*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
September 01, 2014, 08:21:51 PM

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: 33 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
Pages: 1 [2]
Print
Author Topic: [FreeMarket] Trouble with something  (Read 4939 times)
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 17707


WWW
« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2010, 10:43:24 AM »

Hi John,

I can't speak for Peter or anyone else for certain. I've tried to articulate what he was most concerned with during the discussion, which (I think) might be summed up as, you can't really be good at anything. You can manage your various currencies (Flow, things you can burn, et cetera), sure, but card-counting is card-counting, and once you get it, the system has nothing more in it to use and nowhere to go in terms of simply winning conflicts. If it's gone poorly for you, you can only Call to cut your losses as quickly as you can. As a related note, he is absolutely correct that a bad draw at the outset really screws you. But that is as far as I'll go in trying to channel someone else's views. I may have misrepresented them already without knowing it, and it is not fair for anyone to provide rebuttals to him through the possibly flawed interface I'm providing.

This may go hand-in-hand with something I'm still sussing out as Superuser, which is that, in ome of the text, I find there to be a tension between driving hard at the player-characters yet somehow being sure that it all works out well for them. It may be simply poor reading on my part, but such an approach seems to involve two (for me) undesirable possbilities fo rmy role: either a friendly face masking a passive-aggressive threat, or a play-fight provocativeness masking a benign presence. Now, since I care for neither of these, and since I'm pretty juiced about lots of stuff in the setting and system, I need to find a way to work with the text so that those aren't the only two things I see. I'd like my role as Superuser to be absolutely consistent with the light-hearted, colorful, and intellectually stimulating material, such as captured so nicely by the crowd scene on the cover (especially the primary character), the frontispiece illustration of the little kid with the dog, and that wonderful illustration of Tier 1 Status in the MRCZ chapter. I'm pretty sure that I can do that with another shot at play.

Best, Ron
Logged
meganjank
Registree

Posts: 2


« Reply #16 on: November 08, 2010, 09:13:00 AM »


Hi everyone -

Firstly, I would never engage in any sort of sexual act with Rush Limbaugh regardless of the other choice presented to me.  Ew.

As Ron has related in his summary of the game, I was a spectator at the table due to a rehearsal I had to run earlier that evening.  I think I may have missed one of the more enjoyable parts of the game, which was the character/world creation part of the session.  It seemed like there were a lot of really interesting elements that came out of that process - especially the creation of memories within the group.  I would be curious to see how a session runs from top to bottom, rather than halfway through.

Also, to qualify my "excrutiating" comment - from my perspective, there was a lot of frustration at the table and that was translating into unhappy players.  It seemed like after a while people were trying to get through the actions in scenes not so much to move the story forward or resolve a conflict, but just to finish it up quickly so they could get it over with.  It didn't look or sound like fun to me.  Again - I wasn't there the whole time, and maybe if I had been, I'd feel differently about the session I observed.

Megan
Logged
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 17707


WWW
« Reply #17 on: November 08, 2010, 07:03:08 PM »

Hi Megan! Welcome to the Forge, too.

Your observations were and are right on the money, I think. Our final challenge concerned Peter's character trying to repair the robot, and it seemed to me that we were forced to jump through kind of a grinding series of hoops without much payback. Only our good will toward one another as people kept us from being frustrated with each other.

My thinking is that, by that point, we'd lost most of the excitement about the material that might have made generating details in increments a lot of fun. That's what I can't really know - whether the frustrating feature were an artifact or intrinsic to the system, and if the latter, whether a different prep or viewpoint would make all the difference.

Best, Ron
Logged
Courage75
Member

Posts: 57


« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2010, 05:22:50 PM »

I even made up a pretty interesting diagram to help me get my head straight about the game (apologies; it's a Word file; I'll put a PDF of it up later); any comments or questions about it are welcome
Hi Ron,

I had a look at the document you created and was intrigued. How did you come up with it and how did it help you prepare for the game? Also, could you explain how it should be interpreted?

I am looking at different ways of preparing for games and I am very interested in the associations between preparation, memory and running games. When I prepare, I often write quite detailed notes but usually don't make much use of them during the game - there simply isn't enough time to read through my notes while running the game. However, the fact that I have gone to the trouble of making notes usually helps me run a game with confidence, as I know that I have turned my mind to the ideas I want to throw into the game and developed them. Usually, half of what happens in a game I cannot plan for, but I like to maximise on the stuff that I can plan for.

However, I am interested in making this process more efficient. Any tips in that regard?
Logged
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 17707


WWW
« Reply #19 on: November 12, 2010, 07:55:39 PM »

Hi George,

Like a lot of us here, I am pretty deeply embedded in science fiction, fantasy, and comics, both experientially and historically. When looking over something like FreeMarket, which is very derived to the point of almost being pastiche, I seek a bit of grounding in the older works which I think have directly or indirectly influenced it, or are consistent with it to the point of being historically important to its origins. This is often productive if not immediately obvious to do with Jared's work because he is such a weird filter for pop culture at its most superficial and fragmented - it's like he absorbs all this incredibly stupid and derivative shit, goes "whiirr, h'mmmm, beep!" and spits back a gorgeous, honed, nuanced, and scarily insightful item that could fit nicely among the best of the genuine and powerful seminal works of that topic - without ever having seen them.

So especially for FreeMarket and especially for Jared, I toss my mind and memory out like a net to find things to help orient me regarding what he produced. It's an idiosyncratic thing, certainly; I don't claim that it's especially helpful for anyone else although in the past, I've found that it has been. And it's very helpful to those who are playing with me, because they can see where and how the text spoke to me, and either refine that or use it as a way to orient themselves.

First, I guess I should clarify the diagram. There are three basic units, Grimjack, Those Annoying Post Bros, and Snow Crash. They all overlap one another one-on-one, and all together as well. I realize it's a little hard to tell where each unit's borders are. I'll have to mess with it to make that more clear - each unit is sized at about the dimensions of a comic book cover. So Snow Crash includes the white box with the picture as well as all three blue boxes.

So to break out Grimjack conceptually, its terms are Noir, Introspection, Butchery, Family, Dimensions, Cynicism, Human Contact, Memory, Satire, Flair, Urban, and Genre Mash-up. In the diagram, it shares the top two blue boxes with Snow Crash (Human Contact, Memory; Satire, Flair, Urban, Genre Mash-up) and the middle blue one and white one to the immediate left of that with Those Annoying Post Bros (Satire, Flair, Urban, Genre Mash-up, Butchery, Family, Dimensions, Cynicism).

OK, that said, and I hope it helps someone read it better, I am saying that FreeMarket, to me, draws upon or is consistent with these sources in a very piecemeal but productive way. If I were to say "like Grimjack, sort of," I might cause more trouble than I helped, because Grimjack includes, for instance, introspection in a fashion that could not possibly work with FreeMarket. But with the diagram, I am naming things that I think any reader of Grimjack would go "Oh!" and recognize and be able to consider individually. It also helps me break out the unique combination of features which characterizes the game and is not fully consistent with any one of the three sources that were most useful to me in thinking about the game, i.e., the blue boxes.

Let me know if that helps or makes sense. I tend to work better with specific questions or points rather than a generalized "tell me about it" request.

As a technical aside, the more historically relevant and vastly better source that should occupy the Snow Crash box is Don't Bite the Sun, by Tanith Lee, which would have rearranged the terms to a significant degree, especially concerning reversible death, and further highlighting the glaring absence of sex in FreeMarket.

Best, Ron
Logged
Courage75
Member

Posts: 57


« Reply #20 on: November 15, 2010, 02:45:42 PM »

Thanks Ron, that explains the diagram, although I am not familiar with the three sources. Would you be able to give a specific example of how this diagram influenced the game? I mean, would it be used to add particular colour to a scene, or as motivation for an NPC?
Logged
David Berg
Member

Posts: 997


« Reply #21 on: November 15, 2010, 07:10:55 PM »

Hi Ron,

I recently asked Jared about being superuser in challenges, and he told me to that I should play to win, and, if that's not possible, play to maximize Hazard.

Not sure if any of that's news to you, but I don't remember Hazard coming up in this thread, so I figured I'd pass it along.

Ps,
-Dave
Logged

here's my blog, discussing Delve, my game in development
Vox
Member

Posts: 3


« Reply #22 on: November 15, 2010, 09:59:27 PM »

Alright kids, everyone relax. It's all going to be ok. Peter is here ;)

But seriously, I'm here so Ron doesn't have to try and explain me anymore. Here's my issues with Freemarket.

mechanics of conflict resolution.

Now having read the thread, and Erik's post that ranked the mechanics of conflict resolution as being pretty much the least important thing I'm not surprised. I think that if the focus of the game is on settiing up challenges and exchanges of flow then... ok that seems fine. I also think if it's emphasized that the acquisition of tech and things that you can burn is supposed to be trivial then... fine. But then why bother with conflict resolution at all... and why bother with such a complex system at all?

Let's assume for a moment that there's a reason for the system and that it's a good one. I want there to be one because I like systems. I like mechanics. I like figuring them out. What don't I like about the system?

I don't like the "oops, I got two cards, you got one, I win because I can just end it" thing. If that's the case then just make it a flip of two cards. It's not any different than rolling a D20. Random resolution system is random resolution system, modify to fit the bell curve you want.

I really don't like the Gene vs. skill mechanic. I'm a brilliant neuroscientist, who happens to be descended from the most steady-handed artists and craftspeople of all time. I call upon my genetic lineage to assist me in performing neuroscience.... but wait.... unless I skip drawing cards in order to recall how to perform neurosurgery I don't benefit from any skill cards I draw.... At least that's what I recall of the system.

Anyway. Having read the replies that indicated emphasis on the flow and less on the conflict... I might consider playing again. Frankly though, if the mechanical system isn't terribly important I'd rather flip coins, or play Gin (Dr. Chaos), or draw a fistful of cards a la contenders. The cards were pretty, but the choices you had seemed formulaic and intended to entice people to make what I would call stupid decisions (gambling on better cards).

Just to be clear. No one is fellating Rush Limbaugh, except possibly Ron because he came up with it. And I *REALLY* liked the world, character creation, concepts of flow, and what little I understood of how the superuser is supposed to mix things up for everyone. There is a *TON* of game here that I like. It's just the mechanics of conflict resolution that I thought sucked.

Vox
Logged
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 17707


WWW
« Reply #23 on: November 16, 2010, 09:57:58 AM »

Hi there,

In this case, the diagram was a device for myself. I frequently make them as group devices and this one was intended to become one after I became more confident about how the game is played. Since I think a fair amount of further play is necessary before I'm that confident with FreeMarket, I'll hold off on using it as a group device. I wouldn't mind finding some graphics from the sources that show more overlap; unfortunately, at the moment the images highlight the stuff that is not shared in the "Freemarket space."

For myself or among a group, such things have been useful to me in lots of ways. I'm not sure it can be pinpointed to specific points on a picture or list affecting specific moments in play, so much as a way to get the Color and sense of priorities onto the same page for everyone.

In fact, I probably should have paid more attention to it just as such a GMing device, because I found myself gravitating toward Post Bros territory which was not in the blue boxes, specifically butchery and a certain what-the-fuck?! quality found in sudden conflicts.

Hi Peter!

Great to see you here; welcome!

Those two specific points about the system got up my nose too. At present I'm casting about for a way to make those features workable, and not being too successful yet.

Best, Ron

P.S. I wouldn't do it either.
Logged
Luke
Member

Posts: 1360


WWW
« Reply #24 on: November 27, 2010, 06:26:04 PM »

Hi all,

I'm not certain exactly what went wrong with your session -- and I'm very sorry you didn't have fun -- I hope you don't mind if I offer a few comments.

I'd like to encourage you and all players of this game to engage the full breadth of the challenge mechanics. Be sure to use the Support, Engage, Recalibrate and Burn actions -- not just Go For It and Call. Just using two actions out of six will result in a very frustrating experience indeed.

In regard to being "better" at something on FreeMarket, there are a number of ways. Having a higher-rated ability -- 3 to 1 -- is useful. With an ability of 3, you have the potential to score eight points to an ability of 1's four points. But to be truly good at something on the station, you need a triumvirate of experience/geneline, interface and technology. If you're just relying on one particular aspect of the system, you're missing out.

And it's true, a freemer with an ability of 1 can stop the bleeding and call off a challenge he's losing. Anyone can do that. The rule is in place because Freemers are all smart, capable people. Noone is THAT much better than another -- those some have certain edges. Consider, though, a situation in which a user with an experience of 1 targets a freemer with an experience 3. With an ability of 1, you're going to have to muster all of your resources (or just get very lucky) against a freemer who is that competent. He can counter your attacks with his experience alone -- let alone his interface and technology.

And if you don't have tech or interface for a challenge, create or bargain for some. It's part of the game. Very little on your character is fixed. Transforming yourself is part of life.

When superusing a session of FreeMarket, it's also vital to abide by the core tenets on page 101: Nothing Is as It Seems, Circular Logic and Personal Transformation. The first is perhaps the most important. That stinky death artist really just needs to ask you a question about horticulture. That art/cult MRCZ wants to prevent you from being rejuved so they can use your corpse in one of their performances. The Excramax APs on RPG.net are excellent examples of how this should play out on FreeMarket.

It's also vital that when the superuser play to the utmost when he does engage in a challenge. It's okay to win! The more you win, the more bugs the users receive and the greater the chance they have to come back later. And as superuser be sure that the users have the chance to initiate and be targets of challenges. It doesn't quite work if you only ever assume one role.

Narration is noted on page 30 -- you must describe what you're doing as a component of your action. Each action on pages 27-29 has a few cues for how it can be used. Narration and description is intended to be simple and, well, traditional. You tell the other users what your character is doing -- a simple, discrete action like "I shoot him; I introduce hormonal algorithms; I mount a laser on its head." Each player takes into account what you said and incorporates your details into his narration. This seems self-evident to me, given the nature of the game, but I freely admit that I'm too close to the issue. The player who calls should tell the other users how and why the challenge ends, sort of summing up everything that's happened and putting a point on it.

I hope that's helpful. Again, sorry you had a bad time.
-L
Logged

Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 17707


WWW
« Reply #25 on: November 27, 2010, 07:12:32 PM »

My call is still mainly learning-curve. In some more chat at the Dojo, we arrived at a "let's try it again" agreement. Luke - thanks for weighing in, and I'll print that out for prep and play advice.

Best, Ron
Logged
Vox
Member

Posts: 3


« Reply #26 on: November 29, 2010, 04:55:57 PM »

I'll endeavor to respond to this thread with my exact take on the mechanics tomorrow if Ron will kindly bring his copy of the rules to the Dojo.

Vox
Logged
Pages: 1 [2]
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!