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Started by Marco, September 04, 2004, 07:54:36 AM
Quote- For the War to have a name it would have to have been against people.- Officially, the War was against a disease- Unofficially a whole lot of people got killed- The WHO plans to treat 3 million people with antiretroviral drugs by 2005- This is called the 3x5 initiative- South Africa was never on the list- You went for Leave in Sun City, where you relaxed in postcarddelicious resort complexes and casinos a million miles away from thedark-blood uncertainty of the veld- Back in New York, once in awhile, you'll smell a hint of chlorine onthe wind and you're back in Sun City- It was eighteen months ago that you came home- It was another lifetime ago- New York City has the best veteran support program andinfrastructure of any place in the country; it's absurd, really, whenyou think about it- You don't have to work- You go to school for free- You live in the great, ancient apartment towers that line the EastSide and look down, across the river, on the horizon-bound sprawl ofQueens- The schools all seem nearly closed down; you don't remember thembeing so empty- You take night classes, almost everyone is your age. Where are the kids?- The kids are out there, it seems. Just not in college. Did all thedrive and ambition drain out of the world while you were away?- Kids these days are strange and impossible to relate to. You don't remember them being so happy- Mr. Micheal Goswell says he's thinking about driving a cab. Layingaround all day gets boring and it would be a chance to meet people.Ace thinks he's cruising for rejection.- Mr. Micheal was a Warrant Officer. The guys in HQ used to juke thatthat meant he worked for the CIA. He was always nervous- Ace was a nurse trainee. She got into trouble a lot. Dr. Vernon saysshe misses that. Sometimes that sounds right- Dr. Vernon leads your weekly "group" at the Sloan-Kettering Hospitalin Union Square- You can take the 4, 5, or 6 train to Union Square- You took trucks and helicopters out to the Limpopo which, youlearned, is on the boarder between South Africa and Zimbabwe- The trucks smelled like dirty oil. The helicopters smelled like clean oil- South Africa is the largest exporter of gold in the world. Much ofthe gold is mined below 3000 meters (10,000 feet) in an area calledthe Bush Veld Igneous Complex- It is very, very dark down there- And hot- They say the center of the earth is a Lake of Fire- They say the War is over. But they never really said the warstarted, did they? It's hard to imagine it actually ending -- it'sprobably still going on somewhere, and it's just...- mutated- You got a radio in your head; they put one in everyone's head. It'scalled a Global Unique Identification DEvice. The company that makesit calls it GUIDE. It lets you hear everyone else who's got a GUIDE.You can feel the rest of your group all the time, even now- You *are* a unique individual, Soldier!- The civilian version is called a 'virtual global information link',and each person who has one becomes a 'node' in the world wide network- Question: What do you call a girl who's just got her link, but hasnever logged on?- Dr. Petrosky says he's glad that everyone's getting chips put intheir heads. He says that the cybernization of humanity is the finalbattle ground between post-modern enlightenment and the dissolution of human nature- Dr. Petorsky teaches Civics at night in the university. He teachesin a great auditorium that could hold 350 people if there were anystudents left. There are six of you- He thunders to the near-empty room about the Nature of Criticism andthe 'Practical Energy of Post Modern Theory'- Ace listens, rapt, and eats Pop-Tarts out of the vending machine.She claims it's the only thing she eats all day- You took his class because you heard it was a riot- It is- In Union Square, the kids lay like lizards in the sun. Or like greatcats. They watch you go by and the cute girl in the cutt-offs with asliver of her belly showing throws you a wink that asks, "Why aren'tyou available?"- She means on the Virtual Link. You've got one, it just doesn't let you on- Dr. Vernon says that once you've "emotionally decompressed" thesub-band signaling should admit you- It's been eighteen months. Dr. Vernon admits she isn't on thenetwork either. Too much stress, she says. Too little hope, you andMr. Michael thinks- She's lonely. At least you have each other- The alarm is going off now, and you're awake. A minute ago, you werestanding next to chain link, with the smell of the veld all aroundyou. The veld smells like a butcher's back lot in summer. Like lushdeath. The ground is laid open, its modesty stripped away by theminers, its riches plundered and itself left barren- And now you're in New York, and its gray outside- Four hours to sundown, when classes begin- Eight hours to Dr. Chelsea Vernon's Tuesday morning Group Meeting- what do you do?=====================================================================The WHO's 3x5 Initiative includes provisions for enforcement ofcritical health-related edicts by member nations. In 2002 and theUnited Nations sent a peace-keeping force to conduct a survey of AIDSin the far-north Limpopo province of South Africa. This was not a war; to the outside world it was a medicalintervention. There is a general understanding that the medical teamsencountered resistance from politically secessionist groups related tothe mining companies and unions and that the Johannesburg made anofficial request for extra-national forces.You had a role in that, as a unit with diverse capabilities andresponsibilities. The operation in the Veld (Afrikaner for aridgrassland plane) were extensive and specific. You worked with or werespecial forces agents. You were 17 to 25 years old. You could havebeen civilian or military, as you like, skilled or green. Up to you.Exactly what your experiences were will depend on who you were and whyyou were there. But you were attached to a field unit, and you did goout the the BVIC where significant actions took place.The most significant action you all took together involves anoperation that took place at the refinery for the PaardekraalShaft owned by Anglo Platinum. Your group arrived as part of a specialdetachment to support an Indian unit under UN flag securing therefinery and surrounding area. You were attached to a special commandthat was responsible for collecting evidence that the industrialconcerns (including members of the Anglo Board of Directors) wereresponsible for covert action designed to prevent the nationalizationof the mining resources.What happened there will be discussed in the game, but there wasviolent action and your characters could have been traumatized by it.Non-combat characters would be less likely to have been directlyinvolved in bulk of the fighting. The game will involved flashbacks,which will include combat scenes. If a character "dies" during aflashback, he'll be declared severely wounded (explaining how he'saround in the main flow of the game).You're all retired now. As retired as you want to be. In the briefyears you were away the world changed without you. Everyone has a little RFID chip in their head that you can use like a PIN or adrivers license. You can't use it like a cell phone.You have your own version of that, that lets you feel the othersaround you. You can't use the Virtual Global Infrastructure yet. You'reworking on that every week with another one of your benefits --sessions with Dr. Chelsea Vernon, who is trying to get everyone calmand 'integrated' enough to get on the network.You're also taking classes at Rockefeller University because it'sfree. Dr. Alexander Petrosky teaches Post-Graduate Political Science,but he's agreed to teach an undergraduate introduction to Civics thisyear because he thinks 'Big things' are coming.NOTE (from GM/Player Feedback) The world looks like modern day, but the technology level is a little higher in subtle ways. There are no cyborgs.
QuoteNotes: The set-up was clearly, something of a teaser: we knew something important happened to us in Africa--but not what. That meant, to an extent, that some of the game would be "scripted." There was also some back and forth I haven't listed here concerning tone and focus. The GM said that while we'd been soldiers, we were now civilians trying to re-integrate into a changed society (theme!) and so we discussed how we'd handle that. It was noted that we all made military men first (expected, I think) so there was some discussion about how we were taking our re-integration and how we felt about being alienated.One NPC was reasonably happy with being alienated (the cab-driver) and one PC (Roland) was highly motivated to re-integrate (for his future political career). The other two PC's (Zach and myself: John) were interested in re-integration in an "I want to fit in and get on with life" fashion.Our players felt similarly, I would say (Immersion--imagine that you've come back and 'don't get it'--but we also had an idea that hooking our brains up to this global net-thing might not be such a good idea in the long run).With some embedded themes present, we were pretty sure there would be something resembling a "point" to the GM's situation--but I, myself, didn't feel obliged to engage with it or validate it outside the (fairly broad) character parameters.This was, I felt, a mix of techniques, the GM providing situation that had thematic elements for the players to engage with--the players running their characters in an immersed state with an expectation that whatever thematic goals the GM had in creating the situation the game would (largely and importantly evolve from internal-cause style thinking).Also Note: I know the GM well and know he's committed to player-freedom. That meant that I realized my *expectation* that I wouldn't have to interact with his embedded themes (I expected the situation would carry them--it seemed to be--but I didn't know, fully how the situation would develop and didn't try to figure it out) meant that I wasn't worried about making a "fit character." I simply made a character with a POV on the world I found interesting and went with that.My relation to the thematic issues was this: my character was a battle machine who was fairly horrified by his ability to kill. So he'd adopted a somewhat laid-back persona--and tried to get rid of his soldier nature when he left the army. But when coming back, he'd found himself attracted, over and over, to potentially violent conflict. I decided that he was deluding himself, using the excuse that he was "apart from the world" to justify his continuation to seek war (with anyone--with evil or badness or predatory-ness). As the therapy progressed, he would have to face is true nature (even if the chip integrated he would still be a warrior at heart) or, if the therapyfailed entirely, then he might decide that society had failed him and either become bitter ... or embrace the darker elements of his nature entirely.From this 'script' I worked on getting inside his head--but I was also very aware of how those issues appealed to me (and how they were relevant in my life).
QuoteNotes: This scene got the energy up. Both Zach and John (my character) were bad-asses and it was nice to get to use them in a low-risk environment (even against multiple opponents. Two-to-one odds were quite a lot (Ace didn't fight). The Lt. actually flanked the group and made it to the out-door group's leader (the two real gang leaders were inside, downstairs, and dead)--and he fought and got beat up by the gang's martial arts leader (and the player was cool with it--the Lt. was no combat machine--but he was brave and got his licks in).From a staging example, this did a number of things:1. It played to my character (who "stuck his nose into other people's business" and was inclined to stand up to thugs).2. We got to "get in character" with lots of dialog and establish how we felt about each other and how the NPC's talked.3. The fight was run in an entertaining factor with some mixed up tactics (grappling, pushing/shoving, you-hold-him-I'll-hit-him,attempted intimidation, stuff). It was a bit cliché to open a gamewith a fairly softball combat ... but there's a reason it's cliché: when done well, it works.Also: There was a 'theme' at work. The brutal way the two gang leaders were killed (single brutal machete blows to the head) echoed the unforgiving atmosphere that would later come. Although in this case the blind-side assault was motivated by survival instinct, there was no mercy or quarter. The GM's language detailed how the twovicious blows (one each) had ended their lives instantly.
QuoteJaan: "Out at the Paardekraal Mine there are two shafts. Out of shaft one comes 2% of the world's Vanadium supply and platinum and gold. Do you know what comes out of shaft two? Secrets."
QuoteNotes: The GM did a great job of conveying nervousness--by the affect each NPC had when talking to us and switching back to a neutral narrator voice when appropriate. My character even asked if something was wrong and got a negative from the doctor. I considered bailing or (tactically) having one PC stay out of the cages--but ultimately I decided against it. My character was no coward and we didn't think the doctor would outright lie about the test (she wasn't).
QuoteGM: "You can feel your head ... expand--there's unsettling sensation of a door being left open--behind your eyes is a room--a vast dark room and wherever you look, it's always behind you. You can feel the sub-band too--the static. Now it sounds like whispers--whispers you can almost understand. There are things in that room. Boxes? Maybe. Moving things? Maybe. Watching things. The open door is in that room in the back of your head. You can feel it--like someone's watching over your shoulder.But you know, as your skin crawls, that if you kept feeling this--hearing it--that you'd forget about this sensation--that it would still be there but you wouldn't remember it like a dream you'd woken up from. What do you do?
QuoteGM: "'We were judged.' You'd heard that before--when Jaan said it, down in the mine. That was much later though.
QuoteNotes: the apocalyptic sense of place was beautifully developed by the GM--the verisimilitude of the descriptions and the dialog (he had correct nomenclature for Indian army units and ranks, technical descriptions of the refinery and the processes, political asides from Jaan, and a sense of the horrific in the laconic, matter-of-fact descriptions of the mutilated people we battled. The commander's hopelessness and the sense that things were falling apart was very present.Facing military weapons was frightening--although we had a convention for flashbacks that if we were "killed" we'd just be severely wounded. This was a reasonable way to handle such heavy firepower (although if we'd all been killed in a grenade blast, I dunno what would've happened).We knew some 'safeties were on'--and this was something I identify with Dramatism (this was in contrast to the present-day of the game where I realized the GM would very much run it on the table.In this sense, I think it took some pressure off of us to be *good*--and let us play with a little more flair (although we were still pretty by-the-book tactics wise).
QuoteNotes: Jaan's death seemed a "dramatic intervention." More probable might be that he was stabilized until he left--or that whatever happened we never heard, in my opinion--but only my opinion. However, the note did give a satisfying closure to the situation. None of us liked him and were glad he hadn't gotten away entirely (although we were far more horrified by the things chasing him--an 'army of the damned.')Also: the timing of the attack seemed 'dramatic.' The GM wasn't timing us inside the bomb-shelter or asking us how fast or thoroughly we checked things or how cautiously we moved--these answers would've given him a timing sense that would be calibrated against a set arrival time.It seemed more like their appearance on the way out was the most satisfyingly dramatic time and that's what he picked.At the time I didn't consider that (it was after the game had stopped that I reflected on that). I did find it satisfying--although if the timed arrival had, I felt, interfered with something in a way I didn't like I would've found it jarring, even if plausible. I'm not certain what the gold standard is, but I think it's this: so long as the action doesn't invalidate my actions or choices, I'm okay with it being dramatic. If it does, then I better feel the limitation is imposed by internal cause. I'm still thinking on this.
QuoteNotes: Until this point we had been on a somewhat "ballistic course." The starting situation (which could count the opening-scene fight: I'd made a character who fearlessly got in the face of local bad guys) was character development and scene setting--we had either an appointment (modern day) or orders (flashback) and while we could've bolted from the mission or missed the appointment (and I'm sure we could've done both) there was no reason for us to do so.Now, though, we had little clear direction.1. I had Jeff's sensor and the idea of examining a chip that had strange usage patterns seemed reasonable--but I figured that day-in-and-day-out standing at a subway station and scanning people would be something that wouldn't likely pay off. And although Thunderwas *rich* I had no idea how to go about asking to buy a chip from someone--someone who was probably nervous about it.2. Thunder's request was interesting--we had a sense of a great chamber (I thought it was just the internet") and I had no sense of a Golden Bull--and the feeling of vulnerability, the disturbing whispers, and the sense of being *watched* wasn't exactly the same as judgment--and, finally, the command center/execution room wasn't a great big chamber anyway. Big, yeah--but not huge. The GM's descriptions, however, had a resonance and we did feel they were connected. The golden plates in the backs of the executed people's heads were, after all, something like early chips.3. We'd asked Mike to watch Jeff--and the GM told us that if we didn't follow through we knew Mike and knew he was (mostly) out of the detective game. He probably wouldn't do much. We didn't trust Jeff much--but none of us could see any reason or way for him to be using us--so we didn't put much energy into that.4. Our counselor had come clean about her unauthorized test and had been told by the hospital admin to stop counseling us. They were getting another doctor (one we didn't know). She agreed to still help me find out what we could about the Uncanny Affect.I was aware that the game might not move unless we did--and I was getting ready to start pursuing some of the things I'd built into my character (works with neighborhood kids, etc.)--also: since we were now "cured" (I could connect if I wanted--I just didn't trust it) it seemed that what we'd spent all the time working on was somewhat wasted: we weren't locked out of the net by the net. We were locked out of the net by ourselves. I could connect and I didn't want to.The GM had both myself and Thunder's player make rolls for the general effectiveness of our questions. Both came out 'excellent.'
QuoteNotes: The Osbourne lead paid off 'well' in that we were now involved with several people and several (skin crawling) things--it got much worse--but we were involved. At this point I fully expect to go back and nail Osbourne to a wall if he didn't have a good explanation as to why he'd put us through that--but I was somewhat mollified to discover that despite the graphic picture the film wasn't real. In 'reality' I know it wouldn't be--I'd have heard about something like that--but in the fictional game world, I thought ... maybe it could be. Even with the credits. It turns out (searching the Internet) it *is* a real movie.Although no real action happened here, it was very intense role-playing. Each character was fully engaged (our interaction with the guards, with the fans, and each other was good character-exposition--but the context of going to see something meaningful and "soul destroying."About the LT's collapse: the system we were playing in it's current for (J2) which the GM was very careful to use (this counted as a play-test) contained no hard rules for how phobias would be handled by the mechanics. It has some advice about the player being encouraged to play them. It has some notes that say that the GM is the final arbiter of what is sufficient--but that all the participants should discuss the ramifications of the effects. It has some notes about nottaking away a player's ability to resolve important conflicts with WIL rolls.In this case the player was left at his discretion and he decided that, traumatized, he'd sit the next part out (he didn't say that, he described his character nearly catatonic in the car, talking about the dead children he'd seen too much of in Africa.He could've been sickened and stayed with us. He could've chosen to come back after learning they weren't real (and, really, we should've known--I doubt snuff films have credits--but the alien atmosphere and Osbourne's warning--and the way the GM described the images was enough to really spook us.
QuoteNotes: The dialog here is more of a paraphrase. Both players and characters were horrified by this and Zach's player decided he would have a strong reaction to the cowardice of the situation of "quitting" or "chickening out."But there was another element that crept in too--Nikki was fiercely trying to validate herself to us--and this suicide club--and talking about 'Them.' When asked who 'They' were, she was ambiguous. But as the room was cleared, and the boat kept on moving, something came out:
QuoteNotes: I have been somewhat circumspect here and the GM was too—but he made it clear that what was going on was repulsive--and we were horrified and disgusted. this led to a distinctive choice:1. No one was "okay" with Nikki--but all of us--to a one--were even less okay with 'the Judges'--the people with the ornate, sadistic execution fetish. Turn her over to the authorities, okay--but over to them?2. Although the GM did not soft-pedal her as an NPC, she was not presented without sympathy. She was scared, weak, vulnerable, and despite her unsavory practices, was not, for instance, a danger to anyone. She facilitated suicide (and claimed it was a statement)--and she was certainly hypocritical on that front--but her victims had all known exactly what they were doing.Secondly, we felt that whatever 'disease' we'd run into in Africa--whatever nightmare meme we'd seen at work down in the mine had come here to our city. And we were not happy with that.We decided we needed to check out Landmark--and that we needed guns. The reason we wanted Landmark was because, we theorized, when the deal at the docks went bad, the Judges, whoever they were, would have to split fast: for all they knew, Nikki might be with the cops spilling everything. They might leave something behind.But we weren't going to go unarmed.
QuoteNotes: I got the impression that the GM allowed us to go either way with Taylor's request--but it was important. Although it may not be clear from this write-up, we knew that the GUIDE chips made our relation to the net special--and maybe, being Type II Uncanny Affect, protected us from the judgment of the judges (whoever they were).Also: the car exploding on the steps of the Four Seasons was a 'dramatic entrance'--it alerted us to the presence of the attackers in a dramatic fashion (the GM described several rumbles of thunder, bringing the tone of the conversation more and more apocalyptic and then punctuated it with an explosion and combat). There was no roll made to see if the first of three cars would explode (or to check for accidents with the other vehicle).This was very satisfying--it was a great sense of pacing and timing and again, while later, I reflected on the technique, at the time, not knowing what was coming, it worked very well.I do not believe this was done to "give us a fighting chance" or to otherwise stack the outcome (i.e. we'd be far more effective warned). We had a car downstairs doing surveillance. We were very alert and aware and had excellent perception due to the GUIDE chips. An ambush would've been hard to make plausible--but even moreover, I don't think (and I've asked and had this confirmed) that any intentional manipulation other than raising the energy was intended.Again: this did not interfere with any actions I had--and it did not seem a mutation of the world to "keep things from going wrong."But it very much illustrates the difference between Virtuality and Whatever Else.
QuoteNotes: The philosophical showdown was as intense as the battle--which was to say incredibly intense. Taylor had a few solid arguments going for him:1. The fact that he felt shriven leant credence to the idea that Judgment was somehow absolving--that the Judges could grant what counseling could not (although he did confess, finally, that he had not shared the darker aspects of his secret with his therapist).2. Nikki's suicide clubs were still out there--even without her (although she was the platinum super-star of suicide--so she was important). They were organized in a swarming fashion (cell phones were used, chains of trust, encrypted messages, etc.). They were, he said, 'unstoppable.' We weren't convinced--but he had a point: how do you kill an idea? Well, the Judges could.3. It was clear that the people being judged were very, very bad. Also: they were people who were in some senses "untouchable." The Judges were dark justice--but the didn't want 'ordinary sinners'--just the worst.We countered that it wasn't 'American' (the Lt.) that innocent people were killed in the crossfire--wasn't that a sin which the Judges had no authority to commit? (Zach), and that the sadistic nature of the Judgment made them just as bad as those they hunted (me).I think that to differing degrees the character's arguments matched the opinions of the players (although I'm not sure). I would guess the Lt's player had a more nuanced view of the situation than "It's not American."--but it was certainly in character. I know that my view matched that of my character (it was presented in my character's voice). Had that not been the case, it would've been very uncomfortable for me--but would've been interesting nonetheless (my personal reaction would still be relevant and important as I made the statement my character would make).The GM did a great job of running all the NPC's--Taylor, both guilty and righteous, the NPC's, horrified, disgusted, and in some cases looking for simple answers to complex questions. The captives—scared that we'd turn them over.The battle was high-energy and it felt like the end of the game when we killed them. Going to Penn station to get the final document felt like wrap-up.
QuoteYou've killed the Judges. The watchers in the back of everyone's mind are gone--they're coming here--soon--maybe tomorrow. They will turn New York into a bleeding, burning Soddom and Gammorrah. They will slaughter a bull on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. The Finanical District will run with virgin's blood. You've done this now that you've taken the Judges away. This is the fall of reason.
QuoteNotes: Hmm ... let's see. Everyone loved the game--the darker elements of it (including the pathologies of the other NPC's that I haven't gone into here) were instrumental in creating a serious delima for the players. We were presented with weak victims who needed protection from an unspeakable fate--but they, themselves, were reprehensible.In the end, our gut reaction (a humanistic one: we accepted their self-annihilation--but we still accepted them as not deserving a 'fate worse than death') was borne out. I asked the GM what would've happened if we'd decided to hand Nikki over (or not taken her with us after the battle on the docks). He said that the Judges needed to have Taylor Judge her--and ultimately Judge himself--and he was queasy about that (this came up during play). He had second thoughts about going through with that himself--and he needed a guide.The GM told us that would've brought us into contact with him. Some of the basic nature of the game would be explored in his contact of us under those circumstances. The GM felt that Reason (which is what the Judges represented) without Forgivness (essential humanity) was barren. But if we had allowed it to down, go down it would've.The GM pointed out that Virtual Global Infrastructure Link = VirGIL (the whole Dante thread).The GM also pointed out (as we knew from the game) that the Judges didn't want us destroyed (actually, they wanted us for Judges--our Shadow Net, converted to their purposes, would make them very stable and able to easily reform should their bodies be destroyed).The showdowns (combat with the judges, with the passion's assault) were glorious--satisfying and explosive. A Note on Theme: The GM provided some thematic input--from Taylor (and Sam Taylor was echoed in the Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner S.T. Colerdidge), from the GUIDE/Virgil stuff, and from the sense of Judgment and Passion. However, we were aware of it in a meta-game sense but didn't play to it in an in-game sense ("Oh, we're supposed to be like Virgil and lead this guy through the woods). In fact, we (mostly) identifed with 'Reason' rather than 'forgivness or acceptance' in terms of our in-game and meta-game dialog. However, the play itself did bear out the thematic quality that became literal in the final conflict.It is true that I appreciate the GM because of his attention to situation in this respect--however, I would certainly not want either a mandated choice or a mechanic that forced me to deal with the GM's themes thrust upon me. If we had come into the game with the stats of Mercy vs. Judgment (and mechanics that made our actions and success relevant to them, for instance), while it would've put the issue clear and up-front, it also would've been saying "this is a game about mercy vs. judgment" and I wouldn't have been as excited about that without the context that came with the situation itself.If the GM had described the set-up to the game itself (essentially "starting at the end when the conflict was clear") I don't think I would've been as invested in making that call.A Note On Pacing: As I've noted, the GM included several aspects of dramatic timing in the game. More importantly, he set up the NPC's with motivations that he felt would lead to an interesting climax (the Judges wanted us for their own, Taylor had (minor) second thoughts and wanted to talk with us, the background in Africa was held as a sort of 'open secret' in the begining in order to build power and intersperse some ramp-up play with some more intense situation). The pacing of this was essential and, IMO, Dramatic. The GM couldn't say for sure when Sam Taylor would call us up--but it didn't matter, he'd call us when he needed to (within reasonable parameters). The cuts between Africa and Modern Day were arranged to keep the energy high. The various assaults were used to punctuate scenes rather than just "randomly" occurring at the end.Clearly, if I were a pure Virtualist, I'd object to this. I did notice it about half way in. Why didn't I complain? I didn't, I think, for a few reasons:1. The events fell within my threshold for plausibility (which is, I think, *pretty high* but not absolute--I didn't consider the bad-guys showing up after a quick conversation had pretty much resolved our issues unacceptable.2. The pacing (which was, IMO, similar to Framing, even when used in a scene) was done in an empowering manner. We weren't (really) cut short. The timing wasn't done to manipulate us. If anything, just the opposite--the GM let the scene run and then BANG, hit us. So there's a player empowerment issue there.But if the GM had paid careful attention to clocks and asked us to delineate actions on some sort of internal timeline I wouldn't have object either, even if it had cut us short or pushed us around. There is a hierarchy of expectation: versimilitude, empowerment, drama (if I get drama at the cost of empowerment, I'm not happy--if I get versimilitued at the cost of empowerment, I'll accept it).3. It didn't interfere with my immersion. If the GM had said "and here's a key choice for you Marco, I'm really interested to see which way you'll go" that woulda sort of broken me out of the game--especially if the dramatic license the GM took was designed to (even plausibly) push me into those situations.In other words, I saw no pattern to the GM use of dramtic pacing. The patterns I saw were built into the situational foundation of the game itself, not the technique of GM-Power-Over-Timing.Playtest Notes: The GM was very good about using the present cut of the game rules to look up notes rather than having me explain them. This was valuable to me--I got to see examination of the notes in action and got to see how the game held up. The GM, playing as a stickler for by-the-rules revealed a small amount of highly useful information (largely on the grappling section).
Quote- The civilian version is called a 'virtual global information link', and each person who has one becomes a 'node' in the world wide network - Question: What do you call a girl who's just got her link, but has never logged on?
Quote from: TobiasQuote- The civilian version is called a 'virtual global information link', and each person who has one becomes a 'node' in the world wide network - Question: What do you call a girl who's just got her link, but has never logged on? Virgin?(VIRtual Global Information Newbie?)