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December 21, 2008 / jadettman

Thought experiment? Meme?

So, the question today is, “How well do you know your friends?”

More specifically, do you know your friends well enough to make a roleplaying game specifically tailored to their preferences?

Let’s find out!

I’m going to make this a two-part post. This first one is going to be about preferences, then I’ll do a later one about what kind of game I might design for those preferences.

Britt > [power, relationships, choices] Britt likes games in which her characters have enough power that they don’t have to worry too often about the little details in life. She’s big on characterization, really getting into the guts of her character and understanding its motivations and feelings. She also likes to have important choices in her games because they give her character something to struggle with and interesting consequences to bounce her character off of.

Paula > [weirdness, fantasy, hurdles, sandbox] Paula is a sandbox player. She enjoys playing her character but, more importantly, she likes to dig into the GM’s setting to see what it’s all about. Fantasy settings, specifically weirdness-filled fantasy (like a weirdness filled fruit pie) really engage her attention and encourage her to dig for the weird-y goodness waiting in the GM’s brain to be revealed. At the same time, Paula likes concrete hurdles, obstacles that must be overcome, in her character’s path. Hurdles give her character choices, reveal more of the setting, and keep the game moving.

Shawn > [magic, horror, oblique angles] Shawn likes to play with setting. Frequently he does this by coming at the setting from an unusual angle. He also likes horror and magic in his games. Horror creates tension and magic allows players to deal with the extraordinary.

Dan > [characterization, realism, concrete details] Dan likes to get into his character. He likes following his character’s motivations and building on his experiences in the game to push the development of his character. His characters tend to grow organically and emergently through play. Dan also likes a certain realism in his roleplaying, though verisimilitude might be a better word. He likes things to make sense. Going along with that, he also likes concrete details to keep things making sense.

Of course, now I need these subjects to wander by and tell me if I know what I’m talking about.



Leave a Comment
  1. Britt / Dec 22 2008 4:03 pm

    Weirdness fruit pies! The delicious treat you’d have to be crazy to hate!

    Anyway, yeah, you’ve pretty much got my number.

  2. Dan / Dec 25 2008 2:10 pm

    Verisimilitude, sure. Yes, I want things to be self-consistent 🙂
    And I do like to have things to be fleshed out in details, making a rich tapestry of the world in which we exist.

    I’m reminded of all the Golden Circle Shadows that JP and I wrote up for the Golden Age of Amber game that never was. Apparently he’s made liberal use of those for his Infinite Amber game, as well as stealing my character Breandan from that wholesale.

    I really do like to have a fair bit of character development during the game, which might well mean starting off with more ‘humble’ goals and operating at a lower level than Amber campaigns often do. Just because they so often end up dealing with the fate of the Universe.

    Anyway, I’d say you’re pretty much dead on for me.

    Oh, and Britt, why are you not accepting my comments to your blog?

  3. Paula / Dec 25 2008 3:28 pm

    Pretty good description of what I like in games; funny, too; but one thing you missed: hurdles allow me to get to know my character better.

  4. Britt / Dec 25 2008 7:34 pm

    Hi, Dan,

    Looks like I accidentally marked your comments as spam. I have used my mad WordPress hacking skillz0rs to search through the spammed comments.

    In case anyone else is also suffering under WordPress 2.6x, which has no convenient way to view spam comments, click on the “See All” link to the right of Recent Comments in the dashboard. Then, alter the URL, to look like

    You should see all the comments you’ve marked as spam. (I have You can then use the Search form that appears at the top of the page search your spam comments.

    I found two comments from you, Dan, and approved them. Were there more comments that I missed? Did you try to submit any others and have them get bounced? If the latter, the fact that I have now approved you will, I hope, expunge the black mark against you in my blog’s database.

  5. Dan / Dec 26 2008 9:40 am

    I was marked as a spamm0r? Harsh, dude.

    I believe it was just those two comments. I was kind of waiting for you to approve them before I posted any further comments, lest I be simply posting into a black hole of comment-dom.

  6. Shawn / Dec 26 2008 7:15 pm

    I would agree with your assessment of me.
    Are you going all Achmad & building little personalities in your head in order to base NPC personalities off of? I know that he did that a bit, it is a good trick. *grin*

    Another fact that I will give you for free about me is that I will take an existing story & figure ‘what if’ scenarios on it until I find something cool…

    For example: What if the PC’s are not the first people to run through the module of “Tomb of Horror’s” and they are following a second, or third group through… what would the first or second group have done which the players will stumble across…. are there still other members of the previous parties around… what state of mind are they in, how have they survived… WHERE have they survived…. how have them moved or interacted with the clues to solve the traps & module.. etc, etc.

    This experiment only works if you ignore or modify the re-setting mechanic listed in the module.

  7. J.A. Dettman / Dec 31 2008 7:09 am

    No, I do my best not to inject fully-formed real-life individuals into my gaming. I prefer a more mix-and-match approach.


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