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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 72 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: Interested enough to burst, though that may be the coffee  (Read 5133 times)
maddrjeffe
Member

Posts: 4


« on: May 12, 2006, 09:45:08 PM »

So, I took the plunge and ordered Nine Worlds from IPR (they had a sale). Im curious about a few things, but most of it will have to wait untill the book arrives. It was the skype sessions that sold me on the awesomeness of the game. I plan on reviewing it for www.timewastersguide.com when I finish digesting the text (and maybe play a few games). How should I approach Nine Worlds as a GM, since its obviously different than say D20 in both concept and implementation. I have a feeling that traditional GM skills will either be tested beyond limit or mutated into something else. 

Anyhow, Im just excited. Especially since I get to put both The Shadow of Yesterday and Nine Worlds in a steel cage and see which one wins. Just kidding.

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Vaxalon
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Posts: 1619


« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2006, 04:26:25 AM »

First, you need to discard any ideas you may have about GM's ownership of plot.  You don't prepare adventures for Nine Worlds, you prepare situations.  Make up NPC's, stat them up, give them goals and ambitions (muses) and then hold them for the PC's to interact with.

You're much more of a partner, GMing Nine Worlds, than you are a guide or an administrator.  It takes a much lighter touch than DnD.
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"In our game the other night, Joshua's character came in as an improvised thing, but he was crap so he only contributed a d4!"
                                     --Vincent Baker
Matt Snyder
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« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2006, 05:37:51 AM »

So, I took the plunge and ordered Nine Worlds from IPR (they had a sale). Im curious about a few things, but most of it will have to wait untill the book arrives. It was the skype sessions that sold me on the awesomeness of the game. I plan on reviewing it for www.timewastersguide.com when I finish digesting the text (and maybe play a few games). How should I approach Nine Worlds as a GM, since its obviously different than say D20 in both concept and implementation. I have a feeling that traditional GM skills will either be tested beyond limit or mutated into something else.

Hi! Fred's (Vaxalon) offered up some sound advice. Nine Worlds is a drastically different game compared to D20.

Actually, it's not your GM'ing that I think you should be focused on. As Fred indicates, in many ways it's easier. You'll have almost no preparation once the game gets going. There are two things to watch out for. First, you'll have to be quick on your feet and be able to react to situations. You'll want to inject interested changes and challenges to the players on the fly. This is where the second challenge comes in -- you've got to be able to throw a supporting character (an NPC) their way that is neither too easy to defeat nor too difficult to overcome. The trick to this is a fair simple balance of attributes (and, frankly, you'll learn best by trial and error) and especially a fitting set of Muses.

You'll learn all about Muses in the book. They are THE MOST IMPORTANT part of the game. Pay special attention to them.

So, the most important thing you should be focused on? Getting your players to adjust to this more demanding game. Nine Worlds is EASIER for a GM coming from D20. But, it can be an incredibly demanding shift for PLAYERS coming from D20. It is very likely different from anything they've played. Players have to contribute to the story repeatedly. They have to come up with interesting developements, plot paths, and setting details, often "outside" the scope of their characters. In short, they act much more like a GM does in most games.

You might have other players listen to the MP3 files of our games to get an idea of what they'll be doing. Also, I highly recommend a first session where all players create their characters together. In the Skype game we even made each player accept a Muse created by the other players. This helps build better Muses that are more "loaded" for a better and more coherent story during play. I highly recommend group character creation. Players also need to have at least a basic grasp of the setting, or they'll feel unable to contribute to the game.

Hope this helps!

Quote
Anyhow, Im just excited. Especially since I get to put both The Shadow of Yesterday and Nine Worlds in a steel cage and see which one wins. Just kidding.

That's fair enough -- I'm very fond of The Shadow of Yesterday.
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Matt Snyder
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"The future ain't what it used to be."
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Valamir
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« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2006, 01:50:59 PM »

Personally I think 9 Worlds is just about the single best Player vs. Player game design I've seen.

Create NPCs and wind them up and watch them go? You could, sure.

Better, IMO, is to make sure that every player has goals and objectives that will put them at odds with other players, make them potential allies of other players, make them at odds with the other players who are their potential allies...you get the idea.  In other words, wind your players up and watch them go...at each other.  No NPC plot can every be as interesting or dangerous as having another player as your enemy.

You do this through the initial setting/situation creation.  9W setting is pretty vast.  Best is to pick (jointly in a brainstorming jam session) which piece or pieces of it you want to focus on.  Are you going to do aether ships sailing between planets?  Are you going to do underworld crime on the Sun?  Are you going to do guerrella warfare against the forces of Ares on Mars?  Are you going to do a little bit of everything and have each player come from a different piece and then for this one campaign all come together with a crash.

For instance:  One player is involved in Organized Crime on the Sun.  One player is part of the secret agent group (Archer?) based on the sun.  One player is part of the merchant guild on Mercury.  One player is a Martian rebel.  One player is part of Ares warmachine.  In backstory terms none of these players have anything at all to do with each other.  But for one brief shining campaign (or in our case, a single session) all of them collided together over a matter of illegal arms shipments.

The crime boss guy was stealing the secret weapons from Apollo and delivering them to the Martian rebel for use in the war on Mars.  The Archer guy was trying to stop the crime guy and the Ares guy was trying to stop the rebel (potential allies, who wound up at odds due to how the roleplay worked out).  The merchant guy was just trying to cash in and profit from the smuggling.  Everyone had their own agenda that was defined by 2 or 3 related muses.  The shear act of acting on those Muses caused the players to collide with each other in a most enjoyable fashion.  Make sure your player's have muses that interact (hostilly or otherwise) and sit back and watch them play the game without you.
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Vaxalon
Member

Posts: 1619


« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2006, 03:27:51 PM »

The GM has almost no power to make sure that the PC's have conflicting goals.

The best thing you can do is look at the goals they have, and engineer situations that put them at odds, and hope that the players accept your influence.
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"In our game the other night, Joshua's character came in as an improvised thing, but he was crap so he only contributed a d4!"
                                     --Vincent Baker
maddrjeffe
Member

Posts: 4


« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2006, 10:43:36 PM »

Sweet, thats some great advice. I'd been afraid no one was checking the board anymore because of the scarcity of recent posts. Its funny, I've played rpg's for years and years, and it wasnt until the last 5 that I really decided I wanted something different out of my games. It just seemed that we kept redoing the same plot and mechanics by rote year after year. It wasn't so much a matter of plot, pace or scripting; it was just more like sometimes the players would have little flashes of brilliance or stupidity and the game would just stop. Jared Sorenson talks about it a bit in Octane with his puzzle room scenario. I hated to deal with that, as a player or a gm. Usually it leads to argument and frustration. Sometimes it led me to put my dice away and go home. I like the idea of group collaberation for a story. One thing I hadnt considered, and Im grateful to Valamir for suggesting it, is the possibility of player on player conflict in 9 worlds. In D&D or other systems I dont think it works well, but in 9 Worlds it seems like a fun avenue to explore. And yeah I agree Muses are the most important part of the game. I love them really, not only do they provide good background for a character but they grow too. Thats actually what I like most about them. In D20 and WOD the things that muses represent are either totally conceptual and have no bearing on the game or they have a game effect and that game effect will always be the same.I like that my muse Show Ariadne I love her, can become vow to destroy that evil woman after I resolve it when she spurns me. I like that muses arent permenant. From a GM point of view something like "Prometheus stole my robot!" is solid gold. I mean, why did he steal it? How? When? Brilliant.

Arrrgh, now why isn't it here yet...
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Valamir
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« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2006, 06:17:59 AM »

The GM has almost no power to make sure that the PC's have conflicting goals.

The best thing you can do is look at the goals they have, and engineer situations that put them at odds, and hope that the players accept your influence.

The GM doesn't need any explicit power other then "hey guys lets do this it will be cool".  Same as you would do in any shared character creation session for any game...or heck, any social situation at all.  It all comes out of the group's brainstorming.  The GM shouldn't be trying to engineer it at all.  Engineered PvP sucks.

Playing 9W without group character creation is IMO an even bigger mistake than it is with most games.
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maddrjeffe
Member

Posts: 4


« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2006, 12:16:58 PM »

good point, group character creation does seem like a good idea.
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