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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 153 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Problems with Master  (Read 2001 times)
Ulmo
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Posts: 4


« on: February 04, 2004, 12:23:36 PM »

So getting the feet wet and played a bit this week and I some questions and worries arise.

Questions :

Is it the intent that the "conflicts" that the minion is set on always fall into the violence or non-violent villiany?  It would seem so as you have to either resist the master or roll the die to try to achieve what the master has sent you on.   Is it a failing in the "command" that the master gives if the minion is able to devise a way to execute the task without villiany or violence?

Some of the most effective portions of game play occured when one minion was sent to execute a task against another minion's connection.  There are rules for minions to aid other minions, but what about inhibiting them?  

When a tie occurs in making an overture what happens?

Worries :

The players felt little control over the game.  Perhaps they are missing something because I ran the game wrong.   Rereading the book though, I gave them more control over the narrative than the books recommends.  In general, I let them help frame, or completely frame where their overtures took place.  I think their concerns here though came from having to do what the die rolls required.    

The mechanics of the system they felt impeded the game.  This could be because it was new and the need to refer to "What do I roll again?"  "If I fail, I can what stat?".   I think it is also because the nature of how conflicts are defined that there are only a few ways that conflicts can end.  

From a gamist point of view, there is little reason to attempt more than one overture to a connection.  Too many love points associated to one connection makes that connection a ripe target for Master.  In turn there is no difference in mechanics in making a new connection or making an overture to an existing connection.   Generally in a narrative game, a player wouldnt look at this, but generalism are made to be broken.  The pressures this puts on the GM can get to be a problem as each connection is in essence a spontaneous character the GM will have to RP.   So the more connections, the more pressure on the GM and the less depth of story gets played out.

Summation :

We know we got some things wrong.  We are going to handle those and play again.  We might also add in a few house rules to see how they play out to extend the reward system for good RP and interaction.   One thing we are looking into trying is having players RP the roles of other players connections.

Any feedback people have, or questions, before we play again would be welcome.

Ulmo
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Lxndr
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2004, 12:41:54 PM »

I think the general assumption is that if you're not using Violence, you are using Villainy.  There's no way out of using one or the other.  Am I wrong there?

As for ties on Connections... it gets interrupted, like anything else.  No Love or Self-Loathing, or so I've gotten from previous threads.

Can't answer about inhibiting minions - don't have the physical book in front of me.

And yes, creating multiple Connections, getting 1 Love apiece, feels against the spirit of the rules.  Not sure what can be done about it, though.
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Alexander Cherry, Twisted Confessions Game Design
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cthulahoops
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« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2004, 06:33:23 PM »

Quote from: Lxndr
And yes, creating multiple Connections, getting 1 Love apiece, feels against the spirit of the rules.  Not sure what can be done about it, though.


Several things I found:

I found that the flow of the game naturally encourages players not to do this.  The PCs aren't free to go door to door picking up lots of one point love.  They are trying to fit it around the master's orders, this means the minions spend time protecting one connection, and as they do they naturally increase that connection's value.

Secondly, many minions will be shy about making a first approach to a new connection, this is more difficult to roleplay, so people will build on one connection.

Thirdly, all eggs in one basket can lead to one of two results.  You get away with it and get a happy ending - or you get caught and get to be a force of evil in your own right.   Which is far more fun than having to kill yourself.

Adam.
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GB Steve
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« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2004, 04:43:28 AM »

Quote from: Ulmo
Is it the intent that the "conflicts" that the minion is set on always fall into the violence or non-violent villiany?
Yes. The easy rule is that if it is not Violence, then it is Villany.

Quote from: Ulmo
Some of the most effective portions of game play occured when one minion was sent to execute a task against another minion's connection.  There are rules for minions to aid other minions, but what about inhibiting them?
You use the rules for Minion v Minion on these cases.

As I see it, you only need one roll for a task and this should be against the main antagonist. It's up to the GM to decide whether that is a Minion or an NPC.

There's an example of this in my last MLwM Actual play thread. In round 5, a PC tries to persuade an NPC to follow him, another PC tries to dissuade him. This was played out as PC v PC, to see who was the most convincing.

Sometimes PC succeed automatically because they have a "More Than" that governs the situation. In this case I give the "rewards" (SL+1 or L+1) even though a dice roll has not been made.

Quote from: Ulmo
When a tie occurs in making an overture what happens?
Nothing. The result is defered by some external intervention.

Quote from: Ulmo
The players felt little control over the game.  Perhaps they are missing something because I ran the game wrong.   Rereading the book though, I gave them more control over the narrative than the books recommends.  In general, I let them help frame, or completely frame where their overtures took place.  I think their concerns here though came from having to do what the die rolls required.
Well, in most games the roll determines the outcome. Just in this game it determines the outcome of the scene rather than just one action.

You have to view "failures" in a different light in this kind of game. They aren't a personal failure on the part of the player, there is nothing particular to be gained by winning all your rolls. The aim is to provide a framework for making an interesting story, one that results in the death of the master.

As regards framing, I tend to frame the scenes but I'm pretty happy to let the players do it. You must remember, though, that they are under the Master's service and if they don't report for duty he's going to get pretty irate and start doing really nasty things to them. He knows everything that goes on so he can really turn the screw if they start ignoring him.

Quote
From a gamist point of view, there is little reason to attempt more than one overture to a connection.  Too many love points associated to one connection makes that connection a ripe target for Master.
That's true but I've never had this problem. Generally the roleplaying means that the NPCs to which a player has made an overture are more likley to crop up in the story.

If your players are taking the gamist approach then you can too. Round up a load of their connections in a barn under some pretext and burn it to the ground! Alternatively you might consider playing a the game in a different way, using more usual rules.

You can be really mean in MLwM, in fact, you should be. It's a horror game after all.
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Paul Czege
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« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2004, 08:37:28 PM »

Hi,

There are rules for minions to aid other minions, but what about inhibiting them?

Without a relevant More than Human, a minion who wants to protect a Connection or help them flee another minion or something has only two options:

1. As described in the section on "Providing Aid," use Love greater than Weariness to aid the NPC's attempt to resist the Violence of the other minion. "Rebecca, you must flee. Your life is in danger!"

2. Resort to Violence against the other minion.


From a gamist point of view, there is little reason to attempt more than one overture to a connection. Too many love points associated to one connection makes that connection a ripe target for Master.

Hmm...I guess that's true from a Gamist point of view. But I've yet to meet a player who chose during play to spread their overtures out like that. If a group does Master and minion creation as described in the book, collaboratively, the minions are different in a very significant way from characters in a more traditional RPG: from the very start of the game they have an audience of other players who have an interest in them, who had a hand in determining the situational adversity they'd be facing, and who made a creative investment in the form of suggestions that shaped them. The game, in play, is about managing that audience interest. And I've not met a player who failed to intuitively recognize and play the game with an awareness that the attention of others was focused on their actions. Forget being the one to kill the Master. The game is about having the interest of other players and playing with it. And calling for every overture to be with a new Connection would be poison. It would kill the interest others have in the struggles of your character. Everyone recognizes this instinctively. And it's so rare in RPGs to have audience interest in your character, that no one ever risks jeopardizing it in these kinds of ways.

Paul
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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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