thread: 2013-10-28 : A Question about Objects

On 2013-11-07, Vincent wrote:

Okay! In Murderous Ghosts, here's a goal that the explorer player might bring to the game: to come to understand the ghosts' backstory. The ghost player has a backstory in mind*, which she'll reveal in play, if only the explorer can discover it. Understanding the ghosts' backstory gives the explorer power to exploit it, either to better escape or even to help the ghost come to a non-murderous resolution and move on to eternal rest.

As the designer, I'm well aware that people will bring this goal into the game. I have a choice whether to acknowledge it, and if so, how to handle it.

In Murderous Ghosts, I decided to yes, acknowledge it, and to handle it by setting a trap. It's a mean, mean trap: the explorer book says that if you help the ghosts resolve their trauma and move on to eternal rest, you win the game. The ghosts book, though, points out that an explorer who's trying to figure out the ghosts' backstory is super easy to murder, so you can encourage them with some early success to draw them into a no-win position. The design of the game goes on to fully support the ghost player in this situation against the explorer player.

Gordon, this is an example of the designer taking into account the possibility that the players will have aesthetic goals for the fiction, yes? I've done it to punish the players instead of reward them, because, yknow, "Trauma Games presents," but this is the kind of thing you're talking about?


This makes VB go "* Technically..."
The ghost player probably only has the outline of a backstory in mind, which she'll reveal and flesh out in play, but the effect is the same.

This makes...
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