Monday, May 08, 2006

A few days of RPGs

Martin Ralya's Treasure Tables sent me a link to this great thread over on about collaborative settings creation by asking semi-leading questions of players.

Earlier this week, I ran the second session of Cyberpunk for the Renegades. I had actively propositioned my players in order to get solid feedback and it paid off in spades- well, maybe hearts. I got three out of five responses to my mini-survey and had enough to run for a five-hour session. For the record, I asked the following questions:

  1. NPC list
    Give me a short list of three to five NPCs you want to see. This can
    consist of NPCs already introduced that you want to see more of, or a
    request to have one step in to fill a role. Please also add a sentence
    or two's worth of commentary about each one.
  2. Sub-plots
    I want to see a short list of three to five (one- or two-session)
    sub-plots for your character, and one or two sub-plots for someone
    else's character (PC or NPC).
  3. Plot Arcs
    Next, I want to hear one or two long-term story arcs showing where you
    want the story to go for the whole play group.
  4. Boundaries
    Finally, give me one or two things you don't want to see happen, and I
    don't mean anything obvious like "I don't want to die."

Right before the session, I gave out bonus XP to those who responded. Well worth it to have creative fodder. I do enjoy collaborative and group story creation, I don't much like it in the middle of a Cyberpunk game. I think it plays against theme to have a warm-and-fuzzy shared story in a gritty and dark urban dystopia.

Sunday night was supposed to be second session of locally grown Seven Leagues (review), but we wound up playing Primetime Adventures instead. I really enjoyed PTA, but I felt that we were missing something. The collaborative series-building was great fun and a large part of the appeal. Our series is Cold Watch, the television drama of a group of troubleshooters in cryogenic suspension on a generational starship. Each episode we unthaw to solve troubles. Best of all, I didn't have to run.

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