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BEST PLAYER TWIST EVER

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The Cat

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« Reply #15 on: <09-15-10/0442:12> »
I like long-winded, long-winded is good.

Well, considering that this gaming group survived intact all the way to third edition with me as GM, I'd say they rather enjoyed it.  Considering that three of them (the player in question most notably) asked me to GM their 3rd Edition game a few years later, I'd say they enjoyed it.  Considering that I do things similar to this with my current group (which is "shockingly" predominantly female except myself and one other player), I'd say they enjoy it.

Now why do/did they enjoy it?  Because that's the sort of groups they are.  They know that in my game worlds there are consequences for action.  You leave evidence, the Star (well, KE now) will come knocking.  You backstab that Johnson, someone will look for you.  You rampage through a corp killing every guard in sight, eventually one of their families will hire someone to find you.  You have unprotected sexual congress with anything that moves, you will catch an STD eventually.  If the Player declares his character visits hookers regularly, yes, I tack it on the lifestyle costs.  You get pregnant, you will eventually have to take maternity leave or you will lose the baby (possibly your life) if you try to keep up your active lifestyle.  The world operates in continual motion, not as an episode of a sit-com where the reset button gets pushed after every run.  You want to "add depth" fine, you will get depth added and you will see advantages and disadvantages from that depth in mechanical terms.  That also means you can do and try anything in my games but you may fail miserably.

It is no different from what can happen in the rules as written, and the penalties are no more severe.  Pregnancy and parenthood are life altering events and should be treated as such in any setting with an eye towards any form of realism.

So, yes, let's compares my results to yours.  The group plays together under me as a GM for years afterwards and returns over and over again after that to get me back as a GM because of the game worlds I run and the amount of effort I put into every aspect of the game or she keeps one character.  The group that runs for years continuously with a weekly (sometimes 2 games a week) and even after parts of the group move out of state continues to play online over 15 years after they started or the group where one person gets to keep their character after a life altering experience is completely glossed over by the GM?  The game where the GM puts time and effort not only into the game in general, but is willing to discuss your character's situation specifically and create generalized rules for your situation, or the game where the GM doesn't bother because it's cleaner and easier not to?  A game where the Role-Play effects the Roll-Play (and ideally the reverse) or the one where one apparently doesn't have a lot to do with the other in any meaningly, long-term way?  WHich group would you rather be in?

Different groups will answer those questions differently.  My groups always choose the former.  Other groups may not like things to operate that way and that is totally fine.

The key "take away point" to all this is that the group itself will determine what the GM does in this situation.  If your group likes somewhat realistic play, likes a world that is continuous, likes to see their characters face their own actions, then do something similar to what I did.  If not, gloss the whole thing over and act like it never happened.  If neither option seems like your group's style, find some point in the middle.

As a side point, if anyone is actually interested in the advantages and flaws that came up from this situation, I should still have a digital copy on one of the hundreds of 3.5 disks floating around here.  They will still be in Second Ed terms, I don't recall converting them to third but, I can attempt to track it and post it in the appropriate section.

Crimsondude

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« Reply #16 on: <09-15-10/1259:33> »

Critias

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« Reply #17 on: <09-15-10/1312:51> »
If your group likes somewhat realistic play, likes a world that is continuous, likes to see their characters face their own actions, then do something similar to what I did.
Except that their characters didn't face their own actions, and the world wasn't very continuous;  why?  Because you fucked the character so hard the player tried to backtrack (and claim it was a joke), and then quit instead of running with someone so gimped.

Your idea of realism ended up, instead, making the entire thing a non-issue by breaking the character and removing it from the game.  How much deep, serious, role-play ensued when the Adept's girl was no longer a PC, and instead just turned into someone he got his nuyen drained by?  How "continuous" was your game when you had characters dropping out and new ones coming in, because you'd bullied them into quitting by arbitrarily scribbling all over their character sheet?

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If not, gloss the whole thing over and act like it never happened.  If neither option seems like your group's style, find some point in the middle.
I would argue that in your campaign it's like the "whole thing" never happened, because you went overboard with the modifiers, and the character who dared to "thumb her nose" at you quit and made it a non-issue. 

Rather than gloss it over, you dwelt on it so ferociously she felt (a) she had to try and lie and backtrack away from it, and then (b) her character was no longer worth playing after what you'd done to it.  How is that a win?  How is that a good thing for a campaign?  When you use phrases like "she wasn't happy," and "she wanted to play her character, not the one I'd made," and "it was ______ that finally broke her," those should be red flags, not things to brag about, in my opinion.

The implication of your last few posts is that my games are all bubblegum and rainbows, where players are never challenged, where actions carry no consequences, and where player decisions carry no weight.  This is the part where I'm supposed to whip out my own e-penis, and we compare GMing history, time spent with the game, how large our gaming groups are, and then we both end up looking retarded.  I'm gonna skip that.

Your assumptions towards my games are pretty silly, but the difference is that I don't break a character.  I push them, and bend them, and let the dice fall where they may, with challenges, difficult combats, moral choices, etc, etc...but I'm careful to keep it from being personal (I don't worry about folks "thumbing their nose" at me, and take it as a challenge), and I'm careful to keep it at the level where characters are challenged, but not punished so severely they retire a character rather than want to keep playing.  You bend 'em, you don't shatter 'em.  Anyone can throw the whole Sixth World at a single Shadowrunner, or even a team of them, until the GM "wins."  That's easy.  It's also bullying.

If someone's character is no longer in a game I'm running, it's because that's where the dice fell in good, clean, combat, and they died.  Not because I arbitrarily changed their character sheet until they "broke" and didn't want to play any more.

Irian

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« Reply #18 on: <09-15-10/1327:44> »
*signed*
GMTool - PreAlpha released (also on SourceForge)
Random Ramblings about Shadowrun (german only)

FastJack

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« Reply #19 on: <09-15-10/1329:55> »
Except that their characters didn't face their own actions, and the world wasn't very continuous;  why?  Because you fucked the character so hard the player tried to backtrack (and claim it was a joke), and then quit instead of running with someone so gimped.
Wait a minute, Critias. From what Cat's told us, the player didn't quit, simply retired the character (and, I assume, brought a new character in).

Now, his style may be different than others. I know if the same thing happened in my game, I'd make sure there were some adjustments made, maybe not in as much detail, but the character would definitely need to be out of play for at least the third trimester and some time afterward.

Critias

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« Reply #20 on: <09-15-10/1341:46> »
I specifically said "character," not "player," for who quit.

But I'd posit that the character being removed from play, effectively, removed the consequences of those actions from play. 

That's why you've got to find the "sweet spot" where players are getting screwed up, but not screwed over.  You've got to push hard enough they're feeling consequences and being challenged, but not push so hard they just give up on that character and make a new one.  If they just wad up the character sheet and throw it away, it means that (a) they weren't having fun with that character, which is a failure of the gaming group as a whole, and (b) they've now dodged all those consequences, effectively declaring bankrupcy instead of paying any bills (or whatever other analogy seems apt).  So they AREN'T suffering any consequences for their actions, they're just respawning with a new character as though the whole thing never happened.

It's a lose/lose.

The_Gun_Nut

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« Reply #21 on: <09-15-10/1401:24> »
Mmm, no you said the player quit when she couldn't backtrack.  
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Except that their characters didn't face their own actions, and the world wasn't very continuous;  why?  Because you fucked the character so hard the player tried to backtrack (and claim it was a joke), and then quit instead of running with someone so gimped.

I disagree that there were no consequences.  Removing the character from play is the largest consequence of the actions of the character.  She had to give up a character she obviously enjoyed playing, thus suffering the ultimate consequence.

What he did was some extreme bookkeeping, to be sure, and I honestly would have just marched time forward during the third trimester so that everyone was on the same page.  Of course, that would also depend on the enemies they had made, too.  The child would still be there, and would need to be treated as an extra person taking up the mother's lifestyle (which is a 10% increase, IMS).  They would have had to work around the child, to be sure.  While I believe his treatment was extreme, blowing it off as you seem to suggest doing completely devalues the choices the player's made, and ruining the versimilitude of the other players.  If they never suffer consequences, then they will become bored of the game quickly.
There is no overkill.

Only "Open fire" and "I need to reload."

Critias

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« Reply #22 on: <09-15-10/1412:38> »
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and then quit instead of running with someone so gimped.
Quit running with that character, yes.  I'm sorry if I was unclear in that line, but I've already clarified what I meant once, as well as -- as best I can figure -- being more clear about it every other time I brought it up.

What he did was some extreme bookkeeping, to be sure, and I honestly would have just marched time forward during the third trimester so that everyone was on the same page.  Of course, that would also depend on the enemies they had made, too.  The child would still be there, and would need to be treated as an extra person taking up the mother's lifestyle (which is a 10% increase, IMS).  They would have had to work around the child, to be sure.  While I believe his treatment was extreme, blowing it off as you seem to suggest doing completely devalues the choices the player's made, and ruining the versimilitude of the other players.  If they never suffer consequences, then they will become bored of the game quickly.
...how am I suggesting "blowing it off," when my idea of how to handle it is almost exactly the same as how you just suggested it be handled?  A time jump over the third trimester, an increase in Lifestyle cost, and having to work around the child is pretty much what I suggested, last page.

This was the longer version of my suggestion, or idea, or resolution...or whatever you want to call it:
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It's neater and easier to just adjust Lifestyle costs (the default "you're eating more" alteration, maybe even as much as a Suprathyroid Gland's drawback), and then gloss over the most physically incapacitating trimester.  I'd fast forward over those several months for all my players -- give everyone some training time, 3d6 x 1000 nuyen and 2d6 karma to cover "pick up jobs," and call it a day.  Keep the Lifestyle adjustment after the baby's born (a new mouth to feed), look into a Dependent Flaw balanced by a Will To Live or Guts or something (to show a newfound, parental, willpower and determination) ...and game on.

Please don't buy Cat's notion that I'm suggesting things be swept under the rug and ignored.  Your very suggestion in your post matches up to the vast majority of my suggestion.  If I'm blowing it off, so are you.
« Last Edit: <09-15-10/1426:15> by Critias »

The_Gun_Nut

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« Reply #23 on: <09-15-10/1439:40> »
You seemed to be taking an extreme stance against what he said he did, emphasizing and over-emphasizing how cruel it was (which it wasn't, just bookkeeping heavy).  By seeming to foam at the mouth (with word choice, not actual foam) about the bookkeeping and how unfair it was to make a player suffer consequences for their actions, it seemed you were supporting the elimination of hardship or consequence.

Yes, what he did was extreme, but more like it was too much trouble to keep up with in my book, not that he was being unfair to the player.  A child is a heavy burden upon the parent(s), and the players decision to role-play their characters' having a child brought with it serious repercussions throughout the game.  Or it should have.  Playing through the first two trimesters should sink that notion into everyone at the table.  And playing light and fast through the last trimester (with everyone only making enough to pay the rent through the whole of the downtime) and then playing through the child raising time would have been better, IMO, but what he did was just fine.  I just have a problem with the details, and not the premise.
There is no overkill.

Only "Open fire" and "I need to reload."

Critias

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« Reply #24 on: <09-15-10/1441:30> »
Trust me, this ain't foamin'.

Juxtamon

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« Reply #25 on: <09-15-10/1444:02> »
Dudes!  Easy!  Tension.

Cat-face there just told us a story about how he handled that situation once.
Critias especially doesn't like it.
Others found humour in it.

FastJack reminds me of someone.

And now, for something completely different.

(Attempts to distract)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTpUVAcvWfU



"Was it in Tahiti?  Were we on the Nile?"

The_Gun_Nut

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« Reply #26 on: <09-15-10/1446:04> »
Oh, God.  I remember when that song came out.
There is no overkill.

Only "Open fire" and "I need to reload."

The Cat

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« Reply #27 on: <09-15-10/1539:22> »
To reiterate, the key is for the GM to know the group they are in and have an idea how they will react to anything the GM does.

While I cannot know for sure, I assume from the previous posts that Critias knows their groups at least as well as I know my own.  What this is is a rather calm discussion of GMing style filtered through this specific (usually rare) situation.  I wouldn't even call it heated.

One thing a lot of people keep bringing up is bookkeeping.  This sort of thing doesn't have to be a bookkeeping problem.  One of the advantages of Edges and Flaws was that they helped sidestep all sorts of bookkeeping for the GM, and several groups I've played with or spoken with use them in a similar manner.  Rather than work out a rule set for something, it can succinctly and quickly be converted into a "nearly there" edge or flaw and sidestep the need for a notebook full of house rules on just that one subject.  If they're generalized and abstracted slightly, they can be made to cover a whole range of tangentially related ideas as well.

By way of example, in this specific instance I could have decided to sit down and come up with a random hit location chart and then a second chart specifically for pregnant women.  Then on every shot of combat used that chart to determine what effect each shot had.  That's a good bit of bookkeeping and extra rolling.  Rather than do that, we minimized the bookkeeping by creating the "Larger Target" flaw.  With it, some vital part of your body was either larger than normal or a particularly weak point.  Every time you got hit you made a roll against the remaining power of the attack and a failure indicated a hit to that larger than normal target with the damage stepping up like a called shot and any secondary effects the GM found reasonable.  Now instead of a random hit location chart and a roll on every shot of combat, the only extra rolling and extra bookkeeping is on just the effected character.  Was it perfect?  No, but it was dead reckoned in as a good compromise between the "perfect" hit location chart and minimizing rolling, bookkeeping and bogging down in combat.  The flaw was generalized enough that it was used some time later by a starting Troll Sammy who's schtick was that his cyberware was old and cobbled together by a slightly crazy but brilliant street doc and prone to amusing almost Inspector Gadget style malfunction while looking a bit like steampunk without the brass.  It was revived with a lower cost melee variant many years later by an Ork character who had a glass jaw.

These sorts of specialized situations do not have to be bookkeeping nightmares, and handled with an eye towards later generalization can add a number of factors to the game.

Crimsondude

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« Reply #28 on: <09-16-10/2210:00> »
This is the part where I'm supposed to whip out my own e-penis
I like your e-penis.

Critias

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« Reply #29 on: <09-17-10/0011:21> »
This is the part where I'm supposed to whip out my own e-penis
I like your e-penis.
Who doesn't?  It is the stuff of legend.   ;D