Friday, July 1, 2016


Hi out there, well fancy this, a second post this year!  Anyway, been looking at the 'Powered by the Apocalypse' range of games lately, may use it in the upcoming Barra reboot.  I have a few friends organised to play Monster of the Week, written by a Wellingtonian and fellow Kiwi guy Michael Sands.  The game looks fun and is a, relatively , easy read. I also purchased Worlds in Peril,a superhero adaptation,Uncharted Planets, a sci fi adaptation and of course Dungeon World, a fantasy version.  Its mechanics are relatively easy, if the terminology is not at times.  Two d6 determines outcome - a 10+ is complete success, a7 to 9 is success with a complication and a 6 or less allows the Game Master to screw with the player/group.  The only ones that roll dice are the players.There are no classes as such.  This idea is replaced with 'playbooks' which is an archetype that the player takes on, with attached abilities and skills. The way this plays out sounds great too, with a lot more focus on setting and character interaction than mechanics and rules.
My point of concern/puzzlement is that in this game the GM does little prep ( which is nice to hear) but that they dont know exactly where the game is going so any planning or interest points may never get played as the players have more voice in determining the direction of the game.  While that gives the players more agency, which is great, where does that leave the GM... if he's along for the ride to see where it all ends up that's cool.  For me, I am a GM who has lovingly crafted my game world, the players in it have given multiple feedback around the world which has informed the decisions about where the game story goes but has not suffered any discontinuity or disconnect and they have expressed an appreciation and interest in discovering whats around the bend, under that stone etc.  So although this sounds like the old argument of GM control, if they invest themselves so much and get little return on that investment ( and its not about GM vs Player) will we end up with a whole lot of just players and have multiple one shots of games or small 2 - 4 episode games... will the high fantasy multiple story arcs cease as the GM's agency diminishes? Guess I'll find out if I can strike a middle ground that meets both once we've played the game a little.

Game on

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