The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #241
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    Default Re: [Masks OOC] Resurrection Roundabout

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldest View Post
    Post tomorrow or day after, have had a fairly eventful weekend. Also, yes I am interested. I'll find a copy of Blades to read through first, before commenting.
    Yo Eldest, can you pick up the pace a bit? You've been falling a bit behind the others and it's starting to build up.
    Some stories are to tell. Some stories are to keep.

  2. - Top - End - #242
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    Default Re: [Masks OOC] Resurrection Roundabout

    Yup, my apologies, last week was a stream of events and it should be calm now. I am going to go ahead and post as her getting up from a reboot, if it hasn't been enough IC time for that to have occurred then I'll edit accordingly.
    LGBTA+itP

  3. - Top - End - #243
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eldest View Post
    Yup, my apologies, last week was a stream of events and it should be calm now. I am going to go ahead and post as her getting up from a reboot, if it hasn't been enough IC time for that to have occurred then I'll edit accordingly.
    That's entirely fine, go ahead!
    Some stories are to tell. Some stories are to keep.

  4. - Top - End - #244
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    Default Re: [Masks OOC] Resurrection Roundabout

    You cool with me making a move (directly engage) off the bat too, actually, or just want me to stick with getting up? I'll edit it in tomorrow morning if you're good with it.
    Last edited by Eldest; 2019-02-27 at 02:44 AM.
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  5. - Top - End - #245
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    Default Re: [Masks OOC] Resurrection Roundabout

    A Good Post, Phoe. I've always said that the ability to take a punch is narratively overpowered and this is why.

    You cool with me making a move (directly engage) off the bat too, actually, or just want me to stick with getting up? I'll edit it in tomorrow morning if you're good with it.
    Yes indeed, go ahead!
    Last edited by Thanqol; 2019-02-27 at 07:16 PM.
    Some stories are to tell. Some stories are to keep.

  6. - Top - End - #246
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    Default Re: [Masks OOC] Resurrection Roundabout

    LOOK WHO’S THE DAMSEL IN DISTRESS NOW, ERRANT

    That’s a valid sacrifice, right? Especially since she’s probably going to get shot instead of having fun smacking around Comstar?
    freedom in the flame

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoeKun View Post
    Raz, you scoundrel! You planned this!
    Quote Originally Posted by BladeofObliviom View Post
    Great, and now I'm imagining what Raz's profile on a dating site would look like. "Must be okay with veils."
    Quote Originally Posted by Kasanip View Post
    I don't think there is such a time to have veils that it is not the fault of Raz_Fox.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dervag View Post
    It's a freaking Romulan dump truck. The Romulans are no more likely to build an unarmed warp-capable ship than they are to become a hippy commune.

  7. - Top - End - #247
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    Default Re: [Masks OOC] Resurrection Roundabout

    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    LOOK WHO’S THE DAMSEL IN DISTRESS NOW, ERRANT

    That’s a valid sacrifice, right? Especially since she’s probably going to get shot instead of having fun smacking around Comstar?
    Oh yeah, I'd pay that for sure.
    Some stories are to tell. Some stories are to keep.

  8. - Top - End - #248
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    Default Re: [Masks OOC] Resurrection Roundabout

    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    LOOK WHO’S THE DAMSEL IN DISTRESS NOW, ERRANT
    And not for the first time today! Take your Influence and use it well. <3

    edit: I know, I know, get a room

    double edit: come to think of it, does being Defended affect my position at all?
    Last edited by PhoeKun; 2019-02-27 at 11:20 PM.

  9. - Top - End - #249
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    Default Re: [Masks OOC] Resurrection Roundabout

    Time to swing. Directly Engage Comstar (2d6+2)[11]

    Edit: been trying to figure out wording, going to just throw up whatever to keep from losing tempo tomorrow morning.
    Last edited by Eldest; 2019-03-01 at 02:48 AM.
    LGBTA+itP

  10. - Top - End - #250
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    Default Re: [Masks OOC] Resurrection Roundabout

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldest View Post
    Time to swing. Directly Engage Comstar [roll0]

    Edit: been trying to figure out wording, going to just throw up whatever to keep from losing tempo tomorrow morning.
    Great, I'll hold fire a bit more
    Last edited by Thanqol; 2019-03-01 at 03:00 AM.
    Some stories are to tell. Some stories are to keep.

  11. - Top - End - #251
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    Default Re: [Masks OOC] Resurrection Roundabout

    I honestly don't know why I don't have a streamchat in all my games.
    Some stories are to tell. Some stories are to keep.

  12. - Top - End - #252
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    Default Re: [Masks OOC] Resurrection Roundabout

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    I honestly don't know why I don't have a streamchat in all my games.
    It's absolutely one of the most fun parts of this. I look forward to it with every post

  13. - Top - End - #253
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    Default Re: [Masks OOC] Resurrection Roundabout

    I've been yelled at before for not being up front about this, so I'm just here to say I'm presently waiting on other people to post before I do anything more. I want to be able to respond to things in a tonally consistent manner, and right this second I don't think I can if I fire first

  14. - Top - End - #254
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoeKun View Post
    I've been yelled at before for not being up front about this, so I'm just here to say I'm presently waiting on other people to post before I do anything more. I want to be able to respond to things in a tonally consistent manner, and right this second I don't think I can if I fire first
    Thank you! I always really appreciate posts like this.
    Some stories are to tell. Some stories are to keep.

  15. - Top - End - #255
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    Default Re: [Masks OOC] Resurrection Roundabout

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoeKun View Post
    I've been yelled at before for not being up front about this, so I'm just here to say I'm presently waiting on other people to post before I do anything more. I want to be able to respond to things in a tonally consistent manner, and right this second I don't think I can if I fire first
    I went ahead and posted, feel free to respond.
    LGBTA+itP

  16. - Top - End - #256
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    Default Re: [Masks OOC] Resurrection Roundabout

    Hey Balmas, are you trying to pierce the mask here?
    Some stories are to tell. Some stories are to keep.

  17. - Top - End - #257
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    Default Re: [Masks OOC] Resurrection Roundabout

    Well, that didn't really work out. Thanks for being quick, everybody else

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    Default Re: [Masks OOC] Resurrection Roundabout

    Is Sera a Bad Friend if she just... frames Errant’s rant front and center for the stream drama

    Obviously the answer is yes but don’t tell her that right now, think of the tweets we’re getting after this
    freedom in the flame

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoeKun View Post
    Raz, you scoundrel! You planned this!
    Quote Originally Posted by BladeofObliviom View Post
    Great, and now I'm imagining what Raz's profile on a dating site would look like. "Must be okay with veils."
    Quote Originally Posted by Kasanip View Post
    I don't think there is such a time to have veils that it is not the fault of Raz_Fox.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dervag View Post
    It's a freaking Romulan dump truck. The Romulans are no more likely to build an unarmed warp-capable ship than they are to become a hippy commune.

  19. - Top - End - #259
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    Default Re: [Masks OOC] Resurrection Roundabout

    Attempting to provoke her to examine her behavior and see if she can be guided on a less-flamethrower-wielding path. (2d6)[5]

    Eyyyy, my first potential!
    Last edited by Eldest; 2019-03-08 at 04:09 PM.
    LGBTA+itP

  20. - Top - End - #260
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    Default Re: [Masks OOC] Resurrection Roundabout

    I legit shivered when I read your post, Balmas. You are Good People

  21. - Top - End - #261
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    Default Re: [Masks OOC] Resurrection Roundabout

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoeKun View Post
    *polite wave*
    Heyo Phoe! Apologies it took me several weeks to wave back; I decided to make a game in less than a month, and I still haven't fully recovered from the attempt. :'D

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    So the question here seems to be 'how do make an extremely decisive decision on the fly' - there are related topics here like, how do I be cruel, and how do I make a really hard scene transition, but the latter part of the question implies that the problem is doing it while in motion.

    The main way to do it is with setup and foreshadowing. It can be extremely retroactive foreshadowing if necessary, but think that there's a reason why the basic hard move in all these Apocalypse World knockoffs is 'announce future badness'. The more you do that the more when that future badness arrives everyone's primed for it, everyone's tense for it. When everyone's tense then the resolution - good or bad - is cathartic. If I spend my entire character's backstory talking up how she always loses in fights to this one badass, and memories of those fights constantly shape her thoughts of all current fights, then every time I reference that I'm ramping up the tension. Then when the showdown comes it can be so unbearably tense that you can't help but be decisive.

    This requires a certain amount of big picture thinking, and the really great examples of it don't happen without enthusiastic player buy-in. Really, for the really dramatic hard moves on the improv level you're probably not doing it yourself as a MC, you're probably just following the player's lead. Raz is currently doing exactly this in Changeling where he's setting up for the Pilgrim to be killed by Mercia, so when that confrontation eventually happens it's going to be incredibly high stakes and any move at that point which isn't incredibly bloody would feel weak and fake.


    There's a lot a MC can do to create ongoing rises and falls of tension, but their strongest moves are always going to be following through on the character arcs of the player characters.
    Hrmm! This is helpful not only for figuring out how to raise tension, but also for managing the plot of an individual session, and how I might better plan for said sessions. Thanks!

    Also, apparently I've been on a different wavelength entirely because I had no idea that was a thing being built up for in the Changeling game. (Though at the same time, this is also a good example of why it's so important that DM and players be on the same page with their assumptions and expectations for the game. Otherwise, you can wind up in situations where both parties are unpleasantly surprised and confused.)
    I'm developing a game. Let's see what happens! Complex.

  22. - Top - End - #262
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    Default Re: [Masks OOC] Resurrection Roundabout

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoeKun View Post
    I legit shivered when I read your post, Balmas. You are Good People
    You have no idea of the goofy grin this gave me.

    And your post is beyond amazing, but now I find myself caught in a dilemma. Brainstorm is going to run. That's just going to happen. Now I just need to figure out whether it's towards or away from Errant.
    I run a Let's Play channel! Check it out!
    Currently, we're playing through New Vegas as Gabriel de la Cruz, merchant and mercenary extraordinaire!

  23. - Top - End - #263
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    Quote Originally Posted by Balmas View Post
    You have no idea of the goofy grin this gave me.

    And your post is beyond amazing, but now I find myself caught in a dilemma. Brainstorm is going to run. That's just going to happen. Now I just need to figure out whether it's towards or away from Errant.
    Yeah, sorry for breaking your play on Comstar. Hopefully Thanqol will be kind and not scrap that opportunity forever. Or maybe our less presently-dysfunctional members will pick that ball up and run with it! Regardless, excited to see how things play out from here.

    btw, I'm gonna go ahead and say this counts as hurting/breaking someone and scratch Angry off of my sheet, which I just now realize I hadn't been properly documenting. So actually instead of removing it, I guess I'm adding Hopeless to the sheet, since that's still kicking around. I'm so bad at this

  24. - Top - End - #264
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    Default Re: [Masks OOC] Resurrection Roundabout

    Wiped from work and daylight savings time is going to make that worse. Will post in the morning.
    I run a Let's Play channel! Check it out!
    Currently, we're playing through New Vegas as Gabriel de la Cruz, merchant and mercenary extraordinaire!

  25. - Top - End - #265
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    My concluding point is that GMing is a craft, and you can develop skill at it just like you would with any other. I think the skills it teaches are some of the most fascinating and subtle aspects of writing - tension, pacing, scene transitions, energy levels, the ability to read the overall health of a story. Stuff that you really have to go digging to identify good use cases of. And I'd be delighted to get really deep into the nuts and bolts of it if you've got a desire to learn - I just tend to, as I mentioned previously, not volunteer my thoughts a lot of the time out of vague insecurity. Don't look at having me around as being a 'I-can't-GM-as-well-as-Thanqol' situation, look at it as a 'Thanqol is an unguarded barn full of valuable experience that you can loot and drag back to your longships' situation.
    it is i, the remorseless pirate, here to burgle your wares again

    I've noticed that, in my planning notes, I sometimes give NPCs short-term goals that are much too vague. Not always, but sometimes that's how it ends up, and I suspect this is due in part to my inexperience at sitting behind the screen, combined with how I approach characters. When I'm a player, understanding my character's motivation is great! That's awesome, that's all I need to do. The Scrapscallion wants to run away from his heartache rather than dealing with it? Cool, I have no clear plan on how I'm going to do that, but I sure can steer hard in that direction. Only, when I'm the MC, that's not good enough. The motivation needs a good, specific goal/plan that will (ideally) involve the players or something they care dearly about.

    My question is how do I take that motivation and turn it into a good, short-term goal?

    (While this may not be relevant for every tabletop system, it sure as heck is important for Masks and their arc-planning systems. I'm specifically thinking about the individual Phases of an Arc, and how the major actors all need a goal to work towards. Villains gotta act so our heroes can react and all that.)
    I'm developing a game. Let's see what happens! Complex.

  26. - Top - End - #266
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheAmishPirate View Post
    it is i, the remorseless pirate, here to burgle your wares again

    I've noticed that, in my planning notes, I sometimes give NPCs short-term goals that are much too vague. Not always, but sometimes that's how it ends up, and I suspect this is due in part to my inexperience at sitting behind the screen, combined with how I approach characters. When I'm a player, understanding my character's motivation is great! That's awesome, that's all I need to do. The Scrapscallion wants to run away from his heartache rather than dealing with it? Cool, I have no clear plan on how I'm going to do that, but I sure can steer hard in that direction. Only, when I'm the MC, that's not good enough. The motivation needs a good, specific goal/plan that will (ideally) involve the players or something they care dearly about.

    My question is how do I take that motivation and turn it into a good, short-term goal?

    (While this may not be relevant for every tabletop system, it sure as heck is important for Masks and their arc-planning systems. I'm specifically thinking about the individual Phases of an Arc, and how the major actors all need a goal to work towards. Villains gotta act so our heroes can react and all that.)
    I have a common thread with the majority of my NPCs. They all have Bad Plans. NPCs should never have a better plan than the player characters. No matter how dumb the player characters are the NPCs will move to be more wrong than them (which can occasionally be comedic, otherwise horrifying). Jimbob wants an apple. He's going to get it by robbing a grocery store at gunpoint. Ms. Waystone wants to be safe from the Fae. She's gonna get it by making deals with something even scarier. Some bad plans might be more benign than others but if the player characters are ever like 'idk let the NPCs deal with it' then they'll do so in a distressingly suboptimal way.

    This is a great technique because even if your players agree with the NPC's ideology or have loyalty to them or whatever they'll still come into conflict because the NPC doesn't understand or is doing it wrong. A useful NPC is someone on the player's character sheet. All other NPCs must be made to be useful. So how do I come up with a short term goal for the NPC? I come up with a deeply suboptimal play and follow through on it with all the resources at their disposal. The execution can and should be scary!

    Case studies are, Comstar's plan to make everyone join her in being a supervillain, Mr. Breton's plan to witch hunt Aelas for no rasin, the Gyrfalcons' plan to desert Altdorf and rob it on their way out.

    Does that answer your question?

    EDIT: I take a bit of inspiration for Bad Takes from Kelly comics. The Onion works hard not just to find a Bad Take, but to find The Worst take.
    Last edited by Thanqol; 2019-03-10 at 04:12 PM.
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  27. - Top - End - #267
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    Default Re: [Masks OOC] Resurrection Roundabout

    On topic with that, Ferra has developed a Bad Plan, but I need to wait a beat narratively before doing it. Want me to post a holding pattern post or just hold off entirely?
    LGBTA+itP

  28. - Top - End - #268
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    I have a common thread with the majority of my NPCs. They all have Bad Plans. NPCs should never have a better plan than the player characters. No matter how dumb the player characters are the NPCs will move to be more wrong than them (which can occasionally be comedic, otherwise horrifying). Jimbob wants an apple. He's going to get it by robbing a grocery store at gunpoint. Ms. Waystone wants to be safe from the Fae. She's gonna get it by making deals with something even scarier. Some bad plans might be more benign than others but if the player characters are ever like 'idk let the NPCs deal with it' then they'll do so in a distressingly suboptimal way.

    This is a great technique because even if your players agree with the NPC's ideology or have loyalty to them or whatever they'll still come into conflict because the NPC doesn't understand or is doing it wrong. A useful NPC is someone on the player's character sheet. All other NPCs must be made to be useful. So how do I come up with a short term goal for the NPC? I come up with a deeply suboptimal play and follow through on it with all the resources at their disposal. The execution can and should be scary!

    Case studies are, Comstar's plan to make everyone join her in being a supervillain, Mr. Breton's plan to witch hunt Aelas for no rasin, the Gyrfalcons' plan to desert Altdorf and rob it on their way out.

    Does that answer your question?

    EDIT: I take a bit of inspiration for Bad Takes from Kelly comics. The Onion works hard not just to find a Bad Take, but to find The Worst take.
    Aye, it gives me a good direction to be thinking about. I knew that I had to turn that motivation into something, but I didn't have nearly enough constraints to think of anything useful. Thanks!

    Reading this reminded me of two scenes that I really enjoy, and that I think have helped shape my thinking with respect to antagonists/NPCs. I did a little more thinking on how I would talk about them in relation to the Bad Plan Theorem:

    1) In Lilo and Stitch, Cobra Bubbles is a secondary antagonist, but he is by no means a bad guy. He's a tough social worker who's been called in to decisively resolve an untenable situation. One of my favorite moments from him is, well, just watch. This isn't a moment of villains and heroes, this is a moment of two people trying their best to work through an unfortunate mess.

    I love this scene, and it may well be a cornerstone of how I think about antagonists. (Acknowledgement: This doesn't work for every antagonist. But I like finding places where it can work.) So, for me, I know my personal leaning is to find understandable, reasonable plans that are no less suboptimal/unacceptable.

    Which segways very nicely into...

    2) The Kamino Incident in MHA is so brilliant that I wouldn't dare risk spoiling it for anybody who happened upon this thread. To speak in the broadest terms possible, this situation is a magnificent example of the adults acting with such competence, I really can't fault them for anything they do here. They made all the right decisions with the information they had, and executed on those decisions well. I have to go back and re-watch to remember the exact driving force behind the students' actions, but IIRC, it was something to the effect of, "Somebody is in danger, and for a variety of reasons, we can't help but act." (With a few cascading motivations besides.) And in this case, I think I could fit this into the Bad Plan Theorem under the "they just don't understand" umbrella. Yes, the adults are more capable, yes, the adults all have good points, but if they understood what was eating up these heroes-in-training, then they'd have let them come along. They didn't, so they don't, so ill-advised adventure, ho!
    I'm developing a game. Let's see what happens! Complex.

  29. - Top - End - #269
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    Default Re: [Masks OOC] Resurrection Roundabout

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldest View Post
    On topic with that, Ferra has developed a Bad Plan, but I need to wait a beat narratively before doing it. Want me to post a holding pattern post or just hold off entirely?
    I'm always in favour of more posts but I don't really know enough to make a value decision.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheAmishPirate View Post
    Aye, it gives me a good direction to be thinking about. I knew that I had to turn that motivation into something, but I didn't have nearly enough constraints to think of anything useful. Thanks!

    Reading this reminded me of two scenes that I really enjoy, and that I think have helped shape my thinking with respect to antagonists/NPCs. I did a little more thinking on how I would talk about them in relation to the Bad Plan Theorem:
    Exactly for both! NPCs can be cool and competent and nice, but ultimately the player characters are the story's protagonists and we're always rooting for the protagonists. If the day is gonna be saved it's gonna be by the protagonists. Ideally the PCs should always feel motivated to do things, and that motivation goes away if it's a 'the police will handle this from here' situation.
    Some stories are to tell. Some stories are to keep.

  30. - Top - End - #270
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    Default Re: [Masks OOC] Resurrection Roundabout

    So I'm looking at this post and trying to structure the scene transition and I realize I absolutely cannot do anything until I know exactly where Ferra and @Sarahphim are going. Until I know what they do I can't launch Errant and Brainstorm into respective individual scenes because those scenes are of totally different character if they'll have friends along for the ride. So I gotta hold up for a minute while the rest of you get your feet in.


    Interestingly, the way I realized this is because I couldn't write the chat's reaction. They're providing an ongoing reflection and commentary on what's happening and until they know where the rest of the group is going for sure they don't know what this scene was. And by extension neither would I or, if this was a show, the viewers. I think that's a fascinating holdup because every other time I've gone to write for them it flows as natural and as fluidly as water but this time they're all just like 'huh'.

    It makes me want to apply a 'virtual chat' to individual pieces of writing I'm doing in the future, MST3King myself almost, as an editing tool.
    Last edited by Thanqol; 2019-03-10 at 08:22 PM.
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