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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 76 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: [MLwM] My unsatisfying Life with Dr. Ernst (long)  (Read 18758 times)
Mike Holmes
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Posts: 10459


« Reply #15 on: November 14, 2005, 11:21:07 AM »

Oh, man.

I was giving the master's POV, dudes. You don't think that he doesn't think he's the superman? Of course he thinks he can be sincere! Of course he doesn't realize his own fragility of ego in needing others as much as he really does. His egomania prevents him from seeing any of this.

Yes, I know that I am now the dorkier for having replied.

Mike
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CPXB
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« Reply #16 on: November 14, 2005, 11:46:05 AM »

I'll raise the dorkiness. ;)

He might think he's the superman, but he's wrong.  The Master is, well, the master -- self-centered, egotistical, small-minded, brutal and powerful.  The interpretation of the master being identical with the superman is a literally fascist interpretation, which came about only after some serious editing of Nietzsche's works.  Nietzsche, himself, is clear that the superman transcends the master-slave morality altogether, whereas the Master in MLWM  wallows in his mastery, in the self-satisfied feeling of his own power.  The superman consciously rejects what the Master in MLWM is, and that some self-deluded "Master" jerk thinks overwise doesn't mean that he's actually going along with what Nietzsche wrote.  I'm reminded of the bit from A Fish Called Wanda when Wanda is talking to Otto about how, yes, apes can read philosophy, they just don't understand it.  The Master is very much like Otto.

MLWM actually defies a straight Nietzschian analysis.  The Master could be a Nietzschian master, but just as possibly it could be a Hegelian master.  Heck, even a Marxist one -- it would be an interesting MLWM game where the Master was a capitalist and the minions the repressed proletariat.  While the game is obviously all about the master-slave relationship, and obviously Nietzsche is a big part of any discussion about that relationship, I don't think the game is "about" a Nietzschian master-slave relationship, specifically.  One could certainly CHOOSE such a relationship for the purposes of a specific game, but it doesn't have to be that way.
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Victor Gijsbers
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« Reply #17 on: November 14, 2005, 12:24:33 PM »

This is actually interesting, but should be taken to the Half Meme Press forum. Chris, what about making that last post of yours into a new topic there?

Mike, I'm sorry for having misunderstood you.
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 10459


« Reply #18 on: November 14, 2005, 02:12:47 PM »

I agree with Victor, and apologize for whatever extent this derailing has been my fault.

Back to some of the issues at hand, I think the question about MTH-LTH is a good one, really. That is, I'm not sure what people are trying to say. I think that Victor and Mike are saying that you can use a MTH-LTH in any scene in a non-mechanical way. That is, let's say that a potential connection is narrated as high in a tower. The character has, for MTH: Can leap any height except when carrying something. So he leaps high into the tower window, and then gets to make his connection roll. This is, of course, valid.

But the rules do seem say that a character can also use a MTH-LTH to succeed at things rolled for. Not overtures, Paul did address that a while back. But I thought that one could use these to succeed at Violence or Villainy, for example. Do I have that right?

Mike
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Arturo G.
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« Reply #19 on: November 14, 2005, 04:40:48 PM »


I'm afraid not, Mike. MTH-LTH cannot be used to do anything that produce stats fluctuation.

I also asked myself these kind of questions. See the thread:
Question: Using More/Less-Than traits, and trying to avoid conflict.

Cheers,
Arturo

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Victor Gijsbers
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« Reply #20 on: November 15, 2005, 12:53:55 AM »

I'm afraid not, Mike. MTH-LTH cannot be used to do anything that produce stats fluctuation.

But what does that guy know? He's only the designer!

(Which is merely an ironical way of saying that the use of the system is in your hands. If, in your experience, MTH and LTH become uninteresting if they cannot influence stats, by all means, have them influence stats. I do so all the time.)
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Arturo G.
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Posts: 333


« Reply #21 on: November 15, 2005, 05:28:28 AM »


The nice point about the MLwM system is that it is always pushing humanity to the front. Using MTH-LTH to avoid conflicts is a relief for the player that for my taste eliminates some tension.

We have used MTH-LTH during the game many times. As a Master I'm looking for opportunities to command them to do things in places or situations where MTH-LTH may arise (normally the last word is for the player to find the way to introduce it, or avoid it). And my players look for opportunities to use them in the narration. But if they somehow avoid the apparent conflict using them, we change the conflict nature or escalate it, creating another unsolved situation where the minion's humanity is tested.

For us it worked nice after some actual play.

Cheers,
Arturo
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 10459


« Reply #22 on: November 15, 2005, 09:55:37 AM »

OK, I see the problem...Here's more of the quote.
Quote
I don't let a character's MtH or LtH produce fluctuations in stats. When a MtH or LtH is relevant to the outcome of a scene, the conflict resolution formulae and the various stat fluctuations of success and failure associated with them are set aside, and the scene is roleplayed to conclusion in keeping with the MtH/LtH.
So let's walk this through..

Minion is sent to capture somebody and bring them back to the lab. This violence would normally produce a roll that adjusted his weariness or self-loathing. In this case, however, the minion has "Can Capture Anyone, Except on Odd Numbered Teusdays." Being a Wednesday (and even numbered at that), the minion captures the person without a roll.

So, no, it doesn't mean that you succeed at the roll and, therefore get Self-Loathing. It means something even better, you perform the master's task, and don't get either Self-Loathing or Weariness. Basically the question is whether a use of a MTH (or, theoretically a LTH), can substitute for the die roll that one is obligated to make in service of the master. And I think it can.

To say nothing of random Violence or Villainy. That is, If you want your minion to wreak some havok, have him capture somebody, which is normally Violence, and you don't have to roll for it! Fun, fun! It's semantic, but, sure, the scene goes from being a Violence scene, technically, to being, oh, a More Than Human scene. The normal mechanics are simply set aside. Meaning that you can use it in what would normally be an overture scene, too, it just becomes a More Than Human scene, with no mechanical adjustment.

Mike
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Arturo G.
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« Reply #23 on: November 15, 2005, 04:47:44 PM »


I totally agree with the last part of your thread Mike. MTH-LTH can, and should be used in scenes if desired. The scene proceeds and includes violence or villainy or something that looks like an overture. But as the rules say, the normal mechanics are not used, and no stats fluctuation are produced because the minion has acted following his non human nature. Specifically, in overtures you cannot gain Love if you are not trying to be human.

But about totally avoiding rolling dice to accomplish the Master command, I don't think it is a good idea. This is an excerpt of a Paul's answer got from the thread I was referring to in a previous post:
Quote
Can a player use a MtH to avoid rolling in service to a command from the Master? No. The rules require one roll in service to the command.

I think it is a good rule. A minion should always risk something in the process of fulfilling the Master's desire.

Cheers,
Arturo
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #24 on: November 16, 2005, 06:45:19 AM »

Maybe I am just not seeing why people find this issue difficult. I'll give an example like Mike's and keep it non-humorous to avoid distraction.

The Minion has "More Than Human: insanely fast, unless he is observed"

The Master says, "Go fetch that actress, her larynx is exactly what I need for the Machine."

The Minion goes to the theater, sits through the play, and then waits for the lights to go down on the curtain call ... at which point he vaults onto the stage, seizes the actress, and dashes away. No roll.

Here's the point of the rules as I see them, though ... the scene isn't over yet. Yes, the Minion has fetched the actress. But no, the scene is not over yet, because at some point, in some way, he has to roll.

You guys seem to be all mixed up about whether the MtH can substitute for a roll or substitute for this rule. Of course it can substitute for a roll. It cannot substitute for this rule. How can that be hard?

Is it useless, then? No! The Minion did get the actress under his power and away from the townspeople, using his MtH. Oh, so it undercut the rule about rolling, then? No! The Minion's scene is clearly not over; the GM and player are obliged (and should be looking forward to) the next bit, whatever it is, which will require a roll.

One last point: the Minion may have fulfilled the obligation to roll before using the MtH as well, for instance, in getting himself positioned up front in the theater, or some other thing that involved setting up the situation where his MtH could be applied. In which case, using the MtH does finish the scene, because the requirement (a roll) has been fulfilled.

Best,
Ron
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 10459


« Reply #25 on: November 16, 2005, 07:09:58 AM »

I has assumed that Paul's statement that the MTH or LTH sets aside the roll meant for the entire scene. I had thought that the rule that Arturo brings up (which I'd forgotten) was an exception to that rule, hence why Paul had made the ruling so. Your version is internally consistent, however, Ron. So I might be inclined to use it. But if Paul could make one more clarification verifying either version, that would be appreciated by me at least.

That is, I'm seeing two viable interpretations (without looking closely at the text, note):
1. MTH/LTH can substitute for the roll for a scene, in which case stats do not change. This, however, does not mean that it excuses a player from having to make one roll in service to the master if he fails to disobey. Which also could be interpreted as meaning that it has to occur in some scene, but not neccessarily the first scene (just as the minion can have overture scenes preceeding following the Master's orders, etc).
2. MTH/LTH do not substitute for the required roll in a scene, they resolve some other part of the scene in question.

The first does have the possible downside that people might see using MTH/LTH as a dodge. But I don't think it's non-viable (in point of fact, it's how I've played in the past).

Mike
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #26 on: November 16, 2005, 07:49:02 AM »

Hiya,

One clarification to my explanation, given your points, Mike.

The term "scene" can be a little labile here, not exactly the same as "turn." So let's say my Minion snatches the actress using his MtH. Well, when that player's turn comes 'round again, the character is in the condition of "not having fulfilled command yet," because the player hasn't rolled yet. He still has to do that, some way, some how. Which means that the GM has to frame a scene/situation which requires a roll.

The way I said it before, it sounded as if the player got to keep going right then and there, but that's not quite right. Play should move to the next player, and the "not done yet" concept applies to the Minion with the actress when it comes round to him again. All confusion is removed - and stays absolutely consistent both internally and with the rules - if you avoid confounding turn (talking about my character), situation ("fulfilling Master's command"), and scene ("what my character is doing and facing").

Small note: If the player finds a way to use MtH or LtH this time as well, that just means do it again next time. It's not a competition; this is a viable thing to do in story terms.

Best,
Ron
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Paul Czege
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« Reply #27 on: November 16, 2005, 08:13:07 AM »

    The Minion has "More Than Human: insanely fast, unless he is observed"

    The Master says, "Go fetch that actress, her larynx is exactly what I need for the Machine."

    The Minion goes to the theater, sits through the play, and then waits for the lights to go down on the curtain call ... at which point he vaults onto the stage, seizes the actress, and dashes away. No roll.

    Here's the point of the rules as I see them, though ... the scene isn't over yet. Yes, the Minion has fetched the actress. But no, the scene is not over yet, because at some point, in some way, he has to roll.

    You guys seem to be all mixed up about whether the MtH can substitute for a roll or substitute for this rule. Of course it can substitute for a roll. It cannot substitute for this rule. How can that be hard?

    Is it useless, then? No! The Minion did get the actress under his power and away from the townspeople, using his MtH. Oh, so it undercut the rule about rolling, then? No! The Minion's scene is clearly not over; the GM and player are obliged (and should be looking forward to) the next bit, whatever it is, which will require a roll.
    [/list]

    Thanks Ron. This is exactly how I run it.

    Paul
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    Mike Holmes
    Acts of Evil Playtesters
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    « Reply #28 on: November 16, 2005, 11:50:41 AM »

    It's funny, Ron, but I was going to say something about the fuzzy nature of the things you speak of as well, wondering if that were part of the difference.

    Thanks for the clarification, Paul. With Ron's note above I think that clears it up. Arturo? Does that work for you?

    Mike
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    Arturo G.
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    « Reply #29 on: November 16, 2005, 05:01:57 PM »


    Sure. It is much better explained than I could.

    The interesting thing is to understand the motivations of these rules and why are they working so well. As Victor said, it is not a matter of just agree with it because it is written in the game book. In my actual play experience we improved the fun when we begun to do it on this way. MTH-LTH were significant for the players but at the same time they were not interfering with the unavoidable Master's pressure and the constant humanity struggle.

    Arturo
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