*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
August 21, 2014, 06:01:55 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 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 73 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
Pages: [1]
Print
Author Topic: [It Was A Mutual Decision] Huw and Delphine  (Read 2609 times)
Gregor Hutton
Member

Posts: 274


WWW
« on: October 22, 2006, 05:04:31 PM »

Tonight we played a game of It Was A Mutual Decision, a game that doesn't get enough AP around here (I found one from Ron here, for comparison). We had a nice balance of players: 4 women (Shevaun, Shannon, Siobhan, Vicky), 3 guys (Gregor, Malcolm, Hugo).

So, we placed our blank sheet of paper in the middle of the table and got to work.

Huw
Honours-year Genetics Student, Welsh, 22 years old, Good In The Sack, Computer Games Player (WoW)
Style: Wanker
Needy: 3, Stubborn: 4, Trust: 6

Delphine
Classics Graduate, Manager at a Financial Magazine, 26 years old
Style: Artistic
Needy: 1, Stubborn: 2, Trust: 5

Relationship: 5

Woah! Huw got loaded when we rolled for the Needy, Stubborn and Trust. Still, Delphine got 5 Trust that she could use to help her out later on.

We then mapped out some other characters

Huw's Family: 2 older step-sisters, 2 younger step-brothers, Mum and Dad both re-married.
Huw's Friends: WoW friends and the Panda Attack! Guild
Work: Emily, his lesbian lab-partner

Mutual Friend: Jackie, the flatmate who shares with them both, she moved in when Huw and Delphine officially moved to sharing a room.

Delphine's Family: Mum and Dad at a villa in the Pyrenees, Twin Sister Eugenie (not an identical twin), Mum is ill
Delphine's Friends: Theatre Group
Work: Jonathon, go for coffee together, he's probably be going out with Delphine if she was single

How they met...
Huw was temping at Delphine's place of work -- she just left the local University and he was about to go there. The first time they met she was carrying a large pile of papers and folders. He knocked them from her hands when he opened a door as she struggled on the other side. As they picked up the papers they looked into each others eyes. Love at first sight...

Why they're together...
They're good for each other! As they say: opposites attract! He gives her space for her artistic interests and she lets him do his online gaming, a healthy balance for sure.

Before...

OK, we hit upon the first conflict between Huw and Delphine. She has been working with her theatre group on a production and she really needs Huw to be there. He has a big raid on in his World of Warcraft game and wants to take part in that. It's a big raid and it's not like Delphine really needs him there, does she?

Delphine uses Needy at 1.
Huw uses Stubborn at 4.

Delphine puts 3 trust into Needy and bumps it up to 4, and drops her Trust to 2. She really has to burn it to have a hope here.
Huw puts 2 trust into Stubborn for 6. Ouch.

Delphine grabs a black die.
Huw grabs a black die too.
Delphine grabs the remaining 2 black dice.

So, both sides roll 7 dice and the guys roll really badly for Delphine. Huw easily wins but no one gets any ticks as the black dice stay low (highest of a few 3s). The relationship drops to 4.

Huw means to go and feels a bit of a rat bastard for being so stubborn, but he just gets sucked into his raid and soon he doesn't feel so bad after all. He's having fun and Delphine will understand, like she always does.
Delphine is pissed. All their friends are there, Jonathon is particularly sensitive and it's Emily, Huw's lab partner, who gets the sharp end of her tongue. Being a full moon, Delphine snaps at something Emily says and gives her an icy stare...
Huw turns up long after the play has finished to make things up with Delphine, or at least make sure she can't hold the grudge. His lab partner Emily was here earlier he's told but she was in a "funny mood" and has gone home. Her half-drunk Gin and Tonic sits there. A short distance away her body lies in a dumpster, the throat ripped out and claw marks on the body.
Huw says he'll make the next show for definite...

Needless to say, the body is discovered some days later and Huw is distraught. Delphine finds herself feeling more than a little guilty.

The next conflict is the funeral. Huw wants Delphine to go with him, she can't make it as she can't get the time off work (unless she takes unpaid leave). Huw says she could cancel her holiday to see her parents in the Pyrenees later in the year as he really needs her there. Delphine can't see why she shouldn't just go to the wake later in the evening, perhaps slightly worried about having to go to the funeral she brought about. She tells Huw that she needs to see her parents later in the year -- I've not seen them since Christmas and Mum is ill; I have needs too. Huw is being Needy too -- he says he understands, but he really wants her there for him.

Delphine uses Needy 4.
Huw uses Needy 3.

No trust gets spent.

Huw grabs all 4 black dice. Rats!

So, Huw rolls 7 dice and Delphine 4. Once again the girls win handily (rolling a 5 and two 6s on the balck dice too) and the Relationship gets bulleted down to 0. Huw's Needy gets 3 ticks and he is on the verge of getting that switched.

The girls describe the wererat Delphine eating the body so that there can't be a funeral but that a memorial service goes ahead anyway. Delphine has to switch her holidays of course and it makes it a bit awkward for her with her family. Huw uses his charm to try and smooth things over with Delphine, who uses the "time of the month" excuse to stop them having sex after the funeral itself. Still, a few days later they are back screwing. Delphine reflects in her diary that for the first time she has thought about life after Huw and admits to herself that there are problems in the relationship. Huw is happy, of course, that he got his way again and really acts like a wanker.

During...
They are "working things out" as Delphine explains to her dad on the phone. It turns out her family are all wererats. Her mum is ill, having eaten some holy-type complete with silver crosses. The family need her to come to the Pyrenees right away, the local villagers are sharpening pitchforks... Delphine doesn't want to go, Huw is really needing her right now and they both need to be together to patch up their problems. No, says, her dad, stubbornly -- get here now.

Delphine uses Stubborn 2.
Opposed with Stubborn 6.

Delphine burns a point of Trust and puts it to 3.

Delphine grabs all four black dice. Actual Were-Rats.

The dice are rolled and ... the girls' side wins again. One of the guys' black dice  comes up a 5 and they gain a tick in Trust.

Delphine gives in to her dad, and fobs off her work with some excuse of a family illness. She leaves a note for Jackie and Huw, which Jackie reads and Huw doesn't. She leaves messages on Huw's phone and e-mails him, but he is too engrossed in his online gaming to notice. A day or two later he phones her parents and her sister Eugenie says "oh, she's not here" -- she seems unimpressed with him as a prospective member of the extended family. Delphine comes home to find only one of her two rats in the flat. Huw says he let them out to play and one ran away. In actual fact, he hasn't been feeding them and one has eaten the other...

Delphine at this point stops having sex so much with Huw. No screwin' she says. No screwin' it is.

The relationship is at -1.

Huw now has problems as a female online buddy from the US is flying over to see him for a liaison. They flirt a lot on WoW and with the "no screwin" he's maybe said some things too much to her online. She flies in to town and with Jackie away for a week in Istanbul, Huw has said she could stay in their spare room. Huw is hoping to screw her while Delphine is at work, and if he's lucky she won't find out. The opposition are hoping that Delphine will find out, she'll kill "SparklePrincess93" and throw Huw out the flat and the relationship.

Huw uses Needy 3.
Opposed with Delphine's Needy 4.

Huw doesn't use any trust.
Delphine puts her Trust to 0, and raises her Needy to 5. Trust 0 now becomes Murderous 1...

Huw grabs a black die, he's going to be sneaky and rat-like, screwin' behind Delphine's back.
The boys grab the other three black dice.

The boys win and Huw gets screwed. Two balck dice come up with 5s and Murderous goes to 3.

Delphine comes home to find Huw lying exhausted on the bed. "Oh boy, I'm tired," he says. Delphine sighs, then finds herself standing on a used condom, she politely takes SparklePrincess93 to the car and then the airport. Stuffing her dead body in some luggage and sending her to the US for baggage handlers to find. Huw thinks that his overseas vsitior just left, and that online she switches servers in shame at the flagrant betrayal of Huw to Delphine.

Relationship -2.

Since things aren't going that well, the couple decide to split up. It Was A Mutual Decision as they tell their friends.

Some time later they are on a flight to the US together. Bad coincidence, it's long haul. Delphine is going for work, Huw to meet a collaborator on a paper from Boston at a genetics conference. They are chatting at check-in, somewhat awkwardly and the check-in clerk put two-and-two together to get 5. She offers them free upgrades to business class. On the flight they are given complimentary champagne, as there is a misunderstanding that they're on honeymoon. Huw tries to explain to the stewardess that nice though Delphine is, they aren't going out and that he's very much single if she catches his drift. He seems to protest too much. Delphine is indiscreetly telling the whole business class cabin the ins and outs of their relationship and how she should perhaps have forgiven him for his indiscretion, after all she's done bad things too... (worse, even).

So, Relationship dice: 2

Huw is being Stubborn 6.
Delphine is being Stubborn 3.

They both grab 2 black dice each.

The dice are rolled and they both manage to avoid humiliation by easily beating the Relationship total. No sixes come up on the black dice, so no ticks either. On the flight they talk about the things that went wrong and the story of the pet rat "that went missing". Huw admits he didn't look after them and that one ate the other. Delphine is shocked but sees that the cycle has to stop somewhere..

They part amicably with a handshake at the airport in the US. They almost move to hug but then they just shake hands. This chapter of their life is closed and they both survive. Huw moves on to someone else to mess around at Grad School and Delphine moves to the France to be near her pack...

-----

Some points to note/questions.

We (the guys) got hosed by the dice! The girls just rolled better most of the time.

If the black dice "ticked" on a 3+/4+/5+ then the Greedy/Cunning/Murderous would have been more I think. As it was, we both got three ticks and that was that. Is that something we might have tried? Or is it better that we have fewer ticks?

The Relationship only got down to -2 and this meant we got out pretty straight in the after segment. We took a risk using the black dice there, but with no tick we were able to get free. Maybe it was just the way it worked out, but we didn't get a chance to screw that Relationship score really badly.

I think we played it to the rules and it was fun. The girls really were harsh on Hugh, though they empathised with him more than Delphine. All the guys liked Delphine despite her murderous ways...

Any questions for me?
Logged

Shevaun
Member

Posts: 6


« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2006, 07:51:56 AM »

For my 2 cents worth, this is a remarkably harsh game! I do not recommend it for a couple who are actually in the throws of relationship issues. The one-upsmanship of trying to work out just how badly the offending party acts is fun, of course. Ultimately, I felt like we girls had created a monster in Huw; he was a nasty little jerk-off who had probably been trading on his looks and bedroom prowess for years, and even though he neither murdered nor ate anyone, all the sympathy was with Delphine. I guess we've learnt not to judge people by their animalistic murdering rages.

Interestingly, part of the sympathy for Delphine was drawn from the fact that at no point did the people playing her make her a bad person. We chose that she was a were-rat, we made her murder and eat Emily, and we even decided that, even in a win situation, Huw would still sleep with SparklePrincess93. The guys tried to be nice, the girls were really mean. Just goes to show, huh?
Logged
Gregor Hutton
Member

Posts: 274


WWW
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2006, 09:01:51 AM »

I think you're right there, Shevy. When the girls grabbed all 4 black dice the first time they got first pick, the guys knew that Delphine was in trouble...

Oh, and since it wasn't said back in March with your first post here: Welcome to The Forge, Shevaun!
Logged

Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2006, 11:53:37 AM »

Hi there!

It took me a little while to print out and mark up the initial post, so my apologies for the delay.

First of all, thanks for playing the game and I'm glad you had a good time. Yes, it can be a little gruesome, but I have two rules clarifications to explain for you ... and you'll see how it affected a number of details in your game.

1. Only one point of Trust can be spent at a time.

The result of spending lots of Trust at once is that the differences in scores have less of an impact. Specifically, the rule that you can't roll your higher score two times in a row tends to have a big impact on play, because people must strategize a bit in order to decide when they get stuck with the lower score ... and they will get stuck with it sooner or later. But if all that Trust gets spent at once, then a character can't get stuck with a lower score as easily.

It also diminishes the importance of black dice. In the first conflict, for instance, Delphine could have spent 1 Trust to bring her Needy to 2, and then, since she has the lower score, she can then take all the black dice to have 6 dice against Huw's 4. He cannot spend Trust (he has the higher score) and there are no black dice, so she has the advantage.

I realize the luck of the rolls led to few tick-marks, but I also think you would have had more scenes with more black dice if you'd only spent Trust one at a time.

2. Using three or four black dice does not establish a character as a were-rat; it requires hinting that the character might be a were-rat. Technically, no literal were-rattiness should have entered your story at all, because neither character had all three scores transformed into their new names.

The result of jumping ahead to "Delphine is a were-rat" was to bring some serious back-story into play (the family) and to escalate the whole thing into a monster story before its time. This wasn't any sort of terrible disaster in the long run, as frankly I thought all your family-and-relationship-content was 100% perfect, but it did mean that fewer conflicts were devoted solely to developing the human details of the relationship. Jackie might have become more involved, for instance, and Delphine's basic storyline might have been more nuanced. It might not have been such a harsh story if the were-rat material had been restricted to hints.

I absolutely loved the scene-setting and the conflicts in your story. Poor Huw - once described as a wanker and WoW nut from the outset, I didn't see anything going well for him. Also, it's funny how often theatre comes into playing this game. One or the other character is almost always a theatre type.

Best, Ron
Logged
Shevaun
Member

Posts: 6


« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2006, 03:44:25 PM »

Oh, right. Yes, that makes more sense. I was wondering why, having got hold of the higher stats across the board Huw was ever supposed to be beaten by poor put-upon Delphine. The game did seem to go very quickly as well; it came to a natural conclusion well ahead of expected time, and we even started late. Delphine having more of a chance to win would have prolonged both the pre- and during break-up phases, because the chance of Huw winning 2 in a row would have been less. And maybe Huw would have gotten a little sympathy because, by the time we got there, it was very obviously not a mutual decision. Huw was a jerk-wad (i.e. won all the time and thus trampled all over his ratty girlfriend) and Delphine was sick of it.

I would say though that the wererat did bring a little humour to what was otherwise an intensely dark game. You certainly hit the nail on the head there, presuming that's what you were trying for. I would certainly play it again however, esp. with rules revisions. The friends and family were largely ignored, and it would be good to see the effect that has in a longer game. If possible I might try to get Gregor to get a game going at Gaelcon.
Logged
jburneko
Member

Posts: 1351


« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2006, 03:58:17 PM »

Hey There,

If you don't mind me asking, I was wondering what the various players relationship backgrounds were like.  You don't have to name names of course.  I've been showing this game around quite a bit and I've noticed a trend.  People who have had multiple relationships and multiple breakups tend to get the game out of the gate.  While people who haven't had very many relationships (i.e. married their first or second love) tend to have trouble grasping the wererat stuff.  Now, this has just been gathered through Description->Reaction->Me Asking about Relationship Background, not Actual Play.

I was wondering if your experience has been the same.

Jesse
Logged
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2006, 06:10:30 PM »

Hi there,

Hey Shevaun, look at this. You wrote,

Quote
I would say though that the wererat did bring a little humour to what was otherwise an intensely dark game. You certainly hit the nail on the head there, presuming that's what you were trying for.


And in the rules, it says,

Quote
In the story being created, the romantic breakup is inevitable. It includes an unknown fantastic-horror issue, establishing which principal character is a monstrous were-rat, or possibly whether both are. Although that has its gruesome aspects, it serves as a softener or buffer concerning the actual dramatic issue. The actual dramatic issue lies in establishing whether either or both of these people is any good as a human being, and whether a romantic breakup is necessarily a tragedy.


So yeah!

Best, Ron
Logged
Shevaun
Member

Posts: 6


« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2006, 01:28:37 AM »

I never really thought the game was supposed to be anything but dark - but I didn't want to offend it I got it wrong :D

Backgrounds? I can say that I've had a total of one relationship & one break-up ever, but it was very recent; another player has had multiples and was able to contribute some surprisingly graphic and cutting details. However, you may notice the age difference between Huw & Delphine - this was because we took a straight average of the players' ages on each side. The guys had obviously had a lot more relationshipexperience than the girls, and it seemed to me (though I may not be a good judge) that the guys had the ability to make it super-realistic but not the willingness, whilst the girls were pretty much working off of soap-opera cliches and best guesses. And we went to the rat rather than the actual issues I think because of that.

Or maybe we didn't want to hurt their feelings? Possibly, possibly. On that note, I'd be interested to know in other games whether any of the people were looking to get into a relationship, and pulled their punches appropriately. I'm a student of Human Nature, me.
Logged
Gregor Hutton
Member

Posts: 274


WWW
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2006, 03:36:05 AM »

Thanks for those points, Ron. I knew once, but had forgotten, that we could not use the higher stat twice in a row. The trust "point-for-point" spend was misread by me, and I think it allows for more development time for the story. (I read the book before GenCon but haven't had a chance to play it before now. Someone also had borrowed the book for a few weeks and I hadn't a chance to refresh my memory recently, so I found my fumbling through the rules useful revision for me!)

For a first run at a game I didn't mind so much that it ran through quick. Now that I know the rules better, and I'm pretty much sold that I have the thematic issues right, then I think a longer game will be even more rewarding and enjoyable. (And for those that didn't enjoy the theme so much it was a less painless experience.)

I think that Delphine was put behind the eight-ball from the get-go in this relationship. Even her highest stat is lower than Huw's lowest, so I think she was getting the rough end of the stick to start whatever happened, and with those black dice sitting there tempting (and her low stats) I'm convinced that she was always going to be a were-rat in this story. Interestingly it would not have taken much for us to feather back on the were-ratness to be honest, even with the killing at the start. At first I implied that Delphine had done it but left it unclear if that was the case. And I now see that there are good reasons to leave it like that, at least until we've become Greedy, Cunning and Murderous.

Shevy, for sure it is on the list of games I am running at GaelCon. It'll only be an hour long though - so I'm truncating it to a Before, During and After scene. I'd be delighted if you would play (and can fit it in).

As for a correlation between getting the were-rat element and relationship experience... I'm not so sure. One of the older players didn't enjoy the fantastical element at all, and I think they were also wary of touching on any personal experience in the game. So I think in this group anyway sensitivities varied from person to person and wasn't directly correlated to experience or whatever.

I have a few other things to say about this game, all good, but they'll have to be posted later on.

[Also a quick general point: I'm finding that writing up AP, rereading the book, then analysing the game and the book in the context of having played the game to be very rewarding. It's something that I find hard and I've been making an effort to work on it.]
Logged

Malcolm Craig
Member

Posts: 263


WWW
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2006, 04:47:00 AM »

I think that Delphine was put behind the eight-ball from the get-go in this relationship. Even her highest stat is lower than Huw's lowest, so I think she was getting the rough end of the stick to start whatever happened, and with those black dice sitting there tempting (and her low stats) I'm convinced that she was always going to be a were-rat in this story. Interestingly it would not have taken much for us to feather back on the were-ratness to be honest, even with the killing at the start. At first I implied that Delphine had done it but left it unclear if that was the case. And I now see that there are good reasons to leave it like that, at least until we've become Greedy, Cunning and Murderous.

The way that the 'stats' are assigned at first seems one part of the game which jars for me. Now, I guess this mimics real life, where people have vastly differing personalities, qualities and so forth and your pretty much in the lap of the Gods there. However, it did seem to drive us (the guys playing Delphine) directly towards utilising the rat elements (in particular the more powerful rat elements, the use of which is now clearer, thanks to your comments, Ron) if we were to have any chance of gaining some kind of outcome to a situation that was acceptable to our character (which in most cases ended up not happening anyway). And by 'acceptable', I mean 'not getting completely trodden all over by Huw' and generally feeling the side in the relationship who was taking all the flak. Again, I see how it can mimic real life, but I'm unsure how satisfying I find this in the context of the game.

Quote
As for a correlation between getting the were-rat element and relationship experience... I'm not so sure. One of the older players didn't enjoy the fantastical element at all, and I think they were also wary of touching on any personal experience in the game. So I think in this group anyway sensitivities varied from person to person and wasn't directly correlated to experience or whatever.

I'd agree here. The were-rate element, whilst I 'get' why it's there and what it's doing, did jar slightly for me. There was also a moment, near the start of the game, when we were coming up with a name for our collective character. I suggested a name, then immediately retracted it when i realised that I'd probably get up from the table and walk away after having to use it for any length of time. Certainly, there were things in the game I didn't contribute because, in all honesty, it wasn't something I wanted to bring in.

However, it was a good game and everyone round the table really enjoyed it. There was some great back and forth, doling out of the harshness and moments of good humour. Gregor set the game up very well and it rolled along nicely from there.

Cheers
Malcolm

Logged

Malcolm Craig
Contested Ground Studios
www.contestedground.co.uk

Part of the Indie Press Revolution
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2006, 05:42:27 AM »

Hi Malcolm,

With all the rules firing, the random assignment of scores works well as part of the game. Here's the key bit it interacts with: the rule that an action can either be utilizing the named score, or struggling against it. This applies to every usable score: Needy, Stubborn, Cunning, Greedy, and Murderous.

For example, let's say you and the rest of the boys ended up with a character whose starting values were 1, 2, and 3. Are you screwed?

Wellllll, it depends. What if the girls play their character as continually struggling against being Needy and Stubborn? That might change the nature of your investment in a given conflict - in other words, "getting your way" might be part of a given person or group's goals in play, but it doesn't have to be. It is absolutely built into the game that trying to be right all the time and getting your own way all the time will drive the relationship straight into hell (note - not toward breakup, as it's already happening - but straight into hell). It's not uncommon for someone to look at a high score and groan - "oh shit, I can't lose - we're trapped!!" - and hope for a low roll.

Looking over the summary of play, I'm not finding any clear sign of either character trying not to be Stubborn, Needy, or Murderous. That's actually a pretty important option; it allows the people playing to arrive at the exact degree of sympathy and humanity they want for the characters.

The During stage is especially important in this regard, as the only way to escape from it is for both characters to fail (i.e. to violate the relationship) in succession. Looking at the summary, the group played this correctly, but here's where the Trust point-spending and the high-low rules come in ... with those in force, it takes some attention to get the couple out of the During phase. Plus, there are times (situations) in which a given side really doesn't want to violate the relationship in the way that's been offered by the other side. (It's a trade-off between doing that and getting stuck longer in the During phase, with consequently a higher oppositional score later in the After phase.) I think you guys didn't get the chance to observe that dynamic in action, and that also played into why the characters only rolled against two dice in the After phase.

As for the were-rat element, you'll find that if it's played as written, it will remain mainly symbolism, not an automatic monster-story unless one or both groups really work at it. That should be left to later events of play; in your group's case, you jumped the tracks a little bit with the second were-rattish narration by making Delphine an actual monster. By the rules, you would have found, instead, that she should have been played as a perfectly normal person for many more turns.

So Malcolm, I suggest withholding judgment on the game. Your reservations all arise directly from the slight but significant rules-glitches in play.

Best, Ron
Logged
Malcolm Craig
Member

Posts: 263


WWW
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2006, 07:30:45 AM »

Wellllll, it depends. What if the girls play their character as continually struggling against being Needy and Stubborn? That might change the nature of your investment in a given conflict - in other words, "getting your way" might be part of a given person or group's goals in play, but it doesn't have to be. It is absolutely built into the game that trying to be right all the time and getting your own way all the time will drive the relationship straight into hell (note - not toward breakup, as it's already happening - but straight into hell). It's not uncommon for someone to look at a high score and groan - "oh shit, I can't lose - we're trapped!!" - and hope for a low roll.

Hi Ron,

Yep, see where you're coming from here. It seems like an instinctive reaction in the situations created to "win" in the sense of getting one over on the other person, but it's pretty clear from your comments in this thread that the exact opposite can be equally satisfying the the context of the game.

I'm trying to recall if at any time we did try not to be needy, stubborn, etc, or we just continually used them as levers in one direction. As you say, it would be interesting to push in the opposite direction from the 'norm'. Has it been your experience that play tends towards one end of the utilising/struggling spectrum or is it more normal to find a balance between the two, perhaps with one character leaning more towards one side, the other leaning more towards the other side? I wonder if there would be any correlation at all between the sexes and how they utilise elements in play.

Quote
As for the were-rat element, you'll find that if it's played as written, it will remain mainly symbolism, not an automatic monster-story unless one or both groups really work at it. That should be left to later events of play; in your group's case, you jumped the tracks a little bit with the second were-rattish narration by making Delphine an actual monster. By the rules, you would have found, instead, that she should have been played as a perfectly normal person for many more turns.

It did indeed come up very quickly in play, and in very literal terms as well! I think there's a lot to be said for playing a further game and observing the outcome from that, taking into account the clarifications of the rules.

A game where we have more scenes would be really cool, we went through things in a fairly quick succession on Sunday, although this did fit quite nicely into the limited time we had.

Cheers
Malcolm
Logged

Malcolm Craig
Contested Ground Studios
www.contestedground.co.uk

Part of the Indie Press Revolution
Gregor Hutton
Member

Posts: 274


WWW
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2006, 09:34:41 AM »

I can't recall us going against the nature but it was mentioned as an option for sure. My recollection is fuzzy but I thought that Delphine might have been acting against Stubborn on the final roll rather than trying to be actually stubborn. (But then in that phase she isn't opposed to Huw.) She is trying not to dig her heels in and hold a grudge. (It's conceivable that she could have been struggling against Murderous, actually.)

I am right on board with the correct way to use the rules now, and what they mean for play and the cycle of a downwardly spiralling relationship score. The effect that would have been most noticeable for me is that we would have had more conflicts in the during phase -- and these would have involved friends and family more to my satisfaction.

I think that I was the only male player who didn't have a "fear of the black dice", for what that's worth, though. Hugo and Malcolm were reluctant to use them and certainly anything above 1 die was treated with suspicion by our side. To me they were important as available choices for Delphine -- they were the mechanical way that she could have a shot at getting an outcome for her. I think the girls had less hang ups about using the black dice and saw their usefulness (and risk/reward too).

Also, the initial conditions (randomly assigning stats) are just a starting point. It's where you go from there that is important, the relationship is doomed to end no matter the stats at the start.

Malcolm, I think you're maybe not seeing the wood for the trees here.

From my point of view I felt that 2 of the girls really got it all the time -- that, as a game, it can be fun, and be full of truisms, barbs and twists, commentary on humanity, sexuality, realtionships and nature. The other two girls took delight in some moments of play (creating the character, deciding on grisly twists) but less so in others (deciding what to throw as a humiliation for themselves, input on conflicts for the other character). For the guys I was enthusiastic about it and Hugo was, I would say, open minded about it (in fact, with the amended rules and slower "burn" of the relationship it might even more be his thing). But I felt that while Malc enjoyed the exploration, colour and description (something he does very well), he, crucially, was not sold on the heart of the matter in my opinion. I just think it was not something that he wanted to delve into in any close sense.
Logged

Shevaun
Member

Posts: 6


« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2006, 10:33:14 AM »

I think that I was the only male player who didn't have a "fear of the black dice", for what that's worth, though. Hugo and Malcolm were reluctant to use them and certainly anything above 1 die was treated with suspicion by our side. To me they were important as available choices for Delphine -- they were the mechanical way that she could have a shot at getting an outcome for her. I think the girls had less hang ups about using the black dice and saw their usefulness (and risk/reward too)...

...From my point of view I felt that 2 of the girls really got it all the time -- that, as a game, it can be fun, and be full of truisms, barbs and twists, commentary on humanity, sexuality, realtionships and nature. The other two girls took delight in some moments of play (creating the character, deciding on grisly twists) but less so in others (deciding what to throw as a humiliation for themselves, input on conflicts for the other character)...

With regards the black dice, and the girl-team split, I think I can see which side you think I was on, but then in many ways I was in Malcolm's camp: I appreciated the style, theme and concepts, but when it got down to it I wasn't entirely happy with making poignant story about betrayal and breakdown in relationships. I'm quite a romantic at heart, you know. Therefore, the black dice gave us a chance to just get out of that and turn it into a game about My Wererat Girlfriend. Saying that, I didn't once grab a black die, but I was quite happy to use the wererat as a tension breaker, and as an excuse not to have to deal with the tough stuff.

I think, now that I can see what's going on (and with rules sorted), I could steel myself to play it again and be less of a coward; thus, still not using black dice myself and stepping up to bat with the relationship issues. The lack of an actual wererat would remove it as a crutch, giving people more reason to explore the other sides of relationship triangle (You/Me/Rat).
Logged
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2006, 06:30:15 AM »

Hey Shevaun,

If you don't mind spotting me a little trust, then I suggest reading the book, especially the section toward the end which lays down exactly what this game is about, relative to romance. It's not just an exercise in masochism.

If you want to follow up on that after checking it out, then either I'd welcome that, here or in the Adept Press forum.

Best, Ron
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!