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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 77 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: Xuphia in play  (Read 5423 times)
Bankuei
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« on: May 16, 2003, 09:29:12 AM »

Played us some S&S last night via IRC and had a good time!

I'll comment on my experience in brief, and let Rod break off the main dealies about our game....

-Playing the jerk

I never really play arrogant sorts of characters.  I had a blast playing someone who I envision as Elric minus the depression/Razael from Soulreaver/Mel Gibson from Payback.  Literally the royal badass who doesn't give less than a fuck about you.  

What was really interesting is that as a player I felt I could cut loose unlike when I GM these sorts of NPCs.  I think personally it is knowing that I'm not "abusing" the players by doing so, which I think sits in the back of my head as a GM(not to mention that the players are the stars, don't upstage'em, right?).

-Visuals

Rod gets kudos from me for envisioning excellent scenes and painting them forth, including a funky vision, mystic otherworld, a freaky clockwork demon, amongst other things.  

-Driving our way towards our dooms!

Mike and I both began doing sorcery that wasn't necessarily...well, necessary.   Plus I keep pushing my character(Prince Sabbo) to do Humanity lowering sorts of actions.  This is completely different than the classic preserve hitpoints/humanity/reduce taint sort of turtle play that I'm used to seeing.  Definitely makes for cool scenes and makes every scene "count".

-Scene framing is key

I cannot, cannot emphasize how much this concept means in terms of play, not just for Sorcerer, but any game.  I am at a loss to consider how I used to play in comparison to scene framing.  Not only is it the tool for GMs, but I think it is necessary for players to understand as well.  I think Universalis and Trollbabe are the only two games that explicitly set up ways for players to get input into the scene set up, but I can't really see NOT playing with that option(aside from map based dungeon crawls).  

What was interesting for me to notice was the key points of:
-Location
-Who's there
-Why/What's Going On?
with those three being established through the efforts of the group as opposed to GM only-establishment.  I really think the idea of the story "ball" being handed back and forth is key.

Anyway, I can't wait for our next game, Ben will be joining us, and I want to see what occurs over a longer term with this.  

Chris
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 10459


« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2003, 09:46:34 AM »

Quote
Mike and I both began doing sorcery that wasn't necessarily...well, necessary.
Well, first, that's my character's MO. And secondly, he really did have a need that'll become apparent later. It was a short and stumbling session in some ways (we'll do better next time), and that meant that I really didn't get a chance to express much. You're character also had a pretty important reason, really. Both of our characters are experiencing being very alone, and resorting to their most potent skill for help. Not surprising, really.

Still, pretty nifty, and I'm also excited about Ben coming in. I agree with you about Rod's visuals, especially the demon Arc.

That said, Rod, there is a relationship map out there for us to collide with, right? Because if not, my character's going straight over the edge soon. He needs people to latch on to, or he's going to get lost in lala land permenantly.

Mike
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Rod Anderson
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Posts: 59


« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2003, 10:45:57 AM »

Quote from: Mike Holmes
Quote


That said, Rod, there is a relationship map out there for us to collide with, right? Because if not, my character's going straight over the edge soon. He needs people to latch on to, or he's going to get lost in lala land permenantly.

Mike



Yeah, Mike, there's people. To be honest with you, I missed a trick and started your character with the wrong Bang, as it were. I ran afoul of that devilish "hook the character vs. hook the player" issue, but with yesterday's session under my belt I think I can recover.

As for Chris's scene, I was really punting with that "Yar, the guards are chasing your sister" angle. I wonder what would have happened if I'd just said, in our pre-game conversation, "Look, my idea is kind of lame. Got anything?"
That said, that scene would have been much better had I actually PLAYED Sabbo's Demon instead of letting him be a lump. Prior to the game, I envisioned Oro really smelling weakness and getting bloodthirsty when Arc-Phalon deferred conflict, but I totally dropped the ball when we actually played.


With regards to both characters doing sorcery, I actually saw that as the *players* usng the sorcery rules to provide input as to where they wanted the game to go, and frankly, I  needed the help.


Rod


EDIT: I may be confounding my post-game thoughts of "what should have happened" with my pre-game thoughts of "what might happened". I may come back and try to talk about What I Learned more lucidly, later this evening.
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Bankuei
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« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2003, 11:28:33 AM »

Hi Rod,

I'm actually kinda glad you put in the sister bit...Not that I see Sabbo as lacking potential contacts(he's a prince, kind of naturally tied into a network...), but that I realized aside from the "Grr. vengeance" thing, I didn't give him much room for any other emotional interactions.  Feel free to add more to it!  

Also, when I was designing Oro as the demon, the concept was that he would be a great lever for you to "push things along" with him.  Given the general badassocity of Sabbo, I'd like to see Oro push even HIM beyond the edge...

In terms of the pacing, I found it was rather interesting to watch the story-ball get passed back and forth, with everyone leaving room for things to happen.  

For example, in setting up the Plague Tower scene, Rod pretty much left it in my hands of "where to go" next, but I think the implicit understanding was that the nature of the Sabbo/sister relationship would be the focus.  During that scene a bit of trading foreshadowing happens with the connection to House Azisra on Rod's part and the "threat of the princess coming to trouble" on my own part.

Later in the Unction town scene, Rod sets up the location, but I ran away with the "what's going on" of it(did I jump the gun there Rod?).

I find that the real meat of what goes on in play is a part of that scene framing(Where, Who, What/Why) and almost a trading of potential avenues on the parts of the players and the GM, through suggestions, actions, and bits of foreshadowing.

Chris
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2003, 11:32:18 AM »

Hi Chris,

Quote
I find that the real meat of what goes on in play is a part of that scene framing(Where, Who, What/Why) and almost a trading of potential avenues on the parts of the players and the GM, through suggestions, actions, and bits of foreshadowing.


Right in full. I first developed the skills involved in getting the whole group invested in this back in my Champions days, mid-80s through the early 90s. I wrote Sorcerer in the full heat of thinking and playing this way, and it still kind of boggles me that people come to it as a discovery through Sorcerer, rather than a pre-existing perspective necessary for play.

Best,
Ron
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Rod Anderson
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Posts: 59


« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2003, 12:05:43 PM »

It's probably not an exaggeration to say that, prior to this week, I (along with every other gamer I know personally) had been playing RPGs pretty much the same way (with periodic embellishments) since I was about nine years old. Although I've been following RPG theory for a while, this week was the first time that actual play experience seriously challenged some very entrenched habits of thought and practice.


Rod
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2003, 12:20:06 PM »

Hi there,

Quote
this week was the first time that actual play experience seriously challenged some very entrenched habits of thought and practice.


The cover does say, "You've never seen role-playing like this before." I still don't feel bad about that bit of brag.

I wish there was some way to punctuate the message in an effective promotional way, that isn't merely saying "No, rilly, I mean it!"

Best,
Ron
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Rod Anderson
Member

Posts: 59


« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2003, 03:14:56 PM »

I just remembered that I wanted to address the time management issues arising from online play. It can be a hassle, especially in those moments when (I suspect) the player and the GM are both looking at the screen thinking something like "Was he going to say something else? Should I post, or wait for him? It's been a while, maybe I'll -- d'oh, he posted!" I think I should take the tack of saying something like "Your line, Chris" to remove this ambiguity.

 I may also push a little more to "get to the die rolls" in some of these scenes; not that things like Sabbo stringing along the sacrifice-guy weren't fun, but I'd like to be able to wrap the game up earlier than we did last night and still feel like enough stuff has been accomplished.


Any thoughts, Chris and Mike?


Rod
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Bankuei
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« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2003, 03:33:22 PM »

Hi Rod,

I'd definitely say that an hour and a half is my brain limit for online gaming.  I'd also say that having an "end of line" signal is also a good idea.  Perhaps something like ending on "yt" for "your turn"?

Also, I'm usually waiting for a cue on dice rolls(and any dice bonuses).  I'd say whenever you want a roll, just give a cue("Ok, gimme the Will roll, +1 die for bonuses!"), and I'll skip to it.

By the way, I think OOC negotiation is vital in this regard.

Chris
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Rod Anderson
Member

Posts: 59


« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2003, 03:57:01 PM »

Quote from: Bankuei


By the way, I think OOC negotiation is vital in this regard.

Chris



Chris, do you mean using the OOC channel as a sideboard, or something more general?

I have a vague idea of what you might mean, but I'm fishing for an example to make it concrete. Can you illustrate?


Rod
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Bankuei
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« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2003, 04:31:40 PM »

Hi Rod,

As in, "Chris, are you going to off this guy?" as a literal cue to the pacing.  At that point I was waiting for a cue on you, and you were waiting for me to go, and neither one of us understood what the other was thinking.

Or, "Can I have a scene along these lines?", etc.

Chris
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Valamir
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Posts: 5574


WWW
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2003, 05:57:35 PM »

Some chat roleplaying boards I lurked on would add a # to the end of a line to indicate they were done and an & to indicate they had more to say and would appreciate not being interrupted.  

Might be less disruptive that way.
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Bankuei
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« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2003, 06:08:22 PM »

Thanks Ralph,

Much appreciated!

Chris
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Nev the Deranged
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Posts: 741

Dave. Yeah, that Dave.


« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2003, 05:49:21 PM »

The games I have played and ran typically use // to denote end of turn and + to denote a broken line (IE going to post again).  

 Also, I think it's pretty universal to use [brackets] to enclose OOC comments and communications.  Sometimes we use <carets> to denote game mechanics too, such as <+2 to Melee roll> or whatever.
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2003, 07:06:19 PM »

Uh, first, Rod, the OOC window helps a lot for these things IMO. That is if it's my turn, I type away madly on the IC window, and when I'm done, I type "done" or whatever in the OOC window. Or say something even more direct like, "is there anything more to do in this scene?"

Basically, it's a simple matter of good communications. In the military you're taught to end each communicaiton with, "over". That indicates to the other party that you're done. Until that point, they can consider you to still be talking, and not interrupt. If everyone plays that way, then you never have to wonder.

Civilains are sooo sloppy....It's just a matter of heads-up communications. Think about the context, and it all works fine, IME.

Mike
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