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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)
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SaintandSinner
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Posts: 114


« on: August 20, 2007, 12:44:59 PM »

I just bought LoA from the Forge Booth at GenCon.  You had just left though and no one there could run a demo.  Having gone through the book twice I'm still lost on how to run the thing. 

So...other than character actions are there rules for all the cool other stuff in the game (the undead things, blessed, dragons, outsiders etc).  Any help would be much appreciated.
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GreatWolf
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« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2007, 09:15:50 AM »

Hello, SaintandSinner.  I see that you're pretty new here, so welcome to the Forge!

I'm sorry to have missed you at GenCon, so I'll see what I can do to help you out here.  I'm going to work through your answer in reverse.  (It'll make sense in a moment.)

Quote
So...other than character actions are there rules for all the cool other stuff in the game (the undead things, blessed, dragons, outsiders etc).

If you mean, "Are there rules to simulate the other cool stuff in the game?", the answer is "No".  Being Restored (for example) does not give you a mechanical edge.  This doesn't mean that it's a meaningless consideration.  Color is still important.  The different characters in the example scenario "Blood of Haven" demostrate this.  In particular, check out Uriel's being a Blessed but also Victor's flechette gun.

So, for example, let's say that Victor is fighting Uriel and won an exchange.  He could narrate firing the flechette gun at Uriel and wounding him.  This could be true, even if Victor were far away, because he is using the gun.  Someone else would have to narrate crossing the distance first.  But even here, the point isn't tactical advantage as much as the effect on the unfolding narrative, either by advancing the plot or demonstrating some characteristic of one of the characters.  To quote the book:

Quote
By now, it should be obvious that Legends of Alyria does not have anything resembling an equipment list or a chart of weapons. Moreover, the information on the various cultures is intentionally vague, with only hints at the appearance of characters within these imaginary cultures. However, this does not mean that the way that a character is dressed, what he is called, or what weapons he wields are unimportant. Quite the contrary. In Legends of Alyria<
  (Storymap Preparation--Character Exposition)

(Sorry.  I don't have my book at hand, or I'd give you a page number.)

So the lack of these sorts of rules is a deliberate design decision, because I want the mechanics of Legends of Alyria to focus attention on the moral attributes of the characters that are in conflict.  So, even though two characters might have unequal physical resources, the game ensures that they have equivalent moral resources.  As such, the rules point gameplay towards moral decisions, rather than small-unit tactics.

But, all this doesn't help you with your first point.

Quote
Having gone through the book twice I'm still lost on how to run the thing.

Here's what I propose.  Why don't you and I work together, here on the forum, to assemble a storymap for a hypothetical game.  It won't be quite as easy as doing it face-to-face, of course, but I can demonstrate how it is done, which should make your life easier when you sit down to play.  We can then use this storymap as a basis for discussing other parts of gameplay.

Would this be useful to you?  And do you have other questions that you'd like me to answer?
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Seth Ben-Ezra
Dark Omen Games
producing Legends of Alyria, Dirty Secrets, A Flower for Mara
coming soon: Showdown
SaintandSinner
Member

Posts: 114


« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2007, 07:08:12 AM »

Yeah that might help.  After that could you explain to me how the "big bads" in the game are suposed to, through the mechanics, challenge the players?
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GreatWolf
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« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2007, 07:19:25 AM »

Yeah that might help.  After that could you explain to me how the "big bads" in the game are suposed to, through the mechanics, challenge the players?

Sure, although I think that you'll find the answer to that question as we go through the process.

First, some rules for this thread:

  • If you want to participate in this thread, please PM me.  I'm willing to add a couple people, but I don't want to confuse the thread.

    If you want to comment on the thread, please start a new thread.  I'm more than happy to answer questions, but I'd like to keep this thread clean.

Let's pretend that you and I and a couple other people are sitting down to play Legends of Alyria.  Right now, these other people are imaginary, but if we pick up a couple more folks along the way, that's cool.  We're going to make our storymap.  I'll be the Narrator, and everyone else will be players.  That means that I'm responsible to facilitate the discussion.

So, here I go, facilitating!

The first question I usually ask is this:  what are the parts of the setting that especially interest you?  I figure that we decide on about three setting items that we think are nifty, then we work on the storymap from there.

Personally, I'd like to see the Web be part of our game.  What about you, Scott?
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Seth Ben-Ezra
Dark Omen Games
producing Legends of Alyria, Dirty Secrets, A Flower for Mara
coming soon: Showdown
SaintandSinner
Member

Posts: 114


« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2007, 02:43:55 PM »

I want to see more of the conflict between the Unicorns and the Dragons.
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GreatWolf
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« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2007, 04:31:40 PM »

Excellent.  So a throwdown between the Unicorns and Dragons in the Web.

Ordinarily, that means that we will want a dragon cultist and a Chosen as characters.  That's not always the case, but that's my suggestion for this setup.  So, unless you object, I think that we have found our first two characters.

Also, we need to have some arena for their conflict.  Remember that Legends of Alyria is all about moral conflict, so we don't just want to have two characters lobbing bolts of power at each other.  At least, not yet.  So, Scott, tell me what they are fighting about.  Is it an object?  A person?  Something else?  What will constitute a "win" for one side?

After that, tell me about one of our characters, be it dragon cultist, Chosen, or someone else involved.  What's he like?  How does he dress?  What's his personality like?  In particular, tell me three things about him that you consider to be good or evil.

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Seth Ben-Ezra
Dark Omen Games
producing Legends of Alyria, Dirty Secrets, A Flower for Mara
coming soon: Showdown
SaintandSinner
Member

Posts: 114


« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2007, 09:30:03 AM »

They are fighting over a young child destined for the fall and rise of many.  Bringing this child "into the fold" of either side will constitute a "win".

The Chosen is a Jack who has recently undergone a bought of conciousness after nearly dying on his last "mission".  Saved by a Unicorn he realizes he has a higher calling.  But...he is still locked into the whole status thing and fears the loss of prestige or even an attack if its discovered he's "gone soft"
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GreatWolf
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« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2007, 09:47:06 AM »

The Chosen is a Jack who has recently undergone a bought of conciousness after nearly dying on his last "mission".  Saved by a Unicorn he realizes he has a higher calling.  But...he is still locked into the whole status thing and fears the loss of prestige or even an attack if its discovered he's "gone soft"

Ha!  That's very cool.  So, on the one hand, he will want to do what's right and follow his true calling.  On the other hand, he's afraid of what that will cost him.  Very nice.  Conflicted characters are good.

Quote
They are fighting over a young child destined for the fall and rise of many.  Bringing this child "into the fold" of either side will constitute a "win".

This works for me, too.  I'm going to say that this "young child" is about nine or ten years old, with goals and desires of her own.  Let's say that she runs with a gang in the Web.  Oh, and let's say that she is female.  Aside from that, let's keep her indistinguishable from other folks.  I mean that she isn't Blessed or anything.  Her being special is the result of her future destiny, not because of her current position or abilities.

So then, I think that we need to complicate the existence of our chosen one.  I'm thinking that we put her in the middle of a gang war of some kind.  Something that is actually significant to her group.  Like, maybe, if they lose, they will end up taking the Long Fall.  If this is cool with you, Scott, then go ahead and tell us a little about the opposing gang.  I'm thinking that they have some sort of leader who is significant, but I'll leave that up to you.

Also, do you think that this gang war is affecting the Citadel at all?  If so, are any of the Noble Houses sending patrols into the Web to stop it?  Or is my vision getting to be too large?

We also need to hear a bit about the dragon cultist.  Jamey (aka Marhault) has volunteered to join us in this thread.  Hey, Jamey!  Why don't you tell us about the dragon cultist?

Also, if either of you don't like the ideas that I've put forth, go ahead and say so.  Obviously, this would be easier if we were face-to-face and could hash this through, but I don't want to force this example into places that you all don't want to go.

Edited to fix formatting
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Seth Ben-Ezra
Dark Omen Games
producing Legends of Alyria, Dirty Secrets, A Flower for Mara
coming soon: Showdown
SaintandSinner
Member

Posts: 114


« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2007, 10:47:56 AM »

Ha!  That's very cool.  So, on the one hand, he will want to do what's right and follow his true calling.  On the other hand, he's afraid of what that will cost him.  Very nice.  Conflicted characters are good.
Heroism always comes at a price or it just is an illusion.

This works for me, too.  I'm going to say that this "young child" is about nine or ten years old, with goals and desires of her own.  Let's say that she runs with a gang in the Web.  Oh, and let's say that she is female.  Aside from that, let's keep her indistinguishable from other folks.  I mean that she isn't Blessed or anything.  Her being special is the result of her future destiny, not because of her current position or abilities.
This is cool.  Let's call her Stella (Latin for star). 

So then, I think that we need to complicate the existence of our chosen one.  I'm thinking that we put her in the middle of a gang war of some kind.  Something that is actually significant to her group.  Like, maybe, if they lose, they will end up taking the Long Fall.  If this is cool with you, Scott, then go ahead and tell us a little about the opposing gang.  I'm thinking that they have some sort of leader who is significant, but I'll leave that up to you.
Maybe the opposing gang is led by a outcast Noble from the Citadel (Henry).  This isn't common knowledge though.  He sees the other group as easy mark to show other gangs who's boss.  The Chosen's gang just got picked at 'random'.  Unfortunantly, now that Henry's commited he will not stop (or he will lose the manufactured respect he has up here). 

Also, do you think that this gang war is affecting the Citadel at all?  If so, are any of the Noble Houses sending patrols into the Web to stop it?  Or is my vision getting to be too large?
A little to large for me.  I would like to keep it simple for now.  Maybe later she has to leave the Web to seize her destiny.

We also need to hear a bit about the dragon cultist.  Jamey (aka Marhault) has volunteered to join us in this thread.  Hey, Jamey!  Why don't you tell us about the dragon cultist?
Can't wait.

Also, if either of you don't like the ideas that I've put forth, go ahead and say so.  Obviously, this would be easier if we were face-to-face and could hash this through, but I don't want to force this example into places that you all don't want to go.
Just fine. I want understand how all this works.
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GreatWolf
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« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2007, 10:59:55 AM »

Quote
Heroism always comes at a price or it just is an illusion.

You are definitely in the target audience for this game.  That's exactly the kind of thinking that sits behind Legends of Alyria.

Stella is a cool name, and it fits with the naming scheme put forth in the book:

Quote
This is particularly important when naming a character. Alyria does not have an invented language or a particular linguistic feel. Rather, names should be chosen for symbolic meaning, providing additional character exposition. (p. 113)

I'll go ahead and name our Chosen character.  Let's call him "Fixer".  Gives a nice double meaning of having been the go-to guy to get electricity, and now he has to fix the situation that he's in.

Quote
Maybe the opposing gang is led by a outcast Noble from the Citadel (Henry).  This isn't common knowledge though.  He sees the other group as easy mark to show other gangs who's boss.  The Chosen's gang just got picked at 'random'.  Unfortunantly, now that Henry's commited he will not stop (or he will lose the manufactured respect he has up here).

Good deal.  And I'm cool with keeping the circle small.  So, for now, we keep the story up in the Web.

Jamey will tell us about our dragon cultist.  Then I think that we will be ready to move onto chargen proper.
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Seth Ben-Ezra
Dark Omen Games
producing Legends of Alyria, Dirty Secrets, A Flower for Mara
coming soon: Showdown
Marhault
Member

Posts: 185


« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2007, 12:51:46 PM »

Quote
Heroism always comes at a price or it just is an illusion.
Villainy, by contrast, is often both cheap and easy.

Our Cultist comes from the courts of the High Lords, where he has accumulated a rather impressive amount of both wealth and power.  He is rich, good-looking, charming, and ruthless.  He knows that there is something in the Web that will control the destiny of many, but doesn't know what form it takes, or that it is, in fact a little girl.  Yet.

Of course, slumming it as he is, he's mostly cut off from his power base, but he is quickly finding others who can be bought or swayed to his purpose.  After all, he has much to offer those who would escape the Web, and they are not few.

Is that Webby enough for you, or do his ties to the High Lords bug you?  I like the idea of him trying to make connections in a new environment, using wealth and lies to corrupt.
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GreatWolf
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« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2007, 01:55:42 PM »

Is that Webby enough for you, or do his ties to the High Lords bug you?  I like the idea of him trying to make connections in a new environment, using wealth and lies to corrupt.

I'm cool with it if Scott is cool with it.

Got a name for this villain?
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Seth Ben-Ezra
Dark Omen Games
producing Legends of Alyria, Dirty Secrets, A Flower for Mara
coming soon: Showdown
SaintandSinner
Member

Posts: 114


« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2007, 04:49:45 PM »

I'm cool with the set up...I just wanted to keep the environment of the action a little limited for now.  Also, if Henry isn't good for the pseudo-allegorical naming structure let me know.  I'm willing to find something else.
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GreatWolf
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« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2007, 05:22:20 PM »

I'm cool with the set up...I just wanted to keep the environment of the action a little limited for now.  Also, if Henry isn't good for the pseudo-allegorical naming structure let me know.  I'm willing to find something else.

Shrug.  If something cooler comes to you, then we'll change it.  Otherwise, we'll go with it.

I often find that a name has symbolic overtones to the person who chose it, even if the names don't fit neatly into a single allegorical scheme.  For example, check out the "Blood of Haven" storymap in the book.  That was the result of actual play.  Each name was symbolic and fitting to the character.  However, a brief glance should make it clear that they did not even remotely share the same naming schema.

So, once Jamey names our villain, we will move to the next step.
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Seth Ben-Ezra
Dark Omen Games
producing Legends of Alyria, Dirty Secrets, A Flower for Mara
coming soon: Showdown
Marhault
Member

Posts: 185


« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2007, 06:10:28 AM »

Alright, let's call him Furtim.  That's also Latin based.  Let's proceed!
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