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Author Topic: Forge review of octaNe  (Read 1966 times)
quozl
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« on: February 26, 2003, 07:17:49 AM »

I guess I'm a little late but I just read Ron's review of octaNe.  I haven't bought octaNe yet and this review kind of shattered my image of what I thought octaNe was, which was kind of like Donjon but with a different setting.

My question is, does anyone have a "counterpoint" to Ron's review?
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--- Jonathan N.
Currently playtesting Frankenstein's Monsters
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2003, 07:41:57 AM »

Hi Jonathan,

See Clinton's thread octaNe in play. You might also check out some of Paul and Scott's play of octaNe and Chalk Outlines which bring up similar issues.

People who've said stuff that makes octaNe sound like Donjon or InSpectres are often Drifting the rules without realizing it, specifically treating player-narration as character-success and GM-narration as character-failure. However, the rules very explicitly state that this isn't the case.

Best,
Ron
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quozl
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« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2003, 10:39:52 AM »

Thanks Ron.  I had read that thread and it totally agrees with your review.  I guess what I'm looking for is stuff that doesn't.  

Jared, do you agree with Ron's conclusions or do you have a different outlook on octaNe that perhaps didn't translate to the text like you thought it would?

Basically, should I base my deicision to buy octaNe totally on Ron's view and the supporting thread or are there other things I should take into consideration too?
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--- Jonathan N.
Currently playtesting Frankenstein's Monsters
jburneko
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« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2003, 11:08:53 AM »

Jonathan,

Ron has a slight advantage over me in that he's actually played OctaNe and I have not but I will offer up my spin on the whole thing.

I agree with Ron's assessment that OctaNe is a Sim-Color game.  I suspected as much from my first reading of the text.  However, Ron's review carries with it an unfortunate tone of disappointment which seems strange.  It's a functional Sim-Color game.  If you like the Color and you've got some friends who want to revel in that Color then OctaNe is the game for you.

What I think MIGHT be a source of disappointment is the attitude of the GM going into the game.  The impression I get is that unlike InSpectres, which can be run with ZERO prep, OctaNe runs best when the GM still plans something that kind of looks like a traditional scenario prep.

I think the GM needs to look at himself like the presenter of something that's kind of a cross between a flip book and a coloring book.  Basically the GM presents a scene.  Then the mechanics come into play and everyone participates in Coloring that scene how they see fit.  Then once it's over, the GM "flips" to the next scene and once again the mechanics take over and everyone gets to participate in coloring it and so on.

Against The Reich is really good at getting this across. It uses a "playset" analogy but it amounts to the same thing.  When I read Against The Reich I realized just how much prep and focus the GM MUST bring to the game to make OctaNe work.

Just my thoughts.

Jesse
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Colin Chapman
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« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2003, 11:20:23 AM »

Hey,

I've got to agree with Jesse on all counts regarding OctaNe. My impressions and conceptions of the game match his precisely; I also thought it was Consensual-Storytelling and Colour-Sim from the get-go. It is what I wanted: a fun way of telling some truly bizarre tales.

Colin
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Jared A. Sorensen
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« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2003, 11:41:09 AM »

Quote from: quozl
Thanks Ron.  I had read that thread and it totally agrees with your review.  I guess what I'm looking for is stuff that doesn't.  

Jared, do you agree with Ron's conclusions or do you have a different outlook on octaNe that perhaps didn't translate to the text like you thought it would?

Basically, should I base my deicision to buy octaNe totally on Ron's view and the supporting thread or are there other things I should take into consideration too?



Well, as I've said before I think Simulationism is a bogus design goal. So there, nyah! I really don't have anything else to add except that you should buy octaNe and read it and play it.
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jared a. sorensen / www.memento-mori.com
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2003, 02:03:18 PM »

Hi Jonathan,

One important thing about my reviews is that they are not recommendations for customers. I don't rate the games, and I definitely don't think anyone should ever make a purchase decision based on my reviews.

I buy every independent RPG that is available, if it's not inconvenient and if I can afford it at the moment. So I don't really think in terms of "would I buy it or not," and my reviews have nothing to do with the readers' needs as potential customers. They're just actual-play reports, comments on economics of publishing, and applied rules-analysis.

I agree with both Colin and Jesse regarding the way to play octaNe for maximum awesome enjoyment; the game is brilliantly designed toward the mode of play they describe. A lot of people seem to be missing that point in my review, even though I make it pretty loud & clear in the last portion.

Best,
Ron
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Colin Chapman
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« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2003, 03:29:56 PM »

Hey,

Ron said:
"I agree with both Colin and Jesse regarding the way to play octaNe for maximum awesome enjoyment; the game is brilliantly designed toward the mode of play they describe. A lot of people seem to be missing that point in my review, even though I make it pretty loud & clear in the last portion."

That's human nature for ya, mate. We're prone to dwelling on the downsides, and skipping over the good. You might get one positive comment in a day, and one negative one, but if you're like most human beings, it'll be the negative one that plays on your mind the most.

Col
Professor of Blatantly Obvious Psychology
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quozl
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« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2003, 04:23:07 PM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards
I agree with both Colin and Jesse regarding the way to play octaNe for maximum awesome enjoyment; the game is brilliantly designed toward the mode of play they describe. A lot of people seem to be missing that point in my review, even though I make it pretty loud & clear in the last portion.

Best,
Ron


I didn't mean to imply it was a negative review or anything.  It's just that my needs for a consensual storytelling game are being met with Universalis now, so that makes the game less appealing to me and why I'm looking for more information.
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--- Jonathan N.
Currently playtesting Frankenstein's Monsters
Bankuei
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« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2003, 10:18:37 PM »

Quote
What I think MIGHT be a source of disappointment is the attitude of the GM going into the game. The impression I get is that unlike InSpectres, which can be run with ZERO prep, OctaNe runs best when the GM still plans something that kind of looks like a traditional scenario prep.


I have to agree with this.  I think I may have had the benefit of meeting octaNe before getting a chance to play with Inspectres, so I didn't carry over a lot of the expectations of Inspectres(0 prep time, etc.).  I saw octaNe and said, "Wow, you could do an incredible range of stories with this, if you know what you want to do", similar in the fashion that no-one just "plays" GURPS without narrowing down the field of possible theme and genre. Plus I found the Blood and Steel rules rock, being probably the most entry level accessible stuff to run fantasy pulp, next to the Pool.

Chris
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