Saturday, January 07, 2006


An Entirely Different "Wow"

So I'm looking through the chapter on Shadowguiding from White Wolf's Wraith: The Oblivion, because the whole Wraith/Shadow thing was very cool, and I'm stealing a lot of it for Imp. On page 177 I come across this sidebar:

A Matter Of Trust: It is recommended that at the beginning of each session, player and Shadowguide sit down for a few minutes to discuss the character the Shadowguide will be tempting. Some players may balk at this, fearing that by sharing the secrets of their character with their Shadowguide, they are also giving the Shadowguide's character an unfair advantage in the form of knowledge of their Passions and Fetters.

While unscrupulous players may take information they learn out of character (i.e., as Shadowguide) and let their regular characters use it, Wraith players should be mature enough to seperate what they know from what their characters know, and to trust their fellow players not to "metagame" or cheat. If you can trust your fellow players to report their dice rolls honestly and create their character honestly, you should be able to trust them to keep your character's secrets.

(from the 2nd Edition, 1998)

Oh man. Sometimes, there aren't the words.

Because, you know, in Wraith, a cheating player can win the game so easily.
Polaris: Like Wraith, but with cheating.

The last line is very nice.
Interesting that it makes the point about not playing with people you don't trust not to ruin your fun, and then goes on to define what that untrustworthy, fun ruining behaviour is. Yet it does so in reverse order. If it had left off that definition bit, would we have a problem with it?
The other thing that seems interesting to me, is that it seems like the fear is that another player would abuse the power to apply adversity- yet a single GM is entrusted with this kind of power all the time.
Well, the implication that a characters Passions and Fetters should be secret from everyone else (something that I don't really see in the rest of the text) is so out of left field for me. It's like going to Ben & Jerry's and then telling the clerk to guess what kind of ice cream you want - sure, you can, but what's the chance that they'll select the one you want? Wouldn't it lead to a better ice cream experience to just have that information be out there?

So, to answer Claire, that first paragraph is just as problematic to me as the second one.
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