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Author Topic: Questions on Interrupting...  (Read 2591 times)
Sindyr
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Posts: 795


« on: April 14, 2003, 04:09:33 PM »

When *can't* you Interrupt?  During a Challenge? Durring a Fine? During a Complication?

What if I am creating a role like:
"Barbara is a beautiful and sexy scientist who recently won a Nobel Prize for Inventing room-temperature semi-conductors."

First of all, how many Coins would the above sentence cost me?
Role:Scientist 1 Coin, Named: Barbara, 1 Coin, Traits: Beautiful, Sexy, "recently won a Nobel Prize for Inventing room-temperature semi-conductors"; 3 Coins?  Or is that last bit 2 Coins all by itself?

Anyways, what happens if the following happens:
I say "Barbara [drop coin in bank] is a beautiful [drop coin] and sexy [drop coin]..."
Someone else says "Interrupt! [drop coin] ...cat burglar [drop coin].

Are they allowed to do that?  On the one hand, the book says one can't be stopped in midsentence, on the other hand, at the top of Page 17 it says "Dave finishes his last thought, but can spend no further coins", sort of implying that once interupted one cannot spend any more coins...

Which is it?

I also have some questions on the dynamics of interruption.

If Al interrupts Brad for 1 Coin, can Brad interrupt him right back for 1 Coin, before Al does anything?

I.E., if Al and Brad both want the focus, do they each keep putting up coins until one side relents?

If the order around the table is Al, Brad, Cat, and Dale (I thought I was dale!, grin); and Al is Interrupted by Dale and Brad both at the same time (more or less), as I understand it, Brad gets the focus because he is closest to Al's left.

So what's to prevent Dale from Interruping *Brad* before Brad can do anything?

Or is it, once one "wins" an interruption, one is allowed a full sentence before being interrupted oneself?  More? Less?

Or is it that people can continue to interrupt each other as long as they have Coins and are willing to use them?  So if Al is Interrupted by Brad and Dale, then basically Al, Brad, and Dale can continue to spend coins Interrupting each other before anyone has a chance to say or do anything, untill all but one player relents?

Thanks.

By the way, a **detailed** response with many illustrative examples would be best. Thanks.
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-Sindyr
Bob McNamee
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Posts: 685


« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2003, 04:53:26 PM »

Quote from: Sindyr
When *can't* you Interrupt?  During a Challenge? Durring a Fine? During a Complication?


I don't think you can interrupt during a Challenge,or Fine. In all the games we've played the Challenge needs to be resolved before play can continue. A fine is pretty much an extension of a Challenge.

As far as a Complication is concerned, Yes, you can Interrupt during one. I did last night. I did it to bump the order of adding traits for and against the Complication my Seal Team was involved in against a Separatist soldiers. I had certain Traits I wanted the Seals to have before anyone else could monkey around with stuff.
I'm not sure its official, but I would not let someone Interrupt a Complication in order to do something unrelated to the Coomplication.

Quote from: Sindyr
What if I am creating a role like:
"Barbara is a beautiful and sexy scientist who recently won a Nobel Prize for Inventing room-temperature semi-conductors."

First of all, how many Coins would the above sentence cost me?
Role:Scientist 1 Coin, Named: Barbara, 1 Coin, Traits: Beautiful, Sexy, "recently won a Nobel Prize for Inventing room-temperature semi-conductors"; 3 Coins?  Or is that last bit 2 Coins all by itself?


Depends. How many things are Really important for you to lock down about the character? Some folks might just do...
(Barbara(1),   role:Scientist(1) )
and leave the rest as color text (with the danger that someone could freely change the conception of the Character)

Some would lock everything in, like you did before. This gives you ammunition against others changing the conception of the Character (Challenge doubler) as well as allowing you to use all those descriptors to power Complications (She can draw on more dice when seducing other scientists etc).
 Buying the Traits separate also indicates this character is more Important than say (Albert Einstein(1), Theoretical Physics (1) )

Babs is Importance 5 (or 6), Al is a 2 in terms of story importance.

Concerning the Nobel prize trait. That's a playgroup decision, like the book says. I would have no objections to it being a 1 Coin trait (I might ask that the important part of the Fact gets determined, Is it the Invention or the Prize that's the key). As a two separate traits it is more flexible.

Quote from: Sindyr
Anyways, what happens if the following happens:
I say "Barbara [drop coin in bank] is a beautiful [drop coin] and sexy [drop coin]..."
Someone else says "Interrupt! [drop coin] ...cat burglar [drop coin].

Are they allowed to do that?  On the one hand, the book says one can't be stopped in midsentence, on the other hand, at the top of Page 17 it says "Dave finishes his last thought, but can spend no further coins", sort of implying that once interupted one cannot spend any more coins

Which is it?...


I would let them interrupt. They can finish what they are in the process of adding (that trait,or Fact, or that Event (in a scene)). Then the other player jumps in with Cat burglar. (THis can be Challenged if the original character doesn't like, go to negotiation, and coins spending if neither yields)

Quote from: Sindyr
I also have some questions on the dynamics of interruption.

If Al interrupts Brad for 1 Coin, can Brad interrupt him right back for 1 Coin, before Al does anything?

I.E., if Al and Brad both want the focus, do they each keep putting up coins until one side relents?


Yep, its a Coin war. You've got it exactly.

Quote from: Sindyr
If the order around the table is Al, Brad, Cat, and Dale (I thought I was dale!, grin); and Al is Interrupted by Dale and Brad both at the same time (more or less), as I understand it, Brad gets the focus because he is closest to Al's left.

So what's to prevent Dale from Interruping *Brad* before Brad can do anything?

Then it's Brad and Dale having a Coin war.

Quote from: Sindyr
Or is it, once one "wins" an interruption, one is allowed a full sentence before being interrupted oneself?  More? Less?

Or is it that people can continue to interrupt each other as long as they have Coins and are willing to use them?  So if Al is Interrupted by Brad and Dale, then basically Al, Brad, and Dale can continue to spend coins Interrupting each other before anyone has a chance to say or do anything, untill all but one player relents?


Right, but they would have to really want control at that point to spend Coins like that. It's wasteful, unless you have a great idea that you feel must be added to do a bid off very far.

Quote from: Sindyr
Thanks.

By the way, a **detailed** response with many illustrative examples would be best. Thanks.


Hope that helps some.
If people have so many Coins that they can afford to do long Interruption Coin wars... then they have too many Coins doing nothing in the Story, and are better off without them.
My advise is to let go...let the other guy Interrupt, add their stuff- then add your stuff on your turn.
Don't forget to Challenge inappropriate things that added. They will most often get negotiated to something cool.

Relax its easier in play than it reads,
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Bob McNamee
Indie-netgaming- Out of the ordinary on-line gaming!
Sindyr
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Posts: 795


« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2003, 05:18:13 PM »

Thanks *grin*, that helped immensesly.  I am now doing my second readthrough of the rules, and I will opst here as questions come up for me...
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-Sindyr
Mike Holmes
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« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2003, 10:46:37 PM »

I'll just back up Bob, in case there's any doubt.

You'll note that in rules like the Interruption, there's an equilibrium that occurs. At some point after I Interrupt right back, that indicates that I am not willing to let go at that point. Unless you have something absolutely critical (and I've actually never had anything so important myself), you just let it go at that point. In play there are only a few scenarios that play out.

BTW, important to note, you can't Interrupt a player who's framing a Scene. As some samurai around here noted, it's worth the price of a big bid for scene to get the option to open up with a big pile of stuff uninterrupted. If you're thinking that the story really needs to go somewhere in a direct manner, getting the scene is the way to go.

Mike
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Valamir
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« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2003, 04:15:47 AM »

Gosh dang.  I've said it before and I'll say it again...it is TOO COOL having players who know the game as well as I do.  Just gives me chills.

Thanks for the assist Bob.

One conceptual thing I'll throw in, is that the Interruption Coin War (which I've only seen go beyond a single Interrupt back once), along with the bidding phase of Challenges serves the additional purpose of soaking extra Coins out of the system.

It is one of the self balancing features of the game.

A Trait costs 1 Coin...period.  If somehow everyone in the game winds up with 75 Coins in their pile, they've got the ability to buy 3 times as many Traits as they did at the start.

BUT Challenges and Interruption Wars have essentially a variable cost.

If everyone has less than 10 Coins, than Challenges tend to be won by whoever's willing to spend 1 or 2 Coins, and Interruptions are rare.

If everyone is sitting on ye olde pile o'Coins, than I've seen Challenges go as high at 10-15 Coins with similiar amounts from other players.  That's a lot of excess Coins milked out of the game.  It becomes more common (because in relative terms it becomes cheaper) to "waste" a single Coin to Interrupt just to add a little detail and then pass.
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Sindyr
Member

Posts: 795


« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2003, 04:57:22 AM »

Interesting... so maybe having "too many" Coins in the game is a problem that fixes itself?

How many of you play with the standard 25 Coins to start and 5 Coins per scene refreshment?

What happens if a story takes 2 or more sessions to tell?  Do you start with 25 Coins again at the start of the 2nd session?  Or the amount you had at the end of the first?

Maybe you only get reset to 25 at the end of a story arc?
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-Sindyr
Bob McNamee
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Posts: 685


« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2003, 07:21:07 AM »

Quote from: Sindyr
Interesting... so maybe having "too many" Coins in the game is a problem that fixes itself?

How many of you play with the standard 25 Coins to start and 5 Coins per scene refreshment?

What happens if a story takes 2 or more sessions to tell?  Do you start with 25 Coins again at the start of the 2nd session?  Or the amount you had at the end of the first?

Maybe you only get reset to 25 at the end of a story arc?


I always start with the full 25, and 5 refresh.

We used 15 to start for the Universalis wiki online game (going on now).

Each session after, you start with however many Coins you ended the last game with.

There are some Rules Gimmicks you can add about one time Coin refreshing, if everyone's too low... "Hey everyone Rules Gimmick- a One Time add  of 10 Coins!" "Any Challenges? Didn't think so..."(a Mike Holmes gimmick).
There are also some on the Uni website for buying stuff in between sessions that sound cool.
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Bob McNamee
Indie-netgaming- Out of the ordinary on-line gaming!
Bob McNamee
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« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2003, 07:23:56 AM »

For our indie-netgaming Uni games we do vary the Coins of new entering Players sometimes.

Usually we give them either 25 Coins .if the exisitng players have quite a few Coins, or we give the new folks an amount of Coins equal to the average of the existing players Coins if we are on the low side.
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Bob McNamee
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Mike Holmes
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« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2003, 11:32:17 AM »

For the Wiki, which theoretically should have players coming and going a lot, I put in a rule that says that new players start with zero. They have to participate in a scene, and add color to it, and then get the scene reward at the end to get any Coins. This prevents anyone from "restarting" as a way of refreshing.

I wrote up a bunch of stuff on inter-session play options that's located on the web site. Might be worth checking out. Essentially it's left unstated, however as are most rules that deal with things that delve into the social contract level. Want to penalize players for non-attendace, you can set up a fine Gimmick.

These things are so customizable from group to group that they just couldn't be addressed in the rules themselves. That said, they can be addressed by the rules if you like. Or just handled in a Social Contract way.

Mike
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hix
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Steve Hickey


« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2003, 04:15:40 PM »

We're test-driving Universalis at the moment, and I want to introduce a third player. By giving her 25 coins, she gets to add lots of her own style and ideas to the story, and therefore establish a sense of co-ownership.

But that assumes someone joining an established game of Universalis feels alienated because they didn't contribute to setting up the world. Has anyone found that to be generally true or false?

If it's false - and a sense of collaboration does come naturally - Bob's '25 or average' strategy seems totally appropriate.

Steve.
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Cheers,
Steve

Gametime: a New Zealand blog about RPGs
Mike Holmes
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« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2003, 08:47:45 AM »

Hi Steve, always cool to hear from new players.

What I'd do is negotiate with the player. Ask them what they think they'd need to be satisfied. Think of it as a "hiring bonus", or payment for coming on board after a lot of investment has occured. She might reasonably request that she be given as many Coins as the sum of all the expenditures and current total of the highest player so that she can "catch up". Then again, you might feel that it's her own "fault" for not being there earlier to play. Lot's of ways to look at it.

Essentially, giving a new player Coins is inflationary, and causes the value of yours to decrease. So you can argue that as well. Another thing to consider is how empowered you want the new player to be. I mean obviously you're allowing them to join because they've something to contribute on some level.

In the end, just like in any signing negotiation, you'll come to a consensus on what makes sense. Be kind. The new player will not have any idea what they should require, so you could proably easily lowball them. A smart new player will a the very least ask to get as many Coins as the other players started with as a minimum position to bargain from.

Mike
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Valamir
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« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2003, 09:07:35 AM »

You know...I'm thinking that while Mike is absolutely correct, that it may well be spending too much effort solving a non problem.

Its relatively easy to acquire new Coins through Complications, so really all a new player needs is enough Coins to assemble a sold complication and they can earn as many new Coins as they want.

More importantly than the ideal number of Coins I think, is the basic difference between how much the new player knows about the story coming in.  There will be a much differenct introductory phase if she is seeing the characters and background and such for the first time when she sits down at the table, than if she had a chance to review them before hand.  

I submitt that the answer to that also impacts that number of Coins that works best simply because if she's read a write-up of the story thus far and has a handle on who the characters are and what they're like, she'll be in a far better position to use Complications to generate Coins right out of the gate.
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Mike Holmes
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« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2003, 10:15:04 AM »

Yeah, the truth is that the Universalis Coin economy is fairly self-correcting. So don't be worried about whatever level you end up starting at.

I just like the idea of an interview process, complete with a remuneration negotation. The idea that I have in general, is to formalize a lot of play in a way that uses existing social mechanics to empower play. Thus, you wouldn't hire a person to help with your business without an interview, even if you know the person. And the way that the salary gets set has to be via negotiation. So why not empower the players to use those edifices to ensure that things work out well.

If you do use something simpler, be assured that it'll work. Just give them 25 if you don't want to think about it. I'm just tossing out ideas for how you could make more of a process of it, assuming that you're interested in doing so.

Mike
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hix
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Steve Hickey


« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2003, 10:07:21 PM »

Ralph and Mike, colour me reassured. In addition to your comments, I suspect the first Coinrush from a Complication will go a long way to engaging a new player’s interest and creating involvement.

Sindyr, sorry for taking this a little off-topic. I’m coming to grips with all this stuff too. But thanks for the responses :)

Steve
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Cheers,
Steve

Gametime: a New Zealand blog about RPGs
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