*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
October 25, 2014, 09:31:43 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 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 62 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
Pages: [1]
Print
Author Topic: SWITCH - a game of changing genres  (Read 1822 times)
garapata
Member

Posts: 41


WWW
« on: July 31, 2005, 09:34:56 AM »

Okay, here's the game I have playtested and though of expanding here, to one day share as a free PDF online.

SWITCH : Is a role-playing game meant to be played to have fun and test one's limits to adapting to a situation/system shift all the while maintaining a coherent and fun game.

Unlike most RPGs, in SWITCH, all players at some point or another, play the role of moderating tha game. Whereas most games have a single person playing the Dungeon Master or Storyteller, in this game, the REMOTE CONTROLLER , who at certain key points in the game "Changes the channel"

CHARACTER AND WORLD CREATION
At the start of the game, All players will roll 1d10 and note down which "Genre" they roll from the table below. This is their Primary Trait. They roll a second time to determine their secondary trait (which cannot be the same genre).

Ex.
Jay rolls a 4 and a 7, which means his character is has Drama as his primary trait and Hentai as his secondary trait.

Once every player has noted down their Primary and Secondary traits, All players roll 1d10 once. The rolls are then totalled until they get one final number. This number is the World Genre at the start of the game.

Ex.
Jay rolls 7, Vic rolls 3, Adrian rolls 9 and Seth rolls 2.
7 + 3 + 9 + 2 = 21 = 2 + 1 = 3
The World Genre is 3 = High Technology

The player with the highest roll get's to define the World Genre to establish the setting of the game. In the event of ties, the older player among those tied gets to define the game. In the event of another tie, the cutest among the oldest decides. Obviously, you will have to come up with some way to decide on that. And no, there can be no ties for the cutest.

Ex.
Adrian, having rolled a 9, gets to define the World Genre: High Tech. He decides to define it as Big-Robot Steam Punk and has the game set in a planet similar to Earth ruled by an evil Artificial Intelligence calling itself the Emperor . He tells the players that they all are rebels part of a group attempting to overthrow the Emperor.

Now, Characters can be more clearly defined.
Will continue after Genre Table.

BASIC GENRE TABLE
1 - Comedy
2 - Occult/Magic
3 - High Tech/Science Fiction/Machines
4 - Drama/Musical/Emotional
5 - Environmental Messages/Issues
6 - Kung Fu Martial Arts Wuxia
7 - Hentai/Yaoi/Yuri
8 - Fantasy
9 - Talking Animals
10 - Noir

CHARACTER CREATION, the Details
THERE ARE THE GOOD DETAILS...
Now, with players knowing their characters Primary and Secondary Traits, as well as the World Genre, the Details can come in. The Player who determined the World Genre is also known as the REMOTE CONTROLLER and shall handle any artibration or approvals necessary for character creation.

The Players are welcome to come up with concepts that best relate to the REMOTE CONTROLLER's guidelines and at the same time relate it to the Primary Trait of the character.

Under Primary Trait: __________, players are invited to come up with five main things the character is good at. The REMOTE CONTROLLER decides if the traits are appropriate/acceptable or not for the genre. These five traits represent the things the character is skilled/good at.

Ex.
Jay, with Primary: Drama and Secondary: Hentai
decides that he can be the serious-rebel who has joined because he seeks to avenge his dead parents. His character is one who believes that war cannot be stopped unless one chooses to engage in it. For five traits, Jay decides his character has Big-Robot Piloting, Unarmed Combat, Firearms, Jury-Rigging and Stealth as traits that he is good at.

Vic, who rolled Primary: Noir and Secondary: Comedy
decides his character is a double agent rebel who is a master at pretending to be one of the Emperor's soldiers to penetrate enemy lines. He decides to reflect the Noir primary more by having his character be easily tricked by women and loves to speak in monologues. For five traits, Vic decides his character has Disguises, Investigations, Alertness, Sleight of Hand and Unarmed Combat as things he is good at.

AND THE BAD ONES...
The Secondary Traits represent negative traits of the character. The character has three negative traits which to complicate the character's life, ranging from events or scenarios the aspect can come into question. Again, the REMOTE CONTROLLER decides if the negative traits chosen is good enough for the game to be fun. Balance is less an issue here than being fun. How negative traits affect the character are explained better in the next post.

Ex.
Jay's character has Secondary : Hentai.
His serious rebel who is out to avenge his parents therefore has a negative aspect related to Hentai that complicates his life. Jay chooses "Irresistable Attraction to Blondes", "A stiffy that does not go away unless used" and "Bad Come On lines" as his three negative traits.

Vic's character has Secondary : Comedy.
Rather than stick to the usual comedy, he decides to ride on Jay's Secondary: Hentai and has his character also have an "Irresistable Attraction to Blondes", "Stutters when speaking to Girls" and "Can't get it Up."

The REMOTE CONTROLLER likes the concepts so far of all the players and decides to move on to the next step.


THE RULES
Every player gets 5 counters.
These can be dice or beads or coins, whatever is readily available and easy to use. There should also be at least twenty five extra beads at the center of the table. These counters are called "GENRE POINTS" (which the ones at the table being the GENRE POOL.)

There should also be three sheets of clear paper on the table and one pen/pencil beside it. These papers are to be known as the FACT SHEETS from this point on in the game.

One FACT SHEET should be labelled: NPCs
One FACT SHEET should be labelled: WORLD FACTS
One FACT SHEET should be labelled: PC FACTS

The game starts with the REMOTE CONTROLLER giving the intro sequenec of the scene, describing the necessary. He notes down on the WORLD FACTS sheet 1 to 5 established facts about the world the game is set in.

Ex.
Adrian describes the world to be a large war-torn world connected by steam-based power grid and internet stations that serve as energy stores for giant Steam-driven Robots. He notes down on the WORLD FACTS sheet "Steam based power grid" "Internet Stations serve as Energy stores for Giant Robots" and adds the detail that the characters are planning to attack the Emperor as he travels in a convoy towards the City Capital. "Emperor in Convoy to Capital" enters the WORLD FACTS Sheet.

The REMOTE CONTROLLER does the same for 1-5 NPCs he deems important or worth developing in the game as recurring characters and 1-5 details about the PCs when appropriate.

Ex.
Adrian mentions that Jay's serious rebel was once "A family friend" of Vic's double agent. That detail goes to the PCS SHEET.

Any details written on the sheets MUST BE MAINTAINED OR UPHELD during the game. Details can only be changed or editted by spending GENRE POINTS.

At any point during the game when a task resolution is required, the player of the character narrates how he believes his character would deal with the scene. The Remote Controller on the other hand narrates his own preferred version. After hearing both versions, A vote is called as to whether or not the act described by the player succeeds. Obviously, the more creative the action the character does, the bigger the chance the others might vote in his favor. Votes are done with thumbs up saying "Yes" and thumbs down saying "No." Votes are revealled simultaneously, with ties calling for a retest. A second tie is also considered a lost vote.

Winning a vote means the acting character's narrative is how the task resolves. Losing means the Remote Controller handles describing the results and continues running the game.

BUT, if the character has a trait which can help in the task resolution, he can choose to challenge those who voted against him to rock, paper and scissors. Those players he beats are forced to vote in his favor.

By now, you're wondering where GENRE POINTS are used and when does REMOTE CONTROLLERs shift position. That will be revealed next...


GENRE POINTS and NEGATIVE TRAITS
Genre Points are gained whenever a character successfully does the action a player wanted which a REMOTE CONTROLLER contested. (Note, this does not necessary mean the action itself was successful. For example, Vic might have his character try to approach the girl of his dreams to impress her and his description of him making a fool of himself but making her smile and more willing to see him later does give him a Genre Point, even if his character did make a fool of himself.)

Am extra Genre Point is also gained a player succesfully causes all other players to break out and laugh or stare in shock. This award will be decided upon by the Remote Controller.

Genre Points can be spent by any player who is not currently the Remote Controller to "gain control of the remote". If more than one player wants to have the remote, each player is given a chance to bid one Genre Point. Bidding continues until one players has more Genre Points bid than another. Obviously, you cannot bid if you have no Genre Points.

Other players who do not want the Remote can actually contribute a Genre Point to a bidding player of their choice. This is a purely altruistic act sure to get you into Heaven when Judgement Day cometh.

When a new Remote Controller takes charge, he should first roll on the Genre Table once again. This new World Genre should be incorporated into the setting by the Remote Controller, with 1-5 new details added to WORLD FACTS, and necessarily adjustments narrated to affect the NPCs and PCs (again, 1-5 details).

Then, the play continues on.

Obviously, some players would want to gain control of the Remote because it allows them to quickly have certain facts established in relation to their characters or setting. Others might want it just to shift things around for fun. Some might even want to gain the Remote just to stop an exisiting Remote Controller from running the story the way it already is headed.

SO WHEN DO THE NEGATIVE TRAITS COME IN?
Anytime during the game (other than during Remote Control bidding or during a Remote Controller's initial narrative), a player can toss back one Genre Point to the Genre Pool and require a player to portray or have a negative trait affect him. This must be done to the "worst" possible scenario possible.

Ex.
Vic's character, Chio R'so, learns that the leader of the Emperor's elite bodyguards is a blonde female poison-taster. The enemy has stepped into the bathroom to freshen up. Hoping to force her to give him the keys to the base, Chio R'so slips in and attempts to seduce her. But, Seth decides to have some fun and tosses 2 Genre Points back to the Pool. He declares "Stutters when talks to Girls" and "Can't Get It Up" to be in effect.

Thankfully, Vic can choose to declare the scene hilariously enough to gain a Genre Point for participating properly. Or if he tries to lessen the shame his character goes through, be challenged by the Remote Controller and have a vote called upon him.

The obvious benefit of Negative Traits, other than making things more difficult for the player and character in question, is it allows other players to "participate" in how a player is forced to go through a scene.


So that's the gist of the system.
Surely there's more?


Add Ons:
To make the games more interesting, try adding the following add-ons.

1) Allow character development
Each time a new Remote Controller takes charge, all characters gain new traits, be it positive or negative. The player rolls a 1d10 and consults the Genre Table. If the Genre rolled is a new one (meaning a Genre the character does not have yet), he writes that Genre down under his primary and adds three new things he is good at. As before, the Remote Controller arbitrates. If the Genre rolled is one already existing, it is written under Secondary and this gives the character 1 new negative trait based on the rolled Genre.

Ex.
Jay's serious rebel with Primary: Drama, Secondary: Hentai
makes a new Genre roll (because Adrian has passed the Remote to Vic) and get's a 6 for something Kung Fu-ish. Being a new Trait, Jay's character now gains 3 new things: Kung Fu in Big Robots, Running up walls and Catching thrown weapons.

Vic's double agent on the other hand is not so lucky. Having Primary: Noir and Secondary: Comedy, his new Genre roll is Comedy again. This gives him 1 new negative trait which he decides is "Depressed by lack of Girlfriend."

Yes, it is intentional that eventually, the chances of negative traits is absolute. This is because games using Switch are not meant to last that long.

2) Commercial Break Rules
Add a real-time timer to your games. Every 5 minutes, regardless of what's going on, stop the game and call for a commercial break. All scenes are temporarily on hold and all players roll a 1d10 again to see who rolls the highest. Ties are re-rolled. The winner rolls a second time to determine the new Genre for the World and has the option to become the Remote Controller. If he accepts the role play continues as before, with the Remote Controller ending the commercial break and uses his narrative time (5 traits for each FACT SHEET, etc) to conclude the events that were on hold and transmute them to the new Genre.

If he chooses to pass, a second Genre World roll is made and the player closest to where the dice fell is the new Remote Controller. That Remote Controller ends commercial break and must use his narrative time to conclude events that were on hold and transmute them into the TWO new Genres as he sees fit.

Play then resumes as normal.

3) GENRE POINT SALARY
Every 5 real minutes that pass, all players gain 1 free Genre Point to use in the game. This is to encourage its use.

4) EXPANDED GENRE TABLES
If you really want to go all the way, you can use the Expanded Genre Tables (see in the next post) to add to the game. In many ways these expanded tables are less flexible yet can add more color to your games.
Use this table instead of the basic Genre Table.

The less stark transisitons can be done with the expanded Genre Tables.
I've yet to post those.
But those basically spread out the convention/genres.

ex.

Sci Fi becomes
1) Big Robo
2) Cyborg technology
3) Virtual reality
4) Transformable mecha
5) steam punk
6) Cloning
7) Psychic Powers
8) Alien Invasion / Starships
9) Post Apocalyptic scenario
10) Interplanetary travel

====
FEEDBACK would be greatly appreciated!

tobie
http://garapata.blogspot.com
Logged

garapata
Member

Posts: 41


WWW
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2005, 11:20:48 PM »

No comments?
Logged

matthijs
Member

Posts: 462


WWW
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2005, 12:19:36 AM »

I don't know why the others don't comment - personally, I'd love a longer example of play, to see how the game works/is supposed to work. It often says so much more than just the rules.
Logged

Sifolis
Member

Posts: 53


« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2005, 07:32:37 AM »

these "genres" all sound fun, but i wonder a few things.

1- will your game have all the facts about such genres? if im playing "henti" for example...i personally know nothing about that genre other then my friend collects henti porn...will there be items, armor, stats for travling on horses or what not? a market to purchase stuff? rates and stats for people in this genre?

2-will there be weapon charts for each genre? is so, what about a future genre? our game has over 500 weapons alone for our futuresk sci-fi game....if we had to detail that many weapons for other genres id be driven insain.
so how to do you pull this? will your game have thousands of pages dealing with this many genres? or do you have a simple matrix to handle this?

sounds fun..but again..i dont know anything about henti...and im confused as what a "cloneing" genre would be? i like the noir genre, thats a cool under-done genre...


and the whole "switching" of genres is cool.

ps...im sick of saying genre..
Logged
matthijs
Member

Posts: 462


WWW
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2005, 07:19:57 AM »

Okay, a couple of comments:

The Genre Point flow is like this, if I understand it correctly:

- Start with 5.
- Get points when you win a contest with the Remote Controller. This is done by
- - Doing something that the RC wants to challenge you about, and
- - Narrating it well enough to win votes, and/or
- - using traits to win votes.
- Get points when you get other players to laugh or stare in shock.
- Spend points to gain control of the Remote.
- Spend points to activate others' negative traits.
- Spend points to edit facts. (This isn't very well explained).

So the system rewards you for doing stuff that's on the edge of what the RC will accept, or that provokes strong reactions. That's often the opposite of maintaining coherence. I would expect players to try to narrate outrageous stuff to get points. There's really no reason whatsoever for people to try to keep the story coherent, which is one of the stated aims of the game.

The system also assumes that you'd want to activate others' negative traits. The only reason to do so is for laughs, right? Mechanically, they can actually score points by good portrayal of their negative traits.

Are players required to say how their traits affect events? Or can they just go "Oh, I have Eternal Stiffy, I challenge your vote"?

For a light, fun and over-the-top game (which seems to be what you're aiming at, and that would be fun), all this writing down of facts seems a bit much. Any way to get around it? Can't people just remember what's been established...? (Have you tried this out in playtest?)
Logged

garapata
Member

Posts: 41


WWW
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2005, 04:11:57 PM »

Very good questions.

Hmm... let me relook at my notes before I respond.
:-)

THIS is why I was hoping for comments!
Logged

Ice Cream Emperor
Member

Posts: 46


« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2005, 08:37:40 PM »


When I first saw the thread title, I immediately thought of Improv Theatre -- specifically, a game where the participants are running a scene and a third party gets to call out a new genre every 30 seconds (or whenever the play gets boring.) I'm not sure if this is what you had in mind, though; the game you describe seems to move more slowly, and the level of abruptness for 'switching' isn't clear.

I'd like to see the Genre elements come into play more overtly; given that players receive rewards called 'Genre Points,' their spending of those points does not seem to have much to do with Genre. It would be cool if the way players spent Genre Points had something to do with their character's (or other character's) genres.

Individual character Genres in particular seem underdevelopped. It's clear what sort of effects the World Genre has on narration, but the effects of the character's Primary and Secondary genre are not clear to me. It sounds like they are supposed to affect primary and secondary traits, and inform character generation in other ways, but if that's the goal I think you need to reinforce it. As it stands they only seem to have an impact in character generation, which seems like a bit of a waste. Maybe more examples would help make it clear how you want this dynamic to work?

Specifically, I was expecting that the game dynamic would involve a conflict of Genres between the individual players, the Remote Controller (whose genre is the World Genre), etc. The idea of a Noir character stuck in a Talking Animals world just seems too rich, and while the game seems to provide for that, it doesn't seem to be pushing it very hard. It seems like there's a lot of great conflict/entertainment potential if you make these sorts of conflicts a focus of the mechanics, which currently seem more like a generic popularity contest/consensus.

For example, players could gain Genre points when they successfully portray a scene in their character's genre; the goal of the player is to frame a scene entertaining or compelling enough that everyone else is willing to play along, and the job of everyone else is to try and twist the scene to make it fit with their Genre instead. If the players can somehow manage to deliver a scene that is a Yaoi Noir Comedy with Talking Animals, then everybody wins -- especially the players, because that's going to be one hell of a scene!

Another, possibly conflicting option, is to change the Remote Controller's role to one of... well... remotely controlling. When I first saw the title I figured that person would be responsible for the SWITCH -- i.e. the players are merrily Genre-ing away, but as soon as things look like they are slowing down it is the Remote Controller's job to mix things up, either by suddenly changing the Genre of the scene, or the Genre of the game-world. The name alone is pretty evocative -- maybe the RC should have some mechanically-supported way to cut scenes (i.e. change channels)? Fast-forward (play a GP to force the scene to conclude as messily as possible)? Mute (veto a specific suggestion of a player)?

Right now, the RC position seems to be a weird mix of standard GM and something more open-ended. For example, the first RC appears to have veto power over everybody's character traits -- but then what happens when the RC switches? Does the old RC take over the new RC's character, or make a new one?

It would also be great if the mechanic for switching World Genre's had something to do with the outcomes of scenes; for example, if everytime a character /player succeeds, he contributes a point to his Primary Genre, then the World Genre (and possibly RC) could change once a specific Genre reaches 5 points. Alternately, the player could choose to subtract a point from his Secondary Genre -- I don't know if this is your intent, but it seems to me like players want to /avoid/ their Secondary Genre, as this gives other players an opportunity to activate their Negative Traits. The advantage to players of having the World Genre be identical to their character genre should be obvious -- it's a lot more likely they'll get to tell their character's type of stories.


Anyways, that's enough rambling. I think the idea is great, and I would love to play a game where the manipulation of Genres is the key element of play -- but maybe my suggestions are more towards a competitive/Gamist sort of play, which may not be what you had in mind. I guess I have a soft spot for Genre Wars in general.


Logged

~ Daniel
garapata
Member

Posts: 41


WWW
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2005, 06:47:22 AM »

I don't know why the others don't comment - personally, I'd love a longer example of play, to see how the game works/is supposed to work. It often says so much more than just the rules.

Will try to post one within the week
Kinda busy with other RL affairs though.
But your right, an example would be better.
Logged

garapata
Member

Posts: 41


WWW
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2005, 06:59:37 AM »

these "genres" all sound fun, but i wonder a few things.

Will try to answer them all.

1- will your game have all the facts about such genres? if im playing "henti" for example...i personally know nothing about that genre other then my friend collects henti porn...will there be items, armor, stats for travling on horses or what not? a market to purchase stuff? rates and stats for people in this genre?.

Maybe I should state two things clearly at the start:
1) The game SWITCH is more a one-shot fun experience than an actual game intended for long campaign play (its more something akin to Kill Doctor Lucky than d20 for example)
2) The genre table will of course be determined by the whole group so everyone can make sure they are familiar with all genres listed

Would those two help?
Stats for items and the like are almost unecessary in the game, if you think about it.  You can have them help by acting as a single "extra thumb" for votes where the object in question is related to the issue being voted?

2-will there be weapon charts for each genre? is so, what about a future genre? our game has over 500 weapons alone for our futuresk sci-fi game....if we had to detail that many weapons for other genres id be driven insain.
so how to do you pull this? will your game have thousands of pages dealing with this many genres? or do you have a simple matrix to handle this?

I think the "simple matrix" would be best explained as:
All equipment/special skills/objects that can help a character during conflicts in two ways:
1) they can give the player 1 free challenge (meaning you can challenge a vote without paying a genre point) if the item can help the situation being challenged.
2) they can give the player 1 "extra thumb" for voting, which is much more powerful than the first benefit.


sounds fun..but again..i dont know anything about henti...and im confused as what a "cloneing" genre would be? i like the noir genre, thats a cool under-done genre...

Personally, I think the decision on what things fall under what genre is something determined by the group during hte game.  For example, "Love interest" can be under Romance,  or can even conceivably be placed under Hentai.  A "psionic power develops" is most assuredly under Sci-Fi, but can still be part of the genres of Horror (think of games like Silent hill or movies like The Shining or The Ring) or possibly even something under Magic.

The flexibility is intentional.  It promotes creativity.

and the whole "switching" of genres is cool.
ps...im sick of saying genre..

Heheh, my apologies.
Logged

garapata
Member

Posts: 41


WWW
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2005, 07:10:55 AM »

Okay, a couple of comments:

The Genre Point flow is like this, if I understand it correctly:

- Start with 5.
- Get points when you win a contest with the Remote Controller. This is done by
- - Doing something that the RC wants to challenge you about, and
- - Narrating it well enough to win votes, and/or
- - using traits to win votes.
- Get points when you get other players to laugh or stare in shock.
- Spend points to gain control of the Remote.
- Spend points to activate others' negative traits.
- Spend points to edit facts. (This isn't very well explained).

So the system rewards you for doing stuff that's on the edge of what the RC will accept, or that provokes strong reactions. That's often the opposite of maintaining coherence. I would expect players to try to narrate outrageous stuff to get points. There's really no reason whatsoever for people to try to keep the story coherent, which is one of the stated aims of the game.

Hmm... you know, I haven't really thought of it that way.  I was under the impression that the overlying aim was to tell a coherent story.  There was no need to reward that cause an incoherent story wouldn't simply make sense.  In many ways, this game was inspired by the card game "Once Upon A Time" which also generally hopes to create a coherent story but doens't overly reward one for doing so.

But your viewpoint does make me wonder if I should give some advantage for doing so.

Btw,
- Spend points to edit facts. (This isn't very well explained).

This would be another item best explained via examples.  Here's a quick one.
Say the previous RC controller declared during the genre shift that "The Teacher of the campus is actually a secret agent of the Hibatsu Corporation."  You can spend 1 genre point to declare later during in the game, "Actually, the Teacher was only mistaken to be a secret agent of Hibatsu.  In truth, he simply has the darn luck of getting into situations that make him look like he is."  And that revision is then written to replace the FACT of the Teacher on the FACT sheet.

The system also assumes that you'd want to activate others' negative traits. The only reason to do so is for laughs, right? Mechanically, they can actually score points by good portrayal of their negative traits.

Are players required to say how their traits affect events? Or can they just go "Oh, I have Eternal Stiffy, I challenge your vote"?

Mostly it is for laughs, but in some cases, it can actually remove the need for a challenge to be resolved since the situation seemingly does resolve itself due to the negative trait.

Example:
Your character has the negative trait: Shy towards Girls.  And in the story, you've narrated how after a long period of finding courage, you finally decide to leave the campus.  But just before you do, you bump into the girl you've always wanted and she admits she loves you!  But just before you can have your own character declare he loves her too, another player may invoke your negative trait in that scene that very moment.

That would basically remove the need to challenge the scene on how it resolves.  Its pretty understood the character would suddenly just leave or choose to say nothing back (or perhaps say something stupidly inane).

But generally, it does have the big intention to have fun.

For a light, fun and over-the-top game (which seems to be what you're aiming at, and that would be fun), all this writing down of facts seems a bit much. Any way to get around it? Can't people just remember what's been established...? (Have you tried this out in playtest?)

Actually, the original approach was to "remember what was established" but after two genre shifts, we realised it was hard to keep track of what was true about what without having Fact sheets.    If you ever get a chance to play test it, I would love to know if you found a way around having Fact Sheets.
Logged

garapata
Member

Posts: 41


WWW
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2005, 07:31:19 AM »

When I first saw the thread title, I immediately thought of Improv Theatre -- specifically, a game where the participants are running a scene and a third party gets to call out a new genre every 30 seconds (or whenever the play gets boring.) I'm not sure if this is what you had in mind, though; the game you describe seems to move more slowly, and the level of abruptness for 'switching' isn't clear.

Actually, you got it spot on there. Maybe I should use your way of explaining it since you seemed to make better sense of how it does more than I did.  :-)

May I ask what gives the impression that the game moves more slowly?

As to the switching, it was under my impression that switching happens quite often.  I was more worried it happened TOO often considering it can happen anytime someone is willing to pay to take control. 

I'd like to see the Genre elements come into play more overtly; given that players receive rewards called 'Genre Points,' their spending of those points does not seem to have much to do with Genre. It would be cool if the way players spent Genre Points had something to do with their character's (or other character's) genres.

Hmm.. you got a point there.
Hmm..

Individual character Genres in particular seem underdevelopped. It's clear what sort of effects the World Genre has on narration, but the effects of the character's Primary and Secondary genre are not clear to me. It sounds like they are supposed to affect primary and secondary traits, and inform character generation in other ways, but if that's the goal I think you need to reinforce it. As it stands they only seem to have an impact in character generation, which seems like a bit of a waste. Maybe more examples would help make it clear how you want this dynamic to work?
 

Yes, it was in some ways intended just for character generation.  Sort of like a "multi-class system", the two genres are supposed to give you two ideas to toss around to create your concept. 
For examples:
Genre combination = Character concepts possible
Romance + Sci Fi =  Searching for Love Cyborg, Jealous scientist who tries to clone his lover, Shy but beautiful girl with psychic powers beyond her control
Romance + Fantasy = Searching for Love Dragon, Jealous Wizard of the Flying Brooms, Shy but beautiful golem crafted from pure happiness.

Again, there is some degree of overlap, but it is mostly intended to generate ideas;

But yes, you got a good point there however.  Hmm..

Specifically, I was expecting that the game dynamic would involve a conflict of Genres between the individual players, the Remote Controller (whose genre is the World Genre), etc. The idea of a Noir character stuck in a Talking Animals world just seems too rich, and while the game seems to provide for that, it doesn't seem to be pushing it very hard. It seems like there's a lot of great conflict/entertainment potential if you make these sorts of conflicts a focus of the mechanics, which currently seem more like a generic popularity contest/consensus.

For example, players could gain Genre points when they successfully portray a scene in their character's genre; the goal of the player is to frame a scene entertaining or compelling enough that everyone else is willing to play along, and the job of everyone else is to try and twist the scene to make it fit with their Genre instead. If the players can somehow manage to deliver a scene that is a Yaoi Noir Comedy with Talking Animals, then everybody wins -- especially the players, because that's going to be one hell of a scene!

Actually, it was more the other way around. Everyone is forced to try and adapt to the World Genre while keeping their own genre's intact.  The desire to force others to adapt to their own genre of choice is given power through the act of gaining control of the Remote Control.  But you do suggest a good variant I didn't consider.


Another, possibly conflicting option, is to change the Remote Controller's role to one of... well... remotely controlling. When I first saw the title I figured that person would be responsible for the SWITCH -- i.e. the players are merrily Genre-ing away, but as soon as things look like they are slowing down it is the Remote Controller's job to mix things up, either by suddenly changing the Genre of the scene, or the Genre of the game-world. The name alone is pretty evocative -- maybe the RC should have some mechanically-supported way to cut scenes (i.e. change channels)? Fast-forward (play a GP to force the scene to conclude as messily as possible)? Mute (veto a specific suggestion of a player)?

I really love your suggestions on the other mecahnically supported ways to cut scenes and the like.  Will consider them in my revision of SWITCH. Will definitely cite your help.


Right now, the RC position seems to be a weird mix of standard GM and something more open-ended. For example, the first RC appears to have veto power over everybody's character traits -- but then what happens when the RC switches? Does the old RC take over the new RC's character, or make a new one? 

Everyone creates a character in the game.  Even the RC at the start has his own character.  The power of the RC to challenge other characters is one of the things to covet in the game, hence the option to pay a Genre Point to take control of the "World" so to speak.


It would also be great if the mechanic for switching World Genre's had something to do with the outcomes of scenes; for example, if everytime a character /player succeeds, he contributes a point to his Primary Genre, then the World Genre (and possibly RC) could change once a specific Genre reaches 5 points. Alternately, the player could choose to subtract a point from his Secondary Genre -- I don't know if this is your intent, but it seems to me like players want to /avoid/ their Secondary Genre, as this gives other players an opportunity to activate their Negative Traits. The advantage to players of having the World Genre be identical to their character genre should be obvious -- it's a lot more likely they'll get to tell their character's type of stories.
 

This sounds good but seems to possibly slow things down.  Especially considering this happens with every scene.  Hence my choosing to limit it to something done when you literally "take over the world" by taking over the Remote Control.

I did originally have each character have a separate Genre Pool of points based on the Ten genres, but it got too complex with all these numerous counters and the like.  So I cut it down.

Your observations on how the Secondary Genre is something best avoided holds true.  It was part of the reason for the two genres to define a character.  It gives you an idea what genres you'd be best suited at and best avoid.


Anyways, that's enough rambling. I think the idea is great, and I would love to play a game where the manipulation of Genres is the key element of play -- but maybe my suggestions are more towards a competitive/Gamist sort of play, which may not be what you had in mind. I guess I have a soft spot for Genre Wars in general.

Well, they can be used to give SWITCH two versions to play, what do you think?
Logged

Ice Cream Emperor
Member

Posts: 46


« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2005, 11:55:03 AM »

May I ask what gives the impression that the game moves more slowly?

As to the switching, it was under my impression that switching happens quite often.  I was more worried it happened TOO often considering it can happen anytime someone is willing to pay to take control.

I think the main reason I got that impression is that a lot of stuff seems to happen everytime the Remote changes hands. First you have to roll for a new Genre (just picking one might make more sense?), and then you have to add a bunch of stuff to the Fact Sheets; but also, you have to reimagine the whole setting in terms of this new genre. I'm not saying this is a problem -- I like that element -- but part of why the Improv games like this can run so fast is that the players only have to worry about the genre of the one scene.

I also didn't get the impression from the rules that RC switches happened in the middle of scenes -- though I think this is just how I was reading things, not anything in the rules. Still, stopping in the middle of a scene to re-imagine the World Genre and add/alter a bunch of facts seems to interrupt play a bit, so I'm not sure if players would necessarily be calling 'switches' at the most entertaining times (which is in the middle of a scene.) It might be worth pointing out that if a Remote Controller switch happens mid-scene, all you really have to do is pick the new genre -- with any additional fact-changes, etc. being done once the scene concludes.

Quote
Actually, it was more the other way around. Everyone is forced to try and adapt to the World Genre while keeping their own genre's intact.  The desire to force others to adapt to their own genre of choice is given power through the act of gaining control of the Remote Control.  But you do suggest a good variant I didn't consider.

Yes, I like that 'the World Genre is the oppressor' element, which the RC has the opportunity to play up or not. As for the players gaining control over Genre by grabbing the Remote, that's not clear to me: doesn't the new RC have to roll randomly to determine the new World Genre? That doesn't sound like they're forcing other to adapt to their own genre of choice -- what if they roll a 'bad' (for them) genre?

Quote
Everyone creates a character in the game.  Even the RC at the start has his own character.  The power of the RC to challenge other characters is one of the things to covet in the game, hence the option to pay a Genre Point to take control of the "World" so to speak.

Ah, okay, that makes sense. Though what I meant about the first RC having power over other characters comes from the part in Chargen where it says:

Quote
The REMOTE CONTROLLER decides if the traits are appropriate/acceptable or not for the genre.

This gives the RC at the outset (as opposed to later RCs) more power over other people's initial character generation. If, as you suggested, players are all agreeing on which genres to put on their table, it might make more sense to have the players approve everyone else's character traits communally, rather than have this authority go to the RC; that gives everyone an opportunity to reinforce/discuss their ideas about the genres in question, since not everyone can be expected to have exactly the same ideas about Noir or High Fantasy.

Quote
This sounds good but seems to possibly slow things down.  Especially considering this happens with every scene.  Hence my choosing to limit it to something done when you literally "take over the world" by taking over the Remote Control.

I did originally have each character have a separate Genre Pool of points based on the Ten genres, but it got too complex with all these numerous counters and the like.  So I cut it down.

How about a rule where you can only 'grab the Remote' after winning a challenge, and/or whenever someone takes over the RC, the World Genre becomes the Genre of the last successful challenge?

Quote
Well, they can be used to give SWITCH two versions to play, what do you think?

Heh. I think it's best to get one version up and running before worrying about two, though a game where players have the ability to switch out rule sets is a pretty interesting idea. Still, it'd definitely be worth including a few play variants -- the 'Fast and the Furious' version, for example, where the RC switches automatically everytime there's a challenge, etc.
Logged

~ Daniel
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!