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Someone please quickly define Princess Play.
QuestionsSo Eero, how did your players react when introduced to that reversal of the normal sequence of character creation? How did they feel about having only a smallish pool (10-12 or so) of miniatures to choose among for the basis of their character? How were they about incorporating the physical/visual characteristics of the miniatures into their character concept?
Problem 2 Table space and its useEero's Sipi game uses set pieces, which opens up a lot of opportunities for using smaller amounts of space, potentially re-using space for later scenes at the same location, and, because they're pre-planned to a degree, the GM can pre-draw things on poster board or printout downloadable tiles ahead of the session and have them ready. I don't know if that is the path Eero took, but it would be terribly practical for space and budget considerations.QuestionsNo direct questions on this, but I'd love to hear what different methods you employed for this, and if you experimented a bit before deciding on a certain approach.
QuestionWhat sorts of paperwork/books are used in this game, Eero, and of what sizes? Where do players keep that stuff during play?
QuestionsWhat kinds of methods did you use to maximize re-use of minis ( including any terrain/environment re-use)?How did Princess Play urges play into these methods ( Basically, how did you work mechanics such that people got to continue using those cool characters they'd made based off miniatures alive while having dangerous adventures over and over again?) What about re-use of nifty opposition miniatures/NPCs ( especially if you used cool and/or expensive monsters)?
...I've only played one session of the game so far, mainly because of how it's pretty prep-heavy.
As the miniatures for the session were chosen specifically for being radically different from each other, the players found it generally easy to let the toy lead the character development. A minority of the players (one or two) gravitated towards the less "strange-looking" miniatures, and I understand that this was precisely because they wanted to bring more of their own ideas into it. Playing a woman with a bow gives you much more leeway than playing a small runt of a gnome riding a huge bipedal rat-thing as a mount, for example. Most of the players picked characters in between these two extremes, where the miniature itself strongly suggested things, but left something up to interpretation for the players as well.
The character sheets pretty much consist of the player's freeform notes and a list of character traits, which is technically just a list, although some of those traits (such as the character's wondrous talent) do have different game-mechanical uses.
A technical last-recourse exists for situations where the fictional logic requires events to occur outside of the pre-designed adventure path with its fixed locations: players may narrate events that occur in between scenes, but those narrated events cannot have immediate mechanical impact on anything, and they cannot be interactive - other players cannot react to them or build upon them before the next actual scene. This is pretty effective in sweeping away difficult corner cases without distracting from the fact that the actual play always occurs on the table, within a scene.
I could see how it might be a smart move with this game to have two different styles of miniatures (paper vs. plastic, for example), and use one of them for the unique characters whose minis are never recycled, while using the other, distinctive style for archetypal characters.
I have to say that this miniatures play paradigm is a lot of work compared to what I'm used to, but there seem to be people out there who want to do the work, so I do believe that there need to be game texts for it, too. This friend of mine for whom I wrote this is one such; if he's going to be painting miniatures all the time despite not even playing Warhammer anymore, he might as well do it in service to a passable story game
How does the dice system work?
Also, can you talk a little bit more about the use of space within the scene areas/terrain you were using?
I noticed that the sizes of sheets you were using weren't very large. Was movement rate/range simply a matter of "whatever makes sense in context"?
How near one another did miniatures need to be for those conflicts of roll results to start kicking in vs. how far away did they need to be for those effects not to matter?
Did any of this cause initial problems for payers more used to wargame style ranges/movement? How soon did they adapt?
Edited to add even more questions:How many set-scenes did you use in your test? About how long did it take to play through ( hours and sessions)?Were there times you ended up skipping stops on the adventure railway, and if so, why?
Eero said: I suppose that one of the fundamental advantages that a toy-game like this has is that it really, really has to fundamentally be pretty railroady in terms of locations and characters, and nobody with a whit of sense will really contest that at the game table. Much more difficult (and with good reason) for players to accept the railroad in a game where everything happens in the imagination.
I'm not sure it technically counts as railroading/rollercoastering, but I was looking at trying to put scenarios together that were bounded by place and genre conventions, in a way similar to those 16-24 person LARPS you'll sometimes see where each character is part of a web of relationships and goals, there's a decided setting, and at least some implication of a chain of events and probable/possible series of "twists" and outside factors. And then apply that all to tabletop and miniatures play, and let the players go at it, but with less players than in a LARP. Rather, have open-source info and players take it where they want.