thread: 2008-11-24 : Salt River

On 2008-11-25, Vincent wrote:

Weeks: it's casual. Usually there are three obvious thing, like my getaway/braining the guy/not getting shot example; those required no thought to come up with. Occasionally all three won't be obvious to whoever happens to be talking, so someone else will say the third, and since it's obvious there's no negotiation required.

After the fact, it's always very difficult to say who suggested which outcomes. They were pretty much all implicit in the situation; whoever said it just put it to words. We all already saw it there.

In Otherkind proper, you roll dice always on the same three things, and there's formal narration-trading. This game's much more casual about that stuff.

As far as negotiating the consequences of outcomes goes, there's a strict rule worth mentioning: if you put a low die in something, you aren't allowed to argue to soften it. If you didn't want to get gut shot, you shouldn't've put a 2 in "on a high die, he doesn't gut shoot me."

Ben: Nah, it's pretty simple, and you're right, we did lots of free play (about which, more in a sec). I'd guess that we spent 5 minutes or less out of every hour figuring out what to roll for.

We had those general categories (my character's main goal, his secondary goal or goals, dangers to him, dangers to his friends, ways he might lose control, long-term consequences of his actions) to guide us, and they helped a lot.

There's a tidy feedback loop. We resolved conflicts with the dice when they came to concrete, consequential action. You can tell that a conflict's come to concrete, consequential action when you can say generally what the consequences might be. And when you can say generally what the consequences might be, you know what to roll dice for.

In other words, most of the time "what we're rolling for" triggered "now we're rolling."

There were a couple of times when we had to really think to come up with a third, but they were exceptions - and if they were occasionally demanding or frustrating, they were still never breakdowns in the procedure.

An example:

J: Okay. I'm going to roll. High die he goes along with what I'm telling him, high die he doesn't hit me, high die... uh help me out.

V: Well, um, nobody's threatening any real violence here, so no "high die my friends all live." Are you sure you need to roll?

J: I am.

V: Okay. Huh.

Em: High die you keep the girls' respect.

J, V: Perfect!

We never got really stuck.

Free play - Tons of free play, yep, including many scenes with no dice (half and half? three to two? two to one? somwhere in there).

I suppose that maybe we resolved some conflicts in free play, but only conflicts that could, would and did resolve without ever coming to consequential action. We used the dice to resolve some conversational arguments between a PC and an NPC, but never between two PCs (I don't believe in that kind of crap).

We let conflicts thorougly develop in free play, that was one of our agreements up front. Consequently, some things that might have gone to dice in a more "boo! conflict!" game, didn't, but sorted themselves out through plain character interaction instead.

So honestly I'd have it that they weren't really conflicts after all. They were just the characters positioning themselves for the real conflicts to come.

Just so it's clear, everybody: this wasn't a great highlight of my gaming life, but as far as I'm concerned it was a baseline successful game. We played a half dozen sessions, told the whole story of one of the characters, and then let it go.


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