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Story Games Seattle Message Board What We Played › Love, and be Silent (My Daughter the Queen of France)

Love, and be Silent (My Daughter the Queen of France)

Caroline
user 11624621
Olympia, WA
Post #: 45
Morgan: As for Shakespeare misrepresenting characters by letting them discuss without him/her, I don't think it's an issue. Shakespeare is just setting scenes, after all. And while he can add certainties, it's not like he can suddenly make a character admit they're a drug addict, when he really has no idea if they are. Does that make sense? People are likely to follow whatever suggestion is given about a character from the first scene their in. Some things get ingrained in the fiction, without any real intent, because of what players say when role-playing a secondary character. When I play Shakespeare, at least, I don't flex that much creative power over the other players' character traits.
Ben R.
thatsabigrobot
Group Organizer
Seattle, WA
Post #: 336
Lack of information is the enemy. Requiring the player to be ignorant to role-play ignorance takes away the player's ability to intentionally shape the story (like Caroline said, you may not even know when you're misrepresenting someone -- it's chaos not craft). It's hard enough sometimes getting on the same page when we're discussing openly, let alone when the game is set up so people intentionally hide things from each other. Then multiply that again when everyone's secrets aren't separate items, they're conflicting opinions about the same truth.

I think the secret "why do you think they're estranged" question is one of the things that leads to such high voltage characterizations of Shakespeare or the daughter as monsters / victims. You've got three or four secretly competing ideas and subtle loses to melodramatic. If you think Shakespeare is moody but someone else throws in that he has a heroin addiction, the drug addiction will trump moody.

I almost think it would be better if during setup the players openly agreed on a few different possibilities of why the estrangement happened, with the understanding that it was probably one of these or a blend. That way, like Caroline said, even your mischaracterizations or attempts to muddy the waters would have some interesting context for the players. We know what realms we're working in as we seek the truth.

I'm also against the idea of having the players describe their characters more sans Shakespeare. Why not have the Shakespeare player hear it? After all, he picked these people and should know them very very well.
A former member
Post #: 32
I think Shakespeare's ignorance is an important part of the game's magic. It would be very difficult to produce the kind of blind fumbling that Shakespeare does on purpose if you already knew what the answer was going to be. One thing I find exciting about the game is the way that a consensus about what really happens emerges from in character interactions when initially every player has different ideas. That's a totally different experience from deciding the truth out of character and then roleplaying the characters discovering it.

I guess I haven't really had the problem of someone making Shakespeare a heroin addict, though. It would kind of fuck up the game, but every time I've played the subdued emotional tone makes everybody pick things that are more subtle than that.
Ben R.
thatsabigrobot
Group Organizer
Seattle, WA
Post #: 337
I think you're right Martin, that chaos is very much a part of MDQoF, just like "telling a story not role-playing" is very much a part of Penny. But that's why they're an interesting change of pace but I wouldn't play them all the time.

(Oh and I wasn't suggesting an answer, just a range of possible answers. Basically having the players put the list on the table even if they didn't say which they believed.)
Morgan
Mathalus
Olympia, WA
Post #: 28
Caroline I really like your idea, you're right if they don't talk about it up front we''ll never know what the characters are really like . Talking about it up front means you could have less table talk and more tension during the game.

Ben will you talk more about why people should put a list on the table up front rather than explore.
Ben R.
thatsabigrobot
Group Organizer
Seattle, WA
Post #: 338
If you started the game with each character thinking a simple statement out loud, like "I think she had a drug problem" or "I think he pressured her too hard to be like him" you'd have a sense of what these people think they've seen. Players could then use that to weave things in more subtly (like showing hints of drugs) and everyone would know why that hint mattered, even if ultimately it was shown to be untrue.

But again, maybe the blind chaos is part of the fun. It's not like MDQoF is trying to construct a factual narrative since you never actually establish what really happened. Even when you think you know what happened, you don't. Establishing "the truth" is basically forbidden by the rules.
Daniel W.
user 70062542
Vancouver, BC
Post #: 1
Hi everyone. I'm glad the game went well (and that Morgan emailed me about these threads.) I really appreciate all the discussion around inter-Friend communication, especially during the set-up phase, as that is one of the areas of the game where I feel like the instructions/rules are weakest. As Caroline mentioned, my original conception of the game did not include such a central role for the Friends as characters in the scenes, though it is now pretty obvious both why that tends to happen and why it is so much fun.

But it does add an extra layer of complexity to the characterization of the Friends, since the input from the friends-as-characters-in-scenes tends to overwhelm the input from the friends-as-actors-of-characters -- the latter is necessarily subtle, and rigorously constrained by the current rules. But while the (mis)characterization of Shakespeare/The Daughter is basically the guiding tension of the game, (mis)characterization of Shakespeare's Friends can become distracting (and discouraging.)

The current revision (still sadly mostly in my head) takes some steps to address this, but I am always interested in how different groups come at the issue; sometimes it doesn't seem to be a problem at all, while other times players will proactively make efforts to avoid it becoming a problem, as with Caroline's Shakespeare, leaving the room (along with I assume some explicit instructions that the Friends should use that time to chat amongst themselves about the situation?)

For those wondering, my current revision is simply to have more explicit guidelines for the Friends about how much of their questionnaire to share with each other. Right now the game specifically tells them to only share some answers and to keep others private; the revised suggestion will be to share what the other Friends (and Shakespeare) might reasonably know of their answers. So a Friend who has been very vocal about the situation may tell everyone what they think went wrong, while others may be close-lipped. This is basically an expansion of the current version's advice about the answer to the 'how do you know the Daughter?' question.

(For those still wondering, I am not really a fan of this revision on an aesthetic level -- I want the game to have only rules which are either hard/procedural or unspoken/social, and it falls somewhere in the ugly middle -- but I do think some of the problems with toe-stepping and/or free-for-all character assassination require some sort of address.)

Daniel
(who wrote the game)
((which doesn't matter))
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