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Steve D [userpic]

A small shout out to SotC

November 27th, 2007 (10:14 pm)


Just previously I was talking about creating Star Wars elements so that playing the game feels like seeing a Star Wars film, it is, in a sense, writing like a Star Wars writer so when you take on avatar and audience roles, there is a sense of wonder to it.   About six months ago, I was talking on here about how I didn't get superhero games in pre-established universes because in comics, character IS universe. Arising from that was the idea of mechanics to create rogue's galleries and previous titles and covers to establish who you are,

There is, however, a truly awesome mechanic in a lovely game which already does this.  Spirit of the Century has trait mechanics called Aspects which can be used to gain plot points or activated by spending plot points to gain bonuses.  This is not particularly new but the execution is elegant and perfect.  But what's really clever is the way the aspects are generated: each player creates his character in outline, and then writes the title of the exciting pulp novel they appeared in.  This title suggests Aspects.  Then the GM randomises the titles and hands them out to other players, who now have to explain how their PC had a guest role in the novels, and what further Aspects were expressed by the hero (the first PC) in and around their guest appearance.  This provides awesome shared chargen creativity as well as linking the players together, but most of all, it creates this sense of literal synthesis we've been talking about.

Doing casting and comic covers and merchandising, as Mr Craig Oxbrow and others do for their Buffy games is another way, too, just not one hard-written into the rules of a game as yet.  God help us if a game required us to make action figures as good as Craigs!  These ideas are to some more extemporaneous from the game itself, however; the nice thing about the pulp novel titles (and the rogue's gallery) is they don't necessarily take us too far beyond the text, because the superheroes know they have a rogue's gallery, and it is a pulp staple for the heroes to be aware of the books about their exploits.

I suppose for Star Wars, it could be a bit of both to have a mechanic like this.  One could pass around titles not of the books you HAVE been in, but of the books you will appear in once the first movie comes out, when said books fill in your backstory for the slavering fans.  Already, fans know that Kyle Peder wears a distinctive shoulder-scarf because it is common dress on his planet of Jarrinar.  In the Orphans of the Force (campaign name) visual encyclopaedia, we can see that the distinctive pink stitching indicates his political status.  But until fans get to read Kyle Peder: Broken Alliance and Kyle Peder: Terrorist of Trandosha, they'll never know his full backstory.

Also, Terrorist of Trandosha makes an awesome SotC Aspect!  I know a lot of people are playing Spirit of the Force, I wonder if they've thought to ensure their aspects come from horribly named hastily written tie-in novels?

We can only hope.

For more on the loveliness of SotC, the entire rules-set is available for free here: http://www.crackmonkey.org/%7Enick/loyhargil/fate3/fate3.html#phase-3-novel