I also had a few issues with the scenes and players with different visions of the setting and partial knowledge of each other's visions trying to keep a cohesive narrative, something that can obviously work (see Fiasco, of other people playing Mecha...) but wasn't working for me and my group for this game. I don't think the answer to these problems is to revert back to a more traditional action-resolution system. There is something I like about this scene mechanic and my inclination is to make it work for me rather than looking to a different system. So it's probably a good time to try to figure out what it is that I like about it before tinkering with it. I know you are now waiting expectantly for a good old bullet list or perhaps even a Venn diagram, but I think I'm going to do this in a rambling and inefficient way instead.
- Littler Scenes
Ha, that was a fake out, I am using bullets. But I think more narrow or smaller scenes is part the solution I'm looking for. Instead of big scenes where a player takes narrative control and drives everyone on their rail, I see breaking player turns into smaller scenes where something happens but it's more within the context of the larger act in the story. I think that I need to keep the established scene types so that player can get overdrive and Tactical points and all that but I think that they also need to be able to have more 'filler' scenes that don't give those rewards and thus don't make combat into a point cashing out cake walk. Also to keep things rolling along the proscribed narrative path I think that there needs to be more GM scenes to introduce or reintroduce those narrative themes - perhaps between each player scene or perhaps as the cap for a round of scenes in-lieu of a combat. I do still think it's pretty important that each player only gets one of the standard 'reward scenes' e.g. a repair or a field ops scene, between each combat or they will be walking pretty tall.
I'm not entirely sure how this would play out without becoming "you see a box", "my scene will be checking for traps on the box" which is just regular old action resolution. It's pretty obvious to me that a scene requires a die roll, but if there is a chance of failure, what is the penalty or reward for success one of these 'filler' scenes? Do they need any reward beyond success itself? Adding RP to scenes traditionally gives you Advancement Points - is this the reward? How do you stop accelerated advancement then? I think that maybe disentangling the Role Playing Objective from the standard scenes and attributing it to these 'Role Playing Scenes' might be an answer. It is sensible that these role play scenes drive the narrative and the other scenes give a mechanical bonus for the upcoming combat, but I'm not comfortable with them automatically paying out AP since that is the mechanic that encourages trait use to make all scenes more complex . I'm still trying to figure out how this would look in execution.
- Players messing with each other
- More gear but not too much gear - or something
- Penalties for failure