So my previous post has generated some amount of comments :). (And no, Tim, I never thought you were attacking persona :) ). I thought I'd respond in a post, and also include a game description for one of the games I'll be running at AmberCon NW
The thing that seemed to spark the most comment was the remarks I made about looking for a more inwards focused game. I think I'm not describing myself well with that description. I feel like the games we've been playing, while very fulfilling in terms of scope, epicness and plot, leave something to be desired when one considers internal character strife. But even that doesn't really describe the problem... Closer would be to say that when you're stunting on such a large scale, and with the persona system, character individualization becomes meaningless.
This of course begs the question, how could one setup mechanics or a game to make the differences between characters more important. Just asking that question, though, isn't that useful. We see differences all the time flavor and inform the stunts that occur in game. This might be the real issue: I feel like there is no interaction. We sit down at the table, and no one's characters talk. The GM gives several challenges to the players, and the players think of some awesome things to do and stories to tell. What doesn't happen is the players rarely interact in character, in meaningful ways.
So, what do we need to make this more apparent? Bliss Stage is a great example of a system that won't allow you to get away with that style of roleplaying. Every scene in Bliss Stage is interaction between characters, and it rocks. Now, I think you loose the epicness of the thing and also plot is extremely difficult to come by. So I think what I'm looking for is closer to a middle ground. Something as free and flexible as persona but requiring you to interact like Bliss Stage. This might be as simple as making fragments purchased through character interaction... I'm not sure of the details of that, but if you had to have some past scene roleplayed in order to take a fragment, that might work. Even going so far as having the other players take the roles of NPCs in that scene, a la Polaris... I worry that that won't get the characters together though, just have more roleplaying in the discovery of their own character. A slight modification of that idea would be to have the scenes only take place between PCs, but I think then the PCs have to have a history together for that to make sense.
Anyway, I thought I'd also include the description of a game I'm running at AmberCon NW. I've already run it for the sunday crew, and it went very very well. I'm planning on running 3 games at this con, and I think I'm most excited about this one...
--- Game Description ---
Adventure / Heroic -- Non-Amber
To Leaders of the Houses of Literature
I hereby summon your representative to the Written Court. The Great
Scribe Jules Verne has petitioned me to engage a expedition to the
Central Library to bring the Librarian back from that most sacred place
and bring a new golden age to the world. I am commanding all of the
Houses to send a companion for Sir Verne to assist in this greatest of
quests. There will be much danger but also much reward, as those who
journey to the center of the world will have their names live forever
in the Word.
The High Wordsmith
Great Wordsmith of the House of Horror
Queen Mary Shelley
What if the world really did revolve around books? What if you could
journey to that fabled Central Library and see what it contained? What
if lived off of reading books? What if you gained magical powers from
reading the greatest of novels or becoming widely read? Journey to the
Central Library with Jules Verne and find out!
--- Setting ---
Set in a quasi-historical victorian setting. A world where reading
books provided sustenance and all the librarians are a little pudgy. A
fantastical world of literature and magic, all driven by the
imaginations of the Wordsmiths.
The system will be Persona, a very lightweight and fast system detailed
So if you think that sounds interesting, you should come to ACNW in Portland in November! Its the best con I go to all year!