*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
April 16, 2014, 07:55:14 PM

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: 66 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
Pages: [1]
Print
Author Topic: Angels' Wings and Devils' Shards - Actual play and rules clarifications  (Read 7135 times)
JasperN.
Member

Posts: 41


« on: September 06, 2005, 12:56:34 AM »

Hi everyone -

this weekend I had the pleasure of playing BtI for the first time on IRC. I talked Caynreth from my German RPG board into trying the game with me. For me, it was a first timer in many ways: first time BtI, first indie game, first time on IRC and first time playing with Cayn, whom I only knew through the board. Cayn, however, has had some expirience with indie games and online play, and knows PtA, MLWM, The Pool and HeroQuest.

Setting-wise, we went for a 1900-ish Kopenhagen straight out of Hans Christian Andersen, planning for a lyric, ernest and slightly moralistic urban fairy tale. We stole from Andersen's "The Snow Queen", and had Hans', the boy character's, heart being pierced by a shard of the devil`s mocking mirror which burst in the presence of god, and shed its splinters all over the world. He now walks the crooked path and works as a driver for a band of petty criminals. The girl, Ada, has an angel's feather she found at her mother's deathbed. Otherwise, she's a pure soul living in a christian home for orphaned girls. Hans' issue with seeing Ada is that she reminds him of a life he's trying to leave behind, while Ada has to hide her seeing a boy from the nuns she's living with.

We played out the first date on sunday via IRC. Hans and Ada went on a wintry walk along the beach. She gave him an origami crane as a present, and they let it fly across the sea, reminiscing childhood days the spent together. When they met some of Hans' co-workers, he denied Ada in front of them, but made her laugh again later on when he showed off his shadow-boxing skills and promised to always be there for her to protect her. They went on a turbulent ride with his car, and finally Hans took Ada home through a sketchy part of town. When they ran into two of the nuns in front of the chistian home, they successfully wriggeled their way out in a fast and funny scene, that concluded with Hans taking the whole party home in his car generously to be presented with a small coin by the nuns, who of course admonished him "not to spend it all at once".

All in all, we had a great time - it was lyrical, a little kitschy and more light-hearted and funny towards the end. I really liked how the game works towards a dynamic between the two players. Just like in a real date, with two players at the table you feel the need to keep things going, which makes you extra-thankful for anything, any idea, any activity the other party has to offer. I also noticed that I started to think about how to show off  the traits and setting elements I felt would be most interesting or attractive to the other character, constantly thinking about what the characters had in common. Both I and Cayn were suprised by how our characters developed right in front of us by intercating with each other. We really felt that the characters brought out new sides in each other:  We liked the moody Hans a lot better after his sportive-sexy interlude, and Ada became  much less of "the girls who always wants to talk" during the course of the date.
As a side effect, I and Cayn got to know each other a little better thorugh our playing behavior.

We'll play the second date on Wednesday. While we deliberately agreed on keeping the first date a little more light-hearted, this time it's gonna be more about the heavier issues, I suppose.

We ran into some confusing rules issues, however, that I'd like to clarify a bit. Frank "Barbaren!" T. told me yesterday that the version we used is long out of date and has been re-worked considerably, and I guess that's the reason for some of the problems we saw. It's the one that was available for free from the old website. If someone cared to help us out a bit, that'd be great.

1. Is there a single attraction value for both of the characters or do we keep track of that for each of the two seperately?

2. How exactly does the re - roll mechanic work? This was probably the biggest point of confusion. The rules I have state that you can re-roll up to (Attraction+Bonus dice) times. Does that mean that you can re -roll a numer of dice from the pool you accumulated originally up to that value or that you get the chance to build up a new pool  altogether (Attraction+Bonus dice) times, effectively introducing a new scene each time to "save the situation"? We played it this way, but kept wondering whether we were right.

3. When do we roll? We brainstormed the scene, then played it out and rolled at the end , counting in all the dice-worthy elements in the scene. Cayn suggested a PtA like approach: brainstorming - rolling - playing out. The way we did it, we sometimes had a beautiful scene that didn't result in any attraction raise anyway.

4. You have to include a trait in your attraction roll, but you don't get a die for it, right?

Thanks for a great game, Emily. I'm really looking forward to playing  again on Wednesday.

     
Logged
Emily Care
Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 1126


WWW
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2005, 07:30:06 AM »

Dear Jasper,

What a beautiful setting and gorgeous play you came out with!  You've caught my heart, the Snow Queen is one of my favorite fairy tales... 

And as for rules clarifications, yes, I'm sure the confusions you experienced arose from the version you were using.  There will soon be an updated character sheet available at the Black & Green Games website that will clear up a lot for you. 

For now:

Quote
1. Is there a single attraction value for both of the characters or do we keep track of that for each of the two seperately?
The characters share a single attraction level between the two of them.  The characters now share a single character sheet: the Attraction level is a row of boxes in the middle of the sheet.  With each turn, you check off a box if you raise the Attraction level (three successes), or add a Compatibility (four successes) to a column between the two characters' traits. 

Quote
2. How exactly does the re - roll mechanic work? This was probably the biggest point of confusion. The rules I have state that you can re-roll up to (Attraction+Bonus dice) times. Does that mean that you can re -roll a numer of dice from the pool you accumulated originally up to that value or that you get the chance to build up a new pool  altogether (Attraction+Bonus dice) times, effectively introducing a new scene each time to "save the situation"? We played it this way, but kept wondering whether we were right.

Great question!

Re-Rolls = (Attraction Dice + Bonus Dice) - Successes. 

Basically, all the dice you roll initially that do not come up as Successes (5 or 6) may be Re-Rolled for a bit of narration that puts the character at a disadvantage.  I generally build up the negative things as a pool of the dice to be re-rolled, (just like the first one, but all bad stuff) and then roll the shebang when enough have been accumulated.

Quote
3. When do we roll? We brainstormed the scene, then played it out and rolled at the end , counting in all the dice-worthy elements in the scene. Cayn suggested a PtA like approach: brainstorming - rolling - playing out. The way we did it, we sometimes had a beautiful scene that didn't result in any attraction raise anyway.
I generally suggest rolling when you have accumulated all the dice you can get for a category (though I always wait and roll Attraction Dice with the Bonus Dice).  So there might be several pools that get rolled during someone's turn: e.g. 1) Attraction and Bonus Dice, 2) Re-Rolls, 3) Conflict Dice, 4)Compatibilities. 

However,  there are different approaches that sound like they work just fine:  Cayns suggestion to brainstorm for dice then play out after rolling sounds great.  Frank & his friend Nicholas played online, so they narrated each Bonus Die, then did the Re-Roll right away if it wasn't a Success.  He said they kept track by marking down a circle ("O") for each die rolled that was eligible for a re-roll, and filled it in if it came up as a success.  (Then I guess they put an "X" through if it was re-rolled unsuccessfully, to show that it had been used.)   

Quote
4. You have to include a trait in your attraction roll, but you don't get a die for it, right?
Not any more.  You just have to introduce the general scene to get the attraction dice. For example, going on a wintry walk would be a great introduction to a turn. 

Thanks so much for sharing about your game.  I look forward to  hearing more about it. And I will post here when the character sheets are online--if you need it sooner, pm me.

best to you,
Emily
Logged

Koti ei ole koti ilman saunaa.

Black & Green Games
JasperN.
Member

Posts: 41


« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2005, 01:09:46 AM »

Hi Emily,

thanks for the explanations, that clears it up for me. I'll keep you posted about the next two dates.

Jasper
Logged
JasperN.
Member

Posts: 41


« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2005, 02:20:11 AM »

On wednesday we played the second date, and this time around things started to get dramatic.

No more origiami cranes and jolly joyrides. We got mean.

Emily’s and Frank’s explanations helped a lot – everything went smoothly and we hardly ran into any problems. There’s nothing much to write about how we handeled the rules this time – it alle went pretty much according to the book. I feel that Cayn and I got to work together even better, now that the rules did their job properly.  We frequently tossed ideas and suggestions at each other, and I’m glad BtI supports that.

We rolled and found that our attraction was still at 2.

Cayn suprised me right at the start by declaing that Hans was gonna drag Ada into a shady dancing – joint, quite openly trying to  go for third base. Men!

So our two puppy - lovers find themselves in a notorious tango café. Ada lets herself be dragged onto the dancefloor reluctantly, and just when she starts to relax and comes a little closer, the devil’s shard takes over. Hans‘ eyes flash ominously, and his hands start to wander. Ada senses how the feather in her pocket starts to move, and she tries to get away from him. In this very moment, a couple of Hans‘ companions show up ,so he acts cool and does nothing to calm her down.

Cut. We agreed on  ´touched by higher powers‘ as our first compatibility, because both of the characters now understood, that god and the devil were messing with their lives.

Ada heads out and causes turmoil on the dancefloor. Watched by a growing crowd of demi-monde bystanders in the street, the two protagonists get into an argument. Ada holds the feather out before her like a knife, while Hans is talking to her frantically. Only when she realizes that Hans bears her touching his face  with the feather, she is content that the evil presence within him has vanished...for the moment, Sie tells him about the angel at her  mother’s death-bed and warns him against the devil’s seed inside of him.

Cut, attraction raise to 3.   

Now I got to witness some more of Cayn’s habitual brilliant-ness, when she had Hans and Ada sneak into an exhibition of ice – sculptures at night. I’m sure you can see the potential in terms of metaphors and motifs for this story.

Hans shows Ada the statue of a snow crystal, bla –blahing about perfection and infinity and rational order. Ada sees nothing but a sparkling beauty, of course. They start dancing in the moonlight, and this time it’s Ada who gets carried away, while he’s trying to keep things under control. When they try to kiss, the shard within Hans rebels. He’s struck to the ground and his eyes start freezing over. Ada warms them with her breath and finally, they melt into tears. She can get him back to life, but once again they’re sparated by a wall of ice.

Cut, and a new  compatibility „Survived a deadly threat together“.

Hans and Ada fall asleep, exhausted. Snow starts to fall, covering them like a white blanket. The snow crystal comes to live, and draws near with a stern face, but lo! at the same moment, an ice angel sheds his rigidity and  drives the crystal away. He takes the two young lovers by the hand, and they soar to sky, riding the moonlight. Among the snow –flakes, they finally have a chance to dance undisturbedly. Ada spots her dead mother on a cloud, while Hans finds his father on  a misty ship. After a dramatic confrontation, he rejects him, because he is „just a dream“.
Upon awakening, Hans finds a huge, frozen tear on his breast, which he secretly stows away in his pocket.

Ada starts confronting him about leaving the dream and denying her the chance to speak with her mother again, She accuses him of not having any feelings for his dead father, of being cold and ruthless. They get into a fight, and in her self-indulgent anger, she slaps him.

We had to take a break here, because we just ran out of time. I’m looking forward to rolling for this last scene, and of course, to the last date. Cayn and I agreed that neither of us has a clue as of yetabout  what’s to become of these two poor children.


Logged
Emily Care
Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 1126


WWW
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2005, 06:24:14 AM »

Hans and Ada fall asleep, exhausted. Snow starts to fall, covering them like a white blanket. The snow crystal comes to live, and draws near with a stern face, but lo! at the same moment, an ice angel sheds his rigidity and  drives the crystal away. He takes the two young lovers by the hand, and they soar to sky, riding the moonlight. Among the snow –flakes, they finally have a chance to dance undisturbedly. Ada spots her dead mother on a cloud, while Hans finds his father on  a misty ship. After a dramatic confrontation, he rejects him, because he is „just a dream“.
Upon awakening, Hans finds a huge, frozen tear on his breast, which he secretly stows away in his pocket.

Wow.  Your tale is so beautiful--yet sharp and biting like when you read the original versions of fairy tales.  Glad the rules are working for you now. I can't wait to see what happens to Hans and Ada too!

best,
Emily
Logged

Koti ei ole koti ilman saunaa.

Black & Green Games
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!