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Author Topic: [Dreamation, P.T.A.] The Hare and Hound  (Read 17051 times)
Judd
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Posts: 1641

Please call me Judd.


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« on: January 22, 2006, 02:50:53 AM »

If someone had told me that my favorite game session would happen at a con I would have said they were nuts.

If someone had told me that my favorite game session would be P.T.A. I would have said that was quite possible.

If someone had told me that game session would be a P.T.A. session that was a British Masterpiece Theatre set in the Victorian era that addressed issues of class struggle and violence against women I would have scoffed.

But tonight it happened. and it happened due to a trick of fate.

Michael Miller accidentally put up an extra PTA session with my name on it.  I'll thank him for that tomorrow.  I could have bailed on it but eff it, its PTA, right?

Before this game, the best single night of gaming I had ever GM'ed:

The two gamers who played in the Ars Magica that, before tonight, was my best single night of gaming ended up being an Assistant District Attorney who prosecuted crimes against children and a Montessori School Teacher.  I had no idea.  I had no idea that they would be so taken with following the Children's Crusade.  I had no idea they even knew what it was.  I had no idea the palpable sadness in the room when they went in one direction to become Magi and collect their sigils and the children went in the opposite direction towards slavery and death.

We had tapped into something that night.  It was the same feeling I felt tonight, that kind of having tapped into something that made us all damned uncomfortable but that needed doing. 

The night before I had run PTA and it was a successful session.  I particularly liked Andy's suggestion that we start suggesting types of shows that we don't want to see.  He said he used that trick when he worked with his band when song-writing.  Rock on.  I stole it for tonight.

The items on the scrap paper in the No Box are: Fantasy, Sienfeld Aliens

I explained that ideas were going to get dinged or changed or flat-out rejected but sometimes the first idea is it.  When we got to our idea there would be an audible click.  The click has happened every damned time.

My notes have the words:

Quote
Cop, Noir & P.I.
Morally ambiguous
no supernatural
30's, 40's
guns are a big deal.

Guns are a big deal is a reference to Emily wanting guns to have a dramatic impact when they come out, a call for no casual gunplay.  We all got right behind that but then we stalled on the noir and stalled hard.  Someone mentioned Victorian detectives adn got walked over.  A player, and I don't remember who, asked that we temporarily shelve this idea and start on another.

So we did.

The next sheet of paper said:

Quote
Victorian England
1880's
class conflict
grit and dirt
West Enders
poverty = emotions
rich folk = staid
drugs: morphine, absinthe, laudunum
No accents at the table!

I asked that no one put on a bad, fake British accent.  Every agreed.

Then we slipped into something.  It came together.

It was after the Jack the Ripper Murders and the serial killer cat was out of the bag.  A detective had failed to catch him and now a new beast was in the urban jungle and it had no natural predator.  We had a butler in the center of the show who would traver class lines with two affluent and two poverty level folks but we scrapped the nexus PC butler in fear of an Alfred the Butler clone.

The detective who considered himself a failure for not catching Jack.  The whore whose friend was killed.  The pimp/bartender/blackmailer.  The whoring lord who ignores his wife.  The wife, struggling to keep her husband at home and understand his hungers for another woman.  It fell into place and it rocked.

Nathan's Character:
Quote
Concept: Prostitute - Dolores

Issue: class issues - wants everything the upper class has without giving up lower class pride and perks.

Edges: Knows everyone worth knowing, Emotional chameleon

Connections:Kept woman (older woman who succeeded) - Ginny

Set - upstairs room of Hare and Hound

Emily's Character:
Quote
Concept: Lord Peter Chelsea

Issue: Yearning

Edges: Landed Gentry, Attractive Devil

Connections:Best friend, Burt (ne're do well baronet)

Set - didn't really have one of his own...right, Emily?  Or did he share with Dolores


Kristina's Character:
Quote
Concept: Lady Miriam Chelsea

Issue: Security issues

Edges: Social Master

Connections:Queen's Lady/Duchess, Maid

set - Chelsea MAnor's Parlor



Quote
Concept: Inspector McClain

Issue: Atonement

Edges: Insightful

Connections:Gossip Reporter, Coroner

Set - the graveyard

Jeffrey's Character:
Quote
Concept: Lyle, Bartender/Pimp/Blackmailer

Issue:Ambition - blackmail

Edges: Greedy Blackmailer

Connections: Violent Thug - Seymour, Butler - lush - Karl

Set - the bar

We wrote out the spotlight episodes, each player on their own, adjusted a few numbers, two players had the same spotlight (a BIG NO NO) and off we went.  It is amazing, looking at a group of numbers and seeing the dramatic shape of the series.  We all got a little giddy at the dramatic shape of it and came really dangerously close to playing before we started playing. 

I forgot sets, so we went back and decided on that.  Nathan narrated the credit sequence, a kind of CGI shot of a snowy London, swooping down to the sleazy West End tavern, The Hound and Hare.  Hound and Hare is a bed and breakfast in Ithaca and when I suggested it as the name Emily liked the predator and prey relationships it suggested.  Everyone was nodding along with her.

It was Lyle's spotlight episode and off we went.  In the middle of the show, Shawn dubbed it, Episode 1: The Locket.  We followed the progress of a locket found on the murdered prostitute as it was returned to its owner, Dolores from the coroner, back to Lord Chelsea and eventually into the hands of Lady Chelsea.  It was a beautiful thing and it wasn't pre-decided, it was just how the storey happened.

I am really not sure how these two episodes came away with very tangible motifs and visual cues that were decided on from our PTA Hive Mind state.  It was this wonderful thing that we all did all night, just feed on each other's input so t hat it wasn't a mess but a solid whole.

We ended up playing two episodes.  The budget ran out fast and it felt right to end the first show on a solid scene.  An interesting story element emerged in which the spotlight character got to have flashbacks with the murdered girl, former maid-turned prostitute junkie, Elsie.  Poor, doomed Elsie.  Her body was found the opening moments of the show.

First scene after the body was found: Lyle, flashing back to the murdered prostitute, Dolore's best friend and roommate, Elsie.  She asked him what he wanted out of life and he said he had big plans.

"Oh?  Other than cleaning up after whores?  What are your plans, Lyle?  Tell me."

Conflict: He tells her the plans and if the Producer succeeds, the words ring hollow and pathetic...if the player succeeds, he sounds like a man who knows what he is doing and where he is going with his life.  He lost.

End scene:  Lyle is thinking about to a time when Elsie was wearing Dolores' locket and she is looking at the picture of Peter Chelsea within.

"Do you think he loves her?"

Lyle: "How should I know?"

Elsie: "Do you love anyone"

Lyle's player, Jeffrey:  -stunned- Let's end it on that.  Let's end on that scene.

We took a break and reconvened for our second part:  Episode 2: Gaslight.

Gaslight was named because of a series of scenes that led to a brutal scene of abuse in which Dolore's former boyfriend, Seymour beat her...did he rape her?  I'm not sure.  The scene faded to the gaslight lamp on her windowsill, mentioned as a signal should DOlores hire Seymour to kill Lady Chelsea.

Conflict Stakes: If the Producer wins Seymour beats Dolores while telling her she had better come up with the money for the killing she wants done, if Dolores wins she convinces him to kill Lady Chelsea for her free of charge.

This fade to the gaslight shouldn't be misinterpretted as a punk-out.  The scene was harrowing.  We pushed the issue right up to half an inch beyond where I was comfortable and I was playing Seymour.  Poor Nathan just had this exhausted look on his face after this series of scenes leading up to this.  It was harrowing and we had to stop and check and talk and make sure that everyone was okay.  But after we made sure, we kept going and pushing and instead of breaking the line, the line moved.  I think this is the important bit and needs more thought.  This has been coming up in Vincent's Anyway and Emily and Meg's Fair Game.  It was my Big A-HA of the con.

Don't set the line and stay away from it, set the line and push it, scratch it with your toe and keep on talking and then keep on playing and keep on pushing. 

We had a few lighter scenes and the uplifting moment when Lady Chelsea intimidates the blackmailer, Lyle, into telling the press about her husband's dalliances with the common whore so he will be shamed into stopping with the help of her plucky maid, I think we were all cheering because we so desperately needed to do so.

And like the first episode, we ended the show with a flashback scene with Elsie, between the spotlight character, Dolores and her late friend.  THeir first flashback scene showed Elsie as a maid in a lord's manor (we knew she got fired and how and why due to other scenes that used prodigious weaving) just after Seymour had first beaten Dolores back when they were dating.  The final scene of the show was after Elsie had collected her pay from the Lord in whose house she used to be a maidservant.  Elsie ewas coldly counting money.  Nathan's Dolores said, "It get's easier.  It was the same my first time with my Peter."

Elsie turned to her: "Do you love him?"  Nathan shook his head; I'm not sure he saw that coming.  I know I did.

Nathan: "The camera focuses in on Dolores' face and the show ends there before she answers."

Elsie is going to haunt me; her questions are going to haunt me.  I fucking hate British Masterpiece Theatre.  I am really not sure why I didn't veto it.  After the game we all just sat at the table for a while in a kind of stunned...am I being pompous to say we were in awe of what we had just done? 

Everyone had a theory on who killed Elsie but by chance (or was it) Nathan gave his theory first.  Nathan said, "Dolores did it."  And we were all just shocked.  The game was over but I pushed a piile of fan mail chips over to him.  Others made the International Hand-Signal for Fan Mail.  She did it because Dolores had slept with Peter and was threatening to become the Chelsea Manor Maid.  Dolores was threatened.  Even as he said it, different parts of the show suddenly made perfect sense.

Elsie is going to haunt me like no other NPC ever, like few fictional characters.  I had to stay up clear into the morning to write this in hopes of not dreaming of this sad girl, scratching her scabby needle-marked arms saying, "Do you love her; do you love anyone?"
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Matt Wilson
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 1121

student, second edition


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« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2006, 05:41:16 AM »

Wow. Really. Wow. Rad.

Also: "Attractive Devil." That got a laugh from me.

Also:
Quote
two players had the same spotlight (a BIG NO NO)
??? Perhaps m'sieur has misread a rule? Sharing a spotlight is how you get two-part cliffhangers. What you can't do is have a spotlight on episode 1.
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Storn
Member

Posts: 228


« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2006, 06:20:09 AM »

Quote
Hound and Hare is a bed and breakfast in Ithaca and when I suggested it as the name Emily liked the predator and prey relationships it suggested

Yeah, nice place.

But returning to the thread, PTA sounds like an amazing game for one shots... but has anyone succeeded at playing a long term arc with it?  Say, 20 eps?

I'm sure it is possible, but that tightness of a congame... the restriction of time and I'll never see these players again (until next year)... really is a wonderful strength (and weakness) of con games.  Sure, you are interested in Emily's story... but does everyone have enough stories to craft a long term arc.

Of course, Eastenders is like the longest running show on BBC... soap operas lend themselves to longevity.
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forlorn1
Member

Posts: 16


« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2006, 04:42:36 PM »

To say this game blew me away is an understatement. WOW

Elsie and Seymour will haunt me as well. 

Scenes that really made my jaw drop...

Lady Chelsea in the market.  Even her maid being sick was not enough to make her unhappy after  finding the locket Lord Chelsea retrieved from Dolores, and thinking it a gift from her aloof husband.  Doing her own shopping she comes face to face with Dolores, who she hasn't ever met.

Conflict,  will Nathan's Dolores say something, or keep quiet when seeing the locket.  Nathan lost.  I was waiting for a vieled mentioned of Lord Chelsea.  Instead Dolores says quite harshly

"My Peter gave me that", and she turns and runs out of the market.
Wow. 

Showing Lyle being so ambitious/cheap/greedy by having him not get rid of the bloody mattress that Elsie was killed on, but only turn it over.  I think Judd suggested that.

A scene where we find out that Elsie is an opium addict, and later a scene where Dolores is offering Elsie a place to stay (since she had been fired as a maid), and Elsie agreeing "only for a few days" and scratching her arm.

Detective McCain apologizing to Elsie's newly dug grave for not catching the serial killer.

The scenes of the locket passing from one character to another were heart wrenching.

I loved the scenes in episode 2: Gaslight where we saw Lady Chelsea morph from an ineffectual homebody to an empowered woman, taking things into her own hands.

There were so many good scene transitions on dialogue and camera work ideas to remember.

Even after we concluded the episode, the ideas still flowed, and I loved the idea that Detective McCain would kill Seymour in the graveyard, possibly after a harsh fight, but definitely in a very angry/vengeful way, execution style.

The idea that Lyle would use the money to move the Hound and the Hare uptown, and start over wasn't something I had considered.

And Nathan's idea that the last scene of the season should be Dolores (who up until this point has been a fairly sympathetic character) going back to the now abandoned room she shared with Elsie, and pulling the knife she killed Elsie with out of her mattress. 

Nathan, you definitely won.

I wanted to write this all down because I'm afraid the details will fade.  Elsie never will.

Jeff / "Lyle"

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Nathan P.
Member

Posts: 536


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« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2006, 05:42:06 PM »

Yes, to all of the above. I just have a couple things to add/mention. First off, here are the conversations I've been having:

"How was your weekend"
"Awesome. I went to a gaming convention and had a great time, I'm still grooving on it."
"What do you mean?"
I decribe the locket sequence, and talk about how it was totally harsh and awesome and moving. They usually say it sounds pretty cool. I say, fuck yah it was pretty cool.

Game Stuff

Quote
Elsie turned to her: "Do you love him?"  Nathan shook his head; I'm not sure he saw that coming.  I know I did.

Nathan: "The camera focuses in on Dolores' face and the show ends there before she answers."

That entire episode I was so wrapped up in what just happened to Dolores that what was currently happening always caught me slightly off. In the best possible way. And, the awesome thing is, the answer to the question would have just pushed the line a bit further, either way - because, either way, her acting on that answer would be, I think, the final straw.

Afterwards, we talked about how the game went right up to the line, and just kept nudging it with its toe just slightly further....just a little bit more...all I can say is, I'm still grooving on the downslide from that game.

Judd completely encapsulated British culture in his description of how Bertram's (the Lord Elsie was mistress for, and Peters connexion) wife poured tea in his shoe one night, then blamed the maid when he put his shoes on to go out. He knew she did, but he had to fire Elsie, while still sleeping with her. In the second episide, the phrase "she poured tea in my shoe" was never used in a humorous way, and that was fantastic.

Some more images:

In flashback, Elsie counting shillings from the first trick she turned into the lid of the box where she keeps her drugs, asking Dolores if it ever gets better.

Bertram and Peter in a an opium den, genteely complaining about their lives and discussing the crime amid wafts of smoke.

Lady Chelsea telling Lyle that she will pay him the money he demands....but only if he goes to the press. In fact, she'll pay double for him to do it tomorrow.

Anyway. Elsie. Yah. Harsh, harsh material.

Reflection Stuff

Again, I thank everyone for their fantastic awesomeness - including the guy (Dave? I'm so bad with names) that mentioned the game, and then decided to give me his spot to go play something else. I mean that in the best possible way. We're all fucking winners. I loved how Fan Mail started out in dribs and drabs, and by the end of the second epsode everyone had PILES (except for me, cuz I spent it all!). Especially Kristina. You had, like, 12 or something. Jeebus.

To get all Big Model for a second, this was definitly my most intense, and probably my first, Nar experience. Which is cool, because now I know what that feels like, and it is very very cool. Matt, I knew with my head that PtA kicked 18 kinds of ass, and now I know with my heart. Thank you.

I think that the level of trust that developed around that table was amazing, and all I can say is that if people experienced that in high school, and not crazy dysfunctional prestige clusterfucks, everybody would fucking roleplay. At no point, from the beginning of the game, did I think that anyone was going to put anything awkward, foolish or non-important/awesome/deep/etc on the table, and nobody did. Thats not to say that input didn't get vetoed or coopted, because it did, but it was all a process of gestalt and bringing in of input. If I won the game, I think Shawn (if I remember correctly...he played Det. McCain) gets the MVP award - he had something to say for every scene, and it was always great.

So yah. Extremely fun, extremely harsh, extremely emotional.

Storn:
Quote
I'm sure it is possible, but that tightness of a congame... the restriction of time and I'll never see these players again (until next year)... really is a wonderful strength (and weakness) of con games.  Sure, you are interested in Emily's story... but does everyone have enough stories to craft a long term arc.

For us, hell yah. We talked a bit about what would happen in the rest of the 5-episode season - and, if we were all staying around and could, I might have proposed shooting for the last three Sunday night. Would you guys have agreed? I don't know.

As for PtA as a game text, it gives rules for 5 and 7 season story arcs, IIRC. Obviously, you could play multiple seasons of a show, but I don't know if theres any AP about it - or even one whole season, for that matter.

Judd:
Quote
After the game we all just sat at the table for a while in a kind of stunned...am I being pompous to say we were in awe of what we had just done?

No. 
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Nathan P.
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Find Annalise
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My Games | ndp design
Also | carry. a game about war.
I think Design Matters
Judd
Member

Posts: 1641

Please call me Judd.


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« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2006, 06:16:59 PM »

??? Perhaps m'sieur has misread a rule? Sharing a spotlight is how you get two-part cliffhangers. What you can't do is have a spotlight on episode 1.

Woops.  I dropped the ball on that.

I will go back and re-read the book.

One of my gaming goals is to run a full on five season and then a nine season campaign of PTA.  Not only do I think it could happen but I think it would be an amazing gaming experience.

I am just home, still kind of digesting this and looking forward to others who played in the game's reactions.
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Judd
Member

Posts: 1641

Please call me Judd.


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« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2006, 12:41:55 PM »

http://www.lumpley.com/fairgame/comment.php?entry=32

I wasn't consciously thinking about the above thread when we were playing but when Emily mentioned it during a break I knew she was right.  We were going headlong into this territory.

Taking breaks was a big part of the game's success, I think and not just because I have a weak bladder and was drinking water like a madman because the con supplied water in every room and the hotel's air was kind of dry. 

The second episode in particular was pretty intense and I think taking a break gave us a chance to process and relax.

The level of collaboration was amazing.  I really liked how the players who had a screen presence of 1 often had the most Fan Mail because they had some distance from the episode and their character wasn't as integral a part of the episode, so the player's minds were free to really contribute great scene ideas and stakes.  I seem to remember Krstina and Shawn really taking advantage of this.

There was also a darling scene where we all played socialite ladies at a social gathering gossiping with Kristina's character that was really darling.

Thinking and posting about stakes these past months has really made my gaming tighter.
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Judd
Member

Posts: 1641

Please call me Judd.


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« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2006, 02:17:56 PM »

I feel like it is important to note that we had a conflict just about every single scene.  MAybe one and possibly two scenes each episode we played would play out without a conflict.

I attribute this to the players really driving towards that moment of conflict and the stakes giving the scene the emotional oomph to mean something.
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Emily Care
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« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2006, 07:41:41 PM »

Don't forget:

"Tea in my shoe?!?"

I think I had my two best role-playing experiences ever at Dreamation, and this game was definitely one (the other was a session of Breaking the Ice I played with Kat Miller that I will have to write about too).  Again, it's like to impossible to really convey the depth of playing PtA.  There were so many brilliant moments of authoring by everyone. So much finger wiggling, and laughter. And "shit, did I just say that?" to other gasps of shock and amazement.  I've been saying for a while that PtA is the most fun game to play, and after this game I just have to own that it's my favorite game.  It unlocks the key of creativity in everyone, let me repeat that, EVERYONE at the table, and what comes out is so far beyond what any one of us could have brought & shared with anyone else.  And it's games like this that show how deep you can go with one another, and come back. 

Thanks, Judd. And thanks Kristina, Jeff, Nathan and Andrew.  You had me at the edge of my seat for 4 hours.  That game was what role playing can be.  More of that for us all.

best to ya,
Em
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Koti ei ole koti ilman saunaa.

Black & Green Games
Krista E
Member

Posts: 9


« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2006, 08:56:19 PM »

Ok, before I get started on our PTA session, I'm taking a moment to make a note. It seems that Andrew and I are incredibly horrible at agreeing what to introduce me as. Half the people at the convention got to know me as Kristina, and the other half know me as Krista.  I'll say for the record that I like Krista more, so from now on, let's stick with that. (Wow, I hope that didn't come off sounding bitchy, because honestly, it's not supposed to)

What to say about PTA - The Hare and the Hound?

Before Dreamation, I had never played PTA - I had only heard many rave reviews about it, and so wanted to find out for myself just what exactly the thrill was all about. As Judd mentioned in his post, if someone had told me that my best game would be themed as a British Masterpiece Theatre set, I would have scoffed. But this truly was a great game.

The characters in The Hare and the Hound came to life before us - I could actually envision them in my mind (and Nathan, in my mind you made one sexy mistress ;)  ). It was amazing to see how well everything played out. We all fed off each other, fine-tuning every scene to make them the best.

Of course, the others already noted in their posts that we all went up to the point of crossing the line into uber-uncomfortable, and I think the fact that the characters had really come to life made it that much more of an uneasy situation for us. I think that if we hadn't taken a break when we did, and if Nathan hadn't pleaded for a lighter scene, the game would have gone way over the line and we would have all ended up committing mass suicide. As it was, I was spooked to notice how often we almost veered right back into the darkness even when we were trying to keep it light (we kept having to vocally remind ourselves not to go dark).

And about the characters themselves - I don't know if it's just me, but it seems like the characters took on lives of their own. I know I was even shocked with some of the actions my character took (I had not expected them in the least until they happened). The most significant of these was at the end when my Lady Miriam was being blackmailed by Lyle (He was threatening to go to the papers with the story of the affair between her husband Peter and his mistress Dolores). I was under the impression that she was going to be the desperate wife, pleading with Lyle not to publish the scandal, but when Miriam's scene came up, she instead took a stand and told Lyle she'd pay him to publish the story - even triple the price he was asking for in return for not publishing it.

When the game finally ended, it was all I could do to keep myself from leaning back and lighting a cigarette right there in the hotel. Unfortunately, I don't think it's at all possible for outsiders to ever completely understand just what we experienced, but as I mentioned at Dreamation to the other players and whomever else I talked to about this game, the only way I could describe the session was "orgasmic".

We talked a bit about what would happen in the rest of the 5-episode season - and, if we were all staying around and could, I might have proposed shooting for the last three Sunday night. Would you guys have agreed? I don't know.

Hell yes.  And I definitely look forward to gaming with any and/or all of you again in the future

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"All really great lovers are articulate, and verbal seduction is the surest road to actual seduction." ~Marya Mannes
Judd
Member

Posts: 1641

Please call me Judd.


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« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2006, 09:06:57 PM »

I think that if we hadn't taken a break when we did, and if Nathan hadn't pleaded for a lighter scene, the game would have gone way over the line...

I agree.

PTA, through its rules, creates the kind of groups I love playing in.

The rules endorse:

Enjoying each other's scenes.

Seeking each other's input.

Applauding one another.

Having a say in scenes we aren't in and having a really dramatic effect on those scenes through Fan Mail and just through good ole fashioned, "Hey, I've got an idea..."

It all comes together to create a functional collaborative group.
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Shawn De Arment
Member

Posts: 37


« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2006, 06:18:54 AM »

This was my single best role-playing experience ever. The trust and non-verbal communication at the table was incredible.

For those of you who still think that cross-gender role-playing is not viable. Our representative of white male power was a woman, and our representative of repressed impoverished women was a male. If either of these portrayals were shallow, the game would have been a dud. Instead these were rich characters that allowed use to address womenís issues with a vengeance.

We said the show was going to explore a new monster. Instead we explored a very old monster.

In the second episode Inspector McCain had a 1 screen presence. But, I didnít miss my character at all. Is it author stance or maybe writer stance, I donít know, but I was fat with fan mail, having fun in every scene.
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Working on: One Night (formally called CUP)
Nathan P.
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Posts: 536


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« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2006, 06:40:24 AM »

Yeh, about the cross-gender thing. Interesting story. In my head while we were pitching the show, I was thinking about some conversations I've had with my girlfriend about what I do, and how I've never played a female character. I was kind of thinking about it, and then when we chose characters and there was a hesitation when Judd said "prosititute" I decided to go for it.

Hare and hound = best way to break out of that "I'm male, I play male characters" box EVAR.

And yah, I don't remember what Lady Chelsea's screen presence was, but Krista and Shawn had the most Fan Mail at the end there, and me, with my spotlight episode, had none. It was the first time that I noticed that economy - when the spotlight character gets pushed on their issue, and spends fan mail for those conflicts, and the SP1 characters contribute and build up a pool that will carry over to the next episode. Thats awesome - and it only works if the SP1 players engage!

Dammit Matt. Your smartness hurts me. In the best way.
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Nathan P.
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Find Annalise
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My Games | ndp design
Also | carry. a game about war.
I think Design Matters
Emily Care
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Posts: 1126


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« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2006, 07:48:36 AM »

Hear, hear to all that.† I had a similar experience to Krista, too, with respect to my character taking on a life of his own. I played Lord Chelsea (the rep. of white male power, thanks Shawn : ), who had the written issue "Yearning". When I'd originally described the character, I had imagined him feeling torn between the stifling boredom of his upper class life, and the vivacity of his time with Dolores, the prostitute in the underclass.† So, I'd imagined him as being somewhat of a sympathetic character. Perhaps mistakenly taken for the murderer & caught in the investigations of Det. McCain.†

However, all that flew out the window when the rubber hit the road.†

In the first scene with Lord Chelsea, McCain came to him with news of the prostitute Elsie being found in the rooms my character rented to meet with Dolores.† Instead of compassion and sadness, I found Peter replying callously "Does anyone know? Think of the scandal..." This pretty much set up the character for the rest of the game.† He connived to get what he wanted, was disdainful and controlling of both his wife and his mistress, and plotted to ruin McCain if he threatened his friend.† I was a bit horrified, but the fan mail I got for being heartless told me I was on the right path, and this ended up allowing me to play into the issues of the other characters in a way that fit with the real narrative that arose. One which we could never have predicted.† Pretty awesome.

And it came about for all the reasons Judd mentions above.† The cross-player feedback is a powerful tool to let the trust of each other and of the real story help you go some very deep places.

Matt, again, bravo.
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Koti ei ole koti ilman saunaa.

Black & Green Games
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