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Author Topic: [Bliss Stage] Single-pilot missions are better for the story  (Read 1630 times)
Neil the Wimp
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« on: December 05, 2008, 02:13:34 AM »

So, we're a few sessions into our Bliss Stage game, and we've noticed something about how missions are structured.  As there are four players and four pilots, we started building missions that required all the pilots, so that everyone would be engaged in the missions.  Trouble is, this turns out to be sub-optimal for the game as a whole.  There's two reasons for this. 

One is that if each pilot only has one or two mission goals to achieve, it means that each pilot will only pick up two or three points of Terror.  That means that there's a natural limit on how high the Trauma scores can be through typical missions.

The other is that all the pilots get stressed relationships from a mission, and all those relationships need to be de-stressed in the interlude scenes.  That means there are a lot of stress relief interlude scenes and therefore not much room for other scenes, such as trust- and intimacy-building scenes.  That means the interludes get a bit samey. 

It seems that short, punchy, single-pilot missions are the way to go. 

I thought I'd mention this both to see if others have the same experience, and to flag it up to Ben for perhaps including as advice in the final rules text. 


A couple of other quick things.  For the 'multi-pilot simultaneous climax' dice frenzy, where pilots can add their dice to any category including  each others' relationships, can people allocate their spare dice to other people, to shove all the Bliss shrapnel onto one pilot?  And can pilots refuse dice from other people, for instance if one wants to destroy a relationship while another wants to save it (to protect the target from the harm caused)?

As a final point, it's not clear from the rules how many interlude scenes are intended between each mission, at least as a default number.  Perhaps that's something that could  be clarified in the final text.

I think that's it.  Good game, by the way.  I'm really enjoying it. 

Neil.
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Ben Lehman
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« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2008, 08:40:45 AM »

Hi!

Thanks for posting this. As a general rule, I totally agree. I think single pilot missions (or multiple pilots in sequence missions, which amounts to the same thing) are better, particularly ones with 4-6 mission objectives (a serious "grind.") This is why the single-pilot mission is presented as the default, with multiple pilots as an optional rule.

I'll get back to you about your rules question when I have a chance to consult the text. It'll be a bit, unless there's a real tight schedule (having just entered graduate school, I'm in finals right now.)
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Neil the Wimp
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« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2008, 03:05:19 AM »

Thanks for the reply.  I think we read the rules text as presenting single-pilot missions first for pedagogic reasons: get the readers to understand the simple case first, get the basics down, then move on to the more complicated situations.   We didn't realise at first that the different number of pilots on a mission will really change the dynamic of the whole game. 

And no rush on the rules questions.

Neil.
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Ben Lehman
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« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2008, 09:21:11 AM »

Rules questions answered!
Quote
For the 'multi-pilot simultaneous climax' dice frenzy, where pilots can add their dice to any category including  each others' relationships, can people allocate their spare dice to other people, to shove all the Bliss shrapnel onto one pilot?

No.

Quote
And can pilots refuse dice from other people, for instance if one wants to destroy a relationship while another wants to save it (to protect the target from the harm caused)?

The rules are ambiguous (they're not intended to be, but re-reading them they definitely are). The intention is no. If there's a dispute about whose die goes into the relationship, resolve that like any other dispute, with the GM ruling (generally in favor of who-ever has the highest Bliss.)

Were I to rewrite that passage, I might say "If there's an intractable dispute between players, both players can put a die in in which case, as per all other cases, read the lowest die."

Quote
As a final point, it's not clear from the rules how many interlude scenes are intended between each mission, at least as a default number

There's a bit in the text about this (in the "How to be a GM" section). Let me find it. Me-two-years-ago knows better than me-today.
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Neil the Wimp
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« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2008, 12:19:41 PM »

Thanks!

Neil.
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