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Do you play to win?

We play to make the story interesting, not necessarily to win.

Player characters are:

expected to work together; but major conflicts might erupt but you’ll patch them up given some time

The GM’s role is:

The GM preps a set of events – linear or branching; players run their characters through anywhere they want according to their own goals, hopefully advancing the GM’s story. The GM gives hints to provide direction.

The players’ roles are… (ETA: Very much worth seeing this post by Vincent for a more in-depth set of possibilities)

a) …to follow the GM’s lead to fit the story

b) …to set goals for their characters, and pursue them proactively

c) …to fling their characters into tough situations and make hard, sometimes, unwise choices

Doing the smartest thing for your character’s survival…

is what a good player does, but sometimes isn’t as important as other choices, and isn’t even a concern or focus for this game.

The GM’s role to the rules is…

a) …follow them, come what may. (including following house rules)

b) …ignore them when they conflict with what would be good for the story

c) …ignore them when they conflict with what “should” happen, based either on realism, the setting, or the genre

After many sessions of play, during one session, a player decides to have her character side with an enemy. This is…

a) …something that shouldn’t even happen. This is someone being a jerk.

b) …where the character becomes an NPC, right away or fairly soon.

c) …something the player and the GM should have set up ahead of time.

d) …only going to last until the other player characters find out and do something about it.

e) …a meaningful moment, powerful and an example of excellent play.

A fistfight breaks out in a bar! The details of where everything is – tables, chairs, where everyone is standing is something that…

a) …is important and will be displayed on a map or grid, perhaps using miniature figures.

b) …is something the GM will describe and you should ask questions to get more information.

c) …you can decide on the spot using specific game rules (rolling dice, spending points, whatever)

d) …isn’t really that important other than it makes for an interesting scene- pretty much anyone can come up with details.

In order to really have fun with this game, the rulebook is something that…

a) …everyone playing needs to have read and understood before play, because the rules and setting are both very important.

b) …everyone should know the rules very well.

c) …everyone should know the setting very well.

d) …everyone at least should know the basics of the rules.

e) …everyone at least should know the genre the game pulls from

f) …Only one person needs to really know the rules and it can be explained in 10 minutes or less to everyone else.


Instead of “choose one” think of this as a checklist – pick which options apply, leave the ones that don’t.

This game runs best when the players take time to create characters that are…

a) …built to face challenges using the mechanics and stats.

b) …written with extensive backstories or histories

c) …given strong motivations and an immediate problem or crisis

d) …tied into the other characters as (allies) (enemies) (as either)

e) …written with some knowledge, research or reading up on the game setting, real history or an actual culture

Fiction Hurdle Questions

Does everyone know the answers to these questions for this game? Hopefully between the game text and making choices above, the group can also be on the same page for the following points. If not, clarify!

What kind of conflicts make sense for this game?

What kind of protagonists make sense for this game?

What kind of outcomes make sense for this game?

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