I’ve test run BW a couple of times for my group and we’ve liked it, but one of the most important/reliable players in our group has complained that the way tests are recorded slows her advancement. Her concern is that she has to be away from the table at least two times a session, sometimes for a length of time, and so her character is less active than others.
She’s distracted by caring for an infant and a child, which are valid reasons to be distracted. I’m debating proposing a kind of base “XP” for her character to keep up with things at the table. Maybe a test or two to assign to reasonable skills to be debated later…
Has there been any discussion of similar ideas?
Probably the cleanest way to do solve her immediate issue is to give her character some additional practice cycles to build up extra tests. That way it isn’t an immediate bennie for not being there but it still lets her feel like she’s getting some advancement in. Another possibility is to give her some extra artha (workhorse is an apt one, though it’s nominally targetted at the character instead of the player) to counteract the reduced screen time for beliefs. The other (more in-rules, slightly less egalitarian) option is to remind them that BW scales pretty well when you have characters of differing skill exponents, especially since failing isn’t a hard stop so much as a complecation for more interesting things.
That said, the answer that makes game go smoothest is the best and from what it sounds like awarding some extra artha is probably the one that will feel the most BW, whereas some extra practice will probably make her happier in the short run but be less interesting since there’s nothing like having artha to blow to make characters do stupid stuff.
Let someone else keep track of advancement for her.
She can declare her character is helping another character when she needs to step away. That way you don’t need to add extra rules and she can still get tests for advancement.
She has totally earned the Workhorse artha reward.
When she’s at the table. Focus slightly more of the scenes at her and her character. She’ll be the star of a few more scenes then the rest of the players while she’s at the table. Then when she’s not at the table do scenes that don’t need her or that she wouldn’t be at anyways.
I’m sorry if my retort will come in the form of a question, and I’ll apologize if it’s definitely not what you wanted:
While I appreciate that there’s one or two needs of an infant that needs a mom, is there a reason why only one of the party “takes care” of the infant and child? While my gaming is children-(and currently girl-)free, I know people who game with lot’s of children and even an infant. I’ve heard a bachelor at the table comment that he likes the few interruptions and find them cozy. Over all it doesn’t seem that much of an hassle, as long as everyone is game.
“Oh, that’s the infant crying, probably hungry, so maybe two of you can prepare food - and the other see what crashed in the cellar?”
While my group plays BW intensely, our GM has said that he thinks BW is a game that can accomodate casual gaming? I myself am not to sure, as I see that even short toilet breaks can leave a gap in the fiction - and not the least character understanding, both which sometimes moves at incredible speeds.
Also, I’d be sceptical for a token “I’ll help the rolls while I’m away”. For us, these are great factors when someone backs out of or even jumps in for a wicked ‘failure clause’ - or when someone fulfills a Belief of helping someone for all costs! Bonus Artha, extra practice-time and maybe even a different approach to character generation is something that I’d think would remedy the issue, even though the game doesn’t promote “equal experience” and playing the advancement-system skillfully is as important at playing Fight! and the other sub-systems.
I second Luke’s suggestion.
Whenever she’s away and there’s a test, have another player review her skills and see if anything fits for Helping. Someone needs to mark down the Ob of those tests and share them with her when she returns.
You can have some fun with this during trait vote and recognize this meta-situation with a Happy Helper trait.
I like Peregrine’s suggestion, too. The spotlight often drifts from character to character. When she’s away from the table, cut away from her to other action.
Great advice everyone; thanks! I think I’ll try the pacing and perhaps extra practice scenes.
The problem is the kid of course. Priorities! Just gag or drug the kids during game time. Problem solved.
Or put her scenes on hold like Luke and Peregrine says. I assume she’s engaged and into the game when she’s not distracted?
Um, duh and/or hello? Give the kid dice!