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BEST PLAYER TWIST EVER

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TranKirsaKali

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« Reply #45 on: (15:41:04/09-20-10) »
In our world today women keep working and moving and going even when pregnant. We do not disappear for 10 months to a year and just hide. 
While this is true, few women have jobs that involve anything on the level of shadowrunning.  My friend's wife was in the military and they essentially put her behind a desk.  Not that females in the military participate in any of the more strenuous occupations, but she was relegated behind a desk, put in a non-deployable status, and excused from most of the physical training they did (it was assumed that she'd exercise on her own at her own pace) to prevent any complications that might arise from the physical nature of the job.  Shadowrunning is, on a regular basis, far more strenuous and dangerous than the stateside garrison life of a non combat arms military member.  Female firefighters, for example, are also the same way.  They get put on administrative duties as soon as they find out they are pregnant.

I think assuming that any sane or rational mother would continue to actively run is a stretch.  I freely admit to not being a woman, so by all means feel free to disagree with me.  The human fetus is a tougher little bastard than many people realize, but it seems like it would take a real callous and indifferent, or severely mentally unstable woman to continuously put her unborn child at that level of extreme risk. 

In this country we tend to treat pregnant women as though they were fragile flowers that would die if breathed on to hard.  In other countries women go to work in rice fields until the day they give birth.  Where as that is not as guns firing at you dangerous as the military.  It is still very dangerous.  And I did say I thought this was a bad character idea.  But the arbitrary way the GM decided what would happen to the character with out going over it with the player was harsh.  Talk to the player about what you for see by this change.  Give them the chance to change their minds.  Don't just arbitrarily give them problems just because they are the worst of what could happen.  And that is what it seems this GM did.  Most women do not suffer ppd.  Some do.  It is sever only for a very few.  Not being able to stand up with out help is ridiculous.  Women do that all the time right up to the day they go to give birth.  And I do not think you can assume that any shadowrunning woman is normal.  I am not saying making changes isn't necessary. It is.  Your body would change, your mental state will change.  But the severity was a bit much in my opinion.  Especially since it seems it was only aimed at the woman not at the man.  He did not seem to have any real changes to him happen at all.  Where is the flaw for protective instinct?  The desire to keep his family safe, the need to provide better food or a better life?  Why did she only suffer?

System

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« Reply #46 on: (16:35:46/09-20-10) »
Well you may have missed my post, because I said most of the same things as you in regards to the somewhat arbitrary way he chose to handle things, especially the choice to give her PPD, but I absolutely feel that Shadowrunning lies way outside the realm of reasonably activity for a pregnant woman, from both the psychological and the physical standpoint.  He did say he assigned flaws to the male character too.

And judging by the player's reactions to the portions of Cat's measures I found to be reasonable, I don't think either of them fully thought out the whole process.  The player didn't think about just how life altering the process of pregnancy would be, and the GM didn't think or care to discuss the way it would be handled with the player.  And while maybe getting blindsided by pregnancy's difficulties is "realistic" ( I can't imagine it is easy to understand just how hard it would be until you're doing it), that certainly cuts down on the fun factor for a game. 

I think really the biggest lesson to be taken away is that if you want to role-play a family, buy The Sims, lol.

TranKirsaKali

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« Reply #47 on: (17:13:01/09-20-10) »
I may have read it.  I don't always remember who said what. Especially when the threads get past the second page.   ;D

System

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« Reply #48 on: (19:02:51/09-20-10) »
I didn't take offense because you didn't quote me.  I was just curious.  Obviously I only have the opinion of a man who has observed pregnancy and the behavior of pregnant women.  They're not all concerned about the health of the child obviously.  The number of unfortunate children born with the consequences of alcohol, smoking, and drug use shows that.  And the reports of abandoned and dumped babies as well.  So I make allowances that not all mothers are "good" or care about their children.  But it would take a pretty strange player to want to role-play their deranged shadowrunner realistically enough to have them make a player decision to get pregnant and then knowingly endanger the fetus. 

Not sure if that's the kind of player I want at my table.  A little too intense for me, lol.

TranKirsaKali

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« Reply #49 on: (19:59:59/09-20-10) »
I didn't take offense because you didn't quote me.  I was just curious.  Obviously I only have the opinion of a man who has observed pregnancy and the behavior of pregnant women.  They're not all concerned about the health of the child obviously.  The number of unfortunate children born with the consequences of alcohol, smoking, and drug use shows that.  And the reports of abandoned and dumped babies as well.  So I make allowances that not all mothers are "good" or care about their children.  But it would take a pretty strange player to want to role-play their deranged shadowrunner realistically enough to have them make a player decision to get pregnant and then knowingly endanger the fetus. 

Not sure if that's the kind of player I want at my table.  A little too intense for me, lol.

No where was I saying that it was a good idea.  All I ever said was he went a little to harsh with it.  Not that there shouldn't be changes.  But that it should have been discussed with the player before they were implemented so the player could back out of the idea if she wanted to.  I actually said in a previous post that I thought it was a bad idea to role play that kind of thing and that I would never do it.  But the GM went over board with the consequences.  Yes there should be consequences for doing this kind of thing.  Should they be as sever as they were ?  No.  And as for the women I was talking about in other countries, it is not that they have no concern for the child.  It is that they have to survive and they can not stop working just because they are pregnant.  I was attempting to point out that women are tougher than given credit for a lot of the time. 

The Cat

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« Reply #50 on: (23:39:22/09-20-10) »
Out of curiosity, Cat how did your players thumb their noses at you? What were they doing? Were they being disruptive? Did their behavior bring the game to a screeching halt?  ???

I'm not trying to be combative, I am honestly curious about why you feel the situation should have been handled like it was and why you feel your players were insulting you.

Back in the good old days (mind you this was the early 90s just after SR2 and the core books for it hit and we'd already began expanding on them for our specific situations - I can't even remember if Edges and Flaws were "official" at that point) and we were all college students, meaning, in retrospect, a ton of free time which we filled with RPGs of various types.  It was not at all unusual for the group to decide they wanted a gigantic central plot running for a full semester or even a full "year" of school (think the Harley duo but far far longer).  These games were different from the "what's tonight's mission?" games because they operated on a far larger scale.  They would have these sub-missions that seemed unconnected, but somehow tied into one side or the other's plans, and often would account for anywhere from 30 to 40 sessions (or more when we were playing more often) to get from one end of "giant plot from hell" to the other.  Above all, everyone involved in the game had previously agreed to partake in this gargantuan thing that the GM was putting together at their request.  It usually consisted of starting with a good "big" idea that was barely more than an outline and a mission or two, and then working to stay well ahead of the group on the "next time on the shadowrunner show" treadmill and fleshing out the outline over time.

Now, a bit about this group.  We'd been playing together for a few years at that point, from AD&D to SR1 and 2 to Tales From the Floating Vagabond and we even did the old FASA Dr Who RPG for a short while.  I'd both played and GMed with them in all those systems.  They, for their part, were wonderfully predictably unpredictable.  They were the sort of group that could absolutely murder a play session chasing a clue you actually named Red Herring or trying to purchase ammunition (NEVER let these people "go shopping" or you're in it for two sessions, a firefight or three and very likely someone is going to the hospital) and have a BALL with it, which keeps the GM and the players on their toes.  They also loved when their backgrounds and personalities came into play.  As the number of sessions climbed and they settled into the characters and the GM became more and more aware of what each character was about, things would start popping up directly "for" specific characters.  For instance, lets say you had a pacifistic character who was regularly pulling out the credstick and delivering medical supplies to parts of the Barrens.  On one run you encounter a problem in the Barrens and one of the communities you've been assisting puts their necks on the line to hide you and your team.  A few sessions later, the Mob Boss you owe a big favor to from 5 sessions ago calls it in and wants you to wack someone and saying "no" to him is not a good option.  These sorts of things popped up regularly in this group.

They could also be hilariously cruel to one another. In an AD&D game the fighter gave the starting thief a "Ring of Invulnerability" to use in a particularly hard dungeon.  The thief survived the entire dungeon without so much as a scratch and "forgot" to give the ring back.  Several sessions later the thief attempted to backstab something ridiculously powerful (I want to say a Lich King) and naturally got completely murdered.  When he complained about the having the ring the player of the fighter said, "you mean the +1 Ring of Fire Resistance I gave you?" and then the laughing started; his survival to up that point had been pretty much luck of the dice.

This was the type of players in this group.

In this particular incident, we were roughly half way through one of those grand "epic adventures."  We'd been back from winter break for a week or two and were a few sessions into the "getting out the cobwebs" restart of the runs.  The primary player in the incident had had a disastrous time in the previous session.  For some reason, everything she tried either went south on her, was completely wrong or the dice simply decided they hated her.  She had survived the run mostly because I have a pet GMing Rule that I will never let JUST the dice kill you.  If your idea is sound, the execution is good and at that pivotal moment you roll a dozen ones, once we finish marveling at your skill at rolling ones, you will survive; you may be badly hurt, you may blow the whole mission, but those dice will not be the only thing that kills you.  If the idea is insanely stupid, the execution goes up like a lead balloon and THEN you roll the dozen ones, you are a greasy spot on the floor.

At that point it the "run of Runs" everyone was pretty tied into the plot and metaplot running through the game, not so much someone leaving the group or a character dying couldn't be handled, but still very tightly tied into events.  Her Shaman was functioning as the primary point of contact for new missions and was the de-facto "face" for the group.  The downtime between runs was fairly short between those two, we usually had a month or so "lay low time" in between, but in this case, there was around a week's lag between the end of the last mission and the start of this one.  During the week, she'd taken some good natured ribbing from pretty much everyone about the disaster that was the previous run and I think that contributed to her pulling another player aside and coming up with the "we're in a relation" subplot.  All well and good, a bit sudden, but fine by me as the GM because that's just more places for me to go with the drama.


Before that night's session, someone had asked, "we really messed up the whole thing last week, didn't we?"  To which I replied something to the effect of, "after GMing for you guys this long I don't think there is anything you guys could do that I cannot incorporate into the plotline."

We'd just finished the summary of "what did you do in the last week" (one thing we did metagame was they always knew OOC how much downtime they would have before the next job offer and could make decisions IC based on that since it just made things easier for spending money and karma) when she popped up with the "I'm pregnant" announcement and a nice little "let's see you fit THIS into the plotline" grin.  We started and finished that session per usual, had a conversation about it afterwards and I said, "fine, we can go with that."

So I DID bring it into the plotline along with all the good and bad that came with it.

Mystic

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« Reply #51 on: (20:18:51/10-08-10) »
Ok, getting away from the pregnancy thing, only because it's still fresh in my mind *looks at daughter bouncing on my knee*.

Best twist I remember is when two members of my group, who both ran their own SR games, decided to do a cross over in mid game. At one point we were literally shooting at our alter egos from the other's game. I knew a certain merc looked familiar and Im glad my rigger DIDNT scrag him (but it was DAMN close). The one GM was leaving for a new job and decided to hand off his game to the other, so we could continue to play the other characters if we chose. In story we all found out that we were after the same objective and did a fun "team up" for a couple of sessions before redoing the game roster.
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Welshman

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« Reply #52 on: (23:59:07/10-10-10) »
I think the contention on all this is tied up in the phrase "Player Twist".

If players set out to 'break the game', 'throw the GM for a loop', 'Set their own rules' and so on, then the GM needs to take a certain level of control. In these cases you almost have to take a harder line approach. If the players can't trust you to keep the game in control, then it will eventually not be fun to play anymore.

On the other side, if the player wants to try something new and they communicate with and work with the GM, then you've opened the door to a whole new playing opportunity. If the idea isn't totally off the wall ("hey GM, can I be an avatar of an alien civilization that was born to an Elf who became a banshee?"), then it is the GMs duty to work with that player and see where the idea and story could go. In the end it might get scrapped, but take the chance and see what the opportunity might bring.
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Usda Beph

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« Reply #53 on: (11:27:45/10-19-10) »
Mystic... That GM rocks! over the course of a few decades I have brought out retired characters as Bartenders, city guard captains, and the like. Having the Arch-Druid for your continent show up and give your party a talking to when he WAS once a PC is a good plot twist IYAM. ;D
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Mystic

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« Reply #54 on: (20:51:55/10-19-10) »
That's pretty much what I have had to do with my main alter ego. He became so damn powerful I was seriously unbalancing things. But you grow so attached, you just can't let them totally fade away. Now, Shades pretty much acts as my main fixer in my games. He is either your best friend, or worst nightmare; kind of like how Doc Raven and Wolf Keis are for Mike Stackpole. A few times, I have let long-time players "reinvent" or re-envision old characters only to have Shades turn up as a mentor, contact, or Mr. Johnson.
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Frostriese

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« Reply #55 on: (21:41:40/10-19-10) »
As for magic and tech, I agree, but no amount of magic or tech short of a surrogate or or an artificial incubation womb is going to make a pregnancy a "zero deal let's just continue as before" experience at any lifestyle level much less a low lifestyle as defined in SR.
Mind, as its 2071, I kinda wonder where artifical uteri are. I mean, good god, at the upper end of the richness scale they have rejuvenation treatments that make one practically immortal! And yet nobody thought of such an obviously useful medical appliance like artficial uteri?

While I think Cat was a little bit too vicious with his "post birth" version of the character, the player chose the problems associated with having a child.  Assuming that her character would be able to be a Shadowrunner at 6-9 months pregnant is absurd.  A player thinking ahead about consequences would have just created an interim character.  It's not only foolish from a physical standpoint, but also from a psychological standpoint.  Shadowrunning isn't exactly safe or gentle.  It's an ongoing recipe for miscarriage.
True, but one would expect most 'runners to not be the most sane or caring persons. I dont say it has to be that way, just that its entirely realistic for a runner to decide "Screw that, Im not caring".


However, one general thing - a player of a female character just suddenly shouting "Im pregnant", I  know no group here where that would fly. That would have to be worked out between GM and player here first. I mean, its not like you can decide pregnancy status IRL, either ;) , while OTOH it would be unfair if a GM (being the agent of fate) just randomly decided Character X now is pregnant. So, yes, I would only see that valid after previous agreement between player and GM anyway, but each to his or her own, I guess...

Angelone

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« Reply #56 on: (23:57:46/10-19-10) »
They have artificial uteri, alot of corps moms use them so they don't have to miss work to have a baby. It's mentioned in Corp Guide. They are cloned iirc.
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Bradd

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« Reply #57 on: (03:39:02/10-20-10) »
True, but one would expect most 'runners to not be the most sane or caring persons. I dont say it has to be that way, just that its entirely realistic for a runner to decide "Screw that, Im not caring".

This! Desperation will take you pretty far too. Not everyone can afford to be careful. Sure, the army won't force a pregnant woman into danger (unless they can get away with it), but a pregnant criminal has a whole different set of priorities. It gets even better if she's an addict like half the runners in my group. Seriously, why assume that pregnant runners will act like affluent middle-class women?

Also, I'm pretty disheartened by the amount of sexism in gaming in general. I like to play a mix of male & female PCs (when I'm not GMing), but in some groups it's just unbearable to play women, between the obnoxious roleplaying and the obnoxious stereotypical rules for things like menstruation, pregnancy, and such.

As for players thumbing their noses: If it's a harmless prank, why punishment? And if the players are seriously rebelling, punishing the players is only going to foment resentment, not discourage it. Seriously, what's up with these power plays? Folks might put up with it, but that doesn't mean you're doing a fine job as a GM.

Frostriese

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« Reply #58 on: (10:25:54/10-20-10) »
They have artificial uteri, alot of corps moms use them so they don't have to miss work to have a baby. It's mentioned in Corp Guide. They are cloned iirc.

Ah, interesting, that. Though that sounds like rather a silly demonisation of the technology ::)

Angelone

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« Reply #59 on: (12:20:05/10-20-10) »
I agree it is silly, I think it was added as some kind of example of how the Corps try to keep employees working as long as they can and how they dehumanize people.
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