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Author Topic: [MLwM] My Life with Goldfinger  (Read 4151 times)
hix
Member

Posts: 531

Steve Hickey


« on: January 18, 2005, 12:05:06 PM »

Inspired by Evil Genius, Gino wanted to run for a game where we were all of the henchmen of a super-villain. Someone, not me, suggested My Life with Master. Great, I've been pimping it for a year plus I get a break from running things.

Master and minion generation session last night. Far quicker and easier than I expected. I lead the mechanical side of things and Gino threw in his ideas when things got slow. All we knew at the start was Gino wanted 'modern day' and 'minions with the code names of classic arcade games'. Me, Sven and Wayne were all playing around with ideas before the session officially started.

Everyone plumped for a 'Brain' aspected Master. After some debate and re-reading of the definitions, we only decided on a Collector after getting re-inspired by The Nightmare Before Christmas.  So we're hunting down people with nightmares for our Master to build a nightmare generator.

I think it was me who pitched that with a desire like that, 'Revenge' would be a good Want.  We agree that our Master's ideas had been rejected by the medical community and that he was going to prove himself right, even at the expense of the rest of the world.  At this point, Gino said that he saw the Master as a young medical prodigy - evil Doogie Howser.

Fear and reason were tough to set.  We decided on a Fear of 3 because this super villain isn't well-known.  Reason, ... well it was hard to explain the effect it would have on the game - and the rest of the group didn't seem interested in a purely numerical decision ... so we set that at 3 as well.

Although the definition of the Township emerged organically later in the session, I'll put it here for convenience.  The Town equates to the international spy community and anyone who would appear in that genre. So we have connections like: an assassin, an astronomer and the President of the US.
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Cheers,
Steve

Gametime: a New Zealand blog about RPGs
Yokiboy
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Posts: 363


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« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2005, 01:10:04 PM »

I'm looking forward to hearing more, you're posting the rest right?

TTFN,

Yokiboy
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hix
Member

Posts: 531

Steve Hickey


« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2005, 01:45:39 PM »

Oh yes, Yokiboy. I will post.

We play every fortnight. Having the first session in about 2 weeks'll give Gino a chance to wrap his head round the rules. That reminds me: must find some good MLwM Actual Play threads to give him ideas.

Anyway, minions. I can't remember every detail of the people we came up with, but ...

Donkey Kong: a hairy thug, incredibly strong except when around a pretty girl. He's always mistaken for an escaped zoo animal (and hunted) except when wet. Connections: The Master's P.A., The Chief of Police.

Bubble Bobble:a teenage girl, has telekinesis up to her own body weight except when unhappy. Is easily distracted except when obeying the Master. Connections: Spy Boy, POTUS.

Gauntlet: an Hispanic pimp, can make others see their worst nightmares except when he's looked them in the eye. He's unable to dress appropriately except in church. Connections: Astronomer, Priest.

[Not sure of name]: knows how to fulfil whatever people want, except their heart's desire.  Obsessive-compulsive unless listening to a song that annoys people. Connections: Assassin, someone more phobic than she is.

Apocalypse: a British-West Indies henchman who's real name (we suspect) is something like 'Webster Arnold Huxtable'. ... God damn, his More- and Less-Than-Humans have completely slipped my mind. ... Wait, that's right. His Less-Than is, "Always takes offence, except from someone who's in charge of him." Connections: his brother and [someone I can't remember].

[Edited to add:]

I should mention that the really cool thing about this session was how into 'adding ideas to each other's characters' we got. I think that every single player took ideas on board to fine-tune their Mores and Lesses and their connections. Not only that, but each player wasn't afraid to challenge, express disapproval or coolness, and then refine those suggestions until they were (I believe) happy with the outcome.

Hopefully that means we're all more invested in each other's stories.
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Cheers,
Steve

Gametime: a New Zealand blog about RPGs
petrova
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Posts: 4


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« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2005, 08:18:48 PM »

Name you can't remember is "Tetris"

:)

I think Apocalypse's better than was something to do with being good with all weapons except when angry.
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hix
Member

Posts: 531

Steve Hickey


« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2005, 09:20:42 PM »

You are, of course, correct: Apocalypse's connections were Foxy Lady Spy, and Alienated Brother Who Is Gadgetmaker (prob. for good guys) and his More-Than-Human was "unmatchable with weapons, except when angry"[/color].

Man, that just reminds me of the specific part of minion creation that I really enjoyed - trying to figure out the neatest way to mess up a character's abilities. Irony is my friend.

Svend also pointed out to me that the original suggestion about nightmares
referenced The Big Friendly Giant. I think our game will be a little more Bondian than that, with a slight tendency towards super-heroics.

I mean "villainy." Always villainy.
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Cheers,
Steve

Gametime: a New Zealand blog about RPGs
Paul Czege
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 2341


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« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2005, 12:07:35 PM »

Hey Steve,

James Bond and video games? I hope you know how incredibly surreal that is. The Master and character creation session is pure social contract, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised. But I'm previously only familiar with Universalis delivering shared ownership of something like this. The weirdest MLwM games are typically built from the top down, ("Wouldn't it be cool if the Master was Santa Claus?"), with details as appropriate to the concept. Your game seems built bottom up, from shared interest in specific details. I'm definitely keen to hear how it plays out for you.

...the specific part of minion creation that I really enjoyed - trying to figure out the neatest way to mess up a character's abilities.

No kidding. You have a lot of "except when angry" and "except when unhappy" qualifiers. And with a new group I'd likely be skittish about them, because they reserve interpretation to the player. "Apocalypse isn't angry, he's frustrated." That's a very different social dynamic than what you'd have with "except when children are around."

Paul
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My Life with Master knows codependence.
And if you're doing anything with your Acts of Evil ashcan license, of course I'm curious and would love to hear about your plans
hix
Member

Posts: 531

Steve Hickey


« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2005, 07:33:47 PM »

Hi there Paul,

Some thought-provoking comments.

Quote
I'm previously only familiar with Universalis delivering shared ownership of something like this.


 We’ve played Universalis and have really been getting into group character creation over the last year. So maybe we’ve loosened up a bit …

Also we started - by some sort of unspoken consensus, I think - with the stuff that was enthusing Gino and making him want to run a game. Which meant I had to respect those core ideas and treat them as things I needed to buy into. However, Gino was great about accepting our ideas – the nightmare generator, I think, is very different from how he imagined things going.

Quote
The weirdest MLwM games are typically built from the top down, ("Wouldn't it be cool if the Master was Santa Claus?"), with details as appropriate to the concept. Your game seems built bottom up, from shared interest in specific details.


Not sure I grok the difference between ‘top-down’ and ‘bottom up’, in the sense that you could easily recast Gino’s initial inspiration as "Wouldn't it be cool if the Master was a Bond villain?” If you wanted to expand on the difference or point me to a thread, that’d be lovely.

Quote
You have a lot of "except when angry" and "except when unhappy" qualifiers [which] reserve interpretation to the player.

 
Yeah, I guess you’re talking about Internally Decided vs. Externally Measurable (or ‘soft’ and ‘hard’) qualifiers.

Me, I’m playing Gauntlet – and (I think) all my qualifiers are external (although there’s some fudgeability about ‘look in the eye’ I’m going to have to clear up). But I guess the issue is that some players will be more on the honour system than others. I’m pretty sure we’ve built up enough trust to handle this, but I’d be interested in hearing from any of other players on how they feel about the implications of it.
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Cheers,
Steve

Gametime: a New Zealand blog about RPGs
Paul Czege
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 2341


WWW
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2005, 08:16:55 AM »

Hey Steve,

But I guess the issue is that some players will be more on the honour system than others. I’m pretty sure we’ve built up enough trust to handle this...

Universalis? Enough said. Your group has trained up your social contract mojo. Instead of "Apocalypse isn't angry, he's frustrated," I expect you guys are at:
    GM: Would it make Apocalypse angry if it was Foxy Lady Spy in the hot-tub with the Outsider?
    Player: Damn straight! You're a bastard, you know.
    GM: Yep. Okay, so when you bring the crosshairs to bear on the Outsider, you realize the woman with him is Foxy Lady Spy.
    Player: Crap. Okay, so my shot goes wild. Heh, stomach of the pool attendant :) He drops.[/list:u]Not sure I grok the difference between ‘top-down’ and ‘bottom up’...If you wanted to expand on the difference or point me to a thread, that’d be lovely.

    Well, it looked to me like you guys started with "we like Bond," and "we like video games," and "we like supers," and you mashed them together to build your own entirely fresh thing. Top-down would be "we like Bond," and trying to maintain fidelity to that.

    Paul
Logged

My Life with Master knows codependence.
And if you're doing anything with your Acts of Evil ashcan license, of course I'm curious and would love to hear about your plans
hix
Member

Posts: 531

Steve Hickey


« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2005, 03:01:05 PM »

First session, last night. Disturbing fun was had by most people. We settled into the rules pretty easily - with some issues about the play structure. I was most impressed with how much impact/input the players had into the colour and content of the game, specifically through the Horror Revealed (but also through asides and ad-libs).

Gino (the GM) lead off with the Master, Atari, handing out individual missions from his underwater base in the Carribean. For most of us, it involved finding out who the mole was in our organisation. Celeste, playing Tetris, got an order to dispose of small children in the Nightmare Lab. This made her and us very uncomfortable. She managed to stall Atari for a couple of scenes before we all figured out how to turn his attention elsewhere.

Svend and I acquired beaucoup self-loathing by acting villainously, following the Master’s orders unflinchingly. We both bumped into the Horror Revealed at the same time – and realised unless we acquire Love, having high Self-Loathing will restrict our input into the game. Which is cool … it sensitised me to how the rules and the Endgame work out.

Svend and I also used our Horror Revealeds to complicate the situation for us minions. Svend narrated a scene where Bubble-Bobble's Spy Boy connection would be endangered if he had anything to do with her. I narrated a scene where the Master's P.A., a woman called Outrun, killed the bishop I was about to form a Connection with by turning his body into a bloody mist of nightmares. This makes my character, Gauntlet, more disposable because he's now not the only person who can generate nightmares for the Boss.
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Cheers,
Steve

Gametime: a New Zealand blog about RPGs
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