Sunday, December 29, 2013

[Solo GPC] 541: Weddings, Tournaments, and Feasts

Cracking on into the next year of the Tournament Period, then. Of note: listening to the session recording, there were no less than five incidents where Des missed a roll by one. We even joked that the name of this session should be "Missed By One!"

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The "I Am Your Father!" Moment

Yesterday, the wife and I rounded out our Christmas Day festivities with a screening of The Empire Strikes Back. As we watched the movie's climax play out, Des pondered how many RPG campaigns have seen a similarly shocking, revelatory moment.

I observed that there have probably been plenty of campaigns that have tried to force such a moment, but that sort of thing almost always ends badly. You just can't make an RPG match the same sort of careful pacing of a movie or book. Yet, the "shocking reveal" remains a great narrative device when a writer can pull it off successfully, and so too does it for RPG campaigns. It's just that, for the latter, those situations have to emerge through play organically to have any chance of success.

I'm hard-pressed to think of any of my own campaigns that have seen such an organic development. There have been plenty of smaller surprises, twists, and turns, sure, but none on the level of finding out one of the PCs is related to the main bad guy, say. John Wick wrote a lot about integrating such mega-twists into campaigns in his old "Play Dirty" column for Pyramid magazine, and there are increasingly more and more systems out there that provide some sort of mechanic for such a turn to come out at an opportune moment.

Thinking about our little conversation today, I thought I'd poll my readership: how many of you have had a campaign turn on a shocking revelation that emerged through play? Was it instigated by a player or by the GM? Was it wholly done through role-playing, or was there a mechanical component? Discuss!

Friday, December 13, 2013

[Solo GPC] 540: A Caged Lion

[It's been a while! If you want to go back and refresh your memory of where we left off, or are new to the saga, all the previous entries in this series can be found here.]

This year marked the beginning of a new period, the Tournament Period. Quoth the Great Pendragon Campaign:
The realm is peaceful, the bandit kings have been suppressed, and the faeries are imposing themselves (but as often for good as for ill). The lords of the realm are content to indulge in sponsoring more tournaments and building larger castles. There seems to be little worry of war.
On the other hand, some gossips talk more than they ought about that which is not their business. Some idealists are happy to find imperfections in the realm, which is not hard to do. Sometimes discontent is widespread, as is mistrust or suspicion...

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Pendragon Actual Play and Other Miscellania

I was pleased to see this humble blog included on the Dyvers Great Blog Roll Call, and without any cash changing hands, no less! Seriously, though, what an honor to be included among so many great blogs, many of which I was unfamiliar with. I'll be updating my reading list this week, no doubt about that.

This blog's entry noted that it's been dark since November 18, so I figured I should get off my butt and actually try and maintain my Herculean posting rate of approximately 2.5 entries a month and get some content up for December.

Ah, but how's this for weaselly entry? A link to another one of my blogs! If you're not a regular fan of my actual play feed, I take no offense, but I know a lot of the readership here are fans of my Pendragon write-ups and might like to hear me running a game for a proper group. I've had a couple players unfamiliar with KAP request that I run a demo of the system, and that is just what I'm currently doing. Character creation for three-quarters of the participants and the first year's scenario were run tonight, and the results can be found here.

I'm planning on just running two game years - enough to give the group a sampling of how the mechanics of the game work, and a glimpse of the glories that can be attained via longer-form campaigning in the mode of the Great Pendragon Campaign. I hope very much to run that weighty tome for my Sunday group at some point; an actual play recording of the whole thing will certainly accompany the venture.

And don't fret, you fans of the Solo GPC write-ups: new posts are resuming this week, and I've written enough of a backlog to hopefully keep the posts going on a weekly basis until we're done.

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