Autore Topic: [Acts of Evil] Non va?  (Letto 2261 volte)

[Acts of Evil] Non va?
« il: 2011-08-29 14:20:21 »
All'Inc11 Paul ha portato alcune copie di Acts of Evil, e io ne ho acquistata una.
Da lì è rimasto sul mio scaffale, ogni tanto si spostava sulla comodina o sulla scrivania, ma ancora non l'avevo letto.
Fino a ieri.

Sono andato in giro per l'Ashcan Front, The Forge e Story-Games a cercare thread sul come mai il gioco non fosse finito.
Ho visto che sembra reggere, ma non riesce a cogliere un punto importante per Paul, ossia il protagonismo dei personaggi non giocanti.

Come ho detto, io l'ho solo letto, ma... Be', mi sembra... Dire "bello" è sbagliato, non è "bello".
E' inquietante, stimolante, crudo...
Un po' come La Mia Vita col Padrone. Ma molto più profondo.

Però, appunto, questo è quello che ho ricavato dalla sola lettura.
Mi rivolgo a qualcuno che l'abbia provato (anche se vanno bene i pareri di chiunque l'abbia almeno letto): come sono state le vostre partite? Avete sofferto della mancanza di protagonismo dei png? E' un gioco da stroncare, oppure è un peccato che sia rimasto incompiuto?

Regole: può rispondere chiunque, l'importante è che abbia letto il manuale e/o giocato.
Qualsiasi parere è ben accetto, basta che sia motivato.

Re:[Acts of Evil] Non va?
« Risposta #1 il: 2011-08-31 11:16:01 »
Nessuno? Moreno?

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Re:[Acts of Evil] Non va?
« Risposta #2 il: 2011-08-31 12:17:04 »
Letto il manuale troppo tempo fa. Me lo ricordo solo per sommi capi.

E non faccio playtest.

Edit: ricordo che mi aveva spaventato soprattutto il tempo di preparazione richiesto al GM...

Tempo fa avevo in mente un thread in generale sui giochi di Czege, ma soprattutto sugli altri. E non avrei comunque il tempo di scriverlo fino a Natale...
« Ultima modifica: 2011-08-31 12:21:07 da Moreno Roncucci »
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Re:[Acts of Evil] Non va?
« Risposta #3 il: 2011-08-31 12:38:07 »
Ok, grazie.
In realtà, avevo letto proprio i tuoi commenti riguardo al tempo di preparazione del master, quindi ero partito un po' prevenuto, ma non mi sembra che ci sia da fare così tanto...
In fondo, i periodi storici/posti sono soprattutto ispirazioni, il gioco si basa su altro. Non credo che ci siano da fare ricerche approfondite (anzi, credo proprio che non servano ricerche).
Ad occhio, non penso che serva più preparazione di Cani o Apocalypse World. Basta scrivere due tabelle con possibili posti da una parte e trasgressioni dall'altra, e poi incrociarle.

-

Comunque, un articolo sui giochi di Paul sarebbve interessante.
In generale, sarebbe interessante iniziare a rintracciare punti comuni ai vari lavori degli autori (mi viene in mente, ad esempio, il tentativo di rivalutazione del gioco tradizionale di Vincent Baker, o la massima "prima la fiction", che sembra voler applicare costantemente).
Giochiamo e analizziamo parecchio i singoli giochi, ma non altrettanto spesso gli autori.

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Re:[Acts of Evil] Non va?
« Risposta #4 il: 2011-08-31 13:02:39 »
Io ho persino iniziato a tradurlo, mi intrippava da morire e voglio a tutti i costi riuscire a provarlo. Non so perché sia stato abbandonato. Czege mi diceva di ritenere un fallimento il suo intento di costruire un gioco caratterizzato da ampiezza e dettaglio del setting. In effetti da quel punto di vista lo trovo anch'io poco strutturato, difetto peraltro estremamente facile da risolvere.
Riguardo alla protagonizzazione dei png, finché nn si prova il gioco non saprei, ma come tematica era fantastica secondo me.

Risolto il problema della preparazione del GM, rimane che per me dev'essere un gioco fantastico, l'unico veramente capace di calciarmi fuori dalla mia comfort zone (forse).
Matteo, ci organizziamo per provarlo?

Re:[Acts of Evil] Non va?
« Risposta #5 il: 2011-08-31 13:36:29 »
Assolutamente. Volevo quasi chiedertelo io.

Re:[Acts of Evil] Non va?
« Risposta #6 il: 2011-08-31 14:23:08 »
Hi,

Through playtesting after publishing the ashcan I did ultimately evolve the mechanics of Acts of Evil to solve my goal of the NPCs emerging as protagonists. But I was never able to achieve my goal of players immersing themselves in the situations the GM preps for the terrenes. And as a result the activity of play just wasn't very much fun for the GM, or for the players.

Acts of Evil is about player characters pursuing personal occult godhood across time and space. You advance your character stats through conflicts that use equations like My Life with Master. When you hit a certain stat level you can fight an occult god. If you win, you replace him. And then you narrate the destructions of the other player characters at the hands of your exalted minions and you describe how you remake human history in your own image.

In playtesting it became clear that being able to create your own occult godhood like that is a pretty compelling reward. Ultimately it was so compelling that players did very little roleplaying. I wanted the game to be about the characters getting involved in surreal occult activities across time and space. Think of the Hellboy comics. But what happened in playtesting was that players would bomb into some situation and aggressively pursue the specific type of conflict with an NPC that would give them the next type of stat increase they needed, with just the minimal roleplaying necessary to trigger the die roll, and demonstrating no interest in the situation that the GM had prepped. The game became entirely about flogging your way through the stat increases.

So, despite that the players would all agree that the most interesting characters weren't the ones that overtly flogged their way from equation to equation down the path of advancement, that the most interesting player characters were the ones who would inhabit a curiosity about the NPCs and the occult activities the GM had prepped, that the most interesting player characters weren't the ones crudely portrayed as wholly evil just to trigger stat rolls, but the ones whose evilness emerged from the expression of curiosity about NPCs and situations and personal self-absorption, the players couldn't help themselves. They did this anyway.

And despite talking about the problem with a lot of other designers I respect, I never managed to solve it. Ron Edwards has asserted that "gamism trumps narrativism". What he means is that if you have some players interested in playing competitively, and the game supports it, that their competitive play will make narrativist play impossible. So I think Ron didn't believe I'd ever solve the problem with Acts of Evil. Luke Crane suggested that possibly the advancement path was just "too bald". I think Luke believed that after playing the game just a little bit that the strategy for advancing yourself became obvious, and that an obvious complex pattern is a distraction to the human brain. Our brains are pattern recognition machines. Once they recognized the patterns in the game, the players couldn't not focus on them.

Bacchanal, however, has a competitive element, and I think the competitive element makes the game more intense. I think the game doesn't trigger Luke's "too bald" pitfall, because although the strategy for winning is clear, the dice rolls are uncertain enough that it's not possible for your brain to become absorbed within the pattern for pursuing it. So I think that competitive elements can be a part of narrative games. But making it work is definitely a challenge. You have to avoid having players with different agendas, or the narrative agenda will be trumped by the competition. And you have to avoid having "too bald" of a complex competition, or perhaps also too simple of a competition, or the creative activity of the game will be boring.

Matteo, I have given owners of the ashcan a license to finish and publish the game. If you solve the problem and finish the game, I will license the English language translation rights from you :)

Paul

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Re:[Acts of Evil] Non va?
« Risposta #7 il: 2011-08-31 15:33:17 »
Paul, I haven't played Acts of Evil, but I think that in Bacchanal another reason people can't simply "fly across scenes" (or, at least, it's not easy) is the content.  It gets players out of their comfort zone right there at the start of the scenes, from the beginning.  If people play it "safe", staying very vague or staying away from anything that could embarrass them, Bacchanal devolve into a mechanical series of rolls, too (it happened for example one time I played a very PG-13 game of Bacchanal, where the most depraved thing narrated was dancing...)

Evilness and violence don't get the same reaction from people as sex, debauchery and depravity...

Talking about the license, it's my understanding that you are talking about the ashcan physical book text, not the following versions in pdf, right? People can't use these as basis for their game (not with your blessing, at least). Or they can, if they have the physical book?
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Re:[Acts of Evil] Non va?
« Risposta #8 il: 2011-09-01 10:40:48 »
Moreno,

The license is for the ashcan text. You're right that I playtested a number of rules changes subsequent to the ashcan, and that rules which eliminated Denial and tracking of Agency for NPCs did streamline things and also achieve my design goal of NPCs emerging as protagonists in play, but those rule changes and others are strewn across awkward annotations to my pdf copy of the ashcan and throughout several emails with my playtest group at the time, so there's no real coherent source for them. And they never did solve the problem of players not taking an interest in roleplaying and engaging the settings and situations prepped by the GM. They never did make the game truly fun.

I know I've described some of the changes in online and face-to-face conversations and emails with folks who were playtesting the ashcan, and I don't have a problem if insights from those conversations make their way into someone's version of the game, but I rather think they're marginal to someone solving the game's problems and completing it. I think that solving the game's problems and completing it is going to require some pretty heavy reconstruction of its core that will surely invalidate my own post-ashcan rules changes.

Paul

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Re:[Acts of Evil] Non va?
« Risposta #9 il: 2011-09-01 10:46:50 »
Ok, sorry for the off topic, but it must be done... Paul, a ginormous fanmail for the nickname XD
 
Ok, scusate l'off topic, ma deve essere fatto... Paul, una fanmail gargantuesca per il nickname XD
Just because I give you advice it doesn't mean I know more than you, it just means I've done more stupid shit.