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Author Topic: MLwM scene construction Qs: how do player requests work?  (Read 4931 times)
neelk
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Posts: 126


« on: August 14, 2004, 01:11:07 PM »

I'm trying to figure out what the precise rules for running a scene are. Right now, I know that I should go around the table, running a scene for each minion until the Endgame.

However, what I don't understand is what the rules for the subject of each those scenes should be. In particular, I don't understand the rule for when players can request scenes, and what happens if the Minion successfully resists a command but doesn't have a Love high enough to trigger the Endgame.

My tentative understanding is that the game opens with the Master giving the Minion a command. If the minion's player wants to resist, tehn the discussion of the command and the creepy negotiation/power-play should be the conflict for the scene, culminating in the resistance roll-off. If the player doesn't want to, then this is not the conflict for the scene there and we cut immediately to the first scene of the minion trying to enact his or her master's dark will. At any rate, the scene comes to a conclusion with the narration following the die roll for resolving the conflict, whatever it might be.

Also, in any scene, the player can request a chance to make an overture to a Connection. The GM should respond to this by framing the scene so that the connection shows up in some capacity. So here's a question: I got the impression from the game that the Minions are trying to sneak in their overtures in the moments between scrambling to and fro on the Master's behalf.

So how should I run a scene in which the player wants to make an overture and is in the middle performing an act of evil? Say, the player wants his minion to praise the gypsy girl's singing, and is trying to secretly transport her father's corpse to the castle for re-animation? Should I run until the first die-roll, and then move on to the next player, and resume play with the act of villainy? If so, what do I do if the player asks for another chance to make an overture?

I'm pretty sure I'm off-base somewhere in here, but I'm not sure which direction base is in. :)
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Neel Krishnaswami
Eero Tuovinen
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« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2004, 12:20:32 AM »

Quote from: neelk
I'm trying to figure out what the precise rules for running a scene are. Right now, I know that I should go around the table, running a scene for each minion until the Endgame.


First of all, remember that the character has to always try to fulfill the commands of the Master. Thus there cannot be an overture between the command scene and it's fulfillment unless the connection is the crux of the command.

Now, from what I've seen the most common way to play is to follow roughly the following scheme:
1) Command scene: Master gives orders
2) Villainy scene: Minion does what Master asks
3) Free scene: the player chooses what the character does, usually Overture
This is simple, which is a bonus. However, Paul himself plays it differently: in his MLwM the scenes are spinned by in-game logic, so that it's up to the player to decide for his character what he does. If he manages to escape the Master for three turns straight, more power for him. Paul says that the players won't abuse this power, because the point of the game is to share interest in the characters, and a minion who doesn't suffer is not all that interesting.

Quote

Also, in any scene, the player can request a chance to make an overture to a Connection. The GM should respond to this by framing the scene so that the connection shows up in some capacity.


Here you've understood it wrong. The player can make the request before the scene, not during it. This affects the whole set-up of the scene, so the player cannot just ask the GM to put the Connection in the villainy scene. It's either one or the other, and usually the character cannot postpone the villainy, as it's been ordered by the Master.

However, some times situations like you describe still happen, as the character might be sent to do villainy in the connection's home or something. I suggest considering the principle that there's only one die-roll per scene: if the character manages to make that die-roll be an overture instead of villainy, so much the better. It all depends on the situation.

Remember also that making an overture is by no means automatic, it doesn't just happen because the character is in the same room with the connection. Significant actions have to take place. If the overture doesn't help in fulfilling the Master's order, it cannot be done. If it does, it might as well be the one roll in the scene.

Remember that there is no set situations which have to be rolled. Even counterintuitive situations can be handled without rolls. If the character is followed by an angry mob after being shot and wounded, but you the GM allow an overture in the scene, then you've effectively declared the overture more important than the mob and the wound. Those other things will be simply narrated as seems fit for the scene, as there cannot be multiple rolls. By allowing the overture you relegate the violent factoids into subservient role for the scene. They are merely "color".
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joshua neff
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« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2004, 06:13:01 AM »

Quote from: Eero Tuovinen
Quote from: neelk
I'm trying to figure out what the precise rules for running a scene are. Right now, I know that I should go around the table, running a scene for each minion until the Endgame.


First of all, remember that the character has to always try to fulfill the commands of the Master. Thus there cannot be an overture between the command scene and it's fulfillment unless the connection is the crux of the command.


That's now how I've played it. The Minion has to follow the Master's command, but doesn't necessarily have to do it in a timely fashion. I've had Minions make overtures between getting the command and fulfilling the command. And I've had Minions make Overtures as part of fulfilling the command.

The players always get to choose what exactly their Minions are doing, even if they have to fulfill a command by the Master. Every scene is, for the most part, a "free" scene, unless the Minion has been captured.

Generally, the way I've played & run it, the game went like this:

1) Command scene(s). If the Minions are all together, it's one scene. If the Minions are all doing their own thing (& either way, it's up to the players), then there's one scene for each Minion in which the Master gives an order.

2) If the Minion successfully resists the command, the Minion can do whatever--make an overture or perform an act of Violence or Villany. If the Minion didn't successfully resist, they can do the same, as long as the command is fulfilled. But Minion's never have to immediately fulfill a Master's command. Although the Master can always try to hinder the Minion's efforts regardless.

Now, with pretty much any scene, if I'm the GM, I'll ask the player, "What do you want your next scene to be?" The player can request a scene in which there is Violence or Villany, or an Overture scene. "For my next scene, I want to visit the undertaker's daughter." The player doesn't have to declare exactly what kind of roll the scene will entail--the player could visit the undertaker's daughter & make an Overture, perform Violence, or perform Villany. It's up to the player.

Quote from: neelk
So how should I run a scene in which the player wants to make an overture and is in the middle performing an act of evil? Say, the player wants his minion to praise the gypsy girl's singing, and is trying to secretly transport her father's corpse to the castle for re-animation? Should I run until the first die-roll, and then move on to the next player, and resume play with the act of villainy? If so, what do I do if the player asks for another chance to make an overture?


If the Minion is transporting a corpse and wants to make an Overture to the gypsy girl, the scene is simply an Overture scene. The corpse-transporting would've been rolled for in an earlier scene. Each roll resolves a conflict, not an action. An Overture roll could resolve a whole bunch of actions, just as Violence & Villany rolls do. So if the Minion is in the middle of an act of Villany, you wouldn't make any more Villany rolls for the action--it's already been resolved & is just being played out.
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--josh

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Don D.
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Posts: 29


« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2004, 07:53:06 AM »

Am I understanding correctly...The Master gives a command (steal the glass eye of the constable), the Minion rolls to resist ("but Master, wouldn't Jacob be able to sneak into his house easier than me since I only have this one leg?)  If resist is successful go onto next minion (next turn Minion can request a scene).  If not, go on to next minion (the resolution will take place on the minions next turn).  NEXT TURN... Minion attempts to accomplish the command (hops into the constables house), Rolls dice after describing whats happening... If successful then command accomplished (he has the eye)...He can request an overture for next scene.  If Roll fails he is somehow thwarted (trips, makes loud noise, guards come running and chase the one legged minion out of the house.)  Scene over.  NOW here is where things get tricky... I doubt very much that the guards would stop at the door threshold.  In the next scene would the conflict be the Minion trying to outrun/outfight them?  Would that be the next scenes conflict?  If a Scene would require more than one roll, do you just split each roll up into different scenes?  If a minion has to dispatch a guard to get the object of the command, wouldnt that be the only roll necessary to fulfill the command? (You know...only one roll is needed in any command- even if it fails)
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neelk
Member

Posts: 126


« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2004, 07:59:56 AM »

Thanks for your help, guys. I think the critical piece I was missing was that the scene request happens before play starts for that turn. Now it's clear how to do the one-rolll per scene thing.

Am I right about what happens when a minion does not resist a command?
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Neel Krishnaswami
Paul Czege
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« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2004, 06:02:26 AM »

Hi Neel,

Am I right about what happens when a minion does not resist a command?

When I run the game, I typically don't telegraph the details of a command prior to the Master actually delivering it within the context of a scene. So the whole thing is roleplayed and the conflict is whether the minion chooses to resist, and if so, whether the resistance is successful or not.

Paul
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neelk
Member

Posts: 126


« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2004, 08:27:07 PM »

I ran my first real (ie, non chargen) session tonight. Short verdict: this is a totally awesome game, even when I screwed up the rules. MLwM helped make a lot of the stuff I've been trying to do for a while actually work, as opposed to almost work. You rock, Paul. :)

More later.
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Neel Krishnaswami
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