May 2, 2005: 9:39 pm: Game systems, Playing

Over the weekend I got to actually play in a Dogs in the Vineyard game, courtesy of Michael Croft. It was a fun time, and I was as impressed by the system as I’d hoped I would be. I’ll try to get a longer writeup together sometime this week, but for now I just wanted to say thanks to Michael (and Ginger) for the game.

April 26, 2004: 8:02 pm: Playing

There’s a thread over at The Masters’ Council called “It’s not easy being green”, which talks about some of the problems new players can have when joining an existing campaign, and what can be done to help them not feel somehow left out because of the experience the other players have with the game.

It’s a topic that normally wouldn’t resonate with me, as I’ve rarely been in the position of that new player (or the GM who was trying to integrate them into a game), but this time it caused me to realize that the problems being discussed were the same ones I’ve been dealing with in a PBEM that I joined back in March.

April 12, 2004: 9:54 pm: Playing

I’m currently involved in the first list-style PBEM game (meaning one where all of the moves are posted to different threads on one public-list) that I’ve ever played, and I have to admit that I’m not at all enjoying the flood of email that results from this format. For example, during the last three weeks I’ve received a total of almost 500 emails from both the in-character and OOC lists, which means roughly 165 emails a week, most of which are for threads my character isn’t involved in. At first I tried to actually read all the other threads, but now I’ve just given up, which is a shame really. Maybe I’d enjoy this style of PBEM more if it was a smaller game?

February 29, 2004: 2:31 pm: GMing, Playing

There’s an excellent post over on Doyce Testerman’s Random Encounters where he talks about the idea of running an Amber campaign using the rules from Trollbabe, a game by Ron Edwards (of Sorcerer and The Forge fame).

It’s my personal opinion that one of the main reasons that the players who play Amber do so because they desire more control over the story — by playing in the Amber setting, you have a tremendous amount of say over what’s happening to your character and the world around them — it’s that kind of setting. (Maybe not that kind of game (vanilla ADRPG), but that kind of setting.)

Trollbabe gives the player more of that kind of control through a built-in mechanic that lets the player have a HUGE amount of influence over the story.

Let me repeat that: not just over the character; over the story.

It’s a really interesting idea. I can definitely see the value in using Amber as the setting for a more Narrativist sort of game, and I agree with Doyce’s point, repeated in one of the comments attached to the main post, that some people who enjoy Amber and the ADRPG might find a more Narrativist style of play very much to their liking.

You can count me among those who find a lot more to like in Roger Zelazny’s Amber than I do in the ADRPG system, though I’ll admit a certain fondness for the game that first introduced me to diceless roleplaying (and for many of the people I’ve met because of that game). If there’s another take on Amber that can help move things out of the rut it sometimes falls into, I’m all for it, though I’m not actually sure that Trollbabe (or some other Narrativist-oriented system) is the way to go. It does sound like something worth trying though, even if it doesn’t end up being everyone’s cup of tea.

[via a post to 20×20 Room]

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