[System] Magpie games chimes in on a post about Rejecting Influence

Not really questions that have (or probably will) come up in our game (partly because the problem is a player who really doens’t want to play Masks, IMO), but Magpie Game’s response at the end brings up some in-game situations that MIGHT come up.

https://plus.google.com/u/0/+ChristopherHatty/posts/5btK75NZqah?cfem=1

author: Doyce T.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6075726

That all sounds consistent with how we play anyway, and I think it’s signalled by the questions being in past tense. Did you, have you, etc.

author: Bill G.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6075747

Excellent point.

I’m linking it mostly for that bit where they mention being able to walk right into a scene and roll to remove influence from someone who already has it (perhaps automatically). Pretty interesting move I’d never thought about.

author: Doyce T.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6075770

A good thread, thanks for the link Doyce.

Also, I know what I need to do now next time I want to try something we haven’t done before…

author: Mike
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6075776

author: Doyce T.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6075782

My guess? Trouble Player is trying to mark Potential end of game without taking any possible consequences.

This thread did make me think differently about Influence, though. I’m going to wait to be back at a keyboard to write about it, however.

author: *** Dave H.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6076209

I appreciated the thread at least in part because it helped me write out MY thoughts on Influence and the structure I’d come up with that satisfied me and worked within the game rules as well, so good exercise there as well.

author: Doyce T.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6076292

So here’s the thing (and this goes back to the Trouble Player but is also something I’ve struggled with, esp. early on in this PBTA iteration. For a certain group of gamers, RPGs are a competition between the players and the GM (the players are also in competition, but not quite to the degree that the GM is the Enemy). We are all aware of the whys and wherefores of that idea, but I bring that up because, if that is how someone is framing their Masks gaming experience then of course someone’s Influence being imposed will feel like an attack. Because if they have Influence over you, it’s like a psychic attack, and they can make you march like a puppet to your doom, and even if that’s not at all how Influence works, that’s how that mindset is going to think it works.

And that circles back to some initial concerns I (and Margie even moreso) had over the idea of a teen drama where various parties could impose conditions on you (or at least make you take one), and could take influence over you, and all that jazz. Because if you grew up in a D&D adversarial campaigning world (even one with good people), it’s the kind of thing that sends up warning flags.

And one of the things that tickles me most about this game is how it isn’t like that, and where giving someone Influence (vs. their taking Influence, a very different perception), as well as taking conditions (vs being given conditions) is all a good thing because it builds drama and drama is fun.

One thing I liked in the examples given in the post were precisely around that language. I am growing closer to this team because of something that someone in particular has done/said / is doing/saying, so by definition I am saying that they already have influence over me, that I already pay attention to what they do and say (look, they drew me closer to the team!). While it’s possible that that someone might abuse the privilege by shifting labels capriciously or to cause problems, the actual power there is pretty limited, and the problem is self correcting (players who are dicks about it won’t be given the opportunity to influence others).

Again, this is all under my control as a player, if I want to do that closer-to-the-team thing for story and/or character management. The Trouble Player’s concern doesn’t align with reality, but I understand where the misapprehension is coming from. The trick is to make it clear that giving (recognizing) Influence isn’t opening yourself up to attack, but a roleplaying mechanism baked into the game.

author: *** Dave H.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6076948

As usual ST:TNG hits a very human point out of the park in a succinct exchange:

Riker: “In all trust there is the possibility of betrayal…Without trust there’s no friendship. No closeness. None of the emotional bonds that make us who we are.”
Data: “And yet you put yourself at risk.”
Riker: “Every single time.”

(“Legacy”)

author: Bill G.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6077091

Excellent points, Dave.

One of the reasons I really overstated the Influence/Conditions stuff before we really started playing was because I wanted to set expectations at LEAST as far out as things my conceivably go if everyone was playing Super Mean Girls. Knowing that wasn’t the way (or as far as) things were likely to go meant that reality wouldn’t be as bad as set expectations, and if we could cope with that warning, the actual play would be fine.

I probably overdid it, but knowing how little some of the players enjoy tabletop pvp vibe, I decided to err on the side of scare tactics. I’d like to thank Bill and Mike for both saying “guys it’s REALLY not that bad,” because that was also helpful.

One of the general PBTA tenets for the GM is “be a fan of the players”, and it might help to point that out for players who are in that adversarial mindset. Based on what I’m picking up, I’m not sure the player in question didn’t need to have “be a fan of your fellow players” suggested as well. Who knows.

If you don’t mind, Dave, I’d like to share some of what you said to that thread - it might help the GM in question, and since he can’t seem to show up to the sessions I’ve tried to schedule to actually demonstrate the game in play, it’s pretty much all I’ve got. :stuck_out_tongue:

author: Doyce T.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6077113

Doyce T. said:

If you don’t mind, Dave, I’d like to share some of what you said to that thread - it might help the GM in question, and since he can’t seem to show up to the sessions I’ve tried to schedule to actually demonstrate the game in play, it’s pretty much all I’ve got. :stuck_out_tongue:

If this is the Saturday thing, if you ever think it’s valuable to have one of your existing players actually be active and help demo something, I’ll volunteer for that. Otherwise, I look forward to hearing how that turns out.

author: Bill G.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6077123

Doyce T. said:

I probably overdid it, but knowing how little some of the players enjoy tabletop pvp vibe, I decided to err on the side of scare tactics. I’d like to thank Bill and Mike for both saying “guys it’s REALLY not that bad,” because that was also helpful.

One of the general PBTA tenets for the GM is “be a fan of the players”, and it might help to point that out for players who are in that adversarial mindset. Based on what I’m picking up, I’m not sure the player in question didn’t need to have “be a fan of your fellow players” suggested as well. Who knows.

This might be personal bias or history, but I think every gamer has at least one story of that one player (or more likely GM) who really used gaming as their personal ego trip and it helps build that adversarial mindset that Dave mentioned. It’s really unfortunate and I know being wary of the warning signs has made me drop more than a few games.

Knowing that there’s a principle of “be a fan of the players” is one thing. Seeing that principle in action is a whole different thing and it helps build that trust up.

author: Mike
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6077165

Bill G. said:

Doyce T. said:

If you don’t mind, Dave, I’d like to share some of what you said to that thread - it might help the GM in question, and since he can’t seem to show up to the sessions I’ve tried to schedule to actually demonstrate the game in play, it’s pretty much all I’ve got. :stuck_out_tongue:

If this is the Saturday thing, if you ever think it’s valuable to have one of your existing players actually be active and help demo something, I’ll volunteer for that. Otherwise, I look forward to hearing how that turns out.

I’ve juuuuust about given up on that. The guy who needs the demonstration is consistently the guy who can’t make it. Everyone else involved has played and was there to sort of provide an experienced demo group. I sort of offered it on a whim, and it’s turned into… I mean, we’ve been trying to make it happen for longer than I ever intended to run the thing.

author: Doyce T.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6077216

Fair enough. I know the feeling, having tried similar efforts in the Fate world. :slight_smile:

author: Bill G.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6077223

Mike said:

Knowing that there’s a principle of “be a fan of the players” is one thing. Seeing that principle in action is a whole different thing and it helps build that trust up.

In hindsight, I’m not sure Masks would have worked NEARLY as well if it had been the first game we played as a group. I think it still would have been cool, because it’s a cool game, but it wouldn’t have been this game; not by a mile.

author: Doyce T.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6077226

Doyce T. said:

Excellent points, Dave.

But of course! :slight_smile:

I probably overdid it, but knowing how little some of the players enjoy tabletop pvp vibe, I decided to err on the side of scare tactics.

That’s the way I’d tend to do it, too. That said, I’ve come to learn that some folk don’t respond well to catastrophizing / worst-case scenarios, and leading that way with them will scare them off. :slight_smile:

If you don’t mind, Dave, I’d like to share some of what you said to that thread - it might help the GM in question, and since he can’t seem to show up to the sessions I’ve tried to schedule to actually demonstrate the game in play, it’s pretty much all I’ve got. :stuck_out_tongue:

If you think it would be of help, please feel free to do so. (You might elide or amend the “Trouble Player” reference, as that was meant for private, not public, consumption).

author: *** Dave H.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6077329

Mike:

This might be personal bias or history, but I think every gamer has at least one story of that one player (or more likely GM) who really used gaming as their personal ego trip and it helps build that adversarial mindset that Dave mentioned. It’s really unfortunate and I know being wary of the warning signs has made me drop more than a few games.

I’ve been pretty fortunate in GM/DMs in that way (and it’s only improved over the years), but I did cut my teeth on D&D games that were “Killer Dungeon” style, where it really was the DM vs the Players (and the other players would probably throw you into the Gold Slime if it saved their own skins). Not evil, just, in retrospect, immature.

author: *** Dave H.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6077377

author: Bill G.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6077408

author: Mike
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6077422