*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
August 30, 2014, 08:32:00 AM

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: 70 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
Pages: [1]
Print
Author Topic: My First Impression  (Read 5408 times)
TheGroog
Member

Posts: 6


« on: January 08, 2007, 02:04:49 PM »

Hello

I first met Universalis about 2 years ago, with the first (?) edition. Myself, son and buddy merely dipped our feet but we had an underwater laugh with dolphins (good guys), sharks (bad guys) and octopuses being the priestly/sage/wise type. Nobody quite knew what was going on, my son was a trifle shy, but we all really enjoyed.

That was 2 years ago, and I have just picked up the Revised issue. I am really looking forward to getting this game off the ground, only problem I have (apart from only being on page 43 Chapter 4, is that what constitutes an 'element' in the game. Or, when something needs a coin. I know it's a personal game group thing, and colour (yes I'm British), can always be called for, I was just a little confused as to what costs what. Anyways I am sure that will resolve itself, I already get the feeling I may have just answered my own question.

Congrats on a really good game. I outgrew 'role-play' about 5 years ago. I really could not be bothered with all the workload a GM got stuck with. This is really is the answer for me.

I mean really, for the first time, we have a rp/story telling game where the possibilities are unlimited.

I thank you.
Logged
Valamir
Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 5574


WWW
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2007, 03:07:13 PM »

Awesome, I look forward to reading some actual play reports from you in the future and adding them to our website.

Here are the guidelines I use for my games when deciding what to spend a Coin on and what to leave as color -- you Brits and your superfluous letters...;)

1) Will I want to see some advantage derived from this element later?  If I say that a given character has a gun, can I conceive of an easy way to Draw Upon that gun in a future Complication...and essentially earn my Coin back?  If so, then I'll pay the Coin.  If not...if the gun is just a throwaway bit of flavor that will almost certainly never get fired...then I well may not.

I'll take time for an aside here:  The above was actually something of a revelation for me that only occured after many actual playes in convention demos.  Up until that point and in our play tests I was still operating from the traditional Player Character model in that I was expecting to pay for the gun because the character is supposed to have a gun.  This meant often spending alot of Coins paying for stuff that never ever got used.  In demo play where the point was more to illustrate the rules than realize some vision, Coins typically weren't spent on things until they were needed...as in "I'm about to launch a Complication in which a gun would be handy, so I'll pay for the Gun now".  or even "I'm in a Complication where having a gun would be nice, so I'll buy one now and get my money back right away, if no one challenges it as being cheesy".

You can still see the first way of thinking in the examples of Components in the book (The Slytheran Shock Trooper and Doom Cannons).  In working up the examples, I purchased those Traits because that's what those Components should have...that's what they are.  In actual play, most of those Traits would have been revealed only over the course of a few Complications where they were purchased as needed.  I left the examples in the second edition as is, because they do serve to illustrate a range of things that could be used as Traits, but I added a Text Box to highlight that few of my Components in actual play have ever looked like that.

2) Am I trying to establish a vision for this character (or other Component)?  If so I'll be more willing to spend Coins to establish Facts, even if there is no impending Complication.  These Facts tend to be more personality and nature oriented than skills and gear oriented.  For example, if I'm envisioning a character as being weak willed and unsure of himself, but don't by any Facts to that extent, then you come along and start playing him as the cock-sure lantern jawed hero...I've got no real fall back plan.  I can Challenge and explain "wait a minute, I was kind of envisioning this other way" but I don't have any teeth other than my own persuasive powers.  If instead I had earlier purchased "unable to make a decision" or "vacilator", or "reluctant to act" or some combination of the above, I've now done two things.  First and most importantly, I've signaled to you who this character is, so you are unlikely to try and turn him into something he's not.  Second, if you do, I now have an advantage in a Challenge.

Here I'll note that item #1 ultimately feeds this goal also because whatever advantage I gain from having a Trait to Draw Upon is fleeting.  In the future, someone else will be Drawing On that Trait and getting the advantage.  Often I'll buy the Traits for something and someone else will Take Control and use them themselves to pursue their own agenda.  But regardless, the advantage they get from the use will have to be in-line with the Trait as I defined it, so they'll be incented to play the character according to the Traits I defined.

There's a good essay in the book on using networks of Facts to ensure when other players are Controlling characters you have a design for that they use them consistant with your design.


3) Setting up future opportunities for Complications.  Is there some combination of Facts that will clearly wave a flag that these particular Components are natural opponents.  How about Traits like "Always trys to get the last word", "or never believes a thing Fred says", or "Bigoted against Martians",  or "Always picks the opposite of what her brother wants".  Traits like that make it easy for players to say..."Hmmmm....'Last Word'...'Picks the Opposite'...ok, I'm going to Take Control of the Sister and turn your plan into a Complication.  Whether or not you get to use the Traits to your own advantage as in #1, the existance of a Complication is an opportunity to earn additional Coins, so setting up "easy" Complications that can be returned to in the future provides an effective Coin generator.  These Traits also tend to be good for the #2 reason too.

Sometimes its really fun when you want a particular chain of events to happen, you can set up the Traits that will point to a natural conflict and then let one of the other players do the work of establishing the Complication.  You get the result you want, but someone else did the work of driving there for you.


So keeping those concepts in mind as I play gives me a pretty good feel for what I want to spend a Coin on and what I want to leave as Color.  But in truth its an acquired skill that gets more second nature with further play.
Logged

TheGroog
Member

Posts: 6


« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2007, 01:30:48 AM »

Thanks for those pearsl of wisdom. I shall read them after I have digested the Core rules. Have to say, I am really impressed by it all.
Logged
Robotech_Master
Member

Posts: 45


« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2007, 04:26:01 PM »

You can still see the first way of thinking in the examples of Components in the book (The Slytheran Shock Trooper and Doom Cannons).  In working up the examples, I purchased those Traits because that's what those Components should have...that's what they are.  In actual play, most of those Traits would have been revealed only over the course of a few Complications where they were purchased as needed.  I left the examples in the second edition as is, because they do serve to illustrate a range of things that could be used as Traits, but I added a Text Box to highlight that few of my Components in actual play have ever looked like that.
I'm kind of fumbling in the dark here given that I don't actually have the game in my hands yet (it may be a week or so) but I was wondering about how this applied to creating master objects/templates/whatever it is they're called. If I was making a fighter plane template, to have ready before starting the game, do I have to define it in as much detail as possible? All the weapon systems and scanners and the like?

Or do I pay coins in game play and specify that I'm buying a trait for the template rather than for my particular instance of it to buy those systems?
Logged
Valamir
Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 5574


WWW
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2007, 07:06:49 AM »

Quote
If I was making a fighter plane template, to have ready before starting the game, do I have to define it in as much detail as possible? All the weapon systems and scanners and the like?

You don't have to, but it was my assumption when I designed the game that you'd want to, and the other players would want you to...kind of like character creation or building a Car Wars car.

Quote
Or do I pay coins in game play and specify that I'm buying a trait for the template rather than for my particular instance of it to buy those systems?

In practice, this is how it has actually worked out best.

Although note there are some reasons you may want to pay for things before you need them.  For instance if its important to your concept for the fighter to have "State of the Art Targeting Computer" it might be a good idea to go ahead and buy it, to preempt me from buying "Antiquated Targeting Systems" for them.

Logged

TheGroog
Member

Posts: 6


« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2007, 04:03:26 PM »

Ok I have just finsihed reading the Uni book, and I think I will give it another run through before I sit down to play.

All in all the actual game mechanics seem quite straight forward. Only problem I can see, is that the structure of the game, or how the game is ordered, seems quite chaotic. Is that order of play on page 132 the flowchart to how the game (generally) pans out?

1] Describe Game World
2] Narrate Opening Scene
3] Ok....here I get lost...

Help!
Logged
hix
Member

Posts: 531

Steve Hickey


« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2007, 07:33:26 PM »

The person who won the bid for the first scene decides when to close the scene.

Then you all bid for the right to open the next scene.

The person who wins that bid narrates the start of the next scene.
Everyone else takes turns participating in the scene.
The person who won the bid decides when to close the scene.

Then you all bid for the right to open the next scene.

Repeat.
Logged

Cheers,
Steve

Gametime: a New Zealand blog about RPGs
TheGroog
Member

Posts: 6


« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2007, 01:36:11 AM »

Brilliant, think I'm ready.

Thanks
Logged
Valamir
Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 5574


WWW
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2007, 11:06:04 AM »

Cool, thanks Steve!

Any other questions fire away.


To record the complete proceedure for the reference of future readers:

1) Refresh Coins
2) Bid for Scene
3) Winner sets time, location, and initial Components, and is immune to Interruption until he narrates an Event
4) When winner is done he passes to person on left.
5) Person on left takes turn and passes to left.
6) Repeat step 5 around the table until Winner of scene declares scene closed on his turn.

Subroutine #1, Interrupt:
a) At any time during steps 3-6 (except during immunity period) any player can Interrupt
b) The turn (step 5) immediately passes to the interrupting person who themselves can then be Interrupted.
c) When the interrupting person is done the turn passes to his left, not back to the Interrupted person.

Subroutine #2, Challenges:
a) At any time ever, any player can Challenge the contribution or behavior of another
b) Challenge begins with open Negotiation between all interested parties.
c) If issue is not resolved proceed to bid to see whose interpretation wins.

Subroutine #3, Complications:
a) Whenever a Component controled by the acting player attempts to impact a Component controlled by someone else a Complication is triggered
b) At any time any player can Take Control of a Component in order to force situation "a" and trigger a Complication.
c) At any time any player can purchase Dice to serve as opposition to a narrated event and trigger a Complication
d) In any of these three cases proceed with the Complication routine.
Logged

Robotech_Master
Member

Posts: 45


« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2007, 04:34:16 PM »

Do I have to pay a coin to take control of a Master Component before I add a trait to it? Or is it enough to have control of a Sub Component of that Master?
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!