Wednesday, August 31, 2016

RPGaDay Challenge 2016 - Day 31

The RPGaDay Challenge for 2016 is over, and I made it! Woohoo!

I actually finished it on time after being so far behind. I'm proud of me. I'm gonna pat me on the back. Good going me. Why thanks me!

OK, let's move on. I'm starting to sound like Kimmy Schmidt over here.

This is a fantastic last question, and it touches upon a number of things I've been thinking about lately.

If I were to give, as my game of choice, Star Trek - be it the FASA version back in 1982, or the later Last Unicorn Games version - I would have to say that, quite honestly, I received no advice.

It was I who was first among my friends to buy the game, and I who ran it. No one gave me any advice, or pointers on how to do so beyond the ideas, suggestions, and the like in the rulebooks themselves.

On the other hand, if my game of choice was Star Wars, the D6 version produced by West End Games, then the answer would be...the same. No one gave me any advice on it as I bought it, and I ran it first.

Villains & Vigilantes? No advice beyond the main book's recommendations, which I have to say included some cool ideas.

Mekton? No advice.

Ars Magica? No advice.

Heck, Dungeons and Dragons?!? Someone showed me the rules, and someone else ran it and I played, but no real advice per se.

No one told me what to do, and/or what not to do when I was first learning to Gamemaster the majority of the games I've ever run. No one.

This may be why my style of gaming, why my approach to GMing, is fundamentally different at its core compared to that of many other GMs. I'm not saying it is so radically different as to be unrecognizable. Nor am I saying it is necessarily superior to the more traditional approaches. There are many, many traditional RPG elements in my games. It's simply that my emphases are on alternate elements of the game when compared to a 'typical' gamer my age. 

Recently, I had an idea for a campaign*, but I couldn't think of a cool system to match the concept. I asked the members of one of my RPG groups on Facebook what they thought would be an appropriate game. The answers didn't surprise me.

The vast majority of people suggested one of several generic systems, including GURPS, Fate, and Savage Worlds.I had specifically noted in the initial post I was trying to avoid Savage World, Cortex. Fate, and other generics. Aside from not being a huge fan of generic systems, I find suggesting a generic system when someone asks what system they should use for a specific idea is basically saying, "I'm not really paying attention to the idea you have in mind. Here, use this thing that pretty much does an adequate job of just about anything."

The second most popular suggestion, since the idea involves a modern day setting, was various crunchy, complex games that weren't bad, but which didn't really grasp the feel I was going for. 

Two fellas, out of the 30 or so posted responses, came up with ideas that were not only distinctly different from everyone else's, but closer to what I had in mind. Two in 30.

So that's who I am. I am the 1 out of 15 GMs doing things a different way. There is no one to give me advice, unless I can find another one in 15 person. Even better, for every 15 people doing things the way I do them, there must be one who is doing things in a fashion more unusually still.

Wow. What a thought. I'd REALLY like to hear what that person has to say.

Barking Alien

* Although I posted what the idea was on Facebook, I am keeping it a secret here for now. I intend it turn into something really special, and once I do I will post it. Stay tuned!

1 comment:

  1. There is one 'game of choice' for which I did receive some excellent advice.

    The game would be Champions. The advice came from my friend, Champions GM, and Hero System Guru William Corpening. It wasn't a single piece of advice, but a sharing of the philosophies that went into his approach to running the campaign.

    I will elaborate on this in an upcoming post.