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Author Topic: WGP question  (Read 3182 times)
Brand_Robins
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Posts: 650


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« on: September 10, 2004, 03:53:52 PM »

WGP arrived yesterday, and I was going over it with friends. We decided to make a characters, and in the course of doing so the following question came up.

One of them was making his Aspects and assigning them to one side of the Struggle or the other, when he up and asks me, "So what's the game effect of having an aspect on one side or the other? Especially when it isn't clear or is one that could flip sides depending on how it Suffers doing the game?"

And I answer... "Uh... Don't know."

So here I am to ask. Did I miss something? Is there any mechanical effect (or story-construction based reason) to putting Aspects on one side or another? Could part of redeeming a Devastated Aspect involve moving it from one side to the other?

I mean I can see a lot of potential for the divide (if all your responsibility aspects are devastated and none of your freedom one's are, your character goes into slack off mode, alla Spiderman 2), and it certainly does give a lot of GM ideas for building stories about the conflict (what happens when a hero’s Independence aspects keep conflicting with their Belonging ones?) -- but I don't see anything in the book about using it.

Would it be possible, for example, to build a game so that the story ends not with the villain being defeated, but with the character making the Aspects on one side dominate those on the other?

The other questions/comments were about Enrichment scenes and the seemingly precipitous resolution mechanic. One of the comments that ended up being useful, and possibly worth passing on, was that the Enrichment scene should be like a mook battle in Exalted or Feng Shui – but without bothering to use the system to resolve anything other than the conclusion. This, for those who don’t play those games (or don’t play them in the mutant form practiced by my group) means that the scene should do some obvious things and some less obvious ones. The first is that it should show the character being cool, using their powers, and getting to be super. That’s obvious, and intended by the very set up of the game. However, it can also be dynamic and involve a lot of action and description, but the mechanics don’t kick in until the moment in the scene where the thing at stake comes to the pivot point. What’s more, at that pivot point a failure in system terms doesn’t mean that the character obviously fails, gets stuck, or makes a dork of himself – it simply means that something else happens that keeps the character from being successful.

The example used was thusly:

”Lets say that Spiderman’s player Francis was doing an Enrichment scene where he wanted to clean up a local block using his powers. We start the scene with a group of thugs robbing a jewellery store and getting away with their loot. Spiderman swings in, chases two down and webs them, then leaps onto the car and beats on two more. They fight, he super-strengths them and tosses them around then webs them. Lots of cool stunts get done, the thugs growl thuggishly. Spiderman goes to get the jewels back, and then… we flip the card. If he succeeds he gets the jewels back and intimidates the local criminals. If he fails then the thugs confess that they handed off the jewels to a masked man before Spiderman went after them – thus making Spidey fail, but without looking like a dork. If he gets interrupted then the cops show up before he can find the jewels either way.”

The rest of our questions have already been answered on other posts, so I shan't repeat them unless my players find the explanations given there to not cover their multitude of confusions.  The game looks really sly, and everyone loved the fact that the Scale of your Aspects doesn't control the game. The comment made most often was "it's a game where you can really do Batman and Superman in the same story, because it isn't about who can lift more, it's about who can be more interesting."

(Followed by the comment, "Well then it still won't work, as Batman is way more interesting than that flying dork.")
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- Brand Robins
Andy Kitkowski
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Posts: 827

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« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2004, 04:36:49 PM »

Wow, didn't catch that.  I'd like to hear Mike's response to that.

As for me, I completely glossed over that, particularly since it didn't come up (IIRC) in the playtest session we had. :)

I did use a struggle in the first game I ran last night, I picked the coolest yet not too easy one "Ideals vs Practicality".  Without even tying aspects to one side or another, every single player came up with a character that totally embraced that struggle.  

We just wrote the aspects wherever.  It worked pretty decently. Looking back on it now, though, I can see that in most cases the aspects could have, in fact, fit on one side or the other...
...thing is, and beat me if I'm wrong, this is just a mechanic or visual stimulation to make sure that you've got your eye firmly planted on the Struggle when designing your character.  

The Bad Way, where not having Aspects by Struggle may inadvertantly encourage
I've got the powers of flight, laser eye beams, plant growth...
I've got a secret lair filled with loyal followers...
I've got an awesome spaceship that fires rockets and can turn invisible and even fly underwater...
I've got this girlfriend with a totally hot body. She's latino.
...Oh wait, that's right, i was supposed to put "Isolation vs Acceptance" around here somewhere... hmmm. I'll just think of something later.

The Good Way, of course, is to come up with each of the above items in the bad example, but while thinking how each one twists you up in that struggle ("I've got a totally hot latino girlfriend... who is often with activities with her extended family, and doesn't know my secret identity, so that causes friction between us"). :-)

-Andy
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Michael S. Miller
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« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2004, 07:42:12 PM »

Hi, Brand. I love posts like this!

Quote from: Brand_Robins
So here I am to ask. Did I miss something? Is there any mechanical effect (or story-construction based reason) to putting Aspects on one side or another? Could part of redeeming a Devastated Aspect involve moving it from one side to the other?


At the moment, there is no mechanical effect to putting Aspects on one side or the other. As Andy very neatly summed up, the Struggle is there to keep people's eyes on the story issues. I figure most folks wouldn't want their hero sheet to be look lopsided (i.e. have a bunch of Aspects on one side and none on the other) so the ingrained desire for symmetry would urge them to think about the Struggle.

I like all your suggestions for using it in play, and will consider them further as I work on the Full Edition. If you play with any of them, please let me know how it goes.

Quote
Would it be possible, for example, to build a game so that the story ends not with the villain being defeated, but with the character making the Aspects on one side dominate those on the other?


That's a really good question. I think it would make a good core concept for making Man v. Self stories that have mechanical teeth to them. 'Twill certainly bear more thought.

About Enrichment Scenes
What you said is what I meant to write. The card flip really shouldn't come in until the very end ... where there's something to be decided. Please add as much description beforehand as you like.

Quote
The game looks really sly, and everyone loved the fact that the Scale of your Aspects doesn't control the game. The comment made most often was "it's a game where you can really do Batman and Superman in the same story, because it isn't about who can lift more, it's about who can be more interesting."


I, too, was most pleased when I discovered that the game could do this. It was a beneficial side effect of deciding to emulate the genre of superheroes rather than the imaginary "reality" of superpowers.

Quote
(Followed by the comment, "Well then it still won't work, as Batman is way more interesting than that flying dork.")


Amen, brother! Hope the game goes well. Keep us posted!
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