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Author Topic: [Shock] rules question  (Read 3147 times)
Ron Edwards
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« on: August 27, 2006, 07:21:48 PM »

More about setup, actually.

So we're sitting at the table. Myself, Chuck, Bob, Betty, and Sue. The names are fictitious, this is not a real example, I haven't sat down to play Shock with anyone yet, because of the question I have to ask first.

The question is, who fills out the setting sheet? Does every single person put down an Issue? Does anyone who feels like it provide the Shock for it? How is this step organized?

Can the above group play OK if only Chuck provides an Issue and only Sue provides the Shock? Can all five then make protagonists? How is protagonist creation organized relative to the listed Issues/Shocks?

Am I missing some part of the text which explains this to me?

Best, Ron
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Joshua A.C. Newman
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« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2006, 11:21:21 PM »

Here's the deal:

Arbitrarily, Chuck has the Grid in front of him. Because that's where it landed. So each player's putting forward one element each. "Oh! Economic inequality!" "Love!" "Democracy!" "Psychic powers!" "Drug addiction!". The total number of elements on the Grid is the total number of players, so you might have three Issues and two Shocks. Don't start with more than two Shocks or it winds up feeling like Tomorrowland, only without the sinister Von Braun flavor.

Everyone can't play on the same crux because you can't ever have a Protagonist on an Issue that you own, or on the same Shock as long as there's more than one. But that's easy enough; take one Shock for everyone, then keep your Issues related to each other thematically.

Dig?
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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.
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2006, 05:29:33 AM »

Lemme say it for myself ...

1. One person provides an Issue in ad lib order. Someone else writes a Shock for it. Repeat until you run out of people.

a) Must it go in alternating order? Can a person provide an Issue, then another person provide an Issue, and only then does the third person provide a Shock? As long as you end up with two Shocks, is that OK?

b) In the case of an odd number of people, as in my non-example, an Issue will go Shockless, as you said (three and two). What do you do with the unShocked Issue?

3. Each person makes a Protagonist, and associates him or her with either an Issue or a Shock.

a) Now I'm a little confused again. All five us are now choosing Shocks or Issues  to put Protagonists with, and since we have four (two pairs of Shock/Issue), one of them will serve double duty. Is that right?

Best, Ron
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2006, 05:33:22 AM »

I must be confused. My numbers got all mixed up in my attempt to organize the post ...

Best, Ron
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lumpley
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« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2006, 05:57:57 AM »

I can answer!

You don't pair up the shocks and issues as you create them. If you wind up with 1 shock (eg alien invasion) and 4 issues (eg the draft, government corruption, racism, and low voter turnout) that's just fine. So, as you go around the circle, everyone contributes either a shock or an issue, with the only restrictions being that at least one person must contribute a shock, and no more than two people can contribute shocks.

And then, once you've got the whole list, you look at all the pairings. In my example, alien invasion + the draft, alien invasion + government corruption, etc. Everyone creates a protagonist at one of those pairings. I might create my protagonist at alien invasion + the draft, making a young poor enlistee space marine; you might create yours at alien invasion + government corruption, making the draft-age son of a senator who's been exempted from military service because of his father's influence.

The usual restriction is that if you contributed a shock, you have to create your protagonist at the intersection of the other shock and one of the issues; if you contributed an issue, you have to create your protagonist at the intersection of some other issue and one of the shocks. With only one shock, the person who contributed the shock is exempt from this rule. Say that I contributed racism; my protagonist, at alien invasion + the draft, is legal. Say that you contributed alien invasion; your protagonist, at alien invasion + gov't corruption, is also legal, but only because there's no second shock.

-Vincent
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Joshua A.C. Newman
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« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2006, 07:33:40 AM »

Vincent's 99% right.

The other 1% is that sometimes you want to own a different Shock or Issue than the one you proposed. That's cool. As in the following totally acceptable example:

Ron: I want a Shock to be "were-rats".
Chuck: I want an issue to be "abortion rights".
Bob: Oh, how about "politics of disaster management"?
Sue: Uh, "Software piracy."
Betty: Oh, "Living on the Moon!"

---

Ron: Oh, I want a protagonist that confronts "were-rats" and "disaster management", so I'll own "abortion rights."
Betty: I'll own "were-rats." I want a protag at "Living on the Moon" and "disaster management."
Sue: I'll own "living on the moon" and I want my Protag to be at the crux of "were rats" and "abortion rights".
Everyone else: I want my Protag to be about "were-rats" and "abortion rights" and we each own an element, but that's not important for the sake of this example that we live in.

---

Betty: How about, there's a moon colony, and we've lived there for a long time. And there's this rat problem, and the problem is that it's the full moon anytime it's daytime on the moon, which is for two weeks at a time, so there are were-rats during the lunar day?
Sue: Oh, and the children of were-rats are also were-rats, which no one wants.
Ron: Yeah, you have a litter of, like, 6-12 babies.

N.B.: no one's story is going to be about "software piracy". It turns out that idea didn't stick in this story. That's OK. It might matter in a later story, or maybe they never come up again.

N.B.: Both Shocks are actually in play, but everyone except you is on a single Issue.

N.B.: You own "abortion rights" which means that you get to explain how it works, what the law is, maybe what a were-rat baby looks like (and, subsequently, why you'd perhaps want to have an abortion).

N.B.: Protags are formed at the crux of a Shock and an Issue. Your protag is involved in the politics of disaster management and were-ratness. So let's say you've got a character perhaps a civil engineer who is dealing with the collapse of infrastructure in a moon colony due to a sudden rat population explosion. But these don't seem to be normal rats....

Am I communicating this clearly?

If not, please come to my house so I can demonstrate.

N.B. You live almost 1000 miles away.
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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.
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