June 27th, 2008

Confession and Question

I must admit, the response to my revision of part three of my truncated series has overwhelmed me. Passionate we are. So I'll start working on the The RPG Project: Advice for Designers, Publishers, and Players and incorporate the better observations, objections, and corrections into it.

The confession aside, here's a question for you. It was inspired by the posts just below on Vampire: The Requiem and most specifically the latest one where the matter of pacing comes up. My question for the collected wisdom of this group is; what is the best pacing for a game? Is there a best pace regardless of game? Or is pacing dependent on the game?

What is the best pace for Dungeons & Dragons, Vampire: The Requiuem, or Exalted? How fast or slow should things work out in a dungeon crawl, an investigation, or a political game?

Another way of putting it is, how detailed does a game need to be? When and where is it appropriate to get detailed? When and where is it best to gloss over the niggly bits and get down to the gory stuff.

And finally, when is it best to violate the rules, to speed up a game of diplomacy, or get into the nitty-gritty of an action game?

So, how fast should a game go?

RPG Project Outline I

Folks are right, I do need to organize better than I have been. So here's the first outline of the RPG Project. This is broad, and likely excludes subjects you think should be included at this level of detail. Considered responses requested. Now for the, oh so basic, outline.

I. What a roleplaying game is.
II. What a particular game is about.
III. The role of the world.
IV. The role of the characters.

I think that covers the basic basics, but I can be persuaded to add to it.

(no subject)

ack- my most sincere sorries for spamming the group- it has been sooo long since I posted I neglected to read the rules carefully.
Offending post removed...
Moving right along!

Once again- sorry.
And hoping I removed it with the alacrity your complaints warrented.


Questions Regarding New Players

I find myself wondering about general opinion on this, so thought I'd pose these few questions here.

Assume for a moment you've got a game going that's been running for some time and the characters in it are reasonable advanced. Then you have a new player you want to bring in...

How much do you talk to the rest of the group about it? Do you ask them if they want a new player, inform them you're bringing someone in as a new player, or just bring the person by?
Do you act any differently if you're GM versus one of the players in the game?
And if you are the GM, do you have the new player generate a character of starting experience, one that matches the current group, or somewhere in between?

This is about battlemats not 4th ed

I'm sure that people are sick of 4th Ed. Reaction posts, so I won't make one. I've only had a chance to briefly peruse the books, anyway (can't wait to actually play, though I doubt it will be anytime soon). However, I've been reading other peoples' reaction posts and such.

I stumbled on one somewhere that said something like "You absolutely need a battlemat to play."

and I heard that screeching tire sound effect like in the movies and I went


Now, personally, I generally do not like using a battle mat. I think that battlemats are useful tools, sure. But so is a hammer. If I need to pound a nail into the wall, I would use a hammer, sure. But if I need to push a thumbtack into the posterboard, I'm not going to bother with the hammer kapiche?
In other words, I tend to only want to use battle mats for large-scale battles, or at least situations where there are a lot of characters, positions are important, etc. This is not true for every encounter. If the PCs open a door, and for whatever reason, say, there's four zombies in an empty 30x30 room. I mean - it's four zombies. Do I really need to get out the matt, draw out the dimensions of the room, get out the figurines and all of that?
Now, understand, if you feel like the answer is yes, that's fine for you. Whatever. However, I feel the answer is no. I have played and GMed the vast majority of combats in my gaming career without the need of minis.
I also feel - and again, your mileage may vary - that battlemats stifle creative play. The game becomes focused on players moving their pieces around the board as a board game rather than what the characters are doing. What I'm saying is, without a battle mat, I tend to see a lot more of "Okay, as this Worg runs by me, I'm going to try to leap on its back and plant each one of my daggers into him and hold on;" whereas with a battlemat I see more of "five foot step. Full attack."
Anyways, I'm just wondering if I'm all alone in this school of thought - how do you feel about battle mats and using them in play?