thread: 2009-12-18 : Seed content

On 2010-01-24, Josh W wrote:

Marshall, funny thing is, I find that description totally uninteresting to play, yet I like rustbelt (which includes a lot of that "life'll grind you down" vs "refuge in being hardcore" stuff) and the feel of over the edge!

I think it's the mono-chrome universe; I love the idea of a big ball of conspiracies all constantly sabotaging each other, caught in a situation where no-one wants to be kingmaker. No-one's in control, and no-one's got the big conspiracy, because anyone who gets too big gets taken down. I've seen badly designed boardgames that descend into that, and it is in it's own way hilarious to see people continue by stubbornness in a situation where each of them's intransigence to the others has locked them in some kind of loop without end state. It's absurd, and it's in that absurdity that I would run something like an over the edge game; the more opponents you have, the more likely you are to survive, if you can keep them confused enough to crash into each other.

And in rustbelt, where all that grinding doom is going on in the background, people in the foreground are still gunning in their different directions; the rust is breaking all the support cables, but the frayed edges and swinging gantries are where the interest is, at least for me.

In both of those settings (as I imagine them) the real challenge is maintaining control yourself; keeping something of your own even as you surf the avalanche.

I'm bored of being a crazy rebel against a great conspiracy, it feels too teenage to me, I'd rather be Liet-Kynes in the desert; politically manoeuvring to keep people's gaze off the plants I'm growing, the hope of a new world.

In GMing rustbelt, I'm always interested to see if the players can do something that defies my actions, if they can make something that'll last, with a little beauty in it, despite all the encouragement to destruction and the poverty of the situation. In my spin your never choked out by the forces of banality, corruption, apathy and lazy malice, because you're moving faster than it, and maybe seeing a little clearer. The real trouble is dealing with the desperation of others.

Do you see what I mean? Is there something cool I'm missing in the William S Burroughs stuff that is as engaging as that?

And as a tap in passing to the starting post, the reason I don't set up over the edge games is I don't yet know how to pull off that "self-sabotaging multi-conspiracy" vibe in play.


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