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Author Topic: Writing your own songs  (Read 4648 times)
rafial
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« on: April 13, 2003, 11:56:04 PM »

I'm going to run Starchildren tomorrow at SGA's indie gaming night (Hopefully I'll have a report for Actual Play).  I'll be testing out some rules I came up for for rewarding characters for writing their own songs.  Here's what I have so far:

Compose a Song: give the song a title, and assign it a base difficulty.  Make a test on Compose and and one on Lyrics at this difficulty.  If both succeed, you have written a song.  Record the number of boosts obtained on each test.  This is the “bonus awe” that will be scored for performing that song successfully.  A song cannot have have bonus awe greater than its difficulty.

Performing a Song: the difficulty selected when the song was composed is also the difficulty of the test to perform it.  If the band performs the song successfully, in addition to awe generated by the difficulty and number of boosts, the band also scores the song’s bonus awe if any.

Signature Song: any time a band receives a boost while performing one of their own songs, make a note of it.  The first song of theirs to have scored a boost in concert 5 times becomes their “signature song.”  From then on, the song scores 5 additional bonus awe for that band only.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2003, 08:04:21 AM »

Hey,

One of the things I was hoping to see in Starchildren, when I play it, was the idea of anthems - songs which take on their primary meaning and power from the actual performance, which itself becomes legendary and politically influential. The song itself may be not about that much, but the performance and the meaning assigned to it becomes tremendous.

Letting the players develop this phenomenon out of the adventure in which the performance is embedded is kind of my Grail of playing Starchildren.

Best,
Ron
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Jared A. Sorensen
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« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2003, 08:06:57 AM »

What about Covers?
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jared a. sorensen / www.memento-mori.com
rafial
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« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2003, 09:56:25 PM »

My thought was that the basic system in the book could be used if the band just wants to get up and jam or play some covers.  What would be interesting though once you had bands with catalogs of named songs, what happens when one band plays anothers song?

One thing I'm mulling over for use with named songs is tracking the total awe that has been generated with given song, and using that to assign bonuses for its performance.  In addition to a title, players could also assign messages to a song, and if that song accumulates lots of awe, it could represent the message getting out.  You might even want to try to encourage other bands to cover your song to get it more exposure.

Another area of the rules that could stand more fleshing out is promoting, making sure the right crowds come to your shows.
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Rich Ranallo
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« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2003, 09:08:15 PM »

Quote from: rafial
My thought was that the basic system in the book could be used if the band just wants to get up and jam or play some covers.  What would be interesting though once you had bands with catalogs of named songs, what happens when one band plays anothers song?
...
Another area of the rules that could stand more fleshing out is promoting, making sure the right crowds come to your shows.

Both of these are covered in the upcoming supplement.  I tried to present a useful performance system in the main book, without requiring a lot of bookeeping.  If you're just using those rules, there's no real difference between songs, though the characters certainly have a repertoire of material to play.

The new rules have songs with their own difficulties for each instrument involved (which are minimums in performance; you can always turn it up a notch live), as well as a distinct mood.  Play a passive love song for a pissed-off crowd, and you won't get much of a response, but if you belt out a loud hardcore performance, you could start your own riot.

Promoting and recording albums also gets a closer look, and it pretty much allows the group (or their manager) manipulate the makeup of the crowd and whatsis.  Promoting a show is usually a scenario in itself, since you're trying to get the word out, but only to the right people...
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-Prof. Michio Kaku
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