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role playing Archive
This post picks up where last fortnight's post left off. Last time, I outlined using The Chinese elements of earth, wood, fire, water and metal to create a varied bunch of roleplaying (convention) characters. This post will dive even more deeply into the well of wankiness to show how to create a group dynamic. The Chinese elements are different to the familiar scheme of the four Greek elements of fire, earth, air and water. Whereas the Greek elements are used solely to categories the natural world, the Chinese elements are used to show natural processes. We can hijack the traditional interactions between the elements to create a webs of tension and alliances within the roleplaying group.
This post is the first of two which looks at hijacking the five elements of the Chinese philosophical tradition for this purpose. Today I’ll simply outline the “personalities” of each element. Next time (probably in a fortnight), I’ll look at the tradition and fixed interactions between the elements and how to use these to develop a fun set of characters.
Perhaps it’s a function of the Sydney/Melbourne/Canberra roleplaying scene of the late 1980s and 1990s but I think that the five character party works best for convention gaming. There’s no chance of the two-two deadlock when four characters are used […]
A good GM can tie the dread secrets of the player charcters’ background into the very structure of the narrative so that these past events must be dealt with in order to advance the story. I’m not one of those GMs. I have neither the time anymore nor the smarts to work out these complexities. So, here’s a bunch of tricks you can use to fake it in your roleplaying sessions.
First, the secrets. These can be of two general types, although I generally would not mix the two in a single player group. It just doesn’t seem to work. […]
Allan and Nicola, half of my gaming group, are moving to Melbourne 1700 km away. We’ve been role playing weekly since about mid-2007, playing mainly Chaosium’s Call of Cthulhu RPG but with occasional forays into Deadlands, Space 1889 and the like. Although we’ll try to keep the group together using various online meeting and conferencing tools, I’m going to miss terribly the face-to-face interaction.
The main feature of the group is our focus on making the best story we can. We bounce continually character and plot ideas off each other during play, off to our own character’s detriment. The twists […]
I have a growing urge to create a fantasy setting. Where the urge comes from I have no idea but, given my gaming background, this desire will almost certainly take the form of a role playing world. This post is about inspirations and tying them simply into something approaching a coherent whole.
In the far future, the sun is huge, bloated and red. The earth is a desert but for the scattered communities around the former Antarctic circle clinging to the receding shores of the polar ocean. One sprawling tangled ruin of a once great city is our focus. As […]
Until AusCon II (October 2011), it had been about five to six years since I last presented a roleplaying scenario. Before then, I’d been running con games regularly since 1990. I found that the design principles I used to use (waaaaay back then) don’t seem to cut it any more. Here’s the way I’ll be approaching future convention scenarios.Think Inside the Box
Linear plots just plain don’t work. A linear plot is one that relies on scene A leading to scene B leading to scene C, etc. In an environment in which you have limited time to finish the […]
Here’s a couple of reflections on AusCon II – Convention for Nerds and Dorks which was held over the weekend of October 1-2 in Brisbane, Australia. I came out of retirement for this con to run a Space 1889 adventure, The Deathless Hordes of Mars (PDF). First, some general impressions: there was pretty well something for everyone at AusCon. I was there for the roleplaying (natch) but there was miniature gaming downstairs (where 40k players belong), stalls for various game merchants and associated gamer services, […]