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Arranging Capes
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Paul



Joined: 19 Jan 2006
Posts: 855

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So how was it ?
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Mashugenah
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Joined: 23 Jan 2006
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Location: Gallifrey

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Um... functionally similar to most of this generation of games. any time there starts to be some roleplaying going on, it's quickly crushed by some more dice rolling or other system manipulaiton. And it also suffered very much from a lack of creative cohesion, as I've seen in most other shared narrative games. If you can get everyone on the same page at the start, I'm sure you could use the system to have fun... but if you're already on the same page I'm not sure it'll be more fun than just freeform.

so, also similarly to my previous outings, I had fun, but ultimately I liked it more for what it suggested about other games and gaming possibilities rather than for itself on its own merits.
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hix



Joined: 25 Jan 2006
Posts: 406
Location: Poison'd

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Mash, with the proviso that I still see a lot of potential in this game for the right group of players - ones that are willing to be engaged by both the dice rolling and the role-playing.

However, this second playing of Capes Lite made me realise things about the game.

Collaborating to create a starting situation will probably create more enjoyable play. I really think players have to be emotionally invested in the goals and each other's characters right from the start. Otherwise things get either too crack-smoking or too dull way too fast. Next time I run capes, I'll probably use the Greater of Two Evils scenario.

Quote:
All the superheroes are dead. Only the super-villains are left, and the world has been torn apart by their feuds and squabbles. But now, the Cosmic Devourer is coming, putting the Earth that that the villains have fought so hard over in grave peril. Once more, the first time since the villains schemed to kill the heroes, the villains gather to plot and plan and put their powers together for the cause of... good?


With characters like the Joker, Lex Luthor, and Venom, I think it'll create instant character tensions, and goals everyone's interested in.

For the first scene, allow goals to be introduced on the first page only. This is for when I'm introducing Capes to new players. Both times I've demo'd it, I've found players go crazy with introducing goals and we don't get past the first scene.

Capes Lite, as it's written, only demonstrates the mechanics. It doesn't create a very interesting situation, or allow everyone to play heroes. I felt pretty stink when Jenni pointed out that she wasn't going to get a chance to play a superhero. And I felt fantastic that we ignored the rules so she could introduce a new hero who turned out to be the highlight of the session - Monster Granny.

I want to try it with 4 players. The game can only be improved by taking faster turns around the table.
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Mashugenah
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Joined: 23 Jan 2006
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Location: Gallifrey

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great points all. Smile I guess the slight risk with a pre-programmed meta-plot of the sort you mention is that it slightly undermines the competitive-shared-story nature of the game (I mean, how do you arrive at a meta-plot? if one person comes up with it, they become a kind of de facto GM... if it's a group effort, it demonstrates that story collaboration is fun and possible without the game.)

My only other suggestion is that I think should also aim for a longer session. The allotted 3 hours turned into 2 1/4ish of one scene, then a bit of messing round to finish. If we'd had a 4 hour-total session, the second scene would have at least had enough time to go somewhere.

I must also take at least some of the blame for the arbitrary startup. I was just wary of the opposite problem we had when testing With Great Power: that the setup stuff consumed the bulk of the session. Capes is much quicker to setup, I needn't have worried on that score.

Anyway, I'm interested in having a second crack at it. And this time if I'm feeling sick and spaced I'll have the good sense to not let Fraser guilt trip me into coming. Smile
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MikeSands



Joined: 19 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mashugenah wrote:
I guess the slight risk with a pre-programmed meta-plot of the sort you mention is that it slightly undermines the competitive-shared-story nature of the game


Mash, what Steve described was just a kick off point, not some kind of railroad scenario. I think he's right in that a strong starting concept would really make Capes shine.
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Mashugenah
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2007 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't mean to say he was specifying the totality of what happens in the game, but it does suggest a lot of the big-picture stuff that will happen in the game (it provides a big picture?). But when rocking up to a game, other people might have very different interests in the genre and not find any specific pre-game-determined seed all that interesting.

I guess what I'm thinking is that Capes seems to built on the assumption that all story is organically developed in-play, and this cuts against that by specifying some story elements before play.

Which may be what a new-ish group needs.
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MikeSands



Joined: 19 Jan 2006
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Location: RV Steadfast, bearing west

PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2007 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, that setup suggests things that might happen, rather than specifying things that will.

I think that's important for a game like this because having no limitations leads to crappy play. Without a setup, you end up with "okay so we're going to do some kind of superhero story", which is most likely to crash and burn.

A strong pitch gives everyone a starting point to build off, and with games that allow play to go all over that place, this is important.
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Jenni



Joined: 24 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2007 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Monster Granny rocks!
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