Tuesday, November 29, 2016

World Building is a Skill

It was only recently I realized World building as a Skill. As a skill it has many components with the goal making an immersive setting. Immersive settings have many traits that make it so: ideals, mechanics (it has laws that can be acceptable or makes sense), and engages us in many levels.

To some gamers, like myself, Science and the understanding the world we live in all contributes to my World building. When I read about current events, cultures, people, economics, psychology, history, politics, etc... all contribute to my World Building because I work these all in the narrative and details of the worlds I make.

Other gamers find Literature, Stories, Characters, ironies, tragedies, sufferings, Ideologies, human virtues, etc... are more the focus of their World building. We all have very different values and focus or clarity in an aspect of the world we live in that make it engaging to us and we reflect that back into our World Building.


Understanding the Fantasy

below are a couple of key information I try to look for that is absent in most RPGs. While most RPGs deal with Characters and Peoples, i like looking at demography and economics. With these two very broad elements the world becomes more real for me.

Currently my studies are about the Axial Age in 5-4C BCE China and Hellio Centric World (from the Balkans to India) and their economies and demography. I'm butchering Middle Ages data to create my made up data for this era. A mixed blessing that I'm too busy to play but I can do some research into some worthwhile answers to these questions. 

Demography

Demography helps in painting a picture of the population and the kind of life the people lived. It gets the world builder quickly into what matters and the mortality of the population. 
  1. Child mortality, ex. ~33% before reaching the age of 5 in pre modern times and in poor undeveloped states and regions. 
  2. Maternal Death ex. 20%. It makes one think of the role and value of women and mothers in society. their challenges and risks. 
  3. Median average life expectancy. Ex. mid-40s. this limits the ages of the characters and gets the players thinking of what maturity means. 
  4. Median Population Age, Family starting age, 
  5. Family Size 
Useful sources
  1. Dorsey Armstrong The Medieval World (i forgot her sources)
  2. Life Expectancy in the Middle Ages (quick search on the web)

Basic Economics

At the most basic level, economics deals with the reality of having to prioritize where the next meals is going to come from and what it is going to taste like. Tackling the most basic elements of the economy: food production and the patterns and exchanges make deviations to the norm all the more special. It also allows the world builders to frame the risk, rewards, transactions, value, and
  1. What is the most common crop and why?
  2. What is the output of land to weight of crop produced, in its basic usable form?
  3. What is the amount of man days it takes to Prepare and Harvest the land?
  4. What is the supplementary diet of the people?
  5. What is the sizes of the household?
  6. What is the cost of living? What are their buying and spending habits, what do people spend on which they shouldn't, and what are their key economic virtues and practices?
  7. What are the Patrons, the Elite, Indentured Servants, Servants, Slaves, and Clients like?
  8. What is their technology like?

Useful Sources

Friday, November 25, 2016

Table-top Role Playing Game Knowledge Bits or Skills

I was supposed to write about making Mass Combat or Warfare easier but I realized I needed to tackle elements of TRPGs. I can’t make warfare easier if we cannot define and limit the scope of what such a game can be about. Identifying what makes games different in how we play is one thing, the next is breaking down the little skills that make up playing TRPGs.

Assumptions

  1. We can categorize and enumerate the skills, techniques, mechanics, and means in playing and running TRPGs. I'll be using the term mechanics since it seems adequately broad to describe both the rules, opportunities, conditions, and options players and the GM tend to learn.  
  2. We have a scarce capacity in the things we can do in preparing and learning to play TRPGs.

Thesis

  1. That we can plan how better to spend our time, in what TRPG elements we are pursuing..

Actionable 

So to make this less overwhelming and easier to do, here is an example of a breakdown and tools to measure. Another example of a knowledge, technique, or skill breakdown is this GMing skill list I've been working on for a year.  I didn't do everything in one go, all of it (if you can check the document history) is a little at a time. What makes it look like a lot of work is that I have one bucket and I just dump and dump everything I learned: from stupid, basic, incomplete, and esoteric into it.

In case you dont check out the links and the details I worked on, you can still build you won list of stuff relating to TRPGs and plan out what is the best use of your time. I didnt put it in this post because it would be too much of a deep dive and the post serves better to just make you consider all the things you'd want to learn, understand, identify and master when running games. If you have a problem of having too much game in the brain then this more organized approach will help optimize your time and effort. So you can more easily pick up and put down the hobby when real life gets in the way, like the family gamers who have a little too much to juggle.




Tuesday, November 8, 2016

How we game


Finding out how we game as objectively and precisely as possible would mean a lot of self reflection, note-taking, and feedback from your players or Gms.

This is my notes on how I have observed others, myself (recording through hanouts on air, video, and exporting it to audio and listening to it), and experimentation on determining how we game.

I can say that there are two primary activities in running a TRPG and that is: Role-playing and Gaming. Roleplaying is the activities that are made up of Immersion, storytelling, visualization, drama, etc... Gaming is the simpler and faster paced feedback cycle that happens between players and GM.

These two elements blend together to make a game, and are rarely are they so extreme as to be divorced from the other. There is interplay with the most extreme of Role-playing and Storytelling, and there is a story and immersion in the most gaming focused activities in a session.

How are they measured:

We measure Roleplaying by measuring the amount of time we take getting into character, playing off each other’s character, “role-playing”, storytelling, and pursuing scenes to push one of the many story streams in the game forward (either the game’s over-arcing narrative, each player’s personal narrative, the narrative of the world, their adversary etc...).

We measure the Gaming by the amount of Feedback and Adaptation we do in the game and its circumstances. We normally measure it in the amount of combat we have in the session, but it can also mix with the other high action events where the Players feedback quickly between the circumstance or adversary or each other.

How the two are used:

Usinig these two conventions, we can use them to do the following:
  1. How we spend our time playing. to look at the amount of time we, the players, or the gm, spend their time in each one.
  2. Preferences. It helps track preferences and tailor the game more for all those participating.
  3. Focus. It helps focus on geting the most enjoyment when we transition or vasilate between the two.
  4. Description. It helps describe and work on a variety of blends of the two.


Role-Playing

  1. Immersion. Lettiing the Players (and even the GM) get into character and the setting.
  2. Storytelling. When one of the many story streams in the game gets focus, relevance, moved forward, influences other stories, and becomes the one of the causes of the circumstance, happenings and events.
  3. Spotlight. Giving the Player or part of the story some focus. Particularly pushing the story forward. It clarifies and expresses the story, giving it the chance to get deeper in the immersion, and make events and action have more impact.
  4. Emotion and Empathy. Role-playing is an opportunity to display, express, and to feel a particular emotional tone for the scene and story. It takes time for certain emotions to be felt and expressed, and Role-playing builds to that opportunity.

Gaming

  1. Interaction. Gaming is notable when the Players, Setting or World, NPCs, etc... adapt to each other. Their actions feed back and change the situation.
  2. Tension and Conflict. When events get complicated, setting up risks and threats, and incentives and penalties.
  3. Uncertainty. Uncertainty is one of the sources of conflict which muddies the situation and makes threats, penalties, pain, and peril disproportionately worse. Ambiguity also does this, leaving the quantity and quality of any threat or danger unknown and left to the sensitivities of bias and emotion.
  4. Small Wins. When the feedback gives small wins or gains. Small wins can also be some mental closure on other matters.
  5. Clarity and Simplification. Like the benefit of mental closure, there is the simplification of some issues, information that removes ambiguity, sharpening of focus on priorities or action. New information or events may give clarity, simplification, or focus.

What this post does not answer or help with:

  1. Defining how one really plays and how flexible their prefences are. These are arbitrary tools and conventions, and it does not apply to all or many not apply to most. Its hypothetical. Tools by which to self examine and improve are found in other books – particularly in self improvement books that work with practical activity instead of motivation and emotion.
  2. Defining the various mixes of the two. The mixed versions of them would be:
  3. Mass Combat or Warfare Focused Games. The story and roleplaying with large groups, the scale that goes with such groups (conquering more and more people, places, treasures, and affecting more of the world).
  4. Intrigue and Social Games. Games that have a very particular blend of Gaming and Role-playing when Emotion, Expression, and Relationships are to tools of conflict and conquest.
  5. Logistics and how it can be given the elements of both Game and Role-playing (Story).

Feedback


Feedback is the limit by which we can know ourselves and surroundings. If I dont express and know how it tests against reality then I would never know what would be better or best. Feel free to give some feed back, ask, or comment.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Conditional Success, Significant Actions

Conditional Success is basically replacing failure with an Extreme cost for Success. The Margin of Failure determined how much it would have cost to succeed and if the Player or Party are willing to pay that cost.
System Agnostic. You can apply this to any game system (better with bell curve dice systems). I recommend Squaring the margin of Failure as the Cost of Success on bell curve dice system or square then half when using a d20.
How this is resolved is basically the Player rolls to attempt to perform the Task, Action or Activity but on a failure realizes there is more work and cost to making it work given his circumstances. It can be multiple attempts built in, much more work and resources needed because of the variables of the circumstance, timing, particularities of the scope of work, etc...

Usefulness. The main reason behind the mechanic are the following:
1) Pacing - the feedback loop of the Roll does not end with the player knowing if they Failed, it now becomes a much harder and ambiguous question:
          i) can I pay the cost of success.
          ii) is it worth it? is success at this point worth it?
          iii) what are my opportunity costs?
          iv) the player has more agency since they can make more of a call instead of having to ask the GM what can he do about it.
2) Heightened Tension. Because of how it leaves an ambiguous answer that requires more thought on the Player it affects the tension. Uncertainty and Ambiguity ramps up tensions (and frustration of players) used skillfully it adjusts level of tension for the players.

This mechanic requires the GM to recallibrate how the System deterines what is a Significant Action.

Significant Actions

the 2 min rule  of David Allen's getting shit done, Kal Newports Deepwork on 4-6 hours concentration blocks, the definition of Shallow Work (Kal Newport) and my own experience in Operation man hour metrics got me thinking about Significant Action. In a Day one of the most productive things we can make maybe progress in a difficult task OR juggling many small "shallow" tasks. So I proceeded to define A ROLL or a Significant Action to be at default 1 Workload or 4-6 manhour task. From this anchor I proceeded to make the following Definition:

The GM doesnt bother with insignificant tasks. He looks at the Gross Cost or Final Cost of the Action in Time and Resources.

You'll notice that the Definition give you a better anchor when researching what can be done with a Roll or a Skill use, because in real life no matter how capable or skilled, and what industry one works in, people still have to break down tasks in these small do-able chunks.

Few people can block of Months or Weeks for a tasks without Personal Life getting in the way, few businesses allow people to concentrate uninterrupted in their work without throwing a LOT of distracted firefighting and shallow work. Even the best people in their fields have to make time for distractions from personal, the world, or their superiors to get their core tasks done

Definitions.
  • Task or Activity. 
  • Insignificant: 1-5 mins. The GM doesnt bother with such tasks and they serve purely for immersion, visualization, and RP.  
  • Minor Task. 45mins to 15mins (maybe margin of success lessens the number of mins)
  • Partial. 3 to 1 man-hours (defaults at 3 unless specfied)
  • Workload: 4-6 man-hours, we use 5 to simplify
  • Standard: 1 workload (standard difficulty). 
  • Man-Day is 2 Workloads
  • Complex Task: 4-6 Man Days, we use 5 to simplify. 
  • Concentrated Work Rule. Basically doing things broken up when it can be done in one block of time results to excesss time. Breaking up an Activity multiplies the activity by x1.5 more time. This can get worse as failure adds more and more sub activities.  
  • other rules not discussed: Equipment (Capital and Infra requirement) and Consumables (materials spent in the activity). 

* the System may make can make the tasks that take less time have a bonus to success or fall under the easier task difficulties.
Beyond Complex Task level is a level of uncertainty thats best RPed and played out. If its being used to measure Downtime tasks and activities half the level of efficiency and assume there are a ton of distractions. Reserve the level of focus and clarity to period of "Adventure" or the Campaign.
Beyond this level the GM and the Player works on a Bill of Resources and various Operations Technical Estimates and Planning metrics.

Consequences.

  • Now the occasion to roll tends to be something that eats up a work load and a failure may cost the character up to 4x to 9x or WAY more work, resources, or time.
    • The GM or Player can better identify critical tasks and duties.
    • The player delegates and plans how to tackle the problem.  
  • The Player has to sort Significant Rolls from less important tasks. a level of frustration and tension from the disfluency of having to arrange tasks by priority and consequence. The players really have to prioritize and adapt. When a Petty Tasks 
  • The GM can calibrate tasks appropriately since he looks at the Workload vs Distracting Busy work of the Job or Role. It becomes a world building tool. 
  • Skills being benchmarked against a Partial or Standard Task. Some skills tend to be mostly shallow tasks (see Deepwork) while others require Deepwork or requires the full standard task and more. In a scifi setting AI aided deepwork will be the kind of work humans will have left. 


Quick Take Away.
  • Magin of Failure is now the Inflated cost of Conditional Success
  • Recallibrate what is a Significant Action


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Hiatus and Projects

I have several great Ideas (well they sound great until I realize how much work they take) for articles and this blog is just talking about them because they tend to require more drafts and research to complete. So right now I’m doing projects where work and studies happen to give me material to finish the articles.

FYI we have a baby due this November and I'm sure you know all the time it takes to get the nest ready for the new baby and the mother. So RESEARCH and writing is opportunistic and irregular. 

Most recent:
Mass Combat Made Easy.
Mass Combat is a very interesting topic because after careful study its presents a lot of challenges that are new and a radical paradigm shift.
Mass Combat has Logistics: Manpower losses, supplies, shifts, recruitment, training, and managment of morale. It presents a world where you need Forces to win certain battles, or a paradigmn where characters (Pcs and NPCs) cannot win on their own.
If we go more realistic we exploit the Stereotyping bias to muddy the decision making and test what coping mechanism the Pcs have to overcome such biases.
The article was designed to look at how you game and work on trading off or changing what we normally do to suit more Mass Combat. It seeks to basically break down a certain kind of game and trade off the basic party centric game with that focuses on Groups. Of course that means I’d have to clearly tackle How We Game.

How we Game.
This is an interesting topic because I can only draw from observation and personal experience. I do have the advantage of having recorded sessions and listening to recorded sessions from Podcast games out there.
Basically I’ve gone to create my own definitions of basic categories:
Roleplaying. The immersion, visualization, and getting into character and interacting with the game setting. The definition goes to define a broad range of Player and GM Activities that seeks to Get Into the Character and Setting as well as creating a Personal or World Narrative.
Action. Well its not just Combat I’d like to say anything with a faster paced feedback loop. The characters perform an action and immediately they see feedback and consequences. They are also under threat, undertake risks, and continously feedback rewards, losses, costs, uncertainty, and clarifying focus on scope. It goes long to basically explain and define the two basic things that we do in a game and how much time do we spend doing it OR how much time we make for each activity.
Preparation. Game related preparation is also something I wanted to define and tackle. Particularly breaking it up to chunks that is directly useful in the game, contingencies we may need, or reflections and process improvements we do: like writing, reflecting, and planning how we will do things differently.
Camaraderie. I wanted to bundle up Aftercare and getting to know and getting along with one’s players or other players. Knowing the GM and what he has planned and how we can match expectations with all the risks, uncertainties, and missteps of socialization. We may be to forward in our suggestions, listening vs taking on a suggestion, negotiating expectations, etc...
These all require their own posts if I were to keep a budget of time and wordcount to write and the ton of time to prep, rewrite, outline, and self-edit.

How we play is a great context to dealing with more complex topics and other topics. Particularly since I’m approaching the Game with how we spend time and each category has a broad and detailed set of activities that may be applicable.
In hindsight I should have a Published Google docs of the How we game and maybe a way guide of self analysis. More tools means more time and forethought to make them, so I’m vasilating between getting things done and meeting expanding scope of work that maximizes User Experience.

Open Projects. Ideally, but unlikely, some of my writing will spur discussion and forking. If thats the case I can make them into a Gdoc and open it up for permission to edit and fork.

Other Projects.
Open Character Action and Resources. While I did tackle it briefly in a previous post what I want to do is make an Open List of Action and Limits. Allow for continuous improvement process of how best to model resources, limits, and actions.
This has a lot of work related inspiration since I need to time and motion a lot of activities and improve the U-Ex or user experience doing various tasks in work. Like boiling down basic activities with documentation and note taking, and reports that are pretty much auto-generated from the dashboard the department maintains.

Base Rate of Failure. Previously it was Traveller: Case Study or Traveller Hard Adventures. It was a writing project about high difficulty and how to cultivate a strong sense of agency in players desite challenging odds. It goes into a lot of details and may hit close to home as it challenges the Mindset of the players

Session Scene and Acts Checklist. Basically a few checklists on Roleplaying, Action, and Camaraderie. It includes a template of what information should be noted when tracking player session experience (not the experience reward but how the player really experiences the session). It also gives a template on how to make a checklist for an Act. It tries to help the GM pick up if the emotion and circumstance meets a certain criteria to move into the next act.
We are multi-tasking creating a checklist helps in disfluency aka slowing down to process the observable information the players are exhibiting.

Occasion to Roll. A very basic element and I have a simple and new technique to make this interesting: make the Margin of Failure the Cost of Conditional Success. This means if Johnny fails by 5 this is the additional cost he needs to make the success.
This means the Feedback loop of the roll does not end with the information of Success or Failure but t leaves it up to the player if they choose to spend more time and resources for it to succeed and at what cost they are willing to pay.
But if thats not a clear enough picture and you want alternate strategies in managing expectations, thresholds , tension etc... then you will have to wait for the article because it has to tackle all the natural questions that will arise when we can succeed at extrodinary cost and how scarcity affects the adventure.

Clarity and Filtering. I wanted to talk about how strongly we communicate key ideas to players as we run the game. How clearly we can emphasize on some clues or elements of the story, AND how the GM pick up on some. Both the GM and Player can both benefit in a prearranged signalling system of what they feel is important for their character or narrative.

Character Development. Expanding on how we play I look at time and motion of various Role Playing Activities and how I examine them by mysel with a mirror and recorder as feedback.
How we talk to Players and ask them how they want to develop their characters and how we can watch for Agency Affirming time spend in the game. (and how they learn to share that and listen to create Psychological Safety).

Relationship Checks. This was an article with scarcity of Promises, Time spend with people, and Credibility in mind. It boils down relationships, credibility, and behavioral reputation as a scarce resource that requires upkeep.

Cost of Living. An introduction to small Gdoc I maintain as I study cost of living here in the Philippines (its partially done with). I will make a chapter on Low Tech Cost of Living in the document. I plan to make it open (with permission) for others to fork or contribute.

Zones Part 2. I have a second part for zones getting into the details of assembling a portable gaming bag that weighs about 4lbs at the most. Design for a table of 0.5sqm and cramped space but still able to record.
It goes into plans of how to manage space effectively and in a budget.

Life Period Events Mechanics. Based on the Traveller Events Life Path mechanics I made a life event mechanics but it leverages not just the Sum of the Dice but two ways of interpreting the same roll (by asking the player to predetermine which of the two dice as a seperate variable). It has a lot of math and template and category creation so it has a lot of back end work for me to finish it.

Problem Solving Style Games. Aka Case Study game style. Basically how to have an action Feel with non-combat elements and how to make these feel more exciting and agency enhancing.

My review of the “The Grand Stragegy of the Byzantine Empire by Eward Luttwak”. A Gamers Guide to the Book and what are the useful chunks and how they are useful for your game and your learning of other history. Having useful stuff to Take Away is a key theme of reading all these books lolz.


Making Logistics Fun. A guide to making logistics fun and how much work or certain characteristics are needed to empower the player, make it easy, and make it feel real and make sense. I may have to write this before Problem Solving Style Games because its a key part in such games. I'll go into the Encyclopedia of Operations for this, use the RPG Design Pattern terminology, and give an example a simple dice mechanic.  

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Character Actions, becoming Character Limits.

I read Atul Gawande's Checklist Manifesto and it dawned on me how Dungeon World really helped with the Character Options List called Basic Moves.  I didnt realize how important it was till I had some work related problems where people don't know what they're options are.

In real life we get frustrated when we don't know our options. In work people will feel disempowered if they dont know their options and while some game options are common sense its carry-over from a life of gaming. 

So I proceeded to Make a list of Character Options. It a appeared to be a Problem Solving Procedure. 

It begins with Gathering Information. It started out with Observe and Inquire, but then proceeded to get detailed like Examine, Measure, Document/Take Note, Research, and on the Player's part planning what to decide on and how best to use their Time. 

There are a lot of other actions after that that I can draw from my work and productivity studies, and not just Gaming. Its just that ALL of this, all actions exists in a world of scarcity and limits. I was afraid options would create Analysis Paralysis And Modeling these limits are mostly ad hoc in game systems. Not many game systems go into Time and Motion, or specifically the linked entries to Efficiency in the Operations Encyclopedia. 

But the thing is We can have a Good Mental Model of the Limitations of the Characters. We have a powerful Intuition engine for guessing scarcity and limits of our resources. People in work need to monitor scarcity everyday and this judgement needs to be done faster and faster till it becomes an afterthought.  So why can't we make an interesting, empowering, and helpful mental model of Character Limits. 

Character Resources
Limits characters have to work with along with their Options. 

Social Resources. A lot of Games model social resources poorly. It appears people dont seem to have the consequences of being Total Assholes to other people. 

Credibility. Our reputation, credibility, and trustworthiness is a valuable resource we can't  normally assign value but is definitely valuable.  This pretty much tracks our ability to keep promises and give our word. 

Network and Relationships. Relationships are seperate from Credibility and is basically modeled like a very narrow version of Credibility, specifically to groups and individuals. 

Wealth. Material Resources needs to be aspected because it can be very very difficult to track and detailed. Some people are manpower rich, commodity rich, capital rich, future income rich, etc... 

Physical Effort. The effort we can give in a day is always finite. Our attitudes and behaviors even change depending on our physical conditions. Its usually poorly tracked and modeled and there has been a lot of progress in making a better mental model of this for game and in life.  

Mental Reserve. As with physical limit the amount of stress and distractions we can take are only so much. Many of us live in states of constant distraction and stress, and have felt the power and agency we miss out in these states in games and in flow states. GTD and Deepwork are various strategies in approaching it and there are many more that can be drawn from to create a mental model of reserve in our growing Behavior Science understanding. 

Health. Other than effort our bodies do have its limits. While effort tracks the Physical Weather, health tracks the Climate. You can have Effort day to day and Health week to week. 

Experimental Mechanics
There are a lot of Check Based Resource Systems out there. One I'm experimenting with is with a 2d6 resolution. 

Roll On or Below the TN. The TN is the Score and Modifier. Roll 2d6 on or Below to succeed. 
Conditional Success. Rolling over the TN is a conditional success. The difference squared is the Time and Cost multiplier to succeed (typically applied to Time and Materials). If the Resource is kept as a Score below is the Cost Mechanic.  

A Cost Mechanic (to model scarcity and limits). 
Conditional success...
... < 1/2 Score (not TN) is a scene lasting -1. 
... < Score is a -1 5 days to recovery (if recoverable, this can be accelerated by treatment). 
... < Score x2 is a -2 25 days to diminish it by a -1 (for a total of 50 days). 
... < Score x3 is a -3 125 days to diminish it by -1 (for a total of 375 days). 
... every Score greater than x3 Score is a permanent score reduction of -1

there are other implications of this system I've not yet fully tested out. But it can be adopted to other systems. 

Take Away.
  • Have a list of Character Options. 
  • Have a list of Limits and how to track them.  

Friday, October 7, 2016

Feedback Loops in TRPGs

Asking for constructive critique, taking notes, watching or listening to your game played back, talking to others with other styles, perspectives, systems, and experiences, trying out other systems and techniques.

Back when I began in the late 90s my most clear feedbackloop was my younger brother . Then there were the guys in AEGIS, the SJgames forums (all forums can be a bit difficult), and for a while there was the blog (but it was a very poor feedback loop since it started at around 2003 and 2008 with this blog). Hangouts was the most effective, especially when I could hangout with other gamers with a 12-14 hour time difference and all over the place. Making friends and talking to people who have much to share opened a lot of gates. Then there was the small community of gamers here with Gamers and GMs events and Tagsessions which had connected me to more accessible gamers in my area.

Feedback loops are important, basic, but something thats constantly challenging. We never have enough, have it timely enough, and there is so much to digest, document, think about, and experiment. The blogging community I'm part off is a kinda feedback loop, people shouting ideas into the void and hoping the readers would give feedback. Feedback in blogs focus on readership instead of more inspiration. When I think about the quality of Feedback loop I think in Kal Newports Deepwork and how parts of the Hobby should encourage some opportunities for deliberate practice.

I guess thats why it move to a Forum type or a G+ community. In social media the feedback is more convenient but can be distracting. Distraction and Low Quality Feedback can an obstacle for gaming improvement. Also finding the right audience or conversation becomes the challenge, other time the challenge or real life getting in the way.

What I'm getting with this post I guess is collecting our Feedback loops, Filtering for optimal feedback, and being able to discuss more challenging or relevant topics that get us growing and learning. Also that I grew fastest when I had good feedback, and an opportunity to exercise, experiment, and practice.

After feedback, there is that 5S, Lean work philosophy, or Zen  type element in skills and abilities where we try to achieve more with less. That we boil down to more essential skills: framing, pacing, storytelling, etc... and we refine the feedback loops for us to better monitor and improve on the core skills. That with the least amount of tools we can achieve a lot of what we need to make for a great TRPG experience.

I realized this was discussed in Deepwork, it was on the chapter on Tools. The Pareto principle behind the tools that returns most of the rewards. In this case: the skills that gives the greatest returns and what deliberate practice we can setup to have a virtuous feedback loop to improve this.

Here is my TRPG Skills List  updated with some new entries based on my business studies.