Lunchtime Poll 31 :: Time Is an Illusion

Ravings of a Textual Deviant � Blog Archive � Lunchtime Poll #31: Time Is an Illusion, Lunchtime Doubly So
I’ve said before that I tend to think of roleplaying as improv theater to a certain extent, and pacing is an important part of any production. To a certain extent, I think that if the timing is managed well, it’s invisible to the players. So, what are your thoughts on pacing?

Pacing is certainly important both in a short one-shot such as a convention and in the longer campaign. There is a grace and focus to proper pacing.
And not much to guide players and GM in finding it.
As a GM, while it’s not much fun to eye the clock or switch-off from a thread that’s zooming, I find that pacing tricks are well worth the trouble. Whether you use the Talking Stick or a small timer, getting to each person often enough to keep everyone feeling involved is essential.
ref: Good Intentions

IRE 22 :: repatriate

Blog, Jvstin Style: Game IRE #22: Changing Hands
Today marks the 340th anniversary of the reincorporation of New Amsterdam by the English into the colony of New York. Its an important and momentous occasion, a turning point not only in the development of New York, but America in general. ((L.E. Modesitt Jr. Ghost books, as a divergence, have a Dutch-dominated New York and New England surviving British attempts at incorporation).
So, the handover of a valuable colony or country between rivals… and the people in the colony caught in the crossfire…


Lunchtime Poll 29 :: not one of us?

per a discussion on 20×20, Lunchtime Poll 29 asks: Us or Them?
Do you consider the GM part of the group, and why or why not?

I really should have this answered by those I’ve GM’d or someone from my F2F game. Perhaps such a person will comment below.
I think I am inseparable from the group both in alchemy and in social dynamic. I’ll go further and say that the way I approach NPCs is more immersive than the way I approach my own PCs. What I mean by that is:
While I bend my PCs to keep a better game running, I don’t do that with my NPCs as a rule. So while ‘PC X’ might be a creampuff or an ass depending on how I see relating to other PCs to enhance everyone’s enjoyment … Llewella as an NPC is always going to charm, frustrate, mystify, and disturb you depending on who she really is, not what the game ‘needs’ to be more fun.
This may be part of why players often comment on my NPCs being vivid.
My point is that if I weren’t stylistically part of the group, if NPCs were not reacting faithfully to PC input, then the ‘push-pull’ dynamic wouldn’t be there to be commented upon.

Lunchtime Poll 28 :: Oh, so that explains it!

Ravings of a Textual Deviant � Lunchtime Poll #28: Retroactive Continuity
Rather than debate the merits of ret-conning, let’s go for a case study. What’s your most memorable bit of retroactive continuity, good or bad? What, if anything, would you have done differently?

Retcon isn’t a big feature of my games–but when it needs to happen, I’m of the “make it seamless” faction rather than the “re-write the stuff we don’t like” faction.
Which means to me, Han shot first, not Greedo, no matter what the DVD says. I think that you should be very very cautious in erasing “errors in judgment”. Once the past tapestry is that squeaky clean, we lose our faith in present credibility.
My own pick for most memorable is from the play of Empire of the Gleaming Banner.


Lunchtime Poll 27 :: I’m Late (on purpose)

Ravings of a Textual Deviant � Lunchtime Poll #27: Better Late than Never
Describe a game you�ve played in or run (or would like to play in or run), based on a �ticking clock� setup.

I had to wait until this one was late.
I built a ‘clock’ for Grand Affair and always thought of it as a ‘ticking clock’ game.
“King Random is holding a diplomatic-summit-cum celebration at Castle Amber. Everyone who is anyone will be there: Princes of Amber, nobles, Golden Circle leaders, Rebmans. And everyone has a secret agenda of their own.”
Likewise, I would still like to run Mockery as a game involving 30 days of countdown a la ‘Lonesome October’ by Zelazny. In this game, the protagonists would be working on a mission for a hidden ‘mentor’ who might or might not be on the side of right.
And finally there is the scenario seed of ‘End of Days’ which would be Chaos, the Abyss and the final Reckoning at the end of days.