Acquaintence's sessions.

Discussion in 'Myth Maker Discussion' started by Acquaintance, Jan 2, 2016.

  1. We've put some more work into storytelling since that conversation, and the rules to take shape. I'll give you a quick rundown, in case you want to play again:

    Each significant character in the game tracks their personal story separately. Every scene that takes place is focused on one character's story, regardless of other characters that may be present or affected by the events.

    A significant character's first scene should introduce them, and present them with a problem they are equipped to deal with - something that's"normal" for the character.

    After each scene, introduce a complication that escalates the focused character's situation in some way.

    After the introduction, each subsequent scene for a significant character should present them with problems that are outside the scope of their expertise - stuff they may have clue how to deal with.

    Continue this process until the focused character reaches a breaking point. When the player can't see any way forward, or is just ready for things to turn upward. When this happens, instead of a complication, end the characters next/current scene with a boon - something that gives the character hope of success.

    The next time a character is focused after receiving a boon, set up the character to either achieve or fail at their primary goal. Whether things go well or poorly, the character's journey is done. The character may still be present for other scenes, but can no longer be the focus.

    This is what more-or-less what we're working with right now anyway. We haven't had a chance to test it yet, but I think it's headed in the right direction.
  2. Oh and... Your session notes are a joy to read, as always. The structure you used seems to have produced a decent story. I do like the loose ends, and that's something we're trying to keep around, at least a bit.

    Making something that's viable for both single-session games and extended campaigns is a real challenge, but i believe Myth Maker can get there if we keep at it!
  3. New stuff to test! I'm interested to see what these rules will bring. Will try this out the next time I manage a session.

    I think I might have some prejudice about a forced dramatic structure, but we'll see what happens. But I think something like the fronts in Apocalypse World is more attractive. Producing drama organically helps with immersion the same way as not having to track meta-currency.
  4. I rise again!

    A session was held this friday night and I'm awfully rired from not enough sleep but I want to get it down in ink anyway.

    Got myself five friends together this time. All of us wih lots of experience in Pathfinder and other more traditional rpgs. This is a group I have introduced to Mythmaker previously though.

    We decided on Game of Thrones as a setting, a good contender for medieval fantasy ot would seem. We decided we would be of a low tier at the start, and so all made people related to the same village.

    The characters:
    Ser Pierceval: Hedge knight with a strong sense of honour
    Bryce Ashwood: His squire with a lust for blood and carnal pleasures
    Renly Fisher: Young soldier-turned-deserter to return home (played by me)
    Luise: Town drunk. Drunk all the time. Thinks about nothing but drink.
    George Turnip: Of the hunter family at the edge of town. Read every book in the village.
    Jack Smith: Smithing apprentice.

    Starting out we mulled over what would get these people thrown into a world of adventure. We placed our setting 100-200 years prior to the plot of GoT, during the Blackfyre rebellion. Our village was burned by a dragon. Play began in the minutes after the flyby when the whole village had caught fire.

    We cut some paper to make the tokens. One of each for each player.

    Playing the game we tried to follow the structure ordained by the tokens. It went really well when we got into it! A steady anchoring in the previous scene made the actions fly by while almost every challenge ended up significant thanks to the openers putting many things we held dear in the line of fire. I'll not though that at least I found myself more concentrated on the game then I usually am, this night to the effect of making me tire out pretty fast.

    After everyone had gotten one of each token we found ourselves having saved as many as we could from the burning orphanage, seen Geroge Turnips house burn down, passed out from smoke and gotten severely wounded knife-fighting some dishonourable looters coming to take advantage of the destruction. It resolved itself to be an arc quite nicely.

    Problems and complaints:
    Without an overarching story it's difficult to know in what direction to try to take the adventure, one player noted. You also don't really know your character all that well from the start.

    The skill system is slightly confusing in its implementation. One player, Bryce, had 3 dots in archery despite his character being only 24 in a setting this gritty. He said he'd been practicing since childhood. I said this was fine, (albeit unlikely, but hey we're talking heroes here) but that he should be aware that he was one of the best archers in the Seven kingdoms. Here he disagreed, since he'd only given himself one point for each of the things his character had done (training until it was second nature, practicing in the army, fighting on the battlefield).

    The wounds are kinda difficult to interpret. Ser Piercival reliably did 3 damage a strike with his greatsword. We wondered if that was enough to chop someone's arm off. Does getting down to 2 body make anyone with some common sense run away?

    We didn't have any NPCs, partly because we didn't know how to properly introduce them without a dedicated GM. I suggested NPCs significant enough to see play should just be PCs (as inspired by the spotlight saying "choose one of your characters") and that's probably what we'll try next time.

    Complaint from me: We found ourselves jumping from one fight to the next towards the end. While not too bad, it felt like more force of habit then anything else.the people we fought were nameless and didn't have much of any stake in the story. It felt kinda flat compared to other challenges and didn't really capture the feeling of mortal combat (maybe because we were superior in gear, numbers and tactics).

    All in all we had a great time! Exhausting playing late at night, but very fun nonetheless. I hope we can return to this game to get another chance at getting into the heads of these characters.
  5. Last friday was fun so we wanted to return to the game. And so we did yesterday. This time the cast was roughly the same but with a few revisions:
    Lyce the drunk was abandoned and replaced by Rinto the bard (imagine Dandilion).
    Jack Smith and George turnip couldn't make it.
    Loressa Ironwood made her apperance.

    This time we had few problems. I'll list what we talked about before I start digging into how play looked and what actually happened.

    Skills are still a matter of contention. Bryce noted that they were written so vaguely as to make it unclear what 3 in a skill actually means. I still posit that it makes you as good as can be (mechanically) and so is probably something best reserved for progression or for representing really powerful characters. He felt it was more a representation of natural talent. We also started exploring the possibility of broad skills to save space. Loressa was a Dornish nobledaughter so instead of listing every skill that entailed we told her to just go ahead and put "Nobledaughter" as a skill. It worked pretty well. Skills like this are a lot more fun as they help define the world. I've written "self discipline" on my sheet but it would probably be even better to have it be "Soldier's discipline" to know from where my ability to restrain my gambling comes from.

    We found yesterday even more fun then last time. Likely because this time the player of Rinto wasn't exhausted from work and could dedicate himself fully to the roleplaying. Everyone being engaged in the game meant no distractions having to badger someone into playing when it came to their turn. It's difficult to sit back and not take part in Myth Maker.

    I think one of the best moments from this play session was the engagement with the bear. Over dinner before the game we had talked about how it's important that all dice rolls have consequences for failure and must drive the drama forward. This method revealed its beauty when Loressa, chasing her siblings who were trapped on a panicked horse, came upon a bear. The bear had scared the horse and paced around the siblings, clearly enraged. Rinto's player was both the opener and the narrator for the scene and played the bear expertly. He made it clear from its movements that it was about to attack and gave the action to Loressa. She asked if she could shoot it in the eye. It was hard to do, but she could try. And so she did, blinding the bear. The other characters weren't present, so we other took the turns of the siblings. Acting from the single aspect given to their characters by Loressa we made them climb the trees. Eventually the bear attacked again but this time Loressa made her horse dodge out of the way. Throughtout the encounter the danger was exhilerating and the triumph when the rest caught up and drove the bear of felt real. The only thing imperfect is that we had some confusion as to how to represent the bear. Did it take one less damage from all sources? Did it count as wearing armour? In the end it worked fine.

    The actual structure of play was more refined this time in comparison to last friday. We were better at ending scenes when they were over, although I found myself to often be the person to remind the others to pass on the torch. I realise I'm not exactly impartial when it comes to how play looks. But we played I think three arcs this time. That seems to be a manageable number before people get tired. Each player getting one spotlight, chance to open, narrate and close turns reaveals itself to be a pretty good balance.

    The world is interesting, but one thing I noted that we lacked was envirnonmental descriptions. Light, sound, smell; they only made themselves known when they were important to the plot. I tried to add a little more flavor when I realised this by being more flowery in my opener descriptions.

    We begun play with the end of the last session framing the central plot of this one. George Turnip, rolling five ones in a row, managed to get himself trapped with a knife to his throat. In his rescue he was hurt. We requested the help of Loressa, the passerby who saved him. As a noble she could negotiate with the rulers of the land in ways we peasants and soldiers could not. And so off with great haste we went towards the nearest fortification with a maester. On the way we encountered a lone survivor after a skirmish. It was my time to open the scene and I wanted something to happen on the way to the castle. The bandit gang known as the 100 devils had slaughtered the soldiers and the one survivor was deep in shell shock. The debate between my Renly who wanted to abandon him (because we needed to focus on George) and ser Piercival almost had him being left where he sat. But Piercival was resolute and he was brought along. He proved to be Bedlam Yornwood, the son of our village's former mayor. After being sternly brought into order by Piercival he proved his worth both in scaring off the bear and then vouching for the party's passage into the fort.

    It was after meeting Bedlam I really saw that main characters are more of a preference. I played him almost as much as Renly. It gave much more life to the situation.

    Shortly after bringing Bedlam along he freaked out at being patted on the back by Bryce and attacked him. He was subdued, but the horse carrying Loressa's siblings bolted leading up to the bear encounter.

    At the fort we found out that the maester could often be found among the camp followers. It wouldn't really be game of thrones without people breaking oaths of celibacy. The maester turned out to be wuite a character. Improvising him on the spot I made him in the image of Sandor Clegane, but hairier. He was a rather young and vital maester, greedy despite his job. He offered to help poor George in exchange for ser Piercival fighting in the stead of a noble's son who'd managed to get himself on a trial before the seven. He accepted.

    The remaining notable events were Loressa's attempt at negotiation with the lord of the keep. Piercival's player took the mantle of the lord and proficiently presented the annoyed ruler trying to remain neutral with rebels seeking lodging in his household. We rolled no dice inthat encounter. Pure roleplaying was enough and it was great fun to listen to. The lord sent out Loressa away from the castle wit an escort, but the closer took pity and in the last moment revealed the true lord who reverted the ruling of his impudent son.

    We rolled more dice when Renly found a gambling den. I decided to go in, following my "gambler"- taste. Once inside I played and won some copper but also attracted the attention of some ruffians. They had me doing spirit checks to quit playing, which I gladly did until I succeeded. Once outside we were trapped in a alley, but ser Piercival scared off the would-be muggers by brandishing his broadsword. They left with ominous words. We ended the session on less of a cliffhanger then last time. It was sitting back at our lodgings that we saw the surviving fourth food thief from last session, conspiring with some wealthy-looking fellow.

    All in all it was great fun from start to finish. While we sometimes needed a few seconds to think about what would come next the storytelling system made play flow smoothly. No one knew where the plot was going but there were clear plotlines throughout that we were following. It was interesting to see them develop in real time. We're looking forward to seeing what that "personal journey" can add to the soup.

    PS: I found one way to help with imagination for the opener was to offer up a trait for the character in the spotlight. That's how the gambling hall appeared when it became Renly's turn. Turned out quite well as there was a strong interaction between character and event from the start.
    #45 Acquaintance, Mar 25, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2017

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