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Since Wednesday... - Qualified Perceptions
firstfrost
firstfrost
Since Wednesday...
Wednesday: A Number at the Lyric. Pretty good. The actors were very convincing, though the Cockney accent never quite sounded right to me. I got rather creeped out by the dad as it went on, which made me enjoy it a little less, but that was probably the point, so I can't claim it was a flaw. The writing was interesting - quick choppy back-and-forth (which I've heard before) with a lot of leaving off the ends of sentences (which I don't recall having heard before). The latter amused me a lot, because I talk that way myself.

Thursday: Comet run. We made one foolish mistake (it's the sort of mistake that I often fail to take advantage of as a GM - the bad guys will change their plans if you give them information!), but didn't go too disastrously. An amusing side effect: the party will generally not run home for help in the middle of a run, despite it usually being very easy to do so. However, we will run home for help if hurt badly enough, which then makes us even more powerful than we were to start with. It's an odd balance thing.

Friday: Went to Grill 23 with Errol's birthday mob. Like all high-end steak houses, very tasty but expensive. Beef is one of the things that seems to really vary quality by price - I've had very good fish for not much money, but I've only had very good steak when paying a moderate premium for it. The room was painfully loud, though. I usually write off "can't hear the other end of the table" as an accepted failure mode of restaurants, but "can't hear anyone but the two people across from you" is a bit more pesky. I'd go back, but probably only with harrock or a small group.

Saturday: Oath run. People seemed to enjoy "running with the turbs". Failure in mechanic-balancing by me, partially countered by not-very-justifiable rulings by me, but it was a board game, so I don't think anyone minded that part. For the second time in a row, Dr. Kye got to be unduly put upon, which is a new trend (though for the record, he ended up winning the first disagreement through stealth and guile, and lost the second). Still, it's a trend that I worry a little about, since both times, there's been not much willingness by the other side to resolve the disagreement before rolling dice to resolve it. On the other hand, Kye's frequently gone his own way before, sometimes to the detriment of party goals, without talking it over either. Perhaps I worry more now because while the loner cannot really marginalize the rest of the party, the rest of the party can easily marginalize the loner (though the loner can betray the rest of the party, but that's a larger step and not one Kye tries to take). It's a tricky general question of how much you can play with party dissent that is probably too long to fit in the margin of a what-did-I-do-this-week posting.

As a counterexample, Kye was outvoted fair and square when the party decided to madly leap into the "Lost in space!" end condition instead of staying in civilization like we expected. Mostly due to tirinian's powers of persuasion. This sort of thing is why scheduling more than a run in advance is so difficult.

Sunday: Saw Chi, a performance by the Shanghai Acrobatic Troupe, with an ilhander mob. Wow. Just wow. I nearly think some of them were cheating and using TK. People can't really hold their entire bodies out sideways at arms' length from a vertical pole, can they? Each act would start out very skilled, and then just ramp up the difficulty. "You're balancing a set of glasses on a plate on a long stick balanced on a short stick that you're holding in your teeth. Give me ten successes on a Dex roll, rolling for sevens." "Okay." "All right, now do it while balancing on one leg and putting the other leg above your head. Roll for tens." "Okay." "Well, now see if you can do it while swinging back and forth on a trapeze. Roll for twelves." "Sure thing." "Um... how about dangling by your ankles from the trapeze? Roll for sixteens." "No problem." "No problem? Really? You got ten sixteens?" "I've got a lot of skill. What else was I going to spend my points on?" Their GM must be so frustrated.

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Comments
desireearmfeldt From: desireearmfeldt Date: November 7th, 2005 02:15 am (UTC) (Link)
I thought the imitating-real-speech-by-never-finishing-sentences thing worked quite well: better than I expected, the one flaw was that I couldn't stop being conscious of the fact that they were doing it. Like seeing cue dots. :)

I also liked the fact that the father was both creepy and sympathetic. What I mean is, he started out wrong and got wronger, but he was still someone you could feel for, even while disaproving and finding him creepy. Part of it was the actor did a really good job. (This makes 2 works of fiction lately that have been about kinda nasty protagonists, but in a way I really liked, rather than turning me off, which is more usually what happens.)

chenoameg From: chenoameg Date: November 7th, 2005 03:47 am (UTC) (Link)
"I thought the imitating-real-speech-by-never-finishing-sentences thing worked quite well: better than I expected, the one flaw was that I couldn't stop being conscious of the fact that they were doing it. Like seeing cue dots. :)"

Ditto.

And I really liked the use of the phrase "a number" in the first scene, I hoped (in vain) it would reappear throughout.
desireearmfeldt From: desireearmfeldt Date: November 7th, 2005 02:25 am (UTC) (Link)

Rolling dice on PCs

As the person who rolled the first die last time around...it was a wierd thing to do, and I didn't totally feel right about it, but it seemed OK because both sides were pretty much treating the dispute as comedy rather than something where the players were realy invested in getting their way. But that;s a big grey area, not a bright line...

(Also, the dispute I was in was really more like Kye and Ruehan versus Ace and Katya, with the rest of the party less strongly opinionated but still participating in the struggle. So, marginalization seems less of an issue with that setup, though of course there's always room for hard feelings. Not that I think there were hard feelings in this case.)

As someone who always believes things should be talked over first, to the point of driving everyone around me nuts :) I agree that if there's a trend towards shooting-is-easier-than-agreeing, that's worrisome. (Though it seems like the majority can marginalize the loner without needing to roll dice. The loner can tyrannize the majority by either rolling dice, or stealth/acting behind the party's backs after losing the argument.)
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: November 7th, 2005 02:34 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Rolling dice on PCs

The Rupert's Hole case is somewhat muddly for me, it's true. I think had I been the one grabbed, I would have been irked. But I think Kye wasn't - or maybe it's just that he wasn't irked as a whole for the run, 'cause he won in the end.

But I think it's hard for the loner to actually tyrannize the majority without a party dynamic in which betrayal is permitted. There's no way a party would stand for "I rolled more persuasion successes than you, so everyone has to do what I say", and "I go and do the thing behind your backs, after losing the argument" is really getting into the betrayal end of things.
From: tirinian Date: November 7th, 2005 03:54 am (UTC) (Link)

It totally wasn't my fault.

But I guess I won't have to carry that sign I was threating to carry around for very long. :-)
From: readsalot Date: November 7th, 2005 03:49 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: It totally wasn't my fault.

Dude, it totally was your fault. If you hadn't pointed out that we might be able to find New! Planets! by getting Lost, I know I wouldn't have voted for it.
mjperson From: mjperson Date: November 7th, 2005 05:00 pm (UTC) (Link)

Bzzzt! Incorrect!

Dude, That was your fault. I was there. I saw it. You weren't there, you didn't see it. The fact that you left before it happened is immaterial. It was totally your fault.. ;-)
twe From: twe Date: November 7th, 2005 04:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
"can't hear anyone but the two people across from you" is a bit more pesky

Sadly, for me, this is usually the case when I go out to dinner with more than about 6 people. I seem to have real trouble making out conversation when there is much background noise and a lot of times, no one can hear me either. Very frustrating. (That big group dinner we had at New Ma's in CA, was quite astounding in that regard: I've never been able to hear that many people at once at dinner.)
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