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[The Pool]

Started by Latreya Sena, July 27, 2008, 03:38:09 AM

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Lance D. Allen


QuoteI meant to say; what if the players really do find the "real" (to them anyway) murderer when I have done all this prep. It's still o.k. I guess but what's the use in elaborate prepping then?

They find the person they really really think is the murderer, put him behind bars, shoot him, whatever. So how do they explain that the murders are still happening? Is it a copy-cat killer? Was there more than one killer all along? Or maybe, just maybe, they were wrong. Don't end the scenario when they think they've cracked it if they actually haven't. How many times have you seen a TV show where the good guys thought they'd finished it up half-way through the show, only to find out they were wrong?

Caveat: If they're adamant that they got the killer, and appear disgruntled that you're keeping the killing going, it may be a sign that they're just done with the scenario. They may be bored, or wanting something else. In that case, it's in your best interests to do something about that. Either talk to them, or end the scenario, either retroactively changing the backstory to wrap it all up, or whatever you feel is most appropriate, to include a wrap up where they accidentally capture the killer, or what have you.
~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls

Moreno R.

Hi Latreya.

About the "what if they say that someone is the killer": the real problem is when they want to _create proof_ that someone is the killer, or when they think that they can designate someone as the killer in a game where they really don't have content (backstory) authority. It can be difficult to explain to players not used to have any authority in game the difference between narrating what happen during a conflict (and afterwards) and creating what happened before.It's something they always saw as something done by a GM and whey get that kind of "power" they think that it's always the same thing, "narrating what you want".

Explaining all the theory behind isn't always the best solution (and if you have to do it at the table, it never is...). It's better to explain the difference in a simple and direct way, tailored to the people at the table. This is the way I do it, as an example:

I make an example, using a dinner knife. And I say than, in a story, a dinner knife isn't always the same thing. I explain that, when you do a monologue of victory (or, in another game, you narrate an outcome) I can "create" a dinner knife to use as a prop.  If I win a conflict about killing someone in his home, I can say that I take a knife from the kitchen ad do it with it (but I could have used any other object in the house). If I win a conflict about framing someone with a crime, I can narrate that I, take a peculiar dinner knife from his home, and use it to commit a crime (but I could have narrated framing him in any other way). In any of these situation the dinner knife is a scenic prop.  But let's say I want to narrate that I find a dinner knife that was used for a crime and I want to say that that knife has over it the fingerprints of a specific character. In this case, that knife isn't a scenic prop, is object very important in the story, a turning point in the plot.  And I can't create it from thin air.

I specify that nor them, nor their character, has any "superpower" of creating dinner knives from thin air. It's not physics. It's narration. It doesn't  follow the laws of physics, it follow the rules of fiction. And they can create every scene props they want, but they can't create "the murder weapon with fingerprints over it". Any other knife in the scene yes, but not that one.

This is only an example, it worked for me and for the players I used it.  You should create a clear example that work for you and your players and make them understand that difference.

(Excuse my errors, English is not my native language. I'm Italian.)

Latreya Sena

Hi all,

Thanks for the replies. I guess I had some confusion generated by the rules: You can even focus on less direct elements of the conflict such as what's happening in the next room or who's entering the scene, but the guidelines make it clear: Keep your narration in synch with the established facts and tone of the game.

I'm a pretty casual gamer and haven't read a lot of "Forge philosophy" yet, so I'm going to delve into the deep water and check out some of those articles and posts. It looks like a good place to start for a clearer idea on how to prep and run the game.

- Latreya

Ron Edwards

Hi Latreya,

That post indicates to me that you are most of way! Many thanks for your patience. I think The Pool is one of the most important RPGs written since the 1970s, so I'm excited that you've been willing to talk it over here.

Best, Ron