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Before | After

Stormfront is basically written. I'll be going over and cleaning up, tweaking, etc, but it could run as it stands.

Though I am currently considering a technical issue.

The game is made up of three distinct groups, the townsfolk, and the two groups of visitors. The first group of visitors have been there for about half an hour to an hour or so, so they've had the time to find out at least the very basics of who is who. The second group however, will be arriving about 2 minutes after the game starts, so they won't know anyone already there, and no one already there will know anything about them. However, with a small amount of social interaction, individuals will be able to find out bits and pieces about each other.

As a result, I haven't included either side in the other side's "who you know" list, as they don't know them from a bar of soap at the start. So, how do I include the information that won't be said, but will be worked out?

My thought currently is to include with each character the collection of what those others will be able to get about you on separate pieces of paper (sealed, of course). When a character interacts socially with them, they hand over the appropriate slip, so the player then knows what they are able to work out from them.

The issues I see with this is that it will mean the "Travellers from the East" will have to keep track of an additional 13 pieces of paper. At the start of the game, they are other peoples pieces of paper, but by then end, they will be their own. The other characters don't have it as bad, they will have 5.

One possible solution to this has occurred to me. I will be having my laptop and portable printer with me, so have the ability to print on demand. As a result, if a player finds the addition pieces of paper too much (which I expect most will), then they can come to me and I can re-print them as a single document, rather than multiple pages. This should mean that by about half way through most of the players will have their original character sheet, plus one page.

Thoughts? Observations? Questions? Comments?

Comments

travisjhall
Mar. 23rd, 2010 03:40 am (UTC)

In By a Dark River, the fact that certain information was hidden was important. Some of the characters were specifically searching for other characters. Laying out the info in a handout made available at the start of the session kills the objective for such a character. It was supposed to be possible for characters to never meet the people they sought and get those extra clues. (Not an outcome I necessarily wanted to occur, but possible.) I'm pretty sure that at least a few of those clues were never read.

So you have to assess the importance of this information being hidden - not the importance of the information, specifically what hiding it will do to the game.

I have to question whether you have 13 pieces of information for any single character that has to be hidden from the start of play, though. Don't give a player 2 significant hidden clues and 11 decoys just so they don't know who to talk to first. That sort of thing doesn't add to the game. You'll wind up with players walking out saying, "Random messed too much with mechanics again," not "It was really good that a few clues were hidden."

If it is important that certain pieces of information be hidden, use my icon-and-insert mechanics. Give that traveller from the East two inserts to match with letters on badges, and don't bother him with decoys that just interrupt the game.

But if it isn't significant to the experience to keep the info hidden, if it is supposed to be discovered within the first five minutes or so, give it on the character sheet. It doesn't closely simulate what actually happens, but you usually don't need to. Doing that doesn't improve the experience of the game for the players, and players are capable of managing a small difference between what players know and what characters know when the difference is clearly marked.

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Desert Rose

I dream of rain
I dream of gardens in the desert sand
I wake in vain
I dream of love as time runs through my hand

I dream of fire
Those dreams are tied to a horse that will never tire
And in the flames
Her shadows play in the shape of a man's desire

This desert rose
Each of her veils, a secret promise
This desert flower
No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this

And as she turns
This way she moves in the logic of all my dreams
This fire burns
I realize that nothing's as it seems

I dream of rain
I dream of gardens in the desert sand
I wake in vain
I dream of love as time runs through my hand

I dream of rain
I lift my gaze to empty skies above
I close my eyes
This rare perfume is the sweet intoxication of her love

I dream of rain
I dream of gardens in the desert sand
I wake in vain
I dream of love as time runs through my hand

Sweet desert rose
Each of her veils, a secret promise
This desert flower
No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this

Sweet desert rose
This memory of Eden haunts us all
This desert flower
This rare perfume, is the sweet intoxication of the fall

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