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46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13297 Members Latest Member: - Shane786 Most online today: 26 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: More reflections on round two (split)  (Read 2304 times)
David Berg
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« on: February 10, 2011, 01:40:54 AM »

I'm really curious to see what folks did with Whisper.  I couldn't get away from it as "information asymmetry as a core dynamic of play".  It took me forever to find a concept I could use it for.  I threw out 4 game ideas before sticking with the Memory Quest one as the deadline neared.

1) Two characters in the same reality, but each one able to perceive different parts of it.  Each character gets a different GM, but the two GMs whisper to each other to coordinate a consistent reality.

2) Four characters take turns narrating their actions in past tense.  Other players whisper about things the active character doesn't know that connect them to the other three characters.  A certain set of relationships must be established, like who was sent to kill whom, etc.  At some point I realized, "Oh!  Kinda like playing 4 intersecting games of Contract Work."

3) Shutter Island the Game.  A little closer to my final submission.

4) A captured amnesiac murderer being interrogated to unravel why the hit was performed and at whose behest.  Interrogators whisper to each other to avoid sharing their conclusions with the corrupt agency overseeing the interrogation.  They try to develop codes to secretly communicate with the murderer.

It seems like a tough nut to crack socially, but if Memory Quest turns out to work, then I'll have to come back to these.
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whduryea
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« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2011, 12:50:46 PM »

Those all sound like great ideas, David. I would particularly like to play games based on concepts #1 and #4.

Rudy (FetusCommander) and I have a goofy little indie RPG podcast, and we recorded an episode about this round of the Ronnies where we discuss our favorite games and offer suggestions for/critiques of some of the entries. We tried to keep the discussion as constructive as possible, so hopefully our thoughts will be useful to some of the contestants.

We also did this for last round's entries.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2011, 05:00:35 PM »

Oooh! Podcasts - time to make a sticky thread with a link.

Everyone, please stop posting to the "round two begins" thread. Its day is definitely done and I'd like to keep it below the feedback threads. We can have new threads like this one for general reflection talk.

Best, Ron
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Nathan P.
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« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2011, 06:28:22 PM »

I listened to the podcast, it was pretty neat hearing other folks's opinions on the games. I think it's really funny that Cycle of the Seasons gave you guys a Harry Potter/C.S. Lewis vibe, cuz I have no idea how!

I'm gonna try to sneak in some time tomorrow to actually read the other entries and hopefully have something intelligent to say about them.
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Nathan P.
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Devon Oratz
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Posts: 75


« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2011, 11:46:17 AM »

Those all sound like great ideas, David. I would particularly like to play games based on concepts #1 and #4.

Rudy (FetusCommander) and I have a goofy little indie RPG podcast, and we recorded an episode about this round of the Ronnies where we discuss our favorite games and offer suggestions for/critiques of some of the entries. We tried to keep the discussion as constructive as possible, so hopefully our thoughts will be useful to some of the contestants.

We also did this for last round's entries.

I know my name may be a little odd, but "David Ortiz" makes me a sad panda. : (

Anyway, here is some explication for certain misunderstandings about Anathema. I hope this does not sound too defensive, I don't mean it that way at all:

There are actually no random elements in character creation, because to me random means RNG involvement. You do not actually roll dice in Anathema to see how your character's Husk dies (and hence, what your Primary Dominion is) or what kind of person your character's Husk was (and hence, the Origin of your Shroud). Although this is a neat idea, and I might implement it as an alternative rule, it is not the way character creation currently works.

I find it odd that comparisons are being made to White Wolf on the grounds that the game uses d6 dice pools, as White Wolf games use d10 dice pools. The correct mechanical comparison would be to Shadowrun (which actually does use d6 dice pools, albeit differently). If on the other hand you meant to say that the game seemed very "White Wolfy" because it was so unrepentantly goth then that is a statement I can't disagree with because it is entirely true. (Disclamatory Note: Personally speaking, I am about as far away from self-identifying as "goth" as you can get, but I don't deny that the game has a certain flavor.)

The resemblance of the Dominions and Origins of Shrouds to Vampire clans/Werewolf tribes and what have you in White Wolf sort of falls apart because the different types of Shrouds are not at war with each other in any way. They all have the same basic agenda and shared "culture" if you can even call it that. A pretty fair analogy would be to compare the Shroud origins to Virtues and Vices in nWoD although I was trying to go significantly deeper than that, raising the stakes by making Will an extremely crucial currency central to the core game experience (see below).

Oh, and lastly there was some misrepresentation of how the different currency pools work.

Will: Represents your will to live, can be spent to reroll failures much like Edge in Shadowrun, gained/lost for character reasons, you "die" if it reaches 0. This mechanic is pretty closely linked to the Narrativist notion of "character development" since it charts the emotional life of your character.
Anathema: This is your character's power (sort of a fused Mana/Health), increased by killing people, lost by taking damage. You only "die" if it goes below 0, and it can only be brought below zero by attacks from other Shrouds. This mechanic is pretty closely linked tot he Gamist notion of "character development" as the higher your Anathema, the bigger powers you cans wing around.

Ok. Am done. Thanks for the feedback, guys, it is actually the first I have heard here. : )
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~"Quiet desperation, it ain't my goddamn scene!"~
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whduryea
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« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2011, 12:17:14 PM »

I know my name may be a little odd, but "David Ortiz" makes me a sad panda. : (

Sorry about that! I'm glad Rudy and Mike corrected me.

I can't offer too much explanation for some of the mechanical confusion about Anathema. I did read through all of the games, but I only reviewed the mechanics of the games on my personal Top 5, and we read many different games (many of which had strikingly similar mechanics) within a short period of time.

I think you are mostly responding to things that Mike and Rudy said, so I'll let them address those parts of your post.

I do know, however, that I am the one who made the White Wolf comparison.

I find it odd that comparisons are being made to White Wolf on the grounds that the game uses d6 dice pools, as White Wolf games use d10 dice pools. The correct mechanical comparison would be to Shadowrun (which actually does use d6 dice pools, albeit differently). If on the other hand you meant to say that the game seemed very "White Wolfy" because it was so unrepentantly goth then that is a statement I can't disagree with because it is entirely true. (Disclamatory Note: Personally speaking, I am about as far away from self-identifying as "goth" as you can get, but I don't deny that the game has a certain flavor.)

The reason I made the comparison was both the use of dice pools and the fact the it handles successful rolls similarly (attaching success directly to the high numbers on the dice and then comparing the number of successes with those of your opponent). Granted, successes are going to be more common in Anathema, since 50% of possible outcomes are successes. I do think that the Dominions have a passing resemblance to House selection in White Wolf, but you're right that there are definitely differences too. And, of course, you're right that the Gothic subject matter influenced the comparison.
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terrible games about terrible people in terrible situations
Nathan P.
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« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2011, 12:38:31 PM »

I just uncovered my notes!

I decided not to do Murder at all, especially not Murder + Wings, cuz I already wrote a game about murder for another contest.

For Whisper+Wings: "on the whisper of soft wings" - quiet, subtle game. people keeping secrets. a messenger, bearing whispers to each character, is trying to solve some kind of ancient mystery.

For Morning+Wings: after a long night, the dawn finally breaks. those who have earned their wings take to the sky and leave this place of darkness and despair.

I also had a little mindmap, but it's pretty indecipherable.
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Nathan P.
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I design | ndp design
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Elizabeth
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« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2011, 01:35:25 PM »

Can I just say? That podcast made my month. Really. I've never been able to eavesdrop on a conversation between three people who TOTALLY GET something I wrote before, and it was just an absolute treat. I'm working on the revision right now, in large part inspired by the fact you guys were so into it.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2011, 03:35:46 PM »

To all authors: I strongly recommend cultivating a thick skin. Your work is getting scrutinized by all and sundry, and everyone has an ... opinion, after all.

Best, Ron
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whduryea
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« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2011, 06:38:52 PM »

I think it's really funny that Cycle of the Seasons gave you guys a Harry Potter/C.S. Lewis vibe, cuz I have no idea how!

I think I was reminded of C. S. Lewis for purely superficial reasons: the mix of magical/seasonal content, witches and the black and white storybook illustrations. I don't think the connection is much deeper than that.

Can I just say? That podcast made my month. Really. I've never been able to eavesdrop on a conversation between three people who TOTALLY GET something I wrote before, and it was just an absolute treat. I'm working on the revision right now, in large part inspired by the fact you guys were so into it.

Thanks! We really enjoyed They Became Flesh, and I'm glad we helped to motivate you to keep working on it.
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terrible games about terrible people in terrible situations
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