Saturday 31 August 2019

#RPGaDay2019: Days 26-31

Monday 26th - "Idea"
Like an awful lot of people, I'd love to write a novel one day. Now, I know that when you run a game, it's bad form to have an idea for the story and prevent the players deviating from that (if that's your plan, write the book instead); however, I think there's something to be said for using games as a place to try out ideas, or seeds of ideas, for stories you want to write, and I think this is something players can do as well as GM's. As long as it doesn't detract from other people's enjoyment, I think there's a lot to be said for this method of testing ideas and concepts. Having the feedback from the interaction of others can be incredibly useful and spark new ideas that you  wouldn't necessarily have come to just writing by yourself (though I should write down when I'm inspired in a game as I tend to forget otherwise).

I'd like to try writing a novel with friends this way, in a sort of pseudo-RPG setting, where "dramatically appropriate" rules and where no one person is the GM but rather we're all co-creators of a world discussing how things may progress, probably all running a few characters but able to make suggestions to each other... 

Tuesday 27th - "Suspense"
Initially, I thought I hadn't played in many games where there was a sense of suspense, but then I thought about the current Aberrant game and Bill's death and the Protos mystery, then our repeated failures to take down the Patchwork Man in Deadlands, which hopefully will keep building to a satisfying conclusion, and the suspense of waiting to find out what's happened to Svetlana et al in Pathfinder (just knowing they're missing from our other characters' experience in the world). I've got other examples, too, but they're the easiest to express. Guess I've been left in suspense more often than I thought!

Wednesday 28th - "Love"
I love a love story! The first was in a horror game run at uni, where we played US university (college?) students on holiday who end up sucked into another world and my character ended up in a relationship with one of the other characters (based on that "fear is an aphrodisiac" concept) - the other player involved in that is now married to the other woman who played with us (the other man and I are not married). It was a short game, maybe only one session, but great fun and very effective.

Next was Kella and Reisha, which I've written about in previous years.

Then fast forward and no more romances until Svetlana and Noleski. I created a character for a Cyberpunk game and her girlfriend (to be an important NPC), but we never got to play and I can't find the character sheets anywhere (I wanted to write them up on this blog). Anyway, from Pathfinder I moved into Aberrant and deliberately created a commitment-phobe - but plot and character development saw her enter a relationship that has become steadily more frayed. I've never had the chance to roleplay a failing relationship before, so this is fun (if they just talked it might be salvageable, but if they do ever have that talk it's likely that's the end of it so they keep skirting it). Our Exalted game went on break with Taji finally entering the relationship she was hoping for, and that was a wonderful moment. I really enjoy that character and her love for her brother and now her lunar mate. And in Mage, my character has again fallen into a relationship that is certainly interesting, Ragna being sweet and incredibly naive and her girlfriend being... rather less so.

Thursday 29th - "Evolve"
If my memory serves, in a previous year we were asked how our play style had evolved and I claimed mine hadn't, really. I've subsequently realised I was wrong. There's certain aspects that stay true: I enjoy character-driven play over dungeon hack or even story driven (though character and story driven play are highly compatible) and that's always been the case, but the types of characters I get the most out of playing have changed - less, now, the innocent healers and more leaders or mother hens or prickly characters who still want the best for the team. I still prefer range if there's fighting to be done (though Chrissie'll happily get in the thick of it to throw a few punches), and still prefer the parts of the game outside the battleground (though the White Wolf/Savage Worlds games don't fill me with dread when it comes to combat the way Pathfinder does, because the combat systems are much quicker). I feel I'm getting better at making things up on the fly if I need to (though it's something I need to work on, particularly in Mage). I hope I give and continue to give other players (especially the GM) plenty to work with.

Friday 30th - "Connection"
"Emotional bleed" is a phrase I learnt a few years ago that stuck with me because I love to be so connected to my characters that I feel that emotional bleed, feel their emotions as strongly as my own. I appreciate it's not for everyone, but for me it's what makes a moment memorable.

Saturday 31st - "Last" 
This prompt is hard. I can't talk about the last game I'll ever play, or the last group I'll ever play with, like I did with "First" because I hope that's many, many years away. I don't want to talke about the most recent game I played, because it's not the last in that arc...

Oh, that makes me think! The last game in the most recent Exalted arc ended in one of my favourite endings, with Taji's lunar mate wrapping his arm around her and her leaning against him, surrounded by their friends at an outdoor celebratory party. So which are other favourite last sessions? Two come to mind, both long running campaigns at uni.

The first was Werewolf: The Apocalypse. The Galliard, the Philodox, the Ahroun, the Ragabash all died in the great battle. Only the Theurges, my Child of Gaia and Mel's Black Fury, survived. The world was different now, the changing breeds no more: Mel's character was now a full time human, and mine a full time wolf. They remained friends, though, meeting at a particular location (a lake between the woodlands and the town, as I recall), and generations after, her descendants and mine continued the tradition.

The second was Final Fantasy Noir. Kella had fallen pregnant while the party climbed Mount Gagazet, but (believing she was destined to die) she'd told no one. Reisha had died before she learnt she could survive, so he never learnt about their baby. Until after Zet was born, when Kella relaxed on the Besaid shore with her sister and her sister's twins (fathered by Rax, another party member), and a distant SPLASH caught her eye. It was Reisha, returned to life by Phoenix, with whom Reisha had a strong connection that was never quite explained. It was perfect and made me cry. 

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