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RE: [icons-rpg] And Looking Glass tonight

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  • Soylent Green
    As planned I ran Through the Looking Glass yesterday and it was another hit. The scenario works very well in conveying a sense of a world that works on
    Message 1 of 4 , Jun 12, 2013
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      As planned I ran Through the Looking Glass yesterday and it was another hit. The scenario works very well in conveying a sense of a world that works on different rules in an Alice and Wonderland sort of way (as the title suggests)  and the players I think had a lot of fun exploring these rules, trying to piece together the logic behind it. 

      A tweak I made on the fly was to give Otto the power to eject,  on a Willpower test, a character.  He used only used it a couple  times when he got really upset with someone and of course the expelled character simply got right back in. Still this bought Otto time and  as a fringe benefit allowed the expelled character to get a quick update on what was going on outside.

      What was absolutely brilliant was the little detail that in dreamscape-Lafferton the heroes are known as a feared outlaws. That just strikes the right level of irony and drove some the most entertaining NPC interactions of the game.

      I did however struggle a bit getting the characters actually into the bubble. They hummed and hawwed around it a lot, tried going under it and felt unsure how to do. After going round in circle for a while and without really agreeing anything  half the party simply took the plunge and crossed over while the other half keep looking for a safer, smarter approach. 

      This lead to a somewhat awkward and fragmented section of the game in which half the players were up to fun things like fighting the biker-Indians and the other half still tring to figure out what to do with the bubble in an increasingly fruitless, old school D&D style testing for traps with a ten foot pole sort of way. Out of character these players knew that walking into the bubble was safe and, terrible as that sounds, the right thing to do in the scenario but  they just struggled to justify it in in- character terms. I guess that's a good thing as it shows a certain amount of investment in their characters but it wasn't pretty.  Eventually they too took the plunge and the party was reunited for the big showdown.

      I think the problem is that the characters came to the adventure from a slightly different angle than as written in the scenario. In the adventure by the time the heroes get on site, the Army has already sent through a robots and two squads of soldier. That clearly introduces the bubble as 'something to cross into'.  In our adventure the sequence of events was somewhat different (the heroes were already looking into the Paragon Engineering Lab as part of their investigation into the Octofather) so the barrier ended up being presented as 'a threat to avoid'. Of course it is actually both, but the slight change of accent can make a big difference in the player's perception. It's something to bear in mind should I run this again.

      Also once inside the bubble the character's pretty much figured out the ranch was the key and ignored the town and mine. Given that I had my usual teaser at the start and the amount of time spent outside the bubble, that worked  out well. In a different context however I can see the risk of this cutting the adventure short.

      The Icons-verse score for this session was kind of low. Little Augie Ceasar was the entirely only new Icons-verse character introduced this session though there were personal appearances of Atomic Roach, Paper Tiger, Landshark and quite a few others were at least mentioned in passing.



      To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
      From: gsoylent@...
      Date: Tue, 11 Jun 2013 14:36:00 +0100
      Subject: [icons-rpg] And Looking Glass tonight

       

      Mild spoilers ahead.


      If all goes to plan I'll be running the Through the Looking Glass adventure tonight. I have a good feeling about it. For one thing I have both Time Control and Dream Control characters in the party  so it almost feel like this was written for them. Better still a third character used to be human but had his consciousness transferred into a robot body. For him to be able to experience an adventure as a human again might make for some poignant moments, not unlike those occasions when The Thing reverted to Ben Grimm.

      Also I've managed to tie in this adventure with the events that have transpired in rest of the campaign so far. I think that will give it an extra kick.

      In Through the Looking Glass, the heroes lose easy access to their powers as they enter the bubble due to Otto's fixation with fair play. I'm toying with the idea of turning this around and instead whether the characters use their powers their opposition adapts and transforms in a dreamlike fashion, developing thematically appropriate counter measures of their own. So if a hero uses flight, the horses the opposition are riding turn into cybernetic rocket horses,  is the heroes use blast attacks their opponents revolvers turn into revolver looking laser guns. I don't know, it might all go horribly wrong but I think I'm just going to have to try this variant.

      I'll let you know how it went.


       

    • John McMullen
      Did you try the variant giving them powers? I think you did but don t see it exactly in your writeup. I was hoping to run tonight, but not going to happen;
      Message 2 of 4 , Jun 12, 2013
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        Did you try the variant giving them powers? I think you did but don't see it exactly in your writeup.

        I was hoping to run tonight, but not going to happen; folks can't make it. Ah, well.
         
        John McMullen (Searching for a .sig)
        jhmcmullen@...


        From: Soylent Green <gsoylent@...>
        To: icons group <icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 7:47 AM
        Subject: RE: [icons-rpg] And Looking Glass tonight



        As planned I ran Through the Looking Glass yesterday and it was another hit. The scenario works very well in conveying a sense of a world that works on different rules in an Alice and Wonderland sort of way (as the title suggests)  and the players I think had a lot of fun exploring these rules, trying to piece together the logic behind it. 

        A tweak I made on the fly was to give Otto the power to eject,  on a Willpower test, a character.  He used only used it a couple  times when he got really upset with someone and of course the expelled character simply got right back in. Still this bought Otto time and  as a fringe benefit allowed the expelled character to get a quick update on what was going on outside.

        What was absolutely brilliant was the little detail that in dreamscape-Lafferton the heroes are known as a feared outlaws. That just strikes the right level of irony and drove some the most entertaining NPC interactions of the game.

        I did however struggle a bit getting the characters actually into the bubble. They hummed and hawwed around it a lot, tried going under it and felt unsure how to do. After going round in circle for a while and without really agreeing anything  half the party simply took the plunge and crossed over while the other half keep looking for a safer, smarter approach. 

        This lead to a somewhat awkward and fragmented section of the game in which half the players were up to fun things like fighting the biker-Indians and the other half still tring to figure out what to do with the bubble in an increasingly fruitless, old school D&D style testing for traps with a ten foot pole sort of way. Out of character these players knew that walking into the bubble was safe and, terrible as that sounds, the right thing to do in the scenario but  they just struggled to justify it in in- character terms. I guess that's a good thing as it shows a certain amount of investment in their characters but it wasn't pretty.  Eventually they too took the plunge and the party was reunited for the big showdown.

        I think the problem is that the characters came to the adventure from a slightly different angle than as written in the scenario. In the adventure by the time the heroes get on site, the Army has already sent through a robots and two squads of soldier. That clearly introduces the bubble as 'something to cross into'.  In our adventure the sequence of events was somewhat different (the heroes were already looking into the Paragon Engineering Lab as part of their investigation into the Octofather) so the barrier ended up being presented as 'a threat to avoid'. Of course it is actually both, but the slight change of accent can make a big difference in the player's perception. It's something to bear in mind should I run this again.

        Also once inside the bubble the character's pretty much figured out the ranch was the key and ignored the town and mine. Given that I had my usual teaser at the start and the amount of time spent outside the bubble, that worked  out well. In a different context however I can see the risk of this cutting the adventure short.

        The Icons-verse score for this session was kind of low. Little Augie Ceasar was the entirely only new Icons-verse character introduced this session though there were personal appearances of Atomic Roach, Paper Tiger, Landshark and quite a few others were at least mentioned in passing.



        To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
        From: gsoylent@...
        Date: Tue, 11 Jun 2013 14:36:00 +0100
        Subject: [icons-rpg] And Looking Glass tonight

         

        Mild spoilers ahead.


        If all goes to plan I'll be running the Through the Looking Glass adventure tonight. I have a good feeling about it. For one thing I have both Time Control and Dream Control characters in the party  so it almost feel like this was written for them. Better still a third character used to be human but had his consciousness transferred into a robot body. For him to be able to experience an adventure as a human again might make for some poignant moments, not unlike those occasions when The Thing reverted to Ben Grimm.

        Also I've managed to tie in this adventure with the events that have transpired in rest of the campaign so far. I think that will give it an extra kick.

        In Through the Looking Glass, the heroes lose easy access to their powers as they enter the bubble due to Otto's fixation with fair play. I'm toying with the idea of turning this around and instead whether the characters use their powers their opposition adapts and transforms in a dreamlike fashion, developing thematically appropriate counter measures of their own. So if a hero uses flight, the horses the opposition are riding turn into cybernetic rocket horses,  is the heroes use blast attacks their opponents revolvers turn into revolver looking laser guns. I don't know, it might all go horribly wrong but I think I'm just going to have to try this variant.

        I'll let you know how it went.


         





      • Soylent Green
        Yes I did. When one hero charged on the mounted indian with his super-speed the horse also developed super-speed. Likewise when another character used her
        Message 3 of 4 , Jun 12, 2013
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          Yes I did. When one hero charged on the mounted indian with his super-speed the horse also developed super-speed. Likewise when another character used her mental attack (Sleep) on one of the ranch hands, his companion turned into an automaton. 

          It worked in that I emphasised the dream-like quality of the bubble world and a sense that it worked on it's own logic. It did not however deter the players for one second from using their superpowers. I don't know if they ever fully grasped the casual link.  


          To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
          From: jhmcmullen@...
          Date: Wed, 12 Jun 2013 11:28:07 -0700
          Subject: Re: [icons-rpg] And Looking Glass tonight

           

          Did you try the variant giving them powers? I think you did but don't see it exactly in your writeup.

          I was hoping to run tonight, but not going to happen; folks can't make it. Ah, well.
           
          John McMullen (Searching for a .sig)
          jhmcmullen@...


          From: Soylent Green <gsoylent@...>
          To: icons group <icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 7:47 AM
          Subject: RE: [icons-rpg] And Looking Glass tonight



          As planned I ran Through the Looking Glass yesterday and it was another hit. The scenario works very well in conveying a sense of a world that works on different rules in an Alice and Wonderland sort of way (as the title suggests)  and the players I think had a lot of fun exploring these rules, trying to piece together the logic behind it. 

          A tweak I made on the fly was to give Otto the power to eject,  on a Willpower test, a character.  He used only used it a couple  times when he got really upset with someone and of course the expelled character simply got right back in. Still this bought Otto time and  as a fringe benefit allowed the expelled character to get a quick update on what was going on outside.

          What was absolutely brilliant was the little detail that in dreamscape-Lafferton the heroes are known as a feared outlaws. That just strikes the right level of irony and drove some the most entertaining NPC interactions of the game.

          I did however struggle a bit getting the characters actually into the bubble. They hummed and hawwed around it a lot, tried going under it and felt unsure how to do. After going round in circle for a while and without really agreeing anything  half the party simply took the plunge and crossed over while the other half keep looking for a safer, smarter approach. 

          This lead to a somewhat awkward and fragmented section of the game in which half the players were up to fun things like fighting the biker-Indians and the other half still tring to figure out what to do with the bubble in an increasingly fruitless, old school D&D style testing for traps with a ten foot pole sort of way. Out of character these players knew that walking into the bubble was safe and, terrible as that sounds, the right thing to do in the scenario but  they just struggled to justify it in in- character terms. I guess that's a good thing as it shows a certain amount of investment in their characters but it wasn't pretty.  Eventually they too took the plunge and the party was reunited for the big showdown.

          I think the problem is that the characters came to the adventure from a slightly different angle than as written in the scenario. In the adventure by the time the heroes get on site, the Army has already sent through a robots and two squads of soldier. That clearly introduces the bubble as 'something to cross into'.  In our adventure the sequence of events was somewhat different (the heroes were already looking into the Paragon Engineering Lab as part of their investigation into the Octofather) so the barrier ended up being presented as 'a threat to avoid'. Of course it is actually both, but the slight change of accent can make a big difference in the player's perception. It's something to bear in mind should I run this again.

          Also once inside the bubble the character's pretty much figured out the ranch was the key and ignored the town and mine. Given that I had my usual teaser at the start and the amount of time spent outside the bubble, that worked  out well. In a different context however I can see the risk of this cutting the adventure short.

          The Icons-verse score for this session was kind of low. Little Augie Ceasar was the entirely only new Icons-verse character introduced this session though there were personal appearances of Atomic Roach, Paper Tiger, Landshark and quite a few others were at least mentioned in passing.



          To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
          From: gsoylent@...
          Date: Tue, 11 Jun 2013 14:36:00 +0100
          Subject: [icons-rpg] And Looking Glass tonight

           

          Mild spoilers ahead.


          If all goes to plan I'll be running the Through the Looking Glass adventure tonight. I have a good feeling about it. For one thing I have both Time Control and Dream Control characters in the party  so it almost feel like this was written for them. Better still a third character used to be human but had his consciousness transferred into a robot body. For him to be able to experience an adventure as a human again might make for some poignant moments, not unlike those occasions when The Thing reverted to Ben Grimm.

          Also I've managed to tie in this adventure with the events that have transpired in rest of the campaign so far. I think that will give it an extra kick.

          In Through the Looking Glass, the heroes lose easy access to their powers as they enter the bubble due to Otto's fixation with fair play. I'm toying with the idea of turning this around and instead whether the characters use their powers their opposition adapts and transforms in a dreamlike fashion, developing thematically appropriate counter measures of their own. So if a hero uses flight, the horses the opposition are riding turn into cybernetic rocket horses,  is the heroes use blast attacks their opponents revolvers turn into revolver looking laser guns. I don't know, it might all go horribly wrong but I think I'm just going to have to try this variant.

          I'll let you know how it went.


           






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