Has anyone else encountered the belief that playing in a particular system is "supposed" to make one a "good" (or possibly "bad") roleplayer?
I've seen this a number of times. There have been people I have encountered who claim that, just because an individual plays Game System X, Y, or Z, s/he "must be" a good roleplayer (in the cases I remember, it was either Amber Diceless RPG or Mage: The Ascension).
I've even seen the trend picked up in some game companies' advertising (some of Guardians of Order's ads come to mind...;).
Personally, I believe the "Oh, he plays [System X]? He must be a good player (or GM)!" to be pretty much nonsense. I have seen a number of incredible players who never played the system in question, and some prettty rotten ones who did.
I just picked up Orpheus, and I dig it all to high hell. Now, I'm planning on running an Orpheus game this summer, but I have one concern.
I'm currently running a Vampire chronicle and a Savage Worlds campaign. It wasn't until I played SW, and saw how fast and exciting combat is, that it really nailed home how dreadfully slow Storyteller combat is. Now, in Vampire I don't mind this so much, because I'm not running an action oriented game. We have maybe one fight every three or four sessions, and the fact that combat takes so damned long just helps deter it to me.
However, in Orpheus I can see myself running a much more action oriented chronicle, especialy after Crusade of Ashes starts. PCs on the run, shootouts with enemy mercs and feds, desperate fights with legions of angry spectres, that's the sort of thing I want to do in my Orpheus game. Sort of a 28 Days Later meets Aliens meets Pitch Black meets all those other movies Orpheus mentions.
So my question to you is, how the heck do I speed up Storyteller combat? I thought for half a second of converting everything over to Savage Worlds, but that would probably be more time rewriting everything than I'd save in game. I thought about perhaps converting over to Unisystem, which would be considerably less work than going to Savage Worlds, but might change the flavor of the game too much. Plus I don't actually own Buffy, and I doubt my buddy wants to loan it to me indefinately.
I thought about coming up with something like they mentioned for WoD 2.0, where your attack and damage roll are one roll, and perhaps your soak roll is automatic.
With the help of a few people elsewhere online, I've got a few ideas for what I might do:
Initiative - I like ditching Declaration phase. To make up for this though, I'd allow high iniative people to hold their action to later, interrupting someone else's action with a contested Wits roll. (this is how Savage Worlds does it)
Attack = roll as normal. Instead of every suxx over the first adding to your damage pool, every other success adds 1 Health Level of damage.
Damage = Static number, based on half the weapon's listed damage, round up.
Soak = Static number, based on half Stamina + Armor + Kewl Powerz, round up.
Optional Rule: (Well ok, all these rules are optional, but you know) Additionally, PCs can spend 1 Willpower Point to attempt a Soak Roll, if they really need it. The freebie soaks wount count as automatic successes on this roll.
Alternately, have every success add 1 Heath level of damage, as well as Damage and Soak not being halved, and give all characters double the amount of Health Levels.
Any thoughts, suggestions or ideas would be greatly appreciated.
One of my players was surprised to learn the other day that I do not give experience points for combat, unless it's a necessary combat. A few examples:
The players attacked a minotaur who was speaking in broken common, I only gave 60 experience points (exp) which was calculated based on its Hit Dice and abilities. However, there was the potential for turning the creature into a temporary scout, this would've been worth 600 for ther player directly responsible. Not to mention the exp potential that could've been earned by what could have been found in the secret tunnels connecting the caves the minotaur lived in. In another session, I wasn't going to let the players simply walk out of this cultist temple they had snuck into, so when the head priestess shows up to stop them the total for killing all of the guards and the priestess was 3000 exp split amongst the players.
I created this system for distributing exp that gives exp for when characters interact with NPCs and when players try to discover more about the environment. I never take exp away from anybody though I joke about it alot. And then I give little +50 exp bonuses for making me laugh or doing something creative (though the creative bonus can inflate to as big as +1000 depending on how impressed I am). Recently it hasn't been working the way I wanted it too, but thats only because I'm not sure what most of my players want to do with their characters, I don't hear alot of short-term goals stated usually just long-term ones. Actually, I think the exp system I devised doesn't work that well because my players aren't interested in anything that doesn't relate directly to their characters. I mentioned a new system of magic in the last session and not a single player asked about it, neither in or out of character. I think, simply, nobody noticed. Oh well.
For the GMs: How do you award exp in your games? (Please mention the system you use as well if it isn't D&D)
For the Players: What does your GM do to keep you interested in your game, and the game world?