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Independent Game Forums => lumpley games => Topic started by: Garth on March 13, 2008, 04:58:47 PM

Title: [IAWA} Character Recurrence
Post by: Garth on March 13, 2008, 04:58:47 PM
I just picked up the game, and WOW!  I very much want to try it, though the usual issues of time and group scheduling may prevent it for who knows how long.

What I especially like is how easy it would be to alter the whole implied setting just by changing the oracles.  With some tweaking, you could get "Arabian Nights", "Morte d'Arthur", and so on.

However, I have a few questions.

1) What exactly is stopping NPC's from recurring?  I can see at least two ways it could happen:

* An oracle comes up that fits an NPC from a previous chapter to a hair.  Say it's Shahu Seen from the book.  The GM picks out the sheet and reuses it, perhaps "refreshing" the stats.

* Likewise (and to me more interestingly), someone creates a new PC called "Shahu Seen" with the same Particular Strength, daring anyone to say it's not the same guy.

2) Why is one allowed to use a name on the Owe list to bring a *different* character in?  This seems to me to subvert the whole point of the Owe list.  (The same question goes for crossing off one character's name to get an Advantage die for another.)  What am I missing?

So far as I can see, the Owe list is there to ensure that only characters having compelling conflicts recur.  Where is the benefit in letting those compelling conflicts justify the presence of other characters who haven't earned it?

(I was also going to ask how the "Mekha's the husband of a serpent demon" option is helpful, but that was well-answered in another thread - you have to accept a change to Mekha you didn't design, so to speak.  So I wonder if I really am missing something.)

3) In a similar vein, how do separate sheets for the same character interact with the Owe list?  Does "Tajie as a 7-year-old" go on as such, or simply as "Tajie"?  I mean, barring time-travel, having "Tajie as a 7-year old" be Owed could be really constraining on the time frame of a chapter.  On the other hand, "Tajie" and "Tajie as a 7-year old" really are mechanically different characters, tied together only in the inscape of the game.  One could be having really compelling conflicts and the other not.

4) How do Unique particular strengths interact with different sheets for the same character?

5) Speaking particular strengths, if they're separable from a character (a magic ring, say), can they be transferred to another?  Or is the ring "plot-protected" so that the original owner can't permanently lose it until it's become the focus of a negotiation?

I ask because negotiation can damage the loser's sheet, but isn't supposed to be allowed to benefit the winner's sheet.  How on earth is this to be handled?  Should the person with the ring simply narrate using it, but not actually get the PS die?

Title: Re: [IAWA} Character Recurrence
Post by: lumpley on March 13, 2008, 05:14:56 PM
1. Both of those are legit. Go for it.

2. Ooh, now that IS an oversight in the rules. You can use one character's name from the owe list to bring in another character on the owe list, not just any character you've happened to play. Among your interesting characters, you get to choose which you want to play - but ONLY from among your interesting characters. The name at the top of the list is an exception: that character MUST recur, next chapter, you can't cash her in for another.

The owe list tells you who CAN recur, but doesn't insist who MUST recur (except the character at the top of the list). If you decide that you never want to play a certain character ever again, you (probably) won't have to, but you still get benefits from having her name on the owe list.

3. Just Tajie. They're the same character: if Tajie as a 7-year-old is super interesting, that makes Tajie super interesting. I figure that's how our brains work.

4-5. Always follow the logic of each particular strength individually, case by case.

Follow up questions always welcome!


Title: Re: [IAWA} Character Recurrence
Post by: Garth on March 14, 2008, 01:37:18 PM
1.  Hmmm.  So, correct me if I'm wrong, but when the GM recycles an old NPC, he does *not* advance it's particular strengths or anything like that, right?  That's for PC's only?  Refreshing forms seems only reasonable, though.

Or are NPC's (whether old or new) able to have as many particular strengths as the GM wants?

...D'oh!  I just realized that the GM can always create "new" NPC's that are extensions of old ones.  "This is Fa Il Shar before he became a priest."

2. *scratches head* OK, that does make a whole lot more sense, but the way the rules talk about it is definitely confusing.  Two follow-ups here:

2a.  Does the same principle apply to buying an Advantage die?  That is to say, you can scratch off one of your characters' names off the Owe list to gain a die for your current character, provided that character is on the Owe list also?

2b.  Does the same principle apply to the "Mekha's the husband of a serpent demon" option?  That is, is it:

 2b':  If Mekha's the husband of the serpent demon, he can recur IF he's on the Owe list, but without scratching a name off?  Or:

 2b'':  If Mekha's the husband of the serpent demon, he can recur even though he's not on the Owe list.

3. OK, I agree.  Is the player free to pick which sheet to play when a chapter starts?  I can see two options:  GM announces, "The chapter starts 30 years after Tajie was married to the harvest god's effigy," and Tom says, "I kinda wanted to play Tajie as a 7 year old again," and they discuss altering the time?

Or can Tom's player simply announce, "I'm pulling in 'Tajie as a 7-year-old,'" and when everyone goes, "How can she be 7 years old 30 years after she was 16?" and he just says, "Guess we'll find out," and that's cool?

Oh!  And that reminds me of a few more questions I thought of:

6. How public are character sheets?  This strikes me as a vitally important question while setting best interests.  Are you *guessing* that Amek is going to be strong With Violence, or do you *know for a fact* that he has a d12 With Violence?  Of course, even if you didn't know in the first chapter, once you've crossed swords with him, you'll know if he recurs in a later chapter.  (Provided his forms don't get reorganized.)

My guess is that you play your cards close to your chest, and everyone has to be ready for surprises - the GM included.  Am I right?  On the other hand, if you don't see other character's sheets, how can you know if you're stepping on the toes of someone else's Unique particular strength?  Are particular strength sheets public but not character sheets?

7.  In chapter 3, new characters can start with significance 2.  Does that go for NPC's as well?

8.  What's the minimum number of players to make this game fly?  I'd imagine two would be pretty flat, but see 'group scheduling problems' above.

Title: Re: [IAWA} Character Recurrence
Post by: lumpley on March 15, 2008, 07:16:45 AM
1. The GM makes all NPCs' sheets anew from scratch every time. Damage to them isn't lasting (if they come back) and they don't get updated.

2a. No.
2b. 2b''.

3. The player's free. Practically speaking, the person whose character tops the owe list, not the GM, has the most to say about when the chapter's going to occur.

6. All fully public.

7. Yes.

8. Three plus me is my minimum for the game.


Title: Re: [IAWA} Character Recurrence
Post by: Garth on March 15, 2008, 10:53:45 PM
Thank you very much!  I look forward to playing this game.

So many games, so little time...

Title: Re: [IAWA} Character Recurrence
Post by: Brand_Robins on March 16, 2008, 10:58:54 AM
I've played Wicked one on one with Mo, with a kind of distributed GMing model thing. We do the oracles and such as normal, and then pick PCs (one or two each -- she usually takes two, I usually take one), then make up NPCs together, and then kinda go through doing best interests all in a flurry. (Sometimes we do best interests, then chose PCs based on who is the midst of the most shit.) We then take turns framing scenes, with the rule being that scenes have to be based around a PC, (so the three to four characters we chose as PCs always are focus characters) and go more or less as normal.

It works well, but isn't really quite the same game as when you play with a group. I think its just best done to accept it as what it is though, which is very fun, rather than trying to shoehorn it into being like the game you get when you play with a group.

Title: Re: [IAWA} Character Recurrence
Post by: WildElf on March 17, 2008, 01:28:31 PM
8.  What's the minimum number of players to make this game fly?  I'd imagine two would be pretty flat, but see 'group scheduling problems' above.

I've done it with two, plus me. It worked well. They were pretty much allied, even though they started slightly cross purposes. I made 6 NPCs, but only needed 3. It was meaty and fun. The two players are very good at contributing and being clever and throwing new stuff in.  Three and four turn the heat up quite a bit, but if you have scheduling problems, go ahead and give two a shot. If it doesn't work, oh well, now you know.