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Author Topic: Trait questions  (Read 6163 times)
EvilCat
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« on: May 22, 2009, 05:35:09 AM »

After several games, there is one thing that bothers me.

Traits. They describe components, pump their importance, and can be drawn upon for dice in complications. Other facts cannot be drawn upon (it's explicitly called "draw upon trait") and don't protect components from elimination.

Questions:
1) Is interpretation above correct?
2) Some things can be represented as traits, or events (for example, "promised to aid John"), or scene/world facts ("these predators are of unknown species"). But making them traits seems more advantageous. Is it expected?
3) Can world/scene traits be drawn for dice?
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Valamir
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« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2009, 05:14:53 AM »

Thanks for the questions.

You can think of them all as interchangeable.  I think there's even a paragraph to that extent in the book, though I don't have a copy in front of my for reference.

Traits are Facts about a Component, Events are Facts about the story, Tenets are Facts about the game.

Yes, your interpretation is correct, and by design.

Sometimes, "Sam beats up Bill" is just an event...a thing that happened, and we know it happened because someone spent a Coin on it.

Sometimes, "Beat up by Sam" is a Trait for Bill because that's something that going to drive him, going to gnaw at him, going to come back to haunt Sam later...and we know that because someone took the time to write it down on Bill's record rather than just say it and move on.

When its one and when its the other is entirely up to your group, and the Challenge mechanic is there to settle any differences in interpretation.

There is no reason why the world (e.g."Middle Earth") can't be created as its own Component and assigned Traits that are universally true about Middle Earth, and then players can draw upon those as appropriate.

Creating each scene as its own Component is certainly permitted...its more of an advanced use of Components, I think, suitable for stories like Memento or Pulp Fiction or Kill Bill, where the scenes are shown/played out of order and you want each to highlight its own thing.  More common would be to create the location sets where the scenes occur as Components.

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David Artman
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« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2009, 10:07:41 AM »

There is no reason why the world (e.g."Middle Earth") can't be created as its own Component and assigned Traits that are universally true about Middle Earth, and then players can draw upon those as appropriate.
Could I get you to say a few words about why a world would be a Component rather than the elements of the world that have an impact on situations be Master Components?

For example:
* Elves are immortal and destined to leave for The West - Part of world or a part of any "Elf" Component?
* The Shire is virtually untouched by the shadow of Sauron - Part of the world or a part of any "Located in The Shire" Component?

I guess it could be relatively moot, or functionally equivalent by the Coin and dice mechanics. I think that I just have an issue with Tenets being a way to claim dice, which effectively leaves dice open to anyone and everyone rather than only to a Component's controller.
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Valamir
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« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2009, 06:19:51 PM »

Good question David.  First let me say that while you COULD create the world as a Component, that doesn't necessarily mean you should, or that I would.

Lets see, times when I might do it:

If the world was to be personified like "Gaia" who awakens to begin smiting the dirty humans who are poisoning her.  That would be a straight up Component that just happened to be the size of a planet.

In a time travel game where I might create each time period as a Master Component representing "the world" of that time and include Traits appropriate to that world (in this case "the world" would probably be a specific time and culture...like San Francisco 1910.

The Middle Earth example...possibly not the best example since my Middle Earth-Fu is weak, but when I wrote it I was thinking not so much things that would be better as part of an Elf Master Component, but things that are just true of world in general...like...maybe...There is Power in History...that someone could claim after doing a Tolkiensian segue into 3 pages of Elven Lore...or something like that.
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EvilCat
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« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2009, 03:09:22 AM »

Thanks for the answers.

Myself, I like systems and mechanics, and I wouldn't hesitate to throw tenets like "only personality traits matter for importance" or "you can draw upon any appropriate fact in a complication" if it fits the genre. But most players don't see game mechanics as whole. The meaning of such gimmicks is obscure to them, and I feel uncomfortable as if making up trap-rules. Any advice I could use?
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Valamir
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« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2009, 03:53:34 PM »

Well, here are 3 ideas, depending on which works better for your group.

1) Just do it.  In play just create Tenets like that (which are absolutely exactly the kind of thing Tenets are for).  If nobody challenges you, you don't have to explain yourself and eventually they'll either get it, or not, but either way you'll have your tenets.

2) during the tenet phase you can have a discussion about the genre and what you think are important aspects of it and how those tenets fit those aspects.  You'd probably get smiles from a system monkey like me, but possibly yawns from others who don't care so much.

3) you could do the explaining by email before the game and already have the discussion and buy-in so you don't have to do it at the table.
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David Artman
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« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2009, 07:27:37 AM »

If the world was to be personified like "Gaia" who awakens to begin smiting the dirty humans who are poisoning her.  That would be a straight up Component that just happened to be the size of a planet.
OK, I can totally see that.

Quote
In a time travel game where I might create each time period as a Master Component representing "the world" of that time and include Traits appropriate to that world (in this case "the world" would probably be a specific time and culture...like San Francisco 1910.
Getting a LEETLE lost on this one, but it makes sense to me as follows:
* "Time Travel Game" is a Tenet, so we can't establish much in the way of setting info as Tenets (except maybe "on Earth").
* Therefore, each new time period would be a Component (and likely a Master Component--"From 1920s" would provide a list of Facts about a Component that's from the 1920s).

Quote
...things that are just true of world in general...like...maybe...There is Power in History...that someone could claim after doing a Tolkiensian segue into 3 pages of Elven Lore...or something like that.
OK, I suppose I got this one, too. I'd be challenging on anything that would rightly be ascribed to an entity IN the world, though, especially during Tenets phase. That could be a prejudice on my part, though: thinking of Tenets as "meta game level" or "outside of the fiction--the picture frame that contains the painting we're about to make" rather than "build the world--make the grossest level of the fiction."

Furthermore, it bugs me that SOME Tenets could be called for dice ("History has power") but others can't ("No cell phone use at the table"). Makes the Coin economy... um, a bit broken? I dunno--I'm not sure I can articulate what I'm driving at....
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