OOC-01: Post-Mortem.   Posted by Timebroker.Group: 0
Timebroker
 GM, 250 posts
 -~- Trust Me -~-
 DOOM: 2d12, 4d8
Thu 23 Sep 2021
at 00:54
OOC-01: Post-Mortem
So... not the smoothest start to a campaign I've ever run.

In the future, I know not to allow the party to split up three ways to handle different sides of the Mission. I know not to use a lot of allied NPCs in conflict situations, because the system does not handle that gracefully, and I also know that I need to use a lot more enemy NPCs because the system handles that better.

I also recognize that, as a general rule and when handling particularly large and intricate scenarios, that I need the assistance of a Co-GM.

I noticed there was a lot of disagreement between players (or at least PCs) about what the cryptic mission objective meant. While I very much did that on purpose, and hope to continue doing that on purpose, I want to check in to make sure that element of the game was... fun for everyone else, and not just me.

I also noticed that even with the eXiles changes, MHR doesn't really have a lot of mechanical support for talky-talky conflict resolutions and... while that's true to the source material, I'd prefer for talky-talky to (almost) always be a viable and mechanically interesting option for handling the problems I throw at you.

I am interested in any feedback that anyone has on either of those problems... and also, any other thoughts or concerns (or simply hopes) that players have.

I will note... I've been on the verge of dropping this game, with my regrets, more than once and pretty much continually since the long hiatus-- that's not down to any of the players, or the players in general, so much as the persistent feeling that I've been letting the players, individually and collectively down with my missteps and my inattention. So... right now, this is a good jumping off point if anyone wants to leave and I will certainly understand, but it's also a good time to discuss whether or not we want to continue the game at all-- and how much we want to continue, because my interest in the game is pretty heavily dependent on how much I think everyone else is enjoying it. I think this was a pretty good shakedown cruise, and we can make some fairly rapid improvements based on my observations and any feedback you give me... if it's going to be worth the effort to do so.
Polaris
 player, 148 posts
 Sally Dane
Thu 23 Sep 2021
at 01:48
OOC-01: Post-Mortem
I enjoy playing with this crew, and I love the premise, so Iím interested in continuing. Itís good that you recognize the issue with the Allied NPCís. Honestly, I felt like they overshadowed the players at the end. It felt less like our game, and more like we were an audience to ďSock Puppet TheatreĒ. To be fair, thatís a problem that Iíve noticed in many MHR games here at RPOL.

However, youíve acknowledged this issue, and itís not a game breaker or a deterrent to my continued interest in playing! If youíre mindful of this and maintain a model that favors PC > NPC driving the story, then I think weíre good to go. Iíd hate to see the game end.
Unseen
 player, 190 posts
 Susan Richards
Thu 23 Sep 2021
at 02:24
OOC-01: Post-Mortem
The MHR manual is one of those books where, I'll sometimes read part of it, and then realize I did not understand what I just read.   Sometimes reading again will remedy that, and other times it's kind of a lost cause.

It took me till nearly the end of this to get to a point where (I think, maybe) I can now claim, "I understand how to play."  If at any time I drove the GM or co-GM crazy with my PMs & questions, then I ardently apologize.

I almost dropped at a couple of points, too -  mostly due to a mix of game pace (and I'm talking about when it was fast, not slow), getting dirty with dice pools, and staying on top of a very nuanced plot.

But, I was so enthralled by the story, that quitting seemed like a shitty option, a choice I'd probably regret.

A GM losing steam or interest is, in my book, understandable when it happens; albeit yes it sucks, when it's a game you really like.    This game was a lot of work to run, plainly, and you did it while coping with health issues.  And I'd say that earns you a gold star, not censure.   (and a silver star for Gwen, for stepping up to help)

Anyway, I'm still here, still interested, and more than okay if whatever happens doesn't happen at breakneck speed.

I agree talky-talky is desirable, but will gladly leave the mechanics to those less challenged by them.
Iron Fist
 player, 65 posts
 Danny Rand
Thu 23 Sep 2021
at 03:31
OOC-01: Post-Mortem
In reply to Timebroker (msg # 1):

Tl;dr version: I had fun and I'll gladly continue playing Danny.

Long version: This has been an interesting game with a solid premise. I've never actually read any of the eXiles comics, but have added some to my reading list following this game. I hope my Danny didn't come off flat compared to some of the very well fleshed-out and inspired twists on canon characters others are playing. I started off with no real idea of how Danny fit into this team, or what his character arc might be, but felt like I was finding my footing by the end of the mission. Between work and playing in a couple other games, I'm usually spread a bit thin, but I'll gladly fill the role of the team's strong, silent type as long as that remains ideal.

quote:
In the future, I know not to allow the party to split up three ways to handle different sides of the Mission. I know not to use a lot of allied NPCs in conflict situations, because the system does not handle that gracefully, and I also know that I need to use a lot more enemy NPCs because the system handles that better.

I can understand not wanting to allow future split-ups of the team, given how much additional heavy lifting it can add for the GM. That said, I've always found MHR's Affiliations an under-used part of the system, and I appreciated that we were allowed to split up. One of these days I'll get to use Danny's Buddy d10 in a game... One day.

quote:
I also recognize that, as a general rule and when handling particularly large and intricate scenarios, that I need the assistance of a Co-GM.

I'm glad that worked out well for you, and props to Spider-Woman for stepping up.

quote:
I noticed there was a lot of disagreement between players (or at least PCs) about what the cryptic mission objective meant. While I very much did that on purpose, and hope to continue doing that on purpose, I want to check in to make sure that element of the game was... fun for everyone else, and not just me.

I definitely couldn't figure it out, but I'm bad at riddles anyhow. Maybe next time I'll remember to ask for some hints.

quote:
I also noticed that even with the eXiles changes, MHR doesn't really have a lot of mechanical support for talky-talky conflict resolutions and... while that's true to the source material, I'd prefer for talky-talky to (almost) always be a viable and mechanically interesting option for handling the problems I throw at you.

I'm of the sort that enjoys mental/emotional conflict (despite playing a guy famous for punching things), which is why it's a shame the system falls a bit short on that end. Generally, mental/emotional conflicts in MHR will consist of tiny dice pools (1 Affiliation die, 1 Distinction, maybe a Specialty) in comparison to the big SFX-powered die pools used for physical combat. On the other hand, mental/emotional attacks are a great way to even the playing field between characters with lesser physical abilities and those with greater ones.

quote:
Anyway, I'm still here, still interested, and more than okay if whatever happens doesn't happen at breakneck speed.

I think we're all on the same page here. I wondered early on if I'd be able to keep up given the pacing and length of some of the posts but was reassured when the GM touched base with me out of game. (That was much appreciated, if I forgot to mention it.) I would hate to fault a play-by-post game for having passionate players who, y'know... post.

quote:
The MHR manual is one of those books where, I'll sometimes read part of it, and then realize I did not understand what I just read.   Sometimes reading again will remedy that, and other times it's kind of a lost cause.

This. I love MHR but will gladly admit to its shortcomings. The phrasing of some rules is heavily open to interpretation and in many parts seems to be written under the mindset that players will voluntarily handicap themselves for no benefit. The best advice I ever got re: the book is that it's a collection of gameplay suggestions, not black-and-white rules. It's all meant to be house-ruled to suit the group's preferences.

quote:
This game was a lot of work to run, plainly, and you did it while coping with health issues.  And I'd say that earns you a gold star, not censure.   (and a silver star for Gwen, for stepping up to help)

Amen. Thank you, GM and Co-GM, for letting us be heroes. I'm sure our next adventure will be even better.
Timebroker
 GM, 251 posts
 -~- Trust Me -~-
 DOOM: 2d12, 4d8
Thu 23 Sep 2021
at 06:49
OOC-01: Post-Mortem
Polaris:
I enjoy playing with this crew, and I love the premise, so I�m interested in continuing. It�s good that you recognize the issue with the Allied NPC�s. Honestly, I felt like they overshadowed the players at the end. It felt less like our game, and more like we were an audience to �Sock Puppet Theatre�. To be fair, that�s a problem that I�ve noticed in many MHR games here at RPOL.

However, you�ve acknowledged this issue, and it�s not a game breaker or a deterrent to my continued interest in playing! If you�re mindful of this and maintain a model that favors PC > NPC driving the story, then I think we�re good to go. I�d hate to see the game end.


I suspect this is partially an issue with the essence of the game-- everyone wants to bring out their favorite characters and make them dance. And part of it is the format I've chosen, introducing a team of outsiders into what was essentially one of the major Marvel crossover events; of course the principals of that event are going to take center-stage... when center stage should always (in my philosophy) be reserved for the player characters.

Unseen:
It took me till nearly the end of this to get to a point where (I think, maybe) I can now claim, "I understand how to play."  If at any time I drove the GM or co-GM crazy with my PMs & questions, then I ardently apologize.


Not at all, at least from my perspective. A player who's motivated to learn is surely going to be motivated to play and that virtue absolves almost all sins in my eyes.

Unseen:
But, I was so enthralled by the story, that quitting seemed like a shitty option, a choice I'd probably regret.


So, the plot was a strong point-- nuanced or otherwise. What can I do to make it more accessible and engaging?
Spider-Woman
 player, 194 posts
 Gwen Stacy
 PP: 1
Thu 23 Sep 2021
at 13:52
OOC-01: Post-Mortem
I am very much enjoying the story and these characters, while struggling with the system some.  Other MHR games I've played in have been smaller and there's definitely been a scaling problem.
Funnybone
 player, 109 posts
 Wade Wilson
Thu 23 Sep 2021
at 14:19
Re: OOC-01: Post-Mortem
I can finally post an opinion or two, but there's been so much discussion already that I don't even know where to begin. Let's see...


Timebroker:
So... not the smoothest start to a campaign I've ever run.


The opening adventure ran from beginning to end. So it's already in the top ten percent of games I've played in. Most never get anywhere near this far.

Timebroker:
I noticed there was a lot of disagreement between players (or at least PCs) about what the cryptic mission objective meant. While I very much did that on purpose, and hope to continue doing that on purpose, I want to check in to make sure that element of the game was... fun for everyone else, and not just me.


I will admit that it was a bit frustrating at times, but any puzzle worth solving will be difficult to solve. The occasional clue might not hurt, though.


Timebroker:
I also noticed that even with the eXiles changes, MHR doesn't really have a lot of mechanical support for talky-talky conflict resolutions and... while that's true to the source material, I'd prefer for talky-talky to (almost) always be a viable and mechanically interesting option for handling the problems I throw at you.

I am interested in any feedback that anyone has on either of those problems... and also, any other thoughts or concerns (or simply hopes) that players have.


Actually, the game does support talking as a method of resolution, if you consider heated discussion to be an emotional attack. First one to stress out the other side wins the debate.

Timebroker:
I will note... I've been on the verge of dropping this game, with my regrets, more than once and pretty much continually since the long hiatus-- that's not down to any of the players, or the players in general, so much as the persistent feeling that I've been letting the players, individually and collectively down with my missteps and my inattention. So... right now, this is a good jumping off point if anyone wants to leave and I will certainly understand, but it's also a good time to discuss whether or not we want to continue the game at all-- and how much we want to continue, because my interest in the game is pretty heavily dependent on how much I think everyone else is enjoying it. I think this was a pretty good shakedown cruise, and we can make some fairly rapid improvements based on my observations and any feedback you give me... if it's going to be worth the effort to do so.


Again, you actually brought the adventure to completion, so you're doing better than most GMs. Long breaks have happened in a lot of games I play in. Probably all of them, at one point or another. The good ones are usually the ones where the GM wants badly enough to finish that they come back.

I think we all had a fairly decent amount of fun doing this...? I know I did. I would want this game to continue.
Co-GM
 GM, 36 posts
Thu 23 Sep 2021
at 14:22
Re: OOC-01: Post-Mortem
Funnybone:
Actually, the game does support talking as a method of resolution, if you consider heated discussion to be an emotional attack. First one to stress out the other side wins the debate.


I tried to do this in the She-Hulk encounter.  I suspect I ran it a lot differently than TB originally wanted it to go, but wanted to run with it to keep him from running three threads at once.
Timebroker
 GM, 252 posts
 -~- Trust Me -~-
 DOOM: 2d12, 4d8
Thu 23 Sep 2021
at 19:08
OOC-01: Post-Mortem
To make it clear, then, we are definitely moving forward.

We're down Cable and Rocket. That leaves us at six, which is my usual sweet spot-- but with two of the players being more quiet, I'd still be more comfortable with another player. And I've got a player in Danny's Marvel Mania game expressing an interest.

Any objections to me extending an invite?
Polaris
 player, 149 posts
 Sally Dane
Thu 23 Sep 2021
at 19:24
OOC-01: Post-Mortem
No. Iíve always liked the 7 Hero lineup. To add one more piece of feedback: I agree with Funnybone about throwing us a bone with clues. Maybe just a little less obscure next time?

This message was last edited by the player at 01:19, Fri 24 Sept 2021.

Funnybone
 player, 110 posts
 Wade Wilson
Thu 23 Sep 2021
at 19:39
OOC-01: Post-Mortem
I'm fine with seven.
Iron Fist
 player, 66 posts
 Danny Rand
Thu 23 Sep 2021
at 19:44
OOC-01: Post-Mortem
Would be glad if they joined us.
Unseen
 player, 191 posts
 Susan Richards
Fri 24 Sep 2021
at 01:09
OOC-01: Post-Mortem
"Bone with clues"  -- that's good!  I agree on that too.

 Little guy or no, Rocket had a big personality.  And although we've got a number of others, I feel his departure sort of left some space.    So, I'll add another 'aye' on a new member.

Kudos to the other players, by the way, on some really vivid backstories.  Some  of the dialogs were very immersive, because of the thought that (plainly) went into the character, and where they had come from.
Polaris
 player, 150 posts
 Sally Dane
Fri 24 Sep 2021
at 01:21
OOC-01: Post-Mortem
In reply to Unseen (msg # 13):

AutoCorrect hates me. Teased my cats, poured sugar in my gas tank, and called my character ugly! :-p
Unseen
 player, 192 posts
 Susan Richards
Fri 24 Sep 2021
at 01:45
OOC-01: Post-Mortem
Wait, I don't understand how auto correct figures in --  did you not mean to say 'bone'?  Or was it something other before you corrected?

I'm so sorry for your cats, any case -- yet perhaps better autocorrect, than autotune:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2ISzNuhtxE