thread: 2009-12-18 : Seed content

On 2010-01-14, ThoughtBubble wrote:

Susano and Joel,

Sorry for my delay.

Joel hit on why I thought that game might be a good example of seed content/rules mismatch. We started with "Let's make overpowered Gestalt D&D 3.5 characters with high stats! Hm... We need a world first! Let's make a world!" The stuff we ended up focusing and caring about those characters wasn't that they were awesome - but what the awesome was tied into. We got caught up in things the D&D 3.5 rules didn't specifically handle well, like relationships. Now we've handled this before. But there was kind of another twist to that D&D game. Here goes...

I'm our group's habitual GM, Rules Authority, and Creative Director. And I was getting pretty burnt out. The game started as some ?what if? group collaborative building. We built the whole world bit by bit and each person got final say over 2 areas or groups. One evil group, one good group. Following that, we made characters, tied them in, sketched out the major conflicts and generally had a fun time. The anticipation left a tingly excitement to play. We got through our characters, we had an epic, fantastic world with good villains, our characters were tied together well enough that we'd stick together and dive into each others' plot twists. And everyone was excited. For the first time in over a year, everyone was excited.

There was one insurmountable problem though. My role in as a player vs my role as an organizer. Remember that bit about being the habitual GM? I realized that even if we managed to split things up, I was still going to be in charge of the whole thing. I felt too big a responsibility to honor the other player's contributions to just do what I wanted. Which meant that we weren't going to focus on the conflicts that interested me, because the paladin's family was related to my character, and I was still ultimately in charge. To make this work out, I was going to have to make the most appealing character I'd ever made into a supporting NPC. And this was my attempt to get away from being in charge and play a little more.

What I needed for this to work was rules that would constrain my freedom as "ultimate creative guy" and give me more freedom to push towards conflicts I found fun (by protecting the other player's interests?). It's a little more tangled than that. But basically, the only way that anything other than our spell caster's spell casting would have come up is if I'd made it. And I was sick to death of doing that.

Hope that answers your probe!


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