2008-11-24 : Salt River
John Harper says:
Can you talk about your Otherkind-dice freeformy western town game thing,
for anyway? I bet you have things to say and I have things to hear.
Most especially: that (possibly slippery) place where you go to dice or
choose not to. Also, I think an example of what you put in the various boxes
for resolution would be interesting to see.
I'm right on the cusp of trying out something in this vein, and it would be
nice to see some words from the old hands.
Hm. I suppose I can.
Here are, roughly, the resolution rules we used: Otherkind Dice.
Topic 1: going to dice?
Slippery is the word. I suspect that we went to dice whenever one of, oh, four or six things happened. One was the same "oh no you don't" as in the Wicked Age. One was, I would go to dice when I personally didn't feel comfy just asserting something. There was this interesting provocative one, too, where J would say "I'm going to roll dice on this," and I would say "screw you! Those are MY dice to roll! I'M going to roll dice on it!"
Probably all of them fit into the general case the rules give, though: Use when somebody says "my character accomplishes this..." and somebody says "...but it's not a given." They can be the same person or different people.
I can't remember clearly enough to talk about when we didn't go to dice. Cases where somebody would say "my character accomplishes this, is it a given?" and everybody said "yeah, it is."
Topic 2: what did we resolve?
Oh just, y'know, things.
When we picked up dice we'd say what we were rolling for like this: "high die I get away, high die I kill him, high die he doesn't shoot me" or "high die I win cred in town, low die he shoots me (1 = to death, 2-3 = not to death), high die I shoot him (same deal, 6 = to death)."
They were always things specific to this very moment. We had a couple of categories of things we looked for: 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 - but when we said them, we always said the specific, local, immediate form they took.
We allowed a single bonus die to anyone who said and argued that they deserved one. "I want an extra die because I served under this guy in the war," I'd say, for instance.
By nature, those rules are no respecter of characters. They will tear your limbs off and cut out your guts. It happened to my poor guy.
But if you hobble them and play them safe instead, which you can easily do, they stumble and stagger and are awkward. It's very hard to reliably come up with three interesting safe things.
Salt River kind of piddled out. I was probably the only one of us whose character got an actual story, so I was probably the only one of us who both enjoyed it while it was on and then didn't mind it ending. Is this because I'm adept with the rules? I don't know. For sure I didn't win with them, they gutted and dismembered my poor guy, but maybe I was able to make them work for me better than the other players.
The games we're playing now, safe to say, are much more fun. (Maybe in part because we're in two smaller groups playing two different games? Yes, maybe so.)
Questions very welcome. Other players' thoughts very welcome.
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