Master Mines

We’re digging RPGs

Get Other People To Solve Your Problems For You

That’s the real reason to go to Dreamation, as it turns out. Ryan ran two playtests of APFMT, and when there were problems with the first one, I sat around talking about it with experienced game designers until we came up with a solution I was happy with.

The big tweak is that APFMT will use a “ground rules” document to establish certain facts about the world before play begins. This will help prevent the unexpected shifts in genre that occasionally derail the playtests. There will be a default document that comes with the game, but there will also be options to create your own or to play without one.

Along those same lines, I’m considering a change that allows Guides to raise the possibility of veto over the “Yes, And” questions. Basically, I don’t want the Traveler to be able to weasel out of questions that he or she doesn’t want to answer. But if one of the other Guides thinks the question is breaking genre/expectations, he or she can suggest the question is incorrect, which the Traveler has the option to confirm. (This works sort of like Moon suggestions in Polaris). We’ll see about this.

Finally, Ryan suggested reworking the third question and asking “Do you want to remember?” as a separate capstone question. That seems to make sense.

Any comments from folks were there?


January 28, 2008 - Posted by | A Penny For My Thoughts


  1. As the guy responsible for the derailing, I like the first idea a lot, and I think it’s strong enough to keep the game on track.

    I’m afraid the veto adds a little too much wiggle-room for the traveller and it may slow the process of the game down a bit for certain groups.

    Comment by jhimmelman | January 28, 2008 | Reply

  2. The important thing about the veto is that the Traveler can’t initiate it. It’s only when one of the Guides says, “Hold on a second” that the Traveler gets the option.

    I’m not completely sold on the idea, but I think it’s worth trying.

    Comment by ptevis | January 28, 2008 | Reply

  3. I’m afraid the veto adds a little too much wiggle-room for the traveller and it may slow the process of the game down a bit for certain groups.

    The way Paul & I talked about it, if I recall correctly, the Traveler has no say here to trigger the check — not even to implore upon the Guides to step up for him. I’m not sure how interested Paul is in my “maybe the drug also taps into dreams, and the Guides are a check on that” in-game explanation for their veto power (and possibly an understanding about when it should and shouldn’t be invoked).

    Comment by Ryan Macklin | January 28, 2008 | Reply

  4. Paul, do you have a (master) plan for integrating “ground rules” into the in-game explanation?

    Comment by misuba | January 28, 2008 | Reply

  5. I like Ryan’s suggestion for changing the last question. The questions are a great way to apply your interpretation to the memory, which can really serve to cast a different light on it or past memories. Also it makes playing out each of the three memories the same, which adds a simple elegance.

    I think the “ground rules” document would help to keep everyone on the same page. I feel like the mysterious third chapter should mention that you can play without it, but it is like jumping without a parachute, fun… if you trust someone to catch you.

    I really don’t dig the veto idea. I’m not sure exactly why though. I feel like it violates what I think the game is about, so YMMV.

    Comment by dscleaver | January 31, 2008 | Reply

  6. The veto idea is my least favorite, and I’m going to try the next round of playtests without it, as I think the ground rules document will head off most of those problems.

    And there will definitely be a “playing without a net option.”

    Comment by ptevis | January 31, 2008 | Reply

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