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[MLWM] Weariness; Why do I want it again?

Started by Eric Provost, October 27, 2005, 03:57:16 AM

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Eric Provost

We got a chance to play our first session of MLWM tonight and had a great time.  Something that came up at the end of the session was that one player felt foolish for putting any points at all into Weariness at all in character generation.  When I tried to explain to her that every trait had it's ups and downs I was at a loss to pin down the up-side of having a large Weariness trait.

Can someone help me out?


Paul Czege

Hey Eric,

Is it cheeky to quote myself? From pg. 20 of MLwM:

Weariness] doesn't have any negative effect on making overtures to Connections, which is significant, since the Master will likely die at the hands of the minion who gains the most Love from overtures with nice outcomes."[/list]

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


To put it more plainly, having a high starting Weariness means you have a low starting Self-Loathing. While there is nothing good about having a high Weariness, there is something good about having low Self-Loathing. Overtures are resolved with a Reason - Self Loathing roll, so the higher your starting Weariness, the more dice you will have for these rolls.

Victor Gijsbers

What would be the utilitarian basis from which it is assessed which aspects of a trait are an 'up' or a 'down'? That is, what kind of thing would make a high or low Weariness 'useful' at all? I find this a very alien way of thinking about the game; as if one were to ask what the use is of creating a Sorcerer character with a Kicker that puts him or her in a situation of high crisis.

Jonas Ferry

I would say that how you place your starting scores highly affect how the stats will change during play. A high starting Self-Loathing will quickly get you more Self-Loathing, as you succeed with missions, but it'll avoid that you get Weariness. A high Weariness will instead give you more Weariness, as you're more likely to fail your Violence missions.

On the rules quote, who triggers Endgame is dependent on a low Weariness and Self-Loathing has nothing to do with it. A guy with high Self-Loathing and low Weariness, with an equal amount of Love as a high Weariness low Self-Loathing guy, is more likely to trigger Endgame. While in Endgame it's only the combined value of Self-Loathing and Weariness that affects the dice rolled, not the relation between them. While a high Weariness won't affect your Overtures, it will make it harder to trigger Endgame.

Yes, if you have a medium Weariness and manage to avoid getting a lot of Self-Loathing by succeeding in Overtures, you're better off than the guy with a medium Weariness and a high Self-Loathing. You're both equally likely to trigger Endgame, but the high Self-Loathing guy will have a harder time against the Master. On the other hand, when performing Violence missions you want a high Self-Loathing to avoid getting Weariness. If the two guys above keep playing for a while, the medium Weariness/low Self-Loathing guy will become a high Weariness/low Self-Loathing guy, and the other one will still be a medium Weariness/high Self-Loathing. It's now more likely that the second guy will trigger Endgame and kill the Master, unless you count on one minion triggering Endgame and another one killing the Master. In my games it's been the minion triggering Endgame that finishes it as well.

On the other hand, the high Self-Loathing minion will miss every second scene to Horror Revealed scenes, so the first minion might be able to collect Love quicker which will keep triggering Endgame equally likely.

In short, I think that the first couple of dice rolls greatly influence the direction of the character. If you start getting Self-Loathing you'll get more, and if you get Weariness you'll get more of that. How you place your starting scores will tip the scales in favour of one direction for the character. Experience tells me that it's almost always minions who put 3 or 2 in Self-Loathing that defeats the Master in the end, and if that's what the player wants putting points in Weariness might not be the best thing. If you're aiming for a special Epilogue, on the other hand, perhaps high Weariness and low Self-Loathing is a good thing, even if you don't kill the Master.
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Ron Edwards

One thing I've noticed in my experiences is that the minion who triggers Endgame may not be the one who kills the Master. "Dogpile!" at least by a couple other player-characters is very common.

Which is good, because that allows for two things.

1. I don't think high starting Weariness or high starting Self-Loathing necessarily dictates who will trigger Endgame. However, high starting Self-Loathing does seem to be implicated in who will kill the Master. Two different things.

This is good because it means the Master has a higher chance to die in some kind of timely and satisfying way. What I mean is, the Master dies if (a) someone triggers Endgame and (b) a Minion kills him during Endgame. So it's good that the game doesn't force one character to carry the numerical weight of both (a) and (b).

High starting Weariness might promote (a). High starting Self-Loathing definitely promotes (b).

2. With all of that going on, the door is opened for some other player to enjoy just racking up Self-Loathing if they want to, and perhaps becoming a Force of Fear in Their Own Right. Which for some reason is being held up as Wrong, Not Right Play in other threads right now. However, as I see it and have seen in several games, this is lots of fun as a secondary element of the overall story - i.e., when it's only one player-character and everyone else is doing the Love-Love-must-defy-Master thing. Note that this character is well-suited to delivering the deathblow and often does.


Eric Provost

Thanks for everyone's responses.  I think I've got it ironed out in my head, and with any luck, more play will make it clear and obvious.


p.s.  Everyone who played loved the game.  I even had one player calling me up to tell me how glad he was that I bought it, and how much he enjoyed the session.