thread: 2009-06-09 : Adequacy, Cause and Effect

On 2009-06-10, Emily wrote:

Awesome system, Christian. The only thing that comes to mind is the cake you eat in Slaaraphenland. The player eats a piece every time you succumb to temptations—which is solely based on player choice. Afterwards, your narrations change, but the cake is just a very physical marker of the choice you've made that heightens your sense of gluttony and brings in taste, smell and touch for the player which is what is being expressed in play.

In my own experience, the worst is when someone turns to you and everyone taps their foot until you say something slapstick (eg).

I was talking with Eppy about this, and it's not as bad as it might seem. MonkeyDome is surprisingly easy in this regard. When someone hands you the dice, what they are actually doing is putting you in a conversation with the GM about the dynamics of the scene. You can hold onto the dice as long as you want to, and as long as you do, the GM is responsible for increasing the tension on you. Then, when you choose to react, you roll the dice and the outcome is a springboard for what you do next, whether zany or grim.

There are other things that support a player, too. It's explicit that you are not responsible for coming up with something funny. Zany and Grim are way more doable than having to reliably be funny. Also, everyone else is also there to support and mirror your zany/grimness. You're not on your own out in space.

Being the GM is where I'd think there might be more moments of "what do I do now?" But there are things in the system to help: the overall threat is created by taking a hope the characters have and perverting it, and in every scene you have to create two menaces, one in the near term one in the far, so you make up in every scene two things for yourself to play back and forth between.

Partly, as Eppy pointed out, because it was written via Playstorm we looked for ways to make it easy on the player as went along, as opposed to finding we might need to do so in a later playtest. It's a lot easier to not think of how hard it is to come up with something on the fly when you're just writing directions for other folks to do it, not doing it yourself right then.


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