RE: Problems with a player's 100 words

From: Mike Holmes <mike_c_holmes_at_...>
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2006 09:14:03 -0600

>From: Ashley Munday <aescleal_at_...>
>Hang on a mo Mike, you mean you'd look at the
>character creation rules and say:
>"Hey, there's this list method which means I get 10
>abilities or this narrative method which means I can
>screw between 20 and 40 out easily"
>without wondering if perhaps, just perhaps, your
>understanding was a bit skewed?
>I'll take your word that the geezer's "story lead",
>whatever that means, and just mention there's not
>really a lot there that contributes to the character's

I'm not sure what you're getting at, Ash. But it might be salient to point out that I don't think of the narrative as developing "story" at all. In fact, to the extent that it might to so, I think it's a bad thing. I think it's supposed to simply be a narrative description of the character. As such, functionally no different than listing out the abilities of a fourth level D&D Rogue/Fighter.

Now, the fact that HQ allows you to list something like, "Infatuated by Brunhilda" produces something different than D&D chargen does. And the method may lend a little something to that. But, again frankly, I don't want the chargen to be a story. That's what play is for.

Now if you're saying that he doesn't have any abilities that seem to be stuff from which a story could be created in play, I think you have more of a point. But, that said, there's nothing in the rules that says that anyone must list some relationships or personality traits that are particularly good for making story. And the number of abilities you get in chargen certainly has nothing to do with this (in fact it would seem to argue for more).

The point being that I think that you can make a pretty good story in HQ from just the keywords and nothing more. Much less keywords and a list of abilities.

>Why's he so good at all these things (Born on Krypton?
>Script Immunity? Golden Spoon In Mouth?),

Using the "As You Go" method, which I use a lot, these things are all established in play as neccessary. Put another way, when watching Clint Eastwood play "The Man With No Name" we don't question why he's good...he just demonstrably is good. In on case there's a flashback that explains why he's so good. But that's only there because it fits the need of the plot.

If it's good enough for Akira Kurosawa, it's good enough for me.

>where does
>he fit into the world (singular lack of relationships,
>is he a "Man With No Name"),

He has blank templates for relationships in every keyword. Yes they stand undefined by the narrative, but interestingly at least a couple of them have already been established in play by Adrian. We actually know quite a bit about Octavian's background. In fact, I'd hazard that he has the best fleshed out background of any of the characters, even though he's got the least amount of play in. For instance, we already know he's wanted by some Lunar regiment for some complicated plot he was involved in or something (he's spent a whole lot of time fleeing).

In fact, at the moment the whole game is revolving around his character's issues. We're holed up at this Humakti temple (or environs), and considering our next move considering that he's being chased. So I think that fleshing out these things is the least of our worries.

>what's he like as a
>person internally (what drives him to be a great
>overachiever, "Teased at School", "My Father Made Me
>Feel Small")?

Again, we understand him pretty well from play. And he did include some of these things in the narrative.

>The big problem with a fist full of attribute and
>skill like abilities is that they're tedious to have
>to sit through ...

I'm somewhat sympathetic to what you're saying here, but I've never had any problems with this.

>Maybe PBeM is a bit different

As far as listing augments, it does make it pretty easy. As Jane says, you have to check the list, but I think that goes pretty quickly. I don't think he pushes any augments too much, so checking is just a quick glance and OKing. Adrian can correct me if I'm wrong on that.

>On the practical side: Does everyone else in the group
>share their narratives?

I can't recall if I even created one. I may have, or may have used the list method.


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