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GhostSanta

The Application of Scenes as a case for waning interest

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Just a quick one:
I've been checking in on the forums, reading up on the rules, rolling dice at myself (as I can't really get anyone interested enough to playtest any more) and one main thing sticks out as the Avatar Of The Beef that I have with this edition.

When you end a scene, a great number of occurrences and rolls need to happen. This means that ranging from every-now-and-then to pretty-much-a-lot, I as the GM must announce "The scene has ended. Make your rolls to recover strife, etc etc" and the players need to engage in book keeping.

This, to me and my players, in the antithesis of roleplaying. It destroys all flow. And this is just one example of the system intrusively impeding the flow of roleplay and action and drama. There are too many steps, too many charts, too many options, too much room for debate on every roll and opportunity. Every attempt to beta test has ended in a quagmire of questions and charts and frustration. It's unnecessary.

As it stands,  I must consider this edition of my favourite game a no-go. I am pulling back from the beta test as I find myself unable to provide constructive criticism. The problems in the system are too deep to be worked out through honing. 

Good luck in the endeavour, samurai. I hope the project ends well.

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16 hours ago, MaoYoruichi said:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the only thing that happens when a scene ends is healing Strife by your Water ring, right?

There are a few "for the rest of the scene" effects amongst the opportunities and techniques, to. But nothing I can think of which requires a roll.

I've always found the scenes not to be an issue, because the end of a scene generally comes at a natural break point - that being what the end of a scene is.

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1 hour ago, Magnus Grendel said:

There are a few "for the rest of the scene" effects amongst the opportunities and techniques, to. But nothing I can think of which requires a roll.

I've always found the scenes not to be an issue, because the end of a scene generally comes at a natural break point - that being what the end of a scene is.

Completely agreed!

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5 minutes ago, GhostSanta said:

Yeah, again, the 'scene end' situation is only the flagship of my gripe.

There are some things that rub me the wrong way too, but - no offense - when the flagship of your gripe doesn’t actually seem to be a problem it makes me wonder how much of the rest of your gripe really is an issue rooted in the rules and how much is you and/or your group misunderstanding things or even just needing some more practice to adjust.

Edited by nameless ronin

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I second nameless ronin. If your main point of contention with the rules system is one of the simplest and most straightforward systems in the game, I'm inclined to think you are misunderstanding something. When a scene ends you heal strife by your water ring, and "deactivate" persistent effects like kiho, ignored (dis)advantages and conditions.

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2 hours ago, MaoYoruichi said:

When a scene ends you heal strife by your water ring, and "deactivate" persistent effects like kiho, ignored (dis)advantages and conditions.

All of which, aside from watering down strife, is completely intuitive. I expect very few players to even bother with any “bookkeeping” for this. 

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44 minutes ago, nameless ronin said:

All of which, aside from watering down strife, is completely intuitive. I expect very few players to even bother with any “bookkeeping” for this. 

Exactly! If anything, the bookkeeping happens during the scene ("The bushi is Dazed and I have Water Fist activated but if I roll I will almost certainly go over my Composure, and I'd need two opportunities to end the fight now anyway...") while after the scene ends you just go "Ok we're back to normal and I lose uhh two Strife".

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page 155 puts  4 end of scene conditions for conflicts: any one of which ends the mechanical scene for any conflict type:

Quote

Once the characters involved have completed their objectives (or definitively failed to do so), the conflict has reached an obvious end, or the GM feels that the scene should naturally draw to a close, the conflict concludes. 

Breaking that out into outline mode:

  1. Once
    • the characters involved have completed their objectives [or]
    • (or definitively failed to do so), [or]
    • the conflict has reached an obvious end, or
    • the GM feels that the scene should naturally draw to a close,
  2. the conflict concludes. 

an alternative breakdown:

  1. Once
    • the characters involved have completed their objectives (or definitively failed to do so), the conflict has reached an obvious end, or
    • the GM feels that the scene should naturally draw to a close,
  2. the conflict concludes. 

If you're in a skirmish, it's scene end the moment all the foes are gone or fleeing. 

If you're highly stressed, and the foes are clearly losing, the GM can call the scene because he's bored with the mop-up, and prevent you from recovering out; by the same token, if there's no enemy left, you're done, no strife watering down allowed; recover only your end of scene water, and you're stuck. with however much is left.

Conflict explicitly ends when the goal is reached. If you said "drive them off" once they're dead or fleeing, the combat is over.

Narrative engines (vs narrative drive games) tend to control the story state with mechanics. They're not trying for AWE/*World, Risus or Smurf the Smurfing, where the rolls are just for turning the narrative when desired. They're setting rules as a means of driving and shaping the story (albeit not as explicitly as John Wick's Houses of the Blooded, Blood & Honor, nor 7th Sea 2E), and mechanicalizing several elements so as to both coerce players into those dramatic elements, and to make play of those both (more) consistent across GMs and  more mechanically interesting.

I prefer limit based systems for social conflict, such as Burning Wheel's disposition: at start, each sets a goal, and each generates a disposition; when your disposition is gone, you're out of the conflict, and the proportion of your target's opposition remaining at that moment determines how much of a concession they must give. Another such system is in The One Ring: social circumstances, you determine how many failures before the scene must end; the objectives require a set number of successes, before then.

The lack of such limits here, except in duels, I find weak. GO big or go home...

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