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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 178 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Buckley's Rainbow  (Read 1622 times)

Posts: 15

« on: April 07, 2008, 01:03:39 PM »

First off, If you didn't know Kurt Vonnegut is dead, he fell on his head and died from the injuries in later complications. This is important to me, because understanding the man help's me make games, so I really don't know what I am going to do without him. I just was over at Jared Sorensen's momento mori theatrics trying to be a thief. I saw something that shook me up. Something called Red, White and Blue, a totally dramatist game, a story game with no story.

 http://www.memento-mori.com/other/games/red.pdf Here it is.

I was thinking of something like this for a while, so far I have been shying away from a structure that he describes, where there is this static economy, when on color leads to the acquisition of another color.

There was something like this creeping into Vonnegut's Crapshoot, where the bargaining feature was constrained, both in that there was no inspiration besides general good will (no tension in trading infuriates me, I need the screw to turn at every twist of the story) to bargain collectively and that the game in it's nature depends on the invisible social contract to create the community that turns a game immersive.

I realized it was because there wasn't enough variety in the bargaining, if there was some kind of market, then people could have different goal, codified, forcing them to recognize the variety, they would in knowing the options elucidated manifold bargain as a group to accomplish their goals within the market of story power.

Real life is about relationships and how they become intimate, for better or worse is the meaning of Vonnegut's Rainbow.

I want to make a game in which the player at the table, by mechanical necessity become closer and closer to each other, through the raw spinning gears of the game as play starts. But I do not want to violate the precepts of Vonnegut's Crapshoot, namely that the house always wins. It together it reminds me of a story that one of my friends told me, when you go to rescue some who is drowning, their most likely reaction in panic is to drag you down with them...There is something beautiful about that.

I mentioned this before in the Locke-Spinoza Horoscopy, that these already chosen story places create a currency, but I am realizing now there might be a market that arises when you have various types of goods. It's supposed to be like dancing with a girl, and not like junior prom dancing, but professional ballroom. With this in mind the Locke-Spinosa horoscopy would somewhat resemble what other games call a skill set, but more like a feat suite, you know what I mean?

the primary articles are: secret, assault, recovery, bulwark, construct, merger, diversions and jeopardy that having different functions which would rise and fall in value dynamically with the combinations used in a deductive and an inductive sense for lack of better words. The privilege of the Croupier in this casino parliament is to force for the good of the story certain gambits to be hit. This is again force, staring at me naked  kicking over my trashcans. A Croupier will force tension out of the player.
David Berg

Posts: 612

« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2008, 01:32:33 PM »

I want to make a game in which the player at the table, by mechanical necessity become closer and closer to each other, through the raw spinning gears of the game as play starts. But I do not want to violate the precepts of Vonnegut's Crapshoot, namely that the house always wins.

That sounds really interesting.  I'm afraid I couldn't quite follow the terminology in the rest of your post, though.  Rather than asking you to explain every bit just yet, instead I'll ask: what do you want help with right now?

here's my blog, discussing Delve, my game in development

Posts: 469

also known as Josh W

« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2008, 06:06:26 PM »

I' don't think I follow you completely either, but the results of my incomprehension seem interesting, so I'll reveal them in the hope that we can make something of it. Story power is bought with trouble, that's the gist of your gameplay right? Your second element seems to be this elemental system, which seems less about character elements and more about modes of the world that can be used. Now I'm not sure how wide ranging those "primary articles" are, but it seems to me that you are creating a game of universalis where pools constantly empty, and these articles are aspects that can be used to create action, and so defeat conflict. So what if the social element? Well if people want the same thing, they can both ramp up on one aspect of the world, which they can then both use! How does the house win in this case? Because with time the aspects fade, and people can only replenish them with conflict. I wish I could do a concrete example, but I don't really get your "articles". Perhaps my system would be better suited to the use of ideals or laws that people uphold, and the costs can become quite severe. Now as to pricing and markets, you could have aspects fade as others grow, in a way that is almost zero sum, but not quite. If it were completely like that, then I suspect that people would just bandwagon onto one aspect. Another solution is to have some way of people pulling aspects towards themselves when they invest in them, so that people would want to diversify rather than keep pulling on the same aspect. As I hope you can see I'm trying to create a web between the players that draws them closer together, but slowly brings them into conflict as they become too similar.

And the drowners don't try to drag you down, they try to hold onto you for safety, for security. But the closer they hold, the less you are able to save them. They use up your flexibility and so your power because difference can cause distance (your swimming motions could cause them to loose grip), and they know they cannot survive alone.
But that creates a whole other feeling, with relationship itself being a thing to uphold, and a limit on our ability. That basic trade-off of dependence and weakening of what you depend on is one of borrowed strength. But how can you make that compelling for the giver? You don't exactly want to dissuade people from helping drowning people via your game system. And you also don't really want to put the stress on the social relationships at the real-life level. I'm not sure what kind of moral aesthetic you actually want, but the idea that you grow only as you give, but with little limit to how much you can give once you decide you will, I think this entrenches the more rewarding side of relationships while allowing parasites too.

Posts: 15

« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2008, 09:05:41 PM »

First off, I thought I set this thread to notify. I am really grateful that someone is intrugued by ideas that  I know I am doing, but can't explain all that well.

How to make it compelling for the giver? The question I ask myself is how do I get them see clearly, through well-built rules, that more players in the game is better than less. I define help as: two or more parties combining resources for mutual benefit. I suppose the way I can create combinations of actions is to share the hammer of consequence, the sting of the complication, which is usually told before actions are set in stone.  so if you want to assault and construct in the same story turn, you have to get players all doing that together. Every round of gambits played should have everyone involved with everyone else. Then there are tempting actions that can only be done be separating from the group, and/or performing risky maneuvers with dangerous articles of play.

What do I want to do right now? I want to bring my different elements together, The important thing is how to work out the positive of classes, you know who the hell you are, which is how, with good gm'ing the original horoscope was designed to do. I want to mix this with the casino parliament that is being used in my current games where Gambits are the focus of play, but moving away from the fudge pyramidical "skill" arrangement that is not as evocative as what really comes into play. The pyramid is actually slowing down play at this point, because there aren't any real skills just story elements that a brought into play, and the most effective ones are almost double edged swords.

The players pick these elements strategically before play begins character creation is sort of like making your own insurance policy describing how you will be protected in a set of situations. The Croupier is then encouraged to apply pressure, turning the screw of tension at every action.

The game is about conspiracy amongst the players. Conspiracy against the GM, who is the croupier, who brings suffering into the universe by virtue of his position as Croupier, which they should aim to hold off disaster by banding together by giving out loans and combining their resources and doing long term planning. This is not the most optimal thing for them to do, but there is no optimal, because the more they play the more they loose. Well that's the idea. the articles of play:

When I say the house always wins, I mean that every thing the players announces, will be met with a complication. These collection of complications should lead to their doom. That doom should be a strategic choice before play starts, and choosing your weaknesses is important, a little in reverse in most games, I am in play rather flexible with what you can do, what gets most play is what the players are not good at. I encourage them to model their faults, so far. If the house always wins, if I do anything else, I am cheating, when they know where their tragedy is, it become a question to if the character, with the help of clever player can overcome themselves.

An explanation of the articles...
Assault: This aggressively threatens some story element in the game. Breaking it down and lettng the play move past barriers.
Bulwark: This slows down the advance of some kind of time based story element
Recovery: This about the conservation of gamboled resources in a previous article
Merger: This is my holy grail, the intention of taking on the debt of another player so they may implement a story article.
Jeopardy: very important, this is when you threaten a story element; used to coerce a disposition
Construct: Building a... bank so to speak a collection of story elements that can stand alone with any active use.
Secrets: are a way of postponing the the check that occurs when you do another type of move. Once the gm works his way to hitting that secret, it should come with interest, it's basically, a loan.
Diversion: is like a little secret with a bulwark thrown in, a micro loan just pauses the hammer of consequence for a bried moment they are almost free. I understand that sometimes to coodinate actions amongst many players they need those in-between times.

My problem is that some of those articles of play should involve sticking it to croupier. But the croupier in these fresh, as yet untried rules, is very passive, which is not true, the Croupier PLAYs hard. I am not a sitter, I have a reputation for inspiring an almost martial atmosphere, The game works well that way, so the rules need to involve that.  They also don't immediately don't suggest sick nasty combinations of actions. The players when they are hot, will make perfect storrms of the plot. That is where the victory is.

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