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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 66 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Playing Alyria II  (Read 1210 times)
Ron Edwards
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« on: May 08, 2002, 10:44:58 AM »

Hi Seth,

OK, the second run got started, although we didn't get far due to time constraints. Enthusiasm is very, very high, and I can call Alyria an unqualified success.

Part of it is the storymap. We decided to keep the existing storymap and run the entire startup procedure again, adding characters to the map, whether tightly linked or loosely (i.e. in the vicinity), in another double round-robin. New players were involved this time too, so this process was a great way to bring them up to speed - and since they had something to do, they didn't just sit and endure a breathless but incoherent account of the first run, but listened with interest and asked lots of questions.

At this point, though, it's clear to me that the GM needs some kind of useful summary sheet for NPCs, especially one that allows him or her to scribble down attribute scores and traits and so on quickly. That would permit much faster prep into play.

Conceptually, here is the biggest stumbling block for role-players who are unused to Alyria. (1) Virtue is not an Effectiveness value, (2) Traits have higher Effectiveness the more extreme they are (i.e. they grade upward in two directions from the center), and (3) Attributes are graded in the traditional way, from New (worst) to Full (best). None of this is a criticism - I love the way they work together, both during PC creation and during play. However, conceptually, it is very hard for people to believe this. In making up a doe-eyed, lost orphan village girl, the player insisted on giving her a Virtue of Crescent because she was small and weak - and he just could not grasp that his mind-set only applied to Attributes, not Virtues and Traits.

I suggest a rather stern and clear set of text designed to deal with this issue. Again, this has nothing to do with the system itself and I urge that no structural changes be made - just explain it so damn clearly that you're certain you're being too simplistic, then explain it again, backwards.

I will send you two storymaps, the one generated before the first session, and the second generated following that session's events for the purposes of the second session. I'll send you all the characters too. Again, we only got one scene or so into the second session, but everyone is very fired up and committed both to the world and to the characters, including some that they are not actively playing.

Best,
Ron
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