This is a bit of game design and a bit of an example for people interested in the “situations” topic I’ve been discussing lately. I asked patrons to make Whimsical Ways characters so I could try my hand at the instructions and notions I have for setting up situations for play, especially for the first session. The three contributors worked independently to make their characters, with no knowledge of one another or discussion. Helma made up Leonidas, a halfsnake artiste; Ross made up Tecmessa, an Amazon Tribes bug wizard; and Greg made up Ucmec, a Free Tribes bug wizard.
These three videos show what I have in mind to do with the plethora of information provided by character creation, and I hope it’s reasonably informative. I’ve attached the files you’ll need to see what I’m talking about. Certain things are specific to Whimsical Ways or to the batch of games which operate similarly, and others are of more general interest; I’m pretty sure it’s easy to tell the difference.
Other conversations have led me to realize that the following idea needs to be stated outright: It’s hard for people to separate “situation” from “GM’s prep.” I stress that we are talking about the fiction-in-action in play, shared imagined space that “moves” via system … thus who introduced what or has authority over what is entirely wide-open, even irrelevant to the basic concept.
Therefore, let’s not think of “the GM’s situation” and “the player-characters” in separated terms. We’re talking about the imagined whole: therefore, let’s say a player-character is loaded with backstory and motivations and all manner of complications, which means only that all that stuff is in the situation too, as much as the fortress or the mountain is, and in the same way.