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46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13297 Members Latest Member: - Shane786 Most online today: 29 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Extreme Vengeance - Skyclad  (Read 1047 times)
Callan S.
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« on: November 05, 2010, 09:00:11 PM »

I did actually play extreme vengence years back, not too long after getting it. Actually, I'll stick in the caveat I do these days on 'I played X' : I certainly followed procedures from the book as best I understood them.

The first time, well, it was about the time MIB the movie had come out. Marvel had printed a comic - I don't know if it drew on the original comics or not, but it was certainly edgier than the movie. And I basically used the comic, at the session, as the 'plot'. Let me define that a bit - think of a line, and that line is the plot. Then what the players do is a second line that travels in the same direction as the first line, but might veer way to the left or right of it, sometimes crossing over. But there is a limit, usually brought on by just how spontanious you can be - once you reach your limits, that's as far as the player line. So if it sounds like a railway track, think of it as a track with often quite a wide space in between the tracks to veer around on. Further, taking it the track is wide, where you end at in between the tracks has a range of possible results as well. I dunno, to me all roleplayers do this to some extent - to propose a campaign on a world is to 'railroad' people onto staying on the planet rather than moon adventures. Or maybe people think their D&D adventures really could end up going anywhere - but really I think in most, if your D&D game ended up on the moon, it's because the DM has shifted the tracks to either side of the moon. Anyway, I hadn't actually used a comic or such like this before, but I did like the comic. I had a friend who prior had done the same and I guess I took it up, but the space between his rails was practically nil.

Anyway, it was awhile ago and myself, Chris and Daniel (and Daniels brother Matthew?) played. We'd had a few drinks and it went relatively smoothly. Actually one thing was I forgot to inform Dan that whatever you roll on the dice, you get as 'new fans' of your character/the actor. Chris seemed quite pleased but Dan was miffed. Gah, that's the thing when you actually have real rules, you stuff up in getting them done and you as GM look bad! Can't hide behind the fuzzyness of trad games! Anyway, he started recording them from that moment, IIRC. Beyond that, I can't remember much, probably because it went fairly smoothly. Maybe I'm just wanting to think it, but I think before the fans thing, from Dan there was a 'Mmm, okay' in going to dice, as it was like waiting for a bus - a necessary chore. After I think it went smoother. I think we used the luck dice once and...it passed and play went on. So I kept trying to tuck in events from the comic. And yes, sometimes I would shape play to get it there - pretty much using any little idle time a characters had were they weren't doing anything (ie, they'd just done whatever it was they wanted to and were done for the moment) to say they did X (X getting closer to the comics events), using some reference to working for MIB if needed. Or maybe I railroaded them like hell and I'm wearing rose coloured glasses - but I think there was room for manouvering. But probably in a 'here's some shit to fuck with...ok, cool, you do that stuff. Now it's fucked with, turning the page of the comic, here's some more shit to fuck with'.

The game had levels - but the XP/fan rate wasn't enough to engage those in a one shot. So it was just a nice number to collect - which we all got, I think.

Second game we were really drunk and we sort of started throwing around a slasher flick theme, with teenagers in a cabin in the woods, with the cliche jock, nerd, hot chick, something something. And we laughed at the cliches, but then...where did it go next? I recall that quite well and...to this day, I'm thinking, I dunno? We couldn't just, like, play. Before the comic had done the grunt work. And if I may, I just remembered how our longest ever 3.x D&D campaign, years latter, had launched because I kept using a random map, monster and treasure generator I found online (I'd generate one, then tweak it so there were reasons monsters were there - indeed, one time Dan called me out on having monsters randomly in play and I said the ones they just faced were placed as guards and he went 'oh!'. In fact they were random monsters, but then when dark elves came up in another room, I decided the dark elves, with a lil' magic, had deployed those monsters as cheap guards.

Anyway, grunt work already done.

But hey, we have a house in the creepy woods, the cliches who are funny and...bah. Keep in mind I had no especial inclination to bring in 'moral problems' to play or such - as mostly the guys seem to be of a 'Yah, I beat it!' (which these days I wonder if its really about gamism or some sorta primal 'my lifestyle is to kill bad guys!' thing, with the grist of play being how that transgressed against the real life lifestyle we lived by, but sounded awesome to us - play grand theft auto for a quick example). So, at the time, I dunno - seemingly no challenge - or atleast none that'd fit the fiction, barring just having a monster knock on the door and we fight it, D&D style. Which just seemed - so forced, it was off my radar, atleast. So we just kept drinking, and the game faded out and away.

Frankly, it was like bouncing a ball and the ball is flat and goed *plah* on the ground, without even a slight bounce. BUT, let me say, to get to that point it was alot smoother - the ball required less reading and was atleast attractive to handle with fans feedback, even if it was as flat as a nuns chest. It was like sitting in a car that had nice seats, but no engine - whereas the cars before had no engine and no seats (just spikey steel). It was better, but -SURELY- more work to be done, like all games back then did (I realised this about D&D five minutes into my first RP session?). But looking around today, no, I doubt anyone else would think that.

I still have prep wedged into my copy of EV. I tried making up street scenes, drawing from the shadow warrior FPS game of the time, which we all found hilarious over the top fun. But I'd try to go and make something and...the inspiration would run out rapidly. Looking at it today, the idea of the Czerge principle comes to mind, because with the comic or the randomly generated dungeon, I found those entertaining. But now I was trying to both create the adversity and the means of solving it. Why was I doing this - because the game had no adversity! Really, where are the rules for bringing in monsters or something spikey? There aren't any! But keep in mind this can be said for D&D as well and a shit load of games, including ones being printed today (except the really, really early edition that had a random monster roll in it, according to old geezer from RPG.net). And again - the random dungeon generator - someone took all the tables and made a program that'd throw a dungeon together. In that case the guy who programmed the random generator was really handing me some adversity - god bless him!

I dunno. I do not find the sound of my own voice/written word that interesting - I still honestly couldn't prep something for EV much more than I could back then. It's not a skill thing - it's that providing adversity and the means to solve it is boring. And no, providing adversity then somehow just playing and how to solve it just comes up - doesn't happen. I'd still just be inventing the solution mid play, or people would be talking their way out of stuff (no, I don't want to pick up a game with rules, but then end up with pure narration solutions)

Am I laying into EV? No, the terrible thing about it's crisp design is that it doesn't hide it's BS behind 200 pages of flim flam, like D&D, white wolf, etc. It's just alot easier to point out this stuff with EV, as with other games they hide their sins like a lawyer info dumping the prosecution to hide the truth by dumping a sea of data for it to disappear in. Thank you, EV, for daring to be naked! And thank for trying, rather than just repeating with a new setting (as if that makes a dif)! But heck, I did buy you, so in a round about way I've given thanks already.

Hmmm, now I feel like going and looking at my EV prep - yet also I just fear being reunited with the same old 'What?' from a former era...

Yep, found it. Notes peeping out the top...
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Callan S.
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« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2010, 12:42:13 PM »

I found my copy - yeah, character have two stats - fighting ability and non fighting ability...oh wait, I mean guts and coincidence! Oh, and your guts goes up every time one of your spiritual attributes is engaged in a scene...oh wait, I mean every time an "emotionally-charged" scene occurs!

Heh, just a way to in-joke, looking at a 1997 game, forward...hehe...
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Callan S.
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Posts: 4268


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« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2010, 10:30:39 PM »

*shrug* From here
Quote
I'd like to outline something - with a painting, if someone says "I think the girl in the painting is whistfully thinking of freedom in a new land", it's fair enough - even if the author didn't intend that, it's their impression and valid and interesting (to me atleast) to hear as that. But if they say "I think the fram of that picture is 10 inches in width" when it is, with a ruler, it's 20 inches in width, they are just technically wrong. I don't want to tread on anyones impressions in terms of the former when refering to the latter. And if it seems lame to have put up this disclaimer, I'm just trying to be careful - yeah, maybe I do so in a lame way.

In terms of impressions from extreme vengeance - well, I'm a little coloured from having flipped through it again recently. I think it's exciting and vibrant and you can see the authors enthusiasm in the text (which I think is important). However, I find it...hitchcock-esque? If that's even a word? As in it builds up to a strong implication.

Impression wise I find the idea of dropping dice on badguys (how I'd put it) and just getting cooler (more fans!), fun. The valid plausibility cracks of coincidence that'd cause cool twists, fun. I think I forgot to ever use the dramatic build up rule, but "Yah, we PUMPED!" (probably followed by real life high fives around the table in a partial piss take, partial genuine enjoyment of macho-ism), fun. Using slo-mo's, cause I can just envision it in my mind in a cool way, fun (our group invented the matrix dodge well before the movie, simply from rolling a nat 20 to dodge in rifts >:) ! ). There are more bits I'm forgetting at the mo, which would be fun as well, I think.

I want to play, I wanna do 'it', but in a way the technical issue I outlined in my thread breaks my heart on that. I imagine if I'd watched alot of action movies recently, or if someone was a big action movie fan, by sheer mental osmosis the other part could fall into place. But starting up without that material? But that's getting onto the technical part.
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