Archive for the ‘Game Theory’ Category

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What Character Archetypes do you enjoy playing, reprised.

24 March, 2017

We were discussing what character types our current group tend to gravitate to, so I thought I would repost this article and see what people think of it (almost seven years later):

The Naive Expert / Talented Innocent

Who to be today?This is one of my favorite character conceptions, someone who is very, very skilled in a specific field but naive about the greater world.  These character are very good at what they do and very confident of their own abilities in their field and totally lost once they step out of that narrowly defined area.  They are usually young and without much in the way of social or combat skills, at least at the start.

Why play this archetype?

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Encouraging and Inspiring Players

18 February, 2016

Though that I should make an attempt to contribute to this month’s RPG Blog Carnival “How do you inspire your players?” hosted by Roleplaying Tips.

Inspiring players is often a challenge and part of the answer for a GM has to be:

GM something that Inspires You.

If you are excited and involved with the game and its world, it will be easier for the players to become inspired and involved in it.  If it is your passion, people will feel that and respond to it, just do not become too proprietary, no vision of the perfect campaign survives contact with the players; The world will both shape and be shaped by player action.

Communicate and Share what Inspires You.

Part and parcel of the first point, but let your player know what inspires and excites you about the game you are GMing.  If there are movies or music that communicate ideas about your world, share them, put together a Pinterest board (or use some other site) to share images (I have one for the Sea of Stars, another for Petrichor and for other games and genres including the Noir Revolution campaign).  Anything that helps put you all in the same mental landscape for the game.

In my experience, communication between GM and players (and between players) is what makes  or breaks campaigns.  So, talk, share, debate, build castles of the imagination together.

Not a long post, but I hope helpful.  Now, go and inspire people.

 

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Shadowrun Campaign Pitch – Unusual Solutions Inc (USi)

16 June, 2013

Unusual Solutions Inc (USi)

“We solve your problems.”

The characters are recently promoted/head-hunted/blackmailed on to one of the field teams of USi.  USi is a specialist micro-corp that deals with unique maintenance and repair solutions.  They have offices worldwide and a small staff of permanent employees but a large portfolio of freelancers.

The Seattle branch is located on the 13th floor of the Caulder Building, a nondescript tower block overlooking the docks.  In fact, they rent the entire floor and use it to host an ever changing host of temporary companies and start-ups spun off from USi.

Maria “the Wall” Wallenstein-Haines runs the Seattle office.  “The Wall” is a former Munich Valkyries (Women’s Global Combat Soccer League) goalie who retired after losing her left leg for the third time.  She has been with USi for six years after a brief stint in Sadler-Krupp security.

Shadowrun – Unusual Solutions Inc (USi)

Welcome to USi where “we solve your problems”, a specialist microcorp with global reach.  We will work with you to resolve your maintenance and repair problems no matter how unusual.

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Playing In Other People’s Worlds – September Blog Carnival

28 September, 2012

This is part of the September Blog Carnival: Running Games In Established Settings kindly hosted by Dice Monkey.

Generally, I do not play in established settings, early experience with the Forgotten Realm left a bad taste in my mouth for such for D&Dish fantasy games and since then I have been fairly aggressive about building my own worlds and settings.  Same for superhero games, I love supers but the existing worlds (DC and Marvel) are so bogged down in their own convoluted histories that they are near unplayable for me.  I want a world that in mine and, because it is mine, I understand how it works.

Now, there are two exceptions to this, Legend of the Five Rings and Shadowrun, both of which I have run off and on since each of they released.  We will look at them in reverse order:

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Pondering Alignment, in the D&D / Pathfinder sense

14 September, 2012

So, we have been messing around with the D&Dnext playtest and we have a new player in that group, both of which led to a discussion of alignment in D&D (and similar games) and what it means.  These sort of debates is why my Sea of Stars campaign (which uses Pathfinder rules mostly) just ditched alignment entirely.

However, I thought that I would post up about what the various D&D alignments mean to me, I am making no claim to universal applicably in this, but this is how I interpret them:

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The Problem of Immunity (Rules Musings)

24 March, 2012

Burn it!

It won’t burn?

What, not even magical fire?  But it is such a little monster.

In Pathfinder (like 3.x before it), there are a number of monsters, and some classes, that gain flat and total immunity to a variety of things.  This was brought back to my attention by the comments on my review of the Genius Guide to: Fire Magic and has been discussed as a problem by Sean K Reynolds (and possibly others).

Immunities are just no fun, not for the player, not for the GM, not do they make a lot sense.  Sure, the King of the Fire Elementals cannot be harmed by fire, that makes sense.  But should not a 2HD small fire element be washed away by a powerful enough gout of flame?  Cannot a creature of electricity be ionized if overwhelmed by a massive stroke of lightning?

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Fear and Affrighted

12 March, 2012

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear — not absence of fear.

-Mark Twain

I want to look at a different way to model fear in Pathfinder

Rather than have shaken, frightened and panicked conditions for fear, all fear effects are going to be mechanically increasing penalties.  We will call this condition Affrighted and it will be tagged with a number which is the current penalty it is imposing (see below).

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