Thursday, 20 September 2012

Lyrium Dreams and Diet update

This week I weigh 13st 7lbs. I have stayed pretty stable since my binge day this week largely due to conceding 2 forfeit points to Ant  both points were due to Devouring Birthday cake. The first was a banana bread I baked for John’s Birthday which we celebrated on tuesday at out 13th Age  Game and then Thursday cake was brought into work for someones Birthday which tempted me once more.

Friday we have the 2nd session of Lyrium Dreams a Savage Worlds Game that Dan is running as I have stated learning Chen Tai Chi again on a friday from 7 until 8. Dan has also just started the Rise of the Runelords Campaign in pathfinder for his Monday night Game so wanted a prep light game. Given the ease of the Savage worlds system he decided to go with a collaborative freeform style of Game and Setting Generation.

This was his Zen like pitch:

In a Taoist style my pitch is no pitch... allow me to explain-

I suggest Savage Worlds - based on a theme document (borrowed from "Mortal Coil") and relationship map (borrowed from "Smallville").  Other than the system the game is a completely blank slate -- we'll play whatever setting and style we decide as a group (though Savage Worlds supported action more than introspection).  If you want to play modern gritty noir horror - fine, High fantasy - sure, east-end gangsters vs the russian mafia - ok, space pirate and anthropomorphic animal ninja - why not! as long as there's group consensus - and we're all on the same page.  We will need to agree on a strong central premise and several points of conflict (otherwise there'll be no stories)

Because of how open this will be, much of the narrative control will be in the hands of the players, and I'll also be GMing in a light-touch improv style (I expect the players to contribute heavily to the setting and to the story - especially if it's something completely out-there for which I have no terms of reference - you'll have to explain how a steam-powered mech armour works and what a the view is like from a hover skiff on the ice lakes of Pluto).

The game will run more smoothly if you bear the following hints in mind...:

Short guide to Improv at the RPG table-

Don't try to be too clever -- If your character goes into a bar for the first time, they should probably order a drink, they probably wouldn't do a backflip over the bar and shoot the pianist. If you do this kind of thing, you risk spoiling the narrative by doing things for which the other players can't see the justification. Characters should act in character and do what's natural for them to do. You'll find that acting naturally helps the game along much better because the other players will come to know what to expect from your character.  It's easier for the other players to build on your ideas if they fit the expectation of the characters and setting.

Don't block-- This follows on from the first technique. You won't be able to understand what the other characters are like if you try to block everything they do. So if a character proposes going into a bar, you probably shouldn't say “It's closed” or “I don't go in bars”. It's fine to say, “Well, I wouldn't usually, but just this once”. In fact this is very good because this reveals something about your character as well as encouraging the other player's development of the game.

Reincorporate -- Build on what's already happened. If an NPC is mentioned by name in an early scene, bring them back later on. If a detail is mentioned, make it appear in a later scene under a different light, make it more or less important than it was. The reason behind reincorporation is because it reinforces the narrative by drawing attention to the salient points.

Amended from Steve Dempsey's "Improvising with GUMSHOE "
For a much more detailed examination of Improv in RPGs I recommend Graham Walmsley's "Play Unsafe"  (There is also a 20% Voucher on all orders from Lulu available until the 7th Sept.  Code: CITHARA20)

And the setting we ended up with was:

Tone: Swashbucklery

Setting: Spelljammer, High Fantasy in Space!

Situation: Sailing around on a lost tech ship, doing scoundrel type things.

Other key phrases include, 50 fathoms in space and both Farscape and Firefly.

Living Dungeon Asteroides (stolen from 13th age) full of Lyrium (Stolen from Dragon Age) (the element that makes magic happen) flying towards populated worlds, we go in and kill the dungeon before it can hit the worlds.

Everyone brings at least one person or thing to the relationship map
things that will turn up on the relationship map are:
The owner of our awesome lost tech ship
Whoever is shooting the asteroids at us
Some sort of evil space Empire possibly made up of monsters
a “Foil” who might or might not be on our side each adventure (this ended up being the dragonborn Tiamat (Female) and Bahumat (Male) see relationship map for more info.

and this was our Relationship Diagram:

Here is a link to our player doc for it:

The 2nd session is Tomorrow evening and it looks like it is going to be great.

What are you playing this weekend?