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Author Topic: [Nine Worlds] Pop-Greek sci-fantasy, plus murder and sex  (Read 15986 times)
Ron Edwards
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« on: January 20, 2005, 10:05:07 AM »

Hello,

The holidays did a great axe-job on our role-playing routine. However, over the last month or two, we've managed to get in four sessions of Nine Worlds, and it's clear that all of us are committed to keep it running. This is a great game.

You can find some pre-publication dialogues or concerns of mine and others in 9 Worlds: Hubris/Arete question and Is there enough choice in the Choice?, as well as my post-publication thread Nine Worlds epiphany.

Getting started
For those of you who don't know, Nine Worlds presents a detailed setting. In most RPGs, similar content of genre, look & feel, a few crucial historical events to know about, key and powerful NPCs, and other stuff would set up a publishing schedule of about twenty splatbooks. I think Matt managed to present it in an amazingly concise, digestible form which prompts curiosity and creativity rather than a sense of "Oh God, I have to memorize this." But, case closed, to play this game, everyone has to put in a bit of time and discussion to understanding the setting, and knowing that everyone else does too.

Our group is accustomed to this anyway, and in our collective realization that this is a strong-setting game, we set to with a will - to discover that the Nine Worlds book is absolutely outstanding in communicating the setting without wasting any time. I'm given to understand that some people are finding it too dense, but I suggest that this comment is a stand-in for a more substantive concern, which I'll get to later.

All of us are pretty good with basic Greek mythology, so I suggested that we take a minute to consider some of the minor or one-appearance characters scattered throughout the myths, the ones that you figure must have stories of their own or details that got lost or bowdlerized along the way. I've always liked Argus, the watchman over the Golden Fleece, for instance. A few minutes' reference to Tod's and Julie's handy bookshelf blew our minds - did you know that Medusa had a son? I didn't. We found lots of stuff like that. We got pretty excited about milking the potential in these characters and similar than from the uber-Olympian "Apollo's scheme" level, at least at this point. So people made up characters whose Muses touched on this kind of material.

Maura is playing Manto, a sharpie Mercurian trader woman, whose starting Muses (if I recall correctly) were
- find Professor Tiresias, who disappeared while researching the new Plague
- "Get my fucking Fleece back, you no-good shyster, Medea is already on my ass" [quoted from Jason]
- get business re-recognized by powers-that-be on Mercury (business was evaporated in a recent shift in Mercurian conditions)

I can't remember the starting values (sum to 9) or the exact phrasing, but my phrasing does reflect Maura's.

Tod is playing Gelons, sort of naval-academy veteran guy of the Lost Armada, which is very Tod - he's into Hornblower and Master & Commander and all that sort of thing. His Muses were
- Find Nereus
- Destroy Proteus, who betrayed Poseidon (and might be the same as Nereus)
- [can't quite remember] Establish alliance between Atlantis and the Lost Armada

(All of these characters are pretty similar to the elven player-characters these same three players made up for Burning Wheel, by the way.)

Julie is playing Chione, a Martian black-ops Free Sparta chick, very black-leather and hidden-dagger. Her starting Muses were
- avenge Medusa's death, holding Athena responsible, in the name of her relative, Chrysaor (son of Medusa)
- kill Cephus, an Ares Legion officer, to establish credit with the New Spartans
- be recognized by Ares himself as a great war-leader

Given Julie's character, as well as various posts in the Nine Worlds forum including my own, it appears that the "martian black-ops chick" is a viable meme. That makes three people who independently arrived at the concept given first-contact with the rules. So Matt, take note. You might consider such a character for a promotional illustration, or for an example at the website, or something similar.

Is that all?
No! I have lots and lots to post about what happened, but the post-progress keeps getting longer. I thought I'd get the thread started and focus, at this point, on prepping for playing this game.

I think the key points are:

1. Make sure everyone's involved with the book at the outset, especially the illustrations and the fairly basic game-specific history

2. Establish the "Kirby Krackle" of the look & feel, much in the sense of his New Gods

3. Dive into Greek mythology looking for fun bits; it's important to do this yourself rather than page through the book (you'll find Zeus and other big guns there)

4. Point out that Muses get resolved during play, sometimes pretty quickly, so make up fun ones with lots of Color in them

All comments welcome! Don't wait for my next post; let's talk about setup for strong-setting Narrativist play.

Best,
Ron
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Jason L Blair
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« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2005, 10:23:02 AM »

Ron,

I know one of Matt's biggest troubles post-release was people "not getting" the game. They either couldn't visual the structure and reality of the world or couldn't think of what to do with it. I think actually _reading_ the book helps some of the people but that presents the first hurdle: How did you sell the game to your group (so they would later read the book or sit down long enough to hear you tell its tale)? Or, due to history or whatnot, was that a non-issue?

Aside, this set-up seems pretty solid.

I'm curious as to whether the "strong setting" aspect ever became an impediment to your players but I'll wait for play session posts on that.

Also, "black-ops chick" is _every_ gamer's character choice after "bad ass sorcerer barbarian." ;)
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Jason L Blair
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Mike Holmes
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« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2005, 02:14:44 PM »

OK, "Strong-setting" narrativism makes me think (no surprise) Hero Quest. HQ links characters strongly to the setting by making their primary abilities those links. You get a rating in where you're from, for example.

Now, I know that Nine Worlds has a premise link to the setting in terms of the character's relation to the overall "grand illusion." But does the game link players in any way to specific elements of the setting. Sure, they can take muses that are from the setting, of course. But do they have to?

Is there something else that creats this sort of link? Or is the premise simply different from HQ, and the link intended not to neccessarily focus on the setting in this sort of minutia?

Mike
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2005, 03:04:55 PM »

Hi Mike,

Nine Worlds is a lot like HeroQuest in this way. Part of it is the large-scale reward system (the Valor/Pride thing) which I will discuss in a future post. Part of it is taking Muses which are relevant.

But really, I think that the Muses are very strong in this regard. Hypothetically, one could make Muses which have no Premise-qualities relative to the setting, but that would be really, really hard. Someone would have to work at that, and turtle up big-time during play to keep them that way. It'd be like playing HeroQuest in which all your keywords were irrelevant to setting-based conflict - possible, barely, but hardly conceivable.

Also, you might be thinking of Nine Worlds more in line with Matt's early drafts. There is no more Grand Illusion. Play is not about being "awakened from your mundane life." One planet, Earth, labors under the rationalist delusions promulgated by the Illuminati, but the game as a whole now takes a whole different tack. I'll talk more about this later too. The Premise isn't about truth vs. the veil; it's about godhood, power, and morality (as I say, very HeroQuest).

Jason, I'm 100% convinced that the setting is not an impediment. I think that the game demands a very different relationship of "GM" to "stuff in play," and that the text isn't quite clear about that, so that a reader starts feeling funny if he's not ready for it. It's so clear that "normal GMing" won't work, that I can understand why a reader will get nervous, and not know what to do with these setting features, which are very colorful. So if this reader complains, he'll complain about the setting.

But in comparison to, say, Fading Suns or Vampire, the Nine Worlds setting is very brief and very focused, and frankly, quite easy to relate to "what to do" in play once you get a handle on what decisions the GM routinely has to consider.

Best,
Ron
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Maura Byrne
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« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2005, 04:00:54 PM »

Quote from: Mike Holmes

Now, I know that Nine Worlds has a premise link to the setting in terms of the character's relation to the overall "grand illusion." But does the game link players in any way to specific elements of the setting. Sure, they can take muses that are from the setting, of course. But do they have to?


I suppose you don't have to, but why wouldn't you?  I'm the person playing Manto in this game, and of my three original Muses, two were related to the fact that I was on Mercury, and that any reorganization that Hermes decides to impose on the planet can cause businesses, warehouses, assets, homes, etc. to disappear.  My first Muse is actually to convince the Powers-That-Be on Mercury to not cause my business to disappear again.  That's kind of my "Now I'm a Demigod" muse, I think.  I hadn't thought about it that way, but I think that's what it is.  That will probably be the last muse to get resolved.

Ron was the one to suggest the Golden Fleece angle, and since I decided to start with my business having disappeared again, it would make sense that I'd have to do a little asset recovery.  It turns out that I'm not dealing with Original Jason, but rather a pale descendant named Jason.  That hasn't stopped Original Jason from getting involved, though.  I got, um, a rather serious talking-to  by both Original Jason and Pale Descendant on different occasions , which led to two new Muses, as soon as I could afford them.  They were:  1. Bring young Jason down a peg; and 2. Make Old Jason my little helper.  (And by "little helper," I mean "little dancing monkey.")  So I have a good number of Muses stewing right now, and as it turns out I think I am bringing them in a lot like I did to beef up my rolls in HQ (or HW, as it was known when I played it). I drew on tons of things in HQ to better my chances, and here I'm beefing up Muses and drawing on them in almost every conflict.  

I'm also the player who hasn't changed any of my starting stats yet.  No ups, no downs, no locks, no lock-breaks.  Any tricks I win in a conflict get pumped into new Muses or to beef up the ones I have.  So when I resolved the Golden Fleece Muse, and resolved the "Bring young Jason down a peg" Muse at the same time, I had each ramped up to six or seven.  Also, since I was working on these pretty single-mindedly, they each had a good share of Arete victories and Hubris victories that got put in Valor and Pride last session.   So, since I'm not using my tricks to change stats but instead to increase the value of my Muses, this means that if I can bring in one of my Muses I have a pretty big hand, and if I bring in two Muses then I have a monster hand.  I've tried to prolong conflicts to see if I can, say, knock someone's stat down and then lock it in the next round, but my Stasis draws have been pretty ineffectual in that regard.

Now that I think about it, I think I'm playing a weasel.  It hadn't occurred to me, but I'd have to be an ethically-challenged person to be a merchant on Mercury, where I decided that you were either an honest merchant or a con-artist, depending on the last reorganization.  Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it just... occurred.  I've done nothing so far in this game but promise things and then not deliver them.  And I'm going to continue this in the future, if my luck holds.

And my business deal with Tiresias is to start a "truth merchant" business.  I'm probably the wrongest person for that job.  But it's a niche that hasn't been exploited.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2005, 09:07:13 PM »

System stuff

This game is absolutely brilliant. Why? Because there is nothing to it whatsoever except for three nested reward systems. In order, from most short-term to most long-term.

TRICKS - associated with winning conflicts (or rather, rounds within conflicts), authority over final-events in narration, and whether to continue a given conflict; as well as rights to diddle with characters' scores (one's own and others). Tricks are basically "little wins" derived from card-draws and card-plays in the thick of conflict. They exist in the short-term, with a couple of slightly longer-term applications. But Tricks also can be converted into ...

MUSES - associated with resolving longer-term character goals, regardless of exactly how they're resolved. You build up Muses through Tricks, and their values add to the size of your hand during draws.

And various aspects of Muses, when they're resolved, get converted into ...

VALOR/PRIDE - associated with commitment and achievement at the metaphysical level of the setting, and spent to increase scores either directly or through adding "sidekick" entities to one's character. Ultimately, these changes nigh-inevitably result in the character either (a) becoming a god's Champion or (b) challenging a god and replacing him or her as a Usurper. This is all bound up with fundamental aspects of the setting, and with why player-characters ("Archons") exist in the first place.

Absolutely everything about the rules in Nine Worlds is some feature of these three reward systems in action. To play the game is to manage Tricks, Muses, and (soon) Valor/Pride. To do so, one's character gets pumped about goals and one's narrations add and subtract items to (or out) of the group's shared attention; i.e. story gets made. The reward system is therefore squeaky-Narrativist, as it's all about what themes get appreciated and highlighted, at three separate and nested time-scales. A fair amount of card-strategy and a fair amount of serious commitment to the setting are both involved as powerful, supportive practices.

You can also work the reward systems backwards, as a metagame mechanic, burning valuable resources you've worked hard to get, for shorter-term gain. For instance, you can spend (burn) Muse points for extra Tricks, if you've won a narration and didn't happen to get enough Tricks out of it. And you can also spend Valor or Pride to establish Trumps, which seems like a great thing to do until you understand that you'd rather have saved them for longer-term improvement.

In our game, the best way to see all this stuff in action is to look at the Muses and what's happened with them.

Maura's stuff turned out to be the most unified, and she skillfully invented new Muses that reinforced at least two of her existing ones, to generate enormous draws and very tightly-paced, highly-consequential conflicts. Maura loves riffing on Bangs and exploiting their unforeseen consequences, very much in the way a lead singer or guitarist might take the bass-player's sudden "pop" or pedal-note as a lead in to a bravura solo. She did this all the time in HeroQuest (then Hero Wars) by combining outrageously-different abilities as in-the-moment viable augmentations.

Tod's stuff was almost all based on his interest in the naval-battles and sea-god concepts, especially since the three of us couldn't remember the relationships among Nereus, Proteus, and the Old Man of the Sea, and were delighted to discover that all the Greek scholars were just as confused. Ah-ha! Mystery! We had lots of fun establishing this sort of thing as an in-game relevant issue for his character, and his Muses got all wrapped up in it. He also added a romantic Muse-twist for his graduate student, Stacey.

Julie's stuff was the oddball combination, very deliberately on her part. Clearly cementing her membership with the Free Spartans isn't going to endear her to Ares, for example, and the personal-vengeance thing is offbeat from both of those. So Julie keeps finding only one Muse firing at a time, and even making new Muses was only giving her two-at-a-time. It makes her character less effective in the short term, conflict for conflict, than Manto, but it also makes for a more dramatic, conflicted, and adversely-challenged character.

Everyone has resolved at least a couple of Muses by this point, which means they are now discovering the nuances of the high-level reward system - and facing really painful decisions about whether to burn Valor or Pride for Trump, now that the NPCs are starting to do it.

I have tons more yet to post! I haven't even explained the murder and sex yet.

Best,
Ron
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Eero Tuovinen
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« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2005, 09:27:21 PM »

Keep on posting! This is great stuff, I'm almost starting to understand the game now. Would help if I was in Helsinki, where my dozen Nine Worlds are, so I could read it. I've just read the playtest document, and that left a rather lukewarm impression.
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Mike Holmes
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« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2005, 06:28:08 AM »

I guess my point is that one could take as muses simply characters who weren't particularly associated with any part of the setting. Like something to do with tracking down some traveling merchant. I'm not talking about turtling up, but about "missing" the setting and just creating stuff ancilary to it with the muses.

I mean in HQ, you have to take a homeland keyword, which means that the relationships derived from it relate to that homeland. Making a link to the setting inescapable. Now, I know that there's no reason not to have your muses be set strongly in the setting, but in other games where people get to create NPCs, with players who haven't played games like HQ or understand how neat it is to be linked to the setting, will the statements of the muses be particularly likely to be linked to the setting?

I haven't read my copy closely enough yet, but is there something now in the text on muses that states that a player should link them to the setting? It seems that you guys used a lot of actual mythology, which is what created many of the setting links...is that suggested in the text, or did you come up with that on your own?

BTW, I was refering to Arete and Hubris in regards to the "illusion" stuff. But I take it that the context of these things has changed substantially? Or is it still about supporting the order of the universe or changing it to your norms?

That said, the Valor/Pride thing, from what you've said Ron, does seem to connect the player to the setting in the same way that Hero Quest does with heroquests. Making it about changing the world.

What I'm seeing overall seems somewhat different, however, in that I'm seeing far more incentive to change things, than to try to protect things, which is often the case in Hero Quest. That is, in HQ your choice is in part, old or new. It seems in Nine Worlds that the choice is more which new you want to support. Would that seem accurate to you?

Mike
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Matt Snyder
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« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2005, 06:39:22 AM »

Just to chime in here with a couple quick points (work's a bitch, again!).

First, I'm with Eero. This GREAT stuff. Pretty much required reading for anyone at all interested in Nine Worlds. Ron and his crew have blown me away with the little I already know about their sessions. Can't wait to hear more.

Second, to Mike's query:

Quote from: Mike Holmes
I haven't read my copy closely enough yet, but is there something now in the text on muses that states that a player should link them to the setting? It seems that you guys used a lot of actual mythology, which is what created many of the setting links...is that suggested in the text, or did you come up with that on your own?


Yes, it's there. It's a suggestion, not a rule or a requirement. But then, it's in a section telling you "hot to make a good Muse." Here's a quote from the text:

Quote
This game encourages players to be creative and ambitious in writing Muses. Players should not shy away from Muses that involve powerful immortals and other cosmic goals. Players should create “built-in” conflict with their well-crafted Muses. These help create situations that require players to make powerful decisions and exciting, dramatic stories.

Muses that involve relationships with mortal or immortal characters are optimal. The more players involve family, friends, fellow Archons, allies like the Eternals, and enemies like the Titans, the more likely the Muse will help create rewarding drama in play. Similarly, Muses that involve the events and places of the diverse Nine Worlds help make the game an exciting, drama-rich exploration. For more information on the game’s universe and events, see Cosmology starting on page 30.
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jrs
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« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2005, 07:13:08 AM »

In response to Mike's question about our use of mythology in muse creation,  as Matt pointed out it is suggested by the rules.  But, it is also simply our nature due to our play history (we did the same thing when we played Fulminata) and our environment (3 walls in the room where we usually game contain bookshelves--the section on religion and mythology is about 5 ft from where I sit).

I'm enjoying Nine Worlds and I love the greek mythology setting.  However, I am struggling with one aspect of the system; I have this thing about cards as a resolution mechanic in that I want them to retain some of the qualities of actually card games.  During play, Ron usually sets up conflicts so that all of us are playing our hands about the same time even though the conflicts themselves are not unified.  Ron plays with several decks and lays out hands for each conflict.  My problem is that I see his cards before I've decided how to use mine.  This really throws me and doesn't fit my idea of card play.  This isn't a problem with dice but for me it's a problem when the cards represent a temporary randomly generated resource.  If I can tell that Ron will win the hand, do I still play as if to win giving him tricks or do I cut my losses and deliberately play a low hand.  This is my dilemma, and I can't tell if it's a personal issue I have, I'm missing something in the rules, or it's just the way we're playing.  

Julie
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2005, 07:22:48 AM »

Hello,

Couple of responses so far

Mike: I really recommend taking a full new look at the game. The book I got at GenCon is a full thematic and procedural shift from anything Matt presented before that, and his demoing at GenCon didn't bring out these new strengths of the game. And yes, the ultimate conflict is about according with the world as the gods want/see it vs. shaping it to your will, but none of that has anything to do with any kind of "illusion."

Maura: you know, I think you're playing a weasel too. It's interesting to see the difference between your Hero Wars character, who had a lot of integrity and grief built into her back-story, and this one - both reinforced by similar play-techniques on your part. Maybe that's why I enjoyed Medea's appearance in the latest episode; she's the ultimate non-weasel character in Greek myth. Oh, and I was also hoping that you and Julie would take some steps to get your characters into direct interaction, especially following our shared insight about that during our Mountain Witch game.

Julie: I'm looking forward to Matt's response to your question, because it stumps me too. Perhaps some kind of free-and-clear phase where everyone shows their hands, then everyone can revise their hands, until we're all done?

But I also think that I haven't yet made clear how I'm running multiple conflicts at once. That's planned for the next post, and maybe that has to get fully explained before your question gets understood enough to be answered ...

Everyone gets what Muses are, right?

Muses are a very streamlined and effective version of Keys (The Shadow of Yesterday), Spiritual Attributes (The Riddle of Steel), Goals (HeroQuest (an often-overlooked portion of this game)), and Destiny (Sorcerer & Sword). You state a concrete goal. You accumulate points in it by getting Tricks and farming them there instead of using them for short-term gain. Those points add to the number of cards you draw in conflicts involving the Muse; multiple Muses are allowed in a conflict.

You keep track of all the conflicts you win in which a given Muse was utilized, per Muse. You also keep track of whether the victories were Hubris or Arete based.
This is the only tricky record-keeping in the game.

When a Muse is resolved in any way shape or form, farm the victories from Hubris conflicts into Pride, and the victories from Arete conflicts into Valor, on a 1:1 basis. This is moving into the highest-scale reward system.

So making Muses, using Muses, and resolving Muses is the heart of the three-tier reward system of the game. Or to put it slightly differently, getting your character into trouble, committing to various outcomes during instances of that trouble, and in doing so, establishing the character's "cred" in spiritual setting terms, on either or both sides of the greater-scale conflicts.

A couple of useful threads about Tricks, Muses, and conflicts:
Nine Worlds
[9W] Problems with certain actions

A key System detail

In one of the threads I referenced in the first post, I talk about one of the key realizations for playing this game at all, the one linchpin of resolution that feeds into the importance of Muses in a way which might be missed.

Quick review: when a conflict gets going, everyone involved draws a hand of cards. Then everyone plays a set of cards from that hand, all of a single suit. From this and some scores on the sheets, everyone now has a Fate value. We now know who's won and who's lost the conflict (or rather, what they wanted out of the conflict). Narration proceeds from lowest to highest Fate score, with each person constrained (a) by knowing who's won and who's lost, and (b) by knowing that there's more narration to come, if you're not the final one.

Here's the point: The final narrator decides whether to end the current conflict. The final narrator by definition had the best Fate score, and has by definition also won his or her way in that set of draws. He or she has a very important choice:

1. Finish the conflict, have it be over, with his or her character effectively getting their way. If the player has any Tricks to use, then he or she usually pumps them into Muses, as most other forms of Trick-using are limited to the conflict and are cancelled when it's over (exception: Stasis). Also, you get to chalk up either an Arete or a Hubris victory with the Muses you currently have in action for this conflict.

OR

2. Decide to continue the conflict with another draw all 'round. This converts their current wonderful Fate score into a temporary advantage rather than a conflict-clincher. It also ensures that everyone's cards used so far are out of their decks; everyone is drawing with reduced decks now. It also permits tweaking one's own or anyone else's scores with Tricks; this will only last for the given conflict in most cases, but that's what the person is setting up.

And no, the answer is not always "Duh, of course I quit while I'm ahead." People have these things to consider:

a) can I do a useful thing with Tricks, and keep the conflict going, especially if I can lock someone up? i.e. angling for a one-two punch
b) is this actually a useful, meaningful time to win this conflict? (this is very much like the decisions in Pool dice-pool usage, which people who haven't played the Pool are always, meaninglessly, trying to strategize when they talk about playing it)
c) am I better off closing now and using all the Tricks to beef up my Muses?

Now!! This is another big part of this set of decisions. All narrators, but especially the final one, has a hell of a lot of power to resolve Muses than is immediately apparent. Again and again, I've seen people extend conflicts into new draws even when they win them, because they are less interested in winning this one little skirmish than they are in angling for more Tricks, later, relative to their Muses currently in play, in order to build those Muses up. It's an excellent example of being willing to see your character hosed.

And finally, the net effect across many scenes is this: pacing is no longer a single participant's problem, but instead is 100% effectively managed by the cumulative effect of person-to-person narration of whoever wins the conflicts, or rather which narrators decide to end the conflicts.

"Wow," one of us said along the way, "This is Metal Opera meets HeroQuest!"

Little glitches in our heads

We did encounter a few rules-understanding glitches, but ironed out them out over the first couple of sessions.

1. One's cards do get "used up" during a conflict, so one's deck is shrinking as a conflict is taken into multiple draws - this is key because people with massive Muses in action are also more vulnerable to running out of cards - they burn out if they're too fired up, you see, very Greek.

2. Between conflicts, however, cards used/discarded during the previous conflict may either get re-shuffled to restore the full deck or be left where they are, keeping the reduced deck, as the player decides.

3. During a final narration, Tricks only come from the cards chosen for play from the participants' given hand, not from the whole hands.

One more glitch cropped up in the last session, however. Matt, help!

A conflict is occurring. One character spends Valor, Pride, or Force to call a suit as Trump. This character ends up winning the conflict with the highest Fate score in the Trump suit (and will certainly be using the Tricks). However, his or her Fate value is less than the Fate value of a character who played another suit.

The rules are explicit that a player does not have to follow suit in a Trump situation, but can play another suit. However, he or she is guaranteed to lose the conflict. But what if his or her Fate score is higher than the winning character's?

Who gets final narration in this case? How is order determined if not by strict Fate score?

Murder and sex in the next big post, I promise.

Best,
Ron
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Matt Snyder
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« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2005, 07:27:22 AM »

Quote from: jrs
My problem is that I see his cards before I've decided how to use mine.  This really throws me and doesn't fit my idea of card play.  This isn't a problem with dice but for me it's a problem when the cards represent a temporary randomly generated resource.  If I can tell that Ron will win the hand, do I still play as if to win giving him tricks or do I cut my losses and deliberately play a low hand.  This is my dilemma, and I can't tell if it's a personal issue I have, I'm missing something in the rules, or it's just the way we're playing.  

Julie


Hello Julie!

I may be misunderstanding the set-up. Why does Ron reveal his cards before you? Ideally, it's a simultaneous play. You pick your cards, Ron picks his, everyone else picks theirs. Then, everyone reveals their choices.

I hope Ron will explain a bit more about these "multiple conflict" issues, perhaps with an example. I ask because the conflits may not have to be unrelated at all. So long as players declare relevant opponents, then the conflicts are related, if distantly so. They matter because the PLAYERS matter to one another.

(Then, it's up to the players. They might ask themselves "Do I have enough Muse power to involve myself with the other players' opponents, even if I'm not 'there'? If not, maybe I'm stretching myself too thin." Better yet, if the player has a Muse meaningfully tied to another player or that player's opponents, he should be involved! Maybe the Muse will be resolved!)

The book is not sufficiently clear about declaring opponents, I'm sorry to say. The Player's Kit download I should help clarify this.
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Matt Snyder
www.chimera.info

"The future ain't what it used to be."
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jrs
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« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2005, 07:33:01 AM »

Quote from: Matt Snyder
Ideally, it's a simultaneous play. You pick your cards, Ron picks his, everyone else picks theirs. Then, everyone reveals their choices.

Hm.  What you describe is more in line with how I think of card play.  It is not how we are playing though.  I'll let Ron describe the multiple conflicts set-ups in our game.

I'll come back later when I have a little more time.

Julie
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Matt Snyder
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« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2005, 07:56:47 AM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards
A conflict is occurring. One character spends Valor, Pride, or Force to call a suit as Trump. This character ends up winning the conflict with the highest Fate score in the Trump suit (and will certainly be using the Tricks). However, his or her Fate value is less than the Fate value of a character who played another suit.

The rules are explicit that a player does not have to follow suit in a Trump situation, but can play another suit. However, he or she is guaranteed to lose the conflict. But what if his or her Fate score is higher than the winning character's?

Who gets final narration in this case? How is order determined if not by strict Fate score?


Ah, excellent question. I do not think the text covers this, but as you might guess, Trump still wins.

How to handle it? Organize the narrations of the non-trump Fates first. They go in order from lowest to highest for Narration. Then, once all non-trump victors (if any -- it's possible depending on a variety of opponents), organize all TRUMP Fates from lowest to highest.

Trump beats non-Trump in every possible way. Trump victors get first dibs on capturing Tricks, they narrate "last" and so on.

Ron, you've rightly pointed out, and dealt very well with some inadaquacies. I'm strongly considering a revised version of the game to cover these and other excellent questions and criticisms.

That said, I'm extremely excited to hear such great stuff about the game. I knew it was there, it was punchy, and I'm so glad to hear some actual play feedback about it.

Bring on the sex and murder!
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Matt Snyder
www.chimera.info

"The future ain't what it used to be."
--Yogi Berra
joshua neff
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« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2005, 07:01:27 AM »

This is a half-on-topic/half-off-topic question, for the mythology buffs: what are some good sources for Greek mythology? I'd like to read more, both for Nine Worlds and HeroQuest. Is Edith Hamilton still considered a good source? It's been a while since I was a big Greek mythology buff...back in middle school.
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--josh

"You can't ignore a rain of toads!"--Mike Holmes
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