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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 65 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Played the pool with multiple players  (Read 1118 times)
aplath
Member

Posts: 63


« on: January 24, 2003, 05:01:46 AM »

Hello all,

Well... I finally got to play The Pool with more than one player. It almost didn't happen though. It was a last minute gathering of some people from a regular group and, since some of them were late, people start talking about work (we're all in the same trade) and other stuff.

Finally, around 10:30 PM, somebody said: "Well, I must be gone by midnight, are we going to play this or what?". We decided to give it a shot but not everyone was very excited about it: "Just one hour and a half? We won't be able to even start it properly!"

Fortunately, what happened was quite different.

The scenario was very simple. There was this kingdom called Invidia and the PCs were supposed to be born there. But they spent the last few years of their lives fighting some war against these really nasty people in a really far place somewhere east from Invidia. But now they are coming back home and who knows what they will find after years away.

The group quickly developed the PCs, a band of three seasoned warriors, full of battle scars both physical and psicological. Unfortunately, I don't have the actual character her with me.

The game progressed just as any game I've played with this group as a GM. During the explanation of The Pool, I felt one of the players got the idea better than the other two. That guy was the first one to make a roll and a MOV and that was good.

The situation was one where the PCs were looking for clues about some people that had just disapeared. They were walking about asking questions and one of them, an officer in the king's army, decided to pull rank ("Officer in the king's army" being one of his traits) on a poor soldier. He rolled and got a one and took a MOV.

The MOV went something like: "I pushed the soldier around, threatening him, telling him that I knew something fool was happening in the village and that sooner or later I would find out. The poor soldier, afraid from this seasoned officer that seemed to know some very important people, suddenly cried: It was Lord Beaumer! He ordered us to lock those people in the castle's dungeon! They're there right at this moment!". End of MOV.

Well... I can't describe the effect that had on the other two players. It was like "We can do THAT?", "But... how... I mean... we can do THAT?". It took them a few minutes to recover from the blow.

From that moment on, everybody woke up and the game really started to flow.

Some of them risked rolls, most of them kind of related to task resolution. I tried to point this out and they tried to focus on a larger scope for rolls.

Some of them took MOVs that went like "I climbed the wall without being seen by the guards, helped by the shadows and all, and then I looked to see what was on the other side". End of MOV. This MOV made the other players protest: "Noooo! You could have said what WAS on the other side of the wall! Come on!".

One of the players rolled in a very critical moment, got a MOV, but then went blank! No problem, the other two started to tell him this huge amount of ideas until he made up his mind.

Game went for one hour and a half. Dice were cast seven or eight times. I don't know how many failed but we did have quite a few MOVs. No one ever chose to get the reward dice. All of them wanted to get a MOV.

It was very fun! And I think it'll become better as we get more used to it.

I'm really looking forward to play it again!

thanks!

Andreas
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James V. West
Member

Posts: 567


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« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2003, 04:43:51 AM »

Hey Andreas!

Great post. So you explained the rules, made characters, played, had several MoVs, and everyone had a blast...all in an hour and a half?

That is fantastic.

And the fact that the player who seemed to grasp the idea first made the first MoV. That was a stroke of luck!

I have a few questions:

1) Did anyone seem to not enjoy the level of GM-power they were given with Monologues?

2) Were players reluctant to gamble dice, or did they gamble high every time?

3) Did you find it at all difficult to GM the game? Particularly after someone uses a Monologue to declare where the prisoners are who took them captive?

I'm just curious about these things. The sum of all these discussions and my own playtesting is that I'll be able to write much-improved and expanded advice for The Pool and The Questing Beast.

Thanks!
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aplath
Member

Posts: 63


« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2003, 07:03:37 AM »

Quote from: James V. West
Hey Andreas!

Great post. So you explained the rules, made characters, played, had several MoVs, and everyone had a blast...all in an hour and a half?

That is fantastic.


Actually the characters and the system explanation were done earlier in the evening. Then we stopped because people wanted to order food, and then people started talking about other stuff, and then we finally got to play.

Problem was that the session was a last minute thing with old friends that hadn't the oportunity to get together for some time, so there was some catching up going on (which, of course, was a lot of fun also).

Anyway, system and setting explanation and character creation didn't take more than half an hour. The fact that it was a simple playtest helped to speed things up a bit as people didn't put much effort into making an elaborate character.

Actual play took about an hour and a half.

Quote from: James V. West
I have a few questions:

1) Did anyone seem to not enjoy the level of GM-power they were given with Monologues?

2) Were players reluctant to gamble dice, or did they gamble high every time?

3) Did you find it at all difficult to GM the game? Particularly after someone uses a Monologue to declare where the prisoners are who took them captive?


1) They all enjoyed it very much. Two of the other players frequently play as GMs themselves, and it was easy to them. The third was a little bit more overwhelmed by the power. In the end, the two more experienced players were trying too much not to mess up with my plotting and it took sometime for them to realize that, within limits, it was ok to do that.

The more inexperienced (as a GM) player had problems to go to a more active position in the game. He took a MOV once and used it only for his character to deliver a speech. He could do that without even throwing dice. But hey, it was the first time for most of us, so I can only look forward to the next session! ;-)

2) The players were left, after character creation, with pools of 6 to 9 dice. They usually gambled three or four dice, plus one or two trait dice and the GM dice. So they were always throwing five to eight dice. By the end of the session, one of them started to gamble it all since he wasn't going to need them afterwards anyway. He got two succesful rolls and then lost it all in a particular bad moment, his character ending up in a dungeon being interrogated in a not vey nice way. :-)

3) I didn't find it difficult. The part about the prisioners was easy because guess what? The prisioners were really supposed to be there! ;-) Anyway, even when I run a D&D game, I like to plan the game in a very loose way and keep it open for player ideas. In that way, running the Pool was pretty standard to me with a bonus that was less work in preparing NPCs since I don't need stats for those, only a character concept.

And actually that was the very thing that attracted me to the Pool. It was a set of rules that allowed me to play as a GM the way I always liked to play and without having to put a lot of effort trying to fit into the system.

And for that I thank you man! ;-)

Andreas
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