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Title: [Beloved] [Solo RPG] In a dream ...
Post by: Ben Lehman on March 01, 2011, 04:24:31 PM
I have been putting off playing Beloved (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1gnPx8AlhF1TMarQ165Y1vGM382c6epUvCu1-HkXvICI/edit?hl=en&authkey=CJDYi58F&pli=1#) because, honestly, the game scares me a bit. Plus, it's very hard for me to follow the first directions of the game: I needed a good long time to imagine and envision my perfect beloved, which I suppose isn't surprising.

But last night I had a dream about her, and it was very clear that there she was and, just like in the game, she was kidnapped by a gang of monsters. That was when I knew, at some level, that I was playing the game. So I set out to rescue her.

The first monster that I fought was a shape-changer, particularly one that could mimic particular people and animals. Furthermore, any injury that it took while in a particular form also occurred to whoever it was imitating at the moment. So it fought me by taking on my own form, or the forms of my friends and family, basically holding them hostage against me, all the while turning its hands into daggers and cutting me. It took me a while to realize it, but whenever it transformed there was a brief moment where I could hurt it without hurting anyone else, and so I took those chances to cut off its legs, hands, and finally to stab it through its heart.

But just as I did, it took on the form of my beloved. As soon as I realized what I had done, I was overwhelmed with sadness, but still I went into the prison to find her body. When I did, and it was cut up with every wound I had given the shapeshifter, I realized that it wasn't her! It was some other girl that the monsters had kidnapped. And I felt relieved, that my beloved was still alive. And then I felt this enormous sense of guilt and shame at my own relief: here was this other girl, this totally uninvolved victim that I had killed, and yet I felt relief and happiness at her death. Maybe it would have been better if I had killed my beloved: then I would be punished for my own errors, then I would stop my quest and no one else would have to be hurt.

Then, still feeling that shame, I woke up.

I imagine that I will keep playing this game often, mostly in my sleep, because it is that sort of game. Next time I will have to fight two monsters. I am slightly afraid of what will happen.

I like this game. I wrote it, so of course I am biased, but it is already teaching me new things about itself and myself as I play.

Questions? Thoughts?

yrs--
--Ben


Title: Re: [Beloved] [Solo RPG] In a dream ...
Post by: dreamborn on March 02, 2011, 02:21:25 PM
Ben

I tried to click on the link to your games.  It didn't work.

So just because I am also a game designer.....  What has been the response to your game?  How many people/groups do you think have played it?  Is a game on a particular system, is it using your system.  Sorry but I am just curious as I haven't heard about this game and the link didn't work

Kent


Title: Re: [Beloved] [Solo RPG] In a dream ...
Post by: Ben Lehman on March 02, 2011, 02:40:12 PM
Thank you for pointing out the issue with the link! Let me copy-paste the text at the link. This is the contest entry: the rules have been changed slightly since this time (every monster is now undefeatable for one reason and one reason only, there is also an alternate text with a male beloved.)

Quote
Beloved:

A solo game by Ben Lehman

For Pen and Paper

Imagine your beloved. She is, to you, perfect in every way. Think on it. Know her.

Your beloved has been kidnapped by a pack of horrible monsters. You, the hero, are the only one who can rescue her.

On the center of a piece of paper, of a size that you can carry folded in your pocket, draw a small picture of your beloved. Draw the walls of a prison around her. Outside, draw a horrible monster. Now, right down one reason why that horrible monster is undefeatable.

Think about the monster. Think about how it is undefeatable, exactly. Fold up the piece of paper and carry it in your pocket, but continue to think about it. Play out your battles in your mind, over and over, trying new devices and strategies.

At some point, you will discover a way that the monster can be defeated. Don't cheat and think of this ahead of time! Make the monster as unbeatable as you can.

The best way is that you find a way to circumvent or invert the monster's invincibility. This has to do with the exact nature of it, and when you do it you will realize it was there all along.

The other way to do it is that you discover that the monster has a secret weakness, and come up with a plan to exploit it. Don't just make it up! Discover it in your battles and battles with the monster.

Once you have defeated the monster, cross it out. You have rescued your beloved!

But it isn't really her. It's some other girl that the monsters kidnapped. She is like your beloved in one way, and that confused you.

Is she good enough? Do you give up and live and love with her?

If so, you live ever after together.

If not, get a new piece of paper. Draw a picture -- a better picture! -- of your beloved. Draw the prison walls around her. Draw two monsters. For the innermost monster, write down two reasons why it is undefeatable, for the outermost monster, draw one.

You must defeat both monsters to reach your beloved.

But it isn't really her. It's some other girl that the monsters kidnapped. She is like your beloved in two ways, and that confused you.

Is she good enough? Do you give up and live and love with her?

If so you live ever after together.

If not, get a new piece of paper. Draw a picture of your beloved in the center, then the walls, then three monsters, the innermost with three reasons that it is undefeatable, the next with two, the last with one. When you have defeated all these monsters, you reach your beloved. But it isn't her! She is just alike to your beloved in three ways.

Continue in this manner until she is good enough.



Title: Re: [Beloved] [Solo RPG] In a dream ...
Post by: Ben Lehman on March 02, 2011, 02:42:47 PM
Thus far, it's been played by Emily Care Boss and myself (and, last I heard, is still being played by both of us: it's kind of a slow-playing game.) That's all that I know of. The game has also had some positive response from my creative-but-not-gaming friends, who really see it (rightly) as an exercise in learning how to enter and maintain a long-term relationship. I'm not sure how many of them (if any) are actively playing it, however.

yrs--
--Ben


Title: Re: [Beloved] [Solo RPG] In a dream ...
Post by: hix on March 02, 2011, 04:59:55 PM
I think I started playing it last night, just from having a skim through the rules. It's an elegant way to channel the normal imagining I do before I drift off to sleep, and I find the question at the heart of the game provocative.


Title: Re: [Beloved] [Solo RPG] In a dream ...
Post by: C. Edwards on March 02, 2011, 05:00:42 PM
I've been playing a version of this game, minus your explicit procedures, since I was about five. Also mostly in my dreams.

There are consequences to reaching into the human psyche and expose the throbbing bittersweet organs to the light. ;)


Title: Re: [Beloved] [Solo RPG] In a dream ...
Post by: dreamborn on March 03, 2011, 07:31:57 AM
Dream the Impossible Dream!


Title: Re: [Beloved] [Solo RPG] In a dream ...
Post by: Ron Edwards on March 03, 2011, 09:02:07 AM
This thread needs some discussion focus, please.

Best, Ron (moderator version)


Title: Re: [Beloved] [Solo RPG] In a dream ...
Post by: Ben Lehman on March 03, 2011, 10:24:23 AM
Yes, it does. I have a number of goals: give me some time to sort through them and pick one or two.

yrs--
--Ben


Title: Re: [Beloved] [Solo RPG] In a dream ...
Post by: Ben Lehman on March 03, 2011, 02:03:57 PM
OK. Three points.

1) All pithy one liners are definitely off topic. Let's have a conversation.

2) I would like to talk about the place of dreams and "sleeping on it" in the design process, which is part of why I emphasized that point in my initial post, but in hindsight I think that this thread probably can't bear the weight of that discussion. If anyone wants to talk about that with me, can you start a new thread (or, if it's not appropriate to the Forge, Ron, let me know and I'll make a place for it offsite.) For continuing discussion here, let's just pretend that I edited that point from my initial post.

3) Let's keep this thread to discussion / development of Beloved. Hix, I would love to hear about your experience in some more detail, for instance. Furthermore, as this is basically the first intersection of text and audience (at least, this particular audience), I'll find reactions to the text to be pretty useful.

yrs--
--Ben


Title: Re: [Beloved] [Solo RPG] In a dream ...
Post by: Baxil on March 03, 2011, 05:19:21 PM
I realize this is #1, but I would genuinely like to offer it in the spirit of #3 - I'm kind of at a loss to approach the text, and this is the wall standing in my way:

"I'm married.  I'm not sure I could stand to play this game again."

Which, I don't know ... even saying that much seems vastly unfair to two women I deeply love.  Intellectually I know they would both be mature enough to deal with me playing this game, but I'm hitting my own wall here.  And the fact I can state my objection that way is making me uncomfortable about myself in a way that I hope the game intended.

Questions, I guess.
1) Is this a game you envision being playable only once?
2) Is it specifically envisioned for single gamers?  That's the vibe I'm getting, but there's no actual implications in the text.  Are you looking for feedback from the taken?


Title: Re: [Beloved] [Solo RPG] In a dream ...
Post by: Ron Edwards on March 03, 2011, 05:43:52 PM
Wow - that was my reaction too. Some slightly different details - other people's reactions to whether I or do not play any game are no concern of mine, for instance. Also, I haven't taken seriously the idea of a particular set of desired characteristics for a potential partner since ... um, 1985-ish, I think. But yeah, "I'm married, what do I need this addle-headed effort for?"

I'm skeptical enough about anyone's "I would never play that" reaction to be suspicious of my own. I've seen it so often in response to my own work - fuck, now that I think of it, every single one of my books - to know that this may well be about buttons. And I'm quite curious about the Solitaire challenges, and want to give some of the designs a try.

Best, Ron


Title: Re: [Beloved] [Solo RPG] In a dream ...
Post by: Nathan P. on March 03, 2011, 06:26:26 PM
Even though I'm in a committed long-term relationship (as married as I'm likely to get, really), I immediately knew who my Beloved would be, um, modeled after. Maybe it's cuz I'm super-emo, but if you've ever has a Ms (or Mr.) Might-Have-Been, you may know what I'm talking about?

That said, I also decided not to play this game (conciously), because I'm not a place right now where I can spend energy pining.

Ben, I don't know if that's helpful at all to you, but there's a response to my once-and-only reading of the text.


Title: Re: [Beloved] [Solo RPG] In a dream ...
Post by: lumpley on March 03, 2011, 06:36:27 PM
How strange! Having read the text, I don't know if I can possibly NOT play it. It's in my head now. How do you un-ask the question?

And I'm married like crazy.

I also don't expect my experience of it to be pining. I'm very curious to know when and whether someone will be close enough, and how I'll feel about it when it happens.

-Vincent


Title: Re: [Beloved] [Solo RPG] In a dream ...
Post by: Ben Lehman on March 03, 2011, 08:07:17 PM
Thanks, all. Helpful.

Baxil, to address your questions, I'm not targeting single guys (or even, necessarily, guys) specifically, and I see the game as replayable.

I had a conversation with Joe Mcdaldno about this recently that ran along very similar lines, which I'm going to summarize below. Clearly this seems to push a button with particular married guys.

Ron, it's particularly interesting to me that you see the beloved as a set of characteristics, because Emily did, too. That's not the intention. The intention is that the beloved, and the rescued girls, are, you know, people, with a certain degree of commonality. The rescued girls might be desirable or worthy for reasons that are not about their similarity to your beloved, it's just that all the game system cares about is their similarity to your beloved. What gave you the "list of traits" idea?

--

Joe: I'm not sure I can play this, as I'm in a long term relationship.

Me: Huh.

Joe: It just seems like one of the quickest things to emerge from such play would be an outlining of how (Joe's girlfriend) was or wasn't good enough. Rather than being a self-assessment, it seems like it's rather focused on some one else. A critique of them.

Me: But I think "saving your beloved from monsters" still applies, yeah? And how the answers to those questions (about settling) change, over time and effort. Any improvement in "your beloved" is pursuant on you changing yourself. Overcoming things which were previously impossible for you.

Joe: AH, yes.  I kind of see Beloved as consisting of two lessons or parts. (1.) If something seems impossible, it means you haven't tried hard enough yet. (2.) If you don't learn to settle, eventually, you'll be chasing ghosts forever. And #1 seems universally accessible. #2 is the part that I feel is fundamentally different and weird if you're already in a relationship you're committed to.

Me: See, it's not quite like that to me. The different rescued girls could be incarnations of the same person. Like, my experience of a long term relationship is that, when people improve, the relationship thrives. And when they stop improving, things get worse. But my understanding of the game is still evolving.


Title: Re: [Beloved] [Solo RPG] In a dream ...
Post by: lumpley on March 04, 2011, 07:22:20 AM
The sleep and dream thing is interesting and tricky. I'm going to treat my first monster as a practice monster, I think, because (a) I hadn't drawn anything so I was already cheating, although I was planning drawings in my head, and (b) I defeated it as I was falling asleep, and after I defeated it there was no rescuing and no beloved, just regular jumbled dream stuff. Consequently it's all evaporating from my mind, I can't remember it even though it was very vivid at the time.

I have theories and opinions about marriage and committed relationships! They're in favor of this game. Sharing them on the internet will probably just be irritating, though.

-Vincent


Title: Re: [Beloved] [Solo RPG] In a dream ...
Post by: jrs on March 04, 2011, 07:33:35 AM
It is difficult for me to express my reaction to Beloved. I am surprised at how familiar it seems to my own imaginings over the years. In some ways it feels like I have already played it, but not quite. Like Vincent, I suspect that in time I will play it simply because it is in my head now. The components of unique monster traits in contrast with the in common traits of the ersatz beloved ring particularly true to me. I suspect that my play would focus more on establishing my self-worth rather than the otherís good enough.

Julie


Title: Re: [Beloved] [Solo RPG] In a dream ...
Post by: lumpley on March 04, 2011, 03:34:32 PM
I played for reals, mostly while I was driving. It was really fun. No new insights, except that creating an unbeatable monster and then fighting it different ways until you discover how you CAN beat it is surprisingly satisfying.

-Vincent


Title: Re: [Beloved] [Solo RPG] In a dream ...
Post by: Ben Lehman on March 04, 2011, 07:38:23 PM
Just FYI, I have a nice, slightly revised version with art by me and Emily if anyone is interested.

The slight revision is that it now specifies that you should "take time to know" the other girls, as well.


Title: Re: [Beloved] [Solo RPG] In a dream ...
Post by: lumpley on March 05, 2011, 05:58:00 AM
Hooray! I was going to ask you about that.

-Vincent



Title: Re: [Beloved] [Solo RPG] In a dream ...
Post by: David Berg on March 06, 2011, 08:37:50 PM
My reactions to reading the game:
Imagine your beloved. She is, to you, perfect in every way. Think on it. Know her.

Okay, so now I'm imagining play as a sort of daydream, combining vague impressions, sensory details, feelings, and abstract criteria.  I might imagine pale skin, feel enthused, and think the word "honor" or something.

Quote
draw a small picture of your beloved.

Seems more of a thinky game than an art project, so a non-literal symbol should suffice.  Stick figure, smiley face, whatever.

Quote
But it isn't really her. It's some other girl that the monsters kidnapped. She is like your beloved in one way, and that confused you.  Is she good enough? Do you give up and live and love with her?  If so, you live ever after together.

Oh.  Wait.  My beloved was this vague confluence of things.  Now I need to pick an attribute of her.  Okay, maybe "sense of humor".  So now I've got a girl with a sense of humor. 

Is that the only thing she has in common with my ideal woman?  Is she necessarily, like, an ugly, cheating, neurotic sadist?  Of course I won't settle for that, and I'm not playing this game 50 million times to weed out all the negative qualities I can imagine.

So I'll assume the girl with a sense of humor is undefined on the other fronts.  Which means, I guess I'm supposed to not think about them before deciding if I stick with her.  So it's an exercise in uncertainty; the longer I play this game, the more certainty I get to have.

you should "take time to know" the other girls, as well.

Oh.  Okay, nix "undefined" as well.  Um.  What's the limit on getting to know her as my Beloved?  What's to stop me from making her equally perfect but with, like, different color hair or something?  Having no limits, or having to make up limits and enforce them on myself, would seem to make it not a game anymore.

So, uh, there's one data point for ya, Ben.  I hope there's something useful in there.

Ps,
-Dave


Title: Re: [Beloved] [Solo RPG] In a dream ...
Post by: lumpley on March 07, 2011, 10:07:13 AM
Shall I keep posting mini-AP here?

I'm completely stalled out on my current threesome of monsters. I've gotten one of them to kill another, in a head-slap moment of "of course," but that leaves the two, and they're just owning me.

No help, please! That's why I'm not saying what the monsters are.

I've learned a couple of interesting personal things from this game. It's potent and good.

-Vincent


Title: Re: [Beloved] [Solo RPG] In a dream ...
Post by: Gregor Hutton on March 07, 2011, 10:16:13 AM
I'm still stuck on my first monster. I wrote down that it was fearsome and I've drawn a big serpent thing with a huge dragon's head. The wall's of the prison look pretty thick too and I forgot to draw a window or door. My little dude with his shield and sword is having big trouble with it.


Title: Re: [Beloved] [Solo RPG] In a dream ...
Post by: Roger on March 07, 2011, 11:30:48 AM
Hmmm.  Well, I can give you my reaction to the text.

I think this might be the most Buddhist game I've seen to date.  By that I mean it seems specifically crafted to teach the player the first and greatest noble truth of Buddha: all desire leads to suffering.

I hate to drag religion and philosophy and everything else into this, but I don't think there's any way around it.  That's the real beauty and elegance of this game, I think -- it seductively invites the player to follow a path to an inevitable conclusion, without getting all hamfisted and preachy about it.  Not many games have been able to pull that off.

What's the deal with dreaming?  My sense is that dreams and the dreaming mind here provide a counterpoint to the player's conscious ego.  It is the ego alone, of course, which produces all obstacles to one's desire, as well as producing the object of desire itself.  The resolution of those obstacles must come from somewhere outside the ego, and dreams are a convenient, if not strictly necessary, resource.

All post-rescued not-quite-Beloveds share at least one quality which differentiates them from the true unattained Beloved:  They are all free.  Unlike the Beloved who, by definition, is imprisoned.  It is a necessary quality of the Beloved that she is unattained, and hence there is a requisite fall from grace when she is attained.  This may invite the reflective player to ponder why a nice sane person would consistently define his Beloved as being imprisoned.

Does the game change significantly if the player is the one inside the prison, waiting for his Beloved to finally overcome the monsters and rescue him?  I'm not sure.  It feels slightly different, but perhaps it's purely superficial.  Such distinctions may be purely illusory.

I apologize again if this was all far too rambling and too removed from play.  The line between thinking about playing this game and 'actually' playing this game is a little narrower than usual.


Cheers,
Roger


Title: Re: [Beloved] [Solo RPG] In a dream ...
Post by: Ben Lehman on March 07, 2011, 01:19:42 PM
Shall I keep posting mini-AP here?

I'm completely stalled out on my current threesome of monsters. I've gotten one of them to kill another, in a head-slap moment of "of course," but that leaves the two, and they're just owning me.

No help, please! That's why I'm not saying what the monsters are.

I've learned a couple of interesting personal things from this game. It's potent and good.

-Vincent

Please do.


Title: Re: [Beloved] [Solo RPG] In a dream ...
Post by: Ben Lehman on March 07, 2011, 01:29:13 PM
Hey, Dave: You're the third person (at least) who, looking at the original game, comes up with a list of traits for the beloved. Clearly something is going off the rails here. Can you elucidate how you got that idea, and what maybe I could have said to stop you from doing it that way?

As for the rest: uh, you can interpret things that way. You can also not. I, for one, can imagine people who are pretty different than my Beloved but still not, say, neurotic sadists with bad teeth. Likewise, you can declare that any given rescued girl is almost exactly like your beloved (although that feels more than a bit like cheating to me, but, I mean, it's a one-player game. Cheating is a victimless crime.) But it isn't her.

Roger: Good insights. I think that the primary change in the game from the inside of the prison is that defeating the monsters doesn't require personal expansion beyond what you thought was possible.

Gregor: Good luck!

Julie: Are you going to play?

yrs--
--Ben


Title: Re: [Beloved] [Solo RPG] In a dream ...
Post by: Baxil on March 07, 2011, 02:05:40 PM
Ben,

Count me as a fourth in the "list of traits for the beloved" department.  Here's my first stab at articulating what's leading me to do it.

The thing is, your actual beloved never makes an appearance in the game.  Ever.  The only engagement you have with your actual beloved is in pre-play brainstorming, and via reflection when you rescue your toads.*

So who is your beloved? 

Quote
She is, to you, perfect in every way.

You're not chasing after an actual person.  You're chasing after an unattainable ideal (whose unattainableness is compulsory in the rules). 

The fact that there is no engagement with your beloved, ever, and that she is 100% perfect, makes it very hard for me to think about her as an actual individual.  So how do I relate with an ideal?  I don't think I can.  I think that all I can do is to figure out what it is I'm looking for in her.  Hence, the list of traits, which play itself generates.

Quote
But it isn't really her. It's some other girl that the monsters kidnapped. She is like your beloved in one way, and that confused you.
...
But it isn't really her. It's some other girl that the monsters kidnapped. She is like your beloved in two ways, and that confused you.
...
But it isn't her! She is just alike to your beloved in three ways.

I'm honestly wondering how what the "right" way to think about the game is, because based on what you're saying there's some way of thinking through this that doesn't lead into my dead-end, but I'll be damned if I can see it.

--
* "Thank you, Mario!  But our princess is in another castle!"**
** Very relevant (http://www.duelinganalogs.com/comic/2010/06/07/be-sure-to-check-the-fine-print/).


Title: Re: [Beloved] [Solo RPG] In a dream ...
Post by: Baxil on March 07, 2011, 02:18:38 PM
Rereading the previous page:

I had a conversation with Joe Mcdaldno about this recently that ran along very similar lines ("I'm not sure I can play this, as I'm in a long term relationship.") ... Clearly this seems to push a button with particular married guys.

Now I'm wondering whether there's a link between "married guys wincing back from the game" and "players seeing the beloved as a list of traits."


Title: Re: [Beloved] [Solo RPG] In a dream ...
Post by: David Berg on March 07, 2011, 03:31:36 PM
Hi Ben,

The traits came from the combo of: (1) Think on it. Know her. and (2) She is like your beloved in one way. 

My "thinking on it" process generated some vaguely-defined traits.  The "one way" instruction led me to define one trait concretely.  I had thought this was obvious, but perhaps it's just a byproduct of my particular thinking style.  Instructions to prevent me from doing this could go something like this:

"She is, to you, perfect in every way. Don't count the ways!  Don't chop her up into a list of perfect parts.  Think on her just long enough to form a wordless impression, then move on to the next step."  (That'd work for me, but cutting my imagination off before I'm generating details would also hamstring my investment.)

"It's some other girl that the monsters kidnapped. She is like your beloved, but only slightly."  (And then the 2nd rescuee would be "Like your beloved, ever so slightly more than the first girl".)

Not sure if that's helpful.  I tried to come up with a less drastic suggestion, but wasn't sure exactly which part of the trait-using process was the problem.

I, for one, can imagine people who are pretty different than my Beloved but still not, say, neurotic sadists with bad teeth.
I can too!  I just didn't know if that's what I was supposed to do.  Is it?

Honestly, what comes most naturally for me is to declare that any given rescued girl is pretty swell just the way she is and declare that my ever after is in fact happily.  (I could be assuming too much for not having played it, but I'm pretty sure that's how I'd react.)  It might be something about imagining beloveds and rescues and monster-defeats that puts me in that frame of mind, or it could just be my general attitude (I don't believe in monopolies on perfection, e.g.).

Ps,
-Dave


Title: Re: [Beloved] [Solo RPG] In a dream ...
Post by: Ben Lehman on March 07, 2011, 04:19:35 PM
Honestly, what comes most naturally for me is to declare that any given rescued girl is pretty swell just the way she is and declare that my ever after is in fact happily.  (I could be assuming too much for not having played it, but I'm pretty sure that's how I'd react.)  It might be something about imagining beloveds and rescues and monster-defeats that puts me in that frame of mind, or it could just be my general attitude (I don't believe in monopolies on perfection, e.g.).

That's not an unreasonable expectation, and I imagine you'd be far from alone. I think the "settling down after one go" is pretty great, as a game. But I'm also not sure that, when actually playing, you'll have the same result.

yrs--
--Ben


Title: Re: [Beloved] [Solo RPG] In a dream ...
Post by: lumpley on March 07, 2011, 05:53:48 PM
I beat my three monsters!

I expected to settle down happily too, but damned if it's working out that way. I'm in the difficult process right now of trying to settle down with a person who is pretty great, but not who I thought she was. That's being the troublesome part for me, not that these women are unlike my beloved in any particular way, but that they aren't her. Settling down means either deciding that she doesn't really exist in the game world, or else leaving her unfound out there somewhere.

Oh crap. Crap crap crappity crap crap. I just realized that there is a way I can find her by the rules. SHIT. Jesus Christ, Ben.

-Vincent


Title: Re: [Beloved] [Solo RPG] In a dream ...
Post by: David Berg on March 07, 2011, 06:28:42 PM
That's being the troublesome part for me, not that these women are unlike my beloved in any particular way, but that they aren't her. Settling down means either deciding that she doesn't really exist in the game world, or else leaving her unfound out there somewhere.

Huh!  Neat.  I wouldn't expect that to happen to me, but now I'm tempted to play it just to find out for sure.  Cool!

I just realized that there is a way I can find her by the rules.

Hahaha!  Okay, I don't know what you're thinking, but must share what I came up with: make her one of the monsters!

I'm not sure if invincibility is compatible with my dream girl, though.  :)


Title: Re: [Beloved] [Solo RPG] In a dream ...
Post by: Ben Lehman on March 07, 2011, 06:36:02 PM
Dave: Just as a note: Not invincible. Undefeatable. Invincible, if present, is a typo.

There's a subtle distinction: things which are invincible are a particular subclass of undefeatable, but monsters can be undefeatable for reasons other than invincibility.

yrs--
--Ben


Title: Re: [Beloved] [Solo RPG] In a dream ...
Post by: jrs on March 08, 2011, 09:53:00 AM
Julie: Are you going to play?

I have played one round. It took a surprising amount of discipline to play by rules in my own head. I was also very disappointed that the imprisoned wasn't actually my beloved. I immediately wanted a do-over, and spent no effort in the "take time to know" phase. I do not know when I will play round two.

Julie


Title: Re: [Beloved] [Solo RPG] In a dream ...
Post by: lumpley on March 08, 2011, 10:14:01 AM
David: it sounds to me like (a) you're under-knowing your beloved, and then (b) pre-planning the way that the person you rescue is going to be like her. I suggest, instead, that you (a) take some time to get to know your beloved as a person, and then (b) let yourself discover how the person you rescue is like her, instead of thinking about it beforehand.

-Vincent


Title: Re: [Beloved] [Solo RPG] In a dream ...
Post by: Gregor Hutton on March 08, 2011, 10:14:46 AM
Hey, I defeated the monster but it's been brutal! I'm currently being tended by the not-Beloved, so she's caring.

When I feel I'm healed up enough I plan to head off rescuing again. We'll see if that plan happens.


Title: Re: [Beloved] [Solo RPG] In a dream ...
Post by: lumpley on March 08, 2011, 10:40:38 AM
I lost part of my hand last time. If I leave this person I have to fight four monsters, and it may be even worse than that. I still haven't decided.

-Vincent


Title: Re: [Beloved] [Solo RPG] In a dream ...
Post by: Baxil on March 08, 2011, 12:00:16 PM
Clearly something is going off the rails here. Can you elucidate how you got that idea, and what maybe I could have said to stop you from doing it that way?

I'd like to come back to this, having slept on it, and expand on what I previously said (http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forge/index.php?topic=31241.msg284906#msg284906).

It's becoming more obvious that the key here is in humanizing (well ... making concrete, regardless of humanity) your beloved.

Quote
She is, to you, perfect in every way.

May I suggest "She is everything that you have ever wanted"?  I still cannot make her "perfect" without making her abstract (and thus breaking my approach to the game).

May I further suggest defining a short introductory scene with her, one that is specified as unreal in the game narrative (a dream sequence or some such), but that allows for actual interaction during gameplay? 

... Actually, on second thought, I guess that's already legal under "know her," so I'm empowered to do it.  Never mind.

It's just frustrating that I've had to take such a roundabout approach to understanding the text.  It's been a week and I'm just now coming around to where I even understand it enough to prep for play (modulo initial hangups, still working on those).  I'd have given up long ago if it weren't for the enthusiasm of everyone posting cryptic notes on their playtests here.


Title: Re: [Beloved] [Solo RPG] In a dream ...
Post by: Ben Lehman on March 08, 2011, 01:06:49 PM
It's frustrating to me, too. I'm definitely looking at ways of revising / expanding the text so it's more clear what to do.

yrs--
--Ben


Title: Re: [Beloved] [Solo RPG] In a dream ...
Post by: Altaem on March 09, 2011, 07:22:58 PM
I wasn't sure what to make of this game.  I almost thought it was a joke.
My brain simply doesn't accept the idea of absolutes.
Therefore there can be no perfect Beloved, no unbeatable monsters.

I explained the game to my wife. 

For every impossible to beat monster she rapidly came up with a solution.
This prompted the idea that the monster would be the same each time.  But it would evolve each time becoming immune to the method which defeated it before.

Alternatively; If my beloved is as perfect as I imagine, then no prison could hold her.  I'll just wait outside for 2 minutes while she frees herself.


Title: Re: [Beloved] [Solo RPG] In a dream ...
Post by: jburneko on March 10, 2011, 02:11:22 PM
Ben,

I've been trying to play your game for a week or so now and it hasn't been working.  I just can't get in the head space.  I was wondering what was wrong.  Then I read this:

Alternatively; If my beloved is as perfect as I imagine, then no prison could hold her.  I'll just wait outside for 2 minutes while she frees herself.

And at first I thought, oh hey, that's clever.  Then I tried thinking "outside the box" as well and I found my problem.

My "perfect" beloved saves me from monsters.  Not the other way around.

Just a data point.

Jesse


Title: Re: [Beloved] [Solo RPG] In a dream ...
Post by: David Berg on March 11, 2011, 12:29:11 AM
Vincent, good call, that sounds like a more rewarding way to play.  But as I ponder it, this:
take some time to get to know your beloved as a person
actually does start to feel like I'd be cheating on my girlfriend! 

Weird.  I didn't have that reaction at all upon reading the text.  Maybe I initially envisioned play the way I did because that was the only way I'd feel okay playing it.

Separately: reading all the different responses in this thread is really interesting!  If I was introducing this game to friends, I'd want to make that comparison a feature.  Seriously, Jesse's response just made me appreciate this a lot more.

Ps,
-Dave