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May 4, 2009 / jadettman

Module Madness

Over at Story-Games lately they’ve been making some noise about a new rash of module making and playing that was kicked off by John Harper with a couple little games called Ghost/Echo and Lady Blackbird.

Now, before you do anything else, go look at Ghost/Echo and Lady Blackbird if you haven’t already because, even if the mechanics don’t make much sense to you, they are very pretty games. John Harper is quite talented and deserves all the accolades that he’s received.

Looking at the timeline of events, Ghost/Echo came first and lit a spark but it is Lady Blackbird that has really fanned the flames and lead a couple other people to create modules of their own: Lunar Notes by D. Marshall Burns and Vanguard: Shrine of the Aegis by Matt Wilson.

Of course, modules aren’t exactly new. I couldn’t say for a certainty when the first module came out but my guess would be sometime in the ’70s for Dungeons & Dragons. That isn’t really what interests me about these games.

The interesting things to me are [1] the freewheeling rules, which assume that the players have played a story- or roleplaying game and allow that previous experience to guide play, and [2] the design possibilities presented, especially in Lady Blackbird and Vanguard.

Most modules that I’m familiar with assume that the players have constructed a ‘typical’ group of characters and then relies on the GM to shoe-horn the player-characters into the situation presented. I really like that these two games provide characters intended to work with their scenarios.

In particular, these games have struck a few chords with ideas that I had for Running from the Demon, which has been simmering on the backburner for a while, and some recent ideas I’ve been toying with for Amber convention games.

If anything comes of these ideas bouncing around in my head, it seems likely you’ll be among the first to know.

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2 Comments

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  1. Tim Jensen / May 4 2009 6:14 pm

    I’ve played Ghost/Echo a few times, and we gave Shadows and Ash (by Kaare berg). These are always fun when you play with a couple of experienced storygamers at the table. Lady Blackbird is on deck for this Friday night at Misty at 6:00ish, if you’re interested.

  2. J.A. Dettman / May 5 2009 7:17 am

    I’d love to Tim and this Friday might work out for me. I probably wouldn’t be able to make until 6:45 at the earliest, though, what with the drive.

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