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talking points for My Life with Master

Started by Paul Czege, September 30, 2003, 01:03:05 PM

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Paul Czege

So, Luke Crane's">very generous offer to sell copies of My Life with Master at">UberCon comes with a requirement. He wants "talking points." This is what I've come up with:
    "This is.... almost a mind-blowing idea from my perspective..."
Greg Costikyan

My Life with Master
by Paul Czege
(pronounced say-ga)[/list:u]
    [*]Player characters are the minions of a horrific and dysfunctional "Master." (Think Igor's relationship to Dr. Frankenstein.)

    [*]Minion characters have three numeric stats, Self-loathing, Weariness, and Love, which will fluctuate during play.

    [*]Player characters are a lot like the members of an ensemble cast TV program, each with their own storyline, and mostly not travelling around together like characters do in other games.

    [*]The Master is played by the GM, but created collaboratively by the group prior to play. For Master creation, see pages 9-17.

    [*]A minion's ability to resist the commands of the Master is based on growing Love through "overtures" to NPCs.

    [*]The game uses opposed pools of d4s.

    [*]NPCs do not have stats. So they can be invented on the fly by the GM, as needed.

    [*]"Endgame" is a climactic series of scenes that begins when one of the minions successfully resists a command from the Master. Endgame produces the death of the Master at the hands of a minion.

    [*]After Endgame, each player will narrate an Epilogue for their minion. Each minion's final values for Self-loathing, Weariness, and Love will inform the Epilogue, but the details are up to the player. See pages 40-41.

    [*]For an example of play, see pages 53-59.[/list:u]What do you think? Does it work? Anything missing? Should I replace the Costikyan quote with something else?

    My Life with Master knows codependence.
    And if you're doing anything with your Acts of Evil ashcan license, of course I'm curious and would love to hear about your plans

    Tim Alexander

    Hey Paul,

    I'd probably put something in there on the scene resolution, the fact that it alternates between Player and GM chosen, and that it's all one die roll. The sort of rigid framework that enables freedom is one of the things that makes the game so elegant in my mind. As for the quote, I like it, but then I've seen a bunch of quotes that would work well.


    Ron Edwards

    I dunno, Paul. They're descriptive, but kind of bloodless.

    I think of it as, the guy asks, What do you do? Answer: Try to get enough Love to defy the Master at last.

    (Yes, Mike, I know that's not what you have to do. It's what jazzes the newcomer, though.)

    Then maybe the talking points, although technical, could each be related to the basic idea.

    For paper support of the at-the-con talkbyte, I suggest grabbing a cool Berni Wrightston graphic from the internet and making cheap flyers, with some kind of shallow tag-line ... maybe half-page each. But that's getting into a new topic.


    Mike Holmes

    Quote(Yes, Mike, I know that's not what you have to do. It's what jazzes the newcomer, though.)
    I'm not sure if you're referring to me, but that's exactly how I sold the game at the Con. I totally agree that portraying it as a competition to be the one to kill the bastard is grabby as all get out. In fact, I more or less see actual play as occuring that way, in reality. I think the implicit Gamism fuels the story. How 'bout that for congruence? What's cool, however, is that at any point players can drop out of the rat race, and persue other interesting goals that the game suggests. Then it becomes a race to see if you can get your desired outcome set up before the lead player ends the game.

    This jockeying causes all sorts of interesting in-game ramifications. Perhaps my favorite part of the game.

    Member of Indie Netgaming
    -Get your indie game fix online.


    My immediate reaction was how can we make these points more visceral, easier to 'get'? I've just finished reading a book on marketing, so I focused on how do you describe these as benefits, rather than features?

    - Player characters are the minions of a horrific and dysfunctional "Master." You don't play Dr. Frankenstein, you play Igor.

    - The group collaborates to create The Master they'll be resisting prior to play. For Master creation, see pages 9-17.

    - The aim of the game is to resist the Master's horrific orders. You can the ability to resist the Master through performing acts of love to NPCs you care about. Once you've successfully resisted the Master, you can bring about his death. [OR: What Ron said.]

    QuoteMinion characters have three numeric stats, Self-loathing, Weariness, and Love, which will fluctuate during play.

    This didn't work for me so well because I couldn't grasp immediately what effect it'd have on play. Maybe if there was a description of the tone of games MLwM aims for? What sort of comedy? What sort of horror?

    QuoteThe game uses opposed pools of d4s.

    What's the benefit to using d4s? How can we present this so that the immediate reaction is "That's a cool idea," rather than "I don't have that many d4s"?

    As for the quote, I hadn't heard of Greg Costikyan before Paul posted the blog address. The quote is good and I really enjoyed reading his analysis. Will his name attached to the quote "jazz the newcomers" the most out of the quotes you've assembled?


    Gametime: a New Zealand blog about RPGs

    Tim Alexander

    Hey Again,

    Is this a handout? I more saw this as the reference sheet for the barker. Not that some color might not help.



    the talking points are just that, highlights from the game that you mentioned when i try to pitch it. I am not going to hand them out, I am going to use them to help me pitch. I need information so I don't sound like an idiot, but i don't want to read from a cue sheet and sound like a robot either.

    what i know about MLwM so far:
    I've played it once.
    It's different.
    You play minions in search of fulfillment and revenge.
    It's got fantastic reviews and did exceptionally well at GenCon.
    It's beautifully designed and inexpensive.

    Talking points will give me other bits to feed to interested parties, also TPs will allow me to answer players questions about game specifics better than i can now.

    does that help?