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Author Topic: Color-first character, part 2: Getting this far  (Read 12208 times)
Christopher Kubasik
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« Reply #60 on: January 10, 2009, 10:03:24 AM »

The back of the character sheet outlines the character's MRCZ (social group) and is chock full of more information but that was outside the scope of this task.

Was it?  Seriously, I'm asking. If it was, why?
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Jared A. Sorensen
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« Reply #61 on: January 10, 2009, 11:14:30 AM »

MRCZ creation is a group activity. After making characters, the users "mesh" them into a social group to generate flow and elevate their status tier. Since it's just me, I didn't create a MRCZ.
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David Berg
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« Reply #62 on: January 10, 2009, 12:28:06 PM »

A few thoughts on the Delve character sheet:

Sheet One:

Name: "Methild DuvGunnar" connects to Setting in a way not too dissimilar from Bob of Narnia.  The name references two gameworld cultures.

Life Goal, Path, and Destination: these are components for building Situation, though they aren't yet that in and of themselves.

Gray box at top right: all System reference to reduce search time.

Everything Else: has System impact, but the formal interface is hidden from the player.  The GM has a sheet describing Methild as Agility 4, Toughness 5, Climbing 2, and +3 to avoid Barrier Rot.  The player, on the other hand, knows Methild has good, explosive Agility; excellent, rock-solid Toughness; and is a skilled Climber and Very Grounded.  When Methild is injured in combat, the player will mark a slash or something on the left arm of the human form on the sheet, with a note if it's particularly bad.  The GM, on the other hand, will mark L-Arm: 3pts on his sheet.

The point of this division is to allow the players to keep their attention on the fiction, rather than abstractions representing it, while the GM does all the arithmetic.

As for the bottom rectangle listing Color stuff, you could say the descriptions are pure Character, but the checkboxes are System.  Basically, you get points for contributing color, but the color on your sheet is not mandated-use, jsut inspiration.

Sheet Two:

Background: pure Setting.

Possessions: uh... I'm honestly not sure.  Before long, a Delve character usually has a backpack full of weird poisons, map halves, extra clothes, notes of promise, and rocks.  Um, is that just Character, or is it some Setting and some brewing Situation?
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #63 on: January 10, 2009, 01:25:03 PM »

Again, a lot of what's on there isn't immediately classifiable, especially details of fictional "presence." Remember, the equation really applies to play, and we're looking at the sheet as a kind of special bundle ready to use in play, and seeing what's in it. I bought a lot of iron rations for characters back when I played early D&D(s), and I might call it Setting by looking at it on the sheet, but I don't remember it being anything but Color in practice.

Anyway, the next and very closely related question is coming up soon. Please feel free to post characters in terms of #2, if you'd like, as we continue.

I don't suppose anyone's noticed how Ben's character L***, for The Land of a Thousand Kings sheet, would be seen through this lens?

Best, Ron
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Ben Lehman
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« Reply #64 on: January 12, 2009, 09:06:25 AM »

I don't suppose anyone's noticed how Ben's character L***, for The Land of a Thousand Kings sheet, would be seen through this lens?

I have my answer to that, but it is based a bit on a knowledge of how the game operates. To recap, here's the sheet.

Name: L****

Strong: 1
Brave: 0
Sharp: 0
Kind: 0
Beautiful: 1

Artifact: War King's Sword

My answer is that there is no character on this sheet at all, except maybe in the "name" section. The character is L****, who is at the table with us, a repository of her own personality, ideas, behavior, and background. The sheet itself has a few bits of system, each with an associated color tag. The color tags on the values might become character, later on, if L**** accepts the view of her that we offered, and the color tag on the artifact will probably become situation, once play starts.

yrs--
--Ben
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #65 on: January 12, 2009, 09:24:04 AM »

Cool! Thanks Ben!

Is it possible that any character on a sheet, prior to play, is "no more a character" than L***? In other words, that the play-activities that bring her into fictional activity and identity are pretty much the same as those which we use in playing, say, Nora?

Also, does her name become better known or established later too?

Also, if I'm misunderstanding something about the game in making that point, let me know.

Best, Ron
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #66 on: January 12, 2009, 09:46:07 AM »

Jared, I keep looking at that character sheet and marveling. At first glance it's what the fuck<

Solicited input: Scathine the Ice-Reaver of Jotun (Paul), Frost (Ara), Bella (Sean/sirogit)<Primetime Adventures<Story Arctotally
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Ben Lehman
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« Reply #67 on: January 12, 2009, 11:19:26 AM »

Also, if I'm misunderstanding something about the game in making that point, let me know.

Yup!

Which you play the game "Adventures in the Land of a Thousand Kings" you, the player, enters a magical world and has adventures. L**** is a friend of mine, my housemate actually, who looks like James' picture, and I imagined what sort of sheet she'd have to play the game. Her name is starred out not for any mechanical purpose, but to protect her privacy. If we actually played, her full name would be on the top of her sheet.

What you say about other sheets is possibly true (there's no character there until the rubber hits the road.) However, it's extra-true in Thousand Kings, where the "character" is the player sitting right in front of us.

yrs--
--Ben
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ejh
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #68 on: January 12, 2009, 11:33:47 AM »

Which you play the game "Adventures in the Land of a Thousand Kings" you, the player, enters a magical world and has adventures.

Villans & Vigilantes lives!
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #69 on: January 12, 2009, 12:00:09 PM »

Oh! I didn't get the asterisks. It's cool that my point was apparently strong enough to stand even with the corrected understanding.

Between Land of a Thousand Kings and The Donut (or whatever we call the game; I'm not sure of its official title), that's some whacked character concept diversity. They make the in-betweener concept of Extreme Vengeance and similar games look tame.

Best, Ron

P.S. Ed - totally!
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sirogit
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Posts: 503


« Reply #70 on: January 13, 2009, 12:46:01 AM »

My answers might be taken with a grain of salt, considering I've never actually played the game.

Setting: As far as I can see, setting in T&T 5th ed is a combination of possibly likable, but ultimately non-consequential color (There are lots of conany types running around, woohoo) and a handful of quirky facts that have some baring on the system, some of which prevents mildly interesting areas of exploration and some of which just seems kind of compulsory and somewhat pointless (leprachauns are always magicians.). The expectation I would bring to a game is that I should be a little bit enthused about my own little color-hole (And I am, red sonja-y chicks are neat.) wheras other setting information is provided by other players (most likely the GM) as strictly needed ("I want to pick on the non-magical leprachauns.." "There are none" "Oh damn. Well I pick on a kobold.")

System: There's some onus on the player to know common mechanical procedure as it applies to their character. There's a dramatic instance of a specification of this in the distinction between magic using characters and non-magic using characters, as there's a strong suggestion for first characters to be non-magical for the purpose of being ignorant of the magical system while first learning the game.
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lumpley
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« Reply #71 on: January 16, 2009, 07:33:52 AM »

I've added Joel's character Yaeta to the character sheet scan archive.

More additions welcome!

-Vincent
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #72 on: January 16, 2009, 09:10:14 AM »

Hey Sean,

T&T is a very interesting game with some emergent properties. Before I played it, I often found character creation frustrating, because they were often so puny and hard to match with a Color-first heroic vision.

What I learned through play, and through discussions here, and review of the whole text, is that the best way to go is for each player to have multiple characters and to play them at once. So three players means eight to ten characters in the delving party. Rolling them first and assigning the really inspirational Color second (i.e. names, faces at the very least) is how you get the characters you want.

Not to mention the high mortality rate, which results, in a little while, in a level-diverse party as you fold in new (and first-level) characters routinely to replace the old ones. That's apparently standard and desirable, which I think is one of the game's biggest departures from the way AD&D (late 70s version) went in my experience.

With all that in mind, evaluating this question is kind of a different experience for your character. I'll outline how it looks to me.

I agree with you that the overall setting (playfully tossed off as "Rhalph" in the text, and only as an example) is extremely sketchy, and I suggest that the real setting of a T&T game is the dungeon itself - that is, unless/until you choose to world-build later. The interesting point is that there is absolutely no link at all between the character, and character creation as a process, to any given dungeon. The dungeon is recommended to be a kind of personal revelation of the GM himself or herself, with an NPC-alter-ego or satirical version running the place from the lowest level, but regarding the players and characters ... any character will do. There is no setting-character connection until play itself begins.

Quote
System: There's some onus on the player to know common mechanical procedure as it applies to their character. There's a dramatic instance of a specification of this in the distinction between magic using characters and non-magic using characters, as there's a strong suggestion for first characters to be non-magical for the purpose of being ignorant of the magical system while first learning the game.

That's definitely true. It also ties into the gleeful-Gamist point of view which suffuses the whole text, which is to say, hey, if you're gonna play this game, know how it works or suffer the consequences. It's also important to know what Adds are and to take responsibility for including them in one's roll totals. And it's crucially important to understand the so-called Saving Throw rules, which I submit were among the most important innovations in role-playing in the mid-1970s. They absolutely require a degree of Director Stance which isn't evident in the player-instructions during character creation, and I suggest that not knowing them well means a very high death-rate for one's characters.

Best, Ron
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Jared A. Sorensen
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« Reply #73 on: January 16, 2009, 09:34:44 AM »

Jared, I keep looking at that character sheet and marveling. At first glance it's what the fuck and then, thinking about it, the possibilities are dazzling.

What are the other characters in play potentially like? Do they all have to be LARPers, or all similar constructs of some kind, or is it any sort of (if I'm saying this right) fictional character-experience in physical form?


They can be just about anything. They don't have to be similar constructs (literal or figurative). Characters start as one of four different templates that defines how they came to be on FreeMarket Station. 1st Generation characters are the children of the Originals. 2nd Genners are their kids. Blanks are grown from cellular material as mentioned before. The last template is Immigrant and places the character's origin offMarket... they came to live on the space station from somewhere else (Earth, another orbital or one of the colonies on Mars or Luna).

Also, the other characters don't need to be LARP actors or in any way associated with gaming. Just because Juno was created to be a "LARP Goddess" doesn't mean she had to remain one. She can hack her interface, trade away her boffer sword, burn out her experiences and implant new ones. She'll always be a Bode-geneline Blank, but everything else can be modified, upgraded, exchanged, etc. I played a cybernetic ninja grown from the cells of an ancient calligrapher. Everything on his character sheet screamed ghost/wetwork assassin but I immediately started him with memories about poetry and art.

The game gears really catch and turn when the other players finish their characters and the group as a whole constructs its MRCZ (an acronym meaning "micronational/regional/cultural zone" and pronounce "mercy"). That's when the concepts mesh together and a social group is formed. Juno could be part of a LARP group. Or she could be involved in something unrelated...a MRCZ comprised of athletes, or Nordic-looking people or Blanks that want to re-invent themselves or people with the same haircut or people who believe that FreeMarket Station is Heaven and everything offMarket is Hell. Anything, as long as its members are a) passionate and b) have something they think they can offer to other people.


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jared a. sorensen / www.memento-mori.com
Joel P. Shempert
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« Reply #74 on: January 16, 2009, 11:52:43 AM »

And it's crucially important to understand the so-called Saving Throw rules, which I submit were among the most important innovations in role-playing in the mid-1970s. They absolutely require a degree of Director Stance which isn't evident in the player-instructions during character creation, and I suggest that not knowing them well means a very high death-rate for one's characters.

Well, this has me intrigued. Did you mean "Saving Throw" rules in general or specifically Tunnels & Trolls' version? What about T&T's Saves is special or unique?
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