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Author Topic: [Forge Midwest] Trollbabe- Player Choices, and a Question for Ron  (Read 6383 times)
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2008, 03:00:13 AM »

Rafial, I think I know what you mean by "plot protection" and why you put it into quotes. Let me see if I can phrase the point in a different way, which is also my answer to you, Arturo..

It's all about adversity. The trollbabe can't leave the adventure, and the source of adventure (in a scenario) is adversity. Since she has no obligation to solve anything, i.e., since the adventure does not consist of saving the town or saving the kitten or killing the monster-threat, the trollbabe isn't going to be in an adventure unless some kind of adversity is present. So that must come from the interactions with NPCs.

Having named characters is about making sure that there exists some source of hassle for the trollbabe. Each named person is needy, threatening, frustrating, attractive, or who-knows-what ... in practice, it arises from a combination of what the GM does with the NPC and how the player responds. Sometimes an NPC turns out not to be adverse, and sometimes he or she becomes outright villainous (or as that character would put it, "pushed too far").

So although the GM does not designate any NPC, from the outset, as "the villain," even so, without the GM role in making NPCs at least problematic for the trollbabe, adversity that's relevant to her (as opposed to being a canned threat or goal) won't arise.

Therefore the rule about named NPCs and forming relationships is there essentially to make sure that adversity can't be disintegrated simply by the trollbabe relationshipping everyone.

In Oskel's case, I decided that it would be more fun, or more accurately, would be more full of rich adversity, to have her tie herself to one of the cannibal conspirators, and to see what happened with that. Although the bedroom scene was rocky, in my experience of it, the later scenes really blossomed around that basic conflict and I was glad I'd agreed to Oskel becoming a Relationship.

Best, Ron

edited to add an extra sentence
« Last Edit: May 08, 2008, 03:03:57 AM by Ron Edwards » Logged
FredGarber
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Posts: 95


« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2008, 08:14:33 AM »

Quote
But if the player said:

- "As they are grappling me, the innkeeper comes to my aid" or
- "The innkeeper comes in and tries to free me."

What would the GM's authority in this situation allow?  Would the GM have to invent a reason for the cannibal innkeeper to come to the defense of dinner?  Or would it fall back to "he's not available for that?"
_I_ would take this moment to come up with a rationale for the innkeeper's change of mind. 
Maybe his brief experience with the Trollbabe has uplifted his soul, and he no longer wants to kidnap,
murder, and eat every traveller to the inn.  Maybe he wants to make her into a Cannibal Trollbabe Bride. 
His intentions are still the GM's to control, but his actions were dictated by the Trollbabe.

One of the things I continually struggle with (as a GM) is avoiding the Steel Railroad.  I'm a good writer, and so sometimes I will make a conscious decision during a game to go with a PC suggestion that is NOT in line with my original plot, in order to make the game's story a more collaborative fiction.

-Fred
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Arturo G.
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« Reply #17 on: May 12, 2008, 02:14:22 AM »

Quote
Therefore the rule about named NPCs and forming relationships is there essentially to make sure that adversity can't be disintegrated simply by the trollbabe relationshipping everyone.

Ron, I have been thinking on your comments and they make a lot of sense to me. However, they have arisen a new question.

I can imagine situations where having relationships established with the main supporting characters of an on-going conflict, may put the Trollbabe in a critical point to make decisions about the nature of the conflict, and what should be the outcomes.
Would be the lack of adversity related to the power of the Trollbabe's player on the acts of the her relationships? Or am I missing something more?


Quote
One of the things I continually struggle with (as a GM) is avoiding the Steel Railroad.  I'm a good writer, and so sometimes I will make a conscious decision during a game to go with a PC suggestion that is NOT in line with my original plot, in order to make the game's story a more collaborative fiction

Hi Fred!
You comment seem a little conservative to me. As far as I understand Trollbabe, the nice thing is that you never have any plot. You know what are the stakes. But you always follows the players as they get entangled in them. You really focus in what they find interesting. If a Trollbabe have a conflict of makes a relationship with an NPC, you make that NPC central in the story and use him/her to entangle the Trollbabe more and more in the stakes. Until she makes a relevant decision (sometimes because she is just letting things go and resolve in a given direction). Thus, the outcomes are immediately derived from her position.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #18 on: May 12, 2008, 06:04:31 AM »

Hi Arturo,

I think you revised the phrasing of this question too many times, or maybe you typed it too fast in the first place:

Quote
Would be the lack of adversity related to the power of the Trollbabe's player on the acts of the her relationships?


Can you re-phrase it for me? I can read Spanish, so that is an option as well if that would be the best way to make your point.

Best, Ron
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Arturo G.
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« Reply #19 on: May 12, 2008, 08:09:18 AM »

Too many revisions, trying to condensate everything in only one sentence, I'm afraid. I will try again in English. Writing in these forums is somehow part of my English abilities training.

It should read:
Let us assume we have allowed the Trollbabe to establish relationships with every NPC related to the stakes. Thus, the player has power to state what all relevant NPCs are doing or trying to do in a scene.
I assume that this power is the origin of the "lack of adversity". In the sense that the player could force the NPCs to do things that solve, or help to solve the stakes, without too much trouble or risk for the Trollbabe.

I hope now it is clearer.


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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #20 on: May 12, 2008, 11:51:22 AM »

Hi Arturo,

You're correct. That's an accurate re-statement of my point.

Hypothetically, if I as GM had allowed all the named NPCs except for one to become relationships, then I would probably not allow the final one to become a relationship as well.

Best, Ron
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