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Author Topic: [Polaris] Moon Ownership Question  (Read 6193 times)
Supplanter
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« on: March 08, 2010, 09:02:30 PM »

I'd like to clarify my understanding, please, of the scope of the Mistaken-player's authority over Moon characters. The following grows out of a session four of us participated in last week:

Personae:
Fornax - The Heart
Cygnus - His Lover, a doctor, written into the New Moon section of Fornax's cosmos
Etzilitotec - A Demon, logged in the Mistaken section of Fornax's cosmos. Currently trapped in Fornax's starlight sword.
Senator Rigel - Kind of a groupie of Fornax, written into the New Moon section of Fornax's cosmos

Scene opens with the Mistaken going directly into conflict:

1. M: And so it was that Fornax awoke to himself standing beside Senator Rigel's bed with blood on his sword, the murdered senator stiffening among his bedclothes.
2. H: But only if Fornax spots the trail of blood leading to the open window, and catches up with the assassin he wounded three blocks later.
3. M: But only if, when he spins the hooded figure around, he discovers it is Doctor Cygnus.
4. H: But only if it was NOT demonic corruption that drove her to the act, but mortal passion.
5. M: And that was how it happened.
6. Mistaken drops out to freeplay to give Fornax a chance to confront his lover.
7. Fornax's player turns to the New Moon and asks, "Why?"

At what step if any has the forgoing flouted the rules? 1 seems entirely kosher: Fornax is carrying a demon-haunted sword! 2 seems legit if the Mistaken doesn't use one of the negating/curtailing responses: Fornax is making a a big claim about his own actions and their result.

3 and 4 are where I wonder. If I'm the Mistaken, can I essentially take over a Moon character like in step 3? Statement 4 declares a fact about a Moon character AND (negatively) about the the role of the demons in the encounter (Mistaken-business): kosher? In 7, should the Heart be talking to the New Moon, or, given all that has transpired, should the Mistaken now be playing Doctor Cygnus?

I haven't said anything about poor Senator Rigel because I just assume the Mistaken can whack a Moon character as part of a conflict sequence, but let me know if I assume wrong, please.

The above probably boils down to, can the Mistaken "take over" Moon characters freely?

What about a variant, reversing the speakers?

1. H: And so it was that Fornax awoke to himself standing beside Senator Rigel's bed with blood on his sword, the murdered senator stiffening among his bedclothes.
2. M: But only if Fornax spots the trail of blood leading to the open window, and catches up with the assassin he wounded three blocks later.
3. H: But only if, when he spins the hooded figure around, he discovers it is Doctor Cygnus.
4. M: But only if it was NOT demonic corruption that drove her to the act, but mortal passion.
5. H: And that was how it happened.
6 & 7. The same.

Is this more or less according to Hoyle at any point than the first example?

Thanks,


Jim
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Ben Lehman
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« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2010, 09:28:04 PM »

Both totally kosher. A key phrase (conflict or and so it was) lets the player cross ordinary lines of control.

Now, there are reasons why you wouldn't necessarily *want* to play conflicts out like that, but they're both totally legal.
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Supplanter
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« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2010, 06:06:58 PM »

Thank you, Ben. So it really is just that simple. Awesome!

I infer that outside of key statements, the Heart and Mistaken should keep their hands off the Moons? (Control-wise, I mean.)

Also, I'd be sincerely interested to hear your reasons on why one might not "necessarily *want* to play conflicts out like that" if you care to share them. (For the record, everything through Step 3 in the first example "really happened" in play. I excised a "Far Too Much" by the Mistaken between 1 and 2. Step 4 was me trying to figure out what the Heart's sway might be.)

Best,


Jim
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« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2010, 07:23:34 PM »

Yeah, outside of a key phrase, players should stick to their own authority. (which -- for all players -- can include projecting your authority via your characters' actions: "I swing my sword and cut his head off" doesn't require a key phrase.)

I don't like it when conflicts skip big amounts of time. As the Mistaken, I would close the conflict after "but only if he follows the trail of blood and catches up to the assassin three blocks later." with a simple "and so it was that Fornax came across the assassin only to discover it was Dr. Fornax." Basically, apparently the scene we've set is not what we're actually interested in, so let's just jump to what we want, plus play hand-off with the Moon and get him involved in play.

yrs--
--Ben
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Supplanter
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« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2010, 07:11:47 PM »

First, tons of thanks. This is all helpful.

Yeah, outside of a key phrase, players should stick to their own authority. (which -- for all players -- can include projecting your authority via your characters' actions: "I swing my sword and cut his head off" doesn't require a key phrase.)

Oh right. A thing I don't think I've taken enough notice of in my own play: Moons can do things. Antares, chief diplomat, is a New Moon of the player on my right and the Full Moon of the player on my left, so I can play Antares a lot. Last week, she was trying to head off a duel between "her" Heart (PC to my right) - her sister's lover - and his Mistaken (her father). She did this through imploring a lot, and it didn't work. But I could have had her get the Heart banished or the Mistaken kidnapped if the Heart or Mistaken were willing to take the action up with a "we shall see what comes of it," right?

Now, to make absolutely sure I've got this, if I say, "Antares has the Senate banish" the Heart, and the Heart and Mistaken both say, "But it was no matter," because they'd rather have the duel, then the Senate does not banish the Heart. BUT, Antares did in fact try to get the Heart banished. Correct? "BIWNM" negates the result in this case, but not the action? (I'm thinking of the example in the book where one Moon tries to smash another character's head in with a vase.)

I don't like it when conflicts skip big amounts of time. As the Mistaken, I would close the conflict after "but only if he follows the trail of blood and catches up to the assassin three blocks later." with a simple "and so it was that Fornax came across the assassin only to discover it was Dr. Fornax." Basically, apparently the scene we've set is not what we're actually interested in, so let's just jump to what we want, plus play hand-off with the Moon and get him involved in play.

This seems like a subtle distinction to me, whose importance I'm not fully grasping. The same fictional stuff happens in the same sequence. (In terms of action, it's identical to Step 3 in the original example. And the Heart has the option to But Only If it, or exhaust a Theme and apply a negating/abridging  key phrase. About the only difference I can see is that the Heart immediately has a stronger "It Was Not Meant To Be" option in your version: since "And So It Was" starts a new conflict sequence, if the Heart drops "IWNMTB" right afterward, it cancels Doctor Fornax and DOESN'T cancel the trail of blood and the fact that Fornax didn't kill the Senator.

I guess there's possible esthetic and social value in not having long trains of But Only Ifs going. Beyond those things, I'm just not versed enough in the game to see much difference between the first example and your alternative. What am I missing?

Best,


Jim
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« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2010, 09:46:35 PM »

Hey, Jim. There's no particular strategic reason to do what I did (that I can think of). It's mostly a stylistic question: I like free play better than conflict, so any time I'm in conflict I'll be aggressively pushing towards resolution and more free play.

Although, I'd like to note that the Heart has no "it was not meant to be" option against "and so it was."
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« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2010, 06:43:05 PM »

Hey, Jim. There's no particular strategic reason to do what I did (that I can think of). It's mostly a stylistic question: I like free play better than conflict, so any time I'm in conflict I'll be aggressively pushing towards resolution and more free play.

Oh wow. That's interesting. We've had some fairly long chains of key statements in our first two sessions and . . . they can get annoying. Tending toward a "Can You Top This?" dynamic? Next time I'll try to close off conflicts I'm in earlier by accepting more.

Although, I'd like to note that the Heart has no "it was not meant to be" option against "and so it was."

Gotcha.

Once again, this has been a huge help, and I thank you hugely!

Best,


Jim
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« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2010, 08:17:04 PM »

Postscript: Fortified with the insights above, we had a very successful session (Number 3) tonight. Thanks again.

Best,


Jim
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Unqualified Offerings - Looking Sideways at Your World
20' x 20' Room - Because Roleplaying Games Are Interesting
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