How to Play PTA Like Paul Tevis

June 4, 2009

NOTE: Some of the information in this post about PTA resolution is, in fact, false. Proceed at your own risk! Also, apologies to Matt and Paul for misusing their words. I do think some of the stuff in this post is important, but any value therein has probably been smothered by my poor attempt to use PTA as an example. I’ll have to try some other time to talk effectively about player advocacy in resolution.

I’ve decided to give up on forums for a bit and catch up on blogging and podcasts. As such, inspired by HGWT:FAFGM #35 and #37, I want to talk a bit about why I can’t really enjoy playing Primetime Adventures anymore, at least as written, and shamelessly steal from Paul Tevis in trying to construct something that would work better for me, which is not really at all like Paul plays PTA (the title of this post is a lie).

How PTA Resolution is Supposed to Work (NOTE: #2 is wrong, see comments)

1. A player declares something that want to have happen (generally something their character does.)
2. The GM declares an alternative, generally negative, outcome for their character.
3. The GM and player assign a number of cards to this resolution, drawn randomly from a deck.
4. Whoever has the most red cards gains their outcome.
5. Whoever has the highest showing card narrates how that outcome occurs.

Let’s Follow the Line of Advocacy

Post-Forge indie game designers have often been concerned about shifting narrative control, who has the right to say what, but have rarely paid attention to shifting player advocacy, which is what makes standard PTA resolution problematic for me. Watch how this happens:

1. A player advocates something they want to happen.
2. The GM advocates for something else, which is ideally supposed to be equally interesting in terms of moving the narrative forward.
3. The GM and player assign cards to their outcomes, assuming that each side still wants to win, even if the player likes the GM’s suggested outcome better and actually wants the GM’s outcome to occur (a potential shift in advocacy).
4. One of the outcomes occurs.
5. Potentially, the GM or player will be asked to narrate an outcome that they didn’t personally come up with or one, in the player’s case, that may no longer really excite them in comparison to the GM’s suggested outcome, which essentially means that players are asked to advocate for things they don’t believe in, which, in my experience often sucks for both the player, the group, and the outcome.

This destroys PTA for me and for many of the groups I’ve played with. Player excitements about various outcomes frequently don’t align with what the resolution mechanics ask them to do, which is very grating in many instances.

What’s the Baggage Here That’s Causing This?

I think the main culprit is the traditional idea of Success/Failure in resolution, which doesn’t accurately describe what’s happening here. As Paul himself advocates in these two podcasts from the early Spring, failure should be as interesting as success, narratively, so I don’t really think we’re talking about Success/Failure anymore. What we’re talking about is a junction in the narrative, where events could go off in one of two (or more) directions and the resolution helps decide which direction to head in. Sure, some situations might be better or worse for the characters, but separating possible results into a simply binary like success/failure or good/bad is just going to mess us up and limit the interesting possibilities here.

You can see this kind of thing working more effectively in Otherkind and its descendants (including stuff like Ghost/Echo), where the players invest and advocate for all possible outcomes semi-evenly. You declare what the outcomes are, without directly tieing them to individual player advocacy, and then use a randomizer to determine which one of them occurs. And there’s no way for players to advocate more strongly for one outcome over another. This means that there are no shifts in advocacy and no internal bickering or turmoil about which outcome a player might prefer. Their preferences are irrelevant.

How Would You Fix PTA, Jonathan?

I’m glad you asked 🙂

1. There are no conflicts, only junctions. The group, together, brainstorms multiple possible outcomes and narrows them down to 2 or 3 ones that they find particularly appropriate, interesting, etc. They are not seperated into Success/Failure or anything like that.

2. Players draw or assign cards for each possible outcome.

3. The outcome with the most red cards occurs.

4. The GM and players collectively narrate that outcome.

I’m sure other people would do different things or may not be at all frustrated by the shifts in player advocacy that occur in PTA’s resolution mechanics. My issues largely derive from my own personal sockets and issues.

54 Responses to “How to Play PTA Like Paul Tevis”

  1. Ewen Says:

    I’ve been working on a game called Raspberry Heaven, inspired by slice-of-life 4-panel manga, and the game flat-out didn’t work until I totally discarded notions of success and failure. For certain kinds of fiction and play, it’s just not relevant.

  2. ColinC Says:

    That’s an interesting fix. Reminds me of those interactive TV shows and movies that pop up from time to time, where you “vote” for the outcome of a scene.

    I’m curious – when you do this, do you see the players advocating more for “outcome that my character wants” or for “outcome that would make good TV”? Or is the distinction meaningless/different?


  3. Ewen: Total 100% agreement there. Success/Failure is one of the biggest blinders in all of roleplaying. For SO MANY types of stories, that distinction is not interesting at all, yet people keep shoving it in. Drives me nuts.

    Colin: Yeah, I didn’t really say how cards would be assigned to various outcomes, so this isn’t really a hack, just a sense of how I would proceed if I was to hack PTA. You could go a number of different ways.

    One might be to assign the same number of cards for each outcome (5, say) and then allow players to spend Fanmail/Budget to place more cards on outcomes they especially liked (traits wouldn’t give you cards since outcomes are wouldn’t be tied to characters).

    But maybe player preferences shouldn’t matter at all? Maybe the outcome should be randomly determined by 5 cards for each outcome. And maybe on ties BOTH outcomes occur, yeah? I could see that working too.

  4. Matt Wilson Says:

    Hi Jonathan. Just a note: #2 on your list does not exist in the rules for Primetime Adventures.


  5. Matt: Consider me somewhat scandalized. I loaned my copy of the game away and haven’t gotten it back. How is it supposed to work? Are there no stakes in PTA?

  6. Matthijs Holter Says:

    Jonathan,

    Read Archipelago already. I know I’m blowing my own horn here (or whatever it’s called), but I’m watching you reinventing my wheel.


  7. Matthijs: But reinvented your wheel is my favorite hobby. What will I do once I realize that you’ve done all this before? (Off to read it now).

  8. Matthijs Holter Says:

    I, at least, am humble and informed enough to know that you’ve done everything before me, which is the reason I steal your ideas a lot.

  9. ColinC Says:

    And maybe on ties BOTH outcomes occur, yeah? I could see that working too.

    That provision is in the original rules set, so yeah. It would add an element of serendipity to the process as well, which I like.


  10. Matthijs: Just finished reading it and was shocked by how similar it is to Mare Caspium (which I wrote after you wrote Archipelago). It’s like Mare Caspium & Shock: had a Norwegian baby. The only thing is that I don’t think your ritual phrases sound quite right in English. “Do it again, please,” for example, sounds pretty harsh, like: “No, you did it wrong. Try again, idiot. And you better get it right this time.” But I dig the structure and think you’ve probably written the best short description of co-op play ever, making things like Ian Millington’s Ergo irrelevant.


  11. Colin: Yeah, though I’m still waiting for somebody to clarify how stakes setting is supposed to work. All the reviews of PTA I can find suggest that the Producer sets negative or alternative outcomes for not achieving stakes.

    • Paul Tevis Says:

      “All the reviews of PTA I can find suggest that the Producer sets negative or alternative outcomes for not achieving stakes.”

      All of those reviews are wrong.


    • I’m working from memory here, but I recall that it works more like this:

      1. A player declares something that want to have happen (generally something their character does.)
      2. The GM and player assign a number of cards to this resolution, drawn randomly from a deck.
      3. If the player has the most red cards, then he gains his outcome. Otherwise, not.
      4. Whoever has the highest showing card narrates how that outcome occurs.

      If there are multiple players involved, it works like this:

      1. Each player declares something that want to have happen (generally something their character does.)
      2. The GM and players assign a number of cards to this resolution, drawn randomly from a deck. NOTE: the GM pays for one set of cards, not one set per player.
      3. Each player compares his cards to the GM’s cards. If the player has the most red cards, then he gains his outcome. Otherwise, not.
      4. Whoever has the highest showing card narrates how all these outcomes (or lack thereof) occur.

      The GM doesn’t set stakes in PTA. Rather, he establishes the general perversity level of the world, and the system dictates all outcomes. Then, one person narrates the result, taking into account all the success and failure dictated by the system.

      It’s actually not a “stake-setting” system, at least as commonly understood these days.


      • Seth: Thanks for the clarification. So the possible outcomes are then [player’s declaration] or [NOT player’s declaration]? Which, yeah, isn’t stakes as we’ve come to think of them.

        That definitely mitigates a lot of what I was saying about shifting advocacy, since there’s really only one stated outcome at the time of resolution, which presumably the player wants to have happen because it’s the only outcome on the table and they’ve just declared it.

      • Fred Hicks Says:

        Actually, as written in the text, stakes manifest as a question that is to be resolved, and the conflict resolution is simply a mechanism whereby it’s determined who has the authority to answer that question. There’s no “A or Not A”.

  12. Matthijs Holter Says:

    So I’ll have to read Mare Caspium, then 🙂 BTW, any comments you might have on the language are more than welcome – if you have more, drop me a mail!

  13. Fred Hicks Says:

    Well, looking at “Step 2: What are the stakes?” on page 61 of the copy I have, it just talks about the protagonist setting his own stakes and being clear about what those stakes are. The producer then spends budget, in step 3, to get himself some cards as well to play in the conflict. Various folks throw down cards and whatnot throughout the process until a rest state is achieved, and then the cards are flipped over. The person who “wins” determines how those stakes are resolved.

    [What follows is entirely my opinion and should not be read as me proclaiming the gospel truth. Anyone who tries to insist that I’m trying to proclaim truth will get a boot to the head.]

    I think in Matt’s mind, this means that there’s no “this side/that side” to stakes, but the game is not actually as clear about that model as I’d want it to be.

    What I think Matt and Paul are missing is that your #2 (the #2 from all of those reviews) is an automatic, implicit side-effect of that lack of guidance.

    Matt and Paul are right: your #2 is not in the rules.

    But you’re also right: your #2 arises in play much more often than not, because the guidance that could prevent that side-effect is not blazingly apparent on the page 61-62 explanation of determining the stakes.

    Most players I encounter, when they’re determining the stakes of conflict, engage in an almost reflexive this side/that side construction to the stakes (yes, this is “wrong”, except the text doesn’t really say that explicitly).

    Since the producer often takes up the position of providing opposition to the protagonist’s intentions regarding the stakes (otherwise, let’s be honest, the protagonist is providing his own opposition, which I think has been discussed to death at this point as boring), I think this then manifests as the producer advocating whatever “side” the protagonist doesn’t pick.

    Which, as a pretty consistently emergent behavior in play, is how the game *runs* whether or not it’s how it’s *written*, in the hands of many, many players.

  14. Judd Says:

    I have to take some responsibility for this rules gaff too.

    When I first started playing PTA and was first getting my feet wet with intent based conflict res, the other game I was playing was Burning Wheel, which flat out does state that the GM gives the effects of failure should the roll fail.

    I played PTA that way for a while and recorded it and talked about it on Sons of Kryos. I feel somewhat responsible for the mix-up being so pervasive.

    I don’t blame the PTA text but I do blame the various forum dialog about stakes setting, myself included as a participant.

  15. John Harper Says:

    Fred, I’ve never, ever seen that happen in PTA play.

    I know it does happen. Some people on the internet have said so, and I believe them. I just wanted to say my experience across many PTA games is very different and I wouldn’t call this misreading of the rules “consistently emergent” anymore than I would call by-the-book play more common. I don’t think we have any actual data to support claims like that.

    It’s possible to misinterpret the PTA rules. The conflict procedure could be clearer. I totally agree on those counts.

    • Fred Hicks Says:

      I think it’s not only possible to misinterpret them, it’s likely, due to choices of language and a lack of excessive guidance on the subject of stakes (below, I make the case that the term “stakes” is actually a bad fit for what happens at that point in PTA).

      • John Harper Says:

        I realize you think it’s likely, Fred. That’s different from saying, “It is the most likely outcome that occurs among PTA players,” which is just hyperbole.

        But, yes, I hear you. I also think the conflict section needs a re-write, as does Matt.

      • Brand Robins Says:

        It’s also been my personal experience that in THE OLDEN DAYS OF YORE (ahem) fewer people read PTA as having two-sided stakes setting. But as more and more “indie style story like game things” started defaulting to that kind of stakes setting, more folks started assuming that it was there.

        Which means that part of the problem we’re seeing is a shift in cultural understanding of those who are playing the game. Back when folks didn’t see two-sided stakes as a default mode, fewer folks defaulted to it. But now that it is a default for a lot of people (see the ongoing and endless confusion over how IAWA does NOT use stakes), it is a problem for more folks.

        Ah, gamer cultural drift. Isn’t it wonderful?


  16. Fred: Thanks for trying to dig something useful out of this near debacle. I do think there’s something interesting in the way the play of games can tend to drift in directions the authors never intended. In the case of PTA, like you, I suspect that this isn’t entirely because of “stakes-setting brain damage” from other indie games (though it probably is in my case), since, like I said, all the RPGnet reviews I read suggested that the Producer set negative stakes, and at least one of those reviews was by someone who didn’t have background in indie games at all. It’s possible the old “player sets success / GM sets failure” stuff from D&Detc. is the ultimate culprit there, or it could be something else.

    In other news, I’ve added a new NOTE to the beginning of this post, with apologies for mis-characterizing Matt and Paul’s words. Hopefully we’ll be able to pick up my main point, the issue of player advocacy in resolution, some other time.

    • Fred Hicks Says:

      Yeah. That’s an interesting original point, but I think it’s irrevocably lost in this post, at least. You should definitely see if you can do another post later that doesn’t use PTA as the example. 😉

  17. Fred Hicks Says:

    Honestly, the problem arises from calling these things “stakes”. Look outside of RPGs for a minute, folks: what are stakes, elsewhere, say in poker? They’re something you risk, yes, but they’re also something you *win*, you *gain*. It’s a short line connecting that connotation of the term and the decision that stakes are “you win this, or you lose this”, with the protagonist pursuing you-win-this, and the producer pursuing you-lose-this.

    But if you read the step 2 I’m referring to on pages 61-62, stakes don’t manifest that way*. What they manifest as is QUESTIONS.

    So call them QUESTIONS already. All that PTA conflict resolution is doing is determining who gets to provide the ANSWER to the QUESTION.

    * Sample “stakes” from the text:

    >> “Can Roxy continue to impress her friends?”
    >> “Can Billy impress his father?”

    I would have liked to have seen about 20 more samples, but that’s pretty much what I was able to get out of it.

    It’s hard not to see how a reader would look at those two examples and not end up thinking “that’s a yes or no question”. It’s *not*, of course, but I think the folks who don’t see it as yes or no are seeing it that way due to their temperament and individual play experiences, and not because the text helped them find their way to that.

    • John Harper Says:

      There’s only one question: Does the protagonist get what they want?

      You draw cards and find out. Yes or No.

      The group narration of the action and outcome of the conflict (with high card as buck-stopper) fills in the nuance. The “Yes, but…” or “No, and…” kind of stuff. Sometimes, the details of the “yes, and…” stuff lead right in to new conflicts.

      • Rob Donoghue Says:

        That, I think, may be the heart of the matter, because there’s a second question: “Is this a good question?”

        I hate commenting without the book in front of me, so I’ll double check when I get home, but it has always seemed the “producer version” of the outcome was a necessary mental exercise to make sure this was the right conflict. Since the conflict’s failure should not stop play, it behooves everyone involved to, at least informally, have a sense that this _could_ fail but the story would keep moving.

        That productive failure not always obvious, and it’s the sort of thing that is reasonable to discuss at the table, at least in cases where the entire table is not hard core.

        Now, this is not the same thing as explicit stake setting, but at the same time it is not hard for me to envision that discussion to become something of a best practice. If that’s the case, formalizing the role of the Producer’s version is a tiny, entirely reasonable step.

        Now, I know I’ve seen this happen enough that I feel comfortable wondering why it happens (rather than “does it happen?”) and it does not strike me as going as far from the reservation as some are seeming to suggest.

        -Rob D.

      • Fred Hicks Says:

        See, even that reflects a bias. Sometimes the protagonist doesn’t know what she or he wants, but the conflict is there all the same: because the *players* have different answers to the question, “So what happens next?”

      • John Harper Says:

        But… that “bias” is the game. In PTA, you only ever have a conflict over whether or not a protag gets what they want.

        A “What happens next” disagreement among the players is not a thing you draw cards over in PTA. You handle that issue in some other way. Card draws are exclusively and ONLY about what the fictional characters want.

      • Fred Hicks Says:

        Okay, I’ve reread page 61. You’re right: it says stakes are what the protagonist wants. That’s an interesting discovery; it’s definitely a much narrower vision of the game than I’ve ever had before.

  18. Matt Wilson Says:

    Hey JW, no biggie, just wanted you to know.

    FWIW, I’m not a huge fan of the conflict style you meant to discuss.


    • Matt: Cool. Yeah, it’s interesting that the way it’s supposed to work seems to be (at least partially) the inspiration for the Hopes in Bliss Stage (which I’ve been thinking about recently). That help clarify it in my mind, at least. Though, given Harper’s assertion that it’s about character desires, that’s a bit more centered on specific characters in the fiction, rather than more general Hopes like “I hope we figure out what the Bliss is.” More, like, uh, the hopes in Dogs initiations: “I hope I prove to everyone that I’m not a coward.”

      I’ll try running PTA more that way and see if it works better for me. I’d be thrilled if that brought back the enjoyment I remember having with it years back, which has lately been not as strong (probably my own fault).

      • Matt Wilson Says:

        Dogs initiation is a spot on example of how I’d want to do it in play. My issue is all about being respected, so I don’t want anyone to think I’m a coward. Perfect.


      • Awesome. Glad I’m getting where you’re coming from. It’s too bad so many of us have been playing each others games wrong for years!

  19. DevP Says:

    I don’t think the clarification on the PTA rule changes the core issue, that of advocacy (regardless of PTA), because IME:

    – you often still need to massage what an answering a question means, which if left unkempt can lead to dual stake-setting

    – the players pursuit of a question may not result in real advocacy for one side of the result or the other

    – if you’re trading narration rights around, you still might have someone not-as-invested in an outcome but having to narrate it (and that someone causes interested details to emerge, but sometimes does not)

    So anyway, followup good.


    • Dev: Yeah, it’s certainly true that, however the results happen, somebody has to step up an advocate for the results (or more than one person, possibly, if you play it co-op John Harper style, with the high card merely being buck-stopper).

      I can imagine situations, like Rob, where no one in the group has really strong feelings about a failure, where failure is not especially interesting for anyone, but then, I guess, you just hope the group has the frame of mind to not make it a conflict. But Rob’s right that, in order to figure out if anyone’s interested in failure, most likely you have to think about failure, which can come dangerously close to setting double stakes.

      Frex, say your character shoots someone. Bang! As producer, I’m trying to decide whether this is worth having a conflict over, so I think, “What the hell am I going to narrate if you fail and narration passes to me?” so I’m setting double stakes in my head, even if it’s not out loud. I’m not certain that’s a problem, but what it does do is inject a bit of “Say yes or you better damn well have negative outcomes in mind that you feel like advocating” into PTA which may not be great. If I go ahead and let you shoot someone, because I can’t think of good negative outcomes, that means it happens without resistance from the mechanics, which may ultimately mean it’s less important in the narrative (since conflicts often seem more important than non-conflicts, due to time spent on them and mechanics being engaged).

      Which is all to say… yeah. I’m not sure that’s all about advocacy, though.

      • John Harper Says:

        JWalt:(or more than one person, possibly, if you play it co-op John Harper style, with the high card merely being buck-stopper)

        Hey… it’s not my style. 🙂

        Page 65: “The entire group participates in the narration, but one player has the authority to synthesize everyone’s contributions and say for certain what it was that did or didn’t happen.”


      • That was tongue-in-cheek, so clearly I missed the ;P I agree that way makes so much more sense than the way we’ve done it before and mitigates even my most recent comments on advocacy, at the bottom.

  20. Ian Says:

    You know, I actually like the PTA example still. Even if Jonathan has the details wrong, he’s definitely captured something that does happen from time to time in PTA. Moreover, the fix seems like something that might just, well, fix the problem.

    The problem isn’t primarily with the alternative stakes (which Jonathan misrepresents), but with the way in which the resolution mechanic that makes results binary–does x get what they want or not? While it’s not exactly the same as win/lose, it’s pretty darn close and, more often than not, functionally identical.

    I’m not sure I would want to use the fix all the time, but it would be great to have a “hey guys, maybe we should kick this out of the usual resolution into the juncture mechanic. It seems like there is more going on here than the usual resolution will let us get at.”

    • schlafmanko Says:

      “which is not really at all like Paul plays PTA”

      Dammit! I’ve been playing Paul-style PTA all wrong.

      (Seriously, there were a couple points when you and Ian talk about junctures and I’m all, “but you can totally do that in PTA!” because I’m busy remembering examples. Mentally I call that kind of conflict reading tea leaves. I don’t think I’d like the fix you’re suggesting, though, because the magic of playing PTA like Paul Tevis is that you can use the same basic mechanic both for character advocacy and for group story-juncture brainstorming, as the situation warrants. Sometimes you’re standing back from your character a bit and you want to figure out what direction the story goes in. Sometimes you-as-your-character really want to stab a guy. Now I tend to use the former approach more; my husband, the latter. But it’s nice that the basic conflict mechanic is flexible enough that we can seamlessly get it to do both, albeit by ignoring what the book apparently says about how that mechanic is supposed to be used.)


  21. I just realized that my point about advocacy still holds true from the player’s side, even with the correct PTA mechanics.

    EXAMPLE:

    I’m a player. I say what my character wants to have happen. I draw cards against the GM and fail, but still get narration (this is like basically like Trollbabe, yeah?).

    – If I wanted my character to get what they wanted (since the PC and player may not want the same thing), I’m likely to mitigate the failure or at least make it possible that I might still get what I want eventually.

    – If I wanted my character to NOT get what they wanted or was equally interested in success and failure, I’ll probably hose the fuck out of them and do something really cool with that failure.

    Ultimately, it seems to me that the second option is the best, meaning that the best of both worlds is for the player to be raising a question or hope for their character that both the player and producer are interested in resolving but don’t feel too strongly one way or another about how it might be resolved or can think of multiple interesting and contradictory outcomes, meaning that either player or producer can strongly narrate whatever outcome occurs, instead of creating more weaksauce.

    However, that’s not a stance that is necessarily taken by PTA players all or even most of the time. There’s some bleed-over facestabbing play that happens where players strongly side with their characters’ desires and then there’s the tragic stance from Polaris etc. where you like inflicting horrors on your character and find success boring. So advocacy can still be kinda complicated sometimes.


    • But actually, this is mitigated by Harper’s point about outcomes being determined by the group, with the buck stopping at the high-card drawer. So clearly Matt is smarter than all of us. I’ll get you yet, Wilson!

  22. Paul Tevis Says:

    To get back around to the original topic, have you played Annalise, Jonathan? What you’re asking for has a lot in common with the way Moments work in that game, though it allows for multivalent outcomes.

    I’m actually at a similar place with my sensibilities. I didn’t realize it when I was designing it, but A Penny For My Thoughts has a similar thing going on. It doesn’t have conflicts per se, just branching paths. And this alleged game I’m working on now does a similar thing.

    • Jonathan Walton Says:

      Yeah, Annalise is a good example. I think the “Boston school” (by which I basically mean Nathan, Dev, and myself, plus some other folks less active online) has talked about this amongst ourselves and shares similarities in this regard. I did something similar in Mare Caspium, having “complications” instead of conflicts, with is partially why it won “Best Design Runner-Up” or whatever. And there is a growing shift away from conflict resolution as the core of what mechanics deal with, I think.

      • Paul Tevis Says:

        I’m certainly seeing that shift in my thoughts about games. Which may influence why I’m starting to see it elsewhere.

      • Jonathan Walton Says:

        Yeah, I mean it’s possible this kind of thing has been around for a while as a shift in playstyles, but I think it’s only recently that we’ve begun to see it in rules texts, at least as far as I can tell. But published game texts typically lag behind what people are doing at the table and there’s plenty of stuff people are doing that never makes it into rules texts or only exists in short documents that don’t see wider distribution and recognition.

        For example, there are a bunch of “indie game designers” in Boston (though they don’t consider themselves that) who create game texts of various length that they use to run things for their local groups but never, ever distribute these things online. I personally know of a really cool heist game and a full-length samurai supplement for The Riddle of Steel that will mostly likely never be released in any format. It makes me sad, personally, but a wider release just isn’t what those designers are interested in. They see themselves as GMs, first.

  23. timfire Says:

    You know, I hear this bit about “junctions”, and I think to myself—“Isn’t that basically the definition of a (good) Bang?”

    Am I missing something?

    • Brand Robins Says:

      If I understand correctly, the junctions we’re talking about aren’t things that the GM introduces to provoke character reactions, they’re moments where system has been engaged in a way that is going to change the course of the game going forward.

      So, certainly a good bang brings you to a place where the fiction will change, but we’re not talking about something the GM tosses in — we’re talking about the places where we engage system to determine outcome and the ways that the nature of the system requires us to approach that and the results it will generate as a result.

  24. Paul Tevis Says:

    I’ll also throw in that my usual way of playing games is “wrong.” I find it very illuminating to re-read the rules after I’ve played to see what I didn’t get right the first time around. Ever since that horrible mistake with Bang…


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