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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 43 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Drama like your cold feet under my covers  (Read 20099 times)

Posts: 550

« Reply #15 on: October 29, 2001, 07:31:00 PM »

I don't think we're at odds on our understanding Mike.  I think that maybe I didn't make myself clear enough.  Probably comes from working three jobs plus making a feeble effort at running my own business.

I fully recognize that the players wanted the denoument session.  I think that the GM missed this clue, or didn't necessarily find the side stories compelling enough to follow up on.

I could spend many words speculating as to why this opportunity was missed, but I won't.  I wasn't there for the game sessions, so any such speculation would be fruitless.

Clay Dowling
RPG-Campaign.com - Online Campaign Planning and Management
Paul Czege
Acts of Evil Playtesters

Posts: 2341

« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2001, 11:20:00 PM »

Hey Mike, Clay,

the GM to drive the story arbitrarily...which...sometimes leads to bad plot

I've been trying to decide whether to let this thread drop, after it roamed thickly back into a discussion of the relative merits of whether the game should have gone for another session or not. A discussion of the specifics of what would have been the "best" resolution is irrelevant and even obfuscatory to an awareness of what I think is the problem. It implies that the GM's use of the mechanic was the problem, not the mechanic itself. But with some hesitation, I'll try again.

In the eight session of the scenario, the players came up with a plan to have an illusion of the murdered superhero appear at his own funeral and point a finger of suspicion and accusation at the NPC they had come to believe was the ultimate villain of the scenario. The whole host of superheroic NPC's in attendance would be forced to respond, immediately, circumventing the villain's threat to use his mind control powers and turn the PC's on each other. And the players were very enthusiastic about the plan. It felt dramatic. It had been developed as a group. And its implementation would be shared, in that I would roleplay the illusionary hero for the player whose character had the illusion power.

What actually happened was, using the game's Drama resolution mechanics, the GM narrated the failure of the illusion. And the game went on to complete itself in a ninth session that featured dramatic closure for the subplots of the four PC's and a climactic showdown with the villain. And I personally couldn't possibly be more pleased with the ninth session, moreso in retrospect than I would have been with the success of the illusion at the funeral. My character confronted the woman from his past, at my gadget warehouse in Texas. And I responded to the GM's instruction to "be in New York for the climax" by improvising a spacewarping Cadillac El Dorado convertible into existence in the warehouse with my gadget power. My character was killed in the psychic blast that came from the death of the main villain. I got to narrate my own final sequence, and described the woman from my past carrying my body from the spacewarping Cadillac, up a flight of steps to the base of a mysterious Cuban supercomputer from the future that had gone dormant with the recent death of its megalomaniacal owner, and activating it. It was an awesome session for me...with the kind of vague outcome that's really satisfying to me for some reason.

My questions at the end of the post that incepted this thread were my effort to show how problematic Drama conflict resolution mechanics are for a GM when they aren't shared in some formal way with the players. How much should you weigh player enthusiasm for a specific outcome into its success or failure? Ron's use of the phrase "abashed narrativism" is entirely appropriate to Theatrix, I think. The game doesn't share power over outcomes with the players. My ability narration of the final sequence for my character that was so satisfying to me isn't part of Theatrix out of the box. It was a sharing of Drama power the GM made part of the game, an instinctive compensating for the perceived lack of shared power over conflict outcomes.


My Life with Master knows codependence.
And if you're doing anything with your Acts of Evil ashcan license, of course I'm curious and would love to hear about your plans
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