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Author Topic: [Conspiracy of Shadows] Blood Opera (Dreamation)  (Read 3872 times)
Keith Senkowski
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On A Downward Spiral...


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« on: January 24, 2006, 02:00:39 PM »

Turtles and Cockroaches

So I ran the Blood Opera Scenario at Dreamation this past Saturday  (with Lisa, Jared, Russel, Rob, Alexander, and Mayuran) and it was a  failure in my mind.  I had run the same scenario at GenCon and  earlier in the week at BWHQ and both of those games fucking rawked.  After some deep thought, some discussion with two of the players and  a few other folks I think that I know what went wrong.  It was a  combination of player behavior and my failure to recognize and pounce  on it.

See, for this scenario to work it needs everyone to push on each  other, which they do by calling for conflicts and fucking each other  with Destiny Points.  In the first two cases, this worked great and all I did was facilitate the conflicts and clarify shit.  Players  negotiate in the game, constantly pushing hard based on their  character's Trigger/Drive/Doom against the other players, trying to  get what they wanted and the other players would push hard back until  we had a conflict, which we would then resolve.

In Saturday's case this was all fucked up.  I could feel it.  The  vibe seemed off shortly after we started.  Some folks seemed ready to  engage and others didn't.  Destiny spending and conflict stakes  seemed pretty forced.  I'm not sure why or what I can do to nip that  shit in the bud.

I can identify a few things that skewered the shit out of the game. First, Jared completely turtled up for the first three quarters of  the game and he was playing one of the four really key characters to the scenario.  When he was pushed he didn't react.  Like, when Alexander, who was playing Uncle Anatoli, tried to push for a  conflict, he just sort of nodded to what Alexander was saying and the scene really died on the vine.  I think Alexander (and he can  correct me on this) was looking to draw Jared into the mess he was  trying to create either as an ally or an adversary.

He also did the whole, I leave to go off on my own thing (shortly  after the dinner party) and the stand and observe other people's  scenes (when Mayuran and Russel were in a conflict at the bandit/cultist cave), which are clear signs of not wanting to engage.  I  should have done more than realize this, as I did as the game was 
going on, and done something about it.  What I am not entirely sure,  as I really don't think I have had any turtle up on me before when I  am running a game.

At the same time, Lisa 'Cockroached,' a term Alexander coined and I  think applies to the whole situation.  It means that when the  spotlight comes on, the person skirts to the edges of the issue at  hand and doesn't really engage the issue brought before them.  There  was a scene where she was told to pass on some information by one of  the other characters and skirted around it for a while, not engaging  the issue at hand with a conflict of any sort and focusing on the  McGuffin.  She was given the spotlight with a chance to add to the  conflict or take it in a direction of interest to her, but didn't.   Once again I saw this happening, but was unsure as how to step in and  fix the situation.

One other thing that I saw as a problem was the use of a Destiny  Point that went all wacky.  Mayuran spent one declaring Jared the  cult leader.  Jared didn't like that so we negotiated and instead of  being the bad guy he became Van Helsing (which is odd considering the  character is built around being an ambitious bastard) and Mayuran  took his DP back.  In hindsight I think I shouldn't have allowed it.   I think Jared should have had to accept the fact and been forced to  spend a DP to maybe modify it.  Something to think on.

I was thinking that perhaps I need to better explain, before hand,  that the entire scenario requires everyone to push each other hard.   They create the conflicts and scenes and that everything they need is  on the character sheets.  I know we covered it in the Thursday game,  but I may not have been entirely clear at the con (don't remember).   I think that would help keep everyone on the same fucking page, cause  throughout the few hours the game took it felt like people where on  completely different pages, if not completely unengaged in the game.

Keith
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Mayuran
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« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2006, 02:34:28 PM »

One other thing that I saw as a problem was the use of a Destiny  Point that went all wacky.  Mayuran spent one declaring Jared the  cult leader.  Jared didn't like that so we negotiated and instead of  being the bad guy he became Van Helsing (which is odd considering the  character is built around being an ambitious bastard) and Mayuran  took his DP back.  In hindsight I think I shouldn't have allowed it.   I think Jared should have had to accept the fact and been forced to  spend a DP to maybe modify it.  Something to think on.

this is totally spot on as a point where we let the game go, in some way.

i wanted Jared to have something at stake after laying low for most of the session, and when he was all "whine whine whine, i don't want to be the villain" i should have said "too bad" (alexander had already revealed to me that he wanted to be the head of the cult - but alexander was driving and creating conflicts left and right, so he would have dealt with it).

my negotiation for taking back the point was "okay, but you better spend a destiny point and contribute something" (jared at that point had the most destiny points of any player at the table). his destiny point was spent to make him van helsing. i've now read vladick's character sheet - and there's nothing on there that screams "good guy." i'd already spent a destiny point to reveal that vladick was having an affair with ivana, and was the father of her unborn child...

and while i thoroughly enjoyed clowning his excessive gothi-tude, allowing myself to divide this game into "heroes" and "villains" killed the atmosphere in some huge way.

i wrote to russell on nerdnyc that:

i love how the Conspiracy of Shadows game divided up at the end between the "nice kids" and the "sick fucks."

i'd love to figure out how that happened, and hear from the other folks on the "nice kids" side.

rob in particular seemed uncomfortable with the subject matter that alexander and russell were contributing.

because it appeared to me that we "sickos" had more fun.

mayuran
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Robert Bohl
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« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2006, 07:16:07 PM »

I wasn't uncomfortable with the subject matter, believe me.  I'm one of the sickest of fucks I know.  I did balk at making him a practicioner of bestiality, not because I found it offensive, but because I found it silly.  I wanted the character to be more tragic.

The way I was playing him, he definitely could've come off as a martyr, but I more wanted him to play tragic.

If you want everyone to be sick and twisted, then:

a) Say you expect every character to be a sick bastard.  I knew most people would be playing sick bastards, so I thought it might be interesting for one of them to not be.

b) Give the character I was playing some more on-sheet darkness he can't get away from.  Make his Doom something like, "I beat my wife, and caused the family to disintegrate."

I had plenty of fun, frankly.  I'm shocked to hear I didn't Smiley.
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Iskander
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Alexander Newman


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« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2006, 06:28:28 AM »

I had a bunch of fun in both Blood Opera games, although there's no doubt that this one had problems. To respond:

Quote from: Keith
I think Alexander ... was looking to draw Jared into the mess he was  trying to create either as an ally or an adversary.
Yep. And the responsibility is shared: I didn't press for a defining conflict. If I had made my stakes "Vladick will ally with Anatoli in bringing about Wiktor's death", it might have forced some engagement. As it was, I misread Jared's implicit consent for actual gameplay, instead colour. The scene was all about the brandy and the bloodhound, and as a set-up that might have worked, except that Vladick buggered off into the woods with his wolf-cloak.

The problems started right as we sat down to the table. Lisa, it was totally unacceptable to be spinning yarn in the middle of a game. Perhaps because it was so beyond the pale, nobody called you on it, but I was stunned when you did it in our Mu game, and appalled in this one, and by the end of it, livid. You were distracted to the point of not actually being in the same game as everyone else, and that may have fed the skittering-out-of-the-limelight behaviour. This scenario works best when everyone is actually at the table, and half the time your attention was on your spindle. At one point you said, quite loudly, "Now, how did that happen?", and you were not referring to any of the many shocking facts introduced in game, but some yarn thing. It was very telling that at the end of the game, I believe you were the only person left with unspent Destiny Points.

Allowing Jared to deny the Destiny Point was a mistake. Those cheap plastic chips had weight and power - it had a tangible effect on some people to be hefting one and looking them in the eye, and that was good. To introduce their potential negation by another player cut the balls off the mechanic. Part of what made the Thursday game hum was the whole "Think you can deal? How about now, bitch?" attitude with which those facts were wielded. They're integral to the conspiracy flavour. Sure I was driving towards being the cult leader in this game, but I could just as happily been a dupe of the bandits-cum-cultists, which would have activated my Doom even more surely.

You can explain that people need to push at the start of the scenario, and maybe you should, or you can do some fucking work, and lead by example. I still think you, Keith, need to have a DP for each player, and use them with equal weight to provoke them. Each one should be like a chilli pepper in a turtle's shell. Also, keep track of what gets bought with the DPs. Or have whoever spends it write it down. I find that the facts introduced are a great indication of what the player was up to when we largely remember the character actions.

Quote from: Rob
I wasn't uncomfortable with the subject matter, believe me.
I believe you. What I want to ask and talk about is your avowed discomfort with PvP. After the game, you said (correct me) "I just don't like games where there's player vs. player. It makes me uncomfortable." I am very interested to get at that, because I think it held you back and kept you from engaging in a really satisfying way - for you, as much as everyone else. You could have killed half the table's characters without them blinking - I would have made you pay for it, but I would have been totally cool with it. Especially if I still had DPs to spend. Ha!

Keith, that may be another con-drift you want to introduce: kill off a character, and the player gets a DP or two to spend from the grave (maybe relate it to how much Doom they'd used, or how much time is left for the scenario). They can't regain control of their character, but they can still engage in the play, the stakes, the scenes in a meaningful way.
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Winning gives birth to hostility.
Losing, one lies down in pain.
The calmed lie down with ease,
having set winning & losing aside.

- Samyutta Nikaya III, 14
Robert Bohl
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« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2006, 06:52:03 AM »

Quote from: Rob
I wasn't uncomfortable with the subject matter, believe me.

I believe you. What I want to ask and talk about is your avowed discomfort with PvP. After the game, you said (correct me) "I just don't like games where there's player vs. player. It makes me uncomfortable." I am very interested to get at that, because I think it held you back and kept you from engaging in a really satisfying way - for you, as much as everyone else. You could have killed half the table's characters without them blinking - I would have made you pay for it, but I would have been totally cool with it. Especially if I still had DPs to spend. Ha!

Okay, yeah.  I'm not a friend of PVP (I wrote "friend" instead of "fan" by accident, but I'm'a leave it 'cause I like the way it sounds).  I prefer cooperation to competition between friendly people . . . and when I get competitive it brings out ugly shit in me.

That said, I do make an effort to engage in PVP lustily when it's expected of me.  I think I did so in the Polaris game I played in this weekend, as well as in some of the Burning Wheel games I played in at DexCon.  I also can be PVP if it comes out organically in a game (as in the first DitV game I ever played in, when one player got really upset and we spent an hour discussing it the next day).

I think if I were instructed by the GM or by the character sheet that I ought to be trying to bring down other characters, I would have been (albeit reluctantly).  I thought that everyone would be doing PVP, and that by not doing it, my character would be contrast, and make his eventual betrayal by the people he loved much more tragic.  I think Jared was doing something similar, wanting to buck the obvious eeeeevuuuuuuuul intimations of his PC.

I think that the "evil side" did a very good job of showing the good intentions of their actions, except Uncle Anatoli.  He came across as a complete villain.  But that's okay.  It's even good.  When I saw how Alexsander was playing him, I thought to myself, "Excellent, we have the absolute villain and the absolute martyr, and we can be poles the others are playing between."  It didn't come off that way, but it had potential.

All that said, I had a lot of fun in the game and I'm sad to know others didn't.  For the record, I wasn't bothered by the yarn spinning, but it did make me nervous because I thought that it might make some people very unhappy.  As it turns out, it did.
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Jon Hastings
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« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2006, 07:18:36 AM »

I am definitely a fan of giving players with dead characters a few DPs so they can continue contributing.  This would have made me feel a lot less guilty for killing Luke's character in the pre-Dreamation game (and anything that makes me feel better about myself is a good thing, right?).

As for playing Vladick as a "good guy": his Doom is "My ambition will destroy me", so, even if he is a "good guy" he still needs to be an ambitious, self-destructive one.

How was Doom used?  Did anyone reach Level 6 Doom?
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Iskander
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Alexander Newman


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« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2006, 07:33:07 AM »

Uncle Anatoli got to 5 on his "I will be consumed by my desire for vengeance", although it was executed in the final scene. If I recall correctly, Gregori, Anatoli and Wiktor were consumed in the final flames, and maybe Gregori made it to 6 with "I will redeem myself in the eyes of others, but never know it myself" when he put a sword through the back of my head.
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Winning gives birth to hostility.
Losing, one lies down in pain.
The calmed lie down with ease,
having set winning & losing aside.

- Samyutta Nikaya III, 14
Mayuran
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« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2006, 08:24:39 AM »

Okay, yeah.  I'm not a friend of PVP (I wrote "friend" instead of "fan" by accident, but I'm'a leave it 'cause I like the way it sounds).  I prefer cooperation to competition between friendly people . . . and when I get competitive it brings out ugly shit in me.

Rob-

glad to hear you also had fun at the table. i wonder if you could flesh out your PvP definition about - are you thinking of any conflict between players at the table? are you talking about violent or physical confrontations between their characters?

for example, russell, alexander, and i had our characters going at each other throughout the game. though the players are creating conflict, we were cooperating, not competing - particularly in the way we started to set each other up (russell spends a destiny point to create his wife and kids, so that alexander can kill the baby).

I think if I were instructed by the GM or by the character sheet that I ought to be trying to bring down other characters, I would have been (albeit reluctantly).  I thought that everyone would be doing PVP, and that by not doing it, my character would be contrast, and make his eventual betrayal by the people he loved much more tragic.  I think Jared was doing something similar, wanting to buck the obvious eeeeevuuuuuuuul intimations of his PC.

what would have helped you to realize this vision you had of your character? were the rest of us hogging too much of the spotlight to allow you scenes to make your intentions known? did keith need to get off his butt and start prodding folks to get engaged?

I think that the "evil side" did a very good job of showing the good intentions of their actions, except Uncle Anatoli.  He came across as a complete villain.  But that's okay.  It's even good.  When I saw how Alexsander was playing him, I thought to myself, "Excellent, we have the absolute villain and the absolute martyr, and we can be poles the others are playing between."  It didn't come off that way, but it had potential.

this is where the destiny points fit together - where we really should have been forceful with them, and probably dropped the ball as a group. the rivalry between Anatoli and your character could have been solidified by a destiny point.

my first point spent was "Uncle Anatoli and Grandfather have also had their wives die in tragic, horrible accidents" - establishing some elements that became the nasty satanic blood & opium cult in the end - Alexander took that strand and ran with it all the way to baby-killing.

near the end, i think someone said "I don't want this to just end in one big combat." we circumnavigated that by setting the stakes a lot higher.

the stakes of the last conflict were "do Gerard, Vladeck, and Zygmunt rescue Wictor, Anatoli, and Gregori from the flames and bring them to justice?" vs. "do Wictor Anatoli and Gregori slaughter each other in the flames, with their family and friends looking on in horror?"

i feel that reflected the disconnect in the game. whether its heroes or villains we are playing, folks appeared to want very different things out of their characters and the scenario and we never forced the conflicts to make those elements mesh together.

peace

mayuran
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Iskander
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Alexander Newman


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« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2006, 07:18:34 AM »

One thing of note occurs to me, after reading about the manipulation of physical space through cues, is just how much effect the destiny point chips have on the play space. To pick one up, and hold as though weighing the relative eeevil of facts involving characters whose players you study while calmly and slowly twiddling the chip... it is a thing of beauty and power. It reminded me strongly of the strong physical cues the player of the Master can use to great effect.

Of course, this may just be my megalomaniacal self-importance speaking, so... did anyone feel threatened by my chips?
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Winning gives birth to hostility.
Losing, one lies down in pain.
The calmed lie down with ease,
having set winning & losing aside.

- Samyutta Nikaya III, 14
Jared A. Sorensen
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Darksided


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« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2006, 08:54:38 AM »

Just saw the write-up of the game and since I'm being BURNED AT THE STAKE for resembling an aquatic reptile, I figure I should speak up...uh, lest I be condemned again for "turtling."

I went into the game expecting conspiracies and cells and all the stuff I've heard/read about CoS that makes the game seem interesting to me. What I got what drastically different. That threw me.

The second thing that completely threw me off was that the game started and I had no motivation to do anything. There was a trigger that said, "I set up her death because of her treason" and I was like, "Da fugg?" I still have no idea how the set up for that game worked. It seemed to be "Polish family has issues, then everyone accuses and kills one another in some grand guignol setpiece." but looking at my character sheet, I didn't have any reason to persue that line on thinking. Vladick wasn't a bad guy, he just seemed honest about how he felt and wasn't trying to cloak it under false pretenses (which in my world makes him a good guy). I grabbed whatever was at my disposal to make the character interesting/engaging to me (in this case: Grimm's Fairy Tales images of a huntsman stalking beasts and the good part of Anne Rice's sequel to Interview where Lestat goes medieval on a wolf pack in the forest).

(BTW, i was totally kidding about playing not wanting to play the bad guy...I usually play the bad guy, ask Ron)

My major problem with the game was that it was all about Destiny Points. If you had one, you could play. If you wanted to spend them, you could play. It became a game of one-upmanship, which I don't like too much. The other mechanics didn't seem to matter nearly as much. Doom was a complete mystery..."You mean I can get up to six free dice by calling on my Doom with no drawbacks?" I don't think I spent a single point...but then again I think I rolled the dice twice. In my mind, why bother? I can just spent a Destiny point to upset the entire plot if I don't like where it's going.

The other problem was that it seems I cannot stand "Forge-style" play. I dislike players negotating outside the game world about what would happen next...setting stakes and establishing conflict and all the meta-talk. It bugged me when I played in Ron's Sorcerer game way back at Origins ('02? '03?) and when we played Barbaren at GenCon. 

Maybe I just didn't get it. I was bored at the beginning, a little bit engaged at the end and overall had a decent time...nothing spectacular. I just felt like I wasn't playing the game that Keith wrote.

I have more to say (probably) but lack the ability to vocalize it on a forum.
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Robert Bohl
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« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2006, 03:52:40 PM »

glad to hear you also had fun at the table. i wonder if you could flesh out your PvP definition about - are you thinking of any conflict between players at the table? are you talking about violent or physical confrontations between their characters?

The first, truthiest truth about this is that I don't know.  I just have a gut negative reaction to a scenario which is set up to be a contest between the people at the table.  Now, I'll try and tease out some greater meaning or analyze it or whatever, but please realize that mostly, this is just "yuck" and may turn out to e no more logical than that.

You ask a good question, though.  I think I am not comfortable with character vs. character conflict, especially if it's set up as the central conflict at the table.  If it comes up oganically I am more comfortable with that.  Anyway, I think where it goes from "not for me" to "yuck" is the fear (and past experience) of CvC becoming PvP.  I like to think of myself as a cooperative, non-competitive person.  The truth is I'm probably not.  I'm like a dry drunk when it comes to competition, because when it comes out in me, it can wind up spawning some pretty negative shit.  It may be all in my head, or it may only be on my side but not on the other side. 

I find that when the game is constitutionally set up to be a conflict between characters, my character losing matters to me more than I want it to.  Devestating in-game social manuvering can feel personal.  Anyway, the more I yammer on about it, the more I think that it's true.

I think if I were instructed by the GM or by the character sheet that I ought to be trying to bring down other characters, I would have been (albeit reluctantly).  I thought that everyone would be doing PVP, and that by not doing it, my character would be contrast, and make his eventual betrayal by the people he loved much more tragic.

what would have helped you to realize this vision you had of your character? were the rest of us hogging too much of the spotlight to allow you scenes to make your intentions known? did keith need to get off his butt and start prodding folks to get engaged?

Well, I thought that that vision was being bought into.  I thought you guys were enjoying being these evil, horrible assholes who were doing everything they were doing out of love for the one nice guy they knew.  It is only in the after-game discussion where I discovered that people were bothered by me playing him so "light."

I think that the "evil side" did a very good job of showing the good intentions of their actions, except Uncle Anatoli.  He came across as a complete villain.  But that's okay.  It's even good.  When I saw how Alexsander was playing him, I thought to myself, "Excellent, we have the absolute villain and the absolute martyr, and we can be poles the others are playing between."  It didn't come off that way, but it had potential.

this is where the destiny points fit together - where we really should have been forceful with them, and probably dropped the ball as a group. the rivalry between Anatoli and your character could have been solidified by a destiny point.

I certainly felt that Zygmunt had darkness in him.  That's why I had him send away the family, because he knew he could slip and wind up killing them.  I also knew that if I had some good way to learn what an evil fuck Anatoli was, I might have been able to orchestrate something equally horrible against him.

I toyed with the idea of killing the wife and kid, but it seemed too obvious.  Showing them mercy seemed like the more dramatically interesting thing to do.  I probably could've played this better--had a scene where I loomed over them, gripped the woman by her throat, demanded answers, and struggled with myself and let her go.  Even a conflict between the better and worse angels of my nature.  Of course, if I had in the end decided not to kill her, that might've made it feel even worse--like a dramatic cocktease--for you guys. 

Finally, Zygmunt slaughtering them felt wrong for someone who seemed to be so religious (going by the character sheet).

near the end, i think someone said "I don't want this to just end in one big combat." we circumnavigated that by setting the stakes a lot higher.

That was me.  That's how it seemed like it was going.  "Everyone gangs up and kills Anatoli and the cultists," would've been very boring.  I'm not totally satisfied with the ending we got, but it was better than what I feared it would be.
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Keith Senkowski
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On A Downward Spiral...


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« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2006, 07:00:27 AM »

Maybe I just didn't get it. I was bored at the beginning, a little bit engaged at the end and overall had a decent time...nothing spectacular. I just felt like I wasn't playing the game that Keith wrote.

I have more to say (probably) but lack the ability to vocalize it on a forum.

Jared,

I'm viewing this as a learning experience, not a damn witch hunt.  You are probably best suited to tell me what I could have done to get you to engage more.  The goal is to hone my piss poor fucking con game skillz, after all.

Rob, same goes for you.  What could have happened that would have gotten you even more fired up and engaged.

Keith
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Everything about the game, from the mechanics, to the artwork, to the layout just screams creepy, creepy, creepy at me. I love it.
~ Paul Tevis, Have Games, Will Travel
Russell Collins
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What do you have to lose?


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« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2006, 07:28:51 AM »

Having read both threads, I think you might have been spoiled by the Pre-Dreamation run of this scenario, Keith. Now that I know how that one worked out, I can understand your taking a more "hands-off" approach. The story is well set with interlocking relationships and goals for the characters, but if someone isn't already in the milieu of CoS, then stabbing their cousins as they sleep might not jump to mind. Maybe it would have been better for your to relate some of what happened in the previous run? Tell us how other players had enjoyed this story. We make up the end, so you can't spoil it for us. It isn't an issue with the scenario, I think it's an understanding of what the players want.

I looked at my character (Wiktor) and immediately saw a Lear figure. I knew he would go mad or die or both before the session was over (and I got my wish). If I wasn't already thinking Shakespearean tragedy though, I still could have played him differently. All I had to do was want to survive the game and just about every decision I made would have been different (going off alone into the woods, introducing my defenseless family, etc.) Would I have been a bad player, holding back the fun, if I had just decided to live instead of die horribly?

Finally, I liked Rob's insistence on his character being a "pure and simple soul" who couldn't take part in the evils going on around him. He was great to play off of and without any contrast or any light in the game then it's easy to forget consequences and just make murder porn. It's Conspiracy of Shadows, not Conspiracy of Snuff Films.

By the way, if things aren't going right, stop us. Call for a bathroom break, pause whatever. If the session is going great and no one wants to leave, let it roll, but when things are limping along and you want it to be better, let's put down the dice and talk about it.
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Jared A. Sorensen
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« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2006, 10:56:01 AM »

I'm viewing this as a learning experience, not a damn witch hunt.  You are probably best suited to tell me what I could have done to get you to engage more.  The goal is to hone my piss poor fucking con game skillz, after all.

Rob, same goes for you.  What could have happened that would have gotten you even more fired up and engaged.


Once the game started and everyone started up I didn't really have much to do. I saw a lot of stuff on my character sheet that indicated to me that Vladick could accomplish his goals without getting involved (it was pretty obvious that all the other players were gunning for one another...and until someone -- Mayuran? - implicated me with a Destiny chip, I could just sit back and wait for the moment to jump in and take over the family. Maybe it's just my own character, but I saw Vladick not as a bad guy but a guy with a pragmatic outlook on life. And I think my line, "There's no 'Hell'...only 'here.'" was pretty good.

Couple of rules comments: I think Destiny should be tied to Doom (why should I have as much say as someone who's going to lose their character soon?). I think players should be allowed to trigger one another's Doom (to get them to act). I wouldn't mind playing CoS again, but I'd want the real deal instead of a PvP convention game.
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jared a. sorensen / www.memento-mori.com
Robert Bohl
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Posts: 525


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« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2006, 12:35:11 PM »

Keith,

I was pretty happy with how people were "getting" my character.  Or I thought I was.  So there's nothing really that needed to be done to fix it from my perspective.  If I have any complaint it's that I was planning on being the one "good" guy and it turned out there were a few more.  Maybe having said, "I intend to play this guy as a pure soul to stand out against the dark ones. Anyone planning on something similar?" might have avoided the contrast having been lost.  But still, I don't think I wasn't fired-up and engaged.

I keep reading, "How could you have enjoyed this better," and it makes me think that you guys have decided I didn't (despite what I've said a few times).  Perhaps what you mean in this case, Keith, is "How could I have gotten you involved in the backstabbing too?"  As I said earlier, if I had been told specifically that you intended in the scenario for everyone to be at each other's throats, I might've gone there.  If there were something on the sheet which established that he was a hypocrite religiously or that he had done something really terrible, I might have played him more in that way.

I'm glad Russell got what I was going for.  He puts it better than I have.  I felt like in order for the darkness of the other characters to be grounded and to contrast with something, it would be good for me to play my character lighter.
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