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I am in the middle of listening to your comments on indie games and find myself gnashing my teeth and screaming at my iPod. I don't personally care if you like story games or not, but I do think you should at least know what you're talking about before you speak. A few points:Grimm Studios Episod 9
1. Speaking about all indie games while talking about only one of them (Spirit of the Century) is patently unfair.
2. You obviously have never played Spirit of the Century. Your point of view about the game would be more relevant if you know what you were talking about.
To clarify. Yes Spirit of the Century codifies traits called Aspects. Aspects are how you tell the GM what you want the story to be "about." If you have the "Don't tell me the odds" aspect, you are saying "I want my character to get into risky situations." Its not about GM railroading. You choose it because you want it. Contrast that to D&D where you may roll up a thief because you want to be cool and sneaky but the story may be all about battle fields or gladiator combat.
Second, the players are all involved in creating story in the game. That means the players want conflict and complications for their own characters. You mention the GM can force the character's hand by putting a chip down. That's called a compell in the game. The GM *offers* the character a chip for having his aspect create further complications in the story, because the GM is saying "I think it would be cool story if your character did this...". The player has chips as well and if he does not like the GMs offer he can pay a chip to get out of it, essentially saying "I don't think that sounds like cool story." If the player he accepts, he gets the chip. They're called Fate Points, btw. The player spends Fate Points to invoke his aspect in a conflict to do awesome things, like get a +2 to his roll (which is a huge + in SOTC). So if the player has "I always protect little critters" as an aspect and she's fighting to protect fluffy, the player can spend a fate point and say "but, you know, 'I always protect little critters!" and invoke their aspect to be more awesome.
Lastly, the player can compell his own negative aspects. They may be chasing the bad guy but want to add further complication by seizing narrative control. They compell their aspect "I always protect little critters!" this time getting a Fate Point rather than spending one, and say "I see fluffy caught in a tree and a wrecking ball is swinging towards her, what do I do?" And that's the other cool thing. You, the player, can spend fate points to put aspects on scenes to use in conflict like "Its dark in that corner" or "The ground is uneven." You can also put aspects on your oponent rather than damage, like "I push you and you're off balance" or "there's sand in your eyes." Then other players can compell those aspects to get benefits.
My last point is that you may hate spirit of the century and games like it, which is fine with me. But I think you should play the game first, speak second.
posted by: Noclue on Wed, 9/5 12:20 PM EDT
First welcome to the 'cast!
Great comments all. I hope you'll cut and paste this in the forum, it will probably get a little more attention there.
I don't think we really got it wrong, but there definitely is some room for clarification.
There seems to be, from the people I'm talking about, the concept that 'indie' games are 'story games'. I personally consider Cheap Ass Games, or any beer and pretzel system, to be part of the indie game scene as well, but hardly pushing story.
My problem, specifically with SotC, is "he can pay a chip to get out of it," There's mechanics for the GM to force your character in a direction. Eventually the player runs out of chips. When a player plays a thief, the decision to pick a pocket is solely that of the player. In this system the GM can push the player in a direction through a mechanics.
Don't take our dislike of part of a system as condemnation of a game. I've got huge issues with large parts of D&D, I still play it. So, take the conversation, using SotC as an example, was more about a style rules, over a condemnation of a specific game.
Keep the feedback coming!