Well, time for part two of my vague attempt to catch up with RPGaDay 2018.
#RPGaDay2018 – Day 6!
HOW can players make a world seem real?
If a GM has crafts a campaign world, I think its the duty of a player to explore at least a bit of that.
But there’s also the reciprocal exchange of a collaborative storytelling space and world going on there. In FATE, there’s an encouragement for collaborative world building, or even just for the part of it that will be explored. In other games like D&D, coming up with a backstory that ties to the world or let’s a DM hang some adventure hooks on is important too.
Getting involved, trying to find out what a players’ character would know that the player themselves may not, all of that immersion helps to bring to life a fictional world because it has all of these moving parts, some of which interact and some which don’t at all.
#RPGaDay2018 – Day 7!
HOW can a GM make the stakes important?
How are stakes made important in real life? If something directly affects you or someone you care about. World changing / world ending events are fine for that, but an invading army heading towards your home town or a letter from your sister asking for help should be a call to action for a player.
If it’s not, they’re breaking the unwritten rules or social contract of the game.
#RPGaDay2018 – Day 8!
HOW can we get more people playing?
Diversity in the hobby. That’s a pretty easy one to answer.
It’s not exactly hard to do though. As used to being behind the screen as I am (and as a straight white guy), I try and read new ideas and fiction from different sources. I have a scifi collection of black authors in my bedside pile of books, I spend time with people from different countries and cultures and try and learn what they recommend, and I pay attention when cultural appropriation gets brought up in cultural discussions and try to learn from it.
I still don’t think I do enough, but I try.
Next, I’d say advertising the presence of the hobby. That’s going pretty well in recent years with podcasts and live streaming. I had someone find me on Facebook looking for a game a few months ago because they’d seen Critical Role and wanted to play. Now she has a regular game.
Oh and no more chainmail bikinis.
#RPGaDay2018 – Day 9!
HOW has a game surprised you?
So, in a kind of bad way, I’ve had issues with social contracts and sudden game changes before start recently.
I had another kind of horrible experience years ago where suddenly one player had stabbed every other player in the back and the GM had let it happen and not really given anyone a chance to stop it.
Except, of course, it’s hard for someone to steal my personal possessions from a locked chest if I’d previously stated that I had it on me as an article of clothing – hard to wear full armour when you’ve somehow left some of it in a box!
GM sided with the other player, the group fell apart after that pretty quickly.
On the other hand, sometimes I’ve just been surprised by how inquisitive players are. Stopping by a medieval fair and seeing a performing dog show, when someone asks ‘do the dogs look badly treated?’, you know that’s a side quest right there.
I wasn’t horrible with it, they were just a little malnourished and overworked, and then they were all rescued by the players, and the show master got a bit of a kicking.
Next time I ran the game, the players saw that the dogs were a little worse for wear but didn’t stop what they were doing to fix it. Also a surprise.
#RPGaDay2018 – Day 10!
HOW has gaming changed you?
It’s pretty well known that the tabletop gaming hobby can attract the misfits and the shy and the socially awkward, and I was one of them when I started playing.
But then it was also 18 years ago and I was in my early teens, so of course I was awkward.
But gaming got me a bit more confidence in speaking (especially once I was running games) and it got me less socially awkward (and got me some lifelong friends) and it’s greatly boosted my creativity (and plagiarism) skills.
When I emigrated, gaming went missing for months but it’s what got me a new group of friends and a regular gaming group. (And back into Magic, but we won’t hold that against it just yet!)
Now I’ve moved again and I’ve found a new group or two. I’m slowly building up some more regular contacts, not sure if I’ve established a new group of friends yet.
The creativity I’m working on, still reading around all kinds of stuff. Viking eddas and scifi by black authors is my current poison.
#RPGaDay2018 – Day 11!
Wildest character name?
Names mean a lot of things. Was the Goblin King, my erstwhile supervillain/hero a weird name? I think there was a joke that his real name was David at some point.
I have a tiefling warlock that ran for one session named Amon de Marth, but I wasn’t feeling too creative there!
My main focus at the moment is Loge al-Masafir, stealing a bit from the Muslim traveller in Norse lands – but in reverse for his backstory. So far, no one at the table has picked up my fairly subtle hints about what’s going on with him based on his first name alone.
#RPGaDay2018 – Day 12!
Wildest character concept?
I have a few I’m keeping in my head at the moment.
I have a white kenku who was ostracised by his family as unlucky. I haven’t really decided what I’m doing with him yet.
I have a kobold who somehow has gold dragon blood. He was a fun two-swords kind of guy. Haven’t thought to port him into 5e yet.
In Dresden Files I played a Cryomancer who had accidentally read a book about cthuloid gods and got in trouble. He was trying to do better and reading all about thermodynamics, but accidentally made a pact with a leyline and now he’s in two minds about everything.
Oh, and he trapped a necromancer in an ever-repeating second and got in more trouble for it.
Next post – DESCRIBE!