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Author Topic: [With Great Power...] The Vigiles  (Read 4347 times)
Thor Olavsrud
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« on: September 20, 2005, 09:40:00 AM »

I ran the first session of my With Great Power game last Friday (the next session is coming up this Friday), and I'd like to take this opportunity to share my thoughts on how it's going so far.

The set up for the game itself is a bit unusual, and probably worth describing. There's a fair bit to go through before I get to the Actual Play stuff, although I think it has bearing on the Actual Play.

I'm running the game through the Gotham Gaming Guild, which is the gaming arm of nerdnyc.com. Throughout the year, we hold six- or seven-session long 'semesters' of gaming. We rent two rooms in a studio on Astor Place in Manhattan and everyone gets together to play on designated Fridays. This time around there are seven different games running: two Burning Wheel games, one Shadowrun, one D&D, one Unknown Armies, one homebrew horror game, and my With Great Power game. All in all, there are about 45 players that signed up for seven sessions between Sept. 16 and Dec. 2. Each player (except for GMs) pays $50 to cover the cost of renting the two rooms.

Signups were held through the nerd forums. The games were posted several days ahead of time, and the signup forums were opened at 10 a.m. on a Monday. Many of the games, including my With Great Power game, filled up within two minutes or less. Obviously, with such a setup, it is pretty much impossible to ensure that everyone has compatible creative agendas. However, it should be noted that this is the third 'semester' I've participated in, and I have yet to talk with a single participant that hasn't thoroughly enjoined the experience. There may be a certain level of self-selection that goes on based on game descriptions. For instance, here's the description that I supplied to entice people to sign up for my game:

Quote
THE VIGILES
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
system: With Great Power...
style: comic book / super hero
players: 4
description:

We are going to create an imaginary comic book, and you'll play the heroes that star in it. We all take the roles of the scripters, pencilers and inkers that make it awesome. And there's even a Letters Column so the readers (that's US!) can tell the scripters, pencilers and inkers (that's US!) what they think and how things should evolve.

Everything revolves around The Struggle, which we pick for each story. It could be Man vs. The Mask, Justice vs. Vengeance, Tolerance vs. Prejudice, or anything like that. I'm not going to tell you what the story is going to be about, because we're going to create it together. It will knock your socks off.

experience: rules taught
characters: will create characters as a group
game master: Thor Olavsrud

It should also be noted that nerdnyc.com is a real community. Most of the posters have become good friends, and we often get together to socialize off-line and away from the gaming table. We probably spend more time socializing than we do playing games.

The players I wound up with:
phredd: phredd is an old hand at Burning Wheel and a long-time member of the nerd community. We've played in Burning Wheel campaigns together before and had a great time. phredd is also a fan of Capes!, which he picked up at DexCon, and has also expressed interest in Trollbabe. He has since borrowed the hardcopy I picked up at GenCon. I know phredd fairly well. I believe phredd was the only one that knew I was the editor of the game.

Dina: Dina is the sole woman in our With Great Power group, and a relative newcomer to the nerd community, having moved to New York from Long Island somewhat recently. She has played a grand total of two role-playing sessions: a Call of Cthulhu one-shot and an Unknown Armies one-shot. I only really know Dina through the boards. I met her once in person prior to this game.

Rob: Rob has been a member of the nerd community for a while. He's been a role-player for years, but has never played any indie games before. Most of his experience has been with Hero system and D&D. I only really know Rob through the boards. I'd met him at a number of nerd gaming events, but hadn't socialized with him very much prior to this game.

Kevin: Kevin is a total newcomer to the nerd community. I believe his first or second post was the one in which he signed up for the game. He's also a long-time role-player with no experience with indie games. I had not interacted with Kevin at all prior to the game.

With the first session coming up on Sept. 16, we decided to get together on Sept. 1 to have dinner, get to know each other a little bit, and create characters. It was important to me to get everyone on the same page regarding the style of comic we wanted. One of the first questions I asked was what everyone's favorite comic was. Interestingly, I think each of the players is a bigger comics fan than I am (I enjoy comics and read them when the opportunity presents itself, but find them too expensive to keep up with regularly). Also, most of them thoroughly enjoyed comics that the rest hadn't read or heard of. We got some useful discussion of 'feel' out of this question, but I quickly realized I needed to narrow the focus a bit.

The whole questions bit is sort of an extension of the character creation method from the book, in which a number of "scripting questions" are asked. The answers to these questions become your character. I decided to extend this process a bit to help the group find a consensus about style, feel, and setting of the comic we would be creating.

My questions included: Are you guys the first super heroes around or are there others? If so, how many? When did heroes start appearing? How do regular people feel about heroes? How does the government feel about heroes? Do heroes have to be registered? Do we prefer a really serious and dark tone with deaths and really terrible consequences, or do we want the game to stay on the lighter, potentially wacky side, while still embracing The Struggle? And so forth and so on.

After a bit of urging, everyone really got into the process and started contributing full-on. It was really exciting to see. One would say something like: "I don't think everyone hates and fears supers. I don't think I want to just redo the whole X-Men thing." And another would respond: "Well, how about if it's not really settled yet? There are some groups that are really against supers, but not really everyone. Our actions will dictate how people feel about them. But we won't start out with hate groups gunning for us." And it really set the stage for character creation itself. I have suggested to Michael that it may well be worth creating a PDF on the WGP site with a series of these scripting questions to help everyone get on the same page. Comics cover so much ground that it could be extremely useful to groups, especially if the questions help the groups evoke interesting conflicts for their characters to deal with.

I had deliberately sought to get them involved in the interchange of ideas about setting so that it would feel natural when we started doing the questions about individual characters. While I really dig the character creation process, I suspected that I would have to ride herd on some or all of the players to make sure they continued to contribute to each others' characters rather than putting their noses down to the sheet and answering the questions about their own characters in a vacuum. And I was right. The moment everyone has a sheet of paper and pencil in front of them, and questions start getting asked, the natural inclination was simply to start writing down the answers and then wait for the next question to be asked. I don't see this as a problem with the game necessarily, but I do think it is important that the GM be aware of this tendency and move to counter it. I told them to slow down, and then I had each person answer the question out loud, and gave everyone else (including myself) the opportunity to comment on it and give suggestions. That made a big difference and really focused everyone.

Once we transitioned into character creation, the first question I asked them was which Struggle they wanted to use for this story. I gave them the examples out of the book, but told them they could come up with their own as well. They decided they didn't want to do Man vs. The Mask or Tolerance vs. Prejudice, or anything like that, as they felt it was well-trod territory. They settled on Independence vs. Belonging, and all seemed pretty happy with that. I on the other hand felt a bit trepidatious about this choice, as I hadn't a clue what to do with it at first. However, I decided to let the system do its thing and trust that something interesting would come out the other end.

I think that worked out well. After we got through the scratch pad phase and everyone had to select which aspects would be transferred from the scratch pad to the character sheet for Independence vs. Belonging, there was a bit of head scratching when some aspects didn't seem to fit the Struggle, or they weren't sure whether an aspect belonged under Independence or Belonging. This caused them to revisit the process and either make an aspect fit (and explain why) or just leave that aspect on the scratch pad for the time being.

And in turn, that process really helped me, as a GM, see how I needed to look at those aspects and challenge them. Big thumbs up on this!

By the end of the character creation session, everyone was super excited. Rob went ahead and ordered the book as a direct result of the character creation session. If you want to check out the full characters we created, check this thread. Below are simply the character names and their Strife aspects.

Rob created Monolith, a superhero with a rocky skin of diamond-like hardness. His Strife aspect is: Duty to Trinitech [National scale]: Is employed and was granted powers by Trinitech.
Example of suffering for this aspect: May doubt the motives of Trinitech or may be fired by them if he disobeys orders

Kevin created Light Bringer, a superhero with the ability to create force fields of light. His Strife aspect is:  Light Generation [Municipal scale]: Can create blinding bursts of light, forceful rays of light, create force fields of light to protect people or things, can move spherical fields to move objects or people (including himself, creating flight).
Example of suffering for this aspect: Can't use powers in complete darkness.

phredd created Peregrine T. Blackwater, a sort of psychic detective who works for the dead.  His Strife aspect is: DUTY to the Dead [Municipal scale]: Once I've accepted a case for a client, I have to see it through.
Example of suffering for this aspect: Discovering that the client is not telling the whole truth.

Dina created Download, a superhero who spends his days as an ultra-hip librarian with remarkable ability with the 'ladiezzz.' Download is an information sponge that can soak up massive volumes of information in a heartbeat and calculate millions of outcomes to specific scenarios based on that information. His Strife aspect is: ORIGIN Created by Trinitech? [National scale]: Download's powers may be the result of secret experimentation on him by Trinitech. Trinitech is constantly testing the extent of Download's powers, though Download himself does not know the cause of the problems that seem to plague him constantly.
Example of suffering for this aspect: The constant stream of challenges posed by Trinitech may cause Download to doubt his sanity.

In all, character creation was a big success, and really set the tone for the game to come. The biggest problems were getting everyone to understand that it wasn't necessary to have a separate aspect for each of their powers (which really wasn't much of a problem at all), and helping everyone figure out which side of The Struggle their various aspects belonged on. The latter, while not terribly serious either, was a bit vexing in that we'd come pretty far down the character creation road before I realized that the players had not really been taking The Struggle they selected into account when coming up with their aspects. So, for anyone else out there running the game, I suggest that you really emphasize to the players that the choice of The Struggle REALLY MEANS SOMETHING in this game, and that they should be taking The Struggle into account when selecting their aspects.

I'll describe the first session of play in my next post. All in all it went very well, but there were some missteps and a few quandaries that result from the game's use of cards.

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Thor Olavsrud
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« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2005, 12:18:05 PM »

With the game set for the end of the week, I was still a bit uncertain how to approach these four very different heroes and challenge them based on the Struggle we selected: Independence vs. Belonging.

The idea behind With Great Power villains is that, unlike the heroes, they have selected one side of The Struggle or the other and represent that side's extremes. So my villains had to be villainous paragons of either Independence or Belonging. Each villain has an aspect called The Plan, which is how that villain ultimately seeks to express that side of The Struggle. The Plan requires Devastating and somehow Transforming one or more of the heroes' Strife aspects. In the text, Michael suggests that four heroes require two Plans and thus two villains.

I looked through the book for some inspiration, and found the Mumbral Hive in The Rogue's Gallery. The Mumbral Hive has a sort of Invasion of the Body Snatchers feel, while still being planted firmly in the slightly cheesy Silver Age milieu. The Mumbral Hive is essentially a nest of dog-sized space wasps with 'Mind Stings' that allows it to control anyone it stings. It also has the aspect, 'Mumbral Workers,' which consist of those humans it has stung and turned into its slaves. I decided this sort of Hive-mind thing was perfect for exploring the 'Belonging' side of The Struggle. The Mumbral Queen is targeting Monolith's Duty to Trinitech (the Hive has taken over Trinitech as the base of its operations), and Download's Created by Trinitech? For extra fun, Monolith has his Duty on the Belonging side (being part of Trinitech makes him feel needed and special), while Download has Created by on the Independence side  (Download wants nothing to do with Trinitech and its research).

But I still needed a second villain, one who would exemplify the Independence side of things. After a conference with Michael about how to approach it, I settled on a villain of my own creation: Cabal, an evil sorcerer responsible for summoning the Mumbral Hive from another dimension to further his own schemes, which include making himself into a god. Cabal is targeting Light Bringer's Light Generation powers (Belonging), which he needs to generate the power to fuel his ascension, and Blackwater's Duty to the Dead (Independence), because he needs something that Blackwater's current client (the CEO of Trinitech, killed by the Mumbral Queen after he proved resistant to the Mind Stings) has.

With all that in hand, I came up with a list of ideas for Enrichment Scenes (to show off my villain's aspects), and a few Conflict Scenes to spring on the players.

Game night came, and I really wanted to use one of the Optional Rules in the book, Splash Pages. Splash Pages are a special type of Enrichment Scene that allow you to Prime multiple aspects without paying the normal penalty for Priming more than one aspect. Plus, they look cool. However, since this was everyone's first time with the game, I decided that I really should take the first Enrichment Scene myself, to show the players how it was done.

I opened the Enrichment Scene with a masked, mysterious person magically opening a portal to an alien dimension and contacting a horror from beyond, proclaiming, "It is time to fulfill your bargain!" Then, to show them that the game was very different from what they might be used to, I asked them, "who wants to play the alien horror from beyond?"

It took a few moments before they realized precisely what I was asking, but then Kevin stepped up to the plate and said he would play the thing. I told Kevin that the alien horror desperately wanted to get through the portal, but did not want to have to obey the spirit of my villain's commands. He quickly got into it and we soon got to the conflict: My stakes were that the entity would obey the spirit of my commands and further my desires. Its stakes were that it would come through, but would only be bound to obey the letter of my commands. I didn't want to play against myself, so I selected a high card for my villain, and then drew from the top of the Villain Deck for the entity. Fortunately, I won that conflict.

I then asked for a volunteer to play the next Enrichment scene. phredd, perhaps the most comfortable with less mainstream play styles, opted to go next. He decided to Prime his character's relationship with his dead mother, who is constantly trying to get him hitched so she can have grandchildren. phredd decided that his mother had dropped by to get Peregrine to go on a blind date. I believe he had Rob play the mother. They quickly got to the conflict as well: phredd's stakes were that if he won, the mother would drop the idea of setting him up with women. The mother's stakes were that if she won, Peregrine would go on the blind date. I decided I should really win this one too (the whole blind date shtick was just too much fun), so I chose one of my wild cards to use and handily won.

The other players got the idea at this point, and we set up an Enrichment Scene in which all three of them were down in New Orleans as the levees were breaking, rescuing people. The scene worked quite well and everyone was pleased.

We proceeded to go through another round of Enrichment Scenes for everybody (including one in which Download picked up Peregrine's blind date before he had a chance to put the moves on her), before I sprung the first Conflict Scene on Peregrine, in which a demonic frog/dog thing dragged off his ghostly client to a (then) unknown fate, despite Peregrine's best efforts to defend him.

Game wise, this was an interesting conflict because I realized that I made a tactical error by only including one player in the first conflict. See, I'd amassed a huge hand of cards from the Enrichment Scenes, but when you start a Conflict Scene, players must discard down to 7 cards, and GMs must discard to 7 cards +4 cards per hero in the Conflict. I think I had to get rid of 8 or so cards. Very disappointing.

My favorite feature of Conflict Scenes: it is in the players' best interest to lose Conflict Scenes early, because of the way the Story Arc works. As cards are played to the Story Arc by players (which they can only do after they lose a Conflict Scene), I start losing wild cards. For instance, after the first card is played to the Story Arc, 3s are no longer wild for the GM. However, by setting the stakes properly, players become really loathe to lose conflicts. They'll use up an awful lot of cards and unhesitatingly pump up the Suffering of their aspects in an attempt to win. Often, they'll lose anyway, because the GM has an advantage early on. I imagine it's possible to try to game the system a little bit by yielding Conflicts early and often. Fortunately, players tend to have a stubborn streak.

I did notice a player or two inadvertently gaming the system a little bit simply by the fact that some of them had not Primed their Strife Aspects yet. If a Strife Aspect isn't Primed, I can't increase its Suffering after winning a Conflict Scene. That was frustrating in the one instance that came up.

The one big misstep came at the very end of the session, when Rob asked to be a guest in Dina's Enrichment Scene. Earlier in the game (during a Conflict Scene), Monolith's supervisor at Trinitech had attempted to convince Monolith to trick Download into coming in to meet with the CEO (actually the Mumbral Queen). Rob had won the conflict, with the stakes "I'll ask him but I won't lie." It was pretty clear to me that Rob wanted to fulfill his part of those stakes in this scene. However, I warned him going in that the rules did not allow two player characters to come into conflict during an Enrichment Scene, only during a Conflict Scene.

Once in the scene, Dina found Download's conflict fairly quickly. She wanted to use Download's abilities to find the headquarters of the cult (one of Cabal's aspects) that kidnapped Light Bringer in the previous Conflict Scene. I set the cult's stakes as finding and tracking Download's attempts to locate them.

However, Rob fumbled finding his conflict. We had some good role-play between Rob and Dina as Monolith attempted to convince Download to join up with Trinitech, and Download refused. However, as this was not a Conflict Scene, we weren't able to use the Conflict Scene rules to go in and resolve the conflict. I told Rob that he needed to figure out where the conflict was and that it was probably internal. I suggested that maybe he should start wondering whether he SHOULD attempt to trick Download into meeting with the CEO of Trinitech. But Rob didn't care for that much. In the end, as we were down to the end of our allotted time, I told him to take back the Priming of the Aspect that initiated the scene and said we'd deal with the issue at the beginning of the next session.

This was sort of a capper to a problem I'd been goal-keeping against all session, which is that the players didn't fully comprehend that each scene they set up had to build up to a conflict. I had told them, and they understood, but when things got into the heat of the moment and they got excited about the play, that consideration went out the window. So in about half of the Enrichment Scenes I had to step in and help them find and frame the Conflict. And that's fine; that's part of a GM's role. But in that last scene, I just wasn't able to do it.

Now, it wasn't a game breaker by any means. On the whole, it was a wonderful, fun, totally engaging session. But it was disappointing, especially as it was the last scene we played that night.

The other big problem for us came when it was time to pack up the materials. We hadn't finished our story yet, although we'd gone through a full issue of play (9 Enrichment Scenes and 3 Conflict Scenes). Everyone had been carefully building their hands of cards. Is everyone supposed to just abandon those hands, put them back into the deck of cards and draw new ones at the beginning of the next session? Or do we mark them somehow to indicate who has which cards (easier said than done!). I really hesitated to allow the players to take their hands home, as forgetting to bring the cards back (or even worse, losing them) could invalidate an entire deck. Looking back on it, I probably should have brought rubber bands to the game to alleviate this problem somewhat. Michael, how do you handle this one?
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Paul Czege
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2005, 01:13:09 PM »

Hey Thor,

Great post!

Or do we mark them somehow to indicate who has which cards (easier said than done!). I really hesitated to allow the players to take their hands home, as forgetting to bring the cards back (or even worse, losing them) could invalidate an entire deck. Looking back on it, I probably should have brought rubber bands to the game to alleviate this problem somewhat. Michael, how do you handle this one?

Envelopes?

Paul
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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
Thor Olavsrud
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« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2005, 07:13:02 AM »

Thanks Paul!

Envelopes, huh? Well that makes me feel like a doofus.

Anyway, another thing I wanted to point out that I felt was really neat: Michael's Issue Synopsis sheet. The Synopsis sheet is one of the downloads available on the With Great Power site.

I gave it to one of the players to fill out. Basically, you record the two sides of each conflict, whether it is an Enrichment Scene or Conflict Scene, the stakes, and who won. There's even a little space for a brief note on the outcome.

After the session was complete, we had a complete synopsis of "Issue 1" of The Vigiles.

It seems like a pretty simple thing, but I suspect that its usefulness will only really become apparent over the course of time. The sheet encourages all the players to focus on driving from conflict to conflict, and also helps create an additional pacing mechanism beyond  the story arc mechanic. Everyone at the table can clearly see when the sheet is close to being filled up, and knows that means we've played about an issue-worth of material.
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Michael S. Miller
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« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2005, 03:18:59 AM »

WOW! Awesome game, Thor! Too bad I live too far from the city to make it, but close enough for it to be tempting...

Anyway, Paul's right about the envelopes. Make sure you have one for each participant (players & GM) and an extra one for the Story Arc (it doesn't matter which Story Arc cards go on which space, only how many spaces are filled).

9 Enrichment scenes and 3 Conflicts? That's fast! How long did you play for?

You're also right about it being difficult to get people to drive toward conflict. I'm not sure if it's a traditional gamer thing (i.e. "I'm safe as long as we don't roll any dice") or a simple human drive to reduce conflict and smooth things out. Probably some of both.

I love the bit about Download picking up Peregrine's date before he could. LOL

I'm glad that Conflict Stakes worked well for you. I've had some people look over the rules, focus only on the "card economy" and say that the game's broken because the players can easily overwhelm the GM by voluntarily losing all the initial conflicts. I tell these people that if the players can bear to accept the GM's Stakes that easily, then the GM isn't doing a provocative job of setting Stakes.

Players not Priming their Strife Aspect is frustrating and something I didn't foresee during design. I usually us a twofold approach:

1) remind them that they get one extra card everytime they increase the Suffering of their Strife. Even in its Priming scene. Players love extra cards 8^)

2) gently remind them that they said that this was the most important Aspect of their hero and ask "We're going to see it in the next scene, right? That's what makes it important."

With the Obsidian/Rob and Download/Dina scene, even thought it's not a Conflict Scene, Rob's Stakes can be that Download accepts his invitation. However, since it's an Enrichment Scene Dina has to agree that she's leaving her character's decision up to a card flip. That's what penciling is all about. You can even bring her input into setting opposition Stakes. If you and Rob and Dina all understand that it's important for Download to go to Trinitech, maybe you and Dina agree to set the opposition Stakes as "Download refuses the invitation but sneaks into Trinitech on his own--to find out who's pulling the strings."

I'm also really glad to hear that the Synopsis sheet worked out so well. While in playtest, I had an annoying tendency to be vague about the Stakes, rush into flipping cards, and then have to go back to say "What were we really resolving with these cards?" or to outright forget the Stakes of a conflict scene by the time it was all over. The Synopsis sheet was a speedbump of sorts that forced me to slow down and take note of what is going on right now. I obviously fell in love with forms during the writing of WGP, but with the Synopsis sheet most of all. It keeps the notes I'd scribble on a corner of a notebook and turns them into an actual record of the game!

>>Ow!<< I think I just broke my arm patting myself on the back
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Kat Miller
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« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2005, 08:18:06 AM »


I did notice a player or two inadvertently gaming the system a little bit simply by the fact that some of them had not Primed their Strife Aspects yet. If a Strife Aspect isn't Primed, I can't increase its Suffering after winning a Conflict Scene. That was frustrating in the one instance that came up.

Hi Thor,

I noticed while running WGP at Cons, that often players set a strife and then choose not to Prime it.  In the beginning I'd explain that the strife was going to be the one aspect that the Villian was going t be targeting, but Strife is bigger than that.  For every storyarc there is one Aspect that a hero is trying to come to terms with.  This is the focus for the character.  If by your second enrichment scene you havent primed your strife, then it isn't that important to the hero.

Spiderman has a relationship with Mary Jane, and a Conviction that Power=responcibility and a Power Spider Sences and abilities.

The player calls his conviction his strife.  Then Primes a Scene with MJ, and with his powers.  Then Gets into Combat with the Green Goblin, In which MJ gets carried off.  Then Enriches MJ escaping from The Goblin, then Enriches Spider sences tracking the goblin, then has another fight with the goblin. . .You know that convition about Power=responcibility wasn't his strife.  It wasn't imporatant to the player, it wasn't in any scenes, and there for the readers never cared about it. 

The Strife must be important to the Hero. 

I learned at Gen Con, that just after the first combat (or after each player has had a combat if your taking them on one on one) Have them look at their sheets,  if they haven't primed or used thier Strifes remind them that when they choose the strife the wanted this thing to be the focus of the character and here they haven't even primed it.

Two things that can happen here are
1) the player chooses a different strife (which means altering THE PLAN)
2) the player starts using his strife and showing us why its so important to the hero.


I'm not sure I understand the problem with Rob in on Dina's Scene.

If I understand, the scene was Dina's and she wanted to find something.
Rob asked to be in the scene so that he fufill something that happened in a conflict scene.
Then Rob had trouble coming up with a conflict after Dina fulfilled her conflict and card flip.
There was good role play between Rob and Dina before it was determined that there needed to be a second conflict for that scene.

If this is as I understand it then I'm not sure that Rob even needed a conflict since he was a "guest" of Dina's enrichment.

If it felt like there really needed to be a conflict for the scene then it could have been about the conversation being "bugged" by the villians or something outside of conversation.

-kat


 
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kat Miller
Michael S. Miller
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« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2005, 08:32:14 AM »

If this is as I understand it then I'm not sure that Rob even needed a conflict since he was a "guest" of Dina's enrichment.

Kat brings up a good point. If Rob doesn't want to change the Suffering of an Aspect and is a guest in Dina's scene that he doesn't need Stakes. Kinda like a Screen presence 1 in PTA.
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Thor Olavsrud
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« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2005, 12:41:32 PM »

Hey guys!

We did the 9 Enrichments and 3 Conflict scenes in the space of about 3.25 hours. I tried to keep it zipping along at a fast clip. How many scenes do you typically have in a session (assuming a session of between 3 and 4 hours).

As to the Rob/Dina Enrichment Scene, Rob was definitely looking to Prime an aspect in that scene. I love the idea of the bug, Kat! And Michael, your ideas of how to handle such a scene will likely come in very useful as well.

It's not necessarily a bad thing that it happened though. I think it may have really driven home the need to keep Conflict in mind when establishing a scene.

And Michael, I think you're absolutely right about the way the Synopsis Sheet really forces everyone to very clearly state their Stakes for a scene. You can't just blow right past that part, which can be tempting when things are getting fast and furious and everyone thinks they're on the same page as to what the conflict is.
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