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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 273 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: timing is everything  (Read 12984 times)
contracycle
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Posts: 2807


« Reply #30 on: August 01, 2001, 10:37:00 AM »

Hi all,

First, PC-PC conversations.

One of my favourit game experiences occurred when one character (Malkavian, natch) described their experiences in wholly malformed - but nonetheless convincing - terms.  This was not deliberate on their part to the best of my knowledge, and we all knew at a player level that it was rubbish, but we played the characters through on their PC-based information.  It was cool.  But I think it also highlights the fact that we were conscious of doing so "at another level".

In another game, we did the "core dump" stuff but found, in the end, that so much information had been lost - people assumed others knew X - that we had gone completely off course.  We adopted the desperate technique of not describing our historical experineces to newly introduced characters so as not to prejudice their decisions - we were incapable of disentangling the mish-mash of assumed knowledge, and resolved to start from scratch.  This eventually killed the game, which was a great pity.

On the whole, I favour explicit PC-PC conversations partly becuase of the repetition, and partly because of the explicit exposition.  It means the GM gets to keep an eye (well, ear) on what the players know, and what they think they know, and what they should know but have forgotten.

Cinematic devices: love 'em, can't get enough of 'em.  Every session starts with a helicopter shot and a trick I shamelessly stole from my old GM Chris Gilroy.  This is to have each player do an "intro scene" for their character, pretty much anything they like, which reinforces the characters look, identity, background, that sort of stuff.  The idea was taken from the way TV series do a little charater/actor ID clip - so Dynasty, for example, started with a serial collage of the major players, showing (one could argue) the "default identity" of that character.  It's just a few seconds, someone getting out of a car, or opening a window, anything really.  In RPG, we used this especially to illustrate clothing and how characters look, which is often forgotten by other players, leading to a conceptual mismatch.  This also prompts players to change their characters clothes more often :smile:  Players were also free to do character exposition from their own background - especially for the Man With No Name types, this allows them to communicate information player-to-player rather than character-to-character and thus provide some context on their behaviour which might otherwise be missing.  Not everyone can come up with a new scene every time, and we would just move on, but I think its a great technique both for bringing player-originated information into the shared game space, for reinforcing a shared vision, and for "getting into" the game world and bring up the SOD.
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contracycle
Member

Posts: 2807


« Reply #31 on: August 01, 2001, 10:40:00 AM »

whoops
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Impeach the bomber boys:
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"He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may cast."
- Leonardo da Vinci
Shpyder
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« Reply #32 on: August 13, 2001, 10:47:00 AM »

Gentlemen,

I am currently a player in the campaign Josh Neff, is GM'ing.  I liked the original idea from the get-go.  I had no idea what I was in for.  Through the years of playing hack and slash D&D and others, I had always felt there was so much more possible.  I had one D&D DM, that pushed us to really work on character development.  But it wouldn't hold a flame to the leaps and bounds we as a group are making. Upon reflection, I realized I had never played a roleplaying game...I had played "Roll" playing games. I did some stage acting when I was in college, and worked with the concept of truly "becoming," your character.  The game we're playing now is probably the best creative outlet I have ever been able to be a part of.  I would like to give credit to Josh for exposing us to an awesome new experience. I am really excited about the new (to me)possibilities for RPG's.  What are some good games to read that would help stear me in the right direction?

Chris.
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Clinton R. Nixon
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Posts: 2624


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« Reply #33 on: August 13, 2001, 11:03:00 AM »

On 2001-08-13 14:47, Shpyder wrote:
Quote

I would like to give credit to Josh for exposing us to an awesome new experience. I am really excited about the new (to me)possibilities for RPG's.  What are some good games to read that would help stear me in the right direction?


First of all, congratulations on playing with Josh - he's one of the funniest and most interesting guys I've met, and imagine his games are kick-ass.

Hmm. The games that got my mind a-turnin' were:

http://www.sorcerer-rpg.com">Sorcerer, of course (http://www.adept-press.com/elfs/">Elfs is worth it, too - plus it's funny as hell, and Josh would probably run a gut-busting game of it)
Dying Earth - if you like Jack Vance, or like fantasy, or like both, this game can't be paralleled
Zero - Everyone should read Zero at least once. It's hard to find, but worth it. (Check eBay.)
Pantheon - Kind of a roleplaying game, it changed my mind about what RPGs could be like completely.
Story Engine (from http://www.hubrisgames.com">Hubris Games) - There's not another generic system besides this and Fudge that I'd ever play. It's mind-blowing in its deconstruction of the normal props of RPG play such as rounds, combat scenes, and task resolution. I absolutely love this game, although it's foreign enough that it took me about three reads to understand.
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Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games
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