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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 74 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: [Capes] A Day in the Life of Zip  (Read 3408 times)

Posts: 145

« on: October 19, 2004, 12:13:50 PM »

So, we played Capes in the indie-netgaming IRC again last night.  With two of the three original players gone now, and no new players having joined yet, that made it a one-player session, with me as the victim... er, lucky player.

Having wrapped up the Grey Ghost arc last time, we decided to do a "day in the life" sort of of issue for Zip... besides, that way we wouldn't have a plot we'd have to throw away if someone else joined us next week.  ;-)

Smerf has the transcripts, so I won't go too much into exactly what happened, since I'm sure he'll get to posting those before too long.  What we did find, though, is that the new Event system, coupled with the ability to roll up Inspirations and the streamlined mechanics, seemed to make running a non-combat scene go much more quickly and easily than it did under the original rules.  So it looks like good progress is being made there.

The collaborative nature of the game also came to the fore.  With just Smerf and me involved, I did a lot of the input, coming up with two of the three Events that the scene we did centered around, feeding Smerf ideas for lines a couple of times, and at least once pointing out a strategy for him to take in beating Zip on the events.

So far, Capes has seemed to me to encourage a great deal of player-Editor trust (and I use the term 'Editor' instead of 'GM' on purpose, since Capes' Editor really does have very different responsibilities a lot of the time from a traditional 'Game Master').  I think that's a very good thing, allowing for excellent solo play, with the player and Editor riffing off of each other instead of acting as adversaries.

We only got one scene done, but that was due to both starting late and deciding to stop when we could have kept on going -- we wrapped up the scene in about two hours, and still got a lot done for IRC play, I think.  Having just two people involved probably actually helped some there, since that avoids the oft-seen 'I'll wander off and get something from the kitchen while it's not my turn' IRC problem.

So... all in all, for this player, it was a very satisfying play experience.  I've mentioned it before in the IRC, but not here, so I'll say it here:  I find that Capes' 'panels' mechanic for actions helps greatly in making it a strong 'comic-book' game.  Given freedom to simply narrate without limits, it's easy to go off on tangents or ramble.  For me, having 'X panels' in which you must say something that involves Event A, using Ability B, and trying to work in Trope C inspires my creativity.  I suppose to some extent it's like people say about writing poetry -- that having to follow a particular form can inspire creativity, as opposed to simply writing free verse.

Lastly, I'd like to again note how well the mechanics seemed to work for a non-combat scene this time.  Zip was a bit limited, since most of his Tropes are related to his super-speed powers, and he couldn't really use those here, but that's the fault of the character, not the system.  The system enabled handling the scene in a story-meaningful way, especially with the Editor taking the opportunity to roll up a "Kate Suspects Zip's Identity" inspiration, and with Zip getting two Inspirations to use further down the road out of it, and use the scene to shed a lot of his accumulated Debt overload.

To put it simply, the system lets 'downtime scenes' be mechanically meaningful instead of just 'filler', which I think is essential to properly handling the superhero genre.  The 'traditional' superhero systems, such as Champions, DC Heroes, etc. simply don't do that.  (Well, Marvel SuperHeroes tried with its Karma system, but I don't think it succeeded this well... it had nothing like the 'panels' and 'pages' mechanics to force some sort of structure onto such scenes.)


Posts: 864

« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2004, 05:47:56 AM »

For those who are interested you can find the transcripts of play: here (out of character) and here (in character).

I am having a blast running this game.  I am really enjoying seeing Zip deal with real life in this Issue as well.  The reason we cut the game short was because we finished that scene and I just did not feel like I was doing the story justice.  I was "off" somewhat I guess.

The only major thing that I wanted to highlight is that the new Event system (which I really like) does make some things more difficult.  It was really hard for me to figure out how to set up a threat.  I wanted to threaten Zip with Kate discovering his identity and then allowing him to fight that threat, but I could not come up with a good Event that set that up.

On other thing I wanted to point out:  Rolling up Inspirations works fine, but I get the nebulous impression that it is ineffecient.  I am not sure, but I feel that it is probably better to just roll (or bump) up your die on an Event in order to win that Event so that you can get an Inspiration out of that.  Just a thought.


Current projects: Caper, Trust and Betrayal, The Suburban Crucible
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