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Independent Game Forums => Bully Pulpit Games => Topic started by: Alex F on April 08, 2006, 05:11:26 AM



Title: To what degree can you impact the fiction without a conflict to back it up?
Post by: Alex F on April 08, 2006, 05:11:26 AM
Just to get this straight:
a) I'm pretty clear on this:
Only the spotlight character can call for a conflict, and they set the stakes. Other players have some input into these. Stakes cannot kill a PC.

b) I think this is correct, but want to check:
NPCs can be killed by narration alone. There is no way for any player to prevent the death of an NPC, except for the spotlight player, if she sets it as the stakes of the conflict.

c) And a question:
Can a PC impact another PC (e.g. breaking their legs, slapping their face) through the use of narration, or does it require a conflict?

These are mechanics questions, but I'm also interested in the spirit of play. If I've got b) right, then is it also encouraged to narrate a   bus running down your rivals' allies (developed in play over previous scenes) in order to thrash the rival in an unrelated conflict in that scene? Is that going too far? Totally up to the group?

NB on p36 it says 'Going too far' section is in Chapter 4, but it's actually in Chapter 5.

Thanks, Alex


Title: Re: To what degree can you impact the fiction without a conflict to back it up?
Post by: Alex F on April 08, 2006, 05:29:26 AM
Just to emphasise the point that made me post in the first place - if I want to kill an NPC, not only do the rules say I am able to do so without a conflict, then other players are unable to do anything - such as launch a conflict - to prevent it from happening. In fact, no-one can prevent any narration happening, mechanically. That's the crux of what I wanted to confirm.


Title: Re: To what degree can you impact the fiction without a conflict to back it up?
Post by: Jason Morningstar on April 08, 2006, 07:02:00 AM
Thanks for the errata, Alex. 

There is no mechanism to stop another player's narration beyond the "I call bullshit" rule, but I've only seen that invoked once.  A group that is relentlessly focused on personal agendas, to the detriment of everyone's fun, can easily wreck the Roach.  Play with friends, and play to have a good time. 

The spotlight character does have the liberty of deciding the nature of the conflict and the final stakes, but this should absolutely be a collaboration, not done in a vaccum.  Changing major pieces of the campus landscape (like killing Pembertonians, imprisoning PCs, etc) generally ought to be part of stake-setting, but if everybody is fine with your narration, they don't technically have to be. 

You can certainly kill NPCs and Pembertonians as part of narration.  Expect another player who has groomed an NPC to object if you try to off his favorite, in which case consider making life or death a component of the stakes somehow.  But putting cherished NPCs in danger is totally appropriate and fun - killing them by fiat is allowed, but not so much fun generally, unless nobody cares about them.  This same principle applies to narration that impacts other player characters autonomy - you can, but expect objections and revision based on discussion, with other players pushing for it to be a part of the stakes.  Sometimes what you come up with will be so great that it'll sail right through, though!

A group should find an equilibrium that is satisfying after the first Event, typically.

Does that help? 



Title: Re: To what degree can you impact the fiction without a conflict to back it up?
Post by: Alex F on April 08, 2006, 03:42:22 PM
Massively. Until we play - hopefully tomorrow if I can find those damn cards and one of my elusive players gets back to me - I'll shut up. I (almost) promise. Thanks Jason!