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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 62 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [Mage: The Awakening] Here goes nothing... (split)  (Read 7007 times)
The Dragon Master
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Posts: 115


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« Reply #30 on: June 22, 2007, 12:22:26 PM »

I just wanted to thank you all for posting this discussion, not to mention the link to how to run a Mystery game (for lack of time for better phrasing). It has inspired me, and I'm going to work on setting up a Mystery in the MURPG system for them to run through. I'll post my experience with it here on the boards.
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"You get what everone gets. You get a lifetime." -Death of the Endless
The names Tony

Sorcerer Workshop, Phoenix Comicon, May 27th - 30th 2010
FredGarber
Member

Posts: 95


« Reply #31 on: July 10, 2007, 03:30:19 PM »

I've had similar situations, where the PCs Adbuce the wrong Case, and insist on following it to the bitter end. 

Quote
Looking through I think my main problem is this:
Quote
If their hypothetical clues fit the GM's Case, then those clues exist and are true; if not, not.

The rest I seem to be doing, and the players, with varying levels of competancy are playing along by Abducing...but the problem is, we get to step three, with some random level of success on parts one and two.

Then the players start testing their hypotheses. But when one doesn't fit and doesn't pan out - they refuse to give up on it. Investigating it over and over and over, more and more throuroughly and in more depth, until the entire player party is sick and tired of the mystery as a whole and just wants to move on, success be damned.

How can I get them to stop doing that?

One of the questions you need to ask is
"Is it OK for the PCs to fail this mystery?" 

Another is "Why did this guy throw himself in front of the bus, in front of them? " If the bad Guys have a plot, have it go off, and then have the PCs deal with the situation, and move on. 

A third is "Where is their fun, here?  Why are they doing this?"
I have been frustrated by some players keeping the purpose of their investigation secret from me, and using it to "win" in an undeclared Narration Rights conflict with me, the GM.
Player "I search the corpse's house."
GM "You find nothing of value except for a magic rock just like your own magic rocks, and a medallion around its neck."
Player "Did I find any magic rocks in the vampire headquarters?"
GM "No."
Player "Aha!  I knew this corpse was a thief!  He deserved what he got, stealing the rock from vampires! If I meet anyone with that medallion, I'll know they're a thief.  It's probably a Thief Guild symbol."

In the player's head, they've assumed the corpse stole the rock from the vampires, and was killed for it.  I think I've given them a clue that points to the corpse as being the same time of magical rock-user as they were, and therefore a dead ally.  They've totally misinterpreted the clue.  Why?  Because THEY wanted to steer the mystery.

In that case, you need to sit down and talk to them out-of-game about how they came to this decision.  Admit that you gave a misleading clue.   Maybe the players are frustrated and they think a ghost-mage is more interesting than the story you want to play.    I did not do this. I tried to Move the Clue to steer them onto another path, and my players, in trying to seize control of the game, took it as another chance to skid farther away from anything I had planned. And the more discomfited and freeform I got, they happier they were.  They felt like they were winning, since I was clearly not enjoying myself and was therefore losing. 

My Ideas to Help The Situation
1> Introduce a (relatively) new NPC into this situation, to whom the PCs have to explain the situation.  I recommend a peer who asks "what's the situation?  What are you going to do about it?"  It may force them to look at their ideas, and realize there are some things that don't fit.

2> "Seven with one Blow"
Based on the fairy tale, where giant-slaying is attributed to a fly-slaying tailor.
The PCs manage to, while tracking their "ghost mage," stumble into the actual solution to the mystery.  NPCs swoop in, announce the real solution, and congratulate the PCs for their deduction, and entrust them with more responsibility.  In my experience, getting praise they don't deserve usually forces the PCs to Do Something about it.  Especially if they know they just stole Someone Else's reward.

3> "The bear is eaten by the crocodile."
This is stolen from the movie Lake Placid (amongst others)  The heroes have been tracking the monster giant crocodile.  They find bear tracks (the red herring), and many of the characters insist that ALL the carnage so far is the bear's fault.  That night, the scary bear appears.  The heroes point at the scary bear, confident they've solved the mystery... and then the Giant Crocodile shows up, eats the scary bear, and disappears into the water.
The Red Herring is clearly disproved, and the PCs are confronted with the villain you wanted.
in this case, I'd have them find the spirit of the "ghost mage," and it gets destroyed by the real villain.

I hope these suggestions help this game!
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Reithan
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Posts: 108

I'm a ninja


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« Reply #32 on: July 11, 2007, 04:55:44 AM »

I've had similar situations, where the PCs Adbuce the wrong Case, and insist on following it to the bitter end. 

One of the questions you need to ask is
"Is it OK for the PCs to fail this mystery?" 

Another is "Why did this guy throw himself in front of the bus, in front of them? " If the bad Guys have a plot, have it go off, and then have the PCs deal with the situation, and move on.

Yes. It's okay to fail this mystery. If anything, this is the world of darkness, failure is nothing new to the setting, and the good guys DON'T always win. In this case I did, after this example, simply let the good guys fail. They gave up, the "bad guys plan" went ahead as scheduled, and there was hell to pay in the end (almost literally).

In fact, their very failure opened up a great storyline and everyone had a lot of fun with it in the end.

A third is "Where is their fun, here?  Why are they doing this?"

That's a bit tougher. I honestly don't think any of them actually did have fun with that investigation. I just think, in the end, they were simply too stubborn, as a group, to give up on their chosen hypothesis.

I have been frustrated by some players keeping the purpose of their investigation secret from me, and using it to "win" in an undeclared Narration Rights conflict with me, the GM.
Player "I search the corpse's house."
GM "You find nothing of value except for a magic rock just like your own magic rocks, and a medallion around its neck."
Player "Did I find any magic rocks in the vampire headquarters?"
GM "No."
Player "Aha!  I knew this corpse was a thief!  He deserved what he got, stealing the rock from vampires! If I meet anyone with that medallion, I'll know they're a thief.  It's probably a Thief Guild symbol."

In the player's head, they've assumed the corpse stole the rock from the vampires, and was killed for it.  I think I've given them a clue that points to the corpse as being the same time of magical rock-user as they were, and therefore a dead ally.  They've totally misinterpreted the clue.  Why?  Because THEY wanted to steer the mystery.

In that case, you need to sit down and talk to them out-of-game about how they came to this decision.  Admit that you gave a misleading clue.   Maybe the players are frustrated and they think a ghost-mage is more interesting than the story you want to play.    I did not do this. I tried to Move the Clue to steer them onto another path, and my players, in trying to seize control of the game, took it as another chance to skid farther away from anything I had planned. And the more discomfited and freeform I got, they happier they were.  They felt like they were winning, since I was clearly not enjoying myself and was therefore losing.

I could see something like this happening - but I don't think this was the case.

My Ideas to Help The Situation
1> Introduce a (relatively) new NPC into this situation, to whom the PCs have to explain the situation.  I recommend a peer who asks "what's the situation?  What are you going to do about it?"  It may force them to look at their ideas, and realize there are some things that don't fit.

This has actually been one of my bigger problems so far. I keep wanting to make the game more social and political, but the players keep alienating, ostrasizing and generally getting rid of any social elements.

I think that is at least 1/2-way on purpose on their part, though. So I can't complain too much. Tongue

2> "Seven with one Blow"
Based on the fairy tale, where giant-slaying is attributed to a fly-slaying tailor.
The PCs manage to, while tracking their "ghost mage," stumble into the actual solution to the mystery.  NPCs swoop in, announce the real solution, and congratulate the PCs for their deduction, and entrust them with more responsibility.  In my experience, getting praise they don't deserve usually forces the PCs to Do Something about it.  Especially if they know they just stole Someone Else's reward.

This is kind of what happened, only in reverse. The players screwed the town up so bad through their incompetance, that their local consilium figured that it must have been on purpose. So far, the players, through their characters' flaws and their players' playstyle have managed to make a chaotic mess of almost everything they come into contact with. Though, this has create a LOT of interesting side-stories and fun encounters, so no one's complaining (at least, not out-of-character).

3> "The bear is eaten by the crocodile."
This is stolen from the movie Lake Placid (amongst others)  The heroes have been tracking the monster giant crocodile.  They find bear tracks (the red herring), and many of the characters insist that ALL the carnage so far is the bear's fault.  That night, the scary bear appears.  The heroes point at the scary bear, confident they've solved the mystery... and then the Giant Crocodile shows up, eats the scary bear, and disappears into the water.
The Red Herring is clearly disproved, and the PCs are confronted with the villain you wanted.
in this case, I'd have them find the spirit of the "ghost mage," and it gets destroyed by the real villain.

I hope these suggestions help this game!

This is actually a good plot twist. I may have to use something like this at some point. Smiley Thanks for the idea.
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