Sunday, 23 November 2008

Narrative Control - Go listen!

In the past few months a new gaming podcast has appeared that is well worth your time.  It's called Narrative Control.

So why should you listen to it?  It's got several good things going for it.

It's short!  Each episode is 20 to 30 minutes long, so you have no problem squeezing it in, unless you are very very busy indeed.

It's focused.  Some gaming podcasts are long and rambling, with tirades, rants and diversions all part of that show's, uh... charm.  Narrative Control, on the other hand, stays with the topic and gives it a punchy treatment.

The content is good.  This stuff isn't 20 minutes of focused garbage.  It's full of good information, useful tips and explorations of good gaming concepts.  Now, if you're the perfect GM and you've read everything on The Forge then you might not care for this content, but then you'd also be the kind of person who says, "Can't come to bed, honey.  Someone's wrong on the internet!"  (Thanks to Paul Tevis for that quote).

Lastly - and this is the best feature - using the information in Narrative Control will not only make you a better GM, but it will make you and the other players better players.  

This is the best new gaming podcast of 2008, and well worth your time.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Hankering for Exhaustion

It's been too long since I played anything, and I'm hankering for a game of DRYH.  I've said it before, but I still think that DRYH is the key challenge for this year.  If I can get that right, I'll be a better GM at everything else.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Don't Feel Your Anger

This is another DRYH setting hack.  It's the application of DRYH to Star Wars, but very specifically to the story you'd tell about the temptation to go to the dark side of the Force.

Exhaustion becomes... The Force
I chose this one because using the force is exhausting!  It requires concentration and focus, and the more you use, the more powerful you are.  But use too much and you'll collapse from the effort.

Madness becomes... Anger
This is the danger cycle for the nascent Jedi.  To really unleash the power, it takes more than Discipline, it takes passion.  Anakin was most powerful when he unleashed his anger, and the Emperor encouraged it.

Now, to add to this, the Fight and Flight responses need to change their flavour.  The Fight response can remain the same, resulting in an unbridled massacre of men, women and children (for example).  The Sandpeople don't stand a chance.  Flight, however, is going to be characterised by terror.  The darkness of the dark side is like staring into the abyss.  It can be overwhelming to a Jedi not used to it, and will probably terrorise them.

Similarly to Don't Lose Your Head, you could choose to limit the number of Force boxes for a padawan and let them increase as the character gains more competence with the Force.  It makes for interesting character progression, and also reflects the stronger temptation of the young Jedi to use their Anger to get more dice!