Thursday, 23 February 2017

Role With It

Most of the time, I write here in my capacity as a GM, an occasional game designer, and fan with his nose in a lot of games (specifically, with an intention to steal anything that isn't nailed down for his own games). Lately, I haven't spent as much time in the Big Chair as usual, so I thought I'd talk about what's going on in my life as a player. My last post was about the formative (pre-formative) moments I go through as a GM when I'm getting ready for a new game, so this is kind of a companion piece about getting ready to play a new game from the player side.

We play a lot of games at our table that are focused on character, so there is always an extra level of pressure on players when a new game starts to come to the table with some character ideas in hand. Sometimes we play games like APOCALYPSE WORLD or its many cousins, which really demand that you generate a character and decide on details on the fly (which is fair enough, because it asks the same commitment from the GM), but often we will go into a game with a lot more ability to create the character we want to play. I think both methods have their virtues, but since HTHD play demands a certain level of commitment and creative investment from the player, it makes sense that they should have the maximum level of freedom to put their stamp on the game. If you're going to be playing a game for 8-12 sessions and reaching for deep emotional places, you need to want it.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Zero to One

"The distance from zero to one hundred is nothing compared to the distance from zero to one." That's a mangled paraphrasing of the great science fiction writer Spider Robinson, who clearly knows a little something about starting up a new roleplaying game.

We've been in a roleplaying hiatus here in Merrie Olde London Towne since October, with occasional bursts of one shots and social gatherings since then. My friend Rob is about to start a TIMEWATCH game, using a hack of the Cortex Plus rules, and I'm super eager to start that game -- especially since Rob has set it in the Weird 70s a la In Search Of.

But I'm a GM at heart, and I'm never happier than when I've got a game of my own to put my creative energies into. So I've been thinking a lot about getting my own game running, and lately my tastes have been running towards running an old-school fantasy game via CASTLES & CRUSADES. I wrote a while back about wanting to go back to the roots of the hobby and see what I can do by bringing 21st century HTHD ideas and indie gaming technology to the party, and that idea still appeals to me. It's everything else that's been driving me crazy.