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46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13299 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 83 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [MLWM] My life with the Tour de France  (Read 5251 times)
JC
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Posts: 150


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« on: March 15, 2008, 04:38:02 PM »

OK, I’m tired, so this is going to be a short one. I GMed a one-shot of MLWM for three other players this afternoon, before going on to play DRYH with two of them. We’d played story-games together before, but I’m the only one who’d played MLWM before (or read the rules).

First thing I want to touch on is that we played MY LIFE WITH THE TOUR DE FRANCE!!! I mean, holy shit… Two years ago, I wouldn’t have dreamed of playing something so far removed from the traditional tropes of RPGs.

The setting choice came out of nowhere (well, not really out of nowhere, but that’s how it felt), after I’d explained the rules, and we’d been tossing around ideas of witches in the middle-ages and whatnot for ten minutes or so. Everyone rolled with it, and we had a blast. MLWM’s rules worked just fine with a modern, realistic setting. I really enjoyed the absence of fantasy elements.

Next, starting values. I used 3 Fear, 3 Reason, 1 Love for each Connection (so 2 Love in total), and no Innocents. We didn’t quite squeeze the whole game into the 6 hours we had, so I had to cheat a bit to have the End-game happen. I think I should have used 2 Fear, like the other game I played in. I also didn’t actually kill any Connections, even if I came close. Had I killed them, we definitely wouldn’t have had enough time.

The Master was a team doctor, set on proving her medical superiority. The Minions were:
-   Paolo Caligari, the team star rider, addicted to the stuff the Master provides.
-   Wouter Vogel, the team manager, blackmailed by the Master.
-   Frank Clavier, the sports journalist and ex-rider, in love with the Master.

This brings me to something I think should really be stressed when playing MLWM: it’s very very important to spell out why each Minion fears and obeys the Master.

Two minor rules problems also came up.
1/ I know that the Minion’s More Than Human doesn’t save the player from having to make a roll in the process of obeying a Command the Minion didn’t resist. But sometimes, coming up with a reason to roll is hard.
2/ When a Minion commits villainy, there seems to be no mechanical difference between a tie and a failure. We decided to have the Minion try again differently, in case of a tie.
Anyone have advice for these issues?

Another issue one player had was that interactions between Minions, if they’re conflicts of some type, tend to delay the end-game. This seems like a shame, since inter-Minion conflict is so cool. Any ideas?

Last question: has anyone played MLWM GM-less? Does it lead to conflicts of interest? If so, can they be resolved with using an antagonist-system comparable to that of Polaris? And does it lead to a less consistent Master persona?

Thanks for any input!
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Paul Czege
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2008, 10:29:17 AM »

Hey JC,

1/ I know that the Minion’s More Than Human doesn’t save the player from having to make a roll in the process of obeying a Command the Minion didn’t resist. But sometimes, coming up with a reason to roll is hard.

Often the solution is to think beyond the commanded task to the conflict that's being aggravated by the command, and then to put a wrinkle into that conflict somehow. "Bring me the virgin girl" becomes complicated by the presence of her loyal sheepdog. "Burn the chapel" becomes complicated by one of your connections tying herself to the doors to stop you.

Don't think that Commands and player scene requests are what determines which dice rolls happen. The narrative determines what dice rolls need to happen. If a loyal sheepdog defends a Connection, then that's a Violence roll for the minion.

2/ When a Minion commits villainy, there seems to be no mechanical difference between a tie and a failure. We decided to have the Minion try again differently, in case of a tie.

When the Villainy was driven by a Command, the mechanical difference is that the Minion has made a roll and so is no longer obligated to continue pursuing the Command. But otherwise, yes, the outcome directs the narrative; when I run the game I follow a double-jeopardy rule (i.e. the Master doesn't re-issue the same command).

Another issue one player had was that interactions between Minions, if they’re conflicts of some type, tend to delay the end-game. This seems like a shame, since inter-Minion conflict is so cool. Any ideas?

They can be great. And they help keep you from falling into a routine of going around the table and having one scene per minion. My advice is to start with a higher Reason relative to Fear, have more than one Innocent in the game, and plan to play for 3-5 sessions.

Last question: has anyone played MLWM GM-less? Does it lead to conflicts of interest? If so, can they be resolved with using an antagonist-system comparable to that of Polaris? And does it lead to a less consistent Master persona?

Can't help you there. I've never played it GM-less. I think you have the right concerns though.

Paul
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"[My Life with Master] is anything but a safe game to have designed. It has balls, and then some. It is as bold, as fresh, and as incisive  now as it was when it came out." -- Gregor Hutton
JC
Member

Posts: 150


WWW
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2008, 02:10:47 PM »

thank you for the answers ;)
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Filip Luszczyk
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Posts: 771

roll-player


« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2008, 04:18:02 PM »

Tour de France. Heh, I certainly wouldn't think of such application :)

Quote
Don't think that Commands and player scene requests are what determines which dice rolls happen. The narrative determines what dice rolls need to happen. If a loyal sheepdog defends a Connection, then that's a Violence roll for the minion.

Hmm, so it's the way I've been suggesting during our first game after all, and scene framing is not as rigid as we played it. Makes sense.
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