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Author Topic: [In the Pit] - Power 19  (Read 4320 times)

Posts: 129

« on: March 07, 2006, 09:29:39 AM »

1.) What is the game about?
“In the Pit” is about how desperate situations can lead to unexpected choices and actions.

2.) What do the characters do?
The characters, “chained” together in some way, try to escape The Pit (whatever they decide that is) while retaining (or not!) some shred of their former selves.

3.) What do the players (including the GM if there is one) do?
The GM starts scenes and plays supporting characters, and facilitates play.  The players create characters, and make decisions that will affect their character’s story, as well as the stories of the other protagonists in the group.

4.) How do the various parts your system reinforce what your game is about?
Characters are “chained” together; players share one big character sheet (reinforces the “forced grouping” of the characters).  More explained later.
5.) How does your setting reinforce what your game is about?
The system has no setting; it has a set of questions that the group answers together to create a setting.  This reinforces the idea that any desperate, inescapable situation is The Pit.

6.) How does the Chargen of your game reinforce what your game is about?
Players create a character concept by asking the question, “What kind of person would you (the player) HATE or LOVE to see in this situation?”  The concept has to evoke a strong emotion in the player.  Then, the players come up with details about that character by asking the question, “What about this character would be interesting to LOSE or CHANGE?”  Traits have no impact on effectiveness.

7.) What types of behaviors/styles of play does your game reward (and punish if necessary)?
The game punishes repetitive choices with loss of creative control over the character.

8.) How are behaviors and styles of play rewarded or punished in your game?
The rules encourage wrangling/negotiation amongst the players, to mirror the group stress that the characters are going through.  Players can increase effectiveness by causing a reaction in the GM or fellow player.  (an “awwww…” or a “YUCK!! You’re sick!”)

9.) How are the responsibilities of narration and credibility divided in your game?
Setting/situation is created by group consensus.  The GM starts/sets every scene.  The player  take turns narrating the scene in order of least amount of fallout taken to most.  Players narrate their epilogues on their own, but constrained by their choices in The Pit.

10.) What does your game do to command the players' attention, engagement, and participation? (i.e. What does the game do to make them care?)
a) Interlude scenes that force players to answer the question, “Why would these characters keep trying to survive together after what just happened?”
b) Emotionally evocative character concepts and situations
c) rules that set up really damn poignant story moments.

11.) What are the resolution mechanics of your game like?
GM sets the conflict – the players roll four dice, with each die corresponding to an attribute: Tears, Blood, Beast, or Heart.  Players roll the dice as a group.  They also roll a die to show the number of people in the group who must live with the consequences of the roll.  After rolling, the players decide which of the dice (or which combo of dice) they will use to accumulate points.  Once they hit a pre-set number, they are “out of The Pit”.
12.) How do the resolution mechanics reinforce what your game is about?
It reinforces the idea of giving up some parts of yourself to survive/escape.

13.) Do characters in your game advance? If so, how?
Characters don’t advance in this “one-nighter” game, they change.   

14.) How does the character advancement (or lack thereof) reinforce what your game is about?
Because this game is about survival and its effects on more refined traits…it’s not about improvement.

15.) What sort of product or effect do you want your game to produce in or for the players?
Cathartic entertainment.

16.) What areas of your game receive extra attention and color? Why?
Mostly different setting suggestions, with illustrations of varied settings/periods.

17.) Which part of your game are you most excited about or interested in? Why?
I’m just interested in seeing if people will like such a dark game!

18.) Where does your game take the players that other games can't, don't, or won't?
The idea that players will make (like I have said before) tough choices about stories that they care about.

19.) What are your publishing goals for your game? Who is your target audience?
Narrativist-types who don’t mind wallowing in human suffering for a bit…?

Iowa Indie Gamers!
Anders Larsen

Posts: 270

« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2006, 10:34:20 AM »

This sound interesting, but unfortunately I find it very hard to give feedback on power 19. So do you have any question? Is there a certain part of the game you want us to comment on?

 - Anders


Posts: 129

« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2006, 11:36:10 AM »

Of course, how silly of me.  Thank you for the reminder.  I have a couple options I'm exploring about the resolution system.  One:  for each "Pit" scene, the GM sets a difficulty number which the group needs to meet or beat in order to progress...to climb out of The Pit. 

  Two:  The group knows that they have to accumulate a pre-set number of points through resolution rolls.  When they achieve that number, they are "out of The Pit". 

Should the goal number be known, or unknown?  Should it be determined randomly, or chosen depending on other factors?



Iowa Indie Gamers!
Anders Larsen

Posts: 270

« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2006, 12:48:14 PM »

Well, another problem with power 19, is that it break up the design in pieces, so it is very hard for me to find the flow of the game. There should really be a 20. question saying: "give an example of how all this work together", though it is really not a question.

But I will try to give you an (patial) answer anyway.

If there is some kind of "ticking clock", so the challenges in the pit get harder with time, and if the character get thrown deeper into the pit if the fail to get out, I think an unknown goal number will be most intense. Then the player have to gamble against something they do not know: "Should we try to accumulate more point, or should we try to get out before it gets to hard."

You may also want to lower the goal if the player is doing something "'awwww…' or a 'YUCK!! You’re sick!'". But not saying what the goal is lowed to, just say: "the goal has just lowered one point".

 - Anders

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