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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: [sic] Tales of Vengeance  (Read 2367 times)
xenopulse
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« on: July 20, 2007, 09:46:51 AM »

This is my thread for the [sic] Setting In A Can challenge. I'm selecting Set A:

SET A
Setting: high fantasy.
Theme:
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Filip Luszczyk
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« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2007, 10:34:05 AM »

Well, remember about the requirement of instant playability - answering such general questions might take some time if the player encounters "blank page syndrome". In order to answer these questions, I'd need to have a clear concept in mind in the first place, I suppose.

I think it could be easier to do if you provide something to derive these answers from. Maybe picking a combination of race and class/guild/culture or whatever could give a good start, with lists constructed in a way that the choice would prompt some answers. Or, maybe a number of examples for each question - or possibly a closed list - could do the job.

Also, I'd suggest moving creation of the backstory to the play itself - i.e. the first scenes could serve fleshing out each element. This could be a good point to involve other players, too - e.g. another player frames the scene for you. He sees "spiders" on your sheet, and so, you find yourself trapped in the temple of the Spider God.
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ja-prozac
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« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2007, 11:26:59 AM »

Different idea - you can answer one of questions like these to gain somehow upper hand in conflict.
What does bigbad did to you?
Why d'you want to avenge?
Etc.

It could make story more personal and push the plot forward, not to mention revenge flicks flashbacks.
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xenopulse
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« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2007, 11:39:42 AM »

Thanks for the feedback.

I figure a list of classes or whatnot would take up too much space that I can't spare in 4 pages Smiley  But I will list examples, definitely.

Hmm. I'm going to think about having the backstory explored in play. Maybe it could be the very first scene that's being played, sort of like a Dogs initial conflict.  Having other players bring in the elements from the sheet is a good idea.  I have yet to decide whether this is a rotating-GM kind of deal or a more traditional setup.
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Filip Luszczyk
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« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2007, 02:37:43 PM »

Heh, you might still be surprised with the amount of spare space you can find yourself with Wink

Anyway, I asked myself how much the player would really have to define before he starts playing to still have a fairly fleshed out character later. My conclusion was that it's close to zero. The game could pretty much be started with a nameless and faceless character, with statistics and all at some default level - and then the player would add more flesh with the game's progress. This is the easy part, as far as instant playability is concerned, as this doesn't have to hurt the fun factor of the game in any way.

The main problem with it is, I think, that there needs to be something that would give everything the initial push. If it's not in the character (i.e. no motivations, no flags, no anything), it must be either setting or situation, obviously. If setting and situation are more or less open for definition, it certainly can be tricky to provide the tools that would facilitate coming up with a strong starting point in few minutes and still have enough material for the game to be fun.
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Anders Larsen
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« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2007, 03:17:55 PM »

My experience from game-chef is that if you what something in the game, it is best to approach it as directly as possible. So if you want some situation/character creation question up front, it may be better to make them more direct, like:

Who is your enemy?
What have they taken from you?
Why is that the most important thing/person to you?

 - Anders
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xenopulse
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« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2007, 03:30:28 PM »

Hmm. I do want a situation creation at the beginning that directly ties into the characters. I don't think that answering these questions should take more than a couple of minutes.

Though maybe it's easier to have the players write down concepts first, and then randomly draw and assign them to their character. As in, everyone writes down 5 concepts, put them all in a hat, draw 5, and assign them to the 5 initial questions. That way people can interpret what it means during the game.
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Filip Luszczyk
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« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2007, 04:33:05 PM »

Well, last week we've been creating characters for DRYH, and coming up with character concepts and answering five questions took as over an hour. Sure, it doesn't have to take that much time to come up with some answers, but I think having something that would ascertain that "blank page syndrome" doesn't hit wouldn't hurt. If the game is about to be instantly playable, it needs a built in ignition spark, I think.

I expect finding this "ignition spark" to be the tricky part of most designs in the challenge.

The idea with mixing concepts in a hat sounds nice. It should create an interesting and inspiring setup easily.

Still, I suggest a list of examples from which the concepts could be taken straightaway. Even with 10-20 concepts per question, it's only 50-100 words altogether - it's only a fraction of the wordcount you can fit in four pages, and it would give the players something to immediately work with if they find themselves clueless.
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xenopulse
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« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2007, 06:32:36 PM »

Alright, alright. Smiley  I'll provide a premade set and encourage people to create their own. Smiley

Now I have to think about the rest of the game, and whether to have a set budget process for getting to the Enemy.
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ja-prozac
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« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2007, 01:50:18 AM »

I concure Ander's idea about strong, plot pushing questions.
Thing is how much should be answered before the game to get it started.

Drawing from the hat - it could make really weird characters and trouble with
putting randomly chosen answers into right context. Everyone's different
and has different vision of what's revenge and what's important. These visions
could clash in random generation.

With good questions, you could start game with everyone answering only one
question and mixing them all in mighty bang.

 
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Filip Luszczyk
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« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2007, 10:44:03 AM »

The one strong question idea sounds good. There's still a problem of how far such "ignition spark" would push the game before burning out. However, it could be repeated after some time - e.g. another mixing after every round of scenes, or something in these lines.

Quote
Alright, alright. Smiley  I'll provide a premade set and encourage people to create their own. Smiley

Well, but remember to make sure there is enough space for premade sets Cheesy
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xenopulse
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« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2007, 07:42:37 AM »

Further development:

This is a GM-less game.  It's high fantasy, so there's going to be a party of heroes, and we all know who the villain is anyways and that they're going to overcome it.  So the question is simply what happens on the journey, how do the heroes get to the finish, and what do they inflict and sacrifice to get there?

There will be spotlight turns.  Each player sets a scene with their own character as the focus, including at least one setting element.  They pick the type of scene, and the choices will include combat, temptation, foreshadowing, bonding, and more.  The scene types will be provided and each have their own little twists. In order to keep all players involved and make up for the lack of GM, players can introduce setting elements in other people's scenes for a bonus. These can be new ones (must relate to one of the five questions, though) or already established ones.

Characters have a couple of attributes that will be used during these scenes. Right now, I'm thinking along the bigger lines of Combat, Willpower, and Charisma.  You pick the mood of the game before it starts and divide up points among them: Gritty = 8 points, Heroic= = 10 points, Epic = 12 points.

To figure out how the scene goes, roll a D6 and add the attribute that's required per scene style.

1-3: failure, horrible stuff happens
4-6: setback, something bad but not horrible
7-9: good showing, progress is made
10+: total victory, narrate your Legolas scene as you see fit Smiley

The players gain certain points through these scenes and depending on their rolls that will eventually be used to get closer and finally confront The Enemy.  I have yet to figure out the exact economy of these points. I would like the final roll to be something like Otherkind, where you roll three dice and distribute them to whether The Enemy is defeated, whether what was taken from you is recovered intact, and whether you survive.
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Reprobus
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« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2007, 07:52:31 AM »

Sounds good! BTW is the term Legolas scene protected by any law or something? This is the coolest thing I've heard in the last few days... Smiley)
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My SIC thread about cowboys, pirates and splatterpunk: Disguised by Borrowed Plumes
Filip Luszczyk
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« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2007, 06:59:11 AM »

Aha, that's a good observation. I think Legolas actually might be trademarked.

I like the idea of specific scene types. Basing attribute on the scene type also sounds good, especially if each type will be needed at some point (i.e. no uber/useless stats on the sheet).

I'm not sure about the Otherkind style roll for the endgame - i.e. it doesn't seem consistent with normal resolution. However, three separate conflicts in the last scene (i.e. one for each stat) that would determine the aspects of victory as per normal resolution could be the way to go.

Some mechanic for assisting spotlight character could be good here as well, I think.
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xenopulse
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« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2007, 10:21:03 AM »

Three separate rolls, one per stat, is exactly what I figured out:

SHOWDOWN<Defeat The Enemy: All players roll against this goal.  If no player scores a success, The Enemy is unscathed and remains in power.  If up to half of the players succeed, The Enemy receives a minor setback.  If more than half but not all players succeed, The Enemy receives a major setback.  If all players succeed, The Enemy is permanently defeated.

Recovery: Each player who succeeds on this roll recovers safely what The Enemy had taken from their character.  Everything that is not safely discovered is permanently destroyed or killed during the final struggle.

Survival:  The character of each player who succeeds on this roll survives the showdown.  The characters of players who fail this roll die valiantly.
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