Author Topic: Brainers theoreticals  (Read 9338 times)

Eruditus

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Brainers theoreticals
« on: March 11, 2011, 02:57:06 AM »
Two concerns:

Do Brainers allow/instigate players to not have to connect to their characters?  I feel like several of the Brainer characters I've seen in my game and other APs are disconnected from the group/reality (cool) but make it difficult to relate to the Brainers.  Does this get in the way of playing it real?

Secondly, is there a Brainer that doesn't take the Violation glove? Doesn't this remove opportunities for rolls to get in close and have the Brainers social awkwardness play out?

Thanks for your input.  Just looking for experiences and anecdotal evidence how this may or may not be the case.

Thanks,
-Don

Simon C

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Re: Brainers theoreticals
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2011, 03:20:56 AM »
Good question about the violation glove. Does it make play more interesting? In our game the glove just looked like a regular glove. In retrospect I think that was a mistake.

Mike Sands

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Re: Brainers theoreticals
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2011, 03:25:02 AM »
In both the longer games I've been involved in, the brainers were certainly disconnected from the other characters (both player and not), but their attempts to deal with people despite this were amazing to watch.

I have the same feeling about the battlebabe, except that the disconnect comes from being ice cold rather than psychically weird.

Ariel

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Re: Brainers theoreticals
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2011, 05:43:39 AM »
Man, the Brainer, the Battlebabe, the Skinner and the Hocus are, IMHO, the most interesting and grabby playbooks. They are exciting and challenging to play. I feel like the violation forces the player and not the character to be a human being and make hard choices because it's the most potent piece of gear/playbook in the game.

Eruditus

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Re: Brainers theoreticals
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2011, 12:16:13 PM »
I agree the Brainer is compelling. Playing the unusual type in a crowd is compelling. I call it "playing the Data." (every Star Trek has it's variant character - Spock, Data, Otto, T'Pol)

But is playing that character a means for escaping having to connect and worry about your characters wel being in a really harsh world?

I think the hypothesis is "the less you relate to your character the less connected you can become and the easier it is to distance yourself emotionally from playing it."

I honestly don't have an answer and the behaviors I've seen have been limited and could be about those specific players less so than a character type enforcing emotional content. 

Simon, I agree that the Violation glove should be more obvious.  I may have that change through failure over time in my game. 

Mike, yeah I think we're really drawn to the idea of humanizing or connecting with the disconnected... ie why Data has a cat named Spot. 

Nathan, what are the hard choices a violation glove offers? Honestly I feel it's just the opposite, it makes those choices seem less gripping.  Now instead of having to put yourself into a situation where you have to be vulnerable... Or tying the poor bastard down - you just have to shake his hand.  Please explain the hard choice the Player is making so I may better get your point. Thanks.

-Don

Ariel

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Re: Brainers theoreticals
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2011, 12:38:18 PM »
Oh, the once it's easy to get the answers to the deep-brain scan questions the Brainer's player has to decide what to do with them. The answers to those questions make everyone extreme vulnerable to the Brainer. Because of that, the player has full autonomy to make ethical decisions about power and knowledge. Role-playing those decisions honestly is both difficult and very engaging.

Eruditus

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Re: Brainers theoreticals
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2011, 01:06:44 PM »
Cool.  I'm with you on that.  Isn't that offered with Deep Brain Scan in general?

Ariel

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Re: Brainers theoreticals
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2011, 01:50:10 AM »
Right but now it's anyone you touch.

Judd

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Re: Brainers theoreticals
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2011, 04:26:14 PM »
I have had Brainers in both games I have MC'ed and they are characters who are socially awkward but with tremendous social power.  One talks to herself and likes her dog best because it doesn't talk to her.

Yeah, both took the Violation Glove.  I think its more for the cool-sounding name than anything else.  Its an amazing power that really changes the game.

I like that they are outside of the necessities that other playbooks provide: transportation, medicine, fixing shit, killing shit, entertainment.  They lay out raw human weakness, frailty and shame in a way that takes all of the other pieces and shakes them up considerably.


Christopher Weeks

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Re: Brainers theoreticals
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2011, 01:44:43 PM »
I wonder if I'm playing wrong.  :)

My Brainer has a brain relay and receptivity drugs.  It seemed like the glove got a lot of play so I went with something else.  I'm also not like completely estranged from the hold's social life; I'm married to the Savvyhead and I think I'm generally considered the more normal of us.

So, I don't have a problem relating to my character or the group.

But, this game is online and moving slowly; we're only on the second "session."

Carl

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Re: Brainers theoreticals
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2011, 07:18:39 AM »
All but one of the 15 one-shots I've run (not counting "Last Rock Band on Earth" which uses pregens) have had a Brainer, and only once has the Brainer not taken a violation glove. Once the Brainer took a violation glove when he didn't even have the moves that use it. That was great. I always have the Brainer player describe his/her/its glove. Not one of those descriptions sounded the least bit like anything you'd care to have touch you. They've been great.

So far no Brainer has taken TWO violation gloves,  but I live in hope.

One Brainer took violation glove, deep brain scan, in-brain puppet strings, and for his first improvement took Healing Touch from the Angel's playbook. With Wierd highlighted we almost got to see The Ungiven Future in a single session, wheee.

One of my favorites so far was the one that used to watch people secretly through their windows, her assistant taking notes, then they'd go back to their brainer lair under the rock and act out what they'd seen. Practicing being human.

I think violation glove and then probably brain relay are the best gear, but if some brainer wants to take the roads less trampled, good on them!

Eruditus

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Re: Brainers theoreticals
« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2011, 12:01:09 PM »
Thanks for your input. So a quick opinion poll...

"I think Brainers are easy to play because you don't have to relate to them... Kinda like actors getting nominated for awards for playing mentally handicapped characters."

Agree or Not.


Eruditus

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Re: Brainers theoreticals
« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2011, 12:02:34 PM »
Are there any pieces of gear other than maybe the Angel kit, that gets picked as consistently as the Violation Glove.


Margolotte

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Re: Brainers theoreticals
« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2011, 02:03:33 PM »
Don, have you played a Brainer? If not, why not?

In the games I've played in  and run so far, one Brainer took the glove, one didn't. Both had/have functional but really weird relationships with and connections to the other PCs. Your basic premise, that playing a Brainer allows the player to disconnect, rings false to me - from what I've seen, playing a Brainer means getting inside some weird skin and digging in the dark places, usually with fantastic play results. Sure, they may be a step or two sideways from the reality the rest of the PCs experience, but not so much as to make it impossible to relate to them. So I disagree with your polling question.
 
One of the great things about the splat books is that people pick what they are drawn to play. If an MC was assigning splats, then sure, I'd expect players to disconnect all over the place, and not just with Brainers.

And as to gear, the pain wave projector is more practical and diverse than the violation gloves. Show me a Battlerbabe, or Gunlugger, or heck, any PC that doesn't want a reusable hand-grenade!
« Last Edit: March 28, 2011, 02:21:16 PM by Margolotte »

John Harper

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Re: Brainers theoreticals
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2011, 07:23:57 AM »
Oh man. Pain wave projector! As MC, I do not fuck around when I describe what that does to people. In our last game, two people on different occasions ran through gunfire to get out of the range of a PWP.