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[IAWA] Some minor questions...

Started by Landon Darkwood, January 26, 2008, 07:15:00 PM

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Quote from: Ryan Macklin on January 29, 2008, 01:15:56 AM
Actually, it was me you met and only briefly asked that question while we were both busy.  I was bummed to not get to sit down with you later about it.
Ah! Of course, I remember now.

I was bummed too.


Landon Darkwood

Quote from: DainXB on January 29, 2008, 09:01:02 AMIt's "Say yes, unless some other active participant in the game says no".

Here's my only issue with that: the GM is an active participant in the game. However, the GM *isn't* always managing an NPC to serve as meaningul opposition in a scene. So when the GM says no, as a way of expressing that this moment in the game shouldn't just be a gimme (i.e. should mean something), and she gets consent there, the lack of an available NPC can be a straitjacket. Sometimes. Very, very rarely. I should say this again: I'm pretty sure what happened to me was like the 1% scenario not precisely covered by the rules. I'm not saying I want locked doors and rough terrain with dice now in every Wicked game I run.

I have a couple of things I want to follow up on before I call it done - consider my questions answered and everyone's feedback noted; this now is sort of just grist for the mill.

For John Harper:

Without mechanical reinforcement, what does "a serious struggle with the alcohol" that still means something look like to you; what would it look like at your table? I realize that question might sound sort of obtuse, but please give me the benefit of the doubt.

For whomever wants it:

Is the majority response in this thread suggesting a belief that a character's struggle cannot truly be meaningful, worthy, evocative, or whatever (if you want to go there, meaningful in the sense of helping to fulfill Narrativist priorities) unless their opposition is another person, being with self-agency, or whatever?


On latter, my view is sorta, "yeah, not meaningful" as in "not meaningful enough the rest of us should spend 3 rounds of dice every now and again watching you play out a dispute with yourself".  However, "fine for you to narrate the detail of your inner conflict, that's cool and fun to watch", or even also "if you want to narrate the existence of a shadow self as effectively a seperate character sharing shame physical body, and somebody else gets to play that shadow self, cool, but then they're the one's disputing, negotiating etc".

But that is likely a very much individual taste thing, so only speaking for my taste.



I'll speak a little more broadly: the kind of fiction that In a Wicked Age is good at isn't really about internal conflicts. Lots of fiction, lots of narrativism, is; In a Wicked Age's, not so much.

What would be totally in keeping with the Wicked Age, and playing to its rules' strengths too, is to just go ahead and make alcohol poisoning into a demon. Give it best interests, have it act, maneuver, and protect itself. Maybe even give it particular strengths.

Me and my damn demons, I know it. But externalizing internal conflicts is one of the ways that this kind of sword & sorcery fiction deals with them.



Well you've got Tanith Lee's "demon" books in the inspiration list so making "demons" out of desires/forces/temptations resonates very nicely with me :)

(I love Tanith Lee though I admit one can overdose on her style).


John Harper

Yeah, Vincent and I are agreeing, actually.

If "alcohol poisoning" was to come up as a really important thing in Jack Vance or Tanith Lee, you can bet it would be a demon, or curse from an evil sorcerer, or something with some agency. So, yeah... if it became a thing in a Wicked game, maybe it's best to quick write it up as an NPC demon-y thing to keep it from being a simple internal struggle. I totally buy that.

This would mean, of course, that now there is a demon of alcohol poisoning loosed on the world, with its own interests, that sticks around and is a problem outside the scope of a one-off moment or scene. This is pretty key, I think.

Lenny: That's a good question, and I bet my answer is obvious and not too exciting. The guy playing the drunk would talk about what his character did and said in the scene, and we would all listen to him. He would be all, "Long past the point of no return, I stare into the glass and try to talk myself out of it. But I can't. The last swallow goes down without a fight and it's all darkness." And we would all have some goosebumps and respond with nodding or "damn.." and relfect a little, probably, on a person we have known like that. And then we would carry on with the business of the game.

The business of the game being the conflicting interests that we established at the outset of the chapter. The drunk guy having his sad little moment in the bar is cool, but it's not what the chapter is about. We appreciate it, and it might even be a highlight that we talk about later, but Wicked, as a game we play to tell a certain kind of story, isn't focused there.
Agon: An ancient Greek RPG. Prove the glory of your name!