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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 84 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [TSoY] Rat Moon Stalling  (Read 2906 times)
JMendes
Member

Posts: 379


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« on: May 13, 2006, 01:37:07 PM »

Hullo, :)

Well, for a miscellaneous sequence of reasons, our fifth session of TSoY was cancelled for about the third time in a row... So, I figured I'd take this time to post about some frustrations of mine with our fourth one. It's been a few weeks, but my point is still fresh in my memory, and I figure it worth sharing.

By the way, here's a link to our very awesome third session.

As far as play itself, the fourth session went by rather smoothly. We had a number of in-character discussions that were rapidly identified as disagreements between the characters, and we found ourselves going to the dice very quickly, which I found cool. It cut out fluff in a major way. (Of course, I'm comparing with traditional, here, where the only way to resolve disagreements between players is to either talk for hours or escalate to fighting... The GM, for instance, maintains that, in some of the cases, we actually took too long to go to the dice, and we should be more on top of that... But I'm ok with that, figuring it'll just be largely a matter of practice.)

After play, however, that's another matter altogether. The end of the session came rather abruptly for me, as the GM turned to the group and said, that's it for today, and I'm like, what, already, nothing happened today... Then, everybody turned to me and said, what the hell are you talking about, there was stuff on the table left and right, today. And then, they started listing all the stuff that indeed had happened, which I was involved in, by the way, and which I had to concede.

So I was left trying to consider why it was that it "felt" like nothing had happened, and then it hit me, and I told them, yeah, but none of that stuff is about my keys. That's fine, you know, we can't all be in the spotlight all the time, but it just felt kinda empty, today. Then, the GM turns to me and goes, man, what were you smoking? The major fight scene in the session was nothing if not all about your keys. All three of them, in fact. And I'm looking at him, and yeah, he's totally right.

In looking back, I didn't see it. I didn't see the fifty-seven different ways (slight exaggeration, here) I could have drawn XPs from the scene. I didn't see my decisions at the time as key-driven. I didn't see anything. Why?

The answer is, because I was obsessing about all my keys in relation to one specific event, that I fully and internally expected to take place immediately after, but which hasn't happened yet.

In Rat Moon Rising, there's an NPC called Gerard who is, as good NPCs are bound to be, generally up to "stuff". I have decided that I would develop my character around the inherent conflict that exists within that "stuff". (I would expand on this, but it really doesn't matter, and it might be spoilery.) So, things have generally been developing in the direction of me confronting this Gerard character. Right off the bat, we started the session discovering that Gerard was missing from the Rats' place and, through some inter-party negotiation, decided to go after him. Great, I thought, here it comes.

But then, what happened next was that the GM had us stumble right into the middle of a fight scene between some Khaleans and some Ammenites.

Ok, then, here's my Keys:
  • Key of Conscience - oh, gee, people are fighting, people are gonna get hurt, maybe I should do something
  • Key of the House - yeah, them Ammenites were from my house, maybe I should help them
  • Key of the Mission, to bring peace to the Khale-Ammeni border - eh, duh

Oh, by the way:
  • My best skill is Bamboo Warrior
  • As for Secrets, two words: Mighty. Blow.

Can you see it? Can you see how this one scene is freaking all about all of me?*

Can someone tell me why I didn't see it?

Cheers,
J.

(*) To be fair, it did hit a number of other Keys and flags from other characters, as well. But yeah, I was all in there.
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url=http://lisbongamer.mc-two.com/]Lisbon Gamer[/urlLisbon Gamer
Frank T
Guest
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2006, 02:35:35 PM »

Hi Joćo,

I'm a little confused. I thought Rat Moon Rising was set in the middle of Maldor, so how did you come across a skirmish between Khaleans and Ammenites?

I ask this question because that might explain why you weren't bought into that scene: Maybe it was too unexpected, too far fetched, to be compelling to you. Maybe it was too artificially trying to hit your keys without being sufficiently rooted within the framework of the SIS. Kinda the old railroading problem. I'm just guessing wildly here.

Or maybe it was just a good scene and you missed it because you had your thoughts elsewhere. I think that TSoY works best when you as a player just "play for the moment" and not plan too much ahead. It's not like PtA, where you are involved in the scene framing yourself, and where you decide yourself which conflicts your character gets involved in. In TSoY, the Keys are more general flags that help the Story Guide get an idea of the kind of conflicts you might be interested in. But the actual conflict is normally made by the Story Guide, not the player.

Or maybe you just had a bad day. Shit happens.

- Frank
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JMendes
Member

Posts: 379


WWW
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2006, 03:55:58 PM »

Hi, Frank, :)

Cool thoughts.

As I understand it, the exact place where Rat Moon Rising is set isn't all that important to it and our GM set it elsewhere in order to facilitate hitting our Keys. Specifically, our Rat Moon Rising is set in the woods in Khalean territory, right near the border, so no, that artificial thing doesn't quite apply. Furthermore, I may have hinted that I as a player was surprised some by that fight, but I wasn't. One other player's character was involved in it (and on the Khalean side, no less, which made for interesting dynamics, by the way), so I already knew about it. I was surprised, however, at being thrust into the middle of it while it was still ongoing, but it was a totally legit kind of surprise.

As for the framing thing, you hit closer but I don't think that was quite it. It's not so much that I wanted the GM to go to the confrontation right then and there, but rather that I so totally and completely assumed that he would that I blocked out all other input until the scene came, and as it happened, it never did. How's that for weird?

Or maybe you just had a bad day. Shit happens.

Don't it, though? :)

Cheers,
J.
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url=http://lisbongamer.mc-two.com/]Lisbon Gamer[/urlLisbon Gamer
Ricky Donato
Member

Posts: 156

Just chillin'


« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2006, 06:52:48 AM »

As for the framing thing, you hit closer but I don't think that was quite it. It's not so much that I wanted the GM to go to the confrontation right then and there, but rather that I so totally and completely assumed that he would that I blocked out all other input until the scene came, and as it happened, it never did. How's that for weird?

(Pardon me while I quote Star Wars.) Obi Wan: "I feel a disturbance in the force." Qui-Gon: "Don't get distracted." Obi-Wan: "But Yoda says we should pay attention to the Force." Qui-Gon: "Yes, but not at the expense of the business at hand."

(That was dumb but it made me happy. :-) We now return you to your regularly-scheduled thread.)

Hi, Joao, (I can't get the accent above the "a" on my keyboard, sorry)

I have a few questions:
1) Did you actually enjoy what was happening? In other words, did you notice, enjoy, and take part in the fight scene (for example)? If so, then what happened wasn't that you didn't pay attention to the session; you were just disappointed that you didn't get the scene that you were hoping for.
2) In the fight scene that hit all your Keys, did you actually get XP for those Keys?
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Ricky Donato

My first game in development, now writing first draft: Machiavelli
JMendes
Member

Posts: 379


WWW
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2006, 01:39:20 PM »

Hullo, :)

Good questions, Rick. Cool Star Wars quote, too. :)

1) Did you actually enjoy what was happening? In other words, did you notice, enjoy, and take part in the fight scene (for example)? If so, then what happened wasn't that you didn't pay attention to the session; you were just disappointed that you didn't get the scene that you were hoping for.

Hard to say, but if pressed for an answer, I would say yes. What happened was most emphatically not that I "didn't pay attention" to the session, but rather, that I bizarrely assumed that everything from that point on was just a bump on the road, filler, so to speak, when it clearly was not.

"Disappointed" is an odd way of putting it, it sounds like I didn't "get what I wanted", which isn't the case. Let me say this again, this isn't about what I wanted or didn't want. This is about what I was convinced was going to happen, that didn't happen.

2) In the fight scene that hit all your Keys, did you actually get XP for those Keys?

Not at the time, no, but that was because I didn't realize that it was about me. It was only in talking to the other players after the session that I came to that conclusion. I spoke to the GM later, and he agreed to let me add 2 XPs for Key of the Mission, as my attitude was clearly one of peace. Key of the Conscience ended up not being applicable, and, by conscious choice, I didn't act in accordance with Key of the House.

Hmmm. Ok, that last bit bears some explaining. My character has two Keys that often end up being put in direct confrontation with each other. When I chose them originally, I didn't realize this was going to happen, but as soon as that became clear, I embraced the concept whole-heartedly. What this means is that many scenes are going to hit both of them, but I will only draw XPs from one of them, depending on how I choose to act. This is a Cool Thing(tm).

It makes it all the more frustrating that I didn't see the scene for what it was, at the time.

Cheers,
J.
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url=http://lisbongamer.mc-two.com/]Lisbon Gamer[/urlLisbon Gamer
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