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Author Topic: [Tales of Lust] Ronnies feedback  (Read 1963 times)
Ron Edwards
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« on: April 15, 2011, 06:59:48 PM »

Andreas Eriksson's Tales of Lust wins a Ronny! As with Homage to Ninshubar, the game is in such a playtestable state that I have only a few comments at this point. Even my occasional procedural question concerns things that clearly can be fixed with a moment's red pen.

We play monsters and see if they can escape their own stories? Very cool, this is the John Gardner's Grendel RPG. At first I was thinking lust and chains were being employed too synonymously, but then I looked again. What I'm seeing now is that the chains relate to the lusts. That will tie into my interpretation of the resolution mechanics, which may or may not be as they were intended.

So, on to my notions for whatever you'd like to make of them.

1. During character creation, I don't see the point of making monsters' lust-targets cross paths among them. At worst, it gives me visions of kind of a monster mash thing, when Dracula bites the neck of the woman the Frankenstein's monster wants to have turned into his wife but then the werewolf jumps onto Dracula and proclaims undying love for him, but see, the Frankenstein monster is jealous of him because ... if you see what I mean. I find it more compelling to be working with one absolutely independent story per character, operating in parallel, which in this case means each one is kind of a developing case-study comparison for each of the others. Obviously the general "dark fairy tale" tenets would be worked out just as the text describes, but the detailed conflicts and whatever for each one can be left for development in play.

2. The way scenes are formed and how conflicts may appear in them reminds me a lot of Ocean, which I played recently. I think the technique works pretty well. As I see it, if you pose a conflict for yourself, that's fine if it's a sincere inspiration in the moment, but pretty bogus if you have to do it as an obligation, repeatedly. So having others jump in with "Hey, now deal with this" as part of the process is a good thing. It's also one of the reasons I think that doing the various monsters' stories in non-contact parallel will work; it's not like anyone has to sit around and wait until it's their turn.

3. Here's my big question: what does resolution resolve? I'll take it as a given that if the character succeeds, he or she or it does not do what ordinarily happens whenever the story is told. But it's a little tricky in terms of these two things: resisting one's lust vs. succeeding or failing at what one is attempting.

Does resisting one's lust mean failing at what's being attempted? I'm pretty sure that the latter should be handled opportunistically depending on what's being attempted, depending on what lust is involved, and any number of other circumstances, and only the former should be treated as the actually dice-determined content. Do I have that right?

It does raise another very tricky issue, though. Does resisting a lust mean ... well, simply the classic instance of renouncing it? How subtly can I go, as a player? Can turning a lust onto someone else in the story, making it a different story if that different action provides a major shift in meaning, apply? I'm interested in your fictional vision of a monster succeeding in a roll - what does the narration look like?

4. if I understand correctly, you can have multiple Challenges in a turn, but you stop your turn once you lose one. Does that mean a turn can go by with one or more Challenges, but without a Climax? Also, "winner" in this paragraph seems only to apply to the person playing the monster at the moment. If I provide a Challenge for you, and you lose and I win, do I get a Minor Aspect?

5. I like the idea of replaying the creatures who don't make it out, too. That could be especially interesting because we know the story now, and I can see actually redoing it, maybe with significant variations depending on what happened to the chains in the previous go-round.

So, uh, what else? Nothing! Let me know what you think, help me get a little more grip, and I'll be checking this one's motor out myself.

Best, Ron
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Andreas Eriksson
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« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2011, 01:22:53 AM »

Hey Ron.

I'm glad you seem to find the game interesting enough for play. In fact it is not the game I origionaly set out to write, it was really a spur of the moment piece of madness ment to be just what your first point describe. By the time I finished writing it was something completely different and the fact the cross-path lust rule is still in the document is a oversight on my part while doing the last rough edit of it.

On to the resolution mechanics; succeeding or failing at resisting lust is not directly linked to the outcome, short of the actual mechanics of "winner picks reality". In truth the resisting, or failure thereof, of lust is appended to the main Challenge mechanic and is, as viewed by me, the only reall I win you lose situation within the system. Stating the stakes in the conflict still follow the same formula, as does narrating the results afterwards.
Your assumptions about Challenges are correct, your turn will pass on to the winning player if you fail a Challenge during the scene and the Climax does not nececary have to happen within that period. It and the circumstances around the Climax for the scene can be dictated by other players, the rules only state that it must happen before the scene can actualy finish. Only when the Climax have been reached can the scene finish and the next player frame their scene.
Any player winning a Challenge does indeed recieve a Minor Aspect, wether they are playing the monster or not, though with most of this came it is situational in its context. It might not be possible to apply it directly to your own monster though it can be used to flesh out the surounding landscape, people or the town itself.

The idea was for the classic renouncement of lust, yes. Though the twisting of lust into a different form is rather intruiging and bears some consideration, it would certainly still apply to the overall goal of escaping the established story as it were. Would certainly lend a degree of freedom and deepth to the story and the monsters, to be able to to be "monsters" on their own term in addition to failing to break the chains or simply up and leaving. No doubt I'll be adding this. Thanks for pointing it out.

As for the vision of monsters succeeding in a roll, that's a good question. I find myself imagining them following conventions up untill a point. The vampire sneaking in through an open window to feed on young women would follow along the norm of the trope up to a point at which it diverges into an different direction either in action or intent. Said women might find freshly picked flowers on the windowstill rather than puncture wounds in the neck.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2011, 12:43:36 PM »

On to the resolution mechanics; succeeding or failing at resisting lust is not directly linked to the outcome, short of the actual mechanics of "winner picks reality". In truth the resisting, or failure thereof, of lust is appended to the main Challenge mechanic and is, as viewed by me, the only reall I win you lose situation within the system. Stating the stakes in the conflict still follow the same formula, as does narrating the results afterwards.

1. I think I see. Resolutions always determine success or failure; during a Climax, resisting or succumbing to lust is appended to this. This strikes me as very important to know because it means the monster cannot succeed at doing something and succumb to lust - which strikes me as a little bit too constrained. Should not the roll for a Climax only be about the lust, leaving the narration of successful or failed action open to interpretation?

2. Ah! Scenes and turns are not the same things! I get it now. If I fail a Challenge which happens not to be a Climax, I end my turn, but when my turn comes around again, my monster is stuck in the same scene.

Quote
As for the vision of monsters succeeding in a roll, that's a good question. I find myself imagining them following conventions up untill a point. The vampire sneaking in through an open window to feed on young women would follow along the norm of the trope up to a point at which it diverges into an different direction either in action or intent. Said women might find freshly picked flowers on the windowstill rather than puncture wounds in the neck.

Here, you're talking about Climax resolution, right? I think it illustrates my concern in #1 above. The monster has "failed" to bite the woman but has succeeded in mastering its lust.

Best, Ron
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