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Independent Game Forums => Half Meme Press => Topic started by: Paul Czege on February 07, 2005, 07:45:02 AM

Title: the "Christmas Special"
Post by: Paul Czege on February 07, 2005, 07:45:02 AM
Sometimes when I get an email requesting a postage quote for My Life with Master to an international address, I inquire how the person heard about the game. And most of the time I'm not blind-sided by the response. The person heard about it at, or is a Forge lurker, or read Greg Costikyan's review. Just this weekend though, I got taken by surprise. A customer heard about the game from the "Christmas Special":

It's an mp3 recording of actual gameplay.

I've listened to some of it, and found the sound quality pretty hard to deal with. But geez, it seems to warrant some discussion. (Would it be rude to discuss it?)


Title: the "Christmas Special"
Post by: Roger Eberhart on February 08, 2005, 04:35:48 PM
I thought it was really funny. This is the second time I've heard about a game with Santa as the Master. This one was even more twisted than the first one. I loved the elf using an ice sculpture of baby Jesus as a murder weapon. Obviously, I'm pretty tough to offend. If you're at all prudish/religious, don't listen to that recording.

It was cool to listen to an entire game being played. However, it might have been better had they done standard master and minion generation instead of pre-made. I wonder what kind of characters they would have come up with on their own.

They ignored the requirement that the master be single, just like the other Santa game. I assume the reason for that rule is to make the bond between master and minion even more significant. Or perhaps it is commentary on the Master's inability to care about anyone but himself.

They apparently hadn't read the errata. I think one of the characters had the endgame condition where their self loating plus weariness was equal to their love plus reason. So that elf would have ended up serving the new evil Santa.

Did anyone else think the gamemaster sounded exactly like one of the Monty Python crew? I wonder what part of England he's from.

Title: the "Christmas Special"
Post by: GB Steve on February 09, 2005, 06:54:56 AM
The guy who ran this game is from Bradford, which is where the game was run. The guy who ran the other Santa game may have been me, it's in Actual Play on this board. That was run in London.

When I ran it, I didn't put any great though into what I was doing (e.g. the Master has a wife), I was just looking for a great game to play in our last session before Christmas, and MLwM is a great game.

Although the master was imposed, i.e. a drunken impotent Santa who's need is to deliver presents by Xmas, the players made their own characters. If you don't at least do that then I think you can dramatically change the dynamic of the game.

"Can" but not "will". I think if players enter into the spirit of the game then you can still get the ensemble piece that MLwM produces. In fact, the only time when I didn't get the ensemble feeling going was when one player chose a greater than that unbalanced the game.

I think that as a MLwM GM, one of your prime responsibilities is ensuring that the PCs have some kind of fit, on top of ensuring plenty of unpleasant things to do, and ratcheting up the drama and emotional impact of these requests.

As for the gonzo "killing puppies for santa" style, that's what my players do. It's very adolescent, very male and, if you're not easily offended, very funny.

Title: the "Christmas Special"
Post by: Roger Eberhart on February 09, 2005, 11:20:08 AM
Michael Palin was born in Sheffield, Yorkshire. That must be why the accent sounded familiar to me.

Every "greater than human" has to have a weakness. Since the GM can frame the scenes, he can conceivably make sure the unbalanced ability doesn't come into play that often. I think the players would get the message not to choose cheesy abilities if this was consistently applied.