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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 158 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Driftwood Indie Game Night: FVLMINATA part II  (Read 2910 times)
Jake Norwood
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« on: October 02, 2002, 09:35:25 PM »

We played FVLMINATA again tonight. The intrigue is getting very very thick, but I'm handling it smoothly. So far I've pulled this off by trying to constantly tie everything into a single point. That way everything is easier to keep track of. I'm using lots and lots of "scene framing," which is making our largely separate group really gell.

We had some cut-throat action tonight, and although there was blood, there wasn't much fighting. Slit throats and other fun Roman stuff.

What really blows me away about FVLMINATA is the setting. It's wonderful. The book is very non-metaplot-ish, which gives groups tons of freedom, but carries the history and reputation of Rome. The whole game has lots of "style" and is a blast to play. One player commented that she's having more fun here than in previous games (she's been gaming with us for a few weeks now). Although her character isn't involved as often as others, the entire plot relates to her, so she's involved as a player even when the character isn't.

As a down-side, as much as I love the TALI (and I really do), the mechanics are causing problems.

For starters, there's too many skills for how narrow the gameplay is. The more games I see and play, the more I like games with pre-written skills ala White Wolf or Pendragon. I don't mind long skill lists in many games, because that's what makes the "setting" customizable. FULMINATA, on the other hand, is pretty set here, so the skills are a bit much. I love the way that the skills pertain to certain gods, and I'd rather have a rule where you have a rating in a god's sphere, and any "test" that falls under this sphere uses those numbers (like multiple covers from Sorcerer, maybe).
Second, the rolling feels a little too random--the skill of a character seems less important. It's the same problem I have in any game where success and result are different rolls (as to-hit and damage are in many many games). It lacks a smoothness and continuity.

We'll be wrapping this adventure/story up in another session or two, and then I think we'll move on to sorcerer. We'll see.

Jake
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"Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing." -R.E. Howard The Tower of the Elephant
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contracycle
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« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2002, 01:52:52 AM »

Hmm.  I'm surprised to see this described as "non meta-plot-ish".  I can;t think opf anything MORE meta-plot-ish than an actual known hostory.  With variations, sure.
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Judd
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« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2002, 04:39:15 AM »

But with history at least you know that some freelance writer with a different idea about the game you love isn't going to step up and re-write the world or that a card tournament isn't going to decide history or some such hogwash.

History seems more credible and, of course, if everyone at the table decide to, history can go right out the window.
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Michael S. Miller
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« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2002, 06:18:57 AM »

Hi, all.

Jake: I'm really glad you are your group are enjoying the game. I just saw your previous thread and will try to work up a GM-screen-like collection of tables this weekend. We'll put on the website when it next gets updated.

How are the Influence skill rolls working out?

contracycle: I would say that FVLMINATA is an Alternate History rather than Actual History with Variations. Several of the most recent emperors are completely fictious, the borders of the Imperium are larger, the standing of many nonChristian mystery cults is much higher, socially. The game world has no set future. Questions from "Who will be the next emperor?" to "Will Christianity (or Mithraism, for that matter) become the state religion?" to "Will the Imperium fall?" are left up to your gaming group.

Hope everyone enjoys the game.
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Jeffrey Miller
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« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2002, 08:16:51 AM »

Jake, keep the updates coming!  I've been unable to find a copy locally (I'll break down and order it soon, I'm sure! ;D) so at the very least, I get to live viracariously through these reports..
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Jake Norwood
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« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2002, 08:59:02 AM »

What I think is really great about "Romans with Guns" is that if forces you to break the history. Like Michael said, there's no pre-determined history...in fact, the book doesn't even give you a list of important living characters, or even the name of the emporor. So it has a rich past (all of Roman history) but an unwritten future. I'm probably going to kill the current caesar in my game on wednesday, for example...something I'd be uncomfortable doing in any game that was still feeding me a metaplot.

The influence rolls are working out well, and are the mechanical highlight of the game. In truth, I think that the entire system could be re-written to follow the pattern of the influence rolls to great effect.

Oh, and I CAN"T WAIT to see that GM screen.

Jake
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2002, 06:17:47 PM »

Hi Jake,

For those of us in the back row (and who haven't stuck their stickers on their tali yet, and yes, I'll buy the spiff ones eventually), could you lay out the specifics of the influence system vs. the basic resolution system, to illustrate your point?

Best,
Ron
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Jake Norwood
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« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2002, 12:25:42 AM »

Well...easier said than done, I guess. In short, if you are successful on your skill roll to influence someone than you get to choose three options for them:

1) Agreement--they do what you want
2) Concession--they sort of do what you want
3) Neutrality--they don't do what you want, but you get something out of it anyway

The influencing player defines the specifics--more or less--of what the influence-ee does under each of the three options. Then, based on the roll and GM choice, one of those three things comes to pass.

Standard resolution is basically a fancy roll-to-hit, roll-for-effect system, with more color.

Jake
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