Sunday, December 15, 2019

Organizing by Techniques and Mechanics

150428 Gaming Ideas Repository
Thinking out loud.

13 or younger player may have problems learning to a TRPG. Particularly as I'm experimenting teaching my 8 yr old son to like TRPGs when devices and games are easier and more attractive to their attention.

What if I break a basic system into two elements: mechanics and techniques?

Combat, roll dice to see what happens, social mechanics, etc...  Are mechanics.
Then there are Techniques. Problem Statement, Yes and.., 5WH, 5Y, various Framing techniques, etc...
The reason is what should go into a basic TRPG? absolute beginner or someone who is going into trpgs systematically.

This is a carryover from when my brother and I were very systematic about how we played trpgs thinking about it as skills. Unapologetically copying practices from other GMs and experimenting with these practices.

I know the techniques and mechanics are pretty Subjective but with any skill system it's just need to be internally consistent even if it's assumptions will not carry over to a different POV.

Breaking up the elements of learning a TRPG by its mechanics (core, basic combat, character creation. Etc) and techniques (storytelling, public speaking, elevator pitch, pacing, tension, etc.) has some surprising efficiency.

Pro of this Approach

A pro of this system is a

  1. carryover of techniques to different games and some mechanics to different systems and games.
  2. a basic framework. Like every great artist copy to have a framework to start with, to advance means using that framework and tear it down and make a new one.

Cons of the Approach

  1. The con is the subjectivity and how academic it all sounds that will clash with people who see gaming as an art than a science.
  2. Its a very narrow audience, which is already a narrow audience (TRPGS). The amount of subjectivity can be demonstrated how everyone has a different definition of a set of skills and job descriptions, but another example is how groups like PMI, ABPM, ISO, IIBA, CompTIA, RHEL, Linux etc... all try to Standardize these. 

I don't intend to please everyone and part of gaming the feedback of having a system that has its own internal consistency. A call back to all those frustrating nights of preparation and experimentation. But giving the gamer the tools to orient themselves where they want to go by giving a sample set system and let their own tinkering take them to their desired end.

For those who just want a framework they have one, for those who want to reinvent they have a starting framework.

Other Challenges.

  1. How to list Prerequisites in a Field in a Table, and Link to each Item. 
    1. Example. I talk about Combat Pacing, but I want to Link Basic Pacing, Escalation, and Dangerous Escalation to Combat Pacing. How to I have a column in an Google Sheet that allows me to Link these entries to their text counter parts. Basically how do I allow that each Entry 
    2. This Problem Applies with Tags 
  2. Time and Motion. I only need to give a resource cost to a Skill, time to practice and develop and A Technique or Mechanic can become a Project Activity network Diagram or a Person who have a fixed budget of Time and Resouces can Plan how they will practice the skills and experiment with them. the problem arises in how to Visualize these all. 

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