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My play­ers PC 3 years 4 months ago #2736

  • Allan
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Sorry about the late reply.
Its wed­ding sea­son and its all go!
Thanks for the feed­back.
Got our new colour paper backs the other week and played last night after a few weeks hia­tus. Actu­ally feels like we are in the game now.
The books came in water dam­aged, but still usable.

Did a bit more of the Fair.
I reminded him at one point about his pas­sion for flex­ing his mus­cles in pub­lic, and he was greatly taken with that as he stood bravely in front of the stam­ped­ing herd.
Dis­cussed the pas­sion sys­tem at the end and how its a very pow­er­ful tool to drive the game. There was a lot of ‘eye open­ing moments’, as we thought about the reper­cus­sions. Dis­cussed tight­en­ing up the Dis­like of Magic PA.
A bit of back his­tory about my play­ers and now only one; it has been like pulling teeth to get any sort of inter­est­ing back­story from them. So it was a nice change to have him spilling idea’s. Gives him some depth and role play­ing shoes to fill.
Allan
Mourn for us oppressed in fear
Chained and shack­led we are bound
Free­dom choked in dread we live
Since Tyrant was enthroned
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My play­ers PC 3 years 4 months ago #2737

  • Phil
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Hi Allan!

Just to let you know, you should take a photo of each book and sub­mit those in an email to DTRPG. I can assure you they will ship you replace­ments as the same thing hap­pened to me and that course of action quickly resolved the mat­ter. I then kept my water-​damaged beater copy for table use.

Now is the part where I beg; More of the story please!
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My play­ers PC 3 years 4 months ago #2738

  • Allan
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Not much of a story so far, sorry.
Just using the Fair to play with the sys­tem.
I love gam­ing but at 51 and hav­ing been at the reigns of GMing since the 70’s, it is a chore to get into design work. I used to put my heart and soul into it.
So hope­fully we can make some­thing spark. It does feel very dif­fer­ent from Harn, that we have gamed for a long time and my player knows so much about. And as men­tioned before, get­ting him to read the source mate­r­ial is not going to hap­pen. I lend him Nightwinds weeks ago, but I don’t think he has read 2 pages.
So far its a bit flat, espe­cially as we just fin­ished a mini cam­paign of Gumshoe’s Fear Itself, that rocked along. Aaron wants to explore some fur­ther Gumshoe like Trail of Cthulthu. So we are work­ing on the idea of rules lite for Gumshoe and new sys­tem, style of play and involved rules for Blade.
So I really do need to pick up pen and paper and plan some­thing. To be hon­est, I was con­cerned that start­ing a Blade game would push me back into the heavy design sce­nario, as I have been try­ing to steer the gam­ing to pub­lished adven­tures with a lit­tle easy fillers in between.
But enough of me.
I am think­ing the obvi­ous;
Another town power does not want his spon­sor to win. The player had to find a local spon­sor as part of the rules of entry, and the spon­sor gets a seat on the coun­cil. His spon­sor the wiz­ard Zucounu has a poor rep­u­ta­tion around town. So bribe offer to leave or bully boys visit.

He has no funds so is cur­rently squat­ting in nearby ruins and has met a young woman — Jadel, who offered ‘ser­vices’ if he was to pro­tect her. GMing of the cuff, she has escaped from some reli­gious order, com­ing down from drugs. I wanted to see if Aaron was pick­ing up on the S&S style, which he did, no knight in shin­ing armour, but nei­ther did he take her up on the bed warm­ing offer. Not sure where I am going with this.

Assas­sins of Zucounu, which passed him on the road com­ing into town, one a twin of him­self. So at some point these assas­sins make there move minus the miss­ing twin, who they have been try­ing to find around town. Zucounu deals with them and then learns about the miss­ing team mem­ber and will incor­rectly sus­pect Ridik (PC). He will then dis­pose of Ridik to some ‘outer dark’ via a demon express.

Think­ing about some sort of mur­ders going on behind the scenes, but not sure to what ends.…

At most I don’t want to drag this out.
Allan
Mourn for us oppressed in fear
Chained and shack­led we are bound
Free­dom choked in dread we live
Since Tyrant was enthroned
Last Edit: 3 years 4 months ago by Allan.
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My play­ers PC 3 years 3 months ago #2739

  • Phil
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Hi Allan!
Well it looks inter­est­ing enough to me so far!

Some thoughts on the cre­ativ­ity process for Blade. Please don’t feel like you have to invest a lot of time into set­ting up the game for Blade. Your sce­nario reminded me of a game last year I ran for my play­ers. They really wanted to explore some hard­core S&S treach­ery and mur­der.
Not try­ing to rein­vent the wheel, I cheer­fully bor­rowed from the plot of Clint Eastwood’s A Fist­ful of Dol­lars.
The Plot: A stranger arrives at the lit­tle Mex­i­can bor­der town of San Miguel. When he enters the town he is teased by four men, but proves his speed and accu­racy with his gun when he shoots all four of them with ease. Sil­van­ito, the town’s innkeeper, tells the Stranger about a feud between two fam­i­lies vying to gain con­trol of the town: on the one side, the Rojo broth­ers: Don Miguel, Este­ban and Ramón; on the other, the fam­ily of the town sher­iff, John Bax­ter.

The Stranger decides to play both fam­i­lies against each other in order to make money.

Vio­lence and treach­ery ensue.

I guess the way I look at it for Blade is that both the player(s) and the ref­eree have to “feed” each other. These days I have finally got­ten over the idea that my role is to “enter­tain” my play­ers. Every­one at the table has input into the adven­ture and no one is sure what’s going to hap­pen next.
Last Edit: 3 years 3 months ago by Phil.
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My play­ers PC 3 years 3 months ago #2740

  • Allan
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Thanks Phil,
Its a tricky sit­u­a­tion to describe but let me try.
My prob­lem lies with the player. If you recall the other posts about Aaron.
He is not the prob­lem. But he has no book read knowl­edge plus below.
The group I ended up with in recent years was not the sort of play­ers to actively engage the setting/​GM.
Every thing was very struc­tured in the story by me. Sure I would ask what they wanted to do and all the other nor­mal GM stuff to get them into the story, but the story came from me. We would fin­ish a game or move on, I would try to dis­cuss the future game and what they wanted but mostly is was shoul­der shrugs.
We did drift around a lot of games as I searched for that holy grail that would actu­ally see a spark in my play­ers eyes and engage­ment in what was going on.
Many games failed as they failed to be in char­ac­ter enough to realise dan­ger from the vil­lian and got them­selves in basi­cally group kill sit­u­a­tions.
Oth­ers because I just got bored, we had a very involved Game of Thrones game. Tweaked the set­ting to be more real­is­tic but there I was grind­ing away at the story and I just realised I was bored, I could see what was com­ing so many ses­sions ahead and I had had enough.
It has been a real strug­gle and I tried to move to games like Burn­ing Wheel and TROS to move the game away from this intense GM story design.
The only game setting/​rules that seemed to work was Harn, but still story dri­ven by me.
There is prob­a­bly more I could say, but hope­fully you get the pic­ture.
Any­way I am down to one player now. I could prob­a­bly go out and actively recruit more play­ers, maybe there is few left in my lit­tle city.
I did get to recruit a player last year who drifts in and out of Dar­win, very much a gypsy. He loves the Vam­pire White Wolf line and for a change we got him to start a game. I really wanted to get on the same side of the table with Aaron.
Now I am gam­ing with Aaron as a fel­low player, and I am a player who if the GM allows will actively co-​design in the game. Like add lit­tle bits of back­ground if it seems appro­pri­ate that my char­ac­ter would know some­thing and instead of ask­ing the GM for those details would just bar­rel right on and say it at the gam­ing table. Plus get in there with my ACME RPG PLAY­ERS cer­tifi­cate of role play­ing my lit­tle heart out. But the Gypsy left at christ­mas and we have not heard from him again.
But Aaron can’t seem to do this and this if I under­stand the feel of games like Blade it really part core. He is happy to be enter­tained and can role play fine as well. He is get­ting bet­ter as the years go on. But to actively add to the story/​spontaneity is not one of his tal­ents.
So I think I need to get him out of this Fair ASAP and into the story. But I may have to look into con­vert­ing some pub­lished adven­tures as I just can’t find the energy to design. To be hon­est I don’t know what the answer is. Pub­lished is not in the spirit of the game as the core mechanic of PA’s is diluted.
Long ram­ble sorry.
Allan
Mourn for us oppressed in fear
Chained and shack­led we are bound
Free­dom choked in dread we live
Since Tyrant was enthroned
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My play­ers PC 3 years 3 months ago #2742

  • Michael
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Allan, I really feel your pain.

Phil and I actu­ally set up Blade for busy, adult play­ers in mind, so that ref­er­ees don’t need to do a lot of work design­ing and that play­ers can really play through events dur­ing the game instead of just prepar­ing for events. But that does of course require par­tic­i­pants who pick up on that. Play­ers don’t actu­ally need to do any detail-​establishing work dur­ing play (though it is fine if they do), just to tell the ref­eree in spe­cific terms what they are inter­ested in (i.e. phrase their PAs in spe­cific as opposed to gen­eral ways) — but if they don’t do that, if they give the ref­eree vir­tu­ally noth­ing to work with I am pretty much at my wits’ end what to do. :(

Maybe this: Speak with Aaron to rephrase his PAs in more spe­cific terms, maybe even make (sev­eral) sug­ges­tion show they could be rephrased more specif­i­cally and actively, like “Bring Low Sor­cer­ers” instead of “Dis­like Sor­cery”. I’m afraid that’s the only advice I can think of at the moment.
Bow down: I am the emperor of dreams;
I crown me with the million-​colored sun
Of secret worlds incred­i­ble, and take
Their trail­ing skies for vest­ment when I soar.

Clark Ash­ton Smith, The Hashish Eater or The Apoc­a­lypse of Evil
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My play­ers PC 3 years 3 months ago #2745

  • Allan
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Thanks.
Yes I spoke to Aaron and laid it out clear.
He is no idiot and realises his weak­nesses.
So it will come down to me doing the design.
I should be able to run some episodic encoun­ters as he returns home and hope­fully come up with a suit­able S&S side quest for the enthralled Demon, to free it.
Allan
Mourn for us oppressed in fear
Chained and shack­led we are bound
Free­dom choked in dread we live
Since Tyrant was enthroned
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My play­ers PC 3 years 3 months ago #2746

  • Phil
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Hi Allan,

Yes, I can feel the pain across the Pacific. These days there are few things in in my gam­ing life more tedious than to be put in the posi­tion of being the tra­di­tional “GM”.



I was recently involved in such a short-​lived tra­di­tional game where it got to the point that I was actu­ally nod­ding off dur­ing the ses­sions. Even­tu­ally I asked my buddy about why we were doing it this way (actu­ally because he had begged long and hard for a tra­di­tional game in which I would “enter­tain him” via his char­ac­ter, but I digress) when we could be hav­ing much more fun shar­ing the load. Hav­ing heard from me ad nau­seum con­cern­ing the Blade way of doing things, he agreed to lis­ten. Feel­ing a bit sneaky I sim­ply said that we should sim­ply play the game out as though we were two play­ers going on a GM-​less adven­ture, count­ing only on our abil­ity to feed each other moments of adven­ture. He became a bit more inter­ested and we agreed that my char­ac­ter would be an NPC to bet­ter facil­i­tate me mov­ing back to a tra­di­tional role should this new way be bor­ing. I did give him some of my plot hook tables to bet­ter fire his imag­i­na­tion if he found him­self stuck for ideas.

We fin­ished our game out in this new-​fangled fash­ion and both he and I felt much ener­gized and involved in the game.
Last Edit: 3 years 3 months ago by Phil.
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My play­ers PC 3 years 3 months ago #2750

  • Mozusuke
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Allan, I think noth­ing I say below will be new to you, but just in case…

(I come from a Harn and HMG back­ground as well!, and have a trea­sured signed copy of the HMG V1 rules!)

I am for­tu­nate enought to have a really good set of play­ers who gotr to a point of grokking the approach here pretty quick;ly (although I had to do some “trust me, come on this jour­ney with me” type work with them.…

But basi­caly, my approach has been to really delib­er­ately NOT develop the back­ground beyond exactly what I needed in very broad bur­sh­stroke terms for the next scene. so when I needed the out­line of a tem­ple where thjey would encounter a mildly sor­cer­our priest and a giant octo­pus, I knocx­ekd some­thing up in broad out­line. When I needed a cor­rt­yard in the Gha­zor palace with out­build­ings, sta­bles etc, I knocked some­ht­ing up in advance in very broad ouit­line. Every­thign esle was han­dled on the spot and as ‘emerg­ing insight and detail that became appar­rent as story and ter­rain checks etc played out. I feared this approach, so tried it out on a really sim­ple mar­ket square scene, and found it was actu­ally really lib­er­at­ing and easy. As long as your play­ers do not demand a fully devel­oped world. (and if they do, they are head­ing in a rather more sim direc­tion than Blade is really aimed at, I’d say).

What I did need to do for therm was cre­ate some for­ma­tive story arcs in my head. I could not get them to orig­i­nate and ‘cre­ate’ the story. I had to lis­ten to their PAs and char­ac­ter descrip­tions, and sug­gest to themn what the next scene could roughyl be based on. Gen­er­ally that con­ver­sa­tion con­sistes of me sug­gest­ing some­thing, and them say­ing “that sounds good and right “. As part of that I pri­vately devel­oped some for­ma­tive sotry arcs (local king with sor­cer­ous evil son who was instru­men­tal on the dsis­ap­pear­ance of the Lost Love of one of the char­ac­ters etc etc ). Well, I say devel­oped. what I really mean is ‘brain­stormed in my head but didn’t flesh out or writ6e down except for the next scene. The key here is to only develop a rough sense of these arcs, and after each scene be pre­pared to dis­card them com­pletely or rad­i­cally se-​set them if the char­ac­ters head in a dif­fer­ent direciton. In my Harn days, I would prob­a­bly have tried quite hard to re-​converege the char­ac­ters with “MY” intended story arc. In Blade, because I havent invested nearly so much devel­op­ment time in an arc I can to a much greater extent just go with the flow.

So really I just read the Xoth stuff in the book, picked on Gha­zor as our star­ing point, them made it up as I went along.


This is now how I will always do things, irre­sepec­tive of rules sys­tem!. But Blade with its con­cep­tual han­dling of things like money, ter­rain tc, par­tic­u­larly sup­ports and embod­ies the approach


Like I say, I think you know all this already, and I was for­tu­nate to have a set of like minded players.
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My play­ers PC 3 years 3 months ago #2751

  • Allan
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Thanks to both.
I am gen­tly coax­ing Aaron around to just small in game addi­tions.
It is hard for him but hope­fully he will open up with some lit­tle details.
We did some more this week with events com­ing to a head and Ridik being accused of a treach­ery by the wiz­ard. He has now landed on a remote beach in Nabastis.
I was orig­i­nally just going to have his one char­ac­ter in the game but as men­tioned by Phil and also think­ing back to the Gumshoe Fear­It­self game where I played along side him with a major NPC. He had the stats and I did the talk­ing and this helped bring the game alive.
So I asked him if I could play along side him with a char­ac­ter and he was all for it. So another thief was spir­ited away with him, Alim, thief of Zadj.
Called away, get back to this a bit later.
Allan
Mourn for us oppressed in fear
Chained and shack­led we are bound
Free­dom choked in dread we live
Since Tyrant was enthroned
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