My head hurts

Wrapped up our FIRST maneuver tonight, temporarily down a player but still had 3 on the human side vs. my 3x bad apples. I’m not feeling much more fluent with this stuff. But it is improving.

Biggest improvement in play was very clear stake-setting/negotiating and a better job establishing intent before picking skills to roll. Problem I’m running into: Rather than having a clear intent when it’s my turn to “go,” I’m instead staring at the skills the character is best at and trying to make up intent to fit my good skills. “Ooh…Propaganda 5, how do I use that?” And so on. My intuition is to let the character’s capabilities guide my actions, rather than forcing my agenda onto the character.

Biggest problem of the night is staying focused on our various strategies for the maneuver. I went into tonight (about 1/2way done with the first maneuver) with what I thought was a sound “to do” list, but of course first contact with the players threw that out the window. Nobody feels fluent enough with the game to think up good scenes on the fly. There are too many conflicting objectives and meta-considerations: good RPing, good tactical play, good strategic play, fitting good RPing to our tactical choices (almost entirely anti-immersive at this point; the DoW tonite was mechanically satisfying but utterly nonimmersive), staying on top of what happens at the Maneuver roll, tracking beliefs and traits and instincts and whether I’m fullingfilling or denying or ignoring them.

Trying to keep track of what’s color and what’s real is making everyone’s head hurt. A lot. We’re all producing a lot of color details and it’s very hard to keep track of it all. Hopefully this is just a function of the first 2 or 3 turns of setup, at which point we’ll feel satisfied we’ve done enough set dressing and get down to bidness.

End of the maneuver: Losing my Assess Factions vs. their Flak sucked as well – not only did I lose 4 dispo, I feel like I’ve wasted an entire maneuver. That was rough going. I guess I never thought about what it would be like to, you know, not succeed at the maneuver.


Hi Paul,

If the players are overwhelming you with color descriptions, put the burdern of remembering what’s what on them. Make each player keep a color log. If their descriptions aren’t important enough to make a note, then they don’t have to write it down. But if someone wants to establish groundwork (and no one else can remember that it’s been established), then that player is responsible for his contributions.

As for thinking up good scenes on the fly – don’t worry about it! Encourage the players to simply play their characters. Tell them to focus on the conflicts and lines drawn in the Beliefs and relationships. There’s bound to be cool stuff in there. Just play the characters and sooner or later (sooner, usually), they are going to get slammed into a conflict.

Same goes for you, really. Don’t worry about details. Look at what each of your FoNs is good at and then use that to drive into another (player) character. Start small, start indirect: kidnap loved ones, destroy property, get obnoxious laws written, spew venomous propaganda. Soon it will all blossom into direct confrontation and the words and laser beams will fly.