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[AG&G] A Mother's Day Treat

Started by Jason Morningstar, May 15, 2006, 09:35:51 AM

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Quote from: Clinton R. Nixon on May 16, 2006, 10:47:00 AM
Quote from: Eric Provost on May 15, 2006, 03:20:16 PM
Well, there seems to be at least one vital item missing from the text so far.  The part where we're told what we're actually supposed to be doing with the rules.  I see character creation, situation creation, gobs of color creation, and conflict resolution, but not a single thing about narration. 

Who's got the authority & responsibility for calling for a new scene?  Who's got the authority & responsiblity for framing the new scene?  What limits, if any, does a non-gm player have on their narration?  Can I only include the immediate actions of my own character?  Or can I stretch out and reach to every fictional element that I can imagine my character might have an influence over?

I dunno.  The text doesn't seem to tell me.  So, it seems half-finished to me.  That's all that I meant; unfinished. 


Just so you know, this is Eric's pet peeve. He said this about Trollbabe, too, and it almost made me never speak to him again. Not to say it isn't important: maybe it is. Maybe it's not, though: people don't necessarily need rules to say who can speak when if they've got a clear idea already in their head that anyone can speak and when we agree, that's what happens. That's the way RPGs have been played since, well, they were first made.

(Side note: obviously, yes, some RPGs are played like "we do what happens when the GM says what happens," but that's still a subset of the above rule, as you agree that the GM has authority. Any rules you put in the game about who has authority are still subsets of that rule, because we have to agree to them. In practice, we'll agree to whatever we want, as people are bound to do, and therefore those rules are little more than your personal preferences on how the game is played.)

I don't know about pet peeve.  I'm on record as saying that I think "who gets to say what, when and what do we do if we disagree" rules are about the absolute most important rules you can explicitly write into an RPG.  I myself tend to judge the quality?/completeness?/friendliness? of a game text by how thoroughly it does this.  For the vast majority of people (gamers or not) the Lumpley Principle is a total news flash and needs to be spelled out (speaking here of the final published version, not (clearly) to a playtest version presented primarily to people who already get it).


Nah, I'm cool. I'm psyched to talk about free play and resolution and how they're the same and how they're different, and I wouldn't have thought to otherwise.

It's not, strictly, a narration-swapping game, but I have a vision for who gets to say what about what, when. It'll be like "the GM mostly blah blah, while the other players mostly blah blah else" - with "mostly" left all up in the air and available for working out locally.


Emily Care

Explaining some of this stuff will clarify why you see the gm as important in the game too.
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Andy Kitkowski

Quote from: Emily Care on May 17, 2006, 10:59:03 AM
Explaining some of this stuff will clarify why you see the gm as important in the game too.

Totally. We got to the end of the second session and were like, "OK, we definitely need some work with pacing, but other than that I don't really see why X needs to be the GM".  But it may become clear down the road.

Also, is there a fair sorted, newer version of the game text (like in a doc/pdf/txt?), I couldn't seem to find it, but IIRC it was still the contents of a blog post. I had a few questions about the game, but I'm thinking that seeing the text will help me sort it out in my mind.  Namely, once all the explicit characters are taken and set in motion, do the other players have to take implicit characters? I mean, can't you just say, "OK, that's it for explicit characters...and Jason plays a... er... huntsman that happens in to town and gets involved with the Queen, the Band of Thugs, and also is looking for the Diamond Scepter?"

I may be reinterpreting what Eric was saying when I say that I'd like advice (not rules or numbers or whatever, just a simple explanatory paragraph) on pacing. That is, how longa  scene should be, how much ground should it cover, etc. Or at least how to skillfully judge when a scene needs to go on or end... OK, crap, this is sounding like I'm asking you to teach how to roleplay. Let me get to specifics:

At Forge Midwest, Ralph and I and Julie and others played The Roach. In it, we'd be framing scenes, talking about the events that led up to the scene, populating the scenes with characters, describing the "scenery": "This character is standing there, that character is doing that", and then would suddenly realizing that we weren't "Doing that in-character roleplaying thing", we were just scene-setting and describing events. It happened a few times to us, and caught us off guard that we, who generally were heavy into roleplaying, could be blindsided by that.

I noticed this same sort of thing in AG&G: We'd have a scene, the GM would add scenery, the players were set in there and all, and then a few times it felt like there wasn't enough Talky-Roleplaying, it was just rather directing the characters through the motions of action, maybe throwing down a line here and there. I felt I had to remind people a lot (and Jason and the others probably noticed) "Hey hey hold on there, I want to see that. go and SAY THAT to Lisa I want to see how that plays out", or "Whoa, don't just bust out the dice, what does X say to that?".I think maybe part of this is the role of the GM: To say, "OK, I just set the scene, now let's get down to business. Start talking... ... ...ok, that's a good place to wrap up that scene. Let's move to the next one".  But on the other hand, I'm wondering if a little advice as to "when and how to do the talky roleplaying thing in the scene" might be good.

As for the rolling, Jason laid out the situation that caused a lot of rolls (and yeah, it was about 15-20 rounds in that second session, the first session was more like 6-8 rounds going back and forth before the protagonist was doubled when a Ghost tried to posess a Trapper at a Viking funeral). In all cases it's when the players really want to see their side win. However, it didn't quite bother me as much. I think a lot of people think, "When you throw dice in Dogs, you have to narrate something. So I have to narrate every time I throw the dice here, too. Something NEW has to be happening when I roll the dice in each round".  But I didn't think so particularly: Why not just say "Time stops while we sort out the roll and come to a conclusion"? I think that some times, sure, drama can be heigtened by further description. But it's just a task roll, and the drama is there in rolling and rerolling, seeing who's gonna get doubled. To me, in that situation, just "putting the game world on pause" while you sort out the dice doesn't nearly take as long as most games anyway, so why feel the need to describe every reroll, and every new round roll?
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Darren Hill

I also had Eric's problem of not knowing exactly what do to do regarding narration. I've GM'd the game twice now (actual play will come if I have time), and the text to me left a few very important things unstated. To answer Clinton's possible criticism - I don't feel the same way with Trollbabe - that one's very clear.

Within a conflict the narration isn't a problem, it's stuff like what you do between conflicts, and and how to determine when a chapter actually has ended.

Eric Provost

QuoteTo answer Clinton's possible criticism - I don't feel the same way with Trollbabe - that one's very clear.

That's ok, neither do I.  I have a very different issue with Trollbabe.