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Author Topic: [Hungry Desperate and Alone] A couple of questions  (Read 4120 times)
Bailywolf
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« on: January 24, 2005, 09:26:00 AM »

I glanced at this gamelet a few months back, but didn't really read it.

Over the weekend, I actually read it and thought about the crunchy bits presented in the three games.

This is a brutal badass little moral hatchet of a game.

I was curious is this thing has ever seen real play- and if so, what was it like.

Thinking about how I might try and run it, I was a bit confused on a few bits...

By 'games' does this refer to actual sit-down sessions?  Or are these actually separate little mini-games which could be played separately and independently of one another?  The mechanics for the third game would seem to nest neatly beside those in the first two, but the first two seem mechanically redundant (though thematically different).

As an aside to the above question, conflict as a "race to the bottom" to out-squick the other guy isn't gold- it's fucking uranium.   Personal horror, yes indeed.  

-Ben
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Ben Lehman
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« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2005, 10:02:26 AM »

If you can think of a method of getting Hungry and Desperate to work together, please let me know.

yrs--
--Ben
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Bailywolf
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Posts: 729


« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2005, 10:29:36 AM »

Quote from: Ben Lehman
If you can think of a method of getting Hungry and Desperate to work together, please let me know.

yrs--
--Ben


My initial thought was in game #1 you make first contact and establish the basic ballance of a relationship with a victim/lover.  game #2 then follows the consequences of that relationship for the lover.  Some scores port over, some influence scores in the next stage.  Something like that.  The dynamics, as written, would seem to follow this, but the mechanics don't lend themselves to it especially well.  The first game gives you the classic 'vampire seduction' stage (say, Dracula and Lucy) while the second one gives you the 'dating the vampire' stage (say, Dracula and Mina).  

Dealing with NPC vampires is gold though, and doesn't need anything.  

-B
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lumpley
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« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2005, 10:38:54 AM »

Oh, that's easy. Whenever you identify a new person you'd like to prey upon, flip a coin. Heads, use the first game for that person; tails, use the second.

Look out, though - the game's poorly designed. The dice act as a brake on the action, not a spur. When we tried to play it, the poor vampires had to keep re-seducing people and never got to hurt them. You'll want to find a way to avoid that.

edit: The game is here: Hungry Desperate and Alone.

-Vincent
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Ben Lehman
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« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2005, 11:26:32 AM »

Vincent, dude --

Could you elaborate a little more on *how* the dice broke the action?  Like, what were the die rolls that were made?

yrs--
--Ben
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lumpley
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« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2005, 11:53:07 AM »

Hm, sure.
Quote from: The First Game
Whenever you and the NPC come together, roll dice equal to the NPC's Attraction, minus her Horror. On a success, the NPC comes on to you. If you respond, the two of you get +1 Intimacy.
On a failure? Dunno. We sit there looking at the dice, wondering what next.

Attractions below 4 are useless. Even a 4, you're going to fail the roll one time in three, about. Too often.

Quote
Every time you and the NPC are apart, roll dice equal to your Intimacy, minus the NPC's Pain. On a success, the NPC has a sudden terrible realization about you and gets +1 Horror.
Intimacy starts at 1, which means that if you don't inflict any pain at all, it'll be 3-4 times you get together with this NPC before she gets any horror. If you inflict 1 pain every other time you get together, it'll be 6-8 times before she gets any horror.

But then ... Horror acts as a further brake on Attraction. Let her Horror get up to 3 and now she never goes to bed with you anymore, Intimacy stays the same, her Horror never goes up, the whole affair just stalls out.

I think the second game might work better. You'll still want her to be coming on to you a lot more often than the dice will give you.

-Vincent
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Bailywolf
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« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2005, 12:43:00 PM »

The addition of some PC vampire scores might speed things along.. perhaps one score per 'game'?  Plus one more for chuckles, say Allure, Appetite, Control, and Instinct.  Distribute 9 points between them, max 5.  A success on a die roll in the relevant game is equal or less than the target score.  

So...  Say your vampire has Allure 3, Appetite 3, Control 1, Instinct 2

Allure determines an NPC’s base Attraction which can be modified up or down by actions.  

First Game (Odds.  Target = Appetite)

If you make any effort, the odds are you'll throw a 3 or less.  You pull them in pretty easily this way.  BUT, these relationships are going to more volatile- when Intimacy gets rolled later on, the odds favor the relationship blowing up fast (when horror tops attraction).  This relationship will get intimate quite fast, so to keep it from blowing up, it is necessary to keep Pain up there to balance out the Intimacy.  Problem is, the stability of just keeping pain = intimacy is kind of boring.  How is pain tracked?  Does the player know what an NPC’s pain is?  Nah… keep it veiled.  The vampire has to be awful to his lover and best guess the lover’s current Pain.  Randomly roll Pain whenever the pair come together?  Or…  Keep it secret.  Whenever the NPC gains Horror, drop Pain back to zero.  At any point, the vampire can inflict Pain equal to his Instinct score.  If Pain is ever double Intimacy, add 1 Horror and drop Pain to zero.  The more ‘vampy’ the vampire, the worse he will hurt his lover, and the less control over it he has.  Stream of consciousness…  OK, like so:

You meet a nice girl at the library while looking at old news papers on microfilm to see if you can find the face of an old enemy.  You lay it on good, but not great she gains 3 Attraction (equal to Allure).  You roll it, getting 1, 2, 5.  You rolled less than 3, so Success.  You respond, and now have +1 Intimacy.  You give her a quick nip back in the stacks, and make a date with her the day after tomorrow.  You won’t need to drink blood for a day.  You leave.  After you’re gone, she rubs her neck and wonders what is going on with her.  You roll 1 die, and get a 3.  She gains 1 Horror.  She’s at 3 Attraction, 1 intimacy, 1 Horror.  She is freaked out, but still entranced.  Next night, you meet and throw those two Attraction dice (three minus 1 for her Horror), getting a Success.  Intimacy is now at 2.  At then end of the evening, she invites you in for coffee.  You drink her blood, and leave bruises on her upper arms where you squeeze her with unnatural strength (giving her a Pain of 2 based on your Instinct).  You leave.  No need to roll- the swirl of pain and desire and confusion you leave her in keeps her from thinking too hard about you (her pain takes her intimacy down below 1 for the Horror roll).  You won’t have to drink blood for 4 nights though, and so long as you keep hurting her just enough to keep her from asking too many questions, you can string her along for a while.  But eventually, it will all self destruct.    Bam.

Second Game (Evens.  Target = Control)

Trickier- the pain/intimacy thing in the first game is easy to grasp.  The anger/intimacy thing is less so.  Pain has the upside of keeping her more in the dark as to your true nature, and thus keeping her closer for longer.  Anger seems entirely negative here, so I might suggest a slight tweak in the dynamics.  If she succeeds on the separation Intimacy roll, she gains Anger at being used and betrayed.  You can impose Self-Loathing equal to your Instinct whenever you are together, and Self-Loathing makes her doubt herself, and takes the fire out of her Anger (reducing intimacy for this anger-gain separation rolls).  When Self-Loathing doubles Intimacy, drop it to zero and add 1 Anger.  If Self-Loathing is greater than Anger, then when apart, roll it and on a success she does something awful to herself.  If Anger is greater than Intimacy, then when apart, roll it and on a success she does something awful to you.  Hmmm….  So…

You’re taking night classes hoping to catch up on all this new fangled technology.  The teacher is older, but deliciously world-weary.  After class, you stay to talk with her, and eventually things get personal.  This lover needs a firm hand, and you move on her strongly.  She gains 3 Attraction dice from your Allure, and you add 2 more from your efforts.  You’re better adept at seduction than domination, but with five dice one rolls a ‘1’.  You gain +1 Intimacy with her, feed, and leave.  You’ll see her again for Thursday night class.  She rolls 1 die, and fails to gain a success.  She doesn’t realize anything.  On Thursday, things follow as they did before, and again a ‘1’ is rolled, adding 2 to Intimacy.  Upon leaving, she again fails to gain Anger.  Next class, she doesn’t gain Intimacy, but after you leave she does gain Anger- finally chaffing at your rough treatment and control.  In your next meeting, you sense her nascent rebellion so you humiliate and dominate her.  She gains 2 points of Self-Loathing (equal to your Instinct).  She won’t gain much Anger any time soon, but after you leave she has a freak out.  Her Self-Loathing is greater than her Anger, and so she rolls it to see if she does something awful to herself.  She tolls a 3 and a 1, and when you again stay after class, you find she has deliberately burned herself and hidden the injuries with long sleeves.   The lower Control score makes it harder to form such relationships, but much easier to perpetuate them.  


Third Game (Target = Instinct)

When meeting and NPC vampire, set one of her scores equal to one of your scores (other than Instinct) based on your past relationships.

Total Strangers:  Never met them before.  Set one equal to Allure.
Mortal Memory:  Knew them when you or they were still mortal.  Set one equal to Control.  
Blood Relations:  Related by vampire heritage, or associated since becoming a vampire.  Set one equal to Appetite.

Everything follows normally, except the roll to see if they act follows the roll equal to or under your Instinct score.  


You and your lover are attending an auction, hoping to buy back an old painting you used to own.  The GM tells you, across the room you spy a familiar face, someone from your distant Mortal past.  A face you thought long dead, but from them you smell vampire, and hear no heartbeat.  You approach, “Sister?”  And she responds in German, “Brother.  It has been awhile.”  You set her Desire at 1, equal to your Control.  You talk, trade veiled histories, and leave before your painting comes up for bid.  Apart, she rolls her 1 die of Desire, thinking about how providence has provided her beloved and lost brother back to her.  The die rolls 2, a success.  She funds the man who bought the painting, kills him, and brings the painting as a gift for her kinsman.  The painting comes with blood on the frame, and the Television squawks on about murder and the theft of valuable art.  






OK… this turned out to be way the hell bigger than I expected.  Sorry to run on for so long about a little thing you likely just knocked out for fun.  It is great stuff.  

-Ben
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Bailywolf
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Posts: 729


« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2005, 07:02:49 AM »

I just realized something about the above scheme- there isn't any kind of benifit to having a high Instinct score for you vampire...  it makes you clumsy with the infliction of pain and self-loathing and makes other vampires react badly to you.

There isn't any kind of tension there as with the other two target scores...

What would it be good for?

As some kind of vampire power/status thing?  

That kind of makes sense, because it motivates NPC vampires to mess with you (as they might mess with a powerful rival to try and win favor/unseat him).  

How about this...

Roll your Allure under your Instinct to persuade an NPC vampire to do something you like.  Success adds 1 to vampire's Desire.

Roll Apetite under your Instinct to feed from an NPC vampire.  Success adds 1 to vampire's Loathing.  

Roll Control under your Instinct to force an NPC vampire to do what you want.  Success adds 1 to vampire's Envy

Roll Instinct against itself to hurt or drive off an NPC vampire.  Success adds 1 to vampire's Fear.

Following the above example...

The sister comes to you with the painting, insistent that you take it.  She says Brothers and Sisters should share.  She looks at your lover.  You hear your lover's pulse quicken, feel the waves of your sister's Attraction laping at the girl's mind.  In a fit of territorial anger, you strike the Sister with a backhanded blow.  You roll Instinct against itself, two dice, and get a 1 and a 5.  Success.  You smash the Sister to the floor, and she comes up, eyes wide, and flees your house.  You prevent her forming Intimacy with you lover, but you add 1 to the Sister's Fear.    


Now Instinct allows you to make NPC vampires do what you want NOW but sets you up for trouble LATER.  

This, I like.

-B
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Victor Gijsbers
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2005, 07:55:05 AM »

For those interested, I wrestled with Hungry Desperate and Alone a bit and achieved this: http://www.indie-rpgs.com/viewtopic.php?p=162182#162182.
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