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Missions Season 4 - Seattle

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FastJack

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« Reply #15 on: (17:58:47/09-15-10) »
At some point, you have to put some trust in both the players and the GM.  Otherwise, you may as well drop the GM altogether and just run a "Choose Your Own Adventure." :)

You know... Now that Shadowrun has a fiction imprint again...  Hrmm...

Bull
Bah... I always cheated on those anyway. ;)

Spanner

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« Reply #16 on: (18:42:20/09-15-10) »
3)  Agreed about including stats in each scene.  One thing I've been trying to hammer home is that GMs should have to look up very little, if anything.  Rules references and the like are fine, since GMs should either know the rule already, or the rule is likely too cumbersome to repeat.  But NPC, Critter, and Gear stats should all be included.  And I'd like to do a little more with details...  I'm a big fan of the Old School Matrix, so things like Matrix Topography, IC architecture, etc are all important to me.  So every important node should have some basic description of what the node looks like, at the very least.  Now, not every node needs descriptors.  That can often be left up to the GM...  But anything major, anything important, yes, that should have some detail.

Magic is a bit tougher, because the Astral is often just a reflection of the Mundane.  There are unusual things that can be there though, so these should obviously be mentioned.  But again, this one mostly falls under GM purview.

Bull

I'm sorry, I see now that I wasn't that clear when writing about this point. What I meant was that the details that the GM needs to run a scene should be broken out into three discrete sections. Here's an example:

Mundane:
3 guards, 2 human male, one female (stats below), 2 perform a full circuit every 5 minutes, 1 located in the security center
Shoji panels which provide some cover but not the full blind fire penalty since you can see shadows through them
2 doberman drones w/FN-FAL assault rifles (stats below) which can be controlled by the spider on call (see matrix section below)

Magic:
2 force 2 watchers patrolling the grounds. one complete circuit every 3 minutes; summoned by the security mage
1 force 4 air elemental on standby; summoned by the security mage
area 23 warded with a force 4 polarized ward
1 security mage, female dwarf (stats below)

Matrix:
location node (stats, access points, etc.)
security node (same)
security spider (stats below)

This way when the runners ask, "What are the magic defenses like? I scope them out astrally." The GM has a quick answer and doesn't have to go digging around in the descriptive text for an answer.

A.A. Salati

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« Reply #17 on: (22:19:45/09-15-10) »
Adventure formatting is often discussed.  It has always been a directive to provide the Mundane, Arcane, Matrix aspects, details, and options in a scene, and your suggestion to clearly lay them out in their own sections is a good one (and one at which we need to do our best, agreed).
A.A. Salati

aka Mesh
Signature deleted for violating all sense of decency, nobility, and honor.

KarmaInferno

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« Reply #18 on: (22:27:14/09-15-10) »
I dunno Bull, you sure about this leave it up to the GM business?

Well, we could go the micromanagement way that other living campaigns have gone.

Which inevitably results in a 200 page campaign FAQ/rulesbook.

What do you think?



-karma

Shinobi Killfist

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« Reply #19 on: (13:56:11/09-16-10) »
Mesh is also currently helping me out by providing proofing and editorial feedback on Missions.

Anyway...  To aderess a couple points:

1)  In Media Res.  Yeah, overused.  I don't mind it rarely...  Once every 12 Missions or so, as it's a storytelling technique.  And something like what happens in Mission 03-12 can be used to test the runners creativity and abilities.  But, it has to be used carefully, and rarely.  The important parts are that you cannot take away the players abilities too badly...  If you strip them of their gear, you have to give them the opportunity to quickly acquire at least the basics..>  A commlink and some hacking programs for the Hacker, a vehicle or drone for the rigger, and some guns for pretty much everyone. 



Bull

I'd also add that since you are taking your character form convention to convention unless the gear is basically just handed back to you at the end of the adventure nothing should be taken off screen.  Heck I hate all off screen things anyways.  Wait what I just walked into an ambush, got knocked out, dropped in a room and am wearing a hospital gown?  If you lose your 40 karma investment power focus in game, so be it, but losing it per GM fiat off screen is just bad design.  I might just pick up my character and leave the convention table.  There are games out there where I might actually have fun, I'd be a model train enthusiast if I wanted to be on rails.  Somehow I suspect the goal of convention games is not to piss off the players so they don't want to play.

Wasabi

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« Reply #20 on: (18:09:39/09-16-10) »
"I'd be a model train enthusiast if I wanted to be on rails."

This, lol!
Missions Characters:
[SR4] Jax - Merc Technomancer
[SR5] Reece - Journalist TM

Bull

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« Reply #21 on: (20:06:58/09-16-10) »
Quote
I'd also add that since you are taking your character form convention to convention unless the gear is basically just handed back to you at the end of the adventure nothing should be taken off screen.  Heck I hate all off screen things anyways.  Wait what I just walked into an ambush, got knocked out, dropped in a room and am wearing a hospital gown?  If you lose your 40 karma investment power focus in game, so be it, but losing it per GM fiat off screen is just bad design.  I might just pick up my character and leave the convention table.  There are games out there where I might actually have fun, I'd be a model train enthusiast if I wanted to be on rails.  Somehow I suspect the goal of convention games is not to piss off the players so they don't want to play.

Oh, no, you should definitely get all of your gear back in the adventure itself.  And preferably pretty quickly.  Shy of things actually happening through gameplay (Stuff gets broken, lost, whatever), you should never have anything just flat out taken away from you permanently.

And hey, all games are on rails.  :)  Some just hide it a little better.  But if there is any kind of plan and story, the game's on rails.  :)

Shinobi Killfist

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« Reply #22 on: (20:11:14/09-16-10) »
Quote
I'd also add that since you are taking your character form convention to convention unless the gear is basically just handed back to you at the end of the adventure nothing should be taken off screen.  Heck I hate all off screen things anyways.  Wait what I just walked into an ambush, got knocked out, dropped in a room and am wearing a hospital gown?  If you lose your 40 karma investment power focus in game, so be it, but losing it per GM fiat off screen is just bad design.  I might just pick up my character and leave the convention table.  There are games out there where I might actually have fun, I'd be a model train enthusiast if I wanted to be on rails.  Somehow I suspect the goal of convention games is not to piss off the players so they don't want to play.

Oh, no, you should definitely get all of your gear back in the adventure itself.  And preferably pretty quickly.  Shy of things actually happening through gameplay (Stuff gets broken, lost, whatever), you should never have anything just flat out taken away from you permanently.

And hey, all games are on rails.  :)  Some just hide it a little better.  But if there is any kind of plan and story, the game's on rails.  :)

Well sure every game has some rails.  But games that start you naked in a room with a bad frame up mean you aren't just on rails, you on on the train and it left the station an hour before play started.  As long as there are enough alternate tracks it isn't an issue, but once you remove the ability to switch tracks it stopped being an RPG and became the story telling circle. 

Bull

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« Reply #23 on: (20:25:37/09-16-10) »
Look at it as a challenge.  It's a roleplay challenge, it's a physical challenge.  Games should challenge both your characters and you as a player.  I know some of the most fun games I've ever played in usually involved bad things happening to my character, because the fun part if fighting my way out of it, overcoming it.  Characters should be more than a sum of their gear.

Like I said, we'll minimize stuff like this, because it's not always handled well, and it's not always that much fun for every player, but I wouldn't count on never seeing it again, because like I said, I think adventures should present a challenge in more ways than just the usual "Beat up the bad guys" and "find the right path to the end". 

Bull

Bull

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« Reply #24 on: (20:29:35/09-16-10) »
Also, this wasn't played up as well as it should have been, because of Missions wonky release schedule to this point, and the fact that when this eyars cons were planned, 03-12 wasn't the final New York Mission.  The idea behind it was something big, something kind of over the top, and something a little different. 

(And like I said, I defend the idea to do 03-12 this way because I think it was an interesting idea, and I think that Missions players sometimes get a bit complacent.  Coming on the heels of 03-09 (or possibly even being played right before or after 03-09's original IMR opener as well) was poor timing, unfortunately.  And while I defend it, it wasn't my choice to do the adventure this way.  It was plotted and the first draft written well before I got involved, and changing it would have involved completely redoing a large portion of the adventure, so...  It stayed.)

Bull

KarmaInferno

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« Reply #25 on: (21:00:02/09-16-10) »
Look at it as a challenge.  It's a roleplay challenge, it's a physical challenge.  Games should challenge both your characters and you as a player.

Yeah, I have to agree.

The scenario? Is not happening to YOU, the player. It's happening to the CHARACTER. Play it as such. Have fun with it. It is an opportunity to break from your normal routine and experience new tangents of roleplay.



-karma

Shinobi Killfist

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« Reply #26 on: (23:23:27/09-16-10) »
Look at it as a challenge.  It's a roleplay challenge, it's a physical challenge.  Games should challenge both your characters and you as a player.  I know some of the most fun games I've ever played in usually involved bad things happening to my character, because the fun part if fighting my way out of it, overcoming it.  Characters should be more than a sum of their gear.

Like I said, we'll minimize stuff like this, because it's not always handled well, and it's not always that much fun for every player, but I wouldn't count on never seeing it again, because like I said, I think adventures should present a challenge in more ways than just the usual "Beat up the bad guys" and "find the right path to the end". 

Bull

I consider it a role play challenge when I had an opportunity to do something about it.  I like bad things happening to my character as well, but I am not a fan of this already happened to you scenarios.  They leave way too many why the eff was I this stupid feelings.  So I just rode down an elevator into a gas trap, we didn't scout the area, no one was giving over watch on the matrix, we sent everyone in instead of keeping a guy back on astral watch?  There are plenty of ways to present a challenge without the adventure taking the role playing out of the players hands.  This same adventure could have started at the request for the meet part.  If the players fall for the trap, hey they are in gowns in a room with a tied up girl, if they notice the trap and break free of it, they now have a quest to find out who is trying to set them up. 

Shinobi Killfist

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« Reply #27 on: (23:28:35/09-16-10) »
Look at it as a challenge.  It's a roleplay challenge, it's a physical challenge.  Games should challenge both your characters and you as a player.

Yeah, I have to agree.

The scenario? Is not happening to YOU, the player. It's happening to the CHARACTER. Play it as such. Have fun with it. It is an opportunity to break from your normal routine and experience new tangents of roleplay.



-karma

Wait it isn't happening to me?  Wow I never would of known that I wasn't my character.  Joking aside, lets say in the game your character spots a landmine.  Now the GM says okay Karmainferno your character decides to walk on the land mine.  You say WTF am I mind controlled or something?  Nope consider it a role play challenge.  Would you like it, would you consider it a role play challenge.  These situations are the same thing, they just happen off camera.  It is completely possible to find these things to be fun killing, disruptive to role playing your character, and not get hung up on irrational it is happening to me thoughts.

Frankie the Fomori

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« Reply #28 on: (04:30:44/09-17-10) »
A small detail it would be awesome if shapeshifters or drakes were allowed.

Bull

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« Reply #29 on: (04:48:33/09-17-10) »
There are...  Issues with both characters on a number of levels.  Balance being one of the,, but also roleplay wise.  One of the drawbacks of those races is very much a roleplaying oriented one.  And that's something that Missions can't really handle well.  It's the same reasons certain flaws like Enemy, Dependants, and Day Job aren't allowed, because they're not something that can be properly handled in the Missions setting due to time constraints, bouncing from GM to GM, etc.

Bull