Archive for September, 2009

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Story games to the people

19 September, 2009

In a recent very interesting interview, Luke Crane got to comment a bit on the term story games. Luke finds the term divisive in as much as roleplaying games and story games are essentially the same thing, and story games is mostly a marketing term. Why divisive? Because, says Luke, “it allows traditional roleplaying gamers to say ‘we’re not story gamers’ and story gamers to say ‘we’re not roleplaying gamers’. On either end of that spectrum it’s true, but in the middle most of us play both. Most of us play D&D and Dogs in the Vineyard.”
I think that’s very true, and I myself used to belong in that middle, but not anymore. I’m now firmly rooted at the story games end of that spectrum, but I don’t mind anyone not being that. The term story game makes sense to me.

Let’s face it, roleplaying games is a bad term. It means a thousand different things, and only if you are deeply rooted within gamer culture since red box D&D will you understand what I, Per, mean by it. So, I’m saying that using the term roleplaying game within the gamer community can make sense, sometimes with only little extra explanation, but not even that is certain. But outside, among normal people, you’re are immediately entering a minefield of misunderstandings that basically hinders you communicating what you mean by it. Making use of another term, like story game or even social storytelling, bypasses that initial wall of misunderstanding, and that has to be a good thing.

Why communicate with people outside the “gaming community”? Because if I can have fun and be creatively challenged and entertained by story games, so can they.

But, as Luke describes in the interview, the term story game is problematic as well. Luke says: “The idea of story in a roleplaying game is problematic as well, in that we are not sitting dow and telling a predetermined story, there’s not some set path that we’re following. […] This is something where story is the result of play.”

I agree completely, but I don’t agree that the story isn’t there until after the game. It’s being created, moment by moment, while playing, as a result of real people’s interaction with the game mechanics and each other.

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Sorcerer London 1880

18 September, 2009

I finally got around to get a Sorcerer game together, which is something I promised to two of the players, Gregor and Steve, back in March. That’s how slow I am. The third player will be Cat, a friend of Gregor and Steve’s, who I haven’t had the pleasure of gaming with before.

We decided to play in a London 1880-inspired setting that was originally thought up by Peter Dyring-Olsen for a game that never happened. But I thought the idea was very interesing, and so did my players, so I have written a one-sheet for it.

I’m not doing any prep at this point, not even deciding on a rough relationship-map. That’ll happen when we’ve met for the first time and created some player characters.

Sorcerer 1880 One-sheet

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S/till w/here

5 September, 2009

Whoops, you take a break and then six months have passed. I took time off from gaming after Conpulsion 09, and haven’t really done anything since, except lurking on SG and the Forge. Gregor contacted me from GenCon that the revised version of Trollbabe was out and if I wanted a copy. Well, hell yes. It turned out that Ron’s new pulp fantasy game, the horribly HORRIBLY titled S/Lay w/Me, was out as well, and Gregor thankfully brought home one of those as well.

Not finished Trollbabe 2 yet, but S/Lay can be read in less than 30 minutes, and it rocks big time. I can’t wait to try it out. The game is a ‘twosie’, ie. for two players, a GM-kinda role and a player-kinda role, which are switched between adventures, something Edwards calls “phantasmagoric face to face roleplaying”. Never mind the title, the unreadable title font and the artwork. As always, there are golden roleplaying advice in this little book. It’s a ‘return’ to 70s fantasy before the genre became popular and indeed part of popular culture, something that Ron never forgave popular culture. But at the same time it’s an ultra-modern story now game.