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15 March 2009 @ 07:06 pm
 
(Это запись для игры по Universalis. Игра будет вестись на английском. Прошу зрителей до конца игры не комментировать.)

Universalis playtest



Players: katemare, giacomoart, davina_small, pigmeich.
System: Universalis 1st edition (Giacomoart, are you ok with that? Just it's the only edition I have %)
Rules Quick Reference: download (pages 1-2 and 5 - russian translation, pages 3-4 - original; the link is good for a week).

I suggest to use the default starting conditions: 25 coins and 5 coins refreshment.
I can also suggest means to post hidden bids: spoiler tags! (drag text to hightlight). Just switch to HTML mode and type:
<font color=white style="background:white">text</font>.
And we can start a new thread for each scene, so the game would look neat and organized.

Tenets

  • Naval adventure.
  • Lovecraft-esque horror. (Details, [2])
  • Pseudo-historic setting of Elizabethan time. (Details)
  • Moral choice between sin and virtue.
  • No supernatural facts or components can be introduced into the game until there are 3 or 4 characters marked with "sympathetic" trait. (Details)

  • No interrupts.
  • Try to challenge only such details and/or in such way that preceding text wouldn't have to be overwritten.
  • If a player doesn't act on his turn for a day, the next player can take the turn for free, or any other player can take it for 1 coin.
  • Refresh rate for each scene based on the number of players who get refreshed: 12 for 2, 8 for 3, 6 for 4, 5 for 5 or more.

Scene #1: Sea Battle

Framed by giacomoart

Scene #2: During the Storm

Framed by katemare

Components (control indicated by K or G letter):
the Carribean Sea (K)Storm (K)
- sinister
- supernatural
- violent
- heavy rain (x2)
- howling winds
- monstrous waves
Spanish galleon
- cannons
- huge
Pirate sloop
- agile
- cannons
Master component:
armed sailor
- melee weapon
- wheellock pistol
Nicole Tissot,
pirate queen (K)
- armed sailor
- French
- red hair
- cruel
- off-hand dagger
- strong spirit
- sympathetic character
Galleon's crew
- armed sailors
- crew
Sloop's crew
- armed sailors
- crew
- experienced
- great teamwork
Sharks (K)
- a slew
Will Bowyer, seadog
- armed sailor
- experienced navigator
Ship's boys #1 and #2
 
 
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( 130 comments — Leave a comment )
Михаил Певзнерpigmeich on March 15th, 2009 04:41 pm (UTC)
Naval adventure. -1 coin.

Suppose I sit next to katemare.
giacomoartgiacomoart on March 16th, 2009 02:13 am (UTC)
All right. I just got back from a VERY full and long day that included a half-marathon, so I'll be more participatory-ish tomorrow. :o)
giacomoartgiacomoart on March 17th, 2009 02:37 am (UTC)
As best I can tell, I've got 1st-edition Universalis as well, since I can't find any mention of edition number in the book.

The white-on-white method sounds as good as anything for now. We're going to have to do a lot of "honor's system" regardless.

As for play: I'll see pigmeich's "Naval adventure" and raise it a Lovecraft-esque horror.

-1 coin, down to 24.
katemarekatemare on March 17th, 2009 10:23 am (UTC)
Can you elaborate on this one? Just to make sure we understand "Lovecraft-esque" the same %)

Ok, here goes a Rules Grimmick.
With no Interrupts, we're going to write big paragraphs of text. It would be bad to get Challenged and to have to overwrite the text. So, let's Challenge such details and in such way that preceding text wouldn't have to be overwritten. Rather the details will have different meaning, or those that didn't have an impart on the story can still be changed.

Example:
* "Lord Frog fought a dragon and was wounded."
(Challenge, negotiation) "No, I think, he would rather be scratched. He's a great hero, after all."

* "Lord Frog fought a dragon and was wounded. He rode to a hospital and met a comely lady Nurse."
(Can't challenge that he was wounded, it already had impart on the story. But can narrate that the wound healed quickly, as per normal rules.)

Feel free to Challenge that %)
- 1 Coin, 23 left.
giacomoartgiacomoart on March 17th, 2009 11:48 am (UTC)
We'll see how that works out for us. If it causes problems, we can always try to get it changed again later. Loving that aspect of the game already... :o)

"Lovecraft-esque horror" would be sinister supernatural monstrosities and dark magic lurking beneath what seems like a (relatively) safe and sane world. Should involve a high level of mystery, and low level of "splatter".
Михаил Певзнерpigmeich on March 17th, 2009 10:57 am (UTC)
Playing a stubborn out of the game, I'd rather raise my last bet:

Pseudo-historic setting of Elizabethan time. You know: uncharted lands, Spanish hegemony, born of Sea Hawks, privateers-privateers.

-1 coin, 23 left.
giacomoartgiacomoart on March 17th, 2009 02:18 pm (UTC)
Sounds to me like a pretty well defined theme already: Pirates of the Carribean, perhaps a little darker, perhaps a little more subtle on the magic.

I haven't been able to sit down and review the rules enough yet to predict the other problem areas we'll run into, and assuming we're all committed to maintaining a friendly game, I'm having trouble guessing what social contracts we might need, too.

I'm just going to pass this turn and see if we're ready to jump in.
katemarekatemare on March 17th, 2009 02:54 pm (UTC)
I want to add a theme of moral choice between sin and virtue. This way I will feel more at home in Victorian naval horror %)

-1 more coin, 22 left.
Михаил Певзнерpigmeich on March 17th, 2009 06:11 pm (UTC)
It's Elizabethan!
(no subject) - giacomoart on March 17th, 2009 08:09 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - katemare on March 17th, 2009 09:16 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - giacomoart on March 17th, 2009 09:38 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - pigmeich on March 18th, 2009 11:36 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - katemare on March 18th, 2009 02:36 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - giacomoart on March 18th, 2009 06:10 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - katemare on March 18th, 2009 06:44 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - pigmeich on March 18th, 2009 06:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - katemare on March 18th, 2009 06:53 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Михаил Певзнерpigmeich on March 17th, 2009 06:12 pm (UTC)
Well, I pass.
giacomoartgiacomoart on March 17th, 2009 09:39 pm (UTC)
I'll pass again, too.
katemarekatemare on March 18th, 2009 10:49 am (UTC)
And I pass too.

Ok, the Preparation phase is over... *flips through book* now bidding for the first scene.

I bid zero, because you obviously know more about Victorian horror %). (I wonder if the hidden text will be visible in messages/mail...)
Михаил Певзнерpigmeich on March 18th, 2009 10:54 am (UTC)
Yes, it hidden well.
Михаил Певзнерpigmeich on March 18th, 2009 11:33 am (UTC)
Well, I bet fifteen chips on framing first scene.
giacomoartgiacomoart on March 21st, 2009 02:44 am (UTC)
Still framing?
(no subject) - pigmeich on March 21st, 2009 02:51 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - giacomoart on March 21st, 2009 05:42 am (UTC) (Expand)
giacomoartgiacomoart on March 18th, 2009 01:33 pm (UTC)
I'll bid 12.
giacomoartgiacomoart on March 18th, 2009 02:01 pm (UTC)
Looks like play goes to pigmeich.
giacomoartgiacomoart on March 21st, 2009 05:05 pm (UTC)
Scene #1
The clash of steel and the roar of the cannon all but drowns out the sound of thunder as lightning crackles across the darkening horizon. A rising wind swirls through the acrid smoke that billows up from a pair of sailing ships: a lumbering Spanish galleon locked into close combat with a smaller pirate vessel. By weight of numbers, the sides would seem to be evenly matched, but the red-haired woman leading the assault on the galleon is cutting a bloody swath through the the Spanish crew.

Location: the Carribean Sea - sea (2 coins)

Time: present (0 coins)

Prop: storm (1 coin)
Prop: Spanish galleon (3 coin)
- cannons
- huge
Prop: pirate sloop (3 coin)
- agile
- cannons

Master Component: armed sailor (3 coins)
- melee weapon
- wheellock pistol

Character: galleon's crew (3 coins)
- armed sailor
- crew
Character: sloop's crew (3 coins)
- armed sailor
- crew
Character: Nicole Tissot - pirate queen (5 coins)
- armed sailor
- French
- red hair

Event - pirates attack the galleon's crew (1 coin)

Coins: 24 starting - 24 spent = 0.
katemarekatemare on March 21st, 2009 08:37 pm (UTC)
(I take over Nicole and the storm, 2 coins.)

A rallying battle cry howled over the waves, as the red-haired demoness pierced another foe. Her rapier went right through sailor's heart, while the dagger in her left hand averted victim's final blow. With a disrespectful kick, the body was sent to the sea where a slew of sharks already waited for their next treat.

As the waves turned crimson from blood, storm became stronger. Clouds grew heavy and black, but it wouldn't rain. Waves raged more and more, and, finally, a lightning struck the sloop's mast.


Traits added:
  • Nicole - cruel, off-hand dagger (2 coins)
  • Storm - sinister, supernatural (2 coins)
New components:
  • Sharks, a slew (2 coins)
Events (4 coins):
  • Nicole slain an enemy sailor.
  • Waves turned red with blood.
  • The storm grew stronger.
  • A lighning struck the sloop's mast.

Coins spent: 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 4 = 12. 10 coins left.

(I updated the post with information on tenets and components. Current coin count: katemare - 10, pigmeich - 23, giacomoart - 0.)
katemarekatemare on March 22nd, 2009 03:57 pm (UTC)
(While we wait for pigmeich, I want to say that so far I feel very excited about the game. Universalis runs smooth as I expected. Well, we are yet to test most of its features... %) There are some advantages in play-by-post game model, too.)
(no subject) - giacomoart on March 22nd, 2009 05:02 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - katemare on March 22nd, 2009 05:24 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - giacomoart on March 22nd, 2009 09:15 pm (UTC) (Expand)
katemarekatemare on March 24th, 2009 01:18 pm (UTC)
Well then, I call for a rules grimmick:
If a player lags his turn for a day and a half, the turn goes to the next player, and 5 coins is transfered from lagging player to the next player (because the next player has to compensate for his absence and as a sort of fine).
-1 Coin, 9 left.
giacomoartgiacomoart on March 25th, 2009 03:26 am (UTC)
Well, we won't have much of a trial run with just the two people, and if pigmeich is having this much trouble posting already, I suspect a five-coin fine might be enough to just keep him away.

Shall we just pause in the proceedings; look for another player or two; and see if pigmeich resurfaces to talk about whether the delay's are a fluke, or he's just saddled with restrictions on how often he can get on?
(no subject) - katemare on March 25th, 2009 08:24 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - giacomoart on March 25th, 2009 04:50 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - giacomoart on March 25th, 2009 04:56 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - katemare on March 25th, 2009 05:27 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - giacomoart on March 25th, 2009 05:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - katemare on March 25th, 2009 06:11 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - giacomoart on March 25th, 2009 06:28 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - katemare on March 25th, 2009 06:56 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - giacomoart on March 25th, 2009 07:29 pm (UTC) (Expand)
katemarekatemare on March 25th, 2009 10:31 pm (UTC)
Ok, I bid 2 coins, the scene is mine. I have and idea.

Another dead body with a stump instead of the head fell into the raging waters. Missed by sharks, it sunk deeper and deeper, leaving a crimson trail. Then something has happened…

It possessed no name, for it had instinct in place of sentience. That instinct has put it to stasis when there was no food, and now, by the smell of human blood, it revived the creature back to life. No more substantial than seabed slime, something oozed upwards, feeding, seeking what has awakened it: hosts.

Finally the clouds burst in a drenching rain. Heavy pour diluted the blood and enriched waters with nutrient oxygen. Something has surfaced.


Same location, same time (1 Coin).

New component:
Something, the slime organism (8 Coins)
  • transparent
  • sharp instincts
  • hive mind
  • rapid metabolism
  • can infect living things
  • can mutate infected creatures
New trait:
  • Storm – rain. (1 Coin)
Events (1 Coins):
  • Something smelled humans and surfaced.


11 coins spent, 9 left. giacomoart has 12 coins.
giacomoartgiacomoart on March 26th, 2009 02:58 am (UTC)
Hmmm... Horrible, yes, but none of the mystery I defined "Lovecraft-esque" as having -- just jumps right out and defines the villain/challenge in one fell swoop, three paragraphs into the story. Can we re-think this with some more "foreplay"? Baby steps like the sharks and the sinister nature of the storm gave me much more to work with.
(no subject) - katemare on March 26th, 2009 09:25 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - giacomoart on March 26th, 2009 09:31 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - katemare on March 26th, 2009 10:10 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - giacomoart on March 27th, 2009 02:58 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - katemare on March 26th, 2009 10:54 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - katemare on March 26th, 2009 09:04 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - giacomoart on March 27th, 2009 02:44 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - katemare on March 27th, 2009 03:37 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - katemare on March 27th, 2009 03:31 pm (UTC) (Expand)
giacomoartgiacomoart on March 27th, 2009 03:20 am (UTC)
New Rules Gimmick: Sympathetic Characters

To fear for the characters in a horror story (or any other story, for that matter) you have to care about them, so the first goal in any horror story is to engage your interest in the people who will soon be fighting for their lives. Ergo, before things get too creepy, we need to establish the cast of sympathetic characters. Until that's accomplished, no overtly supernatural facts or components can be introduced into the game. Elements which are weird and/or vaguely menacing are encouraged to set the tone, but they must always fall into the realm of things which could be explained away as odd coincidence.

The trait "sympathetic character" may be purchased for any character as normal, but must be revoked if any other player objects within 24 hours. The trait is used to indicate that all the players feel as if they've become emotionally invested in the fate of the character. Once the story has met its quota of sympathetic characters alive and in play, overt supernatural elements may begin to be introduced.

I'm taking suggestions on the quota of sympathetic characters for this session, but I recommend no less than two and no more than six.

Assuming there's no objections: -1 coin for me.
katemarekatemare on March 27th, 2009 03:11 pm (UTC)
Great genre gimmick. I've been reading the book (I have full collection of Lovecraft, but the stories I read few years ago didn't impress me at all; but stories in 1917-1926 volume are, well, another story). I think I understood the scheme.

I think 3 or 4 sympathetic characters would be the best, since it's hard for me to keep historical accuracy (it's interesting and new, but hard %)
Ok, since Something isn't going to be a sympathetic character, I will retire it. Rest, pal, we will meet again. I will correct the scene...
katemarekatemare on March 27th, 2009 03:32 pm (UTC)
Scene correction (copied for better readability):

Another dead body with a stump instead of the head fell into the raging waters. It was quickly torn to pieces by sharks. The clouds burst in a drenching rain. Heavy pour diluted the blood, but the sea surface still boiled as sharks challenged each other for corpses.

Veil of rain blurred the sight in two arms reach.


Same location, same time (1 Coin).

New trait:
  • Storm – violent, heavy rain (x2). (3 Coins)
Events (2 Coins):
  • Sharks feast on corpses.
  • Heavy rain blurred the sight.

-6 Coins, 14 left. giacomoart has 11 coins.

(No nameless slime organisms was disturbed during the narration... %)
giacomoartgiacomoart on March 29th, 2009 02:54 am (UTC)
Hey, now. Did the internet EAT the post I posted last night? =:-O

Well, this is demoralizing. It's late, and I'm going to have to sleep on this before I can work up to re-constructing it. :oP

Sorry. But I am still here!
katemarekatemare on March 29th, 2009 08:00 am (UTC)
I didn't get a notify message, probably it was eaten before it got posted. That why I always copy to clipboard before posting, and in case of this important messages - type them in Office with autosave function %) I got this habit after long play-by-post, too...
giacomoartgiacomoart on March 29th, 2009 09:59 pm (UTC)
In all her years at sea, Nicole had never seen a squall hit so hard so fast. She known she'd been playing things close to continue pursuit of the galleon, but the prize had been to big, and the storm had seemed so far off. Now barely able to see, and having to shout to be heard above the howling wind by even her closest ally, it was already too late to call for any sort of organized retreat.

Out of the darkness, a shadow loomed. Nicole just managed to duck under the slashing saber, but before she could deliver her counterstrike, a wave crashing over the rail of the galleon had already carried the Spaniard away.


  • Take control of the storm (1 coin) and add traits...
  • howling winds (1 coin)
  • monstrous waves (1 coin)


(Down to 8 coins.)

Complication: Storm pounds the ships. (5 dice worth of traits for that by my reckoning. Gotta run again, so just have a look and see if you agree.)

katemarekatemare on March 30th, 2009 10:52 am (UTC)
I think that you're drawing traits "violent", "winds", "waves" and the "storm" role. I guess supernatural or sinister would fit as well, but I think this should be made more clear with narrative justification - not to mention that the narrative will enrich the game %)
(no subject) - giacomoart on March 30th, 2009 11:33 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - katemare on March 30th, 2009 11:47 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - giacomoart on April 1st, 2009 02:26 am (UTC) (Expand)
katemarekatemare on March 30th, 2009 10:44 am (UTC)
As I understand, it's a part of Complication that you're trying to lead the galleon away from the pirate sloop. Thus, I try to counter.

But sloop's crew wasn't helpless kittens, half of them was hardened seadogs, and as whole they was drilled by Nicole to work as a team. Man at the sloop's wheel made a hard turn to follow the galleon against the elements. Two ship's boys took all effort to rearrange the sails to make it possible.

New components:
  • Will Bowyer, seadog (4 Coins)
    • Armed sailor
    • Experienced in ship controls (this job is called "navigator", right?)
  • Ship's boys #1 and #2 (2 Coins)
New traits:
  • Sloop's crew - experienced, great teamwork (2 Coins)
Events (1 Coin):
  • The sloop's navigator is trying to follow the Spaniard.


-9 Coins, 5 left. giacomoart has 8 coins and 5 dice in his dice pool.

I draw on traits: Will Bowyer the seadog and his navigator skills (3 dice), two ship's boys (2 dice). 5 dice yet.
katemarekatemare on March 30th, 2009 10:48 am (UTC)
I should be drawing sloop's agile too. 6 dice, then.
(no subject) - giacomoart on April 1st, 2009 02:38 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - giacomoart on April 1st, 2009 04:05 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - katemare on April 1st, 2009 08:52 am (UTC) (Expand)
giacomoartgiacomoart on March 31st, 2009 03:16 am (UTC)
I'm taking the time I'd be using to further the story tonight for teaching the game to that friend I mentioned. Hope you don't mind. :o)
giacomoartgiacomoart on March 31st, 2009 04:24 am (UTC)
She's supposed to be getting a LiveJournal account in the morning. I'll let you know what it is once I do.
(no subject) - katemare on March 31st, 2009 07:13 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - giacomoart on April 1st, 2009 02:29 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - giacomoart on April 1st, 2009 02:53 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - katemare on April 1st, 2009 08:55 am (UTC) (Expand)
giacomoartgiacomoart on April 2nd, 2009 05:29 am (UTC)
As the two ships and their crews battled the raging storm, the armed conflict devolved into a struggle for survival against the elements. Nicole clung desperately to a ladder just to keep from being swept away by the next great wave to come crashing over the railing, then staggered across the deck toward the nearest door in search of shelter. She ducked inside, only to find three Spaniards who'd beat her below deck grabbing for their pistols to level them at her. She slammed the door again between them and her, the balls narrowly missing her as they splintered little holes in the wood. As Nicole spun to look for another source of shelter, she felt the next wave slam into her. It knocked the breath from her lungs, spun her about dizzyingly, and tossed her like a rag doll. The next thing she knew, she had landed in water, desperately stroking for what she hoped was the surface...

Exit both ships, both crews, Will, and the two boys for a total of 7 coins. That leaves Nicole alone with the storm and the sharks, and me with 5 coins...
katemarekatemare on April 2nd, 2009 11:39 am (UTC)
We all are learning the rules, so, I think I can correct you on this one: as I understood it, events are primary, the justification, and adding traits and everything is the result (see pg. 59). By the rules, there should be an event "Nicole washed overboard" also. I should state events before traits juggling, too...

Don't change your post or coin count, it's just for the future play %)
katemarekatemare on April 2nd, 2009 11:25 am (UTC)
In the next moment, Nicole felt a beat of rain on her skin and breathed in a dose of reviving air. Suddenly, the waves weren’t so large that they could overthrow a ship, but Nicole almost didn’t notice that. The situation dictated that survival is the top priority: she remembered too clearly of what happens to a body, alive or otherwise, fallen in the middle of sharks’ feast. With the rain washing all sight beyond several feet, even her strong spirit cowered before the fearful doubts.

Technically, I kept coins from complication for myself, and this is my next turn after giacomoart's (on his turn, he passed on adding dice to complication and proposed to resolve it; is it ok interpretation?).

Events (1 Coin):
  • Nicole lost her weapons to the storm, except for the dagger (her rapier has sunk, and the pistol got wet).
Removed traits:
  • Rain - monstrous waves (1 Coin; no more “weather is more important than pirate queens”! %)
  • Nicole – armed sailor (1 Coin)
New traits:
  • Nicole – strong spirit, sympathetic character (2 Coins)
The scene ends.

-5 Coins, 5 left. giacomoart has the same.

If nobody challenges me on ending the scene, then after refreshment (8 coins) we have:
katemare: 13 coins
giacomoart: 13 coins
davina: 25 coins (I guess).

I bid 6 coins for next scene.
katemarekatemare on April 2nd, 2009 04:07 pm (UTC)
Noticed one thing too... The storm is still in giacomoart's control, so I should take over it for 1 Coin. One less Coin for me.
( 130 comments — Leave a comment )
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