Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Complilation of Short Thoughts

This is me trying to purge my file of "Oh, THIS is interesting, but I don't know that I have enough to write about on it." A lot of these thoughts are around getting closer to what I want out of a game, and cutting out a lot of the fluff.

Party Creation Session Template - I like having groups of adventurers linked by shared experiences at my table - it makes it easier to integrate the group. While the first attempt at Dresden Files didn't go perfectly smoothly, it did make for a convenient backdrop to how the PCs met and interacted.  As I get older and my time becomes more valuable, I'd like to get to a lot of the meat of group interaction versus having to waste a session or two on "why am I here with these insane people again?"

Table Balance of Drama and Levity and Playing Cards to Play Cards, or to Socialize; the latter is actually more interesting for me, because of a constant conflict I have with my wife. We both love to play games, table-top, board games, or your standard card games like hearts or spades. However, we frustrate each other because our intent is different - when I play hearts, for example, I want to play hearts; I'm not there to socialize while occasionally dropping cards on the table. Socializing/talking is fine, but it is secondary to the enjoyment of the game, for her, she generally would rather socialize than play cards, so we have an inherent conflict. And that gets at the heart of these two posts - finding the right balance of gaming as a social activity because we are all friends, and getting into the meat of the subject.

Frankly, for my next game, I'm seriously contemplating trying just a beer and pretzels social event because I'm frustrated with the distractions of life.

Which probably just means I'll get one of my more serious games.

The Currency of Time - I've often said that time is the most valuable resource, because it is the only one that you cannot make more of. I'd love the idea of making informational checks (knowledge/perception) cost something so that they are valuable. But the question is how to do that - one of those is to assume some form of "fail forward" where your failures are successes, but with complications.

Quest Generation -  A very rough draft of a question generation for a hip hop RPG system that I'm following for stealing for my own purposes. This gets back to the core of "not wasting time" of "okay let's jointly, PCs and GM, set out a framework of how we want the story to go" and then let the GM, i.e., me, throw in a few twists and challenges. How does this stop wasting time, because the players won't bobble around trying to figure out what the next, we all know and can move forward without wasting time at the table wandering aimlessly with either the players trying to figure out what the GM wants them to, or the GM trying to figure out how the hell  he's supposed to work this line of reasoning into storyline.

Stealing Beliefs and Instincts for D&D, while I'm not a huge fan of the Burning Wheel system as a whole, I do love stealing bits and pieces from it. In particular, with the idea of creating three driving beliefs for the character, one for what drove them to hit the road of adventure; the second for what ties them to the overarching campaign thread; and finally, a belief about the larger goal that they want. I could see tying them to some sort of XP system ala the Keys from Shadows of Yesterday, or milestones from Marvel Heroic Roleplaying. Once again, the goal is to make it easy on everyone to get invested with what is going on at the table.

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