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Author Topic: [Diary of a Skull Soldier] Dry, bitter, excellent  (Read 2028 times)
Ron Edwards
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« on: March 03, 2011, 09:53:16 AM »

I put some guys at the Dice Dojo through the ringer this week. First we did a serious, intense session of Acts of Evil, and then when we were all beat and ready to go home, I begged them for one last forty minutes to give Callan's Diary of a Skull Soldier a try. I've said this before, but want to repeat it: of all the entries in the January round of Ronnies, this is the game that I most wanted to play, and also consider the most creatively ambitious. If the Ronnies were merely about what I like most, which they are not,* then this game would have been the sole recipient of the award for that round.

I kept a few things in mind when presenting and playing the game, some of which were harder to stay true to than others.

1. No setting is actually provided. My personal imagery was strongly Baghdad-like, or perhaps a smaller but still urban environment in Iraq, but I tried not to load that into play just because I was GMing or because I was presenting the game to the others. However, here and there, I did imply that the locals were human, and at one point, I described some of them as women in full cover-up clothing. Given that our first diary entry was #2, and a "hand" figures prominently in it, perhaps that's not too terrible.

After play, Phil mentioned that his own personal imagery shifted in and out of a science-fiction setting with the occupation of an alien planet, if I understood him correctly. I love this - it's so Gene Wolfe, and so hard to "make happen" in role-playing. This is a game in which it can and does happen with any "making."

2. I totally left unstated whose diary entry it might be. One of theirs, someone else's, whatever. I was a little surprised just now to see the introductory description of the game at 1km1kt specify that it is indeed an NPC's diary, but as Callan reminded me in the feedback thread, it's not specified in the rules, so I said nothing about it during play.

3. Fiction ain't first! The rules are very clear that actions stated by players should simply be rolled for, not subject to "where I am" or "can I do that" or "you can't do that because" talk. Speaking in this game means you get to roll for it, and that's it. I worked hard at this, confining my GMing to simple descriptions and any necessary facilitating of a given person's chance to talk, without ever creating parameters for what a character could/couldn't or should/shouldn't do. No "you better roll to escape or those shooters will hit you" or anything like that.

I applied this thinking to my elaborations of the diary entry which began each in-play scene. First, I kept all such input pretty short and descriptive of the scene. Second, I didn't specify where any character was. Third, I avoided any in-your-face conflict framing which forced action. As it turned out, action began very quickly based on what characters were stated to be doing, and how the rolls went. Sam's character was spotting for a sniper; he rolled to find a target for the sniper, and succeeded. The sniper shot a guy down from some elevated position, and all I had to do was see what the other people at the table said they'd be doing next.

A few player comments and game-contributions made my antennae twitch as we played, or rather, my attempted jury-rigged antennae based on my understanding of Callan's views on this topic. Sam's first spoken contributions in play at all immediately established a sniper NPC with whom his character worked, and he took that relationship and the NPC's presence very seriously throughout the game. He also spent more time than the other players explaining his character's mind-set out loud - not much, a couple sentences once in a while, but by contrast, it was a lot. At one point, James referred to some attempted action in play as being "possible" due to the outcome of a previous roll, and I didn't want to shut him down or distract from the immediacy of play, so I said "yeah" as non-committally as I could and moved on, with the imaginary Callan on my shoulder beating my head with his fists and screaming "No!!"

On reflection, I did say quite briefly what the squad was up to at the outset of each scene.

4. I didn't reveal the explanation for Marks until play was over. This struck me as a bit tricky. On the one hand, I didn't want to serve as a filter between them and the rules, and on the other, the express purpose of making them/us wonder what the Marks were for seemed to call for not telling them. Callan, can you instruct me about this?

The Marks served an excellent, powerful purpose during play itself. They were interested in the difference between 3/10 vs. 7/10, and they talked about "wow, I'm getting a lot of Marks," or "I'm not," and they put some thought into naming them, definitely. If we speak of game mechanics simply as a facilitator of personal engagement in the SIS, they definitely did that.

Their reaction upon learning the Marks' purpose was a bit neutral, which I suppose is better than complaining. I wasn't sure what they were really thinking so I said that I considered it a little postmodern. They nodded in what appeared to me to be an "I accept that" way. But I'd be interested in any feedback about it from them.

5. I was also a little confused about whether to prompt the opportunity to read the last-of-three diary entry, the one you don't play. To clarify, we arrived at which entry to use by me asking the group to pick a number, first 1-3 (they said 2), then 1 or 3 (they said 3). So for us it was #1. I decided at last to ask whether they'd like to read the entry even though we weren't going to play it, and they said "yes." But I wonder if I'm supposed to let the impetus to do that be entirely generated by them, without any prompting or mention on my part.

As a side point, silently reading the diary entries together, simultaneously, was a curiously intimate act. I think it served as a social framing device.

As far as the play-experience itself went, it was dry and bitter (as the rules say) indeed, but rich, rich, rich! This must be what those single-malt scotch fanatics are always talking about. The mood and interaction around the table were definitely a distinct phenomenon. There was no table-talk at all, no mention of anything outside of play or commentary upon one another's play, but also, all eyes and attention were always fully focused upon one another, every moment, every syllable. It was in some ways a distinctly quiet game in terms of people's literal voices. Afterwards, everyone said that their interior imagery was exceptionally vivid, and I know mine was as well.

The rounds and rolls
First one: 3 sets of rolls, for a total of 9; I was thinking of the "approximately ten rolls" instruction
Second one: 2 sets of rolls, for a total of 6; I was thinking of the "finds a not-much-happens" instruction

James' character - James got a Mark on nearly every roll; I can't remember whether he succeeded twice or once
7/10 "In war everyone loses, some just lose more."
7/10 "Everything's falling apart, especially us."
3/10 "I hear death's laughter echoing in every sound."
7/10 "Any moment could be the last"

Phil's character - Phil rolled four failures out of five rolls if I remember correctly and got one Mark per diary entry
7/10 "War is barbarous but I'm not a barbarian"
7/10 "I said stay down!"
7/10 "A rifle butt to the head never hurt no one"

Sam's character - Sam rolled three successes and Mark-less for the first entry, then two failures with Marks for the second
7/10 "Get them back!" (veiled women are resisting and ensuing commotion threatens safety of cover)
7/10 "For us, war is just scenery."

Thinking back, I really enjoyed the light but constant touch of the rules upon play, and the interesting mix of minimal content sharing with maximum communication per unit of verbal contact. More generally, I think this game succeeds stunningly at the goals of all that talk about ultra-short-form, simple-handout, sit-down-and-play design that's cropped up over the past year. I sure would like to see it with finalized prose, soldier-centric illustration (to avoid setting interpretation taint) and a nice layout, made available in perhaps two or three pages.

If anyone's interested in RPGs genuinely about war and war stories, I recommend checking out these threads:
[Long Patrol] Ronnies feedback
[Krasnoarmeets] Ronnies feedback (plus embedded links)
[carry] Gun-butts, dope, non-mutual masturbation, and massacres and [carry] Helicopters and Accuser role-switching
[Grey Ranks] Another playtest and [Grey Ranks] Third and final session
[Black Cadillacs] - the final push
[3:16] Home is for the hating (plus embedded links)

Best, Ron

* You get a Ronny for meeting the requirements of (i) using the terms centrally, (ii) designing an RPG, and (iii) providing strong enough alpha rules to playtest without confusion. These are all qualified by "as I see it," certainly, but not by "and I like it." This game missed the award by a whisker only on the basis of (iii); I was able to play it with some confidence after all but only given Callan's clarifications in the feedback thread.

edited to add a link
« Last Edit: March 06, 2011, 05:29:17 PM by Ron Edwards » Logged
Phil K.
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« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2011, 11:25:14 AM »

Ron,

Good write up. I wasn't the one with the alien invasion imagery, I believe that was James. Given our very political discussion during our break in Acts of Evil, my mindset was fairly firmly set in our world. Specifically, it was more of a Kosovo feel: cold, grey urban devastation, maybe a little wet; not what I'd expect to see in Baghdad. The second diary entry was much more of a southeast Asia feel: hot, damp, muddy filth along the edges of a river.

My imagery was always very vivid. The thoughts of where characters were came out very clearly in my head.

The thing that impressed me the most (and maybe this is a reflection of my recent rereading of "Starship Troopers") was my internal processes of soldierly thought. Through the course of play, I found myself wondering why someone would follow orders; whether my character intelligent enough to question the morality of his orders; what his disposition was; and other questions. It was through this process that I found myself portraying the character as a little more rough and physical than I normally would. Our descriptions include me saying, "I'm running for cover with the intent of smacking someone in the face if they get in my way." knowing full well that my character was surrounded by children. When that action failed, it was narrated that I didn't make it to cover because the children were keeping me busy and off-balance, despite the fact that I had smacked one of them. In later vignettes, I was the aggressor toward non-combatants and the only one to get "hands-on" with the locals when we had to herd them out of the way.

That's not the way I normally play a character. It seemed fitting and certainly came out of the scene framing, though.
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David Berg
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« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2011, 09:49:01 PM »

Ron's AP is way cool, but I could not make heads or tails of Callan's document and how it relates to the experience described.  I'll scour the feedback thread in hopes of figuring out how to play this.
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David Berg
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« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2011, 10:05:21 PM »

Okay, here's a concrete question:

From what perspective are the Marks authored?
- player who just rolled, directly, with no intermediary (Dave)
- character of player who just rolled (Dave's character)
- unknown author of diary, with perspective inferred from the diary entry itself (some Skull Soldier other than the player characters)

Is anyone else at the table allowed or encouraged to give input?

Second question: are Marks shared once they've been written down?
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2011, 04:40:16 AM »

Hi Dave,

I tried to break down your three options for the perspective question, but gave up. It's all three. They're obviously authored by a real person, and that person is playing a character, and the Mark is by definition an intersection between the character and the diary entry. I think most of them from our game are stated in-character, if that helps.

In our game, Marks were written privately, with no outside input, but shared verbally later. One or two might have been said out loud during play, but my impression is that we only read them out loud afterwards.

Best, Ron
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Phil K.
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« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2011, 08:18:51 AM »

Dave,

Procedurally, this is how play happened:

1) We read the diary entry.
2) Ron (the GM) made a brief narration about our situation.
3) Players, in turn, describe what actions they wish to take.
4) The GM calls for rolls.
5) The players roll.
6) For each roll, the GM compares the dice to the a table and announces an outcome that is a combination of pass/fail and mark/no mark. The GM directs the player to record his mark.
7) The GM narrates outcomes within the story.
8) The GM calls for marks to be shared with the table.
9) If you want to keep playing, go back to step 2.  If you wish to play another diary entry, do so. If you wish to stop, do so. (I believe there is text in the game on which option to choose at any given point.)

I haven't looked at the actual rules since about a day after they were posted, so I don't know whether this is the written, explicit game procedure or just the way things went with us. To my recollection, however, that is the way things went more or less every time.
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David Berg
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« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2011, 10:37:52 AM »

Excellent.  Thanks, guys.  From reading the document, I didn't even know #7 was part of it!  I thought I just narrate an attempt and roll dice and get a Mark and maybe get told "you fail" and that's it.  Your way sounds more like actual RPG play.

Phil, does Ron's statement about what y'all were thinking while writing Marks sound right to you?  A combo of "How do I see it" + "How would my character see it" + "How would the diary author see it"? 

To me, the Marks listed above sound like "How would my character see it."  But "How would the diary author see it," is what I thought the text might be saying (confounding grammar issues), which is a little more interesting to me in an abstract sense.
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Phil K.
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« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2011, 01:11:15 PM »

David,

I can see that as a valid description. My thoughts are slightly different in that I view the diary as the intersection between me (the player) and my character.

Character creation is almost non-existent, the diary entries are the only information you have about the world. From there, boom, you're in the world and you're a soldier, "What do you do?" All of this leads me to more or less consider marks like traits.

My take is that the whole game is character creation insofar as it makes you come up with a soldier from a blank starting point. The marks are what I would normally write on a character sheet: the defining characteristics of the character-construct in my head.

The marks were informed by what happened in the fiction and mine definitely took on a tone of catch phrases. Specifically "A rifle butt to the head never hurt no one" came directly from play. It was a phrase I used in discussing what my character was doing when clearing natives from a thoroughfare. When I failed and Ron described my failure as just angering the natives and causing a scene, I decided the phrase was too good to pass up. I didn't think too much about the diary entry, aside from how it exists as a setting. Yes, obviously, we were in a blasted urban wasteland. That factored into my marks but I didn't reflect upon the actual text of the entry, the intent of the diarist or my relationship to the diarist

That said, if I wanted to make/play a hard, gritty military politics game in a longer form I would actually consider using something similar to Diary of a Skull Soldier for character creation.
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David Berg
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« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2011, 03:36:23 PM »

Okay, now I think I get it.  That's a much more diffuse relationship to the fiction than I'm used to.  "Am I playing a character?" even seems fuzzy.  Interesting.  Thanks for the insights!
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2011, 04:21:59 PM »

Hi David,

As far as I can tell, a person playing a character in this game is doing absolutely nothing else but play a character

The Marks show how the soldier has come into contact with the concerns and feelings described by the diarist. I think that's about as solid a paper trail of how one is playing the character as I can imagine.

Best, Ron
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Callan S.
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« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2011, 07:44:38 PM »

Hello Ron,

On the points -

On #1 and #2, I'm not sure I understand the...faithfulness? To something? I'll put it this way, when I said it was the diary of an NPC I wasn't making a point. Nor when I left the setting pretty much what one might think of it from the diary, was I making a point. The only faithfulness concern I'd see is not ignoring the authors points, when he makes them (doesn't mean you agree with his points, you just don't ignore them utterly). But since I'm not making a point when I say it's an NPC's diary, heck, totally mess around with the idea of who's it is as much as it feels good in the moment! Utterly ignore me, because heck, I wasn't making a point. Or setting - hey, alien planet or Bagdad, don't need to jump to any conclusion. Ambiguity leads to creativity. Or at the very least, like oncoming car head lights on high beam, ambiguity is facinating.

Now did I make clear where I'm making a point and where it's up for grabs? Not really. So I'll pay that. But (okay, quit reading this paragraph as I get off the usual acceptable trail of conversation and quit if you don't wanna) I still wonder even if I did, would you go and be faithful to...something? It's just to me, pretty much every RPG is Gene Wolfe-like, if I understand your reference. Pretty much everything is a human perception and projection in RPG (barring cold, metalic, rules), no matter how intense the setting description is in an RPG text (indeed more-so human perception and projection, for that intensity). Like you say to David what else can you do but play a character, when you say it's hard to do Gene Wolfe-like stuff in an RPG, I think, what else can you do? I once had a GM who described a female character character as, IIRC, beautiful. Latter he revealed she was sort of psychic shapeshifter. Latter, talking to us as players, he said 'You all (the RL players) just imagined your own idea of beauty! I never said how she is beutiful! You just filled in what you wanted to!', as if we had all tricked ourselves into thinking the beauty we'd imagined is the one he'd described. But all I could think is 'That's all we ever do'. I don't think he realised that applied to all of the other GM descriptions he'd ever given. What else can you do?

Quote
I applied this thinking to my elaborations of the diary entry which began each in-play scene.
Did you lay out the diary entry, for everyone to read over each others shoulders, but essentially reading it alone?

Quote
At one point, James referred to some attempted action in play as being "possible" due to the outcome of a previous roll, and I didn't want to shut him down or distract from the immediacy of play, so I said "yeah" as non-committally as I could and moved on, with the imaginary Callan on my shoulder beating my head with his fists and screaming "No!!"
Actually I was the confused monkey on the back. See, I berated myself on this in the other thread - who can initiate a roll? Only the GM? Anyone? Can anyone veto a roll? I didn't define this shit, left it up to the pattern of roleplay culture. Probably fell for consensus fallacy, really. As author, this is my fuck up.

But past that, basically the lack of the rules eliminating options means it's up for grabs - so here comes confused monkey, going 'Why is James saying something is somehow now possible any more than before - the rules have not changed?" and further, here you concerned about it?

I'm going to go off the kosher conversational path again - don't read the following paragraph unless you want to: There's a thing where communicated fiction is taken as warrant or enablement of some action supposedly not possible previously? And that it's a concern. I wouldn't be screaming no, I'd be saying that either they keep declaring they are enabled to do things which they already were already enabled by the rules to do and so there is no issue, or they'll claim enablement to do something that the rules say they can't and then we'll see which comes first with them, rules or sense of fictional enablement. Actually this paragraph doesn't sound bad to me - maybe didn't need a disclaimer.


Quote
4. I didn't reveal the explanation for Marks until play was over.
I think I wrote the rules with the idea that everyone reads the rules and so would have read about them. Granted with my group on the first go of a new game, perhaps someone hasn't read the rules, but generally have read them to some degree on latter play. I think if I moved onto a new draft this would need changing - adding instructions that all participants read about marks prior to play and you read it alone, each reader mulling over their own conclusion. If they don't read, they can't play. Another problem is that marks are actually described in part through the document, described as worries, concerns, etc. The 'what are marks' section more describes what they are for in terms of the game, not what they are.

Quote
But I wonder if I'm supposed to let the impetus to do that be entirely generated by them, without any prompting or mention on my part.
Really you've left the game at that point and it's beyond my purview as author. I could talk about what I'd do as a fellow man, instead - if I was interested in something, I'd show it to someone. But that's just me.

Quote
As a side point, silently reading the diary entries together, simultaneously, was a curiously intimate act. I think it served as a social framing device.
Alone together. Beautiful! Everyone cognizant that they are seperate entities, yet still doing the same activity. Agreement not needed every second yet still moving in paralel.

As I asked above, did you do this for the first two scenarios, in play?

And now onto MARKS! I was looking forward to this bit.

And...I'm going to blame myself as author. I think I need to describe things more so. The marks you present are actually...well, conclusions! Of course no one looks at their own conclusions and wonders - perhaps that's why it sounds post modern? Jame's ones actually start with conclusions and kind of head towards actual marks as you go down.
Quote
7/10 "In war everyone loses, some just lose more."
7/10 "Everything's falling apart, especially us."
3/10 "I hear death's laughter echoing in every sound."
7/10 "Any moment could be the last"
The closer you get to a non rationalising fear or other emotive reaction, the more it's a mark. As it says in the document in other spots, marks are worries and concerns. You can move on from a conclusion - a worry is just that for not being able to move on from it. The last two on the list here are marks.

I don't know how wondering about hearing deaths laughter echoing in every sound is post modern. It sounds fucking terrorfying to think about, to me.

Quote
7/10 "I said stay down!"
*snip*
7/10 "Get them back!"
These just need to be peeled back a bit more, like taking the skin off a grape...get to the wet, oozing stuff...back to the thing that would make you say this, instead of what it'd make you say.

And that's it. I appreciated hearing about the marks generated. I thought they'd come alive and they did.


While I'm here I'll give a shout out to all for the under appreciated SLORP RPG, with it's trust/certainty dichotomy economy. Bit of a mundane setting, granted, but nicotine girls is like that too.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2011, 07:45:07 AM »

Hi Callan,

I'm quite excited to be having this conversation.

We did, in fact, read all three diary entries silently and simultaneously. Four guys, unevenly spaced side by side or in two rows, clustered together a little. In the cases of the first two chosen, which we used for play, we did not have any conversation immediately afterward, but moved straight into play beginning with GM elaboration.

As I mentioned, this technique had a distinct, personal, intimate quality which I enjoyed very much.

Regarding the Marks, I read the rules for writing them during play itself, at the time when any player earned one, by request. Specifically:

Quote
... you've taken on a 7/10 strength mark of the skull soldier, related to the area he describes in his diary and what your doing. What are his concerns, the elements of his perspective. The ones tied to what you tried to change or do. That's the name of your mark and what it's about.

I changed the value to 3/10 when necessary, but otherwise that's exactly what I said, verbatim. I didn't have to read it for all nine marks generated in play, but if I remember correctly, I did so at least four times.

In my post above, when I wrote about not reading the explanation for the marks until play was over, I was talking about the "to make you wonder what they are" part only. That's the only part which makes me uneasy about telling them first; it seems to me that doing that might undercut the point.

As far as the content of the marks is concerned, clearly different players interpreted the above instructions a little differently. I agree that they didn't always measure up to the "worries and concerns" criterion, but I also agree that the ones which didn't are at least steps toward getting there. I didn't offer any critique or "not good enough" statements of any kind, preferring instead to see how the instructions played out from text to player on an individual basis. My inclination is to retain that flexibility and not try to force more or different content in any specific case, especially not during play.

I like this phrase of yours a lot:

Quote
The closer you get to a non rationalising fear or other emotive reaction, the more it's a mark.


That would be a good addition to the text.

I'm not responding to the other parts of your post because of time constraints, but also because I don't have much to say except "yes" or "I see" and stuff like that. My blanket response to your overall post is to nod and feel like I'm learning something, or learning how to say something I know better.

Is there any hope that you might clean up some of the grammar, otherwise tart up the presentation a little, for a new working draft? I'd really like to see it keep that personal voice feature that you mentioned in the feedback thread, so I'm definitely not suggesting that you genericize it or make it more familiar in game-text terms. But it'd be great to have a slightly beefier and more readable version to use.

And man! If you could find an artist to deliver one single illustration that you think is just right, that would be exciting.

Best, Ron
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Callan S.
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« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2011, 11:19:56 PM »

Quote
We did, in fact, read all three diary entries silently and simultaneously. Four guys, unevenly spaced side by side or in two rows, clustered together a little. In the cases of the first two chosen, which we used for play, we did not have any conversation immediately afterward, but moved straight into play beginning with GM elaboration.
Ah, that's good. I imagine four people looking at the very same semantic markings, each imagination working on it's own and in doing so, heading in a certain direction. I picture it as of four lines departing from the same point and moving forward and out, but then curving forward and back to intermingle to various degrees.

On marks, I think I'll just pay I didn't explain it enough. I was probably engaging in consensus fallacy - like everyone thinks 'that' way about this, etc. I will say even if I write more that doesn't mean anyone will get it, but I could do alot more by my own standards atleast.

I'll just affirm that the players in the game got somewhere and made some ground, so to speak. Maybe they don't need that affirmation, but just saying in case - I can see the heart lines in the marks listed. It's not just ink marks on paper. But they prolly all get that very much so - again, just saying in case.

Quote
As far as the content of the marks is concerned, clearly different players interpreted the above instructions a little differently. I agree that they didn't always measure up to the "worries and concerns" criterion, but I also agree that the ones which didn't are at least steps toward getting there. I didn't offer any critique or "not good enough" statements of any kind, preferring instead to see how the instructions played out from text to player on an individual basis.
I don't think anyone saying 'not good enough' fits this model anyway (further diluting the GM role, I guess) - it's more like a personal challenge, but along the lines of daring to look at scary emotional places rather than a winning type challenge. If someone doesn't go deep, it's not wrong, it's just maybe they didn't meet up to the challenge they set out to take up. It's kind of up to each person to ponder that one alone. And yup, this in itself that could go in the text.

Quote
Quote
The closer you get to a non rationalising fear or other emotive reaction, the more it's a mark.
That would be a good addition to the text.
Yup.

Quote
In my post above, when I wrote about not reading the explanation for the marks until play was over, I was talking about the "to make you wonder what they are" part only. That's the only part which makes me uneasy about telling them first; it seems to me that doing that might undercut the point.
That makes me really curious. What point would that be?


I mean, even without knowing exactly what point your talking about, maybe I want to undercut it? At the end of the game, leave everyone suddenly without a point and with things that say they hear death laughing in every echo? I remember hearing of a band who didn't play the last note of a song at a performance, just stopped. It made people hear the music more than they otherwise would have.

But then again maybe you'll say some sort of point and I'll go 'Oh that, yeah, hmmm, okay, didn't want to drop that thing, have to think on that'. So I'm really curious?

I wont pounce on it - but it just might not be kinda integral to me?

Quote
otherwise tart up the presentation a little, for a new working draft? I'd really like to see it keep that personal voice feature that you mentioned in the feedback thread, so I'm definitely not suggesting that you genericize it or make it more familiar in game-text terms. But it'd be great to have a slightly beefier and more readable version to use.
To what extent? I genuinely run a blank on what criteria I'd be trying to satisfy in doing it? Maybe I'll ponder what pretties I might add on, if any and if so maybe it'll match up as pretty by someone elses standard, or maybe it wont. I mean, there's a challenging question for any writer - in formating, what are you doing it for? What effect are you definately sure your going to produce in a reader? I dunno, I'm left with alot of questions on that.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2011, 04:12:15 PM »

Hi Callan,

By the point of the Marks, I mean strictly exactly what you said to be their purpose. Change "point" in my sentence to "purpose," and then reference your stated purpose in the rules, and that's all I meant.

So the question is simple: do you want everyone playing to have read the rules in full or not? My impression now is yes.

Regarding formatting, you're absolutely correct that it's up to you. My desire is to see the thing brought out of its current (to use your words) "utter crap" state, even if it's merely a grammatical sweep-through. Physically and visually, hey - whatever you'd like to do with it, that's what I'd like to see.

Best, Ron

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