure to get it right.

My main question is how "open" all of the information should be. Should all the players fully know all the details of the other players? Should I present all the "known" facts of the scenario relatively early on, and let everyone build from there, or should I hold some in reserve as a spur for later play?

How did those of you more experienced in this style of play handle the sample scenario?


Title: Seeking Dealer Advice
Post by: Mike Holmes on January 28, 2003, 01:10:56 PM
Heck, make several copies of each character (along with the situation summary) and give one to each player. Just so he can find out everything he needs to know without bugging the other players. ;-)

That's my cute way of saying that hidden information of any sort is antithetical to this sort of play. Not only shoudn't you limit it at all, you should consider ways of gatting the information disseminated, possibly (the opposite of standard play). At the very least there should be an atomosphere of openness. For several reasons. The standard line is that by having more information players can make better informed decisions about the best way to protray the story (both in normal narration, and when it becomes their turn to narrate outcomes with the high card). While this is true, there exists another subtler reason in this case.

If you present player information as you usually do in most RPGs, limiting it to just what the character knows, then they will assume that play should go as standard with their main considerations being either "winning" (so to speak) or "what my character would do". Neither of which is what you want. You want them to be thinking in terms of "what would be coolest given the entire situation and all the characters." As such, giving them the information will inform them that the game is not about discovering each other's secrets and exploiting them. But rather about making a protagonist of not only your own character but those of the other players as well.

The player is still an advocate for his character pimarily, but he should see things like getting killed in a gunfight as potentially a "good thing".

This does not mean that you have to force players to see all the information. Again, just an air of openness. Some players may want the suspense of finding stuff out during play, and you should probably respect that. But watch out for these players slipping back into old modes of play. If neccessary, you may have to talk with a player considerably about the change in the mode of play.

OTOH, DD is robust, and it probably won't be a problem at all.

On pacing, the GM needs to get a lot of the info out there early in the intro scenario (Matt did when he ran it for me; I'm assuming this is the "Hanged Man" scenario). And given the nature of the info, it's almost impossible not to let it out. Heck, I'd read an account of actual play of the scenario before playing it, and new all of what might have been "secrets". Didn't matter a bit. The release of information is essentially from the GM to the characters. The players might know it already. Basically the release of the information is a signal to the players that it's now dramatically appropriate to act on that info in a more direct manner. Usually this increases the conflicts and tension available. So, again, get some out early. And don't wait long at all to get it all out there. Because even after it is, what propells play in DD once things get rolling along are the PCs Devils. So get to the heart of the matter maybe half-way or less into the game, and then just sit back and watch all hell break loose.

Again, to a certan extent it almost runs itself. I bet you find it amongst the easiest games that you've ever run.

Mike


Title: Seeking Dealer Advice
Post by: Valamir on January 28, 2003, 01:19:30 PM
I concur.  You could photocopy the entire adventure complete with characters and pass it out to all players prior to the game and if anything play would be enhanced.


Title: Seeking Dealer Advice
Post by: Matt Snyder on January 28, 2003, 02:09:40 PM
Quote from: Valamir
I concur.  You could photocopy the entire adventure complete with characters and pass it out to all players prior to the game and if anything play would be enhanced.


I, too, concur. Thanks Mike and Valamir.

Oh yeah, consider that permission to do just what Valamir suggested. Or, if you've got the PDF, then print away!  I _would_ prefer that you not copy the whole game, of course!

If you have further questions, please let me know. But, I think Mike's really hit the nail on the head. "What he said."


Title: Seeking Dealer Advice
Post by: Ron Edwards on January 28, 2003, 03:15:48 PM
Hi there,

One way to think about it, and to ask your players to try out with you, is that it's easier and more fun to play that your character is ignorant of something when you, the player, know what that something is.

Best,
Ron


Title: Seeking Dealer Advice
Post by: marknau on January 28, 2003, 04:47:40 PM
Quote from: Mike Holmes

If you present player information as you usually do in most RPGs, limiting it to just what the character knows, then they will assume that play should go as standard with their main considerations being either "winning" (so to speak) or "what my character would do". Neither of which is what you want. You want them to be thinking in terms of "what would be coolest given the entire situation and all the characters." As such, giving them the information will inform them that the game is not about discovering each other's secrets and exploiting them. But rather about making a protagonist of not only your own character but those of the other players as well.


Yes, that's a fabulous point, Mike. I'm totally sold, and will be doing it as you (and everyone else) suggested. Will post to Actual Play after we do the deed.