When you fail your roll during a bake-off against the town baker and spill your charred buns on the floor to form an…
When you fail your roll during a bake-off against the town baker and spill your charred buns on the floor to form an occult symbol and accidentally summon a demon made out of petrified baked goods from eons of baking disasters.
Do you think it is necessary to separate safety tools like the X-Card or Lines & Veils from tools like Microscope’s…
Do you think it is necessary to separate safety tools like the X-Card or Lines & Veils from tools like Microscope’s Palette that manage focus, tone, genre, themes, and so on?
As an example, the X-card has traditionally been used to moderate unsafe content, but it can also be used to moderate boring content or content that just doesn’t fit. This is actually encouraged by John Stavropoulos to demystify and normalise it.
In my recent Apocalypse World Play by Post we used the Palette to establish the setting and themes. We banned zombies because we were not interested in them, but we did also ban violence against children.
A part of me wants to separate the two because feeling safe at the table is much more important than sticking to genre and they feel like very different conversations, but they are also similar issues that can be addressed with the same tools. Also, the palette is something you might use as a reference during the game and when you’re checking tone and genre a list of unsafe topics can be distracting.
The X-card on the other hand can be used for mundane reasons one moment and safety reasons the next and the two instances of use do not affect each other. I don’t think it’s necessary to make an X-card-equivalent for sticking to genre, but I do think it might be useful to do Lines & Veils separate to the Palette.
What do you think? Do you have good examples of tools that blur the line between managing safety and the mundane?
I just had a great hangouts session with my players after finishing the first “session” of our Apocalypse World…
I just had a great hangouts session with my players after finishing the first “session” of our Apocalypse World Play-by-Post. We talked for more than two hours about the characters, the story and our experience playing. It felt so good to actually talk about it after only writing posts and chatting on Slack for weeks and weeks.
For people who have played or play in a PbP right now, do you schedule catchup video chats? How important is that live conversation to you?
What do you think about the idea of writing a “player profile” you can share with people you play with so they know…
What do you think about the idea of writing a “player profile” you can share with people you play with so they know what to expect, how to entertain and engage you and how to help with things you struggle with?
This is just a short example, but you get the idea:
I know that I struggle when I don’t have a strong motivation or good reasons for my character to engage with the story. I also dislike puzzles that I have to solve as a player, but I love open ended problemsolving and using the environment in creative ways. I am chaotic good and I like long walks on the beach.
I would pin a big flashy disclaimer on these because it is so easy to misunderstand or make assumptions from reading a simple statement, and some people don’t even know themselves that well. When I say “I dislike puzzles” I don’t mean “I hate mysteries, secrets and problemsolving of any kind”, I mean “I’ve had issues with puzzles, let’s talk about puzzles so we’re on the same page before they come up”.
– Do you know your own player profile or personality well?
– Do you often give people a heads up about how you play and what you like or dislike before playing?
– Do you think it is a good idea for people to start writing and sharing their profiles with people they play with?
– Are there any things in particular you would like to learn about people before playing with or running a game for them?
I heard Senda from She’s a Supergeek talk about using the It’s Not My Fault!
I heard Senda from She’s a Supergeek talk about using the It’s Not My Fault! character and situation generator cards to play micro sessions with people at a Con. What else would you use to run a demo session in less than five minutes? Or do you have suggestions for how to design a framework with this in mind?
My goal is to show outsiders or traditional gamers what playing rpgs can be like. Getting people to an actual table is a lot of work and if I can’t win people over in five minutes, it’s probably not worth it anyway.
A few days ago I ran a session that just fell flat and I decided to end it prematurely.
A few days ago I ran a session that just fell flat and I decided to end it prematurely. We were all really tired and playing a new game for the first time, so even though I failed it, I didn’t feel that bad.
I can only remember one other session where this happened in the last two years, but I do remember several times when we should have at least taken a break to talk about why things didn’t work out and how to do better, but we suffered through instead.
Have you had any relevant experiences lately? A session that dragged on forever and everyone hated it, or maybe a time when you actually talked about it and saved yourselves from awkwardness and boredom?
I’m reminded again and again how being open about how you feel is so worth it, but I never seem to learn.
The solution is obviously better communication, but can you think of concrete advice or rituals that might help us avoid the Abilene paradox*?
*The group doing something few enjoy because no-one wants to rock the boat.
Got to love it when your ten year old player covers all the plotholes and ties the fiction together without me…
Got to love it when your ten year old player covers all the plotholes and ties the fiction together without me lifting a finger. Turns out that the tall cloaked dark lord was the short badguy from session one that I had completely forgotten about. He was just standing on top of his gorilla under the robes.
My little hero encountered three red crystals covered with dark runes. When activated, black ooze would shoot out from the crystal and form a goo-creature around it. The first one turned into a giant spider which he tracked down and defeated and the second turned into a giant caterpillar in his hometown and he had a dramatic fight where he just barely managed to protect his sister from it.
He carried the last crystal around with him for a few sessions before he realised that he should destroy it before it too transformed. He was on the top of an extremely tall peak at the time and wanted to throw it down a crack, but failed the roll to successfully destroy it. Black ooze shot up from the crack and another goo-creature took form. I let him say what it looked like and following the pattern I had already established with spider and caterpillar, he decided that it was a phoenix.
With a hoarse squawk, the huge red-eyed bird crawled out of the hole looking like an oil spill victim. The hero did some quick mind gymnastics and came to the conclusion that the abominations weakness must be fire. He tossed a lit lamp at it and the whole thing caught on fire. It didn’t seem healthy, but that didn’t stop it from scrambling across the ground, charging at the hero while black burning ooze was sprayed in all directions.
The hero pulled out his volatile wind wand as a last ditch effort and with a failure he blew himself and the burning phoenix off the peak. While plummeting through layers of clouds he armed his crossbow and fired at the flapping and squawking creature falling with him. Goo does not make very effective wings.
Another failure was rolled so I asked him: “Do you manage to defeat the bird and continue to fall or do you miss the bird and get caught by it?”
The bolt hit right between the eyes and shattered the crystal inside, sending red shards out the back of the bird’s head. Blobs of goo fell off the shrivelling body and flew upwards until the whole creature dissolved and disappeared above.
He couldn’t see it through the clouds, but he knew the ground was getting closer and closer at a blinding speed.
…and that’s when we reached our destination and ended the session.
“No, please. Not a cliff hanger. Not again. Please…”
Ever tried running a Play by Post game where one of the players is someone you already spend the majority of your…
Ever tried running a Play by Post game where one of the players is someone you already spend the majority of your days and nights with? We haven’t even started yet and I’m worried about what’s to come.
“I set the alarm to 6am so you get time to write for the Play-by-Post in the morning honey.”
“My post has been up two hours already! When are going to respond?”
“Are you watching cat videos? Shouldn’t you spend this time reading my new post?”
The new campaign with my 10yo has been on hiatus for a little while, but we finally got back into it and he had an…
The new campaign with my 10yo has been on hiatus for a little while, but we finally got back into it and he had an epic battle against a huge 2 hp stone golem. (Inspired by the legendary 16 hp dragon) It was all about fictional positioning and navigating the golems body and surrounding structures. …and ugly choices. When he got to the golems eyes the first time and rolled poorly, the golem dropped the puppy he had abducted and the hero chose to forego the perfect opportunity to save the animal instead.
After a serious beating and significant collateral damage, the hero finally managed to take the monstrosity down with help from a crowd of townspeople. The help obviously consisted of a hastily gathered dancing band distracting the golem and a hunter that threw his crossbow to the hero at a crucial moment. One bolt in each eye did the trick.