*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
August 21, 2014, 08:06:07 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13297 Members Latest Member: - Shane786 Most online today: 31 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
Pages: 1 [2] 3
Print
Author Topic: [Freemarket] X-Altar and the Arts of Memory and of Promotion  (Read 5032 times)
Erik Weissengruber
Member

Posts: 601

Designing "In this Sign, Conquer:


WWW
« Reply #15 on: August 30, 2010, 05:13:36 AM »

Had a BLAST!

Again, big thanks to Rob who made the pilgrimage to Gen Con and brought back the game and loaned it to me until mine arrives.

2 play sessions:

A) Shaking out the system (40 minute demo)

We took three of the pre-gens from the box and set them against and vicious Freemer exploiting immigrants.  When the Martian immigrant Sensar got off the boat, the first thing he did was seek out a serving of "mac and cheese w. vat-grown salmon -- just like back home."  A Mars cuisine MRCZ gave him a big bowlfull in return for videoing his effusive praise of their product.

Just then a mysterious ninja attack (Ninja 12, a user from my trial-run games) attempted to wetwork the innocent newcomer with her stretching arms. 

Luckily, a vat-grown physicist instructed to escort this newcomer to his MRCZ, and a tough detective trying to bust up a vult ring, waded into the fray.  The Martian's armour-reinforced worksuit, the Blank's agile flipping through the crowds in the Hole, and a punch/gyrojet combo to the face (coupled with some super clever phrases from the user) resolved that group challenge in the good guys' favour.

A fun intro to the game.

B) The Whole Magilla

Character and MRCZ creation.

A bunch of artistic flood/bleeders who provide simulated memories of vacations AND cultivating/recycling souvenirs to back up those memories.

I had no time for thoughtful prep, but the game shook out pretty well. 

This game featured interesting inter-party conflict
* the immigrant graphic designer had his precious set of horsehair brushes taken by the cultivator MRCZ mate
* moreover the immigrant hooked up with a woman who wanted to get at the Cultivator (Gnomadic was her name).
He didn't want to be manipulated and got away only slightly messed with during a shaping challenge.  But the player chose to have his character keep mum about the exchange.  He stayed mum, even when Gnomadic was Frownied by the woman (Theresa Splenda).

The game got a little scrambled as some folks ran off to get autographs and do other con-related things and their characters where handed about.  Both the immigrant designer and Gnomadic passed through the hands of a late arrival to our game.



Logged
Erik Weissengruber
Member

Posts: 601

Designing "In this Sign, Conquer:


WWW
« Reply #16 on: August 30, 2010, 05:36:34 AM »

[Do not confuse "Post" and "Preview"]

The Virtual Reality & Flooding/Bleeding specialist -- Jacob's Ladder 456 -- pushed his MRCZ towards their "space" goal by making a deal with his former mentor Dr. Magnetic.  Magnetic was hosting a big disco party where the guests would include the snotty art collective "Ecstatic Indifference."  Jacob's Ladder 456 won a narrow victory over Magnetic and morphed one of his memories into "I promised a fun Neo-Industrial Folk Music party for Ecstatic Indifference at The Belgian Chocoworks" [the theme of the con was Steampunk so there was a lot of brass/steam/clock-work in the games].

So JL456 got his crew an in on one of large event spaces on the donut.  A parallel challenge saw an attempt by some MRCZ members to spread a "Disco is Dead" meme but that failed soundly.

The party featured
* the MRCZ's musician/performer/Ephemerist on Axe-shaped guitar
* JL456 playing a glass organ where the sound was provided by exploding jets of gas, and controlled in theremin style
* a recycled tech creation melding a self-directed infiltrator hand with self-propelled disco roller skates, which manipulated a hand-puppet version of Sara MacLaughlan singing the neo-folk tune

It was a tense moment.  The MRCZ wanted to make a splash.  Moreover, the Wetwork MRCZ 12 Mexicans had beef with the players' MRCZ: they had been perfect deathed by one of Gnomadic's creations, subjected to a humiliation at the hands of the players in a viral video of the event, and one of their members (Theresa Splenda) had a rivalry with Gnomadic as well.

But instead of creating a super cool work of art that proved their skills, they lost.  Big time.  (Thank you, sweet sweet bug chips for letting the Superuser rock).  The memory produced was
"The Travel Agency made colossal asses of themselves at the Belgian Chockoworks."
The 12 Mexicans (fans of the movie Machete) didn't have to go violent.  They walked out of there revenged and satisfied.
Moreover, the event cost the players a lot of flow.
- Gnomadic was voted off of the station
- the immigrant got a reprieve
- the musician got a reprieve
- JL456 had his flow reset to 1

Although I didn't have a lot of prep time, the memory mash-up technique gave me a starting place.  And the MRCZ mates all had short-term memories involving each other's memories so the inter-group dynamic was lively.

All I had to do was have Dr. Magnetic send his thieving robo-hand against The Travel Agency to get the contested paint brushes and it was ON.
Logged
lachek
Member

Posts: 91


WWW
« Reply #17 on: September 03, 2010, 08:44:53 AM »

I sat it on the last 30 minutes of this game (played Gnomadic, evidently extremely poorly, as I was jettisoned off Freemarket due to my creations going haywire). The colour was a lot of fun and the artifacts of the game (both physical and fictional) are extremely evocative.

The challenge mechanics seemed simultaneously impenetrable and trivial to me. I had no idea what choices were available to me or what my odds were, but it appeared from the other players' input that there was almost always a "right" move to make. To use board game lingo, it seemed a game of near-zero information, yet there was only one move that made sense at any given time. A bit like Monopoly - I have no way of knowing what the dice will roll, nor what card I might pick up if I land on the ? space, but if I don't buy this property I've landed on I'm an idiot.

I recognize this is likely due to me stepping into the game with precious little knowledge of rules, characters, situation, cards left in the deck, etcetera, while I was setting up to run Lacuna (no end of Jared-love at FanExpo apparently). It'd be interesting to hear a bit more about the tactics of the conflict system, though - is it mostly about card counting and initiating challenges selectively in order to burn through bad cards (when you don't care so much about the stakes), or do the choices you make during conflicts greatly affect the outcome?

Also, how do the incremental moves taken in a conflict play out in the fiction? There doesn't seem to be any method of granting bonuses to using geneline tags, tech, or whatever in a way that's especially creative or suitable, nor the other way around. What is preventing me (other than "not being a dick") from using a piece of tech or a geneline tag that's just plain stupid, given the fictional content in play, offering a contrived justification, and thereby reducing the buy-in into the shared fictional experience? If all options are available to me at all times, and I'm making my move exclusively based on what's tactically sound, this seems to have the potential to compromise the integrity of the fiction.

I only ask these questions because I'm really excited about Freemarket's premise, by the way - not to knock the game in any way.
Logged
Erik Weissengruber
Member

Posts: 601

Designing "In this Sign, Conquer:


WWW
« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2010, 10:30:32 AM »

Quote
The challenge mechanics seemed simultaneously impenetrable and trivial to me. I had no idea what choices were available to me or what my odds were, but it appeared from the other players' input that there was almost always a "right" move to make.

Mechanical Choices
* My Strengths vs. My Initial Cards
- Let us say that I have pulled 2 Geneline cards for take action, and 1 Freemarket Card
- Let's also say I have a Geneline rating of 2 and a Relevant Experience of 3
a) Do I Take Action with Geneline or Experience?
- With Geneline I have 2 points at the top, and then 2 more Go for It actions
- As I stand, I only have 1 point if I Take Action with Experience, but a possible 3 Go for Its
b) Once I have taken action, what follow-up actions do I take?
- If I am doing well with Geneline, do I dedicate a turn to switching over to Experience, and run the risk of someone calling?
- vice versa?
* Sacrificing Ephemeral Pools (see Fred Hicks' terms here: http://indie-rpgs.com/archive/index.php?topic=26386.0)
- If I have bug chips do I spend them right away in this conflict?
- Do I wait until I have run out of Go For It actions before using bugs to get cards?
* Sacrificing Slow Accretion Pools (see the same Hicks' post)
- Do you burn challenge-relevant Interface and have it out of commission until the end of the session?
- Do you burn challenge-irrelevant Interface and have it out of commission until you get Recycled or re-Mobbed, or re-dubbed (depending on the quality of your backup)?
- Are you willing to burn out Experience or Tech to win?  Rebuilding will be tough as Experience is a seriously Slow Accretion pool


Quote
It'd be interesting to hear a bit more about the tactics of the conflict system, though - is it mostly about card counting and initiating challenges selectively in order to burn through bad cards

Card counting didn't come into it much for me as the superuser -- I kept cycling through my deck too damn fast.  Card counting might influence how long you stay in a challenge but I don't think it will motivate folks to set up challenges just to get to a good place in their decks.  So much flow is at risk all the time that stepping up to folks just to let loose with a statistical bulge of Freemarket cards in your challenge deck would be really suboptimal.

Quote
[1]Also, how do the incremental moves taken in a conflict play out in the fiction?[2] There doesn't seem to be any method of granting bonuses to using geneline tags, tech, or whatever in a way that's especially creative or suitable, nor the other way around. [3]What is preventing me (other than "not being a dick") from using a piece of tech or a geneline tag that's just plain stupid, given the fictional content in play, offering a contrived justification, and thereby reducing the buy-in into the shared fictional experience? [4]If all options are available to me at all times, and I'm making my move exclusively based on what's tactically sound, this seems to have the potential to compromise the integrity of the fiction.

1 I don't know.  Sometimes players say "My Analytic tag from Geneline means I can analyze the flaws in Larry's proposition."  Sometimes I get a lengthier description or "in character" speech.  I never get people just saying "I use that Geneline tag thingie again."  Now there is no real mechanical reason to go beyond the robotic recitation of relevant tags, but the rules do say "describe what you do" (IIRC).  Even if there is no directly relevant currency bonus/penalty for failing to do so, if the rules set says "follow procedure X," follow it.
2 Geneline IS creative reward.  Players invent Geneline tags, so objects of their invention are having in-game effects.  Experience is mechanically limited so creative description does not enter into it.  Think of the closely-described skills in Burning Empires with their definitive lists of what skill can help with what.  Tech is 1/3 closely-described and 2/3 player invented.  If the player came up with clever Tags for tech, he or she can burn it in a conflict.  But that really reduces the Tech's effectiveness.  So player creativity provides an edge and some wiggle room.  As to bonuses: I'll give you an "Attaboy" if you did something clever, or your fellow players might.  But that boosts your Flow so you have more options for Flow wagers, it doesn't help in the resolution mechanics (although players wagering bids is just as game-mechanical as using dice as randomizers: wagering and bluffing in Poker do not take place outside of the game, they are PART of the game).  The only way to instant reward another player is to hand over bug chips.
3 Superuser has final say over what is relevant in a Geneline.  If you want to use your cleverly tagged Repair Kit in a Thin Slicing challenge, even with a strained justification, I won't play hard ass: you can burn it out to a cinder for all I care.  Stupid sub-optimal use of Tech results in the burn out of that tech pretty quick.  People are only willing to mis/dumb use Tech in desperation.  The reaction of the fiction creators should be: "Wow! Zivex of the Taters MRCZ must have been nuts to use his Microwaveable Popcorn in that Wetwork challenge.  You should've seen his flameout!"
4 Hmmm.  You have a wide variety of options.  You will always being weighing what you want to have happen against an easier chance of victory in a group challenge where you will be more likely to win but have less say in the outcome.  And if your character in the fiction really, really wants to implant that memory, then you might be justified burning out tech, stretching your mind and body to the limit, in order to get that memory implanted, even if the numbers on your character sheet say you would have a greater chance of victory in Wetwork.



I only ask these questions because I'm really excited about Freemarket's premise, by the way - not to knock the game in any way.
Logged
lachek
Member

Posts: 91


WWW
« Reply #19 on: September 07, 2010, 12:02:57 PM »

Hi Erik! That all makes sense. The GM having an explicit final word on appropriate uses of Geneline tags (while being generous with the interpretation) sounds good. I suppose it would've resonated with me more, and thus felt less contrived, if I'd been the one to actually make the character in the first place and grokked its "aboutness".

The bennies in the form of Attaboys and bugchips were also lost to me with my limited exposure, and definitely makes a difference.

Regarding tech, you say:
If you want to use your cleverly tagged Repair Kit in a Thin Slicing challenge, even with a strained justification, I won't play hard ass: you can burn it out to a cinder for all I care.  Stupid sub-optimal use of Tech results in the burn out of that tech pretty quick.  People are only willing to mis/dumb use Tech in desperation.

Is it the case that only sub-optimal (as defined by the SU, I suppose) Tech requires burning out to be effective? Or do you have to burn out Tech even when it's highly appropriate, like a Repair Kit in a straight-up Recycling challenge?
Logged
Erik Weissengruber
Member

Posts: 601

Designing "In this Sign, Conquer:


WWW
« Reply #20 on: September 07, 2010, 05:57:59 PM »

No, if your Tech is tagged for the Experience at work in a particular challenge, you just use it at first. 

So I have a weird "Neurowhip," Rated 3 and it is tagged Wetwork/Electrified Whip/Painful.

If I am in a Wetwork challenge I can Go For It 3 times with that device.

But if I have "Hand Blender" Rated 3 and it is tagged Cultivation/Portable food processor/Good for Smoothies, I can start burning it but it will give me a maximum of 3 cards, if I chuck them out 1 by 1 or divvy them up some other way.
I don't have the rules in front of me right now, but I could see some justification in the "Portable food processor" tag.  So you can burn that tech in the current Wetwork challenge, but that just won't be as effective as using the correctly tagged experience.

Someone help me.  Luke?  Jared?  I can't give any definitive answers 'cause I am still WAITING FOR MY COPY!

Logged
Erik Weissengruber
Member

Posts: 601

Designing "In this Sign, Conquer:


WWW
« Reply #21 on: September 07, 2010, 05:59:01 PM »

Quote
The challenge mechanics seemed simultaneously impenetrable and trivial to me. I had no idea what choices were available to me or what my odds were, but it appeared from the other players' input that there was almost always a "right" move to make.

Mechanical Choices
* My Strengths vs. My Initial Cards
- Let us say that I have pulled 2 Geneline cards for take action, and 1 Freemarket Card
- Let's also say I have a Geneline rating of 2 and a Relevant Experience of 3

This was assuming that you had paid one bug chip for the privilege of starting out with 3 cards.
Logged
Jared A. Sorensen
Member

Posts: 1474

Darksided


WWW
« Reply #22 on: September 08, 2010, 12:44:56 PM »

I don't have the rules in front of me right now, but I could see some justification in the "Portable food processor" tag.  So you can burn that tech in the current Wetwork challenge, but that just won't be as effective as using the correctly tagged experience.

Someone help me.  Luke?  Jared?  I can't give any definitive answers 'cause I am still WAITING FOR MY COPY!

Remember: burning deletes your opponent's points. It doesn't give you points.

You can burn anything in any challenge. You just have to justify it (to the group, btw... the superuser is a player in the game but everyone can weigh in). And like you said, in a relevant challenge you can go for it using tech (drawing from the tech deck).
Logged

jared a. sorensen / www.memento-mori.com
Erik Weissengruber
Member

Posts: 601

Designing "In this Sign, Conquer:


WWW
« Reply #23 on: September 08, 2010, 03:02:44 PM »

Errrrp..

Right, a user makes a sacrifice from slow-accretion pools (Experience, Interface, etc.) in order to weaken the fast-accretion pool your opponent has accumulated (the points).
Logged
Jared A. Sorensen
Member

Posts: 1474

Darksided


WWW
« Reply #24 on: September 08, 2010, 03:07:29 PM »

Errrrp..

Right, a user makes a sacrifice from slow-accretion pools (Experience, Interface, etc.) in order to weaken the fast-accretion pool your opponent has accumulated (the points).


WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU SAYING?
(insert picture of Jules from Pulp Fiction)
Logged

jared a. sorensen / www.memento-mori.com
Erik Weissengruber
Member

Posts: 601

Designing "In this Sign, Conquer:


WWW
« Reply #25 on: September 09, 2010, 02:55:46 AM »

WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU SAYING?
(insert picture of Jules from Pulp Fiction)

Guy, I am totally re sub-referencing a link I previously made to Fred Hicks' generic terms for types of resources employed in game mechanics.

(insert picture of weary teacher pointing to something written on blackboard a moment before, and to which the indignant student appears to have not paid attention)
Logged
Erik Weissengruber
Member

Posts: 601

Designing "In this Sign, Conquer:


WWW
« Reply #26 on: September 09, 2010, 02:58:06 AM »

Quote
Remember: burning deletes your opponent's points. It doesn't give you points.

Who makes the choice?  Does the player with the Interface reach out and yoink the card, or does the opponent make the choice?
Logged
Jared A. Sorensen
Member

Posts: 1474

Darksided


WWW
« Reply #27 on: September 09, 2010, 06:40:13 AM »

(insert picture of weary teacher pointing to something written on blackboard a moment before, and to which the indignant student appears to have not paid attention)

Uh, dude. I graduated years ago. I'm only back to give an inspirational lecture to the middle schoolers.
Logged

jared a. sorensen / www.memento-mori.com
Jared A. Sorensen
Member

Posts: 1474

Darksided


WWW
« Reply #28 on: September 09, 2010, 06:41:52 AM »

Quote
Remember: burning deletes your opponent's points. It doesn't give you points.

Who makes the choice?  Does the player with the Interface reach out and yoink the card, or does the opponent make the choice?

I usually let the target pick which card he gets to delete but ultimately, it doesn't matter. You can only get rid of point-scoring cards and there's no difference between an FM card, a geneline card, an experience card or a tech card once that card has scored a point.
Logged

jared a. sorensen / www.memento-mori.com
Erik Weissengruber
Member

Posts: 601

Designing "In this Sign, Conquer:


WWW
« Reply #29 on: September 09, 2010, 07:43:47 AM »

I am getting you.

BTW I am doing my best not to skip out on work this afternoon and rushing down to the post office to pick up my copy of FM.

I love you sorencrane.
Logged
Pages: 1 [2] 3
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.16 | SMF © 2011, Simple Machines
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!