Autore Topic: [Il Silenzio dei minotauri] Alcune domande a Paul Czege  (Letto 624 volte)

Daniele Di Rubbo

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A quanto pare, questo è il primo post di actual play su Il Silenzio dei minotauri (Paul Czege, 2014). Siccome stiamo giocando il gioco su “Giù lo Schermo”, per forza di cose, sono venute fuori alcune domande che, complice la tutto sommato prossima chiusura di Google+, abbiamo deciso di fargli su Twitter.

Riporto qui sotto le domande e le risposte, di modo che possano essere utili anche ad altri appassionati.

* * *

We usually play very long scenes: at least 20 minutes each. We mostly have scenes with only one minotaur inside, usually interacting with the NPCs. If an inflection comes, we use the Krater according to the rules.

Would you say that we should play shorter scenes?


If you’ve got four players, that’s a long time to wait for your scene. But it may not be a problem if players are emotionally hooked on each other’s storylines. If I were going to have scenes that long, I’d make sure there was lots of crossing of NPCs between the scenes.

When an NPC from your storyline shows up in another minotaur’s storyline working some agenda you didn’t know about, that’s pretty engaging. If I were the GM, I’d be doing it a lot.

I would also be putting the player minotaurs into each other’s storylines. It can be as easy as an employer sending a minotaur on a special task.



The scenes of one of the minotaurs tend to have a lot of free play and only rarely inflections. We still think they are meaningful, even if little if none of the rules come into play (with the exception of the minotaur following the Silence).

Would you say this scenes are OK?


That’s absolutely how I do it. Lots of free play, and only use the Krater mechanics when it’s clear there’s an inflection. Don’t force it. Play at a natural pace.



When the minotaurs are in the jungle, should they be brought to feel a sense of discomfort and threat? How do you usually play these scenes in the role of the GM?

I think I play the jungle as slightly more threatening than the Dégringolade, but not much. Stuff happens in the Dégringolade that’s pretty threatening too. Once two bounty hunters violently raided a romantic brothel looking for a woman who’d left her husband and was hiding there.

Mostly I play the jungle as just regularly more surreal and with strange creatures. Exploding insects. Entities like the one that tells Eshmoteth about the chimera and the gargoyle. Though again, I’ll put surreal creatures in the Dégringolade too.

I once had a free health clinic run by an intelligent sheep. Her name was Vayperphai.

And I play the jungle as very permeable with the Dégringolade. When player minotaurs are in the jungle they sometimes run into characters from the Dégringolade. The storylines of some NPCs will span activities from both the Dégringolade and the jungle. Though their activities in the jungle are often a little more surreal or desperate.

The jungle is definitely threatening sometimes. I’m just saying the Dégringolade can be threatening too.
« Ultima modifica: 2019-05-31 09:41:37 da Daniele Di Rubbo »

Moreno Roncucci

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Re:[Il Silenzio dei minotauri] Alcune domande a Paul Czege
« Risposta #1 il: 2019-01-11 20:01:53 »
Fan mail, e aggiunto all'indice dei thread importanti (che ho intenzione di tornare a tenere aggiornato...)
"Big Model Watch" del Forum (Leggi il  Regolamento) - Vendo un sacco di gdr, fumetti, libri, e altro. L'elenco lo trovi qui

Daniele Di Rubbo

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Re:[Il Silenzio dei minotauri] Alcune domande a Paul Czege
« Risposta #2 il: 2019-02-07 10:12:14 »
Andando avanti a giocare, sono emerse altre domande. Anche qui abbiamo chiesto a Paul, che ci ha risposto.

* * *

During the last session, we had a violent conflict between player minotaurs (p. 84). Can the winning player minotaur decree the death of the other one as the outcome for the conflict, or have we to find a reason why this can’t happen in the fiction?

That’s a good question. On one hand, I think if a player goes into a conflict with another player minotaur knowing the mechanics determine the outcome purely by archetype, then all possible consequences are available. However, I also think “decree” is a strong word.

Inflections are roleplayed out, not decreed, and this should be too. So maybe a player minotaur says, “I’m holding his head under water until he stops moving,” and then maybe the losing minotaur is dead from that and maybe he’s not. Death only comes from the Krater when a minotaur has previously risked and lost a life token. If the losing minotaur in this situation has done that, and is currently without a life token, then as gamemaster I might more likely think he’s dead. But if not, then I can’t imagine many roleplayed situations that wouldn’t leave some room for him to not actually be dead if the losing player doesn’t want to be dead.



While my minotaur was trying to escape to the jungle, he came back to rescue the body of another minotaur mortally wounded by the sword. This is one action but it could count against silence for both “do not want” and “do not express your emotions.” Have I to lose two tokens?

I don’t think I’d ever count one action for a loss of two tokens. I’ve taken two tokens in quick succession, but I’d never take two for one action.
« Ultima modifica: 2019-05-31 09:42:47 da Daniele Di Rubbo »

Daniele Di Rubbo

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Re:[Il Silenzio dei minotauri] Alcune domande a Paul Czege
« Risposta #3 il: 2019-03-09 07:52:25 »
My minotaur is a true rebel: he can barely keep his silence for a bunch of scenes; therefore, I’m always in the jungle. The question is: while a minotaur is in the jungle, can he loose silence for breaking the code? Our guess is “no”, but we are asking you just to be sure.

There’s a point in the text that says minotaurs believe silence helps them “live well among men.” I think in the jungle I’d only take silence tokens if the minotaurs were interacting with men of the Dégringolade and in a situation that extended from it into the jungle.



Simone, our gamemaster, was wondering how NPCs deaths are handled through inflections. I mean: it seems nothing in the mechanics is determining the fate of the PNCs in term of “should they live or die?” Therefore, how do you handle PNCs deaths during the inflections?

The Krater never has anything to say about NPC deaths, so whatever you roleplay out is what happens. Though, as gamemaster I would never allow an NPC minotaur to die, if removing him would harm the story.

And, also, one of my principles when I run the game is “death that’s not death.” So I sometimes have versions of NPCs from parallel realities, or from the past or future, or returned from the dead in mysterious ways.
« Ultima modifica: 2019-05-31 09:39:58 da Daniele Di Rubbo »

Daniele Di Rubbo

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Re:[Il Silenzio dei minotauri] Alcune domande a Paul Czege
« Risposta #4 il: 2019-06-11 13:51:13 »
Can a minotaur NPC be an intrinsic?

I would do it. He would be a minotaur who had gone way over into human-like thinking. He’d be an antagonist. Maybe he’d be drawn to a player minotaur, trying to change how he thinks.



Can I insert in the story and show a named minotaur as an NPC, or do you think he could deprotagonistize the players’ minotaurs?

I use named NPC minotaurs all the time. Ashtavede, who’s mentioned in the text, is an NPC minotaur I used during playtest games. I once even had a player minotaur encounter a future named version of himself.

Did you also tell what his name was? I’m asking because I wonder if this could be problematic because maybe, the other players, could feel forced to give that name to that minotaur when the time will come for it. What do you think about it?

I did tell them his name. He had a significant job defending the Dégringolade against reptiles, and a team of interesting and colorful human and minotaur reptile fighters who worked for him. I figured I could trust the players to see there would be interesting tension around what name he was offered and the relationships he had with those other characters if he ever met any of them in his own timeline.

Out of curiosity, what name was given to him, in the end, when he gained one in the “right” timeline?

I don’t remember the exact name, but it wasn’t the same as the future version’s name.

And was ever the minotaur offered the job as a defender against the reptiles by the GM, during the campaign?

That would have been interesting, but it never happened.



If a minotaur NPC goes frantic near my minotaur, do I still have to test my silence? And can the game master simply declare that a minotaur NPC goes frantic?

I’ve done that as well. I decided an NPC minotaur went frantic, and the player minotaurs had to draw to see if they also went frantic.

The initial situation in the fiction where a the narrator ends up in the jungle fighting a scourge with another minotaur is essentially an example of that other minotaur, an NPC, going frantic and the player minotaur getting swept up as well.



The externals are always intrinsics. However, I guess they never count towards the three intrinsics the game master has to keep active in each moment. Am I right?

The secret function of the intrinsics is to catalyze a certain thinking and play of NPCs by the gamemaster. As long as you have two or three independent intrinsic NPCs who are involved significantly in the lives of the player minotaurs it happens. It bleeds out into your play of other NPCs and the Dégringolade has the right feel and themes.

So if you have a group of externals that are involved in the lives of the minotaurs in a significant way, I’d probably treat them collectively as one intrinsic, and then have two others too.



I did some preparation, just in case I have to run a demo.

I have this intrinsic with quid quo pro thinking: he is an ass who is dismissing his former employees to recruit cheaper manpower, uniquely for his own gain.

He’s definitely making “self-justified decisions with effects that others have to deal with”. Is this enough to mark him as an intrinsic with quid pro quo thinking or am I missing the “rationalize […] that you don’t deserve consequences for your actions” part?


I think it has to be a little more personal than pure economic gain. He has to believe his own gain is deserved, and the suffering of his displaced workers is deserved. He rationalizes that people deserve what he does to them, and that he doesn’t deserve what others do to him. And when he takes actual revenge it’s excessive. They deserve excessive punishment.



In our last session, we played a situation in the jungle with both the Still Voice and the Red Voice in it. The Still Voice was acting as a host of ghosts of deserters of the Everwar, while the Red Voice was possessing their former comrades who wanted to execute them for their treason.

It really was a charged and cool situation to play!

Have you ever had inflections with more than one Voice involved at the same time?


I have. It’s fun. It’s like being caught between petty godlings.



During our last session, a herd of NPC minotaurs went frantic near Luca’s nameless minotaur and we asked ourselves: can a player decide their minotaur voluntarily loses control and goes frantic?

Simone, the game master, thinks one can, but maybe they must renounce every Silence token they have, in analogy with the situation in which a player’s minotaur renounces higher employment and better life circumstances, and forfeits all their the Name tokens (page 94).


Yeah, I wouldn’t let a minotaur just decide to go frantic. He’d need to figure out how to get rid of his Silence tokens to actually go frantic. But he could just follow the stampede of frantic minotaurs willingly into the jungle if he wanted, without going frantic.



Normally you choose the Foremost following the procedure described on page 93.

However, during our last session, Luca’s nameless minotaur followed the herd of frantic NPC minotaurs on his free will (he previously resisted to the frenzy test). We considered Luca’s minotaur as part of the group of NPCs (we just followed what seemed to make sense with the fiction to us) and determined the Foremost as usual.

How do you determine the Foremost in these cases?


I would have done it exactly the same way. He followed them, so he’s a part of the group, so he’s involved in the determination of the foremost just as if he’d been swept up with the group by going frantic.



In the campaign I’m playing with my friends Antonio and Alberto, during my preparation, I wrote a jungle encounter with the Red Voice in which the Voice possesses an intrinsic NPC. Since an encounter with a Voice is always an unnatural encounter, surely it will result in an inflection. Therefore, I wonder: in this case, shall I put in the Krater both the Courage token (for the intrinsic) and the Red Voice token (for the Red Voice)? Or shall I put in only the Red Voice token?

If the intrinsic NPC is completely suppressed by the Voice, then I think I would not include the Courage token. The NPC isn’t really present. But if the NPC has expressed itself somehow despite the possession, maybe through eye contact, or by temporarily having control of its body, then I would include the Courage token.

Daniele Di Rubbo

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Re:[Il Silenzio dei minotauri] Alcune domande a Paul Czege
« Risposta #5 il: 2019-07-03 22:12:24 »
About gifts: can you put a gift token in the Krater even if you’re not using a gift in the fiction, or do you have to use a gift in the fiction to put a gift token in the Krater?

The English language text says, “[T]he player minotaur’s subsequent token contribution [to the Krater] is unconnected to any actions he may have taken, and is wholly about aiming for desired outcomes.”

This is true for Gift tokens and all tokens. Whatever you put in you put in, independent of the preceding fiction. Then roleplay what the drawn tokens indicate.



Yesterday I got the single skull token outcome from the Krater. Since I’ve been impressive in a dangerous situation recently, we applied the new outcome, which was the one with the single name token.

The question is: shall I also add a name token to my set of tokens, even if I didn’t get it from my four-token draw, or shall we only consider it as an outcome, without adding the name token to my set?


The English language text says, “[A]ny outcome that says ‘treat as’ means just for matching the current Krater’s outcomes.”

So that Skull token doesn’t somehow actually turn into a Name token that you get to keep. You treat it as a Name token for determining the Krater outcome, and then return it to the gamemaster’s supply, as a Skull token.



My friend Simone told me: “I wonder if, while you are writing new movings for the NPC and new jungle encounters, you have to look for some kind of thematic progression, like the one you look for when you write  subsequent cities in Dogs in the Vineyard.”

“I don’t know,” I told him, “but I suppose we could ask Paul.”

And here we are.


I think as gamemaster you just do this naturally. You’re informed by the fiction that has come before; you’re invested in the forward momentum of the characters, and you just create NPCs and circumstances that enable them to go forward as characters.



While I was re-reading the rules about the foremost (page 93), the awareness that a PC philosopher minotaur can never be the foremost, whereas an NPC philosopher minotaur will always be the foremost, stroke me with strength. I wonder: is there some thematic significance I’m missing about this decision?

Some design decisions are gut decisions. This one just felt right to me. The stated group decision for campaign play is whether the Watchers will ever bloom again. But play is also about an unstated one regarding the the philosopher archetype’s creation of and commitment to the life code of Silence. I run philosopher NPCs as foils for the players. They’re difficult, conflicted, imperfect authorities.

There may be a bit of My Life with Master in making an NPC philosopher always the foremost. If I choose to include a philosopher among the minotaurs when they gather in the jungle, then I’ve decided I have a purpose for an NPC who is a difficult, conflicted, imperfect authority in the current life circumstances of the minotaurs. If I don’t have such a purpose, I probably don’t include a philosopher.

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Re:[Il Silenzio dei minotauri] Alcune domande a Paul Czege
« Risposta #6 il: 2019-07-25 11:01:52 »
    Another question from Simone.

    In the rulebook, nothing says, when you are in the jungle, you cannot raise you Silence tokens above the starting number of three. However, we think you cannot. Is it right?


    There’s no limit in the rules on how many Silence tokens you can have. If you have an argument that there should be a limit, I’ll listen.

    Our main argument against the no-limit interpretation was: so you haven’t any mechanical incentive to leave the jungle, once you reach your third Silence token.



    During my last session, the minotaurs were in the jungle all the time.

    At the end of the session, we did, as always, the nameless conversation. However, we wondered: is it normal some nameless minotaurs know what the protagonists did when they were in the jungle?

    We assumed rumours run and all the rest, and we did the scene as normal, but I wonder how do you manage such situations. How can NPC minotaurs talk about something that happened without anyone else watching?


    That’s a good question. It’s a situation that doesn’t come up very often. If the minotaurs have encountered other NPC minotaurs in the jungle, some of whom may have left the jungle or not, or possibly talked to others, then you have some NPCs who can talk about things.

    Or, it could be a conversation about events happening in the Dégringolade while the minotaurs are absent, with a reference to one of them. “I wish that guy was around. He would know what to do.”

    Also, there’s time travel. Some future minotaur storyteller is telling a group of minotaur children a story about something that happened in the jungle a hundred years ago.



    Yesterday we had an inflection in which Simone, the gamemaster, played four Skull tokens and one Silence token (for one intrinsic with weird beliefs and quid pro quo thinking present in the situation), whereas I played my Life token and a Mind token hoping not to draw it. I was clearly aiming to the “You act with physical confidence or skill for a dramatic outcome in your favor and get a Name token.”

    I drew two Skull tokens, my Life token and my Mind token. I was in despair because, to make the combination valid, you need “one player token left in the Krater.” We had one Silence token left in it, but it was the one the gamemaster played for the intrinsic, and not one of my tokens.

    However, Simone told us he thought, for “player token”, you meant “any token which is not a No token or a Skull token,” so we considered the outcome valid.

    Did we do it right?


    I see. I think I would have ruled the other way. It wasn’t a token you contributed, so it wasn’t a player token left in the Krater.

    Simone has two questions about this ruling:

    • Since I was in doubt between playing a Mind token or a Silence token, how would have you distinguished between my Silence token and the Silence token the gamemaster put in the Krater for the intrinsic? How could you have told if the one I didn’t draw was one or the other?
    • In the case another player helped me with some of their tokens, if one or more of their tokens were still in the Krater after my draw, should we have considered them “player tokens”?

    • If it’s not clear it’s not a player token, I would assume it is a player token.
    • I would call that a player token.



    During our penultimate session, Iaconte (Saverio’s minotaur) wanted to put some sleep-inducing substance in the beverage of an empyreus who was kissing his ward, a young girl whose name is Linesha.

    Simone, the gamemaster, told him: “To me, you’re totally against the ‘do not want’ precept of the Silence. Please, give me one of your Silence tokens.”

    Saverio gave it to him. The problem was it was Iaconte’s last Silence token; therefore, he went frantic immediately after. Saverio’s recrimination was: “I was trying to do something meaningful, but I couldn’t even complete it because I had to go frantic first.”

    Did we play that situation properly?


    I would have done it like Simone did. But if the player seemed frustrated I would have let him take a small action before going frantic. Maybe putting the sleep powder in the beverage. Maybe saying something to Linesha.[/list][/list][/list][/list]
    « Ultima modifica: 2019-07-25 11:04:33 da Daniele Di Rubbo »