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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 71 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: [The Pool] PC sacrifice & epiphany  (Read 6169 times)
Halzebier
Member

Posts: 216


« on: August 29, 2005, 09:25:40 PM »

Hi there!

My first game of The Pool has finally run its course, all four sessions of it. You can read about the first sessions here:

http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=16316.0

The game went very, very well and I've been sporting a big grin on my face all the way home for four consecutive game nights. They players gave a lot of positive feedback and I think we've all just scratched the surface in terms of actual techniques (R-Maps, aggressive scene framing etc.).

Anyway, there's a final thing I'd like to relate (besides my enthusiasm): Mechanically speaking, a player can always sacrifice his PC in any way he likes. He can just ask for a lethal conflict ("I want to kill the giant"). If wins, he wins. If he fails, he gets to make his death roll, but as he need not gamble any dice on that, he can go in with zero dice - which assures his PC's death and his own narrating rights. Bingo.

This won't come as news to veterans of The Pool, but I only realized this after yesterday's game. Here's how things went:

The PCs and their allies had plundered a giant's hoard and were on their way home. The giant turned up in hot pursuit and it was understood that the evening's final round of conflicts were coming up. The expedition agreed on a meeting point and split up, hoping that some or most teams would make it. Kevin had his PC and a few NPCs split off first - and then announced that his PC would try to get an NPC to create a diversion, so he could cut the giant's achilles heel. He rolled and got his diversion. And then he rolled "to cut the giant's achilles heel". I deemed this a lethal conflict. He succeeded and described how his PC did the deed  - and got killed!

He need not have killed his character, but it was such an unlikely and awesome feat for his PC that the player (and everyone at the table) felt that the sacrifice was appropriate. There were some jokes along the lines of just wastin' the giant (easy with The Pool - just roll to "kill & dance on his grave"), but the player did his thing and we were all impressed.

(This sort of sacrifice could be engineered in a non-narrativist game, but it'd probably require some GM fiat or fudging.)

Regards,

Hal
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JasperN.
Member

Posts: 41


« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2005, 12:01:53 AM »

Hi Hal,

congrats to a great first run of The Pool! Sounds like you played the hell out of that old module. As concerns character sacrifice, I don't think I get your problem yet. It seems to have made for a great moment in your game, hasn't it? Are you afraid players could "misuse" that possibility somehow? But then that's always there with The Pool, only that to me it's more a feature than a bug. How often do you see a player kill their character for dramatic reasons in a regular DSA - game? The Pool gives players tools to narrate those kinds of events, and you gotta trust 'em with that if you want to enjoy that yummy storytelling greatness that comes with having everyone more involved in the actual telling of the story. And of course others can always speak up if they feel something's not right in terms of feeling - rightness. So keep that big grin on your face and keep us posted about what you're doing with The Pool and this group.

Best,
Jasper
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Eero Tuovinen
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 2591


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« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2005, 01:34:45 AM »

Read it again Jasper. He isn't saying it's a problem, he's saying it's a feature.
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JasperN.
Member

Posts: 41


« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2005, 01:39:49 AM »

Sorry. I misunderstood the "besides my enthusiasm" - part.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2005, 04:25:14 AM »

YAY! I think you ought to compile all your Pool threads and bind them into a pamphlet.

It really is a whole 'nother world of play, isn't it?

Best,
Ron
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Sean
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« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2005, 04:51:23 AM »

Quote
Anyway, there's a final thing I'd like to relate (besides my enthusiasm): Mechanically speaking, a player can always sacrifice his PC in any way he likes. He can just ask for a lethal conflict ("I want to kill the giant"). If wins, he wins. If he fails, he gets to make his death roll, but as he need not gamble any dice on that, he can go in with zero dice - which assures his PC's death and his own narrating rights. Bingo.

If you play Edwards Rules (allowing donating dice to others), one additional tactic here is to give all your dice away before you do this. I think that's a feature, not a bug.
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Halzebier
Member

Posts: 216


« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2005, 09:40:59 AM »

It really is a whole 'nother world of play, isn't it?

Yes. That's a perfect image and not exaggerated at all. Until recently, I've only been looking at the fascinating postcards at the Forge, but those games aren't out of reach, after all. And now I'm gonna do some travelling myself.

Seriously, I'm absolutely going to make room for this in my gaming. I'll have to phase out some other stuff - not because it's bad, but because I'm after something else now - and nothing's going to stop me. I'm hooked.

Best Regards,

Hal
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John Harper
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Posts: 1054

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« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2005, 01:15:18 PM »

Quote from: Halzebier
There were some jokes along the lines of just wastin' the giant (easy with The Pool - just roll to "kill & dance on his grave"), but the player did his thing and we were all impressed.

This is gold. It's this kind of moment that makes games like the Pool so amazingly cool -- and at the same time turns off so many old-skoolers before they actually try the game. "But I can just say, 'I waste him,' right? Where's the fun in that?" It's right there in Hal's post. Awesome.
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