Streaming verses freeplay

November 30, 2006 at 11:02 am (Articles)

I recognise fairly well this sort of play, when I started off these had been the kind of games I had played in. I started moving away from this kind of style even in my first campaign. The idea I got from onceoffs was the whole party was supposed to die in the end. Luckly of me, I didn’t implement that in my first once off.

I think the streaming method has it’s advantages, expecially for short games, but I personally prefer a freeplay style.

The players do whatever they like, handle any situation as they like, go where they like and you do the world.

If they investigate one thing you provide them information as they find it, if they do another you give them information on that. 

They make friends or enemies as they want to. And people react as the characters would. An enemy of a powerful person might ignore them, go all out to get them, bad mouth them to other powerful people. An enemy who is weak might do the same.

Just because an enemy is too weak to take them, it doesnt mean he/she wont try. Just because the players dont stand a chance against someone, doesnt mean that that person will decide against crushing them. A degree of randomness based on the npcs character is needed. When the npc is played, the characters should have a fair idea what the npc might do after they annoy her/him.

If you know your world and what plots are happening or whats hidden there or whats this persons secrets, then this style of play is easy. If you dont know but can think fast then fix it as the ‘reality’ in this place, then you are still ok.

Problems can happen if the players have no goals, but that what daily news, other peoples problems and friends and enemies plots are for.

Times when nothing seems to happening, is a good chance for a smart player to start taking care of some of the business they haven’t had time to check. In a cp2050 game I’m in, the group has 5 major tasks to do as soon as we have time and lots of little project. In the cp2050 game I run, the party as 3 major ongoing projects and lots of day to day problems in their path to their goal.

Hmm I should point out that this world work best when you remember other heros and villain live in the world. Hero’s act unselfishly and selfishly. Villain’s mostly work selfishly. If the party does something evil, hero’s might turn up, or injuryed party’s seeking vengance might turn up. Villians usually only become a problem if you get in their way. But the odd sociopath or pychopath should exist.

What I find players love most in an open world however is the chance to make their own friends and enemies, love interest and rivals.

Please tell me how you run your games, or what style of game you play in.


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Christmas gift for gamers.

November 29, 2006 at 11:56 am (Fun)

I am mostly sorted in this area for christmas. I make dice bags, which are rather hard to buy in Ireland if you cant buy things online, so all my gaming friends are getting those for the holidays.

People seem very happy with the idea. One has got his already as he keeps losing dice and forgetting them, hopefully his green and gold dice bag will help.

When I get a digital camera i’ll take pictures of them and post them. So far I have made about 10 of them. I can make about one in an evening, but I dont get chance every evening.

I also made myself a chopstick holder with a red holly and ivy patterned cloth. Very handy to keep my chopsticks clean and together as I travel.

I had some other ideas for cheap gifts, nice notebooks for gms, dice, printed out online systems that I bind or have bound. I would be happy with any of those, so feel free to give me them ^-^ Hahaha.

I would love some Gm screens, they are also very hard/impossible to buy in Ireland. We have one for modern d20 and thats it. I use notebooks/rulebooks as screens instead. I have heard suggestions how to make you own, but I have no faith in my talent here. I might try sometime though. The trick would for them to look nice after being laminated. If you know any guide please post them in the comments!

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Gaming rules

November 28, 2006 at 11:00 am (Articles)

Most gm’s I know would argue against this rule and say ‘this is not the way it should be’ while privately accepting this is the way it is.

2. Don’t expect anything from your players. This means both expect the unexpeted and don’t rely on your players for any part of the game or narrative. Some players will only roll their stats and try to beat up things. That’s OK. That’s how they play and how they have fun. If you want something for or from their character, you make it up. Also never expect them to put the charcter in a situation where their character is at a disadvantage.

I think we have still the right to work towards a better gming tomorrow 😉

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Preparing for a game

November 27, 2006 at 2:38 pm (Games)

I have a game I gm on tonight. So I’m doing a bit of thinking and getting ready. This article gave me an idea about how to give another clue to my party (who are currently stuck in a huge maze).

The huge maze is a big BIG test, that happened due to player actions, so it has to be dramatic. 

The party are currently forced to work with their main enemy to escape the maze. They also do not have their normal gear, are weaker than usual and cant contact their base. They also have no idea how they got sent here. But it should be very clear when everything is revealed (to at least the player and npc whose actions caused this).

I hope I can put enough pressure on them that when they come out of it they feel like they had a great success, but not so much they are burnt out. 

They have gone through two steps/rooms/corridors already. So they are on track.

I have to be dramatic and different for each step but keep the theme of this maze going. Quite quite tricky.

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November 27, 2006 at 2:06 pm (Superhero games)

The main GM I play with ran a superhero game, the Marvel universe rpg last night.

I am very much an ex-fan of marvel and superhero comics, so I was thinking of not joining this game, despite joining every other game the GM runs.

I enjoyed the game.

I took a character who it would be totally impossible for her to become the party leader, and whos viewpoint would stop a lot of tactial thinking. So its very different to my usual type of character that thinks a lot and often leads. I wanted this backseat viewpoint in case I found the game didn’t suit me and I needed to leave.

The rpg system should avoid the flaw of marvel/dc comics problem, no story, character or world consistency. My gm is too good to make those mistakes. 

The system still has the problem with the superhero characters provided, historys, being inconsistent and problematic. I don’t think it will become a problem. I can still choose with this sort of character to avoid finding out to much about any npc I wish to avoid.

In the other game that ran yesterday, an advanced cyberpunk 2050 game, I would hate to have such a viewpoint. I love engaging the npcs and leading tacticly the party.

I can understand how many rpg players who read this and comment on all the out of character thought I put in here, but I find that acceptable to avoid causeing any party-problems or damaging the game.

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