Tuesday, 16 August 2016

RPGaDay 2016: The Questioning

13. What makes a successful campaign?

Any collaborative art form -- I'm thinking of theatre and film here, especially, but there are others -- is unpredictable. I've seen lots of terrible movies that had a great cast, crew, and director behind them. Some things just don't gel the way they should, and not by anyone involved not doing their job. So it's hard to say exactly what makes good things come together. It feels like magic.

Part of making a great campaign is communication skills: having those detailed early discussions that help lead you to fruitful play down the line, and keeping your lines of communication open as the game unfolds. You need to keep checking in with each other, keep listening, and I've even made a "half-time check in" get-together a regular part of my games. If you make the space for that sort of thing, you've got a lot better chance of having a game that works.

Part of a successful campaign is that intangible element of collaboration between players and the GM, and because relationships are in flux, it's always up in the air. If people are really plugged in to each other, and trust is high, great things are possible. If two players are having issues, suddenly communication and collaboration are strained.

I could go on and on about this, and a great deal of my blog is about it, but let's stop here for now.

14. Your dream team of people you used to game with?

There are lots of people I've played games with in the past I would love to play more games with. Each group has its own ways of doing things, its own style and interests, strengths and weaknesses. I don't regret a single one of them, and I'm eager to play games with those people again, but I'm especially interested in my current group (which I feel is working very well). And I am always interested in gaming with new people. Cause you never know.

15. Your best source of inspiration for RPGs?

I get lots of ideas for games from other media, such as movies and fiction, but probably the best ideas are generated by focused historical research. And reading other RPGs constantly, to pick up little ideas and tricks that can be borrowed for other stuff.

16. Historical person you'd like in your group? Which game?

It's tempting to say "Gary Gygax", since his character has now ascended to the pantheon of Immortals. I'm sure you can guess which game. Robin Williams would be fun too, but he might be a little exhausting to keep up with.

But I'm sure the spirit of the question was a more distant historical figure. That's tricky. I'm sure roleplaying games would be baffling to most historical figures. It would be interesting to play CALL OF CTHULHU with H.P. Lovecraft, because I think he'd be a little tickled to find out that his stories are so widely beloved today, despite the modern world having no truck with his racism. I think Jules Verne would be a great GM, with games full of wild imagination.

I think Bram Stoker would get it, being a theatrical type in the age of the penny dreadfuls. Though perhaps people might not swoon enough in modern games for his liking. Sure would be neat to play a RAVENLOFT or GHOSTS OF ALBION game with him, though. Also, possibly, a few pints at the pub.

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