thread: 2009-12-18 : Seed content

On 2010-01-18, Joel wrote:


So I hear you saying that D&D wasn't bringing you anything special to make spying fun, or messed-up relationships fun, or kung-fu rivalry fun; YOU had to bring that. And after awhile it was too much for you to be the "make everything fun" guy?

If so, that hits what I was trying to say square in the big warty nose. I've definitely been in that place. Susa (disclosure: Susano is my brother, and we have a long and checkered play history), maybe TB's use of the word "couldn't" is hanging up communication here? It seems that the true issue is not that it "couldn't" happen, like, in all possible universes, but that it didn't happen for TB and his pals.

That's where I have difficulty with a statement like "there are a lot of areas that I don;t think even need rules-based facilitation—spying, for instance." My experience leads me to believe that practically anything can benefit from rules facilitation, and practically anything might be, for a particular game, the thing that needs it. Take our Over the Edge experience: speaking as GM, if I had "Rules for Spying," I could have handled a lot of material in that game more deftly and enjoyably. Remember all the flak and jeering I got from a lot of players over perceived flaws in my portrayal of black ops/espionage stuff? And Colleen, the primary espionage player, was much more polite about it, but I know she would have had a more fulfilling experience if I could have riffed off her spy content in a more sophisticated and elegant way, without the floundering and fumbling.

With a ruleset that doesn't address spying, even just a general framework, it's up to me, the GM, to bring the espionage awesome. If he happens to be really good at it, great. If he's me, though, he sucks at it, and it shows. That's one place where rules facilitation can help us.



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