The hardest questions have easy answers

Similar to my consult with Jared, I wonder whether Jerry and I are even comprehensible to a third-party listener. I know it’ll be entertaining; we’ve known each other for almost twenty years, trading thoughts about life et cetera. I kept laughing out loud while editing. However, he’s published big, beautiful games (Atlantis, Hellas), managing money and production in ways I can’t imagine or do. The notion that he’d want to connect via Adept Consulting, formally & financially, is almost silly. 

Godsend Agenda, though, is a little different. It’s the first and most unmanageable of his RPG projects and refuses outright to “be done.” I hope you’ll see here why that is, and that we have to ask, “Is this a rebirth or an exorcism?” My priorities in this session are to investigate, first, why to make this game by going back to its origin, and second, given whatever that is, how to do it without being constrained by that same origin.

It’s a big job and we’re in for a long haul on it, including some play time with whatever it’s becoming.


8 responses to “The hardest questions have easy answers”

  1. Session 2!

    Here's the direct link into the playlist.

    This session includes a lot of intersecting concepts, and it's the point of intersection that I hope you'll be able to see: given what is most significant to change, how do the operations of play change it?

    • I want to thank Ron and his

      I want to thank Ron and his guest.

      The whole character creation part is pure gold to me.

      Since long time I've tried hard to focalize a good procedure that could get the players into a " real situation" from the very beginning of play without pre scripture by someone, usually THE master.

      And here it is. Explained plain and clear. The use of "bounce" right in carachter creation, no one in control, everyone envolved in the process and in the effort of "finding" the "real" starting point of the situation.

      Maybe I'm wrong,  but it seems to me this is the utter preceding step to the "situation exercise" seminar. 


      Thank you!

    • Hello! I’m glad you liked it,

      Hello! I'm glad you liked it, and I especially appreciate that anyone is reading and viewing these things long after posting.

      The great thing about the topic – the functionality of character creation – is that so many ways work well. So as long as it's a working method, no single one of them is the "good one." What matters is that one's method does in fact work, and isn't a fib or an ineffective cultural habit.

      I've found this is sometimes tough to communicate:

      • That there is indeed the historical and conceptual "set" of character creation which does not work at all, and which should be junked
      • That among the contrasting set of potentially functional methods, some quite-limited subset is the right fit for this particular game.

      I guess I'm trying to head off both of the ideas that (i) a specific method is the best of all, ever, and (ii) if a lot of them are good, then any of those is right for this game.

      You're absolutely on target regarding situation, but that leaves open so much range … for example, making characters and then working from their components to develop a lot of the situation (Sorcerer, Whimsical Ways), vs. making a lot of the situation without reference to characters and then seeing what happens as a collision (Circle of Hands, Trollbabe), as well as any number of gradations in between (Champions Now).

      Anyway, maybe I'm rambling now, so let me know if any of this is interesting or makes sense.

    • Hope I’m replaying the right

      Hope I'm replaying the right way…


      Yes! It does makes sense!

      Actually I was focused on games like Pendragon, which I'd like to redirect a bit and "modernize" (whatever it could mean).

      I don't understand the purpose or value of its Ability system, seems silly.

      I think for the future could be a good conversation, at least for me, maybe in one of your "codified" format.

  2. I’ve found these consults

    I've found these consults really interesting and I'm looking forward to seeing how Jerry resolves what seems to be the central tension in the game as its developing – that is if you are a God / Super hero wanting to change the world then really don't you have better things to do than punch villains? But what are those things exactly? 

    • I think that tension can be

      I think that tension can be answered, much as superhero comics have managed to answer it more often than the derogatory term "comics supervillain" would indicate. We don't need to assign the meaning that only the laziest and stupidest comics adopted. It does require a personal answer, for this game, and fortunately Jerry has already provided wicked, wretched institutions with game mechanics.


  3. Useful Conversation

    I love Jerry's energy. I appreciate being so passionate about a design. I also understand how a design can haunt you. 

    In the beginning when the conversation was focused on the agendas and the various factions, it reminded a little bit of Underground and a lot a bit of Aberrant. Just vibes, nothing too concrete in terms of mechanics, but the idea of factions and conflicting (pun not intended) agendas.  In terms of the factions, the agendas, the pantheons vs. the mundane corporations and mortal level organizations, it occurred that each high level alien/angelic agenda would have one proxy on Earth. With a few rogue groups who will take money from anyone.  

    A lot of food for thought on abstraction, consequences, and the meaning of rolling.  If all RPGs are abstract, does level of abstraction affect or is affected by the idiom? No one has to answer that, its just a question that popped into my head that I wanted to share out loud.

    I am looking forward to the play session. 

  4. We’re playing!

    Jerry's in charge, trying out some of the out-there ideas he's considering, with Renee, Kieron, and me as tender victims. His current design uses the two-tiered approach, sometimes playing "as the pantheon" at a wider scale of time and location, and sometimes in the more "hero's eye view" personal way.

    So you begin by rolling up the past exploits of the heroes, including an origin and also including "how we met" events, and you end up with a purpose for your pantheon – then you can finalized the heroes as individuals. It's an interesting sequence.

    So far, we've played this preparation session as well as an action-packed "now we're playing" session, and Jerry and I did some more consulting talk as well. I'm still editing the latter two, so for now, here's the direct link to the preparation session inside the playlist.

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