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Author Topic: Shock: playtest 0.1.0 thread  (Read 6861 times)
Joshua A.C. Newman
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« on: October 24, 2005, 09:41:35 PM »

Download Shock: version 0.1.0 and play it!

Please post A.P. threads in Actual Play, but post questions about the system, typo reports, and other peripheral elements here!

As each new playtest version is released, it will be posted here in its own thread. Please post in the appropriate thread.
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the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.
James_Nostack
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Posts: 642


« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2005, 03:02:46 PM »

Some questions:

1.  What happens to unoccupied intersections?  If 3 people create a 3x3 grid and pick one character each, that leaves six empty spots.  (note also that the "wasted space" increases as the number of players goes up)

2.  Is it possible/desireable to put multiple characters on the same row or column, even if it means that one row will not have a protagonist?

3.  You begin the game with 9 coins.  How are coins replenished?  What purpose do they serve mechanically? 

4.  What is the IIEE procedure for conflict resolution?

5.  What is the procedure for scene framing?  I think a lot of games just kind of say, "well, it happens."  Since this is a GM-less game it might be more interesting to have a formal process about how this happens, and what the ingredients are, and how to use them.

6.  Is there any mechanical benefit for being the one to suggest Coolness, as opposed to being a parasite?

7.  Who narrates?

8.  I am unclear on how relationships change the "arena" of the discussion. 
8A.  I don't know what this means mechanically
8B.  I don't know what it means in a story

I probably have more, but these are the ones that come to mind right now.
 
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Joshua A.C. Newman
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« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2005, 09:15:44 AM »

Some questions:

1.  What happens to unoccupied intersections?  If 3 people create a 3x3 grid and pick one character each, that leaves six empty spots.  (note also that the "wasted space" increases as the number of players goes up)

That means you're not telling a story about that riight now.

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2.  Is it possible/desireable to put multiple characters on the same row or column, even if it means that one row will not have a protagonist?

Sure! There is no requirement to use every single idea you throw down.

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3.  You begin the game with 9 coins.  How are coins replenished?  What purpose do they serve mechanically? 

Coins are a closed economy. They determine how much you want to use a given Trait.

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4.  What is the IIEE procedure for conflict resolution?

When you bid a Trait, you're saying what you're doing. Your opponent then blocks it by responding.

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5.  What is the procedure for scene framing?  I think a lot of games just kind of say, "well, it happens."  Since this is a GM-less game it might be more interesting to have a formal process about how this happens, and what the ingredients are, and how to use them.

Well, I think this is discussed in the rules: agree on Stakes, the provoking player sets up the situation.

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6.  Is there any mechanical benefit for being the one to suggest Coolness, as opposed to being a parasite?

Nope. I considered it, then tossed it out, then considered it, then tossed it out. The only benefit that makes sense to me right now requires a rewrite of the rules, and I might go ahead with it for the next PtE: when your character is removed from play, you get different coins when you cash in. A different color, probably. Those coins are temporary; when you use them, your opposition's player doesn't get them; they just go away. Likewise, when you suggest something Cool, you get one such temporary coin.

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7.  Who narrates?

I'm not sure what you mean. Everyone's narrating all the time.

Do you mean, "who sets up a situation?" If that's what you mean, it's the instigating player.

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8.  I am unclear on how relationships change the "arena" of the discussion.
8A.  I don't know what this means mechanically

It means you change the Praxis Scale you're using. Just switch to the other die and the other scale.

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8B.  I don't know what it means in a story

Usinga a Relationship means that you care about something enough that you'll do more when it's threatened or helping you.

...

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1. What is the significance of "owning" an issue/shock?

You say how it works. If you own "Nanotechnology" then you say how the technology works. If you own Democracy, you say how the political system works.

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10.  Are there any benefits to roping in one of the other issues/shocks, and making it interact with yours in a funky, unforeseen way?

Yeah, you get Minutić.

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11.  Why is this necessarily science-fiction, as opposed to say, socially conscious fantasy fiction?  Like you could do a shock, "Accursed Magic Rings" and an issue, Will to Power.  I mean, it would be cool if this were uniquely sci-fi, but I'm not sure it is.

It's because it starts with your society and then changes things one by one. That's what Shocks are. This deserves its own thread, because I want to hash this out with people, so I'll split it to over there.
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the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.
James_Nostack
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Posts: 642


« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2005, 11:26:29 AM »

Coins are a closed economy. They determine how much you want to use a given Trait... When you bid a Trait, you're saying what you're doing. Your opponent then blocks it by responding.

Okay, so let me make sure that I've got this right.  I roll, say, a 5.  I need to get a 4.  So I say, "Whammo, I am using this Trait, and I'm plunking down 1 of my precious 9 coins."  And you say, "Not so fast buster, I will spend 2 of my coins to stop you--you're stuck with the 5."  And then I say, "You are the Robo-Bastardo 2000, but I will defeat you with my 3 coins.  Suffer and die."  Is that right?  (If so, it could be clarified in the text.)

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Well, I think [scene framing] is discussed in the rules: agree on Stakes, the provoking player sets up the situation.

Are you familiar with Vincent's new Dragon Slayer thingy?  He sets up a thing where you can define a character's Destination, Condition, and Reputation.  Like, "I'm going to King Aethelred's steading, I'm all bloodied up from the battle, but I have a reputation as the last survivor of the massacre."  Like, there's no guidance in the text currently about what it means to frame a scene.  (Or why some scene framing is better than others.)  (This isn't your fault, it's just a pet peeve of mine about Narrativist games in general, which apparently all rely on intuition, which means that some players get it and for others it falls flat.)

[quoteLikewise, when you suggest something Cool, you get one such temporary coin.
Quote

Gaining coins by suggesting Coolness is, in itself, Coolness.

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"Who narrates?"  I'm not sure what you mean. Everyone's narrating all the time.

I mean, who has narration rights?  Like, say you say, "It's raining outside," and I say, "No, it's sunny."  In a lot of GM-less games this is resolved via consensus, but that always seems mushy and weak to me personally.  We ran into a lot of trouble with this in Capes.

Please don't take this as anything beyond poking and prodding to figure out where weak spots are, at least in my own feeble understanding.  It's an interesting game!
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Joshua A.C. Newman
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« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2005, 09:39:00 AM »

Coins are a closed economy. They determine how much you want to use a given Trait... When you bid a Trait, you're saying what you're doing. Your opponent then blocks it by responding.

Okay, so let me make sure that I've got this right.  I roll, say, a 5.  I need to get a 4.  So I say, "Whammo, I am using this Trait, and I'm plunking down 1 of my precious 9 coins."  And you say, "Not so fast buster, I will spend 2 of my coins to stop you--you're stuck with the 5."  And then I say, "You are the Robo-Bastardo 2000, but I will defeat you with my 3 coins.  Suffer and die."  Is that right?  (If so, it could be clarified in the text.)

Ahm, no... What it means is:

I bid one coin to put in a Trait. That means that, if you want to continue, you have to ...

Ah!

A simpler way to say it!

To do anything, you have to bid more coins than the previous bid. That's all!

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Quote
Well, I think [scene framing] is discussed in the rules: agree on Stakes, the provoking player sets up the situation.

Are you familiar with Vincent's new Dragon Slayer thingy?  He sets up a thing where you can define a character's Destination, Condition, and Reputation.  Like, "I'm going to King Aethelred's steading, I'm all bloodied up from the battle, but I have a reputation as the last survivor of the massacre."  Like, there's no guidance in the text currently about what it means to frame a scene.  (Or why some scene framing is better than others.)  (This isn't your fault, it's just a pet peeve of mine about Narrativist games in general, which apparently all rely on intuition, which means that some players get it and for others it falls flat.)

Gotta chew on that. In Dragon Killer playtest, those got muddy, but it's probably because of another rule that was interferiing at the time.

Good suggestion.

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Likewise, when you suggest something Cool, you get one such temporary coin.

Gaining coins by suggesting Coolness is, in itself, Coolness.

Yeah, I'm inclined to agree.

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Quote
"Who narrates?"  I'm not sure what you mean. Everyone's narrating all the time.

I mean, who has narration rights?  Like, say you say, "It's raining outside," and I say, "No, it's sunny."  In a lot of GM-less games this is resolved via consensus, but that always seems mushy and weak to me personally.  We ran into a lot of trouble with this in Capes.

Ah. Well, the people who have a say in what's going on in a scene are:

The Protag Player
The Antag Player
The owners of Shocks and Issues currently in play.

The person who sets up "it's raining" and the like is the Antag player for the Protagonist whose scene is currently starting. Anyone can suggest stuff, but that player has the final say. The rules are wishy washy on this right now because I'm not certain if the Protag Player should be able to call it or not.

Thanks for making it apparent. I'll think about that.

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Please don't take this as anything beyond poking and prodding to figure out where weak spots are, at least in my own feeble understanding.  It's an interesting game!

They're all valid questions because either the rule isn't a good rule or because it's unclear. Keep it coming!

Also, play it! Get at least one friend, probably no more than three, and generate some AP so we can see this stuff in action.
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the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.
Tim Alexander
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Posts: 304


« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2005, 01:23:08 PM »

I bid one coin to put in a Trait. That means that, if you want to continue, you have to ...

Ah!

A simpler way to say it!

To do anything, you have to bid more coins than the previous bid. That's all!

But you're not negating their input right, you're instead bidding to use a trait of your own as well? So the bidding escalates until someone either can't or isn't willing to pay the huge cost of a bunch of coins to succeed, or you run out of traits?

-Tim
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Joshua A.C. Newman
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« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2005, 08:49:48 AM »

But you're not negating their input right, you're instead bidding to use a trait of your own as well? So the bidding escalates until someone either can't or isn't willing to pay the huge cost of a bunch of coins to succeed, or you run out of traits?

That's the way it works in 0.1.0 right now. It turns out to be deeply flawed and will be rewritten in 0.2.0.
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the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.
Joshua A.C. Newman
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Member
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Posts: 1144

the glyphpress


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« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2005, 06:58:21 AM »

Shock: is dead! Long live Shock:!

That is, 0.2.0 is released and all comments should be over there. This thread's closed. Thanks for the feedback!
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the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.
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