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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 75 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [TSOY] Shodan Play  (Read 1760 times)
John Harper
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Posts: 1054

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« on: May 13, 2006, 12:17:18 AM »

Ron has mentioned "black belt" play before, and we got a good taste of it in our last TSOY session, courtesy of Brandon. I'm calling this shodan rank play -- it's certainly black belt, but there are still deeper mysteries to explore.

Anyway, here's the relevant moment:

Brandon's character, Rufus, is huddled behind a rickety barricade while monsters rage in a feeding frenzy on the other side. Rufus is with some corsairs that he once sailed with, but he's now an outcast from that group. The corsairs are trying to fend off the blood-crazed monsters, but it's not going well. The barricade isn't going to last much longer and someone has to do something.  So, Brandon says that his character is going to leap over the barricade, dodge his way past some monsters, jump onto the back of the queen-monster, and wrangle her away from the barricade and over to a different spot to feed, leading the pack with her.

Everyone grins at this. This is action-hero stuff and we're diggin' it. That's when Brandon makes his move.

He says, "Okay, before I leap over, I yell to the corsairs: 'Cover me!' Now, do they give me cover fire (and a bonus die to my action) OR do they ignore me because I'm an outcast (giving me 2 XP)."

Now we're really grinning. A bonus die or XP. Of course! That's how ya do it. Not only is Brandon fully invested in his character here, but he's also engaged in the game as game. He's hooked in to the reward system and he's making a move -- like a flourish with a knight in chess or a check/raise in poker -- that makes the game pop.

Plus, just to add a little icing to the cake, I got the very enjoyable opportunity to say, "Alas, the corsairs look at you with dread and sorrow. They were preparing to defend you, their former brother, without a second thought -- until you gave them the command. Now, they are bound by the tradition of the corsairs to ignore your order, as you are an outcast. That's 2 XP for you."

Bang! Pow! That's the stuff right there.

Some people have talked about "Key guilt" in a few TSOY threads lately. Like, some players feel that they're "getting away with something" when they hit their keys and get rewarded. I say, point them to this post. Hitting your keys is good and fun play -- AND it's only the beginning form.
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Agon: An ancient Greek RPG. Prove the glory of your name!
Judaicdiablo
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Posts: 43


« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2006, 01:30:27 AM »

My only regret is that I didn't frame the scene with enough challenge/menace that I could have wrangled the 5 XP I actually wanted.

--Brandon
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Ricky Donato
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Posts: 156

Just chillin'


« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2006, 05:11:31 AM »

Plus, just to add a little icing to the cake, I got the very enjoyable opportunity to say, "Alas, the corsairs look at you with dread and sorrow. They were preparing to defend you, their former brother, without a second thought -- until you gave them the command. Now, they are bound by the tradition of the corsairs to ignore your order, as you are an outcast. That's 2 XP for you."

I have a question: how did you determine that the corsairs ignored his command? Did someone decide this by fiat, or was there a die roll?
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Ricky Donato

My first game in development, now writing first draft: Machiavelli
John Harper
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« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2006, 09:57:32 AM »

I simply decided, since I was playing the corsairs. However, Brandon could have asked for an Ability check to get the corsairs to follow his order (with a penalty die -- or two -- for being an outcast). Brandon thought either outcome was cool, though, so he just tossed the decision to me instead of asking for a roll.
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Agon: An ancient Greek RPG. Prove the glory of your name!
Albert of Feh
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Posts: 68


« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2006, 01:38:35 PM »

John: Word.

One of my peak gaming experiences is the TSoY session in which my ratkin blew through 10+ advances in a single session by burning up keys like nobody's business. It was great story, great game.
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