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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 93 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [Agon] Our first go  (Read 1583 times)
Aaron
Member

Posts: 102


« on: December 04, 2007, 06:47:51 PM »

Finally got the guys together on the weekend to try out Agon.  Was really looking forward to this one and it didnt disappoint.
We have three heroes, Man killer Artimisia daughter of Hareena, Far-reaching Praxis son of Kadmus and Clever -Eyed Sinis son of Coon.

I was struggling a bit with the process of making an adventure.  It was quite different from most games I had run in the past so for the first quest I copied the hunt for the Boar of Ion out of the book.  I added a fourth secondary objective of having to hunt it down once they had reached the general location.  The other quests were, find out where it is, travel there and find out how to remove the horns.

So upon landing on the isle Elafonisos Kritis and after being given the quest to bring back the boars horns by Hermes they set off to the local fishing village where Praxis attempted to call the villagers together.  Conflict time!  All three characters got involved and and Praxis won getting them all together and finding out where the boar lives.  I think I probably should have done this as a second conflict but didn't think of it at the time.

Traveling into the mountains I challenged them with a simple conflict of a fork in the trail which they succeeded at wiht hunting and a land slide that two of them out run and the second hid from(used cunning as a creative ability).
I had decided that there was a tribe of savages who worshipped the boar and 4 minions ambushed (attempted to but lost the conflict!) the characters.  This was intentionally an easy fight to try and get them to compete for the glory.  If forgot to get the minions to gang up and they were pretty ineffectual against the players. 
The second attack by the worshippers though included 6 minions and a named character.  This battle lasted a while with me using the minions gang up ability to real whale on them a couple of times.  They were really struggling for the first couple of rounds.  We had done the initial placement wrong and had Artimisia way out in front of the other two heroes.  This prompted her player to fight very defensively only using 1d6 of her total dice on attack vs the spear and shield armed minions 2d8 defense( i built them with the defensive ability).  That coupled with Sinis seeming reluctance to advance though he is primarily a mellee character meant that after two rounds Praxis had lost most of his armor and a couple of points of divine favour and the baddies had lost nothing.  I was having difficulty getting my named character into position so I paid extra strife on the spot to bump his athletics and his sword.  He was still under the Npc limit so it was ok.  It took a couple of round for things to start going the characters way.  They knocked off couple of minions so they couldn't stack so well and they wounded the named character.  Sinis stepped up swords in hand and the fight turned in favour of the PC's.  It was quite amusing at the very end to watch the scramble for the last couple of glory.  Artimisia looking at her allies and realizing they would want an interlude to refresh used 6 divine favour to kill off the last minion!
Having won we did an interlude.  Praxis and Sinis could have done with a second but Artimisia wasn't interested.  I tried to encourage them to bargain with oaths but for some reason they weren't quite on board with the oaths.
We only played a little more with them arriving at the area and Artimisia attempting to hunt the boar down.  Fist she called for a conflict of lore to see if her knowledge of hunting grounds at home could help.  Neither of the other characters were interested in being involved in the conflict but Sinis did help, for the cancellation of an oath, with his insight handing Artimisia's player a d4!  She was not impressed!  Due to Sinis's Heroic trait she did get to add +2 to her highest roll so was somewhat satisfied.  The funny thing with a d4 is that has the best chance of all the dice of rolling maximum.  So after paying to open end this dice after rolling a 4 he rolled again and again and again! ending up with a total of 16, a great deed and a d10 advantage dice.
I paid for an advantage dice for the boar, knows the area well, in an attempt to help it counter but to no avail and the beast was cornered.

That was where we stopped the battle with the boar to come.

There were a few issues that came out of the session.

I realised when I was giving them their task that I must right down what the god is going to say before hand and read it out.  I was stuttering over character's names and lineage and really lost that part of the session.

I was a bit disappointed at the lack of use of oaths by the players and was struggling with trying to encourage them to use them.  The start of the game everyone owed everyone else oaths but apart from the one helping die they weren't used.  I would have liked to see alot more oath transactions.
How many conflicts is enough before ticking off a secondary objective?  The first objective only took one simple conflict, the second took 2 simple and 2 battles and the third 2 simple.  Is that enough?  Those for the first and third objective were player oriented and all those in the second was done by me.

I've got a second quest of my own creation lined up and ready to go.  It looks like it might be a bit of fun, but unfortunately due to the time of year it will probably be a while before we play again.

Aaron



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Mel White
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Posts: 93


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« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2007, 06:16:46 AM »

There were a few issues that came out of the session.
I realised when I was giving them their task that I must right down what the god is going to say before hand and read it out.  I was stuttering over character's names and lineage and really lost that part of the session.
It's always nice when the gods know the names of the mortals.  It makes the gods more 'godlike' but it also strokes the heroes' egos that the gods know their names!

I was a bit disappointed at the lack of use of oaths by the players and was struggling with trying to encourage them to use them.  The start of the game everyone owed everyone else oaths but apart from the one helping die they weren't used.  I would have liked to see alot more oath transactions.
I've seen both sides of this.  In one game, two characters kept interrupting the quest in order to have contests to pile up oaths.  It was nothing I did; the players just wanted to prove their respective character's prowess.  The players made everything a contest:  the heroes didn't just swim from boat to shore, they raced.  The heroes didn't just look for water, they split up to see who would find water first.  In addition to the Glory involved, the players agreed that the winner would also earn an Oath.  But in other games, where the players are more used to having characters cooperate against the bad guys, it's a little harder to drive the internal competition that's at the heart of Agon.  Reminding players about the oaths sometimes works.  It doesn't have to be just for creative abilities.  Encouraging oaths anytime one player wants another player to do something has generated some exchanges as well--things like whether or not to take an Interlude, movement during positioning, which enemy to attack, things like that.  Any time the players discuss a course of action, I remind them of oaths.  And it works both ways, in that Player A can say to Player B 'I consider the oath paid if we use my plan...'

Mel
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Aaron
Member

Posts: 102


« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2007, 03:09:21 PM »

Thanks Mel,
Thinking back I believe there were a lot of opportunities to call for and on oaths.  The perfect opportunity was the second interlude, where one player said to the others "talk to me", which sounds like an invitation to start bargaining only to have the other two clam up completely!  I suppose I'll just have to work on it. 
I think I'll also aim for at least two to three conflicts per objective.  I occurred to me that in a situation where the players "have" to have the information to continue you can still give it to them if they fail the conflict as there is an inherent penalty in loosing.  I also thought that maybe they get some misinformation thus giving whomever the the information relates to an advantage when they fail.
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John Harper
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« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2007, 12:44:17 PM »

Thanks for posting, Aaron. Sounds like your first time went well.

I love this:
Quote
Artimisia looking at her allies and realizing they would want an interlude to refresh used 6 divine favour to kill off the last minion!

That's very good Agon play right there.

Regarding the number of conflicts per objective, look to your Strife budget to see how it's going. If you have a lot left, pour on the hardship and obstacles (those 2d12 adversity rolls can show up). If you're running low, scale back and save your Strife for the big showdowns. After you run the game a few times, you'll get pretty good at budgeting your Strife and you'll never run out. This is a good way to score yourself as Antagonist, and to trash-talk the players a bit. "Ha! I kicked your butts all over the island and I still have 16 Strife left!" That can be fun.

Oaths are tricky, like Mel says. Remember that NPCs can pledge oaths to the heroes, too. Feel free to hand out a d8 NPC oath to the winner of a contest. When they start cashing those in, they may see the power of the oath dice and start looking for ways to use them among the heroes.

If you want to get very heavy handed about it, you can also have the gods listening in for any oath-like conversations among the heroes. Athena can appear right then and there and sanctify the oath that was just spoken. "You.. you don't want to back out of the oath in front of Athena, do you?"

I generally like to use the gods for any pesky GM business I need to accomplish, or just to kick the heroes around a bit. In the Iliad, the gods are always showing up and needling everyone and generally being pests. You can dial that in to your own taste, but remember that you always have them in your back pocket when you need them.

And they're not omnipotent! The second a hero gets fed up with Poseidon and wants to do something about it, pull out that 2d12 and it's game on! Sure, they can't kill him, but he's fair game for a contest, just like anyone else.
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Agon: An ancient Greek RPG. Prove the glory of your name!
Aaron
Member

Posts: 102


« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2007, 07:10:44 PM »

Thanks John,

I hadn't thought of the gods influencing the scenario after the initial quest is given.  I will definitely have to try that.  Its been a week and a half since the game and I've got a lot more ideas now.  I think I might brainstorm a list of possible conflicts involving each stat, as it was really mainly the combat stats only that were used during the encounter.  One player actually commented that he probably shouldn't have left two lots of stats at straight d6s'.  But I think it was at least partially my fault for not involving the other characters lower stats.
I can definitely see where you are coming from with relation to managing the strife budget.  If I've got some points, (I have 14 and we are near the battle with the boar!) I could put something in the way.  Use up some of those points generate a conflict or two.   I think I'm getting it Smiley.
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John Harper
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« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2007, 10:14:15 PM »

Cool.

Another note about adversity: Feel free to spring nasty stuff on the heroes. It can be a good source of conflict that isn't just a blocking obstacle. Like, "As you approach the cave, the vengeful ghosts of the Boar's former victims rise from the ground and tear chunks of flesh from your bodies!"

They'll be all, "No way!" and then you have a conflict roll. It could be a contest to avoid the ghosts grabby claws, or to scare them off with sacred words, or -- if your group is into it -- rolling back to a contest to see if the ghosts can surprise the heroes in the first place.

Since you can't really hurt them without winning a conflict over it, go ahead and do the nasty "unfair" stuff that you don't usually get to do as GM. It can make the bad guys seem really nasty, and it makes the heroes look good when they kick ass anyway.
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Agon: An ancient Greek RPG. Prove the glory of your name!
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