Petteri, Paul, Santiago, and I continue with our saga of the golden dragon-man in the city of commerce, whom Zocchi is more or less planning to murder, depending on whom he runs into next. This session is noted for two things that feed right into my priority for consulting in this case: how people process the text as they learn-and-play the game, with one hand holding the book open. First is that we ran a scene without conflict, therefore in which the “world doesn’t change,” but the protagonist still gets voted on regarding Flame and Shadow. Second is that we ended the session in the middle of a turn, raising the question of whether and how that relates to narrator status.
If you’re here for the theory, the session begins with a little bit of debate concerning the all-important conflict rules. They run in a strict order:
- Traits set the initial dice pools
- Grains add to the dice pools
- Add Shadow if you dare [edited for the correct order; see Petteri’s note below]
- Burdens reduce victors’ successes
- Spend Flame for re-rolling
The question is whether and how to discuss relaxing this order, e.g., rolling and then deciding to add Shadow, or pulling in a Grain later, or anything like that as fancy strikes. This is distinct from whether it’s “allowed” or not, and specific to that bolded phrase above.
The session also ends with some debate about conflicts and scenes … briefly, how tightly linked are being the current narrator, identifying and conducting a conflict, and finishing the scene. In the video, I’m advocating an almost free-play approach in whatever happens happens, and whoever gets conflicted just does, basically uncoupling the three things. But now, I find myself agreeing more with Paul, who remained less convinced that a Spione-like Flashpoint technique fit this game.
I ran into a little bit of file corruption, which forced me to truncate the final bit of discussion, in which Santiago wanted to understand the rules for identifying the protagonist of a scene, especially when we’d found that multiple player-characters were often included. I’d like to follow up on that in the comments.
… in fact, that ties into the first point, so this post is more coherent than I’d thought. Basically, is or isn’t the scene about the initially-named protagonist? What if another player-character is involved and events conspire such that he or she has a conflict instead? Does the named protagonist still get voted on for Flame and Shadow? Similarly, what if there are several player-characters in a scene, and no one has a conflict, and the narrator decides the turn is over? Do they all get a Flame/Shadow vote, or just the initially-named protagonist?
I do like the idea that play is not completely rigid, such that one narrator gets one scene with one conflict in it, only and always. But i think we may have hit the limits of just how fluid it can be allowed to get, or came to a point where those limits were visible.