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Gaming Quiz

What kind of genre do you favor in play?
Medieval fantasy is most common. I also like the alternate or near present settings (e.g., WoD). I'd like to try out steampunk at some point, and I've got some ideas for a medieval Asia style game. The only genre I'm not keen on is the far future/sci-fi stuff; it usually translates to kitschy cyberpunk or giant robots, neither of which quite do it for me. Post-apocalyptic future can be nifty though.

A good game runs the gamut in moments - at times dark and somber, at times bright and light-hearted. What mood do you like to see prevail?

Ideally, dark and gloomy overall, with threads of silliness throughout.

What timeframe do you like to play in? (this may be related to genre, or not)

I don't really care when I play.

Do you like Puzzles? Riddles? Mysteries? These are all very different things, in my mind. Puzzles use logic, riddles use words, mysteries can be unraveled by a single astute mind or by picking at the threads until the resolution finally becomes apparent.

Mysteries, overall; I like the whole digging through the campaign worlds deepest darkest secrets kind of thing. Puzzles and riddles, I'm tempted to just "take a Wuj" on; Wujcik, apparently, when asked to sovle a riddle will just say "My charcter responds with the correct answer".

What other challenges have you come across that you enjoyed or hated?

I hate the "levelling up" stage that so many RPGs seem to think is necessary; where you're weak and useless, and so have to wade through heaps of monsters to get to a power level where you can be "cool". I'd rather start out being a hero, or, if I'm going to start out as one of the smallfolk, have interesting things happening instead of just endless monster slaughter.

Do you like playing in large groups? Small ones? What do you think is an ideal sized group for an experienced group?

3-5 seems a comfortable range. 6, as we've discovered can get hard to manage, especially if you have players free to intereact with and alter the plot, as the best games usually do.

Do you enjoy watching others play, or do you work on other things when your character is not 'on stage'? Related - do you try as a player not to know any out-of-character knowledge, or are you comfortable knowing things your character does not know?

I like watching con games, but longer campaign games tend to have too much stuff to keep track of.

Describe three systems you have gamed under: one you thought was good, one you thought was all right, and one you didn?t care for. What were the good points and the bad points of each system? Did the systems support their genre? Were they complex or simple? How easy were they to GM and play?

  1. Palladium:
    Palladium's games tend to have decent artwork, lots of interesting campiagn ideas, and horrible, horrible, horrible mechanics. Think AD&D 2nd edition, with half the pages taken out and replaced entirely with more dice rolling. Also, no attempt is made to balance characters against each other. The games might be playable if you completely threw out the mechanics and just used the world ideas.

  2. AD&D:
    Played 2nd and 3rd ed. I like the 3rd ed rules better; d20 is pretty streamlined, and the 3rd ed rules are fairly well balanced. My only problem is that the experience system, which IMHO usually ends up driving the feeling of progress one has with one's charcter, is tied to monster killing, and so the plot ends up either being inexplicably tied to killing monsters en masse, or the monster killing gets tacked on.

  3. Amber:
    I like Amber. The system does have its limits, though; the diceless aspect does, in the long term, kind of suck the fun out of combat, because everything is decided before you start. I know that, no matter what I do, if I fight with X, I'll lose. Sure, the first few times, you and your opponent can surprise each other with tricks and powers, but after a while, you get to know the tricks and how to deal with them. I'm hoping that the resource-based conflict resolution in Nobilis will counterbalance this problem. The only problem with Nobilis is that only I know it well enough to run, and I'm a crappy GM.
    On the plus side, though, the advancement system in Amber is slow enough that advancing doesn't overshadow the plot; sure, everyone is power hungry, it's Amber, but sitting around monster stomping isn't a useful way to get power; you have to work the plot to get what you want.

Is there a system you?d really like to try that you haven?t? Which ones wouldn?t you try based on reading them?

  • I want to work with Nobilis more. I love the mechanics, but I haven't got much in the way of story ideas for it. Also, I'm not the best at actually running games.

  • I still want to try building a game from the ground up, as a group, and playing it. I think we can build a game that is the best fit for what we want.

Do you play the same kind of character in several different games?
If so, what kind of character do you like to play? What attribute do you like to put first? Have you considered playing a different kind?
If not, what is it that you like experimenting with?

I do tend to have a common thread through my charcters; I can only keep so much of myself out of them. I don't think I've ever played a character who was after money, or a true rat.

My characters tend to fixate on a single goal and drive themselves towards it. My characters usually have a sense of honour of some kind; they will always end with certain cituations where they either expect people to "behave" or where they will pretend that someone can be trusted, for the sake of principle. The specific rules change, but it always ends up being something. Even Yog has his own Yoggish honour.

That said, in most other ways, I don't like playing characters that are too close to myself. I have, a few times, tried playing someone that was basically me with super powers, and I get bored pretty quickly, and the charcter squirms away into something else.

What?s the most fun you ever had creating something in a game that changed the game-world? -- referring specifically to colloborative creations that developed in a campaign.

Do you like games with a certain theme or tone? Or do you play for plot? For your own character? Do you like a lot of character development, or do you prefer well-developed plotlines? Do you like it when bad things happen that harm your character?

I'm pretty much a character driven guy. That's where the fun is for me. Bad or good, I like it when stuff happens to my character, because it gives me stuff to work with.

How bloody do you like your campaigns to be?

As bloody as they need to be.


How do you keep the mood of a particular scene going? We always go off on tangents, and we all enjoy them. But once the mood is lost, how do you try to bring everyone back? Can you? Is it even possible?

Dawn broke...


And so the game was lost, forever...

This Co-GMing idea night__watch keeps pushing: What's wrong with it? What would work better? Should we just keep doing single-GM games, or would colloborations allow more exploration?

In the short term, it'd work. In the long term, managing a plot is something that has to be run by one person's vision.

Do you like the Attribute auction? Or would you rather create your character with a set amount of points and be done with it?

I like the attirbute auciton ebcause it lets everyone know what kind of game it's going to be. Witness Labyrinth; spending on attributes was pretty low, except for pysche. This let everyone know it was going to be a high-powers game. It also makes charcter generation a co-operative thing, so to an extent, the players feel like, well, family.

Who's your favorite Amberite Elder to play? To have as a major NPC? To have as a bit player? Why?

I'm quite tired of the elders, to be honest. They almost inevitably end up as obnoxious caricatures whose supreme competance is either a deus ex machina or a gaping plot hole.

Have you ever wished a GM had asked you specific things about what you wanted before a game began?

I like the idea of working out "play contracts", where everyone says what they want and expect from the game, and what they don't want, so that everyone can go in knowing what they're going to get; if two players want dark and serious, and the third player wants footbread, people are going to end up pissed off with each other.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 11th, 2003 11:55 am (UTC)
You keep saying that you're a bad GM. I don't get it.

CoU was good, while it lasted. You can think of and tell a good story, as far as I can tell.

What part of GM-ing do you think that you're deficient in?
Jul. 11th, 2003 12:50 pm (UTC)
I run short on the details; if I can think of a Big Story, I usually get lost trying to think of ways to have small events leading up to the story. I did a lot better with CoU in that regard than I usually do. Typically, my games sputter out after I've sort of dropped the plot in front of the players, and neither I nor the players have any idea what they're supposed to do next.
Jul. 11th, 2003 01:02 pm (UTC)
My favourite suggestion: characters.

The small events should have strong characters attached to them. You're not bad at making characters.

These NPCs can then act as antagonists or allies, leading to the next part. The plot doesn't just happen ... characters make the plot happen, be they PCs or NPCs. If you think in terms of the Big Story, and can manage a few small events, the people can help to take you the rest of the way.

You can often find the next piece by looking at one or two of these major NPCs, and deciding what they'd do next. A character + a Big Story can create a new small event.

Important bits for this: Bad guys must escape. Preferably pissing off the PCs when they do so. Or, even better, considering the PCs defeated, they leave.

If your players start to have visible reactions to a character appearing, don't let them die, even if that means changing your plans. They're too important.
Jul. 11th, 2003 12:19 pm (UTC)
Wow. The Djinn/Game Wish Pastiche. Very comprehensive. I like it.

Oh, and thanks for answering. It's cool getting everyone's take on things.

As for Uber-powerful elders, this applies to them as well...
Jul. 11th, 2003 01:53 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I stole your quiz and followed RPing links and stole from there too.

Jul. 13th, 2003 10:15 pm (UTC)
I'm a crappy GM.

No, you're a good GM who shoots his momentum down.

If you just force yourself (or are forced ;) to do two or three sessions, let the flavour of the game establish itself...

You ARE running Nobilis at least ONCE more.
I'm not letting Spark go without a fight. Even just one episode where she blows up or something. At least give her a clean death.

In the short term, it'd work. In the long term, managing a plot is something that has to be run by one person's vision.

*nods* Well, it's my idea, I'm willing to head it. I'm thinking of collobating with you on plotline X, and StB on plotline Y, and with each player about their PCs plans, and weave the story around them, kinda like I'm doing with Act III. I have a very clear idea of what is going to happen, and even the order it will happen in, but on this last bit I'm flexible.
But I know the final scene, except for where the PCs are standing, on whose side, with what advantages.

But as for future hypthetical campaigns, I'm willing to be a "vision-keeper", but I can't do all the work myself.

everyone says what they want and expect from the game, and what they don't want

I think the varied response to this quiz is pointing to this exact thing.

We can't game, the six of us, because co-oridatining that many players, AND that many characters, is just too damn confusing.

IF we try multiple story tellers in a silly campaign like Feng Shui, where the plot is better if it DOESN'T makes sense, then I think it would work great.
On the other hand, one Dark Vision with several Twists and Distortions could work very well for a small campaign for people who want a story-telling based game.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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