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seen Mar 24 at 4:46

Mar
22
comment Attributes - how to determine them in a setting-specific manner?
Let's take fitting as in reflecting the theme of the game in some fidelity, i.e. accenting the feel of the specific setting. Upon which criteria would I go for the best answer? I'd go for elegance (technically easy, but philosophically rich solution).
Aug
1
comment Underground as an engaging environment?
Vertical is certainly an intriguing way to go, especially for cities; however, going all vertical makes me worried due to the cities inherently inclining to a caste-like concept too much. Ideas?
Aug
1
comment Underground as an engaging environment?
Another idea (read: another almost-cliche) may be some cultures retreating to the underground in the past, due to the surface world experiencing some environmental issues during those ancient times ... and then waiting a thousand years, and turning the concept by 180 degrees (the surface being fine now, while the underground is failing ... due to, say, an unhealthy concentration of magic blight).
Mar
20
comment What are the key considerations to creating compelling environments?
IMHO, this is THE superior answer, as consistency is the golden rule ... and any further methods of creation can be derived from it. As far as cultures are concerned, there is a bit of a random element to these (there goes the Art form); still, at the roots of every culture is an underlying motive - a metaphore derivend from the environment, the past and the humane reflection of these (as in Jungian symbolism).
Jul
23
comment Introducing an unorthodox setting the players know NOTHING about
"Have the players create the setting with you". Nope, please no (a scary idea appears in my mind). Already spent some five years trying to get this one setting right, in details. Another setting - another five years - would be too much to handle.
Jul
23
comment Introducing an unorthodox setting the players know NOTHING about
Right you are! Starting off easy and then gradually moving towards the more complex storylines is a good way to go. A note about stereotypes: _not all stereotypes are plain bad. There's nothing wrong with an old and frail wise guy (it makes sense!) Personally, I just hate the stupid ones - for example those pompous, lazy, over-intellectualized elves (who would build their dwellings, grow their food and tend to other kinds of dirty work? - it clearly doesn't add up here).
Jul
23
comment Introducing an unorthodox setting the players know NOTHING about
In my experience, even a single piece of paper may appear too scholarly and demanding for the lazy players. It is a suggestion I may need to think through. Weeeeeeeeeeel, perhaps the GM could prepare a paper with basic notes for themselves ... and then retell these notes to the players in his/her own words. Or use the mentor ...
Jul
23
comment Introducing an unorthodox setting the players know NOTHING about
To clear up some confusion, I, too, calculate with plots based on human drama. Story-wise, there's still greed, betrayal, pain, loyalty, etc. present in the game (reflecting the psyche of the main actors the same way as in, say, Shakespearean plays ... even though my in-game actors are aliens). There has to be a strong similarity in mental processing of the in-setting aliens and real world humans (otherwise, all the miss-communication would be guaranteed to be emerging on a very basic level). This note aside, I do appreciate the idea of starting up in kids years, exploring the surroundings.
Jul
23
comment How much plot guidance is too much?
This can be solved through metagame. So, as a GM, do you have some expectations you want to fulfill during this particular gaming session or in a long-term? Do the players have expectations, wishes and motives of their own they'd like to act on during the game? Then I suggest all the members of the group to talk about their gaming wishes/preferences for a few minutes before actually starting the game. Because when one wishes for something to happen and doesn't let the others know of it (and expects them to know - while they don't), he/she can get frustrated, if the wish is not realized.
Jul
16
comment Are there tips on reconciling the playing differences in this group?
@SevenSidedDie: No one is diagnosing anyone here. And killing a character can serve as a melodramatic way of saying "bye, bye" to the player (just feeling especially evil today).
Jul
16
comment Are there tips on reconciling the playing differences in this group?
About kicking the player out: social psychology teaches us that once you dislike someone involved in your social circles (different opinions, value systems, communication and response styles), sooner or later, you'll find a way to get rid of that person, since being in close proximity to that person makes you uncomfortable. Therefore, trying to be "fair" to the player and rationalizing on reasons "to kick out or not to kick out" is not an effective approach; it's just agony. Better do it clean and fast - say "you're out!" And done.
Jul
16
comment Are there tips on reconciling the playing differences in this group?
@SevenSidedDie: Why? To see whether the player actually cares about something (if he doesn't, there are a few diagnoses that explain such cases, with my favorite being blunted effect).
Jul
16
comment Are there tips on reconciling the playing differences in this group?
@Bigeshu: An evil though creeps up to my mind, heh, heh. You said "... it annoys me that the player doesn't really bother spending xp ..."; it DOES annoy you, so ... let's kill him! (the character, not the player)
Jul
16
comment Are there tips on reconciling the playing differences in this group?
It's not so easy for me to give you a solid answer based on the needs of the certain player (and the patterns of his personality), since you didn't give us an accurate info on the quiet player's personality. Do you know him well? Has he been playing with the group for a while? Did he play any other games/characters in the past? How does he behave outside your gaming circle? Etc. Still, if he is a new guy, I'd suggest trying a few other themes/situations/characters with him, to see if he reacts more lively to a certain stimuli. Also, you can always talk with him about his in-game needs, duh :)
Jul
15
comment How to transform a tragic hero into a villain?
Why not an upvote? It's a valuable contribution to the problematic, after all. I may not be looking for an answer like that, but someone else might.
Jul
14
comment How to transform a tragic hero into a villain?
Da Vinci, The Pope, dragons, clones, Atlanteans? Uhh ... okay :) . That might require a person with wild and permissive imagination to grasp all that in one read.
Jul
14
comment How to transform a tragic hero into a villain?
While a nice example indeed, i do think that your character would be pretty much doomed to villainy in the real world. And why is that? The character is too complex for the average observer to understand - and if one doesn't understand something, he/she fears and/or dislikes it.
Jul
14
comment How to transform a tragic hero into a villain?
Yes indeed, good and evil are just morally relative terms, in the environment of the real world. Come to think of it, this pretty much goes hand in hand with social psychology, where a person interprets his/her own doings as good, in order to maintain a positive self-image. And the evil can be attributed to the people opposing our decisions and/or threatening our own self-image.
Jul
14
comment How to transform a tragic hero into a villain?
Now this is quite a maslowian take on the problematic (as in Maslow's hierarchy of needs). I.e. a rich, acknowledged, loved, educated and influential person has a lot of freedom on his hands, and so he/she can merely philosophize on the nature of good and evil. On the other side of the spectrum is a homeless, starving person, who doesn't have many choices left - simply, either steal some food and live till the next day or perish from malnutrition. From this unpleasant standpoint, all the social theories look like mocking jokes.
Jul
13
comment How to transform a tragic hero into a villain?
Well, that's a good point. A hero struck with something like manic schizophrenia may easily get to point Z, even skipping a dozen letters of the alphabet on one single move.