Player uses Rapport to win a photo of missing girl from the mother who is concerned. This was gained with a dice roll. Moreover, it provided a tag "long hair hanging down" applicable to the missing girl.
My description of a girl with hair down was extemporized Color.
When the players homed in on the missing person, I decided that the girl was indeed wearing her hair down. She was much older now and her loose hair was her way of declaring that she was a "freeer" or "more natural" person. It just seemed to fit. Perhaps FATE being an "echo chamber" or player inputs had something to do with this non-causal echo of a descriptive tag from one part of the session in a later.
2nd Player later tags that aspect to get a bouns on a Stealth roll to climb up said girl's hair and try to talk her out of her weird allegiance to a bunch of goblins.
Weird girl flees from goblins only to end up on a bridge that was the domain of a Troll who likes to eat naughty girls [did not catch Freudian slip until too late!]. The Stealth maven was carried along with the running of the girl and ended up, by the logic of cauality, near both the troll and the girl.
The Dresden setting and the rules meet in one important domain: the absolute restrictions imposed on Fey and magical characters. In keeping with fairytales, fey operate according to very strict rules. When I made up the rule "when you give into a goblin's invitation to wickednesst three times, you are turned into one" it provided a certain tension to the rescue. The girl had to be convinced or otherwise prevented from completing that third act. And by improvising that bit of goblin lore I put myself in the position of then having to think up a 3rd act for the goblins to propose. Shooting one of the PCs was a perfect act for that situation.
The idea of an iron-clad rule not subject to Fortune came up again with the Troll. I phrased the rule as "when a child's parents curse her, she is the troll's legitimate prey, and no fey or Unseelie-accord following magician can interfere." I believe that I meant to say "parent" but the players called me on the specific letter of the law I had enunciated and pointed out that the girl's mother had confessed great love for her child. The troll could not claim immunity under the accords and was then open for a whupping.
The DFRPG bolts the setting's logic into the rule framework. The players applied that rule Karmically and compelled (in the common meaning of the verb) the NPCs behaviour.
When I suggested that the troll's powers were greatly enhanced by being on his home bridge and the snotty bugger dared the PCs to approach him, one of the PCs took him at his word. Literally. When we resolved that I had, in essence, said that no-one could take the girl from him so long as he was on the bridge, the 3rd PC then contrived a spell to vault the goon off of the brigde. He was compelled by the power of his words to release her (and by the presence of the valley's werewolf wardens).
The in-game convention of introducing beings who must be true to their words, absolutely, allows the robust application of Karma in a fictionally-appropriate manner.
If the phrase "good role-playing" means attention to the fiction and all of its logical and causal relationships, this was a night of good role-playing. Perhaps "good role-playing" just means applying fully the Karma, Fortune, and Drama mechanisms embedded in the game itself, in addition to committing to the consistency of the unfolding fiction.
- The rules encourage linking character accomplishments to transformation of the City Sheet.
- In last night's game the PCs were ambushed in a Toronto park by a duo of invisible Goblins. (resolved with standard FATE mechanics: Fortune with a lot of currency-mediated Drama on the part of players and GM)
- the PC who caught the arrow in the chest ("A frickin' arrow --- in 2011!) made a bargain with the mystical werewolf guardians of Toronto's ravines: mystical healing now in return for a vow to bring them the head of a corrupt cop who has been getting on their case. (going with the DFRPG's rules regarding how all sorts of supernaturals make bargains with mortals, no rolls involved. Drama resolution following explicit game text rules).
- I took the City Sheet and considered how the night's actions might have affected the City as a whole. Our entry for the Ravines classified the Ravines' Aspect "Nature Rules Here" and its associated Faces (the werewolves) as a Threat to the city. The entry of humans into a formal pact with the Faces of that Location motivated me to switch that classification to Theme. This switch will constrain what I have the wolves do later. (Drama)
An abstract space of fictional possibilities can't be mapped onto the unfolding, temporal thing that is Aristotle's mythos. But the both ideas posit a matrix out of which characters emerge and in which they can act, and which can be transformed by character action.
Many games let chance (which is not the same as upredictable player input) affect that matrix through the use of dice, cards, etc. Such Fortune mechanics have lead, in my experience, to the creation of good stories but only because the range of possible outcomes dictated by those mechanics had well thought-out relationships to System and Colour.
In a previous session, 1 of our players commented that she liked the system but wasn't sure if she knew all of its bits.
So I decided to set up a teaching session where all of the game options would be laid out, including GM-side decisions. So I was exposing the rules-guided GM prep I have been doing.
The one thing we didn't get to was using compels to limit other characters' courses of action.
The overal result: a greater awareness of the Aspects at play but no direct compels of those City Sheet Aspects. (Fer instance: the "Nature Rules Here" Aspect for the Toronto ravines was quoted or rephrased by both GM and players. But beyond that "echo chamber" effect, I don't know how inspiring or motivating they were.
And the end of the session, a Minor Milestone had been reached. The "Nature Rules Aspect" had been transformed from a Threat to a Theme (and checked off on the city management sheet).
1 thing I did was to pass cards representing the fundamental steps of preparation that I had made. And here they are
1) High Level Decision MakingEdit
Toronto was smug and self-satisfied but now there is a lot of anger, apprehension, and uncertainty
"The city that works worked" [a take on one of the city's nicknames]
Name: McCoy, McCoy, Mc Coy
Concept: Hive-mind law firm, part of the mayor's new order
Name: Black Circle
Concept: Anarchist trouble makers
Aside from representatives of McCoy, McCoy, and McCoy menaced a PC but the idea or feeling never really made a concrete appearance. Towards the end, I had to improvise a motivation for the werewolves offering a deal to heal up one of the NPCs. So, let us assume that the people pushing to make Toronto "work" they way they want were ticking off the wolfies. The injured PC was told to bring the wolfies the head of a Toronto cop, part of the new order being put into effect by Mc3, who had been getting up in their face. So: when trying to create a coherent fiction, I drew upon the content of the Aspect but I can't think of any aspect where it drove play.
2) Scenario's SettingEdit
Parks and forests all along the Don & Humber valleys' river systems.
Nature took this place in an explosion of violence and has no intention of giving it back.
"Nature Rules Here"
Hurricane floods ripped through the city 60 years ago. The city never resumed development down here -- until now. Some parts are very neat and orderly, some are abandoned 19thc. buildings and businesses, some are heavily wooded.
THEME OR THREAT?
Set up as a Threat, but chaged to Theme as a result of players' activities
Name: Mr and Mrs. Hunter
Concept: Werewolf guardians. But at the end of the session it was resolved that they were no immediate threat to Toronto's mortals.
3) Relevant Characters from the City SheetEdit
Mr. and Ms. Hunter
ARE THE FACE OF
WITH THE HIGH CONCEPT
Werewolf wardes of the ravines' fey & monsters
AND WITH THE MOTIVATION
"Keep this place free for us to run wild"
WITH THESE RELATIONSHIPS
* Cart (a homeless guy roaming the Toronto Islands and sometimes the ravines)
* The Fey discontent
Sigh. I keep making up new monsters instead of drawing from the bank of NPCs generated in city creation. Must stop.
4) Scenario NotesEdit
The rules ask GMs to set up a network of tension. This wasn't quite the same as a relationship map. Did players try to bring their play in line with this diagram? I dunno. Was this attempt at No-Illusion play actually enforce some kinda "go with the GM" illusionism?