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Author Topic: Misery Bubblegum: Could use some help  (Read 2957 times)
TonyLB
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« on: July 16, 2008, 06:02:49 AM »

So, as some folks know, I'm in (hopefully) the late phases of design on my next game, Misery Bubblegum.  It's going to be about sad, sweet, tear-jerking shoujo manga and anime ... 'cuz I love 'em so.  I've been pretty private about it for a long while, because I've been reworking major swathes of it, and it just wasn't in a shape to share.  However, I think it's finally getting to the point where it can really profit from insights.  My next post is going to be a wholly fictional playtest that I invented, playing all three roles and working the rules as written:  it's a technique I used to get people a sense of the current state of the game while I was designing Capes, and it's nicely nostalgic to be doing these "Solo playtest" posts again.  After that, I'll have a post where I have the questions I could use some help on.
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Just published: Capes
New Project:  Misery Bubblegum
TonyLB
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Posts: 3702


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« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2008, 06:18:50 AM »

Greg:  So!  Misery Bubblegum!
Becca:  Sure, that sounds good.  I haven't gotten my angst on in a bit.
Adam:  Can I play Hector again?  Hector's still got unresolved issues from that thing with the vampire maids.
Becca:  Hector's got issues, period, vampires or no
Greg:  I'm fine with running back at Monster High again.  Becca, you gonna play Sara?
Becca:  No, I want to play that mousy girl that was hanging around.
Greg:  Jessica?
Becca:  Yeah.  She's sweet.  She needs to suffer more.
Adam:  You're a mean-spirited person, you know that?
Becca:  It's true.  You totally can't count on me to protect poor Jessica from herself.  If you want her to be safe, Hector will have to step up and be a hero.
Adam:  Well, sadly for you, Hector's got issues.
Becca:  So we hear.
Greg:  Okay, so we've got Jessica and Hector?  Well then, I think I'm going with "Spooky" and "Trapped" for my story elements.  Lotsa good after-hours fun is available at Monster High, after all.
Becca:  Lemme take a look at Spooky.  That's the one we'll be giving you cards for, right?
Greg:  Yep!  Here are the cards

SPOOKY:  If no card is yet face-down on top of this card, another player may place a card from the deck face-down on top of it when their character feels:  FRIGHTENED, CONFUSED or CURIOUS.

TRAPPED:  If no card is yet face-down on top of this card, the owner may place a card from the deck face-down on top of it when they introduce:
   (1) An insurmountable obstacle
   (2) An enclosed space
   (3) Unexpected resources


Adam:  Okay, I'm playing Hector this time 'round as a Brooding Bookworm


BROODING:  If no card is yet face-down on top of this card, another player may place a card from the deck face-down on top of it when they notice that the owning character:

   (1) Broods
   (2) Watches from a distance
   (3) Hides feelings he should reveal

BOOKWORM:  If no card is yet face-down on top of this card, the owner may place a card from the deck face-down on top of it when they act because:

   (1) Knowing more means understanding better
   (2) Everything should be carefully thought through
   (3) Structure is always a good thing


Becca:  Well, cool.  Hector is totally broody.  Playing him with the Obedient card last time was sort of a wierd match.
Adam:  He's got different facets.
Becca:  And issues!  Okay, I'm playing Jessica as a Selfless Dreamer.
Greg:  Ouch!  Perfect!

SELFLESS:  If no card is yet face-down on top of this card, another player may place a card from the deck face-down on top of it when they notice that the owning character:

   (1) Expresses gratitude
   (2) Gives away something they can't spare
   (3) Hides their wants and needs

DREAMER:  If no card is yet face-down on top of this card, the owner may place a card from the deck face-down on top of it when they act because:

   (1) This moment won't come again
   (2) Details don't matter
   (3) Anything's possible


Greg:  And we're all set!  Everyone gets two cards to jump-start, and away we go.

GREG RECEIVES: 

C-9: Obsession:  Play to beat E1-9, D1-9 OR place to allow you to give a card to the GM when you: Just don't know when to quit

E-5: Good memories:  Play to beat E6-9 OR discard to describe a mini-scene

ADAM RECEIVES:

D-2:  Bad Reputation:  Play to beat E1-9, D3-9 OR place to allow you to give a card to other players when they:  Assume the worst of you

C-3:  Apathy:  Play to beat E1-9, D1-9, C4-9 OR place to allow you to give a card to the GM when you:  Try to incite action

BECCA RECEIVES:

D-6:  Responsibility:  Play to beat E1-9, D7-9 OR place to allow you to give a card to other players when they:  Depend upon you

A-5:  Change:  Play to beat C1-9, B1-9, A6-9 OR place to allow other players to give a card when you -don't- act because of your hangup over:  The Past


Greg:  Okay!  We're at the intricate and cluttered Monster High library.  No big surprise to find Hector there.
Adam:  Gotta research techniques for the resistance of hypnosis.
Becca:  What those girls did to you wasn't exactly ...
Adam:  It was HYPNOSIS, and it can be RESISTED.  All it takes is research.  Knowing more means understanding better.
  >Places a card from the deck face-down on top of the "Bookworm" card.<
Becca:  Hector has issues.
Greg:  The question is, why is -Jessica- there.
Becca:  Because Hector is.  >sigh<
Adam:  >Stunned silence<
Becca:  Jessica is an aisle over from where he is, hiding, and looking at him through the gaps between books.
Adam:  >Stunned silence<
Greg:  Awww ... that's so sweet!  And it's hiding your wants and needs.  Have a card!
  >Places a card from the deck face-down on top of the "Selfless" card.<
Becca:  Thank yew.
Adam:  This is just wrong.
Greg:  Hector almost spots her, and Jessica has to hide behind a pile of books.  Some girls in cheerleading sweaters are walking by, and one whispers to another "OhmyGAWD ... it's a tiny little stalker."
Becca:  Is that ... an opinion?
Greg:  Of course!  I've got an "Obsession" card with your name all over it!
  >Hands the "Obsession" card to Becca<
Becca:  Oh!  Played!  So totally played!
  >Places the Obsession card face up in front of her<
Greg:  And it hasn't been used this scene ... load it up.
  >Becca takes a face-down card from the deck and places it under the Obsession card<
Adam:  I'm nipping this in the bud.  Hector is heading for the Advanced Thaumaturgy section ... you know, the one where nice people know better than to go.
  >Plays the "Bad Reputation" card and places a face-down card from the deck under it.<
Adam:  Card there for the taking, just for recognizing that Hector is a very bad person.  And more where that came from!
Becca:  I got plenty of cards, thanks.  "Oh!" Jessica says.  "He's all alone.  This is my chance!"
  >Becca takes a face-down card and places it over the "Dreamer" card<
Greg:  Is she following?
Becca:  Totally.  Killer cursed books?  So what!  This moment won't come again.  She won't let a little thing like certain doom stop her.
  >Becca hands the card from under the "Obsession" card to Greg<

GREG RECEIVES:

B-9: Cuteness:  Play to beat D1-9, C1-9, B7, B1, B2, B3

Adam:  Okay, this is -crazy.-  Hector spots her.
Becca:  Contested!
Greg:  Do you honestly care whether he spots her?
Becca:  Uh ... no.  I care whether he knows she's following him.
Adam:  Well, he'll come right out and ask.  "Hey," he says, "What are you doing?  It's ... uh ... Jezebel, right?"
Becca:  "You remember me!  Sorta.  It's Jessica, actually."
Adam:  "Anyway, Jessica, why would you be in HERE?"
Becca:  "I'm a library assistant as an extra-curricular," she says.  "We have to check all the books, even these ones."
  >Plays D-6: Responsibility.<
Adam:  Oh, that is the worst excuse I ever ...
Becca:  Hey, hey!  Either play a card to beat me, or that's the last word on the subject.
Adam:  Oh, fine.  "Whatever," Hector says darkly.  "I suppose it really doesn't make any difference whether you're here or not."
  >Plays C-3: Apathy for its value.<
Greg:  OUCH!
Becca:  Yeah.  Ouch.
Greg:  Plus, Brooding!
  >Places a face-down card on top of Adam's "Broody" card<
Adam:  Ready to think the worst of him now?
Becca:  Not even.  Jessica bites her lip and nods.  "Yeah, I suppose it doesn't," she says.
  >Places the A-5 Growth card face-up on her side.<
Becca:  "I guess ... y'know ... given the way we met ... uh ..."
Adam: >waits<
Becca:  That's it.  She just trails off.
Adam:  Aw man.  Fine.  Yeah.  She's holding back because she's hung up on the past.  Have a card.
  >Places a card face-down on top of the A-5: Growth card<
Becca:  No reason to be so resentful about it.
Adam:  C'mon ... you're trashing me!
Becca:  But you won the conflict ... that means you'll get the last word in anything where the cards aren't flying.
Adam:  Hmm ... true.  That is some consolation.
Greg:  Is that the scene?
Adam:  I think so, yeah.
Greg:  Okay, take cards and let's set our next scene.

  >Adam and Becca take the face-down cards on top of their placed cards.<

ADAM RECEIVES:

B-5: Honesty:  Play to beat D1-9, C1-9, B6-9
D-8: Non-entity:  Play to beat C1-9, D9 OR place to allow you to give other players a card when they:  Ignore your abilities or needs

BECCA RECEIVES:

C-5: Rivalry:  Play to beat E1-9, D1-9, C6-9 OR place to allow you to give the GM a card when you:  Oppose your rival
D-7: Shame:  Play to beat E1-9, D8-9 OR place to allow you to give other players a card when they:  Refer to your humiliating circumstances
A-2: Stand up for yourself:  Play to beat C1-9, B1-9, A3-9 OR place to allow other players to give you a card when you -don't- act because of your hangup over:  Self-worth

Greg:  And, Becca, we need to load up the Obsession card again.
Becca:  On it.

  >Becca places a face-down card under the Obsession card to replace the one she gave Greg<

Greg:  I'm throwing in a mini-scene.

  >Discards E-5: Good Memories, in order to describe a mini-scene<

Greg:  We flash back to last week's episode, with Jessica bound, along with the other captives, in that big web of blood.
Adam:  There's Spooky!  Take a card.

  >Adam places a card face-down on top of Greg's "Spooky" card<

Greg:  And, also, they were trapped.

  >Greg places a card face-down on top of his "Trapped" card<

Becca:  I love that this mini-scene is "Good Memories"
Greg:  Well, then Hector overcame the control and rescued her, right?
Becca:  Totally!  She gets a warm glow just thinking about it.
Adam:  "Hey, what are you smiling about?"
Becca:  Jessica just blushes and turns away, busying herself with dusting some of the tomes bound in human skin.
Greg:  And on to our next scene.

  >Greg picks up the two face-down cards on top of his story cards.<

GREG RECEIVES:

C-2:  Kindness:  Play to beat E1-9, D1-9, C3-9 OR place to allow you to give the GM a card when:  You accept help

B-4:  Secrecy:  Play to beat D1-9, C1-9, B5789
Logged

Just published: Capes
New Project:  Misery Bubblegum
TonyLB
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Posts: 3702


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« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2008, 06:19:49 AM »

Adam:  Different place, this time, or back to the black arts section of the library?
Becca:  It's not "black arts," it's "advanced magic."
Adam:  Same-same.
Greg:  I think, back to the scene already in progress.
Becca:  "Say, uh ... Hector?  I was just ... err ... wondering.  A handsome guy like you, you're probably ... seeing someone, right?"  I'm dumping Obsession ... it's already played out.  I'm putting "Rivalry" in its place.
  >Becca discards "Obsession," replacing it with the "Rivalry" card<
Adam:  "Huh?  Sorry ... I was concentrating on this passage here.  Did you say something?"
  >Hands Becca the "Non-Entity" card<
Greg:  Whassat?
Adam:  Non-entity.  It's an opinion, albeit not a conscious one.
Greg:  Oooh, that's harsh.
Becca:  Perfect.  I'm placing it.  Got all three categories now!
  >Becca places the "Non-Entity" card and puts a face-down card from the deck underneath it.<
Becca:  And you, oh inattentive Hector, get a card immediately for ignoring me.
  >Becca takes the card from under "Non-Entity" and gives it to Adam.

ADAM RECEIVES:

E-3: Appreciating the Moment:  Play to defeat E4-9 OR discard to describe a mini-scene.

Becca:  "I was asking whether you have a girlfriend."
Adam:  "Hrm.  No, I don't think I have anyone like that.  At least not officially ... and if it's not official then it doesn't really count, does it?"
  >Adam takes a facedown card and places it over the Bookworm card.<
Becca:  "But there's someone ... unofficial?"
Adam:  "I didn't say that.  I said there isn't anyone official."
Becca:  Oh, you TEASE!  Take a card for hiding your feelings, you broody sourpuss.
  >Becca takes a facedown card and places it over the Broody card.<
Becca:  "Ah ... okay.  So there definitely might not be a girlfriend.  Officially."  She goes back to dusting the books, but now she's whistling a little tune.
  >Becca takes a facedown card and places it over the Dreamer card.<
Greg:  This sounds like the perfect time for Rachel to show up!
Becca:  Aggghghh!
Greg:  "So there you are, Hector.  I should have known you'd be holed up somewhere with a book."
Adam:  "Oh ... hi Rachel.  Are you ... are you okay?"
Greg:  Rachel puts her hand to the bandage at her throat.  "Oh, this?  Don't worry about this.  Just a flesh wound.  Not even that.  A nibble.  You got little girly teeth.  So what'cha reading?  Something really insanely boring?"
Adam:  Oh, hey!  Maybe that's his bad reputation.  Thanks!  Have a card.
Greg:  Can't ... I'm the GM.  Those cards go to other players.
Adam:  Ah man ... Jessica's so smitten she's never going to think poorly of him.  What a waste.
Becca:  That's right.  "Hey!  That's not Hector at all!  He reads important stuff.  Not like some people."
Greg:  "Oh, like you?  Little miss 'I'm so helpless'?"
Becca:  "Well ... yeah ...  I was totally useless when the vampires attacked, but at least I have the decency to be grateful to Hector for helping to save us all."
  >Becca plays D-7: Shame<
Greg:  Aha!  And that pegs the 'Express Gratitude' on your Selfless card.
  >Greg places a facedown card on the "Selfless" card.<
Becca:  AND she's my rival.
  >Becca takes the facedown card from under the 'Rivalry' card and gives it to Greg.<

GREG RECEIVES:

A-1: Declare your feelings:  Play to beat C1-9, B1-9, A2-9 OR place to allow others to give you a card when you don't act because of your hangup over:  Rejection

Becca:  So, does that shut her up?
Greg:  Not hardly.
  >Greg plays C-2: Kindness<
Greg:  "Oh, Hector knows I'm just ribbing him to try to get him to lighten up a little on himself."  She mock-punches his shoulder.  "You take things too much to heart, buddy!  And then you bottle it all up inside, and hide away in here all day.  It's not healthy!"
  >Greg gives Adam the "Declare your feelings" card<
Adam:  Whoa!
Greg:  Nice, ain't it?
Adam:  It's a nice fit.  I'll hold off placing it, though.
Greg:  Does Rachel get the final word on the subject?
Becca:  Rrrrrghh ... yes.
Greg:  Wow, Jessica's just taking it on the chin from everyone isn't she?
Becca:  She just sits there and fumes while that muscle-bound floozy hangs on poor, darling Hector.
Adam:  Oh yeah, because this is helping my research tons.
Greg:  And ... scene.

   >Becca takes the face-down cards from her character cards<

BECCA RECEIVES:

E-9:  Not valuing what you have:  Play to open a conflict OR discard to describe a mini-scene
B-3:  Cool:  Play to beat:  D1-9, C1-9, B1456

  >Adam takes the face-down cards from on top of HIS character cards<

ADAM RECEIVES

B-8:  Luck:  Play to beat: D1-9, C1-9, B1239
A-4:  Cut loose:  Play to beat C1-9, B1-9, A5-9 OR place to allow other players to give you a card when you don't act because of your hangup about:  Self-restraint

  >Both players place face-down cards beneath their 'Give someone a card' placed cards<

Adam:  I need a flashback scene.

  >Adam plays "E-3: Appreciating the Moment" in exchange for a mini-scene<

Greg:  Okay, when and where?
Adam:  Early training, with Rachel and the others.  They all wanted to go out and do something fun, but Hector didn't want to.
Greg:  "Come ON, Hector?  You're not against fun, are you?"
Adam:  "I'm not against fun, I just ... I'm not the kind of person who can really set out to have fun.  It's just so ... reckless."
  >Adam places "A-4:  Cut loose" to establish a hangup about self-restraint<
Greg:  "Oh man, that's just sad.  Come on, guys, let's leave Hector to his books."
  >Greg places a face-down card on top of "Cut Loose"<
  >Adam pulls the card from under "Bad Reputation" and hands it to Greg<

GREG RECEIVES:

B-6:  Insight:  Play to beat D1-9, C1-9, B4789

Adam:  Hector stands back, and watches as they walk away without him.
Becca:  "Watching from a distance"
   >Becca places a face-down card on top of "Broody"<
Adam:  And scene.  With the three already in my hand, these two cards are all I'd be able to pick up anyway.
   >Adam picks up the face-down cards on his character cards<

ADAM RECEIVES:

E-7:  This is where I belong:  Play to beat E8-9 OR discard to describe a mini-scene

D-5:  Good reputation:  Play to beat E1-9, D6-9 OR place to allow you to give other players a card when they:  Assume the best of you


Greg:  "Come ON, Hector.  Let's get you into the sunshine, before you shrivel away to nothing."
Adam:  "Rachel, sunlight isn't me.  I like books, I like shelves, I like the Dewey Decimal system.  This is where I belong."
  >Adam plays "E-7:  This is where I belong", and also places a face-down card on "Bookworm"<
Greg:  Agggggh.  I don't have anything small enough to counter that.  I've got all these big cards, but they don't have the range to contest something down in the E ranks.
Adam:  That's what you get for hunting mice with an elephant gun.
Greg:  Rachel fumes and stomps around a bit, but has no response.
Becca:  Well hey, now that I know you can't go after E-ranked cards.
Greg:  Oh great, they're all piling on.
Becca:  Jessica pulls Rachel aside:  "Hey, why are you trying to change him?  Hector's totally cool as he is.  Don't you see that?"
  >Becca gives the "B-3:  Cool" card to Adam as an opinion, and plays the "E-9: Not valuing what you have" card against Rachel.<
Adam:  Wow, she's totally smitten.  Fine.  Dumping "Bad Reputation" and replacing it with "Good reputation".
  >Adam discards "Bad Reputation" and replaces it with "Good Reputation"<
Adam:  And, predictably enough, you get the card from it immediately.

BECCA RECEIVES:

C-6:  Quest:  Play to beat E1-9, D1-9, C7-9 OR place to allow you to give the GM a card when:  You strive for the impossible

Greg:  Rachel does not dispute that Hector is cool.  Instead, she looks at you and cocks her head to one side.  "Hey, are you ..." she whispers "... are you sweet on him, or something?"
  >Greg plays B-6:  Insight<
Becca:  "What?  I ... no, I ... HEY!  That is none of your damn business.  This isn't about me, it's about you and how you're being a jerk to a guy you claim to be friends with."
  >Becca plays "A-2:  Stand up for yourself"<
Adam:  WHOA!
Greg:  Yikes.
  >Adam places a facedown card on Becca's "Selfless" card<
  >Becca takes the card from under "Rivalry" and gives it to Greg<

GREG RECEIVES:

E-4:  Not fitting in:  Play to beat E5-9 OR discard to describe a mini-scene

Greg:  "Well, I ... uh ... "
Becca:  Jessica just glares at her.
Greg:  "Okay, okay, you're right," Rachel admits sadly.  "I'm being a bit of a jerk.  God, you are just cute as a button when you're sticking up for him."
  >Greg gives the "B-9:  Cuteness" card to Becca<
Greg:  "Fine, I'll try to treat him better."
Adam:  Hector looks up occasionally from his book ... he can see that the girls are talking about something, and looking at him, and now they're laughing a bit.  He sighs.
Becca:  Oh, that's awesome!  He's totally getting it wrong.
  >Becca places a facedown card on Adam's "Broody" card<
Greg:  While they're having their private conversation in one of the side aisles, both the girls hear a soft little chittering sound, rising and falling.  It sounds like it's coming from inside the walls.
Becca:  "What ... what was that?"
  >Becca places a facedown card on Greg's "Spooky" card.<
Greg:  "I don't know, but it sounded ... deeply wrong.  Let's go check it out!"
Becca:  Jessica looks at Hector.  "I dunno ... he's sorta busy."
Greg:  "Yeah, and I'm sorta bored.  We'll do it without him, right?"
Becca:  "But ... last time ..."
  >Greg places a face-down card on Becca's "A-5 Growth / Hangup: The Past" card<
Greg:  "It's getting away.  I'm going, with or without you."
Becca:  "This might be my only chance to really do something on my own to impress ... uh ... okay, I'll come!"
  >Becca places a face-down card on her "Dreamer" card<
Greg:  And ... scene?
Becca:  Totally.
Adam:  Man, I can only take one of my cards.  I need to get rid of some of the dead-weight in my hand.

  >Greg and Becca take all their face-down cards.  Adam takes the face-down card off of his "Broody" card, but leaves the one on his Bookworm card, because his hand already has five cards in it, and he cannot draw more.<

GREG RECEIVES:

E-2:  Bad memories:  Play to beat E3-9 OR discard to describe a mini-scene

BECCA RECEIVES:

D-4:  Attitude:  Play to beat E1-9, D5-9 OR place to allow you to give a card to other players when they:  Challenge your right to behave as you do

E-8:  Why am I so weak?:  Play to beat E9 OR discard to describe a mini-scene

C-1:  Pursuit:  Play to beat E1-9, D1-9, C2-9 OR place to allow you to give the GM a card when:  You run away

ADAM RECEIVES:

D-1:  Prejudice:  Play to beat E1-9, D2-9 OR place to allow you to give other players a card when they:  Challenge your assumptions about them
Logged

Just published: Capes
New Project:  Misery Bubblegum
TonyLB
Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 3702


WWW
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2008, 06:20:06 AM »

Greg:  Mini-scene!  Hector's all alone while the girls who don't even like each other go off and have fun.
  >Greg discards "E-4:  Not fitting in" to describe a mini-scene.<
Greg:  You're in this little nook of the library, surrounded on all sides by nothing but books, without any human beings left anywhere ...
  >Greg places a face-down card on his "Trapped" card<

Greg:  ... but for some reason you're hearing these strange muffled echoes of their voices, even as they chase off through the stacks.  You can't make out words, but it sounds like they're having fun ... like the kids who picked you last for sports, and then made you sit out while they played.  Thinking you'll feel abandoned?
  >Greg plays E-2:  Bad Memories<
Adam:  Man, girls are just wierd.  They're probably off to the bathrooms.  They always go in pairs, after all.
  >Adam plays "D-1: Prejudice"<
Becca:  Oh, you are so lucky neither of us is here to hear that.
Adam:  Does that shut up the loneliness?
Greg:  Welll ... it seems so nice that they can talk with each other ... without having to hide the terrible things they've done and thought.
  >Greg plays "B-4:  Secrecy"<
Adam:  Awwww... dang.  The loneliness gets the better of him.
Greg:  And just at that moment, the room seems to get palpably colder, and the echoes of the voices fade away.
Adam:  Eeeeeeesh.
  >Adam places a face-down card on Greg's "Spooky" card.<
Adam:  And scene?
Greg:  Sounds good.

  >Adam and Greg take their face-down cards<

ADAM RECEIVES:

C-7:  Misunderstanding:  Play to beat E1-9, D1-9, C8-9 OR place to allow you to give a card to the GM when:  You profit from people's confusion

GREG RECEIVES:

C-4: Questions:  Play to beat E1-9, D1-9, C5-9 OR place to allow you to give a card to the GM when:  You figure smoething out

B-2:  Energy:  Play to beat B3456

Greg:  Okay, what with Jessica and Rachel being rivals over Hector, I don't think we want to have them leave him alone for a whole scene.
Becca:  Not even one?  We could lay the groundwork for a bigger fight over him in future.
Greg:  If it were the beginning of the episode, sure, but there's ... count, count ... five cards left in the face-down deck.
Becca:  Ah.  Gotcha!  I hadn't been counting.  Yeah, we won't have time to capitalize on any groundwork.  How about we just come pelting back in, chased by something terrible?
Greg:  Sounds good.  "THIS IS TOTALLY YOUR FAULT!"
Becca:  "Oh Puh-LEAZE!  Little Miss Slayerette just had to mess with the rat skeletons, and somehow it's my fault?"  And I do believe that, since I smacked her down in our last conversation, I get the last word unless she spends cards.
Greg:  Too true!  "Look, we were down there to find things out ... you have to expect that there'll be some experimentation!"
  >Greg plays "C-4:  Questions"<
Greg: "... the real problem is that you're such a pathetic fighter that even I couldn't keep you safe once the attack started!"
Becca:  Oh no, Jessica's copping an attitude now.  There's no stopping her.
  >Becca discards the face-up card "Non-Entity" and replaces it with "D-4:  Attitude"<
Becca:  There are skeletal rats climbing all over the place now, of course.  "Is this really the right time to compare fighting techniques?  I notice you're still running scared, too!"
  >Becca plays "C-1:  Pursuit"<
Becca:  "Besides, we're not running ... we're tactically repositioning ourselves.  Hector will know exactly what to do!  He always does."
Adam:  Hah!
  >Adam takes the face-down card from under "Good Reputation" and hands it to Becca.<

BECCA RECEIVES:
A-3:  Confidence:  Play to beat C1-9, B1-9, A4-9 OR place to allow other players to give you a card when you hold back because of your hangup about: Doubt

  >Becca takes the face-down card from under "Rivalry" and hands it to Greg.<

GREG RECEIVES:
D-3:  Jealousy:  Play to beat E1-9, D4-9 OR place to allow you to give another player a card when they:  Take what should be yours

Adam:  Hector's already up, and running toward them.  "What have they gotten themselves into NOW?" he wonders.  "I really need to do some thorough library research on girls.  There's got to be some book that explains them."
  >Adam takes a face-down card and places it over "Bookworm"
Becca:  And as they both turn the same corner, BAM!  Jessica slams into Hector and they fall backwards, crashing in an awkward embrace.  Mmmmmm ... perfect moment.
  >Becca takes a face-down card and places it over "Dreamer"<
Adam:  "WHAT IS WITH YOU TODAY?  GET UP BEFORE WE'RE RAT FOOD!"
  >Becca takes the face-down card from under "Attitude" and hands it to Adam<

ADAM RECEIVES:

C-8:  Temptation:  Play to beat E1-9, D1-9, C9 OR place to allow you to give the GM a card when:  You do something you know you shouldn't

Adam:  And yet, as he's yelling at her, Hector's so close, his lips right there.  Does she kiss him?
Becca:  Uh ... God, Jessica, get your head in the game!  Don't be pathetic!
  >Becca plays "E-8: Why am I so weak?"<
Adam:  Heh.
  >Adam plays "C-8: Temptation"<
Becca:  "Ah, screw it!"  She totally kisses him while the skeleton rats chitter closer.
Greg:  Rachel's busily stomping little rat skeletons.  She looks around.  "What's taking you two so ... long ... oh."
  >Greg places "D-3: Jealousy", puts a face-down card under it, and immediately gives that card to Becca"<

BECCA RECEIVES:
B-1: Talent:  Play to beat B2456

Adam:  So, Jessica gives in?
Becca:  No way!  Jessica kissed him.  You think that gives Hector the upper hand?  He never noticed how cute she is before.
  >Becca plays "B-9:  Cuteness"<
Adam:  "Rachel!  No, I didn't kiss her, she kissed me!"
  >Adam plays "B-5: Honesty"<
Becca: "You mean ... you didn't like it?"
  >Becca plays "B-1: Talent"<
Adam:  Honestly, what kind of talent is that?
Becca:  A very important one, as Hector has just discovered.
Adam:  "Eh ... I've had better."
  >Adam plays "B-3: Cool", which despite being a lower number can be used to beat B-1<
Becca:  "I'll get better with practice."
  >Becca plays "A-3:  Confidence"<
Adam:  "Look, you crazy fruit-cake!  Rachel's the one I'm in love with!"
  >Adam plays "A-1:  Declare your feelings"<
Becca:  ...
Greg:  Yow.  Even the skeletal rats know to quietly step away from a statement like that.  Rachel steps over, crushing a few to powder underfoot, and stands over Hector and Jessica, where they lie tangled in each other's arms.
Adam:  Oh shit, you've still got last word over me, don't you?
Greg:  Yep.  Want to contest?
Adam:  Of course!  "Look, this isn't what it looks like.  Jessica, would you please get off of me?"
Becca:  "Oh ... sure.  Uh ... thanks for saving me, again."
  >Greg places a face-down card on Becca's "Selfless" card<
Adam:  Hector gets up.  "See, this is all just a misunderstanding."
  >Adam plays "C-7:  Misunderstanding"<
Greg:  "MISUNDERSTANDING?  You think that when I find you necking with another girl, that is the right time to tell me you love me ... and you call that a MISUNDERSTANDING?"  She paces back and forth, smacking her fists on the bookshelves  "I don't even know what to say to that."
  >Greg plays "B-2: Energy"<
Adam:  As she's pacing, she catches her toe on the spine of a skeleton rat, and pitches forward.  Hector is there to wrap his arms around her and hold her up.
  >Adam plays "B-8: Luck", which trumps "B-2: Energy"<
Greg:  Ah man, I'm all out of cards.  I guess that's the final word on the subject.  And scene.
Becca:  Hold on ... there's just one card left in the deck.  Do something spooky.
Greg:  Oh, okay.  Rachel and Hector embrace in a field of tiny, broken claws and rib-cages.
Becca:  Gross and spooky.
  >Becca places a face-down card on Greg's "Spooky" card<

  >Becca, Greg and Adam take their face-down cards<

BECCA RECEIVES:

E-6:  Can't think about it:  Play to defeat E7-9 OR discard to describe a mini-scene
B-7:  Stubborness:  Play to beat D1-9, C1-9, B1239

GREG RECEIVES:

D-9: Selfishness:  Play to defeat E1-9 OR place to allow you to give other players a card when they: Suffer because of you

ADAM RECEIVES:

E-1:  Wanting what you can't have:  Play to defeat E2-9 OR discard to describe a mini-scene

Greg:  Last scene!  Limping out of the library.
Adam:  Hector has his arm around Rachel.
Greg:  She moves away.  "Look, I can't ... I can't do this.  You run so hot and cold.  It's ... I heard what you said, but I need to take some time for myself right now."
  >Greg plays "D-9: Selfishness"<
Becca:  So ... what's that one last card you're holding?
Adam:  Not what I need.  Hector quietly watches her walk away.
Becca:  "So ... um ... if you don't officially have a girl-friend..."
Adam:  "Jessica ..."
Becca:  "I mean, I know you love her and not me, but ... well ... that doesn't matter to me!  I want to be with you, even so."
  >Becca plays "E-6:  Can't think about it"<
Adam:  "It wouldn't be fair to you, for me to always be thinking of her."
  >Adam plays "E-1:  Wanting what you can't have."<
Becca:  "Well, I know that's not going to change overnight, but ... maybe if you give me a chance?"
  >Becca plays "C-6: Quest"<
Adam:  You know I don't have any cards left!
Becca:  I do.
Adam:  You're evil!
Becca:  I am.
Adam:  Hector sighs.  "Look, it's never going to work, but I guess I can't stop you from trying."
Becca: >whispering< "Yes!"
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TonyLB
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« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2008, 06:24:10 AM »

Wow, that solo playtest was a monster block of text.

Anyway:  There are, no doubt, some broad strokes that I haven't filled in, about how you use cards and what it all means, but folks can ask questions.

The general thing I'm aiming for is that it's a game that can be picked up on the fly, started quickly and then elaborate itself as it goes along, finishing in an hour or so.  I think that the players are having a real easy time on elaborating their characters:  the character cards that they start with give them enough of a constant pole-star that they can build outwards with the placed cards (which change the way they give and receive cards).

I'm having a much harder time getting the GM's role to be equally easy.  Once players start placing cards that reward the GM (as, for instance, the "Rivalry" card which drove a lot of the game), things get really easy ... but I'm not giving the GM the right kind of cards to be a pole-star, and to act as a central thrust that isn't player defined.

I'm not really sure what sort of stuff that needs though?  Apart from grabbing what the players want and running with it, what should the GM be doing for the game?  Providing a crucible that forces the characters together in odd and unexpected ways?  I think that'd be a thing worth doing, but what are the concrete actions that lead to that, in this genre?
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Stefan / 1of3
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« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2008, 02:28:29 AM »

So, Greg is the GM right? Took me some time to figure that out. It doesn't say so in the beginning.



He has some cards of his own: Spooky and Trapped. Those seem to be thematic elements of scenes. No real idea, what cards on the table do.

Seem to say: "Please put cards here, when I narrate X." Is that correct?
If so, why do want people to put cards there?

What is that about loading cards? That only seems to apply to certain cards.


What does "And scene?" mean. They say it all the time, but I can't really figure it out.



Alright, Greg seems to opening and closing the scene, asking questions, placing cards.

In the first scene he comes up with the cheerleaders to some a kind of choir thing.

Then he decides to have a mini-scene. Not sure in what way a mini-scene is different from a normal scene.

Then he plays Rachel. Everyone seems to know her already. She might be a stock NPC.


Quote
Providing a crucible that forces the characters together in odd and unexpected ways?  I think that'd be a thing worth doing, but what are the concrete actions that lead to that, in this genre?

Not sure. Isolation?
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Filip Luszczyk
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« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2008, 03:08:53 PM »

1. One thing that immediately comes to my mind is that with so many unique cards there's a whole lot of narrative triggers to remember about. And you need to balance the strategy with acting out your character all the time. Seems a bit tricky, especially if the players don't know the cards very well yet. I'd anticipate the same kind of confusion one can experience when playing a new CCG for the first time, having no idea what the opponent might have in his or her deck.

The main problem I see is that there are many triggers that let the others give cards to you. Which means everybody needs to constantly keep everyone else's triggers in mind. Depending on how the players are seated, chances are they won't have all the cards in view all the time. Also, glance over the cards and roleplay your character simultaneously...

2. Are mini scenes the only way to break the chronology, or is it possible to frame normal scenes that took place in the past as well?

3. "And scene?" seems like Greg is just asking whether everyone is OK with him closing the scene, right?

4. It's not apparent to me why exactly you want to give the cards to other players or the GM.

5. I guess the characters should be experiencing emotional storms a lot? So, what if the GM actually plays an "inner voice" of each character, and tempts them to take a certain course of action, possibly backing it up with an offer of cards? Kind of like, you know, in all those angel vs imp moments. Frex, it could be Greg who prompts Becca's character to kiss Hector. At other times, the GM could promote inaction and shyness. The point is, it could be his role to produce emotional tension by prompting the players to take directions they wouldn't otherwise consider, backing it up with some reward probably.

Possibly, the GM could handle most of the cards and triggers and stuff, freeing some of the players attention from the mechanics. Basically, he'd be the only person who'd have to remember when the cards can be placed or given (but he seems the least occupied anyway). The players would only have to worry about using the cards on their hands, supplied by the GM. This should be easier to coordinate, I suppose.

BTW, Tony, do you have the current playtest document available for download somewhere? I can't really commit to a playtest now (if only due to the logistics of using cards in Skype gaming), but the thing looks interesting.
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TonyLB
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« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2008, 01:19:38 PM »

H'okay, rapid development has over-run the lifetime of this thread.

Suffice to say, the questions being asked here have been very, very thoroughly answered, incorporated, playtested and refined over the course of DexCon and GenCon.

Actual play threads to follow as my brain decompresses.
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