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Author Topic: Here's Another One; Luckily, It's Short  (Read 3122 times)
damion
Member

Posts: 198


« on: December 06, 2002, 05:34:35 PM »

If you don't want any more of these, just get rid of it. It occured to me that this just seemed like a really good match, also, it it might be a 'sub-genera expectiaton', if that's possible, which might be interesting.

Scattershot -Long Goodby 2, or experiments in Out-Of-Order Story creation

This was inspired by this thread: here

It occured to me that Scattershot should be fairly good for this. This might actually classify as
a 'sub-genra expectation' as it could be appened into others, for example Superhero and scifi often have segments in this form. There are actually a couple subvariants, I'll only cover one, but it's one of the more complex ones.

So you don't have to read the above thread, I'll summerise:

The basic idea is that the PC's witness an event, that appears to be extremly bad, however they do not witness the culmination of the event.

After this the PCs go through the time up to the event out of order, basicly the characthers experiance the events in one order, but they charachters physical bodies go through time in
the normal way. The only thing that jumps around is the characthers conciousness (in a rare use of Pawn stance by a charachter).

There are really two ways this can be done: One is straight sim mode, where the where the GM decides everything ahead of time. This is based on a more narrativist move, which is easier on the GM and possible more fun for the players. All the GM has to do is prepare some 'salient' points.

Key features of the genera expectation:

1)This uses the 'reorder' model. Essentially, if I'm supposed to go to the grocer, get ingredients to bake aS cake, bake the cake, get my grandmother a present at a different store, wrap it, write out a card and then packadge them all together then sendthem and tell you when I'm done, it's no different than if I go to grocer and bake than cake and my two brothers get and wrap the present and write out the card, other than I'll be done to quickly.

Basicly events that have been described are set, but they can later be added to change their apparent meaning, basicly detail can be added as long is it is plausable that it 'wasn't noticed' in the orginal scene.

Scattershots dice mechanism seems to proved a nice way to controll this 'adding of detail'. :)

2) a key feature of play would be running around to 'get where you will be'. This could be a running gag, although it doesn't have to be.

3)I'd give players the maximum freedom to specify things that havn't been specified. If players start in a time segment when they havn't done the previous segment yet, they can decide their situation, starting a scene from scratch so to speak, but you know you'll have to get there later.


4)Another key feature should be the connection between the 'conspirators' and the other peoples reactions to their out-of-order actions. ("How'd you'd know that was there?").

5)An extremly key feature would be events that appear to mean one thing,but can later be re-written to mean something else, and the adding of detail to previously done scenes.

6)There are various was to deal with the timeflow, in fact different charachters could even move differently, which might be amusing, in this case players could bid to have the next segment played be the one that is 'next' for their charachter, providing an additional axis of control. An additional method would be to have on characther describe a short scene, including the other players, who then try to fit themselves into it. Scattershots mechanisms provide a way to resolve the controversies that could arise, in most cases.
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James
Le Joueur
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Posts: 1367


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« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2002, 07:19:04 PM »

Hey James,

First of all, before building a Genre Expectation based upon someone else's game, I'm going to see how they feel about it.  (I'll do that right now.)  Until I hear back, I'm not going to go anywhere near intellectual property theft.

There are a few things I'd like to address though....

First of all, I don't know if you've seen it, but the Scattershot production schedule has been kindly described as being 'as fast as grass grows.'  Sorry to say, but two kids (one with borderline special needs) and a 'simple lifestyle' leave only a tiny amount of time for game design.

Second, a Genre Expectation is a lot narrower than you seem to think.  There is already a planned time travel core product.  It is quite possible (and quite narrow) to have 12 monkeys, Time Bandits, or Time Squad as separate Genre Expectations.  The Core Books (of which twelve are planned) will hopefully discuss fusing any two Genre Expectations in piecemeal fashion, but there won't be 'partial' Genre Expectations to use with others.  While the first three Genre Expectations we have in the works right now are a little on the long side, not every one will be.  It depends on how intuitive of a grasp the target audience has on the source material (and how much practice I have creating them).

Finally, we've settled on a somewhat unusual way of approaching time travel for Scattershot.  It does limit the specific games you can play with Scattershot time travel, but most of what we're trying to eliminate are games based upon stories that depend on artistic license.  It's kinda hard to explain.  We call it 'multiple subjective timelines.'

It works like this.  In order to travel through time, or more accurately outside of time, you must first 'sever' yourself from the timeline.  This essentially constitutes turning yourself into a 'separate universe.'  When you re-merge with the timeline, either in the future or the past, you must break the law of conservation of universal mass.  On a practical level that means that if you kill your grandfather, you aren't really, because the grandfather you kill isn't the one from your 'personal universe.'

This shouldn't be confused with the theory of infinite parallel times, because the only timelines in parallel are the 'main subjective universe' and each subjective universe temporarily created with whatever time travel technique.  Ultimately, each time you travel in time, your own history it 'firewalled.'  (One brand allows that returning to a timeline where you already exist spontaneously anihilates the slightly different 'other you' to conserve the mass of the universe; it's a rare one usually employed for Thematically Ambitious purposes, therefore need not survive as much scrutiny as some more emulative Genre Expectations.)

I was attracted to the 'karmic time travel' literary device I imagined in "The Long Goodbye;" just a group of people helplessly tossed around 'Ground Hog Day style' until they successfully do something.  I was kinda disappointed when all the physicists and 'temporal agency' theorists jumped in talking about conservation of life and position throughout the 24 hour period (I mean, c'mon going to the place where your bodies were when the previous hour ended?  Ludicrous; if you roll up the hour immediately preceeding the last one played do you have to race to the point you started it on when the next finishes?  Not supportable.  Leave it to 'divine intervention' like in Quantum Leap.)

Anyway, I'd like to talk time travel, but until I hear back from Gwen, this thread is closed about "The Long Goodbye."  (Side topics are fair game though.)

Fang Langford
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Fang Langford is the creator of Scattershot presents: Universe 6 - The World of the Modern Fantastic.  Please stop by and help!
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