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Mirrorverse! - Qualified Perceptions
The Star Trek run last night sent us to the Mirrorverse! Yay! In addition to the traditional "Hmm, why did all the buildings get more spiky?" sort of question, which has a fairly obvious answer, there was a mysterious and complicated thing going on with our captain (mjperson's character), that finally turned out to be that for the entire campaign, he's actually been not him, but his mirrorverse self accidentally brainwashed into thinking he was the this-universe self.

I've been sort of boggling over that ever since. Role-playing is all about pretending to be someone. So what does it mean to find out that you weren't actually pretending to be the person you thought you were, you just thought you were? Plus, there are clearly players who you can do that to, and players that would mind more.

The whole rotating-GM aspect of Star Trek is very different than anything I've played before (except maybe the crazy storytelling paranormal investigator thing arcanology did). It's mostly episodic, but everything is a lot more open to revision, because anything that didn't come out in a run might get overwritten by someone else's plot later (and, sometimes, things that did come out in a run getting forgotten, oops). It's an odd mental shift, sort of like the one between tabletop and LARP, though I guess Ars Magica people do this all the time. It's interesting.

Current Mood: contemplative contemplative

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dcltdw From: dcltdw Date: November 21st, 2007 01:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
It does require GMs to play well together in the sandbox, which takes some practice.
From: tirinian Date: November 21st, 2007 02:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
Making it episodic has helped with that a lot, although I do miss having an arc plot.
dcltdw From: dcltdw Date: November 21st, 2007 03:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Snu? You can still have an arc plot with troupe-style play. You just need an alpha storyguide.

C.f. playing well with others and practice. :)
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: November 21st, 2007 03:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
In that sort of setup, does the alpha assign stuff to the betas? ("In your next run, drop some hints that the Ferengi are up to something with the Romulans, but don't say what...")
dcltdw From: dcltdw Date: November 21st, 2007 03:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Whatever works for you -- there isn't a one true way, but rather, what works for you.

The Book says that all the betas are running a brief synopsis by the alpha to make sure the campaign isn't going off the rails.

Beta: "They're gonna go off and meet some Ferengi and run into trouble. Nothing really new."
Alpha: "Cool." or "Oh, neat. Hey, umm, near the beginning, I may want to drop in a Romulan ship that scampers off. I'll need 5 minutes."
Beta: "Ummm... okay, that should work." or "No wait, I can't have other ships. Can it just be a guy on the planet?"


"They're gonna go off and meet some Ferengi and run into trouble on this new planet. It's a methane world, which we haven't done yet."
"Methane, huh? Suuuure, that's fine. Hey, can we add a Romulan ship?"


"They're gonna go off and meet some Ferengi and run into trouble on this new planet in the Caladonis sector."
"Wait, Caladonis? Umm, does it have to be there?"
"Crap, okay, Charles is doing something there, too. Can you give me some details?"
"Uhh it's in the Ecodine system--"
"Oh, Ecodine? Oh no problem, then."
"... Is Charles doing something over in the Palagotina system?"
"Maybe. Or maybe I am."
"Grrr. I hate you both."

So you basically need to meet the needs of the seat-of-the-pants GMs and the I-planned-hours-in-advance GMs. Me, I'm the former, so I'd be like, "huh, Romulan ship in orbit, eh? Sure, I'll just turn that over to you when we get there." During the run, it'd be,

Me: "Okay, you warp in and do a routine scan, and huh, there's a Romulan ship in orbit."
Them: "Romulan?"
Me: "Yeah."
Them: "What's it doing?"
Me: *looks at Alpha*
Alpha: *looks smug* "Actually it looks like it's breaking out of orbit."
Them: "Huh. Where's it off to?"
Alpha: "Out of system, away from you, and boy is it making tracks."
Them: "Is that weird?"
Alpha: "Normally that's not done."
Them: "Anything else going on?"
Alpha: "Nope."
Them: *shrug* "Okay, we head into the planet."
Me: "Wait why would they be booking out..."
*pause while brain swaps from player mode back to GM mode*
Me: "Oh! Right! Okay, so, you head on in, and you get hailed by the Ferengi spacestation..."
navrins From: navrins Date: November 21st, 2007 03:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sounds just like the real Star Trek, actually.
merastra From: merastra Date: November 22nd, 2007 09:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Cool. I didn't realize until now that you're rotating GM's. So do all players GM at some point? Or is there some subset of players? Or are there GM's who don't rotate in as players?

Is there more info on this style of game?
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: November 22nd, 2007 04:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
In theory, all the players could GM. In practice, it's the players who have GMed other games who have GMed so far, but the others might in the future. quillion is in charge to the extent that he made up the rules, but he doesn't so much do the alpha storyguide thing that dcltdw was talking about.

Ars Magica is the only system I've read that directly talks about shared GMing, but I haven't read all that many. For this, quillion just said something like "we'll take turns GM'ing" and we said "Hmm, that's interesting, sure." :)
merastra From: merastra Date: November 22nd, 2007 05:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh ok, Ars Magica. I was thinking that Spirit of the Century would also work great with this.
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