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B.Y.O.P. [Mar. 17th, 2005|11:54 pm]
Firefly game tonight was probably the most enjoyable one so far. It felt a lot more like the show. This is probably related to the fact that we did almost no dice-rolling. I am starting to think that "bring your own plot" is really the way to get games like this to feel authentic.

It also occurred to me that the really interesting parts of these kinds of shows are mostly about conflict amongst the main characters rather than conflict between the characters and random foes. So the way to play it is to think about interesting interactions your character can have with the other PCs and spend your mental effort on that, and use the GM-provided plot as backdrop for those actions, which is pretty much the inverse of how you usually play an RPG...

Sidenote: I have come to the conclusion that my skill at predicting which posts will spur lots of comments is basically zero.

[User Picture]From: nehrlich
2005-03-18 05:28 am (UTC)
I don't know anything about RPGs, but your comment that conflict among the main characters is the interesting part applies dramatically in TV. The reason for this is pretty simple, I think. The main characters are the ones whose motivations we know best. One of the things that makes drama drama, as opposed to random events, is understanding the motivations of a character and why they're doing something. When a character randomly does something crazy, it's not dramatic; it's just random. It's only when a character's background and motivations have been set up, and they are forced into conflict because of who they are, that you get drama. NPCs (or members of the plotline of the week) can't hold the same interest because they are not as well-developed character-wise, and so they tend to have one-note motivations whose sole purpose is to create conflict among the main characters. At least in many TV dramas.

And, dude, totally on being able to predict which posts are comment-worthy. My posts that I think are most interesting are often the ones that drop with a lead thump.
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[User Picture]From: ng_nighthawk
2005-03-18 12:25 pm (UTC)
1) Yes on BYOP, but it takes a mature gamer to be able to pull that off. Otherwise, it can become "the game about the really annoying person who steals every scene." Also, there is a great deal of implicit and explicit meta-communication necessary for that activity--this means people either have to be good at communicating or you need system around it.

2) I think in general the way to get people to comment on posts is to give them an opportunity to talk about themselves. That's what people blog about, anyway. If your post is about what you did or think, and people don't have any of their thoughts or experiences to add, what is there to say? That's my experience, anyway.
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[User Picture]From: dr_tectonic
2005-03-18 01:03 pm (UTC)
1) Yes. I'm starting to think that in order to get it to really work well, you need to conspire beforehand with the other players involved to get the scent to go where you want it to go.

2) That's not my experience. I poked through my archives and found that I've got one "computers suck" entry with 15 comments, and one with 2. I have one ghostwalk summary post with 18 comments and another with none. Fondue? 15. Profiteroles? 6. Pomegranates? 0.

My readers are crazy and unpredictable. Crazy, I tell you.
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[User Picture]From: earthling177
2005-03-18 01:13 pm (UTC)
The Squirrels[tm] told me not to post on this one... ;-P
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[User Picture]From: bryree
2005-03-18 04:35 pm (UTC)
Hmmmm...I'm seeing a pattern here. Jerry has been bothered by the squirrels until fairly recently; it is rumored that MY username was hijacked by S.Q.U.I.R.R.E.L. (The official organization of The Squirrels) to post threatening messages to Jerry; and now The Squirrels are interfering with your posts to...Jerry? NO! To Dr Tectonic! What is the common factor here? Dr Tectonic. So, Dr. T, fess up. What is it you have done to these rodents to invoke such carefully aimed ire? Hmmm?
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[User Picture]From: earthling177
2005-03-18 08:08 pm (UTC)

I happen to love squirrels, they are fun and smart. I've been known for bringing peanuts to the Boston Commons to give to the squirrels, and they all come to get some and play with us.

I dunno what Beemer and Jerry did to their local squirrel population, but the ones around here are nice. ;-)
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[User Picture]From: bryree
2005-03-18 04:45 pm (UTC)
Besides, it's lots more fun when a character's back story actually has a profound impact on the game. So many times the back story of a character means nothing more than "I/my family was wronged by X and so I kill Xs deader than all the other things I swing my sword/aim my gun/employ my fists o' fury at." Instead, you get to take the story in directions that you want to explore, but perhaps not exactly like you imagined when another PC's back story intersects with and slightly changes your (the player's) direction.
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