Friday, December 2, 2016

Discussion: Hero or Villain?

On Monday we talked about what it took to play a Hero. On Wednesday we talked about what it took to play a Villain. Today I have a simple question for you: Do you prefer playing Heroes or Villains?

There are a lot of good things that come out of playing a Villain. For one, a good villain is about the coolest thing around, and when you play a villain right you can be so very good about being that villain. There is also the mental exercises, and the liberation of not having to feel guilty about wiping out a small town because you needed the philosopher's stone before someone else got their hands on it. Really, there are a lot of good reasons to play a villain with the right group, and I love doing it.

However, if I'm honest with myself, I think I prefer playing heroes. There's enough darkness and villainy in the real world, and sometimes it's just nice to have that reassuring presence - even if you have to play it to get it. As much fun as there is in being a villain, there is just as much in being a Hero. Making the "bad" decisions because they save lives, standing up for the little guy, and righting wrongs that you're powerless to right in the real world can be very cathartic.

I'm always down to be the bad guy, but those times when I get to play a character that is truly good inside? Those make for some of the most memorable games I've ever been able to play in.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

So You Want To Be A Villain

On Monday we talked about being a Hero. Today I want to talk about being a Villain. Villain PCs and groups of Villain PCs are among the most common requests I see in RPG communities. If a company makes a Star Wars game, people want rules for playing Imperial PCs. Make a game of Orcs trying to kill all humanity, and people will want rules for playing those orcs. In the RPG community sometimes it feels like there are as many people wanting to play Evil characters as Good. As many Villains as Heroes. I don't think it's true - there's a reason most games still come from the perspective of the PCs being the good guys. Still, if you GM for long you'll get at least a few requests for people to play villains, so let's talk about it.

Monday, November 28, 2016

So You Want To Be A Hero

RPGs give a great opportunity to be something that you're not. It enables you to take on the role of someone with the convictions and will that perhaps you could only dream of. To make the choices, the hard choices, that perhaps you'd only dream of being able to make. Someone who can literally fight and die for their beliefs - or, even better, someone who can fight and make the other guy die for his beliefs. In short, RPGs let you be a hero and today I want to talk about that, and give some tips into playing a character that others - love or hate - will at least agree that they're someone to aspire to.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Thinking Out The End Game

About 2 years and 3 months ago I started running a Star Wars game using the new Fantasy Flight Games system. The game is still going, but the PCs are higher XP than I think the system was ever designed to handle. Beyond that, the plot has progressed to the point where we're fast approaching the end game. The problem is, I figured we'd be going into a last arc which could go a bit before the end. Then I played out the events from a different perspective and realized that there are several potential end points coming up, and I have no idea which one we're going to. This is a good thing, but it's also something I want to explore a bit further.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Why Have A Holiday?

Today is Thanksgiving in the United States. It's a National Holiday that for many people is bigger than Christmas, at least for their enjoyment and how much they look forward to it. It also has me thinking about why Holidays happen, and what that can mean for your game. We've talked before about Holidays, but I'm not sure we went into the cause aside from just briefly. So, without further ado, let's get into it.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the states. Hope everyone has a safe Black Friday. There will be a post later today to make up for the missed one on Wednesday. Be safe. Enjoy Turkey!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Two Things Your Game Needs

A lot of the GMs around where I live are "story" GMs. By that I mean they could care less about the mechanics of the game - obviously mechanics are still somewhat important - but they do want to tell an interesting story. Some of the GMs in the area are really good at running these kinds of games. Others? Not so much. The interesting thing is when it comes to those who miss the mark the same comment gets said a lot: "they should write a book." The idea here is that the story is interesting, but something is missing to make it engaging as a game. Today I want to talk about how you can avoid that, and what problems avoiding it can introduce.