Nuadha's Tale

Ignorance can be tolerated, where reason is left free to combat it. -Thomas Jefferson

Friday, June 20, 2003

This weeks WISH asks:

Robin Laws identifies several types of gamer in his book of GM tips: The Power Gamer, the Butt-Kicker, the Tactician, the Specialist (plays one type only), the Method Actor, the Storyteller (plot and pacing fan), and the Casual Gamer. Which of these types do you think you are, and why? Most people aren’t pure types, so multiple choices are OK.

I like coming up with bizarre characters and making them work. In many ways, I could be a "method actor", except I don't actually do a lot of acting. I'd like to, but usually when I get together to game, I am so tired from everything else that I don't feel like "getting into a character." Still I try to have some of my character's personality come through in what he's doing I guess I could be a mixture of "method actor" and a type I'd like to add, a "tinkerer." I love tinkering with the rules and character generation to come up with new powers and abilities (one of the things I like in Champions), but I don't approach the rules from a "power gamer" angle. My characters are not built to "win." Instead they have just been tinkered with to do something different. Besides my character sheet, I like to build up my characters place in the world. I also love to explore the unexplored corners of the world, the elements of the setting that may not be currently integral to the plot, but I find interesting...because I want to know how the GM's world works.

As a GM, I know that the tinkerer aspect comes through a lot. In any diced system I have ever ran, I've felt the need to tinker with the rules and improve any flaws I felt were there. (GMing White Wolf games have kept my hands full because the games are so flawed.) I also tinker with the worlds. I'm constantly creating new elements of the game world, many of which may never come out in-play. If it's a published setting, like White Wolf, I immediately put my own twist to it...something to make the world more to my...and hopefully my player's likings. I know that this can be a downfall of mine. My world often end up so complicated that I have problems keeping everything straight. How can my players ever hope to?

I've been thinking about starting an Amber campaign lately. As much as I've played and GMed Amber-system games, I've never run a game set in the Amber universe, besides two one-shots I ran at Ambercons that were hardly typical Amber games. (One was a light-hearted LARP, "Amberites and the Chaosians Who Love Them,"and the other, "The Heist" was a game where players were not Amberites but thieves attempting to steal the Jewel of Judgement from the Amberites.) One of the thing that I've realized is that Amber would give me both an unlimited world tinkering potential with all of shadow to play with along with a strong centralized focus- Amber. It also gives me a system that I wouldn't need to tinker with and would allow me to just focus on the story ideas. I've come up with a really strong plot idea.

The problems with running an Amber game is that many of my Amber playing friends are getting tired of playing least in the Amber setting. Many of them have been in campaigns that have lasted for years, myself included, and want something new. There is always the option of using the Amber system to run something in a setting that is equally open, but something new. Moorcock's Multiverse comes to mind. No suprise there. Of course, there is also Nobilis. I could run a game that focuses less on earth and more on the world tree as a whole. The problem is that I haven't hit on a really good idea for an ongoing Nobilis gampaign. I have a whole ton of one-shot plot ideas, but when I try to think of something that could be made into an interesting ongoing campaign for a bunch of minor gods, I pull a blank.


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