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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: An example of play  (Read 9780 times)
klausok
Member

Posts: 28


« on: September 30, 2006, 12:22:11 PM »

It is now some time since we played the game. I hope this description interests you, even if it is not very positive.

We spent two session creating characters. We have rather short sessions, about 3 hours.

We are 5 players plus yours truly as GM. The five heroes were:

The player who actually is a comic book author had the most trouble thinking like an author and not like his character. He played the Rubber Man, a character that bounces like a rubber ball. He also throws rubber balls and is strong and durable, but he does not stretch. He was out to discover what became of his old super team (he is a character from a game we played long ago). I think he was disappointed that he had to come up with his own scenes. He wanted the GM to work out some story and provide him with clues. Strife aspect: his relationship with a daughter of a former team mate. This is a godfather/honorary uncle relationship.

Rainbow has light bending powers. He is a member of The League for Diversity, a Green Lantern Corp like organisation. Strife aspect: his duty uphold the League's (very generally defined) principles.

A survivor from Atlantis, whose name I have forgotten. He was the one player who came up with an old enemy, vide infra. Swordsman. Strife aspect: his duty to create a culture as great as Atlantis. (I took this to mean civilized behaviour, given the description of his enemy, but when asked for examples of what would get him out of his chair he named threats to works of art.)

A character with gravity control powers. Strife aspect: his relationship with his childhood mentor, a priest at the Catholic orphanage where he grew up. He is now a monsignor and head of the institution.

A speedster. Strife aspect: relationship with newsreader girlfriend.

Only the Atlantean had named an old enemy: Major Morality, who does stuff like blowing up abortion clinics and non-Christian places of worship. Powers unspecified. Since the Atlantean feels obliged to stop him, the "culture" in his duty also has to do with civilized behaviour, not just works of art. I don't think the player saw the irony: these characters are bitter enemies because they both work for the good oldfashioned values.

This is the plan I came up with: Major Morality is going on a crusade to make everyone follow his standards of behaviour. To achieve this he will use his hypnotic powers on key figures, such a newsreaders and religious leaders, to have them speak up for what is good and right. He has also discovered the identity of a much admired (though currently missing) super hero. When he gets this hero's daughter to stand forward, her words will also carry a great deal of weight.

The priming scenes took a whole session. Looking back I think we should have allowed priming three aspects in a scene. My own first plan for a scene is an example: The Damnation Army captures a newsreader and brings him to the Major, who uses his hypnotic powers on him. But that is three aspects: henchmen, plan and power, so I had to just drag him away to an unknown fate.

The one scene of the players I remember was saving people from a burning building. All the heroes took part in that one.

The last game session was the big fight. I had made one change to the rules: up to two players can play a card to the story arch each conflict. I didn't want the first story to be two long, but I didn't want to go through the entire story arch in one scene either.

The player of the Rubber Man had forgotton his character sheet. He said he would be content to watch.

The Major's lieutenant (called Ensign Ethics, or course) and the Damnation Army attacked the opening of a new culture center for the city's  large Indian minority. (These are Indian Indians from India.) Various religious leaders and journalists attended, of course. I had planned to have the Major seek out the Rubber Man's contact at the same time. If the Rubber Man had lost, she would have been partially convinced to do as the Major wished while the Rubber Man had "wasted his time" fighting the henchmen.

The players all fought until they had no choice but to give in. The Atlantean even assessed his strife aspect to the point where I could devastate it when he lost,as the last hero. They all lost.

After the fight the players declared that now we had tried With Great Power. Let's talk about what to play next. I would have liked to finished the story, at least, but they insisted that the system is unplayable. The most positive comment I got was: "It may work with three players. It certainly does not work with five."
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roguenforcer
Guest
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2006, 11:08:20 AM »

Hi, I see that you are a talented rp writer and I am wondering if you know any other people who are writing storylines at the moment.  I am new to this entire process so I am unsure how to go about joining.  If you could please send me back some infomation, it'd make my life a whole bunch easier. 
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klausok
Member

Posts: 28


« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2006, 01:31:31 PM »

Hi, I see that you are a talented rp writer and I am wondering if you know any other people who are writing storylines at the moment.  I am new to this entire process so I am unsure how to go about joining.  If you could please send me back some infomation, it'd make my life a whole bunch easier. 

I take it that this message is meant for Michael S. Miller and not for me, since I am not a game author.
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Eero Tuovinen
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 2591


WWW
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2006, 01:51:41 PM »

Rather, it seems that Roguenforcer is a tad confused.

Rogue: welcome to the Forge, and the Incarnadine Press forum. What do you imagine Klausok was writing about here? What he told about was a pen-and-paper roleplaying game session he played with his friends, using a rules system called With Great Power... The author of the system itself is Mike Miller, who will probably make an appearance himself at some point.

From your use of terms like "rp writer" and "writing storylines" I'll hazard a guess that you're writing about either live-action roleplaying or chat or forum based play. Is one of those what you're interested in? Or what kind of roleplaying do you do? Pen-and-paper roleplaying is conducted in the real world with two or three friends, who each participate in creating a story. Usually there is no writing of storylines involved per se, because the story is created by player actions. A "roleplaying writer" in this context is usually somebody who designs the rules for such roleplaying sessions. These guys don't usually participate themselves directly in the game, they just write and publish books that others use to set up the game. So that's why Klausok isn't exactly a "rp writer" so much as just a roleplayer who describes a game he had.

Am I explaining obvious things here, or what? If you'll tell us a bit more about where you're coming from, perhaps we can help you find what you need...
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Yokiboy
Member

Posts: 363


WWW
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2007, 08:04:02 AM »

Hello klausok,

I have yet to play With Great Power... myself, so if some of my questions are a bit off, that's why. I enjoyed reading your actual play report, but have some questions.

We spent two session creating characters. We have rather short sessions, about 3 hours.

We are 5 players plus yours truly as GM.

The priming scenes took a whole session.

The last game session was the big fight. I had made one change to the rules: up to two players can play a card to the story arch each conflict. I didn't want the first story to be two long, but I didn't want to go through the entire story arch in one scene either.

The player of the Rubber Man had forgotton his character sheet. He said he would be content to watch.

The players all fought until they had no choice but to give in. The Atlantean even assessed his strife aspect to the point where I could devastate it when he lost,as the last hero. They all lost.

After the fight the players declared that now we had tried With Great Power. Let's talk about what to play next. I would have liked to finished the story, at least, but they insisted that the system is unplayable. The most positive comment I got was: "It may work with three players. It certainly does not work with five."

First of all, how far into the Story Arc did you get?

Second, how many sessions did you play? It looks like two sessions creating characters, one session for priming scenes, and then one session for "the big fight," was that it? Four total right?

How did you, and the players, feel that gameplay was affected by there being five players? Why did they think it would have worked better with three? I believe that most narrative games are better with fewer, rather than more players (with some rare exceptions), but given the superhero genre WGP could be expected to handle super hero teams.

How did the decision of the 'Rubber Man' player to sit out a session due to forgetting his character sheet impact play? It sounds like he was rather negative to the play of WGP to start with, did

Did your players understand what they were getting into with playing WGP? It sounds like they gave up on the game based on not wanting setbacks, but that's what the game is about: the price of power. The back cover blurb sums it up nicely.

Quote from: With Great Power... back cover blurb:
There's more to a hero than a costume, a battlecry, and powers beyond those of mortal men. Superheroes are about triumph over heart-rending tragedy and shouldering the burden, no matter how great, of saving everything that means something to you.

Do you have what it takes to stand back up?

TTFN,

Yoki
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klausok
Member

Posts: 28


« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2007, 09:37:42 AM »

Hello klausok,

I have yet to play With Great Power... myself, so if some of my questions are a bit off, that's why. I enjoyed reading your actual play report, but have some questions.
Hi

Sorry about the late answer.
We spent two session creating characters. We have rather short sessions, about 3 hours.

We are 5 players plus yours truly as GM.

The priming scenes took a whole session.

The last game session was the big fight. I had made one change to the rules: up to two players can play a card to the story arch each conflict. I didn't want the first story to be two long, but I didn't want to go through the entire story arch in one scene either.

The player of the Rubber Man had forgotton his character sheet. He said he would be content to watch.

The players all fought until they had no choice but to give in. The Atlantean even assessed his strife aspect to the point where I could devastate it when he lost,as the last hero. They all lost.

After the fight the players declared that now we had tried With Great Power. Let's talk about what to play next. I would have liked to finished the story, at least, but they insisted that the system is unplayable. The most positive comment I got was: "It may work with three players. It certainly does not work with five."

First of all, how far into the Story Arc did you get?
Two spaces, This was because of our house rule: up to two players can play a card to the story arc per conflict. The two first players to give up each played a card. Those rules changes did make a difference, I think, but I don't know if the players thought so. I spent all my 3's as fast as I could, knowing that they would soon be worthless.

Second, how many sessions did you play? It looks like two sessions creating characters, one session for priming scenes, and then one session for "the big fight," was that it? Four total right?
Yes. I no longer remember, but that is what I wrote back when I did remember.

How did you, and the players, feel that gameplay was affected by there being five players? Why did they think it would have worked better with three? I believe that most narrative games are better with fewer, rather than more players (with some rare exceptions), but given the superhero genre WGP could be expected to handle super hero teams.
There were too many priming scenes. The players did invite each others into their scenes, but still that part of the game dragged, The fight was also very long.

The problem with team work discussed in another tread did not come up.

How did the decision of the 'Rubber Man' player to sit out a session due to forgetting his character sheet impact play? It sounds like he was rather negative to the play of WGP to start with, did
The fight would have been even longer with 5 players.

Did your players understand what they were getting into with playing WGP? It sounds like they gave up on the game based on not wanting setbacks, but that's what the game is about: the price of power. The back cover blurb sums it up nicely.

Quote from: With Great Power... back cover blurb:
There's more to a hero than a costume, a battlecry, and powers beyond those of mortal men. Superheroes are about triumph over heart-rending tragedy and shouldering the burden, no matter how great, of saving everything that means something to you.

Do you have what it takes to stand back up?
No they did not. This is something entirely new we tried out.

We did not talk very much about it afterwards, and I am not even sure that the players all had the same problem with the game. But I am quite sure that it was not adversity that was the problem.

Maybe the kind of adversity. The big fight left them with just about no cards. This means that they would have to set up a series of enrichment scenes which they planned on losing in order to get cards. Going into a scene with the intend to lose does not seem very heroic.

What they really should have done in the first place was to say. "This is the first fight, so we are obviously going to lose. Let's all give in in frame one. Never mind the stakes, we can't do anything about about that anyway." Also not very heroic.

We called it the Adam West effect. Remember the old Batman TV shows? Each story had two episodes. In episode one the heroes always lost, in episode two they always won. You might as well use these rules in WGP. Much simpler, same result.

One player mentioned the loose coupling between the rules and the story. The cards just do not seem to represent anything in the game world.
The card play during the fight took a long time, during which the other players had nothing to do. Getting more familiar with the rules would help here.

The player of the Rubber man wanted me, the GM, to have a story ready about his lost hero group, and to feed him clues that would eventually enable him to work out what had happened. Of course he was disappointed.


TTFN,

Yoki
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Yokiboy
Member

Posts: 363


WWW
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2007, 11:09:12 AM »

Hello again,

Thanks for the reply. It's a shame WGP didn't work out for you. My gaming buddies aren't into superheroes at all unfortunately, so WGP is a hard sell, and not a perfect fit unfortunately.

Based purely on reading the game it does seem to emulate the old Marvel style comics, with heroes suffering on a personal level because of their powers. It seems a perfect fit for a Spiderman story for instance, where Peter Parker constantly suffers personally from being the Spiderman. There's lots of story material to explore on that level, and I hope to find some comic book fans to play WGP with.

TTFN,

Yoki
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