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46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13297 Members Latest Member: - Shane786 Most online today: 32 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [DitV/Glorantha] Con game question  (Read 2954 times)
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« on: April 28, 2008, 04:46:55 AM »


I am going to be running a DitV/Glorantha mash-up at Tentacles (German convention) and I am planning a quick but intense 2.5 - 3 hour game.

I plan to use part generated characters to save time but I am in two minds whether to use the Accomplishment phase. I have always found that phase very useful and insightful in games run with my group, but I am concerned by the possible length of time it would take to do 3 such conflicts before the story starts.

Another possibility could be to throw them straight into the situation, and have conflicts about what they want to achieve during their homecoming festivities and draw in some foreshadowing of the problems in their town as colour for the conflicts.

Those of you with experience running Dogs at a Con, how have you handled things? Do these conflicts take up more time than they are worth or are they too valuable to ignore?
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travisjhall
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« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2008, 06:32:54 AM »

No experience running Dogs at a con, but I do have experience playing Dogs at a con. The GM, Chris, did use the Accomplishment phase (in fact, we made our characters from scratch, in a 3-hour slot which included the game proper as well). I enjoyed having the accomplishment phase as part of the event, because it meant I had a real idea how the game worked before we got into the town. Running at a con, you will most likely have players with no Dogs experience at all, and this little bit of prep can help them be a lot more comfortable with the game.
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newsalor
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« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2008, 06:39:33 AM »

Hi Jamie,

I would urge you to use the accomplishment scenes. There are a couple of reasons.

1) It gives some ownership of the characters to the players who have not created them.

2) It's a quick and easy way to learn the rules.

3) The vignettes that you get out of the scenes are often really cool and they instantly give some character to your otherwise fresh dogs.
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Olli Kantola
Moreno R.
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« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2008, 08:45:47 AM »

To save time, explain the conflict rules during the accomplishment phase.  So they can learn the game playing it, with an actual example.
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Ciao,
Moreno.

(Excuse my errors, English is not my native language. I'm Italian.)
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« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2008, 04:57:01 AM »

Thanks all so far,

Travis, that must have been an efficient game, maybe the time restrictions focused everyone to keep it simple, I totally agree with you Moreno and Newsalor that it is a good way to introduce the mechanics, but how long did that accomplishment phase last?

Newsalor, agreed that it will help with ownership, I have a few other tricks for this but it is a direct visceral part of chargen.

The setup will be a homecoming for recently trained soldier / heroes (Humakti for those who know the setting) so I have two possible accomplishment hacks if I choose to use that phase:

1 A reasonably standard Accomplishment Phase "what did you want to achieve during your training"
2 A throw them all into the town Homecoming Phase "What do you want to do as soon as you get home"

At the moment I feel that 2 would fit the situation pretty well, the standard Soldier answer "Make out with Mary-Jane" would have all sorts of advantages for introducing town colour, situation foreshadowing and NPC introduction, which could be a more efficient use of time.

Any reactions / ideas?

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travisjhall
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« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2008, 05:58:18 AM »

Travis, that must have been an efficient game, maybe the time restrictions focused everyone to keep it simple, I totally agree with you Moreno and Newsalor that it is a good way to introduce the mechanics, but how long did that accomplishment phase last?
Well, it was at an Australian con. Australia's convention scenarios these days are often very slick on the timing, regardless of the system run. From what I've seen, scenarios written for the USA aren't usually as fast-paced as ours.

The town would probably be considered relatively straightforward. I remember taking part in three conflicts in the town, and I think there might have been a fourth for which my character wasn't present. That's after four(?) accomplishment conflicts, or thereabouts.

On the other hand, we aren't necessarily so fast outside of cons. My game on the weekend was about four hours long, and included character creation, accomplishments and perhaps a third of a town. Part of it is that when we go into a convention scenario, we're there to play, not to socialise... but really, a big part of it is learning how to manage the timing. Scenarios are noticeably tighter now than they were ten years ago, here (and the development that way has been faster in the southern capitals than in Brisbane, too).
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newsalor
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« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2008, 08:06:13 AM »

Travis, that must have been an efficient game, maybe the time restrictions focused everyone to keep it simple, I totally agree with you Moreno and Newsalor that it is a good way to introduce the mechanics, but how long did that accomplishment phase last?

I kept those scenes short. 5-15 minutes per character. 4 characters and 15 minutes per character is an hour already! The first scene took the longest. During that we grokked the dice rules. The following scene was more about establishing the stakes and making the phases other than the dice rolling explicit.

I also made it clear that the players shouldn't optimize their "moves" and think about the narration, not the riht way to use dice. This was about learning to use the rules, so like learning Go, you should play fast and loose at first.

The setup will be a homecoming for recently trained soldier / heroes (Humakti for those who know the setting) so I have two possible accomplishment hacks if I choose to use that phase:

1 A reasonably standard Accomplishment Phase "what did you want to achieve during your training"
2 A throw them all into the town Homecoming Phase "What do you want to do as soon as you get home"

At the moment I feel that 2 would fit the situation pretty well, the standard Soldier answer "Make out with Mary-Jane" would have all sorts of advantages for introducing town colour, situation foreshadowing and NPC introduction, which could be a more efficient use of time.

Hey, Glorantha is my second name!

So you guys are humakti coming back to their home clan after being  off somewhere on a quest. Cool.

I'd make the accomplishment scenes about their heroics, but with a twist. Make up a cool example like "I hope I learned to forgive" or something and then have them do their scenes about things that happened during their quest.

. . .

BTW, a friend of mine, who you'll likely meet at Tentacles, is doing a Mountain Witch / Humakti game set in the Upland Marsh. =)
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Olli Kantola
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2008, 10:27:49 AM »

The Upland Lich?

Jamie, do the Accomplishments. We even do chargen, and it always works fine. DitV is very structured, and you'll make it through play fine.

Mike
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« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2008, 03:40:08 AM »

Cheers all - sounds like accomplishments get the big thumbs up from everyone here.

So you guys are humakti coming back to their home clan after being  off somewhere on a quest. Cool.

Well I was considering that the Humakt temple was a way off in a bigger town and that the PCs have been spending a year there with Initiation and training and the odd mission thrown in - kind of like the Dogs set-up but with a little more of a military camp feel and an education in the signs to look out for on the slippery slope to the kind of undead worshipping corruption that is bound to emerge when you are on the edge of Delecti's Marsh.

Quote
I'd make the accomplishment scenes about their heroics, but with a twist. Make up a cool example like "I hope I learned to forgive" or something and then have them do their scenes about things that happened during their quest.

Yes this was my initial thought but then I figured that if I was going to invest the time in the accomplishments, maybe I could use them to signpost the themes or relationships in the story. After all, the reason that 3 fresh faced, sword wielding, newly enlightened, empowered and respected guys are coming home is less interesting than what they actually do when they get home.

I guess it would come down to a trade off between having scenes that establish the characters mindset and scenes that lead into the story, I wonder if I get the best of both worlds. Maybe accomplishments whilst away that reflect their home town situations in some way.

"I hope I can live up to my dead father's legacy while I am in camp" kind of thing.

Quote
BTW, a friend of mine, who you'll likely meet at Tentacles, is doing a Mountain Witch / Humakti game set in the Upland Marsh. =)

That's a bit spooky in its similar sentiment and very close by setting one could almost use the same characters - I guess those Humakti are just good for genre/game blending.



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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2008, 11:30:19 AM »

Hey Jamie,

Did the game happen yet?

Here's the thing. Before they make up their characters, talk about the town they come from, and to which they're returning. Garunteed that the players, having little else to work off of, will make their characters interesting in the context of the town. When they return, the links between the characters and the town will be nearly automatic.

I'm guessing, but I think it's a good bet. Anything else you need, I'll bet you can concoct on the fly. Especially if the town is well worked out.

Mike
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Chris Crouch
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« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2008, 11:51:30 PM »

Coming late to the party...

Travis, that must have been an efficient game, maybe the time restrictions focused everyone to keep it simple, I totally agree with you Moreno and Newsalor that it is a good way to introduce the mechanics, but how long did that accomplishment phase last?

I was Travis' GM for the DitV session in question.

From memory, character creation & accomplishment took maybe half of the session, maybe a little less.

Unfortunately, my session report has disappeared to the great bit-bucket in the sky, but my session report from the previous year's con is still at: http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=21725.0  My town write-up from last year still live on: http://www.users.on.net/~chris.crouch/cgi-bin/wiki.pl/DitV_at_Vorpalcon2007

Basically, by making sure that the situation grabbed the players immediately, so that they didn't spend time just wandering around looking at the sights, I had no trouble finishing things off in our 3-hour session.

Chris
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« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2008, 08:38:21 AM »

Hey Jamie,

Did the game happen yet?


Sure has!

Worked out very well, used accomplishment scenes, and two out of three of them were based on their familial relationships from their pre-gen write-ups which effectively prefigured a lot of the following drama. The up close and personal nature of the accomplishments set a very intense tone for the rest of the game which I really enjoyed and I know the players did. We also took the opportunity that one shots provide to have the town relationships be immediate relations so we had major NPCs be a younger brother, a fiancée and a mother. This made the situations especially 'grabby'.

As for the timing, accomplishments and character sheet tweaking took around 45 mins which would have been fine had I not pitched the amount of stuff going on in the town at a far too complex level to play through the whole thing. I hadn't quite realised how the emotional intensity that I had pushed for would effect how much conflict would ensue, such that the small area of the town's problems that they did complete felt like a full game in its own right.

As to the setting change it worked excellently, I listed a few things that were taboos in the region to set the tone and had Swordplay/Death Magic as the D10 level, and that was about it, everything else worked out by direct analogy. One player commented that it was no wonder that Humakti were so grim all the time, because once they got home they had to wipe out half of their friends and family. Large amounts of death did not ensue but there was an undercurrent of tension. 

All in all, it was a great game thanks to the players' buy in to their pregens and their willingness to dig deep and get personal, so thanks guys, if you read this, for a fun time.

I hope to sit down and write an actual play report at some stage, I had really wanted to record the session but the venue was a little crowded so a report will be the best way to preserve my memory of the game.

Thanks everyone for your input and advice.
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