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Thread: [Mythic] Mythic Game Master Emulator, and GM-less games

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    [Mythic] Mythic Game Master Emulator, and GM-less games

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    Prompted by the release of the Mythic Game Master Emulator, as distinct from Mythic Role Playing, I'm going to ask this forum a question I posed on the old DFW-RPG site: Has anyone tried GM-less systems?

    The Game Master Emulator version of Mythic extracts the more interesting component of the Mythic Role-Playing System: the notion that one can "fake" a GM through shared record-keeping, decision by die roll, and logical interpretation of established facts and events. The concept intrigues me, but I wonder how many players it would support, and how easily one stubborn player could skew or scuttle the game. (Obviously a power-gamer or rules lawyer could play havoc with this system, since it relies heavily on consensus about what's "logical" and which "interpretation" makes most sense.)

    So, has anyone played without a GM, using Mythic or some other system? Please tell us how it went.
    Last edited by fmitchell; 07-22-2008 at 02:39 AM.
    "On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."
    - Charles Babbage (1791 - 1871)

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    I've done a few choose-your-own adventure books when I was a kid. Does that count?

    It seems a bit on the wilder side. I can't imagine how that would work. Who drives the story forward? What is the creative force behind it. It seems to me that the system might be interesting for completely character-centric story lines, but such is only interesting to a point. Sounds kinda like impromptu acting with rules and perhaps some acting prompts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Farcaster View Post
    I've done a few choose-your-own adventure books when I was a kid. Does that count?
    I listed that in the DFW-RPG thread, and, well, no.

    I also listed Universalis, which I've played. In Universalis, players assume temporary control of characters (and places and things) to add to the plot, constrained by the "coins" they have to spend. My one experience with it created a fairly random game where each of six player tried to drag the world in his particular direction. It's a very different sort of game, which abandons the whole notion of "player characters", so I won't consider it here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Farcaster View Post
    It seems a bit on the wilder side. I can't imagine how that would work. Who drives the story forward? What is the creative force behind it. It seems to me that the system might be interesting for completely character-centric story lines, but such is only interesting to a point. Sounds kinda like impromptu acting with rules and perhaps some acting prompts.
    The creative force behind the game is the collective ideas of the players, augmented by randomness. Here's the Mythic play cycle, according to the GM Emulator rules.

    1. One person comes up with the scenario idea.
    2. Players decide on the first scene, based on story/genre logic.
    3. They roll on the Event Tables, and interpret the I-Ching-like results as modifications to the scene premise, or even a new "interrupt" scene.
    4. As players play out the scene, they ask yes/no questions to determine any facts about the game world not obvious from the scene setup or previously established facts. Players agree on the likelihood of a "yes" ("Impossible" ... "Has to be"), then someone rolls against the Fate Chart to determine whether the result is in fact yes or no (or "extremely" yes/no). Note that the questions players choose to ask will determine what does or does not happen ... and that the rules suggest a maximum of two or three variations on the same question per scene before everyone moves on.
    5. At the end of the scene, players update lists of characters (PCs and NPCs) and plot threads. The Event Tables operate on characters and plot threads, chosen randomly. They also increment or decrement the Chaos Factor based on how unpredictable the last scene was; the higher the Chaos Factor, the more probable supposedly unlikely events occur.
    6. Play continues to the next scene (Step #2)


    Again, it depends on the other players being in "storytelling" mode, as opposed to "method actor" or "power gamer" mode. A "rules lawyer" would probably play Twenty Questions -- or 3000 Questions -- and need to be suppressed, in the Lewis Carroll sense. A room full of "casual gamers" might be a similar nightmare; if no one contributes ideas, nothing happens.

    Also, significiantly, all examples in the rules talk about only two players; three might work, but four or five might get contentious, and eight might be a nightmare. If I took the system on a trial run, I'd prefer either a GM who deferred to the Mythic system, or a "distributed GM" where all the Mythic tasks fell to different players, each of whom was the final word on their area.
    "On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."
    - Charles Babbage (1791 - 1871)

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    Quote Originally Posted by fmitchell View Post
    ... and need to be suppressed, in the Lewis Carroll sense. ...
    To clarify that remark, I'll quote from Alice in Wonderland

    As that is rather a hard word, I will just explain to you how it was done. They had a large canvas bag, which tied up at the mouth with strings; into this they slipped the guinea-pig, head first, and then sat upon it.
    So it has nothing to do with taking nude photos of prepubescent girls at all.
    "On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."
    - Charles Babbage (1791 - 1871)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Farcaster View Post
    I've done a few choose-your-own adventure books when I was a kid. Does that count?
    That's exactly what I was thinking, heck I still have like 30 of those books.

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