Linearity of Games

In the recent games in which I had the joyful part of dungeon mastering, I’ve had feedback of too many choices, too many opportunities and not enough direct linear goals (milestones) to achieve. Giving this a little thought it turns out to be a very basic necessity for many gaming groups and might be something you want to have a more in depth thought about when designing your games. (As I most likely will from now onwards, depending on my gaming group).Linearity

Factors

In the process of writing this entry I’ve seen an influence in terms of what you should focus on and this single influencing factor is – your party. The gaming group…

Driver

Players that focus on giving your game their unique fingerprint.

Since I consider my style derived more from this category, I’ll describe what I like best and where I see the dangers of this type. Driving players will make sure your game, no matter how little you actually prepared, will hardly ever get boring. They will do their best to integrate their characters into the game and will pick a path they like best – anytime – rely on it. The downsides of drivers are, they might be going straight against your preparations and plans, since they tend to have a good idea where they want to take your whole party, it is usually best to make sure their plans are similiar to yours. I guess a table of drivers will give any DM a hard time, unless he’s really taken some time before play and knows exactly who’s up to what.

Driven

Players that are pulled through the game.

Driven like the concept of a more or less linear game. Continue reading

Latizan and Zord – one world and a lot of adventures

A nice concept you might want to try…

With Roman and Thomas we got two dungeon masters that started working on a greater plan, the three of us decided to start a few simultaneous story-lines interwoven with each other, some characters knowing a few from the other group, maybe interchanging them from time to time. Tower Entrance(Though they are all played by very much the same players) We’re trying to create a dense setting and put as much information of the world over to all players involved. (Meanwhile I’ve   the honor to dungeon-master another part of the whole and I guess at least Andrea will try her best, as well, so we got everyone involved to get the maximum out of our setting). But let me tell you a little of our experience so far, what pros and cons I did experience with my two characters in this, I could learn quite a bit in a few sessions to improve as player and dm alike. Let’s hope you like the idea since I really enjoyed it that far.

When it comes to character creation I’m always facing severe problems to make decisions in this regard, you might know that yourself, first I favor wizards over everything else, secondly I have a very strong affection to complex concepts that are either capable of leadership or influence the course of an adventure. For me it is important to have a strong background on characters and I really love to interweave my story with those of other players. (I tend not to keep any information from fellow players doing so).

With our new concept of multiple-concepts we experience a few upsides and downsides. The main advantage is you can contribute a lot to the storyline with your characters and don’t have to focus on one plotline. While this is very positive – I would say the strongest and best factor is the players get to play different roles. Something usually only dungeon masters do for a longer time period. They get to get different perspectives onto the same plotline and see that actions may influence the world they are in.

The main downside of this project so far is the fluctuation is also causing troubles with the main-storylines since motivated characters for one plotline are substituted during the game and together with (our) basic player fluctuation this has caused some concern and problems of late.  Secondly it is more of a challenge to seperate in-game knowledge and out-game knowledge from player to their characters.

Quick-Fazit: We’ve enjoyed this game so far, while we’re rather new at this approach, it is some fresh wind and obviously gets some players closer to playing Dungeon Master (hey, we’ve a few “applications in line” for DM’ing a few sessions). Together with the hot-seat DM this is a constant fun-providing factor for the gaming group at the moment, and I’ really happy the way it works out.

Leaving Rashemen Session 9 (4 with me as DM)

If you missed part 1 & 2 of this story, I recommend reading it – after all it’s an adventure writeup.

another session is past, and I have to admit it is one kind of session, I hardly will miss. From the players and my personal side it wasn’t bad, actually it was very ingame heavy and a lot of character interaction that made a sweet sunday evening for all of us. Though everything was very different than planned and it was a session that shaped the rpg-sessions to come probably quite heavily. In all games we ran we had some limited amount of player fluctuation, but our unique approach to take care of this now heavily interacted with my hobby of ending sessions inmidst of some action. Last time ended with Daec having acquired, *cough* a seemingly mighty book, bound in flawless and marvellous blue leather and sealed shut. With Daec knowing what he had to do, or what he should try to do, I was relying heavily on what came next – the appearance of an Inevitable hunting the former owner of this book and an infamous red wizard appearing in the tavern. This is where we ended, it just did give us some problems when Continue reading

[N]PC – Izegel Warspurth – Hailstorm of the North

Opposing the forces of fiery demons isn’t always a task for heroes or to put it right: villains and heroes depend just on the right perspective. Raised in the harsh lands of the northern icelands in a small, mostly human settlement, Izegel Warspurth was close to end as sacrifice to the frostmaiden, but he did not. As a half-orc he experienced some of the harshest treatments imaginable. With his human mother as close to an outcast as can be it was the years after the orc raid that made the little hamlet of Miaylma prosper. Living on a small farm it was even possible to teach her son a few words to read and how to write and a bit of the history of the lands.Auril

Izegel’s youth years were something he every since tried to leave behind him, the memories of being beaten really hard more than once by his brothers filled him with a cold bitterness that left part of him hollow – to be filled with divine inspiration when he finally found his way out into the cold. Would anyone know he left the hamlet only to walk towards the endless ice – to die a lonely dead only to be – left alone and ask him about it, he would probably not remember it that way nowadays. It was the silent, bitter calling of the icequeen herself. It was Auril’s call and when Izegel proved himself worthy by almost dying in the ice to accept his surroundings into him – it was when the queen herself had replied, numbed his pain and made him accept his fate.

The half-orc blames no one for leaving everything he ever knew behind, he did not feel genuine love for his mother, though she had been the closest to a friend he ever knew until then – but it was the acceptance of his faith that filled him with purpose, and it was his goddess who led him into the endless ice to give him a chance to show his worth for her purposes. It was a test of skills, a test of faith and of his until then poor warrior skills, climbing over icy depths, travelling without food or drink and standing against the unforgiving creatures of the endless ice-wastes in the region some only know as “Unforgiving Icewastes”. It was after almost a week of travelling that the exhausted Izegel found his way into one of the beautiful ice-temples of the frostmaiden… A place the half-orc was not to leave for the next years.

Few before him have had the experience to learn the pure hatred of Auril’s clergy against several other faiths, it wasn’t only training of arms, skills and will that he experienced up there but more a assimilation of the half-orc into the priesthood and their beliefes. When five long years had passed, countless pains had been withstood and the more or less empty and exhausted hull that arrived was filled with a purpose and Auril had always made sure to give her clerics a purpose before. Opposing directly gods as the morninglord and the elemental lords of fire was not an easy path. Therefore the half-orc has mastered only a limited amount of skills in warfare and more in the subtile ways of trickery and disguise. Few of common folk would withstand his gaze anyway. Izegel’s destiny would be his first and foremost goal – strengthen the frost-maiden whenever possible – withstand against fire and hells and bring darkness where light rules. More than a single man is meant to do – but there had to be some start.

Leaving Rashemen, RPG Session 8 (Session 3 with me as DM)

If you missed part 1 & 2 of this story, I recommend reading it – after all it’s an adventure writeup.

After entering the ship to cross Lake Ashane it started with a strange occurance when in the heads of Lysalis and Enelya, voices in a strange, barking tongue (the players guessed it could be hobgoblin) echoed. Those sounds were hardly pleasant, more of a requesting or – commanding type. Only hours later Lysalis removed the cursed, black ring from her finger – giving another riddle without a clue to wizard, theurge and cleric who were all trying to remove the other ring, this time from Enelya’s hand but this one was still enjoying a very strong, cursed bond… Meanwhile it was the keen eyesight of a few party-members, that revealed they were watched from below, a few frog-like eyes that oddly reflected some sunlight. The red sabre was sailing hard towards the evening and gave Enelya, Lysalis, Sanchy, Livia, Whuryni1098525_japanese_sword_katanaa and Daec a immediately the whole crew of the ship and of course the party members, too got a good idea of why Kua-Toa are called Merchantsdoom in this region… A hard, though not very long fight started – and ended with two kua-toa killed in the water and three of the sailors missing. With captain Faeltrag losing somewhat like-a-son, he ended up very drunk. An opportunity not to be missed by some of the party to talk the first officer into taking the steering wheel and ending up shipwrecked, but Continue reading

Butterfly’s Contest Closing Today

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Habits and Roleplaying

So you’re interested in Habits? Go ahead, I try to share something that’s hopefully of real interest – though the style of presentation is merely a list of things how I’m (or better – how we are) used to run a gaming round.

Let me give you a short idea how gaming works for me. In general rpg day looks very much like this:

  • Sharing a car to our destination, usually I am picked up or pick up a few of the other gamers on my way to our gaming place. We do have a few places, so we can switch according to our needs. Especially with summer upcoming, we tend to play a lot at Roman’s place, favoring his garden for pure enjoyment as long as it’s warm enough to stay outside.
  • When we start around noon, we usually have a shared lunch that gets us into sharing what happend in the last week(s) since we last met. We have excellent cooks in our gaming group and it’s always something to remember.
  • In case we’ve players that missed one or a few sessions, a short update almost ever takes place before our actual preparation.
  • Once we’re done with eating, the DM prepares his laptop and in case it’s me, I start with a memorable tune, a time ago I used (for years) Apocalyptice – Path, nowadays I use Continue reading

Top 25 RPG Vote @ rpg blog ii

Share your favorites – Top25 vote

A nice idea has Zachary over at RPGBlog II – he’s collecting votes for the top 25 rankings of blogger’s favorites.

I’ll post you my personal ranking. It’s not including every rpg I’ve played or read, but lists those I liked in front and those I didn’t at the end of the list ;).

1. Pathfinder RPG
2. Shadowrun 3rd Edition
3. AD&D 2nd Edition
4. Palladium Fantasy
5. Werewolf the Apocalypse
6. Cyberpunk
7. Gurps
8. RIFTS
9. Elric
10.Mage the Ascension
11.Toon
12.Vampire the Dark Ages
13.DSA 2nd Edition
14.Ars Magica
15.PP&P (Pluesch, Power & Plunder)
16.Star Wars d6
17.Mage the Sorcerers Crusade
18.Call of Cthulu
19.Vampire the Masquerade
20.Deadlands
21.DSA 4th Edition
22.Earthdawn
23.Changeling the Dreaming
24.Wraith the Oblivion
25.D&D 4th Edition

Start sharing folks ;).