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Author Topic: With Great Power Arrived Yesterday and Boy Is My Wrist Tired  (Read 3707 times)
dunlaing
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Posts: 308

My name is Bill


« on: September 08, 2004, 09:16:49 AM »

With Great Power... showed up yesterday. Fortunately it was small enough to fit in my mailbox. Thank you for the extra-speedy order fulfillment.

I did have a few comments/questions that came up while I was reading it over (I haven't played yet though). Since this is a playtest version and you'll be editing it anyway, I've typed them up in the hopes that you'll include these suggestions:

Page 3
   Struggle
       Particularly given the name of the game, I think you need an
       example of a responsibility-based struggle. Either Responsibility
       to Others v. Responsibility to Self or maybe Responsibility v.
       Freedom? Something to represent Spider-Man 2.

Page 4
   Aspects
       It's unclear how many Aspects a character should have at
       character creation. I realize that the reason may be because
       you can have as many as you want or something like that,
       but if so, it should be spelled out more explicitly.

Page 8
   Non-Villainous Aspects
       I'd like to see some guidelines here. It says the GM will set up
       some non-villainous Aspects, but it'd be nice if it said something
       like "For a team of X heroes, Y additional Aspects is good" or
       "For a story that will take a X hours, Y additional Aspects is
       good" or whatever it should be based on.
   Importance
       It's a bit unclear how to assign Importance at character creation.
       It looks like all Aspects start at 0 (it says that). But it also says
       that you have one Asspect that can go to 5 and you have to
       assign it at character creation. I could use some more language
       here to define exactly what my character's Importance levels
       should be. Preferably at the end of the paragraph so that it
       doesn't look like anything is overriding the amount specified
       (later text tends to imply precedence).
       The text "When you're distributing Importance" in this section is
       easy to infer as meaning that you get some Importance to
       distribute during character creation. I reccomend adding the
       phrase "in Enrichment scenes" (unless you do get some
       Importance to distribute at character creation, in which case it
       needs to say how much)
   Beginning Play
       I think you need a setup description here. This is where the number
       of decks should be given and mention should be made of arranging
       the Story Arc.

Page 9
   Enrichment Scenes
       So there's just one card flip per scene? That's not a lot of mechanics
       for a scene. I think when you have such little mechanics in a scene,
       you really need to mention how you can spend time playing out the
       scene without mechanics. Also, a mention of what to do before the
       flip and after could be good, like "Set up a scene in which things can
       go one way or the other, and with the help of the GM and other
       players, build it right up to the point where it will get decided. Then
       flip over the card and see whether you succeed, fail, or are
       interrupted."
       Also, after the bit about the scene ends how you wanted it to, I think
       it would be nice to mention that you describe the end of the scene.

Page 10
       Under the description for if the card flipped is higher than your card,
       it says to distribute importance per the chart. Is this right? Do you
       get the importance even if your character fails?

Page 18
   Wild Cards
       Any time a joker is played the deck is reshuffled. Mention is made
       that jokers from the GM's deck may not be played to the Story Arc
       since otherwise, the GM's deck would never get reshuffled again.
       However, since cards in active pages of conflict do not get
       reshuffled, won't jokers always not get reshuffled? I assume that
       playing a joker will usually mean placing it in one of your panels in an
       active conflict. If you then reshuffle, the joker will not be reshuffled.
       Thus, each deck will only be reshuffled once. Perhaps the rule should
       be changed to "Once any conflict containing a joker has been
       yielded, reshuffle the deck of that joker?"
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Michael S. Miller
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Posts: 846


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« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2004, 07:34:02 PM »

Hi, Bill.

Thanks for the comments. It's getting late, but I'll do my best to respond

Quote from: dunlaing
  Struggle
       Particularly given the name of the game, I think you need an
       example of a responsibility-based struggle. Either Responsibility
       to Others v. Responsibility to Self or maybe Responsibility v.
       Freedom? Something to represent Spider-Man 2.


That makes all kinds of sense! Consider it added.

Quote
Aspects
       It's unclear how many Aspects a character should have at
       character creation. I realize that the reason may be because
       you can have as many as you want or something like that,
       but if so, it should be spelled out more explicitly.

Page 8
   Non-Villainous Aspects
       I'd like to see some guidelines here. It says the GM will set up
       some non-villainous Aspects, but it'd be nice if it said something
       like "For a team of X heroes, Y additional Aspects is good" or
       "For a story that will take a X hours, Y additional Aspects is
       good" or whatever it should be based on.


You're right that this is needed. I'll put it on my to-do list. I've generally run with 8-10 Aspects for 3-4 heroes.

Quote
Importance


You are correct that you start with zero Importance, and only gain it through Enrichment Scenes. Previous drafts had Importance being distributed at character creation, so some of that connotation remained even after the rewrite.

Quote
Beginning Play
       I think you need a setup description here. This is where the number
       of decks should be given and mention should be made of arranging
       the Story Arc.


You're not the first to mention this, it definitely bears improvement.

Quote
Enrichment Scenes


The text on Enrichment Scenes needs lots of rewriting. Your suggestions will help immensely. Thanks.

Quote
Under the description for if the card flipped is higher than your card,
       it says to distribute importance per the chart. Is this right? Do you
       get the importance even if your character fails?


Yes. Even if the character fails, you've still shown the reader why this Aspect of his character is important to the story. We know that Mary Jane is important because we continually see Peter Parker failing to ask her out.

Quote
  Wild Cards
       Any time a joker is played the deck is reshuffled. Mention is made
       that jokers from the GM's deck may not be played to the Story Arc
       since otherwise, the GM's deck would never get reshuffled again.
       However, since cards in active pages of conflict do not get
       reshuffled, won't jokers always not get reshuffled? I assume that
       playing a joker will usually mean placing it in one of your panels in an
       active conflict. If you then reshuffle, the joker will not be reshuffled.
       Thus, each deck will only be reshuffled once. Perhaps the rule should
       be changed to "Once any conflict containing a joker has been
       yielded, reshuffle the deck of that joker?"


Okay, now I'm slapping my forehead. I *actually do* what you said, I just didn't write it that way.  >>slap<<

Thanks for your careful reading, Bill. If you'd be willing to look over a draft of the final version when it's ready, PM or e-mail me and we can discuss rates for freelance editing.
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Incarnadine Press--The Redder, the Better!
Alan
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Posts: 1012


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« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2004, 04:21:26 AM »

Quote from: Michael S. Miller

Quote
Beginning Play
       I think you need a setup description here. This is where the number
       of decks should be given and mention should be made of arranging
       the Story Arc.


You're not the first to mention this, it definitely bears improvement.


Hi Michael,

I like the game.  I was particularly pleased to see it in comic book format.

A further suggestion about setup.  On pg 8 before Beginning Play, you might insert a "Starting a New Story Arc" which would talk about how many decks of cards, whether their normal decks, who gets them, and setting importance to zero - or back to zero after a previous story arc.

"Between Sessions" would give advce on recording story arc progress, card allocation, and such between sessions.

"After the Story Arc."  
I suspect your intent is that character creation happens before _each_ story arc - so if a player wants to run the same hero through several arcs, the hero is essentially rewritten between arcs.  However, I as reader would like to read confirmation:  Can a hero could be used for another arc?  What happens to accumulated importance?  How do I adapt to a different struggle?  How do I drop Aspects, or change my Primary Aspect?

"Introduction"
Another suggestion: Move the "Rules of Description" and "Scripts, Pencils and Inks" for the "Beginning Play" section.  (By the time I got there, I needed to be reminded of them, so why not put them closer to the rules they apply to?)   In the empty space before Character Creation, put an introduction to play: how may players, where play, time commitments, and an overview of what goes on in play.  

(Yeah, I'm suggesting the rules be designed as if the reader knew little or nothing about roleplaying.  I really think the approach need not be space-consuming, nor patronizing.  And it will make a browser more likely to buy the book.)

EDIT: Oh, yeah.  It would be nice to see the card handling rules made explicit: Where do discards go?  Are they shuffled back into a deck when a Joker shows, etc.    What happens to cards you hold after a conflict? (you hold em, I think.)  Any hand limits between conflicts?

Good luck!  I hope to playtest it a bit in a couple months.
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- Alan

A Writer's Blog: http://www.alanbarclay.com
Michael S. Miller
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« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2004, 06:29:19 AM »

Hi, Alan.

Thanks for the editing and organizational suggestions. I will keep them in mind as I do a full re-write for the Full Edition.  

Quote from: Alan
"After the Story Arc."  
I suspect your intent is that character creation happens before _each_ story arc - so if a player wants to run the same hero through several arcs, the hero is essentially rewritten between arcs.  However, I as reader would like to read confirmation:  Can a hero could be used for another arc?  What happens to accumulated importance?  How do I adapt to a different struggle?  How do I drop Aspects, or change my Primary Aspect?


Great questions! A hero can certainly be used for another Arc, but you should start a whole new sheet. The group need not change to a new Struggle for a new story, although they may. In either case, consider the hero's Aspects on the old sheet to be a list of possible Aspects to choose from. Pick some of these for the new Arc. Just copy them from the old sheet, the only way Aspects should change is through being Devastated and Redeemed. Feel free to leave off Aspects that you don't want to emphasize in the new story, or to add new ideas that you've had.

As for Importance from one Story Arc to another, I would allow a hero to start with 1 point of Importance for each Story Arc he's completed and require that it be placed into an Aspect that has been copied from a previous sheet. For instance, we don't have to see the Spidey can stick to walls at the beginning of each issue. We're expected to know.

Quote
EDIT: Oh, yeah.  It would be nice to see the card handling rules made explicit: Where do discards go?  Are they shuffled back into a deck when a Joker shows, etc.    What happens to cards you hold after a conflict? (you hold em, I think.)  Any hand limits between conflicts?


quick answers:

1) each deck has its own discard pile (that's why I suggest different back designs)
2) entire deck (draw pile and discard pile, NOT cards-in-hands or on Story Arc) reshuffled after that deck's Joker is discarded (see my response to Bill earlier in this thread)
3) Yes, you hold cards between conflicts, and then use them to put-at-risk during Enrichment Scenes
4) The only hand limit applies at the very beginning of a conflict scene. AFter you draw cards equal to Importance of Aspects, player's max hand size is 7, and GM's is 7 plus 4 per player.

Quote
Good luck!  I hope to playtest it a bit in a couple months.

Thanks! I look forward to reading about it.
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