I finally got to run 1/2 of the Fires Over Omac scenario and I think it went really well. I wasn’t very strict this time around on scene/time management (at least when it came to color) and really let the players go crazy on filling out the world of Omac and the space station. It was a lot of fun.
I think I got the hang of tweaking the players on their color until they moved towards a building scene or a conflict. So it was a lot of “that’s awesome”, “no problem with that”, “keep going, what are you looking for here?” When I saw them begin to hesitate, I colored up a GM scene of hammer ships in orbit and Anvil soldiers arming themselves. I need to get used to the idea of “talking” to myself though…it’s strange framing a scene where NPCs are talking about a PC (but I’m not talking to the PC). I’m going to try some more in the next 1/2 session.
Is it cool for me as a GM to tap the Player’s relationships? Like can I have the 1st mate of the Saucy Lugger chat with the Baron Z and make their own deal (in color)? Or would that be pushing it? (note to my players…I’d have asked this question in play if I had thought of it then…I’m not being sneaky!). I can see that melding into a building scene where I’m attempting to strand Jack so he’ll make a deal with Arnot or something. My love of the format is that it is competitive, so it seems strange (to me) that I can just take control of player assets like their X-Os and 1st Mates…but then again…how am I supposed to hull friends and family if I can’t grab 'em into my scenes?
Another thing I really struggled with was using building scenes as a GM. I think I did a good job of tossing color out there to try and get the players active in the game, but I really didn’t know how to “build” as a GM. I think it’s cause I’m used to just going “By the way, the Lord summons more troops to his aid.”
How does a GM color scene flow into a building scene? Say I knew the players were planning on destroying the prison and I wanted to hull the prisoners (ALL THE PRISONERS) with the Warden. As a GM, I feel like all I had to say was “Cut to the prison, nightmarish scenes of prisoners being dragged into the infirmary…the Warden holding a worm while his assistants hold yet another patient down…etc etc”.
But what if as the GM I wanted to get a hullin’ before the PCs show up? What if I wanted to get General Leaf’s kerrn crew properly hulled in time to be “rescued” by the PCs in order to activate them later? Do I set my own obstacle? Do the players? How does this work? It probably explains all this in detail somewhere in the book, but honestly my reading comprehension skills aren’t the strongest….and the book…the book is large.
Then I read a post that’s all like “GM building scenes are a budget…not associated with any particular toon.” Which leads me to believe that I don’t have to have the Warden Build and the Baron Build and the Kodiak Conflict. I could build with the Warden 3 times if need be. Right?
Also, say the players begin the “color” leading up to their conflict…they’ve got their plan and they’re moving towards the prison to wipe out the vaylen there. Can I then color-into their color my own conflict? In play, that’s exactly what I did (so while the Kerrn Murcs, led by Leaf, moved thru the tunnels towards the prison, I had the Kodiak attack with the intent to slow them down (or destroy them) long enough to isolate Julius for a hulling attempt by the Warden)…but afterwards I thought maybe it was mean cutting off their move towards a conflict with my own. Mental note: learn how to be mean(er) in play.
It’s the way it’d go down in a comic though…exciting race to link up with Anvil support commanded by Julius at the prison…ambush in the mining shaft by mutant death bears! Woot!
Then I’m thinking…wait a second. If I conflict in the mines….how am I going to conflict Julius? Can I ‘build’ a scene in which I capture him (I saw an example from Luke saying a kidnapping could easily be a building scene which shocked me since it seemed like a conflict scene!)? And I still got to weather the conflict scene from the players! Yowza!
Thanks for making a great game. I knew in reading it that I’d like it a lot and it turns out that I did (favorite part? Drawing the Firefight map for the tunnels!). Now I need to go back and reread the rulez. Lots of stuff did not stick before this session (or after). If you’ve got some advice, I’d love to read it. (I read paulB’s essay. good stuff). This turned out to be a livejounral entry…but I’m still buzzing (burning?) from that first 1/2 game. Feel free to tell me TLDR!