Archive for March, 2004

March 21, 2004: 5:31 pm: Game WISH

As you’ve probably noticed from the last few posts, I’ve been catching up on Game WISHes this afternoon. Part of what prompted me to do this was Ginger’s announcement that the meme will be ending with the hundredth WISH. While I haven’t always gotten a lot out of each and every WISH, I’ll be sorry to see them go, because they usually made me think. Of course, that was the whole point.

WISH 89: All Good Things Must Come To An End

How do you handle character death, as a player and/or GM? What makes a good death or a bad death? Have you ever had a character die? What happened?

The thing that struck me when I read this question was just how long it had been since I’d had a character actually die (at least in any sort of permanent way). I’m in an occasional complete hack-n-slash game with some friends I’ve known since college, but death is almost never permanent there, and I hardly even consider that an RPG….it’s more like low-tech multi-player Diablo. Other than that (and maybe a few con games), my characters just don’t seem to die, and neither do the characters of other players in the game. Of course, I’ve likely just jinxed my monthly D&D 3.5 character by saying that.

In any case, I think that it’s important to make a character death either very meaningful or very senseless. I know those sound contradictory, but my point is that it should always lean toward one extreme or the other, and never just be mundane and ho-hum. A tragic and pointless death can be as much a catalyst for drama as a brave and inspiring one.

: 5:29 pm: Game WISH

WISH 88: In Your Wildest Dreams

Do you ever dream about games and characters? Do you incorporate the dreams into your games? How? Has it been successful or unsuccessful?

The answer to the first question is no, I don’t, which makes the rest of the questions moot. I’m not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing….

: 5:28 pm: Game WISH

WISH 87: Recommended Web Sites

What are three or more web sites you’ve used recently as a player or GM? Why do you use them? What do you get from them?

The first answer is always Google, since it’s the path to finding all sorts of other amazing resources. For advice that specific to gaming (as opposed to background or setting), I lean toward places like The Forge, The 20′ By 20′ Room, or the new The Masters’ Council. With those I find that I learn a lot from just lurking the discussions.

: 5:27 pm: Game WISH

WISH 85: Character Inspirations

What inspires you to create characters? Do you have partially-developed characters in mind for use when you get into a new campaign? Do you shop characters around, or do you come up with new characters when you get into a campaign? Why? If you GM, are you bothered by receiving a solicitation for a “generic” character, or does it enthuse you to get a solid proposal even if it’s not closely tailored to your game?

I think the inspiration for new characters comes from the same sort of influences that contribute to any sort of creativity. It’s a lame-sounding answer, I know, but I don’t see character creation as somehow being essentially different. As for re-using characters, I have sometimes taken a character from a short-lived game (usually meaning a one session con game) and used it again (usually in another con game), after the appropriate tweaks to make it better fit the new setting.

I am not, however, one of those people who tries to run one or two characters in nearly every game of the appropriate genre that they play. It’s not something I really understand the motivation for, and I’ve watched GMs (mainly at Ambercons) have to struggle with shoehorning these characters into their worlds.

I actually think that the whole idea of trying to bring an existing character into a new game is, on the whole, a flawed one. If the player is willing to be exceedingly flexible, it may be possible to make the character fit into it’s new home, but, imo, it will never fit as well as a character that was specifically created for that game.

March 4, 2004: 10:42 pm: Cons

My ACUS 2004 schedule

I got my Ambercon US schedule today:

Slot 2: Volunteer
Slot 3: “Tall Tales of Pattern and Shadow” by Jack Gulick
Slot 4: “Ill Met in Amber” by Christopher Kindred
Slot 5: “Love Like a Burning City” by Sarah Bear
Slot 6: GM ["If You Can't Stand the Heat"]
Slot 7: “Blaze of Glory: Laws of God and Man” by Sol Foster

I got both of my non-campaign first picks, so I’m pretty happy with how things worked out.