*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
August 19, 2022, 10:01:56 PM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 83 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
Pages: 1 [2] 3
Print
Author Topic: Pool Party--everyone's invited!  (Read 33508 times)
Blake Hutchins
Member

Posts: 614


« Reply #15 on: October 09, 2002, 10:45:19 AM »

Hey Mike,

Nah, I don't care what someone makes up, so long as it doesn't pre-empt what develops in play.  I write a lot, too.  Problem is, a lot of those details become hard to get into play, or they inundate the GM with factoids it's hard to keep track of.

There's more elegance in starting with a limited, tersely stated backstory as what's on the table NOW, then adding the other details in as play progresses.  If you've worked out a lot in advance, that'd be cool in my game, so long as you were open to adjusting toward what happens in play.  I guess it is all about playing before you play, huh?

Best,

Blake
Logged
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #16 on: October 09, 2002, 01:10:43 PM »

So the fifty words are the only thing that's objectively true before play begins, and anything else written is only true after it gets included somehw in play, or as part of after play write-up? I can hang with that. As a summary for the GM to hang on to it makes sense.

Mike
Logged

Member of Indie Netgaming
-Get your indie game fix online.
Bob McNamee
Member

Posts: 685


« Reply #17 on: October 09, 2002, 01:12:17 PM »

As as far as folks holding out for high die amounts for sacrificing their MOV under the "rule of three" that we used in netgame.
Nathan, as far as I recall never told us how  many dice we would get for sacrificing our MOV.
You were always taking your chances... although I'm sure he had it in his mind the "boy that pool is low...lets give him three...or that one's full enough have one..."

and the way we were rolling, we would have been getting three...except we didn't want to waste the rare success... (Dicebot hates me...)
Logged

Bob McNamee
Indie-netgaming- Out of the ordinary on-line gaming!
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #18 on: October 09, 2002, 01:25:17 PM »

Hi there,

I should point out too that in my play of The Pool, "magic" or similarly-vague terms were not sufficient for traits - by specifying "soul magic" or "apprentice of the Holy Path" or some such thing, all issues with power or focus suddenly became non-issues.

Best,
Ron
Logged
Blake Hutchins
Member

Posts: 614


« Reply #19 on: October 09, 2002, 02:45:42 PM »

Mike:  Exactly.  I know when I generated my Exalted character, I happily churned out a good three pages of intense backstory, adding characters, details of my guy's childhood, food preferences, fashion taste, etc.  All I really needed was:

Lian Khem is a Dynast veteran of the Legions now serving as customs magistrate in the port of Sequester.  One day his beloved Dragon-Blooded daughter returns from the South bearing a gift, a dagger that triggers in Khem a terrifying vision of a former life.  The details are murky, but he instantly knows two things:  first, the dagger was a wedding gift, and second, it was used to kill him.  Enraged at the memory of betrayal, he Exalts.

This is where I should have stopped, if you ask me.   80 words is plenty, and I could certainly trim it to 50 and leave the core content intact.  It's a plenty good place for a Kicker, as it sets up the core narrative thread for this guy, namely his daughter - whom he loves more than life itself - believes he's a demon and wants to kill him.  However, I belched out another four pages of dense prose, including journal entries from his daughter and other NPCs as well as commentary from the character himself.  Fun-fun-fun, but WAY too much for the GM to assimilate, especially given the already deeply fleshed out setting of Exalted.

Ron:  We had "Paladin magic" in my last game, which translated in MoV terms to sweeping fires of divine intervention scorching a besieging army off the map.  Scope and scale problems, which could have been mitigated by more pre-play discussion of what "Paladin magic" meant.  The particular player was jubilant and way over the top with her descriptions, and had a habit of solving all current problems any characters faced with a single blast of MoV.

In Everway, mage players making up their own magic systems by tiers seems to help players set appropriate boundaries.  My thought is the wide open narrative power of The Pool may tempt players to use magic or psi as deus ex machina solutions.  That was my experience with this one player, and I'm mulling over the best way to cope with it.  Thoughts or ideas much appreciated.

Best,

Blake
Logged
Paganini
Member

Posts: 1049


WWW
« Reply #20 on: October 09, 2002, 07:14:57 PM »

Quote from: Paul Czege
Someone really needs to playtest the Rule of Three.


They have. :)

Quote

1) It's possible that for a lot of players the impact will be minimal on thrashing. A GM who offers two dice to a player to forego his MoV may find himself often confronted by the player holding out for an offer of three. And in that case, there's no net impact in thrashing. I gotta think players will push the GM that way, for a bigger offer. And my gut tells me the GM will need to reserve the offer of three for occasions when he absolutely wants to narrate the outcome, in order that it not become devalued, since he can't ever go higher.


But that's not how it works. Well, I guess it could work that way, but the rule of three I use doesn't involve any kind of negotiation. The GM just decides how many dice to hand out in each instance to avoid the potential problems of thrashing / exploding.

Quote

2) A weak GM who too frequently gives in and offers three dice, may end up creating a player story-time dynamic, where the player consistently has enough resources to seize control over the narration whenever he wants...especially if the player group gets in the habit of lending large amounts of dice to each other. I don't recall a rule that limits the amount of dice lent. It's the kind of rule that might emerge from playtesting.


As far as I know, players can only lend dice to each other during a Death's Door check. In fact, the rule of three was invented indirectly to avoid the problem you're talking about:

1 - People were complaining about running out of dice ("thrashing").
2 - Number of reward dice was increased to 2 and / or 3.
3 - People are worried about players having too many dice to sieze control with.
4 - The rule of three let's the GM set the dynamic at a level appropriate for the way the dice seem to be falling in a particular session.

I can't stress enough that we used this rule through several sessions of gaming. It's been tested by fire to my satisfaction. Obviously James will have to try it himself to see if he likes it as well as I do. :)
Logged

Paganini
Member

Posts: 1049


WWW
« Reply #21 on: October 09, 2002, 07:21:25 PM »

Quote from: Bob McNamee
As as far as folks holding out for high die amounts for sacrificing their MOV under the "rule of three" that we used in netgame.
Nathan, as far as I recall never told us how  many dice we would get for sacrificing our MOV.
You were always taking your chances... although I'm sure he had it in his mind the "boy that pool is low...lets give him three...or that one's full enough have one..."

and the way we were rolling, we would have been getting three...except we didn't want to waste the rare success... (Dicebot hates me...)


Bob, exactly, you nailed it.

(And, you guys were rolling so bad, I was giving out 3 gift dice most of the time. :)
Logged

James V. West
Member

Posts: 567


WWW
« Reply #22 on: October 09, 2002, 07:31:12 PM »

Well, I wrote a really long, detailed response to some of these posts and then got an error regarding the database. Guess Clinton warned us about this. *sigh*

I'll try to reiterate some of it.

Ron: My fear of system abuse is a personal issue that goes way, way back to the days when this vapid moron I used to play with would play 70th level ranger-gods carrying +24 poleaxes that would shrink to toothpick size. In my sessions of The Pool I've experienced no system abuse. Toche.

Your "stripped down" Pool is pretty much on the money for me sans a couple of things. I prefer 2 dice instead of 1 (still I'm going to try the Rule of Three sometime). I don't like dice loaning because I feel like the game is loose enough already and I want to maintain a few rigid rules. But it's worth trying out ;-).

Blake: I've had problems with magic in other loose-goose games I've created and played. I pretty much go with what Ron said: a magic Trait needs some descriptors.

Mike: Right on the money with the 50 word thing. Those 50 words are simply the facts at the start of the game. You can add all the other stuff as play goes on.

Thanks for all these great posts, folks. Your opinions mean a hell of a lot to me.
Logged

Paganini
Member

Posts: 1049


WWW
« Reply #23 on: October 10, 2002, 05:45:46 AM »

Quote from: James V. West

Your "stripped down" Pool is pretty much on the money for me sans a couple of things. I prefer 2 dice instead of 1 (still I'm going to try the Rule of Three sometime). I don't like dice loaning because I feel like the game is loose enough already and I want to maintain a few rigid rules. But it's worth trying out ;-).


(Note: I don't want to seem like I'm pounding this into the ground, but I feel the urge to post more about the Rule of Three. Please take it as enthusiasm, cos that's really what it is. :)

This is another reason the Rule of Three is cool. You like 2 dice, Ron likes 1. The rule of three says "The GM gets to decide!" So, if you use the Rule of Three, there's no conflict between you and Ron on this point. It's just a matter of personal customization, the ability to do which is built into the game. There's no reason that the GM has to give a different number of dice every time with the Rule of Three. He can decide "Hey, I like giving out 2 dice, so that's what I'll do." But at the same time he has the freedom to give out more or less, if it seems like players pools are getting too large or too small.

That's how my Rule of Three works, anyway. It doesn't add any new elements to gameplay (that is, no negotiation or anything like that). I wanted to make this especially clear, since it seemed like there was some confusion about how we actually used the RoT (hehe) during play. I said at the beginning of the game that I was going to be using it, and that was all. During the game there was absolutely zero discussion of dice. Players don't have any idea how many dice the GM is going to hand them until he actually does it. (Since we were in IRC, I wrote it out with an action: *GM hands you 2 dice.) I did this for gift dice as well as for reward dice.
Logged

Zoetrope10
Member

Posts: 32


WWW
« Reply #24 on: October 11, 2002, 05:40:40 AM »

Mike Holmes said:

Quote
The problem I have with a fifty word character design is that I'd write more anyhow... What advantage does that limit have(?) ...I can only incorporate the most important 15 dice worth anyhow.

In the rules as currently written, if the player calls for a roll, they have to name an applicable trait. This need not necessarily be a trait with a bonus. So it would presumably be in a player's interest to have story with as many words as possible, so they could maximise their number of traits, so they could maximise their capacity to call for a roll (even though, with no bonus dice for many of these traits, they'd be pretty weeny rolls).

Although it's a dial thing, the focus and discipline of a 50-word limit surely serves as a good example of 'less is more'.
Logged
Michael Bowman
Member

Posts: 23


WWW
« Reply #25 on: October 11, 2002, 07:55:18 AM »

Quote from: Zoetrope10
In the rules as currently written, if the player calls for a roll, they have to name an applicable trait. This need not necessarily be a trait with a bonus. So it would presumably be in a player's interest to have story with as many words as possible, so they could maximise their number of traits, so they could maximise their capacity to call for a roll (even though, with no bonus dice for many of these traits, they'd be pretty weeny rolls).


Ah. I hadn't thought of that. I always assumed it meant traits with a bonus.

I do agree that 50-words makes you focus on the core of your concept.

Michael
Logged
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #26 on: October 11, 2002, 08:10:24 AM »

Hi Zoetrope,

That particular rules item (a player-called roll must include a trait) is my most hated element of one of the versions of the Pool; it was not present in the original version. My question to James about "abuse" early in this thread was actually rooted in this exact issue, as he had cited fear of abuse as his reason for including it in an earlier thread.

As I play, anyone can call for a roll regarding a conflict in-play at any time, and whether a trait is involved or not is entirely an independent issue.

The most recent version of The Pool, in James' just-released Random Orders Comics & Games comic, matches this earlier version and doesn't include the trait-stricture, for which I am very, very grateful.

Best,
Ron
Logged
Zoetrope10
Member

Posts: 32


WWW
« Reply #27 on: October 18, 2002, 06:28:23 AM »

Hey Ron

You said

Quote
As I play, anyone can call for a roll regarding a conflict in-play at any time, and whether a trait is involved or not is entirely an independent issue.

Earlier in the thread, you said

Quote
Failed rolls mean failed conflicts...

As you play it: (a) must there be a 'conflict' in order for a player to call for a roll? (b) may a player call for a roll if their character is not present in a scene? (c) if so, do they need a relevant trait?

Z
Logged
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #28 on: October 18, 2002, 07:26:12 AM »

Hi Z,

Good questions.

As you play it: (a) must there be a 'conflict' in order for a player to call for a roll?

Sure. But who originates that conflict varies: it can be the GM, player whose character is most affected by the outcome, or another player. Since this particular feature is unstructured in The Pool (and in TQB), it requires some social contract discussion either before or during play. (I decided to provide extensive structure for it in Trollbabe.)

(b) may a player call for a roll if their character is not present in a scene?

Depends on the social contract. When I've played The Pool per se, it didn't come up, but I'd be disinclined to do that as the default (I like to play "heavy bass" in The Pool). Whereas in The Questing Beast, not only was it discussed and agreed upon beforehand, but people did it very often.

Notice that combining this point with (a), it means that an "observing" player is taking quite a mini-GM roll toward that scene, because he or she is not merely "calling for a roll" but perhaps introducing a whole realm of conflict into that scene.

(c) if so, do they need a relevant trait?

Nope. Trait addition is always an "add-on when relevant," never a requirement. In practice, people tend to play toward their traits, so it happens that every instance I can recall did use a Trait. I don't see any reason at all that they'd have to.

Best,
Ron
Logged
Zoetrope10
Member

Posts: 32


WWW
« Reply #29 on: October 19, 2002, 07:56:36 AM »

Thanks Ron

I'm wondering why there has to be a conflict before a player can call for a roll.

At face value, this seems to be as restrictive as requiring a player to have a relevant trait before they can call for a roll. Surely if a player wanted to engage in a bit of narrativisim, and develop the story in a particular direction, this need not be contingent upon a pre-existing conflict?

OTOH, if there is no conflict requirement and a player calls for but fails a roll, how does the GM narrate the outcome, unless the player somehow framed the general intent behind calling for a roll in the first place? Is that why there has to be a conflict before a player can call for a roll---so the GM can narrate a failed roll in the context of the conflict?

Or is that one of the reasons James originally tied a player-called roll to a relevant player trait---to give context to a failed roll when the player didn't specify their intent?

I'm a little confused.

Z
Logged
Pages: 1 [2] 3
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!