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Author Topic: UtB: Cody's First Day (finally!)  (Read 5784 times)
coffeestain
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Posts: 165


« on: January 13, 2006, 06:29:33 AM »

I finally got to play my first session of UtB last night and the rules held up quite well (though there were a couple of confusing points, a few of which I'll address later).  The actual play can be found here.

I was impressed with how well the game just created engrossing story, which is probably a combination of the rules and the fact that everyone, obviously, has an intimate relationship to the subject matter.  I was also a little surprised how infrequently the actual toys came into play, particularly since I promoted the game as being about the toys, ala Toy Story.  Only Sarah (the player of the Kite and Silly Putty) actually had her toys take any independent actions and I don't believe I ever even narrated my toys into the scenes (though I was very fond of the block).

Initial toy casualty was high, and we lost two of our three in the first set of conflicts.

We hit a couple of stumbling points when it came to determining who narrates what, and that may have just been a result of my not being terribly familiar with the rules (and only skimming them again before play), but we handled it like so:

Opposition:  Frames scene.  Answers where, what's at stake, who the opposition represents.
Toy:  Narrations all exchanges during the conflict apart from the Opposition's use of its traits.
Winner:  The winner of the conflict narrates the final outcome and closes the scene.

Fortunately, we were very collaborative and a lot of this just occurred naturally, with everyone throwing in suggestions and agreeing readily.

Other problem points:

1)  Ties.  We ruled that ties are re-rolled without any further narration required.

2)  Tokens.  The token system worked pretty well for us, but I can see how it could get unwieldy if we continued all the way to 6 tokens - we stopped at 4 due to time constraints.  In addition, we ran across one situation where the winner of the last conflict was also the only one with a token remaining in the hat and, since she couldn’t narrate for herself, we randomly selected another player to be her opposition.  In retrospect, it seems like a good rule in this situation might be to have the player with the most tokens play her opposition.  Any thoughts on this?

All in all, we had a really good time and enjoyed Cody's story.  Once we became a little more comfortable with the rules, the narrations flowed much more smoothly.  Also, while I don't mind a cut-throat, competitive game, our third player was relieved to find that the rules really provide all of the mechanical adversity for the other players and his role was just to bring that adversity into the narration.

So, thanks for a great game, Joshua!
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Joshua A.C. Newman
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« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2006, 11:42:05 AM »

I was impressed with how well the game just created engrossing story, which is probably a combination of the rules and the fact that everyone, obviously, has an intimate relationship to the subject matter.

You could not have said a nicer thing to me.

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I was also a little surprised how infrequently the actual toys came into play, particularly since I promoted the game as being about the toys, ala Toy Story.  Only Sarah (the player of the Kite and Silly Putty) actually had her toys take any independent actions and I don't believe I ever even narrated my toys into the scenes (though I was very fond of the block).

Yeah, there's something about when one narrates the toy vs. the child. I'm not sure what exactly the deal is, but it's clearly a matter of what the players want to say. I just haven't figure out what it is yet.

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Initial toy casualty was high, and we lost two of our three in the first set of conflicts.

Ouch. This might have to do with a rules misunderstanding. I'll get to those as they come up.

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Opposition:  Frames scene.  Answers where, what's at stake, who the opposition represents.

Yes. Also makes up the Characteristics for the Opposition.

Quote
Toy:  Narrations all exchanges during the conflict apart from the Opposition's use of its traits.

Yep. That is, the Toy player says, "I'm doing x" and the Opposition player says "The bully pounds you into the ground Mercilessly"... and so on, back and forth, until the Opposition is out of dice.

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Winner:  The winner of the conflict narrates the final outcome and closes the scene.

Yes.

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Fortunately, we were very collaborative and a lot of this just occurred naturally, with everyone throwing in suggestions and agreeing readily.
Good. That sounds like fun.

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Other problem points:

1)  Ties.  We ruled that ties are re-rolled without any further narration required.

Ties go to the Toy.

Quote
2)  Tokens.  The token system worked pretty well for us, but I can see how it could get unwieldy if we continued all the way to 6 tokens - we stopped at 4 due to time constraints.  In addition, we ran across one situation where the winner of the last conflict was also the only one with a token remaining in the hat and, since she couldn’t narrate for herself, we randomly selected another player to be her opposition.  In retrospect, it seems like a good rule in this situation might be to have the player with the most tokens play her opposition.  Any thoughts on this?

In that situation, put everyone's coins back in the hat and draw. So you basically did it right.

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All in all, we had a really good time and enjoyed Cody's story.  Once we became a little more comfortable with the rules, the narrations flowed much more smoothly.  Also, while I don't mind a cut-throat, competitive game, our third player was relieved to find that the rules really provide all of the mechanical adversity for the other players and his role was just to bring that adversity into the narration.

You know, I've never seen a game get actually cutthroat. The rules are there to make sure the Toys wind up in sticky situations so, to some extent, your job as Opposition is to make sure that the triumphs of the Toys are meaningful.

I suggest a thorough reading of the rules. I can guess some reasons that the Toy mortality was so high, and it might have just been bad luck, but I suspect there was a misunderstanding somewhere.

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So, thanks for a great game, Joshua!

My pleasure. Would you be so kind as to put this in the general Forge AP forum? That's always valuable feedback that comes through 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.
coffeestain
Member

Posts: 165


« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2006, 12:04:55 PM »

I will most certainly repost in Forge AP.

So, toy mortality:

The first turn, my Gumby is drawn to face the first challenge.  I have one favoritism token and so does my opponent, so he's rolling for 1 trait.

I pull in my three traits, so I roll three dice.  They are 2, 4, 6.  My opponent pulls in his one trait and rolls an 8.

I lose the conflict and, thus, I lose my only favoritism token.  My toy is lost and I must create a new one.

Is that correct?  Or do we have a misunderstanding?

Regards,
Daniel
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coffeestain
Member

Posts: 165


« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2006, 12:08:25 PM »

Oh, you might also find this interesting, though I imagine you hear people voice the same opinion regularly.

Regards,
Daniel
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Joshua A.C. Newman
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the glyphpress


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« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2006, 04:00:19 PM »

The first turn, my Gumby is drawn to face the first challenge.  I have one favoritism token and so does my opponent, so he's rolling for 1 trait.

I pull in my three traits, so I roll three dice.  They are 2, 4, 6.  My opponent pulls in his one trait and rolls an 8.

Well, yep, them's the breaks for a new toy. You did that right. I've just never seen it happen three times in a game. That's why you want to get to be favorite: it's the only thing that helps you survive.
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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.
coffeestain
Member

Posts: 165


« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2006, 05:51:30 PM »

Joshua,

My dice luck is a thing of legend.

Again, thanks for a great game!  I'll let you know next time we play.

Regards,
Danie.
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