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What ROLE-PLAYING have you been doing?

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21 Oct 2010 09:27 #77188 by dysjunct
Jeff White wrote:

I'm kind of thinking of trying to run the solo adventure in the Red Box as a lead-in to the larger adventure in the DM's book, since I'm not all that impressed with the choose-your-own-adventure approach to character building and because the rules between the Red Box and the other D&D Essentials items aren't fully compatible.


Huh? I though the Red Box and the new Essential line were hand-in-hand companions. I thought they were 100% compatible with the Red Box being the introduction to the new Essential line.


The new Red Box has an extremely limited subset of the Essential rules. A character you make with the Red Box is technically compatible, but it's difficult to make a character with the main Essentials book and have it turn out like something you'd make with the Red Box. Plus the power cards included in the Red Box are pretty useless for anything not the Red Box.

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21 Oct 2010 10:13 #77193 by Rliyen
HiveGod wrote:

Coming off of a D&D 3.5/Pathfinder one-shot we dove straight into a short World of Darkness adventure (with human characters getting slapped around by the supernatural) and then a raucous Saturday night with the new Gamma World:

"Show me on the robot where the bad plant touched you."

Short-term future plans see some more Gamma World, a run-n-gun one-shot of World of Darkness and then into a months-long Call of Cthulhu campaign.

My RPGin' platter be piled high from the nerd buffet...


..."Got Hippity Hopped".

I'm soooo using that line.

Just as funny as your "Talisman is like having a mean drunk as GM" session report. I still read that one from time to time.

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21 Oct 2010 10:14 #77194 by Rliyen
panzerattack wrote:

I actually like the preparation involved in running a role-playing game. I enjoy little gaming projects and running an RPG is basically an on-going project.


Gives me something to do at work while I'm at lunch.

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21 Oct 2010 19:55 #77266 by HiveGod
Rliyen wrote:

..."Got Hippity Hopped".

I'm soooo using that line.

Just as funny as your "Talisman is like having a mean drunk as GM" session report. I still read that one from time to time.

Thanks, man! I'm just lucky to game with a whole crew of "Dexters" -- they're fun-murderer-murderers.

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21 Oct 2010 23:55 #77278 by Green Lantern
Ken B. wrote:

I haven't role-played in about 16 years. The last thing I remember us doing was starting a short-lived MAGE: THE ASCENSION campaign.


It could have been magic, Ken. I'm still waiting for our second session.

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21 Oct 2010 23:58 #77279 by Green Lantern
Nick Warcholak wrote:

I decided to run Dread: The First Book of Pandemonium following that, which encouraged more character-driven play than anything I had played. I'm learning to let go of the need to tell any sort of story as a GM and my players can't get enough. I figured out exactly what I want out of RPGs (player authored storytelling) and haven't looked back.


I've been roleplaying for 19 years now and our group has just stumbled on this concept. We have really enjoyed a couple of sessions of cooperative storytelling using the DC Adventures rules and I have to say I am not sure I will ever go back to the old model of a single GM.

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22 Oct 2010 08:09 #77288 by Nick Dalton
Green Lantern wrote:

I've been roleplaying for 19 years now and our group has just stumbled on this concept. We have really enjoyed a couple of sessions of cooperative storytelling using the DC Adventures rules and I have to say I am not sure I will ever go back to the old model of a single GM.


There are three techniques I've been using to support this kind of play.

1. Allowing my players to narrate their successes and even failures fully. A failure on that attack roll doesn't mean you, the deadliest swordsman in the land, just whiffed. Perhaps you were overcome with memories of your dead wife, suffered a spasm from the disease that's slowly killing you, and so on. Dread encourages this sort of thing and it, (a) allows players to better define their characters in the moment, and (b) takes a load off the GM.

2. Creating the setting ground up as a group so I know exactly what they want to see. If one of my players adds an old amusement park to the setting, they are going to have a showdown in an amusement park.

3. Impressing on the players that they need to create characters in motion with strong goals. I then create the seeds for all sorts of conflicts by working with the players to define the major players related to those goals. I play those NPCs as real, active people with their own goals and conflicts arise naturally. (This doesn't work with players who expect to sit back and react.)

I moved to these techniques because I didn't want to spend hours building encounters, worlds, and adventures any more. I've found that in addition to saving time, they've been giving me and my players exactly what we want.

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22 Oct 2010 08:34 #77291 by Mr. White
These concepts sound interesting. Also sounds like they require some pretty engaged players. Where'd this approach come from?

Prior to adopting this approach, were your players very engaged in the game or did this style ratched up their game?

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22 Oct 2010 09:22 #77296 by Green Lantern
Nick Warcholak wrote:

There are three techniques I've been using to support this kind of play.

I moved to these techniques because I didn't want to spend hours building encounters, worlds, and adventures any more. I've found that in addition to saving time, they've been giving me and my players exactly what we want.


Thanks for the tips, Nick. I agree with you. I've found that my players are far more creative when they are given the freedom to define story elements on their own, and there is the bonus of not having to agonize over every detail as the GM.

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22 Oct 2010 09:30 #77299 by Green Lantern
Jeff White wrote:

These concepts sound interesting. Also sounds like they require some pretty engaged players. Where'd this approach come from?

Prior to adopting this approach, were your players very engaged in the game or did this style ratched up their game?


I asked my group to help me tell a cooperative story to flesh out an event that set up our superhero campaign a few years ago. We had been playing in our own "What If" universe with the 2nd edition Mutants and Masterminds rule set, and wanted to try out the new DC Adventures release. The premise of the campaign was that the players would build a new Justice League after the original members died defending Earth from Darkseid, and this is what we used the 2nd edition rules to explore. When the new edition hit the street I liked the idea of using the DC Adventures builds for the heroes and asked my players to help me flesh out exactly how the battle against Darkseid played out. I had never fleshed out the details of how the original League died and they were eager enough to play it out. That is why I decided to ask them to help me play it out in a cooperative fashion.

Since then we have decided to stick to this model, even when the outcome of the story is not certain. So far it has been awesome.

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22 Oct 2010 09:45 #77302 by Nick Dalton
Jeff White wrote:

These concepts sound interesting. Also sounds like they require some pretty engaged players. Where'd this approach come from?

Prior to adopting this approach, were your players very engaged in the game or did this style ratched up their game?


You do need engaged players, but I play with close friends, so I have no problem giving them shit for sitting on their hands.

There are a good number of small press games that talk about these techniques and they're discussed on forums like RPGNet, Story Games, and The Forge (not so much RPGNet as the other two). Dread specifically tells the GM to do some of this stuff. Other games I have that use these techniques included Sorcerer, Dogs in the Vineyard, Hot War, and a few others.

Another thing...these sort of techniques do not seem to work for people who want to play "in-character" a lot, as they require the player to step out of character to do narration or say, "I want to check out that amusement park we talked about. Can you come up with a scene there for next session." It's sort of the difference between wanting to be an actor or an author if that makes sense.

Here's a link to the setting document we use for Dread. (In Dread, they play losers gifted with supernatural powers to hunt down demons.) They came up with 80% of this stuff in a session we set aside just to do that. Now they see this stuff every time they play. They have a sense of ownership.

docs.google.com/document/edit?id=1L33lHi...=en&authkey=CPeTgtcE

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22 Oct 2010 12:20 #77312 by Nick Dalton
One other thing I wanted to say about using these techniques. Some of the players in my group are new to RPGs and others have played for years. The newbies had no problems picking this stuff up and running with it. They told me it felt natural. The guys with experience gave me a bit of resistance at first.

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22 Oct 2010 12:23 #77313 by Mr. White
Interesting.

I was thinking how I would transition to something like this. It would require the group to take a more active role, but I'm guessing more fulfilling sessions as you've found.

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23 Oct 2010 16:26 #77380 by dysjunct
Jeff White wrote:

Interesting.

I was thinking how I would transition to something like this. It would require the group to take a more active role, but I'm guessing more fulfilling sessions as you've found.


One thing that worked for me was a D&D campaign where we started by creating the setting. Everyone had to name something they thought was cool. We had "pirates," "undead," "magic hurts to use it," and a few other things. We ended up with a bunch of little island city-states, a war between gods that made the afterlife inaccessible (hence undead), and a house rule where spells damaged the caster by L^2 hit points, where L = the spell level.

Follow up with a doodle on a piece of paper for the map, pass around the table and have everyone add a detail or two.

You can often encourage traditional players to take a more active role by fiddling with the XP system. Everyone understands going for XP, so you change what they get XP for. Make it more story-based. An example is Clinton R. Nixon's here:

files.crngames.com/cc/sweet20/experience.html

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25 Oct 2010 11:43 #77446 by Stephen Avery
We took a break from my Runquest campaing last night to play a one shot Call of Cthulhu in honor of Halloween.

Frank Branham gm'd and he has a real knack for finding really good writing.

The game started with everyone waking up in a hospital ward with no recollection of what happened and got more and more engrossing as clues began to add up. Periodic blackouts and a voodoo mystery kept things very entertaining which ultimately lead to an insanely cool twist. I'd love to tell you...but then I'd have to kill ya.

Steve"who died clawing his own eyes out"Avery

P.S. Kudos to Frank for some really superb Gming. It was even better when I looked at in retrospect.

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