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 Post subject: Re: Actual Play!
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 8:50 am 
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Crow Caller wrote:
QUESTION: If offered a Superpower (with the guidelines Grettir offered), what would a desperate Slave who's family is in grave danger, take?


Ian.Plumb wrote:
A better question would be: If offered a Superpower (with the guidelines Grettir offered), what would a clever and experienced player ask for to promote the theme: What Price Freedom?


Crow Caller wrote:
A clever and experienced player?


Yes CC. You are a clever and experienced player. IMO.

Crow Caller wrote:
Perhaps you could enlighten me how asking "what would a desperate Slave who's family is in grave danger" is not "promoting the theme: What Price Freedom" ?

For Ghost Jaguar and for me the Player, the whole Theme: What Price Freedom, revolves around his captivity and more importantly the captivity of his family. So my unclever and inexperienced question was exactly "What power should I take to promote the theme: What Price Freedom, for Ghost Jaguar's story?"


Why is your suggestion unclever and inexperienced?

Anyway, that's easy. It's all in the last paragraph. You are looking at this in Actor Stance. What would my character do now? What can I spend my Drama on that would help my character? What should I take that would help my character? That's all fine -- for Actor Stance. The thing is, in this style of play, it's not just about your character exploring the theme. It's about how your play promotes the theme for everyone.

You can't really do that very easily in Actor Stance because the priority is responding to Situation in a way that you personally feel is plausible for the character. By stepping up into Author Stance and Director Stance you can take the Big Picture view. Then the questions become:

What could Ghost do that would help higgins address the theme of What Price Freedom?

What element could I introduce into this gaming environment that would help Hector address the theme through Punchau and his side-kick Palaluca?

What twist to the scene could I buy with Drama that would help Ian explore this theme through Pac?

In light of what I'm suggesting above, can you see how CC/Ghost and higgins/Itzcoatl were tightly linked to exploring this theme together -- and now they're not? Can you see how, from a coherent story perspective, it was then necessary to get higgins/Itzcoatl involved with me/Pac and/or Hector/Punchau?

Doing so has, I think, been great for the story. On the one hand, Pac was seemingly able to take so much from Itzcoatl (You think you are in control but you are not, you think you are Layanna's rival when in fact you are doomed to be in Layanna's power forever more, yada, yada). On the other hand, as player, I've been fortunate enough to complete my exploration of the theme through Pac's death and in so doing returned everything I seemingly took to higgins/Itzcoatl. He now has this superb opportunity to explore the theme as he sees fit.

I was never in the position to do something for you/Ghost. The godstone weapons were made. Your fellow tribesmen have been armed with the godstone arrowheads and are waiting in the wings, ready to come on stage and be your army (well, a couple of dozen warriors might not be an army but you get the drift). All I needed was for you to make an appearance.

It's about exploring the theme together. Not necessarily on the same side, but in the same scene or at least on the same stage so that we can creatively bounce off each other.

Anyway, I didn't mean for you to think I though you were not clever or that you were inexperienced. Quite the opposite. You have the guns, you just need to point them a little differently. IMO.

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 Post subject: Re: Actual Play!
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 8:54 am 
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higgins wrote:
I apologise, but another workload has hit me. But before I attempt to write the next paragraph (and as Drama points should be discussed in advance now), is it thinkable for me to spend Drama and cause the Servitors to be awed by Lyanna's statue rather than be disgusted of it?


Actually Grettir I have some questions:

Were there only those two Servitors assigned to attend the needs of the deceased god?

Are there other gods in Ozomatli, or do the gods spend the bulk of their time in The Mountain?

Are there other Servitors in the city at the moment?

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 Post subject: Re: Actual Play!
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 10:08 am 
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Itzcoatl and Pac Utal. The square in front of Pac Utal’s house.

The words tumbling from Pac Utal’s mouth as if he was drugged take another turn, mention poisonous substances, names of Descended who procure them for him, but then the Servitor steers them back to the strawmen and go-betweens Pac Utal has used in supplying his poisons. A issues forth from his drooling mouth, and then a second one, a name chilling Itzcoatl to the bones – Achimactan. Achimactan is an artisan, a prosperous shop-owner, and one of Itzcoatl’s closest and most eliable adherents – and the one he has used to buy poisons!

“Achimactan has not been the real buyer, but only a front”, the slurring words of Pac Utal ring out as the Servitor continues to sift through his memories with growing confidence. It is almost as if Pac Utal himself is guiding the Servitor towards the information he seeks. Perhaps there is some residual loyalty come to the for in its final moments? But loyalty to what, ot to whom? To … Layanna?

And then, just as Itzcoatl wants to wager all in interfering with what Itzcoatl must surely be disclosing any moment, an echo from the present, barely audible: "Death."

Yes, enemy, your death approaches. I cannot control the bloodloss forever.

"Death will soon still your heart, Servitor."

What foolishness is this? Why are his memories slipping through my fingers now? My cold fingers ...

All was still in the square as Pac Utal uttered his final curse upon the city.

"This day we have brought the people of this city one step closer to freedom. It will soon be time to run!"

Suddenly, new violent convulsions wrack Pac Utal’s body, surprising the guards holding him and the Servitor alike.Pac tears free from the restraining hands and the fingers of the Servitor slip from his skull as he topples forward. Streams of blood break from the obscene holes punched into his skull by divine flesh and form a rapidly spreading puddle on the godstone of the square, a red halo around Pac Utal’s abused head.

A few twitches, and the godstone-shaper lies still.

The Servitor, his fingers smeared with Pac Utal’s blood, pays the corpse little attention. A single glance is all he spares it, then he looks up, his voice puzzled: “What is this?”

He looks around, the eyes behind the mask finding Itzcoatl, settling on him. Has he read anything in Pac Utal’s brain? His gaze unwavering, he rubs his bloody fingertips as if in absent-minded thought, cleares his throat, takes a stilting step towards Itzcoatl, clears his throat again, more forceful this time.

“What is … this?”, he repeats, taking another step, more shaky than the last one. He clears his throat again, rumbling, almost retching. As priests and warriors, slaves and artisans from Pac’s shop stare in horror, a choking sound gurgles from behind the beatific mask, and the Servitor falls to his knees. With everybody around him frozen in terror, the Servitor’s fused hands claw frantically at his throat, then at his mask, smearing its bright metal with blood, tearing it off, choking.

A terrible cry rises from a priest’s throat, taken up by another, and then another. All around, the priests cry out in terror and fall prostrate, and Itzcoatl does also find himself on his knes again, his face folded tight into his hands, eye pinched shut. He has seen the Servitor’s face, polluted its pale divine purity with his animal eyes!

The warriors and laymen staring in wonder don’t know the scriptures, but the priests do, even the little-read and almost forgotten passages from eons past when the Gods had still walked the eart frequently. The sin of defiling a divine face with a human gaze has to be atoned for – blinding for ordained priests, death for everybody else.

Everywhere, priests are closing their eyes against the sin, sobbing, but it is too late – they’ve beheld the Servitor’s naked face, and the law demands atonement.


Higgins, is Itzcoatl going to act in some way? The priests do all know that they will all have their eyes put out and that everybody else present will be killed, but nobody else present, save of course the Servitors, is aware of this. If Itzcoatl is doing nothing (and I don’t especially encorage you to, I merely give you the possibility), I will go on with the scene.

Ian, I hope you liked Pac Utal’s death. It gets you 3 SA points to Destiny and 1 SA point to Drive and 1 SA point to Oath. You end up with 13 active SA points, that’s 6 more than you started out with, and I always convert this difference into Insight when a character dies. That’s 7 Insight, plus 6 Insight you got yourself during play, for a total of 13 Insight, to be used with any future character played on these boards – I’d say we should definitely allow such transference, even with changes of referees.

Concerning your questions:
There were only the two Servitors and the one God, unless more are needed and bought by anybody still active with Drama.
The Gods do almost never emerge from the Mountain, so there are currently none in Ozomatli, and probably also not in any nearby cities; the latter is of course subjected to spending Drama, the former is an established fact and thus not – there are currently no more Gods in Ozomatli.
There is only the dying Servitor with the fused wrists, the living one with the profile mask, and the renegade in the pod; further hidden Servitors are possible with Drama use.

Crow Caller, about those powers – the “make the impulse to do what you really want as opposed to what you are forced to do by law, duty, social convention etc. overpowering” thing is going to work. But you have to realize that any such unshackling will only be temporary, as will any effect of the Shoatli.

I understand the second use as “powering” or “supporting” the first one – instilling the confidence that any perceived obstacles to whatever one is about to do or would merely like to do can be overcome. On its own, the effect of this might be similar to the Overconfidence flaw and make the recipient(s) somewhat reckless; combined with the first use, it brushes aside any doubts the recipient(s) may have that they lack the capabilities to actually realize their dreams and desires.
Ghost Jaguar could use this second power in a single action together with the first, or on its own. The choice has to be made every time it’s used.

I see no necessity for the third use (boldness and courage); I’d say that’s amply covered by the second.

So is it those two you want?

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 Post subject: Re: Actual Play!
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 11:04 am 
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Grettir wrote:
Your proposition is minor, and not even very specific, so I leave the eventual description of this facet entirely up to you, and you need not even have asked in the first place.
I was asking because a) if I was a god, I'd consider colouring the Godstone very blasphemous :lol: and b) since obviously one of the Servitors is going to die, I din't think we could actually have a scene where the Servitors find the statue (not at the moment anyway). I'll pay the Drama point from Itzcoatl's drive to increase his power. So, yeah, feel free to follow on with the scene. :) I feel I should somehow contribute more to the scene, but as Itzcoatl is quite powerless there at the moment, all I could manage to think of was to turn the heat on him more by making Layanna more divine to the servitors by have them be awed of the statue made by Pac.

Grettir wrote:
In this style of play, all of us have to constantly ask ourselves first and foremost “What would be good for the story?” and only then “What woud be good for my character?” or “What would my character do?”
Well, that's the hardest part for me, really. The closest parallel to what our group usually plays is the Turkuist play, yet we aren't as rabid with the GM-dictatorship and I agree with roughly half of their manifesto. So, the way I've used to playing is that if someone is even thinking on the questions you presented and doesn't act intuitively, he or she is just being distracted by something and isn't fully immersed.

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 Post subject: Re: Actual Play!
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 11:19 am 
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Grettir wrote:
Ian, I hope you liked Pac Utal’s death.


How utterly cool was that!!

Nice revelation on the go-between, Achimactan. In the aftermath of the Servitor's death there is every chance that little fact will be forgotten. He may well be dead by now as well...

I really liked the way the poison ripped Pac from his grasp. That was perfect -- his death, his way. Choice implies freedom. How wide-ranging that freedom truly is will no doubt soon become apparent. And then the price will have to be paid. 8-)

Grettir wrote:
It gets you 3 SA points to Destiny and 1 SA point to Drive and 1 SA point to Oath. You end up with 13 active SA points, that’s 6 more than you started out with, and I always convert this difference into Insight when a character dies. That’s 7 Insight, plus 6 Insight you got yourself during play, for a total of 13 Insight, to be used with any future character played on these boards – I’d say we should definitely allow such transference, even with changes of referees.


Many thanks. I do like the idea of carrying Insight over to the next play-by-post. That's a neat incentive to keep participating. I've also got no doubt that those able to make it all the way through the scenario will earn far more.

Grettir wrote:
Concerning your questions:
There were only the two Servitors and the one God, unless more are needed and bought by anybody still active with Drama.


I thought this was the way it was but I wasn't certain.

We've killed the god. We've offed one of the Servitors. There's only one to go; he's here in the city, he's exposed, protected by a few Guardsmen and a bunch of Priests all of who are terrified by what they've witnessed. Ghost, where are you!

Regards,

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 Post subject: Re: Actual Play!
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 11:55 am 
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higgins wrote:
I feel I should somehow contribute more to the scene, but as Itzcoatl is quite powerless there at the moment, (...)

He indeed is, and contributing more to this particular scene isn’t actually required. Like I said, I merely wanted to give you a chance to do so, which you wouldn’t have had had I not paused.

Grettir wrote:
In this style of play, all of us have to constantly ask ourselves first and foremost “What would be good for the story?” and only then “What woud be good for my character?” or “What would my character do?”
higgins wrote:
Well, that's the hardest part for me, really. The closest parallel to what our group usually plays is the Turkuist play, yet we aren't as rabid with the GM-dictatorship and I agree with roughly half of their manifesto. So, the way I've used to playing is that if someone is even thinking on the questions you presented and doesn't act intuitively, he or she is just being distracted by something and isn't fully immersed.

I have actually noticed that. But then that was only to be expected – in fact, it would be next to miraculous if it were any different.

Guessing from many discussions at how you usually like to play, I do of course realize that the style of play we are trying to pull of here is very different from your usual ways, and I do also realize that you were well aware of that from the outset and that you were interested in seeing the principles we have so often taught about in practice, to broaden your experience as a role-player. And as always when one does something new, merely understanding what one should do and actually going through the motions is of course two differen things. It’s a learning process, and it involves actually un-learning what we have all come to consider as “good” role-playing; it requires side-stepping the immersion, constantly and repeatedly, for a conscious shaping of the story, above and beyond of the question “What would my character do?”, is simply not possible in immersive mode.

I know that you realize that, and I think that you – all of you, actually – are doing very well for a first.

Grettir wrote:
Ian, I hope you liked Pac Utal’s death.
Ian.Plumb wrote:
How utterly cool was that!! (...) I really liked the way the poison ripped Pac from his grasp. That was perfect -- his death, his way.

Glad you enjoyeded it. And you did of course notice the saviour-imagery with the halo of blood. I bit blatant, but I just had to go for it. :mrgreen:

Ian.Plumb wrote:
I do like the idea of carrying Insight over to the next play-by-post. That's a neat incentive to keep participating.

I don’t only think that we should do that, I’d say it’s almost in the rules. Nowhere is it implied that Insight carries over only within the same campaign, and I believe remembering Jake having said that he had indeed intended Insight to carry over across campaign boundaries. And as we can consider these boards one large gaming group, I see nothing to prevent us from allowing taking Insight from one play-by-post and applying it to the next.

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 Post subject: Re: Actual Play!
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:57 pm 
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I agree totally that Insight should be carried over from game to game, however I am of the school of thought that all SA's and Drama should convert to Inisight upon character death.

The reason I feel this way is because had Ian spent those SA's into skills just before his encounter with the Servitor then they would be Insight, but what if he decided to keep say a Passion: Freedom SA at 3 or 4 so he could give one last riveting "FREEEEEDOOOM!!!" before "the axe fell" I am ofcourse referencing Braveheart, I think that that serves the story better than being slightly better at "Basket Weaving" just before the axe falls, and therefore should be rewarded with Inisight... wow, did I just make all that one sentance? :P (And ofcurse Im not going to fix it now I've noticed lol).


I liked Pac's death, I wish he could have lasted a little longer though (I wanted to see where Ian was going to take this League of Artisans), but that's gaming.

Ian, I apologize for misinterperating your earlier comments, I thought you were trying to impy that I was an uncreative and inexperieced Role Player. Sorry.



Grettir I think those powers are good enough to cause havoc and drive the story. One last power however will be to make people bow whilst feeling awe/fear at Ghost. This is a "weapon" aspect of the Shoatli that I think can be used to address the What Price Freedom from a negative perspective.

Ghost himself will leave the underground thinking the Artifact is an Abomination and should not be possessed by any man, his intentions will be to destroy it... right after he frees his wife ;) enter corruption... perhaps :P

Cheers!

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 Post subject: Re: Actual Play!
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 3:07 pm 
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PS: Grettir I think you should the scene and teaching Ghost the use of the Shoatli, just keep in mind he is initially appalled and vows to himself not to use it, and that he will destroy it once he gets free of the city... this is not said out loud, and it will most likely not come to pass.

Cheers!

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 Post subject: Re: Actual Play!
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 4:39 pm 
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Ghost Jaguar. A cellar underneath Ozomatli.

“It … enslaves?”, Ghost Jaguar echoes the child-man’s words, disgusted by that very notion. “It cannot also … unshackle?”

“It can lend strength”, the seraphic voice relates the words tapped out on its throat, for that is how Ghost Jaguar has come to interpret the proceedings. “It can encourage hearts to throw of their yokes, to follow their true calling. Come and look closely. I shall show you how the ruling Shoatli of coomb Nuhqanya can kindle a heart’s fire. Do exactly as I do.”

As the small man speaks these words, the tall one detaches his cloven hands from his neck and receives back the Shoatli. His left hand grips the short, squat staff like one might grip a sceptre, the Shoatli’s end curving up underneath his claw-like hand and forming a kind of shield or bar over his fingers. With the subtlest of movements of his delicate and nimble fingers the Servitor touches a carving while tracing along a metal inlay, then he rubs over a smooth spot and touches another carving while angling the rod slightly forward. He repeats the routine several times, than he holds out the Shoatli towards Ghost Jaguar with a startling precision; maybe he is not blind after all bt does see through his mask.

No sooner than Ghost Jaguar has gingerly received the Shoatli, careful not to touch the Servitor’s naked flesh, the tiny man sings out “Try it”, the tall one’s fingers once again around his throat. Now begins a sheer endles chain of repetitions, with Ghost Jaguar trying to ape the Servitors dextrous and complicated movements. Every attempt of Ghost Jaguar is accompanied by murmurig of the tiny Servitor, upon which follows some correction tapped out on his throat and relayed with angelic voice. Finally, at long last, the Sevitor seems satisfied.

“If you wish to free a heart to its desires, hold the Shoatli in your left and do as you have learned”, the dwarf sings, “while your right does at the same time do this.”

The Servitor’s right hand detaches from the child-man and traces a short sequence of intricate and precise hand and finger gestures into the air, of a kind which Ghost Jaguar recognizes – the gestures are very reminiscent of the hand signs he has seen the priests use to communicate in silence. He tries to imitate the gestures, and again it corrected time and time again. The gestures have to be precise, and if a finger’s angle or curvature is wrong by even the tiniest fraction, the Servitor finds fault with it.

Eventually, he is content, and Ghost Jaguar is taught a second set of gestures to be used to “fortify a heart and cast aside doubt”, as the small man sings. Another sequence of repetitions until the exact hand movements are memorized, but at least the other hand’s tracings along the Shoatli are the same.

As he stands close to the Servitor, Ghost Jaguar notices two gruesome things. At first, his gaze strays past the mask to the side of the beings head, to discover that the Servitor lacks ears – or rather, that the ears have been shorn from his head a long time ago and the hearing channel sewn shut with a flap of pale skin drawn over it. This further mutilation of the Servitor evokes unease in the hunter, but the next one shakes him to the very core. Over the tiny man’s shoulders, Ghost Jaguar sees the Servitors genitalia, or rather the lack of them. All there is the smallest of slits, but none that resembles a woman’s sex, but with traces of old sutures around it. If the Servitor has ever had male genitalia, they have been shorn off like his ears.

Fighting down revulsion and pity, Ghost Jaguar forces himself to concentrate on memorizing the new finger movements. When he has don so, a new thought strikes him, one that might be useful in freeing Laughing Bird and Beautiful Flower. He asks: “Can the … Shoatli also make people fear me? To flee me in terror and not dare oppose me?”

Ghost Jaguar learns that it is so, and he is shown the gestures and the tracing of the fingers along the Shoatli, which are this time unfortunately different from the other two uses.


Crow Caller, Ghost Jaguar does now know how to use the Shoatli in three different ways: To fan somebody’s suppressed wishes, to make somebody brave and confident, and to make somebody dread the holder of the Shoatli; the first two power can be used either seperately or together, as a single action. I’ll tell you the actual rules mechanics soon. In the meantime, pay 3 Drama (and gain 3 Insight) and add 1 SA point each to both Ghost Jaguar’s Drive and Destiny.

If Ghost Jaguar doesn’t wat to do or say something, I’ll wrap the scene up in the next post with a few words of the Servitor and Tlaxha; in any case, tell me where to Ghost Jaguar will exit and what he intends to do next. It will be almost or already nightfall by now.

Crow Caller wrote:
I agree totally that Insight should be carried over from game to game, however I am of the school of thought that all SA's and Drama should convert to Inisight upon character death.
In my own games, I use the rule that SA points at character death minus the seven initial SA points count as Insight, but I am totally prepared to allow all SA points as Insight; I’ll happily bow to the majority.
Hector (Hector?), higgins, Ian, what do you think?

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 Post subject: Re: Actual Play!
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 5:21 pm 
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I'm fine for you to wrap things up with the Servitor. I would like it if when Ghost left the tunnels he was back in the town and that perhaps he steps into a scene that has developed from Pac Utal's death? Murmurs of the event, talk of him inciting rebelion. Or perhaps a rebelion is in fact beginning??

Also the last ability I want from the Shoatli (if you agree can you make this one a suggestion from the Servitor as Ghost would not ask it himself) is to force someone to bow. This I think could be used later as a great set up to Ghost enslaving someone else in order to free himself. Something that may never happen, but it'd be nice if the option was there.

If I was to play this from Actor Stance Ghost would go on to encite rebellion free his people, and possibly go so far as to enslave the people of Ozomatli becoming the very thing he hates himself. And all this remains possible. But from what I am now coming to understand about Director Stance I think it would be more interesting if along the way to the above events the Shoatli once more trades hands, and finds its way into the ruthless (and by now very bitter) Itzcoatl who uses it to reign in a new age of terror, one that surpasses even the cruelty of the gods, Ghost then leads his people against the tyranny and most are shattered like waves upon a rock, but his actions buy enough time for his Wife and Daughter to flee to the Jungle once more, as Ozomatli burns they realize that the Price for freedom is a steep one indeed.

Blah Blah Blah, I'm ranting :P I see so many rods that this stry could travel down and I am excited by all of them.

Grettir I'll spend 3 Drama so long and then if you aprove the fourth use I'll spend another. Also can I swap out my Oath to Jake (both the Flaw and SA) for a different Oath (both Flaw and SA) since it doesn't seem he will be along any time soon (which is unfortunate)? Its just that I feel I could better use the SA and Flaw to drive the story, rather than have it sit there idle.

Cheers!

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 Post subject: Re: Actual Play!
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 9:58 pm 
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Crow Caller wrote:
I agree totally that Insight should be carried over from game to game, however I am of the school of thought that all SA's and Drama should convert to Inisight upon character death.


Grettir wrote:
In my own games, I use the rule that SA points at character death minus the seven initial SA points count as Insight, but I am totally prepared to allow all SA points as Insight; I’ll happily bow to the majority.

Hector (Hector?), higgins, Ian, what do you think?


I'm not so sure the "rule" should allow someone to create a character, then not play, and take 7 Insight into their next Play-by-Post. That aside, the more points someone gets the more likely they are to play another game, I guess. If that's the purpose -- encouraging participation in the next game -- then I'd lean towards Ghost's interpretation but it isn't a biggie for me.

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 Post subject: Re: Actual Play!
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 10:02 pm 
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Grettir wrote:
Ian, I hope you liked Pac Utal’s death.


Ian.Plumb wrote:
How utterly cool was that!! (...) I really liked the way the poison ripped Pac from his grasp. That was perfect -- his death, his way.


Grettir wrote:
Glad you enjoyeded it. And you did of course notice the saviour-imagery with the halo of blood. I bit blatant, but I just had to go for it. :mrgreen:


Oh indeed yes. Saint Pac... I mean, it has a ring to it, doesn't it...?

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 Post subject: Re: Actual Play!
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 10:15 pm 
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Crow Caller wrote:
I liked Pac's death, I wish he could have lasted a little longer though (I wanted to see where Ian was going to take this League of Artisans), but that's gaming.


It was my intention at character creation that this would be Pac's entry point into the scheming, Intrigue-filled side of the game. My Kicker nuked that possibility.

Normally I wouldn't create a Kicker of this game-changing magnitude. However, the aim was for this game to be a learning exercise and an opportunity to showcase the style of play. Once we're done there'll be some analysis of the game from the style's perspective and I'll write up the story as a single thread -- so people can read just the tale and then read the "Gaming Notes" we'll create as an analysis. With that in mind I wanted to show how big a Kicker could be.

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 Post subject: Re: Actual Play!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 8:06 am 
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Ian.Plumb wrote:
Saint Pac... I mean, it has a ring to it, doesn't it...?
Indeed it does, though the fact that he was gone so quickly came as a surprise for me.

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 Post subject: Re: Actual Play!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 9:24 am 
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Ian.Plumb wrote:
Saint Pac... I mean, it has a ring to it, doesn't it...?


higgins wrote:
Indeed it does, though the fact that he was gone so quickly came as a surprise for me.


Well, if the High Priest endorses it...!

Actually, this brings out another very good point about this style of gaming.

In traditional gaming, it's up to the referee to -- by and large -- provide the plot twists. Sometimes the players won't exit the scene in the way the referee anticipated, but this is more because the players have gone off on a misinformed tangent than made a conscious decision to ignore the paths that lead inexorably towards the scenario's end.

To the players though their characters actions are generally seen to be logical (because they're all in Actor Stance most of the time, reacting to the situation with the information their character has). Player actions rarely surprise the other players after the character has been played for a while. In a sense this is the very definition of the player playing well in Actor Stance -- the other players recognize that he or she is indeed behaving in-character.

In this newer style of gaming (at least for those of us who remember when all role-playing games had the same approach to gaming), the players are encouraged to step into Author Stance and Director Stance. The twists don't just come from the referee they also and hopefully often come from the players. The referee is often surprised and their skill comes to the fore in the speed with which they react to the changed playing field while keeping the whole cohesive. Just as importantly, the other players are also often surprised. The player's skill is no longer demonstrated by their capacity to have their character react predictably (Actor Stance; behaving according to established norms for the character) but rather in their skill to create an interesting game for everyone at the gaming table and in their capacity to explore the theme in an interesting manner through their character.

In a nutshell: I'm glad you were surprised by Pac's death. Hopefully people were surprised by the statue too.

Part of what I like about this style of gaming is the speed of resolution. In Actor Stance the joy is in the Exploration of the gaming environment, seeing the place and situations through your character's eyes, reacting to people and events in the manner you believe your character would if he was really there. In this style there is a tendency to hang on to characters for a long time. Sometimes to the point where the character becomes, in fact, a caricature. When examining a theme is the purpose of the game you have the opportunity to live your character intensely. Pac was a good example -- living longer would have diluted my exploration of the theme through him as far as I'm concerned.

In short: Go hard, go home! Pac was there for a good time, not a long time.

Regards,

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