*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
November 22, 2014, 11:26:17 PM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 81 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
Pages: [1]
Print
Author Topic: Preparing for play, I don't know what (Long)  (Read 1340 times)
Ace
Member

Posts: 204


« on: December 08, 2002, 01:30:55 PM »

I wanted to call this post "A funny thing happened on the way to the game store" bt I ran out of room and anyway it happned at the store

We had a very interesting meeting at our FLGS recently

As I see it My group is basically 4 GMs, 2 players—sort of.

GM’s are
T
M
E
And Myself

Folks who only play are
C
And B

Too many leaders not enough henchmen I think

Gamewise  I run Buffy for them occasionally , E runs Legend of the five rings (L5r), M runs D&D3e and Star Wars and T runs D&D3e.

My Buffy game is occasional

The L5r  game is pretty successful but there is a desire for a traditional “Elves N Orcs” Fantasy game that all of us (except maybe me) share

D&D and Star Wars crashed

Wanting a bit more gaming we  decided to see if we could get a steady 2-3 times a month Sunday game going.


The first hour was spent discussing an L5r game that was being run very succcesfully by E--

I listened and tried to pick up what techniques he used to keep this quarrelsome, 4 out of 6 campaigns attempted will fail group (no joke here) together so well.

I don’t what I learned yet, but I will let you know when I do  :)


 I noticed that terminology varies a lot among members.

I have educated these guys in GNS lingo and it helped us discuss what we wanted but there a couple of hitches

1--  Rules complexity--- T and I argued about rules complexity for about fifteen minutes until we came to the conclusion that rules lite is entirely subjective. He considers D&D3e a “rules lite game”  which boggled me

I also realized I hate complex rules and never use them.

We came to the conclusion though both of us are avid world builders, book crazy history bugs are game tastes are mostly incompatible.

 Now I can play in his game (and I find him an excellent GM) he finds my normal Gm’ing incomprehensible.

He can’t understand large facets of my game worlds culture and even after I explain them to him in plain language they still don’t click

 He won’t play in  my most normal game, Buffy, we have kind of an impass here

Since we appear to respect the same systems (Ars Magica, GURPS, Classic Traveller, ) we would have more linkable gaming methods

In retrospect it  turned out that as players we were like this

E—Sim Char, Setting Exploration, Narrativism

T- Sim Char, Setting Explorationm Gamist

C—Casual gamer, doesn’t care

M—Pure Gamist

B—Budding sim player

Myself—Sim Char, Narrative Sim Setting

Minus M I would have though these were somewhat compatible.

We could intellegently discuss "what we get out of play" and "what we want from play" but only E could seems to satify the various player goals


We  learned is that M was the main sore spot in the group,

C is pretty casual as a gamer and a little rowdy but his play style is less disruptive and he is more mature than M who is 40+ Go figure….
 
After M left on business we could get a lot more done

Two hours more passed

We still couldn’t decide on a system, four of us want to play something non D20. Two are D20 mainly. As C put it "The game is going to crash and burn we might as well crash and burn a different system" I have to agree, so far we are at 60-75% failure rate

 While I would like to keep T in the group (and play with 4 or 5) I am considering just asking the three guys to play in my group without him
T is a mature gamer but he seems to be the other sticking point.  Dumping him form the next campaign  might solve the problems but T is an excellent player
Also  I like having four or more players and on the whole T is a good influence on the rowdier group members

Tough choice

 
We also couldn’t  decide  on a game campaign length, I want a maximum projected 20 sessions T wants a year (real time) plus—Something I find absurd for people with lives ;) The other are more flexible but tend to appreciate short games

We couldn’t decide on the amount of combat, social interaction or on any of the facets of game play

Our completed group decisions  (because we get along well as people we still see our selves as a group) were

4 out of 5 players want a new fantasy game, in the western standard D&D influenced fantasy

Call it Elves and Orcs mode.

I guess all the Modern Fantasy/Horror Swashbuckling, Oriental and Space games have warn them out

Its not my cuppa but one I can live with it. I still prefer Swashbuckling era games

M won’t be the next GM, in fact no one likes his pure challenge oriented games all that wel
We all of us agreed that is his really really good at that style of play.
Tough but fair encounters, adequate treasure and so on

He is  welcome at the L5r (he seems to do OK there) and will get a token invite to my next game (which he won’t accept it most likely as my amount of combat as too low)


We all want a mix of of other kinds of gaming.

All of us demand well designed worlds we find M's ideas like  Everquest Byzantium D20  is just silly.

  E won’t be the Sunday GM, simply because the L5r game works (I am not in it but that’s a taste issue not a quality one) and we don’t want to burn him out

I have a habit of crashing and burning in D&D games because the exchange is unbalanced, I don’t enjoy Dm’ing enough to get as much as I give so I would rather not commit to a long term campaign in that system.

The players have fun, I don’t

Not to play Riddle of Steel, partially because several of the players expect more combat than the system supports (its too deadly for them) Also a couple of the players they don’t like the spiritual attribute system or the projected length of play

I took two hours to get this far and in January when we meet again we will truy and hash more out. I may offer to run GURPS, in light mode and see how it goes

Hope I didn't bore everybody, I figured you all might find this instructional

Anthony
Logged
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2002, 10:40:20 AM »

Hey Anthony,

That's very fragmented, and hard to respond to.

Let's see if I can recap. You've got a group of guys that you want to play with. It seems like there is one GM in the group (E) who can satisfy everyone. Other than that, you can't find the unifying theme in what they like given GNS analysis.

Well, then it's not a GNS thing. It seems like your players are flexible enough to accept other styles of play. Even M's Gamism seems to be OK, when in the context of E's GMing? The question is what is it about E's GMing that attracts everyone. It's almost certainly not his GNS disposition.

Anyhow, you and T might not be able to play along. But you as GM have to have fun. Invite him to play, but lay down some ground rules about what play will be like. Tell him that if that's not going to be fun for him that he shouldn't play. This makes it his choice.

In fact, just play whatever you want to play. And have whatever players that wish to subscribe, subscribe to play. Play TROS (I know you want to). If you run it, they will come. And then they'll learn that all the "projections" about lethality, and their preconcieved notions about SAs etc, are just not true. Take it from somebody who's actually played the game. It works.

In fact, run a four session game (and finish in three if it seems appropriate). That way you can make it seem like a lark (like an extended one-shot). In any case, you'll see if it's working or not, and then you can decide to play a longer game if that makes sense.

It seems very much to me that your group is a bunch of "experienced" gamers. Which is to say that they sound like they have very preconcieved, and entrenched notions of how to play. It might well help for your group to try some new stuff, and see if you can't break into a whole new style of game together. Not neccessarily related to GNS, but just different. Like the campaign length thing. Maybe that's the culprit, and nobody realizes it. Try a short game, and see if that doesn't fix some stuff. Or find some other aspect to shake up and challenge.

Mike
Logged

Member of Indie Netgaming
-Get your indie game fix online.
Ace
Member

Posts: 204


« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2002, 11:21:45 AM »

Thansk for the advice Mike. On a second read I did see it was very fragmented.

I apologize for that but there was so much information and I was too lazy to spend an hour distilling it into an easier to read form.

Mea Culpa, but darn it if there was anymore there I was going annoate with footnotes and a bibliography.

I think you were spot on about the experienced gamer bit though. The median age of experience among the group is over 10 years!

I am going to try one more time to get something going and if I can't just quit gaming with them.
Logged
LordFly
Registree

Posts: 3


« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2002, 02:37:57 PM »

I would offer the setting Harn by Columbia Games. It is a medeival setting that can be played with varying degrees of fantasy and magic. Orcs and Elves exist but how they interact in the world is mostly left up to the GM. I played in a campaign for nearly two real time years and never met an elf, dwarf or mage. To me, the most appealing aspect of Harn as a setting is the detailed background. Truly, reading any of the Kingdom modules is like delving into a medeival history textbook, which may also appeal to either yourself or 'T'. The amount of plot hooks and potential storylines sometimes seem endless.

Harn was originally published in the eighties as a stand alone setting that could be played with any system. However I would also urge you to check out Harnmaster. The rule set is detailed enough to allow for wonderful charicterization, but does not get too bogged down with exteraneous rules and charts. Once you get used to the rules it really seems to flow without the dreaded book referencing interuptions or modifier calculations.

Harnmaster 3 is supposedly shipping out to distributers in the next week or so. Although if you are familiar with Columbia Games you would not be holding your breath. Indeed this seems to be the only downfall of the system. Their scheduled releases are few and far between and a lot of things are out of print. (Although you can order copies of their product at their website.) Even so I think it would be worth your time to take a peek.

P.S. Although this sounds like a commercial I am in no way affiliated with Columbia Games or Harn's creator, N. Robin Crossby. I am simply a dedicated fan.
Logged
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2002, 08:27:04 PM »

Hi LordFly,

Welcome to the Forge!

What features of Anthony's (Ace's) first post matched especially well, in your view, to Harn/Harnmaster?

Most of us here are familiar with the game, so feel free to make reference to its features. I'm interested to know why that particular setting seems to you to be well-suited to his needs, beyond the fact that you like it.

Best,
Ron
Logged
LordFly
Registree

Posts: 3


« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2002, 08:52:21 AM »

Hello Ron, and thank you for the welcome. I have lurked on this board for a while and have enjoyed the discussions. After reading Ace's post I felt I may finally have something (though small) to offer.

Anthony, there were a few things in your post that made me think of Harn. First, of course, was the group's desire for something of the "traditional 'Elves n Orcs' fantasy game". Also, several of the players seemed to be interested in character development (Sim Char? I apologize, I'm not sure what that is.) as well as setting exploration. While 'T' seems to enjoy a good combat at every other turn. And you "all...demand well designed worlds." To me, this seemed to be a perfect time to introduce Harn. I think Harn could satisfy the desire for a "traditional Elves and Orcs" fantasy setting while being flexible enough to also satisfy the different types of play you each enjoy. If it is exploration of a dark Gargun (Orc) complex you wish, take a trip to the Felsha mountains. If it is subtle political intrigue you want, head up to Rethem. If you are itching for full scale battle and civil war, Kaldor will be there upon the death of its ailing King. The point I am trying to make  (maybe unsuccessfully) is that the world is so well developed and so consistent that it could support any of your needs. And if there is some disagreement about campaign length, Harn is developed more than enough to support multiple GM's doing their own campaigns within the same group. With the wealth of material available, a 'one-off' can be done just as easily as a long term campaign.

You also mentioned a concern for getting as much as you give when GM'ing. I find I have the same problem myself with a lot of games. But not so with Harn. Indeed, I have not been playing since moving to Denver 18 months ago, but I still find myself buying up the Harn stuff just for the enjoyment of reading. And of course the ideas just begin to flow. It seems that when GM'ing in Harn, I get to explore the setting just as much as my players do. This way the relationship is much less confrontational and more enjoyable. And if there is concern about making the time (a bigger issue as I get older), having the Harn background to lean on is a great help. The players can react to situations in any way and you still have all your bases covered. GM'ing by the seat of the pants can be exhilerating at times. Sometimes I find myself more surprised by the outcomes than my players.

As to the rules set, you mentioned most of you would prefer a non-d20 game, something that is somewhere in between rules light and rules tight, and would allow for interesting characters you could really get into. I think Harnmaster fits the bill. It is a skill based system that allows for a wide variety of character types not tied down by classes or levels. The combat system is simple enough to become familiar fairly quickly, but also allows for enough detail to satisfy the combat...uh...purists? in your group. Magic may be a bit heavy as you are incouraged to write your own spells, but to me this adds to the character development. The jist of this is even if you can't "decide on the amount of combat, social interaction or on any of the facets of game play", I think Harnmaster could support almost anything with few adaptations.

I hope this long post has been helpful and not just my somewhat senile ramblings. And if you decide to journey to Harn, and find yourself at Trobridge Inn along the Salt Route, just ask for Terlin and I will be sure to get you a cold Ale and a warm room ;)
Logged
Ace
Member

Posts: 204


« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2002, 11:09:52 AM »

Quote

Hello Ron, and thank you for the welcome. I have lurked on this board for a while and have enjoyed the discussions. After reading Ace's post I felt I may finally have something (though small) to offer.

Anthony, there were a few things in your post that made me think of Harn. First, of course, was the group's desire for something of the "traditional 'Elves n Orcs' fantasy game". Also, several of the players seemed to be interested in character development as well as setting exploration. While 'T' seems to enjoy a good combat at every other turn. And you "all...demand well designed worlds." To me, this seemed to be a perfect time to introduce Harn.


I have a little experience with Harn. I own the Harn Core (main books) and have played a session or two of The Staff of Fannon in Harnmaster 1e.

Harn World never "clicked" with me for some reason, prehaps its my preference for Age of Reason games or just the boring Harnic Pantheon. I sure love the maps though and if they ever finish the Mappa Harnica tool kit for Campaign Cartographer, Ahhh

Quote

You also mentioned a concern for getting as much as you give when GM'ing. I find I have the same problem myself with a lot of games. But not so with Harn. SNIP

 And if there is concern about making the time (a bigger issue as I get older), having the Harn background to lean on is a great help. The players can react to situations in any way and you still have all your bases covered. GM'ing by the seat of the pants can be exhilerating at times. Sometimes I find myself more surprised by the outcomes than my players.  

 

Me too. My biggest weakness as a GM is prerperation but as I learned to balance the "write the whole module" to "wing it all" spectrum I found my skills improved a lot

Now I just write up fairly comprehensive "notes" and go from there. Still your point about only having to learn the world is a good one and I will have to think about it

Oh and O/T hope you like Denver, I lived for years in Colorado --- Winters Suck (unless you ski) but its a great State

Quote

As to the rules set, you mentioned most of you would prefer a non-d20 game, something that is somewhere in between rules light and rules tight, and would allow for interesting characters you could really get into. I think Harnmaster could support almost anything with few adaptations.


Thats a YMMV thing, Harnmaster isn't my cuppa tea-- again its a "click" issue with me.
I find the system too long in combat and too short elsewhere. I hope 3e Harnmaster (I assume this will be like Harn Gold edition)  is a  better. Even so  I would like better chargen rules than currently exist, too many stats too few skills

Quote

I hope this long post has been helpful and not just my somewhat senile ramblings. And if you decide to journey to Harn, and find yourself at Trobridge Inn along the Salt Route, just ask for Terlin and I will be sure to get you a cold Ale and a warm room ;


I will but I try to avoid those portals. I prefer to spend most of my time here on Terra, Harn is too low tech for me :)

Oh and thanks for the feedback it is well worth considering. It might work very well for my group

Anthony
Logged
Pages: [1]
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!