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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 158 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: Wushu: hard work, but rewarding  (Read 13578 times)
DaR
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« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2004, 05:33:50 PM »

Approaching from the cinematic standpoint definitely helped a lot.

We started out the night kinda fumbling a little, searching for ways to get embellishments.  As the session moved along, the descriptions became much more director storyboard in nature and seemed to get much easier, at least for me.  Once I started to think in terms of 'oh, how about a half second cut shot with the smoking shell spinning slowly towards the floor', even a single action could become the source of two or three embellishments.  Need to drop a few mooks?  How about just a few zooming jump cuts, with sound effects overlaying the bodies hitting the floor.  Matt and Mark dropped from the overhanging support beams and that became call for a quick multiple angle actions shot, showing the scene from above, below and a long distance shot from the floor.

By the end of the night, it was more like describing a movie we were all watching while we created it.  Very rewarding.

-DaR
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Dan Root
ReverendBayn
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« Reply #16 on: January 18, 2004, 06:50:34 PM »

Matt - Holy crap! You guys did something I've been trying to get players to do for months: communal narration. People improving off of each other's actions... cool! (It was just a vague idea back when I wrote the Wushu pdf, so there's not much in the rules for it.) We're way too dependent on turn-based play around here, which can make burn-out an issue.

Which brings me to the dominant topic. Yep, Wushu requires a lot more cognitive effort than more traditional RPGs. For those who like Wushu, however, I think it's effort they try to put into every game they play. I know I always approached games like a fight choreographer, rather than a board gamer or tactician, but modifiers and penalties always seemed to smack me down.

Anyway, I think communal narration is the best way to prevent burn-out and keep the Embellishments flowin'... if you can get it to work. Failing that, I try to keep my players inspired by setting each fight in a new and exiciting location, filled with new props & improv weapons. (I write up a new one each month for my RPG.net column, so I have a lot of material to work with.)

My games rarely go more than 3-4 hours, which also helps ;)

My best players are usually the ones who spend their "down time" between turns, scenes, or sessions thinking up new embellishments. Coming up with cool shit on the spot is never easy. Oh, and I'll second the Chateau fight recommendation :)

As always, YMMV. Burn-out can hit Wushu games hard, but there are lots of ways to deal with it. When/If I do a second edition, I'm definitely going to spend a few pages on this topic.

Great discussion, BTW. I'm happy to see so many people with Wushu actual play experience!

L8r, --Dan
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Loath Your Fellow Man
http://www.Bayn.org
John Harper
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« Reply #17 on: January 19, 2004, 02:36:14 PM »

Hey Dan,

Welcome to the Forge! Thanks again for making such a great game.

Here's a little rules variation we're trying out. For this Spycraft/Wushu game, we have the concept of "dangerous mooks." These are elite sorts (commandos, etc.) that have great equipment and training, but are still nameless fodder. They go down just as easy (one success reduces the threat level by one) but are a little more agressive. You need 2 defensive successes per round to avoid getting hurt. If you get only 1 or zero successes, you lose a point of Chi.

We've only used it in one fight so far, but it seemed to work as intended.
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Agon: An ancient Greek RPG. Prove the glory of your name!
ReverendBayn
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« Reply #18 on: January 20, 2004, 06:59:19 AM »

heh :)  I did the same thing in a recent Star Wars game, to represent mooks with weapons that were more dangerous to our heros. Except my guys actually _did_ two points of damage per round. If you only got 1 Yin success, you lost 1 point of Chi. If you got none, youn lost 2 points of Chi. It worked pretty much as intended: the players switched to a more defensive style & still ended up more badly hurt by the end of the fight.

L8r, --Dan
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Loath Your Fellow Man
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Ian O'Rourke
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« Reply #19 on: January 20, 2004, 07:31:52 AM »

Do you have to embellish everthing in Wushu or is there a mechanics for dealing with things that are not *that* important? Is that the purpose of scab rolls?
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Ian O'Rourke
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ReverendBayn
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« Reply #20 on: January 20, 2004, 02:47:35 PM »

Yep, that's what the scab rolls are for. They give you general guidance on level of success based only on one's Trait rating, no embellishments.

L8r, --Dan
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Loath Your Fellow Man
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James K.
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« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2004, 12:57:35 PM »

Quote from: ReverendBayn
Holy crap! You guys did something I've been trying to get players to do for months: communal narration. People improving off of each other's actions... cool! (It was just a vague idea back when I wrote the Wushu pdf, so there's not much in the rules for it.)

It's funny you should mention this, because as I set up for my first honest-to-goodness Wushu game, I specifically told the players that I wanted to utilize communal narration as often as possible.  It seems the best way to take advantage of Wushu's mechanics without a session turning into a series of "How cool am I?" monologues.  This is definitely an area that could use expansion in a supplement, or as part of a revised Wushu.
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Cabbages and Kings
www.cabbagesandkings.us
ReverendBayn
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« Reply #22 on: January 30, 2004, 10:09:57 PM »

I'd love to hear more about what you and your players did, as I continue to have trouble encouraging this style of play. If you'd rather not start a thread for this, just shoot me an email (dan@bayn.org).

Grazzi, --Dan
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Loath Your Fellow Man
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Valamir
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« Reply #23 on: January 31, 2004, 07:46:48 AM »

Well.  I was struggling for a moment to understand the question because the idea of kibbitizing to share ideas about what everyone thinks would be cool just seems like a pretty natural one.

"Yeah, and dude, when you do that back flip over the tanker, they shoot a rocket at you and it hits the truck which explodes, so that when you come down and land on the guys's car you're back lit by this huge fireball".

"Yeah, that would be cool...sweet"


Perhaps "doing it" is as simple as encouraging such kibbitzing, if your players are the sort who've been carefully trained over the years not to do that.

Alternatively (and I may be demonstrating how weak my Wushu Fu is here) you could allow the kibbitzers to earn the bonus dice for their suggestions instead of the player whose character uses them, as a way of providing a mechanical carrot, if you think that's necessary.
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