|Order of the Stick|
To business. I did state in my intro that this was also an "RPG blog" so I thought I had better deliver on that front before Trading Standards get on to me.
The real reason for looking at pen and paper (or tabletop if you prefer) RPGs is that this week I have been ambushed into acting as Games Master again.
I came in from work one night and my housemate said he had a few friends that were interested in doing some RPG-ing and knowing that I have dabbled in GMing over the years asked if I would be up for running it. I naturally said I would be happy to and removed my Serenity RPG rulebook from the shelf for his perusal. I am an unashamed Browncoat and think Firefly has (sorry, had...) some of the best writing on TV. And it's a brilliant setting, a Chinese-Old West fusion in space, what's not to love. I'll be posting a (rather belated) review of the system shortly.
|Simple but effective rules that emphasise the story|
This led to the ever-present issue in role-playing: third person or first person? Should the players (and myself) describe the actions and speech of their characters, or should they speak as their characters in first person?
Each has their pros and cons, first-person can be much more "immersive" and third-person can be quicker flowing and allows the characters to do and say things the players may not be able to.
My intended approach (and I imagine is that of many), as per my last post on fluff is a "Middle Way":-
The Middle Way
My preference is generally for a casual mix of the two. This is common sense, but I think it comes down to whatever the player is comfortable with. I generally avoid po-faced gaming and Taking Things Too Seriously, so I try and keep a light hearted atmosphere but not to the point where it distracts from the game.
If players only want to describe their character's dialogue rather than speaking it then that's fair enough. I will generally try and encourage a little first-person dialogue with NPCs as I think it can be a little more fun, and will always award extra XP for any player at least willing to give it a go (as well as for characterful roleplaying in general). Likewise, I will not always speak every NPCs dialogue - mostly because my vocal range is somewhat limited and the Evil Goblin King tends to sound remarkably like the Obstinate Washer Woman and Remarkably Optimistic Miller from earlier in the adventure (that really does sound like an adventure and a half...)
Despite there being a balance of the two, I still like characterful table dressing and all-important gaming session food. For the Firefly gaming sessions any food on the table will be done in the style of the setting - a fusion of Asian and Tex Mex food (such as crispy beef strips in barbecue sauce ;) - but generally straight dishes in bowls that can be picked from) - and can be eaten with chopsticks (as per the TV series) or knife and fork. Next to the gaming table we will be hanging touches of oriental decoration and on the table will be a 19th century oil lamp etc. Nothing too much, just light touches, and done slightly tongue in cheek - it's not LARP...
I'm very interested to know what other GMs out there think about the First vs Third Person issue? Answers on a postcard.
What's on the modelling/painting table.... more 40k Celtic / Arthurian Space Marines
|Cloak on the bottom-right chap is inspiration for camo-cloaks|
I also now have the parts for my first "Dwyrydd" (Druid) Chaplain-Apothecary for my Arthurian/Celtic Spears of Mawdryn Marines, so that shall be the next kit-bash/conversion project. I am currently camera-less, but photos shall be forthcoming....
Also tinkering around with some campaign ideas, including some rules for gaming in the Age of Apostasy (including expanded fluff). Again, watch this space.