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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 77 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: Le Mon Mouri - Anyone Played This?  (Read 4373 times)
jburneko
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Posts: 1351


« on: December 12, 2002, 10:11:20 AM »

I came across this on my computer yesterday.  I totally forgot that I had purchased this little download.  Unfortunately, I find it very hard to read.  I think it's the fact that the game statistics are in french (very atmospheric, but hard to intuit their applicaiton) and the fact that the rules and examples are a little unclear, not to mention the few out-and-out mistakes I found.

Anyway, everything about this game screams COOLNESS and I want to put some effort into deciphering it.  I was wondering if anyone out there had actually played it and what it was like for them?

Jesse
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2002, 12:20:28 PM »

Hi Jesse,

By the most astonishing coincidence, one group of players including me is considering playing Le Mon Mouri soon.

I suggest not settling for "baby bird" style RPG reading. You're going to have to study the game text and map out the system, attributes, and so on. If this strikes you as too much work or something you shouldn't have to do, then Le Mon Mouri isn't for you. You're going to have to read and think on your own.

I'll try to help some, though. My first take on the system, based on reading, is that a character's scores are practically guaranteed to drop through play, and they won't come back easily. In fact, to bring a score back up, you have to make a roll using the diminished score, which is to say, the lower you go, the harder it is to get back. The character usually has to do pretty awful stuff in-game as well, but doing this permits you to make the roll, it doesn't make the roll easier.

All this would seem like a grim and un-fun spiral downwards ... except for the metagame mechanic, called Fre. A character can have 2 Fre maximum; spending one means a free successful roll. In other words, Fre is your ticket to keeping a character's attributes from spiralling downwards.

So that means the ticket to play is to keep pumping up Fre ... and how is that done? By having the character act in accord with, pursuing, trying to understand, or otherwise deal with his or her few fragments of memory. Again, I haven't played it, but if I'm understanding correctly, there's a fairly strong game-mechanics reason to play one's character as obsessed with memory.

Best,
Ron
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jburneko
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Posts: 1351


« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2002, 12:41:32 PM »

Ron,

Thanks for the input.  Your post pretty much spells out where my own thoughts were already going.  And yeah, Le Mon Mouri is a pretty hefty read.  I was planning on printing it out, and making up a character and sort of going through a solo-pseudo scenario in my head as I went through the rules.

I REALLY like the idea behind this game, I'm just hoping that I can puzzle out the system, which as I said, is a little unclear in places, not so much on its in-game or Premise impact but just on the raw roll this to beat that number, subtract here, level.

I very much look forward to your comments once your own game gets underway.

Jesse
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joshua neff
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« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2002, 10:10:40 PM »

I played in a playtest session of the game before the final version came out. And yeah, traits fluctuated a LOT during play. I think now, in the final version, traits won't fluctuate quite as much in a given session, but as you noted, Ron, they will go down a lot.

And from Sean has told me, some of the playtesting groups had PCs doing really horrible things in play in order to get traits back up.

The interesting thing about the Fre mechanic, as I understand it, is that it doesn't necessarily push the character to seek out his/her memories, but it pushes the Player to push the character into situations that will be reminiscent of the character's memories. So, in effect, choosing your memories is a lot like creating a Kicker in Sorcerer--it's the Player telling the GM, "I want the game to be about this."
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--josh

"You can't ignore a rain of toads!"--Mike Holmes
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2002, 10:10:25 AM »

Hi Josh,

One thing I was thinking about was what sort of player-character actions qualified as "memory-relevant." I planned on having that range be pretty broad.

- Re-enactment - just dressing in line with a remembered piece of clothing, or having a sexual partner state a remembered phrase, or anything, really, as long as some effort is involved.

- Follow-up - upon seeing or sensing anything that's at all reminiscent of the memory, pursuing its source and trying to get that sensation repeated. Thus if a memory-fragment is a song lyric, upon hearing a person sing or say it, just go bug that person.

I think the key issue is that the above behaviors may have no actual, connected, illuminatory power regarding the real events behind the memory (i.e. the Sans-Souf's actual life). I mean, they might, in which case the "story" becomes a literal uncover-my-past self-quest, but I would think that this sort of thing would be very rare, compared to "irrelevant" re-enactments and follow-ups that do provide neat interactions and complications, but really don't illuminate "the truth."

Best,
Ron
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sdemory
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Posts: 84


« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2002, 01:03:31 PM »

Ron,
    The range of memory-relevant actions is one of the aspects of the game that still resonates with me. The action is what's important, rather than solving some "who am I" puzzle. Although that's got its merits, San-Souf can survive quite well by performing tiny bizarre rituals that have no "meaning." At base, players can choose to haunt themselves while they're going through the rest of the game.
    I wanted the memories to be as much of a Kicker as people wanted them to be, as well as a way to subtly steer the game... if John Whitechapel's memories are primarily bawdy escapades and goodnatured brutality, the GM knows what sort of stories John's player wants to try.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2002, 07:44:21 AM »

Hi Sean,

Yeah, that's my take as well. It's not the "search for my past," but rather the "search for my past," if that makes any sense. By "search," I mean a wide range that may or may not be goal-directed, but is perhaps visceral or experiential - synonymous with your "action," Sean.

What I like about Le Mon Mouri is that the setting, the motifs, and the system all make that "action" go, at least as far as I can tell from reading and thinking about it. I'm looking forward to play, if the person I'm bugging to run it is willing.

Best,
Ron
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sdemory
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Posts: 84


« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2002, 07:59:02 AM »

Well put, Mr. Edwards. That sums it up almost perfectly... it's the action of embracing elements of one's "past" that drives the characters to some degree.
     Definintely looking forward to any Actual Play posting you'll do for the game. I've had one playtest group play the game on and off for almost a year, I think, with some degree of success. There's been a rotating cast list, and players have used their memories to draw replacement characters into the game. They've also done some godawful horrible things to keep themselves going... from what I gather, it's like Antonin Artaud's "Moulin Rouge."
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