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Some thoughts on the book...

Sat 29 Apr 2017, 14:30

Hey everyone!

I just got my hands on the book and started to read. I haven't finish it yet but I want it to hear what you guys have to say. It's mainly chapter 2. Many of the places that are described there, are not marked on the map. The same with some references they do to vehicles, i.e., JR-17 or MSPB-13, AMAT-1, AMAT-2, ABM-100. I like the fact that is free for everyone to come up with whatever we want the places to be or the vehicles to look like, but I thought these were somehow tide to the rules or the setting and spend some time looking for them on the rest of the book. I don't know, it felt like the chapter was missing something.

Another challenge that I see is if you have people playing that didn't grew up during the 80s. It's hard for them to grasp what was all about compare to someone that lived the decade.

What you girls/guys think?

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Joined: Fri 05 Jun 2015, 10:42

Re: Some thoughts on the book...

Sat 29 Apr 2017, 15:49

I've played with both mixed groups and groups with players who haven't touched the 80s during their lifespan. Both have worked well. A few weeks back I had a mixed group of four adults (growing up in the 80s) and two 15-year-old teenagers.

The nostalgic connection is of course different, but the setting is just a skeleton to allow mysterious things to happen, and the era mostly just shapes how the NPC adults act - which should feel distanced or non-understandable for the kid playing characters anyway.
It rids us of cell phones, and removes internet from the equation, essentially isolating the kids in their own bubble of the world — with school trouble, relationships with friends, things happening in the news that are hard to comprehend.

I've had the best sessions when we haven't tried to force nostalgia, but rather focused our session on relationships and curiosity.

Rollspelens andra guldålder är här!

Spelutvecklare, skribent, och Fria Ligan hang-around. (Det bara blev så.)
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Björn Hellqvist
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Location: Sweden

Re: Some thoughts on the book...

Sat 29 Apr 2017, 20:15

People in their teens playing TFtL are less removed from the 1980's than people like me (born in 1965) playing Call of Cthulhu in a 1920's setting. Like Karbonara said, some modern technologies aren't available, just like it's even more analog in the first half of the 20th century. Good roleplayers should be able to adjust to it, provided the GM give them sufficient background info. In a way, it's not that different from playing in a fantasy RPG campaign.

As for the vehicle designations, I wrote most of that, and made up most of them on the spot. The JR-17 (Jaktrobot 17 - "Hunter robot 17"), MSPB-13 (Magnetrindriven spaningspansarbil 13 - "Magnetrine propelled armored reconnaissance car 13") aren't illustrated; if you need a specific vehicle or robot for a scenario, just make up a name and description. The AMAT-2 is the one below (art from "Things From the Flood"). I've been asked to write more detailed descriptions of a few magnetrine ships and robots for the stretchgoal blueprints, and am looking into what to cover. It's going to be items useful for scenarios, and not just some big-ass ship that takes forever to explore.

My life fades. The vision dims. All that remains are memories. I remember a time of chaos, ruined dreams, this wasted land.
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Re: Some thoughts on the book...

Tue 02 May 2017, 20:41

I think you have to approach the setting from a slightly different perspective than you would with, say, a D&D setting, where you want to know what everything means, what the rules are for everything etc. As for players who weren't born in the 80s, I don't see it as a problem, since the setting has much more to do with the way the 80s appear in movies and tv (whether made in the 80s, like Goonies or Back to the Future, or just set there, like Stranger Things) than with what things were really like back then. The book lists lots of movies, music, even music videos to get yourself into the 80s spirit, which for me is way more important than creating a perfectly real 80s setting.

As to bits of the setting that aren't fleshed out, I think it's great to have that much room to maneuver. The kids themselves aren't likely to know very much about robots, magnetrine ships, etc. - they know those things exist, but they're mysterious. The system itself doesn't really require people to come up with rules in advance anyway, since NPCs don't roll dice or really even have stats, they just have the occasional quality. So you just have to think, ok, what is this robot for? It's a military combat robot, so it has Military Hardware 3, meaning any attempt to fight it directly or damage it outright will need 3 successes - that's as far as the stats for npcs ever go.

And in terms of places that aren't described - for me this comes back to the rule about everyday life being boring. If it's just a normal place from everyday life, it doesn't need much fleshing out, because it's supposed to be just like everywhere else. If it's connected to a Mystery, then you'll want the freedom to invent the interesting details for yourself.

I think once you start connecting things like the simplicity of the rules and the numerous story hooks throughout the book to the vague references to places, technology, and so forth, you'll find you've got all you need to dive right into playing the game. Or at least that's been my experience!

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