Saturday, December 1, 2012

Quicker Play Ideas; Musing a different kind of podcast

So I hit a lot of major edits. Right now the LibreOffice is slowing down. I plan to revert them to single column while I do edits because of the performance problem.

After listening to the HJRP and thinking about my experience with GURPS character creation; I'll just make the character creation rolled tables, that can be automated. Simple bunch of rolls, and viola a character! Removing much of the crunch when making a character, and allow people to go straight to game.  Its easy to make a spreadsheet that generates the details and the character for speeding up character creation.

I'll have load outs and servants be a separate data packet. I haven't read the Henchmen book in GURPS dungeon fantasy, and this booklet is not dungeon fantasy. Its GURPS Harn compressed and simplified.

Current Problems: (no order)

  1. Will simplify the rules regarding illiterate, innumerate, and area knowledge. 
  2. Will add Harn-Like Tables for professions, background, and families. this will add about 2 pages. 
  3. Will add a table for rolling stats using 3d6 ranging from 9-12, with 13 on a natural 18. Players roll for bonus in Per, Will, BL, FP and HP as well. This will add a page. 
  4. Still brainstorming how to organize the disads and advanages. I'll try to keep the steps simple. I'll also make a spreadsheet that will roll up a character instantly for print. this will add a page. 
  5. Professional Template packages - a mix of Harn and GURPS Low Tech books. Should add about 2 pages. 

Dillema - using my 6 second abstraction of combat in GURPS. If I do this I will rerwite the rules for this. Its not a lot of rewrites, but having HJRP hammering in how long combats take I feel like I should. The cards would help compress via modes and special actions what players are trying to do.

I would run my combats fast, It was easy for me to figure out the metrics of what made for faster resolution and slowed things down. Its not hard to visualize how long a person would roll to look up results or would "reference" and look at the process and see how many instances of reference. Every instance of reference would add seconds or minutes to the process, multiplied by the number of figs, variety of units, and no. of players.

The trick is to allow abstraction to compress:
example: If I have a familiar or animal companion, instead of rolling separately for each attack, I will just have a simple +dmg situation. A druid having a strong reliance for companions will just roll once and have an abstracted effect - his wolf would inflict a pin effect (or i would rather the animal familiar has a weaponized article on them and they are trained to make opportunistic attacks so that they can't be stabbed if they bit and pinned the opponent.).

So instead of rolling for every companion, the player has one "reference". With minions or mooks, I used to roll a whole lot of D20s and from my left to right, the die from my leftmost to right most is the roll of the unit from my leftmost to rightmost.

the 6 seconds, ideally players give me 10-12 seconds to tell me what they are doing or they use a card. At the 12th second the player aborts to a simple actions or simply waits. I remember running games like this and it was mentally exhausting, and an adversarial GM would allow me to divide my energies in Improvisation and Strategy/Tactics. One minute should resolve one round.

One other method is to give them a timer. A 1 minute hour glass, and they have to resolve and declare the actions within the one min hour glass. The GM aslo has less than one min.

A different kind of Gamer Podcast
Our team is mostly composed of gamers, people who've played PnP RPGs. Arj, a friend who is now a team mate in the same airsoft team plays alot of RPGs and is our "tactical scout", a main body scouts differentiated from a operational scout. I'm more of a logistics officer, although I've been exposed to scouting, assault, and leadership roles - I'm the one who is not that gifted but can appreciate fully the gifts of others, which puts me in a position to talk about it more.

One of the interesting things to do is relate how our Gaming experience related to tactics and our personal development. I look at my airsoft as a continuation of my education, learning how i act under pressure and if I can improvise or have the confidence to take on greater challenges. I know Arj also has a lot to say about what we are learning as players and gamers.

I do have a lot of successful and failure stories to relate; but what gets at me more are those playing experiences that fall far from the mechanics by which I view the world. Gaming gives us a set of mechanics to view cause and effect in the world, what is a different spin for the gamer is when no system can accommodate the f*ck ups that real life can throw.

One can look at an exception, an event that does not fit comfortably within our expectations in many mays. There are several cognitive biases that make us overgeneralize, under value, and over value an errant piece of data sample. Its pretty nice to look at things and talk about it given the different point of views of the team mates.

I was thinking of talking about Gaming, team dynamics, leadership, attention to detail, situation awareness, improvisation, behavior and all those things that happen when the games become more simulative, like in airsoft. Personally I would like to have two more voices, different point of views about how experience and theory conflict or oddly make sense.

I'm in the ep where someone called Stu's style of GMing "coddling" (S02E9-10?). I'm old enough and aware enough to know that, that was kinda shooting from the hip - generalizing the focus he has in accommodation  improvisation, and bringing the group to a higher purpose and greater overall story arc vs letting people suffer the consequences of failing in the details. Details are important, so are consequences, and he doesnt fudge 100% of all risks. I can't really dismiss what the person says about coddling, because he is looking at the extreme without seeing that there are exceptions and a middle road that gets the best of everything.

100% strict adversarial GM IMO is pretty rigid and inflexible. Only one point of view prevails and its the GM. That not only makes you a terrible communicator (by the standards and strategies of effective communication TTC) but will quickly disintegrate the gaming group. Leadership is not 100% domination of the subject matter or interpretation of reality; its like science, it adapts and gets the best data and acts on the best data. Because of bounded rationality, you definitely have to act with incomplete data most of the time, but you act on it with the maximum gain for the group in mind.

I hate those absolutes and strawman arguments. My reflex is to just ignore it and move on, which is the best "get most out of life" strategy I've observed from many of those whose methods I admire. I'm used to arguing strawman a lot, I was one of those douches back in the day (and I am still one), and when presented something that is not so "cut and dry" and has an emphasis "add seasoning to taste" that if one were to make a strawman or absolutes argument I would not even react, it would not even register.

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