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Author Topic: Playtesters of Nine Worlds, unite  (Read 13395 times)
AnttiK
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« Reply #15 on: August 12, 2003, 09:17:02 AM »

Matt said:
Quote
That said, I suggest to playtesters that players think of who their characters were before Prometheus awakens them, HOW Prometheus awakens them, and what they do now that they can traverse the Nine Worlds.


Yeah, this was exactly as we did it. The human-archon contrast was there just to ease the former WoD players into the character creation.

About Tricks:
This is how I have understood the mechanics. After comparing the hands, the character with the highest Fate value gets a Trick per face card/joker/ace in both his own and his opponent's chosen hand. No cards exchange hands (ever). These tricks must be used with the Urge employed in the conflict.

But if your character is also defeated by another, then that entity gets the Tricks from your hand. This doesn't stop you from using Tricks against the one who defeated you though, right?

"Once victorious players have allocated their Tricks..." Page 16, To the Victor, first paragraph. Does this mean the counting up of Tricks or the actual use of them. If the use of Tricks is done during the narration, as I have gathered, doesn't this mean that the lowest Fate narrator, who gets to narrate first can actually have the advantage.

For Example, Archon 1, knowing his greatly victorious opponent Archon 2 has only Stasis Tricks to use, gets to lower A2's jeopardized Virtue to 0 before A2 gets to lock it. Is this right? Is it intended?

Cheers,

Antti K

Anticide Illustrations:
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Matt Snyder
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« Reply #16 on: August 12, 2003, 10:20:07 AM »

First off, Mike, I totally understand where you're coming from and what you're saying about not "getting" what an Archon is. The text will need work, as I've already said.

However, I am only slightly concerned that you're making a mountain out of a molehill here. Being an Archon is just neato. It's not what matters. What matters is being a human. When you say:

Quote
In Nine Worlds, I am asked to make an Archon. A what? Then I'm asked to pick muses to indicate what's important to him. I don't get that.


I have to scratch my head, because the answer has nothing to do with the fact that the character is an Archon (or a Sorcerer or a Warrior or a Gunfighter), and everything to do with the fact that he's a person who has to deal with problems, emotions and relationships like everyone else. Why is picking Muses so hard? Just figure out what muses matter to a PERSON, and don't worry about "what matters to an Archon."

Also (alternatively?) consider inserting "Mage" whenever you see Archon. Does that help clear it up for you now? (And, naturally, I'll have to figure out how to clear it up in the text, too.)

I am currently writing the setting material. It will be about equal length if not longer than the playtest version. I felt there were enough tidbits and examples illuminating the setting that folks could get by and be able to play the setting.

Quote
Either you have it in your head as to the what to do, and haven't gotten it down, or you need to get a sense of it yourself. Have you playtested the game yourself? It might be at the point where you need to playtest it so that your vision of the "what do you do" comes out in play.


Do the narrative examples throughout the rules chapter not help you "get" the setting and what you do in it? I labored over those examples expressly for this purpose -- to show, not tell, what you do in the setting. Did that not work for you? You don't seem to acknowledge the rules "in action" via examples as explaining the "what you do" element. What about anybody else?

Besides that, it's Muses, Muses, Muses. These are Spiritual Attributes, unabashedly stolen from Riddle of Steel. In Riddle of Steel you fight, in Nine Worlds you travel. But what do you DO in RoS? Deal with and resolve emtional drives. How is this confusing? Is the color of the setting tripping you and others up? Is it just plainly not written well enough yet?

Re: Characters in groups: There will indeed be factions and groups, as is hinted at in the examples (Aquarians, Aegis, Atlantean Corsairs, as examples).

Oh, and what keeps player characters is relationships and Muses that are interlinked. Can I presume you had guessed that, but did not find the text as currently written as satisfactory in that regard?
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Mike Holmes
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« Reply #17 on: August 12, 2003, 10:32:59 AM »

I'll let others iron out the Tricks thing. Seems pretty straightforward to me. I have a couple of other topics, however.


You ought to make explicit certain "buck stops here" things, Matt. You tend to state things neutrally. For example, it doesn't say anywhere who decides what's "appropriate" in terms of Muses to be used in a Conflict. Phases are described as being anywhere from seconds to years. Who decides? Or, if it's a group sort of thing, who has final say? As written, it might imply that the player has full authority to determine what's "appropriate" in terms of Muses. Why not just always say that they're all applicable if that's the case? If it's the GM's call, we need to know. There are a few places like this.


Instead of counting all the cards up in case of ties, why not use a sorcerer-esque method, and just look at the highest ones, and compare. If these are tied, then go to the next pair, etc. If the opponent has no opposing card for comparison, you win. Only in the case of exactly the same cards, then, would you have to go to the single card draws. For narration, just do the reverse.

This has several effects:
* it's much quicker than adding things up.
* ties at this level would be even more rare (they have to be the same cards, not just the same total).
* it makes the kings more valueable than queens, etc. meaning that the player has to discriminate (in the system as is, you only have to consider that as a third tier assumption).
* it intensifies the strategy, as one has to look at the potential chain of effects, as opposed to simply posting the highest total. For instance, if I have three of each of two suits that have the same Urge value, instead of simply putting out the one with the highest total, I may have to consider a chain that's lower in total value, but has a very high card to start. So a queen, 3, 2, may be a better option than a 10,9,8, depending on how many other cards the opponent has. What's really cool, however, is that if It makes playing the Q, 2 (with the potential trick), a lot more attractive in comparison to the 10, 9, 8. Basically it encourages gambling.

Also, what ever you do, I'd skip having a third tier draw-off. Given the rarity under either system, I'd have some cool third event happen, other than win/lose. The obvious choices are actual ties, or delays, etc, but given the background, I'm sure you can come up with something more dramatic.

I also must mention that there's something in me that wants even more strategy to the card play.

As it stands there's no inter-player play, really, it's just the player trying to figure out their best hand from what they have. As an example, cards could be selected one at a time from the lowest the player intends to play, going up. Once during the chain the player could change suits. So the player has a chance to see what they're up against, and play out potentially multiple strategies. It would also allow bluffing by playing a middling card of a suit to start, you're saying that the following will all be higher, which might not be true as you then change suit. Anyhow, not a great example, but by doing something like this, you make for intra-player competition in the mechanic. Which I think would be cool.

Also, something like this would solve another problem that I see, which is that you don't have an order for play right now. That is, you simply say that players place their cards in play. But wouldn't you wait to see what your opponent laid? If he plays a low hand, then perhaps you can get more tricks by playing a hand that would not, otherwise, be the one most likely to win (especially aces). Therefore, everyone has incentive to wait until everyone else has played, and nobody will play.

You need to have an order. If it's all simo, that's fine, but a player would have to select his hand, place it face down, and then, when all have selected, reveal. Even that's not fair, however, as a player might note the size of the hand to be played, which could give an advantage. Playing cards simo, one by one, solves this, and adds a dramatic build up to the resolution (though it would be longer).

Other things could be added to intensfy strategy in the card play. Aces, for instance, seem very special. To really get people to gamble with them, have them worth two tricks instead of one (and if using the comparison method I have above, they are the first card that's compared, but still the lowest value, making them really risky), or maybe make this the function of twos. You could allow a player to discard four cards to pick another one. This would rapidly deplete a player's hand, but it would allow them to gamble when they think their hand isn't enough (OTOH, it allows strong hands to increase as well).

Lot's of possibilities.


One more thing. Have you considered only allowing "directorial control" on Hubris attempts only? And balancing out Arete with some other ability? I think that given the definition of Hubris that this might be appropriate, thematically.

Mike
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« Reply #18 on: August 12, 2003, 10:34:25 AM »

Quote
About Tricks:
This is how I have understood the mechanics. After comparing the hands, the character with the highest Fate value gets a Trick per face card/joker/ace in both his own and his opponent's chosen hand. No cards exchange hands (ever). These tricks must be used with the Urge employed in the conflict.


Absolutely correct.

Tricks is NOT "Stunts" or "magic tricks." Tricks is language from card games in which you capture Tricks (see Pitch, the game that inspired these mechanics, if loosely so).

Quote
But if your character is also defeated by another, then that entity gets the Tricks from your hand. This doesn't stop you from using Tricks against the one who defeated you though, right?


Correct. If you are "beaten" in a conflict, the character/entity that beat you may take the Tricks in your hand. However, if you were beaten by one character, but victorious over a DIFFERENT character, then you can capture the Tricks from the different character. You just very likely won't get to keep your own.

Quote
"Once victorious players have allocated their Tricks..." Page 16, To the Victor, first paragraph. Does this mean the counting up of Tricks or the actual use of them. If the use of Tricks is done during the narration, as I have gathered, doesn't this mean that the lowest Fate narrator, who gets to narrate first can actually have the advantage.


This is a bit misleading, as it's poorly written. I've discussed this with Ethan Greer (if memory serves). Forget the first clause of that sentence. Tricks aren't really allocated until the victorious player narrates. So, instead of "Once victorious players have allocated their Tricks" it should say something like "Once victorious players have added up all of their Tricks . . . . "

Quote
For Example, Archon 1, knowing his greatly victorious opponent Archon 2 has only Stasis Tricks to use, gets to lower A2's jeopardized Virtue to 0 before A2 gets to lock it. Is this right? Is it intended?


Correct. Yes, this is intentional, if a bit nasty. Odds are likely that the "most" victorious player will also have the most Tricks. While the "least" victorious player can snipe at him first, the "most" victorious player can then decide where to direct his Tricks -- he could heal the damage done to him, and then inflict some of his own in turn, assuming he's earned more tricks, for example.

In this case, the most victorious player isn't totally screwed, however. What he can do is spend Muse ratings to increase his Arete score back to a respectable value, THEN lock it in place. This probably isn't clear in the rules text, but is legal (because I say so, darn it!). The player is in charge of his own tricks, and there's no one around to "pre-empt" him from spending Muses first to restore his Arete. So, he does that first, THEN applies the lock, narrating as he goes.

Remember, the rules state only that the player must restore his virtue before the phase ends (otherwise, he perishes). The rules do not say when spent Muse ratings actually change the virtue (whether Arete or Hubris).
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Lxndr
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« Reply #19 on: August 12, 2003, 10:42:46 AM »

page 19 - why does Aegis capture Tricks from Alexander, but Lydia is unable to capture Tricks from Aegis in response?  Lydia was "victorious" over Aegis just as much as Aegis was "victorious" over Alexander, no?  In what situation are these things "captured"?
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Mike Holmes
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« Reply #20 on: August 12, 2003, 10:49:28 AM »

Following up on the above post,

Matt, one, I've never played Mage, which I assume you're talking about. If you're talking about Wizards in general, well, the one thing I do get from the text is that these are not like the Mages I play in fantasy games. In any case, I think it's dangerous to assume that people will just pick up on such associations.

And in any case, from what I hear of the WW game, this is a problem in that game as well. But it, at least (I presume) has splats to choose from to flesh out your character.

Second, it totally matters to me as a player what sort of archtype my character is in terms of what makes sense to me in terms of SAs, Sorcerous motive, Devil, or Muses. For example, I would never take as my Devil for my gunfighter, Nagging Wife, because it wouldn't be a character I'd want to play (and it's not even allowed as an SA). I did take that as the motive for my last Sorcerer character, because it totally made sense for a Sorcerer. And that may be just a personal thing (there may be some people who'd want to play the Gunfighter with the Nagging Wife, I dunno), but, well, I'm relating my own feelings to you.

You want to know if the game will inspire people to play? Well, I can't even think of a character. Gave it the old college try. But a game has to have something to inspire characters as a whole. Not just randomly chosen parts, but as Gestalts that speak to the player. And looking at what you have, I'm just not "getting" anything. I need to understand the archeype to start.

Now, you're writing up the setting? Well, that's all you had to say. With enough inspiration (or at least a GM who "gets" it), I'd probably have no problem at all.

I dunno, maybe it's the sim side of me coming out. But there you have it.

Mike
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« Reply #21 on: August 12, 2003, 11:11:31 AM »

Quote from: Lxndr
page 19 - why does Aegis capture Tricks from Alexander, but Lydia is unable to capture Tricks from Aegis in response?  Lydia was "victorious" over Aegis just as much as Aegis was "victorious" over Alexander, no?  In what situation are these things "captured"?


No, you must declare an opponent at the start of the phase. You cannot capture Tricks from just anyone in the conflict. Again, this needs to be clarified, hence request for critiques!

In the example you cite, Lydia actually does capture Tricks from Aegis, but it's not obvious she has. The text says only that she "earns" 5 Tricks. I'll expand the example to show that:

1) Aegis captures tricks from Alexander

2) Lydia earns her own tricks AND captures a couple FROM AEGIS (not from Alexander).

In all conflicts, you MIGHT get to keep your own tricks from your cards, AND you MIGHT get to capture Tricks from opponents you beat. Thing is, someone else might beat you to capturing those.

Say you and your ally fight a pair of titans. You both are victorious against one of the Titans, but your ally's Fate value is higher. He decides he wants all the Tricks. However, the OTHER Titan beat you. He captures your Tricks. You're screwed. You have earned NO tricks, despite a good showing. However, your goal IS fulfilled, which is probably more important anyway.

(FYI, there is no limit to declared opponents -- yes this means you can really, really kick ass if outnumbered given a good hand on your part)
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« Reply #22 on: August 12, 2003, 11:17:52 AM »

That's fair, Mike. Like I said, I did understand where you were coming from. If you have no idea how to make a character, then it's something I'm concerned about revising. Seriously. On the other hand, I've said all along that Nine Worlds is NOT for everyone. It's a pretty unusual concept, and I do not ever expect it to have the same easy, wide appeal that Dust Devils did. This is modern magical fantasy, genre-wise, and a weird take on it at that. I don't expect everyone to dig it. That's cool.

Yes, if it has been unclear THIS IS NOT THE WHOLE GAME, FOLKS. The setting and "how to GM" chapters you haven't seen yet (neither have I, alas. . . . )will more than double the book's size. This is only the first three chapters. Effectively, the whole of the system.

Oh, and I would TOTALLY play a gunfighter with a nagging wife. Sure, it'd be for laughs, but what laughs! See: Paint Your Wagon, Hallelujah Trail, Blazing Saddles, Support Your Local Gunfighter and Support Your Local Sheriff.
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« Reply #23 on: August 12, 2003, 11:20:25 AM »

Hi Matt,

Mike's actually put his finger on it for me.

You say the core of a player-character is the "person," not the Archon stuff. OK, that's good.

So what about the person pegs him or her as a player-character? How is that reflected in character creation or during play?

Let's take Megan, Dorothy, and Jane. Three people. Sticking solely with the "person" stuff, and not one bit of the Archon stuff, what's the impetus for play. In technical terms, what am I Exploring Character about?

Maybe the way to go is to ask, Matt, say you were making up a Nine Worlds player-character. Her name is Megan.

... go! Show us how. Remember, not one bit of Archon stuff, it's totally not what I need to know.

Best,
Ron
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« Reply #24 on: August 12, 2003, 12:20:03 PM »

Why the challenge, then Ron? You said yourself that "the core of a player-character . . . is not the Archon stuff." Isn't that just like saying "the core of a Sorcerer player character is not the demon stuff?" What is the difference? That we "get" Sorcerers because we have some kind of occult knowledge/tradition, but don't "get" archons because concepts like the demiurge are more obscure? Is that just getting distracted by color? Or, is it more fundamental? Or is getting distracted by color a serious problem? (I'm asking earnestly, not foolishly railing against criticisms that I requested! That goes for this whole post.)

You either get the game, or you don't. If I can write it better, I will definitely address that! Still, not everyone will pick up this game and go, "Aha! What we've all been waiting for all these years!" I knew that going in. When all's said and done, I'll do my damnedest to help those interested but on-the-verge "get it," as I've said.

In other words, I don't see picking up a game and saying "I don't get it" as useful criticism, per se. Sure, if there are clarity issues, we'll work through those. But I don't see any substantical difference between "I don't get it" and "I probably wouldn't play this" and "I can't think up a character idea" and "I think modern fantasy games with subjective realities are really boring/lame/whatever." All of those statements indicate to me that this is not the game for you. Thus far, none of those statements are very helpful in improving the game I'm working on.

What is an archon? It's a creative person. In setting terms, it's a creative person, an imaginative human being who can really DO the shit they imagine in their head. This game is ABOUT being creative. It challenges players to be creative via narration, and it "tests" characters to decide whether they'll live in someone else's world (the gods) or one of their own making. If that doesn't grab you, I shrug. That's the game, and it may not be for you. If you can't think up a character concept like you would for Sorcerer or Mage or Nobilis or Riddle of Steel, I'll do my damnedest to lead you to water. You'll have to drink, though.

So, I'm saying: What is it you need if you're not "getting" this game yet?

Clearly, I get it, so it's hard to be objective. I also see how it could be hard to think up a concept like "I want to play one of Hermes' corporate vice presidents who's about to be a whistleblower on the quicksilver trade." Particularly so if you don't know the setting. So, what do you need to do that? More setting details, as Mike suggests? More explanation of what the hell an Archon is? More play & narration examples? Better written ones?

I'm having a hard time seeing the challenge Ron presented as instructive. Here goes, regardless:

Megan's concept

Megan is a young woman who has lived on the streets with her younger sister since she was 12. Her parents were deadbeats, and they just left them one day with a sandwich and two $5 bills. Despite her better efforts, she eventually turned to prostitution to make some money. But it wasn't enough. One ugly day, she came home to an empty aparment. Her sister had vanished. She sought desperately to find her. She failed. Then he showed up. A new pimp that treated her . . . different. He talked to her, told her strange things. he didn't want anything from her. She thought it was the drugs. Then she found out it wasn't. He was Prometheus, and he set her free.

Characterisitics

I, as a player "don't get it" and decide to just assign attributes as evenly as I can.

Arete: 4
Hubris: 5

Cosmos: 3
Chaos: 2
Metamorphosis: 2
Stasis: 2

Muses

This part, I get. I have a neat idea for a troubled teen character, a girl who aims to find her own inner beauty and power.

Love (4): Loves her little sister, who’s vanished.
Quest (3): Find out what ever happened to her parents, who abandoned her.
Code (2): Do things independently, without the help of others.

This is a perfectly legitimate, totally human and personal character. No crazy cosmological stuff hard-coded into the character. She's well suited for an "all Earth" series of sessions, but could easily stowaway aboard the Wayfarer or get lost in the crime-ridden underworld of Heliopolis, Apollo's city on the Sun.

The GM will likely take "non-Archon" things on Megan's character sheet like "sister's vanished" and turn it into "sister kidnapped by Titans" as play unfolds (players will contribute to the facts of the story as it unfolds, too). If they don't do something like this, I'd say they're playing the wrong game.  Better check out something like Nicotine Girls, yeah?

Did the examples in the rules chapter not do a sufficient job of showing what you do in this game? I'm still not seeing a reply in that regard.
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« Reply #25 on: August 12, 2003, 12:27:11 PM »

I posted a question earlier that I think got lost in the shuffle:

Quote
Does Earth have aethership ports or anything like that? If not, how does one get OFF Earth? Can you be an Archon from somewhere other than Earth?


I would like to see an answer to this question (even if it's just "that's forthcoming in the setting information") because "how you actually get off Earth" seems pretty important if you want to get into the aether.  And "can you play someone from somewhere other than Earth?" also seems, at the very least, an interesting question.

If I wanted to get off Earth, and to Neptune, let's say (and your Glossary doesn't describe Neptune or Uranus one bit - is that on purpose?), where would my Archon go?
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« Reply #26 on: August 12, 2003, 12:39:19 PM »

Quote from: Lxndr
I posted a question earlier that I think got lost in the shuffle:

Quote
Does Earth have aethership ports or anything like that? If not, how does one get OFF Earth? Can you be an Archon from somewhere other than Earth?


I would like to see an answer to this question (even if it's just "that's forthcoming in the setting information") because "how you actually get off Earth" seems pretty important if you want to get into the aether.  And "can you play someone from somewhere other than Earth?" also seems, at the very least, an interesting question.

If I wanted to get off Earth, and to Neptune, let's say (and your Glossary doesn't describe Neptune or Uranus one bit - is that on purpose?), where would my Archon go?


Yes, sorry man! I was just re-reading the entire thread, noting questions that remain unanswered, yours among them.

Earth has aetherports. However, they are disguised since the dominant sleeper populace remains ignorant of the universe (like Nobilis -- or so I'm told -- to whoever posed that question. Mortals on Earth are oblivious, explaining things away with "science" or superstition or whatever). This will indeed be covered more so in the setting chapter. I appreciate such questions so I know how much cosmology and how many metaphysical questions to address in the text!

You can indeed play a mortal from a place other than earth. Mortals exist on almost every world (very few on Saturn or in Hades). However, you and your group should work through the themes of "awakening". How does Prometheus fit into your becoming an Archon, if at all?

Yes, Neptune and Uranus (and Pluto) are indeed missing on purpose. The Nine Worlds cosmology is that of the ancient astrologers. They were right, science is wrong, in this cosmology. To astrologers, there were 7 planets, (they counted the Sun and Moon as planets). I added "earth" as a planet, and made the Underworld a kind of shadow world enveloping all of the others orbiting earth. Hence, 9 worlds.
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« Reply #27 on: August 12, 2003, 12:40:18 PM »

Matt,

I think it's game-defeating to keep throwing flags that say "I knew most people won't get this!" no matter if it's true or not. I think what's going on right here is not "I don't get it" but "What's to get?" It's hard to get quantum physics but it's even harder if you're trying to do that by reading Winnie the Pooh.

Okay, anyone here can make Character X from Anywhere, USA. Okay great. For most games this isn't much of a problem. It's the old "the GM will lead me" kinda deal. But in a game where the players are not only expected but required to deal evenly in the narration you need to provide them with as many tools as possible.

It seems to me you know this; you're asking people what they would like to see. For me, more cosmology and a lot more examples. I think it would be a good idea to give character creation examples for three PC: one who was pre-initiate, one who was a new Archon, and one who is old hat in the Archoning game. Then take each character in turn and progress them. A big question for me is: Why did Prometheus awaken me? What about me captured his eye? Is this answerable or is Prometheus just that big on shaking stuff up?
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« Reply #28 on: August 12, 2003, 01:07:15 PM »

Quote
I couldn't get a feel for what was really going on in the setting from the quick start. Earth I guess is the Earth of today with all of the planets being just planets as we know them...but then theres an "other world" like Nobilis that exists on top of our world and that's where the game is largely played. I couldn't tell to what extent people in general are aware of Archons (the way they're aware of Super Heroes...the way some have become aware of Vampires...or the way everyone is oblivious to them like Nobles).
Quote


You've almost got it. The world as we modern, rela folks know it is an illusion, an artificial creation devoid of metaphysical Virtue or Power. There is no pluto becaue the Eternals don't recognize its value. There are no galaxies or God or whatever for the same reason. The Nine Worlds are real, they are Truth because the gods and titans say so. Humanity on earth, however, remains oblivious to all this.

Quote
I also couldn't get a sense of what the Immortals and Titans are really up to. I understand there's a war...but what does it look like . . . . Are there armies marching under the banner of immortals ala War Gods of Aegyptus (or whatever that minis game is called). Is it all naval battles with aether ships like in Treasure Planet. Is the "war" more subtle of plots and assassinations and duels of deep magic. When Zeus isn't busy fighting Titans...what's he doing.


Yes.

But seriously, folks. First and foremost, it looks like what you as a group say it does. Want a Cold War analog? Go nuts. Want War Gods of Egyptus? Set some sessions on the battlefields of Mars and have a ball. Hornblower-meets-Borges navy battles? Cool -- do that. All of these things are happening, but usually happening in small doses in different regions.

"Officially" (meaning, how I'll mostly write it in the book) it's most like the Cold War, with the Eternals (gods) and Titans maneuvering subtly, sometimes not so subtly. Lots of intrigue, blockades (and blockade runners, of course), political schemes, all treading upon the humanity of the players involved.

Quote
I also couldn't understand the role of the Archons within this war. Is it "every Archon for them selves"


The Archons take all sorts of roles in the ongoing Titanomachy. Some are "Do as thou wilt, every Archon for himself-ers". Others are members of factions like the Aquarians who are sorta like CNN meets Greenpeace. They want the world to Wake Up. Others work for the Eternals, others for the Titans.

I think the setting chapter will really answer a lot of questions that are being raised here. I'm writing it, I'm writing it, already!
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Matt Snyder
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« Reply #29 on: August 12, 2003, 01:07:39 PM »

Mike, I re-read the Nine Worlds playtest thread, and these two passage really struck me as why I'm having a hard time "getting" what you're, um, "not getting."

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What Ralph said goes for me as far as not being able to get a sense of "what goes on". I mean, in Sorcerer, you make a sorcerer, and are asked to come up with why they're a sorcerer. I get that ....


I'm with you half way on this one, because while I see what you're saying, I don't think your example answers your own question.

That is, yes, you "get" a sorcerer. But what does a sorcerer DO? Or, as you say, "What goes on?" That you "get" a sorcerer (or a gunfighter, etc.) does not answer "What goes on."

For example, that you get "gunfighter" does not mean that "what goes on" is the same in Dust Devils as compared to Deadlands or as compares to Sidewinder. They're all different games with different stuff going on. Whether you "get" gunfighter or almost is separate from what's going on in play.

Later, you said:

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Matt, one, I've never played Mage, which I assume you're talking about. If you're talking about Wizards in general, well, the one thing I do get from the text is that these are not like the Mages I play in fantasy games. In any case, I think it's dangerous to assume that people will just pick up on such associations.


Great, but again, you're saying you "get" a fantasy wizard based on your experiences, just as, conversely, you don't "get" an Archon based on lack of experiences. You're not explaining the "what goes on" in play when you say you "get" a fantasy wizard. Are we talking a D&D wizard? An Ars Magica one? A Mage: Sorcerer's Crusade wizard? Very much different "what goes on" stuff occurs in these separate games.

And yet, your critiques indicate that I haven't explained both how to "get" an Archon and "what goes on."

All of this is related to whether you can make a character concept. I believe the criticism relates to the fact that because you aren't sure "what goes on" in 9W, you're having a hard time making a character, regardless of whether or not you have any experience or knowledge of what an Archon is (i.e. that you "get" Archons).

Can we agree that whether you "get" an Archon, based on experience or whatever, is far less important than "what do I do when I play an Archon?" If so, I'm still hoping to hear whether the examples through the rules chapter explain it for you. Still thinking on how else to make this better.
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Matt Snyder
www.chimera.info

"The future ain't what it used to be."
--Yogi Berra
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