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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 68 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: My Life with My Life with Master  (Read 4496 times)
Peter Nordstrand
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« on: October 10, 2005, 04:23:27 PM »

I'm playing the game on wednesday. Three players are expected join me (including Jonas Karlsson, who I am looking forward to meeting for the first time).

Questions:

The guidelines for deciding on Fear and Reason values are vague. What are your experiences with different ratings, apart from what is already stated on p. 17 in the book? Any advice?

I assume that a minimum of one (1) dice is contributed when one minion provide aid to an other. I.e. the Negative Pools rule on p. 25 applies when Providing Aid as well. Correct?

Desperation Dice: Page 33 states that "the character uses language, primarily, in an effort to give ownership of his or her emotional distress to the other person". However, in the example titled Sebastian and Carlotta, Sebastian's player is awarded a Desperation dice when "he describes Sebastian's terrified delivery of an awkward twisting grip to the magistrate's crotch" (p. 57). Please explain why.

Finally, a suggestion for Paul:

I don't like leaving my demesne to perform menial tasks. Put up a player sheet pdf on your website.


Yours truly,
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Victor Gijsbers
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« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2005, 01:21:49 AM »

The guidelines for deciding on Fear and Reason values are vague. What are your experiences with different ratings, apart from what is already stated on p. 17 in the book? Any advice?
For a one-shot game, I generally take 3 Fear, 2 Reason and 1 starting Love. For a game that runs over several sessions, 4 Fear, 3 Reason and no Love seems to work fine.

Quote
I assume that a minimum of one (1) dice is contributed when one minion provide aid to an other. I.e. the Negative Pools rule on p. 25 applies when Providing Aid as well. Correct?
Yes.

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Desperation Dice: Page 33 states that "the character uses language, primarily, in an effort to give ownership of his or her emotional distress to the other person". However, in the example titled Sebastian and Carlotta, Sebastian's player is awarded a Desperation dice when "he describes Sebastian's terrified delivery of an awkward twisting grip to the magistrate's crotch" (p. 57). Please explain why.
I wouldn't worry about it. This is the essence, I think: "Desperation [...] is an emotional effort to provoke a more favorable outcome from a conflict through sheer emotional distress."

Quote
I don't like leaving my demesne to perform menial tasks. Put up a player sheet pdf on your website.
Paul recently married, so I guess he has enough Love to resist your attempt to command him. ;)
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Peter Nordstrand
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« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2005, 02:10:40 AM »

Thank you Victor,

Oh well, I'm married myself, so I guess I'm not a real master anyway.

Regarding the Desperation dice, I guess I'll follow your advice. I am not sure I have a good feeling for when to use it, but we will figure it out together when playing. Jonas probably has something to say, having played the game before. (Essentially, what throws me off is this: How is twisting someone's crotch more desperate than any other violent action? Is poking someone in the eye also desperate? What about biting someone's ear? But never mind, I'm just being obnoxious and unnecessarily anxious.)

Again, thank you for your help.
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Michael S. Miller
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« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2005, 06:05:07 AM »

The guidelines for deciding on Fear and Reason values are vague. What are your experiences with different ratings, apart from what is already stated on p. 17 in the book? Any advice?

Check out this thread
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Victor Gijsbers
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« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2005, 06:22:16 AM »

(Essentially, what throws me off is this: How is twisting someone's crotch more desperate than any other violent action? Is poking someone in the eye also desperate? What about biting someone's ear? But never mind, I'm just being obnoxious and unnecessarily anxious.)

No action itself is especially desperate; but an action can be done desperately, and I'm sure you'll know it when you see it. I think that in the crotch-example, the minion's fear of the Master is taken as the background against which any violent action against the Master is unthinkable as long as the minion is not very, very desperate. The minion knows he'll be made to suffer for it, but he cannot see any other way out and he really, really does not want to go and do what he has been commanded to do.

(I dan't really remember the example in detail, and can't look it up here at my work, so maybe I'm way off.)
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Arturo G.
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Posts: 333


« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2005, 06:33:22 AM »

Hi there!

Thanks Michael for the thread link. I had only a vague idea about the effect of the numbers.

About the player's sheet: I have made a single page PDF with it. You can find it here:
http://www.infor.uva.es/~arturo/Download/MLwM_player_sheet.pdf

Cheers,
Arturo
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2005, 08:54:29 AM »

From Ambrose Bierce's The Devil's Dictionary:

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The state or condition of a community consisting of a master, a mistress and two slaves, making in all, two

... provided only because I think Paul will appreciate it soon enough.

Best,
Ron
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Peter Nordstrand
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« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2005, 10:30:08 PM »

And the man quotes The Book.

Thank you all for your kind assistance. See you in Actual Play.

Quote from: The Devil's Dictionary
Dictionary, n. A malevolent literary device for cramping the growth of a language and making it hard and inelastic.

/Peter Nordstrand
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Paul Czege
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« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2005, 11:08:56 AM »

Hi Peter,

I assume that a minimum of one (1) dice is contributed when one minion provide aid to an other. I.e. the Negative Pools rule on p. 25 applies when Providing Aid as well. Correct?

The language I used for the Providing Aid rule was intended to preclude this. My rationale being that a minion with Weariness greater than Love isn't up to helping anybody. But the Providing Aid rule turns out to be seriously under utilized by players, pretty much across the board, and in any case we're talking about one damn d4, so I recommend being generous and allowing the one dice contribution if a player requests it.

I don't like leaving my demesne to perform menial tasks. Put up a player sheet pdf on your website.

You don't have to leave the demesne. You just need to know the secret passage:

http://www.halfmeme.com/my-life-with-master-player-sheet.pdf

Paul
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My Life with Master knows codependence.
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Michael S. Miller
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« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2005, 06:10:44 AM »

But the Providing Aid rule turns out to be seriously under utilized by players, pretty much across the board, and in any case we're talking about one damn d4, so I recommend being generous and allowing the one dice contribution if a player requests it

I've found in my admittedly time-condensed convention games, that even once a minion has enough Love to trigger endgame, they regularly need Aid to successfully resist the Master. (I've always used the 1 die minimum, since Aid is almost always zero otherwise). This leads to tense little scenes, where everyone is lurking in the shadows, terrified and expectant as someone finally stands up to the Master. I love it.

It also occasionally leads to some competitiveness when more than one player has their heart set on killing the Master. They refrain from Aiding their companions to stop them from triggering Endgame.
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Nev the Deranged
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Posts: 741

Dave. Yeah, that Dave.


« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2006, 03:47:23 PM »

Question:

The rules imply that minions may go to the Aid of the Master during Endgame. In this case would the minion roll LOVE - WEARINESS (providing Aid), or FEAR + SELF LOATHING (violence vs pc minion)?  If they succeed, do they gain SELF LOATHING, and if they fail (and the Master is slain despite their efforts), do they gain WEARINESS for the final tally?

Or am I just misinterpreting things and minions can't come to the Master's aid at all during Endgame?

Similarly, minions can call for Overtures during Endgame, and presumably if they wish they can call for Violence or Villainy, or Aid another minion. But what about Commands? If a minion frames themselves into the presence of the Master (and presumably the resisting minion), can the Master give commands that may influence (At least for drama's sake) the resisting minion? Or perhaps just a last ditch attempt to salvage their plan, or maybe even just to deny the resisting minion LOVE by polishing off a Connection or two? Or would that kind of thing, while mechanically possible, just be cluttering up a nice clean Endgame?

And since I'm thinking about it, does the scene in which the resisting minion combats the Master have to continue as one scene until the Master is destroyed? Seems like chronology might get iffy if that goes on a while. Can the resisting minion escape for the moment to plot against the Master, or to recruit the help of Townsfolk, Connections, Outsiders, or fellow minions? Or so they can try to gain a point of LOVE or two? Or even just for story's sake, so they can reframe the conflict in another setting?

Just some stuff floating about in my brain. Gonna pitch MLWM tonight at the regular Game Night, we'll see what happens.

I did whip up my own uber-quickref sheet for MLWM, combining several other people's notes and adding my own. I will post it here for critiquing before PDFizing the final version and adding it to my Quickref Collection for general use.

 Dave.

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Eero Tuovinen
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« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2006, 01:10:44 AM »

The rules imply that minions may go to the Aid of the Master during Endgame. In this case would the minion roll LOVE - WEARINESS (providing Aid), or FEAR + SELF LOATHING (violence vs pc minion)?  If they succeed, do they gain SELF LOATHING, and if they fail (and the Master is slain despite their efforts), do they gain WEARINESS for the final tally?

"Coming to aid the Master" here means just being in the scene, being able to interfere, and being willing / failing to resist the Master's command. It has nothing to do with the aiding rules, as the Master is not a minion nor a player character, and thus cannot be aided. The best you can do is to stop a character from rolling a challenge / fight roll with the Master. Whether you do that via player-player negotiation or violence vs. pc minion is up to you, as per usual.

Quote
Similarly, minions can call for Overtures during Endgame, and presumably if they wish they can call for Violence or Villainy, or Aid another minion. But what about Commands? If a minion frames themselves into the presence of the Master (and presumably the resisting minion), can the Master give commands that may influence (At least for drama's sake) the resisting minion? Or perhaps just a last ditch attempt to salvage their plan, or maybe even just to deny the resisting minion LOVE by polishing off a Connection or two? Or would that kind of thing, while mechanically possible, just be cluttering up a nice clean Endgame?

Well, I've always played it this way, but this might be a bit of a drift: every minion has to break Master's control for himself, but the Fear value will only be used for the first one (Fear is removed from everywhere except the endgame fight when the endgame is triggered). So in practice all or most of the minions tend to break it at roughly the same time, especially if they Aid. But as long as one hasn't, the usual rules are in effect, and the Master may give commands etc.

I THINK the written rules do not go like the above, however. Although they do not address the issue either way, I think it's strongly implied that no commands will be given during the endgame, although the GM may otherwise frame situations that might cause Villainy/Violence or Connnections dying.

Quote
And since I'm thinking about it, does the scene in which the resisting minion combats the Master have to continue as one scene until the Master is destroyed? Seems like chronology might get iffy if that goes on a while. Can the resisting minion escape for the moment to plot against the Master, or to recruit the help of Townsfolk, Connections, Outsiders, or fellow minions? Or so they can try to gain a point of LOVE or two? Or even just for story's sake, so they can reframe the conflict in another setting?

The scene does not need to continue, but the turn mechanics need to. (You'll note that the endgame is the only place in the rules that has explicit advice on player turns; elsewhere, despite common usage, it's optional.) This means that the minion fighting the Master can't be framed into a non-fight scene, as it's assumed that he will roll for the fight in every one of his own scenes. This is also true for those minions who join the fight later. It's implied that if several minions join the fight, one or more of them could retreat and rest (that's how I interpret the bit about changing the fighting minion in the middle of the fight), but this might not be the intent.

Assuming you can surpass the limitations of the turn system, you're however free to utilize any of the usual mechanics. For instance, your character might get additional "turns" by the virtue of being in the same scenes with other characters (if the fight with the Master happened in a grand ball, say, and everybody was present), which would allow a lot more leeway than usual. Or you could narrate one failure against the Master as a narrow escape, and frame the next scene as the character coming back with villagers. Thus you can't play any outside scenes, but you can assume events outside the fight.

I've played a lot of different endgames in MLwM, but I can't say that I've ever seen a prolonged one, in the sense of the endgame happening over days or weeks of fiction time. I guess you'd get something like that if the Master was a political animal with political minions, in which case the endgame could be something like the Hussein trial.
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