The exchange between me and Ron about stakes setting has been on my mind, and perhaps because of that I have been extra attentive to the presence or absence of setting explicit intentions and stakes in my current play. I've been playing a game of the Pool with two players (George, from my Legendary Lives game, and his brother Ted, who has never played an RPG before).
You are here
If you were following the development of Champions Now a while ago, you may remember the memorable game played at the Gauntlet which I adapted into the examples in the game text (Values and family, not necessarily family values).
So I read Ron’s work talking about and analyzing the Pool, and the game itself seemed to me to be elegantly and brilliantly designed, with a kind of simplicity I find really appealing. But I never had a chance to try it, so I was thrilled when some kind people were willing to play online. We decided to use the Anti-Pool, and added a variant rule where other players could help out on a roll.
I've mentioned that I'm not skilled in bringing role-playing to kids. I've done it a fair amount - for instance, all the way back in 1986, with Mentzer's D&D, when I was working at a neighborhood center. But I don't have any special techniques or insights about it as a specific task, and as a father, I don't think I've done a very good job of "bringing them up role-playing" as I've seen many do, or at least present themselves as doing on social media.
First Lincon video! With none other than James V. West's The Pool, which is a signature game for this whole website. It's also a deliberate comparison with James' other, related game, The Questing Beast, as I played and posted about at IndieCON.
It was a surprise to see The Questing Beast there at IndieCON, in Italian, as well as that anyone would hold it up and say, "Let's play this" when we were surrounded by so many other acclaimed or recent titles, and that the anyone happened not to be me. Here's my take on the session that we played.
Justin gave me a list of questions or topics for this session, and I realized they made most sense in nested form. So I grouped IIEE and relationship mechanics into the larger category of Bounce and system diagrams (specifically their feedback or activity loops), then put the whole into the biggest category of design processes as an experience.
Intent, Initiation, Execution, Effect - fictional things, probably the single most direct fictional content to be interfaced with real-people speaking and using rules, in the hobby. In a recent dialogue with Zac Porcu, he called it "the beating heart of role-playing."
The topic is group preparation, when you spend some time together creating and customizing the setting and situation. Whether it's a pitch, a series of rules steps,a suggestion-and-approval process, or anything like that - we hit it from a lot of angles and a lot of examples.
Joining me are Ray, Herman, Ángel, Santiago, and Moreno, for what appears to be my first real success at production for a group activity. At last, no tiny head.