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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)
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Author Topic: [The Secret Lives of Serial Killers] Playtest  (Read 3645 times)
stefoid
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« Reply #15 on: February 17, 2011, 06:53:51 PM »

Sometimes the worst experiences you have become the ones you dine out on, sometime after.
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Devon Oratz
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Posts: 75


« Reply #16 on: February 19, 2011, 10:29:01 AM »

Quote
Where it becomes bad is when this becomes institutionalized, long term, repeated and expected behavior.  I find the killer players reaction of having a really great time very telling.  I'm reminded of all those old games where people were talking about how they didn't roll any dice the whole game and it was "Fantastic!"  I have long suspected that in situations like that there is often this very dynamic in play.  That player got everything they wanted and there is a silent "victim" who feels marginalized in the session but is afraid to say anything the face of everyone else's enthusiasm.

Just as a sidenote, this is the first game my group has ever played where no dice have been rolled.
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~"Quiet desperation, it ain't my goddamn scene!"~
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Willow
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Posts: 224


« Reply #17 on: February 19, 2011, 04:03:25 PM »

Devon-

That comment reminds me:

A suggestion has been floated that Sunshine Boulevard could use an essentially illusory dice mechanic, one that serves to further deceive the sunshine, and to serve as a draw to the game for those who would not normally play games with Sunshine Boulevard's straightforward content- i.e. "yeah, it's a lame rpg about feelings, but you gotta check out this endgame dice mechanic!"

As the game's sole playtester thus far, what would your opinion be?

-Willow
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Devon Oratz
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Posts: 75


« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2011, 10:41:49 AM »

Is your goal to make the game design more abusive and "meaner"? (I for one am not making any moral judgments.)

If so, then you should totally add some completely bullshit dice mechanics. Keep them relatively simple, I think: it is a bit much asking people to learn complicated rules that explicitly won't matter anyway...on purpose.
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~"Quiet desperation, it ain't my goddamn scene!"~
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My Blog: tarotAmerican
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2011, 12:18:15 PM »

I haven't playtested the game, but I think I should clarify what I intended with my suggestion about the Sunshine Boulevard rules.

I wasn't thinking of them as being 100% cosmetic. They could be functional rules that actually do things within the context of continuing scenes while the Sunshine Boulevard illusion persists. They might involve resolution or they might be more like Breaking the Ice relationship scoring, or maybe they're even more like Gift Dice in TSOY, some kind of "ooh, I like that" bennie. But the idea is that at least while that illusion carries on, the whatever-they-are do get used and do have consequences for the fiction - just not, you know, at the end.

Best, Ron
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tzirtzi
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Posts: 10


« Reply #20 on: March 05, 2011, 02:37:08 AM »

(Someone here who hasn't playtested this so is just theorycrafting...)

Might it be possible to introduce a dice mechanic - maybe in the form Ron suggests, like gift dice, or some other mechanic where the Sunshine player can build up a dice pool - which would then stay functional throughout the SLoSK part of the game as well as SB, but just not have any long-term narrative impact? For example, to take one of Devon's playtest examples, the Victim player could have earned dice which he then uses to try to escape his predicament by shuffling his chair to the door. If he fails at the roll, things go as described (he falls over). If he succeeds at the roll then he succeeds at the action - only e.g. to have the Killer open the door just as he reaches it and kick the chair over after all. It would create more continuity between the two halves of the game (though I'm not sure whether that would be desirable or not...) and perhaps delay the realisation of complete narrative powerlessness/inevitability (though, again, whether or not that would be desirable is up for debate). But if the dice were gained as direct rewards for desirable play during SB (I'm thinking here about how Devon found that his players didn't really quite get into the RomCom character style) then they could serve to drive that section forward. Though of course, these effects might not be felt to be valuable enough to merit losing the diceless nature of the game.
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