Post by marionarsis on Dec 29, 2015 10:13:49 GMT -5
Jacob could feel himself slipping away. Struggling to remain conscious, he gripped the shirtsleeve of the passenger kneeling next to him. "Call an ambulance," he muttered. But it may all ready be too late.
10:10, Today: Jacob Fleury rolled 5 with the Tunnels & Trolls, Saving Throws system with rolls of 4 & 1.
The black is all encompassing. You're aware of nothing, then you're traveling down a tunnel toward a bright white light...your third death is one from which you'll never return. Your life ends here, at Cairo International Airport.
* * * * *
This concludes our game. Unfortunately, it didn't end on a happy note, but I do hope you enjoyed playing it. I certainly enjoyed running it. In the end, the dice rolls just weren't on your side, and those last three or four failed checks spelled the end.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask. I will answer all questions and plug any gaps that may still exist in your knowledge of events and what exactly was taking place. Until then...good gaming!
Post by michaelsotired on Mar 26, 2022 3:25:26 GMT -5
Reading this seven years later (!), and I just have to say: This was wonderful. An amazing, amazing read. It was tense, it was intriguing, it was fast moving, the works. Like a John le Carré novel in the future. Completely enjoyable. Both of you are deeply talented role-players and writers, with a knack for espionage fiction, and this made it all so, so much better.
I was riveted.
And I guess my issue about solo games like these is exactly what ultimately happened: An amazing, well-thought-out game is ended, through no fault of the player, but because of randomly-generated rolls no one has any control over. It was only a matter of time until marionarsis missed some key rolls and wound up dead (had Jacob missed a roll during the Syringe Fight, we never would’ve even gotten to the airport, much less the amazing plot twists). It’s almost a mathematical impossibility that these games will end with anything other than a player dying prematurely, which seems like such a waste. This game was splendid.
And so, seven years, a pandemic and a war later, I HAVE to ask: What was the plot? Can you share?
Likewise. A great piece of storytelling,if I had come up with something this good I would have been sorely tempted to carry on somehow. It also got me thinking. I've long considered solos and face to face adventures to be quite different beasts; using a common rule set but requiring a different mix of role playing, problem solving and dice rolling for example. I'm wondering if playing through a forum is a third variant; giving the possibility of some interaction, but different in nature because it's not usually real time. Any thoughts from GMs on how the delivery mechanism affects their design approach?
Post by michaelsotired on Mar 26, 2022 18:58:20 GMT -5
Oh, this is such a good question. Like a lot of us, I’ve been running games since the 80s, and I’ve found that, as I got older, my style changed. At first, I was pretty bloodthirsty; I grew up in an age where it was the players versus the GM, and the body counts were high. Some of my own favorite characters were killed, quick and mercilessly.
Now, I try to prioritize the story over everything else. Maybe it’s just me, but if I’m trying to collaborate with the players to tell a good tale, then by virtue of that tale, the characters have to make it to the end. If Luke is killed by Vader after Obi-Wan dies, all the good stuff is lost.
So in a format like Spy Trip, since the story is so good, with so many questions and mysteries, it almost seems vital that Jacob be given plenty of chances *not* to die, at least until the end, so that both he and the audience, will learn the stakes, the plot and what it all means. Then, at the climax, if Jacob dies, the story has a natural finishing point, and maybe Jacob dies with some honor, etc.
So in these forum solo games, I’d try to design them so that each encounter NOT automatically kill the player — and end the game — on a crummy random dice roll. So maybe, in the Syringe Fight, if Jacob loses, he’s incapacitated but not killed (he wakes up strapped to a chair in the barn, which is on fire, etc. etc). That way, the story continues, for everyone's enjoyment.