Future layout/theme ideas for website and Youtube Channel

Aside

I’ve recently read some very insightful posts on the various online roleplaying communities that I am a member of, some of these have made me give thought to how good a job my own channel and this website do with communicating my aims to the audience, and what those aims actually.

So I sat down and thought about what the aim of this site and my Youtube channel is and I came up with the following:

To provide tips and advice for roleplayings, broadcast games showing that advice in action and highlight games that offer innovative mechanics or assistance to the GM.

Going forward I am going to make that phrase my mission statement and feature very little on my channel and this site that does not somehow help with that; luckily I seem to have been thinking about this on a subconscious level for a while, so a lot of my older stuff actually does this already.

There are also a couple of other things I like to do in the future:

  • Stick to a more regular schedule of releasing videos, at the moment I’m thinking Saturday each week.
  • Film a more vloggy un-edited video each Monday talking about RP stuff I’ve done during the week.
  • More clearly divide the various different shows (GM Tips, RPG Bugbears, etc) that I do.
  • Attempt to edit some of my actual plays to remove dead-air, shorten the videos and make them more watchable so that people can see the mechanics and running of a game in action without having to wade through so much footage.

 

 

Blog redesign

If you’ve been to the blog before this then you’ll have noticed that the design has recently changed, I’m currently giving serious thought to how the blog can be more useful for roleplayers going forward; part of this is getting the blog to load as quickly as possible even on computers with slightly lower specs, the previous theme used seemed to take an awful long time to load and looked a little cluttered so I’ve changed it over.

There will be more changes over the next few months and heading into the New Year, I hope you’ll stick with us and will give us your feedback.

Sample Edge of Empire Antagonist

Following on from my previous post about defining my Star Wars plot notes by the various antagonists in the game I’ve statted up one of the antagonists for my game, Sham’Secca the notorious Twi’lek bounty hunter.

Please note: If you’re one of the players in my EotE game please do not read any further.

Continue reading

Structured Aspects

Aside

I’ve been thinking a lot about aspects recently as I’m starting to consider what is going to go in my PWYW PDF ‘All About Aspects’, at the same time I’ve also been thinking about submitting a pitch to the Fate Codex, in their writers guidelines they claim to be looking for:

  • Quick Start Adventures that contain a short setting, NPCs and plot hooks, and pregen characters (roughly 4,000 words).
  • Fate Core Essays that explain how to do exciting things with the Fate system in your local game (2,500 – 3,500 words).
  • Extra Systems that can be added to your game to provide new ways for your players to engage the fiction (1,000 – 1,500 words).
  • Short Fiction that will help to inspire you with new worlds and characters that will be statted up along with the prose (roughly 2,500 words).

I quite like the idea of trying to write an adventure that is self-contained but that also does something a little different with the basic Fate rules-set, so I’ve been thinking about how it might be interesting to tweak the structural guidelines that are provided for creating aspects. The default method in Fate Core asks players to think about their first adventure and then each person works out how their characters play a supporting role in the other peoples adventures and pick aspects based on them; some people love this idea and some people hate it, and of course there’s nothing that says you have to use it, however, having some guidelines can be useful to prevent people from stalling or getting that blank expression when aspects are first explaining.

When it discusses running horror games using Fate the Fate Toolkit one of the pieces of advice it gives is:

Compels Aplenty: While compels aren’t tools for forcing outcomes, they are tools for making things go wrong. So make them abundant. Place aspects on the scene, the story, the campaign—and compel them to make things go wrong for everyone. Simply dropping Death Comes for Everyone onto the story and compelling it at the exact worst time (for the players) to make things that much worse will get lots of traction. Yeah, the players affected will walk away with some fate points—which they’ll need in order to survive—but they’ll also feel the emotional gut-punch of the moment—and will wonder when the next compel is going to land. Make them hurt. Make them worry.

Often one of the problems with horror gaming is that, unless the PCs buy into the genre conventions then it can fall flat; after all everyone knows that splitting up is a bad idea, that reading the old book is a death-sentence and don’t even think about going down into that dark cellar. Still, the characters/victims in horror films and stories do exactly that because, unlike the players in an RPG, they generally don’t know they’re in a horror story; if your players are too concerned with survival and playing it safe then the horror RPG experience can seem a bit limp and deflated.

I think aspects could be just the thing to change that; using compels frequently could, if used with appropriate aspects, re-inforce the genre tropes and reward players who buy-in to the setting whilst still allowing those who wish to pay a fate point to avoid the compel, although doing so eventually means they will succumb to the dark forces of whatever nameless horror stalks them.

Taking the standard five aspect approach, I’m intending to define them something like this (I’m using the example of a haunted house investigation below, if the goal/setting of the game were different then some of the wording might change):

  1. What is your job? – this replaces high concept
  2. What brought you to the haunted house? – this replaces trouble
  3. What are you hoping to find in the house?
  4. What do you fear is in the house?
  5. What will keep you investigating when weird stuff starts to happen?

And there are examples below:

  1. What is your job? Newspaper photographer
  2. What bought you to the haunted house? Some people have disappeared here and the place has a bad reputation.
  3. What are you hoping to find in the house? A big scoop.
  4. What do you fear is in the house? Some kind of crazy person or killer.
  5. What will keep you investigating when weird stuff starts to happen? I need the money that the story will bring me to support my family.
  1. What is your job? None, I’m a homeless person.
  2. What bought you to the haunted house? My dog ran off and disappeared into the building.
  3. What are you hoping to find in the house? I just want to find Rex and get out.
  4. What do you fear is in the house? The house was built on an old graveyard and they say ot’s haunted.
  5. What will keep you investigating when weird stuff starts to happen? Rex is the only friend I have, and who knows I might find something worth something in the old place.

I’m hoping to keep refining this idea over the next few weeks and then look at making it into an adventure with a view to playtesting and submitting to the Codex.

Pre-genned Character Backgrounds for C:tL

You may have seen my recent post about the pre-genned characters that are going to be used in my one-off C:tL game in a couple of weeks (if not you can find it here); this evening I’ve finished writing out the backgrounds for each of the characters and have posted them out to the players (who have already selected which characters they are going to be).

You can read the backgrounds using the following links:

  • Blaze BG

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByVpAo4rxDGudnlaUFkxMll3UHM/view?usp=sharing

  • Bones BG

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByVpAo4rxDGuWW1yRDVZUWxRdUk/view?usp=sharing

  • Hare BG

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByVpAo4rxDGuRlpKV3V6Q2t3Mlk/view?usp=sharing

  • Sway BG

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByVpAo4rxDGuZDhGUjNRbjd4SW8/view?usp=sharing

  • Wolf BG

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByVpAo4rxDGuOGItYjl0ZEpxMWM/view?usp=sharing

Call of the Wyld Hunt Character Teaser

Aside

I’ve been working away this morning preparing five pre-genned characters for the Call of the Wyld Hunt Changeling one-shot that I’m going to be running in a few weeks time.

I’ve made a good start on them and have the kiths and their roles in Arcadia defined so I thought that I’d post a little teaser for the characters, you can access the PDF by clicking on the link below:

Call of the Wyld Character Teaser

changelings

Future Youtube Videos

Aside

* RPG BUGBEARS – Excessive searching and obsession with detail.

* GM tips – Make sure your players understand the goal/aim of your game.

* GM tips – accents & vocal mannerisms

* Player tips – collaboration & selling

* RPG Questions – Importance of maps

* GM tips – The entirely improvised session

* RPG Bugbears – Lengthy scenery descriptions.

* RP based around equipment.

* Published metaplot vs sandbox

* Soundtracks in RPGs

* Railroading

* Getting new players involved in RPGs

* Balance of Prep

* Selling for other people

* “what people want” – make sure NPCs have motivations

* When to cut your losses with a rules system

* Player Tips – Creating compelling characters

* GM tips – Describing a scene

* Player Tips – Be cooperative

* Player Tips – The pluses and minuses of social characters

* Combats that take too long, chewing up entire sessions

* G+ hangout sessions – when to cut your losses