Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Started by Levi Kornelsen, September 21, 2006, 04:31:17 PM
Quote from: Ron Edwards on September 21, 2006, 08:20:09 PMI'm liking the Exchange a lot! I've been wondering for some time whether thematic-RPG design could be expressed in generalist form and still be interesting. I can see kinships to Trollbabe, Sorcerer, Hero Wars, and Legends of Alyria. Now, whether you want to keep it generalist for purposes of further development, I don't know. It depends on your publishing plans.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on September 21, 2006, 08:20:09 PMHere are my goals for this exchange of posts. Starting with your understanding of Creative Agenda from the previous thread, and Narrativism in particular as what you and the gang were and probably are doing, I'd like to talk about the procedures of play. This is the "system does matter" part of my notions. The reason I'd like to continue is that CA is more than a motive or an attitude. It would be both easy and false to say, "Well, I want to play Narrativist [or whatever]," but make no reference to actually how this is carried out.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on September 21, 2006, 08:20:09 PMBasic mechanics
Quote from: Ron Edwards on September 21, 2006, 08:20:09 PMQuick conceptual point: reward and resolution*Snip*The reason I'm going on and on about this is to break down any possible separation you might have in your mind about reward mechanics and resolution mechanics being separated. Sometimes I'm talking about this and someone says, "But that's not reward! It's resolution!" in a totally dichotomous way, and I have to point out that in this case, unlike most of the games the person is used to, the overall/larger concept of reward encompasses options in resolution for this particular game.Does this seem like a good foundation for our discussion, to you?
Quote from: Ron Edwards on September 21, 2006, 08:20:09 PMBack to the game itselfWhat happened in that final session, or sessions if it took more than one?
Quote from: Ron Edwards on September 21, 2006, 08:20:09 PMI'm also interested to know whether the group continued to play more Frostfolk stories, after the whole cauldron/tribe-totem issue was concluded.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on September 21, 2006, 08:20:09 PMConsidering the game-mechanics for each character is only about a paragraph long, I'm hoping you can list all four of them, two versions each - at the start of play, and at the end of the final session.Your comments on Andjagger in the previous thread were a little vague for me to grasp. I think you said you focused heavily on improving the values of certain traits ... which were they? What I'd really like to know is how those improved traits were then actually utilized in later play ... you can see I'm aiming at the reward cycle, in which X means you can improve something, and Y is the new use of the improved thing that demonstrates the meaning of that choice.
QuoteIn the end, the big changes served to strengthen Andjaggers role in the group as "the fighter", while the other minor additions were present to fit him into the group culture as a whole.
QuoteFor Andjagger, I spent most of my 'advances' building up an assistant with the help of the other characters - Tavelhanda carved me a sword from ice, and Spokelse (the Crone) bound several of the tormented spirits of the undead we'd fought into it. As a group, it struck us as kind of a neatly appropriate for Andjagger to have an icy, vampiric blade to go with his heroic aspirations (and it fit into his later transformations pretty well, too).
QuotePlay using this system will generally break into sections, each of them a 'story' or a 'goal'. At the end of each of these sections, each player may choose to make as many of the following changes to their character as they like – but they may only make each change from this list once (emphasis mine -RE), and must follow the rules given for each:• Increase the rating on any trait by one: You may raise the rating of any one trait - but there's a catch. You must always have less traits at any given rating than you have at the rating one lower than that; so, you must have more traits rated with a one than you have rated with a two, more traits rated with a two than with a three, and so on.• Add a single, new trait, with a rating of one: This trait is described using normal rules for traits, and is a permanent addition. The catch here is that you can never have more than twenty total traits. The nature of the setting may change that number; more gritty settings may put the 'cap' at fifteen, and more power-building settings might put it at thirty, but otherwise, the limit is twenty.• Alter the name of a trait: If your character has changed the focus of one of their traits (the way it's used) you can change the name of that trait slightly to reflect that. This isn't a rule to allow drastic change; if your swordsman becomes a monk, you'll want to lower and raise traits to reflect that, but if your infantryman becomes a sergeant, that's a good time to change the trait name.• Reduce any trait by one: The special rules here are the same as for raising traits; otherwise, you can always reduce the rating of a trait if it makes sense. This doesn't, of course, apply to injury traits.• Remove any trait: The special rules here are the same as for raising traits; otherwise, you can always remove a trait if it makes sense. Again, this doesn't apply to injuries.
Quoteit's plain that the group is creating emergent story. I say "emergent" because there's no guarantee that any specific piece of story will conclude in any specific way. Moreover, it's presently unclear which of those possibilities will be resolved at all.Now, that doesn't invalidate a damn thing - it's just that this is there, as a natural thing within the group. Almost all games follow the basic storyline structure (they have a beginning, rising action, and denoument), but we've loaded the action with potential themes, and in play, things which serve or tie to a potential theme are often those that we, as players, use.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on September 23, 2006, 11:52:14 AM"The big changes made the bike go faster."
Quote from: Ron Edwards on April 13, 2337, 10:42:21 AMOther characters are involved in providing Andjagger with material - stuff, tightening of relationships. This is key because it means the other characters are buying into responsibility for what Andjagger might do with such things.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on April 13, 2337, 10:42:21 AM2. And linked to that, I'll merely repeat your point that all the players were involved with all the characters' advances, even though characters' awareness per-character varied. You say this so casually, with a little "Certainly!" tossed in ... as if it's a given thing. It's not a given thing. This is a key technique-issue at the heart of how a particular reward system functions. There are other, functional reward systems in which that very feature would be absolutely undesirable. And conversely, as I'm sure you know, when a person in the group wants that kind of group buy-in to the way a character improves, and yet the rest of the group doesn't do it for whatever reason, there's a lot of room for no-fun to take hold in that group.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on April 13, 2337, 10:42:21 AMSo what does that give you for our discussion, for your next post? Not much specific, but it's important for me to know whether any of this is working, making sense, et cetera. Even if your answer is yes, obviously!, that's cool too. (Especially since what I've written in this post is not obvious and in fact is highly unreliable across the hobby.)
Quote1. Other characters are involved in providing Andjagger with material - stuff, tightening of relationships. This is key because it means the other characters are buying into responsibility for what Andjagger might do with such things.2. And linked to that, I'll merely repeat your point that all the players were involved with all the characters' advances, even though characters' awareness per-character varied. You say this so casually, with a little "Certainly!" tossed in ... as if it's a given thing. It's not a given thing. This is a key technique-issue at the heart of how a particular reward system functions. There are other, functional reward systems in which that very feature would be absolutely undesirable. And conversely, as I'm sure you know, when a person in the group wants that kind of group buy-in to the way a character improves, and yet the rest of the group doesn't do it for whatever reason, there's a lot of room for no-fun to take hold in that group.
QuoteThe players were buying in completely, and putting their characters into it. The players did, though, make the general sound that they might very well have their characters turn on Andjagger if he went too far with it - that if I wanted to play this as the first step in "the fall of Andjagger", then they'd almost certainly take their characters in the direction of "having made a horrible mistake that they must now clear up." - a little preemptive maintenance on their part, so I wouldn't feel cheated if they ended up killing me in the middle of a glorious fall to evil.Fit what you're thinking?
Quote from: Ron Edwards on September 24, 2006, 03:58:23 PMSo in other words, if Levi decides to make Andjagger into an antagonistic character via the sinister sword, he can. And we (the other players) are going to help him (John) be in the situation of making that choice. Because we want that choice to be real. Does that sound familiar, or at least interesting?In that context, their assurance to you that their characters will turn on Andjagger if he goes this way reads to me as having a little bit more to it. It's "maintenance," yes, in the sense of making sure that you are not only forewarned, but may even be turned on by that possibility. The more choice Andjagger has, the better, and everyone now knows it.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on September 24, 2006, 03:58:23 PMMy final point about the reward system is this: that it is system. It has options, steps, interactions, and in general "follows rules" in the social (and in this case textual) sense. *SNIP* So all this stuff I've posted in this thread so far is about system mattering to CA.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on September 24, 2006, 03:58:23 PMPART THREE: QUESTIONS ABOUT THE EXCHANGE
Quote I'm just leery of subtle variants on 'friends conditioning each other to be friendly'.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on September 29, 2006, 12:00:53 AMINJURY RULES - GETTING MY HEAD 'ROUND IT
Quote from: Ron Edwards on September 29, 2006, 12:00:53 AMPOSSIBLE DOUBLE-DIP INJURIES*Snip*But by the rules, Skallagrim must now also fight the Trait as a new opponent.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on September 29, 2006, 12:00:53 AMI am a little unclear on whether Skallagrim can use the same Traits against the injury as he did against the giant, if they apply.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on September 29, 2006, 12:00:53 AMI think you'll agree that both waffling and tack-ons are ass.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on September 29, 2006, 12:00:53 AMWith my suggestion to make such actions just like wounds (i.e. adding "injury" Traits like "That guy speaks truth about Gunn's lies"), such influence is the stuff of fun & wonderful conflict, and not an insta-friend lockdown. I mean, you can give my character a trait of "he's my pal" at 3, but all that means is that you'll pull it in against me – not that I have to obey it and make my character decide things accordingly. It'll nag at my character and sometimes get in the way of other stuff I want, the same way a wound does ... which is what influence should be, after all. I can even try to "clear my head" about it (actually, heal it in rules terms), and there's a cool scene or conflict right there.
QuoteIt's the idea of being able to call in one of my own injuries to help me that bugs me. As an example of the problem I'd like to avoid, say that you're playing the big tough guy in the group. And I give you the injury "defender of Levi's character" at some nice high number. Now, yes, I can get to use it to influence you, which is the good and fun bit.If you can also call on that trait for a bonus die every time that you're defending you, then it's our mutual interests to load one another up with traits that can be used in that way towards each other, to gain ridiculous pools of dice.
QuoteNjar the Axe-man has had enough and seeks to cleave Gunn's lying head from her shoulders.Gunn pronounces a death-curse on Hrunggir.Skallagrim knocks over the lantern, seeking to plunge the room into darkness.Hrunggir stabs Skallagrim, because he thinks he killed his brother.
Quote from: Alan on October 03, 2006, 01:49:35 PMIt's not clear to me, though, why a roll would ever be anything but 4 dice verses 4 dice. I understand that higher ranked dice have to be justified by their role in the SIS, but even so, doesn't this happen often? How has it played out in your playtests. How often is there a large discrepency between dice rolled by opposing sides?