*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
June 25, 2022, 02:59:34 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 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 91 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
Pages: [1]
Print
Author Topic: [Fastlane]Hypothetical Play (yeah, I know)  (Read 10156 times)
Halzebier
Member

Posts: 216


« on: September 10, 2005, 08:34:13 AM »

Hi again!

I'm still having a hard time getting my head around Fastlane, so I created a test character to play around with (i.e., I was the croupier and the only player). I modelled him after Turner from Gibson's "Count Zero", knowing that things would turn out differently (i.e., I was neither expecting nor trying to recreate the novel, though I did go with outcomes suggested by the book when applicable).

*-*-*

Name: Turner
Lives: Code of Honor (2), Living Dangerously (1)
Facets: Nerve (7, style: loyal), Sobriety (4, style: cool)
Favors: Hosaka, his employer, owes him a 10 point favour.
Starting Bank: 9

There's more, but none of it is relevant to this example of Hypothetical Play.

(A thing which is frowned upon, I know, but I'm most definitely not ready for primetime with this game.)

I'd appreciate a rules check (i.e., am I doing this correctly?) and have some questions and observations at the end.

*-*-*

Scene 1: A drone tries to kill Turner in a crowd.

Obstacle: Killer drone
Goal: Kill Turner and Survive, respectively.
Difficulty: 5

I'll use Sobriety (4). I threaten Living Dangerously (1), reducing the Sobriety I can bring to bear to 3. With my style, I'm back at a limit of 4 and, in fact, gamble 4 chips for a 66% chance to win 6 (2 chips each on the 1st and 2nd dozen).

I lose and get humbled (my best facet, Nerve, is more than halved to 3). Living Dangerously goes up by 1. I collect 4 chips from being humbled, so my bank is still 5. Turner gets blown to pieces (but is not dead).

*-*-*

Scene 2: Turner, in intensive care, tries to remember who he is.

Obstacle: Grievous Injuries
Goal: Shatter Turner's Identity and Retain said Identity, respectively.
Difficulty: 8

I use Sobriety (4) and call in 5 points of the 10 point favour from Hosaka. I gamble 4 chips for a total of 9 chips. I cover all bases for a near 100% chance to, in fact, collect 9 chips (I put 3 chips on each dozen). I win and I buy off the obstacle narrating how Hosaka's elite shrink and Turner's force of personality prevent his mind from disintegrating - and put 1 chip back into my bank.

My bank goes from 5 to 6 and a favour owed to Turner is reduced by 5.

*-*-*

Scene 3: Turner, leading a team from Hosaka, tries to spot a mole.

NPC: Mole
Conflict: Spot the mole and escape detection, respectively.
Appraisal: 5

I use Sobriety (4) and put my Code of Honor (2) on the line. My loyal nature applies, too, so my limit is 6 and I bid on a 50% gamble because I'm tired of scraping the bottom. I lose. My life was on the line, so it is reduced by 1 -- and then destroyed by the croupier via humbling. I win back 5 chips for the humbling. Turner shoots the wrong man and finds out that the mole was Hosaka's. His belief in his code of honour is shattered. His bank is now at 11.

*-*-*

Questions:
1. If the croupier humbles a PC, the player effectively gets all lost chips right back, correct?
2. Favours called in can be gambled regardless of the normal limit (set by facets), correct?
3. The croupier humbles the player with the player's losses or incurs new favours, correct?
4. The bidding limit is extremely important. High difficulty, low limit = the character is at the wheel's mercy (with a low chance of winning).
5. Is there a tree-like overview of the rules in action on the web (sort of like below)?

   1. Determine the conflict
   2. Determine the bidding limit:
          a) + facet used
          b) + style applied
          c) ...

*-*-*

Observation:
A character's personality is highly in flux (notice how Turner's best facet is halved right away and how his Code of Honor is taken from him). The rules are up front about this, but I am somewhat worried at the fact that these changes can be dictated by the croupier (i.e., I see no problem when a player burns a facet).

Regards,

Hal
Logged
Lxndr
Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 1113

Master of the Inkstained Robes


WWW
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2005, 12:28:26 PM »

Scene 1:

First, the chip from the style is a free chip, it doesn't come from your bank.  So you gamble 4, but only 3 come from your bank.  Your bank is reduced to six here.

Second, you threatened living dangerously and lost, so it doesn't go up (it only goes up if you win).

Third, if the difficulty was five and you completely lost, wouldn't you get humbled 5 points, since the obstacle was five?  Your Nerve would be reduced to 2, and you'd get 5 chips worth of humbling.

You bid 3 chips + your style (+ your lucky #), and you lost.  So your bank went from 9 down to six.  Add the five from being humbled, and it goes from six to 11.  Additionally, your Sobriety is reduced by one because it's the trait you used in the conflict, regardless of win or lose.

(The Croupier, btw, gets +5 chips for this, but spent 5 on the difficulty, so breaks even)

After the first scene, Turner is:

Name: Turner
Lives: Code of Honor (2), Living Dangerously (1)
Facets: Nerve (2, style: loyal), Sobriety (3, style: cool)
Favors: Hosaka, his employer, owes him a 10 point favour.
Current Bank: 11

*-*-*-*

Scene 2:

You use Sobriety (which is 3, if you'll recall, not 4).  You call in a 5 point favor, which you'll see later.  You bid 3 chips, one on each dozen.  Two lose, but with the other you win and get 3.  Add 5 for the favor, and that's eight total.  8 equals the obstacle, so you win - but the GM gets to narrate.

(The Croupier, btw, gets the 2 you lost, + the lucky # you also lost, so +3 chips, but spent 8 on the difficulty, so is down by 5)

Your Sobriety is again reduced by 1 (to 2).  One chip goes in the bank (8+1=9), the other 2 (your winnings) can be spent to improve your character.  Let's spend 2 to bring your Sobriety back up to 4 to make the last scene a little easier.

After the 2nd scene, with my modifications, Turner is:

Name: Turner
Lives: Code of Honor (2), Living Dangerously (1)
Facets: Nerve (2, style: loyal), Sobriety (4, style: cool)
Favors: Hosaka, his employer, owes him a 5 point favour
Current Bank: 9

*-*-*-*

Scene 3:

The NPC's appraisal doesn't matter right now.  The GM still sets a difficulty.  Let's say he sets it at five.  NPC appraisal matters for the ability to burn, and to be humbled, afterwards.  Higher appraisal means more burning needed to remove the NPC from the story entirely.

So you use Sobriety (4 again) and Code of Honor (2) on the line.  Loyal doesn't matter in this case, 'cause Loyal is a Nerve style, which means you can only use it when you're using Nerve.  So your limit is six after all (it would have been seven) and you bid them all on a 50% gamble (Bank = 9-6 = 3).  You lose them all.

(The Croupier gets +7, and only spent five, so is ahead by two, and down by four overall)

Code of Honor is reduced by one because it was on the line, and the Croupier brings it down to zero with the 5 points of humbling he's allowed to do.  His code of Honor is shattered.  You do get five chips back for the humbling (Bank = 3+5=8).  Sobriety also goes down by one, again.

Name: Turner
Lives: Code of Honor (0), Living Dangerously (1)
Facets: Nerve (2, style: loyal), Sobriety (3, style: cool)
Favors: Hosaka, his employer, owes him a 5 point favour
Current Bank: 8

*-*-*-*

Answers to questions:

1.  If a PC is humbled, they get chips back, yes.  Croupier or other PC doing it, same thing applies. 

2.  Favors can be called in beforehand, to reduce a difficulty, or burned afterwards to add phantom chips.  If someone calls in a favor on YOU, you get chips that you have to spend doing things they want.  If you call in a favor on another PC, they get chips they get to spend on you.

3.  Yes, the croupier either reduces a player's numbers, or enforces a new favor owed.

4.  The bidding limit is vitally important.  But if you'll notice, the croupier has to make some choices too.  See in scene 2 how he wound up down five chips.  But in scene 3, he wound up ahead 2 chips.  Over time, the croupier's bank size changes, which can affect what choices he'll make for difficulty.

5.  Not at the moment, no.  But I can whip something up.

*-*-*-*

On your observation:  That's a choice each player has to make for themselves.  If they want to decide how they're hurt, they can burn.  If they want to get humbled, that's imposed on them by the croupier - but in return, they get chips.  If a person really really doesn't want how he's humbled to be in the hands of the croupier (or in pvp, in the hands of the other player) then he can burn, not get chips, and reduce or remove the humbling (and if he burns enough to win, then he gets the added bonus of, y'know, winning).

Also, remember that statistics are all about "right now".  Turner's Code of Honor being rated at zero just means that right now, he's got nothing invested in it.  He feels shattered, it's a crisis of conscience.  It's STILL his Life, and just 'cause it's zero doesn't mean he won't reconcile that, and get it back.

Statistics aren't personality, they're momentary capacity.  Styles and Lifes (in the binary sense of "what is my Life?" as opposed to "what is the value of my Life?") are closer to personality, and are harder to change.  Your character briefly lost his Nerve, but he's still a "cool" person.  He's having a crisis with his Code of Honor, but it's still important to him.  His Sobriety wandered all over the place, but he's still "loyal."
Logged

Alexander Cherry, Twisted Confessions Game Design
Maker of many fine story-games!
Moderator of Indie Netgaming
Halzebier
Member

Posts: 216


« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2005, 01:43:04 AM »

Hi Alexander!

Thanks a lot for your detailed corrections - looks like I made a lot more mistakes than I thought.
I forgot some things (e.g. that a facet used goes down in any case), but I also misunderstood others (e.g. appraisal =! difficulty), though to be fair, it's all in the rules.

Quote
Let's spend 2 to bring your Sobriety back up to 4 to make the last scene a little easier.

I can only raise facets and such with my take (not with my bank), correct?

Quote
Yes, the croupier either reduces a player's numbers, or enforces a new favor owed.

I think it's one of Fastlane's perks that the ressources you lose come from different pools with meanings attached to them (rather than from a single nameless pool as in, well, The Pool). This gives the participants ideas on how to narrate things.

Yet, it is also a stumbling block until you get used to the idea. If you lose a nameless ressource, that's an abstract setback only. If you lose "Nerve" or whatever in Fastlane, that's remniscient of an attribute reduction in D&D etc. (which sucks big time).

(Incidentally, I had one player in The Pool notice that pool dice were (also) experience points. He was crushed by this realization and no amount of explanation on my part could wholly dissipate this feeling.)

I'll make sure to address this when explaining Fastlane, but I predict it's still going to be a hard sell.

Thanks again for your detailed answer - working through the numbers with you has been really helpful!

Regards,

Hal
Logged
Lxndr
Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 1113

Master of the Inkstained Robes


WWW
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2005, 03:39:29 PM »

Quote
I can only raise facets and such with my take (not with my bank), correct?

Technically, you can only raise facets and such with your winnings, not even with your whole take.  But yes, not with your bank.

Quote
If you lose a nameless ressource, that's an abstract setback only. If you lose "Nerve" or whatever in Fastlane, that's remniscient of an attribute reduction in D&D etc.

All of the Fastlane attributes are things that make sense to be temporary.  Your character can lose his Nerve, or find himself less Sober than he expected, or find that there's less People to count on than he thought...  but then a scene from now, he can get his Nerve back, or sober up, or whatever.  The attribute names are supposed to mirror the temporary nature of the Fastlane. Everything flows freely, and what you could do, or what you might do, isn't as important as what you can do right now.
Logged

Alexander Cherry, Twisted Confessions Game Design
Maker of many fine story-games!
Moderator of Indie Netgaming
GB Steve
Member

Posts: 429


WWW
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2005, 12:10:41 AM »

Given that Roulette is a game at which the punters eventually lose, aren't games of Fastlane mostly going to be a downward spiral punctuated by brief moments of glory when someone hits the jackpot?
Logged
Lance D. Allen
Member

Posts: 1962


WWW
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2005, 05:43:21 AM »

Quote from: GB Steve
Given that Roulette is a game at which the punters eventually lose, aren't games of Fastlane mostly going to be a downward spiral punctuated by brief moments of glory when someone hits the jackpot?

You noticed that too, huh?

Actually, that's exactly the point. Unless you're Fate's Chosen like me (I hit my Lucky Number bet twice during the playtest game we did) there's really no way to win Fastlane. Fast living, burning the candle at both ends, being the brightest falling star in the sky.. That's what it's all about.

That aside, Fastlane does give you a lot of benefits over pure roulette.. In roulette, all of your bets are with your own money. Fastlane gives you a free 36:1 bet every spin, plus other free bets for your facets et al. Plus, when you lose, you win. You get chips back every time you're humbled, or if you end up owing a favor, you get those chips back when you fulfill the favor. So unless you're horribly unlucky or just a reckless bidder, it will be a slow downward spiral, and you can get a lot of story told in that time.
Logged

~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2005, 10:09:16 AM »

Depends on what you want to call "winning," doesn't it?

In playing a game like Fastlane, having my character end up with the gold, the girl, and out of all possible danger is emphatically not what I'd consider "winning."

Best,
Ron
Logged
Tim Alexander
Member

Posts: 304


« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2005, 12:56:52 PM »

Given that Roulette is a game at which the punters eventually lose, aren't games of Fastlane mostly going to be a downward spiral punctuated by brief moments of glory when someone hits the jackpot?

Without running all the odds I'm not sure, but I think the roulette practiced in Fastlane is actuallty +EV for the player. That said, because of the small 'bankroll' you're likely to be eaten up by variance before that takes effect. In either case though, I don't think it's all that germaine to actual play; see Ron's comment.

-Tim
Logged
Lxndr
Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 1113

Master of the Inkstained Robes


WWW
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2005, 01:14:25 PM »

Logged

Alexander Cherry, Twisted Confessions Game Design
Maker of many fine story-games!
Moderator of Indie Netgaming
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!