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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 75 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [Misspent Youth] Some small questions  (Read 4319 times)
HiQKid
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« on: December 30, 2008, 10:02:29 PM »

(Disclaimer: I haven't played the game. I have read it cover to cover, and then skimmed through it a second time. I do intend to play as soon as I can, though, because the game seems awesome.)

Well, I've got a few things to say/ask. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

  • In Authority Vice, isn't Utopianism just a form of Stability? You have to keep things in one state of perfection, right? Or maybe, since Utopianism requires some change first, would it be more accurate to say Utopianism evolves into Stability?
  • Does anything get done with the unused concepts during Casting? It seems a shame to just waste them, as they wouldn't have been mentioned if someone didn't find them interesting. While it's conceivable that some of them may get combined, but I doubt all of them will all of the time. Mightn't they be used to create a supporting cast? And perhaps players could have the option of rotating characters in different Episodes?
  • I think it'd be interesting to have a third option when a YO hits an Authority number. Right now you can Sell Out or Lose. What if you could Sell Out, Lose, Or Martyr Yourself? By this I mean... You character is killed, captured, or otherwise sacrifices themselves... permanently being removed from play. But by doing so they allow the Clique to win the conflict. This would provide an additional use for additional character conflicts, as well.
  • Finally (and this falls into the realm of optional rules, definitely) what if players had an option of selling out in another way? That is to say, what if they could undermine the Clique's goals to pursue personal ones? I understand that this probably changes the game quite a bit, and undermines the theme of friendship you're going for, but I think it could be an interesting option.

Thanks to anyone and everyone who looks this over and has something to say!
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Robert Bohl
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« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2008, 08:16:13 AM »

Wow, lightning-fast read. Thanks! Did you find the rules clearly-written? I flatter myself that one of my main strengths as a game-maker is that I write clearly. I'd like to find out whether that's just self-puffery or if it's true. Now that I'm done fishing for compliments, though, feedback on your feedback.

1) As I say in the text, the traits are not mutually exclusive, so some overlap is likely and even OK. That said, I feel that there's a real difference between Utopianism and Stability. Mainly, I think that as you suggest, Utopian Authorities tend to be striving toward something not yet achieved. Stability-focused Authorities could be those who've already achieved their Utopia, or they could merely be paranoid and regressive and not able to handle change. It's the former category where one finds more overlap, an Authority which cannot bear to have its achieved Utopia fucked with one whit. In that case, I think it's perfectly OK for all of the players to decide what matters to them most, whether they want to focus on the Authority's obsession with perfection and elevation of society, or its diseased insistence that nothing change. That will flavor the way the Authority roleplays her agents, and the decision should be based on which perspective is going to be most maddening to the Clique players, and will motivate them most to create characters that are engaging to them.

Do you think that this overlap is serious/confusing enough to warrant explanation? It's stuff I could add to the example text.

2) In my experience of running this game dozens of times (and YOing once!), it has never been the case that we were able to use all of the concepts. I usually do not find myself using them as secondary non-Authority characters though I have done so once or twice. The idea of rotating characters feels wrong to me. First of all, I think I want to model this certain kind of teenage relationship where you have your group of friends and you spend most of your time with them obsessively. That's what teenagerhood was like for me and it seems like it's the kind of relationship that I see in the kind of fiction I hope the game creates. Also, subbing in characters would fuck with the math a bit and make the game last way longer. Remember that the series ends when one person has sold out all of his traits. If you have other characters stepping in, that slows that process down.

I'm going to make a note about considering the left-over concepts as NPCs (NACs?). Thanks for the suggestion.

3) Martyring one's self has the same problem as rotating cast, above. It'll slow things down if a character appears all of a sudden with a clean, totally free-traited character. Also it feels weird for me to have a character show up all of a sudden going, "Hey guys! I'm as close a friend with you as this other character the audience has been so invested in!" It reminds me of what happens in some games where no matter how many people in a group die, there's always the same number of main characters total. Feels super-weird. I do need to write in the text about YO death, though.

4) Letting someone grab their own stakes is interesting but it also kinda rubs me the wrong way. It seems like it might undercut the cooperation/friendship thing, perhaps fatally. I'm not sure. Perhaps "I can claim selfish stakes when I sell out" is a good addition/requirement of selling out a trait, however. Again, I'm not sure. The problem is finding the limits of this. One could sell out and then claim stakes far stronger than the ones that were negotiated initially. And then what's the constraint on how big these can be? GM fiat? *shudder*

But it's something to think about. Thank you.
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Game:
Misspent Youth: Ocean's 11 + Avatar: The Last Airbender + Snow Crash
Shows:
Oo! Let's Make a Game!: Joshua A.C. Newman and I make a transhumanist RPG
HiQKid
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« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2008, 10:33:53 AM »

I had no problem understanding the rules, personally. Well, except for when I first read the part about selling out. For some reason, in my head, I was thinking "Wait, so does selling make you win or just not lose?". But then I read further and it was stated again, during the summary I think, that it causes you to win.

1) I don't really think it's very serious. I was more curious as to why you set them the way you did, and if you saw a clear enough divide. As I said, my initial reaction was "Wait, those are the same thing!"... and then, a few minutes later, "No, not really.". So I don't think it's something you need to worry about, unless you've gotten similar comments from others.

2) Ok, I definitely see those issues.

3) Again, I see both the math and story issue. I think the idea of self-sacrifice does fit in though, possibly. What if instead of having another character, they could act in another way to maintain a connection to the game? Perhaps through the other characters memories of him?

4) Yeah. Like I said, it'd change the game quite a bit... perhaps almost to the point of being a different game.

-Alex
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Check out my blog, please: http://gamerstakewarning.blogspot.com/.
All comments and questions very welcome.

Also, I hope anybody reading this's having a nice day. Honest.
Robert Bohl
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« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2008, 11:42:17 AM »

I'll re-read the part about selling out and see if it's clear enough. If it's not clear enough on first read-through I definitely want to spruce it up a bit.

Again, thanks very much for the feedback. Much to think on.
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Misspent Youth: Ocean's 11 + Avatar: The Last Airbender + Snow Crash
Shows:
Oo! Let's Make a Game!: Joshua A.C. Newman and I make a transhumanist RPG
HiQKid
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« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2008, 07:56:36 PM »

I looked back at the selling out section. I'd say the two main "misguide" points for me were these sentences:

"If you do this, you steal victory from the jaws of defeat..."
     This implies you win, but it's not explicit.

&

"If you win by selling out, it's important..."
     I'm pretty sure you meant "If you win by selling out, as opposed to the normal way, it's important..." in a shorter, more natural way. However, on my initial
     read through it implied (to me) that you could do something besides win when selling out.



In relation to:
Quote
"Letting someone grab their own stakes is interesting but it also kinda rubs me the wrong way. It seems like it might undercut the cooperation/friendship thing, perhaps fatally. I'm not sure. Perhaps "I can claim selfish stakes when I sell out" is a good addition/requirement of selling out a trait, however. Again, I'm not sure. The problem is finding the limits of this. One could sell out and then claim stakes far stronger than the ones that were negotiated initially. And then what's the constraint on how big these can be? GM fiat? *shudder*"

If (and that's a pretty decent sized if) I were to do this, I'd rule that each character has a personal goal, in addition to the Clique goal. Everybody has to be ok with these goals, and they cannot be anything that intrinsically harms another YO or the Clique as a whole. In stakes setting, when you sell out, if it's fictionally appropriate, you can choose to have the victory be something that advances your personal goal (but not fulfill it). Just like normal stakes setting, everyone should negotiate and agree on the new stake.

The catch is though, that when you do this the AF gets his side of the stakes, too, and the clique does not get theirs.

So I said above that doing this can't fulfill your personal goal? Well, I kinda lied. If you're doing this when you sell out your Glitch (and thus ending the game), you can fulfill your personal goal.

Or, if at the end of a series you have a "hopeful" ending (more free traits than not) you get your personal goal.

So... I envision that in the beginning, there's a strong mutualism, as it's possible for everyone to get their goals fulfilled.
However, once someone slips to the "non-hopeful" ending (more sold traits than free), they'll start to sell out more for their personal goals.
I imagine this could create a race between YOs who have more sold traits than free, as the only way to get their personal goal is to sell out Glitch first. And if they don't get there first, they're guaranteed to not get there personal goal.

Also, keep in mind that selling out glitch this way still gives you a shitty ending. You get what you want, but it doesn't make you happy.



So, yeah. I'd seriously think before doing this, and I don't think it belongs in the book, and it does very much change the game I think. But if I were to do something like this, this's how it'd be.

Happy New Year to all,
-Alex
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Check out my blog, please: http://gamerstakewarning.blogspot.com/.
All comments and questions very welcome.

Also, I hope anybody reading this's having a nice day. Honest.
Robert Bohl
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« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2009, 12:49:46 AM »

Thanks for the point-outs. I'm definitely going to consider changing that text.

As for the other.... Yeah. Have to think about that.
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Game:
Misspent Youth: Ocean's 11 + Avatar: The Last Airbender + Snow Crash
Shows:
Oo! Let's Make a Game!: Joshua A.C. Newman and I make a transhumanist RPG
HiQKid
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« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2009, 08:23:03 PM »

Ok... Sorry to be taking over your forum, but I've got a few more questions.

This time, it's Motifs.

1) Do Motifs have any mechanical effect, besides determining ending?
2) More specifically: On page 7, under Motifs, it says "These facts get used to help generate plot points and help you create characters on the fly." Now, I
     don't see Motifs mentioned anywhere under the character creation section, nor under the sections concerning plot points on pages 14 & 15. I'm assuming
     that you're just supposed to keep Motifs in mind when doing these things (and everything else), but I'm going to ask it explicitly: Do Motifs have anything
     to do with Character Creation and Plot Points, either mechanically or otherwise? Page 7 implies so, but the actual sections don't mention them at all.
3) I kinda think it'd be cool if Motifs worked like Traits, except for the world. In other words, you could "Sell Out" a YO-benefiting Motif and turn it into an
     Authority-benefiting trait. I'm not sure if this really works with your game, or what, but I think it's an interesting idea.

Thanks for everything!
-Alex
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Check out my blog, please: http://gamerstakewarning.blogspot.com/.
All comments and questions very welcome.

Also, I hope anybody reading this's having a nice day. Honest.
Robert Bohl
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« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2009, 09:02:59 PM »

1) No, they don't. I found them helpful to review at the start of the first few sessions and I always reviewed the most-recent one at the beginning of every section.
2) That just means that they can be useful when you're trying to create these things, but they're not required, nor is this mechanical.
3) Selling out a motif to what effect? That's a huge sell-out since it increases dramatically the risk that you will lose at the end of the series.
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Game:
Misspent Youth: Ocean's 11 + Avatar: The Last Airbender + Snow Crash
Shows:
Oo! Let's Make a Game!: Joshua A.C. Newman and I make a transhumanist RPG
Robert Bohl
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« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2009, 09:03:52 PM »

Oh, and there's no need to apologize for being enthusiastic about my game. Believe me, it's exactly this sort of stuff that the forum exists for. This is especially true considering the whole taking-it-out-of-ashcan-phase thing.
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Game:
Misspent Youth: Ocean's 11 + Avatar: The Last Airbender + Snow Crash
Shows:
Oo! Let's Make a Game!: Joshua A.C. Newman and I make a transhumanist RPG
HiQKid
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« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2009, 09:26:06 PM »

1) Ok, cool. I just wanted to make sure I'm not missing anything. I went back, and looking at the Motifs is mentioned a few times, in that context.
2) Ok. That's what I thought, I just wanted to be sure.
3) Right, but isn't that what selling out is anyhow? A victory right now, but a grimmer long-term prospective. Anyhow, this was just a stupid idea that popped
     into my head more than anything.

Hah. I wasn't so much apologizing for being enthusiastic. It's more... Well, I wish I weren't the only one posting here. It's a pretty awesome game, I think... And I think I'm not too far off base.

Anyhow, I hope some of this has proved helpful for you (and anyone reading along). I know it has for me.

-Alex
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Check out my blog, please: http://gamerstakewarning.blogspot.com/.
All comments and questions very welcome.

Also, I hope anybody reading this's having a nice day. Honest.
Robert Bohl
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« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2009, 06:56:30 AM »

Well it's bigger than an individual trait selll-out. Anyway, if you wind up trying it out let me know how it goes.

And yes, I wish there were 40 posters here too!
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Game:
Misspent Youth: Ocean's 11 + Avatar: The Last Airbender + Snow Crash
Shows:
Oo! Let's Make a Game!: Joshua A.C. Newman and I make a transhumanist RPG
HiQKid
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Posts: 19


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« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2009, 06:26:53 PM »

Well, I ran this game for my group last night. I'll write a bit more about it later, as I'm just waiting for the recording to come back so I can go over it. I think most of the problems I had where due to the particular players and not the game itself, though.

They did, however, reinforce two of my questions after.

After doing casting, one of my players said "So, what happens to the other ideas? Do they get used for NPCs or something?".
And at another point, one of them asked me if (and how) characters die.

I think putting in something about character death is important for another reason: Right there in the text you say that the YOs would fight the Authority or die trying (or something to that effect). The game has rules for the "fight the Authority" bit, but not the "die trying" bit.

So, anyhow... More later (probably tomorrow or tuesday).

- Alex
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Check out my blog, please: http://gamerstakewarning.blogspot.com/.
All comments and questions very welcome.

Also, I hope anybody reading this's having a nice day. Honest.
Robert Bohl
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« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2009, 06:53:51 PM »

Excellent points, thank you. I look forward to hearing more and I'll ask you some more detailed questions when you've had the chance to put together all your thoughts.
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Game:
Misspent Youth: Ocean's 11 + Avatar: The Last Airbender + Snow Crash
Shows:
Oo! Let's Make a Game!: Joshua A.C. Newman and I make a transhumanist RPG
Robert Bohl
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« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2009, 10:20:13 AM »

Upon re-reading this thread, I added some notes to my "stuff to fix or improve" document. Thanks, Alex.
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Game:
Misspent Youth: Ocean's 11 + Avatar: The Last Airbender + Snow Crash
Shows:
Oo! Let's Make a Game!: Joshua A.C. Newman and I make a transhumanist RPG
HiQKid
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Posts: 19


WWW
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2009, 08:32:15 PM »

No problem. I still owe you an AP, but I doubt I'll get it in in time to make much of a difference.
Sunday at the earliest.
I'm not sure how much there is to say, but I'd like to know that whatever I'm writing is accurate.
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Check out my blog, please: http://gamerstakewarning.blogspot.com/.
All comments and questions very welcome.

Also, I hope anybody reading this's having a nice day. Honest.
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