Started by Joe Murphy (Broin), January 23, 2008, 07:38:20 AM
Quote# The flashpoint _mechanics_ felt hugely random. Juggling cards around took a long time, for no benefit I could see. My attention wandered while cards moved, stacked, moved again. The system was competitive, and I wasn't sure why it needed to be.# The way the cards fell, I felt fairly powerless. There was nothing I could do, as a player, to nudge the results one way or the other or communicate my investment. In the final scene involving my protagonist, I had just one card.
Quote#In some games, I tend to instinctively scene frames, with no real sense of where they're going. The conflict then evolves as I play off someone and I can tweak the scene this way and that. In Spione, I had to pass on the responsibilty for evolution to the players around me. Maneuvers were short - just a few sentences. So scenes felt more like a game of exquisite corpse than I'd like. Though some of that was likely down to us being a new group.
Quote#In flashpoints, the protagonist-owners should play towards 'what their characters would want' and the other participants should play obstacles and difficulties. This was difficult, as I wanted to engage with the tragedy of a scene, but felt like I had to hand over that responsibilty to other players. In many games I enjoy, other players provide obstacles to what I want as a *player* - an unwanted happy ending, for example.
Quote#We did have a lot of conversation about the game, and about scenes, and about flashpoints. I think one of the other players (Gordon?) felt we needed more. To really get the purpose of scenes out there, then make maneuvers. Instead, we made maneuvers and tried to build them into scenes.
Quote#I didn't understand if I could reveal information (suggest connections and motivations) outside of flashpoints, and/or if flashpoints were a narrative rubber-stamp for suggestions.
Quote#We had very little dialogue. I didn't know how to get other players involved in scenes (compared to Contenders, say, where I can say 'Gregor, play my dying aunt'). So the power passed around the group, instead of across and among the group. I had less of a connection with the players opposite than the players beside me - which is damned interesting, actually.
QuoteBecause during Maneuvers, [generating adversity is] *everybody's* job. Anyone at the table can reach over to that sheet, point to the brother, flip over the sheet, and point to some part of the Spy Side (say, the NATO part, and the tradecraft that says "bugs"), to generate a scene.One person might say "your brother's lounging around your flat all day" and someone else picks it up with "and he finds one of your bugs," and still another person says, "he wants to be a spy too." This might all happen on the first person's turn, or be established through a series of turns, depending on how dialogue goes in that group.Another, related feature is that since the Ace player begins, he or she *must* frame a scene for a spy he or she does not run. So that automatically creates an asymmetry during the first round ... the person running the spies do not, by default, necessarily get to frame their own scenes.The group I played with in Berlin last November articulated this point so well, during play, that I transcribed the way they said it directly into the rules, and I think every time I try to say it, it's not as good. So see how I put it in the rules for the best way.My point is that there's a *lot* less pressure regarding scene content than I think you're seeing or feeling. A lot less than Primetime Adventures or the Shab-al-Hiri Roach, for example. It's kind of the opposite, actually - the material for the scenes really is right there on the sheet, and the group/jigsaw rules for scene-creation during the Maneuvers lets you contribute as little or as much as you see fit, at the moment, without pressure to make it all climactic right that second.
QuoteThe way the cards fell, I felt fairly powerless. There was nothing I could do, as a player, to nudge the results one way or the other or communicate my investment. In the final scene involving my protagonist, I had just one card.
Quote from: Valamir on January 23, 2008, 05:22:30 PMOnce I made that connection...that the entirely arbitrary resolution system that I as a player have no ability to manipulate in a meaningful way...puts me as the player in essentially the exact same position as the Principle...I totally fell for it.
Quote from: Joe Murphy (Broin) on January 23, 2008, 07:38:20 AMLast Saturday evening, five of the Nerdinburgh attendees played Spione. Gregor ran the game, and the players were Jenny, Joe Prince, Gordon and me.
QuoteJoeP and I picked out the protagonists, Issam (sp?) (who was in movies)
QuoteThe flashpoint _mechanics_ felt hugely random. Juggling cards around took a long time, for no benefit I could see. My attention wandered while cards moved, stacked, moved again. The system was competitive, and I wasn't sure why it needed to be.
QuoteI scribbled notes of retcons, possible retcons and possible scenes, but didn't get to use many. As David's story played out, I really wanted a scene where he confronted Eric (I was quite attached to the honeypot explanation for some of the events). I felt unsatisfied when we didn't get that.
QuoteI found the briefing sheets difficult to assimilate. The details felt stifling rather than suggestive. As they're quite factual, rather than evocative, I found them difficult to use
QuoteSo I'm not disagreeing with Ralph or Jesse at all, but calling attention to a feature of the game which assigns responsibility for a principal's actions to the person who owns him or her, but doesn't restrict that person's actions to that principal, nor proscribes others' contributions to the principal's actions.
Quote from: jburneko on January 23, 2008, 09:55:31 PMQuote from: Valamir on January 23, 2008, 05:22:30 PMOnce I made that connection...that the entirely arbitrary resolution system that I as a player have no ability to manipulate in a meaningful way...puts me as the player in essentially the exact same position as the Principle...I totally fell for it.Ralph, I think you might be overstating a bit. To be fair what I'm about to say is from reading only and not play experience but it seems to me that "meaningful" is the wrong word. You CAN manipulate the system in a meaningful way, what you can't do is manipulate the system in a favorable way.The way is see it, if you're the Principle your ideal situation would be to have a double stacked card at the far right end of the run because then you could narrate yourself out of whatever jam all the previous negative narrations at narrated you into -- TA DA! However, there is no way to willfully move your own cards to the right. So you're left with a choice -- leave your cards where they are and hope that everyone else moves their cards to the left of yours OR move your cards to the left in the hopes of protecting whatever you can with an early narration before the hammer falls.Jesse