Friday, July 20, 2012

I really need to play: answer - quicker set up

Problem: I want to play but all my game preferences require a large prep time?

ok, lets make some compromises:

Top things it has to be:

  1. Realistic/Simulationist - I get to use all the neat stuff I learned in real life and hobbies. Survival, Negotiation, Psychology, Business, Strategy, tactics, etc. etc. 
  2. Players can easily identify the rules - Lets start with reality as a baseline. Everyone's common sense can help fix rules. Any gaps in the understanding the GM can handle or critical thought... anyway there is always the internet.
  3. High Risk or Stakes Premise - The game has to be exciting - common tragedies allow us to empathize quickly - common tragedies can be Coup d'état, War, criminal war, Natural Disaster, Kidnapping or Hit (being the victim or being the victim's family and friends), etc... the news becomes inspiration. ideally normal joe/juans who are caught in adverse circumstances. 

Speed it Up:

  1. Quick Randomized Character Generator - few choices. 
  2. Equipment Templates
    1. Sample Everyday Joe/Juan or Jane/Jaunita with a way to roll up assets. Ideally randomly generated. 
  3. Ready Maps and NPCs. 
  4. A simple premise. 
  5. Randomize the Event, which means I have to be able to quickly generate Unifying rationale for the characters that is not Ex-machina or Metaplayed in the game.  
  6. Game Time-Limit. Everything must resolve in a finite Game Time. no long period rolls (rolling weeks or months) if possible. 
Example Game. 
Looking back, the game where I did such that was a Coup d'état inspired by those that occured during Cory Aquino's Administration. There was a another failed Coup during the Arroyo Administration, but the 1989 one was way more violent and left people off guard. Around the time the game was run, some people were fearing that the generals would be bribed to reinstate Arroyo or make an excuse for a kind of Martial Law. 

The game was a success and hit the spot of my airsoft captain and team (who are also RPG players). They liked working with "constraints" and the characters were far enough from who they were to be enjoyable.

It was a two session game. Although i could have made it a one session game, but they needed the learning curve to understand my intentions and the kind of GM I was. I think this is inevitable in any game, players need a chance to learn from their mistakes in any game.  This emphasizes the learning by recall requirement.

The Work Estimate. 
Making a Character creation tool would take me about two to three 2-3hour instances. The Randomized Asset would take less, I'll simplify it since I have a vague idea of real estate and have some basic cost of living T-accounts i can use. The Premise or adventure builder would be harder tho: a maybe I can lower my standards and open up the table crowd critique. 

Ideally >1 hour I can prep for a 6hour game. 
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