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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 82 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [Bacchanal] Winning? Losing? Finishing?  (Read 1767 times)
matthijs
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« on: July 12, 2006, 12:43:41 PM »

I played Bacchanal tonight. Just me and a friend. We enjoyed it; it supported one of my favorite modes of play, which is putting your weird stuff out on the table until you scare yourself :)

I'm happy we read the advice at the end first: Start slow. There were many times we had to escalate without being allowed to change scenes. That worked pretty well some times; I was thinking "Okay, I've gone as far as I want to go. What? I have to keep going further?" Other times, it just got a little boring. "Yeah, so we fuck some more, only this time, in public".

Other advice that was important was to do things you're not totally safe and comfy with. You have to push yourself a little to make the game work.

One thing that left us wondering, though. There's a fairly obvious tactic for "winning" - bleed out all your wine while holding on to the Companion. That way, you're sure to end your story in a favorable manner. My friend did just that, and it felt like he won. However, A) the rules didn't say what I should do - obviously, we stopped the game, but we could have done an end scene or something for my character; and B) if there'd been more players, my friend would have sat there for a long time - possibly hours - without anything to do.

I'm wondering, Paul, what was your intention wrt winning/losing? How do you see the end game work, ideally? Is it a competition, or are the rules a narrative structuring device that the players are free to manipulate without any implicit or explicit goal but that which they set for themselves?
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Paul Czege
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« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2006, 10:08:59 AM »

Hey Matthijs,

I'm wondering, Paul, what was your intention wrt winning/losing? How do you see the end game work, ideally? Is it a competition, or are the rules a narrative structuring device that the players are free to manipulate without any implicit or explicit goal but that which they set for themselves?

That's a hard question. I think Bacchanal operates on several levels:

1. ...as a social experiment. Can the competitive structure of a game take people willingly into what would otherwise be avoided as revelatory and socially awkward territory?

2. ...as a creative challenge. Yeah, you're awesome at holding an audience with your dramatic narrations in other games. But can you hold an audience when you're constrained to awkward and explicit subject matter?

And so I think players often give a sigh of relief when their character's story comes to an end, and they can sit back and just appreciate the story efforts of others whose characters aren't yet played out.

Paul
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My Life with Master knows codependence.
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HOT
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« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2006, 06:39:22 PM »

Hi Paul! I'm that friend, and I enjoyed Bacchanal very much. The setup gave me my five Wine as well as the Venus and Soldier dice. I gave Matthijs the Pluto and Accuser die. My problem was that I didn't get any high matches so I was stuck escalating. The only time I could change a scene was when Matthijs awarded me the Minerva die (on the sodomizing of a roman legionnaire with his own tor off limb) and I rolled six on the Minerva and Wine dice. So to get a change I started to get rid of the Wine dice. It wasn't until I got my Venus die high I understood that I got the companion die for free. After a while the escalation became more of a chore than something exiting although I certainly blame the dice for that. Anyway, I had a very romantic and sentimental ending while Matthijs certainly had the most icky one.
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"Her breasts are wrinkly and saggy, but Menander finds them incredibly beautiful!"
- Age really doesn't matter in the romantic and hedonistic game of Bacchanal.
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