*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
July 31, 2021, 08:41:04 PM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 299 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
Pages: [1]
Print
Author Topic: [City of Brass] Two cannibals, no Nobility  (Read 4375 times)
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« on: April 07, 2006, 02:08:17 PM »

The full title was intended to be The two mad cannibals with no nobility march off to the City of Brass. Which is, basically, what happened.

Let's see ... my priest had been killed and eaten in the second act, during the first session. We began this act with a vote of confidence regarding Maura as Leader, and she stayed. Leadership bounced around a little in the fourth act, but Maura was Leader longest, possibly because I used Tormentor privileges to bring her into conflicts and thus she suffered along with the others in many cases.

Julie's naturalist was next to go, although not before a hilarious sequence in which she integrated into the tribe of ravenous cannibals, became the cannibal princess, and only returned to the exploration team because she wandered off one day and got lost from her tribe. She retained the bone in her nose, I think. How did the naturalist die? I'm trying to remember ... I don't think she was eaten, though.

The fourth act got pretty brutal, because Tod and Tim were determined to make it to the City of Brass and did not mind screwing Maura over to do it. When she was abandoned to the slavers, she nearly, nearly escaped through impressive card use, winning a camel race I believe, but the dice finally hosed her and she was beheaded for defying her owners.

The remaining two did make it through, and the final vote favored Tod, with the native guide ... and it had to, because as Tim pointed out, even if every person voted for him and against Tod, he would still lose by half a point. Numerically, I know how that happened, but I'll save discussing it for a post in a bit.

Clinton, we composed a list of questions and observations at several levels. The first, easiest level concerns plain old procedural questions. Just for present purposes, let's leave voting to change rules out of it, and stick with the rules-as-they-are.

1. Card question: can Creep Away be played before facing a challenge? Using it after failing seems like the obvious and intended use, but is doing it beforehand permitted at all?

2. Card question: does the Favor card move to others' hands, once played, or leave the game?

3. Let's say someone has been abandoned, and in the course of events, defeats the obstacle and is now ready to return. However, the rest of the group is still agonizingly fighting its way through the next obstacle, and isn't done yet. Does the returning character have to wait until that obstacle is concluded, or can he or she return right into "the middle" of it, now becoming eligible to face it?

4. Can the Leader change challenge points he has posed, after a roll fails against it? To be clear, say the Companion has picked an obstacle with 4 points assigned to it. The Leader decides to pose 3 challenge points. The designated person fails, and now ... does the Leader have to stick with the 3 challenge points, forever and ever amen, or can he start over, so to speak, and alter the value for this next time around?

5. The way we understood becoming a Tormentor, it applies to the threatened ability that is listed first on the obstacle sheet. So, in my case, I became the Tormentor for Reason, so I narrated the adversity (etc) for the obstacles for which Reason was listed first. That is, one obstacle for each Act. Is that right?

6. A couple of times, the Leader was able to keep damage from affecting anyone in the group by allocating it to a character whose relevant ability had already been reduced to zero. Is this legal?

7. When a Tormentor puts the Leader into a conflict, and if he or she wins, does the Leader double-dip for Quest Points? In other words, say the Leader faces an obstacle worth 4 points, and wins. OK, that's 4 points. But as Leader, does he or she now also get 2 more for being Leader? (personally, I think so ... rank hath its privileges ...)

I figure we can move on to the other stuff after these get ironed out a little.

Best,
Ron
Logged
jrs
Member

Posts: 373


« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2006, 02:28:40 PM »

How did the naturalist die? I'm trying to remember ... I don't think she was eaten, though.

She died in the cold night as part of The Blazing Sun obstacle.  And she was too eaten.  One corpse was not enough for the Native Guide and The Doctor.

I loved, loved, loved playing out my abandonment with The Ravenous Cannibals obstacle.   

Julie

p.s.  And I gotta correct the camel race comment.  The challenge was the camel race, but failing that Maura insisted that The Explorer rebelled against her owner, murdered him, and was summarily executed.
Logged
Clinton R. Nixon
Member

Posts: 2624


WWW
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2006, 03:41:19 PM »

1. Card question: can Creep Away be played before facing a challenge? Using it after failing seems like the obvious and intended use, but is doing it beforehand permitted at all?

It's only after failing.

Quote
2. Card question: does the Favor card move to others' hands, once played, or leave the game?

It moves to the player that you played it on.

Quote
3. Let's say someone has been abandoned, and in the course of events, defeats the obstacle and is now ready to return. However, the rest of the group is still agonizingly fighting its way through the next obstacle, and isn't done yet. Does the returning character have to wait until that obstacle is concluded, or can he or she return right into "the middle" of it, now becoming eligible to face it?

She can pop right in the middle. In fact, that sounds like a fun thing to narrate.

Quote
4. Can the Leader change challenge points he has posed, after a roll fails against it? To be clear, say the Companion has picked an obstacle with 4 points assigned to it. The Leader decides to pose 3 challenge points. The designated person fails, and now ... does the Leader have to stick with the 3 challenge points, forever and ever amen, or can he start over, so to speak, and alter the value for this next time around?

The value can be altered, of course.

Quote
5. The way we understood becoming a Tormentor, it applies to the threatened ability that is listed first on the obstacle sheet. So, in my case, I became the Tormentor for Reason, so I narrated the adversity (etc) for the obstacles for which Reason was listed first. That is, one obstacle for each Act. Is that right?

Correct.

Quote
6. A couple of times, the Leader was able to keep damage from affecting anyone in the group by allocating it to a character whose relevant ability had already been reduced to zero. Is this legal?

Hmm. Honestly, I hadn't thought of anyone doing that. Anyway, no. The damage must be paid. With that said, if the damage is 3 Food and the character has 1 Strength, ok, sure, that'd work.

Quote
7. When a Tormentor puts the Leader into a conflict, and if he or she wins, does the Leader double-dip for Quest Points? In other words, say the Leader faces an obstacle worth 4 points, and wins. OK, that's 4 points. But as Leader, does he or she now also get 2 more for being Leader? (personally, I think so ... rank hath its privileges ...)

Totally!


Ok, outside of those questions - awesome! It makes me super-happy that you guys played this.
Logged

Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2006, 05:56:46 AM »

It suddenly occurred to me that I'd forgotten to link to the thread describing our first session, so here: [City of Brass] No cannibalism yet.

Bastards! I knew it was lame to dodge damage like that. They defeated me in the vote, too.

All righty then, it's time for the next level of comments ... Clinton, these are some pretty strong design suggestions that were baked through a lot of different events during play. In other words, we saw how certain rules played out over a variety of situations, and I'm really representing the group as a whole in offering them to you as serious suggestions. All of these should be taken as enthusiastic insights that were revealed to us once we were using the "two draw deck" change that you provided in the previous thread.

As a group, we think the following changes should be made.

1. Permit abilities to be used whenever they are positive, without specifying that they must be fully restored-from-zero first.

2. Players may ask for resources from others at any time, without the requirement that the score in question must have just been reduced.

3. The number of successes should always be the number of cards drawn by the Leader, without any cap (the existing two-times one).

It's kind of hard to summarize why and how each of these changes will affect the game. We tried them all out, and are confident about the benefits they provide, but my point is that they aren't isolated - they work together, and they also apply to a wide variety of stages and specific conflicts in the course of play. My only generalization is that these suggestions, taken all together, kick the currency of the game - and how it flows - into high gear so it can really shine. More of the cards can be used instead of sitting in one's hand waiting for prerequisite conditions. Narrations get more intense and competition racks up a notch, including alliances and betrayals.

Here's a bigger implication as well. At the end of the game, Tod and Tim got voted on. Tod had forty-plus points and Tim had twenty-plus. As it happened, based on the numbers, if everyone had voted for Tim, and no one for Tod, Tim would still have lost by half a vote. Here's why: Tim spent most of the game unable to use his character's highest score, Reason, at all. He'd lost it all at one point, and the reward structure of the game led to him never recovering it fully.

Because he couldn't use it, his lower scores often kept him entirely out of conflicts, especially when a couple hovered at zero. Because he couldn't use it, he typically couldn't lose any more of it (especially if he was x'ed out of the conflict entirely), and because he couldn't be given the restorative cards by anyone else unless he'd just lost some, he couldn't be healed. His Reason sat at 2, untouchable, and preventing him from participating in many cases, pretty much from the middle of the first act until the middle of the fourth.

That's why Tim's Quest Points were so low, and why the final vote - the capper of the game's reward structure - didn't really play any role in victory. If the three changes we're suggesting are made, then true competition won't be blocked like that.

Clinton, what do you think? My call is that City of Brass really is breaking new ground - at last, (a) a small and accessible packet, (b) a fully competitive game, (c) relying on an SIS, not merely colored by funny stuff or cover art. This is a big deal, and our group may be counted as rather vicious fans in its favor ... so I hope our collective intensity, which I've tried to capture in this post without being too pushy, can be embraced by you.

Best, Ron
Logged
Clinton R. Nixon
Member

Posts: 2624


WWW
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2006, 06:15:49 AM »

Ron,

Your collective intensity shines through. This is also, for the possible-publishers watching, a good example of how slowness of development isn't a bad thing. I wrote this game a year ago. It's now seeing its first outside playtest that's reporting back to me. (I playtested internally a few times.) This playtest is amazingly informative, and inspires me to actually publish this thing at some point, although it'll be a cost-hole.

The changes you suggest, Ron, all seem really sensible to me, and fit with my design model: make too many rules and cut away the ones that get in the way of fun.

I may throw this down with the changes at the next local RPG Meetup and see if we get similar results.

- Clinton
Logged

Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games
Pages: [1]
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!