Friday, June 11, 2010

Airsoft Season is back in the Phils; Economic perspective substitutes for Common Courtesy in GMing

The elections gun ban is over and now its time to get back to some warsims.

Experimentation and Scientific Investigation into mundane things are what fuels much of my sense of wonder. A sense of wonder that makes me enjoy RPGs. warsims are not just a great way to exercise but another kind of RPGing. Its basically a few places removed from actual combat and it is a challenging problem solving experience.

One of the things I'm more and more aware off becuase I study cognition is how time limits all thinking. Another thing I realized in combat that keeps you running is that you can't speak while your running, unless you want to burn through your blood oxigenation even faster.

Breathing, that annoying habit the body needs gets in the way of so many things. Respiration and Metabolism, the body over all have fine nuances that is a matter of life and death in combat. Ever get a cramp from crawling or duck walking? ever wonder how much effort it is to maintain combat readiness? There is a lot of stuff taken for granted in rpgs, so much that in more experienced or aware one gets of all the problems that can happen, the more I realize mental discipline is usually the only thing divides failure or survival.

In the times, I'd rather just get shot than endure another 10mins of crawling in 39 degrees Celsius in full gear I think I should be making them roll against discipline more often in everything that requires patience and goes against expectations.

Strangely my team captain, likes to play than run games. I would like to play in tables that have such economic approach to details. I don't mean that GMs should require the players spend HOURS on details.

Economic Perspective instead of Common Courtesy.

For a game that lasts 4 hours, making players spend HOURS on character design and details doesn't make for great efficient return on investment. Scaling the amount of detail management to a few minutes is enough. Rolling for Skills like Packing, Strategy, Soldiering, Hiking, and other skills that have with it the implication of knowing what the job is about enough to check if anything SOP is forgotten. For unusual circumstances apply a penalty.

That economic perspective and rule of thumb: How much time prepping vs how much time enjoying is an important measure if GM or Player requests are valid. Imagine when a players ask the GM to prep for something only to throw it out the window. Same goes with the GM asking the players for their time and effort only to throw it out or under-utilize it.

Economic perspective can substitute for Empathy and Common Courtesy. Maximizing Game Utility and enjoyment can be the GM's meta-game over the game. Seeing what works well and mastering it, while including his own little experiments and R&D for better techniques. A GM doesn't need to Max out Happiness, especially when there R&D is pulling down the grade. He's just after maximum sustainability, through the R&D.

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