Friday, March 22, 2019

Kickstarter: Critical Core

This is too cool to not signal boost any way I can. As I am sure you all know by now, I am a huge supporter of using games for education, and in using RPGs in particular for not only education but socialization. There are a lot of therapeutic aspects to gaming, and I have family members that use RPGs to help teach troubled kids.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

"Waiting is the bane of Exploration"

I was watching an old egoraptor video for some reason about The Legend of Zelda, and he dropped this line in the middle of a rant about Ocarina of Time's failings in design: "Waiting is the bane of exploration." The line made me sit up in my chair, because it kicked my brain over. There are parts of table top RPGs I don't like, and it is always hard to put my finger on them. I know I - in general - don't particularly enjoy dungeon crawls, and while I like the idea of exploration a session just about exploration tends to turn me off.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Setting the Social Contract

Over the weekend I ended up in a prolonged exchange with a fellow random internet citizen about their game. The person was disappointed because after putting a lot of effort into their game, having enthusiastic players, and working hard to build those players not only a spot in the game, but a place in the story...only a couple of them were really invested in the game.

I can tell you from first hand experience this can be a crushing feeling. You have all your hopes and effort into the idea of the game. Part of the idea is the return of your effort from the other people. Only...they don't seem that into it.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Discussion: How Far Ahead Do You Plan?

Some GMs will have an entire campaign planned out before the first session. Others won't even know what is going on in this session until shortly before. Most of us fall somewhere in between.

Which kind are you?

I tend to plan ahead a little bit. I like to have the next few sessions sketched out, particularly if I am doing a contained arc. If the PCs are going to a specific location, I'll sketch out the story of what is going on there which gives me guide posts for each session, and then I will flesh out the likely to be hit items before the session. Sometimes I over plan and end up with two or three sessions, but that is hardly a problem.

Just recently in one game I gave the PCs - in character - a teaser for what the entire end of the game is going to be. Once that fully kicks off - soon! - I'm not sure how long it'll take for them to get through it. I just know what pieces are on the board, and how those pieces will be moving.

In the other game, I have things planned to get them out of the current area. Beyond that I don't know. It will depend on what the PCs do.

How about you?

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

When The Adventurers Come To Town

I was reading Stuffer Shack and came across this article. It got me to thinking about my own games, and something I haven't been doing but perhaps should. Like a lot of things in RPGs, they don't flat out say what the impact of certain things are, but they give you the math to figure it out.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Starting on a Bad Note Can Be Good

When Matt Coleville proposed the "Chain of Acheron" campaign to his players he told them that the game would take place after a major defeat for the Chain, and that they would be playing the story of building the Chain back up to face their enemy. He then told his players they would be playing that first defeat. The players showed up for the first session knowing that they were going into a battle that they were going to lose, and lose hard.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Random Gender & Sexuality

On Wednesday I mentioned that I do Gender, Sexuality, and Age randomly when making characters. Today I want to explain how I do this, why, and why - if you're comfortable doing it - I recommend you give it a try.