Law of Drama

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Arcesilaus
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Law of Drama

Postby Arcesilaus » Tue Jan 21, 2020 12:31 pm

Hi, all.

This week I am running my third session of Fires of Ra and am definitely looking forward to it. However, looking back over the last couple sessions, I feel like I'm missing on my introduction of obstacles into scenes. I often feel like there's plenty of action already built into a lot of scenes, and, while I want to make them as exciting as possible, I don't want to dogpile so much that my players feel like an encounter is unfair or to lead to a TPK (though I suppose that's what the preponderance of "when someone tests for Defeat" Cosm Cards are for in the Nile).

I find that I have two problems:

1) coming up with good escalating obstacles. I often have the "explosion" or "additional reinforcements" on hand, but I'd like to be more creative. I know the chart on the inside of the Nile GM Screen is supposed to help with this, but I still struggle to make those general suggestions fit particular scenes. I also want to come up with obstacles that impact the PCs more than the NPCs (who usually have a hard enough time as it is).

2) knowing when to include a new obstacle. I initially waited for Setback conditions, but those don't seem frequent enough to match the rate of action movies that I'm imagining the Nile being compared to. I added the idea of including them when rolling mishaps, but they often seemed unconnected to the obstacle, and disconnection and malfunctions seem like penalty enough for unlucky rolls. if I just wait until it "feels right" to add one in, it feels like they don't happen, because I'm always worried that the PCs are about to lose, even without making things more complicated.

So, I guess what I'm asking is what are other people doing to add obstacles to Nile scenes. Does anyone have a regular system for coming up with and including them?

Thanks in advance.
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Greymarch2000
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Re: Law of Drama

Postby Greymarch2000 » Tue Jan 21, 2020 1:01 pm

You could use the ABCDs on the cards and maybe have them come on cards with As if you want them frequent, or Bs or Cs less frequently. Even do sort of a GM-style DSR where A is the first one, then a B is the next, etc etc

GeniusCodeMonkey
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Re: Law of Drama

Postby GeniusCodeMonkey » Tue Jan 21, 2020 1:45 pm

I'm in the last act of Ra and I haven't had very many obstacles added to the basic encounters, mainly because all the scenes are combat heavy.

I do like the ABC option of adding obstacles when they come up.
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Arcesilaus
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Re: Law of Drama

Postby Arcesilaus » Tue Jan 21, 2020 2:08 pm

Greymarch2000 wrote:You could use the ABCDs on the cards and maybe have them come on cards with As if you want them frequent, or Bs or Cs less frequently. Even do sort of a GM-style DSR where A is the first one, then a B is the next, etc etc

This is awesome.
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Arcesilaus
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Re: Law of Drama

Postby Arcesilaus » Fri Jan 24, 2020 8:25 am

Arcesilaus wrote:
Greymarch2000 wrote:You could use the ABCDs on the cards and maybe have them come on cards with As if you want them frequent, or Bs or Cs less frequently. Even do sort of a GM-style DSR where A is the first one, then a B is the next, etc etc

This is awesome.

I used this idea last night in Act 3 of Fires of Ra. It worked like a charm.

I followed the letter progressions that appeared on the Drama Cards, until I got to C, then added an obstacle. Sometimes (like on an ABCD card) it happened immediately, sometimes it took a couple rounds. I also inserted an obstacle anytime something came up in the Dramatic Skill Resolution box that wasn't letter (Complication, etc.).

Between this, some interesting "round traits" that came up on the Nile-specific Drama Cards, a Romance card, and two Nile Cosm Cards played, a simple pirate ambush became one of the best encounters I've run in Torg Eternity so far (and the pirate leader isn't done yet!).

Thanks, everyone for the ideas.
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Zackzenobi
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Re: Law of Drama

Postby Zackzenobi » Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:36 pm

Can we hear more about this most interesting pirate ambush??

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Atama
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Re: Law of Drama

Postby Atama » Fri Jan 24, 2020 2:48 pm

I have trouble believing a pirate ambush could be so simple.
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