News:

Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.

Main Menu

[PTA} Lions at the Gate Week 3

Started by Storn, September 25, 2006, 11:07:20 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

Storn

This week was very, very good.  In TV parlance, ratings went up!

Producer:  Bret
Medea:  Judd
Rion Greenwhich:  Bob
Prometheus:  J
Ulysses Station: me

To be honest... I'm still feeling my way around doing Actual Play write ups.  Judd and I just spoke on the phone, and he laid down some cool advice.  Keep it brief, and pick a couple of things that were cool.. or weren't cool.  So to that end, I'm going to do the episode synopsis very down and dirty.  Then I'll get to what I think is the juicy stuff, critics corner.

It was Rion's spotlight ep.  Could his Guns (re: violence) bring Peace? 

Ulysses inadvertently sparked Prometheus plans vs. the Parami during a powwow on how to deal with them on Manhattan.  Ulysses snorted sarcastically; "what?  poison their food supply??"  To which Promo looked up and said "that is the best idea you've ever had."  Two of Bernard (Rion's nemesis, see pic below, ex slinger, stole the secret of Powder) glory hunting me provided the means.  Trying to kill Rion, they fell to Hecate and Rion's wrath.  Rion shoots one man in cold blood for setting up the hit.  Prometheus takes the bodies and poisoned/diseased them and gave them to the Parami.

Hecate moved front and center, as last week, Judd/Medea forced the scene of Rion taking Hecate as a Slinger apprentice.  Before that happened, Hecate challenged her mother for leadership of the Parami Cannibals and lost.  Which led to the cool scene of Medea telling Hecate don't come back until you've learned the Gun.  It also led to the great feast on Bernard's men... sickening the Parami.  And Rion accepts Hecate as an apprentice.

Meanwhile the devious Prometheus made contact with his good friend Bernard behind everyone's back.  Cool play that.  Bernard is shipping  a wagon of scrap metal in trade for Prometheus's prototype flamer.  Then Prometheus tries to recruit Ulysses to his side with the "I offer you the world" at the appropriate St. Patrick's cathedral setting.  Ulysses, who everyone wants a piece of, refuses the offer.  Promotheus then allows Bernard and cronies to kidnap the boy.

The wagon is interecepted by Rion and Hecate on partrol/training.  They decide that Prometheus could use all this fine scrap.  And run smack dab into Bernard and cronies in the Holland tunnel coming out with Ulysses.  A gunfight erupts.  Ulysses is held as a shield and each 'slinger is down to the last round in their revolvers.  Bernard's gun mysteriously misfires... was it the ghost of Hadrian, Ulysses Pa?  Or the damp Holland tunnel air?  Or perhaps the Powder quality is not as good... we don't know.  But Bernard makes his getaway sans Ulysses.  (he was such a cool cat, we didn't have the heart to off him)

The ep wraps up as the Parami are weak with disease.  The decision to go in while they cannot defend themselves is up to Rion.  Ulysses is disgusted.  Hecate is conflicted.  And Rion balks and has a change of heart.  Poisoning them just seems dishonorable.

The Next Week On...
Bret knocks it out of the park again, with Mutants marching... the Parami are gone from the Jersey wilds and the Mutants are coming in to fill the void.  Judd backs this with introducing the mutant giant leader.

I inject a little triangle between Rion, Ulysses and Hecate... she is very tender towards Rion and Ulysses spots this from outside Rion's cabin.

J has Prometheus in a cage speaking to unknown entities... "the only reason I'm here is because you need me..."


sketch of Bernard

(edited by me with author's permission -RE)

Storn

Critics Corner

Well, I didn't keep the above as succinct as I would have liked.   Hmmm... these Actual Play write ups are tricky.

This was the ep that really got the show going.  I had a little trouble getting my Intent across without dictating play.  Judd rightfully said, "hey, stop trying to shape the play before the roleplaying or cards hit the table."  Or something to that extent.   Although the same plan came from Bob just moments later, albeit better said.  And when I pointed that out.  Judd felt a bit guilty for cutting me off.  I felt a bit guilty for not expressing myself better.

Bret then tackled that head on after the game.  While I took absolutely no umbrage from the event, it was cool that Bret was looking out for all of us and brought it up.

Sometimes that Intent is really important, because the scene if just explained out...might confuse the hell out of everyone.  When I suggested that Rion and Hecate intercept the wagon of steel scrap... J looked at me like I was crowding his parade.  But then I quickly jumped in and said; "hey, we don't know Prometheus's deal with Bernard, we take the wagon if the cards go right and we STILL turn over the wagon to Prometheus."... oh.... cool.

But I must admit that sometimes my Intent sounds like too completist when I just mean to suggest options for the Stakes.

We also had a bit of trouble hitting those Next Week On.  Especially Rion's.  Which led us after the game to discuss a bit on how to make the Next Week On a bit more vignette-y, less dialogue?  More open ended?  I think J's Prometheus in a cage is awesome, as who knows who his audience/captors are... there is a lot of flexibilty there.

But these were minor speed bumps.  The game was cooking.  I can't wait til next week.

John Harper

Can you (Storn, Judd, others) talk more about what's really working well? Like, what parts of PTA are especially rocking for this game and group? What's your favorite thing about playing this specific game of PTA right now?
Agon: An ancient Greek RPG. Prove the glory of your name!

Storn

Quote from: John Harper on September 26, 2006, 01:07:51 AM
Can you (Storn, Judd, others) talk more about what's really working well? Like, what parts of PTA are especially rocking for this game and group? What's your favorite thing about playing this specific game of PTA right now?

Well, I really like how narration rights are determined when the cards and resolution mechanic is triggered.  We have folks tossing in Fan Mail just in order to have a say in how the scene goes.  Bret, the producer, has had hot cards, and he kept getting it... much to his chagrin, he didn't want it.  This last ep, the cards wre a bit more distributed...although I have not won a single contest since the campaign has started... I did win narration rights and that was cool.

And then I simply like the narration as we go around the table.  I LOVE Next Week On.  We write it down and start the next ep with a recap and then reading the NWO.  And it really serves to focus us and channel us and its fun trying to get to connect those dots.

Since this is my first PTA, I can't compare it to others.  As in comparison to other campaigns (almost 3 decades worth there, not easy to choose)  I've been in... I think J's Prometheus, a devil of character, can flourish because there is something about the mechanics that makes room for that kind of character.  We all know he is a backstabbing sob, but our characters only suspect it.  So I LOVE playing off of him. I've never been in a campaign where we can all marvel at Prometheus's schemeing and enjoy it, and yet not want to throttle J for playing it that way.  {although I saw hints of this coming in both of my recent one shots with Burning Wheel and Agon, that competitve play is fun and not painful}

Judd's Medea sorta went more hardcore than anyone expected... and I love playing off that too.  Ulysses has abandoment issues in Spades, Hadrian died, Rion's never really respected him, Medea runs off and becomes cannibal queen.  NOt to mention everyone wants something from Ulysses to be some psychic boy war god, except Hecate... and Ulysses wants her.  Awesome!  So, i've got a great character to work with and that ALWAYS makes me excited. 

And this group of guys is stellar. 


John Harper

Wow. Awesome, Storn. That's a great explanation.
Agon: An ancient Greek RPG. Prove the glory of your name!

Judd

The cards have been rough, really rough.

Bret wins narration rights for almost every scene.  Storn has only won one conflict in three weeks.  I have never seen such one-sided odds come out on the table and I've never seen the narration rights so skewed towards one person.

It isn't that Bret isn't up to narrating, he is, but part of the reason we played PTA is that we want to spread that shit around and that is only very rarely happening.

I am hoping that these odd karma streaks will shift for the latter part of the campaign and really shake it loose.

John Harper

I know you know this, Judd. Hell, you probably taught it to me. Still, I'm gonna say it.

The narrator is the rubber-stamp guy, right? Not the conch-holder. Everyone narrates. It's a free-for-all! If you have the awesomest thing burning in your gut, you say it! Hell, people can even give you Fan Mail for it. The "narrator" has the final say, is all.

The narrator is also the twist-the-knife guy, too. But that's a different topic, kind of. Rubber stamp guy. That's where it's at.
Agon: An ancient Greek RPG. Prove the glory of your name!

baron samedi

Storn,

I'm curious to see your initial "town write-up" to better understand your play angle/premise... Is it posted somewhere?

Thanks!

Erick

Storn

Quote from: baron samedi on September 26, 2006, 10:42:55 AM
Storn,

I'm curious to see your initial "town write-up" to better understand your play angle/premise... Is it posted somewhere?

Thanks!

Erick

"town write-up"?

Not sure what you mean.  The town is Manhattan.  Which Judd has visited often.  I've lived in for 6 years, bike messenger for two.. not a street below 125th that I haven't been on a hundred times.  I'm not sure how much Bret, J and Bob know the city... but it is so ingrained in our pop conciousness anyway. 

We blew it up.  That's all.  After all, it is post apocalyptic.  I will inject landmarks for settings...the old public wharf down on hte west side is Ulysses "Set".  We used Holland Tunnel and St. Patrick's cathedral the last ep.  Prometheus's setting is the WWII submarine that is tethered to Kennedy aircraft carrier museum around, what 54th?  2nd week wove in Giant's Stadium in Jersey.  We've used the busted Brooklyn bridge.

But here is the link to the Pilot if that is what you mean:
http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=21411.0

Here is the link to week 2:
http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=21510.0

Bret Gillan

Quote from: John Harper on September 26, 2006, 05:47:30 AM
I know you know this, Judd. Hell, you probably taught it to me. Still, I'm gonna say it.

The narrator is the rubber-stamp guy, right? Not the conch-holder. Everyone narrates. It's a free-for-all! If you have the awesomest thing burning in your gut, you say it! Hell, people can even give you Fan Mail for it. The "narrator" has the final say, is all.

The narrator is also the twist-the-knife guy, too. But that's a different topic, kind of. Rubber stamp guy. That's where it's at.
John,

It was always my impression that high card-winner narrates, but he is obligated to listen to everyone's suggestions before narrating what happens. Though now, after I've been getting an ace in seemingly every single conflict, we've moved away from me narrating to me just saying, "Okay, so this is what's going to happen. Now let's play it out." I'm suffering from a new condition: narration fatigue.

John Harper

Narration fatigue. Yes. I've been there.

But check those rules again. Pages 65 and 66. "Everyone participates in the narration...." The game means that literally. Being "the narrator" does give you special privileges, but (despite the name) it doesn't mean that you make up and say all of what happens. That's a group activity. Share the love.
Agon: An ancient Greek RPG. Prove the glory of your name!

Storn

QuoteIf you have the awesomest thing burning in your gut, you say it!

Oh.  Have no fear.  This is happening. 

baron samedi

Storn,

My apologies... I thought you were running that "Mountain People" variant of Dogs in the Vineyard. I misinterpreted the acronym PTA...

The crimson hue of shame engulfs my cheeks. I beg forgiveness.

E.