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Author Topic: help with IaWA  (Read 7724 times)
stefoid
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« on: February 07, 2010, 08:53:31 PM »

Hi, I rolled

a Nest of Vipers
6H: A tower of silver and alabaster, which rises from the sea under the new moon.
7H: A squat town on the banks of a wide, long river, rich from plunder, whose men raid up and down the river in their ugly boats.
2S: The unscrupulous landlady of a roadside wayhouse.
KS: A village executioner, practicing his trade on a caught burglar.

and its my first game, and Ill be GM.  Im a bit perplexed as to characters for this one, as there are a lot of locations, and in fact the first element (silver tower) is nothing but a location).

not to mention, of the two characters specifically named, one is about to kill the other one and I assume has a decisive physical advantage at the start of the game.  I mean, a direct confrontation would be executioner tries to chop off burglars head, but it seems kind of contrived to have the burglar escape somehow without help.  but until that 'caught burglar' situation is resolved one way or the other, how do I involve the burglar in the story.  I guess I have to resolve it very quickly.

When I say resolve, obviously I mean 'introduce a scene that will lead to conflict in which it is resolved'

any suggestions?
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Falc
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Posts: 86


« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2010, 12:43:36 AM »

Your post is giving me the impression that you're going to be making all the PCs and NPCs and the whole story all by yourself... Which is very specifically NOT how IaWA works. Well, okay, it could work, but that's not how it was designed.

The whole point, or at least as far as I can tell, is for the entire group of players to cooperate towards a good story. This would be why the Oracles are deliberately vague, so that every player has the freedom to latch on to whatever inspires him/her.

Your tower? One player might see it as a prison. One evening for the knight to rescue the princess kept inside. Another might think of a siren living in it, luring men to her. Neither of which might actually be played out in the game, it might all be background to the characters they're building in their head.

But if you're going to do it all for them, then I feel you might as well play another game, since you'll be losing a good chunk of what IaWA is about, how it feels to play it.
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lumpley
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« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2010, 06:37:58 AM »

Yep! Don't draw from the oracle until you're all sitting down at the table together, ready to play.

-Vincent
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stefoid
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« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2010, 02:28:39 PM »

OK, sure.

but anyway lets look at this example specifically - lets say we are all around the table and people select their characters and two PCs take the burglar and the executioner.   I think in the rules somewhere it says someone has to take specifically designated characters.

Is not my job as GM to set up a situation which encourages the characters to pit themselves against one another.  My original question still stands - in this situation, one character is going to execute the other and nothing much can happen to either character until that is resolved somehow.

what do you suggest?
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lumpley
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« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2010, 02:48:15 PM »

Open with that scene. Why not?

 "Okay, you, you're tied ankle and wrist, forced to kneel beneath the executive tree. You, you're wearing your hood of office, choosing from among your many strangling cords. Who does what?"

-Vincent
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jrs
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« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2010, 02:56:23 PM »

My original question still stands - in this situation, one character is going to execute the other and nothing much can happen to either character until that is resolved somehow.

I'm currently in an IaWA game where I'm playing the murderer for hire and another player character is my target. The story is all about that getting resolved. We are not worrying about trying to resolve it before hand.

And don't forget the Best Interests!

Julie
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jburneko
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« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2010, 03:19:20 PM »

Don't know if this will help.

We had that King of Spades draw in a game I played in.  I was the execution and another PC was the caught burglar.  The details are little hazy but one of the NPCs had a Best Interest about replacing me.  Either taking over the job himself or finding another person for the job.  This is why Best Interests are important.  They add detail and context beyond the implied situation in the card draw.

So I started the game going to the burglar in his jail cell.  I said to him, "I can execute you tomorrow as scheduled or you can do me a favor and I'll see to it that never happens."  And the game proceeded from there.

I know for sure the burglar never got executed.

Jesse
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stefoid
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« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2010, 04:51:20 PM »

ok, thanks.
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lumpley
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« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2010, 05:06:09 PM »

Sure!

Is there more to it than that?

-Vincent
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stefoid
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« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2010, 05:18:51 PM »

No not really.   Ill just put those two characters in a scene at the start and let the conflict resolution system do its thing and see what happens.

The reason we are doing the character setup via email is I have a 2 hour window to introduce the game to a group, who most certainly wouldnt have done more than a cursory scan of the rules before the start, so this way Ill be saving time and also giving them time to appreciate at least the rules involving best interests and so on before turning up at the table.

actually, what about the best interests...  If the burglar player says something like "not getting executed!" I assume thats pretty naff because it doesnt give the story anything and pretty much every character would have that as an implied best interest anyway...  So , I would guide the player to elaborate on a best interest that is interesting for ongoing play that perhaps might peripherally give some guidance as to how the player might accomplish not getting executed?
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lumpley
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« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2010, 05:28:11 PM »

Ah! I get it. Doing setup by email is fine, if that's what you gotta do.

"Not get executed" isn't a terrible best interest, especially for 2 hours of play, especially if the character's second best interest is even a little better. You can nudge the player toward "escape" if you want, or just suppose that the player means something like "escape" anyway. But really it's the player who answers to the character's best interests, not you.

More questions welcome, always, or just let us know how it goes!

-Vincent
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stefoid
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« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2010, 07:54:21 PM »

Well, OK, here is what I am proposing to the players for my NPCs, leading with my most powerful NPCs best interests.  Are those best interests OK?  Too vague, too , err, big?  I havent got a concrete idea WHY those are the characters best interests yet, Im keeping it open.

Silver Tower inhabitant:
Name:  Ugurnaszir the sorcerer
Action:                  d10 d6
Maneuvering:       d12 d8
Self-Protection:    d6 d4
particular strength - sorcery
Best interests:
    1)  Capture the Burglar
    2)  Destroy the squat town

Wayhouse traveller: 
Name:  Omid the travelling  "merchant".
Action:                  d6  d4
Maneuvering:       d10 d6
Self-Protection:    12 d8
No particular strength
No best interests yet.

Riverboat raider II:
Name:  Javid the riverboat raider
Action:                  d10 d6
Maneuvering:       d6 d4
Self-Protection:    d12 d8
No particular strength
No best interests yet.

Squat towns person:
Name:  Leili, a townswoman
Action:                  d6 d4
Maneuvering:       d12 d8
Self-Protection:    d10 d6
No particular strength
No best interests yet.


PARTICULAR STRENGTHS:

SORCERY:
This is the ability to perform feats of magic
significance 1
forms:  PC  directly.    NPC  action
it is far-reaching (Your character can use the strength to act beyond her normal human reach)
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Noclue
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« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2010, 08:28:21 PM »

The best interests are a fine start. Now, as GM I suggest you wait until each of the players puts forward at least one best interest. Then you kick off another round of best interests. You can't properly aim until you have targets.
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James R.
stefoid
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« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2010, 04:48:11 AM »

Well, we played.  Players were positive and we will play another session in a few weeks.  Was a bit slow during the first conflict or two.  We kept wanting to just work with our initiative rolls rather than initiative, then turns, then answer.  Took a bit of getting used to the idea that even though someone rolled badly for initiative, they got to reroll to answer.

As it turns out, the sorcerers best interest of destroying the town was pretty naff - it didnt really conflict with any of the PCs in a direct way, so nothing came of it.  but the game also ended short due to the learning curve, so I suppose had we played at a better pace, I might of got a clue as to why the town needed destroying and conceived of a way for the sorcerer to act on it that would have caused him to come into direct conflict with PCs.

one question.   The executioner wanted to kill the burglar.  the burglar wanted to escape by headbutting the executioner in the stomach and running.  The sorcerer in the crowd also wanted the burglar to escape, by way of blasting the executioner with magic just before he dealt the blow.  Executioner wins initiative - I slice your head off!  Obviously the burglar has to answer.  But does the sorcerer also have to answer as his aim and the burglars are the same, or does he just wait until his turn and try to blast the executioner at that point.  I guess the latter, and I also guess that is why initiative is rolled every round. 

one more question.  Every time someone acts or answers in a round, they can use different forms depending on the type of action, or are they locked into a certain combo at the start of the conflict?  I guess the former.
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David Artman
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« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2010, 10:14:44 AM »

Vincent's got your back already, but I'll try to answer and he can correct me if I bungle it.
Executioner wins initiative - I slice your head off!  Obviously the burglar has to answer.  But does the sorcerer also have to answer as his aim and the burglars are the same, or does he just wait until his turn and try to blast the executioner at that point.
Multi-party conflicts are... tough. I've handled them by letting whomever wants to answer, answer. As a result, two-on-one retains a "numerical advantage" in that they both will get to roll for an answer value, and either (or both!) gain Advantage. So, for you example:
* Challenge (Ex): I cut your head off!
* Answer (Th): (Roll high) - I slip out from under the axe, and it's now stuck in the block. (Roll low) - I squirm to avoid it, but you deal a nasty blow to my head anyway, ringing my ears.
* Answer (So): (Roll high) - The axe turns to butter at it strikes, splattering in your (Ex) face and partially blinding you. (Roll low) - Your dull mind seems to shrug off my arts, as if your are a sink for their magics.

I *think* I got into this habit from DitV's multi-party conflict, where a Raise can be "aimed" at any number of opponents (i.e. you can say who must See).

[blockquote]one more question.  Every time someone acts or answers in a round, they can use different forms depending on the type of action, or are they locked into a certain combo at the start of the conflict?  I guess the former.[/quote]Nope, the latter--you pick your forms at the start of the conflict and they are not switched until that conflict ends one way or the other. Yes, this can make for some oddity in the second and third rounds ("I keep rolling Covertly and With Love as I try to chop your head off in front of the whole court!").
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