*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
July 14, 2020, 06:44:14 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 179 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
Pages: [1]
Print
Author Topic: [Cold Iron] Another Tekumel session  (Read 4588 times)
ffilz
Member

Posts: 468


WWW
« on: January 30, 2005, 09:36:52 PM »

We had our third session yesterday. Having been reminded that an event writeup isn't as useful as comments on the actual play, I'll try and deal more with actual play and less with the post session writeup.

We had another player join the campaign, another player who had played in my Arcana Unearthed campaign last year. He was the one that I described as "the most gamist."  I'm still not comfortable with assessing CA, so I'm not sure how fair this is. I do very much enjoy having him as a player though, especially when he isn't pushing the edges of the system in ways that I dislike (of course with Cold Iron I will have an advantage of comfort with the system I didn't have with d20). He is sucking up the material though, he is the first player to borrow Tekumel books from me.

He decided to play a warrior-sorceror (which doesn't really fit Tekumel, but is supported by the rules, and something I'm willing to have). An interesting thing will be to see how his choice of temple plays in the game. He chose Dlamelish, the change goddess of wanton sexuality He also chose to be a foreighner, so his actual temple is a combination of Avanthe and Dlamelish (Avanthe is the stability goddess of fertility - I'm really shorcutting these descriptions).

This choice raises a social contract issue with sexuality. I will need to exchange some communication with the young wife to make sure she feels empowered to speak up (most likely in private to me) if she is uncomfortable. Of course I will need to payattention to the other players also.

They continued their exploration into the tunnels after some lively discussion with the new character (who had been cowering in an alcove as a pair of undead passed by him). Thekuto the undead decided to continue exploring the passage during this debate and came to a door which was being guarded by a zombie. The zombie was indifferent to his presence (he is a superior type of undead and the zombie assumed he was supposed to be there).

The rest of the party finally came on down the passage. I had considered interrupting their discussion, but it I decided not to, partly because it was kind of fun watching the exchange, but probably mostly becaused it seemed worthwhile for the new character to be accepted into the group (and it was played far better than the scene in "The Gamers" where the replacement mage joins the party...).

Finally the party continued down the passage and the zombie charged (assuming Thekuto would join the fight also). Of course the zombie had a surprise comming. I pointed out that Thekuto would gain an attack at the zombie's worst defence the first round. Battle was quickly engaged but the battle didn't go well. Thekuto wasn't really able to capitalize on his position (these zombies really are a bit much for the PCs, and since they are starting at 2nd level in a level based system, there is a high whiff factor in combat - especially for characters not designed to be front line fighters). The players are still learning the system. At one point, Dowian, the aristocrat was in a position to put the zombie in a 3 on 1 situation but delayed joining the fight. Eventually he did join and they were able to take out the zombie.

I saw several things come out of this. One issue is that starting at 2nd level, the sorcerors really don't have much to contribute to combat. The priestess can contribute some to a fight against undead, but she was also down on mana points and was conserving her energy at the beginning. The new player really sat this battle out. Another issue is that all the real fighters are NPCs (well one is a PC, but the player has not been able to make the last two sessions). My combat heavy style is also bumping into non-combat optimized characters.

One real interesting observation was that I never took the time to show the new player how to use the normal distribution chart, but he managed to pick it up from watching the other players.

After that fight, they rested up and returned for a third try. They wound up fighting two zombies but they managed the combat much better and Thekuto scored a very good hit that almost killed one of the zombies.

Through the door was a tomb which gave Thekuto a chance to use his thieving (er tomb robbing) skills to find traps. He failed to disable one, but discovered poison doesn't bother undead very much. A round of not very good spot checks almost missed the false floor in the tomb until the priestess stepped up and rolled real good.

At that point, we broke off for the evening.

Hmm, it's reall hard to capture the actual play experience after the fact.

I managed to get some actual feedback from the new player. He said he enjoyed the game and thought he would like the system, though he hadn't quite come to terms with the normal distribution chart.

During the rest period, I assigned some experience to Thekuto and the aristocrat since both had engaged in enough combat to gain 2nd level warrior. The aristocrat player resisted this somewhat which may be a warning of GNS mismatch. My experience system is Sim leaning in that most of the experience is assigned by me based on what the character actually did - if a sorcerer doesn't cast any spells but goes blade slinging (even if badly), he will get warrior experience, not sorcerer experience. I do give some experience based on "the fun of the game session" and "accomplishing goals" that is assigned by the player. Also, since I didn't give full experience, the aristocrat player didn't get the opportunity to observe that he was getting just as much aristocrat experience as warrior (and presumably more when he assigns his bonus experience).

Ultimately, I think things are going pretty well. The three returning players seem to be enjoying themselves. It may not turn out to be the right game for the others, and if it doesn't I will feel bad that I wasn't able to communicate better what my style was before play. I really did try and get some feedback from the aristocrat player before he joined though I think one limitation he has is that he isn't that experienced with table top role playing, apparently most of his experience is with Russion LARP. He did bring some video clips from the Russion LARP and I wish there had been time to view them because I think that would be really cool, and would also provide an opportunity for him to talk about actual play from his viewpoint.

I have become a lot more comfortable with what style of play I enjoy. I am interested in trying out some Nar play, but I'll have to find the right group for that, or maybe next year I'll have had a good dose of old school play and be ready for something different.

Frank
Logged

Frank Filz
Tim Alexander
Member

Posts: 304


« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2005, 10:20:46 AM »

Hey Frank,

I'm pretty much completely unfamiliar with Tekumel so some of this is pretty foreign to me. That said your post made me wonder a couple of things, specifically:

Quote
This choice raises a social contract issue with sexuality. I will need to exchange some communication with the young wife to make sure she feels empowered to speak up (most likely in private to me) if she is uncomfortable. Of course I will need to payattention to the other players also.


Have you read Ron's Sex and Sorcery supplement for Sorcerer? It deals pretty explicitly with sex in games, and almost entirely from the standpoint of social contract.

also:

Quote
My experience system is Sim leaning in that most of the experience is assigned by me based on what the character actually did - if a sorcerer doesn't cast any spells but goes blade slinging (even if badly), he will get warrior experience, not sorcerer experience. I do give some experience based on "the fun of the game session" and "accomplishing goals" that is assigned by the player. Also, since I didn't give full experience, the aristocrat player didn't get the opportunity to observe that he was getting just as much aristocrat experience as warrior (and presumably more when he assigns his bonus experience).


Have you considered giving experience more interactively, at the point of play? It might give the players a more direct feedback into how their actions are effecting their advancement. Your aristocrat may have found himself able to modify the in game behavior more effectively knowing his actions were driving him towards leveling the warrior aspect. I'm not sure if this is realistic, but maybe something to consider.

-Tim
Logged
Sean
Guest
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2005, 12:51:59 PM »

Hi Frank - thanks for the writeup.

Are the zombies Shedra?

Is the new guy playing a Salarvyani worshipper of Shirinyaggi? If so, is the player OK with being so hairy? Those Salarvyani are pretty hirsute, and their pomaded beards smell funny. At least they're not redhats.

FYI temple sorcerers of Karakan and Vimuhla often know how to fight, if you're just looking to do something more Tsolyani-centric.

Poking around the tsu'urum is pretty old-school. I wonder though - is the 'non-combat-optimized' characters a tip that some of your crew is looking for something a little more Nar already? When you look over these characters, what do they say to you about what the players want to experience in the game?

A fightin', magic-slingin', sex-worshippin' foreigner does sound like sort of a power-fantasy character, but how does the guy want the power fantasy to play out? Through game-level victories or through emotionally loaded conflicts in the shared imaginary world? Or both/either? What about the others?

Almost all my experience getting Narrativist play working is with old-school systems, and my technique is always the same: look at player psychology. Give them a lot of little things to react to; see what they wish they'd had more of. Then give it to them: emotional double-crosses, risky political ventures, love and death.

That's of course assuming it's what you and they want. Why are they in the tsu'urum right now? But it's food for thought anyway. If people are being given a system called "Cold Iron" (should be chlen-hide, la) and going into dungeons and making non-combat-optimized characters, this may be due to inexperience, but it may also be because the players desire something a little different to begin with. Just something for you to consider; I'm not there so it's hard for me to say for sure.
Logged
ffilz
Member

Posts: 468


WWW
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2005, 02:17:53 PM »

Tim - yes, I have Sex and Sorcery, and it definitely has some good points. I should re-read it though. I did send a note to my groups e-mail list pointing out that I considered the fact that not everyone might be comfortable. The response so far has indicated that people are comfortable with the level we are on (which is is mostly at the innuendo level).

On more interractive experience, that is something I should consider. I think it was mostly the player not realizing the experience would be dished out in a Sim fashion. As a player he realizes that combat will happen, and that his character is liable to find himself in melee. However, I also recognize that his choice of character is a signal to me that I do need to provide some non-combat opportunities for him to shine in (and I have done so already, just none in this most recent session).

Sean - the zombies are Mrur. Yes, the character is a Salarvyani worshipper of Shirinyaggi. I'm sure the player won't have any problems with that (besides, he (the PC) is quite a freak anyway, he's an albino).

Yea, Karakan or Vimuhla would be better for a sorcer/warrior type. I don't really have a problem mutating things a bit though.

Frank
Logged

Frank Filz
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2005, 08:50:40 PM »

Hello,

Frank, my question for you concerns your own personal satisfaction levels with play.

Was it fun? If so or if not, specifically why? What moments, what interactions, what payoffs?

Best,
Ron
Logged
Valamir
Member

Posts: 5574


WWW
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2005, 07:40:29 AM »

I'll even be more specific than Ron.

Give me 1 point in the game where you sat back and thought "yeah...that's why I enjoy roleplaying".

Give me 1 point in the game where you frowned and thought "ick...these last few minutes have really not had much fun factor"

Give me 1 point in the game where one or more of the players did something (and what was it) that made you think that they just had a "yeah" or "ick" moment.


Now that you've given us an event summary to put some context too it, tell us what actually happened at the table to the real people...not the characters.
Logged

ffilz
Member

Posts: 468


WWW
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2005, 01:00:28 PM »

Ok - in the future, I'm going to follow the suggestions in the sticky thread... thanks Chris (Bankuei) for posting them and Ron (and others) for adding some clarification.

Now on to the questions at hand...

One "yea this is it!" moment in the game was when the new PC was being introduced to the group. The players bantered back and forth for several minutes while I mostly just sat back and listened, tossing the odd coment or two in.

The one "oops, that was unfun" point was when I handed out the experience and the aristocrat player sort of balked. This of course is also the one point where a player had an "ick" moment.

Was it fun? Overall definitely. A strong factor in making it fun is that I'm using a ruleset that I am comfortable with. Another strong factor is the players. They are enjoyable to spend time with. The new PC introduction was definitely a good moment. The 2nd battle where the players started to come together was definitely a good moment (and a payoff of seeing the players starting to absorb the system).

Does that help? Unfortunately things have faded a bit since the game session.

Frank
Logged

Frank Filz
drozdal
Member

Posts: 66


WWW
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2005, 06:37:56 PM »

Hey ffilz

Quote from: ffilz
The new player really sat this battle out. Another issue is that all the real fighters are NPCs (well one is a PC, but the player has not been able to make the last two sessions).

Did You considered letting your players run NPC's during combat? That would take a large load off your back and also allow non-coamatant characters to participate in combat scenes.

Quote from: ffilz
My combat heavy style is also bumping into non-combat optimized characters.


Did you spoke about it with players before game started? You admitted that you run combat-heavy game, and maybe if players knew your style they would be able to create characters that fit better with more comabt oriented game.
Logged

ffilz
Member

Posts: 468


WWW
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2005, 09:39:36 PM »

Yea, letting underinvolved players run NPCs would be a good thing to do.  I tried to be honest about the amount of combat in my games, but perhaps I wasn't brutally honest. I also tried to engage the aristocrat player in some discussion about what he liked in games before he started. I wonder if some of it is language barrier (he's from Russia), also, I don't know how how much tabletop roleplaying experience he's had (he's mentioned that in Russia it's mostly LARP).

One thing I'm definitely finding is people really don't seem to know how to talk about what they want out of gaming (including myself).

Frank
Logged

Frank Filz
ffilz
Member

Posts: 468


WWW
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2005, 01:19:59 PM »

A cool thing happened today...

A few days ago the newest player sent me some back story. I decided to post it to the Tekumel Yahoo list to get some opinions and this has kicked off quite an interesting discussion. Today, the player popped into the discussion. This campaign is quickly heading down the road to being very much what I want.

Frank
Logged

Frank Filz
Pages: [1]
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!