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Author Topic: A Manifesto on Mastery  (Read 8355 times)
Michael S. Miller
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« on: May 09, 2005, 06:08:37 AM »

A Manifesto on Mastery is available in the latest issue of Daedelus. Read and tremble, underlings!

The Master will indulge questions, clarifications, discussion and the like here.
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Victor Gijsbers
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« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2005, 09:25:09 AM »

Thank you, Master! This will make it so much easier for your servant to enthrall the good burghers of Antwerpen at his future con-game, and bind them in your service.


How is your experience with being a Master for people you don't know (at cons and the like)? Specifically, how do they react to things like you invading their "personal space"?
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Michael S. Miller
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« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2005, 11:14:40 AM »

Hi, Victor.

Glad you found the Manifesto helpful. Good luck at running your convention event.

Quote from: Victor Gijsbers
How is your experience with being a Master for people you don't know (at cons and the like)? Specifically, how do they react to things like you invading their "personal space"?


As with all individuals, each according to his gifts. I haven't had any problems with this at cons. I do my best to make my physical presence distinct when playing the Master--I don't carry myself like I do when playing any other characters or explaing the rules, or just hanging out, being me. I think this is a very subtle but very powerful aid in helping people to differentiate the Master threatening their minion, and me threatening them.

It's also very helpful  to state it in the very beginning: "I plan on walking around the table and using my physical presence during the game. If anyone's not comfortable with that, please let me know now."
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Adam Dray
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« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2005, 12:31:14 PM »

I loved the article. I had a comment about one bit:

Quote
It is indeed tempting to Crush each and every object of Love. If you do, you will destroy the game. It may seem reasonable that the Master would want to destroy any resources the minions have to oppose him. Such thinking comes of regarding the Master as a character, not as a club. Remember that you are wielding the club for a purpose: To enable the catharsis of the players. The only method the rules give them for achieving that emotional release and taking the club away from you is to accumulate enough points of Love. If you systematically rob them of their Love points, you have stopped being a scapegoat and begun being a bully.


The Master does not want to destroy all his minions' loved-ones. He has an in-character motive to keep some of them alive as leverage over his minions. If the Master kills every last Contact, he has nothing to threaten.

Nonetheless, your point is taken. The Master must eventually fall, and accumulation of Love is the only way to do it. My feeling is that the System should handle this and allow the Master to be as evil as he likes. Let the System hold him back. I've only run one game (and played in a second) and I felt the rules did a good job of letting Master be as evil as he wants without having to hold back one drop of blood.
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Michael S. Miller
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« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2005, 12:54:34 PM »

Hi, Adam.

Yes, the rules DO hold the Master back by forcing him to act through the minions. When played properly, the only way he can get at Connections is to command minions to go after them.

I wrote that bit you quoted as a warning against those who might read my bit about using the Master as a club and think that it meant that the Master's every command ought to be "Igor, kill Lucinda's Connection." "Lucinda, kill Guiseppi's Connection." "Guiseppi, kill Igor's Connection." Which, as you pointed out, is against the Master's interest both in- and out-of-game.
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Victor Gijsbers
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2005, 01:59:35 AM »

My convention game went very well. Although there was too little room to comfortably walk around the table, the Master used body language by standing up, bending forwards and now and then screaming very loudly.

The players created a Master who was a nazi-scientist in the 60's trying to rear a new Adolf Hitler in an unnamed village in South-America; but this 12 year old boy was very shy and didn't hate anyone and was secretly in live with an indian girl instead of the specially selected 'Eva Braun 2' - he made a very, very tragic minion. I'll post an Actual Play report sometime soon.

We did get some very quaint looks though from other gaming tables when the Master, in a fit of rage, shouted at the top of his lungs: "You are an Untermensch!" Oh well.
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Victor Gijsbers
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2005, 01:39:23 PM »

The actual play report is here.
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Steve Harvey
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« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2006, 04:01:40 PM »

Mike (et al),

I'm hoping to run MLWM in the near future, and would love to read the Manifesto on Mastery, but the Daedalus site appears to be no more.

Could you repost the essay here or direct me to where I might find it elsewhere?
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Michael S. Miller
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« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2006, 07:13:03 AM »

I see. Matt is giving Daedelus a facelift at the moment, so I've taken the liberty of posting the Maifesto on my own site. You can now read it at http://incarnadine.indie-rpgs.com/manifesto.html.
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Steve Harvey
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« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2006, 12:22:04 PM »

Thanks! A very good read; I found the advice on pacing especially helpful, both from a standpoint of keeping up tension, and of keeping the game flowing given its strong "make it up as you go" nature (which I'm a little nervous about, having never GMd such a heavily improvised game before, but I'm looking forward to the challenge).

I ran a Paranoia game a few weeks ago, and one of the things that really stuck with me is that vague, ominous threats can do a lot more to make a player squirm and sweat than actually taking action against them; it sounds like MLWM has lots of room for similar psychology.
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Christoph Boeckle
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« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2007, 05:28:01 AM »

Michael asked me to announce the new location for the Manifesto.
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Regards,
Christoph
Michael S. Miller
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« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2008, 07:19:49 AM »

The Manifesto on Mastery has moved yet again. I dearly hope this will be for the last time. It's (final?) resting place is: http://ipressgames.com/manifesto.html

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Incarnadine Press--The Redder, the Better!
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