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Getting all emotional
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Highwayman



Joined: 24 Jan 2006
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Location: Wellington

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 9:48 am    Post subject: Getting all emotional Reply with quote

So, I've been thinking, the idea that I had about making a game where the mapping of characters to players is not one-to-one might stand for going a bit further.

What do you think of this idea:

Emotional is a game where players represent emotional ideals and compete to push the game towards their particular emotional ideal.

I would suggest that players pick emotions of roughtly comparable scope, so nostalgia, irritation and forboding won't be competing with anger, fear or love.

For System, I don't want to get into details, but I would like the system to encourage (or enforce) a situation where people slowly gain some sort of tokens, and can either spend a small amount to "Bump" the scene towards their emotion, or spend a bunch to "Seize control" for the scene (but still allow other players to "bump" the scene). There should be a mechanic which regards taking control of the scene (Some sort of bet or wager whereby you get back most/all tokens used). There should also be a mechanic to reward players who provide opportunities for other players.

Perhaps at the end of each scene the players could vote on which were the dominant emotions for a scene, and where that might naturally lead.

I envision a situation which would be compatable with having a guide 'set up' the scene, and the overall plot (so the other players would be more reactive), and also with not having a guide at all, and having the next step be based on consensus. Probably setting it up so that if one particular player wanted to take everyone through a particular story then that would be possible, but also if players met up they might take a little inspiration for the initial scene and then just let their imaginations go wild.

Implicit in my statements so far is that the characters would be competing for the emotional state of one person. Players would describe the scene together (modified by the system as above), and it would be fine to have other characters in the scene, but the focus would be on the main characters reaction.

At the end of the game players should have played through a story that might be captured as the plot of a short film or short story, they should be able to see from the events dictated by the players how the emotion state of the central character changed in a natural way, and the effects that that had on the story.

Back on the topic of system, at the end of the game a player may have seized control once or twice, and "Bumped" almost every scene.

Typical scenarios might include telling the story of a character at a particularly emotional point in their life (Their first love has been shot in front of them, they are watching a slideshow of their childhood, they must chose between marrying for love or duty), someone who has a clear agenda (I'm here to kill you, because you killed m'boy!) and how that affects them, or someone who is in an asylum and actually has no control over their emotions at all. These represent three sorts of emotional involvement, and might be appropriate for different numbers of players (Love/Duty might suit two players, someone unstable might suit eight or more competing strong emotions).

I would envision this as a game to be played in one-offs, I don't think it would work well for a long-term situation.






So, cabalists, what do you think of this idea? I'd love detailed comments on the base ideas, particularly missing things that would stop it being fun for you. The specific system I'll look at later on (I have a few ideas, but thought I'd lay down the basic premise first).


Cheers
Grant
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Highwayman



Joined: 24 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 8:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No takers?

Cheers
Grant
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MikeSands



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 8:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, to me it sounded interesting as an experiment but not something I would want to play.
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Adrexia



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd play it, but I have no comments to offer. Twisted Evil
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MattCowens



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would be tempted to make it 'closed hand', with some system where people had to guess what emotions other players were driving for based on the actions, NPCs and develpoments they introduced.

"Norman's Bad Day" would be a fine title to sum up what the game was about (with the proviso that the day doesn't have to end up being bad - given that one player is likely to be driving things in a positive direction.
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Vecna



Joined: 12 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am keen just busy=-(
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Paul



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That was me sorry
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Highwayman



Joined: 24 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MikeSands wrote:
Well, to me it sounded interesting as an experiment but not something I would want to play.


Fair enough. Any advice on how to develop the idea further? What sort of areas would you suggest focussing on so that I get something that a bunch of people might enjoy.

Cheers
Grant
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Highwayman



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MattCowens wrote:
I would be tempted to make it 'closed hand', with some system where people had to guess what emotions other players were driving for based on the actions, NPCs and develpoments they introduced.

"Norman's Bad Day" would be a fine title to sum up what the game was about (with the proviso that the day doesn't have to end up being bad - given that one player is likely to be driving things in a positive direction.


That would be cool, would you suggest players pick their emotion? if so then you'd need some arbitrator to make sure two players don't pick the same one.

Poor Norman. I like the fact that "Norman" Can be changed into "Normal" with just one substitution.

Cheers
Grant
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MikeSands



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Highwayman wrote:
Any advice on how to develop the idea further? What sort of areas would you suggest focussing on so that I get something that a bunch of people might enjoy.


Well, it doesn't really have much detail about what the play would be like. Perhaps getting that to be more prominent will pull people in.

At the moment it seems like you would be emotions (I assume that is what you mean by emotional ideal? Or is it something else?) vying for control of one person. That's an interesting setup but it lacks pull (for me anyway). Who is the person? Why are their emotions fighting for control? What is the person doing?

Another thing i just thought of... by giving each player one emotion, are you really changing things in any important way? In a sense, this is just a non-human character.

How about this as a different way to spin things?

1. The group sets up a few characters in a situation that is ripe for conflict (or maybe already in conflict?).
2. Each player is the magic spirit (or whatever) of some emotion.
3. Each scene, you choose how to allocate your resources to influence one, some or all of the characters present. Resources spent give you a corresponding amount of control of that character.
4. When the scene gets played out, set up the next one.

So here, which emotion you are is just how you get to influence characters. The roleplaying a character part is shared out based on who you want to control each scene (a little like Capes, there, I suppose).
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Highwayman



Joined: 24 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, so more of the setting then.

I had anticipated the players influencing one person actions through a day just as emotions, but I guess I could put in something for people who want a supernatural feel to the game. I was thinking having just "The mood of the story" though, kinda like the players are competing directors of a movie.

Having multiple characters influenced could be cool.

Hmmmm, good things to think about.

What sort of mechanics are there out there for setting the next scene from the end of the current one? Perhaps the players could use their resources to 'bid' for control of the next scene (causing the situation where players need to decide between spending on the current scene or setting up to make things easier in the next scene. Perhaps the player who spends the most sets the scene, and people who spend less set aspects of the scene.
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MikeSands



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, the supernatural element is not important. It's the multiple influences. You can see that if everyone plays a single emotion trying to control a person, this is still a kind of character, right? That's what I was getting at.

In terms of setting up scenes based on what happened before, this is usually up to the GM. GM-less games often give people turns to frame scenes, but bidding a resource for it would also be a good way. To balance spotlight time, maybe the person who did the least character controlling in the previous scene? That gives a nice tension between 'control what the people do now' versus 'control what happens later'.
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Highwayman



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2007 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MikeSands wrote:
In terms of setting up scenes based on what happened before, this is usually up to the GM. GM-less games often give people turns to frame scenes, but bidding a resource for it would also be a good way. To balance spotlight time, maybe the person who did the least character controlling in the previous scene? That gives a nice tension between 'control what the people do now' versus 'control what happens later'.


I like that idea. It could allow people to act as "More GM" or "More player" depending on how much they liked each of those aspects.

Hmmm, lots to think about
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morgue



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2007 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Make sure you check out "Everyone is John"

http://wso.williams.edu/~msulliva/campaigns/john/index.html

"Everyone is John is a humorous, competitive roleplaying game about playing the various personalities of John, an insane man from Minneapolis. One participant is the GM, or, in Everyone is John lingo, "Everyone Else." All of the other players are Voices in John's head."

I've played in and run this. Good fun.
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Paul



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2007 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was trying to remember that games name, How does that one play out?
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