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Author Topic: [Silence Keeps Me A Victim]Narration limits and general feedback. (adult)  (Read 22499 times)
Isbo
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Posts: 17


« Reply #15 on: September 15, 2006, 06:49:13 AM »

That sounds powerful.  So, to get to your questions about how this might look in play, if it might run into problems.  I'm going to start talking, saying what assumptions seem to be at work as I go.  Tell me when I go astray.

Since talking is already strongly limited in play, it seems like you don't want players to be calling BS on a player's declaration (although if you did, I imagine there might be some nonverbal signal that could be worked in), nor do you want to have the Abuser with that veto power since they already have so much power right now.  Let me imagine this in as pointed a fashion as I can: 

Player 1 has just one narration rights for an unspoken third option.  They describe how their Child and Player 2's Child help the two boys escape from the other Children trying to follow the abuser's orders and finds a safe place for them.  Player 2 uses declaration rights to give Player 1's child the trait "You hate children who eat apples." 

It could even be that player 1 and player 2 are the same player and that would not necessarily alter the example.

Now, player 1 can't say anything--narration and declaration are over.  The other players, who think this is just silly, also can't say anything.  The abuser can't say anything about that because this is the one place where the player actually has authority in this part of the game.  Now, assuming that player 2 really thinks this is a cool declaration and is not just screwing around, it seems there might be a disconnect.  And, in theory, there are less silly declarations that might still have the 'not right' feel. 

Do you want some instructions/rules that keep players from declaring anything at all?  Something that keeps them tied to what was narrated?  The more you disconnect narration from declaration, the more vulnerable the narrator is.  That not getting declaration rights still leaves you very vulnerable, probably even encouraging you to (try to) narrate in a way that might please the one with declaration rights...whoah, that sounds about right, actually, in terms of getting to the power of silence.

That frustration at not being able to call BS, not being able to say 'but this isn't a good declaration,' could be just as much a part of the process in which the children feel truly voiceless.  Still, I think there might be some risk in that department.

(although, for the record, the more I talk about it here, the more amazing that distinction between narration and declaration, declaration and conflict, seems...that disconnect may just be perfect for your aims.  Even as I typed out a 'silly' example, I could see it being 'right' in its own way.)
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Joshua A.C. Newman
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« Reply #16 on: September 15, 2006, 08:30:41 AM »

Quote from: Clyde
There is one difference I imagine between Shock, Prime Time Adventures (haven't got to read either yet), and Silence Keeps Me A Victim, in that the player hasn't stated any stakes or intention. The only thing that's really indicated by their trying to "win" is that they want a third option. This is what I was wondering about causing problems.

Ah, I see.

Yeah, I do see a problem there. Because of your very tight narration restrictions, there's no room for the bullshit rule. That means that there has to be some other, mechanically enforced, limit to what can be said by non-Abusers.

Here's what I think should happen.

Quote from: Hypothetical Setup
The Abuser is played by one person.

The Community is played by another.

Everyone else plays Kids.

The Abuser wants one thing and retains resources by achieving it (we can worry about specifics later.) I say "retains" because there's a pacing thing here where the Kids eventually find their voices and take power.

The Community wants another thing and either gains or retains resources by achieving it. I suspect Community will always be a power in the Kids' lives, so maybe it doesn't run out of marbles.

The Kids want a third thing, but that's already under discussion.

What happens here is that the Abuser is not put in the position of coming up with Something Bad and then Something Not As Bad. The Abuser can go in, barrels blazing. Community is likewise enforcing silence with all their might. Their power should be limited by mechanics, not by aesthetics.

So: let's say the Abuser gets to Narrate or Declare. Each time one of those happens, the Abuser loses a goodie and you move closer to the next phase, where the Kids have a voice.

Let's say Community gets goodies from backing the Kids or the Abuser and can change their mind from conflict to conflict about which to back.

So, let's say four people are playing. One is the Abuser, one is the Community, and two are the Kids. The Abuser sets up a situation:

Quote from: Abuser
You're hunting a rabbit and you come across these boys jerking each other off. I'll give a goodie to the player who kills them and leaves them as a message to the other boys.

Quote from: Community
And my die will come down on the side of the player who hushes this up, who convinces the boys to never so much as look at each other again.

Dice fly. (I'm thinking that the Abuser doesn't get to roll Narration or Declaration dice, or if he does, rolls fewer, making it less likely that they'll get Narr or Dec. The Community doesn't roll dice at all as long as their Narr and Dec dice go to the Kid(s) who took their bribe.)

Let's say one of the Kids wins Nar. If it was the Kid who took the bribe, they have to narrate how they hushed this up, probably playing it out with the Community playing other people in the community. The other Kid(s) don't have a part to play.

Let's say one of the Kids wins Dec. That player then gets to assign Community goodies to themselves and to the other Kids at their whim. Community goodies are the amount that the Community can help you.

Now, let's say a Kid wins the conflict by getting to make stuff up. I think there should be a list of effects. Mechanically, I think they can give the Abuser and/or Community have greater bribing power in the future (which gets narrated), or perhaps they can give the Kids an ability to support each other. They can also give Kids regular Narr and Dec dice. (I think I'm seeing there being Narration and Declaration dice, and that's all.)

I think that by giving mechanical outcomes, you'll be able to sufficiently restrict the fictional content to what's relevant. I could be wrong. Maybe the chart will have to have a list of things you can say; "We escape without doing anything. We join in the situation. We take aggressive action to change the situation." That kind of thing. Frankly, I think that's harder and probably less satisfying.

Now!

Something just hit me. At a certain point, if players have been Declaring each others (and their own) bribability, they eventually become a potential resource for the Abuser and the Community. They may also have enough of their own dice that this is not an issue. I think that, once a Kid has more Abuser dice than the Abuser, the Kid gets to start bribing the Abuser and the Community back. If the Abuser has a goal (and I think they should), they won't take the bribe unless it's interesting to them. So the Kid becomes abusive to get those dice. Likewise, if the Kid has more dice than the Community, they can start bribing the Community. Only by walking the tightrope and following the difficult path of using your own dice can you break out of this, and there has to always be hope that these Kid-Abuser/Community bribes can lead to more Kid dice.

I'm not entirely certain how this post holds together; I was obviously thinking this up as I went. Please let me know what didn't make sense if you care about it.
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the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.
Clyde L. Rhoer
Member

Posts: 391


« Reply #17 on: September 16, 2006, 01:37:14 AM »

Hi Cylde,

Your setting up an examination of what comes next (the bashing in of brains, etc), rather than what came before (what in the heads of the hunting party makes them think of bashing in brains?). Is there something you want the game to look for in what comes next, that you can't find in what came before?

Hi Callan,

I put off your replying to your post so I could give it more thought. Unfortunately I'm still not understanding exactly what you are asking. Could you expand on your question, or restate what you are asking? Hopefully that will drive my blockage out.
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Clyde L. Rhoer
Member

Posts: 391


« Reply #18 on: September 16, 2006, 05:27:37 AM »

Hi Joshua and Ian,

You are both right. BS was a blind spot. Thanks for pointing it out. Narration guidelines is something I intend to add, but haven't gotten it worked out yet. At this point I'm not too worried about them, but B.S. definitely needs some thought.

Joshua, I had considered splitting The Abuser and The Community originally but I'd have to go GM-less to do so for playtesting as I have two playtesters I trust enough to playtest this game. I considered GM-less at first but was dissatisfied as there would be too many people who could talk. Also I read Michael Millers article in Daedulus about running My Life With Master and that sold me on making The Abuser a dedicated part.

The Mask and Voice attributes work similar to your idea Joshua. My present thinking is Mask adds to what the players "roll" if they decide to help the community, as their masks reinforce community. I also realize that I forgot to mention in my color explanation that the children all wear bright masks after their voice is stolen. The masks contrast with their general loss of color as they stay colorful and unfaded. Voice adds to Narration or Declaration I'm thinking, but each time it's used Mask is weakened by one. My thought is that characters gaining their voice are also weakening their community. If they win Narration or Declaration when using Voice, they add to their voice. At some point their voice total will indicate they have regained their voice, and the game will shift to phase two which I haven't given a lot of thought to yet except that it will be harder for The Abuser to talk until The Abuser can't talk any longer.

Also Joshua thanks for writing out how you see things. Your ideas about "rolling" with the abuser made me realize that I was mistaken to include siding with the abuser as an option. I think your ideas would lead to coolness but it's not what I'm going for. The way I see the game playing out in my mind is something like this:
  • Characters struggle to protect themselves from The Abuser. (The Abuser may be most strong here I'm not sure yet.) The Community is able to protect itself from direct assault from The Abusers minions.
  • Characters begin to learn of their inner strength and their voice begins to build. The Community starts to suffer a bit from direct attack from The Abuser's minions.
  • Characters are close to regaining their voice. The Abuser is most abusive here with the most severe stakes perhaps like my example. The community suffers from the minions, and the PC's if the PC's lose to The Abuser.
  • Someone regains their voice. The game turns over to the players hands and they set the pace. I am thinking I will try to make it so mechanically they will need to rebuild The Community before a final showdown with The Abuser. The players may lose the advantage of using Voice for Narration and Declaration at this point, but they can start working in the traits they got from previous declarations.

So what I'm seeing is more towards group mentality for players, with maybe some chances there could be some interesting but not lethal conflict that stems from when they are the least powerful and are trying to protect themselves.
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dindenver
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« Reply #19 on: September 16, 2006, 08:10:33 AM »

Hi!
  Well, I think a factor you are missing is what keeps the Children from using their voice. The reality is that many people that were aused as children never do find their voice. One phenomenon I have heard of is protecting the sibs. Sort of a gruesome version of jumping on the grenade. There is also a fear that they won't be believed (often times a well founded fear). As well as the possibility that using the voice will make matters worse (and often times it does). I think you need to almost set it up so that the abuser s most likely to win. To sort of instill hat desperation, you know?
  I dunno if I said that with enough sensitivity, but I wanted to be sure you understood what I meant. PM me if I wasn't clear enough or if you have any questions.
  Also, from a purely mechanical stand point, I feel like the Narration rights are diminished by the existance of seperate declaration rights. If the declaror gets to decide what events actually take place, what does the narrator get to do?
  Sounds like you know what you want from this game. I know its gotta be gut wrenching, but it might do some good...
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Dave M
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Clyde L. Rhoer
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Posts: 391


« Reply #20 on: September 16, 2006, 01:50:25 PM »

Hi Dave,

You make good points about some of the reasons children stay silent, and about how many/most/some never find their voice. However, I don't want the game to be about how reality is but maybe to show how it could be. I really want the children to win, but for that to meaningful I realize the best chance I can give them is even odds.

I'm not too worried about sensitivity, so don't worry, and understand you fine I think.

I also may not have explained Declaration well enough. Declaration is deciding the effect the narration has on the NPC's, not what takes place. It's basically assigning traits for later use in the game. To give a kind of example. The children are in a hunting party and come across a strange animal they haven't seen before. Let's say the Narration ends up that the children kill the strange animal and cut it open to examine it and find that the animal was pregnant and there are a bunch of dead babies inside. The Declarer would decide the meaning of that. So they could declare the children are good protectors of their community who ferret out even small threats, or they could state the children feel bad about dead children as they aren't that different from us.

So what I'm calling Narration in this game is a statement of what happens. Declaration is how the Children feel about it after the fact. Is that a better explanation?
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Tim M Ralphs
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« Reply #21 on: September 18, 2006, 01:40:05 AM »

This seems like an awesome idea.

Clyde, Iím think of Voice and Mask as pools of dice the players allocate their bids from. Is this correct? If so then are you restricting them to choosing between the two pools, or can they mix and match?

I feel that they should be the former. The Children should either be trying to find their Voice or hiding further behind the Mask whenever they bid. I also see the Voice starting a lot less than the Mask, with some mechanical effect happening when Voice equals or exceeds Mask. (Like the player being able to talk.)

It might be poignant if the Community was trying to reinforce the Mask and stifle the Voice. That way there is a negative aspect of suppporting the Community option as compared to the Abuser option. I also wonder if there should be some positive mechanic for taking the Abuser option, as otherwise I canít see any reason why a Child would ever invest dice in the Abuser option, and it would just become a roll off between Childrenís dice in Community and third way options, and the Abuserís dice in Abuser Option.

I also wonder how this will work if the players can see each others bids. After all, if I see that another Child has put a lot of points in the third way option, I can breathe a mental sigh of relief that weíre not going with the Abuser or the Community, and put my stakes into declaration or narration. Either this should be made a feature, for example, the Abuser gets to choose the order in which people bid, or the Children should be bidding in secret.

How are you planning on involving the traits the Declarer gets to add? Why would the Declarer ever want to assign one of their fellow children a negative trait?

I feel kind of rude talking about mechanics when you havenít mentioned them, but let me write down how I am seeing this game playing in my head, then you can correct me on where Iím wrong.

I see the Children with two pools of dice, different colours for Mask and Voice. I see them with a picture of a brightly coloured mask in front of them. The picture is separated into five areas, colour coded to represent Abuser option, Community option, Third Option, Narration and Declaration.

The Abuser sets a scene and outlines the outcome they favour. The Community outlines the outcome they favour. The Abuser chooses a player to bid, and then another and another until all the players have bid.

When it is their turn to bid the Players choose whether to bid with Mask or Voice. They allocate the dice of the respective scores between the five areas on the picture of the mask. When everyone has allocated dice the Community gets to give out some extra dice. Then everyone rolls, and whoever rolls highest in each area wins in that area.

Iíll stop now until you have a chance to comment, but I have some ideas on how the stats should go up and down and the like.
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Joshua A.C. Newman
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« Reply #22 on: September 18, 2006, 04:54:21 AM »

I hate to say it, Clyde, but your reasoning for bunching up the Community and Abuser isn't a good one, from a design standpoint. I don't know that separate roles are necessary, but your rules so far really imply that they are, and not having three other people to playtest with is a concern of practicality, not game quality.

Quote from: Tim M Ralphs
I feel that they should be the former. The Children should either be trying to find their Voice or hiding further behind the Mask whenever they bid. I also see the Voice starting a lot less than the Mask, with some mechanical effect happening when Voice equals or exceeds Mask. (Like the player being able to talk.)

Twice now, possible mechanics here have reminded me of Keep Cool. There's an interesting mechanic here that I'll try to explain briefly:

Keep Cool is about balancing economic, political, and ecological goals. You represent and economy, like the US or OPEC. The world ecology is represented by a stack of counters, which, as the stack gets lower, the environmental impact of events gets greater. Typically, an economy starts with a couple of Black factories, which generate their economic income at the expense of the environment. Typically, you want to have Green factories, which generate income without effecting the world ecology. So what happens is that the world starts on this self-perpetuating collaps as players try to get enough money to even make the sacrifice to get Green factories. Eventually, though, they're getting enough income that they can start building Green and first reducing, then eliminating, their Black factories.

The reason this doesn't happen from turn one is that everyone has contrary goals. No one's only goal is to not crash the ecology. Some players want to sell protection (a mechanic in the game) so they might want the world to get bad enough that everyone has to buy it. Others might have a goal of a certain number of Black factories in the world, or a certain number of Greens. These goals are hidden from other players, so while the other players know certain goals (the economic goals are public), they don't know others (the political).

What happens is that there's often a scrambling crash at the beginning of the game as the ecology collapses; storms, draughts, and pestillence become more and more severe as players build their economies to the points that a) can satisfy their political goals and b) invest in Green factories. Then, as Green factories becomes cheaper, they become the most viable option and the game starts to turn around.

Note that, as a boardgame, there's no GM; this opposition is provided mechanically through the use of random card draws of disasters on each player's turn, and the severity of these disasters is determined by the players' choices.

There's a great logistical benefit to not requiring a GM (or two, as I proposed): the game requires fewer people to play. So if it's just you and a friend, you can still play. With a game that has such intimate subject matter, you may want to consider if that is a significant design concern.
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the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.
Clyde L. Rhoer
Member

Posts: 391


« Reply #23 on: September 18, 2006, 05:08:26 AM »

Hi Tim,

Yes, Mask and Voice will be something that gets allocated. I think it's likely that it will be dice but that depends on what I do for mechanics. Your idea matches mine that they will only be able to use either Voice or Mask and not both, and Mask will start at a higher value and decrease and Voice will start lower and get more powerful. I'm not sure yet how I want to mark when a characters voice returns.

You are right about The Community, I mean for it to totally be a different figure of oppression. Just less so, but to have it be a tempting option to use to stave off The Abuser's goals. So supporting The Community is the easy win. If someone supports community it is likely to be the winner. Your idea about The Community stifling the characters voice is really cool. I've been thinking of it that way but until you stated it I hadn't thought of using a mechanic, it was all color. My intial thought is that a community win will raise your Mask and lower your Voice, but I really need to give it more thought.

Also I'm removing the option to support The Abuser. I think the game is dark enough, and I want the characters to be victims and not finding power in embracing the Dark-side. I have a companion game planned for that. I want the game to be about overcoming victimhood in a positive way.

I hadn't thought of problems that could occur when everyone can see each others bids. That was a blind spot, thanks for pointing it out. I also really like the idea of The Abuser making some decisions about the "dice." I will have to figure out a way to use that idea. Whoa, just had one off the top of my head. Maybe The Abuser allocates some "dice" first and then chooses the children, and then perhaps can steal just a couple "dice" from the childrens bids.

How are you planning on involving the traits the Declarer gets to add? Why would the Declarer ever want to assign one of their fellow children a negative trait?

That totally blindsided me. You are right, and I have no answer for why the children would add negative traits. I know why The Abuser would, but not the children. I definately have to turn that around in my head some.

As to the rest of your post. It sounds like those things could work, but I'm not really looking at mechanics/randomization yet. After I get how I want the procedure to go, then I'm going to try to do some math to find a randomization or non random method to use to do everything.
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Clyde L. Rhoer
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Posts: 391


« Reply #24 on: September 18, 2006, 05:27:11 AM »

Hi Joshua,

I hate to say it, Clyde, but your reasoning for bunching up the Community and Abuser isn't a good one, from a design standpoint. I don't know that separate roles are necessary, but your rules so far really imply that they are, and not having three other people to playtest with is a concern of practicality, not game quality.

You are absolutely right. I stand corrected, and will give thought to The Community as a separate GM/player.

However, Keep Cool sounds like good fodder and I'm going to have to talk to my spielfreak buddy and see if he can find me a cheap copy. I don't see this as being a game that's good for a large group and I don't think it will have a lot of replay value, so gearing it for as few people as possible is a good tactic I think. Cutting out The Abuser might help to make the game harsher and let me "be there" as a player to help deal with the issues, rather than being a personal abuser. At the very least it's worthy of thought.

Hi Tim,

I forgot in my reply to you to mention I'm planning on buying Masks and thinking about having the players paint them as "character creation."


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Joshua A.C. Newman
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« Reply #25 on: September 18, 2006, 06:20:37 AM »

You are absolutely right. I stand corrected, and will give thought to The Community as a separate GM/player.

Yeah, but be that as it may:

However, Keep Cool sounds like good fodder and I'm going to have to talk to my spielfreak buddy and see if he can find me a cheap copy. I don't see this as being a game that's good for a large group and I don't think it will have a lot of replay value, so gearing it for as few people as possible is a good tactic I think. Cutting out The Abuser might help to make the game harsher and let me "be there" as a player to help deal with the issues, rather than being a personal abuser. At the very least it's worthy of thought.

... I think this is the stronger direction to go.
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the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.
Isbo
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Posts: 17


« Reply #26 on: September 18, 2006, 06:58:03 AM »


I would be curious (sincerely) to hear how removing the Abuser could allow you to be more harsh.  From my perspective, a less explicitly brutal option when offered by a (real) person is much more powerful than a brutal option generated by some other means.  I would also be curious as to what sort of mechanic would provide the harshness.

If you do keep both Abuser and Community as a role, I have some hesitation about seeing them split up.  First, together, you have the two firmly fixed as things that stifle--the complicity vividly embodied in their being played by one player.  Second, it means that you start having two people talking, which means it gets a little less silent. 

On the flip side, it does get us a little closer to the difficult two-parent dynamic found in many abusive situations.  I guess a lot of this really depends on what happens in the other phases--what roles will the community and abuser have in the following scenes?  Enough to justify the division of labor? 

If you either split the roles or remove the abuser as a player role, will the abuser / abuser mechanic be able to hurt or injure the community?  That small choice feels like it could have a profound impact on how the game plays.

Let me suggest one answer to this question: "Why declare a negative description as the rules stand?"  Well, imagine this position: Abuser wins, child player has to narrate.  That player narrates in a way that most of the badness is in the hands of other players.  Later on, the player who 'had' to do the bad thing will remember that, will at least *think* of declaring to punish that.  I think playtesting will be pretty important in this game since it really depends upon evoking certain emotional responses among its players.

Again, this seems to raise a question about what happens after this phase--what sort of impact does declaration or narration in this phase have on later play?  Those things will guide how the players use them in the early phase. 

One interesting thing about not trying to limit the BS: it creates the sort of frustration which could feed the progress of the game, encourage little cruelties. 

Do the Children have names?  It just seems like there could be something really powerful about being called out by name, by the abuser or community, if it is your task to narrate or declare for their victory.

*If* you have *absolutely no* interest in replay value--have you thought about making ignorance of the game's rules a pre-req for Child players?  Only mediated for them through the Community / Abuser? 
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Joshua A.C. Newman
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« Reply #27 on: September 18, 2006, 07:17:18 AM »

I would be curious (sincerely) to hear how removing the Abuser could allow you to be more harsh.

It removes the conflation of Abuser with the player with that role.

Quote from: Lsbo
From my perspective, a less explicitly brutal option when offered by a (real) person is much more powerful than a brutal option generated by some other means.

That's because the harshness is personal, between the players, and not within the fiction.

Quote from: Lsbo
If you do keep both Abuser and Community as a role, I have some hesitation about seeing them split up.  First, together, you have the two firmly fixed as things that stifle--the complicity vividly embodied in their being played by one player.  Second, it means that you start having two people talking, which means it gets a little less silent. 

... but they're able to work for their own means. If they're in one person, that person has to think of the worst thing that can happen, and then they have to think of something else, too. By boxing these up into separate interested parties, they can concentrate on their unique brands of horrible.

Quote
On the flip side, it does get us a little closer to the difficult two-parent dynamic found in many abusive situations.  I guess a lot of this really depends on what happens in the other phases--what roles will the community and abuser have in the following scenes?  Enough to justify the division of labor?  If you either split the roles or remove the abuser as a player role, will the abuser / abuser mechanic be able to hurt or injure the community?  That small choice feels like it could have a profound impact on how the game plays.

That's a good question. Having distinct jobs for them to do in terms of setting up situations, for instance, would distinguish them well, and defining their interests in each other would solidify their natures well.

Quote from: Lsbo
Let me suggest one answer to this question: "Why declare a negative description as the rules stand?"  Well, imagine this position: Abuser wins, child player has to narrate.  That player narrates in a way that most of the badness is in the hands of other players.  Later on, the player who 'had' to do the bad thing will remember that, will at least *think* of declaring to punish that.  I think playtesting will be pretty important in this game since it really depends upon evoking certain emotional responses among its players.

This is dealt with in Under the Bed via color, rather than mechanics. You're required, as Opposition, to give the hardest mechanical challenge possible. The meaning, however, of that challenge is completely up to the Opposition player. You have three dice; what they mean is up to you, and the dice used by the Toy are determined by player creativity and the Bullshit Rule.

So I think the thing to do is, make it so you have to make it hard, mechanically. Maybe you can hand out one goodie to someone including yourself and one yucky to someone else.

Quote
*If* you have *absolutely no* interest in replay value--have you thought about making ignorance of the game's rules a pre-req for Child players?  Only mediated for them through the Community / Abuser? 

This is a mechanic to encourage rules abuse, which, while thematically consistent, means that none of the other rules matter.
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the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.
Wood
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« Reply #28 on: September 18, 2006, 07:55:03 AM »

Can I first say how impressed I am with this idea? I don't know if I could bring myself to play it (or more pertinently, if I could bring my friends to play it), but I applaud it. It makes my own tired political rantings look positively uninspired.

Quote from: Lsbo
From my perspective, a less explicitly brutal option when offered by a (real) person is much more powerful than a brutal option generated by some other means.

That's because the harshness is personal, between the players, and not within the fiction.
I can see that.

This sounds like a powerful - and potentially hugely therapeutic concept. It needs a hell of a lot of trust to work, though, doesn't it? I mean, if, like Clyde, the players of the game have suffered at the hands of abusers in the past, they will need to be safe in the context of the game.

Clyde, this is probably a really stupid, obvious, "duh" question, but have you thought about introducing a "safeword" convention as standard?

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Quote from: Lsbo
If you do keep both Abuser and Community as a role, I have some hesitation about seeing them split up.  First, together, you have the two firmly fixed as things that stifle--the complicity vividly embodied in their being played by one player.  Second, it means that you start having two people talking, which means it gets a little less silent. 

... but they're able to work for their own means. If they're in one person, that person has to think of the worst thing that can happen, and then they have to think of something else, too. By boxing these up into separate interested parties, they can concentrate on their unique brands of horrible.
I agree wholeheartedly.

I'm not clear on one point, though: Clyde, the original intention is to have a GM and a Community/Abuser (one or two), right?

If there are two players in these roles, why not simply have the Community and the Abuser instead of the GM? As someone said, they're going to be setting up situations. Why not have them collude, good cop/bad cop style (which, as someone suggested, is like a difficult two-parent dynamic) on the story? Or have them take  turns? Or have a mechanic allowing one to take the reins as "GM" from the other with their agenda as central?

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*If* you have *absolutely no* interest in replay value--have you thought about making ignorance of the game's rules a pre-req for Child players?  Only mediated for them through the Community / Abuser? 

This is a mechanic to encourage rules abuse, which, while thematically consistent, means that none of the other rules matter.
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Hmm. Yeah. And doesn't the psychological action of recovering from abuse/being damaged by it depend upon "learning rules"?

You know, f'rexample, like the kid being hit around who always seems to cling to or demand the attention of the abusive parent? Or, f'rexample, like the bullied kid (and I speak from experience here) who knows that he cannot talk about some things in the same way that others among his contemporaries can because he doesn't have the social permission to do so?

Either way, the abused individual learns the rules of society. In the same way, the "Child" player of the game gets to learn the ins and outs of the game as it goes on.
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dindenver
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« Reply #29 on: September 18, 2006, 08:24:28 PM »

Hi!
  I think that the Abuser, Community and Children need clearly-defined and different goals. So that siding with any of them has "consequences" Throwing in your lot with another child should have a risk, as should supporting the community, etc.
  Also, Maybe you should treat Voice like a slot machine. the Player decides that their character is using their Voice, he pays out his token, dice, what have you. Then, when all is rsolved, there is a payout of more Voice. so that using the voice a gamble. Maybe most times there is no payout, but sometimes there is a BIG payout. To make it work for you, you just have to massage the odds to match your view of the game's setting.
  So, to tie those two ideas together, maybe the Abuser wants to keep the Children's Voice down and the Community wants to keep the Mask up. Give them a way to accomplish this during a conflict. Like maybe the Abuser has a rating and that effects the odds of Voice paying out. And community has a mechanic that allows the character to use Mask without losing it?
  Just a few thoughts, hope you find them helpful!
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