Update from Charm School:
Hi all! Thanks to Dave L’s excellent coordination, staff and a bunch of players attended a weekend “charm school” session where we were able to talk through feedback for the social system and practice some scenarios. This was an awesome session for both sides, and gave staff a lot of really useful feedback for the coming season.
We know that non-event gatherings often don’t work for everyone’s schedules, so we wanted to share the rest of what we learned from the staff perspective, and invite players who attended to share what they learned as well!
We started by talking through some goals for the session, and some improv basics and system questions.
We played some improv games (Ask Orphie about Liar’s Bluff in game!) and practiced coming up with silly lies on the spot
We tried a simple ‘distract the guard’ scenario and learned a lot about give/take in roleplay.
Things we learned, from staff:
-- We got a much better sense of what you all are packing, socially speaking. It was really great to find out what items you are/aren’t carrying on you, and how we can find ways to let you use them in engaging scenes and make sure NPCs give you a satisfying challenge.
-- We learned that resists can give valuable information to you, as players, about an NPC’s motivations. We’ll probably use them more in this fashion!
-- We shared a little background on how NPCs motivations can affect their susceptibility to social calls, and will experiment with more with NPC “personalities”
--We learned that social calls from both sides create an expectation of what kind of scene you want to go down! (more on that below!)
-- We heard the call for “opt out” spaces for intense RP-- we’ll be offering those starting in the spring, as well as introducing an “opt out” mechanic that doesn’t stop a scene, for those who need to slip out of a situation for OOG reasons but don’t want to slow down the action. More on this in time!
-- We will be removing the “NPC only” tag on some social calls, to give you all more ways to use them in your roleplay. Social calls fall under PvP rules and consent rules, so please be extremely mindful and have the necessary conversations if you’re using them with each other!
Things we learned, from fellow players!
“I'd say I learned how to think about social calls and conceptualize how they can really be used; I also learned they should be used more often.” --Celestine (Mellie)
“I’d say I realized that using social calls can be useful for NPCs, in terms of setting the tone of the scene. I never thought about it that way! I was thinking about them mostly mechanically and not how they fed into the role play.” --Kay (Orphie)
Social calls tell us how you want a scene to go
There’s a concept in improv games about “giving” and “taking” in a scene.
One person offers a suggestion, and the next person takes that suggestion and offers another based on it.
Improv, and roleplay, are conversations.
When we create a module, we’re doing that first part-- offering a suggestion of a scenario to work your way through, or starting the conversation with a question.
When you take on this scenario, we’re looking to see from you where you want this to go.
In a combat scenario, you let us know real quick with your physical actions-- nerf guns come out and boffer pipes get swung. Those are really easy signals to us that you want a fight to go down a certain way!
In social situations, that’s a little less clear.
By using social calls EARLY, you’re signaling to the NPC how you want things to unfold.
Want it to be a moment where your glorious wit charms us all? CHARM.
Want to start sliding money around? TEMPT.
Want to see a guard wet their pants? INTIMIDATE.
You get the idea!
The social calls are a foam weapon for your face words-- show us how you want the interaction to go down!
Rulebook updates for 10/16/2018:
• Updated the Runner skills "Fast Talker" and "An Offer You Can’t Refuse", the Brewer skill "Rabblerouser", the Gifted skill "Evil Eye", the Gifts "Songbird" and "Ghost", the Politico skill "Ain’t Askin’, I’m Tellin’", the Bartender skill "In Vino, Veritas", and the Muckracker skill "Smear Tactic" to allow use on PCs as well as NPCs in accordance with our new policy on using social calls on PCs.
• Because social calls can be used on PCs, the Mediator sideline now properly works as intended.
• Clarified the wording on the Brewer skill "Back Off" -- becoming repeatedly Brewed will not grant stacking uses of STAGGER.
• Clarified the delivery method for the Gifted skill "I am Rubber, You are Glue" -- you may return calls BY FIST or GESTURE.
• Clarified the “increase Vitality” skills in the Fistfighter and Politico sidelines -- the bonus Vitality can be used to soak damage from physical/social damage respectively AND can fuel extra uses of skills FOR THAT SIDELINE ONLY.
• Updated the Requirement to take the Scrapper sideline to include an actual measure of in-game time.
• Adjusted the Requirement to take the Gunslinger sideline, which now reads “When you spend at least 30 minutes during an event practicing the use of firearms and discussing when lethal force is or is not justified...”
Learn something new? Want to join another charm school session? Let staff know! email@example.com