Hey I got an ENnies nomination! Since this is my 998th post I’m filling these entries with countdowns as we head to 1000, therefore...
IN MICROSCOPE DID GMs, AN OPEN-SOURCE CITY DECREE
Last year I tried an experiment with RPGGeek's VirtuaCon. About a month before the convention, I put together a one-shot Hangout session of Microscope where the players drafted the history of a new Superhero world. It went in striking and unexpected directions. During the con I ran three sessions with three different systems set in this world: a ‘30’s Pulp Supers game using Venture City Stories; a "Futureheroes' scenario with ICONS; and a Mutant Internment camp with Durance (this last one I ran after the con due to a schedule shift).
So if you might be interested in running a fantasy game at VirtuaCon (October 23rd-25th, 2015), I’ve got a proposition for you.
This year I want to do a similar thing, but open it up. I'd like to rope other GMs into running scenarios in a world created by RPGGeeks. Before the con we’ll create a new fantasy city as a stage for cool stories. I’m going to run three sessions again this year- each with a different system (like Fate, Blades in the Dark, and 13th Age). It would be cool to see how other GMs play with the elements the players establish.
THE PLOT THICKENS
So here’s the plan right now:
In mid-August, I’ll set up a Microscope session to build the city. We'll work with modified version of the rules (Neighborhood & Districts instead of Periods; People & Places for Events; and Rumors as Scenes). I’ve used that a couple of times for campaign building. You can see my Abashan and Grey Reign examples. If you’re interested in participating in that, here's the thread over at RPGGeek. You can comment there or send me a message if you're intrigued. If we get enough interest, we might do two city-building sessions. In that case, the second group would build on and elaborate the first session's work.
Once the city’s built, we’ll post the details on the Geek and here. I’ll also make a Google Doc version available. We can make this a living document. If you might be interested in running a session for VirtuaCon in this city, give me a heads up. Assuming there’s enthusiasm we could put together a discussion group. This isn't a commitment, more an informal show of virtual hands. Other general collaborative games could easily be tied into this (like How to Host a Dungeon, Kingdom, or a full Microscope session).
Hopefully we can gather a Geekgold pool for interested GMs!
If we get interest, I’ll commission a unique Geek Badge for GMs and for players.
WHAT TO DO?
If you'd like to participate in the Microscope session(s) in August, leave a comment on the RPGGeek thread. The same thing if you might tentatively be interested in running a game in that setting. That’s purely so I can get a sense of interest. Questions and suggestions would be appreciated.
As well if you're interested in doing something like this for something else (another genre or approach) I'd be glad to help with that.
If you're coming here for the first time, you might be wonder what's good to check out. Below are ten projects I dig and/or get the most hits.
- History of RPG Genres: Links to first of each series- Post-Apocalyptic; Superhero; Steampunk & Victorian; Horror.
- The Many Names of Gamemasters
- System Guides for New Gamers: Fate Core; 13th Age; Changeling the Lost; and GUMSHOE
- Play on Target: A list of podcast episodes with discussions.
- Using Microscope: Example campaign building. Shadow of the Titan; The Last Fleet; The Hunts Begin; Guards of Abashan; Invasions: Earth!; The Road to Doubtfall, and Grey Reign.
- A Dread Awakening: A scenario for Dread based on The Hangover.
- Changeling the Lost Round Up
- Legend of the Five Rings: Reviews of earlier edition products for 4th edition players.
- Hacks and Games: Skyrim for Hollowpoint; Scion for FATE; Arclight Revelation Tianmar; and Witless Minion!.
- Worst GMs from Video Games
- Selected Campaign Frames: Night's Black Muggles; Neo Shinobi Vendetta; Masks of the Empire; Ocean City Interface and OCI; Avatar Redaction Convergence; Malign Universal; A War on Christmas; Kingdom: FAE and Samurai; New Dragon for L5R; Bloodlines; Your Glorantha May Vary
As well, you'll find lots of other material grouped by various tags: Advice/Tools, Gamemastering; Campaign Postmortems, etc.
ONE STEP BEYOND?
In recent weeks I've added several "multimedia" thingamadoohickies. First, we dropped a new episode of Play on Target this week. Called "Genre Mixmaster," we try out a GM exercise: randomly generating theme ideas and riffing campaign or scenario concepts based on them. The list we started with:
- Modern Cops, Race, Silver, Wild West
- Action/Adventure (Sports), Election, Spy, Hammers, Gold
- Weird/Surreal, Servitude Robots Insects Law Enforcement
- Action/Adventure (Gangsters / Mafia), Jade, Repossession, Forest, Gothic
- Martial Arts/Wuxia, Elves, Skyscraper, Sabotage, Coma
- History (Europe), Psychic, Traitor, Servitude, Superhero
- Crime (Mystery/Detective/Noir), Chains, Sin, Sacrifice, Asylum
- Fantasy (Sword & Sorcery), Spirit, Squatter, Farms, Atomic
- Anachronistic, Inheritance, Instinct, Ecology, Sabotage
- Paranormal, Romance, Hunger, Morality, Simulation, Charity
You can check out the episode here or find us on iTunes and the usual podcast locales.
Second, I appeared on another episode of "This Imaginary Life." We tackle questions of game prep- and I discover I'm not as low-prep as I thought.
Third, I've been updating the actual play videos of our 13th Age campaign, "Shadow of the Titan." I've placed the most recent session below. We use Roll20, but with Skype for audio so you don't see the players, only the map (for better or ill). You can check out other Actual Play videos on my channel here. We have Kingdom, Microscope, 13th Age, Fate Tutorials, Mutants & Masterminds, and much more.