Started by Ron Edwards, January 13, 2011, 04:51:36 PM
QuoteThe quest puts at tension the Knights' individual ambitions and the Sword's commands. .... If the Knights choose to pursue their Destinies instead of the mission, that is perfectly acceptable. ...
Quote from: Ron Edwards on January 13, 2011, 04:51:36 PMThe big picture shows the trouble immediately. The knights' vertical arrows are not related or involved with the quest/Skull horizontal arrows. (Ignore the Sword's vertical arrow; it just shows that Sword needs the quests.)1. The Skull doesn't do anything but provide pushback against quests. It doesn't do anything regarding what are supposed to be the knights' primary thematic decisions. The Skull, as an actor in the saga, is quite boring. Narrativism requires problematic thematic adversity.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on January 13, 2011, 04:51:36 PM1'. The single connection may be found in that a knight's stated Fate is tied to one of the Skull's qualities. So if you lose, lose, lose, then you end up in a scene where your Fate is dramatized. (It's not clear whether you have to do what's stated in the Fate.) This is a glimmer of hope, so I'll return to it.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on January 13, 2011, 04:51:36 PMThe Advancement mechanics strike me as grossly unnecessary. There's no earthly reason why knights should get better in the first place. In fact, it seems that doing so undercuts the whole point of the Skull gaining Challenge Points and getting stronger through the course of a quest. The only reward mechanics that matter, as I see it, are the Fate and Destiny ones.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on January 13, 2011, 04:51:36 PMThe third endgame section seems to me to be a kind of last-ditch, tack-on attempt to find a thematic climax when you can tell already that no such climax will be forthcoming from the existing features.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on January 13, 2011, 04:51:36 PMI am not at all surprised that your designer's notes frequently express doubt about the exact sections I'm criticizing most heavily. Your instincts are spot-on - these are not working.All of which brings me back to Color. Go back to Skull and Sword. Make them so fucking metal and over-the-top that you can hardly stand it, and get some desire hitched up to the Skull as an operant, active feature of the Skull in play itself. And get rid of the Manichean quality that makes the Skull's victory totally undesirable. Then you'll see whether for some characters, at some times, Mordred's tale seems like the right thing to do.So I'm sayin' the setting crisis should be operatic, the conflicts should be headlong and frenetic (like this whole post, see what I mean now?), and the personal crises should be genuinely tearing in two viable directions.Finally, I think that there is a lot of timid-virgin talk regarding the practices of play and dialogue, but we can talk about that later; it's a writing issue rather than a design issue.So, uh, Troy, still with me? I'm hoping the tone of this post serves as an example for the kind of thrash fantasy that your design idea really could become, if you want it to.Best, Ron
QuoteFirst, were the character sheets helpful in communicating the game? What/Which parts of them could have been improved?Second, regarding the dice values for the sword and the skull (the actual items)- are these useful? Or are they so over-powered that they just wouldn't be interesting to use during play?Third, I included a lot of allusions to Aurthur and Numerology hoping to evoke a more spiritual or mystical sense with the game. Did that come through or were those references too subtle? Or did it just suck?
QuoteLet's start with Color. I mean, nothing but Color, just the fun and image-rich description of some topic or genre or whatever that you'd like to play. In fact, try to forget anything you ever knew about what role-playing games are about. Never mind dungeons, vampires, or anything of the kind. Never mind any sort of subculture you share with others and the way you may dress or talk when you're with them. Think instead about books, movies, comics, history, biography, sex, politics, music, humor, cartoons, advertising ... anything you like to experience as media. What's a topic that turns you on? Or for that matter, pisses you off to the extent that you'd like to do something about it?I ask this because role-playing begins with Color, and it is effective only insofar as the content deep within the Color - a highly personal thing - finds expression through the processes of play. The essence of Exploration, or if we talk in terms of process, Shared Imagined Space, is giving the primal and initial Color some kind of weight among as a group of people who are talking and listening to one another.