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Author Topic: [TSoY] Refresh: with who?  (Read 5107 times)
Moreno R.

Posts: 389

« on: April 20, 2007, 06:43:27 AM »


I have a couple of question about the rules of The Shadows of Yesterday (I have the second edition with the white cover, I don't know if there are differences with the newer edition)

1) Reading some thread about tSoY I found some references to the fact that pool refreshment is to be done with NPCs, but I didn't found any references for this in the game book. Seeing that in play I have seen pool refreshment as done almost always between "party members" (a lot of drunken orgies after playing music, usually in the middle of nowhere), I would like to know if the rules support this or if you can refresh your pools only meeting npcs.

2) I found references in the forum to a kind of setup that wasn't explained in the book: a player ASK for a pool refreshment scene, and the GM create one for his character, maybe using the chance to making him meet some interesting NPC. It's how it should work? It's only one of the way it could work? It was added later? How does it work in details?


(Excuse my errors, English is not my native language. I'm Italian.)

Posts: 442

« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2007, 08:32:24 AM »

Not to be too flip with the response, but pretty much all those answers are correct:  You can refresh with NPCs, PCs, people you've just met, someone you've known forever, and you can either initiate a scene that will lead to Pool Refreshment or request one from the GM, pretty much.

It is all, as the kids say, "good."

Doyce Testerman ~ http://random.average-bear.com
Someone gets into trouble, then get get out of it again; people love that story -- they never get tired of it.
Eero Tuovinen
Acts of Evil Playtesters

Posts: 2591

« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2007, 11:05:55 AM »

I'll add to Doyce's spot-on answer a facet of methodology: it would be really swell if a given campaign of TSoY managed to create significance in the events of a refreshment scene. I'd go as far as suggest that the SG should do his best to find significance in the events. Obviously it is something of a signal about the game being unsuitable if the players are just treating the refreshment as a technicality without meaning, but sometimes you can instruct the players to take it seriously without trying to force them into playing "right".

One technique I like to use in this regard is the question: when players call for refreshment scenes with each other, do not be afraid to suggest potential conflicts or other meaning in the scene. Specifically, make sure that they have an actual scene: require a frame, action and dialogue. After having a bit of that, make an effort to find something interesting in the scene to ask the players about: do these characters like each other? What causes them to want to hang together like this? Will this third guy over here get jealous and annoyed when he's shut out like that? Do you want to do a wee bit of an ability check to see which one of you humiliates the other in this game? This is a bit of a fishing expedition if the players are committed to treating the refreshment as a technicality, but if they're just waiting for you to supply them with an angle, they might well grab any of your suggestions and run with them. The refreshment mechanic itself won't force anybody to develop personal relationships for their character, so hopefully the players will like the idea of doing that stuff anyway.

As for the players asking the SG for a refreshment: it's in the book somewhere, I'm pretty sure of that. It's also an important loosening function in long-term play, because it's a natural pause in the action, which allows the SG to introduce new NPCs and new facets into the overall situation. A refreshment scene should always be a "break" from whatever it is that the actual story concerns. It's something that opens doors to new adventures. That's the difference between a, say, seduction scene and a refreshment scene: the former strives to resolve plot matter already on the table, while the latter opens up new plots and venues. A refreshment scene will never resolve any larger conflict that connects to the actual plot.

That latter point is actually really important to understand for refreshment scenes, because they don't work as you expect if you treat them as resource refreshment only. A good example is a very common house rule you see from time to time: some SGs have noticed that refreshments are really easy to get, and being confused by the easily passing scenes, they have began to require a conflict for any scene to be considered a refreshment scene. This is ass-backwards, because seeking for conflict (and, by extension, resolution) is the very opposite of what a refreshment scene is about. The group should strive to seek significance in the facets that are actually the intented bone in the refreshment scene: character illustration, lull in the action and potential new plot hooks. These correspond roughly to different kinds of refreshment scenes Moreno listed in the first post.

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