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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 74 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Scene order in case of multiple participants  (Read 2696 times)
higgins
Member

Posts: 44


« on: April 21, 2010, 12:41:25 AM »

Hi all!

I was just wondering what are the best practices in resolving this. Let's take the example from the book p.28. Roxy's scene in a speakeasy with his brother Billy making a scandal. Let's assume the respective players sit side by side and the next scene would be rightfully Billy's. However, Billy just was in a scene with Roxy. Do you perform a next scene with Billy anyway, or do you skip over Billy to the next player, possibly refunding Billy's spent fan mail?
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Matt Wilson
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Posts: 1121

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« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2010, 12:56:22 AM »

Hi higgins.

It's not about who's in the scene. It's that the player gets to request the specifics of a scene. The protagonists can be in every scene.
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higgins
Member

Posts: 44


« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2010, 03:24:36 AM »

Hm, so, I can request a scene for another character if I want to?
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Welkerfan
Member

Posts: 43


« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2010, 05:05:19 AM »

Yup, whatever the player wants to request, he can, whether or not his character is in the scene.
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Brenton Wiernik
higgins
Member

Posts: 44


« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2010, 06:24:37 AM »

So, the real scene checklist, consists of Character/Focus/Agenda/Location? But the character not listed because everybody is assumed to build scenes around his or her own character most of the time?
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jburneko
Member

Posts: 1351


« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2010, 08:20:51 AM »

The characters involved is part of the Agenda.  So let's say I'm playing a character named Alice and you're playing a character named Bob and Matt is playing a character named Carl.

On my turn I might do this:

Location: The alley behind Joe's Diner
Focus: Plot
Agenda: Bob and Carl arguing about what to do with the money they stole.

So, now you and Matt play out that scene after the Producer frames it and adds ant details he wants.

Jesse
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higgins
Member

Posts: 44


« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2010, 09:30:28 AM »

But in that case, the fan mail spending to enter the scene can be avoided most of the time. Someone starts to outline his/her scene and then another player interrupts with something that which effectively means "put my character in there too" and thus he doesn't need to pay the Fan Mail he should have paid when he wanted to enter the scene later. What's the point of that rule then? Spending fan mail to enter the scene effectively becomes "spend if you're too late to ask being in the scene in a first place". I mean, refusing to have the asker in the scene would just being a dick, as you simply make him pay one Fan Mail.
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jburneko
Member

Posts: 1351


« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2010, 09:40:19 AM »

The spending fan mail to enter a scene is just to make people think twice before interrupting an already in progress scene.  Is getting involved right now that important or can it wait until next scene?  When I set up the scene I wanted to see Bob and Carl argue over the money.  If someone new enters the scene they're going to shift the focus of the scene however slightly.  They have to pay for that privilege since it's disruptive to my original requested scene.

Jesse
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jburneko
Member

Posts: 1351


« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2010, 09:49:51 AM »

OH!

And for what it's worth a player buying his way into a scene only happens about once an episode in my games.  Maybe twice an episode during some of the more climatic moments.  So yes, it doesn't happen very often.

Jesse
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higgins
Member

Posts: 44


« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2010, 10:19:43 AM »

That indeed puts things in a different perspective. Thanks! =)

But... the example of play on p. 6? John still pays Fan Mail, although they're still setting up the conflict. But he's paying because Billy wasn't in Meredith's initial setup? Being the first example in the book, I somehow assumed two characters in a scene would always be a result of someone else joining in... or at least paying up for it.
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Welkerfan
Member

Posts: 43


« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2010, 07:31:59 AM »

The best example I can think of someone paying Fan Mail to enter a scene is the climax of the original Star Wars.  In the Death Star run scene, when Han shows up in the Millennium Falcon and shoots Darth Vader out of the sky, he saw that Luke's player probably wasn't going to win, so he played Fan Mail to enter the scene and dump a bunch of extra cards onto Luke's hand, enabling him to win.
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Brenton Wiernik
higgins
Member

Posts: 44


« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2010, 08:34:16 AM »

Cool example, but I don't see how it's game-mechanically feasible. Han's player has to:
a) Aid Luke with fan mail, which he could do anyway, and not entering the scene himself, he would have had one more fan mail to add to Luke's pot!
b) If he did enter the scene, he must also beat the Producer's difficulty for his appearance to have any effect!

The only way that I see this working is... Producer has come up with only two reds, while Luke has none. Han's player has only one fan mail and can't in any way help Luke to have two reds. So, he uses the fan mail to enter the scene, triggering every possible Trait he has, hoping to beat the Producer. Or am I missing something?
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Welkerfan
Member

Posts: 43


« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2010, 08:59:54 AM »

May just be a misunderstanding that led to a house rule, but we've always played that you can't just lay your own Fan Mail on someone else's cards.  Your protagonist has to help influence the outcome in some way.  But, that is probably not the rules as written.
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Brenton Wiernik
higgins
Member

Posts: 44


« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2010, 12:42:37 PM »

It is indeed your house rule. How else can someone not in the scene have a chance in winning the narration rights? Look up Outside Influence on p48.
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Eero Tuovinen
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 2591


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« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2010, 12:55:06 PM »

Yeah, that's a house rule - players can spend fan mail for others easily enough. However, the point of Han's sudden appearance is clearly not to help Luke per se, but rather to redeem himself as a hero.

As for spending fan mail to enter a scene, remember that there are multiple steps to playing a scene:
1) Order the scene from the Producer
2) Producer frames the scene
3) Free play
4) Conflict declaration
5) Conflict resolution
6) Close scene

Step number 3 is the one in which you pay for getting your character into the scene. (You could also do it in step 4, but in practice that means just delaying step 4 and going back to 3 so you can introduce your character before the conflict is declared.) You might have to do this because your character was not framed into the scene to begin with; it's not a given that the other player or the Producer decided to put your character into the scene to begin with, and in some scenes it wouldn't even make sense for your character to be there from the start. Typically you end up paying for entering a scene because the scene develops during free play towards issues and details that concern your character, and you therefore come to have an unforeseen stake in the proceedings. For example, a scene in which your character's girlfriend was supposed to just talk with a rival ends up violent - perfectly reasonable for the player to decide that actually, he wants his character to interrupt the events and ride to the rescue.

It seems to me that if you don't see a point to the rule, then your free play is not being sufficiently powerful in determining the direction of play; this is a pretty common "wrong" interpretation of PTA, there's plenty of discussion out there about how you're not supposed to just storyboard the scene as cooperative speculation and then move directly into conflict without ever having an opportunity for roleplaying dialogue and actions of the characters. (I'm putting "wrong" into quotes because some people seem to actually prefer playing the game in this way, so more power to them.) A clear sign of a weak free play step and a too elaborate scene frame is if the players don't see any point in playing the scene after it's been framed: you're not supposed to determine what happens in the scene when you frame it, you just open it by stating the time, place and immediate participants of the action. The freedom of action the players have in step 3, above, is what might or might not bring about the need to introduce more characters into the scene.
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