Saturday, November 3, 2012

Some Notes on Crisis Game

Crisis games are what I call games where things get really really bad but its not the end of the world. A coup d'état, a war, a large scale terrorist plot, a natural disaster, a market crash, a persecutive martial law, etc. etc. Its not the end of the world, but its pretty devastating to the people around it. 

Anyway, to me the plot or the set up in nearly interchangeable  Basically shit hits the fan and players are individuals have to make best of a situation. The situation or cause has some nuances, but pretty much, its almost an apocalypse. 

I would always cater the game around the Philippines. Its just weird for me when people run games in places they have barely visited  like the US. I can understand my brother running a game set in Jersey, having lived there for almost 10 years. Its no different as running a game based on fictional setting, unfortunately details are what changes the tide of survival, and there are a ton of local knowledge that is wasted and makes the game all the more "immersive". 

Subject Matters or Topics that come from Local Knowledge

Zoning Laws - actually play a part, because you know where you can find unusual concentrations of certain businesses and buildings.  
Building Codes - helps because it allows me to quickly map and narrate structures. I ran a game set in the UP-Ayala Techno park as i was still under construction, since we do BPO fit outs I could draw from the floor plans we have of many BPOs. 
Nuances of Firearms Laws and Environment- Local Expertise help a lot in determining arms and armament found in the game. It helps that my uncle is a gov't contractor of firearms and I have two other friends who's family are military families.   
Market and Economic Local Knowledge - what Groceries, Shopping Malls, etc. Stock. What kind of goods can be found in the locations, what is unlikely and where to find hard to find goods. Friends who are in Commodity Supply and Distribution give a very good picture of how things work. I guess it helps to be curious and the GM side of me likes to find out more about these things.  
Maps - I use Gmaps a lot, and its easier to use when you have a good internet. I love researching with it, and often it pays off so well that it reinforces my dependence on it. I've made some local expertise maps and try to contribute to google maps' map editor site... although I can vaguely understand how it works and I can't understand their verification method. 

It tends to boil down to mastery of your surroundings and how one's world works. GMing for such a setting and crisis, actually makes me want to know more and more about my surroundings. Interestingly its a useful skill, it allows me to source hard to find and necessary goods, as well understanding the local market better. 

Despite having no game to run currently, (there is no market for my games in my location - most role-players are the escapist type) its nice that the GMing habit keeps me looking for data and asking questions. 

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