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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 75 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Shock: seriously rules.  (Read 4412 times)
matthijs
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Posts: 462


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« on: March 25, 2007, 11:08:25 AM »

I played Shock: again a few days ago, for the third time; once again, a one-shot. One of the other players had tried it before (once); the two others hadn't. We had a great time. Lots of drama, seriously intense scenes, protagonists and antagonists that made a lasting impression. We played until four in the morning, and two of the players were very surprised that it was past around one.

I'm not (at all) up to posting a complete write-up, I'm afraid. But a few points:

Six things that worked well
- First, to aid creativity & remove nervousness: Antagonist players wrote down a few ideas for antagonist scenes before play.
- Second, an including technique: We often played secondary characters in each others' scenes.
- Third, and most important as an including technique: We included each others' characters in scenes.
- Fourth, helping flow: Instead of looking for conflict and pouncing on it (a learning habit), we chilled and let the scenes develop until conflict naturally showed up.
- Fifth, and most important for the flow: We were all in tune - ready and open for the game, focussing on story, good friends.
- Sixth, affecting intensity: Although many of us had played together in different groups, this was the first time we played in this particular constellation, and two of the players hadn't actually played together before - that always gives a special edge of exploration and intensity to the game.

One of my favorite scenes
My character was a man. A perversion, an anomaly. Both his parents were also gendered. His dad was a moderately paranoid schizophrenic; his mom had had operations to become non-gendered, but he still called her "mom" to spite her. He fell in love with one of the other characters (Lom, who was slowly becoming a woman). Mom had him restrained and brainwashed/tortured in the name of the Corporation, "for his own good". Lying in a hospital bed he managed to ease out of his restraints. Talking to mom, manipulation and counter-manipulation. Tension building. Finally he asked his mom: "Where's Lom?" When she wouldn't answer, I - the player - lunged across the couch and grabbed the antag player by the throat, shouting: "Where's Lom? Where's Lom?" A very intense moment, which could never have happened with people I wasn't very familiar with. (The antag player is a very good friend. We rarely try to strangle each other in real life).

Being a good antagonist
I finally nailed antagonism, I think. It was very intense; I was highly charged in the antagonist scenes, because they were all intensely personal and challenging for the protagonist. Sie was the arch-bishop of a religion that saw gender as primitive, shameful and sinful. Hir two oldest children wanted to be gendered - and married. They joined the heretic church called "Love" (which gave me the opportunity to let the boy ask his parent: "Father, do you know Love?"). As a result, the arch-bishop was deposed. Later, he had a heart attack and had to let the church of Love help him. I let the children call the arch-bishop "father" a lot, which he hated - "bam" being the official gender-neutral word. We were all surprised when, on his dying bed, the arch-bishop was gendered as a woman (as decided by her player).

Rules question
When risking a Link, and re-rolling... is that just like re-rolling when you hit a Fulcrum? Or is it different in some way?

Next:
Perhaps I'll try a campaign of Shock: at a later date - I'd really like to see how that works. (Any Actual Play links to campaigns?)
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Joshua A.C. Newman
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the glyphpress


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« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2007, 06:36:51 AM »

You know, I didn't respond when you first posted this, and that's too bad. I had some questions, but then got distracted and just checked in now.

To answer yours:
When you risk a link, you reroll your d10s and your opposition rolls hir d4s. You get a new link, though, because you've just lost a conflict, so you're rolling one more d10. There is no other d10 when you reroll on a Fulcrum. In a very significant way, though, they're similar: something new has been introduced into the conflict. When rolling on a Link, it's something you've declared you care about. Also, because you've got no more than two Links, you can only choose to reroll twice.

So, yeah, very similar, with significantly different technical implications.

What was your Grid?
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the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.
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