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Author Topic: Wuh-therin' Hi  (Read 7776 times)
Paul's Girl
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 47


« on: July 30, 2002, 09:44:42 AM »

Last night my game group finished our final session of Wuthering Heights, or as I like to call it “Wuh-therin’ Hi”, and I’ll tell you why. I placed the game in a different setting, the antebellum American south. The place was an old Southern plantation with slave in North Carolina.  The players were apart of the family and farm, two brothers, an uncle and a non-related overseer.  I knew that the problem table had to be changed at little, but most of the problems were applicable to the setting.  Here is the modified problem table with *(_)* representing the original problems that were changed.

01-04 You are without a family
05-08 You are a Union sympathizer* (Republican) *
09-12 You are an abolitionist* (Socialist) *
13-15 You are a Baptist / Methodist
16-18 You are a monk or pastor
19-22 You are a homosexual
23-25 You are an alcoholic (5 pints a day)
26-28 You are a drug addict (1 hour a day)
29-31 You are honest
32-35 You are in love with someone from your family (Mother, Brother ...)
36-36 You are a sex addict (once a day)
37-38 You smoke (12 hours a day)
39-40 You gamble (2 hours a day)
41-41 You play the fiddle/violin (1 hour a day) * (Bagpipes) *
42-44 You sing (1 hour a day)
45-48 You play the piano (1 hour a day)
49-52 You are a poet (4 hours a day)
53-56 You read too much (8 hours a day)
57-59 You dress improperly
60-60 You are poor
61-64 You have ill health (double your Oldness but not your Age)
65-66 You are old (double your Oldness, with your Age)
67-70 You are naive
71-73 You are a bad guy
74-74 You are a solider*
75-77 You are a catholic
78-78 You are an overseer* (Foreigner) *
79-79 You are a slave * (Jew or Gypsy) *
80-81 You are obsessed by voodoo* (occult) *
82-83 You are ugly
84-85 You have a bad sight
86-88 You are small
89-90 You are bald
91-92 You are thin
93-94 You are fat
95-96 You are Irish
97-97 You are mute
98-98 You are hemophiliac (triple your Oldness only when Wounded)
99-99 You are deaf
00-00 You are an albino (without a big sword)

I tried to make the changes relate to the original problem, so the political problems were changed to political problems, or the racial issues were the same as well.  If I decided to run this version again, I would change how the problem table was arranged so that the new problems had larger percentile to be rolled.  Paul Czege very much wanted to be an overseer, and that was a perfect 79 role, while being a Union Sympathizer was from 5-8, a bigger chance. As it turned out, only two new problems were rolled, overseer by Paul and Union Sympathizer by Matt Guinn.  Scott Knipe really wanted to be Irish and re-rolled two problems creating four, but never got it.  (Yes, I thought Irish was totally ok with the setting, the Irish could be indentured servants in the South and were considered no better that the African slave, they were even allowed to intermarry).  Another idea for the problem table is to leave some fields blank or call them the “special” problems, then have a separate table with the setting associated problems that would have to be rolled against, to have more chances of the new problems being used.  

The problem rolling actually went good, Paul and Tom Fitch getting the better combinations. Paul got overseer, gamble, smoke and ill health (which he liked to play up with taking a hit then coughing up a lung!) Tom only had three but traded one for two and ended up with Pastor, homosexual, sing and old.  Matt and Scott had more trivial problems, Matt had Union Sympathizer (which he played well), dress improper, alcoholic, nave, (and the weirdest) bald. Scott traded two and his final problems were Baptist (which didn’t play well), ill health, poet, small (funny for Scott), albino, bad sight and drug addict!  

The rules read almost as a one shot, but we extended to three sessions, with a jump of two playing years (a d10/2 role) between the first and second session.  That worked really well, the setting could progress closer to the Civil War, which was used in the plot.  I had to do some historical research, which is what I do so it was no stretch, but I failed in not correcting the players when they interjected improper historical facts. Can’t help that, though.  Anyway, the plot entailed two murders, two homosexual attractions, two cock fights, a bunch of people dieing, a slave rebellion, a lynching, and the plantation being burned to the ground!  In the end, only the overseer escaped, but he was distraught and wandered off into the sunset with his cigarette smoke ‘floating in the wind’.  

Since this was my first role as GM, I can say that I learned a lot. It is a lot different from playing then running, but I think this was a good game to be the first to try.  Compared to the other players in the group who have run games, the prep for WH is minimal, if at all. I had an idea for what the plantation house looked like, and how the plantation was arranged, but that ended up being unimportant. What helped me was ME knowing how it looked, and what major city it was close to, and what river is was on, so I could play off that information and shuffle it into the game. In fact, the best scenes were when I was going on the fly and making new NPC’s to interact with the players.  I tried but failed in get women into the game, four woman could have had prominence, but that didn’t pan out, and it’s too hard to get a group of guys to play a female characters anyway. Maybe an additional problem could be ‘female’?

So, I’d like to thank my game group for putting up with a newbie girl GM, Paul, Tom, Matt and Scott, as well as Kirt Dankmyer for answering some question that I had before the game.
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A haiku inspired by Gen Con 2002:

Oh, Great Bowl of dice
Unearth the die of my dreams
Wicked 12 sider

-D
Jared A. Sorensen
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Posts: 1463

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« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2002, 10:01:37 AM »

Quote from: Paul's Girl
...two homosexual attractions, two cock fights...


Must...refrain...from making...off color joke...!

But seriously, that sounds like a fun ol' time. I'm picturing a Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil kinda thing here.

I'm guessing the 1950's would be equally ripe for a treatment. Wuthering Heights, the planned community?

- J
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jared a. sorensen / www.memento-mori.com
xiombarg
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« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2002, 10:06:40 AM »

Quote from: Paul's Girl
So, Id like to thank my game group for putting up with a newbie girl GM, Paul, Tom, Matt and Scott, as well as Kirt Dankmyer for answering some question that I had before the game.

It sounds like it went great. I really, really need to play this game rather than run it. And I really like the idea of the Southern version.

Tho, I dunno what it is about my players -- perhaps having a female player helped -- but when I run it, there isn't the sheer number of homosexual plotlines that everyone else seems to have when they run it. ;-)
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love * Eris * RPGs  * Anime * Magick * Carroll * techno * hats * cats * Dada
Kirt "Loki" Dankmyer -- Dance, damn you, dance! -- UNSUNG IS OUT
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2002, 10:23:11 AM »

Hi there,

The problems "homosexual" and "pastor" exert a curious attraction on the dice in Wuthering Heights ... it seems to be a common combination, and in the case of my character, at least, it was fairly rolled.

Danielle, I was originally concerned that the setting and style of play for your group would run counter to the distraught, crazed farce that Wuthering Heights best supports. But it seems you managed very well. Of course the plantation ended up in flames ... how could it not?

How often, if at all, did y'all (heh) use the mechanics which lead to wild mood swings? Events can increase/decrease an attribute, which in some cases leads to a prescripted reaction in the rules, and that can lead to a roll, which itself leads to loss or gain which carries a prescripted reaction, and so on. At least twice during our single session, characters went through a wild dice-driven roller-coaster. Did that happen with your bunch at all?

Best,
Ron
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Philippe Tromeur
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Posts: 72


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« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2002, 08:36:12 AM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards

The problems "homosexual" and "pastor" exert a curious attraction on the dice in Wuthering Heights ... it seems to be a common combination, and in the case of my character, at least, it was fairly rolled.

In my games, every priest seems to be alcoholic and/or evil, which is generally fine too.

Quote from: Ron Edwards

How often, if at all, did y'all (heh) use the mechanics which lead to wild mood swings? Events can increase/decrease an attribute, which in some cases leads to a prescripted reaction in the rules, and that can lead to a roll, which itself leads to loss or gain which carries a prescripted reaction, and so on. At least twice during our single session, characters went through a wild dice-driven roller-coaster. Did that happen with your bunch at all?

That does not happen very often (basically, you go mad, then you lose/gain d5 points, then you roll 5, then you go mad the opposite way, etc.) ; it never happened to me (well ... maybe once). This is a "bug" of the rules, but I recognise it's very funny so I'll keep it !!
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Philippe Tromeur
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Posts: 72


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« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2002, 08:59:28 AM »

Anyway, I'm happy someone is trying to do something different with the game !!
I'm especially impressed and flattered someone achieve a mini-campaign of the game, something I never tried (I only play one-shots, generally with different persons every time).

These days, I haven't worked a lot on the game, though I've promised to do it in 2002. I'm busy with some freelance works (translations for the French edition of Nobilis, and things for the French edition of In Nomine) ...
Anyway, I'll certainly do it before 2003, because a second printed version of "Ren" (the French version) will be published in 2003 or 2004. This time, it will a book, distributed in game shops (the 1st version was a fanzine supplement).

I still wonder if I'll change the problem table (nearly unchanged since the first draft of the bame back in 1988) ... but lots of people seem to be happy about it !! Maybe suppress some dull problems (bald, fat) and replace them with major concerns.
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Paul Czege
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 2341


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« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2002, 10:14:01 AM »

Hey...Danielle was having trouble posting. My guess is that it's from the apostrophe in the username she came up with. I seem to recall one of the Target Audience folks had a similar difficulty with an apostrophe in his username.

So when the post wouldn't take, she emailed it to me to submit on her behalf:

Jared- I did something similar in the game in relation to cock fighting, but it would not be appropriate to say what it was. Ask one of the players, I know they enjoyed that part.

Kirt- the second of the homosexual attractions was kinda flung in at the end of the game to explain on of the character's uninterest in a beautiful house slave, so pretty much a surprise to me.  Perhaps me being a female GM helped with the drama part, while your female player character added to your game.  I'm not saying that men CAN'T do drama, but maybe women can act it more easily? I'm not trying to start a heated topic here, just wondering...

Ron- When I told Kirt about my setting idea, he had said that his group and thought about a 'Gone with the Wind' setting might have worked. He said something along the lines of if the society has a rigid social structure, then it could work.  

Perhaps because my inexperience of being a GM, or that the game hadn't been played by anyone in the group before, but the rage and despair scores didn't fluctuate as much as I heard they were supposed to.  I don't think the widest range was out side of 8 points from the starting scores.  Something to figure out and work on I guess.

-Danielle
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My Life with Master knows codependence.
And if you're doing anything with your Acts of Evil ashcan license, of course I'm curious and would love to hear about your plans
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