Sunday, 21 July 2013

When Other Players Assign Aspects

I mentioned that I was going to use a Burning Wheel trick in my Diaspora game. Mentioned, done, succeeded. The players took turns at suggesting ideas and phrases for the last character. We used each other's creativity and perspective to help round out the character and to weave him into the plot. Those aspects immediately came into play and became part of our overall story. 

Mission accomplished. 

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Stealing from Burning Wheel for Diaspora

Burning Wheel has a nice system of gaining traits. Other players suggest them based on how you play your character and with enough agreement from the group, that trait becomes part of the character.

Tonight I'm going to smoosh that into the opening section of our Diaspora game. Diaspora allows a player to change one of their character's aspects at the start of a session. We have a new-ish player who wasn't with us for character creation so he's missing a few aspects from his character. He's been with us for two sessions so we've seen a bit of the character. I'm going to ask each other player to suggest an aspect for the new character, based on what they've seen or perhaps what they'd like to see, and if the new-ish player agrees then he gets the aspect.

Let's see how well it works.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Found! A forum thread about Siege

I found a forum discussion about Siege. The title is delightfully misleading: Siege, the perfect Story Game.

I don't believe it either, but I'll take that praise! The only sad part about it is that the poster then says he'd never play it because he doesn't like that kind of game.

But still... it's the perfect story game. :)

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Paragraphs and Dialogue

I finished listening to the Walking Eye AP recordings of The Spark playtest the other day. In the middle of it all was a moment that the cast were trying to determine how to resolve things and one of them (Jen, perhaps?) said that it's a bit like a paragraph that needs to be finished before moving on to the next paragraph.

Normally the jargon of the story games community is a scene, sometimes a frame (for the comics games like With Great Power). Hearing "paragraph" triggered in me a thought about dividing a story game into paragraphs and dialogues.
A paragraph as analogous to an action sequence, with the focus on descriptions of what characters and things are doing.
A dialogue as analogous to improvised acting, with the focus on conversation between characters.
A game designed around this could use slightly different rules for each. A portion of game could be a Paragraph, with dialogue thrown in as flavour or for some small effect on the Paragraph. Players would describe what's happening and the rules would need to support the opposition between players for the outcome of the Paragraph.

The other parts of the game would be Dialogue. This would allow the improv-minded players to shine, with opportunities for acting and silly voices. The rules would need to support the freedom of improv while providing a structure for direction or resolution (other than the players just shouting over the top of each other).

I'm not a clever enough designer to make this work just yet, but I can certainly see how both the Paragraph and the Dialogue exist already within games as styles of play. My Fiasco games tend to be heavy users of Dialogue, whereas my Fate games tend to be heavy on the Paragraphs.

I have a game scheduled this week with my regular group. I'm going to watch for Paragraphs and Dialogue, to see how our group plays and to watch how much Paragraph and Dialogue interact with each other.