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General Forge Forums => Actual Play => Topic started by: adam m on December 19, 2011, 08:03:21 PM

Title: [DFRPG] Plot-blocked
Post by: adam m on December 19, 2011, 08:03:21 PM
So I've noticed this interesting phenomenon that's happening in the Dresden Files game I'm playing, and I don't think I've seen it before.

Our characters work for a company; we get sent out to do good in the world and make money for our Dragon boss. We're currently on a job to stop some Denarians from sacrificing some chicks descended from saints. But this mission isn't the meat of the game; it's more of a backdrop for our supernatural soap opera. There's a ton of romantic and sexual tension between the characters, and not infrequent quarrels.

Okay, I'm having trouble getting to the point, so I'm going to give some Actual Play examples from last session. Details might be wrong, but the gist is there.

One PC, Karima, succeeds at breaking up with our NPC intern Keiko, putting the aspect "Indefinite Hiatus" on their relationship. Another PC, Cassiel, who's expressed interest in Keiko, starts talking to her, comforting her and making tentative moves. Comments of "rebound fuck!" pop up around the table. A third PC, Rajiv, bursts in and informs Cassiel that he's just found out that the Denarians have captured four more girls and that's enough for them to do their ritual! Quick, to the library! (This game sounds more and more like Buffy the more I think about it.)

Later, another PC, Alex, rescues Karima during combat with some Denarians. Karima seduces him, putting the aspect "Forbidden Love" on their relationship (Alex is a White Court vampire in house Raith; Karima comes from a Vampire-hunting cult). We all go back to Alex's mansion to recuperate and plan our next move. Keiko's there, still obviously upset about getting dumped. Alex and Karima go off to the master bathroom, I think, to fool around. I've been looking all session for a juicy promise to make for (my character) Poly's new aspect, "I always keep my promises". I promise Keiko that I'll get her and Karima back together. I head off to the bathroom to remind Alex and Karima that we've got an appointment to keep! Quick, to the fortune teller's!

Cassiel's player came up with the term "plot-blocked" (like cock-blocked, if it wasn't obvious) to refer to this practice of having your character advance the action-adventure plot with the purpose of interrupting the romance of other PC's. Has anyone else experienced anything like this?

Title: Re: [DFRPG] Plot-blocked
Post by: Frank Tarcikowski on December 20, 2011, 01:15:11 PM
Hey, when I read the thread title I thought this would be about some sort of stuck plot. Instead it's a concise description of a very functional and fun technique! Yes, I've seen that happen in play. It's great if understood as a technique to make things more interesting, not to annoy the other player. Sounds like a fun game!

- Frank

Title: Re: [DFRPG] Plot-blocked
Post by: adam m on December 21, 2011, 10:54:41 AM
Hi Frank

Cool, you've seen it before. Were the conditions that produced/encouraged/housed it sustainable; that is, did the game(s) continue happily along in a vein where it's an okay technique to use? (BTW, is this a big-T Technique?)

I ask because this game had a pretty rocky start, and only for the last session or two have I felt like the game's really gelled; I like the way it is a lot, and I hope that it can continue like this. I've just never seen it in action before, so I'm nervous!

Title: Re: [DFRPG] Plot-blocked
Post by: Finarvyn on December 25, 2011, 04:04:24 AM
I've seen this kind of thing happen in Amber Diceless, where personality comes to the forefront and plot often gets pushed to the background. I'm not surprised that it happens in Dresden Files now that you mention it, since to a certain extent it's what happens in the DF books. Harry has a sweeping plotline to follow but interactions with other characters seems to dominate the action.

My advice is to roll with it and play it out as long as you can, because it's really hard to push players into this style of play if they don't want to go there. As play unfolds, make sure to keep your sweeping plotline popping up often enough where they can't ignore it. Kind of keeps them off balance.

Let us know how this campaign goes. Sounds like a lot of fun!

Title: Re: [DFRPG] Plot-blocked
Post by: adam m on December 26, 2011, 12:41:55 PM
Marv, just to be clear:

I'm playing in this game, not running it.

Title: Re: [DFRPG] Plot-blocked
Post by: Finarvyn on December 26, 2011, 05:40:40 PM
Crud. I missed that part. :(

Well, congrats to your GM, then. :)

I think you're stuck in this kind of atmosphere unless several others want to change as well. As a player interested in following a plotline, it's always frustrating to find other players who just want to get side-tracked.