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[Star Wars D6] Pyron's Woe's - Epilogue?

Started by Eric J., September 22, 2003, 04:06:38 AM

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Eric J.

Well, I've done some stuff.  I've had some fun.  Guess what?  I'm back here.  I just want to say: Thank you Ron Edwards.  Thank you Forge.  I believe that I finially understand what GNS is about.

IMHO, I have just started a third fun campaign.  Sure, I've only gone one session, but it's been fun.  I now have three more or less active campaigns.  That's three in a row.  I'm happy.

The first one:
This is a D6 campaign that has been very fun.  It has been a fun ride with a group of mercenaries out to make it for themselves, but finding it become more and more complicated.  The latest session was a blast (They were ambushed by a 'Dark Side Chef'.  A Dark Side Chef has been a joke character concept for me in Star Wars Galaxies for about 2 years now.).

Second One:
This is the gamist tale of some intrepid souls who explore a ghost infested riddle tower.  They seek treasure, glory and higher levels.  The last session is described in the already mentioned thread.

I've just started up a third.  Now, I know that a lot of you are probably thinking that I'm crazy.  I'm not going to argue this point.  Because each of the campaigns has a different set of players and a different focus, I believe that I can deal with it.

In any case, I'll explain the game I just started:  I decided that it would be kindof cool to explore this whole narrativism thing which I believe that I'm starting to get.  So I told them that they'd each play a Jedi using Star Wars D6, probably at a Jedi Academy and that we'd go from there.
Character creation took very long.  I tried to explain how we should create our characters together, but everyone pretty much kept to themself.  I think we started working with ideas at 8:30.  I thought that we were going to start playing at 10.  Well... we started at 1(AM).   I started by trying to explain that I wanted a campaing with a narrativist focus, just to try it out.  I also tried to explain what that meant.  I basically said "Your character should be built around a theme."  It took me awhile to do this.  I gave them countless examples from my past characters, movies we had seen, anime, anything I could think of.  I also struggled trying to explain what a theme was.  This was very difficult.  Anyway- The players and their corresponding characters are:

Anthony had the firmest grasp (IMHO) on what I was trying to say.  However, he kept to himself when I wanted to create characters with all of the players.  When he proposed his character concept in background form, instead of thematic form.  This really bugged me, and I had to pretty much rip out his character from his background and put him in a place I could deal with him.  He wanted his character to rise up against these Jedi who were enslaving a native species that they had been assigned to arbitrate, but I felt that it didn't work for a campaign.  

However, I decided that it was a really good theme to have a Jedi that slowly comes to a new realisation of his teachings so I put the campaign back to the creation of the Jedi Order (100 years afterword, rather).  The Jedi aren't really an order yet and haven't really shown their true ability.  What purpose the order has is yet to be decided.  I started him off as one of the prise 10 students of an academy on the outer rim (of the Republic at this time).  I gave him a VERY demanding Jedi Master, which allows for some interesting conflict.

Player: Avery
Avery has a history of playing less than serious characters, which doesn't bother me.  They're funny.  However, he agreed to try something different this time.  He wrote a background of a chararacter that was expelled from the order for using the dark side and accidentally killing for revenge (his master died).  I helped him improve the exact curcumstances of this, and that's all that I really had need to do.  Since he's an outcast, it could lead to some very interesting ideas.  One of the core questions for the campaign as I see it (I'm the GM aren't I?) is "To what level do you trust in authority?"  Er... something like that.  The thing is that the order WON'T forgive him and he's trying to repent.  I gave him the hook that he couldn't use his force abilities.  I tried to balance that with giving him significantly more ability than the other characters.  I wanted to make him older with different experience than the younger characters.

Doug was harder than the other two.  He's only 13 (and my brother if that matters) in contrast to 16 and 17.  However, I believe that he has the focus to do this, even if he has to try harder at it.  I spent most of the time trying to explain to him what theme is and how it applies.  I'm not sure if he got it.  His character ended up being without any real special traits or thematic elements.  I guess that, if nothing else, this will serve as a learning experience for him.

Okay, the game.  I started off in the academy.  They listened to the headmaster (who was one of the 5 founders of the Jedi Order {Oh, yeah!}) giving them a seminar.  They walked out and decided to train.  I must admit that I started out pretty bad (1 in the morning, remember!).  Anthony's character, and Doug's character dualed eachother in the arena (dumb idea  With the D6 rules, Anthony's character ended up wounded).  They were just about finished when a Jedi student runs in and says that there's an emergency.  I gambled on drawing them into a story with a situation that really mirrored what theme I was getting accross ( I really hadn't thought about what would happen this session).  So they run into a room and find a girl trapped in a power grid.  She's being electricuted.  So they cooperate (which is good) and try to free her using telekinesis, fail so they sever the powerlines with their sabers.  Anthony's master comes in and he's, of course, very displeased.  They should have tried the lightsaber first, subjecting himself to the damaged conduit.  Anthony argued and that was interesting.  Antony's character's master (Master Keldor) then points to a student (I did a good job describing this) and he says that this student will be put on trial.  I figured that having a trial would allow the players to have a chance interacting with the politics of the academy even thought they're students. Anyway, we ended there, 'cuz you know, it was 2 and I couldn't think despite the Pepsi in my blood.  I wasn't able to introduce Avery yet... Which is a bad thing.  I'm open to suggestions on that end.  I'd like to keep it in the academy for a few more sessions.

So we start the next day.  Avery has to leave in the morning so I don't feel guilty continuing with the other players.   I give them the options of signing up for the positions: Defense, Prosecution and Council (Jury).  If he's convicted he will be taken to a council where he may face being expelled from the Jedi Order.  I try to avoid all of the plot holes, and I think it works.  He is given the rite of trial by his peers.  Anyway- Anthony signs up for the prosecution, and Doug signs up for his defense.  The investigation is underway...  In any case, I'm trying to make the investigation difficult for them both, and I'm finding the whole story and everything quite involving.  Simply put, I'm loving this.

So... purpose?  I'm wondering if I'm doing this right.  If you can help me explain to my players what I'm trying to do, or tell me how to do it better, it would be VERY appreciated.  Any questions will be answered.

{Wipes the sweat off his face}  Wheew!

Ron Edwards

You're welcome!

Here's my advice: don't make a "thing" about Narrativism and how they ought to play. Lay off your players about that stuff.

You just concentrate on presenting them with stuff they get all worked up about, in terms of emotional commitment to what's going on in the game. And be ready to accept their decisions for their characters for what they are, the decisive authorship of the story (you're an author too, but you don't get that decision/character privilege), and not tell them how to think or what to do.


Eric J.

What I've decided to do is create a rich backstory but also allow them to explore the themes they've presented me.  I'll tie in the backstory as need be.  I really want to help them to explore their own ideas, take control of the story themselves.  That's what it's all about, right?  I'll also ocasionally present them with moral situations and see how they interpret it and play it out (like the trial example).  Anyway, I'll try to do whatever I can.

And when I said 'The Forge' I mean eveyone who has ever helped me in all of those old threads [yes, even Mike Holmes ;) ].

Mike Holmes

I'm glad it seems to all be working out for you.

But I remain skeptical. I mean that I think you're doing better than you were before, certainly, but I'm not sure why. I always assumed that the reasons for your problems in play had more to do with core social problems than with GNS or any theory stuff. But who knows.

Not to be too much of a cynic, but be prepared for things to revert to where they were at any time, and without apparent reason. This isn't a reason to give up, but it's just to say that a few good sessions doesn't mean that everything in the future will be as hunkey-dorey. Just be prepared to regroup and come at it again when it does.

And find another group to play with. I know you say they don't exist, but as you get older, and your ability to travel increases, see if you can't at least get in on some nearby convention activity or something. Or drop in at the game group from the nearest university just to see how they play. I think that such experiences would give you some seriously needed perspective.

Just some thoughts, FWIW,
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Eric J.

I have a hard time accepting that it was in the RPG theory or social problems by itself.  I think that they have been more or less solved with everyone really accepting (And TELLING me) what they want.  This allows me to really give them that.

For example: I started each of the aformentioned campaings I really started by telling each of the players what I wanted with the campaign and what they should expect.  I would also say that each of the campaings falls fairly neatly into the GNS categories.

First one: Star Wars [D6]  I started out with trying to make it narrativist, but I really had no idea what that meant at the time (looking backwards).  It really has ended up sim. as I've really let them explore to their desire and really create their own weapons when they want, and whatever.  I'm aware that Star Wars doesn't fit sim. real well IMHO, especially how I'm doing it.  But it's going well, so what the hey.

Second one: Gamist.  This was supposed to be decisivelly gamist.  It is decisivelly gamist.  I have strict XP awards and I stick very closelly to the rules. yeah.

Third one: Well, that's the subject of this thread, isn't it?

Maybe I just needed a little bit more experience myself on how to institute different strategies dealing with player preferance.

In any case I'm becoming more and more satisfied with roleplaying and group interaction, though I can't speak for my players.  Only they can do that.  However, I would be unprepared if the situation regressed back into what it was.  We haven't had more than one bad session in a row for quite some time (5 months?) and I see no reason for that to happen now.

Also, you will be happy to know that I'm finding more and more of a player base [Is it okay to reffer to players as common resources? :) ] and I'm continuing to introduce people into the hobby and its culture.

So... I'd really like responses on campaign specifics or reviews of the situation by any players in any of the campaigns mentioned so far.


First of all the situation... You  are runing 3 DIFRENT campains at once so it is hard to get someware in one of them and that Anthony has his plane scape campain and of corse cody has his  (i think) battle teck or something campin... so it as i said dificult to role play often. with Anthiny wanting to play his Scape campain some weekends and you wanting to play one of your campains... not to menchone the player arguments so it is pritty hetic right now. i would find it better if we could play one campain for a wile then a difrint one insted of pouting it off then not continuing it... ever.... so i would like a better of systome of role playing... (just easyer) Some what like the old pyron, cyrus, and forge campain...

thanks for reading and if you have tips to role play a jedi that would be apriciated....
"I don't want revenge.  I want vengence." -Seriously meant by Cyrus.

Eric J.

Alright.  Explain WHY it's hecktic.  We have players with very different schedules.  You need to tell me what you want out of a game!  All you say in your post is that you want it like when it was only you and Anthony.  That sucked.  I'm sorry, but that was bad.

Look... Let me explain.  I have one of the few groups that wasn't introduced by people who already played the game (RPGs in general).  It was just me reading out of a D20 starter set and later a rulebook.  We had some fun but messed up sessions.


.......but messed up.

In any case, if you don't like my campaign tell me WHY.  I've put a lot of work into it, so I'd like to know all about what to expect from my players.  Okay?

May the wind be always at your back,


First reason i don't think that you can campile all your thoughts together so that your campains greatness would be higher and be aswome ensted of  a aray af campains that do nothing.
"I don't want revenge.  I want vengence." -Seriously meant by Cyrus.

Eric J.

Forgive my ignorance, but I simply don't understand what you're implying.  Are you saying that I lack the ability to handle multiple campaigns at once?  I don't understand.  I have many pages of backstory and work on each of my campaigns.  If you can tell me what went wrong in the session(s) that you have played in, I could reduce those elements and expand upon the elements (if any) that were good.  However, all I'm getting is a single incoherent sentence telling me to compile my thoughts lest I create an array of campaigns that do nothing.  Correct me if I'm wrong.


There is such a thing as too much details, too many directions.  Perhaps a more focussed single project - started and finished as a discrete and particular act - might be better recieved.  I know its tempting to "just keep going" but you can get badly burnt out this way.  And being burnt out for one campaign is bad enough, being burnt out and crashing three is very bad.  This is all aggravated if everything is running in continuous time mode, IMO.
Impeach the bomber boys:

"He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may cast."
- Leonardo da Vinci