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Author Topic: MLWM First Session: Are We Doing This Right?  (Read 4003 times)
Lisa Padol
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Posts: 365


« on: September 21, 2004, 05:48:28 PM »

Apologies if this ought to be on the MLWM forum -- I didn't want to cross post, and it seemed closest to Actual Play.

My Life With Master Attempt, First Session

I'm not sure if we're doing this right. We wound up wondering if MLWM constituted an rpg or a storytelling game with occasional roleplaying or what. I'm a bit less interested in what category it's in than whether we played it as we meant to play it.

As expected, we mostly did character creation, though I did run a scene or two. The plan was to play from about 1 pm until 6 or so, when our host's weekly Saturday night game would start. Participants in MLWM were myself, Joshua Kronengold, Avram Grumer, Beth Bartley, Matt Stevens, and our host, Erik Hanson.

We started late, of course. You see, Friday night, most of us go to Columbia University's Games Club, which runs till 3am. Erik begged off GC, and it was his apartment, so he was ready to open doors at 12:30, as promised. Matt left fairly early (around midnight / 1 am' I think), Beth maybe an hour later, and both arrived after Josh and I set out for Erik's (about 12:50 pm), but before we arrived at about 2 pm. (We'd gone with a friend, Stephen Tihor, to eat at Big Nick's, after GC, arriving home after 5am.) We left messages for Avram and began the Ritual of Chinese Food Ordering. Avram showed up, and we discussed concepts.

Shakespeare's Prospero and P. T. Barnum were considered, but we decided we should create a more traditional Master for our first game. Also, Matt saw little practical difference between an overtly silly Master and a Master with Weird Science to closely akin to magic. A matter of taste, sure, but an important one.

We created Maximillian Walken (pronounce the "W" as a "V"), a master who was either fallen nobility or noveau riche. He wanted to be taken seriously by the old nobility. To that end, he planned to start a factory, make lots of money, and arrange a wedding between his daughter, Gretchen, and a nobleman. The factory would require village folk as laborers. We kicked around the idea of using the breath of innocent kids, but discarded it.

We decided to start with Fear 4 and Reason 5. While I found MLWM read well in theory, Avram noted that it would help to have something along the lines of, "For a one session game, these values of Fear and Reason work well. For two sessions, try these." And so on. We aren't sure if our values are good for a 2-3 session game.

I curled up in Josh's lap and zonked out while folks passed the book around, discussing Minion creation. When I woke up, everyone was giggling helplessly at Matt's suggestion of an Evil Clown Minion named Muggles, who lived in the basement of the Master's factory. We decided not to go with this, although we did riff on it.

Matt: Well, we'll just say he lives in the factory basement. And, y'know... kills people.

Josh: Riiight. Now that I've talked you into playing this character, do you mind if I talk you out of it?

Matt suggested that Muggles could help the Master by stuffing dozens of victims into a clown car.

Lisa: Clown car! Clown car!

Avram: But, Master! I had to scrape three people out of the glove compartment yesterday! Please, no!

Erik: The clown car came from the Japanese Sumo Wrestler's convention, with a Smell That Man Was Not Meant To Know.

Avram (as the Master): Bwah-hah-hah! With these cars I can move entire nations!

Once we caught our breath, I asked what folks had come up with.

Timmy Deeth (Matt), Dwarf Foreman, often walking on stilts

Self-loathing: 3
Weariness: 0
More than human: Weirdly Intimidating except to anyone smaller than he is. Children just find him a funny man.
Less than human: Weaker than normal (can't find the exception written down)
Connections: Stray dog, Muck. Sweet little town girl, Franka.
Comments: I think this concept is beautiful, but Matt decided to bow out after this session. This didn't surprise me; MLWM's not his kind of game.

Otto (Erik)
Self-loathing: 0
Weariness: 3
More than human: Can make incredible mechanical objects, except when they are praised by those using them
Less than human: Cannot see, except for things right in front of his face
Connections: Precoscious schoolboy, Johan. Middle-aged spinster, Fraulein Maria.
Comments: Otto used to make toys, but they always broke. He now makes factory machines which the workers who use them hate.

Ms. Sarah Grey (Beth), Governess to Gretchen
Self-loathing: 1
Weariness: 2
More than human: Persuasive, except to red haired men
Less than human: Helpless in a fight, except when defending ward
Connections: Master's daughter, Gretchen. Town schoolmistress, Eva Klein
Comments: A creepy governess is a stock character, but I'm not sure we have the More than human down pat. Does the ability seem too weak? Too powerful? I presume it shouldn't work on the Master or the Minions, even if they aren't red haired men. I think any kinks we hit happened because I didn't come up with a good idea for a scene for her.

Lugos, aka "Lug" (Avram), construct
Self-loathing: 2
Weariness: 1
More than human: Extremely strong, except when he hasn't been maintained
Less than human: Cannot pass for human, except in the dark.
Connections: Town librarian, Fritz. Schoolmistress Eva Klein.
Comments: Lugosh is a construct pieced together from body parts. Avram asked if Minions could have the same connections. Any reason they can't? The Master dug up the body of Eva's husband, using the heart for Lugosh. This was an attempt to create tireless workers, but this proved not to be cost effective, which is why Lugosh is the only one. He breaks into the library to read, and I think he steals books he likes.

Karl (Josh), child thief
Self-loathing: 1
Weariness: 2
More than human: Can hide anywhere except when in the country
Less than human: Can't read, except names
Connections: Master's daughter, Gretchen. Ernst and Gertrude Schmidt, village couple whom he believes to be his parents. They count as a single connection.
Comments: Josh decided not to play a wolf after all. Originally, he wanted for a More than human trait "Steal anything except something larger than he is", but we vetoed that. Should we have allowed it? It seemed to powerful. We considered "Good thief, except when distracted by food", and Josh mentioned, "Can steal anything, except what he most wants." Is the young thief a suitable Minion? If so, should he be allowed to steal the shoes off of someone wearing them? The color of someone's hair? Love? Josh noted that stealing love would not be the same as being given love.

By now, the GM for Erik's evening game had arrived, and he watched in astonishment and asked questions as I clumsily ran the Master giving assignments and Minions carrying them out. A prince was coming to town, and the Master wanted to impress him.

Timmy Deeth was told to keep the workers at the machines night and day. He didn't try to resist the master. Otto was told to build a machine to beat any workers who slacked off. He resisted, but failed. Karl was told to steal a fine diamond necklace from a jeweler's shop so that Gretchen could wear it. He didn't resist. After all, he was a thief by trade, and he wanted Gretchen to have it. Or perhaps he did -- I think someone brought up the question of what would happen when Gretchen was seen with the stolen necklace.

Master: Idiot, she will be inside the factory!

Folks asked why the Master was stealing the necklace, rather than buying it. While realism isn't exactly a requirement, IMO, they did agree that it made sense that the Master was a miser, squirrelling away every penny from the factory to use as a dowery for Gretchen.

I was clumsy trying to think of an assignment for Ms. Sarah Gray. After several false starts, I had the Master send her to send someone to the jeweler's shop to be framed for Karl's theft. I don't think she tried to resist. I also think this was a bit dopey of me. The Master should have told her to force a reluctant Gretchen to do something like learn deportment. Or maybe not. I find it tricky figuring out what awful things to have the governess do, and I'm not sure why. As I said, the creepy governess is a classical character.

Lugosh was told to kidnap someone. First, I sent him after an NPC I'd just made up, but then I decided that made no sense. I changed this to having the Master order Lugosh to kidnap Deeth's Connection, Frika. He feared that Frika would catch the Prince's eye, and he didn't want the Prince distracted from Frika. I get the impression that the Master shouldn't send someone to do horrid things to his or her own Connections, only to those of other Minions. Is this actually correct?

Lugosh tried to resist the Master.

Lugosh: No, Master, do not make me hurt the little girl!

Master: Idiot, I am telling you to kidnap her, not to hurt her!

Lugosh failed his roll. The Minions went to carry out their orders, and we figured that each player should narrate his or her Minion scene.

Deeth ordered the workers to work. After looking through the rules, we concluded that no roll was necessary, given that his More than human ability, to intimidate people, should work automatically. Was this correct? We also weren't sure whether success increased his Self-loathing, since no roll had been made, but Erik checked the rules, and as far as he could tell, it should increase, since villainy was successfully perpetrated. Was our reading correct?

Otto created a Punishement Bot, and reluctantly wound it up. Again, no roll was necessary, given the More than human ability. Erik did a great job of narrating how it moved towards the workers, on heavy metal feet. When one fell down, Timmy could no longer intimidate him, for the worker could no longer hear Timmy. The Bot beat the worker with a metal rod. The worker jumped and began to beg for mercy, only to realize in horror that, since the Bot was not human, it had no feelings of mercy or pity that could be stirred. Beaten a second time, the worker desparately returned to his task.

Karl was successful in breaking into the jewelry shop and stealing the necklace. Early the next day, Ms. Sarah Gray used her More than human persuasion on a baker who worked near the shop. She asked him to start work a bit early and bake things that she needed. I'm not thrilled with how those scenes went, and I think I was at fault here. I just didn't have the right feel for it, and I know I was rushing things. Neither Beth nor Josh got a fair chance to actually narrate their scene.

Lugosh crept to Franka's house, and Avram did a fine job of narrating. Lugosh waited until Franka came out to draw water from the well. He grabbed her, clapping one hand over her mouth. She struggled, but her heaviest blows were as the soft spring rains to the large construct.

Lugosh: Do not fear, liebchen. The Master just doesn't want you to show up his daughter. You'll be fine in a couple of days.

We broke at this point. While we weren't quite satisfied with how it went, everyone except Matt wants a second session. I'll reread the rules and scout the Forge forums for advice. And I think I'll give folks the option to start the game from scratch, as not much actually happened, and to tweak their Minions.

Before I actually post this, I'm going to run it by the players, and incorporate any questions and corrections that I get in the next day or so.

Update: I'd originally said "we think there's more railroading than we like, although I think that may be, in part, because we haven't yet incorporated players asking for scenes. We're not sure how much freedom the players have." However, this seems to reflect my doubts more than my players.

Fr'ex, Avram commented:

I actually like the railroading aspect to it. Look, most modern  strongly genre-based RPGs have a strong element of railroading anyway. How often will the heroes die and the bad guy win in a pulp-based game?  _My Life With Master_ just admits up front that you know roughly how the story will end, and tells you to get on with inventing cool stuff on the way.

The odd bit about _MLWM_ is that each scene is railroaded, but with the outcome decided by dice rather than the GM.  So instead of having Wulfgang make a Crafting roll to whittle an attractive sculpture, and then a Climbing roll to into Hildegaard's walled family estate, and then a Stealth roll to get past the guards, and then a Sweet Talk roll (with a bonus from the Whittling success) to charm Hildegaard, you've just got the one Love Scene roll, and then you narrate the outcome at scene length.

[end of Avram comment]
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TonyLB
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« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2004, 07:40:38 PM »

Is it railroading if nobody has a choice about what is happening?

After all, the players have handed the GM some foreshadowing that can hardly be ignored.  Lug has made a promise that we all know he can't keep to a terrified young girl.  Otto, a worker in the Master's employ, has created a device to brutalize workers in the Masters employ when they displease him.

Does the GM have any choice about bringing those things back to haunt them?  I certainly wouldn't feel that I had a choice, but I suppose it's a matter of opinion.

It sounds to me like you're doing everything just fine.  For the players who aren't yet writing themselves, I recommend that you just keep looking at More-than-human, Less-than-human and Connections, and seeing how you can juggle them against each other.  

For instance, for the Governess, she can't persuade red-headed men and she's helpless in a fight.  So her schoolmistress connection could somehow fall under the sway of a violent red-headed man.

[ EDIT:  ... The Prince, for instance.... ]

Karl can hide anywhere.  You can give him an opportunity to nearly get caught doing something forbidden, and hide.  Then he can overhear things that he'd really rather not know.  Like the Master's secret plans.

And the Master has a factory.  Factories build things.  Sometimes terrible, terrible things.
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Lisa Padol
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Posts: 365


« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2004, 05:34:39 AM »

Quote from: TonyLB
For instance, for the Governess, she can't persuade red-headed men and she's helpless in a fight.  So her schoolmistress connection could somehow fall under the sway of a violent red-headed man.

[ EDIT:  ... The Prince, for instance.... ]


You know, I'd been thinking exactly the same thing. Well, except for the violent part.

Quote
And the Master has a factory.  Factories build things.  Sometimes terrible, terrible things.


That was another thing we were trying to figure out -- what should the factory be making? Or, at any rate, what should the product  that the Master is trying to sell be?

-Lisa
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TonyLB
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« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2004, 06:01:41 AM »

Prosthetic limbs?
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Michael S. Miller
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« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2004, 06:31:06 AM »

Quote from: Lisa Padol

I was clumsy trying to think of an assignment for Ms. Sarah Gray. After several false starts, I had the Master send her to send someone to the jeweler's shop to be framed for Karl's theft. I don't think she tried to resist. I also think this was a bit dopey of me. The Master should have told her to force a reluctant Gretchen to do something like learn deportment. Or maybe not. I find it tricky figuring out what awful things to have the governess do, and I'm not sure why. As I said, the creepy governess is a classical character.


Hi, Lisa.

No time for in-depth advice, but this leapt out at me. Gretchen does not want to marry anyone. She doesn't want to obey her father. There's some dirt-poor peasant boy that she's madly in love with (likely one of the other minion's Connections). The master continually sends the governess to get her back in line. Gretchen pleads, "Ms. Grey, I've always loved you like a mother. Don't you want me to be happy?" O, the tragedy!

That's just how I'd do it. For past threads, search for "My Life with Viscount" and "My Life with Dr. Victor Frankenstein."
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TonyLB
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« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2004, 06:53:16 AM »

I certainly think that the minions should want to oppose the marriage.

But what if they're doing it for Gretchen's welfare even though she's grudgingly willing to do this thing to help her father?

Paint the Prince as sufficiently nasty (a Master in his own right), and Gretchen's selfless willingness to aid her father becomes a mirror for the painful subservience of the players' characters.

You can make the Prince very nasty even before he shows up in the game.  Have some of his oppressed minions arrive to pave the way for his glorious approach.  Learning the Prince's faults by dealing with those who are loyal to him strikes me as a fun avenue to explore.

Anyway, those are my thoughts.  I hope they're helpful!
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Lisa Padol
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Posts: 365


« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2004, 08:57:58 AM »

Certainly, at least one minion would want to oppose the marriage, and that'd be Karl.

If Gretchen doesn't want to wed and the governess Persuades her, then the governess automatically succeeds, correct?

I'd thought about more of a dashing prince, one that the governess herself might fall in love with. An evil prince, hm, maybe.

The players noted that there might be rival factories, which is another good place for dueling masters and minions. But what's the mechanism for this? I mean, Rival Minion NPC has a mission. Do I have to stat the NPC out as a minion? If NPC and PC minions cross paths, do I use standard resolution, as if the NPC were from the village or what?

-Lisa
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timfire
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« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2004, 10:35:22 AM »

Quote from: Lisa Padol
That was another thing we were trying to figure out -- what should the factory be making? Or, at any rate, what should the product  that the Master is trying to sell be?

What type of Master is Maxillian? He sounds like a Brain/ Breeder, considering that the factory creates something. As such, the factory is really an extension of the master. The group should collectively decide what the factory makes, and really, you should have decided that before the game was started. I would sit everyone down and decide that before you continuing playing.
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Michael S. Miller
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« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2004, 11:38:45 AM »

NOTE: I'll be using "Player" and "Minion" very specifically in this and further posts. "Player" always means the flesh-and-blood human being, like Josh and the other folks in the apartment. "minion" is, of course, a player's character. If you start to confuse the two, the cart gets in front of the horse. Always aim at the things that Players care about. They often match up with what minions care about, but not always.

Quote from: Lisa Padol

If Gretchen doesn't want to wed and the governess Persuades her, then the governess automatically succeeds, correct?


Depends on how the scene is handled. If all the player wants is to convince her to go through with it, then it would be a rolled Villany that is circumnavigated by the More Than Human. However, if I were GM I'd offer the player the opportunity to make this an Overture. Then, whether the minion persuades Gretchen or not (determined by Overture rolls) the minion gains a point of Love.

Also remember that new events can "unPersuade" a Connection. For instance, if the Master makes further demands upon Gretchen: "You must seduce the Prince tonight so he will be forced to marry you" Gretchen can come crying to the governess: "Please help me escape my father's house. I thought I could go through with this, but I can't! You're my only hope."

Quote
I'd thought about more of a dashing prince, one that the governess herself might fall in love with. An evil prince, hm, maybe.

The players noted that there might be rival factories, which is another good place for dueling masters and minions. But what's the mechanism for this? I mean, Rival Minion NPC has a mission. Do I have to stat the NPC out as a minion? If NPC and PC minions cross paths, do I use standard resolution, as if the NPC were from the village or what?


Nobody has stats in this game except the minions! Not ever! They are the protagonists and the only protagonists.

Personally, I'm not real shot in the head with the idea of playing up the Prince as a rival Master. One Master is plenty. I see the Prince as an Outsider, and dastardly wicked is a fine way for an Outsider to be, but you must NEVER take the spotlight off the relationships of the PC minions with their Master. HE, and he alone, must be the source of the vilest evil to exist in the game. It makes the victory of his destruction ever more sweet.

Your idea of making the Prince good and noble and true works fine, too. Just remember that no matter how heroic he may seem, he is powerless against the Master and the minions. He has no stats for a reason. If a minion appeals to him for rescue, have the Master throw him in the dungeon, or chain him on the assemblyline. Only the minions can stand up to the Master ... eventually.

As far as deciding what the factory makes, don't put on a big production of "Oops, we missed this step in Master Creation. We've got to go back and revise it." Just mention casually that you didn't note what the factory made, what sort of horrifying ideas do the players have as to what could be churned out. Throw out anything that they (or you) laugh at, and keep anything that gets an "Eeww." Then do what you can to magnify that "Eeww" in play.

Earlier, you wrote:
Quote
More than human trait "Steal anything except something larger than he is", but we vetoed that. Should we have allowed it? It seemed to powerful. We considered "Good thief, except when distracted by food", and Josh mentioned, "Can steal anything, except what he most wants." Is the young thief a suitable Minion? If so, should he be allowed to steal the shoes off of someone wearing them? The color of someone's hair? Love? Josh noted that stealing love would not be the same as being given love.


Steal the color of someone's hair? Steal Love? Tell Josh I said to put down Nobilis and put his feet on the ground. 8^) (but see My Life with Imperator) Everyone is responsible for keeping the Color on the same page, and MLwM thrives on a Color of blood, sweat, and tears. Lots and lots of tears.
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Doyce
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« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2004, 01:37:10 PM »

Quote from: Lisa Padol
We decided to start with Fear 4 and Reason 5. While I found MLWM read well in theory, Avram noted that it would help to have something along the lines of, "For a one session game, these values of Fear and Reason work well. For two sessions, try these." And so on. We aren't sure if our values are good for a 2-3 session game.


I direct you to Paul's poll on the subject from a few months back: http://www.indie-rpgs.com/viewtopic.php?t=10125
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Lisa Padol
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« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2004, 06:05:47 PM »

Quote from: Michael S. Miller
Depends on how the scene is handled. If all the player wants is to convince her to go through with it, then it would be a rolled Villany that is circumnavigated by the More Than Human. However, if I were GM I'd offer the player the opportunity to make this an Overture. Then, whether the minion persuades Gretchen or not (determined by Overture rolls) the minion gains a point of Love.


And the Persuade ability doesn't apply here, correct? Because it's an Overture?

Quote
Also remember that new events can "unPersuade" a Connection. For instance, if the Master makes further demands upon Gretchen: "You must seduce the Prince tonight so he will be forced to marry you" Gretchen can come crying to the governess: "Please help me escape my father's house. I thought I could go through with this, but I can't! You're my only hope."


Which reminds me -- I'm trying to find the section in the book about what happens if Minion A tries to kill Minion B's connection, and Minion B tries to stop Minion A -- I'm sure there's a mechanic for this, and I totally fail to recollect it. It's likely enough to come up if we do our jobs right, even if non-fatally, ie, Ms. Gray trying to hand Gretchen over to a groom she despises while Karl tries to save her.

Quote
Nobody has stats in this game except the minions! Not ever! They are the protagonists and the only protagonists.


Good. Rival factory owners are one thing. Rival masters are too frickin' complicated. (Avram's comment: Maybe it's not so bad being a minion if you get to move around between masters. My thought: This is precisely why the game as she is writ (as opposed to house variants) should not allow this.)

Quote
I see the Prince as an Outsider, and dastardly wicked is a fine way for an Outsider to be, but you must NEVER take the spotlight off the relationships of the PC minions with their Master. HE, and he alone, must be the source of the vilest evil to exist in the game. It makes the victory of his destruction ever more sweet.


Absolutely. The Prince is the Outsider being courted by the Master. The Master Wants a connection to nobility and the respect he feels he deserves.

Quote
Your idea of making the Prince good and noble and true works fine, too. Just remember that no matter how heroic he may seem, he is powerless against the Master and the minions. He has no stats for a reason. If a minion appeals to him for rescue, have the Master throw him in the dungeon, or chain him on the assemblyline. Only the minions can stand up to the Master ... eventually.


Yes, that's more what I'd been thinking originally. The Master wants to do Horrid Things to the Handsome Prince -- think Prospero and Ferdinand, actually -- almost certainly winding up in the dungeon. Hm, Josh noted a tendency for male NPCs in Cthulhupunk to wind up in chains. There, it probably had something to do with the fact that all of the PCs are female, and scarcely damsels in distress. But it is a staple of the genre that the supposed hero be helpless. It's not about him, after all, but about the minions.

Quote
As far as deciding what the factory makes, don't put on a big production of "Oops, we missed this step in Master Creation. We've got to go back and revise it." Just mention casually that you didn't note what the factory made, what sort of horrifying ideas do the players have as to what could be churned out. Throw out anything that they (or you) laugh at, and keep anything that gets an "Eeww." Then do what you can to magnify that "Eeww" in play.


It's really not a big deal. Heck, we may even have figured it out -- I remember discussing it. And, to a degree, it doesn't matter, since Factories can make anything. But I remember we dropped the Childrens' Breath thing, and that Avram noted that the village likely had a lot of craftsmen who handmade stuff, and they probably resented the factory, so we do have where to start.

-Lisa
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Sydney Freedberg
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« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2004, 06:40:47 PM »

Quote from: Lisa Padol
what should the factory be making?


Just a thought -- and I've only read MLWM, not played, so I may just be wrong -- but as long as you've left it vague, why don't you keep it vague -- and make that very vagueness a source of terror? Litter scene descriptions with out-of-the-corner-of-your-eye glimpses of ghastly, jagged, multi-wheeled things waiting to be put together with the huge, looming other things, but never let anyone know quite what they are. (You don't have to either, at first; let the players guess and steal their best guesses).

Then, at the suitable moment, use the "Horror Revealed" mechanic to show them what they've been making.

EDIT: By the way, I love that Otto used to make toys. That's such a classic Erik Hanson character. (Erik and I were in each other's campaigns back in the day).
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Erik Hanson
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« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2004, 10:52:32 AM »

Interesting input on this thread, and glad you liked the character concept, Sydney.

While I recall seeing the book discuss means by which Minions could aid other Minions, I do not recall it discussing means by which Minions could oppose other Minions.  I would be interested in the answer, however.  Even if a Minion could interfere with another Minion, however, there arises the question of whether Minion A is even around when Minion B is pursuing his deeds.

Many different suggestions were proposed regarding the possible factory product, but none were settled on.  When someone suggested the possibility of it being an Evil Toy Factory, it instantly brought back memories of an old Saturday Night Live skit on unsafe Christmas toys, such as Bag O' Glass, Bag O' Nails, Bag O' Sulfuric Acid, and Johnny Switchblade, Adventure Punk.

Deliberately leaving things vague at the beginning gives the players (and the Master) options in their Storytelling.  The factory could be making a specific product, or it could be a veritable Evil Sears & Roebuck.  At the beginning of the session, we were debating what sorts of evil things the Master would be ordering his minions to do.  I was more than willing to suggest possibilities, though I thought it wise to let the Master draw upon any and all of them.  These included:

1) Kidnapping villagers and/or animals to provide forced labor
2) Digging up bodies to be reanimated as zombie workers
3) Terrorizing children to use their fear as a power source for the machines (stealing a page from Monsters, Inc.)
4) Sabotaging rival craftsmen who make their products by hand, instead of by mass-production

Now, here's a concern that I haven't yet seen voiced - should players be allowed to "share" a Connection?  In our game, Josh was quick to state, "Okay - raise your hand if you aren't taking the Master's daughter Gretchen as a Connection."  Initially, I was the only one to raise my hand.

One difficulty is that if multiple minions have the same Connection, they would naturally rally to protect that Connection.  At the extreme, all Minions could pick the exact same two Connections, hoping to maximize the chances that their Connections will always have a "Guardian Minion" watching over them.
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Paul Czege
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« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2004, 11:03:14 AM »

Hey Erik,

While I recall seeing the book discuss means by which Minions could aid other Minions, I do not recall it discussing means by which Minions could oppose other Minions.

I have just a moment for a quick response. The answer originally appeared http://www.indie-rpgs.com/viewtopic.php?p=100849&highlight=#100849">here. I'll quote:
    Without a relevant More than Human, a minion who wants to protect a Connection or help them flee another minion or something has only two options:

    1. As described in the section on "Providing Aid," use Love greater than Weariness to aid the NPC's attempt to resist the Violence of the other minion. "Rebecca, you must flee. Your life is in danger!"

    2. Resort to Violence against the other minion.[/list:u]Paul
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« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2004, 11:14:32 AM »

Hi, Erik and Welcome to the Forge!

Quote from: Erik Hanson
Now, here's a concern that I haven't yet seen voiced - should players be allowed to "share" a Connection?  In our game, Josh was quick to state, "Okay - raise your hand if you aren't taking the Master's daughter Gretchen as a Connection."  Initially, I was the only one to raise my hand.

One difficulty is that if multiple minions have the same Connection, they would naturally rally to protect that Connection.  At the extreme, all Minions could pick the exact same two Connections, hoping to maximize the chances that their Connections will always have a "Guardian Minion" watching over them.


Certainly minions can share Connections. The same Connection can even carry Love for multiple minions. When I'm Mastering, I keep not of how many points of Love each Connection is carrying for each minion. When a certain Connection starts getting "Love-heavy," that's the time to order them brought to the laboratory, pronto.

It may seem that the "Guardian Minion" is a good idea, but remember that the Master can show up at any time and order that "guardian" to do horrible, horrible things to the Connection he's supposedly protecting. If the roll goes against the minion, everyone loses a bunch of love points.

Quote
Even if a Minion could interfere with another Minion, however, there arises the question of whether Minion A is even around when Minion B is pursuing his deeds


There's no map or travel times or secret meetings with the GM in MLwM. If minion B's player has decided he wants minion B to be there to protect his Connection, then, BOOM, he's there. Remember, what the players want comes first, last, and always. "Would your character even know that?" and questions of that type don't enter into it.
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