*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
August 18, 2022, 05:22:52 PM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 77 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
Pages: [1]
Print
Author Topic: [Mortal Coil] Hexcity - First trial run questions  (Read 4824 times)
RPL
Member

Posts: 61


« on: October 17, 2006, 05:00:16 AM »

Last Saturday (October 16) we gather a play group in a local RPG store to try out Mortal Coil, no one had ever played before and during play I (the GM) was the only one who had read the rules.

Theme Document

Tone: Dark & Gritty, Dark Humor, Police Thriller. Sin City meets Fight Club with Evil Creatures.

Setting: Hexcity, a decadent city that froze in time in the 20/30’s. Crime runs in the city like a wild fire, while the rich and powerfull are involved in a city-wide conspiracy bargaining with Demons and Creatures Of Darkness for more power and influence.

The Supernatural:
-   Magic is uncommon and powerfull, only accessible through rituals and years of study;
-   There is a world outside of our own, inhabited by Mystical Creatures;
-   Sometimes the borders between this worlds is weak, which provides places of power and cult.

Magic Level: Moderate low (12 tokens)

Situation: Easy and Boundless Power VS Individualism. The Conspirators have access to great sources of power, because they are organized and sell themselves to Demons and such creatures, while the PCs are people trying to make it on their own in this cruel and violent world and make a name for themselves based on solely on their skills and abilities.

The Villain: There are a lot of people involved in the Conspiracy, but for focus sake we decided to “fight” only one, The Great Dark Dragon, a half-demon head of the Yakuza crime syndicate.


I’m not going to address the whole session, a Short one at that, I’m just going to present some questions that appeared during play.

On page 46 it says that the “threshold of credibility definitely applies” when adding a new Magical Fact to the Theme Document, but if this is true then why should there be an auction when deciding who sets the price and what that is? Does the threshold only apply to Magical Fact in its essence and not the price to pay for it?

Since we were not totally comfortable with the system (and I forgot things) we “escalated” the amount of rules involved in the Conflict Resolution System, and the last one we played had all of it and it went something like this:
If the player won the Head Of Security of the Yakuza’s brothel would tells why they attacked the Bishops church a few hours ago. If I won he would be thrown out of the brothel with the tip of the Head Of Security boot and the girl who was helping him stays inside captured.
Tokens were allocated and after Reveal this was what we had:
The player tried to intimidate the Head Of Security establishing a Magical Fact (Divine Conducts can use The Voice Of God to make someone spill their beans) and at the same time tried to dodge any physical attempts made to get thrown out.
The Head Of Security tried to use his Leader aptitude to resist any kind of mental influence and at the same time kick the PC all the way out of the brothel.
When comparing scores both won, so it came the question, do we go for a second round or try to incorporate both outcomes? We tried to incorporate, and the result was:
The Head Of Security drags you to the exit hurting you every chance he gets, when your both outside you rise hanger-fuelled-eyes-blazing-voice-of-god-thundering-in-your-mouth and ask what you want to know, the guys makes and amazing feat he releases various forms of internal substances while talking his mouth off about everyhing he knows and then runs back inside screaming like a madman, leaving you broken up in the alley moaning a world of pain and agony.
So harm was handed out both ways and both of the character involved got their stakes, is this… right? (I know it sounds dumb, but I’m still trying to get my head around the Conflict Resolution system).

Does harm have to be related to its source? Example: If a guy looses a battle does the harm involved in it have to be physical or can it be mental, lets imagine that the guys honor was at stake here.

Is harm supposed to be dealt in every conflict? Like even if you win the conflict by passing the other guys defense by more than he passes yours (when applicable) you may still have harm dealt to you. If so it sounds pretty cool.

I also run into a kind of moral problem, are the actions pools the players get balanced with the general pool the GM gets? I ask this because during conflits I had a problem when deciding how many tokens to commit; I didn't’t want to completely overwhelm the players and at the same time I wanted to provide some close to the edge conflicts, so I never went all in was playing low with a low amount of tokens (normally two).

I froze a couple of times during play because the book says that the conflicts must always involve characters vs characters, not characters vs abstract obstacle (like a storm or a magical defense system), I sound weird but I guess it makes sense, is the point here to make every conflict something personal between characters and that is the only thing worth conflicting (?) about, everything else is just background scenario?

Thanks in advance for any clarifications you can give.

P.S.: I’m reading this thread about Conflict Resolution in Mortal Coil; it’s pretty great and clear.
Logged

Brennan Taylor
Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 499


WWW
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2006, 03:42:14 PM »

On page 46 it says that the “threshold of credibility definitely applies” when adding a new Magical Fact to the Theme Document, but if this is true then why should there be an auction when deciding who sets the price and what that is? Does the threshold only apply to Magical Fact in its essence and not the price to pay for it?

There's only an auction if someone really, really wants to set the price. For the most part, this never happens in games I've been in. Usually, price is settled with a consensus of the players. If there is a dispute, you can fall back on the bid system, but the threshold of credibility still applies (you can't set a price that violates the theme document).

Quote
So harm was handed out both ways and both of the character involved got their stakes, is this… right? (I know it sounds dumb, but I’m still trying to get my head around the Conflict Resolution system).

That's right. If that's how it made sense to resolve the conflict, then it came out just right.

Quote
Does harm have to be related to its source? Example: If a guy looses a battle does the harm involved in it have to be physical or can it be mental, lets imagine that the guys honor was at stake here.

It could be mental, this is really a judgement call on the part of the GM.

Quote
Is harm supposed to be dealt in every conflict? Like even if you win the conflict by passing the other guys defense by more than he passes yours (when applicable) you may still have harm dealt to you. If so it sounds pretty cool.

Yes, it is possible to win a conflict and take harm. It's possible to win a conflict and get killed in the process, if that's how the actions shake out. Both parties taking harm is not unusual.

Quote
I also run into a kind of moral problem, are the actions pools the players get balanced with the general pool the GM gets? I ask this because during conflits I had a problem when deciding how many tokens to commit; I didn't’t want to completely overwhelm the players and at the same time I wanted to provide some close to the edge conflicts, so I never went all in was playing low with a low amount of tokens (normally two).

Are your NPCs much more powerful than the PCs?

Quote
I froze a couple of times during play because the book says that the conflicts must always involve characters vs characters, not characters vs abstract obstacle (like a storm or a magical defense system), I sound weird but I guess it makes sense, is the point here to make every conflict something personal between characters and that is the only thing worth conflicting (?) about, everything else is just background scenario?

Exactly.
Logged

RPL
Member

Posts: 61


« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2006, 02:14:27 AM »

Thanks for the quick and clear response (this has to be one of the main reasons I like to post about games in The Forge).

Are your NPCs much more powerful than the PCs?

In the first conflict yes, the PC was up against The Villain (a half-demon Yakuza crime baron) so I committed very few action tokens, and got my ass kicked hehe. In the second one, another PC was barging into the Yakuza brothel taking the bouncer out of the way, he was pretty weak but even so I was afraid of committing to many tokens. In the third conflict (the one were a PC was trying to make The Head Of Security spill his beans) the NPC was a bit strong, but in not powerful. They won every conflict.

At a certain point a player asked me "exactly what keeps you from committing your entire load of action tokens (minus 1) and overwhelm us?", my reply was: Making things interesting, if I do that all the time then you won't be able to do win many one-on-one conflicts, but it also depends on the NPC in question, for a lousy bouncer I'm not going to play it that strong, but if your up against The Mighty Overlord Of Evil then I'm going to play it a lot stronger.

I really have no idea if this is the right way to look at GM Token Management, but I suspect that it isn't.

If you have some ideas on this point it would be very helpfull, I think the key point here is to commit all the action tokens but to separate actions, to make things more dynamic and results unpredictable.


Also there was another question that daunted me, and still is, Conflict Triggered Magic Abilities, from the book example I get what is supposed to happen:
If you win the conflict the glass lets ou see the true world behind the shadows.
If you lose you go mad by what you see.

My main question here is, what is the player conflicting against? since all conflicts are against other characters (and not difficulty levels or abstract notions), how would this work? would have to be in a conflict already and you would commit your tokens to the action "See the truth behind that mans appearance" resisted by his Will for instance.
In our game we established this fact: half-demons can turn into mist and move when in that form, cost: must keep and worship-altar burning  incense at all times and that is the only place where he can reform.
I thought it would be pretty cool if this had a Conflict Trigger, something like: they can turn into mist but if they fail the Conflict Trigger they can't reform for some time. The thing was I didn't knew how to go about doing this, what was I committing my resources against?


Thanks for everything, I really liked playing this game, the initial Setting creation and the mechanics to keep creating it through play are really appealing and dynamic.
Logged

Brennan Taylor
Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 499


WWW
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2006, 02:40:56 AM »

OK, if your players all have novice characters, and your NPCs are novice level, everybody should have roughly the same pool of action tokens. If the players play to their strengths, they should be able win conflicts, although they will have to be smart about it. When players go up against NPCs with a much higher starting level, they will need to band together to beat them.

Is it the GM power pool you are finding too high?
Logged

RPL
Member

Posts: 61


« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2006, 07:03:33 AM »

Sorry for the late reply, I just had an intensive play weekend, witch involved by the way the planing of a Theme Document for a short 3/4 sessions game of Mortal Coil, more on that later.

OK, if your players all have novice characters, and your NPCs are novice level, everybody should have roughly the same pool of action tokens. If the players play to their strengths, they should be able win conflicts, although they will have to be smart about it. When players go up against NPCs with a much higher starting level, they will need to band together to beat them.
This, is a great thing to read. I hadn't grasp that yet and I won't be such a scary cat next time I GM a game, thanks.

Is it the GM power pool you are finding too high?
Yes, this was my feeling. However I went back and made some calculations with the PCs of my game and realized that although some players had fewer Action Tokens than me, others were at the same level. What I'm gonna do from now on is to wright in a paper the number o Tokens each player has, so when I go into a conflict with them I know what I'm up against and how I can manage Token allocation in order to provide and interesting and dynamic conflict.

Thanks for all the help and patience.

I still haven't grasp the concept of Conflict Trigger Magic Facts when used in an already established conflict or when the player wants to use it outside a conflict (is this even possible?), can you shed some lights on this or refer me to some Actual Play examples?
Logged

Pages: [1]
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!