"The Solace" Playbook is ruining our game

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"The Solace" Playbook is ruining our game
« on: July 14, 2014, 10:49:35 AM »
Am I missing something?

Disarming Presence...On a hit, no one present can commit violence while they can see you or hear your voice...REALLY?

No one is able to do much of anything they want then. Everyone wants to go out and actually have some action, but the Solace character ruins it for everyone over and over again. Last week we had an awesome session, and we realized it was because the Solace player was not there.

We just do not know how to deal with this killjoy character.

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niamh

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Re: "The Solace" Playbook is ruining our game
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2014, 11:45:39 AM »
They can stuff their ears with wax and blindfold themselves? 
I guess the question is does the player realize that they are impacting the game this way.  If not, a friendly conversation may go a long way.
I can see how a Solace would be an awesome addition, even in a violence heavy game, but there needs to be balance.  I may be the worse person to comment on this because games I run have a low violence quotient as it is, but...  Some ideas....
Use a hard move to separate the Solace from the rest of the group.
Have the Solace and other PC working on plot point A while a gang jumps the other PCs.
If you have a brainer they can try to puppet stringing the Solace out of the room
Have one of the PCs run interference on the Solace while the rest of the group goes off on a raid.

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As If

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Re: "The Solace" Playbook is ruining our game
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2014, 12:35:55 PM »
Ok, stepping aside from the simple fact that not all classes are suited for all campaigns, the following thoughts arise:

1. Is the Solace really hitting on every roll?  Because if not, it's Hard Move time (see niamh's post above).

2. Set up a situation where ending the violence is actually the wrong thing to do - allowing a baddie to get away with bad shit because the goodies were pacified.  That's gonna cause a whole lot of people to be upset with the Solace in ways that aren't necessarily violent.  (e.g.: "That bastard send his men out after our children and then you talked us out of killing him - now he's done it again and he has even more power than before"...) 

If you find yourself ostracized from trade in an AW scenario, you're pretty fucked, regardless of your intentions.

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noclue

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Re: "The Solace" Playbook is ruining our game
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2014, 12:54:08 PM »
Seems like a poorly designed playbook if the game gets more interesting when the GM prevents PC interaction. Usually, you want to throw characters together to amp up the tension and increase the drama. The Solace, which I admit I haven't read, seems to do the opposite. How can the GM be a fan of this character if you're always wishing they won't do their thing?
James R.

    "There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which can not fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance-that principle is contempt prior to investigation."
     --HERBERT SPENCER

Re: "The Solace" Playbook is ruining our game
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2014, 04:26:54 PM »
I've found, from an MC standpoint, to be very selective about which play books to include when you give your players the spread on the first session. It largely depends on what kind of apocalypse you want to play in, and if the game isn't interesting for you to run, it won't be interesting for them to play! I think this is especially true with the LE play books. The core play books get a lot more after the heart of the genre and the game itself IMHO.

That said, I agree very much with what has been stated above: make it about consequence. Similar to how a gunlugger may go around using only violence as a solution, you find a way to make that catch up with them. All the violence the Solace is preventing is probably leading to a much worse situation for somebody off camera. Who is it? Make it real and make it demand their attention. Make them realize that the world demands violence as a way of life now. This is the apocalypse, damn it.

Re: "The Solace" Playbook is ruining our game
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2014, 04:33:57 PM »
How are they stopping the fights? In the fiction I mean.

Are they putting their hands up and saying "Guys let's talk about this."  Then fine, it pretty clear why no one has shot anyone else. Also who it is who has stopped it. It is not always on.

But they have to make an effort to calm the situation or stop the violence or they are not using the move properly.  It can be used on charged situations, bit it is debatable whether a full out battle can be stopped this way (I'd argue the first grenade should kill people's hearing enough).

Also missing that move is fairly...bad (no one can fight anyone but you). Note PCs can interfere with their roll.  I'm sure a -2 will make it hard to get a hit.

Also as stated above, just don't be around the Solace when you want to kill someone. Its not like you are joined at the hip like some D&D party.

Re: "The Solace" Playbook is ruining our game
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2014, 05:34:14 PM »

I'm not really a fan of the playbook at all, but your focus on that particular move makes me curious about the details of your campaign. Can you give an example of a time the Solace using the move made things less interesting, or less exciting? Like, tell us what happened, how the other characters reacted, etc..

There are lots of things that constitute 'action' that don't constitute violence, after all. If all your PCs just want to shoot things to solve problems, then clearly the Solace is going to become one of their problems -- which also sounds interesting?

Re: "The Solace" Playbook is ruining our game
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2014, 03:04:34 AM »
If the characters are pisse of by the Solace they should ambush them and shoot them in the back.
Can't talk you down, when i don't know you are there.

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noclue

  • 609
Re: "The Solace" Playbook is ruining our game
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2014, 03:20:17 AM »
It sounds like the players are the ones that are annoyed, not the characters.
James R.

    "There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which can not fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance-that principle is contempt prior to investigation."
     --HERBERT SPENCER

Re: "The Solace" Playbook is ruining our game
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2014, 01:07:48 PM »
In the section about the Solace that explains why to play them/their impact on the game, it is made very explicit that the Solace makes a point of calling out all the mean and violent characters on their meanness and violence, which isn't fun for everyone. This may sound like an "I told you so" sort of thing to say, and it is. The Limited Edition books aren't all fit to work with the core playbooks without a big change to the way the game usually operates. It is noted that the Faceless, Maestro D, Hoarder, and Touchstone are able to be added as options with no real problems, but the others have a sort of "buyer beware!" label on them to let you know to expect something different.

Sounds like a friendly chat with the players to discuss this is in order. And I mean friendly! Just be open and honest and it should work out, yeah?

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Munin

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Re: "The Solace" Playbook is ruining our game
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2014, 06:04:02 PM »
derendel mentioned it above but it bears repeating - if the other PCs have a problem with the Solace's use of this move, they should be falling all over themselves trying to see who gets to interfere first.  And as soon as the Solace misses the roll, the Solace is likely to get shanked by everyone involved.

While it is true that disarming presence is one of the few moves that has the capability to take agency away from a player (the other that comes to mind is advancing go aggro), for the most part it is a limited curtailment of agency in that it simply means you can't resort to violence.  Depending on the situation, that might not be a bad thing.  At the very least it should induce the other players to think outside the box.

For instance, there's nothing that says you can't threaten violence.  The Solace can be blabbing away to her heart's content over in the corner and I can still say, "give me the Loc-Nar or I will kill everyone you hold dear."  Sure, I'm rolling+Hot at that point, but whatever.  And my buddy can rack his shotgun for emphasis (i.e. roll+Hx to help me out).  Sure, we're  not committing violence right now, but we're not being all sweetness and light either.

And there's nothing to say that you can't try to manipulate the Solace into shutting the hell up either.  It only takes a 7 to make her act under fire to continue prattling on, and you might find you have some people willing to help you (and again, interfere with her).

But at some level, this may also be a player expectations thing.  If not all of your players are on the same page about what they want to get out of the game, you need to have a frank conversation with everyone involved.

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As If

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Re: "The Solace" Playbook is ruining our game
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2014, 08:07:29 PM »
"Arresting Skinner" is another one that falls into this category.

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noclue

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Re: "The Solace" Playbook is ruining our game
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2014, 10:05:05 PM »
"Arresting Skinner" is another one that falls into this category.
Arresting Skinner is awesome. It is also limited to the time it takes you to remove a piece of clothing.

It definitely seems that including the Solace should be a considered choice.
James R.

    "There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which can not fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance-that principle is contempt prior to investigation."
     --HERBERT SPENCER

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As If

  • 142
Re: "The Solace" Playbook is ruining our game
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2014, 10:34:51 PM »
Agreed on both counts.  In "Arresting Skinner" not only is the time limited, but it can be targeted/untargeted, and (just as importantly) its "cinematic" verisimilitude is quite clear.  We've all seen that scene in a movie, and AR is a good model for simulating it.

I have also seen movie scenes where a "Solace"-type character calmed people down, kept them from exchanging blows, or whatever, but there's so much variance here it makes it hard to determine where to draw the line.  Isn't this really just a supercharged "Manipulate" after all?

Re: "The Solace" Playbook is ruining our game
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2014, 11:36:14 AM »
This thread is really interesting. I haven't seen a Solace in play yet, but I can see that it is possible to have this character in play yet the relationships still be dysfunctional.

I'm convinced that some gaming groups can have what I call coercive teamwork, where players/characters could have a natural, healthy story-building kind of antagonism that gets squashed because everyone has to get along. Or the round-robin kind of play where everyone takes their turn to do their personal quest, which can be fine unless the story doesn't make sense to do so, and that player gets his/her personal interests squashed because it's just not being a "team player."

The Solace looks like this kind of player in a meta way. He/she is squashing conflicts that might seem natural and force people to talk it out. Problem is that those who are naturally charismatic or have a more aggressive personality gets their way (Hot) and those who don't, don't. In a way, there is violence being done, a violence of social compact where everyone has to agree and probably compromise.

I'd be interested in seeing a situation where the Solace is being pushed into (or willingly) intervening where the violence is justified. Like a gang or cult who has been preying on people in a "non-violent" way and the PCs have to get rid of them, but the only way is through violence. Does the Solace intervene? What happens when the Solace intervenes inconsistently? Will people get pissed off at the Solace when he/she seems to favor some people's violence over others?

There appears to be a lot of possibilities, but I can see it requiring a complete point of view change in playing and MCing a Solace game.