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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 154 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [PTA] The Last Shore  (Read 20357 times)
pedyo
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« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2005, 12:26:07 AM »

One fantastic feature of this episode was the way Gustav's connection "The Kite Man" was used symbolically. Could you elaborate on that, Munkholt? I think it's actually a very interesting little thing - including how it was used in the final conflict - dicewise (great word that).
/Peter
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Peter Dyring-Olsen
Per Fischer
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« Reply #16 on: August 31, 2005, 12:43:49 AM »

Great episode, as in: we created a great episode with lots of tense moments and good stuff galore. I was narrating at least two outcomes, and my fingers were covered in sweat, making them slide off the keyboard. The very second I rolled the credits I had no (as in zip, nada, zero) ideas about the first scene or what the episode's plot could involve. And this absence of me trying to outsmart or prethink the plot in any way actually opened the whole thing up.

We were all strictly directed by the fact that this was Gustav's key episode, and none of us wanted to screw it up or be too forceful on his own regarding the plot or Gustav's character. This tension slowed the intro scene down considerably but the thinking time was a good investment.

We, or rather I, are still struggling at some points. My brain is getting old, older than I like, and I seem unable to remember even the most simplistic rules, and then I read an old thread about PTA and get even more screwed.

But, conflicts. We seem to have quite a few conflicts between protagonists, and in at least one I as the Producer wasn't even rolling for the outcome. I am sure that's not intended - I am sure the conflict always has the Producer against a protagonist with others rolling Fan Mail if they want.

Per
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Per
--------
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Rune
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Posts: 6


« Reply #17 on: August 31, 2005, 12:57:55 AM »

But, conflicts. We seem to have quite a few conflicts between protagonists, and in at least one I as the Producer wasn't even rolling for the outcome. I am sure that's not intended - I am sure the conflict always has the Producer against a protagonist with others rolling Fan Mail if they want.

I don't have the book, but this quote from Matt suggests that protagonist vs. protagonist is OK:

If your protag is in the conflict, then you roll screen presence, and you compare it to the producer.  If there's protag vs. protag conflict, you could also compare it to another player's roll.

- Rune
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Munkholt
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« Reply #18 on: September 03, 2005, 11:07:10 AM »

One fantastic feature of this episode was the way Gustav's connection "The Kite Man" was used symbolically. Could you elaborate on that, Munkholt? I think it's actually a very interesting little thing - including how it was used in the final conflict - dicewise (great word that).
/Peter

I created him to begin with because I wanted someone to represent a slightly downplayed or symbolic element - Per used the Bergman-reference for the show, something like that. Since he was Gustav's Edge, he would likely have something to do with Gustav's issue, but I didn't decide on the particulars beforehand. If Per hadn't introduced him into the scene, I would have: this was Gustav's spotlight episode, and when we got to that last scene I still hadn't used any of his Edges yet - and if I wanted the Kite Man to feature in the series, this was the time to introduce him. Per, as Producer, gave control of him to Rune, but he had mainly provided mood when we got to the conflict:

Gustav was quarrelling with Elvira, Peter's character. He was still being secretive and hard, she wanted him to admit the supposed crimes of his past. Up until then I had taken the side of Gustav's violent desire for privacy, but for this conflict I switched sides, pushing for him to reveal the truth. That's when I brought in the Kite Man on my side, representing Gustav's guilty conscience that was prompting him to confess. Actually, there was a moment, where it looked like I had a too favourable advantage, and I thought, "arh, I should've had him be symbol of Gustav's dark side instead, in favour of repression," to even the odds and make the outcome less obvious. Nice thing about allegorical old men: they can mean whatever you want them to. Instead I placed Fan Mail against myself, and so did the other players, so it evened out nicely.

In the end, I lost, and Producer narrated. Gustav told some of the truth, but kept the important stuff hidden. Elvira urged him on, revealing that she knew that he was hiding something. He slapped her, and called her er "sow" (in German). And he broke down, wounds freshly opened. End of episode.
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Eynowd
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« Reply #19 on: September 05, 2005, 04:24:35 PM »

Out of interest, are you guys capturing the logs of the IRC channels? If so, would it be possible for me to have a look at them please?

I picked up a copy of PTA at Gencon. I'm intrigued by the concept (it's very close to the sort of game I've been wanting to play/run for years). Unfortunately, I'm still struggling to wrap my brain around how the game plays out in practice, with respect to regular roleplaying vs the metagame aspect. A friend tried to explain it to me, but it's still not making a whole lot of sense. It just seems that there's something that I'm not getting.

I think that being able to see how an actual game played out would be a great help in clearing up my confusion.

cheers
Geoff
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Geoff Skellams
Freelance RPG author

Looking for a magazine covering modern horror RPGs?

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pedyo
Member

Posts: 54


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« Reply #20 on: September 05, 2005, 10:15:56 PM »

Hi Geoff,
Well, in fact we are capturing the logs - but since it's in Danish you might have some trouble understanding it :-)
That being said, if you do a search for "PTA and IRC" you will find a few logs here on The Forge - and they've been instrumental in explaining the game to me.
Best
Peter
PS: I received my copy of PTA 2nd ed. yesterday! Yay! Funnily, my copy has a dedication to Luke????? So, Luke - if you're reading this: I have your copy of the game :D
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Peter Dyring-Olsen
Eynowd
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« Reply #21 on: September 06, 2005, 03:53:12 PM »

Hi Geoff,
Well, in fact we are capturing the logs - but since it's in Danish you might have some trouble understanding it :-)
That being said, if you do a search for "PTA and IRC" you will find a few logs here on The Forge - and they've been instrumental in explaining the game to me.

Ahhh, yes, Danish would in fact be something of a problem for me :)

I'll do the search though. Thanks for the heads up.

cheers
Geoff
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Geoff Skellams
Freelance RPG author

Looking for a magazine covering modern horror RPGs?

Check out DEMONGROUND: Reflections of a Darker Future at http://www.demonground.org/
Rune
Member

Posts: 6


« Reply #22 on: September 07, 2005, 05:45:42 AM »

Episode 3: Samuelsen

By now, we knew the rules pretty well, and we were fairly used to the strengths and weaknesses of IRC too. We played 5 scenes again. The scene presence had originally been planned to be Gustav 2, Henrik 2, Elvira 1, but after discussing last week's episode, we decided to swap Elvira and Gustav around, to move him a bit more to the back after his intense spotlight episode. We had briefly discussed using this episode to set up Henrik's and Elvira's spotlight episodes, but on the game evening, we jumped right in with no planning of the episode.

*

Brief scene rundown:

In Henrik's office. After Samuelsen's disappearance, he's busy sorting out the hotel's business, meanwhile struggling with his illness. Weber, an attorney, is investigating Samuelsen's disappearance, his firm unwilling to pay out the life insurance sum until the matter is better explained. He revals that Samuelsen was a cover name, and that the considerable insurance sum is to be paid out to Elvira, the spiritist. The scene culminates with a power struggle between Henrik and Weber, won by Weber, who pushes Henrik aside, demotes him, and assumes control over the hotel and its affairs.

On the minigolf course. Most of the old people are enjoying a relaxed game of minigolf, but the tension between Gustav and Elvira leads to a mean-spirited competition, and harsh words are exchanged. With Weber watching from a hotel window, Elvira attempts to humiliate Gustav on the golf course, but fails in the end, and walks out.

In Henrik's new, smaller office. Henrik is on the phone to the hospital, on hold, stressed from the run-in with Weber. When he's finally put through to a doctor, there's no good news: even with chemotherapy, his chances of survival don't look good, and a heated discussion ensues. In the midst, his mobile phone starts ringing, and to top it all off Ove, the gym teacher, shows up. The room starts spinning, Henrik faints, and rumors of his illness start to spread through the hotel.

In a small sick ward. Henrik is in the bed, stable but weak. Elvira walks in - he has asked to see her. Henrik warns her of Weber, and advices her not to cooperate with him. He is also hoping he can get her to collect his briefcase and laptop - he's gathering ammunition to strike back at Weber. Elvira's supernatural talents kick in, and she senses Henrik's illness, and his looming death - as with her husband many years ago. Henrik, on the other hand, sees Elvira as his mother. The spell is broken as Weber walks in, threatening to reveal Henrik's illness to the board members.

On the beach. Elvira is taking an evening stroll, thinking of her husband, when she is approached by a local fisherman, a friend. He leads her to a shack where, he says cryptically, someone wants to say goodbye. Inside the shack, Elvira sees Samuelsen, who attempts to warn her of danger at the hotel. They are interrupted when the ghost of Elvira's husband appears, and begins to strangle Samuelsen. Confused and desperate, Elvira holds back her husband's ghost in an attempt to get the message from Samuelsen. In the end, the ghost disappears, and Samuelsen's body drops to the ground.

*

Commentary:

The episode started very slow, but picked up a lot of pace from the end of the first scene and until the start of the last one: the three middle scenes felt very tight.

We demonstrated a good range of conflicts this time, and made excellent scenes both with big stakes - Henrik's fall - and on a more intimate level as with the minigolf game. However, the conflict in the last scene, revolving around Elviras ability to control the spirits, felt forced to me, and I wonder if the episode would have felt better as a whole if we'd gone for a quieter last scene - perhaps skipping a conflict completely and savde the appearance of the husband for a later time.

The episode was less dark than last week. Henrik took some terrible blows, but it was exciting and the pacing worked well for the most part, and the minigolf scene was an excellent way of revisiting last week's theme without the subject becoming too heavy again.

We've definitely got enough plot threads and loose ends to keep us busy for the last two episodes of the season - both spotlight episodes! It's going to be a challenge to bring all the threads together.

Thomas had very little to do in this episode, as Gustav was only present in one scene. Was this boring? I'd like to hear what Thomas has to say on that point.

*

Statistics:

Scene 1: 20:05 - 20:43 = 38 minutes, 134 lines, 3.5 lpm, conflick talk 20:26 - 20:38 (31% of scene)
Scene 2: 20:50 - 21:18 = 28 minutes, 172 lines, 6.1 lpm, conflict talk 21:02 - 21:13 (39% of scene)
Scene 3: 21:23 - 21:47 = 24 minutes, 145 lines, 6.0 lpm, conflict talk 21:40 - 21:43 (13% of scene)
Scene 4: 22:04 - 22:34 = 30 minutes, 189 lines, 6.3 lpm, conflict talk 22:23 - 22:32 (30% of scene)
Scene 5: 22:36 - 23:19 = 43 minutes, 183 lines, 4.3 lpm, conflict talk 22:57 - 23:14 (40% of scene)

- Rune
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Matt Wilson
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #23 on: September 07, 2005, 02:56:08 PM »


PS: I received my copy of PTA 2nd ed. yesterday! Yay! Funnily, my copy has a dedication to Luke????? So, Luke - if you're reading this: I have your copy of the game :D

How the heck did that happen? I shared a room with the BW gang at GenCon, and the copy Luke bought must have accidentally ended up back in the main box.

That means I got paid for it twice! Awesome!

Let that be a lesson for the rest of you. If you don't take good care of your books, I will resell them to people in Denmark who will appreciate them better.

Luke's replacement book is going to have an inscription to Peter in my very bad danish, and someday the two of you must meet and swap, to fulfill the prophecy.
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pedyo
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Posts: 54


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« Reply #24 on: September 08, 2005, 04:31:09 AM »

Not much to add about the third episode from my perspective. I think the miniature golf scene kicked so much ass - it was a very simple conflict, but it worked on so many levels and it felt wonderful to demean my own character. I really made her talk it up and then fail miserably. Great!
The scene with Henrik's phone-call was also great. A funny detail: I requested the scene and didn't actually think it was Henrik's new office, but just a small broom closet or whatever where he had gone in to talk privately on the phone. But there you go - more power to the imagination!
/Peter
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Peter Dyring-Olsen
pedyo
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« Reply #25 on: September 26, 2005, 04:03:54 AM »

The Last Shore, episode 4:  Morituri te salutant

So, last Thursday was PTA-night and we continued the strange story of the care home The Last Shore.

Per, the producer started out by stating: ”I’d like to kill off Henrik”. Henrik Rask is Rune’s character and tonight’s spotlight. My initial reaction was ”What the fuck?!?” but Rune seemed to dig it so I went for it as well.

First scene, Per narrated how Weber, the EVIL guy trying to take control of The Last Shore, went to talk to Henrik – but Weber instead met the doctor who declared that Henrik was dead. Yikes! No conflict or nuthin’, just plain fuckin’ dead.

We discussed how to continue, and everyone agreed that flashbacks were the way to go

So, Rune requests the next scene – which is a scene with Henrik in bed, dying from his disease, Elvira tending to him and the doctor trying to convince Henrik to stay in bed. But Henrik has unfinished business and he wants to begin working again. So, that’s the conflict – and Rune wins. It turns out that there’s a latin quote (”Morituri te salutant/We who are about to die salute you”) on Henrik’s death date in the calendar that the old people gave him last time! Spooky business.

Next scene turned, well – real interesting. The old people had just finished dinner and Gustav (the maybe-nazi) and Henrik wanted to talk. Henrik knows Gustav’s secret (although we the players (and audience) don’t in that many details) and they wanted to make a trade-off. Henrik asked if Gustav could get him some poison (!) - and Gustav wanted to know everything about Elvira (”that busibody”) – and also wanted Henrik to forget all about what he saw in Gustav’s package way back in Episode 2 (I think). The conflict: did anyone overhear their conversation? Yup, someone sure did. The two men went up to Gustav’s room, Gustav opened a drawer – and there’s no poison there!! Then a voice says: ”Looking for this, Gustav?” – and Elvira’s standing in the doorway, poison flask in her hand!

Now was the time for ”my” scene – I requested a flashback to a seance with Elvira and Henrik trying to contact Henrik’s mother (who died right on this here island, probably from the same disease). I ask if we shouldn’t just cut to the actual  connection with the spirits, since I think we’ve had our fair share of longs intros to seances. So we do. ”Is there anyone there?” Elvira asks – Henrik joins her: ”Mom? Mom, I really miss you.” (goosebumps all around). ”Especially now.” A scary voice, more a drawn-out breath than a real voice, responds. Is it Henrik’s mom? She’s not alone, evil spirits are shouting, mocking Henrik and saying that they don’t want him or his family here  - implying that perhaps they had something to do with his mother’s death. I got to be the spirits and that was great fuckin’ fun – shouting and being obscene and plain ol’ evil. Conflict: who prevails, the evil spirits or Henrik’s mom? Rune wins, so His mother manages to subdue the evil spirits and she and Henrik share a real emotional moment.

Next scene was Gustav breaking into the office (now Weber’s) trying to  find something. Finally, behind a portrait of the late Mrs Samuelsen he discovers a secret safe. He opens it and at that moment, Weber enters the room. So, now we have a conflict – and it’s a real mind bender to me. The conflict is about guilt (Gustav’s Issue) and Thomas wins – so Gustav gets away. He clobbers Weber on the head with his flashlight and we cut. I’m still not sure I totally understand the conflict but it was a nice, atmospheric scene.

The final scene was Rune’s to request – and here it became clear why Henrik had wanted the poison: he wanted to kill himself. The conflict was if he had the guts to go through with it. Rune won (with the help of FM) and Henrik swallowed the poison, lay down and died.


This episode was great and entertaining and there was a tendency for everyone to really surprise and twist the plot around. There were a lot of times where I thought ”What the fuck was that?” after someone had just revealed something new. Henrik’s issue of control played a steady role in the episode, right to the very end, where he controls his life by killing himself instead of letting the disease eat him up. Strong stuff indeed.

Next episode is Elvira’s spotlight episode and we need to wrap up at least a few things. Thomas thinks that Elvira is ”the evil mastermind behind it all” – and perhaps she is. We’ll see after the final episode...

After next episode I’ll post some thoughts on PTA in general and on playing over IRC as well.

´Till then

/Peter
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Peter Dyring-Olsen
Per Fischer
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« Reply #26 on: September 26, 2005, 06:04:29 AM »

Killing off Henrik was a suggestion before actual play started, and at least Thomas and Rune immediately dug the idea. The way Rune built Henrik death, and  what happended immediately before it, into the episode's storyline was no les than brilliant.

What I had in mind was the possiblities that Henrik had faked his own death to get things rolling, and then would pop up TaDaaa later in the episode, but gee, things went their own way. The other

Great write-up, and yes, this was the episode of twists and turns.

Per
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Per
--------
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Munkholt
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« Reply #27 on: September 26, 2005, 07:11:44 AM »

The final scene was Rune’s to request – and here it became clear why Henrik had wanted the poison: he wanted to kill himself. The conflict was if he had the guts to go through with it. Rune won (with the help of FM) and Henrik swallowed the poison, lay down and died.
[snip]
Next episode is Elvira’s spotlight episode and we need to wrap up at least a few things. Thomas thinks that Elvira is ”the evil mastermind behind it all” – and perhaps she is. We’ll see after the final episode...

My own addition to Henrik's death was having Gustav wearing hunting fatigues and black boots, raising his right hand in a fascist salute, and saying, "Morituri te salutant! You are a braver man than me." Was he pulling a Gladiator, or did he just admit to being a nazi? The idea was to at least keep the possibility open that Elvira, the otherwise nice old lady, is behind everything. Also, the secret package held proof that Gustav was a draft dodger, possibly clearing him of any war criminal charges.

So many great twists came up, but it was actually mostly build on existing ideas, so we're ready for a big wrap next episode.

It felt like play went pretty smooth, and even though all scenes were complex, we managed to find time for 6 rather than the usual 5 scenes. Practice, I suppose, as well as being fired up.

Oh, and regarding that conflict with Weber: the way I saw it … the Issue was Guilt, as in Blame. Who gets to point the finger, thereby getting rid of some his own guilt. Gustav won, so the scene was played out as Weber being the bad guy, easing some of the preassure from Gustav. Had Gustav lost, he would have appeared guilty, and I could have had to incorporate that in his Issue. I agree it was a bit tricky, but I still think it worked.
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pedyo
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« Reply #28 on: September 26, 2005, 07:20:25 AM »

Forgot one plot point that I feel may turn out to be important in the final episode: Before his suicide, Henrik mailed incriminating documents on Gustav and others to Elvira, thereby setting up the question: what will elvira do with that information (and also: what documents are in the envelope?).
Can't wait - and at the same time I'm sorry that we have to say goodbye to The Last Shore.
/Peter
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Peter Dyring-Olsen
Munkholt
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« Reply #29 on: October 07, 2005, 10:41:45 AM »

For easy reference, this show's actual play is wrapped up here.

Sorry to bring up an old thread. Consider it closed.
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