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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 174 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [Sweet Dreams] Example of Play  (Read 1230 times)

Posts: 85

May Contain Monkeys

« on: June 07, 2005, 06:14:22 PM »

After a lot of related comments this past week, I've decided to rewrite the Example of Play for the Sweet Dreams Players' Book.  My previous example was intended primarily to teach new players the roles of player and Guide.  I now think it is more worthwhile for the example to inspire experienced role-players with what is special about Sweet Dreams.  I'm also thinking of moving this example to the start of the book, so it's what new players see when they pick up the book to flip through.  So what I want the example to show, in order of importance:

1.  The web of character relationships, some are rivals, some are lovers, their personal agendas may conflict or overlap.  

2.  The plot is created by players and focused on their characters' goals.  The Guide facilitates the players plots more than frorcing their own plot.  

3.  The gameplay is mostly social interaction, and investigation, with some action, combat and magic.  

4.  Magic is imaginary, some characters don't see it or believe in it.  

Any suggestions as to how best to show these features through an example of play?  How much system should I include?  I don't want to break down  every action into mechanics, because the player won't know the rules yet.  But if I don't show any system, the example makes the game look a lot more freeform narrativist than it really is.  

My current plan is for a 2 page example of play.  First I introduce 4 characters, and their motivations in the scene.

Alicia (Crush on Sam, wants to be Popular)
Firefly (Likes Zack, protecting her own secrets)
Sam (Likes Alicia, wants to solve mysteries)
Zack (Crush on Alicia, Likes Firefly)
The scene is the School hallway on a break between classes, so it's tight and focused, with a definite end.  Alicia tries to pass a note to Sam.  Zack intercepts it.  Sam manipulates a group of NPC jocks to attack Zack.  Firefly uses her powers to stop the fight and save Zack.  The bell rings and everyone goes to their next class.  Some of them think they were daydreaming Firefly's power, others now know she's a monster.

I'd welcome any suggestions or examples.

Sweet Dreams - Romance, Espionage, and Horror in High School
The Big Night - children's game with puppets

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Posts: 3702

« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2005, 07:01:40 PM »

Do you need four characters?  The social networking implies that each character you add increases the complexity of the example geometrically.  I don't think you could get away with two (because it wouldn't allow for two characters to have different opinions on a third) but can you get away with three?

Just published: Capes
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Posts: 5574

« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2005, 07:02:33 PM »

I'm kind of fond of running side bars along side the exampe.  At each point of contact between the rules and the example you can add a bullet in the side bar with your mechanics notes and a page reference.

So you have "Blah blah, stuff and things, and some cool dude does some cool move, blah blah." in the example.  

And then right next to it in the side bar is "Here player X is using a Froogle Point (page 12) to interrupt player Y's narration to make a Blargle Check against his Frumpage Score (page 16 and 32).

That way you have 1) a nice bit of flavor text free from gamey stuff which provides good color like a fiction vignette.  2) rules notes alongside the fiction that shows how the game actually uses system to craft that narrative and its not just the GM reading a text box.  3) a kind of table of context organized by useage.  If your examples cover enough different things you can get the closest thing to hyperlinked text in a printed book.

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