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Author Topic: some otherworld  (Read 3396 times)
Paul Czege
Posts: 2341

« on: June 02, 2004, 09:42:33 AM »


I've had several folks tell me privately they think My Life with Master is brilliant, but that they could never play it, because they are dealing with real life recovery from childhood abuse and it strikes too close to home. So I've been mulling how one way to possibly maintain some personal distance might be to supernaturalize the game situation. Have you seen Spirited Away? I'm thinking a supernaturalized variant would have minions as humans who've been drawn into some otherworld and installed in a subordinate role to powerful beings. In Spirited Away, it's a celestial bath house. But it could just as easily be an unseelie court, with the minions in service to Oberon and Titania. The Epilogue constraints could be rewritten:[list=1][*]Weariness greater than Reason plus Self-loathing: The character becomes a unique and special part of the society of the otherworld, forever having lost his/her memory of ever being human, and perhaps as well even undergoing physical changes.
[*]Self-loathing plus Weariness greater than Love plus Reason: The character is unwillingly subsumed somehow into the very fabric of the otherworld, entirely losing his/her sense of self, and all capacity for thought.
[*]Self-loathing greater than Weariness plus Reason: The character finds a way to incorporate himself/herself into the fabric of the otherworld, losing all capacity for thought and sense of self, and chooses willingly to do so.
[*]Love plus Reason greater than Self-loathing plus Weariness: The character finds his/her way back home.
[*]Love equals zero: The character somehow carries part of the essence of the otherworld back to the the human realm where it will certainly take root and grow to threaten other humans.[/list:o]What do you think? Are those Epilogue constraints the right outcomes for such a game? Is there enough meaningful distinction between the first three?


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

Posts: 373

« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2004, 06:15:05 AM »

Hi Paul,

This is a really interesting idea.  I am getting stuck on the Spirted Away example that you give.  It and similar movies are basically hopeful which is not at all the tone of MLwM where the minions revel in the hopelessness of their situation.  The way that all the components of MLwM are so elegantly entertwined to enforce this, made it difficult for me to think about changes to the Epilogues without reinvisioned the basic characteristics of the game to fit into a supernatural setting. Here are my thoughts over the past evening.

To represent the supernatural component, Magic replaces Fear to describe the Master's influence on the environment.

Replace Self-loathing with Resentment.  In addition to aiding violent actions, Resentment could also be used to reinforce petty behavior.

Replace Intimacy with Propriety.  It would establish a bonus based on proper behavior in the interactions between Master and Minion.

Possibly replace Love with Hope.  I don't have a good rational for this change.  I'm thinking that overtures would result in some form of aid.

Endgame would not necessarily result in the death of the Master.  Endgame can be the elimination of an obstacle that is preventing the return home.   The obstacle could be a formal contract, as in Spirited Away, or the withholding of information or access that would permit the return home, as in The Wizard of Oz.  I imagine that this obstacle would be defined during Master creation.

So, I finally come to the Epilogues.

1. Minion dissipates or becomes lost, unable to return home or reside in the supernatural world.
2. Minion is subsumed into supernatural world, same as you propose.
3. Minion is subsumed into supernatural world perhaps undergoing physical changes, combination of 1 & 3 that you propose.
4. Minion returns home, same as you propose.
5. Minion becomes a Magical force in his or her own right.

I've enjoyed this exercise; let me know if I'm way off base in my thinking.

Eero Tuovinen
Acts of Evil Playtesters

Posts: 2591

« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2004, 11:31:47 AM »

I was getting ready to anwer too, mostly along the lines jrs took. My take would however be that the Master isn't something definite and magical in these stories, but rather it's the environment itself, with a possible someone representing it (the old witch, queen Titania, whatever). Thus I like the number five of Paul a little better, as it doesn't implicate a special status to the Master.

Now, the key change I'd see necessary is changing Love to Humanity. The stories are various, and generally the only unifying theme is that the main character survives because his humanity is of the good kind, rising above the amorality of elves. It's hard to shoehorn actual connections into these stories, and the grand theme of "love will save your soul" evidenced by MLwM is conspiciously absent. Rather it's "virtue will lead you home". Thus I'd make Virtues out of Connections: a Virtue is any act that reaffirms the virtue of the character, be it refusing to eat human meat or helping others even against the law. Doing the same kind of act again naturally rises a given virtue, and if the magical world succeeds in luring the character to break his virtue, it disappears. The Endgame happens normally, but is a much freer affair, as there'd not necessarily be a Master.

This change would make the possible elements of the game much more various. This is IMO necessary, as the stories in question are much more varied and symbolic in nature.

About the first question: I think that Paul's numbers one to three are distinct and meaningful.

Blogging at Game Design is about Structure.
Publishing Zombie Cinema and Solar System at Arkenstone Publishing.
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