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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 76 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [PTA] Seven on the Dice  (Read 1531 times)
SpazMan
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« on: July 24, 2007, 09:34:09 AM »

I have been hearing a lot about Primetime Adventures from SoK and other sources. I finally got a chance to play (I ran) a game after reading the book last week.

After about a half hour we got a really good pitch out of left field. The original premise was A show about the lives of people who are living out the chess game between heaven and hell. more specifically an angel and a demon. where the seven deadly sin are weighed against their opposing virtues.
Then I asked about why he called the show Seven on the dice, the player made some reference to the angel and demon rolling dice, then pointed to my shelf were I had two very large foam d6’s positioned facing him in the number seven (3 and 4). This evolved into a game set in Las Vegas; revolving around a Casino, the employees, the usual players, and High Rollers.

Our show was a hit for all of us at the table. We decide we were an HBO miniseries, with gratuitous sex scenes, and our portrayal of the Angel and Demon as the Head Bartender and Head Pit boss respectively. All of the players issues went well with the theme of the show and were all posed as questions that could slant either, toward the angel or the demon. We Had “Just one more hand” for our rich regular, “what is happiness” for our professional dealer, and “am I the best” for our pro gambler / entertainer.

Overall I thought the game went well, however there were some issues with the way the narration was determined. And I guess this is a question for those who are more experienced with PTA. We had a scene where two protagonists were involved in a conflict at the same time, and technically the same conflict. However one protagonist was not directly competing with the other, and was not affecting his stakes at all. Would this be two separate conflicts? It turned out that the player with little to do with the stake of the scene; which felt a little flat to both me and the player who called for the scene.

There were also some problems with the economics of the game, I would love some advice on how to handle budget in future games. I found that I was spending a lot of it too early (trying to get it on the table) and ran out before the climax of the episode. Granted there were 8 chips in the center pool by that time well.
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SpazMan - Michael
See Me Rant :: http://spazingames.blogspot.com/index.html
Quality role playing in the Bay Area :: www.goodomensgames.com
REkz
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Posts: 22


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« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2007, 03:20:05 AM »

Overall I thought the game went well, however there were some issues with the way the narration was determined. ... We had a scene where two protagonists were involved in a conflict at the same time, and technically the same conflict. However one protagonist was not directly competing with the other, and was not affecting his stakes at all. Would this be two separate conflicts? It turned out that the player with little to do with the stake of the scene; which felt a little flat to both me and the player who called for the scene.

Winner narrates.  That part seems easy.  If 2 Players aren't competing with eachother, they can team up and go against the Producer.  Winner narrates, but often I've seen the Player with the most at stake narrate.  I also very much liked "rolling the cards" and having the winner of each round narrate a small bit -- before the final card flip and the final winner would wrap up the whole scene.

If a player is in a conflict but has no stake in outcome, there really is no conflict and it's just a waste of time.  The stakes must be relevant to the character, or all characters involved, or it doesn't work.

That's not exactly a mechanic of PTA, but a mechanic of conflict and drama.   Smiley

There were also some problems with the economics of the game, I would love some advice on how to handle budget in future games. I found that I was spending a lot of it too early (trying to get it on the table) and ran out before the climax of the episode. Granted there were 8 chips in the center pool by that time well.

I had that issue in my game as well.  Eventually, I would throw only 1-2 chips in for early conflicts in an Episode, but near the end I'd start chucking in more to up the ante in the bigger conflicts.  Story arcs tend to peak near the end of the 2nd act or beg of 3rd, and then it's resolution and wrap up.

I really liked my Players calling out the conflicts as well.  That was helpful.
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Alan
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« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2007, 10:54:20 AM »

Hi  SpazMan,

Sounds like a cool show.

Remember that the high card in any conflict is the narrator. That player may have lost his part of the conflict, but he still gets to narrate (with input from others) how the other players won or lost and how he won or lost.

Also, when two or more players are in the same conflict, they always compete separately against the Producer. This means that each player compares their set of cards to the Producer's and never to each other's. Note also that the Producer uses the same hand against all players involved in that conflict. Finally, because one player can never oppose another player's objective, you have to start the stakes setting conflict by choosing stakes that don't directly oppose each other.

About Fanmail economy: the general wisdom is for the Producer to spend lots of chips early. This puts out a good Audience pool for players to give Fanmail from. If you're budget is running low and there's lots of Audience chips, encourage the players to give Fanmail for anything they like--it doesn't have to be exceptionally cool or laughmaking, just enjoyable. When they spend Fanmail on cards, you'll get half of them back as budget. Finally, the economy is designed so you eventually run out of budget so the protagonists win the final challenges. If you can end a session with an empty Audience pool and empty budget, you're doing great.
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- Alan

A Writer's Blog: http://www.alanbarclay.com
Judd
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Please call me Judd.


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« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2007, 02:28:25 PM »

There were also some problems with the economics of the game, I would love some advice on how to handle budget in future games. I found that I was spending a lot of it too early (trying to get it on the table) and ran out before the climax of the episode. Granted there were 8 chips in the center pool by that time well.

Aye Michael,

I like to get a bunch of Fan Mail out onto the table early so the players can start tossing them to one another and start using them in conflicts ASAP.

Was there a flow?  Can you recall and talk about a scene where a player got lots of Fan Mail or where it got thrown around a bunch?  Did it just sit in the middle of the table and not move?
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2007, 08:05:28 PM »

Hi,

I'll chime in with more agreement the business about the Producer spending lots of Budget right away. However, my motivations are a little different, which is to say, I like putting lots of mechanics-based pressure into the resolution system, so we're not all just sittin' around talkin' and agreein' (boring). In my experience, adversity matters greatly in PTA. The increased Audience pool is definitely a bonus on top of that, though.

Best, Ron
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