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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 82 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Devestated Aspects and GM Control: A Question  (Read 2834 times)
divineseeker
Member

Posts: 7


« on: November 09, 2007, 09:49:33 AM »

Dear WGPers

I would just like to clarify the power a GM has over a player's devastated aspects

I may have misread the book, but once devasted aspects are handed over to the GM, he or she can then assess them and increase their suffering to gain  additional cards, correct? And after a certain number of assessments they become Transformed, correct?

While player's aspects are devastated the players cannot heal them by discarding a card correct? Can the devastated aspects be  used in combat by the players, ie as part of the script? For example, can a devastated power still be used under the Use a Power action?

If this is the case, once an aspect is devastated, what is to stop the GM from rapidly increasing suffering to the point of Transformation ? It seems that a GM could repeatedly assess the aspect and then transform it easily before anything can be done to save it. The advantage appears to be all on the GM's side. It seems a GM could be quite sadistic within the way the rules are set up. Is this the intention?

I would love any advice fellow GMers have on this. I love the game and it could lend itself to all sorts of genres. Please let me know your thoughts
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Hans
Member

Posts: 576


« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2007, 11:09:41 AM »

If this is the case, once an aspect is devastated, what is to stop the GM from rapidly increasing suffering to the point of Transformation ? It seems that a GM could repeatedly assess the aspect and then transform it easily before anything can be done to save it. The advantage appears to be all on the GM's side. It seems a GM could be quite sadistic within the way the rules are set up. Is this the intention?

In my limited experience GM'ing WGP..., only the GM's good nature or forgetfulness keeps him/her from pushing an aspect as low as possible once it is Devastated.  This is, I belive, a feature, not a problem, with the game.  I know that is exactly what I have done.  It is fear of this that should keep players cautious about bringing their aspects down in to devastation range...or push them there as fast as possible to watch the melodrama pile on like crazy.  Not only that, but it can snowball if too many players allow their aspects to be devastated.  That is a sure way to ensure hero defeat in a story, because as soon as the GM doesn't have to increase strife on his own aspects (especially the Plan) anymore to get cards, you are a step away from villainy triumphant. 

I would suggest that it is almost impossible for an aspect to be Devastated without the player knowingly risking that outcome.  It is far too easy to assess an aspect back up to Threatened from Imperiled, and as long as it is at Threatened the GM cannot Devastate it in one Conflict.

That being said, I don't think anything other than what has been narrated in the fiction prevents a player from describing a power use during conflict, in the way you are worried about.  Your power aspect may be devastated, but you can keep narrating your hero using it.  You just can't get cards for it anymore, and the GM is likely to be putting LOTS of pressure on it in the narration.
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Michael S. Miller
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« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2007, 12:13:13 PM »

Hans is correct that the GM can just keep assessing the devastated Aspect, until it hits "Undone." It CANNOT be taken to "Transformed" until space #5 on the Story Arc is filled. Hans' analysis of how this plays out is spot-on, as well.

As for using a Devastated Aspect for color in a scene, that will entirely depend on how the Devastation was described. For instance, if "Mary Jane" is your Aspect, and the devastation was described as "Mary Jane is kidnapped by Doctor Octopus" then you can't really bring her physically into another conflict (unless it's a flashback or something like that). However, if the devastation was described as "Mary Jane is brainwashed by the Ringmaster of the Circus of Crime to betray Spidey at the proper moment," then bringing her physically into a conflict scene is fine. The same thing goes with powers. Was the devastation an outright loss of powers? A loss of control of the powers? Perhaps an excruciating pain that accompanies their use?

When in doubt, the GM now has the final say over what is and isn't allowed, because--for the moment--the Aspect belongs to her rather than the player.
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