Developing your character - philosophy?

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Developing your character - philosophy?
« on: November 07, 2015, 12:07:22 AM »
I posted this in an AP thread, but it should probably get its own topic:

...

I'm really curious about the design behind the various improvement/advancement rules.

As the players here [the other thread] discuss, they take a lot of the options for players improving their standing in the world out of their hands.

While you play, various opportunities become available, and you have fairly little control over which ones you might grasp.

It seems to me that a couple of words about the way this is supposed to operate (both in-game and in terms of player choices) would really help. In real life, different opportunities come my way - I don't have the ability to do anything I want any old time - and I decide whether I wish to take them up, or not.

However, the sense I get from the playtest document is that this is not a choice I have in the game. It seems to say that you roll to see what happens next ("You hire builders to lay a foundation...") and that's where things go - the text doesn't say (to my reading) that you have a say in the matter. It's not, "You have an opportunity to hire builders... would you like to?"

As the post above says, "It helped that I rolled an estate (which I was looking forward to eventually experimenting with) and happened to get the riverway/highway location I was hoping for."

So, what is the deal here? Are we rolling to find out what happens (almost like a simulation), or is the idea to create opportunities and then choose those which appeal to you? As it is, it looks like the rules flat-out tell you what your character does - they find an estate in *this* part of the city, and then they hire *these* people to do *this* kind of work, and so on.

How is a player supposed to look at this? Should we embrace the discovery of the unknown, or try to somehow bend the procedures towards our desired goals?

What if Hale's player had rolled a different option - not an estate on the riverway? How should we approach this in the right mindset?

Is it, "Cool, I guess isn't that kind of character after all - I thought he wanted an underground castle, but the dice say he's more into boating on the riverway"?

Or, "Darn, the circumstances are such that Hale ended up in a different part of town than he'd hoped. Zounds! Life is tricky that way. But he will keep trying! Someday he can earn the right to his dream home."

Or something else?

*

lumpley

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Re: Developing your character - philosophy?
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2015, 09:15:40 AM »
(For future readers, the other thread is this one: Orlando playtest group, first session.)

In general, the game works by having the dice narrow the choices available to you, and then letting you choose from the more limited set.

When you examine your treasure, if you don't roll any choices you want, you can spend it on high living instead and wait until next time, or you can go into debt to take the choice you want anyway.

Then, when you choose to establish your estate, the dice narrow the choices for you and you make the best of the options they offer. Your estate will always be a compromise between your vision and your opportunities.

That's a good way to put it, actually. Your character's development will always be a compromise between your vision and your opportunities. That's what you should embrace.

-Vincent

Re: Developing your character - philosophy?
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2015, 01:00:42 PM »
Great, thanks.