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Author Topic: [Nine Worlds] Initial text comments  (Read 4978 times)
Ron Edwards
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« on: August 22, 2003, 03:09:28 PM »

Hi Matt,

Here are my starting comments on reading the current draft of Nine Worlds. I know a lot of discussion has flowed since you first posted it, and I'm probably a draft behind at this point. If any of the following works for you, excellent; if not, discard as desired.

Procedural questions
1. As written, you get to use Muses whenever the conflict involves them in any what whatsoever. So let's say my character is Devoted to Aphrodite for 3, and also Loves Phryne for 3, a woman whom Aphrodite hates. All right, here comes some agent of Aphrodite to assassinate Phryne, and I defy this guy. I'll use my Arete which is 4 ... and now I get 6 more, right? Because both Muses are involved, even though I'm actively opposing Aphrodite.

2. When you take a defeated foe's good cards, and add them to your hand, they're Tricks, right? But then why take the actual, physical cards? They don't add to my actual effectiveness; the narration's over and done, right? And the cards themselves are not Tricks, but rather simply award me Tricks because they were the right values in the loser's hand? I'm confused about this business of actually taking others' cards. Are they intended to go into my deck, now?

3. What happens to unused Tricks? Do you get to keep a bank of Tricks? Or do they vanish now that the conflict's over?

My suggested starting point to deal with this: just reshuffle all cards after every conflict. Keep the probabilities exactly where they are, for all cases, Dust Devils style.

Also, see Comme Il Faut, the Castle Falkenstein supplement, for some good suggestions about card refreshment options and how they affect play.

4. Oh, and this question isn't procedural, but I gotta ask ... what's all this about orichalcum? I see it in gaming stuff all the time, and I gotta say, it ain't nowhere in Greek mythology.

The big issue
Here's the deal - you've stated that you're after Setting-based Narrativism, but what you've provided in this document is passion-driven, highly-individualized conflict. This is a problem. It's why I think I, at least, am flailing when it comes to "what to do" - I'm looking for the conflict in the setting, just as I do (successfully) when I read something like Hero Wars, Castle Falkenstein, or Empire of the Dragon Lotus. What these games supply is something that is emotionally-gripping to the players but external to the player-characters. It makes me want to take my rather sketchy "executioner's son" character and get all worked up about the feud between this clan and that community of subject peoples. Or to take my rather sketchy "aging skald" and get all worked up about whether the foreign Lunar priestess should be permitted to heal my stricken tribe even when our tribal shamans are helpless.

This kind of play differs from, say, most White Wolf games because it presents sides for the character to choose among and get stuck in between and to mediate, rather than simply assigning each player-character a side to identify with and "act out."

So! Fortunately for you, Greek mythology ain't about nothin' but this kind of conflict. Check out the Trojan War ... all right, some godly shenanigans and egotism cause a bit of trouble in the world, not any much more than usual. Except that it escalates. People start calling in their godly markers (e.g. Odysseus gets involved, hence Athena gets dragged in), and totally unrelated prophecies and minor stories are shoehorned in by cunning mortals (e.g. Odysseus finds Achilles where he's hidden to enlist the power of his "standing prophecy" into the conflict). And then the gods weigh in even more now that their own rivals are involved. It's basically a Viet Nam situation.

Imagine conflicts arising from godly interference and even games which don't mean much to them. But it feeds back! Mortals' actions back on the gods and through their Devotions (e.g.),

This kind of richness in the background is good - it means that the relatively rich characters are still only "starters" for the decisions about the cosmos and gods that they have to make during play. But now for the part that's hardest of all: what sort of text both informs and inspires the play-group to get this sort of thing in motion? The pitfall, as I'm sure you can see right away, is to use the "kitchen sink" effect - to provide so much setting-material that you figure something will interest the blighters, and that ought to do it. In practice, it simply overwhelms people (this is where Glorantha struggles against itself, to the point that people resist playing). I suggest that you put some thought into explaining, for the back row so to speak, just what it is about Greek myth that generates "insta-conflict" for the characters.

I suggest re-writing the example of the fight with the spawn to reflect this. At the moment, it's merely a wandering monster and is frankly rather boring. But make it the agent of a powerful opposing Immortal, and now you're onto something.

You did this brilliantly for Dust Devils, and as I recall, I was the one who practically bullied you into it then. Check out those old threads. Frustrated, you delivered an astounding description of what the game was about, in the actual course of stating that you couldn't write out what was so obvious. That text is, today, the opening few paragraphs of Dust Devils. As Character-based Narrativist text, it focuses on internal conflict and struggling with oneself.

Do that for Nine Worlds. But for this, it's Setting-based, so focus on the essential features of the Greek myths rather than on internally-conflicting elements of player-characters.

Best,
Ron
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Matt Snyder
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« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2003, 07:19:07 PM »

Thanks, Ron. I do see what you're saying, and I think such an introduction would be great. (Now to actually write the damn thing, ugh).

Also, immediately I'm thinking of the example Muses in the book. Can you comment on those? I kept thinking, "Yeah, Ron's right. This is supposed to be setting based, but I keep talking about personal stuff sans setting." Yet, I keep refering to the example Muses in the text. Each of these has 1) a built-in conflict and 2) a setting based element.

=-=-=-=-=

Some example Muses from the text:

Quote

Promise -- Promise is a duty to uphold a sworn oath. The promise may be sworn to friends, family, lovers or enemies. Or, an Archon might promise something to himself. Example: "Promise: Swore to his wife never again to step foot upon Mars."


This one is about the choice between love and war, but remove Mars (the setting) from that equation and its Not Much. Now, maybe it's unclear that the implicit understanding is that stepping foot on Mars = Go to war.

Quote

Debt -- Debt signifies a powerful obligation the Archon must fulfill to another mortal or immortal. The debt may stem from gratitude, service or misfortune. In any case, the character is obliged to repay the debt, perhaps indefinitely. Example: "Debt: Owes an eternal debt to Apollo, whose divine judgmment and reprieve saved him from the terrible Furies' destruction."


Here we have the issue of owing one's mortality to a god. What price is that worth, and how far will the character go to pay that?

=-=-=-=-=

So, my quesiton is, besides a well-written speech to the folks in the back rows, how is the document NOT showing this setting based narrativism? That is, is it that the text just ain't doing it well and/or enough? Or is it that it is sufficient (or close), but without more setting details you guys are struggling to put the setting 'into play?' Somewhere in between?
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Matt Snyder
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« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2003, 07:33:47 PM »

Quote
As written, you get to use Muses whenever the conflict involves them in any what whatsoever. So let's say my character is Devoted to Aphrodite for 3, and also Loves Phryne for 3, a woman whom Aphrodite hates. All right, here comes some agent of Aphrodite to assassinate Phryne, and I defy this guy. I'll use my Arete which is 4 ... and now I get 6 more, right? Because both Muses are involved, even though I'm actively opposing Aphrodite.


Why would you get 6 more cards for these two Muses in this particular situation? That is, you’re Devoted to Aphrodite. So, your muse is relevant when you’re actually devoted to her. Defying one of her agents seems quite opposed to that Devotion, hence that Muses doesn’t seem to me to be in play. Clearly, your Love for Phryne would be in play, as your defending her.

However, I think we can see a situation in which two of a character’s Muses ARE 1) both in play and 2) opposed to one another. Let’s see . . . You could have Patron of Zeus and also Allegiance to the Aquarians. You’re playing both sides. When you stumble upon some horrible deed the Titans have committed, it’s conceivable that revealing this information would be in the interests of both Zeus and the Aquarians, who generally hate one another. As a GM in this situation, I’d be fine awarding both Muses, despite their opposed intentions.

Not sure I’m doing anything but muddying the waters with this example. . . . any more on this Ron? Anyone?

I guess you have to make the GM say the Buck Stops Here, as Mike Holmes has suggested. Then, as GM, you have to decide whether a Muse is “relevant.” If they’re opposed, then you might force the player to choose one.

Quote
2. When you take a defeated foe's good cards, and add them to your hand, they're Tricks, right? But then why take the actual, physical cards? They don't add to my actual effectiveness; the narration's over and done, right? And the cards themselves are not Tricks, but rather simply award me Tricks because they were the right values in the loser's hand? I'm confused about this business of actually taking others' cards. Are they intended to go into my deck, now?


This is one of the most poorly worded sections of the document. When you “capture” tricks, you’re not actually taking cards. Fate decks NEVER intermingle physically (i.e., you never take possession of any other players actual, physical cards). You’re looking at his potential Tricks (Face Cards, Aces, and Jokers) and adding that number to the abstract total you earn.  

The cards DO NOT add to your effectiveness, by which I think you mean Fate value, correct? If so, right. Your goal is pass/fail based on YOUR cards alone, but your relative metamechanical effectiveness is based on (possibly) your cards and those abstract Tricks you capture from other players/entities.


Quote

3. What happens to unused Tricks? Do you get to keep a bank of Tricks? Or do they vanish now that the conflict's over?


You bank them, bolstering your Muses or adding new Muses. Or they’re wasted, and it’s unlikely folks will do that. One of my main questions in playtesting is whether banking like this is overkill. When designing the game, I reasoned (still do, just need to make sure it works) that, sure, you’ll have astounding Muses, but you’ll also have to spend out those Muses to stay alive / get free tricks.

Quote
4. Oh, and this question isn't procedural, but I gotta ask ... what's all this about orichalcum? I see it in gaming stuff all the time, and I gotta say, it ain't nowhere in Greek mythology.


True, but it has everything to do with the popular mythology of Atlantis (which is Greek based), and this backhistory is important to the game. I also needed some setting-based currency to make “human” actions like greed and trade palatable. Saying there was a gold or oil trade just didn’t feel right.
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« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2003, 10:01:28 AM »

Quote
Why would you get 6 more cards for these two Muses in this particular situation? That is, you’re Devoted to Aphrodite. So,                                        your muse is relevant when you’re actually devoted to her. Defying one of her agents seems quite opposed to that Devotion, hence that Muses doesn’t seem to me to be in play. Clearly, your Love for Phryne would be in play, as your defending her.
Why Matt. How devotedly Simulationist of you. ;-)

Wouldn't it be more Narrativist to incentivize involving your characters issues in any way, "positive" or "negative"? Speak to the player, not to what "should happen" to the character.

That said, there are other ways to incentivize involvement of muses other than automatic character empowerment via muses.

Also, the GM as final arbiter would be just one way to go, BTW. There are other options.

Mike
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2003, 10:37:45 AM »

Hi Matt,

Where to start ....

1. The sample Muses in the book simply don't introduce setting-based conflict in the way you're talking about, at least not textually. When I take "Devoted to Hera," I (as me) know that I can look forward to plenty of situations in which I'm going to be confronting or tormenting bastard children of Zeus. Automatic. 100%. Has to be.

But the text doesn't tell me that. It's only my own knowledge of the mythology and its contents that gets me there. If the GM has no idea what Hera is all about, and just looks up "wife of Zeus, hearth and home," in some list, then wham - we have hit a brick wall in play.

The kind of text I'm looking for, and it would be perfect in the Muse discussions, is very explicit - if you take "Devoted to ...." for a particular immortal, you can bet on massive alliance and opposition from a slew of other immortals, even in the most trivial undertakings. If you take "Loves ..." for just some mortal character, you can bet on that mortal being important in some way to an immortal-based conflict. That kind of thing.

2. This point is a respectful request to eliminate all popularized Atlantis material from the game. I hate it. I hate it with a steaming, spitting passion. One man's preference, of course, but there it is. Given that the game is set in the modern day, I would be perfectly happy with gold or oil trade.

3. The text on the involvement of Muses states that it's when they're "involved in any way." To break that into positive (get the bonus) and negative (no bonus) seems to contradict that. Seems to me you either need to re-write the rules or to let all 6 cards come into play.

Best,
Ron
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Matt Snyder
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« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2003, 07:51:04 PM »

Hmm, been thinking more on the major point you raised, Ron.

Let’s start with an obvious weakness I have. I am a poor critic or judge of games under your theories. On my own, I do a generally poor job of saying “Ah, this is G, N or S (for example), and here’s why.” I can do it, but I do it poorly. Obviously, you’re much more proficient at this than I am. So is Mike Holmes. I’m cool with that; it’s precisely why I participate on these forums, to get the evaluation and discussion from others.

Now, I’m generally not proficient at making such evaluations. I’m terrible at doing it for my own games. Terrible. As in, calling something Narrativism when its rampant Simulationism (or vice versa, or whatever), and fighting about it, ranting about it, and so on. Or defining my own game’s premise, concisely. I thrashed about Dust Devils. I’m thrashing here (just read on!) for a more complicated game. Go figure.

So, with all of this in mind, a couple things have occurred to me.

First, and by no means the smallest point, the playtest document as it stands has serious flaws. (It is a playtest document after all, and that’s entirely the point of these discussions). I appreciate very much the criticisms raised thus far. I also recognize that I’m getting frustrated repeatedly, and for the silly reason that folks can’t read my mind. Which leads me to my second point. . . . .

Ron, it seems that your answer to my question above is “somewhere in between.” That is, currently the Muses (and other sections, likely) aren’t written appropriately, but on the other hand, you’re not getting enough setting information from the document. You’re assuming Greek myth “as is” to fill in the gaps, and I don’t blame you. But I’m seeing elements of your examples that are 1) informed by myth but 2) contradictory to either the game’s setting as I’ve imagined it or contrary or irrelevant to what the game’s “about.” You ain’t “all wrong” but you don’t “get it” yet either, in some respects.

Oh, and the orichalcum bit is staying in. That this grates you doesn’t alarm me much. You have in the past professed a general disinterest in the type of game I’m creating here. <shrug> If you find interesting bits, great. If you find it playable for your group, fantastic. If not, oh well. “Some of the people, some of the time . . . .”

The crux of my second point: I was trying to say that I have stated what this game is about several times, even as long ago as last winter, and do not yet have any significant feedback regarding this “aboutness.” I have stated that the game is: “Whose world do you want to live in? The one you make, or the one others make for you?” This is, I believe, the premise of the game. I’m sticking with that, because it’s the only thing I’m still sure about my design. (Whether the design properly addresses that, I no longer am certain . . . again, hence the call for feedback)

If that expression (i.e. that premise) of this game doesn’t interest you (and by you, I mean in general, not just Ron here!), that’s one thing. I recognize it may not, and I still greatly appreciate the thoughtful feedback (and will seek more). But if you find some serious flaw in that expression, then I’m obviously interested in talking about it.

I will say, though, that your suggestions for “fixing” the lack of setting-based narrativism may be off the mark (but not “all wrong” either -- clearly, the Muses section needs much work, especially as it relates to setting). It’s quite possible that you’re “fixing” it in that direction because I’ve said “Hey, my game’s setting based narrativism. Isn’t that neat?” Hell, I dunno if it is anymore. See my first point above (that I’m a bumbling fool when analyzing my own designs). I haven’t the foggiest right now what the game is in terms of GNS, etc. Don’t care right now, either. Gotta regain my bearings, and wrestle this hydra back under control. (As in, this game design has exploded under my feet, and I can’t get my arms around it anymore -- very frustrating.)

When are muses relevant?

Mike & Ron raise a good point about when Muses come into play. I’m not particularly interested at this point in time whether the “correction” I gave Ron is Sim. or Nar., and I do see what Mike is getting at in that distinction. I simply hadn’t considered actions contradicting one’s Muses to be considered “relevant” to that Muse. I am reconsidering that point, but remain undecided. I think Mike’s right, and that I should make the text clearly indicate that relevance is for and against. That is, that all 6 cards should come into play, and let the player choose why this moment, this choice matters.

Mike, you’ve mentioned there are other ways to incentify involvement of Muses. Any ideas you care to share? A related point: I know you’ve mentioned here and elsewhere on is “the buck stops at the GM.” What else? Frankly, I'm leaning that way for lack of other ideas. But, it doesn't seem right to me in a game that takes it upon itself to question authority in RPGs.
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« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2003, 05:40:16 AM »

Hey Matt,

"Whose world do you want to live in? The one you make, or the one others make for you?"

Now that's an interesting Premise. Can I ask, are both answers viable, mechanically, within the system? Or does taking one of the two paths actually gradually disempower a character, or make him/her less significant to the overall scheme of things?

Paul
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« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2003, 05:54:01 AM »

Quote from: Paul Czege
Hey Matt,

<FONT COLOR="RED">"Whose world do you want to live in? The one you make, or the one others make for you?"</FONT>

Now that's an interesting Premise. Can I ask, are both answers viable, mechanically, within the system? Or does taking one of the two paths actually gradually disempower a character, or make him/her less significant to the overall scheme of things?

Paul


Paul, I believe the mechanics make both answers quite viable. In fact, they are equivalent. The game does not judge that "the world YOU make" is better, as one might presume.

It works by choosing which of two virtues your PC will employ in any given moment. If you choose Arete, you are implicitly saying "I'm going to use the world made for me (as set forth by the gods, for example)." If you use Hubris, you are saying, "Screw this, I'm changing the rules right now." Both work identically in terms of the mechanics.

As to whether one disempowers over the other, good question. When you DO choose one of the two virtues in a conflict, it becomes sacrosanct, meaning it cannot be changed at all in the conflict. Meanwhile, the other "unused" virtue becomes jeopardized, and it can be decreased or increased. So, the risk is there that by using one virtue more than the other that your character will become increasingly unable to use the other attribute. But, it is not a guarantee. It is only a risk. In fact, the other unused attribute could increase over time.
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« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2003, 08:00:03 AM »

I'm with Paul, that is a very cool premise.  Looking over the playtest document again, it doesn't come through in the intro.  This passage is the closest it gets:

Quote from: Nine Worlds
With all their power to shape the universe, to bend and break the rules as they desire, the Archons possess no greater power to answer: Should they?

This comes close, but it's too distant; too abstract.  What I think you should do is alter the voicing of the intro to make it address the reader directly.  After all, the players will be playing Archons, right?  Instead of talking about Archons in the third person, talk to the reader.  So the text above might go like this:
Quote
With all your power to shape the universe, to bend and break the rules as you desire, as an Archon you possess no greater power to answer: Should you?

Just that subtle change makes the text seem much more vital.  And then you could close it out with something like this, more baldly stating the premise:
Quote
As an Archon, the most difficult decision you will face is a deceptively simple one: Whose world do you want to live in? The one you make, or the one others make for you? In answering this question, you will find your destiny in the Nine Worlds.

Or something like that.  In any case, I think you need to stir things up in the intro, really reach out of the text, grab people by the collar, and tell them just exactly why this game is so damn cool and why they should be playing it right now.

I don't know if that'll address all or any of Ron's concerns, but I think in general it will help make your game more accessible.
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« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2003, 09:22:47 AM »

The thing is that we're interested in the mechanics as they relate to the premise as well, Ethan. I think that there's a start in whole Employed/Jeopardized mechanic, but it's not very compelling. I mean, certainly it makes a statement to use one or the other, and there's even potential ramifiactions. But I'm not seeing how the characters particular interests relate to this. That is, the Muses, and which of the two stats you use are completely separate topics.

So what's important to the character has no impact on the supposed premise of the game. Now, if, for example, each muse was linked to one or the other trait, for instance, becoming jeopardized as well, or some such mechanic, then we might be starting down the road to mechanics that link the character priorities to his choice of how to live in the universe.


Hey, Matt, if you wanna go Sim, or highly hybrid, it's alright by me. But, sure, go with your gut for now, and check for coherence later.

Quote
Mike, you’ve mentioned there are other ways to incentify involvement of Muses. Any ideas you care to share?

They can be altered for the better, perhaps. Their use means some bonus elsewhere (each muse employed counts as an extra trick automatically). Oralchium is formed from the ether when a muse is employed. I dunno, what makes sense? Remember, if you're rewarding action, the sort of reward you give also informs player action.

Quote
A related point: I know you’ve mentioned here and elsewhere on is “the buck stops at the GM.” What else? Frankly, I'm leaning that way for lack of other ideas. But, it doesn't seem right to me in a game that takes it upon itself to question authority in RPGs.
So make the player the final authority. GM can't veto his use. The way to balance this out is to have some potential or actual negative result from use of Muses (they go down one, for example: using them up). Or the player to the left decides. Or allowing use comes down to a die roll. Myriad ways to do it.

Mike
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« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2003, 09:53:36 AM »

Quote from: Mike Holmes
That is, the Muses, and which of the two stats you use are completely separate topics.


Excellent point -- there is little to no connection between one's virtue (Arete or Hubris) and one's Muses. Definitely something that needs remedied. Muses need some serious re-evaluation, because they're not properly tied to the premise. So, when you look at a given Muses, the question you should be asking yourself is "How should I settle this motivator my character has? Should I do it according to the 'rules' set forth by the gods, or should I break the rules and solve it my own way?" (Mike, this disconnect is where I now see, retrospectively, incoherence.)

 
Quote
They can be altered for the better, perhaps. Their use means some bonus elsewhere (each muse employed counts as an extra trick automatically). Oralchium is formed from the ether when a muse is employed. I dunno, what makes sense? Remember, if you're rewarding action, the sort of reward you give also informs player action.


Not sure I follow what you mean here. Currently, players can improve their Muses. They simply "bank" earned Tricks. Now, currently there is also no rule indicating what/when/how this is done. You can just do it to any Muse, any time. Perhaps a simple restriction -- you can only increase a Muse in a phase in which that Muses is relevant/activated.

Putting such a restriction in place, along with connecting virtues and Muses overtly and powerfully will, I think, go a long way toward solving the problem that's been nagging me -- that the metamechanic economy would never really threaten your character's demise. But with some limitations on the ebb and flow of Tricks/Muse ratings/virtue scores, the character now faces some real jeopardy, which would be much better for the game.
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« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2003, 01:34:22 PM »

All sounds like you're heading in the right direction to me. As long as you're thinking in these terms, I think you'll come up with something that works.

Mike
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« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2003, 01:41:33 PM »

I've been mulling over many thoughts regarding everyone's excellent observations about Nine Worlds. Ron, especially, got me thinking hard, mostly because I coulnd't quite see what he was saying. I'm starting to get it now.

(Incidentally, I've printed out ALL the threads related to Nine Worlds playtesting and critiques. I'm going through the laborious process of highlighting things I need to address in the text to create a task list for myself as I revise the document.)

Paul Czege recently linked to an old thread about distinguishing between Setting-based Simulationism and Setting-based Narrativism (Paul linked to it in his interesting "this is some strange laboratory!?" thread on his Half Meme Press forum). That thread Paul referenced included this quote in the final post from Ron:

Quote
Situation, to me, means that the character is facing conflict of any kind - stated most carefully, all Premise in Narrativist play is Situation-driven; the question is what prompts that situation, Character or Setting, relative to a beginning character's choices. Issues like "playing from within my character" properly relate to Stance, and Stance shifts all about like quicksilver during play.


Ron's statement quoted above greatly helps me understand what he was getting at in his comments here in this thread. But I'm only about half way there. Now, I see more clearly what he was getting at. I haven't yet figured out how to make that actionable in Nine Worlds, and I'm still trying to figure out how the heck to tie virtues to Muses strongly, thereby reinforcing the premise of the game -- "What world do you want to live in? The one made for you or the one you make for yourself?"

So, this is a big. "Hmm, I'm thinking on it" post, and a bit of clarification of my current thinking and direction with 9W.
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« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2003, 02:19:50 PM »

Here's a what if I'll throw into your musing pile.

You listed a bunch of single word "types" for muses in the text which are then fleshed out relative to the character.

What if their were only 9 types and all were tied to one of the 9 worlds (and the patron of that world) or directly to a patron.

For instance, any Muse related to being jealous or such might tie directly to Hera.  Any Muse relating to the pursuit of violence might tie directly to Mars, love to Venus, etc.

At the very least specifically identifying the characters driving motivation with one of the worlds (and as a result basically limiting the choices to just those nine) you are saying "HERE are the conflicts that are important to this game.  Any other conflict your character might be involved in (i.e. character driven) fine, you're on your own there...but THESE, these are important to the setting and therefor add power to your actions".

That alone might be enough to start linking character and setting together.  I'd probably go a step further, and have each muse be fickle (like the fickleness of the gods they represent) by setting up a unique hoop to jump through for each muse.  

Muses then can be both enhancing and detracting to character effectiveness depending on the whim and mood of the respective god behind it.  The players then must worry about placating the respective power (the way the ancients offered sacrifices) in order to maintain the muse as a positive.  Failure to appease the god results in the muse becoming absent or even becoming negative.

Now you've entrenched character effectiveness up to their eyeballs in cosmic politics.  When you have 5 muses tied to 5 different worlds...just how do you keep them all happy...or at least non antagonistic towards you...

Me, I'd go a step further yet, and offer an alternative to the 9 muses...a 10th...the Titans.  This one could be for anything and the only hoop would be to support the Titans in the Titanomachy.  No silly sacrifices, or quests, or moody bitch goddesses...just a straight forward faustian contract...BAM...I know my character would be tempted by it.


Just some thoughts to run through the mixer.
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Matt Snyder
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« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2003, 05:53:41 PM »

And they're excellent thoughts, Valamir. Thanks! You've actually reminded me of an old idea I discarded -- horoscopes/signs. I'm not sure I'll do straight "horoscopes" now, probably still Muses. But, as you've suggested wonderfully, tie the nine muses to the nine worlds, literally. Earth Muse, Hades Muse, etc. The Titans could be the Saturn Muse, since they now hold sway there.

This way, the Archons become linked quite literally to the various worlds. This opens a lot of possibilities, and certainly ties them to setting overtly. We might have, for example, characters with Major and Minor muse. Or, have players write Muses: Start w/ Earth Muses, then let them do one or two from there. Just brainstorming....

Anyway, you've helped me take a step back and get a new perspective, Ralph (and everyone). Thanks. I'll chew on this over the holiday and hopefully come back with some new ideas.
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Matt Snyder
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"The future ain't what it used to be."
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