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Author Topic: Trollbabe Barrage of Questions IV: places, scenes and turns  (Read 1092 times)
Moreno R.
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Posts: 547


« on: March 16, 2011, 07:17:43 PM »

New questions!

Places:
1) What IS the map of Trollabe? It's the map of the entire world? So the entire world is made "of fjords, mists, twisted trees, and frozen rivers"? The only human cultures are "Icelandic, Celtic, Nordic, or Baltic"? Or there are other people or other land outside of the map? The map is the same from the start or the GM can add other places (inside the old map or adding another sheet bu the side to show "the lands of the South" for example.

Until now I avoided the question: I described only nordic cultures and climates, and if someone ask about other lands, I say that all the rest of the planet is a very big ocean. But a trollbabe at the right scale could raise a continent from the depths of the sea (by the way...  at the start of an adventure, the player can point on a point not on land? In the middle of the sea?)

2) The place the player choose (pointing to it) is the place where the trollbabe is GOING. The adventure must be really very near that place (so that its like he pointed to the place of the adventures, but the trollbabe must arrive at the start, non being there already), or, like with the scenes inside an adventure, the GM can stop the trollbabe anywhere during the travel between the old point and the new point? (I always used the first interpretation, but the phrasing in the game manual is vague enough - talking only of "the place where the trollbabe is going" -  to justify the second...

Scenes:
3) "Ending the scene implies that the trollbabe will next be seen somewhere else.", page 23.  Does this mean that framing two consecutive scenes in the same place (even if something changed, for example there is a new character in the scene) is not allowed? (I noticed this only now, searching for another quote)

4) "First, anyone can request a scene for his or her trollbabe during this transitional moment. If you are damn sure of what you want her to be doing, say so: I want a scene down by the riverside! Its just a request, though, subject to the GMs authority." (page 24-25)
This mean that even if the scene requested is not accepted by the GM, the GM has to frame the next scene for that player anyway (trying to retain what he can of the original request), he can't say "no, I don't like it, the next scene will be with John's trolbabe)", right?
And this mean that the GM can't call for a scene for a player who didn't ask for one, until he has finished all the scenes of the people who did, right?

5) The player didn't request a scene. Or maybe he did, but he didn't state many details. So the GM start framing a scene, for example, with the trollbabe swimming in the lake. And the players goes "no, I would never swim in that lake, it could be dangerous". The correct answer is "OK, you are simply walking by the shore" (and the player could go "No, I don't really like lakes, I would have avoided it"), or "sorry, I am framing this scene, and this time you are swimming"?
(I am not talking about any decision that could affect the stakes in any way, but simply of the description of the start of the scene)
Until now I did change the framing, but with some players sometimes is like a guessing match about "what they would do in that situation", and I noticed that I started framing scenes without saying what the trollbabe is doing, to avoid the problem.
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Ciao,
Moreno.

(Excuse my errors, English is not my native language. I'm Italian.)
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2011, 09:07:52 PM »

Hi Moreno,

Quote
1) What IS the map of Trollabe? It's the map of the entire world? So the entire world is made "of fjords, mists, twisted trees, and frozen rivers"? The only human cultures are "Icelandic, Celtic, Nordic, or Baltic"? Or there are other people or other land outside of the map? The map is the same from the start or the GM can add other places (inside the old map or adding another sheet bu the side to show "the lands of the South" for example.

That is the most annoying question in the universe. I have no idea what the "world" is. Characters in Trollbabe don't know anything about "worlds." The concept isn't part of the setting.

If you'd like to expand the map, you can, but I suggest doing it very strictly by literally adding more map, and continuing to play using the rules. No reaching off the map during play or prepping for play.

Quote
But a trollbabe at the right scale could raise a continent from the depths of the sea


True. That would change the map. That's not a problem.

Quote
(by the way...  at the start of an adventure, the player can point on a point not on land? In the middle of the sea?)

Remember, she's supposed to be walking. That limits things a little bit.

Quote
2) The place the player choose (pointing to it) is the place where the trollbabe is GOING. The adventure must be really very near that place (so that its like he pointed to the place of the adventures, but the trollbabe must arrive at the start, non being there already), or, like with the scenes inside an adventure, the GM can stop the trollbabe anywhere during the travel between the old point and the new point? (I always used the first interpretation, but the phrasing in the game manual is vague enough - talking only of "the place where the trollbabe is going" -  to justify the second...

The first interpretation is correct. The rules for naming the trollbabe's location for adventure purposes aren't the same as rules for permission for scenes.

Quote
3) "Ending the scene implies that the trollbabe will next be seen somewhere else.", page 23.  Does this mean that framing two consecutive scenes in the same place (even if something changed, for example there is a new character in the scene) is not allowed? (I noticed this only now, searching for another quote)

Scenes in Trollbabe are defined through location and time. Bringing in a new character doesn't change the scene.

What you should not do is cut between two active scenes - a technique I favor very highly in Sorcerer, and is effectively mandated in Spione, but is no good for Trollbabe. Do whatever it is there is to be done at that location, in continuous time or with time-lapses if necessary, and close it when it's over.

Quote
4) "First, anyone can request a scene for his or her trollbabe during this transitional moment. If you are damn sure of what you want her to be doing, say so: I want a scene down by the riverside! Its just a request, though, subject to the GMs authority." (page 24-25)
This mean that even if the scene requested is not accepted by the GM, the GM has to frame the next scene for that player anyway (trying to retain what he can of the original request), he can't say "no, I don't like it, the next scene will be with John's trolbabe)", right?
And this mean that the GM can't call for a scene for a player who didn't ask for one, until he has finished all the scenes of the people who did, right?

Your interpretations underestimate the GM's authority for these rules. The GM is the total authority over starting (and ending) scenes. He may not honor a request at all, although I see no reason to be that hard-assed in most circumstances. Requests are strictly and only requests.

When a player requests a scene, that does not mean the GM must frame some scene for that player, conforming to the request or not. He can absolutely, indeed say "no" and do another player instead.

The GM may frame any trollbabe into a scene completely on his own, without reference to any request that has or has not been made.

Quote
5) The player didn't request a scene. Or maybe he did, but he didn't state many details. So the GM start framing a scene, for example, with the trollbabe swimming in the lake. And the players goes "no, I would never swim in that lake, it could be dangerous". The correct answer is "OK, you are simply walking by the shore" (and the player could go "No, I don't really like lakes, I would have avoided it"), or "sorry, I am framing this scene, and this time you are swimming"?
(I am not talking about any decision that could affect the stakes in any way, but simply of the description of the start of the scene)
Until now I did change the framing, but with some players sometimes is like a guessing match about "what they would do in that situation", and I noticed that I started framing scenes without saying what the trollbabe is doing, to avoid the problem.

That's an interesting problem. It grades into a sort of discussion at the table which is rather destructive to Trollbabe play, "would I or wouldn't I" and "is she or isn't she." I can't help but see it as a kind of sabotage of the kind of SIS the game is intended to facilitate.

But I'll be positive and try to solve it. The main thing is to get the player to be familiar with the rules about co-playing characters. The GM "plays" trollbabes more than he does (or that people claim he does) in most RPGs. The player "plays" NPCs more than in most RPGs too, via narrations; and also has a significant amount of Director Stance via scene requests and especially in calling conflicts. In other words, what the GM "can say" my trollbabe is doing is simply not the same as what one may be accustomed to negotiating about in the past.

I spent so much time and effort on this in the text that I'm not sure what to say except to play with people who are willing to read it, and not merely expect the GM to channel it. That's one of the reasons I dislike demo play for this game, actually.

Best, Ron
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