Tuesday, February 25, 2014

'Making it up' - there's more than one species of it

As is a theme on this blog, forums tend to inspire my writing the most. So here is a post of mine (google, please believe me! Eh, what-ev...) on the matter of two different types of making things up (modified slightly to become it's own post here).

Emerikol, if I understand you right, you do alot of prep beforehand and then in play you reference your extensive prep so as to determine what might be around or what might occur. In play you restrict yourself to only referencing the prep for the determination of what else might exist, not just making things pop into existence out of thin air. And this restriction on relying on the prep only makes the world more palpable and solid, as a result.

If I'm even slightly understanding you right, I'm just saying this because I'm not sure the other posters get the difference - and there is a difference between working from prep to determine what else might exist Vs just making stuff pop into existence because it might engage someone.

I will say though, although I don't know what it was like in the game with the guy 'totally making it up', I've roleplayed for so long I basically have alot of prep about game worlds in my head - it's all written in my head and doesn't need to be written down. I don't think 'totally making it up' is such a problem as you describe it (oh, it'd be better if I wrote it down, I totally grant). I suspect what was happening is that GM was simply trying to guess what would tickle players fancy then say that exists, in what is essentially sucking up to players. I'd find that hollow as well. Though I've been in worse games.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

[ Pathfinder ] City of Golden Death defeated us the other night

In retrospect I like the brutality of this module. I only say in retrospect because roleplay products can be so varied in where they go it's hard to know the overall direction until you've finished.

CoGD basically had either monsters with massive bonuses to hit (maybe +15 or higher) and womping damange (about 20) or a few push over monsters we devoured and utterly destroyed in a moment or two. Which actually works quite nicely!

The thing that really defeated us though is the overall supply chain of healing within a time frame - we had three days before the city floods with molten gold (probably not a good idea to be around at that point, eh?). And we had no real cleric. We had one once, but now the best we had is someone who chose their class levels at random! Yeah. So I think we had all the healing of a level 1 bard even though the character was level 5.

In the end, in a session that had two powerful enemies that nearly crush the life out of us, my fighters on 16 hp, the rogues on like 7 hp and never mind the wizard or the multi multiclassed characters hp. The last thing we'd found had said it's master had put it there to kill anyone who follows. It's MASTER! Uh yeah, when it kicked the living crap out of us and we have no heals and no HP, how much are we going to be able to take on it's master?

And yet I think some players wanted to continue!!

I guess I just didn't feel like having this character fight and likely die, so I said no, we just cannot do this - the city of golden death has defeated us!

I'm not sure what the GM will do with the module or whether another players idea of leaving some traps at the entrance and fighting the master there will be what happens next.

I think the GM could always run it again at some point, if they want to get more use out of it.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Rifts Campaign

Working on the Rifts campaign I've been running for...maybe a year now, in roughly fortnighly installments.

Well, 'working on' as in thinking about it!

I want to actually do some detailed map work, working out maybe 10 km squares of a map I drew up awhile ago. I have some gridded paper that can just about do a 20x20 grid. But each square being 500 meters seems a little big (that's about two square blocks). On the other hand making them 200 square meters each (about one block or a bit less), while I like the resolution of that more would make one page only cover 4km.

It's curious - I've played alot of GTA 5 recently BUT I want to make a map which is more like the old days of GTA where there was stuff around just about every corner. GTA games these days (starting with San Andreas) are so spartan with regards to having anything there! So I'm aiming for that.

I'm also aiming to not just have threats the PC's could engage, but also relatively minor threats they could instead engage. The reason is I've come to think the model of 'well, do you take them on' is problematic, because it's actually 'well, do you take them on or...do nothing'. And that's actually just bad gameplay. Sure they could head on to something else - but in that moment, if they don't take it on, then they are doing nothing.

Anyway, that's what I'm up to. Also must remember to put a path through the map - this is a map they travel through a bit, so it'll need a path. Whether it's a smooth sailing path, who knows?