Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Mecha - Episodic

So the way Mecha works is that you have an episode where the GM sets up an introduction and the players then each take a scene.  Different types of scenes get you different benefits, but the scene should have a game component (based on the type and the reward) and a story component (based on the role play goal and the player traits).  It's interesting because the player does not resolve actions like in a more traditional RPG, they narrate and role-play their entire scene making one roll to determine the direction that takes and any rewards they might receive.  This is why I think it's really important to have a strong back-story and front load as much of the game world as possible so that the players can share those components and strengthen the story rather than simply keep throwing novel objects into a sandbox.  I might be a bit tainted by Fiasco with it's systematic story setup phase and caveats about maintaining narrative focus in this respect since I played that game first.  Certainly this was my premeditated style choice and not a stated prerequisite in the Mecha rulebook.

I also at this point made the rule that players would only gain advancement points if they used their traits as a negative modifier.  For example a player with Boring as a trait could attempt to impress an NPC which would normally require one success - however if they used their 'Boring' trait against themselves this would bump the difficulty an additional two successes but if they rolled three successes they would get a n advancement point.  On the other hand if a the player were to be trying to impress a very picky NPC which would normally require three successes they used the trait 'Charming' it would lower the difficulty to one success but they wouldn't receive the advancement point.   I don't believe this is the literal interpretation of the rules in Mecha but I tried this to make it more interesting because players had to choose to use their traits for advantage in different ways and gave reasons for them to complicate the story.

I had developed a 5 Episode arc for the first session which I thought we would be able to get through in a single 4 hour session.  It was pretty close and I think that this was the right amount of content even though we only managed 4 Episodes.  Chalk it up to inexperience.  The Episodes were titles as follows:

Again this is my attempt to run a introduction type adventure for Mecha which was somewhat inspired by a the L5R Topaz Championship game I played in over the winter.  I thought that using this initial 5 Episode arc would cement the sandbox in place and provide a unified starting point for further games.

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