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Forgotten Fist playtest

Started by Bankuei, January 18, 2002, 05:17:07 AM

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Since our Dying Earth game was delayed another week :(  ... Laurel, Yasha and I got together and playtested a simple scenario designed for my Forgotten Fist game which is based off my Persona system.  

 My goal was to test the basic mechanics of the game and feel the flow of how play worked.  The scenario was the classic kungfu tournament for the hand of a daughter of a powerful master.  The contest was to be the last man standing on top of a wooden pyramid, touching the ground was to lose.  For those of you who've seen Fong Sai Yuk , this was a straight lift off of it, complete with having to battle the bride's mother.

The rules took about 20 minutes to explain, which wasn't terribly long, a fair amount went into discussing theory and options with the liberal amount of player authorism that was allowed, plus seeing the characters as a collection of motivations, not a set of numbers.

The hardest part was kicking the bad gamer habits that had been trained into us all by years of traditional games.  The two hardest habits to were Player Narration, and declaring intent.  

It took a little bit for the players to feel their options as far as narration, but given that neither were deep kung fu fans, they certainly did a great job.  I had a real hard time as a GM trying to let go of controlling everything.  I felt really like a ghost in the session, being able to only tip marbles(npc actions) in comparison to the players' narrative control.    It was like parachuting... very scary, letting go.  I had to really hold myself back from attempting to narrate incredibly action filled scenes, and instead ask questions,"She charges, and...what happens?"  I never realized how much of a control freak one becomes after GMing so much in the traditional manner.  I  instead offered pointers on the options available to players in terms of being able to create Elements(characters, items, locations, scenes), within the game.

Laurel had a good time with narration, probably from Exalted and being exposed to enough anime to get a feel for the "style is king" mentality of the kung fu cinema.  

Yasha had a little harder time getting used to the narration aspect, but did incredibly well with the element creation concept.  He also did very well at feeling out the character.

I gave everybody pregenerated characters, just because the goal was to test out the combat and resolution system.  The characters were designed for conflict, one being an arrogant, insecure bully, the other a flashy showoff/schemer sort, both competing for other reasons than to get a wife.    

Everyone really grasped their character's personality well, just from the short description and the Values.    I was surprised at how well the values communicated the characters to players who jumped in blind.  

The stickiest points of the session involved use of the Values, which was primarily because its so much a "soft" stat;"I save myself at the last second, because 'No one makes a fool of me!'" as opposed to "Strength is for lifting".  I think perhaps with good examples some of the problems would be resolved.

The other point that worked really well is the "Mandate of Heaven" idea which is actually more than what I included in the Persona thread.  The idea behind the Mandate is like James' Accords in The Questing Beast, I wanted to give the group the ability to define the genre and style from the outset.  The Mandate effectively determines what is the "reality" of the game, and what the laws of physics are for that setting(Karate Kid to Dragonball Z).  I pregenerated the Mandate, but it gave a really good feel for the level of unreality in this game.  Big big big thanks to Baileywolf for  providing the idea.

I hope Laurel and Yasha also give posts as to how they felt about it and how it played out.  I'd like to see what occurs over an actual full 1-shot session, as well as how it plays out over a campaign.  I'm going to be rewriting and clarifying the rules over the next two weeks and would like to make a simple version available.

Thanks to everyone for so much inspiration and great issues to get me focused on what I really want from a game.



Chris did such a good job summarizing, I don't know where to begin.  

The "Mandates of Heavens" convinced me that the Questing Beast Accords are definately going to work.  The Mandate provided everything we needed to know, set the tone and flavor and the limitations of believable actions.  In less than one page of text, we had everything we really needed to know.  

We stumbled a couple of times over Rerolls- little stuff like remembering which dice represented the player, and which was the opposing action, and how many rerolls we had left.   Next time I play, and make my own character from scratch, I'll add some re-roll boxes at the bottom so each time I take damage and lose a re-roll opportunity, I can mark it off.

Action goes quickly.  I think 3 players + a gm or 4 players & a GMless game would be optimal size.  

The Value system was brilliant and a much better mechanic than anything in the professional games I'm accustomed to playing.  I could feel myself trying to stretch values into situations they didn't ~quite~ fit, but Chris did a very good GM job of not letting me.  Heh.

The game places a very high importance on players being able to think quickly on their feet and articulate their ideas quickly.  This worked in my benefit.  James needed more time to ponder and express himself, although in doing so he was able to reach beyond the immediate scene and introduce much more expansive story elements than I did.  I was also having better luck with the dice for a while, and tried to integrate in my concept of a flashy ne're-do-well who was "luckier" and "sneakier" than James' character who was the better trained, better 'built' fighter.  

We socialized/talked about the game for 30 minutes, played for about 60 minutes and debriefed for another 30ish minutes.  Very, very enjoyable.