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Started by JoyWriter, July 14, 2009, 03:33:08 PM
QuotePsych did a really good job of fleshing out all the characters, as one character started off as "the hulk as a mercenary in a western" and turned into a Bulgarian immigrant who tries to buy acceptance
QuoteOn the other hand, when prepping, I could have done with dials of some kind. We didn't really reach agreement on tone, regrettably, and that could come back to haunt us.
QuoteWhile prepping I built up not only a basic pattern for the adventure, (on a rough 4 act basis) but also tried to find some interesting/thematic elements to build into things later, like finding random personal ways to hit each character or expansions to some of the npcs that could flower into full events. Hopefully I should have enough to work with whatever the characters do.
QuoteI'm undecided because he is basically not currently much of a "rustbelt" character
Quoteadversity across the moral spectrum.In playing this game, I have obvserved four general types of morality among Rustbelt PCs:1. Basically good; they stick to their ideals and look out for each other, or at least try to, despite how hard it is to do so. Hope is their keyword.2. Merely ugly; they'll do whatever it takes to get by, and don't go out of their way to help or harm unless they can help themselves in doing so. Tenacity is their keyword.3. Actively bad; faced with the cruel reality of life in the 'Belt, they say "fuck it" and commit atrocities with glee as an act of rejection, refutation, rebellion, and/or revenge against society, morality, and the universe in general (even if they don't think of it as such). Depravity is their keyword.4. Hard and stoic; they think that they can ride fences, remain unattached and inaccessible, and be just fine. They won't hurt nobody, and they won't let nobody hurt them – they'll just stay uninvolved. Detachment is their keyword.PCs hop between these all the time. They start as one and usually change to a different one by the end of a Yarn, and often go through another one or two on the way there. The PC who sticks with one of these all the way through a story is a minority case (and usually frightening and exhilirating in play).If you can identify which sort a PC is at a given time, that's a great handle for how to challenge them. Just look at their keywords: everything you need is right there. "Oh, you've got Hope, do ya? Just how much? What about when you get fired, your wife leaves you for your best friend, and your teenage son gets beat half to death by a street gang?""Oh, you're Tenacious, are ya? Are you tenacious enough sell out a buddy to get the money you need to eat and get your fix? I mean, it's him or you, right?""Oh, you're Depraved? Seriously? Even when this girl displays sincere, positive emotion for you and is trying to establish a connection no matter how horribly you treat her?""Oh, so you're Detached, huh? What about when your next-door neighbors get sold to slavers? Including their eight year old daughter? She used to play hopscotch in the street, right in front of your house."Those are, of course, pretty extreme examples. I just used extreme ones to hammer the point home. You want the extremity of the question to match the extremity of the PC's moral stance as closely as possible, and you want to start small and escalate from there. Take note that if you challenge low-grade hope and it stands up to the test, then that's an escalation of hope. Time to escalate the challenge against it.
Quote from: Marshall Burns on July 16, 2009, 01:45:07 PMI've run Rustbelt games where when Jordan's character is in the scene, it's a dark, seedy psychodrama mystery, and when Ryan's character is in the scene, it's a free-wheeling, anime-ish (in thematic, not cinematic, terms) Western. When they're both in the scene, it's really interesting -- because those two tones were both extensions of the characters' personae. Where they clash is where the characters will clash. Any reconciliation between these tones is reconciliation between the characters.
QuoteWe also got the price system working really well here, with Cody's player for the first time getting hit by how stubborn his character is; because he gave him ok-ish physical stats to show a very fit man well past his prime, he realised that the lifestyle Cody lives is only just within his grasp, and how important it is to him not to be injured.
Quote from: JoyWriter on August 13, 2009, 09:46:11 PMNo matter how many oppositions/dangers you have, your performance beating them means you resolve them all. But if they are higher than performance, then you must pay price for each individually. If there is active opposition, that can stop your action but is not mutually exclusive with it, then you must at least pay enough price to match it's performance, or your action will be stopped. Does this summarise how you meant it to be played?
QuoteAt this point we amused ourselves by having Victor fight his inebriation to get words out, with the price being sweat or saying the wrong thing, and the stat chosen colours how his player plays drunkenness.
QuoteHaving zeroed in on the matter at hand, Victor has saved himself from memory lane trips. This grew to be more of his thing as time went on, not avoiding background style characterisation, but embodying it as negative space in sudden cooperative or aggressive swiftness.
QuoteBut onto the outburst thing, the way we played replicated something I have observed in real conversation; sometimes arguments are just people trying to offload pent up fury to someone who will take it, and if not, it just goes round and round. It's really not about convincing anyone. The great part about rustbelt as we play it is that an outburst will not convince anyone of anything, it's just for you, unless you _mix_ it into trying to convince someone, where (as I later did it) it adds to the difficulty of the action, given the intensity of what you are trying to express. This makes everything up to (and often including) moral outrage a self-centred thing, where you can just spew venom and go home. Fascinatingly, to actually act to change something, requires a whole extra set of choices and commitments through the price system, which feels pretty life-like. You have to appeal to the person you just insulted to actually change, or go and move that stuff you were just shouting about. Satisfying!
Quote from: Marshall Burns on August 15, 2009, 12:20:09 PMQuote from: JoyWriter on August 13, 2009, 09:46:11 PMDoes this summarise how you meant it to be played?This is 100% correct.
Quote from: JoyWriter on August 13, 2009, 09:46:11 PMDoes this summarise how you meant it to be played?
Quote"If there are more than one challenge simultaneously, that would either provide an extra danger or also stop the characters intent succeeding, then do steps 1-4 as above.Step 5: Compare your performance individually to each different challenge. If in each case your performance is higher, then you avoid all the dangers and succeed with your character's intent. If not, then for each challenge where performance is lower, you must choose to push or give vs each one, with the price in each case equal to the difference between the challenge and performance. This can mean paying multiple prices simultaneously. If you give at one of them and not the others, it either stops you succeeding, and/or adds the danger to the result, depending on the type of challenge it is.Examples of other challenges are dangers of shooting bystanders in a firefight, or your leg injury stopping you vaulting a gap, or another character's interfering.If two characters intentions mean they are providing a difficulty to each other, but it is possible for both to succeed simultaneously, then add each one's performance as an extra challenge to the other's action. If your character beats it with their own performance or pushes to meet it, then they can overcome the interference. This doesn't mean they stop the other guy, only that the other guy didn't stop you. If they don't meet the challenge and give, then they don't get their goal because of the interference. Then carry on to steps 6 and 7, remembering to include who pushed against who's interference in the narration. [Then put in that bit about initiative]DeadlockIf the two or more characters' intentions cannot be met simultaneously, and the characters with the lower performance push to match the higher one, then they go into deadlock. [The deadlock stuff, moving from 2 character to 2+ character deadlocks, then back to mentioning steps 6-7, then I'd put in Cooperation and Preparation and the examples]
Quote from: JoyWriter on August 15, 2009, 09:10:45 PMAs an interesting note, this means that one character could push to meet a certain challenge, when under diametric interference, and then back down in a deadlock with the other character. I imagine a fight for a gun on a splintery bridge covering this; he could give vs getting the gun and not fall, or give vs falling and get the gun. Can you imagine what it would be like if one of the players gives vs falling but the other doesn't? I can imagine one of them hanging off the other still scrabbling for the gun, or them pulling it off the other after struggle and falling off the edge, Gollum style. If you take out initiative both are viable. Of course if they are particularly stubborn they could both just fall of the bridge still grappling!