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Category: Memes

Monday Mashup #44: Richard Thompson

Hey, did I miss a week? Yes I did, without so much as a word to the wise. I apologize, but I do not promise that it will not happen again. I haven’t produced a mashup I’d really want to run for a month or so and since I’m doing this for myself first and foremost… well.

However, this week I got something going. I think. Our mashup for the day is Richard Thompson. Unlike Madonna, I’m thinking of the man’s songs rather than his person, although I suppose if you want to base a campaign idea around a cheerful middle-aged man who sings songs about angst and love lost and pain and happens to be one of the best guitarists on the face of the planet — who am I to stop you?

Start your word processors.

Game Dream #1: Voice

Doc has taken over the Game WISH, renaming it the Game Dream. Cool! Question 1:

When Role Playing Games are discussed, the subject of first-person versus third-person character narratives sometimes surfaces. When you play a character, do you assume first-person, using your voice as his or hers, or do you use third person, simply describing what he or she is doing? Do you switch between first and third person, or try to adhere to one? When other players are in character, does the use of first or third person affect your immersion in the game?

As a player, I usually go first person, dropping third person when — hm, just about never, now that I think about it. I do use third person when I’m talking about my character’s motivations, though, probably because I regard that as out of character information. I tend to muse on that sort of thing when I’m making decisions (“Hm, Paul’s awfully tempted by that, because of his love of France…”) both to give the other players an idea why my character might do something insane and so as to give the GM a hand. Since the musings aren’t something that’s visibly happening in-game, I drop to third person to express them.

As a GM — more or less the same, except that I always third person physical actions. I very rarely go third person for NPC dialogue, though. I’d rather use accents.

WISH 99: Genreriffic

Impending WISH deficit! But this week:

Pick three to five genres and name the best RPG for that genre. Why do you think it’s the best? What makes it better than others? What are its downsides?

Pulp: Adventure! This is a very close race, because Feng Shui has better core mechanics which are better suited to the genre. Feng Shui really gets damage and fighting and stunts right, which is important for a pulp game… but it’s an action movie game rather than a pulp game, and while the genres are similar they aren’t the same. So the detailed and comprehensive power list brings Adventure! ahead by a hair.

Action Movies: Feng Shui. That’s a freebie. Feng Shui is a really significant milestone for genre-specific rules and it’s aged (and evolved) well.

TV Adventure: Unisystem Lite, as presented in Buffy and Angel. I was watching some Alias last night and marvelling at how well Unisystem Lite would work for a campaign in that setting. You could use it for Xena. The key is a) how quickly play flows — quickly enough to make play-by-IRC viable for me, and I don’t usually like play-by-IRC — and b) the clever use of Drama Points to channel themes. It is amazing how much better Unisystem became when all the excess crap was carved away.

Conspiracy: Over the Edge. Ginger said best RPG, not best rules! Over the Edge is mostly setting, with a nice minimalistic functional set of mechanics. At first glance it’s not obvious how the mechanics support the wild surrealistic genre, but I think the pioneering lack of a skill list is absolutely perfect for the world of Al Amarja; it makes it clear how open the setting really is. And the GMing advice is superb.

Monday Mashup #42: Harry Potter

I’ve been meaning to do this mashup for while, and this is probably a good occasion. Let it roll: it’s Harry Potter time. Any book is fine, or all of them, or whatever suits — one of the elements of the series that I really like is the time progression, although I’m not confident that Rowling won’t screw it up, but do as thou wilt shall be the whole of the mashup law.

(Hm. I should use Al next Monday.)

WISH 98: Neophile

The antepentultimate WISH asks:

What are three games or settings that you’ve bought or seen recently (in stores or previews) that you’d really like to try? What interests you about them and why?

Nocturnals from Green Ronin; I like the unique genre niche carved out by the creepy heros, and the sourcebook gives me so many details to play with. Just — cool. Pacific Northwest-feeling monsterpunk.

Dogs in the Vineyard, because I dig the clerical harshness of it all. I’ve played a lot of clerics and I usually enjoy it even though I never do it by choice. Religion in gaming fascinates me.

Hm, and I kind of want to play something really heroic — doesn’t have to be superheroes, could be heroic fantasy or heroic transhuman or whatever. But there’s nothing out there that’s grabbing me. HeroQuest, but that’s not a new release. Charnel Gods (which Rob will be running soon), but that’s not a new release either. Big heroes. Larger than life heroes. Maybe Fireborn? FFG is doing such good setting work these days.

Oh, speaking of which, honorable mention to the Horizon series. Grimm and Spellslinger whet my appetite for gaming something fierce.

Monday Mashup #41: Hoosiers

In the spirit of Neel Krishnaswami’s recent post on sports games, today’s mashup is Hoosiers. It could be any sports movie, but I happen to like basketball a lot. I guess if you’re a football fan or something it’s OK to break away from the pack and do Any Given Sunday; the Mashup Ninjas will not pay you a visit. This once only.

Hoosiers is a nice simple story. Washed up coach comes to small town with a basketball team and teaches them how to win a championship. (Mostly discipline.) He alienates people with his fancy coaching ways but it turns out that in Indiana, winning is more important than anything else. He also finds love and redeems the town drunk.