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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 85 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: [The Roach] Gameplay Observations  (Read 7052 times)
Bret Gillan
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That's Bret with one 't' damn it.


« on: August 11, 2006, 05:28:29 AM »

So I got to play Shab Al-Hiri Roach last night and it was a blast. We were only able to play for two hours so we only made it through three events, and we were fuzzy on some of the rules (narrating in NPCs, how stakes are set, and whether PCs in a non-spotlight scene can contribute all of their dice) but I think we've shaked out all the confusion for the next time we play. As far as I'm concerned there will be a next time.

After the game me, Jere, and Jeff (3/4 of the players) were going over the game and made an observation. There was a point in the game where things went crazy. People were pushed off balconies, a pistol was brandished at a koala-suit-wearing Regina Sutton, a stage manager for the Pemberton Follies was shot - it was basically the moment when we realized that there is no accountability for character actions. In a given scene the only thing that "matters" is the Conflict and what's at Stake, and whether we gain or lose Reputation. Everything else is an insane free-for-all, and I think once that clicked things really got fun. We went from arguing over chair placement at the Convocation, to dancing on-stage with crucifixes in our pants and defrocking a priest in front of a politely applauding audience.

I will definitely be playing this again, and it seems to be the perfect game to run as a "we're bored, let's play an RPG" pick-up or con game. It also suits my sense of humor perfectly.
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oliof
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Harald Wagener - Zurich, Switzerland


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« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2006, 05:39:09 AM »

[...] the moment when we realized that there is no accountability for character actions. In a given scene the only thing that "matters" is the Conflict and what's at Stake, and whether we gain or lose Reputation. Everything else is an insane free-for-all, and I think once that clicked things really got fun.

I think it's a proper satirical reflection of the ivory toweresque academia you play in this game. Don't forget the bullshit rule, though.
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Bret Gillan
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Posts: 375

That's Bret with one 't' damn it.


« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2006, 05:40:35 AM »

I'd have to know what the bullshit rule is to remember it. I just read the book this morning, but I must have somehow missed that rule.
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Steve Segedy
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« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2006, 03:55:16 AM »

The Bullshit rule is simply that player narration is limited only by what is fun for everybody at the table.  If one person's narration of the scene goes completely off the rails in ways that other folks think is too much or just dumb, they should definitely call bullshit and bring things back to what's fun for everyone.  Make sense?

Thanks for the write-up!  It sounds like you guys had a great time!
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Jason Morningstar
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« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2006, 05:07:55 AM »

To be perfectly clear, you can invoke the bullshit rule and call a vote.  If everybody at the table, other than the creator, agrees that the introduced element goes too far for some reason, bullshit is called and the content must be amended.  Two notes on this:

1.  Don't call bullshit unless you are prepared to offer a suggestion that is more fun and interesting than what was originally proposed.

2.  I have never actually seen it invoked in play.  If you need to use it, chances are good that your game is in trouble on the social contract level.  Stop play and sort it out.
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oliof
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Harald Wagener - Zurich, Switzerland


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« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2006, 12:21:41 PM »

Jason, we had bullshit called 2 times in our convention game, but that was without a vote, and to get the game going. So it might have been more "let's get going with this now" instead of the bullshit rule in it's intended form.
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Jason Morningstar
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« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2006, 04:16:30 PM »

That's actually reassuring, Oliof, and if you drifted a bit to keep the game moving, I'm all for it. 

As a designer I worry that the bullshit rule is a cop-out for weak mechanics surrounding stake-setting. 
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oliof
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Harald Wagener - Zurich, Switzerland


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« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2006, 02:49:17 AM »

IMHO, the bullshit rule is what I'd social contract grounded in the rules. There'd be more problems without it than with it in the text, even if it won't be used very often. It takes the sharp edge of deliberate fun-breaking game-breaking fucked-up-ness and turns everything into deliberate free-wheeling awesomeness.
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