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Author Topic: Schismatic Puddle  (Read 1583 times)
amel
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Posts: 7


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« on: February 19, 2004, 12:33:20 AM »

Hi, this is my first post. I am a long time lurker. A while back I had the first opportunity to try some of the techniques discussed here on the Forge and while looking for a rules system I wanted to use, I suddenly “got it”. I printed The Puddle wrote an R-Map and some emails and we played for three nights. We had a lot of fun.

This is my second try with the same group. They wanted to play in a modern world so I decided to use Schism. I wanted to stay with The Puddle. I was not sure where to post it. It is a rules variant for The Puddle (which itself is a variant of The Pool), but as you need Schism to use it, I decided to post it here.

Actually, right now I do not have any specific questions about it. I just thought it might be worth sharing. And probably some of you guys even have a question or something to add.

Schismatic Puddle

The world is taken right out of the amazing supplement. I decided that Psychogenesis is a disease. The government quarantines people who show signs of the disease, which means isolation and tests for the rest of your life (or until the government figures out how to cure Psychogenesis which is pretty unlikely).

Character generation:

- Write 50 words about your character. Psychogenesis abilities do not need to be mentioned by name.

- Describe how you imagine your death.

- Choose a Kicker.

Psychogenesis:

I used the descriptions from the supplement as a guideline for the abilities. Every time someone uses Psychogenesis, the die roll is treated like a potentially deadly scene but instead of dying the player gets a Black Die (just a die in a different color). All Black Dice have to be rolled in addition to the other dice when a roll on Psychogenesis is made. The Black Dice have three effects:

- They are never given back to the GM, no matter what they show.

- They are treated as normal dice if it comes to success or failure of the roll.

- If two or more Black Dice show a 1 or 2 (negative results) the die roll is treated as if the player had rolled a negative result in a potentially deadly scene (which means the player gets a die from the GM, rolls some more dice without the Black Dice and if he does not get a positive result he dies).

BTW, I am totally aware that using these rules a character can never die the normal way in a scene in which he uses Psychogenesis. That did not happen by intention but it is a nice side effect, I think. Unfortunately, I have no idea how fast the Black Dice will accumulate. I will see in play …

Death Scenes:

Taking the idea of the death scenes from Schism to The Puddle, death is handled a bit differently in this game.

When a character would die in the normal rules (i.e. a potentially deadly scene turns out bad), he will not die right away but survives this particular scene. The die roll is just treated as a failure. Afterwards he has to plan his death scene with the GM which should be played in the near future (the next scene or the scene after that, probably the next gaming session). This is treated as if a character in the original Schism had reached Humanity 0. He gets a scene where he can play out his death (not a whole gaming session though). He should take into account how he imagined his death in the beginning and what changed the character.

Usually, I do not like how people die in RPGs. The tip you usually get, is to make the character death “important”, which is almost impossible in most scenes. I hope to get around this problem using these death rules and (almost as a side effect) it captures the mood from Schism pretty well, I think. Well, actually I just hope so. I am pretty curious if it really has an effect in play.

We already made up characters. I have the R-Map ready and we have some Kickers. We will play next Tuesday. If time allows I post about it in Actual Play.

Andreas
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2004, 08:56:50 AM »

Hi Andreas,

My apologies for not replying sooner. As you can imagine, that was quite an introductory post!

Quote
Every time someone uses Psychogenesis, the die roll is treated like a potentially deadly scene but instead of dying the player gets a Black Die (just a die in a different color). All Black Dice have to be rolled in addition to the other dice when a roll on Psychogenesis is made. The Black Dice have three effects:

- They are never given back to the GM, no matter what they show.

- They are treated as normal dice if it comes to success or failure of the roll.

- If two or more Black Dice show a 1 or 2 (negative results) the die roll is treated as if the player had rolled a negative result in a potentially deadly scene (which means the player gets a die from the GM, rolls some more dice without the Black Dice and if he does not get a positive result he dies).

BTW, I am totally aware that using these rules a character can never die the normal way in a scene in which he uses Psychogenesis. That did not happen by intention but it is a nice side effect, I think. Unfortunately, I have no idea how fast the Black Dice will accumulate. I will see in play …


Many people have utilized a kind of "secondary pool" mechanic in The Pool, and for some reason we all seem to like using black dice for this purpose. One unpublished variant I set up involved characters who were all ancient dragons in the modern day (in human form, of course), and their "dragon magic" was a separate shared pool of black dice. That idea eventually gelled, partly, into the core idea for my proto-game design Black Fire.

Quote
When a character would die in the normal rules (i.e. a potentially deadly scene turns out bad), he will not die right away but survives this particular scene. The die roll is just treated as a failure. Afterwards he has to plan his death scene with the GM which should be played in the near future (the next scene or the scene after that, probably the next gaming session). This is treated as if a character in the original Schism had reached Humanity 0. He gets a scene where he can play out his death (not a whole gaming session though). He should take into account how he imagined his death in the beginning and what changed the character.

Usually, I do not like how people die in RPGs. The tip you usually get, is to make the character death “important”, which is almost impossible in most scenes. I hope to get around this problem using these death rules and (almost as a side effect) it captures the mood from Schism pretty well, I think. Well, actually I just hope so. I am pretty curious if it really has an effect in play.


H'mmm ... I'm not sure I'm getting it. Am I correct in breaking it down as follows?

- Character fails in potentially deadly scene, but the Black Dice do not show two or more low values. He dies but without "going schizo" or succumbing to his psychogenesis.
- Character fails in potentially deadly scene, but the Black Dice do show two or more low values. He does not die immediately but must have a death scene next time around.

Andreas, thanks for posting all this! I look forward to reading all about it in Actual Play.

Best,
Ron
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amel
Member

Posts: 7


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« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2004, 02:14:16 AM »

Quote
H'mmm ... I'm not sure I'm getting it. Am I correct in breaking it down as follows?

- Character fails in potentially deadly scene, but the Black Dice do not show two or more low values. He dies but without "going schizo" or succumbing to his psychogenesis.
- Character fails in potentially deadly scene, but the Black Dice do show two or more low values. He does not die immediately but must have a death scene next time around.


Er ... actually no.

I had problems describing to my players. How could I expect people to understand me when I try to explain it in one short paragraph (and in a foreign language, too ...)?

Short:

There is only one way death is handled: When the dice say you will die, then finish the scene and talk to the GM about your death scene.

Long:

There are two ways to die:

1. The usual way: in a potentially deadly scene the player does not get a positiv result and at least one negative. He rolls again and does not get a positive result -> the character will die.

2. Death through black dice: at least two black dice show a negative result. The player rolls again and does not get a positive result -> the character will die.

When the dice say that a character will die, the scene is finished normally. The character survives the scene (but does not reach his goal). Afterwards he plans his death scene with the GM. It does not matter which way he died. Every death is handled the same way.

I hope this clears things up.

I think the idea of having two (or more) different "kinds of death" is something to keep in mind. I could imagine a game in which the player can choose when his character dies:
- just pass away
- get a death scene in which he can make his death special, but he has to sacrifice something really important

I cannot imagine what effect that would have on a game. And I guess a discussion about that should go into another thread =)

Greetings

Andreas
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