*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
May 23, 2018, 12:44:33 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 104 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
Pages: 1 [2]
Print
Author Topic: Dust Devils storm a brewin'  (Read 6564 times)
Jürgen Mayer
Member

Posts: 240


WWW
« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2002, 05:09:52 AM »

Quote from: Matt Snyder
I admit my own Sorensen-syndrome -- fear I'll run the game poorly in such good company!

You really shouldn't have a problem with that. With so many talented people as players, running the game should be a blast, I guess the games will be almost running themselves. So nothing to worry here.

Oh yeah, the cover rocks!
And I wanna play in a demo.
Logged

URL]http://disastermachine.com[/URLhttp://disastermachine.com
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2002, 06:52:06 AM »

Clay,

I'd greatly appreciate any comments you might have on my review of Dust Devils. Not of, you know, my scintillance as a reviewer, but rather on the points or features of the game, and whether your experience matches or doesn't match with my observations.

Best,
Ron
Logged
Clay
Member

Posts: 550


WWW
« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2002, 09:49:01 AM »

I think that your notes about GMing a game like this are dead on.  So dead on that I printed them out and read them at work today (boss is out and I'm short on tasks to do).  It is my hope that Matt will put a lot of work into this section, because the conceptual leap from traditional gaming promoted by the D20 system and others to this style of gaming is huge.

I suspect that some of your experiences with letting go of scenario control are due to your group being very accustomed to driving the show.  The group I played with was not (two of the three had never gamed before), and the group I want to run Dust Devils with next is not.  I found that at first I really needed to guide the players heavily to get anything to happen at all, especially when we first started.  In particular, I found that it was still very necessary to go through all of the prep that I outlined in my entry under advice for new GMs.  If I didn't set up encounters, they certainly weren't going to.  A more experienced group might not suffer from this, but I haven't had a chance to try it out with such a group yet.

I agree that considerably more information about handling the Devil and building stories around it is needed.  I'd like to see some explicit examples with Devils and how the author recommends constructing a story that uses the Devil.  It's not that I couldn't figure it out on my own; I'm paid to solve logic puzzles for a living (i.e. programming).  It's just that I don't have all that much time outside of the weekly sessions to puzzle these things out any more. Work, house and family conspire to take that time up.  Add my fundamental laziness to that and I'm a big fan of a guide to send me down the right path.

I didn't feel the need to change the card mechanics.  Since we weren't actually playing poker anyway, we didn't have a problem with the fact that a player might sometimes only get three or four cards to draw. We didn't look at it as an issue of fairness so much as a sign that the player might have chosen the wrong battle.  Actual play also showed that a pair was often the winning hand, so a decent hand could be made with four cards.  Again, I played with a very different group than you did, so it might just be that the mechanic worked well for our group and wouldn't for another.
Logged

Clay Dowling
RPG-Campaign.com - Online Campaign Planning and Management
James
Member

Posts: 22


WWW
« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2002, 07:01:44 PM »

Quote from: Matt Snyder
Who has played the game?  If you haven't played yet, why not?


The problem I have is that there's no "game" to play.  It's a resolution mechanic and a few ideas that could become a game, but right now there's not enough in the document for me to hang a game on, especially with the people I play with.  There needs to be a "how to" section in the game that tells people what they can, or should, do with it.  Just being cool and interesting isn't enough.

I think you have something very nifty on your hands, but it needs serious development, even if only to the point where it's as "meaty" as one of Hogshead's New Style offerings.
Logged

Cabbages and Kings
www.cabbagesandkings.us
Valamir
Member

Posts: 5574


WWW
« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2002, 07:06:49 PM »

I'd have to disagree that there's no story there, especially the comparison to the Hogshead line which I've never felt were worth actually being printed into a book, being IMO, PDF games well short of being ready for release...but that's another thread entirely.

The thing with Dust Devils is, is that its very genre specific.  If you are already a big fan of B-grade western movies (like "A Minute to Pray, a Second to Die") you don't really need anything more than whats in the book.  If you aren't, than I don't think there's away of putting together a book that will convey it for you.
Logged

James
Member

Posts: 22


WWW
« Reply #20 on: July 15, 2002, 02:42:04 AM »

Quote from: Valamir
The thing with Dust Devils is, is that its very genre specific.  If you are already a big fan of B-grade western movies (like "A Minute to Pray, a Second to Die") you don't really need anything more than whats in the book.  If you aren't, than I don't think there's away of putting together a book that will convey it for you.


I am a big fan of spaghetti westerns, and the American variant of same, but that's not really what I'm talking about.  A roleplaying game needs more than a sketched-out idea and a resolution mechanic to be worth bucks, and I believe that's the issue here.

An issue akin to what I'm talking about came up when I discussed All Flesh Must Be Eaten with its designers prior to its release.  "Okay, so I can kill zombies," I said, "but what am I supposed to do with this game after I've reenacted Dawn of the Dead a couple of times?  What then?"  The question was never answered satisfactorily in that discussion, nor in the game itself.  As a result, I've never had much use for the game, despite being a big fan of "walking dead" films.

This doesn't mean that All Flesh Must Be Eaten isn't a good game.  Quite the opposite, in fact.  However, there's not enough vision in the package to make it truly useful.

The same could be said of Dust Devils.  While I think it's very slick for a freebie web release, and has a lot of potential, there's nothing in the package that screams out to me, "This is how I'm used!  Look at all the myriad of gaming possibilities I represent!"  A little more vision is all it needs, really, and that's what I'm trying to put across.  Poorly, I suppose.
Logged

Cabbages and Kings
www.cabbagesandkings.us
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #21 on: July 15, 2002, 05:05:04 AM »

Hi James,

I think there's a bit of a mileage issue here, but on the other hand, I certainly agree that your question is a valid one.

My concern is where the answer is supposed to come from: authors or role-players (by which I mean any human, GM, "player" alike). Clearly, a game text without a "do this" in there somewhere, however vague as long as it's inspiring, is missing something. That's what I call Premise, in the most general sense, in my essay.

However, how much is needed? Let's look at both sources.

In terms of text, I agree that All Flesh Must Be Eaten is on the short side in this sense (see my Dead Meat review for some comments about that). I think that Hero Wars, by contrast, is awesomely supplied with this quality, perhaps overwhelmingly so because it provides so many options. All right, I think it's not hard to see that games vary in terms of how much they provide. Dust Devils is certainly somewhere between these two extremes.

In terms of users (players), I think it's reasonable to expect that people must bring something to the table themselves. When we played All Flesh Must Be Eaten, we had to bring a lot to the table in order to enjoy the game; when we played Hero Wars, even though the game provides so much, we still had to bring proactive "Premise" to the table - it's a basic requirement of the activity. (In HW, it was a matter of focus and willingness to develop the issues that the game raises; in AFMBE, it was a matter of simply inventing something emotionally-interesting from the ground up.)

So here you are, a fan of spaghetti westerns and so forth. It strikes me that Matt wrote a very good introduction to the game, right there on the first page. I'm thinking, Hang'em High, and maybe No Name on the Bullet, and certainly Django. Is it really that hard to see "what to do"?

I agree that some GM-help is called for, and I said as much in my review. But the game can't do it all for you. A person must bring something of his own to the table, in regard to the western - Dust Devils makes it possible for that "something" to get rolling in play itself.

Best,
Ron
Logged
James
Member

Posts: 22


WWW
« Reply #22 on: July 16, 2002, 05:14:28 PM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards
My concern is where the answer is supposed to come from: authors or role-players (by which I mean any human, GM, "player" alike). Clearly, a game text without a "do this" in there somewhere, however vague as long as it's inspiring, is missing something. That's what I call Premise, in the most general sense, in my essay.

However, how much is needed?


More than we have now, but hopefully about as much as we're going to get in August.  I think Jared Sorensen did an excellent job of defining what a game text should address when we responded to a thread on RPGnet discussing SLA Industries:

Quote from: Jared Sorensen
What is the game ABOUT (really about)?
How is it about that?
What does the game reward?
How does it encourage that behavior?
What do the characters do? What do the players do?

Right now Dust Devils does a pretty good job of answering the first question, and addresses in some small way the fourth (the "devil" mechanic), but doesn't attack the rest.  If the new text does a solid job of hitting these points, I think we have a real winner, and I'll be one of the first in line to give Matt my hard-earned $10.  Until then, I have to say that it's a tad on the skimpy side, with enough to intrigue and possibly even delight -- presuming a GM wishes to put the extra effort in to make up the difference, of course -- but not enough to make a whole game.
Logged

Cabbages and Kings
www.cabbagesandkings.us
Pages: 1 [2]
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!