Saturday, November 23, 2013

Veronica Monsterhearts - GM Less play

I think this is the next thing I need to talk about, because it's one of the big thoughts about this game on how I want to take AW and make it GMless. I mean, Murderous Ghosts kind of does that, but not really. It's very much a two person game, and it's got its on way to do things. I ended up writing down notes, because I think better with a pen in my hand than a keyboard in front of me, and here are some thoughts I have about GM less play and what that means for Veronica Monsterhearts.

1. Each person takes their turn as the Investigator. As the Investigator its your job to set the scene, describe who is there, and figure out what's going on. You have free reign to put NPCs in the scene, but you should probably ask if someone wants to have their PC there.

Side thought: Should there be a reward for being in a scene? One per episode mystery you gain 1 XP or 1 Clue for showing up. You can get each reward once and then after that you're there if it makes sense? Do I want to rely on "good playing" to get people involved, or do I want something mechanical to get them there.

2. Once the scene is set you can improvise as much as you want. If you want to have long discussions, and huge acting scenes because that's what you love then go for it. If you want to just describe things, have fun with that. Play it the way you have more fun in. However, in the scene you get to use two moves. Originally I had it written down as you get to do one basic move and one Casefile move but that might just be a little too limiting. I think that will have to be a test thing to see how that works.

When you're done, you resolve the scene by creating a cliffhanger. This can be a soft or hard move, depending on how well you did with you move, that you decide upon. You won't be able to resolve it, but it sets yourself up for your next turn as investigator. When you're done with your cliffhanger you pass that investigator hat onto the next person. Think of this as cutting

Who is that next person? You decide, you pick who goes next and because this is Marvel Initiative, everyone gets a turn at the investigator hat before it goes around again.

Note on not mentioning the move thing you see in all *World games.
I get the idea behind it, it's just reinforcing the idea that you want to sell the reaction and the fiction rather than say "You're now split up" but even AW breaks that rule when you tell them how much harm they're taking. The stronger phrase, and the one that I think the focus should completely be on, is tie the moves to the fiction. Also, because this game is GMless you're all taking part as the GM which means that you'll all get to use/see those moves anyway.

3. Dealing with Cliffhangers
You can deal with a Cliffhanger as the next scene, or even the next scene with another player in them. Basically player X gets his two moves, and creates a cliffhanger that now Player Y deals with because she was there at the same scene. Or when you get back to your turn you can deal with it.  There was also a though on how you could deal with a cliffhanger if you wanted to set your next scene elsewhere, you could handle it like a flashback but at the cost of a clue or something. Not sure how to do that, but I do like that whole kind of Leverage feel to it (it might be because I'm currently watching a lot of Leverage).

It's a little bit of everything really, a little bit of Geasa for GMlessness, but with a lot more control on the part of the person being the Investigator. A little bit of M:HR when it comes to the initiative because it's the best way to handle initiative I have seen, ever.

One thought could be to try to Fiasco it up a bit, where you either get to set the scene or choose the cliffhanger. That might be something to incorporate into the game. Still thinking about a lot of things really.

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