The slow burn topic on my mind lately is randomization, for any and all ways it’s been employed in role-playing. As Justin and I discussed in the Design Curriculum series, solo games provide a useful comparison in terms of randomizing mechanics.
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This is where we do what we do! We talk about playing table-top role-playing games. This is not a play-at or streaming site - it's for discussion of what you're already doing.
- Tell or show what happened in the game at the time and what you did to make that happen.
- It is totally all right - encouraged! - to post because you had fun.
- People often include video or audio recordings, but text-only is fine too. You can also attach documents, like maps or character sheets or brief sections of the rules you're using.
You can discuss decades of play or thirty seconds of play, or anything in between. Any table-top role-playing game is welcome: old, new, in print, out of print, published by you, published by whoever. You could have played it at any time, from back in the early 1970s to a second before you hit "post."
From there, I trust you to work out how you want to talk about your games. If you'd like, check out my best-practices manual for suggestions, but it's really flexible.
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For games in design, i.e., playtesting - yes, go right ahead, that's welcome too. For consulting sessions with me, which is different, see the Consulting page.
I'm currently designing Champions Now, for Hero Games, in active alpha playtest. The dedicated page for that is here.
We've played two sessions of the Beta playtest rules. I currently have three players. Only one has any extensive experience with Hero System. I've GMed Champions and Hero System, so I have a lot of math chops for the power design. We've had an initial character development by email, a face to face session of finalizing development, and two face-to-face play sessions.
Since the playtesting phase of Champions Now is wrapping up, I wanted to post a little bit about the game my group has started.
Solo or solitaire play appeared very early in RPG history, and yet I often considered it marginal or beta play. I certainly saw it that way until about 2010, especially the second round of Ronnies and the contest/event 01/01/11 organized by Em and Eppy. By then, I’d wholly revised my similar thinking about twosie play, so was more open-minded about solo play and was even working on Cathedral at that point.
Imagine a fantasy world with the classic races A, B and C (Elves, Dwarves and Huma for ex.). Imagine a "realistic" fantasy world, in the sense that once some absurd premises -like magic- are set, the consequences should be logical and based on modern sciences like antropology, history etc,...
I'd given some thought to this playtesting group, including how it had inadvertently stress-tested the lower limit of player number. Difficult as that was, because I do not like stress-testing, it wasn't the main thing on my mind. I was worried that the actual editor of the game and its interiors artist were still not quite in tune with how the game itself was played.
After setting up my little consulting table at the Palace Hotel during Lucca, I found myself tired of discourse and yearning for play. When a friend I hadn't seen for a while passed by, with a copy of Trollbabe (in Italian, published by Narrattiva) in hand, that seemed like the perfect plan.
This is always the toughest time for playtesters, because it's no longer about "cool, an idea," but about "oh crap, saying/teaching it this way is pure miscommunication." The poor players are like my hands which are trying to read Braille but are unfortunately picking up the waffle iron instead.
This post is a bit complicated: Daniele and Giulia brought Emanuele Galletto's Blood Red Blossoms to me to look at, and I roped them into playing a little. The next day, I asked Emanuele to talk with me about it. So it's not really a consult but more like Actual Play in one video with me in a semi-consult role in the next (the main one at the end).