Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Back to Basics: Organizing your session by Challenges, and a reminder on Pacing

Keeping things simple, my players will notice I will be using these mnemonics: Minor and Significant Challenges.

Minor Problems/Challenges was covered in Non-Binary Consequences. Basically it is resolved quickly. What ever answer the player gives, the GM takes note and moves the scene forward. I would add, the GM can ask a roll for every minor problem without giving any more detail about Target Number or Difficulty. He just notes it and moves it along as quickly as possible. Save it for the post game notes, priority is the flow of the game.

Major or Significant Challenges/Problems take up a scene. the key is budgeting the scene time, beginning with 10-15 minutes and adjusting for the number of participants. You'll know when everyone got a lot of participation when there was something to note from each. For me it would be going through the names again and again and thinking about how they are contributing.

My problem is budgeting the scene time and making it as significant in the engagement as possible WHILE allocating some time for me to take down notes. Mastering in managing the Value of a Scene comes from some soft skills, particularly framing. Basically describing the scene in a way that presses the audiences buttons the right order and way. This is covered in many gaming posts from many other blogs but the underlying technique, if you want to research it, is framing. Look at examples of framing.

Sorry for Climate deniers, the statistical frequency of super storms in ASIA has been so significant we watch US media to marvel the masterful use of framing techniques. Framing can be boiling down to cherry picking particular information that is representative for ones particular agenda (inoculation against framing effect lets you learn to use framing effect better, which we can tackle later on).

So in the end Ill be preparing by brain storming of all the possible scenes that will involve everyone or most of everyone and connect them, or draw inspiration from real life and injecting it to the game. Minor Challenges/Problems is a small feat and easy to master. Although this is all good but a multiplier to the satisfaction from this is from Pacing and Tension and Release.

Future Topics

Continuing with Back to Basics and Any Game System techniques/System Agnostic Techniques, I have to set aside these two related future topics. 

Pacing Basics 
I can go into some implementable basics for these that anyone can use. It talks about how it works in principle and gives you some factors which you should be able to prime. But I'll cover it in greater detail later, especially since I'm one to talk I know where I flub it so often. Still i am reiterating stuff from Extra Credit and will focus on examples. In the end, Mnemonics are what I will depend on to perform these feats while juggling the game, if you can figure some out for yourself what do you need me for.

Consensus Decision Making Magic
How to have the Players drive the scene with their interaction via Consensus Decision Making Magic
- this is where the GM is there to remind players of their conflicting goals and their own motives and resolve among themselves and NPCs the Significant Challenge. This will have to be a future article.


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