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46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13299 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 88 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [Final Hour of a Storied Age] An Empty Throne Beckons  (Read 8998 times)
Dan Maruschak

Posts: 128

« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2011, 08:03:56 PM »

There were a few interesting things that came up in this session. In chapter 30, I used the "deputizing" rules to have Nolan play his character as part of the adversity when I was the adversity player. In chapters 33 and 34 Nolan used Leo's PC as the adversity, but Leo was content to let Nolan play the character instead of being deputized.

The other thing that came up in chapter 31 was a discussion of how aggressively you are supposed to play the game. My protagonist was the viewpoint character and Nolan (who wanted me to win, since he was rooting for the good guys) was playing the adversity. I pointed out that some of the choices he could make as adversity are more "cost effective" than others (like introducing a high-tax NPC so he only has a few active traits to use), so it's possible for him to go easy on me if he wants to by choosing the less aggressive options. I explained that this element of the mechanics was inspired by The Lord of the Rings, specifically I noticed that the adversity in The Fellowship of the Ring seemed a lot more intense in the chapters where the hobbits were being pursued by the ringwraiths than when they were dealing with Tom Bombadil. I decided to reproduce that effect in my game by letting the players choose how aggressive they wanted to be in different chapters: when Sauron was the adversity player he was throwing black riders at Frodo, but when Gandalf was the adversity player he was giving them stuff like Tom Bombadil and Old Man Willow. The random element in determining who plays adversity hopefully contributes some interesting variation in tone and intensity to the story that makes it more engaging. Leo commented that this mechanic could allow for cheesy deus ex machina stuff if the adversity player wanted to go that way (which could sometimes be genre appropriate). This comment reminded Nolan that one of the initial story seeds was "The Goddess of the Sea will return to the mortal realm", so he decided to actually introduce the sea goddess as an NPC, which was cool in the story, but funny in the sense that he had literally introduced a deus ex machina style twist inspired by Leo's comment.

Also, as a bit of a followup, Nolan's character finished her subplot in the second session so he hadn't played viewpoint since then. In this session, with the way the dice fell, he didn't even play adversity for a long stretch. When I asked him if that was frustrating he reported that he was so engaged with the story that he was still having a lot of fun even when he was in that audience role.

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