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 Very ... Narrative games? Tell me of them

Simon Marks

hot DAMN!
Validated User
I've got a bunch of games that pretty much avoid the entire simulation (or game) aspects. The obvious ones are obvious - for example Wushu (a huge RPG.net favourite a while ago) and Nobilis.

I've got a few that I'm very interested in playing but I'd like to know what other peoples experience of them is. So, here is the list of games I'm looking at that I haven't seen any discussion of and that I'd be interested in hearing your experience with. I've yet to play them, but considering I've managed to get people to play Fiasco (gm-less and without stats!) I'm hopeful

1) My Life with Master - specifically I've been told the game is mathematically broken. Is this true.

2) Engle Matrix Games

3) Polaris (2005 game)

4) It was a Mutual Decision

5) Hot Guys Making out (like I care)

6) Most of Seven Wonders - especially Before the Storm and Small Things

Tell me of your experience with these, and of any lesser known games of note.
 

Bankuei

Master of Folding Chair
Validated User
I've only gotten to play a little bit of Polaris - it takes a bit to get used to the bargaining mechanic. One of the pitfalls to avoid is going for too high stakes outside the immediate situation ("And then the world is broken forever") but if you can stay immediate and press within the boundaries, it's pretty great. (I have more experience with Thou Art But A Warrior, which takes the Polaris engine and applies it to the fall of Muslim Spain. It adds a sort of timer to how bad things are going for the kingdom overall, and it's a nice piece of context.)

I've played Hot Guys Making Out numerous times. It mostly depends on two things to make it work: 1) familiarity with the sort of Yaoi tropes (even if it's only the PG-13 type ones that show up in enough anime/manga), and 2) comfort about what level you're going to take it to. Without the trope knowledge, it's hard to come up with meaningful and appropriate content since most of the card draws will give something along the lines of "Add to the scene but don't resolve anything" which is where you add all the hot details. HGMO is pretty great for one shots, but I haven't found that it does great for too much deep storytelling, but then again, the next time I play it will probably be with a long standing group that I know, so it may turn out to work better when the group is well comfortable with each other's communication styles.

You may wish to also check out Primetime Adventures, The Pool, and Lady Blackbird as some other games that are more narrative focused in different ways.

- Chris
 

Samachadreal

Registered User
Validated User
I've played and run My Life With Master several times and I've never run into particular trouble with it. It's a clean narrowly focused game, and a lot of fun if you really take on playing the master so that the players really want to kill him. On the homepage you linked there are a couple of marginal notes for clarification. Were you told how it's broken mathematically?
 

Simon Marks

hot DAMN!
Validated User
I've only gotten to play a little bit of Polaris - it takes a bit to get used to the bargaining mechanic. One of the pitfalls to avoid is going for too high stakes outside the immediate situation ("And then the world is broken forever") but if you can stay immediate and press within the boundaries, it's pretty great.
That sound's like good advice, and something I would definitely include in any introduction to the game. Have you seen the Errata or update? Is that worth getting

I've played Hot Guys Making Out numerous times. It mostly depends on two things to make it work: 1) familiarity with the sort of Yaoi tropes (even if it's only the PG-13 type ones that show up in enough anime/manga), and 2) comfort about what level you're going to take it to.

- Chris
Being the only one who will admit to having experience with Yaoi tropes, I might have to give up on that until I find the right group.

Were you told how it's broken mathematically?
No, and getting specifics out of him have been difficult - to the extent that I think he can't remember. I've shown him the rule book and asked him what it was, but he said it's something that came up in play.

Edit: It's probably the bit about how Self-Loathing cannot ever increase about Love+Reason. To me the rule is obvious, but if you play without it then things get weird

It's a shame, because I have an idea to run the game in the Mass Effect universe with Cmdr Sheppard as the Master and the crew as the Minions. Can't you see Wrex as a high self loathing, low weariness minion?
 

mitchw

Viral Marketing Shill?
Validated User
These kinds of games are not really my cuppa but I can point you to a couple that are said to be very good.

1) The Mountain Witch
2) Hillfolk

I personally did not like The Mountain Witch because of the high probability of inter-party fighting but I can see that the characters are not really a 'party' anyway. Everyone has their own agenda and needs to work the others to get it done.

The Hillfolk rules are a masterpiece that can be used for many settings. I would love to play it with a good group that is interested in this type of game at least once. But, with my group that will never happen.

Like I said, not really my type of games so I can't tell you much more.
 

Samachadreal

Registered User
Validated User
It's probably the bit about how Self-Loathing cannot ever increase about Love+Reason. To me the rule is obvious, but if you play without it then things get weird

It's a shame, because I have an idea to run the game in the Mass Effect universe with Cmdr Sheppard as the Master and the crew as the Minions. Can't you see Wrex as a high self loathing, low weariness minion?
That's fantastic! I can totally see it. As the Master you can always end your scene with "I should go."

Anyway, I've never encountered an issue with MLWM, and IMO it's an amazing piece of design. LIke you said I've always used that rule as you stated it.
 
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