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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 133 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: [The Shab-al-Hiri Roach] Disturbed at GenCon  (Read 23315 times)
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 10459


« Reply #30 on: August 21, 2006, 10:07:09 AM »

Oh, I dunno, that sort of anonymity where you actually are with a person isn't the same as internet anonymity. I tend to be more guarded, not less, when playing with people I don't know. Not knowing whether or not it will offend, etc.

Yeah, I think that there are some gamers for whom this isn't true - gamers who aren't socially well-adjusted. I saw the game Hans was talking about and from that and his description, I don't think that's true of these particular gamers.

No, I think it's just that the game says that it's OK to get depraved, gives you an excuse, and players go ahead and get depraved. Probably in part because they haven't had a chance to do so in other RPGs. Similar to how players get kinda crazy when playing Universalis for the first time and end up with odd genre bashing or just silly play. If the parallel works here, then it may be that "civilized" Roach play will come with more experienced players. That said, I don't see players playing Roach a lot of times, so I'm not sure that it'll get there.

Mike
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Adam Dray
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« Reply #31 on: August 21, 2006, 11:06:16 AM »

I hosted a Roach game on Saturday night at the Embassy Suites. It was the tamest Roach game I've ever played in, and perhaps the tamest game I've ever heard of.

The worst bit of violence I recall was when the roached professor randomly murdered a luminary for disturbing him in his holy place ("This Place Shall Not Be Disturbed," or somesuch, was the card). There were a couple fistfights. There was a forced man-to-man kiss. And, of course, another professor accidentally poisoned a bunch of people at the board meeting. My character had a lot of consensual sex with Regina Sutton, even in a coffin.

We had a hilarious, yakkety-sax scene involving a professor in a hospital bed, Mr. Bompus, a couple other professors, and a cute nurse. You had to be there.

At the end, a couple people were roached. A couple people who had been roached (like me) got unroached. I ended with a big pile of chips and won narration of the epilogue. I said that the roaches left and that everyone at Pemberton University lived happily ever after.

It was a lot of fun.
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Adam Dray / adam@legendary.org
Verge -- cyberpunk role-playing on the brink
FoundryMUSH - indie chat and play at foundry.legendary.org 7777
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 10459


« Reply #32 on: August 21, 2006, 11:37:52 AM »

If you would, Adam, how much experience with the game did the other players have. Checking on my hypothesis.

Mike
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oliof
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Harald Wagener - Zurich, Switzerland


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« Reply #33 on: August 21, 2006, 01:42:50 PM »

Mike: In my game, nobody ever had played it before. Not even me.
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Adam Dray
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« Reply #34 on: August 21, 2006, 01:55:49 PM »

I believe that no one in that game had ever played it before.
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Adam Dray / adam@legendary.org
Verge -- cyberpunk role-playing on the brink
FoundryMUSH - indie chat and play at foundry.legendary.org 7777
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 10459


« Reply #35 on: August 22, 2006, 07:58:57 AM »

Huh. OK, so much for that idea.

Mike
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Josh Roby
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Category Three Forgite


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« Reply #36 on: August 22, 2006, 08:19:19 AM »

Maybe Harald and Adam's friends are just morally superior to us, Mike. ;)
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 10459


« Reply #37 on: August 22, 2006, 09:49:58 AM »

Heh.

Well, again, I played relatively un-debauchedly in my first demo, too.

So maybe I should have known better. And I think in Hans' case, he was probably getting caught up in doing what was expected by the group in question. Which would be problematic, because that's him...uh I want to say knuckling under to peer pressure, but you get the idea. That would revolt me, too.

But, consider that I was somewhat revolted at myself merely having my character trying to do bodily harm to some of the others second hand (like he'd ordered a student to rough up the other guy).

The word that I keep coming up with to describe it is that it seems prurient.

Mike
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Adam Cerling
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WhiteRat


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« Reply #38 on: August 22, 2006, 10:31:44 AM »

At the risk of calling Lisa out -- I'd say that at her table this GenCon, she strongly encouraged extreme violence.

The seven of us were over halfway through the game with only two deaths (both my doing) when, during the break, Lisa remarked how surprised she was that the game was so tame. She followed up by describing with great enthusiasm all a number of bloody Roach games she'd played before.

By the end of the game we'd ramped up the brutality accordingly.
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Adam Cerling
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #39 on: August 22, 2006, 11:08:27 AM »

First, I think that every game is going to have players that push things one way or another. Second, in case anyone is thinking that I'm being judgemental, I'm not. If people get their kicks from playing like this, good for them. So this sounds merely like somebody getting from a game what they want, which seems just right to me.

I don't want to participate in such a game, but that's just my own preference. Others should indulge if they feel that they'll enjoy it.

Mike
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Hans
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« Reply #40 on: August 22, 2006, 11:21:19 AM »

...because that's him...uh I want to say knuckling under to peer pressure, but you get the idea.

I am pretty much a sheep. :)

She followed up by describing with great enthusiasm all a number of bloody Roach games she'd played before.

Enthusiasm and relish. :)  Lisa is an expressive person, whose enthusiasm is contagious and who lets you know exactly what she likes and doesn't like.  This makes her a great GM, and a great player as well.  However, I wouldn't say Lisa "encouraged" extreme violence, in the sense of her saying "come on, what's with you people?  get with the rending and the maiming and the piles of bodies already!"  Rather, I would say that she gave the impression that in her experience games with lots of extreme violence were the most fun.  That is, you sort of got the feeling that if you weren't putting in a lot of extreme violence, you probably weren't fully appreciating the Roach experience.  I guess I would have to ask Lisa if that impression is actually her opinion of the Roach, or simply an unintended consequence of human communication. 

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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 10459


« Reply #41 on: August 22, 2006, 11:49:08 AM »

Good question, Hans.

Mike
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Lisa Provost
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aka urbanpagan


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« Reply #42 on: August 22, 2006, 12:31:22 PM »

Enthusiasm and relish. :)  Lisa is an expressive person, whose enthusiasm is contagious and who lets you know exactly what she likes and doesn't like.  This makes her a great GM, and a great player as well.  However, I wouldn't say Lisa "encouraged" extreme violence, in the sense of her saying "come on, what's with you people?  get with the rending and the maiming and the piles of bodies already!"  Rather, I would say that she gave the impression that in her experience games with lots of extreme violence were the most fun.  That is, you sort of got the feeling that if you weren't putting in a lot of extreme violence, you probably weren't fully appreciating the Roach experience.  I guess I would have to ask Lisa if that impression is actually her opinion of the Roach, or simply an unintended consequence of human communication. 

Thanks for the praise.  You know how worried I was about GMing as such a big con.

Nope, when I mentioned it was a tame game, I was making conversation.  I really didn't mean that the game -had- to be bloddy and violent.  Everyone was asking me how other games I had run/played in had gone and well, I answered honestly.  I didn't mean it as a bad thing.  Just my opinion. 

Yes I do think that sometimes, the ones with extreme violence/horrible circumstances are the most fun because it seems to me that people end up with some of the best descriptions/narrations that way.  I mean, how much cooler can you get than when  (I think it was Carrie) described tearing the Roach from her PC's body with an ice pick?  That was fantastic in my eyes.

I like the game because it seems to pull the violence, gore and horror out of me.  That was something that CoC could never quite do for me.  It's probably another reason I enjoy MLwM so much.  *shrug*

Does that answer your question Hans?

Lisa P
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Hans
Member

Posts: 576


« Reply #43 on: August 22, 2006, 01:05:16 PM »

Does that answer your question Hans?

Indeed it does.  Thanks! 

This whole thread has been very helpful to me, and it seems to have been helpful to others as well.  I think I have probably gotten what I wanted/needed out of it, but if others are still looking for more, by all means, keep talking!
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MichaelCurry
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Posts: 12


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« Reply #44 on: August 25, 2006, 07:19:07 PM »

As another data point, when I ran the Roach a couple of months ago at a small con, it was a game that definitely fell into the tame category.  There was a lot of university politics and infidelity, but it wasn't until toward the very end of the game that the level of violence even rose to fisticuffs, and then there was one scene where my character attempted to stab one of the other PCs (and ended up killing an NPC instead).  That was it.  No dark sorcery, no sacrifices, no torture, no bloodbaths.  I was frankly a bit surprised, as I'd gotten the impression from reading AP posts that things tended to go way over the top violence-wise, but the game never even wandered near that territory.  Afterwards, I even wondered if I'd done something wrong in explaining the game, since it was the first time any of us had actually played the Roach.  Most everyone had fun though.

Hans, I suppose it's in some ways unfortunate that your first Roach experience ended up being the other sort of game, as I think you may have enjoyed the more tame version.  Or at least not had as negative of a reaction.  Thanks for posting about the experience you did have though, as it was really interesting.

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Michael Curry

My gaming blog: Flaming Monkey
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