Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - Jeff Russell

Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 ... 22
Beneath a More Auspicious Star / Re: Advancement
« on: December 22, 2010, 01:57:59 PM »
I think it's basically codifying the descriptive advance stuff that's already there in AW, but letting you play with it some more in different directions, but I think it would be pretty cool.

brainstorming & development / Re: Settings
« on: December 22, 2010, 01:51:19 PM »
(These are really cool, but I haven't done anything comparable to share)

Apocalypse World / Re: Custom Playbook: The Synthetic
« on: December 04, 2010, 10:25:13 PM »
Sorry to resurrect this, but I've been behind the times, and I had a quick thought as I just now read through it:

At first, I was a bit leery of the 'countdown' effect of the playbook necessarily having an endgame of "you go nuts trying to be human and you die/explode/whatever", and I saw that someone recommended "Sentience +4 = fully human", but I realized the game's already got you covered! You can take the "choose a new playbook" advance to show that you've become effectively human! But there's the tension of melting down before that to keep things interesting.

Anyway, just thought that was a neat intersection of some of the source material and the existing AW rules.

In my game, the PCs have recently become fairly mobile, and I faced a similar issue of extending the freshly burgeoning NPC hooks to still matter far away. One technique I stumbled across whilst writing out my fronts (especially dark futures) was to give a number of already introduced NPCs wider interests than I initially thought. So, Dice, that guy who runs a stall in the market? Turns out he's ramping up a regional drug trading network, and he wants this guy in that other town dead, so he hires the new battlebabe to do it. The PCs who pissed off the hardholder by beating up one of his gang members? They can only make amends with him if they somehow cow the holder who's supposed to be sending in tribute from the town with the rival drug dealer. Not so important when the PCs only hang in one town, but it saves you a lot of work from coming up with all new people and threats and fronts for each town if a lot of them have hooks wherever the PCs happen to go.

Oh, and gypsies. I have winnebago driving gypsies in all my games. They can be wherever the characters are, and they're already familiar :)

Beneath a More Auspicious Star / Re: Advancement
« on: December 04, 2010, 09:12:13 PM »
Hmm, it might be an interesting thing to examine a whole class of advances like the "special moves you mention" as "descriptive advances only". What I mean is that you could have 'experience advances can let you get X, and you only get Y by meeting the fictional criteria, but you don't have to spend experience on Y advances."

Minions, Inc / Re: Gallery of Fan Artwork
« on: December 04, 2010, 09:08:47 PM »
Those are fantastic!

brainstorming & development / Re: Apocalypse West
« on: November 30, 2010, 03:27:41 PM »
I don't have anything constructive to add, but this continues to look awesome. I especially like the homesteader, what a good combination of moves to hit the archetype. "Dinner Conversation" is brilliant.

brainstorming & development / Re: World of Conan
« on: November 18, 2010, 10:22:36 PM »
Sounds like you're good on help, but I love both Conan and AW, so I wanted to publicly express my enthusiasm for your project!

roleplaying theory, hardcore / Re: The Function of System
« on: November 18, 2010, 10:20:44 PM »
I find most of the good stuff comes from "Ask questions like crazy" - which is true even in subsequent sessions. Springboarding off character creation is a start. But, then the real setup is asking questions imo.

I agree! Most of my most useful stuff came from that technique. On the other hand, when I started a game with some other players, even my best attempts at being as provocative as possible, at getting to the nitty gritty of what makes a character go, what makes him or her vulnerable, et cetera, I'd be answered with more generic world building answers or responses like "Well, I don't really know, that depends what the world is like". I'd respond "that's what we're figuring out! I just gave you permission to decide!" but it went against some trad game instincts and was of somewhat limited success.

On the other hand, in the second session of that particular game, some MC love letters got the players into the spirit a little more, and we had some juicy inter-PC conflicts of interest and genuine motivations to play with. I essentially said "I want to make sure I have the mechanical effects of a mixed success or failed beginning of session move" since the only beginning of session move I had to play with was the operator's, and my operator's player is extremely conservative (he'll only ever take 1 gig so that he minimizes the possibility of any gigs becoming catastrophes).

To bring this back around to more general system-theory discussion and not just talk about some AP, I agree with what was said earlier in the thread about the role of system in provoking interesting conflicts and situations and reconciling character conflict of interest with player unity of interest. I think since AW's tools for this are so flexible and "toolkit" like, they work better once you have specific material to work with. By way of contrast, IAWA gives some very specific situation material with implied conflicts built in via system, and so it's quite easy to jump right into the face stabbing and sexing and so forth. The broader, "use it the way you need it" MC rules of AW are probably more widely useful for rich, meaningful conflict and play, but take either a) highly motivated players willing to provide lots of the "moving pieces" (to use Christian's term from earlier) or b) more time to flesh out and generate those "moving pieces".

To support that, I'd point to my recent experience with creating "formal" threats and fronts. I had only MCed first sessions/one offs up until recently, and actually sitting down and cooking up threats and fronts did *a lot* to help me figure out how to push the interesting situations, so that's a great system tool. But for me at least, I needed the raw material (the NPCs, some things that had happened in the first session, revealed ares of inter-PC tension to push on) to go with them. To be fair, AW tells you that it works best as a campaign game, so I can't gripe too much about the lower amount of hand holding for game-start initial situation generation.

roleplaying theory, hardcore / Re: The Function of System
« on: November 11, 2010, 01:37:40 PM »
Well, my experience also matches up with feeling like there was something lacking from my first session(s). Thinking about, I realized that when things went 'well' was when opening of session moves provided trouble to work with. I know that you want to get to know the characters and their situation before really diving into the conflicts, but the first session advice even says not to have any stable status quos. Perhaps it was my weak MC-fu, but I found it *much* harder to follow that advice without some mechanical help (like having a want or shortage or something from a convenient start of session move). In other words, the situation was not untenable enough, and without that, it was hard to figure out what the characters were passionate about, and that made it hard to generate the proper sort of untenable situations, and so on in a loop. With really invested players used to pushing for their own character's desires and agendas, I think the first session advice/rules are plenty, but for a group newer to this sort of thing, some further procedural help might be useful.

brainstorming & development / Re: Apocalypse West
« on: November 09, 2010, 08:50:43 PM »
"The Stare" is my favorite addition to the Gunslinger v. the Gunlugger. That's perfect for a western duelist!

Hmmm, that's an interesting question.

I will proceed to speculate on it with no claims of especial insight :)

I have the gut reaction that those two elements of 'exploration' are not *exactly* within the realm of exploration as put forth in the big model. What I mean is that while, yeah, 'system' means everything involved in making the game happen, these seem like elements that aren't so much part of the game as they are products of reflection on the games you play.

What I mean is that you're going to figure out things about people and yourself by reading books, going to coffee shops, playing sports, getting a job, laying awake staring at the ceiling at night, dating, fighting, et cetera. You know, living. *Of course* roleplaying games tell you about those things, because everything you do does.

Now, that may seem like a cop out or dick answer. The reason I think it's separate from the big model, and from RPG theory in general, is because of the limits of the context of RPG play/design theory. Let's go with "Social Contract" as the largest layer of RPG theory, like the Big Model does. The foundation of the big model is "we all agree to play a game". It starts looking at it from the level of "what are the components of this agreement", and examines them in greater and greater detail.

Finding out things about yourself and your friends seems to me to be a product of reflection outside of and distinct from the things inside that agreement. Certainly there's interaction. I mean, if you want to find out what playing a female character says about you personally, and you sit down to do that, the other players might feel like you're violating some element of the social contract (Eek! No cross-playing!), and yes, that situation would tell you something about the friends you sat down with, but is that really part of "the game" even though the situation of the game produced it? My inkling is probably not, but I'd love to hear your thoughts on why I could be wrong.

Necrology / Re: The (living) Heart of Necrology
« on: November 06, 2010, 09:38:35 PM »
The Passenger?

(insert Iggy Pop lyrics here)

Source Code / Re: Source Code
« on: November 06, 2010, 09:37:51 PM »
I was reading through your new threads and thinking "Damn, this would work great for the Takeshi Kovacs world" and then thought I remembered you siting Richard K. Morgan as an influence, and sure enough, I rechecked the beginning of this thread, and there he is, so obviously you're getting it right :)

Source Code / Re: Periphial Coding - Tangential Moves
« on: November 06, 2010, 09:35:55 PM »
I really really like "Noise" as a sort of parallel fictional complication generating harm. Good stuff. I think it would translate well into any sort of "heat" in other criminal focused games, whether they're mobland gangsters or hackers or whatever.

Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 ... 22