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46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13297 Members Latest Member: - Shane786 Most online today: 120 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Liminál  (Read 3008 times)
Robert Bruce
Member

Posts: 22


« on: April 07, 2012, 03:59:51 PM »

Genre: Border Horror

Border-crossers known as 'coyotaje' bring hundreds of migrants into the United States every day.  It's a risky business, but a business nonetheless, and necessarily dull in its own way.  However, one of these 'coyotes' is not what he seems.  The people he brings across seem strange, even in the Mexican center of California's Santa Mira.  Their Spanish is not quite right, they look at things too long, and their bodies seem to present a new and unfamiliar paradigm.  In the mirror they make faces which have never meant anything to any human.  Their families are quiet, but watchful.  The new arrivals bring an unidentifiable dread to the city.


So, a coyote who switches his charges with mimic bodysnatchers.  How does this work?

In game, you play a mimic, who is imitating a human migrant.  You also play humans who are constantly in danger of discovering strangeness.  Characters are developed and then quickly swapped.  The previous owner of the character then plays the humans, discerning, unveiling, on the lookout for miscues.  The essential tension of the game is that the person with fictional authority over a character is not the same as the person playing the character.  Or rather if you're playing Az (a mimic) playing Marina, I get to say what Marina is like, and you get to say what Az does as Marina.  There are secret character sheets.  Predictably, the mimics will not do a very good job.  Shit will go down.  This is the game.
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jackson_tegu
Member

Posts: 61

what a delight / the internet, tonight.


« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2012, 04:10:34 PM »

Wow!

So, stranger whom i have no personal contact with and who did not help myself and family arrange a passable facade in this fine city in which i dwell, do you imagine that there'll be actual deceit between the players, or is that deceit only within the fiction, & we players watch it at a remove?

I mean to ask, is the tension a fine spice for the fiction, or is it a question of tactics?
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sure of ourselves, aren't we?
Robert Bruce
Member

Posts: 22


« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2012, 04:20:17 PM »

Wow!

So, stranger whom i have no personal contact with and who did not help myself and family arrange a passable facade in this fine city in which i dwell, do you imagine that there'll be actual deceit between the players, or is that deceit only within the fiction, & we players watch it at a remove?

I mean to ask, is the tension a fine spice for the fiction, or is it a question of tactics?

So, let's say you have authority over Marina, and I'm playing Marina in a scene.

Marina is being treated for some new illness by the family doctor.  However, I'm playing Marina strangely (according to the details on your secret character sheet).  So you ask me (the player) "It looks like you're trying to Pass."  I say, yeah, sure.  I roll dice, you modify it with the info on your sheet, things happen and a bit of Marina's true character is revealed to me and the mimic I'm playing.  There is non-public information in the game, for sure.
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jackson_tegu
Member

Posts: 61

what a delight / the internet, tonight.


« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2012, 04:30:56 PM »

Ah, but if, in another scene, you play Marina more closely to what's hidden on my sheet, then the mechanics give me less teeth against you?

AWESOME!
Also, totally great name.
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sure of ourselves, aren't we?
Robert Bruce
Member

Posts: 22


« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2012, 05:41:42 PM »

Sometimes when you do things in Liminál, you roll dice.  The dice mean different things depending on what you're trying to do.

Pass:  When you're trying to fit in, when you're doing something and it's important to look normal doing it, when you're trying to do anything when you're under Under Suspicion - Roll Dice.

Alienate:  When you're trying to stand out, set yourself apart, appear Other - Roll Dice.

Illuminate:  When you're trying to learn about yourself, discover the person you were/are, get a question answered about who/how you are - Roll dice.
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OrionCanning
Member

Posts: 27


« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2012, 09:02:11 PM »

Man this is good robert. The whole idea of body snatcher-esque illegal aliens is so good and needs to be made into an awesome movie based on your game.

But on top of that I really like the idea for the mechanics. It's almost like having a backseat driver. Obviously you are using Coyote and Mimic. What else?
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desiderata
Member

Posts: 9


« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2012, 09:33:04 PM »

Question:

How will the other players relate to each other?
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Robert Bruce
Member

Posts: 22


« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2012, 10:50:23 PM »

Man this is good robert. The whole idea of body snatcher-esque illegal aliens is so good and needs to be made into an awesome movie based on your game.

But on top of that I really like the idea for the mechanics. It's almost like having a backseat driver. Obviously you are using Coyote and Mimic. What else?

Thanks Orion.  Lantern gets touched with Illuminate.  My general idea for the game was your character as a dark room, and slowly bringing them to light as the game goes on.

The other element I'm mining is this thread on how to scare people in story-games: http://www.indie-rpgs.com/archive/index.php?topic=1382

Question:

How will the other players relate to each other?

I'm thinking the secret characters will have relationships defined in chargen.  Not sure how this will work yet.
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Robert Bruce
Member

Posts: 22


« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2012, 10:52:04 PM »

Oh yeah, Alienate will also include "acting uncharacteristically".
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Robert Bruce
Member

Posts: 22


« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2012, 10:57:38 PM »

My other link elements:

http://indie-rpgs.com/archive/index.php?topic=25736

http://indie-rpgs.com/archive/index.php?topic=6193

http://indie-rpgs.com/archive/index.php?topic=27492
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Robert Bruce
Member

Posts: 22


« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2012, 05:21:59 PM »

My current challenge:  Designing these secret character sheets.

How do you develop characters with enough depth to know when they're being normal/weird

- and not take too much time during character creation?

- and not feel too individually contrived or essential?

- and not feel too put on the spot?

So far my idea involves selecting three questions from a list, and passing them to the player on your left.  You answer the questions you are passed on your character sheet.  You then pass those questions to the left once again, again answering the questions you are passed on your character sheet.

With a 4-player setup, I envision the player opposite you will play the character on your character sheet in scenes.  They will know half of the questions asked of you.  Having questions in common will help connect the different characters as long as the questions are written specifically enough.

With a 5-player setup, it's possible for the player who plays your character in scenes to know none of the questions posed to you during character creation.  This can be done if the player who plays your character in scenes is two spaces to your left. 
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Robert Bruce
Member

Posts: 22


« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2012, 05:28:01 PM »

Oh snap.  So about the idea above.  What if you are passed a question you've already answered?

How about special alternate questions which can be answered if you've already answered that one?
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Robert Bruce
Member

Posts: 22


« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2012, 06:17:27 PM »

Another problem:  where our characters really are.

When we play a character in certain RPGs, there's two sorts of things we know about our character.  There's the stuff on our character sheet, which we're somewhat committed to.  When asked what our Strength is, we can demonstrate it there. 

There's also the part of our character which is in our heads, contained in the nebulous thing called our character concept.  If someone asks a question about our character and the answer is not on our sheet, we decide right there what the answer is. 

So, how does it feel to be told that the character you're playing in a scene would not do what you are doing?  What kind of assurances would you require in order to trust that this is so?  Is it OK to just trust that person with their authority?  Is there a conflict of interest there which threatens that trust?
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Robert Bruce
Member

Posts: 22


« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2012, 06:54:37 PM »

Alright, where I've settled for Passing:

If it feels right, cool.

If it's weird, make them roll dice.
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BlazmoIntoWowee
Member

Posts: 21


« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2012, 06:22:50 PM »

I hope you've been too busy designing this to post about it, because I'm looking forward to it and hoping I get to be one of the four reviewers.
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