Author Topic: Vincent: your "disappointing experience"  (Read 776 times)

Paul T.

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Vincent: your "disappointing experience"
« on: September 16, 2016, 04:37:05 AM »
Vincent,

You mentioned somewhere that you had a really disappointing experience playing "Hand to Mouth..." with some teenagers. Have you written about this anywhere? What happened?

How similar is "Hand to Mouth..." to "Freebooting Venus"? (They sound pretty similar, from the capsule description...)

lumpley

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Re: Vincent: your "disappointing experience"
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2016, 01:07:05 PM »
DO NOT PLAY HAND TO MOUTH IN THE CITY OF NEPHTHYS.

-Vincent

Paul T.

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Re: Vincent: your "disappointing experience"
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2016, 04:41:09 PM »
All caps! Terrifying.

lumpley

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Re: Vincent: your "disappointing experience"
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2016, 06:24:37 PM »
Here's what I've written about it elsewhere:

[Hand to Mouth in the City of Nephthys] is terrible. It seemed like it might be fun, funny, pointed, and a good idea, but no. It takes two of the things that make Freebooting Venus work - examining your treasure and pursuing experiences - and turns them into a bitter, disempowering slog.

Okay, so yes, it remains pointed. Fine.

Freebooting Venus is already perched on the precarious verge of "the GM's job is to have an NPC offer you employment, and your job is to undertake and accomplish it," and Hand to Mouth tries to edge even further out, by (ta da!) making it the GM's job to have NPCs offer you employment. The game's only safeguard left is the experience list, and there's just no way for it to stand up to the weight of tradition. No wonder it topples off and plummets awfully down.

Anyhow, like Blind Blue and Hatchet City, if I could send an email to myself in the past, I'd tell myself not to publish this at all.

-Vincent

Paul T.

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Re: Vincent: your "disappointing experience"
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2016, 02:18:04 AM »
Vincent,

That's quite interesting! Thank you.

I'm not sure I follow this bit:

"The game's only safeguard left is the experience list, and there's just no way for it to stand up to the weight of tradition."

What's the "weight of tradition", in this particular instance?

Also, just for the record, I really liked "Blind Blue". I think it was erroneously referred to as a one-shot (maybe by you, maybe just by enthusiastic fans), but it seems like a great setup for "here's what a session mid-way through a campaign looks like", and inspired some great other design (including several things I wrote).

lumpley

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Re: Vincent: your "disappointing experience"
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2016, 01:02:42 PM »
The weight of tradition is the thing in roleplaying where someone hires you to do something, and gameplay proceeds on the presumption that you'll undertake to do it.

In Hand to Mouth, gameplay should proceed on the presumption that you WON'T undertake to do what you're hired to do, because you're hired to do something farcically stupid, so you'll undertake to get away with something instead. The experience list isn't enough to win gameplay over to this in the face of tradition.

-Vincent

Paul T.

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Re: Vincent: your "disappointing experience"
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2016, 08:19:49 PM »
Ah! Very interesting, and makes total sense.

I'd love to see a game that deals with that (My Life with Master comes to mind...).

Thanks for the thorough answers!