Nuadha's Tale

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

Monday, July 07, 2003

Djinn's Roleplaying Questions
(Via Djinn and Arref)

Djinn asks:

What kind of genre do you favor in play? There are a lot of genres that I enjoy playing, but my favorite genre to GM is superheroes. The superhero genre is what I know best. I've been regularly reading comic books since I was 14 and have a good feelings for the types of characters and scenarios.

A good game runs the gamut in moments - at times dark and somber, at times bright and light-hearted. What mood do you like to see prevail? Bright and light-hearted. I like dark, sombre scenes. They bring a lot of drama to the game. However, roleplaying games are supposed to be fun and the times when everyone is laughing and smiling are a lot more fun than the serious dramatic scenes. An ideal game should have both, but a game that's always light-hearted would be infinitely preferable to one that's always serious.

What timeframe do you like to play in? (this may be related to genre, or not) Middle ages? The era of nano-tech? The rise of the roman empire? Honestly, I'm comfortable in any time/setting.

Do you like Puzzles? Riddles? Mysteries? These are all very different things, in my mind. Puzzles use logic, riddles use words, mysteries can be unraveled by a single astute mind or by picking at the threads until the resolution finally becomes apparent... I hate puzzles, both as a player and a GM. They usually bring an otherwise exciting game to a screeching halt. When I first started GMing, I tried running games where the players/characters needed to figure out some logic puzzle to continue and learned really quick that puzzles don't further a plot at all and just slow things down. Riddles are a little more acceptable as they usually only take a second or two of game time. Mysteries....I love. Mysteries can be the whole plot and as player characters interact trying to unravel the mystery, they provide a reason to roleplay. Some of my favorite scenarios to run have been your classic-style mysteries. I've done locked-door muder mysteries in fantasy setting and contemporary settings. I ran a very succesful Star Trek game where every "episode" was basicallya new mystery for the players. Whether the characters were trying to discover why a strange alien planet worked the way it did or where Garth of Izar went with the stolen Dreadnaught, I planned every adventure like a mystery. I planned to give the characters certain clues at certain times/places until all the pieces came together. One of my favorite games was an episode where the characters were framed for blowing up a space station they had just left. I don't remember who did it in the end, but I remember how intensely the players cared about solving the mystery when their characters were the prime suspects. As a player, it never seems like the plot is stuck in a mystery because you can't figure soemthing out. You just ask more characters and check more places and wait for the GM to give you more clues.

What other challenges have you come across that you enjoyed or hated? I enjoy roleplaying challenges. I can't say that I am very good at them but those challenges like what your character should say to calm down his girlfriend when she finds out that he's a superhero are the most interesting ones.

Do you like playing in large groups? Small ones? What do you think is an ideal sized group for an experienced group? Back in the day, I loved GMing for large groups. The Heroes Unlimited campaign I used to run had a miniumum of eight players at every game and had run a couple of games for over 12 players. These days, I would never consider a group over eight players and I am beginning to think that six is ideal. As a player, I can't stand large groups. I played in an Amber game with 12 players and I'll never do it again. We spent more time waiting to get the GM's attention than roleplaying. As a player, I'd also say that 3-6 players is ideal.

Do you enjoy watching others play, or do you work on other things when your character is not 'on stage'? Related - do you try as a player not to know any out-of-character knowledge, or are you comfortable knowing things your character does not know? I try not to know much out-of-character stuff, so I tend to focus on other things. If another character is having a really good scene, I'll pay attention. I trust myself not to let it affect my roleplaying, but I prefer not to know and to find out what happened to the other characters in-character. If another character found out that his dad is really Dr. Destroyer, I'd rather find out when/if that character decides to share that with me.

In an Amber game, do you like the Attribute auction? Or would you rather create your character with a set amount of points and be done with it? I prefer just using a set amount of points. Unless your doing a throne war, I don't see a need for an auction.

What kind of character do you like to play? What attribute do you like to put first? In Amber? It depends on the concept, but I think I like Psyche best. Psyche characters get to be the mages or trump artisans and therefore have the most options as a character.

Who's your favorite Amberite Elder? Why? Caine, because he plays the game like noone else in the Amber family does.


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