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Author Topic: really twisted mean idea  (Read 3836 times)
Ashren Va'Hale
Member

Posts: 427


« on: March 09, 2003, 08:29:16 PM »

ok, so you do it like his, invite the players over for char generation. Have them create characters and let them know that they should create characters they would want to play but dont get attached to them, then have them leave you the character sheets and when you get together to play you randomly assign the characters to the players.  then play!

Or more twisted yet you constantly re-shuffle the sheets for the players so they never know who will play who ahead of time.

And the ultimate eveil, have one character who is amnesiac (whomped on the head, magic whatever) and you make and keep his character sheet and give him a blank sheet and let him figure out his skills and define his SA's in play. this one I did twice, its lots of fun!

just some evil thoughts.
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Philosophy: Take whatever is not nailed down, for the rest, well thats what movement is for!
Darth Tang
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« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2003, 03:30:35 AM »

Development of, and identifying with, a PC is the core of role-play. Plus, see how another player treats a PC whom you think of as yours can create hostility within a group.

Personally, a bad idea IMO.
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The answer to the Riddle of Steel: use a bow. From behind a wall. While they're asleep. The Riddle of Steel is to stay out of reach.
Shreyas Sampat
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« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2003, 08:22:22 AM »

Synecdoche.

While that's an important part of some people's roleplay, I disagree that it's necessarily the core.  Personally, I'm quite happy playing extras and scenery at times.

Given that statement, I think TRoS would stand up to this character-shufling treatment pretty well.  The SAs and stuff give you a lot of hooks to hang play on.
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 10459


« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2003, 08:31:20 AM »

Quote from: Darth Tang
Development of, and identifying with, a PC is the core of role-play.
I wouldn't put it quite like that. Yes, that's the core for some, but not for all. But the point does stand that if you tell a player that a character is going to be theirs (or even let them assume it), they may not be pleased with the deception. Making a character is an investment. And players may just not want to play the other characters finding them uninteresting.

I'd either be really sure that your players are going to be very open-minded, or, better, tell them up front. That way they can decide before play starts if they, like DT, don't like the idea. You may find that, mentally prepared for the idea, they have no problems with playing it out.

Put it this way. What's gained by springing it on them like that, other than a single momentary, "huh?" from the players?

Mike
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Ashren Va'Hale
Member

Posts: 427


« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2003, 01:39:39 PM »

darth, with a name like that you should have noticed that I prefaced this whole post as mean and evil... why restate the obvious. Now note that I said the characters should know that the characters they are creating should not be ones they are attached to and the key fun factor is that the players will have fun adapting and creating a continuous atmosphere for each unique individual in the game. Think of it as a one shot fun break from the typical game.

It is evil though.. heheheheheheheh
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Philosophy: Take whatever is not nailed down, for the rest, well thats what movement is for!
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2003, 02:23:12 PM »

Hi there,

In Legends of Alyria (review soon to be posted), which you can also read about in the Alyria forum, people often play characters made up by the other players.

It starts by the GM stating a place and a problem. "This little village over by the forest; it's being threatened by mutant wolves." Then the whole group makes up a ton of characters. Not numerically, just verbally, and by talking about how they're related or what issues they clash over. They draw a little map of how they're connected and everyone chimes in all over the place.

When things look nice and messy, then each player picks a character on the map. It might be one they made up, but most likely isn't (based on my experience of play). The GM of course ends up playing a whole lot of characters he didn't make up initially.

Only after all this discussion do people sit down and hack out numbers, which of course, can bring more surprises into play.

It works really, really well, and I've seen it work well for The Riddle of Steel with Jake da Man himself.

It's not exactly what you're suggesting, Ashren, but I thought I'd offer it as an example of functional play in which people didn't necessarily play the characters they made up themselves.

Best,
Ron
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Callan S.
Member

Posts: 3588


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« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2003, 06:09:00 PM »

Ashren: If myself and friends had more spare time to play, it would be fun.

As is, we don't. It might have already be stated as an evil idea, but the idea is having 'evil/twisted' fun. Without time for experiments like this, I don't think it would be fun.

I also think that the TROS system makes PC's far more personal than in other systems. No knock to D&D, but I think this experiment would be better suited for use there.
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Philosopher Gamer
<meaning></meaning>
Sneaky Git
Member

Posts: 169


« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2003, 05:44:03 AM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards
Hi there,

In Legends of Alyria (review soon to be posted), which you can also read about in the Alyria forum, people often play characters made up by the other players.

It starts by the GM stating a place and a problem. "This little village over by the forest; it's being threatened by mutant wolves." Then the whole group makes up a ton of characters. Not numerically, just verbally, and by talking about how they're related or what issues they clash over. They draw a little map of how they're connected and everyone chimes in all over the place.

When things look nice and messy, then each player picks a character on the map. It might be one they made up, but most likely isn't (based on my experience of play). The GM of course ends up playing a whole lot of characters he didn't make up initially.

Only after all this discussion do people sit down and hack out numbers, which of course, can bring more surprises into play.

It works really, really well, and I've seen it work well for The Riddle of Steel with Jake da Man himself.

It's not exactly what you're suggesting, Ashren, but I thought I'd offer it as an example of functional play in which people didn't necessarily play the characters they made up themselves.

Best,
Ron


Wow.  That sounds cool.  This Thursday (tomorrow) I'm starting a new campaign.. and I think I'm going to port that idea over.  If anyone is interested, I'll drop a note to relay how it goes.

Chris
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Molon labe.
"Come and get them."

- Leonidas of Sparta, in response to Xerxes' demand that the Spartans lay down their arms.
Callan S.
Member

Posts: 3588


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« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2003, 09:02:23 PM »

I've been wondering about somthing similar with the initial problem in the area. Instead of the GM just saying what the problem is (mutant wolves) he says one, then perhaps each player adds one after that.

A player generated NPC/PC map is an interesting idea though. I presume the unused characters they just thought up still get used as NPC's in the area?
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Philosopher Gamer
<meaning></meaning>
Sneaky Git
Member

Posts: 169


« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2003, 05:13:15 AM »

Quote from: Noon
A player generated NPC/PC map is an interesting idea though. I presume the unused characters they just thought up still get used as NPC's in the area?

That's how I understand it.

Chris
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Molon labe.
"Come and get them."

- Leonidas of Sparta, in response to Xerxes' demand that the Spartans lay down their arms.
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2003, 07:01:23 AM »

Hi there,

I don't want to hijack the thread into scenario design, but people seem interested, so ...

In the Quick-Start Rules for Legends of Alyria (see Alyria forum for link, or bug Seth if you can't find it), the GM sets the "one problem" before everyone leaps in with characters to populate the place. I think this plays an important role in keeping people focused, rather than going into "plausibility" mode and making up irrelevant stableboys and that sort of thing (as opposed to relevant stableboys, which can of course be great heroes and so on).

Seth's method ("storymap") is actually a derived version of my "relationship map" method for scenario design presented in my supplement, The Sorcerer's Soul. The relationship map method is not well understood by folks without the supplement; suffice to say that it's more GM-heavy regarding the back-story but perhaps more open-ended and often longer-term than the storymap method (which is often resolved quickly), due to the Sorcerer rule called "the Kicker."

As for opening the process up even further, as suggested, yes, the group as a whole can start from scratch. "Where do ya wanna play?" Discuss. "What's going on here?" Discuss. "Who could be involved?" Discuss, make storymap. "Who does everyone wanna play?" Choosing, then character creation and lots of NPC creation (yes, the GM takes the "unclaimed" characters). This is, in a word, the principle that the game Universalis is built upon, because it provides a system for doing this that itself becomes, actually, the resolution system during play.

The game lineage here is direct: Alyria was directly influenced by on-line discussions of The Sorcerer's Soul, and Universalis was directly influenced by playing Alyria at conventions. So these three games/books offer a great spectrum to choose from when considering how to set up a TROS scenario - especially, since TROS provides such a range of player-character freedom and redefinition during play, the traditional "GM feeds players the scenario" isn't going to work well for it without major rules-drift.

Many people play Sorcerer and TROS with very strong doses of the derived scenario-design techniques in Universalis and Alyria.

Best,
Ron
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GreatWolf
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Posts: 1155

designer of Dirty Secrets


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« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2003, 09:34:28 AM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards
In the Quick-Start Rules for Legends of Alyria (see Alyria forum for link, or bug Seth if you can't find it)


I just set up relevant links in the Alyria forum, for those who are interested.

Quote

As for opening the process up even further, as suggested, yes, the group as a whole can start from scratch. "Where do ya wanna play?" Discuss. "What's going on here?" Discuss. "Who could be involved?" Discuss, make storymap. "Who does everyone wanna play?" Choosing, then character creation and lots of NPC creation (yes, the GM takes the "unclaimed" characters).


And this is usually how I end up running Alyria.  Usually I start by having the group brainstorm conflicts or ideas or other elements that they want to see in play.  As Narrator, I function as a facilitator of the conversation, taking ideas, reworking them, and then throwing them back out for consideration.  It usually starts slowly, but gradually the process picks up speed.  This is exactly how the storymap for Blood of Haven was created, for instance.

This technique definitely requires players who take the initiative in providing ideas, but it can be very rewarding with the right group.  I haven't tried it with TROS, but I'll bet that it would work very well.  The SAs provide the necessary linkage between the characters to make this work, and the extra NPCs could easily serve as replacement PCs, if someone kicks the bucket.  (Not that this would happen in TROS ;-] )

Of course, another factor that provides some of the drive of the storymap technique is that play is usually PC vs. PC.  As Greg Stolze noted in the Jailbreak scenario for Unknown Armies, on some level, a GM is expected to be fair.  Another player has no such compulsion.  Again, I think that this would work quite well for TROS, particularly when combat breaks out.  As different players have different combat styles, the mix-and-match could provide additional spice to the game.

Seth Ben-Ezra
Great Wolf
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Seth Ben-Ezra
Dark Omen Games
producing Legends of Alyria, Dirty Secrets, A Flower for Mara
coming soon: Showdown
Sneaky Git
Member

Posts: 169


« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2003, 06:40:07 PM »

Quote from: Sneaky Git
Quote from: Ron Edwards
Hi there,

In Legends of Alyria (review soon to be posted), which you can also read about in the Alyria forum, people often play characters made up by the other players.

It starts by the GM stating a place and a problem. "This little village over by the forest; it's being threatened by mutant wolves." Then the whole group makes up a ton of characters. Not numerically, just verbally, and by talking about how they're related or what issues they clash over. They draw a little map of how they're connected and everyone chimes in all over the place.

When things look nice and messy, then each player picks a character on the map. It might be one they made up, but most likely isn't (based on my experience of play). The GM of course ends up playing a whole lot of characters he didn't make up initially.

Only after all this discussion do people sit down and hack out numbers, which of course, can bring more surprises into play.

It works really, really well, and I've seen it work well for The Riddle of Steel with Jake da Man himself.

It's not exactly what you're suggesting, Ashren, but I thought I'd offer it as an example of functional play in which people didn't necessarily play the characters they made up themselves.

Best,
Ron


Wow.  That sounds cool.  This Thursday (tomorrow) I'm starting a new campaign.. and I think I'm going to port that idea over.  If anyone is interested, I'll drop a note to relay how it goes.

Chris



Well.. so I wasn't able to do this last Thursday.. First time we could get to it was yesterday.  And it rocked!  5 players and myself got together and started to create a web around a fiefholder that I had roughed out.  Two hours later, we had nearly 30 potential PC/NPC scribbled out on sheets of paper.

After we had finished discussing them, each player selected three characters they thought they might like to play.  And then the others five of us voted on the selections.  It was amazingly refreshing, and the characters generated have a lot of potential.   In addition, now I have five players (only two with any real experience with rpgs, and none with TROS) psyched to play TROS!

I'd like to thank everyone for their input on this thread and, if anyone is interested, I can continue with this (add more detail).. or not.  Regardless, thanks!

Chris
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Molon labe.
"Come and get them."

- Leonidas of Sparta, in response to Xerxes' demand that the Spartans lay down their arms.
Brian Leybourne
Member

Posts: 1793


« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2003, 06:53:17 PM »

Do it. We're always keen to hear about TROS games and how they run.

The Actual Play forum might be the place to talk about it though.. not sure, there's a fine line there, in that Actual Play of TROS kind of belongs in both forums. Your call I guess.

Brian.
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Brian Leybourne
bleybourne@gmail.com

RPG Books: Of Beasts and Men, The Flower of Battle, The TROS Companion
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